16112019 - why we upheld Buhari's re-election


2—SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019





SATURDAY Vanguard, , NOVEMBER 16, 2019—3

4—SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019

SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019 — 5

Presidential Poll: Why we upheld Buhari’s re-election

— S’Court

“Whereas the appellants claimed that results

of the presidential election were electronically

transmitted to a central server by

INEC, they however tendered before the tribunal,

results they said were obtained from

a website they gave its name as


“The CJN said: “In interpreting the constitution,

care must be taken to give it its

clear and ordinary meanings. I am well

guided by the provisions of section 131(a)

that the attendance of Secondary School

suffice for the 2nd respondent (Buhari) to

contest the presidential election without an

actual possession of the certificate”.

“The constitution is liberal to the extent

that by section 131 (d), any other qualification

accepted by INEC qualifies a person to

contest for the position of the president."

...says Atiku, PDP relied on election results from dubious

server, ...insists Buhari was eminently qualified to contest

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri



Court, on Friday, explained

why it declined to

nullify President Muhammadu

Buhari’s re-election,

stressing that the Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP, and

its candidate, Atiku Abubakar,

failed to prove their

case against the outcome

of the February 23 presidential


The apex court which

gave its reasons, sixteen

days after it summarily dismissed

the joint appeal the

PDP and Atiku lodged to

challenge the Presidential

Election Petition Tribunal

judgement that upheld

Buhari’s election, held that

the appellants relied on results

they obtained from a

website that had a dubious

origin, to insist that they

won the presidential contest.

According to the Supreme

Court, whereas the

appellants claimed that results

of the presidential

election were electronically

transmitted to a central

server by the Independent

National Electoral Commission,

INEC, they however

tendered before the tribunal,

results they said

were obtained from a website

they gave its name as


In a unanimous decision,

the seven-man panel of

Justices of apex court panel

headed by the Chief Justice

of Nigeria, CJN, Justice

Tanko Muhammad,

held that the issue to be

considered was not whether

or not INEC had a website,

but whether it was the

owner of the website the

appellants secured the supposed

election results from.

Even though the CJN

prepared the lead judgement,

it was however read

on Friday by Justice Inyang


He said: “The issue in

this appeal is not whether

INEC has a website. It is

not whether INEC posted

the results of the presidential

election on its website.

It is whether the

www.factsdontlieng. com

from which the appellants

downloaded the results belonged

to INEC.”

The apex court said it was

not unmindful of section 71

of the Electoral Act that

mandated INEC to own a


It noted that while the

appellants contended that

the election results, which

they said were uploaded by

an anonymous whistleblower,

belonged to INEC,

the electoral body on the other

hand denied ownership

of the said website.

“The burden of proof,

which means adducing

credible evidence in proof

of facts in pleadings rests

in the appellants”, the court

held, saying it was satisfied

that the purported electronically

transmitted results

that gave the appellants a

victory margin of over

1.6million votes, emerged

from a “doubtful and unreliable


It held that the appellants

neither linked nor proved

that the server belonged to

the INEC, adding that “all

the results and calculations

from the unreliable server

are of no moment”.

On the issue of President

Buhari’s educational qualification,

the apex court said

it was satisfied with conclusion

of the tribunal that he

was “eminently qualified”

to vie for presidency.

It held that the 1999 Constitution,

as amended, explicitly

provided that any

candidate that has a Primary

School Certificate, and

who has worked in the public

or private service for a

period not less than 10

years, and can read, write

and communicate in the

English language to the satisfaction

of INEC, is qualified

to contest for presidency.

The Supreme Court

stressed that section 131 (d)

of the Constitution stipulated

that a person shall be

qualified for election to the

Office of President if “he

has been educated up to at

least school certificate level

or its equivalent”.

It further noted that section

318 of the Constitution

explained that School Certificate

or its equivalent,

From left: HRM, Olu of Warri, Godfrey Emiko; Hon. Minister of Works & Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN; representative

of the Special Guest of Honour and Governor of Edo State, Commissioner for Infrastructure, Engr. Amiolemen

Abraham Osahon (2nd right) and Minister of State in the Ministry, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu (right), during the public presentation

of a book titled: National Development and Human Security (Essays and Materials in Honour of a Distinguished Alumnus,

Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN) at the Akin Deko Main Auditorium, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State on Thursday.

means: (a) a Secondary

School Certificate, or Grade

II Teacher’s Certificate, the

City and Guilds Certificate;

or (b) education up to Secondary

School Certificate

level; or (c) Primary Six

School Leaving Certificate or

its equivalent and –(i) service

in the public or private

sector in the Federation in

any capacity acceptable to

the Independent National

Electoral Commission for a

minimum of 10 years.

The court went further to

explain that attendance of

courses and training in

such institutions as may be

acceptable to the INEC for

periods totalling up to a

minimum of one year, and

the ability to read, write,

understand and communicate

in the English language

to the satisfaction of

the electoral commission,

would qualify any candidate

to contest for presidency.

It held that by allowing

INEC to recognize any other

qualification, the constitution

empowered the commission

to accept any piece

of employment paper as

School Certificate equivalent.

The CJN said: “In interpreting

the constitution,

care must be taken to give

it its clear and ordinary

meanings. I am well guided

by the provisions of section

131(a) that the attendance

of Secondary School

suffice for the 2nd respondent

(Buhari) to contest the

presidential election without

an actual possession of

the certificate. The constitution

is liberal to the extent

that by section 131 (d),

any other qualification accepted

by INEC qualifies

a person to contest for the

position of the president.

"What a liberal constitution.

It does not require a

person to have all the qualifications

listed. A possession

of one of them will suffice.

The word "or" implies

that any of the highlighted

requirements suffice.


Buhari on Friday

challenged the opposition

People’s Democratic Party,

PDP, to deploy its energy

towards providing robust

and rigorous opposition for

the country.

This is as the Presidency

has applauded the nation’s

apex court, the Supreme

Court judgment on the issue

of qualifications, saying

that President Buhari has

a long history of service to

the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Senior Special Assist-

"I also agree with counsel

to the 2nd Respondent

(Buhari) that INEC has

consistently cleared him to

contest presidential elections."

Besides, the court held

that Certified True Copies

of Buhari's academic qualifications,

which he tendered

as exhibits before the

tribunal, were not challenged

by the appellants

by way of calling oral evidence

to prove that they are


"They ought to have led

oral evidence to prove that

the documents tendered by

the 2nd Respondent are


Likewise, the apex court

noted that evidence of the

Secretary to the Military

Board, Brig. Gen. Olajide

Olaleye as contained in his

press statement that was

produced by the appellants,

confirmed that Buhari

was educated up to

Secondary School level

and passed some subjects.

"I am satisfied that the

court below was right to

hold that the 2nd respondent

was eminently qualified

to contest the presidential


"The 2nd respondent

possessed more than Secondary

School Certificate

having attended military

courses in the United States

of America (USA); the United

Kingdom (UK) and India

and rose to the rank of a

General and became a Head

of State”, the CJN added.

On the allegation that Buhari

submitted an affidavit to

INEC containing false information

about his educational

qualifications, the court,

held that the appellants

failed to prove the allegations

beyond reasonable

Nigeria needs robust opposition,

Buhari tells PDP

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

doubt. It noted that since

the allegations were firmly

rooted in acts of criminality,

they ought to have

been proved beyond reasonable

doubt. "The appellants

must adduce reasons

and lead credible evidence

to prove, which they

failed to do. They should

have called the Secretary of

the Military Board, Brig.

Gen. Olajide Olaleye to testify

and be cross-examined

by the respond

Continues on Page 6

S’Court verdict, banalisation

of our constitution — Afenifere

By Dapo Akinrefon


eacting to the Supreme Court judgement, the

pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere,

described the verdict as a banalisation of the country’s


Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka

Odumakin, said: “The first issue to note in what the

Supreme Court decision of today is the banalisation

of our constitution. Subsection 7 of Section 285 of 1999

Constitution provides that they should have given their

decision and reasons for it within 60 days. Today is

64th day. “To the reasons they have given, the whole

thing sounds more of pages from defence papers and

not a judgement. “For the highest court in the land to

say a candidate standing for election does not have to

present his certificate to the electoral body is a very

new one. “We hope normalcy will return to this country

one day and the Supreme Court will strike out some

judgements from its records so our children will not

be asking: what was wrong with our fathers?”

ant to the President on media

and Publicity, Mallam

Garba Shehu stated this while

reacting to the Supreme

Court judgement in the case

challenging Buhari’s victory

by the former Vice President

and PDP’s Presidential candidate

in the February 23

presidential election, Alhaji

Atiku Abubakar

Garba who noted that the

presidency welcomed the

elucidation of the Supreme

Court ruling on the PDP petition,

said the government

also appreciated the PDP and

their candidate for taking

their claims to courts rather

than expressing them in other


He, however said that

with the judgement, Nigeria

needs a robust and rigorous

opposition as the nation

needs to move on.

According to him, “While

it is correct to give credit to

the courts for affirming this

electoral victory-and we

commend the courage of

the bench to arrive at the

right conclusion given

manifest and subtle pressures

to do otherwise-the

reality is that courts were

convinced by arguments

from the lawyers representing

the APC and its candidate,

President Muhammadu

Buhari that results

Continues on Page 6

6 — SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019


*Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo walking to the

Palace of Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom for a home-coming reception. To his left is

Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transport and to his right is Victor Ochei, former

Delta State Speaker.

Festus Keyamo with the DG of NDE, Dr Nasir Ladan Argungu handing out

small loans to beneficiaries.

Lagos commences payment of N35,000

minimum wage end of November

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Following agreement

reached yesterday between

the Lagos State Joint

Public Service Negotiating

Council, JNC, and Lagos State

Government, all arrangements

have been concluded to

commence the payment of the

new minimum wage and the

consequential adjustment rates

to public workers in the November,

2019 salary cycle.

State Chairman of JNC,

comrade Rasaq Adio Falade,

disclosed this in a statement

made public at the end of the

meeting witnessed by representatives

of the Nigeria Labour

'Why we upheld Buhari’s re-election'

Continued from Page 5

ents on this issue.

"The failure to call him as

a witness was fatal to their

case because the 2nd respondent

does not need to call

him to prove allegations

against him as doing so

would amount to standing the

law on its head. This is because

he who alleges has the

duty to prove the allegations."

More so, the apex court

held that PDP and Atiku

ought to have sued Buhari

over the allegation that he

gave false information in the

Form CF001 he submitted to

INEC. The court further held

that the appellants failed to

prove that the presidential

poll was marred by irregularities

that included over-voting

in 11 focal states in the Northern

part of the country

It held that the appellants

merely dumped documents

on the tribunal without calling

witnesses to demonstrate

them, stressing that those

documents, though tendered

from the Bar, could not be

accorded any probative

value. The court noted that

out of 62 witnesses the appellants

produced before the tribunal

to prove alleged irregularities

across the federation,

only five of them were Polling

Unit Agents.

On the issue of discrepancy

in the name on Buhari’s certificates

which bore the name

‘Mohamed’ instead of

‘Muhammadu’, the apex

court, held that the appellants

were unable to prove that the

documents do not belong to

him. It observed that there

was also a discrepancy in the

name of Atiku’s lead counsel

who sign-ed the substantive petition

as ‘Dr. Livy Uzo-ukwu’,

even though the name in his

Call to Bar certificate read

‘Livinus Uzoukwu’.

The court said it was not in

doubt that both Livy and

Livinus referred to the same


By Clifford Ndujihe &

Chiebuka Ndujihe

Speaking on the Su

preme Court ruling,

elder statesman and pioneer

Chairman of the Nigeria

Economic Summit Group,

NESG, Professor Anya O.

Anya, said the reasons given

by the justices are of less

consequence to the impact

of their decision.

According to him, there

Congress, NLC and Trade Union

Congress, TUC, in Alausa,


The statement, titled, “Conclusion

of negotiations on the

minimum wage and consequential

adjustment of salaries

for Lagos State public sector

workers,” read in part: “Consequent

upon series of meetings

and discussions held between

the Lagos State JNC on the

payment of the new minimum

wage to Lagos State public sector

workers, necessary terms of

settlement and agreement were

reached today 15th November,


Falade recalled that the National

Joint Public Service Negotiating

Council, NJPSNC,

and the Federal Government’s

Negotiations and consequential

adjustment of salaries produced

the following figures on

Consolidated Public Service

Salary Structure, CONPSS:

Grade Level, GL. 01-

06=N30,000, GL. 07=23.2 per

cent, GL. 08=20 per cent, GL.

09=19 per cent, GL.10-14=16

per cent, GL. 15-17=14 per


He continued, “Comparatively

and in consonance with

the pronouncements of the Lagos

State Governor, Mr. Babajide

Olusola Sanwo-Olu, find

below the product of the process

of negotiations that were

Meanwhile, though about

sixty lawyers represented

Atiku and his party at the tribunal

and on October 30

when the apex court summarily

dismissed the appeal and

reserved its reasons, none of

them appeared on his behalf

on Friday.

The justices failed to protect Judiciary

— Anya

have been systemic attacks

on the institutions that support

democracy including

the judiciary and the justices

failed to protect such institutions

including their own


His words: "Whatever the

reasons for the ruling, they

are not of more consequence.

Many of us expected

that they would go

the way they have gone. The

reason is simple. It takes

courage to do substantive

justice. "With all that has

painstakingly undertaken and

concluded with the Lagos State

Government by the labour

movement for the public sector


“Lagos State Salaries Consequential


GL. 01-


b. GL. 07=30 per cent, GL.

08-10=25 per cent, GL. 12-

14=22.5 per cent, GL. 15-

17=20 per cent.”

Falade stated that payment

of allowances peculiar to certain

professions/sectors such as

Health Workers, Medical Personnel,

Teachers, among others

embedded in their respective

Consolidated Salary Structures,

‘“such as CONHESS,


be paid for those stated items (

Hazard, Call, Shift, and others)

at such rates as provided

in the various salaries of government

approved in 2011.

“On payment of arrears the

new Minimum Wage Act

came into effect on the 18th

April, 2019 as such, it was

agreed that payment of the six

and half months arrears shall

be made and concluded by the

first quarter of Year 2020.”

happened this year in the judiciary,

it is difficult to see

whether courage will come

when there was clear and

deliberate subjection and

attack on the judiciary. And

when they had a good place

to stand on, they did not

stand on it including protecting


"So, when people couldn't

protect their own interest

what new factor will make

you expect them to develop

newfound wisdom or


2019 KLWC: TREM lines up Otabil, Ashimolowo,

Bismark, Malcolm, others

The 2019 Kingdom Life World Conference

(KLWC) of the Redeemed Evangelical Mission


KNOWLEDGE” will be lining up Dr. Mensa Otabil,

Pastor Mathew Ashimolowo, Bishop Tudor

Bismark, Bishop Wayne Malcolm and other ministers

of God for this year's conference. The eightday

conference which will be holding at TREM

International Headquarters, Obanikoro Anthony-Oke

Gbagada Expressway coincides with the

30th Anniversary of Kingdom Life World Conference

which will begin on tomorrow November

17th to November 24th, 2019 with an opening

ceremony/act, ministration in songs and in word.

Some of the major Highlights for this year’s

convention include graduation ceremony of the

God’s Army Bible College which holds on Friday

22nd and a special Praise Evening service tagged

“Zamar Concert” on Friday November 22nd,

featuring various gospel artists.

Since the maiden edition was held 30 year

ago in 1990 with the theme Walking In Dominion,

other themes that have also featured

over the years include, Let His Glory Fall (1991),

Fully Committed (1992), His Holy Habitation

(1993), Pure Fire (1994), Power In The

Word (1995), Manifestation Of The Sons Of

God (1996-1998), The Glory Is Here (1999),

Signs Wonders & Miracles(2000), Releasing

The Captives (2001), In His Presence (2002),

Our God Reigns (2003), It Is Well (2004), Behold

His Wonder (2005), El-Shaddai (2006),

And God Said (2007 -2008), Unshakable Kingdom

(2009 – 2010), Grace Grace (2011-2012),

Open Heaven (2013), God And God Alone

(2014), Rest2015 – 2016 and Unsearchable

Riches of Christ 2017-2018

'Nigeria needs robust opposition'

Continued from Page 5

reflected the true wishes of a majority of our citizens.

“President Buhari won four million more votes than

his closest rival, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the February

poll. “No serious electoral observers have challenged

this result. And now the Supreme Court has

explained why the PDP appeal is unsubstantiated. We

hope this finally puts the matter behind us. We should

now grasp this moment to move forward – together.”

While making reference to the Supreme Court judgement,

Garba said that Justices unanimously reiterated

that the onus of proof must necessarily fall on those

that challenge the vote. He said, “Allegations must be

substantiated if they are to hold, and this requires producing

credible witnesses that verify key claims. As

the Supreme Court has stated, the case failed this test.

“On the issue of qualifications, President Buhari has

a long history of service to the Federal Republic of

Nigeria. The questioning of this fact seems to fly in

the face of all evidence.

“However, now it is time for the PDP to take up the

service mandated by this election. The legislative

agenda of the ninth assembly is ambitious in both size

and scope. It is critical the opposition is there to scrutinise

bills and policies, rather than preoccupy themselves

with unsustainable court cases.”

Intrigues as Tinubu intervenes in the

Oshiomhole/Obaseki dispute

By Emmanuel Aziken,

Special Correspondent

NATIONAL leader of the

All Progressives Congress,

APC, Asiwaju Bola

Ahmed Tinubu has launched

peace moves to resolve the crisis

that has pitched the national

chairman Comrade Adams

Oshiomhole against his onetime

political protegee, Governor

Godwin Obaseki of Edo


However, Tinubu’s peace

move is coming in spite of suspicions

in some quarters that

the crisis in Edo State is part of

a scheme by enemies of the

former Lagos State governor

to derail his 2023 presidential


At the centre of the alleged

plots is the move by some APC

leaders to take over the party

on the claim that Oshiomhole

was foisted on the party by

Tinubu after the unceremonious

removal of Chief John Odigie-Oyegun

as national chairman.

Meanwhile, with the party

unravelling under him in his

native Edo State, Oshiomhole’s

decision to repair relations

with a one-time foe, Pastor Osaze

Ize-Iyamu is also shaking

the political dynamics in the


Ize-Iyamu, the 2016 governorship

candidate of the Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP was

once Oshiomhole’s political

facilitator, having managed his

2012 re-election campaign,

and before then, managed by

proxy the 2007 campaign.

The crisis in the Edo state

chapter of the ruling party escalated

this week after the different

tendencies in the chapter

slapped disciplinary measures

against one another.

Comrade Oshiomhole was

suspended by the state executive

upon the resolution of 15

of the 18 local government

party chairmen in the state.

In a counter, Governor

Obaseki, his deputy Philip

Shaibu and the politically

shrewd Secretary to the State

Government, Osarodion Ogie

were suspended by a faction of

the state exco loyal to Oshiomhole.

In the face of the seeming

meltdown, it was gathered that

Tinubu has launched a quiet

peace move to resolve the crisis.

“His Excellency, Asiwaju

Tinubu, is not quiet at all about

the development. He couldn’t

have been quiet over an issue

like that,” his spokesman,

Tunde Rahman told Saturday

Vanguard yesterday.

“As the Leader, he has been

working assiduously to ensure

peace reigns. Just that he does

not go on rooftops to be talking

about his peace efforts. I’m

aware he has met privately and

spoken many times on the telephone

with APC Chairman

Oshiomhole and Governor

From left: Vice Chancellor, Ambrose Alli University, Prof. Ignatius Onimawo, the

Ojomo of Ekpoma Kingdom, Chief Dr. Ezekiel Ainabe, and the Pro-Chancellor,

Ambrose Alli University, Chief Lawson Omokhodion, during the investiture of Dr.

Ainabe with the Honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree by the Ambrose

Alli University, Ekpoma, at its 22 convocation ceremony recently.


“It’s a continuous process

you know and he believes that

an amicable resolution of the

crisis will be achieved sooner

than later.”

Tinubu’s efforts nonetheless,

Saturday Vanguard

gathered that entrenched

interests in the party who are

determined to wrest the party

from Tinubu’s control are

unrelenting. They believe that

Oshiomhole being eased out

will help their 2023

permutations in stopping


One of the strategies adopted

was to ease Oshiomhole

out in early November at a

meeting of the National Executive

Committee, NEC that

was being planned. However,

a source privy to the plot

disclosed that once Oshiomhole

camp got wind of the

plot, the plan for a NEC meeting

was put off indefinitely.

It is no surprise that one of

the points raised by Lukman

Salihu, the director-general

of the Progressive Governors

Forum, PGF was the lack of

meetings of the NEC.

He had in a statement earlier

this week challenged

Oshiomhole to call a meeting

of NEC or resign.

Multiple sources say that

Salihu is the points-man of

the several governors who

have issues to settle with Oshiomhole

and will deal with

him at a NEC meeting anytime

it is called.

“Salihu is a man of his own

and don’t forget that he contested

the party’s governorship

ticket with El-Rufai in

Kaduna State,” a senior aide

of a Southwest governor told

Saturday Vanguard.

“It is, however, instructive

that two or so months ago that

he raised issues against the

national chairman and till

today the governors did not

raise an eyebrow,” the source


A source close to Oshiomhole,

however, debunked the

claim on the NEC meetings

and other accusations levelled

against the national


“There is nothing that the

national chairman does that

he does not take the permission

of the president or his buyin,

so when they make all

these allegations it does not

stick,” he said.

Among the issues being

canvassed against Oshiomhole

is the erosion in the number

of states controlled by the

party since his advent.

“He has donated our states

to the PDP and many people

are not happy about that and

the fact that he seems to be

working like a sole-administrator,”

one party source revealed.

Surprisingly, some

have failed to attribute party’s

failure in some of these

states to the poor performance

of the governors.

However, the determination

to weaken Tinubu’s influence

upon the party by removing

Oshiomhole it was

alleged, may have leaked to

the president who it was

claimed has not bought into

it. A source quoted the president

to have dismissed the

governors’ agitation against

the chairman quoting him as

saying “why do you want to

remove him? I am a man of

discipline and if he is bringing

discipline into the party

I am all for it.”

“The NEC meeting that

they are canvassing for, the

president must be there and

are they going to remove

him in the presence of the

president,” one associate of

Oshiomhole quipped


It was perhaps in consideration

of that difficulty that

one source in the anti-Oshiomhole

camp disclosed that

the national chairman

would be given some posers

to address whenever the

NEC is held. The posers it

was gathered would form

the fulcrum of measuring

his continuance in office.

It was also gathered that

the permutation that the

majority of the governors

being against Oshiomhole

could be wrong as he may

have gained the support of


One of those now said to

be actively backing the national

chairman in the Progressives

Governors Forum,

PGF is a former critic of

Oshiomhole who did a

turnaround, Alhaji Yahaya

Bello of Kogi State.

Besides the desire for a second

term ticket, a source revealed

that Bello was also

moved by his realization

that not all the claims made

against the national chairman

by fellow governors

were true.

Meanwhile, the Oshiomhole

camp at home is being

energized by the return of

Ize-Iyamu to the APC.

Ize-Iyamu, Saturday Vanguard

gathered is leaving

the PDP following what was

alleged to be irreparable

damage to relations with the

PDP leadership in the state,

notably Chief Dan Orbih, the

state chairman.

Their difference arose

from different inclinations

during the 2018 presidential

primaries of the PDP when

Ize-Iyamu backed Atiku

Abubakar and Orbih

backed Governor Aminu


It is believed that since

then both men had maintained

a frosty relationship.

Willy-nilly, Ize-Iyamu believed

that the PDP leadership

would not allow him get

the PDP ticket and would

frustrate him to the point of

causing him to lose the

election if he eventually

fought for it.

SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019 —7

Sinach, RMD, others to feature at

The Waterbrook’s conference

By Evelyn Usman


THREE- DAY conference themed ‘ Living Your Best

Life’, which aims at refocusing Nigerians’ identity

and purpose of existence, is billed to hold at 56A Adeola

Odeku, Victoria Island, Lagos, from November 22 to

November 24, 2019.

Speakers at this maiden edition organised by The

Waterbrook, include Founder of Olusola Lanre Coaching

Academy, Lanre Olusola; Head, Brand, Marketing

Strategy at FSDH Group, Tolu Ijogun and Founder of

Real Talk Women Initiative, Banky W and wife, Adesuwa

Wellington. Others are: veteran actor, Richard Mofe

Damijo (RMD); Chief Executive Officer, Aspire

Coronation Trust Foundation, Osayi Alile and the Chief

Executive Officer, Enyo retail, Yomi Awobokun.

The three-day conference which is segmented into three

panels of discussions and expository teachings by the

speakers on how one can live life at its best, will also

showcase a music concert where the likes of multiple

award winning Nigerian gospel singer, Sinach, Mauro

Ese, Chidinmma and Nosa, are expected to feature.

NALPGAM blames LPG terminal

owners for cooking gas price hike

By Henry Ojelu

THE Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Mar

keters (NALPGAM) yesterday blamed the current hike in

the price of cooking gas on alleged exploitative activities by Liquefied

Petroleum Gas (LPG) Terminal Owners and Offtakers.

NALPGAM Executive Secretary, Mr Bassey Essien in a statement

issued on Friday in Lagos said the increment had seen cooking

gas increased from N2,600 and 3,000 in retail outlets to about


He said :”It has become necessary to bring to the attention of

users of cooking gas, stakeholders in the industry and the Federal

Government in particular to the level of exploitation that currently

subsists in the pricing of cooking gas by terminal owners, offtakers.

“The federal government approved the allocation of about

350,000MT of Gas per annum for local consumption through

the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) company and this

has been distributed through the terminals/offtakers to Gas Marketers

who eventually distribute to end users.

“We noticed recently that Gas delivered to Terminals/offtakers

which was being sold at N3,200,000 per 20 MT a week ago,

suddenly jumped to between N4,000,000 and N4,300,000 per

20MT at the terminals.”

According to him, this singular action has taken cooking gas

beyond the reach of ordinary Nigerians who are forced to pay a

higher price for products that the price structure from NLNG has

not significantly changed.

LASPOTECH Crisis: Groups wants

Sanwo-Olu to suspend Rector

*Management has nothing to hide

— Kuye

By Ishola Balogun


COALITION of Civil Society Groups has called for the

suspension of the Rector, Lagos State Polytechnic

(LASPOTECH), Mr. Samuel Sogunro pending the outcome

of the Visitation Panel set up by Governor Babajide Sanwo-

Olu on the crisis rocking the institution.

The staff union of the school and the management led by

the rector, have been on war path in the last seven months over

issues bordering on what they termed a wrong implementation

of the Consolidated Tertiary Institution Salary Structure

(CONTISS) 15 migration, poor welfare conditions, harassment

of both workers and students, mismanagement of funds

of the school among other issues.

The visitation panel set up by the Governor Sanwo-Olu

recently was meant to unravel all contentious issues and offer


Addressing reporters on the issue at a press briefing, held in

Ikeja yesterday, Human Right Monitoring Agenda (HUR-

MA) Executive Director, Comrade Isaac Buna, Director of

Program, Sahara Education Development Initiative (SEDI)

Comrade Taiwo Showole and Center for Policy Intervention

in Africa (CEPIA) Executive Director Ismail Olawale jointly

said the suspension of the rector would guarantee a thorough,

unbiased, objective and meaningful exercise by the panel.

The group alleged that there was an orchestrated ploy from

some quarters to undermine the good intention behind the


Buna said: “Coalition of Civil Society groups is convinced

that an unbiased and thorough investigation by the panel is

sine qua non to finding a lasting solution to the hydra-headed

challenges facing the institution.

We are disturbed that the governor’s attempt at unravelig

the real issues and causes risks serious jeopardy given te recent

subterranean moves to stonewalling the investigation.

“We are indeed worried that the Rector is determined to

mislead the panel; hinder free and fair investigations; obstruct

the cause of truth, justice and undermine the fact-finding

mission of the governor. It is therefore pertinent to alert

Governor Sanwo-Olu and the general public that attempts

are already underway by vested interests within the current

management and administrative circles in LASPOTECH to

render the panel ineffective and eventually turn it to mere

rubber-stamp of the whimsical and capricious intent of those

behind the crises in LASPOTECH. "

8 — SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019

2 die, 17 vehicles burnt in Lagos- Abeokuta

road petrol tanker accident

A fuel tanker yesterday lost control along Lagos-Abeokuta express road, by toll gate, caught fire and burnt

some cars. PHOTO: Joe Akintola, Photo Editor.

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

and James Ogunnaike

TWO persons were

confirmed dead and

six others injured when a

petroleum tanker burst into

flame at Bible College Busstop

along Lagos-Abeokuta

Expressway on Thursday

night .

The Assistant Corps

Commander, Federal Road

Safety Corps (FRSC), Otta,

Ganiyu Akeem, told

newsmen that 17 vehicles

were also burnt in the fire

incident that started around

11.55 p.m. on Thursday


He said the lone tanker

fell and spilt its

inflammable content into

the drainage channel and

later ignited the fire that

burnt many vehicles.

Akeem said “17 vehicles

were affected which include

one tanker trailer, 10

articulated vehicles, three

cars and three commercial


It was gathered that parts

of the premises of the FRSC

at the Sango Toll Gate, were

also affected.

FRSC Commander,

Akeem said “on receiving

call from some of my men,

I called the Chief Fire

Officer at Ado-Odo, Ota

and he responded promptly.

Seven fire-fighting trucks

were on the ground, three

Tinubu condoles Alex Akinyele’s family,

professional colleagues



Congress National

Leader, Asiwaju Bola

Ahmed Tinubu, has commiserated

with the family

and professional colleagues

of former Information Minister,

Chief Alex Akinyele,

who died on Thursday at

81 following an illness.

Asiwaju Tinubu, former

governor of Lagos State,

described the late Akinyele

as an elder statesman who

contributed immensely to

Nigeria’s development.

In a condolence message

released on Friday in Abuja

by his Media Office, the

APC leader said the late

minister would be deeply

missed by the country he

served to the best of his abilities.

He said: “Chief Alex Akinyele

was an elder statesman.

He served the country

to the best of his abilities.

He did his best as Minister

of Information and later

Chairman of the Nigeri-

from Ogun and four from


“Thank God, we were

able to stop the vehicles

coming from Lagos at the

Toll-gate on Lagos-

Abeokuta Expressway in

good time. We rescued one

person and took him to Ota

General Hospital.

“We also evacuated two

corpses that were burnt

beyond recognition and

took them in our

ambulance to Ifo General

Hospital Mortuary”, he


Mr Adekunle Ajibade, the

Sango-Ota Area Divisional

Commander of the Ogun

State Traffic Compliance

and Enforcement Corps

(TRACE), disclosed that the

fuel-laden truck was

heading to Lagos from

Sango-Ota when it

developed a gear fault and

overturned in the process.

According to him, “the

driver was trying to change

the gear of the vehicle and

lost control. The truck

overturned and caught fire


Air Force helicopter crashes in Enugu

an Sports Commission.

“He was also one leader

who was very proud of his

Yoruba, indeed Ondo heritage,

and demonstrated

this often in his appearance

and conduct.

“Chief Akinyele radiated

warmth and tenderness. To

meet him is to like him. He

was full of life. He was unmistakable

with his sartorial

elegance. The country he

did his best for will sorely

miss him.

“My thoughts are with

his family, friends and relations

at this moment. May

they find the strength to live

through his passing. I

mourn with his professional

colleagues, the Public

Relations practitioners and

members of the Nigeria Institute

of Public Relations.

By Dennis Agbo



longing to the Nigerian

Air Force, NAF, on

Thursday evening,

crashed while landing in


According to a statement

by the NAF, the incident

occurred after a routine

flight on Thursday.

Although there were no

casualties, cause of the incident

could not be ascertained.

The statement made

available on the NAF’s

Twitter handle reads;

“@NigAirForce Helicopter

has crashed on landing in

Enugu after a routine flight

today (Thursday). Fortunately,

there were no fatalities

or injuries to any crew

member or persons on the

ground. “Chief of Air Staff,

CAS, Air Marshall

Sadique has directed that

a Board of Inquiry be constituted

to determine the

causes of the accident.

“Nigeria Air Force continues

to solicit the understanding

and support of the

general public as it daily

strives to ensure the security

of Nigeria and Nigerians.”

Saturday Vanguard gathered

that the helicopter

crashed at the air Force Base

in Enugu with its blades broken


Delta Gov Poll: A-Court upholds Okowa’s election

yanwu, affirmed the judgement

of the Delta State Governorship

Election Petition Tribunal, which

had on September 20, declared

Okowa of the Peoples Democratic

Party, PDP, as the valid winner

of the gubernatorial contest

that held on March 9.

The appellate court said it

would only set-aside the verdict

of the lower court where it was

found to be perverse.

It held that Ogboru and his

party, failed to prove their allegation

that the governorship

election was not only fraught

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

THE Abuja Division of

the Court of Appeal, on

Friday, upheld the election victory

of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa

of Delta State.

The appellate court, in a unanimous

decision by a five-man

panel of Justices, dismissed an

appeal that was lodged before it

by governorship candidate of the

All Progressives Congress, APC,

in the state, Chief Great Ogboru.

The panel which was headed

by Justice Uzo Ndukwe-Anwith

manifest irregularities, but

was also not conducted in substantial

compliance with the

Electoral Act.

According to the appellate

court, though the appellants

challenged results that were

credited to Governor Okowa

and the PDP in over 800 Polling

Units in the state, they called a

total of 20 witnesses, out of which

only five of them served as Polling

Unit Agents.

Noting that the appellants

failed to call relevant witnesses

to give eye-witness account of

what transpired at the contested

polling units, the court held

that they were unable to discharge

the burden of proof that

was placed on them by the law.

The Justice Ndukwe-Anyanwu

led panel held that most of

the witnesses that testified on

behalf of the appellants were

not competent to establish any

of the ingredients of electoral

offence that was alleged in the

petition that challenged

Okowa’s election.

Appeal Court verdict: Osanebi

congratulates Okowa

By Funmi Ologunde

THE member representing Ndokwa East State

Constituency in the Delta State House of

Assembly, Rt. Hon. Friday Ossai Osanebi has

congratulated Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on his victory

at the Court of Appeal describing the verdict of the

appellate court as well-deserved and motivating.

The Appellate Court in its judgement yesterday

upheld the decision of the lower court and dismissed

the appeal filed by Chief Ogboru and All Progressives

Congress ( APC) for lack of merit.

Reacting to the court decision, Osanebi said: “I

heartily rejoice with my leader, and the people’s

Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, on this

well-deserved verdict of the Appeal Court which is a

resounding confirmation and affirmation of the choice

of Deltans on the March 9th Governorship election,

for a second term as Governor”.

He said: “The Appeal Court has finally stamped

and confirmed our only choice that Governor

Okowa remains the preferred leader at this time, to

deliver a stronger Delta State, its indeed a very

good friday for all of Deltans. It is refreshing that we

have reached this point and I am confident that the

court of appeal decision would help to consolidate

Governor Okowa’s resolve for a stronger Delta State.

God planned, executed Okowa’s

Appeal Court victory— Gbagi

By Emma Amaize

FORMER Minister of Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gba

gi, has said that God gave victory to Governor Ifeanyi

Okowa over All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship

candidate, Chief Great Ogboru, at the Court of Appeal, Abuja,


Gbagi, one of the arrow heads of Okowa’s re-election, who is

also eyeing governorship of the state in 2023, stated this while

reacting to the dismissal of Ogboru’s appeal against the governor

in an interview with reporters.

“The case was dismissed for being unmeritorious, the victory is

not for Governor Okowa only, it is for all Deltans, who have kept

faith and ensured that the state is put on a proper footing. The

victory as proclaimed by the Justices of Court of Appeal, Abuja, is

exactly as I predicted on Thursday.”

“The unadulterated truth is that Delta is a one party state and

that party is the Peoples Democratic Party, which was why a former

governor, who exited the party, could not win a senatorial election

on the platform of another party.

Stop subverting analytical

laboratory practice, IPAN

tells manufacturers

By Chioma Obinna

IRKED by the quality of foods and medicines in

circulation, the Registrar of the Institute of Public

Analysts of Nigeria, IPAN, Mr. Aliyu Angara, has

urged manufacturers of the products to desist from

subverting analytical laboratory practice and regulation

in Nigeria.

Speaking in Lagos on IPAN upcoming 28th Mandatory

Continuous Professional Development,

MCPD, workshop holding from November 19 to 20

in Lagos, Angara warned stakeholders who indulge

in unwholesome practices to stop as IPAN would

evolve solutions towards overcoming the challenges

affecting the analytical laboratory practices in


SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019—9

10—SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019



By Samuel Oyadongha

& Emem Idio


future relevance at stake

•Diri, Lyon, others battle for 889,308 votes

•Issues, factors that’ll shape exercise

ORTY-FIVE candidates are jostling to

Fclinch the coveted Creek Haven, Bayelsa

State Government House.

However, the events of the last one month

have shown that today’s governorship poll is

a two horse race between Senator Douye Diri

of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party and

Chief David Lyon of the All Progressive

Congress, APC.

Aside Pastor Ebizimo Diriyai of the Accord

Party whose scintillating performance during

the state governorship debate threw him into

limelight as a candidate to watch out for, others

could best be described as paper tigers only

warming the Independent National Electoral

Commission, INEC list.

Interestingly, only one

candidate would emerge at

the end of the poll in which

they are expected to fight for

889,308 votes.

Today’s poll is perhaps the

first election in the history of

the state where an opposition

party has really asserted itself

and made no pretence of its

preparedness to dislodge the

ruling party from its 20-year

dominance in the

predominantly riverine state.

The outcome of the poll is also

expected to decide the political

future and relevance of the

incumbent Governor, Seriake

Dickson and the current

Minister of State for Petroleum

and former governor of the

state, Chief Timipre Sylva in

the political equation of the


Giving former President

Goodluck Jonathan’s dovish

disposition, he may not attach much

importance to the outcome of the poll as he

has since graduated to a global ambassador

of peace and seems detached from the politics

of the state.

This is one election many observers of

unfolding events in the state are convinced

that the power of incumbency may not count

due to the overwhelming power of the central


However, the ruling of Federal High Court,

Yenagoa, which disqualified Lyon on the


only one

candidate would

emerge at the

end of the poll in

which they are

expected to fight

for 889,308

•Douye Diri

grounds of faulty APC primary as challenged

by Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, may hurt the

chances of Lyon. The APC has appealed the

court decision, got a stay of execution, the

INEC said the election will go on as planned,

it is to be seen if the 11 th hour ruling will have

any impact.

Dickson’s survival

Dickson’s political survival, according to

analysts, will be dependent on the victory of

his anointed candidate; Senator Diri, who

many believed wouldn’t have snatched the

party ticket at the fiercely contested primary

without Dickson’s influence and power of

incumbency. Though hit by gale of defections

the PDP has proved to be in a familiar terrain

having been in power since 1999, it will be

facing a herculean litmus test in its drive to

retain the state.

Like he did in 2015 when he

lived true to his

sobriquet, Ofrumapepe (the

great white shark that survives

the tempest of the sea), Dickson,

who proved to be the strategist,

a dogged fighter and tactician

that out foxed the APC blitz and

shepherded the PDP to victory

in one of the toughest contests

ever witnessed in the state, is

expected to once again deploy

his political sagacity and

astuteness to save his party, the

PDP from obliteration by the


Though Dickson is rounding

off his second term, he remains

the war chest of the PDP in the

poll having held the party

together at its tasking times, a

singular feat Diri will be

banking on to work in his favour

and ensure the party’s continued

dominance in the political

landscape of Bayelsa.

Battle for the councils

In the 2015 governorship election, Southern

Ijaw Local Government Area, SILGA, had the

highest number of voters and was the beautiful

bride to the rival political parties and to an

extent determined the winner of that contest.

Fast forward to 2019, after the Continuous

Voter Registration, Yenagoa Local

Government Area which also host the state

capital has over taken SILGA as the local

government area with the highest number of

voters with Permanent Voters’ Cards, PVCs,


In Yenagoa, the PDP and APC both have

suave and dependable strategists. The

victorious party in the council area will most

likely be that whose foot soldiers are able to

convince more registered voters in possession

of their PVCs. The council boosts a large mix

of non-indigenes, who are mostly traders of

Igbo extraction and may likely go with the


The local government used to be one of the

strongholds of the PDP. But in recent times, the

defections and realignment of top politicians

in the area might alter the voting pattern, and

it is very unlikely if the PDP will win landslide

majority votes here as political pundits believe

the votes will be shared equally or 60:40 in

favour of the PDP.

Interestingly, Yenagoa is made up of several

communities where the chiefs and political

leaders, to a large extent, determine the voting

pattern in the area in every election.

The Creek Haven, the seat of power in the

state, is located in the council area. That the

local council is being controlled by the ruling

PDP and has some of prominent indigenes of

the area in government are expected to rob off

positively on the candidature of Senator Douye

Diri and his running mate, Senator Lawrence


Hon Oboko Oforji, who represents the Epie-

Atissai kingdom in the state house of assembly

and a former Mayor of Yenagoa council area

is another grassroots mobiliser and an asset

to the ruling PDP bid to retain the governorship

position. The PDP also boasts Barrister Osom

Makbere, the PDP Publicity Secretary from

the Epie axis of Yenagoa is another influential

voice in his area that many of the youths love

and look up to as their role model. The PDP

also has several other political aides of the

state governor such as the Secretary to the

State Government, Kemela Okara, former

Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide President

and Commissioner for Environment, Engr.

Udengs Eradiri, who have been mandated to

deliver their respective units.

APC influencers

The APC on the other hand has former

Speaker and Acting Governor, Werinipre

Seibarugu to swing the votes in the Ekpetiama

axis of Yenagoa in favour of the APC.

There is also Preye Agama, who the APC

will be banking on sway votes in its favour,

and Chief Diekive Ikiogha, a former Chief of

Staff, Government House who played a major

role in the emergence of Dickson as governor

of the state before they fell apart. Ikiogha has

the resources to swing the votes in his Kpansia

area in favour of the APC. There is also Chief

Godsknow Powell who can help divide the

Agudama-Epie votes in the direction of the


SILGA is next with 164,844 voters. The

council area, which produced the first civilian

governor of the state, Chief Diepreye

Alamieyeseigha of blessed memory, late

Senator David Brigidi could best be described

as one of the strongholds of the ruling PDP

until the incursion of the APC in the last general

election where it snatched the House of

Representatives seat.

Moreover, the APC candidate, David Lyon

is from the council area and the party is hoping

to exploit his popularity in this vast marshy

swamp which is one of the largest oil

producing areas in Niger Delta but yearning

for development. The area is also one of the

flash-points where security agencies will have

to up their game due to the volatile nature of

the area

Ekeremor Local Government Area has

123,562 voters, Ogbia LGA 108,691,

Sagbama LGA 105,705, Nembe LGA 89,866,

Brass LGA 65,900, and Kolokuma/ Opokuma


PDP strongholds

Sagbama LGA :The PDP has a heavy and

fortified presence in Sagbama LGA where the

outgoing Governor Seriake Dickson hails

from. The PDP running mate also hails from

the area, and it is expected that they will win

the area.

However, there are pockets of strong APC

chieftains like the former Speaker and Acting

Governor Nestor Binabo, Capt Mathew

Karimo, and others. It is to be seen if their

presence will prevent the PDP from sweeping

the area.

Kolokuma /Opokuma LGA: This is the

local government area of the PDP candidate

and serving Senator Douye Diri where the PDP

is expected to sweep. However, with a paltry

50,447 votes, the PDP must work harder in

other swing local government areas to win

the race.

Ekeremor: This is the local government

area of the immediate past Minister for

Agriculture and Rural Development and APC

Governorship aspirant Senator Heineken

Lokpobiri. In the last Governorship election,

the PDP won the area massively.

However, the APC was able to clinch an

assembly seat during the February general

election defeating the candidate of the PDP

and a close associate of the governor.

Although Senator Lokpobiri, regardless of

the court ruling against the APC candidate

has directed his followers to vote for the

opposition party, in what observers believe is

a master stroke that would boost the chances

of the APC.

APC strongholds

Brass, Nembe, local government areas are

the home of the APC. The area is the home of

the leader of the party and Minister of State

for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva. As a

former governor, Sylva remains influential

and command cult followership in the area.

Little wonder the APC has dominated the

politics of the area winning Assembly seats,

House of Representatives seat, and a

Senatorial seat as well. The APC running mate

and serving Senator Degi Eremienyon is also

from here. But the area has remained a flashpoint

as witnessed on Wednesday when

supporters of one of the parties were killed by

gun wielding thugs. The security agencies

must be alert if a repeat of such ugly incident

is to be averted.

Swing votes

Ogbia LGA: Though, this is the local

government area of former President

Goodluck Jonathan, it is one of the area that

has witnessed massive defections from the PDP

to the APC. The APC is the major beneficiary

of defections in this area, and with Jonathan’s

body language, it is most likely that the APC

might come out tops here.

Southern Ijaw Local Government: This

is a major swing LGA in Bayelsa politics.

SILGA is not only the largest council but also

boosts of the second highest number of voters.

Incidentally, this is the council area of the APC

Governorship candidate, Chief David Lyon.

Lyon, before his sojourn into politics was

already a household name in the area. Apart

from being the highest individual employer

in the state through his oil surveillance

contracts, Lyon is also a philanthropist and is

well loved by his people and beyond.

He is known to have single-handedly

sponsored the sitting House of Representatives

member from the area who defeated a sitting

PDP Speaker and three-term assembly


SILGA is also home to some ex-militants

warlords and MEND leaders. At the APC mega

rally, the likes of Gen Boyloaf, Ogunbos,

Joshua Maciver, Pastor Reuben Wilson, all

pledged their support and endorsement for

APC and Lyon. It is believed that the APC will

win Southern Ijaw Local Government Area,

all things being equal.

Where the battle will be won and lost

The epic centre of battle will be Yenagoa,

Southern Ijaw and Ekeremor Local

Government Areas with a total of 468,669

votes. Because of intrigues and political

realities, these are the swing councils.

SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019—11

KOGI POLL: Ethnic cards on as

Bello, Wade battle for 1.5m votes

By Boluwaji Obahopo

GOVERNOR Yahaya Bello of the All

Progressives Congress, APC, is locked

in a tight race to retain his seat with

Engr Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic

Party, PDP, in today’s governorship election.

This is in spite of the fact that 21 other

candidates are in the race.

With the flag-bearers playing the ethnic card

during the campaigns and given the issues

they raised and how they stand in the local

councils, the outcome of the election may be

too close to call.

In the same manner, Senators Dino Melaye

and Smart Adeyemi are squaring up in a

make or mar contest for the Kogi West

senatorial seat.

Apart from the exchange of

brick-bats, mudslinging and

violence that trailed the

campaigns, it is

worrisome that the election

has also taken an ethnic

coloration just like in time

past. The Independent

National Electoral

Commission, INEC, had

spoken about its fear of

violence. Last Monday’s

razing of the Social

Democratic Party, SDP,

Secretariat, whose candidate

was initially disqualified by

INEC but added barely a week

ago through Court verdict,

has further given credence to

fear that violence may mar the


Ethnic card

Ethnicity has always played

a major role in the outcome of

elections in Kogi State. Kogi

has three major ethnic groups

scattered across the three

senatorial districts: The

Igala in the East, Ebira in the

Central and Okun in the West. This time

around, the ethnic card is between the Ebira

whose son, Yahaya Bello, is sweeping with the

APC broom; and the Igala whose son, Musa

Wada, is taking shelter under the PDP


In 1999, the contest between Prince Audu

Abubakar from Kogi East and the late

Architect Stephen Olorunfemi from Kogi West

was largely based on ethnic interests. Audu

had contested on the platform of the defunct

National Republican Convention, NRC while

Olorunfemi ran on the platform of the Social

Democratic Party, SDP.

While people from the Eastern flank voted

massively for Audu, Olorunfemi controlled

votes from the West, leaving Kogi Central as

the battleground.

This scenario was repeated in 2007, when

the Central voted overwhelmingly for their

own, Senator Salami Ohiare of the Action

Congress of Nigeria, ACN, against Alhaji

Ibrahim Idris of the PDP from the East, who

received massive votes from his senatorial

district, controlled mainly by the Igala. Then,

Kogi West was the free zone.

Those elections also witnessed high-scale

violence, leading to loss of lives and

destruction of property across the state. And

now, as the state votes today the fangs of

ethnicity and violence have led to

apprehension. The development has made the

Igala to consider PDP as an Igala party, and

APC as an Ebira party.

With the flagbearers

playing the

ethnic card during

the campaigns and

given the issues

they raised and how

they stand in the

local councils, the

outcome of the

election may be too

close to call

The voters

INEC‘s record showed

that 1, 646,350 voters

registered in the state as

of August 31, 2019.

However, only 1, 485,

828, collected their

Permanent Voters’

Cards PVCs, while

160,522 PVCs were


The breakdown

showed that Kogi East

Senatorial district has

the highest number of

voters with 804, 715.

Kogi West is second

with 432, 515 voters,

while Kogi Central is

third with 409,120

voters; sharing a

formula of 49, 26 and

25 percentage


The PDP candidate

during an appearance

in Kaakaki, AIT

programme, fired a

salvo saying that the

votes from his senatorial

axis would not be enough

to make him governor. The people from the

other two zones termed and condemned it as

an ethnic card. But few days later, the Ebira

Peoples Association, EPA, openly endorsed

their son, Bello. The Igala too took same stand

when their social cultural group, Igala

Cultural Development Association, ICDA,

throw its weight behind Wada, while the Okun

Development Association, ODA also backed

Bello; in order to negotiate power in 2023.

The development stirred political dust, and

sensing danger, the three cultural bodies

aligned later, decided to jettison their first

stand, and organised a peace Summit. But

their step came late; the zones had already

pitched tents with their kinsmen in the race.


No doubt, the APC enjoyed more robust

campaign than their opponents. Aside PDP

that engaged in little open campaigns, the

other 20 parties recorded no outing. Their

presence was only on social media.

The APC enjoyed many endorsements from

groups, ran a House-to-House campaign

since September, had a separate team for open

rally taking it Federal constituency by Federal

constituency. The party commenced open rally

campaigns on October 26 and has more

advertised billboards and posters. The

campaign ended in Lokoja on Thursday.

PDP started its campaign on October 25,

but had three days off in honour of its DG

campaign, Hon. Tajudeen Yusuf, who lost his

wife. Aside the official flag off in Lokoja, the

party refused to do mega rallies outside the

state capital. It combined two to three council

areas in a day, moving from ward to ward.

The PDP also declined to campaign in the

incumbent governor’s senatorial district, and

refused to visit the Obaro of Kabba when their

campaign train reached the Western

headquarters. The party hinged its position

on fear of being attack in Okene, headquarters

of the Central district; and the Obaro open

support for Bello. Their campaign ended on

Wednesday at the Anyigba, Dekina LGA

country home of its candidate.

Campaign strategy

The early days of Governor Bello’s

administration were no doubt, certainly

challenging going by the way he came into

office and his efforts to secure legitimacy. There

were several legal battles, including negative

reports from a civil service screening that was

meant to ascertain the real and genuine work


At some point, Kogi State was always in the

news over non-payment of salaries. A

challenge that had partially been overcome.

The state workers now get their salary between

25th and 26th of the month, but the council

workers are still on percentage payment. Wada

made the matter a campaign issue.

Bello on the other hand commissioned and

flagged off some critical infrastructural

projects across the state. He also renamed the

state Varsity after former governor, Prince

Abubakar Audu; whose death facilitated his

becoming a governor. Audu named the varsity

after himself in 2002 but it was revoked by his

fellow Igala kinsman, former Governor

Ibrahim Idris in 2003.

Critical factors

Musa may be new to politics but he enjoys

the support of his Igala people. Bello too has

almost 100 percent of his Ebira people.

The West is divided. The zone is negotiating

for power swift in 2023 and believe that Bello

offers a quick passage to their ambition

because he had only one term left unlike Wada

who has eight years of two terms to use. The

zone is also of the opinion that the Igala had

for long held on to power and never showed

sign of relinquishing it. The Igala have always

boasted of having the highest population, and

since politics is a game of number, they will


How the parties stand

Going into the poll, the PDP has not been

able to resolve the internal crisis that tore the

party apart after the governorship primaries.

Two persons are still challenging the primary

in court, one of them is Abubakar Idris, the

son of former governor Ibrahim Idris. The

former governor too has not aligned with

Wada who married his first daughter.

Penultimate week, Idris was said to have

walked Wada out of his Abuja residence when

he visited in the entourage of Governor Seyi

Makinde of Oyo State.

With the current in fighting it is to be seen

how the PDP will turn the tide in its favour at

the election

How zones

will vote

Another area of interest in the election is the

West. This area and people remain dynamic

in their voting pattern. They are however faced

with a herculean task this time around to

deliver for APC and ask for power in 2023.

This strategy has therefore made the area to

be on its toes. Already some aggrieved APC

big shots who left the APC in anger are

returning to the broom party.

Oil business tycoon, Jide Omokore who has

great influence in the Yagba axis has given

open support to the APC candidates. Though

the PDP deputy governorship candidate, San

Aro is from Yagba West and may likely win

the council area but he faces serious challenge

in MopaMuro and Yagba East where majority

of Omokore foot soldiers are residing. The

election appears 50:50 Yagba Federal


The Kabba/Bunu/ Ijumu federal

constituency may favour the APC. For Kabba/

Bunu, the prospect of losing the Speakership

position occupied by their son who has

performed credibly may make them pitch

their tenth with APC. For Ijumu, Smart

Adeyemi and Dino Melaye who are contesting

for Kogi West senate rerun hails from the

council area and may go neck-to-neck. But

advantage for APC is the return of the APC

break away James Faleke group, who went to

ADC in the last general election but has since

returned. The federal constituency looks

favourable to APC.

The Lokoja/Kogi federal constituency may

end up a tie. While the Kogi council area has

always voted for APC, majority of the Lokoja

voters always go for PDP. Lokoja Ward A vote

alone accountfor 40% of the entire votes of

the federal constituency. A similar scenario

may play out in this election, coupled with the

recent Appeal court verdict which upturned

the victory of an APC candidate for the PDP.


The central has five council areas of Adavi,

Okene, Okehi, Ajaokuta, and Ogori/

Magongo. Aside Ogori/Magongo (the

smallest LGA in the area), all other council

areas peopled by the Ebira. APC may record

90 percent of the votes.


PDP candidate, Musa Wada may have the

upper hand. His council area of Dekina has

the highest number of registered voters. The

area in the past also recorded highest

casualties of electoral violence. Also,

majority of the projects ongoing or just

initiated by Bello are situated in the zone, a

move considered to be aimed at wooing

them for their support for his re-election.

Similarly, the hope of APC is in the

nomination of Chief Edward Onoja, as

running mate, which has no doubt further

tightened the noose of victory for the APC.

Onoja is from the Eastern Senatorial

district. He is in charge and in firm political

control of the area. The area had looked

forward to using the 2019 poll to regain

power with the voting population they have.

But the failure of Igala aspirants in the APC

and the entrance of Edward as Gov. Bello’s

running mate has further changed the

conservative thinking of the East.

Other factors

APC has control of the centre and

institutions that conduct elections. PDP has

displayed inability to march the APC

money-for-money. APC has better structure

in the state with a sitting governor, six out

of nine House of Representatives members;

two out of three senators, and 25 of 25 state

lawmakers to its credit. All the council

administrators are APC.

The PDP without federal might has twin

of nine House of Representatives members,

no sitting senator, no council chairman and

member of the House of Assembly.

As it stand, PDP may win East, APC seems

favourite for Central. Who ever conquers

the West has the mandate.

12—SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019



differ on way out

•How ignorance, poverty entrenched street begging in the name of Islamic educatio

•What Islam frowns at

•El-Rufai dynamic, out with a bill to end street begging

•Govts must make laws, not policies that die with new regimes

•Banning it will be disastrous

•Imposition of western education caused our problem










WNoble move turns albatross

hat started as noble course to

imbibe in young children, the

knowledge of Islamic education

several years ago has become an albatross

and a threat to the security of lives of

children in many states of northern Nigeria.

Sometimes, children as young as four years

are plucked from the loving comforts of

their parents and sent to faraway places

where they are placed under an Islamic

teacher (Mallam) to learn knowledge about

Islam and Islamic religion. Though this

practice endured over time, abuse of the

process began to set in as the teachers, who

are neither remunerated by parents of the

children nor the government, began to lose

grip of the unusually large number of

children that are dumped on them by


Although there still exists the Tsangaya

system that follows the main system and

most of the pupils are children enrolled

within the immediate

community, some even go to

formal western education in

the morning and attend the

Tsangaya in the evenings and

weekends, and some that were

brought from towns that are

not far away from the Malam,

the bulk of these Almajiris

attend the so called Islamic

schools that are none

conventional, unregistered,

unregulated and uncensored.

And because their Mallams do

not have the means to cater for

the children, they resort to

begging as a means of not only

survival but also to take care of

the Mallams that are supposed

to look after the children.


The increasing insecurity in the

country has forced many

Nigerians to have a more than

cursory look at the Almajiri

system and how it affects

National security. It was perhaps to avoid a

situation where by the large pool of idle,

uneducated children would be ready tools

The increasing

insecurity in the

country has forced

many Nigerians to

have a more than

cursory look at the

Almajiri system

and how it affects

National security

•Kano’s bold steps to end it

•Let’s ban street begging first

for terrorists that the then government of

president Goodluck Jonathan tried to build

schools that could accommodate the large

pool of almajiris in some of the states in the


Though the attempt was at best a failure,

many northerners have expressed concern

about the implication of the large number

of beggars in the north on the

economy and security of the

region as well as the future of

the young children as leaders

of tomorrow.

But with the risks associated

with the system, governments

in the region acknowledge,

even if unwillingly that the

issue of Almajiri is a time

bomb that can explode with

catastrophic consequences on

the region and the country if

nothing is done about it.


In resolving the menace of

almajiri in Kano for instance,

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje

has taken a bold step to

address it. As a first move, he

constituted a technical

committee to remodel the

Almajiri system of education in

the state as a way of arresting

the menace of children

roaming the streets and


He charged the committee with the task of

initiating ways of integrating the system into

the mainstream curriculumbased

education system that

will comply with

international standards.

Explaining the rationale

behind the governor’s action,

the Chief Press Secretary to

the governor, Abba Anwar told

Saturday Vanguard that ‘the

new initiative will checkmate

the menace of street begging

among Almajiris.

He added that “With the recent

pronouncement of free and

compulsory primary and

secondary schools education by

the governor, this new

development would, among other

things, integrate Qur’anic

schools with mainstream


schools where English,


Hygiene education,

among others

would form part

of the curriculum

for the identified

Almajiri schools”

In order to give


bite to this move,

the state

government had


recruited 600

teachers to teach

in the remodelled

Almajiri schools

SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019—13


as part of efforts to stop the Almajiri school pupils

from roaming the streets and begging.

The teachers were recruited under the Best

Education for State Delivery for All program that

is newly founded.ý About 393 Almajiri schools

were selected across the 44 local government

areas of the state for the pilot project and the

pupils would be taught English, mathematics

and other relevant subjects on Thursdays and


To further motivate the newly recruited

teachers, the governor also said that transport

fares would be given to all the Qur’anic

teachers and that the state government had

approved over N200 million for the purchase of

books for the Almajiri schools.

Although the Kano state

government has taken

steps to check the

Almajiri system, a

Kano based Islamic

Scholar, Sheikh

Ibrahim Khalil who

is also the

Chairman of the

State Council of

Ulama cautioned

that proper steps

must be taken to

identify the class

of Almajiri that

need help most.

He classified

the beggars

into categories

that include

the children

who are not


pupils of the







Quranic schools but are sent to beg by their

parents as a way of making money, bogus

beggars who pretend to be needing

assistance, those who don’t have enough to

sustain them throughout the year who

come from rural to urban areas to beg and

those with seasonal jobs.




“The best way to resolve this problem is for

government to implement a policy that is

sustainable. The problem is that when

policies are made by one regime and

another regime comes in they throw that

away. There needs to be a lasting plan that

should be under an agency that is bounded

by laws that will make it standard. If this is

not done and everything is not placed on the

right footing the problem will continue.

“First, a body that will regulate everything

will have to be established such that with or

without the regime it will continue to exist

and is protected by laws, and is made to be

part of the budget” he stated.


On his part, the Legal Adviser of the

plateau State Chapter of Jama’atu Nasril

Islam, JNI, Ishak Lawal warned that

cultural practices must be isolated from

Islamic religion as according to him, most

of the children found to be begging in the

name of going to Islamic schools only use

the name of religion to perpetrate what he

said Islam frowns at.

”Almajiri is a very serious issue that is

defying all solutions. If you look at the

teachings of Islam carefully, it doesn’t

support the issue of taking children away

from their parental care and entrusting

them to the care of someone who calls

himself a mallam or whatever to be

roaming about from one place to another.

“That one is not Islamic practice, it has its

historical background within the Hausa

culture whereby they feel that if a child is

staying with the parents, he won’t have the

necessary training for him to study the

Koran very well. People started abusing it

and you see a mallam that has no capacity

of taking care of five children, taking in 20

children because of what he feels he can get

through them that is why you see this

problem is defying solutions.

“There is no way almajiri problem can be

taken care of without the input of the

government. Sometimes, you need to be

very harsh on some Nigerians before things

can be done in a proper way, I am

advocating for a law completely banning

street begging first, because you have to do

it gradually, and when that is successfully

implemented, the issue of roaming about

with many children in the guise of studying

the Koran can also be taken care of.

“It is a matter of orientation, take the

instance of polio eradication, it took a lot of

sensitization, orientation and what have you

before it was accepted, the same can apply

here if the government can adopt that so

that the leaders would know what

government is trying to do and the

government should be serious in doing

what needs to be done. If we are serious

about stopping this problem, we can do

that though it is not going to be easy, it

would be time and resources consuming”

he said.

On his part, the Plateau State Secretary of

the ruling All

Progressives Congress,

Bashir Musa maintained

the Almajiri system

should be integrated into

the Nomadic Education

curriculum and its

activities regulated.

”The Almajiri system is

also a system of

education but it has its

positive and negative

effects. The negative

effect is when you allow

the trust the parents of the

children under your care

to be abused. When you

allow the children

entrusted to you to

wander the streets

without necessarily

concentrating on the

primary aim of you

taking them away from

their parents; that is

acquiring the knowledge

and you subject them to

street begging and all

manner of things that are

not helpful.

“The almajiri system

should have a curriculum

so that the programme would go in line

with what is happening in the western

The Almajiri

system is also a

system of

education but it

has its positive

and negative


education so that you will be able to know

how far you have been able to cover within a

given period you are expected to cover it.

The Islamic body has been operating on its

own without any supervision, it will be better

if they can be integrated into the secular

body of educational system rather than

leave them alone to wander and do

whatever they like.

“The system should be carried along with

the nomadic education and riverine

education so that they will be all

encompassing but if they are left alone, I am

sure they will feel they are on their own and

whatever comes out of that, we may not like

it. Let them be integrated in the education


“The koranic teaching supports searching

for knowledge even from the time you are

born to the time you die but it frowns at the

way almajiris are being treated and used as

hunting dogs for some of the mallams

because they rely on them to go and get

food, clothing, money and almost

everything they need for them which is not

proper. This method of searching for

knowledge is wrong” he said

On his part, another Islamic scholar in

Damaturu the Yobe state Capital, Mallam

Mohammed Isa called for the complete

abolition of Almajiri as it is presently

practised in most parts of the north as

according to him, it is against Islamic


“The system should be totally abolished,

since it is contrary to the teaching of Islam ,

Islam never allows anybody to beg in which

ever form . And beside, the method of

teaching these Almajiri’s is odd, therefore I

suggest that the system should be banned

and any parent found enrolling their

children into any Almajiri home should be

prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others

“he said.

His views were shared by another Islamic

Scholar in Yola, Adamawa state, Ustaz

UMAR Abubakar who described the issue of

Almajiri as unIslamic, and constituting

nuisance to themselves and the society .

According to Ustaz Abubakar, no section

of the Holy Quran said one should send his

son or Ward to far distances in search for

Islamic knowledge, where the same

knowledge can be acquired in your locality.

UMAR Abubakar expressed worries that

such children are no longer receiving the

intended knowledge they were brought for,

but rather their Mallams have

commercialized them either for farming or

for other purposes that can earn them

money and material gains. He alleged that

the Almajiris constitute the large percentage

of the insecurity ravaging the country,

especially in the Northern states.

Ustaz UMAR Abubakar, advised the

Northern state governments to as a matter

of urgency go back to the drawing board

and revive the Almajiris school system

planned by the former Goodluck Jonathan

administration as a way of keeping off the

Almajiris from the streets.



Another Islamic teacher in Katsina, Sheikh

Yakubu Musa did not only advocate that

government should take firm action against

any Islamic teacher who sends children

under his care to beg but also added that

parents who expose their young children to

such risk should also be held accountable.

“Islam is against street begging.

Government must ensure parents take

responsibility and provide all that is needed

before sending their children to such

schools. They pay their school

fees, pay the teachers for

impacting the knowledge on

their children. They should be

disallowed from taking their

children to villages and schools

without government permit.

They should ban children from

street begging. Any teacher

found engaging children in

street begging should be

punished. Government should

come up with a punishment

according to the law and

commensurate to the offence,”

Sheikh Yakubu said.




A retired Lecturer in College of

Education,Minna,Niger State,

Dr. Sallahudeen Suleiman

Ayekooto who also agreed that

the Almajiri system in the north

is against Koranic injunctions

blamed the menace on people

who marry many wives and

sire uncountable children

without the requisite means to

cater for them.



Dr Sallahudeen who is the chief Imam of

the Minna Main market mosque

emphasized that begging under the cover of

Almajiri in whatever way is unIslamic.

“There is nowhere in the Quran that

children of Muslims must be beggars to

remain as Muslim or to remain as Muslim

Scholars. There is no where we are

encouraged to even begin at all. Islam

totally discourages the idea of begging

somebody to survive. Prophet Muhammad

said it is better for you to go to the farm and

fetch firewood and sell in order to face one’s

responsibilities rather than going out


“We Africans mostly live fake lives which

include marrying many wives and giving

birth to many Children we cannot

adequately take care of. As an alternative,

these fathers use their wives and Children to

earn Economic Power by sending them to

the farm but life has changed now. life has

changed from totally depending on farming

to other legitimate and lucrative


“Those who do this are trying to escape

from their Parental responsibilities to their

children and then send them out of the

house to Mallams in the name of seeking

Islamic Education. Unfortunately, these

parents are not even mindful of the

Economic status of such Mallams and even

their pedigree in the society. Rather than end

up learning the Quran and being brought

up in the right way, they end up in the wrong

way even imbibing the criminal

tendencies,” he declared.

Though many people have called for the

outright abolition of the Almajiri system in

the northern parts of the country, some

Islamic scholars in Bauchi seem to have

different opinions. According to an Islamic

teacher, Mallam Hussaini Wunti, the

Continues on page 14

14—SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019

November 16 As National Day For Zik

Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

November 16, the birthday of Dr

Nnamdi Azikiwe, ought to be a

national holiday in Nigeria. It is

deserving honour for the pivotal leader

who led the charge for Nigeria’s

independence on October 1, 1960. As a

result of his unparalleled efforts Dr.

Nnamdi Azikiwe would in the course of

time become the only black Governor-

General of Nigeria, the first President and

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed

Forces, the only Nigerian

whose name appeared in a

Constitution of Nigeria, the

first Senate President,

among many other sterling


The great one fondly

called Zik of Africa remains

a binding force of

togetherness in Nigeria

even in death. He deserves

a national holiday on his

birthday, November 16, as

eminently highlighted by

Chief Willie Obiano, the

Governor of Anambra

State, by urging President

Muhammadu Buhari to

declare the birthday of

Nigeria’s first president as

a public holiday.

Governor Obiano who

made the call at Alex

Ekwueme Square, Awka while marking

Nigeria’s 59 th Independence celebration

stressed that some African nations like

Ghana and Tanzania had honoured their

pan-African leaders such as Kwame

Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere. He

described Dr. Azikiwe as the greatest

Nigerian who lived in the last century and

The great one

fondly called

Zik of Africa

remains a

binding force



in Nigeria

even in death

argued that with the requisite honour

being given to Zik it would enable the

people to have a better understanding of

Africa and the black race that Azikiwe


The governor revealed that Zik inspired

notable citizens and nationalists,

including Chief Obafemi Awolowo and

Bashorun MKO Abiola, with his

intelligence, eloquence and public

oratorical skills.

Leading from the front, Governor

Obiano stated that Anambra State will

start to observe November 16

annually as a Work-Free Day

in commemoration of the

birthday of Dr. Nnamdi

Azikiwe. He pointed out that

the day would be set aside to

reflect on the contributions of

Dr. Azikiwe to the growth of

the country at large.

There is no gainsaying that

Zik remains Nigeria’s

foremost nationalist and

therefore deserves a national

holiday. This comes from the

background of President

Buhari having set the

precedent of honoring the

presumed winner of the June

12, 1993, presidential vote,

Chief Moshood Abiola, with

the renaming of the National

Stadium in Abuja after him,

bestowing on him the Grand

Commander of the Federal

Republic, Nigeria’s highest national

honour given to only heads of state, and

making June 12 a national holiday.

As the erudite Anambra State

Commissioner for Information and

Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba,

said, “Abiola never left anyone in doubt

that he was greatly inspired by the

nationalism, patriotism and



sportsmanlike spirit of Nigeria’s first

president, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, GCFR,

PC. Abiola remained an avowed Zikist up

to his death.”

On his part, Governor Obiano

reiterated: “It has become imperative to

remind President Buhari of the request I

made to him on behalf of the government

and people of Anambra State when he

visited Onitsha to commission the newly

completed Zik Mausoleum last January

24 that he declare Zik’s birthday a

national holiday. Ghanaians observe the

birthday of their first president, Dr Kwame

Nkrumah, himself a Zik protégé.

Tanzanians observe a national holiday in

memory of their first president, Mwalimu

Julius Nyerere, as Angolans do in memory

of Dr Agustiono Neto, their first president.

The Great Zik of Africa was not just

Nigeria’s first president or the man who

led Nigeria to independence in 1960. He

was Nigeria’s first indigenous Governor

General and the first Senate President.

He was the first Nigerian to build a bank,

thus inspiring his colleagues as regional

premiers in the 1950s to establish their

own banks. He was also the first Nigerian

to set up a university, and consequently

challenged his peers to follow in his

footsteps. A Nigerian nationalist of

incomparable status and a man of letters

through and through, the Great Zik of

Africa had established as early as the

1950s newspapers in Ibadan, Zaria,

Kano, Onitsha, Port Harcourt and, of

course, Lagos to fight for Nigeria’s

liberation from oppressive colonial rule.

Zik inspired a generation of Africans,

including the late President Nkrumah of

Ghana, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Dr

Nwafor Orizu, who became Nigeria’s

second Senate President. It has, therefore,

become a national scandal that a national

holiday has yet to be declared in honour of

this great African son. The people and

government of Anambra State once again call

upon President Buhari to end this national

blight by declaring November 16 of every year

a national holiday in commemoration of Dr

Azikiwe’s birthday.”

A quintessential Renaissance man, Zik was

a politician, poet, author, orator, sportsman,

visionary, nationalist, but above all else, a

remarkable human being.

Zik lived and died as the acclaimed Father

of Modern Nigeria. Zik was the complete

Nigerian. Born in the Hausa-Fulani North of

Eastern Igbo parentage, Zik spent his most

productive years in the Yoruba West. He spoke

Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo fluently, as well as

other Nigerian languages. He was a welcome

presence everywhere n the country.

A native of Onitsha in Anambra State, Zik

was born on November 16, 1904 in Zungeru

and died on May 11, 1996.

Zik who wore the traditional title of Owelle

of Onitsha with uncommon aplomb was the

lionized author of books such as Renascent

Africa, Liberia in World Politics, My

Odyssey etc.

A national holiday for the leader who

made Nigeria’s independence possible is

very imperative. The Nnamdi Azikiwe

national holiday, or Zik’s Day, is an idea

whose time has come in celebration of

the father of modern Nigeria. It is

incumbent on President Buhari to make

it happen.

ALMAJIRI SYSTEM: Northerners differ on way out

Continues from page 13

Almajiri system is not working well because

they lack funds to cater for the well being of

the children in their care.



“I don’t want the government to end the

Almajiri education because it’s important to

have sound Islamic education as a good

Muslim. You know, the original plan of this

system was for parents to send their wards to

us (Islamic teachers) so that they can get

Islamic education. But things got

economically bad and even worse for

parents, to the extent that they can no longer

cater for their children’s needs. So naturally,

they would expect us to teach and feed them

as well. But we can’t do so much, because we

lack the capacity to feed all of them. We

used to get donations from

well wishers, but they barely

come these days, probably

because of the economic

hardship in the country. But

if the government begins to

support us with funding,

most of these problems you

see will naturally





His views were supported by

an Academic, Khalid Musa

who warned that it would

be disastrous to end the

almajiri system, citing the

peculiar nature and their

exposure to the nation’s


“I don’t think the almajiri

system should be substituted

with the western education.

The almajiri system is a

peculiar case in the North.

I don’t want the

government to

end the Almajiri


because it’s

important to

have sound


education as a

good Muslim

Many of these children do not know where

their parents are. So if you say you only

want the western system, after providing free

education, how do you cater for their

domestic needs, including accommodation?

The problem we have on our hands is a

deep-seated one. It’s beyond sitting in the

comfort of your office in Abuja and making

declarations. An immediate ban will

remove any form of control Islamic clerics

have over an already disenchanted group of

young people, and will further increase the

pool of able-bodied young boys and girls

from which Boko Haram and others who

want to unleash harm on our nation can

recruit,” he said.




For Malam Ahmad Muhammd Shinkafi,

the permanent secretary of Zamfara state

Ministry for Religious Affairs, the problems

of Almajiri in the north took root squarely

with the colonial masters whom he accused

of imposing western education on


He said before the coming of

Europeans, the Almajiri system

was the best system of education

as the Malams who taught the

pupils were the ones on the

positions of authority and

therefore, had the financial

muscle to fend for themselves

and also the students.

He lamented that the

imposition of western education

on the northerners and

replacement of the Islamic way

of doing things was responsible

for the Almajiri menace.

He however said that the state

was doing everything possible

to eradicate Almajiri system of

education, by empowering

Islamiyya system of education

in order to restore Islamic ways

of imparting knowledge to


Perhaps other states in the north

may borrow a leaf from the

Benue state experience where

the Islamic community vigorously

discourages begging in the name of

Almajiri. Though the state capital Makurdi

has some sizeable population of Muslims, it

does not have a thriving Almajiri system of


According to the immediate past Special

Assistant to Benue state Governor on

Community Relations, Alhaji Abubakar

Dankeji most Muslim children seeking

Islamic Knowledge in the state do so from

the comfort of their parents houses.

“We only have a handful of them here in

Benue state and those that are here usually

go to Islamiya School. At the moment, we

have two of such schools in North Bank and

Wadata areas of the town. But most of them

live with their parents. Fortunately, they

have not constituted themselves into

nuisance in the state because we adopted the

strategy of arresting any one engaging in

antisocial activities. That strategy has also

ensured that they do not constitute

themselves to beggars in the town.

Alhaji Dankeji explained further that

Moslems in Benue had also taken

deliberate steps to regularly sensitize

parents and the children on the dangers of

having the children roam the streets to beg

for alms.

” We usually take time off at the mosque

to sensitize the children and their parents

because our policy is that if we catch any of

them constituting themselves into nuisance

in the town we will arrest and hand them

over to the police. We also caution that if we

arrest the children we will also arrest their

parents or whoever sends them to town to

beg for alms end ensure their prosecution.

”That sustained campaign has instilled

fear in the parents and even the children and

I think that has helped us in Benue state to

check the menace they have constituted in

other northern parts of the country. I

believe that if the Benue strategy is adopted

in other states it could help stop them from

being used for begging and other antisocial

vices,” Dankeji said.

While different states in the north are still

grappling with the best ways to deal with the

Almajiri menace, the Kaduna state

governor, Nasir El Rufai seems to have

taken the bull by the horn by outright ban of

street begging associated with the Almajiri


While presenting this 2020 Budget to the

state House of Assembly, Mallam Nasir El

Rufai said from 2020, every child in the state

must have access to free and compulsory

education and the parent or guardian of any

child found on the street during school

hours will be sanctioned.

The “State Universal Basic Education Bill

will repeal the 2005 law to reflect lessons

learnt in the implementation of the

domestication of the UBE Act to ensure the

elimination of Almajiri phenomenon in

Kaduna State.

“An Education Bill to extend free and

compulsory education to the Senior

Secondary level for all students. Free

education up to senior secondary level was

previously enjoyed only by female students,

while boys had theirs guaranteed only up to

junior secondary level.

“From 2020, every child in Kaduna State is

required to have 12 years of free,

compulsory primary and secondary

education. The bill will mandate that those

that prefer vocational or technical

education after completing junior

secondary school would also enjoy three

years of TVE.

“The education related bills signpost our

commitment to the enhanced enforcement

of the UBE Act, Child Welfare and

Protection Law, and the Street Hawking

(Prohibition) Law. Our Education

Marshalls, KASTLEA and the Kaduna

Vigilance Service will jointly ensure no child

in Kaduna State roams the street during

school hours for any reason without legal

consequences for the parents or guardians”

the governor said.

Though the Almajiri system appears well

entrenched in the north and is seen as

normal practice, the renewed interest by

both religious and political leaders in the

menace may finally galvanize majority of

the populace to compel the governments of

the northern states to take firm and decisive

action to end the menace once and for all.

For a region that appears to be backward

on all social indices, the Almajiri system is

one major drawback that will keep it down

for a long time. Resolving this problem will

be one sure way of putting the region on one

good footing to improving on the well being

of its peoples.

SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019—15

What happened to

Ambode in Lagos

cannot happen in

Edo — Idahosa

By Ozioruva Aliu

Hon Charles Idahosa, a chieftain and founding member of

APC was Special Adviser on Politics to Comrade Adams

Oshiomhole as governor for eight years.

What is your reaction to the

suspension and counter suspension

in the APC?

What is happening in Edo state is

becoming very interesting and at the

same time, it is becoming very

unfortunate that we have gotten to this

level due to the actions and behaviour

of Adams Oshiomhole. I have granted

several interviews and I hate something

like a crack record because I keep

repeating myself. I knew a day like this

will come where we will go back to the

level we were long, long time ago when

it became a case of you suspend me, I

suspend you, making it look like a

mockery. What happened when they

said they have suspended the governor

and others was a joke, a very big joke

because for you to come around that you

are suspending anybody in the party, it

must be done by specific organs of the

party. There is no way myself and some

leaders will just sit down and say we have

suspended anybody. The

people that suspended

Oshiomhole, that

suspended Lawrence

Okah, you can see the

party organs that were

there; the party

chairman was there, the

local government

chairmen were there, 30

of the 36 state executives

were there, they are the

people the constitution of

the party saddled with

the job of giving out

disciplinary actions, not

just a collection of

members. So as far as I am

concerned, we have gone

back to the era of whether

it carries weight or it

doesn’t carry weight, just

suspend. Fifteen of the

local government

chairmen were the ones

that passed a vote of no

confidence on Oshiomhole

the video is there then

three other ones; two from

Etsako and one from Owan

said they were not part of

it but they went ahead to say they are

issuing a statement on behalf of the

eighteen, how can three people say that?

The chairmen that took that decision

were seated together, they were

recorded so it is not some leaders of the

party that will sit down and just decide,

the leaders can ratify what those people

have done which was done today when

they called us the leaders to brief us on

what they have done and we the leaders

from the eighteen local government

areas ratified it.

It is unfortunate that we have got to

this level but it is Oshiomhole that is

responsible for all these things. I don’t

know what he is looking for. He has been

governor for eight years, he is now

national chairman, you have a national

constituency, why are you reducing

yourself to a state constituency? Edo is

just one of the 36 states and Abuja that

you are superintending so what is your

interest here?

Lucky Igbinedion did his eight years

and left, Lucky never one day interfered

with Oshiomhole’s administration but

Oshiomhole thoroughly abused his

father, abused his mother and abused

Osagie Ize-Iyamu who practically did

the ground work for him to become

governor. It was myself and Oshiomhole

that contested in 2007 and I am happy

the people are alive and I have spoken to

them, they have apologised to me that

there was no primary election that they

wrote the results then but I agreed to be

his adviser and for the eight years, he

told me he hated god-fatherism and I

joined him; you are all witnesses to the

war between me and Anenih because I

thought I was engaged with a good

partner for a good fight not knowing that

he was preparing


In 2016 just a

month before he

handed over to

Obaseki, he said in

Vanguard that

Obaseki is more

competent than

him, that he will do

better than him. He

was asked what if

Obaseki is disloyal

and he said that

doesn’t bother him,

he owes his loyalty to

the four million Edo

people so today what

is happening? What

is he fighting

Obaseki for? What

does he want from

Obaseki? The young

man is just three

years old in office.

Look at what they

wanted to do on the

day he was three

years old, somebody

in the party gave out

one million naira

each to exco

members. One of them who is from my

place who I nominated into the state

exco told me. That is how we got to know.

The young man went there, played

along with them and they gave him one

million naira. Immediately he left

there, he called me and came to report

to me and that is how we went into


I knew a day like

this will come

where we will go

back to the level

we were long, long

time ago when it

became a case of

you suspend me,

I suspend you,

making it look like

a mockery

But do you subscribe to this

opinion that the governor has not

reached out to these aggrieved

members of the party?

Who told you he has not reached out

to them? He has reached out to them. I

am not in government, I am not his

spokesman but from the information

gathered, he has reached out to them,

he has told them (the lawmakers elect)

to come back to the house of assembly

and be inaugurated but they said no. A

court has restrained him from issuing a

fresh letter of proclamation. And the big

question I asked them, Saraki double

crossed the federal government in 2015;

while APC senators were having a

meeting in the International Conference

Centre. He became Senate President and

in order to get the PDP he made

Ekweremadu the Deputy Senate

president. Did President Buhari issue

another letter of proclamation?

Is the party not degenerating to a

point where you not only factions

but also parallel leadership?

The so called removal of the governor,

his deputy and SSG has no meaning.

Who is removing who? Is it just by

pronouncing that you remove

somebody? The Progressives Governors

Forum has told Oshiomhole to call a

meeting where they will solve this

problem and I think that is the way

forward but why he is afraid to call the

meeting I don’t know. That is all the

governors of APC are talking, the

Director General couldn’t have written

that letter without the consent of all the

governors because that is where all these

things can be settled. Obaseki is a

member, Oshiomhole is a member, let

them go and sort out the whole thing


What will you say about the

return of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu?

He was a founding member of the party

in ACD to AC and ACN before he left. I

don’t think saying that he is coming

back is the right description, he is

coming home, he has been with us, we

•Hon Charles


all know him, and he is welcome. He is

not coming to pick groundnut, he left

the party to go and pick the

governorship ticket in PDP, now things

are not so rosy for him in PDP, he is back.

Obaseki faced all these people before and

he defeated them, many of those talking

now didn’t support Obaseki the first


What is your message to them?

The point I am making is that this is

the time we are supposed to be

celebrating and be enjoying ourselves

24 over 24. Oshiomhole never achieved

it. Oshiomhole as a sitting governor, we

lost this state during Buhari’s first

coming with 87,000 votes but in

Obaseki’s case, we lost it by 7,000 the

percentage increased from 42 per cent

to over 49 per cent. What concerns me

is that Oshiomhole did a great job,

Oshiomhole brought Obaseki to us and

told us that he is the brain box, he is a

financial wizard, he is the engine room

of everything that he was doing, he sold

him to everyone of us. Now, what is

happening between the two of them? I

said when two friends are quarrelling

and they are not talking, there must be

something between them that is

responsible for that which is envy and


We thought he was a messiah when he

came saying I am going to fight

godfatherism. Now he wants to be a

godfather, it won’t happen. Oshiomhole

brought all these (The deputy governor

and the Secretary to State Government)

people thinking that he was building a

wall around Obaseki and when the time

comes, he will strike and Obaseki will be

exposed but it is not. But I want to say that

this is Benin and not Lagos so there is no

basis for thinking or saying that what

happened in Lagos will happen in Edo.

16—SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019

By Ozioruva Aliu

BENINCITY- Prince Kassim

Afegbua is a chieftain of the

Peoples Democratic Party

(PDP). He was a former

Commissioner for Information and

Special Adviser on Media to Comrade

Adams Oshiomhole as governor of

Edo State

What is your position on the

current political situation in

Edo state?

It is actually not about position, it

is about the state of politics in Edo

state and how much the present

political gangsterism is affecting the

fortune of the state and her people.

Everywhere is militarised and

radicalised. Suddenly Oshiomhole

has become like a plague to Governor

Obaseki whom he deferred to so

respectfully just three years ago. It

baffles me how people can change like

chameleon just because they feel

they now call the shots in the state.

Judging from what we saw in 2016

during the campaigns to install

Obaseki as a Governor, I feel terribly

disappointed that this could be

happening between the major actors,

especially between Comrade

Oshiomhole and his two political

sons, Godwin and Phillip. I have

personally made effort to intervene

but there is some sort of

communication breakdown. Too

many meddlesome interlopers have

taken over the narratives hence the

entire scenario appears to be a free


But was this conflict avoidable

considering that the actors are

all from the same political


Yeah, I have said that this is a

needless conflict that should not rear

its ugly head in the first place but

along the line, I wouldn’t know who

decided to dig a wedge between these

two jolly fellows. Obaseki served

under Oshiomhole as Economic

Adviser for eight solid years. It was

under an atmosphere of peace,

mutual respect and tranquillity. What

later happened still confounds me till

date. But like I have said in other

platforms, Governor Obaseki has a

greater role to play in reaching out

to persons who may have felt

aggrieved as a result of abandonment

by the government of the day.

Democracy talks about people, it

talks about inclusion, it talks about

participation. So if people who

worked assiduously for your election

feel they have been neglected and

abandoned, it is your responsibility

to reach out to them and carry them

along. You need the good, the bad and

the ugly in the political process. You

cannot vote yourself into office

without reaching out to the voters

and these voters also have groups

and leaders they defer to. This

muscle-flexing and ego tripping will

not augur well for the advancement

of development in the state.

But the two sides seem to have

taken extreme positions,

making reconciliation look


It is rather unfortunate this is

happening at a time we need to be

unanimous against kidnapping,

poverty and infrastructural decay.

Just drive around the state and see

the declining state of the

infrastructure across the length and

breadth of the state. It is a huge

distraction and it is becoming like a

do or die situation. If nobody is ready

to tell those living in Osadebe Avenue

•Prince Kassim


Obaseki, not

Oshiomhole ought to

reach out to aggrieved

members says Afegbua

glass house, I will volunteer to tell

them that political fights do not end

pleasantly. Rather than take extreme

position of suspending

here, suspension there,

the government should

devote attention to do

more plausible things

for the state. I feel very

strongly that those who

are profiting from this

trade would not want

any reconciliation that

will put them outside

the system. They are

presently enjoying

what they are benefiting

from the Governor, so

they would not want any

settlement. I am

amazed just listening to

a man like Charles

Idahosa who never

This muscleflexing


ego tripping

will not augur

well for the





in the state

supported Godwin Obaseki in 2016

until Comrade Oshiomhole prevailed

on him, now behaving as if he is the

alternate voice of the Governor. And

we all know those jobless politicians

who have now decided to heat up the

Edo polity. I am praying that

my party the PDP gets its acts

together to defeat the APC in

2020 so that Edo people can

have a breather. Instead of

trying to see how to resolve

this political impasse because

it is putting the state in bad

light in terms of our image,

politicians like Charles

Idahosa have suddenly seen

a new flourishing vocation. It

is shameful.

One of the pillars of the

PDP, Pastor Osagie Ize-

Iyamu is moving to APC,

What is your take on


Well, politics is all about

interest but it will be a huge loss to

the PDP family. I was an eye witness

to the last meeting that was held

between Pastor Ize-Iyamu and

Comrade Oshiomhole when it was

rumoured that Pastor Ize-Iyamu was

exiting the APC. It was a loss then

judging by his contributions to the

APC as a foundation Vice Chairman.

Those who worked through other

means to force or arm-twist

Oshiomhole’s hands are those calling

the shots today. Phillip Shuaibu and

Osarodion Ogie were the architects of

that plot because of their own

ambitions, thinking Comrade would

endorse their aspiration. When pastor

Ize-Iyamu left, they thought the

coast was clear until Comrade

Oshiomhole came up with Godwin

Obaseki, part of which explained the

choice of Phillip Shuaibu as Deputy

Governor against others who have

better credentials. So, if Ize-Iyamu is

returning to the APC, it means there

are those wooing him to take the

decision. I would have loved the PDP

to prevail on him not to leave because

we are supposed to be reaping and

harvesting from those who are locked

in contestation and political turmoil.

Why should a troubled APC be the

one benefiting from this whole

scenario? The PDP needs to build a

cohesive front to be better prepared

for the 2020 election. Pastor Osagie

Ize-Iyamu is a great mobiliser and to

lose such a man to the ruling party is

to further compound our troubles in

PDP. This is the best opportunity for

the PDP to take over the state if only

we are able to shelve our

egocentricism to embrace a more

holistic approach to rebuilding and

repositioning the party.

How do you see the drama of

suspension and counter

suspension by the actors loyal

to Oshiomhole and Obaseki?

People would ordinarily expect

some of us in the opposition party to

ignore the happenings in the APC but

we also do have our own problems.

Only last week, a phoney group

reportedly suspended the leaders of

the PDP too. In APC, I was not

surprised that Anslem Ojezua was

suspended, because he has always

been a loner even when I was there.

There was a time that the Executives

of the state party wanted to remove

him, but Comrade had to plead on his

behalf before he was left off the hook.

I am therefore not surprised that he

was suspended. Ojezua belongs to the

category of those who do not have

forwarding address other than just

being State Chairman. That is why

you see him everywhere but

nowhere. Ojezua is a Lawyer, but have

you ever seen him in the four walls of

the courts appearing for anyone?

When I was still a member of the APC,

in all the elections conducted, Ojezua

never won his unit or ward. Are those

the type of characters that Obaseki is

relying on? Well, some of us are

watching but like I said earlier, it is

an opportunity for my party, the PDP

to take the glory off the APC.

The National Chairman of the APC

is a proud son of Edo state, whether

we like it or not. And I feel pained that

despite the huge effort put together

by Oshiomhole, this is what the state

government and its apparatchik are

using to pay Oshiomhole back. It is

sheer wickedness and heartlessness.

It is a huge betrayal of the highest

order and I am still wondering if this

is the same actors who were

masquerading around Comrade

Oshiomhole just three years down the

line. But that is human being for you,

so heartless and godless. Time shall

tell as we all get into the fray to engage

the 2020 politics in the state.

SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019 — 17

18 — SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019

2Baba, Tiwa Savage headline

AFRIMA music village

Music icon, 2Baba and sensational artistes.

Afro pop diva, Tiwa Savage are

billed to headline the 6 th Themed ‘Wild & Wow’ the music stars

edition drawn from the five African regions are

of the All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, expected to wow thousands of music

music village which holds at Agege lovers who will throng the event venue

Stadium, Lagos, on Thursday, November with their electrifying performances


Speaking on the upcoming event,

They will be joined on stage by the likes Project Lead and Head of Media,

of music icon, 2Baba, Ghana’s dancehall AFRIMA, Sola Dada said: “It is no doubt

artiste, Stonebwoy; South Africa’s Nasty this year’s AFRIMA Music Village

C, Sho Madjozi and Master KG. Others attendees will leave with utmost

are Teni the Entertainer, Ycee, Pasuma fulfillment. The decision by the

Wonder, Rudeboy, Saheed Osupa, Small International Committee of AFRIMA to

Doctor, Skiibi, Niniola, Falz, DJ Spinall, change venue and take the concert closer

Mr. P., Dj Cuppy, 9ice, Fireboy, Atawewe, to the grassroots in Agege Stadium,

Harrysong, Q.dot, Obesere, Slimcase, Mr. Agege Lagos where die-hard and loyal

Reel, Mayorkun, Reminisce and DJ music lovers are, is to avail them the


opportunity to experience their favorite

Also, for a first time AFRIMA African stars perform live on stage. From

appearance, the international Congolese its inception, the concert has catered to

music veteran, Awilo Longomba will its audience creating an experience that

bring his extraordinaire energy and stays with them for a long time.

sensual dance moves to play. Also The previous edition in Ghana at the

performing is, Sauti Sol from Kenya, 100,000-capacity Independence Square in

Rayvanny from Tanzania, Daphne from Accra left the crowd yearning for more,

Cameroon; Anna Jone from Angola, and the 6th edition will surely surpass

Toofan from Togo, Aminux from Morocco, previous ones”, he added.

and Kanvee Adams from Liberia. It will The AFRIMA music village will be light

be an evening of energetic non-stop up with outstanding, invigorating, and

performances from both A-list and rising high-powered musical performances.


•Tiwa savage

*Members of Vesta Orchestra

performing on stage

*Continues from page 17

“I stand before you in my capacity

as an ambassador for Save the

Children. But, most of all, a

daughter; a sister; a friend and

a performing artiste to most of

you. While many know me as

DJ Cuppy, the Gelato Fanatic,

I stand before you today as a

young philanthropist with a

big vision for our country,


“I would like to thank His

Excellency, the Vice President

for joining us tonight. Your

presence has already made this a

very special night for me. I pray you will

stay and enjoy some Gelato, sir. To Mr Otedola,

the Gelato King himself, don’t worry, my

wedding would be smaller and less stressful”,

she added with a touch of humour.

On her experience in Maiduguri, Cuppy said

Save the Children has exposed her to a world

she never imagined.

“I founded this Cuppy Foundation as a way of

giving back to children. As many of you know,

I am very passionate about what I do. And,

through this foundation, I have contributed to

many Nigerians; those with disabilities,

visiting places around the country. I have also

supported children through music,” she added.

“Save the Children has exposed me to a world

I never imagined. However, nothing prepared

me for my recent visit. I was able to visit Save

the Children’s work in Maiduguri, Borno

State. At their stabilization centre, the first

An evening of classical music

...as Vesta Orchestra thrill audience at Afri-Classical concert

child I met in the

hospital was only

two years old. She

was so


that she needed

a blood


“After then, I

met more and

more sick

•DJ Cuppy children

d y i n g ,

including a 16

year old mother

It was an evening of bliss and splendor

as guests were treated to quality

classical music at the first-ever Afri-

Classical concert series held Wednesday

night at the Terra Kulture, Victoria Island,


The evening started with the CEO of

Vesta Violins and The Vesta Orchestra,

Rosalyn Aninyei welcoming everyone

present to an evening of great music and

thanking them for coming out to support

the orchestra. She went on to thank the

owner of the Terra Kulture Arena, Bolanle

Austen-Peters for welcoming the

orchestra with open arms and allowing

them to premiere in her theater.

The 21-man orchestra, conducted by

Kehinde Oretimehin treated the audience

which consisted of both Nigerian and

foreign HNIs, to beautiful renditions

from African music greats such as Fela

Sowande and Fela Kuti’s “Akinla”, Bobby

Benson’s “Taxi Driver”, Victor Uwaifo’s

“Joromi”, Eleazar Arinze’s “Nike Nike”,

Victor Olaiya’s “Baby Jowo”, Bode

Afolabi’s “Eniyan”, Prince Nico

Mbarga’s “Sweet Mother”, Adedeji

Adetayo and Seun Owoaje’s

“Erinlakatabu”, and a number of

Kehinde Oretimehin’s compositions

such as “Ogo ni fun Baba”, “Are you

willing” and “Magbagbemi”.

Carl Maria von Weber’s “Symphony

1” was also rendered to give the foreign

HNIs a feel of home.

The night ended with a rousing

standing ovation from an obviously

satisfied audience as they savored an

encore of “Magbagbemi.”

‘Save the Children has exposed me to a world I never imagined’

who was also malnourished. Because of how

serious this problem is, I was told that I was

only meeting the lucky few who were able to

make it to the medical centre. My heart broke

and it is still broken as I stand.

“Ever since that visit, my determination to save

Nigerian children has grown. I have

committed my time, my strength and my

passion for this Gold Gala to help Nigerian

children. I beg you all to join us in supporting

the Save the Children cause. A quick note to

all of you, I am happy to add extra zeros to

any amount you want to donate.”

Chief Executive Officer

of Save the Children

•Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo, Chairman,APC, Comrade Adams

Oshiomhole and other dignitaries at the event.

Foundation, Kevin Watkins lauded Miss

Otedola for her efforts in changing the

narrative in the Northeast.

The event had dignitaries including the Senate

President, Ahmad Lawan who was

represented, former senate president, Bukola

Saraki; National Chairman of the ruling All

Progressives Congress APC, Comrade Adams

Oshiomhole, Lagos state Governor, Babajide

Sanwo-Olu; Ogun state Governor, Dapo

Abiodun, diplomats and other top government


* F e m i



Zlatan after

h i s


SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019—19

Top Nollywood actress and singer, Dayo

Amusa is rearing to hit the cinemas

with her latest film “Omoniyun” from

November 29, 2019. The film which stars

Segun Arinze, Bimbo Thomas, Toyin

Alausa, Seilat Adebowale, Muyiwa

Ademola and a host of others focuses on

the protection of the girl child.

According to her, the movie will

engender discourse on the plight of the

girl child. In this interview she talks

about the film and other things

What gave you the inspiration

to make the movie


I’m this one person that draws

inspiration from things that

happen around me, things I hear,

things I read and things I get to

see on daily basis. I did not write

the script but when I got the

story, I liked it so I did one

or two corrections and it

was perfect. The story is

about child molestation,

parental negligence and

child marriage. I played the

role of a nurse known as

Omoniyan, a lady loved by

the kids, and the

community. Before now, I

had the opportunity to

experience a particular

situation in Sagamu, where

an eleven years old child

was molested, so, when I

received the script, I found

it interesting because it’s

the kind of story I like to

treat. I like stories that

have to do with social

issues. I kind of have the

strength to explain and

make people see what’s

happening in our society.

This issue of girl child

marriage, child abuse

happens everywhere and

everyday but we are not

addressing the issues, not

because we don’t know it

exists but no one wants to

Why I made my

be the voice and nobody

wants to be too involved.

This is a platform to

advocate and to kick

against child molestation as

a film maker, it’s just my

HIV status public

own little way to give back

to the society. I have chosen

to educate people on some

social matters happening

around us.

Why did you chose to cast

Segun Arinze in the


I needed someone that

could help interpret the role

perfectly, so I saw no other

person as at that time than

uncle Segun. I have had

opportunity to see the way

and manner he interpreted

some certain roles, so I saw

him as the right person to

interpret the role. It was

indeed a collective effort.

Muyiwa Ademola is

someone I have worked

with too, he takes time to

bring out the best from each

character, he came up with

— Dayo Amusa

•Says, “The girl child is disadvantaged”

fantastic ideas when I told

him about the story. He

takes time to address each

character to know if you

truly understands your role.

The story has a background

of the 70s and 80s, how

difficult was it to get


I like works that are

challenging, I try to give in

my best, the movie is a

unique one and I believed

it’s achievable, so making it

real wasn’t really difficult.

We had gotten things in

place, the set, the costumes,

the housing and everything,

it was a beautiful one.

So, what were the

challenges making this


The challenge I had was

while shooting the movie.

We made the movie at first

in Abeokuta and

unfortunately we lost all the

contents but we were only

able to retrieve just 35% of

the movie and lost 65%

which is more like the

entire movie. I had to keep

the project aside for a while.

But when I thought of the

message I had to pass to

people through that movie,

I had to call my cast and

crew again to reshoot the

movie in Ijebu ode.

Everyone understood the

situation and gave me their

best just as they did in the

first shooting.

How do you intend to get

back your money from the


As a film maker, we all have

different reasons we make

movies. Of course, nobody

wants to do a movie without

getting back their money

but like I said, there are

some things you do that go

beyond the intention to

make money from cinema,

DVD, or online. This movie

has to do with advocacy,

about child marriage,

parental negligent, I have

NGOs that have supported

in one way or the other, the

Lagos State government are

in support as well as both

the Ministry of

Women Affairs

and the

Ministry of

Youth and





saw the



were all

proud of

it so they

gave their



that’s enough

for me. Although

I’m still going to

make my money from

the movie but I don’t have

to expect all the money

from the cinema, DVD or


You had an update online

sometime ago on your HIV

status, does it relate to this

movie in any way?

Well, the declaration of my

HIV status wasn’t attached

to this movie. What I posted

was just a random thing. I

just felt I should encourage

people to go for their HIV

test, to know their status, so

they can know what next to

do and go for a medical

advice if necessary. It is

better to know your status,

so you can guide yourself

and save others too. If mine

was positive, I would have

still posted it but might not

be just at that particular

moment. For me, being

positive is not the end of the

world and it doesn’t stop

you from living a normal

life. You don’t have to die

before death comes.

20—SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMNER 16, 2019

Juliet Ebirim


Anthony Ajulo celebrates


At 40, entrepreneur and

industrialist, Anthony Ajulo is

every inch a champ. The cofounder

of Colton Group of

companies, a fast growing conglomerate

with interest in construction,

manufacturing, industrial chemicals and

ICT, his story pulsates a pleasurable

lore of labour, perseverance, reinvention

and accomplishment. Ajulo personifies a

classic success story of the man who

grew to be titan under the heavy weight

of daunting odds, along the torturous path

to acclaim.

Last Saturday, friends, family,

members of staff and wellwishers graced

his exclusive luxurious birthday party

held at Presken Hotel, Opebi. The live

band at the party added life to the event

singing melodies to the delight of guests

•Bridget Agba

Bridget Agba’s

“Sales Basket”


Fashion enthusiasts are once again in for

a memorable moment, with a rare

opportunity provided by one of the recent

most sought-after fashion haven in the

country, Jochlieu Apparel owned by the

delectable Bridget Agba. On Sunday

24th, November 2019, ‘fashion-preneurs’

and fashionistas will storm the Jhalobia

Recreation Park and Gardens, Ajao Estate,

Lagos, for the second edition of its annual

Sales Basket.

The event which is poised to attract

prominent individuals in the fashion

industry, has been repackaged for vendors

to showcase their exquisite fashion

items. The Sales Basket according to

Bridget, “is an avenue designed with the

intent to create newer forms of visibility

for vendors, as well as increasing brand

awareness through more channels and

wider online presence.”

She also disclosed that, the Sales Basket

is not only meant for established

designers, but start-ups who are willing

to exploit the huge opportunity

According to the delectable Bridget, “

the Jochlieu brand focuses on styling

today’s male and trending female

accordingly and also open up the industry

by creating a platform for players to cashin

on. Hence, the berth of the sales

festival spiced up with great

entertainment, food and drinks for

participants.” she said.

and there was so much to eat and


A Chartered Accountant, Ajulo who

founded the Colton Group eleven

years ago with his partner, Collins

Balogun is passionate about

innovations and entrepreneurship.

Happily married and blessed with

two beautiful daughters, Ajulo has

this to say about clocking 40: “To

have lived up to forty is by the grace

of God. I have no regrets. I have

made quite a few mistakes,

encountered some challenges, but I

learn from them and strive to be

better. Going forward, my hopes and

aspiration is to contribute my quota

towards making Nigeria great. I

believe my generation has the

responsibility to rewrite the history

of Africa. I'm going to contribute in

my own little way towards building

industries, influencing policies and

empowering people. ”

Akinboboye, Kelani, others

for Nigeria Travel Week

All is set for the 2019 edition of the

Nigeria Travel Week, scheduled to hold

from Sunday, November 17, 2019

through Saturday, November 23,

2019. The event which is the

brainchild of Efetobo Awhana,

CEO Avantgarde Tours, is themed

‘Harnessing the creative tourism

potentials of culture-rich


At a recent media parley,

which had in attendance

other members of the

Nigeria Travel Week

team, including Femi

Lawson - CEO,

S k y v i e w

Communications; Dr.

Adun Okupe - Red

Clay Advisory; Lanre

Samson - Heventin

Ltd; and Tony

Ukachukwu of

Aviators Africa,

Awhana talked about

the activities

incorporated into the

week long event. He

also stressed the need to not just market

Nigeria as a tourism destination, but to

position Nigeria to make money from


Activities for the week include

the Upbeat Experience, which

would take place on Sunday,

November 17, at Upbeat

Centre, Lekki; The Travel

Roundtable scheduled for

Wednesday, November 20 at

the Muson Centre; Tours to

choice locations in Lagos

and Ogun States; Nigeria

Tourism Awards (The

Balearica Awards) at the

Federal Palace Hotel, which

would be followed by an afterparty

at the Hard Rock Café.

2019 Nigeria Travel Week

will end with the Tourism

Hangout at La Campagne


Guests expected at the

event include,

filmmaker, Tunde

Kelani, UN World

Tourism Organisation‘s

Senior Expert for

Communications in

Africa; Kojo Bentum-

Williams; Amb. Wanle Akinboboye,

tourism stakeholders and others.

When Opera News Hub

launched in Lagos


adisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, last

Sunday evening was a beehive of

activities, as writers, bloggers, content

creators, influencers and media

personalities stormed the launch of

Opera News Hub..

Tagged “Night of Conversations”,

Opera, the Norwegian browser

•Opera News

hub editors


•Anthony Ajulo

developer and leader on AI driven

digital content, announced that Opera

News is expanding its platform with

the introduction of Opera News Hub.

The new online media platform helps

authors and bloggers produce their

original online content and share it with

the fast-growing Opera user base of

more than 350 million users

worldwide and over 120 million

users in the African countries.

Scot Eritemu, Product Manager for

Opera News, said the news hub will

enable thousands of Nigerian

authors and bloggers to explore

their creativity in a collaborative

online media platform based on

generated content. “Opera News

Hub also guarantees premium

content placement across the Opera

mobile apps, allowing them to be

discovered by a large international

audience of over 350 million Opera


Opera News Hub connects

seamlessly with other Opera mobile

applications like the popular Opera

Mini browser and the standalone

news app Opera News. This means

that content creators who choose to

distribute original content in Opera

News Hub, will have a unique

opportunity to reach a new

international audience, increase

their number of followers on social

media channels, and run their own

online publication across the

various Opera mobile products.

On Nse Isoni’s

The Lady



•Nse Isoni

eing a modern day classy lady is

beyond wearing makeup and

flaunting designer bags and shoes. In

today’s 4G world, knowing the basics of

social and business etiquette cannot be

over-emphasized,. Etiquette is an

integral part of our existence and

mastering the rules can open new doors

of opportunities.

On the 6th and 7th of December 2019,

women in the nation’s capital city, Abuja

would be treated to a life-changing

seminar. The 2-day etiquette seminar

tagged “The Lady, Her Style, Her Health

and Her Purpose” will hold at The

Envoy, Diplomatic Drive, Abuja. The

Lady etiquette seminar is the vision of

Nse Isoni, a certified International Youth

and Social Etiquette Consultant. Trained

at the prestigious Minding Manners

International Etiquette and Protocol

Academy, London. Nse has continued to

be a blessing to humanity in the area of

social etiquette and appropriate social


Nse’s much-talked about seminar is

about empowering ladies through

acceptable social etiquette in business

and relationship. The seminar also aims

to promote the culture of politeness,

manners and unspoken etiquette rules

for ladies. Some of the leading

facilitators expected at the seminar

include Elima Jedy-Agba, Ebi Alaibe

Elezieanya among others.

•Fayose's mother and Collins Balogun

Fayose’s mother

parties with Collins

Balogun at 40

ll roads led to Presken Hotel & Resort,

AOpebi, Ikeja, Lagos,penultimate

Saturday when Collins Balogun, the

Managing Partner, Advanced Concrete

Technologies,ACT, marked his 40th birthday

in grand style.

Among the top personalities that graced the

occasion was Feyisetan Fayose, mother of the

former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele

Fayose. Excited ex-governor’s mother

described Balogun described the celebrant as

a son. Being a spiritual leader, she further

prayed for the celebrant and promised to

always stand by him.

In a chat with Balogun, he said that he still

had a lot to achieve. He stated, “For me, life

begins at 40. I don’t record downfalls in my

life. Those things people take as downfalls, I

see them as experiences and I learn from them.

I do not share the sentiment that if given

another opportunity, I would love to do certain

things differently. I still plan to do more for

my country by providing employment

opportunities and supporting businesses.”

SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16 , 2019—21




South Africans,

Kenyans kick

as Cardi B picks

Nigeria, Ghana as

destinations for first

African trip

AMVCA returns for

7th edition, submission

for entries opens

From the moment the news

of Cardi B’s suspected visit

to Africa hit the media,

Africans all around the

continent began to advocate for

her to visit their respective


Cardi B had earlier shared a

video on her social media pages

where she thanked her dancers

and production team for making

her just concluded concert a

huge success. Before ending

the video, she announced that

she would be having her last

show in 2019 in Africa.

As soon as the video was

posted on Instagram, it became

a battle of who could convince

Cardi B to come to their

respective countries. According

to speculations, Cardi B was

either going to make a stop in

Nigeria, Kenya or South Africa

for her tour. Some South Africans

were replying to Cardi B’s

tweets asking her to come to

SA. Kenyans were

clamouring for her to

choose their country and

Nigerians were already

expressing their

excitement about her

arrival because they had


You can only imagine

how heartbreaking it

was for Kenyans and

South Africans when

Cardi B announced that

she’d be coming to Lagos

and Accra for the Livespot X


Many Kenyans and South

Africans are already protesting

that the Queen of rap left them

out of her African tour whilst

hoping that a last minute

miracle would occur that would

make her change her mind.

•The People's Hero judge, Nedu with contestants

The People’s Hero live show begins today

The reality of N7 million prize

and the bragging rights of

The People’s Hero is getting

clearer and closer as the curtain

has been drawn on the auditions

and twenty contestants have

qualified to join the Hero’s League

for the live shows, which

commence this Saturday. These

twenty contestants drawn from

auditions which held in Enugu

and Owerri will during the live

shows, vie for the winning prize

by showing off their talents to the

judges and the world.

Assuring Nigerians of thrilling

moments during the shows, one of

the judges and a popular music

artiste, Illbliss, said the judges

were extremely meticulous in

ensuring that only the best among

many good talents that showed up

at the auditions made it to the

league of Heroes. According to

him, selecting twenty contestants

out of about two thousand

hopefuls could not have been easy

considering the energy and

talents displayed during the

auditions. He said the judges are

aware of the qualities of The

People’s Hero and were as such

guided in selecting these final


Another judge and a frontline

actress, Rachael Okonkwo, added

that the live shows will be thrilling

for the audience and very tasking

and demanding for the

contestants. She said the

contestants are already being

trained by the best in the industry

and nothing short of perfection

will be accepted during the live

shows. This implies audience at

home or at the show will not only

be entertained but will also

appreciate the richness of the Igbo


Expressing their readiness for

the live shows, the Senior

Africa’s leading influencer

marketing platform,

Plaqad.com has signed ex-

BBNaija Season 4 contestant and

3rd runner-up, Omashola Kola

Oburoh to its talent program. With

this new development, Omashola

becomes the first-ever talent

signed to the newly-launched

Plaqad Talent Programme (PTP).

This partnership affords Plaqad

a non-exclusive agency

representation of Omashola.

Plaqad will represent Omashola

and negotiate brand collaboration

opportunities with prospective

brands and clients in Nigeria and

generally co-ordinate all client

bookings on his behalf.

“Plaqad leverages our strong

understanding of social media and

•Cardi B

Channels Manager, Viacom

International Media

Networks Africa, Solafunmi

Oyeneye, said all is set to

ensure a hitch free show. She

said it is only right for the

audience to relax on Saturday

nights and enjoy the show on

MTV base by 9.00pm. She

said a repeat broadcast

happens every Wednesday by


the social habits of Nigerians to

create new opportunities for

brands and talent collaborations.

For us, this partnership with

Omashola is yet another

opportunity to demonstrate our

commitment to helping talents

grow and succeed while ensuring

that our partner brands better

connect with their target audience

and win in the market,” said

Plaqad’s CEO and Chief


Also speaking at the signing

event, Omashola lauded Plaqad for

launching the talent programme

and expressed his excitement at

working with the company.

Since its launch in 2017, Plaqad

through its impressive showing in

the influencer marketing and

•AMVCA 2018 hosts, IK

Osakioduwa and Minnie


Africa Magic, in association

with MultiChoice Nigeria, has

announced that entries are

now being accepted for the seventh

edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’

Choice Awards (AMVCA). Entries

open Wednesday, 13 November and

close Friday, 13 December 2019.

The AMVCAs were created to

celebrate the contribution of African

filmmakers, actors and technicians in

the success of the continent’s film and

television industry and with the success of the previous editions,

preparations are now underway for the seventh edition which will hold

in March 2020.

Channel Director, Africa Magic, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu said: “It’s been

a long wait, but we are pleased to finally announce that the seventh edition

of the AMVCAs is here and set to once again celebrate film and television

talent across Africa. Every year the industry continues to grow in leaps

and bounds and we are proud to be a part of its success story through the

AMVCAs. The AMVCAs remain Africa’s most prestigious awards and

most reputable celebration of talent in front and behind the camera”.

Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe: “Beyond

celebrating talent, the AMVCAs represent a significant investment in the

African film and television industry, igniting ancillary industries in the

process. Each year, revenues are increased and jobs are created to cater to

the opportunities presented in areas like fashion, styling, photography

and make-up. The AMVCAs also present a unique opportunity for the

world to see and experience Africa beyond the headlines, telling its own

story and celebrating its best storytellers.”

All films, made-for-television movies or television series are eligible

for entry to the AMVCA if they are broadcast or publicly screened or

exhibited during the period of 1 April 2018 to 30 November 2019.

BBNaija Housemate, Omashola joins Plaqad’s

talent programme

•Omashola signing the deal

media space has quickly become

one of the biggest hubs for content

creators, publishers, and social

media influencers, with thousands

of users currently signed up on its


Some of the most successful and

popular BBNaija contestants such

as Tobi Bakre, Elozonam, Nelson,

Ella, Esther, Tboss, Anto and

Bisola among others are members

of Plaqad’s influencer community.

22 — SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019



I will not give up for my

victory lies more in finding

my voice —Busola Dakolo

•I am ashamed of the Nigerian Judiciary---Ego Boyo

Embattled Busola Dakolo, the wife of pop

singer, Timi Dakolo, has declared that she

would not give up the fight to get justice for

her victory lies more in finding her voice than anything


The celebrity photography, made this declaration

in response to the dismissing of the rape allegations

she levelled against the senior pastor of

Commonwealth of Zion Assembly,COZA, Biodun

Fatoyinbo, on Thursday, by a High Court sitting in


This is as popular actress and producer, Ego Boyo

has expressed shock and disappointment with the

Nigerian Judiciary on the matter.

Reacting to the ruling via her Twitter handle, Boyo

said “I am ashamed of the Nigerian judiciary at this

time! One that my father A N Nnamani JSC of blessed

memory belonged to for 11 years before his untimely

death in 1990. Basically, the Judiciary is telling

women, young girls, boys anyone raped and

assaulted that if it happened in the past. Forget it?”

According to the presiding judge, Oathman A.

Musa, the matter amounts to injustice and an abuse

of judicial process, stressing that the case is empty

and purely sentimental. She also insisted that the

case was aimed more at cruelty than obtaining justice.

I'm on a mission to

rescue Ajegunle

music — Papi


But reacting to the Fatoyinbo's victory,in a twopart

Instagram post on Thursday evening, Mrs

Dakolo explained that she “set out to ease the hurt,

the sense of shame and abuse, the nightmares and

traumas not by securing judicial victory only but by

boldly sharing my story and calling out my

transgressor robed in the vestiges of clerical power

and pretence”.

Pointing out some discrepancies in the court

process and the ruling, Mrs Dakolo said she found it

curious that the judge gave a final ruling after the

court claimed that the case file had gone missing.

“I was particularly surprised at the hearing of the

case when the court said the file was missing and

later when the court said my own processes cannot

be found and finally, the case is out of time. This only

shows that we have a lot to address to bring sanity to

our country,” she noted.

The mother-of-three also said that although a

judgement has been ruled in the clergyman’s favour,

it has, however, not declared him innocent of the


She wrote: “I have just been briefed by my lawyers

on the court’s ruling in the matter before it pertaining

to my stand against injustice represented by the

reprehensible actions of Mr. Biodun Fatoyinbo and,

Rising artiste, Ifeanyi Kalu popularly called Papi

says he's on a mission to revive the Ajegunle

music, which is currently on the verge of extinction.

The Abia State-born instrumentalist-turnedsinger,who

is putting finishing touches to his

debut album made this known in a chat with

WG. He said he's leaving no stone unturned

until his dream is achieved. Recall that the

evergreen ‘Ajegunle music’, where the

‘Galala’ dance step made popular by the

likes of Daddy Showkey, Baba Fryo,

Marvellous Benji, Daddy Fresh ruled the

Nigerian music scene in the early 90s. But


the vibrant music, created by John Oboh,

a.k.a Mighty Mouse suddenly disappeared

into thin air due to the commercialization of musical promotions in the


Papi said he's dream is to return the AJ music to its pride of place in the

Nigerian music scene. “I'm on a mission to revive Ajegunle music. I have

in light of the present and anticipated inquiries from

friends, family and well-wishers, it is pertinent to convey

my sincere reaction to said ruling.”

“When I set about confronting one of my biggest

fears and a horrible experience from my past, the first

hurdle was finding the confidence to. Victims usually

do not find a place for their voice, certainly not in our

deeply conservative country where might is right and

a virtue while innocence is a licence for abuse and

disregard. I had no illusions about the herculean task

before me in not only openly confronting the man

behind the mask but seeking remedy and sanction

against him before the court.”

“I set out to ease the hurt, the sense of shame and

abuse, the nightmares and traumas not by securing

judicial victory only but by boldly sharing my story

and calling out my transgressor robed in the vestiges

of clerical power and pretence. I understood and

accepted that by voicing out I was silencing the

screams in the night.”

“Ever since my story broke, the reactions were mixed

but largely comforting. I noted that otherwise hushed

victims of rape and sexual abuse were taking a cue

from my stoicism in the face of ridicule and opposition

and sharing their equally appalling stories. It is in this

response that my victory was sealed, in knowing that

one woman’s boldness could encourage others and

challenge the institutionalized silence and the

repression of the victim’s narrative by a culture of guilttripping,

stigma and an inexplicable clamour to make

irrational excuses for sexual offenders.

Even so, there is much to be said about what

transpired in court. In the court’s wisdom, my legal

action is statue barred and that means the time has

passed within which I could or should have initiated

the suit.”

“The substance of the suit which is my allegations

of sexual abuse leading to emotional distress on my

person against Mr. Biodun Fatoyinbo has neither

been entertained by the court nor ruled upon. I believe

that the effect of the injurious claim is a continuous

one that transcends time and place.

Mrs Dakolo said, she’s glad that my voice is not

silenced as this is victory for her. “ I must encourage

every woman out there to keep the pace and never

stop voicing out against the evil of rape and sexual

abuse. Do not be dispirited by today’s court decision.”

“No judgement has been made declaring the

innocence of Mr. Biodun Fatoyinbo. It must be stated

that while our experience have a shared theme, the

circumstances are different. We must not give up for

our victory lies more in finding our voice than

anything else.

Busola had alleged that Fatoyinbo raped her twice

when she was a teenager.

•Ego Boyo

what it takes to accomplish my dream. I got the voice,

I'm talented. I'm also tested and trusted,” Papi boasted.

Papi lamented the inability of the emerging artistes

from the ghetto city to sustain the tradition, with an

aim to reclaim the place of AJ music on the global


According to him, the AJ sound is gradually losing

its appeal. This informed his decision to take the bold

step to “rescue it” after he realized that local radio

stations as well as music TV stations are giving

more air time to Afrobeat, Hip hop and Afropop

music, at the detriment of other genres

like AJ sound which is on the decline

Talking about his passion for music,

Ppai said he started singing in the

church as kid, where he was the lead

vocalist as well as a keyboardist. He

also revealed that his parents inspired

his love for music. “Growing up, I

watched my mum singing in our

church choir then and returning home

from school, I would also behold my

dad listening to the evergreen songs

of Bob Marley, Lucky Dube among

great artistes. That inspired my love for music,” he said.

Papi is seriously working towards dropping his debut

album before the end of the year. And hopefully, it will be

an instant hit when it's finally dropped.



Film distributors

afraid to identify

with my Biafran


— Odera Ozoka

Hollywood-based Nigerian film

maker, Odera Ozoka, who has

been working on the war epic, “Biafra:

A forgotten Place’ for some time now,

has revealed the challenges he’s facing

in executing the laudable project.

According him, while some foreign

distribution companies, especially from

America and France have indicated

their readiness to distribute the highly

anticipated film, the local distributors

are shying away from identify with the

yet-to-be shot movie. This is because

of the sensitive nature of the story line.

Ozoka made this revelation while in

a recent chat with NollyNow. He said

“ while some foreign distribution

companies want the story to be told to

enable the world to understand the true

effects of the civil war on Nigerians,

some local film distributors are afraid

to identify with the movie because of

the sensitive nature of the story line.”

Ozoka, was recently in Lagos, in

connection with strategizing on how

to commence shooting of the movie

with a big-budge of $500 million.

“The shooting of the film is taking

longer than necessary because of

financing. Before now, many people saw

the story line as a sensitive issue. But

the interest we have gotten now are

from foreigners who want the story to

be told. We have distribution

companies who are ready to distribute

the film. Our partners in France said

once we are able to producer the film

that they would distribute it globally.”

Continuing, he added; “When you

are talking about the issue of Biafran,

the question remains who are the

audience. We have those in the

corridors of power, which I am not sure

if they are extremely ready for this that

kind of story. And I think some

businessmen too are somewhat

nervous about it. So, we are being

strategic on how we are going to fund

the film , which budget is up to the

tune of $500 million.” Ozoka, whose

‘Soul Diaspora’ won the Africa Movie

Academy award for the Best film by

African filmmaker in the diaspora, said

he’s so passionate about the Biafran

story. “This is an important story. It’s a

story that one way or the other should

be told and encouraged. We have been

talking about the country breaking up,

and the only way it’s not going to

happen is when the right people start

to talk about our history, where

everybody will come together to discuss

the way forward. When the film is

finally shot and released, everybody

will be happy.’

SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019—23

ECK wedding of the Komolaf

omolafes, Ilupejus

It was pomp and

pageantry all the way

on Saturday,

October 19, 2019 in

Isolo area of Lagos

S t a t e

when notable

businessman, Mr

Mathew Olugbenga

Komolafe hosted

friends and wellwishers


the deluxe wedding

of his son,

Olatunbosun Komolafe

who married Olusola

Ilupeju, daughter of Mr

Gbade Ilupeju, took

place at the ECKANKAR

headquarters in Lagos,

followed by reception

at Event Boulevard,

also in Isolo. Photos

by Akeem Salau

L-R: Mr Gbade Ilupeju, bride's dad; Mrs Florence Lola Komolafe, groom's

mum; Mr and Mrs Olatunbosun Komolafe, couple; Mr Mathew Olugbenga

Komolafe, groom's dad and Mrs Omotayo Ilupeju, bride's mum.

Amosun holds 20th

remembrace prayer for mum

20 years remembrance and special prayer for

mother of Senator Ibikunle Amosun late Alhaja

Rafatu Alake Sanusi Amosun held at the family

house, Ita-Iyalode area Abeokuta recently By

Wunmi Akinola.

R-L: Chief (Mrs) Funmi Adeyi, Alhaji Abidoye

Amosun, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, and wife,

Mrs. Funsho Amosun and others.

L-R: Mr Mathew Olugbenga Komolafe, groom's

father; Mrs Olusola Komolafe, bride and Mrs Florence

Komolafe, groom's mother.

The newly-wedded couple; Mr and Mrs

Olatunbosun Komolafe at the church.

L-R: Iya Sunnah of Ogun State Alhaja Adebisi

Edionseri, Iyalode Alaba Lawson and Doja


The bridal train.

L-R:Yinka komolafe; Kemisola Adewale; Olubunmi

Alade and Josphine Ogetegbe.

At the 6th

annual general conference of C&S

R-L: Chief Imam of Oke Ona Egba Chief Imam of

Egbaland, Imam Liadi Orunsolu, Baba Adeen of

Yorubaland, Edo and Delta, Alhaji Sarafadeen

Tunji Ishola .

THE 6 th annual general conference of Cherubim and Seraphim, unification Church of Nigeria, Lagos chapter, took place at the Lagos secretariat, C&S

Oke Iye Society, Ebute Metta, Lagos.

L-R: Rev. Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi (Principal

Guest of Honour), Rev Dr. Ademuyiwa Ajayi

(JP) , Senior Supt. Ap. Dr. J. O and Bishop Prophet

Oludemilade O. Akpata.

L-R: Odufuwa Oluwseyi receives his award from

Most Snr. Supt Ab. J.K. Kunlibe, Snr Upt Ap. Dr.

J. O

L-R: Snr. Supt. Apostle Dr. Joseph O. Alagba (JP),

presenting the award to Bishop Prophet (Dr)

Oludemilade O. Akpata, Mother in Israel, Olutobi

O. Akpata and Rt. Rev. Dr. Sunday Olu Ogunlere

24—SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019


Race for God or stoma

infrastructure ?

•Herbalists who turned pastors

By Chioma Gabriel,

Editor Special Features

Pastor Chris, the youth pastor of a

famous Pentecostal church located

at Ikeja announced one Sunday

during service that he should no

longer be addressed as Pastor Chris

but as Brother Chris. Nobody understood him

and it was obvious from the reaction of the

Church leadership that the announcement was

an embarrassment. Pastor Chris was not known

to be the loud type. He was a younger brother

of the Church founder who was equally aghast

by his brother’s decision.

What went


According to Brother Chris, some young

pastors from other Churches invited him out

and he accepted their invitation without

knowing where they were heading to. They

took him to a place at Orile where they met an

old native doctor who washed the faces of his

companions one after the other. When it was

Pastor Chris turn, he refused to have his face

washed. His refusal surprised the native doctor

who asked him to go elsewhere and wait for

his colleagues.

But as Pastor Chris turned to go, the native

doctor asked him to wait as he had something

to tell him. He hailed him for being the only

true Christian amongst his colleagues and

revealed that many pastors who see great

visions and work miracles come to him for

‘anointing’ and that his friends he just washed

their faces and eyes will start seeing great

visions and people will start trooping to their

Churches. The native doctor told him many

unbelievable things about pastors and Pastor

Chris came back and made a decision.

He decided to resign as a pastor because he

didn’t understand pastors and their ways any

more and therefore would no longer want to

be addressed as one.

Just recently, Nigerians flayed an outrageous

“miracle” performed by Pastor Chris Okafor

of the Liberation Ministries where he ‘healed’

a woman with stunted arm. With the power of

the internet and social media, it was

established that the miracle was indeed a fake

one as videos surfaced of three other Nigerian

pastors performing the exact same “miracle”

on that same woman.

One could not say for sure whether the

woman was a hired stunt woman who has the

ability to retract her arms into a deformed

position and return it back to normal after

series of theatrics but



many Pentecostals was Chris

Okafor’s involvement in the


Pastor Okafor is a popular

tele-evangelist, known for his

swag and philanthropy. He

also has huge followers.

When the video where he

healed the woman with

stunted hand first emerged,

people who saw it swallowed

everything they saw hook, line

and sinker. Positive

comments trailed the video

as posted on social media.

But the euphoria was not to


Soon after, more videos of

the same woman being

healed by four other pastors

of the same ailment emerged.

Many became confused with

the development. Then there

was an outrage.


The sad part of the entire scene is that

hundreds of thousands of Nigerians are blindly

dedicated to these pastors and the churches

where these miracles were performed.

These worshippers have unquestionable

loyalty to their pastors, to the point that even

when this video came out, many believed the

pastors could not lie or fake a miracle.

However, the woman in the stunt was

medically said to be suffering from Ehlers–

Danlos syndromes (EDS), a group of genetic

connective tissue disorders with symptoms

which may include loose joints, joint pain,

stretchy skin and abnormal scar formation.

Doctors said there is no cure for EDS, but the

symptoms can often be treated and managed.

The sad part of the

entire scene is that

hundreds of

thousands of

Nigerians are

blindly dedicated to

these pastors and

the churches where

these miracles were


While some forms of EDS result

in a normal life expectancy,

those that affect blood vessels

generally decrease life


The church members are

unaware of this because they

mostly lack

education and

are not interested

in learning the

actual medical

fact of the

situation. They

would rather rely

on everything the

pastors said.



In Nigeria today, especially

in urban cities,

Pentecostal churches are

sprouting all over the place as

warehouses, shops, open air

are being transformed to

miracle’ healing’ centres.

Nigerians under the guise of

born-again would readily

leave their work places to wait

endlessly in these places,

waiting to receive their

miracles rather than work to

earn a living.

Big cities in Nigeria, especially southern

Nigeria are bustling with Churches where

creative miracles were promised members

who no longer look unto God but unto their

pastors for miracles of healing and prosperity.

The huge metropolis of Lagos, the former

capital of Nigeria, is not just one of Africa’s

most prosperous and populous cities. It is also

the seat of the Africa’s fastest growing

Christian Churches.

From the most obscure, tiny district church

to the high-tech cathedral and shopping area

in the heart of the city, the charismatic appeal

of Pentecostal churches is ever present.

One of the main features of these churches

is the use of broadcast, print and the Internet

i n

spreading their message. There is also

the practice of incorporating elements of traditional

African culture, such as upbeat music, loud sermons,

and above all, reinforcing deeply held beliefs in

witchcraft and demons.

Every Sunday, hundreds of thousands of followers

seek spiritual enlightenment. The faithful storm the

big and small churches throughout the city

expecting miracles. Members are consistently told

how witchcraft practised by certain members of

their families have hindered their progress in life.

These churches reinforce traditional African beliefs,

sometimes to create fears into their memebers or

followers and compel them to stick to them for


“ I am not saying bad people don’t exist or

wickedness does not happen but some of these

churches give more credit to the devil than to God,”

says Faith Uka, a Pentecostal. “My brother almost

died. He was going from place to place in search of

healing miracles. His legs were already rotting and

he kept blaming the wickedness of man who he

claimed inflicted an ailment on him. He nearly

died but you know what, my brother had high

blood sugar which was destroying his body

organs. The ailment chased him out from the

Catholic Church to a Pentecostal church and until

we forced him to go for proper diagnosis of what

was wrong with him, he would have died.”

Engineer Charles, a middle-aged man also had

an experience. He said he met a very popular Lagos

prophet based at Ikotun Egbe area first as a native

SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019—25



According to him, “ I was very ill and had

gone to hospitals and nothing was diagnosed

. That was a long time ago and being an only

child, my mother was ready to take me

anywhere for healing. I was taken to see a

herbalist who operates somewhere around

Idimu very close to a river. His shrine was

constructed on the river. There, some others

and myself who came for healing were

asked to write our names on a piece of paper

and the problems we were having and we

all did.

“ But we almost waited the whole day

without seeing the herbalist we came for.

Many decided to go and come back another

time but we were not allowed to go. The

apostles of the herbalist told us that if we

must go without seeing the herbalist, we must

chew and swallow the paper where they wrote our

names and the ailment troubling us. That made

many of us to stay and wait. What I am telling you,

it was almost night before the water stirred and a

man came out from inside the water. He apologised

profusely and said he went to battle some forces

that challenged him and he has won the battle. He

attended to us one after the other and did I get

healed? I did by drinking a cup of water given to

me. But you can imagine my surprise when many

years later, the same man became a world

acclaimed pastor doing miracles of healing and

prosperity. I met him as a herbalist and not a pastor

and that is what baffles me.

“From my personal observation, some of these

pastors or priests who work miracles and see visions

have a background of their fathers or grandfathers

being herbalists. Check out the Enugu priest, the

one somewhere in the south-south, the one at Ijesha

Lagos, the man at Ikotun or even many others that

may not be operating very large churches; they have

been herbalists who transformed into pastors or

priests or those whose fathers and grandfathers have

been in the practice of witchcraft but their children

decided to take it to the next level. Nowadays, these

pastors who don’t have such powers patronise

herbalists for powers to see visions and work

miracles. When you walk into a Church and the

pastor starts telling you about your family and

private things or mentioning names of members of

your family or start saying things that have

happened or are happening in your family; my sister,

just run. Many of them are fake.”

Narrating her own experience, Funmilayo

who read Micro-Biology at Lagos State

University, LASU, recalled that during the

writing of her project, she and her colleagues

had cause to visit a herbalist who was living

somewhere in Festac then. He was to explain

certain things about herbs to them as

microbiology students.

“But years later after my graduation from

LASU, a friend invited me to a Church

programme where the man of God was said

to be very powerful and could even see the

colour of one’s underwear from the entrance.

I followed my friend and there in the church, I

came face to face with the same herbalist I

visited when I was writing my project as a

Microbiology student.”

New Research

A research has revealed that there are over 4

million followers of the Pentecostal faith in

Nigeria, the third-highest ranking in the world,

according to the World Christian database in


Brazil, which is primarily Roman Catholic,

is the worldwide leader of evangelical

Pentecostal churches, with more than 24

million followers, while the United States has

roughly 6 million adherents.

According to Erhard Kamphausen, head of

the academy of missions at the University of

Hamburg, “ What appeals to church followers

is the promise of cures from poverty and

disease through God’s blessing. The success

of the Pentecostal churches lies with the belief

in a God who fights the evil of pandemic

diseases and transforms the poor to the rich.

Old superstitions, which were marginalized

by mainstream Christian missionaries have

come around full circle. Africans believe in

miracles and witchcraft.”

Nigerians, nay Africans aren’t alone in the

belief in witchcraft. German evangelist,

Reinhard Bonnke, who is known for his gospel

crusades in Nigeria, has held sermons in Africa

for nearly 30 years and one of these massive

mega-events was attended by 1.6 million


Bonnke made several evangelical visits to

Nigeria where many surged and some

received the miracles they sought. Several

were known to have trekked miles to gain

entrance into Bonnke’s miracle grounds. But

one day, tragedy struck when 16 people were

crushed to death during Bonnke’s crusade.

Among miracle claims of Bonnke during

his visits were raising a dead man, healing a

mad man and getting several witches to

surrender their lives to Christ.

Miracles and donations

One of the conditions of receiving miracles

from God as preached by some pastors was

giving. For this cause, a member of a church

founded by a popular tele-evangelist from the

south-south who was a general cashier

of Sheraton Hotel stole N39million from

the hotel to fund projects

and make cash donations to pastors of

the church. He was honoured by a letter of

acknowledgement from the founder but was

caught by his employers.

Instead of miracles, he received punishment

and brought embarrassment and scandal to

the Church.

The irony of many believers is that while

they use stickers of their pastors and their

church for protection, their pastors use mobile

policemen to guard themselves.

Recently, the social media was trending with

a story of an Abuja-based pastor who has a

miraculous swimming pool inside his church

premises and called it “Pool Of Bathsheba”

which is said to have healing powers and can

heal any sickness under the sun that includes

Ebola and HIV/AIDS once one enters to swim.

But unlike the Biblical Pool of Bathsheba,

this one is not free. As alleged, it cost the sum

of only N50,000 to swim and all one’s

problems in this life are gone and church

members are queuing up to swim after paying

N50k. As alleged, the swimming pool is never

in short supply of customers as the queue to

swim is endless and those who are too poor to

pay N50K have an anointed bottle water

sourced from the “pool of Bethsheba that goes

for N10K.

Opium of

the masses

When Karl Marx described religion as the

opium of the masses, one could think he had a

vision of Nigeria in mind.

Pastor Charles Awuzie once alleged that in

Nigeria, pastors now use charms. “There is a

charm called crowd-puller which is another

church growth strategy gone extreme. The

pastors now bleach to attract female

worshippers. Most church growth strategies

are based on the 48 laws of power. There’s

more Mafian life in denominationalism

than in the underworld. The moment a

pastor becomes desperate for church growth,

he becomes dangerous.”

It is no secret that pastoral work in Nigeria

is now considered a lucrative business.

Whether this stems from unemployment or

vocation is another matter. Start-up churches

can be seen expanding at an incredible pace

which many attribute to a pastor’s reputation

for performing miracles.

In addition to healing the sick, they prophesy

financial breakthroughs and even raise the

dead. Among Nigerian pastors, this

miraculous ability is seen as the ultimate

recipe for success. It is therefore not shocking

to hear rumours that some these pastors have

become cultists.

Based on a common trend, pastors who have

been labelled as occultist often have the same

things in common. They are influential,

wealthy, and perform miracles that shock the

human mind. These pastors parade their trade

on television, some are philanthropists and

claim regular occurrences of miracles and so

hundreds of Nigerians and international

visitors across Africa and other places come

to to seek them out.

These pastors are household names even

though they are controversial. They are always

in the news. If they are not in the news about

the miraculous healing prowess they are said

to possess, they are in the news about some

social development in the country. If they are

not in the news about political developments

in Nigeria, they are in the news about some

community entanglements.

Idiosyncrasies of


Some of the followers of these miracle

working pastors are known for their dramatic

ways of showing their love to God. You can

easily spot them through their

dressing, stickers on their cars

and general attitude.

However, their members who

have been dealt with would often

accuse them of all sorts of things;

from hypnotism to worship of the

python or anything.

Anthony Nwankwo, a Catholic

narrated how he was

approached by some

businessmen who tried to co-opt

him into starting a

Pentecostal church with them.

“They told me we should

contribute a certain amount of

money to get an

accommodation for the church

and employ a prophet or

someone who has a natural gift

of seeing and healing. They even

suggested we could employ a

herbalist or native doctor and

polish him, discard his old

dressing and make him wear suits

and dress trendy. I have never heard such a

trash in my life and I told them my mind. They

are operating somewhere in this Lagos and

people are flooding their church.

“I call them satanic pastors and they have

introduced strange deliverance strategies.

Many of these pastors are practising what

they call deliverance like native doctors. They

rip off their followers while they smile to the

bank. They claim the anointing they don’t


“Most members, too, are not interested to

serve God in spirit and in truth. That is why

you see high service, gossip, loose dressing,

fornication and adultery in the church. Many

women go to such churches to lure their

unserious pastors to bed.

“In today’s world, there are many ungodly

followers and leaders everywhere. It is only in

a fake church that the pastor is always

surrounded by bodyguards because he has so

many enemies; he has cheated so many

people, especially on his way up and so he

needs so many guards. They over-task their

members financially in other to open

uncountable branches. Even if an armed

robber comes to the church in an expensive

car, the pastors get highly interested; they give

him an undeserved attention and are ready to

make him a co-pastor. They serve money, not


Fake prophecies

Nigerians have encountered several pastors

who have openly uttered prophecies using the

name of God, but such prophecies never came

to pass. A popular Lagos pastor took the nation

by storm in the build up to 2003 presidential

election, he told the world that God asked him

to vie for the presidency and that he would

win. He contested then for the president and

was humiliated as the election was won by

former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The same pastor used God’s name again

in 2007. He emerged the flag-bearer of a

political party but was defeated by the late

President Umaru Yar’Adua. In 2014, he was

at it again when he told the world that God

asked him to contest the third time in 2015.

The 2015 election was won by President

Muhammadu Buhari.

In November 2016, a popular prophet told

the world that a woman would win the United

States’ presidential election. He was referring

to Hillary Clinton. But to everyone’s chagrin,

President Donald Trump won the election. In

a bid to salvage his pride, the prophet said it

was the prayers of Americans that saved the


In a similar vein, a popular pastor who is

also a lawyer took the nation by storm when

he prophesied that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

would not be sworn in as president in 1999.

The pastor said he saw the crown hovered

around the President’s head a couple of times,

moved closely as if to settle down, and just as

Nigerians clapped and cheered, the crown flew

off. He said the second crown came along

and that this time, it was the crown of death

and declared to the consternation of the nation

that the crown seemed to settle

on the President’s head

squarely, meaning, Obasanjo

would die. Obasanjo did not

only become president, he

ruled for eight years and he is

still alive this moment.

Also not too long ago, an

Edo-based pastor declared

during a service that

Some of the

followers of these

miracle working

pastors are known

for their dramatic

ways of showing

their love to God

Governor Nasir El-Rufai

would die if he did not revoke

the controversial preaching

bill he came up with. The state

government has not revoked

the bill. The noise over it has

died down and El-Rufai is still

living despite the nonrevocation

of the bill.

The same pastor predicted

that, except Americans

prayed, President Barack

Obama would seek third term

with a likelihood of the

presidential elections not

holding. This never happened.

In the build up to the 2019 Presidential

Election, a Nigerian pastor based in South

Africa, prophesied that Buhari would not

emerge winner of the election and that he

would die. Well, Buhari did not only campaign

across the length and breath of the country, he

won the election resoundingly, and he is still

alive today.

Such attention-seeking pastors are

uncountable and despite their failings, their

followers never give up.


Whether we believe it or not, evil has

infiltrated the church and the world is now in

the church. Nowadays, many have itching

ears, miracles without repentance, deliverance

without salvation and love darkness instead

of light.

One should be wary of churches that

concentrate on healing, breakthrough,

deliverance, prosperity and miracles. Many

of them are false, especially pastors that make

noises about miracles even when their

churches are without any root. Some of these

pastors emerged from nowhere, like to move

in convoy and with escorts. Some of them use

police protection while their members use holy

water, anointing oil and stickers.

Nothing is wrong with knowing who your

pastor is and who commissioned him: God or

the devil. What are his antecedents?

Some of these pastors were not called by

God. They were called by their stomach.

26—SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019


Frisky lemur


Playboy model

by shoving

head down top

in hilarious


Playboy model’s trip to a zoo

A ended with a cheeky lemur trying

to grope her boobs, a hilarious

video has shown.

Francia James, who has also starred

for FHM, is often finding herself in

sticky situations with animals.

Back in August, she was groped by

an elephant while on safari and just

days later decided to squat with a live

alligator on her back.

But, in a recent trip to Chase Animal

Rescue Sanctuary centre in Webster,

Florida, US, a lemur went one step further.

The clip shows the primate perching

on Francia’s shoulder before sticking

his nose into her cleavage, appearing

to try to grab some food.

“Omg, what do I do?” the brunette

frantically asks before backing away

and trying to prevent the creature from

getting any further.

As she stumbles back, she bursts

into hysterics before almost falling on

a chair.

The frisky animal finally bounces off

her chest and runs off in the opposite

Bolivian mayor doused in red paint and

has hair hacked ed off f by y baying mob


More than 355,000 people have

seen the clip since it was posted to

Francia’s Instagram – @franciaty –


"Did you all know lemurs were this

frisky?” she captioned it.

“How would you act the first time

meeting me?

“Thank you for the private tour of

your amazing rescue sanctuary.”

It wasn’t long before hoards of her

loyal fanbase rushed to the comments

section to voice their thoughts.

“Watching this video I think the lemur

is my spirit animal,” one wrote.

Another added: “I would do the


But some claimed the moment was

“staged” to gain viral status.

"You drop the snack in your shirt,” a

third wrote. “Anything for likes."

It is not the first time primates have

been filmed getting a bit too close to

their human counterpart.

Last year, a monkey was filmed

groping a woman’s boob while on

holiday in Bali.

Dad who

hanged his four

children when

wife asked him

for a divorce


hocking images show how the

Smayor of a Bolivian town was

attacked and degraded by an angry

mob as the South American country

is gripped by an angry spiral of


The country has been rocked by

brutal clashes after President Evo

Morales was accused of rigging his

re-election last month.

Three people have died as a result

of the protests so far, including

a 20-year-old student who died in

clashes between pro and anti-government

demonstrators in the central

city of Cochabamba.

Now Patricia Arce, mayor of the

neighbouring town Vinto has been

assaulted by an anti-government


She was dragged out of Vinto

town hall on Wednesday by violent

protesters who set light to the building

before hacking off her hair, covering

her in red paint and parading

her barefoot through the streets.

Protesters surrounded her and

filmed the degrading attack on their

mobile phones, chanting


Ms Arce, who is a member of

President Morales’s Mas party, was

then forced to sign a letter of resignation

before being


A motorcycle cop

managed to drive

her away from the

immediate danger.

Even then, as a

police van sent to

retrieve the mayor,

as it drove away it

was pelted with

stones by the crowd,

whose members

have been identified

as part of the


group, Resistencia


President Morales has condemned

the attack and Vice

President Alvaro Garcia added:

"For these people, being a

woman is a crime, being humble

is a crime, having a skirt is a


"This has never happened in

our democracy. That is called

fascism: attacking women, assaulting

them for their ethnic

status. What Bolivia is facing is

a fascist wave."

The attack echoes an incident

in Peru several weeks ago when

a violent vigilante mob surrounded

a woman , stripped off

her clothing and forced her to do

a "walk of shame" in the Peruvian

city of Puno.

The unnamed woman had

been accused of stealing 1,500

Peruvian Soles (just over £360)

from a street vendor in the southeastern

Peruvian town.

Bolivaian President Evo Morales

has resigned after 14 years in power,

amid turmoil following the disputed

re-election last month.

he evil father who

Thanged his four

children after his wife

asked him for a divorce

has been handed four life

sentences in prison .

Sibusiso Mpungose,

44, pleaded guilty to murdering his children Kuhlekonke, 4, Khwezi, 6,

Siphesihle, 10, and 17-year-old step-daughter Ayakha Jiyane.

He is likely to die behind bars after the verdict was given by Judge

Sharmaine Balton at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in the city of

Pietermaritzburg in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal.

The father had pleaded guilty to the murders which occurred just

a few days after his wife Xolisile served him with divorce papers.

He told the court that he had murdered the children as he was

convinced his wife was having an affair.

He had reportedly waited for her to leave the house to go to work to

commit the brutal crimes.

The three youngest victims were hanged with clothing while the fourth,

his step-daughter, was strangled to death in a secluded area.

Local media report the eldest child had told her friends "if anything

happens just know I was kidnapped or something has happened to

me" as she left school with her stepfather the day he killed her.

Her step-siblings were found hanging in their house that day.

The children's mother reportedly found the three hanging victims

in her home.

Two of them were hanging from a window burglar bar and one in

their mother's room.

A statement from the mother read out in court said: "I see no reason for

living on this Earth. I feel that my life ended the day my children were


SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019—27

Nigeria contributes highest number

to global pneumonia child deaths!

Pneumonia—a preventable disease—kills

more children globally than any other


These were the screaming headlines on

this year’s World Pneumonia Day —12th

November, following release of latest data

on the global burden of the biggest killer

of little children—pneumonia.

The new analysis by UNICEF and

partners revealed that pneumonia claimed

the lives of more than 800,000 children

under the age of five globally in 2018, or

one child every 39 seconds, even as

Nigeria recorded the highest

burden with an estimated

162,000 deaths or 443 deaths per

day (18 deaths every hour).

Four other countries—India

(127,000), Pakistan (58,000), the

Democratic Republic of Congo

(40,000) and Ethiopia (32,000),

along with Nigeria were

responsible for more than half of

child pneumonia deaths.

The analysis produced by

UNICEF based on the WHO and

Maternal and Child

Epidemiology Estimation Group,

MCEE, interim estimates and the

United Nations Inter-agency

Group for Child Mortality

Estimation estimates for 2018,

found that most deaths occurred

among children under the age of

two, and almost 153,000 occurred

within the first month of life.

Sounding the alarm about the

forgotten epidemic, six leading

health and children’s

organisations— UNICEF,

ISGlobal, Save the Children,

Every Breath Counts, Unitaid

and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance,

are calling for concrete

commitments from Nigeria and

other high-burden countries and

Global alarm as pneumonia

kills 1 child every 39 seconds

*800,000 deaths annually

*Nigeria, 4 others, responsible for over 50% of burden

*18 children die every hour in Nigeria

•A child with


international donors to tackle

the menace of pneumonia.

In a joint call to action, the

organisations urge

governments of the worstaffected

countries to develop

and implement Pneumonia

Control Strategies to reduce

child pneumonia deaths; and

to improve access to primary


ucky infer

ertile couple to win free, full IVF cycle


Have you been married

for five years or more

and still hoping for the fruit

of the womb? If you are, you

could become the lucky

Nigerian couple that is

battling infertility and you

stand to win a fully sponsored

IVF treatment cycle.

This rare opportunity is

being made possible by

FertilityHub Nigeria as it is

giving away the coveted prize

in December 2019.

Infertility comes at a high

price financially, emotionally

and physically for many

couples in Nigeria. It is

expensive to treat and many

infertile couples are not

exposed to good health


Speaking on the initiative,

the Coordinator, FertilityHub,

Ms Damilola Obafemi, said

the initiative is essentially

targeted at couples that

cannot afford to pay for IVF


According to Damilola, the

free treatment initiative is

being paid for by a

benevolent donor under

FertilityHub’s “Sponsor A

Couple” initiative.

“The motive behind the

Sponsor A Couple initiative

•Ms Damilola Obafemi

is towards helping such a

couple that desires to have a

baby through the Assisted

Reproductive Treatment, ART,

but is unable to afford the


“Infertility is a common

challenge in Nigeria and

couples that cannot conceive

experience emotional and

psychological trauma.”

Damilola said accessing basic

assisted reproductive

technology treatments can be

challenging or impossible for

many couples who want to


She said: “To participate, all

that an interested couple needs

to do is to send a oneparagraph

write-up explaining

why you deserve to be selected.

State your full name, phone

number(s), location and email


All entries are to be sent to


A statement from the

organisers said entries

submission will run from 16th

November 2019 to 15th

December 2019. The winner

will be announced on 23rd

December 2019. Note that only

couples who have been

infertile for a minimum of five

years are eligible. After

submission, a panel will screen

all the entries prior to selection.

FertilityHub Nigeria is a

support platform that provides

fertility challenged Nigerians


support, information, and

education. It is a platform for

women and men experiencing

infertility to get empowered,

to discuss their situations and

to receive relevant information

about the best fertility

treatment options available to


health care as part of a

wider strategy for

universal health


They also urge richer

countries, international

donors and private sector

companies to boost

immunisation coverage

by reducing the cost of

key vaccines and

ensuring the successful

replenishment of Gavi,

the Vaccine Alliance; and

to increase funding for

research and innovation

to tackle pneumonia.


Representative in

Nigeria, Pernille

Ironside, stated:

“Pneumonia is a deadly

disease and takes so

many children’s lives—

even though this is

mostly preventable. And

yet, this killer disease has

Childrenwith immune

systems weakened

by other infections

like HIV or by

malnutrition, and

those living in areas

with high levels of air

pollution and unsafe

water, are at far

greater risk

been largely forgotten on the

global and national health

agendas. We can and must

change this.

“Increased investment is

critical to the fight against

this disease. Only through

cost-effective protective,

preventative and treatment

interventions delivered to

where children are

including especially the most

vulnerable and hardest-toreach—will

we be able to save

hundreds of thousands of

lives in Nigeria.”

Funding available to tackle

pneumonia lags far behind

other diseases. Only 3

percent of current global

infectious disease research

spending is allocated to

pneumonia, despite the

disease-causing 15 percent of

deaths in children under the

age of five.

The biggest risk factors for

child pneumonia deaths in

Nigeria are malnutrition,

indoor air pollution from use

of solid fuels, and outdoor air


Pneumonia is caused by

bacteria, viruses or fungi, and

leaves children fighting for breath

as their lungs fill with pus and


Children with immune

systems weakened by other

infections like HIV or by

malnutrition, and those living

in areas with high levels of

air pollution and unsafe

water, are at far greater risk.

Pneumonia can be

prevented with vaccines, and

easily treated with low-cost

antibiotics if properly


But tens of millions of

children are still going

unvaccinated—and one in

three with symptoms do not

receive essential medical

care. In 2018, 71 million

children did not receive the

recommended three doses

of pneumococcal conjugate

vaccine (PCV), putting

them at higher risk of


Globally, 32 percent of

children with suspected

pneumonia are not taken to

a health facility. That figure

rises to 40 percent for the

poorest children in low- and

middle-income countries.

Children with severe

cases of pneumonia may

also require oxygen

treatment, which is rarely

available in the poorest

countries to the children

who need it.

*Dr Abuchi Okaro

28—SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, , 2019

When Peter got promoted

to head a bigger

branch of the firm he

worked with, he never imagined

it would change the course of his

life dramatically. “I was in my

mid 40s and didn’t really expect

that giant of a leap in my career”,

he explained. “When the former

managing director retired

mandatorily, about five of us

executive directors were on line

for his job, but I was the most


“The board of directors in their

wisdom, thought I would do a

better job and I was ecstatic. So

were my friends who gave me

one lavish congratulatory party

after the other. When I eventually

settled down to my new job, it

was Tiwa, the former managing

director’s personal assistant that

put me through the day-to-day

running of the office. She was a

fresh-faced graduate who was

trained in personnel

management by the company. I

wanted to ask my former PA to

be transferred to take her place

but she seemed to know what

she was doing. A very intelligent

lady and quite efficient, she was

like a human filo-fax. She

arranged my business life with

such professional competence

that I was soon lost without her.

It never occurred to me that she

would be anything but a valued

staff to me. I was a happily

married man with five children

and one or two girlfriends here

and there— but nothing so

serious it would jeopardize my


“The turning point came the

day I worked really late and

found this tall young man

chatting with Tiwa in a most

intimate way in her office. She

quickly introduced him as her

boyfriend and the heat of

jealousy that welled up in me was

quite frightening. I quickly

muttered my greetings and left.

On the way home, the thought

of the two of them together

played on my mind. Come

Monday, and I was sure I’d have

come back to my senses. In the

meantime, I made a fuss of my

family and tried to relax. My

wife, a stunner in our courting

days, still looked good in spite

of having five children. Our

children were healthy and doing

fine, and now that we’ve moved

into a furnished company house,

life looked rosy. Yet hard as I

tried, I couldn’t shake off the


feeling that engulfed me.

“Back in the office, I knew that



The DEALING pain of losing a

potential second wife

if I set my eyes on Tiwa and

my heart fluttered, I would

be a goner. And that was

exactly what happened. I

was in lust. The fever was

already in my veins and

there was no way I could

shake it off. But Tiwa was

her efficient self-darting all

over the place and making

a fuss of me. I became less

stern with her and told her

to play down her ‘yes sir’

refrain any time I spoke with

her. I also started asking her

to arrange for lunch to be

brought in for me more and

included hers in some of the

meals. When I eventually

made a play for her, I was

all nerves. We’d worked late

on the fateful day and she

complained of having a

headache, I jokingly said I

would kiss it better and made

to kiss her forehead. But we

both ended up in a

passionate kiss. And what a

kiss! We were both on fire

and within minutes, we were

making passionate love on

top of my desk. It was so

spontaneous and beautiful I

wanted to cry. I held on to

her long after it was over -

the emotional high was that


“The next day, we tried to

Why men tolerate pain better

t is a debate that can prove rather agonising

for everyone involved. Men have long

claimed that their pain threshold is higher than

women’s, while women cite child birth as a proof

the opposite is true. Now, scientists have

claimed to have found the answer once and for

all. It seems men can tolerate more pain than

women and are less likely to let on that they are

suffering because they want to appear macho.

According to researchers from Leeds

Metropolitan University, gender stereotypes

mean men tend to act stoically when they are

hurt, whereas women show more sensitivity.

Pain scientist, Dr. Osama Tashani, who recruited

200 British and Libyan volunteers for the study

said: “Traditionally, high levels of stoicism are

associated with men and high levels of sensitivity

are associated with women. Some ethnic groups

are described as more stoic, while others are

viewed as more free in expressing their pain

carry on as if nothing had

happened. At the close of

day, I held her hand and

she pulled away. She said

she liked me alright, but

had never been one for

having sex in the office and

was not planning for it to

happen again. I assured

her I had the

greatest respect for her. I

then said a stupid thing -

that I was in love with her.

I was prepared to do

anything to hold on to her

and was glad when she

said she felt the same way.

“As luck would have it, she

lived in her own flat and

that was to be our love nest

for the next five years. I

went anywhere and

everywhere with her

including outing organised

by her close family

members, who grudgingly

accepted me. It was

inevitable that my wife

found out and when she

confronted me, I came

clean. She’d already had

over 18 years of my love

and devotion. All around

us, some of my friends had

either had second wives or

love children. Apart from

the good salary I’d earned.

behaviour. We did not detect differences in

pain unpleasantness.”

Dr. Tashani monitored sensitivity,

endurance and willingness to report pain,

and found that men had higher pain

thresholds and reported less pain intensity

than women, irrespective of their nationality.

The British volunteers could not endure as

much pain as Libyan participants but were

more willing to report it. However, reactions

based on gender stereotypes were more

pronounced in Libya than the UK, suggesting

gender and culture both play a part in how

we cope with discomforts. Those who took

part in the two-year study were put through

two pain-inducing procedures. In one, they

were jabbed in the hand with a V cm-wide

blunt tip, while in the other, they had to hold

their hand above their head while a cuff was

applied to restrict blood flow.

I’d made some good

investments and money

was no problem. My wife

was also a professional and

was financially

independent. Now that I

had the good fortune of

falling in love all over

again, I intended to grab at

happiness with both hands.

Opportunities like the one

I had comes once in a life


“My wife put up a good

fight. She threatened and

even told two of our teenage

children what I was up to.

But I stood my ground.

Tiwa, on the other hand,

blossomed. She was in love

with me and happy with it.

She left paid employment to

go into private business

and I helped her the best I

could. I bought her a good

car and took over the rent

of the flat. I more or less

lived there and it was the

least I could do. When she

wanted to try for a baby, I

They knew

about all the

efforts we’d

made towards

Tiwa getting

pregnant but

her death was a

bitter blow

was elated. She was a very

pretty and intelligent lady

and I couldn’t wait to find

out the type of child our

genes would produce.

“But no matter how hard

we tried, nothing happened.

She eventually went to a top

gynaecologist who ran all

the necessary fertility tests on

both of us. It was then

discovered that her fallopian

tubes were partially blocked

and a laparoscopy was

arranged to free the tubes.

At first, we toyed with the

idea of travelling abroad to

have the operation but the

gynaecologist assured us it

was a simple procedure

which they perform all the

time with little or no

complications. We even

made discreet enquiries and

found out the man was

professionally sound. One of

the best in the business.

“I personally took her to the

private hospital the day she

was to have the operation and

was told to come back for her

in about four hours. When the

time was up, I walked into the

hospital expecting to find her

waiting for me. Instead, I was

asked to see the medical

director. Thinking it had to do

with little details about the

outcome of the operation, I

went in only for him to start

talking about the staff doing all

they could, I heard words to

the effect that she had a

massive heart attack on the

operation table, just after she

was anaesthetised. That my

beautiful Tiwa was dead. This

clown sitting in from of me

must be joking, surely? How

could a woman, who walked

into the hospital hale and

hearty be now dead? Did he

mix her up with someone else?

I asked to see her and was

shocked to find my lovely Tiwa

asleep. Only she was

definitely dead. She looked so

pretty and peaceful that I fell

on top of her sobbing my heart

out. What would I do next?

How could I tell her nice

parents they’d lost a daughter

desperate to give me a child?

“They knew about all the

efforts we’d made towards

Tiwa getting pregnant but her

death was a bitter blow. Her

mother was inconsolable. Tiwa

was her first daughter and the

most promising of her

children. That if it weren’t for

me, she would probably be

alive today. By the time I got

home very late that night, I was

a nervous wreck. My wife,

who’d been quite indifferent to

me since she found out about

Tiwa wanted to know what the

matter was when she saw how

devastated I was. When I told

her, she screamed and felt

really sorry for me. She

sensibly left me alone with my

grief but told me how

profoundly sorry she was that

Tiwa died.

“The funeral was a blur. I

was like robot performing all

the necessary rituals. People

must have talked about me but

I didn’t care. On the morning

of the funeral, my wife wanted

to know if it was wise I should

attend. I told her it was the

last respect I could pay her and

she retired sadly. I told her

Tiwa could never hurt her now,

so what was her problem? She

looked terribly hurt. IN my

anger, I lashed out at the only

one person who didn’t deserve

my resentment and it made me

feel really small.

“I cried bitterly as Tiwa was

interred and some of my close

friends and mourners held on

to my arms, consoling me. No

doubt a few of them might

have sniggered at a married

father of five mourning his

mistress so publicly. But Tiwa

was the one who put a roaring

fire into my life the second time

around and I’d for ever be

grateful for the time we had

together. A love like that

happens once in a lifetime. I

have since been retired from

my job after six years as a top

dog—it was company policy.

Vanguard, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2019—29


"I now pronounce you man and wife".

Those are the words that sentence you

to either a lifetime of grief, regrets and

loneliness or a lifetime of bliss, love,

fulfilment, a sense of belonging and

accomplishment. Once these words are

pronounced on you and your partner,

your fate has been sealed and there is

no going back in most cases. You have

to lay in your bed as you have found it,

so the saying goes. Perhaps this is why

most people insist on crossing every T

and dotting every I, to be sure

everything is as they would like it,

before taking the final leap. There are

some who however say this is not

necessary as one cannot truly know

everything about an individual until

you start living together. The success

of a marriage, they say, depends on

what each of the partners is ready to

invest into the relationship. So, if the

duration of courtship is not a serious

consideration, what is?

A lot of marriages have crumbled even

before they took off, or right on the day

it was contracted. A woman whose

marriage recently fell apart after about

five years of patching up and wearing

a false smile for the benefit of family,

friends and society, confided in a close

friend that she knew she'd made the

wrong choice whilst on her knees

before the priest, on her wedding day.

But it was too late to back out. Thus,

for the period it lasted, it was just to

see for how long she could tolerate her

husband's supposed flaws. They were

forced to go their separate ways after a

violent squabble landed the guy at the

hospital, losing one of his fingers.

She'd come to the end of her teeters

and had to leave to avoid further

damages or eventual loss of life. The

first question I asked, after listening to

this story was, why did she not stage a

walk out that day, the day after, or

shortly after? The answers may just be

found in everything that makes us the

people we are.

I have been talking to a young lady

who is on the verge of crossing this

border line. With her traditional

wedding already concluded a church

wedding coming up soon, she has

come to realise that she does not love

her man and may, in fact, never love

him. She listed several character flaws

she has found in him which she

believes she may not be able to cope

with. Yet, she says she is trapped and

sees no way out and needs my advice.

After our lengthy discussion, I asked

her to piece her story together with the

hope that she would find the answers

she is looking for in readers responses

as well. Kindly assist this young lady

if you can by dropping your comments/

advice on any of my contacts. I look

forward to reading from you. Thank


"My name is Benita (not real name). I

am in my late 20s and work in Lagos

State. By the grace of God I am born

again, attending one of the Pentecostal

churches. Before I gave my life, I was

not a flirt but I had a boyfriend in my

secondary school days. I had to quit

the relationship after I discovered it is

a grievous sin before God. Even then,

I could not really say that I was

seriously dating the boy because I was

very timid and I could not go out to

meet with him like many of my mates

who were in similar relationships were

doing. We could end up seeing each

other once or twice in four months and

the meeting would only last about a

few minutes. And it always made him

angry and he complained a lot. This

was because of the kind of brother I


My brother was so strict that each time

he saw me with a boy he would ask all

the questions in the world and would

not hesitate to beat me mercilessly too.

All these only made me afraid of the

opposite sex even at 24 years when I

got into the higher institution. I was

not allowed to visit anyone, even a

Yetunde Arebi

Battling with a

change of heart

Can you believe

that I have

provided about

70% of the total


towards our

wedding, yet, he

does not

appreciate things

relative, without a thorough

investigation and confirmation by my

brother if I was actually going there. If

ever allowed to go and visit a friend, I

would have to drop the address of the

person. In most cases, immediately I

got to my destination, my brother would

just appear too, as if he had been

trailing me. It was his way of

confirming that I was not sneaking off

to somewhere else. Besides this, my

brother made sure that he knew

everything about my menstrual cycle and

I had to show him evidence whenever it

came. There are so many other things that

I cannot put into writing which resulted in

my being unsociable. I used to be so

traumatised that many times, the thought

of taking my own life crept into my mind.

Sometime, I think my situation may have

been different if my parents were alive. My

father died when I was 2 years old and a

year after, my mother died mysteriously

too. We were shared among our relatives

and I was taken to an uncle and later to my

elder brother because he is

much older than me and from

the first wife of my father. So,

when I gave my life to Christ,

I found it interesting to be able

to socialise with people. My

brother did not like it and

insisted it would distract me

from my studies, but I did not

mind him. After graduation

and I started working, there

was little he could do to stop

me other than trailing me

around as usual.

Precisely a year ago, a man I

met at a church programme,

proposed to me. I was eager

to settle down because age

was fast running out on me.

I also wanted to be free of

my brother and earn the

respect of a married

woman. So, without much

trouble, I accepted and that

was how we began our

courtship. I had to make

my people aware of it and

they too after some

resistance, especially from

my brother, accepted. Then

the bride price was paid at

a ceremony in our village

just six months after. My

problem now is that I think

I did not take enough time

to study this man very well

before accepting his

proposal. I do not know if I

love this man enough to be

his wife. I had thought that

as time goes on, I would

love him, but it is not just

coming through. I want a

man that is romantic and

can sing nicely, but all the

qualities I want are not in

him and this makes us to

have misunderstanding

whenever we discuss. I

have also discovered that

he is not intelligent at all

and cannot do anything

right. Yet, he is never polite

to say sorry either.

Whenever I try to correct

him to behave like a man,

Twitter: @yetundearebi



we will end up fighting. At first, I thought it

was because of our educational differences.

I am more educated. Yetunde, I must say

that I am not happy whenever we are out

to visit as he either sits down like a dummy,

not contributing to discussions, or starts

laughing like a fool. I feel bad, especially

in the presence of my brother. I have tried

to sell the idea of going back to school to

him but he would always have an excuse.

After the bride price was paid, we went to

their village and I was welcomed very well.

Later that night, his mother and elder sister

called me aside to say that they would be

very grateful to me, if I could help them to

amend their son's life. That I should try to

be patient with him because he is a very

difficult boy right from childhood. I am

beginning to fully understand what they

meant now. Many people have asked

me questions about him, complaining

that he is not sensible and

misinterprets things or misunderstands

them, yet does not like correction.

Instead of explaining himself or

defending himself, he picks a quarrel.

We are exact opposites because I am

educated, vocal and intelligent. If I had

not accepted his proposal and taken

time to court him for at least a year,

maybe I would have seen all these

flaws. If he has a good character to go

with his stupidity, maybe I would have

tried to fall in love with him because

he is handsome and nicely built. But

these are my findings about him: He is

self centred, suspicious, not ambitious,

listens to side talks, not straight

forward, never serious over issues,

busy with what people say, not

interested in others happiness, too

possessive, too stingy, not willing to

help others in any way, too dictatorial

and ready to fight over little

provocations and many more. Yet, he

is supposed to be a Christian.

Can you believe that I have provided

about 70% of the total expenses towards

our wedding, yet, he does not

appreciate things. And this attitudes

were also mentioned by his sister back

in their village. Now, almost everyone

in our churches knows about our

wedding, likewise my place of work,

but this man has refused to change.

Yetunde, I want to end it all with him

but what do I tell people? My brother

does not even want to listen to me. He

says I am married to him already and

that as Christians nobody can separate

us. The worst part is that he has slapped

me on five different occasions. Many

of these attitudes began immediately

we came back from my place after the

traditional wedding. He insisted that we

are now married and should be having sex,

but I am not ready yet. I told him to be

patient till after the church wedding. But,

as every day passes by, I don't feel like I

want him to even touch me.

My greatest fear now is that if I leave him,

he would kill me or himself, like he has

always threatened. I believe he loves me

very much, but he is not making me happy

and he is not ready to change. If I dump

him now, despite all the pleading from his

family and the refusal from my people, how

am I sure I will find a man of my dream

out there and soon enough as age is not on

my side again. I am almost 30 years

already and he is 36. People keep assuring

me that he would change as soon as we

settle down and he realises that married

life is good for him. Yet, I have read many

articles that say you cannot change a person

but learn to accept them and their

behaviour. Who is right? Will he change or


As my last option right now, I am thinking

of going for a part time programme in any

University outside Lagos. He is not ready

to go to school and improve himself a little

bit, yet I have plans to get a Masters to

improve my social standing and even go

further if possible. Is this the way a semi

illiterate will be following me for the rest

of my life? I have a feeling that if I marry

this man, I would never be happy.

Please, I need your advice and that of

the public on this matter. Thank you.

Hmmm! Do have a wonderful


30—SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019

4 policemen die in

gun battle in Lagos

•16 robbery suspects killed, 209 others arrested

By Evelyn Usman

and Joshua Igboba

When the Commissioner of Police,

Lagos State Police Command,

Zubairu Muazu, assumed duty as

the command boss in January this year, many

were not too impressed with his operational

style, when compared to some of his

predecessors. But he was not bothered by the

assumptions of people around him as he

concentrated on the job of policing Lagos and

curbing criminal activities.

As he prepares to hand over the baton to his

successor, following his promotion to the rank

of Assistant Inspector General of Police, Crime

Guard decided to take a peep into the

achievements of the command under AIG

Muazu’s watch.

It was discovered that between January and

October this year, the command foiled 162

robbery incidents while 209 robbery suspects

were arrested. A break down of this figure

shows that 21 of them were arrested in January,

10 in February, 26 in March, 42 in April, 27 in

May and 17 in June. In the month of July, 49

robbery suspects were arrested. In August 17

arrests were recorded and 15 in September.

However, in the process of carrying out these

By Victor Arjiromanus

In a determined effort to check piracy,

human trafficking, arms smuggling,

crude oil theft, illegal fishing and other

criminal activities on the sea within the West

and Central African sub region, countries

within this region, in June 2013 held a summit

in Younde, Cameroun and adopted what was

called the Yaounde Declaration on the Gulf

of Guinea Security.

Two key resolutions of the Declaration were;

to create Inter- Regional Coordination Centre

on Maritime Safety and Security for West and

Central Africa with headquarters in Yaoundé,

Cameroun, and to implement a new Code of

Conduct on the prevention and repression of

piracy, armed robbery against ships and

illegal maritime activities in West and Central


Since the signing of the agreement by Heads

of States and Governments of member

countries, efforts have been made for its

actualization, through well planned strategies

and initiatives by the member states’ Naval


Part of such initiatives was the just concluded

5-Day Grand African Navy Exercise for

Maritime Operations, NEMO which was

hosted by the Central Naval Command on

behalf of the Nigerian Navy and coordinated

by the French Navy with other international

navies to practice and share real time

experiences on maritime.

The 2019 Grand African Navy Exercise for

Maritime Operations, NEMO which was held

around the Gulf of Guinea was an

improvement on the previous ones and the

first to be well covered by both national and

international media.

The exercise which had four Nigerian Navy

Ships: NNS Akpabana, NNS Thunder, NNS

Dorina and NNS Sagbama with one of its

helicopters, NNHEL Augusta, in addition to

French Naval ships SOMME and

GERMAINE, also had the involvement of

officials of various key ministries and

departments, such as Ministries of Justice,

Finance, Interior, and Ministry of Agriculture

as well as Department of Fisheries

Flag off

Explaining relevance of the exercise , the

Flag Officer Commanding, FOC Central

Naval Command, Rear Admiral, Suleiman


arrests, some of the suspects opened fire on

policemen in their bid to escape.

During such encounters, some of them were

killed. Between January and September, 16

robbery suspects were gunned down. A break

down of the figure shows that three suspects

died during encounters with the Police in

February, two in March, one in April and two

in May. The months of June and July recorded

three deaths of robbery suspects and four in

Exercise Grand African NEMO:

2 French hostages rescued, 6

Somalis arrested for illegal fishing

As Nigerian, French navies embark on joint sea operations

A Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service

operator effecting a simulated "arrest" of

"offenders" at sea during Exercise GRAND

AFRICAN NEMO 2019 recently…DINFO

Garba said; ‘The concept of the exercise is to

operationalize some of the important

decisions agreed upon by countries within the

Gulf of Guinea. Specifically, it tries to actualise

the aim of the Yaounde declaration, which is

to ensure that countries of the Gulf of Guinea

can exchange information on maritime

crimes and other security activities in the Gulf

of Guinea.

“Secondly, this exercise will help us practice

some of the revolutions at sea to counter piracy,

oil theft, as well as search and rescue among


“Thirdly, the exercise will enable us coordinate

our activities as regards arrests,

detention of vessels and persons found in

criminal activities. To do that, we have

statutory document which is the Harmonize

Standard Processing procedure for the arrest

and detention of vessels involved in illegal

activities in the maritime domain.”

From the expressions on the faces of naval

personnel and others scheduled for the

Exercise, it was evident that, that time of the

year had come to adequately train and prepare

personnel to take the fight to the criminal

zones, both on Nigeria’s water as well as in

the Gulf of Guinea corridor.

The ships set sail at about 11am on

Wednesday, October 31, 2019, immediately

after flag off, with Journalists and others

shared into two ships, NNS Okpabana and

NNS Thunder respectively. This reporter was

aboard NNS Thunder. By the way, the exercise


The Lagos State Police command on its part,

lost four policemen during these encounters.

Statistics shows that the command lost a

policeman in each month of May, June, July

and August. The command also recorded two

attacks on policemen within this period. In

the period under review, 100 arms and 231

ammunitions were recovered.

Crime Guard noted that the command did

was not restricted to Nigeria’s water corridor

of the Gulf of Guinea. Rather, countries of the

Gulf of Guinea were shared within different

zones, with Nigeria as zone E.

Six Somalis arrested for illegal


On the second day of the exercise, the

Nigerian and French Navies engaged in an

exercise known as Vessel, Board, Search and

Seizure(VBSS)within Pennington and Ayala

region, close to the Gulf of Guinea. The

exercise was staged in such a way that, the

French Navy was to act as an illegal merchant,

with its vessels as adversary ships involved in

illegal fishing and oil bunkering, while the

Nigeria Navy was to act as interceptor and

board the French vessels, search, and seize

illegal items found. After the training,

evaluations were made and ideas exchanged

among the two countries navies.

As the exercise was ongoing, a real life

scenario played out, as an illegal fishing

trawler was spotted within the Peninton region.

The Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service , SBS

team, was immediately deployed to go after it

and the earlier VBSS training exercise was

then carried out live on crew members on

board the seized vessel.

At the end of the interrogation, six crew

members from Somalia were arrested, while

two French hostages were released. Recovered

from the suspects were four Dummy pistols

and four knives. The suspects were


not record any case of kidnap since the reign

of Muazu as CP but eight cases of kidnap

were foiled between January and September,

with two each in the months of March and

April, three in May and one in June.

From the Statistics, arrest of suspected

cultists ranked the second highest number of

arrest after robbery with a total of 195. There

were also 33 cases of cultist clashes within the

period under review.

A breakdown of the figure shows that eight

cultists were arrested February, five in March

and 43 in April. The month of May had 14

arrests, June recorded the highest figure with

64 suspected cultists arrested. July had 35,

August 26 and September 13.

19 vehicles were recovered from robbery

suspects between January and September

2019 with one each in the months of April,

May, June, August and September and two

each in the months of January and March.

However, eight vehicles were reported

snatched by robbers while 12 were removed

from where they were parked. Vehicles driven

away by robbers who posed as drivers were 6,

between January and September. Suspects

arrested according to the Lagos State Police

Public Relations Officer, DSP Elkana Bala,

were charged to court.

From the foregoing, much is expected from

the incoming CP, as Lagosians, are looking

forward to sleeping with their two eyes closed.

subsequently handed over to the Naval Police

for further interrogation.

The VBSS exercise was repeated on the third

day with another French vessel, FNS

Germinal 5735, at about 11am.

Explaining the importance of the exercise,

the Captain, FNS Germinal, Paul Heroville,

said, ‘the exercise which was organized by

France, “aims at gathering all the Navies here

in the Gulf of Guinea to train together, with a

view to help improve Maritime security, being

aware that there are lots of challenges here,

such as illegal fishing, drug trafficking and

others. We are sharing our experiences to

improve maritime security. Today, we watched

how they trained and they watched us as we


At about 3pm same day, another exercise

known as fleet Maneuvering was carried out.

By the way, this exercise aims at engaging and

defeating an enemy’s ship or fleet in battle at

sea during naval warfare. It is the naval

equivalent of military tactics on land. NNS

Akpabana, NNS Thunder, NNS Dorina, and

French vessel FNS Germinal were involved

in the exercise, while NNS Thunder which was

the lead warship, maneuvered its way to the

middle of other ships. The fleet Maneuvering

is a Naval strategy that involves the planning

and conduct of war at sea. The essence of the

action was to simulate the parties involved in

the act of tactical approach in combating


Medical Evacuation

The Medical Evacuation exercise was also

conducted. This was an emergency response

on board to rescue any ailing member on

board a ship. Such person would be evacuated

from the ship with an helicopter if the naval

sickbay is unable to handle the situation.

Again, a real life scenario played out when

a naval personnel on board NNS Okpabana

fell sick. He was immediately evacuated from

the vessel with the participating helicopter, to

a hospital in Warri.

Other exercises included, Anti-Piracy and

Anti-Poaching drills, Visual Communications

and Casualty Evacuation exercises as well as

Fleet Maneuvers.

At the end of the exercise, the French Ships

left for neighbouring West African country to

continue with other naval ships.

Need for more

surveillance ships

One major take home point from the

exercise is the need for sustained presence of

the Navy in the nation’s maritime space,

particularly in its Gulf of Guinea corridor, as

this will no doubt deter criminal elements, as

observed during the exercise. To ensure this,

there will be need for additional ships that

can carry out surveillance deep into the

country’s space at the Gulf of Guinea. If this is

not done, then the clamour and summits held

to address criminalities within the region will

end up as a tea party affair after all.

SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019—31

•Hostels where the thugs live

•Destoryed warehouse

Latest on Lagos killer

gang in Satellite town

•More deadly attacks recorded

•Victims get more threats

•Gang mop up Vanguard publication

•Security operatives conduct discreet investigation

•Govt seeks status of Oba from LG

By Emma Nnadozie,

Crime Editor

Just like a whirlwind, the killer

gang alleged to be terrorizing

Satellite area, a suburb of Lagos

state and environs seems to have

intensified efforts at their deadly


They have continued with their

onslaught and attacks against

hapless and helpless people especially

truck and tanker drivers that come

their way. Yet, police authorities are

not disposed to check their excesses.

Crime Guard investigations

revealed that barely two days after

their alleged terrorist activities were

exposed, the thugs attacked a driver

for refusing to pay the illegal fees they

impose on thousands of truck and

tanker drivers that ply the

area. They reportedly descended on

the middle aged man with dangerous

weapons and succeeded in inflicting

injuries all over his body. As at press

time, the severely wounded driver is

still under intensive medical care in

an undisclosed hospital in Lagos

preparatory to being evacuated

secretly out of Lagos following

continued open threats by the

hoodlums to eliminate him if found

in any hospital in the state.

Reactions from exposure

This is just as last week exposure by

Crime Guard of the deadly activities

of the terror gang elicited spontaneous

reactions and response from both the

residents of the area, victims and the

accused members of the

By Emma Nnadozie,

Crime Editor

Four years, residents of Lagos,

the city of Excellence, have

not seen this kind of spectacle.

In fact, the emerging scenario was

typical of the dreaded era of robbery

kingpin Onyenusi who held

Lagosians on the jugular for months,

killing, maiming and attacking

security men freely as the king of the


Lekki experience

Such by armed robbers in Lagos

was last witnessed more than five

years now in Lagos state. Police

authorities then were jolted by the

temerity of the daredevils who struck

in the very busy Lekki area close to

the magnificent bridge that links

Ikoyi with Lekki. They invaded banks

along the water ways from the creeks

in the evening hours when people

were rushing home after the day’s

busy schedules. They released volleys

of bullets and carted away millions

of naira from the banks after killing

many people including policemen.

gang. While many residents of the

suburb and victims went haywire in

uproarious jubilation praying that the

exposure would bring succor to them

and quick intervention of security

agencies especially the police,

members of the gang remained

undaunted. Reports from the area

indicated that they vowed to be

resolutely more dogged in their

nefarious exploits and atrocious

activities with open threats to deal

ruthlessly with attempt by anybody to

upset the prevailing situation in the


Mop up Vanguard


They kick started their threat by

swooping on vendors selling copies

of Saturday Vanguard, last weekend,

in their area and discreetly succeeded

in removing the center spread where

a publication of their atrocities were

prominently featured. In fact,

many readers in the area were grossly

disappointed after buying copies of

the newspaper only to see that the

center spread was removed. Some

of the readers intimated Crime Guard

that as soon as they noticed the

anomaly, they suspected conspiracy

on the part of the vendors and accosted

them but they denied it and rather

claimed that the mistake must be

from the source. ”However, when

we moved into Festac and other places,

we saw the missing pages 24-25

showing that the action must have

been either by threat or conspiracy

that they removed the pages in order

to deny people the opportunity of

Enter CP Imohimi Edgal

The operation was such that police

authorities swung into action and

started raiding all the creeks in Lagos

and beyond with a view to stopping

such violent raids by the militants

who were also kidnapping and

killing people at will. While the

criminals were at their best elements,

posing a great threat to the security

of the state, another Commissioner

of Police, Imohimi Edgal was

appointed in the state. His era

witnessed a total clampdown on

many criminal activities in the state

including the deadly onslaught of the

dreaded Badoo cult gang. He

recorded huge success.

Now, attack in Ikoyi

Alas, the table turned, last

Thursday, in Ikoyi area three armed

men operating in a motorcycle

brazenly took the bull by the horn

and struck in a GSM shop along

Adeola Odeku,and tried to shoot

their way out of the scene. Reports

said that the hoodlums also accosted

a man who just withdrew huge sums

reading their atrocious acts,” a reader


Security agents swing into


Meanwhile, reliable sources in the

area intimated that some security

agents have swung into action

following the exposure and have been

carrying out serious investigations

into the allegations made against the

killer gang. In fact, Crime Guard

gathered that they have visited both

the Local government to interview

some officials and Oguntade village,

to talk with some victims including

lawyers handling series of cases

involving members of the family

alleged to be masterminds of terror

in the area. It was also learned that

the security agents who claimed to be

acting on orders from Abuja would

liaise with the police with a view to

ascertaining the true position of things

in the area.

LG security chief reacts

The Chief Security Officer, Oriade

Local government Area, Mr. Olu

Oluwole when called on phone told

Crime Guard: “The activities of the

man that claims to be the Oba of the

area are very unfortunate. In fact, he

is a notorious person. We have written

to the state government about his

notoriety, even on my table now, we

have petitions but just because my boss

is not around, we cannot take action.

“We are supposed to reply Satellite

police station that requested we

confirm the status of the Oba but we

know he is not an Oba. He is the one

instigating his children to cause

problem in the area. He is just an

ordinary citizen but claiming

Obaship. Nobody enthroned him. He

is running a killer squad in that place,

doing as he likes. We will write to all

those concerned to intimate them that

•Wounded driver

he is not an Oba. We have had series

of meetings about him with even the

council of Obas in the Local

government and the minutes are with


“We all recognized that he is not an

Oba but he is just running a killer

squad in the area. The police have

tried to call him to order without

success. They have been coming to

arrest his boys without success. Even

few months back, the so called Oba

was in detention at Zone 2, Onikan

Lagos but he was released later. You

know our society, each time he was

arrested; he would always find his way

out. He is now not supposed to be

walking freely at all.

Confirms attack on LG

“Last year, his boys attacked the

local government with armed thugs

and wounded some people because

we went there to collect tolls but they

fought our people. People are

maintaining their distance from him

because he has a killer squad and with

that, he is having a field day doing

whatever he likes to the people in the

community. We reported to the

police but nothing was done about

it. What I think should be done is

that the authorities should use the task

force to raid the place. My advice to

residents of the area is to re-assure

them that government is on top of the

matter and is poised to not only secure

the place but, make the man

accountable for his atrocities so far.”

Victims shy away from open


Concerted efforts made to speak

with the Bale of Ogunbiade village

failed as his aids claimed he was not

•Yusuf Olarinde

disposed to speak on the issue when

Crime Guard visited the

village. However, the lawyer to one

of the victims whose mother

reportedly died after seeing the

injuries inflicted on him by the thugs

said; “To be frank, after reading the

publication, last Saturday, I find it

very hard to add anything for now

because your extensive reports

suffice for now, it was investigative

journalism of the highest

order. Tarry a little time please, lest

I over flog issues over and over

again. However, if the police

command headquarters fails to do

something, I will add something,

perhaps, detailing litany of letters and

petitions addressed to high police

officers and the Governor himself

since the inception of the heinous

crime against my client and his


Oba’s family reacts

Recall that when interviewed, one

of the sons of the Oba fingered in

the alleged atrocities being

perpetrated in the area, Yusuf

Olarinde told Crime Guard that

many people were fighting his

family in the area over

land. According to him, the cases

are in court and until court decides,

then we will know who owns the land.

“Most of these people are going

against court orders, carrying on

development while the cases have

not yet been decided. Some of

these people claiming they were

attacked are meddling into our lands

by force. If anybody should claim

the land belongs to him, he should go

to court instead of using security

agents to intimidate us.”

Armed robbers engage Lagos Police in a deadly roller-coaster show

•Kill ASP, motorcyclist, injure female Inspector

•Mesmerize watchers

of money from a nearby bank and

forcefully snatched the money from

him before attempting to escape.

Unfortunately for them, policemen

from both Ikoyi division, Onikan and

other adjoining areas had converged

after receiving information about

their operation.

Shootout with the police

Crime Guard learned that as soon

as the robbers sited the alert

policemen, they engaged them in a

heavy shootout while at the same

time paving way for their escape in

their motorcycle. They were said to

be releasing bullets indiscriminately

resulting in pandemonium which

made it impossible for the police

team to meet up with the fleeing

robbers. Eyewitnesses said while the

robbers who were operating with

three motorcycles were busy shooting

and maneuvering their way out of

danger, they were closely followed

by the police. The police team,

according to sources, had stern

directives to avoid casualties while

trying to apprehend the robbers.

Hair raising encounter

Interestingly, it was gathered that

the Hollywood and Gestapo styles

displayed by the fleeing daredevils

baffled a lot of people as they

watched and applauded the emerging

display of craftsmanship in criminality.

A commuter who was inside a

commercial bus told Crime Guard that

he was nearly tempted to hold one of

the robbers on top of his bike. “While

we were hearing sporadic gun shots,

many people came down from our bus

and ran for their safety. I did not know

where to run to and I simply stayed by

the bus. While I was there, a

motorcyclist rode very close to me and

if I had known, I would have held him

tight. He is lanky and black. As soon as

he left where I was, he started shooting

into the air. In fact, I nearly collapsed.”

However, the police on their part

were professionally targeting them

keenly while they meandered through

the heavy traffic along their way of

escape through Awolowo Way and

Falomo area. While this was going on,

motorists stuck in the traffic were

running helter skelter in order to avoid

being hit by volleys of bullet being

released by the robbers. Sadly, when

the robbers got to a junction near

Falomo , they shot an Assistant

Superintendent of Police and a female

Inspector who were busy controlling


They also shot and wounded another

commercial motorcyclist who ran into

their way along the route.

Casualties recorded

Police sources said while they were

escaping from Falomo axis, one of

them fell off his motorcycle and was

promptly arrested while the rest fled

through the adjoining bridge and

disappeared to an unknown place. The

wounded ASP and Inspector were

promptly rushed to a nearby hospital

where the ASP was pronounced dead

while the Inspector is still

recuperating in the hospital. The

commercial motorcyclist whose

identity could not be ascertained as

at press time, died on the spot.

SARS swings into action

Meanwhile, police sources

intimated Crime Guard that a crack

team of policemen from the Special

Anti Robbery Squad has been

deployed to the area and beyond to

fish out the fleeing robbers. It was

gathered that the mysterious way the

robbers disappeared around the

bridges in Falomo fuelled

speculations in security circles that

they may not have gone far out of

the scene of the attack.

32—SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019

Why Nigeria airports are not

yielding revenue — Nnolim

•Proposes three models for effective airport management

Stories by Lawani Mikairu

The Chairman, House Committee

on Aviation, Hon. Nnaji Nnolim,

has expressed dissatisfaction with the

state of the nation’s airports, describing them

as “underdeveloped and underutilized.”

Speaking during a presentation at the

Nigeria Travels Mart Colloquium, 2019,

with the theme: Airport Concessions and

Options for Airports Development in Nigeria,

Nnolim said Airports, all over the world,

were viable sources for non-aeronautical

revenue generation and many countries

have adopted formidable and effective

managerial models to tap huge revenue from

their airports.

He, however, observed that Nigeria has

not harnessed up to 10 per cent of the

revenue potentials that could accrue from

its airports because they are not developed

to a certain standard.

“It is a glaring fact that our airports are

not just underdeveloped but also grossly

underutilized. In aviation today, the modern

trend is that airports have become huge

sources of revenue generation. Revenues

accrue from both aeronautical and nonaeronautical

sources, with non-aeronautical

revenues now becoming the dominant

sources of airport development, stability, and

aviation sustainability.

“In Nigeria, we have not exploited even

up to 10 per cent of the possible nonaeronautical

revenues because our airports

are not yet developed to the level of

harnessing the revenue potentials available

on the land side,” said Nnolim.

According to him, the airports, being the

first point of call for international visitors,

could create a negative impression in the

minds of the visitors about the country

because of their current state.

In charting a pathway for the

development of the nation’s airports to

become economically viable and

sustainable, Nnolim suggested that the

remittances from Internally Generated

Revenues (IGRs) of the aviation sector should

be retained for the next 10 years for the

development of aviation infrastructure.

He said many have been calling for the

privatization of the airports but noted that

it would require empirical data and careful

calculation to ascertain the right model(s)

to adopt. He recalled that the first

experiment on privatization of the second

terminal of the Murtala Muhammed

Airport, Lagos, has been “riddled with

controversies leading to many court cases.”

He, however, noted that privatization of

the airports would yield a lot of benefits as it

would reduce public-sector investment,

provide access to larger commercial sectors

and allow airports to diversify services

without the fear of government control and

interference. According to him, this would

lead to increased operational efficiency, as

well as create new paid incentives for

management and employees.

Alluding to reports of Nigeria’s Annual

Airport Business Summit for 2017, 2018

and 2019, Nnolim observed that any

attempt to privatize the airports stirs fear in

the minds of the employees about “job loss.”

He suggested that FAAN should be

unbundled to address the fear of job loss and

to pave way for efficient and progressive

airport development and creation of an

enabling environment that will attract

private sector investments.

In line with the unbundling proposition,

Nnolim suggested three models of

management be constituted: “The first one

is the Nigeria Airport Development Agency

(NADA) which will have the capacity to

process, supervise, monitor and forecast the

development of airports in the country visà-vis

the developmental needs enshrined in

the Civil Aviation Regulations and road


“Second is Airport Management Company

Plc (AMC) which would be a public quoted

company with less than 20 per cent shares

held by the Federal Government of Nigeria,

while the remaining shares should be sold to

private bidders . The company shall also

compete and bid for the management and

operation of airports”.

“The third is Federal Airports Property

Company Ltd. (FAPC) which would be the

custodian of all federal airports lands and

properties. By this, the government can

invest in airport development but not in its

operations; it can acquire land for airport

development just like state governments,

but must outsource the management to a

competent company”.

He said this might be a bit challenging,

owing to different opinions and mindsets of

stakeholders but it is important to have

functional airport services that will allow

for the development of infrastructure and

ensure effective management.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief

Host of the Nigeria Travels Mart Colloquium,

2019, Mr. Simon Tumba, called on the

Federal Government to consider a Public-

Private Partnership model in its effort to

change the face of airports in the country.

“For decades we have seen the state of our

airports, especially our major gateways in

Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Port Harcourt,

Kaduna and Kano. Over the last few years

the Federal government has made

investments to enhance the customer

experience in these airports. Truth be told; we

are lagging behind, despite the efforts of the

Federal Airports of Authority /FAAN),” said


He said the Federal government has approved

N14 billion ($40 million) for the renovation

of the Murtala Mohammed International

Airport, Ikeja, but it is not enough for an

emerging market like Nigeria, which has the

potential to become a global aviation hub.

He said: “The government needs to think out

of the box! Our humble opinion in NTM is that

the government should explore a Public Private

Partnership (PPP) and Concession our airports

carrying along the workforce at FAAN. With

Nigeria’s God-given natural and Human

Resources, and a solid leapfrogging plan and

strategy, we should be aiming for a futuristic

airport of $2-5billion.We have the

population, the market and geographic

position to make and realize such


NAMA to develop anti hacking security plan for its

Communication facilities

igeria Airspace Management Agency,

NNAMA, is to develop a security plan

for its Communication, Navigation and

Surveillance/ Air Traffic Management,

CNS/ATM, facilities to combat the emerging

global challenges such as cyber threats or

cyber security.

NAMA Director of Operations, Matthew

Lawrence Pwajok disclosed the plan during

a one-week training for 20 critical personnel

to run the newly created National Air

Navigation Planning unit, vested with the

mandate to oversee the domestication and

replication of ICAO global and regional plans

for the enhancement of air navigation in

the country.

According to Pwajok, If the NAMA

communication systems are hacked, safety

and security could be compromised. Thus,

the air navigation planning team will work

in collaboration with other security agencies

to prevent this. He said : ”ICAO is drawing

global attention to emerging challenges such

as cyber threats or cyber security, therefore

we must develop a security plan for our

Communication, Navigation and

Surveillance/ Air Traffic Management

(CNS/ATM) facilities. If these systems are

hacked, safety and security could be


“Thus, the air navigation planning team

will work in collaboration with other

agencies as the implementation of some of

these ICAO concepts requires collaboration

with sister agencies, the users, the military,

NCAA, etc In a bid to facilitate the

development and implementation of a

National Air Navigation Plan, National

Aviation System Block Upgrade (ASBU)

Plan, National Air Traffic Management Plan

as well as other International Civil Aviation

Organization (ICAO) new concepts in


The one-week training for the 20 critical

personnel to run the newly created unit

which held at the headquarters of the

agency in Lagos bordered on areas such as

“Global Air Navigation Plan and its

priorities, Global Aviation Safety Plan,

Global Aviation Security Plan, National Air

Navigation Plan and the National Aviation

System Block Upgrade Implementation

Plan”. Specifically, the training focused on

“ASBU Block 18 Modules some of which

include Airport Collaborative Decision

Making; Performance Based Navigation

with Vertical Guidance; Continuous Descent

Operations and Continuous Climb


Rationalizing the reasons for the training

for the new unit, Pwajok, who was a

facilitator at the training, said the job ahead

of the team is “both strategic and critical as

they would be researching to define future

requirements of NAMA and airspace user

requirements, in order to enhance airspace

capacity, air traffic management capacity,

efficiency and economy and safety of flight

operations. If we must encourage traffic

growth into our airspace, then we must

develop strategic growth plans, be sensitive

to airline equipage and their user


“We need not reinvent the wheel as ICAO

has developed adequate strategies for the

enhancement of capacity, safety, security,

efficiency, etc. We must therefore

domesticate these global plans into national

plans for implementation in accordance

with global, regional or national timelines

and priorities”.

He noted that the team will be required to

work towards ensuring the effective

implementation of the three major global

plans of ICAO which are, “Global Air

Navigation Plan, Global Aviation Safety

Plan and Global Aviation Security Plan. The

team will equally interrelate with some

ICAO structures such as the Air Navigation

Bureau (ANB), Technical Cooperation

Bureau (TCB) and Air Transport Bureau

(ATB), Regional Aviation Safety Group

(RASG) and the AFI Planning and

Implementation Regional Group (APIRG),

the decision, resolution and conclusions of

which impact on our services”.

“We need a team that understands the

workings of these ICAO bodies as they are

the technical works of ICAO that affect us

directly. Finally, the team will be expected

to strategize and ensure active participation

in ICAO activities, meetings, and workshops,

thereby ensuring that NAMA becomes a key

player in the affairs of the international body

at the regional and global level,” he said.

11th 1th anniversar

sary: We have flown over 2.7 million passengers s —Dana Air

s Dana Air celebrates the 11th

Aanniversary of its flight operations, the

Chief Operating Officer, Mr Obi Mbanuzuo has

revealed that the airline has flown over 2.7

million passengers in the eleven years of its

operation. The airline marked the anniversary

by rewarding customers with various gifts

ranging from free tickets to souvenirs.

Mbanuzuo ,while speaking at a brief

ceremony in Lagos, said that the airline would

never have made it this far but for its loyal

guests and staff who believed in what the airline

stood for and have kept it going, hence the

reward and celebration with customers

He said : “For us 11 years means we are doing

the right things and making the right decisions

at the right time. We have been methodical,

careful and realistic in our steps and we hope to

consolidate our existing routes to provide full

capacity, seamless travel and options for our

guests to travel conveniently yuletide while

still reviewing our route expansion plans”.

”So many airlines have come and gone

maybe due to some incidents in the past or

inability to cope with the operating

environment but we have been here for 11

years and still counting because of our loyal

customers, dedicated staff strength and above

all a sound management team with a massive

experience in the Nigerian aviation industry

running the airline with a model worthy of


“We thank the Present administration led

by His Excellency President Muhammed

Buhari, for gradually creating the ambience

for airlines to thrive and the efforts so the area

of infrastructure is commendable. We hope that

these efforts are sustained in the coming years

and other areas hampering the growth of

airlines reviewed” he added.

SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019—33

SOS to Obiano

'Business rival sends sent me me




to jail, using State agents'

By Chimaobi Nwaiwu


warehouse operator in the

commercial city of Onitsha, Chief

Patrick Ezeifo, has sent a Save-our-

Soul, SOS, to Governor Willie Obiano of

Anambra State to save his business from

total collapse, alleging that his business

competitor was determined to see to his

downfall. In an emotion-laden narration,

Ezeilo said even his workers were not spared

as his traducers also intimidated, harassed

and illegally arrested them, using some

government officials. According to him, he

and his workers spent four days in Onitsha

Prison after a ruling by what he described

as a kangaroo mobile court allegedly

instigated by his business competitor, who

he said, has connection in government.

Ezeilo said he was lured to the Okpoko Police

station on the guise that the Anambra State

Commissioner for Transport, Dr. Christian

Madubuko requested to see and discuss with

him, only to be arrested by some youths. He

added that he was subsequently tried by a

mobile court and sent to Onitsha Prison where

he spent four days with some of his workers.

He said: “I was surprised to receive a

telephone call on September 19, 2019 from

the Divisional Police Officer of Okpoko Police

Station, informing me that the new

Commissioner for Transport, Dr. Christian

Madubuko, wanted to see me. I was happy

because I have been looking for a way to see

him, but was often denied access in his office

in Awka.

“I rushed to the Okpoko Police station to

meet the new Commissioner and after a very

friendly and fruitful discussion with him, I

walked with him to the exit gate of the Police

station towards the Urban Terminal park and

from there I saw a group of boys

beating my workers and

removing goods from 223

Obodoukwu road warehouse

and removing vehicles from 240

Obodoukwu road open space. I

asked the Commissioner what

was going on and he just entered

his vehicle and left. I met the boy

who came with a bus with

inscription ‘Omambala Youths’

and pleaded with them to stop

their action, but they ignored me

and threatened to beat me Anambra

“I continued pleading with

them to leave my workers and the

goods and that I just saw off the

Commissioner who was with me

at the Okpoko Police station.

“As I was pleading with them to

leave my workers and the goods,

they pushed them into their bus

and drove to Urban Terminal

park where a woman they

identified as a Magistrate was waiting for them,

I followed them to the Urban Terminal park

and there, one of the workers of Del Trazi

Nigeria Limited spotted me and told

the boys to hold me.

“They started the trial of my workers

around 5.30 pm and anyone who

pleaded guilty was released. When

it got to my turn, I pleaded not

guilty, just as my manager and

few workers. They kept us at one

side and from there, they took

us to Onitsha Prison where

we stayed from that Friday

to late Monday night.”

Ezeilo said that he had

never defaulted in paying

to the Anambra state

government all the

approved levies, taxes and

revenues for operating the

warehouse, wondering why

such an ugly treatment

should be meted to him.

Ezeifo added: “About ten

years ago, my cousin, Mr.

Sunday Nnkemdirim,

who is based in Bayelsa

State, bought two plots

of land at 223 and 240

Obodoukwu road and

later developed one.

Based on the nature

of my business, he

gave me the whole

ground floor for

my warehouse

business, while

the other


plot was used as

a park for

heavy duty

Ezeilo said he was lured

to the Okpoko Police station

on the guise that the


Commissioner for

Transport, Dr. Christian

Madubuko requested to

see and discuss with him,

only to be arrested by some



“I have been doing the

Warehouse business for seven

years in my cousin’s building.

We do not run a transport

business; we only store goods

for people until they are ready

to carry them.

“Later, I applied and got

approval from Anambra state

government to do my business

at 223 and 240 Obodoukwu

Road Okpoko, Ogbaru Local

Government Area Anambra

state, and we have been doing

the business and paying levies

like, Ogbaru Heavy Duty

Motor Internal revenue,

Ogbaru Semi Truck IGR,

Local Government Traffic

Toss, Park Development Levies,

Yellow Ticket, ASWAMA levy,

Park Management Route Identification Levies,

Park Management Levies and other

• Chief Patrick


government approved levies. We had never

at any time disrupted the flow of traffic in the


“I was, therefore, surprised to receive a

telephone call on April 30, 2019, from the

former Commissioner for Transport, who is

now the Commissioner for Trade, Commerce

and Wealth Creation. He asked me some

questions about my business and what we have

been paying the government. I explained

everything to him and he left without any

indictment against me or my company.

“However, on May 1st 2019, I saw a group

of people with three vehicles who claimed to

have been sent by the Commissioner with over

three vehicles loaded with boys and they started

removing the vehicles in my company’s

premises. The vehicles were taken to Urban

Terminal Motor Park run by another private

company. When I asked what was going on,

they said they were acting on the orders of the


“I quickly reported the matter to the Okpoko

Police station and the Divisional Police Officer

invited them and asked them to release our

seized items because we did not commit any

offense, but they refused. I then went to Awka

to meet the Commissioner, who called one of

the boys and ordered for their release of the six

heavy duty vehicles they removed, even as

they insisted that I must pay N212,000 to

recover them, which I did”.

Ezeilo said he was surprised that one of

the conditions given by the

Commissioner to release my goods and

the vehicles was that he should assist

another private business outfit, doing

similar business, to enable his

business to grow.

He said that he later reported the

incident to his lawyers, who

arranged a meeting with the

Commissioner, adding that the

Managing Director of Del Trazi Nigeria

Limited, Mr. Charles Ezeani, was present with

his manager, Chuka Obiora during the


“It was that day that I knew who were behind

my ordeal,” he said, adding that “they even

demanded in the presence of the Commissioner

that I must close my business at 223 and 240

Obodoukwu road and come into the Urban

Terminal Park to do the business”.

According to him, “I asked them for a letter

from the government, especially when I know

that I do not default in paying what is due to

government, but till date they did not come

with any. Rather, they overpowered my workers

and closed my business without any authority

from the Anambra state government.

“I later heaved a sigh of relief when that

Commissioner was removed on 1 September

19, 2019, thinking that my ordeal had ended,

only to realize that my trouble was just


Effort to speak with the Commissioner for

Transport did not yield any fruitful result as his

phone was ringing without any answer.

However, his personal assistant said his boss

was not in town.

Meanwhile, Ezeilo had dragged the former

Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Uchenna

Okafor to court over the matter.

In the Suit No. At/49/2019, dated 21st day of

October, 2019, between Patrick Okechukwu

Ezeifo, Plaintiff, and Del Trazi Nigeria Limited,

Charles Ezeani, Chuka Obiora, Uchenna

Charles Okafor and Emeka Ude, Defendants,

Chief Ezeifo is demanding justice from the

court to continue his business which has

remained closed down till date.

The Court in Ogbaru Judicial Division

presided over by Justice A. O. Okuma ordered

that Ezeilo be allowed to go into premises at

No. 223 and 240 Obodoukwu Road with his

trucks for the purpose of taking his goods from

the premises, pending the determination of the

motion for interlocutory injunction. The case

was further adjourned to 4 December for

further hearing.

34—SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019

Unending war

between PDP and

Reps Leadership

By Emmanuel Aziken

It had been believed that the pause in

the faceoff over the choice of the

minority leadership of the House of

Representatives would over time heal

through a political solution.

After all, time heals wounds. However, a

pointer to the contrary emerged last

weekend when the national leadership of

the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in a terse

communique disowned the Ndudi Elumelu

led minority caucus of the House of


It is the worst relationship between a

major party and its National Assembly

caucus since the onset of the Fourth

Republic in 1999.

Not even the crisis in the All Progressives

Congress, APC at the onset of the 8th National

Assembly in 2015 has been compared to the

development in the House of Representatives

between the PDP and the leadership of the

minority caucus.

A statement issued by Mr. Kola

Ologbondinyan, the party spokesman

penultimate Friday had rekindled the issue

when it reiterated the suspension of Elumelu

and those the party alleged collaborated to

sabotage its plans for the House leadership.

The party had deposed thus:

“That the suspension placed on some PDP

Members who connived with others to supplant

the Party decision with regards to Party

positions in the House is subsisting and has

not been lifted.

“That the suspended members of the Party

cannot therefore conduct any business of the

Party at whatever level until disciplinary

measures have been concluded.

“That the National Working Committee

(NWC) in its wisdom, knowing that nature

abhors a vacuum and consistent with its

position on the matter which has not changed,

directed that the affairs of the PDP Caucus of

the House of Representatives be organized and

managed by: Hon. Kingsley Chinda, Hon.

Yakubu Barde, Hon. Chukwuka Onyema and

Hon. Muraina Ajibola.”

Those who were suspended alongside


Narration of the marathon journey of

the setting up of the Aluminium

Smelter Company, ALSCON in

Nigeria cannot be complete without tracing

its roots to the elected government of President

Shehu Aliyu Shagari when it initiated talks

with various interested bodies. The government

commissioned Messrs. W. S. Atkins, a British

firm to carry out a feasibility study on the project.

With the change in government in 1983,

discussions on the project were kept in

abeyance until 1986 when the project was

resuscitated by the Administration of General

Ibrahim Babangida. Thereafter, Ferrostaal AG

of Germany, in conjunction with Reynolds

International of the United States of America,

submitted a joint proposal to the Federal

Government for the establishment of an

integrated 180,000-tonne per annum smelter

plant. In response, the Government set up an

Inter-Ministerial Committee under the

supervision of the Federal Ministry of

Industries to process the proposal.

A consortium of consultants comprising

M+F Engineering Consultants, a Zurichbased

aluminium consulting firm, FINCO

Engineers and Phoenix Investment Services

both Nigerian companies, were engaged to

assist the Inter-Ministerial Committee. The

Government also appointed a four-man

Presidential Task-Force to finalize the

articulation of the project and submit

recommendations to the Government. The

Task-Force comprised Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji

, Chairman; Malam Ibrahim Aliu, then

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of

Industries; Aret Adams, then Group

Managing Director, Nigerian National

Petroleum Corporation and C. C. Okoye, then

Elumelu were Wole Oke, Lynda Ikpeazu,

Anayo Edwin, Gideon Gwadi, Toby

Okechukwu and Adekoya


They were all

alleged to have been

engaged in

subverting the

party’s nominations

for the minority

leadership positions

in the House.

The PDP had

nominated the

quartet of Chinda,

Barde, Onyema and

Ajibola to fill the four

positions available

to the minority in the

House leadership.

However, Elumelu

had emerged from consultations with other

minority parties in the House and was

accepted by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila

to the fury of the PDP.

The PDP’s action was to slap the

suspension on Elumelu and his

cohorts. A move by party elders

mostly former presiding officers of

the National Assembly derailed

after Governor Nyesom Wike of

Rivers State accused the high

powered committee including

Senators David Mark, Adolphus

Wabara, Ibrahim Mantu, among

others of corruption.

However, besides this festering

issue, the PDP national leadership

is also piqued by the open role

Elumelu and his associates played

in betraying the party’s position

against the emergence of

Gbajabiamila as Speaker.

It was perceived that it was to

slight the PDP that Gbajabiamila was quick

to endorse the leadership of Elumelu.

As Ologbondinyan said:

“The PDP under our leadership will not

reward disloyalty and will not allow anyone

other than the party to impose their choices

Director in the Ministry of Budget and Planning

who later became ALSCON’s Deputy General

Manager (Planning and Administration as


For the purpose of clarity, the Smelter is a

joint venture project between the Federal

Government of Nigeria and two foreign

technical partners, Ferrostaal AG of Germany

and Reynolds International Inc. of the United

States of America with 70%, 20% and 10%

holdings respectively. ALSCON was

incorporated in 1989. Ferrostaal is the turnkey

contractor while Reynolds, as the supplier of

the technology would manage the plant from

the start up until Nigerian management takes

over. The Smelter is sited at Ibekwe community

in Ikot Abasi town in Akwa Ibom state in the

South- South region of Nigeria.

The special properties of aluminium, the

smelting technology available and the ready

availability of abundant natural gas reserves,

reinforced the decision of the Federal

Government to proceed with the establishment

of the Ikot Abasi Smelter Plant. The

government, will, by operating the Smelter,

utilize the nation’s abundant gas resources to

generate energy for aluminium production

and in turn, receive much needed foreign

exchange by exporting a large portion of the

ingots and billets. Indeed, the whole philosophy

of the project is the exportation of gas in

embodied form.

It is estimated that ALSCON plant when fully

operational would utilise close to 1 billion

cubic metres of gas annually.

Similarly, another important objective of the

smelter is the supply of the basic raw materials,

ingots and billets- to local aluminium rolling

mills and extrusion plants. These raw materials

are currently imported. It will also help

Government conserve foreign exchange in


on us with the sole aim of annihilating or

stifling the voice of the opposition.”

The Elumelu leadership has following

the latest statement of the party on the issue

been seeking to build peace with the party

addition to supporting expansion of

aluminium rolling mills, extrusion plants and

down-stream industries making finished

products like aluminium kitchen utensils,

roofing sheets, deep freezers, automobiles’

bodies, wires and cables, and wrapping

materials among others. Most importantly, the

plant was intended to reduce waste in the

petroleum industry by utilising the natural gas

now being flared.

The Company was established in order to

utilize and enhance the country’s gas reserves

and further discourage gas flaring in the Niger

Delta. Part of the objectives for setting up

ALSCON include; to establish a self-reliant

aluminum factory, provide employment to

Nigerians, impact technical/develop trained

technical manpower, conserve and earn

foreign exchange by meeting local aluminum

demands and to aid the development of

aluminum downstream industries.

With these huge investment lying fallow, the

Nigerian government listed ALSCON under

the second phase of its privatization agenda

and the ball was set rolling in 2002 with a

request for investors to express interest.

Available records show that six companies

expressed interest; ALCOA Inc of America,

Glencore G of Switzerland, BFIG of USA,+

UC Rusal of Russia, ALCAN of Canada and

Ferrosstaal of Germany submitted their

technical and financial bids

Eventually, BFI Group emerged as the

preferred bidder with a bid offer of $140

million following the disqualification of UC

Russal. However, the winner was unable to pay

the 10% before take over within the stipulated

period prescribed by BPE. With this failure,

UC Rusal won the equity and the plant was

handed over to it.

and at the same time projecting the reasons

for what the party saw as betrayal.

The Elumelu leadership has on its part

sought to present the fact that no single party

no matter how big has the monopoly of

presenting the leadership of the minority


Responding through his special adviser

on legal matters, Oyorima Idahosa,

Elumelu observed that the election of the

minority leadership caucus followed the

constitutional procedure.

He particularly drew reference to Order 7

Rule 8 which states that “Members of the

Minority Parties in the House shall

nominate from among them, the Minority

Leader, Minority Whip, Deputy Minority

Leader, and Deputy Minority Whip”.

“This, the overwhelming majority of the

Minority Caucus comprising nine political

parties (PDP, APGA, ADC, LP, SDP, PRP, AA,

APM, ADP) did, and communicated their

decision to the Speaker in a letter dated 2nd

July 2019 and signed by over 100 members

of the 147-Member Caucus.

“By parliamentary rules persons so

elected become the leaders of the party

caucuses in the legislature. While the party

can guide their elected Members through

the zoning of various Minority leadership

offices, it is not in the place of the party, by

the provisions of the Constitution, House

Standing Rule, and parliamentary

traditions, to appoint or foist

Minority or Majority Caucus

leadership on its Members.

“The conduct of the

lawmakers in choosing

their leaders

therefore falls

within the

framework of the

spirit, ideals,

beliefs and



principles of

the PDP and

our founding

fathers, who


t h e


of the tenets of democratic

practice in Nigeria.”

The PDP’s response is perceived to be a

result of the party’s frustration in stopping

the emergence of Gbajabiamila as

Speaker. The party’s frustration was

not helped by the lack of

coordination and incapacity to rein

in its members many of who took

front roles in the campaign for

Gbajabiamila’s emergence.

It would be recalled that a similar

attempt by the All Progressives

Congress (APC) to foist leadership of

the Majority Caucus on the National

Assembly in 2015 could not stand as

such obnoxious action was

vehemently resisted by the Senate,

which stuck to the list of elected

leaders of the Majority Caucus

submitted by APC Senators.

It is thus surprising while the PDP

is engaged in fighting what is

obviously a battle it cannot win in

the face of the law and the rules of the

National Assembly. This is against the fact

that a similar fight by the All Progressives

Congress, APC to foist its own list of leaders

on the Senate in 2015 was frustrated and

came to nothing.

ALSCON: Hope rising for the sleeping giant in Ikot-Abasi

BFIG went to court to challenge its

disqualification and won its case which made

BPE to provide a share purchase agreement,

SPA to BFIG for execution.

Again, it refused to execute the SPA and BPE

terminated the agreement in March 2013 and

UC Rusal was again reinstated. BFIG went to

court again for the third time to challenge the

BPE decision. This case is still pending in court.

As a result of the uncertainty of the situation,

both Rusal and ALSCON have suffered grave

damages having to maintain the plant and

staff without being in operation. That resulted

in staff retrenchment to minimize the losses.

Convinced that BFIG does not seem to have

the technical and financial capacity to run

ALSCON, the relevant ministry briefed the

President on the development and steps taken

so far to resolve the contending issues.

President Buhari, who had always been

worried with how the impasse had negatively

impacted the fortunes of the company

subsequently gave BPE approval to go ahead

with the decision of the National Council on

Privatization and Commercialization, NCPC

which makes Rusal, the owner of the plant to

resume production and reap the benefits for

the country and the company.

During his recent visit to the Russian

Federation, President Buhari while discussing

issues with his host, President Putin talked on

the protracted issue of the Ikot-Abasi based

Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria,

President Buhari said that he had asked the

Ministry of Justice, to submit a comprehensive

report on the UC Rusal, the Russian owners of

the plant matter.




When he told the truth

his cabinet avoided

Dayo Johnson Akure

AN the health of Arakunrin Rotimi

CAkeredolu, SAN, the governor of Ondo

state withstand the rigours of a second term

in office?. This is the million dollar question

agitating the minds of the people of the state

ahead of the 2020 governorship election.

The manner in which his undisclosed

ailment was shielded in secrecy for five

weeks fuelled the concerns of the electorate

across the state and beyond.

Why his kitchen cabinet kept his

sickness from public


The story of his kitchen

cabinet who had all along

sold a dummy to the

people of the state that the

governor was in Abuja

attending to pressing

state matters and would

not want to waste public

funds shuttling between

Akure and Abuja on

daily basis fell flat when

news of him being rushed

to Germany for medical

attention was splashed on

the various online media


Vanguard learnt that the

governor’s kitchen

cabinet popularly known

as the “ “Team Aketi “

had wanted to keep the

governor’s health

condition away from the

preying eyes of the

opposition parties so as not

to use it as a campaign

issue against the

governor in next years

election. But, it became

The task is

heavy, the

journey is far, the

expectations are

high while the

objectives are

clear; to develop

the land and the


clear the governor needed more rest hence

he could not return to the state as planned

by them.

The wind finally blows.

Pictures of him receiving visitors from the

state but not attending important meetings

such as that of the Niger Delta governors

with President Muhammadu Buhari on the

contention board of the NDDC raised

further concern of the people of the state

that their governor was actually indisposed

hence his absence at such important


When eventually the governor was able to

leave the Ondo state Lodge in Abuja for the

Governors Forum meeting and that of the

National Executive Council NEC Meeting,

the manner his brother governors

exchanged greetings with him indicated

that he had been sick and that they were

happy for him to be back on his feet.

Interestingly, the meeting of the state

governors presided by their Chairman, Dr

Kayode Fayemi was held at the Ondo state

government lodge in Abuja. Also the

governor in company of his

wife Betty received

the African Governor for

Innovative Leadership

Award by the African Stride

International, in conjunction

with the Centre for Africa

Development and

International Studies at the

same government lodge.

Akeredolu media handlers

said in a statement after the

receipt of the award by the

governor that he ”cut short

an official engagement to

receive the Chief of Staff, Chief

Olugbenga Ale , Head of

Service , Mr. Dare

Aragbaiye,other Cabinet

members as well as the

Chairman of the Ondo State

Council of Obas, Olugbo of

Ugbo, Oba Fredrick Obateru

Akinruntan after receiving

the award”.

While the governor was on

his sick bed, his deputy, Hon

Agboola Ajayi held sway in

the state representing him

within and outside the state.

Agboola and other heads of

government parastaltals and boards had

to shuttle between Akure/Abuja for five


—— Opposition party kicks, wants the

governors true health status made public

As the “disappearance” of the governor

from the state continued to generate much

concerns, the opposition Peoples Democratic

Party PDP found its voice.

The opposition PDP through its Director

(Media & Publicity) of the PDP , Zadok

Akintoye in a statement demanded for the

true status of the governors health.

Akintoye said “the Ondo House of Assembly

should ensure that the process of governance

is not impeded by the Governors’ ill health.

“ The people of the state are worried that

the governor and his deputy Agboola Ajayi

were absent during last week meeting of

the governors in the Niger Delta states with

President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The import of the absence of Mr. Governor

and/or his Deputy at the meeting of Niger

Delta Governors with the President

underlines our concern, as Ondo state (being

one of the Niger Delta states and a major

stakeholder in the happenings at the

NDDC) was not adequately represented.

“We take note of a report by an online news

medium which published an alleged rumor

that the absence of our Governor, His

Excellency, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu

(SAN) from public, may be due to ill health.

“If true, we express our concern on the state

of health of the governor and do wish him

quick and perfect recovery.

“Our party also wishes to request that the

true status of the health of the Governor be

made known to the public as soon as possible

and that if he is incapacitated in performing

his duties, the Ondo House of Assembly

should ensure that the process of

governance is not impeded by the

Governors’ ill health.

“Once again, our prayer goes to the

Governor and we wish him perfect

recovery (if this allegation is true).

But the information and Orientation

commissioner Donald Ojogo said that the

exigencies of office had kept him in Abuja

for a while and would soon return to the


” These are insinuations of those that do

not mean well for the state. He is entitled

to his annual vacation.

“When his daughter was getting married,

he had to cut short his annual vacation

to attend to domestic issues. His leave

ended on October 4. When he came back,

series of meetings were already lined up.

“He had to stay back in Abuja to attend

the meetings. He cannot just be jetting

in and out of the state, hence his reason

for staying back in Abuja.

Surprisingly, one of his last visitors

during his sojourn in Abuja was the

National leader of the party Asiwaju Bola

Tinubu and other members of the party

SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019—35


Tinubu’s visit to Akeredolu further

showed cynics that the governor may

have won himself back to the hearts of

the leader and those who call the shorts

in the party at the National Secretariat.

But some leaders of the party not on same

page with the second term ambition of

Akeredolu punctured this saying “ time

will tell where Tinubu belongs as regards

Ondo 2020 governorship election.”

Divided executive council


There are insinuation that the exposure

to the online media of the illness of the

governor was a mischief done by some of

the governors cabinet members.

Although this could not be confirmed

speculations were rife that the opposition

party had infiltrated the state executive

members and underground going on to

unseat Aketi in 2020.

His triumphant entry after five

weeks of his disappearance

Exactly five weeks after his stay outside

Ondo state, the governor returned in a

chattered flight at about 530pm and was

received by a tumultuous crowd of party

chieftains, traditional rulers and the

people of the state ostensibly to make a

political statement and shut the mouths

of those who taught the governor was

tired and can’t go the hog of a second


From the Airport which was jam-packed

as early as 6am, the entire Akure, the

state capital was locked down for hours

as the state chairman of the party Ade

Adetimehin led his party members and

his executives while the deputy, Agboola

Ajayi led the state Executive council

members, members of the State House of

Assembly were led by the Speaker Rt Hon

Bamidele Oleyelogun, Oba Obateru

Akinruntan led the state Council of Obas

while the National Union of Roads

Transport Workers (NURTW) were

equally led by their state chairman,

Jacob Adebo aka ldajo to receive their

governor popularly called “Aketi”.

Traditional rulers at the airport include

the Olowa of Igbara-Oke Oba Dr. Francis

Adefarakanmi Agbede, Olugbo of Ugbo,

Oba Dr. Fredrick E.O. Akinruntan, Deji

of Akure, Oba Ogunlade Aladelusi,

Osemawe of Ondo Oba Dr. Adesimbo

Kiladejo and the Olowo of Owo, Oba

Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye amongst


Political observers in the state wondered

why the governor’s team who kept his

absence from the state for five weeks from

the people he governs now decided to roll

out the drums to celebrate his return.

The manner his return was celebrated

showed that the government and the party

wanted to score political point that the

governor was back and strong enough to

administer the state if giving second term

ticket. It was to send signal to the opposition

not to dare use the governors five week

ailment as a campaign issue.

Governor Akeredolu hit this on the head

when he told newsmen on arrival at the

Airport that “ am back stronger, refreshed

and ready to serve the people with full


He exposed the lies of the “Team Aketi” and

governors kitchen cabinet when he openly

confessed that he was actually sick and

stayed back in Abuja on doctors advise to


Pointedly, he said “ Yes, I needed to seek

medical attention. It was nothing so serious

because it is routine. But on my return, I

needed to take some time off based on advise.

It wasn’t as serious as people blew it.

‘’But basically, my stay back in Abuja

was indeed not a serious period to even rest

because I had to attend to a lot of issues that

will move the State forward.

‘’I received in audience a word class Medical

Foundation, Medicus International from

Germany as I presided over the signing of

the MoU for them to build a World class

Medical city in Akure.

‘’You are aware that I attended the

Governors Forum meeting as well as the

National Economic Council meeting and

several others.

‘’Of a particular note was the meeting I held

with the World Bank that will bring in a

capital of about $19 million for the

development of the state.

‘’As you can see, I’m back fresher and

stronger to continue the work the good

people of the state mandated me to do.

——Two days after his return, he made a

state broadcast.

To further lay to rest the concern over his

health governor Akeredolu in a state-wide

broadcast two days after his return said “ l

therefore wish to renew my vow to you that

I will not relent but I will continue to use all

my strength,energy and God given

knowledge and talent to serve our dear


“The task is heavy, the journey is far, the

expectations are high while the objectives

are clear; to develop the land and the


“I believe that the future is bright and all

mountains are surmountable if we work

together. I therefore wish to encourage

us all to work towards the goal by

demonstrating unconditional love for our

neighbours, diligence,focus, on

development and peaceful coexistence”

36—SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019

Rivers once had a great football

team. The Sharks of Port harcourt

was a household name. Sharks had

bite. Adokiye Amiesimaka , the chief

justice , was as sharp as a tooth can be,

on the wings. Sharks played in the deep

waters of national football. They played

in the elite division. They were FA Cup

finalists three times, most notably in 1979.

They won the WAFU cup in 2010.

Sharks later found themselves in the

shallow waters of mismanagement. They

suffered decline and gradually sank, fell

off national reckoning. They were relegated

in 2016 and got swallowed by city rivals

the Dolphins in 2016 to become Rivers


So there were the Dolphins too. They

used to be known as Eagle Cement FC.

They were finalists in CAF Confederations

cup in 2005. They won the FA Cup 4 times.

They won the elite football league three

times. The last time they won anything was


After they escaped relegation on the last

day of the 2015-2016 season, they swallowed

city rivals and became Rivers United in

2016. Some would say they got married

and became one. Rivers United finished

second in the elite league that year. But

since then the union has been stuck in the


Sharks FC used to have crowd problems

at the sharks stadium. Rivers United use

the liberation stadium but they have no

following. And this is despite that fact

that the crest of the United of Rivers has a

shark and a dolphin.

The story of Rivers and the decline of its

darling teams and its football, is not

peculiar. Across the country the rubbles and

grave stones of football teams abound.

Once school sports was neglected, the

supply line to teams dried up. But when

Rivers started building wonderful public

schools with lush pitches, football fans

began to nod and smile. it appeared

someone had decided to tackle the problem

Gov Wike and his Real

Madrid Wor


from its roots. But in Nigeria polices

come and go with their initiators. A new

governor came to rivers and came with

new ideas. The building of primary

schools with lush pitches took a back


In Nigeria we don’t like the basics.

The country is possessed by a miracle


So recently the Rivers governor

whom it would appear has given up on

Rivers United and the lush pitches in

the primary schools, came up with a

magical idea. He headed to Santiago

Bernabeu. There he looked around the

stadium, and losed for pictures with

Christiano Ronaldo and with Sergio

Ramos. He must have had some tea too.

He had meetings with some Real

Madrid soccer development staff. When

he came out, he announced the birth of

Real Madrid Academy in Port harcourt.

He milked the cheers for his great

vision. He emphasized his

desperation by visiting Real Madrid a

second time in a few months

When he came back the last time, he

appointed a special adviser to the

governor on Real Madrid affairs. Yes

a real special adviser for Real. Who will

blame him? He has only claimed to be

the only workaholic governor in the

country. He has never claimed to be

an expert in Real Madrid affairs. He

is really workaholic. You can see that 8

months after he was re elected he has

been so busy he has not found time to

appoint commissioners. So don’t ask

why no one else can go to Santiago

Bernabeu to sign some papers. He has

no sports commissioner yet. He

deserves praise.

Real Madrid academy is coming up

in Port harcourt. The governor has

announced that 1500 applications

have been received. We don’t know

exactly how many children will be

admitted. But we can expect that very

soon Port harcourt will be full of football

stars which the state will ship to

Spain. If you care to know, the state

has not been able to run some of the

magnificent secondary schools built by

the previous state government. I

wonder why Real Madrid wasnt just

given those schools to run at state


You know politicians. They like

monumental ideas. Mr project will

build a Real Madrid academy project.

After they escaped

relegation on the last day of

the 2015-2016 season, they

swallowed city rivals and

became Rivers United in


The governor can say that the academy will

create thousands of jobs and earn the state

millions of dollars. The governor has already

said that the academy will revolutionize

sports in Nigeria. We will hear more.

But we know that revolutions, true

revolutions, happen at the grassroots. They

are not engendered by single elitist endeavors.

Cathedrals are good, but they are not where

souls are won and nurtured. That is why

small sunday schools and house fellowships

are more important. The Real Madrid

academy is not a bad idea . But after Sharks

and Dolphins sank, Real Madrid and its

academy in Port harcourt could be crocodile

waters . A new governor will come one day.

We have to pray he doesn’t see it like another

mono rail project.

If Gov Wike wants football developed in

Rivers he should go to the basics. He must

take care of the pitches in the primary schools

first. He must train and retrain school sports

coaches . He must revitalize school sports


Sports is big business . But it’s a painstaking

business where profits are reaped through

hard work. Real business requires more than

photo ops and grandiose ideas. Rivers must

find partners in the private sector to

resurrect or birth teams like Sharks and


Real Madrid Academy project is good, but

the reality is that it could turn out a beautiful

There are some widely known

factors responsible for happy and

successful marriages: mutual

respect, selflessness, humility, love,

forgiveness, patience, tolerance,

endurance, empathy, compatibility,

effective management of differences,

etc. Many married people know these

factors, so lack of knowledge is not the

principal reason many marriages fail.

Application and implementation of the

above factors in individual marriages is

mainly where the challenges in

marriages lie.

Unfortunately, there are no universal

rules for applying these factors, neither

are there universal applications. When

dealing with human phenomena,

individual differences is very important.

What works for one marriage might not

work for another. I saw a couple abusing

each other during a small

misunderstanding. Husband: “shut

up.” Wife: “you too, shut up.” Husband:

you’re very stupid.” Wife: “you too,

you’re stupid…” They went on and on.

A short while later, the same couple -

Wife: “Mike, look at that woman we saw

the other time; she’s looking different.”

Husband: “What did she do to herself?

She’s looking funny.” This was followed

by laughter. I was stunned. If such a

conversation takes place between other

spouses, it would take eternity for the

dust to settle. Such abusive language

can even break up some marriages. But

there was even no dust in this case not

to talk of the dust settling down. Mind

you, I am against any form of marital

abuse: verbal, physical, sexual,

emotional and psychological.

I see some young couples, trying to

create a happy marriage, spend so much

time looking outside; meanwhile the

solutions are within. Do not get me

wrong; it is good to know how other

people, especially those ahead of you,

are doing things to help you improve

on your marriage. You learn from their

triumphs and failings. But you cannot

import other people’s methodology

wholesale in your marriage.

Happy marriages are the creations of

the couples involved and it comes with

owning your marriage. Take possession

of your marriage. Look into each

Own your marriage

other’s lives, look at your likes and

dislikes, your characters and

personalities, and out of these, let the

character and personality of your

marriage begin to evolve. If you had a

good courtship, it would help in laying

the foundation for a good marriage.

But courtship is like elementary school.

While it gives you a solid base for your

higher education, it is no substitute for

the hard work you have to put in as

you go further in your studies.

You must build the personality and

character of your marriage on what

works for you and your spouse. If

kissing in public does not work for

you, for instance, do not do it because

a “happy” couple you admire and

want to model your marriage after does

it. Kissing in public is just one form of

expression of love. There are other

ways of expressing love. And not all

public kissing express love. Some are

fake, treacherous and deceptive.

Judas Iscariot kissed Jesus publicly to

betray HIM, not express love!

If having separate rooms is what

works for you, please go ahead. You

do not have to share a room because

your parents did same, although I am

very suspicious of couples having

separate rooms. The arrangement

looks like a refuge to prolong quarrels

between couples and deny spouses

their conjugal rights. But if your

reasons are genuine and in line with

your character, by all means go ahead.

In the same vain, if couples prefer to

eat separately, feel free. Do not force

yourself to eat together because a

couple you admire does it.

Personally, I prefer to eat what makes

me happy and my wife does not eat

all the kinds of food I love. There

are meals she also eats that I do not

eat. So eating together is restricted

to those meals we both enjoy eating.

She eats other meals that make her

happy without my participation and

interference and I do same. That is

what works for us. Do the one that

works for you.

Own your marriage, focus on your

marriage and ruminate on how to

Many married

people know these

factors, so lack of

knowledge is not

the principal reason

many marriages fail

get it better daily. A happy marriage

is a product of mutual hard work by

the couple. The centerpiece of a

marriage is the couple, not friends,

in-laws or other family members.

Some married people behave like dogs who

are always looking at their owners’ faces

(others) for acceptance and affirmation. I

learnt a very valuable lessons on my

wedding night. After the crowd at the

church, reception and in-laws, who escorted

my wife to the house, had departed, when

it was time to go to bed, only the two of us

went into the room. That was symbolic for

me. It meant only the two of us mattered

most as far as the marriage was concerned;

our happiness depended mainly on the two

us. Friends and family, though very

important, are peripheral as far as the

marriage was concerned.

Stop running your marriage to impress or

comply with the expectations of others. You

will be shocked to find out that they are so

focused on their own lives and marriages

that they do not even notice you. Look at

Nigeria, look at what it takes to sustain a

family. Many people spend virtually all that

time trying to eke out a living. These are

the same people you are working so hard

in your marriage to impress. I have bad

news for you. They are too involved in their

lives and marriages to notice you! The more

reason why your marriage should be selfcentred

not others-centred.

When couples focus on themselves, it does

not interfere with their love for their own

friends, parents or siblings. I know that for

a fact. If your marriage interferes with your

relationship with your parents and siblings,

there are other underlying problems. It

cannot be because of your efforts to create a

happy marriage. Often, it is because either

your spouse or your parents/siblings/friends

are overstepping their bounds or all parties

are overstepping their bounds. There is

enough space in a well-organised heart to

have a happy marriage and a good

relationship with parents/siblings/friends.

You must own your marriage. You cannot

succeed without first of all owning it. Learn

from the story of David and Goliath. Saul

dressed David in his (Saul’s) armour and

armed him with his (Saul’s) weapons of war

to go against Goliath, but David was

uncomfortable in the borrowed war outfit.

He removed them, wore his own outfits and

carried his own weapons of war. He might

have looked unserious and unprofessional

to Goliath and others, but he was in his own

turf; he owned the fight. The rest is now

history; he triumphed over the giant Goliath.

You cannot create a happy marriage without

first of all owning it.





ack in the days when we were

Bblissfully unaware of the

enormity of our actions, we used to

buy drinks for our regular weekend

parties from Badagry and Cotonou.

Occasionally, we bought fruits or

whatever tickled our fancy. Or

whatever would make the parties

more exotic. Some bought cigarettes

or cigars and shared same with the

friendly uninformed men we met

along the way.The roads were good

and we sometimes made a picnic out

of it. We were young and we needed

the fix that the excitements brought.

We knew goods were generally

cheaper in Benin and Togo, but we

put it down to the fact that we were

from a more affluent country.

Many of us had brand new cars as

our first cars. Or even second cars.

But as our economy nosedived, the

young, emerging middle class that

we thought we were, started being

squeezed. The idea of used,

imported cars or tokunbo cars, gained

traction. Again, many looked the way

of Cotonou where cars were cheaper

and all sorts of deals were possible.

You could go there to select a car and

it would be brought down for you for

a fee. Or you could come with it if

you were more daring or less trusting.

Or you could simply wait and let an

agent do all the wahala and bring

the car to your house or office at an

agreed date. Some of these agents

were uniformed men. We really,

never seriously bothered to ask why

cars were cheaper in Benin.

Speaking of uniformed men, we all

knew Custom Officers were rich. In

fact, the job was synonymous with

money. It probably still is. Many of

them were lavish and loud. We

hardly thought deeply about the fact

that these Officers who were being

paid from government coffers to

protect our borders were actually

abusing the privilege and

benefitting from the borders. In other

words, they were sabotaging the

economy and we, who participated

in trans-border trading, were also

complicit in the sabotage.And the

more inefficient and cumbersome our

ports became, the more the volume

of the trans-border game that was

being played. Soon, the numbers

became big. Soon, smuggled goods

from cars to consumables, were

dominating the market. A trip to the

ports in Cotonou would be obvious

to even a blind person that those

goods coming into their ports were

not meant for the tiny country. Soon,

campaigns that preceded

Tthe two governorship elections

holding today in Kogi and Bayelsa

undoubtedly provided a healthy

distraction for the national

chairman of the ruling All

Progressives Congress, APC,

Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

In the wake of the unprecedented

uprising to his political supremacy

in Edo State, the immediate past

governor of the state was

reportedly turning into an object

deserving of pity.

So given the chance of

temporarily turning away from the

upheavals at home in Edo State,

the opportunity to campaign in

Bayelsa and Kogi would have

meant an elixir for the Comrade.

Of course, whether he was

deserving of pity or not, the

whipping and humiliations from his

one-time political mentee,

Governor Godwin Obaseki, are

deserving of commentary.

Of course, only the heartless and

stiff-necked would consider the

political situation of the Comrade

and remain unmoved.

Some others who may also be

unmoved would include direct

eyewitnesses to the common

abuses that Comrade poured on the

late Chief Tony Anenih, late Chief

Samuel Ogbemudia, Chief Gabriel

Igbenedion, Chief Lucky

Igbinedion, Chief John Odigie-

Oyegun, Chief Tom Ikimi and

some other respected political

personages of Edo State.

What has made the trials of the

Comrade more remarkable is the

fact that the attacks are not coming

from the Edo State chapter of the

PDP, which, while he was governor,

kept him on his toes.

The irony is that the attacks are

coming from within the inner

reaches of the Oshiomhole political


Border closure: Some fundamental



companies sprang up in those

neighbouring countries with Nigeria

as their main market. Our various

governments must have been aware

of what was going on. We were

sustaining the economies of Benin,

Togo, and to some extent, Ghana.

Worse, we had become a dumping

ground for desirable, undesirable and

even toxic goods. But we chose to play

the ostrich. We saw ourselves as the

‘big brother’. But how we saw

ourselves was not how these

countries, or even the rest of the

world, saw us. We were the wasteful

brother. The dumb brother. The

We simply are not selfsufficient

in anything

including the basic

necessities of life

brother who had more money than


Now that a sense of sobriety has set

in after years of being inebriated with

petrol wine, now that our purse has

become so lean that we cannot afford

to feed ourselves talk less of our

greedy neighbours, now that the

sugar and rice merchants in high

places have run out of excuses, we

have decided to do the needful. We

have shut the borders. And in doing

SATURDAY Vanguard, , NOVEMBER 16, 2019—37

so, brought some sanity to the free-for

all market. The effect has been

immediate both negatively and

positively. On the positive side is the

belief that crime, among other things,

has gone down. The volume of

subsidized petroleum products has

gone down. The volume of

consumables especially rice and

frozen chicken has gone down. The

other side of course, is that the border

closure has thrown up many of our

inadequacies. We simply are not selfsufficient

in anything including the

basic necessities of life. We are a big

country that is unable to feed, clothe,

or house itself. We are a big country

that is unable to transport its people.

Every means of transportation

including even a bicycle is imported

into the country. Many of them

smuggled. Many basic drugs are

imported into the country. Many of

them smuggled.

The border closure is not sustainable.

It is therefore not a permanent

solution.So we need to address certain

fundamental questions if the gains of

the closure will not be reversed. We

need to find out what makes

smuggling so attractive and so

lucrative. Or why goods brought into

our country through our ports are more

expensive than goods brought through

the ports of our neighbouring

countries.Our goods clearing system

is archaic, inefficient and infested with

corruption. People prefer Benin and

Togo ports because they are faster,

more predictable and more efficient.

Are Beninese officers better trained or

just more disciplined? Are the bosses

to whom they report better trained or

just more disciplined?

Beyond the euphoria of the short

term gains of the border closure is the

reality that we have a serious short fall

The Oshiomhole metamor


Pitiably for the national chairman,

some of the closest political mentees

that he broke the bank to establish

in high political office are the same

persons spearheading the

demystification of his political


It is as such no surprise that

Comrade has all of a sudden turned

morose shockingly, even apologizing

to Governor Obaseki after the

incident in Iyahmo.

Even worse for the Comrade is that

his several political enemies around

the country, especially those

enemies he made during last year’s

party primaries at all levels, are now

said to be secretly egging Obaseki


The whisper in certain circles is

that Obaseki would not have had the

nerve to take Oshiomhole head-on

without the encouragement of the

external factors who also want to

teach Oshiomhole a lesson.

If push comes to shove, Obaseki

and his associates believe that

Oshiomhole would either not be

chairman at the time of the

governorship primaries or would

have been sufficiently pummeled

into submission not to oppose a

second term for Obaseki.

The indicators for such are

increasingly showing with the

almost daily interventions from the

governors using the director-general

The lesson of the border closure is that

we have a huge opportunity to put our

people into a more disciplined and a

more productive use

in food security. It is obvious that we have

been playing lip service to agriculture

and the neighbouring countries have

been covering our asses. A lot of young

people want to go into agriculture, but

the stakes are daunting. These range

from land to finance to implements to

infrastructure. And our agricultural

products are not competitive for about the

same reasons. The least the government

can do is meet them half way. It will not

cost an arm and a leg to grade roads and

sink bore holes around farm lands for

example. We will be surprised to find that

perhaps the greatest handicap for farmers

today is not light as important as it is, or

water as important as it is —these can be

supplied at a cost which would have to

be passed on. It is access to their farms.

Raw material have to be brought in;

labourers have to be brought in; farm

hands have to be able to come and go;

consultants and agric experts have to

come in from time to time; and finally,

finished products have to be taken out.

These will not be possible without a

decent access. And the state of the roads

or even pathways, is far from decent. It

is atrocious. Yet, without a free

interchange of raw materials and

personnel, any modern farm with the best

will in the world, will fold up.

An improved rural infrastructure is a

win-win situation. It will check urban

migration which is the source of urban

restiveness and crime. It will address the

poverty level in the country. It will

address the alarming food security in the

country. To me, the lesson of the border

closure is that we have a huge

opportunity to put our people into a more

disciplined and a more productive use.

The border closure can lead to a more

prosperous country. But we have to put

our hands on the plough. Literally. We

need to start feeding ourselves. We need

to start cottage industries. The hinterland

must be opened up.

But when Oshiomhole was governor, not only did

he take control of governance, he was also the

undisputed political leader. He demonstrated that

eloquently with his triumphant refrain of how he

retired the political godfathers he met in Edo State

of the Progressive Governors Forum,

PGF, Lukman Salihu.

Unusually, Oshiomhole has refused

to take the bait from the governors

to summon a meeting of the National

Executive Committee, NEC

knowing that it could well be his


So, Comrade is playing the game,

believing that he could still find

accommodation with Obaseki. Note

that in all his reactions, the national

chairman has pulled back from

hitting Obaseki directly.

Unlike his field commanders in

Benin, who are bent on seeing the

back of Obaseki, Oshiomhole may

have come to the point that it is

increasingly difficult to push Obaseki

out without pulling down the house

that he built on himself.

Hence the suggestion of a secret

desire for reconciliation with


Oshiomhole’s willingness to

compromise is reflected in the case

of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi

State. Not too long ago, Bello was

seen among the APC leadership to

be too unmarketable for re-election.

But pressing the right button, the

party was able to adjust to him. So,

if the Oshiomhole leadership could

market and adjust to Yahaya Bello,

why would it not adjust to Obaseki?

But how did Oshiomhole come to

this stage?

Your correspondent believes that his

directive to Obaseki to face governance

while he Comrade played the politics

for him was the main issue.

But when Oshiomhole was governor,

not only did he take control of

governance, he was also the undisputed

political leader. He demonstrated that

eloquently with his triumphant refrain

of how he retired the political

godfathers he met in Edo State.

One lesson from the unfolding and

interesting political drama in Edo State

is learning to leave the stage when the

music has stopped playing.

Oshiomhole’s unfolding experience is

particularly not new. It is what

happened to several other political

godfathers and governors who foisted

surrogates as governors and in almost

all cases, were reduced by those they

put in office.

The only difference in Oshiomhole’s

case is that there is perhaps no one who

benefited from a political structure like

him, who did as much damage to the

structure that threw them up.

The Igbinedion father and son were

not just humiliated, but their Man

Friday, Pastor Osaze Ize-Iyamu who

they delegated to build Oshiomhole up

politically, was four years ago

demonized in every way when Comrade

wanted to foist Obaseki on Edo.

Today, Ize-Iyamu is back in bed with

Oshiomhole making some to wonder

that perhaps, there is still something

in that Adam that would always want

to be the first man!

38—SATURDAY Vanguard, , NOVEMBER 16, 2019

Pick up your books, fellow

Nigerians, the debate is on.

Many of us spend time making money

and doing politics even some teachers

hardly read so they cannot write to

give us new Wole Soyinkas, Chinua

Achebes, Keneth Dikes and Jacob Ade-


Femi Fani Kayode has opened a new

chapter in our national discourse and

we are all compelled to go do some

academic exercise. He insists the word

Yoruba is alien to the children of

Oduduwa and goes ahead to say it

evolved from ‘yariba’, a derogatory


I have read reactions to Fani

Kayode’s lecture series. Great

Historians tried to dismiss it as fairy

tale, full of emotion. Particularly

interesting is the submission by Prof.

Banji Akintoye. And I want to quote


He said: “Nobody knows the origin

of any name. Who knows the origin of

German, French …French, Germans

don’t know the origins of their names.”

Without taking anything away from

the erudite scholar, I am sure France

and Germany would have been

quaking after reading his reaction in

the Vanguard. These countries are not

like Nigeria. They know where they

are coming from.

Germany was derived from

Germanus which means Neighbours.

It was a Roman word used by the

Gauls. Germans call their country


France was formerly known as Gaul.

The land later came under attack by

the Franks. It was from the invaders

that the new name emerged.

I am sure Prof. Akintoye’s question

does not need more than this. Fani

Kayode did not ask for too much. He

only declared open an interesting

debate on the origin of the word


I will go ahead to talk about some

continents, countries, and even cities

Akintoye, FFK and yariba question

whose names are not shrouded in

controversy and secrecy.

Africa was named after the Afri tribe

of Tunisia. At least, many of us know

the rich History of Carthage.

Hannibal, the Warrior, is a common

nickname in our country. Biafra had

two, Col. Joe Oseloka Achuzia and

Major Okpani Nkama.

Europe is named after Europus, a

town in Macedonia. The import is that

you do not belittle any country. The

big nations of Europe and the old

powerful empires did not have the

honour of being so recognized.

Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian

explorer from Florence. He was also

a financier and navigator. In his native

Italy, there may not be so much

attributed to him. However, in 1507,

America was named after Amerigo


Italy has so much to do with cattle.

There may not be rampaging

herdsmen in Florence or Milan. Italy

originated from the word ‘Vitalia

which means cattle or pasture land.

Russia is the land of the Russ.

England belongs to the Angles,

conquerors of Southern Britain in the

Fifth century. The English word for

Hispania or Espana is Spain. It was

lifted from ‘Shapan’, [Rabbit land].

China’s wonder of the world is the

Great Wall. Some accounts say it is

the only structure on Planet Earth

visible from outer space. The Great

Wall was constructed by Emperor Tsin.

China is named after him.

The Mohawk and other Indians

who inhabited the Americas before

the influx of European explorers and

expansionists cannot be forgotten.

‘Kanata’ is the Red Indian word for

settler huts. That is also the origin

of the name Canada.

Indians in Asia are not red. Some

are as dark as Africans, many are as

fair as Mestizo Americans. The

country name India came from River


Simon Bolivar, better known as the

‘Liberator’, was originally from the

Basque Region of Spain. There is a

Bolivar village there. When he

crossed the Atlantic, the man made

his mark. Bolivia is named after him.

Back home in Africa, we recently

witnessed a name change. On April

19, 2018, the King of Swaziland

dropped the name for Eswatini.

Land of the Swazi, that is the

meaning of Eswatini.

Texas, the oil producing state in the

United States, has the highest

population of Ndigbo in that country.

Give it to the friendly atmosphere or

the clement weather. The truth is that

the name Texas, was derived from

the Indian word for Friends.

Nigerian towns also know how they

got their names. It does not have to

do with conjecture. If we are

debating the origin of Yoruba, the

people do not doubt the history of

their cities.

Remembering Biafra a in border closure

Osogbo means ‘osho-igbo’ [demon of

the forest]. It was founded by two hunters

from Ijebu land, Laaroye and

Oguntimehin, in 1375.

Another town in the South-West that

was established by hunters is Abeokuta.

They were led by Sodeke. All of them

were of Egba stock. That was how people

from Ake, Gbagura, Owu and Oke Ona

moved to Abeokuta [beneath the rock] in


Ilorin has an emir but it was a Yoruba

town until the Fulani conquest. The name

was coined from ‘ okuta ilo i rin [ stone

for sharpening metals].

Up North, Abuja was founded by

Abubakar Jatau, an Hausa Prince from

Zaria. That is one big town in Northern

Nigeria that was not an emirate. The

name Abuja was taken from the founder.

Jalingo is the Fulani word for ‘I’m

victorious’. Katsina was founded by a

woman, Katsi even if the most popular

Hausa woman down memory lane was

Queen Amina of Zaria.

Down South, Enugu, like Abeokuta, is

known for Rocks. At the end of the Civil

War, an amalgam of teams in the Coal

city was known as Enugu Black Rocks.

The English meaning of Enugu is hill


Outside Nigeria, I found one place

name interesting. In 2000, I visited

Australia and my temporary home was in

the Lidcombe area of Sydney. That is

where you have the largest cemetery in

the Southern Hemisphere.

Unfortunately just before I arrived

Sydney, a Nigerian athlete, Hyginus

Anugom, was knocked down by a

teenage driver.

I got to know that Lidcombe was coined

from two Mayors : Frederick Lidbury and

Henry John Larcombe. The name

Lidcombe came up on January 1, 1914.

That should attract something in us. It

was on that same day that another

Frederick, Lugard of Abinger,

amalgamated Southern and Northern


otor Park economists say we are

Mapproaching El Dorado as

Nigeria’s land borders remain shut. I

know nothing about paper economics

since most practitioners say different

things each returning day.

Some big guns in Abuja think this

new development will boost local

production. There is just no way to

run away from Biafra because the

present situation takes many back to

the Civil War years.

Biafra’s land, sea and air borders

were blockaded by Nigeria, supported

by Russian fighter jets manned by

Egyptian pilots. World powers, except

of course, the United States and

France looked elsewhere as atrocity


The Biafrans did not go to bed, they

put on their thinking cap. That is

exactly what I want Nigerians to do.

It is not enough to announce that local

farmers are smiling to the banks.

I expect government to factor other

things that go beyond producing rice

in Abakaliki. What does it take to move

the product beyond Ebonyi State?

Beyond politics, we know that Lagos

is the most populous state in the

country. A good rice farmer in

Abakaliki would, of course, love to

take advantage of the huge market.

After escaping pot holes in Enugu,

Anambra and Delta states, danger

stares him in the face. The Ijebu Ode-

Sagamu axis is a nightmare. Moving

on the Sagamu-Lagos highway is the

height of gridlock and that coupled

with fear of bandits and herdsmen

from Ofosu to Ore.

Ours is a country of consumers. We

import almost everything. Nigeria

does not plan at all. We cannot even

produce tissue paper to wipe our dirty

bum after feeding fat on foreign


As a kid, I began to recite ‘necessity

is the mother of invention.’ That was

a common jingle in Biafra. With

borders militarized, the people looked


Biafra became a mass of industry.

Everyone was involved even in the

midst of starvation. Medical

equipment was scarce but there was

a way out and it was home grown.

Professor Theodore Okeahialam,

who was part of it all paints a humble

picture of the feat achieved.

Okeahialam said:”That was a period

of exciting Igbo scientific innovation

just like the use of coconut water as

intravenous fluid by doctors to treat

wounded soldiers as emergencies.”

According to the professor of

Paediatrics, that leap by Biafran

doctors did not go unnoticed by the


“It later proved to be scientifically

sound and was reviewed in

international medical journals later.”

Radio Biafra had many prominent

names. People like Chinua Achebe,

Uche Chukwumerije and Cyprian

Ekwensi made contributions. At the

time the war ended in January 1970,

it was headed by Sam Nwaneri.

Okokon Ndem’s voice was sharper

than an AK -47 bullet. The way he

made announcements, many Biafrans

believed their troops were just miles

short of capturing Gen. Yakubu Gowon


It was believed that Radio Biafra

operated from Enugu which had fallen

into federal hands as early as 1967.

Many wondered how Gen. Emeka

Ojukwu held on to that miracle.

However, the man who made Radio

Biafra stay on, was Heron

Okeahialam, an Electrical/Electronics

engineer, trained in the United

Kingdom. While he moved the station

from one secret location to another,

bullets and fighter bombers were

unable to detect it. Prof. Okeahialam

is his elder brother.

Prof. Okeahialam said: “Heron

converted Radio Biafra from medium

to short wave, for wider coverage.”

It was indeed a mobile station. It

moved from Enugu to Umuahia and

by the end of the war was operating

from Obodoukwu Urualla in today’s

Ideato area of Imo State.

“At one time,” Prof. Okeahialam

added, “the transmitter was in

Otulu during the war and a long

palm tree was used to mount the


Col. Olu Obasanjo who received

the instrument of surrender as

General Officer Commanding,

Third Marine Commando Division

of the Nigeria Army could not but

marvel at what was Radio Biafra.

Locating it was like a wild goose

chase. Accompanied by battle tested

troops, Obasanjo waltzed through

Nigeria does not plan at all;

we cannot even produce

tissue paper to wipe our

dirty bum after feeding fat on

foreign goods

rough terrain in his official Mercedes

Benz car, NA 116, until mission was


He said:”The station was well

camouflaged from both ground and

air by trees and palm fronds which

were changed regularly. It was a

perfect job.”

Trust Obasanjo, he came battle

ready and was after Okokon Ndem.

The broadcaster outsmarted him by

disappearing into the undergrowth.

An enraged OBJ threatened to flog

Ikoneto demons out of the man.

When Okokon Ndem eventually

surfaced, the soldiers who would

have been ordered to cane him were

carried away. They hailed and took

photographs with the non-Igbo Biafran.

Accompanying Obasanjo was another

non-Igbo, Gen. Philip Asuquo Effiong,

president of Biafra in the absence of

Gen. Emeka Ojukwu who was flown out

in his Grey Ghost by Captain Frank


Obasanjo asked some of the Radio

Biafra workers to accompany him to

Lagos where they would be reabsorbed

by Radio Nigeria. Okeahialam declined.

In 1976, he could not say no to Imo State

governor, Lt. Commander Ndubuisi


Kanu saddled Okeahialam with the

responsibility of setting up the Imo

Broadcasting Service [IBS].

Okeahialam attended St. Joseph’s

College, Sasse, Cameroon before

proceeding to Professional Technial

College, Southampton. He bagged a

higher degree from the University of


The engineer also lived up to his

initials of H.O.D. when appointed H.O.D.

Electrical/Electronics Engineering

department, IMT Enugu.

Biafran scientists did great things.

They made beer from cassava. Engine

oil came out of coconut. They

manufactured ‘Ogbunigwe’ rockets and

built Red devil armoured cars. There

were refineries. Airports sprang up in

Uli, Uga and Obilagu.

Among the scientists were Gordian

Ezekwem, Col. Ejike Ebenezer Aghanya,

Willy Achukwu,Frank Ndili, Felix

Oragwu, Ezekiel Izuogu, Sam Orji,

Frank Mbanefo, Benjamin Nwosu and

Roy Umenyi. They belonged to the

Research And Production Unit [RAP].

In all this, there is a lesson for Nigeria.

Biafrans were pushed to the wall by

Nigeria. They reacted by looking

inwards. Today, Nigeria’s land borders

are closed. Nigerians should wake up

from slumber and do something.

No serious government ever toed the

path of discrimination. You cannot throw

away merit and expect development. It

would be a national shame if Nigerians

miss this opportunity.





esident Muhammadu Buhari last

PMonday in far away the United

Kingdom gave accent to the longawaited

Deep Offshore and Inland

Basin Production Sharing Contract Act

2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019. To

Buhari, it appeared a joyous moment

that Nigeria will now receive its fair,

rightful and equitable share of income

from natural resources for the first time

since 2003. It was sad that all this time

Nigeria failed to secure its equitable

share of the proceeds of oil production.

Rapid reductions in the cost of

exploration, extraction and

maintenance of oil fields had occurred

over these 25 years, at the same time

as sales prices have raised. President

Buhari believes that a combination of

complicity by Nigerian politicians and

feet-dragging by oil companies were

conspiratorial to keep taxes to the

barest minimum above US$20 per

barrel—even as now the price is some

three times the value.

What happened that for this long we

could not identify this monkey bite? It

was our usual carefree attitude and

conspiracy of silence hunting us.

Nigeria lost at least US$16 billion due

to non-review of Production Sharing

Contracts, PSC with oil companies in

ten years according to NEITI report this

year. The PSC which appeared to be a

solution to the Joint Venture, JV system

was another albatross. The joint

venture system mandates monetary

contributions from all partners, with the

NNPC’s subsidiary, the National

Petroleum Investment Management

Services, NAPIMS serving as a joint

venture partner to International Oil

Companies, IOCs. NAPIMS struggled

to meet the funding needs of oil

companies, with total arrears that

reached US$6.8 billion in 2016 before

it was renegotiated and reduced to

US$5.1 billion. By June 2018, NAPIMS

had made full payment on all joint

venture arrears.

ast Saturday, I detailed out the

Lmeat of the various Police

statements Nuhu Ribadu wrote

concerning the whopping $15m bribery

he claimed he rejected while he was

Chairman of the Economic and

Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

His Nigerian statement contradicted

the one he made in London. His

successor, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, in his

single statement, contradicted Ribadu.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

staff seconded to EFCC, Mr. James

Garba’s statement tallied with

Larmorde’s as both contradicted

Ribadu’s. For instance, where Ribadu

claimed that Chief James Onanefe

Ibori, the former Governor of Delta

state’s boys or servants brought out the

two bags filled with dollars and gave

to him, both Lamorde and Garba made

it crystal clear that neither Ibori nor

Ribadu was there when they picked up

the money from Andy Ubah’s house as

Ubah himself directed his some men to

bring out the money. Garba said that

under Ubah’s direction, his boys

loaded the huge but lone bag of money

into the booth of Lamorde’s Avensis car.

To make confusion worse

confounded, former President

Olusegun Obasanjo wrote in his book,

MY WATCH that he approached Ibori

to make restitution to Delta state and

so he brought some money to Ribadu.

I wonder why even Obasanjo would

have taken himself so serious as to put

that reasoning totally bereft of common

sense into a book that he would want

people to take seriously. Under what

law was Obasanjo acting? If none, then

why would he expect anyone to take

that as an obvious fib? Or why would

anyone so incriminate himself? Or,

would that not have been a guilty plea

even before a case got before any court?

But in case you are asking the obvious

question, if that were true, why did that

turn into a bribe to the EFCC chairman?

Then Andy Uba stunned the world

when he called all the others who spoke

on the matter, liars. But EFCC lawyer,

Mr. Rotimi Jacobs grandly contradicted

all by saying in court that the EFCC

received the bribe money from

“unknown agents of Chief James Ibori”.

Unknown agents? I thought Ribadu

and Obasanjo had said that the money

came from Ibori? Pray, how many

versions should a single event have …if

it is being truthfully rendered?

Oil production sharing contract

and conspiracy of silence

In 1993, the Federal Government

entered into Production Sharing

Contracts with oil companies to

explore oil and gas in the deep

offshore and inland basins of Nigeria.

The PSC provides that total control

of petroleum resources is retained by

the government. Exploration risks are

borne by exploration and production

companies that provide technical

knowhow and finances. When the oil

is successfully explored and

exploited, the operating company

recoups the cost, while the profit from

oil, all calibrated is shared between

the government and the company.

The government takes the royalty

and the tax, from crude oil produced.

The generous terms of the PSC were

drawn considering the risks and low

oil prices than to attract investors in

exploration and production, E&P in

offshore fields. The seven producing

fields of the 1993 PSCs are OML 118

Bonga operated by Shell, OML 125

Abo operated by ENI, OML 127&128

Agbami-Ekoli operated by Chevron,

OML 130 Akpo and Egina operated

by Total and South Atlantic

Petroleum, OML 133 Erha operated

by ExxonMobil, OML 126 Okwori

and Nda operated by Addax and OPL

222 Usan operated by ExxonMobil.

The 1993 agreement, despite its

imperfection, had provision for both

SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019—39

parties to renegotiate and review

when the price of crude oil exceeds

US$20 per barrel. A review could

also be triggered after 15 years

from the date of commencement of

the PSC Act, and every five years

thereafter. The time past and price

of crude at a time went up to

unimaginable levels, but both

parties winked at the PSC. The

IOCs would never forget to remind

the Federal Government of not

meeting its equity participation by

way of cash calls or counterpart

funding even as the PSCs fell flat.

With a shrewd assessment of the

situation in Nigeria, IOCs were

comfortable that the law comes to

the assistance of those who are

vigilant with their rights, and not

those who sleep on their rights. It

indeed evoked sadness.

In 2016, three oil-producing

states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and

Rivers challenged the Federal

Government and the IOCs in court

and obtained a judgment from the

Supreme Court. The three states

argued that oil had soared from

nine dollars to above US$20. The

three state governments had

argued that along with the Federal

Government, were shortchanged to

the tune of US$20 billion between

Ribadu: Do morals matter any and


very y time ?

Hey, I did not set out to just repeat

myself today. I recounted the

essence of my write up of last week

to raise another important issue;

whether morals do matter in how we

evaluate the achievements of even

anti—corruption tsars or graftfighting

Presidents or those who

pretend to do so. And if we fail to,

what would stop them from

becoming not just monsters and/or



is a title of a book written by Joseph

S. Nye, Jr. who is the University

Distinguished Service Professor

Emeritus at Harvard University. He

is a renowned scholar of Politics and

International Relations. The

publishers, Oxford University Press

will not release this book into the

market until next year. But its review

in the current edition of the widely

respected Foreign Policy magazine

annexed my interest. The book

provides the ethics score card of each

American President since 1945. Most

especially, the book establishes a

scorecard for each President’s ethical


Hmmm! Does any Nigerian care

about the ethics of our leaders,

police and military personnel,

judges and lawyers, Permanent

Secretaries? Are our law

enforcement agents ethical officers?

Does it matter if they aren’t? Or back

to the point, did Ribadu lie in that

bribery allegation?

I decided to walk this path this

Saturday because a few of the

reactions to my last week’s article

from some old students of my

secondary school appear to show

that they did not appreciate the

importance of the topic. In fact, two

of them totally missed the whole

point. Heh the article also

mentioned as an aside, some

journalists at Daily Independence

newspaper. I said that an MD of

the newspaper approved the

purchase of a newspaper printing

press timing belt for N180

thousand but later cut it down to

N120 thousand. In his

newspaper’s management

meeting of this week Monday,

nobody asked him why he so

bushwhacked the organisation he

heads. Beyond that, just because I

brought up some shenanigans in

that organisations, he and his

puppet master decided to stop the

paper from publishing me. But who

actally erred?This reminds me of

W.B. Yeats “Things fall apart; the

centre cannot hold…The best lack

all conviction, while the worst are

filled with passionate intensity.”

Now, why is Donald Trump facing

impeachment proceedings? He is

accused of trying to pressure

Ukraine into investigating

unsubstantiated corruption claims

against his political rival, Joe

Biden, and his son who worked

with Ukrainian gas company

Burisma. Finish. That is not as bad

as the transgressions of a President

who falsified events and cooked up

allegations against his political

opponents or his pretentious antigraft

hypocrite who would claim to

have rejected a hefty bribe when

nobody bribed him. That is why I

keep reminding us to discuss this

The international oil companies that drill

our oil and the home countries have

become beneficiaries of entitlement

programmes ordinarily meant for


2003 and 2015. The Supreme Court in a

consent judgment directed the Attorney

General of the Federation to work with

the three states to set up a body and

necessary mechanism for recovery of all

the lost revenue since August 2003. In our

usual way, we are jolly good fellows. And

Nigeria paid dearly for it.

The international oil companies that

drill our oil and the home countries have

become beneficiaries of entitlement

programmes ordinarily meant for

Nigerians. Entitlement programmes are

government programmes that target a

particular section of the population to

receive specific social benefits. Money for

these programmes comes primarily from

general government funds. Their

governments provide work incentives to

people having difficulty finding desirable

full-time jobs by providing wage

supplements to part-time workers. They

also provide funding for employers to

create jobs, subsidies to employers who

hire welfare recipients, and job-seeking

assistance. One hopes that President

Muhammadu Buhari’s assurances of

having the capacity to generate at least

US$500 million for the proposed 2020

budget would be a reality. It could go a

long way for special intervention

programmes for the poorest of the poor,

the implementation of which should be

devoid of our systemic infection of failure.




Who says that great declarations must

be made in large cities or in momentous

gatherings? Hey, remember that the

Schengen visa was agreed upon in a small

wine-making town in south-eastern

Luxembourg. Okay, I grant that its

location; the tripoint where the borders of

Germany, France, and Luxembourg meet

must have helped in its choice of where

to sign the agreement for a pan-European

Union common visa.

I know of many declarations made in

small villages and university campuses;

the late Gen Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu

gave his best speech of the Nigerian civil

war in the village of Ahiara in 1969 while

“The Iron Curtain” became a phrase when

former British Prime Minister Winston

Churchill condemned the Soviet Union’s

policies in Europe and declared, “From

Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the

Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended

across the continent,” in 1946 at

Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri,


On Tuesday 5th November, the Delta

state government made an earth-shaking

declaration that should change the very

nature of higher education in the state.

Commissioner for High Education, Prof.

Patrick Mouboghare declared that an

Education Trust Fund will soon be

launched to ensure that tertiary education,

whether public or private, is adequately

funded. This will make the standard of

the state’s universities second to none in

the country, and the state will surely

harvest the attendant benefits.

Prof Mouboghare drew a sustained

applause while commissioning new

student hostels to accommodate

thousands of students and some

classroom blocks, when he announced

that Delta state is arranging with some

organisations to provide 24-hour

electricity to schools. Depending on the

individual needs of each institution, and

its location, solar power or wind energy

may be exploited to generate the electricity

an institution would need. There is no

doubt that it is only when such constant

electricity is present in schools that

computers or e-libraries will become

meaningful. Students’ behaviour and

sensibilities will improve.

With adequate facilities and round the

clock electricity, any university would soar.

His Excellency, Governor Ifeany Okowa

is surely taking Delta higher and higher.

40—SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019

Relationships, by their nature, are

informed by the principle of

reciprocity and structured within the

framework of mutuality. Religion

typifies, embodies, and transmits the

relational currency of the

asymmetrical relationship between

man and God. Humans enter this

relationship for identity, meaning,

fulfilment and, ultimately, for

salvation. We engage in this

relationship with God to offset the

anonymity, fatality and nihilism

associated with human existence. This

relationship, therefore, provides a

compass for man’s existential journey.

In other words, it situates life within

an appropriate matrix and context, the

end of which is salvation.

Salvation, as such, is a gift of God,

who saves us so that we bear witness

to Him. We receive the salvific grace

through the Church as the basis for

our necessary response to God. In

other words, Christianity takes

everything as granted. Hence, there is

a priority of receiving over making

and the primacy of grace over merit.

Within this category, the gratuity of

salvation is self-evident in the doctrine

of indulgence. Indulgence affirms two

truths, namely, the gratuitousness of

salvation and its mediation through

created realities. Irrespective of the

real possibilities and existence of

abuses, God allowed His salvation to

be transmitted and mediated through

earthen-ware vessels and imperfect

grace-borne actions. As a result,

salvation is both ecclesial

(communal) and personal since

Christ-the-Head living in the Spirit

saves and sanctifies His body and

bride by deploying the merits of His

Paschal death.

Relative to grace, the personal is

weaved within the communal

signifying that the Church as the Bride

of Christ stewards His ever-present

merits, and deploys them as the need

arises. Precisely, without God’s grace,

a Christian lacks in profundity and

possibility and falls into deficit and

decadence. Grace entirely funds the

authentic Christian life and

transforms it into maturity with the

The indulgence of His Grace

transformative power of the

Spirit, leading us to “sanctity

without which no one will see

the Lord” (Heb 12:14). As a

result, indulgence runs on grace

and demonstrates the liberality

of God’s salvation. As a sequel,

being in the grip of God’s grace

enables us to benefit from the

salvific capital of Christ, which

liquidates the punishment due

to already remitted sin. The

Church dispenses this unearned

favour (indulgence) to those

who are connected to the Body

of Christ.

The absolute sovereignty of

grace relative to salvation

warrants a question, namely,

when does the possibility of

divine mercy on a Christian

elapse? While objectively God’s

mercy is eternal, subjectively, the

possibility of being an object of

forgiving power of God ceases

when one seals his affirmation

or rejection of God definitively.

In death, one makes the final

and definitive act, which is the

ultimate affirmation (Yes) or

negation (No) to God.

Nevertheless, the Christian hope

rests on God’s gracious mercy.

Without His grace, all our Yeses

are imperfect. No one says that

Jesus is Lord unless inspired by

the Spirit (cf. 1 Cor 12:3).

Irrespective of the

real possibilities

and existence of

abuses, God

allowed His

salvation to be

transmitted and

mediated through


vessels and

imperfect graceborne


All those who said Yes to God

are His people, and God

delights in His people (cf. Ps

149:4). However, some of these

Yeses are weak, imperfect and

blemished. At the crossing of

the existential rubicon, of

which there is no going back,

the quality of our Yeses to God

typifies the quality of our white

garment. At this point of

helplessness, we depend only

on the Lord to whom we

belonged while alive and who,

in saying to Moses, “I will be

gracious to whom I will be

gracious, and will show mercy

on whom I will show mercy”

(Ex 33:19), reveals the absolute

liberty of His grace. By that

statement, He accentuates that

His eternal mercy goes beyond

human categories and

constraints. As such, He alone

is the norm of His mercy

without any obligation to

compensatory justice. Such

awareness sustains our faith

that the blood of the Lamb will

be the final bleach that will

remove every stain. In other

words, Christ will be the agent

of the ultimate laundry service,

or rather the last great bath of


This purification that

happens in Christ is the fate of

many who loved God, transmitted

His light and lived by His grace in

loving their neighbours. These

helpless, indigent and weak holy

souls by being part of the Body of

Christ benefit from the Head of the

Body, who readies His body for the

eternal banquet. He cleanses His

Bride for the wedding feast by

deploying the merit of His Paschal

mystery. What belongs to the groom

(Christ), he shares with the Bride

(Church) for his love is intimate.

Through the Paschal capital Christ

deploys to the Church (His Body and

Bride), the Church ministers to the

needy part so that, ultimately, the

bride will be worthy of the marriage

feast (cf. Rev 19, Is 25).

Adam and Eve typify the

relationship between Christ and His

Church. When Eve fell, Adam being

a copy could not deliver Eve instead

fell with her. However, being the

real and the original Adam, the type

of whom Adam was, Christ saves His

Eve, the Church. His Eve indulges

His holiness, His perfection and His

Holy Spirit. Each faithful member

of the Body, the Church, by being

part of the Bride, has access to this.

In a perpendicular perspective,

indulgence entails that the Church

deploys the salvific capital for the

remission of the punishment due for

already forgiven sin. The recipient,

by indulging the currency of Christ’s

holiness and Holy Spirit,

experiences salvation as an entirely

gratuitous gift. Yet, he has to stretch

out his hand to receive by indulging

Christ’s mercy through the acts

prescribed by the Church, the Bride

of Christ and the conduit of grace.

We indulge His mercy and express

our gratitude for the gift of

indulgence and live a graceattitude,

which is beatitude. In the

end, His salvation is a gift, which

we get by indulging His grace and

mercy. Yes, a Christian substitutes

self-indulgence with Christindulgence.

It is the indulgence of

His mercy that saves!




The Doyen of the African Idiom

By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

It is well-nigh impossible for

November 16 to go by without

much of the world remembering that

the date is the birthday of Chinua Achebe.

It needs stressing that Achebe is arguably

the most influential novelist who ever

drew breath all over the world. The

argument pitches him in the ranks of

Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, James

Joyce who wrote Ulysses, Franz Kafka

who penned The Trial, Gabriel Garcia

Marquez of One Hundred Years of

Solitude fame etc.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebeis

a supreme classic. Achebe’s oeuvre is

indeed intimidating starting from the

legendary Things Fall Apart in 1958 and

grandly lapping all the way through No

Longer at Ease, Arrow of God, A Man of

the People, Anthills of the Savannah, Girls

at War and Other Stories, Beware Soul

Brother, Morning Yet on Creation Day,

The Trouble with Nigeria, Chike and the

River, Home and Exile, Hopes and

Impediments, The Education of a British-

Protected Child, There Was A Country etc.

Born in Ogidi in present-day Anambra

State on November 16, 1930, Chinua

Achebe who was baptized as Albert was

indeed a child prodigy from the very

beginning such that his academic feats

was known far and wide culminating to

his lifelong buddy Christian Chike

Momah, alias Papa Ada, confessing that

he and his mates were warned early in

life that one Albert Achebe from Ogidi

would send them to the cleaners in the

regional school exams!

It was therefore no wonder that Achebe

was early in life given this nickname:

Dictionary. He passed his school

certificate exams at the top of the class

with five distinctions and one credit, and

the one credit was paradoxically in

literature that would eventually earn him

worldwide fame. In the nationwide

examination for entry into the University



College, Ibadan which had just been

established Achebe came first or second

in the entire country and thus won a major

scholarship. His alma mater Government

College, Umuahia was so proud of his

achievement that they put up a big sign

that stayed on the wall for many years.

At barely 28 years of age Chinua Achebe

published the novel Things Fall Apart in

1958, and it has in its 55 or so years of

existence proven to be the single most

important piece of literature out of

Africa. The 50 th anniversary of the 200-

odd page novel was celebrated all over

the world with festivals, readings,

symposia, concerts etc. The novel which

has been likened to epic Greek tragedies

has been translated to 50 languages and

has sold over ten million copies. It is

taught not just in literature classes but in

history and anthropology departments in

colleges and universities across the globe.

The archetypal theme of the meeting of

the white world and the black race makes

Things Fall Apart an epochal event in the

annals of world literature.

The book works at several levels, and

can be read at any age from 10 to 100. As

a child one can enjoy the incidents such

as the match with Amalinze the Cat,

Unoka’s dismissal of his creditor,

Okonkwo’s attempted shooting of one of

his wives, the visitation of the masked

spirits etc. Later in life the many ironies

in the book come into play such as the

joke on the District Commissioner

thinking that Okonkwo’s story can only

end up as a paragraph in his planned

book, The Pacification of the Primitive

Tribes of the Lower Niger, without

knowing that one Chinua Achebe had

taken the thunder from him by giving

Okonkwo an entire book in which the

story is narrated from inside!

It is not for nothing that Achebe is

celebrated as the father of African

literature. He has changed the perspective

of world literature from the gaudy picture

of Africa as painted by Europeans such as

Joseph Conrad, Joyce Cary and Sir Rider

Haggard to the authentic telling of the

tale by the Africans. Unlike earlier African

writers like Guinea’s Camara Laye, author

of The African Child, who painted a

romantic picture of the continent, Achebe

is relentlessly objective in his narration,

telling it as it is, warts and all.

It is because of the remarkable success

of Things Fall Apart that the publishers

Heinemann UK launched the African

Writers Series (AWS) in 1962 with

Achebe’s first novel as the first title. For

many years Achebe served as a nonremunerated

Editorial Adviser of the

series in which the majority of African

writers got their breakthrough in

publishing. Things Fall Apart reputedly

accounted for 80 percent of the entire

revenue of the AWS.

Former American President Jimmy

Carter numbers Achebe as one of his

favourite writers. The rave reviews for

Achebe’s most famous novel have

somewhat dwarfed his other novels such

as No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of

God (1964), A Man of the People (1966)

and Anthills of the Savannah (1987).

Achebe won the Man Booker Prize for his

lifetime achievement in fiction writing,

beating a formidable shortlist that

included Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, V.S.

Naipaul, Ian McEwan etc. He equally

won, as the first African, the American

National Arts Club Medal of Honour for

Literature in November 2007.

Things Fall Apart has earned its

uncommon distinction as a modern

classic and was in 1992 adopted into the

esteemed Everyman’s Library of world

classics. The Igbo world of the late 19 th

and early 20 th centuries which Achebe

limned in Things Fall Apart has become

the global picture of Africa writ large. At

the turn of the 20 th century the book was

voted as Africa’s “novel of the century”.

Achebe has in the book given the world a

new English language which

paradoxically portrays African life

without facetiousness or affectation. He

lays bare the brute masculinity of the age

without bending the knee to latter-day

political correctness or gender balance.

The truth happens to be Achebe’s

sublime weapon in telling the immortal

African story.





SATURDAY Vanguard, , NOVEMBER 16, 2019—41

42—SATURDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 16, 2019

Paul Lee, April Koyejo-Audiger for Mamas In Need charity concert in London

By Juliet Ebirim

Royal Wedding soloist, Paul

Lee and Royal Opera

House Link artiste, April

Koyejo-Audiger will be

performing live at the Mamas In

Need charity concert, scheduled

to hold on Saturday, November

30, 2019 at Stanborough Park

Church, Watford, United


Committed to supporting

mums and babies in African

villages, Mamas In Need

foundation, a UK-based charity

founded by Nina Kalu, is

focused on addressing issues and

challenges, women face during

pregnancy and childbirth in rural

villages in Africa. All donations

from the concert will go towards

building a new maternity centre

in Abiriba, Abia State, Nigeria.

In a chat with Saturday

Vanguard, Nina said the new

centre will be highly beneficial to

those in the region. “According

to research, thousands of women

die each year during childbirth

due to lack of equipment.

Majority of these happen in the

villages, because they are

neglected by the government and

society. Building and equipping

the maternity centre will actually

benefit a whole lot of people in

that region. We chose to focus on

villages because we all know that

villages in Africa are mostly

... proceeds will go towards building maternity centre in Abia State

neglected. Mamas In Need is here

to bridge the gap and supply these

women with basic equipments,

which would save lives to reduce

the infant/maternal deaths in


Since charity, they say, begins at

home, Nina intends to begin with

and make a positive impact in the

village where her parents are

from. “I’m an African woman