17082019 - How they destroyed Nigeria

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Vanguard Newspaper 17 August 2019

2 — SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019


SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019 — 3


4 — SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019


SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019 — 5

El-Zakzaky, wife arrive Abuja, whisked away by DSS

•His ploy to seek asylum necessitated his repatriation —FG

•Followers vow to continue the struggle

By Emmanuel Elebeke &

Luminous Jannamike

BARELY four days after

they were flown to India

for medical treatment on

the order of Kaduna State

High Court, leader of the proscribed

Islamic Movement,

IMN, in Nigeria, Sheikh

Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his

wife, Zeenat, were brought

back to Nigeria yesterday.

The Ethiopian airplane carrying

the couple arrived the

Nnamdi Azikiwe International

Airport yesterday at

12:01pm. The couple were

however, whisked away immediately

from the VIP section

of the Abuja airport to an

unknown destination by operatives

of the Department of

State Services, DSS

On their arrival at the Indian

hospital where treatment

was expected to commence,

the trip to the Asian country

turned controversial with allegations

and counter allegations

between the Shiite leader

and the security operatives

who accompanied him and

his wife from Nigeria. When

they returned to Nigeria yesterday,

they were not allowed

to speak with the newsmen

who were waiting to have a

chat with them.

The government has however

explained why the Shiite

leader and his wife were suddenly

brought back to Nigeria.

The Federal government

said that El-Zakzaky and his

wife were repatriated to Nigeria

from India due to his

misconduct and disrespect

of international procedures

while in Indian hospital.

A statement issued on Friday,

signed by Permanent Secretary,

Federal Ministry of

Information and

Culture, Grace Isu Gekpe

said apart from demonstrating

lack of decorum in

India, El-Zakzaky’s actions

demonstrated malicious intents

that were capable of

embarrassing the Governments

of Nigeria and India.

Gekpe said the

IMN leader while in

India initiated contacts with

a team of lawyers led by Ali

Zia Kabir Chaudary and

Gunjan Singh in that country

and went further to contact

some Non-Governmental

Organizations (NGOs),

such as the Islamic Human

Rights Commission (IHRC)

and other Shiite groups with

the aim of seeking asylum

and eventually relocate to

another country.

According to the statement,

‘‘The Federal Government

wishes to inform the public

about the latest development

in the Ibraheem El-zakzaky

medical trip controversies to

India. The Government

notes with dismay the acts of

misconduct exhibited by Elzakzaky

that necessitated his

repatriation.

‘‘The earlier statement of

14th August 2019 by the Government

addressed the issues

that would have raised some

questions with the latest occurrences

and particularly

the uncelebrated return of Elzakzaky

from India.

‘‘The public may note that

El-Zakzaky’s actions in

India demonstrated malicious

intents that were capa-

ble of embarrassing the Governments

of Nigeria and India.

‘‘With total disrespect and

complete loss of decorum for

international procedures

while in India, he initiated

contacts with a team of lawyers

led by Ali Zia Kabir

Chaudary and Gunjan Singh

in that country.

‘‘He also contacted some

Non-Governmental Organizations

(NGOs), such as the

Islamic Human Rights Commission

(IHRC) and other

Shiite groups. His aim was

to seek asylum and eventually

relocate to another country.

‘‘It is important to note that

if an Indian court had granted

El-zakzaky asylum or

leave to travel to another

country, it would have violated

the Nigerian court order

that granted him permission

to travel for medical treatment.

However, he used the

opportunity of being in India

to attempt to internationalise

his cause by mobilising the

Rights groups. Even most unfortunate

and rather embarrassing

as earlier stated, was

his quest to be relocated to a

5-Star hotel to receive visitors

instead of being admitted in

the hospital as a sick person

he claimed to be.

‘‘In spite of his misconduct,

El-zakzaky’s spouse went further

to antagonize the Indian

and Nigerian security agents

and accused the latter of killing

her children. These acts

were aimed at winning international

sympathy as well as

disparaging the Nigerian

Government. Having subordinated

the quest for medical

treatment to other ulterior

motives, it became obvious

that El-zakzaky was focused

on realising some sinister

motives thus the decision to

return him to Nigeria.’’

In a swift reaction, the IMN

in a statement by the President

of its Media Forum, Ibrahim

Musa, urged the security

agency to declare to Nigerians

El-Zakzaky's whereabouts.

The statement reads, "As

our leader Sheikh Ibraheem

Zakzaky has landed safely at

Nnamdi Azikiwe International

Airport today, (yesterday)

we wish to set the records

straight in order to disabuse

the minds of Nigerians from

the false claims in some sponsored

stories and articles in

the media concerning his

aborted medical treatment in

India.

"However before we do

that, we vehemently condemn

the way the security agents

whisked him away upon arrival

without allowing the

multitude of journalists that

were waiting for him for hours

to have a chat with him. We

urge the security agency holding

him hostage to declare to

the public where they are

keeping him in the country.

"It is a well-known fact that

the Nigerian authorities had

tried all their antics to see that

the Sheikh wasn’t given a

medical leave. Distrustful of

the Nigerian government’s

offer of a jet to take him to the

destination, having survived

its attempts to poison and kill

him while in detention, our

leader Sheikh Zakzaky declined

the offer and chose to

pay for his trip through the

Emirates Airline.

"Their ordeal started right

here in Nigeria when they

were scheduled to board the

plane to Dubai. After a two

hours’ drive from Kaduna to

Nnamdi Azikwe International

Airport in Abuja, they were

not given enough time to rest

before boarding the plane.

They endured an eight hours

flight to Dubai and another

three hours flight to New Delhi.

"Under normal circumstances,

as patients suffering

life threatening ailments they

shouldn’t have been subjected

to such exhaustion. Nonetheless

our leader and his wife

endured the journey hoping

that they will get good treatment

when they reached New

Delhi.

"However, even though

they needed rest, on arrival

they were wheeled to a hospital

without their personal

physician that accompanied

them from Nigeria. They

were then subjected to physical

examination in the absence

of the doctors that examined

them in Nigeria and

when they requested for their

presence, it was turned down.

Even a physician that came

from London was also denied

access to them. It was at this

point that Sheikh Zakzaky

refused any attempt to have

him forcefully treated.

"More so, the Hospital

compromised its stance and

medical ethics, as a result the

Sheikh lost interest in the hospital

and demanded to see his

own doctors for a substitute

arrangement. It is well within

every patient’s right to decide

whether or not to be treated

and to also decide who attends

to his health. It is called

'giving of consent', which every

sane autonomous person

with capacity is entitled to.

"Contrary to the Nigerian

government’s press statement,

that misinformed that

it was against “medical ethics

and standard practice,” it

is in fact at the very essence of

medical ethics, which every

elementary medical person

knows.

"The interference of the government

raised suspicion that

it was planning to kill the

Sheikh in India using its international

connections. He

insisted that if he would not

be allowed to see the doctors

that brought him to India he

would rather come back to

Nigeria and seek another

destination for his treatment.

"This became clear because

of the government’s stance

insisting on other doctors

than the ones that he was to

meet in India. They finally

decided to bring him back for

refusing to succumb to be

treated by their chosen doctors.

"It is worth noting that

the Kaduna High Court allowed

the Sheikh to go to India

with the government only

supervising, instead the federal

government presented

him to the Indian government

as a dangerous suspect with

an unknown ailment coming

to India and demanded stringent

security placed on him.

There was even a report that

the security agents in India

subjected him to physical assault.

"It is glaringly clear that the

Nigerian government had an

ulterior motive it was nursing

using its connections in

India when it violated court

order and interfered with the

procedures of the Sheikh’s

treatment.

"This can also be deduced

from the way the security

agents whisked him away to

unknown destination after

arrival at Abuja International

airport, without allowing

him to have audience with the

journalists that were waiting

for his arrival.

"The Islamic Movement

will however continue its

struggle to ensure that our

leader gets the appropriate

medical treatment he deserves

as ordered by the Kaduna

High court.

"And as we continue with

the struggle, we wish to reiterate

our call for the federal

government to comply with

an earlier Abuja high court

that has freed him since 2016.

We believe obedience to this

court order will finally solve

the crisis that has been lingering

since the Zaria genocide

of December 2015."

Oyegun: Why I will take on my critics

By Omeiza Ajayi & Ezra

Ukanwa

PIONEER National

Chairman of the ruling

All Progressives Congress

APC, Chief John Odigie-

Oyegun has explained his

decision to take on critics of

his political leadership style,

saying at 80 years and now

closer to his creator, he

would not allow his name to

be dragged in the mud for

personal interests.

He spoke Friday in Abuja

through his Public Affairs

Adviser and Chairman,

organising committee for his

80th birthday celebrations,

Chief Ray Murphy.

Chief Odigie-Oyegun

turned 80 on Monday with

the Edo state government

rolling out the drums to

celebrate the man who was

the first civilian governor of

the state.

Morphy, who described

Chief Odigie-Oyegun as a

‘stainless politician’ even at

80, said the Benin Chief is a

perfect gentle man who has

kept his name clean right

and fair over the years,

adding that even when he left

office as national chairman

of the APC, he has never

engaged in any battle with

anybody in the party until

recently when unfounded

accusations were made

against him.

Morphy stated: “Until we

began to hear accusations

El-Zakzaky

left and right which are

basically just accusations.

Which was why it became

necessary as his Public

Affairs Adviser to begin to

take on those things. We took

them on not because we were

interested in just replying, but

because at 80, what time does

he have to build his name? If

people throw mud at you

when you are 80, what time

do you have to clean it up?

“But by his nature, he

would have kept quiet but he

reached a point when he

realised that though he didn’t

do those kind of things, those

allegations, left

unchallenged, could soil his

name practically for life.”

Murphy also explained

why a national leader of the

party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed

Tinubu and the current

national chairman,

Comrade Adams

Oshiomhole, were absent at

the state held in Chief

Odigie-Oyegun’s honour in

Benin.

“My reaction is very

simple and straight forward,

remember I said that Benin

was a state function. We have

two batches of the event. The

Minimum Wage: ‘We are waiting National’s template

— C’River NLC •FG is not serious about implementation—TUC

By Ike Uchechukwu

CROSS River State

Chairman of the Nigeria

Labour Congress, NLC,

Comrade Benedict Ukpukpen

has urged workers in the state

to be patient rather than giving

in to rumors that state government

will not pay the

N30,000 minimum wage

signed into law by the Federal

government.

Ukpukpen made the assurance

while debunking rumors

making the rounds in the State

that government was adopting

delay tactics so as not to abide

by the initial agreement to pay

N30, 000 to workers as minimum

wage.

He said that the leadership

of labour in the state has been

patiently waiting for a template

which will come from

the national body .

He hinted that it was the template

that will guide on what to

say when they finally meet on

a round table discussion with

the state government to brainstorm

on the minimum wage

issue. “As soon as the template

is here, we will engage the state

government for the minimum

wage of Cross River State be

put in place." “The minimum

wage will be paid. My happiness

is that Labor and the Government

will definitely sit on

the negotiation table at the end

of the day to discuse the issues.

“Our belief is that Government

and labor will soon come

state function which was

done by the state which is

more like a regional event.

“We have a national

function which is being

organized tomorrow

(Saturday). Well, I would have

a response if tomorrow

(Saturday) we record the same

kind of situation. But I know

that most people who attend

events will look at which one

to attend. For instance, we have

all these governors who were

not essentially there because

we have the main function

which will be a national

celebration on Saturday.”

to common position very soon.

We are on the situation.”We

have to be patient as room

wasn’t built in a day. Just like a

child born have to undergo

stages to be come an adult.

“For instance, if you are hungry,

you have to wait for meal

to be prepared before you can

eat,” he said.

On his part ,the Trade Union

Congress

TUC,

Chairman,Com. Clarkson

Otu, expressed displeasure in

the delay of implementation of

minimum wage.

He accused the federal and

state government of behaving

as if they were unserious with

implementation of the minimum

wage even when it had

been signed into law.


6 — SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019

Discordant tunes trail Buhari’s FX directive

on food importation

By Dirisu Yakubu

HE cuts the image of a

happy man; a leader

who defied the odds to deliver

on sundry areas where his

predecessors failed. To him,

the journey to the realization

of a new Nigeria has commenced,

with the vehicle set

to take Nigerians to the Next

Level, now on full throttle. The

above reflects President Muhammadu

Buhari’s rating of

his stewardship in the past

four years, which in his words,

has the trappings of a success

story.

Playing host to governors

elected on the platform of the

ruling All Progressives Congress,

APC, who were in

Daura to pay the first citizen

the Eid-el-Kabir Sallah

homage earlier in the week,

an obviously elated President

Buhari said the country had

achieved food security and

also lauded the efforts of the

security agencies in the fight

against insurgency and sundry

security challenges in the

land. “We have achieved food

security,” he said, adding that

“for physical security, we are

not doing badly. The country

is more secure than in 2015,

and the country is more prosperous

than in 2015,” he

stressed.

Given this feat (food security)

therefore, Mr. President

directed the Central Bank of

Nigeria, CBN, not to “give a

cent to anybody to import

food into the country,” as “foreign

reserve will be conserved

and utilised strictly for diversification

of the economy and

not for encouraging more

dependence on foreign food

import bills.”

In the past few days, policy

analysts, economists and politicians

have been reacting,

with many faulting the powers

of the President to direct

the CBN to take certain actions,

citing the bank’s autonomous

and independence

status as provided in the law.

Before this, some quick facts

on the Nigerian economy!

According to the Economic

Complexity Index, ECI,

Nigeria is the 52nd largest

importer in the world of such

commodities as wheat, corn,

rice, raw sugarcane and

dairy products.” ECI report

also notes that Nigeria consumes

“over $22 billion of

foreign exchange annually.”

The CBN on other hand

says “Nigeria’s monthly food

import bill fell from $665.4

million in January 2015 to

$116. 4million as at October,

2018.” The CBN also claimed

that “there was 97.3 per cent

cumulative reduction in

monthly rice import bills,

91.6 per cent in fish, 81.3 per

cent in milk, 63.7 per cent in

sugar and 60.5 per cent in

wheat,” adding between the

period (January 2015-October,

2018), there have been “a

cumulative fall of 75.9 per

cent and an implied savings

of over $21 billion on food

imports.”

Reacting to this development

on a Channels Television

programme, Politics Today,

former CBN deputy governor,

Professor Kingsley

Moghalu said the quest to

make Nigeria consume what

it produces is a laudable one.

He however questioned President

Buhari’s powers to direct

the apex bank in the performance

of its statutory func-

•From left: A trader, Mrs Ogomma Uche; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Gov. Ifeanyi

Ugwuanyi of Enugu State during the government’s entrepreneurship and empowerment

programme at Old Artisan Market in Enugu on Friday.

tions.

His words: “The CBN Act

of 2007, Article 1 (3) is very

explicit that the bank in order

to achieve its mandate

should be independent in the

performance of its functions.

It is very clear; it is not Kingsley

Moghalu who said, it is

the CBN Act.” That said, the

Young Progressive Party, YPP,

Presidential candidate in the

2019 election, gave the three

exemptions to the rule, for the

sake of emphasis.

“There are only three instances

in the operation of the

Central Bank where it requires

the direct approval of

the President. One is the approval

of the annual accounts

of the CBN. The President

must approve it. Two is

the approval of currency designs.

For the CBN to issue

coins, naira notes and so on,

the President has to approve

those designs and proposals.

Three, any external investment

by the Central Bank itself

as an institution has to be

approved by the President.

Outside of these three specific

instances, the Central Bank

does not require the formal

and explicit approval of the

President to perform its job,”

he added.

On what he made of the directive,

Moghalu continued:

“That is another way of saying

that the President himself

or any political authority outside

of the bank should not

be giving the bank instructions.

This is a fundamental

principle of central banking

around the world over the last

four decades. And that’s one

of the reasons many central

banks work successfully to

overcome the global financial

crisis of 2008. It is because

they have the independence

and of course, the CBN

of my time, we had the independence

to do what we were

able to do and we did not take

direct instructions from political

authorities.”

Is the CBN a republic on

its own?

“No, it is not but the principle

of central banking requires

that it should have

some independence from everyday

political authority.

For example, if politicians

want to be popular, and because

of that they want low

interest rate and tell the bank

to lower the monetary policy

rate and the bank lowers

it; that is an inflationary

policy that is going on in the

fiscal side. We know that

about at least 70 % of Nigeria’s

budgetary expenditure

goes into recurrent expenditure.

A lot go into repaying

foreign debts and very little

go to capital expenditure.

“When you spend a lot of

money on recurrent expenditure,

that is expenditure that

has inflationary impact and

this is one of the reasons the

CBN several years ago had

to jerk up the monetary policy

rate to 14 %. It was to fight

inflation because the primary

mandate of the Central

Bank is to main price stability.

The primary mandate of

the CBN is not to sing and

dance with the executive

branch of government or any

other branch. Now, does the

President tell the Independent

National Electoral Commission,

INEC boss how to run

an independent electoral

umpire? Should he tell the

Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN

what the Supreme Court

ruling should be in the case

of Atiku and the Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP,

against Buhari and the

APC even though he appointed

the CJN?

“People should not confuse

things. There are certain institutions

that, by the very

nature of their job, require a

little bit of distance from the

political class. That is what

I’m saying. I am not saying

that the CBN is a sort of republic

on its own. No! It is

accountable to the National

Assembly. We go to the National

Assembly every six

months or periodically to

brief it because that is the

legislation,” he further explained.

Like Moghalu, Professor

Jonathan Aremu in

his reaction argued that the

issue is not whether the directive

would impact positively

or negatively on the economy

but on what the law says

about the operations of the

bankers’ bank. Aremu, a

former staff at the CBN and

Professor of International

Economic Relations, stated

that for the CBN to function

in compliance with the law

establishing it, it requires

some level of independence.

“I will not conclude that

it is good or bad but Moghalu

has rightly pointed out

that certain level of autonomy

is relevant for central

bank to perform its functions.

It is going to send wrong signals

to the global economy,

not only in Nigeria. For me,

the issue of directing the CBN

governor has to change.

What the President should

have said is that people can

import food but foreign exchange

will not be paid. But

even in that case, why can’t

the President dialogue with

the CBN and allow the bank

to say this because immediately

you say the President

directed the CBN governor to

behave this way; people will

feel something is wrong.

“Secondly, it is going to be

difficult for the CBN to perform

its function within the

country independently of the

political class as well as globally

with other central banks

including the International

Monetary Fund, IMF and

the World Bank,” Aremu stated

İndependence of CBN, a

myth- Senator Shehu Sani

On the part of Senator Shehu

Sani, it was important to

separate the content of President

Buhari’s directive from

the directive itself, saying

while one was right, the other

was wrong.

He said: “We can divide

the President’s point of action

into two. The first is the directive

which is against the

norms, ethics and division of

authority when you consider

the autonomy of the CBN. He

has no right to direct the CBN

to do what they should do or

not do. Secondly, what is the

content of what the President

said? I share the position of

the President in that aspect:

If we are going to be serious

about food production, we

have to close the tap on importation

and I think there is

better way of going about that

by consulting the CBN and I

heard it about some months

ago when the CBN directly

issued a statement on the importation

of textile, milk and

dairy products.

“I think what the President

said was right in terms of the

substance, not the directive

that we need to put an end to

the importation of food to encourage

local production. If

we have to set a standard, I

believe things should be done

rightly but we should also put

it the other way that the independence

of the CBN is more

of a myth. It is a myth in the

sense that we know it clearly

out of what is written in our

constitution and our laws that

the CBN was never and is never

an independent body but

ideally, it is supposed to be so.

And when we see a transgression

against such red lines, I

think issues need to be raised.

It is in the spirit of making sure

that we protect the independence

of the CBN that we go

against some directive but I

share the fact that we have to

stop importing food to encourage

local production. On this,

the President is right.

Another woman strangled in

Port Harcourt hotel

By Egufe Yafugborhi

LESS than a month after a lady was suspiciously killed

by an unknown sex partner in a Port Harcourt hotel,

another woman identified as Jenifer Nwokocha has suffered

the same fate in another hotel located in the government

resevered area of the state.

The body of Jenifer, from Umuekenyike, Obirikom in Ogba/

Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers was

discovered yesterday by hotel workers with white clothe round

her neck. A relative told Saturday Vanguard on condition of

anonymity that the victim, in her mid 20s, was also a staff of

the hotel where she was found dead.

The source said, “The victim was working in that hotel but

I don’t know her job there. Her late father was a former Agip

Oil Company Staff, but after he died, Jenifer has been having

disagreements with her step mother who refused her a share

of her father’s severance money, leaving her struggling to

fend for herself.”

A hotel staff source narrated that, “The body was discovered

Thursday morning after the hotel room service knocked the

door severally but there wasn’t any response.

“The room service alerted management who used a spare

key to open the door, only to find the woman dead inside with

a piece of white cloth around her neck and her partner was

no where to be found.”

Police Public Relations Officer, Rivers Command Nnamdi

Omoni confirmed the incident saying, “Investigation had

commenced into the incident, some persons have been picked,

they are helping the police to arrest the culprits.”

MSMEs:Osinbajo thumbs up for Enugu

THE Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has described Enugu

state as one of the best states in the country that have performed

exceedingly well in the federal government’s Micro, Small

and Medium Enterprises (MSME) programme. Prof.

Osinbajo also commended the administration of Governor

Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for its contribution towards

the success of the entrepreneurship programme, stressing

that “we have received a great deal of support from the state

government”.

The Vice President gave the commendations in Enugu,

during the activation/launch of TraderMoni initiative of

President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration at the

Artisan Market in Enugu North Local Government Area.

The scheme which is a non-collateral and interest-free

loan for petty traders and artisans in the country to encourage

them to earn a living, create wealth and job opportunities for

those in the rural and urban communities especially the

teeming youth, under the Government Enterprise and

Empowerment Programme (GEEP) of the National Social

Investments Programme, is domiciled in the Office of the

Vice President and implemented by the Bank of Industry (BOI).

Speaking further at the event, Prof. Osinbajo stated that the

joint efforts “is to make sure that our people especially traders

and small businesses are able to benefit from the programme

of the federal government and to create a conducive

environment that would enable the beneficiaries do their

businesses with some degree of comfort.”

According to him, “If small businesses prosper, the nation

will prosper. This is why Mr. President decided that we must

do the scheme called MarketMoni in collaboration with the

Bank of Industry (BOI) and TraderMoni also”. The Vice

President maintained that the scheme was “very important

for us and a win-win for everybody who participates because

it puts money in the hands of traders so that the traders can

invest more in their inventory, the things they sell, and they

can become wealthier and employ people also”.

It's a shame FG's tolerating

killer herdsmen — Fani-Kayode

By Marie-Therese Nanlong

FORMER Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has

described as a national shame, the refusal of the federal

government to proscribe killer herdsmen despite what he

termed their evil activities, stressing such travesty happen

due to absence of good governance.

Kayode lamented the persistent killing of innocent

Nigerians in different parts of the country, noting that in the

last four years, Fulani herdsmen had killed Nigerians more

than the Boko Haram insurgents had done stating that over

3, 400 deaths caused by herdsmen had been recorded.

He spoke in Jos at a public lecture organised by TEKAN, a

federation of Christian churches in Nigeria with the theme

“Good governance in Nigeria today: A crucial role of the

Church.” He maintained the persistent killings in the country

had lingered because there was no good governance in the

country but the situation must not be allowed to continue

saying, “How can there be good governance when Nigerians

are being killed on daily basis without anything being done

by the government to safeguard the lives of the people? How

can there be good governance when Nigeria has become the

poverty capital of the world? In all these, government had

not done anything. Those that commit these atrocities against

Nigeria, God will judge them.”

The former Minister added that the continued detention of

Leah Sharibu and others by Boko Haram would remain a

“spiritual wound” in the life of APC administration until

they are freed by the government.

He further urged Nigerians particularly Christians to unite

and work together irrespective of their denomination.

“With over 100 million population in Nigeria, Christians

have a duty to ensure good governance in the country. I am

fed up with people who said we should say nothing and do

nothing. With the way Nigerians are being killed, Christians

have a duty to stand up and resist evil that it may flee. We

must fight for the weak and speak truth to power.


Fulanis back Ooni, Alaafin to flush out

criminal herdsmen

By Ola Ajayi, Ibadan

SOME Fulani men

under the aegis of

Gan Allah Fulani

Development Association

have agreed to work with

the Ooni of Ife, Oba Eniitan

Adeyeye Ogunwusi,

Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi

Adeyemi and security

agencies to henceforth

expose and flush out

“criminal elements” among

them.

The group who said they

are descendants of

Oduduwa noted that due

to the criminal instincts of

the bad eggs among them,

people had stigmatized

Fulani as violent and bad

people.

This was disclosed

yesterday by the National

President of the

association, Alhaji Sale

Bayari when speaking with

newsmen at the

Correspondents’ Chapel

secretariat, Mokola in

Ibadan yesterday.

They clarified that there

are 300 clans within Fulani

and it would be unfair to

judge all of them based on

the activities of criminallyminded

few.”.

Bayari said, “we support

the position of the Ooni of

Ife hundred per cent. We

are ready to fish out the bad

eggs and criminal

elements amongst us. “

Giving details of a

meeting they had with the

ex-president, Chief

Olusegun Obasanjo, he

stated that they agreed that

“we will not condone any

criminal element. When we

met with the Alaafin, he told

us that 14 herdsmen were

already in detention for

various offenses. This has

shown the commitment on

both parties to bring a

lasting solution to the issue

of kidnapping, banditry

and farmers/herders clash.”

He pleaded with the Oyo

State House of Assembly

members who are about

proposing anti grazing

laws to ensure Fulani men

are represented so as to

give them fair hearing.

“We plead with the Oyo

State House of Assembly to

ensure that as interested

and affected citizens of the

pending law, we deserve to

be heard and listened to

during the open hearing of

the bill so that our views and

opinions as Nigerians are

heard and considered

without bias”.

On the issue of the

bororo Fulanis, “just like

the Yoruba ethnic groups

have different divisions, the

Fulanis have different

clans. There are over 300

fulani clans. We talk about

the Fulanis in general

because we don’t want to

give special recognition to

a clan be it positive or

negative. We know the

bororo clans and they know

us also. We have various

levels in which we address

Insecurity: I‘ll crush Banditry, kidnapping in

southwest in four months — Gani Adams

By Shina Abubakar

The Aare Ona Kakanfo

of Yoruba land, Chief

Gani Adams has vowed to

combat insecurity in the

Southwest part of Nigeria

within four months.

Aare Adams said that he

would use resources

available within to tackle

the menace to a standstill.

He gave the assurance

while addressing

mammoth crowd consists of

members of Oodua Peoples

Congress(OPC), osun

adherent and other

traditionalists who came to

celebrate this year Osun

Osogbo festival.

According to him, we are

committed to ending

banditry, kidnapping and

all sorts of criminality

within the south west

region within the next four

months

The

Yoruba

generalissimo, who said he

was ordained as Aare Ona

Kakanfo of Yorubaland,

said among his duties is to

defend and protect the

Yoruba people against any

criminality.

“As the generalissimo of

Yoruba land, my duty

among others is to ensure

that Yoruba people are

protected against any

forces”.

“I am a warrior and I’m

ordained to ensure that

Yoruba people are

protected. I am assuring

Chief Abdul Fatai Lal Olumegbon, M.O.N and his Wife, Chief Mrs. Remi

Olumegbon, Flanked by the grand children, during the 90th Birthday celebration

of Chief Abdul Fatai Lal Olumegbon, held at Harbour point in Lagos

at the weekend. Photo: KEHINDE SHONOLA.

you that I would use

everything within my

reach to make sure problem

of insecurity becomes the

issue of the past. I will make

sure I crush insecurity in

the Southwest”, he added.

Meanwhile, Osun state

Governor, Mr. Gboyega

Oyetola has urged Osun

indigenes in diaspora to

partner with his

government in promoting

and projecting Osun

Osogbo festival to compete

with other festivals in the

world.

Oyetola said the festival,

having been the most

popular and recognised in

Nigeria by UNESCO need

to be elevated to a world

standard.

According to him,”Osun

Osogbo festival has

blossom into an

international event

witnessed by about a

million tourist all over the

world.''

2020 budget to be passed before

December — Senate President

*Promises passage of PIB

By Bashir Bello

The Senate President Ahmad

Lawan on Friday assured

Nigerians that the

2020 national budget will be

passed by December.

Lawan disclosed this while

speaking with newsmen

shortly after a visit to the

Katsina State Government

House where he conferred

with Governor Aminu Bello

Masari, his Deputy, Alhaji

Mannir Yakubu and other

government officials.

The Senate President

explained that the National

Assembly is expecting the

budget next month,

September from the

Executive Arm, which the

ninth assembly hoped to

deliberate and passed within

two months.

He said that the process

would return Nigeria to the

annual budget of January to

December.

The Senate President also

assured that the ninth

assembly would passed the

Petroleum Industry Bill.

Lawan expressed the

resolve of the two wings of

the National Assembly to

work harmoniously for rapid

reformation in the education,

agriculture and other sub

sectors of the economy. The

Senate President was

accompanied by the

principal officers of the

Senate as well as senators

representing Katsina South,

Bello Mandiya and that of

Katsina North, Senator

Ahmad Babba Kaita.

these issues and be rest

assured that we will get to

the root of these problems.”

Foreign Fulanis commit

crimes

“In every country, you

have foreigners. Cattle

rearers are attracted to

pasture and water. This

natural characteristics

makes them border blind.

Cattle rearing has been in

existence before the

borders were artificially

drawn by the colonial

masters. There is the

ECOWAS protocol for free

movement treaty which

Nigeria is part of. This

existing law has its own

problem. We know there

are foreigners amongst us

but when the law doesn’t

allow you to chase them

away what can you do. We

are calling on our members

not to spare anyone based

on familiarity”.

AK 47 for self defence

“In banks, if there is N5m

in their vault, there could

be more than 25 policemen

guarding it with AK 47

rifles. If you see a Fulani

herder, he may have cattle

worth N250m in the bush

and with issue of cattle

rustling, where does he run

to if he is attacked. If the

rustlers know that he is

armed, they will not even

try to attack him. We are not

trying to defend them or

encourage them to carry

arms.”

“This trend just started

recently. It is as a result of

intra personal conflicts that

brought about the issue of

arms bearing. This is

because people had to

defend themselves against

their aggressors. It is not

only herders that bear

firearms. Farmers also are

already carrying arms.

When you don’t have a

gun, you realize you can’t

survive in this society. This

country is lawless that is

why you have to protect

yourself. People have

realized that if you don’t

protect yourself, you will be

run over.

If there is adequate

security measures in place,

people will not resort to

defending themselves.

So, it can be handed to

the security agents for

50,000 naira. A gun bought

for N500, 000", he said.

SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019 — 7

Edo maintains 3rd position in

2019 WAEC performance ranking

...as govt restrategises to lead pack

in future

Edo State has retained its 3rd position in the

performance ranking chart of the 2019 West African

Examination Council (WAEC), coming behind Anambra

Sate which occupied the second position and Abia State,

which took the first position in the ranking.

Reacting to the state’s performance in the national

examination, Governor Godwin Obaseki, commended the

efforts of all stakeholders in the education sector and

assured that his administration has commenced the review

of the result and is restrategising to lead the pack of best

performing states in subsequent national examinations.

Special Adviser to the governor on Media and

Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, who conveyed

the governor’s reaction, said: “Governor Godwin

congratulates the students, teachers, the entire staff of the

ministry of education, our development partners and other

stakeholders in the education sector on this year’s outing

in the West African Examination Council ranking.

“Our state retained the third position it occupied in the

2018 ranking and that shows we sustained the tempo, but

we can do better by raising the bar and we are determined

to do better in subsequent rankings.”

Onuesoke To Politicians: Don’t

compromise National Security

for political patronage

By Ephraim Oseji

Delta State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain,

Chief Sunny Onuesoke has appealed to Nigerian

politicians not to compromise the national security for

political patronage because its dare implication on the

nation’s social, economic and political development.

Onuesoke who spoke on the sideline during a security

workshop organized in Abuja recently said Nigerian politicians

should realize that .if the state of insecurity is allowed to continue

because of political patronage and affiliation, the nation will

be doomed.

He explained that trends have shown evidently that insecurity

is capable of drying-out investment, increasing unemployment,

reducing export receipts and government revenue and by

implication slows economic growth.

Onuesoke who said no nation can achieve sustainable

development in an environment of insecurity stated that “If

foreign investors must come to Nigeria there must be security,

stability within the thirty six states of the federation.”

He advised all and sundry to put their political differences

aside to fight insecurity scourge for the survival of the nation,

not only for the generation of today, but for generation yet

unborn.

Onuesoke traced the causes of insecurity in the country to

do or die politics, elite manipulation of ethnicity and religious

differences, widespread systemic and political corruption,

struggle for resources, weak security system, pervasive material

inequalities, unemployment, poverty and terrorism among

others.

The former governorship aspirant observed that security

crises in different parts of Nigeria have destroyed existing

infrastructure, prevented a peaceful environment for the

development of further infrastructure and a safe environment

for economic activities by individuals.

NIMASA commissions $195m

maritime security deep blue project

•Says move will checkmate illegal fish poaching

By Godwin Oritse

THE Nigerian Maritime Administration and

Safety Agency, NIMASA, yesterday commissioned

its Command, Control Computer Communications and

Information system otherwise known as the (C4I), a

development that will checkmate illegal fish poaching

and other criminal activities on the nation’s coastal

and territorial waters.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, NIMASA’s

Director General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside said that

insecurity was a major deterrent to existing and

prospective businesses adding that combative steps have

been taken to stem the tide and eradicate cancerous

elements in the maritime sector.

Peterside also said that the aim of the collaboration

between the Federal ministries of Defence and

Transportation was to develop a robust maritime

security architecture comprising of all military and

security Services in order to ensure a conducive and

sustainable environment for maritime business.

He said: “In recent times, the Gulf of Guinea has been a

source of concern to the international community due to

high levels of insecurity plaguing the region, with the

Nigeria maritime domain having the highest numbers of

security incidents in the region.


8 — SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019

L-r: Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Ajayi Borrofice; Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; President of

the Senate, Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan; President Muhammadu Buhari; Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi;

Senator representing Katsina North, Senator Ahmad Babba Kaita and Deputy Whip, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi,

during the Sallah homage to the President by the Leadership of the Senate in Daura, Katsina State, yesterday.

Alleged stashed loot: Court freezes 6

bank accounts linked to ex-Gov Yari

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

THE Abuja Division of the

Federal High Court,

yesterday, froze six separate

bank accounts that were linked

to the former Governor of

Zamfara State, Abdulazeez

Yari, following an ex-parte

motion filed by the Federal

Government.

The court, in a ruling

delivered by Justice Taiwo

Taiwo, ordered interim

forfeiture of funds that

comprised of both foreign and

local currencies which the

Federal Government said was

traced to the immediate past

governor by the Independent

Corrupt Practices and Other

Related Offences

Commission, ICPC.

While Naira and Dollar

accounts in Zenith and Polaris

Banks, respectively, were

opened and operated in Yari’s

name, the four other accounts

were operated in the name of

two firms: Kayatawa Nigeria

Limited and B. T. Oil and Gas

Nigeria Limited.

The court ordered that ex-

Govenor Yari or anyone with

vested interest in the accounts,

must within 14 days, appear to

show cause why the funds which

the ICPC described as stashed

loot, should not be

permanently forfeited to the

government.

It then directed the

government to publish the

interim order in a national

daily, within the next seven days.

The court granted all the

reliefs sought by the

government in the motion exparte

argued by ICPC’s lawyer,

Mr.

Osuobeni

Akponimisingha.

Justice Taiwo then adjourned

the matter till September 11.

Specifically the court

granted prayers for: “An order

of interim forfeiture of the sum

of N12, 912, 848.68 (Twelve

Million, Nine Hundred and

Twelve Thousand, Eighty

Hundred and Forty-Eight

Naira, Sixty-Eight Kobo),

being proceeds of some

unlawful activity allegedly

stashed in Zenith Bank Plc with

account number: 1001381684

in the name of Abdulazeez

Abubakar Yari.

“An order of interim

forfeiture of the sum of $56,

056.75 (Fifty-six thousand,

fifty-six Dollars, Seventy-five

cents), being proceeds of some

unlawful activity allegedly

stashed in Polaris Bank with

account number: 21

10000928 in the name of

Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari.

“An order of interim

forfeiture of the sum of N11,

159, 674.17 (Eleven Million,

One Hundred and Fifty-Nine

Thousand, Six Hundred and

Seventy-Four Naira,

Seventeen Kobo), being

proceeds of some unlawful

activity allegedly stashed in

Defence College alumni partners military

on solutions to insecurity — Gen Temlong

By Joseph Erunke

Apast BUJA—IMMEDIATE

President of the National

Defence College alumni,

Brigadier General Jon

Temlong, has said that the

alumni will continue to engage

the military, heads of

security agencies and other

stakeholders on finding solutions

to the country’s insecurity

problems.

Temlong, in his welcome

remarks at the inauguration

of the newly elected National

Executive Committee of the

organisation during the 12th

Annual General Meeting of

the association said the members

would continue to play

significant roles in shaping

the fabric and texture of Nigeria’s

security having attended

the highest military

institution regarded as the

think tank for national security.

A statement by the Publicity

Secretary,Navy Captain

Mohammed Wabi,quoted the

retired military general as

saying that the association

has been meeting heads of security

agencies and the leadership

of the Armed Forces of

Nigeria to proffer solutions

to the issues of appropriate

and functional deployment

of strategies in tackling insurgency,

terrorism, vandalism

and other emerging security

threats in the country.

He stressed that with the

enormous wealth of experience

garnered by members in

both military and national

security areas, the body was

eminently positioned to assist

the Federal Government and

indeed, the military in formulating

national policies and

programmes for the benefit

of the country.

He said the body had made

tremendous impact in the

area of robust interface with

relevant stakeholders including

heads of national security

organisations and noted

especially that the publication

of a research digest called:

“Constructive Engagement”

has brought critical areas of

security engagement which

would no doubt assist the government

in tackling the nation’s

security challenges.

He noted that the task of

enhancing security was a collective

responsibility which

the body was established to

project and called on all citizens

to support the war

against insurgency and terrorism

in the country.

General Temlong explained

that the body was

primed, to among other

things, foster unity of purpose

among members in addressing

growing insecurity in the

nation and to enable them

offer their research skills and

practical knowledge in support

of current efforts towards

tackling myriads of national

security challenges.

He said the scholarly contributions

of members of the

Association have, no doubt,

enriched the quality of curriculum

of the Defence College.

On his part, the newly

elected President of AANDEC,

Major General Garba

Audu,rtd, said the new executive

will seek partnership with

the government and stakeholders

in areas of national

policy formulation.

While appreciating members

of the body for the confidence

reposed in the new executive,

General Audu assured that his

leadership would also seek

ways and means to get openings

and secure work placements

at national, state and private

sector levels for willing

members of the organisations.

Zenith Bank Plc with account

number: 1010757436 in the

name of Kayatawa Nigeria

Limited.

“An order of interim

forfeiture of the sum of $301,

319 99 (Three hundred and

one thousand, three hundred

and nineteen Dollars, ninetynine

cents), being proceeds of

some unlawful activity

allegedly stashed in Zenith

Bank Plc with account

number: 5360050304 in the

name of Kayatawa Nigeria

Limited.

“An order of interim

forfeiture of the sum of N217,

388.04 (Two Hundred and

seventeen thousand, three

hundred and eighty eight

Naira, four Kobo), being

proceeds of some unlawful

activity allegedly stashed in

Zenith Bank Plc with account

number; 1012556798 in the

name of B.T. Oil and Gas

Nigeria Limited.

“An order of interim

forfeiture of the sum of $311,

872.15 (Three Hundred and

Eleven Thousand, Eight

Hundred and Seventy-Two

Dollars, fifteen cents), being

proceeds of some unlawful

activity allegedly stashed in

Zenith Bank Plc with account

number: 5364669609 in the

name of B.T. Oil and Gas

Nigeria Limited.

“An order restraining any

person or persons, whether

human, juristic or artificial, not

to part with, deal with, deal in

or otherwise dispose of such

property or any part thereof the

following accounts:

Abdulazeez Abubakar yari-

1001381684«, Kayatawa

Nigeria Limited-1010757436

(Naira Account), Kayatawa

Nigeria Limietd-5360050304

(Dollar Account), B.T. Oil and

Gas Nigeria Limited-

1012556798 (Naira Account)

and B.T. Oil and Gas Nigeria

Limited-5364669609, all

domiciled with Zenith Bank

Plc and Abdulazeez Abubakar

yari 2110000928, Polari Bank,

pending the determination of

the matter.

“An order of this Honourable

Court directing Zenith Bank Plc

to fix the alleged proceeds of

crime in the aforesaid accounts

in an interest- yielding account

pending the Respondents show

cause why the funds should not

be forfeited to the Federal

Government of Nigeria.''

Dickson offsets payment of

N104bn inherited bond

...IGR surpasses N1bn

By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa

BAYELSA State Government has said it has completely

defrayed the N104 billion bond loan inherited from the

Timipre Sylva administration.

The state Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Maxwell Ebibai

disclosed this yesterday during the monthly transparency briefing

for the Months of June and July, 2019 in Yenagoa. Mr.

Ebibai explained that the state government painstakingly undertook

the repayment of the debt in spite of numerous financial

obligations.

The Finance Commissioner, who noted that the Dickson-led

administration was not against deficit financing emphasized

that borrowed funds must be utilized for development purposes.

His words:”The state government has concluded the payment

of bond that was taken by the previous administration. And as a

government, our concern is that it carries the assets and liabilities

of every government. We have taken on that responsibility

painfully and we are done with it.

“There is nothing wrong with a government deciding to do

deficit financing, but what is important is what we are using it

for and we have put it behind us as a state.”

Presenting the revenues and expenditures for the month of

July, Mr. Ebibai said in the month of June, it recorded an internally

generated revenue of N1.5 billion as against N910m in

May.

He noted that the gross income from the Federation Accounts

Allocation Committee, (FAAC), stood at N11.6 billion while

total FAAC deductions amounted to N1.1bn.

According to him, the statutory allocation for the month of

July was N3.4 billion, derivation, N7 billion; Value Added Tax,

N928 million and exchange gain differential of N23 million.

Mr. Ebibai further explained that total funds available for

spending was N13.4 billion, consisting of a net FAAC inflow of

N10.4 billion in addition to total other receipts of N3 billion.

On outflows, the Finance Commissioner said government

spent N2.4bn on bank loans, civil servants and political appointees

salaries came up to N3.5billion and grants to higher institutions

put at N695 million among other items.

The commissioner who announced N701.5 million as balance

brought forward from the month of June, put funds available

as at the end of July as N399 million.

Mr. Ebibai also said recurrent and capital payments gulped a

total of N6.4 billion.

Kogi needs N2.8bn to offset

workers salary — Labour

By Boluwaji Obahopo, Lokoja

NIGERIAN Labour Congress, Kogi State chapter has

said about N2.8b was needed to offset the arrears of

workers’ salary in the state.

State chairman of the labour union, Mr Onuh Edoka, who is

also the National Vice President of Medical and Health Workers

Union, MHWUN, stated this yesterday in Lokoja at the

14th Edition of North Central Zonal Conference of the union.

According to him, “The state government was yet to release

the 10% of the fund kept aside to offset arrears of state workers'

salary. We must appreciate the state government over the bailout.

The bailout was effectively used by government. Any one

who harbour contrary opinion should engage the government

personally.

However, we have declined to make a categorical statement

on the usage of the fund as we should do because, government

has not fulfilled all aspects of negotiations entered with

labour before the release of the fund by CBN.

“Ten percent of the money was reserved to tackle arrears of

salaries when percentage salary were paid to the state workers.

“The government promised to pay in instalment from the

10% reserved, but they have not commenced. When that is done,

we shall come out to make a definite statement.

“We have computed those months when percentage were paid.

What is needed now to offset all arrears of state workers who

are on the clear list is N2.8 billion.”Edoka however frowned at

some aides of the governor who are sabotaging the complete

payment of salary to council workers.

Appeal Court confirms Dapo

Abiodun as governor

T

HE Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan yesterday dis

missed the appeal by the Labour Party against the

election of Prince Dapo Abiodun as Governor of Ogun

State. The Court described the Labour Party’s repeated

challenge of the Ogun State Governor as lacking merit

and frivolous.

Court upheld the submission of Abiodun and All Progressives

Congress (APC) counsel, Barrister Wale Abeeb

Ajayi that the governor was duly elected.

The LP went on appeal after losing at the Tribunal for the

third time in its quest to use the court to cancel the March

9, gubernatorial election in Ogun State.

On July 13, when the LP went to challenge the outcome

of the polls, the Tribunal in Abeokuta led by Justice Ali

Halilu dismissed the case on the ground that the tribunal

had dismissed the petition pursuant to the provisions of

paragraph 46(3) of the Schedule to the Electoral Act, 2010

as amended.

The appeal was filed by Mrs Modupe Sanyaolu and

Labour Party against the governor, APC and the Independent

National Electoral Commission (INEC), seeking the

leave of the Tribunal to reverse itself by re-listing the Petition.

Wale Habeeb Ajayi, counsel to Governor Dapo Abiodun,

described the verdict yesterday as “victory for democracy.

The appeal, like the petition was bound to fail. It

was dead on arrival.”


SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019— 9


10—SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019

How thaey they de d

Nigeria –—Mbazu

Only surviving Igbo zikist opens up on:

•Ojukwu's blunders that caused the civil war

•What he did to Zik, M. I. Okpra, K. O. Mbadiwe, Akanu Ibiam, other I

How Eastern Govt helped Awolowo while in Calabar prison

•Speaks on Nigeria's constitution, Gowon, Buhari and why Britain d

Asks 'how can Nigeria develop when state lawmakers are puppets of govern

many public treasury looters find their ways into govt?

•Mbazulike

Amaechi

BY CHIM

First

onl

Nwaiwu,

the event

How he narrowly

escaped death in Lagos

What actually was the event of July

29, 1966 and what led to those

events in Nigeria?

The event of July 29, 1966 was the issue of

the counter coup where Northern military

officers staged a counter coup and in the

process killed Aguiyi Ironsi who was then

the Military Head of State and they

proceeded to kill Igbo soldiers in the North

and in the West, mainly Abeokuta and

Ibadan. They also killed some civilians.

Personally, I narrowly escaped the killing

because the thing caught me up in Lagos.

Let me talk about myself first. I went to

Lagos, because after the military coup in

January, I came back home to do my

business here. But I later went back to Lagos

in the course of my personal business and

stayed at the Federal Palace Hotel. One

morning, Mr. Albert Osakwe who was then

the Nigeria Ambassador to the Congo now

the Democratic Republic of Congo, rushed

back to the hotel and said that he was nearly

killed on the road; that soldiers blocked

everywhere and that they were killing

anybody who was identified to be an Igbo;

that the whole Ikorodu road was full of cars

they were stopping and searching, and any

car bearing Eastern Region number and the

owners or the drivers and people inside were

identified as Igbos were killed.

So they wanted to kill him but when they

asked him who he was and he told them that

he was Albert Osakwe, and one soldier said

I do not like that name, it is an Igbo name

kill him. So he shouted to them I am

Nigerian Ambassador to Congo. So the

Captain there said, Ambassador you must

go back from where you are coming from;

but where are you even going to in the first

place, and he responded that he was going

to the airport to take a flight to his base in

Congo. The Captain said no, go back there

is no road, the airport is closed no plane is

flying. So he came back and narrated the

incident.

That was how we knew that there was a

counter coup, and I tried to get away from

Lagos to go home. I sent somebody to

survey

the

situation

and he

came

back to

tell me

that

Ikorodu

road was

blocked

against the

Igbos. I tried to go

by sea but there

was no way, so that

night I decided not to

sleep in Federal

Palace Hotel. I told

the receptionist in the

hotel that if anybody

came to look for me

that he should tell

them that I had

checked out, so I went

out and found a place to

sleep outside the hotel,

but my box was in the

hotel.

When I came back the

following morning in the

hotel, the boys at the reception

told me Oga they came for you

last night by 2am; I said I

suspected that they would come

for me. I asked them what

happen and they said we told

them that you had checked out but

they insisted on checking your

room, so we took them to your

room and they opened it and

searched and confirmed that there

was nobody in the room so they left,

they were about six soldiers. I

decided that I should leave that

hotel, that I must leave Lagos that

day. I went to take a cover the second

night at Surelere, then the third day I

decided that I must go home.

I got one of my drivers who was a Yoruba man,

he was driving my company car in Lagos; the

company was Niger Pop Products Company

Limited, we were processing meat, it was a meat

industry. So in our branch in Lagos, we had an

Israeli woman as our Manager in Lagos because

we were contractors to so many airlines and other

companies, supplying them processed meat,

sausages and drinks. I got the boy and he got

some of our boys, I told them to drive ahead of me,

ten miles you come back and tell me the position

and situation on the road. We were doing that and

one Douglas Ngwube, a journalist and Francis

Ngwube took me in his car, it was an open roof

sports car so we came to Ikorodu road, at a check

point and they stopped us, one of the soldiers there

pointed a gun at him and asked him who are you.


So it was so brutal, it was so devilish, it

was so inhuman but that was what

happened. Thereafter, the Igbos, those that

were able to escape started coming back

home and at Benue, Makurdi, soldiers

stopped the train carrying them and

brought them out and threw them into the

Benue River. They brought them out one

after the other, shot them and threw them

into River Benue, young children were

thrown a live into the river; all these

estroyed

happened, these were the things that partly

precipitated the war

Then Ojukwu was the Governor of East

Central States, but I say it and believe it to

be truth, Ojukwu made a political mistake.

It was actually a correct military affair but

he made a political mistake.

“In the West, the political leaders were

under consultation, in the North, the

political leaders were involved in the

government of Kastina, the then military

governor of the Northern region, he

involved the Northern politicians including

Ali Mungono and Ibrahim

like Amaechi

Kassim; he involved the political leaders

of the North, they were meeting, but in the

East here, the political leaders like Dr. K.O.

Mbadiwe, Ambassador Mbanugo who was

Chairman of the Eastern Working

Committee; Ojukwu put him in detention at

Uyo; Dr Michael Okpara who was the

Premier of the Eastern Region Ojukwu kept

him in detention at Warri, Dr. Nnamdi

Azikiwe, the leader of NCNC and President

of Nigeria, Ojukwu

restricted his movement by serving him a

restriction notice within seven miles radius

of his house at Nsukka; myself, Mbazulike

Amaechi, Ojukwu served me a restriction

notice, restricting me within ten miles radius

gbo leaders

of my house in Ukpor; Dr Akanu Ibiam, he

restricted him within seven to ten miles of

his house at Afikpo, and he was ruling alone

with Mojekwu. Mojekwu was always beside

him and the only politician in his

islikes Igbos

government.

Mojekwu is from where.

ors, national legislators do the bidding of the President and “Mojekwu is from Umudim in Nnewi,

and that was because they were relations.

That was the political mistake Ojukwu

made; side-lining us and threatening us with

restriction notices was the greatest political

mistake he made with Mojekwu by his side.

OBI NWAIWU

epublic Minister of Aviation Chief Mbazulike Amechi, the

y surviving member of the Zikist movement spoke with Chimaobi

in his Ukpor, Nnewi South Council of Anambra State home, on

s of July 29, 1966, issues that led to it and events after.

He told them I am Dele Martins, I work in the

Federal Ministry of Information, but his name

was really Francis Ngwube, but he really worked

in the Ministry of Information. Then they pointed

a gun at me and said, and you, who are you, and I

said am the New Editor of Accra Evening News; I

now started asking them why are you people

pointing a gun at me, is that the way you people

behave in this country, this is madness, I am

going to report you to my High Commissioner,

how can you point a gun at me, and a Captain

nearby heard when I raised my voice and came to

ask me what is it sir. I told him that your boy

pointed gun at me, he asked me who I am and I

told him. He asked me again who are you and I

said I told you that I am the News Editor of Accra

Evening News and I am going to report you to

my High Commissioner, he started apologizing,

saying am very sorry sir, you can go ahead, that

was how I passed that place.

So my people would drive ten miles ahead and

ensure the road was clear, they came back to

report. We left Lagos at 10am and got to Benin at

10pm; we went to a relation of mine, Agbasi who

was a Chief Superintendent of Police at Benin. I

asked him to find a way to get my car which is at

Lagos Airport. So I phoned Ibekwe, a

Commissioner of Police at Benin, and he sent

some policemen who came and collected the car

key and went to the Lagos airport and brought

my car that night and we continued our journey

to Onitsha and eventually got Onitsha at 2.am

and the boys from Lagos said they were going

In Kano, in

Kaduna, they

brought all the

Igbos in the army

and killed them and

they moved over to

the civilians and

started killing them

back to Lagos. I refused, I felt it was late but

they insisted on going back and they did and

I drove home and that was how I escaped

being killed in Lagos.

But then they killed Aguiyi Ironsi at

Ibadan, and many Igbo soldiers all over

Nigeria. A particular friend of mine from

my town, Captain Maduabum, a military

friend of his in the Officers Mess where they

drank, told him, Maduabum I have

instruction to kill you this night as a matter

fact at mid night, and he told him if they had

given you instruction to kill me is right and

they continued drinking in the officer Mess,

so at 12 midnight a pick up drove in and

they came, picked him and went and shot

him truly; that was how they killed him and

so many soldiers of Igbo extraction.

At Abeokuta, one Igbo officer from Imo

State said I am a soldier only one bullet, I

will go; and they said okay we are not going

to give you one bullet, they directed people

to dig a grave and they dug a grave and

buried him alive; you said it is one bullet

and we are not going to give you one bullet,

we are going to bury you alive and they did.

These were some of the things that

happened to our people.

In Kano, in Kaduna, they brought all the

Igbos in the army and killed them and they

moved over to the civilians and started

killing them, they went to an Igbo Union

Collage at Kano and brought all the girls

and marshalled the girls to the leprosy

camp, forced the girls to sleep with the men

there and any girl that resisted was killed.

Some girls said they would rather die than

be touched by the lepers and they shot them

and killed them.

•Mbazulike

Amaechi

Why did he do that? Was he trying

to obey the military authorities

above him or he just did not want

you people around his government?

“He did that before they started their

quarrels, after killing Aguiyi Ironsi.

Immediately after the coup he was

appointed the military governor. He did this

but in the other parts of the country, their

military governors were consulting their

politicians and so forth, so if we had

not been restricted or imprisoned as

politicians , we could have gotten in touch

with our counterparts in the North. It

wouldn’t have mattered how bitter the

position or quarrel was, the civil war could

have been avoided.

“But he told the people that he had the

weapons to reduce Lagos to sea level. That

was his exact word; we thought he had what

he claimed not knowing there were no

weapons. It was ordinary boast, it was

diplomacy he used, some propaganda, but

the politicking did not work and the war

broke out.

“It was when the war broke out that he

released all of us and by then, Gowon had

released Obafemi Awolowo from Calabar

prison and posted him to Lagos and made

him the Vice Chairman of the Federal

Executive Council and the Commissioner

for Finance and Economic Matters but our

politicians here were rubbished by Ojukwu’s

action.

Awolowo’s appointment was to get the

support of the Yorubas. Although it was okay

for him and his Yoruba people, the action of

Awolowo did not help Ndigbo and could

read as ingratitude although he had no

option because it was a military

government.

“During his imprisonment at Uyo, the

Eastern Region hired a house and urged the

Igbo owner of a House near the prison to

vacate from the house for Awolowo to live in

that house. The man vacated and Awolowo

SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019—11

Then Ojukwu

was the

Governor of

East Central

States, but I say

it and believe it

to be truth,

Ojukwu made a

political mistake

lived in that house. So, every night he would

sleep in that house but at day break he

would go to the prison and stay and all the

cooks and

stewards he had were paid from Enugu by

the Eastern Government. His wife was

placed on a ministerial salary from Enugu

and all allowances that accrued to ministers

in those days were paid to her.

“Probably he had no choice, because it

was Gowon that released him from prison;

it was Gowon that sent an aircraft to pick

him from the airport to Lagos. So to me he

had no choice than to go along with them,

but if our man, Ojukwu had played his part

well there would have been a way M.I

Okpara would have gotten in touch with

Awolowo, there would have been a way a

person like me would have gotten in touch

with Aminu Kano and others to soften

things, because there was a link of that

ideological and fraternal meet among all of

us that went all round. So the war could

have been avoided.

“But however, so many people were killed

in the pogrom. But the question was that the

leaders who would have changed things like

Saduana of Sokoto was killed; Abubakar

Tafawa Belewa was killed, Mai Malari, the

highest Northern Military man was killed,

so if you were the Northerners, won’t you

react? We could have stopped the war

through diplomacy and politics, but we

were not involved.

Was Gowon seeing himself as a

core Northerner who must protect

their interest or was he just acting as

the Head of State who must first

ensure the unity of the country?

“At that time Gowon was a Lieutenant

Colonel and he was the highest ranking

officer in the army from the North. So when

they called him to come and be the Head of

State he could not say no, so he had no

choice and nobody should blame him for

any action he took because at that time he

had no choice; it was the British Intelligence

Service and the British Government who

wanted to destroy and solve the Igbo

question because they never liked Igbos.

Until today Britain hates Igbos; British

Government is always anti Igbo in Nigeria.

Why do you say that sir, do you

have some reasons to back up that

claim?

“Yes, this is because the Igbos played great

roles in nationalism that led to the

agitations and politics that drove them

away from Nigeria. It was Igbos that led the

political agitations that saw them out of

Nigeria, drove away British government

from Nigeria.

How did the events of July 29 1966

change Nigeria?

“Yes, it changed Nigeria because since

after the civil war, the military continued to

rule Nigeria and they continued for 38 years

and 38 years of military rule, apart from the

two years of Obasanjo, was 36 years of

Military rule by Northern Nigeria military

men. So for them they now think that it is

their perpetual right to continue to rule

Nigeria, and they are ready to resist

anybody who wants to take it away from

them. So they disorganized the country in

such a way the constitution of the country is

no longer the people’s constitution.

“I have always said it, but the bad people

do not want to listen to me, that Nigeria is

being run as an illegality; it is being run

without a people’s constitution. The 1979

constitution was not a people’s constitution.

Rotomi Williams Committee or Constituent

Assembly wrote a draft constitution and

Continues on Page 12


12—SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019

Speaks on Gowon, Buhari, state of the nations

Continues from pg 11

forwarded it to the military, the military

edited it, removed the things they wanted

removed and inserted what they wanted. So

it was not a constitution of the people of

Nigeria.

In 1999, Constituent Panel or Committee

was held again and the military sat over it

and edited, removed what they did not like

and put what they wanted and continued to

rule for a period of 38 years, they were in

government and they were not doing what

they were trained to do; they were doing

what the military knows best, which is to

fight, to destroy, to loot, to steal, to damage,

to conquer, and to overrun, that is what the

military particularly in Nigeria was trained

to do and that is what they did in Nigeria.

“They introduced corruption, and what

took 38 years to implant in a people cannot

be removed in a twinkle of an eye. They

introduced corruption and corruption is

getting deeper in Nigeria now.

“The constitution gave governors

absolute power to run the state like a sole

administrator; they steal the people’s money

and after stealing the money they find their

way into the senate, very soon the senate will

be made up of former Governors alone

because all the corrupt former governors

find their ways into the senate and once they

are in the senate everybody keeps quiet. Even

those EFCC had already started probing and

in the process of prosecution, once they

declar for APC and win election to the

senate, they are protected; those that failed

are appointed ministers and are protected,

they are saints now,

so the military had introduced that level of

corruption that is so deep and so entrenched

that it can hardly be corrected; it will be very

difficult to be corrected. It is so deep in us

now.

“It has continued to be entrenched and

now in Nigeria only the rich and super

wealthy can win elections now in

Nigeria, and when they win elections,

they remain in power. Legislators in the

state have no powers because they are

puppets of the Governor. So how can

you ever stop corruption in Nigeria?

“At the Senate they start doing the

biddings of the President because the

President can also treat the Senators

like the way Governors treat the state

legislators; So all they care about is

their pocket, the money that comes to

them and not the people they claim to

have gone to represent. So how can you

ever stop corruption and stealing in

Nigeria; it is impossible, is not easy, it is

getting stronger and deeper every day,

into the system.

Does the violence we face in

By Ernest Osogbue

As I think about it daily, it resonates more

urgently that Nigerians deserve an

apology from our past and present

leaders.

Independence was obtained on the premise

that Nigerian affairs were best served by

Nigerians mounting leadership positions in

their country, and thereby bring the dividends

of nationhood to the doorsteps of all citizens.

According to the arguments, how could a white

man who has his own country thousands of

miles away, come to Africa to make decisions

on issues concerning Africans?

On another level, it was equally argued that

the colonial masters were taking what

belonged to Africans such as the agricultural

and natural resources for the benefit of their

nations to the detriment of the African owners.

It was therefore untenable for the white man

to continue in Africa because his presence was

not to the benefit of the owners of the land. It

was then agreed that for the benefits of the

land of Africa to be enjoyed by Africans, Africans

must govern Africa.

Fifty-Nine years down the line in our own

case, how has this promise of Nigerians

governing Nigeria been fulfilled? Many of us

were not born at independence in 1960, but

from what we have learnt, there was a general

sense of euphoria and an atmosphere of

celebration across the land when independence

was attained. From North to South, East to

West there was a sense that finally we shall

take our destiny in our own hands and plot a

pathway to a glorious future.

That future is here today, how do we see it?

The turbulent post-independence years point

at the fact that our national leaders were not

able to manage the new found freedom of an

independent nation; it was argued that the

British, out of selfishness, did not equip

•Mbazulike

Amaechi

many areas today in Nigeria have

anything to do with the long

military stay in power?

“Of course, wait a minute, who is

ruling Nigeria now; an elected civilian

president; good who is he, is he not a soldier,

is he not the man who overthrew the

democratically elected government of Shehu

Shagari in 1983. So the difference is only

that in 1983, he wore khaki uniform, in 2019

he is wearing agbada but it is the same

person in the true sense of it. So what

changes are you expecting?

“So, can’t you see what is happening, the

herdsmen killings? Did Nigeria start today?

These herdsmen killing people, mounting

vigilante services in the states of the

federation, did it ever happen in Nigeria

before especially in this magnitude? Or were

Nigerians not eating cow meat before now?

The agenda is clear but some people who

should talk and condemn what is happening

now are busy making money from the

government and telling

you that this is the best government in

Nigeria, and I pause to ask, how many

deaths have been recorded under this regime

because of the activities of the herdsmen?

“Has it ever happened before in this

country; did it happen under Obasanjo, did it

happen under Yar’Adua or Jonathan the way

it is happening now? Why is it happening

now? Some people will go to a community,

kill them and take responsibility and yet

none, not even single one would be

arrested and prosecuted and they are

progressing to installing

vigilantes in the states that are

thousands of miles away from their

ethnic group; to do what and yet people

appointed and elected in the same

government are proud to say they are

representing their people in the same

government that pretends nothing is

happening, that communities are not

sacked; that they are not seeing

herdsmen that openly carry AK47 to

rear cows. It is a pity for this country

and some people should bury their faces

in shame. This is not the country we

fought for and defended against the

colonial masters.

“It is just like Boko Haram, how do

you think Boko Haram will be stopped;

who will stop that, who are behind Boko

Haram?

However subjecting this country to this

kind of system now will not work.

Nigeria today is not Nigeria of

yesterday.

“So, the civil wr could

have been avoided. What

were then the effects of

the pogrom and the civil

war that followed?

Division, hatred, suspicion

and corruption, and these are

what are holding Nigeria

backward today. How can evil be

helpful in a country, more so

when such evils are being

perpetrated everywhere, in North

west, north east, the west , middle

belt, the east etc?

“Look at Yoruba land now, it is

being overrun by herdsmen, they

kill women and men as they like,

they kidnap as they like. Banditry

in some places, kidnapping in

some places. Insurgency in some

places etc. We need peace and

government should ensure we

have peace.

How do you react to

Ohaneze, Afanifere, Pan

Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF and the

Middle Belt groups boycotting the

meeting called by former Head of

State Abdulsalami Abubakar because

the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders

Association of Nigeria, MACBAN,

was also invited?

“Of course that was a proper thing to do.

Boycotting that meeting was one of the best

things they have recently done for their

people. Why should they hold meeting with a

terrorist organization ?

On Igbo Presidency in 2023, what

do you think?

“Before Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe breathed his

Why Nigerians deserve an apology

emergent African leaders with necessary

leadership skills.Since that time however, we

have grown as a people, founded our own

training institutions, groomed leaders from the

cradle to positions of authority and therefore

have no excuses to give that the promises and

expectations at independence have not

manifested.

At independence, it was expected that every

Nigerian irrespective of tribe, religion, political

affiliation, family background or ethnicity

would be protected by the Nigerian State. It

was also expected that all Nigerians would

have a share of the benefits of independence

while fulfilling their obligations to the Nigerian

nation.Today however, manifestations at

different levels show that these expectations

are far from being fulfilled, and Nigerians are

wondering why only a clique of persons and

their cronies have been enjoying the benefits

of nationhood to the detriment of the vast

majority.

We have seen some people join the Civil

Service at 25, and retire at 60 as multi

billionaires, become politicians, get elected as

governors or senators and end up as

‘trillionaires’. By the same token, others join

the Armed Forces at 20, rise to the rank of

Generals, and retire at 55 as billionaires.

Some others are appointed ministers and after

a few years of service they are made for life

and retire to a life of opulence and

influence.These same people walk the streets

with impunity while flaunting their wealth and

nobody asks questions.

The above scenario is replicated in almost

all spheres of our national life, where people

join government service in order to serve the

nation and the people, but end up serving

themselves. It is becoming clearer by the day

that the oath of service taken by those in

authority means nothing to them. In recent

years it has graduated to a situation where

they now ensure a perpetuation of their lineage

in government service, by grooming their

children and close relatives as their successors.

As time goes by, it is becoming evident that

the Nigerian State has failed in the deliverance

of the benefits of citizenship to the vast majority

of its people. As a result of this, citizens now

form secondary-sovereignties; this refers to

associations and organizations which offer

protection to them, cares for them and to which

they owe allegiance. These associations as a

collective, battle the Nigerian State on behalf

of members, and whatever is received is shared

to members. In this category are Afenifere,

Ohaneze, Arewa, Middle Belt Forum,

PANDEF and even militant groups as MEND,

Avengers, IPOB,MASSOB and Boko Haram

amongst others. Other organizations to which

some Nigerians owe secondary allegiance

include OPC, Miyetti Allah, Churches,

Mosques, IMN and many others.

When the above scenario plays out,

individuals in these quasi-national

organizations and associations feel more

attached to these associations than they are to

Nigeria. This is due to the belief that their needs

are best served by the association than by

Nigeria.

It is impossible for a citizen to apply for a

position in a government office and expect to

be treated fairly without having a relative in

position of authority. Is this the Nigeria our

progenitors fought and died for?

Recently the Chief of Army Staff openly

admitted that the failure to defeat Boko Haram

was directly related to the inability of deployed

personnel to carry out instructions. If you read

between the lines, what the army chief meant

was that soldiers were not motivated. The same

scenario is replicated in the police and other

paramilitary organizations. How are junior

ranking soldiers and policemen expected to

fight and die for a country that does not care

last, he spoke to me, and handed to me a six

inch long golden key, and told me

something. That is why I say I have a

key to Igbo presidency in 2023. Igbo

presidency of either APC or PDP, if they

will humble themselves enough, they

should come to me and believe that I

have the solution to that problem,

nothing is impossible before God and

with proper organization and strategy, it

is possible.

“Nobody will leave presidency for you, you

must win it, nobody will give it to you,

nobody will dash it to you; so if the Igbos are

waiting for it to be given to them, it is not

possible. I

have heard about all the people said to

be angling for the seat of the president

of Nigeria, including Tinunbu and

others. Tinubu may have all the money,

his money will have effect within a

certain circle but with proper

organization and strategy, somebody

else can take it. The people of this

country have suffered and they want a

change. Igbo Presidency is possible in

PDP and APC, not in a small

organization like one man organization

you have in Awka.

You have always said that you

support one indivisible Nigeria

although you do not like how

Igbos are being treated in the

country. But IPOB are agitating

for sovereign state of Biafra, what

is your position on this?

“ I have always said it that IPOB is a

nationalist radical

organization that is

fighting against the

injustices that have been

meted on Ndigbo over so

many decades and still

going on; they have a

right to say what they are

saying, and the

It is just like

Boko Haram,

how do you

think Boko

Haram will be

stopped; who

will stop that,

who are behind

Boko Haram?

government of Nigeria

has a duty and obligation

to listen to them. When a

people say they want

independent state of their

own, the only alternative

the government has is to

give them a plebiscite, let

the people vote and if the

people want to stay aside,

they stay aside.

“In Britain, Scotland

demanded independence

from Great Britain, the

British government ordered

a plebiscite in Scotland

about three or four years

ago and the majority of the

people said no, the matter was closed.

“My sincere advice to Ndigbo is that God

has kept me for a purpose and the political

actors in Igbo land can hear. God has kept

me for a purpose; at 90 years I am fairly

physically alright; I am still fairly mentally

balanced, my sight is good, my hearing is

good my mental balance is good, my

memory is good, I have all it takes. God has

a purpose for keeping me, and if they will

care let them come to me, APC or PDP, let

them come to me; the Igbo people in those

parties let them come to me I will tell them

what to do and how we can get Igbo

presidency.

for them?

Over the years only the children of the rich

and powerful enter the various services at the

officer cadre, the children of the poor can only

enlist in the police and the military as recruit

constables or privates. Even at that, they are

still denied promotion for one reason or the

other, and as a result become disgruntled.

Across Nigeria citizens are angry, be they

civilians or members of the armed services or

the police. There is emerging a clear divide

that there are those who own Nigeria more

than others and the majority are not happy.

Every day we hear our leaders mouth the

unity and indivisibility of the nation, but their

actions never reflect these ideals. How could

members of the National Assembly earn jumbo

salaries on a regular basis when the children

of poor Nigerians have no jobs? Some

graduates do not need jobs, but simply require

a fifty thousand Naira (#50,000) startup

capital, but have no access to credit, yet

legislators go home with millions of Naira

daily. These insensitive leaders blatantly flaunt

their wealth in our faces and do not see

anything wrong in their actions.

Nigeria has earned trillions of dollars from

oil and other commodities as foreign exchange

since independence, however what is on ground

as infrastructure and social amenities which

benefit the masses is less than ten percent of

those earnings; the rest have disappeared into

private pockets. Every year 70% of the national

budget services recurrent expenditure; which

translates to the jumbo pay of top government

officials and their aides.

Capital expenditure which benefits all

citizens receives a paltry 30%,how can our

nation take care of its citizens with such a

budget imbalance?

Today Nigerians feel more comfortable in

foreign countries than in their fatherland,

people proudly brandish foreign citizenships

as a badge of honor to the envy of their friends

and family.


SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019—13

Great expectations as Buhari,

Atiku await tribunal judgment

Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule,”— Charles Dickens

By Dirisu Yakubu

In what many see as arguably the most

disputed election in Nigeria’s

electoral history in recent times, the

controversy surrounding the outcome

2019 Presidential election is about to

come to an end. The Presidential election

petition tribunal after several weeks of

listening to the arguments of President

Muhammadu Buhari of the All

Progressives Congress, APC and his

Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,

counterpart, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is

gradually getting set to deliver its

judgement.

The Independent National Electoral

Commission, INEC, presided over by

Professor Mahmood

Yakubu had declared

Buhari winner of the

February 23 election

after polling a total of

15, 191,847 votes,

leaving Atiku with

11,262,978 votes to

finish second on the

log.

But the former Vice

President in sync with

his party, the PDP,

rejected the election

outcome, insisting

that information in

their custody showed

that Atiku and not

Buhari actually won

the mandate of the

people for the plum

office of the President

of the world’s most

He therefore

argued that

from the getgo,

the PDP

candidate was

not qualified

to run for the

plum office

populous black

nation.

A few weeks to the

polls, Atiku had at

several press conferences intimated

Nigerians of the effort put in place to

unravel any attempt to compromise the

electoral process, both at polling booths

and collation centres. Thus, when the

umpire announced Buhari the winner, he

filed a petition challenging the

declaration at the tribunal in line with his

earlier pledge to do so. For him, INEC

came short of the credibility test in

declaring Buhari winner of the keen

contest.

For Mr. President and the ruling party

however, Atiku has no case, even as they

insist that the umpire did a fairly good job

despite the shame of having the polls

postponed for two weeks, after Nigerians

in their numbers had already travelled to

their various wards to cast their ballots.

Atiku’s

argument

The PDP candidate called a total of 62

witnesses, most of whom stood their

grounds to avail the tribunal their findings

on February 23. His star witness

and former Aviation Minister,

Osita Chidoka who also doubled

as PDP national collation agent

premised his argument on the

controversial server, which in his

words aided INEC in the

transmission of results from the

various polling units across the

country. According to him, of the

about N284 billion spent in the

prosecution of the 2019 elections,

N27 billion of the sum was voted

for electronic transmission and the

server, arguing that security agents,

allegedly playing the loyalty card

in connivance with the umpire,

rigged the poll in favour of the

ruling party. He presented a visual

evidence to back up his position.

The former Vice President also

accused the President of lying on

oath to boost his qualification by

deposing to an alleged false claim

in an affidavit presented before the

tribunal. Dr. Uzoukwu argued that

in the INEC Form CF001, the second

respondent (Buhari) named schools that

were yet to be established as at the times

he made claims to them, adding that

certificates from the institutions stated in

the forms were not tendered.

Amongst Atiku’s witnesses was David

Njoga, a computer wizard who told the

tribunal that going by the actual votes cast,

the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar won

the election. Njoga, in his argument,

maintained that a whistle blowing website,

www.factsdon’tlie.com, allegedly created

and managed by INEC technical staff

showed that Atiku outscored Buhari with

more than 1.8 million votes. He would

further take his argument a notch higher

by providing the panel with the Internet

Protocol (IP) address of the disputed server.

INEC has however denied the existence of

a server, saying it contravened the

provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as

amended) and the guidelines.

Buhari’s

defense

The President in defense of his mandate

called about seven witnesses including his

trusted allies, Mr. Abba Kyari and Major

General Paul Tarfa (retd). In his

submission, Kyari, Chief of Staff to the

President prayed the tribunal to dismiss

Atiku’s petition on the ground that he

(Atiku) was not a Nigerian, but a

Cameroonian.

The Chief of Staff who fielded questions

from Buhari’s counsel, Wole Olanipekun,

SAN, claimed that Jada, Atiku’s

hometown, was part of Adamawa

Province, which in his words was a part of

Northern Cameroon when Atiku was born

in 1946. He therefore argued that from

the get-go, the PDP candidate was not

qualified to run for the plum office.

For Olanipekun, the President is

satisfied with the evidence presented

before the tribunal; an apparent dig at

those who argued that more witnesses

ought to have been called before the

closing the case, saying, “We are very

satisfied with the evidence we have led and

we will be closing our case as the second

respondent,” a position re-echoed by

Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, counsel to APC

who told the tribunal that presenting

witnesses was needless. “We for the third

respondent are satisfied with the crossexamination

and evidences tendered in

this case,” he said.

Dismissing the petitioner’s claims,

Olanipekun (SAN), tendered 34

documents as evidence before the tribunal

including a Cambridge Assessment

Education certified documents, which

showed that Buhari passed the

examinations with grade II. They also

included Cambridge assessment

international education certified

statements collection receipt number, CTC

by WAEC showing the list of candidates

that sat in 1961 as well as group

photographs of Buhari and others in 1961

among others. PDP rejected these

documents describing them as “strange.”

While the tribunal has fixed August 21

for the adoption of final addresses, Atiku’s

led counsel reacted to the failure of INEC

and the APC from presenting their

respective witnesses as a plot against

taking further gamble. Arguing that the

outcome is one capable of enriching the

nation’s electoral jurisprudence, Uzoukwu

expressed satisfaction with the energy and

resourcefulness put up by his team during

the legal tussle.

“I am not surprised because even from

the events of the last two days in this court,

it was obvious that they couldn’t continue

to take the gamble of calling witnesses

who rather than improving their cases,

were damaging their cases beyond

redemption. So, they had to cut their losses.

I assure you that this case will, I hope so,

define electoral jurisprudence in this

country, one way or the other,” he said.

Difficult as it is to hazard a guess as to

where the pendulum would swing; the fiveman

tribunal owes Nigeria a big duty to

dispense justice based on the evidence

tendered by both parties and candidates

without fear or favour. Democracies all

over the world had at one time or the other,

faced sat issue the test of legitimacy, with

the courts coming out time and again with

a verdict on behalf of the people.

And regardless of the outcome of this

case, Nigerians are unanimous in their

call for an assent to the Electoral Act

Amendment Bill. With the next general

election cycle due in 2023, perhaps, now

is the time to do so, thereby eliminating

paper work, which many have seen as the

bane of transparent election since the

attainment of independence in 1960.


14—SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019

•Hope Uzodinma

IMO GUBER: The

guilty are afraid

By Macdonald Ebere

In this age of ecclesiastical explosion James

Hadley Chase will readily pass for a prophet.

Although in spiritual terms, the content of his

novels may have been apocryphal, but not so with

the titles. Take for instance the title of one of his

books, “The Guilty Are Afraid”. You will readily agree

that it is indeed spiritual with clear oracular

message.

Truth is, every guilty conscience is

always afraid. Now this appears to be

playing out life in Imo State with respect

to the tussle in the Governorship election

petition tribunal. Recall that in the

Governorship election of March this year,

Emeka Ihedioha was declared winner.

Some people were taken aback, because

the logic of the victory was not as smooth

as water in the mouth.

Tongues wagged. Eyebrows were

raised. How did someone achieve victory

with almost 60% of his vote coming from

just 4 local governments, Aboh Mbaise,

Ezinihite Mbaise, Ahiazu Mbaise and

Ngor Okpala? Did he get the spread in

two third of the 27 LGAs in Imo State as

required by the constitution?

Yes, there were many questions than

answers. The truth is that in the eyes of

many, the 2019 governorship election in

Imo State will readily pass as the most

bizarre in the history of elections in the

State. Yet as law abiding citizens, most

of those who contested the election held

their peace and refused to cast aspersions

or even to call names. They decided to

Truth is, every

guilty conscience

is always afraid.

Now this appears

to be playing out

life in Imo State

with respect to

the tussle in the

Governorship

election petition

tribunal

•Ihedioha

do the right and civilized thing, go to the tribunal

and challenge the results.

That is the right thing to do. And those who did

so deserve commendation. After all, it is only in the

temple of justice that aggrieved parties can find

binding solutions as dictated by the law. So why

should anybody quarrel with an aggrieved party

going to the tribunal, his last hope for justice, to

seek redress? No right thinking mind will indeed

quarrel with the right of an aggrieved to seek justice

in the right place.

But the People’s Democratic Party

(PDP) thinks otherwise. They appear

to be an exception to this golden rule.

In Recent Times, they have declared

war against Sen. Hope Uzodimma of

All Progressive Congress (APC) for

going to the Imo State governorship

election tribunal to seek redress on the

Governorship election which he

believes he won.

And what is Uzodimma’s offence?

That he had the audacity to approach

the tribunal and ask to be declared

winner. That he had the audacity to

present before the tribunal results

from 388 polling units where he won,

which he said was omitted by INEC

in the final collation. That he had the

effrontery to subpoena the police to

come and tender the result from the

388 polling units which the police did

and wherein the tribunal also admitted

same as exhibits.

From thence, reports had it that the

PDP has not been at ease. After

several meetings, they resolved to use

all within their means to ensure that

they will frustrate the APC in the tribunal. (National

newspapers reported this). In a full page

advertorial in The Daily Sun of Monday August 12

2019 the PDP sponsored one Pascal Duruaku to pour

all manner of insults on Sen. Hope Uzodimma for

having the effrontery to present to the tribunal the

omitted results from the 388 polling units.

Reading through the advertorial, one can easily

decipher the pathetic desperation of a party that

may have seen the hand writing on the wall. Apart

from the convoluted logic in the write up where the

PDP fought to probate and reprobate, it is obvious

that it wants to take refuge in blackmail, subterfuge

and self-help. First of all, it acknowledged that the

tribunal cannot be swayed by the “boastings” of

Uzodimma, then it turned around to claim that the

said presidency officials could indeed force the

tribunal to declare the senator a winner of the

election.

Again, it agreed that only the judiciary has power

to adjudicate in the matter before it, yet, it wants

the security agencies to help the tribunal determine

whether indeed the omitted results from the 388

booths are genuine or not. In other words, the

imputation is that the tribunal is impotent as far as

the questions of the omitted results are concerned.

Apparently aware of this Judicial heresy, PDP went

and hid under a pseudonym to throw pot shots at

the tribunal. In fact that rash and tackles attack on

the tribunal, which PDP pretended to be targeted at

Hope Uzodimma explains the boast of some of their

chieftains that the exhibits will not see the light of

the day.

Again it was reported that just hours before the

infantile call for the sanction of Hope Uzodimma,

PDP people led by a former Minister, and aided by

a serving Governor from the North had activated

the machinery to influence the tribunal to reverse

the admissibility of the omitted results. They were

known to have also concluded arrangements to

approach the court of appeal to challenge the

admission of the exhibits. All these are signs of

chronic panic.

But truth be told, the PDP knows that courts or

tribunals are not influenced by public comments or

outbursts. If they can be, then APC would not have

lost Rivers and Zamfara States. So what the PDP is

doing actually amounts to admitting that they are

suffering from the mortal fear of defeat that has

driven them to the inglorious realm of propaganda,

blackmail and crying wolf.

Now the chairman of the Imo APC Elders council,

Dr. E.J.K Onyebuchi fired back and accused the PDP

of undue panic, wondering why they could not make

their case at the tribunal instead of blackmailing

authorities and institutions on the pages of

newspapers.

And that is the point. Why is the PDP in such a

panic? Why resort to open name calling and

blackmail when they are right before the tribunal to

make their case. Indeed there are many questions

but all seem to lead to one possible answer; that

is,that PDP is behaving like the guilty, who are

afraid.

Why do I think so? Well if we go back to time, we

will realize as I said at the beginning, that the Imo

Governorship Election result threw up a number of

thorny issues and the beneficiaries of the declaration

of that result are the PDP and Emeka Ihedioha. By

the PDP becoming frantic and throwing caution

overboard to resort to open blackmail and

propaganda, just on the mare admission of results

as exhibit at the tribunal, it looks almost certain that

they feel guilty and are consequently afraid.

It is only he who is guilty and afraid that will not

be at peace with his opponent who is only taking

the necessary legal steps to seek redress in court.

Again he who can describe with certainty, that

results tendered in court and accepted as exhibits

are fake, must be the master of fakery to know a

fake result at sight. Naturally this master of fakery

will be rattled in a situation where results are being

tendered because he will think that his little secret

in fakery technology has been uncovered and stands

to be exposed in the process. Remember the Igbo

adage that he who kills by the machete does not

allow a machete to pass behind him. Yes, the guilty

are indeed afraid!.

•Ebere is a former mayor of owerri municipal

council and APC candidate in the March election


SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019—15

Edo House crisis and the example of the Saraki Senate

By Imman Ekpeneru

The resolution of the Senate

instructing Governor Godwin

Obaseki to issue a fresh

proclamation order to re-inaugurate the

Edo State House of Assembly is an

interesting dimension to what had until

lately been seen as a political tussle.

It indeed opens up a constitutional issue

that until the life of the present

9th National Assembly had never been

envisaged. To wit, the powers of the

National Assembly to issue directives to a

sitting governor.

Even more, it also opens up a question

as to the sovereignty of one legislative

house over the other.

Indeed, the drama unfolding between the

9th National Assembly and the 7th Edo

State Assembly besides the gapping

constitutional issues also raises the moral

issue for the presiding officers of the

Senate and the House of Representatives.

The crux of the political melee in Edo

State is that the 7th House of Assembly

was inaugurated in the absence of some

members-elect who were away when the

other legislators who formed a quorum

were inaugurated. Indeed, there is no

gainsaying that the majority of the

members were absent when the

7th Assembly in Edo State was

inaugurated on June 18, 2019.

In throwing back the issue to the

National Assembly, it is easily

remembered that four years ago, a similar

scenario played out in the Senate when

the majority of the legislators opted to

attend a meeting outside the National

Assembly when the Senate was

inaugurated.

Senator Ahmad Lawan who was one of

those outside the chambers on realizing

the reality of what had faced him ran back

to the Senate chambers. By the time he

returned to the Senate the inauguration

was over!

He did not return to the International

Conference Centre where the meeting had

been called. In fact, the meeting at the ICC

broke up immediately and Senator Lawan

and the majority of the senators who were

at that meeting fled back to the Senate

chamber where the newly elected

President of the Senate, Senator Bukola

Saraki superintended their inauguration.

It is the same scenario, albeit with

assumed political hues that played out in

Edo State.

It is sufficient to state that Senator

Lawan persevered in the Senate and was

no sooner lifted to the position of Senate

Leader in the Eight Senate.

It was from there that he rose to his

present position as President of the

Senate.

President Muhammadu Buhari despite

the apparent political loss was not

compelled to issue another proclamation

order for the inauguration that would

bequeath an assembly leadership

favourable to him.

It is difficult to find a difference between

what happened in Abuja concerning the

9th Senate and what happened in Benin

in the Edo State House of Assembly.

It is in this respect that one is now bound

to question the rationale for the

Instruction from the Senate and the House

of Representatives to the governor of Edo

State to issue a fresh proclamation order.

Even the propriety of the federal

legislature issuing a directive to a state

governor is not envisaged in the

constitution just as the aptness of the

federal legislature issuing a directive to a

•Saraki

state House of Assembly is not envisaged.

The only window opened to the National

Assembly to meddle into the affairs of

lawmaking for a state is when the state

House of Assembly is not able to sit as

stipulated in Section 11 (4) of the

constitution.

However, Section 11 (5) of the same

constitution says

“For the purpose of Sub Section 4 of this

section, a House of Assembly shall not be

deemed to be unable to perform its

functions, so long as the House of

Assembly can hold a meeting and transact

business.”

It is understandable that advocates of

the takeover of the Edo State House of

Assembly continue to gloss over this

defining provision of the constitution in

the desperate act of pushing an agenda to

satisfy their desire.

The Edo State House of Assembly

having been inaugurated on June 18 has

continued to hold meetings and conduct

the business of oversight over the executive

arms of government.

Just as the Senate under Senator Saraki

worked before all the members of the APC

who went for the ICC meeting were

inaugurated, so the Edo State House of

Assembly is meeting , waiting for those

who went to a hotel on June 18 to come

for their inauguration.

It is trite that the Senate and the House

of Representatives have repeatedly

adopted a knee-jerk response to the

situation in the state. It is understandable

given the overwhelming influence

Comrade Adams Oshiomhole played in

enthroning the leadership of the present

National Assembly.

However, the relationships between the

different levels of government is strictly

defined by the provisions of the

constitution. It cannot be shadowed by

predilection towards persons or parties.

Indeed, what is happening in Edo State

against the background of what happened

in the 2015 Senate gives bearing to the

popular saying that what is good for the

goose is good for the gander!

•Imman Ekpeneru, wrote from Lagos

Build police observatory posts

on highways to halt attacks

—Prince Mamah tasks govt

The spate of insecurity in the country

has now become worse, taking its

tolls on travellers plying our

highways. Unlike in the past when they

had to contend with armed robbers, the

emerging scenario is that of kidnappers

holding sway. They have invaded our

expressways and their modus is as

precarious as it is beastly. The gun-toting

marauders have killed, kidnapped and

wounded many commuters and drivers on

their way to their respective destinations.

The situation is so bad that many now

prefer to travel by air or use trains. Those

who cannot do so, for one reason or the

other, simply resign to fate trusting that

Almighty God will protect them. In the

past, transport owners made use of armed

police escorts in warding off attacks on

the highways. However, it was later

stopped based on perceived abuses by

both transporters and the escorts. Now that

our highways have been virtually turned

into killing fields, Vanguard Crime Editor,

Emma Nnadozie spoke with the Chairman

of Association of Luxury Bus Owners of

Nigeria, ALBON, Prince Emeka Mamah

who barred his minds on the prevailing

situation.

Excerpts:

Police escorts

The issue of police escorts in our buses

was a product of the series of engagements

our association had with the Police High

Command on how to protect lives of

motorists and passengers on the highways.

There were other similar security

measures which we cannot disclose here

since they are sensitive security issues.

Suffice it to say that initially, the use of

police escort in our buses recorded some

successes. However, along the line, the

measure became counterproductive as it

could not eliminate armed robbery

attacks on our buses. Instead, the Police

High Command discovered that armed

robbers had become more daring as police

personnel attached to our buses on escort

duties as well as our innocent passengers

•Prince Emeka Mamah

were being targeted for more deadly and

vicious attacks by the armed robbers. The

robbers being aware that there were police

escorts in our buses would be shooting

indiscriminately on the buses, even when

the buses were still on motion.

Consequently, the high number of

casualties recorded by the Police and clear

danger posed to our innocent passengers

informed the decision of the Police High

Command to withdraw all police

personnel on escort duties from our buses.

The reason the Police hierarchy gave for

withdrawing Police escort attached to

buses then is still relevant today. According

to them, having escorts in buses exposes

our passengers and their personnel to

more dangers than when there is no escort

in the buses. There were no excesses

associated with using police escort in our

buses, the Police High Command based

the decision to withdraw them from our

buses on the intelligence report that the

exercise had become counter-productive

as the measure had not stopped armed

robbery attacks on the highway. Besides,

the Police force is a responsible

organization with chains of commands.

So, any excess on the part of a police escort

attached to a bus would invariably be

reported to the command structure of the

police for disciplinary action.

Siege on our

highways

The Association is

disturbed by the spate of

killings and kidnappings

on the highways. We are

worried that many

innocent motorists,

including our

passengers, are having

harrowing experience of

being kidnapped,

maimed or killed on the

nation’s highways. We

condemn in its entirety

this siege on the highways

which has instilled

palpable fear on all road

users. We therefore call

on the Federal

Government to re-double

its efforts in addressing

this ugly development as

the safety and comfort of

all motorists and

travelling masses on the

roads are in serious

jeopardy.

Any excess on the

part of a police

escort attached to

a bus would

invariably be

reported to the

command

structure of the

police for

disciplinary action

As an organization that deals with

members of the public, security and safety

of our passengers are the watchwords of

our members. This security consciousness

starts right at the point of boarding any of

our buses where passengers and their

luggage are thoroughly searched by

trained security personnel in order to

ensure that nobody boarding a bus is

armed with dangerous weapons.

Our major challenge

The issue of insecurity on the nation’s

highways across the country has been a major

challenge for the association in the past

decade. Since 2004 up till today, we have been

holding series of meetings with virtually all

the Inspectors-General of Police on how to

tackle this problem. In 2005, a delegation of

the Association held a meeting with the then

President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun

Obasanjo on how to address armed robbery

attacks on our buses on the highway. At that

meeting, one of the decisions that were taken

was that police observatory posts, equipped

with modern telecommunication gadgets to

be manned by mobile policemen, were to be

built at some strategic locations on the

highways to check the menace of armed

robbery attacks on our buses on the nation’s

highway. But that decision was not

implemented. Perhaps, if it was implemented,

armed robbery and kidnapping on the

highways would not have been as rampant as

they are today. And just last year in 2018, a

delegation of the Association also visited the

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo where

the same issue was discussed.

Collapse of transport

business

The siege on the nation’s

highways by the armed

robbers and kidnappers has

seriously affected, and is still

affecting, our members’

businesses. Many people who

ordinarily would have

travelled by road now prefer

travelling by air or cancel the

trip entirely where they cannot

afford the air fare. The result

is the low passenger’s

patronage which in turn has

affected our members’

capacity to replenish their fleet

and enhance the growth of

their companies.

Other challenges facing

members of the association

are; deplorable state of the

nation’s highways, high rate of

maintenance costs arising

from bad roads, high rate of

import duty on imported buses

(now up from 10% to 30%) and the menace

of armed robbery attacks and kidnappings

on the nation’s highways. The members

are however strongly united in fighting the

issue of insecurity on the highway and

other challenges facing us as meetings of

the various organs of the association are

held from time to time to tackle them.


16—SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019

Herdsmen: We’ve filed suit

in International Court, says

World Igbo Assembly President

BY VINCENT UJUMADU

DR. Nwachukwu Anakwenze, a

renowned American –trained

physician, is the President of

World Igbo Assembly, an umbrella body

coordinating Igbo activities in the

Diaspora. Before assuming the position,

Anakwenze headed the Anambra State

Associations in the United States of

America, ASA-USA, during which, for

decades, he led health professionals from

all states in the USA on annual medical

mission to various communities in

Anambra State. Although he has lived in

the USA for about three decades,

Anakwenze has always kept in touch with

the home front, which was why his

community, Abagana in Njikoka local

government area crowned him as the

traditional prime minister of the town, a

position that places him next to the

traditional ruler of Abagana. In this

interview, Anakwenze spoke on the

position of the Igbo in Diaspora on

burning national issues.

The Igbo in Diaspora must be

conversant with what is happening in

Nigeria, particularly the killings and

unstable economy. How worried are

they?

In the past we had peace and

tranquility in Nigeria, but things have

changed with stories of herdsmen

invading our villages, killing people,

destroying crops and raping our women,

something we cannot tolerate. We are very

concerned about that because the wellbeing

of our people is involved. We will no

longer accept this condition and we are

going to talk to our people on what to do.

Everybody needs to prepare to defend

himself and his family against the

menacing herdsmen because we are not

prepared to cede an inch of any Igbo land

to anybody. Our people must protect their

crops always. If any animal comes to eat

the crops, it means hunger will be in the

land because that is what the people use

after harvesting and sales to train their

children. These animals must be killed

if they invade the farms and destroy the

crops. If the cows come and eat our food,

we will eat the cows. If the herders kill our

people and destroy our

things, we have the right

to reciprocate. We want

peace for us and for

everybody, but if

somebody comes to fight

us on our land, we will

fight back.

Are you satisfied with

the way the governors in

the South East are

approaching this issue of

herdsmen?

So far the governors

have said they won’t give

out our land and we are

satisfied with that. We

don’t have any land in the

first place. Our states

have the smallest land

mass in Nigeria and

therefore we don’t have

any to give. What should

be done is to have ranches

in the South and RUGA in

the North and then we will

be happy to sell the food

the cows need to them.

They have a lot of land in

the North and they don’t need it in the

South.

There is no crime

here again as

people can walk

about any hour

even at night. That

is what we expect.

We are happy the

new governor of

Imo State is

cleaning up the

mess in that state

Have the Igbo in Diaspora articulated

any plan on how to handle this delicate

matter?

We are already in court in the USA to

fight for our human rights. Some have

even gone to the international Court at

the Hague. This is human right abuse

because we are not killing anybody. We

cannot just watch and allow our women

and children to be raped. We are suing

against genocide because that is what it

is.

Who are the defendants in the suit?

All the parties involved are the

defendants, including the herdsmen and

those sponsoring them. What we are doing

has nothing to do with what IPOB is doing.

In fact there are many law suits on this

matter in America and in Europe.

How do you see the activities of IPOB?

IPOB is fighting for freedom from a

different way. We are supporting what

Ohaneze Ndigbo is doing. We are using

diplomacy to solve the problem. We are

happy the way Ohaneze, the Afanifere,

PANDEF, Middle Belt group, the South-

South are speaking out about what is

happening in Nigeria. All we want is for

Nigeria to be restructured so that every

part of the country can develop at its own

pace. We are not looking for the breakup

of Nigeria. If Nigerians can live together,

that will be better. But if it can’t work, we

cannot sacrifice ourselves for the sake of

Nigeria. If Nigeria can work and

everybody benefits from it, I am for that.

If it wouldn’t work, there is nothing with

that either. So our approach is diplomacy;

talking to other people to try to solve the

problem peacefully.

Supposing the herdsmen eventually

leave with their cows, do we have

alternative? We hear some state

governors are planning to invest in cattle

rearing but do you think it will work?

We had cattle ranches during Michael

Okpara administration in the 60s and they

worked. We only need to revive them. We

used to have Obudu Cattle ranch in Cross

River and in some parts of the present Imo

State and they served the purpose for

which they were meant. Northerners can

do their ranching in the north and when it

is time for sale, they can bring them to the

South by rail transport to make their

money.

Would you say the Nigerian

government has handled security issues

well?

Government has handled security issues

poorly. Things are worse in

the country now than in the

past. Take the situation in

Benue State for example,

hundreds of people had been

killed and their land

forcefully taken and

government has not done

anything to solve the

problem. The worrisome

aspect of the whole things is

that we have everything but

we can’t mange what we

have. Japan does not have

the kind of natural

resources we have, but look

at where they are. Saudi

Arabia imports water and

they don’t lack water in that

country. Here we have water

everywhere, but we can’t

harness it. God has done for

us what has not been done

for many countries. Our

people are intelligent and if

we give our young people the

opportunity they need, they

can rule the world and make

our country one of the best

in the next ten years. Here

our leadership stinks and it is all

corruption from head to toe. The security

system is corrupt and these are the reasons

our youths don’t have hope. The rest of the

world is moving forward while we are

retrogressing. Here we are striving to eat

once or two times a day. Our leadership is

a disgrace and it is because of it that our

youths don’t have a future. Our people can

match Chinese and Americans in

intelligence but they have to be given the

opportunity. All that our leaders do is

•Nwachukwu

Anakwenze

stealing our common wealth. Even

electricity is worse now. I don’t see any

progress under this government. When I

was young, Nigerian degrees were

accepted as equal to America degrees.

Today, our degrees are not acceptable

there. Before we used to command a lot of

respect, but they have run this country

down and it is a disgrace.

But there is this allegation that our

Diaspora people are not doing enough

to support the Nigerian government.

How do you react to that?

That is not true. For instance, I dedicate

all my life to the service of my country

since I qualified as a medical doctor in

USA. I was attending Igbo meetings

regularly in all parts of the world.

Government is not sponsoring these

meetings and it should be realized that

the Diaspora people you are talking about

do not have money. Most of them are

teachers and office workers and would

have preferred to return home if things

were good. They are not Innoson or Ekene

Dilichukwu or Dangote. But they send up

to $25 billion home which is more than

what Nigerian government declares as

sales from crude oil.

The annual medical mission by Igbo in

Diaspora was regular when you were

president of ASA-USA, but it has died

down. What went wrong?

Since I left ASA-USA, there had been

in-fighting among themselves and they are

in court. But I am head of Anambra State

Association Worldwide and we are still

doing medical mission every year. We are

very active and we will be here in

December this year. Whenever there is

election, we are always involved and that

is why we have good leaders in Anambra.

We have made sure that people of doubtful

characters do not come near Government

House again. Peter Obi was exceptional

and Obiano is doing better than most

governors in Nigeria. There is no crime

here again as people can walk about any

hour even at night. That is what we expect.

We are happy the new governor of Imo

State is cleaning up the mess in that state.

You are one of those that pioneered the

establishment of Igbo village in Virginia,

USA. What is it all about?

I am the chairman of Board of

Governors and President of the Igbo

Village and Museum. The museum is

owned by the State of Virginia and they

appointed me chairman of board to

represent all the black people in the world

in the museum. I have been the chairman

for 12 years. The important thing to note

is that four major groups founded

America. They are the English, the Irish,

the German and the Igbo. Half of African-

Americans are Igbo people who were

those kidnapped and taken into slavery. If

they do DNA test, it will show they are Igbo.

Every year, we do our Igbo festival during

which we do DNA which shows that most

of them are Igbo. We are not just talking;

we have scientific proof of what we are

saying. Many Igbo traditional rulers and

leaders of Ohaneze attend the festival

every year. It is in the back of Igbo people

that America was built. It is the people

that were taken from here that did the

cutting work, farming the Tobacco. Our

people worked for 250 years without pay.

That America is a super power is because

of our people. Igbo are not foreigners in

America; we built America. It’s our fathers

that built America. That is why the

American government picked me to

represent the black race at the museum. It

was in Virginia that the slaves landed first

and it was from there they distributed them

to other parts of America. So we have two

countries-Nigeria and America.


SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019 — 17


18 — SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019

'Unforgettable moments that

*Continues on page 18

changed Aki and Pawpaw's

story'

the duo had gone their separate ways,

and no longer spotted together like they

used to and they have been doing separate

jobs.

Reports had it that problem started

between them when Aki got married in

2011, and reportedly asked his screen

twins, Pawpaw to vacate the flat they shared

together for him and his wife. This,

according to reports, put a strain on their

relationship. But refuting the rumour in an

interview, Aki insisted there was no time

he had issue with Pawpaw. “I just finished

shooting a film with my friend, Pawpaw. We

have not been working together like in the

past because we are both engaged in

different projects. I am still shooting 'The

Johnsons family' series. When they gave us

a month break, I quickly went to shoot two

films with Pawpaw. I have kept many

producers waiting, but some of them looked

for other options. I am busy; Pawpaw is busy

too. We don’t have any problem. I don’t like

people spreading rumours. The chemistry

between me and Pawpaw is still there on

and off the screen as he is more like a

brother to me,” Aki was quoted as saying.

Also, dismissing the rumour too, Pawpaw

stated that he still has a good relationship

with his screen brother. However, judging

from the recent events, there are indications

that all is not well with the actors. But

whether it's true or not, the duo has made

their marks as talented actors.

While it's obvious that the duo cannot

remain together forever, the impact they

have made on the Nigerian entertainment

industry would continue to re-echo in the

minds of those that love and adore them.

Apart from starring in movies, Aki and

Pawpaw have soared in other areas of

Afro/hip-hop

singer, Miles out

with ‘African Lady'

Amos Iyere, popularly known by his

stage name, Miles, is a fast rising

Nigerian Afro-hip hop, afro-beat singer,

songwriter, performer, recording artiste

and model currently signed to Pluckyhits

Global Records is set to drop another

smash hit titled 'African lady, featuring

his brother, Enlino.

Born in the late 90's in Jebba, Kwara

State, Miles hails from Irua, Esan central

local government area of Edo State in the

South-Southern part of Nigeria.

Having spent three years in the

Nigerian music industry, Miles have

proven to be skillful, creative and

talented.“Miles, who is also a seasoned

entrepreneur and footballer intends to

exploit music, which has always been his

passion, as a tool to effect positive change

in the Nigerian society and the world at

large.

human endeavour, signing mouth-watering

endorsements. They collectively established

Aki & Pawpaw Entertainment and have

produced some films to their credits. Also,

they own the Aki n Paw Child Care

Foundation.

The actors have won many awards and

laurels. In 2007, Aki received the Lifetime

Achievement Award at the Africa Movie

Awards. Moreover, in 2011 he was

honoured by the Member Order of the

Federal Republic by the Federal Republic

of Nigeria alongside Pawpaw by President

Goodluck Jonathan.

Despite their burgeoning popularity, Aki

and Pawpaw are very down-to-earth and

By Benjamin Njoku

London-based Nigerian actress,

Cordelia Emeh is looking forward

to setting the cinemas in Nigeria agog as

unassuming. Besides, after more than two

decades in the movie industry, it's only

obvious that the actors are among the

greatest figures to emerge from Africa in

the 21st century. Their names have

continued to ring a bell each time they are

mentioned anywhere. From all indications,

they have become enigmas in their rights.

But the difference is that, while Aki is

happily married, Pawpaw is yet to unveil

the love of his life to the world. It's a task

before the Abia State-born comic actor.

Cordelia Emeh returns home with 'My London Slave'

she concludes plans to premiere her debut

movie as a producer, “My London Slave”

in the country.

The expository movie first premiered at

Odeon IMAX Greenwich in London, few

months back, and there are indications

that the multi-talented actress is storming

the country with the movie on the 6th of

September.

In a telephone chat with WG, during the

week, Cordelia, who started acting as a

teenager and took part in several

stage plays back home, described

the latest movie as ' expository

and mind-bowing.'

She added that she

decided to produce 'My

London Slave' as a way of

enlightening Nigerians

concerning the dangers of

travelling abroad in search

of greener pastures.

According to her, “ The idea

of producing the movie came

after hearing the stories of

various women in the UK and we

decided to share these with the

world in the form of a film as a caution.

We want to open people’s eyes to the

different forms of abuse that couples go

through in their relationships so as to

enable take action when they notice the

signs.”

'My London Slave’ is a story that centres

on a young lady called Ada. A graduate in

the medical field who just became a doctor.

One of her dreams is to marry a London

I delved into gospel music to tesify how God saved my life

— Physically-challenged singer

A

physically -challenged singer, Chuks Joseph Nwokeocha has been

explaining why he delved into gospel music, saying' it was a result of

his desire to use the medium to testify how God spared his life while he was

a child.

The rising singer, said the enemies attempted to terminate his life at infancy,

but God intervened and saved him.

Nwokeocha, who hails from Ebony State, recently released his debut album,

titled, " The Grace of God'. The album contains eight tracks of testimonial

worship songs that expresses the singer's gratitude to his maker.

Nwokeocha may be physically-challenged, but his condition does not deprive

me from living a normal life and discovering his talent. He revealed that he

asked God for a gift of singing and He granted him, his heart desire. "I delved

into gospel music as a way of testifying what the Lord has done in life. I have

no one to thank but Him. It's a part of me testifying the goodness of God in my

life, especially when I remembered how I started, Nwokeocha explained.

Narrating to his ordeal, Nwokecha who started singing professionally since

2017, said he comes from a polygamous family, where his mother was blessed

with eight children. Out of envy, his father's other wives rose against his

mother, and almost terminated his life, while she was carrying his pregnancy.

In the process, he lost one of his legs as a result of the spiritual attack.

The 25 year-singer, who is currently an Evangelist, said that he survived the

attack at the age of 6, inspired his decision to delved into gospel music to

praise his maker. He's looking forward to releasing more soul-lifting songs

and collaborating with other gospel singers in future.

“Bobo”. Luck shined on her when her

bestie and childhood friend successfully

introduced and matched her with her

London based handsome brother. Life was

set to be a dream until the nightmares

started.

According to TY Moore, the director of

the movie, “Shooting this movie was very

emotional for me. It’s stories of people real

close to me. The performances of the

actors are definitely award winning.”

The movie, shot in London, and Lagos,

parades top Nollywood and British stars

including, Daniel Lloyd, Rachel Oniga,

Jide Kosoko, Demola Amoo, Uche

Odoputa, Cordelia Emeh, Toyin Moore,

Dapo Opayinka , Charles Lawson, Flavia

Apio, Grace Echeta, Iffy Chukwu, Làbáké

Làbáké, Funmi Ogidan Bello, Lucien

Morgan, Bayo Adewumi, Jacqui Shaw,

Neli Kings, Gbemi Kehinde, Christine,

Julia, Lucy Edako, Nicki Moore, Jenifa

Alali Brown, Ayan De among others.

Recounting her journey into

Nollywood, Cordelia said: “I started my

acting career as a teenager and took part

in several stage plays. In 1991, I got a

lead role to feature in a soap opera by

the then Frontline Television Limited in

Nigeria led by Dolly Esindu after an

amazing audition but could not continue

with the project due to family and other

pressures at the time. With strong

determination, I was able to get back into

acting several years later when I

relocated to the UK, Since 2012 I have

not looked back.”


SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019—19

By Tolulope Abereoje

08134730794 (sms only)

tolulopeomotayo3179@gmail.com

I took your love for granted,

please forgive me, Iceberg

Slim begs Juliet Ibrahim

AFTER one year of their

breakup, popular Ghanaian

actress, Juliet Ibrahim’s exboyfriend,

Iceberg Slim, took to his

Instagram page to issue a public

apology to her, saying he has failed

the “screen goddess”.

After accusing her of being a

toxic person, Iceberg Slim in his

apology revealed his wrongdoings

and asked that the actress forgive

him for all he did to her

“Dear @Juliet Ibrahim thank you

for everything. You loved me

unconditionally, even at my lowest

points and only wanted loyalty and

honesty in return. Unfortunately, I

have failed you with everyone else

that has seen our relationship and

wished us well. Despite the pain

and heartache I have caused you,

you still found a way to rise and

smile again. I lied, I cheated, I took

your love for granted and in turn

brought ridicule and shame to you.

From the bottom of my heart, I

apologize. Why now? You may ask.

In life sometimes you have to

reveal in order to heal, and as I have

revealed the true reason for our

Eva Alordiah turns 31,

reveals she almost

committed suicide

break up healing comes

next. As we continue on our

separate paths I pray for

God’s guidance” he wrote

Although it seems the

apology came from a

good place, Ibrahim

during a recent interview

with Accra FM stated

that she felt it was

coming a bit late but

she appreciates that he

has spoken up to clear

the air.

“I feel like it’s

coming too late but I

appreciate the fact that

he’s apologizing and

clearing the air. I

remember when it

started, everybody was attacking me. I

have no idea why people always choose

to attack the woman when a breakup

happens, but that was life. I went through

it and I was strong enough to ignore all

the negative comments and remarks made

at me. I know he’s a good person. I just

pray doing this helps the healing he talked

about. I’ve forgiven him a long time

ago,” she said.

SUICIDE, like most people know, has

never been associated with only the

poor as even celebrities have had their

moments too with the act, and rapper, Eva

Alordiah has revealed she has also had an

experience in this regard

Beautiful rapper, Eva Alordiah who turned 31 on

Tuesday, August 13, 2019, took to her Instagram

page on the same day to reveal that there was a

point in her life she wanted to commit suicide.

She further went on to reveal that she has

been able to move past that point and is in a

much better space.

“Apparently this is what 31 looks like. It’s

been a long walk to get here, from almost

taking my own life to being here now,

living my life with a single mission to help

you live yours better. I am blessed indeed. Use me as proof that you

can overcome too. The next year is going to be so good, I am excited

about what we will accomplish together,” she wrote.

DJ Arafat dies in bike accident

DJ

Arafat

Popular Ivorian Disc Jockey, DJ

Arafat reportedly lost his life in a

motor bike accident in his country, Cote

D’Ivoire on Sunday August 11 th 2019.

Born Ange Didier Houon, reports

say his bike was hit by a car driven by

a journalist from Radio Cote D’Ivoire.

DJ Arafat reportedly lost

consciousness immediately and was

rushed to the hospital but sadly didn’t

survive the accident.

The coupe-decale star died at a

hospital in Abidjan, the country’s

capital as a result of the injuries

he sustained from the

crash.

The news of his

death was confirmed

by Nigerian singer,

Davido who posted

a photo of him with

the DJ on his

Instagram page.

Double joy for Toyin

Abraham as she remarries,

welcomes baby boy

Nollywood actress, Toyin Abraham finally owned

up to her relationship with actor, Kolawole

Ajeyemi, as her wedding photos filtered into social media

space.

Toyin Abraham had previously been married to another

actor, Adeniyi Johnson, who has gone ahead to marry

another actress, Seyi Edun after their divorce.

Recall the couple were earlier reported to have held

their family introduction ceremony some months back

which came as a surprise to many as it was not certain if

the duo were in a relationship.

Fans were barely digesting the news of her wedding

when it was reported that the actress had given birth to

a baby boy in USA.

According to reports, the wedding photos were

released ahead of the big announcement of the arrival

of Toyin’s new born baby so it won’t be assumed she had

a baby out of wedlock.

Her colleagues and fans she fondly calls ‘Toyin Titans’

have since been sending congratulatory messages to her

on social media.

Most Nigerians do not

like me – DJ Cuppy

BARELY few weeks after superstar musician,

Davido revealed that people hate him and

have equally refused to support him since he

debuted on the Nigerian music scene simply because

his father is rich, popular Disc Jockey, Florence

Ifeoluwa Otedola, better known as DJ Cuppy recently

toed the same line of though.

The talented disc jockey that doubles as a singer

has faced series of criticisms for almost every single

she has released based on

popular opinion that she

is riding on the wealth

and connection of her

billionaire father,

Femi Otedola.

In a recent post

on her Twitter

page, DJ Cuppy

claims that about

80% of Nigerians

do not like her

but she is

thankful that the country has a

very large population.

“80% of Nigerian people don’t

like me. Good thing we have a

large population,” she tweeted. DJ Cuppy

Davido’s baby mama, Sophia

Momodu shares funny wish

It looks like there might be trouble in

paradise as Davido’s baby mama, Sophia

Momodu is wishing she could be a mother and

father to their daughter all by herself. Hip-hop

superstar, Davido has always been known as a

man who takes care of his children as he is

always spotted having fun with both Imade and

Hailey. However, the post made by his first baby

mama has raised eyebrows.

Sophia Momodu expressed this wish via her

Instastory on Thursday, August 15, 2019. It is

not clear what has transpired between Sophie

and her baby daddy, Davido but she wishes she

could take care of her 4-year old in peace.

“Sometimes I wish I could be a father and

mother all by myself. God please help me, bless

the works of my hands, prosper my businesses

so I can take care of my daughter in peace,”

she wrote.

From this post, it appears that the off and on

frosty relationship between Davido and the

mother of his first daughter has hit another brick

wall.


20—SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17 , 2019

Ojude Oba

Festival honors

Adenuga

The historic town of Ijebu Ode was at a

standstill for the 2019 edition of the annual

Ojude Oba festival.

Thousands of guests arrived Ijebu Ode

from all over the country on Tuesday for the

grand finale of the Ojude Oba festival. Over

fifty age groups paid homage to the

paramount ruler of Ijebu Ode, the

Alayeluwa, Oba Sikiru Adetona during the

festival.

Activities began on Monday with the

“Otunba Day” where Globacom Chairman

and Otunba Apesin of Ijebuland, Dr. Mike

Adenuga, was honoured for his immense

contributions to Ijebuland.

Two other prominent sons of Ijebuland First

City Monument Bank (FCMB) Chairman,

Otunba Subomi Balogun, and former

Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga

Daniel, were also honoured.

Eighteen original artifacts recovered from

all over the world were presented and

displayed at the Banquet

The Kabaal hosts Dapo Aderele

It was all fun, dancing,

and merriment as

veteran hospitality,

nightlife tycoon, and

CEO of PTRlifestyle,

Dapo Aderele, celebrated

his birthday on Monday,

August 12th, 2019 at The

Kabaal, Awolowo, Ikoyi,

Lagos in grand style with

friends and family.

Dapo’s birthday was a

time for him to be grateful

and the grand celebration

was graced with

celebrities including

Bryan Okpara, Tarmar

Awobutu, CandyDaddy,

Jessica Ulo, Abby

Charles, Efe Tommy, Mr.

•Dapo Akerele

Play and the Martell

Cognac team.

“The Fortress”, as the

nightclub “Kabaal” is

fondly called, was

bedecked with balloons

and covered in black &

gold; which gave the club

an exotic ambiance.

Guests enjoyed great

songs from the club’s DJ,

live music from a musical

band and a guest

performance by

Zlatan,one of Nigeria’s

The

Redeemed

Christian Church of

God, Throne Room,

Abuja, in collaboration

with Community

Transformation

Empowerment (CTE), at

Kuduru community in

Bwari Area Council of the

Federal Capital Territory,

recently rendered free

medical services to

hundreds of residents.

The outreach saw

residents of the

community offered free

testing, counselling and

drugs dispensation.

Addressing newsmen

during the event, the

assistant pastor of the

RCCG, Throne Room

Parish, Rev Emmanuel

Mulero, stated that the

Juliet Ebirim

08137897935

juliet.ebirim@gmail.com

Encomiums as “Throne Room” reaches out

•RCCG Throne Room parish

•Mike

Adenuga

trending artists who

performed his hit songs

“Killin them” and “This

Year”.

Dapo Aderele has

etched his name on the

marble for being one of

the most bankable

business minds in the

nightlife business. His

company, PTRlifestyle

boasts of two wonderful

spots, a Day-party

Franchise and a record

label.

parish embarked on the

outreach to help members

of the community who

could not afford medical

services at health centres.

He said, “It was the

decision of the parish to

do things that will affect

our immediate

communities. We decided

to go into medical

outreach at the suburbs to

reach out to rural people.

We estimate that more

than five hundred

residents will benefit from

the exercise. We also call

on well-meaning citizens

and organizations to

embark on similar

outreaches to better the

lots of the needy. The aim

of this programme is to

show love to the less

privileged in society.”

The beneficiaries

expressed joy over the

intervention and called on

other people and

organizations to emulate

the church.

Shade Okoya’s rising

profile

Chief Mrs. Folasade Okoya has been at the helm of

affairs at the Eleganza Group, where she is using

her entrepreneurial drive to strengthen the goodwill

of the organization and its corporate positioning in

Nigeria. At a time when the manufacturing sector has

been dominated by men because it was considered to

be too challenging for women, she used her

entrepreneurial prowess to show the relevance of

women in the sector.

In July 2019, the Chief Executive Officer of the

manufacturing giant, Folashade Okoya, who heads

the affairs of the company over the past decade with

her husband, Chief Razak Okoya published an oped

titled ‘Nigeria’s Manufacturing Power Couple on the

Future of Manufacturing in Nigeria.’

With Eleganza Group

currently employing about

5000 people across

Nigeria, the company is

rising to new heights

and strengthening its

position as a leading

indigenous brand, as

well as one of the

b e n c h m a r k

manufacturing

companies in Nigeria.

Folashade Okoya and

her husband are

industrialists who have

contributed greatly to

this quota by transforming

a small trading company

into one of the largest

conglomerates and

indigenous manufacturers of

household products in

Nigeria.

•Shade

Okoya

•Dara Shasore

and Tosin Babalola

Olasupo Shasore’s

daughter, Dara weds beau

The traditional engagement for Studio Magic

producer, Tosin Babalola and Dara Shasore,

daughter to notable Politician,Olasupo Shasore

held last weekend.

The event was top notch and exuded class

and elegance, as several celebrities and

socialites stepped out to support the couple.

Mo Abudu, Kate Henshaw, RMD, Olu Jacobs,

Joke Silva, Shaffy Bello, Lala Akindoju, Chef

Fregz, Falz, Femisoro and many more were

spotted at the event.


SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019—21

I started business by hawking

pepper on the streets of Benin-

City — Joseph Osawaru, hotelier

Says, “We are bringing Wizkid to Benin in December”

Joseph Osawaru is the owner of Exquisite Homes 2 Hotel and Lounge, situated in Benin

City, Edo State. He’s also a philanthropist and has been active in youth empowerment. In

this interview he opens up on his hospitality business, his plans for entertainment growth

in his State and his humble beginnings

I

How did it all begin for you?

was not born with a silver spoon in my

mouth. I was born in the village because

my parents were farmers, so when I came

to Benin, I started with “Garri School “ then

there was no nursery school. I did all

manners of petty trading after school hours.

I started hawking from my primary school,

I started with pepper, vegetables then I

graduated to selling candies, biscuits and

chewing-gums in the traffic. Bendel Line

(now Edo line) and Ogbe Stadium used to

be our preferred location to hawk. I used to

trek great distances to sell my wares. I had

no option then because my daddy said that

he had a lot of children so everybody should

go and fend for themselves. I was paying

my school fee through my petty trade but I

had the belief that I had a great future.

What makes your Exquisite Homes 2

Hotel and Lounge different from others?

Exquisite Homes 2 Hotel and Lounge is

a very unique place. Looking at the edifice,

we try to bring in a new innovation in

hospitality business because when you travel

abroad, you will see different hotels and

structures, so I decided to bring this one to

my State (Benin City,Edo State). Most of

the hotels we have in Edo State don’t have

lounges. You don’t expect your guests to

lodge and be looking for where to hangout

I look forward to styling

Rihanna one day

— Abiodun Shade Sandra, designer

Known for her unique fashion creativity, CEO

Anjy Luminee Couture, Abiodun Shade

Sandra has revealed in a chat with Potpourri

that she looks forward to styling

international and award winning

singer, Rihanna , someday.

Explaining why, Abiodun

noted that having followed the

music career and fashion sense of

the singer, she is convinced that

Rihanna rocking one of her brand

won’t be a bad idea and as such

she already has a standout style

inspiration waiting for Riri once

the link up with her clicks. She

said ‘I have worked with

countless celebrities here in

Nigeria and my brand rocked

outside the country but this time around, I want

to step up my game, who knows maybe one day

I will be styling the queen of England. I am a

big fan of Rihanna and I can’t wait to work with

her’.

It is pertinent to note that CEO Luminee, as

she is popularly called by her teeming fans,

is a graduate of Business Administration

from Lagos State University and equally

holds an ND in Banking and Finance.

Describing her journey into the fashion

world, she disclosed that she had not for

once gone to a fashion school to learn the

craft rather she was only inspired by a male

neighbor who specialized in making male

suits whom she watched while peddling a

sewing machine and all she did was go back

home and practice using needle and thread and

the rest is history.

and have fun. We decided to bring this concept

of having an hotel and a lounge on the

same spot. Since we opened, we have had

50% patronage which is very good for a

start.

During your opening ceremony, you

brought Zlatan Ibile and a week after you

brought Naira Marley and other notable

comedians to party here; what are you

trying to achieve with these entertainers?

Our people here love entertainment and

since it’s a new place I decided to bring in

the rave of the moment in the entertainment

industry, Zlatan Ibile, the Zanku

Master and Naira Marley to come and

thrill our people and make them feel what’s

happening at Exquisite Homes 2 Hotel and

Lounge in the heart of G.R.A .When we

brought Zlatan, we didn’t collect a dime

from our people, it was a free show so we

also brought Naira Marley back to back, it

was free show as well. I want to give back to

my people, make them happy and music is

very key to achieve this. Like one of my

friends will say “A soul that does not love

music is dead”. We will not stop here so we

are planning a big one in December to bring

in Kiss Daniel or Wizkid. In fact, we are in

touch with Wizkid, just waiting for him to

give us a date in December. We have done it

before and we will do it again.

•Abiodun

Shade

Sandra

Some say you’re an entertainer, some

say you are a businessman while some

say you are a philanthropist, who is

Joseph Osawaru?

Well, they’ve said it all. When you’re

dancing on the street, you cannot rate the

level of your performance, it’s only the

spectators that can rate how well you have

danced or not When you are good, people

must know and when you’re bad people

•Miss

Bold

and

Beautiful

•Osawaru

must know it and they will say it. The reason

we are diversifying is to empower my

people and create jobs to help ease the burden

of the government and to reduce crime

because an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.

As some of our people are working

here, I don’t think they will be thinking on

how to commit crimes so I’m just a partner

in progress. I’m not going to stop here, with

God, we will build five-star hotel in the next

two years, All these are just to empower my

people at home before we expand to other

states.

Miss Bold and Beauty

Plus Size pageant

returns for 2019 edition

The Miss Bold and Beautiful Nigeria Plus Size

Pageant is up with her second edition this

year 2019. The “Naija is Thick” themed edition

as the host company Cherdah Republic has

announced through her Project Manager, Obasi,

Uchechukwu Godian is meant to “celebrate the

over 68% of Nigeria’s female populace that are

on the plus side of life”. The Plus Size National

Pageant was created in 2018 to bridge the size

disparity created by the fashion and

entertainment industry in Nigeria. Cherdah

Republic Limited established the platform to serve

as an avenue where thick, chubby, plus sized,

curvy, and fat girls can seize the opportunity to

show the world what they are capable of and to

build self confidence as well as general sense of

worth.

With over 2 million Naira worth of prizes to be

won, call for entries is still open as the auditions

kick off across the country within the month of

August with the grand finale billed for October

25th.

HRM, Queen Eneokwe Calista the “Kick Out

Body Shaming” themed maiden edition winner,

a 21-year-old student of the Institute of

Management and Technology, Enugu, has been

using her reign to reach out to plus sized ladies,

preaching the message against any form of body

shaming.

She said,”Plus sized ladies should know that

they are capable of anything they set their minds

on, irrespective of their body sizes. You shouldn’t

let anybody make you feel less human or less

important because you are a true representation

of an African Woman. I appreciate Cherdah

Republic for the opportunity they have given me

this year and wish to see more ladies embrace

this platform and experience the positives I have

benefitted from being here”


22—SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019

ROTIMI AGBANA

07054964685

rotimiagbana@gmail.com

Chocolate City rap music act, Akumefule Chukwu-Emeka, better known

as Blaqbonez, generated mixed reactions on social media when he

released an intentional ‘diss’ track titled, 'Best Rapper in Africa'; a song in

which he crowned himself the best rapper in Africa.

However, the daring rapper has finally broken silence on the matter which

has earned him mixed criticisms from from fans and music critics.

“Everything started with the freestyle I made on activated sessions that I

posted towards the end of June, after my hiatus from social media. Naturally,

that’s hip-hop. That’s how hip hop is. Everybody says they’re the best. When

I said it, everybody just went out of control. Everybody was trying to prove to

me that I’m not the best rapper. I am the best rapper in Africa; based on what

I put out and the quality of my music. So, I believe in what I’m doing, and I

decided I will own this campaign and I will say it so many times till you’re

pissed off, and till you cannot tell me not to say it anymore. That’s how the

whole campaign started.”

While recognizing MI, IllBliss, Mode9 among others as his senior

colleagues in the rap music game, he insisted that he is the best rapper in

Africa.

“Like I said, it’s a hip-hop thing. In hip-hop, everybody brags about being

the best. Lil’ Wayne came out and said he was the best rapper alive long

before anybody crowned him that. He said it by himself, ‘I am the best rapper

alive.’ This is what hip-hop has always been about. I don’t know why people

are catching feelings. The MI. IllBliss, Mode9 and other rap stars are not

catching feelings because they understand it. They understand this is hiphop.

It’s just a bunch of random people that expect some weird humility from

everybody. I’m the best rapper in Africa. I’ll say it as many times as I want. It’s

my opinion”, he insisted.

I was tense, worried

while recording

'Nobody fine pass

you'—T-Classic

When fast rising singer and songwriter, Tolulope Ajayi,

a.k.a T-Classic released his 2019 hit song, 'Nobody fine

pass you', hardly did anyone know what he had to grapple

with while recording the smash hit which has continued to

top music charts.

In a chat with Showtime, the 21-year-old singer recalled

the emotional stress he suffered while recording the song.

“I was tense and worried. I never thought it’ll become a

hit like this but I bless God”, he said.

However, he admitted that his unique sound has helped

to boost his music and give him an edge over his

contemporaries.

“I believe when you come with a new sound, wave and

style, people would accept you because they want to listen

to something different and new. I just do my thing, I never

give up, I pray and work hard with good promotions from

my team. I’ve been doing this for long though. So, to all

the artistes out there grinding, don’t you ever stop.”

Speaking further, he explained what inspired the song which has not stopped topping

music charts across the country.

“'Nobody fine pass' you was inspired by my friend whose girlfriend dumped him because of

money. So, I’m passing a technical message; at the end of everything we still love our ladies”,

he said.

He added that so far, consistency on the music scene has been the most challenging aspect

of his music career.

“Being consistent on the industry map has been the most challenging part of my career.”

The secret to becoming

a successful musician

— Dbanj

Afro-beat singer, Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo, popularly known as D'banj has shared his

opinion on how to become a successful musician in Nigeria.

According to the self-styled 'Koko Master' in a chat with Showtime, besides being able

to flow with the trends in vogue, originality is very vital to a successful music career.

“Music is universal, you never really know the one that would become a hit. Check out the

guy that sang 'Man's not hot', Big Shaq, he's a comedian and not even an artiste, but the song

became a global hit. I've said it before that being very original to yourself is very important;

you can play around with different things at the time they are happening. I've done a 'Shaku

Shaku' song. I think the first 'Shaku Shaku' song that I did was 'Issa Banger', around the

time we did Mr. Real's 'Legbegbe' video. That was almost the same time 'Shaku Shaku' was

reigning. For me, I've been true to myself, even in the 'Shaku Shaku' you'll hear my

authenticity”, he said.

Speaking further, he noted that in addition to originality, the ability to diversify is also

very important.

“Also, not keeping yourself in a box is very important. I've an album that is coming out

very soon. I worked with about 11 producers on the album. Whether a big or small producer,

good sound can come from anywhere. From experience, the least person you expect would

be the one to write and sing the next hit song. So just open your eyes. That's the major

reason I founded CREAM platform. So I get songs sent from everywhere. The beat I used

on two songs off my album was from the CREAM platform, and that's because he brought

it closer to me. So that's what technology is doing for us. If we can key into it, we'll record

more successes”, he said.

Why I crowned

myself best rapper in

Africa —Blaqbonez

Mr. Smyles

returns with 'I'm

not a nuisance'

After a stint at banking, Nigerian hip-hop

music singer, Edward Ibisi, a.k.a Mr.

Smyles decided to pursue his passion for music,

and since then he can boast of two albums, 'Naija

I make

commercial

music to

attract

attention

— Magnito

Popular Nigerian rapper, Mohammed

Usman Adamu, a.k.a Magnito has

explained why he decided to join the league

of Nigerian musicians who make

commercial music.

In a chat with Showtime, the 'Relationship

be like' rapper noted that because people

no longer listen to hard core rap music, he

began making the kind of music that appeals

more to a larger audience.

Nigerian music has grown beyond a

certain level because globally, rap music

almost died. Surprisingly, American artistes

are not even doing the original rap music

anymore; everybody is in the mainstream.

But we're trying our best, you cant expect

Nigerians to be listening to hard core music

alone. You've to go very commercial and

that’s what I've done now; I've gone

mainstream. Anybody who is rapping needs

to put a little bit of humour so that people

would listen to your rap. That's exactly what

I'm doing. I have the punchlines and

everything but there's a way I put it that make

it very easy for everybody to understand.

That’s what we need to do to make rap music

in Nigeria relevant”, he said.

Speaking further, Magnito who is set to

release a new song titled 'If to say I be girl

ehn', featuring Falz, explained the

inspiration behind his viral song series,

'Relationship be like'.

“When I was growing up, I listened to R.

Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet. That’s like one

of the best songs I’ve listened to when it

comes to music creativity. After some years

that I’ve been releasing songs, I really like

the fact that people go all out to release

singles. But it’s becoming too much. One

would release a single, promote it and hope

it becomes successful. Nobody really cracks

their brain so much to ensure they do

something very creative. That’s how I came

about 'Relationship be like' and so far, the

response from fans has been impressive” he

said.

Music' and 'Everyday Ginger' to his credit.

The passionate singer who recently released a new single titled 'I'm not a

nuisance', told Showtime what he intends to achieve with the song.

“I am not a nuisance is two edged and it's a warning to the public that

when you see people who are used to either hanging out or taking time off,

don't assume or presume they are a nuisance despite

t h e

busy and tight living activity in Nigeria. Others who

may not find that time to hang out, whenever they

see others hanging out at odd times, they have the

tendency to think such people are constituting

nuisance. This was one of the scenarios I found

myself that inspired me to record 'I'm not a nuisance'.

I want to re-orientate the minds of such people not to

assume or presume things that are far off. Also, that

we all can not live the same kind of life. One thing

I will encourage the youths out there is to always

take time out to refocus, refresh and have quiet time

for themselves”, he said.

He added; “Nothing seems to work when it

comes to leadership in the country. People lack

national orientation, basic amenities, security, etc and the leaders feel less concerned while the

system keeps killing the youths everyday. Every sector has become a business centre and this is

killing the economy and the youths who are the life wire of this country.My legacy is to raise youths

that will be good ambassadors of this country with their talent and encourage innovative minds.

The media has been trying and they should be the mouthpiece of goodwill in the country.”


SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019—23

By AYO ONIKOYI

•Diane and Seyi

BBNaija season 4 update:

Diane sacrifices

Joe for Sir Dee

The ‘Pepper Dem’ housemates took part in the first Nomination Challenge

on Monday night following the new twist Biggie introduced to the season.

The housemates were last week split into teams – Cruisetopia and The

Icons – in which they would compete in a series of challenges with the losing team

automatically having all its members up for possible eviction.

To get things started, Biggie instructed the teams to choose three representatives

each to take part in the challenge. The Icons chose Omashola, Cindy and Sir

Dee as their representatives whilst Cruisetopia chose Mike, Joe and Jackye.

The Icons won the first challenge which involved the selected representatives

sticking many inflated balloons onto a board. The task ended with Cruisetopia

scoring 8 points while The Icons soared with 9 points. The second challenge

was for the competing representatives to tie as many shoelaces as possible on

a pole. Mike put Cruisetopia in the lead in that challenge and the result

was an even score board for both teams. As a tie breaker, the housemates

were asked to repeat the challenge which eventually resulted in

Cruisetopia winning the first Nomination Challenge and members of

The Icons automatically nominated for possible eviction.

Consequently,

Diane who won the Veto Power

Holder challenge

earlier in the day was

asked to save someone

from the nominated

team and replace

with someone on

her team. She chose

to save Sir Dee and

replaced him with

Joe.

Earlier in the day, Seyi

emerged winner

of the Head of House

challenge for the

second week in a row giving him

immunity from

nominations this week.

•At Laffmatazz

Ilorin residents enjoy Sallah

with Maltina at LaffMattazz

lorin residents won’t be forgetting the Ileya holiday in a hurry, as Gbenga Adeyinka and other

Itop entertainers stormed the city with the best of music and comedy to mark the holiday. The

crew, who brought the Laffmattazz train to Ilorin had Maltina on hand to deliver their premium

malt taste to guests at the show, as well as keep them engaged with games and other fun activities.

The show which was tagged “Loud In Ilorin”, held at the Arca Santa Arena in Ilorin and it

witnessed the presence of important personalities as well as A-list actors, music artists and

comedians. Kicking off at 2 pm the show had performances from the likes of Terry G, Eedris

Abdukareem, Majek Fashek, Jaywon, Qdot, Lord of Ajasa, Helen Paul, Omobaba, Princess and

other entertainers who the crowd were so delighted to see.Premium malt drink, Maltina fulfilled

its promise on sharing happiness by delivering entertainment to the people of Ilorin through fun

games, lucky dips, spinning the wheel, where lucky consumers got the chance to win exciting

prizes like mobile phones, generator, TV, Standing Fan, Maltina goody bags, and other mouthwatering

prizes.

Gbenga Adeyinka who has been the show’s headliner for the last six years made a grand entrance

right after Small Doctor’s performance. He held the audience down for nearly twenty minutes with

rib-cracking jokes and the right demonstrations to keep everyone entertained. The last performance

of the day came from Reminisce who wrapped things up with some of his well-known hits.

The Laffmattazz train will continue to Ekiti in October as it celebrates six years of existence and

promises to keep delivering the happy moments that its fans crave.

•Burna Boy

‘African Giant’

Burna Boy earns

multiple nominations

at AFRIMMA

2019 Awards

he AFRIMMA 2019 Award & Music Festival

Tnominees list throws up a mix of incumbent

stars who have continued to advance their career

and youngsters who have barged through to earn

their breakthrough. Nigeria’s Burna Boy aka

the ’African Giant’, perhaps the fastest growing

African star who has been on an immense rise

in the past one year dominates the roster with

multiple nominations. Mali’s Aya Nakamura

was a shining light for female artists and

bagged multiple nominations as well.

Some of the big names on the

nominees list this year also include

Nigeria’s Wizkid, Tanzania’s

Diamond Platnumz, South Africa’s

Cassper Nyovest. Davido, Yemi

Alade, Sarkodie, Fally Ipupa,

Harmonize also earned their place on

the nominees list. Stars like Kuami

Eugene of Ghana, Uganda’s Vinka,

Congo’s Ya Levis as well as

Cameroon’s Salatiel all earned their

first Afrimma nominations.

African Muzik Magazine Awards

(AFRIMMA) is a highly anticipated

award show celebrating the beauty of

African music, culture and artistry. The

award show will take place on Saturday, 26 th

of October, 2019 and will honor some of the

world’s top African celebrities, artists, artists

managers, producers, video directors, DJs and

cultural influencers.

AFRIMMA is the sole award ceremony in

the Diaspora that caters to all musical genres

including but not limited to Afrobeats, Assiko,

Bongo, Decale, Funana, Genge, Highlife,

Hiplife, Kwaito, Lingala and soukous. This

year’s edition of AFRMMA is the 6 th one

and promises to be the biggest edition of

the biggest African music awards show in

Diaspora. The star -studded event attracts

guests all over the world and from cities

within the United States as well as guests

and honorees from various African

countries.

The People’s Hero reality

show: auditions slated

for August 17, 24

ll is set for auditions for The People’s Hero reality show happening on the 17 and

A24 of August at the Oakland Hotel, Enugu and Glo-Ran Hotel, Port Harcourt Road,

Owerri respectively. The reality show will reward winners with the sum of N7 million,

N2 million and N1 million for the first, second and third winners in that order. Although

registration to participate and vie for the grand prize can be done at the venue of

auditions, interested participants can also register online to fast track their audition

process.

An initiative of Hero Lager Beer, The People’s Hero is a television reality show that

seeks to reward creativity and originality in the culture of the South-eastern and Southsouthern

people through singing, dancing, acting and spoken words.

Reacting to the excitement the show has garnered among young people, the Marketing

Manager Obumneke Okoli said the show is for anyone who is fluent in English

Language, Pidgin English, Igbo or any indigenous language within South East & South

South and also open to persons of Igbo origin and non-Igbo persons who speak their

language fluently, reside in the South East or South South regions and understand the

culture.

“The Marketing Director for International Breweries Plc, Tolu Adedeji said we are

excited to provide this rare platform as the brand is always seeking ways to delight the

people. The People’s Hero offers the bridge to stardom and prosperity for thousands

of youths who are very creative in their own rights but have not got a platform to

showcase their skills and get handsomely rewarded for it,” Tolu added.

Expressing his company’s readiness for the show, the Country Manager, Viacom

International Media Networks Africa, Mr. Bada Akintunde Johnson, said all is set to

host the thousands of young people who will be coming to Enugu on 17 August and

Owerri on 24 August to show the world what they are

“We have exciting

made of.

activities lined up

and in a short while,

we will reveal the

judges who are

equally excited with

great hope to see

new Heroes arise

from this show.

Sufficient security

measures have been

put in place to

ensure the

auditions are hitch

free and provide

fulfillment for

every participant,”

Bada concluded.


24—SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST17, 2019

I killed my lover’s father in self

defense — 29- year-old man reveals

By Esther Onyegbula

A29-year-old man, Efosa

Omodude, has revealed that he

killed his lover’s father in self defence

in Sanga area of Kaduna State. Efosa

who is currently on the run, said his

greatest undoing began when he fell in

love with a damsel identified as Serifat,

in Kaduna state, where he was born.

He stated that in the course of their

relationship, Selifat became pregnant

but died in her attempt to procure an

abortion, a tragedy that did not only

leave him devastated but heralded

another unpalatable phase in his life.

Fate, he said, had been unkind to him as

one tragic episode to another has been

happening to him.

He said, “First, my parents, Mr.

Edehia Omodude and Ovbiye

Omobude, died in a ghastly motor

accident in 2011. Their demise forced

me to drop out of Baptist Bethel

Secondary School, Kaduna, while I was

in Senior Secondary two.

Being farmers before their death, I

went into farming to continue from

where they stopped. After one year, I was

able to raise little fund to open a shop

where I sold petty things to eke out a

living.

Meeting with late Selifat

“Towards the end of 2012, I started

dating a young girl named Serifat,

whom I met while I was in secondary

school, unknown to me that she was the

daughter of prominent Chief Adamu

Ahmed. They were against our

relationship because I am a Christian

and he saw me as an infidel and unfit to

have any relationship with his daughter.

Attack

On October 27, 2012, while going to

evening service in Church, I was

ambushed and attacked by

three men including the

father of my girlfriend. I

was beaten mercilessly,

stabbed and left in the

pool of my blood. But for

the timely intervention of

a couple who took me to a

nearby clinic, I would have

died. After I was discharged

from the clinic, my

girlfriend Serifat came

to see me. She told

me that the reason

for the attack was

because her

father found out

that she was

pregnant and

that her father

was bent on

killing me.

Because her

family was bent

on frustrating our

relationship, my

girlfriend and I

decided to abort

the pregnancy but

unfortunately

during the abortion,

she lost her life.

“Infuriated by the

death of his daughter,

Chief Ahmed,

reported me to the

community of Fulani

movement. About a

week later, they

invaded my home in the

middle of the night and

began to attack me. In

the heat of the attack I hit

one of my assailants, who

•Olusanya

Onasanya

turned out to be Serifat’s father, with a

machete on the head and he slumped.

Others set the building ablaze. I

narrowly escaped that night to a nearby

village. That was how I became a

fugitive in my state.

“From my hideout, I travelled to

Niger, where I stayed with a relative.

Few moths later I travelled to Tripoli,

Libya where I worked in a car wash

until 2015. I loved my girlfriend so

much but coming home to Nigeria

would mean my doom”, he said.

We use sticks to cut burglary proof

during operation —Robbery suspects

•Our targets are occupiers of flats on ground floor

By Evelyn Usman

very day, robbers device new means to

Ebeat security measures put in place by

owners of property or security agents in

order to ensure easy access during

operation.

The latest devise is the use of sticks by

robbers to cut burglary proofs fixed on

windows and doors, instead of the

commonly used saw. This was disclosed by

two suspected members of a robbery gang

that specialized in invading people’s homes

at the wee hours of the day, both in Lagos

and Ogun States, dispossessing them of

cash, telephones and other valuables.

The suspects: Taiwo Ogunba, 26 and

Samuel Adetunji, 22, were arrested by

operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery

Squad, SARS, Lagos State Police

Command, and two vehicles recovered from

them which were forcefully collected from

their owners at gun points, in Mowe area of

Ogun state and Abule-Egba area of Lagos.

The vehicles were recovered in far away

Jos, Plateau and Jigawa states.

Victims recount ordeals

Elated victims who stormed the SARS

office, when news of their recovered

vehicles reached them, expressed surprise

that stolen vehicles that had left the shores

of Lagos, could still be recovered.

They were full of praises for the CSP Peter

Gana-led unit, especially the victim

who was yet to register his newly

purchased Toyota Pontiac car.

Narrating his ordeal in the

hands of the four-man gang that

evaded his Fagba residence, on

I joined cultism to fight oppression from my

By Victor Arjiromanus

He was visibly shaking and

weeping his eyes out,

calling the heavens to come to his

aid. His head bent low to his knees,

as drops of his tears mixed with

perspiration reached the floor.

When Crime Guard approached

35-year-old father of three,

Olusanya Onasanya, an Ordinary

National Diploma holder in

computer science, he expressed

regrets over his decision to join

cultism, saying he was reaping the

consequences of his action.

Olusanyan, was arrested by

operatives of the Anti Cultism Unit

but he claimed he knew nothing about

the offence for which he was arrested,

•Robbery Suspects

May 21, 2019, Mr Segun Oluwabi said,

they broke into my apartment through the

louvers from the toilet and ordered us to lie

down at gun point. Three of them came

inside, took our phones, our children’s

clothes, home theater, Plasma television and

sales from our recharge card business. They

parked everything inside our car, a Toyota

Pontiac which I bought a month ago and

was yet to register it. Before then, they had

beaten me mercilessly because I refused to

drop my phone and the car keys”.

Continuing from where her husband

stopped, Mrs Oluwabi said that while

returning home from the shop the previous

saying he had long denounced cultism.

Calamity

He disclosed that he joined the Black

Axe confraternity in order to fight his late

father’s family who he alleged had been

unfair to him.

Hear him: “I lost my father when I was

very young. Later, my mother died too. I

was then taken away by my late father’s

relatives to live with my grandfather at

Ojo road, until he too passed on in 2017.

Since the demise of my grandfather, my

father’s relatives have made life

unbearable for me and my family. They

tried to send me out of the house I have

been living with my late grandfather

because of they wanted to sell it. Twice, I

was arrested and locked at the Layeni

police station for no just cause. Whenever

night, she passed by one of the suspects,

whom she said turned to take a second look

at her, fixing his gaze on the bag she was

carrying.

According to her, “During the operation,

one of them whom I saw the previous night,

said I should bring the bag he saw me

carrying, and I gave it to him. They also

went away with my jewelry case and

demanded for my wedding ring. They even

went away with my husband’s bathroom

slippers at the door step”.

Two weeks after, the gang as gathered,

stormed another building in Mowe area

of Ogun State in a Sienna car, later

discovered to have been stolen in an

earlier operation same day.

The second victim, Olubowale Ade-

Olojobi, said that the gang ordered him

to lie faced down. He said, “after

collecting my phones and my wife’s,

including two lap tops, two ipads,

plasma television, my children PS 4,

they demanded for the car keys.

“As they were leaving, they locked my

wife and I inside one of the rooms,

locked our house-help inside the toilet

and left my mother in the sitting room.

My mother had to open the lock when

they left. By the time we came out, we

discovered they had left with our

Hyundai Elantra car and abandoned

the Sienna they came in with”.

Suspects’ confessions

The suspects did not deny the

statements by the victims when they

were interviewed. When asked how they

entered the apartment, one of them,

Samuel Adetunji, said, “We used sticks to cut

I was arrested, the police at Layeni police statio

always told me that there was no need for me to leav

the cell, because if I did, I would be homeless, as m

father’s relatives were preparing to sell the house I live

in with my wife and three children”

According to Adesanya, things became worse by th

day and he sought a way out.

He said, “I discussed the situation with my friend

and one of them, Gabriel, said I needed a backup t

make them scared of me and that Black Axe could offe

me that. So, I made up my mind to join them.’’

From hot pot

to fire

But his decision worsened his situation, thereb

denying him the assistance he anticipated.

He said, “I was initiated on March 24, 2016. Sinc

then, my life became filled with evil activities, as I wa

always around members of the confraternity. The guy

were always coming to my compound to drink an


n

e

y

d

e

,

o

r

y

e

s

s

d

Driver poses as Police

Sergeant to o secure

detained relation’s bail

By Victor Arjiromanus

Attempt by 51-year-old Adekunle Gbolagade, a

private driver, who posed as a Police Sergeant

to effect the release of a detained suspect, has been

foiled

Gbolagade, had visited the Anti-Cultism Unit of the

Lagos State Police Command, to secure bail for his

boss’s relation, Samson Mcdon, Monday where he

was granted access, only to discover that he was an

impostor.

Police sources said, “he came here first on Monday,

claiming he was a police officer, so they gave him

access to the suspect, Samson. He came again after

two days, posing as a policeman and demanded to see

Samson. We obliged him. When we brought out the

boy, he started interrogating him but, he was asked to

stop because operatives of the unit were present and

we asked him to go out. One of the operatives then

pleaded on his behalf to be allowed in, being a

policeman and he came in”.

Trouble

According to Police sources, “When asked where he

was serving, he said Lion Building, Lagos Island.

When asked to show his identity card, he said he

didn’t come with it. One of the policemen mentioned

the name of a policeman at Lion Building, where he

claimed he served and he said he knew the officer.

We went aside to place calls because at that point

we became suspicious. We asked him who was going

to stand as surety for the suspect he intended to bail,

he said he was. His response gave him out because

policemen don’t stand as surety for suspects. At that

point, we asked him to write down his Force number

and the station he was serving. He wrote Area

Command Office, Lion Building and 09 as his force

number, which is not our pattern of writing. At that

the burglary proof. Asked how that was possible, he

demonstrated it on a burglary proof fixed on a door

around. He said, “We used a two- by-two stick, usually

two. We would place them between the edge of one of

the iron and start filing it. Before you know it, it would

cut and we will pull that section out, thereby creating

a passage through which we would enter and begin

operation. This method is better than using saw

which usually caused noise and attract victims. We

also used this method because we are not with

guns. We operated with toy guns. Also, whenever

the power generating sets are on, the noise helps us

to gain access into apartments because occupants

would not even know about our presence until we

are already inside.

Why I joined

robbery gang

“I live in Iyana Ipaja, where I pay N71,000 as

rent. The money realized from robbery was used to

rent the apartment. I joined the gang this year

through one of the gang members, Ogunba, whom

I met at Abattoir, Agege. We started by stealing

keke marwa (tricycles) from where they were

parked . All we did was to disconnect the wire and

drive it away, for onward sale at Mushin. I was

selling ram for a man but the money realised was

nothing to write home about. I was a footballer, I

travelled to Kano state for screening in a club but I

did not succeed. I returned in April and was

looking for what to do to eke out a living when I

met Ogunba”.

We only attack occupants of flats

His partner in crime, 26-year-old Taiwo Ogunba,

from Ogun State, stated that their targets were

mainly occupants of flats. He also said that they only

smoke, and sometimes have their meetings. I kept

telling them that I was a family man, and that I didn’t

want my children’s life to be in danger. But they never

stopped coming. Instead of helping me fight

oppression as I expected, which made me to join them,

they made life more difficult for me.’’

‘’I became tired of the activities of the cult and

decided to renounce my membership and report myself

to the police. I went to make formal report to the Layeni

Police station in Ojo and they told me that I should

call them whenever those cultists came around me

again. I also went to the Signal Barracks at Ojo, where

I told them that I was a member of the Black Axe, but

that I no longer wanted to be part of them. Some Army

personnel were ordered to follow me to my compound

to see if they could arrest any one but, they didn’t meet

any of them there. Neighborhood Watch and policemen

usually come to my place to check on me once in a

while”.

Arrest

point, we

searched his

pockets and

found charms

Why I lied——

suspect

When

approached, the

suspect,

Gbolagade, said

he lied out of fear.

According to him,

“When I came and

saw the kind of

people here, I

became scared. In

confused state, I

them I was a

policeman.

“My Boss’ wife

•Adekunle

Gbolagade

my

told

gave

me money to come to the station and secure bail

for his boy, Samson. But when I got here on

Monday, I told them I wanted to see my boy and

having introduced myself as a Police Sergeant,

they permitted me to go and see him. When I saw

Samson, he said he was hungry and I went out to

buy food for him. I came back two days later to

see him, only to be subjected to interrogation

based on my claim of being a policeman.

Unfortunately, I could not provide the necessary

answer “

Asked what he was doing with the recovered

charms, he said, “the charm found in my pocket

is used to heal my children whenever they are

sick, I forgot it was in my pocket’’. The suspect as

gathered, would be charged to court for

impersonation.

attacked those on the ground floors. According to

the Primary school drop out, “We don’t usually

know who these victims are. Before we operate, we

would go round the area at night, looking for flats

to to rob and then come back when everyone

would be sleeping. We only attacked occupants on

the ground floor. We settled for those in flats

because we believe they would have what we need,

unlike those in ‘face-me-I face-you’ (single room)

who usually gave us ‘kpalasa’ phones (low quality

ones). The two cars stolen at Mowe and Fagba

were sold by Adetunji for N250,000 each and the

money was shared between four of us”.

Surprises

But when the 27-year-old receiver of the stolen

vehicles, Isiaku Suleiman, was arrested, he

revealed that he gave one of the suspects, Adetunji,

N400,000, for each cars, as against N250,000

he(Adetunji) declared to his members. Asked if he

was aware that the cars were stolen, Suleiman,

who resides in Jos, the Plateu state capital, nodded

his head. He said, “I sold them for N900,000 but

the market value is almost twice the amount I sold

them. Yes, I bought them for N400,000 but

Adetunji asked me to tell his colleagues that I

bought them for N250,000 each”.

Arrest

Crime Guard learned that the suspects were

arrested through some scientific evidence gathered

from the scenes of crime, at SARS operatives’

disposal. Efforts were reportedly still on to arrest

other fleeing members of the gang, while the

suspects would soon be charged to court.

late father’s family

amily- - suspected ed cultist

Fate, however, played a fast one on him as he was

arrested last Friday, in his house. According to him,

“At about 9;30pm, I saw some men jumping

through my fence. I didn’t know they were police

men because they came in mufti. So, I asked who

they were looking for. They said they were police

men. They asked who I was and I told them my

name. Immediately, they said, I was the one they

came for and that was how I was arrested’’

Police react

But when the attention of the police was drawn to

the arrest, with an explanation on why he was

arrested, since he had renounced membership of

Black Axe, sources at the Anti Cultism Unit told

Crime Guard that a suspected cultist who was

earlier arrested, mentioned his name. Police sources

said, “The Commander of the Unit, CSP Udom

Uduak, has promised to release him at the end of

investigation to verify his claims.

SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019—25

SARS arrests fake

policeman posing as

SPY recruitment agent

I paid N300,000 to be

recruited as SPY Police- Victim

By Evelyn Usman

A45-year-old man who has been as a policeman and a

recruitment agent for Supernumerary Police, SPY has been

arrested by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad

SARS of the Lagos State Police Command.

The suspect, Mike Okojokwu, who was clad in full police uniform,

had allegedly extorted money from gullible Nigerians who were

desperate to be get employed as SPY. One of his victims, Ochim

James, alleged that he paid the suspect N300,000 , to get a job as a

SPY.

Another victim with an undisclosed identity was said to have

given the suspect part payment of N84,000 , with a promise to pay

a balance of N216,000. The bubble however burst after James

waited patiently without receiving any appointment letter. He

became suspicious when he could not reach the suspect on the

phone to know the reason for the delay, as the phone was switched

off.

Drama

A mild drama then played out at Egbeda area of Lagos on August

1, 2019, when James ran into the suspect. He immediately held

him and alerted security agents.

Ochim in this interview, expressed shock that the suspect was

neither a policeman nor a SPY police, as he initially claimed.

He said, “I am a business man, I sell shoes and at the same time

was searching for a job to boost my income. I met a friend, Precious

Ebiale, who introduced me to Mike. She said he could assist me get a

job as SPY Police .

“I met Mike in November 2018 and he told me he was in charge of

recruitment and posting and that he could post me to any oil

company of my choice if I was enlisted as SPY. He said that

recruitment and posting into any oil company was N300,000. I

deposited N50,00 that day and paid the balance in installments.

“Later, he came with complete police uniform , that they were mine.

But I refused to collect it and asked if it was proper to get the uniform

without prior training. Again, he called me on the phone to meet him

at the Central store at the Police College, Ikeja. When I got there, he

told one of the staff there to take my measurement. Without

suspecting any sinister motive, I introduced a friend to him who was

also interested. He paid N84,000, with a promise to pay the balance”.

Disappearance

James said that the last conversation he had with the suspect was on

June 26, 2019, where he was assured that he would receive a call

from the Force headquarters, Abuja, soon, after which he would

get appointment letter. Continuing, he said: “But that was never to

be as he stopped picking my calls. He also packed out of Ayobo

and moved to Mowe, making it difficult for me to see him. On July

30, 2019, I got a call from a lady who said she was calling from

the Force headquarters. She requested for my Force number,

which she said she needed to post me to an oil company. I was still

waiting for the posting when I ran into him at Egbeda”.

Falsehood

During interrogation, the suspect, insisted he was a SPY

Policeman. However, when the Officer in-charge of the unit

was brought before him, he claimed not to know her. During

preliminary investigation, it was discovered that he was

neither a policeman nor a SPY as claimed.

Asked where he got the uniform he was putting on, he

replied, “This uniform (police uniform ) was already sewn

and given to me as a SPY. I was on my way to return it

because they have changed our uniform, when I was

arrested.” It was however discovered that the uniform of SPY

police had long been changed from the one similar to the

conventional police, before the date he mentioned.

When he was asked where he served, he responded, “I

work under Supo Bala Mohammed, as SPY at the Ikeja GRA

Federal Police. He is the Chief Security Officer of Trident

Nigeria Limited. I gave him the money James paid for

recruitment into SPY. But Supo Bala Mohammed is dead. He

died in an accident. I promise to refund the money to

James”, he said. A military camouflage was also recovered

from him. When asked where he got it from, he claimed to

have bought it at Ojuelegba bridge.

The suspect as gathered, would be charged to court.


26—SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019

At 20th

year remembrance of Late Karieren

It was a delightful reception and entertainment galore when the family of Late Mr Francis Karieren

rolled out drums on Sunday, July 28, 2019 to celebrate the 20 th year remembrance of their father.

Their friends, relations and well-wishers came in their numbers to be part of the memorable day.

Photos by Akeem Salau

Valedict

aledictor

ory

y service at

Unique Group of Schools

Pupils of Unique Group of Schools, Magodo

Estate Phase 1, along with their parents and

well wishers took over the upscale

neighborhood when the school held a valedictory

service recently for the ‘Class of 2019’ at the

school premises. It was a memorable as captured

in pictures by Bunmi Azeez.

L-R: Glory Hanson and Mrs Beatrice Karieren,wife

of late Francis Karieren.

L-R: Prof Wale Tomori; Mr Peter Arigbe; Den

Stephen Ejomah and Olorogun Moses Taiga.

L-R: Pastor John Afolabi, guest minister; Dr. Martin

Agwogie, vice chairman, Governing Council,

Unique Group of Schools; Mr. Sonnie Ayere, chairman,

Governing Council; Mrs. Esther Ayere-

Alatise, proprietor/CEO of the School; Mrs. Uche

Ayere; Mr. Edwin Igbiti; chairman of the occasion

and Mr. Peter Sada, Father of the Day

L-R: Rev (Mrs) Magdalene Boyo, Henry Boyo,

Vanguard's columnist and Mr Ewa Henshaw.

L-R: Mr Onome Karieren; Engr. Robert Omoruan

and Pharm. Mrs Monica Osagie.ress, Mrs

kofoworola Adenike Lawani-Onitiri.

L-R: Olori Justina Ajibodu; Mrs. Oriyomi Titilayo

Oluwasanmi, special guest of honour, presenting

certificate to one of the best graduating students,

Oluwasimisola Ajibodu and her mother & director

of the school, Mrs. Tobiloba Ajibodu

L-R: Daniella Jarikre;Winifred Ehizele and Izehi

Semira.

L-R:Osaze Uwagboe; Anne Uwagboe; David

Otohwo; Mildred Otohwo and Mabel George.

Cross section of graduating secodary school pupils.

When

Ekec

echi’s

daugh-

ter er weded-

ded

L-R: Dr Dakuku Peterside, DG NIMASA; Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr.

Babatunde Fowler; the groom, Kelly Onwuchekwa, bride, Chioma Ekechi

and Mrs & Mrs Cy. Ekechi.

Cross section of graduating primary school pupils


SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019 — 27

08116759759

Tunisia belly dancer running f

for

president in September polls

ATunisian belly dancer,

singer has announced

she wants to run in snap

September polls called after the

death of 92-year-old leader Beji

Caid Essebsi.

Nermine Sfar said in online

statements on Tuesday that she

is gathering signatures to formally

submit her candidacy in

the early presidential elections.

"Yes, I am running for president

so that I can expose the criminals

who hide behind fake posts and

values," said Sfar, who has almost

half a million social media followers.

The dancer vowed to lower the

price of bread and ban the hijab

and instead impose the traditional

Tunisian headscarf known

as the safseri if elected to the top

spot.

She also pledged to fine men

who fail to honour marriage promises

and enact a law to give women

two-thirds of inheritance, rather

than the traditonal one-third.

"Tunisia will be better than Italy.

It will become a country of art and

freedom. People will no longer

think about leaving the country,"

she was quoted as saying in local

media.

Presidential hopefuls began

registering their candidacies on

Friday to the North African country's

electoral commission.

The would-be candidates, include

Prime Minister Youssef

Chahed, former President Moncef

Marzouki, Abdel Fattah Mourou,

the vice president of Islamist party

Ennahdha Party, and media magnate

Nabil Karoui.

Last month, an openly gay man

announced his bid for the presidency,

calling for a more inclusive

society in the country where

homosexuality is still outlawed.

Presidential hopefuls have until

9 August to register, with the commission

set to provide a final list of

candidates on 31 August.

The campaigns are scheduled

to run from 2 September to 13

September, with the preliminary

results announced two days after

the polls.

A date for the second round of

presidential elections has not

yet been decided, but the electoral

commission said it would

be held no later than 3 November.

Girls only

Indian man pushes a BMW he received as a birthda

thday y present

into a river because he was angry y it wasn't a Jaguar

Aman in India has pushed a brand new car into

a river as he was upset he gifted a BMW in

stead of a Jaguar for his birthday.

The young man, only known as Akash, from Haryana

in northern India, was given the BMW M3 car by his

parents.

In an act of protest over not getting the vehicle he

wanted, the man ditched the car, but later jumped into

the river and joined drivers to try and save it.

BMWs cost around 3.5 million rupees (£41,400;

$49,000) locally, while Jaguars are more expensive,

costing about five million rupees (£58,000,

$70,000).

Shocking footage shows the car floating away on

the river in the northern Indian state before it gets

stuck on a bank of tall grass.

Akash, believed to be the son of a local landlord

swims in and tries to rescue it, with the help of others.

Police are investigating the incident, local media

report. A police official told IANS the young man

filmed the video himself.

Since the video has gone viral, people have hit out

at the driver online, accusing him of being ungrateful.

One person said: 'Your parents did not teacher you

the concepts of gifts'.

Another wrote: 'Don't know whoever this disappointed

idiot is! He should have sold it and taken care

of thousands of poor kids education! They would have

forever gratefully for his philanthropy! He missed it!'

APolish Mayor has prom

ised a surprise award for

the next couple to deliver

a boy in a village where only girls

have been born for nearly a decade.

County Mayor Rajmun

Frischko, a father of two girls,

told TVN24 Friday that he will

have a nice surprise ready for

those who next have a boy.

During an earlier interview

with the New York Times,

Frischko said that he was 'considering

naming a street' and an

oak tree after the long-awaited

male child.

Authorities in the one-road village

of Miejsce Odrzanskie,

which has around 300 residents,

don't know why there haven't

been any boys born there since

2010.

Head of the local (mostly female)

volunteer fire brigade

Tomasz Golasz told The First

News that it has been going on

for a long time. He said that he

'took a local girl for my wife' and

had two girls.

‘I would like to have a son but

it’s probably unrealistic. My

neighbour also tried and has two

daughters. I don’t think women

give birth to boys here,’ he said.

The villagers are beginning to

worry about filling farming jobs

in the future and women often

pick up for the lack of manpower

in the fields.

The case of the low boy births

has also peaked the interest of

scientists who have offered to

conduct research to investigate

the unique situation, Frischko

said. He also added that there is

no shortage of doctors waiting to

advise the villagers on how to

remedy the situation.

One said a high calcium diet

would ensure a boy baby.

Frischko also mentioned the 'tried

Polish highlander method' of 'keeping

an ax under your marital bed' to

conceive a boy.

Statistics show that more boys

than girls are born in Poland.

In 2017, 207,000 boys were born

compared to 196,000 girls.


28—SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019

Women

participation in

governance should

start from local level

— Fajemirokun

By Morenike Taire and

Ebunoluwa Sessou

Just approaching her mid thirties, Simi Fajemirokun’s political career is already in

timidating. An educationist, entrepreneur and politician, she is a member of the All

Progressives Congress (APC) and was appointed to work on the Presidential Campaign

Council while serving as a member of the Election Planning and Monitoring (EPM)

Directorate under the leadership of Babatunde Fashola.

At the EPM, she coordinated the National Situation Room and the core strategy team that

helped to successfully re-elect President Muhammadu Buhari.

She was also appointed as the Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) APC State Campaign

Council under the leadership of the State Party Chairman Mr. Abdulmalik Usman and the

FCT Minister Mr. Mohammed Bello. She also served as the Director General, Welfare for her Ward

Campaign Council in Gwarimpa.

Prior to her appointment on the Presidential Campaign Council, she ran as an aspirant for the

House of Representatives, representing Abuja North Constituency. Although, she

didn’t win the party ticket, she ran a most inspiring primary election campaign

that served as a game-changer in FCT politics.

She runs an NGO, ‘Read to Succeed Africa’, aimed at changing the face of

Education in Nigeria especially to improve public primary education. She

runs a literacy and entrepreneurial programme by preparing young children

for the workforce. In this interview, she bares her mind on the poor education

system in Nigeria and jungle politics.

You were recently invited to the

University of Lagos to speak to

the youngsters; what was it

about?

It was basically to share my experience

as a young woman and

what I have been through and

how I have been able to overcome

some of the obstacles and barriers.

What were those barriers?

Moving back ten years ago

from the UK was probably the

first time that I remembered that

I was a woman. I had worked for

fourteen years before that. I graduated

in 2005 and being in the

workforce was just results and

results, and that is how you got

ahead. But moving down to Nigeria,

I discovered if you are trying

to get things done, somebody

will remind you that you are a

woman. So, for the first time in

my life, gender was a big thing.

Even in my family, children were

not raised differently. We were

taught how to get jobs done and

we were raised by values. So,

fighting that stereotype was more

of a mental fight and making

sure that you do not succumb to

what other people think you

should be doing. When you believe

in your dreams, you should

go ahead. It is very hard when

people are wondering why you

should have a seat at the table.

So, it was that constant battle, reminding

myself of my purpose

and understanding that people

have done it before me, therefore,

I also need to do it for those behind

me.

What are your concerns about

the Educational curriculum?

I think the curriculum itself

needs to be upgraded. The curriculum

is not a curriculum for

the future of work; even the current

workplace we are living in.

It is scary to know that we are

turning out a workforce that is not

equipped with the skills that are

needed in the knowledge economy

and digital economy. Ten years

ago, some of the jobs that exist

now were not there and it is going

to accelerate in that direction. With

everything being automated with

technology and going back to our

schools, the lack of ability to prepare

students for the workplace is

a big thing. It is not enough to go

to school or getting a degree or

certificate but to prepare students

for the world of work. So, it goes

beyond one edition of a book to

another.

So then, how do you come in?

Is it through advocacy....?

We have three approaches. Advocacy

which focuses on public

schools. There is lack of awareness

of the state of public schools. I did

not know how bad it was until l

adopted the first school. The public

education system has been left

for the poor. No one

is really interested in

fixing the problem.

They do not even

know how bad it is.

Imagine a primary 6

pupil who does not

know how to read or

write. The problem

with education is

that issues that come

up are not immediate.

It takes like seven

years to realise

that they are problems.

It is not like

health where you see

malaria as malaria,

polio as polio. There

is no sense of urgency

in fixing education

because the

problem only comes

up when you find a

university graduate

who does not know

how to write a letter

without spelling errors

and good research.

Most of the

public

schools

are not

habitable. Our public Education

system shows that we do not value

Education at all.

When we introduced our advocacy

to the presidency, it was a

welcome initiative. We have engaged

people who have created

alternative ways. We are introducing

new career pathways that can

make people to be valuable to

their communities without necessarily

being a doctor or engineer.

We are

introducing new

career pathways

that can make

people to be

valuable to their

communities

without

necessarily

being a doctor or

engineer.

Your schooling was not in Nigeria

and likewise some of the

children of Nigerian leaders. How

do you start the conversation?

How do you get them to understand

the realities on ground?

I do not think there is one answer

to that but I will clearly say

that, that was part of the reason I

joined partisan

politics. Because,

it was

very difficult

running advocacy

programmes

to

people who did

not care. Right

now, there is a

dichotomy.

People in government

do not

care but I believe

with constant

engagement,

we can

get them on

board. I was

frustrated at

first because it

was a constant

vicious cycle.

There are over

24,000 public

p r i m a r y

schools not including

secondary

schools.

*Simi Fajemirokun

*Simi Fajemirokun

Politics is one platform that provides

you the opportunity to do

the greatest things for the people

and as much as we portray it

to be devilish and self centered,

it should not be the future. We are

opportune as citizens who care

about this country to design this

future that we want.

What was your first assignment

in the public domain like?

My first experience was running

a literacy programme in an

orphan home. I believe in public

service by private citizens and

instead of focusing on what government

should do and less attention

on what we can do, we

can equally make change and

impact. I am interested in ensuring

that reading culture is imbibed

in our children. Interestingly,

when I started, we discovered

that 1 out of 3 pupils in primary

six cannot read.

The case was different during

my primary six days. I was reading

my teacher’s books in the 90s

and I was wondering how education

got degenerated to this

point where primary six pupils

could not read a book. I was angry.

There is nothing as heartbreaking

as the fact that we have

continued to recycle poverty and

introduce children to a vicious cycle

of poverty. When children

wear their uniform to prepare for

school, something at the back of

their mind tells them that they are

being prepared for the future but

it is a lie. And we have failed not

just one generation. It is an appalling

situation but I remain an

incurable optimist that things can

change. Teacher absenteeism was

the norm and we tried to change

the narrative by providing adequate

power supply. We paid

their electricity bills and provided

a generating set. We eliminated

teacher absenteeism and ensured

that children attend their

morning assembly. After investigation

was carried out on why

children do not come to morning

assembly, we then bought a

school drum band for the school.

These are little things that I contributed

to the school down my

street. When we also find out that

girls were missing in the school,

we tried to sort out what the problem

was. When people are talking

about girl-child equality,

sometimes, fixing the toilet goes

a long way. So, it will be convenient

for them to come to school.

Some of these girls would not

want to come to school because

they are having their menstruation.

Some of them miss examination

because there is no good

toilet facility.

So, how does that interface

with your political journey?

Politics for me is service. I do not

see it as a tug of war. I think, it is

a transition. Politics is determining

who gets what, when, where

and how. And we all do that in our

families so, it is first in our family

before we step out of our house.

continues on page 29


SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019—29

Women participation in governance

should start from local level

Continues from Page 28

It was a natural transition for me

to enter into the political space

and I hope to do much more in the

Education sector both from the

policy perspective and from the

inside. Education should be valued;

it should not be on nepotistic

basis. So, getting into politics,

you can whisper into the ears of

the politicians who are recruiting

the teachers and make them employ

the right people. I am happy

about the impact we have been

making in the space.

*Simi Fajemirokun

Isn’t it part of

making things

happen by pushing

policies;

have you done

much of that?

You have to

have the platform

to do that. Right

now, I ran for office

and I did not

win because we

did not have legitimate

primaries. I

also served at the

presidency level

for the campaign

council, so, it is

more of politicking

at my local

government level

and my ward

where I have control

via my counselor

and guiding them with the

decision they make. I am not in

the position to make a national

policy but I can push for it using

my personal networks.

What have you learned since

you joined politics?

I had a good experience. Of

course, the injustice of not having

a primary election occurred after

spending that money. I had the

pain and a sense of injustice but I

will not throw away the baby with

the bath water. My experience

with politics is that people are

... in politics,

you do not see

lots of women.

The only place

we see women

is either selling

the food or

party clothes,

ankara.

ready for change. I

do not sound like

a typical politician

but I have

been blessed

to have people

that supported

me

during my

campaign.

They actually

sought my

advice and

put me

on committees

where

they think,

I can add

value.

When I

got into

politics, everyone

was talking

about the fact that I

am a woman and

therefore ‘they will

not take you seriously

‘ but that

has not been my

experience. So, I

am very hopeful for this country.

I think, half of the battle is showing

up. People are just jaded, they

treat politics with so much disdain

that people do not what to

get involved. But, when I got involved,

I discovered that half of

the battle is showing up. When it

comes to gender in politics, you

do not see lots of women. The only

place we see women is either

selling the food or party clothes,

ankara. They are in a strategic

political space. And at the end,

you could look at it from outside

and lament that there is gender

inequality. When I got to the political

room especially APC, nobody

will tell me to shut up, and I

have not been reminded that I am

a woman; I cannot do this or that.

Rather, I have been given the platform

to get

things done. I

think, if more

women show up.

I know, it is a

very scary experience

but if

more women

show up, we will

have a more diverse

and inclusive

political

class that would

make better decisions

for the

citizenry and for

Nigeria at large.

The leaders

of APC nominated

43 ministers

and only 7

women were included,

are you

saying that party

is gender sensitive?

I did not say, the party is gender

sensitive. I said, in my experience

working with the party, I

did not feel excluded on the basis

of gender. So for me, politics

is local. I am talking from ward

and state level. When I got involved

in politics, I found out that

if there is ward executives, 2 of

the members will be women

leader and welfare. This is crazy

but we have left the local politics

and feel that the same people that

make up the majority at the ward

level, local government level and

the state level, and somehow,

when we get to federal, we are supposed

to have gender parity. When

it comes to politics, we need to rewind

and look closely at the local

level because if it changed at the

local level, it is inevitable that we

find changes at the Federal. We see

when it gets to the Federal because

that is obvious.

I would say that the president

tried by including seven women

because at the ward level, you will

have one. So, it is better to get involved

in politics at a very granular

local level because once we

start changing there, then, it will

inevitably change at the top. But,

we leave the local level and all of

these things are in the hands of

men.

What do you think is responsible

for the reaction of the women?

By nature, we care about the

things that make the headlines.

The local news is not going to

make the headlines. So, by virtue

of that, awareness at the local level

is inevitable. When it comes to

election at the local level, the turnout

is always appalling and yet this

is the government that is closer to

the people. There are more turnouts

for the presidential election

that is more detached from the

people. And with the way we vote,

you can tell what our priorities are

worth. There should be less voter

turnout for the presidency. It is ridiculous.

I think, our idea of democracy

is worst. President Buhari

does not have influence over

the immediate market road of a

bread seller in your community

whether it is built or not but you

will come out for his election

whether you hate or love him. But,

the one that has direct jurisdiction

over your daily affair, you prefer

to stay indoors during election.

For me, it is something that I think,

we need re-orientation on. The

civil society groups, media are not

also helping issues in making deliberate

efforts to pass the appropriate

message, so we need to

switch it on its head and begin to

reflect on what is relevant to us in

each local government, state and

then the federal government.

The Chief Executive Officer,

Rave TV, Agatha Amata has

disclosed that her passion and joy

is seeing the youth discover

themselves and be more

productive in the country.

Disclosing this at Rave TV’s

unveiling of a new logo to

commemorate her 5th

anniversary on national digital

terrestrial television, Agatha said

her passion for the youth has

endeared her to work more with

young people.

She noted that Rave TV, just like

inside out, is a bigger platform

for youths and people who want

to express themselves to the

world.

“Many of the people working

with me are very young talented

people who are working for the

first time and that is the essence

of Rave tv because they have

Let’s bring it closer home.

There is an urgent call for stakeholders

to attend to the problems

faced by workers and the company

in general especially as it

concerns traffic gridlock, bad

roads, invasion of trucks among

others in the Apapa axis. Nobody

is paying attention. Is this

a Local government issue?

Let me start by first of all apologizing

to the management of

Vanguard. I think that businesses

should not generate losses because

of infrastructure that is supposed

to have been put in place.

That is investment for industries

to thrive. I am a believer in big

business small government. But,

I do want to highlight that these

problems did not start today. We

have mismanaged our resources.

Apapa should not be where it is,

it has been degenerating since

1960 unabated and it is going to

take more than a government and

a four year cycle to fix the problem.

I am not into Maritime but I

do know that the system and processes

that allow for decisions to

be made quickly are in place. The

needs for procurement, contracting

laws are processes that need

to be considered.

For a country that needs lots of

infrastructure, the process of getting

backlog of payment for contracts

signed is to be considered.

In the course of involvement in

politics, I have seen that there are

measures that make it impossible

for the government to move

at the expected pace.

Generally all over the world,

government is not the most efficient,

it is the private sector. But

I know that government has priorities

for infrastructure and I am

optimistic that people will begin

to see the changes, I just hope

that the problem will be solved.

As long as it is the priority, I believe,

we will begin to see changes.

I will urge to continue the job

you are doing because it is the

media that is capable of holding

any government of the day accountable.

You do not need to be

bullied. Sometimes, someone

who believes in jungle politics or

sycophancy politics might be responsible

for what is happening

in Apapa. With our democracy

that is maturing and the level of

representation and conversation

in the country, you will begin to

see change.

The name Fajemirokun is a

household name, maybe it paid

off?

My family is not known to be

politicians. It was not really an

advantage. It was known in a business

world. Therefore, anything I

have acquired in the polity has

been on merit. I think anyone that

is coming out leverages on his or

her strength. And that has been my

life. I am an advocate of result,

making impact, quality of work

delivered, people you have empowered

and what people are saying

around you. Keep working;

never think nobody is noticing,

someday, your reward will come.

I pray that we begin to raise servant

leaders who are there to

serve. We need to live the greatest

that this country possesses by

virtue of our resources, human

population, and culture among

others.

Do you think marriage will not

be a barrier for you in politics?

I do not think so. I studied politics

and international relations

and I studied Nigerian politics

while I was abroad. I would advise

that we should begin to treat

politics as a place where professionals

can go. The idea that people

see politics as a place for mediocrity

is irritating. The idea that

any one person can join politics

should be erased. There should be

prerequisites for joining politics.

It should be a case of track record.

Someone once told me, “what are

you doing here, this place is for

animals, this place is for dogs”,

and I am wondering how we

would change the narrative. We

should not be stuck in the past.

We should believe that, it can

change, it will change, and it is

changing.

My passion and joy is seeing the youth discover

themselves - Agatha Amata

......as RAVE TV unveils new logo

By Naomi Uzor been able to discover

themselves. With the re-launch

and unveiling of its new logo

that is youthful, approachable,

timeless and fit for the 21st

century audience to leave a top

of the mind Rave experience

amongst our viewers

online and offline”

, she stated.

She disclosed

that Rave TV

will be repositioning

her

stand in the

d i g i t a l

broadcast

space as

Nigeria’s first

so exciting,

interactive

youth

focused

television

with

the

Agatha Amata

re-launch and unveiling of its

new logo.

According to her, Nigerians

want to air their views and Rave

TV has a lot of programs that

give room for that.

“In the twenty years plus that I

hosted Inside out, we give

people opportunity to air their

views and think right and they

have a voice that can be heard.

We have been able to provide

that space for them to

experiment and after five

years, it’s going to be bigger

and better”, she stated.

“Rave TV prides herself on

her interactive and engaging

programming time belts of

participatory live and

recorded TV shows and her

ever busy social media

network which is

available on Gotv

113, Mytv Africa,

Free Tv745 and

live on the Rave

TV mobile

app” she said.


30—SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, , 2019

bunmsof@yahoo.co.uk

Fair-Weather Friends

You Can Do Without

Maggie, a contented mother of three

ran into an old classmate three

years ago, and her life has never been

the same. “I went to the same

polytechnic with Nelly,” she recalled

“and we were the best of friends. Shortly

after college, she travelled abroad and I

got married to Supo, a university

lecturer. Nelly had always been ‘Miss I-

Be-Lady.’ Even when we were at school,

she owned the smartest bags, designer

clothes and had bizarre hair extensions.

It was a relief to see the back of her as I

was tired of her cast-offs, which weren’t

bad. For years after college, I heard

nothing of her until that fateful day.

“I was with a group of friends enjoying

a house-warming party when she turned

up.

I saw her first and could feel the old

familiar resentment beginning to grip

You can gauge the type of husband you’ll get by observing his mum!

Mothers-in-law have been the butt of cruel

jokes for such a long time that we seem to forget

that there are nice mothers-in-law in this part of

the world. The belief is that, if your mum-in-law

took one look at you and wrinkled up her nose

with disapproval, you had better forget the

marriage. It seems it is the husband’s mother

that is more dreaded. Whereas, the wife’s mother

tries as much as possible to keep the marriage

going, the husband’s mother criticizes

everything her daughter-in-law does, from her

cooking, to the way she raises her children,

anything to show she knows her son better than

any woman he might bring home or marry.

According to an analyst, Susan Jacoby, how

your husband behaves depends to a large extent,

on the degree of manipulation by his mother in

his adolescence. So, what type of mama’s boy

are you currently living with? To make you assess

your man, here are compartments into which

the expert put most men.

The adored Prince:

Often, he is quite adorable too. We all know

him, the man who was and is, regardless of

whether his mother is dead or alive, the most

loveable boy in the world. These princes are—

there is just no getting around it—spoilt. In

matters great and small, they feel entitled to

feminine adoration and pampering. It will never

occur to a prince that he ought to pick up his

own clothes at the dry cleaner’s. Instead, he’ll

plaintively moan: “Listen, sweet, my grey suit

seems to have disappeared,” even though, he

knows fully well that his wife dropped off the suit

at the cleaner’s on her way to work and that she

made a point of giving him a ticket. He demands

a woman’s full attention whenever he is ready

for a heart-to-heart talk about anything that’s

bothering him and pouts if he doesn’t get it.

However, adored princes are preferred to most

other kinds of men. Their mothers may have

spoilt them, but they also gave them the kind of

attention that turn little boys into

demonstrative men. Most princes are coddlers.

Princes are not only physically affectionate,

most are verbally demonstrative as well.

Sometimes, a prince will be so eager to talk that

he tells a woman things she doesn’t really want

to know. “My husband actually thinks I’m

interested in the type of girls he dates at school,”

says Rita, a 30-year-old legal practitioner. “But

there is a good side to all of this,” she adds. “He

never tires for instance, of describing how he

felt when our baby was born and I’m never tired

of hearing the story. He cries and I cry.” The

negative side of the loquacious prince is

that, he isn’t as good at listening as he is at

talking.

The hostile Controller:

While the adored prince experiences his

mother’s devotion and love, the controller

is usually a man whose childhood

experience made him feel smothered

rather than cherished. Because, he fears

and exaggerates the power of women, he

treats all relationships as a struggle for

control. His attempts to dominate a lover

or wife are commonly masked by a posture

of concerned ‘this-is-for-your-own-good’

and protectiveness. Julie, a 24-year-old

law student was living with a man whose

mother controlled his life by constantly

comparing him to a more academically

talented younger brother—all the while

assuring him that she wouldn’t bother to

point out his many shortcomings if she

didn’t love him so much and believe in his

“potential.”

Competing with aggressive men:

The lover who was finishing at the Law

School just as Julie was starting, began

suggesting that she would have troubled

competing with the more aggressive men

in the class. He set up a rigid, seven-daysa

week study plan requiring her to work

not when she was at her best—late in the

evening—but 7.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. One

day, when she wanted to take a break by

visiting an old friend on a Saturday

afternoon, her lover physically stopped

her from leaving their flat. But when she

wanted to study at midnight before an

exam, he took her books away. She moved

out of their flat the next day. “I can’t

believe I put up with that as long as I did,”

she says, “but he had pretty much

convinced me that the only way I could

succeed was on his terms.”

The Clinger:

This is the kind of man who needs

constant reassurance of a woman’s love

(although, he never really believes them)

who tries to hang on to a woman long after

she has made it clear the relationship was

no longer going any where. ‘The clinger

almost invariably seldom has the love of

his mother and seeks love elsewhere,’ says

a clinger whose parents regarded him

indifferently because he wasn’t

academically brilliant.

my stomach as I took in her glittering

jewellery, heavy lace dress and designer

sunglasses. She flashed me her plastic

smile as soon as she saw me, and strutted

over in her expensive shoes. “Look at

you,” she shrieked, “You look wonderful,”

I felt myself shrivel. She was obviously

lying—I seldom look well when Nelly was

around. “It’s so nice to see you after all

these years,” “I shrieked with an

enthusiasm I didn’t feel. I had on, my

sensibly priced baby lace dress, the price

of which was a fraction of her glittering

one. I reluctantly introduced her to Supo,

as I watched him size her up, an amused

look on his face.

“I’m married too,’ she said, flashing her

expensive rings. They’d just relocated

from Britain and have a house at VGC. She

sat briefly with us and invited

me to pop in for dinner the

following day with another

classmate. ‘Your friend is a

bit flash isn’t she?’ Supo

sniffed after she left, ‘and her

strong perfume could double

as an insecticide?!’ I was a bit

worried about the dinner date

I’d just accepted —most of

my clothes were comfortable

but unfashionable. Those

were all I could afford raising

three boisterous children.

But I raided my younger

sister’s wardrobe and came

up with a show- stopping

dress in black chiffon,

beautifully beaded with

delicate red crystals. A more

appropriate garb for Nelly’s

type of bash.

“Her house looked like

something out of good

housekeeping, and Rose,

another classmate, looked

like she’s never done any

housework in her life. The

dinner was good—thanks to

her expensive cook. And so

was the wine. I must have

been smashed when I agreed

to be part of guests on her

table at her niece’s wedding.

I didn’t remember agreeing

to such rubbish until the set

of clothing was sent through

the driver, of course with a

N45,000 bill. Where would I

get such money from? I

didn’t have any savings but

my sister, bless her, offered

to give me the money with the

understanding that she took

possession of the items after

the wedding. I was really

grateful to her.

“So I joined her impressive

‘table’ at the wedding and

only five of us had on the

dress. But I looked good and

felt confident. Nelly wasn’t so

special after all, I kidded

myself. Her money just made

her seem like she was. I could

“Her house looked

like something out

of good

housekeeping, and

Rose, another

classmate, looked

like she’s never

done any

housework in her

life

look like her. All I had to do

was get myself some dough—I

mean—who’s a rich man but a

poor man with money?

Why should I always feel like

the ‘poor cousin’? Why

couldn’t I have a slice of Nelly’s

glamorous life? She was

surprised to see how I turned

out at the wedding—impressed

even.

“A couple of months later,

Nelly sent her driver with

another set of aso-ebi. One of

‘our’ group of five was having a

house-warming luncheon and

we would wear the clothes to

honour her. The bill? Just

N20,000.00. I wasn’t in when

the driver called and Supo sent

him back without collecting

the fabric. He told the driver

to tell Nelly his wife never

indulges in aso-ebi. I was

relieved when he told me but

felt a bit embarrassed. What

would the ‘group’ think of me?

“I called Nelly to apologise

and she said frostily that I

shouldn’t ‘stress’ myself about

it—that she’d already passed

the fabric to another friend.

Needless to say I didn’t go to

the party and didn’t hear from

Nelly for a long while. The next

time I saw her was at another

party in company of her

group. She simply looked

through me and I happily

ignored her.

“I had on one of my sensible

boubous and went to sit with a

genuine friend. Friends who

love me for who I am not for

the amount of debt I could get

into trying to be like the

Jonesses. Now that I can’t

afford to go out with Nelly’s

group of friends, she’d dropped

me like a hot coal. Why I’d

wanted to impress a shallow

person like her beats me still.

Supo was right—she’s just

shallow and flash.

“I have love and security—

the riches my marriage has

brought me over the years. I

don’t need expensive goods

and massive amount of debts

to keep contented... .”


Vanguard, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2019—31

Yetunde Arebi

Twitter: @yetundearebi

yetty5050@yahoo.co.uk

08054700825

Hi!

Of all the women who used to come

to help around the house, Mummy

Sarah was most fascinating. She

always had strange, interesting stories

to tell, especially about herself. One

of her eyes appeared slightly bigger

than the other and she would always

tell you that there was a story to it as

she was not born that way. One of her

great points was willingness to counsel

anyone who cared to listen, especially

young, starry eyed girls who assume

they know it all. An opportunity to

share her story with me availed itself

recently when Oworonshoki came

under the fire of cult activities again.

The guys were not our major concern

but the girls who followed them. I find

her story so informative and a good

counselling piece for adolescent girls.

Please sit back and relax as you enjoy

this two part story that forced a few

tears out from my eyes. Indeed, if you

have not experienced a war, you

cannot recount what it feels like.

Happy reading!

I was 15 when I first left home. I was

in JSS3. My mother had scolded me

over some money she found in my

possession. She threatened that I will

not sleep in the house if I did not

reveal where I’d gotten the money

from. So, I ran out of the house and

stood at the gate. Many neighbours

saw me there and tried to persuade

me to surrender to my mother, but I

refused. I knew the beating will be

much that night. Shortly after dark, I

took off and went to my boyfriend’s

place.

My boyfriend was a Mechanic at a

nearby workshop which he shared with a

couple of others. As I was still in my school

uniform that day, I was able to go to school

the following morning. That evening, my

boyfriend came home to inform me of the

development in our house. Someone had

revealed to my parents that I was dating

him and suggested that they should hold

him responsible for my whereabouts. So,

he had been beaten and threatened with

arrest by the police. However, he’d refused

to tell them I was with him. I was happy

that he’d held out against them because I

suddenly realised how much I had longed

for an opportunity to leave home. I was

tired of my parents’ nagging and

monitoring, scolding and beating. I

wanted my freedom. Though it had come

suddenly, unplanned, I wanted to keep it.

It meant that I could do whatever I liked

at anytime I chose to.

I don’t think I was in love with my

boyfriend. Maybe I liked him. But it was

more like it was convenient for me. He

was close to the house, so I could sneak in

and out of his shop unnoticed. He had

money and gave me N200 every day, his

contribution to my transport fare and

feeding at school. My parents gave me

N300. His money meant that I had a little

extra to indulge in buying sweets, biscuits,

snacks and even make up and underwear.

I could not buy clothes as my mother

would see them and raise hell. In exchange

for his gestures, I would allow him to sleep

with me. Becoming pregnant was not a

big deal as it was almost a normal

situation in our community. In fact, it was

a sort of elevation if the guy responsible

accepted it and decided to take care of

you. You would therefore automatically

become a big girl among your mates.

Going further than Secondary School

education was not a big deal.

I was doing well academically before I

started moving with a group of weird

friends, current in every aspect of our

own foolish world. Typical of women,

my mother did not like the

development and would abuse and

embarrass me even in the presence of

visitors and relatives. I began

detesting her attitude and with time,

she as well. I saw her as a kind of

blockade to my desires. She was just

too harsh, I felt after all, the other girls

too had mothers and they didn’t molest

them the way mine always did. So, I

Scared for

a lifetime

If she caught

sight of me, my

mother would

tell the whole

school what had

happened just to

disgrace me

was happy to leave home finally. I

thought I could have my freedom, live

with my boyfriend and go to school

from there. But on the second day, things

took another dimension when my mother

paid a visit to the school. When I spotted

her, I knew that trouble was about to blow.

If she caught sight of me, my mother

would tell the whole school what had

happened just to disgrace me. I quickly

found my way out of the class and hid

somewhere. My friends would handle her.

For some reasons however, my mother

decided not to inform the school authority

about my activities, she only wanted to

catch me and take me home. But I was

young and rebellious and blinded by my

hate and quest for freedom that I did not

see that she meant well for me. She left a

message for me though. I should catch up with

her at her shop after school hours. Of course,

I could not be bothered.

Late the following evening, which was

my fourth night outside, policemen,

accompanied by my parents

barged into our room. We

were both arrested and within

a few minutes, he’d been

beaten up so badly I was

afraid for his life. I started

shouting at everyone

especially my parents,

condemning their actions and

even revealing some family

secrets to the police. He was

charged with abduction,

kidnapping, child

molestation and all sorts and

kept in the cell while I was

released to my parents. My

father insisted he only wanted

him punished and forced to

sign an undertaking that he

would stay away from me.

Anyway, that was my first

experience at running off with

a man.

To everyone’s surprise, I still

passed my JSS3 exams and

moved to the Senior

Secondary School. I was now

wilder than before. As long as

I could buy a bottle of soft

drink, sweets, biscuits, puffpuff

and other snacks, I was

comfortable. The men I dated

were my means to getting

them. The money my parents

gave me was never enough

for the things I wanted and

by the time I was in SSS2, I

finally dropped out of school.

How? Going to school was just

like one of the chores forced

on me by my parents. It had

no real meaning to me. I’d

never aspired to go to a

higher institution. All I

knew I wanted out of life

was freedom to do as I

pleased, make some money

of my own and settle down

with a man and life goes

on. The man that I finally

gave up everything for was

a primary school teacher in

the same compound as my

school. It began with him

asking me to assist him

mark his pupils’ answer

sheets or record their marks. He would

make complements about my looks and

sometimes give me things. Many of my

friends knew we were close and called him

my boyfriend but we were not having sex at

that time. We were just kissing and

romancing.

In our second term. he was transferred to

a rural part of the state and promised to

keep in touch. We had a go between, so he

wrote me letters and sent some money to

me, insisting he loved and missed me. Then

one day, the man told me he wanted to know

when I would come and visit him. I found

myself promising to do so whenever the man

could come for me. Thus it was arranged

that I would be taken to Mr. Kazeem on the

next visit. On the scheduled date, I just left

for school as usual in the morning, but I

went to the appointed bus stop to wait for

my escort. Thus, I found myself in a small

village somewhere in the outskirt of

Aiyetoro. I was happy that no one would at

least know me here. That day, Mr. Kazeem

and I consummated our relationship. He

gave me enough money for my

transportation fare back home and more to

keep. I was ecstatic about my adventure.

I got home very late that night. My parents

were already at home. I was given a

thorough beating because they did not

believe my story about having gone on an

excursion with my school mates. Anyway,

over the next few weeks, I made two more

visits before I finally decided to run away

from home once again. I was very naive, but

I thought I was wise and experienced. Life

seemed very simple and easy at Mr.

Kazeem’s end. With him, I could have a

home where I could do as I pleased. I began

to visualise my life of independence from

my nagging and wicked parents. To

complement Mr. Kareem’s income as a wife,

I could start a petty trade and we would

have money to do everything we wanted. I

would not have to share a room with five

other siblings and my life would be perfect.

So, on my third visit to Mr, Kazeem, I

refused to go home again. He was overjoyed.

I didn’t know that I was digging the

foundation of a life I would later regret for

the rest of my life. If only I had known that

things could never always be as rosy as it

seemed. If only I had listened to my parents

and not courted the company of friends they

warned me against. If only I had even

endured their nagging and finished my

secondary school education, my life would

be different now. The ‘ifs’ are so many but

unfortunately, I cannot turn back the hands

of the clock.

Mr. Kazeem or Fola as I soon began

calling him turned out to be a crazy,

uncaring, erratic, wicked man. He would

trip off at will and God save you if you

don’t leave the house for him. He could

kill if left unchecked. I arrived Mr.

Kazeem’s house with a few clothes and

underwear, declaring my undying love for

him. He promised to take care of me and

ensure that I did not regret my action. He

told me he would assist me in getting a

job and earn some money of my own. With

time, we could start a family of our own

and whenever I got pregnant, we would

then go to my parents to plead for their

forgiveness and blessings, because by

then, they would not be able to do anything

again about our relationship. I believed

everything he said and promptly

settled down to live like a married

woman. I was almost 17 years then.

Soon, Fola would leave home in the

morning and leave some money for

our feeding. Sometimes, 100 or 150

which he would expect should last us

about three or four days. If I

complained that it was not enough, he

would ask me to manage and that he

would find me some more in a few days.

But he would not. The story was

always the same. He had no money.

He did not earn much as a primary

school teacher and could not go to steal

to please me, he insisted. I would then

wonder where he used to get all the

money he was always sending to me.

Hmmm! If you want to know how this

second ‘marriage’ ended, please keep

a date with me next Saturday. Do have

a wonderful weekend!!


32—SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST17, 2019

Tiara discovered she suffered from a silent but serious

sexual dysfunction quite accidentally. When she was

a teenager, she noticed that it was painful to insert a tampon.

Even her first gynaecological examination ended abruptly

because it was so painful and embarrassing.

She probably would have ignored the problem until she

attempted, unsuccessfully, to engage in sexual intercourse.

Even when she was ready to start a family, sexual

intercourse remained excruciatingly painful.

Tiara knew something was wrong and was compelled to

investigate why sex was so painful for her. It was then she

found out that she had Vaginismus. Tiara was referred her

to a therapist who prescribed treatment.

Vaginismus occurs as a conditioned muscle reflex in the

lower pelvic muscle, which clamps shut, making penetration

during sex either extremely painful or in many cases,

virtually impossible. The vaginal muscles go into spasm,

usually in response to the vagina or vulva being touched

before sexual intercourse. It can also happen if sexual

intercourse is attempted, or during a gynaecological

examination.

Tiara explained that some women cannot use tampons

when they have a period. They undergo distress and

relationship problems and also have problems when it

comes to starting a family. While they are able to achieve

normal sexual responses, as soon as sexual intercourse is

suggested or attempted, the vagina tightens to prevent

penetration.

That is the way vaginismus can disrupt or completely stop

a woman’s sex life and make routine gynaecological and

pelvic examinations difficult or impossible. In some cases,

a woman may need an anaesthetic before a doctor can

perform a gynaecological examination.

The involuntary spasms in a female’s pelvic floor muscles

can make activities such as inserting tampons difficult or

impossible. But it isn’t only a woman that suffers effects of

vaginismus. The spasms can interrupt penetrative sex or

make it uncomfortable for either or both partners.

This dysfunction is known to be responsible for another

abnormality known as Penis captivus—which presents as a

man and woman being “locked” together through their

genitals during sexual intercourse.

Penis captivus is a rare condition

that causes the vagina to contract

with enough force to latch onto the

penis, making it difficult for the

partners to separate.

Couples have been known to be

stuck together for hours and even

require surgery because their

genitals could not disunite as a

result. There have been very few

credible reports of penis captivus but

doctors confirm that it does happen.

During arousal, the penis fills with

blood, becoming erect in

preparation for sexual intercourse.

For women, the walls of the vagina

relax and the vulva lubricates in

preparation for sexual penetration.

The vaginal walls are made up of

muscular tissue, which expands and

contracts at different times during

sex, such as during an orgasm.

These contractions can be very

strong, and they are sometimes

stronger than usual.

Added stress can lead to more

muscular tension, which can make

the phenomenon last longer.

According to medical advice, it is

usually advised that not to try to

force the stuck couple to separate

as doing so can hurt one or both

partners. It is also important not to

try to open the vagina or pry the

penis out manually. Staying calm

and allowing the muscles in both

bodies to relax can help resolve the

issue as soon as possible without

complication.

Medical literature describes

vaginismus as a psychological

problem that shows itself in a

physical way and is fairly common

among women in the late teens to

30s. Symptoms can range from a

slight burning sensation during sex

to severe, painful contractions that

close the vagina completely. It is

possible that such an extreme

contraction could happen during

penetrative intercourse and the

penis may become momentarily

stuck in the vagina.

Experts explain that the causes of

vaginismus vary from physical,

emotional, or psychological factors, or

a combination of all three.

For some people,

vaginismus stems from an

emotional or psychological

response to the insertion of

anything into the vagina,

whether or not the context

is sexual.

Treatment for vaginismus

can therefore be

complicated and some

options involve using tools

such as vaginal dilators.

With the help of a physical

therapist who specializes in

the pelvic floor muscles,

success is more likely. They

can also help a person

uncover any psychological

barriers.

Tiara eventually had to go

to a urologist and then saw

a psychologist. She explained that

some women find that they cannot use

tampons when they have a period.

“They undergo distress and

relationship problems and also have

problems when it comes to starting a

family. While they are able to achieve

•Penis captivus is rare and temporary...

When a couple

suffers ‘genital

lock’

normal sexual responses, as soon

as sexual intercourse is suggested

or attempted, the vagina tightens

to prevent penetration.

This is the way

vaginismus can

But while its

severity varies

from woman to

woman, it is often

a primary cause of

the breakdown of

some marriages as

a result of the

stress of the

inability to have

sex

disrupt or

completely stop a

woman’s sex life

and make routine

gynaecological

and pelvic

examinations

difficult or

impossible. In

some cases, a

woman may need

an anaesthetic

before a doctor can

perform such an

examination.

The condition is

not rare and it’s

likely that many

women will

experience it at

some time in their

life, even if they have had a

previous sexual history of

enjoyable and painless sex. But

while its severity varies from

woman to woman, it is often a

primary cause of the breakdown of

some marriages as a result of the

stress of the inability to have sex.

By reasoning, no woman opts for

vaginismus to happen to her; it is largely

a learned reflex reaction. It is like the eye

shutting when an object comes towards it.

In a way, vaginismus can be described as

a reflex reaction designed to protect the

woman’s body from pain.

Such woman expects pain to come with

penetration and so her mind automatically

sends a signal to her pectoral muscles to

clamp shut, thus making penetration either

impossible or very painful. This

conditioned reflex creates a vicious circle.

It is a misconception that a woman with

the condition does not want to have sex

even when she desperately does. The

contributory factors may be psychological

or physiological and the treatment

required will usually depend on the

specific causative factor.

Factors such as sexual abuse, strict

religious upbringing, being taught that sex

is dirty or wrong or simply the fear of pain

associated with vaginal penetration, and

in particular, loss of virginity are some of

the reported reasons behind vaginismus.

It is a very personal condition and so

each case is looked at individually. Women

who suffer from vaginismus do not realise

they have it until they try to insert a

tampon or attempt penetrative sex for the

very first time and so it may come as quite

a shock. The condition is treatable and

gynaecologists say it will not get worse or

more serious if left untreated but it could

be a real nuisance.

It can often be very confusing to discover

you have vaginismus especially as you

have been led to believe that sex is

something that is supposed to come

naturally. It is even more confusing when

you do not know why you have the

condition.

The process of cure is usually a long one

that requires patience, will power and

determination. However, it is important to

know that in 99 percent of cases, it can be

successfully treated. To be taken into

account are the emotional problems such

as low self esteem, insecurities and often

even depression.


SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019—33

Main sitting room of the Onwugbuta’s home in

ruins following in-laws invasion and vandalism

Entrance to the house, vandalised

Dr. Onwugbuta, the late wife and their two kids before

death of his wife after her third child delivery

Man loses wife

to quack birth

attendant, in-laws

destroy home

By Egufe Yafugborhi

After suffering partial stroke from the

sudden death of his wife following

delivery of her third child in the hands of

a quack birth attendant, Dr. Jonathan

Onwugbuta, lecturer at the School of Health

Technology, Port Harcourt, returned home

from the hospital to face police harassment

and massive destruction of his home by

vengeful in-laws, incited by trumped up

Facebook allegations.

The tragic death of Mrs Dorothy Ole

Onwugbuta on 20th January 2019 a week

after childbirth was so unbearable to her

husband, Dr. Jonathan Onwugbuta, that he

collapsed, fell into coma in hospital for over a

week, with the three children left behind for

him sheltered in his father-in-law’s home at

Rumueme, Obio Akpor Local Government

Area, Rivers state.

While he was yet dazed by the shock of the

painful loss, the academic staff at the State

School of Health, Port Harcourt, returned to

the private home he had shared with the wife,

till her death, to meet massive vandalism of

the property and its contents at Rumuekini,

also in Obio Akpor locality.

Strangely, the vandals were Dr. Onwugbuta’s

in-laws and cohorts. They carried out the

invasion and destruction of the house on the

vengeful impulse that their son-in-law killed

his wife, who was their daughter. Their rage

was fueled by a provincial newspaper’s

publication with the inciting allegation

captioned, “Killer Husband Declared

Wanted”.

The newspaper had sourced its report from

unconfirmed Facebook post by one Nkesi

Wogu, supposed distant maternal relative of

the deceased where she alleged that, “My niece

with a two weeks old baby was beaten to death

by her husband. The man is on the run, from

Etche and also a witness.”

Onwugbata’s

pains

Not done with the jungle justice of destroying

their son-in-law’s house, the late Dorothy’s

relatives further dragged the accused to

various police hierarchy in a bid to have him

arrested and prosecuted over the allegation.

While the induced police involvement lasted,

Dr. Onwugbuta had maintained his

innocence. Sharing his pains with Vanguard,

the Health Records lecturer said, “I couldn’t

have killed my wife. If anyone needed to be

called to question on how my wife died a week

after child birth, it should be my mother-inlaw.

My wife was registered for antenatal at

the University of Port Harcourt Teaching

Hospital, UPTH, and another private hospital

we had been patronizing since our marriage.

“Could you believe that my mother-in-law

who came to be with us, close to my wife’s

expected delivery, took her to a quack birth

attendant somewhere at Igwuruta, gave her

all sorts of concoctions without informing

me and without my consent. Police arrested

the quack midwife and detained her for over

one month. They only released her because

both families agreed to make peace.

“Doctors at UPTH told me there was no

single blood in my wife when I rushed her

there. I was asked to go and run a test but

before I returned my wife had gone into

coma. I started shouting and I was asked to

go out. Half an hour later doctors came

out to report that my wife had died. When

the news of my wife’s death hit me, I fell

into coma and developed partial stroke. It

was a month after I got back that I

responded to police invitation.

“The State Criminal Investigation

Department, SCID, investigated that matter

and when they were satisfied that I had no

hand in my wife’s death, they released me.

The Police however re-arrested me and took

me to the AIG Zone 6 following pressures

from my in-laws before my family now

reported the matter to the Inspector General

of Police. My mother in-law also accused

me of beating my wife, but she admitted

before the police that she never saw me do

so.”

Autopsy

changes

narratives

The narrative of vengeful in-laws’ anger

and police harassment against Dr.

Onwugbuta however changed to appeals

and remorse after an autopsy on the

deceased vindicated the bereaved husband.

The autopsy by Dr. Musa Stephen,

conducted on April 20 captured the cause

of Mrs Onwugbuta’s death as “Anaemic

heart failure due to uterine atony following

recent conception and delivery”. Observers

of the autopsy include Investigating Police

Officer, Sunday Raymond, the deceased

brother-in-law, Nwanfor Kingdom and

Observer Pathologist, Dr. B. P. Athanasius.

Police Public Relations Officer, Rivers State

Command, Nnamdi Omoni who the

inciting newspaper publication claimed to

have contacted in its January report said

he couldn’t recollect the matter when

Vanguard intimated him, but a source in

the Homicide Unit of the SCID which dealt

with the case confirmed the twists following

revelations from investigations.

The source, on anonymity, said, “It is true

the family’s allegations were false and

defaming of Dr. Onwugbuta’s image. No

findings suggested he killed his wife. We

even tracked and arrested the quack birth

attendant whose place the mother took the

late Dorothy for delivery.

“We (Police) are even going to write to the

School of Health where Dr. Onwugbuta

works to officially clear him of any

wrongdoing in order to clear his name. We

wrote to his workplace management when

we were looking for him, when we received

the false alarm against him. Perhaps the

reason the lecturer hasn’t pressed charges

against his accusers is because they are inlaws.

He and the wife had three children

together.”

In an affidavit he swore to in the Port Harcourt

High Court, the deceased’s father, Chief

Promise Ogoloma, acknowledged that the

death of her daughter led to complaints and

allegation of murder against her husband

before law enforcement agents even up to the

Inspector General of Police.

He then deposed that, “after series of

deliberations and consultations to make peace

between the Ogoloma and Onwugbuta

families, settlement of all the issues in the

aforesaid matter were achieved and resolved

amicably. I, for self and on behalf of the

Ogoloma family hereby withdraw all

complaints and allegations of murder against

our son-in-law”

In a separate letter to the Rivers State

Commissioner of Police, CP, signed by both

Onwugbuta, his relatives and Chief Ogoloma

and other family members, both parties also

mutually agreed to withdraw all complaints

to the police and to return all the three children

of Dr. Onwugbuta in his in-laws custody to

him.

In the letter to the CP, the Ogolomas also

pledged to return all the property of their son

in-law including his certificates and those of

his younger brother and sister which were

removed when his house was being

vandalized.

“The late Mrs. Dorothy Onwugbuta shall be

buried at the husband’s compound and

village, Umuariam, Akwukabi, Etche without

any interference, the late wife having been

statutorily and customarily married”, the letter

further said.

Victim

counts

loss

Onwugbuta lamented that, “to lose a wife and

have my house destroyed by my own in-laws

over a baseless allegation which was also

aimed at tarnishing my name is one mental

torture that won’t go away soon, but Jehovah

will comfort me and the children. It’s been a

great relief that my name has been cleared,

but the loss has been enormous, over N300m

claim would be an understatement.

“I have enough reasons and evidence to press

charges, but doing so against my in-laws has

been a big burden to bear. My wife, their

daughter had three children for me. I have a

wife to bury, and pressure has been strong on

me through the peace settlement

“My lawyer is looking at the options to deal

with the Facebook poster and newspaper

whose defamatory contents incited the attack

on my person. I need to clear my head first

and let the funeral of my wife come and go

before processing the pertinent questions and

making the imperative decisions.”


34—SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019

Ihave no doubts. Sowore is not a

terrorist. He has been a voice

against bad governance, an activist.

He worked hard to enthrone

democracy. He has fought for probity

and accountability in the country. He

is a journalist. He is now a politician.

He contested the last presidential

elections.

I have no doubts too. Nigeria needs

a cultural revolution.

However, what I am not sure Nigeria

needs is a change of government

championed by a bunch of election

losers.

Any genuine revolution in this

country would have prominent

members of dissipated parties nervous

and running for cover.

A revolution welcomed with hugs

and kisses by leaders of a major party

that bled the country for many years

and foisted moral degeneration on it

must be suspect.

When a party that has built a naked

reputation of making excuses for

corruption becomes the cheerleader for

potential revolutionists then eyebrows

must be raised.

Sowore is an activist. But politics

infects with ambition and perhaps

desperation.

A man contests elections in

February. He loses woefully. Okay, the

elections may have been marred by

the usual irregularities. But

independent and international

observers accept the elections as an

approximate reflection of the wishes

of the people. The courts receive and

are sorting grievances . The courts

have not shied from hurting the wishes

of the ruling party. The man who got

less than one percent of the votes cast

has not bothered to approach any court.

Other aggrieved losers are still in

court. There is nothing we have seen

Since the crude oil price peaked

in April the market has become

bearish losing over 20 percent from the

US$70 mark it got to. Last week the

China-United States trade war which

effect is slowing global economy

traded down oil with the global

benchmark ICE Brent settling for

US$57.10 (-3.12 percent), while the

United States benchmark, West Texas

Intermediate traded at US$51.66 (-3.67

percent) below the US$60 mark. On

Tuesday this week oil prices rallied on

reports that the United States has

decided to delay the next round of

tariffs to be imposed on Chinese goods

till December. The WTI Crude oil

prices spiked by 4.30 percent to trade

at US$57.29 while Brent Crude traded

even more by 4.7 percent at US$61.32;

resuming its over US$60 per barrel that

it had fallen under during the first

week of August.

Apart from the forces of demand and

supply which could be adduced for

bearish or bullish market territories,

geopolitical events which effects are

believed to be temporary are greatly

affecting oil prices; ditto natural risk

factors. They are events which futurity

is difficult to predict. The escalating

trade war between the United States

and China that is reaching breaking

point may fall into the category of

geopolitics. The United States as the

biggest oil producer accused China—

the biggest oil importer—of severally

taking advantage of it and was

determined to get even. The China-

United States trade war which started

on July 6, 2018 is the economic

disagreements that made the two

countries impose import restriction on

each other to harm each other’s trade.

President Donald Trump believes that

for 25 years, China was killing the

United States with unfair trade deals

including stealing intellectual

Sowore and that Revolution:The law

should not be an Ass

in the courts that have shocked the

eyes. The courts have not upturned

the elections. It is almost comical.

How can one of the losers, or a

bunch of losers, in good conscience,

lead or champion any process that

even obliquely seeks to force the new

government out? And we must be

frank. We have waffled a bit about

The right to free

speech and the

right to

peaceful

protests must

be protected

what a revolution means. The

stated aim of Sowore and his co

travelers was to instigate a

rejection of the new government.

We know Sowore is not a

terrorist. He is an activist. He

wants a better country. But what

doesn’t sit well with good faith is

how four months after losing the

elections, a mere six weeks into a

new mandate of four years, he

finds the moral guts to seek

alternative ways to effect a

nullification of the results of

elections he lost.

I would understand some other

activists, frustrated with the

system, championing such a

cause. They may have my

sympathy. But not Sowore and the

AAC party. Because it would be

revolting to watch Atiku and

Secondus and the PDP lead such

an enterprise too.

The right to free speech and the

right to peaceful protests must be

protected. But we must also

protect the foundations and

principles of democracy. People

can’t take issues to the electorate,

canvass for votes, lose elections

and seek a rejection of the wishes

of the electorate because the

Oil in the Sino-American trade war

property. The Chinese have accused

America of unilateralism and trade

protectionism measures in the

imposition of increased tariffs to

hinder China’s economic

development. The Xi Jinping

government has told exporters to

find new markets and replace

American farm goods with imports

from Russia, Brazil and other

sources.

The unending Sino-American

trade dispute is becoming more

uncertain with President Donald

Trump announcing on Twitter that

additional 10 percent tariff will be

levied on the remaining US$300

billion of goods effective September

1. The tariff is now to be delayed

until December 15, with the United

States taking some of the items on

that tariff list off completely. The

trade war stratagems adopted on

both sides is pummeling exporters

on both divides. What does it

portend for global oil? Since the

August 1, Trump announcement

crude oil fell by more than 13

percent. A slowdown of the global

economy is dampening oil demand,

leading to a larger-than-expected

surplus in crude inventory. China’s

economic prospects have pressured

prices. Data has shown that growth

in the China slowed to 6.2 percent

from a year earlier, the weakest

pace in at least 27 years. As oil

demand slows down from a major

consumer like China, it signals a

slump in prices.

China’s oil demand growth

contributes greatly to global oil

demand growth. A quick response

to President Trump’s latest threat

of more punitive import duties in

Sept China weakened its currency

the renminbi, RMB or Yuan on

August 5, 2019. The devaluation by

over 2 percent (around 7 Yuan to

1 U.S. Dollar) by the Central Bank

of China may be the breaking point

since it was hit by the threat of

tariffs. To the Xi government, a

weaker Yuan would make Chinese

exports cheaper abroad and help

to offset Trump’s tariff hikes. The

currency battle made the Trump

administration to call China a

currency manipulator. Oilprice.com

reports that China is very important

in the global economic system. But

what would have been the direct

effect of the Chinese currency

devaluation on oil demand? The

two main oil benchmarks, the Brent

electorate rejected them.

Sowore is a democrat. He is an advocate

of the rule of law. He is not a terrorist.

He is also the chairman of a politically

party which contested and lost the last

elections. Sowore can lead a protest

against the delay in the implementation

of minimum wage. But he has no firm

moral grounds to stand on and lead

any genuine mass protest against the

very existence of , against the legitimacy

of, this government.

If we are fed up with democracy then

we can have a village meeting and agree

on something else. I have my doubts

about western liberal democracy. I doubt

that it is the best fit for poor African

countries that have no social security

nets. But before we agree on something

else we must remain good sportsmen.

Sowore has no new grievances. He

took the state of the economy to the

electorate. He took the state of insecurity

to the electorate. He took the matter of

youth unemployment to the electorate.

Nothing new has happened since

February. His grievances have been

adjudicated by the electorate. It would

amount to sheer arrogance for any

democrat to assume that the electorate

lacks the capacity to appreciate their

problems. It will be dishonest to claim

that he won the elections.

However, the terrorism act has

dangerous fangs. We must preserve it for

sworn enemies of the country like the

members of Boko Haram. It is true that

ambitions can change people. But Sowore

doesn’t seem a changed man. He

appears possessed by passion rather

than hate or mischief.

The law should not be an ass.

President Donald Trump believes that for

25 years, China was killing the United

States with unfair trade deals including

stealing intellectual property

and WTI are traded in U.S. dollars. A rise

in the value of the dollar means the price

of crude would drop. It however makes

oil more expensive to the rest of the world.

A drop in the value of the dollar means

the price of crude must rise to have the

same worth on the market. Even when the

Chinese are not using oil to retaliate on

the American tariffs threat, there is a direct

effect of the currency battle on oil demand.

The American dollar has an immediate

pricing impact on consumers because oil

tends to move inversely to the dollar.

The dollar-yuan relationship sets the

tone for global monetary policy. The

threat of a currency war could plunge the

global economy, which would be negative

for oil demand. The weakening of the

yuan puts tremendous pressure on other

emerging markets. Oil prices plunged on

Wednesday last week as fears of economic

recession rose after a wave of interest rate

cuts from around the world. The Central

Banks of India, New Zealand and

Thailand in quick succession cut interest

rates to protect their economies and

exports from the fallout from the U.S.-

China trade war. The dollar is the world’s

reserve currency and a liquid safe haven

asset, so capital tends to flow into the

dollar in times of turmoil especially when

other currencies are depreciating. The

dollar tends to see upward pressure in

times of upheaval which can be

problematic.


C

M

Y

K

One lesson I have never

forgotten about the human

mind and how it operates was taught

me way back in the 70s in the

unlikeliest of circumstances. The 70s

were the years of the strong antiapartheid

movement all over the

world. And Nigeria, led by the

extremely likeable Joe Garba as

External Affairs Minister, had a

strong anti-apartheid foreign policy.

In fact, Nigeria was listed among the

front line states although it is

geographically miles away from

Southern Africa where apartheid was

in full force. So deeply concerned

was I that we were not doing enough

against apartheid that I had a few

interesting conversations with

General Joe Garba on the realities

and limitations of the so called front

line states. It is regrettable that

Southern Africa, for which Nigeria

sacrificed so much, is now killing and

humiliating our sons and daughters.

It is ironic that people who were once

treated as slaves in their own land

now feel superior to the rest of Africa.

The countries in Southern Africa

used to respect and admire Nigeria.

I will even use the word revere. How

did the table turn? That is a story for

another day. But suffice to say for

now is that Nigeria should look into

the mirror. Only a simpleton—or a

fool—lives on past glories.

In 1977, Nigeria hosted an

international conference on ‘World

Action Against Apartheid.In

attendance were many eminent

personalities of the diplomatic world.

In attendance were many world

renowned anti-apartheid activists.

Also in attendance was little me who

was looking for materials for my

interview column. The speeches

were fiery. The mood was combatant.

But young, passionate me wanted

more. I wanted ‘action’ which was

what the name of the conference

suggested. I accosted Ambassador

Leslie Harriman, the then Nigeria’s

Ambassador to the UN and one of

Nigeria’s most experienced

diplomats at the conference, during

lunch break. I told him the world

needed more than rhetoric. That was

It is gratifying that the fundamental

substance of the leaked audiotape

of a closed-door meeting between

Governor Serikae Dickson and the

newly elected local government

chairmen in Bayelsa State is not in

dispute.

Though there are allegedly two

versions of the leaked tape, your

correspondent has listened to one

apparently authentic version.

In it, the governor is heard mobilizing

the local government chairmen for the

forthcoming governorship primaries of

the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP due

on September 3.

Contrary to earlier reports, it

appeared from what the governor said

that he had not opened up on who he

prefers as a successor.

However, there is little dispute over

the fact that his choice for governor will

definitely not be Chief Timi Alaibe, the

man famously called Principal by his

several political adherents.

In the audio the governor is heard

repeatedly claiming that a man who was

a political enemy who joined the PDP

only six months ago cannot be handed

the banner of the party.

That is about where the governor and

the Alaibe crowd are agreed as to the

authenticity of the tape.

Thereafter, there are reports about

Dickson allegedly claiming to have

rebuffed entreaties made on behalf of

Alaibe by Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo and

Gen. Aliyu Gusau for the PDP ticket.

Associates of the governor and Alaibe

appear to disagree over the authenticity

of the claim as the governor’s crowd

allege a doctoring of the tape at that

point.

Nevertheless, from the bearing of the

governor and those around him, it would

appear that not even The Almighty may

sway him to support Alaibe as a

successor.

As the governor was quoted as saying

in the tape, the emergence of Alaibe as

Did ‘Revolution now’ fail?

when ignorant, naïve me got

educated. He looked at me the way

you would look at a child—anybody

who knew Leslie Harriman would

remember he had an aloof, aristocratic

mien—and said ‘the fact that the whole

world is focusing on the evil of

It is glaring

that the

country is

more insecure

today than it

had ever been

apartheid and condemning it with one

voice, is in itself a victory.’ South Africa

lost many friends after the conference

and many of the few sympathisers that

remained lost their voices. I learnt a

lesson that has stayed with me ever

since.

It is with this in mind that I view the

protests in Hong Kong as a success

however the outcome. The world has

had to watch as the citizens of Hong

Kong demonstrated that they do not

SATURDAY Vanguard,AUGUST 17, 2019—35

want to be dictated to by China. These

protests have shown the depth of their

disaffection with China and her

policies. The boiling cauldron has been

brought into the open and things

might never be the same again. It is

also with this in mind that I view the

‘Revolution Now’ protest which was

forcefully aborted by the police. We

cannot deny that the news about the

protest preyed on the minds of

government, the people and security

agencies for a while at least. We cannot

deny that certain thoughts, certain

deficiencies and ills of government

were crystallised in people’s minds

during that time. We cannot deny

people’s empathy, if not identification,

with some of the thoughts and

situations that led to the protest. The

police can gloat all it wants, but it

cannot deny that some seeds have

been planted. It also cannot deny that

there was no concerted or nationwide

condemnation of the protest. A video

of a dilapidated police barrack which

went viral was captioned, ‘this is

where those who put down the protest

live’. It spoke volumes about the living

conditions of the police officers who

were sent to quell the protest.

Omoyele Sowore, the arrowhead of

the protest has been arrested and is

possibly undergoing interrogations as

to the nature of sponsorship.

Meanwhile, unsavoury stories about

him have filled the social media. I don’t

know much about Sowore and

therefore cannot verify the allegations.

But I know enough about the tools of

communication to know how an attack

on the integrity of an adversary can be

orchestrated. In any case, there are

instances when a message is so selfevident

that it doesn’t have to depend

on the integrity of the messenger. This

appears to be such a case. This

government came to office over four years

ago with a promise to address corruption,

insecurity and to diversify the economy.

It should be able to appraise itself on the

success of its promise. Many people

however will believe that the fight

against corruption is cosmetic at best. A

successful fight againstcorruption must

be based on merit, equity, fairness, justice

and transparency. A crusading anticorruption

government starts with itself

and the people around it. Can Aso Rock

claim to be a beacon of light, an oasis of

transparency, in the fight against

corruption?On the issue of security, it is

glaring that the country is more insecure

today than it had ever been. A friend of

mine on the way to Auchi for a religious

conference during the recent Salah

holiday seemed relieved to see the array

of check points along the way. That

wasn’t the case a couple of years ago

when check points were an irritant. In

normal climes, you don’t need the armed

forces around you to feel safe. As to the

diversification of the economy, only baby

steps have been made. The ease of doing

business is still a deterrent. Supporting

infrastructure is still a deterrent. Multiple

taxation is still a deterrent. And whatever

gains have been made in agriculture have

been eroded by the farmer/herdsman

clashes. And if five million people have

been lifted out of poverty as claimed, we

would want to know where they are

because evidence shows that the

percentage of people under the poverty

level has not reduced. The reality is that

our income is reducing while our

population is increasing.That cannot

reduce poverty however you add it.

I will end with a statement Alhaji Jose

the newspaper doyen, once told me about

running a newspaper campaign. He said,

‘no matter how well planned or how well

run, a campaign will not succeed if it is

against the wishes of the people.’ The

other side to that could be that no matter

how feebly run, a campaign that

approximates the interests of the people

cannot be said to have failed.

Since then, Alaibe had regularly remained a threat

to all incumbent governors of Bayelsa State who

partly on account of his lurking shadows never

completed a second term

Warning to Dickson from Uduaghan, Ambode, Amosun

governor would immediately lead to the

political suicide of the local government

chairmen.

Though the governor said he would

himself not be overtly bothered, but the

prospect of him losing relevance in the

affairs of the state was indeed a fear he

captured as the political suicide of his

lieutenants.

Of course, the governor knew what he

was talking about in referring to the

prospects for his supporters under a

possible Alaibe government.

In 2002 when Dickson was yet in the

political edges, when he was as at that

time a crusader of the Alliance For

Democracy, AD, Alaibe had already

become a political phenomenon and was

about putting the incumbent governor of

the state, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha

to irrelevance.

Indeed, by late 2002 Alamieyeseigha’s

political weight even as the famed

governor-general of the Ijaw Nation was

at rock bottom as he ran from pillar to

post in Abuja as the Alaibe hurricane

reached touchdown.

Many of the then governor’s political

associates it was alleged, abandoned him

as they inclined themselves towards

Alaibe who it was surreptitiously claimed

had the backing of President Obasanjo.

But willy-nilly, Alamieyeseigha

survived perhaps out of a deal between

his political leader, Atiku Abubakar and

President Obasanjo.

Since then, Alaibe had regularly

remained a threat to all incumbent

governors of Bayelsa State who partly on

account of his lurking shadows never

completed a second term.

Now Dickson is about to become the

first of the four civilian governors of the

state to finish a second term.

He is also determined to be the first to

permanently erase Alaibe from the

political limelight.

Alaibe’s Achilles Heel has been his

topsy-turvy political gyrations since the

exit of President Obasanjo from power and

the PDP. After different stints in Labour

Party and the All Progressives Congress,

APC, Alaibe returned to the PDP six

months ago with his 17-year governorship

aspiration still burning.

At that time, Governor Dickson

welcomed him with the declaration that

everybody had an equal stake in the PDP.

But he spoke tongue in cheek. As everyone

knows, Dickson is determined to hand

over to someone from within his inner

caucus, those identified as the Restoration

Movement who identify with him.

With the Restoration Movement

composing about 80% of the structure of

the party it would be a tall order for

someone from outside to win the prized

governorship ticket in the primary due in

September.

But miracles do happen. There are

examples of incumbent governors who

were badly disappointed and shocked by

the outcome of primaries or elections that

were theirs to corner.

Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan in 2014

orchestrated a succession scheme in Delta

State that sought outdo his onetime

neighbor, friend and fellow medical

doctor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa. It failed.

Senator Ibikunle Amosun disciples were

convinced that his political astuteness

coupled with his well-known relationship

with President Muhammadu Buhari would

give his succession programme a

comprehensive insurance from default. But

it didn’t and hence the mircal of Governor

Dapo Abiodun.

Governor Mohammed Abubakar

dismissed the uprising against him

inspired by Speaker Yakubu Dogara as the

ranting of an ant, but the ant fell him down

in the election.

Despite the disaster he left behind in the

Mile 2- Badagry Expressway, Mr.

Akinwunmi Ambode believed that his

uprising against Bola Tinubu would secure

him a second term ticket as governor of

Lagos State, but failed.

So, as Governor Dickson forges ahead

in what he told his political disciples is a

battle, he should realise that miracles still

happen.

Though he has 80% of the structure, the

other 20% is still formidable and includes

the lovable but croaky voiced former first

lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan!


36—SATURDAY Vanguard,AUGUST 17, 2019

here is one part of General

TIbrahim Babangida that should

be studied in military institutions

around the country. While he is best

remembered for annulling the June 12,

1993 elections we must also salute his

wisdom that saved several lives on

February 13, 1976.

Babangida stepped aside as Military

President in 1993 in what appeared

like a hasty move after several games

that made Nigerians dub him

‘Maradona’. It was like the general

could dribble everyone including

himself in the field of geo- politics.

And these controversies have blocked

the positive side of IBB. February 13,

1976 was a day of blood, the day Gen.

Murtala Mohammed was

assassinated in Lagos.

Lt.Col Babangida was sent by Army

Chief, Lt. Gen. Yakubu Danjuma, to

battle the coup plotters who had taken

over Radio Nigeria, Ikoyi. The idea

was to destroy the enemy, at all costs.

Babangida took control of two

armoured tanks , rushed to Ikoyi and

after studying the situation, thought

it would be crazy to level the station

just because of a handful of mutineers.

Consideration was given to the

civilians that were holed up in the

Radio house and fellow Nigerians

that moved around the very busy

Alagbon close. The place was so

crowded that gridlock could have

been the other name.

IBB did the unimaginable. He

disembarked from one of the armoured

cars, dropped his weapon and

mustered enough courage to ascend

the stairs to meet Lt. Col Bukar Suka

Dimka, leader of the ‘young

revolutionaries.’

An eye witness, Christian Maduka,

got in touch with me recently after

reading my piece on Dimka’s escape

and painted a picture of the

exceptional bravery of Babangida

which saved so many innocent lives.

Maduka, a retired police officer,

said:” I was on foot patrol that day

with some colleagues around Tinubu

Fountain, Lagos. At about 11.30 a. m.

we noticed two armoured vehicles

moving slowly along Nnamdi Azikiwe

Street.”

hat really is the effect of the

Wmilitary and paramilitary

uniform on the average wearer? Does

it give them an uncommon sense of

responsibility and remarkable social

conscience and a disposition of service

to the nation?

Has any arm of the Nigerian Armed

Forces ever carried out a study of why

those in uniform appear to be

predisposed to a feeling of superiority,

privilege, and entitlement to that

special but yet undefined something

that make them to feel ever ready to

brutalise anyone they adjudge to be

beneath them in a yet unclarified

perking order, especially civilians?

The soldiers assault and maltreat the

Police and other paramilitary outfits

which in turn unleash mayhem on

civilians.

Policemen, soldiers or Customs

officials routinely shoot law abiding

Nigerians who delayed in handing out

bribes that could be as low as N50? Or

which Nigerian has not heard a fellow

Nigerian describe the Mobile Police

Squad as “kill and go” with all the

lawlessness and their being above the

law, which that brutish tag entails? I

hope we fully understand the fact that

“lawlessness” and being “above the

law” are two different things.

Lawlessness entails some form of

banditry, that terrible inclination of

outlaws who respect no rules and

regulations and statutes of a wellordered

and civilised society while

those above the law, are not under the

rule of the law which binds other

members of lower carders of the

society.

Or, is it that those who bear arms as

part of their duties to the nation think

that gives them licence to a brutal

nature of unredeemed savagery and

so often attack unarmed others with

animal ferocity? What stops them from

coming to terms with the fact that they

bear arms on behalf of other members

of the society? What really is that

demon that takes possession of the

souls of some of them at the least

provocation?

I know you know exactly why I’m

writing this today, using such strong

words. I know you know that it is

because of the shooting at close range

of some policemen in Taraba state,

who had gone to arrest an alleged

kidnapper. It has been gnawing at my

heart for reasons that transcend the

very act of pulling the triggers that

unleashed those bullets. Please, bear

with me while I explain myself: or is

it not difficult to understand why, in a

IBB: Beyond June12 and Maradona

The cops watched the movement

keenly. That was in the years when the

police would disguise and mingle with

the population in the course of duty.

Little suspicion or none at all was

raised.

“When the armoured cars approached

Martin Street, they stopped. Then they

moved again towards Ikoyi, we

followed. When they got to Radio

Nigeria, Babangida asked his troops

to give him five minutes.

“He climbed upstairs to meet Dimka.

I could hear them clearly. Babangida

said he came to pay Dimka a solidarity

visit and would be happy if killed by

bullet from an enemy, not a friend.

That was an act of bravery”, the retired

officer added.

That ploy seemed to have calmed

Dimka down. Babangida then told him

that he was sent to clear the plotters.

At this time, they talked like friends.

Babangida advised him to leave for

good or face the consequences.

According to Maduka : “ Babangida

gave Dimka five minutes to move out.

Dimka obeyed, ordered his boys to

comply and in no time about nine of

them escaped carrying AK-47 rifles.

They ran towards Carter Bridge.

“While they were pulling out, an

officer in one the armoured cars

reminded Babangida that his five

minutes wait was over. He asked for

two more minutes.”

It was after Dimka’s escape that loyal

troops stormed the place. After some

minutes, the Director General of the

Federal Radio Corporation,

Christopher Kolade, emerged.

It was quite thoughtful of Babangida.

Perhaps, Kolade would have been

in trouble if IBB acted as instructed.

Others that would have been

harmed included Duty Continuity

Announcer, Rosaline Ogunro,

Ikenna Ndaguba, Ben Egbuna,

Ernest Okonkwo and Sebastine

Ofurum.

The bombardment would have

also affected the Nigerian Prisons

Service Headquarters at Alagbon.

Such officers like Jomo Adapoyi and

his Aide de Camp, Steven Akiga ,

were in danger. Soni Irabor and his

friend, Clement Akintomide

worked there too.

The officers who accompanied

Babangida to Radio Nigeria were

Major Chris Ugokwe, John

Shagaya, Jack Datonye

Iketubosin[N/2805], James Ojokojo

and Mike Otuwa.

Bullets were exchanged

thereafter. Major Ibrahim Rabo, of

Nigeria Defence Academy Course

Three[ mates include David Mark,

Mike Akhigbe, Victor Malu, Festus

Porbeni] was arrested by Capt.

Yomi Williams. Lt. Lawrence Garba

was killed.

IBB’s action did not go down well

with the Army high command but

his bravery saved lives and

eventually Dimka was arrested.

Even some of those who escaped

were also fished out.

Dimka and IBB were good

friends. Both were commissioned

Second Lieutenant in December

1963. While the former attended

Australian Army Cadet School,

Portsea, the latter trained at the

Nigerian soldier: When will enough be

enough?

democracy, a Captain in the Nigerian

Army, and not a rag-tag army of bushbound

rascals scavenging in an

accursed country-side for their

sustenance, could issue a shoot to kill

order anyhow, and the soldiers under

him would ACTUALLY OBEY HIM?

Just a Captain? And we are not

talking of soldiers fighting a war here?

And those soldiers shot at the vehicle

of the people they were pursuing, the

car summersaulted, the targets were

thrown off the vehicle, the soldiers saw

them reeling on the ground, in spasms

and pangs of pain from injuries

sustained, totally defenceless and

helpless, so helpless they could not

stand and any not injured would have

been thoroughly dazed and

disoriented, and yet, the soldiers

pulled their triggers and…and…and

…what really? Does that imply that a

General could wipe out a whole town?

Please don’t remind me of Odi!!!

Let’s assume the Taraba dead were

murders caught with fresh human

heads still dripping blood, why were

they not captured alive so that their

suspected crime would be thoroughly

investigated, their syndicate smashed

and they would be brought to face their

day in court and be lawfully sentenced?

That is the way of civilized societies;

and Nigeria is civilised. Or is any one

about to argue that soldiers are trained

to kill? That is the sort of nonsense that

has sustained this climate of darkness.

Is a soldier not trained also to be a part

of a civilised society? If they were so

badly trained to kill, why has no soldier

so far shot any suspected coup-plotter

and killed him extra-judiciously?

What could make a Captain to order

soldiers to shoot and kill Nigerians,

who did not resist arrest? And even if

he had given that order when the

people, were suspected to be

criminals and their identity cards

fake, were still being pursued, why

were they not simply arrested and

handed over to the Police or even

higher military officers? At when

did that Captain report the

unfolding events to his immediate

superior officer?

My point is this: why did that

officer BECOME A LAW UNTO

HIMSELF? I know the discussion

across the country now would be

whether or not he has been in the

pay role of the alleged kidnapper.

I won’t waste my time on such

inanities. Or have we not read

about one soldier in Umuahia who

shot and killed a commercial

motorcyclist who failed to offer him

bribe…bribe to do what really? Just

to allow him continue his journey

on a Nigerian road? This kill and

go mentality must be checked.

That brings me to my real: the

Nigerian Armed Forces, the police,

the customs—all the paramilitary

agencies are guilty of this

malfeasance. No outfit has been

able to discipline its officers and

men in such a way that they would

not be a burden of crime, highhandedness,

degradation,

deprivation, insult and assault on

Nigerians.

What orientation do military and

paramilitary people receive? Why

would somebody in “uniform” feel

no obligation to obey traffic light?

Why would he extort money from

citizens and go scot free? Or would

it not be just a matter of time and

such a person would feel entitled

to take human life?

Recently, a Naval officer’s

reaction to the charge that Navy

men who help to clear road

gridlock in Apapa area of Lagos,

IBB’s action did not go down well with

the Army high command but his bravery

saved lives and eventually Dimka was

arrested

Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun,

Uttar Pradesh.

Babangida fought the Civil War, got

injured at Uzuakoli and ended up in

Umuahia where his first son, Mohammed,

was born. And stories from both sectors

are interesting.

The Biafrans fought dirty in Uzuakoli

and captured two Armoured cars in one

day. Oyibo Achebe, Chinua Achebe’s

younger brother, had released an

‘ogbunigwe’ that hit a Nigerian Sarasin.

It was captured by Biafra and renamed

Ndidi [Patience].That was the in 1969, the

year IBB got married to former Maria

Okogwu. Her middle name was Ndidi. It

was after that battle that Biafran

commando, Maj.Emeka Ananaba, was

promoted Lt. Col.

Enugu Rangers football club, full of

Biafran soldiers, was formed in

1970.Babangida was Commander, 44

Battalion, Umuahia, which he named

‘Rangers’. There he found Abraham

‘Assassin Tonica’ Nwachukwu, the man

who taught him boxing in Ibadan.

IBB’s cheer mood disappeared when he

discovered that Tonica fought for Biafra.

He seized all the boxing champion’s

medals including the gold from the

Independence Day celebrations when he

beat Boniface Ukwuoma in 1960 and four

as champion of Equatorial Guinea.

Babangida does not forget. In 1991, he

created Abia State and made Umuahia

capital. Umuahia would have been

capital of Imo in 1976 until a last minute

call from Brig. Hilary Njoku to Murtala

gave it to Owerri.

Only IBB could divide the Mid-West,

he created Delta State. Many did not

know that Otaru of Auchi, Guruza

Momoh, was the Assistant District Officer

in Minna who gave Babangida a letter to

the Army in 1962.Talk about Mid-West

Poly becoming Federal Polytechnic, Auchi.

Asaba is home of the Okogwus.

May we never forget that it was in that

same Taraba state that Gen. T Y Danjuma

accused the military, which he once

headed as an Army Chief of Staff, of

habouring soldiers colluding with

suspected killer herdsmen

have been extorting money from

motorists, was that the accusers should

provide proof. And I bet that officer is still

wearing his uniform, but he does not

deserve to. Why didn’t it occur to him that

it is the duty of the officers to check the

excesses of their men? How does he

expect civilians to arrest extortionist

soldiers? Or how does he expect them to

show that proof? Has himself made any

effort to catch his extortionist troops?

Stretch this further and you would find

the Nigerian Police Force, which is now

mourning the death of its operatives

under focus, have had their men shooting

and killing countless number of

Nigerians. Over a decade ago, it was the

Abuja “Apo Six.” Such excesses begin

from extorting money from law-abiding

Nigerians, especially motorists and

motorcyclists, and on a day of rage and

misguided bullying, a bullet would ring

out of a rifle and a civilian would drop

dead. The Police Command that failed to

stop the excesses of their men and women

would not accept its complicity in the

crime, but it allowed the killing or shooting

excess to grow out of the extortionist

excess. A little unchecked licence soon

turns into full-fledged liberty.

May we never forget that it was in that

same Taraba state that Gen. T Y Danjuma

accused the military, which he once

headed as an Army Chief of Staff, of

habouring soldiers colluding with

suspected killer herdsmen. Was that

accusation ever investigated? If the Army

investigated that charge, its officer would

have tried to review his relationship with

a philanthropist of no known means of

livelihood.

No, it was not the mad and maddening

soldiers at Ibi, Taraba state that killed

those gallant policemen and wasted the

money and effort Nigeria spent in their

training. Nigeria, their country simply

failed them because her officers and men

that bear arms received the wrong

orientation. And their High Commands

are not thinking about how to correct that

mistake.


ery soon schools will resume, but

Vsome students will not go back to

their schools. They will resume at less

expensive private schools or resume at

government-owned schools. That is

because some of these students lost their

breadwinners just before or during the

holiday. This year alone, I know a handful

of people in their 40s and 50s who have

died. Take any day of your choice and go

through all the newspapers; you are

likely to find an obituary of somebody

within this age range. The cause of death

might range from accident and illness to

death from armed robbery or kidnapping.

Our country is going through precarious

times and life has become more uncertain.

Insurance is about insuring these

uncertainties. If the uncertainties we

currently face in Nigeria were to be

experienced by people in advanced

countries, the demand for life insurance

would have soared by now. But many

Nigerians do not want to hear anything

about life insurance or life insurance

products that remind them that they are

mere mortals.

A female marketer narrated her

experience with a proprietress of a school.

She went to sell an insurance product to

the school that takes care of the school

bills of students if their parent/sponsor/

guardian dies. “I reject it in Jesus name,”

the proprietress screamed. “Nothing shall

happen to the parents of my students.

They shall live to enjoy the fruits of their

labour…” she continued ranting, sorry

praying. When she was done, she

practically chased the female marketer out

of her school. I say amen to her prayers.

I am sure many insurance practitioners

will do same.

But those people in their 30s, 40s and

50s, who are dead, are some of them not

parents whose children are still in school?

I belong to an NGO with a soft spot for

widows. We have handled countless cases

of widows who come for assistance to pay

their children’s school fees. One advice

we give to them is that since their

husbands are late, they should withdraw

the children from private schools to

government schools, which are

affordable. Some break down in tears at

the suggestion; others refuse to commit

what they consider to be class suicide. In

one particular case, the widow did tell her

daughter, but she refused and stayed at

home for a whole year, rather than go to

a public school! That was what prompted

the widow to come back for help. But all

ean-Jacques Rousseau’s assertion in

Jhis social contract theory that man is

free but everywhere in chains touches the

heart of the existential struggle of liberty

and its lack thereof. Coursing through the

existential highways and byways

challenges one with the stark reality of

man’s deprived condition. This

ontological indigence constraints freedom

and constitutes easy allurement to, and

ready alibi for the expression of his

original deprivation. This original

deprivation and limitation resulting from

Adamic nature atrophy man’s capacity for

freedom and, as a matter of experience,

confound freedom with license. Hence,

liberty becomes libertine and enraptures

one in a licentious drive towards

inordinate satisfaction of appetites. In this

archetypical condition, true freedom

becomes the casualty—man though

created free finds himself in chains.

The raison d’être for the chains, in other

words, man’s imprisonment, goes beyond

Rousseau’s political community to a more

fundamental reason. Man’s original

deprivation and limitation at origin

modulate Rousseau’s optimism. Our basic

goodness is marked by flaws that need

redemption. Humanity’s fall vitiates our

capacity for goodness and underpins

man’s metaphysical imprisonment, which

most often precedes physical

incarceration. This licentiousness that

results from the abuse of freedom usually

vents itself in anti-social behaviour that

more often lands one into physical prison.

The physical incarceration is, therefore,

a symbol of invisible imprisonment from

which Christ the perfect and original man

redeemed us by becoming human. Thus,

the true identity, dignity and freedom of

man are to be found in Christ. He redeems

man by his radical solidarity, thereby

reconstituting his capacity for assuming

dignity, greatness, pre-eminence and

freedom. Being that true freedom

corresponds with the truth, Christ’s

humanity bespeaks man’s new-found

freedom and typifies the truth of his being.

Man’s imprisonment encounters total

freedom in Christ. The freeman is,

therefore, Maduka, who arguably spells

Christ.

Since whomever the Son of man sets free

enjoys true liberty (cf. John 8:36), the

human person comes to his full measure

in Christ as Maduka. The liberation from

the metaphysical imprisonment informs

Students welfare plan

these would have been avoided if

their husbands had subscribed to

an education insurance plan for

the children.

Death is real and inevitable. We

must all accept that painful reality.

It is totally outside our control, but

we have some control over the

after effect of our death. That is

what the various life insurance

products are all about. No

insurance company prays for the

occurrence of the event it provided

insurance for. Non-occurrence of

losses means less money is spent

in claims payment and more profit

for the insurance companies.

Insurance practitioners are just

realistic people who have accepted

the fact that deaths will occur;

accidents will happen and there

will be fire incidents. All we do is

provide succour in the event of

these occurrences of risks insured

against. We are solution providers

The insurance market has grown

and assurance companies now offer

a wide range of life assurance

products to deal with virtually all

circumstances of human existence

as long as life and death are

involved. Life assurance is broadly

divided into term assurance and

endowment policies.

Term assurance is life insurance

that provides coverage for a

specified period, mostly one year.

Thereafter, the assured may renew

the policy on existing terms or

renegotiated terms. Unlike

endowment policies, term

assurance policies do not

his true freedom even if there are

physical constraints. Hence, true

freedom is primarily metaphysical.

The ultimate purpose of the

physical prison is to help the

inmates to recover the

metaphysical freedom.

Unfortunately, physical prison has

often lost its essential purpose as

corrective that helps one to acquire

this real and true liberty, which is

freedom with responsibility, in

other words, liberty that is rooted

in the truth. Therefore, implicit in

the mission of the prison system is

the introduction of delinquents to

Christ, who is the true man. It is

supposed to fund freedom in truth

realised in Christ relative to

Maduka.

Maduka runs on man’s inherent

and inviolable dignity on account

of his unique identity relative to

his vocation and destiny in God.

Maduka spells this regal quality

of being with its corresponding

responsibility towards God, self

and society as a moral agent. As

such, conformity with his real

identity in God is liberative of any

form of imprisonment,

enslavement and confinement. In

other words, to be free from these

shackles and chains is to

appropriate and assume one’s

identity and dignity. Irrespective

of a wide range of perspectives in

sincere efforts to offer profound

solutions to man’s freedom, Christ

remains the source and model of

true liberty (cf John 8:36).

Without the cultivation of virtues,

accumulate cash value. If the

assured dies during the term, the

death benefit will be paid to the

beneficiary. But if nothing

happens, there is no payment

when the policy lapses. Term

insurance is comparatively

cheaper; it is also a smart way to

make financial provisions for

I reject it in Jesus name,

the proprietress

screamed...nothing shall

happen to the parents of

my students

loved ones in the event of death,

especially those with young

families. As the assured grows

older, his premium increases. This

is based on the assumption that

older people are more likely to die

than young people, all things

being equal. But we know they are

never equal.

One term assurance product that

takes care of students who lose

their parents/sponsors/guardian is

the welfare plan for students. Here

the school subscribes to the plan

and the parents pay premiums,

which can be as low as N10,000

Maduka in prison

there cannot be a culture of

freedom because true freedom is

the power to choose good and

avoid evil. No culture without

cultivation! “There is no culture

without agriculture,” says Baba

Tarik Oduno. Given that our

metaphysical deprivation impacts

our freedom, and our sociological

milieu constraints its exercise, the

Prison facility provides the space

and time in order to help the

inmates to recover the capacity to

be good moral agents. With the

enablers offered by these facilities

such as Chaplaincy Services,

vocational skills and

entrepreneurial training, basic

health services, ordered use of

time, environment and amenities,

provision of good food, sports and

overall human capital

development among others, one

can come out a better person living

his or her freedom responsibly.

However, the failure of Nigerian

Prison System to focus on its

supposed core mission makes the

average Nigerian Prison Facility

a breeding ground for angry and

broken persons, and also for antisocial,

infra-human and criminal

behaviours. The licentiousness is,

thus, reinforced in the inmates

given the bestial treatment they

encounter. Fr Matthew Ndibe and

I experienced personally this

pitiable state of Nigerian Prisons

in 2008 when we accompanied

the Archbishop to the Federal

Prison Onitsha. My heart and eyes

tore. Father Matthew shed tears.

SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019—37

per annum, depending on the school fees

and other bills and the number of students

in the school. In exchange, if a parent,

guardian or sponsor of a student’s dies,

the scheme takes over the student’s fees

and other specified expenses until the

student graduates as long as the school

renews the policy annually. If the schools

of the children of the widows I mentioned

earlier had this policy, the widows would

not have had cause to come to our NGO

for assistance.

If the school your children attend does

not have this policy, you can make your

individual assurance arrangement,

although the premium might be slightly

higher because insurance works on

numbers: the more policy holders you

have in a scheme, the lower the

premium. Usually some parents plan

ahead and take up education endowment

policies for their children. Unlike many

term policies which are annual,

subscribers to education endowment

policies choose the number of years they

want to run the policy before maturity.

Many assurance companies stipulate five

years minimum before maturity for

education endowment policies. The

policy holder chooses his sum assured

and the policy tenure and the assurance

companies compute the premium. The

assured has the option of paying

monthly, quarterly or annually. At

maturity the sum assured is paid to the

policy holder. But if the policy holder dies

before the maturity of the policy, his

beneficiary is entitled to the full assured.

For instance, if the sum assumed is N20m

and the policy holder only paid N4m

before he died, his beneficiary is entitled

to the full sum assured of N20m. In

addition, if, for instance, after four years,

the policy holder loses his job and is

unable to continue paying the premium,

he can terminate the policy and the

assurance company will pay him what we

call surrender value (the premium he has

paid minus deductions for administrative

charges).

These policies have one thing in

common: they provide immediate and

bulk financial relief to the assureds or

beneficiaries in the event of an occurrence

insured against. For people without

reasonable savings – and they are in the

majority – payments from term policies

are game changers on the occurrence of

risks insured against. Talk to a Registered

Insurance Broker (RIB) today.

I had never seen a thing like that in my

life. Happily, the Archbishop changed the

situation because he believes that

Maduka.

Beyond the chains, Maduka; beyond the

chains, man is pre-eminent in dignity,

sacredness and honour. Maduka, man is

pre-eminent despite the devil’s effort to

steal his dignity and thus rob him of hope.

On that account, the necessity for a

holistic Prison corrective facility that is a

boon and not a bane to man and his

society is not lost to the Archbishop. With

a perfect understanding of the import of

Jesus’ sand-writing, Archbishop Val

Maduka Okeke goes to Prison in search

of the broken men and women because

Maduka. With personal visits of at least

three times a year (Christmas, Easter &

his birthday), he instantiates Christ in

whom man enjoys perfect freedom,

embodies their hope and becomes good

news to the inmates.

Precisely because there is no physical

imprisonment without prior metaphysical

imprisonment, he started with

strengthening and renewing the spiritual

and pastoral services to the inmates

entrusting the task to a vibrant and

dedicated young Priest and a Nun. He

renovated the Chapel and built a new one

for the Prison Staff and families and

charged the Chaplaincy to do everything

within their reach to provide life to the

inmates, including organising music and

sports activities. He initiated the

reconstruction of the Prison Dormitories

and making them habitable. His example

inspired some religious groups to come

to the rescue of the Prison. He provided

pipe borne water and vehicle for

conveying the sick to the hospitals. He

also detailed one of the Archdiocesan

Lawyers and JDPC Office to offer Legal

services to the inmates and through that

means liberated many innocent ones.

Beyond that, he gives regular food

materials and other material goods to

support the inmates, including Medical

care at the Holy Rosary Hospital and

Maternity, Waterside Onitsha. Over and

above these, he constructed a newly

commissioned Vocational/Skill

Acquisition Centre for the Federal Prison

Onitsha for a proper integration into the

society when one finishes serving the

time. The list never finishes!

Fr George ADIMIKE writes from Rome.


38—SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019

Nigeria’s future depends on reduced population growth

With 21 children, Mustafa says, had

he learnt about family planning and

its benefits earlier, he would have had

fewer. His oldest child is 33 years and the

youngest is nine.

“I did not plan to have many. It just happened

that my wives and I had them. Every year, my

wives would each give birth. The knowledge

of family planning came late when I had 18

children,” Mustafa says. He has two wives,

Mastula and Amina. “By this time, I wanted

to stop but I did not know what to do.”

Mustafa’s story is a reflection of current

studies and statistics, it mirrors the lives of

many families in the poorest communities of

Africa. Yet, Nigeria is special as it is already

the most populous African nation and on the

seventh rank in the world. If its population

of 200 million people

continues to grow at

the current rate of 3.2

per cent each year,

the country will

have the third largest

population

worldwide with 411

million people by

2050.

“Although

Nigeria has the

l a r g e s t

economy in

Africa,

population

growth is

outpacing the

economic

growth and

increasing the

poverty risk for

many Nigerians!”,

explains Professor Robert

Zinser, CEO of the Rotarian

Action Group for Population

and Development (RFPD). “More

than half of the population already lives below

the poverty line, while women and children

continue to die from preventable causes”

In 2012, the government pledged to increase

the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) from

15 to 36 per cent by 2020 by buying

contraceptives and providing them to women

who need them. Today, the country has

managed to increase the CPR to17 per cent,

but there is still much work to be done.

Family planning is the conscious effort of

couples using contraceptives to limit or space

the number of children they want to have.

Using modern contraceptives also helps

reduce maternal and infant deaths. According

to Nigeria’s Demographic and Health Survey

(NDHS) 2018, out of 100,000 woman giving

Governor Obiano and the care of former sports stars

Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

Nigeria’s past sporting heroes have no

greater supporter than Governor

Willie Obiano of Anambra State. This

uncommon testament comes from no less a

personage than the former captain of the Super

Eagles of Nigeria, Kanu Nwankwo.

The two-time African Footballer of the Year

and a legend of the English Premiership Club

Arsenal FC of London, Kanu Nwankwo

recently paid a courtesy visit to Governor

Obiano at his country home in Aguleri where

he stressed his joy over the great compassion

the governor had for ageing sports stars

especially the pioneer players of Rangers

International FC of Enugu who had played

with so much determination to restore the pride

of Ndigbo after the Civil War.

According to the former star player who set

up the Kanu Nwankwo Heart Foundation, “No

other Governor in Nigeria has shown such

appreciation to ageing footballers who had

brought joy to the people with their gifts when

they were young.”

The captain of the Nigerian team that won

Africa’s first soccer Olympic Gold Medal at

the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games expressed

profound gratitude to Governor Obiano for

showing kindness to the aged footballers. He

then urged “other governors to emulate

Governor Obiano who has shown a worthy

example by encouraging sportsmen and

women in Anambra to give their best in service

of the people.”

Governor Obiano’s model, as celebrated by

Kanu Nwankwo, is indeed noteworthy given

that our past sports heroes have almost always

died broken and unsupported. Former

National Team goalkeeper and 1980 African

Nations Cup stalwart Best Ogedegbe died

unsung. The ace Green Eagles defender and

IICC Shooting Stars captain Sam Ojebode

also passed on without any help forthcoming.

Before the coming of Governor Obiano, the

Green Eagles 1980 Nations Cup midfielder

and Enugu Rangers mainstay, Aloysius

birth 576 die, and out of 1000 children being

born 67 do not survive. In international

comparison these Maternal Mortality

(MMR) and Infant Mortality Ratios are very

high.

Provision of modern contraceptive methods

is one of the main components of sustainable

development and poverty alleviation. When

couples have fewer children, they spend less

income on immediate survival needs of food,

housing and clothing, leaving some savings

for education or investment capital.

Education and investment create productivity,

make industries grow and raise employment.

When people work, the government can tax

their incomes and generate capital to invest

in important sectors such as education,

infrastructure, health and food production.

This contributes

to long-term

productivity

and raises

the living

standards

of the

people.

So what

is stopping

Nigeria from

achieving its

desired family

planning goals?

And how can the

country prevent

more and more

families from falling

into a poverty trap

without any chance of

escape?

Nigeria’s Demographic

and Health Survey states that one

of the many ways Nigeria can avert this

situation is by increasing the knowledge

and use of modern family planning

methods among women of reproductive age.

It estimates that meeting women’s need for

modern contraceptives can prevent about onethird

of all maternal deaths.

However, out of the 45 million women of

child bearing age in Nigeria, only 7.6 million

are using a modern family planning method.

According to Nigeria’s National Family

Planning Communication Campaign, the

country wants to generate an additional 7.3

million new users of modern Family Planning

methods in Nigeria.

The country has increased awareness of

family planning to 85 per cent for women and

95 percent for men. Yet, Nigeria still grapples

with the sad reality of little in-depth knowledge,

low demand and uptake of family planning

products and services.

And here is where the problem comes from.

Atuegbu had things very rough in the last days

before giving up the ghost. His erstwhile

colleague, Okey Isima, went he same way.

Foster Ikeagu, also of Enugu Rangers,lost the

battle of life without being assisted.

Former Stationery Stores master dribbler

Haruna Ilerika of the Green Eagles goldwinning

team of the 1973 All-Africa Games in

Lagos, equally passed away without requisite

assistance. Peter “Eusebio” Anieke suffered the

same fate. The saddening list is indeed endless.

Due to Obiano’s intervention, the legendary

goalkeeper Emmanuel Okala of the then

Green Eagles and Enugu Rangers is now in

the care of the Anambra State Government.

Former Africa’s fastest sprinter Mary Onyali

is a sporting ambassador of Anambra State in

Governor Obiano’s scheme of things.

The inescapable fact is that the exertions

through sports in one’s youth eventually take a

heavy toll upon the advancement of the years.

The knees would start to give up. The joints

would then be jangling badly. Even in the

United States, the travails of arguably the

greatest boxer, Muhammad Ali, before his

death were a clear and present pointer to the

prize that stood to be paid after many years in

sports.

The ageing sportsmen and women of today

had their heyday in sports when football and

sundry sports were not money-spinning as is

the case today. These sports stars deployed their

talents with passion towards the promotion of

the nation and indeed Anambra State that

takes pride of place in producing Nigeria’s

most eminent champions such as Albert

Onyeanwuna, Dominic Ezeani, Ngozika

Ekwelum etc. They participated to safeguard

the pride of the motherland without asking to

be paid unlike what obtains today when elite

sports stars insist on having to be paid before

participation.

In tune with Governor Obiano’s pioneering

drive, there is the need to put in place a sports

endowment fund for the upkeep of the retired

stars. A nation that maltreats its past heroes

will only make future stars to lack the sense of

patriotism. These neglected stars used to be

Many women who expressed a desire to delay

their next pregnancy by at least two years were

not using a modern method of contraception

because they lack access to contraceptives.

Many hospitals are not able to fulfill the

needs for family planning products and

services. And even worse: Primary Health

Centres, which are the health institutions

closest to the people, are often desperately

lacking in trained staff for family planning

services. Health centres are also hit with

frequent stock-outs of contraceptive

commodities and, where they are available,

many centres still lack equipment to

administer the contraceptives like implants

and Intrauterine devices.

The second problem affecting uptake has

its roots in myths and misconceptions of

contraceptives, fear of side effects as well as

widespread opposition to the use of

contraceptives by women due to socio-cultural,

religion and spousal objections.

Another, very important reason is a lack of

education: About 47 per cent of women in

Nigeria don’t have any form of education. Yet,

going to school long enough allows girls to

delay child bearing but also empowers them

to make decisions about their bodies and

future lives. Their low status leaves women at

the mercy of their husbands to make their

healthcare decisions.

“Changing this situation takes more than

provision of family planning services. It

requires helping people understand the

personal benefits in health, wealth, and family

harmony of limiting and spacing births,” says

William Ryerson in his paper

Unmet Need - Lack of Access or

Lack of Cultural and

Informational Support. “It also

involves role modelling family

planning use and overcoming fear

that contraceptives are dangerous

or that planning one’s family is

unacceptable. It requires getting

husbands and wives to talk to each

other about use of family planning

– a key step in the process to begin

using contraceptives.”

What Nigeria

can do

In 2012, the government pledged

to provide US$ 8,3 million

annually for the procurement of

reproductive health commodities,

which includes contraceptives.

They also agreed to enlist the

support of development partners

like UNFPA, WHO, The Gates

Foundation, and Rotary

International to provide

the role models of the youths, and any

maltreatment meted out to them may redound

on how the young ones approach national

duties.

Sports rehabilitation for old sports stars

should not be limited to individual states. A

national policy is needed to follow the Obiano

example. Even with one million naira in some

instances, some of these former heroes can be

rehabilitated. It is incumbent on the Ministry

of Sports to have an inventory of Nigeria’s

past sports stars. This way, they can be given

regenerating roles as coaches, advisers and

scouts. When they fall ill they do deserve free

medical care. The former stars who earned

contraceptives, including oral pills, implants,

injectables, IUDs and male condoms.

A robust national multimedia Family

Planning and demand creating

communication campaign was designed by

Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health focusing

on increasing the knowledge and uptake of

Modern FP methods. Using targeted

media, the campaign will help to dispel

myths and misconceptions about family

planning that are stopping women from

starting or continuously and consistently

using contraceptives. With financial

support from the Rotarian Action Group

for Population and Development (RFPD), the

US-based NGO “Population Media Center”

will use targeted serialised dramas to dispel

cultural barriers as well as myths and

misconceptions. This will be complemented

by community dialogues with support from

traditional and religious leaders as well as

engage men to support their partners in

making decisions on desired family size.

The country is working towards increasing

and improving its service delivery points from

31 to 89 per cent to take contraceptives closer

to women who need them and make them

available at any time and every day. This will

further be supported by improving the

transport of contraceptives from national

government stores to the state stores and further

down to the nearest health centres in villages.

The Nigerian government’s efforts are

supported by RFPD’s ongoing nationwide

family planning campaign. This campaign

builds on a model that was

piloted in two northern states

of Kaduna and Kano that

saw a 60 per cent reduction

in maternal deaths and 15

per cent reduction in infant

deaths in participating

hospitals. A digital tool

Provision of

modern

contraceptive

methods is one

of the main

components of

sustainable

development and

poverty

alleviation

developed by RFPD for

improving maternal and

child health will now

include family planning

in 4000 health centres

over all 36 Nigerian states

and the federal capital.

The tool is used to closely

monitor the quality of

hospital facilities and

structures and the quality of

care provided by the medical

personal. Participating

hospitals can draw lessons

from this analysis to improve

the quality of care to mothers

and babies.

Nigeria her esteemed place in the sun of the

sporting world should henceforth be made to

stop suffering neglect.

Kanu Nwankwo has shown remarkable

prescience in boldly stating that “since

Governor Obiano assumed office as Anambra

State helmsman, he has placed all the pioneer

players of Rangers International Football

Club on a monthly welfare package and has

been picking up their medical bills.” To cap it

all up, Kanu Nwankwo presented a Super

Eagles jersey to governor Obiano as a token

of his appreciation for his excellent

performance.


SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019—39

He turned and looked toward

the door where a man was

beckoning at us to join the

other guests in the house. “And

it comes in different forms,” he

added, tossing away the

cigarette stub and hastening

towards the entrance.

I simply followed him in utter

disorientation. “What am I

supposed to do now with the

pen? Should I throw it away or

return it to him?” I muttered.

“Ahh! You’ve already taken

it from him. There’s nothing

you can do about that now. I

would understand if it were the

pen you got as a souvenir for

the Literature Award. Not this

cheap fifty-naira thing.”

“But come, Odum,” I said,

trying to appear like I didn’t

care, “all these your

superstitions sha. Yeah, Ijele

and I may not be friends in the

real sense of the word, but it’s

not like we’re total strangers.

I’m surprised you don’t know

him.”

“Okay, is that his name? I see

him around though but...”

“Yes, he’s the organizing

secretary of our party in

Oshimili North. He’s one of us.

I don’t think he meant any

harm. Maybe it’s his weird

dressing and offensive odor

that is giving you the jitters.”

“See this man. Oh, is that

what you’re saying? Alright,

sorry o. It’s your kettle of fish,”

he replied hurriedly.

As I sauntered behind Odum

to the building, I began to

ponder what had just

happened. Curiously, when we

got inside the house, Odum

ensured that we opted for seats

some distance away from Ijele

not minding that there were

empty chairs near him.

Although my eyes strayed in

Ijele’s direction once or twice, I

noticed that Odum’s eyes kept

wandering in his direction. It

was almost as if he suspected

that the man would tiptoe to

our location to cause further

mischief. At a point, Odum

tapped me and pointed toward

Ijele. “Look! Look! See how your

friend is picking his nose like a

bush man,” he said.

“He is not my friend,” I

retorted and gave Odum a long

look. He nudged me and

winked derisively.

The meeting turned out to be

a clarion call for us to keep our

political unit together in spite

of threats from Chief

Adiotomre’s opposing forces.

The tranquil setting of the

environment could not have

been more suitable for the

message. Unlike the hot and

over-crowded hall at the party

secretariat, Chief Ogbodo’s

sitting room was sufficiently

cooled from the three airconditioners

standing by the

corners of the parlor. White

plastic chairs were placed in

between and behind the black

leather settees. Every guest

was comfortably seated.

In the course of the meeting,

I expected that our host would

explain why the governor was

yet to call another enlarged

assembly as promised; but

from his comments, it was

evident that the expected

meeting might never hold. He

insinuated that a large

assembly as we had at the

party office in Asaba could not

be the appropriate atmosphere

in which to divulge our

counter measures toward our

foes. And when a few minutes

before we left his residence,

Chief Ogbodo directed the

thirty of us at the meeting to

start setting up underground

structures in our different

communities, outside the

formal party machinery, I

knew that the battle had

finally begun. The governor

did not need to flag it off. The

instruction had been given. In

simple terms, we were to start

preparing our members to join

another political party, or we

would form a totally new party

that would bear the stamp of

our distinct identity.

When the meeting began to

look like it would never end, I

consoled myself with the aroma

of fried rice and chicken oozing

from the buffet set in the dining

room on the left side of the

parlor. I, personally, couldn’t

wait for the meeting to be over,

and, I was sure that I wasn’t

the only one with such a desire.

Many other eyes had begun

stealing glances in the

direction of the dining table.

Beyond my political and

gastronomical considerations,

there was an ominous feeling

about Ijele and the pen that

kept flitting through my mind.

It began to dawn on me that I

should have damned courtesy

and told him to keep the pen.

Why did I feel this way? His

body language at the end of the

meeting seemed to suggest that

his return of the pen may not

have been as innocuous as I

thought.

*****

A few days after my

experience with Ijele, I began

to notice an unusual chain of

events happening around me.

Ordinarily, I would not have

attached much significance to

these setbacks, but they came

in such quick succession that

it really seemed like some

unseen forces may have truly

gone to work.

It was in this condition that I

took a trip to Benin City where

I was pursuing a part-time

masters’ degree course in

English at the University of

Benin. My research focus was

on colonial influences on the

evolution of African literature.

Asides the lectures that

compelled my weekend date

with the hub of the old Midwest

region, I was particularly

fascinated by the after-lecture

interactions I had with my

supervisor, Professor Ambrose

Idehen. And having been

weighed down by the generally

depressive air I had found

myself in, I felt there was no

better time than now to seek

inspiration from the moral and

intellectual fountain of the

erudite scholar.

It did not help that the first

two hours I’d spent in the

lecture hall earlier that

Saturday had further dimmed

my already low spirits. The

Things grew worse when word seeped

out that the new-found zest in

Adiotomre’s camp was fueled by the

number of people from the governor’s

group who sneaked around at night to

court their friendship

teacher, Dr. Arthur Edosomwan,

was my least favorite lecturer.

During his class, we were

subjected to copying lengthy

dictations from his notes, a sharp

contrast to the dazzling

deliveries of Professor Idehen.

Also, the school—and class—

was near empty as it was the first

day after a semester break. The

place was yet to come alive with

the bubbly campus shuttles for

which university communities

were known. But I knew Idehen

would spice up my evening. I had

tried calling his office earlier in

the day, but his number was not

connecting. So, not sure what to

expect but driven by memories

of his delightful presence, I set

out for his office.

I was lucky. As was

customary, his office door was

wide open. The room glowed

with rays of the receding sun,

as though draped in a garment

of orange. He looked up from

the book on his table. “Oh, Mr

Benjamin! Good to see you

again. You don’t look happy

today. What’s the matter? I

thought you should be

cheerful…you’ve just been

honoured for writing the best

prose of the year.”

“Thanks, Prof. I’m okay. Good

evening, sir.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Welcome back from the

break,” I said and feigned a

smile.

“Thanks.”

He riffled through the pages

of the book before him, marked

a spot, and looked up again.

“What’s the problem? You

shouldn’t be carrying this sad

face around,” he said as he

beckoned me to a seat.

“Sorry, sir. Lately, so much

has been happening in my

state. I didn’t realize it was

beginning to tell on me,” I said,

smiling weakly at the

professor. Though a naturally

dark and plump man, he

appeared to have added some

weight–even his red lips

seemed to have gone scarlet.

His brown French suit was

looking a little tight on him. It

was probably a result of the

restful days of the holiday.

“Oh, really? Do you mind

telling me about these

occurrences? I hope the

governor is not dissolving his

cabinet.” He gave a guarded

grin. “I know that is the

scourge of every political

appointee,” he said and

repositioned himself on his

chair.

“Ahh, no. But with what is

going on now, Prof, I won’t be

surprised if it happens.”

He pushed the book aside,

clasped his hands, and

scrutinized me with a worried

look on his face. “That must be

serious then,” he said.

I went on to narrate how the

Blue Party’s leadership in

Abuja had decided to wrest the

structures of the party in my

state away from the governor.

I did not need to explain the

implications to the professor as

he had formerly been involved

in politics. He had contested for

a seat in the senate years back

and lost before he later served

as commissioner for

infrastructure development in

Edo State. Due to this, it was

easy for him to understand that

if the Abuja pronouncement

remained unchallenged, it

would be a total wipe-out for

everyone on the governor’s

side. They would all be

condemned to a political

wilderness of sorts. For, without

the support of party officers

and delegates who constituted

the core structures of the

party, no party member could

contest the general elections

using the party’s ticket.

The professor shook his head

and pursed his lips as I spoke.

In his usual fashion, he did not

interrupt. His willingness to

listen to other parties was a

quality that was often admired

by his students. When I was

done, he sighed and rested his

back on the chair. “So, what is

the governor doing about it?”

he asked.

“Well, he has met with us.”

“Oh, good. What did he say?

By the way, sorry. You care for

something to drink?”

I looked toward the white

refrigerator by the corner of

the office. “I won’t mind a soft

drink. Thank you, sir.”

“Ok, make yourself

comfortable.” He pointed to the

fridge.

As I rose to go for the drink, I

muttered, “It appears he’s

mulling over the idea of

leaving the party.”

“He wants to leave the

party?” the professor asked

before bursting into laughter.

“Yes.”

“I don’t think that’s the right

way to go. You see what I’ve

been saying? I have never

really had much faith in that

your governor.”

“Prof, I know. But on this

matter, I think they’ve been

unfair to him.”

“Look, Mr Benjamin.” He

waved his hand in his

characteristic manner of

gesticulating whenever he

spoke.

“Your man is not just it.

Thank God we are not from the

same state.”

I shook my head. “Wadudu

may have made some

mistakes, but the measures

taken by Abuja are just to the

extreme.”

How?”

How could they hand over

the machinery of the entire

state to Chief Adiotomre? They

did not even ask us to go back

and harmonize our positions.”

“Oh, really?” The professor

flashed a cynical smile and

shook his head in a manner

that suggested he disagreed

with my stand.

“Yes,” I replied. “They should

at least accord the governor a

little respect.”

“Your governor probably

didn’t play his game well. The

spoils of war are a legitimate

reward for valour. The forces

in Abuja would first recognize

their sponsors before looking at

other persons.

Continues next week


40—SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019

Legs in China,

eyes on Russia

•Chinese

Policemen pose

with African

journalists at

border with Russia

By Soni Daniel, at Black Dragon River,

Chinese border with Russia

Finally, we came across a Chinese rural

community! The main city is called

Mohe while the small community

that effectively separates China from Russia

on the North most axis is called Arctic

Village by the Chinese. Mohe City is in

Heilongjian Province, whose major City is

Harbin, a highly developed area in China.

Festooned on heavy vegetation

systematically developed and sustained by

the Chinese government, Mohe, the last city

linking China with Russia on the North most

axis of the country, is encircled by brooks of

water, breath-taking foliage and mountains

and is an attractive natural cynosure that

pulls crowds like a honey pot. The tallest

building in Mohe has five floors and the

Mohe International

Convention Centre, a two-star

hotel and convention facility,

can be counted as one of the

most iconic structures in the

town but it has real life. Water,

electricity, transportation and

security are as efficient as in

any other city in the Asian

country. For example, about

five minutes after four African

delegates sneaked into the town

to have hair cut, no fewer than

three police vehicles tactically

trailed them until they

ascertained that we were

cleared and brought into the

city by the government. That

was when they beat a retreat

and waved at us with a wry

smile. It is not difficult for the

Chinese to spot and take out a

stranger in their midst because

as an official explained to us

during one of our briefings at

the National Radio and

Television Administration,

But the river

is so clear,

charming

and tempting

especially to

those from

riverine

communities

who can

swim

China makes ample use of Artificial

Intelligence to monitor movements into and

out of its domain. As a rule, every new

entrant into the city is required to report to

the nearest police station for documentation

if they don’t stay in a hotel. If the new entrant

is to lodge in a hotel, necessary

documentations, including confirmation by

Border Control and Immigrations would be

made before a space is allocated by any hotel

in the country.

It was from the city centre that the officials

of the Daxinganling District moved us in

two massive electric buses to Arctic Village

to savour the allure and beauty of the Black

Dragon River and have a taste of how a

typical Russian village also looks like. It was

during the road tour that we came face to

face with what typifies a local road in

China. Yes, make no mistake about it,

China has rural roads and communities but

they are equipped with the basic needs of

human beings. Though most part of the

rural area are farming areas, the farmers

are big time income earners. They go to their

farms with their choice vehicles and have

ready markets for their produce and they

live quality life as those who chose to do

other white-collar jobs. They are mostly

green house farmers who rely on machinery

to grow food with ease and make

maximum yield from their

investments.

The road linking Mohe with Russia

is a single-lane road currently

undergoing reformation and one feels

a bit afraid when two big buses pass

each other on the narrow, winding and

hilly road with many interruptions

occasioned by the rehabilitation

works. Both sides of the road are

enveloped by thick vegetation of

selected trees and plants that throw

up scintillating ornamental flowers of

many colours while birds and animals

occasionally render sonorous sounds

from their locations. Bird nests are

provided by the government on some

of the tall trees and the whole scenario

plays out like a well constructed

relaxation hub by Mother Nature.

Although electric poles and

telephone line began to disappear

about 40 kilometres to the tourism

village, electricity, water and internet

facilities work effectively in the village.

As a result, we bought ice-cream, wild fruits,

nuts and berries; and munched and

munched and munched under the blistering

sunlight! The experience was like that of the

early days of ‘excursions’ in our secondary

and university days when a trip outside the

school environment brought so much joy

and excitement to all.

But the beauty and the feeling triggered

by a visit to the Chinese border with Russia

provide an exceptional, exciting and

lingering memory in you and make you feel

like staying back there permanently or

always going back there regularly. It is both

a tourism delight to behold and a temptation

to indulge in! After passing through the final

land border post mounted by eagle-eyed

Chinese security agents, a wooden bridge

welcomes you to the Black Dragon River

with solid, well paved and highly decorated

playground at the river bank with the best

of Chinese cultural artifacts lavishly

displayed. The best of exotic Chinese

ornamental flowers are also brimming here

with life and sometimes kissing the smoothflowing

river that continuously stares at you

as if it is saying ‘come into me and see how

beautiful I am’. But there is a problem there!

Nobody is ever allowed to jump into the river

by the security men who have erected

numerous warning signs around the beach,

one of which is ‘It is dangerous to jump into

a dark river’. Don’t ever do so here!

But the river is so clear, charming and

tempting especially to those from riverine

communities who can swim. It is also crystal

clear it can mirror your face on it. You can

even count the white stones spreading out

from the deep to the shore while some

tourists even pick out some species of fish

from the river bank with their bare hands.

The width of the river from the Chinese to

the Russian side is about 500 metres with a

clear view between the two borders. While

the Russians soldiers mount their military

posts openly apparently to ward off

intruders, the Chinese security agents merely

display some sophisticated patrol boats at

the edge of their seafronts but no weapon is

openly displayed as they man their duty posts

with a sense of seriousness and dedication.

Thus, one can put his legs on Chinese soil

and see Russia with his eyes across the river.

Right there, you can shout in China and be

seen and heard in Russia but the rule seems

to be that nobody in China crosses the

centre of the river to the Russian side and

vice versa. While we were there, a Chinese

patrol boat sailed off from their side of the

river but did not make any attempt to cross

the median of the water to the Russian side.

The Russian soldiers on the other side

neither made any gesture to the Chinese side

nor seemed attracted by the tourist activities

on the Chinese side even as they watched

with rapt attention.

This is the scenario that plays out daily

during the summer as thousands of tourists

continue to flog the Chinese side on a daily

basis to enjoy the beauty and serenity

consciously provided by the Chinese

government.

All over the Chinese front of the Black

Dragon River, which has been built into a

tourism Village complete with hotels, luxury

apartments, playgrounds, eco-friendly

Chinese restaurants, are choice artifacts,

carvings and sculptures symbolizing the

virtues of love, strength, favour, peace,

wealth, wisdom and general wellbeing. They

are festooned on wood, stones and trees

and buried on the ground as a mark of

connection with nature with some of them,

as old as the history of man. A Chinese

journalist confirmed to me that the Chinese

border post with Russia, which was

remodeled and commissioned in 2014, was

already 143 years old at the time. It is a

delight to relish in the summer when sunlight

peaks as in the tropic and a place to avoid

like a plague in the winter when the

temperature drops to as low as -24 degrees

centigrade.

But the beauty and allure of Mohe is

capped with the construction of a wooden

tower that can only be accessed by climbing

888 stairs, which is overlooking the Black

Dragon River and provides the highest

location in Daxinganling district to view the

whole town and its environs. But

successfully climbing the stairs requires

perseverance, physical fitness and

determination. It is not a good place for

those with fear or phobia for height

because they can easily fall off the

mountain once they turn to look down.

While Mohe remains a local historical link

centre between China and Russia, it has

also emerged as a money-spinner, global

attention-attracting relaxation joint and

awe-inspiring tourism destination all

because China has discovered how to use

every natural gift to make wealth for its

people. If you doubt it, go to the Great Wall,

the Palace Museum or the Forbidden City,

the Beijing Zoo and the Bird’s Next and see

how many heads pour in there daily just to

catch a glimpse and what is generated by

way of cash!


MultiChoice Talent Fact

actor

ory:

Strengthening the course of

African youths

Stories by Moses Nosike

Before a visit to MultiChoice

Talent Factory Academy

Center, where selected students from

West African youths are being

groomed on business of film

production and as well make them

become entrepreneurs, my concern

had centered on how most Nigerian

youths are roaming around the

streets aimlessly with little or without

any intervention to provide them

with skill acquisition for selfemployed

or make them

employable to secure their futures.

Again, how do we retrain those

group of youths who graduated

from our tertiary institutions to meet

industry requirements for

employment. The above mentioned

informed my going around

searching for public and private

built centres that have designed

empowerment programmes to

honestly reach out to people so as to

reduce unemployment, restiveness,

crime etc. in the society especially

among the youths, without which the

government will continue to fight

insecurity which is affecting foreign

investment.

So, at the media chart with the

Chief Executive Officer,

MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe

and his group that proceeded the on

going Big Brother Naija, John Ugbe

made mention of MTF which cut

my attention. Immediately after the

media chart, we proceeded to see

for ourselves the MTF and I was

impressed with the environment

where selected African youths are

assembled for empowerment

programme for self-reliant and job

creation.

The MTF with its first set of

graduates is already mitigating the

effect of youth unemployment in

Sub-Sahara Africa, having

committed millions of naira on

facility to ensure the foundation

equals international standard in

order to reposition the African

youths to compete globally. This is

a legacy MultiChoice has built that

would endure in history.

John Ugbe, the ever smiling and

soft speaking CEO seems not to be

complete without empowering the

youth not minding the cost and

challenges. Youth empowerment

seems to be running in his DNA and

if we have many of John Ugbe in

our environment, African youths

will no doubt utilise their God-given

potentials thereby ending poverty in

their families and as well reduce

unemployment to the barest

minimum, adding value to

economies of Africa and in

diaspora.

However, monitoring his

programmes on DStv including the

on-going Big Brother Naija over the

years has shown that youths

dominate most of the them.

According to John Ugbe, the

launch of the Academy is expected

to provide Africa’s next generation

of film and television storytellers

that would assist to enrich television

content across the continent.

Ugbe said that during the launch

of the programmes some months

ago, the film and television industry

is the pioneer of creative industries

in Africa and is particularly relevant

as a tool for shaping the African

narrative.

“We have been telling authentic

and well-produced stories that only

Africans themselves can tell.

Nevertheless, there is a lot of raw

talent that need to be nurtured and

polished. The Academy will give

such talent the opportunity to hone

their skills, thereby increasing the

pool of world-class talent within the

industry. It’s also about teaching the

selected candidates the business of

film and television”.

In that visit to the academy, the

students expressed delight on the

exposure they have received from

the training.

One of the trainees, Adeniyi

Joseph said that the kind of training

they are receiving at the academy

would help them become

entrepreneurs thereby creating job

in the society.

According to the MTF Academy

Director, West Africa, Mr. Femi

Odugbemi, the students were

equipped with editing software.

Each of them got a camera because

their assignment is individually

based. But they also get everything

they do in the server. Also everything

we do here is recorded in the server

and we are CCTV friendly.

Nigeria is still missing in science and

technology space—Gonzena Boss

S

cience and technology is the

way forward for developing

countries. Advancement of science

and technology is one reason the

western world is ruling the world.

The Director, Midwest and

Gonzena, Engineer Johnny Esike

who believes in creativity for any

country to be comfortable has

expressed his dismay that Nigeria

is still missing in the space of

science and technology in spite of

the resources at her disposal.

Engr. Esike said that, since

Nigeria has not taken its place in

science and technology space which

rules the world, it will be difficult

for the country to attain

development.

According to him, invention is

what sustains the best economies of

the world and not oil. “It is a high

time Nigeria embarked on creativity

to revive its economy and join the

league of advanced nations soaring

higher in science and technology.

Esike said that countries where

science and technology thrive

create employments for their people

and criminality, insecurity etc. are

reduced to the bearest minimum.

He said; “It is obvious now that

oil alone cannot sustain the country,

even the exploration of our crude

oil still requires technology to get

to the finishing point and because

the country has not developed its

local contents, we still depend on

foreign expatriates to refine our

Student trainees at the MultiChoice Talent Factory receiving

empowerment

crude and whatever condition given

placed on us we abide by it”.

Continuing, Esike said if Nigeria

must take its rightful place in science

and technology to attain growth and

development, government must

strengthen our education system to

guarantee quality education of

Nigerians who will be hungry for

invention.

Engr. Esike revealed this at the

70th birthday thanksgiving and

celebration of Otunba Stephen

O.Taiwo JP. DOM, at Fadeyi, Yaba,

Lagos.

He further said that, for proper

restructuring, government should

appoint those who are qualified and

with passion for the sector so that

desired achievement and

development could be recorded for

the country to move forward. He

also advised that appointment in

that sector should not be political,

those who don’t understand science

and technology otherwise the sector

will remain stagnant.

Esike who started earlier his

career as marine engineer has

remained resilience and resolute in

contributing his quota to the growth

and development of our dear

country. He has provided jobs for

young graduates and many others

in his company.

Presently, the young director in his

quest to create more jobs, save lives,

prevent gas explosions in public and

residential areas recently initiated

a project which has to do with the

process of building gas plants

underground going on in Edo state,

first of its kind in Nigeria.

From left, Otunba Stephen O. Taiwo

with Director, Midwest and

Gonzena, Engineer Johnny Esike

during Otunba’s birthday

thanksgiving in Lagos.

SATURDAY Vanguard, , AUGUST 17,2019—41

Ver

erve e Global Card partner

tners to

launches 1st international

transaction

Verve, a leading payments technology and card business in Africa, and

Discover Global Network, the payments brand of Discover, has launch

the Verve Global Card. Cardholders will now have the ability to use their

Verve Global Cards on the Discover Global Network which provides

acceptance in more than 190 countries and territories. This will expand

Verve’s existing suite of tailored payment products and solutions for its

customers.

The first transaction occurred at Swarovski in New York City. Senior

executives from First Bank, Access Bank and Fidelity Bank purchased

various items from Swarovski using their Verve Global Card on the Discover

Global Network.

The agreement with Discover Global Network will facilitate

new international and cross border transaction capabilities for

Verve Global Card customers, meeting the needs of its increasingly

global customer base.

Interswitch Group Managing Director, Mitchell Elegbe, said

that the agreement with Discover Global Network will enable

Verve to compete with other global card offerings, providing

cardholders with an enhanced customer experience when

transacting globally outside Nigeria. Creating a solution which

facilitates international payments for our consumers will help to

eliminate existing barriers and simplify the process when

transacting abroad.

Senior Vice President, International Markets, Discover, Ricardo

Leite said, “It is important to us that we are working with groups

around the world to extend acceptance for their cardholders”.

“At Discover, we recognize the importance of being able to use

your card of choice no matter where you are traveling.”

In addition, International Divisional Chief Executive Officer ,

Verve, Mike Ogbalu III, said that the launch of the Verve Global

Card provides consumers with the ability to transact globally

across the US and other countries, addressing challenges that

many Nigerians have experienced while travelling abroad. Our

partnership with Discover Global Network will help us to optimize

the overall experience of every Verve Global card holder by

guaranteeing consistent and efficient payment solutions regardless

of where they are in the world”.

Stanbic IBTC promotes healthy living,

wellness, among employees

A

s part of its contribution towards promoting wellness and healthy

living amongst its employees, Stanbic IBTC, a member of the Standard

Bank Group, recently held the 2019 edition of the Stanbic IBTC Employee

Health and Wellness week. The Health and Wellness Week marked the

culmination of activities of Stanbic IBTC’s annual Health Week programme,

designed to educate and enlighten the company’s employees and the public

on issues concerning healthy living and wellness.

The 2019 Health and Wellness Week was held across the cities of Lagos,

Ibadan, Port Harcourt and IIorin on Saturday, August 10, 2019.

Speaking at this year’s edition which was themed: “Healthy Mind,

Healthy Body - Reloaded”, Yinka Sanni, Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic

IBTC Holdings PLC, encouraged the company’s employees to pay more

attention to their mental health, to be more mindful about their lifestyle and

to inculcate healthy habits.

Giving tips on how to maintain a good state of mental health, the Stanbic

Group CEO stressed the need to constantly challenge oneself and reach out

to people for support.

He said: “You should challenge yourself to do more, learn new skills, look

out for innovative and creative ways of doing things and also learn to

manage pressure and extend a helping hand to others. There is always

somebody that can do with a helping hand around you if you are attentive.”

Sanni further advocated the need to take breaks to refresh while also

pursuing excellence. “We should take time out to refresh. Be sure to take a

10 day break this year. We should also learn to practice excellence and bring

out our very best. I also counsel that we should live in the present”, he added.

In her welcome address, Olufunke Amobi, Country Head, Human Capital,

Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, noted that the company fervently pursues a

policy of promoting a healthy lifestyle amongst its staff members. She

stated that the Health Fair was instituted in order to make staff members of

the company become more conscious of adopting healthier lifestyle choices.

She said: “This Health Fair is particularly very important to us because

the health and wellness of our staff has a direct correlation with our vision,

mission and our existence as an organisation.

Amobi spoke on why the company chose to retain last year’s theme,

which was also “Healthy Mind, Healthy Body”: “During deliberations, we

concluded that the importance of having a healthy mind and healthy body

cannot be overemphasized. Having a sound mind and body is indeed

important. As such it is very important that we have a healthy balance

between achieving what is critical to us while also taking very good care of

our bodies in the process.”

Cowbellpedia TV quiz show, , season fiv

ive

begins

T

he mental fireworks for season five of the Cowbellpedia Secondary

Schools Mathematics Television Quiz Show sponsored by Cowbell

Milk, the flagship brand of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, began last weekend

in Lagos with high expectation on the part of the participating students and

their teachers.

With a grand prize of N2million and bragging right at stake, the 108

students who scaled the hurdles of the qualifying examination in February

2019, were optimistic about their chances of becoming the 2019

Cowbellpedia champion.

The contestants are also aiming at beating the record set last year by Miss

Faith Odunsi of The Ambassador College, Ota Ogun State, who solved 19

Mathematics questions within the 60 seconds of fame segment of the

competition.

The quiz show which will run for 12 weeks, is divided into nine preliminary

stages, and three semi-finals before the grand finale in November 2019.

The organisers also promised that this year’s edition would be more

educative and fun-filled as Cowbellpedia is committed to “nurturing great

inventors”.

In the contest last weekend, Master Okafor Ebubechukwu of Saint Francis

Catholic Secondary School, Idimu, Lagos, and Master Salami Ayorinde of

Princely Academy, Ota, Ogun State moved into the semi-finals of the junior

category. The senior category produced Master Uche-Nwichi Jessey - the

2017 junior champion and Master IroghamaUyiosa both of Graceland

International School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State as semi-finalists.

Aside the N2 million grand prize, Managing Director of Promasidor

Nigeria Limited, Mr. Anders Einarsson disclosed that the winner in each of

categories, (junior and senior) will enjoy an all-expense paid educational

excursion outside the country at the end of the initiative.

In addition, the first and second runners-up in each category will receive

N1.5 million and N1 million respectively, while the teachers of the top prize

winners will be awarded N500, 000. Those of the first and second runnersup

will receive N400, 000 and N300, 000 respectively.


42—SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019

At 78, IBB maintains his

essential beats, but…

By Sufuyan Ojeifo

Ihad, in the past, written a number of

tributes on the occasion of the

anniversary of former military president,

General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB).

I penned the last one in 2017 on his 76 th

birthday titled: “At 76, IBB sustains his essential

rhythm”. I had introduced the subject matter

by pointing out how special the month of

August is to him, being the month of his birth

and the month he stepped in and out of the

saddle as military president.

Nothing has changed or can change the fact

that the eighth month in the annual calendar

holds a great deal of significance for him and

intense attraction to his admirers in the

contemplation and celebration of the IBB

persona, which is wrapped in enigma. The

phenomenal individuality that lives on the

mythical Hilltop in Minna marks his 78 th

anniversary this year (August 17).

Interestingly, at an age shy of 80, IBB

continues to maintain his important beats.

But, it is about time he confronted his existential

conundrums before he takes his deserved place

in the pantheon. At 78, IBB can laugh death to

scorn. In other words, as a veritable human

institution, he has overcome the fear of deathcertainly

no more points to prove. He can

fittingly appropriate the Latin phrase

attributed to Julius Caesar, in a letter to the

Roman Senate around 47 BC after he had

achieved a quick victory in his short war

against Pharnaces II of Pontus at the Battle of

Zela, “Veni, vidi, vici”, meaning I came, I saw

and I conquered.

As a sui generis statesman, IBB had defined

his eon with the magnitude of his character,

military discipline and political beliefs. He

•Babangida

had compulsorily fought a number of battles;

he had also deliberately chosen some battles

to fight while in the face of imminent defeats

in some other battles, he had beaten tactical

retreats; and, perhaps guided on those

occasions by the eternal words of

Demosthenes, an epic Greek orator, after the

Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC where,

according to notes, he deserted, to wit: “For

he that fights and runs away, may live to fight

another day.”

One of such occasions was the annulment

of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won

by the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola. IBB had

stepped aside following national and

international pressure against his plan to

elongate his stay in power. The other was the

battle to return to the presidency via the ballot

box, but which plan he abandoned in 2007

under the tension of counter goal and

intimidation by the powers-that-be. By

stepping aside amid the ballyhoo that greeted

the annulment of the June 12 presidential

election, IBB had cleverly negotiated his

survival against so many forces that had

engaged him in a survival battle.

That episodic event followed his sustenance

in power via the support of a carefully selected

crop of academics and brilliant minds, with

whose cerebral resources, he had survived the

dialectics and polemics of intellectual

interrogations of the contents of his transition

programme from the wider community of the

nation’s anti-military eggheads. IBB had also

surmounted the political confrontations by the

old guard of barely principled politicians, who

piled pressure on him to surrender power to

civil authority, as well as the tangible strain of

his own military constituency, which was

ready to explore the coup option as a last resort

to bring his regime to a terminus.

As I wrote before, in the peak of the

commotion, the army general who survived a

bloody coup masterminded by Major Gideon

Orkar, had decided to stop the seeming

unending mesmerism of the polity,

characterized by continuous shifts of and

adjustments in the transition timetable. In

the face of obvious loss of popular support

and national goodwill, the famed Maradona

of Nigeria’s political landscape, had thrown

in the towel and emplaced an Interim

National Government headed by Chief Ernest

Shonekan. He had retreated to his Hilltop

mansion in Minna for power-brokerage

communion.

Since 1993, the avuncular IBB has

continued to minister to the needs of his

loyalists as an oracle of sorts, building for

himself a seemingly impregnable myth of the

ultimate power broker until it was shattered

in 2006 when the then president, General

Olusegun Obasanjo, unleashed the Economic

and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

on his first son, Mohammed, for his alleged

24 percent shareholding in Globacom. The

melodrama of Mohammed’s invitation by the

EFCC happened about the eve of IBB’s 65 birthday in 2006. It was also a prelude to the

widespread agitations by IBB’s followers to

have him join the race for the presidency in

2007.

Between hunting down Adenuga, who was

believed to be a trusted business ally of IBB

and Mohammed, was IBB himself who,

although was untouched, got the message that

he should not attempt to vie for the presidency

on the platform of the Peoples Democratic

Party (PDP) or any other party’s platform for

that matter. Since that incident, which saw

IBB withdraw his interest after picking the

expression of interest form, he has remained

content with his pastime as a perceptive

“prophetic” or “oracular” diviner. His

influence in shaping the direction of leadership

and governance has not been diminished by

the reality of the socio-economic and political

conditions that served as an endgame to his

regime in 1993.

I have always argued that the political

ferment that culminated in the anti-climax of

his historic egress was an inalienable part of

the corpus of knowledge that underpinned the

nation’s ill-fated Third Republic, over which

his regime superintended. Notwithstanding,

he chose to be his own prophet, declaring that

he was stepping aside. He did so with the

intention of returning to power some day, but

his prophecy did not come true. The year 2007

had marked a dramatic retreat by IBB into

his shell. It was a denouement of sorts.

Opposition to his presidential aspiration had

come from Obasanjo, the man he helped to

power in 1999. He had to withdraw from

the race because he could not secure

Obasanjo’s critical support.

•Ojeifo, an Abuja-based journalist,

contributed this piece via

ojwonderngr@yahoo.com

Why Nigeria airlines must go into partnership —Nick Fadugba

Stories by Lawani Mikairu

Former Secretary General of African

Airlines Association, Mr Nick Fadugba

has pleaded with Nigeria airline

operators to form partnership and work

together in operations, training of personnel ,

maintenance of fleet, in order to be able to

compete globally. He also said the fleet size of

Nigerian local operators and resources at their

disposal is not enough to make them global

players individually.

According to Fadugba, “ some Nigerian

airline operators are quite poor financially, so

we need to do better. You know the international

aviation industry has changed dramatically

since the days of Nigerian airways. Today, no

airline can succeed working alone. And

therefore I want to once again appeal to airlines

in Nigeria to come together, to work together

in operations, training, maintenance. We need

to partner. Even if we don’t merge we need to

partner with one another. The average

maximum fleet size in Nigeria is about 10

aircraft and yet we are competing with British

Airways that has over 400 aircraft”.

“Delta airlines have over 500 aircraft. Even

Ethiopian airlines has a 110 aircraft. So how

can small airlines compete? And I am not

being disrespectful . If you don’t have a critical

mass in terms of size, in term of good

management, in terms of fleet, in terms of good

network, it is very hard to succeed. So we

have the market in Nigeria, we are very

fortunate but the fact is that our airlines are at

the moment not of the size that can compete

effectively against the big airlines coming into

Nigeria”.

“I also want to appeal to the federal

government of Nigeria, over the past 15 to 20

years since the demise of Nigerian airways, I

regret the liquidation of Nigerian airways.

Kenya Airways was turned around and it was

in a worse position than Nigerian airways at

the time, so we could have saved it but we didn’t.

However, since Nigerian airways was

liquidated there was no airline to reciprocate

on Bilateral Air Service Agreements, BASA, so

foreign airlines gained a huge advantage over

Nigerian airlines. But now we need to sit down,

we need review the situation”.

“Don’t forget an air route to Nigeria is like

an oil block, it has economic value, we cannot

just be giving them away free of charge. These

days people don’t like to pay for BASAs but the

*Decries capital flight from Aviation

fact is until we have a stronger airline industry

in Nigeria, we need to review the setup because

all airlines in Nigeria including Air Peace are

complaining that the system today is unfair, it

is not in our interest. I also want to appeal to

the government to support private airlines like

Air peace and many others, of course we want

a national carrier but this should not be done

to the disadvantage of private carriers like Air

peace”.

He also said “Air Peace has launched long

haul services to Dubai but they need support

from government and from the flying public

in Nigeria. I don’t see why Emirates coming

into Nigeria from Dubai why they can’t partner

with Air peace. if Air peace can partner with

Emirates to Dubai it is a win-win. So Emirates

shouldn’t have the lion share of the business

and it is the government that can influence

that”.

he Customs Area Comptroller of the

TMurtala Mohammed International

Airport, Lagos, MMIA, Command of

Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Wale

Adeniyi has said that the federal government

did not say citizens cannot take money out of

the country or, bring money into the country,

irrespective of the amount. What the rule says,

according to him, is that once it is above a

particular threshold, it must be declared.

Adeniyi made the declaration in a

statement in Lagos to mark the 2019 Eid-el-

Kabir celebration. According to him, “There

are laws and regulations that govern

international travels – in terms of the kind of

goods that they bring back into the country.

Some of them are as simple as in terms of the

size of your luggage.

“We have things that are of absolute

prohibition. So, the issue about that, for me

about this period, in respect of the message to

the people, is that they should avoid bringing

those goods that are banned into the country;

and that, they should also avoid taking out

On why he has consistently advised Nigeria

airline operators, Fadugba said , “First of

all I am very passionate about aviation in

Nigeria. I believe we are not where we

should be today, given our resources.

There is no market in Africa that is

comparable to Nigeria. Whether you are

a market lady or a board chairman, we

travel, we are a nation of traders. Many

foreign airlines are coming into Nigeria

making good profit and yet most Nigerian

airlines to the best of my knowledge are

not making a lot of money”.

The former AFRAA Secretary General

also emphasized that aviation in Nigeria,

if properly harnessed, could become one

of the keys to Nigeria’s future prosperity

and that the government must have the

political will to drive this prosperity

export prohibitions like endangered species of

animals, hard currency and things like that.

“It is absolutely very important that we

emphasize the issue of money laundering:

there is no government that says citizens cannot

take money out of the country or, bring money

into the country, irrespective of the amount.

What the rule says is that once it is above a

particular threshold, it must be declared.

”We want to encourage people who travel

outside the country to go and make some

business; we want to encourage those who

already have their businesses abroad, and they

want to repatriate cash back home. There are

so many electronic options for them to do this

across the borders; but if they choose to do it

by cash, they should obey the rules.

“My message to them is to obey the extant

rules, by declaring such things when they come

to the airport. There is a very strict penalty, if

not declared; those money could be confiscated

and of course, just as a lot of endangered species

that international laws and convention try to

through workable and sustainable

policies and support of indigenous

Airlines.

He said, “though a lot had been

achieved, many challenges still

remained; Aviation safety, security,

training, regulatory oversight and

infrastructure, liberalisation,

modernisation, funding, efficiency,

affordability and profitability all needed

to be improved significantly. All these need

improved government policies”.

Fadugba further said a situation in

which over 90% of international air traffic

to and from Nigeria was carried by non-

Nigerian airlines was damaging to the

economy in several ways, such as the huge

capital flight from Nigeria, the continued

deterioration of the Nigerian aviation

industry and the loss of skilled aviation

employment opportunities.

No government says citizens cannot bring money in or out of the

country — Custom Comptroller

protect must be protected; for instance,

elephant tusk, pangolin, some plants and

animals that have been banned, those are the

kind of things we should not travel with, out of

the country.

”So basically, this will be my advice, we

desire to have customer friendly airport, stress

free check in, outward and inward clearance

so when people comply with the laws, it would

be stress free for them. When people buy

merchandize in their baggage, if you travel

and you bring in things that are considered to

be in commercial quantities, the CG of

Customs has made it possible now that such

goods can be assessed right there at the airport;

duties can be assessed; you will know how much

you pay and there are banks there, working

24/7 where you can make your duty payment

almost immediately; and those goods will be

released immediately for you.

“So if you travel, buy only those things,

that are not in commercial quantities but

if you are bringing them in commercial

quantities , be ready for assessment of

baggage and payment of duty at the

airport, this will be my message,” he added.


Police parade suspected killers of Rev

Fr. Offu, 30 others in Enugu

By Dennis Agbo

THE Police in Enugu

State have paraded

two suspected killers of Rev

Fr Paul Offu, who was killed

on August 1 along Ihe-Agbudu

road in Awgu local

government area of the

state.

The command also said

that the two also took part

in the kidnapping of HRH

Igwe Sunday Orji and his

wife on August 4 along Enugu-Port

Harcourt road, almost

in the same area that

the clergy was murdered.

The police however said

that three suspected participants

of the crime were at

large.

The names of the two suspected

killers of the priest

paraded were given as Ibrahim

Adamu (25 years) from

Taraba State and Idris Tobe

(28 years).

The names of the three

suspects still at large were

given as Garba Basulugu,

Mohammed Lagub and

Mojunpan Duna.

At cross examination, the

suspects denied involvement

in the killing of Rev

Fr Offu but admitted kidnapping

the traditional ruler

and his wife.

Also paraded were three

suspects allegedly involved

Govt College

Ughelli Old Boys

meet in Lagos

Sunday

THE quarterly meeting

of Government College

Ughelli Old Boys Association

(GCUOBA) will

hold in Lagos tomorrow.

A statement issued by the

President of the Lagos

branch of GCUOBA, Mr.

Sam Omatseye, said the

meeting will take place at

the secretariat of the association

at No 22, McNeil

Road, Yaba, Lagos at 2.30

pm.

The meeting, the statement

added, promises to be

a fascinating time with all

the old boys in Lagos.

“Old boys of all generations,

including the young

and Ancient Mariners, have

indicated interest to attend,”

the statement added.

•The suspected killers of Rev Fr Paul Offu paraded by police in Enugu, yesterday.

in the kidnapping and murder

of Rev Fr Clement Rapuruchukwu

of St. Mary

Catholic Parish, Obunofia

Ndiuno on March 14, 2019.

The suspects, Sunday

Chibuko, Benjamin Osogwu

and Wasiu Ajomale admitted

committing the crime,

while police said that one

of the suspects is still at

large. The police also paraded

one Idris Umaru who

was arrested in Edo State in

connection with the killing

of a former Secretary of

Uzo-Uwani local government

area in Enugu State,

SATURDAY Vanguard, AUGUST 17, 2019 — 43

Nigerian, Ghanaian scholars for The Criterion conference in Ghana

THE Vice President of

the Madina Institute of

Science and Technology in

Accra, Ghana, Prof. Mohammed

Kamil and an Associate

Professor of Physiology

at the Lagos State University

(LASU), Lagos, Nigeria,

Simiat Elias will join

other scholars for 10th biennial

Conference of The

Criterion, an association of

Muslim women in business

and professions.

The event will hold at the

Madina Institute of Science

and Technology and Accra

Technical University

(former Accra Polytechnic)

both in Accra, Ghana.

The professional Muslim

group with bias for education

and women empower-

earlier this year.

The State Commissioner

of Police, Sulieman Balarabe

said that a total of 30

suspects paraded were involved

in different forms of

criminalities, adding that

they will all be arrigned in

court very soon.

Forex ban on food importation: Many factories will die —Stakeholders

•We’re sending wrong signals to investors

By Emmanuel Elebeke &

Gabriel Ewepu

STAKEHOLDERS in the

agriculture sector of the

economy have tackled President

Muhammadu Buhari

over his directive to the Central

Bank of Nigeria not give

foreign exchange to importers

of food items. Some critics

accused the president of

taking the country back to the

military era when directives

were issued with military fiat.

The Presidential directive,

according to others will also

kill many factories.

Mr Innocent Madumere,

Manager at Erisco Foods, argued

that the directive will

have negative impact on the

economy because the local

manufacturers use Forex to

raise capital for their busi-

nesses and “if they stop Forex

the entire manufacturing sector

will suffer”.