17022021 - Insecurity: Nigeria heading to point of no return, unless....

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Open

grazing:

Challenges

(1)

Business Magazine

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Food inflation

rises 20.6%

•As price increases

persist, headline

inflation hits 16.5% in

January

19

Clark, other N-Delta leaders,

militants lambast Gumi

5

•For saying herdsmen learnt kidnapping from militants

We’ll continue to work for

Nigeria's unity — BUHARI

AfCFTA: Mapping Nigeria's foray into Africa's single market

9

20

VOL. 27: NO. 64273 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021

Insecurity: Nigeria heading to

point of no return, unless....

— Ex-Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar

•Says embers of disunity, anarchy, disintegration spreading

fast•Urges govs to tone down their rhetoric, take full responsibility

for managing frustrations within their states•Tasks service chiefs

to deploy all resources needed for victory

8

Bandits kill

village

head, 10

others,

kidnap 20

in Niger 6

Mr & Mrs

BORNO/YOBE ELDERS FORUM IN ASO ROCK—Borno State Governor,

Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum (left); Mai Mala Buni, Governor of Yobe State

(right) and others, when President Muhammadu Buhari received a delegation

from Borno/Yobe Elders Forum in State House, Abuja, yesterday.

Insecurity: Prove you don't support

criminality, S-West govs tell FG 10

COLUMNISTS

OCHEREOME 16 AHMED 17 DEAR BUNMI 29


2 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021 — 3


4 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021


vanguardnews

@vanguardnews

@vanguardnews

Clark, other N-Delta leaders,

militants lambast Gumi

By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-

South, Henry Umoru & Levinus

Nwabughiogu

ABUJA — The

comment by a

prominent

Islamic cleric, Sheikh

Ahmad Gumi, that

herdsmen learned

kidnapping from Niger

Delta militants, has drawn

the ire of people of the

region who said the Niger

Delta struggle is different

from the heart-rending

crimes being perpetrated

by killer-herdsmen in the

country.

Lending his voice to the

issue, South South

Leader, Chief Edwin

Clark lampooned Gumi,

saying his statement

that Fulani herdsmen and

armed bandits learnt how

to kidnap from Niger

Delta militants was not

only criminal, but

obnoxious and stupid.

These came on a day the

House of Representatives

told the Inspector-General

of Police, Mohammed

Adamu, that criminals,

including killer herdsmen

and bandits, have taken

over all roads leading to

Isuikwuato and

Umunneochi Local

Government areas of Abia

State.

Gumi had on a live

television programme on

AIT, said yesterday that

bandits and criminal

herdsmen learned

kidnapping from the

Movement for the

Emancipation of the

Niger Delta, MEND,

adding that if militants

could be granted amnesty,

the same treatment should

apply to the bandits and

herdsmen.

He said: “We didn’t take

a different route of trying

to solve this problem and

that is why we are still

here today. And when we

say amnesty, we don’t

mean that anyone proved

to be involved in murder

should go free as such.

“They learnt

kidnapping from MEND.

I do not see any

difference. They were the

first victims of rustling.

Their cattle is their oil.

What we are seeing now

is more of an insurgency

than banditry. I can say 10

percent of the herders are

criminals, not 90 per cent.

In the end, they took up

weapons to protect

themselves from

extinction.

“They can take care of

the little remnants of

criminals among

themselves because they

don’t want anybody to

bring mayhem to them.”

PANDEF slams

Gumi

•Chief Edwin Clark

But reacting, the Pan-

Niger Delta Forum,

PANDEF, two top

monarchs and agitators in

Niger Delta, slammed the

religious leader, Gumi,

over his provocative

outburst that herdsmen

learned kidnapping from

Niger Delta militants.

Aside from PANDEF,

former national chairman,

Traditional Rulers of Oil

Minerals Producing Areas

of Nigeria, TROMPCON,

and paramount ruler of

Seimbiri Kingdom, Delta

State, HRM Charles

Ayemi-Botu; Ovie of

Idjerhe Kingdom, Delta

State, Udurhie I, HRM

Monday Obukowho

Whiskey; and 21st

Century Youths for Niger

Delta and Agitators with

Conscience, 21st

CYNDAC, also queried

the sanity and spirituality

of Gumi.

National Publicity

Secretary, PANDEF, Ken

Robinson, told Vanguard:

“PANDEF considers the

statement by Sheikh

•Sheikh Ahmad Gumi

NEWS HOTLINES

018773962,

08052867058

Gumi that herdsmen

learned to kidnap from

Niger Delta militants and

that if Niger Delta

militants could get

amnesty, herdsmen

should get same, as not

only irrational, bizarre

and outrageous, but a

desperate attempt to

underplay the horrendous

crimes being perpetrated

by killer herdsmen in the

country.

“What Gumi is

invariably saying is that

amnesty should be

granted to armed robbers,

Yahoo boys, sea pirates,

bandits terrorizing North-

West and parts of North-

Central, and to Boko

Haram terrorists. Of

course, they are,

reportedly, even

recruiting so-called

repentant Boko Haram

terrorists into the

Nigerian Army. It’s

unthinkable.

“Sheikh Gumi could

push his ‘one-upmanship’

this far because we are

more or less in a

rudderless state.

“On a more serious note,

the saneness of that

Sheikh needs to be

interrogated. Nobody in

the right frame of mind

On arrest of Lekki Tollgate protesters by Police (3)

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021— 5

POCKET CARTOON

would make such an

assertion, in the face of

current occurrences.”

Herdsmen have

overrun the

country, says

Ayemi-Botu

On his part, Seimbiri

Kingdom monarch, HRM

Ayemi-Botu said: “Tell

Gumi to differentiate from

Niger Delta militants

marauding killer

herdsmen, bandits and

Boko Haram that have

been killing, kidnapping

and robbing innocent

citizens throughout

Nigeria

and

neighbouring West

African countries with

impunity and recklessly

because President

Muhammadu Buhari is

the grand patron of

herdsmen.

“The three sets of killer

squads have the same

agenda which is to turn

Nigeria to an Islamic

state or caliphate, thus

completing Usman Dan

Fodio’s uncompleted

jihad. Under the pretext

of cattle rearing, the

entire country is under

siege and has been

overrun by herdsmen

from all over West African

states.

“Everybody is miffed

because the President is

nonchalant about the

mayhem being unleashed

daily until the wicked

agenda is achieved. God

forbid,” he said.

Spiritual

evaluation

needed

— Whiskey

The Ovie of Idjerhe,

HRM Whiskey, in his

reaction, said: “If actually

the respected Islamic cleric

made such indicting

statement about the

situation in the Niger

Delta where oppressed

people were fighting for

their legitimate survival

and drawing international

attention to organised

conspiracy against our

region, then he needs

spiritual evaluation to

know if he actually

represents the institution

he claims to represent.

“You cannot and should

never compare outright

criminality with a regional

outcry against institutional

conspiracy. If Sheikh

Gumi can advocate

amnesty for criminal

elements like bandits,

then the security agencies

need to invite him to throw

more light on bandits’

operation and possibly

their sponsors since he

now knows so much about

them.

“The country is in a bad

Continues on Page 27

By Yinka Latona

THE Human Rights

Act is created for a

reason and the unlawful

arrest and dehumanization

of peaceful protesters

clearly is a denial of those

rights. If we claim we

practice democracy, I see

no reason why a peaceful

protest should be fought

against. The government

has clearly shown its

people via its response to

the protest that Democracy

is only but a façade.

—Obe Temitoyosi,

Analyst

THIS is an

indication that

this govt. has no respect

for human rights. This

attitude is like making

mockery of the country

amongst comity of

nations. Let citizens

express their

dissatisfaction in the

poor governance of this

country. Is that too

much to ask?

—Olaide Oyewole,

Analyst

T HIS unlawful,

inhuman and unruly

act is so disheartening.

Without any doubt, the

arrest of peaceful protesters

at Lekki Tollgate is against our

fundamental human rights.

I could remember vividly that

the likes of the president and

his caucus protested against

the Jonathan administration

on fuel price increase without

any intimidation by govt. but

the reverse is the case today

under same President Buhari

and Gov. Babajide Sanwo-

Olu.

—Abdulkadir Yusuf,

Good Governance Advocate

POSTERITY won’t be

kind to the APC-led govt.

as they constantly stripped us

of our human rights. Lekki

Tollgate incidence proved

exactly as stated in paragraph

23 of #EndSARS Presidential

speech! But the limits of

oppressors are prescribed by

the endurance of the

oppressed. We must continue

to show our oppressors that

there is no limit to our

endurance, we cannot be

broken.

—Jude Oseh, Devt.

Advocate

THE

protesters

should act as human

so as not to be

dehumanized. Why try to

start another war? What’s

their business with govt.

making tollgate a source of

revenue? They refused to

heed govt’s call to cancel

the protest. So I don’t blame

the govt. but the protesters.

They got what they

deserved.

—Ugbodaga Anethekai,

Engineer

THE arrest of

peaceful protesters

at Lekki Tollgate is totally

wrong and against the

fundamental human

rights of Nigerians. That

act is barbaric and

insensitive.

It shows that our

government has not

learnt from the October

20, 2020 Lekki

incidence.

—John Shokoya,

Medical Practitioner


6— Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021

Court remands

18-year-old

housewife over

alleged murder

of hubby’s

fiancée

A

Kano Chief Magistrates’

Court, yesterday, ordered

the remand of an 18-year-old

housewife, Suwaiba Shuaibu, in

prison for allegedly stabbing her

husband’s 17-year-old fiancée

to death.

Shuaibu, who resides at

Gimawa village in Doguwa

Local Government Area of

Kano, is standing trial on a count

charge of culpable homicide.

It would be recalled that the

state police command had on

January 19, arrested the

defendant for allegedly stabbing

her husband’s fiancée.

The prosecutor, Asma’u Ado,

told the court that the defendant

committed the offence on

January 1, at Gimawa village,

Kano.

She said on the same date, at

about 10:00 pm, the defendant

called the deceased, Aisha

Kabir, of the same address

through her phone.

The prosecutor said: “In the

process, the defendant

deceived and lured the victim

into an uncompleted building,

situated at Gimawa village,

attacked and stabbed her with

a sharp knife on her neck and

chest."

The defendant, however,

denied committing the offence.

According to the prosecutor,

the offence contravenes Section

221 of the Penal Code.

The Chief Magistrate,

Mustapha Sa’ad-Datti, ordered

that the defendant be remanded

in a correctional centre, pending

legal advice from the office of

state Director of Public

Prosecutions (DPP).

Motorcyclists

protest death of

colleague in

Ogun

By James

Ogunnaike

ABEOKUTA— Commercial

motorcyclists, yesterday,

went on the rampage in

Sagamu, Sagamu Local

Government Area of Ogun State,

protesting the death of one of

them.

It was gathered that the

deceased motorcyclist lost his life

while attempting to resist arrest

by a task force team put in place

by the local government

authority after allegedly driving

against traffic.

It was gathered that the

motorcycle rider fell and hit his

head on the ground and died

instantly.

The development threw the

entire town into confusion as

motorcycle riders in their

numbers protested against the

action of the taskforce.

The protesters were said to

have destroyed vehicles and

other valuables, while residents

scampered for safety and many

business outlets hurriedly closed

Contacted, the state Police

Public Relations Officer,

Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed

the incident.

Bandits kill village head, 10 others; kidnap

20 in Niger •Wife of slain monarch also abducted

By Wole Mosadomi

BANDITS, yesterday, killed the

village head of Kusherki in

Rafi Local Government Area of

Niger State, Alhaji Masud

Abubakar, and 10 other villagers.

The bandits also kidnapped 20

villagers from different

communities in the area while the

wife of the slain traditional ruler

was among those kidnapped.

It was gathered that the bandits

numbering up to 50 were said to

have invaded the communities on

motorcycles armed with AK-47

rifles and other dangerous

weapons as they rode from village

to village shooting sporadically

and ended up killing 11 people,

including the village head.

Among the 11 killed were five

members of the local vigilante and

other youths supporting the

vigilante men.

It was reliably gathered that the

bandits started from Kasuwe

village and moved from there to

other villages killing and maiming

innocent villagers.

They were also said to have

moved from house to house and

carted away valuables and

foodstuffs.

Just as the invasion was on in

these communities, another set of

bandits were also reported to have

blocked the major highway from

Sarkin Pawa to Minna, leaving

motorists to scamper for safety.

Secretary of Munyan Local

Government Area, Mr James

Jagaba, confirmed the attack but

could not ascertain if people were

abducted or not.

According to him, “I cannot give

details of what happened now but

members of the vigilante are still

battling with the bandits.

Reacting to the incessant

banditry, especially in the past

three days, the state government

in a statement by Chief Press

Secretary to Governor Abubakar

Police arrest 7 for alleged car-snatching in Imo

By Chinonso Alozie

O WERRI—SEVEN

persons have been

arrested in Imo State, over

alleged stealing of vehicles,

days after they were said to

have been released from prison

on the same offence.

The state Police Public

Relations Officer, Orlando

Ikeokwu, who disclosed this,

yesterday, in Owerri, said the

arrest was made possible after

the Imo police got a distress call

from Aba in Abia State.

The police said: “On February

1, 2021, based on a distress call

from Aba, Abia State, informing

the command that some

hoodlums snatched one Lexus

350 SUV, with number plate,

KSF 758 FS, and were believed

to be moving towards Imo

State.

“Upon receipt of the report,

operatives of the Command’s

Quick Intervention Team,

QUIT, swung into action.

“However, at the point of

arrest, the stolen SUV was

recovered from them. It is

noteworthy that the suspects

were all released from Aba

prison after serving their jail

terms on a similar offence.”

On how the suspects

operated, the police said:

“They all confessed to the

crime and explained their

various roles in the operation.

The suspects

"Amado Kenedy, Igilegbe

Chinendu and Nwaorie Moses

are the operational members,

whose responsibility was to

snatch the vehicle while

Godfrey Ntosi, Chinedu Agwu,

Ejiofor Egwe and Eze

Obinwanne were saddled with

the responsibility of rebranding

the snatched vehicle,

removal of tracking and

security devices installed in the

vehicle, as well as sale of the

vehicles.

"Arrangement is at advanced

stage to transfer them to Abia

State for further investigation

and prosecution.”

Boko Haram razes over 140 houses

in Borno village

By Ndahi Marama

MAIDUGURI—OVER 140

residential houses were

reportedly set ablaze when

suspected members of the dreaded

Boko Haram sect invaded Egiri, Zira

I and II villages of Biu Local

Government Area in Southern

Borno senatorial district.

It was gathered that the bandits

also carted away foodstuffs and

livestock, after displacing hundreds

of people from the three settlements

Sunday night.

Ali Yusuf, who is now taking

refuge in Biu town after fleeing from

Zira 1, said before the bandits came,

the people had fled the town, adding

that the insurgents came through

Garin Mallam village to attack Egiri

before proceeding to Zira I and II,

as they wreak havoc without

confrontation.

He said: “We were lucky to have

gotten information about the

impending attacks, so we quickly

mobilised our family members

including women and children and

fled before the insurgents stormed

these communities.”

Yusuf, however, said no life was

lost as the insurgents met the all

affected villages deserted, but

notwithstanding, the attackers set

ablaze about 20 houses in Egiri, 50

houses in Zira I and 75 others in

Zira II.

His words: “We are terrified by the

latest attacks by insurgents in our

hitherto peaceful communities.

He appealed to the government

and other security agencies to come

to their aid, as most of them are

displaced with no means of

livelihood.

All efforts to get confirmation from

the Police Public Relations Officer,

DSP Edet Okon, proved abortive at

press time, but a reliable security

source in Biu Local Government

Area confirmed the recent

destruction by the insurgents in the

three communities.

The recovered car.

Bello, Mrs Mary Noel-Berje,

described the situation as callous

and regrettable.

She said: “The murder of the

traditional ruler is callous,

regrettable and it is a challenge to

the security agencies to intensify

their search to fish-out and ensure

that the perpetrators of such

heinous acts are brought to

justice.

“The situation, particularly in the

last 72 hours, has become

alarming. Efforts are ongoing to

secure the release of the abducted

NSTA passengers. The

development is becoming more

worrisome."

Miscreants on rampage, attack

LAWMA officials during enforcement

By Olasunkanmi

Akoni

AT least two officers of the

Lagos State Waste

Management Authority,

LAWMA, Enforcement and

Monitoring Team, EMT,

sustained injuries when they

were attacked while enforcing

the environmental sanitation

law against nuisances in Ajah

area of the state.

Stones and other dangerous

weapons were used by

suspected miscreants and street

traders during the operation at

Ajah roundabout, along Lekki-

Epe Expressway, Lagos Island.

One of the officers reportedly

sustained a head injury, while

the other sustained rib injury.

Speaking on the attack,

LAWMA Managing Director,

Ibrahim Odumboni,

condemned the incessant

attacks on the agency’s

personnel carrying out their

official duties in the task of

ensuring the general

cleanliness of the environment,

warning that such will no

longer be tolerated by the state

government as they will not be

deterred by such act.

Odumboni said: “Some

miscreants said to be street

traders attacked our personnel

at Ajah flyover bridge area of

the state while on enforcement

operation, using stones and

other dangerous weapons.

“Our officials were dislodging

street traders and squatters in

some slums in the area who

have turned the sheds into

criminal hideouts.

“No level of resistance and

intimidation by hoodlums can

deter us on our resolve to clean

up the entire metropolis.”


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021—7

How Ondo Chief Judge detained me for 3

years — Stepbrother

By Dayo Johnson

AKURE—A man, identified as

Olupelumi Fagboyegun,

yesterday, alleged that the Chief

Judge of Ondo State, Olarenwaju

Akeredolu, detained him for three

years for going to their father’s

house.

Olupelumi, who claimed to be a

stepbrother to the Chief Judge,

made the allegation in a viral video.

Fagboyegun said: “The

Honourable Chief Justice of the

Federal Republic of Nigeria, I am

calling you to please rescue me from

the hands of the Ondo State

Judiciary that is being run like a

family affair, that if you don’t know

anybody, you cannot get justice.

“I have been living abroad for the

past 30 years; I came on holiday to

Nigeria to my father’s house

because I share the same father with

the Chief Judge of Ondo State, I

was arrested at my father’s clave, I

was locked up, I was charged with

forceful entry into my father’s house.

“Even if I was convicted of this

crime, it only carries one-year prison

penalty but I am being on open

remand for the past three years.

“This case has been going on for

the past three years because the

Chief Judge is using her power to

influence the judicial system, I have

been unable to get justice. They

have changed judges five times,

they have re-arraigned me five

times, they have changed their

charges five times and up till today,

February 15, 2021, that I am talking

to you, the case is still pending.

Please come and rescue me.

“The Ondo State government

cannot help me because the Ondo

State government is a family

business. Buhari should rescue me

from the hands of this woman so

that I can go back to my family. I

want to go back to my children. I

am a single parent.

“This woman is keeping me here

for the past three years for coming

to my father’s house. Please help

me I want to go back to my family.”

Chief Judge refutes

allegations

In her defence, Justice Akeredolu

said: “What is happening is the

handiwork of some persons who are

using Mr. Olupelumi Fagboyegun

against my family.

“Two years after my father died,

somebody bearing his name filed a

suit against my mum, two of my

brothers, and the eldest male of my

father’s family, stating that they

should exhume my father’s body

and do a DNA because the man in

question alleged to be my father’s

son.”

She stated that the said man filed

a Writ of Summons, which was

served on her mum which itself

made her mum agitated and

embarrassed.

“I had to call the lawyer and asked

what was behind the action. In

response, the lawyer, who filed the

writ told me that Mr. Olupelumi

Fagboyegun alleged that he was

born in the household of my

grandmother; and that, his mother

was living with my grandmother

when he was born.

“When I asked who the

grandmother was, he said the

person in question was my father’s

mother. I then told him that the

woman died in 1967."

One or two years after my mum

died, he went to one of my father’s

premises, where my cousin wanted

to establish a poultry

farm. One morning, he

went with thugs

wielding cutlasses, but

he was prevented from

entering the premises.

“The police looked

into the matter and by

the time police got

there, he had escaped,’

she stressed.

She also narrated that

the matter is before the

Magistrate's Court and

that she does not know

the magistrate

handling the matter;

also, she has not shown

interest in the matter,

adding that

Fagboyegun is being

used by some people.

Justice Akeredolu

said: “They should ask

the said Mr.

Olupelumi Fagboyegun which

police station or prison is keeping

him and by whose order. God will

expose evil-doers to shame and to

ridicule.”

Akeredolu orders probe

In a swift response, Governor

Rotimi Akeredolu in a tweet said: “I

have instructed my Attorney-

General to investigate the

allegations; we will ensure the

investigation is thorough, fair and

transparent.”

Also reacting, the Attorney-

General and Justice Commissioner,

Charles Titiloye, said the governor

has directed that the allegation be

investigated.

• It’s handiwork of some persons

against my family—Chief Judge

•As Akeredolu orders probe

Olupelumi Fagboyegun.

Titiloye, in a statement, said the

governor has directed the

Department of Public Prosecution,

DPP, to immediately investigate the

allegation made against the Chief

Judge of Ondo State, Justice O. O.

Akeredolu by Mr. Olupelumi

Fagboyegun (her brother) in a video

that went viral on social media

platform on February 15, 2015

wherein he alleged that Ondo State

judiciary and courts were being

used by the Chief Judge to

persecute him and keep him in

custody for the past three years on

trumped-up criminal allegation of

unlawful entry into his father’s

house.

Olarenwaju Akeredolu,

State, Chief Judge.

Ondo

“Investigation into the matter will

be thorough, fair and transparent

to assure the public that Governor

Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s

administration in Ondo State is

determined to preserve the integrity

of the courts and the judiciary and

ensure that it remains the last hope

of the common man.

“The Attorney-General, who

assumed office November, 30, 2020

said his office is yet to be briefed of

the criminal case and has directed

the Department of Public

Prosecutions in the Ministry of

Justice to investigate the allegations

contained in the online video clip

and report back to him within 24

hours.”

Police parade man caught with human legs, others in

Osun

By Shina Abubakar

OSOGBO—A 40-year-old

herbalist, Adeboye

Moshood, caught with human

legs and other body parts, was

yesterday, paraded by the Osun

State Police Command

Addressing journalists at the

state Police Command

headquarters in Osogbo,

Commissioner of Police, Olawale

Olokode, said Moshood

confessed to having cut off the

human legs and flesh at Iworo

area of Gbongan, Ayedaade Local

Government Area of the state.

According to the CP, the police

received a tip-off that the man

brought human parts into his

house yesterday morning

(Tuesday) leading operatives of

the force to invade his house to

effect his arrest.

“He confessed to have stolen the

two human legs and the flesh from

a body at Iworo area of Gbongan

town. He will be arraigned in court

once the investigation is

concluded,” he said.

Fielding questions from

journalists, Moshood said he

found the dead body on his way

from Modakeke at Iwaro and

discovered it would be useful for

money ritual.

“I went to Modakeke on

Monday and while I was

returning, I stopped by at Iwaro

where I saw a corpse. I was scared

but I realised it will be useful for

me, then I cut it out for money

ritual. I am a farmer and

herbalist,” he said.

Three other suspects, Muyiwa

Moshood

Abereijo, 28, Sunday Clement, 20

and Joseph Emmanuel, 25, who

specialised in stealing motorcycles

in Ile-Ife area of the state were

also paraded.

According to the CP, they were

arrested on February 2 upon a tipoff

in Ile-Ife and two of the

suspects were identified by

victims.

He said: “They confessed to

have successfully stolen 25

motorcycles within Ile-Ife. Two

victims were invited and have

identified two of the suspects as

those who snatched their

motorcycles.

"They were also caught with a

locally cut to size gun, effort is on

to arrest the receivers of the stolen

motorcycles.”

Suspected

cultists shoot

Makurdi varsity

female student

Late Jessica.

By Peter Duru

MAKURDI—A female student

of Benue State University,

Miss Jessica Agee, was Monday

night reportedly shot dead at her

Gyado Villa residence, adjacent to

the campus, by unknown gunmen

suspected to be cultists.

An eyewitness, who spoke on

condition of anonymity, said the

armed men broke into the residence

of the student at about 10 pm, shot

her and fled.

He said: “The young men

suspected to be cultists stormed her

one-room apartment at about 10 pm

shot her and ran away without

picking anything from the house.

“The sound of the gunshot created

pandemonium in Gyado Villa,

especially among the large BSU

students community, who reside in

that area of Makurdi town.”

Vanguard also gathered that

earlier in the day, the institution had

witnessed heavy sporadic gunshots

by unknown persons at the vicinity

of the Faculty of Law, creating fear

and anxiety in the institution.

Though no official statement has

been issued by the institution on the

matter, Head of Information of the

university, Mr Tser Vanger, who

confirmed the earlier sporadic

shooting around the law faculty, said

he had no detail of the murder of

the female student.

Contacted, Dean of Students

Affairs, Prof. Emmanuel Ortor, said:

“I have been sick and have not

been to the office for some time now

so I have no detail of the incident.”

The Police Public Relations Officer,

Catherine Anene, who confirmed

the murder, said the body of the

student had been deposited in a

morgue while an investigation into

the matter was ongoing.

7 children feared killed as explosion rocks

Zamfara community

AT least seven children

were feared dead

following an explosion that

rocked Magami village in

Maradun Local Government

Area of Zamfara State.

Confirming the incident,

yesterday, Commissioner for

Security and Home Affairs

Abubakar Dauran, said the

victims went to the bush in

search of firewood when they

picked an explosive device

and began playing with it, and

shortly after, it exploded.

While six were said to have

died instantly, others were left

with various degrees of

injuries.

Those who sustained injuries

were immediately rushed to a

hospital in Gusau, the state

capital for medical attention.

According to the

Commissioner for Security

and Home Affairs, he later got

information that one person

among the victims that were

hospitalised also died.

Dauran said the state had

put measures in place to

prevent future occurrences of

such.

Meanwhile, the Police

Command in the state under

the leadership of the

Commissioner of Police, Abutu

Yaro, has created 10 additional

Police Out Stations in different

villages of the state.

He has also deployed

Tactical and Conventional

Police Personnel to the newly

created outstations to

promptly respond to distress

calls and provide effective and

efficient security services to

the communities so that

members of the public can

have the confidence to go

about their legitimate

businesses.


8 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021

:Vanguard News

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

FOR JAKANDE:

Dr. Rotimi

Oladele, former

President of

Nigerian Institute

of Public Relations,

NIPR signing the

condolence register

for late former

governor of Lagos

State, Alhaji Lateef

Kayode Jakande at

NIJ Ogba, Ikeja

yesterday, while

Provost of Nigerian

Institute of

Journalism, NIJ,

Mr. Gbenga

Adefaye looks on.

Insecurity: Nigeria heading to point of no return,

unless... — ex-Head of State, Gen. Abubakar

By Wole Mosadomi

M

I N N A —

FORMER Head of

State, General Abdulsalami

Abubakar, retd, said yesterday

that the country stood the risk

of disintegration, if the violence

currently spreading in the

system was allowed to fester.

Consequently, the former

head of state, whose warning

came against the backdrop of

recent ethnic clashes,

insurgency, banditry and

kidnapping across the country,

urged Nigerians to remain

calm.

Addressing journalists in his

uphill residence in Minna,

Niger State, Abubakar said the

recent spread of violence across

the country, if not carefully

handled, might lead Nigeria to

a point of no return.

He called on all Nigerians,

especially the governors, to take

full responsibility in managing the

divergent voices and frustrations

within their states that could fuel

disunity, anarchy and

disintegration.

General Abubakar, who is the

chairman of the National Peace

Committee, NPC, said: “As if the

continued insurgency in the

country, the kidnap and armed

robbery are not cup full, the

recent happenings in some parts

of the country, of ethnic attacks,

is unfortunate and is adding to

the problems.

“In the last two weeks or so,

tension has been growing in

the country and embers of

disunity, anarchy and

disintegration are spreading

fast and if care is not taken, this

might lead us to a point of no

return.

“We at the National Peace

Committee, wish to add our

voice to the voices of millions

of Nigerians calling for calm in

these difficult times because

these times demand that we all

join hands to resolve our

challenges so as to keep our

country united. We do not have

the luxury of trading blames.

“Thousands of our people are

homeless and have refugees

across the length and breadth

of their own country.

“We know the difficulties that

our farmers have faced in the last

few years and that the harvests

will be a serious challenge this

year.

‘’Therefore, let us all rally

in these hard times, make

the required sacrifices and

remain vigilant, standing by

one another.’’

General Abubakar also

appealed to governors of states

to sheathe their swords, saying

“they should tone down their

rhetoric and take full

responsibility for managing the

divergent voices and frustrations

within their states.

“It is true that we are all in a

states of fear and collective

anxiety. However, the last thing

we need is for the enemy to sense

a lack of unity on our part or a

break in our ranks.’’

His admonition to the

governors came on the heels

of the verbal exchange

between Bauchi State

governor, Bala Mohammed,

and his Ondo State

counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu,

over the propriety of herdsmen

bearing AK47 rifles.

While the Bauchi governor

justified the action of the

herders, claiming they were not

being protected by the

government, Akeredolu

described his statement as

provocative.

Abubakar also urged the new

service chiefs and the Inspector

General of Police to rise to the

urgent demands of the moment.

“You need to rally your troops

and design the best strategy to

end this tragic war that has

continued to consume and

destroy the foundations of our

dear country.

“We hope that based on your

field experiences in this war, you

can draw up a well co-ordinated

programme to ensure that all our

resources are deployed to

achieve the much needed victory

in this avoidable war,” he charged

the security chiefs.

The former head of state also

called on traditional institutions,

religious leaders as well as

development associations,

including Non Governmental

Organisations, NGOs, to work

towards mobilizing Nigerians on

the need to live in peace with

one another.

Recall that ethnic tensions,

particularly, in the South West,

had recently gripped the country,

especially in Oyo, Ondo and

Ogun states, following clashes

between the Yoruba and Fulani

herders on one hand, and the

Hausas on the other hand.

These are exclusive of the

spate of terrorist attacks, banditry,

kidnapping, cattle-rustling and

armed robbery in the different

parts of the country.

Illegal fire arms: Senate seeks stiffer punishment for offenders

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA—THE Senate has

moved to impose stiffer

penalty for those in possession of

illegal firearms in Nigeria to serve

as a deterrent tom potential

offenders.

According to the Senate, the

action is, among others, designed

to control influx of illicit firearms

into the country.

It also raised the alarm that of

the estimated 500 million

weapons circulating in West

Africa, 350 million, representing

70%, were in Nigeria.

The Senate equally called for

the establishment of a

comprehensive disarmament

and arms destruction ceremony

for Nigeria that should be carried

out through the Office of the

National Security Adviser, Major-

Gen Babagana Monguno,

retd, to ensure that

confiscated illegal firearms do

not re-enter the society.

This is even as the move by

the Senate to amend the 50-

year-old Firearms Act yesterday

scaled second reading.

The bill was referred to the

Senate Committee on Judiciary,

Human Rights and Legal

Matters, led Senator Opeyemi

Bamidele, APC, Ekiti Central, for

further legislative work and report

back at Plenary within four weeks.

The move by the Senate

followed a bill seeking to amend

the Principal Act, sponsored by

Senator Uba Sani, APC, Kaduna

Central, entitled ‘’Firearms CAP

F28 LFN 2004( Amendment) Bill,

2021( SB. 549).’’

The Senate called for the

provision of a stipulated time

within which the destruction of

unserviceable firearms must be

carried out, except where there

was a valid court order to the

contrary.

According to the Upper

Chamber, there is the urgent

need to proffer an effective,

coordinated and sustained

legislative strategy to address the

underlying factors encouraging

the circulation of arms and

concurrently block the outlets

through which illicit firearms are

proliferated.

The Senate resolved that

proactive measures must be

taken to stop easy access to and

re-circulation of illegal arms in

communities.

Earlier in his lead debate,

sponsor of the bill, Senator Sani,

noted that the major objective of

the bill was to impose stiffer

penalty for offences under the Act

to serve asa deterrent as well as

strengthen current efforts by

government to control the influx

of illegal firearms.

According to him, the bill makes

provision for the destruction of

firearms brought into the country

illegally.

Arguing further that the

amendment would help Nigeria

address its current security

challenges, Sani said: ‘’The Bill

seeks to impose stiffer penalty for

offences in the Principal Act, and

provide for the destruction of

firearms imported illegally into the

country or in the possession of

individuals without valid licences.

“You will recall that the bill was

first read on the floor of this Senate

on November 25, 2020. The main

aim of the proposed amendments

is to curtail the proliferation of

illegal arms and bring the existing

law in line with global best

practices. The amendment will

also effectively address some of

the security challenges currently

plaguing Nigeria.

“The United Nations Regional

Centre for Peace and

Disarmament in Africa, UNREC,

recently reported that

proliferation of illicit small arms

and light weapons, SALW, in

Nigeria has reached an alarming

proportion. Analysts estimate

that out of the 500 million

weapons that may be circulating

in West Africa, 350mMillion,

which represents 70% of such

weapons, can be found in Nigeria.

Buhari to Ambassadors: Strive

to promote trade, foreign direct

investment

By Johnbosco

Agbakwuru

A BUJA—PRESIDENT

Muhammadu Buhari has

urged ambassadors-designate,

consuls-general and charge’ d’

Affaires to continually project the

strengths of Nigeria, showcase

priorities of the government and

uphold standards that will bring

honour to the country.

President Buhari gave the

charge at the virtual induction /

orientation held for them at the

National Intelligence Agency,

NIA, auditorium.

In a statement issued by the

Special Adviser to the President

on Media and Publicity, Chief

Femi Adesina, yesterday, the

President told the diplomats to

always be mindful of the policy

direction of the government,

particularly the nine priorities it

had listed.

He further charged them to

strive to promote trade, human

capacity development, foreign

direct investment and other areas

of cooperation with countries at

national and multilateral levels

to support national growth and

development.

He said: “You must not forget

that you have been posted to

your respective bilateral and

multilateral missions to represent

and project Nigeria as a great and

Buhari appoints Abdulrasheed

Bawa as substantive EFCC boss

By Henry Umoru &

Johnbosco

Agbakwuru

A

B

U J A —

PRESIDENT

Muhammadu Buhari has

appointed Abdulrasheed Bawa as

the substantive chairman of the

Economic and Financial Crimes

Commission, EFCC.

Recall that President Buhari

had last year suspended the

Acting chairman of the anticorruption

agency, Ibrahim

Magu, over corruption

allegations.

The appointment of Bawa, 40,

as the EFCC boss was contained

in a statement issued by the

Special Adviser to the President

on Media and Publicity, Chief

Femi Adesina, in Abuja

yesterday.

In a letter to President of the

Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan,

President Buhari said he was

indivisible nation and a very

attractive investment

destination.

“In our effort to achieve

realistic development-oriented

domestic and foreign policies, the

government has identified nine

priority areas to guide our policy

directions and thrust within the

time frame of 2019-2023.

“These are: build a thriving and

sustainable economy;

enhance social inclusion and

reduce poverty; enlarge

agricultural output for food

security and export; attain energy

sufficiency in power and

petroleum products; expand

transport and other

infrastructural development;

expand business opportunities,

entrepreneurship and

industrialization; expand access

to quality education, affordable

healthcare and productivity of

Nigerians.’’

The President also noted that

the priorities include building a

system to fight corruption,

improve governance, create

social cohesion and improve

security for all.

“I, therefore, urge all of you to

be guided by these identified

priority goals, as well as your

various station charters which

highlight specific mandates and

guidelines on government’s

expectation. We expect you to

fight hard for Nigeria and for

Nigerians abroad.''

Federal High Court stops payment

of filing fees in human rights cases

By Ikechukwu

Nnochiri

ABUJA—THE Federal High

Court has stopped the

charging of filing fees in the

prosecution of human rights

cases.

Chief Judge of the High Court,

Justice John Tsoho, gave the

directive in a circular yesterday,

by an Assistant Chief Registrar

(Litigation) of the court, Jane

Egbo.

Prior to the directive, applicants

in fundamental rights

enforcement suits were

mandated to pay filing fees before

their cases are assigned to a

Judge for hearing.

acting in accordance with Paragraph

2(3) of Part1, CAP E1 of

EFCC Act 2004.

“Bawa, 40, is a trained EFCC

investigator with vast experience

in the investigation and

prosecution of Advance Fee

Fraud cases, official corruption,

bank fraud, money laundering,

and other economic crimes.

“ He has undergone several

specialized trainings in different

parts of the world, and was one of

the pioneer EFCC Cadet Officers

in 2005. He holds a B.Sc degree

in Economics, and Masters in

International Affairs and

Diplomacy,’’ the statement read.

Meanwhile, the letter was read

by the Senate President on the

floor of the Senate yesterday.

With this letter from President

Buhari to the Senate, the

suspended former acting

chairman of the EFCC,

Ibrahim Magu, is effectively

out of the system.

Such litigants were also

required to pay default fees when

processes are filed outside the

period allowed by rules of the

court.

However, the new circular,

entitled: Re; Monetary claims

and default fees in

fundamental right

applications, read: “I have

been directed by the Chief Judge

of the Federal High Court,

Justice Tsoho to inform all

DCRs (Deputy Chief

Registrars) and Station

Registrars that henceforth,

monetary claims and default

fees in respect of fundamental

human right applications should

no longer be charged. Be so

informed and comply accordingly.''


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021 — 9

From left:

Representative

of the

founder, Kesington

Adebukunola

Adebutu

Foundation,

Chief Kola

Oyefeso; President,

Eko

Club, Dr. Ade

Dosunmu,

with Erelu of

Lagos, Abiola

Dosunmu,

during the inauguration

of

Kesington

Adebutu

Pools and

Garden of the

Club, in Lagos.

:Vanguard News

We'll continue to work for Nigreia's

unity —Buhari

•Says stability of Nigeria his priority

•Vows to identify, deal with people

constituting nuisance;

•Senator Ndume absent at Borno,

Yobe elders meeting at Aso Rock

By Johnbosco

Agbakwuru

ABUJA — PRESIDENT

Muhammadu Buhari

said yesterday that his administration

will continue to work

for the stability of Nigeria and

succeed over those who don’t

need the unity of the country.

He also vowed to identify and

deal with what he described

as the small number of people

with resources and influence

that are constituting a

nuisance to the oneness of the

country. Buhari stated this

when he received a delegation

of Borno/Yobe Elders Forum

who paid him a courtesy

visit at the Presidential Villa,

Abuja.

But the senator representing

Borno South and Chairman,

Senate Committee on Army,

Senator Ali Ndume, who has

been a vocal voice from Borno

State was conspicuously

absent at the meeting.

President Buhari told his

guests that the stability of the

country was of paramount

interest to him, adding that

the federal government

would continue to work towards

it, despite the actions

of a few people.

In a statement issued by his

Special Adviser on Media and

Publicity, the President said:

“We need this country. We will

continue to work for its stability.

I feel that whatever happens,

we will continue to make

it, and will keep on praying to

God so that for those who feel

that they don’t need Nigeria,

we will succeed over their intentions

and actions.” He attributed

the upheavals in

some parts of the country to a

few people with resources and

influence, assuring that they

would be identified and dealt

with in due course.

He said: “I am confident

that we will eventually convince

the small number of

people with resources and influence

that are a nuisance to

this great country. God willing,

we will identify them, and

deal with them. I am extremely

concerned about your constituency

like the rest of the

country.”

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

The President noted the request

for the upgrade and development

of infrastructure in

the states and assured that

while he would do his best in

acceding to the requests, he

would, however, prioritise development

in education.

“We are aware of the infrastructure

deficit. Our priorities

will be education because

all our citizens know that

children within a certain age

must receive it otherwise

if they miss it, the future is destroyed,”

he said.

He expressed appreciation

to the leaders for coming to

terms with the positive improvement

that has occurred

in the states since the inception

of his administration.

In his remarks, Professor

Babagana Zulum, Governor

of Borno State, said the leaders

were in Abuja to thank the

President for the tremendous

improvement in their states

and to intimate him with

some of the prevailing socioeconomic

conditions.

Also speaking at the event,

Architect Bunu Sheriff and

Gambo Gubio expressed appreciation

to the President as

well as the armed forces for

their commitment and sacrifices

in bringing a new lease

of life to the Northeast.

They requested the completion

of long-standing infrastructure

and on-going

projects in the states, especially

roads. Speaking to correspondents

after the meeting,

Governor Zulum said it was

to thank the president and put

forward requests for more

troops and infrastructure for

the northeast. He said: “The

Borno Elders’ Forum and Yobe

Elders’ Forum met with Mr.

President purposely to convey

their appreciation to the federal

government, under the

distinguished leadership of

President Muhammedu Buhari

and all the efforts he has

made to address insecurity in

the region.

“Again, they have raised their

concerns to Mr president with

a view to solving them, infrastructural

deficits in Borno and

Yobe States and the entire

northern region. They have

also requested from the federal

government sustained military

operations which has been

yielding fruitful results in recent

times. “So far so good, the

president has responded positively.

The government and

people of Borno and Yobe

states that he will do everything

possible within the available

resources to ensure sustainability

of the ongoing military

operations in the region.

PDP: NWC divided over Secondus’ alleged

failure

By Clifford Ndujihe

& Dirisu Yakubu

ABUJA — AGAINST the

backdrop of the crisis

rocking some of its state chapters,

and perceived failure of

the Prince Uche Secondus-led

National Executive Committee,

NEC’s failure to take advantage

of perceived gaffes of

the ruling All Progressives

Congress, APC, the National

Working Committee, NWC

of PDP had a stormy meeting,

yesterday.

The NWC it was gathered

was divided over what some

members alleged as the party’s

incapacity to take opportunity

of the APC’s poor leadership

to boost the fortunes of

the PDP. The matter was was

compounded by the management

of crises in some Northern

chapters of the party and

the continued suspension of

some members of the National

Assembly.

The PDP had suspended

Ndudi Elumelu, Wole Oke,

Lynda Ikpeazu, Anayo Edwin,

Gideon Gwadi, Toby Okechukwu

and Adekoya Abdul-

Majid for allegedly backing

the emergence of Femi Gbajabiamila

as Speaker of the

House of Representatives

against the PDP’s choices.

The PDP had nominated

Kingsley Chinda for the position

of minority leader; proposed

Chukwuka Onyema

as deputy minority leader;

Yakubu Barde as minority

whip and Muraina Ajibola as

deputy minority whip.

However, Speaker Gbajabiamila

side-stepped the

PDP’s nominees and endorsed

the list led by Elumelu with

Toby Okechukwu (Enugu) as

Deputy Minority Leader,

Gideon Gwani as Minority

Whip and Adesegun Adekoya

as Deputy Minority Whip.

At the NWC meeting, yesterday,

sources said that Secondus

was put on the spot on

lifting the suspension, a proposal

that seemed to put him

between the devil and the deep

blue sea. Lifting the suspension

is bound to raise issues

with some governors who accused

the National Assembly

‘rebels’ of having betrayed the

party during the election that

brought Gbajabiamila.

Secondus has reportedly

been at discord with Governor

Nyesom Wike of Rivers

State and it was feared that

lifting the suspension would

further put him in trouble with

the governor. The meeting

which was supposed to last

between 12 noon and 2.00

p.m. lasted at least two more

hours as the NWC tried to

calm frayed nerves.

Said a source: “It was a

stormy meeting and at least

two prominent national officers

threatened to resign saying

that they would not want

to be dragged down with what

is happening. Most of the issues

we have especially in the

North have to do with poor

party management.”

No leadership

crisis in PDP

—National scribe

Speaking exclusively to

Vanguard, on the issues, National

Secretary of the party,

Senator Ibrahim Umar Tsauri,

said there is no leadership

crisis PDP but lamented that

the APC was bent on causing

crisis for the party, particularly

in the states where it is in

control of the reins of government.

He said: “As a member of

the NWC of our party, I am

not aware of any crisis in the

leadership of the party. The

chairman has been doing a

good job since he came on

board."

Herders/farmers’ crisis:

Malami calls for creation of

commission for pastoralism

By Ikechukwu

Nnochiri

26.8m poor Nigerians captured in

nat’l social register, says FG

By Joseph Erunke

ABUJA — A total

of 26.8 million extremely

poor Nigerians have

so far been captured in the

national social register of the

National Social Investment

Programme, the federal government

has said. Minister of

Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster

Management and Social

Development,Sadiya Umar

Farouq, who disclosed this in

Abuja yesterday, explained

that the number was out of the

estimated 82.9 million extremely

poor people in the

country.

According to the minister,

the captured number is

equivalent to about 6.3 million

households.

Farouq explained that the

26.8 million had coverage

across the 36 states of the federation

and the FCT in 601 of

the 774 LGAs in Nigeria.

She added that government

had covered 7,320 wards, and

ABUJA—MINISTER of

Police Affairs,

Muhammad Dingyadi, said

yesterday that efforts were on

to install Closed Circuit

Television, CCTV, cameras on

all major highways across the

country to curb the rising cases

of kidnapping.

Dingyadi, who disclosed

this in an interview on Channels

Television breakfast programme,

Sunrise Daily, said

President Muhammadu

Buhari has given the approval

for the project. According to

him, the Federal Government

has entered into an agreement

with NPS Technology

Company to re-fix the abandoned

CCTV project. “We are

moving forward, like you are

aware, on the $470million

CCTV project that has been

A BUJA—THE

Attorney- General of

the Federation and Minister

of Justice, Mr. Abubakar

Malami, SAN, said yesteray

that the setting-up of a

commission for pastoralism,

regulated by law, could

provide recipes for resolving

protracted farmer-herder conflicts

in the country.

According to the AGF,

simply addressing farmerherder

crisis “from purely

theoretical perspectives often

devoid of reality and without

synchronization with the

needs and aspirations of the

involved stakeholders”, is not

only counter-productive,

“but inimical to the emergence

and sustenance of a

peaceful and prosperous Nigeria”.

In an address be presented

as a special guest of honour

at the Peace, Unity and Security

Lecture Series 2021, held

at the ECOWAS auditorium

in Abuja on Tuesday, Malami,

argued that the Commission,

when established, could facilitate

in-depth analytical studies

with a view to providing

lasting solutions to the recurring

clashes between herders

and farmers. He said: “One

of the issues that dominated

the media space in recent

time is the issue of farmerherders

conflict. Farmerherder

crisis is real. It, therefore,

requires real time and

practically-oriented solutions.

“The better approach towards

resolving the crisis

over the short, medium and

long terms is to directly involve

the stakeholders to

come up with solutions at the

conception, implementation

and monitoring faces.

“In this case, communityoriented

approach is likely to

yield greater dividend in diffusing

and eventually eliminating

the menace that has

retarded economic development

and created widespread

insecurity.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is

not out of place for me to say

that simply addressing

farmer-herder crisis from

purely theoretical perspectives

often devoid of reality

and without synchronization

with the needs and aspirations

of the involved stakeholders

is not only counter-productive,

but inimical to the emergence

and sustenance of a peaceful

and prosperous Nigeria.

“It is against this backdrop

that I proffer the following

recommendations for the

consideration of the symposium.

The setting up of regulated

grazing reserves to replace

the ‘Burtali’ or ‘Hurumi’

pastoral system. Intensive enlightenment

to livestock

breeders on the need for sedentary

farming and transhumance

agriculture as complimentary

economic process to

nomadic farming.

“Provision of water holes in

remote grazing locations,

subsidized veterinary care and

mobile ambulatory services

for surgeries and other medical

interventions for livestock."

72,363 communities, adding

that it automatically provides

the biggest database for any

social inclusion or social protection

intervention. The Minister,

who spoke at the ministerial

dialogue on NSR in Abuja,

explained that the portal

would help the Federal Government

facilitate the lifting of

over 100 millions out of poverty.

“As of January 31, 2021, of

the estimated 82.9 million

(40.2 percent) Nigerians living

below the poverty line, we have

identified and registered 26.8

million poor and vulnerable

individuals, equivalent to

about 6.3 million households

in our country.

“We are expecting another

20 million to be added to the

database and held in the Rapid

Response Register – a shock

responsive intervention register,

specifically targeted at urban

informal workers impacted

by the current COVID-

19 pandemic. This database

capacity is unprecedented in

the history of our dear country."

Kidnapping: FG to install CCTV cameras on

major highways —Minister

abandoned.

‘’Mr President has now

given us the go-ahead to resuscitate

the project and we

have already entered into a

concession agreement with

NPS technologies. They are

there trying to re-fix the entire

system to resuscitate it. “By

the time this system is put in

place, we will have a lot of

technology to manage this

crisis, particularly this issue of

kidnapping. ‘’It will go a long

way to ensure we reduce the

number of kidnappings in this

country,” the Minister said.

C

M

Y

K


10 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021

:Vanguard

News

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

By Dayo Johnson,

Dapo Akinrefon,

Levinus

Nwabughiogu &

Deola Badru

AKURE—THE South-West

Governors’ Forum,

yesterday, challenged the Federal

Government to come out and let

Nigerians know that they do not

support criminality.

This came on a day the House

of Representatives directed the

Nigeria Police Force to

immediately investigate the

violence that engulfed the

Shasha community in Ibarapa

Central/North Federal

Constituency of Oyo State, last

weekend.

Similarly, Governor Seyi

Makinde of Oyo State, yesterday,

gave conditions for reopening the

crisis-torn Shasha market, in

Ibadan, the state capital.

The Minister of Youth and

Sports Development, Mr.

Sunday Dare, also called on the

different tribes and groups living

in Oyo State to maintain peace

and the cordiality that had

characterized decades of their

peaceful and flourishing

coexistence in the state.

Prove to

Nigerians you

don’t support

criminality,

S-West govs tell

Buhari

Chairman of the South-West

Governors’ Forum, Governor

Rotimi Akeredolu, who spoke

during an interview on Politics

Today on Channels Television,

said: “What we expect from Mr.

President is for him to come out

and let Nigerians know that he

does not support criminality.

“He once said, ‘if you find

anybody with arms without a

license, they should be arrested.

Security agencies must be at work

without rest.’ Everyone has said

no to open grazing, then the law

should follow.”

Speaking on the Yoruba rights

activist, Sunday Adeyemo,

popularly called Sunday Igboho,

Akeredolu described him as “a

child of circumstance, and we

must look at the circumstances

that led to his intervention.

“I do not support people taking

the law into their hands. I do not

support illegality. Those

circumstances might not be legal,

but when you look at it, you’ll

know he is a child of

circumstance.”

The governor said most of the

criminal herdsmen apprehended

in Ondo State spoke Fulfude

(Fulani language).

His words: “Essentially, in

Ondo State, we discovered

criminal herdsmen who were

using our forest reserves to

perpetrate crimes and we said look

we cannot stay by and watch

things happen this way.

“People were kidnapped. We’ve

been debriefed by all of them, and

we know people who took them.

“If you’re not licensed to be in

the forest, then you’ll be taken to

be doing illegal ventures, that’s

where we stand.

“My duty does not include

profiling those who come into the

country, but all I know is that

those perpetrating these crimes

speak a common language.

“Whether they are foreigners

or from here, it is a matter for the

• Gbajabiamila

INSECURITY: Prove to Nigerians

you don’t support criminality,

S-West govs tell FG

• Say Sunday Igboho’s a child of circumstance

• It’s a bold statement —Afenifere

• Investigate Shasha violence, Reps tell IGP

• Makinde gives conditions to reopen market

• As Sports minister calls for peaceful co-existence

police to go after them and

identify them.

“What we heard from those

who have been debriefed is that

they spoke the language that was

clear to them. Most of them were

speaking Fulfulde and that is

clear, this is a common language

spoken in West Africa and some

part of North Africa, so how did

they come here?.

‘’One of our major problems is

when we have issues of this

nature, and we have Miyeti

Allah. If they are not your

members, there is no need to

defend them.”

On the justification of

Governor Bala Muhammed of

Bauchi State that herdsmen

should carry arms, Akeredolu said

“Bala Mohammed has not

spoken like a statesman. How can

you come out to say people

should come out and carry

firearms (AK-47) when it is illegal,

people are not licensed to carry

guns?

“Bala Mohammed has only

added more petrol to the fire. No

governor should speak that way.

So, I should ask my people to

carry guns? Statements like that

must be condemned and I

condemn it.”

It’s a bold

statement

—Afenifere

Reacting to the governors’

declaration, the pan-Yoruba

socio-political organization,

Afenifere, commended Akeredolu

for his remarks, describing it as a

bold statement.

Afenifere’s National Publicity

Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, said:

“That is a bold statement which

we salute them for. He cannot

continue to play the ostrich while

some people are daily killing our

people.

‘’What did he say to Lam

• Akeredolu

Adesina in Ibadan in 2000? If he

is here to dissolve one Nigeria,

he should let us do it speedily

and peacefully. That is a bold

statement, we salute them.”

Investigate

Shasha violence,

Reps direct IGP

Meanwhile, the House of

Representatives has resolved to

constitute a working group to

participate in the consultations

to be held by the Committee led

by the National Security Adviser,

NSA, Mohammed Monguno, on

peace and unity talks.

Speaker of the House of

Representatives, Mr. Femi

Gbajabiamila, stated this shortly

before the commencement of

plenary yesterday.

The House also asked political

leaders and community

influencers to be circumspect in

the use of languages to avoid

stoking ethnic and religious

crises.

He said: “Last week, I spoke

about the rising spate of

insecurity and conflict across the

country. Shortly after, and

throughout the weekend, the

warnings about the dangers we

face manifested in Ibadan, Oyo

State of Nigeria where an

explosion of violence led to

citizens’ death and the loss of

hard-earned property.

“On behalf of the House, I

commiserate with the families of

those who lost their lives in this

most unfortunate incident. And

I commiserate too with the

government and good people of

Oyo State.

‘’I assure all Nigerians that the

House of Representatives will

work, within the powers available

to us, to prevent a recurrence of

similar incidents, not just in Oyo

State, but across our country -

North, West, East and South.

• Makinde

“The House of Representatives

has neither command nor control

of the country’s security

apparatus. We cannot act to

deploy men and equipment to

gather intelligence, enforce laws

fairly, and take all other actions

necessary to prevent the

breakdown of law and order and

the wanton violence that follows

in its wake.

“However, the House is a

microcosm of our beloved country,

and here in this chamber, we

represent every tribe and region,

creed, and religion. And we owe

a duty to the people we serve, to

do the things we believe sincerely

in our hearts can improve the

circumstances of their lives.

“Today, we serve that duty by

calling on the Nigeria Police

Force, NPF, to conduct a speedy

and thorough investigation into

the recent violence in Oyo State,

to allow for prosecution and

punishment of those who

instigated and participated in the

killings and destruction of

property. The Committees on

Police Affairs and Justice are

mandated to communicate the

House’s position to the Inspector

General of Police.

“President Muhammadu

Buhari has announced a

committee, led by the National

Security Adviser, Maj. Gen.

Mohammed Monguno, retd, to

hold peace and unity

consultations across the

country.

“The committee will engage

governors, traditional rulers,

religious leaders, security

agencies, indigenous and settled

groups across the states of the

Federation to enact resolutions

aimed at building an honourable

peace in our land.

“The House of Representatives

aligns with this initiative, and we

will constitute a working group

to participate in these

consultations. We will work

together to examine the cultural,

religious, and localised conflicts

over land and history that are

often at the root of internal

security challenges and violent

upheavals such as occurred in

Oyo State last week and other

parts of the country over the

years.

“I urge all of those who have

large followership of people who

listen to them and respect their

voices, to be more circumspect

about the information they share,

the language they use, and the

conversations they enable.

“The words we use about each

other can have outsize

consequences on our nation’s

peace and stability because words

have the power to build and also

to destroy. And for political

leaders, let me reiterate that we

have a greater responsibility to

keep the peace in our country.

“To do that, we must first

commit ourselves to the cause of

equal justice and fair treatment

for all. Only then, can we wage

peace with resolve, secure in the

knowledge that with peace, a

more prosperous union is within

reach.”

Makinde gives

conditions to

reopen Shasha

market

Similarly, Governor Makinde,

who led Governor Abubakar

Bagudu (Kebbi); Governor

Abdulahi Ganduje (Kano);

Governor, Bello Matawalle

(Zamfara); and Governor,

Abubakar Sanni (Niger), to

Shasha market yesterday,

promised to reopen the market if

certain conditions were met.

Shasha market was shut last

Friday when Yoruba and Hausa

communities clashed, reportedly

resulting in the death of some

residents, destruction of

properties, and displacement of

people in the area.

Addressing the market men

and women, Makinde said: “They

(the northern governors) just

finished a meeting with the Seriki

of Shasha and the Baale of

Shasha. As a government you

trust and elected into office, please

trust our judgement to watch out

for you and ensure that we coexist

peacefully.

“There is nothing we can do in

an atmosphere of unrest and

disharmony. Those who go to

Iroko to continue trading, I will

lock up the place.

“When you are all ready to

cooperate, you will come to me.

When you have agreed that there

won’t be any more bloodshed

here, you will come to me and

then I will reopen the market. I

beg you. We won’t lose any more

lives.”

Also speaking on behalf of the

northern delegation, Governor

Bagudu of Kebbi State

condemned the “spontaneous

attacks.”

He said: “The market has been

closed down and there are many

people whose livelihoods are

being affected. The Nigeria

Governors’ Forum will also

support him (Makinde) to ensure

that those who have lost their

livelihood are supported in this

trying period.”

Sports minister

calls for peaceful

co-existence

On his part, the Minister of

Youth and Sports Development,

Mr. Sunday Dare, who

condemned the clash in Shasha,

urged the ethnic groups involved

in the clash to sheath their swords

and stop any further provocative

actions and utterances capable

of causing any form of unrest.

The minister, who expressed his

displeasure at the unbridled

insecurity in the state, told the

residents to see themselves as

one family and eschew violence

and bitterness by ensuring that

minor conflicts do not degenerate

into unwarranted crises.

He urged the warring sides and

all the people of Oyo State to obey

and support all the measures

being put in place towards

sustaining peace and security in

the state by all the levels of

government

Dare advised Governor Seyi

Makinde not to spare any efforts

in seeing that peace and security

are fully restored to Sasa and all

other flashpoints in the state.

Olaiya flyover

to gulp

N2.7bn, says

Osun govt

By Shina Abubakar

OSOGBO—OSUN State

government, yesterday,

disclosed that it would spend

N2.7 billion on the construction

of the flyover at Olaiya

Intersection.

A statement by the

Commissioner for Information

and Civic Orientation, Mrs.

Funke Egbemode, stated that the

Public Procurement Agency has

issued approval of “No-Objection/

Due Process Certification” for the

award of the contract for the

flyover.

She said the project was

approved by the State Executive

Council, after a memorandum by

the Ministry of Works and

Transport to the council.


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021 — 11

:Vanguard :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnewsNEWS HOTLINES:

EHINBGETI—From left: Sam Egube, Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget,

Lagos State; Ben Llewellyn-Jones, Deputy High Commissioner, British Deputy High

Commission, Lagos; Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor, Lagos State; Babajide Sanwo-

Olu, Governor; Toki Mabogunje, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry,

and Ben Bruce, founder, Silverbird Group, during the opening of Ehingbeti 2021, the

Lagos Economic Summit, themed: ‘For a Greater Lagos: Setting the Tone for the Next

Decade’, in Lagos, yesterday.

Ehingbeti: Buhari, Okonjo-Iweala, Mo

Ibrahim, Adesina offer policy

requirements for greater Lagos

By Babajide Komolafe &

Olasunkanmi Akoni

LAGOS—LAGOS

State

Economic Summit,

Eghingbeti 2021, yesterday,

kicked off with President

Muhammadu Buhari, the newly

appointed Director-General,

World Trade Organisation, WTO,

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala;

Founder and Chair of Mo

Ibrahim Foundation, Mo

Ibrahim, and President, African

Development Bank, AfDB, Dr.

Akinwunmi Adesina,

highlighting policy measures

needed to build a greater Lagos.

Speaking in line with the theme

of the three-day summit: ‘For a

Greater Lagos: Setting the Tone

for the Next Decade’, they

advocated the development of

modern infrastructure, provision

of basic services and job creation

for youths, as well as efficient

bureaucracy as necessary

conditions for attaining the vision

of a greater Lagos State over the

next decade.

Their recommendations

followed the declaration by

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

that Lagos would be a Smart City

by 2030.

The governor said this, while

unveiling the Lagos 2030 plans,

during his opening address at the

summit.

Unveiling the vision for Lagos

State over the next 10 years,

Sanwo-Olu said: “In 2030, Lagos

will be a Smart City, fully covered

by a network of several thousands

of kilometers of fibre optic

infrastructure that will carry

broadband internet into our

homes, offices and schools and

unleash a technology revolution

that has never before been seen

in this part of the world.

“The Smart City that is

unfolding will also be home to a

network of intelligent cameras

that will support not only security

and policing across the state, but

also traffic management and data

collection for urban planning.

“We are pushing ahead with

plans to develop, in partnership

with the private sector, a Medical

Park that will offer world-class

medical and diagnostic services

....As Sanwo-Olu unveils plans for

Smart City

in Ikoyi.

“We have so much to celebrate,

but there is also so much to be

done, and we are driven by a

sense of urgency on the enormous

task ahead to build the Lagos of

our dreams.”

FG‘ll support Lagos’

drive to boost

potentials —Buhari

President Buhari, in his

goodwill message delivered

virtually, called on participants at

the summit to come up with a

practical master plan to achieve

the ‘Lagos of our dreams’.

Buhari said the Federal

Government was determined to

open up opportunities by which

Lagos State can achieve its smart

city projects.

He said: “We want a Lagos that

is united and that ensures its

economic prosperity leaves no one

behind. I urge all stakeholders to

come up with plans to achieve

Lagos of our dreams.”

He commended the Lagos

State Government for its

partnership and collaboration

with the Federal Government for

putting together an economic

summit aimed at improving the

lives of citizens of the state and

Nigeria in general.

What Lagos should

do —Okonjo-Iweala

In a virtual session with

Governor Sanwo-Olu, Dr.

Okonjo-Iweala said apart from the

construction of roads, Lagos

should invest in technology such

as broadband for every

household, embrace artificial

Intelligence and Digital economy,

ensure the steady and sustainable

supply of electricity and

renewable energy/green to

remain competitive in the next

decade.

Okonjo-Iweala said: “The state

should harness the youths by

providing employment. The state

should move from importing raw

materials and exporting primary

raw products to value and

processing, to industrialize

Africa.”

Invest in youths

—Adesina

Also speaking, Dr. Akinwunmi

stressed that the youths should

be given a chance to contribute

their quotas to the development

of the state.

He said: “The state should also

invest in education by turning

tertiary institutions in the state to

world-class.

“Youths are not the problem of

Lagos, they are the asset. The

slogan should not be the young

shall grow, but the youths have

arrived. Youths do not need

empowerment or handouts; what

they need is an investment.

“The poverty level in Lagos has

reduced from 30.3 per cent in

2009 to 4.5 per cent in 2019 but

20 per cent lives in then slum.

“A prosperous Lagos will bring

a healthier Lagos. A lot needs to

be done in tertiary education

especially in science. We must

turn tertiary institutions in Lagos

to world-class.

“The climate situation in Lagos

should be attended to urgently.

There is a growing need to invest

more in the transport system.

“The private sector needs to be

mobilised to support the new

Lagos. The taxes belong to the

people. There must be

accountability for taxes collected.

I see a greater Lagos, a Lagos

where visions are turned into

reality and where women and

youths thrive.”

Lagos should focus on

basic services

—Mo Ibrahim

On his part, Mo Ibrahim

advised the Lagos State

government to focus on the

provision of basic services and a

peaceful environment to enable

young people and businesses to

thrive.

In this regard, he said the government

should focus on transportation, waste

management and schools.

Women again? Crying wolf where there's

none!

....And drinking hot beverage w hile in a molue,

let's call that PARAGAtea!

Putting the cart before the horse!


12 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021

:Vanguard News

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

COMMISSIONING: From left: Mr. George Ajayi, Special Guest; Mrs. Alexandra Ogiaga,

Mr. Omoniyi Benson-Orifa, Chairman, Chadon Hotel; his wife, Juliana and Mr. Babajide

Shodeinde, former FirstBank staff, during the official commissioning of New Chadon

Hotel in Mende, Maryland, Lagos. Photo: Bunmi Azeez

Okowa opts for private burial, lays his

father to rest

By Festus Ahon

ASABA—

Governor

Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta

State, yesterday, opted for a

private burial for his late

father, Chief Okorie Okowa

and laid his remains to rest

at Owa-Alero, Ika North East

Local Government Area of the

state.

Chief Okorie Okowa, a

Knight of Saint Christopher

of the Anglican Communion,

breathed his last on January

28, 2021, after a brief illness

at the age of 88.

Beside family members at

the private funeral,

Archbishop of Bendel

Province, Anglican

Communion, Archbishop

Cyril Odutemu; Deputy

Governor of Delta, Mr

Kingsley Otuaro; Speaker of

the Delta State House of

Assembly, Chief Sheriff

Oborevwori; former

Governor James Ibori and

former Deputy Governor,

Benjamin Elue, were at the

ceremony.

Others include Chief Jide

Omokore, Senator James

Manager, Ndudi Elumelu

and Chief Judge of Delta,

Justice Marshall Umukoro.

Speaking during the

funeral service in the home

of the late octogenarian,

Governor Okowa thanked

Nigerians for their show of

love, saying because he had

announced that the

ceremony would be private

for the family, “those who

came are truly family

members.”

He said as a teacher, his

late father fought for the

ordinary man and suffered

victimisation for daring to

stand for the truth.

Okowa said: “On behalf of

my siblings, I welcome you

to my father’s home. He is

no more, he has just been laid

to rest. He has been a strong

pillar in my life and we

wished he had lived longer,

but it pleased God to call him

at this time.

“Our father was a good

man who fought for the

church, the children and the

ordinary man, especially as

a teacher and suffered

consequences for standing

by the truth and at the end,

God vindicated him.

“We thank God that he

played his role in the

community. He was very

passionate about the

development of Owa-Alero

and I am glad that he saw all

we did for the community.

“He did not compromise

his faith even as an Okpara-

Uku of his quarter and that,

we can attest to as his

children.”

•Ibori, Odutemu, Otuaro, Oborevwori,

Elue, others in attendance

While apologising to those

who could not attend the

funeral because he had

declared it a family burial, he

said: “We do not know when

it is best to die but we thank

God he took our father at a

ripe age.

“For those who couldn’t

come, I apologise, there is still

a time to celebrate his life and

times and that will be August

21, 2021, his birthday, and we

will all be there by the grace

of God.”

Earlier in a homily, Bishop

of Ika Diocese, Church of

Nigeria, Anglican

Communion, Rt. Rev.

Godfrey Ekpenisi, said the

late Pa Okowa contributed

immensely to the growth of

the church and education in

Ika nation.

The Bishop urged

Christians to fear God and

keep his commandments,

saying: “This is the whole

duty of man.”

PIB: N’Delta CSOs vow to ensure

protection of host communities' interest

By Chioma

Onuegbu

UYO —AS Nigeria hopes

for the passage of

Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB,

civil society organisations in

Niger Delta have vowed to

ensure that the bill

accommodates the interest

of host communities to oil

companies.

Representatives of the

CSOs, who spoke during

stakeholders PIB postpublic

hearing engagement

in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State,

facilitated by Order Paper

Nigeria, decried the

situation where the oilproducing

areas that bear

the brunt of oil extraction in

the country were prevented

from making inputs during

National Assembly’s public

hearings.

Executive Director of “Wethe-People,”

Mr Ken

Henshaw, said it was an

insult to prevent host

communities to speak at

both the Senate and House

of Representatives public

hearings, whereas

representatives of

government and oil

companies were allowed to

speak extensively.

Henshaw expressed

concern that while

government body language

indicated its commitment to

a bill that reflects the needs

of the people, the content of

the bill in its current shape

and form meant the exact

opposite.

He said: “The governance

structure does not have full

participation of

communities, but gives too

much powers to oil

companies. For example, it

allows oil companies to

decide who the host

community should be, how

the funds coming to the host

communities would be

managed, and to determine

composition of the Board of

Trustees of the Host

Community Trusts, and that

they may not necessarily be

from the host communities.

“And it goes further to say

that if there is any sabotage

on any oil facility, in any

community that the

community would lose its

share of benefits from the

host communities’ funds.

Omatseye makes case for

state varsity in Itsekiri land

By Jimitota

Onoyume

WARRI— Prominent

Itsekiri professor, Jim

Omatseye, has called for the

upgrade of College of

Education Warri to a full

fledged university.

Omatseye, who retired

from University of Benin,

said the campus of the

university can be in Koko,

Warri North Local

Government Area of the

state, if the state government

was looking at the problem

of land.

Omatseye, who is former

And we think that is quite

strange.

“We know that oil theft is

a multinational business

controlled by armed cartels

of different origins, not

necessarily a practice of oil

communities.

“It is unfortunate the PIB

proposes that oil theft is the

action of host communities,

this is unacceptable. So, we

are saying you cannot give

the responsibility of

protecting oil pipelines to

unarmed communities.

They formed the Joint Task

Force, JTF, to protect the

pipelines and they failed

and you did not punish

them, now you want to

punish host communities

when they fail to protect

those facilities."

Dean of Education,

University of Benin, Director

Institute of Education in the

university, said the state

government should not

ignore Itsekiri areas.

He said: “If you look at the

spread of tertiary institutions

in Delta State, the Itsekiri

area has no university. The

only College of Education in

Warri area can be

transformed to a university.

To say there is no land is

unfair. The College of

Education can be

transformed to a university

with the campus in Koko,

Warri.”

Amaechi lauds maritime

academy’s restructuring effort

By Dirisu Yakubu

MINISTER

of

Transportation, Rotimi

Amaechi, yesterday, lauded the

management of Maritime

Academy of Nigeria, MAN,

Oron, Akwa Ibom State over its

restructuring of the institution

to meet international standards.

Amaechi spoke at the just

concluded 2020 Ministerial

Retreat in Oron, shortly after

commissioning the newly

acquired simulators to be used

for training of the academy’s

cadets.

According to him, the Rector

of the institution, Duja Effedua,

has shown commitment and

dedication in transforming the

institution without any form of

monitoring from the ministry,

adding that the ability to work

without supervision is the

hallmark of competence and

preparedness for any

assignment.

Amaechi in a statement by Eric

Ojiekwe, Director, Press and

Public Affairs, Federal Ministry

of Aviation said the academy

was dilapidated and almost on

NDDC plans post graduate

scholarship in Nigerian

varsities

NIGER

Delta

Development

Commission, NDDC, has said

it was making plans to run its

post graduate scholarship

programme in Nigerian

universities, especially those in

Niger Delta.

NDDC Interim Administrator,

Mr Effiong Akwa, made the

disclosure during a courtesy visit

by a delegation from University

of Port Harcourt, UNIPORT, led

by the acting Vice Chancellor,

Professor Stephen Okodudu, at

the NDDC permanent

headquarters in Port Harcourt,

Rivers State.

Akwa, who was reacting to a

request by the vice chancellor

for another hostel in the

university, promised to assist in

elevating the educational

institutions in Niger Delta to

make them suitable for the post

graduate programme.

Ijaw leader berates Bauchi gov for

backing herdsmen carrying AK-47

By Etop Ekanem

AN Ijaw leader, Chief

Julius Babogha, yesterday,

lambasted Governor Bala

Muhammed of Bauchi State

over the statement credited to

him supporting Fulani

herdsmen owning sophisticated

weapons such as AK-47 to

unleash mayhem on the citizens

of the country.

Babogha, who addressed

newsmen, called on President

Muhammadu Buhari to

caution the Bauchi governor

over the inciting comments

capable of causing crisis in the

country.

It will be recalled that

Governor Muhammed had at

a forum discussing the excesses

of the Fulani herdsmen across

the country, said the herdsmen

have the right to own and carry

around AK-47 rifles for the

protection of their cows.

the verge of being closed down

because of lack of training

equipment, infrastructural

deficit, over population and

other challenges, which led to

the setting up of an interim

committee to look into the

problems facing the institution

at the time.

He said: “There is nothing

about the achievements,

anybody can achieve that, but

what worries me is that all this

while that the school was

created, why could they not

achieve what he has achieved?

“Anybody could do what he

has done but the commitment

and dedication on their part is

impressive. If we don’t have this

kind of person that has

commitment to his assignment,

then we have a problem.

“I think the Ministry of

Transportation must set up

machinery to monitor the

agencies, so that we know their

objectives, what they have set out

for themselves to achieve. The

ministry will ensure these

objectives are achieved and

sanction those who are not able

to deliver."

The NDDC boss observed that

in an era of COVID-19

pandemic, it was necessary to

assist universities to properly

and comfortably

accommodate students in order

to ensure sufficient provision for

social distancing in the hostels.

He told the Vice Chancellor

that the university’s request

would be taken care of in the

2022 budget of the NDDC,

describing UNIPORT as a

flagship university in the Niger

Delta region.

Akwa advised the university

to write formally to the

ommission for appropriate

budgetary provisions and

presentation to the budget

committee of the National

Assembly.

He expressed confidence that

the National Assembly would

be willing to accommodate the

request since the project would

impact on the quality of the

learning environment, as well

as the welfare of the students.

Babogha, who is GMD/CEO

of Babsfield Corporate Ventures

and Tamfel Global Resources,

said the statement was nothing

but abuse of office, saying:

“Niger Deltans can equally

carry arms to protect their fish

farm, waterways and other

farms that generate income for

them.

“In this direction, l appeal to

President Buhari to caution

some of the Northern governors

on their choice of words in order

not to plunge this country into

another round of war, because

we cannot allow one ethnic

group to constitute so much

threat to the rest of the country.

“We call on the Buhari

government to consult the

history books. If he does, he will

discover that the same events,

which led to the 30-month civil

war between 1967 and 1970 are

playing out now and those who

fail to learn from history will be

forced to repeat it.”


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Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021 — 13

:Vanguard News

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

FUNERAL SERVICE: From Left—Mrs Funmilayo Ademu, Mrs Oligbemi Otubu Mrs Tobiloba Okapa, Mrs Bolajoko

Olises, Mr Abidemi Otubu, Mrs Olufunke Ojikale, Mrs Olubumi Sosina, all children of deceased during funeral

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

Anglican Communion tasks FG on

security, unity

By Chimaobi

Nwaiwu

THE CHURCH of Nige

ria, Anglican Communion,

Diocese on the Niger,

and its Diocese of Mbamili

counterpart, have called on

the Federal Government to

consider the security and

unity of Nigeria as it's greatest

priority and gift it will

give Nigerians.

The two Dioceses spoke

through their Bishops, Rt.

Rev. Owen Nwokolo and Rt

Rev. Obiora Uzochukwu respectively,

at Cathedral

Church of St Michaels

Umuokwu-Anam, Anambra

West Local Government

Area, Anambra State, during

the enthronement service for

the latter.

Rt Rev. Uzochukwu was

the Sub Dean to Nwokolo at

the All Saints Cathedral

Onitsha before he was consecrated

and enthroned as

the new Bishop of Diocese

of Mbamili, following the

transfer of Rt Rev. Henry

Okeke, the pioneer Bishop of

Mbamili to Diocese of Ideato,

Imo State.

Bishop Nwokolo who earlier

in the week hosted the

Standing Committee Meeting

of All Anglican Bishops

in Nigeria at All Saints Cathedral

Onitsha, told newsmen

that the Bishops in Nigeria

resolved that they will

continue to pray for the Federal

Government and appeal

to President Muhammadu

Buhari to always make protection

of lives and property

of the citizens of the country

his priority.

"Security and unity of Nigeria

are the main challenges

and duties every government

and authority must

take very serious. They are

even enshrined in the constitution,

that the President

should protect and defend

the country and the people.

"Yes, we successfully hosted

the Standing Committee

Meeting of all the Anglican

Bishops in Nigeria. Incidentally,

it was where the Archbishop,

Metropolitan and

Primate Church of Nigeria,

His Grace Most Rev. Henry

Ndukuba, simultaneously

consecrated Bishop Uzochukwu

and another Bishop.

"The take away from the

Standing Committee Meet-

ing of the Anglican Bishops

is, that "Each child of God

should know that Jesus

made a sacrifice for us to

be Christians. We should

also take up the challenge

not minding the inconveniences

and challenges and

hold on to the teachings and

the principles of Christianity,

avoid the deceit of the

devil and cling on the teachings

of God and implement

it everywhere we are till the

end our lives"

Bishop Nwokolo and his

wife Elsie, urged the new

Bishop of Mbamili Diocese,

Rt. Rev. Uzochukwu and his

wife Chizoba, to work hard

because the tasks ahead of

them in their new Diocese

are enormous, adding that

God who appointed them

will see them through.

Also speaking to newsmen,

Bishop Uzochukwu appealed

to President Buhari

to restrategize on security

policies and prioritize security

of the people, while urging

Nigerians to be patient

with the government as the

security problems of the

country will be resolved.

"There is hope. When the

darkness is thicker, the morning

is close. What we ask the

Federal Government to do

is to prioritize security of

the country, work hard to

secure the country and the

people, God will help us rise

to the challenges.

"We are expecting the people

of Mbamili Diocese to

serve God with their hearts,

minds, finances and everything

God has given them.

God will take care of other

things concerning us. The

Scripture says, "He that He

has called, He will equip."

Chairman, Planning and

Organizing Committee of

the Consecration and Enthronement

of Rt Rev. Uzochukwu,

Sir Kennedy

Mmoya thanked the people

of the Diocese for making

the occasion a success.

Insecurity: Dialogue with Kanu, adopt

ESN, Abia monarch tells S'East govs

•Says FG should de-proscribe IPOB, apologise to Kanu over

loss of parents

By Steve Oko

UMUAHIA—THe im

mediate-past Chairman

of Umuahia North

Council of Traditional Rulers

and the traditional ruler

of Oriendu Autonomous

community, HRH, Eze Philip

Ajomuiwe, has urged

South East governors to reconcile

their differences with

the Leader of the Indigenous

People of Biafra, IPOB,

Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and

seek ways to work together

in the interest of the zone.

Eze Ajomuiwe also advised

the governors to rather

adopt and provide legal

backing for the Eastern Security

Network, ESN, recently

set up by Kanu with the

mandate of protecting the

Old Eastern region against

terrorists instead of floating

another outfit.

The monarch who canvassed

the opinion in an exclusive

interview with Vanguard

in Umuahia, said this

had become necessary because

of the growing insecurity

in the region.

He was reacting to the incessant

cases of kidnapping

for ransom, rape and murder

of innocent citizens by suspected

Fulani herdsmen operating

along Akara/Isuikwuato/ABSU

axis and other

parts of South East.

The monarch said South

East Leaders should quickly

go into dialogue with Kanu if

the ESN he floated had the

capacity to provide protection

for the people since Nigerian

security agencies seem to have

been overwhelmed.

His words: " If ESN will

serve the purpose of protecting

our people, I will advise

South East governors to

adopt and support the outfit

instead of setting up another

one.We can't continue to

wait until we are all exterminated

since the security

agencies seem to be overwhelmed.

How can we

keep quiet when our subjects

are being raped and

kidnapped by foreigners in

our own forests?

"It's time our governors dialogue

with Kanu and reconcile

with him. They should tell

their Houses of Assembly to

give legal backing to ESN.

Our governors should embrace

Nnamdi Kanu as our

son. He preaches the truth;

he is not a terrorist. Criticising

him and calling him

names are not the best for

us as a people”.

He regretted that government

had not done enough

to prosecute violent herders

and bandits while victims

of their atrocities have

been abandoned.

The royal father urged

the federal government to

quickly de-proscribe

IPOB, arguing that there is

no evidence to prove that

the group is a terrorist organisation

contrary to

claims by government.

"Federal Government

should learn how to dialogue

and not to use excessive

force as being meted

to IPOB and #EndSARS

protesters. A father doesn't

kill his children. FG should

rather find out why the agitations

are increasing instead

of killing the agitators.

If you continue to kill,

who will you govern? FG

should learn to dialogue.

It's double standard not to

outlaw Fulani bandits while

peaceful agitators are

tagged terrorists".

He urged the federal government

to deproscribe

IPOB and grant amnesty to

Kanu and engage him in

peaceful dialogue with a

view to permanently address

the cause of their agitations.

" It's not good to demonise

IPOB but pamper bandits.

All Nigerians must be

treated equally. Government

should call Kanu and

know why he is crying so

we can have peace."

Eze Ajomuiwe said the

federal government should

apologise to Kanu over the

loss of his parents who he

said died as a result of trauma

following the military

raid of their palace on September

14, 2017.

I'll move into new Abia govt

house before 2023 —Ikpeazu

By Ugochukwu

Alaribe

UMUAHIA—ABIA State

governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu

has said that the new

Government House located at

Ogurube Layout, Umuahia,

would be completed before he

leaves office in 2023.

Ikpeazu stated this when he

visited the new government

house complex in the company

of the Speaker of the

Abia State House of Assembly,

Chief Chinedum Orji, to

ascertain the progress of

work.

The governor expressed satisfaction

as the contractor of

the project was back on site,

stressing that the visit was to

ensure that the job was going

according to specifications.

In his words: “It is important

that the Speaker is part

UNN suspends lecturer over

sexual harassment, threat to life

By Ikechukwu Odu

NSUKKA—THE Univer

sity of Nigeria, Nsukka,

UNN, yesterday, suspended

Dr. Chigozie Odum, a senior

lecturer in the Department of

Archeology and Tourism

over allegations of sexual

harrassment and threat to

life of a student of the institution.

Vanguard gathered that

the suspect allegedly impregnated

a female student

of his department identified

as Chinyere Onah and went

ahead to threaten her life

should she mention that he

was responsible for her pregnancy.

It was also gathered that

following a petition from the

family lawyer of the female

student, men of the Crack

Squad, Enugu State Police

Command have arrested the

lecturer in Nsukka from

where he was moved to Enugu

for thorough investigation.

A letter of suspension dated

February 15, was signed

of the inspection to see what

the Executive is doing with the

funds appropriated by the

Legislature for the project. I

have come to see the quality

of work and to ensure they are

working in line with specifications.

Presently, the contractor

is doing electrical, plumbing

and tilling works as plastering

has been completed.”

He encouraged the contractor

to expedite work to

achieve the plan of completing

the project in good time.

Asked to give a specific time

for the completion of the

project, Ikpeazu said, "I will

move into this place and use

it before I leave office as governor

in 2023".

The construction of the new

government house complex

commenced during the administration

of former governor,

Senator Theodore Orji.

Defection: Umahi, former zonal

PDP Chair register with APC

By Peter Okutu

ANOR BAKALIKI—GOVER

David Umahi of

Ebonyi State, yesterday revalidated

his membership

with the All Progressives Congress,

APC.

The registration validated

Umahi's defection to the ruling

party after he defected

from the Peoples Democratic

Part, PDP in November, 2020.

The governor's brother and

former National Vice Chairman

of PDP, South East Zonal

Chairman, Austin Umahi

also defected and officially

registered with the All Progressives

Congress.

The event which took place

at Uburu polling unit in Ohaozara

Local Government

Area of the state at about

12:30pm witnessed the presence

of some members of the

State Executive Council.

The governor stated that

from the records available, the

state was targeting over one

million registered members

in the state.

Umahi who expressed optimism

with the turn-out of

APC members for the revalidation

exercise noted that the

South East zone was now All

Progressives Congress, APC.

He noted that the APC

would completely take over

the zone by 2023, adding that

the developmental strides of

President Muhammedu Buhari

has endeared him to the

people of the zone.

He noted that those attacking

his person in the social

media and sponsoring media

reports against his government

are exhibiting acts of

frustration and assured the

people that no amount of

sponsored media reports

would deter him from delivering

laudable projects to the

people.

The governor warned those

sponsoring and posting viral

video in the social media alleging

that a section of the

country should leave the state

to desist from doing so, as

such act was capable of igniting

problem in the country.

by Mrs. Achiuwa F.C., Deputy

Registrar of the University.

It read: “Following the

accusation of sexual harassment

made against you by

a female student in the Department

of Archeology and

Tourism, the Vice-Chancellor

has directed that you be

suspended from duty immediately.

“You are hereby so suspended

from duty with immediate

effect.

“You should stay away

from your duty post until the

final determination of the

allegation against you. You

should handover any University

property in your custody

to the Head of Department

of Archaeology and

Tourism.

“The Bursar is by a copy

of this letter advised to place

you on half salary pending

final disposal action on your

case.”

An unconfirmed report

stated that the university had

already set a committee to

investigate the matter before

it was made public.


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14 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021

:Vanguard News

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

Dangote injects N10bn

into the education sector

As the Dangote

Academy prepares to

admit another set of student

engineers, it can be revealed that

the company has in the recent

past injected over N10billion into

the Nigeria’s educational sector.

The breakdown sighted shows

that aside government, the

Dangote Group is the second

largest contributor to education

in Nigeria. It is also the country’s

largest private sector employer.

A document also sighted shows

that about 1,000 engineering

graduates have been admitted

into the academy and

subsequently employed into the

various subsidiaries of the

Dangote Group.

The free training programmes

in the Dangote Academy located

in Kogi State are: Graduate

Engineer Training Scheme,

Junior Technician Training

Scheme and Vocational Training

Scheme.

The conglomerate has

provided a plethora of

infrastructural support to the

Ayade decries state’s rising

monthly wage bill

By Emma Una

C

A L A B A R —

GOVERNOR Ben

Ayade of Cross River State has

decried the rising monthly wage

bill in the state.

Speaking in Calabar during the

2021 South South Mandatory

Continuing Professional

Development Programme of

Association of National

Accountants of Nigeria,

ANAN, the governor said the

accountants should seek ways

to address the financial burden

plaguing the states and nation.

According to him; “Considering

the upheavals recorded in our

national economy accentuated

by global COVID-19 pandemic,

the great role played by

accountants in nation building

and the need to re-engineer the

country’s tertiary institutions, one

of which is the construction of N1.2

billion for the Ahmadu Bello

University Zaria.

The company has also donated

a N1.2 billion Business School for

the Bayero University Kano.

According to the document,

the company also constructed

N500 million worth of dormitories

and power supply facilities for the

University of Science and

Technology, Wudil, Kano State.

The company also built a N300

million Aliko Dangote Business

Complex for the University of

Ibadan Business School.

The document revealed that

the company donated N50

million to Ogun State based

Crescent University, as part of its

contribution to support the

school in providing

infrastructural facilities.

In the same vein, the company

also donated N120 million for the

construction of school blocks at

Nawair-ud-deen Comprehensive

College, Idi-Oro, Mushin, Lagos,

among others.

accounting profession and place it

at the appropriate pedestal to

contribute to integrated growth

and national development

cannot be over emphasised.”

The governor, who was

represented by the Secretary to

State Government, Mrs Banko

Agbor, said efforts were being

made to weed out those whose

names were duplicated in the

state’s pay roll.

He said: “The accounting

subsector of any economy is an

important and crucial component

of development. This is because

finance and administration have

over time proven to be

inseparable components in

governance as operations at

either public or private levels

must necessarily be pivoted by

proper accounting system and

regulations that act as the

fulcrum for revenue generation

and projects delivery.”

NYSC boss tasks corps members

on modern trends in agriculture

CORPS

members

have been advised to

equip themselves with modern

trends in agricultural practices.

NYSC Director-General,

Brigadier General Shuaibu

Ibrahim gave this advise

yesterday in an address during a

virtual seminar with the theme,

“Alleviating Hunger and Poverty

through Agriculture: Today’s

Youth-Tomorrow’s Leaders”,

organised by Corps Members

serving at the International

Institute for Tropical Agriculture,

Ibadan.

He noted that the NYSC

Management seeks active

participation of Corps Members

in agriculture which is in

alignment with Federal

Government’s drive to boost

agriculture, so as to diversify

national economy from over

dependence on oil.

Ibrahim added that NYSC has

resuscitated its farms and other

ventures for the impartation of

skills to Corps Members, while

also giving attention to NYSC

Skills Acquisition programme, in

order to empower Corps

Members with skills that will

provide them with alternative

sources of livelihood after

service.

“I call on Corps Members to

leverage on the opportunity

provided by this seminar to equip

themselves with modern trend in

agriculture”.

S-WEST CRISES: Desist from acts that can

provoke north, NEF warns southerners

•Meet with northern govs over crisis •Why we met NEF — Lalong

By Joseph Erunke

A

B U J A —

NORTHERN

Elders Forum, NEF, has

warned southerners to desist

from acts that could provoke

the people of the northern

part of country.

This came as Northern

governors and NEF met

Monday night to fashion out

ways to douse the escalating

ethnic tensions across the

country in the wake of crises

in the South West, especially

the Shasha crisis in Ibadan,

Oyo State.

The northern governors

were led by their chairman and

governor of Plateau State,

Simon Lalong while the elders

under the aegis of NEF, were

led by the forum’s chairman,

Prof Ango Abdullahi.

Speaking to reporters after

the meeting that lasted

about four hours, Governor

Lalong explained that the

meeting was prompted by the

ethnic crises in the southern

part of the country, especially

in the South West, occasioned

by quit notices and Shasha

crisis in Oyo State.

Lalong said: ”This is a

delegation of Northern elders

led by Prof. Ango Abdullahi.

It is part of our engagements

since we have these quit

notices here and there and

then the problems in the

country. As Northern

governors, we have to engage

some of our leaders and to find

ways of calming nerves.

“Today (Monday night), we

just came back from Kaduna

RevolutionPuls Group empowers

over 150 widows

THE Management of

RevolutionPlus Group,

has celebrated its Group

Executive Director, Mrs.

Tolulope Onalaja on her

birthday by empowering over

150 widows in her 1st Quarter

Widows Empowerment and

Skills Acquisition

Programme.

Speaking on why she

choose to empower widows,

Mrs. Onalaja, who was born

on February 14, said: “After

all God had done for my

company, I wanted to give

back to the society through

empowerment but it was

ANAN PROGRAMME: Mrs Banko Agbor, SSG of Cross River (centre), to her left; Professor Muhammad

Mainoma, President of of Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, ANAN, and others at 2021

South South Mandatory Continuing Professional Development in Calabar, Cross River State yesterday.

actually my husband who did

this first when he

empowered 10 widows with

N50,000 naira during his

45th birthday.

‘’Seeing the impact the

money had on them, I

decided to replicate same last

year when I clocked 40 by

empowering 40 widows. ‘So

this year, we decided to make

it bigger by empowering 1000

widows, but in order to reach

a wide range of widows, we

made it a quarterly affair and

through the grace of the

almighty God, it was a

success.”

after the North West meeting

with security organisations. We

just had a fruitful discussion with

the Northern elders this evening

(Monday) and part of the meeting

was to find ways of calming the

nerves and also assuring our

northern brothers that measures

are being taken.

“We don’t want to talk about

asking people to go away but

when you have issues like these,

you look at the way forward, very

mature way forward and that was

what we discussed and then also,

to address some of the issues, the

problem that is expected on the

side of government, both federal

and state governments in the

North.

“The bottom line is to find a

way forward, to make progress in

the North and also in Nigeria. As

I’m talking to you now, after our

meeting in Kaduna, our

governors sent a delegation to

go to Oyo and they are right now

in Ibadan to assess the situation

there and see the truth about

what is really happening to

Northerners in the South West

and then bring back report.

“We are carrying the meeting

forward, we have not finished.

This is part of our deliberations,

what we have here will be sent

back to the Northern governors,

what we have here is a

representative of Northern

governors. So, we are going to

report back to the full house, that

is the northern governors for full

deliberation. As you can see,

tensions are everywhere. So we

are trying to calm nerves and also

to find progress where there are

grievances here and there, we

can allay the fears and also help

in solving some of those

grievances.”

Also speaking, Publicity

Secretary of NEF, Alhaji Hakeem

Baba Ahmed, said: “We are here

to meet with the Northern

Governors Forum because they

are our first point of call; they are

our governors as northerners.

Wherever we go on any issue we

Benue recommends capital punishment for human

traffickers

By Peter Duru

M

A K U R D I —

BENUE State

government, yesterday

recommended death sentence for

convicted human traffickers to

check the illicit trade.

Deputy Governor of the state,

Benson Abounu, who made the

recommendation while hosting

the Director General of the

National Agency for the

Prohibition of Trafficking in

Person, NAPTIP before

inaugurating the State Task

Force on Human Trafficking in

Makurdi, said the state had

suffered much from the activities

of human traffickers.

According to the Deputy

Governor: “NAPTIP remains a

very important agency of

government because the worst

thing you can do to anybody is

taking away his freedom and

selling him off to an unknown

person and place.

“In Benue we have had series

of cases of our children being

taken and sold out into servitude.

It is a serious offense against

humanity and if you ask me

about the appropriate

punishment for the masterminds,

I recommend that it should not

be imprisonment but that the life

of those behind it should go.”

The Deputy Governor also

commended the International

Organisation for Migration, IOM,

need to meet with them.

“We came to lay down our

complaint as northerners, we

came to show them our support

in some of the initiatives they

have taken, we came to seek their

assurances as we are vigilant and

to be assured that they are on

their toes to protect our interest

as northerners and to urge them

to collaborate with their

colleagues to descalate the

tension and to protect every

Nigerian and we are very happy

about what they have said.

“We urge northerners not to

take the law into their hands but

exercise restraint and maturity.

We are asking Nigerians from the

southern part of the country to

desist from acts that could

provoke other Nigerians.

“We have people all over the

place, the last thing we want in

the North is to see any attack on

anybody from outside the region

and we want Northerners in

other parts of the country to be

treated equally.”

for recently facilitating the

repatriation of 76 Benue

indigenes from outside the

country.

Novartis, Run for a Cure Africa

lift breast cancer patients

IN commemoration of World

Cancer Day, Novartis in

partnership with Run for a Cure

Africa has initiated a peer

Navigation programme for

Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients

in Nigeria and Ghana.

The main goal of the Peer

Navigation Program is to prepare

health care practitioners, breast

cancer patient volunteers and

advocates, to help patients

diagnosed with breast cancer.

The program is poised to provide

tools which will prepare patient

organizations and health care

providers to implement peer

navigation in their various

centres to address the unique

needs of underserved metastatic

breast cancer patients and

barriers to quality cancer care and

support.

Speaking, Ad Interim Cluster

Head for Novartis English West

Africa, Adeyele Adenika said:

“The vision is to improve patients’

lives, while also bolstering the

health care system capabilities”

“The programme will provide a

roadmap for creating a navigation

team with the ability and intent to

customize support for cancer

patients, according to local needs.

Patients will feel supported and

heard, have a better sense of

well-being, better mental health

and are more informed and

educated to make empowered

decisions about their health.

“Access and awareness is one

of the major challenges we face

as patients do not know how to

access cancer care and it is our

priority to ensure they know

more about their disease and how

to get help in Nigeria. Our role is

to help patients access optimal

care which is one of the greatest

barriers we have regards to breast

cancer management in Nigeria.

According to Founder and

Executive Director of Run for a

Cure Africa, Dr. Ebele Mbanugo,

“Our goal is to have peer

navigation become a part of the

breast cancer management plan

in Nigeria and Ghana with plans

to ensure the programme is

accessible in all states, teaching

hospitals and medical

establishments.''


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021 — 15

NIGERIAN GUILD OF EDITORS' CONDOLENCE VISIT TO LATE JAKANDE'S FAMILY

From left: Mr. Taiwo Adeboye, son-in-law; Dr. Olanrewaju Adeboye, daughter of deceased; Mr. Eze Anaba,

Standing Committee member of Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and Editor, Vanguard newspaper; Mr. Ken

Ugbechie, Publicity Secretary, NGE; Hon. Seyi Jakande, son of deceased; Alhaja Abimbola Jakande, widow; Hon

Widow of the late former governor, Alhaja

Deji Jakande, son; Vicky Ibanga, Treasurer, NGE; Mr. Mustapha Isah, President, NGE; Mary Atolagbe, Gen. Sec.,

Abimbola Jakande receiving a condolence letter

NGE; Abisola Olusi, daughter during NGE's condolence visit to the family of Late Alhaji Lateef Jakande, first

from Mr. Mustapha Isah, President of Nigerian

civilian Governor of Lagos State at his residence, Ilupeju, Lagos yesterday. Photos: BUNMI AZEEZ.

Guild of Editors, NGE during the visit.

NIGERIAN GUILD OF EDITORS' CONDOLENCE VISIT TO LATE TONY MOMOH'S HOUSE

(LEFT): From left Mr

Eze Anaba, Standing

Committee member,

NGE; Ken Ugbechie,

Publicity Secretary;

Gabriel Akinaduro,

SCM; Mrs Janet

Momoh, widow of late

Tony Momoh; Mr

Mustapha Isah,

President, NGE; Mr

Steve Nwosu, SCW;

Mary Atolagbe, General

Secretary and Victoria

Ibanga, Treasurer.

Photos: LAMIDI

BAMIDELE.

NGE President, Mr Mustapha Isah presenting a condolence

letter to Mrs Janet Momoh, widow of Late Prince Momoh.

:Vanguard News

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

Farmers/herders clash: ECOWAS must curb

movement of foreign herders in S-West — Ganduje

By James

Ogunnaike

ABEOKUTA —

GOVERNOR Abdulahi

Ganduje of Kano State,

yesterday, called on the Economic

Community of West African

States, ECOWAS, to take drastic

steps in curbing foreign herders,

who are always armed with

sophisticated weapons, from

making incursion into Nigeria.

The governor said this at a

Stakeholders’ Parley on Farmers/

Herders Conflict, organised by the

Ogun State government, held at

the Obas’ Complex, Oke Mosan

in Abeokuta.

He also advocated what he

described as “commercial

herding” as panacea to the

incessant clashes between

herders and farmers in the

country.

Ganduje reiterated his call on

the federal government to ban

open grazing and block

grazing routes from the

northern to the southern part

of the country.

He noted that herders

would need to abandon

“traditional grazing” and

embrace “merchant grazing”

in order to find lasting solution to

killings and wanton destruction

of property that had characterised

farmers/herders clashes in the

country.

The parley also had in

attendance, Governors Bello

Matawalle (Zamfara), Abubakar

Sanni Bello (Niger), Atiku

Bagudu (Kebbi) and Rotimi

Akeredolu (Ondo).

The meeting was equally

attended by traditional rulers,

representatives of All Farmers

Association of Nigeria, AFAN;

Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders

Association of Nigeria,

MACBAN, and other relevant

stakeholders.

Ganduje acknowledged that

climate change has been

responsible for the influx of

herders into the country from the

neighbouring countries,

maintaining that open grazing

was no longer sustainable and

realistic, particularly in the face

of conflicts between herders and

farmers.

He said investigation had

shown that herders wrecking

havoc are foreigners who enter

the country illegally through

E-COMMERCE: IDU youth wing partners

Konga.com, Emerhana Foundation

By Festus Ahon

ASABA—THE

first

E-Commerce Summit

organised by the Isoko

Development Union Youth

Wing, IDU-YW in partnership

with Konga.Com and the

Emerhana Foundation with

over 150 Isoko youths affiliated

to the flagship online shopping

giant Konga.com.

The event which took place at

the Isoko Unity House, Oleh has

as its theme “Skill Acquisition for

Sustainable Living in a Pandemic

World and Beyond.”

Speaking at the event,

President of the IDU-YW, Mr.

Hyacinth Ewariezi Ede , said his

administration was poised to

restore the dignity of the

youths of the Isoko ethnic

nationality through

sustainable empowerment

programmes and initiatives.

Ede said gone were the days

where the youths would be seen

hovering around political leaders

for daily bread that may never

come, adding that with the

advancement of technology and

the growth of e-commerce, it

was expedient that the youth

of Isoko began to take advantage

of the many benefits of ICT and

the online market shares.

“We can’t continue to do

things the old way. There is

need for the youths of Isoko to

actively take path in the many

opportunities in the internet

rather than just socialising.

''My administration will

continue to scout for

opportunities that will improve

the economic capacity of our

youths,” he said.

Niger in the north and Benin

Republic in south.

While noting that clamouring

for eviction of Fulani herdsmen

from the southern part of the

country cannot solve the crisis,

the governor called for strong

resolution mechanism towards

ending the conflicts.

Glo’s Appointment Manager

further eases NIN registration

THE hassles encountered by

Nigerians in registering for

the National Identity Number

(NIN) were further reduced

yesterday as Globacom launched

an app that makes it possible for

people to choose a day, time and

location convenient for them to

undergo the process.

According to Globacom, the

Land dispute: Adogun Atele

family drags Obasanjo to court

By Innocent Anaba

LAGOS—HEAD

of

the Adogun Atele

family, Pa Nurudeen Akapo

and four other principal

members of the family have

asked an Ogun State High

Court to restrain former

President Olusegun

Obasanjo and his farm

(Obasanjo Farms Nigeria

Limited) from further

trespassing on their family

land measuring 464.77

hectares situated at Sogunro-

Itele Awori, in Ado-Odo,

Ogun state.

Other claimants in the suit

are Mr. Sunday Owotolu,

Chief Taoreed Dada and

Alhaji Monsuru Yusuf.

The claimants through

their lawyer, Gbenga Ajala in

suit against former President

Obasanjo, Obasanjo Farms

Limited and Bureau of Lands and

Survey, Ogun State, are praying

the court to cancel the purported

interest of the former President

and Obasanjo farms Nigeria

Limited on the disputed land.

In their statement of claims, the

family said that they are the

affirmed founder and the first

settler of Itele land comprising of

Ayetoro-Itele, Odan-Otun, Ajasa,

Ejigun, Aparadija, Adeleye,

Efura, Kongi, Lafenwa,

Olugbode, Oguntedo, Beyioku,

Egunjobi, Senikoro, Onifade, and

Sogunro villages.

According to them, the land in

dispute falls within their family’s

comprehensive Survey Plan No-

PEG/06/2001/025 drawn by

surveyor J.O Olorunkunle and

Plan No LA/49/1946 drawn by

Surveyor Liasu Smith

respectively.

The claimants said that

sometime in 2012 former

President Obasanjo and his farm

applied to the Bureau of Lands

and Survey, Ogun State for

issuance of Certificate of

Occupancy on the disputed land,

whereas the ownership of the

entire Itele land including the

land in dispute had been judicially

affirmed by the Court of Appeal

in three separate judgments.

app, tagged Appointment

Manager, was “unveiled to help

our numerous subscribers and

Nigerians in general to reduce

the stress involved in the NIN

registration process.”

The company added that,

through the utilization of the app,

customers will go through the

process hassle-free, which saves

them time and also ensures the

registration is done in a safe and

COVID-19-compliant

environment, with fewer people

in attendance.

To use the app, Glo said the

customer will “Enter the URL

https://ninappt.gloworld.com/

on any browser and enter phone

number in this format:

08050000000. This will be

followed by clicking on the date

icon to select available dates for

the month, followed by selection

of desired state and shop. Next is

the selection of the desired time

to be followed by entrance of the

number provided by the app to

ensure the customer is indeed a

human being, after which he or

she will click on Submit.”

The company added that,

“Customers will then receive an

SMS notification with an ID,

Scheduled date and shop to visit

which he will present at the

shop”.

Globacom which urged its

subscribers to make utmost use

of the app for the registration, also

advised those who are yet to link

their NIN with their mobile

numbers to text their NIN to 109,

adding that they can also dial

*109*NIN# to submit their NIN

or call 109 to update their

NIN via voice call.


16 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021

Why Lekki Tollgate should be abolished

TO Lagos dwellers, especially the

embattled citizens who live in the

Lekki and Ajah axis, the toll plazas imposed

on them by the All Progressives Congress,

APC, administration in Lagos is tolerated

with heavy grudges.

The Victoria Island-Lekki-Ajah-Epe

corridor is the only major road out of Lagos

that was constructed through the initiative

of the Lagos State Government. All other

corridors to Ikorodu, Ibadan, Seme/Agbara

and Abeokuta were constructed by the

Federal Government.

All the federal roads are pavilioned with

complex long bridges, flyovers, drainage

channels and causeways. They are

invariably between six to 10 lanes each:

much wider and longer than the Lekki-Epe

Expressway pioneered by the LASG.

The question is: Why should the LASG

insist on erecting toll plazas on the road

leading to the “New Lagos”, thus exploiting

the people and applying a chokehold on

ease of movement along that corridor?

If the Federal Government led by

Generals Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun

Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida had

erected toll plazas on Ikorodu Road, Apapa-

Oworonshoki Expressway, Mile 2-Seme/

Agbara, Lagos-Abeokuta and the second

longest bridge in Africa - the Third Mainland

Bridge - who will move in Lagos? Why would

the Federal Government use the money it

generated from our oil in the East and Niger

Delta and build massive infrastructures for

free in Lagos (the former Federal Capital)

only for the LASG to toll its roads and

bridges built with taxpayers’ money?

The people of Lagos have good reasons to

nurse a burning malice towards the Lekki

toll plazas. What is the rationale in handing

over such an important new corridor to a

private construction company, Lekki

Concession Company, except that it is linked

to a political godfather in the state?

When the Bola Ahmed Tinubu regime

announced the concession arrangement in

2000, the LCC was supposed to construct a

suitable highway to Epe and recover its

money through tolling. Narrower shunpikes

were also constructed for those who did not

wish to pay at the plazas.

The Babatunde Fashola administration

later initiated the construction of the Lekki

Linkbridge. It is reported that the linkbridge

generates about N10m daily, while the

Admiralty Circle Toll Plaza alone which

processes about 80,000 vehicles everyday

generates some N16.6m daily.

Since the Lekki Tollgate operations were

suspended on October 20, 2020, reports have

it that about N7.8bn has been lost. But the

Managing Director of the LCC, Mr. Yemi

Omomuwasan, put the figure at N2.5bn,

adding, however, that the suspension is

threatening the jobs of 500 workers, while

the company still owes N24bn and

$50million to local and foreign lenders,

respectively.

Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Lekki/Ajah

residents had borne the grudge of coughing

out the tolls and being made to waste

valuable time waiting to pay at the plazas.

There have been sporadic protests over their

existence which invariably fizzled out. The

events of October 20, 2020 changed the

narrative around the Lekki Tollgate in

particular.

A group of unarmed Nigerian youths

involved in the historic #EndSARS protests

chose the Lekki Tollgate as one of their

venues, perhaps a fallout of the old grudge

against the existence of the plaza. They

chanted patriotic songs and conducted

themselves in the most civil manner. Their

protest was beamed live through major local

That Tollgate is now a

monument to

democracy, freedom

and a better Nigeria

and international news outlets. It was the

LASG, in cahoots with the Federal

Government that introduced chaos into the

peaceful protest and gave hoodlums the

opportunity to burn and loot government

and private property.

It was the political machinery of the ruling

party that brought hired thugs in BRT buses

to confront the protesters. When that failed,

the state and federal governments colluded

to bring in the Army, which subsequently

used live arms to quell the protest, thus

leading to the injuries and death of yet-tobe-ascertained

number of protesters. It was

the violent action by the LASG and Federal

Government that tripped off the rioters,

Send Opinions & Letters to:

opinions1234@yahoo.com

looters and arsonists who raged for days

without let or hindrance.

As part of efforts to placate the protesters,

the Federal Government persuaded state

governments to set up panels of inquiry.

Though we all know that such panels are

usually used to pour cold water on burning

issues in order to sweep them under the

carpet, the protesters agreed to participate

in the various panels, especially the one set

up in Lagos under the chairmanship of

Justice Doris Okuwobi.

The order by the Panel of Inquiry that

operations of the Tollgate should be opened

for repairs while the Panel was yet to

conclude its assignment was read as yielding

to political pressure from the LASG, hence

the move for another protest. The activist

members of the Panel disowned the order,

and for good reasons.

How can you order preparations towards

the reopening of the toll plazas when the

whole truth of what happened on October

20, 2020 has not been ascertained and

justice served to victims of the military

operation and police brutality who testified

at the panel? If the plazas are reopened

without justice to those victimised when will

the justice come?

The truth is that the status of the Lekki

Tollgate has changed forever. That Tollgate

is no longer a money minting site for some

Shylock politicians; it is now a monument

to democracy, freedom and a better Nigeria.

Any money made from that plaza from now

on is blood money! It is now a site for the

celebration of the unarmed young

nationalists and martyrs felled by military

bullets.

The LASG under Governor Babajide

Sanwo-Olu should, after the Panel winds up,

also wind up the Lekki Tollgate. There is no

better way to “Defend Lagos” than by

respecting their wish for the abolition of the

Lekki Tollgate and the construction of a tenlane

expressway to Epe with the taxpayers’

money.

Enough of the extortion.

Justice begets peace

WHAT kind of social or

political engineering can

be executed on a country that has

been set adrift by politicallymotivated

ethnic tension?

Nigeria is today being pulled in

different directions by forces that

may seem beyond it but which are

actually within manageable

limits, if only those invested with

the authority to act will do just

that. It is little or no consolation

to say that we’ve been here before.

What is happening right now

reminds one of those moments of

our not so recent history when

everyone seemed to be for

themselves while God is for us all.

While Nigeria runs a rigid,

centrally-controlled government,

that centre seems not to be too

concerned about the hullabaloo

that surrounds it. Abuja, “the

presidency” or the President

appears more inclined to watch

from the side lines as things spiral

out of control. Again, it is not as if

this is an entirely new territory.

We have been here before.

The present statis, or that state

in which Abuja looks on like a

bystander while Nigerians from

and of different constituents

tackle one another, is the defining

character of the APC-led

administration of President

Muhammadu Buhari. Rather

than it taking one decisive stance,

making a conspicuously

unambiguous statement on where

it stands on the ongoing debate

concerning cattle herders or some

fringe groups among them that

have found the business of

kidnapping and rape more

lucrative than the honest, but, no

doubt, outmoded business of

grazing cattle from one end of the

country to another; the centre has

decided to play the ostrich, either

burying its head or averting its

gaze as if by so doing the problem

it fears would disappear.

Nigerians from different parts

of the country are viewing the

silence from the centre as

complicity in acts of criminality.

While Nigerians poke their

fingers in each other’s face and

dance to the drumbeats of war, it

is the state governors, themselves

unbiased players in the

smouldering war games, that are

left to resolve things the way it

seems good to them.

Rhetorically described as “chief

security officers” of their states,

the state governors can hardly

secure their own places of

residence. When things come to a

head, they can be placed under

house arrest and prevented from

leaving their homes by the same

commissioners of police that sit

as members of the state cabinets

while executing orders from

above. Again, that is not nothing

new.

We have seen it in different

guises under the current

dispensation of our political

journey as a country under

democratic rule. The mounting

challenges the governors are

called upon to manage are mostly

about security. Yet beyond the

security votes that many of them

routinely collect and promptly put

to other personal uses, where the

less dishonest of them are

spending them to equip and

empower the police among other

security agencies- where they are

not spending their security votes

to buy patrol vans and construct

police stations, state governors

are mere lame ducks condemned

What is being talkative

about condemning the

criminal acts of bandits

and their overtly

suspicious victims or

adversaries?

to wring their hands in pain,

unable to act where the security

of their states is concerned. But

they are, nevertheless, stepping up

where Abuja, symbolised by

President Buhari, has been

stepping back, save issuing

through “the presidency”

periodically dire but ineffectual

warnings that many more

Nigerians are learning to ignore.

Of what uses are warnings that

are not backed by or contradicted

by action? What are Nigerians to

learn from the empty threat of

Abuja to deal with anyone stoking

the embers of ethnic tension

where the “body language” of

Abuja is that of an ethnic

champion?

Femi Adesina has told

Nigerians that asking President

Buhari to speak up, either way on

the tense situation created by

criminal herders and hysteric

Nigerians who see themselves as

victims of the herders, amounts

to making a talkative out of the

president. This, for a president

that has sealed off all other

avenues of communicating with

Nigerians that his predecessors

exploited to their advantage.

Which kind of leader forgoes the

opportunity to address and

thereby allay the concerns of

those over whom he rules? What

is being talkative about

condemning the criminal acts of

bandits and their overtly

suspicious victims or adversaries?

What started among fringe

groups that operate mainly in

forests and lonely highways is now

playing out in the heart of a city

like Nigerians saw among the

Hausa and Yoruba traders in

Shasha Market, Eleyele Local

Government Area of Oyo State,

last week.

How could a little dispute over

the disposal of waste or a fight

between two people snowball into

an ethnic battle between

members of two erstwhile friendly

groups? The suspicion that some

Nigerians have that the Fulani

are out to lord things over them,

buoyed by the idea, as some have

argued, that there is a president

of Fulani extraction that will

protect them, is probably being

extended to all Northerners and

making some Nigerians less

patient to tolerate certain

behaviours, however ordinary but

now invested with great

significance, that could have been

better ignored. State governors

have become key players on

security issues that are well

beyond their briefs. But since

President Buhari has elected not

to be talkative, all kinds of rascals

are exploiting his silence to

spread hate.

Simplistic as it may sound (even

though it’s appearing more

difficult to do), all that was needed

for all this tension to have

dissolved before now was for

President Muhammadu Buhari

to have spoken up in very loud and

clear words condemning the

criminal activities of rape, arson

and murder by fringe elements

who just happened to be Fulani.

By refusing to speak while

individuals acting in the name of

“the presidency” rise to explain

or justify these criminal acts, the

President has allowed a festering

sore to metastasise into a

cancerous wound that is now

fraying the edges of the country’s

tenuous unity.

Ethnic nationalists from the

south of Nigeria are rising by the

day and are riding the crest of

public acclaim, no thanks to the

uncontrolled vitriol and

triumphant boasts of murderous

revanchists spokespersons like

Alhassan Saleh of the Miyetti

Allah Kautal Hore with the active

support of a Bala Muhammed

who as governor of Bauchi makes

an invidious case for the cattle

herders to be allowed to bear

arms, the same arms they have

been accused of using to pacify

farmers and others whose farms

and communities are sacked with

impunity.

Even the Nigerian Immigration

Service like other security

agencies taking their cue from

Abuja now wants Nigerians to

disbelieve the evidence of their

own eyes that cattle herders bear

arms. Where there’s no justice,

there can’t be peace.

C

M

Y

K


Beginner's guide to restructuring

You cannot conquer what you do not confront—

Anon

IHAVE decided to publish an old material

on restructuring in the hope that it will

contribute to an understanding of an issue over

which Nigerians agree.

What is restructuring? Restructuring is the

generic term applied to complex and varying

demands by Nigerian elite for changes in the

manner the Nigerian state is designed,

governed and shares its resources among

groups, communities and individuals. It is a

term which represents the expression of

grievances by elites largely outside the

mainstream political process, and is invariably

presented as a fundamental panacea to most

of the failings and weaknesses of the Nigerian

state.

Is this a new issue in Nigerian politics? The

complaints that the Nigerian federal state is

imperfect, or is structured around basic

injustices, inequalities and unfair distribution

of power and resources is as old as the Nigerian

nation itself. From colonial times, the manner

a large and complex country like Nigeria

should be structured and governed has been a

major source of political quarrel. Demands

for restructuring have notably been more

pronounced at moments of acute political crises

and tensions. Causes and sources of localised

generation of large economic resources and

poverty have also provided major reasons

behind periodic resurgence of debates and

demands for restructuring of the Nigerian state.

Why has this remained an unresolved

problem? Many political problems are never

entirely resolved to the satisfaction of most

interests. Dominant perspectives on the manner

restructuring should proceed all had in-built

potentials to create new grounds for emergence

of demands for further restructuring. The most

pronounced alterations in the federal structure

of the Nigerian state were made by the military,

and were informed primarily by the

imperatives of national security and

management of plural interests that had access

to the narrow political base of military

governments. Democratically-elected

governments have been prime beneficiaries

of the post-military restructuring processes,

and their attempts to engineer elite consensus

around the essentials of restructuring the

federation were half-hearted and duplicitous.

Elite that champion restructuring as key

national challenges have remained outside the

political mainstream, unable to influence

formal political structures to genuinely

respond to demands for restructuring.

Is there national consensus around

structuring? The most common roots for the

clamour for restructuring are grievances

expressed as marginalisation or unfair

distribution of resources. Virtually every group

or community in Nigeria can find good reasons

why the nature of the Nigerian state violates

its rights to justice and fairness. In this respect,

there is consensus. Beyond this point, however,

there is little agreement over process and

outcome of restructuring. Federal and state

governments disagree over sharing of

responsibilities and resources. Elite that speak

for ethnic groups disagree on all key elements

put forward by each other. Demands for

restructuring tend to be put across in combative

and largely alienating manners, which tend to

push others championing different

perspectives to harden their positions.

What are the basic outlines of these

demands? One is the demand for a federal

structure with fewer but stronger federating

units that will generate and retain larger

portions of economic resources, and a centre

with less powers and less resources. This is

often expressed in the case for six or eight

federating units, involving the collapse of states

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021—17

into the larger units. The case against this

position comes from minority ethnic groups,

many of which will lose defining political

characters and economic clouts. There is also

suspicion that this option will bestow parity to

the "South" against a "North "which had

enjoyed historical superiority in population

and numbers of federating units. Another is

the demand for a federal structure that allows

federating units to retain, almost exclusively,

the benefits of all resources located within

them. This is a variant of the "fiscal federalism"

case, often expressed as resource control.

The case against this position is that it

ignores the historical roots of the modern

Nigerian economy which pooled resources

from all Nigerians and sections to build today's

sources of wealth. More significantly, it

jeopardises the future of a nation which fails

to establish a minimum, flexible threshold on

sharing national resources, and allowing

unequal distribution of resources and wealth

in a stable federal system with varied and

bountiful resources. A third is predicated on

addressing grievances of specific groups, such

as additional state in the South East,

additional states to relieve tensions between

ethnic groups currently lumped together in

"artificial" units, additional states to reflect

The clamour for restructuring

has been a major victim of the

substance and character of the

Nigerian political system

population and geographical sizes, and states

to be created to accord recognition to ethnic

groups as federating units. A fourth makes the

case for a fully-operational third tier of

government, or a system that allows federating

units to choose how or if they want to create

sub-unit structures. Then there are others which

make the case for a return to pre-1966 federal

structure, a confederation that will leave a very

weak centre and largely autonomous units,

and a federal system that contains provisions

for any part or parts to leave the nation entirely.

Some demands combine elements of many of

these outlines.

Which one of these is true federalism?

Every federal system is true or false depending

on the perspectives and interests of those who

support it, or oppose it. Federal systems are

imperfect, man-made compromises that

should contain dynamic elements for

adjustment, and operate on the basic

assumption that relationships between and

among federating units must be constantly

policed to address rigidity and loss of the

underlying philosophy that the best federal

system is one where the whole is only as

important as the parts decide, and that

decisions on its nature and operation are

products of consensus and compromise.

Is any section of the country benefitting

from the status quo? Some fractions of the

Nigerian elite appear to champion the cause

for restructuring more than others, and

cultivate impressions that other elite are

specifically against restructuring. The

clamour for restructuring has been a major

victim of the substance and character of the

Nigerian political system. Elite competition

for power and economic resources have had

little to do with interests of the poor or the

weak in all parts of the nation. Poverty can be

addressed under any arrangement, but elites

do gain or lose on the basis of their

relationships with sources of power and

wealth, which is substantially the state. All

elites will oppose or support versions of

restructuring that best suits their interests, in

the same manner most non-elite will kick

against virtually all restructuring proposals if

the details are made known to them.

Can we ever agree on the best federal

system for Nigeria? A federal system that is

the product of continuous discussions and

negotiations involving elite, communities and

governments as interested parties can improve

the operations of our federal system. Violence

and threats over restructuring have tendencies

to emasculate dispositions to discuss

grievances. Government platforms tend to

reinforce elitist competition over power and

economic resources rather than address

popular grievances, and have been historically

vehicles for the actualisation of incumbent

political goals. The best prospects for reviews

in the manner the Nigerian state is structured

lie in elites and community leaders directly

engaging each other in discussions and

negotiations.

What can be done to improve the way we

live without restructuring? Sustained

improvements in the quality of governance at

all levels as well as rapid and even

development are essential. Elite cohesion and

respect for the complex nature of the nation

will build bridges that can create positive

dispositions to look for solutions that give

everyone something. Constitutional

amendments can be made to make changes

in the federal structure less cumbersome, and

ensure that irrespective of geographical

locations, ethnic origin or other defining

characteristics, no Nigerian suffers

disadvantages arising from the operations of

our federal structure.

08055069060 (SMS Only)

FEC returns life to the DSO

NIGERIA is not starved of good

people to do us proud. On

Monday, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

demonstrated this in making history

as the first African and first woman

ever to become the Director General

of the World Trade Organisation,

WTO, to global acclaim.

Her first virtual press conference

espoused the qualities for which the

world picked this international

economist and development expert

to be admitted into the revered inner

sanctum of universal civil service.

Few hours earlier, in faraway Las

Vegas in Nevada, Kamaru Usman

demonstrated that Nigeria wasn’t

lacking brave hearts as he

successfully defended his UFC

welterweight title against Gilbert

Burns and totally annihilated the

unfortunate fellow in the third round.

Raw power of the highest sort

properly channelled into usefulness.

A commentator even said he had a

Ph.D in cage fight! That is the height

of dexterity and accomplishment.

As it is always, we look at the

pecuniary end of everything, the

naira and kobo view imposed by

government policies and conditions

that are lacking in substance and

articulation. But I see the scarf of the

Nigerian colours of green-whitegreen,

made of Nigerian fabric (Aso

Oke) around Okonjo-Iweala’s neck;

I see the Nigerian Flag draped at

Usman’s corner of the cage, and I

see a Nigeria in full flight, ready to

take on the global community with

our best eleven on the pitch.

But not so at home. Our best eleven

are very far away from the playing

pitch because of ethnocentric factors

that are tearing the country apart and

the leadership is complicit for their

inability to deal with it. Good news

have been so much in deficit here

that you literally have to scavenge

for them. This is why Okonji-Iweala

brings a nourishing breather.

Apart from the crushing story of

near anarchy unfolding in the land,

I started feeling some elation from

mid last week when the Minister of

Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai

Mohammed, after the Federal

Executive Council, FEC, meeting,

announced the approval by Council

of N9.4bn to fast-track the Digital

Switchover, DSO, process which, for

long, had floundered in Nigeria.

The Digital Switchover process

commenced in July 2006 under the

auspices of the ITU and was

expected to end by 2015 and 2020

respectively. The process would free

up broadcast frequencies for uptake

by the telecommunications industry

for mobile, broadband and last mile

connectivity services to the various

ends of a country. For Nigeria, this

would put more phones in the hands

of people, further stimulate the data

sector and extend more affordable

services even to areas where

telecommunications services are yet

to berth. Unfortunately, Nigeria

missed both cuts.

Expressing regrets, Mohammed

said: “We were not able to make it.

Good news have been

so much in deficit here

that you literally have to

scavenge for them; this is

why Okonji-Iweala brings

a nourishing breather

But with the approval of this memo

by today, we would be striving to

switch from analogue to digital. The

effect of the move today is that the

digital switchover is real and the

economic effect of it will be the

creation of hundreds of thousands

of jobs in content production, channel

distribution, Nollywood and

electronic appliance productions to

service about 20 million Nigerian

homes. At the end of the switchover,

we would have created the biggest

free-to-air TV platform in Africa. I

will be announcing a ministerial task

force that will execute the council

resolve, either this week or next.”

It doesn’t matter anymore that

Nigeria was failing in the process

very dismally. What for me is more

important is that government has

taken a major decision that will rev

up the digital switchover engine. And

this is much better than anything that

has come from Mohammed for

weeks.

Really it can be very exhausting to

watch a minister declare that this

government has done more to secure

the nation than any other

government. And following after that

are images of burnt houses, a

number of deaths and all kinds of

depressing things too benumbing for

the body to manage.

We seem to be insulated from the

chaos around us as we throw figures

about the place, forgetting always,

that truth is measured by the reality

on ground.

On the DSO, Mohammed scores

very high. And this is what

government is all about – to breathe

life into dying or dead processes and

give the ordinary folks something to

hope for.

The DSO is returning to life and

the world can begin to see us

differently again. Mind you, the

N9.4bn is little drop in a sea of needs,

like a measure of tea spoon from a

swimming pool. But, at least, a

journey has started with all fervency.

Acting Director General of the

Nigerian Broadcasting

Commission, NBC, the body

executing the DSO process for

Nigeria, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba,

also looked very relieved on Monday

as we x-rayed the DSO journey so

far. While trying to make a strong

impact at takeoff point, the

Commission took some decisions,

including going into agreement with

some service providers without

following due process. The

Commission suddenly found itself

with over N12bn debt overhang. The

process was trapped, with the various

stakeholders nearly submitting to a

stupefying helplessness. Thankfully,

the Bureau of Public Procurement,

BPP, made a redeeming intervention,

offering professional advice and

clearing the way forward.

“It is a relief for everybody. You

can’t drive a process with credibility

issues. The issue of support by

governments – Federal, States and

Local Councils – is key to the success

of the DSO project,” he told this

writer. Suddenly, Idachaba observed,

the intervention has infused

transparency and confidence into

the process, thus challenging all

parties involved in the project

delivery to expedite action by way of

responding to the good faith

demonstrated by government.

Expectedly, this FEC approval will

take care of legacy debts owed service

providers, including signal

distributors and set top box

manufacturers. Then the real game

for the survival of the DSO will

begin.

All pretenses will be thrown over

board and the various stakeholders

will have to re-strategize to deliver

the DSO as it was originally

conceived. After what seems to be a

bailout intervention, the DSO will

have to fend for itself and sort out its

complexities.


18 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021

ON February 1, 2021 the Minister

of Industry, Trade and Investment,

Niyi Adebayo, announced with

flourish the Federal Government’s

approval of the National Quality

Policy, NQP, which is primarily meant

to stop the rejection of Nigerian

exports to foreign countries.

Much as this measure is welcome in exports were rejected due to poor

that it will help in solving a major branding, labelling and packaging.

impediment to our efforts to diversify Nigeria accounts for over 60 per cent

our means of earning foreign of the world’s yam production but due

exchange from dependence on crude to lack of quality control issues, she

oil sales, it is seriously bemusing that is struggling to break the surface as a

a country that gained its independence major yam exporter.

over 60 years ago and once depended In April 2017, the immediate past

on produce exports for its survival is Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh,

only just now realising the need to had lamented: “Some consignments

create an NQP to promote its exports. of yams were exported from Nigeria

This simply underlines the decades to the United States and according to

of neglect of our non-oil export reports we have today, they were

sector. In September 2019, Williams found to be of poor quality”.

Eze, the Director of Business The Minister had vowed to

Development of the Nigerian investigate both the companies that

Investment Promotion Council, NIPC, exported the yams and the Agriculture

disclosed that 30 per cent of Nigerian Ministry’s Quarantine Department to

Who’ll implement the National Quality Policy?

find out “how such a consignment left

here”.

It is not as though no governmental

mechanism exists at all to ensure that

Nigerian exports undergo appropriate

quality control measures. Indeed, nine

Federal agencies and departments are

charged with this responsibility.

These are: the Nigerian Ports

Authority, NPA; Nigerian Customs

Service, NCS; Federal Airports

Authority of Nigeria, FAAN; the

National Agency for Food and Drug

Administration and Control,

NAFDAC; and the Standards

Organisation of Nigeria, SON.

Others are the Nigerian Export

Promotion Council, NPEC; Nigerian

Agricultural Quarantine Services,

NAQS; the Central Bank of Nigeria,

CBN; and the National Agricultural

Seed Council, NASC.

In Nigeria, the adage that “a goat

owned by many people dies of

hunger” is so true. Inter-agency

synergy is lacking. This much is

obvious even among our security

agencies.

The bureaucracy is full of indolent,

unpatriotic, corrupt and incompetent

workers, and the political leadership

is only interested in the power and

corrupt enrichment their offices

afford them. Few officials are

interested in the supervision and

follow-ups that produce effective

governance.

We suggest that for the NQP to

work, one agency should be handed

the core assignment with others

represented for their specialised

inputs.

The North and the rest of us (2)

This is the concluding part of

this piece. The first part which

was published yesterday

harped on the incompatible

association between the North

and the South.

By SAM AGBESUA

UNFORTUNATELY for

the innocent children of the

guard, the landlord came at the

time they were coming from

school. The Northern elite felt

disappointed seeing the children

coming in school uniform. He

queried the guard about what he

was seeing. The man explained

that it was the NYSC man who

enlightened them.

He then flared up with the young

man asking him whether that was

what he came to do in the North.

Thereafter, he arranged for the

transfer of the young man out of

the area.

One can reasonably guess that

that was the end of Western

education for those innocent

children whose crime was just the

accident of their place of birth.

How are we sure that those

children are not members of the

Boko Haram or the murderous

herdsmen or other bandits

tormenting innocent Nigerians

today. The above story clearly

reveals the marked difference

between the North and the rest of

us on what really constitute values

that are really having impacts on

the polity.

No wonder Sir Ahmadu Bello

unambiguously declared the

amalgamation of the North and

South as “the mistake of 1914.”

How long can we continue to

accommodate this mistake and the

retrogressive impacts of the North

on the rest of us? Under the present

situation, it is quite unreasonable

for the Northern hegemonists and

their selfish collaborator quislings

from the South to continue to shout

at the top of their voices that

Nigeria is an indivisible entity

without doing the needful first. This

is a great fallacy. Nigeria is

divisible. We should stop living in

self-delusion.

A Yoruba proverb says that in a

hunting expedition, instead of the

elephant to be the armour bearer

of the leopard, the expedition will

rather be conducted separately.

If every group goes its different

way and life becomes meaningful

for everyone, is it not desirable

than under an enforced association

where life is perpetually

meaningless to almost everyone?

The situation of the country is

moving to where the North and the

rest of us will be doing ourselves

favour to heed the counsel of Dr.

Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria’s First

Republic President. Zik pleaded in

a broadcast: “Whether our beloved

Nigeria will continue to remain

OPINION

united as one country or will

become disintegrated into minute

principalities depends now upon

two factors … I have only one

request to make … if this embryo

Republic must disintegrate, then in

the name of God, let the operation

be a short and painless one.”

Zik added: …Let it not be featured

by violence … should the

politicians fail to heed this

warning, then I will venture the

prediction that the experience of the

It is only the

restructuring of the

country that can save

the situation for

Nigeria as single

political entity

Democratic Republic of the Congo

will be a child’s play if it ever comes

to our turn to play such a tragic

role…”.

The bitter truth is that the

prevailing system cannot work. It

has never worked. It will never

work. It is only the restructuring of

the country that can save the

situation for Nigeria as single

political entity. This will foster a

symbiotic rather than the

prevailing parasitic relationship.

Each group in a genuine

federation will be allowed to

develop at its own pace, creating

room for healthy competition as

seen in the pre-independent era.

Then, under Chief Obafemi

Awolowo, the Western Region

became the cynosure of all eyes as

a result of spectacular social,

economic and political

developments that were glaring

even to the blind and audible to

the deaf.

Other regions tried as much as

possible to rise to the challenges

of the breakthroughs in the West.

Sir Ahmadu Bello in the North

and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in the

East also did things that were of

great landmarks and of immense

benefits to their people.

Unfortunately the negative effects

of the Northern domination on the

rest of us had virtually wiped off

the gains of that era.

The Northern elite of today are

not ready to face challenges of

generating the resources they need.

They are only interested in the

feeding bottle federalism in which

the needed resources, generated

mainly from the South are under

their control and doled out to them

periodically without making any

serious effort to work for what they

need.

It is purely a parasitic

relationship. Ahmadu Bello did not

rely on allocation from the centre

to develop the North. He worked

assiduously for what he needed.

In fact, under the present Buhari

government, it appears the

detestable Ironsi’s Decree 34 of

May 24, 1966 is just being

Send Opinions & Letters to:

opinions1234@yahoo.com

implemented. Ironsi and his

cohorts failed to consider the

peculiarity of Nigeria as a multiethnic

and multi-religious nation

before coming up with the ill-fated

decree. Compare the language and

expectations of that decree with

what is on ground under the present

regime, you find the spirit of the

decree dangerously hovering over

the nation. The North can recall

the major role it played in the

conflagrations the ill-fated decree

inevitably attracted which did not

spare Ironsi and almost consumed

the whole nation.

If the decree, even before

implementation by Ironsi,

generated such conflagrations,

anyone who thinks it would work

now is living in a fool’s paradise.

The North should not be deluded

into thinking that there is

immunity for it against the

avoidable conflagrations this time

around.

Because the Northern elite are

already complacent with the

periodic allocation from the

centre, they are ready to even

threaten war to prevent the

restructuring of the country that

will force them to work for what

they need. The only alternative to

the restructuring of the country is

for each group to go its separate

ways peacefully just as Zik

admonished.

•Agbesua, former managing

director of Tribune, wrote from

Ibadan.


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021 — 19

Axxela gets high

ratings for strategic

initiatives, revenue

diversification

By Peter Egwuatu

Food inflation rises 20.6% as price increases

persist *Headline inflation hits 16.5% in January

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

ECONOMY

INCREASES in the prices of ba

sic food items continued for the

17th consecutive month, prompting

the Food inflation to hit 20.57 per

cent in January, the highest since

September 2019.

Consequently, the nation’s annual

inflation rate also rose for the 17th

consecutive months to 16.47 percent

in January representing 0.71 percentage

point increase from 15.8

percent in December 2020.

the National Bureau of Statistics,

NBS disclosed this in its Consumer

Price Index (CPI) Report for January

2021 released yesterday noting

that the rise in the food inflation

was caused by increases in prices

of bread and cereals, potatoes, yam

and other tubers, meat, fruits, vegetables,

fish and oils and fats.

This upward trend in food prices,

according to analysts, will persist

due to the insecurity in the country

and the approaching planting season.

The NBS stated: “The consumer

price index, (CPI) which measures

inflation increased by 16.47 percent

(year-on-year) in January 2021. This

is 0.71 percent points higher than

the rate recorded in December 2020

(15.75 percent). Increases were recorded

in all COICOP divisions that

yielded the Headline index.

“On a month-on-month basis, the

Headline index increased by 1.49

percent in January 2021. This is

0.12

percentage points lower than the

rate recorded in December 2020

(1.61 percent).”

On the food inflation, the NBS

stated: “The composite food index

rose by 20.57 percent in January

2021 compared to 19.56 percent in

December 2020.

“This rise in the food index was

caused by increases in prices of

Bread and cereals, Potatoes, Yam

and other

tubers, Meat, Fruits, Vegetable,

CURRENCY BUYING SELLING

US DOLLAR

POUNDS

EURO

FRANC

YEN

CFA

WAUA

RENMINBI

RIYAL

RAND

126.00 +2.95

2,428.00 -5.00

15.90 +0.26

63.15 -0.15

59.87 +0.40

379 379.5 380

527.7954 528.4917 529.188

461.1293 461.7377 462.346

426.8018 427.3649 427.9279

3.5958 3.6006 3.6053

0.6805 0.6905 0.7005

545.3257 546.0452 546.7646

58.6479 58.7257 58.8035

101.0424 101.1757 101.309

26.2077 26.2423 26.2768

CBN Exchange rate as at 16/02/2021

PRESENTATION — From left: South West Zonal Liaison officer, Nigerian Association of Road Transport

Owners, Mr. Seyi Adejuyigbe, Managing Director, MASTERMINDER Oil & Gas Limited, Mr. Ademola

Ademoroti, Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Lanre Mojola, and Director of Operations,

MASTERMINDER, Mr. Kamal Lawal, at the presentation of Personal Protective Equipment to the

DG in Lagos, recently.

Fish and Oils and Fats.

“On a month-on-month basis, the

food sub-index increased by 1.83

percent in January 2021, down by

0.22 percent points from 2.05 percent

recorded in December 2020. “

Commenting on the development,

MONEY MARKET

Analysts at Financial Derivative

Company (FDC) said: “The rate of

inflation is expected to slow as interest

rates rise and consumption declines.

However, inflation-stoking

factors persist. Petrol prices are likely

to increase further towards N200/litre

on higher oil prices.

“In addition, as we gradually enter

the planting season, this coupled

with rising insecurity across the country,

will lead to supply shortages and

keep food prices elevated.”

N69.4bn debt: Court reinstates AMCON’s order

to seize Jimoh Ibrahim’s assets

By Babajide Komolafe

AFederal High Court Lagos

Division has declined to vacate

an interim order through

which the Asset Management Corporation

of Nigeria (AMCON)

seized the properties of barrister

and businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim

over an alleged N69.4 billion debt.

A statement from AMCON disclosing

the development said:

“Disclosing this in a statement,

Recall that following the order of

Honourable Justice R.M. Aikawa

also of the Federal High

Court, Lagos, AMCON

effectively took possession

of twelve prime assets

belonging to Barrister

Jimoh Ibrahim, who is

also the Chief promoter of

Global Fleet Oil & Gas

Limited and NICON Investment

Limited in

Lagos and Abuja over the

staggering indebtedness.

“The embattled businessman

who himself is a

lawyer, and who decided

to attend the court session

fully robed as a lawyer on

Tuesday February 16,

2021 sat there helpless,

listening to superior argument,

which made his

plea fall flat on the

ground. He, as well as

NICON Investment Limited

and Global Fleet Oil

and Gas Limited, which

he owns had asked the

court to set aside the order

for “non-disclosure

and misrepresentation of

material facts.”

“Ibrahim and Co. also asked the

court to order AMCON to pay N50

billion indemnity for alleged failure

to conduct due diligence before

obtaining the said order and

for misrepresentation and concealment

of fact, which the court

also brushed aside.

“Justice Rilwan Aikawa, in the

ruling, upheld the arguments of

AMCON’s lawyer, Mr Kemi

Pinheiro (SAN) that AMCON

made “full and substantial disclosure

of all material facts” at the

time of obtaining the orders on

November 4, 2020. The presiding

Judge therefore ruled that the order

subsists.”

Following the November 4 order,

AMCON had announced on

November 18 through a statement

signed by its head of Corporate

Communications Department, Mr

Jude Nwauzor that AMCON had

effectively took possession of over

12 properties belonging to the businessman

and his firms. The properties

included the NICON Investment

Limited building on Plot 242,

Muhammadu Buhari Way, Central

Business District, Abuja;

NICON Hotels Limited building

located at Plot 557, Port-Harcourt

Crescent, off Gimbiya Street,

Abuja and the building of NICON

Lekki Limited also at No. 5, Customs

Street, Lagos.

The statement added then that

in addition to the takeover of the

listed properties, the Court also

ordered the freezing of all accounts

belonging to Barrister

Jimoh Ibrahim and his companies

including Global Fleet Oil & Gas

Limited and NICON Investment

Limited all of whom are defendants

in the Suit No. FHL/L/CL/

776/2016.

ENERGY

GLOBAL Credit Ratings, GCR

has accorded higher ratings to

Axxela Limited, a company with duallisting

of debt securities on the Nigerian

Stock Exchange (NSE) and the

FMDQ markets has been accorded

higher ratings by

According to the GCR report

Axxela was accorded national scale

issuer ratings of BBB+(NG) and

A2(NG) in the long term and short

term by Global Credit Ratings, GCR.

The ratings are valid until September

2021 and were ascribed due to

Axxela’s strategic initiatives, continued

diversification of revenue sources, and

robust business continuity plans.

GCR stated that, “Axxela’s ratings

reflect its leading position within the

Nigerian natural gas distribution

market, supported by long term distribution

franchises in Lagos and Port

Harcourt. Other key strengths which

have underpinned the stability of earnings

and cash flows include long term

agreements with suppliers and customers,

as well as a shipper license on

the West African Gas Pipeline which

enables Axxela supply gas to other West

African countries. Axxela evidenced

resilient performance in third quarter,

Q3, and full year, FY20, despite the

COVID-19 disruptions, and reported

strong revenue growth over the review

period underpinned by a larger client

base, rising volumes, and firmer selling

prices.”

Agusto & Co. also recently re validated

Axxela’s corporate credit rating

as “Bbb+” with a stable outlook until

June 30, 2021.

Commenting on the rating renewal,

Bolaji Osunsanya, Axxela’s Chief Executive

Officer, said: “Given the global

headwinds faced by many sectors

due to the pandemic, the company’s

rating profile reaffirms our healthy financial

status, competitive position,

and the application of Environmental,

Social, and Governance (ESG)

standards across our sustainable business

model. As an industry leader,

Axxela will continue to spur wider

industrialisation to develop communities

and maximise shareholder

value.”

Nigeria’s crude oil production to rise by

32,000bpd Q4’21 ENERGY

By Prince Okafor

NIGERIA’s crude oil produc

tion capacity is set to rise by

32,000 barrels per day, bpd following

the commencement of Total Exploration

and Production Company,

Total E&P’s $500 million Ikike

oil field in the fourth quarter of

2021.

Estimated to hold 70 million barrels

of crude oil, the field is located

in the Oil

Mining

Lease

(OML) 99,

approximately

20km offshore

Nigeria.

It is

owned by

a joint

venture

(JV) comprising

Total

E&P

Nigeria

(40 percent,

operator)

and Nigeria

National

Petroleum

Corporation (NNPC, 60 percent).

Speaking during a courtesy visit to

the Nigerian Content Development

and Monitoring Board, NCDMB in

Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, the Managing

Director of Total E&P, Mr.

Mike Sangster noted that the company

had operated in Nigeria for

60 years and is the only IOC that

operates in the upstream, midstream

and downstream sectors of

the Nigerian oil and gas industry.


20 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021

cent of total trade in Asia and

72 per cent in Europe and

about 50 per cent in North

America in 2019.

AfCFTA is meant to lower or

eliminate cross-border tariffs on

the majority of goods, facilitate

the movement of capital and

people, promote investment

and pave the way for a

continent-wide Customs

union. Participating countries

can withdraw from the

agreement after five years.

Timeline

The idea of a single African

market was first mooted in 1963

by then Nigeria’s Prime

Minister, Abubakar Tafawa

Balewa. In pursuant of this, in

1980, the Lagos Plan of Action

was adopted by leaders of

African countries.

Further in 1991, African

Heads of State signed the

Abuja Treaty leading to the

formation of the Africa

Economic Community, and in

2018 in Rwanda, they signed

the treaty for the establishment

of AfCFTA.

African context

The AfCFTA will cover a

market of 1.2 billion Africans

with a combined Gross

Domestic Product, GDP, of $2.5

trillion. It would increase intra-

African trade by up to 52.3 per

cent; and enable all AU

countries to share in the welfare

gain, which is estimated at 2.64

per cent of continental GDP -

roughly $65 billion in 2018

terms.

It is also expected to double

the continent’s share of world

trade from three per cent to six

per cent over the next 10 years.

AfCFTA will boost wages for

unskilled workers in the

agricultural and nonagricultural

sectors, as well as

for skilled workers, with a small

shift in employment expected

from agricultural to nonagricultural

sectors. It would

also be accompanied by

additional dynamic benefits,

notably, export diversification,

durable sustained growth, an

enlarged regional market that

better attracts FDI, with wider

economic space for

industrialisation and catalytic

effects for structural

transformation.

The pact will expand the size

By Yinka Kolawole

THE African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA, is

a continent-wide trade pact aimed at tearing down barriers

to commerce among African countries. It is focused on trade

liberalisation across the continent and provides for progressive

elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers and development and

promotion of regional and continental value chains.

The agreement which came into effect on the 1st of January,

2021, is expected to encourage trade activities by removing tariffs

of over 90% of goods traded between member countries.

AfCFTA is expected to drive the integration of African countries

into the global economy and enhance their bargaining power in

international trade negotiations.

When fully operational, it will constitute the largest trading

bloc since the World Trade Organisation, WTO was formed in

1994.

54 nations of the African Union have signed to join the bloc

with only Eritrea yet to join, 36 have ratified the accord and 34

have deposited their instruments of ratification, while 41 countries/

Customs unions have submitted their tariff offers, including the

East African Community, EAC and the Economic Community of

West African States, ECOWAS.

Background

According to the African Development Bank, AfDB, intra-African

exports amounted to only about 16 per cent of total trade on the

continent. By contrast, internal shipments accounted for 52 per

of Africa’s economy to $29

trillion by 2050, as estimated by

the United Nations’ Economic

Commission for Africa, ECA.

The general view is that no

African country is fully ready

for trade liberalisation. Most

plan to use the AfCFTA as a

driving force to enhance their

global trade competitiveness.

Nigerian context

Nigeria is among the

countries that are seemingly

competitive within the African

context but require additional

work to optimize the benefits of

AfCFTA. Others are South

Africa, Morocco, Kenya, Egypt

and Botswana.

All other countries require

material work to be competitive

within the AfCFTA context,

according to Yewande Sadiku,

Executive Secretary, Nigerian

Investment Promotion

Commission, NIPC.

The African giant has a land

size of 983,213 sq km out of the

continent’s land size of

30,365,000 sq km, with a

population of 201 million,

accounting for 15 per cent of

the total African population of

1.3 billion people.

Nigeria also has a productive

population, 20 – 59 years old,

of 85 million which is 15 per

cent of the continent’s total

viable population of 588

million, with a labour force of 61

million - 12 per cent of Africa’s

500 million labour force.

And of course, Nigeria boasts

of the continent’s largest

economy with GDP of $477

billion, accounting for 19 per

cent of Africa’s $2.5 trillion

GDP.

But a report by the African

Export-Import Bank,

•Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry,

Trade & Investment

AfCFTA: Mapping

Nigeria’s foray into

Africa’s single market

Afreximbank, noted that out of

Africa’s total merchandise trade

of about $1 trillion in 2019,

Nigeria accounted for only 6.4

per cent of the intra-continental

trade, the third largest in the

continent.

South Africa with the largest

share accounted for more than

a fifth of intra-African trade at

21.5 per cent. Other countries

in the top ten include: DR

Congo 8.2%; Algeria 5.2%;

Namibia 4.9%; Botswana 4.0%;

Egypt 3.8%; Zimbabwe 3.7%;

Ivory Coast 3.4% and; Angola

2.5%.

Potential opportunities

Trade experts believe that

The negotiations

are pretty

complex

because the

countries that

are negotiating

would lose tariff

revenues.

Reducing the

tariffs means

the import

duties are lower

so they would be

gathering less

revenue than

before

•Yewande Sadiku, NIPC CEO

AfCFTA will enhance Nigeria’s

potential for business growth.

Already, many Nigerian

companies, particularly in the

service sector, have long

developed the capacity to serve

the rest of Africa. The large

domestic market makes Nigeria

the ideal gateway economy.

There will be an expanded

market for Nigerian goods and

services, creating jobs and

economic growth. It will also

provide opportunity for many

informal enterprises to

formalise operations.

Nigeria’s key competitive

advantages are its strategic

location; strategic time zone

(GMT +1); favourable weather;

large growing population -

expected to be world’s 3rd

largest by 2050; growing

middle class population;

young, energetic, tech-savvy

entrepreneurial population;

optimistic mobile population

with resilient, hard-working

“can do” spirit.

Other advantages are a large

population of consumers; huge

unfilled demand; abundant

natural resources; abundant

economic opportunities;

sophisticated financial markets

and; two decades of political

stability, amongst many others.

The country also boasts of key

comparative advantages such

as four international airports

and major seaports in Lagos,

Calabar and Bonny Island;

3,798 km of railway tracks and

168,000 km of road network

and; land borders with Benin,

Cameroon, Chad and Niger

and a natural hub for the

continent.

On the potential benefits of

the Agreement for the country,

Secretary, National Action

Committee on AfCFTA, Francis

Anatogu, said from the trade

pact, Nigeria aims to double its

export trade to $50 billion

within the decade.

According to Yewande

Sadiku, Executive Secretary/

Chief Executive Officer,

Nigerian Investment Promotion

Commission, AfCFTA is

expected to expand market

access for Nigeria’s exporters of

goods and services, spur growth

and boost job creation;

eliminate barriers against

Nigeria’s products; stimulate

increase in Nigeria’s total

exports, with a small structural

shift in Nigeria’s economy

towards manufacturing and

services.

She added that this will lead

to a total increase in Nigerian

economic welfare by 0.62 per

cent - equivalent to around

$2.9 billion in 2018 terms.

Changes would result from

tariff reduction, ease of doing

business, and trade facilitation.

MSMEs

AfCFTA will provide an

expanded market for Nigerian

products and services; ensure

remedy actions against

injurious practices by foreign

companies and countries;

contribute to the formalisation

of operations in the informal

sector; enhance the potential

for Nigeria’s business growth

and create opportunity for

those in the services sector to

serve the rest of Africa.

It will also provide a platform

for Small and Medium

Enterprises, SMEs integration

into the regional economy and

accelerate women’s

empowerment; provide an

expanded platform for

Nigerian manufacturers and

service providers for

connection to regional and

continental value chains.

Potential threats

But if not properly managed,

Nigeria, under the trade pact,

can become a target economy.

There are challenges with

power supply, route to market

infrastructure (road, rail, ports),

and security, that hinder

competitiveness of Nigerian

goods and services. Also,

urgent reforms are needed to


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021 — 21

•Engr. Mansur Ahmed, MAN President

improve the country’s ease of

doing business and

competitiveness

Revenue loss

Trudi Hartzenberg, Executive

Director of South Africa-based

Trade Law Centre (Tralac) said:

“The negotiations are pretty

complex because the countries

that are negotiating would lose

tariff revenues. Reducing the

tariffs means the import duties

are lower so they would be

gathering less revenue than

before.

“For some countries, the tariff

revenues they get from trade

taxes amounts to 25 per cent

or more of their total fiscal tax

revenues. The easiest taxes to

collect are import duties.”

Put in perspectives, the

projected non-oil revenue in

Nigeria’s budget for 2021 is

N1.49 trillion, out of which

N508.3 billion (34 per cent) is

expected from Customs duty,

signifying the potential

revenue loss for the country.

In a statement, Chairman,

Nigerian Economic Summit

Group, NESG, Asue Ighodalo

•Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO DGdesignate

noted: “Despite the

considerable benefits the

agreement would offer to

Nigeria, it would affect tax

revenue as the country would

no longer collect import duties

from member-states.”

Government efforts

The full implementation of

AfCFTA should drive

investment interest in African

countries that are the most

suitable locations for

production and investment

To this end, the NIPC boss

noted that the government’s

efforts are focused on ensuring

Nigeria’s attractiveness as a

destination. CAMA 2020 and

Finance Act 2019 and 2020

have improvements aimed at

helping small businesses to

survive.

She also said the government

has increased its engagements

with the organised private

sector - Chambers of

Commerce, sector associations,

industry groups, etc.

This was corroborated by the

Secretary, National Action

Committee on AfCFTA. He

stated: “We are effectively

coordinating with all critical

stakeholders to ensure a

smooth playing field for

Nigerian traders and

businessmen to explore the vast

market.”

Operators’ reactions

Private sector operators have

expressed cautious optimism in

their expectations from the

trade agreement.

President, Manufacturers

Association of Nigeria, MAN,

Engr. Mansur Ahmed stated: “A

possible challenge that stares us

in the face is the issue of

dumping. The dumping issue

frankly is a matter of political

will. Do our governments and

political leaders have the

Some Nigerian

manufacturers

are quite ready

to compete in

the continental

market

especially in

cosmetics, food,

beverages and

tobacco, cement

and plastics but

others will face

stiff

competition

and will

struggle

political will to agree on those

things that we have to do? For

instance, to ensure that we do

not allow dumping to take

place, there is a need to ensure

that all countries operate based

on the rule of origin that has

been agreed. But the difference

is that while some countries will

ensure that these regulations

are complied with, others

unfortunately will not do so.

This calls for an effective

monitoring mechanism to be

put in place to ensure that all

countries do the right thing.

“Some

Nigerian

manufacturers are quite ready

to compete in the continental

market especially in cosmetics,

food, beverages and tobacco,

cement and plastics but others

will face stiff competition and

will struggle.

“Government must be more

serious about its effort to reduce

the cost of production and

improve the business

environment. Our trade

related regulatory agencies

must also change their attitude

from that of gatekeepers and

revenue collectors to trade

facilitators.

“If we introduce and sustain

the right policies that should

promote investment, reduce

cost and improve productivity,

Nigeria’s manufacturing sector

has advantages to leverage on

and should benefit greatly from

AfCFTA, provided the various

protocols being negotiated are

complied with by all membernations.”

On his part, Director-

General, Lagos Chamber of

commerce and Industry, LCCI,

Dr Muda Yusuf, said the trade

deal will produce winners and

losers.

“AfCFTA will produce

winners and losers across

sectors. The vulnerability risks

vary from sector to sector. It

calls for a review of business

models of many firms and

industries in the light of new

competition forces that will

emerge.

“It presents a significant

competitiveness risk, especially

for the real sector of the

Nigerian economy. Production

costs are high, there are issues

with costs of logistics, the ports

processes and infrastructure,

multiplicity of taxes, forex

liquidity among others. The

benefits and costs of the trade

treaty will vary from country to

country depending on their

economic competitiveness.

“To benefit optimally from

this, we need to strengthen the

competitiveness of our

domestic firms, especially those

in the real sector. We need to

liberate them from the shackles

of constraints putting pressure

on their costs and inhibiting

their competitiveness.

“The quality of our

infrastructure needs to improve,

our policies need to facilitate

competitiveness, our

regulations need to support

business growth and our

institutions need to

demonstrate better

appreciation of the value of

investment and investors in an

economy.”

“The government needs to

urgently implement the

recommendations of its AfCFTA

Readiness Committee. If our

industries

remain

uncompetitive, then we would

have issues with the continental

treaty. However, this is not to

diminish the significance of

AfCFTA and its potential

benefits to the Nigerian

economy. ”

In the same vein, Director-

General, Nigerian Association

of Chambers of Commerce,

Industry, Mines and

Agriculture, NACCIMA, Amb.

Ayoola Olukanni, said that

access to foreign exchange

(forex), irregular electricity

supply and poor infrastructure

such as power, roads, rail and

efficient functioning of the ports

are issues affecting the

readiness of Nigeria for

AfCFTA.

“We must reposition the

Nigerian economy especially

the manufacturing sector by

improving infrastructure such

as power, roads, rail and ensure

efficient functioning of our

ports. This is to enable us to

compete effectively and

successfully under AfCFTA.”


22 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021

Visa partners GIGL on special e-commerce tariff for SMEs

By Juliet Umeh

DIGITAL

payments

company, Visa has entered

into partnership with Logistics

Company, GIGL, to introduce a

special e-Commerce Tariff for

small businesses in Nigeria.

The collaboration will allow

merchants who have signed up on

Visa Small Business Hub access

a discounted tariff plan for their

logistics needs with the logistics

provider.

Also,interested SMEs will be

redirected to the GIGL Merchant

Portal Page when they visit the

Small Business Hub on the Visa

Nigeria website.

The partnership deal helps

business owners access up to 25

percent discounts on all GIGL

tariffs when they fund their wallets

with a Visa business or corporate

card via the GIGG App or the

GIGL website.

Vice-President Visa West Africa,

Kemi Okusanya said: “Visa has

continuously shown its support in

the recovery of African

economies, through strategic

partnerships to help reposition

small businesses for improved

growth and recovery.

“Our partnership with GIGL

seeks to further provide a platform

for business owners to enjoy

discounted offers to better serve the

everyday consumer,” Okusanya

said.

Merchant Support and Growth

Manager, GIG Logistics, Mosun

Suleiman, also said GIGL has

continued to validate unflinching

support for digital commerce

merchants and SMEs by solving

the most critical factor with online

and offline sales, which is

delivered to the end-user.

He said: “Powering

decentralised commerce and

providing adequate support for

SMEs through initiatives and

strategic partnerships are

integral parts of our business

culture. We are committed to

building practical solutions that

simplify logistics by providing

timely, cost-efficient, and

effective deliveries while

returning best value to all

stakeholders,” she added.

Africa leads global mobile money

growth with 46 percent

By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech

Editor & Juliet Umeh

THERE are about one billion

mobile money accounts

globally, according to latest report

by cybersecurity giants,

Kerspersky. These accounts, the

report revealed, process more

than $1.9 billion daily.

However, the most interesting

aspect of this positive

development is that Africa leads

the pack with about 46 per cent of

the accounts, meaning that a

greater chunk of the $1.9 billion

is processed in Africa. The

continent is also expected to

increase the 481 million accounts

it currently has, to exceed half a

billion accounts before the end of

first quarter 2021.

With such a strong growth, the

region has no doubt become the

epicentre of the global market;

but the report also considers it

most vulnerable and at the

highest risk of cyber attacks.

The report, however, advised

consumers to keep mobile wallet

safe as cybercriminals are

constantly coming up with

innovative tactics to compromise

people’s wallets whether

traditional bank accounts or

mobile wallets.

Africa’s strength

Kaspersky said by the end of

2019, Africa had 481 million

registered mobile money

accounts, making up 46 per cent

of global accounts.

Also, with the COVID-19

pandemic resulting in lockdown

conditions in many countries,

more people, particularly in Africa

turned to mobile wallets instead

of cash, as a safer option.

The company noted that

although cash has long been

considered “king” in Africa,

mobile money and e-wallets have

also been growing exponentially

over the past decade, following the

number of international and

African players who enter and

expand into new markets across

the continent.

The report says they provide a

more user-friendly alternative to

processing micro-payments even

as they reduce the number of cash

people need to carry with them.

Enterprise Sales Manager at

Kaspersky in Africa, Bethwel Opil

said: “While there is ample

benefit to be gained from mobile

money, spam, phishing, social

engineering, and fraud all form

part of the cyberattack landscape

when it comes to this innovation.

Threat actors are constantly

coming up with more innovative

tactics to compromise people’s

•As Kaspersky hints on cybersecurity threats

•Warns African users to keep mobile wallet safe

wallets whether these pertain to

traditional bank accounts or

mobile wallets.

“It is, therefore, imperative that

consumers remain vigilant and

apply commonsense to their

transactions and engagements

with mobile money services,” he

added.

“Considering the significant

growth and potential for mobile

money and e-wallets, these

payment platforms must

maintain a high level of security

and keep improving on it.

Education is, therefore, the most

critical component of mitigating

the risk of social engineering

compromises from people

opening malicious links, sharing

sensitive information, or falling

prey to fraudulent schemes,” Opil

explained.

Tips to keep mobile wallet safe

Meanwhile, some of the tips the

report provided on how to keep the mobile

wallets safe, include:

* One of the best ways to avoid having a

device being compromised is to avoid

clicking on malicious emails, attachments,

or other messages. Users must lookout for

red flags in communication from those

purporting to be from service providers.

* Never trust messages unconditionally.

Always check potential issues through one’s

personal account on the Website or in the

mobile money app. This is especially

important when confirming the crediting

of funds.

* A user must also never use an unfamiliar

delivery service especially when it comes

to online purchases. Users must be careful

of using alternative money transfer methods

to the ones they are comfortable with. These

are typically not covered by the protection

programs of mobile money or money

transfer applications.

* It goes without saying that users must

never give out personal information beyond

what is necessary for the transaction. This

includes usernames and passwords.

NetPlusDotCom disrupts Fintech sector with Android-based

POS terminals

By Prince Osuagwu

TECHNOLOGY and digital

payment company, NetPlus-

DotCom, recently disrupted the payment

landscape, launching an Android-based

Point-of-Sale POS terminal.

The device, NetPOS, which enables

seamless transactions, aids

quick sales and issuing of receipts.

According to the company, the

device which is certified by the Nigeria

Interbank Settlement Systems,

NIBSS, can process multiple

types of payment. It comes in two

variants - the NetPOS Mini and

NetPOS Pro devices.

Both devices are preinstalled with

unique Payment Applications, and

the NetPlus Merchant Super App,

STORM.

STORM, itself, also has utilities

and features that enable transactions

to be conducted seamlessly.

Founder of the company, Wole

Faroun, said: “With the launch of

our NetPOS devices in the market,

our plan is to deliver an all-in-one

solution that serves as a smartphone

and a POS terminal, thereby

giving business owners the luxury

of achieving more with even

fewer amount of devices.

“These are the first locally-branded

POS terminals and they offer

Digital Space’s Abitoye floats

foundation to help poor Nigerians

By Juliet Umeh

IGITAL Space founder, Olubukola Abitoye, has

Dlaunched a foundation aimed at offering succour to

the less privileged Nigerians against the economic hardship

orchestrated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Digital Space Capital Limited offers a wide range of

financial services with seamless solutions in asset

management, corporate finance, and business advisory, onlending,

forex services, brokerage and dealings,

crowdfunding and aggregation.

Abitoye said that having experienced poverty as a child,

the foundation, Florence Modupe Foundation, was floated

in honour of her mother who single-handedly raised her from

the tender age of five, after the demise of her father.

The foundation was also unveiled on her 40th birthday,

alongside the launching of her book; Guiding Grace.

She said: “I am honoured to meet with so many women

and men today who are deeply passionate about development

and sustainable growth. Your energy

and dedication are truly inspiring. I

want to say that this enthusiastic

engagement of civil society sets the

tone for our journey that starts today. I

have chosen today to kick off something

that I am most passionate about and if

you are here in this room, it is because

you share that passion too.

“What we are setting out to achieve

from this day is no mean feat, but with

a vision like ours; dreams will come true

and success stories will be told at the

•Abitoye

end of this race,” she added.

MDXi commits to energy efficiency,

environmental sustainability

By Prince Osuagwu

CHIEF Operating Officer of career-neutral data centre,

MDXi, Mr. Gbenga Adegbiji, has said that: “In January

2021, MDXi recorded 100 per cent availability of supply

from the national grid through the Eko Electric Distribution

Company, EKEDC. He said the availability record meant the

company did not have to run any of its four heavy duty

generating sets, thereby saving a huge amount of carbon

emissions, and contributing its own quota to the environment.

“The availability means stability of all facility equipment

and more peace of mind for our customers aside from the

added benefit of reducing carbon footprint,” he added.

He also explained: “The company has started to reap the

full benefits of its green power initiatives embarked upon

some years ago with an investment of close to $1m in direct

connection of its Lekki Data Center to the national grid in

additional branding for partners

including banks, fintechs, and other

financial institutions,” he added.

NetPOS Pro has a design infused

with top-notch Android features that

makes selling easy and seamless.

The device comes with built-in

GPS for tracking, a 2-inch Thermal

Printer that is quick and efficient

and has up to 16GB of storage

space.

NetPOS Mini is an Androidbased

smart mobile phone and a

POS terminal that will help manage

businesses.

It comes with the Android 10 OS

and other latest technologies that

make accepting payments much

faster.

order to enjoy 100 per cent power

availability from the grid. “

Since it launched in 2015,

MDXi has operated carrierneutral

facilities and harnessed

MainOne’s network footprint not

only to interconnect all major

network and content providers in

the West African sub-region, but

also to enable ISPs and virtual

network operators connect the

Data Centers to provide services

to hosted customers.

The organisation has a focus on

deliberate action and a

commitment to doing what is right

even though it comes at a high

cost. Obtaining 100 per cent of its

power supply from the National

Grid,implies that the company

can reduce its dependence on

fossil fuels.


C

M

Y

K

Open grazing: Challenges (1)

IN recent times, one of the most

deep-seated security

challenges plaguing Nigeria is the

menace of some murderous

herdsmen who pillage, plunder

and terrorise local farmers,

vandalising their farmlands,

desecrating their sources of

livelihood and killing those who

dared to challenge their nefarious

activities. Beyond the economic

ramifications of the activities of

these herdsmen, which will no

doubt lead to famine, food

insecurity and unemployment if left

unchecked, there is an immediate

security challenge which calls for

an urgent attention.

It is common knowledge that

Nigeria is bedevilled by a myriad

of security challenges particularly

stemming from armed conflicts

relating to inter-community

conflicts, herders-farmers conflicts,

Boko Haram, clashes between

socio-cultural and religious

groups, among others. However,

the most ubiquitous security

challenge facing Nigeria is the

menace of Fulani herdsmen whose

nomadic nature and

transhumance tradition

transcends the borders of Nigeria’s

geopolitical delineations, often

pitting them against sedentary

farmers and proprietors of

largescale, mechanised farming.

In recent history, herdsmen have

been accused of various forms of

attacks, especially ransom

kidnappings and militia

expeditions against farming

communities considered

antagonistic to their herding and

pasturing activities. The

nonchalance of the Nigerian

government despite the

international classification of these

herders as terrorists seems to have

emboldened these herders who now

wield automatic rifles and assorted

ammunition during their nefarious

escapades.

Ceaseless reports of herdsmen

attacks

The media is constantly awash

with reports of ceaseless,

unprovoked and unrepressed

attacks on individual farmers and

farming communities which then

makes one conclude that the

Nigerian government has failed in

its primary responsibility of the

protection of lives and properties;

and to question the effectiveness or

even the enthusiasm of the

Nigerian security apparatus in

curbing the spate of these wicked,

sadistic, borderline psychopathic

attacks. Late last year, the British

Broadcasting Corporation made

the following headline: "Dozens of

Farm Workers Killed in ‘Insane’

Nigeria Attack". It reported that

more than 43 agricultural

labourers working in rice fields

were slaughtered in Borno State;

while six were reported to be

seriously wounded and 15 women

kidnapped. The CNN however

stated that the number was 110. In

a recent newspaper report titled:

"Ibadan Farmer Dies After Fulani

Herdsmen Allegedly Set His

Cashew Farm Ablaze", the media

reported that without any

provocation, the herdsmen set a

farmer’s cocoa and cashew farms

ablaze and in an attempt to put out

the fire, the farmer’s body caught

fire and was burnt alive! In another

news, Chief Olu Falae, an Afenifere

chieftain, granted a media

interview which was titled: "How

Fulani Herdsmen Killed My Farm

Guard, Took Away His Heart,

Rifle". He narrated the incidence

of his own kidnap and the attack

of his farm guard. He further

added that a number of other

herdsmen vandalised farms not

because of grazing their cows but

because of malice and deliberate

sabotage. Another report reads

thus: "Again, Fulani Herdsmen

Strike in Ondo, Kill Cousin of

Akeredolu’s Media Aide In Ondo".

As you would have guessed by now,

the deceased is equally a farmer.

In fact, the details of his murder is

so gory as the herdsmen

overpowered him and twisted his

neck backward in order to

asphyxiate him. Yet again, in

another news report titled:

"Suspected Kidnappers Kill OPC

member, Abduct Farmer in Ondo",

it was reported that a member of

The nonchalance of the

Nigerian government

seems to have

emboldened these

herders who now wield

automatic rifles during

their nefarious

escapades

OPC was killed by herdsmen when

he joined a search party to rescue

a farmer who had been kidnapped.

In fact, the report of these incessant

killings is overwhelming and

hardly does anyday go by without

any such incidence. Equally tragic

was the murder of Dr Fatai

Aborode in Igangan, Oyo State.

The deceased, a candidate at the

2015 elections into the House of

Representatives, was a PHD holder

and farmer who was reported to

have made it a cardinal point of

his operations to cultivate

friendship with the Fulani in the

area. Many of them were employed

on his farm and he in addition gave

regular gifts, including maize for

the feeding of their cattle. Despite

it all, he was killed in a gruesome

manner as reported by his

manager thus:

We were on the way from farm

when, on getting to the point of the

incident, we were forced to stop. Two

gunmen came out from the bush and

forced us to stop. Two others blocked

us at the back to ensure that we did

not escape. Behind us was another

motorcyclist with his wife on board.

They were also stopped and we were

ordered to come down from the

motorbikes. They didn’t manhandle

the rest of us apart from my boss. At

first, we thought that they were

kidnappers so he asked if they

wanted money. They told him that

they didn’t need his money.

Meanwhile they took me about

500 metres away from where my

boss was taken. The other man and

his wife were in between where I

was and where my boss was held

down. One of them kept watch on

me while they were dealing with

my boss. As he was being macheted,

I heard the voice of the other man

who was on the bike with his wife

pleading that they should not kill

my boss but they turned deaf hears.

At a point, the man who held me

down left me to meet the others; so

I had the opportunity to bolt away.

Government’s response

Sometimes ago, the Federal

Government set up a committee

comprised of the Vice President

and some state governors with a

view to bringing about an

immediate cessation to the attacks

by herdsmen. Also, government

announced an additional measure

which it believes will help in

reducing friction between

herdsmen and farmers; the

establishment of cattle colonies

across the states of the Federation.

Announcing this decision, the

former Minister of Agriculture,

Audu Ogbeh, was reported to have

stated as follows:

One of the most topical issues we

have today is that of farmers and

herdsmen clashes. If we do not deal

with it quickly, we run the risk of

damaging the harmony and the coexistence

of Nigeria as a country.

The killings are getting too many.

In our attempt to solve the problem,

we have proffered certain solutions

but perhaps we were not sensitive

enough to Nigeria’s fragile

sensitivities and suspicions. When

we spoke of colonies, we were

immediately greeted with reactions

that this was an attempt to seize

Nigeria’s land and give to the

Fulanis to colonise. The intention is

not for Fulanis or anyone to colonise

any territory. It is to provide a haven

for cattle to graze in peace under

controlled environments to prevent

the conflicts between farmers and

herdsmen. Only yesterday, a

committee was set up by the Vice

President with members, most of

them state governors, discussing

this matter and resolving that states

that are interested will begin work

on this matter as soon as next week.

The solution proposed by the

former Minister of Agriculture, i.e.

the use of state lands for the

establishment of cattle grazing

colonies for the Fulani herdsmen

is not only impracticable, but has

no premise under the extant

Nigerian laws. In fact, it betrays

the intention of the Nigerian

government to tolerate the

herdsmen rather than prevent

further heinous attacks on

innocent Nigerians; to placate

rather than punish the murderous

herdsmen. At a time, the

Presidential spokesman, Femi

Adesina, reportedly stated,

infamously, that “your ancestral

land for grazing or your life”.

One thing which is clear,

however, is that even if state lands

are acquired for the establishment

of grazing colonies, there is no

guarantee that the Fulani

herdsmen will not seek to extend

their domain by forcefully

acquiring other lands because, by

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021 — 23

their nature, they are nomads.

There is also the possibility that

:Vanguard

whatever expanse of land

News

designated for the herdsmen may

be overgrazed by the cattle, and

therefore leading to the irresistible COVID-19:

temptation to forcefully take

NSCDC embarks

further territories which have

vegetation. These considerations on sensitization

are notwithstanding whether these

ranches are privately or publicly exercise in Delta

managed.

Beyond the political and security

considerations dictating a restraint

in the acquisition and allocation

of state lands for the establishment

of grazing settlements, there are

equally legal impediments to such

acquisition. To meet up with the

expected quota of 10,000 hectares

required from each state, the states

would inevitably have to acquire

land from private citizens and

thereafter allocate it for the

establishment of the colonies

which, if considered, qualify as

private interests. While the Land

Use Act empowers the governors

of the states to acquire land for

public purpose(s), the courts have

held on several occasions that

governments cannot acquire land

from a private individual only to

make same available for the use of

another private individual as this

would not amount to “public

purpose”. In Wuyah v. Jama’a

Local Govt, Kafanchan (2013) All

FWLR (Pt. 659), the court stated

as follows:

The law does not give license to

anybody, an individual, constituted

authority or government, such as the

respondent, to acquire,

compulsorily or otherwise, any land

that belongs to a person and alienate

or transfer it to another private

individual or body for his/its private

use. To do so will run foul of the

aforementioned sacrosanct

provisions of the Land Use Act. The

aim of the Act is not to divest citizens

of their pre-existing titles to land.

No doubt, the Land Use Act is an

expropriatory legislation which

must be construed fortissime contra

preferentes – strictly against the

acquiring authority, but

sympathetically in favour of the

person whose property rights are

being taken away.

Applying the foregoing to the

suggestion of the establishment of

cattle colonies, I do not see how

any acquisition of land by any state

government for the establishment

of cattle colonies would qualify as

a public purpose. The approach of

the courts is to strictly construe any

statute by which government can

or purports to exercise the

expropriation of the proprietary

rights of the citizens. Therefore, as

herdsmen are in reality

businessmen engaged in the

business of cattle rearing for their

own personal financial gain, I do

not see how the provision of land

for the grazing of their cattle, even

at the payment of a fee, would satisfy

the provisions of the law if the land

is acquired from other private

individuals.

In stating the above, I am not

unmindful of the provisions of

Section 51(1)(h) of the Land Use

Act which permits acquisition “for

obtaining control over land

required for or in connection with

economic, industrial or

agricultural development”. This, in

my estimation, contemplates a

situation in which the land is

acquired for the use by the

government of its own plans for

agricultural development. What is

however clear from the stated

intention of government is a plan

to make the land available for the

use of the herdsmen and their

cattle.

To be concluded

ASABA—IN line with the recent

directives by President

Muhammadu Buhari to all

government apparatuses to embark

on measures to guide against the

second wave of the Covid-19

pandemic, Delta State Command of

the Nigerian Security and Civil

Defence Corps, NSCDC, has

commenced the sensitization of

members of the public across the

twenty-five local government areas

of the state to educate and create

awareness on the need for them to

always abide with all the Covid-19

protocols.

In a statement by the state Public

Relations Officer of the command

and Superintendent of Corps, Eke

Onyekachi, stated that the state

Commandant of the Corps, Dr.

Ikpeamaonwu as directed by the

command’s headquarters in Abuja

that all the command of the NSCDC

across the country should as a matter

of urgency mobilize its men and

women to embark on sensitization

exercise across the country.

According to the PRO, "the exercise

is been carried out in all the local

government areas as well as in

schools, markets, churches and other

private places to educate and sentize

them on the need to always put on

their face masks, wash their hands

regularly with water and soap and

avoid crowded environments."

He commended the state

commandant, Ikpeamaonwu for his

support in carrying out the exercise

and called on the men and women of

the command to adhere strictly to the

directives of the exercise.

LG polls: Isoko

North PDP

inaugurates

campaign council

By OchukoAkuopha

OZORO—THE

Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP, in Isoko

North Local Government Area, Delta

State, has inaugurated a Campaign

Council for the March 6, 2021 council

elections with Special Adviser to the

Governor on Community and Rural

Development, Rt Hon. Emmanuel

Okoro as Chairman.

Speaking Monday, at the PDP's

secretariat, Ozoro, venue of the

inauguration where the party's flag was

presented to 20 councillorship

candidates, the party's Chairman in

the area, Prince Godwin Ogorugba,

charged the Council to work together

to deliver all candidates of the party at

the polls.

Expressing optimism that the party

would have a smooth sail in the area

during the polls, he said,

"there is no course of alarm; PDP

will win the chairmanship and all the

councilorship positions."

Inaugurating the Council, Vice

Chairman, PDP Delta South, Chief

Julius Takeme urged its members to

"campaign to the nooks and crannies

of your Ward to ensure victory for all

our candidates."

Responding, Okoro thanked God for

the opportunity to serve, and assured

that the council would do everything

possible to deliver all the party's

candidates.

In his remark, Chairmanship

candidate of the party in the area, Mr

Christian Iteire, noted that with the

quality and credentials of people

selected for the campaign Council, the

party was on the right track to victory.

Top politicians from the area who

attended the event included

Commissioner for Transport Hon.

Ovie Oghoore; DESOPADEC

Commissioner, Dr Paul Oweh; Dr

Patrick Akporuno; Dr Nelson

Ejakpovi; Hon. Mike Ogwah among

others.


24 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021

VOL. 2 NO. 70

Why Igbo now invest in girl-child education

By Anayo Okoli, Vincent

Ujumadu, Chimaobi

Nwaiwu, Nwabueze

Okonkwo,Peter Okutu,

Chinenye Ozor, Chinedu

ENUGU—IN the past, it was

not fashionable in Igbo land

to send girls to school. The kitchen

was rather seen as the best place

for them. Hence, they were given

out early in marriage. Families

preferred to send only the boys for

apprenticeship or to school for the

few that had interest in education.

Today, the situation has glaringly

changed.

Igbo girl-child now competes

favourably, if not better, with the

boys, in the academic field.

Question is, what influenced the

change; which is more profitable,

investing in the education of the

girl-child or the boy child?

Many parents in Igbo land were

reluctant in the past to send their

female children to school for the

simple belief that there was no

need to spend so much money

educating them since they would

be getting married and therefore

would no longer be very useful to

their maiden families. Stories

were told of parents pressuring

their female children to get

married once they were in their

teens so that their bride price

would be used to pay the school

fees of their male children.

It was common in the 1960s and

1970s to see more male children

in school because most parents

did not take female education

serious. But all that has changed

as females are competing with

their male counterparts in school

enrolment.

Although records in the

Ministry of Education in Anambra

State show that there are still more

males than females in schools, the

gap has, however, narrowed such

that in few areas, the ratio of male

to female will be 50:50. It was in

the effort to increase female

school enrolment that informed

the deliberate policy of the

Anambra State Government to

encourage many communities to

establish secondary schools for

girls only in their areas. That

decision paid off as many girls’

schools have excelled in

competitions and external

examinations where boys schools

also competed.

The Regina Pacis Secondary

School, Onitsha owned by the

Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha

is a typical example. The all-girls

secondary school won the World

Technovation Challenge

Competition in the USA in 2019.

The school also won the national

competition, which qualified it to

represent Nigeria at the

competition in the USA. The girls

that represented Nigeria at the

competition were Promise

Nnalue, Jessica Osita, Nwabuaku

Ossai, Adaeze Onuigbo and

Vivian Okoye. They won the

•Educated girl-child contributes more to society — Anueyiagu

•Properly groomed daughter is an asset — Chief Ikeoha

•Importance of girl-child education is huge — Wilcox-Iwuchukwu

•Era of preferential treatment over sex of a child over — Mrs. Ebere

•Still important to give the boys best for their role in families — Anakwe

•Girls in school, getting education

competition with a mobile

application called the FD-Detector

which they developed to help

tackle the challenge of fake

pharmaceutical products in

Nigeria and beyond. They applied

the robotics and coding insights

in solving existential problem of

fake drugs. There was also the case

of Miss Maduaforkwa from Ihiala

in Anambra State who came tops

in the 2020 West African School

Certificate Examination for the

entire country.

Apart from doing well

academically, some parents said

their female children are more

caring than their male

counterparts after exposing them

to acquire equal education. Mrs.

Grace Ibeka, a retired principal

said she is enjoying more benefits

from her only married daughter

than from her three male children.

“We did not discriminate in

giving our four children, three

boys and one girl, education. They

all attended the same primary

and secondary school. After their

university education, they all got

married, but I must tell you that it

is the girl that cares more for us

than her brothers. It is the girl that

would always call to ask after our

health and would send money for

our upkeep. So I must say that

girl-child education is more

important because they are more

caring. It is not as if my male

children are poor, far from it”,

Ibeka explained.

For Mrs. Margaret Wilcox-

Iwuchukwu, an Onitsha, Anambra

State-based legal practitioner, the

importance of girl-child education

cannot be over-emphasized.

Wilcox-Iwuchukwu, the vicechairman,

Nigerian Bar

Association, NBA, Onitsha

People have seen

the benefit of

training girls in

school and in other

fields of human

endeavour; unlike

the olden days

when kitchen was

rather seen as the

best place for them.

branch, said people see girls as

lesser humans but in the actual

fact, they are not, even though God

created a woman to be under a

man.

“People have seen the benefit of

training girls in school and in other

fields of human endeavour; unlike

the olden days when kitchen was

rather seen as the best place for

them.

“I even had to establish a

foundation known as Wilcox

Foundation in 2015 after the death

of my father, Wilcox Amana, to

immortalize him because he was

an advocate of girl-child

education, which explained why

he sent me to school to graduate

as a lawyer.”

In his own contribution, another

lawyer, Humphrey Udechukwu

noted that today, you will realise

that training a girl-child in

education or other trade is as

important as anything one can

think of because when her parents

or father and mother-in-law grow

old, she would be able to cater for

them.

“The cradle of civilization has

been there in the Western world

for training the gild-child but it

depends on when we in the third

world countries embraced girlchild

education. It will amount to

living in a fool’s paradise for

someone to still think that kitchen

is a better place for a girl-child

all through her life without first of

all passing through schools to

acquire education or learning a

trade that will help her in life,

before and after marriage.

“This time around, men even

prefer marrying either graduates

and working class ladies or

successful businesswomen.

Nowadays, nobody wants to

marry idle, uneducated girls just

for child-bearing as was

applicable in the past”,

Udechukwu noted.

According to a veteran

journalist, Abuchi Anueyiagu,

proper education helps the girlchild

to realise her potentials and

positions her to play important

roles in the society. He said

investing in girl-child education

is more important than in male

child, arguing that an educated

woman with increased earning

potential is more likely to give

back to the community than her

male counterpart. Anueyiagu said

that “a girl-child needs to be

educated to acquire knowledge

and skills needed to advance her

status for social interactions and

self-improvement. Girl-child

education also prepares her to

face the reality in society and

teaches her to be a good wife and

mother.

“The world is changing and

everyone is fast changing to

become somebody. A female

child has more compassion for

her maiden family than the male

who could get married and hardly

take care of his parents and

siblings. A female child even if she

is married, tends toward her

maiden family more.

“They take care of their parents

and siblings more. In the

primitive world, it was

erroneously believed that a girlchild

belongs to another who will

take care of her and her own

without contributing any anything

to her maiden family but the

circumstances of the

contemporary life have proved the

earlier presupposition wrong. In

many places today, it is the girlchild

that is the pillar, the light

and the lifeline of her maiden

family. So, why should attention

not be given to her?”

In the opinion of Chief Michael

Ubani, the tendency of men to

marry educated girls influenced

the girl-child education.

According to him, a girl bereft of

education and knowledge will

likely end up marrying a truck

pusher. He maintained that the

trend of sending only the male

child to school has changed

because families have realised

that an educated girl-child is more

useful in the family/society than

even the educated male child.

“Today, more boys are going into

business to make money, instead

of pursuing education as was the

case before. The number of girls

attending school at different levels

of education has risen because of

the tendency among the boys or

men who are into business and

who have made the money to

marry educated girls, including

graduates. The bottom line is

money, and it doesn’t matter

whether the boy went to school or

not, the question is, does he have

money? The Holy book says that

money answereth everything; so,

that girl who is bereft of education

and knowledge will likely end up

marrying a truck pusher.

“Nevertheless, some parents

have found out to their chagrin,

that some educated girls are

useful, even more useful than some

educated boys, hence the current

practice of sending girls to

school”, he said.

For Chief Ebenezer Ikeoha,

resident of Owerri, Imo State,

female children have become

most cherished asset in the family

if given adequate home training.

Such girls, he said, often turn out

to be the breadwinners of their

families even after they had gotten

married. He added that such

training cultured them to be

humane, become peace makers in

every home that they find

themselves in, as well as

enterprising in their work.

“I have two boys and two girls.

The two girls are the third and

fourth. What I want to say is not

as if the boys are not doing well;

the point I want to make is that

while the boys are busy waiting

for when they will get plenty

money, my daughters have

equipped themselves and now

have established themselves with

skills. It is not just my home; you

can see it in other families.

“When there is no food in the

house, most times, the females are

always ready to do menial jobs just

to put food on the table of the

family. This is the hard work you

see in women.

“Just imagine when you give her

proper education, there is 99 per

cent assurance that she will hardly

forget where she comes from and

the parents that gave her that

training. This is the reason why you

see most men now paying more

attention to their daughters. They

need care and full support especially

in their old age,” Ikeoha said.

Continue on Page 25


Why we now invest in girl-child

education

Continues from page 24

Chief Peter Enemuo, erstwhile

President-General of Ogulogu Olo

autonomous community in

Ezeagu Local Government Area,

Enugu State, believes that the

importance of girl-child education

has dawned on parents and

guardians, hence, the increase in

the enrollment of girls in schools

in his area. He said that parents

no longer give out the girl-child

in early marriage as a result,

social norms have changed the

narratives, especially in the

South-East region. The girl-child,

he said, is no longer seen as a

kitchen material.

Hon. Opata Igbo of Uzo-Uwani

Council Area of Enugu State said

that girl-child education has

improved tremendously unlike in

the past when girl-child education

was seen as a waste of resources.

He said that most parents in the

contemporary Igbo society invest

more on girl-child education for

upkeep of the family. Right to

education is for all irrespective of

gender.

Hon. Opata noted that with the

establishment of the University of

Nigeria Nsukka in 1960, the

tempo of girl-child education

changed as most parents sent the

girl-child to school. The

university made education

accessible for all manner of girls

- the poor, needy, impaired and

physically challenged ones in the

society due to societal values and

enlightenment.

For a mother of three, Mrs.

Jenny Ebere who spoke with

South-East Voice, the era of

preferential treatment over sex

of a child was over. According to

her, female children have even

proven more reliable than their

male counterparts as they are

now successful entrepreneurs in

different fields of human

endeavour and so have become

keepers of their family heritage

in some cases.

“The era of discrimination is

over. Female children are mostly

trustworthy. They have

distinguished themselves. They

are mostly the ones that take

care of their parents in their old

age. Training them is just the best.

They are prudent managers of

resources”, she said.

However, a Pastor and a father

of two, Promise Izuogu, played

down the issue of

THE TEAM

SUPERVISING EDITOR:

Chioma Gabriel, Lagos

(08052201257)

EDITOR

Anayo Okoli, Enugu

08034046839

Vincent Ujumadu, Awka

Dennis Agbo, Enugu

Chinedu Adonu, Enugu

Chidi Nkwopara, Owerri

Chinonso Alozie, Owerri

Peter Okutu, Abakaliki

Chimaobi Nwaiwu, Nnewi

Ugochukwu Alaribe, Aba

Nwabueze Okonkwo,

Onitsha

Chinenye Ozor, Nsukka

Ikechukwu Odu, Nsukka

discrimination. He said the

training of male children is

more advantageous as they are

naturally the heads of families

and establishments.

“In the Bible, God confers

headship on the males and so

giving them the necessary

training they need is very

important. The females are also

important and so should not be

relegated to the background.”

But Chief Ozoh Anaekwe,

former President-General of

Onitsha Markets Amalgamated

Traders Association, OMATA,

maintains that male education

remains more valuable. “No

matter the situation, there is no

basis for comparison between the

importance of male child

education to that of female child.

It is still important that male

children be given good training by

families because of the prominent

roles they play in the families.”

He, however, agreed that the

roles a girl-child plays as regards

welfare of their parents is

tremendous. “It is indisputable

that girls these days are taking

care of their parents more than

the boys. When the girls marry

and live with their husbands,

whatever they get from their

husbands, they prefer sending

them to their parents. Conversely,

the boys prefer to spend what they

have on their children and their

in-laws. The girl-child transfers

greater percentage of her love and

care to her parents while the males

lean towards taking care of their

children and their in-laws more

than their parents.

“It is still more profitable to

train male children. If you have

wealth, you should give more to

your male child than the girlchild

no matter what the female

children are doing for their

parents. If you have money to

send only one person to school

and you have only one option,

please send the boy because he

is the person to take over the

house. A girl can marry and live

in a very far place and if you have

a bad in-law, he can take your

daughter overseas and dump her

there, and for 20, 30 years, you

will not see them.

“Your male child must come

home; his first home is your

home, his children’s first home is

your home. So the male represents

and retains the family no matter

the condition or the situation.

"Whatever the girl is

contributing from her husband’s

place, it is still important that your

male child is trained and given a

lion share. The males are more

important to the family than the

females because the female must

leave to go and build another

home for her husband.

“But it is no more fashionable to

train males and leave females.

Female children are no more for

the kitchen; they are now doing

great things for their parents and

family than their husbands'

families. Any family that prefers to

send only the boys to school is

making a big mistake because the

girls have great roles they play in

their parents’ houses and families

too like the boys.”

For Chief Augustine Emelobe of

Oba, Idemili South Council of

Anambra State, the wind of change

and economic empowerment as well

as exposure has influenced parents’

decision to educate both female and

male children. Igbo parents, he said,

are excited to educate all the children

without preference.

EKE—THE people of Oma

Eke Community, Udi

council Area of Enugu State, last

week protested what they called

attempt to commission a nonexistent

road project in the area.

The community expressed

surprise over the commissioning

of road awarded under ecological

project, before construction work

even began, describing such act

as “a monumental fraud that

must be resisted.”

The angry indigenes who

moved round the streets of the

community to register their

grievances, displayed placards,

some with inscriptions such as:

Please do not commission the

uncompleted Eke Oma road;

Public procurement act crucified;

Corruption unlimited; EFCC

where are you? Buhari must hear

this, among others.

By Anayo Okoli

E NUGU—OZALLA-ABOR

community, Udi Local

Government Area of Enugu State

has sent a Save-Our-Soul

petition to the Inspector-General

of Police, Mohammed Adamu,

over what they called

intimidation, harassment and

threat to life by certain land

grabbers who they alleged want

to forcefully take over their

ancestral land.

They alleged that the said land

grabbers are using policemen in

Enugu Police Command to

“threaten, harass and intimidate”

them to forcefully take away their

community land worth over N10

billion. They also claimed that

few members of the community

connived with the highly placed

land grabbers to deprive them of

their land.

In the petition by their lawyer,

A. C Amechi, dated 3rd February,

2021, and copied to the

Chairman, Police Service

Commission, the Chairman,

Senate Committee on Police and

the Commissioner of Police,

Enugu State; they urged the

Inspector-General of Police to

intervene urgently to save the

community from imminent crisis.

The petition was written on

behalf of Ichie Peter Eze, Head of

Ozalla Abor Village; Sir Elias

Eruchie, Chairman, Ozalla Abor

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021 — 25

Community protests commissioning

of non-existing road

By Chinedu Adonu

South-East Voice learned that the

road, an ecological fund project of

N429. 9 million, which was

secured under the office of the

Secretary to the Federal

Government, is yet to commence,

yet a Federal Government

delegation was said to be in the

area to commission the project

which was resisted by the

community.

According to the Town Union

Chairman of Oma Eke community,

Kenneth Ogudu, who addressed

journalists, some Federal

Government delegation came to

commission a road project yet to

be constructed.

“Over 3.8km road was awarded

and funded by the Federal

Government through the

Ecological Fund Project since

2019 but as you can see, nothing

has been done in those areas

named in the contract paper. Today,

the contractor and fraudulent people

from the Federal Government said

•Youths protesting commissioning of non-existing roads

Village Council of Elders; Ichie

Cornelius Onodingene, Ichie

Callistus Ille, Ichie Vintus

Nnadieke, Ichie Gregory Emefu,

Pastor Fidelis Udochukwu,

Athanasius Akwaka, Festus Ogbu

and indeed, Ozalla Abor Village,

Abor Autonomous Community,

Udi Local Government Area,

Enugu State.

Alleging compromise, the

lawyer wants the Inspector-

General of Police to take over

investigation of the case from men

of D 13, Enugu Police Command.

“On the 19th October, 2020, this

law office wrote to you

complaining against ten sons of

Ozalla Abor village and the

Commissioner for Lands and

Urban Development, Enugu State.

Surprisingly, on the 26th January,

2021, at about 3 am, the children

of our clients were arrested by Anti-

Cult department from Enugu

Police; the group our clients

complained against had lodged a

counter attack, using the Anti-Cult

department. And the following

were arrested: Maxwell Obodo,

Jude Amadi, Chukwuma Agu,

Paul Ifebuche Eze and Ejike

Ugwu. They were accused of

attempted murder and armed

robbery. They were taken to the

Chief Magistrate's Court on the

same day of the arrest. They are

still in detention till today.

“The investigation, if any, was

very hasty. They were arrested by

they are coming to commission the

road project not done.

“We have not seen anything and

they cannot commission a road

not done. I am calling on the

Federal Government to intervene

and charge the contractors to come

to the site,” he said.

Also speaking, Godwin Onwusi

said that no ecological project as

awarded since 2019 has been

executed. He said the last paragraph

of the contract agreement clearly

stated thus: “This contract is fixed,

firm and not transferrable.

“My people are agitated, they

are not happy. The source of my

people’s grievances is that

sometime in 2019, Enugu Eke-

Eke-Oma Eke, Obodo Amankwo

Oma Road was awarded through

Ecological Fund Project under the

office of the Secretary to

Government of the Federation at

the cost of N429. 9 million.

“So, we kept on waiting, as we

were waiting, we stumbled on the

letter of the award which stated

clearly at the last paragraph, “this

contract is fixed, firm and not

transferrable” believing that we

were waiting for them to

commence work on the road. To

our greatest surprise, we heard

that they are coming today to

commission the road. I am sure

that the SGF is not aware of this

kind of fraud going on here.

“How could the Federal

Government send a team to

commission a project that was not

executed? Nothing was done in

all the places mentioned in the

contract paper and the contract

agreement says it is fixed, firm and

not transferrable. So, nothing has

been done and they want to

commission it?”

The community urged President

Muhammadu Buhari to intervene

and charge the contractor to

commence the construction of the

3.8km road as awarded.

Enugu community petitions IGP over

activities of land grabbers

...Says they want to set the community on fire

3:00 am on the 26th of January,

2021 and charged to court at

about 9 o’clock same day. There

was no previous arrest or

invitation yet the same Enugu

Police Command has not

concluded the investigation on the

complaint our clients lodged

since July, 2020.

“But no armed robbery took

place as alleged. No murder or

attempted murder took place as

alleged. Nobody was the victim of

armed robbery.

"The said arrest was planned to

pay our clients for reporting the

land grabbers to Enugu Police

Command. The worst is that some

policemen from Enugu Police

Command asked the land

grabbers to write a phantom

petition against the five elders

who told the Chief Magistrate's

Court that the children are

innocent of the trumped up

charges and that there was no

robbery or attempted murder in

their village as alleged. They now

want to intimidate the senior

citizens/elders for speaking the

truth.

“In view of the foregoing, we

humbly request the following that

the complaint of our clients

against the underlisted be handed

over to the Inspector-General of

Police Team from Abuja for

discrete investigation. They are

John Nnabuchukwu Onyechi,

Chukwuka Ugwuigwe, Anthony

Eze, Ifeanyi Eze, Ejike Ugwu,

Uche Njeze, Innocent Ugwu,

Joseph Agu, Everest Udengwu

and Ferdinand Agbo,” the

petition said.


26 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021

vicahiyoung@yahoo.com

Retired varsity workers, families

suffering, NASU, SSANU raise alarm

NON-Academic Staff

Union of Universities

and Allied Institutions,

NASU, and its Senior Staff

Association of Nigerian

Universities, SSANU

counterpart, have raised

the alarm over the untold

hardship retired members

and their families are

passing through.

NASU and SSANU

lamented that their retired

members of the unions

have not been paid their

entitlements including

death benefits to their

families.

General Secretary of

NASU, Prince Peters

Adeyemi, while explaining

some of their grouses with

the Federal Government,

said: “Many anomalies

have been observed with

respect to payment of

retirement and death

benefits to our members.

These anomalies were

pointed out to the

government and in the

signed Memorandum of

Understanding, MoU, of

October, 2020, it was agreed

that within a two-week

time-line, efforts would be

made to correct the

anomalies. Till date,

however, the situation

Terminal benefits: NLC laments plight of

sacked Intels' workers, families

NIGERIA

Labour

Congress, NLC, has

decried the suffering and

untold hardship no fewer than

599 sacked workers of

Integrated Logistics Services,

Intels, have been exposed to

over two months after they

were sacked without payment

of their terminal benefits,

NLC in a letter to the

Managing Director, Intels,

Onne Port, Rivers State, dated

January 29, 2021, intimated

the company of its readiness

to mediate in the dispute

between the leadership of the

Maritime Workers’ Union of

Nigeria, MWUN, and Intels

to ensure amicable resolution

of the dispute.

Congress in the letter by its

President, Ayuba Wabba,

while insisting that the

national leadership of NLC

was willing to provide an

enabling environment for the

peaceful resolution of all the

issues at short notice, it

contended that towards an

amicable resolution of issues,

there should be cessation of

further hostile actions by

either side, and withdrawal of

pending actions.

According to the NLC letter,

it recalled the letter of

complaints by MWUN, an

affiliate, over the dispute

between it and Intels, saying

in MWUN’s letter of

complaint dated 21/01/2021,

the union averred that

“Associated Maritime

Services, AMS which

employs some of its members,

“provide dedicated personnel

for Intels Nig. Ltd.

Accordingly, Intels Nig. Ltd

always gives instructions to

AMS to declare redundancy

and number of workers to be

declared redundant and

issues instructions to AMS to

carry out its wishes.

remains the same and our

members continue to

languish.

“The justification and

benefit of retirees is that a

labourer deserves his/her

wages and that having

served the nation

meritoriously for years, they

deserve to retire with good

benefit packages.

Unfortunately, little has

been done in the payment

of retirement and death

benefits to our retired and

out-gone members and the

hardships caused by

inexplicable delays in

payment of retirement and

death benefits to retired or

departed staff is

excruciating.

"This was addressed in

the 20th October, 2020

Memorandum of

Understanding, with a twoweek

timeline within which

the Office of the Accountant

General of the Federation,

AGF, the IPPIS Office, the

Office of the Head of the

Civil Service of the

Federation, OHCSF and

the National Pension

Commission, PenCom,

were to take further action

and revert. Sadly, there has

been no feedback on this

aspect of the MoU which

“Over the years,

redundancy matters at AMS

were jointly sorted out as

“Intels being the principal

always negotiated with the

Union, staff welfare benefits

and severance packages to

workers of Associated

Maritime Services. However,

recently, the management of

Intels refused to negotiate

with the Union, “severance

benefits of 602 workers now

reduced to 599 whose

appointments on the

instruction of Intels were

terminated without payment

either by Intels or Associated

Maritime Services.

“The Union also averred

that from the facts above, it

was obvious that the

relationship had always been

a tripartite one with Intels

“being the principal

employer.

“In light of this, it was

taken aback when “Intels

refused to be present at the

negotiation table with

Associated Maritime

Services and the Union over

the severance benefits of 602

workers (now reduced to

599). After a prolonged wait

to get Intels to the negotiating

table failed, the Union in

exercise of its statutory right,

gave a seven-day notice to the

authorities to withdraw all

letters of redundancy issued

to our members.

“Instead of seeing reason,

and come to the negotiating

table, Intels Nig. Ltd locked

out our members from

assessing their work place

and stationed at the gate,

well-armed security

operatives who kept chasing

away our members.

Consequent upon the lockout,

the Union embarked

upon a three-day warning

strike to draw the attention of

had a two-week timeline

even three months after.”

IPPIS problem

On his part, President of

SSANU, Mohammed

Ibrahim, lamented that the

Integrated Payroll and

Personnel Information

System, IPPIS, had

compounded the situation,

saying: “The university

system is not the same

with the Ministries and

Departments, MDs

because there are

peculiarities in the

university; the job schedule

is not the same with the

ministries. For example,

government had approved

the law extending the

service years of our

members. We retire at the

age of 65 years for the nonteaching

staff, while those

in the academic line,

especially at the

professorial level, can retire

at the age of 70 years. When

this platform of IPPIS was

shown to us, we realised

that once you are 60 years

of age, it kicks you out or if

you have put in 35 years in

service. We drew their

attention. .payment from

the same source.”

the government to the unfair

labour practice of Intels

Management.

The Union further averred

that the Nigerian Maritime

Administration and Safety

Agency, NIMASA, in its quest

for an amicable resolution of

the matter, twice scheduled a

meeting (on the 9th and 15th

of December 2020) with the

Intels and the Union but Intels

declined to be at the meeting

on both occasions; In spite of

the belligerence of Intels, the

intervention of the

Commissioner of Police

(Eastern Port Police

Command) and other

respected stakeholders led to

the suspension of the strike on

the second day. However,

rather than reciprocate this

goodwill, Intels instituted an

action against the leadership

of the Union at the National

Industrial Court; Port

Harcourt Division, and has

since refused to pay any of the

599 employers who are in dire

financial straits with their

families.

The Union, left with a little

option has declared a trade

dispute with Intels and filed

same with the Ministry of

Labour Employment.

“If the aforementioned

account is the reflection of

what has happened between

Intels and the Maritime

Union, we would urge you to

reconsider of your decisions

in line with provisions of our

Labour law and fair labour

practices. We are prepared to

provide an enabling

environment for the peaceful

resolution of all the issues at

short notice.

In our view, the first step

towards an amicable

resolution of issues is cessation

of further hostile actions by

either side, and withdrawal of

pending actions.”

Local insurers losing out on big ticket

transactions — NAICOM laments

Stories by Rosemary

Iwunze

THE NATIONAL Insur

ance Commission, NA-

ICOM, has lamented the

declining participation of

local insurers in big ticket

businesses such as aviation,

annuity as well as oil and

gas risks underwriting.

Expressing this concern

while speaking in Lagos at

a directors' conference,

Commissioner for Insurance

and Chief Executive

of NAICOM, Mr. Sunday

Thomas, noted that more

businesses are being sent

abroad to reinsure them,

further eroding the capacity

of the local market.

He said: "More businesses

especially in the aviation

sector and oil and gas are

now being reinsured

abroad. Of more concern is

the declining participation

of life companies in the annuity

business which is the

emerging business for our

industry.

"These are the areas

where the industry can impose

itself on the economy

through the control of funds

for national development;

unfortunately, we are missing

it."

According to Thomas, the

industry must embrace

technology to move forward.

"The industry must invest

handsomely in technology

which is one of our key drivers

for developing the market.

Institutions should be

prepared to digitalize their

processes, procedures and

systems in order to make

their operation seamless

and real time."

Thomas stated that the

Commission is investing

heavily in automating its

processes and expects

nothing less from insurance

institutions.

Meanwhile, Thomas advised

the insured public not

to discard insurance as part

of measures to cut cost in

the face of the harsh economic

situation.

He said: "It is good to reduce

cost but in terms of insurance,

people should ensure

that all assets are adequately

insured.

"It is good to have a good

risk management framework

as well as be able to

manage our insurances

and assets. Many are left

with the option of cutting

cost, however, not all cost

cutting will measure success

and some might even

end up hurting our businesses.

As business owners

and as businesses

spring up, we must ensure

that we put the right processes

in place in trying to

manage our assets and ensure

that we have more

strategic thinking.

"Risk is part of our business

endeavours and the

best thing is to evaluate and

see what part of the risk you

can transfer. The insurance

industry has proven its relevance

in the affairs of the

economy," Thomas noted.

SUNU Assurances' private

placement records 100%

subscription

SUNU ASSURANCES

Nigeria Plc has announced

a 100 per cent subscription

for its private

placement exercise.

Disclosing this in a statement,

Managing Director

of the company, Mr. Samuel

Ogbodu said that the

private placement exercise

of 3,010,800,000 ordinary

shares of 50 kobo each at

N1.00 per share, with respect

to the Private Placement

Memorandum dated

Monday, January 4, 2021

has been successful.

He stated that a total of

two applications for

3,010,800,000 ordinary

shares were received in connection

with the private

placement.

Linkage Assurance attributes growth to

brokers' support

LINKAGE

ASSUR

ANCE Plc has attributed

its continuous growth

and market expansion to

good relationships with the

insurance brokers.

The company said its focus

going into 2021 and

beyond will be to strengthen

the relationship by continuously

providing efficient

services and meeting

claims obligations prompt-

FBN Insurance donates to less privileged

FBN INSURANCE Lim

ited has donated various

items to homes and hospice

in Lagos and Port Harcourt.

In a statement, the company

said that it visited children

at the Heritage Homes

Orphanage (Lagos) and

Rhema Orphanage Home

(Port Harcourt). Items such

as food, beverages, toiletries,

clothes as well as cash were

donated to the children of the

orphanage homes.

The company said it made

a similar donation to the

Down Syndrome Foundation

Nigeria, Lagos. Most of

the items donated to the

Homes and Hospice were

largely raised through the

company's annual Staff Gift

ly

Ṁanaging Director/Chief

Executive Officer of the

company, Mr. Daniel Braie

stated this at the general

meeting of the Nigerian

Council of Registered Insurance

Brokers, NCRIB,

Lagos Area Council, LAC,

hosted by the company in

Lagos.

Braie said: "Linkage Assurance

Plc recognises the

pivotal role of the broker's

Drive, an in-house initiative

that encourages staff to donate

various items for a

common cause. The FBN

Insurance Staff Gift Drive

which was incepted in 2015,

is in its 6th year.

While appreciating the

goodwill of the insurer, the

Assistant General Manager,

Heritage Homes Orphanage,

Mr. Reuben Amara,

said: "On behalf of the

Board, Management and

the entire members of the

Heritage Homes Orphanage,

we express our deepest

appreciation to the Board,

Management and the entire

staff of FBN Insurance Limited

for their kind donation

towards the upkeep of the

He said the two applications

for 3,010,800,000 ordinary

shares were found to

be valid, accepted and processed

accordingly.

He noted that the Securities

& Exchange Commission

has cleared the basis of

allotment, adding that the

Central Securities Clearing

System, CSCS, accounts of

successful allotees will be

credited with shares allotted

not later than February 12,

2021 by the registrars to the

issue, Crescent Registrars

Limited.

The SUNU boss, posited

that the company is embarking

on the growth phase

while it remains committed

to its strategic objectives and

core values, which will also

guide the future and culture

of the company.

community in the growth of

insurance business and

that is why we decided that

apart from hosting the national

body, we would go a

step further to host the various

Area Councils across

the country.

"So far, we have done this

in Abuja, Kaduna, Port

Harcourt and now Lagos.

If not for the COVID-19

pandemic that broke out

last year we would have

covered more states."

children in the Home. We

pray that the Almighty God

will reward your labour of

love, especially at this difficult

time of the global

COVID-19 pandemic."

The National President of

the Down Syndrome Foundation

Nigeria, Mrs. Rose

Mordi, also expressed the

Foundation's appreciation

for the insurer's donation. In

her statement, she said: "We

are grateful for your support,

concern, love and for

the interest shown to our

mission. We thank you from

the depth of our hearts and

pray that FBN Insurance

continues to grow from

strength to strength."


Continues from Page 5

state in terms of security

and for anybody to justify

these criminal activities

that have given the

nation’s security

leadership so much

trouble calls for serious

concern from all

Nigerians, irrespective of

tribe and religious

background.

“Kidnapping is an

international crime that

people learn from,

watching foreign movies.

The question now is

where did Niger Delta exagitators

learn the act of

kidnapping from?”

Gumi’s

statement

disgusting,

insulting

— Izon Ebi

Speaking for Niger

Delta agitators,

coordinator of 21st

CYNDAC, self-styled

“Gen” Izon Ebi, said: “We

strongly condemn the

provocative statement of

Sheikh Gumi that is

capable of igniting

serious problem in the

Niger Delta. It is

disgusting, insulting and

provocative to compare

herdsmen to Niger Delta

militants.

“It is a deliberate effort

to justify the atrocities of

the so-called Fulani

m e r c e n a r i e s

masquerading as bandits

that were imported to

dislodge former President

Goodluck Jonathan from

office. Nigerians know

the truth and cannot be

deceived by the antics of

Sheikh Gumi.

Nigerians are patiently

watching the macabre

dance of the Northern

elite because of power.

Amnesty to bandits will

mark the end of the flow

of oil and gas from our

region.”

Criminal,

obnoxious,

stupid

statement, says

Edwin Clark

South South Leader,

Chief Edwin Clark has

lampooned Islamic

Cleric, Ahmad Gumi,

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

The naira yesterday was stable at N409.67 per

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

even as the volume of dollars traded rose by eight

percent.

Data from FMDQ showed that the volume of

dollars (turnover) traded in the window rose by eight

percent to $30.44 million from $28.21 million on

Monday.

vanguardnews @vanguardnews @vanguardnews

Clark, other N-Delta leaders,

militants lambast Gumi

saying that his statement

that Fulani herdsmen and

armed bandits learnt how

to kidnap from Niger

Delta militants was not

only criminal, but

obnoxious and stupid.

Speaking with Vanguard

yesterday in Abuja, he

said: “That statement is

not only criminal but

obnoxious. How can he

say that? The people in the

Niger Delta took arms

when they found that they

have been oppressed,

dehumanised, and their

rights taken away from

them and given to other

Nigerians.

“They took all our land.

The situation has affected

their lives. They take all

our money, they no longer

go to school, they can no

longer swim, they can no

longer catch fish. They are

fighting for their rights.

What did Nigerians do to

almajirai or to bandits in

the North. Were you not

there when they said they

are Fulanis from outside

Nigeria. So, where did

they get it from the Niger

Delta people?

“That is a stupid

statement, it is obnoxious

and criminal. I don’t

blame them because they

are the people, their

governors, their

politicians who exploit our

oil, they are the senior

managers, and zonal

managers of oil

industries, they are the

people who have oil blocs,

they have taken away our

oil, our people have

nothing and at that time

the youths decided to take

the driver’s seat.

“These people were

kidnapping for wrong

done to them to attract

world attention. Their

areas were occupied by

military men.

“Their areas are

occupied by military men

who were stealing their

oil. So what are they

talking? By killing

people, maiming people,

raping women? Who told

them that our people are

carrying AK-47?

“They are very jealous

because of the amnesty

which they do not

deserve. With Boko

Haram, they have now

created the North East

Development

Naira stable at N409.67/$ in I&E

window

Commission, whose

money are they using if

not money from the Niger

Delta? They should stop

it.”

‘Criminal

herdsmen,

bandits’ve taken

over roads to 2

Abia LGs’

Meanwhile, the House

of Representatives has

told the Inspector-General

of Police, Mohammed

Adamu that criminals,

killer herdsmen and

bandits have taken over

all roads leading to

Isuikwuato and

Umunneochi Local

Government Areas of Abia

State.

The House said the

criminals were maiming,

robbing, kidnapping,

raping and killing the

people and other

travellers, warning that

unless urgent steps were

taken, the situation might

degenerate to chaos and

lawlessness.

The call followed a

motion considered by the

House at plenary

yesterday.

Moving the motion,

titled “Need to Address

the Worsening Security

Situation in Isuikwuato/

Umunneochi Federal

Constituency, Abia State,”

the sponsor and Deputy

Chief Whip of the House,

Nkiru Onyejiocha, who

also represents

Isuikwuato/Umunneochi

federal constituency in

the parliament, informed

the House that a former

transition chairman was

attacked in the area.

She said: “There is an

increasingly disturbing

security situation in and

around Isuikwuato and

Umunneochi Local

Government Areas of Abia

State which, unless

urgent steps are taken,

may degenerate to chaos

and lawlessness.

“Virtually all roads that

lead to the areas have

been taken over by

criminals, killer

herdsmen and bandits

who lay siege on the

people of the local

government areas,

maiming, robbing,

kidnapping, raping and

killing the people and

travellers.

“There has been no

single day in the last five

months that there were no

reported cases of

abductions, robberies,

theft or some form of

criminality in and around

the two local government

areas and those criminal

elements are so audacious

that they operate in broad

day light and night time,

mostly without any

interference from security

operatives.

“Victims of those

murderous gangs range

from poor peasant

farmers, old and young

people, travellers,

traditional and political

leaders, among others,

and a case in point is that

of one Mr Obiajulu

Okafor who was

kidnapped along with his

wife and driver, on

January 2, 2021, which

forced his family to pay a

ransom of N22 million to

secure their release.

“On October 6, 2020, in

two separate incidents,

the chairman (Transition

Committee) of Isuikwuato

Local Government Area

and the member

representing Isuikwuato

Local Government Area in

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021—27

Abia State House of

Assembly, were attacked

on the same road.

“While the House

member was lucky to have

escaped unharmed (with

a bullet-ridden vehicle),

the Transition Committee

Chairman paid ransom to

regain his freedom from

the kidnappers.

“The people of

Isuikwuato and

Ummunneochi can no

longer go to their farms or

engage in other means of

gaining livelihood for fear

of being abducted, raped

or killed by herdsmen

and criminals who have

taken over their farmlands

and roadways;

“Unless urgent and

drastic measures are

taken to halt the tide and

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018773962,

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WORKING VISIT —Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State with the

Managing Director/ CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu when

the latter paid a working visit to Governor Uzodimma at his office in Owerri,

yesterday.

combat those criminal

elements terrorizing the

constituency, calamity

may befall the areas as the

people may tend to take

the laws into their hands,

which may lead to a state

of anarchy”.

Adopting the motion,

the House urged the IGP

to prioritize the security of

those local government

areas and arrest the

criminals terrorizing the

constituency.

It also urged the various

security agencies to

collaborate for the

purpose of ensuring a

safe and conducive

environment in the

constituency while

mandating its Committee

on Police Affairs to ensure

compliance.

Senate, Buhari poise for war over moves to make

FRC chairman-nominee sole administrator

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA - STRONG

Indications emerged

yesterday that the Senate

is poise for war with

President Muhammadu

Buhari, following his

moves to make his nominee

for the Fiscal Responsibility

Commission, Barr. Victor

Muruako, a sole

administrator.

The Senate also took a

swipe at President Buhari

over his action, saying what

the Act establishing the

FRC stipulated was a

substantive chairman and

not a sole administrator.

With this development,

the nominee, Victor

Muruako, had it tough with

the Senate Committee on

Finance yesterday during

screening session.

Speaking yesterday in

Abuja when the FRC

Chairman-designate

appeared before his

Committee, Chairman of

the Senate Committee on

Finance, Senator

Olamilekan Adeola, All

Progressives Congress,

APC, Lagos West,

wondered why the

nominee was not

accompanied by any staff of

the commission or

stakeholders for the

screening.

They declared that

Muruako based on his

sole appearance, runs the

commission as a sole

administrator The visibly

disappointed committee

Cchairman was quick to

make excuses for the

nominee, stating that it was

not his making.

In his defence, the

nominee said that his

inability to come for the

screening with other

relevant staff and board

members was due to the

moribund nature of the

commission.

He said: “This

commission has passed

through challenges, at a

point the commission was

scheduled for scrapping at

a point it was schedule for

merger and at a point our

appropriation was stopped.

“It is only President

Muhammadu Buhari who

came and gave back life to

why we are here.

“For us it is a new

beginning you Know where

FRC has been? Just go and

check when the

commission was brought

back to life.

“We thank God this is a

new beginning for the

commission. If you check

the record it has been

difficult times, for us we are

not looking at today, we are

looking at tomorrow, where

we intend to put the nation

and our efforts to

strengthen the

microeconomic stability of

the nation.”

Responding, the

Committee insisted that it

would take up the almost

emptiness of the

commission in and board

membership before the

Senate and the Presidency

.Specifically , the Chairman

of the committee, Senator

Adeola said, “This

committee will take it upon

itself to write the Senate

and also the Presidency to

inform them that there is

need to have a full and

complete board of the Fiscal

Responsibility

Commission, so that the

board can become fully

functional and alive with its

responsibility.

“We have listened with

rapt attention to you . A

lot of questions have been

asked, bordering on your

capacity, experience and

your challenges.


28 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021

CHANGE OF NAME

BAYELSA: How Diri rode the storm

in 365 days

By Samuel Oyadongha

Y ENAGOA—THE

Governor Douye Diriled

administration, which

clocked one year on Sunday,

could best be described

as God’s divine

arrangement for Bayelsa

State. The mantle of leadership

fell on him at a time

most Bayelsans were looking

forward to Chief David

Lyon’s inauguration as

governor and occupant of

Creek Haven, the seat of

power in the predominantly

Ijaw speaking

state.

Diri had resigned his

fate to the Red Chamber

as the senator representing

Bayelsa Central when

providence swung the

pendulum in his favour.

On February 13, 2020, the

Supreme Court voided the

election of Lyon of the All

Progressives Congress,

APC, as governor-elect

paving the way for his

swearing in the next day,

February 14.

The administration was

yet to find its bearing

when a chain of events

including the novel Coronavirus,

flurry of litigations,

which though had

been settled in favour of

Diri and the devastating

floods, unsettled the government.

However, Diri fondly referred

to as the Miracle

Governor, has left no one

in doubt about his penchant

for peace and harmony.

A product of the Ijaw

struggle, having served at

a time as the national organising

secretary of the

pan-Ijaw group, Ijaw National

Congress, INC, and

knowing the delicate history

of the state political

culture of pulling down

their leaders, Diri decided

to open a fresh chapter

to change this narrative

by reaching out

across board.

Diri has also refrained

from antagonizing his

perceived opponents and

has basically focused on

leaving enduring legacies

of good governance

anchored on peace, unity

and prosperity as could be

seen in the new rapprochement

between the

state and its representatives

at the federal level

in Abuja irrespective of

party affiliation.

Interestingly, when the

Supreme Court dismissed

all the cases challenging

his governorship victory,

he was not swayed and

on each occasion he humbly

held thanksgiving services

to dedicate his triumph

to God and Bayelsans.

“This victory is not mine.

Bayelsans are the owners

of this victory. I call on my

opponents and Bayelsans

to join hands with my administration

to build the

state. Bayelsa has lots of

potential waiting to be harnessed.

There is much for

us as a state and the only

way this state can grow is

when we free our minds

from acrimony, hatred and

covetousness.

“Bayelsa is still one

state. Let us realize that

power only comes from

God. Whatever it is that

has angered anyone, let

us sheathe the sword in

the interest of the state.

Let us shun hatred and

embrace love, peace and

unity. That is only when

Bayelsa can move forward,”

he said.

Also, the welfare of civil

Diri has also

refrained from

antagonizing his

perceived opponents

and has

basically focused

on leaving enduring

legacies

of good governance

anchored

on peace, unity

and prosperity.

•Governor Douye Diri

servants has been the corner

stone of his administration

policy thrust resulting

in regular payment

of salaries. He has

equally recognized the

lack of policy continuity

and the abandonment of

project as bane of development

in the state and consequently

initiated moves to

finish uncompleted projects

of his predecessors. Contractors

have been mobilised

to resume work on the West

and Central senatorial districts

roads. Also contract for

the Yenagoa-Oporoma road

started by his predecessor

was reviewed upward, including

construction of a

bridge to link the road to

Oporoma in the central

flank of the state.

Fund was also released

for the ongoing rehabilitation

of all the internal roads

in the capital city as well as

re-awarding of the contract

for construction of Phase 2

of the Gloryland Drive road

from the Ecumenical Centre

in Igbogene to link the

Amassoma road. Also work

is ongoing on the Igbogene-Bayelsa

Palm outer

ring road.

On the eastern flank, government

had awarded the

contract for re-construction

of the collapsed Elebele

Bridge in addition to the

Imiringi Bridge, which was

completed and commissioned.

A blueprint on agriculture

and small and medium

scale enterprises is also being

developed as part of

deliberate efforts to empower

Bayelsans to take charge

of the local economy.

Accordingly, the state

House of Assembly had given

approval for the state

government to secure two

agricultural loans from the

Central Bank of Nigeria

with minimal interest rates

to empower Bayelsa farmers.

Government has already

accessed N3 billion

agricultural credit facility

from the CBN while another

N8 billion is being awaited.

The essence of securing

such loans, according

to the governor was to empower

Bayelsa farmers and

not the state government as

other states were already

benefitting from the CBN

agricultural credit facilities.

“We decided to log into

the CBN from where so

many states have benefited

in loans with single digit

interest rates. We didn’t go

for those loans for the state

government but in the interest

of our farmers so that

our people will also be beneficiaries

of these facilities

that several other states had

accessed far more than we

have,” he said.

Also steps are being taken

in addressing the concerns

of primary school

teachers. For instance, since

2014, the morale of teachers

had been down due to

non-promotion and non-

payment of the 18 per cent

minimum wage arrears

owed the teachers since

2011.The governor has approved

the payment of the

arrears owed teachers and

accordingly implemented

their outstanding promotion

since 2014.

Similarly, retirees who

were not paid their gratuities

for several years are

now smiling following the

payment of gratuities dating

back to 2008 as N200m

is set aside every month for

payment of gratuities. A retiree,

David Barigha, said:

“Governor Douye has lived

according to his promise. I

could not imagine receiving

an alert as payment of

my gratuity after many

years of waiting.”

Today, even ardent critics

and opposition groups concede

that he has shown beyond

doubt his determination

to change the political

cum development narratives

through his government

of consensus, unity

and prosperity. Chief Henry

Igwe, Tarilaye Dakoru,

former critics of the governor

as well as Hon James

Inengite, a chieftain of the

APC and former chairman

and coordinator of all the

other parties have expressed

willingness to

work with the governor to

bring development to the

state.

DAVID

I, formerly known and addressed

as KPAMI CHIKA DAVID, now

wish to be known and addressed

as THOMAS KPAMI CHIKA.

All former documents remain

valid, FCMB and general public

take note.

FESTUS TSEBA

I, formerly known and addressed

as IBRAHIM CHERYANG,

now wish to be known and

addressed as IBRAHIM

TSEBA CHERYANG. All

former documents remain valid,

general public take note.

YAHAYA

This is to confirm that the names

JMILOU

YAHAYA

KABIROU(French Spelling) refer to

one and same person as JAMILU

YAHAYA KABIRU (English) but

now wish to be known and

addressed as JIMOH CHEGEDE

YAHAYA. All former documents

remain valid, general public take

note.

MUHAMMAD

This is to confirm that YAKUBU

MUHAMMAD OJO and YAKUBU

MOHAMMED OJO refer to one and

same person but now wish to be

known and addressed as YAKUBU

MUHAMMED OJO. All former

documents remain valid, general

public take note.

ABACHA

This is to confirm the

Correction of date of birth of

MAIDAWA ABACHA. Wrong

date of birth 27/11/1994.

Correct date of birth 27/11/

1996. All former documents

remain valid, general public

take note.

ISHAYA

I, formerly known and

addressed as AUGUSTINE

ISHAYA ISHAYA, now wish to

be known and addressed as

AUGUSTINE ISHAYA. All

former documents remain

valid, general public take note.

NURA

I, formerly known and

addressed as JAMILA NURA,

now wish to be known and

addressed as JAMILA

YAKUBU. All former

documents remain valid,

general public take note.

LABARAN

I, formerly known and

addressed as HAYATU

LABARAN, now wish to be

known and addressed as ISAH

BADAMASI. All former

documents remain valid,

general public take note.

AKPAN

My name was mistakenly written

as UTIBE JOSHUA AKPAN

instead of SAMUEL EBONG

JACOB. That henceforth I should

be known and addressed as

SAMUEL EBONG JACOB. All

former documents remain valid,

general public take note.

HENRY

I, formerly known and

addressed as HENRY HOPE

ENEYE, now wish to be known

and addressed as OSEH HOPE.

All former documents remain

valid, general public take note.

JATO

I, formerly known and

addressed as DENNIS

SAMSON JATO, now wish to

be known and addressed as

DENNIS SAMSON UNIMKE.

All former documents remain

valid, general public take note.

IBOR

I, formerly known and

addressed as EGOM IBOR,

now wish to be known and

addressed as EGOM IBOR

IBOR. All former documents

remain valid, general public

take note.

KASIMU

I, formerly known and

addressed as AMINA

KASIMU, now wish to be

known and addressed as

AMINA LULWAN. All

former documents remain

valid, general public take

note.

ENECHOJO

I, formerly known and

addressed as ABDUL

HANNAH ENECHOJO, now

wish to be known and addressed

as ABDUL HANNAH

ACHIMI. All former

documents remain valid,

general public take note.

ABDUL

I, formerly known and

addressed as ABDUL

HARUNA, now wish to be

known and addressed as

UMORU IDEGWU. All

former documents remain

valid, general public take note.

ISAAC

I, formerly known and

addressed as GIDEON ISAAC,

now wish to be known and

addressed as JUMAI

OGACHEKO. All former

documents remain valid,

general public take note.

CHINYERE

I, formerly known and

addressed as UGWU

FRANCISCA CHINYERE,

now wish to be known and

addressed as UGWU

FRANCISCA. All former

documents remain valid,

general public take note.

ADULE

I, formerly known and addressed

as GODWIN SABO, now wish to

be known and addressed as ADULE

SABO GODWIN. Wrong date of

birth 01/01/1989. Correct date of

birth 12/07/1994. All former

documents remain valid, general

public take note.

BUDU

I, formerly known and

addressed as BUDU MAURICE

SOKARI NENGIA, now wish

to be known and addressed as

NENGIA MAURICE SOKARI.

All former documents remain

valid, general public take note.

SANI ITORO

I, formerly known and

addressed as SANI MARYAM,

now wish to be known and

addressed as MARYAM ANGO.

All former documents remain

valid, general public take note.

NGAA

I, formerly known and

addressed as IBRAHIM NGAA

PHILIP, now wish to be

known and addressed as

IBRAHIM PHILIP. All former

documents remain valid, First

Bank Plc and general public

take note.

SPACE

FOR

SALE


Why is he off erotic action

at 49?

Dear Bunmi,

DO YOU think it’s a

common thing for a

49-year-old man not to

want sex? My husband and

I got married two years ago

- it is the second time for

both of us. We managed to

have sex for a few times

during the three years we

courted but, since we got

married, I can count on my

fingers the number of times

we’ve had sex. He told me

just before we got married

that he no longer needed

sex but I thought that after

marriage, and with me

constantly by his side, he

would change his mind.

But he hasn’t.

So why did he get

married? Sometimes we go

Dear Bunmi,

CAN YOU please tell

me when a woman

should first have sex with

a new partner? In a recent

discussion with my friends

on the topic, all of them,

except me, waited at least

a week before sex. I’ve

always had sex on the first

night with a man, if I like

him. Now I feel a bit cheap

for doing this.

Tola, by e-mail.

Dear Tola,

through the routine as if

we ‘11 go all the way, then

he turns over and goes to

sleep. It’s very frustrating,

I tell you. My husband has

refused to talk about his

problem and acts as if I’m,

making a big deal of it. His

first wife had several

affairs, then left him for

someone else. I know there

are a lot worse things that

happen in a relationship

than not having sex, but

this is ridiculous! Do you

believe we have a future

together? Or should I

divorce him? I feel

frustrated and wouldn’t

want to get married a third

time.

Franka, by e-mail.

Dear Franka,

It’s obvious that your

husband’s sex drive has

When should I ‘do it' with

a new love?

Sex with someone on a

first date can be risky and

exciting, but it is more

likely to be unprotected so

you could put yourself at

risk of a sexually

transmitted disease, or

even pregnancy.

Researchers say it is better

to wait as women can use

this courtship time to check

out whether they’ve found

a good man to sleep with,

or a one-night

disappointment. I’d

encourage you to make

your lovers work a little

harder before pay day!

been weak for a long time.

The poor man suffered the

humiliation of his wife

sleeping with other men

and then leaving him in the

end. This must have given

him the sense that he is

inadequate and likely to be

rejected, even by a woman

he loves and who loves

him. By confiding in you

that he no longer needed

sex, he is asking you to

accept that he now rarely

feels aroused and is near

impotent. So, every time

you mention the absence of

sex, his fear of rejection

“becomes intense.

Instead of re-assuring

him that this new marriage

he was courageous enough

to go into wouldn’t end in

humiliation, you’re already

plotting your escape! He’s

tried to make love a few

times only for his attempts

to backfire miserably;

which obviously adds to his

frustration. Help your

husband to accept that

your marriage will survive

your not having sex and

accept this yourself. Tell

him fore-play should not

necessarily be followed by

penetrative sex and

encourage him to stimulate

you to orgasm. Your

husband needs to feel that

he can still satisfy a woman

sexually and mutual

massage is a wonderful

way for a couple to share

intimacy and affection - it

can also encourage intense

orgasm by you, and your

man. Give it a try.

Surprised this toy boy is not a

gold digger!

Dear Bunmi,

IKNOW toy boys are the

rage these days and

they connote the image of

a gold-digger. I met this

friend’s younger brother at

a bank that I use and he’d

been after me since then.

I’m a single mother of two

and fairly comfortable.

Even though I’m seven

years older, this man and I

started a relationship. I enjoyed

his company and the

sex is good. Only he hasn’t

asked me for any gifts or

money - instead he gives

presents that lifts my spirit.

Is it a matter of time before

he starts milking me? And

how far should I go in my

generosity?

Clair, by e-mail

Dear Clair,

You won’t be the first

woman to be under the

spell of a toyboy - there are

tons of women in your

shoes asking the same

question: Does it really

work in the bedroom? Here

are four good reasons

researchers give why a

toyboy might prefer

maturity over youth: Older

women know what they are

doing: They’ve clocked up

more lovers so have more

experience. Young girls

might have breasts that

point to heaven, but older

women will keep him on

cloud nine through sheer

sexual knowledge.

Older women take

charge: They’re not afraid

to direct on position, pace

or fore-play, so he’s not left

wondering what his lover

wants or when she wants it.

She’s capable of satisfying

her own needs which takes

the pressure off him and

she doesn’t just lie back

and expect him to do all the

work. Older women take

their time: It usually takes

women longer warm-up

than men. She doesn’t

apologise for it, knowing a

slower sex session is liable

to be more enjoyable for

both of them.

Older women are

confident: They’re likely to

be less inhibited and far

less hung up on what

people will think if they try

something a little unusual.

So make the most of this

experience and have fun.

Your toyboy works in a

bank and is most unlikely

to milk you dry for sex!

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021 — 29

He can’t function without

porn!

Dear Bunmi,

WE’VE BEEN married

for over four years now

and have two sons. Our sex

life was good until recently

when my husband, who is in

his mid-30's, started

experiencing erectile failure.

He has since resorted to

watching blue films whenever

we want to make love. This

easily excites him and he

keeps the film on during sex.

I find this very disgusting. At

first I thought it was to help

him get his sex drive back.

Now I feel he is making love

to the characters in the sick

movies, not me.

Ruth, by e-mail.

Dear Ruth,

Could your husband be

worried about anything that

could cause his not being able

to be aroused by you? You

have to talk to him about how

unhappy he is making you

feel and why he’s suddenly

behaving the way he is. It’s

often something that has

nothing to do with the

Dear Bunmi,

RECENTLY, A group of

us girls got talking and

almost all of us admitted to

thinking about other men

when making love to our

partners. This is supposed to

liven up an otherwise dull

session. Is this fantasy thing

common? Isn’t it disloyal to

the partner you’re with when

you fantasize about other

men?

Folusho, by e-mail.

Dear Folusho,

Fantasy is supposed to be a

wonderful way to improve

sexual arousal. Your mind

can take you to wonderful

places with endless erotic

possibilities. Both men and

women can benefit from wild

fantasy during sex. Those

who’ve never tried it are

missing out. Here are a few

professional tips on fantasy:

Story lines - Fantasies are

limited only by the

imagination. The variety of

erotic storylines is almost

endless. Many have fantasies

that give them pleasure

through life, while others

change their fantasies

regularly and incorporate

real life events and people

they have met.

Fantasies often get their

power from their extreme

content. They contain images

You have to

talk to him

about how

unhappy he is

making you

feel. It’s often

something

that has

nothing to do

with the

relationship

that turns men

off sex. If he

has lost

confidence in

himself, you

need to help

him find it

relationship that turns men

off sex. If he has lost

confidence in himself, you

need to help him find it.

Watching blue films together

once in a while is healthy, if

it is what you both want.

Should one fantasise during

love-making?

the individual would never

want to experience in real life

and the thought conjure up

feelings of guilt or fear. This

charge of emotion gets

transformed into powerful

sexual excitement.

Men vs Women: Research

suggests half of women

fantasise while making love

to their husband and most are

dreaming about sex with

another man. And men are

the same - often thinking of

other women. But this should

not be a source of guilt or seen

as infidelity. Remember,

fantasy is only in the mind.

Inspiration: People fuel

their fantasy from a variety

of sources. They may get their

images from pornography,

from reading erotic literature

or from day dreaming about

a man they met on the bus.

The amount you fantasize

isn’t an indicator of how good

or bad your sex life is. In fact,

people with healthy sex lives

have been known to fantasize

more because they are

inspired by their lover.

Feeling it for real: Fantasy

is amazing and it’s well worth

exploring the sex life in your

head. You can even go further

and try to act out a fantasy

with a lover; it’s a great way

to spice up your sex life but

try not to be too disappointed

if reality falls short of your

day dreams.

Share your problems and release

your burden. Write now to

Dear Bunmi,

Vanguard Newspapers,

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

bunmsof@yahoo.co.uk

C

M

Y


30 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021

•The late Lateef Jakande

Jakande - war hero in

peacetime

By PAT UTOMI

IT’s easy to celebrate

extraordinary personage.

But what is more important is to

flatter them by imitating them

appropriately. I am tempted,

therefore, to ask of the politicians

pouring encomiums on the late

Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji

Lateef K. Jakande? Who among

them can make the effort to be like

him? That is where the rubber meets

the road.

I knew Alhaji Jakande. He knew

also that I genuinely regarded him

highly. When I looked at Nigeria’s

broken National Honours system

with the many crooks on the

Honours roll I thought we should

create something young people

could model themselves on. The

result was the Leader Without Title,

LWT, Honour Colloquium Series.

We at CVL, the home of the LWT

Tribute Series, were careful to avoid

honouring politicians because the

flavour of the moment is to celebrate

politicians with access to public

resources and power to dole out

favours. We have been careful to

avoid honouring politicians,

especially from the brood with little

sense of service. But we could not do

a good job of setting up role models

for tomorrow’s leaders if we did not

erect before them someone like

Jakande. So we honoured him in the

LWT Tribute Colloquium Series. He

and Dr. Alex Ekwueme have been

held up as the only examples from

the political class, for young people,

in the 10 years of the LWT Tribute

Series.

I thought that useful because as a

young person looking for role

models from the ranks of statesmen,

I found worthy of such from the

immediate post-independence era

Dr. Michael (MI) Okpara and Chief

Obafemi Awolowo. In many ways,

Alhaji Lateef Jakande was the Elisha

that followed Elijah Obafemi

Awolowo. I was, therefore, quite

comfortable with the appellation of

Babakekere to his name as the Awo

heir-apparent.

But the time I had for the former

Lagos State governor traversed

political life. His simplicity, integrity,

and focus may have come through

with his use of his personal car, a

Toyota Crown for official duties as

governor when his colleagues went

for the super-luxury Mercedes Benz

models; his continuing to live in his

home in Ilupeju instead of moving

into Lagos house on Marina; and in

clearly recognising Education,

Housing and Transportation as the

primary needs of Lagosians and

pursuing the