09022021 - Afenifere, ACF, MBF, PANDEF back Soyinka

vanguardnewspaper

Vanguard Newspaper 09 February 2021

COVID-19: 13 UK

variant now in Nigeria,

as FG turns to Russia

for vaccines, tackles

oxygen crisis

27

Reform economy, cut reliance

on oil, IMF tells Nigeria

•Calls for urgent policy adjustment

Pension assets grow 25% to N12.3trn in 2020

•Postpones National Sports

Festival

5

19

VOL. 27: NO. 64267 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021

HERDERS' CRISIS:

Afenifere, ACF, MBF,

8

PANDEF back Soyinka

•Ask leaders to avert civil war

I owe no one

explanations FG'S CONDOLENCE VISIT TO TONY MOMOH'S FAMILY...

over

appointment

as envoy,

says

without

3

Buratai

NIN

BUA

purchases

1m doses

FG to

of

10

build

AstraZeneca

3 new

COVID-19

vaccines

for Nigeria

Mr & Mrs

ABOVE: From left: Former Chief Judge of Edo

El-Rufai 8

State and sister to late Prince Tony Momoh, Justice

Constance Momoh; wife of the deceased, Jane

disagrees Momoh; Chairman, APC Caretaker Committee and

Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni; Minister of

with Gumi, Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and

Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor,

says bandits when a Federal Government Delegation paid a

condolence visit to the family of late former Minister

shouldn't

of Information, Prince Tony Momoh in Abuja,

be forgiven,

yesterday. Photo: NAN.

RIGHT: Chief of Staff to the President and Leader

compensated of Delegation, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, signing

the condolence register, yesterday. Photo: Abayomi

Adeshida. MORE PICTURES ON PAGE 23.

See

COLUMNISTS ODUMAKIN 16 DELE COLE 17 TENIOLA 18

inside

It’s

criminal to

open bank

account

3

—MINISTER

12

seaports

— AMAECHI


2 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021 — 3

:Vanguard News

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

VISIT: From left; Director-General, National Identity Management Commission, Aliyu Aziz Abubakar,

Minister of Communications & Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, Special Assistant to the Minister,

Engr. Ibrahim Nguru and Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof.

Umar Danbatta, during an unscheduled visit to MTN NIN enrolment center in Abuja on yesterday.

I owe no one explanations over ambassadorial

appointment, says Buratai

•Says ‘we performed creditably during our tenure as military

commanders •Expresses gratitude to President Buhari, Nigerians

for support

By Kingsley Omonobi

A BUJA—THE

immediate past Chief of

Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur

Buratai, retd, has said he

performed well as the COAS,

noting that he owed nobody

explanation over his

ambassadorial appointment.

Buratai spoke with journalists

at a special gala night organised

It’s crime to open bank account

without NIN — PANTAMI

•Urges CBN to prioritise NIN above BVN

By Emmanuel

Elebeke

ABUJA—THE Minister of

Communications and

Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ali

Pantami, has called on all

Nigerian citizens and legal

residents to key into the ongoing

National Identity enrolement

exercise, saying the National

Identity Number, NIN, remained

the only recognised means of

Identity recognised by law.

The minister, who stated this

while briefing the press at the end

of facility tour and inspection of

the ongoing NIN enrollment

exercise at NIMC and other

designated centres across the

country, explained that he had

made a presentation to the

National Economic Sustainability

Committee and drew the

attention of CBN governor on

the need to replace BVN with

NIN.

According to him, BVN is a bank

policy, while NIN is a law because

it was established by law. The

minister said: “The strength of

the law wherever you go is not

the same with a policy of one

institution. BVN is only

applicable to those who have

bank account but NIN is for every

citizen and legal residents in the

country.

“BVN is our secondary

database, while NIN and the

database is the primary one in

the country that each and every

by members of the 29th Regular

Course Association of the

Nigerian Defence Academy in

Abuja weekend.

The former COAS and other

service chiefs reportedly resigned

from office on January 26 after

months of calls for their sacking

following the rising insecurity in

different parts of the country, and

were replaced by President

Muhammadu Buhari but were

subsequently appointed as noncareer

ambassadors by the

institution should make

reference to NIMC.

“On the board of NIMC, CBN

governor is a member, DG DSS

is a member, Chairman of FIRS

is a member, INEC Chairman,

Office of the National Security

Adviser (NSA), National

Population Commission and the

Nigeria Immigration Service are

all members of the board.

“This is to show you that it is

primary database that every

institution in the country should

make reference to, when it comes

to data protection regulations, we

are in the forefront in Africa today.

“The level of security in all

our database is 99.9 percent.

There is no database that is 100

percent secured, the highest you

can go, I think we are there.

“That is why we came up

with the Nigeria Data Protection

Regulation that we always

enforce and this is applicable to

the database at our disposal, we

take care of it and make sure that

security is excellent and we don’t

allow anybody to compromise

the content because it is a trust

from our citizens given to us.’’

On why the government

engaged private agents for the

NIN enrolement, the minister

said the move was in line with

global standard.

“Globally, a regulator is not

supposed to be the operator’s as

well because if the regulator is

also the operator, who is going to

regulate the operator.

President on February.

Those who replaced them

include Major Gen. Lucky Irabor

as Chief of Defence Staff; Major-

General Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief

of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal

Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and

Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, as

Chief of the Air Staff.

Asked to react to the Peoples

Democratic Party’s criticism of

their appointment, Buratai said

he would not respond to the

PDP’s statement, insisting that

“What I inherited was that the

NIMC was a full regulator of the

sector and also the operator. So

the global standard is to divorce

the regulator to be independent

from the operator.

“For instance, NCC is the

regulator of the

Telecommunications sector but it

does not own any

telecommunication company, if it

does, most probably, it cannot treat

others fairly and justly.

‘’A regulator should be

independent that he focuses

more on regulating. In developed

nations, you cannot find a

regulator also serving also as an

operator.

“We need to allow the

Commission to focus on

regulatory work, they set the

standards for biometrics

registration, measuring of

heights, and standard for data to

be collected, verify everything.

“When you enroll citizens as an

agent, they must verify it and if

they are comfortable and

validates, the agent will be allowed

to issue your number. Visited five

centers and I am very satisfied.”

At the MTN office in Maitama,

the Minister told his hosts that

he came with his team to see what

had been going on and the

improvement that should be

made.

Responding, the General

Manager of MTN, Amina

Danbatta, told the Minister

that ‘there are people who

have enrolled before but we

couldn’t verify their

information on the data base.

he was not a politician.

He said: “It’s an honourable

retirement and also an

honourable appointment. I’m not

a politician, so I have no word for

the opposition. I have done well.”

He said he stood out while in

charge as the COAS, saying; “I

am happy that in July last year,

my officers at the Army

headquarters compiled a

compendium of my

achievements.

“In fact, I can’t even remember

all the projects that we have

executed. Is it in terms of

infrastructure? Is it in terms of

capacity building? Is it in terms of

training?

“Since I was appointed, there

was never a dull moment in

terms of training. Remember the

various exercises. These are

training exercises from ‘Python

dance’, ‘Crocodile smile’, and even

the latest one ‘Exercise Sahel

Sanity’.

“Is it in the area of medical? In

terms of education of our children

and wards, the Nigerian Army

University are all great

achievements.”

Buratai expressed gratitude to

President Muhammadu Buhari

for appointing him as Chief of

Army Staff, reiterating that he

discharged his responsibilities to

the best of his ability.

He also showered encomiums

on Nigerians from all walks of life

who supported him with prayers,

advice, and words of

encouragement that made him

achieve so much as COAS.

“I must appreciate all

Nigerians, my well-wishers, the

youths, elders, men and women

for their continuous prayers,

goodwill and support to the

Nigerian Army and me in the

course of our duties to bring

about peace and security in our

country,’’ he said.

He also thanked Borno State

governor, Professor Babagana

Zulum, and his northeast

counterparts for supporting him

throughout his stay in office.

Going down memory lane

earlier, the former COAS said his

appointment was a special price

for his father, the late Alhaji

Yusufu Buratai, a well-known

staunch loyalist of President

Buhari. It will be recalled that

General Buratai’s father, a Second

World War veteran, served as a

Non-Commissioned Officer in the

Royal West African Frontier Force

fighting in Burma.

Why price of cement, sugar

remains high — BUA

THE high price of

cement and sugar in the

country has been attributed to

the higher demand over supply

of the product.

One of the major cement

production firms, BUA Cement

Plc has explained that the price

of cement is high in Nigeria today

simply because Nigeria doesn’t

have enough supply.

According to BUA: “In Nigeria,

every day people come up to say

we are self-sufficient in cement

and that Nigeria can now start

exporting cement; it not true.

Look at the numbers: Nigeria is

over 200 million people today in

terms of its population. If you look

at the production of cement, last

year, we were under 30 million

tonnes. In fact, last year was

higher than the year before.

Which means that in 2019, we

were doing between 26 million

and 27 million. I am talking about

production, and not installed

capacity, which is another thing

entirely. I am talking about actual

cement production.”

The firm stated that Nigeria is

200 million people and that

makes it about 130 kilogrammes

per head. “If you check, you will

see that most countries in Africa

are doing between 170kg to 200

kilogrammes per head. So,

Nigeria is actually producing less

than in other country in Africa,

apart from may be Niger Republic.

So, that means that we do not

have enough capacity. Nigeria

can actually take 200

kilogrammes per head, but we are

not able to do that, hence the

reason why the price of cement

is high. The moment you have

any problem in any of the plants

in Nigeria and there is a shutdown

or any challenge,

immediately, you will see the

impact in terms of price going

up”BUA noted.

Meanwhile, it is a known fact

that Nigeria does not have any

buffer whatsoever. So, it is like

hand to mouth daily. The reason

why the price of cement went up

recently was simply because

there was an issue at one of the

Lafarge’s plants and they had to

Access Bank partners

American Express to expand

cards acceptance in Nigeria

ACCESS Bank and

American Express have

launched a partnership to broaden

the acceptance and usage of

American Express Cards in

Nigeria.

This announcement places

Access Bank as the first full-service

bank to acquire merchants that

will accept American Express Card

payments in the country.

The partnership will enable

American Express Card holders

use their cards at a wider range of

merchant locations when they

spend time in Nigeria for tourism,

business or visit friends and family.

International American Express

Card holders will also be able to

withdraw cash from Access Bank

ATMs.

Local merchants will now have

the option to accept American

Express through Access Bank,

thereby not only encouraging

increased merchant business

activity but also offering travelling

American Express Card holders

the opportunity to transact using

their preferred method of

payment.

This new partnership will

stop production for few months to

rectify that. So, as that had happened,

the supply from Lafarge

reduced by about 25 per cent in

Ogun State. Also, one of the plants

of Dangote had technical issue and

briefly they couldn’t load. But it

has been resolved. But because that

took about one month, the price of

cement went up to about N4,000,

from N2,800.

It will be recalled that BUA

during the Obasanjo regime had

insisted that even though the

cement policy at that time was a

good one, it must be done in such

a way that a lot of players must

come in and participate.

BUA in a statement stated:

“There is no point in making a

policy that only one, two or three

people are able to benefit from

that policy. That does not make

sense. We are benefiting from this

policy, but I know it is a bad policy.

So, whilst the policy is good, the

way it is being administered is

not good. You can’t have a policy

that restricts so many people from

participating, at the end of the

day, you are just creating a

monopoly. That is exactly what

is happening in the industry. No

doubt, the policy has helped. It

has helped us to put up so many

plants in the country, but

government needs to take a

second look at the policy, to see

how it can bring in more

companies to participate.

“God forbid, imagine if today,

we have a serious issue with Obu

Plant or the Sokoto Plant and it

is shut down for months, people

would be buying cement at

N5,000 and there is nothing

anybody can do about it. That is

because there won’t be anything

anybody to do about that. The

cement sector is a very important

sector in the economy and

Nigeria has no business selling

cement at N4,000. Our ex-factory

price is still about N2,700 per bag,

but cement is selling between

N3,500 and N3,800. I had to stop

my people from collecting money

last week, simply because we are

collecting money much more

than what we can produce.''

broaden the acceptance of American

Express payments via Access

Bank as well as Access Bank

ATMs and e-commerce websites

nationwide.

Reacting to the development,

Robert Giles, Senior Banking

Advisor Retail Banking, Access

Bank, said: “We are proud to be

partnering with American

Express to bring some of the best

payment solutions in the world

to Nigeria.

‘’Access Bank has the largest

and most accessible ATM

network in the country, a leading

payments business with over 16

million card holders and a huge

acceptance network both online

and point of sale.

“The benefits will be immediate

as soon as travel resumes. We

expect significant demand for

American Express acceptance in

the country, and business

travellers and tourists from across

the globe will now be able to use

the card of their choice. This

is great news for Nigerian

businesses and will help bring

foreign exchange inflows into

the country.''


Y

K

4 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021

:Vanguard :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES:

TRAFFIC GRIDLOCK—Standstill from Second Rainbow to Berger Cement, a journey of three minutes,

turned five hours, on Oshodi-Apapa expressway, in Lagos, yesterday. Photo: Bunmi Azeez.

Sanwo-Olu, IGP: Is Apapa traffic mayhem

beyond solution? •We’re helpless, Police, FRSC, LASTMA lament

L AGOS—COMMUTERS

were trapped for hours in the

perennial gridlock along the

Oshodi/Apapa Expressway,

yesterday, as the Policemen, the

Federal Road Safety Corps,

FRSC, and officials of the Lagos

State Traffic Management

Authority, LASTMA, could not control

the chaotic traffic situation on the axis.

From Jakande bus-stop, inward Apapa

to Otto-Wharf, a journey that ought to

take three minutes, took close to six

hours.

Vanguard observed that the

newly created exit point at Freedom busstop,

in front of the Ports and Terminal

Multi-purpose, was blocked, a situation

that rendered policemen, FRSC

personnel, and LASTMA officials

helpless.

A motorist, who simply gave his name

as Chima, blamed both the Federal and

Lagos State governments for failing to

nip the chaotic traffic situation in the

bud.

Chima said: “Why is it difficult to find a

lasting solution to this problem? The Vice-

President visited this axis twice, former

governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi

Ambode, visited here. The current

Governor of the state, Mr. Babajide

Sanwo-Olu also visited this area

recently; yet, nothing has been done to

alleviate the sufferings of people here.

“Various task forces, including

members of the National Union of Road

Transport Workers, NURTW, were set up

to control the situation, yet, there has

been no immediate solution.

“Almost every day, trucks fall in front of

Berger Yard and at Mile-Two Oke,

outward Apapa, because of the

deplorable road. Is the government

waiting for people to die on the road before

they do something about it?”

A LASTMA official, who spoke on the

condition of anonymity, told

Vanguard that the situation had

overwhelmed them.

We're helpless,

Police, FRSC,

LASTMA lament

He said: “The Police, LASTMA and

FRSC officials are helpless. The situation

has overwhelmed us. The problem we

are facing at the moment is from vehicles

making a U-turn from the newly created

exit point in front of the Ports and Terminal

Multipurpose Nigeria Limited, PTML.

Those coming from the Apapa end and

those from the service lane from Sunrise,

struggle to access the road. At the same

time, vehicles from the PTML also

struggle to have access to the only

alternative route.”

Another LASTMA official suggested

that Military personnel should be

deployed to the area to control the

chaotic traffic situation.

He said: “Truck drivers and motorists

do not obey Policemen, LASTMA and

FRSC officials. We suggest that Military

personnel should be brought here. They

are the only ones that can instill discipline

in road users along this axis.”

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP

Mohammed Adamu, who visited Lagos,

two weeks ago, ordered the Area

Commander, ‘B’ Apapa, to oversee the

traffic situation from Otto Wharf to Apapa,

which falls under his jurisdiction.

With this directive, all other policemen

initially deployed by the Command boss,

CP Hakeem Odumosu, have left the

axis.

It was also observed that some officers

of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS,

stationed at Otto Wharf, outward Apapa,

also contribute to the traffic situation, as

they carry out stop-and-search of trucks

coming out of the Ports.

Sometimes, when these checks are

ongoing, hoodlums hijacked the situation

to attack defenseless commuters trapped

in the resultant traffic, outward Apapa.

A clearing and forwarding agency,

Ugochukwu Chigozie, who was attacked

yesterday, said: “We appeal to Customs

authorities to order their personnel to

leave Otto Wharf. The clearing should

be done before trucks leave the ports.”

Lagos govt keeps

mum

Governor Sanwo-Olu had set up a

Special Traffic Management and

Enforcement Compliance Team to

resolve the traffic gridlock in and

around Apapa, headed by his

Special Adviser on

Transportation, Mr. Toyin

Fayinka.

Efforts to reach Fayinka on his mobile

line proved abortive, while an SMS sent

was yet to be responded to, as at press

time.

Waterfronts master plan: Lagos evicts illegal

occupants of Banana Island, Ibeju Lekki

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

LAGOS—LAGOS

State

Government, yesterday,

embarked on demolition of illegal

structures and eviction of occupants

in Banana Island in highbrow Ikoyi,

Eleko and Ibeju Lekki area of the state,

without compliance to the state building

laws and regulations, aimed at restoring

its shorelines.

The state government enforcement

team, led by the Commissioner for

Physical Planning and Urban

Development, Dr. Idris Salako, during

the exercise, demolished buildings,

including a two-storey buildings under

construction, for lack of approval that

encroached on the state shoreline.

Salako noted, with dismay, the flagrant

disobedience of building regulations in

the state, hence, the government’s

decision to go ahead with the

enforcement of structures in

contravention of the law.

He said: “The state government will

not condone flagrant abuse of the state

building laws and shoreline because it

has noticed many residents are building

properties without due recourse to state

agencies for approval.

“The gradual takeover of the

waterways is a problem. In our master

plan, the regional highway ought to pass

through this route but there is gradual

encroachment on the way.

“In terms of climate change, gradual

reduction in the capacity of the lagoon

to flow freely and the consequence the

state would be made to grapple with in

the future. If there is a heavy downpour

today, residents in Parkview Estate, on

the other side of the lagoon, would be in

crisis because their community would be

flooded. This is because people built

beyond what was approved.

“The enforcement became necessary

because the state government felt there

is the need to do something to halt the

illegality.

“The governor was here on Sunday

with the strong instruction that land

reclaimed beyond what was approved

should be demolished. We would

continue to monitor to ensure that

building laws and regulations are

complied with and it should even be

voluntary compliance.”

Explaining the rationale behind the

demolition of the two-storey buildings,

Salako said: “The buildings were pulled

down because the owner and developer

could not provide approval and clearance

to reclaim land before the metres he got

from the state Land Bureau and Ministry

of Waterfront.

Hmm, Iyawo, change 'gear' fast!

Then you're disqualified from living among

the living!

Perfect example of when your village

people are hunting your glory!

C


vanguardnews

@vanguardnews

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021— 5

NEWS HOTLINES

POCKET CARTOON

018773962,

@vanguardnews 08052867058

WHO OWNS THE ROAD, COWS OR CARS?—Cows and motorists struggle for right of way as workers

left for their places of work through the Kado Roundabout, Life Camp, Abuja, yesterday. Photo: Abayomi

Adeshida.

Reform economy, cut reliance

on oil, IMF tells Nigeria

•Calls for urgent policy adjustment

By Emma Ujah &

Babajide Komolafe

A International

BUJA—The

Monetary Fund, IMF,

has called on the federal

government to reform the

nation’s economy and cut

dependence on oil.

The IMF, in a statement

on the outcome of its

2020 Article IV Staff

Consultation to Nigeria,

stated: “Nigeria’s

economy has been hit

hard by the COVID-19

pandemic. Following a

sharp drop in oil prices

and capital outflows, real

GDP is estimated to have

contracted by 3.2 per

cent in 2020 amid the

pandemic-related

lockdown.

“Headline inflation

rose to 14.9 per cent in

November 2020, a 33-

month high, reflecting

core and food inflation

increases emanating

from supply shortages

due to the lock-down

effected to curb

infections, alongside the

land-border closure and

continued import

restrictions.

“The unemployment

rate reached 27 per cent

in the second quarter of

2020, with youth

unemployment at 41 per

cent.

“The Nigerian

authorities acted swiftly

to adopt a pandemicrelated

support package

equivalent to 0.3 per

cent of GDP in the 2020

revised federal budget,

despite limited fiscal

space. External

vulnerabilities due to

lower oil prices and

weak global demand

have increased, with the

current account

remaining in deficit in

the first half of 2021.

“In April 2020, Nigeria

received IMF

emergency financial

assistance of $3.5 billion

under the Rapid

Financing Instrument to

help cushion the impact

of the pandemic.

“Socio-economic

conditions have

deteriorated, with rising

food inflation, elevated

youth unemployment,

mass protests in October

2020, and surveys show

worsening food

insecurity with a

significant impact on the

vulnerable.

“Risks are tilted to the

downside and include

the resurgence of the

pandemic, security

situation and

unfavourable external

environment. Capital

outflow risks arise from

the record-low domestic

interest rates and large

foreign holdings of

domestic securities.

“On the upside,

recovering oil prices and

completion of the

Dangote oil refinery

could catalyze more

domestic crude oil

production and boost

growth.”

It also asked the

Central Bank of Nigeria

to stop financing federal

government’s budget

deficit, and called for a

phased elimination of

measures to contain the

34 months upward trend

in the nation’s inflation

rate, which hit 15.75 per

cent last December.

However, Professor

Uche Uwaleke said

deficit financing by the

CBN was not peculiar to

the apex bank, adding

that the measure was

made more necessary

due to the challenges of

the COVID-19

pandemic.

Uwaleke, a financial

economist and renowned

Professor of Capital

Market at the Nasarawa

State University, said:

“All over the world,

central banks offer

financial bailouts to

g o v e r n m e n t s

experiencing financial

difficulties. That is why

central banks are

generally regarded as

lenders of last resort.

“The Central Bank of

Nigeria, CBN, is no

exception and I am sure

the International

Monetary Fund, IMF is

aware of that. The IMF

advice to CBN may have

been informed by the fact

that the CBN has

exceeded the

permissible threshold

with regard to budget

deficit financing.

“Even then, this can be

justified against the

backdrop of the

devastating impact of

coronavirus, COVID-19

on the economy, and the

need for the CBN to

provide extraordinary

support to the

government to contain

the health and economic

crises.”

What Nigeria

should do, by IMF

directors

“Executive Directors

agreed with the thrust of

the staff appraisal. They

commended the

authorities for the

measures taken to

address the health and

economic impacts of the

COVID19 pandemic

Continues on Page 27

By Providence

Adeyinka

On appointment of ex-service chiefs as ambassadors (2)

IT’s akin to rewarding

ineptitude. PMB

shows he is satisfied with

their poor performance.

However, from another

angle, sending them out

of the country might be

for security reasons

given that having stayed

long in office and may

have established some

vested interests in the

military and loyalty,

having them in the

country might pose

serious danger to

national stability.

—Sir Abuchi Anueyiagu,

Public affairs analyst.

IF the FG understands

ambassadorship, they

won’t think of ex-service

chiefs as ambassadors.

What is the basis for their

appointment? Who are they

representing? There are

millions of vibrant youths

who are 100% better than

the ex-chiefs. They were

sacked by the FG as a result

of poor performance, the

same FG now appoints

them as ambassadors. If I

may ask, who is deceiving

who?

—Ijeoma gbozuruike,

Teacher

PMB appointed them

ambassadors to which

countries? Will any

country accept them as

current Nigerian

ambassadors?

This government

doesn’t wish this nation

and her people well at

all.

—Simon Ocheme,

Peace ambassador

THE FG lacks

foresight. How can

you appoint people that

have failed the country

as the directors of

security and safety

affairs of the nation

when they were in

office? Government

should let younger

people with bright minds

work and bring about the

change that we need in

the society.

—Damilare Ajikawo,

Content creator

THE

current

administration

promised our youth

inclusive government, yet,

they are deprived this

opportunity. PMB rather

appointed men who have

spent over two-three decades

in service and leaving those

that are willing and eager

to serve our dear country.

They should look for

progressive-minded youths

who are eager to take our

dear nation to the promise

land.

—Anita Ayo, Student

PMB and co has not

kept any of their

campaign promises. States

are forming their own

security outfits. The security

situation has overwhelmed

this govt. and they should

apologise for their failure.

The ex-service chiefs

failed and are rewarded

with ambassadorial

positions. It’s a shame on

this govt. and the ex-service

chiefs who decided to take

up the appointment.

—Nwajei Chuks,

Human Right Officer


6— Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021

2 deaf and

dumb in Ekiti

court over

abduction

By Rotimi

Ojomoyela

ADO-EKITI—A 41-yearold

deaf and dumb, Peter

Obi and his 35-year-old female

accomplice, Ego Njoku, also

deaf and dumb, were,

yesterday, arraigned before an

Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrates’

Court over alleged abduction.

The prosecutor, Inspector

Oriyomi Akinwale, told the

court that the defendants of

unknown addresses

committed the offence on

February 1 in Ado-Ekiti.

Akinwale alleged that the

defendants abducted a 17-

year-old girl, Falilat Isinekha,

without the consent of her

parents.

He said the defendants, both

deaf and dumb, brought the

girl, also deaf and dumb from

Auchi, in Edo State, to Ado-

Ekiti for the business of

begging for alms.

He added that they were

apprehended and handed

over to the police.

According to him, the

offence contravenes Section 27

(2) b of Child Rights Law, Ekiti

State, 2012.

The prosecutor asked the

court for an adjournment to

enable him to study the case

file and present his witnesses.

The defendants, however,

pleaded not guilty to the

charge preferred against them.

Counsel to the defendants,

Mr Michael Olaleye, urged

the court to grant them bail,

with a promise that they would

not jump bail.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs

Adefumike Anoma, granted

bail to the defendants in the

sum of N10,000 with one surety

each in like sum.

She adjourned the case till

March 22 for hearing.

One dead as gunmen attack hearse in Edo,

abduct deceased's brother

By Ozioruva Aliu

BENIN CITY — It was a

double tragedy for a family

that was conveying their dead

from Lagos to Enugu for burial

as they were attacked near

Ahor by Benin by-pass in Edo

State.

It was gathered that the

younger brother of the

deceased, who was in the

ambulance conveying the

dead, was kidnapped while

the ambulance was badly

damaged.

Narrating the incident, the

driver of the ambulance with

number plate, Lagos KRD 782

GO, Salami Orijiwa, said they

left Lagos as early as 6 am on

Saturday to make the journey

early to Enugu.

“I carried a corpse in the

ambulance and we were

coming from Lagos to Enugu

to bury him and the younger

brother of the deceased was

sitting with me in the front seat

of the vehicle. When I first

sighted them (the attackers),

I thought they were policemen

because one of them was

holding a gun on the right

hand side of the road and then

I saw another one on the left

holding a cutlass, at that point

I knew they were thieves.

"Suddenly, I saw another

Benue communal crisis: Military arrests 10,

recovers 16 firearms, other weapons

By Peter Duru

MAKURDI—TROOPS of the

joint military spike operation

in Benue state, codenamed

Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS,

have arrested 10 suspects and

recovered 16 firearms as well as live

ammunition from the suspects in

the fierce communal conflict between

Ibilla and Ukpa communities in Oju

Local Government Area of the state.

The two bordering communities

took up arms against each other

after disagreeing on the delineation

exercises being embarked on by

National Population Commission,

NPC, in the communities.

Vanguard gathered that the irate

youths in the sister communities had

a few days ago embarked on

sporadic shooting and burning

down of property in the

communities when officials of NPC

arrived the area to carry out the

exercise.

According to a source in the area,

“the ill-informed youths believed

that the exercise might not be done

transparently. From what looked like

a small quarrel, in no time sounds

of gunshots rented the air from

everywhere, forcing the NPC

officials to flee for their lives.

“The development snowballed

into the burning of property in the

two communities, prompting the

intervention of the troops of OPWS

and 72 Battalion, who saved Oju

Those arrested and recovered weapons.

LGA from witnessing destruction

and major bloodbath.

“The troops carried out a two-day

condone and search operation in the

communities and on the first day,

they arrested nine persons,

recovered nine firearms, 59

ammunition, eight cutlasses, two

axes, nine handsets and one

Volkswagen car.

“On Sunday night the troops

raided the communities again

during which they recovered seven

more firearms and arrested one

more suspect.

“The armed youths thought that

the soldiers had left the troubled

communities, they came out to

continue with their arson when nine

of them were rounded up and more

arms recovered by the troops.”

Commander of OPWS, Maj. Gen.

Adeyemi Yekini, who declined

comment on the operation referred

newsmen to the Defence

Headquarters Information

Department.

A security source told Vanguard

that the arrested youths have been

moved to Makurdi for further

interrogation.

Suspected cultist dies in Ogun as supremacy fight enters Day 4

•19 suspects arrested in Alakuko cult clash

By Bose Adelaja

ONE of the leaders of the cult

groups fighting for supremacy

in Alakuko, Lagos State and

Dalemo, Ogun State, has been

hacked to death while 19 suspects

were arrested by Lagos State Police

Command.

It was gathered that the deceased,

the second in command to the leader

of Eiye Confraternity in Dalemo

area, was traced to a hospital where

he was receiving medical attention

after one of the clashes.

The fight for supremacy between

two rival cult groups, which

reportedly started in Alakuko, Lagos

State and extended to Dalemo,

Ogun State, has entered Day 4 with

four deaths recorded so far.

Yesterday’s death of the suspected

leader of one of the rival groups

reportedly sparked fresh violence,

which grounded commercial

activities in the area.

It was gathered that a combined

team of the Nigeria Police Force,

Nigerian Army and other security

agencies were on ground to restore

calm to the area but upon their exit

from the scene, the cultists reportedly

resurfaced drumming for war.

The leader of Eiye Confraternity

in Dalemo simply identified as

“Confidence” was said to have been

seen at Dalemo bus-stop, weeping

profusely over the death of his

second in command.

As at 1.30 pm, three Divisional

Police Officers from Alakuko,

Alayinla and their colleague were

on ground appealing to the

suspected cultists for calm.

However, shops, offices and

market activities were on standstill

as a result of the fracas.

A resident, Muiz Ahmed, said

there is a need for security operatives

to intensify efforts in the axis.

He said: “Security operatives

have patrolled the axis twice today

(yesterday) to restore normalcy but

as soon as they left, cultists took over

the area and thereby restricting

human movement in the axis.

Buses and cars have stopped their

activities except for commercial

motorcyclists.”

Vanguard had reported on

Sunday that there was tension in

Alakuko, Sango/Tollgate and

Dalemo as some teenage miscreants

identified as members of a cultist

group called “Shaku-

Shaku Boys” were

terrorising the area.

19 suspects

arrested in

Alakuko cult

clash

Reacting to the clash,

Lagos State Police

Commissioner of Police,

Hakeem Odumosu,

said 19 suspected

cultists had so far been

arrested with the

recovery of dangerous

weapons, assorted

charms and weeds

suspected to be Indian

hemp.

Odumosu, who

stated that the

command would not

give room for

lawlessness and

hooliganism, said the intelligence

at the command’s disposal revealed

that the hoodlums came from Otta

axis of Ogun State to lay siege to

the affected border communities on

cult-related crises, informing that the

command had repelled them.

As part of the effort to restore

The suspects.

normalcy in the area, the command

boss said additional police

personnel, including Police Mobile

Force, had been deployed to curtail

the hoodlums, adding that he has

directed that the arrested suspects

be transferred to the State Criminal

Investigation Department, Yaba for

discreet investigation.

person in front, who pointed

a gun at us and shot. I quickly

bent down inside the vehicle

and that was how I lost control

and veered into the bush and

fell into a ditch. The bullet hit

the vehicle behind me and the

driver died on the spot.”

Vanguard, yesterday,

gathered that the family was

still negotiating with the

abductors, who are said to be

demanding for N5 million as

a ransom for the release of

their victim.

Contacted,

the

Commissioner of Police,

Philip Ogbadu, said he was

in a meeting and directed

inquiries to the Police Public

Relations Officer, Chidi

Nwabuzor, who did not pick

repeated calls put across to

him.

Man bags life

imprisonment

for rape in

Ekiti

By Rotimi Ojomoyela

ADO-EKITI—An Ado

Ekiti High Court has

sentenced one Farotimi

Samuel, 27, to life

imprisonment for conspiracy

and rape.

In her testimony, the victim

said she was waylaid by three

men on her way home from

where she had gone to buy

garri and sugar.

She said the men covered

her mouth and later took to

her an uncompleted building

where they all had sex with

her, adding that she can

recognise the accused person

among them.

According to the charge

sheet, the act was committed

on or about the 29/01/2018 at

Oke-ureje, Federal

Polytechnic Road, Ado Ekiti.

The accused conspired with

others at large to rape a 14-

year-old girl, contrary to

section 516 of the Criminal

code, 31 of the Child Right

Law, Cap C16 and C7, Laws

of Ekiti State, 2012.

In his judgement, Justice

Adekunle Adeleye said: “I

hold that the prosecution has

established the ingredients of

the offence of rape against the

defendant beyond a

reasonable doubt, he is found

guilty as charged and is

hereby sentenced to life

imprisonment.”

To prove his case, the

prosecutor, Mr Olawale

Fapohunda, called five

witnesses, while the

accused's confessional

statement was tendered as an

exhibit.

The accused spoke in his

defence through his counsel,

Chris Omokhafe, and called

no witnesses.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021—7

Violence rages as Osun warring communities

fight on

By Shina Abubakar

OSOGBO—Houses were burnt,

yesterday, in the communal

clash between Erin-Osun and Ilobu

communities in Osun State despite

the imposition of 24-hour curfew by

the state government.

It was gathered that the curfew

imposed on the towns was effective

at major roads accessible to security

operatives while there are issues of

attacks in the inner parts of the

communities

According to Olurin of Erin-Osun,

Chief Olawuyi Adeleke, the Ilobus

have been threatening to set a bank

and a higher institution in the

community on fire.

He said: “The area in dispute is

called Apata Gboore area. They

started the killings. They killed a

native of our town, who was a

Man to die by

hanging for

robbery in

A-Ibom

By Chioma Onuegbu

UYO—A 40-year-old man

identified as Christopher

Archibong has been sentenced to

death by hanging for armed

robbery by a state High Court

sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Archibong was convicted,

yesterday, on a two-count charge

of armed robbery and conspiracy

to commit armed robbery.

While delivering his judgment,

Justice Okon Okon submitted

that Archibong was guilty of

robbing one Bassey Isaac Akpan,

a 43-year-old public servant in his

residence, Nung Uyo Idoro, Uyo

on April 26, 2017.

Justice Okon held that the

offence committed by Archibong

was punishable under Sections 6

(b) and 1 (2) (a) of the Robbery

and Firearms (Special Provisions)

Act Laws of the Federation of

Nigeria, 2004.

He said Archibong be hanged

by the neck until he is dead and

prayed God to have mercy upon

his soul.

Earlier, the Police Investigation

Officer, Sergeant Ntuen

Christopher of ‘D’ Division, Itam,

said the accused confessed to the

crime and even took the Police to

where he kept his locally made

pistol and two cartridges on top

of his house’s ceiling.

commercial driver and burnt him

inside his bus in Ilobu. Their actions

caused the crisis. They damaged

cars and other property. As at today

(Monday) we have recorded four

casualties.

“There is little peace this morning

in the area. They brought the police

and soldiers. They are even

threatening to burn a new

generation bank sited in our

community. They have burned a lot

of houses and planning to burn our

palace.

“We are not leaving the land for

anybody, the government has

gazetted the land that it is our land.

I appeal to those that are still

holding weapons to drop them and

embrace peace.”

However, the Jagun of Ilobu, who

is also the Legal Adviser to Ilobu

Descendants Union, Chief Goke

By Gabriel

Enogholase

BENIN— A 61-year-old

woman, Mrs Stella Omoigui,

has demanded N50 million

compensation for her 11year-old

son, Osasu Omoigui, who was

reportedly hit by a stray bullet in

his genital during #EndSARS

protest.

Omoigui, a petty trader,

yesterday, told the Edo State Judicial

Panel of Inquiry for victims of SARS

and related abuses in Benin that

her 11-year-old son was hit by stray

bullets from the police officers who

were dispersing the #EndSARS

protesters when running an errand

for her.

She said the incident happened

along Old Sapele Road, Benin City,

when she asked the said Osasu, a

primary three pupil of Maria

Christian Academy to go and give

his father ripe plantain.

She said her son was later treated

and discharged from the University

of Benin Teaching Hospital, UBTH

She said ever since the incident,

she has been spending her little

resources on him.

Omoigui said the little Osasu can

only pass out urine through a fixed

pipe on his abdomen, a situation

that has forced him to always be on

wrappers instead of trousers.

She said the condition has also

forced him to stop going to school.

She, however, pleaded with the

panel to grant her son N50 million

as compensation for the pains being

suffered and also take care of his

medical bills.

On the part of little Osasu, he said

Property destroyed.

Ogunsola, said the Erin-Osun

residents started the crisis.

He said three Ilobu indigenes had

been killed while one person is

critically ill at the Osun State

University Teaching Hospital,

Osogbo, adding that over 100

houses were also destroyed in the

community.

He said: “On Saturday, February

6, 2021, around 1:30 pm, Erin Osun

people mobilised gunmen to the

land and destroyed about 100

houses belonging to Ilobu people.

Our people, who were returning

from Aro and Ara villages were shot.

They have been admitted in

UNIOSUN Teaching Hospital.

"Three of them are dead, one in

critical condition. That was how it

escalated. They mobilised to Aro

junction and were shooting our

people. So, our people used

everything at their disposal to defend

themselves.

“Everything is calm now. We did

not start the crisis, it is Erin that

always start the crisis, but if they do

not start it, we won’t react."

Meanwhile, Commissioner of

Police, Olawale Olokode, said the

police had intensified patrol of the

areas but said only a dead body was

found in the communities.

#EndSARS: Mother of boy hit by stray bullet in scrotum

demands N50m compensation

he would like to be a medical doctor

when he grows up.

“I want to be a medical doctor.

Please, the government and every

spirited individual should help me,”

he said.

Touched by the condition of the

11-year- old Osasu, chairman,

Judicial Panel of Inquiry, Justice Ada

Ehigiamusoe (retd) said the child’s

condition must be treated with

prompt attention.

“I have a medical doctor in my

team, looking at this boy of about

11 years old, he is unable to dress

properly like a normal human being,

we found him to be wrapped in

wrappers and the medical doctor in

my team examined him and found

that he is badly damaged in his

genital region and we have

reviewed that this calls for an

emergency intervention.

“We will do the necessary things

that will be required of us just like

the state government has always

done, that matters of this nature be

treated promptly. If you recall, we

have similar matters of about two of

deaf and dumb and promptly, the

state government intervened.

“They did not even wait for us to

make our final recommendations.

So, I am sure with this, look at the

condition of the boy, so pathetic, and

it is not the police, it is a stray bullet.

“It is one of those things, the

consequences of that protest, we

can’t lay our hands on anybody but

we will try our best to make the

adequate recommendations."

Justice Ehigiamusoe also led

panel members to raise money for

him immediately.

Gunmen abduct couple in Delta’s

varsity community

By Perez Brisibe

A

businessman and his wife,

identified as Ojo and Alice,

were reportedly abducted at the

Erho axis along the old Abraka/

Eku road, Abraka in Ethiope East

Local Government Area of Delta

State on Sunday.

While details of the incident

were still sketchy at press time,

sources said the couple were

heading home when they were

ambushed at a bad spot along the

road by hoodlums, who took

them to an unknown destination.

Though efforts to speak with the

state Police Public Relations

Officer, Onome Onovwakpoyeya,

were fruitless, but a source at the

Abraka police station confirmed

the incident when contacted.

The source, who spoke on

condition of anonymity, said the

hoodlums also went away with the

Venza car belonging to the

couple.

“The husband owns a popular

boutique in Abraka and was on

his way home with his family

when the hoodlums struck, but

efforts are currently being put in

place to ensure that they are

rescued unhurt and the culprits

brought to book,” the source

added.

Hearing on final

forfeiture of

Patience

Jonathan’s

$5.8m, N2.4bn

fixed for April

13

By Onozure Dania

LAGOS—A Federal High

Court sitting in Lagos,

yesterday, fixed April 13 for the

hearing of final forfeiture of

$5,781,173; $55 million and

N2.4 billion, allegedly

acquired by former First Lady,

Dame Patience Jonathan.

Justice Chuka Obiozor

adjourned till April 13 after

counsel to the parties

appeared before the court over

the matter.

The Economic and Financial

Crimes Commission, EFCC,

had sometimes in 2017

commenced the hearing of the

suit against Mrs Jonathan

alongside LA Wari Furniture

and Bathes before Justice

Mojisola Olatoregun, who

retired from the Bench in 2019.

The monies were said to be

warehoused by Skye Bank Plc

and Ecobank Plc respectively.

Justice Olatoregun had on

April 26, 2017, ordered the

temporary forfeiture of the

monies, sequel to an ex-parte

application by EFCC, the order

which was affirmed by both

Court of Appeal and Supreme

Court.

However, midway to the

conclusion of hearing on the

final forfeiture on the said

money, Justice Olatoregun

retired from the Bench, the

development compelled the

Chief Registrar of the court to

re-assign the matter to Justice

Obiozor for hearing.

At the resumed hearing of

the matter, yesterday, EFCC’s

counsel, Mr Abass

Muhammad, narrated to

Justice Obiozor how far the

matter had gone.

Abass said: “This matter is a

suit instituted before your

learned brother, Justice

Olatoregun now retired, where

we prayed for the final

forfeiture of the sum of

$5.781,173, 55 million USD,

warehoused in Skye Bank Plc

and N2. 421, 953, 502. 78

billion, the property of LA Wari

Furniture and Bathes in

Ecobank Plc.

“It was instituted and an

interim order was granted on

April 24, 2017, upon which it

went up to Supreme Court and

application for its final

forfeiture was moved but the

trial judge didn’t deliver

judgment before retiring.

“It was upon that fact that the

file was transferred to the

registry where it was

reassigned to this court.”

Mr Kolawole Salami, who

stood-in for Patience

Jonathan’s counsel, Mr

Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN),

conceded to the submission of

the EFCC’s counsel.

With the consent of parties

and court’s convenience, the

matter was adjourned till April

13 for the commencement of the

hearing of all applications on

the matter.


8 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021

:Vanguard News

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

MEETING: From left—Former Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulazeez Yari, Senator Kabir Garba Marafa and

former All Progressives Congress, APC, Governor-elect in the 2019 General Election, Hon. Mukhkar Shehu

Idris, during the APC reconciliation meeting between the Abdulazeez Yari's faction and Senator Kabir Marafa,

in Kaduna, yesterday. Photo: Olu Ajayi.

Herders' crisis: Afenifere, ACF, MBF, PANDEF

back Soyinka, ask Buhari to avert civil war

By Peter Duru,

Chimaobi Nwaiwu,

Davies Iheamnachor

& Ibrahim

HassanWuyo

PAN-YORUBA group,

Afenifere, Arewa Consultative

Forum, ACF, Middle

Belt Forum, MBF, and

Pan-Niger Delta Forum,

PANDEF, yesterday rose in

support of Nobel laureate ,

Professor Wole Soyinka,

asking President Muhammadu

Buhari to act fast on

the herders' crisis to avert

another civil war in the country.

Prof. Soyinka had, in BBC

Pidgin Service on Saturday,

urged the President to tackle

the activities of herdsmen

across the country to stave

off a civil war.

''We may enter a phase of

serious skirmishes which get

more and more violent and

may develop into civil war

and a very untidy mercy one.

That's my biggest fear,'' the

nobel laureate had told the

President.

Aside from calling on

members of the international

community to be interested

in the herdsmen crisis

and intervene to salvage the

country from the present

mess, National Publicity

Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka

Odumakin, said while

featuring on Arise TV’s ‘The

Morning Show’ yesterday

that the group was in support

of Soyinka's declaration.

Asked whether the Nobel

Laureate and others with

similar comments were

beating the drums of war,

Odumakin said: “The Nobel

Laureate, Prof. Wole

Soyinka, is (well-) known.

You cannot say that he is

beating the drum of war or

he is an alarmist.

''People are painting the reality

that is on the ground. If

what is happening in the

South-West today, let’s say

some Yoruba boys had gone

to do one per cent of that in

the north, there would have

been a war in this country

by now.

“So, when Professor Wole

Soyinka is warning President

Buhari now that if you

don’t speak up now, what is

going on will lead to civil

war, he is not just talking in

vain.”

Odumakin said President

Buhari was maintaining ‘civil

silence’ over the heinous

crimes committed by killer

herders, while the Presidency

continues to act as the

mouthpiece of the herdsmen.

“But the world and the international

community

should be interested in Nigeria

at this moment and get

Nigeria out of this mess.

“It is clear now that the

possibility of internal solutions

is getting limited, we

don’t have an authority in

leadership that can get us

out of this mess. And the

implication of a war in Nigeria

for the rest of the world

is very serious.

“Therefore, they should

get on their feet now and

begin to get interested in

Nigeria to get us out of this

mess that we are in,” he said.

Reacting in a similar vein,

Arewa Consultative Forum,

ACF, did not only throw its

weight behind Soyinka's

call on the President but also

said it had actually, before

now, made a similar call on

the President to act fast.

National Publicity Secretary

of ACF, Emmanuel

Yawe, said: "We made a

similar call on January 23

this year on the President

and the governors of the

South West to act swiftly on

this issue to avert a civil war.

The call by Prof Soyinka is

just a re-echo of what we did

almost two weeks ago.''

Also reacting yesterday, the

National President of Middle

Belt Forum, MBF, Dr.

Bitrus Pogu said Prof. Wole

Soyinka’s warning was

timely and perfectly

correct.“Speaking in

Makurdi, Dr. Pogu cautioned

that the unity of the

country would be threatened

if armed herders were allowed

to continue their attacks

on a monolithic South

West and urged the President

to listen to the voice of reason

and act fast.“He said:

“Prof. Soyinka’s call was

timely and perfectly correct.

These armed herders did the

same thing unchallenged in

the Middle Belt and nothing

happened despite the accusations

of collusion with the

security forces.

“Now they have gone to a

monolithic group, which is

the South West, and in such

a monolithic group, they are

no match to the structures

on ground.

“If they continue the attacks

the way they have

been going about it in the

Middle Belt and other parts

of the country with impunity,

certainly a civil war will

erupt and it is going to be an

unfortunate situation. ''So it

is high time President Buhari

woke up to address the

issue unless he never cared

in the first place.

“But a President who

cares, seeing the clear handwriting

on the wall, coupled

with the escalation we are

witnessing on daily basis, as

we move forward, will address

the nation and do

something very quickly.“

“It is unfortunate but it is

good that people like Prof.

Wole Soyinka are speaking

on the matter, at least the

man might listen to the

voice of reason, seek wise

counsel and save the country

from going down the

drain.

“The warning is timely

because a civil war in the

country now would mean

total balkanization of this

country. May God help us.”

Put sentiment

apart, treat killer

herdsmen as

terrorists, PANDEF

tells Buhari

Similarly, the Pan-Niger

Delta Elders Forum, PAN-

DEF, asked President Muhammadu

Buhari to shun

sentiment and treat killer

herdsmen as terrorists.

National Publicity Secre-

tary of PANDEF, Ken Robinson,

urged the President to be

firm in taking decisive action

against the killer herdsmen.

He said: "It is not far from

the truth because the ramification

of a group of persons

forcibly occupying other persons'

land and forests will

definitely bring up reactions

as we are beginning to see

now. And when people begin

to react, it is possible that

there could be counter reactions

in other parts of the

country and that could snowball

into large scale ethnic

crisis in the country.

"PANDEF and other well

meaning individuals in the

country have been calling on

the President to be firm with

the issue of these herdsmen.

"We understand that the

President was or is a patron

of Miyetti Allah and he himself

is also a cattle rearer, I

think his own cattle is not

roaming about and occupying

other people's land.

"He should be firm and put

sentiments apart and stop

this soft approach on this

people who are marauders.

"They are not herdsmen,

they are terrorists, they are

killers. So why are we dealing

with them with soft

gloves? Drastic actions

should be taken against

them.

"Of course, we do not also

support a situation where

people in the guise of protesting

these herdsmen do

things that are unlawful."

In his reaction, elder

statesman and prominent

Igbo leader, Mbazulike

Amechi, called on President

Muhammadu Buhari not to

ignore the call by Prof. Wole

Soyinka to avert civil war in

Nigeria and the country's

disintegration due to herdsmen

crisis.

Amechi specifically told

the President that if he continues

to ignore the calls

made by Wole Soyinka and

other statesmen who are not

politically motivated by their

calls, advise and admonitions,

he is putting a stop to

Nigeria, which he will stand

to regret.

He said: "You know that

Prof. Wole Soyinka has been

a crusader of justice in Nigeria.

When the crisis started

in Nigeria, when the Biafran

War was about to start

and other crisis that led to

the Civil war, he told the

government the truth at that

time and they arrested him

and clamped him into the

prison, they punished him

for telling them the truth.

"He is not a man that will

be silenced; he is doing the

same thing he did to government

at that time by telling

them the truth of the

possible things that will

happen in the country if the

government fails to address

the herdsmen crisis and

caution the Fulani herdsmen

and their Miyetti Allah

Cattle Breeders Association

if Nigeria, MACBAN,

handlers, and their patrons.

"President Buhari should do

that now. I fully endorse

what Soyinka said; yes,

Soyinka is right and you

will recall that I have been

making similar calls for

peace to reign in the country,

and if Buhari continues

the way he is going, he is

putting a stop to Nigeria.

"Politicians will not like to

tell him the kind of truth

people like us will always

tell him; we are not asking

him for anything, we only

want him to hold the country

together and not to allow

it disintegrate under his

watch.

''I have made the call last

week and I am making it

again that the country

should not disintegrate under

his watch, the politicians

are not interested is

saving the country with him,

they are only interested in

the money they make from

his government and what

they will gain from his administration.''

El-Rufai disagrees with Gumi, says bandits

shouldn't be forgiven, compensated

•Advises Gumi not to waste time negotiating with bandits •Notes they are used to

big money, will not repent •Laments lack of unity among N/W govs •Declares

Kaduna's at war with bandits •Troops recover weapons from bandits belonging to

Kachalla’s group

By Ibrahin

HassanWuyo

KADUNA STATE gover

nor, Nasir el-Rufai, yesterday

disagreed with prominent

Islamic scholar, Sheikh

Gumi, that the federal government

should dialogue with

bandits, instead of waging

war against them.

After meeting with the bandits

in the forest in Zamfara

State, Sheikh Gumi had

asked the federal government

to use security budget to address

the bandits' demands,

claiming that most of them

had lost all their possessions

to cattle rustling and extortion

But Governor el-Rufai in an

interview with BBC Hausa,

said the bandits should not be

forgiven for taking arms

against the country, stressing

that they should also not be

compensated.

He reiterated the fact that

Kaduna was at war with the

criminal elements, pointing

out that " my administration

is at war with the bandits

and so we cannot negotiate.

Eliminating them is the only

solution to banditry."

Noting that the bandits

would not be willing to give

up kidnapping, considering

the huge amounts demanded

as ransom, the governor said:

“Anybody that thinks a Fulani

man that ventured into kidnapping

for ransom, and he

is earning millions of naira,

would go back to his former

life of getting N100,000 after

selling a cow in a year, must

be deceiving himself.

“Why should they be compensated

after killing people,

destroying their houses. Who

offended them? Ahmad Gumi

is my friend and this is what

we discussed with him.

“I told him that majority of

these Fulani bandits don’t believe

in religion. Therefore, I

don’t believe in what he

(Gumi) is doing that they

should be forgiven and compensated.”

El-Rufai added that the lack

of unity among governors of

the north-western states was

also hindering the fight

against banditry.

“As a result, every state is

fighting in its own way. If we

cannot come together for the

federal government to provide

us with soldiers and police to

enter the bush and kill all the

bandits, it will be difficult to

succeed in the fight against

banditry.

“There is no synergy among

the governors in the north-west

on how to end the banditry. But

Kaduna is collaborating with

Niger State on modalities to

end the killings by the gunmen.

“State like Zamfara adopted

a policy of dialogue with

the gunmen, giving them amnesty,

which I don’t believe in.

With this, we have differences

on how to tackle the situation.

“We sat together with the

governors in Katsina, but we

disagreed on how to tackle the

criminality. Some believed on

dialogue, while others didn’t.”

Meanwhile, troops of Operation

Thunder Strike, OPTS,

have reported the recovery of

four AK47 rifles which were

part of a stash belonging to the

late bandit, Nasiru Kachalla.

Kaduna State Commissioner,

Internal Security and

Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan,

Kaduna State, who disclosed

this yesterday, said the

weapons were recovered with

the aid of local human intelligence

sources.

It would be recalled that

Nasiru Kachalla was killed

late in December 2020, during

a clash between his gang

and a rival group of bandits,

which occurred in a forest

around the boundaries of Kajuru-Chikun

local government.

The clash was triggered by

a dispute over a large herd of

rustled cattle

Kachalla and his gang

were involved in several

crimes, including high-profile

kidnappings, killings and

banditry on the Kaduna-Abuja

road and also in the

Chikun/Kajuru general areas.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai

commended the security

agencies for recovering the

weapons, and urged them to

pursue all available leads towards

exposing more arms

caches used by bandits.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021 — 9

:Vanguard News

Kwara APC crisis: Hoodlums attack

stakeholders at Lafiagi meeting

By Demola

Akinyemi

I LORIN—THE

protracted leadership crisis

rocking the All Progressives

Congress, APC, in Kwara State,

yesterday witnessed another

orgy of violence at the venue of

the Kwara North stakeholders

meeting of the party in Lafiagi

in Edu Local Government Area

of the state.

In the latest violence,

hoodlums were said to have

attacked members at the

meeting and vandalized no fewer

than five exotic cars while party

members scampered for safety

with some sustaining injuries.

Chairman, APC Caretaker

committee in the state, Samari

Abdullahi, and one of the party

chieftains at the scene of the

incident, Engineer Shaaba

Wakili, confirmed the attack,

and urged security agencies to

be alive to their

responsibilities by protecting

lives and properties of the people.

No sex party at Asher lounge

Kaduna — POLICE

•Case adjourned to Feb 22

By Ibrahim Hassan

K ADUNA—POLICE

witnesses at the resumed

hearing of the case on the

Kaduna sex party, yesterday told

a Kaduna court during cross

examination that there was no

sex party on December 27, 2020

at Asher restaurant and lounge,

Kaduna.

The Kaduna State

Government had since

demolished the one-storey

restaurant and lounge allegedly

used for the sex party, during the

Yuletide.

The presiding Judge, Chief

Magistrate Benjamin Hassan,

however, adjourned the case to

February 22, 2021 for

continuation of hearing while

the bail granted the suspects

continues.

Two of the police witnesses

who carried out the arrest, made

presentation in court.

Prosecuting police officer, Shola

Olodowa, however gave

Valentine's Day: Glo offers

subscribers up to 36GB free

data to celebrate season

VALENTINE'S

day

is around the corner and

Nigeria’s telecommunications

giant, Globacom has laid up an

exciting offer for its subscribers to

enjoy the season of love.

This special valentine

promotion will offer Glo customers

up to 36GB of free data to share

with their loved ones.

The offer, which was

announced yesterday in Lagos,

stated, “This offer is available to

subscribers who purchase two

smartphones from any of the

GloWorld outlets spread across

the country.

Customers will in turn

receive free data on their Glo

SIM ranging from 3GB to

36GB, which can be used

over the next six months.”

The network further

Vanguard gathered that the

meeting was convened by the

ex- aspirants of the party to

sensitise members of the APC on

the membership/ revalidation

exercise slated to start today

(Tuesday) nationwide.

Spokesman of the state Police

Command, Kayode Okasanmi,

could not be reached for reaction

at the time of this report.

Recall that last Wednesday

attack took place during a

stakeholders meeting of the APC

at Banquet hall of Government

House where no fewer than 10

persons were seriously injured.

Reacting to the violence,

Governor AbdulRahman

AbdulRazaq, in a statement

through his Chief Press Secretary,

Rafiu Ajakaye, among others, said

the attack was unacceptable,

saying: “the administration has

zero tolerance for violence. The

development in Edu is

unacceptable. Anyone found

to have perpetrated the

violence should be arrested

and prosecuted.''

contradicting evidence of what

transpired on the said date.

ASP Alfa Yahaya, who led the

operation and arrested the five

suspects, told the court that they

visited the location purportedly

for the sex party with two hilux

vehicles with eight personnel of

operation Yaki who were armed.

According to Yahaya, “When

we got there, we saw crowd of

people, more than 50 not

observing social distancing,

not wearing face masks, no

provision of hand sanitizers

with many of them half naked,

drinking and playing loud

music. Many of them jumped

the fence when they sighted

the presence of police. We

arrested the organizer and

the two DJ’s and took them

to our station.

“I can identify three of the

defendants but they were not

half naked and I cannot say for

those half naked because they

jumped through the fence. We

did not see any sex party on that

day (27th December, 2020.)''

explained that the data bonus

to be offered will be determined

by the price of the particular

smartphones purchased. Models

of handsets that are available for

purchase include iPhones,

Samsung, Nokia, Infinix, Tecno,

Vivo, Imose and Itel. The

promotion will commence on

February 8 and end on February

22, 2021.

“We expect that our customers

will be engaged in a lot of online

activities before and around

February 14, so we decided to

make it easier for them to buy

genuine devices at affordable

prices for themselves and

their loved ones. All devices

come with warranties and

after sales support from the

manufacturers,” the

announcement concluded.

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

Kogi becoming hub of drug cultivation — NDLEA

By Boluwaji Obahopo

L National

OKOJA—THE

Drug

Enforcement Agency, NDLEA

has raised the alarm that Kogi

State is gradually turning from a

drug-transit state to a drugcultivating

state.

State Commander of the

agency, Mr. Alfred Adewumi, who

disclosed this in Lokoja while

speaking on the activities of the

command in 2020, said the

command had turned the heat

on drug barons in the state.

According to him, the

command had already destroyed

a N3 billion worth of cannabis farm

cultivated in the eastern part of

the state, with many others

springing up in the state. He

informed that the command last

year seized 313,368.759

kilogramme drugs, with cannabis

alone accounting for 305,000kg

worth over N3 billion.

Adewumi said: “We have also

arrested a total of 174 suspects

comprising 162 male and 12

female for the period under

review. The command was able

to secure 15 convictions while 17

other cases are still pending in

court.”

He said assets of some of the

drug barons connected to drugs,

had been seized and some

vehicles had been forfeited to the

Federal Government while some

others were still under interim

forfeiture.

Mr. Adewumi noted that the

command carried out short

intervention counselling for 126

persons and successfully

rehabilitated three others within

the year.

“The command carried out

intense advocacy and

sensitisation to traditional rulers

and opinion influencers enlisting

them to speak out against drug

abuse.

He called on parents not to

relent in their parenting role, “A

perpetually drunken parent who

puffs away on marijuana can

hardly pass for a good role model

or call forth in the children the

kind of awe and veneration that

should be the due of a responsible

parent

“Supportive parenting and

monitoring of children’s

behaviour can be a strong factor

in lowering the rates of drug

dealing and abuse, especially

among youths.”

He however lauded the

appointment of Brigadier

General Mohammed Buba

Marwa (retd) as Chairman

and Chief Executive of

NDLEA, saying: “A new

Sheriff is in town. This

appointment has engendered

hope, provoked new altitude

of impetus and driven the

adrenaline level for

performance of officers and

men of the agency to a new high.”

Meanwhile, the United

Kingdom Border Force of

Europe and International,

has commended the NDLEA

for its remarkable seizures

in recent times.

Its Regional Operations

Manager, West Africa, Kris

Hawksfield gave the

commendation during his visit to

the new Chairman/Chief

Executive of NDLEA, General

Mohammed Buba Marwa (retd)

yesterday at the Agency’s

headquarters in Abuja.

According to Hawksfield,

“Since your appointment, there

has been a flurry of activities.

There have been huge seizures

across commands. The Cocaine

seizure at the Murtala

Muhammed International

Airport was massive and for this

NDLEA must be recognized and

commended. Accept my huge

congratulations.

“The result NDLEA is recording

is far above any one organization

under our project across the

globe. We must continue to work

on our relationship to make sure

that what is happening in Nigeria

continues.”

Responding, General Marwa

appreciated the UK Border Force

for the technical support it had

rendered to the Agency in the

last four years.

He said: “NDLEA has felt the

impact of your four-year project.

The project has benefitted the

Agency in the area of training,

infrastructure, equipment and

intelligence sharing. We look

forward to a more robust technical

assistance in the subsequent

phases of the project.”

Sultan led-JNI backs Ganduje’s suspension

of Jabbar •Claims cleric denigrates the prophet

By Ibrahim Hassan

KANO—THE

Sultan

of Sokoto, Alhaji

Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubaka,

led-Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI,

has lauded the Kano State

Government led by Abdullahi

Ganduje, for suspending the

activities and preaching of Kano

Muslim scholar, Abdul Jabbar.

Secretary-General, JNI Dr.

Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, in a

statement, said “The generation

of the Companions (may Allah

be pleased with them) is the best

of all generations hence anyone

who tries to insult or malign their

integrity would be vehemently

opposed by every true sincere

Muslim the world over. Thus, the

actions of Abdul Jabbar of Kano

stand condemned detested and

completely opposed. It is clearly

an indirect insult on the

personality of the noble Prophet

(PBUH) which we will never take

lightly.

“In the same vein, the

Jama’atu Nasril Islam

commends the timely

intervention of the Kano State

Government as it suspended the

activities and “preaching” of the

said Abdul Jabbar throughout the

State pending the outcome of

investigations instituted against

him.

''We pray that Allah SWT will

continue to guide the

government and support it in all

its noble undertakings. We also

urge the governments to sustain

the tempo until all such

blasphemous innuendoes are

completely eradicated and the

Muslim societies are freed from

such quasi-Muslim scholars.

“The ‘Zauren Malamai’ of Kano

State has really played a vital but

expected role in tackling the

vituperations of Abdul Jabbar

and prompting the government

to action. The Ulama’ should not

COURTESY VISIT:

Chairman/Chief

Executive, National

Drug

Law

Enforcement Agency,

NDLEA, Gen.

Mohammed Buba

Marwa, retd. (left)

exchanging

pleasantries with the

Regional Operations

Manager, West Africa,

of UK Border Force

of Europe and

International, Mr. Kris

Hawksfield when the

latter paid a courtesy

visit on Gen. Marwa at

the NDLEA

headquarters in

Abuja yesterday.

•As UK Border Force commends NDLEA for massive drug seizures

NIGERIA’S leading

Information and

Communication Technology

solutions and service

provider, CWG Plc, has

recorded a Profit After Tax

(PAT) of N487 million in its

2020 result. This represents

an increase of 570 per cent

when compared to N72.7

million posted in the previous

year in 2019.

This is according to the

company’s recent financial

statement made available on the

Nigerian Stock Exchange.

In its unaudited financial

statement for the period ended

December 31, 2020, the largest

system integration company in

Nigeria, also recorded a revenue

relent in galvanizing the Ummah

of the Prophet (PBUH) under the

teachings of pristine Islam devoid

of attacking the personalities of

the Prophet’s house-holds and

his revered companions. We urge

the Ulama’ to continue to unite

and present a common front as a

vanguard for the protection of

Islam from any form of attack

and falsification. We pray to

Allah SWT to continue to

guide these Ulama’ and preserve

them upon goodness.”

CWG grows profit to N437m

in 2020

of N11.8 billion and gross profit of

N2.6 billion, representing an

increase of 23.4 percent and 13.9

percent Year-on-Year (Y/Y)

respectively.

Other key highlights of the

2020 financial statement show

decline in operating expenses by

24.4 percent to N1.8 billion. The

company’s EBITDA, EBIT and

PBT stood at N888 million, N636

million and N546 million,

respectively.

Though, no official statement

has been issued by CWG Plc with

regards to 2020 audited financial

results, the growth in revenue is

connected to the company’s

resilience amid the Covid-19

pandemic, where it continued to

churn out innovative solutions

and invest in rewarding

partnerships.

C

M

Y

K


10 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021

:Vanguard

News

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

2023: ‘It’s payback time for

Tinubu’s presidency’

By Onozure Dania

LGeneral AGOS—DIRECTOR-

of the Tinubu

Support Organisation, Mr. Aminu

Suleman, has said that the entire

North and its people were behind

the presidential aspirations of All

Progressives Congress, APC,

National leader, Asiwaju Bola

Tinubu.

Suleman said that all the

governors and the political

leaders in the North have

resolved to work hard to ensure

that Asiwaju Tinubu takes over

from President Muhammadu

Buhari in 2023.

The DG was speaking at the

commissioning of an ultramodern

educational ICT youth

Training Centre constructed

and donated to the people of

Itire-Ikate in Lagos State by

Niyi Gbodimowo, who is also

a chairmanship aspirant in the

forthcoming local government

elections in Lagos State.

Suleman said: “The North owes

Tinubu a debt of gratitude

because Buhari tried three times

to become president, but was

unsuccessful until he (Tinubu)

came into the picture. Now it is

only fair to reward Tinubu for all

that he has done for Nigeria.”

On the ICT centre, Suleman,

called on rich young Nigerians to

emulate Gbodo foundation and

Niyi Gbodimowo because such a

project would bring all round

development to the people.

What Nigeria stands to gain from

Buratai, others as envoys

—Monarch

By Adesina Wahab

LAGOS—OLOWU of Kuta

in Osun State, Oba

Adekunle Oyelude, yesterday,

hailed the appointment of former

Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Tukur

Buratai, and other service chiefs

as envoys, by President

Muhammadu Buhari, saying it

would afford them the opportunity

to galvanize global support for

Nigeria’s peace keeping

initiatives and efforts in African

countries, where terrorism and

wars have negatively impacted

on people’s wellbeing and

impaired socio-economic and

political stability of such nations.

The monarch said this while

commenting on last week’s

nomination of Buratai and others

as envoys by the President.

He said: “The appointments

have clearly put paid to

Sama Foundation urges Nigerians

to shun crime

LAGOS—THE Captain

Dafieko Sama Foundation,

yesterday, urged Nigerians to

shun crimes, to move the country

away from the present socioeconomic

predicaments

Dafe Sama, Vice-President, of

the foundation, in a statement,

wondered why able-bodied

Nigerians have taken to

kidnapping and kept blaming the

leadership for inadequacies.

Sama noted that the majority

of Nigerians must also share in

the blame as citizens saying that

there was a need for all to come

together to proffer solutions to

the insecurity in the country.

He noted that individuals and

groups have over the years

assisted the Captain Dafieko

Sama Foundation in different

ways as an NGO which has

enabled it to assist some youths

in different ways.

He said: “I remembered one

particular Niger Delta youth by

the name Akim Mimi Amoo who

was recommended to us for

assistance by the police, his case

was so desperate that we could

not ignore, he had some disputes

with the members of the Niger

Delta militants and was been

chased to which according to the

information available to us, lost

some members of his family

because of his romance with these

militants and he was left with no

insinuations of impending trial

by the International Criminal

Court for war crimes and

crimes against humanity,; allegations

and speculations

which have trended on the

media space for a long time.

“The fact is that none of the

immediate past service chiefs has

had any proven charge of human

rights abuse to answer before any

court within and outside Nigeria,

as none of them has been invited

or appeared before any court to

answer to charges of criminal

breach of fundamental human

rights of Nigerians.

“President Buhari deserves

applause for providing another

platform for the retired service

chiefs to lend their rich military

experience for the advancement

of Nigeria’s image in the comity

of nations. Gen. Tukur Buratai

(retd) and his colleagues,

therefore, need to use their new

appointments to galvanize global

support for Nigeria’s peace

keeping initiatives and efforts in

African countries."

option but to flee from Nigeria and

ended up in Libya.

“You can imagine Akim Mimi

Amoo, Benson Adekunle and

Matthew Chijoke we were able

to assist; I wonder what would

have become of them if they were

unable to get the assistance

needed from the Sama

Foundation.”

Amotekun nabs 15 illegal gold

miners, 5 robbers in Ondo

• Ibarapaland now safe for farmers, villagers —Oyo Amotekun

By Dayo Johnson &

Adeola Badru

AKURE—THE

Ondo

State Security Agency

Network, codenamed Amotekun

Corps, yesterday, disclosed that

it had arrested 15 suspected gold

miners, for mining gold illegally

from different locations in Owo

council area of the state.

This came as the Amotekun

Commander in Oyo State, Col.

Olayinka Olayanju (retd),

declared that Ibarapaland is safe

and free of killer herdsmen and

kidnappers.

Vanguard gathered that

the suspects were arrested from

no fewer than 50 locations in

Owo community, after about four

hours in the forest.

Those arrested include

Shuaibu Yahaya, Habbi Usman,

Kabiru Waheed, Mohammed

Nurudeen, Mohammed

Sulaman, Ali Mustapha, Ismaila

Wahab, Musa Zeehed, Gabbar

Musa, Sule Adamu Abba

Suleman, Usman Kebiru, Yahaya

Danladi and Usman Ali Zekeri.

The suspects, according to

findings, were apprehended by

the Amotekun personnel in

collaboration with local hunters

in the community following an

intelligence report.

Commander of the Amotekun

Corps, Chief Adetunji Adeleye

said that the arrest was part of

the crackdown to end criminality

in the State.

Adeleye said: “The arrest took

place at a Forest reserve in Owo,

it was in the course of the

exercise we discovered the illegal

mining locations.

“We noticed that they have

gone far in 50 different locations

where they were mining.

“Nobody would have believed

that Ondo State has this quality

of gold until we got to the

locations where the gold robbers

were living and performing illegal

mining.

“Beyond the arrest, the culprits

will be prosecuted.”

In an interview, one of the

suspects, Kabiru Shuaib from

Kebbi State, said he was invited

to the state by his friend Yunisa.

COVID-19: BUA purchases 1m doses

of AstraZeneca vaccines for Nigeria

LAGOS—BUA, one of

Africa’s largest

conglomerates, has paid

for one million doses of

AstraZeneca COVID-19

vaccines for Nigeria

through the AFREXIM

Vaccine programme, in

partnership with

CACOVID.

The doses of the

vaccine, which should be

delivered by next week,

would be the first

delivery of vaccines to

Nigeria, since the

COVID-19 vaccines

became available.

According to BUA, the

vaccines would be

distributed free to

Nigerians at no cost.

HANDOVER—From left: Mr. Hayatudden Awwal, MD, FHA Mortgage Bank; Mrs. Morola Babalola,

MD, Townsend Property Investment Ltd.; Senator Gbenga Ashafa and Chairman, FHA Mortgage

Bank; Mrs. Bukola Abitoye, MD, Digital Space Capital, and Mr. Olabisi Oguntade, MD, Cityworks,

during the commissioning and handing over of keys to the National Housing Fund Loan beneficiaries

of the Silvercrest Oakwood Estate, in Lekki, Lagos.

Speaking on this

development,

Philanthropist and

founder, BUA, Abdul

Samad Rabiu, hailed the

President of the Afrexim

Bank, Dr. Benedict

Oramah, for making the

purchase possible, and

Central Bank Governor,

Godwin Emefiele, for

coordinating the process

through the CACOVID

Private Sector

partnership.

Rabiu said: “BUA

decided to secure these

1million vaccines by

paying the full amount

for the vaccines today

because these vaccines

became available only

last week through

AFREXIM. We expect

the vaccines to be

delivered within the next

14 days and hope

priority will be given to

our frontline workers

who have committed their

lives to managing the

pandemic.““In addition

to this, BUA is

committing to purchase 5

million doses for Nigeria

as soon as they become

available through this

same arrangement.”

This development

effectively pushes

Africa's most populous

nation to the front of the

queue in vaccine

procurement.

Kabiru said: “I came looking for

a job and I was introduced by one

of our leaders. He brought me to

Ondo State for this job because I

wanted to make some money.

The suspect explained how

they dig deep into the ground to

get the gold and how they send

the gold to their leader who sells

and pay them token.”

Amotekun

parades 5 robbers

Similarly, five suspected armed

robbers, said to have been

terrorising travellers along the

Benin-Owo road, were also

paraded by the security outfit.

One of the robbers, who

operate a syndicate in Akure, was

apprehended in Warri.

The Amotekun Commander,

said: “We also arrested five armed

robbery suspects who were

operating along Benin-Akure

road.

“They operate most times early

in the morning. We worked on

intelligence and sold a dummy to

them and they were traced to

Delta State where one of them

was apprehended.”

Ibarapaland now

safe for farmers,

villagers —Oyo

Amotekun

Meanwhile, Amotekun

Commander in Oyo State, in a

statement, denounced some

audio and video posts in the social

media on the security situation

in Ibarapa, saying that he has

been moving in and out of the

area for days now.

The statement reads: “Anyone

desirous of finding out the truth

about the security situation in

Ibarapaland contrary to the

video/audio being circulated in

various forums can key into this

opportunity.

“I will personally provide escorts

to and from Ibadan to Igangan

anytime this week.

“You can organise yourselves

and inform me if you are

interested in finding out the true

position of things in Ibarapaland.

“I will be ready to move, just

give me 10hrs heads start. I am

in Aiyete and I’ve been moving

around Ibarapaland freely, no one

has reported any adverse security

issue to me apart from an isolated

case involving a Fulani man said

to have been killed in his house

in a remote village around Eruwa

in Ibarapa East on Saturday, by

yet to be identified assailants. No

security challenges observed in

Ibarapa Central and North

contrary to rumours been

peddled.

“We are fully on the trail of

those responsible for the said

murder in conjunction with other

security agencies and we assure

all that the attackers and their

motives will soon be uncovered.”


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Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021 — 11

:Vanguard News

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

CONDOLENCE VISIT: Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State (2nd left); Rivers State Governor, Nyeson

Ezenwo Wike (right); former Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu (left) and family members

of the late Enugu Commissioner for Transport, Rt. Hon. Mathias Ekweremadu Jnr, when Gov. Wike led a delegation

from Rivers State, on a condolence visit to Enugu State, yesterday.

Driver, 10 others burnt alive, 3 injured in

Ebonyi autocrash —Police

By Peter Okutu

ABAKALIKI—NO fewer

than 11 passengers were

feared dead while three others

sustained varying degrees

of injuries resulting from a fatal

accident that occured at

Ayaragu along Afikpo-Okigwe

expressway of the state.

Vanguard reliably gathered

that before the incident occurred,

the vehicle was coming

from Umuahia to Abakaliki.

Addressing newsmen over

the incident, the Police Public

Relations Officer of Ebonyi

State Police Command, DSP

Loveth Odah who described

the incident as unfortunate

noted that the accident involved

an 18-seater bus, Abia

Line Network Company Ltd.

"It was an unfortunate incident

this morning when the

DPO of Ivo Division called on

the Commissioner of Police

that there was a fatal motor

accident that occurred along

Afikpo/Okigwe Expressway by

Ayaragu in Ivo local government

area of Ebonyi State involving

an 18-seater bus, Abia

Line Network Company Ltd

with registration number

MUS938XA conveying about

14 passengers on board.

"According to an eyewitness,

on reaching the said area, one

of the tyres burst and the vehicle

somersaulted and landed

on the ground. Before it could

reach down according to the

eyewitness, it had already

caught fire.

"So, the fire burnt about eleven

of the passengers beyond

recognition. Three survived,

one is in the general hospital

in Ishiagu while two have been

discharged to go but the driver

died on the spot.

"The manifest we saw in the

vehicle is that of yesterday 7/2/

2021. The question is, did they

load yesterday or the manifest

is faked to deceive the police

and other security agencies

on the road?

"The Commissioner of Police

has sent his condolences

to the families while we call

on the general public whose

brothers and sisters plied from

Umuahia to Abakaliki to

move to Ivo general hospital

for the identification of their

corpses but the problem is that

someone who was burnt beyond

recognition, how do you

identify such a person? It is a

very unfortunate incident and

it now takes me back to what

I have been telling drivers to

always check their vehicles to

ensure they are road worthy

before they ply roads. The

other day, the tyre of a Peace

Mass burst and three persons

died. Today, the tyre of this

particular bus also burst."

An eye witness, Mr Jeremiah

Aja told Vanguard that the

accident occured when a bus

belonging to Abia Line Network

coming from Umuahia

to Afikpo lost control due to

excessive speed, killing almost

all the passengers on

board.

Aja, who witnessed the incident

while working on his

farm narrated that the bus was

moving at an excessive speed

and could not negotiate a

bend.

He said: "The driver could

not negotiate a bend due to

high speed and he lost control

and somersaulted multiple

times inside the bush. We

were able to rescue two persons

before the bus caught fire

and we ran away.

"It took the prompt intervention

of Chief Onyebuchi Ogbadu,

Ivo local government

chairman, who brought water

tankers and put out the fire.

"The police and officials of

the Federal Road Safety

Corps (FRSC) teams quickly

moved the two persons alive

to a nearby hospital where

they are now receiving medical

treatment.

"Over ten bodies burnt beyond

recognition have been

evacuated to the motuary by

FRSC officials, " Aja said.

Rehabilitate abandoned grazing

reserves to settle herders', farmers'

crises —MACBAN

By Ikechukwu Odu

THE NATIONAL Secre

tary of the Miyetti Allah

Cattle Breeders Association of

Nigeria, MACBAN, Othman

Ngelzarma, has urged the federal

and state governments to

rehabilitate various grazing

reserves nationwide to check

the worsening crises between

herders and farmers in the

country.

Ngelzarma who equally

asked the federal government

to introduce a common settlement

model for the pastorialists

in Nigeria, added that

settling the herders in various

grazing reserves across the

country while waiting for the

model would help to check

the rising insecurity in the

country occasioned by herders/farmers

clashes.

He made the call while discussing

Livestock Transformation

Programme of the federal

government on the breakfast

programme, 'Good

Morning Nigeria,' of the Nigeria

Television Authority,

NTA, yesterday.

He equally regretted the

delay in implementing the

Livestock Transformation

Programme, adding that

members of his association

are not carried along in the

committees set up for the implementation

of the programme.

"Let us develop the existing

grazing reserves we have as a

way to check the herders/

farmers conflicts in Nigeria

while we wait for livestock settlement

model for the nation.

In the interim, let's provide

water and pasture in our grazing

reserves while we wait for

the model which may take

time to establish.

"Something should be done

immediately to overcome this

insecurity that livestock rearing

is plunging the nation

into. Settlement is the only solution

considering the growing

population and enormous

demands on the land that

doesn't increase in Nigeria.

The pastorialists are experiencing

climate change and

desertification.

"In the interim, let the state

governments begin to develop

the grazing reserves which

they have to solve this problem.

Let them provide more

dams and other things that

can help to settle the herders

in one place.

"What is forcing the herders

down to the southern part of

Obi expresses shock on thuggery at Nnewi

NNEWI—THE former

governor of Anambra

State, Mr. Peter Obi has expressed

shock and disbelief

over the reported disruption

of the programme of Mr. Valentine

Ozigbo at Nnewi.

In a release from his Media

Office signed by Mr. Valentine

Obienyem, Obi said that what

Anambra people expected to

hear at this time was the programmes

those seeking various

elective positions had for

the country is the search for

water and pasture. Once they

have them in the grazing reserves

we have in the northern

parts of the country, they

would all come back and stay

and all these conflicts would

cease.

Wike visits Ugwuanyi,

Ekweremadu, others, over death

of Transport Commissioner

•Burial date fixed for March 5

PORT

HARCOURT—

GOVERNOR Nyeson

Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State

has commiserated with Governor

Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of

Enugu State over the death of

his Commissioner for Transport,

Rt. Hon. Mathias Ekweremadu,

who died on Thursday,

February 4, 2021, while

in active service.

Gov. Wike also consoled the

former Deputy President of

the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu,

who is the younger

brother of the deceased, over

“this painful death”.

Speaking when he led a

delegation from Rivers State

to Enugu State Government

House and residence of Senator

Ekweremadu, respectively,

on a condolence visit, Gov.

Wike described the death as

unfortunate and a great loss

to the Ekweremadu family, the

Government of Enugu State

and the entire people of the

state.

The Rivers State governor

said he was devastated when

he received the sad news of

the death of Senator Ekweremadu’s

elder brother.

Gov. Wike equally visited

the immediate family of the

late Ekweremadu at his Enugu

residence where his consoled

the wife and children,

asking them to “take heart as

Christians and leave everything

to God”.

He urged Gov. Ugwuanyi,

Senator Ekweremadu and

other members of the Ekweremadu

family to take solace

in the fact that it was the will

of God and that the late Transport

Commissioner, who was

ex-Chairman of Aninri Local

Government Area and former

Chief Whip of the State House

of Assembly and represented

Aninri Constituency, between

2013 and 2019, lived a worthy

life and served the nation,

Enugu State and humanity

meritoriously.

Responding, Senator Ekweremadu,

on behalf of his

family thanked Gov. Wike for

making out time, out of his

tight schedule, to visit Enugu

State to commiserate with

him, the immediate family of

his late elder brother, Gov.

Ugwuanyi and the people of

the state, stressing that such

show of solidarity and concern

for humanity was deeply

appreciated.

Senator Ekweremadeu who

announced that his family

and Enugu State government

have fixed March 5, 2021, for

the burial, appreciated Gov.

Ugwuanyi for the rare opportunity

he gave his elder brother

to serve the state as his

Commissioner for Transport,

stressing that his late brother

discharged his responsibilities

creditably.

The former Deputy Senate

President also thanked Gov.

Ugwuanyi for the friendship

and brotherhood both of

them have built over the years

and have continued to enjoy,

expressing confidence that

such show of love will continue

to manifest.

On his part, Gov. Ugwuanyi,

on behalf of the government

and good people of Enugu

State, formally welcomed

Gov. Wike and his entourage

including the former Deputy

Speaker of the House of Representatives,

Rt. Hon. Austin

Okpara, to the state, to sympathize

with them over the

death of his Commissioner for

Transport and elder brother of

Senator Ekweremadu.

The governor thanked the

Rivers State governor for his

show of solidarity and support,

“in a time like this”, saying:

“We cannot thank you

enough”.

Gov. Ugwuanyi equally

urged Senator Ekweremadu

to take heart, adding that “we

are in this together.”

Community leaders absolve Anyim of land

grabbing allegation

the people and workable

strategies they had in place for

the effective implementation

of such programmes in the

overall interest of the State.

Describing what happened

as “shameful” and a “throwback

to superseded ways”,

Obi said that politics all over

the world had passed the stage

of thuggery to a stage where

those seeking power are expected

to behave like statesman

and women who have

By Peter Okutu

Aleaders BAKALIKI—SOME

of Amagu community,

the hometown of the

former Senate President,

Senator Anyim Pius Anyim,

in Ishiagu in Ivo local government

area of Ebonyi,

weekend, absolved him of

any form of land grabbing

allegation as speculated in

some quarters.

They explained how they

are putting modalities in

place to ensure speedy development

across the length

and breadth of the community.

The leaders stated this

during a joint press briefing

at Ovumute community in

Ishiagu, in Ivo Local Government

Area of the state.

Reacting to the ongoing

exercise in the community,

the Chairman, Ovumute

Land Committee, Pharmacist

Chinedu Makwe who

explained that they decided

to embark on the parcelation

of all the lands in the

community to pave way for

the interest and progress of

the state at heart, rather than

the crude mentality of acquiring

power by all means and

thereafter becoming confused

on what to do with the power

so acquired.

It would be recalled that

some hoodlums under the

cover of anonyminity, destroyed

some materials

meant to be used by Mr. Valentine

Ozigbo for his “Walk

for Life”, programme in

Nnewi last Saturday.

even development added

that the idea would engender

unity and progress of the

people.

He absolved the former

Secretary to the Government

of the Federation

(SGF), of any form of land

grabbing allegation in

Ovumte land settlement in

the area as their decision

was targeted at engendering

development . According to

him, the decision to percelate

158 hectares of the

Ovumte land settlement was

the collective decision of

Amagu community after

their general meeting as it

will enable every family have

a portion of the land and not

for the former SGF to claim

as wrongly speculated.

Also, Chairman, Amagu

Development Union (ADU),

Chief Ukah Livinus Okorie

during the press briefing at

Ovumute community described

the earmarked land

as a communal one and that

there was an oral agreement

by the forefathers of the

community to allow some

persons that settled in the

land to reside therein and

give way anytime the community

wants to use the land

for development purposes.


C

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12 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021

VACCINATION:

Delta State

Commissioner for

Agriculture and

Natural Resources,

Mr. Julius Egbedi

(middle) presenting

motorised spraying

machine to Jerry

Ossai, Chairman,

Association of Pig

Farmers, Delta

State Chapter while

Mr. Ben Agamah,

Permanent

Secretary, Ministry

of Agriculture and

Natural Resources

watches during the

Flag-off of 2020/

2021 rabies

vaccination

campaign, in Asaba.

:Vanguard News

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

Ayade swears in Ikpeme as C-River Chief

•I've discovered Ayade is humane—Ikpeme

Judge

By Ike

Uchechukwu

C ALABAR—TWICE

rejected by the state

House of Assembly for “being

a security threat,” Justice

Akon Ikpeme was, yesterday,

sworn-in by Governor Ben

Ayade of Cross River State at

the Executive Council

Chambers, Calabar as the

Chief Judge of the state.

Aged 62, Justice

Ikpeme became a judge

on November 16, 1998

and has served in acting

capacity as Chief Judge

on December 3, 2019 to

March 2, 2020, before her

swearing in, yesterday,

as the second female

Chief Judge of the state.

Speaking after her

swearing-in, Justice Ikpeme

said: “It is with deep

appreciation in my heart that

I want to thank God, who

rules over the affairs of men,

who has made this day

possible.

“God uses men to fulfill His

purpose. I also thank

Governor Ayade from the

depth of my heart for making

this day a reality. In my

interactions, I have discovered

that he is very humane.

“I want to assure the

governor that the judiciary

under my watch will

collaborate with other arms of

government to move Cross

River State forward."

God touched my

heart, she is right

person for the job

—Ayade

Speaking earlier, Ayade

said: “Today brings to an end

the internal concerns of

CrossRiverians over the

stability of our judiciary.

“God has chosen a woman

and not just a woman of God

but a covenant child. She is

here at the right time and she

is the right person for the job.

We must put behind all the

challenges in the process of

getting here.

“God touched my heart and

the heart of every other person

in the decision making

process. It was God that

fought your fight and not any

•God touched my heart, she is right person for the job—Ayade

•We'll continue to stand on right side of law—NBA President

man.”

We'll continue to

stand on right

side of law—NBA

Speaking with newsmen

shortly after the swearing-in

ceremony, President,

Nigerian Bar Association,

NBA, Olumide Apata, said:

“We are extremely delighted

that Justice Ikpeme has

finally been sworn in as the

Chief Judge of Cross River

State. It is a fitting climax to

a long process.

“In life, the problem is not

that there are challenges but

what is, however, important

is how effectively we are able

to solve them.

“I am glad that between the

dramatis personae, we have

been able to come to this

fantastic outcome, an outcome

that reflects the internment of

our constitution and so at the

end of the day, all is well that

ends well. “Democracy runs

on three arms of government,

that tripod and they stand

independently but they must

also collaborate for democracy

to succeed. So now I call on

My Lord to work

assiduously.

“She is inheriting a

judiciary with issues. I am

praying that Lord will give

her the strength and wisdom

to navigate the stormy waters

and I expect her to work

effectively with other arms of

government but she must

uphold the independence of

the judiciary which is critical.

“We will continue to watch,

and we will continue to be

the watchdog which is the

role of the NBA, we will

continue to take special

interest in what is happening

in Cross River Judiciary.

“We will continue to stand

on the right side of the law,

justice and constitutionality

and so we are happy, the

NBA is satisfied with the

outcome. We cannot rest on

our laurels, we will make sure

we continue to do what is

right.”

Give INEC exclusive power to declare

winners not courts, Osunbor tells NASS

By Udo Ibuot

FORMER governor of

Edo State, Senator

Oserheimen Osunbor, has

advised the National

Assembly to ensure that the

Independent National

Electoral Commission,

INEC, was adequately

empowered to solely declare

winners of elections and not

the courts.

Osunbor in a memo he

sent to both legislative

chambers of the constitution

review committees,

advocated that to truly make

the electoral body

independent, courts should

not award victory to a winner

except INEC.

He said: “The 1999

Constitution in its Third

Schedule Part I Item F 15 sets

out the powers of INEC.

Section 158 guarantees the

independence of INEC with

some other federal bodies to

ensure that they exercise

their respective functions free

from external influence,

control or interference.

“The need for the

commission to carry out its

functions free from any

external control is very crucial

considering the fact that

credible elections form the

basis of citizens’ participation

in the choice of their elected

representatives into public

office which is the essence of

democracy.

“The constitution could not

have envisaged that INEC

will share this power with any

other authority or organ of

government but sadly that

has become the reality as

election tribunals and courts

have repeatedly declared as

winner of an election a

candidate different from that

declared as winner by INEC

– the body that organised,

undertook and supervised

the election in the first place.

“It is a serious anomaly,

incongruity and an aberration

for INEC to conduct an

election and declare a winner

and for other persons who

took no part in the conduct of

the election to declare a

different person as

winner. This renders the

word independent in the

name of the commission

worthless and meaningless."

Delta APC crisis'll soon be resolved

—Emerhor

By Festus Ahon

Aleader SABA—FOUNDING

and 2015

governorship candidate of All

Progressives Congress, APC,

in Delta State, Olorogun

O’Tega Emerhor, has said

leaders of the party in the state

were in talks towards

resolving the internal crisis of

the party.

Emerhor at his Evwreni

country home in Ughelli

North Local Government

Area of the state after he and

his wife, Rita, revalidated their

APC membership, decried the

crisis, which engulfed the

party before and during the

2019 general election, noting

that it was to the advantage of

the ruling Peoples Democratic

Party, PDP, in the state.

Emerhor, who was the first

person to contest election on

the APC platform in 2013, said

it was time for the leaders and

members of the party to bury

the issues that led to division

within the structure of the party

in Delta State.

He said he was talking with

the Deputy President of the

Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-

Agege; Minister of State for

Labour and Employment,

Olorogun Festus Keyamo,

SAN; 2019 governorship

candidate of the party, Chief

Great Ogboru, and other

leaders of the party towards

resolving all the issues

confronting the party in the

state.

FG to build 3 new sea

ports —Amaechi

By Davies

Iheamnachor

PORT

HARCOURT—

Minister

of

Transportation, Chibuike

Amaechi, has disclosed that

the Federal Government

would construct three new

sea ports across the country,

as no nation can celebrate

efficient transportation

without good sea ports.

The Minister disclosed this

while delivering the 2021

Founders’ Lecture, at the

University of Port Harcourt,

UNIPORT, Rivers State on

‘The Role of Transportation in

Nation Building.’

Amaechi said logistics give

impetus to transportation and

that its absence would cripple

the nation’s economy, adding

that government had

prioritised the sector because

of its importance.

He opined that no nation

can have efficient

transportation system without

good sea ports, revealing that

the Federal Government was

targeting the construction of

three new sea ports across the

country.

Amaechi hinted that the sea

ports would be located in

Onne, Rivers State, Lekki in

Lagos and Warri, Delta State.

The minister said: “This

administration wants to do

fresh sea ports, because the

existing ones, even if you

dredge it 100 times, give it

one month, it will be filled

again, so that’s why we want

to do fresh ones. With the

three new sea ports, we will

move from three per cent of

the country’s GDP to six per

cent.

“The Port Harcourt to

Maiduguri rail line was

extended to Bonny. On the

way to Bonny, it’ll pass

through the Ogoni axis and

terminate at Onne seaport;

I wholly support electronic

voting — Gov Diri

By Samuel

Oyadongha

YENAGOA— Governor

Douye Diri of Bayelsa

State has expressed support

for electronic voting as a

solution to Nigeria’s electoral

challenges.

He said: “Towards 2019, we

opened up the party for other

members to come in. And

that’s when the group led by

Senator Ovie Omo-Agege

who’s now our Deputy

President of the Senate and

Chief Great Ogboru joined us.

“Of course, you know in

politics there is always interest

and infighting. When they

came in, we were unable to

agree on the direction of the

party. In that disagreement,

the party was torn into two.

We actually had two parallel

congresses. It was us versus

them and we fought the fight

to the Supreme Court.

“But every fight must come

to an end. And, in the interest

of the party, we must all come

together."

then from Port Harcourt to

Owerri, it’ll pass through

Ubima with a connecting line

to the Western line at

Karfanchan. The Port

Harcourt-Maiduguri line is

also extended to Damaturu

and Gashua in Yobe State.

What makes this line unique,

is that you’ll have a

university and an industrial

Ppark in Rivers State.

“Hopefully the segment

from Ibadan to Kano will

commence this year.

"You can’t have an efficient

transportation system without

seaports. You must end at the

seaports for importation of

goods or export to boost your

economy. For this reason,

President Buhari has

approved the construction of

three major seaports.

"The first one is Lekki deep

seaport. It’s under

construction and will be

completed in 2022. The

second one is at Bonny, and

we’ll commence construction

later this year. We chose

Bonny because, it is right

there at the ocean. So we

don’t have a problem with the

draft.

“Even if we get 14-15

metres, we can dredge up to

2-3 metres more and we get

17, than to get just 10 in Port

Harcourt. The deepest in

Nigeria for now is the Onne

seaport with 11-12 metres

draft. But these days, vessels

of 11 metres draft have been

abandoned for those of 16-

17 metres.

"That’s the reason we go to

the high sea for transfer of

cargoes to vessels with lower

draft size. So these three new

seaports will have the capacity

to take vessels of 16-17 metres

draft. The third seaport is at

Warri and another one is

being done by Akwa Ibom

State government with a

private investor."

Speaking at a grand

reception in his honour in

Sampou community,

Kolokuma Local Government

Area of the state, the governor

recalled with displeasure the

electoral malpractices that

characterised the 2019

governorship election in the

state.

His words,:“Part of what will

solve the problem of this

country is electronic voting. I

recommend e-voting, e-

register and electronic

elections in Nigeria. It might

not solve all our electoral

problems but it will go far in

resolving most of our electoral

conflicts.

“My leaders, my elders, my

brothers and sisters, I

appreciate you for the love

and honour you have

showed me. The colourful

reception you have organised

in my honour, I say thank

you. I bring a message of love

and hope.

“Yes, our take-off as a

government was very

turbulent. But we have flown

above the turbulent weather.

Now we are stabilising and

the testimony is all across the

state. I only ask for your

support.”


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021 —13

OBSEQUIES FOR AIR COMMODORE IDONGESIT NKANGA

The burial of Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (retd), Pioneer National Chairman of the Pan Niger-Delta

Forum (PANDEF) held at Ikot Nya, Nsit Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State weekend.

Widow of Late Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, Funmi (2nd right) with her children.

Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State (2nd left) with his Bayelsa

counterpart, Senator Douye Diri (left) during the obsequies.

Brothers of the deceased.

Wife of the Akwa-Ibom State governor, Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel consoling Mrs

Nkanga, while Governors Emmanuel and Diri commiserate with the bereaved family.

Senator Ita Enang, SSA to the President on Niger Delta Affairs (left) and

Mr Umana Umana, MD of Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority. A cross section of a sociocultural groups during the burial .

Dignitaries at the burial.

...More dignitaries.


C

M

Y

K

14 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021

A protégé’s

outpouring in

tribute to Pat

Utomi @ 65

By UBONG ESSIEN

ONE moment he’s addressing a group of

youths seeking inspiration and the

next moment he’s off to the airport to catch a

flight to speak to a senior management team,

only to thereafter be on his way to listen to a

group of widows with barely time to catch

enough rest for the next day’s class at the Lagos

Business School. Then add the endless media

appearances and unending smattering into

politics and civil society causes. This is how

Pat Utomi’s life runs, typically.

Call him a ‘Master Dabbler’ and you won’t

be wrong. With the unending penchant to

foray into virtually every human sector, Pat

Utomi continues his quest for his holy grail

couched in the terminology he ever so fondly

bandies as ‘the common good’. Utomi’s

propensity for contribution to virtually every

sector of national life is phenomenal. His sheer

capacity to possibly be all things to all people

and the ease with which he so often fits into

various contexts is nothing short of a gifting.

It is difficult to aggregate, let alone try to

quantify, the contributions of Professor Utomi

to the Nigerian project. From business to

education to religion to entertainment to

politics to social reengineering, Pat Utomi

easily passes for the quintessential generalist.

This modern day scholar continues to defy time

by sustaining an exceptional sense of national

relevance for over four decades.

Meeting Pat Utomi was purely providence.

My late uncle and mentor, Capt Ufot Udo

Ekong of the then Nigeria Airways, in his bid

to push me firmly into my entrepreneurial

calling of publishing and motivational

speaking figured it out. He reasoned that if I

was truly serious about not getting a job and

striking it out on my own, having just

completed my NYSC, then Pat Utomi should

be one great person to meet. So, as he was

wont to do, he gave me his business card with

a note – after all he was a captain and no one

was going to turn him down.

Upon arriving the Lagos Business School

that fateful December 19, 2001, I met the place

a near grave yard only to be disappointed by

the security staff who informed me that the

school had closed for the Christmas and New

Year holidays and I would have to return in

January. God would appear to have other

plans. Barely two minutes after walking away

dejected, I heard a shout from one of the security

staff running to catch up with me only to tell

me that surprisingly, Pat Utomi had just driven

into the premises

to pick up some

papers he forgot

to pack for work

during the

holidays. I

wasn’t going to

let this pass me

by as I raced

back to the LBS

Patito has a

contribution for

almost every aspect

of national life and

this is what perhaps

makes him an

interviewer’s

delight

premises to

hand him the note from my uncle. The rest is

history too long to recount within this space.

I would go on to interview and feature him

in the Achiever’s Manual and he in return would

ask me to stick around for various projects

both at work and at home, thus transforming

me into both protégé and understudy. Before

long, he had smuggled me into his famed

flagship programme, Patito’s Gang, first as an

observer and thereafter a full induction as a

gang member. He even went a step further to

ask me to create a version of the programme

for more youthful gang members known then

as Patito’s Gang Phase 2 which featured a host

of his other protégés such as Taiwo Akerele

who would go on to become Chief of Staff to

the Edo State Governor, Linus Okorie of

GOTNI, Fela Durotoye who ran for president

recently, Dr. Elevis Ukpaka, Niyi Adesanya,

amongst several others.

As a ‘Generalist’ of our time, Patito has a

contribution for almost every aspect of

national life and this is what perhaps makes

him an interviewer’s delight. Like him or hate

him, the man clearly has the uncanny capacity

to be all things to all people. From industry to

•Prof. Pat Utomi

industry, nobody plays the shapeshifter better

than Pat Utomi. And from location to location,

I have yet to find a Nigerian with as much a

footprint given his ever-ready disposition to

get up and go practically everywhere. This is

clearly one aspect of his life that I deliberately

chose to not nip into.

Pat Utomi has been criticized for having his

hand in many pies, yet many can’t seem to

make out how he manages to stay relevant to

an ever expanding spectrum of groups and

stakeholders.

Criticized by some for having his fingers in

many pots, the Utomi brand has nonetheless

held up quite well. He has managed to

participate in his many and varied pursuits

without being stretched thin – he continues to

have something to offer whenever called upon

and with genuine willingness. Apparently, his

stock has continued to rise. Not many can boast

of so much dabbling without the existential

consequence of a tradeoff.

For some of us close enough who have tried

to encourage him to slow down in a bid to

manage him out of this ‘madness’, we have

failed most woefully, painfully realising that

the best solution is to simply let him be. After

all, Patito, as he is fondly called, is a gift that

keeps on giving.

Upon reflection about why he is such a

moving target, I think I have managed to come

to the realisation that it comes down to service

and a deep personal quest for, in his words,

‘immortality’. What will the next generation

think of my role? Was I just part of the numbers

or did I speak up or raise others? Did I change

society or was I complicit by looking the other

way? These are the questions he battles with

daily.

How about his imperfections? Sure, he has

them aplenty for he is human after all.

Admirably, he is very often the first to own up

to them. In this era of sycophancy, this tribute

does not seek to sing out all tunes in praise of

Pat Utomi. He very often opens up about his

weaknesses and oversights in a rather relaxed

manner of one embracing such inadequacies

and with a willingness to just keep trudging

on. Contrary to misconceptions in some

quarters, the Pat Utomi I know never plays the

self-righteous card.

There is a running joke in my family

whenever I call my mother and ask how my

dad is doing. She always responds with ‘which

of them?’ The Black one or the ‘Oyinbo’ one?

Such was the extent of his influence that even

my parents couldn’t but attest. Little wonder

during my wife’s birthday in August 2016 at

my residence, my father (now late) on sighting

Patito embraced him joyfully while uttering

the words: ‘thank you for finishing the work I

started on this boy’.

In the end, the best way to judge a leader is

by their contributions. Some leaders are

considered eccentric, others egocentric, Pat

Utomi is ‘other-centric’. In my almost two

decades as his protégé and understudy I have

watched him consistently and unhesitatingly

give of himself in service to others. Prof Utomi

has served more than he has been served.

Service to others is part of his DNA. This is

what drives him – To Serve is to Live. I have

watched him take many, train them and table

them as near equals and without strings

attached. A lot of what I am and where I am

today, I owe to this Godsend. Prof, I am truly

proud to call you my mentor. Here’s wishing

you a truly happy 65th birthday and continued

service to humanity.

•Essien, CSP, West Africa’s only certified

speaking professional is currently the

Special Assistant on Communication and

Strategy to the Director-General of

NIMASA.

TRIBUTE

Fayemi: Celebrating a soldier of

peace at 56

By YINKA OYEBODE

IN one of his most recent interviews with a

national daily, Governor Kayode Fayemi

was asked to state for the record, who between

former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola

Ahmed Tinubu and former governor of Ekiti

State, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, brought him into

partisan politics. The intention of the reporter

was two-fold: First, to further the debate on

the topic, which had been generating interest

on social media for about a month. Second, to

get a fresh angle to the story, exclusively for his

newspaper. The question was neatly wrapped

as a follow up question and should naturally

provide him the opportunity to go full blast -

to give credit to one above the other.

But Governor Fayemi calmly threw the

question back at the reporter: “What does it

matter who brought me into partisan politics?”

adding: “The point is that I am in partisan

politics. I benefitted from the tutelage of both

elders that you mentioned.” He stated further

that he had the privilege of working with both

leaders and other leaders at different times

and levels on development projects,

emphasising, however, that both have been

quite supportive of his rise to political

prominence. "And I owe them a lot for bringing

me into the partisan political space,” he said.

That calm answer did a lot to calm down the

reporter who realised that a screaming

headline he had envisaged was no longer

possible. That is quintessential Kayode

Fayemi, a man who holds a doctorate in War

Studies but believes in the biblical injunction

of doing everything possible to live peaceably

with all men, as contained in the Biblical Letter

to the Romans. A leader who believes that

public office is not a popularity contest but an

avenue to impact positively on the lives of the

people. He believes that no development can

be achieved in a rancorous environment. Thus,

his actions and policies are targeted at ensuring

development that is sustainable with emphasis

on peace

building as a

v i t a l

ingredient.

Regarded

as an

emissary of

peace, JKF, as

he is fondly

called,

Fayemi believes that

public office is not a

popularity contest but

an avenue to impact

positively on the lives

of the people

demonstrated

his statesmanship and penchant for peace and

social justice when he accepted the outcome

of the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti

State in 2014, where he lost his re-election bid

in a controversial manner. That was the very

first time a sitting governor would readily

concede an electoral defeat and bow out

gloriously. It was a sacrifice he had to make to

avert a major crisis that could have arisen as a

result of the highly compromised electoral

result. He was emphatic in his appeal for calm,

stressing that his ambition was not worth the

life of a single Ekiti person.

His reputation as a lover and promoter of

peace has been on the rise since then, making

him the number one choice for conflict

resolution with outstanding results. The need

to make peace a precursor to development

made him initiate policies that addressed some

inequalities and lop-sidedness in the mining

sector during his stint as Minister of Mines

and Steel Development between 2015 and

2018. Key among these was the win-win

approach he engineered to address the

contentious issue of land ownership. Through

the right mix of policy, advocacy and

consultation with the people, the exclusive

right of the Federal Government on minerals

and mining was retained, but a creative way

was found for the States to be able to benefit

from the resources in their domain, while the

host communities also get their deserved

compensation.

As the Governor of Ekiti State, Fayemi’s

annual town hall meetings across the 16 local

governments to get the people’s contributions

to the yearly budget has been hailed as a model

that has enhanced peace, progress and

prosperity within the state. This is even as the

creation of new local council development

areas as well as granting of autonomy to some

communities are seen as strategic peace

initiatives aimed at fostering good

neighbourliness. His ability to bring together

adherents of different faiths and people of

diverse ethnic groupings in the state has also

earned Ekiti State the reputation as one of the

most peaceful states to live and do business.

Under his watch as governor, the vulnerable

in the state are protected through legislations

such as the Child Rights law, Gender Based

Violence law, among others.

Governor Fayemi has also extended this

peaceful approach to knotty issues to other

sister states, where he has deployed his peace

building skills to stem hostility. The recent

intervention in the herders versus Ondo State

Government issue, his intervention in the

alleged demolition of a mosque which was

becoming a major crisis in Rivers State in

2019, and several others only point at his

avowed belief that it is always better to jawjaw

than to war-war.

Regarded as a consummate intellectual in

government, Fayemi’s strength lies in his

ability to initiate and pursue peace processes

to logical conclusion and finding creative ways

to ensure every peaceful step taken is trailed

by sustainable development. Among his first

meetings as Chairman of the Nigeria

•Gov Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State

Governors’ Forum, NGF, where he wears the toga

of a trusted mediator, was with top officials of the

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,

NNPC, to consider ways to strengthen

transparency and accountability in the oil sector

and address the dwindling trend in federation

revenues.

As noted by NGF Director General, A.B

Okauru, Governor Fayemi followed up this

with meetings with the Joint Tax Board and

the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Customs,

Federal Road Safety Corps and other agencies

to raise a common front to solve the revenue

crisis in the country. With Fayemi at the helm

of affairs at NGF, the forum became a “problem

solving group”, what with several interventions

that have helped to crack many knotty issues

of socio-economic and political significance.

And like Ralph Waldo Emerson, American

essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who

led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-

19th century, said: “Do not follow where the

path may lead. Go instead where there is no

path and leave a trail.” For Fayemi, going

where there seems to be no path is a familiar

pastime. And leaving a trail- an impact, a

legacy comes to him naturally.

He combines integrity, creativity and

sincerity with passion for excellence and

development. JKF stated this much in one of

his books: Reclaiming The Trust. He admits

that what he has brought into governance is

the kind of trust that is based on and compels

competence, openness, concern and reliability.

“Trust is a public good; we cannot do great

things collectively without trust. But trust has

to be earned,” he stresses.

As JKF turns 56 today, the question is no

longer about what he is capable of doing as a

leader and peace maker. For he has been able

to demonstrate his capability as an

imaginative, innovative and diplomatic

leader. Rather, the question will be about what

he would not do as a leader as many believe

that his past has adequately prepared him for

the present and the future.

Born on February 9, 1965, John Kayode

Fayemi received his first degree in History and

Politics from the University of Lagos in 1985,

a Master’s degree in International Relations

from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife (now Obafemi

Awolowo University), in 1987 and a doctorate

in War Studies from the King’s College,

University of London, UK in 1993.

He was inaugurated as Governor of Ekiti

State on October 16, 2010.

Continues online:www.vanguardngr.com

•Oyebode, Chief Press Secretary to

Governor Kayode Fayemi, wrote from Ado

Ekiti, Ekiti State


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021 — 15


16 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 9 2021

Now their teeth on edge

THE late Pa Abraham

Adesanya once told us how

he boldly looked at Chief

Obafemi Awolowo at an Action

Group caucus and said: “It seems

some of our ministers are seeing

life more abundant as a motto

for their children alone with the

type of cars they are riding."

Awo was silent for a minute and

those who didn’t know the Leader

was a lover of the truth thought

he was going to lambast

Adesanya. But he invited him to

come and take a seat next to him

on the table to give him more of

the important information which

ordinarily would not have come

to his attention.

The political space Awo

worked all his life would never

lack men of valour. And the

Yoruba nation must be eternally

grateful to the likes of Dr. Amos

Akingba who through persistence

did not allow the controlling

leadership of ACN to totally lead

the Yoruba through the dark alley

in 2014 by consistently asking

what was their negotiating

instruments with their Fulani

husbands when the APC wedlock

was being negotiated.

Eventually they were handed

over to one of their master

dissemblers, Alhaji Lai

Mohammed, who tossed them up

and down until he handed them

a document that contained

nothing.

Hegemonic

purpose

After their complaints, another

document was brought as a draft

manifesto which contained the

catchphrase: to restructure

Nigeria into a true federation.

The Oluwole document was

ostensibly a Taqqiya meant to

hoodwink the unwary as the

owners of the game said they

didn’t know the meaning of

restructuring after they took

power.

Their real agenda was destructuring

Nigeria for their

hegemonic purpose; but they

played on with those who naively

thought they could fortuitously

complete Muhammadu Buhari’s

tenure or succeed him.

The first stanza was shattered

immediately Buhari grabbed the

ticket at the stadium in Lagos and

he became a changed man. Chief

Bisi Akande, Asiwaju Bola

Tinubu and Ogbeni Rauf

Aregbesola went to Atiku

Abubakar’s house in Lagos to

complain to him. Asiwaju was

reported to be toasting Atiku

about his sacrifices for

democracy when Chief Akande

had to cut him short to say they

were with him to get Buhari to

fulfill his promise to Tinubu to

make him VP as he promised

before the primary but on which

he had become non-committal.

Atiku looked at Chief Akande

again and asked him if he had

forgotten he was the one who

•APC members during their party membership registration, revalidation exercise

asked him not to do a Muslim-

Muslim ticket when he gave him

AC ticket in 2007, and if a Buhari

and Tinubu ticket would be a

different combination than that.

Tinubu and Aregbesola looked at

themselves as the meeting ended

on that note. They never knew

Buhari just left Atiku to ask for

support and the only condition

given was not to do a Muslim-

Muslim. A compromise was

struck with Buhari-Osinbajo

ticket before Buhari agreed not

to drop the ticket as they went on.

It was clear to those

of us who could read

the game well that the

Yoruba ludo masters

had become

playthings in the

hands of the Fulani

chess masters they

were playing against

Even before the full

inauguration of government, it

was clear to those of us who could

read the game well that the

Yoruba Ludo masters had

become playthings in the hands

of the Fulani chess masters they

were playing against. I did my

“Arewa songs of conquest “ in

June 2015 against that

background: “What a tragedy of

victory! The stiff-necked

adventurers

who

uncritically assumed a day

would come when Arewa would

embrace power sharing are now

doing what Yoruba call “aramora,

iso kijipa”: like you are being

whipped but you can’t afford to

shed any tear.

"The children of Oduduwa who

gave an identity and the formula

to engage all nationalities with

pride are now hovering like

Almajirai in Abuja because they

sacrificed their core values to

play at their traducers’ area of

FEEDBACK

Re: The wars Yoruba fight

MY dear Yinka Odumakin

Your loaded piece with

the above title published in the

Vanguard of Tuesday, February 2,

2021, was incisive, instructive

and revealing as usual, as you

candidly expressed thoughts that

are in sync with those of

Nigerians who are becoming

increasingly fed up with the

provocative effrontery of some of

our brothers from the Northern

section of the country who

quixotically think they possess

monopoly of violence.

Obviously oblivious of the facts

of Nigerian history, Northern

interest groups such as Arewa

Consultative Forum, ACF;

Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders

Association of Nigeria,

MACBAN, et.al, alongside some

prominent Northern power

brokers, have developed the

penchant of blackmailing the rest

of the country with war anytime

their vested interests in the status

quo seems threatened.

It is a fact of history that prior

to the infamous 1914 fusion

exercise orchestrated by British

buccaneer- cum-statesman, Sir

Fredrick Lord Lugard, High

Commissioner for the

Protectorate of Northern Nigeria,

who was also destined to become

the Governor General of Nigeria,

some of the Southern ethnic/tribal

strength. The gloom on their

faces is worse than that of those

who lost elections. They are now

busy tearing themselves into

pieces, jostling for who will be the

senior in the slavery they have

just sold themselves to. Like Fela

Anikulapo Kuti around this time

in 1984: I just dey look and dey

laugh.

"These folks lack any

institutional memory to even

understand the subtlety of those

they are engaged in power game

with. They are in a game whose

rules of engagement they don’t

have the faintest idea of. They

didn’t know that the power of

cash becomes immaterial when

the key to the treasury is handed

to those you thought you were

funding. Some folks are so poor

despite having tonnes of cash.”

In the last five years, Yoruba

groups

constituting

contemporary Nigeria existed as

self-governing entities comprised

warrior tribes that were never

subjects of the Fulani.

Fulani inroads into the South

terminated at Ilorin, which fell

due largely to internal political

wrangling, consequent to Afonja’s

miscalculations. Other attempts

to invade the South, through

Yoruba lands, were decisively

repelled.

Also instructive is the fact that

initial attempts by the Fulani

Jihadists to conquer some parts

of what is today’s Middle Belt

were massively resisted by the

valiant warrior tribes domiciled

in that region, and that it was the

intervention of the British

imperialist machine, via the

Mistake of 1914, that led to their

ultimate conquest and

subjugation, like other groups in

Nigeria, to Fulani domination.

On the uncontrolled outburst by

President Muhammadu Buhari’s

squeamish Goebbels, Garba

Shehu, that the Fulani have rights

Well done sir

GOOD afternoon sir. I am a

freelance journalist and

writer based in Lagos. I enjoy your

column.

Please keep it up and may your

and other non-Fulani

communities in Nigeria have

paid with their blood over the

indiscretion of these people; they

can’t even notice the cheap tears

of Chief Bisi Akannde at his

country home as their possible

registration out of APC was as

Akande said: “No population

census is repeated within less

than a decade and voters are not

re-registered at every election.

“Within this context, I see the

present APC membership

registration within less than a

decade after the original register

as an indefensible aberration

leading to certain ugly

perceptions. The first major

perception is that APC, already

having a well-computerised

register for an average 100

leaders of similar ideological

orientation per each of the

120,000 polling units across

Nigeria, might be lacking

comprehension and matrix of

modern-day technology.

“The second major perception

is that APC leadership might be

wasteful and unappreciative of

the proper use of money in a kind

of scanty economy in which

Nigeria now finds itself. These

seeming ugly perceptions put into

abeyance the applause of the

national election successes that

the original APC register enjoyed

since its completion on February

15, 2014 and the over one billion

Naira of 2014’s value that the

original register cost when APC

had no money of its own.”

The marines are full of ears to

the lamentations! It is so strange

that those who have been immune

from the cries of their people over

the calamity they invited over

them just like the grand patrons

of Miyetti Allah would now want

them to look at their side when

their own teeth are set on the edge

for the sour grapes they ate.

It is painful to be asking old

men if they never heard the word

“aise”(we didn’t do it). And there

will always be consequences if

you did it. You pay a higher cost

for selling our people.

to forest reserves anywhere in the

country, it must be pointed out to

him that the right by any group to

supposedly settle and carry out

business activities in any part of

the country, does not include the

authority to brazenly kill, kidnap,

maim, rape members of their host

communities and destroy their

sources of livelihood without

respite from any quarters, which

the killer herdsmen from the

North are fast becoming

proficient at.

Sir, like you unerringly pointed

out in your masterpiece, another

war in contemporary Nigeria

would be very disastrous as it

would be fought on several fronts.

If the grand mistakes that led to

the 1967-1970 Civil War are

repeated, it will make the

adversarial stance of our

Northern brothers grossly illadvised.

Nobody or group in Nigeria has

monopoly of the use of force! A

word is enough for the wise!

Thank you, once again, for your

labour of love!

•Jude Obuseh wrote from

Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.

pen never run dry!

Enjoy the rest of the week and

stay safe.

Regards,

Tony Ademiluyi

C

M

Y

K


Mea culpa (2)

This first part of this piece

which was first published last

week Tuesday focused on

governors who conflated

criticisms for abuse or

opposition

IN the state – if you worked

for the previous governor

you were gone. If that governor

rented your house, you were not

paid by the new governor; if you

had a contract with the previous

government forget it. When a

governor does not realise that

what he is pursuing is not a

personal vendetta but what is

good for the people, we have the

beginning of despotism. The

governor does not suffer on

account of this but the people.

If the mentality of a governor

aligns with what I have

described, then what follows is

even par.

Someone has a hotel and has

sex/nude parties in his hotel

(during COVID-19, I would

Between modular refineries and fuel sufficiency

By CHIKODI OBIOMA

ONE popular maxim among people who

are indigenous to South Eastern part of

Nigeria is that obu ihe ojo mmadu ihapu ara

nneya wee nua akpu (it’s an abomination for

a child to suck the boil on its mother’s chest in

the stead of its mother’s breast). Again, it is an

abomination (aru) for people to stand in the

middle of an ocean and begin to wash their

hands with saliva (O bu aru mmadu ino n’etiti

oshimiri wee jiri asu kwuo aka).

The two axioms are illustrations of

Nigerians’ nasty experiences in relation to

petrol, which is a by-product of crude oil with

which God blessed the country abundantly.

Crude oil started being the beginning-and-theend

of all socio-economic activities after

agriculture that “breastfed” the country was

abandoned. Every now and then, Nigerians

will be on the throes of one petrol palaver or

the other. Most times, fuel scarcity will hold us

at the jugular. When this happens, Nigeria’s

poor will agonise staggeringly because of the

cost of foodstuff skyrockets. This is because

everything in Nigeria is fuel-dependent,

including, arguably, making one’s wife

pregnant.

As the late Professor Chinualumogu Achebe

would argue, if a man could not say from where

the rain started beating (drenching) him, he

will not know where the rain stopped drenching

him. Nigeria and Nigerians began

experiencing problems that resulted from the

oil and gas sector when the four refineries in

Nigeria stopped functioning as a result of

criminal neglect by successive administrations.

Matters came to a head when the Federal

Government refused to address the issues of

oil pollution that resulted in environmental

degradation. Those from the region, especially

their youths, began agitation and every time

government would tell them that their better

life was in the pipeline so much so that the

youth could no longer bear it and began

breaking the pipelines to find out the things

government had put there.

Some of them with little technical knowhow

went into building illicit refineries which

government kept on destroying without the

thought that it could have been legalised by

issuing licences to some operators or convert

them to government property, improve on them

imagine) that the proper action

is to arrest the revellers. The

most improper action is to knock

down the hotels which are a

denial of the governor’s right

to protect life and property. If

such law exists in a state law

books, it is against the

Constitution and against

human rights. Those aggrieved

would have taken the laws into

their hands if they went to the

governor’s father’s village to

disrupt houses there or fetish

shrines. What is the principle

lost here?

In Lagos, another governor

has managed, even against

constitutional freedom, to pass

a law in the Lagos State

Assembly that allows the traffic

police to seize any car that is

driving against a one-way

street.

The Assembly has no law

against trucks parked in no

parking area, from Apapa to

Airport, to Tin Can, to Costain

Is there some silver lining on

Sylva’s plans for the industry

which favours arguments for

modular refineries?

term priorities aimed at developing a stable

and enabling the oil and gas landscape with

improved transparency, efficiency, stable

investment climate and a well-protected

environment tagged “7big wins”. The fourth

initiative in the roadmap, “Refineries and local

production capacity” seeks to transit Nigeria

from being an import-dependent nation into a

net exporter of refined petroleum products

through the modular refineries as vehicle.

This is seen as one of the ways and means of

tackling non-availability of petroleum

products. This much was evidenced when

President Buhari performed the virtual

inauguration of the National Oil and Gas

Excellence Centre on January 21, this year.

One of the issues he spoke about was modular

refinery. He mentioned the completion of the

5,000 barrels per day Waltersmith Modular

Refinery in Imo State which is the biggest

modular refinery to be inaugurated.

The phase one of the refinery began

to Badagry. Why are they not

auctioning those trucks? They

are causing the gridlock in

Lagos Ports!

By the way, are commercial

motorcycles or okadas not

vehicles? Is anybody blind to

the number of okadas in the socalled

okada free zones?

Whatever happened to the laws

requiring wearing of helmet for

driver and passengers on

okadas? Okadas do not stop at

traffic lights; they travel against

one-way system; they are on

the Third Mainland Bridge,

they stop whenever and

wherever. I could go on.

I am told that the okadas are

driven by off-duty police men

and soldiers to supplement

their inadequate and

infrequently paid salaries.

Every day I see police,

government official cars,

Immigration and Customs

officers, DSS, a host of other

corps with sirens blaring as they

drive against this very one-way

systems. But if you do not

belong to this class, they

impound your car, take you to

court and auction off your car.

What gives LASTMA the

authority to auction your car

because of a traffic violation

which a lot of people violate

without consequence?

In Kaduna the governor,

another friend of mine, was

for refining crude oil since our refineries have

been consigned to the trash can of history.

However, as religious gatekeepers would say,

for everything, there is a season, there seems to

be a season to end the debilitating issue of fuel

and gas wahala in Nigeria. That time may

be now that President Muhammadu Buhari

has vowed to fix the country’s oil and gas sector.

To walk the talk, he appointed a savvy in the

oil and gas sector, Chief Timipreye Sylva as

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to

join him to move the sector forward.

Ever since the duo started managing the

sector, Nigerians are experiencing a sharp

difference. To fix the sector, they have evolved

several methods to make things work. Unlike

previous administrations, the current APC

administration has been quick to support

moves to establish modular refineries as a way

to boost the country’s refining capacity.

As part of its strategy to reposition the oil

and gas industry, President Buhari in 2016

launched a roadmap of short and mediumoperations

in November last year after the firm

was granted a licence by the Department of

Petroleum Resources, DPR, in June 2015. With

the expansion of the refinery to 50,000bpd

capacity in November last year, the country is

set to begin a phase of reduced import of

petroleum products. It is expected that the

refinery would deliver 271 million litres of

refined petroleum products a year as the crude

oil storage capacity of the refinery is

approximately 60,000 barrels.

With President Buhari’s instruction to DPR

and the Nigerian National Petroleum

Corporation, NNPC, to provide all necessary

support in securing oil and condensate

feedstock for the second phase, there are

indications that the project will be a success.

Although it is said that Edo is not Imo, what is

happening in Imo with regard to the modular

refinery is also happening in Edo as the Edo

Modular Energy refinery is set to increase

crude oil production from 6,000 barrels per

day (bpd) to 60,000 bpd.

The project will enhance fuel sufficiency in

the country and reduce the sufferings of

Nigerians in every facet. Projections are that

some of its products will be exported to boost

foreign exchange earnings and by the time it

extends operations into different phases, the

firm would be able to take care of more than

80 per cent of diesel requirement in

Nigeria. The investment is also expected to

benefit Edo people through job creation,

increased revenue and ease of pressure on other

refineries. If Sylva’s commitment to easing

life for Nigerians doesn’t become flaccid,

another modular refinery-the Atlantic

Modular Refinery on Brass Island, Bayelsa

State, will begin operation before this year ends.

Going by his pedigree, Sylva doesn’t fail if he

promises as his name is fast transmuting

to Ekwueme (doing what he says).

If Chief Sylva’s intentions about the modular

refinery initiative are to promote availability

of petroleum products in the country, conserve

foreign exchange utilisation for the

importation of petroleum products, promote

socio-economic development in order to stop

restiveness, criminal and illegal refinery

activities thereby sustaining peaceful coexistence

in the Niger Delta and mitigate

environmental degradation associated with

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021 —17

reported to have given an order

that a restaurant, having sex

parties, be demolished. I am not

sure which is the cause of the

angst of the governor – the

nude/sex nature of the

restaurant or the fact that these

activities were against the

COVID-19 guidelines. Even so,

you could have arrested the

culprits without destroying their

property. In another case, a

senator walks into a sex shop

and slaps a receptionist- an

action unbecoming of a senator.

What gives LASTMA

the authority to auction

your car because of a

traffic violation which

a lot of people violate

without consequence?

The examples are legion and

would be tedious to replicate

here. What is obvious: are state

laws made for the unprivileged?

As for driving against the

traffic or changing driving

routes - only a blind man would

be made to see the multiple

routes which drivers take on

Carter Bridge. No one arrests

anyone. One-way traffic exists

in all the new major roads -

especially (Orile-Mile Two) the

upper Oshodi Expressway and

the side roads are all no

respecter of the one-way

Send Opinions & Letters to:

opinions1234@yahoo.com

system. On the Lekki express

road, almost no one respects the

traffic lights. As for the motor

cycles, they move according to

laws known only to themselves.

In Europe even bicycle riders

obey the traffic laws. There is a

minimum of sirens blaring on

the roads. If you see one - it is

an ambulance or a police car on

an emergency - no convoys

with escorts blaring down the

street.

In Japan, our delegation

convoy had one motor cycle and

the traffic lights were so

synchronised that so long as we

moved at 30km/h, we did not

stop from city centre till we got

to the Imperial Palace.

In Benin, one governor leaves

a political party to join another

party with absolute no

regressions. Our Constitution

explicitly forbids an elected

official from leaving a political

party which elected him without

resigning his seat. In applying

this provision the courts have

been compliant and even

complicit in taking the teeth out

of this provision to the effect

thereof.

Whatever was intended by the

Constitution is now frustrated.

Not that I know anyone who

could actually tell me the

difference between PDP and

APC.

illegal refinery activities, crude oil theft and

pipelines vandalism, then Nigerians are on

their way to the Promised Land.

Even though there are divergent views about

the economic viability of these modular

refineries, Chief Sylva should not be distracted

by these on-shaky-ground arguments since

there are shreds of evidence that as of January

last year, the average net profit margin for the

industry was 6.8 per cent, according to data

from NYU Stern School of Business.

Chief Sylva should not be deterred by any

infinitesimal drawback on the sector

precipitated by competition from shale oil,

excessive supply, generous financial markets

and the coronavirus pandemic that had a

deleterious effect on the sector’s net profit

margins. The question: is there some silver

lining on Sylva’s plans for the industry which

favours arguments for modular refineries?

Nigeria has inadequate refining capacity and

meets all the criteria, hence the opportunities

for modular refineries because they are simple,

fast to start up and usually operating at optimal

capacity. In theory, this is an advantage over

larger refineries. It can also commence

production with a small capacity of 5,000BPSD

or 10,000BPSD, and grow its capacity over

time by adding more modules. Huge

investment opportunities in the middownstream

sector that will result in growth

of the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and jobs

creation are some of the enormous benefits of

modular refinery initiative. One of the crucial

components of this initiative is government’s

support for the establishment of the third party

financed Greenfield and modular refineries

for in-country petroleum products sufficiency

that will stimulate products export. To make

this plausible, it is planned that the refineries

should be scalable and located within refinery

clusters for effective operations and minimal

environmental footprint. This is a great

strategy on the part of the government. Chief

Sylva, as the Minister of State for Petroleum

Resources, has a date with history with regard

to saving Nigerians from the shackles of

unending fuel scarcity and coldblooded

importers of petroleum products who rip off

the country of billions of Naira in form of

petrol subsidy.

Continues online:www.vanguardngr.com

•Obioma, a public affairs commentator,

wrote from Umuahia, Abia State


18 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021

THIS year , 2021, German Chancellor,

Angela Merkel, will end her 16-year

tenure as her country's leader to great

acclaim from Germans. While the

unusual send-forth ceremonies by which

she is ushered out are unprecedented,

they are by no means surprising.

Merkel, an academic scientist, wife and

mother had during her tenure helped position in Forbes’ World’s Most

Germany navigate through two Powerful Women.

recessions: in 2008 and 2020.

As her German compatriots honour her

Germany entered into recession in May with unprecedented pomp, they pay

2020 due to Coronavirus, seeing a 2.2 % tribute not only to her humility,

shrink in GDP, a fall described as the transparency and integrity, but also to her

sharpest decline since the 2008 global leadership attributes that made her reign

financial crisis. Yet, Merkel will be leaving synonymous with positive global impact.

the nation's GDP at $3.803 trillion dollars, Surely, third world leaders of countries

up from $2.846 trillion in 2005 – the as Nigeria have a lot to learn from

strongest economy in Europe.

Markel’s conduct, her focus and her

As 2020 Pew Research poll of 13 single mindedness. In November 2018,

countries show, Merkel is the world’s Merkel stepped down as leader of the

most trusted leader, well ahead of all her Christian Democratic Union and

peers. For the 10th consecutive year, 66- announced she would not seek another

year-old Merkel took the number one term as chancellor in 2021. Popular as

Merkel's retirement as beginning of new era

she remains, she has made good this

promise.

As much of the world faces a global

leadership crisis, Merkel came through

as a world-famous leader for her austere

outlook to both herself and her country's

economy.

Her accommodating stance towards

victims of conflict stood her out. When

she left the German borders open during

the refugee crisis of 2015 and was criticised

for it, she said: "We can do this...Germany

would continue to welcome refugees,

otherwise it would not be my country."

Her sense of multilateralism and

responsibility towards the rest of the

world, including the European Union

which she leads, seems unlikely to

change.

Though nearing the end of her

chancellorship, Merkel, who served as

opposition leader (2002-2005) and as

leader of the Christian Democratic Union

(2000-2018), has continued to make

contributions to global affairs.

As the world battles an unprecedented

pandemic and economic downturn,

Markel’s staunch centrist ideology is

currently being deployed both in

combating the disease and economic

recovery.

As she bows out, Merkel will prove that

the end of a tenure does not necessarily

mean end of leadership. In a world where

women have continued to struggle for

recognition as leaders, Merkel remains

a beacon of hope and inspiration to

women worldwide.

We wish her good luck in her future

endeavours.

OPINION

Send Opinions & Letters to:

opinions1234@yahoo.com

Sad return to broken chains (3)

The second part of this piece published last

week enumerated details of Federal and

state governments debts stock, adding that

little was achieved with the money borrowed.

THE four states are among the richest

states in the country. I grew up in an age

that insists that he who goes a-borrowing, goes

a-sorrowing. It was an idiom used by the

American Nationalist, Benjamin Franklin

(January 17, 1706-April 17, 1790). Borrowing

makes our lives unfortunate; but we are the

ones who borrow, so we face problems

simultaneously. To borrow means to take and

use something that belongs to somebody else,

and return it to them at a later time. Does this

action lead to unpleasurable consequences?

Borrowing is a doomed cause.

It ends with its beginning, like a closed circle

and never lets you go away. It grabs you with

its tentacles, until it completely tears you to

pieces, like a fierce beast, and then leaves you

to the vultures and jackals. People borrow

things, and money especially, when they are in

need. But this need is caused in most of the

cases by person’s laziness and foolishness and

mismanagement too. If the individual is

ambitious and clever enough, he will never

sink in the mud puddle of need. If he is smart

enough to limit himself and determine his

needs to his abilities. Even if you borrow with

a good will in mind, an idea, what guarantees

that you will be able to return what had been

lent to you? Then you will have to borrow again,

and again, and...except.

My late mother, Madam Juliana

Adekolarin Teniola, cautioned me that I should

not make borrowing a habit as I will suffer for

it in the end. She also instructed me that selfdiscipline

will help me achieve greatness and

that people who tend to borrow often are

usually slow in settling debts. But as I grew

older, I realised that debt is a major

development issue and there can never be any

growth without incurring some level of debt.

One needs to borrow from commercial houses

to make for progress and profit in any

enterprise. When too much debt is obtained it

definitely becomes a burden.

Debt has a significant effect on global

poverty. For example, borrowed money

accrues interest which adds to debt and can

lead to impoverished lands suffering because

massive interest payments drain funds that are

needed for things like infrastructure investment.

Compound interest over a matter of decades

can soon render a serviceable debt

unsustainable.

Addressing the media on December 30,

2019, my friend, the Minister of Information,

Mr. Lai Mohammed, said Nigeria’s debt

servicing to revenue ratio has been higher than

desirable. The minister put the country’s

current debt profile at $83.8 billion and

dismissed reports that the country’s external

debt was N81 billion. According to him, the

entire debt profile comprises $27.163billion

external and N56.720 billion domestic debt.

He said the debt figure represented the

cumulative borrowings by successive

governments and that the total public debt

stock in 2015 was N63.80 billion, comprising

$10.31 billion of external debt and N53.49

billion domestic debt.

Presenting his budget on October 8 last year

to the National Assembly, President

Muhammadu Buhari said: “We have

provisioned N3.12 trillion for this in 2021,

representing an increase of N445.57 billion

from N2.68 trillion in 2020. A total of N2.183

trillion has been set aside to service domestic

The rate at which we are

going, in terms of our debt

profile, may lead to Nigeria

being put up for sale

debts while N940.89 billion has been provided

for foreign debt service. N220 billion is

provided for transfers to the Sinking Fund to

pay off maturing bonds issued to local

contractors and creditors”.

Like every Nigerian, I am worried by the

rising Nigeria’s debt profile because debt is

the principal cause of poverty, leading to

human suffering and misery and hampering

economic development. This is not what we

should handover to our children and

grandchildren. I have to make reference to the

speech by then President Olusegun Obasanjo

when he addressed the National Assembly on

debt on July 26, 2005.

He said on that day that: “I am very pleased

at this opportunity to brief you today on issues

relating to our nation’s debt relief, the contours

and struggle for debt relief, the terms of the

relief we were granted by the Paris Club, and

the opportunities that this opens up for our

dear country Nigeria. Let me start by thanking

you, members of the National Assembly for

your understanding, encouragement and

support during the struggle for debt relief. It is

the courage and vision that you exhibited in

standing firm with the Executive that made it

possible for us to carry out the arduous

negotiations that resulted in this

unprecedented relief for Nigeria.

“Let me say at this point that this pattern of

cooperation should not end here. We have more

national and international challenges before

us and only cooperation, commitment, mutual

respect can ensure victory for our ideas,

initiatives and actions. In this brief, in respect

of debt relief, I will speak on the inherited debt

overhang, the impact it had on our effort to

grow and develop the economy, the struggle

for debt relief, the results of this struggle, the

benefits to our country and people, and the

future. Of course, not all Nigerians know the

truth, the importance or impact of debt relief,

and the opportunities that it provides for our

country”.

Now we are in a dilemma over our debt

profile. I am sure we are not expecting another

debt relief again. The potential problems of

government borrowing is that it will lead to

higher debt interest payment and also lead to

increase rate in taxes, thereby leading to

inflationary pressures. The prediction in 2005

was that paying the debt will free up cash that

will push towards capital expenditure and

bring the desire economic boom. Instead what

we have now is that we spend more on recurrent

expenditure and limited capital expenditure.

We are back in full cycle. Poverty and conflict

are closely interconnected.

Now we are being told that Nigeria’s total

debt profile will hit N33 trillion by next year.

The rate at which we are going, in terms of our

debt profile, may lead to Nigeria being put up

for sale. Very sad indeed.


Pension assets grow by 25% to 12.3trn in 2020

By Rosemary Iwunze

CURRENCY BUYING SELLING

US DOLLAR

POUNDS

EURO

FRANC

YEN

CFA

WAUA

RENMINBI

RIYAL

DANISH

RAND

PENSION

THE pension fund assets of the

Contributory Pension Scheme,

CPS, grew by 25.3 percent, year-onyear

(y/y), to N12.29 trillion in

2020 from N9.81 trillion in 2019.

The 25 percent growth recorded

last year represents 7.7 percentage

increase when compared with the

17.6 percent,y/y growth recorded in

2019.

Disclosing this in its December

2020 monthly report, the National

Pension Commission, PenCom, said

that the number of Retirement Savings

Account, RSA, holders rose by

17.5 percent to 9.22 million in

2020 from 7.85 in 2019.

Further analysis of the report

shows that Pension Fund Administrators,

PFAs, invested N8.13 trillion

of the fund in federal

government’s securities, up by 10.8

percent percent from N7.34 trillion

in 2019.

Further breakdown of the fund

invested in government securities

N6.83 billion was invested in FGN

Bonds, 27.7 by percent from N5.35

trillion in 2019; N628.22 billion was

invested in Treasury Bills, down by

19 percent percent from N1.88 trillion

in 2019; Agency Bonds got

N9.49 billion, down by 23.5 percent

from N11.72 billion in 2019; Sukuk

Bonds received N646.93 billion up

by 674.7 percent from N83.5 billion

in 2019; Green Bond got

N13.05 billion, down by 15.5 percent

from N15.5 billion 2019.

Furthermore, the PFAs invested

N1.69 trillion in local money market

securities N1.69 trillion up 41.7

percent from N1.2 trillion in 2019.

This was followed by Bank placements,

which received N1.53 trillion,

up by 36.4 percent from N1.1

trillion in 2019.

Other investment by the PFA are:

Domestic Ordinary shares which

received N858.46 billion, up by

55.3 percent from N552.8 million

in 2019;

Foreign ordinary shares got

N92.92 billion, up by 30.3 percent

124.00 -0.50

2,444.00 -28.00

16.30 -0.12

60.23 +0.89

57.76 +0.91

379 379.5 380

518.8131 519.4976 520.182

455.937 456.5385 457.14

420.6437 421.1987 421.7536

3.5877 3.5924 3.5971

0.674 0.684 0.694

542.487 543.2027 543.9184

58.6815 58.7593 58.8372

101.0343 101.1676 101.3009

61.2169 61.2977 61.3784

25.2709 25.3042 25.3376

CBN Exchange rate as at 08/02/2021

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021 — 19

VISIT: From left - SA to the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Tunde Ajayi; Chief

Executive Officer, Evercare Hospital Lekki, Rajeev Bhandari; Honourable Commissioner for

Health, Lagos State, Professor Akin Abayomi; Executive Director Finance, Admin and Strategy,

Evercare Hospital, Temi Awogboro; and Head, Business Development, Evercare Hospital, Kehinde

Oyesiku; during a courtesy visit by the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Lagos State to the

Evercare Hospital facility ahead of its official unveiling next month in Lagos.

from N71.3 billion in 2019; state

government securities got

N136.59 billion up by 18.7 percent

from N115.1 billion in

2019;

Corporate debt securities got

N836.34 billion up by 47.5 percent

from N566.8 billion in 2019;

Foreign money market, N18.69

billion up by 252.8 percent from

N5.3 billion in 2019;

Infrastructure funds N66.43 billion

up by 75.2 percent from N37.9

billion in 2019; Commercial pa-

Customs intercepts contraband worth N30bn

By Godfrey Bivbere

THE anti-smuggling unit of

the Nigeria Customs Service,

NCS, Federal Operations

Unit (FOU), Zone A yesterday

said it intercepted contrabands

worth over 30 Million smuggled

into the country from Benin Republic.

The contraband items include

foreign parboiled rice, used vehicles,

textiles materials as well as

Indian hemp.

Acting Customs Area Controller,

CAC of the Uint, Zone A, Usman

Yahaya said the contrabands were

intercepted between January

1st, 2021 and last

week.

However, Vanguard

gathered that the seized

items came in through the

porous border points

manned by Seme,

Idiroko, and Oyo/Osun

Command of the Service.

The Customs boss said

that the Unit also intercepted

fake and unregistered

pharmaceuticals

worth N51 Million along

Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State as

well as Indian hemp

smuggled from Ghana

into Iseyin in Oyo state.

He said, “After the opening

of Seme border by the

Federal Government, the

smugglers thought they

could cash on it to perpetrate

their evil act, but the

unit left them with heavy

losses as evidenced by the

seizures.”

He said a total of

MARITIME

142,677 seizures of different items

were intercepted even as he vowed

not to relent in making the environment

unconducive for smugglers.

He said: “A quick glance at the

period under review, the Unit intercepted

and seized a total of 142,677

seizures of different items. 41,652

bags of 50kg smuggled parboiled

rice from Idiroko, Ipokia, Imeko,

Iseyin, Igbo-ora, and Seme; 1,356

bags of 25kg smuggled parboiled

rice; 4,529kg of Indian hemp

smuggled from Ghana to Islington

in Oyo State worth N710 million.

“Others are, 66 packs of Tramadol

and other unregistered pharmaceupers

received, N156.69 billion, up

by 34.2 percent from N116.8 billion

in 2019; while cash and other

assets received N122.79 billion up

by 93.7 percent from N63.4 billion

in 2019.

ticals products; 5,849 cartons of fake

drugs; 266 units of means of conveyance

and 218 used vehicles.”

Also intercepted according to the

CAC of the Unit are: 1,660 bales of

textiles materials; 2,152 kegs of 25kg

vegetable oil falsely declared at the

other end of the seaport of Apapa

and Tin-Can Island port and 6,985

cartons of frozen poultry products,

and 985 kegs of Premium Motor

Spirit (PMS) were seized.

He further disclosed that: “We

arrest 44 suspects in connection with

the seizures but as a Unit, we will continue

to re-strategize to ensure that

smugglers don’t have a hiding place.

Instead of incurring losses, I will advise

smugglers to embrace legitimate

business and become responsible citizens.”

CAPITAL MARKET

MONEY MARKET

ABCON backs CBN directive on cryptocurrency

By Peter Egwuatu

THE Association of Bureaux De

Change Operators of Nigeria

(ABCON) has expressed support for

the directive of the Central Bank of

Nigeria (CBN) mandating banks to

close all accounts belonging to

cryptocurrency traders.

In a statement, ABCON President,

Alhaji (Dr) Aminu Gwadabe, said

the regulator acted fast to curtail an

emerging dangerous trend capable

of eroding Nigeria’s Anti-Money

Laundering and Counter-Terrorist

Financing (AML/CFT) gains.

He said that before placing a ban

on financial dealings that does not

conform with the norm, the regulator

must have obtained financial intelligence

on such operations, as

seen in kidnappers now collecting

Bitcoin for ransom. Gwadabe said the

new changing global behaviour towards

cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria

is not in tandem with Nigeria’s

AML/CFT compliance structure as

the country battled to move out of the

Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

sanctions list.

He said that cryptocurrency trading

is so pervasive and widespread

that every segment and all operators

in the financial industry is becoming

vulnerable to their operations that are

not guided by regulation.

“All over the world, no regulatory

institution has given a fiat approval

of the new digital money due to its

vulnerability to money laundering

and counter terrorism financing. It is

Ecobank Nigeria

introduces money

transfer via SMS,

WhatsApp

E

COBANK Nigeria has in

troduced money transfer by

email, SMS and Whatsapp features

on its mobile application.

Speaking, Olukorede Demola-

Adenyi, Head, Consumer Banking

Ecobank Nigeria said that

this is part of the bank’s innovation

in digital banking, enabling

customers to perform their transactions

conveniently. She also

spoke on the simplified and more

appealing interface of the Mobile

App, making it easier and convenient

for people to transfer funds

from their accounts with the App.

“This opportunity couldn’t have

come at a better time when many

people are self-isolating and keeping

social distance due to the

COVID-19. We have the responsibility

as a bank to continue to

innovate for the benefits of our

teeming customers. We encourage

our customers and others to

utilize this new addition to our

digital self-service solutions. With

this feature, a customer can transfer

up to N50,000 without the

beneficiary’s account number.

The transfer can be initiated without

the beneficiary providing an

account number or deciding on

which account to receive the

funds into. For us as a bank, this

is super convenient for money

transfer.”

Mrs Demola- Adeniyi further

said, the process is simple and

beneficiary can redeem the

money sent in 3 simple steps; Receive

the web link sent to his mobile

number as SMS or WhatsApp

message, click on the link to select

bank and enter the account

number, then, submit the request

and senders account is immediately

debited. The beneficiary account

irrespective of the bank receives

the credit instantly. The

process is secure, convenient and

funds are in local currency and

do not leave the sender’s account

until the beneficiary initiates the

redemption into the destination

account.

She called on those who are yet

to download the Ecobank Mobile

app to do so without delay because

of the attendant benefits.

“The Ecobank Mobile app allows

you to enjoy our banking services

instantly and conveniently on

your mobile device. The app provides

you with an easy channel to

manage your account and perform

financial transactions in a

simple and secured manner. The

app gives you access to affordable

banking services and more,

wherever you are, on your mobile

24/7 , 365 days a year.”

therefore the belief of our Association

that the measures of the CBN

will ensure confidence of our foreign

partners to boost economic

growth,” Gwadabe stated.

According to the ABCON boss,

rather than criticising the CBN, the

naysayers should have advised the

government to introduce Digital

Agri-business to Nigeria’s teeming

youth for capacity and self employment.

“We therefore support the CBN

measures and urge the apex bank

to support a paradigm shift in Bureaux

de Change (BDCs) business

where we are moving from traditional

bricks and mortar operations

to a digitized model that boosts

transparency, foreign capital inflows

and ease of monitoring and

supervision of our operations,” he

said.


20 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021

Oil Market: Price hits $60 per barrel as Iraq, Kazakhstan cut output

By Udeme Akpan

THE price oil has risen to $60

per barrel in the international

market as Iraq and Kazakhstan

commit to the Organisation of

Petroleum Exporting Countries,

OPEC oil cut deal.

For instance, the price of Brent,

usually used to benchmark other

oil prices rose from $59 to the

current price on February 8, 2021,

while the prices of OPEC Basket,

West Texas Intermediate, WTI, and

the Urals also rose below $56 to

$57.52, $57.60, and $42.22 per

barrel respectively.

Also, for the first time in 2021,

the price of Nigeria’s Bonny Light

further rose from over $57 to

$58.93 per barrel in the

international oil market, thus

increasing hope for the execution

of the nation’s 2021 budget, which

was benchmarked on $40 per

barrel, and 1.8 million barrels per

day, mb/d.

Before the latest leap in prices,

OPEC had stated: “Kazakhstan

continues to demonstrate its full

support for the decisions taken at

OPEC and non-OPEC

Ministerial Meetings

(ONOMM), most recently the

13th ONOMM on 4/5 January

2021.

“Over past months, Kazakhstan

has taken steps to not only realize

full conformity to its production

adjustment but also to compensate

for overproduced volumes. Its

commitment to this process will

continue in the coming months,

as all Participating Countries in the

Declaration of Cooperation (DoC)

strive for a balanced market and

much needed sustainable stability.

“Kazakhstan offers its continued

full support to the DoC, will take

further steps to compensate for

overproduced volumes, and

underlines the importance of

fairness and equitability in the

DoC. Iraq reiterates its

commitment to adhering to full

conformity and compensating for

overproduced volumes in

accordance with decisions taken

at OPEC and non-OPEC

Ministerial Meetings

(ONOMM), most recently the

13th ONOMM on 4/5 January

2021.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021

Electricity: How infrastructure, lack of liquidity, others cripple

supply to consumers — Investigation

*Average transmission losses stand at 7.5% in Q3’20

*As Consumers kick over high estimated bills

By Udeme Akpan,

Energy Editor

DESPITE the rise in average

electricity sent out year-onyear,

YoY, from 90,098.1 megawatts,

mw, in 2019, to 94,274.9 mw in

2020, indicating an increase of 4.64

per cent, lack of infrastructure,

inadequate liquidity and other

problems continue to disrupt the

transmission and distribution of

adequate electricity to consumers

nationwide.

Specifically, the third quarter

Nigerian Electricity Supply

Industry, NESI, key operational

and financial data obtained by

Energy Vanguard from the

Nigerian Electricity Regulatory

Commission, NERC, weekend,

showed that the delivery to

consumers was constrained mainly

by issues that have to do with

transmission and distribution, than

generation.

The report, which did not provide

quarter-on-quarter, QoQ, and

month-on-month, MoM,

breakdown, listed the Egbin power

plant, Azura-Edo and Kainji, as top

three power generating plants with

12,070.3 megawatts, mw,

8,031.2mw and 7,840.9mw in 2020,

against 9,702.9mw, 6,137.8mw and

8,003.4mw sent out in 2019,

respectively.

The report also listed Gbarain

power plant, Olurunsogo NIPP

and Sapele with 439.5mw,

642.7mw, and 681.4mw as the least

contributors in 2020, against

766.8mw, 774.2mw, and 713.5mw

sent out, respectively, in 2019.

Transmission

The report indicated that

electricity transmitted and

delivered to Electricity Distribution

Companies, DisCos, and export to

other countries, remained low at

2,600.92mw, 2,741.17mw and

2,535.16mw in July, August and

September (third quarter) of 2020,

compared to 2,519.38mw,

2,425.12mw and 2,305.69mw

delivered in the corresponding

period of 2019.

This was even as losses associated

with transmission stood at 7.45 per

cent, 7.60 per cent and 7.56 per

cent in July, August and September

2020, compared to 7.96 per cent,

8.13 per cent and 8.26 per cent,

recorded in the corresponding

period of 2019.

Distribution

However, investigation also

showed that distribution was

further hampered by many

problems, including inadequate

transformers, illegal connection,

power theft, obsolete equipment,

and lack of liquidity.

Consequently, the nation

remained exposed to frequent

system collapse, while many

Nigerians remain without steady

supply in the cities and rural areas.

Metering

The investigation showed that

contrary to claims that the

government has millions of meters

to roll out; many consumers have

not been supplied with prepaid

meters, a development which

exposed them to estimated

billings.

Nevertheless, the report

disclosed that 62.63 per cent of

electricity consumers in the country

were on estimated billing as at

September 2020.

The document showed that only

Eko Electricity Distribution

Company and Ikeja Electric Plc.

had metered over 50 per cent of

their customers during the period

under review.

Of the 11,841,819 registered

electricity customers, only

4,425,628 (37.37 per cent) were

metered, leaving 7,416,191,

representing 62.63 per cent of the

registered electricity customers on

estimated billing.

A breakdown showed that the

Benin DisCo had 47.42 per cent;

Abuja, 48.66 per cent; Eko, 51.68

per cent; Ikeja, 51.09 per cent;

Enugu, 43.77 per cent; Port

Harcourt, 39.64 per cent; Ibadan,

27.97 per cent; Jos, 29.04 per cent;

Kaduna, 22.56 per cent; Kano,

21.40 per cent, and Yola, 19.03 per

cent.

The Federal Government had,

on October 30, 2020, flagged off

the National Mass Metering

Programme, NMMP, to meet the

target of closing the metering gap

in the NESI by December 2021.

The programme would assist in

reducing collection losses, while at

the same time, increasing financial

flows to achieve 100 per cent market

remittance obligation of the DisCos.

Part of the objectives is the

elimination of arbitrary estimated

billing, improving network

monitoring capability and

provision of data for market

administration and investment

decision-making, the document

noted.

Specifically, it was gathered that

customers without the prepaid

meters, who live in flats are billed

between N35,000 and N40,000

monthly, while it cost others with

prepaid meters between N5,000

and N10,000 to have power on

monthly basis, depending on

usage.

Impact

Nevertheless, further

investigation by Energy Vanguard

showed that the poor state of the

sector has impacted on many

sectors of Nigeria’s economy, thus

causing operators and others to

generate their power at higher

costs.

Expert

In her recent briefing, President,

Lagos Chamber of Commerce and

Industry, LCCI, Mrs. Toki

Mabogunje, said: “The Lagos

Chamber endorses the costreflective

tariff regime in the power

sector. We note the pushback from

the labour unions on the policy.

However, for the sector to attract

significant investments for

improved power generation,

transmission and distribution, the

cost-reflective tariff model is

inevitable.

“If the economics of the

investment is not right, investors

will not inject capital into the sector.

However, it is imperative for power

distribution companies to intensify

efforts in metering electricity

consumers to avoid occurrences of

consumer exploitation through

estimated billing. There should also

be a strong accountability and

CSR: Oando Foundation adopts 88 schools,

others in 10 years

Oando Foundation, an

independent charity, targeted at

supporting the Nigerian Government

in achieving its Universal Basic

Education goals, has adopted 88

schools, enrolled 60,955 out-of-school

children, and built/renovated 249

classrooms in different parts of Nigeria,

since its creation in 2011.

In a statement to mark its 10th

anniversary, February 4, 2021, obtained

by Vanguard, the Foundation, stated:

“We have adopted 88 schools

nationwide. Enrolled 60,955 out-ofschool

children (OOSC) with a

cumulative retention rate of 77per cent,

built and renovated 249 classrooms and

five early childcare centers, reduced

levels of truancy (teacher and student)

through the construction of potable,

consumer protection framework to

improve consumer confidence.”

Conclusion

Nevertheless, Secretary, Network

for Electricity Consumers Advocacy

of Nigeria, NECAN, Mr. Uket

Ogbonga, had said: “The

challenges in the Nigeria Power

Sector are not insurmountable. The

lack of political will by successive

administrations to put in place a

strategic plan to develop and

expand the sector is one reason

why we are still moving in

concentric cycles trying to figure

out solutions to the sector."

water supply, and sanitation facilities,

including 118 toilets, 35 motorized

boreholes, and 26 wash bays to support

sanitation and hygiene amongst

children, improved digital literacy and

learning through the establishment of

39 ICT centers supporting increased

access to learning with educational

software.”

Continuing, it stated: “Over the last 10

years and through our flagship Adopt-

A-School Initiative (AASI), the

Foundation has demonstrated its

commitment to actualizing every child’s

right to quality education by working

with multi-layered stakeholders, using

integrative and participatory

approaches to increase learning

opportunities for children in public

primary schools in marginalized

communities across Nigeria."


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021 — 21

COVID-19: Nigeria may not access

vaccines if...

— Dr Casmier Ifeanyi, Public Health Analyst

By Chioma Obinna

LAST weekend, the

World Health

Organisation, WHO

denied the purported

media report of the

disqualification of Nigeria

from the vaccine through

the Pfizer-BioNTech

COVAX facility. Nigeria

will now benefit from the

16 million doses of the

Oxford/AstraZeneca

vaccine allocation.

However, criticism trails

Nigeria’s exclusion as the

100,000 doses of Pfizer

vaccines expected to arrive

in Nigeria this month was

no longer feasible.

Good Health Weekly

spoke to a renowned

Medical Laboratory

Scientist and a Public

Health Analyst, Dr

Casmier Ifeanyi.

Ifeanyi said Nigeria is

yet to get its act together

in the procurement of

vaccines. For him, while

queuing behind WHO/

COVAX facility is good,

Nigeria should rise up

and build capacity incountry

for sustainable

production of vaccines.

Excerpts:

Is Nigeria on track to

rollout COVID-19

vaccines and start

immunisation?

I want to urge the

Nigerian government to

do everything possible to

keep faith with Nigerians

on this new expectation for

the delivery of Oxford/

AstraZeneca vaccine by

2nd of March 2021.

Initially, some of us have

raised our voices that the

Oxford/AstraZeneca

vaccine is a more friendly

vaccine that fits into the

current cold chain capacity

that we have in Nigeria.

Nigeria over time has

established cold chain

system that supports the

storage and the transport

and administration of the

vaccines that require 2 to

8 degrees.

We have capacity for that

and it is not in doubt. So

choosing the Oxford/

AstraZeneca vaccine gives

us something more

amenable to our temperate

nature and I expect that,

that is what we should do.

We have not gotten our

act right in accessing the

vaccine and that is why we

were told it would come in

early January.

Early January came and

went, we were also told it

would come by the end of

the month, end of the

came and went, and we

were told it would come in

February, now the next

possible date has been put

on 2nd March 2021.

COVID-19 Vaccine. Inset: Dr Casmier Ifeanyi

There is now a major shift

from our interest in Pfizer-

BioNTech vaccine to

Oxford/AstraZeneca

vaccine which is

commendable because we

are getting 16 million

doses.

That will deal with about

10 per cent of the Nigerian

population. It is

reasonable. It will help us

protect our vulnerable

groups and it will also help

us protect our healthcare

workers.

By and large, this vaccine

is not an end. The

protection of the vaccine is

not like endless protection.

It is short-lived. We should

put that in perspective. Of

course, that is the only

available intervention we

have now but we must not

put our hopes only in it as

if it is the end to

everything.

There is a need for us to

discipline ourselves to take

advisory and comply with

non Pharmaceutical

Interventions and make

sure that it is strictly

enforced. This will do us a

lot of good probably

superior to what the

vaccine will do. The

vaccine is not even

adequate to go round.

Imagine 16 million doses

as opposed to over 200

million population.

Yes, if the 16 million

doses come, it will not even

give us the requisite herd

immunity that will help to

stem the infection. The

vaccine is good but it is not

an end to the infection.

We need to put that in

perspective. Egypt on its

own as a country got

vaccines for her citizenry.

I expect Nigeria to do so.

Yes, it is good to work with

COVAX and follow, work

and rely on WHO but I also

do think that as a country

that has its own

sovereignty, we should

also find ways of protecting

our people. That is just

pragmatic.

Ideal COVID vaccine for

Nigeria

The Moderna and Pfizer-

BioNTech vaccines are of

similar origin and similar

genetic origin that is the

RNA whereas the Oxford/

AstraZeneca vaccine is of

a non-viral replicate origin

For me as a scientist in

developing countries like

Nigeria, AstraZeneca

Vaccine is like what we are

used to.

For a country with apathy

to vaccination, we should

be able to convince our

people to invest and

embrace that particular

vaccine that is not a major

departure from what is the

convention and Nigerians

are used to.

I think the National

Primary Healthcare

Development Agency is

beginning to think right. I

also want to urge all

Nigerians to give them all

the support they need at

this particular time to be

able to succeed.

I am also worried that till

date we do not have

eggheads that are

discussing this vaccines as

a sole mandate so that they

If the 16

million doses

come, it will not

even give us

the requisite

herd immunity

that will help to

stem the

infection

can rightly advise the

government not just on

how to continue to depend

on the donated vaccines at

a huge cost to the country

but how to provoke incountry

the production of

these vaccines.

For example, India is

now the leading producer

of the Oxford/AstraZeneca

vaccine but the research

was packaged in the UK

but because India has what

they call Indian Cerium

Institute, a very big

vaccine technological

manufacturing plant, they

have taken over the mass

production of the vaccines.

This is what we expect

we should be discussing in

Nigeria. How do we

leverage the challenges

presented by the COVID

pandemic to build incountry

capacity to

produce vaccines. We

must not continue to import

vaccines. All our childhood

vaccines are all imported.

That is not good and that

is no longer acceptable.

Impact of new variants

on infections in Africa

It has been established

across the globe that the

UK variant, South African

variant and the much

talked about Nigerian

variant which is yet to be

characterised are more

infectious. They may not

be more deadly but they

are more infectious. That is

to say that the infective

dose of the new variants

would have been much

smaller than what would

have been required by the

primary form of the

COVID-19.

So if the new variant is

more infectious it cannot be

divorced from the

increasing rise in the

number of infections across

the globe including

Nigeria.

It is not unlikely that it is

contributing significantly to

the increasing rise.

Don’t create vaccine

divide between rich, poor

nations, WHO cautions

By Sola Ogundipe

AS countries all over the

world are rolling out

COVID-19 vaccinations

amid the scramble for

acquisition of enough

vaccine doses, the World

Health Organisation,

WHO, has warned against

the creation of what it

described as a vaccine

divide between rich and

poor nations.

The WHO Special Envoy

on COVID-19, Dr David

Nabarro, said it would be

morally wrong for the rich

countries to buy up

vaccine supplies thereby

denying developing

countries access to the

vaccines.

Nabarro, who spoke on

Sky News on Sunday, said

creating a vaccine divide

between rich and poor

nations would not be

attractive.

Nabarro who canvassed

that vaccine supply should

be fairly shared across the

world to enable equitable

vaccination of vulnerable

groups in all countries,

cautioned that history will

be unkind to the rich

countries that do not share

vaccine supplies.

"The world should be

accessing these vaccines

in an equal way because

right now health workers

everywhere are at risk,

older people also are at

risk and the only way to

deal with a global

pandemic is to get fair

shares across the world

now.

"That is the right thing to

myPharmacy launches new

Business Solutions

By Gabriel Olawale

AS part of its

commitment towards

improving access to

quality healthcare in

Nigeria, myPharmacy has

launched new business

solutions.

The solutions are

focused on improving,

both the professionalism

and business performance

of community pharmacies,

providing care to the

populace.

This will be a game

changer, as pharmacy

owners would easily scale

their businesses riding on

the business support from

m y P h a r m a c y

management expertise.

Since the launch of

myPharmacy as Nigeria's

first pharmacy franchise

chain, the organization

has supported and

improved over 50

pharmacies in the country.

myPharmacy is a member

of Advantage Health

do and I am really hopeful

that world leaders in the

coming weeks will realise

that to have a few countries

vaccinating a lot of people

and then poorer countries

having very limited

vaccines is not really the

way to go ahead,

economically, socially,

environmentally and

indeed morally.”

He said priority for

vaccines at the moment

everywhere is for those

most at risk.

“Those are people who

are susceptible because of

their age or because they

have got other conditions.

'They are people who are

highly exposed, for

example, because they

work in healthcare. That's

the same situation

everywhere and we need

a global policy to do that

which is perfectly feasible.

“'We think that citizens

can actually, perhaps talk

to their politicians and say

hang on a bit, we are

actually part of the world

and we think the first

priority is to make sure that

everybody everywhere gets

what they need.'”

He said who gets

vaccines is about what

makes sense economically,

and or society. “Do we want

to be remembered as a

world where those who

had the cash could afford

to vaccinate their whole

populations and countries

that didn't have the cash

had to cope with a quite

dramatically increasing

death rate among their

health workers?

Africa. Advantage Health

Africa, a health technology

company working to

improve healthcare

through improving access

to medicines.

myPharmacy continually

ensures value provision by

utilising technology,

aggregation and

managerial expertise for

every client to ensure our

healthcare systems are

strengthened.

myPharmacy has yielded

positive results as testified

by Pharm. Osinowo

Adefemi, MD,

myPharmacy All Day

Branch who affirmed, 'My

experience with

myPharmacy is

immeasurable. They have

brought out the

doggedness and goalgetter

ability in me. Today,

I can boldly say I am

becoming better and

greater in my managerial

and pharmaceutical

capabilities.


22 — Niger-Delta Voice, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021

LIFESTYLE EXTRA

VOL. 2: NO. 271 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021

RUNDELE: Rivers town where it’s sacrilege

to make love on bare floor, inside bush

•Also forbidden to pour water on human being no matter the aggravation

•Pastors who violate the law come for cleansing or …

•Deities wage war against wrongdoers who conceal breaches

RIVERS… THE

TREASURE BASE OF

THE NATION

By Davies Iheamnachor

RUNDELE- RUNDELE

community also called

Ndele in Emohua Local Government

Area, Rivers State, is

adjudged to be one of the communities

in the state with copious

taboos causing people to

wonder how the inhabitants survive.

But the villagers cling resolutely

to the tradition, saying their

ancestors made the laws for them

to live in harmony and they

would make no attempt to abolish

them.

It is abomination to be

intimate on bare floor,

bush

—Elendu, CDC chair

NDV met one of the traditionalists,

who is Chairman, Community

Development Committee,

Mgbuelia community, Rundele

clan, Kpalikwu Elendu, during a

visit. He maintained that the laws

helping the people to live in

peace were made by their ancestors

and have been preserved and

obeyed until date.

Elendu disclosed that it was a

grave offence to have carnal

knowledge of a lady in the bush,

adding that the gods of the land

must be appeased for the offence.

He stated that it was also a taboo

BAYELSA…

THE JERUSALEM OF

IJAW NATION

By Chancel Sunday

ISRAELLO ZION- THE

leader of Christian United

Church of Zion, Israello Zion,

Ekeremor Local Government

Area, Bayelsa State, Most Rev.

(Dr) Dynamic Owoubiri Samylo,

has revealed that God used him

to stop mysterious deaths of fresh

settlers across predominant creek

communities in Niger-Delta.

Samylo, popularly called Thunder

24 hours, disclosed this at the

42nd Annual Convention of the

church at Israello Zion,

headquarters of the church.

What the Lord

told me

He stated that the Lord spoke

to him to separate himself and

cross over to the other side of the

Boloutoru Creek, right opposite

his community, Torugbene, in

Burutu Local Government Area

of Delta State, to settle down for

His work.

“According to the voice of God,

I crossed over the river and settled

to make love on the floor without

rug, carpet or mat, adding that

tiles were not acceptable.

His words: “If a man and a

woman are making love in

Rundele and your leg touches the

wall, there is no problem. But for

you to come down on bare floor

and make love, it is an abomination.

If you do it, you will have to

appease the land of Rundele

before you will be free. Even making

love in the bush is a serious

abomination.

“If during love-making the

woman’s leg or the man’s touches

the floor, it is also a taboo. Rug,

carpet and mat are okay, the law

will not hold you. But tiles and

bare floor are taboo. But if you are

using mat or wrapper and the leg

of any of the partners touches the

floor, it is a taboo.

“If you do it as a son or daughter

of Ndele outside the village,

maybe in the city or even outside

Nigeria, any day you return to the

community and drink water in the

community, the land will hold

you.

“If you committed the act, you

run to your people and explain

what happened to them, they will

take you to the family that

appeases the land to carry out the

cleansing,” he asserted.

Only animals make

love in the bush

According to him: “The land

sees that it is only animals that

make love in the bush. So, when

you as humans go to the bush to

make love, you have reduced

yourselves to animals and our

land forbids it.

“When you make love on the

floor, it is believed you have left

the place of comfort to engage in

fight. You know there may be

bruises when people make love

on the bare floor. The bed is made

for comfort why leave it for the

bare floor?

What happens to

insubordinate

persons?

“When anyone violates any of

these laws and refuses to appease

the land, the person will die. If

the person dies, there will be sign

on the corpse that the person

*Entrance to Rundele (Ndele).

violated the law of the land.

“One of the signs is that the

corpse will swell up, or the person

will die facing the ground.

When we see that, the corpse will

immediately be taken to the evil

forest. Here we have evil forest

where people who did

abominable acts are taken to.

“When this happens and the

owners of the corpse hides it and

goes ahead to bury the person,

the evil forest will come for war

and clear the family.

“If the family finds out early

,they will have to exhume the

corpse and take it to the evil forest.

To exhume the corpse alone

will cost the family nothing less

than N300,000. The corpse will

be removed and sent to the evil

forest.

“These laws are strong, so what

we do is that we lecture our

children from when they start

talking. We keep lecturing and

reminding them. When they are

travelling, you still remind them

of all the laws of the land,” the

community leader asserted.

Pastors go for

cleansing to avoid

repercussion

Elendu noted that the law holds

Christians as well, adding that

many pastors who went against

the law usually come to carry out

the cleansing process.

“There is nothing like Christianity

in this area, it is our tradition,

whether you are a pastor or

Bishop, when you flout these

rules, you must come to appease

the land or it will hold you.

“A lot of pastors come for the

cleansing when they make the

mistakes. If you are a pastor and

you think you cannot go there,

you call your people, buy all it

takes and hand over to them to

go for you. They will carry out the

appeasement and bring something

they will rub on you and

you will be free,” he said.

Forbidden to pour

water on Rundele

person

The community leader told

NDV: “It is a taboo for you to pour

water on somebody even out of

annoyance. If that happens, the

person whom you poured the

water on will come to the community

to report and the

community will hold you to appease

the gods of their land.

“If the person refuses to appease

the land, the land will hold

the person. Wherever you are, if

you like, travel outside the

country, you must come to do it

or you die and when you die, you

will not be buried.

“If you are not from Ndele and

you pour water on Ndele son or

daughter and the matter is reported

to the elders, the people

of Ndele will write you to come

and appease their land; if you

refuse, the land will hold you.”

He explained: “The reason our

elders made the law against

pouring of water out of annoyance

is that pouring of water is a sign

of slavery and our land forbids

slavery. When somebody pours

water on you, the person has

reduced you to a slave. When you

do that against our people, you

must come and apologise to the

gods of the land.”

How God used me to abolish ominous deaths

in N’Delta creeks — Rev Dynamic Samylo

here on April 28, 1978. In those days,

it was a taboo for somebody to cross a

river and settle directly opposite an

existing community, and those who

dared it did not survive, they died mysteriously

in those days.

“I crossed alone to this place but later

some people came to join me. We grew

steadily doing the work of God and people

saw that I did not die as expected,

then people in various communities

began settling across communities.

“This thing was a taboo in various

riverine communities, including areas

such as Agoro, Agge, Ayakoromo,

Patani down to Yenagoa axis, but my

calling to this place now called Israello

Zion, has destroyed the taboo and

consequently the mysterious deaths.

Trials

“My challenges at the time I came to

this place were enormous. I was so poor

that my creditors would cross over to

ask for their debts which I could not

pay. In that case, some would rain all

sorts of insults on me while several

seized any of my property they think

corresponded to the amount I owed

them.

*Mr. Kpalikwu Elendu, CDC

Chairman, Mgbuelia, Ndele

“Those who rained insults and said all sorts

of things against me would say, 'you are nobody

and poor and calling God your Father.' I suffered

for a very long time in the course of the

ministry but I took all as fate and will of God for

me.

Be committed in

walk with God

“Now, the call of God has borne fruits and

Christian United Church of Zion has spread to

cities, towns and various communities in the

Niger-Delta region.

“My advice to the body of Christ and particularly

to my followers is that they should be steadfast

in their walk with God because there is a

reward at the end. They should imbibe the habit

of humility, peaceful coexistence and desist from

causing troubles.

“I see prosperity for Nigeria this year 2021. It

will manifest as the year goes gradually. But, if

the authorities of this nation continue to cause

untold hardship to the masses in the name of

COVID-19, they will then force hardship upon

the nation.

“From my spiritual findings, the Covid-19

pandemic did not come from God Almighty but

it is the handiwork of men. I urge all Christians

to be prayerful and serious in their service to

God. As spiritual king of the Niger-Delta, I will

continue to pray for Nigeria,” he stated.

•Most (Rev.) Dr Dynamic Owoubiri

Samylo.


Experts project into Nigeria’s real

estate sector performance in 2021

—Say sector to do better

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021 — 23

FG's condolence visit to late Prince

Tony Momoh's family in Abuja

By Kingsley Adgboye

with Agency report

THE year 2020,

although filled with

mixed feelings and many

hurdles, was a year packed

with lessons. The year

emerged with unforeseen

turn of events that initiated

unprecedented trends in the

Nigerian market, and the

world at large, with severe

impact on supply chains,

economic activities, and

international trade.

Economies are trying to

manage unemployment by

reductions in interest rates,

and other governmental

actions that impact

industries – mainly travel,

tourism and hospitality.

Currently, global markets

are trying to recover, the

IMF warns of a slower

2021, and individuals and

businesses are left to

wonder, “how long will this

trend continue?”

This pandemic will

forever change all that we

know, and have taken for

granted as being ‘normal’,

and it would be naive of us,

almost catastrophic in fact,

to think that things will

simply just go back to

normal as they were earlier

last year.

This new reality has

changed us as consumers,

and the organisations we

lead must change too, if we

are to survive and thrive in

the coming era of work.

While every country is at a

different stage of the

pandemic, and many

businesses are struggling to

tackle the ‘here and now’

situation, it’s important that

we also start to focus our

attention on the future

sooner, rather than later.

According to Bilaad

Realty, a real estate journal,

“But, how best can business

owners and investors plan

for 2021, help rebuild the

economy, invest wisely and

get value for their money?

This is what a few industry

experts have to say.

“For businesses and

individuals to thrive in

2021, amidst increasing

prices of commodities in

the country, there is need to

prioritize our expenses. We

must carefully think

through all business

decisions as regards

spending and come up with

cost-cutting measures to

stem the tide of increased

cost of living.

“In 2021, businesses

should do more; be flexible

in carrying out their

businesses and increase

focus on online sales –

proven over time to help

grow businesses

organically,” Eze Nwogu

noted.

“We are projecting

recession in the second

quarter or at the end of the

first quarter of 2021. So, it

is important that we keep

an eye on certain sectors

like the real estate market,

to ensure that spending

continues in that sector in

*Residential estate under construction.

order to stay on top of the

economic recession and

mitigate the impact of

COVID-19”, Alfred Friday

Okoh said.

“Real estate still remains

the asset of choice when it

comes to investment and

this has proven more than

ever before to be so, in 2020.

Buyers should be careful

where they put their money

in 2021. Extensive research

should be carried out

before making any

investments, to ensure they

work with companies with

proven track record of

delivering value”,

Abdulmalik S. Mahdi

stated.

Managing Partner,

Modern Shelter, Mrs.

Amina Lawal, opined that

“The Nigerian economy

has been hit with both the

Covid-19 pandemic

outbreak, dip in oil price

and Foreign Exchange

(FX) volatility. The society

at large has become less

interested in investments,

with capital savings

yielding negative returns in

the wake of rising doubledigit

inflation currently at

13.7%. It is important for

organisations to prioritize

spending and postpone

expenses that will not add

value in the current

situation”.

On collaboration, she said

“In 2021, we should look out

for more meaningful and

life-changing

collaborations between

Government (Public) and

Private Sector. The private

sector will come to the

rescue of the deficit budgets

being experienced by the

Government, and will

channel their investments to

providing infrastructure and

capital projects that will

create an enabling

environment for Small and

Medium Scale businesses to

thrive and on the other hand,

increase the Gross Domestic

Product (GDP) of the

Nation.”

Wildlife species in Nigeria

have declined dramatically

— WildAid

By Gabriel Olawale

WildAid and the Nigerian

Conservation

Foundation have expressed

great concern over increasing

illegal wildlife trade in

Nigeria which has led to

drastic decline in wildlife

species over the past 50

years, noting that this illegal

wildlife trade is estimated

to be worth between

$7 billion and $23 billion

annually.

Speaking in Lagos during

the unveiling of a survey report

on Widespread bush

meat consumption across

Nigeria post-COVID,

WildAid West African Representative,

Mr. Linus Unah,

said that the report showed

that consumption of wildlife

or ‘bush meat’ is widespread

in Nigeria’s top cities, regardless

of potential links to

zoonotic diseases such as

COVID-19.

He identified the need to

educate urban Nigerians

who typically live far away

from forests where bush

meat is often harvested, about

the risks of zoonotic

diseases, “the conservation

impact of bush meat trade

and the fact that current

wildlife laws prohibit the

hunting and trade of several

species.

“Today, Nigeria has fewer

than 50 lions, 100 gorillas,

500 elephants and between

1,400 to 2,300 chimpanzees

left in the wild. Between

2016 -2019, over half of the

pangolin scales seized globally

came from Nigeria.

The illegal wildlife trade is

estimated to be worth between

$7 billion and $23 billion

annually.”

Corroborating his views,

the Chief Executive Officer,

WildAid, Peter Knights said

that with support from

WildAid, GlobeScan conducted

the survey of 2,000

people in Lagos, Abuja, Port

Harcourt and Calabar with

majority of respondents citing

taste, culture and health

concerns as reasons for consumption.

“More than 50 per cent of

respondents who had consumed

bush meat within

the last year cited taste as

the main reason while 30 per

cent said it was part of their

culture and 25 per cent said

that it is healthier and

fresher than regular meat

and fish.

• From left: Former Chief Judge of Edo State and sister to late Prince

Tony Momoh, Justice Contance Momoh; wife of the deceased, Mrs. Jane

Momoh, and leader of the Federal Government, FG's, Delegates and Chief

of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, during the condolence

visit by FG's delegation, to the family of Prince Tony Momoh, in Abuja,

yesterday. Photos: Abayomi Adeshida.

• From left: Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor; Chairman,

APC Caretaker Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State;

Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and the son of the late Prince Momoh, Rasheed

Momoh, during FG's delegation visit to the Momoh family, in Abuja, yesterday.

• Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, signing the Condolence

Register for late Prince Momoh, during the visit, yesterday.

• Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, signing

the Condolence Register, at the Late Prince Momoh residence, in Abuja,

yesterday.


Experts project into Nigeria’s real

estate sector performance in 2021

—Say sector to do better

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021 — 23

FG's condolence visit to late Prince

Tony Momoh's family in Abuja

By Kingsley Adgboye

with Agency report

THE year 2020,

although filled with

mixed feelings and many

hurdles, was a year packed

with lessons. The year

emerged with unforeseen

turn of events that initiated

unprecedented trends in the

Nigerian market, and the

world at large, with severe

impact on supply chains,

economic activities, and

international trade.

Economies are trying to

manage unemployment by

reductions in interest rates,

and other governmental

actions that impact

industries – mainly travel,

tourism and hospitality.

Currently, global markets

are trying to recover, the

IMF warns of a slower

2021, and individuals and

businesses are left to

wonder, “how long will this

trend continue?”

This pandemic will

forever change all that we

know, and have taken for

granted as being ‘normal’,

and it would be naive of us,

almost catastrophic in fact,

to think that things will

simply just go back to

normal as they were earlier

last year.

This new reality has

changed us as consumers,

and the organisations we

lead must change too, if we

are to survive and thrive in

the coming era of work.

While every country is at a

different stage of the

pandemic, and many

businesses are struggling to

tackle the ‘here and now’

situation, it’s important that

we also start to focus our

attention on the future

sooner, rather than later.

According to Bilaad

Realty, a real estate journal,

“But, how best can business

owners and investors plan

for 2021, help rebuild the

economy, invest wisely and

get value for their money?

This is what a few industry

experts have to say.

“For businesses and

individuals to thrive in

2021, amidst increasing

prices of commodities in

the country, there is need to

prioritize our expenses. We

must carefully think

through all business

decisions as regards

spending and come up with

cost-cutting measures to

stem the tide of increased

cost of living.

“In 2021, businesses

should do more; be flexible

in carrying out their

businesses and increase

focus on online sales –

proven over time to help

grow businesses

organically,” Eze Nwogu

noted.

“We are projecting

recession in the second

quarter or at the end of the

first quarter of 2021. So, it

is important that we keep

an eye on certain sectors

like the real estate market,

to ensure that spending

continues in that sector in

*Residential estate under construction.

order to stay on top of the

economic recession and

mitigate the impact of

COVID-19”, Alfred Friday

Okoh said.

“Real estate still remains

the asset of choice when it

comes to investment and

this has proven more than

ever before to be so, in 2020.

Buyers should be careful

where they put their money

in 2021. Extensive research

should be carried out

before making any

investments, to ensure they

work with companies with

proven track record of

delivering value”,

Abdulmalik S. Mahdi

stated.

Managing Partner,

Modern Shelter, Mrs.

Amina Lawal, opined that

“The Nigerian economy

has been hit with both the

Covid-19 pandemic

outbreak, dip in oil price

and Foreign Exchange

(FX) volatility. The society

at large has become less

interested in investments,

with capital savings

yielding negative returns in

the wake of rising doubledigit

inflation currently at

13.7%. It is important for

organisations to prioritize

spending and postpone

expenses that will not add

value in the current

situation”.

On collaboration, she said

“In 2021, we should look out

for more meaningful and

life-changing

collaborations between

Government (Public) and

Private Sector. The private

sector will come to the

rescue of the deficit budgets

being experienced by the

Government, and will

channel their investments to

providing infrastructure and

capital projects that will

create an enabling

environment for Small and

Medium Scale businesses to

thrive and on the other hand,

increase the Gross Domestic

Product (GDP) of the

Nation.”

Wildlife species in Nigeria

have declined dramatically

— WildAid

By Gabriel Olawale

WildAid and the Nigerian

Conservation

Foundation have expressed

great concern over increasing

illegal wildlife trade in

Nigeria which has led to

drastic decline in wildlife

species over the past 50

years, noting that this illegal

wildlife trade is estimated

to be worth between

$7 billion and $23 billion

annually.

Speaking in Lagos during

the unveiling of a survey report

on Widespread bush

meat consumption across

Nigeria post-COVID,

WildAid West African Representative,

Mr. Linus Unah,

said that the report showed

that consumption of wildlife

or ‘bush meat’ is widespread

in Nigeria’s top cities, regardless

of potential links to

zoonotic diseases such as

COVID-19.

He identified the need to

educate urban Nigerians

who typically live far away

from forests where bush

meat is often harvested, about

the risks of zoonotic

diseases, “the conservation

impact of bush meat trade

and the fact that current

wildlife laws prohibit the

hunting and trade of several

species.

“Today, Nigeria has fewer

than 50 lions, 100 gorillas,

500 elephants and between

1,400 to 2,300 chimpanzees

left in the wild. Between

2016 -2019, over half of the

pangolin scales seized globally

came from Nigeria.

The illegal wildlife trade is

estimated to be worth between

$7 billion and $23 billion

annually.”

Corroborating his views,

the Chief Executive Officer,

WildAid, Peter Knights said

that with support from

WildAid, GlobeScan conducted

the survey of 2,000

people in Lagos, Abuja, Port

Harcourt and Calabar with

majority of respondents citing

taste, culture and health

concerns as reasons for consumption.

“More than 50 per cent of

respondents who had consumed

bush meat within

the last year cited taste as

the main reason while 30 per

cent said it was part of their

culture and 25 per cent said

that it is healthier and

fresher than regular meat

and fish.

• From left: Former Chief Judge of Edo State and sister to late Prince

Tony Momoh, Justice Contance Momoh; wife of the deceased, Mrs. Jane

Momoh, and leader of the Federal Government, FG's, Delegates and Chief

of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, during the condolence

visit by FG's delegation, to the family of Prince Tony Momoh, in Abuja,

yesterday. Photos: Abayomi Adeshida.

• From left: Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor; Chairman,

APC Caretaker Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State;

Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and the son of the late Prince Momoh, Rasheed

Momoh, during FG's delegation visit to the Momoh family, in Abuja, yesterday.

• Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, signing the Condolence

Register for late Prince Momoh, during the visit, yesterday.

• Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, signing

the Condolence Register, at the Late Prince Momoh residence, in Abuja,

yesterday.


C

M

Y

K

24 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBUARY 9, 2021

:Vanguard News

:@vanguardnews

Gov Badaru sacks political adviser,

appoints 2 special assistants

By Aliyu Dangida

D

U T S E —

GOVERNOR

Ogun govt, Fan Milk to

set up dairy farm institute

A BEOKUTA—OGUN

State Government in

partnership Fan Milk, a

Danone company have entered

into an agreement to establish

a dairy farm at the Odeda Farm

Institute, in Odeda Local

Government Area of the state.

The partnership is to

introduce global standards in

dairy farming, empower local

communities and reduce

unemployment rates. It

signifies Fan Milk’s

commitment to enhance the

impact of the Central Bank of

Nigeria’s backward integration

programme and reinforce the

Federal Government’s initiative to

achieve food self-sufficiency in the

country.

In addition to boosting local

content within the sector, the

project will serve as a model,

best-in-class dairy farm

operated by local dairy experts

to support local suppliers,

housing a milk collection centre,

purchasing feed locally and

collecting milk from other

farmers.

Ogun State governor, Prince

Mohammad Abubakar

Badaru of Jigawa State,

has terminated the

appointment of Bala Idi

Dapo Abiodun, expressing

satisfaction with the partnership,

said: “We welcome such futureforward

partnerships which align

with our vision to create an

enabling environment for Public

Private Partnerships. As Nigeria’s

Gateway State, Fan Milk’s

partnership gives us the

opportunity to contribute quickly

and easily to job creation.

''It is another symbol of our

plans for 2021 and signifies our

strong commitment to fostering

relationships that grow the

state’s revenue. The

government and people of Ogun

State look forward to the

advancements collaboration like

this will bring to local farmers

and communities.”

The Chairman of Fan Milk,

Mr Olayinka Akinkugbe, said:

“For us, this partnership is bigger

than the CBN backward

integration programme. It is about

the 2,000 people or more who

would be impacted through this

initiative and the change we

seek to bring to Nigeria’s food

architecture.''

Kazaure as Special

Assistant to the Governor

on Interparty relations

with immediate effect.

In a statement by the

Secretary to the

Government of Jigawa

State, Alhaji Adamu

Abdulkadir Fanini, the

statement read in part:

“With this development

all rights and privileges

attached to his office as

Special Assistant to the

Governor on Interparty

Relations have been

withdrawn.”

The statement directed

the former Special

Assistant to immediately

hand over all Government

properties in his

possession to the office of

the Secretary to the

Government of Jigawa

State.

Similarly, the governor

has approved the

appointments of Alhaji

Muhammad Gabi

Hadejia as the Special

Assistant to the Governor

on Interparty Relations

and Alhaji Abdulkadir A.

Maje as Special Assistant

to the Governor on Feeder

Roads.

The statement further

explained that the

removal and the

appointments are with

immediate effect.

Send us your Sayings of Our Elders. They must be African

sayings or proverbs. Biblical or English proverbs are unaceditor@yahoo.com

GDP report and another looming

recession

THE Gross Domestic Product, GDP,

report of the National Bureau of Statistic,

NBSQ2' 2020 released shows economic

downturn of -6.1%. This is alarming and

is a call to urgent action because this is

a period of increasing unemployment,

inflation and dwindling value of the

naira due to limited access to the foreign

exchange. Government should take a

bold step by stopping the depreciation

of the naira to the dollar. It can do so by

refocusing monetary and fiscal policies

to support economic sectors that have

potential for large scale production to

kick start the economy. Though the

COVID-19 has disrupted business and

global activities but this is the time to

fast track the economy before the country

falls into another recession.

Anonymous writes in from Ikeja,

Lagos state

South East left out on

appointment of new service chiefs

The appointment of new service chiefs

is a welcome development no matter

how belated it may be. The former

service chiefs were reported to have

tendered their resignations and were

retired with immediate effect which was

normal because they had reached the

peak of their professional calling. One

curious observation is the absence of

South East in the new service chiefs in

spite of cries of marginalisation by

Ndigbo.

Barr Ayo Olalere, Apete, Ibadan, Oyo

State

States jumbo pension laws for

former governors and deputies

Why would former governors and their

deputies earn 100 percent of the basic

salaries as pension per annum, with

houses of their choice, cars, security

personnel attached to them?

Why should they also enjoy free

medical health care along with their

family members when most Nigerian

workers that served for 35 years earn

peanuts? It is immoral for former

governors and deputies to be given

pension because they are political office

holders.

They work for four or eight years so

they should be given one severance

package not billions of naira for life! This

is wastage and wickedness because

those billions could be chanelled into

developmental projects that will be of

benefits to the citizens.

Romanus Ndehigwo, 08024209181

CAMA 2020 Act

The Corporate Affairs Commission,

CAC, and government should amend

or put a stop to the recently enacted

Company and Allied Maters Act, CAMA

2020, because whatever regulations that

would or should be put in place must

be seen to be motivated by our collective

interest and security not what can be

mischievously interpreted as

government interests! Any law or

regulation that works in such a manner

has every tendency to be abused. The

controversy surrounding the CAMA

Act especially as they pertain to the

appointment and replacement of

boards of trustees of companies is only

a little or insignificant aspect of the law.

Laws should be applied to make these

organisations more responsible in their

conduct not promulgate a law that

covers the activities of CAC through

CAMA Act.

Barr Emeka writes in from FCT,

Abuja

Economic Advisory Council

The economic advisory council should

please advice President Buhari on all

the economic policies and matters that

will be favourable to Nigeria and

Nigerians without fear or favour. The

Federal Government must fight

economic saboteurs vigorously and the

borders should remain closed till when

both our economy and security are fully

recovered and improved.

Usman Hassan, 08131822223

Forgotten cases of looting

It beats my imagination that some

former governors and other politicians

with pending corruption cases in court

are today senators and representatives,

when they should be in jail. That

government has not deemed it

necessary to tackle the growing

corruption in the country is

understandable, its members are guilty

of the same offences. It is unfortunate

that in Nigeria people get elected to

public offices while in detention or with

criminals cases pending against them.

It goes to show Nigerians are good at

celebrating corruption. Nigeria’s

constitution should be amended to bar

people with questionable characters

from vying for elective posts until they

are cleared. Until this is done, criminals

will continue to dominate the three tiers

of government.

Lekan writes in from Lagos State

Bishop Matthew Kukah’s

Christmas messages

Those accusing Bishop Matthew

Kukah for criticising the presidency

have missed the point because religious

leaders and true men of God should

speak the truth to power! Can anyone

honestly disagree with what Bishop

Matthew Kukah said? Is the presidency

not truly sectional and nepotistic?

Is the present insecurity, insurgency,

kidnapping, Fulani herdsmen killings

in the nation not enough to trigger fears

that the country is heading towards a

failed state? Bishop Kukah’s statement

is a bombshell, so others should do the

needful.

Barr Ayo Olalere, 2348060782216

SAYINGS OF OUR ELDERS

Challenges are what makes life interesting, overcoming

them is what makes life meaningful.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021 — 25

:Vanguard News

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

AWARD: Mr Funbi Adesokan, Brand & Marketing Manager, AIICO Insurance, (left)

receiving the SB Events Magazine Efficiency News Lifetime Achievement Award,

on behalf of Chief Dele Fajemirokun from Mr Ojo-Isaac Olusola, Publisher/Editorin-Chief,

SB Events Magazine /Efficiency News, in Lagos. Photo: Kehinde Shonola.

GROUDBREAKING: From left—Procurement Manager, Henry Montego Homes,

Mr Emmanuel Okpala; Deputy Managing Director, Mrs Chidera Ebuluofor; MD/

Chief Executive Officer, Henry Montego Homes, Mr Henry Ebuluofor; and Project

Manager, Montego Homes, Mr George Assaf, during the groundbreaking of Montego

Garden 4 and Bay 5 in Ajah, Lagos. Photo: Akeem Salau.

Angozi

condoles with

Okowa over

father's death

By Festus Ahon

ASABA—A chieftain of

the Peoples Democratic

Party, PDP and a former

Commissioner of Agriculture

in Delta State, Chief

Braduce Angozi, yesterday,

commiserated with

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of

Delta and his family over

the demise of their father,

Chief Arthur Okorie Uzoma

Okowa.

Angozi in a statement by

his Senior Special Assistant,

Mr Ramsey Ufuomavefe

Edigbue said: "It saddens

my heart to hear that our

father, Pa Okowa is no

more. Words cannot express

my condolences.

As a matter of fact, Pa

Okowa left a very great vacuum

particularly for his fatherly

roles which most of

us benefited from.

"The entire state is bereaved

for the fact that the

father of our leader who

through thick and thin has

contributed immensely to

the development of our

dear state and affected our

lifes positively. However,

Papa left good legacies behind.

"I condole with you my

Governor, Senator Ifeanyi

Okowa over this awkward

event. It is indeed a sad

moment for all of us considering

Pa Okowa's positive

impact on us. May God

grant you and your entire

family the fortitude to bear

this unimaginable loss.

"I also extend my condolences

to the Delta State

Government and the entire

Okowa's family of Owa-

Alero in Ika North East local

Government area of

Delta State over the death

of our father.

"Pa Arthur Okorie Uzoma

Okowa, is one of the oldest

and finest community leaders

in Delta State whose

contributions to peace

building and the unity of

the Nation cannot be overemphasized.

A great iroko

has fallen and the pains will

be highly felt. Goodbye

Papa till we meet to part no

more".


26 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021

:Vanguard News

:@vanguardnews

:@vanguardnews

NEWS HOTLINES:

08052867023,

08052867058

We're going to debate farmers/herders clashes

—Senate •Says fate of Buratai, others lay with C'ttee on Foreign Affairs

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA—AS the National

Assembly resumes today

from 48 days of Christmas

and New Year holiday, the-

Senate declared yesterday

that problem of insecurity

emanating from incessant

clashes between herders and

farmers across the country

will be thoroughly debated,

with a view to coming up with

lasting solutions.

Answering questions from

journalists yesterday in Abuja,

ahead of resumption, Senate

Leader, Senator Yahaya

Abdullahi, All Progressives

Congress, APC, Kebbi North,

said a motion for the debate

on farmers/ herders clashes ,

particularly the recent ones

that happened in Ondo and

Oyo states, had already been

prepared by the Deputy Senate

Leader, Senator Robert

Ajayi Boroffice, APC Ondo

North.

According to him, upon presentation

of the motion, other

senators will discuss the issue,

with good prayers adopted.

Meanwhile, the Senate has

put the fate of the former service

chiefs nominated for

ambassadorial positions by

President Muhamnadu Buhari

in the hands of members

of the Committee on Foreign

Affairs, led by Senator Adamu

Bulkachuwa, APC, Bauchi

North, for confirmation or

rejection .

The Senate leader noted

that the problem of farmers/

herders clashes was largely

local, requiring local solutions

which could be given by

respective state government

and local government councils.

He said: "The Senate is disturbed

that such crises in addition

to armed banditry and

Boko Haram insurgency , remain

unabated and there can't

be development where there

is no peace , the very reason ,

state actors at the grassroots

need to be more involved in

stopping them."

Senator Abdullahi said interventions

from all fronts

against the crises were urgently

required since ethnic enterpreneurs

were trying to take

advantage of the ugly situation.

He said: " With some kind

of ethnic colouration of the

herders/farmers clashes , urgent

attentions are required

at various levels of government

to prevent them from

further escalation .

"These are the kind of crises

that must be addressed

promptly and squarely in preventing

ethnic entrepreneurs

from hijacking the whole situation

and putting the country

in danger .

"There are existential issues

that have set communities

that have hitherto lived together

peacefully, against each

other either for political advantage

or political matters.

"I think these are issues that

should be resolved at the local

level either through dialogue

anchored on the spirit

of give and take.

"Whatever crises that are

involved should be resolved by

political leaders at appropriate

levels, be it at the National

Assembly, at the level of the

governors, local government

and even councillorship level

where state actors are expected

to sit down with their peo-

ple so that a lot of these issues

can be articulated and addressed

by the local population.

" In fact , this is what the governors

at their levels should

do and not always running to

the Presidency to solve one

dispute here and there .

"This is a federation and we

are all politically responsivble

leaders. I can assure you

that in no distant time, these

intercommunual conflagrations

would be resolved.

" So, hopefully Tuesday or

Wednesday this week, a general

motion that will be sponsored

by the Deputy Senate

Leader, Ajayi Borroficce, will

be debated on the floor of the

Senate."

On the fate of the former

service chiefs scaling the hurdle

of Senate confirmation as

ambassadorial nominees , the

Senate leader said: "Communications

for the confirmation

would be read hopefully by

the Senate president tomorrow

and whatever happens,

we will pass it on to the committee

on foreign affairs

which will do its deliberation.

"I am not one under this situation

to preempt whatever

the committee is going to decide

because the committee

is made up of several responsible

and experienced senators

who have also been ambassadors

themselves, so they

will know exactly what are

required for people to be appointed

as ambassadors to

represent the country in whatever

country.

Empowering constituents best way out of

poverty —Rep

By Ozioruva Aliu

BENIN CITY—THE mem

ber representing Etsako

Federal Constituency, Hon

Johnson Oghuma yesterday

said the only way to ensure an

end to the circle of poverty

among members of his constituency

is to build capacity

and provide empowerment

for the people to be self-sufficient.

The lawmaker disclosed

this in Auchi, Etsako West local

government area at the

weekend when he empowered

hundreds of his constituents

with starter parks and other

equipment.

Among the items given out

includes, 20 mini tractors, distribution

of 400 mechanical /

welding tools, distribution of

School learning materials

and the training of 150 women

in poultry farming among

others.

Oghuma said “As a member

of the national assembly

and a Christian, my interest is

to always put smiles on the

faces of my people irrespective

of political divide because

poverty knows no party. In

fact, I received more phone

calls from other party members

who called to express appreciation.

“The basic idea of doing

this often is the only sure way

to give back to my people who

voted massively for me. Providing

empowerment packages

and training will go a

long way in addressing poverty

among our people because

in due time the beneficiaries

will be self-sufficient to

take care of their basic needs.

One of the beneficiaries,

Musa Ahmed, thanked the

lawmaker for the items and

promised that it will be put to

better use and urged other

lawmakers in the state to emulate

the virtues of Oghuma

whom he described as ‘‘Mr

Performer’.

Also, in a reaction on behalf

of other beneficiaries, Mr

Atairu Umoru praised the

lawmaker for the programme

and said the gesture was a rare

opportunity to explore their

opportunity in agriculture.

Amnesty Program: Confirm Dikio now, NDNAF

urges presidency

"As leader of the Senate, this

will be brought to the floor of

the Senate. The committee

will do its work and after that

they will bring the report to

the Senate. I am sure all the

questions will not escape the

committee.

" I don't want to pre -empt

them. Let them do what is just

and right and let them apply

all the criteria for appointment

of ambassadors for the

country which will be the basis

of determining the fate of

the nominees."

BIRTHDAY: Chief Benson Okorodudu (2nd left), Hon. Stanley Eshanomi, (3rd left), Chief Ejaife Odebala (4th

left), Hon Julius Egbedi (2nd right), and others with Chief Kingsley Esiso at his birthday in Sapele, Delta State.

By Emmanuel

Elebeke

ABUJA—A socio-econom

ic/cultural and political

pressure group, known as the

Niger Delta Nonviolence Agitators

Forum has called on

the Presidency to urgently begin

the processes to confirm

the Interim Administrator of

the Presidential Amnesty Programme

Col. Milland Dixion

Dikio with substantive status,

saying that the call has become

necessary due to the

growing agitation of the region

against the continued

running of the office at its lowest

ebb.

The Abuja Chapter Chairman

of the group, Comrade

Embale Jonathan, who made

the call in Abuja, weekend

while addressing newsmen

after playing host to an Itsekiri

Youth Movement Group to

discuss fundamental issues

bordering on attitudinal

change in the region’s agitation

amongst Niger Deltans

resident in the FCT, maintained

that the Interim Administrator

of the Programme

has displayed sufficient leadership

capacity to handle the

office in substantive status,

adding that there is an urgent

need for President Muhammadu

Buhari to confirm

Dikio the substantive SA to

work in full capacity with all

the powers accorded him by

the office without further delay.

"As an Interim Administrator,

the powers to perform are

limited to a large extent as

required by law. He cannot do

much to meet the gap already

created due to mismanagement

and misplaced priorities

in the running of the office by

his predecessors‘‘.

DAUDA

I, formerly known as Lariet

Dauda, now wish to be known

and addressed as Shaibu Lariet.

All former documents remain

valid; general public please

take note.

OLAYINKA

I, formerly known as Miss

Olayinka Adijat Omolara, now

wish to be known and addressed

as Mrs. Ogunlade Adijat

Omolara. All former

documents remain valid;

general public please take note.

BERNARD

I, formerly known as

Agoundjekpo Bernard, now

wish to be known and addressed

as Lokossou Bernard. All

former documents remain

valid; general public please take

note.

SABIU

I, formerly known as Ahmed

Mohammed Sabiu, now wish to

be known and addressed as

Ahmed Sabiru. All former

documents remain valid;

general public please take note.

GADAFI

I, formerly known and called

Mogaji Gadafi, now wish to be

known and called Mogaji

Gadafi Muhammed. All former

documents remain valid. All

authorities concerned and

general public to please take

note.

CHANGE OF NAME

ABUBAKAR

I, formerly known as Abubakar

Sale Alasan, now wish to be

known and addressed as Sale

Abubakar Alasan. All former

documents remain valid;

general public please take

note.

MICHAEL

I, formerly known as Ifeanyi

Onoja Michael, now wish to be

known and addressed as Peter

Ifeanyi Onoja. All former

documents remain valid;

general public please take note.

UMAH

I, formerly known as Umah

Emmanuel Iykedon M., now

wish to be known and addressed

as Umah Emmanuel Ikechukwu

Mgborogwu. All former

documents remain valid;

general public please take note.

DANIEL

I, Noah Arome Daniel hereby

confirm that my wrong date of

birth is 25/03/1990. My

correct date of birth 25/03/

2002.. All former documents

remain valid; general public

please take note.

NNADI

I, formerly known as Chiwendu

Precious Nnadi, now wish to

be known and addressed as

Chiwendu Precious Emeribe.

All former documents remain

valid; general public please

take note.

ABUBAKAR

I, formerly known as Hajiya

Hawa Abubakar, now wish to

be known and addressed as

Mohammed Maryam Hauwa.

All former documents remain

valid; general public please take

note.

UDO

I, formerly known as Mrs. Eno

Idoreyin Udo, now wish to be

known and addressed as Miss

Eno Essien Ukpong. All former

documents remain valid;

general public please take note.

ASUQUO

My name was wrongly captured as

Archibong Archibong Asuquo,

instead of Ediyanga Sylvanus Etim.

Also my date of birth was wrongly

captured as 17/03/1991, instead of

02/03/1993. All former documents

remain valid; general public please

take note.

IBRAHIM

I, formerly known and called Ibrahim

Rabe Reza, now wish to be

known and called Ibrahim Rabiu. My

correct date of birth is 29/11/1989.

All former documents remain valid.

The general public to please take note.

YAKUBU

I, formerly known as Bitrus

Yakubu, now wish to be known

and addressed as Bitrus Alu

Yakubu. All former documents

remain valid; general public

please take note.

VICTOR

I, formerly known as Ovyeh

Solomon Victor, now wish to

be known and addressed as

Ovyeh Solomon Anzaku. All

former documents remain

valid; general public please take

note.


Continues from Page 5

which have exacerbated

pre-existing

weaknesses.

“Looking ahead,

directors emphasized the

need for urgent policy

adjustment and more

fundamental reforms to

sustain macroeconomic

stability and lift growth

and employment.

“Directors welcomed

notable reforms

undertaken in the fiscal

sector, including

removal of the fuel

subsidy and steps to

implement costreflective

tariff

increases in the power

sector. “However, they

stressed the need for

significant revenue

mobilization to reduce

fiscal sustainability

risks, relying initially

on progressive and

efficiency-enhancing

measures with higher

tax rates awaiting a

more sustained

economic recovery.

“They highlighted the

need for improved

social safety nets to

cushion potential

negative impacts on the

poor.

“Directors noted that

multiple rates, limited

flexibility, and foreign

exchange shortages are

posing challenges.

“They recommended a

gradual and multi-step

approach

to

establishing a unified

and clear exchange rate

regime with the nearterm

focus on allowing

for greater flexibility

and removing the

payments backlog.

“Directors observed

that the accommodative

monetary stance

remains appropriate in

the near term, although

tightening may be

warranted if balance of

payments or inflationary

pressures were to

increase. In the

medium term, the

monetary policy

operational framework

should be reformed and

Central Bank financing

of budget deficit

vanguardnews @vanguardnews @vanguardnews

Reform economy, cut dependence

on oil, IMF tells Nigeria

phased out in order to

reduce inflation.

“While welcoming the

resilience of the

banking sector,

directors called for

continued vigilance to

contain financial

stability risks.

“They noted that

COVID-19 debt relief

measures for bank

clients should remain

time-bound and limited

to those with good precrisis

fundamentals.

Directors welcomed

recent progress in

structural reforms and

called for continued

reforms aimed at

promoting economic

By Omeiza Ajayi

ABUJA — The

F e d e r a l

Government said it has

begun moves to secure

the Russian COVID-19

vaccine, Sputnik V, in

the wake of international

politics regarding the

distribution of vaccines.

The government also

said it has taken steps

to resolve the oxygen

crisis that had hit

Nigeria’s national

response to the COVID-

19 pandemic.

It also announced

postponement of the

National Sports Festival

to April due to the rising

wave of infections.

Minister of Health, Dr

Osagie Ehanire, who

disclosed these during

yesterday’s briefing of

the Presidential Task

Force, PTF, on COVID-

19 in Abuja, said: “With

regard to vaccines,

Nigeria has kept abreast

of global developments

and supports the call of

WHO for fair and

equitable distribution of

vaccines, since COVID-

19 is a threat to mankind.

“We subscribed to two

Naira depreciates to N398.50/$ in

I&E window

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

The naira yesterday depreciated to N398.50 kobo

per dollar in the Investors and Exporters (I&E)

window due to a 40 percent decline in the volume of

dollars traded.

Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative

exchange rate for the window roset to N398.50 kobo

per dollar from N396.17 kobo per dollar last week

Friday, indicating N2.33 kobo depreciation of the

naira.

However, the volume of dollars (turnover) traded

in the window fell by 40 percent to $57.78 million

from $96.82 million last week Friday.

diversification and

reducing the

dependence on oil and

i n c r e a s i n g

employment.

“In addition, they

e n c o u r a g e d

strengthening

governance and anticorruption

frameworks,

including compliance

with AML/CFT

measures. Directors

also welcomed the

ratification of the

African Continental

Free Trade Area and

underscored that

implementing tradeenabling

reforms

remains critical to

rejuvenate growth.

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021— 27

NEWS HOTLINES

018773962,

08052867058

APC MEMBERSHIP CARD —Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano

State (right) receiving his APC membership Card from the Chairman of APC

Registration/Revalidation Committee, Dr. Kabir Ibrahim Matazu (left), and

Deputy Governor of Kano, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna (middle), during the

APC Registration/Revalidation exercise, in Kano yesterday. Photo: Gbemiga

Olamikan.

COVID-19: 13 UK variant now in Nigeria, as FG

turns to Russia for vaccines, tackles oxygen

crisis •Postpones National Sports Festival

multilateral vaccine

access platforms; the

first being the COVAX

facility that will supply

members, including

Nigeria, vaccines free of

charge, to cover 20% of

our population. The

expected first wave of

100,000 vaccines derived

from this facility.

“There has since been

a change that now offers

Nigeria 16 million

vaccine doses in the first

half of the year. The

other multilateral

platform is the African

Union, AVATT, platform

— the African Vaccine

Acquisition Task Team,

chaired by the President

of South Africa, Mr

Ramaphosa. AVATT has

acquired 300 million

doses of three types of

vaccines which have

been offered to African

countries, based on

population, such that no

country is left behind.

Nigeria subscribes to

this whole-of-Africa

approach, that strives to

ensure that we are safe

and our neighbours are

safe. We shall be offered

over 42 million doses by

AVATT. If all the

projected vaccines are

supplied, we estimate

we should have covered

over 45% of the

population.

“In addition to the

proposed sources,

Nigeria has had bilateral

negotiations with

Gamaleya of Russia over

their Sputnik V vaccine,

which they are willing to

supply to Nigeria. This

vaccine has an efficacy of

91%. We are also in talks

with the High

Commissioner of India

over the covax vaccine of

Barhat Institute. Both

vaccines dossiers are

under evaluation with

NAFDAC.”

Nigeria exploring

all sources for

vaccines — SGF

Chairman of the PTF

and Secretary to the

Government of the

Federation SGF, Mr Boss

Mustapha, also said

Nigeria was exploring

all chances in procuring

the vaccines.

“Mexico is using the

Sputnik. That is why they

are applying. Yes, we are

members of WHO but we

will continue with our

bilateral talks with other

countries to secure

vaccines for our people

as quickly as possible.

“The process for

accessing vaccines and

the plans for getting it to

the last mile is

progressing. The PTF

wishes to appeal to all

Nigerians and

particularly, the media to

recognize that humanity

is at war with an unseen

enemy.

“Nations are also

struggling to take poll

positions to access the

same commodity which

is in obvious short

supply. We must,

therefore, play our

critical complimentary

roles of educating the

public on the benefits of

the vaccines in

overcoming the

pandemic.

“The PTF similarly

wishes to firmly restate

that Nigeria was never

disqualified from

accessing the COVID-19

vaccine. The PTF has

debunked the story and

so did the WHO.

Misinformation of

Nigerians in any form or

shape will be counterproductive

and

dangerous to our health,

security and economy.

“Confidence in the

vaccine is reaffirmed

and access is reassured.

We appeal to our media

outlets to cross check

their stories before

publication,” he stated.

Mustapha said testing

was still being

aggressively pursued as

a viable strategy, adding

that the PTF shall

continue to appeal to not

just the citizens to get

tested but also on subnational

entities to

ensure that capacity of

the laboratories that have

been established within

their jurisdictions were

fully maximized.

13 UK variant now

in Nigeria

“The PTF (through the

NCDC) is working with

the Africa CDC on

genomic surveillance. A

total of 13 B-117 variant

strains have so far been

detected in Nigeria. Six

of these numbers were

detected in the last one

week and they all came

out of samples collected

between November and

January.”

Oxygen crisis

According to the SGF,

the shortage of oxygen

for case management is

gradually being

overcome and the private

sector (CACOVID) is

supporting the provision

of oxygen nationwide

and allocations have

been made to states.

“The increase in

oxygen availability

began with the repair of

two oxygen plants at the

National Hospital, Abuja

through the Federal

Government intervention

and the commendable

intervention of the

private sector, which has

ensured that large

quantities of oxygen

cylinders are delivered to

treatment centres as

needed. This has

improved availability of

oxygen for the

management of critical

COVID-19 cases, as well

as treatment of other

illnesses that depend on

o x y g e n

supplementation, such

as asthma, pneumonia,

etc,” he stated.

The PTF also said it

takes the violation of

protocols very seriously

and urged international

passengers arriving

Nigeria to ensure

compliance with travel

protocols and observe

the Non-Pharmaceutical

Intervention measures

while in-Country

The PTF also vowed to

prosecute travellers who

present fake PCR

Certificates at the

airports.

“If you present with a

fake PCR Certificate or

without the required

certificate at all, you will

be taken into quarantine.

At the end, you will

undergo a PCR test

again. They will pay for

their hotels and test bills

while they can also be

prosecuted at the

COVID-19 tribunal.

“Remember that if you

sneak through the

airport, you are at a high

risk of taking the virus

home to your loved

ones,” said Dr Mukhtar

Muhammad, the

National Incident

Manager.


28 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021


Anfield thrashing:

Liverpool are bad

champions, says

Keane

Roy Keane has branded

Liverpool “bad champions” in

a withering rebuke of last

season’s Premier League winners.

After 23 games this season,

Liverpool now have 27 fewer points

than they did at the same stage last

season, the biggest drop by any

reigning champion at this stage of

a campaign in English top-flight

history.

“We spoke before the game - they

are making a lot of excuses. For me,

they are bad champions,” said

Keane. “You could say that this is a

one-off, it’s a freak season, it’s

Basketball:

Elephant girls set to miss

FIBA club championship

F

irst Bank Women Basketball

club are set to miss the FIBA

Africa club championship billed for

March 12-22 in Cairo Egypt.

FIBA Africa had invited the

Elephant girls to participate in the

championship, which is a qualifier

for the World women club

championship, but the club is yet to

register for the competition in Egypt

as the club management is unable

to get guarantee from any quarters

to fund the trip.

However, FIBA Africa officials

Corona. Just get on with it.

You’re the champions,

you’re Liverpool Football

Club.

“Keeping performing like that

and it will be another 30 years

before you win the title.”

The Sky Sports pundit was his

scathing in his assessment of

Liverpool’s mentality and

approach following their 4-1 defeat

to Manchester City at Anfield,

their third successive home defeat.

Reacting to the Liverpool

manager’s comments after City’s

victory, an unimpressed Keane

continued: “I think Jurgen Klopp

said maybe the goalkeeper’s feet

were cold? That’s a new one. I know

it was tongue-in-cheek a little bit

Serena Williams’s outfit raises

‘dust’ at Australian Open

US tennis great Serena

Williams, who has

confidently opened her

campaign for a 24th Grand Slam in

Melbourne, sent fans into a frenzy

with a colorful new outfit which she

wore in the opening match of the

tournament on Monday.

The 39-year-old, who is eyeing her

eighth Australian Open trophy,

appeared on court wearing a Nikedesigned

catsuit – met with mixed

reactions on social media.

While some fans admired

Williams’ look, others criticized her

fashion choice for the seasonopening

major.

Some drew parallels between the

suit and the style worn by US

sprinting legend Florence Griffith

Joyner.

The eye-catching style was

praised by Williams’ huge army of

fans, who said she looked

“awesome” and “gorgeous.”

“Serena and Venus revolutionised

fashion on tennis court and are

fearless and fierce. I love it,” wrote

•Elephant girls

one.

She always looks amazing... love

the one legged catsuit,” another

said

“Stunning! Serena always comes

out with something unexpected and

this outfit is

unique! Be weird

be special,”

a n o t h e r

comment read.

Not all tennis

lovers were

inspired by

Williams’ outfit

design, though,

including critics

who claimed it

didn’t suit her

and distracted

from the game

itself.

“I don’t like

that catsuit at all,

sorry. Distracting

and just ugly,”

one wrote.

confirmed yesterday that the

registration has been extended to

February 28 to give room for teams

who may want to make late entries.

“We are just hoping that our

management would be able to

raise funds for us to attend the

championship. It would boost our

standing in Africa’s basketball club

rating and also give us the much

needed exposure in the long run,”

said one of the club’s players

yesterday.

•Serena

•Pogba

•Keane

but it’s excuses after excuses. It just

goes on and on.

“You want a reaction from

Liverpool’s performance against

Brighton. You go to United in the

FA Cup, they shipped seven earlier

in the season to Villa. With Van

Dijk.”

A

E

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021 — 29

Eze wins Palace player of

the month

berechi Eze has been named

Crystal Palace Player of the

Month for January.

Monday’s recognition was the

second time the 22-year-old

scooped the monthly accolade in his

debut Premier League season after

he won the prize in November.

Last month, the Nigerian descent

helped Crystal Palace win two of

their five Premier League matches,

with his contribution of two goals.

He started the year with his

stunning strike that sealed a 2-0

victory over Sheffield United on

January 2, and he closed the month

with the match-winning goal that

gave the Eagles a 1-0 win over

Wolverhampton Wanderers on

January 30.

Eze’s contributions were not

ignored by the fans who gave him

36 percent of their votes to win the

award while Vicente Guaita and

Jairo Riedewald followed in the

second and third spots respectively.

The 22-year-old has been

outstanding since he moved to

ny decision about holding the

A2020 Tokyo Olympic Games,

postponed by a year due to the

coronavirus pandemic, must be

based on science, U.S. President

Joe Biden told a radio show.

The Games are set to start in under

six months, and the Japanese

government and International

Olympic Committee (IOC) are

vowing to hold them as planned,

although under strict conditions that

could include staging them without

spectators.

Biden, speaking on a Westwood

One Sports radio programme

broadcast last Sunday during

halftime of the Super Bowl, said he

hoped the Games would take place,

mainly for the sake of the athletes

who have trained so hard for them.

“I’ve spoken with the prime

minister of Japan, he’s working very

Aleksandar Mitrovic in the face.

Both decisions were overturned

on appeal.

Mike Riley, chief of the

refereeing body PGMOL,

condemned the abuse directed at

Dean.

“Threats and abuse of this nature

are totally unacceptable and we

fully support Mike’s decision to

report these messages his family

received to the police,” Riley said.

“Nobody should be a victim of

abhorrent messages like this.

Online abuse is unacceptable in

any walk of life and more needs to

be done to tackle the problem.”

Dean will take charge of

Leicester City’s FA Cup fifth-round

tie at home to Brighton & Hove

Albion on Wednesday, the BBC

said.

Selhurst Park on a five-year deal

from Queens Park Rangers in

August.

He has a tally of three goals and

three assists after 20 league

appearances for Roy Hodgson’s side

this season.

hard to be in a position to safely

open the Games, to have the

Games, and I think that has to be

based on science, whether or not it

is safe for that to occur,” Biden said.

Biden, who took office in

January, said he hated to think of

the athletes not being able to

compete.

“Imagine all those Olympians

who work for four years, four years

for one shot and all of a sudden that

opportunity gets lost,” he said.

“They are the people that I feel

such pain for - but we have to do it

based on the science,” he added.

“We are a science-driven

administration, I think the rest of

the world’s there too. I hope we can

play, I hope it’s possible, but it

remains to be seen.”

The Olympics are set to open on

July 23 and run until Aug. 8.

Death threats force Ref Dean out of EPL games

ike Dean was at the centre of

Mcontroversy last weekend

following his decision to send off

Tomas Soucek in the game between

West Ham and Fulham.

Dean reportedly was subjected to

death threats and has therefore

opted not to referee any Premier

League matches this coming

weekend.

Dean was criticised after he sent

off Southampton defender Jan

Bednarek during their 9-0 defeat at

Manchester United last Tuesday

and West Ham United midfielder

Tomas Soucek during Saturday’s 0-

0 draw away to Fulham.

Bednarek was sent off for a lastman

challenge on United forward

Anthony Martial, while Soucek

was dismissed after appearing to

accidentally elbow Fulham striker

Tokyo 2020: Science

will decide, says Biden

gain the National Sports Festival

tagged ‘Edo 2020’ has been moved

to a new date leaving athletes, coaches

and officials exasperated.

Sports Ministry sources hinted last

night that April would be an ideal date

following the uncertain Covid-19 situation

in the country and the cries for

financial assistant by the Edo State

governmennt. Edo State Sports

•Dare Commission chairman, Godwin

Dudu-Orume confirmed that April

was communicated to the “Edo 2020”

Local Organizing Committee, LOC

but no date has been attached to it yet.

This will be the third time the

festival would be postponed. It was

gathered that athletes who have been

anticipating another postponement

planned to stage a demonstration this

week.

The LOC must now come up with a

feasible date between the last week

of March and first week of April to

avoid clash with schedules of the

University of Benin that is expected

to resume in mid April.

•Dean

•Eze

Pogba out of action for a “few weeks”, says Solskjaer

anchester United manager,

MOle Gunnar Solskjaer has

disclosed that Paul Pogba will be

out of action for a “few weeks” after

suffering a thigh injury

during the team’s 3-3

draw with Everton.

The 27-yearold

midfielder was forced off

towards the end of the first half of

Saturday’s match, just days after

being named the club’s player of

the month for January. Pogba’s

absence will be a blow to United as

they battle to stay in touch with

Premier League leaders

Manchester City and with FA Cup

and Europa League matches to

come. The French World Cup

winner was enjoying a resurgence

in form but Solskjaer said he did

National Sports Festival postponed again

•FG, Edo agree on April date

not want to take risks with him.

“It’s an injury that will take a few

weeks to heal,” he told MUTV.

“He’s just started his recovery,

working with the medical staff and

we’ll get him back as soon and as

safely as we can.

“Of course, Paul has been very

important for us and we’re not going

to take any risks. (So it is) a few

weeks definitely.”

The first match Pogba will miss is

Tuesday’s FA Cup fifth-round match

against West Ham.


30 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021 — 31


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021

TODAY’S CROSSWORD

QUICK CROSSWORD

YESTERDAY’S SOLUTION

TODAY’S PUZZLE

Sudoku

YESTERDAY’S ANSWER

ACROSS

1 Dilapidated (10)

7 Amount (8)

8 Sluggish (4)

9 Pavement edge (4)

10 Dirigible (7)

12 Ungenerous behaviour (11)

14 Attack (7)

16 Cease (4)

19 Military vehicle (4)

20 U.S. state (8)

21 Near thing (5,5)

DOWN

1 Lorry (5)

2 Dog of mixed breed (7)

3 Den (4)

4 Natural illumination (8)

5 Stinging insects (5)

6 Imitations (6)

11 Scoundrels (8)

12 Title given to a nun (6)

13 Baltic country (7)

15 Horrify (5)

17 Trophy (5)

18 In addition (4)

How to Play Sudoku

Place a number (1-9) in each blank cell. (No line can have

two of the same number).

Each row (nine lines from left to right), column, (also nine

lines from top to bottom) and 3 X 3 block within a bold block

(nine blocks) contains number from 1 through 9. This means

that no number can appear twice in any block, column or row.

No mathematics is involved – no adding, subtraction, division or

multiplication, just plain logic and your imagination.

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