16022021 - Nigeria’s security architecture being re-jigged — SERVICE CHIEFS

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Vanguard Newspaper

COVID-19: FG Buhari, Lawan,

to vaccinate Gbaja react, Produce evidence of criminal

109m

as WTO confirms herdsmen's trial

Nigerians in Okonjo-Iweala

8

2 years PTF Director-General 8

Investments in Nigeria fall 44% to $16.7bn in 2020 – NIPC

NEF, PANDEF, MBF, AFENIFERE, ACF TO FG:

How Nigeria’ll completely eliminate gas

flaring by 2025 – Ministers, NNPC boss 4

5

19

VOL. 27: NO. 64272 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

BANDITRY, KIDNAPPINGS, OTHERS:

Nigeria’s security architecture

being re-jigged SERVICE CHIEFS

•We'll change the tide, CDS assures

4 killed

as

herdsmen

attack

Plateau

villages

7

OKONJO-IWEALA WRITING ACCEPTANCE LETTER AS WTO DG...

4

Benue

closes

school as 5

students

suffer

strange

14

ailment

Mr & Mrs

Lai

Mohammed

demands

cancellation

of APC

registration

in Kwara 14

Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala works on her acceptance speech at her home in Potomac, Maryland, near

Washington DC, minutes before she was confirmed as the first woman and first African leader of the World

Trade Organization, yesterday. "WTO members have just agreed to appoint Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as

the next director-general," the global trade body said in a statement, adding that the former Nigerian

finance minister and World Bank veteran will take up her post on March 1. Photo: AFP.

COLUMNISTS ODUMAKIN TENIOLA 18

16 DELE COLE 17

See

inside


2 Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021 3


4 Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

:Vanguard News

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

Nigeria’s security architecture

being re-organised, say service

chiefs

•We'll change the tide, CDS assures

VISIT: From left: Director-General, National BiotechnologyDevelopment Agency (NABDA), Prof. Abdullahi

Mustapha; Perm Sec, Federal Min. of Science and Technology, Mr Edet Akpan; Minister of State for Science and

Technology, Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi; Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu; Ambassador

of the Republic of Cuba, Amb. Clara Pulido-Escandell; Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Republic of

Cuba, Pavel Bauza Fuste, during the visit of the Ambassador to the Minister’s Office in Abuja yesterday.

How Nigeria'll completely eliminate gas

flaring by 2025 MINISTERS, NNPC BOSS

•Govt losing $750m •9th House ready to change narratives about gas flaring

Gbajabiamila •As host communities insist on 10 per cent equity

By Levinus

Nwabughiogu

A BUJANIGERIA

has elected to join the

global community in achieving

complete elimination of gas

flaring in 2025.

The Minister of State for

Petroleum Resources, Chief

Timipre Silva gave the

commitment at a public hearing

on “Need to End Gas Flaring in

Nigeria and Harness Associated

Gas” in Nigeria, organized by the

House of Representatives Joint

Committee on Gas Resources,

Environment and Climate

Change in Abuja yesterday.

Gas flaring is the combustion

of associated gas generated

during various processes,

including oil and gas recovery.

Speaking at the hearing, Sylva

noted that gas flaring had been

reduced to eight per cent. In the

country at present, adding that

by 2025, it would be completely

eliminated.

He said: “The issue of gas

flaring is something that the

Ministry takes very seriously.

There is a global consensus on

the elimination of gas flaring by

2025. Today, we have reduced

the issue of gas flaring to a

minimum eight per cent.

“We believe, with all the

programmes lined up, we are on

course to achieve complete

elimination of gas flaring by 2025.

We take the issue of gas flaring in

the ministry very seriously.”

In his remarks, the Group

Managing Director, GMD, of the

Nigerian National Cooperation,

NNPC, Mele Kyari, said the

corporation was building major

trunk lines infrastructure that will

receive flared gas.

According to him, no amount

of penalty imposed on the oil

companies for flaring gas will stop

the unhealthy practice.

He said: “Two things must

happen - one is to put the

enabling infrastructure which we

are doing immensely. We are

building major trunklines that will

receive the flared gas that you

are seeing today.

‘’We are connecting most parts

of this country to the gas network

so that people can convert this

gas to power Industries and they

are all within sight.

“Just to put it in perspective,

by the end of March, we have

what we will call the quarry cluster

for flared gas. It makes about 200

million cups of gas. By the end of

March, this will vanish because

once we end connecting all the

lines, automatically, it goes away.

A number of projects are being

executed to make sure that we

take the flare completely out.

“No matter how much penalty

you put, if the cost of penalty is

cheaper, people will continue to

flare and pay the penalty. You can

raise the penalty to any number

and what it does is that it will

completely make the people not

to invest in anything.

‘’Therefore, increasing the

flaring penalty is not the solution.

It is to create the commercial

tanks that will enable companies

invest in this flare so that we can

convert them into money. The

effort is to commercialize this gas

to bring on board the

infrastructure we need to have

in place.

In his intervention, Minister of

Environment, Mohammed

Abubakar, who was represented

by a Director in the Ministry, Mr.

Abbas Suleiman, regretted the

environmental challenges of gas

flaring, pledging to help the

petroleum ministry end it.

He said: “Gas flaring is an

environmental challenge. So

much has been said about the

challenges that accompany this

issue. Gas flaring leads to global

warming and the fear that the earth

may snowball into green house

effect.

“The Ministry of Environment

has been giving support in this

regard. We promise that we will

continue to give all the necessary

supports by enforcing all the

environmental laws to this effect.”

Earlier in his welcome address,

the Chairman joint committee of

the House on Gas Resources,

Environment and Climate

Change Committees, Mutu

Nicholas, disclosed that Nigeria

was losing over $750 million

annually from flared gas.

He said: ‘Gas flare is a malady

that we must work together to

eliminate at the shortest time

possible; because of its all round

adverse effects on the

environment and socio-economic

well-being of the people of Niger

Delta.

‘’ At current estimates by Price

waterhouse Coopers, PwC,

Nigeria loses over $750 million in

annual revenue from flared gas.

‘’Zero-Flare Gas deadlines

have routinely shifted to future

dates. We thus commend

government for the 2018 gas flare

regulation which imposes the

penalty of $2.00 per million

standard cubic feet of gas flared.''

Court nullifies impeachment of ex-Imo deputy gov, 8 years after

OWERRIAN

Imo

State High Court sitting

in Owerri has voided the

impeachment of Jude Agbaso as

deputy governor of Imo State.

Agbaso, who was deputy to

Rochas Okorocha, former Imo

State governor, was

US senators kick against inhuman treatment in

Turkey

THE U.S. Senate has

accused Turkish President,

Recep Tayyip Erdogan of abuse

of human rights of its citizens by

detaining people and civil

servants, shutting down of media

outlets and jailing of lawmakers

in the country.

They also urged the

president of the United States,

Joe Biden to emphasize to

Erdogan and his

impeached by the state

House of Assembly on March

28, 2013, over allegations

that he collected N458 milion

and Red Label scotch whiskey

as bribes from J-Pro, a

construction firm.

Aggrieved, the ex-deputy

administration to end every

form of inhuman treatment

metted to Turkey citizens.

Fifty-four senators of the US

signed the letter, accusing

Erdogan of marginalizing,

domestic opposition, silencing

critical media, jailing journalists

and purging independent

judges.

“We urge you to emphasize to

President Erdogan and his

administration that they should

immediately end their crackdown

governor had contested his

impeachment in court.

Ruling on the matter, yesterday,

Justice I.S Opara, gave the

consent judgment after parties in

the suit opted to settle out of court.

Chijioke Emeka, counsel to

Agbaso, had informed the court

on dissent at home and abroad,

release political prisoners and

prisoners of conscience, and

reverse their authoritarian

course,” the letter read.

Since a failed coup in 2016,

Erdogan’s administration has

detained nearly 300,000 people

and has suspended or dismissed

more than 150,000 civil servants.

Hundreds of media outlets have

been shut and dozens of

opposition lawmakers have been

imprisoned as such.

that parties in the suit including

his client, the state governor, the

state House of Assembly and the

Chief Judge of the state had on

February 1, 2021, drafted terms

of settlements which were filed

before the court on February 2,

2021.

In his judgment, Justice Opara

said the terms of settlements had

become a consent judgment of

the court.

Reacting to the judgment,

Agbaso said he felt delighted to

be “vindicated” of fraud

allegations after eight years.

He accused Okorocha of

intentionally framing him up “just

to get me out of the way.

“It has been a torturous eight

years but I thank the good people

of Imo State. I thank the

government of Senator Hope

Uzodinma for its bold stand,

which hastened the

resolution,” he said.

By Ibrahim Hassan

K newly ADUNATHE

appointed service

chiefs said yesterday that the

nation’s security architecture was

currently being re-organised.

The Chief of Defence Staff,

Major General Lucky Irabor, who

disclosed this at the townhall

meeting held with stakeholders,

on behalf of the service chiefs in

Kaduna yesterday, assured that

the security chiefs were

determined to reverse the

insecurity probem in the country.

The meeting organised by

Office of the National Security

Adviser, ONSA, had in

attendance governors of states

in the North West, traditional

rulers, religious leaders and other

influencers in the region.

Irabor said the new security

architecture would assist the

security chiefs to effectively deal

with banditry and other forms of

criminality in the country.

According to him ,the meeting

was to let Nigerians, especially

governors and people of the

Northwest, know that the

situation in the region was of

great concern to the President.

“Your concerns have remained

deep in our hearts. We assure

you that we’ve not rested on our

oars,” he said.

He explained that the Kaduna

meeting was to feel the people’s

pulse, stressing that the National

Security Adviser, NSA, service

chiefs, the Inspector General of

Police, IGP, and other security

organizations were now working

together.

According to him, data are

being collated to enable the

security heads change the tide.

The CDS, however, said that

coming together as a group with

the governors and other

stakeholders would enable them

make progress in the fight against

insecurity in the region.

Nigeria on alert as Ebola breaks

out in Guinea NCDC

By Sola Ogundipe &

Chioma Obinna

BARELY 24 hours

after Guinea declared

Ebola outbreak in the country as

an epidemic, Port Health Services

of the Federal Ministry of Health

in Nigeria has been directed to

scale up screening at the port of

entry.

Guinea had on Sunday

declared a new outbreak of Ebola

six years after the last Ebola

episode in the country.

Confirming this development in

a chat with Vanguard, the

Director-General of the Nigerian

Centre for Disease Control,

NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu,

said the centre was aware of the

outbreak and was currently

monitoring the situation closely.

According to him, the cases

have been detected in a region

that is in close proximity to Liberia

and Cote D’Ivoire, which may be

associated with the measures

taken by the Liberian

government.

He said: “We are to scale up

screening at points of entry. We

are also carrying out a risk

assessment and will use findings

from these to introduce additional

preparedness activities. We will

issue a public health advisory to

In his remarks, the National

Security Adviser, Major General

Babagana Monguno, retd,

explained that President Buhari

was deeply concerned about the

security situation in the region,

saying the essence of the meeting

which would be replicated in the

other zones, was to address very

important security concerns.

He said although it was true

that security was the primary

concern of government, nobody

was running away from that but

stressed it was important to now

have a multifaceted approach in

dealing with insecurity.

“Government is only one leg

in the tripod... that is why

government is engaging the

public. With the new service

chiefs, there is a new direction.

All we require is your patience, “

he said.

Chairman of Northern

Governors’ Forum and governor

of Plateau State, Simon Bako

Lalong, emphasized the need for

unity among Nigerians, and

prayed that the new service chiefs

would soon see the end of

insecurity in Nigeria.

In his remarks, Governor

Aminu Masari of Katsina State

recalled that the situation in his

state was not as bad as it was 10

years ago, but lamented that

banditry, cattle rustling, killings

and rape are now bedevilling his

state.

Similarly, Governor Nasir

Ahmad El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State

expressed confidence in the

ability of the new service chiefs,

based on their past records,

saying the presence of such high

level delegation underscored the

importance Buhari’s

administration attached to

security in the region.

The governor hoped that the

service chiefs would map out a

new security architecture that

will end banditry and other forms

of crime in the North West.

Nigerians and State Ministries of

Health.”

Explaining further, Ihekweazu

noted that the one major

difference between the 2014

Ebola outbreak and now was the

fact that there is a licensed Ebola

vaccine.

“A vaccine stockpile has been

established by groups

coordinated by WHO, so that the

vaccine can be accessed by

countries experiencing

outbreaks.

“The vaccine played a critical

role during the DRC outbreak last

year, and is an important

mechanism for outbreak control

now available to countries,” he

added.

The NCDC boss said the

centre was also in touch with the

World Health Organisation,

WHO, Africa Centre for Disease

Control, CDC, and West African

Health Organisation, WAHO,

that are supporting the country

and coordinating response

activities across the region.

Also, Sierra Leone has

launched an emergency

response against the Ebola virus,

following reports about the

outbreak in neighbouring

Guinea.

There are currently no reported

Ebola cases in Sierra Leone.


vanguardnews

@vanguardnews

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021 5

NEWS HOTLINES

POCKET CARTOON

018773962,

@vanguardnews 08052867058

SECURITY TOWN HALL MEETINGFrom left: Governor Nasiru Elrufai

of Kaduna State, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, the Minister

of Defence, Major- Gen. Babagana Mungunu, retd. Chief of Defence Major-

Gen. Lucky Iraboh and the Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Ibrahim

Attahiru at the Town Hall meeting of the Security Chiefs and Major

stakeholders in the North-West at Arewa House, Kaduna, yesterday: Photo:

Olu Ajayi.

Produce evidence of

criminal herdsmen's trial

NEF, PANDEF, MBF, AFENIFERE

By Kingsley Omonobi, Evelyn Usman, Peter

Duru, Luminous Jannamike, Davies

Iheamnachor, Henry Ojelu, Olayinka Ajayi

& Ibrahim Hassan

ABUJA Following

criticisms that

President

Muhammadu Buhari was

taking a soft approach to the

farmers/herders’ crisis in

the country, the Presidency

said, yesterday, that many

criminal herdsmen were

being tried and convicted

across the country.

It also challenged Force

Headquarters to publish

names of herders being

prosecuted and those

convicted for Nigerians to

be convinced of its efforts

at dealing with the

problems posed by the

herders.

However, the

Presidency’s claim drew

the ire of the Nigerian Bar

Association, NBA, the Pan-

Yoruba socio-political

organisation, Afenifere, the

Pan-Niger Delta Forum,

PANDEF, who both

dismissed it.

While the Northern

Elders Forum, NEF, said it

was not aware of trial of

criminal herdsmen

anywhere in the country,

the Middle Belt Belt

Forum, MBF, and Benue

tribal leaders asked the

Presidency to start with the

trial of Miyetti Allah

leadership to convince

Nigerians it was serious

about dealing with the

criminal herdsmen.

But speaking on

Channels Television’s

breakfast programme,

Sunrise Daily, yesterday,

Senior Special Assistant to

the President on Media

and Publicity, Mallam

Garba Shehu, said: “I hope

the police will take

responsibility and publish

the full list of Fulani herders

who are undergoing trial in

various states, particularly

in Benue State.

“Trials are going on,

convictions are being made

and the President cannot

be complicit in the kind of

things that are being said

of him.”

‘President aware

of security

situation’

He also said the

President is fully aware of

the country’s security

situation and is working to

ensure the safety of lives

and properties.

“The President is more

than concerned about the

ongoing situation, and he

is fully conscious of the fact

that it is the responsibility

of his government to work

with all Nigerians to secure

lives and stop the ongoing

crises, whether they are

kidnapping or ethnic

hatred and violence. He

condemns it.

“It is for community

leaders – local, traditional,

and elected – to work with

the President. The country’s

military, as we speak, is

over-stretched because

they are active in at least

34 of the 36 states of the

federation, including the

FCT.

“The Air Force, the police

are recruiting, day and

night; people are being

trained in special

operations and are being

sent to the forest.”

Shehu also disagreed

that the President has not

condemned the

herdsmen’s violence. In the

country, saying “when

Femi Adesina or myself

speak for the President,

people should accept that

it is the President that is

speaking.

“For this President, it is

the actions that should

speak for him. He is not a

showman. He doesn’t have

to be there. And let’s be

understood, we are not

trying to personalise

anything. Senator Abaribe

dwelt a lot, attacking

President Muhammadu

Buhari, saying that he has

not, even at a rhetorical

level, spoken against this

kind of violence.

“That is most

uncharitable. This country

has problems. It requires

the involvement of

everyone. All hands must

be on deck.”

‘Criminal

herdsmen being

treated with kid

gloves’

Earlier on the same

programme, Senate

Minority Leader,

Enyinnaya Abaribe, had

accused the President of

treating criminal herdsmen

with kid gloves.

Abaribe had said: “The

President needs to come out

and say I do not support

these types of actions, these

criminal elements. He has

to come out and everybody

sees that he is owning this

problem.

“But we have never

heard it. Where did the

President ever say that

these criminal herdsmen

will never be tolerated in

this country? What we’ve

heard from 2016 all the way

down is live in peace with

your neighbour and ‘try to

accommodate your

countrymen’ and stuff of

that nature.

“That now emboldens

those who are committing

these crimes, that there is

no punishment. When you

see eruptions here and

there, targetted at a

particular segment of

people, you should be very

worried. Why you should

be worried is: What is it that

gives these people the

impetus to continue to

commit these crimes?”

NBA reaction

But reacting yesterday,

the National Publicity

Secretary, NBA, Dr Rapulu

Nduka, said: “We live in a

nation without veritable

statistics. Government

officials reel out figures in

the course of an argument,

figures that are not from

verifiable sources. But the

government should be

clear that the menace has

reached an alarming

height.

“The posture of the

government gives the

impression that it is

complicit in the whole

issue. The criminal herders

have become more brazen,

and we merely pray,

wishing it doesn’t come

close. Until the government

tackles insecurity, no one is

sure of the next victim.

Government officials

should stop playing with

words and get serious.”

Where are they

being tried? ACF

asks

Reacting, Arewa

Consultative Forum, ACF,

National Publicity Secretary,

Emmanuel Yawe, said

“Where are they being tried

that we don’t hear of it? The

government must be more

honest with us.”

Publish names of

herders on trial

anywhere in

Nigeria

– Afenifere

Also reacting, the Pan-

Yoruba Socio-political

organization, Afenifere

Continues on Page 27

On arrest of Lekki Tollgate protesters by Police (2)

By Providence

Adeyinka

LCC is a private business

registered by the Lagos

State Govt it is to collect toll

fee for a specific number of

years and so no one has a

right to prevent the company

from engaging in

businesses. At the same

time, citizens have the right

to protest peacefully as

stipulated by the

constitution. So the

protesters can take their

protests to places like the

Legislative house, open field

or Gani Fawehinmi Park.

Onaolapo Olatunji,

Political Analyst

Why are peaceful

protesters at the

Lekki Tollgate being

arrested by the Police?

This is a mark of

dictatorship and

lawlessness on the part

of the APC Federal

Government led by

P r e s i d e n t

Muhammadu Buhari.

Julie Gabriel,

Entrepreneur

There were strict

warnings before

Saturday, and so you

will agree with me that

there was nothing

dehumanizing about

the treatment the

protesters received.

Blocking the tollgate is

uncalled for. The

Federal Government

has disbanded SARS as

requested by the

protesters.

Smith Nmecha,

Surveyor

Peaceful protest is human

rights. EndSARS

protesters are being

arrested again just for

demanding justice for their

colleagues killed during the

protest at Lekki Tollgate on

October 20, 2020. I regret

being a Nigerian. When I

was in school, our teachers

told us that we are the

leaders of tomorrow yet, the

bad leaders continue to kill

us.

Boiti Atayese,

Haulage expert

The best two phrases to

be used should be

‘totally unacceptable’. It

simply shows the

complacency and

unpatriotic nature of PMB

and the Nigeria Police

Force. In saner climes,

the officers who acted out

of their job dictates should

have been sanctioned

appropriately by now. But

never in my country!

Akinwunmi Ibrahim,

Photojournalist

It is unfortunate that we

find ourselves in this

military-democracy. The

youth don’t trust the govt.

No result from the panel

they set up. Is reopening of

the tollgate the next thing for

this govt? We are in a

democracy and we have

constitution, you can’t stop

people from protesting. The

police is meant to protect and

guide protesters. This is not

democracy.

Prince Saviour Iche,

Entrepreneur


6 Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

46-year-old

man stabs wife

to death over

infidelity

By Esther

Onyegbula

OPERATIVES of Ogun

State Police Command are

currently investigating a 46-yearold

staff of Remo North Local

Government, Sobola Olatunji,

for allegedly stabbing his wife to

death on suspicion of infidelity.

It was gathered that the

suspect was arrested following

a complaint by the father of the

deceased, one Alhaji Ambali

Yinusa, who reported at Owode-

Egba Divisional Headquarters

that his son-in-law, Sobola

Olatunji, had a

misunderstanding with his wife,

Momudat Sobola, which led to

a physical fight between them.

Yinusa stated further that in the

process, Sobola Olatunji took a

knife and stabbed his wife at the

back.

Sequel to the report, the

Divisional Police Office,

Owode-Egba Division, CSP

Matthew Ediae, dispatched his

detectives to the scene where the

suspect was arrested and the

victim rushed to the hospital for

treatment. But while the

treatment was going on, the

victim gave up the ghost.

It was learned that during

interrogation, the suspect,

Olatunji, who claimed to have

married the deceased for 20

years, alleged that he suspected

his wife to have been having an

extramarital relationship because

of some text messages he saw

on her phone.

Olatunji stated further that it

was when he challenged his late

wife about his suspicions that a

fight broke out between them,

which eventually led to the death

of the mother of three.

The corpse of the deceased had

been deposited at Olabisi

Onabanjo University Teaching

Hospital morgue for autopsy.

Confirming the arrest, the

spokesperson Ogun State Police

Command, Abimbola Oyeyemi,

said the Commissioner of Police,

Edward Ajogun, has ordered the

immediate transfer of the case to

the Homicide Section of the State

Criminal Investigation and

Intelligence Department for

further investigation and

prosecution.

Tricyclist escapes death as train, truck collide

in Lagos

By Bose Adelaja

A

commercial tricyclist, yesterday,

escaped being crushed to death

in an accident, which involved a

mass transit train and a truck at

Fagba area of Iju-Ishaga, Lagos.

It was gathered that an articulated

truck laden with foodstuff collided

with a moving train at Mofolasayo

Drive, Jonathan Coker Road Level

Crossing.

An eyewitness, Josiah Abraham,

said the truck driver threw caution

to the wind by jumping into the rail

track while other vehicles stopped

for the train to pass, noting: “Every

other vehicle stopped but the truck

driver over-shot and hit the train.”

The eyewitness added that a

tricyclist escaped unhurt in the

resultant accident but the tricycle

was not spared as it was crushed.

Confirming the incident, General

Manager, Lagos State Emergency

Management Agency LASEMA,

Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, said

investigations revealed that reckless

driving led to the truck crashing into

the train on motion.

Vanguard gathered that the

incident disrupted the free flow of

traffic in the axis as motorists were

advised to use alternative routes, but

at press time, the train had been

pulled off the road.

No casualty NRC

Speaking on the incident, The

Nigerian Railway Corporation

NRC, said that there was no casualty

in the accident.

Mr Jerry Oche, the NRC Railway

District Manager in Lagos, said the

accident was preventable.

He said: “I was told that every

other vehicle stopped and this

particular one over-shot and hit the

train at Iju level crossing. We advise

all motorists to be cautious whenever

they get to level crossings.

“You do not need to come to the

level crossing and prove that you

are strong or big. The train has the

right of way. The train is not

supposed to stop for you, you are

supposed to stop for it.

“That is why the track is called

the permanent way. When every

other vehicle stopped, why did this

particular one not stop?”

It would be recalled that on

September 14, 2020, two persons

died in a train accident, which

Police repel bank robbery attempt in Ughelli

By Bose Adelaja &

Perez Brisibe

AN attempt by suspected armed

robbers to attack a new

generation bank along the Market

Road in Ughelli, Delta State,

yesterday, was foiled.

The incident, which resulted in

sporadic gunshots in the area is

coming less than 24 hours after a

gang of unidentified gunmen killed

a police inspector at the Oviri-Ogor

road axis of the town and took away

his rifle.

All banks operating within Ughelli

metropolise, which closed by 2 pm

owing to the spate of insecurity in

the town, also shut down operations

following the incident.

A customer, who spoke on

condition of anonymity, said: “We

were asked to evacuate the bank by

the officials, who told us that they

were closing for the day amidst

sporadic gunshots outside the

premises. When we came out, we

were told that some robbers

attempted to invade the bank.”

Debunking the claims of the

occurred on the driveway into the

Nigerian Army Shopping Arena in

Oshodi.

The accident victims, a father and

son, were driving into the shopping

arena when they were caught up

by the speeding train when their

Highlander SUV got stuck on the

rail track.

Also, four persons were killed after

a train crushed a tricycle at Toyin in

Iju Ishaga, a Lagos suburb, on April

30, 2019.

•Arrest 8 traffic robbers, recover hard drugs, weapons in Lagos

The suspected traffic robbers.

customer, the Delta State Police

Public Relations Officer, Edafe

Bright, said: “That information is not

entirely true. There was suspicious

movement around the bank

premises and the police acted swiftly

on that. We cannot substantiate to

Police parade 52 suspects for robbery, kidnapping,

others in Delta •Arrest 42 COVID-19 violators

By Festus Ahon

FIFTY two suspects arrested

for armed robbery,

kidnapping, murder, cultism,

defilement, car-snatching and

unlawful possession of

firearms in various parts of

Delta State were, yesterday,

paraded by the state Police

Command.

The state Commissioner of

Police, Mr Ari Ali, also

paraded 46 persons arrested

over the violation of the curfew

imposed by the state

government to check the

spread of coronavirus in the

state.

The police boss said two

pump action guns, one Beretta

pistol, two locally-made guns,

eight 9mm ammunition, 134

live cartridges, one can of

chemical teargas and one AK-

47 magazine were recovered

from the other 52 suspects.

Ali said eight stolen cars, two

big coils of aluminium roofing

sheets, one military

camouflage uniform, two

handsets, one military dagger,

six ATM cards, two ID cards,

N45,000 and three Itel phones

were also recovered.

Speaking further, he said the

command also arrested one

Onoriode Oyiborhor, whose

Scene of the accident.

viral video clip led to mob

incitement, which resulted in

the razing of a police patrol

van in Effurun last month

He said the video, which

originated from the 24-yearold

Oyiborhor, erroneously

portrayed the police as being

responsible for the accident, a

development that resulted in

the razing of the patrol van by

the incited mob.

He explained that it was an

accident, which involved a

Mercedes tipper, a Toyota

Camry car and a tricycle that

led to the death of persons

along PTI expressway in

Effurun.

say that it is an attempt to rob the

bank.”

Arrest 8 traffic

robbers, recover hard

drugs, weapons

Meanwhile, one of the eight

traffic robbers arrested by operatives

of Lagos State Police Command in

Ketu area of the state has revealed

how they instigated traffic jams to

rob unsuspecting Lagosians.

Amos Abayomi, who was arrested

with a machete in-between traffic at

Ketu, Friday, said he used to rob in

traffic with a gang of other

hoodlums, especially in the morning

and at night.

He explained that there were

instances motor boys working in

Ajelogo Park, Ketu would use their

trucks to block the highway at dawn

thereby creating artificial traffic so

that they can feast on motorists and

commuters held in traffic.

Abayomi, who had dispossessed

a young lady of her Tecno Spark 4

phone, shortly before he was

arrested, noted that traffic robbery

at dawn and night was all he does

for a living.

He also disclosed that he had

handed over the phones he

collected to one of his accomplices,

Akube (now at large) before he was

arrested.

Abayomi, an Eiye cult member,

also confessed that Monday

Obayemi, who was equally arrested

with assorted hard drugs, robs and

sells hard drugs in traffic to the

suspects and other criminals on daily

basis.

Items recovered from the suspects

arrested between Thursday night

and early hours of Friday last week

by a team of Rapid Response

Squad, RRS, operatives led by its

Commander, CSP Olayinka

Egbeyemi, around Motorways end

of Ketu, were weapons, assorted

charms, mobile phones, wraps of

substances suspected to be cocaine

and other hard drugs.

The Commissioner of Police,

Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu,

has directed that the suspects be

transferred to the State Criminal

Investigation Department, Panti,

Yaba for discreet investigation and

prosecution, as the command will

not leave any stone unturned in

getting the state rid of criminals and

hoodlums.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 20217

4 killed as herdsmen attack Plateau

communities

By Marie-Therese

Nanlong

JOS FOUR youths were killed

by suspected herdsmen that

invaded Rikwechongu and Zirshe

villages of Irigwe Chiefdom, Bassa

Local Government Area of Plateau

State in the early hours of yesterday.

It was also gathered that several

houses and food barns were set

ablaze by the gunmen.

Confirming the attack, yesterday,

National President, Irigwe

Development Association, IDA,

Robbert Ashi, said three young

persons were ambushed by the

suspected herdsmen, Sunday

evening, and killed between Jebbu

Bassa and Rikwechongu villages

while another person was killed at

Zirshe village yesterday morning

Benue school

shut over

strange ailment

By Peter Duru

MAKURDIBENUE State

government has directed the

immediate shutdown of Vaatia

College, a Makurdi-based boarding

secondary school, following the

outbreak of a strange disease in the

institution.

The directive came after five

students of the school came down

with the ailment and were

hospitalised in public and private

hospitals in Makurdi.

The state Commissioner for Health

and Human Services, Dr Joseph

Ngbea, who confirmed the

development, yesterday, in Makurdi,

said the affected five students were

in stable condition while an

investigation into the ailment was on.

The commissioner, who described

the ailment as ‘Orepa syndrome,”

explained that the students

experienced paresis or slight form of

paralysis, adding that the school was

shut to check further spread of the

diseases.

According to him, “five students

were affected, three of them are at

the Benue State University Teaching

Hospital, BSUTH. One of them is

doing well while two others are at

Madonna Hospital Makurdi (a

private hospital).

“You know that Nigeria is in the

process of certification of polio-free,

and we saw that some students were

having parasis instead of paralysis.

(Not complete paralysis) but they are

doing well.

“Since there is no paralysis, polio

is completely ruled out. So it is called

Orepa syndrome. We are trying to

look at that, they are being treated

for now and there is no diagnosis at

the teaching hospital.”

When asked if the disease is

contagious, the Commissioner said

“That is why we shut down the

school, we want to look into the

biology of the virus to know if it is

contagious.

“So after looking at the biology of

the disease we will be able to advise

the school appropriately. You know

that the students are many,” Dr

Ngbea said.

Meanwhile, it was gathered that

in compliance with the directive from

the state government, the

management of the school had sent

out a notice to parents and guardians

to pick up their children and wards.

while some houses and food barns

were burnt.

He said: “Yesterday (Sunday)

evening, I was informed of attacks

by suspected herdsmen, who

ambushed and killed three of our

youths returning from Jebbu Bassa

to Rikwechongu village close to the

School of Accountancy while in the

early hours of this morning

(Monday) the herdsmen also

attacked Zirshe village and killed

one person, burnt several houses

including food barns where the

villagers had kept their recently

harvested produce.

“This action is condemnable

coming at the time our people are

preaching peace in the land.”

The state Police Command did

not confirm the incident as a call to

its spokesman, ASP Gabriel Uba,

was not picked but Dalyop

Solomon, who works with rural

communities affected by herders/

farmers conflicts, told Vanguard on

the phone that the information was

true.

According to him, “It was

reported last night, February 14,

2021, that Zirshe village of Kwall

District in Bassa LGA was invaded

by suspected armed militias at

about 7:21 pm. From information

locally sourced, Mr Cephas Dauda

was shot dead while many houses

were razed down by the attackers.

“In a related development at about

6:30 pm shortly before Zirshe

village was invaded, suspected

militias ambushed and killed three

natives of Irigwe ethnic extraction

on their way home from Ri-bakwa

to Rikwe-Chongu area.

Those killed are- Ezekiel Maja,

29 years; Emmanuel Agaba 30

years and Moses Daburu, 26 years,

while Mr Bitrus Ezeh, 42 years

sustained an injury on his right leg

and is currently on admission at

Enos Hospital, Miango.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Istifanus

Gyang (PDP, Plateau North) has

condemned the killing.

Gyang in a statement by his

Special Assistant, Mr Musa

Ashoms, said the attack came

shortly after a similar ambush and

killing of youths in Riyom Local

Government Area.

He said while efforts were

focused on rebuilding peace and

reconciling the people of Plateau

North, there were still persons

whose preoccupation was violence

and bloodletting.

The lawmaker urged the

government and the security

agencies to secure and protect lawabiding

citizens and communities

of Plateau North and bring the

culprits to justice.

Passengers escape death as fire guts BRT bus

in Lagos

By Olasunkanmi

Akoni

PASSENGERS

narrowly

escaped death, yesterday

morning, when a Bus Rapid Transit,

BRT, bus suddenly burst into flames

along Ikorodu Road, Lagos.

According to an eyewitness, Mr

Debo Akiola, the BRT vehicle was

en-route Ikorodu-Jibowu when it

caught fire around Idi-Iroko and

Anthony axis of the city.

“The bus was in motion en route

Anthony from Ikorodu terminal

when smoke started emitting from

the engine compartment. The

incident caused panic among the

passengers, who hurriedly

disembarked from the bus.

“The fire, which left the bus

completely burnt was later put out

The bus on fire.

by other motorists who brought out

their fire extinguishers to

complement the effort of the affected

bus driver.”

At press time the cause of the fire

could not be ascertained but a source

said the incident was caused due

to faulty engine.

Also, effort to reach the

spokesperson of Primero company,

operators of the BRT scheme, was

unsuccessful.

Sambisa raid: Troops eliminate 81 Boko Haram terrorists,

lose soldier •As fleeing terrorists raze Zira, Gur villages

By Kingsley Omonobi

ABUJANIGERIAN troops

have reportedly eliminated 81

Boko Haram fighters in Sambisa

axis and lost one soldier from

landmine attack.

Military sources said the fleeing

terrorists have continued to wreak

havoc by razing villages along their

escape routes.

The troops of Sector 1 comprising

troops of 21 and 26 Brigades

supported by Multi-National Joint

Task Force, MNJTF, cleared many

villages of terrorists in the axis,

including Garin Bello, Kwoche,

Lawanti, Alfa Bula Hassan and Alfa

Cross among others.

Intelligence sources said the

troops encountered stiff resistance

from the terrorists, who laid

improvised explosive devices along

the troops’ axis of advance.

The sources said: “The relentless

troops destroyed the terrorists’

camps and recovered gun trucks

and weapons as NAF aircraft

continue to provide close air and

interdiction support to the ground

forces

“Regrettably a soldier paid the

supreme sacrifice with four other

soldiers wounded in an improvised

explosive devices incident,” the

intelligence officer added.

In a message to the troops on

behalf of the Chief of Army Staff,

Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, the

Theatre Commander, Operation

Lafiya Dole, Major General Farouk

Yahaya, praised the gallantry of the

troops and urged them to sustain it.

He also paid tribute to the fallen

hero and urged the troops to honour

his memory by dealing with the

terrorists ruthlessly without mercy.

Meanwhile, it was gathered that

a large number of the fleeing Boko

Haram terrorists invaded Zira and

Gur villages in Biu South Local

Government Area of Borno State.

The terrorists were said to have

stormed the communities about 4:30

pm, Sunday, on motorcycles and

gun trucks and set ablaze many

houses, while residents scampered

for safety.

Fighter aircraft of the NAF later

engaged the fleeing terrorists with

firepower from the air, neutralising

many of them in the offensive.

Ex-Oyo Deputy

Chief Registrar

jailed over dud

cheque

Ola Ajayi

THE Economic and Financial

Crimes Commission, EFCC,

Ibadan zonal office, has secured

the conviction of a former Deputy

Chief Registrar of the Oyo State

High Court, Mutiat Omobola Adio,

over a dud cheque she issued.

Adio was convicted after pleading

guilty to a fresh charge bordering

on obtaining money by false

pretence and issuance of

dishonoured cheque contrary to

Section 419 of the Criminal Code

Law, Cap. 38, Laws of Oyo State,

2000 and Section 1 (1) (b) of the

Dishonored Cheque (Offences)

Act, Cap. D11, Laws of the

Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

She was accused of having

obtained a 2000 model Toyota

Pathfinder SUV valued at N1.5

million from one Fabunmi Samuel

of Fatai Olanrewaju Motors by

pretending to him that it would be

paid once the cheque she issued

him in the said value is presented

to her bank.

The victim released the said

vehicle to her but the cheque was

dishonoured within three months

of issuance for insufficient funds in

the account.

Upon arraignment on January

30, 2018, the defendant had initially

pleaded not guilty to the charges

but later changed her plea to

‘guilty’, after a plea bargain

agreement leading to the

amendment of the charge.

Justice Owolabi, thereafter,

pronounced the defendant guilty

of the offence and sentenced her

to three years in prison.

The court also ordered her to pay

her victim, one Fabunmi Olatunji

Samuel of Fatai Olanrewaju

Motors the sum of N500,000 in

addition to the sum of N1 million

she had previously paid in

restitution of the victim.

With the latest development, Adio

has been convicted thrice having

previously been jailed twice for

fraud on May 18, 2018. She was

sentenced to seven years

imprisonment for obtaining N9.2

million from one Abiodun

Olonade, a Nigerian resident in

Ireland, by false pretence.

Also, on March 6, 2020, she was

convicted and sentenced to five

years in prison for stealing

N22,375,913 from Guaranty Trust

Bank Plc.

GUTTED: Firefighters putting off fire from a warehouse situated at Iddo Terminus

along Carter Bridge, in Lagos, yesterday. Photo: NAN.


8 Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

:Vanguard News

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

AGREEMENT: From left; Executive Vice-Chairman, Onward Paper Mill, Mr Oluwaseyi Obagun; MD, Tetra

Pak West Africa, Mr Aruna Oshiokamele; Chairman, Onward Paper Mill, Mr Kunle Obagun and Mr David

Harper; Non-Executive Director, Onward Paper Mill at the signing ceremony of the recycling agreement between

Tetra Pak West Africa and Onward Paper Mill, in Lagos.

COVID-19: FG to vaccinate 109m Nigerians

in 2yrs

By Omeiza Ajayi

ABUJA The Federal

Government has expressed

its readiness to vaccinate

approximately 109 million

Nigerians against

COVID-19 in the next two

years.

While Nigeria’s population

stands at over 206 million, the

country has just over 60, 000

vaccinators, with the Nigerian

Primary Health Care Development

Agency, NPHCDA,

promising to boost the capacity

of the personnel and also

expand the size. Also, Nigeria

last Saturday recorded the

second highest number of

COVID-19 case fatalities, as

24 patients at its treatment

centres succumbed to the virus

within 24 hours.

This came as government

said it has scaled up surveillance

against the Ebola Virus

Disease at all its entry points

in order to guard against importation

of the disease.

Speaking at yesterday’s

briefing of the Presidential

Taskforce PTF on COVID-19,

Executive Director of the

NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib,

said the Federal Government

will work with the states to

vaccinate all eligible population

from 18 years and above

including pregnant women.

“However, the decision to

vaccinate any pregnant

woman would be made in

consultation with her

healthcare provider. There

will be consideration as to

whether she is at high risk of

contracting the COVID-19 or

not and if she is a frontline

health worker, support staff or

responder in the security architecture

of our country. In

the end, we have to weigh the

benefits versus the risks.

“After excluding those that

are under 18 years, we plan to

vaccinate approximately 109

million Nigerians who will be

eligible for COVID-19 vaccination

over the course of two

years. Additionally, the federal

government has received the

commitment of about 1.5

million and a hundred thousand

doses of Astrazeneca

vaccine from MTN and the

Government of India respectively.

“All eligible population

have been identified using the

WHO Vaccine Allocation

Framework and the

Prioritization Roadmap as

well as the Disease Burden

Data from the NCDC. These

•NAFDAC evaluating Russia’s Sputnik V

•Nigeria records 24 deaths in 24hrs, scales up

surveillance on Ebola

criteria are the frontline

health workers, their support

staff including those who

work in high risk areas such

as the Points of Entry, Rapid

Response Teams, Contact

Tracing Teams, COVID-19

Vaccination Teams and Strategic

Leadership. People aged

50 years and above; people

aged 18-49 years with significant

comorbidities and additional

at-risk groups. In order

to facilitate the implementation

process, the Technical

Working Group has come up

with a strategy of pre-registration

and scheduling of the

target population to avoid

overcrowding at vaccination

posts”, said Shuaib.

Sputnik V

Minister of Health, Dr

Osagie Ehanire, on his part

said the National Agency for

Food, Drug Administration

and Control, NAFDAC, has

taken delivery of “dossiers” of

the Russian vaccine, Sputnik

V and others from India and

China, with a view to evaluating

and certifying them fit or

otherwise for human consumption.

Ehanire added that

vaccines carry some amount

of risks and warned Nigerians

against patronizing those

that have not been certified.

He said: “The National

Agency For Drug Administration

and Control (NAFDAC)

has received dossiers for Sputnik

V vaccine of Russia,

Covishield or Astra Zeneca

manufactured under license

by Serum Institute of India,

Covaxin by Bharat vaccines

of India and the Sinopharm

Vaccine of China, for evaluation

and validation for use in

Nigeria. Some of them are

nearly ready for results.

“It is important to stress that

all COVID-19 vaccines carry

a certain amount of risk and

any vaccines not approved by

the Federal Ministry of

Health through its Agencies

cannot be used in Nigeria. The

government will not be responsible

for the safety or efficacy

of vaccines given outside

the framework of the Government.

All the needs of Nigeria

have been carefully calcu-

WTO confirms Okonjo-Iweala as Director-General

•Buhari, Lawan, Gbajabiamila, Okowa congratulate

Okonjo-Iweala

By Peter Egwuatu,

Yinka Kolawole,

Johnbosco Agbakwuru,

Levinus

Nwabughiogu ,

Festus Ahon , Levinus

Nwabughiogu-

&Tordue Salem

ABUJA After nearly six

months without a

leader, the World Trade Organisation,

WTO, has announced

the appointment of

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as

the organization’s 7th Director-General

with effect from

March 1, 2021, making her

the first woman and the first

African to lead the global

trade bloc.

This is coming three months

after the Trump administration

of US rejected the former

Nigerian finance minister.

Her term, which is renewable,

will expire on August 31, 2025.

In a statement announcing

the appointment, WTO’s

General Council Chair, Amb.

David Walker of New Zealand

said: “This is a very significant

moment for the WTO. On

behalf of the General Council,

I extend our warmest congratulations

to Dr Ngozi

Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment

as the WTO’s next

Director-General and formally

welcome her to this

General Council meeting.”

“On behalf of all members I

wish to sincerely thank you for

your graciousness in these exceptional

months, and for

your patience. We look forward

to collaborating closely

with you, and I am certain that

all members will work with

you constructively during

your tenure as Director-General

to shape the future of this

organization.

Walker who, together with

co-facilitators Amb. Dacio

Castillo (Honduras) and

Amb. Harald Aspelund (Iceland)

led the nine-month DG

selection process, extended his

thanks to all eight of the candidates

who participated in

the selection process and particularly

to Yoo “for her ongoing

commitment to and support

for the multilateral trading

system and for the WTO”.

Responding, Okonjo-

Iweala said a key priority for

her would be to work with

members to quickly address

the economic and health consequences

brought about by

the COVID-19 pandemic.

She stated: “I am honoured

to have been selected by WTO

members as WTO Director-

General. A strong WTO is vital

if we are to recover fully

and rapidly from the devastation

wrought by the COVID-

19 pandemic. I look forward

to working with members to

shape and implement the

policy responses we need to

get the global economy going

again. Our organization

faces a great many challenges

but working together we can

collectively make the WTO

stronger, more agile and better

adapted to the realities of

today.”

The General Council decision

follows months of uncertainty

which arose when the

United States initially refused

to join the consensus around

Okonjo-Iweala and threw its

support behind South Korea’s

Trade Minister Yoo Myunghee.

But following Yoo’s decision

to withdraw her candidacy

on 5th February, the

administration of newly

elected US President Joe

Biden dropped US objection

and announced instead that

Washington extends its

“strong support” to the candidacy

of Okonjo-Iweala.

lated by NPHCDA and it is

possible to accommodate all

interests in the framework.

“With regard to the African

Vaccine Acquisition Task

Team, AVATT, Nigeria this

morning completed her account

opening, signed by two

officials each, of the Ministry

of Health and the Ministry of

Finance, Budget and National

Planning, at Afrexim

Bank as a requirement for

access to vaccines on that platform,

which will give Nigeria

access to a much larger portfolio

and variety of vaccines.

“Among the vaccines are the

Johnson and Johnson single

dose vaccine and as much of

the Pfizer mRNA vaccines as

we can manage. The covid19

Vaccine Coordinatiing Committee

and NPHCDA’s strategy

for vaccine delivery will

advise the mix of vaccines that

Nigeria will acquire”.

Ebola Surveillance

Secretary to the Government

of the Federation SGF

and Chairman of the Presidential

Taskforce PTF on

COVID-19, Mr Boss

Mustapha, said Nigeria was

enhancing surveillance at its

entry points against the Ebola

Virus Disease. “The PTF is

also enhancing surveillance at

points of entry to respond to

recent outbreak of Ebola in

neighboring countries, especially,

Guinea and the Congo

DCR. We shall keep a keen eye

on it to avoid having to combat

with the two deadly diseases

at the same time. This is

not a task for Government

alone but for all Nigerians

and indeed all members of the

public have a role to play.

24 deaths in 24 hours

“There has been sustained

efforts by sub-national entities

and the FCT administration

to stem the tide against the

Buhari congratulates

Okonjo-Iweala

Meanwhile, President

Muhammadu Buhari has

felicitated with former Minister

of Finance and

Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-

Iweala on her election as Director

General of the World

Trade Organisation, WTO.

This was contained in a

statement issued by the Senior

Special Assistant to the

President on Media and Publicity,

Garba Shehu in Abuja.

According to the statement,

“As the Harvard-educated

and renowned economist

takes up another onerous task

of service to the world and

humanity, the President believes

her track record of integrity,

diligence and passion

for development will continue

to yield positive results

and rewards to mankind.

“President Buhari affirms

that Dr Okonjo-Iweala, who

over the years set major

records of economic reforms

in Nigeria as Minister of Finance,

and later Minister of

Foreign Affairs, will excel in

her new position and validate

the global mandate of repositioning

and strengthening the

multilateral institution for the

greater good of all."

Lawan congratulates

Okonjo-Iweala

President of Senate,

Ahmad Lawan, also yesterday

congratulated the former

Minister of Finance, Dr.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her

emergence as the first African

and first female Director-

General of the WTO.

The President of the Senate

said, “I heartily rejoice with

Dr Okonjo-Iweala on this

well-deserved victory.

“With her latest feat, the

former Nigerian Minister of

Finance and Managing Director

of the World Bank has

again brought honour to Nigeria,

Africa and women everywhere.

"

Gbajabiamila congratulates

Iweala

Speaker of the House of

Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila

also congratulated

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on

her emergence as the Director-General

of WTO.

second wave of the pandemic.

This is evident in the closure

of some facilities including

event centres, clubs, etc over

the violation of protocols. We

are glad with the direction of

the collaboration and enforcement

which we believe

will deter other would-be violators.

For the avoidance of

doubt, places of worship

should only have 50 per cent

of their capacity, indoor gatherings/meetings

should not

exceed 50 persons, at a time.

Southern, MBF

leaders fault

appointment of

Appeal Court

Justices

By Dapo Akinrefon

LAGOS The Southern

and Middle Belt Leaders

Forum, yesterday, faulted

the latest list of nominated

candidates for appointment of

Court of Justices of the Court

of Appeal alleging that the list

has been compromised. The

Forum in a statement, entitled

‘’Compromised appointment

of Appeal Court Justices’’,

alleged that the list has

been compromised by politicians

at the Federal Judicial

Service Commission, FJSC.

The statement by Yinka

Odumakin (South West),

Chief Guy Ikoku (South East),

Senator Bassey Henshaw

(South-South) and Dr Isuwa

Dogo (Middle Belt), said “The

list was said to have been allegedly

compromised by politicians

at FJSC. This was also

said to been consequent upon

the rejection of the merit list

submitted to the commission

by the President of the Court

of Appeal, Justice Monica

Dongban-Mensem.

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

The Speaker noted that the

“former two-time Finance

Minister of Nigeria comes to

office with a wealth of experience

that spans several decades,

saying her track record

speaks volumes.”

Okonjo-Iweala’s

appointment, testament

of her competence

Okowa

Delta State Governor, Senator

Ifeanyi Okowa, Monday,

said the appointment of Dr

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Director-General

of WTO was a

testament to her competence

and experience as a renowned

economist and international

development expert.

“Her appointment is indeed,

a testament to your competence

and experience as a

renowned economist and international

development expert.

You went through a very

rigorous and competitive

process to emerge as the new

head at the WTO."


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021 9


10 Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

By Adesina Wahab

A

GROUP, the Yoruba

Appraisal Forum, YAF, has

urged President Muhammadu

Buhari and governors of the six

South-West states to integrate the

Western Nigeria Security

Network, popularly called

Amotekun, into the community

policing initiative of the Federal

Government, under the Nigeria

Police Force.

YAF stated that Amotekun

should urgently be reformed,

integrated and placed under the

supervision and control of the

Inspector General of Police to

check the excesses now

manifesting in its operations, in

the interest of peace and national

security.

The forum alleged that

Amotekun has been hijacked by

forces planning to destabilise the

South-West and the country at

large, stressing that the regional

security outfit needs to be

properly kept under security

watch by the police that is

constitutionally empowered to

secure all Nigerians.

:Vanguard

News

Why Amotekun should be

integrated into FG’s community

policing Yoruba group

Bizwoman sues airline, IGP

over terrorism accusation

By Innocent Anaba

L

A G O S A

businesswoman,

Mrs. Nneka Ogbonna, has

dragged Air Peace Limited

and the Inspector-General

of Police, IGP, before a

Lagos Federal High Court,

for calling her a terrorist,

hijacker, and breaching her

fundamental rights.

Other defendants in the

fundamental rights enforcement

suit are Nigerian Civil Aviation

Authority, NCAA, Federal

Airports Authority of Nigeria,

FAAN, and Captain Horace

Millar-Jaja, a pilot with the airline.

Meanwhile, trial judge, Justice

Chuka Obiozor, will, today, begin

hearing in the suit.

The claimant is asking the

court to declare that Captain

Millar-Jaja violated her right to

dignity of human person as

guaranteed under Section 34(1)

of the 1999 Constitution and

Article 5 of the African Charter

on Human and Peoples Rights

and her right to freedom of

movement as guaranteed under

This was contained in a petition

signed by the group's National

Coordinator, Adeshina

Animashaun, sent to the

President and governors of the

six states in the region; the

Inspector General of Police and

the service chiefs.

YAF also copied the petition to

the National Security Adviser,

Major General Babagana

Moguno (rtd); Director General,

Department of State Services, Mr

Yusuf Bichi; Minister of Defence,

Major General Bashir Magashi

(rtd); Minister of Police Affairs,

Muhammad Dingyadi; and

Minister of Interior, Rauf

Aregbesola.

YAF said that Amotekun must

be thoroughly scrutinised and

monitored by the police high

command under the Inspector

General of Police.

It noted that under this

arrangement, the police high

command should be allowed to

supervise and oversee

Amotekun’s activities and

operations, especially since the

original rationale behind its

formation was to complement the

police in checking crime.

Section 41(1) of the 1999 Constitution

and Article 12(1)(2) of the

African Charter on Human and

Peoples Rights by initiating the

process for her unlawful and forceful

disembarkation from the Air

Peace flight 7210 from Lagos to

Warri on December 10, 2019,

which she said was contrary to

Regulations 17.40.3, 17.58.8 and

17.93.4 of Part 17 of the Nigerian

Civil Aviation Regulations, 2015.

She is further praying the court

to declare that NCAA and FAAN

violated her right to dignity of

human person as guaranteed

under Section 34 of the 1999

Constitution and Article 5 of the

African Charter on Human and

Peoples Rights, when two of its

male employees (Fatoyinbo with

AVSEC.ID Card No. 25870 and

Nze, Head of Crime and

Investigation) attempted to

forcefully and unlawfully remove

her from her seat inside Air Peace

flight 7210 from Lagos to Warri on

December 10, 2019 in violation

of the “same gender’ principle

enshrined in Regulation

15.8.3(a)(iii) of the Nigerian Civil

Aviation Regulations, 2015.

Oyo holds LG elections May 15

By Adeola Badru

IBADANOYO

State

Independent Electoral

Commission, OYSIEC, yesterday,

released guidelines and timetable

for election into the 33 local

councils of the state.

The polls will be held on May

15. The election activities started

yesterday with the publication of

notice. Chairmanship and

councillorship candidates are

expected to obtain their

nomination forms upon payment

of the nomination fees of

N250,000 and N100,000,

respectively.

Omisore rejoins APC, registers

with party

By Shina Abubakar

FORMER

Deputy

Governor of Osun State,

Senator Iyiola Omisore, has

officially joined the All

Progressives Congress, APC, and

has registered in the ongoing

party membership registration

and revalidation exercise.

This is coming 19 years after

he was impeached as deputy

governor by the Alliance for

Democracy-led administration in

2002.

Senator Omisore officially

registered with the APC at his

Moore Ward 6 polling unit 003,

Ife-East local government area

of the state.

Speaking at the registration

exercise, the state Deputy

Governor, Benedict Alabi,

described Omisore as a politician

with progressive tendencies.

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

VISITFrom left: Oyo State Gov, Seyi Makinde; Kebbi State Gov, Abubakar Bagudu; Kano State

Gov, Abdulahi Ganduje; Zamfara State Gov, Bello Matawalle, and Niger State Gov, Abubakar

Bello, during the Northern governors' visit to Gov Makinde, over the Shasha Market crisis, in

Ibadan, yesterday.

SHASHA, OYO CRISIS: IGP deploys 4

riot police squadrons, chopper

By Ola Ajayi

A BUJATHE

Inspector-General of

Police, Mohammed Adamu, has

ordered immediate deployment of

four units of riot policemen to

address the violence in parts of

Oyo State.

The intervention and

stabilization forces also include

Force Intelligence Bureau

operatives and one surveillance

helicopter from the Police Air Wing

department.

Oyo State has been lately

wrapped by violence, including

the killings of farmers by

suspected herdsmen, abductions

and clashes between some

Hausa and Yoruba traders at

Shasha market.

Force Spokesman, CP Frank

Mba, in a statement, yesterday,

said the operatives would reclaim

the public space, reinforce

security and bolster public

confidence in the areas affected

• DIG Folawiyo to co-ordinate operations

• 3000 people displaced, as victims count

losses in Oyo

by the crisis.

He said: “The deployments,

consisting largely of intelligence

and operational assets of the

Force, include four units of the

Police Mobile Force, seasoned

operatives from the Force

Intelligence Bureau and one

operational/surveillance police

helicopter from the police Air-wing

department.

“The intervention force is being

coordinated by a Deputy

Inspector General of Police, David

Folawiyo, who is expected to

mobilize all relevant stakeholders

towards achieving the mandate

of the squad.”

The statement said the IG

assured that the force was

committed to the safety of the

lives and properties of the citizens

in the country and called on

residents of Oyo State and other

Nigerians to embrace peace and

cooperate with the police and the

security community “as they

redouble their efforts in ensuring

that sustainable peace and

security are restored to the

affected areas.”

3,000 people displaced as

victims count losses

Meanwhile, feuding parties in

the crisis that engulfed Shasha

area of Ibadan in Akinyele Local

Government area at the weekend

have started counting their losses

after normalcy returned to the

trouble spots.

Vanguard gathered that many

people died in the crisis which

started last Friday at the popular

market, while vehicles and shops

were burnt.

According to information

Some Yoruba monarchs, leaders

aid criminal herdsmen Agbekoya

By Dapo Akinrefon

HE Agbekoya Farmers

TSociety, yesterday, expressed

worry that some traditional rulers

and leaders in the South-West

were aiding killer herdsmen in

perpetuating crimes in

Yorubaland.

It also claimed that lsikilu

Wakili, the notorious leader of the

criminal Fulani herdsmen, is still

in Kajola, under the protection of

a monarch.

A statement by its National

Publicity Secretary, Olatunji

Bandele, stated that President

General of the group,

Kamorudeen Okikiola, wondered

why traditional rulers in the

region would aid and abette killer

herdsmen in Yorubaland.

The statement read in part:

"The criminal Fulani herdsmen

and their leader, Isikilu Wakili,

whom Agbekoya security men

have been on their trail since last

week, have been found in their

hideout in Kajola, via Ayete, in

lbarapa area of Oyo State. We

have confirmed that lsikilu Wakili

the notorious leader of the

criminal Fulani herdsmen is still

in Kajola via Ayete under the

protection of his landlord Chief

Odomofin of Ayete and its

traditional ruler in Ayete.

"lsikilu Wakili, the notorious

leader of the criminal Fulani

herdsmen, who was widely

reported in the news that he had

fled from Kajola village via Ayete

in lbarapa area of Oyo State is

still in that village with his criminal

herdsmen terrorizing farmers and

innocent citizens in Kajola village

via Ayete.

The traditional ruler of

Ayete,Oba Asawo of Ayete and

Chief Alafua of Ayete confirmed

that lsikilu Wakili is still in Kajola

village via Ayete and that there

is little they could do because

they are not his landlord and that

Chief Odomofin of Ayete is his

landlord. Chief Alafua of Ayete,

who is also the Chairman of Police

community relations committee

of Ayete disclosed that Isikilu

Wakili is still terrorizing the

farmers and innocent people of

Kajola village where he had been

living for over 10 years. We have

it on good authority that nobody

dared challenge him even if his

cattle destroyed their farms.

Wakili was formerly under the

Seriki Saliu who had relocated to

Kwara State after he was

confronted and eventually

evicted by the Yoruba human

rights activist, Chief Sunday

Adeyemo lgboho, but today he

has taken over as the kingpin of

criminal Fulani herdsmen in

Kajola village.

"Our people have abandoned

their homes in Kajola village and

farmers have also left their farms

for fear of lsikilu Wakili and his

criminal Fulani herdsmen, who

attack or lay ambush for them.

There are no security agents in

Kajola village that can protect the

people.

"Arrangements have initially

been concluded with the

traditional ruler of Ayete to arrest

Wakili and a peace meeting

arranged for Tuesday with the

Yoruba and Fulani community but

was later turned down with the

excuse that they have left

everything for Governor Seyi

Makinde to handle."

gathered, some people are still

missing, with leaders of the parties

in the crisis leading the search

teams.

One of the market leaders,

Ciroma, told Vanguard that they

buried ''some of our people on

Sunday.''

Ciroma whose voice was hoarse

as a result of the trauma, said:

"Yes, it is true some of our people

were buried on Sunday. Even

now, we are still looking for

others."

He faulted the report of a certain

special adviser to Governor Seyi

Makinde on the crisis saying it

didn't reflect what actually

happened.

Vanguard also gathered that no

fewer than 3,000 people were

displaced and are now taking

shelter with their people in other

parts of the city.

Also, a man from the other side

of the crisis who did not identify

himself said some of their people

were killed during the crisis.

"Do you know that we lost one

popular man Adex, and others

whose whereabouts we don't

know as of now. Almost all our

shops have been burnt by

arsonists. We cannot estimate

what we have lost to the crisis.

Those who sustained injuries

cannot yet be determined until

the tension is over."

A reliable source told Vanguard

that some people were being

escorted out of the trouble spots

by security agents to Moniya area

of the city while some reportedly

relocated to Mokola area of the

city.

Meanwhile, peace has

returned to the market. Unlike

Friday and Saturday when both

human and vehicular traffic were

paralysed, some trucks loaded

with tubers of yams were seen

coming from Shasha- Ojoo end

of the road to Sango.

However, some truck drivers

who were afraid of being caught

up in the crisis sold their

tomatoes at give away prices

before getting to the market and

headed back to Ilorin-

Ogbomosho road.


Vanguard, , TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021 11

:Vanguard :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnewsNEWS HOTLINES:

CONFABFrom left: Comrade Aghedo Stephen; Coordinator, Yoruba Appraisal Forum,

YAF, Shina Animashaun; Osun State Coordinator, Akinyemi Akinremi, and Spokesman,

Oloketuyi Ojo, during a press conference by members of YAF, where they vowed to resist

vendors of violence in the South West, in Ibadan, weekend. Photo: Dare Fasube.

#OccupyLekkiTollGate: Sanwo-Olu orders

probe into alleged brutalisation

of protesters

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide

Sanwo-Olu has directed the state

Commissioner of Police, Hakeem

Odumosu to institute an investigation

into the harassment of some protesters

who were arrested during last Saturday's

botched protest at the Lekki Tollgate.

Commissioner for Information and

Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso,

disclosed this yesterday, at a media parley,

organised by Management of Lekki

Concession Company, LCC, led by its

Managing Director, Mr. Yomi

Omomuwasan, to clear the air on some

controversial reports in the media, held

in Ikeja G.R.A, Lagos.

The botched protest was organised by

some aggrieved groups to protest against

the reopening of the toll gate as ordered

by judicial panel of inquiry into the

#EndSARS protest of October 20, 2020,

and other alleged police brutality in the

state.

Recall that 40 protesters, including ace

comedian, Debo Adebayo, popularly

known as Mr. Macaroni, were arrested

and arraigned by a Lagos Mobile Court,

within the premises of Criminal

Investigation Department CID, Panti

before being granted bail.

Apart from the arrests, the protesters

were allegedly, subjected to harassment

and seizure of their personal phones,

cameras and personal effects.

While speaking with newsmen on the

alleged harassment of some protesters

last Saturday, Omotoso said the

Governor has directed the CP to begin

investigation into the molestation of

• LCC records over N2.5bn loses from Oct

20, 2020 to Feb 13, 2021 MD

• Lekki Estate residents list conditions for

reopening

some protesters with a view to prosecute

and punish any officer found culpable.

His words: “Mr. Governor is unhappy

about the situation and he has directed

the CP to fish out the culprit(s) and

ensure justice is served in line with the

appropriate rules of the Nigerian Police

Force.

“The governor can’t stand and watch

residents brutalized by the police. It’s a

big embarrassment to the state

government. This will not be condoned.”

Earlier, Omomuwasan, expressed

regret that some people were using fake

news to misinform Nigerians about the

company’s ownership and whip up

public sentiment against its return to

business.

While expressing condolence with

Nigerians who suffered one loss or the

other during the protest, he stressed that

continuing to punish LCC whose facility

was forcefully taken over by the

protesters for whatever happened on

October 20, 2020, would be a regrettable

double 'whammy' for the company.

Omomuwasan explained that the

non-return of the company to operation

was negatively affecting LCC’s subsisting

loan obligations to local and international

lenders, maintenance of the road, its

ancillary services and most importantly,

the welfare of its over 500 staff, mainly

youths, some of whom have been home

since the incident in October.

He disclosed that LCC owed N23.9

billion and $49.6 million to local and

LCCI proffers solutions to petrol

deregulation dilemma

By Henry Ojelu

LAGOSLAGOS Chamber of

Commerce and Industry,

LCCI, has urged the Federal

Government to set up a social

pricing window for vulnerable

Nigerians to mitigate the impact

of its deregulation policy on that

segment of the society.

Mr. Muda Yusuf, Director

General, LCCI, told newsmen in

Lagos, yesterday, that

government at all levels must

prioritise mass transit, to reduce

the impact of the removal of

subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit,

PMS, on transportation costs.

Yusuf noted that the removal of

subsidy on PMS, also known as petrol,

would cause some challenges, which

could be for a short term, if the right programmes

are put in place.

He said: “I will say that the

deregulation policy is something that

should be sustained and we should be

looking at how we can mitigate the short

term challenges on Nigerians.

“In the short term we can look at a

social pricing window for the vulnerable

segment of the society.

“The way we think this can work is to

designate all the Nigerian National

Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) stations

and provide a social pricing mechanism

in NNPC stations alone.

“The Federal Government can set

aside a certain amount to subsidise in

these windows and it should not be more

than 10 per cent of the total consumption

of fuel in the short term before we transit

into full deregulation."

foreign lenders as of December 31, 2011.

He, however, lamented that the forceful

takeover of the Tollgate by #ENDSARS

protesters and its subsequent destruction

had affected its ability to service its debts.

“From October 20, 2020, to February 13,

2021, we have lost over N2.5 billion in

terms of damages and loses.

According to Omomuwasan , “As of

January 31, 2021, the outstanding debt

liability from the local lenders is in the

region of N11.6 billion and from the

foreign lenders $31.1 million, with the

difference being the amount LCC has so

far paid the lenders. Before the

#ENDSARS protest, LCC had continued

to meet up with servicing its loan

obligations without default to the

lenders.

“However, since the commencement

of the #ENDSARS protest, the forceful

takeover of the Admiralty Circle Toll Plaza

and the unfortunate incident of Tuesday,

October 20, 2020, we have had to plead

for moratorium repeatedly with our local

and international lenders.

“It has been impossible to meet our

loan repayment obligations- and

obligations to our workers- given our

inability to collect tolls, the main revenue

source from which the repayment was

contractually expected to come."

Lekki Estate

residents list

conditions for

reopening

Meanwhile, residents of estates

around Lekki, under the aegis of Lekki

Estates Residents and Stakeholders

Association (LERSA), have given the

Government and LCC, conditions for the

re-opening of the Lekki Toll Gate.

The conditions was contained in a

press statement issued by the

association, comprising over 80 estates

and communities.

In the statement by Olorogun James

Emadoye and Mr. Gbemi Adelekan,

LERSA President and Secretary-General

respectively, the residents asked the state

government and LCC to provide viable

alternative roads to the tolled roads,

implement round figure fees at the toll

and immediately improve the tolling

system technology to guarantee free flow

at the toll gates before commencement

of tolling.

While appealing for restraint among

angry youth, LERSA called on the

government to allow free expression of

discontent in a way that guarantees

protection of lives and properties.

Haa! Unforgettable ‘sweet' Valentine!

...Or you could take up a free ‘apartment'

under Marina flyovers!

Uneasy lies the ‘poor' head that wears the

‘crown'!


12 Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

:Vanguard News

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

FLAG-OFF: Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo, flanked by Flag Officer

Commanding and Principal Staff Officers of the Nigerian Navy, during the flagging off

Exercise SECURED WATERS 2021 at the Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island, Lagos, yesterday.

Photo: Kehinde Shonola.

I’m still in PDP Jonathan

•Says it's party that carries everybody along

By Emem Idio

YENAGOA AMIDST

growing speculations

that former President

Goodluck Jonathan might

dump the Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP, for the

ruling All Progressives

Congress, APC, he has

reaffirmed his loyalty to the

PDP, declaring that he is still

a member of the PDP,

describing the party “as a

friend that carries people

along.”

Jonathan at the Supreme

Court victory/thanksgiving

service of Governor Douye

Diri of Bayelsa State at the

State Ecumenical Centre,

Yenagoa, on Sunday, said:

“PDP has been a very friendly

party, I am a member of PDP

and I know from the

beginning till today, it has

been a very friendly party.

"PDP is a party that carries

everybody along and we

should extend that at Bayelsa

State level.”

He advised politicians to

reconcile their differences

and work together after every

political contest and shun

politics of bitterness and

acrimony, adding that

elections should be seen as a

political contest and not a civil

war.

H said: “If we must

change, if we must develop,

then those of us who are

contesting for political

leadership must know that

politics is not war, it’s not a

military coup. At the end of

the day, we must all come to

support whoever that is there

so that we can move our state

and the nation forward.

“Those of us who are in

politics should learn to play

politics as politics and not as

a war. At the end of every

political process, let all of us

come together and support

whoever by divine

providence God has made to

be there.

“In Nigeria, what we know

especially at the national level

is the change of government

through coups. And at the

end of that coup, whether the

coup succeeds or not, both

parties live as enemies.

Sometimes, they stay as

enemies till they die.

“But our democratic process

is recognised by law. So, we

the modern-day politicians

should not begin to practise

democracy and contestation

for power as if we are

organising a coup. At the end

of the political process, we

expect that both parties

should come together and the

winner carries everybody

along and leaders that

contested the election must

know that it was a political

process known by law and

whoever wins, we agree that

God gave him that position.

“I want to thank our

governor for opening his

hands and welcoming every

citizen of Bayelsa State

irrespective of the political

divide. Immediately you win

an election, you become the

governor of everybody and

you can’t be governor of only

the party you belong to.”

Community leaders in court to

enforce fundamental human rights

•Demand N500m for unlawful arrest, detention from

police, others

By Gabriel

Enogholase

BENIN LEADERS of

Obaretin community in

Oredo Local Government

Area of Edo State led by its

acting “Odionwere” (oldest

man), Pa Albert Ogiemwonyi,

has instituted a suit before an

Edo State High Court sitting

in Benin City against the

Nigeria Police and some

leaders of Ubiaza, their

neighbour, for the

enforcement of their

fundamental rights to liberty

and dignity of the human

person.

The applicants in the suit

are Pa Ogiemwonyi and 17

others. The respondents are

the Inspector General of

Police, Nigeria Police Force,

Police Service Commission

Abuja, Attorney-General of

the Federation, Edo State

Commissioner of Police,

Head, IGP Monitoring Unit,

Mr Edwin Ogiemwense,

Kennedy Obasuyi and

others.

In the suit, the applicants

through their counsel,

Rosemary Ehimhen, want

the court to restrain the

respondents by themselves,

agents, servants and or

privies and or such other

persons from oppressing

them or imposing any

inhibition or restriction on their

freedom of movement or

agents and family.

The applicants further want

the court to declare that the

arrest and detention of the 4th

and 6th applicants, Osadolor

Ighine and Osuyi Edokpolor,

from 3.30 a.m., on February

6, 2021, to February 10, 2021,

by the respondents is a

violation of Sections 34 and

35 of the Constitution of the

Federal Republic of Nigeria

(as amended).

They also want the court to

declare that the torture and

embarrassment meted out on

the 4th and 6th applicants by

the respondents are

unconstitutional, unlawful,

abuse of office and actionable.

The applicants want a

declaration by the court that

the threat to arrest the 1st to

3rd, 7th to 18th applicants by

the respondents is

unconstitutional, unlawful

and abuse of office.

They also want an order of

the court for the payment of

N500 million by the

respondents severally and

jointly to them for general,

aggravated and exemplary

damages for the unlawful

arrest.

In a 36 paragraph affidavit

by the applicants in support

of the application, they

alleged that the respondents

stormed their community to

arrest some of them on

February 1, 2 and 6, 2021,

shot sporadically into the air,

destroyed doors, windows

and ceilings without any

warrant of arrest.

They further alleged that

they were made to pay

heavily to secure their bail.

Omoku communities to Wike:

Intervene on NAOC neglect

now or we shut it down

By Egufe

Yafugborhi

PORT HARCOURT

OMOKU community in

Rivers State, yesterday, called

on the state governor,

Nyesom Wike, to, without

delay, intervene in the

perceived development

neglect by Nigeria Agip Oil

Company, NAOC, or they

would take laws into their

hands and shut down the oil

firm.

Leaders representing all 26

communities of Omoku in

Ogba, Egbema, Ndoni Local

Government Area, venting

their grievances in Port

Harcourt, Rivers State

accused NAOC of nonemployment

of indigenes in

its operations in the locality,

unwillingness to deal with

environmental degradation

and funding of terror gangs

in the area.

President General, Omoku

Youth Federation, Hopeson

Ahiakwo said: “We have

endured the high level of

insensitivity by NAOC. All

they have done is divide

Omoku against itself. We

have requested a Global

Memorandum of

Understanding to no avail.

“Is it about employment, is

it about educational grant or

scholarship, contracts, talk

about environmental impact

assessment on the damages

their operations have dealt on

our health, our farmlands

and waters? There is no

commitment by the company

to ease our frustrations, for the

past 50 years."

UNICAL's ASUU members

call for release of colleague

kidnapped one year ago

By Ike

Uchechukwu

CALABAR

MEMBERS of

Academic Staff Union of

Universities, ASUU,

University of Calabar branch,

yesterday, demanded the

unconditional release of their

colleague, Dr David Ugwu,

who has been in captivity

since February 14, 2020.

Addressing newsmen

during the peaceful

procession at the main gate

of the University of Calabar,

Chairman ASUU, UNICAL,

Dr Edor John, said the union

and its members feel

neglected and scourged with

the way and manner the

matter was being handled by

security agencies.

He disclosed that Dr David

Ugwu, an Associate Professor

in the Institute of Policy

Planning and Administration

was whisked away from his

home on February 14, 2020,

and has since then remained

in captivity till date.

Edor said they want their

colleague back whether dead

or alive as he has been held

for a year.

His words: “We have been

compelled to address the

public because we have been

beaten again. One of the

canons of our union is that

an injury to one is an injury

to all.

“One of our members has

been in captivity since

February 14, 2020. He was

kidnapped from his home but

because of the failure of our

security agencies, our

colleagues has been with his

captors for a year now.

“Despite the fact we have

reported to security agencies

about the ugly incident,

nothing has been heard or

done about his release. If he

is dead, we have not seen his

corpse and if he is alive, we

have not seen him, so we want

our brother back whether

dead or alive. We need our

colleague and brother back

alive, even if he has died, let

us have his body for a proper

burial."

Bayelsa monarch donates

house, musical instruments,

wheelchairs to subjects

By Onozure Dania

THE monarch of Peretoru

Kingdom in Ekeremor

Local Government Area of

Bayelsa State, His Royal

Majesty King Timi

Foukeregha IV, has donated

a three-bedroom bungalow,

seven wheelchairs and

musical instruments to some

of his subjects as part of efforts

to fulfil his promises to his

people and to celebrate the

St Valentine’s Day in a grand

style with them.

The three-bedroom

bungalow, which was built by

the monarch was donated to

Pa Light Ikede, an elderly

man in the community.

The monarch also donated

seven wheelchairs to seven

physically challenged

persons in the community

while a complete set of

musical instruments was donated

to the Trumpet Boys of

the community.

The monarch, who

addressed the people who

gathered at his palace in

Peretoru community said the

gesture was in fulfilment of

his campaign promises to

affect the lives of his subjects.

He said: “I am a man that

stands by my words. I was

taught by my father who

strongly believed that a man

must do what he said he is

going to do. That is the

principle I stand on today.

“When I make promises, I

don’t make empty promises.

At the venue today, the

people were reminded that I

have fulfilled nearly all the

promises I have made to

them. As for the ones that are

remaining, as time goes on,

I will fulfil them."

Delta moves to revoke

undeveloped lands in urban

centres

By Festus Ahon

ASABADELTA State

government, yesterday,

issued three months

ultimatum to owners of

undeveloped plots of land in

choice locations in urban

areas across the state to

develop such land or risk

revocation of the Certificate

of Occupancy, C of O, on such

lands.

State Commissioner for

Information, Mr Charles

Aniagwu, who disclosed this

while briefing newsmen in

Asaba, said the state

government would no longer

condone the attitude of

persons holding down

development after enjoying

the privilege of being

allocated land in such areas

by the state government.

Aniagwu said the policy

code-named ‘Operation

Develop Your Land’ would

affect those who refused to

develop their allotted plots

two years after it was allocated

to them by the state

government.

He insisted that at the

expiration of the three-month

ultimatum, the government

would invoke the provisions

of the Land Use Act to revoke

the Certificate of Occupancy

issued for the affected plots,

and re-allocate same to

willing investors and

developers.

Saying that the state

government had already

done the enumeration to

ascertain the number of plots

of land that have not been

developed since they were

allocated, he said, “As from

today, we are giving them

only three months notice."


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021 13

PRESENTATION:

From leftOmotayo

Abiodun, Public

Relations Manager,

Tolaran Group;Eze

Isreal Chibuzor,

winner; Lukman

Lawal, Special

Adviser to the

Speaker on Budget

and Finance and

Darlington Igabali,

National Marketing

Manager, Kellogg's

duirng the

presentation of cash

award to the winner

of Kellogg's

Superstars

Scholarship in

Lagos. Photo: Akeem

Salau.

:Vanguard News

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

Herdsmen: ‘Buhari's silence dangerous'

By Vincent

Ujumadu & Dennis

Agbo

THE IBRAHIM Badamosi

Babangida Annual Lecture

Series has condemned

what it called the " dangerous

silence" by President Muhammadu

Buhari over the

activities of herdsmen in many

parts of the country.

This came as the World Igbo

Congress, WIC, has asked the

south east governors to establish

an enforcement team that

will help implement it's ban

on open grazing in the region.

Speaking during the lecture

in Awka, Mr. Stanley Okafor,

a lawyer, also blamed the

president for allegedly mishandling

the issue of the Indigenous

People of Biafra,

IPOB, and its leader, Mazi

Nnamdi Kanu.

According to Okafor, the

president, by his actions and

inactions, had promoted

avoidable catastrophic consequences.

He said," "The controversial

escalation of activities of killer

herdsmen in parts of the

country has promoted the

growing conviction of many

people in the Southern part of

the country that the president's

silence is more than meets the

eye.

"While it remains doubtful

that government has voluntarily

restrained from taking decisive

actions to flush out criminal

herdsmen who perpetrate

violence across the land, many

wonder why, for instance, no

judicial and executive action

has been taken to proscribe

groups such as Boko Haram

and criminal herdsmen and

such other groups who openly

unleash violence across the

country, more so as these

groups continue to attract

membership from disgruntled

members of the public.

"The ban on IPOB has been

viewed by many as a rush

within the spectacle of our

surrounding tension.

"Scholars and observers

have also noted that the continuing

corruption by public

office holders and politicians

have increased the tempo of

insecurity in the land."

According to him, the agitation

for self determination

by the Indigenous People of

Biafra, IPOB and its leader

Nnamdi Kanu appeared to

have stemmed from the untactful

resort to unguided

confrontation and even brutality

by the Federal Govern-

Obi hails Okonjo-Iweala's emergence as

WTO DG •Describes her as a shining star

THE VICE-PRESIDEN

TIAL Candidate of the People’s

Democratic Party, PDP, in

the 2019 elections, Mr. Peter

Obi, has eulogized the newlyelected

Director-General of the

World Trade Organization

(WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-

Iweala, describing her emergence

as historic. By her election,

Okonjo-Iweala becomes

the First Female and First African

WTO Director-General.

In a congratulatory message

made available to Vanguard,

Obi, who had earlier

drummed up support for

Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy,

expressed delight at her emergence,

saying she had always

ment of Nigeria, adding that

this had heightened insecurity

in the country in the last five

years.

Okafor who described the

methods of quelling peace

protest in the country as crude

and bestial, said "In more civilized

climes, logistics noted

for dispersal of rioting crowds

would have been used to contain

the mad crowd which hijacked

the protests, including

water cannons and rubber

coated bullets. How live bullets

and other methods of cruelty

were used on these youths

remain a serious point for

reflection.

He added: "We renew our

call on government to pursue

a process of peace and negotiation

with IPOB and other

ethnic organizations, especially

within the current scope

of herder/host community crises

across the country.

"While it remains doubtful

that government has voluntarily

restrained from taking decisive

actions to flush out criminal

herdsmen, who perpetrate

violence across the land,

many wonder why, for instance,

no judicial and executive

action has been taken to

proscribe groups such as

Boko Haram and criminal

herdsmen and such other

groups who openly unleash

violence across the country,

more so as these groups continue

to attract membership

from disgruntled members of

the public."

How Okorocha tried to dupe Imo of

her varsity Govt

OWERRIIMO State

government yesterday,

graphically painted a picture

of how the former governor

of the state, Owelle Rochas

Okorocha attempted to dupe

the people of their university

after N20 billion of public

funds had been invested in the

institution by the state government.

In a world Press conference

in Owerri, the state Commissioner

for Information and

Strategy Hon Declan Emelumba

said the current government

moved to recover

Eastern Palm University, Ogboko

from Okorocha when

it became obvious that the

former governor wanted to

fraudulently appropriate the

institution to himself.

Displaying documents including

approval from the

been known to shine brilliantly

wherever she found herself.

Obi said he had high confidence

that Okonjo-Iweala

has the ability to draw from

her knowledge, skills and

wide experience from the economic

and financial sectors,

to lead the WTO to greater

heights.

Obi stated that Okonjo-

Iweala's track record of success,

both in Nigeria as Finance

Minister and across

the world where she successfully

served in various high

profile positions in many global

organizations and agencies,

including the World

Bank, stood her out as the

right candidate for the job.

National Universities Commission

to authenticate the

state ownership of the university,

Chief Emelumba asked

Okorocha to apologize to

Imo people for attempting to

steal their commonwealth.

According to him,"this is

one of the most elaborate and

devious scam to dupe an entire

state of their patrimony

using the instrumentality of

state power"

He said that "from the acquisition

of the 101 hectares

of land where the said university

is located,it was made

clear that it was for the permanent

site of Imo State University.

The government subsequently

paid N58 million as

compensation to the owners

of the land. The money was

paid through Moneke and

Legal Practitioners of No 5

Obi further commended the

member-nations of WTO

which, he said, put merit

above sentiments in electing

a very capable person for the

job. He equally appreciated

Nigeria's President, Muhammadu

Buhari for recognizing

the great potentials in Okonjo-Iweala

and nominating her

for the job, noting that her

emergence in the position is a

huge blessing to the country.

Obi prayed God to give

Okonjo-Iweala the wisdom to

deliver on her new mandate:

"May God Almighty grant you

the wisdom and strength to

succeed in this globally powerful

organization."

Emeka Emebo close, Idado,

Lekki Peninsula, Lagos".

Chief Emelumba recalled

that even the former governor

told Imo people in 2012 that

he was building a permanent

site for Imo State University

in Ogboko and that the land

was being acquired to host the

permanent site, only for him

to turn around to try to convert

it to his private university.

"The approval by NUC expressly

stated that Eastern

Palm University is the 42nd

state university in Nigeria. No

where was it designated as a

private university'", the commissioner

clarified.

In the letter sighted by our

correspondent with reference

number NUC/ES/529/Vol103

dated 13th April,2016, the

NUC confirmed that Eastern

Palm University is a state university.

It read in part" this is to inform

Your Excellency that

with effect from 13th April

2016, Eastern Palm University

in Ogboko Imo State is formally

recognised as the 42nd

state university and 143rd

university in the Nigerian university

system"

Chief Emelumba also disclosed

that between 2013 and

2019, government funds totalling

N20 billion had been

expended in building the university.

" These were tax payers

money and the records are

there. How can anyone with

conscience claim that the people

funded a private university

for him?"

The commissioner said

government was shocked

when Okorocha started laying

claim to the university

based on a fraudulent public

private partnership arrangement.

COVID-19: Enugu govt tasks

residents on strict compliance

with health regulatory measures

ENUGUTHE Enugu

State government has enjoined

all residents of the state

to conduct their affairs in strict

compliance with the recent

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-

19) Health Protection Regulations

2021, enunciated by President

Muhammadu Buhari on

January 26, 2021.

The regulatory measures

were made by President Buhari

“in consideration of urgent

need to protect the health

and wellbeing of Nigerians in

the face of the widespread and

rising numbers of COVID-19

in Nigeria”.

In a statement by the Commissioner

for Information,

Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh, the

Enugu State government disclosed

that it has been on red

alert over the second wave of

the COVID-19, stressing that

By Anayo Okoli

ENUGUTHE Miyetti

Allah Cattle Breeders Association

of Nigeria,

MACBAN, has urged Nigerians

to unite and seek common

acceptable solution to

douse the rising divisive tensions

and insecurity threatening

to tear apart the country.

MACBAN Southeast Zonal

Chairman, Alhaji Gidado

Siddiki who made the appeal

in Enugu, yesterday, stressed

the need for peace among Nigerians.

Siddiki lamented that the

situation which most times

were accompanied by emotive

utterances and name-calling

had affected the economic

life of herders.

According to him, it had

become very necessary to restore

hope and sanity in the

country through love for one

another.

“The spate of insecurity and

outbursts of emotive utterances

across the country is

further fanning the embers of

fears among Nigerians.

“For the ordinary man, the

situation is enough to infer

that Nigeria might just be on

the verge of activating its

emergency security mode,”

it is pertinent to remind all residents

of the state that the pandemic,

“with its associated

morbidity and mortality, is

still ravaging”.

Aroh lamented that residents

of Enugu State “have

seemingly let our guards

down and have shown unacceptably

low compliance

with the NCDC and Presidential

Task Force Guidelines

and Protocols for prevention

of Coronavirus infection

transmission.”

The Information Commissioner

who harped on the inherent

penalties for contravention

as contained in the

President’s COVID-19 Health

Protection Regulations 2021,

maintained that strict compliance

with the referenced regulations

is in the overriding

public health importance.

Tension in the country: Miyetti

Allah calls for peaceful resolution

Patronize Enyimba automated

shoe factory, Ikpeazu urges

security agencies

Sadiki said.

While commending the efforts

of governments at all levels

towards finding solutions

to the situation on ground, “

the situation queries the ability

of political leaders to ensure

our safety in the immediate”.

He said that it was sad that

herders that were being accused

had borne the brunt of

the insecurity in parts of the

country, saying that herders

had at various times been

misunderstood.

Sadiki made it clear that

their members were not interested

in land grabbing and

would never contest ownership

of land with any host

community.

“What we face today is a situation

where the misdemeanor

of others have largely

rubbed-off on us but these trials

shall come to pass.

“We only ask to be allowed

to do our business until such a

time when viable and more

beneficial options are realised.

“We maintain our support

for the authorities to go after

criminals and rid the forests

and cities of such bad elements

in order to make life

better for every Nigerian", the

MACBAN leader said.

U MUAHIAGOVER

NOR Okezie Ikpeazu

has urged various security

agencies in the country to jettison

the idea of traveling

abroad to acquire security

boots but patronize the Enyimba

Automated Shoe factory

which has the sufficient

capacity to produce such

boots in commercial quantity

and world class quality.

“Governor Ikpeazu who

stated this at the Abia Social

Media Converge with the

theme, "Social media For

Good Governance" held at

the Dr Michael Okpara Auditorium,

Umuahia, said that

Made in Aba shoes can compete

favourably with any other

brand globally.

“He disclosed that the Enyimba

Automated Shoe factory

just concluded the supply

of industrial shoes to the Nigerian

Railway Corporation

and has become the official

supplier of shoes to the Nigerian

Correctional Services. He

therefore beckoned on other

agencies in the country yet to

identify with the Enyimba Automated

Shoe factory to do

the needful for the growth of

the nation's economy.“

The governor expressed joy

that his campaigns for the

Made in Aba products and its

standardization has paid off

as artisans in Aba are now

proudly inscribing Made in

Aba on their products as a

brand.

“Governor Ikpeazu who

commended President Muhammadu

Buhari for the Executive

Order on compulsory

patronage of locally made

goods, added that such has

started yielding results for the

economic prosperity of Nigeria.‘‘


14 Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

:Vanguard News

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

Benue closes school as 5

students suffer strange ailment

By Peter Duru

M

A K U R D I

BENUE State

Government has directed the

immediate shutdown of Vaatia

College, a Makurdi- based

boarding Secondary School,

following the outbreak of a

strange disease in the institution.

The directive came after five

students of the school came down

with the ailment and were

hospitalized in public and private

hospitals in Makurdi.

Commissioner for Health and

Human Services, Dr. Joseph

Ngbea who confirmed the

development to newsmen

Monday in Makurdi said the

effected five students were in

stable condition while

investigation into the ailment was

on

Ṫhe Commissioner who

described the ailment as ‘Orepa

Why we launched Youtube

time-based plans Glo

N

A

T I O N A L

Telecommunication

Company, Globacom has stated

that the new Youtube Timebased

plans were unveiled to

enable all its esteemed customers

to enjoy exciting Youtube content

at a much cheaper rate than they

are typically used to.

In a statement in Lagos, the

company said the new plan

would also allow more

subscribers to access its

products and services, in

addition to expanding its

bouquet of innovative and

affordable price offerings.

With the new Youtube timebased

plans, Globacom said

its numerous subscribers

would have more

Labour, KEDCO mgmt bicker as workers cripple HQ in Kano

By Bashir Bello

K AGGRIEVED

A N O

workers led by officials of Nigeria

Labour Congress, NLC and the

National Union of Electricity

Employees, NUEE, yesterday

picketed and paralysed

commercial and other operations

at the headquarters of the Kano

Electricity Distribution Company,

KEDCO, in Kano State, over

alleged unfair practices.

Among others, the workers

accused the management of

KEDCO, of refusal to remit

48months of deducted

contributory pension to

respective Pension Fund

Administrators, PFAs, refusal to

pay Transfer Cost/Allowance to

affected Staff, refusal to pay shift

allowances to affected Staff, nonpayment

of mileage allowances,

inadequate work tools/logistics,

inadequate manpower, lack of

compensation for jobs done on

the weekends and public

holidays as enshrined in the

condition of service, setting of

unrealistic and unachievable

targets, willful disengagement of

staff without recourse to the

conditions of Service and nonpayment

of annual increment as

enshrined in the conditions of

service

Addressing the aggrieved

workers during the picketing,

State Chairman of NLC, Ado

Minjibir said, among others, “the

management of KEDCO is called

syndrome” explained that the

students experienced parasis or

slight form of paralysis adding that

the school was shut to check

further spread of the diseases.

According to him, “five

students were affected, three of

them are at the Benue State

University Teaching Hospital,

BSUTH. One of them is doing

well while two others are at

Madonna Hospital Makurdi (a

private hospital). You know that

Nigeria is in the process of

certification of polio free, and we

saw that some students were

having parasis instead of

paralysis. (Not complete paralysis)

But they are actually doing well.

“Since there is no paralysis,

polio is completely ruled out. So

it is called Orepa syndrome, we

are trying to look at that, they

are being treated for now and

there is no diagnosis at the

teaching hospital.”

opportunities to stream their

favourite YouTube videos.

The new package, according to

the company, ''consists of four

different price plans. The first is

N50 for 1 hour, the second, N130

for 3 hours, the third, N50 for 5

hours (night) and N200 for 7

hours (night). It assured

customers that fair usage policy

will apply on each of the plans

with fixed volume.

“These new plans have been

uniquely developed so that each

price pack has a streaming time

allocated to it. For example, on

the N50 plan the customer can

use the 1-hour streaming in

sections of 10 minutes or 20

minutes, all within 1-day,” the

statement said.

upon to address these issues

urgently, otherwise, we want to

assure them that this is the

beginning of picketing.

Reacting, the management of

KEDCO, through a statement by

its Head of Corporate

Communications, Ibrahim

Shawai, among others, said: “The

management of KEDCO has a

performance policy that the

unions (Senior Staff

Association and Allied

Company, SSAEAC and

NUEE) have agreed to abide

as part of the conditions of

service and based on this took a

decision to disengage some staff

after series of trainings and grace

periods for the affected staff to

improve.

“32 out of the 176 were found

not to be responding as they

continuously under-performed in

their jobs. This is what led to their

termination of appointment in

line with the condition of service

they signed.

Meanwhile, NUEE’s General

Secretary, Joe Ajaero, said the

management was being

economical with words, saying

KEDCO’s claim of

incompetence, was not only

vague but mischievous with

a view to misinforming the

public.

He listed no fewer than 10

grievances against the

company which he claimed

Labour had “raised severally

with the KEDCO management

without being addressed.

WAKE-KEEPING: From left; Bishop Sunday Ogunleye, Methodist Church of Lagos West; Mrs M. Ogunleye,

Snr Mother In Isreal; Oluwatobi Akpata, Rev. Apos Pro Ronke Fashina, Oke Igbala Ayo C&S, Primate Head; Rev.

Mother Dupe Soyebo, Grace Inter C&S Church, Ogba; Prophet (Dr) Oluwademilade Akpata, G.O of Ewulomi

Divine Church and Bishop (Dr) Oludeloye Olu-Molett, JP, Divine Ewulomi Church during a christian wake-keep

for late Mrs Mariam Adike-Ohunene Otubu by Church of The Lord Aladura, Lagos Centre, Agege.

Lai Mohammed demands cancellation of APC

registration in Kwara

By Demola Akinyemi

THE Minister of

Information and Culture,

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, yesterday

in Ilorin, Kwara State, demanded

the immediate cancellation of the

ongoing All Progressives

Congress, APC membership

registration exercise in Kwara for

alleged non- compliance with the

party’s regulations and

guidelines.

But the state Caretaker

Committee Chairman Alhaji

Abdullah Samari, among others,

dismissed the Minister’s

allegation of non-compliance to

the guidelines set by APC.

Rather, KEDCO has resorted

to the use of security

personnel to intimidate and

harass workers. We wish to place

it on notice that should anything

The minister made the demand

in his home town in Oro, near

Ilorin, after partaking in the

party’s national registration and

revalidation exercise at his PU006

Oro Ward 2.

At a briefing, Mohammed

demanded the putting in place of

a process to ensure the conduct

of a credible and fair exercise that

would enjoy the support and

confidence of all.

Among others, the minister

said: “We, the critical stakeholders

of the APC in Kwara State,

hereby demand the following:

Immediate cancellation of the

APC membership registration

exercise in Kwara State and the

untoward happen, the industrial

action will assume a national

dimension and the management

of KEDCO should be held

directly responsible.”

‘Why we made Enugu our

operational base’ have a base in Enugu. And we

THE Executive Chairman of

United Nigeria Airline,

Chief Obiora Okonkwo has said

it is a wise decision to have made

Enugu, capital of Enugu State

the operational headquarters of

the airline.

Okonkwo disclosed this while

fielding questions from newsmen

at the Akanu Ibiam International

Airport, Enugu during the

inuagural flight of the airline to

Enugu.

According to him, the airline

saw a gap in the industry and

keyed into it, added that

considering the reception

accorded the airline in Enugu,

the state government will

provide the necessary support.

The Chairman said: “We saw

that there is a gap in this industry

and we have not made any

mistake to make Enugu our hub

as Enugu State government will

give us encouragement. We are

being driven by service. Service

to the industry. Service to

mankind.”

On the long term plans for the

Airline, Okonkwo said: “Our

short term is to consolidate. We

have to consolidate, establish all

our routes and then work about

expanding. We want to expand

beyond Nigeria, starting from the

West Coast, just for a start. We

have a big plan.

“The market is huge. There is

need for a lot of aircraft. We have

full load in all the routes we have

operated this morning (Friday).

Today is the first day of our service,

so that is good and it shows what

will happen.”

On how prepared United

Nigeria Airline is for competition,

he said: “We are in business. I

guess those who are in the

business should be competing

with us first. We should be the

people they should be worried

about because we are new. We

think that within the next three

months we shall be able to

expand our routes,” he added..

Welcoming United Nigeria

Airline to Enugu State, the state

governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who

was represented at the event by

Prof. Malachy Okwueze, Deputy

Chief of Staff, Government

House, Enugu, said the state was

excited to welcome United

Nigeria Airlines to Enugu.

•Party caretaker c’ttee chairman dismisses

Minister’s allegation

putting in place of a process to

ensure the conduct of a credible

and fair exercise that will enjoy

the support of all.

“Immediate disbandment of the

Senator John Danboyi-led

Membership Registration

Committee for Kwara State as a

vast majority of APC stakeholders

in the state has lost confidence

in the committee. The

constitution of a fresh

Membership Registration

Committee that is truly

independent, non-compromised

and sensitive to the delicate

diverse interests in the party.

“A thorough investigation into

the botched membership

registration exercise by the Sen

John Danboyi-led committee.

“That these demands are the

irreducible minimum

requirements for peace and

progress in Kwara APC.”

While speaking that Senator

John Danboyi-led committee

didn’t carry all the stakeholders

of the party in the state along,

the minister, said: “After the

botched attempt to have a

meeting of stakeholders, due to

orchestrated violence, the

Registration Officials failed to

consult with all stakeholders

before the commencement of the

membership registration

exercise, opting instead to work

with only one of the four

tendencies here in Kwara, the

Fagbemi Group, to which the

Governor belongs, thus

excluding the three other

tendencies - The Akogun Group,

the Gbemi Saraki Group and the

Lai Mohammed Group, without

which the ‘O To Ge’ Movement

would not have succeeded.''

Caretaker c’ttee chairman

counters minister

Meanwhile, Alhaji Samari,

while reacting to the

minister’s allegations, said:

“Our review of the process so

far shows that several

thousands of our members

have revalidated their

memberships while many

members of the public have also

joined the party.

“We commend the Senator

John Danboi-led committee from

the APC Headquarters Abuja for

the excellent job it is doing and

the methodology it has employed

to keep the exercise peaceful

and orderly across the state

in strict conformity with the

registration guidelines.''

“Similarly, the impressive rate

at which hitherto apolitical

members of the public have been

registering underscores their

acceptance of our party and a

public appreciation of the

unprecedented positive impact of

the administration of Governor

Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on the

security and socio economic wellbeing

of Kwarans.”

Kaduna to conduct LG poll May 15

By Ibrahim Hassan

K Kaduna

ADUNATHE

State

Independent Electoral

Commission, KADSIECOM,

has announced May, 15,

2021 for the conduct of

elections into the 23 local

government councils of the

state

KADSIECOM Chairman,

Ibrahim Sambo, who

announced the election date

while presenting the election

time table to the political

parties in the state, said

among others, “to safeguard

going against the law, we are

supposed to give political

parties 90 days notice of

election which we are doing

now. Section 25 (1) of Kaduna

State Independent Electoral

Law as amended in 2018, we

announce that local

government elections will

hold on Saturday May 15,

2021 between hours of 8am

to 4pm.”

“We expect that you will also

get the election guidelines to

be provided to you within the

week,” he said.

According to him, between

February 26 to March 28,

conduct of party primaries to

get candidates is expected to

be conducted and supervised

by the Commission, while

Monday 8th March, 2021,

political parties are expected

to obtain forms from the

Commission


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021 15

:Vanguard News

:@vanguardnews

Edo PDP leaders slam ex-Senate Chief

Whip over purported suspension

•Action valid, Owei bona fide memberParty chair

By Ozioruva Aliu

BENIN CITYSOME

leaders of the Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP, in

Isi ward, Uhunmwonde

local government area of

Edo have accused former

Chief Whip of the Senate,

Sir Roland Owie of

stoking crisis in the party

with purported

suspension of some of its

leaders. They also alleged

that Owie was yet to

formerly defect to the

party from the Action

Democratic Party (ADP).

The leaders alleged that

the purported suspension

was done in a kangaroo

manner.

In a meeting in the

area, Secretary of the

Ward, Elder Clifford

Aghahowa said "There is

no division in the PDP as

far as Isi South is

concerned so, I am

surprised on the issue of

suspending people here

and there, I did not sign

any paper of suspension of

anybody so I am shocked

at such announcement"

On his part, Richard

Edebiri said "The who and

who in PDP ward eight are

here for this meeting, the

secretary is here, the

woman leader of PDP is

here. We frowned at that

purported suspension

because it doesn’t make

any sense to us.

"They went to hold a

kangaroo meeting

somewhere but like our

leaders even said, he has

not even decamped from

ADP to PDP officially and

we don’t have any problem

in PDP"

But in his reaction, ward

chairman of the PDP,

Famous Ekhosuehi denied

the allegation saying that

the suspension of the

affected members was

properly done and that

Owie formally defected to

the PDP on July 18th 2020

where leaders of the PDP

were invited from across

the state.

He said: "Before now,

each time we call for

meeting they don't come,

then they will hold another

meeting. I was willing to

hold my party meeting at

the ward headquarters for

the party but before we came

because they already know

that we were coming, they

removed all our chairs and

destroyed the canopies and

they chased our people

away. But haven scheduled

a meeting for that day and

our men were chased

away, do you expect me to

go and say we want to fight

back and set aside what the

constitution says? So I

decided to now go to the

next village and

converge.


16 Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

Good night, Baba Jakande

Kongi and the madmen

THIS must be a distressful

season for Professor Wole

Soyinka as Nigeria journeys

through its peculiar season of

Kongi and the mad men. The

Prof has spent almost a lifetime

teaching in the classroom as

well as national and

international fora to know well

enough that some people are

uneducable.

I am still deciphering the

“leap of faith” that came upon

him last week that he granted

an interview to the BBC where

he talked about the herdsmen

war at our doorstep and

dictating to President

Muhammadu Buhari the words

that should be flowing from his

presidency at a moment like

this.

Three days after he spoke, Mr.

Femi Adesina, in a direct

response to Governor Samuel

Ortom of Benue State who said

Buhari should stop portraying

himself as a Fulani President,

jabbed that the President would

become a talkative if he had to

be speaking on herdsmen, who

remain unrelenting in their

nefarious activities, every now

and then.

The herdsmen are back as

they launched an attack on

Soyinka’s Abeokuta residence to

practically demonstrate the war

is at his doorstep.

But in a very bizarre twist of

fate, Garba Shehu and Femi

Adesina descended on Prof.

and started making excuses for

the madmen we call herdsmen,

who were not invading the

Only a mad

Yoruba can drive

cows to invade

our Kongi’s

house -or be

doing open

grazing in

modern world

home of our celebrated icon for

the first time. Of all the reports

that I read, there was none that

said the Prof. was physically

attacked but to throw cows into

his compound is the ultimate

attack on our Nobel laureate.

The backhand service for cow

imperialism, which Prof. has

been our leading General, is not

lost on us. They gave the

impression that there was no

attack since Prof. was not

hacked like Olufon or any of the

other celebrated victims of

Fulani warfare around us.

•Prof. Wole Soyinka

I even read a portion of a

statement saying the house is

unfenced and that was when I

had to reach out to ask the author

if that makes the private

residence of WS a grazing field

for the Fulani.

Justice Adewale Thompson in

a landmark judgement as far back

as 1969 already settled the matter

that there is no law that compels

a farmer to fence his farm against

herdsmen not to talk of a private

individual fencing his home.

Justice Thompson emphatically

declared: “I do not accept the

contention of Defendants that a

custom exists which imposes an

obligation on the owner of a farm

to fence his farm whilst the owner

of cattle allows his cattle to

wander like pests and cause

damage.

"Such a custom, if it exists, is

unreasonable and I hold that it is

repugnant to natural justice,

equity and good conscience and,

therefore, unenforceable…in that

it is highly unreasonable to

impose the burden of fencing a

farm on the farmer without the

corresponding obligation on the

cattle owner to fence in his cattle.

"Sequence to that I banned

open grazing for it is inimical to

peace and tranquility and the

cattle owners must fence or ranch

their animals for peace to reign

in these communities.”

Prof. Soyinka has cleared the

air in his speech in the order of

the man of truth that he is and

he remains a constant star for

that matter. The statement

reads: “The most distressful

aspect of my recent interaction

with cows and herders is that it

has created a most unwanted

distraction from the ongoing life

and death Nigerian narrative.

"One has to take time off to

deal with distortions and fake

versions, while students are

being reportedly waylaid and

killed and/or kidnapped in Ondo

and farmers are being

slaughtered in my own state.

“In short, the killings continue

even as panels are being

launched to enquire into

immediate past human violations.

For those who truly seek details

of the Ijegba incident, I hereby

affirm that I was never physically

attacked, neither did I attack any

cows. The cows and herders did,

however, attack my property - and

not for the first time.”

The motive of the attack on

Prof’s house is not hidden to the

wise: to cow the uncowable.

I have had a belly-laugh at the

almost silly way the police have

been celebrating the fact that the

cows the Fulani used to invade

Prof’s house belong to a Yoruba

man.

It takes mad herders to take

cows to that place. Only a mad

Yoruba can drive cows to invade

our Kongi’s house - or be doing

open grazing in modern world.

We have never said there are

no Yoruba who raise cows.

•The late Lateef Kayode Jakande

WE are in deep mourning

as death took one of the

most dependable Awoists,

Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande

on Thursday at the ripe age of

91.

Papa LKJ was the last of the

UPN governors Awolowo sent

out in the Second Republic to

convince this impossible

country that progressive

governance was a possibility.

I was at his 90th birthday in

company of Chief Ayo

Adebanjo and Oba Oladipo

Olaitan who served faithfully

as Adviser to Jakande in his

memorable years as Lagos

State governor. We shared the

company of his colleague in

Borno, Mohammed Goni,

whose government benefited

from the generosity of Lagos

under Jakande.

Apart from being a star

performer in implementing

Re: Yoruba nation

FEEDBACK

Sir

I READ your piece of

February 9 with rapt attention

and emotion.

The truth is that a lot of the

the so-called Yoruba leaders are

sell-outs who are jostling for

their own pockets and selfish

interests alone using the

Yoruba nation as bargaining

power.

I will be very frank with you

my dear brother Odumakin.

The only solution to the messy

contraption called Nigeria

created by the British for their

exploitative interest is

restructuring or outright

breakage as spoken by the

revered man of God, Pastor E.

O. Adeboye.

the five cardinal programmes

of the UPN, Chief Jakande

was faithful to Lagos and

Lagosians. He reclaimed the

whole of Lekki scheme without

allocating a plot for himself.

He constructed a dual

carriage way from Lekki to Epe

without the burden of a toll

gate on the people. Those who

came to profiteer after him

added a lane after 40 years to

the solid ones LKJ built and

toll gates sprang up

everywhere.

Awo must be in an

exceptional mood that a

worthy disciple has come

home to join him.The impact

of Baba Jakande is everlasting

and I’m pained that COVID-

19 prevented me from seeing

him in his last days on earth

as he was such a great

inspiration.

We can never forget him.

Failure to heed calls from

various quarters for

restructuring of the country is

a tacit invitation for civil unrest

in the country because the

ominous signs are visible to all

except those who deliberately

turn a blind eye for their selfish

interest.

I support the assertion by the

erudite scholar and Nobel

laureate that it is up to the

leadership to allow the ship of

state to continue on this course

of self-destruction or steer it

away from the imminent doom

that awaits it.

Thank you very much.

•Dr Anthony Ajibade,

Sociology Dept, University of

Abuja

C

M

Y

K


Cost of militancy in the Niger Delta

THE plight of the Niger Delta

has never been worse than it is

now. The people are a lot poorer than

ever before. They are restless, nearer

revolt; the low level insurgency is

gone. The original militants have

been compromised and their leaders

even more so. Today we have a people

who prey on themselves. The voice

of the older leadership is raised only

when they need something and slink

away to quietude once the proverbial

bone is thrown to them.

They are, like most of Nigeria, led

by Governors whose sole

distinguishing feature is their

mediocrity and inability to lead. No

woman of consequence has come

from the area. Each potential woman

leader is compromised by a system

determined to perpetuate a lineage

of lower than usual mentality and

insufferable selfishness, bolstered up

by a massive cult followership.

Industries in the area have all gone,

while oil service companies have

disappeared.

The oil companies have all

relocated. The chiefs live on small

stipends thrown to them by the oil

companies’ public relations

departments and NAPIMS. They

fight like hell to prevent one kobo to

be used in their towns and villages

for public development. The

governors keep these traditional

rulers as trophies to be displayed at

photo-shoot every now and again;

each photo-shoot is like a scene from

Lent: Living beyond the narcotic opium of pleasure

By FR GEORGE ADIMIKE

EVEN though pleasure serves man’s

appreciation of his immeasurable worth

as a son-steward entrusted with the universal

estate of God (creation), it can be abused.

Hence, irrespective of its value to life, pleasure,

precisely as opium, robs life of its threedimensional,

3-D, quality and leaves it

purposeless. In his pursuit of pleasures, man

sacrifices purpose, direction and focus.

In a word: he trades away the 3-D quality of

life for momentary gratification. With its

seldom narcotic effect, pleasure often

disconnects us from God, leaves us with

superficial roots and eventually initiates man

into worshipping at the hedonistic altar of id.

As such, through self-indulgence, human

fragility can and does submit to the

overlordship of the devil. However, pleasure

retains its value when it is consistent with the

original creative protocol relative to man -

when it fits within the right order and balance.

Pleasure becomes a boon when it responds to

the echo from man’s heart who, as Jean-Paul

Satre remarks, is in an infinite desire for God.

Succumbing to the narcotic allurement of

pleasure is not only symptomatic of spiritual

bankruptcy but in itself torpedoes spiritual

depth, subverts formation and sublimates

divine consolation. It plagiarises true

happiness, destroys personal equilibrium and

increases dependency. What is more,

entrapment in the bondage of pleasure

atrophies individual liberty and stability,

distorts relationships, destabilises societal

balance, funds delinquency and deludes one

in enslavement by the id. Consequently, it

adversely affects the will, thwarts ethical

foundations and disrupts man’s salvific

journey.

While there is a legitimate pleasure towards

which all tend, and which accompanies all

attainment of good, the problem has always

been the disruption of right relationship. When

humans succumb to the perennial temptation

central casting in Hollywood. All the

governors have no compunction

hauling abuse on these traditional

rulers. One governor went so far as

to seize their walking stick now given

to them by the governor!

Chastened, with their tails between

their legs like the proverbial dog, they

collected their walking sticks and

brown envelopes and went home. Is

this what militancy rule has brought

to the oil producing area of Nigeria?

At one stage the old maritime school

in Oron was to be upgraded to a

university – but the governor was to

make a token commitment of five

per cent for this purpose. But the

Governor of Rivers State refused and

I hear there may well be a Maritime

University in Daura!

The cost of militancy include the

death and murder of Ken Saro

Wiwa with eleven other chiefs for

daring to claim more for his people

and that his area should be cleared

up from the proverbial pollution of

the oil companies. The case had to

be taken to the Hague where justice

was won – but nothing by way of

cleanup has begun.

Among the Ijaw, there were

militants led by Dokubo and others.

I have no idea what has happened

to him but he has been gentrified

and now lives across the borders with

his own university. Tompolo is said

to have relocated the technical oil

college, Petroleum Training

Institute, PTI, in Sapele/Warri to his

of self-deification (cf. Gen 3:5) or

“godification” of gold (cf. Exodus 32:1-4), they

divinise material elements turning them into

idols instead of icons. Correspondingly, they

constitute obstacles to man’s self-realisation

and fulfilment of his true identity and vocation.

Indeed, when the value attached to these

elements produces the opposite effect that man

forgets their agential role, it derails from their

real purpose. But the right order relative to

material elements accentuates the integrity of

creation and reveals it as cosmos, hence beauty

or order. Consequently, sin ruptures this order

and distorts its beauty. The pursuit of pleasure

Lent helps man to rediscover

the real value of God, persons

and things

as an end indicates a misplacement of value

in a narcotic drive to satisfy self. As a result, the

true meaning and value of things are lost. Yet,

pleasure is undoubtedly not a pandora jar but

a mixed grill. In search of meaning and

commitment to it, it offers momentary ataraxia

that reinforces drive. It satisfies, strengthens,

tranquilises, but at the same time, opiates and

ruins. With its opium effect, pleasure produces

a euphoric rush that relaxes, relieves and

sedates.

However, often as the battle progresses, one

learns that progress in the spiritual life entails

a steady effort in discipline and active pursuit

of virtues. In essence, piety does not substitute

for virtues in the spiritual journey. Progress in

the spiritual life entails a steady effort in

discipline and active pursuit of righteousness.

Since virtuous life is neither a wishy-washy

desire nor is it a wannabe patchwork, the

human person needs the school, which lent

provides, to learn and grow in virtues that

shield us from succumbing to the opium of

pleasure. Therefore, lent is a time for a critical

caveat on how to live bodiliness – the right

living of godliness in earthiness. Lenten

village where he now lives as the

king or some other high local office

holder. Ateke Tom sits as a chief, it is

claimed, on a golden throne in

Okrika!!!

Meanwhile, the militancy, thank

God, is dead. But should the people

equally die? What has the militancy

achieved? Rich lawyers have made

a fortune out of the hundreds of cases

brought up by the people. Payment,

when made, is never full; it comes in

drips and drabs and divided between

the lawyer and whoever happens to

be available. The atmosphere of

insecurity occasioned by the

kidnapping of a foreign oil company

official eventually led to the

relocation of the oil companies out

of the area to Lagos. The last bastion

of oil company activity was in

Kidney Island in Port Harcourt. The

lawyer and the litigants have

succeeded in persuading Shell to

give up Kidney Island: when Shell

leaves Kidney Island, who would

pay, who would employ the

thousands who used the Island as a

technical base for supply of the rigs?

The oil companies resorted to

flying personnel from Lagos to Port

Harcourt and Warri. In Port

Harcourt the governor imprisoned

the pilot and officials and detained

the helicopter at the Port Harcourt

Airport – a federal institution!

In Warri, during the heyday of oil

operations, at least there were estates

built by Nigerians which Shell and

others rented. Those estates are

mostly empty and dilapidated. The

same can be said for estates in Port

Harcourt: Shell even moved its

operational headquarters to Port

Harcourt only to abandon it for

Lagos. Eni has also moved to Lagos;

Agip has a powerful presence in

Lagos; so does Mobil, Texaco, etc.

The Trans-Amadi industrial town

is now a ghost town. We had warned

at the height of the insurgency that

these activities were self-defeating.

Go to any old oil-producing town

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021 17

today – all you see are Northerners

operating commercial motorcycles

aka okada and selling suya; young

unemployed men beaten to

submission by their leadership. A few

steal crude oil and sell “diesel” which

only implodes your generator,

causing grievous bodily harm.

Nevertheless, the swagger is still

there, signifying, as Shakespeare

said, nothing.

There is a prevailing myth

accompanying the militants’

swagger that if it was not them, there

would be no 13 per cent derivation

for the oil-producing states and no

NDDC. Neither of this development

The South-South oil

producing area needs a

massive cleanup which I

suspect will never be

done because no one,

except foreign NGOs, talk

about it

had anything to do with the

militancy. NDDC was a PDP

platform that rose out of producing

a better organisation than

OMPADEC for the development of

the area. That it has failed is not as a

result of militant activity or the lack

thereof. As for derivation – that was

a political solution to an original

plea for total resource control –

which should continue to be the

battle cry of all the oil-producing

states.

Militancy grew rich out of the

Amnesty Programme but

uncontrolled, ill-defined recipients

of militancy money went the way all

such money goes – smoke filled hotel

bills, girls – and of course ownership

of universities and “royalty”. There

is, however, a cautionary tale.

In Evwreni, the youths were so irate

at the inability of their former king

to explain what he has done with the

oil money given to him by the oil

companies that they beheaded him.

discipline is a corrective to the excessive

exercise of our bodiliness. Noteworthily, it is

not a time to fixate in our filthiness. Never!

Lent is not a time to nurse our guilt feelings but

a crucial reminder of the invitation to ongoing

conversion and frequent reconciliation. In that

vein, Christians in confrontation with their

fragility and imperfections learn to evaluate

their indigent spiritual condition relative to

their dignity as precious children loved beyond

measure by God. Hence, lent unburdens us

from mundane burdens, thereby,

overwhelming our baggage.

Similarly, it frees us from idolisation of icons

and restores iconic qualities of things that

reveal their sacramental nature. As such, we

can appreciate the transparent nature of reality

and the theophoric character of true glory.

Indeed, it helps man to rediscover the real

value of God, persons and things. Thus, it

creates space and time for the essentials in life,

namely: love, hope, faith, friendship, fraternity,

solidarity, contemplation of God by

overcoming the distractions and offloading

the weight of mundane attachments.

Undoubtedly, boundaries are necessary for

the construction of meaningful existence. Lent

offers the opportunity for the creation of such

major boundaries in our spiritual life. Through

Lenten observances, we participate in the

salvific work with our whole being – body and

spirit. We live our incarnate existence and

spiritual life bodily.

Our bodies express spirituality as an

incarnate reality. By fasting, we proclaim and

praise; we pray and stay the course on the

spiritual journey with our body. Since worship

is a body language, then fasting expresses it

profoundly. Every act of worship is, at the same

time, a bodily one; as such, fasting is eminently

part of prayer.

Honouring God with our bodies speaks to

the essential nature of bodiliness in our

Christian existence (cf. 1 Cor 6: 19-20). The

body is not just physicality but has meaning

beyond its current expression – it surpasses its

Send Opinions & Letters to:

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Unfortunately, having laid the mark

of this disinformation, the North

East Development Commission

copied NDDC for the development

of North East which from reports is

more successful than NDDC.

The South-South oil-producing

area needs a massive cleanup which

I suspect will never be done because

no one, except foreign NGOs, talk

about it. The final deregulation of

the area is the illegal refineries

selling poisonous and exploding

diesel to the people. Attempts have

been made by the well-intentioned

to upgrade these “refineries”, but no

one takes them seriously.

So what is the plight of the South-

South now with its oil a wasting

asset? What would happen to the area

under the PIB? At no time in the

history of Nigeria have few people

in the area benefited from oil – not

in employment, not in resources, not

in general well-being - instead they

wallow in poverty.

The Warri, Burutu, Sapele,

Calabar ports and ancillary roads

are closed. All the industrial parks

in all these towns are closed. The

Warri Airport is closed. The volume

of Port Harcourt Airport is lower.

Unemployment in South-South is

nearly 65 per cent. It is visibly the

poorest area of Nigeria. There is no

agriculture, less fishing, greater

expectation, more drugs and greater

unhappiness: a powder keg waiting

to explode. The axial East-West Road

which traverses the South-South is a

disgrace. No South-South town is

progressing.

If those who bought Warri Airport

do not want to use it, why can’t

government take it back? What is

the moral here? The South-South

state governments, as a matter of

urgency and priority, must see the

return of the oil companies to the

area. The area must stop electing

shallow characters as their leaders.

Cultism must stop.

current manifestation and what it is cannot be

fully embodied in time. Hence, the body is

subject to the resurrection – its span and

significance, content and context lie beyond

time.

In reality, we draw strength from the

dominical confession: ‘I expect the resurrection

of the body’(et exspecto resurrectionem

mortuorum). The implication is that fasting

participates in the bodily or incarnational

worship of God.

It prepares the body while anticipating its

eschatological existence, wherein life is beyond

materiality. This transcendental dimension of

our existence liberates human life from the

immanent-bound quagmire of materialistic

obsession. In consequence, pleasure

participates in true happiness beyond the

satisfaction of the instinct.

Lent helps us to leapfrog beyond the

mundane quagmire, frees us to anticipate life

beyond death, and offers good measure to our

exploration and expression of possibilities. It

is an opportunity to reset the compass of one’s

life and rein in habits and undisciplined

passions that run away with us in our haste in

pursuit of daily bread and future butter.

Thus, through the practice of virtues, lenten

experience strengthens our spiritual immune

system and liberates us from the grip of the

corrosive spiritual viruses of self-indulgence,

namely: lust, avarice and gluttony.

Lent teaches us to make haste slowly so as to

appreciate the essence of life within the

existential wilderness. In consequence, it

liquidates our self-referential egolatry and frees

us for a profound encounter and growth in

friendship with God and care for others,

especially the poor.

It offsets the effect of the indulgent culture of

pleasure that excessively embraces consumerconsciousness

and pursues self-indulgence.

Lenten season prepares us to live beyond the

opium of pleasure in anticipation of both the

temporal Easter and the eternal Paschal feast.

•Fr. Adimike wrote from The Vatican via:

findfadachigozie@gmail.com


18 Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

ON January 19, 2021, around 8.15

am on the Presidential Boulevard

Road near Guarantee Trust Bank

opposite Lawson Group School, Kuto,

in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, a

tanker transporting petrol exploded,

killing at least one person and

burning scores of vehicles.

That same day, at about 1.30 pm,

another tanker laden with PMS fell dead siblings heard about the death

and spilled its content on the road of her children, she slumped and died.

along Alapere-Ogudu area in Lagos Truly, accidents are usually

State.

unpredictable, but looking at the

Also recently, on Saturday, January deplorable conditions of Nigerian

23, 2021, around 6.00 pm, a truck roads and the scraps of metals called

loaded with cement, following brake vehicles that ply the roads, one may

failure, rammed into some business not really be surprised at the frequency

centres and shops near the gate of of accidents which claim the lives of

Adekunle Ajasin University, AAU, in Nigerians almost on daily basis.

Akungba Akoko, Ondo State.

Life has become very cheap in the

Sadly, the ghastly AAU accident country because death lurks at every

killed three siblings, two of which are corner for all Nigerians as they go

final year students of the university. about trying to earn a living. If one

As soon as the mother of the three was lucky to escape death in the hands

Preventing avoidable death in Nigeria

of killer herdsmen, Boko Haram or

other criminal gangs, one ends up in

a raging fire from an exploded tanker

laden with fuel, or crushed by a

container that fell off from a truck

plying one of the roads riddled with

ditches and gullies.

Nigerians, no doubt, are tough

people, but unfortunately, many years

of neglect of our roads by the

authorities, corruption – which blinds

traffic officers from seeing and

removing from the roads vehicles that

are not road-worthy – and lawlessness

on the part of some road users, have

combined to subject Nigerians to all

manners of avoidable deaths.

Good road networks, as we have

observed before, are like the veins and

arteries that carry life-giving blood to

all vital organs of the body.

A country or city without good roads

is not only doomed, but also a death

trap to the citizens.

Government must, therefore, devise

means of building new roads and

maintaining the existing ones.

The excuses often tendered that

recurrent expenditure gulps all the

money in the budget leaving nothing

for capital expenditure is not tenable,

because there are many leakages in

public finance.

If those leakages are plugged, and

corruption is properly tackled, there

will be enough money to maintain our

roads and save our people from these

avoidable deaths.

Can we afford bicameral legislature?

COVID-19 is ravaging our land and

destroying the economy. In the

meantime the economy is under-performing.

The country has gradually continued to slip

back. There is a shortfall on our oil revenue.

Nigeria’s foreign capital inflow has sunk to

$9.68 billion, the lowest in four years. The

International Monetary Fund, IMF, says

Nigeria’s economy is at “critical juncture” and

has urged for VAT hike.

The central government has hinted to fund

the budget from other means apart from oil

which is the country’s economic main-stay.

There is even a discussion by government to

commence the sale of assets in ten state-owned

corporations, a move that will generate about

$800 milion. There is the urgent need for us to

cut our coat to our sizes. If you cut your coat

according to your situation, you limit what

you do to the account of your resources. Action

should suit circumstances or resources. Is there

any need for us to sustain the bicameral system

of legislature we are operating now?

Bicameralism is the practice of having

a legislature divided into two

separate assemblies, chambers, or houses,

known as a bicameral legislature.

Bicameralism is distinguished

from unicameralism, in which all members

deliberate and vote as a single group. As of

2015, about 40 per cent of the world’s national

legislatures are bicameral, and about 60 per

cent are unicameral. Bicameral system of

legislature means running the Senate and

House of Representatives pari passu.

Experts have listed the advantages and

disadvantages of bicameral legislature.

Bicameral legislatures make it possible for

better laws to be made in the country,

since bills are somewhat properly debated in

bicameral legislature. It is difficult for the

executive arm to dominate the two chambers;

the second chamber of bicameral legislature

reduces the work load of the upper house.

Bicameral legislature makes room for equal

and adequate representation of the people in

a federal state.

The second chamber of bicameral

legislature checks and prevents hasty and illconsidered

passage of bills unlike in the case

of a unicameral legislature. The second

chamber of a bicameral legislature corrects

any faulty legislation coming from the first

chamber. Bicameral legislatures protect the

interests of minority groups. A bicameral

legislature makes it possible for public opinion

to be properly expressed on the issues

concerned before bills are passed by delaying

OPINION

the bills in the two chambers. Bicameral

legislatures result in division of labour in

certain aspects of the functions performed by

the legislature between the two legislative

chambers. Bicameral legislatures create room

for more politically and administratively

experienced people to be useful in the art of

law making. The second chamber of

bicameral legislature checks the excesses and

guides against the tyranny or dictatorship of a

one chamber.

The Disadvantages of Bicameral

Legislature: The second chamber of

bicameral legislature may be used as a

dumping ground for political rejects at the

polls if its membership is by nomination or

appointment. A bicameral legislature

encourages duplication of functions since they

perform the same function. Bicameral

legislatures waste a lot of public fund because

The Presidential System of

government we are running is

too expensive and it will lead

us to nowhere

the government will try to maintain the two

legislative chambers and the paraphernalia

that go with them. A bicameral legislature is

not good for passing bills in times of

emergency because of delays that result from

having two chambers.

Many legislators have to go through the bills

before they are passed or carried out.

Bicameral legislatures lead to unnecessary

rivalry as to which of the two houses is superior

to the other. In a bicameral legislature, most

of the members assigned in the second chamber

have advanced in age and are mostly inactive;

appointment rather than election of members

of the upper house as it is done in Britain is

undemocratic.

Another disadvantage of a bicameral

legislature the serious delay in the act of law

Send Opinions & Letters to:

opinions1234@yahoo.com

making. But above all, it saves cost in the act

of running of government.

In spite of all these advantages and

disadvantages, can our economy sustain the

Presidential system of government we are

running now? Countries with unicameral

governments include Armenia, Bulgaria,

Denmark, Hungary, Monaco, Ukraine, Serbia,

Turkey and Sweden. Unicameral systems

became more popular during the 20th century

and some countries, including Greece, New

Zealand and Peru, switched from a bicameral

to a unicameral. Ghana, our neighbour,

practices unicameral. That does not make

these countries less democratic than we are.

We are not discussing about the demerits of

democracy for democracy has come to stay.

What we are discussing is the reduction in the

cost of governance. The Presidential System

of government we are running is too expensive

and it will lead us to nowhere. Look at our

roads, hospitals, schools, etc and all the

infrastructural facilities we have: they are

lacking because of the high cost of governance.

Something has to be done in terms of reducing

cost.

Apart from bicameralism or unicameralism,

there is also the need to address whether or not

we can continue the Presidential System of

Government. The Presidential System of

Government has given two wide powers to the

centre. We are not discussing about he

perpetual Constitution amendment, that has

given opportunity to the deputy Senate

President and the deputy speaker of the House

of Representatives and members of their

committees since 1999 to make some gains.

We are discussing whether or not this

Presidential System suit us.

We adopted this system of government in

haste. It was faulty. It was fallacious. And that

is why it is not working and it can not work no

matter how long we practice it.

Continues next week


Investments in Nigeria fall 44% to $16.7bn

in 2020 NIPC ...Manufacturing sector tops with 50%

By Yinka Kolawole

ECONOMY

THE Nigerian Investment

Promotion Commission

(NIPC) said it tracked $16.74 billion

investment announcements

in Nigeria for the year 2020, representing

44 percent less than

the $29.91 billion tracked in 2019.

NIPC disclosed this in its newsletter

released yesterday, noting

that the manufacturing sector attracted

the most investment of

$8.4 billion, representing 50 percent

of the total investment, as

well as the highest number of

projects (10).

The Commission however

noted that the report is not exhaustive

of all investment announcements

in Nigeria during

the period. “Nevertheless, it gives

a sense of investors’ interest in

the Nigerian economy for planning,

decision making and policy

design across the board,” it

added.

“The manufacturing sector had

the highest number of projects

(10) as well as the highest value,

which stood at $8.4 billion (50%).

Transportation and storage had

(28%), information and communication

had (11%), mining and

quarrying had (6%), while finance

and insurance (3%) made

up the top five sectors for the

year,” NIPC stated.

The report said that the drop in

value could be attributed to the

economic impact brought about

by COVID-19 pandemic, which

disrupted not only the Nigerian

economy but the global value

chains and capital flows.

It stated that a similar downward

trend is expected for actual

investments recorded in Nigeria

and globally.

The NIPC further stated that it

tracked 63 projects across 21

states and the Federal Capital

Territory during the year. Twentyfour

of the projects were planned

CURRENCY BUYING SELLING

US DOLLAR

POUNDS

EURO

FRANC

YEN

CFA

WAUA

RENMINBI

RIYAL

RAND

123.05 0.00

2,433.00 -4.00

15.64 -0.15

63.36 +0.93

60.26 +0.79

379 379.5 380

522.4136 523.1028 523.792

458.9311 459.5366 460.142

424.6023 425.1624 425.7226

3.6081 3.6129 3.6177

0.6816 0.6916 0.7016

545.8632 546.5834 547.3035

58.6479 58.7257 58.8035

101.0397 101.173 101.3063

25.8738 25.908 25.9421

CBN Exchange rate as at 15/02/2021

ECONOMY

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021 19

EMPOWERMENT: From left - Secretary, Ajilesoro Foundation, Mr Oladele Oladotun; wife of

Bola Oyebade Foundation , BOF founder, Mrs Linda Oyebade; BOF founder, Bola Oyebade;

beneficiaries: Donatus Ahuwanya, Modupe Isioma, Stella Nnamdi, Popoola Ayoni and Trustee,

BOF, Mr John Olatubosun Ajayi, during the presentation of empowerment materials at the 3rd

BOF Anniversary in Ikeja, Lagos.

for Lagos State, followed by

Kaduna and Ekiti states with five

projects each.

In terms of value, the top five

states are: Rivers State with $6

billion; Kaduna State with $2.8

billion; Kogi State with $1 billion;

Lagos State with $0.89 billion;

and Ogun State with $0.08 billion.

Singapore accounted for 36% of

the projects announcements

tracked during the period. Other

major sources were China (22%);

United States of America (15%);

South Africa (10%); United Kingdom

(9%) and domestic investors

(8%).

NIRSAL facilitates N148b into agric sector

By Emma Ujah, Abuja

Bureau Chief

THE Nigerian Incentive-Based

Risk Sharing System for Agricultural

Lending, (NIRSAL PLC)

has facilitated over N148 billion in

finance and investments for agriculture

and agribusiness.

Managing Director of the company,

Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed,

disclosed this at a media briefing

in Abuja. He said that NIRSAL, a

wholly-owned corporation of the

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) facilitated

over N30 billion into the sector

between January last year to date.

He said that in spite of the

COVID-19 pandemic that

disrupted the global

economy last year, his organization

had to continue

working, saying, “the

stomach does not know whether

there is pandemic or not.”

According to him, “In the course

of the last 13 months, we facilitated

the flow of over N30 billion into agricultural

value chains from commercial

banks and other sources.

“Even though our operations suffered

a stall during the lockdown of

2020, our technological depth gave

us a pathway to return to work while

remaining safe and socially-distanced.

As you know, it was important

to continue, even increase, food

and raw materials production as the

pandemic bit harder.

“As enablers of actors in the agricultural

value chain, we remained

operational for those who were allowed

by the Federal Government

to move around for the purpose of

producing food and rendering essential

services in the society.

“By remaining operational, our

numbers grew: As at fourt quarter

2020 (Q4 2020), we had achieved

the following: Facilitated over N148

billion in finance and investments for

agriculture and agribusiness; aggregated

over 3,000 agro geo-cooperatives

with 500,000 farmers on nearly

800,000 hectares of land; and enrolled

1.4 million persons onto innovative

insurance products designed

by NIRSAL in collaboration with a

consortium of agricultural insurance

underwriters.”

The NIRSAL boss added that the

organization had grown its balance

sheet to N140 billion, equity by

1,415% and total assets by 87%

through prudent management of its

resources.

Hope PSBank begins free NIN registration nationwide

MONEY MARKET

HOPE PSBank, a

subsidiary of Unified

Payment Services

Limited has commenced

free National Identification

Number (NIN) for

Nigerians including its

customers in all designated

enrolment centres

located in its regional offices

across the country

and its head office in

Lagos.

Hope PSBank has

seven regional offices

across the geopolitical

zones of the country located

in Kano, Adamawa,

Anambra, Oyo, FCT, Lagos and

Rivers State. Its head Office is also

located in Victoria Island, Lagos.

Speaking at the press conference

in Lagos to announce the NIN enrollment

exercise, Managing Director,

Hope PSBank, Mr

Ayotunde Kuponiyi stated that the

bank was delighted to partner

with Federal Government

through National Identity Management

Commission on the NIN

registration exercise noting that

this would afford Nigerians the

opportunity to register and capture

their biometrics seamlessly

and quickly.

“We are committed to working

with the Federal Government to

ensure that every citizen enrolls

for NIN as this would mean an

easier identification process that

had been lacking”, Kuponiyi

said.

He explained that Nigerians

can register online through the

bank’s platform and thereafter

visit the nearest enrollment center

to capture biometrics. He further

stated that the bank has intensified

effort to rapidly expand

the number of enrollment centers

as it is currently recruiting thousands

of agents that will set up

centers for enrollment all across

the country.

“The process of onboarding as

an agent is very simple, prospective

agents can log on to our

website (www.hopepsbank.com)

and enroll first as an agent of

Hope Payment Service Bank and

then register to become an agent

Firm launches

auto spare parts

platform to

enhance sector

By Providence Adeyinka

ECONOMY

Afirm, 234Parts.com has intro

duced online platform for the

automobile sector, to connect spare

parts buyers and sellers, dealers, auto

workshops and car owners.

A statement from the Managing

Director of 234Parts.com, Mr. Godson

Madu, said that the site boasts

of over 370,000 car parts listings with

28,000 unique products from over

6,000 spare parts dealers across

major spare part markets in Ladipo,

Tin Can, Ojuelegba all in Lagos,

Abuja, Kaduna, Kano and Port -

Harcourt.

He said that the site is very easy to

navigate and has been designed to

make the process of buying quality

replacement of parts easy and convenient

by providing multiple spare

parts options and price comparisons

to owners, while also enhancing the

product visibility of the spare part

dealers.

Madu said: “234Parts.com inventory

ranges from auto parts, lubricants,

batteries, tools, wheels and

tyres.”

Also speaking, Chief Marketing

Officer, Mrs. Eniola Alli-Ayodele,

said that 234parts.com is a leading

online platform for the automobile

spare parts sector and has in the last

two years, served as a connecting

point for spare parts dealers, auto

workshops and car owners.

Alli-Ayodele said: “From our research,

the influx of foreign used cars

in Nigeria are usually over five years

old at the time of their arrival. There

is now a significant increase in maintenance

visits from four to 12 times

annually. It has been recorded that

each of those visits involved a parts

replacement purchase.

“Consequently, the presence of substandard

new spare parts increased

as the manufacturers of these foreign

used cars discontinue production of

some of the car parts. The need for

genuine auto spare parts gave birth

to 234Parts.com site.

“The current focus of

234parts.com platform is to hold the

largest inventory of both used and

new automotive spare parts in Nigeria,

and increase access to the platform

by using its rich data and insights

to organize the fragmented

spare parts industry.

“The business will in the coming

months penetrate other major cities

in the nation and onboard additional

spare parts dealers after a rigorous

verification process. This new development

promises to create an opportunity

for OEMs and genuine

spare parts vendors to compete while

also increasing the chances of car

owners getting guaranteed parts.”

she said.

for NIN registration,” he added.

While commending the Federal

Government through the Ministry

of Communication and Digital

Economy for expanding and

extending the registration footprints

to the bank, he assured Nigerians

of the bank’s readiness to

make the registration easier

through the platform. Nigerians

can register for NIN enrollment

by filling the NIN form on Hope

PSbank

website

(www.hopepsbank.com) or Mobile

app, and then go to any of

our centers for data capture by

presenting just their phone numbers

and means of identification.

This will significantly reduce the

waiting period at the capture centers.


20 Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

Stakeholders express fears as tanker accidents hurt economy

By Udeme Akpan

STAKEHOLDERS have

expressed fears over

increasing tanker accidents in the

downstream sector of Nigeria’s

petroleum industry, stressing

that it could further impact

negatively on the economy.

Speaking in a telephone

interview with Energy Vanguard,

Managing Director,

Masterminder Oil & Gas Limited,

Mr. Ademola Ademoroti, said:

“Due to lack of alternatives, many

operators in the downstream

sector are compelled to move

their petroleum products from

one part of the country to another

through the use of tankers.

“Also, due to some factors,

including bad roads, irregular

maintenance and human factor,

some of these tankers are involved

in accidents, thus resulting to loss

of lives and property worth

millions or billions of naira.

Consequently, investors,

households and the entire nation’s

economy are affected, especially

in the past few years, which call

for serious concern.”

According to him, the

development has become a thing

of serious concern to major

stakeholders and, to check the

spate of the incidence, the Ministry

of Transportation, Lagos State

Safety Commission, LSSC; Nigerian

Association of Road Transport

Owners, NARTO; Petroleum

Tanker Drivers, PTD-NUPENG,

with Masterminder Oil & Gas

Limited, an accredited Safety

Consultant with the LSSC, have

agreed to hold a major training in

Lagos on Thursday, February 18,

2021, with all stakeholders,

including tanker drivers and

owners as target audience.

Previously, in its Second Quarter

2020 Report, obtained by Energy

Vanguard, the National Bureau of

Statistics, NBS, had reported that:

“The Q2 2020 road transport data

reflected that 2,080 road crashes

occurred in Q2 2020. Speed

violation is reported as the major

cause of road crashes in Q2 2020,

and it accounted for 47 per cent of

total road crashes reported,

wrongful overtaking followed

closely, as it accounted for 10 per

cent of the total road crashes

recorded, while dangerous

overtaking recorded the least of

the total road crashes reported.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

How NNPC cuts losses in four refineries

by 53% to N85.75bn in 10 months

.Stakeholders seek privatisation

By Obas Esiedesa

THE Nigerian National

Petroleum Corporation,

NNPC, has cut down losses by 53

per cent in the first 10 months of

2020, due to none production in

the nation’s four refineries,

according to data obtained from

its October 2020 Monthly

Financial and Operations Report,

MFOR.

The data, obtained by Energy

Vanguard, showed that the

Operational Expenses, OPEX,

stood at N85.75 billion in the first

10 months, thus indicating a drop

of 53 per cent, compared to

N122.96 billion recorded in the

corresponding period of 2019.

The refineries are Warri Refining

and Petrochemical Company,

WRPC, located in Warri, Delta

State, Kaduna Refining and

Petrochemical Company, KRPC,

located in Kaduna, Kaduna State,

and Port Harcourt Refining and

Petrochemical Company (old and

new), located in Port Harcourt,

Rivers State.

A closer look at data from

NNPC’s report showed that in

October 2020, the refineries

recorded N5.49 billion deficits, a

drop of 53.13 per cent, compared

to N11.715 billion recorded in

October, 2019.

For September, 2020, the total

loss was N5.398 billion, down

23.69 per cent, from the N7.074

billion recorded in September,

2019.

In August 2020, the refineries

recorded N7.087 billion losses,

compared to N13.208 billion

losses reported for August, 2019,

a fall of 46.54 per cent.

Data for July, 2020 showed that

the refineries recorded a total

losses of N9.051 billion, down by

34.57 per cent, when compared

to N13.834 billion in July, 2019.

In June 2020, the losses were

10.231 billion, down 41.26 per

cent, compared to N17.419 billion

recorded in June 2019. In May

2020, the losses were N9.545

billion, a drop of 29.93 per cent,

from N13.623 billion losses

recorded in May 2019.

Also, a combined loss of N9.686

billion was reported for April

2020, a 15.31 per cent drop from

the N11.438 billion loss recorded

in the corresponding month of

2019.

In March 2020, the total losses

were N10.302 billion, compared

to N16.034 billion losses recorded

in March 2019, down 35.74 per

cent. For February 2020, the

three refineries recorded a total

loss of N9.362 billion, down 8.73

per cent from the N10.258 billion

loss recorded in February, 2021.

In January 2020, NNPC

reported that the three refineries

recorded N9.6 billion losses, up

14.83 per cent from N8.36 billion

reported for January, 2019.

State of refineries

With a combined refining

capacity of 445,000 barrels per

day, the refineries have been in a

state of disrepair for years and,

because of this, they have not

refined any crude for commercial

use since September 2018.

Attempts in the past to fix them

did not yield any tangible result

but, in the past two years,

government has considered

engaging the Original Equipment

Manufacturers, OEM, to fix the

refineries.Last year, the

management of the NNPC, led by

its Group Managing Director,

Mallam Mele Kyari, commenced

process to have the refineries fixed

and operational. It called for bids

for the rehabilitation of the Port

Harcourt Refinery complex,

consisting of two plants with a

combined capacity of 210,000

bpd.

For the refinery, the corporation

has sought to secure about $1

billion facility from Afrieximbank

to fund the rehabilitation.

The loan facility, a prepayment

with trading firms, would be repaid

over seven years through

deliveries of Nigerian crude and

products from the refinery, once

the refurbishment is complete.

A report by Reuters quoted a

spokesman at the bank as saying:

“Afreximbank is looking into a

facility for the refurbishment of the

Port Harcourt Refinery. However,

the borrower is yet to be

determined.”

Last December, NNPC, in a

detailed explanation on the plan

to rehabilitate the refinery, set a

January 7, 2021 deadline for the

re-tender of the project to all the

prequalified seven engineering

procurement and construction

companies, EPC.

It explained then that the shift in

deadline for the submission was

to enable it have a competitive

commercial offer. The bid process,

which ought to have been

concluded last year, was delayed,

following the decline of selected

EPC companies to continue with

the tender process.

NNPC explained further that a

total of four companies declined

further participation, arising from

their inability to submit

competitive tenders, due to a

variety of reasons, including

challenges with their subcontractors,

the COVID-19 and

the tight bid submission period.

“Following clarification

meetings held with the bidders,

the bid closing deadline was

extended to November 30, 2020.

Along the tendering process, 12

clarification requests were

received from the bidders and

responded to accordingly.

“However, due to requests from

them for submission of alternative

bids, the ITT document was

amended to accommodate

alternative bids and

communicated to the bidders.

Furthermore, the PHRC

Technical Audit Report was

shared to all the 7 EPC companies

as well. And at the bid submission

deadline, only one company,

Messrs Technimont, submitted a

proposal for the refineries

rehabilitation.

“The submission of a proposal

by just one company was

considered not satisfactory”, the

corporation added.

Expert and stakeholders

react

However, in a telephone

interview with Energy Vanguard,

the immediate past NNPC’s Chief

Operating Officer, Engr. Henry

Nkem Obih, expressed optimism

that the plan on ground to have

the Port Harcourt refinery fixed

and operational would yield the

needed result.

According to him: “They invited

the original assets builders to do

some assessments and went into

discussions on partnering, so that

the refineries are fixed into the

original state and then NNPC

would, through what is called

'Asset Management Model', get

experts to come and jointly

operate the new refurbished

refineries with NNPC staff the

best of the employees. The plan

started under Dr. Baru and Mele

Kyari has continued on that path.”

He noted that the challenge is to

find the finance for the

refurbishment, explaining that:

“Between the Federal

Government and the private

sector initiative that NNPC has

been driving through banks and

through other forms of JVs, they

are now close to closing out on all

the capital requirements needed.”

Also speaking in a telephone

chat, the National President of the

Independent Petroleum

Marketers Association of Nigeria,

IPMAN, Elder Chinedu

Okoronkwo, said the present state

of the refineries was of a great

concern to the industry players.

He stressed that having the

refineries working would ease the

pressure of sourcing dollars for

petroleum products importation.

“It is a serious matter that the

whole nation must be worried

about, because the pressure on the

dollar is really affecting

everybody. A situation where four

refineries are not working should

be a serious concern for the

economy and the people. We are

highly concerned, especially now

that the crude is going up. It means

whatever gain we would have

made in the crude will also be used

for importing, and this does make

good economic sense.”

While acknowledging that

getting refineries working won’t be

a quick fix, given the lack of funds,

he urged the government to

encourage setting up of modular

refineries to bridge the gap created

by the absence of the refineries.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021 21

NITP President decries deterioration of human settlements, blames govts

The President of the

Nigerian Institute

of Town Planners,

NITP, and former Lagos

State Commissioner for

Physical Planning and Urban

Development,

Olutoyin Ayinde, has decried

the deterioration of

human settlements across

the country, saying government

at all levels

should take the responsibility

for not being committed

to implementation

of physical plans.

Ayinde who made this

known recently at the

quarterly press briefing of

the institute in Lagos,

stated that governments

must be willing to provide

strong leadership, which can

only happen when the

system produces competent

people to run the affairs regarding

design of plans and

their implementation.

According to Ayinde, government

must take responsibility

for the chaotic and

unsafe human settlements,

pointing out that between

the early seventies to the

mid-eighties, there was

awareness on the need for

planning in the country with

the governments of the day

embarking on preparation

of master plans and other

levels of physical plans for

settlements.

He noted, however, that as

good as that step was, lack

of political will and funding

made the plans to end up on

the shelves of government

offices with little implementation,

insisting that the

poor attitude of government

towards implementation of

plans had greatly contributed

to the poor state of

human settlements in

Nigeria.

The former Lagos State

commissioner who said that

less than 30 per cent of Nigerian

states have adopted

physical planning laws deriving

from the Nigerian

Urban and Regional Planning

Law, CAP 138, LFN

2004, averred that this attitude

amounts to governments

either not believing

and/or abusing the law and

structures that they created.

According to the NITP

boss: “We are most familiar

with the consequences of

lack of planning which

manifest in the chaos in our

environment, congestion on

our roads, dysfunctional infrastructure,

building collapse,

unconnected

settlements, avoidable

flooding and other disasters,

leading to stressful living

and a reduction in life

expectancy.”

He said the roadmap for

Ordered Human Settlements

in Nigeria must include

the implementation of

the supranational and transboundary

level/multinational

regional strategies,

the national level/national

plans, the city-region and

metropolitan level/

subnational regional plans,

the city and municipal level,

city development strategies,

integrated development

plans and the neighbourhood

level, street development

and public space plans

and layouts to improve urban

quality, social cohesion

and inclusion, and the protection

of local resources.

He further noted that the

overwhelming ignorance

about the profession is preponderant

even amongst the

elite, which is why it is not

surprising that those at the

helm of affairs politically

also mistake physical planning

for a revenue generation

tool.

Also, a former president of

NITP, Remi Makinde, said

physical development plans

must be prioritised in government’s

agenda for sustainable

urbanisation in

Nigeria.

He advised government at

all levels to redirect the

growth of cities, and stop

those who build without

planning.

By Kingsley Adegboye

Cement is a major

component in con

struction works,

and accounts for between

40 and 45 per cent to deliver

a building project.

But the unexpected hike

in the price of cement in

November 2020 by about

50 per cent, which caught

Nigerians napping, has

remained a major headache

to players in the Nigeria's

building construction

industry who are already

grappling with several

other challenges.

Before the sudden hike

cement price in November

2020 to N3,500 per

50kg bag, the same 50kg

bag was sold for N2,600.

Subsequently, this astronomical

rise in cement

price has resulted to a hike

in the price of sandcrete

blocks, rings, concrete

and mortar products in

which cement is a major

input in their production.

For instance, when a bag

of cement was N2,600, 9

inch sancrete block was

sold for N180 while 6 inch

sandcrete block was sold

for N160. But with the

present price of a bag of

cement, 9 inch sandcrete

block now sells between

N200 and N220 while 6

How cement price rose to

N3,500 from N2,600 per bag

---Implication of astronomical hike on

construction activities, as stakeholders speak

inch sandcrete block

sells between N180

and N190.

Reacting to the development

the Director-General

of Federation

Of Construction

Industry FOCI,

Mrs. Olubunmi

Adekoje, an engineer,

said “The escalating

cost of cement poses

a major threat to construction

in Nigeria as

it could result in fluctuations

in construction

cost, reduce volume

of construction

output, increase risk of

project abandonment

and result in downward

effect on the national

gross domestic product,

GDP.

She therefore appealed

for stability in the price of

cement so as to reduce the

negative effects on construction

in Nigeria.

In his reaction, the national

president of the Nigerian

Institute of Building

NIOB, Kunle

Awobodu, condemned the

astronomical rise in the

price of cement in Nigeria,

Victory Park Estate Lekki landlords sue AMCON for

disregard for court orders

By Innocent Anaba

Residents and landlords

of Victory Park Estate,

Lekki, Lagos State, have

accused the Asset Management

Corporation of Nigeria

AMCON, of harassment

over their property

despite pending court cases

and orders.

Two of such cases were

filed by Mrs. B. Ibude and

Mr. Okechukwu Okoli and

his wife against AMCON

and its receiver-manager

Mr. Lanre Olaoluwa.

The plaintiffs obtained injunctions

against the respondents

AMCON and

Olaoluwa appealed.

The estate spans almost 50

hectares of land and is one

of the gated communities in

the Igbokushu area of Lekki

Peninsula Scheme 1.

The residents are accusing

AMCON and its receivermanager

of outright disregard

for law and order and

illegal use of official powers.

They claimed to have

bought plots of land in the

estate from Grant Properties

Ltd, a company promoted by

the late Rev Olajide

Awosedo and his family,

and obtained the relevant

title documents.

According to them, in 2003,

Grant Properties and

Knight Rook approached

some of them individually

and offered them plots in

the estate, following which

they invested their hardearned

money and live savings,

while others obtained

mortgage loans.

The residents said before

paying, they carried out

checks to ascertain that

there were no caveats in the

Lands Registry or the Corporate

Affairs Commission,

CAC.

Assured that the coast was

clear, they purchased their

various plots legally from

Grant Properties/Knight

Rook, the only companies

authorised to sell plots of

land in the estate.

The homeowners said they

found that at the time of

purchasing the plots of land,

Knight Rook’s title to the

estate was free from any encumbrance,

as no mortgage,

pledge or charge had been

obtained against it by any

financial institution or any

other company.

The homeowners said from

2003 till June 2017, they continued

to buy into the estate;

some developed their property

and started living in the

estate without harassment.

They also registered their

titles, obtained the consent

of the Governor and paid

their Land Use Charge as

and when due.

Issues arose when

AMCON moved to recover

alleged credit facilities

granted to the late Awosedo,

the chairman of Grant Properties

Limited and Knight

Rook Ltd, which executed

the title documents to the

property in the estate.

To the residents’ shock,

sometime in June 2017, they

woke to a publication that

Knight Rook, the owner of

the global certificate of occupancy

over Victory Park

Estate, was in receivership

with other companies over a

loan Grant Properties Ltd

allegedly took from Sterling

Bank, Skye bank (now Polaris

bank), Wema Bank and

FCMB.

According to the residents,

following the steps taken to

recover the outstanding indebtedness,

the late

Awosedo and other shareholders

of Knight Rook purportedly

transferred their

shares to the nominees of

the banks and resigned

their positions as directors,

thereby relinquishing their

right to continue to act as

such.

The plaintiffs alleged that

despite the removal of the

Awosedos from Knight Rook

Ltd, an agreement was entered

into sometime in 2006

by the banks with Grant

Properties Ltd to market

and sell the land at Victory

Park Estate and remit proceeds

to the banks.

The residents said it was

very puzzling that from 2006

until AMCON’s publication

of putting the companies in

receivership in 2017, members

of the public were

made to believe that the

Awosedos were executing

the banks’ instructions.

AMCON appointed Mr.

Olaoluwa as receiver/manager

to take over the assets

of Knight Rook Ltd and its

parent company, Grant

Properties Ltd.

pointing out that the low

purchasing power of Nigerians

will promote

temptation for

quality compromise

in construction activities.

Awobodu therefore

called on the government

to step in

quickly and save

the nation from imminent

danger of

substandard building

construction,

pointing out that

Nigeria is a country

that is blessed

with population,

intellect and resources,

stressing

that the population

can be a strength

or a liability depending

on how resources are

managed.

According to Awobodu,

for investors and manufacturers,

the population

presents a large market for

their products, while for

citizens, the population

presents a raison d'etre for

crash in prices because of

the law of large numbers.

He said the recent increase

in the price of a 50

kilogram bag of cement

from around N2,600 to

N3,500 and beyond, portends

a bad omen for the

construction industry and

the nation at large, insisting

that whatever the underlying

reasons given for

the hike in price, the

NIOB is actuated by altruism

to bring the attendant

or unintended consequences

to the limelight

so that stakeholders can

appreciate and respond

to the emergency that the

nation is confronted with.

“Even at previous prices

before the hike, Nigerians

were confronted with the

challenge of owning their

homes and developing

other infrastructure. Reports

of 'cutting corners'

due to compromised material

inputs abound.

Sandcrete blocks, concrete

and mortar are products

in which cement is

part of the inputs for their

production. These products

also play a major role

in the cost and strength of

structures built with them.

“Virtually all the material

inputs for cement production

are available locally.

All the cement manufacturing

plants have been

existing in Nigeria before

the lockdown. We acknowledge

that there may

be need to maintain and

repair, it is our view that

this, however, is not

enough justification for

the astronomical increase

in cement price”,

Awobodu stated.

A developer who preferred

to be anonymous

lamented that the likely

price variation for most

construction projects

might cause confusion

and pitch contractors

against their clients as a

result of hike in cement

price. He added that resistance

to requests for

adjustments in construction

costs might force a

resort to unprofessional

construction practices

with consequences for the

integrity of construction

projects.


22 Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

COVID-19: Only sequencing can determine if

variants of concern are circulating in communities

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, NCDC D-G

• Says impact on vaccines, mortality, others yet unknown

By Chioma Obinna

AS

controversies

continue to trail the

different types of COVID-

19 variants of concern

globally, the Federal

government has said that

it is only only through

sequencing can Nigeria

establish if any of these

variants are circulating

within the local

communities.

Disclosing this through

the the Nigeria Centre for

Disease Control, NCDC ,

government declared that

the real impact of the

variants on vaccines,

therapeutics, diagnostics,

mortality and symptoms

are yet unknown.

Variants of

concern

Meanwhile, in response

to the variants of concern,

the NCDC has started

developing a protocol to

sequence samples among

positive travellers to

Nigeria, from the UK and

South Africa.

In an exclusive chat with

Good Health Weekly, the

Director-General of the

NCDC, Dr Chikwe

Ihekweazu, explained that

scientists were working

very hard to understand

the variants of concern.

Explaining why the new

By Chioma Obinna

AT birth on March 29, 2012,

Oluwajuwon Owolabi was diagnosed

with cerebral palsy at the Lagos University

Teaching Hospital, LUTH. His father,

Owolabi Kehinde Ganiyu, who works in

aluminum roofing, furniture and carpentry,

then began the search for solution.

At seven months, the baby was yet to

attempt crawling. They could not afford the

recommended physiotherapy treatment at

the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital,

Yaba, where they spend N22,000 weekly.

For a family of very meager means and

little-to-no earnings, this is a near

impossible task to achieve, failure of which

Oluwajuwon’s already compromised

physical and mental development could

become worse.

His mother Bridget, a hairdresser can

barely cope with the financial and mental

costs of caring for Oluwajuwon and work

at the same time.

An examplary father, Owolabi has

continually strived to find the needed

resources for his medical care, which

includes speech therapy that costs N60,

000 a month and an annual audiological

assessment at N70, 000.

Through appeals and donations,

Owolabi purchased the recommended

Rifton Prone Stander (for support and

stability) that cost nearly $6,800 (about

variants are called

“variants of concern”,

Ihekweazu said the SARS-

CoV-2 which causes the

novel coronavirus disease

is an RNA virus that

randomly mutates all the

time and has been doing

so since the virus first

emerged.

Ihekweazu lamented that

the more virus that is

circulating globally, the

higher the chance of

mutations arising.

“Over the last three

months, a number of new

variants have arisen which

have had an impact on the

epidemiology of the

pandemic. This is why

they are called variants of

concern.

“Scientists are still

working on a better

understanding of the

impact of these variants,

especially on vaccines,

therapeutics and

diagnostics.

“We do not know yet if

there is any specific impact

on mortality rates or

symptoms. In total, we

have detected the B.1.1.7

variant in seven cases

within Nigeria.

“This is the variant of

concern that first emerged

in the UK. We are working

with the African Centre for

Genomics of Infectious

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu

Disease, Redeemers

University, Ede, and other

partners to sequence more

samples from other parts of

the country.”

Community

transmission

Ihekweazu stated that

the variant cases detected

may imply community

transmission of the variant

Olaoluwajuwon Owolabi

N1.7 million) some years back. But he

has since outgrown the one purchased.

Owolabi’s uncommon commitment as a

father has not gone unnoticed; he is

frequently seen at catholic churches in

Lekki with Oluwajuwon, soliciting for

help.

of concern, but there was

the need to sequence more

samples, in order to

establish this.

On what the NCDC is

doing as regards the

variants, Ihekweazu said:

“Firstly, we started with

developing a protocol to

sequence samples among

positive travellers to

Nigeria, from the UK and

SOS: Oluwajuwon, Cerebral Palsy patient seeks

N4.7m life support

For a man who can longer

focus on his work due to

distractions from seeking

arms and going to the

hospital and who also has

five other children to take

care of, his financial

burden cannot be

described.

Right now Oluwajuwon

needs a new Rifton Prone

Stander that suits his size

and age (8 years) and this

may cost about $10,000

(N4.7 million).

The weekly N22,000 for

drugs and physiotherapy

is still facing him, likewise,

the N60,000 paid for

speech therapy every

month. The Owolabi’s are

desperately seeking help

from good-hearted people

to relieve them of this great

burden.

If you are touched by

Owolabi’s plight, kindly

send your donations to

FCMB, Account Number

4687447012; Account

Name: Owolabi A.

Oluwajuwon or call

Kehinde Owolabi on

08132835470.

South Africa. We are now

scaling up our in-country

sequencing capacity to

sequence a representative

number of samples from all

states. We are including

genomic surveillance as a

key part of our response

activities, to effectively

understand the prevalence

of these variants of concern

in Nigeria.

On the way forward, the

NCDC boss maintained

that the message to all

remains adherence to

known public health and

social measures. He said

there was no magic bullet

with the variants of

concern.

He advised Nigerians to

avoid large gatherings,

wash their hands regularly,

wear a face mask properly

and ensure physical

distancing, adding that;

“This will reduce the risk

of spread of the virus.”

Flattening

the curve

Speaking on the recent

drop in new infections,

Ihekweazu said it was too

early to say that the country

is “flattening the curve”,

adding that they would

continue to carry out more

AstraZeneca tests

COVID-19 vaccine on

children ages 6-17

By Sola Ogundipe

AS Nigeria awaits the

March 2 delivery date

of the AstraZeneca

COVID-vaccine doses

allocated under the

COVAX portfolio, Oxford

University has announced

tests of the vaccine in

children as young as 6

towards expanding the

coronavirus vaccine trials.

In a statement, Oxford

University said the trial

will include 300 child

volunteers aged 6 to 17,

with 240 of them receiving

the vaccine co-developed

with AstraZeneca.

Other remaining

participants will receive a

control meningitis vaccine

that has been proved safe

in children but is expected

to mimic side effects of a

Covid-19 shot.

Previous Oxford-

AstraZeneca testing had

not included children

younger than 12. Pfizer,

Moderna and Janssen

have also announced

plans to start trials for

younger children.

Only the Pfizer-

BioNTech and Moderna

tests across the country.

“Recently, we introduced

Antigen-bases Rapid

Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) in

four hospitals in FCT. We

are scaling up to more

states so that health workers

can be tested rapidly, and

cases can be rapidly

detected among patients

who require specialised

care such as surgery.

Reacting to reports on

COVID-19 response

collapse, he said: “Just last

week, about 40,000 tests

were carried out. In the

same week, two public

laboratories were activated

for testing in Gombe.

“A team from NCDC

completed the installation

of new equipment and

training of staff for COVID-

19 PCR diagnosis at the

Lawrence Henshaw

Disease Hospital

Laboratory. This laboratory

was destroyed during riots

in October 2020.

“We have not only

supported the state in

restarting testing but also

transitioned the laboratory

from GeneXpert to PCR

tests so that more tests can

be carried out daily.

“We will continue

focusing our efforts on

scaling up response

activities, including testing,

risk communications and

others. Our goal has been

to build sustainable

structures that will serve the

current pandemic and

other infectious disease

outbreaks,” he added.

vaccines have been

authorized in the United

States thus far. Johnson &

Johnson has a single-shot

vaccine that could be

authorized in March.

Regulators are awaiting

more trial data before

approving the Oxford-

AstraZeneca vaccine,

which is already in use in

the European Union.

But even with clinical

trials underway, children

are not expected to widely

receive the vaccine until

2022. A larger trial

involving thousands of

children is expected to be

conducted laterin the US

later.

The Oxford trial’s small

sample size of 300 children

who span a decade in age

is meant to serve as a

jumping-off point and not

the final word on how the

vaccine will be tolerated by

young patients.

In a 300-person trial, the

purpose is to determine a

“global response” to inform

researchers at a high level

whether the vaccine is safe,

well-tolerated and able to

produce an immune

response in children.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021 23

Don’t neglect cancer patients amid

COVID-19 outbreak, Foundation cries out

By Chioma Obinna

Amid the impact of the

COVID-19 pandemic on

cancer patients, Nigerian

philanthropists have been

urged to extend their support

against the coronavirus

towards funding cancer care

in Nigeria.

The Federal Government

has also been tasked to

urgently establish at least one

cancer centre in each of the

six geopolitical zones of the

Federation.

Making the call weekend,

a philanthropist, Mrs Janet

Oyedele, called on Nigerians

to rally around to support

cancer care.

Oyedele, who is the

Founder, Timilehin

Leukaemia Foundation, TLF,

lamented that lots of children

and adults were dying from

leukaemia (cancer of the

blood) and other forms of

cancer because there are not

enough cancer treatment

centres in the country.

Speaking during the 4th

Timilehin Annual Valentine

Special programme with the

theme: “Second Wave of

Coronavirus In Nigeria” and

Voluntary Blood Donation

Drive in Lagos,

Oyedele, who recalled that

many cancer patients were not

able to access care during the

lockdown lamented that some

were denied treatment locally

while others could not travel

abroad for treatment.

At the event organised in

partnership with the National

Union of Textile, Garment and

Tailoring Workers of Nigeria,

NUTGTWN, she said cancer

patients are suffering the most

because all the doctors and

nurses are focusing on

COVID-19 patients.

“This is one reason why the

treatment is so expensive. The

global lockdown, when the

pandemic started, prevented

them from travelling out for

treatment. I lost my child to

leukemia; so, I know how

difficult and painful it was to

get treatment for him when

he was battling the disease.

“But, if we had centres in the

six geo-political zones, it will

You can’t regulate health workers, JOHESU/

AHPA charge NMA

By Chioma Obinna

The age-long disharmony

between the members of

the Joint Health Sector

Unions, JOHESU; the

Assembly of Healthcare

Professional Associations,

AHPA, and the Nigeria

Medical Association, NMA,

is far from over as health

workers have threatened to

down tool should the

National Assembly fails to

review the Medical and

Dental Council of Nigeria

Repeal and Re-Enactment

Bill, 2020.

The health workers under

the umbrella of JOHESU/

AHPA also want the

immediate step down of a bill

sponsored by Senator

Ibrahim Oloriegbe.

It could be recalled that the

NMA in a recent statement

entitled:”JOHESU’s

outbursts: time to caution”

alleged that the health

workers under the auspices of

JOHESU/AHPA were

working through the

backdoor to get what they

could not achieve in school”

However, in response to the

NMA, the Unions also

accused the NMA of

extending its regulation to

health workers through the

Bill which is currently at the

National Assembly.

In a press statement made

available to Vanguard and

signed by the Chairman of

JOHESU, Comrade Joy Bio

Josiah, the Union said

Oloriegbe who is also a

medical doctor of injustice,

unfair treatment, lack of fair

hearing and bias against their

members during the public

hearing of five Health Bills on

Feb 1, 2021.

Also accusing the NMA of

“grab-grab syndrome and

know it all attitude”, the

Unions maintained that the

attitude of the doctors had

wrecked country’s health

system to become the

hallmark of ‘negative health

indices as well as a wretched

187 out of 191 Health

Systems globally.”

“We, therefore, have a

responsibility as loyal and

dynamic citizens to reverse

through constructive action

especially by embracing

global best practices in the

Health options in the ultimate

public interest. JOHESU will

continue to uphold this

without caring about whose

ox is gored.

....Threaten showdown over MDCN Bill

Further, the Unions

demanded stoppage of

Section 4(a) of the

controversial bill which states

that “the MDCN shall make

regulations for the operation

and management of Clinical

Diagnostic Centre.

According to the Unions, in

one template NMA says the

MDCN Bill is to regulate and

control only medical

practitioners and dentists.

“In desperation, the true

intendment is to violate the

domain of Medical

Laboratory Sciences and

Radiography. This clearly

manifests in Section 4(a)

which states: “the MDCN

shall make regulations for the

operation and management

of Clinical Diagnostic Centre.

“If anybody doubted the

insincerity of the NMA about

its intention to extend

regulation and control

beyond the frontiers of

medical doctors and dentists,

then the proviso in Section

45(3)(d) and 45(3)(e) is the

perfect symbol of how

Medical Doctors look for

trouble by standing on agelong

hypocritical platitudes.

be a good start to addressing

the issue in the country,” she

said.

Oyedele appealed for

support for cancer patients,

particularly those with

leukaemia as many die

without blood being available

in the blood banks.

“Let rich people that

contributed money for

COVID-19, also come

together, contribute money

for cancer especially

leukaemia that has affected

our generation.”

She said the programme

was also a drive for voluntary

blood donation, with a target

of 150 pints.

“Apart from leukaemia

patients who need a regular

blood transfusion - pregnant

women during childbirth,

accident victims and others,

also need blood at one time

or the other.

“Last year, we got 70 pints

of blood, but this year we aim

to get 150 pints. That is why

we have two stands so that

more people can support

humanity through their

donation of blood.”

The President, NUTGTWN,

Mr John Adaji, commended

the Foundation for

consistency in its aims and

objectives to help humanity.

He called on Nigerians to

strictly adhere to COVID 19

guidelines, especially the nonpharmaceutical

interventions

which include wearing of face

mask. COVID-19 vaccine

around the world is a

welcome development.

CHANGE OF NAME

OKODO

I, formerly known and addressed

as OKODO KINGSLEY ESHIO,

now wish to be known and

addressed as ALIYU

ABDULLAHI ABUBAKAR. All

former documents remain valid

general public please take note.

FESTUS EGOM

I, formerly known and addressed

as EGOM IBOR IBOR, now

wish to be known and addressed

as EGOM IBOR IBOR. All

former documents remain valid

general public please take note.

SABO

I, formerly known and addressed

as SABO MUHAMMAD. Date of

birth 24/7/1985, now wish to be

known and addressed as

ABDULRAZAQ MUHAMMAD.

Date of birth 12/3/1995. All former

documents remain valid general

public please take note.

LAMIDI

I, formerly known and addressed as

LAMIDI SHERFIAT, now

wish to be known and addressed as

ALIU SHEFIYAT. All former

documents remain valid general

public please take note.

NKECHI

I, formerly known and addressed as

Miss NKECHI UDUNA, now wish

to be known and addressed as Mrs.

CHOICE KELVIN. All former

documents remain valid, Zenith Bank,

Union Bank and general public take

note.

ELVIS

I, formerly known and addressed as

ELVIS USIFOH OWOBU, now wish

to be known and addressed as USONI

BLESSING. All former documents

remain valid general public please

take note.

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I, formerly known and addressed as

ABDULSALAM ABUBAKAR,

now wish to be known and addressed

as ABDULSALAM ABUBAKAR

MUSA. All former documents

remain valid, Nigerian Army and

general public take note.

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I, formerly known and addressed as

MUHAMMAD JAZULI BABA,

now wish to be known and

addressed as BABA ALIU

MUHAMMAD JAZULI. All former

documents remain valid, IBTC

Bank and general public take note.

MAMMAN

I, formerly known and addressed

as MAMMAN ABDULLAHI,

now wish to be known and

addressed as MANIRU

ABDULLAHI. And 01/03/1973 is

my correct date of birth. All former

documents remain valid, general

public take note.

MATHEW

I, formerly known and

addressed as MATHEW

PETER ERIC, now wish to be

known and addressed as

AUGUSTINE PETER ERIC.

All former documents remain

valid, general public take note.

AYENI

I, formerly known and addressed as

Miss AYENI ADEBIMPE

ADEBOLA, now wish to be known

and addressed as Mrs. SHOLOLA

ADEBIMPE ADEBOLA. All

former documents remain valid,

general public take note.

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I, formerly known and addressed

as CHIZIEBERE AMADI, now

wish to be known and addressed

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CHUKWUNWANI. All former

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public take note.

DAME

I, formerly known and addressed

as JOHN DAME, now wish to be

known and addressed as

GEOFFREY JOHN. Wrong date

of birth 12/02/1985. Correct date

of birth 01/11/1994.. All former

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public take note.

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I, formerly known and addressed

as IGWE CHIOMA OCHI, now

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I, formerly known and addressed

as JUDITH NGODOO

AONDOAKAA, now wish to be

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NGODOO JUDITH. All former

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IME

This is to confirm and certify that

VICTORIA IMEH EKPO and

EKAETTE IME EKPO is one

and same person but now wish to

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concerned please take note.

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I, formerly known as RABI

HARUNA, now wish to be called

and addressed as RABI BISALA.

All former documents remain valid,

Any Authority concerned and the

General public to please take note.

SADIYA

I, formerly known as Hassan

Sadiya, now wish to be called and

addressed as Abubakar Halimat

Hassan. All former documents

remain valid, Any Authority

concerned and the General public

to please take note.

ISAH

I, formerly known as Yakubu

Shaibu, now wish to be called and

addressed as Yakubu Shaibu Isah.

All former documents remain valid,

Any Authority concerned and the

General public to please take note.

ITORO

ABUBAKAR

I, formerly known as Mohammed

Mikailu Abubakar, now wish to

be called and addressed as

Muhammed Mikailu. All former

documents remain valid, Any

Authority concerned and the

General public to please take note.

IDAKWO

I, formerly known as Idakwo

Simeon, now wish to be called and

addressed as Negedu I. Simeon.

My correct date of birth is 25/12/

1990, and not 14/02/1980. All

former documents remain valid,

Any Authority concerned and the

General public to please take note.

SPACE

FOR

SALE


24 Niger-Delta Voice, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

LIFESTYLE EXTRA

VOL. 2: NO. 272 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

BUMP INTO KINGSLEY OMOBUDE:

Speech impaired welder of Edo

* Abandoned at childhood, annulled enchantments to be celebrated

*He is thorough; welding works unique – Ojo, neighbour; Agene, contractor

*What I want Governor Obaseki, guarantors to do for me – 30-yr-old Omobude

EDO... TTHE HEARTBEAT

OF THE NATION

By Gabriel

Enogholase

BENIN CITY MR

Kingsley Omobude came

tone-deaf from his mother’s

womb, nobody knew the reason

but because of this handicap,

people defectively concluded he

would amount to nothing and

predictably neglected him.

Fifteen or so years into his life,

the negativity did not change as

no help came. However, young

Kingsley who never accepted

that God created him to be

nobody took a stride that

explicitly altered his life.

The gallant move climaxed in

his becoming a welder at Benin

City, Edo State and he has found

a way around his tongue-tied

mouth by doing most of his

transactions and businesses

through sign language. Those

who rejected and mocked him

in the past are amazed at his

makeover.

Nobody catered for me but

I thank my master

Omobude, who spoke to NDV

through Mr. Godspower Ojo

said that he decided to be trained

as a welder over 10 years ago

when there was nobody to fend

for him.

“I have been dumb from birth

and while growing up, I saw that

nobody was interested in me or

wanted to help me because of

my disability.

“The man that I was apprenticed

to, I mean my master,

encouraged and assisted me in

several ways to ensure that I

completed my apprenticeship.

He overlooked my disability.

Story-line transformed

“When I started on my own,

nobody took me serious. But

today, I am very happy that the

narrative has changed. People

now bring jobs to me from

different parts of Benin City and

they are happy with my finished

products,” he narrated.

According to him, he moved

his workshop to the present

location at No. 148, Ediagbonya

Street, by Benin -Auchi dual

carriage way in 2016 to attract

customers.

“Through this job, I have been

able to put food on the table for

my family as several people,

including building contractors,

contact me to do one job or the

other for them,” he added.

Counsel to other incapacitated

persons

Omobude,

w h o

specialized in

all types of

welding works

such as

construction of

stainless doors,

windows,

gates, fencing

protectors,

electrical

wiring, among

others,

advised fellow

disabled persons

in the society

to “learn

any trade of

their choice so

as to be useful

and not

depend on

those not will-

ing to help them.”

Supplication to Gov

By Jimitota Onoyume

AGBARHO EMERITUS

Veterinary Surgeon and administrator,

Professor Joseph

Akpokodje, who trained eight

professors in his family, three

of whom are his off springs,

has revealed his drawbacks at

89 years.

Prof Akpokodje who has over

80 publications in national and

international academic journals

retired as a Veterinary

Surgeon in the 80s from the

prestigious University of

Ibadan, where he was Head of

The Department of Veterinary

Surgery and Medicine for

many years in the citadel of

learning. He also functioned as

a sub-dean of the Faculty of Veterinary

Medicine and has over

80 publications in national and

international academic journals.

The great African scholar and

octogenarian, who from a

comprehensive virtual profile,

was born September 17, 1932

and hails from Ikweghwu,

Agbarho kingdom, Ughelli

North local government area,

Obaseki, sponsors

He also appealed to Governor

Godwin Obaseki of Edo State

LIFESTYLE EXTRA

Delta state, told NDV that one

of his regrets presently was that

he could not fiddle with modern

gadgets, counting using all

the functions in a mobile phone

and browsing the internet.

Interestingly, his academic

feats are all over the internet

for generations.

I have been a professor as far

back as the 80s. These are my

children (pointing at some pictures

on the wall in his Agbarho

residence where this interview

was conducted) and there is

nothing much to say. As I have

said, I am a professor from University

of Ibadan and retired.

I was head of the department

for so many years before I retired.”

My qualms

Regretting his inability to toy

with most of the functions in his

cell phone and browsing the

internet, he said: “I have so

many disadvantages. In fact, I

consider myself a drawback in

that the new gadgets, most of

them I cannot use them. “

The reporter asked his advice

for the nation, the elderly don

said the nation had advanced

between the 70s and now but

did not forget to commend

President Muhammadu Buhari

for his fight against corruption.

His words: “I do not have to

give any advice to Nigeria, it has

and philanthropists to come to

his aid, especially in the

provision of standard professional

tools and finance to expand

his business.

He’s meticulous, groomed

others in welding Ojo

A neigbour, Mr. Godspower

Ojo, who also served as his sign

interpreter, described Mr

Omobude as a good and

hardworking man, adding: “He

has trained many people in

welding in Eyaen and Aduwawa

axis of Benin City, including the

man that I learnt the trade from.

His works are excellent and nobody

has brought any negative

report against him.”

Superb works

Agene

A building contractor present

HOME OF PROFESSORS: I trained 8 profs in my

family, 3 my kids Octogenarian Prof Akpokodje

•My regret is that I can't efficiently understand and use my cell phone

DELTA... THE BIG

HEART OF THE

NATION

Kingsley Omobude

Kingsley in his workshop.

*Professor Akpokodje

moved on since the 70s when I

joined the university as a lecturer.

The country has moved

on, moved forward since then.”

“Nigeria has advanced considerably

as much as I know

and it will advance more. I

will say Nigeria has advanced,

particularly with this administration

of President

Muhammadu Buhari. He

has made Nigeria face the truth.

I will say there have been

fraudulent practices in the

country but I think President

Buhari has set out to curtail

them,” he asserted.

during the interview, Engr.

Sylvester Agene told NDV:

“Omobude’s works are excellent

hence I have hired him to do

some welding works in projects

that I handled.”

Govt'll support disabled

Sedenu, Dep Gov’s aide

On his part, an aide to the

Deputy Governor of Edo State,

Comrade Philip Shaibu, Mr.

Razaq Sedenu, said that Edo

State under Godwin Obaseki

was prepared to assist disabled

persons learn one trade or the

other.

“The government will assist

them to buy tools and even

provide any form of assistance

to ensure that even those with

two legs that are not disabled

emulate them,” he said.

Pointing at a long line of the

photo frames in his sitting room

again with some of the children

in academic gowns, he

said: “I have lived a noble life

as far as far as I know. I hope

others will live a noble life. I

have three professors among

my children. I am not a

proud man but I have trained

about eight professors from my

family and I am still living. I

have done my own contribution,

let others do theirs,” he

quipped.

According to his virtual profile,

“ He attended Ondo Boys

High School, Ondo, 1946-51;

Veterinary School, Vom, 1952-

54; South West Essex Technical

College, London, 1956-58; Liverpool

University, England,

1958-64; University of Guelpha,

Canada, 1969-70; Royal Veterinary

College, Sweden, 1975;

He was Lecturer of the year.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

University of Ibadan.”

Great icon of

Urhobo nation

Some residents of Agbarho

who spoke on Professor

Akpokodje said he is one of the

great icons of Urhobo nation

and very a quiet man.

“He is one of the prides of

Urhobo nation and quiet man

in the community. When he was

still strong as an old man, we

saw him walk some distance to

ease his bones. There is nothing

much to say about professor

other than he is a quiet man. He

also attended the Agbarho Annual

Conference when he was

strong, “a resident who gave his

name simply as Sunday said.


YOUR LUCK TODAY

By Joshua Adeyemo Phone 08056180139

AQUARIUS: Think of the best way to improve on your

working pattern in order to enhance your career prospects

if you listen to your creative self, things will work

out fine for you. Be more loving.

PISCES: Success is boldly printed on your cards today.

Think of both immediate and far future while you are

savouring goodies offered you but mother nature.

ARIES: You should not have it tough while trying to win

the needed supports of others. Take good advice from

some of your friends who are creatively gifted.

TAURUS: Your creativity ...... is enhanced today and if

you demonstrating this within your working arena, you’ll

earn success and consolidate on your recent progress.

GEMINI: As mercury goes on backward motion today,

it is important you don’t take things for granted. Watch

carefully what you agree to do. But this is a good day for

Gemini lovers.

CANCER: Better than yesterday. Others will be willing

to give you the needed co-operation both at home and

within your working arena. This is a good day for lovers.

L E I S U R BE

TAKE HEART ELLA RANDLE

“Good words bring good feelings to the heart.

Speak with kindness, always.” -Take Heart

Quotes-

Whenever one send thoughts into the other, just

like an arrow shot from a bow by an archer it

comes back like a boomerang! Send beautiful

one’s and it comes back to you! We are what we

think, and are becoming momentarily, for thoughts

are things! -Ella Randle -

TERROR MUDA in “Never say goodbye”

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021 25

SAYINGS OF

OUR PEOPLE

The impotent

man does not

eat spicy

foods. ~Congolese

Proverb

By Kola Fayemi

LEO: Those of you who are more enterprising will have

much to show for your efforts. The more cooperative you

are the better for you. Don’t neglect love.

VIRGO: Mercury starts going on backward motion

today; therefore you will need to re-examine both your

personal ideas and advice given to you by other people.

Be family minded.

LIBRA: Avoided you don’t allow others to mislead you,

things will not go wrong. The more willing you are to

take the initiative the better for you. Take your love life

more seriously.

SCORPIO: This is your day. Although you will need to

be as secretive as you can, your success will attract others’

attention to you to the betterment of your cause. Be

ambitious.

SAGITTARIUS: People who more influential than you

will be willing to support your cause but you will need to

make the necessary move. The more self assertive you

are the better.

DUDU in “ROLLING HOT” By A.O.OLAIDE

CAPRICORN: Challenges of yesterday will today bring

you good opportunities along your career/business lines

to the betterment of your finances seek supporters of powerful

ones.

ASTROLOGICAL COUNSELLING

ASTROLOGICAL our date and place of COUNSELLING

birth to the Astr

tr

Send your dat

trological

Counselling, P.M.B 100

007, 7, Apapa, Lagos

What is ahead of me?

Dear Joshua,

I don’t want you to publish my data. However, I want to know

how the planets lined up when I was born. And which day of the

week was I born, would I record success in life because many

eyes are on me? When would my success coming?

Aliu, Kaduna.

VIRGINIA

dadadekola@yahoo.com

Dear Aliu,

You were born on a Jupiter ruled day - Thursday.

You’ll succeeded earlier than you think.

Your Horoscope Data

DAY OF BIRTH:

SUN SIGN = PISCES: SUN IN 25TH DEGREE OF PI-

SCES

MOON SIGN: PISCES: MOON IN 21ST DEGREE OF PI-

SCES

MERCURY IN 28TH DEGREE OF AQUARIUS

VENUS IN 28TH DEGREE OF ARIES

MARS IN 7TH DEGREE OF CANCER

JUPITER IN ZERO DEGREE OF AQUARIUS

SATURN IN 27TH DEGREE OF CAPRICORN

URANUS IN 22ND DEGREE OF LEO

NEPTUNE IN 11TH DECREE OF SCORPIO

PLUTO IN 6TH DEGREE OF VIRGO

NORTH NODE IN 6TH DEGREE OF PISCES

CARDINAL AND MUTABLE STAR SIGN HOSTED THREE

PLANETS EACH, FIXED AND WATER FOUR EACH, FIRE

EARTH AND AIR HOSTED TWO EACH.

PUSHFUL INFLUENCE = 40%

NON-PUSHFUL INFLUENCE = 60%

HIGHLY HIGHLIGHTED STAR SIGN = AQUARIUS

FINAL DISPOSITOR = SATURN

ANALYSIS OF THE HOROSCOPE DATA

Saturn as the final depositor-the most influential planet at

home when you were born, pointed to you as

an ambitious person who must have a well developed career.

You are throughly a disciplined person with higher degree of

leadership quality in yourself.

Although, you can be emotional, you are stable and reliable.

Less than 50 per cent of push-full influence in you is an indication

of your being an amiable person. Both your natal sun/moon

in Pisces and Aquarius are indications of characteristic of star

signs are highly pronounced in your inner-self Having your hands

on public pulse will always bring you unexpected success and

fulfillment.

HOME & ABROAD

By Lawrence Akapa


26 VANGUARD, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

US CAPITOL ATTACK: Senate considers

another panel to probe Trump

By Henry Ojelu with

agency report

DONALD Trump’s ac

quittal in a Senate

impeachment trial on a

charge of “incitement of insurrection”

for his role in the

United States Capitol violence

does not spell an end

to possible accountability –

or legal troubles – for the

former president.

Trump’s actions and

words leading up to the

deadly January 6 violence,

in which rioters stormed the

seat of the US legislature as

Congress met to certify the

election victory of President

Joe Biden, garnered more

bipartisan support for conviction

than any previous

Senate impeachment trial.

Legislators from both parties

have since increasingly

called for Congress to set

up an independent commission,

like that created

after the 9/11 attacks.

Notably, Republican Senator

Lindsey Graham, long

considered one of Trump’s

closest allies, suggested

such a commission is needed

“to find out what happened

and make sure it

never happens again”.

“His behaviour after the

election was over the top,”

Graham, who voted to acquit

Trump, told Fox News

on Sunday.

Legislators from both parties

have since increasingly

called for Congress to set

up an independent commission,

like that created

after the 9/11 attacks.

Notably, Republican

Senator Lindsey Graham,

long considered one of

Trump’s closest allies, suggested

such a commission

is needed “to find out

what happened and make

sure it never happens

again”.

“His behaviour after the

election was over the top,”

Graham, who voted to acquit

Trump, told Fox News

on Sunday.

An independent commission,

which would need to

be created through legislation,

could determine

“what was known, who

knew it and when they

knew, all that, because that

builds the basis so this never

happens again”, while

removing the tinge of partisan

politics, Republican

Senator Bill Cassidy, who

voted to convict Trump and

has since been censured by

the party in Louisiana, told

ABC News.

Democratic House Speaker

Nancy Pelosi had already

floated such a commission to

colleagues before Trump’s

acquittal, with several prominent

Democrats in the Senate

renewing the push in the

wake of the trial.

In an interview with ABC

News, Democrat Representative

Madeleine Dean

called for “an impartial commission,

not guided by politics,

filled with people who

would stand up to the courage

of their conviction”.

WHO sounds regional warning over Ebola

outbreaks in Congo, Guinea

AN outbreak of Ebola in

Democratic Republic

of Congo and Guinea poses

a regional risk that requires

exceptional vigilance,

a senior World

Health Organisation official

said on Monday.

Congo has confirmed

four cases of Ebola since

a resurgence of the virus

was announced on Feb. 7

in Butembo, the epicentre

of a previous outbreak

that was declared over

last June.

An Ebola vaccination

campaign has begun in

Butembo, in eastern DRC,

the WHO said in a tweet

on Monday. Separately,

the West African country

of Guinea declared a new

Ebola outbreak on Sunday,

with seven confirmed

cases and three

deaths.

“We have to be exceptionally

vigilant, highly

alert”, Mike Ryan,

WHO’s top emergency

expert, told a news briefing.

“This disease (Ebola)

represents a regional

risk.” The Ebola virus

causes severe vomiting

and diarrhoea and is

spread through contact

with body fluids.

Guinea declared an

Ebola outbreak in one of

its regions on Sunday,

after the West African nation

confirmed at least

seven cases of the disease,

including three

President Zuma faces possible

jail after corruption inquiry snub

A

South African inquiry

into corruption during

Jacob Zuma’s time as president

will ask the Constitutional

Court to impose a jail term

on the former leader after he

defied an order to appear

before the inquiry on Monday.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond

Zondo, who leads the

inquiry, said there was “no

valid or sound reason” for

Zuma’s failure to appear before

the inquiry, which is

probing allegations of highlevel

fraud during his period

in power from 2009 to 2018.

The 79-year-old denies

wrongdoing but has not cooperated

with the commission

of inquiry. He was removed

from office by the governing

African National Congress

(ANC) in 2018, in a move orchestrated

by allies of his successor

Cyril Ramaphosa.

“The commission will make

an application to the Constitutional

Court, which is the

court that made the order

that Mr Zuma has defied,

and seek an order that Mr

Zuma is guilty of contempt

of court,” Zondo said. He

said it was up to the Constitutional

Court – the

highest in the land – to

decide what to do about

Zuma, with options including

a fine or prison.

deaths, the country’s National

Security and Health

Agency (ANSS) said.

Health officials in the

southeastern N’Zerekore

district said seven people

who attended the funeral

of a nurse tested positive

for the disease and experienced

symptoms such as

diarrhea, vomiting and

bleeding. Three of them

died following the February

1 funeral. It is unclear

if the nurse, who worked

at the local health center,

died from Ebola.

The World Health Organization

(WHO) has

pledged support for Guinea,

helping to procure the

Ebola vaccine which has

helped control recent outbreaks

in the Democratic

Republic of the Congo. Its

teams are already on the

ground also helping to ensure

infection prevention

and control in health facilities

and other key locations

as well as reaching

out to communities.

An Ebola treatment center

will also be opened in

the Gouecke region of

N’Zerekore, where the

outbreak was declared.

MYANMAR: Deposed leader to

appear in court

MYANMAR’s

de

posed leader Aung

San Suu Kyi will appear in

court via video conference

this week over charges

brought against her by the

new military junta, her lawyer

said Monday.

Army chief General Min

Aung Hlaing has justified

the February 1 coup by alleging

widespread voter

fraud in November’s elections,

which Suu Kyi’s National

League for Democracy

(NLD) party swept.

Two days after the putsch,

the 75-year-old Nobel laureate

was hit with the unusual

charge of violating

Myanmar’s import and export

law, after a search of her

house found walkie-talkies.

President Win Myint

who, like Suu Kyi, was detained

in a dawn raid on

February 1 was charged

with violating coronavirus

restrictions when he took

part in a campaign event last

September that drew hundreds.

Both are expected to be

questioned on Tuesday and

Wednesday, said lawyer

Khin Maung Zaw outside a

court in Naypyidaw, Myanmar’s

capital, after a meeting

with a judge.

CHILDREN OF CENTRE FOR DESTITUTE

EMPOWERMENT INTERNATIONAL,

IDIMU, LAGOS BID FAREWELL TO

FOUNDER, PASTOR SAM OKOLIKO

Service of songs and wake-keep for Late Pastor Samson Okoliko,

founder & President, Centre for Destitute Empowerment

International, held at his residence, Makanjuola, Paiko-Idimu,

Lagos yesterday. PHOTOS: BUNMI AZEEZ.

From left: Mrs. Eze Fine, Pastor Alice Okoliko, widow and Mrs. Osuji Bibian.

From left: Mr. Samson Shedrach Onu, Miss. Ruth Samson and Mr. Samson

Idiko Ufedo, all children of the deceased.

Children of the centre.

Cross section of Pastors from Four Square Gospel Church.


vanguardnews @vanguardnews @vanguardnews

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021 27

NEWS HOTLINES

018773962,

08052867058

Produce evidence of criminal herdsmen's

trial

Continues from Page 5

yesterday berated the

Presidency for declaring

that criminal herdsmen

were being tried and

convicted across Nigeria.

National Publicity

Secretary of Afenifere,

Yinka Odumakin, said:

“The Presidency is

completely out of this

world. Where and when

are these criminal herders

being tried and convicted?

“Why would they be

coming up with lies? I

challenge both Femi

Adesina and Garba Shehu

to publish the names of the

criminal herders that are

being tried anywhere in

Nigeria.”

We want to see

action against

herdsmen not

words

PANDEF

In its reaction, the Pan

Niger Delta Forum, stated

it was more interested in

actions against killer

herdsmen and not mere

threat.

The National Publicity

Secretary of PANDEF, Ken

Robinson, said government

does not need to announce

the development if it was

sincere.

He said: “Does the

Federal Government need

to announce that? That is

one of the tactics they have

been employing to deceive

Nigerians, on their

sentimental attachment to

this killer herdsmen.

“They don’t need to

announce it. Do they need

to announce that? Did they

announce to prosecute any

kidnapper or armed robber

in the country? Why will

they announce that they are

prosecuting killer

herdsmen?

“These people parading

as herdsmen, as we have

said before, are not

herdsmen, they are

marauders, they are

terrorists, carrying AK-47,

going about terrorising and

intimidating citizens,

forcibly taking lands and

molesting farmers,

destroying the livelihoods

of our people and

government is sitting down

and watching.

“Today, they are waking

up and saying they are

prosecuting killer

herdsmen; it’s not true. It

is absolutely ridiculous. It

is painful that officials of this

administration will be

conducting themselves in

this ridiculous manner.

“We want to see action.

From 2016 till date, it is in

2021 they are saying they

are prosecuting killer

herdsmen, that is

laughable.

“They just woke up from

their sleep to know that

these boys are threatening

the unity of this nation? Are

they are just finding out

now that these actions will

throw the nation into ethnic

and religious crisis? Are

they just waking up to this

reality?

“Federal Government

should be serious. This is a

country and not a banana

republic. This is a country

of over 200 million people

and the government of

Nigeria needs to act more

responsibly and be

determined to protect lives

and property of all

Nigerians, no matter where

they come from and their

religion.

“We want to see tangible

action. We want to see these

men arrested. We want to

see these men flushed out

of Nigeria. We hear a lot of

these men are not

Nigerians, they are

foreigners terrorising

Nigerians in their own land

and the government is

sitting, folding its arms and

watching? It is

unacceptable.”

Arrest, try leaders

of Miyetti Allah to

start with, MBF,

Benue tribal

leaders tells FG

Also reacting yesterday,

the National President of

the Middle Belt Forum,

MBF, Dr. Bitrus Pogu, said

there is no truth in the claim

by the Presidency that

criminal herdsmen were

being arrested and tried

across the country.

He said: “What we know

is that there are some

instances in Zamfara State

where some of these people

were apprehended as

kidnappers.

“It has been in the news

but beyond the Zamfara

Naira depreciates to

N409.67/$ in I&E window

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

The naira yesterday depreciated to N409.67 per

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

due to a 56 percent rise in the volume of dollars

traded.

Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative

exchange rate for the window rose to N409.67 kobo

per dollar yesterday from N404.67 kobo last week

Friday, translating to N5 depreciation of the naira.

However, the volume of dollars (turnover) traded

in the window fell by 71 percent to $28.21 million

from $96.50 million last week Friday.

case which is about

kidnappers. When they

were massacring people in

Benue, Niger and other

places, we did not have any

record of anyone

apprehended over the

years.

“We also have instances

in Kaduna where

kidnappers, about three

years ago, killed a

traditional ruler and some

people were apprehended.

“We have these examples

but beyond that, in the

Middle Belt, there have

been killings and nobody

is arrested. Even when

Miyetti Allah laid claim to

the killings, nobody was

ever arrested.

“So I think what we can

say as a response to what

they have said is that they

have adopted selected

approach to the whole

thing. Because in Zamfara,

we saw example, in

Kaduna yes, after the

outcry that trailed the killing

of the traditional ruler.

“Beyond that, there isn’t

any other example. In fact,

in Adamawa where some

youths went to fight back

after the atrocities of the

herdsmen, they were

detained and are still in

court. But the Fulanis were

left to go scot free.

“In fact, we must say the

manner the Federal

Government is going about

the matter has lots of bias

in favour of the Fulanis.”

Benue tribal

leaders:

On his part, Chairman of

Benue tribal leaders and

President General of

Mzough U Tiv Worldwide,

Chief Iorbee Ihagh, said:

“The leader of Miyetti

Allah stays in Abuja and

says a lot of things and

nobody calls him to order

or arrests him, even when

they claimed responsibility

for the Benue crisis.

“He said that they can stay

anywhere and do whatever

they want to do and

nothing will happen to

them. Imagine such

utterances.

“So, it is not true that they

are arresting and trying

herdsmen. They should

start with the arrest and trial

of the leaders of Miyetti

Allah who claimed

responsibility and justified

the Benue killings. Until

that is done, we are not

convinced,” he said.

We’re not aware of FG’s

prosecution, conviction of

criminal herders - NEF

Similarly, the Northern

Elders Forum, NEF, which

is an elite association of

statesmen in the North,

said it was not aware of the

fact that herders were

being tried and convicted

across the country for illegal

activities.

Speaking with Vanguard

yesterday NEF’s Director,

Publicity and Advocacy, Dr.

Hakeem Baba-Ahmed,

FALLEN TRUCK AND RESCUE TEAMA fallen truck at Oshodi bridge,

causing traffic gridlock along Gbagada-Oshodi expressway, Lagos about to be

evacuated from the road, yesterday. Photo: Lamidi Bamidele.

maintained that while it

would be reassuring to

believe the presidential

spokesman, the nation

does not know of the

convictions against the

criminal herders

He said if such court

judgements were truly

made, it would only be right

for the authorities to

publish the names of

suspects and convicts, even

if their trials were in secret.

Baba-Ahmed said: “It will

be reassuring to believe this

(Garba Shehu’s

comments). But the nation

does not know of these

thousands of trials and

convictions, unless these

are secret trials.

“If Shehu’s revelation is

true, the names and other

details of suspects and trials

should be made public.

This is one way the bandits

will know that they can be

prosecuted.

“Citizens will also know

that government is serious

about this problem of

insecurity affecting the

nation.”

‘Twisted’

comments won’t

let new service

chiefs thrive,

CAN tells

Presidency

Reacting last night, the

Christian Association of

Nigeria, CAN, said recent

comments from presidential

spokesman, Garba Shehu,

will not allow for the good

performance of the new

service chiefs in the fight

against criminal herders in

parts of the country.

CAN’s Vice Chairman

(Northern region), Revd.

John Hayab, told Vanguard

yesterday that no matter

how good President

Muhammadu Buhari’s

intentions are concerning

securing the nation, the

new service chiefs cannot

succeed unless the

Presidency refrained from

making ‘twisted’ comments

about the war against

criminal herders.

Hayab said: “We have

stopped taking Garba

Shehu’s words seriously

after he denied the

kidnapping of over 300

school boys, claiming that

only 10 were taken away,

though he later apologised

for twisting the facts.

“But we ask: Is there any

law that compels

government appointees to

speak even when they

know that what they are

saying is not true? Must

they speak about

everything? Government

appointees should always

think about the pains

victims are going through

and ask themselves how

will the victims or their

relations feel when they

hear a matter that affects

them is being twisted by a

person that should

sympathise and speak kind

words to them?

“No responsible Nigerian

should see government

appointment as a licence for

rascality or twisting serious

matters. If thousands were

being prosecuted and

convicted, Garba Shehu

should tell us: Which courts

tried their cases and which

prison are they serving their

sentences?

“This is another way the

seat of power is defending

the criminals herders. We

advise Shehu to seal his

mouth and allow the new

service chiefs to do

practical work that will

make Nigerians heave a

sigh of relief.”

We’re unaware

our members are

being prosecuted

- Miyetti Allah

spokesman

The Publicity Secretary of

Miyetti Allah in Kaduna

State, Malam Ibrahim

Bayero, told Vanguard

yesterday they were not

aware of any of their

members being prosecuted

for violent crimes.

Bayero, who was reacting

to the claim by the

Presidency, said none of its

active members was under

any trial for any known or

suspected crimes.

“We are not aware of any

of our active members

being tried for any form of

criminal activity as claimed

by the government.

“That is not even our

concern for now. Our main

challenge at the moment is

how to cope with the quit

notice issued our members

by South West governors

who have now relocated to

Kaduna and other parts of

the north.

“We are traumatised for

now and we need urgent

help from those who can

assist us,” the scribe said.

Efforts to get the reaction

of spokesman of Force

Headquarters, CP Frank

Mba, on when the police

will publish the names of

herders on trial and those

convicted proved abortive

as calls to his mobile

number were not

answered. A text message

sent to his line was also not

replied.

But a source at Force

Headquarters confirmed

that some herders had

been arrested over various

crimes bordering on rape

and murder in some parts

of the country.

According to the sources,

Governor Samuel Ortom of

Benue State recently

confirmed the arrest of over

300 herders, with over 900

heads of cattle and sheep,

in the last three years, for

violating the state’s Open

Grazing and Ranches Law

of 2017.

Although Police sources

could not state if the Force

would be publishing names

of herders arrested, he said

some of those arrested were

charged to court and

should be serving their jail

terms. Sources further

highlighted some of the

arrests to include that of four

herders recently in Plateau

State, for allegedly raping

some minors.

Their names were given

as Hamisu Mohammed,

18, Rayanu Mohammed,

15, Mustapha Yunusa, 15,

and Abbas Salisu, 17.

Police sources said: In

July, 2019, three herdsmen

were arrested for allegedly

killing a 40-year-old farmer,

Rafiu Sowemimo. Two

other herdsmen, Abu

Adamu and Muhammadu

Aliyu, were arrested in the

same state for alleged

armed robbery and rape.

We have made arrest of

many of them. We can’t

readily state the number of

arrest made so far”.


28 Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

TRIBUTE

Oyinlola: Prince, soldier and politician @ 70 (2)

The first part of this tribute published last

Friday commended the lifestyle of Prince

Oyinlola. This is the concluding part.

By DR (HON) MUYIWA & PROF

(MRS) B.Y OLADIMEJI

THE veteran broadcaster/administrator

Chief Yemi Faroumbi who had been

appointed as Chairman of Osun State

Broadcasting Corporation, OSBC, during the

Chief Bisi Akande tenure, was reappointed to

the position by Governor Oyinlola while I was

appointed by the Senate President, Adolphus

Wabara as Senior Special

Adviser on Political Affairs.

Thus, my involvement with the

Osun State Government and

party apparatchik during

Oyinlola’s Government first

tenure (2003-2007) was

minimal. Nevertheless as a

loyal party man and by his own

open door policy, I had good

access to Governor Oyinlola

himself. A few of the notable events/

achievements of that first tenure were:

• Full and prompt payment of workers' and

teachers' salaries, and promotion that had

been denied by the previous regime.

• Full accreditation of all the tertiary

institutions (two polytechnics and two colleges

of education) owned by Osun State.

• Completion and extension of some

abandoned civil works projects.

• Extension and expansion of OSBC coverage

and construction of new offices

• Prompt payment of Osun State contributions

to LAUTECH University Ogbomosho and the

Teaching Hospital, Osogbo.

• Full accreditation of LAUTECH Teaching

Hospital Osogbo.

•Establishment of Osun State University with

six campuses.

• And many more.

In the second tenure of Governor Oyinlola, I

was appointed chairman of LAUTECH

Teaching Hospital Board. After the second year

of that tenure things were not as peaceful and

stable as before essentially because of fifth

columnists and treacherous over-ambitious

elements within the government and within

the Osun State PDP itself.

The Yoruba adage Ti Ogiri ko ba la, Alangba

kole wo inu ile - “The lizard cannot enter a

house if the walls aren’t cracked.” This was

essentially because some PDP gubernatorial

aspirants were beginning to hustle and oil their

campaign

machineries for

the election

since that was

the final tenure

of the Oyinlola

administration.

Paradoxically

these elements

As a Prince,

Oyinlola was born

great and as a

retired General

and former

governor, he

achieved greatness

unwittingly

emboldened the Lagos ragamuffins aided by

a very un-independent INEC and some

compromised judicial elements; the table was

unexpectedly turned upside down. Oyinlola’s

government was eased out by judiciary fiat to

a former Lagos based ex-commissioner, whose

tenure was characterised by garrulous drama,

petty left wing radicalism and infantile

extremism, tagged progressivism.

Let’s fast-forward. Oyinlola was not one to cry

over spilt milk: he contested and became the

National Secretary of PDP at the national

convention but his detractors weren’t done. War

was waged from many sides to deny him

occupancy of the Wadata Plaza office.

Unfortunately some of his previous co-travellers,

surrogates and appointees became easy tools to

the mischief and treachery.

As it was in Osun State, so it was in some other

states: the PDP witnessed exodus of some

governors with former Vice President Atiku,

Oyinlola, Saraki and many other big wigs under

the Bamanga Tukur’s Chairmanship of PDP and

Dr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan’s first tenure as

elected President of Nigeria.

It seemed a state of paranoia had enveloped

both the Aso Villa and Wadata Plaza landlords

of the time and their henchmen were in a state of

“grandeur delusion", hence did nothing to

checkmate this exodus until PDP was swept out

of presidency and consequently in many other

•Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola @70

states. It is, therefore, only appropriate to state

that the APC victory was as a result of the

instability, over confidence, mischief and

treachery that percolated through the PDP both

at Osun State and national levels.

This tribute is about Olagunsoye Oyinlola, not

about the political rascality, lack of content of

the immediate post-Oyinlola government or

even about the ineptitude, nepotism,

ethnocentricity of the present Federal

Government that is extremely hegemonistic and

unappreciative of the diversity of the country. It

has lost sight of the fact that this enabled it to

occupy Aso Villa after two previous disastrous

outings but seems to be excited at tearing a fragile

nation Nigeria into country states.

Ten years ago, I and my Government College

Ibadan school mate, Niyi Owolade (former Osun

State Commissioner and later Attorney-General)

sat together in the church at Okuku during Prince

Oyinlola’s 60th birthday which was attended by

many very eminent personalities (President

Obasanjo, Governors, e.t.c) and not attended by

some of those Oyinlola’s former emergency golfer

friends and lobbyists but notwithstanding, the

Church was full.

Humble

lifestyle

I remember like yesterday, that Princess

Omolola Oyinlola and the children rendered a

song: Count Your Blessings, name them one by

one and it will surprise you what the Lord has

done. That song was very appropriate for the

occasion.

Ten years later now as Olagunsoye Oyinlola is

celebrating his 70th birthday, we are celebrating

with a man who has seen it all; as a soldier on the

battle field, life and death, as a politician, love

and betrayal. Mahatma Gandhi once remarked:

“Service is a duty and a duty is a debt which is a

sin not to discharge.” Perhaps this is why this

retired General, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola

though very blessed is still not tired of service,

and his soldierly gaits, humorous and humble

lifestyle belies the 70 years he is now attaining.

It was Willian Shakespeare in Twelfth Night

that said: “Some are born great, some achieve

greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon

‘em". Of Prince Gen. Olagunsoye Oyinlola it is

very correct to state only “that as a Prince, he was

born great and as a retired General and former

governor, he achieved greatness.” So while we

can still join the family to render, Count your

blessings name them one by one.... it will surprise

you what the lord has done, many of us his friends

and co-travellers on this Naija enterprise will

also sing, Great Is Thy Faitfulness, O God Our

Father.

In conclusion, my wife and our entire family

wish our very accomplished Prince of peace,

gentleman Gen (retd). Olagunsoye Oyinlola on

his 70th birthday celebration some more decades

in good health, abundant, peace, joy, progress

for you and all yours everywhere and continuous

blessings of the Omnipotent God in Jesus mighty

name.

Hurray!! and Happy 70th Birthday Brig. Gen

(retd) Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola

•Dr. Oladimeji is a former member of House

of Reps and PDP chieftain in Osun State

Ehingbeti: Expediting the

transformation of Lagos

By Babajide Komolafe

Since 2000, Nigeria’s

commercial capital and

Africa’s sixth largest economy,

Lagos State, has been going

through landmark policy and

infrastructural

transformation to a modern

city.

Driving this transformation

is the Lagos Economic

Summit, a private sector-led

participatory forum, also

known as ‘Ehingbeti’.

Notwithstanding the

absence of Ehingbeti between

2015 and 2019, the

significance of the Lagos

Economic Summit is evident

across the State.

Even though the private

sector-led conversation

continues with the

2021edition holding this

week, implementation of

some of the consensus reached

at pre-2015 summits, also

demonstrated that Ehingbeti

is an unending dialogue in the

quest for socio-economic and

infrastructural development

in Lagos State.

From the beautiful bus

terminals across the State to

hundreds of Mass Transit

Buses procured to partly tackle

the transportation challenges,

it was clear that Lagos was

beginning to embrace the

realities of its megacity status

expressed by representatives

of the UN Habitat at one of

the planning sessions that

heralded the inaugural

edition of Ehingbeti.

Before Ehingbeti

Lagos before 2000 was

awfully chaotic. Aside from

the throbbing of

infrastructural deficit, the

population was growing at a

riotous rate. This was the

beginning of the 4th republic,

after 16 years of military rule.

Democracy ushered in relief,

and citizens began to aspire

to a decent life after a long

era of repression.

The new aspiration put

Lagos under pressure because

it was the only State in Nigeria,

with the possibility of

restoration. So, the State

became a point of attraction

to everyone seeking survival

and prosperity, when its newly

democratically elected

government was struggling

with extremely lean resources

to start the business of

governance, for which it was

voted by the people.

Evidence of the decade-long

abandonment and halted

development was visible in

every corner of the State. The

indicators that would justify

the transition to civil rule were

in the urgent need to address

infrastructural deficit, poor

transportation system, fix bad

roads, improve health

services, abate growing

insecurity improve the socioeconomic

climate for general

habitability in the State.

Lagos offered a glimpse of

hope to the people because of

its status as a former capital,

but the threatening twinkles

of expectation had made the

need for the State to ‘take-off’

really necessary, less the State

denigrated into total

commotion.

The Beginning of Ehigbeti

Worried about the

consequences of inaction, the

crop of technocrats and eggheads

pulled to government

by the allure of democracy

and Governor’s believability

got to work on social services

development and planning.

The visual mess had to go, and

disintegrating infrastructure

needed to serve the people,

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu

while scaling-up became a

major item on the State

government agenda.

“The state of things was

scary. We had to keep late

nights at Akodo resort,

brainstorming on how to get

tonnes of wastes off the streets

of Lagos. The disorderliness

intensified by the

transportation system then

was an eyesore. Every day in

Lagos was a new heartbreak

for everyone in government”,

said Mr. Yemi Cardoso,

Chairman, Citibank Nigeria,

who was Lagos State

Commissioner for Economic

and Budget Planning in

1999.

“The need to create a

functional State, with great

infrastructure was

undeniable. At the Cabinet

level, we saw that things

needed to transform rapidly,

even though our reality was

that the transformation can

only be gradual. With an

enduring commitment, the

leadership of the State

encouraged and supported a

rigorous planning process,

propelled by a clear vision

about the projected

development, with tangible

milestones”, he added.

The nights of sweats and toils

in the bush of Akodo did not

only have the Governor and

his cabinet wandering for

solutions to the socioeconomic

and infrastructural

challenges of Lagos State,

most of the leading lights in

the private sector in Lagos

State were also on the hunt

for ideas that would not only

make Lagos habitable, but

also prosperous, in the Akodo

bush.

The fading signs of

squalour of the era and

sprouting of modern

architectures brightened by

increasing presence of street

lights in the state are

testaments to the effectiveness

of collaboration between the

private and public sector. In

fact, Ehingbeti has proven that

tough and sincere

conversations are paths to

building an enduring

relationship and an

engendering atmosphere of

mutual trust.

There was a gust of ideas

from the different Working

Groups, requiring discipline

of purpose to translate into

executable projects, but more

important at the stage was

taking the idea to the market.

And this required committed

partnership, which only a

shared vision could deliver.

Ehingbeti 2021

“In the last two decades,

Ehingbeti has played a

pivotal role in the

transformation of Lagos

State, with useful inputs into

Lagos State Development

Plans (LSDP)” said Sam

Egube, the current

Commissioner for Economic

Planning and Budget, who is

also a Co-chair of the Steering

Committee said.

“Our realities from 2000

when the first Ehingbeti held,

exactly 20 years ago, have

significantly changed. As a

state, we now have to cater to

the infrastructural needs of

more than 22million

population and ensure that

Lagos remains on the path of

continuous growth”

“These considerations are

the groundwork of the

Babajide Sanwo-Olu

administration THEMES

Agenda, but translating the

agenda to benefits for our

people will require

collaborations amongst

stakeholders, and a

determination to deepen the

foundation for sustainable

development and growth of

our society. So, Ehingbeti

2020 offers us a platform to

address all these”, concluded

Egube. “It is clear that

private sector setting an

implementable agenda for

government and

championing the process of

implementation has pushed

Lagos far ahead of States in

Nigeria and countries in the

African sub-region”

submitted Sam Egube,

Commissioner for Economic

Planning and Budget in Lagos

State, “but development of the

State is not a destination, but

a journey. We need to continue

to work at as a government

and people”.

This view reflects the

government’s thinking

towards development in the

State. It is safe to infer that the

government is keen on

stretching its collaboration

with the private sector to

improve infrastructure,

echoing Professor Utomi’s

thought that as successful

Lagos may be in terms of

infrastructural development

“the room for improvement

exists with the utilization of a

portent economic planning

tool like Ehingbeti”.

With the theme ‘For a

Greater Lagos: Setting The

Tone For The Next Decade’,

this edition of Ehingbeti will

certainly rekindle the

conversations that will enable

optimization of the inherent

opportunities in Africa’s 6th

largest economy and offer

perspectives on how to

manage the peculiar socioeconomic

landscape of the

State in the coming decade.

The Lagos Economic

Summit Group (LESG), with

this edition of Ehingbeti, is

strengthening the existing

relationship between

government, and

emphasizing that greater

private sector participation in

governance is a prerequisite

for a functional state.

Since the inaugural summit

in 2000, Ehingbeti has gained

useful insights from

innumerable business and

political leaders, renowned

economists, notable

development experts and

outstanding scholars, who

have participated from

different parts of the world.

Ehingbeti is the first

institutionalized economic

forum by any state in Nigeria

and is an ingenuous socioeconomic

apparatus that has

contributed significantly to

the evolution of Lagos State

into a major economy in sub-

Saharan, with expanding

potentials.

The summit, hosted by

successive governments in

Lagos State since the

beginning of the 4th republic,

has consistently redefined the

dynamics of public-private

sector collaborations for

development across social

and economic indices in the

Lagos State.


TRIBUTE

“Bosque”: An indomitable genius

•A tribute to Dr Bolere Elizabeth Ketebu

I

BY ALABO TONYE

GRAHAM-DOUGLAS

woke up on the morning of

Saturday the 16th January 2021 with tears

in my eyes and filled with a sense of foreboding,

musing on the fact that in the next two days, the

18th January 2021 would mark the one month

period from the interment of my first son Tonye,

popularly known as “TGD”. Breaking the deep

thoughts was a call on my mobile phone from

my second son, Semabo. Without reservations

or emotions, he broke the news: “Daddy we have

just lost our Mother”. “Don’t talk nonsense” I

angrily snapped at him as I began to wail and

break down in tears. He consoled me, narrating

the sequence of health challenges that unsuspectingly

deteriorated into death.

I was thrown into a whirlwind of emotions,

overwhelmed with reminiscence and recalls of

over fifty years of our relationship

that demonstrated

and depicted confidence, as

well as unalloyed and unblemished

affection which

evolved over time into trusted

love and protection. Colloquially,

it introduced the

acronym: “Bosque de reign;

when the reign is over, everyone

eyes will clear”

At the end of the Nigerian

Civil War, I was working at

the Premier Refinery,

“NPRC”, as an Administrative

Assistant. There were

only a few Science graduates

in the school system at

the time. Accordingly, the

authorities used the Oil and

gas sectors and related avenues

to obtain Science

teachers to reinforce their

schools sciences. I was invited

by the Principal of Harbor Road Secondary

School, Mrs. Ngo Ogan (nee Dede) to assist

the girls in the biological sciences. I obliged and

commenced making myself available twice

weekly for lectures or tutorials.

Endowed with brains

After a couple of lectures and interaction, I

discovered a set of young girls who were copiously

endowed with brains and intellect; this was

further proven in the constant tests. I often affirmed

to the Principal of the School of the standard

of academic excellence of the girls.

However one young girl was exceptionally outstanding;

always scoring never less than seventy-five

percent in all her test subjects, I got very

interested in the success of this young girl, Bolere,

and invited her, her twin sister Bekere and

their mother we fondly called “Maa’le” to visit

the Refinery site.

That visit was a turning point as it created a

wide range of avenues to be exploited by the

widow with ten children. Through favors of heaven,

she became one of the biggest suppliers of

foodstuffs and certain perishables to the Refinery

catering services. She was adequately protected

to acquire her Ohaeto abandoned property

etc. but above all was the compilation and

submission of all her children’s name through

Bolere to my friend, the Governor of Rivers State,

H.E. Alfred Diete-Spiff, for scholarships which

he obliged because of our relationship.

It is remarkable to recall that after the conduct

of the School Certificate examination which

confirmed the expectation and hard work by the

class, there was exuberant hope of confidence

by all the girls.

I had advised the Principal to equally register

the class for GCE (O-Level) exams. I personally

ensured that Bolere registered. At the commencement

of the GCE exams, because of her performance

and confidence in the school certificate

exams, she hesitated in going for the GCE exams.

I put my feet down and assigned my personal

driver Ashaga to take her to the exams and

bring her back each time she had a paper.

As providence had it, the WAEC results of the

Harbor Road Secondary School were suspiciously

cancelled that year. We had to depend on the

GCE results for further education because she

was very confident.

By the grace of God, the results of the GCE

provided all distinctions. The following day, as

the University session had started, I arranged a

space on one of the Refinery operated private

flights and took her to my Professors at the Department

of Biological Sciences, University of

Lagos, Prof Ukoli and Prof Ekundayo (all now

late). They were so fascinated with Bolere’s results

that on the spot, they arranged through the

Academic Offices and their departments a

space for Bolere to join the preliminary class for

the School of Medicine. On the same day, we

went to see Mama Curtis (Matron of the Hostels)

who on seeing me obliged to secure a hostel

accommodation for Bolere. All fees for the

session were duly settled and the Head Refinery

Office in Broad Street Lagos, Mrs Bassey, was

solicited to provide guidance.

It is pertinent to categorically state that the

unique altruistic benevolence demonstrated and

described were also extended to other girls save

that Bolere’s extraordinary intellect demanded

that special altruism without sinister motives

Late Dr. Bolere Ketebu

or exploitative intentions.

When I was due to return to Port Harcourt

after assisting Bolere safely and on the path to

becoming a doctor someday, I passed by the hostel

on my way to the airport to say goodbye. Then

was the drama by this innocent young girl in a

strange hostel in Akoka, Lagos. She cried and

wailed her heart out, feeling insecure without

me. In my attempt to calm her down that I suddenly

appreciated the intense feeling and passion

I’d cultivated for her.

On my return back to Port Harcourt to brief

her mother, I was not diplomatic with my emotions

when I informed her: “My Bosque greets

you and she’s happily settled to read.”

Sometimes when such drama presents itself

the human mind begins to speculate and evaluate

prevailing circumstances that fringes on individual

happiness and environmental survival

in their existing habitats. Happy marriages run

straight line graphs but

epileptic marriages are

characterized by hyperbolas

and varied views

are enunciated… Only

the Almighty God in

Heaven knows our

hearts and is the true authentic

Judge.

Dr Bolere Elizabeth

Ketebu and I had an intimate

secret resolution

to raise a family as soon

as she got through the

second MBBS. We fondly

chose the name Ibiso

(Goodluck) when our

first baby arrived. We

owned a home at 11 Ilesanmi

Street Surulere.

Maa’le, a househelp,

and a standby car with

a driver provided the

comfort and convenience

required then.

As soon as she qualified and finished her housemanship,

Botoba, our last baby, in a mysterious,

God-controlled circumstance arrived.

It is remarkable to recall that when my biological

mother died, my eldest brother, Dr. Melford

Semabo Graham-Douglas signed her forehead

with a virtue cross in white chalk. When Botoba

was born, she had the insignia of a ‘white cross’

on her forehead. Soon after the birth of Botoba,

she worked with the Rivers State Ministry of

Health. Before she went to the United States for

further studies. We concluded all outstanding

marriage rites at Odi, old Rivers State now

Bayelsa State including completion of an access

from the East-West Road to her parents’

home. Thereafter she went for further studies

to specialize in Public Health and Administration.

From the first day we met to the day

she elected to severe the relationship, we never

ever had any misunderstanding.

We never quarreled or exchanged hard

words, having understood ourselves in all aspects

of human endeavors from her infancy to

adolescence.

A great achiever

She was a great achiever, prolific organizer,

visionary and proactive with fixed goals

and ambitions. Her political assiduity and

desire to represent her people has always been

an innate perception to serve and improve

on the lot of her people and humanity. Dr. Bolere

Elizabeth Ketebu was recognized by her

state of origin, Bayelsa, where she served as a

one-time Secretary to the State Government

(SSG); she was appointed as Nigeria’s Ambassador

to the Republic of Ireland. Furthermore

the impeccable confidence reposed in

her integrity by the National Council of Women

Societies where she was elected to serve as

President, as well as various roles at the International

Council of Women Society and a

Board Member University of Lagos. She also

won election to the Federal House of Representatives

to represent her state. She was a highly

effervescent personality, standing out in beauty

and candor. She was such a blessed lady

who molded our children to be united, focused

and consistent with their consanguineous hereditary.

She left an indelible niche in space

and time for ever. We shall all miss her, especially

her Kalabari connections with whom

she became intimately knitted, enabling her

to speak the Kalabari native tongue fluently.

May the Great God, creator of heaven and

earth, father of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom

He sent to the world; living 33 years was

crucified, died, was buried and rose on the third

day and ascended to heaven to atone for all

of mankind’s sins repose Bosque’s soul in the

bosom of His Father.

Bosque you departed an accomplished

sage that shall be everlastingly remembered

by us all: Ibiso, Daba, Semabo, Owanari and

Tamunolobo bikiya (Botoba), I (Ex-Husband and

father of all your children) and the Graham-

Douglas Families of Abonnema you so endeared

yourself.

Rest in Peace.

•Tribute sent in by H.H. Alabo Tonye

Graham-Douglas on behalf of self and

Chiefs of Orubibi Group of Houses and

Community, Abonnema Kingdom.

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021 29

The North and the rest of us

By SAM AGBESUA

THE present tension in

Nigeria following the

murderous activities of the

criminal herdsmen in the last few

years and the forced reactions of

the frustrated victims of their

atrocities in the South necessitates

the need to re-visit this topic, "The

North and the rest of us". The

herdsmen constitute an integral

part of Nigeria’s North. The

government of the pseudofederation

under the control of a

retired army General who himself is a Fulani,

exacerbated the tension by not doing anything

visible to stop the heinous activities of the

rampaging terrorists, especially in the South

and Middle Belt of the country.

The suspicious silence of the president and

the Federal Government on the issue has

become too deafening to victims of the

atrocities. This again is aggravated by the

overt and covert support of the Northern elite

for the terrorists. When a governor in the South

ordered the criminal herdsmen to vacate their

hideout in government forest reserve, the

Northern elite cried foul. To them, because they

are Northerners, the herdsmen are free to

engage in criminal activities anywhere in

Nigeria.

Apart from the unfortunate events that

snowballed into the avoidable fratricidal civil

war in the country between 1967 and 1970

and the attendant loss of lives and property, no

other issue had heated the polity more than

the prevailing situation now in which some

herdsmen appear to be enjoying unwarranted

immunity in their gruesome murder of

innocent Nigerians.

It is an indisputable fact that there was no

nation called Nigeria even as late as the close

of the 19th Century. Different groups and

nationalities with ethnic and linguistic

affinities occupied the geographical areas

where Nigeria is found today. Before the

advent of the British imperialists, each group

was enjoying its

independence and

control over its

affairs. It was in

1914 that the

colonialists

lumped them

together to form a

contraption called

The union

between the North

and the South had

functioned more

as an association of

incompatibles

Nigeria. The two

territories (Northern and Southern parts of

Nigeria) were parts of British imperialist’s share

(or is it loot?) arising from the Berlin

conference in 1884 by the Europeans who were

then scrambling for the control of hapless

Africans and their territories among

themselves for maximum exploitation.

With the emergence of the Europeans at

different times also emerged three distinct

administrations within the geographical areas

today known as Nigeria. This arrangement

lasted until 1906 when they were reduced to

two viz; the Northern and Southern

Protectorates. The colonial powers put them

under the control of Frederick Lugard in 1912.

Yet, they were still being administered as

different entities.

However, building on the recommendations

of Selborne Committee earlier set up by the

Secretary of State for the colonies, Joseph

Chamberlain, Lugard decided to apply

economic wisdom to merge the two

administrative units of the North and South

into one for maximum administrative

convenience and exploitation of the resources

therein by the colonialists. This is what is

popularly known as the 1914 amalgamation

of the Northern and Southern Protectorates

into a single political cum administrative unit

which Lugard named Nigeria.

Apart from other factors that made separate

administrations under the colonial rule absurd

and uneconomical, a re-nowned Professor of

History revealed that: “Unification also

provided a means by which the impoverished

Northern Protectorate could share with the South

the enormous revenue accruing to her from

Customs receipts.

Southern Nigeria was financially selfsupporting

while British administration in the

•Northern Nigeria

North was kept going with an annual grant-in-aid

fixed at a hundred thousand pounds between 1912

and 1918…The point to note was that while

Southern Nigeria proved itself as a viable economic

frontier, Northern Nigeria in spite of its vastness

was a classic example of an ‘uneconomic

imperialism’, at least up till the time of

amalgamation.”

Implicit in the above is the fact that the parasitic

relationship of the North with the South dated

back to the pre-amalgamation era under the

colonialists. In fact, the colonialists, in their efforts

to prepare Nigeria for neo-colonial agenda,

ensured that no person from the South could be in

control of power in Nigeria apart from a

Northerner who they knew could easily be

manipulated by them after independence. They

pampered the North into becoming the spoilt

child of the Nigerian politics which they remain

until today.

This explains why the North wants to dominate

and/or dictate everything in the country. It is either

one of them controls the reins of government or

they determine who does. For instance, if one may

ask: Why was MKO Abiola’s election annulled in

1993 by a government led by a dictator from the

North? If Tofa (a Northerner) had won the election,

would they have annulled it? This question remains

unanswered till today. This hegemonic tendency

of the North has always been one of the major

sources of tension in the country. It has always

been a case of the blind leading those who can see

clearly. The consequences are what we are seeing

today.

Since the amalgamation, the union between

the North and the South had functioned more as

an association of incompatibles. The poor and

hapless masses in the country are the greatest losers.

The situation reduces the country to the Hobbesian

state of nature where life is nasty, brutish and short.

Western

education

It is even more glaring in the North among

the downtrodden. With struggles to acquire

Western education, the situation is better in

the South. But with the well-entrenched

antiquated feudal system in the North, the

Northern elite try to keep the poor masses

away from education for them to accept their

oppression as the normal way of life. Only

the children of the elite appear to be having

unhindered access to education and good

things of life.

The Northern elite appear to be doing this

wittingly as shown by the experience of a

young man from the South who was posted

to one of the core Northern states for his

mandatory National Youths Service Corps,

NYSC, some years back. This young man

found it difficult to believe what he saw. The

house where he was lodged belonged to one

of the Northern elite.

The boy noticed to his amazement that the

children of the security guard employed to

keep the house were not going to school at

all. He challenged their father why he did not

care about his children's education. His reply

shocked the young man further. The ignorant

guard did not even know that his own children

had right to education which of course was

free.

The young NYSC man then made

arrangement to get uniform for the innocent

children to join other children in school. The

greatest shocker for the young man from the

South came when the Northern elite owner

of the house came on a visit.

To be concluded tomorrow

•Agbesua, former Managing Director of the

Tribune, wrote from Ibadan.


30 Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

•Julian Nagelsmann

RB Leipzig coach Julian

Nagelsmann, has said he is

expecting a strong Liverpool

showing in the Champions

League despite their recent domestic

struggles, saying Jurgen

Australian

Open: Nadal

through to

q-finals

Rafael Nadal continued to

strengthen rolling the

dangerous Fabio Fognini 6-

3, 6-4, 6-2 to advance to his

13th Australian Open quarterfinal.

Fognini, who beat Nadal

from two sets down the last

time they met at a Slam back

at the 2015 US Open, got up

a break in the second but

otherwise Nadal had very little

trouble on a match that

lasted just over two hours.

“When you go on court

against Fabio you worry,”

said Nadal. “There can always

be problems. I was just

lucky that when he broke me

I responded immediately

and held the score. Today

was very humid and quicker

during the day, which I like,

but I have to adapt to every

condition.”

Nadal has now won his last

11 Grand Slam matches, running

off 33 straight sets. And

his back is getting better by

the day.

“First set, without a doubt,

was my best level in the tournament,”

Nadal said. “My

physical condition needs to

keep improving, but I think

match helps. I was not able

to practice the proper way

for the past 19 days, but yesterday

I started again to increase

the amount of work in

practice.”

During his press conference,

Nadal let slip that his

next opponent was already

decided, and it was. Matteo

Berrettini withdrew due to

an ab injury moving

Stefanos Tsitsipas into the

Wednesday showdown

against Nadal.

The much-anticipated Russian

quarterfinal battle between

Daniil Medvedev and

Andrey Rublev has been

booked after both cruised

into the final eight.

Medvedev won his 18th

straight match blasting past

the last American man, Mackenzie

McDonald, 6-4, 6-2,

6-3.

Champions League:

RB Leipzig won't

underrate struggling

Liverpool Nagelsmann

Klopp "has the gift" as one of the

top managers in the business.

The Reds head into the clash on

the back of just two wins from their

last ten Premier League matches,

but Nagelsmann is wary of the

threat Jurgen Klopp's wounded

team will pose at Puskas Arena.

"Jurgen is one of the most successful

club coaches and has always

made a difference in his

Enyimba Football Club's

head coach Fatai Osho

has urged his side to prepare

for war in the second

stints in Mainz, Dortmund and

Liverpool.

"He took over Dortmund in a

very bad time and made it a top

club. He took over Liverpool in a

not very successful time and became

one very successful team

made with the Champions League

victory and the championship. He

has the gift of developing clubs

and moving people."

Confederation Cup: Enyimba prepare for

war against Rivers United

Nesiama

Former Athletics Federation of

Nigeria technical director,

Omatseye Nesiama has been appointed

by World Athletics to conduct

a Technical Education and

Certification System Level 1

Course for Ghanaian Athletics.

The course began yesterday in

Accra, the Ghana capital and will

run for two weeks. Ghana will

host the 2023 All Africa Games

and also planning to host more international

championships in Athletics

before that time.

Nesiama a retired Navy Commodore

is a World Athletics certified

lecturer, licensed Athletes

Manager and a member of the

Confederation of Africa Athletics

Technical and Competitions Commission.

Nesiama has officiated

in many International athletics

competitions at different times as

Competition Director and Techni-

•Rivers United

leg of the CAF Confederation

Cup tie after posting a slim win

over Rivers United in the first

leg last weekend.

Maja aims for more Fulham goals

Super Eagles player Josh Maja,

opened his goal-scoring account

with a brace, which earned

Fulham all points at Goodison

•Maja

A ten-man Enyimba side

managed to hold off Rivers

United fired up by the Rivers

state government’s promise

of a N20 million bonus. A

59th minute strike by Cyril

Olisema had given Enymiba

the lead, before they had a

player sent off in the 75th

minute.

“It was not really a bad result

bearing in mind the

standard of this Rivers United

team,” Osho told Enyimba’s

official website.

“We know they would be

coming for a war in the second

leg and we have what it

takes to fight anybody.”

The second leg will come

up on Sunday and the winner

will advance to the group

stage.

Nesiama trains Ghana technical officials

ahead 2023 Africa Games

By Ben Efe

cal Delegate. He is currently listed

in the CAA ITO Panel of technical

officials.

“It is gratifying to note that ones

modest effort is being recognised

both nationally and internationally.

“My being able to train and

certify Ghanaians in technical officiating

would further strengthen

the cordial relationship that has

existed between Ghana and Nigeria

especially in the area of

sports. Hopefully we are looking

to creating a West African Athletics

Circuit where athletes,

coaches and technical officials can

be engaged in exchanges via the

competitions we would be staging.

Since we train together, we

can easily share" Nesiama said.

Park last Sunday.

The win against Everton, according

to Maja, was a good start

for him and he was hopeful of

more of such performance to save

Fulham from relegation.

“I’m happy and the

team is happy and

hopefully we can continue,”

Maja told FFC

TV.

“It’s been a while

since I started a game

so I was happy to get

that and I’m hoping to

continue performances

like this.

“It is a weight off my

shoulders. I felt coming

in I would get opportunities

and I was glad to

take them.

“The performance is

important and I want to

give my best to the

team, not just goals.

“It gives us big confidence.

We know we

need to keep picking

up wins, we have been

drawing and losing a

few games, and we are

hoping to go into the

next few games confident we can

win”.

Klopp

dismisses

Liverpool

exit

speculations

Jurgen Klopp has dismissed rumours

he is ready to quit Liverpool,

insisting he doesn’t need a

break despite the Reds’ recent

slump.

Suggestions had spread like

wildfire on Merseyside over the

weekend that Klopp was set to

resign as manager. The rumours

had led to one group of fans hanging

a banner outside Anfield in

support of the German, while others

took to social media to get behind

the 53-year-old.

Speaking on Monday at a press

conference to preview Liverpool’s

Champions League last-16 first

leg against RB Leipzig, Klopp was

able to quash the stories completely.

He told reporters: “I heard

about both [the rumours and the

banner]. The banner is nice, obviously.

It’s not necessary. I don’t

feel I need special support in the

moment, but it’s nice, very nice.

“What was the other thing?

What was the word? That I could

leave? Did I get the sack or could

I leave myself? Neither nor. I don’t

need a break.”

8th Day Fidau Prayer for Sofoluwe holds at Row Park

...As Akanni speaks on endowment fund for ex-athletes

By Jacob Ajom

omorrow is the 8th day Fidau

Tprayer, an Islamic rite for late Yisa

Sofoluwe, who died in Lagos, Tuesday,

last week. The prayer which begins at

2 pm, holds at Rowe Park Sports Centre,

Yaba, Lagos.

According to Waidi Akanni, former

Chairman of the Lagos State Football

Association and a close friend of the

deceased, though the occasion, a

purely religious affair, would also witness

the attendance of non Muslims

like friends, former footballers, sports

administrators, ministry officials

among others who may not be necessarily

Muslim faithful.

Significantly, Akanni also said they,

friends and ex-internationals would

avail themselves of the opportunity

provided by the Fidau Prayer to sell

the idea of initiating an endowment

fund for ex-athletes; not just for ex-footballers.

Said, Akanni, “what we see is more

than what the NFF alone can handle.

We are talking about N5 billion endowment

fund for ex athletes. The federal

government, through the Ministry of

•Sofoluwe

Youth and Sports Development should

kick-start the take-off grant for the fund,

so that whenever a former athlete falls

sick, the fund would readily come to

the rescue.”

He continued, “we have seen how

bad the situation is with most of our

ex-internationals. I know how much

was spent on the late Sofoluwe alone.

Although help came from the Lagos

State government, the NFF, the Sports

ministry and a lot of goodwill from concerned

Nigerians, it came so late. Over

N800,000 was spent on tests alone. If

the money was there from the word go,

perhaps, Yisa, and many others that

have died could have been saved.”

We couldn't afford

Osimhen's transfer

fees – Leipzig boss

B Leipzig manager Julian

RNagelsmann has confessed that

the Bundesliga’s high-flyers were interested

in signing Super Eagles

striker Victor Osimhen following his

spectacular season at Lille.

But the respected tactician admitted

that Leipzig could not afford the 22-

year-old whose exploits in France

meant he would cost more than 50

million euros.

Osimhen followed a 20-goal season

in Belgium at Sporting Charleroi with

an incredible 18 goals in all competitions

in his maiden campaign at Lille,

raising his profile beyond the roof.

Nearly every major club across the

top leagues in Europe had the Nigerian

forward on their shopping list after

that feat.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021 31


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021

TODAY’S CROSSWORD

QUICK CROSSWORD

YESTERDAY’S SOLUTION

TODAY’S PUZZLE

Sudoku

YESTERDAY’S ANSWER

ACROSS

1 Aid (10)

7 Mariners (7)

8 Suburban house (4)

10 Italy’s capital (4)

11 Period of usually hot weather (4,4)

13 Item of neckwear (6)

15 Brigand (6)

17 Emphasised (8)

18 South American country (4)

21 Grassed area (4)

22 Copy (7)

23 Constantly (3,3,4)

Down

1 Proposition assumed to be self-evident

(5)

2 Blackthorn fruit (4)

3 Female relative (6)

4 German shepherd dog (8)

5 Order (7)

6 Cut off socially (9)

9 Laboratory glassware (4,5)

12 Cradle (8)

14 Letters sent by plane (3,4)

16 City of canals (6)

19 Rub out (5)

20 Flightless New Zealand bird (4)

How to Play Sudoku

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

two of the same number).

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

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

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

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

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

multiplication, just plain logic and your imagination.

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