10072021 - Labour, CSOs kick as FG plans fresh fuel price hike

vanguardnewspaper

Vanguard Newspaper 10 February 2021

Private

institutions not

money-making

ventures (4)

29

Insecurity:

Northern govs,

Obaseki, Ohanaeze

move against

open grazing 8

BUA, CACOVID clash over

COVID-19 vaccine 9

Farmers/herders’ clash: Anyone

who bears arms unlawfully must

be arrested — PRESIDENCY 11

Lagos loses N4trn to traffic congestion annually

19

VOL. 27: NO. 64268 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021

Labour, CSOs kick as FG

plans fresh fuel price hike

•Be ready to bear pains of high petrol cost, FG tells

Nigerians•Nigerians can’t take another hikeLabour

Business Magazine

Reversing the downward trend

in Foreign Investment inflow

20

5

Destitutes lay

siege to Gov

Badaru's

residence,

decry poverty,

violate

COVID-19

protocol

14

Mr & Mrs

Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor

Bandits kill 23 in 5

Kaduna LGAs

COLUMNISTS

Kristalina Georgieva, IMF MD

•As locals repel attack in

Chikun LGA, kill bandit

OCHEREOME 16 AHMED 17 DEAR BUNMI 28

6


2 — Vanguard

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Vanguard

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4 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021


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Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021— 5

POCKET CARTOON

REVALIDATION—Vice President Yemi Osinbajo displays his revalidated slip of membership of the All

Progressives Congress (APC), at Ward One, Ikenne in Ogun State, yesterday. Photo: NAN.

Labour, CSOs kick as FG plans

fresh fuel price hike

•Be ready to bear pains of high petrol cost, FG tells

Nigerians•Nigerians can’t bear another hikeLabour

By Victor Young,

Luminous

Jannamike & Obas

Esiedesa

ABUJA — Minister of

State, Petroleum

Resources, Chief Timipre

Sylva, has admonished

Nigerians to be ready to

bear the pains of

increased petrol pump

price as crude oil price

climbs above $60 per

barrel.

Speaking at the official

launch of Nigerian

Upstream Cost

Optimisation Programme

in Abuja yesterday, Sylva

said with no provision of

subsidy in the 2021

budget, the Nigerian

National Petroleum

Corporation, NNPC,

cannot continue to bear

the cost of under-recovery.

At present, the pump

price of petrol ranges from

N160 –N165, the price

band set when crude

traded just above $43 per

barrel four months ago.

President of Nigeria

Labour Congress, NLC,

Ayuba Wabba, in a swift

reaction yesterday,

warned that Nigerians

and businesses in the

country would not be able

to cope with another hike

in the pump price of

petrol.

He said: “I am not sure

Nigerians would be ready

to bear any more pain at

this time because of the

fact that a lot of factors

have affected the

economic, social and even

the well being of

Nigerians.

“So, any additional pain

at this point in time

certainly will not be taken

lightly. As you are aware,

the NLC said it would

have to discuss even the

issue of technical report on

the September 2020

increase which we could

not adopt at the last

meeting of the National

Executive Council.

Certainly, it’s a thing that

we cannot swallow.”

Also reacting, President,

Trade Unions Congress of

Nigeria, TUC, Quadri

Olaleye, said: “The

question is why is

government always quick

to tell us about the rise in

the price of crude in the

international market and

the need to increase the

price of PMS here when

it always takes them

weeks, if not months, to

implement agreements

reached with Organised

Labour? It all points to

one thing: they are

insensitive to the plight of

the poor people of this

country.

“In every move and

statement by government

officials, you could see

and feel their care-free

attitude and indifference

to our plight. It appears

they are not disturbed by

the poverty of Nigerians

and the unemployment/

insecurity situation that

their obnoxious policies

have created in the

country. There is nothing

honourable about what

the minister has said.

“Nigeria is among the

six oil producing

countries in the world.

Reports have it that our

oil is one of the best,

giving us an edge over

others. Unfortunately, we

have not taken advantage

of that. We have four

refineries that are not

functional.

“Why are they not

functional and why is

government closing its

eyes to it? Their refusal

to attend to them is the

reason the country is

subjected to the vagaries

and volatility of the price

of crude in the

international market.

The TUC, and indeed,

organised labour, is

trying seriously to avert a

major industrial crisis. We

have tightened our belts

so hard, to the extent that

we are finding it difficult

to breathe but

government seems not to

care. We are appealing to

government to have a

change of heart and put

on a human face.”

Increase necessary

— Petroleum

Minister

However, the minister

insisted that the increase

was necessary, saying

while government

revenue has improved by

the rise in crude oil price,

money released therefrom

would not be frittered

away in subsidy payment.

He said: “Since we are

optimizing everything,

NNPC needs to also think

about optimization of

product cost because as

we all know, oil prices are

where they are today, $60.

“As desirable as this is,

this has serious

consequences as well on

product prices. So we

want to take the pleasure

and we should as a

country be ready to take

the pain. Today the NNPC

is taking a big hit from

this. We all know that

there is no provision in the

budget for subsidy.

“So, somewhere down

the line, I believe the

NNPC cannot continue to

take this blow. There is no

way because there is no

provision for it. As a

country, let us take the

benefits of the higher

crude oil prices and I

hope we will also be

ready to take a little pain

on the side of higher

product prices.”

‘Oil production

begins in N-East’

The minister had earlier

on Monday night,

revealed plans by the

Federal Government to

begin oil production in the

North-East.

Speaking during a

recent interview on

Channels Television’s

Newsnight programme in

Abuja, which aired on

Monday night, Sylva

said: “I have said it a few

times that we have found

oil in the northeast and we

have started drilling

activities in the Lake

Chad Basin.

“I don’t know how the

discovery of oil in the area

will impact all the issues

there but on our side, we

believe that in a very

short time, we will start

Continues on Page 35

By Yinka Latona

On appointment of ex-service chiefs as ambassadors (3)

The ex-service chiefs

were not able to

stop insurgency in the

country. How are we

sure they will be good

representatives of the

country? We need new

competent hands in

government and I think

the Federal

Government should

look beyond their old

circles.

—Adeleke Mercy,

Content Creator

I

think new hands

should be involved

in these things, old

systems should be

erased. If truly we are

aiming for the best in

Nigeria, why not try

fresh hands?

Recycling these old

ones and expecting a

different result is not a

good idea. I hope

something can change.

—Adeleke Toluwani,

Analyst

These appointments

clearly show lack of

accountability and human

rights violation by this

government. Why appoint

the same set of people some

of who still have pending

charges with the

International Criminal

Court? I hope the same

Senate that declared them

incompetent before, also

declare them incompetent

now.

—Adegbile Victor, Realtor

Although I am a

little bit sceptical

about how these

individuals would be of

benefit to the nation

judging by their poor

performance as service

chiefs, we can only be

optimistic that this

time around, they will

yield good fruit as

advisers to the new

service chiefs.

—Olaide Oyewole,

Analyst

This is one of the

undemocratic

excesses of this FG. The

viable solution is a

referendum. A free and

fair election which should

be supervised by the

military and the votes

should be counted by

reputable and

independent judicial

officers who have never

been sued or convicted for

any crime.

—Adepoju

Student

Isaiah,

NASS knows that

Tthese people have

nothing to offer. We were

told they were sacked. If one

is sacked, it means there is

a question mark on the

person so their nomination

only goes to show that the

interest of Nigeria is not the

President’s primary

concern. There’s no

credible reason why the exservice

chiefs should be

named ambassadors, other

than the subtle aim of

shielding them from trials

by the ICC.

—Idowu Mobolaji,

Property Advisor


6— Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021

Half salary:

Ondo nurses

chase out union

leaders, disrupt

meeting

By Dayo Johnson

AKURE—A State Executive

Committee, SEC, meeting of

the Ondo State chapter of

Association of Nigeria Nurses

and Midwives, NANNM,

ended abruptly, yesterday, as

nurses chased away their union

leaders over payment of 50 per

cent salary by the state

government to its workforce.

Efforts by the aggrieved nurses

to make their leaders declare a

strike action over the issue,

however, failed.

The union leaders had called

the meeting to discuss issues of

the attack on three nurses at the

Federal Medical Centre, Owo

and the 50 per cent half salary

paid to state workers.

The placards displayed by the

aggrieved nurses had

inscriptions such as “Represent

us well or leave”, “We move out

of JOHESU”, “Serve us well to

serve the community well. A

hungry man is an angry man”,

“Nurses have the largest

number in the health sector. We

can stand alone.”

The aggrieved nurses, who

expressed their readiness to pull

out of the Joint Health Workers

Union, chased out their union

leaders.

They claimed that their leaders

have compromised and

demanded strike action over

payment of 50 per cent salary for

November 2020 and other

emoluments owed them.

The nurses said they cannot

continue to work on an empty

stomach until all their allowances

are paid.

Attempts by the union leaders

to calm protesting nurses down

failed.

The state Chairman of the

Nigeria Labour Congress,

Oluwole Adeleye, rushed to the

venue to appeal to the protesting

nurses.

Some of the nurses in the

employ of the state government

said they got N18,000 as salary.

One of the protesting nurses,

who spoke with newsmen,

alleged that the state NANNM

leadership has failed them.

“This process is for us to get

what is due to us. We are tired of

collecting half salary. How can

you pay essential workers half

salary? We are being neglected.

“When others went on strike,

we remained at our duty posts.

We have waited for our

leadership but they have failed

us.

“The state NANNM must

issues ultimatum for a strike. We

are also tired of JOHESU. We

can stand alone.

“We came to realise that our

leaders agreed to collect half

salary. We were not carried

along. We have families to feed.

Some of us got N18,000 or

N20,000. Some also got minus.

They are owing us several other

allowances. During the COVID-

19 we were still working.

“It was sad that half salary was

paid in January when schools

just resumed new academic

session.We are protesting

because our leaders are not

representing us well.

Bandits kill 23 in 5 Kaduna LGAs

•As locals repel attack in Chikun LGA, kill bandit

By Ibrahim

HassanWuyo

TWENTY three persons

were reportedly killed in

different attacks on soft targets

in five local government areas

of Kaduna State by bandits.

The state Commissioner,

Ministry of Internal Security

and Home Affairs, Samuel

Aruwan, who disclosed this

yesterday, said the attacks on

soft targets in Birnin Gwari,

Giwa, Chikun, Igabi and

Kauru local government areas

occurred around Kaduna

State’s boundaries with

neighbouring states.

Aruwan explained that in

Birnin Gwari Local

Government Area, 10 people

were killed by bandits in an

attack on Ungwan Gajere,

Kutemeshi ward.

He named the victims as

Abdu Hasan, Sufyanu

Musa,Faisal Zubairu,

Abdullahi Hasan, Ali Abdu,

Rabiu Aliyu, Zubairu Yau,

Bukar Yusuf, Mamman

Ibrahim and Dankande Musa.

He said: “The following were

injured in the attack: Baushi

Alu, Rabe Sani and Usama

Sani. In Igabi Local

Government Area, bandits

shot dead one Dayyabu

Yahuza between Sarkin Baka

and Dankyawai villages, near

Gidan Kurmi.

“In Giwa Local Government

Area, armed bandits invaded

Janbaba village, one Yakubu

Sule was shot dead.”

Samuel Aruwan said the

gunmen suspected to be from

a neighbouring state killed

five persons in Kishisho

village, Kauru Local

Government Area.

He listed the victim as

Danlami Sunday, Abbas Abou,

Sati Yakubu, Shaba John and

John Francis.

“In Chikun Local

3 feared dead in suspected Yahoo Boy’s

car accident

By Jimitota Onoyume

EKU— NO fewer than three

persons were feared dead

in Eku, Ethiope East Local

Government Area of Delta

State when a young man

simply described as a Yahoo

boy allegedly knocked down

pedestrians at different parts

of the sleepy town on Sunday.

It was gathered that the

suspected Yahoo boy first ran

into a man on the old Eku-

Abraka Road and later

rammed the car into others on

Etchi Road before he was

arrested and handed over to

the Police.

It could not be confirmed if

the suspect was drunk or a

learner. But some of the

youths, who arrested him said

they didn’t see learner sign on

the vehicle.

A resident, who gave his

name as Onos, said: “We were

surprised that after knocking

down a man inside the town,

he still dared to drive to this

side of the town where he also

knocked down some other

persons.

“If the guy had headed

towards Orhono side of the

town, where the Police station

is one would have said he was

going to seek Police protection.

“All we hear is that the death

toll is more than three but I

Female cook, 2 others arrested for

kidnapping in Delta

The suspects

By Perez Brisibe

UGHELLI — AN

unidentified female cook

and two others were, yesterday,

arrested in connection with the

kidnapping of one Emmanuel

Piopio, who was abducted at

Agbarho in Ughelli North Local

Government Area of Delta State.

The victim, according to police

sources, was abducted last

Sunday along Ekwerhe Road,

Agbarho after which the

kidnappers contacted one of his

family members demanding a

ransom for his release.

The hoodlums were said to

have taken the victim in his

white Lexus ES350 saloon car

with number plate, KWL 663

BB, to an unknown destination

from where they initiated the

ransom negotiation with his

family.

A police source at the Agbarho

police station gave the names

of the two male suspects as

Ogaga Champion from

Ododegho community and

Evans Emogariemu from

Oruorakpo community, all in

Ughelli North Local

Government Area of the state.

Though efforts to speak with

the state Police Public Relations

Officer were fruitless, the

source, who spoke on condition

of anonymity, said: “After the

victim was kidnapped, the

matter was lodged at the

Agbarho police station.

can’t confirm this. I am aware

of a young lady, who died and

some persons that were

rushed to the hospital. But

stories are flying all over that

the deaths were about five. But

like I said, I can’t confirm this

number."

“Two others, making three,

died at the hospital. I live close

to the hospital. So information

flows to us around here from

the hospital easily,” a resident

around the Eku hospital said.

Vanguard gathered that one

of those reported dead is a

year one Medical Bio-

Chemistry student of the Delta

State University.

The suspect, at press time,

was still detained at the Abraka

Police station.

"Following intelligence

information in partnership with

the army and operatives of the

Vigilante Group of Nigeria, we

were able to track the mobile

number of one of the suspects.

“The arrest of the suspect

further led to the arrest of other

gang members at their den

located inside the forest of

Ophori-Agbarho community in

Agbarho where the victim was

being held.

"We were also able to rescue

the victim, who had already

spent roughly two days in the

den of the kidnappers while

efforts are currently on

towards the arrest of other

fleeing members of the gang.”

Government Area, five

citizens were killed by bandits

in Gwagwada-Kasaya village

in Kunai ward. They are

Habila Ibrahim, Samaila

Audu John Musa, Birnin

Aboki and Ali Aboki.

“Similarly, in Agwa, Chikun

Local Government Area, one

Bitrus Joseph was shot dead

in an attack by bandits. Also

in Chikun Local Government

Area, one bandit was killed

near Bugai, when members of

the community repelled an

attack.“

Governor Nasir el-Rufai has

expressed sadness over the

attacks and sent his

condolences to the families

that lost their loved ones.

Anglican

priest, wife,

maid die of

suspected

food poisoning

in Aba

By Ugochukwu

Alaribe

U MUAHIA—The

Anglican Church

community was, yesterday,

thrown into mourning as one

of its priests, wife and house

help died under strange

circumstances in Aba, Abia

State.

Julius Dike, who is the

Archdeacon of St. Paul’s

Anglican Church, Ariaria,

Aba, wife, Agnes; and their

house help reportedly held a

crusade within the church

premises the previous night.

They were said to have after

the crusade, ate and retired

to bed with their house help.

Vanguard gathered that the

following morning, the priest

and his household did not

come out to conduct morning

service as usual.

Some of the parishioners

became apprehensive and

broke into the official

residence of the Archdeacon,

only to find him dead with his

household.

Though the cause of their

death was still yet to be

ascertained, however, a

source attributed it to food

poisoning.

It was further gathered that

the children of the

Archdeacon would have been

among the dead if they had

not gone back to school.

A parishioner, who declined

to have his name in print,

lamented that neither the

Archdeacon nor his wife and

house help complained of ill

health before they retired to

bed.

Efforts to get the reaction of

the Abia State Commissioner

of Police, Mrs Janet Agbede,

was unsuccessful as she

didn’t respond to calls put

across to her.


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021—7

Mai Kanuribe of Lagos, 2 others die in Borno

auto crash

By Ndahi Marama

MAIDUGURI—Three top

politicians reportedly died,

yesterday, on their way back to

Maiduguri, the state capital after

participating in the ongoing All

Progressives Congress, APC,

Registration and Revalidation

Exercise in Governor Zulum’s

hometown, Mafa Local

Government Area.

Among the dead politicians is the

Mai Kanuribe of Lagos, Alhaji

Mustapha Muhammadu.

It was gathered that Muhammad

travelled to Mafa in solidarity with

Governor Zulum’s administration

and the APC.

But, a source said Muhammad

left Mafa for Maiduguri, while the

governor was still in Mafa.

The source added: “Two

occupants, including Mai Kanuribe

of Lagos, Alhaji Mustapha

Muhammadu, died on the spot

The late Mai Kanuribe.

while the driver, who sustained

serious injuries, later died some few

hours after.

The governor alongside Senator

Kashim Shettima and some

leaders, came across the accident

on their way back from Mafa and

as expected, the governor and

those accompanying him, followed

bodies of Mai and others to their

families in Maiduguri, empathized

with bereaved families and took

part in the funerals.

Speaking on the accident,

yesterday, the governor’s

spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau,

said Governor Zulum deeply

recognises the fact that the late Mai

Kanuribe, a leader with an open

passion for the progress of Borno

and its people, undertook his last

journey to Mafa in honour of the

Zulum administration and the APC.

"The governor prayed that Allah

forgives the shortcomings of the

Mai, and those who died with him,

and admits all of them into Aljanna

Firdaus,” Gusau wrote in a

statement.

NDLEA intercepts 40 parcels of cocaine worth over

N32bn at Tincan Port

By: Kingsley Omonobi

ABUJA—The

National

Drug Law Enforcement

Agency, NDLEA, has

continued its offensive action

against drug barons and

cartels in Nigeria with the

latest seizure of 40 parcels of

cocaine weighing 43.11

kilogram (100.05pds), with an

estimated street value of over

N32 billion.

The consignment containing

the illicit drug was put under

surveillance by operatives of

the Tincan Command of the

NDLEA for some days until two

clearing agents showed up on

Monday, February 8, 2021 to

clear it.

According to the

Commander, Tincan

Port Command of the

NDLEA, Sumaila

Ethan, the two

clearing agents were

promptly arrested

and the consignment,

which was brought

into Nigeria from

Brazil on board a

vessel marked MV

SPAR SCORPIO,

properly searched.

According to Ethan,

while briefing the

media yesterday at

the Ikoyi office of the

agency, “After a

thorough search, we

discovered 40

Some parcels of the cocaine.

Suspected Yahoo Boys block Ilesa-Osogbo road

protesting against EFCC

By Shina Abubakar

OSOGBO—SOME youths

suspected to be internet

fraudsters, popularly known as

Yahoo Boys, yesterday,

reportedly blocked the Ilesa-

Osogbo express road,

protesting against incessant

arrest by security agencies.

They were said to have

stormed the Ilesa West local

government secretariat, Ilesa

and made a bonfire on the road,

leading to traffic gridlock along

the busy road.

It was gathered that motorists

travelling from Ilesa to Osogbo

had to look for alternative

routes while the protest lasted.

The protesters, a source in

Ilesa, Ibrahim Bolaji, said

were protesting against the

recent arrest of some of their

colleagues by operatives of the

Economic and Financial

Crimes Commission, EFCC.

They alleged that the EFCC

Some of the protesting Yahoo Boys.

officials recently stormed the

hotel they lodged to arrest

some of their colleagues.

Osun State Police

spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola,

confirmed the incident,

adding that the protesters

were cleared off the road and

normalcy returned to the area.

“Yes, some youths in Ilesa

blocked the Ilesa-Osogbo

express road but police have

taken over the place. The

youths have deserted the road

and normalcy has returned to

the community. Although,

there was no arrest effected,

the road has been cleared,”

she said.

compressed parcels, which

after laboratory investigations

tested positive to cocaine.

"The two clearing agents have

been taken into custody while we

continue with the investigation.

The seizure is no doubt an

attestation to the renewed vigour

in the operations of the agency.

"We appreciate our Chairman/

Chief Executive Officer, Gen.

Buba Marwa, who provided

guidance all through the

operations.”

The Tincan port seizure is

coming on the heels of similar

ones at the Lagos and Abuja

airports as well as from the FCT,

Edo, Katsina, Nasarawa and

Benue state Commands in the

last three weeks.

Foundation flags

off skill

acquisition for

youths in Isoko

By Emma Okogba

THE Michael Ujiro Foundation

has flagged off the process of

enlisting selected youths across

communities in Isoko ethnic

nationality for skill acquisition

training under its Michael Ujiro

Foundation Skill Acquisition

Programme, MUFSAP.

The programme began with an

orientation and interactive session

with participants on Saturday.

Addressing beneficiaries in Oleh,

the programme coordinators, Evans

Egbo and Chief Rueben Egede,

explained that participants would

be trained in well-equipped centres

to acquire skills of their choice in

tailoring, welding, ICT, welding

and fabrication, costume make-up

as well as aluminium and electrical

works.

According to them, participants

within the duration of their training,

ranging from 12 to 24 months would

receive at intervals, stipends to help

cushion cost of transportation and

other minor expenses.

Successful participants will at the

end of their training be given starterpacks

and other support needed to

start up their own businesses.

Rainstorm

destroys

500-year-old

Benin's

Urokpota Hall

By Ozioruva Aliu

THE popular Urokpota Hall in

Benin City, which hosts the final

coronation of any Benin monarch,

built over 500 years ago, was,

Monday, destroyed by rainstorm.

The hall was first built during the

reign of Oba Ozolua in the 15th

century and redesigned in 1906 for

coronation activities of a monarch

for the ancient city.

The building was last year

engulfed by fire and yesterday rain

removed almost the entire roof of

the building.

Part of the hall currently serves as

a mobile court for the COVID-19

safety rules violators as well as traffic

offenders.

According to a security agent, who

pleaded anonymity, the hall was

filled with COVID-19 safety rules

violators when the incident

occurred, but nobody was injured.

He said: “We were here around

4.00 pm when the rain started. At

first, nobody knew it was going to

be that bad, but suddenly, it started

with the wind.”

Musician

docked for

assaulting lover

By Esther Onyegbula

A

N 18-year-old musician,

Sanni Goriola Wasiu (aka

Lilfrosh), has been arrested and

arraigned before a Yaba

Magistrates’ Court for allegedly

assaulting his girlfriend,

Okeoghene Iyomaterie.

It was gathered that the rapper

was invited by the operatives of

Federal Criminal Investigation

and Intelligence Department,

FCIID, Alagbon last Thursday

for interrogation after he had

allegedly beaten his girlfriend

to a pulp and recorded her

nakedness.

It was also gathered that the

victim disclosed that Goriola had

been her friend since January

2020 but anytime they

disagreed, it had always

resulted in violent attacks.

She said the recent attack

happened in September 2020,

when he attacked her and

rained blow on her head with

bruises on her face

She said: “I partially lost my

sight and had sleepless nights.

He repeatedly boasted time and

time again that since he is a

well-known musician he is

untouchable.”

She added that his consistent

action led to his arrest and

detention by the Police.

The arraignment was

facilitated by the International

Association of Women Lawyers,

FIDA, Lagos State branch.

He pleaded not guilty to the

one-count charge of assault.

There was no representation

and bail could not be granted.

The Magistrate, Adeola

Olatunbosun, ordered that he be

remanded in Ikoyi prisons until

bail is granted while the matter

was adjourned to March 9, 2021.


8 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021

SENSITISATION:

Lagos State Commissioner

of Police,

Hakeem Odumosu

(right) and Mr Issa

Aremu, Vice President,

IndustriALL

Global Union and

Facilitator, during a

mass sensitisation on

Community Policing,

with the theme:

'Understanding

Community Policing:

A Framework for

Action,' by Nigeria

Police Force, at Lagos

House, Alausa, Ikeja,

yesterday.

Photo: Bunmi Azeez

:Vanguard News

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

Insecurity: Northern govs, Obaseki, Ohanaeze

move against open grazing

•Open grazing no longer sustainable – Northern govs

•To sensitise herders on modern methods of cattle rearing

•Open grazing, an ill-wind that may hurt Nigeria —Ohanaeze

•Obaseki faults open grazing, promises to provide grazing

areas for herders

By Anayo Okoli,

Marie-Therese Nanlong

& Ozioruva Aliu

JOS – Governors of the 19

northern states of the federation

have said the current

system of open grazing of cattle

in the country was no longer

sustainable.

The position of the governors,

acting under the aegis of

Northern Governors Forum,

came Monday. night against

the backdrop of incessant

clashes between farmers and

herders across the country.

Consequently, they called for

intensive sensitization of

herdsmen to adopt new methods

in carrying out their trade.

The northern governors’ position

was also amplified by

Edo State governor, Godwin

Obaseki, who noted that the

only way to stop frequent clashes

between farmers and herders

was to halt open grazing,

promising to provide grazing

areas for herders to stop nomadic

herding.

Similarly,Igbo socio-poitical

organisation, Ohanaeze

Ndigbo, described open grazing

as an ill-wind that will do

Nigeria no good.

Open grazing no

longer sustainable

— Norther govs

Rising from a virtual meeting

in Jos, the northern governors

harped on the need to

adapt new methods of herding

by ranching or other acceptable

modern methods, even as

they appealed to the Federal

Government to support states

with grants to directly undertake

pilot projects of modern

livestock production that will

serve as springboard and evidence

for breaking resistance

to the full implementation of

new methods of livestock production.

In a communique issued at

the end of the meeting, signed

by the chairman and governor

of Plateau State, Simon

Lalong, the governors said the

clashes between both parties

were already affecting the fragile

security situation in the

country. The communique

signed by the governor’s Director

of Press and Public Affairs,

Makut Macham, read: “The

Forum noted with concern the

growing wave of insecurity in

the country, particularly as it

relates to circulation of unverified

video clips on social media

portraying violent attacks

on persons in some parts of

the country.

“Therefore, the Forum

called on political leaders to

segregate between criminality

and social groups in their

domains, with a view to treating

criminals as criminals.

The Forum reiterates that it

condemns every form of criminality

whether from herders,

hunters, or farmers occupying

forest reserves illegally.

“It noted with concern the

tension generated by the eviction

order issued to herdsmen

in some parts of the country,

expressing concern that this is

heating the already fragile security

atmosphere with threats

of reprisals which the Northern

governors are working

assiduously to contain.

“The forum stressed the urgent

need for the Nigerian

Governors Forum to meet

and discuss the issue holistically,

with a view to resolving

all areas of misunderstanding

and conflicts arising from

these threats and suspicion for

the sake of national unity.

“The Forum notes with concern

that the current system of

herding conducted mainly

through open grazing is no

longer sustainable, in view of

growing urbanization and

population of the country.

Consequently, the Forum resolved

to aggressively sensitize

herdsmen on the need to

adapt new methods of herding

by ranching or other acceptable

modern methods.

“It appealed to the Federal

Government to support states

with grants to directly undertake

pilot projects of modern

livestock production that will

serve as springboard and evidence

for breaking resistance

to the full implementation of

new methods of livestock production.

‘’It also resolved to engage

elders and youths in a robust

discussion to douse the tensed

security environment in the

north and called on all the citizens

of the north to continue

to live in peace with all Nigerians,

irrespective of their origins

and backgrounds.”

Obaseki faults open

grazing, promises

to provide grazing

areas for herders

In a similar development,

Edo State governor, Godwin

Obaseki, yesterday condemned

the attempts to politicise

the security situation in the

country. He said his administration

was working to isolate

and deal with the issues as they

emerge so as to provide lasting

security to communities

across the state.

Besides, he said his administration

would create grazing

areas to avoid clashes between

herdsmen and farmers.

Obaseki, who stated this

when he led heads of security

agencies in the state on a factfinding

visit to Udo, Ovia

South West Local Government

Area of the state, said resolving

the security challenges was

a collective one and urged the

Fulani communities in the

state to cooperate with their

host communities and government

agencies to check insecurity.

At the Palace of the Iyase

of Udo, His Royal Highness

(HRH) Patrick Igbinidu,

Obaseki said: “We are on a

fact-finding tour around some

parts of the state today to assess

the security situation, particularly

as it relates to farmers

and herders’ conflicts in the

state.

“We do not accept the situation

where anybody will be

herding cattle with AK-47 rifles

and other dangerous weapons.

We also understand that

there are bandits and criminals

who pretend to be herders

but undertake criminal activities

such as kidnapping in the

name and guise of being herdsmen.

“I have always argued

that we should separate these

people and deal with each one

accordingly. Today, we are here

to undertake assessments ourselves

and to assure the people

of Ovia South West of adequate

security. “The state government

is providing adequate

security to protect the lives and

property of the people. The security

structure of the state has

been rejigged and revamped.”

At a town hall meeting,

Obaseki assured the people

that his administration would

protect residents in the state

as he is governor for all.

Speaking further, the governor

said: “The Fulani community

should collaborate

with the government and security

agencies to fish out

criminals. We will create an

area where the cattle will go

regularly to graze, as they

must not go to peoples’ farms.

This will stop cattle from

moving round the community,

including farmlands. “We

have major security challenges

in the country as well as the

whole of the Sahara region. I

think leadership in this country

should be responsible and

ensure that we focus on the

specific crisis, some of which

are not anybody’s doing.”

Earlier, the Iyase of Udo,

HRH Patrick Igbinidu, said

the security challenges in his

community had been on for a

very long time.

“Farmers always complain

about the activities of the

herdsmen. When I received

such reports, I call both parties

to resolve the issues immediately.

We have been on it

for a very long time,’’ he said.

The State Commissioner of

Police, Mr. Philip Agbadu, in

his remarks, assured of the

readiness of his men to ensure

peace in troubled areas of the

state. “I urge Fulani leaders

to ensure that children are not

allowed to follow the cattle for

grazing as they may not be

able to control them,’’ he said.

In his remarks, leader of

Fulani community in the

area, Alhaji Muhammad Buhari,

expressed appreciation

to the governor for the factfinding

mission to the area,

adding that Fulanis in the

area were peace-loving people

and had lived in the community

for years and that his

people will always support

peace.

Open grazing, an illwind

that may hurt

Nigeria — Ohanaeze

Meanwhile, Igbo socio-poitical

organisation, Ohanaeze

Ndigbo, has described open

grazing as an ill-wind that will

do Nigeria no good.

The group also described

Prof. Wole Soyinka’s advice to

President Muhammadu Buhari

to address the herders’

crisis to stave off another civil

war in the country as apt.

Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze,

Alex Ogbonna, said in

FG sets below $10pb

production cost target for

oil industry

By Obas Esiedesa

ABUJA — The Federal

Government has set a

target of $10 or less per barrel

production cost for Nigeria’s

oil industry.

The Minister of State, Petroleum

Resources, Chief Timipre

Sylva, who spoke at the

launch of the Nigerian Upstream

Cost Optimisation

Programme, NUCOP, yesterday,

said it had become critical

that current average cost

of below $30 per barrel for

Joint Venture production and

below $20 per barrel for Production

Sharing Contract,

a statement on Monday night,

that herders’ open grazing of

their cattle would continue to

set them against host communities

and engender constant

frictions which might

lead to inter-ethnic conflicts

and war. “It has become clear

that open grazing is an ill

wind that blows nobody any

good. The northern elders are

expected to demonstrate concern

for the unity of this country

by calling on the leadership

of the Miyetti Allah to toe

the path of peace and stop

open grazing.

“If the herdsmen are allowed

to continue their rapacious

violation of host communities’

rights and ethos, the

incessant clash with the host

communities will continue;

and if care is not taken, it will

lead to inter-ethnic conflicts

and war,’’ the group stated.

On Soyinka’s advise to President

Buhari on herders’ crisis,

Ohanaeze said it was timely,

since it would help prevent

the country from drifting into

another civil war. It said: “The

caution by Prof Wole Soyinka

is very timely. Prof. Soyinka is

a patriot, an ally in truth and

search for social justice.

ABUJA — President Muhammadu

Buhari has

said the Kano-Maradi rail

line would enhance import

and export trade between Nigeria,

Niger Republic and

neighbouring countries when

completed in 2023. The President

stated this yesterday

while performing the ground

breaking ceremony of the

mega project in Katsina, capital

of Katsina state.

Buhari, who joined top government

functionaries such as

Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister

of Transportation as well

as Governors Aminu Masari,

Abdullahi Ganduje and Mohammed

Badaru of Katsina,

Kano and Jigawa states respectively,

via zoom, noted

that the project on completion,

will establish an end-to-end logistic

supply chain in railway

transport services between the

northern and southern regions

of the country, reaching

Nigerian southern ports of

Lagos and Warri.

He said: “The project, when

completed, would serve import

and export of goods for

PSC, was lowered.

He stressed that lower production

cost was needed in

order to keep the oil and gas

industry afloat. He pointed

out that before now, attempts

to lower production cost in the

industry were carried out in

an un-coordinated manner,

and praised the Nigerian National

Petroleum Corporation,

NNPC, for leading the

quest to optimize cost in the

industry.

“Today’s engagement with

industry stakeholders, under

the NUCOP, is part of the resolve

of this administration to

confront this challenge of

high production cost. I expect

robust discussions and a realistic

roadmap to achieve the

cost optimisation objectives,’’

he said.

On his part, the Group

Managing Director of NNPC,

Mallam Mele Kyari, urged

stakeholders in the industry to

join in working towards reducing

operations cost to

achieve the $10 or less per

barrel production cost target.

He explained that the current

reality dictated by the global

energy transition and demand

erosion occasioned by

the COVID-19 pandemic, has

made cost optimization imperative.

He stated: “It is in

our informed interest to optimize

our cost of production.

The realities of energy transition

and investor choices are

very much clear to us. There

is nowhere in this world where

a less cost-efficient operator

can survive today”,

He called on industry players

to adopt such measures as

transparency, collaboration,

efficiency and shared services

to help in driving down cost

in order to meet target.

Mallam Kyari disclosed

that under the NNPC operational

theme for the year,

known as ‘Execution Excellence’,

the corporation would

achieve a contracting cycle of

six months or less which would

help create efficiency and

drive down unit operating cost

to $10 per barrel level.

$1.96bn Kano-Maradi rail line

to boost import, export trade

— Buhari

By Dirisu Yakubu

Niger Republic and other

countries in the sub-region

through Nigerian ports.

‘’The country would earn

revenue through expansion of

trade and commerce, while

the people of Niger Republic

will benefit from ease of transportation

logistics at affordable

cost in their import and

export business. The entire

route encompasses territory

inhabited by close to 80 million

people across 10 states of

the country.

“The Kano – Maradi rail

line has been identified as a

viable line that will significantly

enhance the movement

of passengers and freight to

the hinterland especially raw

materials from both agricultural

and mineral resources

for our industries. ’The connection

to Niger Republic

through rail will also foster

Trans-Sahara trade and contribute

to the expected gains

in the African Continental

Free Trade Area Agreement.”

The President also highlighted

major railway projects

due for commencement soon,

saying in the next few years,

major towns and cities across

the geo-political zones would

be connected by rail.


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021 — 9

:Vanguard News

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

VISIT: From left: Mr. Eze Anaba, Editor, Vanguard newspaper; Dr. Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, Director-General,

Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA; Mr Sam Amuka, Publisher, Vanguard newspapers;

Mr. Ubong Essien, Special Adviser to DG on Communications and Strategy and Mr Tuoyo Amuka, during

the NIMASA boss' courtesy visit to Vanguard Guest House, Anthony Village, Lagos yesterday. Pic: Bunmi Azeez.

Inter-tribal conflicts: Leaders must unite

against criminality, divisive forces — SENATE

•Says NASS’ll consult with other tiers of govt to address tension in Nigeria

•Insists joint c’ttee working on PIB’ll conclude work before end of March

By Henru Umoru

A Senate BUJA—THE

has called on

leaders across the country to

come together against criminality,

following activities of bandits and

kidnappers, and resist the antics

of divisive elements bent on

instigating inter-ethnic tension

across the country.

According to the Senate, it is

imperative for all hands to be on

deck to nip in the bud the looming

anarchy and tension in the land.

Welcoming his colleagues back

from Christmas and New year

break, President of the Senate,

Ahmad Lawan, who made the

call, noted that insurgency,

banditry, kidnapping and

militancy remained serious

threats to a secured and safe

Nigeria.

He said they were challenges

which required the collaborative

effort of the legislature and

executive to tackle.

Lawan appealed to Nigerians

to remain calm with regard to the

recent inter-tribal agitations and

conflicts in some states in the

South West, even as he described

the development as “worrisome”

and one that required the

immediate intervention of

political leaders.

The Senate president, who

emphasised the need for

legislative interventions to douse

the heightening inter-ethnic

tension in the country, said the

National Assembly would

collaborate with all tiers of

government to find a lasting

solution to the problem.

He said: “Distinguished

colleagues, the very recent

emergence of inter-ethnic and

inter–tribal conflicts in some parts

of our country is worrisome. The

Senate calls for calm. The

situation also calls for leadership

at all levels of government.

“Leaders must unite to fight

and defeat criminality in the

country; leaders must also unite

to fight divisive and centrifugal

sentiments and tendencies.

“Political leaders are problem

solvers. As parliamentarians, we

should search for possible

legislation to address the issues

that tend to create tensions

among our people.

“We are going to consult and

partner with all arms and tiers of

governments in our quest to

finding lasting solutions to these

ugly developments.

He appealed to Nigerians to

ensure the responsible use of

various social media platforms in

a way that fostered unity and

dissuades strife and conflict.

He added: “Let me take the

opportunity to appeal to citizens

to always use the social media to

enhance unity among

Nigerians. Social media platforms

can play very positive roles of

engendering understanding

among our diverse people.”

Speaking on very critical areas

of legislation currently before the

National Assembly for

consideration and passage, Lawan

said the Petroleum Industry Bill,

PIB, 2020, the Electoral Act 2016

Amendment, and the 1999

Constitution Amendment Bills

would boost revenue and

enhance transparency and

accountability in the Nigerian

Petroleum Industry; improve the

integrity, transparency and

confidence of citizens in the

country’s electoral processes; and

engender unity of the Nigerian

people and efficiency in

governance.

“This year, the Senate and

indeed, the National Assembly

has very crucial and critical

legislations that need equal

commitments and dedication as

the Appropriation Bill 2021.

“Colleagues, we are all aware

that the PIB is a critical legislation

that our country needs to

enhance transparency and

accountability in the Nigerian

Petroleum Industry. Equally

important, the legislation will

make the Industry more

competitive and, therefore, attract

more investments.

“There is no gain saying the

fact that increase in investments

will boost our revenues from oil

and gas. The PIB is going to create

an all-winners environment. This

will also bolster our economy for

the benefit of all.”

According to him, the Senate

Joint Committee working on the

PIB will conclude its interventions

before the end of next month. He

expressed optimism that the

report of the committee would be

considered by the National

Assembly before the end of April

this year.

Speaking on the amendment

of the Electoral Act and Review of

the 1999 Constitution, Lawan

said: “The amendment to the

Electoral Act 2016 is crucial to

improving the integrity,

transparency and confidence of

citizens in our electoral processes.

“Our committee on

Independent National Electoral

Commission, INEC, has been

working assiduously with its

counterpart in the House of

Representatives to ensure that

the bill is given the necessary

scrutiny. We will endeavour to

complete the legislative process

before the end of the second

quarter of this year.''

2023: New electoral law won’t guarantee credible polls — Reps

Deputy Whip •Says federal lawmakers’ll push for new South East state

By Tordue Salem

A Whip BUJA—DEPUTY

of the House of

Representatives, Nkeiruka

Onyejeocha, has warned that

future elections in the country

might still not be credible, even

with a new Electoral Act.

The principal lawmaker from

Abia State in an exclusive chat

with Vanguard yesterday, opined

that “unless there is a character

change by a majority of

Nigerians, a new electoral law will

still not guarantee credible

elections in 2023.”

The legislator was fielding

questions on the delay in the

passage of a clean copy of the

bill for presidential assent.

Recall that along with the

Senate, the Green chamber

approved the piece of

legislation before it closed last

year for the Yuletide

celebration.

Speaking further on the

matter, Mrs. Onyejeocha,

however, assured that a clean

copy of the document would

be presented to the President

before March this year.

Besides, she assured that

the National Assembly caucus

would push for the creation of a

sixth South East state through

the ongoing constitution

amendment process.

She said the establishment of a

new South East state would

address the regional imbalance

currently existent, arguing that

all other zones of the country had

more than five states, except the

South East.

“What we (National Assembly)

South East caucus are doing is to

harmonize positions and come up

with at least one additional state

for the South East."

“This is about justice; it is about

equity and balance. Other

regions have six states, so let us

also have six states, so that there

will be a balance,’’ she said.

The debate about zonal

equity of states has been on

since the 90s, as South East

zonal groups continue to mount

pressure on the National

Assembly to include a new

state in the constitution.

Though the proposal has

always made it to the parliament

each time a constitution review

process was tabled, it is yet to

make it to the constitution.

BUA, CACOVID clash

over COVID-19 vaccine

•As FG places fresh travel restrictions

on 100 passengers for flouting directives

BUA Group of

Companies and the

Coalition Against COVID-19,

CACOVID, a private sector group

of which BUA is a member, are

currently locked in a fight over

who should procure vaccines for

the virus to assist the Federal

Government.

While BUA asked CACOVID

to stop playing politics with the

lives of Nigerians, following

opposition to its payment for one

million doses of the vaccines,

CACOVID on its part, issued a

disclaimer on the company,

discrediting the payment.

BUA had in a statement issued

on Monday, announced that it

had secured one million doses of

the AstraZeneca COVID-19

vaccine through the

AfreximBank vaccine programme

in partnership with CACOVID.

The company added that the

vaccine doses, which it said would

arrive the country next week,

would be distributed to Nigerians

at no cost.

But in a statement by

CACOVID operations

committee, the coalition said BUA

cannot singlehanded secure the

doses, adding that purchase of the

vaccine could not be done by

individuals or companies, but

only through the Federal

Government.

Also speaking on ARISE TV

yesterday, Zouera Youssofou,

CACOVID coordinator, said while

payment was indeed made for the

vaccines, it cannot be attributed

to a single person or company.

She explained that the

payment for the vaccines was

taken from a pool of funds donated

by different CACOVID members.

“In that call, President Oramah

was telling us the model of how

the vaccine task force was

working with AU.

“He also told us that there was

an extra 1 million doses that we

could get if we confirmed that we

wanted those doses immediately

by February 8. And so we agreed

that we would bring it to the

meeting the very next day which

happened.

“What is important to note is

that Afreximbank, after that call,

already secured those doses for

Nigeria because they had the

confirmation from both the CBN,

Aliko Dangote and Herbert

Wigwe that they would pay for

these million doses.

“Nobody is disputing a transfer

into Central Bank’s account. The

challenge is a claim that one

company has brought vaccines

into Nigeria because that is not

factual.”

Youssofou further said it is not

possible for all the one million

doses to arrive in Nigeria by next

week.

She added that the National

Agency for Food and Drug

Administration and Control

(NAFDAC) was yet to give

approval for the use of the

AstraZeneca COVID-19

vaccines in Nigeria.

“It is not possible to have one

million doses of vaccine dumped

into Nigeria in one day. They get

delivered at a specific pace,” she

said.

Reacting to the development,

BUA, in another statement,

asked CACOVID to stop playing

games with Nigerians' lives.

The group said Godwin

Emefiele, governor of the Central

Bank of Nigeria, announced at a

meeting that CACOVID had

been given the opportunity,

through the Afrexim platform to

access and pay for one million

doses of vaccine, provided

payment was made on Monday

or Tuesday.

BUA said while other

CACOVID members refused to

offer the donation to secure the

vaccine, it offered to do so by

making a payment of

$3,450,000,000, which is N1.311

billion, to the CBN.

“BUA receives with utter shock,

reports allegedly attributed to

CACOVID, disowning its earlier

payment through CACOVID for

1 million AstraZena doses for

Nigeria via the AFREXIM

vaccine platform.

“At the CACOVID steering

committee meeting held

February 8, 2021 (of which BUA

is a member), members were

informed by the CBN Governor

that CACOVID had been given

the opportunity through the

Afrexim Platform to access and

pay for 1 million dose, provided

payment was made today or

tomorrow failure which the

opportunity to get those doses

next week may be lost.

“After extensive deliberation,

there was no agreement reached

and despite members being

offered the opportunity to donate

funds towards procuring the

doses, none offered. BUA then

took it upon itself to offer to pay

for the 1million doses at the

agreed rate of US$3.45 per dose

totaling US$3,450,000,000.00

which translates to N1.311

billion.”

BUA said the disclaimer by

CACOVID operations committee

shows that “some members of

CACOVID were not happy that

BUA took this initiative in the

interest of Nigeria and to ensure

that the deadline was met to

receive the 1 million doses of the

vaccine next week.”

It alleged that a prominent

member of CACOVID is not

happy with the donation, but

added that this is no time for

politics.

“BUA did this gesture in

good faith as it has done with

its interventions throughout

the pandemic. We will however

like to state clearly that we are

aware that a prominent member

of CACOVID is not happy that

BUA took the initiative to pay for

the vaccines – fulfilling our pledge

just as we said during the

meeting. Now they want to

scuttle it by this action because

they were unable to take the

initiative.

'' This is no time for politics. It is

time for us to come together to

help Nigerians and it does not

matter who is helping or paying,”

it sad.

Meanwhile, the Federal

Government has placed fresh

travel restrictions on 100

passengers for flouting its

directives on COVID-19.

In a series of tweet

yesterday, the Presidential

Task Force on COVID-19

released the passport details

of the defaulters, announcing

that they had been restricted

from travelling for six months.


10 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021

:Vanguard

News

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

Insecurity: Labour seeks support

for community policing

By Victor Ahiuma-

Young

L President AGOS—VICE-

of IndustriALL

Global Union, and former vicepresident,

Nigeria Labour

Congress, NLC, Mr. Issa Aremu,

yesterday, urged stakeholders to

support community policing, as a

way of addressing the security

challenges facing the country.

Speaking at a mass

sensitization on Community

Policing, with the theme:

‘Understanding Community

Policing: A Framework for Action’,

Aremu stated that Nigerians

must consolidate the gains of the

existing Nigeria Police Force and

help to reposition it for the current

challenges.

The former General-Secretary

of the National Union of Textile,

Garment and Tailoring Workers

of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, said: “In

my over three-decade trade

union work, I have witnessed the

good and the bad of the Nigeria

Police Force. But on the whole,

the strengths of the police force

are far more than the negative.

In any case, as we have seen after

the EndSARS peaceful-focused

protests were captured by Godknows

them, it was clear that the

worse of public policing is better

than the gang of self-serving

2 herdsmen arrested for

shooting Amotekun personnel

By Dayo Johnson

A KURE—SOME

operatives of the Ondo

State Security outfit, codenamed

Amotekun, were shot by

herdsmen at Irese/Ijare road in

Ifedore council area of the state.

Vanguard gathered that

some farmers in Irese community

sent a distress call to the security

outfit, after hundreds of cattle

destroyed their farmlands.

The two herders,

Vanguard learned, have

Pastor Okoliko

is dead

THE Centre for Destitute

Empowerment

International, CDEI, a Lagosbased

charity organization, has

announced the transition of its

Founder/President, Pastor

Samson Okoliko.

A statement from the centre

indicated that funeral

arrangements would begin with

a service of songs at his residence,

8, Makanjuola Close, Paiko,

Idimu, in Lagos, on Monday,

while interment takes place on

Friday, February 19, at Kwali, in

Abuja.

He is survived by a wife and

children.

• Late Pastor Okoliko

hoodlums. We must consolidate

the gains of the existing police

force, while we must help to

reposition it for the current

challenges.

“It’s time Nigeria reinvented

community policing to curtail the

menace of insecurity. No country

in Africa has vibrant communities

with tested community leaders

like Nigeria. But the long period

of military dictatorships had

destroyed the associational life of

dialogue and consultation.

Community policing is a timely

complementary approach to

overcome the challenges of

insecurity.”

Aremu said community policing

is a practical way of democratizing

policing in a democratic system

just as he called “for all-inclusive

bi-partisan approaches to

eradicate violent crime.”

He said: “The current

discordant views among some

governors are unhealthy and

unhelpful. If elected state actors

operate separately, certainly,

forces of banditry would defeat all

of us collectively. There should

be a consensus by all stakeholders

that the security and welfare of

the people of Nigeria is the

primary purpose of government

as enshrined in the 1999

constitution of Nigeria as

amended."

been handed over to the police

for further investigation.

It was also gathered that the

leadership of the Miyetti Allah

Cattle Breeders Association,

MACBAN, have been invited by

the security outfit to discuss how

the farmers, whose farmlands

were destroyed, would be

compensated.

When contacted, the

Amotekun Commander, Mr.

Adetunji Adeleye said: “But for

the bullet proof vest worn by our

men, they would have been

killed.

“We were informed by the

farmers in Irese farm settlement

that some herdsmen have

invaded and destroyed their

farmland.

“We promptly sent our men to

the farm settlement, only for

them to be shot at by the

herdsmen. We went there with

the sole purpose of resolving the

matter but the herders just

opened fire on our men."

With new service chiefs, we have

fresh skills to tackle insecurity

—Osinbajo

By Rotimi

Ojomoyela & James

Ogunnaike

APresident BEOKUTA—VICE-

Yemi Osinbajo,

yesterday, expressed optimism

that the war against insecurity

has been reinvigorated, with

the appointment of the new

service chiefs.

He also urged Nigerians to

resist attempts by some

disgruntled elements to

destabilise the country.

Also speaking, Governor

Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has

described the All Progressivs

Congress, APC, membership

registration/revalidation exercise

as an opportunity for the party to

warm itself into the hearts of

Nigerians, through superlative

performances at all levels.

The vice president spoke, while

flagging off the registration

exercise in Ogun State.

While admitting that Nigeria

has been battling with issues of

justice, fairness and equity, the

vice president said: "Party

Registration and Revalidation is

important because it offers us an

opportunity to have a credible roll

of members such that we are able

• We‘ll register APC in minds of Nigerians

through performance, says Fayemi

to reach our members from the

polling booth level all the way to

the wards, local government, and

federal constituencies.

"The people are the party and

the party is the people. Ours is a

grassroots party, a party of the

people. Our focus is on the

welfare, prosperity and wellbeing

of all our people.

"Party members must

understand their importance in

the scheme of things. They must

fully understand party’s

philosophy and programs, they

must be actively mobilized to

participate in, propagate and

support government

programmes.

"But we are in government at

one of the most challenging times

in history. The pandemic has

made matters worse, and we have

also had security challenges that

have stretched our law

enforcement capacities all over

the country

"Yet we remain the best party

to solve these problems. Because

of our grassroots orientation, we

have and continue to put in place

the best programmes for the

welfare of our people.”

Speaking on the appointment

of the new Service Chiefs,

Osinbajo said: "With the new

Service Chiefs, we have a fresh

set of eyes, intellect, and skills

and a fresh look at strategies

against the insurgency in the

North East, as well as banditry

and kidnapping elsewhere. In

this new approach, much greater

emphasis is being placed on

technology for surveillance,

intelligence gathering and attack.

"Ultimately, we must put in

place a State Police Structure. In

the meantime we must speed up

and strengthen the community

policing structures; States must

continually train, educate and

formalize their local security

structures so that they

complement the Federal law

enforcement agencies. Policing

must be a collective effort.

"We must resist any attempts

to destroy the unity of this

country. Our people have lived

and worked together for decades.

While we must attend to the cries

of communities for justice, equity

and fairness we can do so within

this same union. Ultimately we

are stronger together than

apart.”

Erin-Osun/Ilobu crisis: Oyetola relaxes curfew

By Shina Abubakar

O

S O G B O —

FOLLOWING the

outcome of the peace

meeting between Governor

Adegboyega Oyetola of

Osun State and the

traditional rulers of Ilobu

and Erin-Osun

communities, the state

government, yesterday,

relaxed the 24-hour curfew

declared in Irepodun and

Orolu councils.

A statement by the Chief

Press Secretary to the

Governor, Mr. Ismail

Omipidan, stated that the

reviewed curfew regime,

which takes immediate

effect, would now be from

6pm to 6am daily, and will

PRESENTATION—From left: Mrs. Grace Ojougboh, Head, Online and Special Publications, Nigerian

Communications Commission, NCC; Mr. Modibbo Tukur, CEO, Nigerian Financial Intelligence

Unit, NFIU; Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs, NCC, and Engr. Abraham Oshadami,

Head, Information Technology, NCC, during the presentation of 50 sets of computers to NFIU in

Abuja.

subsist until further notice.

Governor Oyetola, on

Monday, held a peace

meeting with the

traditional rulers of the two

towns, the Elerin of Erin-

Osun, Oba Yusuff

Omoloye, and the Olobu of

Ilobu, Oba Ashiru

Olatoye.

At the meeting, which

also had the Olufon of Ifon,

Oba Almoroof

Magbagbeola in

attendance, the monarchs

pledged to prevail on their

people to eschew violence

and embrace peace, in the

interest of all.

He added that the review

became necessary

following the peace

meeting held between the

Governor and monarchs of

the affected towns and

another meeting between

the monarchs and the State

Commissioner for Police,

Olawale Olokode, wherein

the traditional rulers agreed

to a peace accord and

promised to rein in their

subjects.

The statement reads:

“Following the peace

meeting between Governor

Adegboyega Oyetola and

the traditional rulers of

Erin-Osun and Ilobu

towns, and with the return

of peace to the affected

towns, the governor has

approved the relaxation of

the 24-hour curfew declared

last Sunday to forestall

further breakdown of law

and order.

“Consequently, the

curfew will now run from

6:00 pm to 6:00 am and will

subsist till further notice.

Security operatives will,

therefore, remain in the two

councils to enforce the new

curfew directive to further

maintain law and order.

“As we all know, the

curfew was never declared

to inflict hardship on our

people in the first instance,

but to protect them and

return normalcy to the

affected communities.

“The State Government

appreciates the monarchs and all

the security agencies for their

various roles in ensuring that

normalcy and peace return to

Erin-Osun and Ilobu.”

We‘ll register

APC in minds of

Nigerians,

through

performance

—Fayemi

Meanwhile, Governor Fayemi,

who spoke in his Isan Ekiti

country home while commencing

the Registration/ Revalidation

exercise at Ogilolo ward 11 unit

09, said the exercise won't end

by getting the database of the

members alone.

He stated that the party would

work hard to register itself in the

minds of Nigerians.

The governor also clarified that

the divergent views espoused by

the former Interim National

Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi

Akande and the APC National

Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

doesn't portray the exercise as

unconstitutional and illegal

Fayemi said: "I commend the

national committee sent to Ekiti

for doing a yeoman's job. I have

sent them morale-boosting

messages. Now, I have registered

and everything went well. I do

not doubt that the exercise will

be a huge success.

"The revalidation and

registration exercise is an

opportunity for us to get a reliable

database about our members and

beyond that, we have tried to

register APC in the minds of the

people.

"We are familiar with this

terrain and everywhere you go,

you can see evidence of good

governance all over Ekiti. You will

see the construction of roads

everywhere because we know

that the best way to register APC

in the minds of the people is by

affecting their lives positively.

"People are coming into APC

in droves. This is the party to beat

in any future elections because

it has affected our people

positively.”

On the condemnation of the

exercise by Akande and Tinubu,

Fayemi said: "The APC

Constitution in Article 9

stipulated that our register must

be updated every six months. So,

Baba Akande never said we

should not register or revalidate

our membership. He only tasked

the leadership on the way it

should be done to earn

credibility."


Vanguard, , WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021 — 11

:Vanguard :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnewsNEWS HOTLINES:

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State displaying his All Progressives

Congress, APC, membership card after performing the registration and

revalidation exercise at his ward in St. Stephen School Compound, Okepopo,

Adeniji Adele, Lagos Island, yesterday. With him on his left is Lagos APC

Women Leader, Hon. Jumoke Okoya Thomas.

My accounts have been frozen,

Sunday Igboho cries out

By Deola Badru

Ifreedom BADAN—SELF-acclaimed

fighter, Mr.

Sunday Adeyemo, also known

as Sunday Igboho, yesterday,

accused the Federal

Government of freezing his

bank accounts, following his

attack on the killer herdsmen

in Oyo State

Igboho, who spoke to

Vanguard, confirmed that all

Farmers/herders clash: Anyone who bears

arms unlawfully must be arrested

—Presidency

By Onozure Dania

LAGOS—SPECIAL Adviser to

the President on Media and

Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said,

yesterday, that the position of the

president on the farmers and

herders clash, and the recent

killings in the country, is that

anybody bearing arms unlawfully

must be arrested and prosecuted.

Adesina said this, while

responding to a question on

farmers and herders clash in the

country, during a television

programme, tagged: Politics

Ogun PDP condems APC’s style

of governance

By James Ogunnaike

ABEOKUTA—THE Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP, in

Ogun State, yesterday, berated

the All Progressives Congress,

APC-led administration in the

state on its style of leadership.

In a statement by its Chairman,

Dr. Sikirilahi Ogundele,

described the political party's

government in the state as

clueless and lacks focus.

The statement reads: “In recent

times, the prevailing confusion in

the ruling APC government

clearly shows government’s

cluelessness in projecting and

promoting the general welfare of

the people. We have seen this

repeatedly in its trial and error

tactics to governance.

“There is increased insensitivity

to the plights and anxieties of the

his bank accounts have been

frozen by the Federal

Government, because some

people were collecting

donations, saying he had no

hand in it.

He, however, warned that

his accounts must be

unfrozen, to avoid nationwide

protest by youths across the

southwest region.

His words: "I know Yoruba

people are behind me. They

Today on Channels Television.

The President’s spokesman

restated that the position of the

president has always been the

same on the farmers and herders

clash.

He said: “If the governor would

say that he hasn’t heard the

president speak on that matter,

that’s what he should make clear.

It is not that the president hasn’t

spoken, because a number of

times, the president has spoken

on that issue.

“His position has always been

the same. Anybody that carries

arms unlawfully should be

arrested and prosecuted.

working class. Regrettably, the

government in Ogun State has

successfully become uninspiring,

unlike the way it should be.

“Again, you have all seen what

local government administration,

the closest tier of participatory

government to the people have

become under the watchful eyes

of the ruling APC government.

“The state lost its bearing

apparently through reckless

deceit to a situation currently at

hand. Since we lost the election

in 2011 and till now, the reality

keeps staring the people in the

faces. The business of democratic

government is currently being

done in the closet of very few

officials of government. Act of

governance has been steadily

insulated from public queries.

There is a popular loss of trust in

government to provide security for

lives and properties.”

have frozen my bank accounts

because I am fighting a just

course.

"I will not relent. I must

achieve my aims by putting an

end to criminalities in

Yorubaland.

"If they refuse to release my

account, there will be a serious

protest across the South-West.

"Yes, the people are living in

fear. They are afraid that the

people might attack them."

“The president has said it

countless times and that is the

position. Whoever he is, wherever

he comes from, criminality is

criminality; anybody bearing arms

unlawfully must be arrested and

prosecuted.”

Pathologists to

NASS: Ignore call

to stepdown

medical, dental bill

By James Ogunnaike

ABEOKUTA—THE College of

Nigerian Pathologists, CNP,

yesterday, called on the National

Assembly to ignore the call by Joint

Health Sector Union, JOHESU, to step

down the Medical and Dental

Practitioners’ Repeal and Re-enactment

Bill 2020.

The CNP described the call by

JOHESU as one of the bullying tactics

of the union at arm twisting and

blackmailing the Federal Government.

Addressing journalists in Abeokuta,

the National President of CNP, Prof.

Philip Olatunji, said the bill does not seek

to victimise members of JOHESU, but

rather to regulate the practice of medical

doctors and specialists.

Olatunji while dispelling JOHESU’s

claim, said: “All that the new Medical

and Dental Repeal and Re-enactment

Bill under consideration seeks to do is to

ensure that words ‘pathology and

‘laboratory’ are properly defined to clear

the existing conflict and avoid any

ambiguity.”

The CNP called on the National

Assembly to ignore JOHESU’s call and

pass the bill which had already scaled

second reading, to end conflicts in the

health sector .

A profitable error...you do for me, I do for you!

Yes, something must kill a man! But, even

more quicker...GREED!

Amala with ewedu, a Yoruba local

cuisine...added to gbegiri, makes Abula!


12 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021

:Vanguard News

NDDC: Group flays IYC over attack

on Wike

By Emem Idio

YENAGOA—A group,

Niger Delta Peace

Volunteers, NDPV, Eastern

Niger Delta Zone, has

condemned the Ijaw Youths

Council, IYC, for its attack on

Governor Nyesom Wike of

Rivers State, describing a

statement credited to IYC in

which it said Wike cannot stop

a protest against Niger Delta

Development Commission,

NDDC, in Rivers State, as

provocative.

Wike had allegedly

threatened to mobilise

against protesters at the

NDDC headquarters in Port

Harcourt, saying NDDC

does not belong to any ethnic

group but to all people of the

Niger Delta.

NDPV in a statement by its

leader, yesterday, Mr Alaska

Jogodo, noted: “Saying that

Governor Wike as Chief

Security Officer of Rivers

State cannot stop a

purported protest at the

NDDC is provocative and

liable to bring ethnic divide

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

in a fragile Niger Delta.”

The group admonished

IYC to explore peaceful ways

of communicating its

grievances to those in

authority, rather than the old

fashion and archaic method

that only scratches the

surface instead of providing

lasting solutions for a better

Niger Delta.

Jogodo said: “No excuse for

unbridled words to question

constituted authorities in

Niger Delta. We must move

past the temptation of raising

dust over trivial issues of

NDDC.

“The IYC has to be careful

not to be seen as being

sponsored by certain

quarters to bring a

breakdown of law and order

in the region. Other ethnic

groups are grumbling over

the excesses of IYC on issues

in NDDC, Presidential

Amnesty Programme and

Niger Delta Ministry.

“No group has a monopoly

of the suffering and

environmental degradation,

military invasion, etc, and the

agitation for resource control

has been a collective

struggle.”

INSPECTION: From left, Managing Director, Truck Transit Park, Jama Onwubuariri;

Chief Operating Officer, Truck Transit Park, Temidayo Adeboye and Managing Director,

Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, during the inspection of facilities at the

Transit Truck Park, Lillypond Apapa, in preparation for the take-off of the Eto Truck electroniccall

up system in Apapa, yesterday.

Oshiomhole faults APC membership revalidation

exercise

By Gabriel

Enogholase

BENIN— IMMEDIATE

past National Chairman

of All Progressives Congress,

APC, Mr Adams

Oshiomhole, has faulted the

revalidation of the

membership of the party by

the Interim Caretaker

Committee, saying it was

contrary to the party’s

constitution.

Oshiomhole, while fielding

questions from journalists

shortly after revalidating his

membership of the party at

Unit 1, ward 10, Iyamho,

Etsako West Local

Government of Edo State,

yesterday, said: “APC is

govern by a constitution and

not by man, the constitution

only provides for registration

and I registered as a member

of the APC in 2014 under the

Interim national chairman,

Chief Bisi Akande.

“There is nothing in the

APC constitution that says a

member shall revalidate or

renew its membership. Once

you registered when you

joined the party and you have

not decamped, you are a

member. So, revalidation is

strange to our constitution.

“I have only done this

because I want peace to reign

but in doing this, we have to

be careful not to create

constitutional breach.”

He noted that between 2015

and now, people have exited

the party and others have

joined while some have died,

adding that it makes sense

to review the register so that

those who have decamped

to APC will be registered

while those who have left

would be deleted.

“If you ask me, as a

foundation member, who has

never decamped, to

revalidate my membership,

it is double registration

because there is nothing like

revalidation in our

constitution.

“By asking me to revalidate

my membership means I was

NUT intensifies moves to stop ASUSS’ breakaway

By Davies

Iheamnachor

PORT HARCOURT—

Nigeria Union of

Teachers, NUT, has

intensified moves to stop

secondary school teachers

from joining the Academic

Staff Union of Secondary

Schools, ASUSS.

NUT also disclosed that its

interest was on the welfare

of its members, adding that

it would storm and declare

industrial action in states

treating the welfare of its

members with levity.

National President of NUT,

Dr Nasir Idris, spoke in Port

Harcourt, Rivers State,

yesterday, during a press

conference on the move by

ASUSS to pull teachers of

secondary schools away

from NUT, noting that

ASUSS is a union that cannot

be registered by the Registrar

of Trade Unions, urging

secondary school teachers to

not a member when I have

never left the party. So I think

the correct language should

be either reviewing or

updating because it makes

sense to review voters register

due to the new members that

have joined or those that have

exited.”

He said the party had been

updating its register from

time to time, noting that most

of the governors under the

party today became members

following voters register

update, hence they were able

to contest the governorship

keep faith with NUT.

Represented by Deputy

National President of NUT,

Sir Kelvin Nwankwo, Idris

noted that the Supreme

Court in its judgment on

January 15, 2021, ordered

that the matter by ASUSS be

referred back to the Appeal

Court where the issue of the

jurisdiction of the Federal

High Court to hear the matter

between NUT and ASUSS

was not ruled on merit.

He said ASUSS was

making false claims that the

apex court had granted it

powers to go ahead to

unionise secondary school

teachers.

Idris said: “The extant

provisions of the third

schedule Part A No. 26 of the

Trade Unions Act CAP. T.14

LFN 2004 which provides:

NUT shall exercise

jurisdiction over 'Teachers

employed in educational

institutions of all types, but

excluding Universities,

elections under the party.

“So what this means is that

I have come here to do

another registration but I

insist that my registration

never expired within the

provision of the APC

constitution.

“As for me, I think we

should just moved on, I am

happy I just did it but I don’t

need it because my

membership has not expired

and it can only expired when

I decamped, and if I am

returning then I can

revalidate."

Polytechnics, Colleges of

Education and other tertiary

institutions.' As severally

established by the Registrar

of Trade Unions, that NUT, is

the body that is statutorily

registered to organise

teachers in primary and

secondary schools in

Nigeria."

Esiso @ 57, man of sterling qualities

—Edeinmene

EXECUTIVE Assistant

to Governor Ifeanyi

Okowa on Political Matters,

Arede Edeinmene, has

congratulated Delta State

chairman of Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP,

Chief Kingsley Esiso, on his

57th birthday anniversary,

describing him as a man

with sterling qualities.

A statement by

Edeinmene, yesterday,

said the immense

contributions of Esiso to

Bayelsa gets new

autonomous community

on its Delta border

By Samuel

Oyadongha

YState ENAGOA—BAYELSA

government has

granted autonomy to a

community on its boundary

with Delta State, known as

Kabokiri community, in

Sagbama Local Government

Area of the state.

The state Ministry of Local

Government, Community

Development and Chieftaincy

Affairs has, subsequently,

been directed to issue a

certificate recognising the rural

settlement as an autonomous

community.

The state Deputy Governor,

Senator Lawrence

Ewhrudjakpo, disclosed this

at a meeting with members of

the Ijaw community led by

Amadaowei in Government

House, Yenagoa.

Delta PDP and at the

national level was

unparalleled, especially in

fostering unity and

ensuring the growth of PDP

in the state.

The statement also said

Esiso had written his name

in gold with the just

concluded credible party

primaries that produced

candidates for the March 6,

2021 local government

elections in the state.

Edeinmene, who is the

Burutu House of

Representatives hopeful

Ewhrudjakpo in a statement

explained that the approval for

the autonomous status was

given by Governor Douye Diri

following a justifiable request

by the community.

He said the governor also

directed that the name of the

community, which is located

on the Bayelsa part of the

famous River Forcados should

be changed from its former

name, New Patani, to Kabokiri

community as requested by

the indigenes.

He said: “The governor has

just approved a request that

Kabokiri community be

properly integrated into

Bayelsa State. So, going

forward, the name of that

community is no longer New

Patani. The new name of the

community is Kabokiri based

on what you people have

requested."

EndSARS: Delta unveils rebuilt

burnt High Court complex

By Festus Ahon

A government,

SABA—DELTA

yesterday, unveiled the

rebuilt High Court Complex

on Ibusa Road in Asaba,

which was razed down

during the #EndsARS

protest in 2020.

Unveiling the court

complex, the state Chief

Judge, Justice Marshall

Umukoro, disclosed that

Courts 2, 3, 4 and 5 would

relocate and resume sitting

on February 15, 2021.

Umukoro, who conducted

newsmen round the complex

commended Governor

Ifeanyi Okowa for his

commitment to speedy

dispensation of justice and

timely intervention for

rebuilding the destroyed

complex.

Lamenting that the

dispensation of justice was

delayed for some months, the

Chief Judge said: “You will

recall that on October 22,

2020, some hoodlums

invaded the High Court

Complex in Asaba and razed

it down. We thank God for

Governor Okowa, who within

48 hours visited the court

complex to see things for

himself. He supported us

morally and financially to

rebuild this complex.

“The contract was awarded

on November 20, 2020. We

thank God that we are here

today; this is true restoration

as you can see for yourself.

We are happy and we thank

the governor for this

milestone and we appreciate

the media that gave us the

full coverage."

PANDEF national deputy

chair, Okorotie, loses wife

By Samuel

Oyadongha

YENAGOA

—Mrs

Christiana Okorotie, wife

of elder statesman and

Deputy National Chairman,

Pan Niger Delta Forum,

PANDEF, Chief Thompson

Okorotie, has passed on.

The matriarch of the

Okorotie family reportedly

died at the age of 66.

According to a family

source, Mama, as she was

fondly called, died on

February 3, 2021, “after a

protracted illness few days

after she marked her birthday

with her family on January

20.”

The PANDEF chieftain

described his late wife as a

pillar of support to the family

and others that came her way.

“It is only God that gives

life and it is only Him that

knows,” he said.

come 2023 said, the Delta

PDP boss had shown

dexterity and capacity to

lead the party to another

victory in future general

elections.

He said: “While I

commend the leadership of

the party for its role in

conducting credible and

acceptable party primaries

for the next council

elections, I urge you to

promote ideas that will

further unify the party,

settle internal wrangling

and ensure party discipline

at all times."


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021 — 13

Mbazulike Amechi endorses new leadership

of Ohanaeze Ndigbo •Urges them to carry Igbo along

By Chimaobi

Nwaiwu

NNEWI—First Republic

Aviation Minister and

one of the founding fathers

of Nigeria, Mbazulike Amechi

has given his support to

the new President General of

Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ambassador

George Obiozor.

Amechi disclosed this

while playing host to the national

executive of the apex

group in his Ukpor home,

Nnewi South Local Government

Area Anambra State

yesterday.

Addressing the Ohanaeze

executive, Amechi specifically

told Ambassador Obiozor

that the mandate to control

the entire Igbo people is in

his hands.

"As the governors are entitled

to rule their individual

states, Ambassador Obiozor

has the mandate to rule the

entire Igbo race, home and

abroad and this position has

mandated you to carry everybody

along without minding

the state of origin of the

people."

Amechi narrated how he

suffered for Nigeria's independence

and Igbo liberation,

promised that he will

continue to defend and

speak for Ndigbo as long as

he lives.

In his speech, the President

General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo,

Ambassador Obiozor,

regretted that Ndigbo have

been neglected for so long,

saying that the Igbos are facing

threats in Nigeria, and

pleaded that under his leadership,

such threats will no

longer be acceptable.

He also promised that

Ohanaeze as an organization

will never relent in fighting

for the rights of Nthe

Igbo, assuring that all the

evils against Igbo must be

halted forthwith, while appealing

for collective support

of every Igbo man for

Ohanaeze to achieve its objective.

"What was not possible in

terms of Igbo welfare and

development in the past

must be made possible this

time under my administration".

Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu

who accompanied Ambassador

Obiozor to Ukpor

also lamented the continued

marginalization of Ndigbo,

saying that the people are

pained for being excluded

in the recent appointments

of Service Chiefs and urged

President Muhammadu

Buhari to address the complaints

of the people.

Security, economy have collapsed irretrievably

—Anglican Archbishop

By Chimaobi

Nwaiwu

NOP, NEWI—ARCHBISH

Metropolitan and

Primate of Nigeria, His

Grace, the Most Rev Henry

Ndukuba has lamented that

security, economy and the

entire system in Nigeria have

collapsed and the country has

Enugu community petitions IGP over activities

of land grabbers

E NUGU—OZALLA-ABOR

community, Udi Local

Government Area of Enugu

State has sent a Save-Our-

Soul petition to the Inspector

General of Police, Mohammed

Adamu, over what they

called intimidation, harassment

and threat to life by certain

land grabbers who they

alleged want to forcefully take

over their ancestral land.

They alleged that the said

land grabbers are using police

men in Enugu police command

to “threaten, harass and

intimidate” them to forcefully

take away their community

land worth over ten billion

naira. They also claimed that

few members of the community

connived with the highly

placed land grabbers to deprive

them of their land.

In the petition by their lawyer,

A.C Amechi, dated

3rd February, 2021, and cop-

:Vanguard News

•Says they want to set the community on fire

ied to the Chairman, Police

Service Commission, the

Chairman, Senate Committee

on Police and the Commissioner

of Police, Enugu

State; they urged the Inspector

General of police to interfere

urgently to save the community

from imminent crisis.

The petition was written on

behalf of Ichie Peter Eze,

Head of Ozalla Abor Village;

Sir Elias Eruchie, Chairman,

Ozalla Abor Village Council

of Elders; Ichue Cornelius

Onodingene, Ichue Callistus

Ille, Ichie Vintus Nnadieke,

Ichie Gregory Emefu, Pastor

Fidelis Udochukwu, Athanasius

Akwaka, Festus Ogbu

and indeed, Ozalla Abor Village,

Abor Autonomous

Community, Udi Local Government

Area, Enugu State.

Alleging compromise, the

lawyer wants the Inspector

General of Police to take over

investigation of the case from

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

men of D 13, Enugu Police

Command.

“On the 19th October, 2020,

this law office wrote to you

complaining against ten sons

of Ozalla Abor village and the

Commissioner for Lands and

Urban Development, Enugu

State. Surprisingly, on the

26th January, 2021, at about

3 am, the children of our clients

were arrested by anticult

department from Enugu

Police. The group our clients

complained against had

lodged a counter attack, using

the anti-cult department.

And the following were arrested:

Maxwell Obodo, Jude

Amadi, Chukwuma Agu, Paul

Ifebuche Eze and Ejike

Ugwu. They were accused of

attempted murder and

armed robbery. They were

taken to the Chief Magistrate

Court on the same day of the

arrest. They are still in detention

till today."

Former governor of Imo

State, Ikedi Ohakim who

was also in the entourage

said that Ambassador Obiozor

is a consensus and generally

accepted Ohanaeze

President General, adding

that the Igbos are confident

in his leadership.

He vowed to bring contempt

charges against anybody

that will claim to be

Ohanaeze President General

other than Ambassador

Obiozor.

National Vice President of

the group and immediate

past Chairman of Ohanaeze

, Anambra State, Ichie

Damian Ogene, in his closing

remarks for the visit assured

that the present leadership

will work towards

getting everything that has

been denied Ndigbo in Nigeria.

VISIT: Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State (left) and French Ambassador

to Nigeria, Jerome Pasquier, when the latter paid a courtesy visit to the governor at

Government House, Enugu, yesterday.

been taken over by corruption

and corrupt individuals.

Speaking while commissioning

some projects in Diocese

on the Niger at All Saints

Cathedral Onitsha, Archbishop

Ndukuba called on Nigerians

to start the process of

development of humanity to

sustain structures being built

in the country.

He urged Christians to always

build on the rock that

would provide a solid foundation

for their building and

avoid erecting their buildings

on sand that would not stand

the test of time, adding that

the house that would resist the

storm must have a solid foundation.

He said that the problem

with Nigeria and its current

situation that has led to system

collapsed is as a result of

non-existence of solid policy

making and implementation,

adding that Nigeria is in a trying

period where everything

has failed.

"Our security has failed, our

economy has failed and the

entire system has failed. Corruption

has taken over. There

is moral decadence and system

decay because of poor

foundation. Covid-19 has exposed

how weak and bad our

health system is. Some

churches have also failed.

"We won't take anything for

granted. Our lives must be

built on Jesus. Beautiful edifices

cannot be of anything if

the foundation is not laid in

Jesus.

"Any building whose foundation

is not strong, such

buildings is bound to collapse

and fizzle out. Christians

should make solid foundation

a priority in anything they do

to attract God's approval.

Most of the present generation

of humanity live on a very

poor foundation

"The church should be prepared

for the difficult time

that is coming. Persecution has

not even come. Christians

should know that the storm is

around the corner."

APC Registration: Plot to rig 2023

election —Anyanwu

COVID-19: Anambra unfolds

containment strategy

By Clifford Ndujihe

AWKA—TO increase

the survival chances of

COVID-19 patients, the

Anambra State Government

has rolled out a sixstep

containment strategy

for the pandemic called

“Anambra State COVID-19

Chain of Survival, AS-

COSS.”

The framework is a sixstep

management strategy

that outlines what the citizens,

patients and health

workers must do at every

stage in the management

of the virus to ensure

greater chances of survival

for everyone, Mr James

Eze, chief press secretary

to Governor Willie Obiano,

said in a statement.

Anambra State Commissioner

for Health, Dr Vicent

Ogochukwu Okpala

said, “the concept was developed

by my ministry to

give our people a fighting

chance against the pandemic.

We are concerned

about increasing the survival

chances of COVID-

19 patients in Anambra

Anambra 2021: I guarantee APC

victory if I'm given ticket —Uba

By Chinonso

Alozie

O WERRI—SENATOR

Samuel Anyanwu,

who represented Imo East

Senatorial district, yesterday,

alleged that the ongoing

revalidation/registration

exercise of new members

by the All Progressives

Congress, APC, in

the country, was a plot to

rig the 2023 general elections

for their party.

Anyanwu who spoke to

newsmen in Owerri, said

he was reacting to the report

that the APC plans to

register 100 million Nigerians

during the exercise.

Senator Anyanwu said

that the APC planned to

hack into the BVN of Nigerians

to boost their membership

drive.

According to Anyanwu,

“APC used deceit to seize

power in 2015 and I want

to add that her latest macabre

dance and political rhetorics

to register 100 million

Nigerians into her fold was

a game plan to rig the 2023

elections in order to afflict

the country with another

pandemic."

State.”

Throwing more light on

how the strategy works, he

said “Stage-A lays great

emphasis on strict compliance

to COVID-19 safety

protocols; Stage-B emphasizes

early recognition of

the symptoms of the virus;

Stage-C insists on early

identification with the public

health system by anyone

who detects the symptoms

of the virus; Stage-D lays

emphasis on early diagnosis

and initiation of treatment

by health care personnel;

Stage-E emphasizes

early initiation of contact

tracing once a patient is

confirmed to have the virus;

and Stage-F, the final

stage of the Survival Chain,

which insists that patients

who submit themselves for

diagnosis should be notified

early about the test results

and treatment commenced

with immediate

effect. “We have consistently

applied the Anambra

State COVID-19 Chain of

Survival and the results we

have generated are very

impressive."

By Vincent

Ujumadu

AWKA—THE All Pro

gressives Congress,

APC, aspirant for the November

6, 2021 governorship

election in Anambra

State, Senator Andy Uba

has said that he would

guarantee the party's victory

if he is given the APC

ticket.

Uba, said once he gets

the ticket, his 2007 campaign,

which led to a

landslide victory, would

be a child's play, as he

would mobilize forces to

put APC in Anambra government

house.

He recalled that his

amazing campaign for

the 2007 governorship

election in all the 326

wards and 21 local government

areas of the state

gave him overwhelming

victory during the

election “According to

him, the record he created

during that campaign,

had not been equalled by

any governorship candidate

in the state till date,

adding that APC campaign

for the November

6 election in Anambra

State would be taken to

another level “Uba, who

represented Anambra

South Senatorial zone,

said he had also made

the same promise during

APC South East stakeholders

meeting in Awka

a fortnight ago.

" I will never engage in

name calling and will not

spend time sulking, but I

will be busy discussing

issues with voters in Anambra's

326 wards, Communities

and local government

areas that I will

personally visit," Uba

said.“He promised to use

his experience in politics

to work together with his

party members and the

people of the state to enable

him execute God's

master plan for Anambra

State,“"APC is ready and

willing to end the sufferings

of the people in 2021

and the battle has just

begun," he said.


14 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021

:Vanguard News

Kankara abduction: Ex-LG

caretaker chairman faces 5

count charge of complicity

•Mastermind surrenders weapons

By David Odama

FORMER

caretaker

chairman of Jibia Local

Government Area of Katsina

State, Haruna Musa, has been

arraigned at the Chief

Magistrate Court, Kastina, on

a five count charge of complicity

over last December abduction

of 344 students of Government

Science Secondary school,

Kankara.

This came as the alleged

mastermind of the abduction,

Auwalun Daudawa, has

surrendered his weapons to

Zamfara State government.

The suspect arraigned on

Monday by the Police is facing

criminal breach of trust, inciting

disturbance, aiding and

abetment of armed robbery;

kidnapping and terrorism.

According to the Police First

Information Report, FIR

containing the charges, Musa

was arrested on February 3, 2021

based on credible intelligence on

his alleged links with bandits over

the abduction.

The FIR said: ‘’On the 30,

January, 2021, as a member

of Katsina State Fulani/

Farmers Reconciliation

Committee entrusted with

the mandate of negotiating

between bandits/kidnappers/

robbers in Katsina state, you

breached the trust by

deliberately using your

Samsung GSM Phone with

MTN Number:08032981919 in

calling one well known armed

bandits commander residing in

Zamfara forest, Zamfara State

who masterminded the

kidnapping of the students of

Government Science Secondary

School, Kankara, sometime in

Madam Alice

Ogunmodede

for burial

Late Mrs. Ogunmodede.

MRS.

Ogunmodede

Alice Ayoola has died.

She died on November 23, 2020,

aged 91.

In the burial programme

released by The Nation's News

Editor, Mr. Bunmi Ogunmodede,

a Christian Wake will hold at her

Ile-Ileri Quarters' residence on

MFM Road, Adebayo Area, Ado-

Ekiti on February 11 followed by

a Commendation Service at

Methodist Church Nigeria, Aaye

Street, Igede-Ekiti by 11am on

February 12 before interment.

Guests will be hosted

immediately after the church

service at Baptist College of

Theology Play Ground on

Aramoko Rd, Igede-Ekiti.

December, 2020, instigating him

with unverified information

regarding the release of the said

students.

“As a result of this information

to the commander of the armed

bandits by you, he informed his

gang who are now rising against

the government and people of

Katsina State, threatening to

continue terrorizing them for the

money to be released to them.

All these are contrary to sections

298,78 and 47 of the penal code

law of Katsina State,2019.''

The two police prosecutors, Isa

Litti and EM Garuba, however

told the presiding Chief

Magistrate, Hjaiya Aminat

Ibrahim that investigation was

still ongoing in the case and

requested for a new date for the

case to be mentioned.

Chief Magistrate Ibrahim

granted the request and

adjourned the case till 25, March,

2021 for mention.

She also directed that the

Certified True Copy of the FIR be

released to Musa’s counsel,

Ahmed Danbaba as requested

by him.

Hajiya Ibrahim directed that

Musa be remanded at the prisons

till 25, March,2021 when the case

comes up before her for mention.

Meanwhile, sources at the

local government said Daudawa

and five of his lieutenants

surrendered 20 AK 47 rifles,

ammunition and a rocketpropelled

grenade, RPG,

launcher to local officials.

Speaking after he took an oath

of repentance, at the government

house in Gusau, Zamfara capital,

the bandit said his gang

voluntarily surrendered and were

not seeking money from any

individual or government.

Pa Watchman

Eyinimisu

is dead

Late Chief Eyinimisu.

CHIEF

Watchman

Eyinimisu of Toru-

Angiama Community in Patani

LGA of Delta State, is dead. He

died on August 30, 2020, aged 90.

Service of Songs will be held at

his compound in Ewerezi

Quarters in Toru-Angiama Town,

Delta State today by 4:30pm,

Interment follows immediately on

Friday, February 12, by 10:00am.

Final funeral rite is on February

13; Reception would take place by

10:30 prompt while thanksgiving

service would hold on February

14, 2021, at Cornerstone

Christian Church, Toru-Angiama,

Delta State by 10:00am.

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

Destitute, beggars lay siege to Badaru’s

residence, decry extreme poverty, violate

COVID-19 protocol

By Aliyu Dangida

D

U T S E —

HUNDREDS of

destitute and beggars have

besieged the residence of Jigawa

State governor, Badaru

Abubakar, at his country home

in Babura Local Government,

violating COVID-19 protocol in

search of food and other

assistance.

Governor Abubakar was in

Babura to revalidate his All

Progressives Congress, APC,

membership in the ongoing

nationwide registration exercise.

The destitute and beggars were

yesterday seen without

facemasks waiting for the usual

“welfare” given to them

whenever the governor visited.

Abubakar arrived the town

alongside his deputy, Alhaji

Umar Namadi, Acting chairman

and caretaker of APC, Alhaji

Muhammed Dikkuma,

Chairman Jigawa State APC

membership registration and

validation committee, Alhaji

Ibrahim Dawakiji and members

Obsequies for

Mrs Omasheye

Late Mrs. Omasheye.

LATE Mrs. Cecelia

Omotekwe Omasheye

(nee Ogugha) who died on

September 6, 2020; will be buried

on February 29, 2021.

There will be Christian Wakekeep

on February 12, at 48,

Adekeye Street, Ojo Road

Ajegunle-Apapa, Lagos by 3pm.

While, on February 20, body

will leave Eku General Hospital

to her home town, Adabrasa

Agbalokpe in Okepe LGA, Delta

State for interment.

of the state House of Assembly

as well as members of the state

executive council.

It was however gathered that

the destitute and beggars waited

for over seven hours to see the

governor.

On arrival, they waved and

hailed the governor who happily

and smiling, entered the house

with his guests.

Trouble however started when

the destitute and beggar lost their

patience after waiting outside for

hours without anything from the

governor as expected, but they

were allegedly threatened by

security operatives at the

governor’s house who denied

them access to the residence.

However, the desperate

destitute and beggars refused

to leave and laid siege to the

entrance of the compound and

forced the security operatives

to go inside and locked all

entrance of the governor’s

residence.

One of the destitute, Malamai

Larai Hamisu said they were at

the governor’s residence to seek

his assistance as they were

financially handicapped due to

GROUNDBREAKING:

From left: Executive

Director, Cribs and Castles

Ltd, Mrs. Ifeoma Cynthia

Ojukwu; MD, Pioneers

Global, Mr. john Ayeke;

Partner, Cribs and Castles

Ltd, Amb. Lawrence

Onwukwemi; CEO, Cribs

and Castles Ltd, Mr. Ted

Ojukwu; Princess Banke

Lufadeju; Chairman,

Gldynamics Solutions

Nig. Ltd, Prince Gbenga

Lufadeju and Project

Director, Cribs and Castles

Ltd, Mr. Okechukwuku

Okoro, at the

groundbreaking of Cribs

and Castles Luxury at

Ikate, Lekki, Lagos

yesterday.

abject poverty bedeviling the

community, lamenting that they

were harassed and abused by

security operatives attached to

the the residence.

According to her, “We want to

lodge our complaints to the

governor on the ravaging poverty

and other social vices attributed

to economic hardship faced by

the less privileged and that they

cannot afford three square meals

per day.”

Earlier, speaking at the venue

of the exercise, the governor

called on APC supporters to come

out en-mass and register with the

party in their respective wards.

Kaduna steps up fight against COVID-19,

others, deploys drones to deliver vaccines

K ADUNA—KADUNA

State has taken a major

revolutionary step towards

reversing the losses to the

COVID-19, which has cost the

state 57 lives, as at Saturday,

February 6.

According to statistics from the

Nigeria Centre for Disease

Control, NCDC, 7804 persons

have been infected with the virus

in the state.

While 7467 persons were

treated and discharged, 280 cases

are on admission. But the state

government has signed a

Memoradum of Understanding,

MOU, with a private medical firm

to deploy Unmanned Aerial

Vehicles, UAVs, better known as,

drone technology to deliver

vaccines and other medical

supplies to areas that may be

difficult to penetrate due to

challenging topography and bad

roads.

This method of procurement

and distribution of vaccines and

medications is a novelty in

Nigeria pioneered by the Kaduna

State Government.

The clamour for the company’s

services is influenced by the

success rate of the medical

delivery firm, Zipline, which has

the distinction of having

delivered more than one million

doses of other vaccines in Africa

over the past year.

The novel delivery of vaccines

and other drugs in Kaduna is

planned to start in the second

quarter with 30 drones

working full time from three

distribution centres.

Ortom condemns gang-rape case in Benue, demands

full probe

By Peter Duru

M

A K U R D I —

GOVERNOR

Samuel Ortom of Benue State

has urged security operatives to

thoroughly investigate the

reported gang-rape of a teenage

girl by four men in Obi Local

Government Area of the state.

The directive came after the

Nigeria, China celebrate 50th anniversary of diplomatic

relations

NIGERIA

and

China will host an online

gala performance to

commemorate the 50th

anniversary of the establishment

of diplomatic relations between

both countries on Wednesday,

February 10.

Tagged “Share the Moment

Together”, the event is organised

by the Ministry of Culture and

said video of the alleged gang rape

surfaced on social media sparking

outrage and condemnation by

the public and members of the

Civil Society Organisations,

CSOs.

A member of the CSO, Mr.

Ukan Kurugh who expressed

concern after watching the video

raised the alarm that the

parents of the suspects and

the victim were making frantic

efforts to sweep the matter

Tourism of China and the

Ministry of Information and

Culture of Nigeria.

The online gala consists of

three parts: Chinese Culture,

Nigerian Culture, and Friendship

between China and Nigeria.

They will be jointly performed by

artists from Chinese and Nigerian

eminent performing art troupes.

The gala performance will not

only showcase the beauty of

traditional Chinese dance and

under the carpet.

But in his reaction in a

statement issued yesterday in

Makurdi by his Chief Press

Secretary, Terver Akase, Governor

Ortom condemned the incident

and described it as barbaric,

dehumanizing and unfortunate.

He stated that the arrest and

prosecution of the culprits would

serve as deterrent to persons who

engage in the defilement of

minors and other crimes.

music, but also displays the

passion and vigour of Nigerian

songs, dance and beats. The two

cultures add radiance and beauty

to each other, and together voice

a poem of friendship for diplomatic

ties and for a better future.

The gala performance will be

broadcast on the Voice of China,

CCTV.com, China Culture.org,

NTA, AIT, StarTimes Guide at 7

pm and StarTimes Sino Drama at

8:30 pm on February 10.


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021 — 15


16 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021

Nigeria's ballooning security

challenges

IHAVE a feeling that President

Muhammadu Buhari likes to enjoy

some spiteful private jokes at the

expense of Nigerians. Buhari

withdrew into a world of his own as

soon as he won the 2015 election. He’s

lived in that bubble of self-painted

reality far removed from average,

normal Nigerians ever since.

He is pursuing a final splurge with

a reckless abandon and without

concern whatsoever for the future of

the real Nigerians that gave him the

power. Nigeria is at the verge of a

Somalia-like outbreak of wars with

self-determination groups and

emerging warlords ready to slug it out

with armed herdsmen who are

occupying forests and using the cover

provided to perpetrate heinous crimes.

They kill, main, rape, kidnap people,

destroy farmlands, build settlements in

indigenous forests and are now

brazenly claiming “ownership” of

Nigeria. It has been documented that

the armed herdsmen have grabbed

lands in at least 350 communities in

the South East geopolitical zone alone.

There are 177 communities in Anambra

State. The invaders now occupy

territories almost equal to two of the

five states of the South East. Before

2015, the invaders were only active in

Southern Kaduna and Plateau State.

Now, they are all over the four

geopolitical zones of the South and

Middle Belt.

The Global Terrorism Index, GTI,

ranks them as fourth most murderous

terrorist group in the world, yet the

Federal Government has not even

recognised them as a security threat,

let alone declaring them as terrorists.

Instead, it was the agitators for a

referendum - the Indigenous Peoples

of Biafra, IPOB - that was declared a

terrorist group and proscribed. They

were hounded and chased from pillar

to post by soldiers.

When you heard about the failure of

the Buhari ex-Service Chiefs, it was

actually Tukur Buratai that most

Nigerians had their eyes on, and of

course, the Police. Air Marshall

Sadique Abubakar was a great patriot

who patronised indigenous

manufacturers and technologists in the

provision of ordnance and military

spare-parts without discrimination.

Whatever failure the Air Force under

him suffered was basically as a result

of inadequacy of the Federal

Government. The contributions of

Naval Chief, Ekwe Ibok-Ibas, were not

clear. Though piracy remained high in

the Gulf of Guinea, there was a general

calm in terms of militant activities in

the Niger Delta. General Gabriel

Olonishakin was just a loyal

figurehead as Nigerian Chiefs of

When you heard about the

failure of the Buhari ex-

Service Chiefs, it was actually

Buratai that most Nigerians

had their eyes on, and of

course, the Police

Defence Staff are meant to be.

Also, on November 24, 2016,

Amnesty International, AI, accused

soldiers of “firing live ammunition

without warning” into a crowd of

unarmed Biafra protesters in Aba,

killing at least 150, according to facts

it garnered from 87 videos, 122 photos

and 146 eye witnesses.

We have already mentioned the

Buhari government’s open tolerance of

the activities of land-grabbing

herdsmen from all over Africa,

masquerading as pastoralists. Under

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this regime, they enjoyed an open

invitation and untrammelled access to

all parts of Nigeria with their assault

weapons to kill, maim, kidnap for

ransom and occupy lands. There are

numerous but unconfirmed stories of

“helicopter drops” in the illegal camps

established by these terrorists.

The Federal Government comes

down hard on any community which

dares to confront these so-called

“foreigners”. On its own part,

government has fought (though

unsuccessfully so far) to use “federal

might” to grab large swathes of land

and water resources all over the

country for the benefit of the herdsmen

and their livestock (ruga, ranches and

cattle colonies) at the expense of

indigenous landowners.

The Federal Government describes

the situation as “farmers-herders

clashes” rather than terrorism. Buhari

fights Boko Haram and “Bandits” (or

so it seems) as well as peaceful Biafra

agitators but protects ethnic terrorists

marauding the people and lands of the

South and Middle Belt.

We also remember the October 20,

2020 Lekki Toll Gate massacre of

unarmed #EndSARS protesters by

Buratai’s troops, as well as the alleged

execution of six Igbo officers just

before Buratai left office recently. The

Nigerian Army denied all the foregoing

atrocities as “untrue”.

In the last five years, Nigeria’s

security woes ballooned from unsolved

Boko Haram threats to marauding

bandits and herdsmen militia

expansionism.

Let the world hear our stories

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permanently on the screen,

large or small, and sometimes

become very redeeming in

challenging you to be more

positively disposed to a cause

or society.

"The Milkmaid" by Desmond

Ovbiagele is running for the

Oscars under the International

Feature Film category;

Desmond is already enjoying

a place in the sun as a history

maker. Joel Kachi Benson won

a Golden Lion with "Daughters

of Chibok" at the Venice Film

Festival for best virtual reality

story.

Benson has the world at his

feet as he uses the film to

scrounge for opportunities for

the Chibok people nearly

forsaken by their government.

So, dear friends, let the world

hear more of our stories.

Nigeria is a country of great

story tellers, some great bards

whose perfect blend, like some

great coffee, is to sow pleasure

08055069060 (SMS Only)

into the life of other people

with some really beautiful and,

sometimes, complicated stories

which leave you breathless

and challenge you to dream of

other ways of adding more life

to the perfection before you.

Prof Wole Soyinka’s Nobel

Prize for Literature was the

crowning glory and global

recognition of an African story

teller that has conquered the

world. Chinua Achebe’s

Things Fall Apart continues to

cement a literary narrative art

steeped deep in a culture, so

buoyant but also very arrogant

and intransigent, and yet

unable to manage individual

weaknesses from spilling into

societal tragedies. So very

enthralling that people are still

appalled that Okonkwo

actually committed suicide.

Is it any surprise that decades

after, Things Fall Apart still

remains one of the biggest

stories that was adapted for

television in Nigeria? Or does

it surprise you at all that Mo

Abudu is partnering Netflix to

adapt Soyinka’s Death And

The King’s Horseman for the

movies? Or that Chimamanda

Adichie’s civil war novel, Half

of a Yellow Sun, made a strong

showing at the movies?

Nigeria is a land of great story

tellers. So, those who took

history out of our schools failed

very miserably in their satanic

plans of keeping their sordid

past away from the harsh

judgement of history. Didn’t

some of them try to control the

creative license of Prof Ola

Rotimi in Hopes of the Living

Dead, by rejecting a

commissioned play for the

country’s independence

celebrations just because it

tells the heroic story of lepers?

The story was told so

beautifully that Prof Femi

Osofisan in saluting Rotimi in

Those who took history

out of our schools failed

very miserably in their

satanic plans of keeping

their sordid past away

from the harsh

judgment of history

one of his birthday

celebrations, wished that he

had written such a great book.

Nigeria is a land of great

story tellers. Nollywood is

evidence of such creative

fertility. Those who took history

away from our schools never

for once thought of the impact

of Nollywood until the global

community started to serenade

the giant strides of an intrusive

industry. A native industry that

was the product of ingenuity

and relentless hard work but

virtually unnoticed by the

authorities for a long time.

Content is king. And the world

is ever ready to listen to the

stories coming out of Nigeria.

But when Nollywood centred

their stories on magic and

witchcraft, it did not trouble the

system so much except those

who fretted that their secrets

were being revealed. You know

pure abracadabra with some

splash of entertainment. So, it

seemed to the ordinary mind,

but not those so twisted at

heart, for whom the night must

harbor its secrets too dense and

complicated for the ordinary

heart.

Content is king. That makes

it exciting and very fulfilling

that our TVs and Radio are

enjoying a considerable dose

of Nigerian content.

A couple of years ago, it took

me just less than two days to

go through a copy of The

Chibok Girls by Prof Helon

Habila. A compelling book

with lots of chills for the bone,

my first reaction was to scream,

this is for the movies.

I built up pictures in my

mind as I go through that

beautiful stuff steeped in the

concoction of journalistic

probing, a writer’s muse and

a teacher’s thoroughness and

excellence. A shamefully

dysfunctional Nigerian story

that outraged the global

community, Helon returned to

a world he had escaped from,

and gave new meaning,

troubling details and nuanced

authenticity to what originally,

was understandably, immersed

in a halo of uncertainty and

impossibility. But it did happen

and our government may

never be able to put a closure

to that tragic story. While it is

true that The Chibok Girls has

not made that transcendence

to the movies, it is worth

recognising that Nigerians are

doing well in documenting the

country’s history in various

creative formats, two of the

latest being Daughters of

Chibok and The Milkmaid.

It is worth pointing out that

the two films, like Helon’s The

Chibok Girls, are the products

of Boko Haram’s criminal

activities in the North. Many

more will come even if this is

not the kind of history they

want documented in our

nation.

Nigeria is a land of great

story tellers. And a good story,

like The Milkmaid and

Daughters of Chibok, attracts

the world. Such recognition is

important not only for the

prestige it confers but for the

stamp that you are doing

something right. After that

recognition some people really

don’t care much anymore.

Long ago when Spike Lee,

the African American movie

maker was nominated for the

Oscar category of the Best

Director (that was before

winning one for the Best

Adapted Screenplay for

BlackkKlansman in 2019), the

loud mouth he is, shouted to

the effect that he has been

nominated, nobody can take

that from him now.

As I challenge our movie

makers to tell more of Nigerian

stories, I encourage Desmond

to enjoy the bragging rights as

he makes his epochal journey

to the Oscars. Such

opportunities come in rarity,

not often.

C

M

Y

K


Losing our heads

Because we focused on the scorpion, we

missed the snake —African proverb

LISTENING to elite adopting language

and styles of the generally uninformed

and more alienated groups in this country,

you will not be wrong in assuming that the

survival of the country as one with a future

has few champions and many enemies.

Just visit circles where Nigerians are

engaged in our usually passionate quarrels

over everything from football to the

president, you will come away with the

impression that from top to bottom, there is

now a major convergence of opinion that

political positions only make sense on the

extremes of fringes. To be fair, you could

excuse the younger generation here.

This is the stuff it grew up on: bitter and

damaging narratives that all the nation’s

problems are caused by other Nigerians who

have taken up all the room available for

some groups, including generations, to

develop and flourish. There is a huge vacuum

where those who measure how close we are

to the abyss and can apply breaks are

supposed to exist. We play without rules.

Some know it is dangerous. Others think it

is worth the danger, even if they do not know

what price has to be paid.

The Fulani herder represents strong

evidence that we have mountains of

problems and very little to deal with them

effectively. Ordinarily this should be a text

book issue of law and order, or the type of

problems Africans have a hundred and one

ways of resolving. Part of an identified group

has recently become prominent in the public

domain as criminals who kidnap, rape and

plunder communities and retreat into

forests.

Northern communities have cried dry

tears in the last few years as they lost

thousands of relations, suffered

immeasurable humiliations and lost

billions to Fulani criminals who lost cattle

and acquired guns, drugs and an outlaw

mentality. They took over forests and dared

governments who retreated. Their kith and

kin held on to a precarious, outmoded and

unproductive tradition of trudging

thousands of kilometres trying to feed cattle

in an increasingly limiting and hostile space.

The Fulani herder now bears the cross of

his kin, in addition to his own store of

transgressions which most communities

know and dealt with in a routine matter. He

pays the price for the lack of vision of leaders

who ignored all the signs that ranching or

domestication of some sort is the only

solution to increasing population of humans

and cattle and dwindling space due to

climate changes.

In the end, the problem comes to this. The

criminal Fulani exploits a weak Nigerian

state and acquires for himself a lot more

space. The Fulani herder loses the vital cooperation

and goodwill of local

communities which see him and his

criminal brother as one and the same thing

and wants him out.Both bear the additional

cross of being President Muhammadu

Buhari’s kin and, therefore, fair game for

anyone with a score to settle with him.

Does anyone stop to think that dealing with

the criminal Fulani as the law prescribes,

the same way it is supposed to deal with

cultists, pirates, yahoo boys, armed robbers

and drug merchants is the way to go, and

insisting that those with responsibility to

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021—17

leaves no one unscathed.

Problems never walk away. In most

instances, chasing them away seemingly

intact does not solve them either. They

mutate or relocate and become other

problems.

There is no need to apologise for saying

this, but the Fulani problem is a national

problem, the same way militancy in the

Niger Delta was a national problem and

required a strong leadership and national

consensus to deal with. The criminal Fulani

is not a Buhari problem, except in the sense

that he sat on it and allowed it to grow under

him. It now has a national dimension,

without territory or constituency.

It is not a Northern problem, except in the

sense that most Fulani are located in the

North and have very deep roots in its history

and society. The North has been its biggest

victim, and will continue to be its victims as

Northern political leaders lament their

impotence to deal with it, and quarrel over

strategies on dealing with it in the face of

the inability or unwillingness of the Federal

Government to attempt to deal with it.

Of all the stimuli this problem needs to

grow further, mass hysteria, elite

opportunism and an indifferent leadership

are the most important. It now has them.

The more we push it around, the bigger it

will grow. Unfortunately, it looks like this is

what we will continue to do. Every voice

that makes the case for a more rational

evaluation of the Fulani challenge is

drowned by accusations that it is making

excuses for the Fulani criminal.

There are people who find the travails of

the innocent Fulani in his country fertile

ground to harvest the sentiment that the

South is squeezing the North for political

reasons over the Fulani, and the North can

also hurt the South. There are politicians

who see the Fulani issue as a political game.

Few among them give thought to the

possibility that this is a game that could

end in stalemate, which, in real life, means

that all players are losers.

There are Nigerians who have seen it all.

They can tell when we push too hard and

they apply some breaks, but they appear to

have lost their voices and heads. We are

handing over another chunk of our lives to

criminals.

do this should be held to account for their

failure to do so?

Where were those who could have made

the case that expelling all Fulani from

communities because there are criminal

elements among the Fulani is not the best

solution because it could be counterproductive

and play into hands of people

who want more than Fulani-free

environments?

Where were voices that will counter

outrageous propaganda that the herder

represents Buhari’s Islamisation agenda

and an advance party for the annexation of

lands of all Christians in Nigeria and their

forceful convergence to Islam? Apparently,

the babble triggered by hysteria and

demonisation have scared even the most

level-headed opinions. Now we are at a

point where neither the puny presence of

federal might nor community vigilantes can

eliminate the criminal Fulani, wherever he

is.

His herding kin now has choices: stay and

get harassed and attacked by local

communities, leave hostile communities enmass

for safer climes and trigger a

dangerous chain of events, or split between

The criminal Fulani is

not a Buhari problem,

except in the sense that

he sat on it and allowed it

to grow under him

leaving and joining kin in forests and

highways. This is what happens when leaders

with constitutional responsibility abdicate

their responsibilities to make and enforce

laws and take steps to deal with problems

as they arise.

Simple folk have limited options when

confronted with social and political

problems. They look for those with

responsibility to solve the problems, or they

attempt to solve them themselves. When

leaders cannot, or will not, lead with

responsibility, and an elite with stakes in

political stability, security and the economy

is obliterated or shrinks behind shrieking

classes, what you have is anarchy which

Sunday Igboho, Muhammadu

Buhari and eaters of sour grapes

UNTIL about three weeks ago

Sunday Adeyemo, a.k.a.

Sunday Igboho was known only in

certain closed political or cultural

circles. Except for those he had to

work with directly, his celebrity was

firmly locked within the Yoruba

regional space. But that now looks

like ages ago.

Sunday Igboho’s name now rings

a bell in the most exclusive circles in

Nigeria. No day goes by without

something being said or written

about him. He is the favourite

newsmaker in Nigeria today, not the

least for the sheer sensationalism of

what is daily reported about him

within and outside the country.

The entire saga of Sunday Igboho,

his sudden rise from relative

obscurity to national and

international prominence, attests to

the fickle manner fame is conferred

on many Nigerians. It is the stuff of

fairy tale, the kind of celebrity that

is in the present time most often

reserved for aficionados of reality

shows of the Big Brother, The Voice

and the Most Beautiful Girl in

Nigeria variety.

No thanks to a government, in fact

a president, who looks on as a minor

sore becomes gangrenous, Sunday

Igboho would probably still be

minding his car dealership or any

other business he does to keep body

and soul together. But in the last six

years President Muhammadu

Buhari has looked on and simply said

next to nothing as Nigerians across

different parts of the country

lamented the carnage being brought

upon their neighbourhood and

communities by marauders

masquerading as cattle herders.

There is no reason to believe that the

majority of the harmless, staffwielding

Fulani, have suddenly

transformed into the AK-47 terrorists

of today.

Yes, there could be a handful of

them who with the collaboration of

other locals (Yoruba, Tiv or Igbo)

now find the business of kidnapping

for ransom, rape and murder, more

rewarding than herding cattle due

to the apparent failure of the APCled

government to offer any fullthroated

condemnation of it. But it

would be stretching fact to believe

that the average Fulani herder is a

blood-thirsty hound in the manner

of those of them that have led to the

profiling of an ethnic group.

Let those who wish continue to shy

away from the truth, which is that

Buhari’s resolute silence in the face

of reports of herdsmen menace

across Nigeria, his serial acts of

omission to take an unambiguous

stand on the reported recklessness of

so-called herders and the outrageous

comments from managers of the

umbrella unions of Fulani cattle

herders, is the reason why Nigeria is

today on the brink of a war as Wole

Soyinka has warned.

Perception is everything. Buhari has

done next to nothing to erase the

perception that he is a Fulani

revanchist. If anything, he has

frequently doubled down on the very

things that have made many critical

Having eaten more

than their fair share of

sour grapes, the cattle

Fulani teeth are now set

on edge and the

Nigerian government is

lost for the appropriate

action to take

of him. What is happening today is

not new. For ages farmers and

herders have clashed. They have

been engaged in skirmishes as is to

be expected among people with

divergent interests amid scarce

resources. Nor is Buhari the first

Fulani ever to be at the helm of this

country’s rulership.

From Nigeria’s First Republic

right to just about ten years ago when

Nigeria had its last Fulani leader

before Buhari in the person of Umar

Yar’Adua, none has had the ethnic

tag so firmly foisted on them as

Buhari.

Yes, Nigeria has grappled with

issues of ethnicity, religion and

gender before now. But those issues

have become very polarising under

the APC-led government of the last

six years, not so much for what

Buhari has done as for what he has

failed to do. Come to think of it,

President Buhari, other than the

incident that brought him to Lam

Adesina in the early days of our

current experiment with democracy,

when he reportedly fumed about the

manner his “people” were allegedly

killed during a clash between Yoruba

farmers and Fulani cattle herderssave

this incident, Buhari has not in

the fewest words said anything to

express open support for the activities

of the marauding herders as opposed

to the legitimate ones. Not one word

said! But neither has he said any word

in condemnation.

Considering the perceived victims

of these attacks are the farming

communities, Buhari’s silence has

been more eloquent than anything

he could have said. It suggests

complicity, especially as the security

agencies are believed to have taken

their cue from the President’s attitude

by taking sides with the putative

aggressor.

Buhari is the leader of the country

and no matter what he or anybody

else may think, that no matter what

he says or does he would be

condemned by critical Nigerians. He

should be seen to have done his bit.

That is what a leader does. He

should be heard to say that he does

not support any brigandage by any

section of the country, including his

own Fulani people. It is not a crime

that he is Fulani, and he could not be

expected to deny his ethnicity just so

he could be seen as a patriot. But for

the sake of his people and the very

human belief that an individual

would naturally be partial to

members of their own ethnic or

biological family, etc., President

Buhari ought to have been more

sensitive to the concerns of other

Nigerians who have complained

about the negative activities of

Fulani herders.

From Benue to Taraba, Enugu to

Anambra, Edo to Delta, Ekiti to Osun

and now Ondo and Oyo, Buhari has

stayed put inside Aso Rock Villa, said

no word either way of the controversy.

But his political minders and

spokespersons hiding behind the

veneer of “the Presidency”, a

synonym in some cases for the

President, have not wasted time in

hauling broadsides at anyone bold

enough to take on the Fulani, selfservingly

quoted from the

Constitution about the right of every

Nigerian to live anywhere they

choose, including perhaps, herding

cattle on other people’s farms.

With such quick response

comments from within “the

presidency”, there is no way to

convince non-Fulani Nigerians that

the President is not partial. Thus,

when the likes of Sunday Igboho

resort to self-help it becomes difficult

to fault their moves which they claim

to make for self-preservation.

The APC-led Federal Government

has painted itself into a corner,

forfeited the right to act in the

manner it should against “non-state

actors” by its complicit silence in the

last few years during which the

Fulani, supposedly basking in the

euphoria of a president of Fulani

extraction, had grown both more

restive and aggressive.

Having eaten more than their fair

share of sour grapes, the cattle Fulani

teeth are now set on edge and the

Nigerian government is lost for the

appropriate action to take.


18 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021

THE avalanche of global outrage,

threat of sanctions and condemnations

that have trailed the Myanmar military

coup are clear signals to military

adventurists all over the world who

seek to subvert democracy that the era

of rule by force of arms is over.

The military had seized power in that

country located in the western portion

of mainland Southeast Asia on executive, legislative and judicial

February 1, 2021 after Suu Kyi's branches of government to the Commander-in-Chief

of the armed forces,

National League for Democracy Party

won a landslide 83 percent in the Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing.

November 8, 2020 election.

The next day, February 2, the State

The army called its takeover a Administrative Council was formed,

response to election fraud and detained with Senior Gen. Min as chairman, to

President Win Myint, State Counselor govern the country during the state of

and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, emergency.

and other members of the ruling But world leaders are unhappy with

National League for Democracy. the turn of events in Myanmar, formerly

Vice President Myint Swe, a former called Burma. For instance, the U.S.

general, who was propped up as acting President, Joe Biden, on Monday

president, immediately invoked articles threatened to reimpose sanctions on

417 and 418 of the constitution which Myanmar following the military coup.

allowed him to declare a one-year state Biden described the coup as "a direct

of emergency and hand control of the assault on the country's transition”,

The era of rule by force of arms is over

calling for a concerted international

response to press the military to

relinquish power.

Over the past decade, US had lifted

sanctions on Myanmar based on

progress it made toward democracy.

“The reversal of that progress,” Biden

said, will necessitate an immediate

review of US sanction laws and

authorities, followed by appropriate

action.

The outrage over Myanmar coup was

not only targeted at the country’s

military leaders but also at other

countries or leaders that may be

sympathetic to the rape on democracy.

President Biden says the US was "taking

note of those who stand with the

people of Burma in this difficult hour.

“We will work with our partners

throughout the region and the world

to support the restoration of democracy

and the rule of law, as well as to

hold accountable those responsible

for overturning Burma's democratic

transition.”

The big lesson in the Myanmar

coup for Nigeria and other African

countries where the military rides

rough shod on the populace is that

the world is now a global village. As

such no country’s leader or government

is at absolute liberty to conduct

itself as it pleases.

As we watch for the outcome of the

international community’s action

against enemies of democracy in

Myanmar, we can be certain that other

countries, including Nigeria, are also

under the watch of the international

community with regards to militarycivilian

relations and internal democracy.

Which way Southern leaders?

By SUNNY IKHIOYA

LET us begin with the statement issued

by the Chairman of South East

Governors’ Forum, David Umahi, governor

of Ebony State, on February 2, 2021. He

said: "We are living in a dangerous time.

Without patriotism to our nation Nigeria,

it is difficult to have a peaceful time."

He was further quoted as calling "on

leaders and stakeholders of the zone to

speak up and desist from playing politics

with the security of the zone and nation.”

As it is with the South East, so is it in the

South West and South-South.

Can we say that leaders from the South

have really served the interests of the South

at these critical times? Have they put the

interests of the people first, above their

personal ambitions? If yes, why is there a

grave silence over atrocities being

perpetrated by foreigners in their land? Is

their silence helping the situation or

emboldening the criminals to increase the

tempo of their activities?

One official of government carried his

sycophancy to the ridiculous extent of

asking the people to quit their land instead

of waiting to be killed. Which one is better,

to die defending your ancestral land or run

away like cowards for foreign elements to

take over?

The collective silence of the leadership

from the South over the unpatriotic

activities of their colleagues from the other

side is a big cause for concern and a threat

to the collective existence of the nation.

Their refusal to assume leadership roles

have now left the vacuum being expoited

by all types of local elements.

Today, one Sunday Igboho is riding on

the wave of popularity to embark on a

mission to flush out criminal elements

from forests in the South west. IPOB

leader,Namdi Kanu, is also attempting to

do same with his Eastern Security Network.

If the political leaders have been

proactive, such scenarios will not be playing

out. But as it is, it would appear that the

leadership - all state governors in the South

and other political leaders of Southern

extraction - have abandoned their key

responsibilities.

Instead of sitting together and looking

at situations critically, our leaders are busy

strategising and looking for ways to

position themselves for politics of

succession in 2023. Like it is now bound to

happen, they will, through their foolishness,

hand over the presidency again to the North

on a platter of gold.

It is time for us to start

choosing only leaders who

will help our cause at the

federal level

This is because they are not looking at

the overall interests of their people from

the South. The North has mastered the act

of speaking with one voice when it

concerns issues that affect their collective

interests. But Southern leaders do not care.

The issue of criminal elements in our

forests is not even a thing of concern to

them.

What is the purpose of government? Is it

not, first and foremost, the protection of

lives and property as well as the promotion

of the well being of the people? Why are

our governors and leaders not taking the

initiative? What are they afraid of? A

OPINION

foremost leader of the South West in the

person of Chief Olu Falae, was kidnapped

by known criminal elements and his farm

property destroyed, no positive action was

taken by any of our governments to bring

the perpetrators to book. The daughter of

the leader of the Yoruba nation was killed

and till today nothing was done. Instead

the perpetrators were encouraged to carry

out more attacks. Can this thing be

tolerated in the North? Can a Yoruba man

or Igbo man try this in Katsina?

The noise about the Amotekun take off is

just noise. Apart from Oyo State, others

are still planning. What a people!

Meanwhile, in the North they have their

own local police, Hisbah, harassing the

hell out of innocent citizens, with full

powers on display. What is wrong with our

Southern leaders?

The position of the South East and South-

South is even worse. Unlike them, the

Yoruba nation will not succumb to the

desecration of their land without raising a

voice of dissent or protest. The South-

South, it would appear, has been colonised

by foreign interests in every area of its

existence.

Federal Government establishments that

are set up in the South-South are being

run by people that are foreign to the land,

especially in the oil and gas sector. The

resources coming out of the land are not

even distributed equitably and yet the

leadership keeps quiet at a time Northern

leaders claim that the resources belong to

them.

Go to all the farmlands in the South

south, from Edo, through Delta, Rivers,

Akwa Ibom and Cross River states today,

you will find foreign elements ravaging the

land and nobody is taking action.

The governors have become subservient

to federal authorities and this makes us to

Send Opinions & Letters to:

opinions1234@yahoo.com

sometimes wonder about the type of federalism

that we are practising. Our mothers

and daughters are being raped and

killed in their farmlands, crops destroyed

and we can't have brave leaders to lead

the resistance against these foreign elements.

It is alleged that whenever these

criminals are apprehended, our law enforcement

officers get them released because

they are from the same ethnic stock.

If this allegation is true, what then are our

leaders doing?

The South West governors response to

the security challenges in their area is to

introduce an outfit called Amotekun; what

have the South-South governors done?

How do we remove this yoke of foreign

criminals from our land? It is only by the

grace of God that we journey safely on our

highways.

It is time for us to start choosing only

leaders who will help our causes at the

federal level; most of those there now have

sold their conscience for porridge; they do

not have the interest of the people at heart;

so they should be allowed to exit the stage.

The nations of the South must begin to

identify their position in this union called

Nigeria. Is this how we are going to continue?

What do we want to bequeath to the

coming generations?

Are we satisfied with the current mass

migration of our young, able bodied, educated

and qualified youths out of our land

at the risk of their lives? Are we ready to

vacate our ancestral lands because we are

afraid of bigger powers?

What kind of leadership should we put

in place? Nigeria is a country of many independent

nations; that was the foundation

with which it was built. If it is tilting

towards another direction, our leaders

must be called to order.

•Ikhioya wrote via: www.southsouthecho.com


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123.00 -0.75

1,739.00 - -3.00

16.34 +0.05

61.10 +0.54

59.46 +0.53

379 379.5 380

522.1104 522.7992 523.488

458.8553 459.4607 460.066

424.0797 424.6391 425.1986

3.6216 3.6264 3.6312

0.6729 0.6829 0.6929

542.487 543.2027 543.9184

58.8775 58.9556 59.0337

101.0343 101.1676 101.3009

25.615 25.6488 25.6826

CBN Exchange rate as at 09/02/2021

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY10, 2021 — 19

Lagos loses N4trn to traffic congestion annually

By Nkiruka Nnorom

INDICATIONS have emerged

that Lagos State may be losing

as much as N4 trillion annually as a

result of the debilitating traffic congestion

that has become the hallmark

of the state.

This is contained in a report by a

Lagos-based research institute,

Danne Institute for Research titled:

“Connectivity and productivity Report”.

The losses, according to the firm,

is the culmination of an estimated

14.12 million hours lost by Lagosians

while commuting to work on a daily

basis.

Presenting the findings of the research

report at the virtual Transport

and Traffic Conference organised by

the institute, Professor Franca

Ovadje, Founder/Executive Director,

Danne Institute, explained that

long commutes between where

Lagosians live and work, among

other factors, is a major cause of unending

traffic jams.

She also lamented that the growth

of Lagos megacity is not leading to

productivity increases due to the

state’s connectivity issues.

She said: “We found that the cost

to individuals of traffic congestion is

N133,978.68 per annum for those

who own their vehicles and

N79,039.40 each year for those who

use public transport. The total loss

to Lagos is estimated at 14.12 million

hours per day or N3.834 trillion

per annum.”

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented

by the Commissioner for

Transport, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde,

said that Lagos was adopting a multipronged

approach as the government

is convinced that the state cannot

spend its way out of congestion.

He explained that the strategy of

the government is to modernise and

maximise existing transport networks

and implement the Lagos

Economic Review: From left, Registrar and Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers

(CIS), Mr Adedeji Ajadi, Chairman, Research and Technical Committee, CIS, Mr Akeem

Oyewale, President and Chairman of Council, CIS, Mr Olatunde Amolegbe, 2nd Vice President,

CIS, Mr Oluropo Dada and Head of Research, CIS,) Mr Edikan Ekong at 2020 Economic

Review and Outlook for 2021 by CIS in Lagos.

Transport Master Plan that proposes

investment in a multimodal

transport system like waterways

and seven rail lines, as well as

and the development of the millionaire

cities so that residents

won’t have to go to the island to

get well-paying jobs or do business.

The President of Lagos Chamber

of Commerce and Industry,

Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, explained

that Lagos is struggling to play a

catch-up game because growth has

outpaced planning for decades and

suggested that Lagos government

agree on an operational framework

with the Federal Government such

that some federal assets, including

roads and ports could be controlled

and managed by the state to reduce

congestion.

On his part, Mr. Wale Adediran,

President, Chartered Institute of Personnel

Management, alerted the

public to the physical, mental and

emotional effects of traffic congestion

on the state working population and

emphasized that law and order is at

the heart of solutions to Lagos traffic

problems. Mr. Joseph Agunbiade,

Cofounder of BudgIT was of the opinion

that the government should prioritize

data, innovation and disruption

along with attracting massive private

investment to close the transport

infrastructure deficit.

Economic experts proffer ways to fund

N5.23 trn budget deficit

By Peter Egwuatu

AGAINST the backdrop of

International Monetary

Fund, IMF cautioning the Central

Bank of Nigeria, CBN on

using the ways and means to

financing budget deficit, economic

experts have proffered

various means of funding the

N5.23 trillion budget deficit for

2021, stressing that

double digit growth cannot

be achieved in a short

term period.

In their comments during

a webinar organised

by the Chartered Institute

of Stockbrokers,

CIS, titled, ‘Economic

Review for 2020 and outlook

for 2021’ the experts

emphasized the need for

government to access the

capital market to fund

the budget deficit and as

well privatise government

assets that can be

turnaround by the private

sector involvement.

Experts who spoke at

the webinar include,

Uwaleke, a professor of

Capital Market at

Nasarawa State University,

Dr Biodun Adedipe,

Chief Consultant,

Biodun Adedipe Associates,

Mrs Kemi

Akinde, Prof Rufus

CAPITAL MARKET

Olowe, Head of Finance Department,

University of Lagos among

others

Speaking, Prof Uwaleke said,

“Government can finance the infrastructure

component of the budget

by: Issuing infrastructure/revenue

bonds/project-tied bonds to

ensure that the proceeds are ringfenced

as opposed to the use of

general obligations bonds;

Securitizing receivables in infrastructure

through an Special Purpose

Vehicle, SPV that eventually

raises funds from the capital market

via securities issued to investors

and partial privatisation/sale

of selected government enterprises/assets

such as the Nigerian

National Petroleum Corporation,

NNPC, through the Stock Exchange”

On his part, Dr Adedipe said

“Government needs to scale up

manufacturing in order to generate

income to fund the budget. Four

critical sectors need to be

prioritised such as Information

Communication Technology, Agriculture

processing, Manufacturing

and Exports.

ECONOMY

AFCFTA: Fleet expansion, port tariff critical for

maritime industry

MARITIME

By Godwin Oritse

THE National Action Commit

tee (NAC) on the implementation

of the African Continental

Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA

engagement series for maritime subsector

has highlighted fleet expansion

and port tariffs as some of the

major issues that could hamper

the nation’s participation in the regional

initiative.

This was contained in a

communiqué issued at the end of

the last meeting of the Committee

held virtually. In addition, the Committee

is set to flag off a nationwide

awareness and sensitisation

tour. The awareness tour is in line

with the mandate of NAC to prepare

Nigeria to take advantage of the

AfCFTA Agreement while mitigating

its threats to the Nigerian economy.

NAC suggested that there should

be negotiation and understanding by

National Ports Authorities in the Sub-

Region to institute mutual recognition

for regional Cargo and Ship

Owners to have preferential privilege

for intra-regional transportation in

order to build and or improve indigenous

supply capabilities.

The Committee also cited the need

to to introduce favorable port tariff

regime for transit and trans-shipment

cargoes by Nigerian ports, so

as to promote hub activities and facilitate

intra-regional trade adding

“Ehingbeti will

enhance policy

environment,

attract investment”,

Cardoso

THE Lagos Economic Sum

mit, Ehingbeti 2021,

scheduled to hold next week

will enhance the policy environment

and attract investment inflow

into the state.

The Co-Chair of Ehingeti

2021, Mr. Yemi Cardoso stated

this during an virtual interactive

session with journalists yesterday,

to discuss the significance

and contributions of the private

sector-led participatory forum.

Noting that excellent coordination

of private-public relationships

can signal stability to

investors, Cardoso said

Ehingbeti is an ingenuous

socio-economic apparatus that

has contributed significantly to

the development of Lagos State

in the last 20 years.

“Ehingbeti is not a talk-shop

where people gather to say nice

things to themselves and depart.

It is a platform for discussion

about very serious issues

relating to the socio-economic

and infrastructural development

of Lagos State. In fact, call

it the planning board for

gradual evolution of Lagos

State into the desired shape

and standard because deliberations

at Ehingbeti feed into the

Lagos Master Plan and implementations

are monitored by

multiple stakeholders”, he explained.

“As a participatory forum,

Ehingbeti brings multiple

stakeholders together to dialogue

and listen to one another.

The dialogue results in understanding

and consensus building.

This an agreement to

work together because of the

shared vision established

through the dialogue at

Ehingbeti. At the end of these

dialogues, communiqués

would be issued and the parties

begin to execute agreed

programmes and monitor

progress”, he added.

“With the monitored implementation,

the public sector acquires

a new sense of operations

and while the private sector feels

secure with the accountability

signaled by the process”, when

mentioned that about 17 communiques,

jointly agreed by

both the private and public sectors

were issued in the first or

second edition of Ehingbeti.

that creating a single window

profile and a trade hub on the

internet regarding payment of

trade in the single window is

needed. This will assist to identify

the issues to come under the

trade hub.

Meanwhile, the AfCFTA nationwide

awareness and sensitization

tour will kick-off from Kaduna State

with a courtesy call on Governor

Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai followed by

meetings with public and private

sector stakeholders, including

trade and professional associations

in the state. Thereafter, the

team from the National Action

Committee on AfCFTA will proceed

from Kaduna State to Bauchi

State. Visit to other states will follow

as scheduled.


20 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021

By Babajide Komolafe

From 2017 to 2019, Nigeria

enjoyed a strong

romance with foreign

investors. During this period

foreign investors injected $53

billion into the nation’s

economy.

Driven by a series of foreign

exchange market reforms

introduced by the Central

Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

between 2016 and 2017,

including the introduction of

the Investors and Exporters

(I&E) window and the Naira

Denominated Forwards,

foreign investment inflow or

foreign capital importation

into the country rose by 138.7

percent to $12.228 billion in

2017, from $5.124 billion in

2016. This upward trend

continued in 2018 and 2019

with foreign investment rising

by 38 percent and 30

percent respectively to

$16.812 billion and $23.99

billion.

This steady flow of foreign

capital helped the country to

exit the economic recession of

2016, in the second quarter of

2017. In addition the

country’s external reserves

rose to over $40 billion in

2018 from below $30 billion in

2016. This led to the stable

exchange rate of N360 per

dollar enjoyed by the country

from 2017 to 2019.

But the upward trend in

foreign investment into the

country reversed last year as

the country recorded foreign

investment of $9.7 billion,

representing 59.6 percent

decline when compared to the

$23.99 billion recorded in

2019.

This sharp decline,

according to analysts

indicates a cooling of the

romance between Nigeria and

foreign investors and the

need for policy measures to

revive the romance and

reverse the negative trend.

While noting that the

severe impact of the COVID-

19 pandemic played a

significant role in reducing

foreign investment into the

country last year, the analysts

including the International

Monetary Fund, IMF, opined

that the economy cannot afford

another year of lacklustre

performance in foreign

investment inflow, which is

critical to the objective of

returning to positive

economic growth in 2021.

Foreign investment inflow

in 2020

Data from the National

Bureau of Statistics, shows

that foreign investment into

Nigeria fell to $9.7 billion in

2020 from $23.99 billion in

2019. This represents a sharp

decline of 59.65 percent, yearon-year

(y/y) decline.

A breakdown of the $9.7

billion foreign investment in

2020 shows that ‘Foreign

Direct Investment (FDI)’ rose

by 9.1 percent to $1.028

billion from $934.34 million

in 2019. But ‘Portfolio

Reversing the downward trend in

Foreign Investment inflow

Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor

Investment’ fell sharply by

218 percent to $5.137 billion

from $16.365 billion in 2019.

A similar fate befell ‘Other

Investment’, which fell by 48

per cent to $3.514 billion

from $6.69 billion in 2019.

Quarterly Foreign

Investment Inflow

A quarterly analysis

however showed that foreign

investment inflow fluctuated

throughout the year.

In the first quarter

(Q1’2020) foreign investment

rose by 53.97 percent,

quarter-on-quarter (q/q) to

$5.854 billion from $3.802

billion in Q4’2019.

The largest amount of

foreign investment by type

received in Q1’2020 was

‘Portfolio ‘Investment, which

accounted for 73.61% or $4.309

billion of total capital

importation, followed by

‘Other Investment’, which

accounted for 22.73% or

$1.330 billion of total capital,

followed by ‘Foreign Direct

Investment FDI’, which

accounted for 3.66% or

$214.25 million of total capital

imported in Q1 2020.

In Q2’2020, foreign

investment fell by 77 per

cent to $1.295 billion,

reflecting the impact of the

COVID-19 of the nation’s

foreign exchange market.

The largest amount of

foreign investment by type in

Q2’2020 was received

through ‘Other Investment’,

which accounted for 58.77% or

$761.03 million of total capital

imported, followed by

‘Portfolio Investment’, which

accounted for 29.76% or

$385.32 million and

‘Foreign Direct Investment’

(FDI), which accounted for

11.47% or $148.59 million of

total capital imported in Q2

2020.

Foreign investment however

rose slightly by 13 per cent,

q/q, to $1.461 billion in

Q3’2020.

The largest amount of

foreign investment by type

received in Q3’2020 was

through ‘Other Investment’,

which accounted for 43.75

percent or $639.44 million of

total capital importation,

followed by ‘Foreign Direct

Investment’ (FDI), which

accounted for 28.38 per cent

or $414.79 million of total

capital imported, followed

by ‘Portfolio Investment’

which accounted for 27.87 per

cent or $407.25 million of

total capital imported in Q3

2020.

“A gradual rise

in rates (which

would reduce the

negative real

return) would

attract more FPI

flows particularly

considering major

developed

economies

continue to

maintain an

accommodative

monetary policy

stance in keeping

with the global

recovery narrative

Kristalina Georgieva, IMF Managing Director

But in the last quarter,

Q4’2020, foreign investment

fell again by 27 per cent, q/q,

to $1.069 billion.

The largest amount of

foreign investment by type

in Q4’2020 was received

through ‘Other Investment’,

which accounted for 73.22% or

$783.26 million of total

capital importation, followed

by ‘Foreign Direct

Investment’ (FDI), which

accounted for 23.49% or

$251.27 million of total capital

imported and ‘Portfolio

Investment’ which accounted

for 3.29% or $35.15 million

of total capital imported in Q4

2020.

Why Foreign Investment

fell

While there are several

factors responsible for the

sharp decline in foreign

investment inflow in 2020,

analysts cite three major

factors as chief culprits.

The first major factor is the

COVID-19 pandemic which

triggered a flight to safety

among international investors

and a slump in the price of

crude oil, which accounts for

90 percent of Nigeria’s dollar

earnings. In addition to this

was the scarcity of dollars due

to decline in dollar earnings

and limited dollar injection by

the CBN in its bid to conserve

external reserves. This was a

major problem for foreign

portfolio investors (FPIs)

trying to exit the country.

In addition to the above was

the low yield on money

market investment, driven by

the steady decline in interest

rate on treasury bills to almost

zero per cent last year from

about 15 per cent the previous

year. This accounted for the

69 per cent, y/y, decline in

foreign investment in ‘Money

Market Instruments’ to $4.150

billion in 2020 from $13.449

billion in 2019.

Speaking in this regard,

analysts at United Capital

Limited, said: “The slump in

oil prices – Nigeria’s main

dollar flow source –

discouraged FPIs from

bringing in new funds. This

was further exacerbated by the

fact that most FPIs had to

resort to unorthodox means to

repatriate their funds while

many were stuck.

“That said, we beam our

focus on FPI flows in 2020

considering it constitutes a

bulk of Nigeria’s foreign

exchange inflows.

Unsurprisingly, FPI flows

across each instrument

slumped to record lows as

flows into Money market

(down 69.1% y/y), Equities

(down 60.1% y/y) and Bonds

(down 77.4% y/y) all tanked.

“The synchronized decline

was largely linked to the move

by the CBN to limit its

intervention in the I&E

window in order to forestall

the onslaught on foreign

exchange reserves in the face

of weakened foreign

exchange inflows.

However, this move reduced

the attractiveness of the

Nigerian market to FPIs.

“In addition, despite the

CBN maintaining its stance to

segment the money market to

allow FPIs have access to

juicer yields in the OMO

window, lower yields in the

OMO market amidst

galloping inflation ensured

FPIs were disinterested in

Nigerian bills. Furthermore,

Continues on page 21


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021 — 21

Reversing the downward trend in Foreign Investment inflow

Continued from page 20

the rally in the equities

market was inadequate to lure

foreign investors to return to

the market.”

Also explaining the factors

that caused the decline in

foreign investment, analysts

at Lagos based Afrinvest

Securities Limited, said: “We

attribute the weakness in FPI

inflows to the bleak external

conditions and Nigeria’s

currency crisis which reduced

investors’ participation.

“Foreign Direct Investment

(FDI) inflows was the only

bright spot as it increased

10.1 per cent y/y, though still

below 2014 level.

“We believe FDI weakness

reflects the volatile

macroeconomic environment

and weak medium to longterm

economic prospects.”

In addition to the scarcity of

dollars and low yields on

money market instruments,

analysts at CardinalStone

Investment and Research firm

noted that the high inflation

rate in Nigeria compared to

what obtains in other

countries, also played a role

as it reduced the country’ s

attractiveness to foreign

investors.

They stated: “ In our view,

sustained unorthodox

policies, foreign exchange

illiquidity, and widening

inflation differential makes

frontier peers, like Egypt,

more attractive destinations

for foreign capital.”

Prospects for 2021

Speaking on the prospects

for foreign investment inflow

this year, Afrinvest analyst

said: “We expect foreign

investment to remain weak

due to the weak prospects of

an improvement in the

external environment and the

currency challenges.

“Similar to the case in 2016,

the introduction of capital

controls amid foreign

exchange illiquidity has left

foreign investors stuck in the

market and made Nigeria less

attractive as an investment

destination.

“ The wide premium

between exchange rates at

the parallel market and the

I&E window also suggests a

mispricing of the currency,

which makes investors and

businesses reluctant to bring

in capital.”

Stressing the need for the

CBN to increase yield on its

treasury bills (Open Market

Operations, OMO), and

further adjustment of the

exchange rate to enhance the

country’s attractiveness to

foreign investors, analysts at

United Capital Plc, said: “In

2021, we expect the CBN will

exhaust all tools in its arsenal

to attract FPI flows before

conceding to an exchange

rate devaluation. This was

Ike Chioke, Group CEO Afrinvest Limted

Foreign Investment Inflow in 2020 ($m)

Foreign Investment By Category ($'m)

Foreign Investment Inflow in 5yrs ($bn)

Peter Ashade, Group CEO United Capital Plc

obvious in the move by the

CBN to raise stop rates at the

last OMO auction by 475 basis

points (bps) on average. We

believe a gradual rise in rates

(which would reduce the

negative real return) would

attract more FPI flows

particularly considering

major developed economies

continue to maintain an

accommodative monetary

policy stance in keeping with

the global recovery narrative.”

While also stressing the

need for the CBN to adjust

interest rates on treasury bills,

Tessy Ezeh, Chief Executive

Officer of Everdon BDC,

emphasised the need for the

“Policy clarity is

also important to

attract larger

capital inflows,

including foreign

direct

investments,

which have

dropped

significantly in

recent years and

successful

diversification.”

CBN to implement policies

that will not just attract but

also retain foreign investment

in the country.

In an interview with

Vanguard, she said: “You

know it is one thing to attract

and another thing is to retain.

So if what you are attracting

is less than what you are

retaining, at the end of the

day, we would still end up

with a deficit at the end of the

year. So we trust that the CBN

is able to attract and retain the

FPIs that will come in this

year. Economies around the

world were close to a

recession last year but it looks

like that trend is reversing. So

I am sure that we are rightly

positioned to attract more FPIs

this year than last year. ”

One of such policies needed

to retain foreign investors in

the country,according to the

IMF is a unified exchange

rate, which it averred is

crucial for the nation’s

economic recovery.

In an article titled, “Five

Questions About Nigeria’s

Road to Recovery”, Ari Aisen,

Jesmin Rahman, and Jiaxiong

Yao, of the African

Department of the IMF,

stated: “The current system

(of multiple exchange rates)

creates uncertainties for the

private sector because of

multiple exchange rates and

non-transparent rules for

foreign exchange allocation.

“Unifying the various rates

into one market-clearing rate

would establish policy

credibility. Sustained

premiums in the parallel

market and unmet foreign

exchange demand indicate

the need for further

adjustment in the exchange

rate to reduce the gap

between supply and demand.

An appropriately valued

exchange rate and a clear

exchange rate policy would

also help instill confidence

and private sector-led

recovery. Policy clarity is also

important to attract larger

capital inflows, including

foreign direct investments,

which have dropped

significantly in recent years

and

successful

diversification.”


22 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021

9mobile’s 4G expansion to Ilorin ‘ll boost Nigeria’s broadband target

By Juliet Umeh

9MOBILE, has launched its

4G network in Ilorin,

Kwara State, saying it will

help boost Nigeria's broadband

penetration target.

According to the telco, the

latest addition to its 4G

coverage will make it possible

for Nigerians in the city to join

other customers across the

country to enjoy fast and

reliable 4G connectivity on

their smartphones.

Speaking at the launch,

9mobile’s Chief Commercial

Officer, Stjepan Udovicic, said

: "9mobile is working hard to

empower Nigerians with

world-class data services and

helping to close the digital

divide.

"We are excited to add the

historic city of Ilorin to the

growing list of cities already

enjoying our 4G LTE network.

"We are committed to

delivering innovation and

value while building worldclass

networks for our

customers.”

Udovicic urged all customers

to take advantage of the special

data offers and enjoy the newly

launched 4G service by

subscribing to any of the

packages, including, 2GB

plus free social media, 7GB

plus free social and 3.5GB free

data for streaming for the first

7days upon purchasing data

plans.

He urged Ilorin residents to

get on 9mobile to enjoy

unbeatable data experiences

even as he pledged the network’s

commitment to continuing the

expansion of 4G coverage to

more cities nationwide.

*4G Mast

High spectrum prices, late 3G, 4G licensing

slowing Africa’s broadband penetration

•As GSMA cautions on late spectrum licensing

By Prince Osuagwu,

Hi-Tech Editor

& Juliet Umeh

Anew report by the Global

System Mobile Association,

GSMA, has hit out at Nigeria

and other African countries for

having the highest spectrum

pricing in the world.

GSMA says this has accounted for

why the continent is not making

rapid progress in broadband

penetration and network ubiquity.

The report: Effective spectrum

pricing in Africa, noted that African

countries even license some

spectrums that aid innovative

services like 3G and 4G spectrums

very late, frowning that they ought

to have known that spectrum

licensing decisions and pricing in

particular, play a crucial role in

accelerating the adoption of mobile

services and providing better

networks and services for

consumers and businesses.

It warned that the issue has to be

addressed for the region to take full

advantage of the benefits mobile

broadband can bring.

The report which claimed to have

tracked spectrum assignments

across nearly 50 African countries,

including Nigeria for the 2010–

2019 period, said that if African

governments desired to continue to

expand coverage and maximise the

benefits from connectivity, making

affordable spectrum is the first step.

Key findings of the report that is

getting GSMA worried are that:

“African countries account for a large

proportion of the highest spectrum

prices globally. When spectrum

prices are adjusted by income,

Africa accounts for about half of all

the high or extremely high spectrum

prices worldwide. Even excluding

extreme outliers, spectrum prices

remain high. Median prices are

four times higher than in the

developed world and twice as high

as the global median.”

The report also finds that

“governments in Africa have

assigned approximately half the

amount of mobile spectrum

compared with the global average.

This gap in spectrum assignments

has emerged and expanded over the

last decade, making it difficult for

operators to offer fast mobile

broadband speeds. Governments in

the region have also on average

licensed 3G and 4G spectrum

around three years later than other

regions.”

Head, African Operations,

GSMA, Mr Akinwale Goodluck,

said: “At the end of 2019, 477 million

people in Sub-Saharan Africa

subscribed to mobile services,

accounting for 45 per cent of the

population. Also, the rollout of

mobile technology has driven a fifth

of income per capita growth over

the past 20 years. These are

impressive numbers, but with some

900 million people in Africa still

unconnected, there is more work to

be done.

“Spectrum licensing decisions,

and pricing in particular, play a

crucial role in accelerating the

adoption of mobile services and

providing better networks and

services for consumers and

businesses. Our new report; Effective

Spectrum Pricing in Africa, is

unprecedented in scope and depth.

“The negative impacts of high

spectrum prices on connectivity in

Africa are unfortunately clear to see.

It is an issue that has to be

addressed for the region to take full

advantage of the benefits mobile

broadband can bring.”

He added that licensing more

spectrums earlier and at affordable

By Juliet Umeh

The global Internet

Service Provider, AFR-IX,

said it has linked West

Africa’s carrier neutral Tier III

data centre, Rack Centre, to

service its West African

customers, especially on data

interconnection

issues.

prices can pay dividends for consumers, as

higher amounts of spectrum and lower spectrum

prices are strongly linked to higher population

coverage, download speeds

and adoption.

He also argued that

countries that have

assigned spectrum earlier

have also achieved higher

coverage levels.

Goodluck said: “In short,

mobile industry simply

cannot be viewed as cash

cows anymore. Government

interventions to maximise

revenue result in negative

consequences for citizens in

cities as well as rural areas.

Instead, governments

should release more

spectrums in a timely

manner. This helps

operators expand their

network coverage, improve

speeds and encourage adoption. The aim with

our new report is to give governments and

regulators the arguments they need in order to

implement policies that help improve mobile

capacity and expand connectivity”.

The mobile market in the Sub-Saharan region

is forecasted to reach several important

milestones over the next five years; half a billion

mobile subscribers in 2021, 1 billion mobile

connections in 2024, and 50 per cent subscriber

penetration by 2025.

Goodluck said the key to reaching these goals

are real partnerships between governments and

mobile operators.

Data centre interconnection: AFR-IX telecom

links Rack Centre for West African customers

Founder and

Chief Executive of

AFR-IX group, Mr

Norman Albi, said

the company needed

a top-notch carrier

neutral data centre

facility for its

services and

connectivity

solutions. He said

with Rack Centre

deal, his company

has established

strong point of

presence in West

Africa, which will

rub off positively on

its West African

customers.

Albi said: “Rack

Centre satisfied our

requirements for

providing worldclass

Tier III

certified data centre

and data centre interconnection to our clients,

especially in the West Africa sub-region.

“We offer an international high quality

and personalised Internet and data services

to corporate organisations and

telecommunications companies in Africa and

our extensive Pan-African Network is covered

with terrestrial and submarine cables.”

Future of work: Ekiti, Coderina lift 12 schools with robotic kits

By Prince Osuagwu

kiti State says it is preparing its youths

Etowards acquiring skills that will make them

employable in the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).

Towards this end, the State Government has

launched Coding, Robotics and Artificial

Intelligence Education in public schools.

*Permanent Secretary, Ekiti State Ministry of Education,

Science and Technology, Mr. James Owolabi; the

Chairman of the Board of Coderina, Femi Niyi, with

Coderina trainers and other stakeholders during the training

and robotics kits distribution to schools in Ekiti State recently.

How LG’s innovative techs offer

eco-friendly environment

By Juliet Umeh

G Electronics said its

Linnovative products are

creating more eco-friendly

environment for customers.

It explained that its

advanced home appliances

such as smart ovens and

washing machines are

integrated with LG

SmartThinQ compatibility,

enabling users to control

appliances remotely and

monitor operations.

General Manager, Air

Solutions Division at LG

Electronics West Africa, Mr

Jung June Yoon, said the

PuriCare Wearable Mask is

an exciting addition to their

growing line-up of products

designed to deliver

meaningful health and

hygiene benefits.

He said: “At a time when

consumers are seeking

ways to make life safer and

more convenient, it’s

important that we are able

to offer solutions that add

measureable value.”

He noted that not many

air purifiers provide 360-

degree air purification but

the company’s PuriCare

360° Air purifier does that

and more.

Yoon said: “PuriCareMini

•LG Smart Oven

Twelve schools from a mix of

urban and underserved

communities have been carefully

selected by the government to

participate in training on Coding,

Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and

Machine Learning.

The training was

delivered by the team from

Coderina Education and

Technology Foundation, a

not-for-profit organisation

that leverages technology

for gender, social and

economic change.

The organisation also

donated 12 robotics kits to

the 12 schools through

sponsorship from partners

including SAP, DOW, Ford,

FIRST and the LEGO

Foundation.

Some of the teachers and

students nominated from

the 12 selected schools

gathered in Ado Ekiti

recently to partake in the

inaugural training. A

community of practice was

Air Purifier weighs just 530

grams, 1.17 lbs, so it can be

taken anywhere. Equipped

with a Total Allergen Removal

Filter, the device can handle

particles as large as a human

hair and as small as ultra-fine

dust (PM 1.0).”

Also, Head of Corporate

Marketing, LG Electronics,

West Africa Operations, Mr.

Hari Elluru, said: “LG Tone

Free is another product that

uses UVnano LED to keep

customers healthier. These true

wireless earbuds are the

ultimate accessory for music

lovers and conference callers

with a case that clean the

earbuds while they’re being

charged”.

He also talked on LG

ProBake Convection Oven

with supreme cooking skills,

explaining that the company’s

EasyClean feature fills the

inside of the oven with steam

to make wiping away cooking

residue effortless.

He explained that CLOi

robot looks like a plug-in space

heater on wheels and is set to

be digitally unveiled recently

at CES, which was among the

world’s biggest tech

conferences but went virtual

this year.

According to Elluru, “LG’s

CLOi robot has a built-in

motion sensor that shuts it off

when people are

around, and it is

meant for

restaurants,

corporate offices

and retail stores. It

can navigate

around tables,

chairs and other

furniture by itself,

generally

disinfecting a

room’s touchable

surfaces in up to 30

minutes.”

also created for the teachers to

continue the learning and sharing

process.

The 12 schools under the pilot

phase are expected to ramp up to

participate in the regional FIRST

LEGO League Challenge; an

experiential hands-on learning

programme that inspires young

learners to pursue a career in

Science, Technology Engineering,

Arts and Mathematics, STEAM.

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode

Fayemi, said the importance of

skills such as creative thinking,

coding and artificial intelligence, AI

are very important in the future of

work as well as for

entrepreneurship.

The Governor, represented by the

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of

Education, Science and Technology,

Mr. James Owolabi, pledged his

support for the initiative and

promised to ensure that the

programme is scaled to all schools

across the state, in order to ensure

that no child is left behind.


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBUARY 10, 2021 —23

Rate cutting undermining patronage

for mobile insurance — OPERATORS

*INVESTITURE: From left - Chairman, Office Representatives Committee,

ORC, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, CIIN, Mr. Gbenga Elusakin;

his wife Mrs. Elusakin; past Chairman, Mr. Pius Karieren at the investiture

of Elusakin as the Chairman of ORC in Lagos.

By Rosemary Iwunze

THE expected increase

in the sale of

third party motor insurance

through the Unstructured

Supplementary

Service Data, USSD,

channel, otherwise

known as mobile insurance,

is being undermined

by the reoccurring

menace of rate cutting.

This, according to insurance

practitioners, is

due to the fact that some

insurance companies

still sell third party motor

policy below the standard

price of N5,000.

Consequently, most customers

would rather buy

at the reduced rate than

through the USSD channel.

This was confirmed by

some insurance companies

that have embraced

the USSD platform in

selling their products.

They complained about

decline in patronage for

that line of business due

to unethical practice of

other companies.

The USSD is a simple

self-service solution

which enables car owners/users

to purchase

authentic third party

motor insurance with the

use of their mobile

phones. The application

is meant to be available

to all customers, regardless

of their GSM network,

type of phone, or

internet access.

Speaking to Vanguard

on the development,

Managing Director of

Sunu Assurances Nigeria

Plc, Mr. Samuel Ogbodu

said they are getting

low patronage due

to the activities of those

that are selling below

the standard rate.

Ogbodu said: “The

use of USSD platform to

sell motor insurance is a

flagship initiative of

Sunu in the industry.

Unfortunately, some

companies are not selling

at the rate of N5000 at

which we are selling, as

a result of that, we are

getting low patronage,

that is why the product is

performing below expectation.”

According to Ogbodu,

rather than cut rates, insurance

operators should

be innovative by building

good relationships

with their customers

while emphasising efficient

service delivery.

Another chief executive

who spoke on condition

of anonymity said that

the USSD application

which ordinarily should

serve as a platform for

customer engagement,

claims payment and other

after-purchase services

is not being utilised

optimally. It is being undermined

by customers

seeking to buy cheap

motor insurance.

He said: “The USSD

platform guarantees customer

convenience, easy

and secure access, realtime

interaction and

speedy service. Unfortunately,

patronage has

been below expectation.”

Universal Insurance drives innovation with

first okada insurance product

By Rosemary Iwunze

IN order to ensure the

safety of okada riders

and their passengers in

Nigeria, Universal Insurance

Plc has introduced a

first ever insurance product

called Okada Personal

Assurance & Safety

Scheme (Okada Pass).

According to the company,

Okada Pass plan is

uniquely designed to provide

cover for personal accident

to the insured okada

rider. The product will

also be sold as an individual

policy and as a group

scheme to okada riders.

The plan is a compensation

plan for riders in case

of an accident. The premium

amount to pay will,

however, depend on the

type of plan one chooses.

Speaking on the product,

the Managing Director/

CEO, Mr. Benedict Ujoatuonu,

stated that Okada

Pass is an innovative product

that provides benefits to

okada riders.

He stated that the product

comes in five different

plans which are: Jeje cover-

with as low as N2,300

yearly premium, a rider can

get paid up to N50,000 for

medical expenses;

N100,000 for permanent

disability; N100,000 for

death; N50,000 for third

party liability and N10,000

for repair assist (owned

damage).

Carry -Go cover: Enables

the rider to get paid up to:

N75,000 for medical expenses;

N150,000 for permanent

disability; N150,000

for death; N65,000 for third

party liabilities and N15,000

for repair assist (owned

damage). This cover attracts

a yearly premium of N3,400.

The No-Shaking cover

comes with an annual premium

of N4,000 which covers

the rider and enables

him to get paid up to

N80,000 for medical expenses;

N200,000 for permanent

disability; N200,000

for death; N70,000 for third

party liability and N20,000

for repair assist (owned

damage).

Under the Confaam cover,

riders are expected to get

N80,000 for medical expenses;

N200,000 for permanent

disability; N200,000

for death; N70,000 for third

party liability; N20,000 for

repair assist (owned damage)

and N20,000 for passenger's

medical expenses.

The premium for this cover

is N4,400 per year.

The Digital Bike cover allows

policyholders to pay a

yearly premium up to

N10,400 which qualifies

them to get paid up to

N100,000 for medical expenses;

N250,000 for permanent

disability; N250,000

for death; N75,000 for third

party liability; N50,000 for

COVID-19:

Insurers warn against

another lockdown

By Cynthia Alo

INSURERS

have

warned against the devastating impact of

another lockdown on the insurance industry.

The warning is coming on the heels of a similar

position by the Central Bank of Nigeria,

CBN, which warned that imposing another lockdown

will be catastrophic to the economy.

While noting the necessity of the decision of

the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM,

to suspend the recapitalisation exercise indefinitely

in view of weakened economy, they

averred that most insurance companies are yet

to overcome the harsh impact of the first lockdown

on their operations, hence imposing another

lockdown will be devastating to the industry.

In a chat with Vanguard, an insurance expert,

Ekerete Gam-Ikon said that the industry might

be experiencing hard times resulting from the

first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic only to

be hit by the second wave.

He said: “With respect to the recapitalisation

exercise, it was necessary that the regulator,

NAICOM, suspended it. However it should

deal decisively with insurers that have unfulfilled

obligations to policyholders and employees.”

He said that harsh is the word that best describes

the effect the second wave would have

on the insurance industry considering previous

experience during the first wave of the lockdown.

He noted that should there be a second lockdown,

it will be most devastating on Nigeria

and Nigerians essentially because the country

is too weak both in the current state of the economy

and the capacity to respond to the challenges

associated with the pandemic.

On his part, Managing Director, Old Mutual

General Insurance Company Nigeria Limited,

Mr. Olalekan Oyinlade said: “Obviously there

would be apathy on the part of investors, be it

institutional or individuals. The rule in time of

crisis of this nature is to hold a cautious approach

to investment. The historical performance

of the insurance sector has not been too

fantastic when compared to other sectors hence

raising of capital could be challenging for some

operators whether from existing shareholders,

capital market or private equity.”

He also noted that the effect on the national

and sub-national economies amid a second wave

of COVID-19 would definitely spell disaster for

the economy and it may lead to an all-time recession

that could last for years.

“The associated crisis of such a situation is

better imagined,” he added.

FBN Insurance wins CEO of the year award

THE Managing Director/Chief

Executive

Officer of FBN Insurance

Limited, Mr. Val

Ojumah has emerged

the CEO of the Year in

the Africa Insurance

Awards 2020 edition.

The award which was

held virtually was organised

by African Reinsurance

Corporation.

The award organisers,

AfricaRe, commented

that Ojumah won the

CEO of the Year Award

on the strength of his

ability to turn around

repair assist (owned damage);

N50,000 for passenger's

medical expenses and

N250,000 for goods/parcel

(annual limit).

Ujoatuonu said: “If you

take a look at the level of accidents

that involve okada

riders every day on Nigerian

roads, they are high and

most often you discover they

are left without any form of

benefits that come from insurance.

So, this is what our

Okada Pass is coming to

take care of.”

the fortunes of FBN Insurance

and the company

today is a top performer

in terms of premium

growth. Ojumah

was also applauded for

using his experience to

gain market share and

for overseeing a strategic

acquisition of FBN

General Insurance. Also,

commendable was the

pioneer of the sale of

insurance through mobile

device under his

leadership.

Ojumah’s ability to

navigate FBN Insurance

through the health and

economic crisis that enveloped

the world in

2020 in order to meet the

expectations of shareholders

was also acknowledged.

Whilst congratulating

the winners at this

year’s edition of the African

Insurance Awards,

Dr. Corneille Karekezi,

Group MD and CEO of

AfricaRe, commended

all the nominees and revealed

that each winner

will get a sum of

$25,000. He said: “You

have made all of us, in

the insurance industry

proud and even more

determined to achieve

greater success, and to

serve our customers and

communities to manage

better the risks they

face.”

In his acceptance

speech, Ojumah dedicated

the award to all

those who have been at

the frontline working

tirelessly to find a lasting

solution to the

health challenges

brought about by the

pandemic.


24 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021 — 25


26 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021

VOL. 2 NO. 69

Herdsmen menace: S’East govs not serious

with open grazing laws — NDIGBO

•Verbal proclamation not enough, on anti-open grazing law we stand — ASETU

•Blame Police for not enforcing Anti open grazing law — Abia govt

•Time for men to speak out — Imo monarch

•South East govs and Ohanaeze Ndigbo must stand up now and show leadership — Cleric

•It’s cat and mouse relationship in Anambra

•Awka North communities under siege of herdsmen — Community leader

Southeast governors at a meeting on menace of herdsmen.

By Anayo Okoli, Vincent

Ujumadu, Chidi

Nkwopara, Ugochukwu

Alaribe, Chinoso Alozie,

Chimobi Nwaiwu &

Ikechukwu Odu

ENUGU—South East gover

nors said last week that they

have banned open grazing and

movements of cattle on the roads.

This was not a new decision; it was

taken over a year agowithout legal

backing in some of the states.

Why are the governors playing

games with the herdsmen issue

while communities in their states

are under attacks and destruction

by Fulani herdsmen? It is due to

this indecision of the governors

that forced the Indigenous People

of Biafra, IPOB, to float the

Eastern Security Network to fill

the gap. Though their operation

remains questionable, it is a child

of circumstance.

Virtually all Igbo communities

are feeling the devilish and destructive

activities of the herders.

And because no punishments have

been meted on them, even the regular

ones referred to as local

herders have been emboldened to

take laws into their hands with

reckless abandon. They seem to

have been emboldened by the

activities of their big brothers that

go about with AK-47 rifle as they

now intimidate members of communities

where they operate. They

invade their compounds with their

cattle with reckless abandon with

a threat to attack owners of such

compounds if they dare question

them. While the cows are busy

grazing in the compounds, the

herders help themselves plucking

coconut, mangoes, pears or any

fruit in sight without seeking the

permission of the owners. This is

rampant in many rural Enugu

communities. Uzzam in Akpugo,

Nkanu West council of Enugu state

is one such communities that live

at the mercy of these young Fulani

herders.

Stories are told on how these

young herders brazenly lead their

cattle into Uzzam compound to

graze and dare the owner to talk

and be butchered. It is said that

the chaps on occasions had the

guts to disrupt or desecrate sacred

marriage ceremonies unchallenged

as the local communities

always restraine themselves for

fear of being attacked if they

confront them. They have turned

to bunch of troublesome lots,

outlaws, more or less. And for

peace to reign, the communities

allow them to do whatever they

wish along the line of grazing their

cows while the communities live

in trepidation and total subjugation

in their own land. And they

are further emboldened by the

failure of police to arrest them if

ever any member of the

communities summons up courage

to report.

In some very remote

communities, the Fulani herders

impose security fee on the villagers

which must be paid before they

can farm and have their farm land

spaces not grazed on. This is outrageous

and the communities

allow these atrocities for the sake

of peace.

In Abia State, the state government

has heaped the blame for the

non implementation of anti-open

grazing law it enacted in 2018 on

the Police for failing to effectively

enforce the law meant to check

the incessant conflicts between

farmers and herdsmen.

Abia State Commissioner for Information,

Chief John Okiyi Kalu,

told South East Voice that the state

enacted the anti -grazing law in

2018, stressing that it is the duty

of the Police to enforce the law as

a federal agency.

“The anti open grazing law was

enacted in Abia state in 2018. Even

without the state anti grazing law

signed by Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu,

there are other laws in this

country against willful destruction

of property. It is not for us to

enforce; it is the duty of the Police.

They should enforce the laws as

they exist. As a responsible state

government, the governor signed

the anti open grazing law enacted

by the State House of Assembly. It

is for the police and security

agencies to enforce the law. The

federal government should do the

needful”, Kalu said.

He disclosed that there have been

constant meetings between

farmers and those he described as

genuine herdsmen in the state.

“There have been meetings between

farmers and genuine herdsmen

in the state. I don’t believe

that these genuine herdsmen will

have major crisis with farmers but

there appears to be the movement

of the murderous herdsmen into

the Southern part of Nigeria. This

murderous group is responsible

for kidnapping and willful destruction

of farm lands. Our people

are going through a painful

situation.

“There is a standing Conflict

Resolution Committee headed by

the state Commissioner of Police

which settles conflicts arising

from the two groups, at the state

level. Similar committees exist at

the 17 LGAs with chairmen of the

LGAs heading the committees

alongside the DPOs. Resolution

involves compensating the farmer

or herdsman for loss of crops or

cow. The highest amount usually

paid for a cow is N100, 000, while

the farmer receives compensation

based on the assessment of the

damage done to his crops”, the

commissioner further said.

In Anambra State, the House of

Assembly, in 2018, introduced a

bill to regulate the activities of

herdsmen in the state. The bill

passed second reading and went

to the committee level and that

was where it ended. No reason

was adduced to the public why the

bill was abandoned. Sponsor of

the bill, Mr. Charles Ezeani said

the bill was aimed at regulating

cattle rearing in Anambra State

with a view to ending incessant

massacre of innocent citizens by

herdsmen.

“It will put to rest, open grazing

by confining cattle and dog rearing

to designated places as any

cattle found operating in unapproved

places shall be impounded.

Also these herdsmen

must show themselves by registering

their ranches as well as pay

taxes in order to generate revenue

to the state and ensure food

security and retain our agricultural

landmark,’’ Ezeani had said.

There were reports that the House

of Assembly kept the bill in view

following alleged interference by

authorities of the Federal

Government who saw it as a

divisive law and the state

government, out of fear,

abandoned the bill leaving

Anambra communalities to live

at the mercy of murderous herdsmen

as non passage of that bill

was said to have given the herdsmen

the impetus to act with impunity

in many communities in

the state.

Communities in Anambra West,

Anambra East, Ayamelum, Awka

North and Ogbaru local government

areas are worst affected by

the Fulani herdsmen attacks and

that was the reason the state lawmakers

decided to pass a bill to

end it. But that bill did not see the

light of day as it died a natural

death.

Recently, 10 communities in

Awka North local government

area complained about the destruction

of their farmlands by

suspected Fulani herdsmen. The

affected people say the destruction

had become a daily occurrence.

Former chairman of Awka

North local government area,

Chief Shedrack Anakwue said the

herdsmen’s menace in the area

was becoming increasingly worrisome,

lamenting that their destructive

activities had led to astronomical

rise in the prices of agricultural

produce which is the

main source of income of the people

of Awka North.

According to him, the herdsmen

had left many families in pitiable

situation as their source of livelihood,

which is their farmlands,

had been totally destroyed. The

herdsmen, he said, no longer keep

the terms and conditions they entered

into with the state government

and as such, there should be

legislation in place to prevent the

herders from bringing their animals

into the state for grazing.

The state government, it would

be recalled, set up a joint task force

comprising security operatives,

community leaders and herdsmen

to ensure that there were no

incidences of security threat

occasioned by the activities of the

herdsmen and their host communities.

The arrangement has been

working, although there are still

isolated cases of clashes in some

communities.

South East Voice however found

out that leadership of some communities

in the state also struck a

deal with the herdsmen, thereby

allowing them to operate unhindered

in the communities. A youth

leader in one of the communities

said: “When you confront the

herdsmen, they tell you that they

have settled the leaders of the

community and we wonder who

they settled. In the midst of all

these, our crops are constantly destroyed,

thereby denying our

people their main source of income,”

he said.

President General of Ebenebe in

Awka North, Mr. Paul Nnatuanya

claimed that between September

last year and this month, farmers

in the community had lost over

N100 million to herdsmen and

nothing has been done about it.

“The herdsmen are destroying our

farmlands. All the towns in Awka

North are not free from the

destruction. Sometimes, they even

come to graze their cattle in people’s

houses and when you tell

them to move, they will be looking

at you as if you are talking to

the cows”, Nnatuanya said.

The Association of Southeast

Town Unions, ASETU, was clear

to the South East governors on the

way forward which is enacting

and effectively enforcing anti

grazing laws across the region.

“We are elated by the news of the

proscription of open grazing in

the South East by our governors.

The carnage and destruction of

livelihoods wrought on our people

by Fulani herdsmen cannot be

tolerated any further. This is the

reason that for three years, we

have severally written the

governors and the Houses of

Assembly in the South East. We

also convoked a security summit

in 2018 at Enugu, a security retreat

at Abakaliki in 2019 and

yet another security retreat at

Enugu in 2020. Today, we have it

on the authority of the chairman

of the South East Governors’

Forum, Engr., David Umahi that

this order which bans the herdsmen

from unbridled mobility was

made since 2019.

“However, if the order was issued

in 2019 yet till this moment the

atrocities of the herdsmen have

continued , the implication is that

the order is not sufficient in the

Continue on Page 27


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021 — 27

Youths construct

3.7km road in Enugu

community

By Chinenyeh Ozor

NSUKKA—YOUTHS of

Ogulogu Olo autonomous

community in Ezeagu local government

area of Enugu State,

Herdsmen menace: S’East govs not serious with open grazing laws — NDIGBO

face of this nightmarish reality.

More concrete steps must

therefore be taken to stem the

reprehensible and gruesome activities

of the herdsmen in our land.

“We are also aware of a judicial

pronouncement against open

grazing made at Ibadan in April,

1969. While we affirm

the legitimacy of that court order

and commit ourselves to its letter

and spirit, we also find it inadequate

to deliver justice in the scenario

we are now confronted with,

given that it does not spell out the

modalities for its enforcement,

punishment to defaulters and recompense

to victims upon its violation.

“As a result, we insist that there

is an overriding necessity for

anti-open grazing laws in the

South East. They should immediately

be enacted by the various

State Houses of Assembly in

the South East.

THE TEAM

SUPERVISING EDITOR:

Chioma Gabriel, Lagos

(08052201257)

EDITOR

Anayo Okoli, Enugu

08034046839

Vincent Ujumadu, Awka

Dennis Agbo, Enugu

Chinedu Adonu, Enugu

Chidi Nkwopara, Owerri

Chinonso Alozie, Owerri

Peter Okutu, Abakaliki

Chimaobi Nwaiwu, Nnewi

Ugochukwu Alaribe, Aba

Nwabueze Okonkwo,

Onitsha

Chinenye Ozor, Nsukka

Ikechukwu Odu, Nsukka

through self-help effort, have

embarked on the construction of

a 3.7 kilometer road in the community

to ameliorate the hardship

their people go through on their

dilapidated roads.

Flagging off the road construction,

the chairman, Ezeagu

Council area, Chief Marius Ani

Such laws must take cognizance

of appropriate punishments to defaulters

and restitution to victims

and restoration of losses”, ASETU

said in statement signed by its National

President, Chief Emeka

Diwe and the National Secretary,

Hon. Gideon Adikwuru.

In fact, the recent announcement

of immediate ban on open grazing

in the South East, by Governor

Dave Umahi, appears to be a

ruse, as it is not being respected in

Imo State.

South East Voice investigation

shows that herdsmen are still

roaming communities of their

choice, including Owerri, the state

capital with their cows

undisturbed. And the body movement

of Governor Hope

Uzodinma is not helping matters

at all. Although no lawmaker

contacted over the matter wanted

to speak, it was gathered that

there was no law enacted by Imo

State House of Assembly banning

open grazing in the state.

Speaking on the issue, the Anglican

Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical

Province, Most Rev. Dr.

David O. C. Onuoha, stressed that

the need for vigilance in Igboland

has become imperative and urgent.

Onuoha said: “The obvious reluctance

to embrace modern

method of cattle rearing and the

move to acquire waterways across

the nation may be a subtle attempt

at encouraging a rampaging

marauding force that is bent on

conquest and subjugation to succeed.

“This development calls for vigilance,

especially in Igboland. A

situation where our forests and

bushes have been taken over by

foreigners is simply a disaster

waiting to happen.

“Governments in the South Eastern

states of this country should

as a matter of urgency, outlaw this

incipient and insidious way of

Chief Marius Ani, Chairman, Ezeagu Council Area, flagging off the road construction.

said that it was rare in communities

across the state to see

youths mobilize and undertake

capital projects in a community

for development.

Ani commended the youths of

penetrating our communities as

this will only lead to complete

annihilation of our people in not

too distant time”, Bishop warned.

The Anglican Archbishop also

called on the traditional rulers

and community leaders to “sufficiently

educate their people on

the dangers of accepting

gratifications to compromise the

safety of our people”.

His words: “South East governors

and Ohanaeze Ndigbo

should stand up now to give

leadership and direction on the

peace and safety of the people.

Taking the lead in security matters,

in the manner of the South

West governors will forestall the

catastrophe that may ensue

should this all important matter

be left in the hands of militia

groups”.

The traditional ruler of Ihim Autonomous

community in Isiala

Mbano local government area of

Imo State, Eze Oliver Ohanwe,

suggested the intervention of people

with “national capacity” to

intervene in the security challenges

created by farmers and

herdsmen clashes.

“It is very unfortunate what we

are experiencing in these farmers

and herdsmen clashes in our

communities. They have created

the community policing and still

it looks like they are not efficient

in achieving peace in the

communities. It is time to start

gathering people in this country

who have the national capacity

to start intervening. We need men

who are men to come out and

speak out. These people can

reach out to their loyalists”, Eze

Ohanwe said.

On the Eastern Security Network,

ESN, formed by the Indigenous

People of Biafra, IPOB, the

monarch said: “I am in support

of any form of responsible

security network that is backed

by responsible people. There is

Ogulogu Olo community for the

initiative, saying that the community

remains one of the most

peaceful autonomous

communities in the council area.

According to the chairman, by

Abia lawmaker, Onuigbo empowers 60 constituents with poultry

materials, cash

By Ugochukwu Alaribe

Uhas MUAHIA—SUCCOUR

come the way of 60

youths of Ikwuano/Umuahia

Federal constituency when their

representative, Chief Sam

Onuigbo empowered 60 poultry

farmers with cage, 35 lay birds,

feed and money.

Each of the 60 beneficiaries

drawn from the three council areas

that make up the constituency

and who were trained for the programme

received a cage, 35 pointof-lay

birds, 4 bags of feed and

money.

In his remarks at the handover

ceremony in Umuahia, Rep

Onuigbo explained that the 60

persons were trained on how to

start and manage small scale

businesses to enable them take

Continued from Page 26

Beneficiaries of the empowerment programme.

advantage of the huge opportunities

that the agricultural

industry offers.

Represented by Loveday

Okwuonu, Onuigbo further stated

that the empowerment programme

was in line with his vision

of creating alternative means

of livelihood for the people to

tackle the rising unemployment

level in the country.

“In November 2020, we organized

a massive entrepreneurship

development programme where

1, 500 youths from the federal constituency

were trained on how to

manage small businesses. At the

end of the training, the trainees

were provided with startup capital.

“Today, we are empowering 60

persons with point-of–lay birds,

bags of feed, and money to enable

them take advantage of the huge

opportunity the agricultural industry

offers. I therefore urge the beneficiaries

to make maximum use

of the opportunity.”

In his remarks, the Minister of

Agriculture and Rural Development,

Alhaji Sabo Nanono, who

was represented by the Regional

Director, Mr. Felix Kehis,

commended the lawmaker for empowering

the beneficiaries on the

poultry value chain which presents

great opportunities for investment.

Describing the empowerment

as a lifetime opportunity to

make money, the Minister urged

the beneficiaries to make good

use of the empowerment programme

to become employers

rather than job seekers.

need for people who are responsible

to head it. I am not in support

of that of Nnamdi Kanu because

he will create more problems for

us. He has been associated with

catastrophy. There are other

genuine people in Igbo land who

can do this and it will be

acceptable. Remember, he was

proscribed as a terrorist.”

But the member representing

Isiala Ngwa North State constituency

in the Abia State House of

Assembly, Chief Ginger Onwusibe,

exonerated the police, saying that

they are poorly funded to tackle

the rising wave of insecurity. He

said that the police and other security

agencies must be well

funded to tackle the rising atrocities

of killer herdsmen in the

southern part of Nigeria.

“Our security men are not well

funded. In my local government,

they don’t have any moving vehicle.

The Army base at Iheorji

doesn’t have a patrol vehicle. You

can imagine the vast area they

have to police. The government

needs to support them; they need

at least 10 patrol vans. We need to

motivate the security agencies”,

Onwusibe said.

He urged Governor Okezie

Ikpeazu to implement the law on

anti open grazing made by the

State Assembly, stressing that only

the strict implementation of the

law would solve the problem.

“I am very worried that things that

don’t normally happen in Isiala

Ngwa are now happening

regarding the security situation.

You continue to hear complaints

about herdsmen invading farm

lands, raping women and maiming

people. They are also destroying

farm crops; I don’t know

whether it is a calculated attempt

to annex our people.

“I can tell you that there is a serious

threat on my people from

herdsmen. It is everywhere; there

is tension in our land. In Ntigha,

the action of the youths, they have

keyed into the developmental

projects of Governor Ifeanyi

Ugwuanyi in opening rural roads.

Chief Ani assured that the council

would assist in any little way

depending on the availability of

fund.

He noted that the mobilization

of the youths of the community

was an extra initiative for the

development of the community

in particular and the state in general.

He also praised individuals in

the council who have been maintaining

the road over the years to

ensure it was not cut off by the

devastating erosion in the area.

The chairman called on other

communities in the council area

to emulate the initiative of

Ogulogu Olo autonomous community

to champion developmental

projects than waiting for government.

In his remarks, the youth coordinator

Ogulogu Olo autonomous

community, Chief

Johnmary Anigolu said that the

youths mobilized to site on

construction of the 3.7 kilometer

road as the community has never

witnessed any government project.

Nsulu, Ngwaukwu and other areas;

herdsmen are threatening our

people. Recently, news came that

the herdsmen have taken up

everywhere. Nobody slept in Isiala

Ngwa, and we were all awake. It

is unfortunate that in this century,

people are still carrying cows

moving from one community to

the other, destroying farm lands.

We have sent our vigilante groups

to comb the forests and other

suspected hideouts. Let’s know

where these people are hiding.

Otherwise, one day, they will sack

us from our lands.

“Our major occupation is farming.

When people plant crops in

their lands, you take your cow,

uproot the cassava and feed the

cow. A woman almost died of

shock when she went to her cassava

farm and saw that the cows

had fed on it. We can’t continue

like this; our people aren’t cowards,

we must protect our land.

“Nobody should push us to the

wall. My people are warriors; we

are losing our patience. We can’t

continue to live in fear. How can

people be coming from the North

to destroy our farm lands, rape our

women and kill our people?

Enough is enough”, the law maker

warned.

In Enugu State, herdsmen have

since taken over the multi-billion

naira Ette Farm Settlement in

Igbo-Eze North council area. The

farm settlement now provides

sanctuary to Fulani herdsmen.

The farm settlement was set up by

the Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo’s administration

in the old Enugu

State to provide food at reduced

cost to the people of the state in

particular and the southeast zone

in general.

However, when South East

Voice visited the farm, every facility

in the large farmland covering

several hectares had been

destroyed. The roads to the farm

were no longer in use.


28 — VANGU

ANGUARD, ARD, WEDNESDAY, , FEBRUARY 10, 2021

All these women want is

money!

Dear Bunmi,

I

am in my late 20s, a

decent looking man with

a decent job.

Unfortunately, my

experience with girls wants to

put me off the dating scene.

They all seem like scheming

gold diggers to me. I get a

first date with them, but as

soon as they learn of what I

do and how much I earn, they

don’t want to know how I feel,

and look bored with the whole

thing.

Surely, not all women want

multi-millionaires?

Joel, by e-mail.

Dear Joel,

It’s true there are more than

a few gold-diggers out there,

but most men I’ve heard

complain of this are using it

as an excuse to hide a few

obvious mistakes.

First, if you’re hunting at

venues that are crawling with

really sophisticated women,

then chatting up some girls at

a friendlier surrounding will

My ex went after my sister!

Dear Bunmi,

Imet my boyfriend at the

university and we were

together throughout, until I

was posted to another state for

my Youth Service.

Before the end of my

service, I learned my

boyfriend was dating my

sister, and he confirmed this

when I called him to find out.

No matter how hard I try, I

can’t understand why these

two people, close to me, could

betray me in this horrible way.

Can you explain why this

You’ve been betrayed

twice, and you’ve lost not

only a partner but a sister.

One thing you must

remember is that none of

this is your fault. They’ve

both behaved terribly, but

that doesn’t mean you’re

worth nothing or deserve

to be rejected in this way.

You need to get past this

and put it behind you –

otherwise, you will let

them destroy your life.

Believe me, there are more

decent people out there.

My wayward sister is an

embarrassment

Dear Bunmi,

Ihave a 16 year-old sister

that has become an

embarrassment to me. I am

four years older than she is,

and have just discovered that

she’s sleeping around with

much older men in our

neighbourhood, and now has

a reputation of being an easy

lay.

She certainly isn’t doing it

for the money, as our parents

are fairly comfortable

financially. I’ve tried talking

to her, but she wouldn’t

listen. She says I’m jealous of

her popularity, but this is not

true.

Should I tell our parents?

Lisa, by e-mail.

Dear Lisa,

The instinct that tells you to

protect your promiscuous

little sister is well founded. At

16, she’s emotionally and

physically stronger. Young

girls who sleep around get

hurt and they always regret

their behaviour.

Your sister is at risk, not only

of infection and unwanted

pregnancy, but also of

harming her self-esteem. A

girl who is sexually easy not

only loses the respect of all

men, but also respect for

solve your problem instantly.

Second, what type of girls

do you fancy? If you’re

attracted to a bimbo, rather

than going for intelligence

and personality, I can see why

you’re having problems.

Finally, think about what you

do on the first date. If you’re

funny, kind, attentive and

affectionate, I can’t see a girl

ditching you, just because you

don’t earn enough.

Are you sure the problem is

money-grabbling women,

and not that the women you

meet always look bored

because you’re a bit boring

yourself?!

happened? I am gutted.

Offiong, by e-mail.

Dear Offiong,

Unfortunately, there is no

explanation for why your man

betrayed you, except to say he

was probably already drifting

away from you when he got

together with your sister.

Neither is there any

explanation as to why your

sister betrayed you, except to

say that, sometimes, jealousy

makes relatives do the most

awful things.

What I can 'make sense of”

is why you feel so gutted.

You’ve been betrayed twice,

and you’ve lost not only a

partner but a sister.

One thing you must

remember is that none of this

is your fault. They’ve both

behaved terribly, but that

doesn’t mean you’re worth

nothing or deserve to be

rejected in this way.

You need to get past this and

put it behind you – otherwise,

you will let them destroy your

life. Believe me, there are

more decent people out there.

herself.

You need to preserve

whatever closeness you have

with your sister by not

betraying her to your parents.

Encourage her to accept you

as her sexual and emotional

guide.

Talk through the

practicalities of safe sex with

her, including the consistent

and careful use of condoms.

Let her know that alcohol,

drugs and peer pressure can

lead to reckless sex, STIs,

abortions, humiliation and

self-hatred.

Above all, give your sister

the affection, love and loyalty

she desperately seeks. As

soon as she realises you’re on

her side, she'll listen to your

wise counselling.

He prefers co-habitation to

marriage

Dear Bunmi,

I

got divorced some years

back and currently have a

relationship with another

divorcee. We’re both in our

40s and have been together

for three years.

I’ve recently been getting

upset because he won’t

consider marrying again. I

feel forced not to take our

relationship too seriously, but

I really love him and I’m

hurting. He claims he’s simply

off marriage, but it’s hard not

to feel he doesn’t trust or love

me enough. He even gets

cynical whenever I tell him I

love him.

I know I have to be patient,

as I don’t want us to split up,

but how do I cope with these

feelings of rejection? I left my

marriage because for years I

was mentally abused. But

now, in some way, I still feel

abused.

My partner never tells me

he loves me or compliments

me. He wants us to move in

together and says that this

shows more commitment than

marriage, but the idea scares

me. I want to put my hurtful

marriage behind me.

Elsie, by e-mail.

Dear Elsie,

Marrying again might not

heal the wounds you and your

partner feel. In fact, a

premature marriage into

which he feels forced may well

destroy your fragile

relationship. You both need to

feel it is possible to trust a

member of the opposite sex,

and you’re far from achieving

that happy state.

You must accept that his fear

of love, women and wedlock

is very real. Having been hurt

once, he’s understandably

afraid of a woman’s claim that

she loves him – he doesn’t

want to go there again.

Meanwhile, purge yourself

of bitterness of your failed

marriage. Your new man has

not hurt or abused you and he

is not in any way a

representative of other men,

just as you do not represent

all women.

Think of him as a man and

a deeply feeling individual –

just as you need to make him

see you’re not a woman who,

because of her gender, must

be considered dangerous.

Move in the patience to

build. When you give love,

without demanding love in

return, that’s when you know

true love.

I need to move on after her

death

Dear Bunmi,

I

was living with my

partner of four years

when she died at childbirth,

four years ago. She was only

28, and our child didn’t

survive. As to be expected, my

life fell apart and it’s been

difficult to pick up the pieces.

But now I think the time is

right for me to move on. My

problem is that I’m finding

sex difficult.

For a while, after she died,

I lost my libido. It’s only

recently I can enjoy

masturbation, but I can’t get

an erection with a woman,

and when I do, it doesn’t last.

In the last few months, I’ve

been with as many women as

I could, but attempts to have

sex have been unsuccessful.

My fear now is that I won’t

be able to perform when I

eventually meet a woman I

want to be with. Please help!

Labi, by e-mail.

Purge yourself of

bitterness of your

failed marriage.

Your new man has

not hurt or abused

you and he is not

in any way a

representative of

other men, just as

you do not

represent all

women. Move in

the patience to

build. When you

give love, without

demanding love in

return, that’s when

you know true

love.

Dear Labi,

It must have been really

difficult to get over the death

of your partner at such a

young age. The last few years

must have seemed a

nightmare to you. It’s great

you’re now ready to look

positively to the future.

But while your mind is

willing to start again, it looks

as if your body is expressing

a hidden conflict about

moving on.

Subconscious stress or

anxiety has been known to be

stumbling blocks to successful

sex. Though you know you’re

ready to move on, your body

might be expressing your

hidden guilt at the thought of

betraying your partner.

In the meantime, get a quick

health check-up from your

doctor. If that fails, then you

might consider counselling.

Exploring your feelings about

another relationship may help

you relax.

Share your problems and release

your burden. Write now to

Dear Bunmi,

Vanguard Newspapers,

P.M.B 1007, Apapa, Lagos, or

bunmsof@yahoo.co.uk


Private institutions not money-making

ventures (4)

G OVERNMENT

funding through

grants, allocations and

endowments to private

institutions has been one of

the most propelling factors for

the successes achieved in the

field of research in a vast

majority of the private

institutions in advanced

countries, and without any

iota of doubt, the outcome of

these researches has

engendered several

breakthroughs in the field of

medicine, defence, natural

sciences, to name a few.

Allon Klein, an associate

professor of systems biology

at Harvard Medical School

used the money obtained

from federal government

allocation to create a device

which has occasioned a

breakthrough in how

researchers analyse cells in

the body in order to boost an

understanding of the

diseases and where to

intervene.

This device was licensed

to private industry where it

can potentially be massproduced

in order to help

patients.

In the words of Harvard

President, Larry Bacow: "The

Harvard community learns,

teaches, and innovates in

Massachusetts, harnessing

the power of new ideas and

discovery to solve

challenging problems and

contribute to the well-being

of our communities".

In the United States of

America, research at top

government-funded

universities is heavily

concentrated in life sciences

and engineering fields and

within these fields, medicine

is nearly always the largest

recipient of research funds.

No wonder the USA has one

of the highest advancements

in the field of medicine and

engineering all over the

world!

Against the backdrop of the

foregoing, it is beyond

dispute that Nigeria will

make notable advancements

if a great percentage of funds

are committed into research

and development in the

private universities wherein

quality education,

technological advancements

and infrastructural

developments are already

inherent.

In fact, even in the USA,

public school guidance

counsellors and teachers

inform students that to be

successful in life, they need

to go to college and that the

extremely successful go to

elite private schools.

As I noted in the first

edition, TETFund was

birthed from the realisation

of the government’s inability

to fund education alone with

budgetary allocations.

Eventually, the Education

Tax Act was enacted and by

the said law, the main source

of income available to the

Fund is the two per cent

education tax paid from the

accessible profit of

companies registered in

Nigeria.

The inclusion of private

institutions in TETFund:

Arguments for and against

Since the call for the

inclusion of private

institutions into TETFund

became pronounced, there

had been strong opinions for

and against this idea. Once

again and hopefully for the

last time, I repeat that there

is not a single profit-making

university in Nigeria as they

are all registered as

charitable organizations.

They are expressly

prohibited by law from

operating as profit making

organizations.

As noted by a writer, Dr.

Tayo Oke, there is a tacit

admission that the private

institutions are doing

something worthy of

emulation; they are driving

standards in education. On

the whole, private institutions

do not see themselves in

competition with public

institutions, rather, they see

themselves

as

complementing them.

Another argument which

has been proffered against

the inclusion of private

institutions into TETFund is

the logic that the government

has no business offering

financial support to private

institutions especially since

the owners of these private

institutions paraded a

business plan to the National

Universities Commission

claiming to have the capacity

to deliver quality education

if granted licence.

It has equally been argued

that since the overall intake

of students in private

institutions is no more than

five percent of the total

student population in

Nigeria, TETFund should

not be extended to them.

However, it only accords to

common sense that if the five

per cent are making the

greatest impact locally and

internationally, it must mean

that the private institutions

are doing something right,

far above the poor quality of

education riddling our public

institutions which, recently,

have come under heavy

criticisms for consistently

churning out half-baked,

semiliterate graduates.

Generally, in making a

case for the inclusion of

private institutions in

TETFund, I adopt the

reasoning of Professor Peter

Okebukola in his book

entitled Private University

Education in Nigeria: Case

Studies in Relevance. He

noted that what TETFund

rakes into its revenue pot is

about N23 billion annually,

which is largely derived from

the private sector of the

economy.

The goose that lays the

golden egg that all public

universities in Nigeria are

enjoying is the private sector.

Equity, therefore,

demands that private

universities should also be

served by TETFund

intervention.

If the private sector is

working to get the money

into TETFund purse, then

private universities

alongside their public

counterparts should derive

benefit from this

commonwealth.

In addition, it is

discriminatory to exclude

private universities from

TETFund which is largely

funded from the

contributions of the private

sector. In fact, private

institutions ought to be

apportioned a larger share

of the TETFund revenue.

The other equity

consideration is that since the

It is

discriminatory to

exclude private

universities from

TETFund which is

largely funded

from the

contributions of the

private sector

goal is to produce quality

graduates to be churned into

the Nigerian labour market,

regardless of the source

(whether public or private),

then the private universities

equally need to be served by

the TETFund intervention.

Furthermore, research has

shown that graduates of

private universities arguably

exert more positive influence

on the Nigerian economy

and socio-cultural life than

graduates from public

universities.

Therefore, supporting

private universities with

TETFund intervention will

further strengthen the

productivity of private

universities. For instance,

The MBA programme

offered by the Lagos

Business School, Pan-

Atlantic University has been

accredited by both the

Association to Advance

Collegiate Schools of

Business and the

Association of MBAs,

thereby making it one of less

than two per cent of MBA

programmes globally that

has both accreditations.

In similar terms, the short

business programmes of

Lagos Business School of

Pan-Atlantic University have

been ranked in open

enrolment executive

education (2007-2017) and

custom executive education

(2015-2017) by Financial

Times, London in its global

rankings. These are just few

examples of the enormous

impact which Nigerian

private institutions are

making in the comity of

nations.

Also, going by history, the

government in Nigeria had

provided grants-in-aid to

assist the private education

providers in having a good

start, particularly in the early

days of private primary and

secondary education in

Nigeria. The 1882 Education

Ordinance and the 1890

Education Law makes

explicit provisions for grantin-aid

to private schools.

Government of the Colony

of Lagos as well as the

Southern and Northern

Protectorates instituted the

grant-in-aid scheme to

ensure that privately-owned

schools, especially those

owned by missionary bodies,

did not fall below established

quality standards. This trend

persisted until after

amalgamation and even

slightly beyond 1960 when

Nigeria attained

independence.

From this antecedent,

private institutions deserve

support from the

government by the provision

of grant-in-aid on the

platform of TETFund.

Sustainable

impact in education

This will allow for the

provision of sustainable

impact in education among

private institutions in

Nigeria. It will enhance staff

development through

research grant, provision of

functional laboratories,

libraries, ICT and

entrepreneurship facilities;

make for the provision of

more hostel facilities; enable

private universities to

connect with their

counterparts in Nigerian

public universities and the

global academic

communities through the

Nigerian Research

Education Network,

NgREN; and such

connection with NgREN will

enhance the visibility of

private universities all over

the world which will, no

doubt, facilitate competition

with other universities

worldwide.

Conclusion

Undoubtedly, the

inclusion of private

universities into TETFund is

of a greater advantage to

Nigeria. Private institutions

are not money-making

ventures and they ought to

be accorded full support by

the Nigerian government.

If, indeed, the goal of the

government is to provide

quality education to

Nigerians, the best avenue

is to lend maximum support

to private institutions which

have consistently been at the

forefront of delivering quality

education in Nigeria despite

being set up for non-profit.

The bedrock of any society

is education, as it concerns

every sphere of its

development.

Therefore, if there is to be

any reasonable development

in Nigeria, the government

has to first jettison the

misconception that private

institutions are set up for

profit-making, and move

swiftly to include them in

TETFund.

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021 — 29

Edo APC begins membership

registration, revalidation

By Ozioruva Aliu

BENIN CITY— EDO state

chapter of the All Progressives

Congress, APC, yesterday began

its membership validation

and the registration of new

members where the state Secretary,

Lawrence Okah described

the exercise as a strategy

to reposition the party and

give the ownership to the members.

Speaking to journalist after

re-validating his membership

at his Ward 7, Unit 9 of the party's

Oguola Centre of Oredo

Local Government Area, Okah

said APC is the first party to revalidate

membership, describing

the exercise as "the first of

its kind" and urged the people

of the state to come out enmasse

to register in the party.

“As you can see the process is

going smoothly across all the

polling units in the 192 wards

of the state. The APC remains

the most democratic party in

the country and the party to

beat. We believe the people own

Ogodo offers scholarships to

indigent students in NOUN

By Paul Olayemi

SAPELE—THE project ini

tiator of the National

Open University of Nigeria,

NOUN, study centre in

Sapele, and one time Chairman

of Sapele Okpe Community,

Hon. Moses Ogodo, on

Monday said he had made arrangements

to offer scholarship

to indigent students at the

newly commissioned NOUN

study centre, adding that the

gesture was his own little way

of enhancing education in the

area.

Ogodo, who was speaking

at the commissioning of the

National Open University

study centre along Akintola

road in Sapele, said, he would

have completed the project,

"but due to some circumstances,

I was unable to finish it but

thank God that I am part of

those making history today,

thank God that we have been

able to put our differences

apart that hindered the project

then"

He recalled his efforts as the

community chair then "I did

some projects on education

too and they are all glaring to

see, I also embarked on other

projects which are too numerous

to mention but we thank

God that this project of bringing

an Open University is now

a reality.

"I want to say I am the happiest

man in the world, you

:Vanguard News

the party and this membership

revalidation is to achieve this”

Also speaking shortly after revalidating

his membership of

the party at Ward 5 Unit 25 of

Oliha quarters, former Chairman

of Oredo Local Government

Council and the party

Caretaker Committee Chairman

of the local government,

Hon. Osaro Obazee, said the

exercise is to ensure that the party

goes digital and to secure its

registers in all the Wards. "The

exercise would also enable the

party to keep proper records",

he added.

On his part, former member

of the House of Representatives,

Hon. Patrick Obayangbon said

the exercise is the foundation of

democratic politics because it

is taking place at the unit level.

"In party democracy, the people

and only the people are Philosopher

king.? The exercise is

an opportunity for everyone to

rejoin the party afresh again",

he said after re-validating his

membership of the party in his

Owina Ward 3, Unit 4 of Oredo

Local Government Area.

are not too big to learn, when

I first conceded the idea, some

people felt it was impossible

now we are commissioning it,

we have a higher institution

in Sapele and I have also decided

to offer scholarship to

some indigent students who

are willing to study in this

open university in my little way

of contributing to the enhancing

of education"

The project was commissioned

by the Vice Chancellor

of the University, Prof. Abdalla

Uba Adamu, ably represented

by Prof. Uduma O.

Uduma, and was built by the

Sapele Okpe Community in

conjunction with Seplat Petroleum

Development Company,

SPDC.

Those who attended the

event include former Minister

of Education, Prof Sam

Oyevwaire, Delta State Commissioner

of Education, Prof

Patrick Mouboghare, former

speaker of the Delta State

House of Assembly, Hon

Monday Igbuya, Dr Patrick

Akamuvba, chairman of

Sapele Okpe Community,

who completed the project,

and representatives of the

Orodje of Okpe Kingdom,

past and present executive of

Sapele Okpe Community,

management of Seplat Petroleum

company, top local government

functioneries and the

creme de la crème of Okpe

kingdom

Fajemirokun honoured for

selfless service to humanity,

business devt

By Gabriel Olawale

LAGOS—NIGERIAN En

trepreneur and Investor,

Chief Dele Fajemirokun has

been recognised for his selfless

services to humanity and

business advancement in Nigeria

and across the world.

The acknowledgement was

made during a courtesy visit

to the Head office of AIICO

Insurance Plc by the delegate

of SB Events Magazine/ Efficiency

News ahead of its 15th

anniversary and Man of The

Year Achievement Awards

slated for 7th of March in Lagos.

Speaking during the presentation

of Lifetime Achievement

Award 2019/2020 to

Fajemirokun, Publisher/Editor

in Chief of SB events magazine

/Efficiency News, Mr.

Ojo-Isaac Olusola said that

the business magnate is a

symbol for using his wealth for

God and humanity.

“Large numbers of people

derive their livelihood from

his companies. One of his cardinal

business principles and

a major key to the success of

his vast business empire is his

belief in and practice of business

partnership. For many of

his ventures, he invites friends

to be partners, shareholders

and employees while he retains

controlling interest.‘‘


30 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021

CHANGE OF NAME

IKE

I, formerly known and addressed

as IKE GOODNESS NKECHI

(MISS), now wish to be known

and addressed as UKWUOMA

GOODNESS NKECHI (MRS). All

former documents remain valid.

General public to take note.

IKPO

I, formerly known and called

BEJOYFUL EKE, now wish to be

known and addressed as

BEJOYFUL EKE IKPO. All former

documents remain valid. All

authorities concerned and

general public to please take note.

JARIRI

I, formerly known and called; 1.

ABDULLAHI JARIRI

YUNUSA,2.YUNUSA

ABDULLAHI GACHI, now wish

to be known and addressed as

YUNUSA ABDULLAHI. All

former documents remain valid.

All authorities concerned and

general public to please take

note.

GANIYAT

That Ganiyatu Kareem, Ganiyat

Kareem, Tijjaniganiyatu, Ganiyat

Abdulrasheedajile refers to one and

same person. Henceforth, wish to be

known and addressed as

Abdulrasheedtijjani Ganiyat. All

former documents remain valid. All

authorities concerned and general

public to please take note.

ENUKE

I, formerly known and addressed

as Miracle Ogochukwu Enuke,

now wish to be known and

addressed as Miracle

Ogochukwu Joseph. All former

documents remain valid. All

authorities concerned and

general public to please take

note.

IDOKO

I, formerly known and addressed

as Lami Adijatu Idoko, now wish

to be known and addressed as

Lami Favour Abraham. All former

documents remain valid. All

authorities concerned and

general public to please take note.

ZAZI

That Zazi and Saidu Zazi refer to

one and same person.

Henceforth, wish to be known

and addressed as Sa idu Zazi. All

former documents remain valid.

General public to take note.

EGHAREVBA

I, formerly known and addressed

as Miss Florence Aisuhunehien

Egharevba, now wish to be known

and addressed as Mrs. Florence

Aisuhunehien Nyiter. All former

documents remain valid. General

public to take note.

PETER

I, formerly known and addressed

as Ekpo Peter Inyang, now wish

to be known and addressed as

Ekpo Silas Udo. All former

documents remain valid. General

public to take note.

:Vanguard News

Okpe youths condemn killing

of officers at Oton

By Simade Adewale

SAPELE—THE Okpe

Youth Council

Worldwide, OYC, has risen

against the recent killings,

by yet to be identified

persons, of a military and a

police officer at the Oton

military check point in

Sapele Local Government

Area of Delta State.

The youths who spoke

through their President

General, Mr Harrison

Ekeleme, said that the

security apparatus should

not be distracted by the

killings but to be at alert and

focused to forestall further

break down of law and order

in the area, adding that the

Okpe land is a quiet place.

Ekeleme urged the youths

of the area to maintain

peace, law and order and not

be polluted by pockets of

faceless cultists and

hoodlums, who have been

terrorising the area in recent

times, adding “The law will

catch up with criminals in

the area.”

He called on the law

enforcement agents to

“unravel the killers of the

officers and bring them to

justice to serve as deterrent

to others” and

commiserated with the

families and well wishers of

the fallen officers, praying

that “God should grant them

the fortitude to bear the

lost.”

He called on the youths to

strive hard and find their

hands in useful ventures that

would provide food on their

tables, particularly at this

moment when the country is

experiencing economic

challenges and that as

leaders of tomorrow, they

should learn to constitute

themselves in an orderly

manner in order for them to

fulfill their destinies.

Army promotion examination

begins in Delta

By Festus Ahon

ASABA—A total of 225

officers (Lieutenants) of

the Nigerian Army are

participating for the 2021

Lieutenant to Captain

Practical Promotion

Examinations under strict

compliance with Covid-19

protocols is holding in

Asaba, Delta State.

Acting Commander,

Training and Doctrine

Command Nigerian Army,

TRADOC NA, who is also the

Examination President for

the Lieutenant to Captain

Practical Promotion

Examination, Major

General Benson Akinroluyo,

who addressed the

candidates at the

headquarters 63 Brigade,

Asaba, warned them against

engaging in malpractices or

other forms of misconduct

throughout the duration of

promotion examination.

Akinroluyo said the

military assessment exercise

was to test knowledge of the

candidates on the military

profession, assist the

Nigerian Army in planning

their career, test their

physical fitness, stimulate

competitive spirit and assess

their knowledge in the

command and tactical

deployment of a mechanized

infantry company in all

phases of war.

Reminding candidate that

they only have three

attempts to pass the

Lieutenant to Captain

examination according to

the policy of the Nigerian

Army, he told them to put in

their very best to succeed

with minimum number of

attempts.

SEKINAT

I, formerly known and addressed

as Sekinat Arike Obadimeji, now

wish to be known and addressed

as Mrs. Arike Adelayo

Obadimeji. All former documents

remain valid. General public to

take note.

KAUNA

I, formerly known and addressed

as Kauna Nsang Ayashim, now

wish to be known and addressed

as Kauna Nsang Auta. All former

documents remain valid. General

public to take note.


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021 — 31

:Vanguard

News

COVID-19: CACOVID to buy

vaccines through FG, plans on

distribution

THE private sector-led

Coalition Against COVID-

19, CACOVID, yesterday,

clarified that only the Federal

Government, through the

National Primary Healthcare

Development Agency,

NPHCDA, can obtain any

COVID-19 vaccine for Nigeria in

the ongoing fight against the

coronavirus pandemic.

Administrator of CACOVID,

Mrs Zouera Youssoufou, who

spoke during the Global

Business Report programme, on

a private television station, also

explained that the process of

buying the vaccines through the

Federal Government has

commenced and that the

National Agency for Food, Drug

Administration and Control,

NAFDAC, must approve the

vaccine and certify it before use

by Nigerians.

Making the clarification in

reference to media reports that

BUA (a member of CACOVID)

had purchased a million doses of

COVID-19 (AstraZeneca)

vaccines through Afreximbank

for Nigerians, Youssoufou said:

“The way this works is that we,

as a group, agree on what to

actually purchase, on how to

purchase it and the modalities the

purchase would take. This is how

the group has been working

since we were created back in

March 2020. As you know, we

have several things including

testing, test kits and getting

isolation centres, PPEs,

palliatives, communications

among many others.

“So the purchase of the

vaccines is very similar to the

purchase of the testing supplies,

meaning that we do this through

very validated and subsidised

means. Right now, there are three

mechanisms that Nigeria is

participating in. One called

COVAX, one called the African

Union Vaccine Acquisition Task

Force which is funded by

Afreximbank, and the third one

is the World Bank, which is also

funding some of these vaccines.

“As the CACOVID, the private

sector coalition against COVID,

our role is to support our

government in what is needed in

order to help our people in the

context of this COVID-19. So I

think the important thing that

we all need to know is that there

are several steps to procuring

vaccines. The first thing is that

government are the ones who

can actually buy vaccines, so we

as a private sector group, as

individual companies, cannot buy

vaccines, we can’t call

AstraZeneca or Pfizer or Moderna

to order vaccines from them. That

is the first thing.

“The second thing is that the

distribution of the vaccines and

how they would be shared in our

country has to be done by

NPHCDA."

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

MOSOP decries negative impact of gas flaring, oil

environmental major causes of civil society groups in the

spillage degradation as a result of climate change region, especially

oil exploration activities.

O R T “Aquatic and

P

terrestrial lives have

c o m m u n i t y

H A R C O U R T —

President of the

Movement for the

Survival of Ogoni

People, MOSOP, Mr

Fegalo Nsuke, has

decried the impact of gas

flaring and oil spillage

in Niger Delta

communities.

Nsuke,

an

environmental expert

and human rights

activist, expressed his

worries in an interview

with NAN, yesterday, in

Port Harcourt.

He said, “It has become

necessary for relevant

stakeholders to embark

on quick steps towards

ending gas flaring in the

region.

“Violators are not being

sanctioned for

environmental pollution,

hence, they have

continued to disregard

operational guidelines.

“As a result, the Niger

Delta region has

continued to suffer

untold hardship and

been destroyed

leaving residents in

abject poverty and

insecurity,” he added.

The environmental

expert said flared gas

and oil spills were also

By Ike Uchechukwu

C ALABAR—

GOVERNOR Ben

Ayade of Cross River

State, yesterday,

charged the new Head of

Service ,Mrs Geraldine

Akpet-Ekanem, to flush

out ghost workers from

the system.

He gave the charge

while swearing in the

new Head of Service, at

the Executive Council

Chambers , Governor’s

office Calabar .

Ayade said: “Today is a

special day because the

head of administration

of the government and

bureaucracy of Cross

River State is being

made substantive.

because they force

animals to leave their

original habitats.

“The traditional rulers

seem helpless and rather

submit to the will of the

oil firms because of

poverty and the fear of

losing government

recognition,” he alleged.

Nsuke said the various

MOSOP have made

appropriate efforts on

enlightenment and

engagements.

“These positive efforts

are basically geared

towards championing

human

and

environmental right

protection,” he said.

Flush out ghost workers now, Ayade tells new HoS

“She is no other person

but a very disciplined,

highly professional lady,

who from her citation has

distinguished herself

and has been an

outstanding example of

what a decent woman

should be,” Ayade said.

Ayade charged Akpet-

Ekanem to hit the ground

running, reminding her

that “as head of service,

one of the greatest

challenges before you is

to fish out ghost

workers.”

Disclosing the

staggering figure he

inherited as pension,

about N340 million per

month, the governor said

he could not understand

the increment.

Speaking shortly after

her swearing in, the new

Head of Service thanked

the governor for the

appointment, adding

that the governor was a

leader of conscience and

a man with a good heart.

She said: “His

Excellency is a gender

friendly governor for

believing in me. He is

indeed a leader of

conscience and a man

with a good heart."

“Your Excellency, I

have heard your charge,

I pledge to do all within

my capacity to leave a

positive mark in the civil

service of Cross River

State,” she said.


32 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021

:Vanguard News

Electoral ammendment without local govt

autonomy useless —Labour Party

By Gabriel

Enogholase

B ENIN—NATIONAL

Secretary of the Labour

Party, LP, Mr John Abure has

warned that any amendment

that fails to give full autonomy

to local governments,

abolishes State Independent

Electoral Commission and

grants Independent National

Electoral Commission, INEC,

the responsibility to conduct

council elections in the country,

would be an amendment only

meant to serve the political

elites.

He spoke against the

backdrop by the National

Assembly to resume debate on

the Electoral Act.

He also described as

unfortunate, the two weeks’

vacation embarked upon by

members of the National

Assembly purposely for the

membership revalidation of a

political party at a time when

there was pandemonium in the

country, especially in the South

West and South Eastern

regions.

In a statement in Benin City,

Edo State, yesterday, he called

for the abolition of the state

Joint Account, saying that it

was without prejudice to what

Mr President has done in the

recent past to ensure that funds

were released directly from the

Federation Account to local

governments in Nigeria.

He said, “The Constitution

and the Electoral Act must be

amended to give full autonomy

to local governments, while the

State Independent Electoral

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

Commission should be

abolished and INEC given the

responsibility to conduct Local

Government Elections in the

country. ‘‘

“This will remove the

councils from the claws,

cleavages and prevent state

governors from appointing

their Stooges as officials of

local government councils.

“As previously stated, a

viable, dependable and a

credible electoral process is a

panacea for growth and

development in Nigeria. This

is particularly so, since it will

create the ambience and

enabling environment for

patriotic, intelligent, result

oriented Nigerians to emerge

as leaders of the country.

“At the moment, Nigeria

needs such leadership in order

to confront the plethora of

problems confronting the

nation. The country must be

repositioned for service

delivery to its citizens.

“This underscores the

importance for us as a country

to embark on a

comprehensive reforms of our

electoral process which must

begin by the the amendment

of the 1999 Constitution as

amended and Electoral Act.

“Accordingly, we call all

members of the National

Assembly to wear the garment

of patriotism and to for once

take hold of the momentous

opportunity of the ongoing

amendment to reflect the

yearnings and aspirations of

the people.

“However, any amendment

which does not make

provision for the underlisted

is an amendment only for the

political elite in Nigeria.”

Cooperate with project,

evaluation team, Auguoye

urges contractors

By Festus Ahon

ASABA—DELTA State

Commissioner for

Works, Chief James

Auguoye, Tuesday told

contractors handling state

government projects under

the ministry’s supervision

to accord the Project

Implementation and

Evaluation Team its due

recognition and respect.

Auguoye who gave the

charge while addressing

Journalists in his office in

Asaba, said the Project

Implementation and

Evaluation team was set up

by the governor to further

compliment the efforts of

the various ministries at

ensuring that government

projects were well

monitored and executed to

specifications.

The Works Commissioner

explained that the briefing

was against the backdrop of

reports that most

contractors were not

cooperating with the team,

being headed by the

Special Adviser to the

Governor on Project

Implementation and

Evaluation, Mr Johnson

Erijo.

Auguoye said the state

governor, Dr Ifeanyi

Okowa recently constituted

the state Project

Implementation and

Evaluation Team to further

supervise jobs being

executed by contractors in

the state, stressing that

there was the need for the

contractors to accord them

due respect and

understanding as the team

reports directly to the

governor.

The Works Commissioner

who directed the ministry’s

field Engineers to also give

maximum support to the

team, disclosed that besides

the three layers in

supervision of projects by

the ministry, the setting of

the Implementation and

Evaluation team by the

governor was to have a

body outside the ministry

for enhanced supervision

and strict compliance of

projects specifications.

He urged the

contractors and the

ministry’s field officers to

oblige the team all

necessary documents that

would enable them carry

out the assignment given

to them by the governor

effectively.

Auguoye stressed that

not cooperating with the

team has its negative

implications as

certifications would not be

carried out on such

projects.

The

Works

Commissioner disclosed

that representatives of civil

society groups were

presently in the state on

inspection of road projects

being executed by the state

government across the 25

local government areas.

NWANYISUNDAY

I, formerly known and addressed

as Umeh Gladys Nwanyisunday,

now wish to be known and

addressed as Umeh Gladys

Chinasa. All former documents

remain valid. General public to

take note.


2023: Denying Igbo presidency 'll elevate

abusive politics — OSUNTOKUN

MR Akin Osuntokun, political

strategist, and former political

adviser to former President

Olusegun Obasanjo, in this

interview, wonders why the

government is finding it difficult

to address the herdsmen crisis.

He sees the emergence of Sunday

Igboho as a self-defence by

people condemned to unjustified

death by criminal elements in a

lawless society. He also speaks

on why the South-East should

produce the president in 2023 and

the necessity of restructuring the

country before the 2023 general

polls among others.

What is your take on the state

of the nation six years into

President Muhammadu’s

administration?

From whichever perspective you

look at it the state of the nation is

quite perilous. The combination of

near economic collapse, political

implosion and social misanthrope

has potentially created a perfect

storm towards which Nigeria is

headed with the compliment of a

seemingly blind pilot at the

cockpit.

Of all the factors threatening

Nigeria,

political

mismanagement is the most

consequential. It is what got us to

the mess we are languishing in and

it is what promises to be the

undoing of what remains of

Nigeria.

In life, challenges and crisis are

given. Those inevitable headwinds

do not matter as much as your

ability to grapple with them. When

you are piloting a plane, the

turbulence you are going to

encounter matters little relative to

the ability of the pilot to navigate

through and around the challenge.

The prognosis of this flying

metaphor indicates that Nigeria is

flying blind, and the consequences

of flying blind are obvious.

Given the quality of the

governance Nigeria has suffered

and endured in the past few years,

there is no extrapolation that can

be made other than being shortchanged

by the poverty of

leadership.

I was recently struck by the

disposition of an American parent

on the dilemma posed by the

COVID-19 pandemic in regard of

the choice between opening the

schools and the risk of exposure to

the virus. It has become something

of the Hobson’s choice, between

the devil and the deep blue sea.

Frustrated by the seven prolonged

closure of the schools, a parent

shouted at the representatives of

government at a town hall meeting

that the government needed to

raise the bar of its thinking faculty

and come up with a solution

nonetheless.

Here in Nigeria, the problems

are so mundane that one has to

presume that the inability to

grapple with those problems must

owe to some kind of arrested

mental development.

What does it take to meaningfully

respond to the so called herdsmen

crisis? The trademark of this

government is to wittingly or

inadvertently foment a crisis

where there is none or aggravate a

crisis that should have been nipped

On calls for restructuring before

2023 polls

On present course and strength

of available evidence, it is difficult

to decipher a fate better than

acceleration towards implosion

for Nigeria in the near term. This

is indicated in the deadly mix of a

gargantuan security breakdown

exemplified in the low intensity

civil war pervading the North;

runaway corruption, drastic

revenue shortfall, imminent

collapse of the oil economy and

food security crisis; topped by the

winner takes all nepotism of the

Buhari administration. Barring a

massive positive intervention,

contrived or providential, this is

the perfect storm that constitutes

the backdrop to the 2023 elections.

Take note that Nigerian elections,

in and of itself, constitutes a

fraught security challenge.

Nigeria can, of course, choose to

become a creative master of its

destiny by deliberately contriving

a positive intervening variable that

aborts the present troubled

pregnancy before it delivers on the

promise of a death knell. If the

reading is correct that

restructuring has attained the

status of a national consensus

movement, then Nigeria has found

the needed shock therapy to

refocus attention away from gloom

and despair to that of hopeful

anticipation. Restructuring can

thereby serve a dual elixir for

Nigeria. The hope of its realisation

can dilute the present gloom

overcast and prompt Nigerians to

contemplate the future with

measured optimism while the

realisation of the policy agenda

itself will potentially guarantee the

stability and development of

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021 — 33

•It’s an opportunity to subordinate real politik to politics of moral consequence

•Political mismanagement biggest threat to Nigeria’s unity

•Nigeria more divided now than ever

By Clifford Ndujihe,

Politics Editor

in the bud.

There is also the

element of losing

touch with reality and

being clever by half.

Recall that the

response of this

government to the

correct assessment of

the Transparency

International, TI, on

the prevalence of

corruption in Nigeria

is to claim that the

assessment was in

reference to the

Nigerian public not

the Nigerian

government-despite

the incriminatory

evidence of the clearly

enumerated criteria

for the assessment.

At about the same

time this outrageous

excuse was being

made, the president

was playing the

victim, blaming the

Nigerian elite for lack

of appreciation of the

herculean effort his

government has made

in the face of

impossible odds on

account of the

yawning governance deficit it

inherited from his predecessors.

The reality of course tells a

completely different story inclusive

of elevating Nigeria to the status

of the poverty capital of the

universe; condemning Nigeria to

the debt profile of billions of

dollars (and still counting) in

contrast to the singular

accomplishment of paying off

decades of Nigeria’s cumulative

debt (to the tune of $18 billion

dollars) by one of the predecessors

he routinely slanders.

And predictably, Nigeria has

sunk deeper in the pit of corruption

according to the objective and

authoritative ratings of

Transparency International. And if

you are looking for further

evidence of this government’s

incapacity for truthfulness you

need look no further than the oft

repeated conspicuous lie that since

the inception of the Fourth

Republic in 1999 to 2015, oil sold

at an average of $100 per oil

barrel. And nearly all the president

claimed by way of infrastructural

development was projects he

inherited at advanced stage of

completion from his maligned

predecessors. Just look at the

eyesore of the almajiri

dehumanization in which the

president actually halted and

abandoned the progress his

predecessor recorded in grappling

with the sadistic degradation of

fellow citizens.

•Osuntokun

2023 presents

an opportunity

for Nigeria to

subordinate real

politik to the

politics of

‘moral

consequence’

without which,

no nation can

long endure

Nigeria in the mid to long

term.

On power shift to the

South, where should it go,

South-East or South-West

and why

Is there a better option

than the purposive gesture

of healing the festering

civil war wound and the

attendant political

marginalisation of the

Igbo by the contrivance of

an Igbo acceding to the

Nigerian presidency in

2023? In my reckoning,

any option to the contrary

amounts to the elevation

of abusive power politics

over the ideal of national

unity and integration.

2023 presents an

opportunity for Nigeria to

subordinate real politik to

the politics of ‘moral

consequence’ without

which, no nation can long

endure.

On rumoured plans to

get APC field Dr

Goodluck Jonathan as its

presidential candidate in

2023

Drafting former

President Jonathan to

contest the 2023 presidential

election would have been a great

idea but for the catch that he is only

legible to serve for one term. This

raises the question of what

becomes of the North/South

rotational principle.

The polity is cloudy over the

herdsmen menace. What is your

take on Akeredolu’s order to

herdsmen who refused to register

with the state govt to leave Ondo

forest reserves?

The so-called herdsmen crisis is

the poster boy of the peculiar

proclivity of this government to

invent and aggravate crisis often

where none exists. Were animal

husbandry not a universal culture,

you would think that cattlerearing

is rocket science given how

intractable it has become under

the mismanagement of this

government unless of course the

mismanagement is a deliberate

strategy intended to serve a

purpose and agenda to which the

Nigerian public is not privy.

When the government was finally

roused to provide a policy

response, it typically proceeded to

pour gasoline on a simmering fire

with the proposal of creating cattle

colonies all over the country and

impounding the water ways.

Even though the policy was

roundly rejected yet there were still

a number of states that embraced

the idea. So why not direct a

restriction of the nomadic

herdsmen to those states? Which

begs the question of what has

become of the policy? And if it is

the case that the policy has been

abandoned, what other measures

are in place to contain the

escalating crisis? Is it the case that

the government has not come up

with any other policy response to

contain the crisis, which continues

to escalate with predictable

consequences?

It is this policy vacuum and the

attendant escalation of the crisis

that has made localised

containment measures an urgent

imperative for governors like

Rotimi Akeredolu. Unchecked, the

crisis has metastatised into

pervasive banditry criminal

insurgency and existential threat

to the social integrity of the local

communities.

A few months ago, a first class

traditional ruler, the Olufon of

Ifon, was kidnapped and

murdered on his way from a visit

to Governor Akeredolu. Similar

incidents had persistently been the

lot of Ondo State- from the kidnap

of Chief Olu Falae, the murder of

Funke Fasoranti and countless

unreported incidents.

My friend, the late Onukaba

Adinoyi Ojo, was fleeing these

kidnappers only to fatally cross the

path of another fleeing vehicle.

In his capacity as governor and

chief security officer of Ondo State,

Akeredolu is in a position to know

the scale and magnitude of this

murderous affliction and the

wherewithal of those committing

the crime. He did not just wake up

one day to take the difficult step of

directing the herdsmen employing

Ondo state forest reserves as

criminal sanctuary to desist and

vacate the hideout.

Whether you are a university

professor or herdsman, it is illegal

for anyone to appropriate the

property of Ondo State without the

consent of the owners. It is worse

still to now convert the

misappropriated property into a

criminal den. It is counter intuitive

to believe that a governor elected

on the platform of the Buhari

personified APC and a godson of

sorts to the president would pick

on the Fulani as fair game for

persecution. Neither is his action

attributable as a populist gambit

for seeking re-election.

What is your take on the

emergence of Sunday Igboho and

actions on the herdsmen issue?

The Sunday Igboho revolt is

attributable as an instance of

legitimate self-defence against

criminal aggression in a situation

of anarchical breakdown of law

and order. The Igboho

phenomenon transcends legality

and borders on fundamental

human rights to exist without

derogation to the entitlement of

livelihood. Igboho is a

personification of the rejection of

the humiliation, death and

destruction to which the Yoruba

(and others) have been collectively

consigned and subjected to in the

past few months mostly at the

hands of criminal Fulani elements.

Being kidnapped for ransom is

bad enough. Worse is the

dehumanization of rape, sodomy

and savage death that are

routinely visited on Yoruba rural

communities and travellers on the

highways.

Those who hypocritically argue

that people should not take the

laws into their hands should

provide a solution to the dilemma

of the institutional bias (coerced

or voluntary) of the security forces

in overt and covert support of the

criminals.

The regular report is the

reluctance and unwillingness of

security officers to follow through

on reports of criminal violations

where a particular caste is

concerned. It echoes the open

secret first vented by General

Theophilus Danjuma the other day

in Jalingo, Taraba State that the

security forces have been

compromised and cannot be relied

upon to fulfil their responsibilities

with professional detachment and

neutrality.

The tragedy is that this fraught

and poisonous atmosphere has

been fostered and deepened, in

large measure, by provocative

parochialism and repressive

divisiveness of the Buhari

presidency.

No Nigerian leader has fared

better in rousing the demon of

distrust and paranoia of Nigerians

more than this president. It is under

his stewardship that the leadership

of the three organs of government,

the executive, legislature and

judiciary was rendered captive to

the Fulani prioritised northern

Muslim constituency.


34 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021

Sino-Nigerian relations: The next 50 years

By ISSA AREMU

AS a student of alternative

development paradigm in a

unipolar world (following

deafening collapse of the old

USSR in 1989), China as a stable

and fast developing socialist state

has been of profound academic

and political relevance for me.

Certainly I am still fascinated and

ever romantic about China which

on December 3 last year planted

its five-star red flag on the moon

and returned safely to the earth

with precious debris and rock!

Interestingly anytime I am tuned

for China’s discourse, the memory

of my late mentor and teacher,

Professor Claude Ake, comes up

afresh. Claude was a leading

African political economist,

former Dean of School of Social

Sciences, University of

PortHarcourt, member of Mallam

Aminu Kano’s PRP, founder of

Centre for Advanced Social

Studies, CASS, and author of

classics: Social Science as

Imperialism, Democracy and

Development in Africa and

Revolutionary Pressures in Africa.

He died in the tragic ADC airline

disaster in November 1997. He

was a star speaker at the

international conference on

“Rethinking Emancipation

Concepts” in 1991 organised by

the prestigious International

Institute of Social Studies, ISS,

The Hague, Netherlands. As a

Masters student at ISS then, I bear

witness to how Claude Ake singlehandedly

demystified Euro-centric

presentations which almost

consigned Africa and Asia at the

global conference to foot-notes of

history and at best, recipients of

emancipatory ideas and actions.

He took an exception to the

predominant narrative of Africa as

a burden with dubious distinction

in senseless war, famine, underdevelopment,

poverty and disease.

The conference took place against

the backdrop of the 1989

Tiananmen Square students’

protests in China. The Western

media had expectedly magnified

to good ideological effect

Tiananmen Square students’

protests as signs of another

eventual failure of socialism in

China, after Soviet Union.

Claude’s characteristic lady-like

soft-spoken words often obscured

his ever-entrenched resolve. He

insisted at the conference that it

ISSA AREMU

w a s

intellectual

l i p -

service of

Eurocentric

bent to

‘discover’

China

through

Tianammen

Square.

According

to him, with a billion population,

China was actually “the world”

that needed no discovery, certainly

not through a storm in a tea cup

like a students’ protest. China was

“the world” that must be

discovered by all, he said.

Nigeria long appreciated

Claude Ake’s wisdom about the

significance of China in global

solidarity and friendship. On

February 10, 1971, Nigerian

government under General Yakubu

Gowon established diplomatic

relations with China. This year,

Sino-Nigerian relations marks

50th anniversary of remarkable

and enduring cooperation and

solidarity with mutual

achievements and of course

attendant challenges which would

definitely define and reshape future

relations in the next 50 years and

beyond.

The point cannot be overstated:

Notwithstanding the distance and

geography, Nigeria and China

share significant traits worthy of

acknowledgement. In terms of

population, the two are giants in

their own rights. With a population

of 1.5 billion (official 1.3 billion)

China is the largest in Asia and

largest in the the world. Conversely,

Nigeria with estimated population

of 200 million people is the largest

concentration of African people in

the world. In fact, one of every two

Asians is a Chinese, while one in

every three persons in Africa is a

Nigerian. Nigeria’s population is

as diverse as China’s in terms of

languages, cultures and religions.

The two countries also boast of

remarkable resource endowment.

Whatever the parameters, the two

are regional powers: China as

actual power no less than Nigeria

still more of a potential power. I

agreed with the former Chinese

Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou

Pingjian that the “joy”of both

Nigeria and China “ is shared and

happiness doubled on the occasion

In the next 50 years we

should be less “romantic”

of China but be

“strategic” with China just

as China has been

strategic in its dealings

with Africa

of October 1 celebration every

year.”

The two are nations of the great

month of October. Nigeria got

independence by lowering the

Union Jack flag of imperial

Britain on October 1960. Ten years

earlier, precisely October 1, 1949

after the Revolution led by

Chairman Mao Zedong, birthed

the People’s Republic of China.

This is, however, where the

similarities end. Until recently the

two shared common brand-name

of “third world” countries but

today the world witnessed China’s

unprecedented race to the top. At

$14 trillion GDP, it’s the second

largest economy after USA with

$21 trillions GDP.

With an estimated $442.976

billion GDP, Nigeria is the biggest

economy in Africa followed by

South Africa’s $361.875 billion

GDP. But Nigeria has been on a free

fall to the bottom of development

index. China sustained

unprecedented 10 per cent growth

rate in the '90s while Nigeria

recorded double digit negative

growth rate during the period of

corrupt non-developmentalist

military regimes of varying hues.

Between 1990 and 2000, China

uplifted 700 million people out of

poverty, parades “over the past 70

years, GDP averaged an annual

growth rate of about 4.4 per cent

for the first three decades and 9.5

per cent for the last four decades.

Nigeria must learn and copy

China, which at 70, (just a decade

older) as a liberated country has

almost banished illiteracy and

gone to space.

And COVID-19 pandemic has

not stopped China’s amazing

growth and development! China’s

GDP is expected to expand by 7.9

per cent in 2021 despite the fact

year’s 26th edition that: “The

Chinese economy has not

contracted since 1976. Its growth

streak has lasted for over four

decades, through the global

financial crisis, trade wars with the

United States, and now a

pandemic that tore through their

country first, before splintering out

to others. China has shown us what

a serious nation can do when it

looks back on its history, resolves

“never again” to fail its citizens,

and forges forward with a sense of

urgency, discipline and purpose”.

In the next 50 years, my take here

is that Sino-Nigeria bilateral

relations must bridge this

widening economic gap between

the two friendly nations. Certainly

Nigeria has benefited from

China’s development relations

compared to Europe’s

underdevelopment

disengagement. Chinese

companies in Nigeria are

definitely building much needed

roads and railways, airports, and

telecommunications

infrastructure. China has also

commendably supported the

efforts of the Presidential Task

Force on COVID-19,

management within the

framework of their respective

Chinese companies’ Corporate

Social Responsibilities. However,

the challenge for Nigeria is to get

development tasks accomplished

on its own just as China

audaciously does. Numbers also

show that so far China has

benefited more from the relations

just as Nigeria has recorded losses

in quantitative and qualitative

terms. Put in development

language, Nigeria keeps paying

the “China price”, while China

remains “a smart price taker”.

Mutual

interest

that China was the

epicentre of the

pandemic, with

more devastations

to lives and

livelihoods than

Nigeria’s. I agree

with Mr Asue

Ighodalo, the

Chairman of

Nigeria Economic

Summit Group, in

his address to last

The choice is ours: a dependent

partner or true independent friend

of China? In the next 50 years we

should be less “romantic”

of China but be “strategic” with

China just as China has been

strategic in its dealings with Africa.

It’s about mutual interest for

development of the two peoples.

And let’s learn from China few

things. By 2020, China announced

that “all people living below the

current poverty line will be taken

out of poverty”. Nigeria should be

up-beat to say like China:

independence has “brought

enormous changes to the country,

creating an unprecedented

miracle of development in the

world history”.

Same Chinese Ambassador

aptly put it better: “path you take

determines your future”. China we

are again reminded was once

“labeled as the “Sick Man of East

Asia”, life expectancy at the

beginning of the new republic was

around 35 years. It rose to 77 years

in 2018. The illiteracy rate in

China stood at 80 per cent in 1949,

today the newly-added labour

force has received over 13.3 years

of education on average. The

average years of schooling for the

Chinese rose to 10.6 years in 2018

from 1.6 years in 1949.

Continues

online:www.vanguardngr.com

•Aremu mni, vice president of the

IndustriALL Global Union, wrote

from Abuja

My Letter to Femi Fani-Kayode

RIGHT OF REPLY

By HAMILTON ODUNZE

MR. Femi Fani-

Kayode, you are

auditioning for a free Mar-a-

Lago membership, which you

will not get. In your support

for Trump, you have displayed

your complete ignorance of the

political dynamics in the

United States. You have

continued to deceive and

mislead the easily gullible

ones. Unfortunately, you

might continue to succeed, but

only if people with knowledge

and facts stay silent.

I will not be among them,

and I have done everything

within my power to avoid the

temptation of joining in your

rantings on Twitter and

Facebook. I took solace in the

fact that, you - Fani-Kayode -

do not have the power to

rewrite American history. For

instance, you cannot rewrite

the fact that Donald J. Trump

has stumbled into the history

books as the worst American

president - ever. This is not

surprising to me and many

others because he was not

qualified to do the job from day

one.

Consider, for instance,

Trump’s background. He grew

up in New York with a wealthy

father and inherited in excess

of $400 million when his

father died in 1999. Yet, his net

worth in 2020 barely inched up

beyond his inheritance (see

Bloomberg).

His

mismanagement has resulted

in his filing of eight (and

counting) bankruptcies since

1999: Trump Airlines, Trump

Atlantic City and New York,

Trump Plaza Hotel, Trump

Castle and Casino, Trump

Entertainment, Trump Steak,

Trump Wine and Trump Water.

Trump is also involved in

more than 3,800 lawsuits,

some of which include

accusations of rape. Mr. Fani-

Kayode, the bitter truth is that

Supporting Trump

is like supporting

the Egyptian

Pharaoh or Herod

who forcefully

separated and

killed children

an African American with a

record as dismal as Trump’s

would hardly get a job in the

grocery store let alone become

the U.S. president. In the

broader scheme of things,

Trump was simply not

qualified to be in the Oval

Office.

Consider also Trump’s

historic aberrations. American

presidents have always

allowed the American people

to access all aspects of their

lives such as education. In

contrast, Trump is the first

president in American history

to threaten to sue his schools,

from high school to university,

if they release his transcripts.

He is also the only American

president in modern times, not

to release his tax returns. Mr.

Fani-Kayode, as a lawyer,

everyone would assume that

you are intelligent enough to

question what Trump is

hiding.

Now, let me address the main

•Trump, former US president

reason why you profess your

open support for Trump and

your support purportedly has

to do with Christian faith. In

fact, this is where you reveal

an astounding level of

ignorance. The idea that

Trump is a Christian sent by

God to save the world is a myth

created by Q-Anon, the Ku

Klux Klan, and white

evangelicals for their own

selfish interests. White

evangelicals’ support for

Trump in the last (lost) election

had nothing to do with

Christian values, but rather

white fragility. Their support

is based on a fear of changing

American demographics to the

point where in only one term

after the election of the first

black president, the first black

female vice president was

elected. This is why white

evangelicals are angry and

fanatical in their support for

Trump.

Unfortunately, Mr. Fani-

Kayode, you do not

understand this or you

willfully refuse to understand

the situation because you want

a free Mar-a-Lago

membership. Ask Michael

Cohen, Anthony Scaramucci,

OmorosaManigault Newman,

Rex Tillerson, and even Mike

Pence where the road goes

from serving Trump: plunging

downward.

Baseless

support

It is sad to count you, Mr.

Fani-Kayode, among the

many Nigerians who

supported Trump without a

complete understanding. They

believed their pastors who told

them that Trump has come to

save the world.

In an effort to understand

the baseless support that

Trump received from Nigerian

Pentecostal Christians, it

became clear to me that the

belief of these Christians has

been largely shaped by White

evangelicals working with

mega-church pastors, such as

Chris Oyakhilome, Bishop

David Oyedepo, Tunde

Bakare, Enoch Adeboye and

many more. This is a deception

and a form of mental

colonisation.

For me, as a Christian, I

cannot in good conscience

support a president who used

his power to separate more

than 5,400 migrant children,

including infants, from their

families at the US-Mexico

border. At this time, 570 of

these infants have not been

reunited with their families

because of tracing difficulties.

On this point, I concluded that

supporting Trump is like

supporting the Egyptian

Pharaoh or Herod who

forcefully separated and killed

children because he feared the

birth of the eternal king.

•Odunze, a social commentator,

wrote via hodu1@yahoo.com


Continues from Page 5

production.”

The minister also

lamented that the

COVID-19 pandemic has

changed the world’s

narrative, including that

of the oil and gas industry.

He recalled that the

recent meeting held by

the Organisation of

Petroleum Exporting

Countries, OPEC, in

which Nigeria is a

member was held

virtually, noting that such

meetings were not

envisaged before the

COVID-19 era.

Sylva also reacted to

piracy, oil bunkering and

illegal refining in the oilproducing

region, saying

such activities had

reduced compared to

what obtained in the past.

“Pipeline vandalism is

less than it used to be.

Before now, we had less

than 50 per cent

production, I can assure

you that pipeline

vandalism is less than it

used to be. If you compare

what happens now with

what obtained in the past,

I think it is less now.

“There is still a lot of

piracy, I understand, but

the law enforcement

agencies are dealing with

it. We are looking at other

ways of dealing with it

and believe that in a very

short time, we will be able

to get the full handle on

it,” he added.

Speaking on gas

conversion, the Minister

explained that the policy

was necessitated by the

Federal Government

issuing an alternative to

Nigerians, following the

deregulation of oil that

will lead to the rise in oil

prices.

While noting that gas

remained a cleaner and

more efficient fuel, the

Minister regretted that

previous administrations

had not developed the

nation’s gas, stressing that

Nigeria’s gas penetration

was the lowest in Africa.

CSOs blast FG

Also reacting yesterday,

civil society groups took a

swipe at the Federal

Government for

announcing plans to raise

Naira depreciates to N401/$ in I&E

window

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

The naira yesterday depreciated to N401 per dollar

in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window due to

a 15 percent decline in the volume of dollars traded.

Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative

exchange rate for the window rose to N401 kobo

per dollar from N398.50 kobo per dollar on Monday,

indicating N2.50 kobo depreciation of the naira.

Consequently, the naira has lost N6 in one week

from N395 per dollar last week Tuesday.

However, the volume of dollars (turnover) traded

in the window fell by 15 percent to $49.07 million

from $57.78 million on Monday.

vanguardnews @vanguardnews @vanguardnews

Labour, CSOs kick as FG plans fresh fuel

price hike

the retail price of Premium

Motor Spirit, PMS.

Hike in fuel price not

surprising, govt officials

celebrate sufferings of

Nigerians – CISLAC

Executive Director, Civil

Society Legislative

Advocacy Centre,

CISLAC, Auwal Musa

Rafsanjani, said: “When

you have officials that

seem to be celebrating the

suffering of Nigerians

there is nothing

surprising from such

official comment.

“One wonders what are

the benefits the people get

from Nigeria being an oil

producing country.

Nigeria’s oil is a big

opportunity for

institutional corruption

because in the name of

fuel subsidy and fuel and

importation.

“Scams and corruption

in the oil industry

overwhelm governance

systems. Consequently,

the governments are not

meeting the expectations

of Nigerians.

“Why is this that, if oil

is cheap in the global

market, Nigerians do not

enjoy any drop in the

price of the refined petrol?

That is to tell you

something is fishy with

the planned hike.”

Cushion effects of

rise in global oil

price on Nigerians

– Free Nigeria

Movement

In the same vein, the

Convener of Free Nigeria

Movement, Mr. Raphael

Adebayo, urged the

Federal government to

seek ways to cushion the

effects of the rise in global

oil price on Nigerians

rather than impose

austerity on the people.

He said: “This does not

come as a surprise. The

approach of Buhari and

his entire cabinet to public

policy is nothing but

economic hardship and

downright disaster.

“Another increase in fuel

price will only make the

living reality of ordinary

Nigerians unbearably

pathetic.

“We are still dealing

with over 100% increase

in electricity tariff,

inflation, economic

recession and the sudden

move to prohibit cryptotransactions

in the

country.

“What the Buhari

regime needs to do is look

inward to cushion the

impact of the rise in global

oil price, rather than go

on another all-out

offensive to impose

austerity on its citizens.

But the regime is tonedeaf

and will never listen

to the voice of reason.

“It is left to Nigerians to

not sit idly by and watch

the regime ride

roughshod over our right

to a decent life with

another avoidable

increase in fuel price.

Nobody — not even the

NLC whose bark is worse

than its bite — can save

ordinary Nigerians from

this regime, but ordinary

Nigerians themselves.”

Nigerians must

resist

implementation of

the planned hike in

fuel - Concerned

Nigerians

On his part, Deji

Adeyanju, the convener

of Concerned Nigerians,

said Nigerians must wake

up and resist the move to

increase the pump price

of fuel.

His words: “What will

Nigerians use to buy the

fuel at the hiked price? Is

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021 —35

NEWS HOTLINES

018773962,

08052867058

NEW RANK—Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan , the immediate past governor of

Delta State (left) alongside the commander of the Special Protection Unit

(SPU) of the Nigerian Police Force , Base 25, Asaba, SP Omosetemi Agbede-

Zuokumor, (right) decorating the former orderly to the former governor,

DSP John Okwubi with his new rank, Deputy Superintendent of Police at the

base in Asaba yesterday. Photo: Henry Unini

it their blood? Have

Nigerians not had

enough of the

maladministration? Why

is it always hardship

upon hardship for the

people of Nigeria?

“We believe the

hardship in the country is

more severe than

COVID-19 and other

pandemics. So, we

condemn, in its entirety,

the plan to hike the fuel

price.

“We also say that, if the

hike is implemented,

Nigerians must wake up,

challenge the

government, and call for

an end to the oppression.”

Petrol price

movements under

Buhari

The first adjustment

under President Buhari

occurred on May 11, 2016,

when the price was raised

by 66.67 per cent to N145.

This was followed by

downward review March

last year, to N125

following drop in oil

prices in the global market

and deregulation of the

downstream sector of the

oil industry and hence

removal of subsidy.

The price was raised

again in May 2020 to a

band of between N121.50

to N123.50 per litre for

petrol. This was followed

by another upward

review in July to a band

of N140.80 - N143.80 per

litre. In August, the price

was readjusted to N148 -

N150, and further to price

of N162.44 per litre in

December following

continued rise in crude

price

To accept Fani-Kayode is to reject APC values, says PGF DG

By Clifford Ndujihe &

Omeiza Ajayi

ABUJA — Director-

General of the

Progressives Governors

Forum, Dr. Salihu Lukman,

has cautioned the

leadership of the All

Progressives Congress,

APC, against admitting

former Minister of Aviation,

Femi Fani-Kayode, into the

party.

The PGF is the umbrella

body of governors elected

on the platform of the APC.

Lukman described as

disturbing, the circulation

of pictures of a meeting

between the APC National

Chairman, Governor Mai

Mala Buni of Yobe State;

Kogi State Governor,

Yahaya Bello; and Fani-

Kayode, amid speculations

that the Peoples Democratic

Party, PDP, chieftain was

being encouraged to join

the APC.

Fani-Kayode had since

2025 vilified APC and its

leaders, and vowed

recently that he would

rather die than join the

ruling party.

In a statement, titled

“APC: Reminder about Our

Values,” Lukman said:

“The speculation is that Mr.

Fani-Kayode is on his way

to joining the APC. The

verdict in most media

platforms is quite

disturbing, but justifiably

so, if the news about Mr.

Fani-Kayode joining the

APC is true.

“That our leaders will be

meeting with Mr. Fani-

Kayode in such a

compromising way,

suggesting that he may be

on his way to joining our

party, clearly indicates that

either those of us saddled

with the responsibility of

advising them have failed

or we have been

completely cut off.

“How can a person who

just a few days ago, if not

few hours, wrote to one of

our leaders and

derogatorily and

condescendingly

condemned his political

prospects of emerging as

the Presidential candidate

of our party, be given such

a high-level reception?

“Assuming the open letter

to our national leader,

which is all over our media

at the time of such

reception, wasn’t offensive,

what of the open letter he

wrote to President

Muhammadu Buhari last

year?

“Besides the open letters,

what abusive language has

he not used against our

party and our leaders?

Most of these are

unprintable.

“Most Nigerians, both

APC members and non-

APC members, would

appear to be in agreement

that any association

between APC and its

leadership with Mr. Fani-

Kayode is indicative of

problem of values.

“Without being academic

in anyway, the issue of

values is basically about the

qualities of people and the

vision they hold. What kind

of people are we aspiring

to attract into our party? Do

we want to reduce our

party into one in which

everybody is welcome?

“Can we for instance in

any way or form

contemplate having an

Nnamdi Kanu or Abubakar

Shekau as a member? If

that were to be the case,

why don’t we just have

INEC register IPOB and

Boko Haram as political

parties and allow them to

field candidates for

elections?

“At this rate, one day,

Nigerians will just wake

and see some of our

leaders presenting Mr.

Fani-Kayode to President

Buhari as a new member

of our party.

“Although, we can

confidently argue that

President Buhari will not

approve such deranged

possibility, it is important to

caution that such

consideration will be

stretching the trust of party

members beyond

acceptable limits.”

I’m meeting APC

leaders, others to

save Nigeria – Fani-

Kayode

In an attempt to clear

thickening cloud over his

meeting with APC leaders,

Fani-Kayode in several

tweets on his official Twitter

handle, @realFFK, said he

met with them to discuss the

“state of the nation, national

issues, party politics and

the way forward,” adding

that he would meet other

leaders across party lines to

save Nigeria from

imploding.

He tweeted: “Yesterday, I

had the honour and

privilege of having a very

productive and important

meeting with the National

Chairman of the APC,

Governor Mai Mala Buni

of Yobe State and Governor

Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

We discussed the state of

the nation, national issues,

party politics and the way

forward.

“These meetings are

wide-ranging and ongoing

and I am delighted to be

involved in them. Despite

the obvious benefits and

wisdom in this noble

initiative, it amazes me that

some people should feel

that it is wrong for me to sit

with other leaders in the

country to discuss issues

which touch and concern

the national cohesion,

future and stability of our

country. This is a time in

which we must set all our

differences aside, build

bridges and come together

as one, lest our country

drifts into fratricidal

butchery and civil war.


36 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021

AFCON Qualifier: Eagles return to Lagos for

Lesotho

Super Eagles coach Gernot

Rohr has revealed that the

team’s last AFCON qualifier

against Lesotho next month will

be played at the refurbished

National Stadium in Lagos.

The match is fixed for March

30, 2021. Nigeria won the first

leg in Lesotho 4-2 in 2019.

This will be first time in many

years that the Eagles have played

in the country’s commercial

capital city.

The National Stadium in

Surulere, Lagos, has undergone

a major refurbishment after

many years of neglect.

The country’s sports ministry

has now got a private concern to

help renovate the sporting

edifice, which was specially built

to stage the All Africa Games in

1973.

Rohr hints on Ighalo’s return to Eagles

Gernot Rohr has said the

Super Eagles will track

Odion Ighalo at new Saudi

Arabian club Al Shabab with the

aim to recall him to the team.

Ighalo, 31, quit international

football soon after the 2019

AFCON in Egypt, where he

finished top scorer.

The striker himself has most

recently said he will consider a

return to the Eagles in time for

next year’s AFCON and World

Cup.

“Ighalo has just moved to

Saudi (Arabia) and we intend to

keep eyes on him,” Rohr said

ahead of next month’s AFCON

qualifiers against Lesotho and

Benin.

“Playing in Saudi is not a

reason to eliminate a good

player from the Super Eagles.”

Super Eagles called up captain

Ahmed Musa severally while he

was featuring for another Saudi

Arabian club Al Nassr.

Guardiola:

Ederson could

become new

penalty taker

EP GUARDIOLA has admitted

Pgoalkeeper Ederson IS an option

to take penalties for Manchester City.

His team have missed eight spotkicks

since the beginning of last

season, with Ilkay Gundogan the

latest culprit at Anfield on Sunday.

Regular takers Sergio Aguero and

Kevin de Bruyne are currently

sidelined meaning the job is up for

grabs.

Ederson has previously thrown his

hat in the ring and Guardiola says

he is one of the possibilities.

The City boss said: “He has to save

the goals, make a good build up and

after that we’ll see.

“It depends on the other players.

Sergio is not fit, Kevin is a good taker

but he’s not there.

“We’ll see - it depends on the line

up but It’s an option, of course. He’s

a good taker.

“The penalty taker has to have the

personality and huge confidence in

himself to shoot and score.”

Ahmed Musa to

sign in England

•Chukwueze back next month

Ahmed Musa is set to sign “in the next (few) days”

in England, while Villarreal winger Samuel

Chukwueze will return to action by the end of

March, according to Super Eagles coach Gernot

Rohr.

Eagles captain Ahmed Musa has been without a

club since October when he parted ways with Saudi

Arabian club Al Nassr.

“We’re in touch with our captain (Ahmed Musa).

Hopefully, he will sign in England in the next days,”

Rohr said in an interview monitored by

SCORENigeria

“He wanted to return to Europe and play in

England.”

Chukwueze, on the other hand, underwent a groin

surgery in Germany earlier this month.

Rohr further said he expects the winger back in

action by end of next month.

Europa League

Arsenal’s clash with Benfica

holds in Rome

The first leg of Arsenal’s Europa

League last-32 match against

Benfica is set to be played in Rome.

The UK is implementing strict

coronavirus quarantine rules

around people returning from

Portugal, which has forced the

February 18 match to be moved

from Lisbon to neutral territory.

Portugal is on a ‘red list’ of

countries drawn up by the UK

Government.

The home leg will also be an

issue the following week, with

Benfica barred from entering the

country.

No decision has yet been taken

on a venue for that match.

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Lagos State House of

Assembly has moved to

maximize sporting capacities in

the State in order to provide

opportunities for youth to realize

their potential through sporting

activities at the grassroots level

with the adoption of

amendments as recommended

by the house committee.

This was made known during

the presentation of the Bill

titled, “A Bill for a Law to amend

the Lagos State Sports

Commission Law 2017, to

promote Youths and Sports

Aguero returns to training

Sergio Aguero trained with his

teammates on Monday as

Manchester City received more good

news after their huge 4-1 win over

Liverpool on Sunday.

The Argentine striker has seen injury

and illness severely disrupt his season so

far, restricting him to just 141 minutes

of Premier League football this

campaign.

Aguero was hampered by knee and

hamstring injuries earlier in the season,

but had overcome those and looked set

to return to action in January.

However, after first having to isolate

due to coming into contact with someone

who tested positive for Covid-19, the 32-

year-old then contracted the virus

himself, forcing him to spend yet more

time away from the pitch.]Manchester

City’s record scorer has fully recovered

now though, and trained on Monday

with those who were also not involved at

Anfield on the weekend.

Aguero has scored just twice this season,

both in the Champions League, and Pep

Guardiola looked to be missing the

striker as City struggled to find their top

form at the start of the campaign.

But Guardiola’s side have now won 14

games in a row in all competitions,

scoring 37 goals in that run and

conceding four.

Sports devt: Lagos Assembly adopts 2017 sports

commission law report

Development in Lagos State and

for connected purposes, 2021”

by the Acting Chairman of

House Committee on Youths,

Sports and Social Development,

Owolabi Ajani on Monday.

Recall that the Committee held

Public Hearing on Friday,

February 5, 2021 to seek inputs

from various stakeholders and

the public on the proposed

amendment.

While presenting the Bill,

Owolabi stated that some of the