20022021 - INSECURITY Give us state police now - Govs

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2 —SATURDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 20, 2021

Burial ceremony of late Alh Lateef Olukayode Jakande at Volts After Gardens, long expectation, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Soludo declares interest to

succeed Obiano

How Jakande turned down offer to

become President of Nigeria — Tinubu

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

NATIONAL Leader of

the All Progressives

Congress, APC, and

former Governor of Lagos

State, Bola Tinubu, has revealed

how late first Civilian

Governor of Lagos

State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande,

LKJ, politely, rejected

the call by some progressive

groups to contest

for the Presidency of Nigeria.

Tinubu, stated this on

Friday, while addressing

the crowd at the eight

day ‘fidau ‘prayer for late

Jakande, held at his Bishop

Street, residence, Ilupeju,

Lagos.

According to Tinubu:

“To all of us in Lagos, we

have been extremely lucky

to have him, extremely

lucky to draw from the

fountain of his knowledge.

“Nigeria equally is lucky

but when the crisis of military

and many others

arose, we met him, we

said, we wanted Jakande

but he said, he was no longer

interested in becoming

the president in the midst

of chaos.

“We told him, we wanted

him to come and lead,

he said no, the field was left

for us, he has left an open

field. There is no way, one

can say, we will beat his

record, he is already immortal,

it is only from our

own character , our vision

that will drive our mission.”

Earlier, in his sermon,

the National Missioner and

Chief Imam of Ansar-Ud-

Deen Society of Nigeria,

Sheikh Abdulrahman Ahmad,

said nothing could

have stopped Tibubu from

becoming President of Nigeria

if God so destined.

He urged well meaning

Nigerians s to support the

dream of Tinubu, particularly

the Southern part of

the country in achieving

the dream.

His words: “Asiwaju

Tinubu really followed the

template Alhaji Jakande

built.

“Asiwaju, God is challenging

you by giving you

another opportunity to be

part of the history of Nigeria.

“It takes visionary leadership

and determination

to succeed. The challenges

of security, insurgency

and COVID-19 afford you

an opportunity to rescue

Nigeria.”

Nigeria to exit dependence on oil revenue in

10 years — Awolowo *Says non-oil exports to hit $30bn

THE Executive Director/

CEO of the Nigerian

Export Promotion Council,

NEPC, Mr. Segun Awolowo,

yesterday assured that given

the steps being taken to improve

the non-oil exports, Nigeria

will exit its dependence

on crude oil revenue in the

next 10 years.

Mr. Awolowo stated this

while briefing State House

correspondents after meeting

behind closed doors with

President Muhammadu Buhari

at the presidential villa,

Abuja.

According to him, in the

next decade, Nigeria can get

$30 billion in terms of non

oil export not withstanding

the effect of the current COV-

ID-19 pandemic.

He said, “But more importantly,

we must just continue,

we must increase production

and productivity all across

the two sectors that the zero

oil plan is postulating for the

country and then we get out

of it. We cannot run an economy

that 90 percent of our

earnings is from crude oil. It

is just not working and that is

what we are seeing through

out the years when we went

into first recession when the

world oil prices stood worldwide.”

While noting the changing

world dynamics, he said: “We

need to move again from just

raw materials, we need to

look at the entire value chain

and that is where you create

jobs and that is where you

earn more money.

“So ten years time frame

we are looking at to get to

$30 billion but we must be

consistent, we must invest

more in the non oil sector

From left: National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola

Tinubu; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and wife of the deceased,

Alhaja Abimbola Jakande, during the 8-day Fidau prayer for the first civilian Governor

of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, at Bishop Street, Ilupeju, yesterday.

than looking for oil.”

Acknowledging the president’s

support to NEPC and

the non-oil export sector, he

recalled that the non-oil exports

sector was experiencing

challenges, especially with

the basic incentive, the Export

Expansion Grant (EEG)

being suspended, with over

N350 billion in unpaid EEG

claims.

He added: “The situation

had dire effects on exporters,

some shut down plants, some

laid off people thereby increasing

the numbers of unemployed

population. Mr

President rescued the situation

with his approval of the

new EEG scheme.”

On the implementation of

the Zero Oil Plan, the NEPC

boss affirmed that it has received

enormous support

and buy-in even as it is integrated

in the Economic Recovery

and Growth Plan, adding

that the National Economic

Council has set up a

National Committee on Exports

to drive it

Awolowo further remarked:

“The entire world is

now raising a lot of concerns

about the long-term devastating

impacts of oil and focusing

on climate change.

The unpredictability on oil

prices

will not stop. First 2008, oil

price crashed due to global

financial crises; then in 2014

oil price crashed due to shale

over production; then in

2020, oil price crashed due

to COVID.

“We have seen a return to a

positive GDP growth in last

quarter of 2020. We have now

seen strong recoveries in Agriculture

(growth of 3.4%)

and Services, and those sectors

put a lid on 2020 declines.

“We have achieved a lot, but

we continue to get requests

from all the States for Export

programmes. And these initiatives

touch the grass roots,

women, youths, creates hundreds

of thousands of jobs.”

The NEPC boss, who outlined

the improvements

achieved in non-oil export

products and jobs created

across the country, said:

“Even for what we are doing

there now on this, we need to

scale it up, and take it to more

states, It is projects like these

that we need to truly become

an ‘Export Nation’ We just

need to scale up our Zero Oil

plan so that it reaches and

touches more.

Bawa’s appointment will achieve required

reforms in EFCC — Omotola

THE Director-Gener

al, Center for Institutions

Reforms in Nigeria,

CIRN, Lai Omotola has

described the nomination of

a 40-year old Abdul-

Rasheed Bawa to head the

Economic and Financial

Crimes Commission, EFCC.

as capable of achieving the

required reforms in the

anti-graft agency. Reacting

to the development, Omotola

applauded President

Buhari, saying that the appointment

vividly shows

that Buhari is committed to

making reforms that would

springboard Nigeria to

higher height in all sectors.

‘President Muhammadu

Buhari has demonstrated

that he is indeed a man of

reforms. By choosing Bawa,

he has demonstrated his

commitment towards the

continuous fight against

corruption in Nigeria. He

has shown the commitment

in two forms: one; he

has nominated the youngest

man in history to run

EFCC, secondly, for the first

time in history of EFCC, an

operative from the antigraft

agency will run the

commission. “You will recall

that during the travails

of the former Chairman

of EFCC, Ibrahim

Magu; when he was being

investigated by the presidential

panel, CIRN called

for an amendment of EFCC

Act that would make an insider

within the operative

to take control of the dayto-day

operations and workings

of the anti-graft commission.

At present, Abdul-

Rasheed Bawa is the head

of Lagos Zone of the commission.

Within a short

time, we have seen a lot of

reforms he has brought to

the zone. He has changed

the ambience of EFCC and

he has also ensured that operations

of EFCC in terms

of Investigation are based

on specialized departments;

meaning that it now operates

in a specialized way.

Omotola also said that the

appointment shows the belief

of the President that

youths possess the needed

knowledge and the capacity

to govern Nigeria effectively.

By Vincent Ujumadu, Awka

AFTER long expectation by members of the ruling All Pro

gressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and other stakeholders

in Anambra State, the former Governor of the Central Bank of

Nigeria, CBN, Professor Charles Soludo has finally declared

his intention to contest the November 6, 2021 governorship

election in Anambra State.

Soludo’s name began to make the round as the likely successor

to Obiano for more than two years, but he had not come out

to say he was interested in the race, until Thursday when he

visited the headquarters of APGA in Awka.

Over time, however, no fewer than 15 groups have been campaigning

for Soludo, with some of the groups making donations

in the various churches and at ceremonies across the state

on his behalf.

At a time, some politicians in the state who perhaps were

afraid of his intimidating credentials started saying that he had

decided not to contest, while others said the presidency had

promised him the governorship only if he contested on the platform

of All Progressives Congress, APC.

But declaring his governorship ambition at APGA secretariat,

Soludo said he is aspiring to contest under APGA, adding that

the November 2021 governorship election in Anambra State is

consequential to the survival of the party.

His visit to the party headquarters was like a carnival, as

notable past and present political office holders accompanied

him. Among those that came with him included serving and

former commissioners, former deputy governor of the state,

Chief Emeka Sibeudu, chieftains of APGA and all the local

government chairmen in the state.

Before his declaration, the former CBN governor had visited

APGA stakeholders in the 21 local government areas of the

state, culminating in his Aguata Local Government area naming

him as the sole candidate from the area, despite the fact that

there were other governorship aspirants from the local government.

Addressing the party officials, Soludo said: “This election is

consequential in Anambra State and if APGA does not win, it

means the party is gone. Let no APGA member toy with this

election. If APGA loses Anambra, it has lost direction.

“Therefore, do not make mistake in the person the party will

field for the election as candidate because the party cannot

afford to lose the November election.”

According to him, the collective destiny of the party is at stake

and must be protected by all means.

Anambra State chairman of APGA, Sir Norbert Obi assured

Soludo that the party would be fair to all the aspirants during

the forthcoming primaries to select the governorship candidate

of the party.

#End SARS Inquiry: Wike receives

report indicting SARS officials

By Egufe Yafugborhi

GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike on Friday challenged Inspec

tor General of Police, IGP, Adamu Mohammed, to justify

Federal Government’s seriousness in setting up nationwide

#EndSARS Judicial Commissions of Inquiry by implementing

emanating recommendations.

Wike declared the challenge when the commission of inquiry

in Rivers State, chaired by Justice Chukwunenye Uriri

(rtd) submitted its report to the Governor at Government

House, Port Harcourt.

Uriri had told the Governor that the commission received

190 petitions, struck out 82 for lack of due diligence or jurisdiction

and eventually considered 108 of them. He noted

that policemen who committed crime against Rivers people,

do not have any affinity with the State.

He stated that, “it is noteworthy that our commission has

the highest number of petitions in the federation. Lagos has

210 petitions while we have 190. Lagos is still there but by

the grace of God, we are here presenting this report to you.

“It is our opinion that this figure represents the highest degree

of total disregard of law and order by law enforcement

agencies in the State.”

Governor Wike then immediately set up a 5-man committee

to extract White Paper from the report of the commission

that investigated Human Rights Abuses, Police Brutality

and Extrajudicial Killings by now disbanded Special

Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the state.

He said, “The truth of the matter is that I am not sure the

Again, Boko Haram invades

Dikwa in Borno

By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri

BOKO Haram members last night invaded Dikwa

Local government Area of Borno state shooting sporadically

after engaging security operatives. Residents

including thousands of Internally Displaced Persons

(IDPs) according to sources scampered for safety following

the attack. This happened few days after some

insurgents stormed neighboring Marte Local Government

Area and wrecked havoc, as well as took control

and mounted their flags at the Council Headquarter.

A resident who did not want his name, in a text message

to Saturday Vanguard last night said, “the insurgents

invaded Dikwa at about 5:30pm on Friday and

have been exchanging fire with troops up to 9:05pm at

press time.” He said he did not have actual number of

casualties but he suspected that the terrorists, the troops

and innocent civilians were likely to suffer casualty.


Election losers exploiting herders/

farmers crisis in Edo — Obaseki

*Wants military to protect forest reserves

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

GOVERNOR Godwin

Obaseki of Edo State has

blamed the tension in the state

over the idea of grazing lands

on those he described as the

same political opponents he defeated

in the last gubernatorial

poll in the state.

Recall that the governor had

been reported to have promised

to establish grazing lands for

herders, but while speaking to

State House correspondents after

meeting with the Chief of

Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim

Gambari, at the presidential

villa, Abuja, weekend, he said

his government was only encouraging

private citizens to do

business with herders for profit.

He accused the political opponents

of deliberately misrepresenting

the position of government

for selfish reasons.

According to him, “If you will

just go through some blogs and

some of the narratives and messages

sent around online and

on social media, you can see a

correlation. For instance, the

people who are pushing the

message that I have given grazing

land in Edo, if you see them,

they are the same blogs, the same

people who were sponsoring

opposition messages throughout

election. So, clearly, if you

were in my position, what will

be your conclusion?

“Apart from that, the people

who have been pushing the narrative

are just trying to create

scare, trying to create trouble.

These are people who we defeated

during the last election.

“So, clearly, we are not saying

we don’t have challenges,

we have security challenges, but

leadership or people who have

aspired to leadership, should

not be irresponsible. You don’t

inflame already tensed situation.

That’s what we are saying.”

Governor Obaseki affirmed

that he did not renege on his

promise to provide grazing

lands, saying: “I said a state government

is not in the business of

ranching or of providing grazing

lands. However, there are

communities that have lands,

which have, as at today, accommodated

herders under some

arrangements.

“What I suggested was that

these communities should look

at making lands available

SATURDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 20, 2021 — 3

where and when herdsmen

come in. They can grow grass

and charge them to herd in specific

areas and avoid getting the

herdsmen to trespass into other

people’s farm lands because

that is what causes crisis.

Insecurity: Your prayers, sermons should gear towards

peace, stability, Tinubu charges clerics

•As Osoba, Sanwo-Olu, Fayemi, Yerima, others pay

tributes to late LKJ

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

From left: Managing Director, Portland Paints and Products, Mrs. Bolarin

Okunowo; Chairperson, Esosa Balogun; Shareholder Proxy, Mr. Mathew Akinlade;

and the Secretary, Mr. Olamide Osundolire at the company's event held

in Lagos, recently. PHOTO: AKEEM SALAU

Akeredolu’s inauguration will be low key

— Committee

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

THE second term in

auguration ceremony

of the Ondo State Governor

Rotimi Akeredolu, slated

for Wednesday, February,

24, will be a low-key

event in view of the COV-

ID-19 pandemic.

Chairman of the Inauguration

Committee and the

Deputy governor elect, Mr.

Lucky Ayedatiwa said this

in Akure during a press

conference to herald the

second term inauguration.

Ayedatiwa said that invitation

for the programmes

will be limited to very few

people.

According to him:“It is

important to stress that attendance

at every function

will be strictly by invitation

in order to control crowd

and reduce the risks associated

with COVID-19.

“In other words, the venues

will be a no-go areas

for individuals without official

invitation cards. For

more emphasis, the DOME

which sits full capacity of

1,800 guests will now sit

500 for the inauguration

while it will accommodate

only 400 for the state dinner

later in the evening.”

He disclosed that the

week-long activities will include

Inauguration lecture

which will come up on Tuesday,

February 23,2021,

and will be delivered by the

President of Development

Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina.

NATIONAL leader of

the All Progressives

Congress, APC, and

former Governor of Lagos

State, Bola Tinubu, has

urged both Muslim and

Christian clerics to channel

their prayers, commitment,

fasting, sermons towards

promoting peace

and stability across the

country.

Tinubu, gave the charge

on Friday, while addressing

the mammoth crowd

at the eighth day ‘fidau

‘prayer for the soul of the

late first civilian Governor,

Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande,

LJK, held at his

Bishop Street, residence,

Ilupeju, Lagos.

Recall that Jakande died

in his residence, last week

Thursday, at the age of 91

and laid to rest on the second

day, Friday, at Vaults

and Gardens Cemetery,

Ikoyi, Lagos.

On the occasion, Lagos

State Governor, Mr. Babajide

Sanwo-Olu, led other

dignitaries, which include:

Lagos state deputy governor,

Dr. Femi Hamzat,

Speaker of the Lagos State

House of Assembly, Mudashiru

Obasa, former

Governor of Ogun State,

Otunba Segun Osoba, Ekiti

State Governor, Kayode

Fayemi, former Governor

of Zamfara, Ahmad Sani

Yerima, former Inspector-

General of Police, Musiliu

Smith, Ganiyu Olarewaju

Solomon, GOS, among

others.

The event was also attended

by members of the

Lagos State Executive

Council, various Islamic

and Christian clerics, traditional

leaders and

chiefs, APC chieftains in

the state, Local Government

chairmen, market

women, among others.

The prayer session was

conducted by Islamic

scholars and clerics, with

second lecture and prayer

delivered by Chief Imam

of Anserudeen Society of

Nigeria, Abdulraheem Ahmad

while Pastor Daniel

Adeeko, prayed for the repose

of the deceased and

family members he left

behind.

Tinubu, who described

late LKJ as a flagbearer,

true progressive, true leader,

said, “We have listened

to the clergymen, to our

father who has gone to answer

the call of Almighty

Allah, we pray that God

will forgive all his sins. To

the family; it is not your

loss but our loss. We cannot

be alive forever, Allah

destined the date we will

depart. Today is eight

days, we all assemble here

to pray for Alhaji LKJ.

Well, if I start to write, I

will write epistle, I am one

of the lucky men to grow

under him. This is the

house I learned to become

a politician and my journey

to political life. He

said go, we need many like

you, go to the senate and

the rest is history. To our

junior brothers and sisters,

may God bless you, and set

you on the right path of

success.

“Jakande has many children,

not just you alone,

we are, and we are truly his

children.

“Today, he is no more but

he is still existing to the eternity,

we pray for Lagos State,

we pray for Nigeria to give

us more people, more leaders

who are prudent, honest,

that give priority to the world

the future, looking at what

will become the life of the

children.

“He converted three sets of

school classes for students in

a day to single one, he converted

so many hospitals, he

is the most progressive individual

that you ever have,

progressive to the core.

“I appeal, in his memory

today, for us not to turn whatever

challenges we are facing

right now, to ethnic, tribal

and religion crisis, only

God almighty Allah will

judge your faith.

“Only Him that is perfect,

only Allah will pray to direct

us on the right path. You ‘ulamas’

(Islamic scholars) too,

you are very critical in

present situation, your

prayers, commitment, fasting,

all the sermons should

gear towards peace and

stability.

Herdsmen Crisis:Yoruba will

lose more in event of war,

Oluwo warns, calls for peace

By Shina Abubakar,

Osogbo

OLUWO of Iwo, Oba Ab

dulrosheed Akanbi has

cautioned Yoruba groups to stop

drumming the beat of war,

warning that the Yoruba may

lose more if the herdsmen crisis

degenerates into war.

The monarch in a statement

issued by his media aide Alli

Ibrahim yesterday counseled

Yorubas in the South-west to

consider their kinsmen in the

north before declaring war

against the Hausas in the Yoruba

states.

He also urged the deviant

Fulani herdsmen to respect human

dignity and desist from

kidnapping and killing of fellow

humans.

Appealing to the Yoruba nation,

Oluwo stressed the need to

consider the billions of immovable

investment of their kinsmen

in the northern states,

saying that in the event of crisis

herdsmen may only lose

cattle while their kinsmen

would lose billions of investments

in the north. He also said

that profiling the entire Fulani

as criminals should be avoided

as there were law abiding ones.

He said the path of peace is

the most honourable, tasking

security operatives to prosecute

criminals irrespective of ethnic

affiliation, saying doing so

would clear the air and show

that the current outcry was

against the criminal herdsmen.

He described Nigeria as a nation

of complex identities, call-

ing on stakeholders, especially

government to domesticate

dividends of democracy

as a means of tackling numerous

crisis in the country.

The statement reads further,

“The lingering Yoruba-

Fulani saga is a fragile issue

that demands witty, technical

approach. No doubt, the

activities such as killing, kidnapping,

raping perpetrated

by the bad eggs among the

Fulani are condemnable.

As a people, we must understand

who to fight. I see Fulani

as a section of the Hausas.

And most Fulani are not stationed

in their origin. They

have relocated and settled else

where. Their most valued

items are their cows. Most of

their properties are movable.

Is this who we want to declare

war against?

“Declaring war against the

Fulani will be derogatorily

translated to a war against the

Hausas. Fulani are just a section

of the Hausas. What will

be the fate of billions of investments

and properties of the

Yorubas in the northern

States? If their own cows could

be moved, how will our innocent

sons and daughters in the

northern states move their investments

and properties? I

see Yoruba losing more should

there be war.

“I’m appealing to all and

sundry to dignify human

lives and toe the path of honour

in sustaining a peaceful

co-existence. War is an enemy

of humanity. What war

can do, peace can do better”.

Dialogue with bandits, only way

out for peace, Gumi insists

By Wole Mosadomi

DAYS after he made

similar remarks that

attracted attacks from Nigerians

Islamic Scholar,

Sheikh Ahmed Abubakar

Gumi has insisted that the

only way to put an end to

insecurity in Niger state and

Nigeria generally is to enter

into dialogue with the bandits

terrorising parts of the

country.

Sheikh Gumi told Journalists

in Minna, Niger State

yesterday after visiting the

bandits in their hideout in

Dutsen Magaji in Mariga

Local Government area of

the state, adding that from

what he has seen, the bandits

were ready to give peace

a chance after dialogue with

the appropriate government

officials.

“From all indications, the

bandits are ready to sheath

their swords with the appropriate

authorities by going

into dialogue with them and

not by force,” he remarked.

Accompanied to their hideout

by Secretary to Niger

state government, Alhaji

Ahmed Ibrahim Matene,

Gumi said he seized the opportunity

to preach to the

bandits that Islam is

against taking the lives of

innocent people and appealed

to them to embrace

peace by laying down their

arms. The Islamic Cleric

assured the bandits that he

will continue to discuss

with the State Government

to explore whatever

assistance and support

government will give to

them with a view to

achieving the set objectives.

Some of the commanders

in their separate remarks

applauded the State Government

for the peace process,

stressing that it would

go a long way in restoring

peace across the state.

The bandits appealed to

the State Government to

assist the release of their

members arrested by Security

Agencies and detained

across the state for

the peace process to thrive.


4 —SATURDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 20, 2021

Burial ceremony of late Alh Lateef Olukayode Jakande at the Volts and Gardens, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Insecurity: We’re in a season of anomie, give us state

police nowGovs

By Omeiza Ajayi &

Olayinka Ajayi

Governors of the 36 states

of the Federation, yesterday,

took stock of the nation’s security

response strategy in

the wake of renewed banditry

and other criminal activities,

and demanded for immediate

creation of State Police,

devolution of power, and resource

control, lamenting

that Nigeria is currently in a

season of anomie.

While they noted that Nigeria’s

security response

strategy is ad-hoc and reactive,

Senate Minority Leader,

Enyinnaya Abaribe urged

security agencies, especially

in the Southern part of the

country to stop treating victims

of criminal attacks as

criminals.

Abaribe spoke on Friday

alongside the Ekiti state Governor

and Chairman of the

Nigerian Governors Forum,

NGF, Dr Kayode Fayemi of

Ekiti State and Governor

Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna

State at a forum on “Strategies

for pulling Nigeria from

the brink”, organised by RadioNow

95.3 in partnership

with NexTier.

The governors also stated

that Nigeria’s security agencies

have continued to work

at cross-purposes, making it

difficult to solve Nigeria’s

complex security equation.

Governor el-Rufai, who

spoke first demanded the

immediate devolution of powers,

saying there is need for

state police and vesting the

control of onshore mineral

resources in the states.

He said: “Since the insurgency

in the North-East

pushed things to a new low,

this country does not have

enough soldiers, uniform

police or secret police to protect

state power across its vast

swathes particularly the forests.

“The limited number of

boots on the ground are not

well equipped and are significantly

lacking in the technology

that can make their

limited numbers matter a lot

less.

Slow justice system

“The justice system operates

with ethos and at a pace

that does not reflect the fragility

of the situation and the

urgency to demonstrate that

the rule of law is meaningful.

Prosecutions take too

long, so long that many citizens

assume that the criminals

have long been released,

encouraging criminal

conduct and raising the

dangerous appeal of illegal

self-help.

“The states and local governments

have limited hard

power but considerable options

and scope for the exercise

of soft power, which requires

for its effectiveness the

looming shadow of credible

coercive power. By this I

mean unless people understand

that there is a strong

federal government with enforcement

behind this soft

power, the soft power will not

be exercised with success.

“We can overcome these

debilitation. We are not the

only country cobbled together

by accident of history. We

are more integrated than we

think.

“In my view, we must approach

organizing our country

as a deliberate task, beginning

with the collective

decision regarding what sort

of society we intend to build

and the means of attaining

it”, el-Rufai stated.

He said there has to be elite

consensus on issues such as

commitment to the rule of law

and quick dispensation of

justice; common citizenship

and respect for residency

rights; equal opportunity for

all, respect for diversity as

well as “the immediate devolution

of powers to return

the nation to the true federation

of its founding fathers.

*Say, security agencies working at cross-purposes

*El Rufai, Fayemi loud on resource control, devolution of powers

*Nigeria’s security response strategy ad-hoc, reactive

*We’re practicing Kabiyesi democracy - Abaribe

Popular Iju Ishaga market shutdown in honour of late Alh Kayode Jakande, former first civilian

Governor of Lagos State order from the Lagos State Government. Photo Akeem Salau

Three steps out

“I will dwell on three of the

issues that I believe are critical

to the immediate needs

of the country to pull back

from the brink. The first is the

imperative for federal, states

and community policing. We

do not have enough police.

One centralised police for the

country just has not worked.

Secondly, we must amend

the Constitution and relevant

laws to vest control of oil and

gas, mines and minerals other

than offshore in the continental

shelf and extended

economic zones in the states

that already have control

over land under the Land

Use Act with royalties and

taxes payable to the federal

government and to the Federation

Account. Three, we

must rectify the anomaly of a

Federation that has a more

or less unitary judiciary.

“In addition too and in line

with the foregoing points, I

will recommend the following

immediate decisions and

actions by the Federal and

State Governments with the

support of our civil societies

and all well-meaning Nigerians.

“The first recommendation

is to implement the three key

devolution proposals that I

mentioned above. Give us

State Police now. Vest all

minerals in the states now

and decentralize our judiciary

now, not later.

“Two, let us be collectively

emphatic about the right of

every citizen to security, freedom

of movement and right

of residence; and that the

choice of livelihood must conform

with the laws of the land.

“Three, we must identify,

focus and deal decisively

with all state and non-state

actors in deeds, in conducts

that amount to challenging

the supremacy of the Nigerian

state and our constitution

without ethnic profiling

or discriminatory treatment.

“We must provide immediate

and enhanced funding

to acquire advanced equipment,

armament and ordnance

for the armed forces,

police, security agencies and

paramilitary agencies by

drawing down from the pool

of various federation funds

like the Excess Crude Account,

Natural Resource Account,

Stabilization Account

and so on, so that our security

services will have the materials

to face the criminals

that menace us.

“Number Five. Implement

the National Livestock Transformation

Plan already produced

four years ago to enable

accelerated investments

in modern animal husbandry

incorporating the rapid

sedentarization of herders.

“Also, there is need for the

aggressive reduction of the

cost of governance at federal,

state and local government

levels through merger of

Ministries, Departments and

Agencies MDAs with similar

mandates and functions;

and a nationwide freeze on

creation of any new administrative,

regulatory or executive

bodies for the foreseeable

future. We simply cannot

afford it anymore.

“Seventh, we need to

forge a national consensus

now, not later, to collect more

taxes at both federal and state

levels for the governments to

be viable. This means also

we must stop pretending

that the regulated rates of

lending, interest rates, exchange

rates, prices of petrol

and electricity as well as the

salaries in the public sector

are realistic, sustainable and

will lead us to the promised

land. These are decisions for

here and now. As leaders, our

obligation is to turn Nigeria’s

moment of peril into breakthrough

moments”, el-Rufai

added.

On his part, Fayemi who

spoke on behalf of the Nigerian

Governors Forum, NGF,

said he agreed with all the

submissions made by Gov.

el-Rufai.

He said: “I concur completely

with virtually everything

that my brother has put

forward, but I have an added

obligation as head of Nigerian

Governors to share

with you our perspectives

collectively on these issues.

Given this worrisome

state, whether it is insurgency

in the North-East, farmers-herders

conflict in the

North-Central, banditry in

the North-West, kidnapping

in the South-West and the

South-East; and of course all

over the country, youth restiveness

across the country

that led to #EndSARS that

we all unfortunately encountered

in October, militancy,

sea piracy in the South-

South, the common thread is

that we are now in a season

of anomie in our country.

“We have to pull Nigeria

from the brink. To do this requires

elite consensus as el-

Rufai has just highlighted.

Because when you review

our interventions over the

years, what is clear is that

there are gaps in our security

management system.

There is an over-reliance on

ad hoc, reactive and herd

security as against proactive,

development-oriented

and human security response.

Our security management

strategy lacks a

holistic, responsive peace

and security architecture,

which in turn leads states

to put in place self-help security

arrangements such

as Amotekun, Hisbah and

a whole range of them that

have sprung up in states.

“The lack of a comprehensive

peace and security

framework and structure

and inadequate inter-agency

synergy is showing

among security agencies as

they work at cross purposes

and undermine themselves.

This is a common

story we hear among our

various services with regards

to the Boko Haram

insurgency.

“What has led to ethnic

profiling more than anything

else is that we hardly

bring to book those who

have been responsible for

crimes and criminal acts in

our country and we must do

everything within our powers

particularly in empowering

our security institutions

to do more and bring

to book those purveyors of

violence, those responsible

for crime and criminality in

our country. As governors,

we do not subscribe to ethnic

profiling. We believe

that criminals come from

all ethnicities. What is important

is that we isolate a

particular criminal.

“It is absolutely important

that we eschew ethnic

profiling. When we see

what has happened in other

parts of the world, the

Jews in Germany, the

Blacks in America, the Tutsis

in Rwanda, it is absolutely

important that to

pull back from the brink,

we must not do anything

to exacerbate what is already

a problematic situation

that we have found

ourselves in.”

Fayemi stressed the

need for governors to pay

more attention to forests

and treat them as economic,

developmental and security

concerns.

On his part, Senator

Abaribe noted that what

was lacking in solving Nigeria’s

current existential

challenges was not ideas

but the political will to do

what is necessary.

He said since the North

is reputed to have more

landmass than the South,

it would be unconscionable

to ask Southerners

with limited land to vacate

their homes for those with

large swathes of arable

land.

“There has been so

much talk about profiling

and I agree with it and I

will like us to also have a

conversation along that

line. If a herder is carrying

an AK47 and a criminal

is carrying an AK47

and both of them are in the

same place, how do you

differentiate them? Because,

it is necessary for

us to be able to draw lines

somewhere.

“If the security personnel

do not seem to be

enough, that is not the

main problem. As Minority

Leader, I get calls from

people to say that ‘this has

happened here’. ‘These

people have come and done

this and we have reported

to the police and when we

report, we become the victims.

They instead turn

around to arrest us’. So,

what type of training do we

give to our law enforcement

agencies so that they can differentiate

between the genuine

person who has a problem

and somebody who

they say is profiling a set of

people?

“Another question to ask

is whether it is possible for

Nigerians to ignore the matter

of attachment to land. I

read somewhere that close

to 80 percent of Nigeria’s

land is in the 19 states of the

North and that about 22 percent

or so is in the 17 states

of the South. And somebody

in a forest in the South is being

told to leave his land in

order to be alive so that another

person can stay there.

How do you think the person

would feel?” he queried.

El Rufai had also pointed

out strongly that there were

limitations to what they can

do as governors, insisting

that Nigerians must note the

roles assigned state governors

by the constitution and

where the federal government

holds authority. He

said that Nigeria would be

totally different if the constitution

is amended today to

accommodate the changes

he recommended. He said

that the National Assembly

has a big role to play but unfortunately

they have not

lived up to expectations. To

that Abaribe responded that

“amending the constitution

is not a difficult thing, but

what we have is a Kabiyesi

Democracy where what

the man on top says is final”


How Nigeria can create State Police in

10 Days — Ekweremadu

FORMER Deputy Presi

dent of the Senate and

Chairman of the Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP, Committee

on Electoral Act and

Constitutional Amendment,

Senator Ike Ekweremadu,

says decentralised policing

remains the way out of the

mounting security challenges

in the country, noting that with

the requisite political will, Nigeria

could successfully

amend the 1999 Constitution

in 10 days to the needed legal

framework for state police.

Ekweremadu, who chaired

the Senate Committee on

Constitution Amendment in

the 6th, 7th, and 8th National

Assembly, while listing numerous

successful electoral

reforms and constitution

amendments recorded under

successive PDP administrations,

enjoined the All Progressive

Congress-led administration

to take the bull by the

horns by building on those

successful efforts.

He stated this during the inauguration

of the PDP Committee

on Electoral Act and

Constitution Amendment in

Abuja, Thursday evening, regretting

that the security of

lives and property had totally

collapsed, hence the need for

urgent steps to pull the nation

back from the brinks.

“The weaknesses in our

structure and the Constitution

we operate have never been

as pronounced as they are today.

I must also add that it is

unfortunate that the rain,

which some of us shouted on

top of our voices, forewarning

the nation against and even

proposed policies and sponsored

Bills to avert, is now beating

us heavily.

“I rallied my colleagues and

together we sponsored the Bill

for the Creation of State Police

in the 8th National Assembly.

I am equally sponsoring a

Bill for the Creation of State

Police in the current Senate.

From left:Deputy Governor of Lagos State,Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Gov. Babajide

Sanwo-Olu;Special Adviser to Governor on Works & Infrastructure,

Engr. Aramide Adeyoye, Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola during

the commissioning of Lagos-Ogun State Boundary Network of Road

with Bridge Phase ll, in Agbado Ike-Odo, LCDA, Alimosho, Local Government,

in Lagos,Yesterday. Photo: Joe Akintola, Photo Editor.

SATURDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 20, 2021 — 5

Mbadiwe to add value to

APC, says Uzodinma

“Unfortunately, we do not

appear ready yet or show a

sense of urgency to stem the

tide of insecurity or rebuild our

economy through the decentralisation

or devolution of

power. With the right political

will, the amendments to the

Constitution to achieve a decentralised

police and secure

lives and property can be

achieved 10 days.

“So long as we run a dysfunctional

centralised policing,

for that long will our insecurity-induced

pains and losses

continue to rise. The community

policing initiative is illusory,

cosmetic, ephemeral,

inorganic, and will certainly

not change anything.

“It is either we do the right

things to get the right results

or continue to do the wrong

things and live with the consequences

of our choices, as is

presently the case. We must

also have it at the back of our

minds that things will probably

get worse.

“Therefore, I call on our

party faithful, the media, Civil

Society, and well meaning

Nigerians, to put narrow political,

partisan, ethnic, religious,

and sectional interest

aside, and seize the opportunity

of the ongoing constitution

amendment exercise to

immediately pull our nation

back from the brinks”.

On electoral reforms, the

lawmaker also enjoined his

colleagues, political leaders

and Nigerians to support the

move to amend the Electoral

Act to allow early primaries

and electronic transmission of

results. On how the constitution

can be amended in ten

days he said the following”

“First, we have to understand

that the Constitution allows

us as a parliament to regulate

our proceedings.

Remember that what the

Constitution requires is that

for you to amend any part of

the constitution, you have to

come through a Bill. You need

a two-thirds majority of each

chamber of the National Assembly.

Then you go to the

States to get at least one-thirds

of each of at least 24 states

voting in favour of such

amendment.

“So, if you now introduce the

Bill on a Monday, for instance,

you can actually do First

Reading, Second Reading,

and Third Reading the same

day under our Rules.

In fact, you can actually finish

this particular Constitution

amendment to decentralise

the police in one week or

less than 10 days.

All you need to do is to suspend

that Section that says you

must take the First, Second,

and Third Reading on three

different days.

“So, if you suspend the Rule,

you take the First Reading,

then the Second Reading is the

debate. After the reading you

send it to the Committee. That

committee can actually be a

Committee of the Whole

House and everybody will

now contribute. Because it is

already a Bill, we can now

take it clause by clause that

same day.

So, when it is now passed,

probably the third day, you

now send it to the State Assemblies.

“But before all those, there

has to be a meeting of the

Governors, the President, the

leadership of the National Assembly,

the Speakers and

principal officers of the State

Assemblies. That way, once

the political will is there and

its is agreed at the meeting

that this will be done, everybody

will now be waiting to

play his part. Of course, at the

meeting, the President will

guarantee that he would sign

it.

“So, once the National Assembly

is done with the Bill

in two or three days, it will be

sent to the States Assemblies,

which are already waiting for

it because this is a national

emergency.

“Of course, the only role required

of State Assemblies in

constitution amendment is to

vote yes or no because it is

already processed and involves

other states. After voting

on the fourth day, they

make a return on the fifth day.

“On the same fifth day, the

National Assembly seats

again to ratify what the States

have done. On that same day

or the sixth day, it will be sent

to the President for assent.

“So, it can be achieved in

maximum ten days if we really

want to do it. If we now

agree that it is the way to go

to pull our nation from the

brinks, believe me, we can

achieve it.

“How many days did it take

us to amend the constitution

to handle the issues arising

from the late President Musa

Yar’Adua’s illness? First, we

did the Doctrine of Necessity

to enable the then Vice President

Goodluck Jonathan to

take over because there was

no provision in the 1999 Constitution

at the time to handle

the situation. Thereafter we

came back to do the necessary

constitution amendment.

And it took us just a few days.

“During the Yar’Adua administration

when there was

an urgent need to amend the

Nigerian National Petroleum

Corporation, NNPC Act, we

deed it in just one day. Senators

David Mark, Victor

Ndoma-Egba, and Folarin

are all living witnesses. It is a

matter of political will.

IMO State Governor Hope Uzodinma has declared

that former Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Congo, Chief

Greg Mbadiwe will add value to the ruling All progressives

Congress ( APC).

He said with the defection of Chief Mbadiwe to APC from

PDP, many Igbo are heeding his calls for the south east to

connect to the national grid of politics through APC.

The governor spoke at the country home of Mbadiwe shortly

after he registered and revalidated his membership of APC at

Ward 11, Independent Hall,NDI Aniche Arondizuogu in Ideato

North Local Government area of the state.

He described the former diplomat as a consummate politician

who has a lot to offer in strengthening the APC.

According to him, Mbadiwe is like a Ronaldo or Neymar in

a team, very valuable and strategic in the scheme of things.

“We welcome him to the progressive fold and commend his

decision to do the needful in positioning with the national

grid,” he said. Earlier, Ambassador Mbadiwe who was a signatory

to the formation of the opposition PDP, explained that

he defected to APC to join hands with Uzodinma to take Igbo

to the national grid of politics.

He recalled that even his father,Dr K.O . Mbadiwe worked

for the reintegration of Ndigbo to mainstream national politics

even when it was risky to do so.

According to him,he was also moved to join APC because of

the incredible achievements recorded by the Imo State governor

under the banner of the party. He enjoined other prominent

Igbo to embrace APC ahead of the 2023 general elections

to ensure that the south east has a voice in national politics.

Ooni, Ademiluyi set to

launch biggest Adire textile

factory in Ile-Ife

By Ephraim Oseji

HIS Imperial Majesty,

the Ooni of Ife, Oba

Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi

and Princess Ronke Ademiluyi,

founder of Africa Fashion

Week London are set to

launch an Adire textile factory

in Ile-Ife.

Already being described

as the biggest Adire Textile

factory, the initiative is to

provide opportunities for *Princess Ademiluyi

cultural exchange between

African and international

students of design to learn about the unique adire fabric.

To this end, Ooni and Princess Ademiluyi, who is also the

Founder of Africa Fashion Week Nigeria hinted that the

factory would be launched on February 22, to commemorate

Annual Aje Festival in the state.

The new cultural centre, a massive capital project that

will require national and international funding will be built

on a 30,000 square meters of land in Ile-Ife.

Princess Ademiluyi, an award-winning fashion icon explained

that the Cultural Centre will be a repository for the

indigenous arts and crafts found in Africa. “It will provide

an ecosystem for development, teaching and learning guided

by tradition, innovation and sustainability and will connect

the stories of indigenous arts to the heritage of Africa.”

According to her “Other facilities within the complex will

include a gallery for visiting exhibitions, a textile museum,

a digital library, heritage artisan village (which will include

the bronze casting, terracotta pottery and wood carving);

an aso-oke cloth weaving pavilion, Yoruba culture

academy, a design innovation lab and residential lodges.

The cultural complex project starts with the opening of

phase one - an Adire Textile Hub, which heralds the revival

of indigenous fabric production and creative arts in Ife.

“The Hub will generate employment and become an example

of the Non-Oil Export Initiative promoted by the

Nigerian government. It will increase the capacity of the

artisans working in Ile-Ife and educate on the importance

of sustainability and ethical and environmental practices.”

Navy debunks report on complicity

of personnel in maritime illegalities

By Evelyn Usman

THE Nigeria Navy, NN, has described report on com

plicity of its officers and ratings in maritime illegalities

as a grave allegation which was speculative and lacked

facts, reiterating rather, its position on zero tolerance for

economic sabotage.

Report in one of the national dailies alleged that operators

of illegal refineries paid huge amount of money to

naval personnel to allow them operate and that

owners of private refineries also claimed they paid naval

personnel weekly or monthly depending on the agreement.

In a swift reaction, the Navy, said it would invite members

of the purported organisation to assist in identifying the

naval personnel who received bribes to facilitate the alleged

unpatriotic acts of economic sabotage.

The Navy in a statement issued to Saturday Vanguard

and signed by the Director of Information, Nigerian Navy,

Commodore Suleiman Dahun, stated that as a responsible

service saddled with the responsibility of fighting all forms of

criminal activities in the nation’s maritime domain, it would

not condone any act of indiscipline in that regard.

The statement read:“The attention of the Nigerian Navy has

been drawn to a news report in some newspapers captioned:

‘How Nigerian Navy Aids Crude Oil Theft, Herders’ Invasion.’

While the report is largely speculative, lacking in facts

and substance and one-sided, the Nigerian Navy notes the

attempt to substantiate and legitimise the allegations contained

therein by quoting an unnamed official of an organisation

called Domestic Refineries Owners Association of Nigeria,

who made grave allegations of complicity against Nigerian

Navy personnel.


6 — SATURDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 20, 2021

ADAMA

SHAMSU

FALLANG

I, formerly known as I, formerly known as I, formerly known as Fallang

Achenetu Adama, now Sadiya Shamsu, now DAPaul Bernard, now wish to be

known as Bernard Konang

wish to be known as wish to be known as

Paul. Wrong Date Of Birth 12/

Samuel Glory. All Sadiya Aliyu. All 12/1992. Correct Date Of

former documents former documents Birth Is 22/02/1994. All former

remain vaild. General remain vaild. General documents remain vaild.

public take note. public take note. General public take note.

KAIGAMA OB

TAMUNOEMI

DURU

I, formerly known as

I, formerly known as I, formerly known as

Miss Duru Amaka

Tobias Raphael Kaigama, Tamunoemi Quakers, now Cynthia, now wish to be

now wish to be known as wish to be known as known as Mrs. Agbonlahor

Tobias Numtai Kaigama. Tamunoemi Quakers Amaka Cynthia. All

All former documents Ogenyi. All former former documents remain

remain vaild. General documents remain vaild. vaild. General public take

public take note.

General public take note. note.

AGWUYE

ANYAOHA

JOSHUA

I, formerly known as Miss I, formerly known as I, formerly known as

Agwuye Blessing Ifunaya, Anyaoha Chiamaka Hosea Joshua, now wish

now wish to be known as Clementina, now wish to to be known as Hosea

Mrs. Obidigwe Blessing be known as Arisa Joshua Duniya. All

Ifunaya. All former

Chiamaka Maryluck. All former documents

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vaild. General public take

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public take note.

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Bulus, now wish to be

known as Lydia Joshua. All

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now wish to be known as

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I, formerly known as Bridget

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as Fatimetu Musa. My

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NDLEA seizes 1,292 kilograms of illicit

drug in Ondo forest, arrests 9 suspects

OPERATIVES of the

National Drug Law

Enforcement Agency,

NDLEA, Ondo State Command,

have arrested nine

dealers of illicit drugs and

seized from them a total of 1,

292 kilograms of cannabis

sativa and its seeds.

Announcing the huge seizure

in a statement on Friday,

the state Commander

of the anti-drug agency, Mr.

Haruna Gagara disclosed

that out of the figure,

711.5kg of cannabis seeds

was recovered from a forest

in Ago Oyibo area of Ogbese,

Akure North Local Government

area of the state.

According to him, “this

seizure has thwarted the

mass cultivation of an estimated

250 hectares of cannabis

sativa farmland in

Ondo state. This humongous

cultivation if allowed would

produce an estimated 443,

000 kilograms of cannabis.”

He said his men stormed

the forest on Thursday, February

18, 2021 following

intelligence. Some of the suspects

arrested in connection

to the seizure include; Alex

Moses, 35; Oshie Emmanuel,

20; Friday Effiong, 31; Emmanuel

Akpan, 25, and

David Friday, 19.

The commander also said

his operatives had earlier

intercepted a vehicle loaded

with 580.5kg of the illicit

drug along Ogbese-Owo road.

“The consignment was to be

smuggled to Kano state. If it

had not been intercepted, it

may further fuel the current

insecurity and banditry

being experienced in the

North West region of Nigeria”,

he stated.

While appreciating the

Chairman/Chief Executive

of the NDLEA, Gen. Mohamed

Buba Marwa (Retd) for

motivating them to always

go on the offensive action

against illicit drug traffickers

and dealers, Gagara

said, “let me seize this opportunity

to warn those who indulge

in the illicit cultivation

and trafficking of cannabis

sativa in the state to desist

from doing so, as there will

be no hiding place for them

because the Command is

poised to fish them out.”

55 different lineages of SARS-CoV-2

now in Nigeria — NCDC

By Chioma Obinna

The Nigeria Centre

for Disease Con

trol, NCDC, has

alerted that about 55 different

lineages of Severe

Acute Respiratory Syndrome

Coronavirus 2

(SARS-CoV-2) are circulating

in Nigeria and are

also changing rapidly as of

February 14 2021.

According to the Director-General

of NCDC, Dr.

Chikwe Ihekweazu, the diversity

of SARS-CoV-2

strains indicate multiple

introductions of the virus

into Nigeria from different

parts of the world and adds

to evidence of community

transmission in different

states of Nigeria.

He further disclosed that:

A total of 29 cases with the

B.1.1.7 variant strain,

which was first described in

the UK and shown to be

linked to increasing transmissibility,

have so far been

detected in Nigeria.

He said: “These strains

were detected from cases in

Lagos, FCT, Osun, Oyo, and

Kwara and Edo States. All

samples with the B.1.1.7

variant strain were collected

from patients between

November and January

2021.

“On the 11th of February,

some recent SARS-CoV-2

genomes were seen to have

distinct mutations and

•The seized drug by the NDLEA.

characterised as a new

variant B.1.525.

“As at the 17th of February,

these have been reported

from United Kingdom

(44), Denmark (35), Nigeria

(30), United States of

America (12), Canada (5),

France (5), Ghana (4), Australia

(2), Jordan (2), Singapore

(1), Finland (1), Belgium

(1) and Spain (1).”

Ihekweazu recalled that

the first detected B.1.525

case in Nigeria was in a

sample collected on the

23rd of November from a

patient in Lagos State.

“So far, this has been detected

among cases in five

states in Nigeria. B.1.525

cases have also been reported

in other countries in travellers

from Nigeria.”

He further stated that currently

there has not been

evidence to indicate that in

Nigeria, adding that,

B.1.525 was a new strain,

but not yet a variant of concern

and that further analysis

was ongoing. In a statement

made available to

journalists, Ihekweazu who

explained that all viruses

naturally mutate over

time, including SARS-

CoV-2, the virus that causes

coronavirus disease

2019 said since the first was

identified, thousands of

mutations have arisen and

will continue to do so, allowing

new strain lineages

of the virus to evolve.

He, however, maintained

that the vast majority of

mutations would have little

impact.

Speaking on the way forward,

Ihekweazu stated

that in the short term, a random

selection of viruses

would be collected and sent

to ACEGID for sequencing

weekly and coordinated by

the NCDC National Reference

Laboratory.

He further disclosed that

an Implementation Group

for SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing

in Nigeria has been

constituted to pull together

a coordinated response

to drive genomic surveillance

for SARS-CoV-2 in

Nigeria aimed at ensuring

a coordinated response to

identify variants of concern

in Nigeria.

Speaking on public

health guidance, he said:

“One way to prevent viruses

from mutating is to prevent

their transmission.

This means that we must

continue to take responsibility

as members of the

public. The public health

measures to control this virus

is the same, irrespective

of the variant. Please continue

to avoid close contact

with others, wash your

hands regularly using soap

and running water, wear a

mask properly, keep a distance

of at least two metres

from others.”

He stressed the need for

Nigeria to develop its capacity

for genomic surveillance

to support the public

health response as routine

analysis of the genomic sequence

data would enable

the NCDC and its public

health partners to identify

variant viruses for further

characterisation and investigate

transmission, severity,

immune escape and

other facets that can show

the impact and trajectory of

the pandemic.


SATURDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 20, 2021 — 7

2023 intrigues as top govt men fight over control of EFCC

By Emmanuel

Aziken

MUTTERING over the

nomination of Abdulrasheed

Bawa as the next chairman

of the Economic and Financial

Crimes Commission,

EFCC was overflowing into a

melody in the political and judicial

arena at the weekend.

Allegations of illegality in the

appointment of Bawa were being

met with counter plots by

his supporters as political actors

in different camps of the Muhammadu

Buhari regime fight to

take hold of the EFCC ahead of

their 2023 plots.

Central to the allegations

against Bawa are that his nomination

violates the EFCC Act,

allegations of a filial relationship

to a senior operative of the Buhari

administration and claims of

unsettled allegations of misdeeds

against the nominee in his past

positions.

Besides the flurry of allegations

in the media space, the

Centre for Anti-Corruption and

Open Leadership (CACOL), an

aggregate of human rights, community

based, and civil society

organizations and individuals has

also petitioned the Senate on the

appointment. The body asserted

that the Senate would be violating

the EFCC Act as enacted

by it by confirming the nominee.

Besides CACOL whose petition

to Senate President Ahmad

Lawan, dated February 18, 2021,

a Lagos based lawyer, Osuagwu

Ugochukwu has also gone to

court to stop the Senate from

proceeding with the confirmation.

However, having gotten note

of the plots against Bawa, his

supporters in a wing of the Buhari

camp have set up machinery

to deflate their moves. Saturday

Vanguard has learnt of

fresh moves to overcome the

seeming statutory challenge

against Bawa’s confirmation

with a hurried promotion before

the Senate confirmation hearing.

Central to the opposition as

articulated in the EFCC Act is

the point in Section 2a (ii) of the

EFCC Establishment Act which

stipulates that a nominee for the

position of chairman of the

EFCC should be a serving or a

retired Assistant Commissioner

of Police or its equivalent.

As the CACOL petition to the

Senate alleged:

According to EFCC Establishment

Act, Section 2a (ii) the

Chairman to be appointed

should: “Be a serving or retired

member of any security or law

enforcement agency not below

the rank of Assistant Commissioner

of Police or equivalent.”

Such equivalence in the EFCC is

Grade Level 15, while Bawa is

on Grade Level 13.

However, as a way of overcoming

that statutory impediment,

Saturday Vanguard has

learnt of moves to expedite Bawa’s

promotion ahead of the

Senate confirmation hearings.

However, those challenging

the nomination are asserting that

the necessary institutions to effect

the promotion are not available.

“What we understand is that

Bawa was disciplined by the

former chairman, Magu and the

Secretary Olanipekun

Olukoyede, who sanctioned him

over the alleged deeds in Port

Harcourt. Since Magu has been

removed, and secretary has also

been removed, the acting chairman

cannot on his own promote

him,” one source privy to

the development asked.

The challenges to Bawa’s hurried

promotion Saturday Vanguard

gathered lie in the fact that

the EFCC does not have a board

making any such promotion practically

ineffectual.

“The acting chairman does not

have the powers to promote

someone else to become his

boss,” so you see the appointment

is wrong in every material

particular.”

“Even if you remove the issues

of the allegations of the missing

tankers which an investigation

was set up for, how do you

address the issue that he is a level

13 officer, and the law says

that only a Level 15 officer or

above can hold the position,”

that is the fact before us.

In its petition to the Senate

signed by its chairman, Debo

Adeniran, CACOL said:

A.The EFCC Law is an Act of

National Assembly hence Senate

must not over rule itself by

breaching a critical provision in

the appointment of EFCC

Chairman.

B. Since Mr. Ibrahim Magu

was suspended and not sacked,

we expect the Presidency to

come out with a white paper on

Justice Ayo Salami’s panel set

up in July 2020 to investigate

various allegations of wrong-doing

against Ibrahim Magu. The

panel had since submitted its report

to the President on November

20, 2020. Till date, we are

still expecting a white paper on

the recommendations of the panel.

We would also want to know

the fate of Ibrahim Magu.

C. From inception of EFCC,

the story of the termination of

the appointment of virtually all

the former heads of the agency

seem to be the same. It looks

like the position is fast becoming

a “use and dump” position

wherein the end of the tenure has

been determined from the beginning.

It is gratifying that President

Muhammadu Buhari, at various

fora, having recognized the need

to tackle corruption head-on,

one would have expected him to

appoint a person of impeccable

character to head the anti-corruption

agency.

It is against this background

that CACOL is appealing to the

Senate to please take the pains

to dig deep into Mr. Abdulrasheed

Bawa’s record of overall

performance as well as that of

corruption allegation leveled

against him.

Meanwhile, Ugochukwu in his

own motion before the Federal

High Court, Abuja is asking the

Court to stop the Senate from

considering Bawa’s nomination

upon the claim that the nominee

as a grade 13 officer cannot be

confirmed for a position meant

for those on grade level 15.

Man stabs neighbour to death for abusing his wife

By Dayo Johnson,

Akure

DETECTIVES in Ondo

State police command

have arrested a man identified

as Naso for reportedly stabbing

his neighbour in his sleep

to death for abusing his wife.

Sources said that the suspect

entered the room of the deceased

identified as Seyi and

stabbed him to death with

knife, while he was asleep.

Vanguard gathered that the

incident occurred at Messiah

High School street in Akure,

the state capital.

The suspect who is being

quizzed by the homicide detectives

hails from the South

East while the deceased was a

native of Iju-Itaogbolu in

Akure North council area of the

state. Trouble started when the

deceased reportedly accused

the suspect of abusing his wife

in his presence.

The accusation according to

a source did not go down well

with suspect following which

they engaged themselves in a

shouting match while efforts

by neighbours to broker peace

were ignored by them.

Vanguard gathered that the

suspect still not pleased went

into his room and when it was

midnight tip toed to the deceased

room where he stabbed

him to death. The deceased,

according to the Police, bled

to death before help came from

his neighbours.

Naso was subsequently arrested

and whisked to the police

station and subsequently

transferred to the State Criminal

Investigation and Intelligence

Department (SCIID) for

discreet investigation.

The police image maker Tee

Leo lkoro could not be reached

for comment but officers in the

state police command confirmed

the incident to newsroom.

The officer advised

youths to learn how to settle

their differences instead of taking

laws into their hands.

He said that nobody has the

right to take another man’s life

under whatever circumstance.

Wike vows to resist fresh withdrawal

from excess crude account

By Egufe Yafugborhi

GOVERNOR Nyesom

Wike has vowed to resist

fresh withdrawal from the nation’s

Excess Crude Account as

the Nigeria Governors Forum

(NGF) gives go ahead to Federal

Government.

Wike, hosting the Emir of

Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero,

in Government House, Port

Harcourt, Rivers State yesterday,

wondered what happened

to the $1billion withdrawn from

Excess Crude Account in 2017,

intended to fight Boko Haram

insurgents in the North-East.

He said he would only support

further withdrawal from the

funds except Rivers State is given

its 13 percent share from the

account.

He said, “I was told governors

agreed they will take money from

Excess Crude to support military.

What of the one they took

before, the $1billion that they

gave to the military?"

Prisca Sam-Duru

igerians woke up on Wednesday,

NFebruary 17, 2021, to the shocking news

of another abduction of school children, their

teachers and relatives of some staff of the

school. This time, it was the Government

Science College, GSC, Kagara which is

located in Rafi Local Government Area, Niger

State. The attack on Tuesday on the all-boys

boarding school is the newest in the growing

incidents of attacks and mass abductions of

students and their teachers in Nigeria.

Sadly, a student was reportedly killed while

many others were injured in the process. As

usual, the assaulting news was followed by

the President's condemnation of the dastardly

act by the terrorists who were seen in a video

with their captives, armed with sophisticated

weapons. The President also issued a directive

to “the armed forces and police to ensure

immediate and safe return of all the captives.”

Beyond the series of school children's

abduction in Nigeria; The Chibok Girls taken

from their school in Bornu State; the students

from Government Girls’ Science & Technical

College, Dapchi in Yobe State who were later

released except Leah Sharibu who is still in

captivity; the Good Shepherd Seminary in

Kaku, Kaduna State, where Seminarian

Nnadi Michael was murdered by his

abductors etc, and now, GSC Kagara, have

you seen photographs of the Kagara school

buildings? It’s a nauseating sight which

unfortunately, is a massive plaguing issue now

on the international spotlight.

Right from the haggard looking signboard

indicating the presence of GSC in the area,

one is confronted with very sorry sights of a

college in dire need of rehabilitation. Are those

dilapidated structures really serving as

classroom blocks, dormitory and

administrative buildings for GSC or slum? A

compound overrun by weeds coupled with

decaying buildings and old furniture, is

honestly not fit to be known as a school but

slum. The roofs are rotting and only fit for

habitation of lizards, snakes and other

dangerous reptiles. The missing ceiling

boards in the dormitories must be serving

the school as perfect water inlets during

GSC Kagara: School

compound or slum?

downpour. That can only make any

concerned individual ponder how safe the

students were even before the terrorists

attacked.

The dearth of security which becomes

more obvious in the manner that these

attacks are carried out, is only proof of the

additional psychological trauma these

children must have been experiencing.

Imagine having to sleep on a double-bunk

and directly facing a ramshackle ceiling,

with the thoughts that reptiles could jump

down on them while asleep. Constant

nightmares and anxiety would definitely

be hunting the children. And I wonder how

they can excel in their education under such

horrible condition.

It has taken the evil act of terrorists

operating at will in the Northern part of

the country, to expose how lowly Niger State

regards children’s education. GSC Kagara

as its signpost reveals was established since

1969 and the level of infrastructural decay

couldn’t have happened over few years ago

which only means that successive

governments never deemed it necessary to

do the needful. Everyone knows how harsh

the weather in the Northern part of Nigeria

can be, which makes one wonder how the

students managed to study under such a

neglected environment. This is just

inhuman. Even animal farms are well

taken care of to ensure the animals don’t

die how much more a learning space for

young ones.

The Kagara school is a science college as

the name implies but considering how

deplorable the structures are, it’s hard to

believe that a government that has

neglected the school to such extent will be

willing to provide up-to-date laboratory

equipment for school practical. No need

wondering if these students will be able to

compete with their counterparts in other

parts of the country, especially those in

private schools that have begun to adapt to

use of novel technological gadgets during

lessons.

It's shameful knowing that Kangara GSC is

a public school that should be covered by the

State’s budget for education. In as much as it

is true that edifice does not make quality

education, it is an indisputable fact that an

environment that is conducive for learning

goes a long way in contributing to a sound

education for children.

The Northern part of Nigeria which is

reportedly housing a greater number of

illiterates and out of school children in

Nigeria, should know too well not to treat

matters concerning education with levity. By

the way, how much will it cost Niger State to

make GSC conducive for their leaders of

tomorrow? Not much I believe. Yet there are

regular reports of huge sums of money

developing wings and flying out of

government’s treasuries all over the country.

The state governor, Abubakar Sani Bello

was said to have on Wednesday, ordered

the “closure of all boarding schools in areas

at risk from bandit attacks”. That is not

enough. How does he know which school

will be attacked next and does he have

adequate security to ensure the children’s

safety. The slum called Niger State

Government Science College unmistakably

offers a glimpse of what many other schools

look like in the state. So, while we pray for

the safe return of all those kidnapped, it is

not enough to shut down these schools only

for them to be reopened when the Governor

feels it’s safe to do so. The GSC kagara must

be given a facelift before its thrown open

again for learning. In addition to renovating

structures that are not completely

dilapidated, entirely new structures must

be erected. This applies to other schools in

same condition as GSC Kagara. It is high

time the Northern part of Nigeria made

education a priority for its own good

especially.


8—SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021

41,257 killed in road

accidents in 97 months

By Clifford Ndujihe

THEY had been at home for 10 months

on account of the closure of schools

due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They

eagerly returned to school mid last

month and were set to write their final

examinations, graduate and join in the

efforts to develop their father land.

This will no longer be for Samuel

Adesomoju Tobi, a final year law student

and Oluwasemire Ojinni, a final year

Business Administration student of the

Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba,

Ondo State.

The duo were among 15 victims of an

accident at the university gate on January

23. While Adesomoju was one time

president of the Students union of the

university, Oluwasemire was the first

female president of the National

Association of Business Administration and

Management Students of AAUA.

Sadly, Oluwasemire died with her two

siblings in the accident, a development that

made their mum to slump and die on

hearing the heart-rending news.

An articulated truck loaded with cement

reportedly lost control due to brake failure

and rammed into business centres and

shops near the university gate killing no

fewer than 15 persons with many

sustaining injuries.

The AAUA accident is one of the 25

reported ghastly auto crashes of January

2021. The 15 deaths are among no fewer

than 41,257 deaths recorded on our

highways in 97 months, according to the

Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC,

Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, NBS, and

reported crashes tallied by Saturday

Vanguard.

The figures excluded unreported cases

and those who later died from injuries

sustained from the crashes.

The death toll shows that every six hours,

no fewer than four lives are lost on Nigerian

roads. The daily toll is 15 persons and the

monthly tally is 426 persons.

And every year, about 20,000 of the 11.854

million vehicles in the country are involved

in accidents, Saturday Vanguard’s

investigations and analysis of data released

by the National Bureau of Statistics, and the

Federal Road Safety Comission have shown.

According to the NBS, the number of lives

lost to road traffic accidents from January

2013 to 2019 are as follows: 2013 – 5,539;

2014 – 4,430; 2015 – 5,400; (FRSC): 2016 –

HIGHWAYS OF DEATH:

•Nation loses 15 persons per day, , 4 persons ever

ery six hours

•Ho

How 204 persons were crushed in January 2021

5,053; 2017 – 5,049; 2018 –5, 181; 2019 –

5,483.

Between January and March 2020, there

were 1,758 deaths; April to June 2020, 855

deaths; and July to September 2020, 1,076

deaths.

The FRSC and NBS were yet to release

the data for October to December, 2020 but

Saturday Vanguard’s tally of reported cases

showed that no fewer than 1,229 auto crash

deaths occurred. This means that 4,918

deaths were recorded in 2020.

Also, in January 2021, Saturday

Vanguard’s checks indicated that about 25

ghastly accidents that claimed no fewer

than 204 lives took place across the country.

How Nigeria lost 28,195

lives to road crashes in 68

months

According to the FRSC, there were 12,077

road accidents of which 5,400 persons died

in 2015. In 2016, the NBS

said there were 11,363

crashes with 5,053 deaths;

and in 2017, 10,026

crashes and 5,049 deaths.

Broken down further, the

5,049 deaths of 2017

occurred as follows: First

quarter, 1,466; second

quarter, 1,207; third

An articulated truck

loaded with cement

reportedly lost control

due to brake failure and

rammed into business

centres and shops near

the university gate killing

no fewer than 15

persons with many

sustaining injuries

quarter, 1,070, and fourth

quarter, 1,306 deaths. In

the first quarter of 2018,

the NBS said that 1,292

people died in 2,482 road

accidents in Nigeria.

Speed violation was

reported as the major

cause of road crashes in

Q1 and it accounted for

50.81 per cent of the total

road crashes reported.

Tyre burst and dangerous

driving followed closely,

accounting for 8.26% and

8.42% respectively of the

total road crashes

recorded. The second

quarter 2018 road transport data released by

the NBS, showed that road traffic accidents

killed 1,331 Nigerians in 2608 crashes.

Also, speed violation is reported as the

major cause of road crashes in the second

quarter of 2018 and it accounted for 50.65

per cent of the total road crashes reported.

Also, tyre burst and dangerous driving

followed closely as they both accounted for

8.59 per cent and 8.40 per cent of the total

road crashes recorded.

Altogether, a total of 5,181 Nigerians lost

their lives in road traffic

crashes (RTC) in 2018,

according to the FRSC.

The Full Year 2019 road

transport data of the NBS

reflected that 11,072 road

crashes occurred in 2019.

Speed violation is reported

as the major cause of road

crashes in 2019 and it

accounted for 48% of the

total road crashes reported,

Wrongful overtaking

followed closely

as it accounted for 9% of

the total road crashes

recorded while Poor

Weather recorded the

least of the total road

crashes reported.

A total

of 35,981 Nigerians got

injured in the road traffic

crashes recorded. 33,831 of

the 35,981 Nigerians that

got injured,

representing 94% of the

figure, are adults while the

remaining 2,150 Nigerians,

representing 6% of the figure are

children. 27,120 male Nigerians,

representing 75%, got injured in road

crashes in 2019 while 8,861 female

Nigerians, representing 25% got injured.

Similarly, a total of 5,483 Nigerians got

killed in the road traffic crashes recorded in

2019. 5,059 of the 5,483 Nigerians that got

killed, representing 92% of the figure, are

adults while the remaining 424 Nigerians,

representing 8% of the figure are

children. 4,255 male Nigerians,

representing 78%, got killed in road crashes

in 2019 while 1,228 female Nigerians,

representing 22% got killed.

A total of 17,500 vehicles were involved

in road traffic crashes in 2019. Car is

reported to be the major type of vehicle

involved in road crashes and it accounted

for 31% of the vehicles involved in road

crashes reported followed by Motorcycle

and Minibus as they both accounted for

20% and 19% respectively. Data on the

category of vehicles involved in road

crashes in 2019 reflected that 64.68% of

vehicles are commercial (11,319), 34.13% are

private (5,972), 1.17% are government (204)

and the diplomat with five vehicles

involved.

This makes Nigeria one of the countries

with very high road fatalities in the world.

Indeed, in May 2017, the FRSC said that

there were 33.7 deaths per 100,000 people

in Nigeria every year, making Nigeria one

of the countries with the highest number of

fatalities in Africa. The FRSC Corps

Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, made the

disclosure during the flag-off of the Global

Road Safety Week at the Nigeria Union of

Journalists, NUJ, Secretariat, Kaduna.

Zimbabwe has the worst road fatality in the

Continues on page 9


SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021—9

How 204 persons were crushed in January 2021

Continues from page 8

world with 74.5 deaths per 100,000

inhabitants. The world average is 17.4;

Africa is 26.6; and, according to the

International Transport Forum, ITF, Road

Safety Annual Report for 2018, the fatality

rate for South Africa is 21 while Norway has

the least road fatality with two deaths per

100,000 inhabitants.

As of March 2018, the NBS put the

number of registered vehicles in Nigeria at

11,653,871. With an estimated population of

200 million, the vehicle per population ratio

is 0.06.

To reduce carnage on Nigerian roads, the

FRSC, Public Education Officer, Bisi

Kazeem, reportedly said that the FRSC

had ensured full use of the services of the

National Traffic Radio 107.1 FM, including

its live stream on social media platforms to

reach out to the motoring public.

He encouraged drivers to obey traffic

laws and regulations and cooperate with

traffic officers, as it was in their best

interests and that of other road users.

The report said a total of 5,535 people got

injured in the road traffic crashes recorded.

This represents an average of 61 persons

per day in three.

The NBS further said, “major causative

factors of road crashes in the period under

review are speed violation, wrongful

overtaking, use of handsets while driving,

dangerous overtaking and other factors”.

“Speed violation accounted for 47 per cent

of the total road crashes reported,” the

bureau said, adding that “wrongful

overtaking followed closely as it accounted

for 10 per cent of the total road crashes

recorded, while dangerous overtaking

recorded the least of the total road crashes

reported”.

According to NBS, a total of 3,334 vehicles

were involved in road traffic crashes in

those months, with cars reported to be the

major type of vehicle involved in road

crashes.

“Cars accounted for 28 per cent of the

vehicles involved in road crashes reported

followed by motorcycle and minibus as they

both accounted for 24 and 15 per cent

respectively.”

FRSC spokesperson Bisi Kazeem said a

total of 2,656 road crashes were reported

between July and September, adding that

the road police agency had not relented in

its efforts at reducing carnage on the

highways.

He attributed most of the

road crashes and deaths

that occurred along various

routes in the country within

the period to over-speeding.

Kazeem urged the

motoring public to

cooperate with the FRSC,

saying that it would go a

long way in preventing

incessant crashes on the

roads.

The spokesperson

appealed to motorists to

desist from buying used or

fake tyres and opt for good

ones to save lives and

properties.

Kazeem encouraged

drivers to obey traffic rules,

regulations and cooperate

with traffic officers, as it

was in their best interests

and that of other road users.

Deadly road accidents are

frequently reported in

Nigeria, often caused by

overloading, bad condition

of roads and reckless

driving.

Timeline of accidents in

January 2021

January 2: The Emir of Daura, Alhaji

Umar Faruq’s younger brother, Abdullah I

Umar and two of his friends died in motor

accident along Katsina-Daura road

January 2: Chief of protocol to Governor

Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Tosin

Ogunbodele and his driver died in an auto

crash along Ilesa- Akure Road, Ondo State.

January 4: A truck driver killed a middle

He attributed most

of the road crashes

and deaths that

occurred along

various routes in

the country within

the period to overspeeding

aged man on Owerri Road, Onitsha,

Anambra State while the deceased was

crossing the highway.

January 5: Six persons were confirmed

dead while 9 others sustained injuries in an

accident involving articulated vehicles and

a Toyota bus around Car park C on Lagos-

Ibadan Express way

January 7: 22 persons

lost their lives in accident

involving a truck, a bus

and a car in Apata, Lokoja,

Kogi State. The FRSC said

26 persons were involved.

January 10: No fewer

than 37 persons died in

two accidents in Bauchi

and Nasarawa. While 20

persons died in the Bauchi

crash, a family of six was

among the 17 that perished

in Nasarawa. The Bauchi

accident occurred at

Tirwun village, a suburb

along Bauchi-Maiduguri

Expressway. The victims

were burned beyond

recognition.

January 12: 21 persons

died while 14 others

sustained injuries in two

crashes in Niger and Oyo

states. The Niger crash

happened at Panti village,

Bida on Mokwa Road. 13

people died, 14 sustained

injuries. The Oyo accident

occurred at Ibadan-Ife Expressway.

January 12: Eight people died in an

accident at Celica area of Ibadan, Oyo State.

January12: A young boy, Ayuba Raji, was

crushed to death by a truck loaded with

cattle at Challenge Junction, Ibadan.

January 14: No fewer than 29 lives were

lost in two road accidents in Kogi and Borno

states.

In Kogi, 14 persons including five

children lost their lives in the accident on

Anyingba-Ajaokuta Road. Nine were

injured.. In Borno, 15 people perished after

two commuter buses collided near Mainok

village in Kaga LGA, alonh Maiduguri-

Damaturu Road.

January 19: Three people died and four

were injured when a tanker exploded along

the Presidential Boulevard, Kuto, Abeokuta,

Ogun State. The tanker had brake failure

while descending the Kuto Bridge.

January 20: A middle-aged man was

crushed to death by a speeding driver along

Ihiala-Owerri Road, Anambra State.

January 20: A woman and her baby girl

were crushed by a tipper truck that rammed

into a moving tricycle in Effurum, Uvwie

LGA of Delta State. The driver was evading

a police van that was chasing the vehicle of

a suspected fraudster.

January 20: Two persons lost their lives

while three sustained injuries in an

accident at Erinmo Junction along Ilesa-

Akure Expressway in Oriade LGA of Osun

State.

January 22: Six persons died when a

petro-laden tanker crushed an intra-city

commercial bus in Owerri, Imo State.

January 23: 15 students of Adekunle

Ajasin University, Akungba were killed in

an accident close to the university gate.

January 23: No fewer than 19 persons

died in road crashes in Kaduna and Kwara

States. 15 persons died on the Kaduna-

Abuja Highway crash while four died in

Kwara.

January 24: Four persons died and seven

sustained injuries in an auto crash at Otte

village along Ilorin-Ogbomoso expressway,

Kwara State.

January 26: A middle-aged man was

crushed to death in Bolade, Oshodi, Lagos

during a stampede caused by commercial

bus drivers, who were trying to evade

taskforce officials.

January 28: An official of Lagos State

Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA

was killed by a motorist at Mile Two, Lagos.

January 30: No fewer than 20 personsdied

in an accident at Olokonla, along Bode -

Saadi-Jebba Expressway in Moro LGA of

Kwara State. 17 of the victims were burnt to

death.

2023: Why y Badagry y Division must t produce

Lagos governor

—Adediran, an, Ogunsanya

By Clifford Ndujihe,

Politics Editor

Aleading governorship aspirant in

Lagos,

Alhaji Abdul Azeez Olajide Adediran,

and former Secretary to Lagos State

government (SSG), Princess Adenrele

Adeniran, have urged other parts of Lagos

to back Badagry Division to produce

the next governor of the state in 2023.

Among the five administrative divisions

of Lagos, Badagry is the most neglected

and yet to produce governor of the state

whether military or civilian.

Ikeja Division hosts the seat of

government and produced AlhajiLlateef

Jakande. Ikorodu Division had late

Group Captain Gbolahan Mudashiru

and Sir Michael Otedola as helmsmen

of Lagos. Lagos Division produced

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; and Epe

produced immediate past governor, Mr.

Akinwunmi Ambode while Badagry

Division is yet to occupy the topmost

seat.

Making a case for Badagry, Alhaji

Adediran, and Princess Ogunsanya

spoke shortly after Adediran

revalidated his membership of All

Progressive Congress, APC, in his

constituency and Ilewe home town,

Ward G under Ojo local government Lagos,

said Badagry had been neglected by

successive governments in the state.

Also known as Jandor, Adediran said if

elected he would make Lagos work for

Lagosians, lamenting that Badagry Division

where he hails from is the only division in

Lagos that has never produced a

governor.

‘’Our roads are the worst in the entire

Lagos. Look at Badagry express way,

and you can’t even pass through it. This

project is personal to us, the priorities

are there looking at us in the face. In

terms of infrastructural development,

we are far behind. It appears like a

deliberate act of those ruling us in

Lagos to just impoverish us, to ensure

that we are not among those that can be

called part of Lagos like Victoria Island

and Lekki. Governance is beyond that

but we are coming to bring that

promise of a better tomorrow.

‘’We have gone round, and if you look at

the proximity of this Island to the

mainland, I think with the state that is

making a huge amount of money, it will

not cost us anything to have

bridges linking everywhere,

not just a bridge for us, it

is going to be a very

iconic one, the moment

you see it, you can tell

that this is part of

Lagos. But

unfortunately, what

we have had in the

past two decades is

nothing but a total

neglect of this part

of Lagos,’’ he said.

The Visioner of

Lagos4Lagos

movement commended

APC leaders for the membership

revalidation and registration exercise,

noting that turnout of members was

impressive.

‘’This revalidation is not just a revalidation

for us, as you can see how our people

trooped out and seemed very excited about

what has happened today. So the

significance for us is just beyond

revalidation of party membership. To us, it

signals that promise for a better tomorrow,

for this region and Badagry division and

Lagos State as a whole.’’ he said.

•Azeez

Also speaking, former Secretary

to Lagos State government

(SSG), Princess Adenrele

Adeniran Ogunsanya, who

accompanied Adediran to the

revalidation exercise, said she is

throwing her weight behind Jandor

for the governorship position in

2023 because he is a suitable and

competent hand.

Princess Adenrele said: ‘’We

keep getting a governor that

is not from here

(Badagry), and when

you are not a part of a

system, you don’t feel

what those within it

feel. This is a matter of

fairness.

We in Lagos

accommodate

everyone, we should

balance it well, and

that is what we are

asking for. We also

want a change for certain areas that

have been really deprived. I am from

Ikorodu, we have been okay but it could

be better. I saw that Jandor had courage

because a lot of our people lacked

courage, and that is why we are in the

position we are today. I stand by him, I

believe in him, I believe in what he is

doing, nobody is a custodian of

knowledge, but I know that he will do

well. I pray that it will be him. Some of

you don’t know the battles that we fight

and we are being victimized for them.’’


10—SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021

KAGARA SCHOOL KIDNAP:

My escape was a miracle —Staff

•I spent hours trekking back into the school premises

•I’ve never witnessed such a thing in my life —School principal

By Wole Mosadomi

Last Wednesday,

February 17 was a day

staff and students of

Government Science

College, Kagara, in Niger

State would live to remember.

That was the day 27 students,

three members of staff and 12

family members of the staff of

the school were abducted by

bandits in the middle of the

night.

As they were marched out of

their staff quarters and hostels,

the bandits tied them in pairs

with ropes to form a long chain

to ensure that they did not

escape. They were then made

to walk few kilometers away

from the college to where the

bandits had stationed their

motorcycles and ferried their

victims into the bush.

One of the staff of the school

simply identified as Batagi

who escaped from the bandits

described his experience as

harrowing. He said the victims

were ferried in twos or threes

out of the area on motorcycles

into the bush before day break.

According to him,”my escape

is a miracle. I spent hours

trekking back after my

abduction and arrived the

school premises around 6:am.

The bandits were able to gain

access into the school easily

because the security of the

school is porous. The bandits

assembled their victims, tied

them together in twos or threes

with rope and whisked them to

an unknown

destination”.

Narrating his own

experience in an

interview, the

principal of the

school, Dan Asabe

Ebaidu said the

number of the bandits

could not be

ascertained because

it was in the night.

He said, “the bandits

were many but I

cannot say the actual number

since it was midnight. They

came on foot but we later

discovered that they had

abandoned their motorcycles in

a neighbouring secondary

school in order not to raise any

alarm when entering the

school especially as it was in

the night.

“When we saw them, they

were dressed in army uniform

and we thought they were on

routine security parade until

they started rounding up the

students and led them away

from the hostel into the bush. I

miraculously escaped from the

bandits and how it happened, I

cannot explain. In my life, I

have never witnessed such

thing”. Malam Dan Asabe said

the bandits succeeded in

kidnapping the staff and their

relatives because the staff

quarters was their first point of

call where they abducted 12 of

the staff and their relatives.

Immediately the bandits

arrived the hostel, they were

said to have woken up the

students and warned them not

to panic and should not raise

alarm. However, one of the

students, Benjamin Abila, an

SS3 student, who apparently

sensed danger was said to

As they were

marched out of

their staff quarters

and hostels, the

bandits tied them in

pairs with ropes to

form a long chain

to ensure that they

did not escape

have raised the alarm calling

on his colleagues to run for

safety and he was gunned

down immediately by the

bandits.

How the kidnap

was carried out

The security at the school

was said to be very porous as

there was no perimeter fence

protecting the school because

the school fence had collapsed.

The bandits who stormed the

area few minutes before 2 am

were said to have had a stop

over in another Secondary

school; Attahiru Secondary

School in Kagara, where they

parked their motorcycles few

kilometers to the Science

College and trekked to the

targeted school. They

disguised by wearing Army

camouflage pretending to be

security personnel. They first

moved straight to the

residence of the staff,

kidnapped almost everybody

they met sleeping before

proceeding to the hostels of the

students.

In the past few years, bandits

have wrecked havoc on many

villages in different local

government areas of the state.

In fact, it is on record that

eighteen out of the twenty five

local government areas of the

state are under the siege of the

bandits. Many residents had

been killed or maimed and

thousands rendered homeless

while farms have been

abandoned and taken over by

the bandits thereby rendering

the villagers who are

predominantly farmers jobless.

Condition of the

school

Government Science College,

Kagara was established as a

purely Science oriented

College in 1969. It took off very

well as it has produced

outstanding students across

the country. However, the

College is presently a shadow

of itself. There was no

perimeter fence to provide

adequate security for both staff

and students of the School.

Almost all the buildings were

dilapidated. It is

unbelievable

that

students

could pass a

night in such

dilapidated

and

dehumanizing

buildings.

The windows

in the student

hostels were

also in a sorry

state. The

louvers of the

windows and

doors have all

broken off

making the

students

vulnerable to

cold, mosquitoes

and other forms

of attack. The

roof of the

hostels were also leaking

while the ceilings have fallen

off thereby causing intense

heat. Above all, the students

were forced to sleep on the

mats which were not even

enough for all the students.

The school could best be

described as an abandoned

property which could serve as

hiding place for hoodlums or

meant for animals and reptiles

as their abode. This was where

the students had been residing

for the past years unattended

to until the bandits struck last

Wednesday.

The state Governor, Alhaji

Abubakar Sani Bello has

however ordered the

immediate closure of all

boarding schools in the areas

most affected by the insecurity

in Shiroro, Munyan, Rafi and

Mariga until the situation

improves.


SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021—11

Why S’South alliance

with north should

continue — Omo-Agege

•S’South govs should stop managing 13% derivation fund

•Nothing to show for money released for development

•Ex-gov Uduaghan yet to reveal why he dumped APC

•Omo-Agege

By Emma Amaize,

Regional Editor, South-South

DEPUTY Senate President, DSP,

Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and oth

er leading politicians have discovered

an impediment in the long-standing pact between

South-South region and the North as a

political power and have quietly initiated

moves to modify the alignment.

Senator Omo-Agege representing Delta

South Senatorial district in the Senate who

related with Vanguard the subject and more,

confirmed: “For some time now, there has been

a setback in terms of the historical alignment

pattern of the South-South. I am happy to say,

however, that some other well-meaning South-

South politicians have begun to redress this

gap. We have made giant strides, but there is

still a lot of work to be done.”

He said: “With 2023 fast approaching, the

South-South politicians and the people will

have another opportunity to determine whether

to remain in opposition or to return to our

traditional political dispositions. It is my hope

that the APC as a party, will see the opportunity

that lies ahead in doing business with the

South-South and will do everything possible

to take advantage of the emerging opportunity.”

Senator Omo-Agege declined suggestion

that politicians from the zone usually compromise

interests of the region when it comes

to political horse-trading with their Northern

counterparts, saying: “I do not agree with your

profiling of South-South politicians. First, the

North is not the enemy of the South-South as

your question seems to suggest. Secondly, in

politics there are limits to what an individual

politician can do without concerting with others.”

“Therefore, compromise which is simply to

adapt one’s own position to make it acceptable

to others in order to reach an agreement

is necessary and inevitable. In fact, politics is

all about compromise. It is the only way to get

things done for your people and move forward.

“This applies to all politicians, including

Northern politicians. For South-South politicians,

the need to make concessions and compromises

is even greater because we are minorities.

Some of these concessions are easy to

make but others may require sacrifices. But it

is wrong and inappropriate to say that politicians

from South-South pander to the north.

“Thirdly, the North and the South-South regions

have cooperated to the mutual benefit of

both regions. And because of the cooperation

and compromises we have had, the North and

the South-South have historically had strong

alliances. At the heart of the North - South-

South alliance is our common interest and

commitment to justice and the unity of our

country which have enabled us work together

for the good of our people and the country at

large.

“The truth is that the South-South has always

allied with the national ruling party at

each point in time; a tendency you really cannot

fault if you must be Pan-Nigerian. In the

First Republic, majority of the people in what

is today South-South were in the NCNC, the

dominant party in the Eastern region which

went into alliance with the NPC,

the overwhelmingly dominant party in Northern

Region, to form the national government.

“If you recall, the first most prominent South-

South politician at Independence, the late Festus

Okotie-Eboh was the National Treasurer

of NCNC and the NPC/NCNC alliance made

it possible for Okotie-Eboh to become Finance

Minister in the Tafawa Balewa Federal Government.

“Let us not forget that the alliance also

helped in the creation of the Mid-Western region.

Okotie-Eboh was particularly very instrumental

to creation of Mid-Western region.

Did Okotie-Eboh compromise the interest of

the Midwestern region? The answer is an emphatic

no. Indeed, history has it that when Tafawa

Balewa developed cold feet on the creation

of the Mid-Western region at the last

minute, it was Okotie-Eboh who told him it

was too late to withdraw support. And in the

spirit of cooperation and the alliance of NPC

and NCNC, Balewa gave the final okay.

“In the Second Republic, the control of the

South-South shifted to the Hausa-Fulani dominated

NPN which won the former Cross River

State that consisted of the present Akwa Ibom

and Cross River states. There was also the

former Rivers State which consisted the present

Rivers and Bayelsa states. In 1982, the Shagari

NPN administration established the Delta

Steel Complex in the South-South.

“During this Fourth Republic and consistent

with the historical antecedents, the South-

South had been controlled by the national ruling

party until 2015 when the All Progressives

Congress won the presidency. And over this

period, the 13 per cent Derivation principle

was implemented as enshrined in the constitution,

the NDDC and the Amnesty Program were

established. We also had the Vice President and

ultimately the President,” he asserted.

N’Delta govs abuse, sidetrack

13% derivation fund

On whether his outburst against South-

South governors on the 13 per cent derivation

was not a mere campaign strategy for his future

political ambition, he said: “The fact that

the impact of the oil wealth coming from the

Niger Delta is not felt by the people who live in

the oil producing communities has been a

source of concern for me, over the years. It is

also a concern directly shared by numerous

communities who play host to critical multibillion-dollar

oil and gas assets, and who bear

the burden of environmental degradation.”

“You know very well that industrial

waste, oil spillages, gas flares, fire disasters,

acid rains, flooding, erosion and so

on, caused by decades of oil and gas exploration

have led to the pollution of farmlands

and fishponds, which has left the

host communities with poverty and disease.

“It is to ameliorate this pitiable conditions

of the people that 13 per cent of the

revenue generated from oil sales was set

aside in section 162 of the Constitution as

derivative fund to develop the region. Twenty-one

years and many governments later,

the condition in the Niger Delta remains

dire with little or nothing to show for the

huge sums released so far to the oil producing

states, for the development of the

oil producing areas.

“Rather than channel these funds to the development

of the requisite host communities,

governments of the Niger Delta have either

misused the funds or diverted them to the development

of non-oil producing communities

in cities and state capitals. Even in states that

have oil producing development commissions

such as Delta State, only 50

percent of the funds is allocated

to the Commission to

manage, on behalf of the host

communities. What happens

to the other 50 percent?

13% derivation

not campaign

bombast by me

“It is against this background

that a delegation of

the Oil and Gas Host Communities

of Nigeria

(HOSCON) led by the

Amayanabo of Twon-Brass

in Brass Kingdom and

Chairman, Bayelsa State

Traditional Rulers Council,

Chief Alfred Diete-Spiff visited

me, last year. At that

meeting, we discussed how

to reverse this trend. One of

their demands is that state

governments should no

longer be allowed to manage

the 13 percent derivation fund. Not only

do I support the agitation for direct disbursement

of the funds to the host communities, I

am also committed to its realization,

because it is only fair that the funds be utilized

in the appropriate areas, which the state

governments have failed to do.

So the issue of mismanagement of the 13

percent derivation fund by state governors is

not a campaign rhetoric for me. Far from

being a shot in the dark, the position I have

taken is both credible and reasonable, just as it

is a service to the people who called me to

serve, and in fact, to humanity.

The manner you walked yourself into political

limelight, especially after the mace

saga in the Senate, to become Deputy Senate

President and currently the highest South-

South political office holder in this administration

is epic, how did you do this?

I believe that all humans are born with the

same physiology. What makes one a great success

and another less successful is your effort

and the grace of God. It was not easy by any

Senator Omo-

Agege declined suggestion

that politicians

from the zone

usually compromise

interests of the region

when it comes

to political horsetrading

with their

Northern counterparts

standard. They wanted to end my political career,

just because I spoke the truth in defense of

our constitution and the rule of law. It was a

frontal attack on freedom of speech which the

constitution guarantees every Nigerian.

But they wanted to silence me, take away the

voice of the people I represent in eight local

government areas of Delta State in the Senate,

and deny them the effective representation

they deserve. And when I refused to be

cowed, they wanted to humiliate me before

my people and bury me politically. But they

failed and I survived. And there is only one

reason this has happened, and that is God.

With God on my side, I survived it. All glory

and thanks go to the Almighty God.

I thank God for giving me the courage to

stand up against tyranny and injustice; to

fight for the rule of law and what I believe is

right for our country. It was Napoleon

Bonaparte that said that ‘impossibility is

only to be found in the dictionary of fools’.

You and I can achieve anything we set out

to, if we give it all our strength and remain

resolute. Winners never quit, and quitters

never win. Never give up.

Lastly, it is important to, again, let you

know that my actions were not driven by

future political considerations. They were

based on my personal convictions and the national

interest. Let us be guided by the old saying

that evil only thrives when good people do

nothing. We must continue to speak truth to

tyrannical tendencies. The liberty

to so do is inalienably

guaranteed by the Constitution.

We must continue to be

courageous and keep taking

advantage of constitutionally

guaranteed freedom of

speech.

Why was APC unable to

keep the former governor of

Delta state, Dr Emmanuel

Uduaghan, in its fold, rather

it allowed him to return to

PDP?

Politicians do move from

one political party to another

in what we know as carpetcrossing.

It is part of the party

system of democracy. It is

not peculiar to Nigeria.

But it has become an issue

in Nigeria because the

practice is so rampant. We

have situations where people

change parties every

election cycle. It is something

we should not worry

about because our political parties are

perceived as more of platforms for contesting

elections. And that is because the

parties are perceived to have no distinct

ideologies that separate them. This is not

to say that all parties are the same. There

are differences in orientation, goals and

objectives such that some, like the APC,

are more progressive than the others.

Beyond that, people change parties for

various reasons. In the case of Uduaghan

who defected to APC a year to the 2019

election, he said he was joining APC because

of President Muhammadu Buhari’s

commitment to the Niger Delta. And a year

after the election when he returned to PDP

he said he had left PDP because he could not

breathe in the PDP.

However, he has not disclosed why he left

APC after the elections. The bottom line is that

the reasons for carpet-crossing are always a

personal thing, with actors guided by their

ambition and the needs of their constituencies.

And once the individual has decided to

move, no one can prevent it from happening.


12—SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021

KWARA: For Abdulrazaq,

it’s been service to our

people

—– Amb Nurudeen Mohammed

• But our APC boat may capsize if ...

FROM DEMOLA AKINYEMI..ILORIN...

Alh Nurudeen Mohammed is one of the respected elder statesmen

of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara state. During

the military era, he served many of the military administrators as their

Commissioner for Finance till the return of Nigeria to civilian rule in 1999. Alh

Mohammed also went into politics and sought to become the governor of Kwara

state on several occasions but he did not succeed. The APC chieftain,who had been

an ally of President Muhammadu Buhari,during his days in the Congress for

Progressive Change, (CPC) was appointed as Nigeria’s ambassador to Malaysia

and Brunnei, from where he returned lately after his assignment.

He spoke to our state correspondent, Demola Akinyemi, at his residence in Ilorin on

the crisis in the ruling APC and other sundry issues.

Excerpts:

•Abdulrazaq

Tell us briefly your foray into politics

before the ambassadorial assignment

I’ve been into politics since 1979. We

were in the National Party of

Nigeria,NPN, the UPN, UNPP and several

other parties and later the APC. We lost to

the PDP in the earlier elections, but in the

last elections, God decided to turn the

table around and gave victory to the

coalition that came together to form the

APC and this is where we are. I have been

to Malaysia but I came for the elections

and incidentally, the candidate of the

APC, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq

decided that I should handle the election

process which I did and God gave us

victory. But again, management of victory

is what we are now battling with.

How do you see the emergence of APC

candidate as the governor of Kwara

state considering your opposition

experience?

The political history of Kwara state

right from the days of NPN was a coalition

of people like Olusola Saraki on one side,

with the Dantoros, Adamu Attahs and

others coming together in NPN against

the UPN and God gave victory to us in

the NPN. The dominant political force in

Kwara state then was Olusola Saraki,

and some of us who didn’t believe in his

political ideology were just watching as

he ruled the state for all that long.

Eventually however, God came and gave

us victory this time.

How do you see the APC

administration since May 2019 ?

It’s been successful, the governor is

doing his best, providing what

government is supposed to provide which

is service to the people and meeting the

needs of the common people. From all I

have been hearing, our roads are now in

better conditions, water supply every

where, schools have been renovated and

hospitals have been taken care of among

other things.

As a respected member of the party,

what is your advice on how to resolve

the current crisis in the party?

We are all members of the same family,

there’s therefore the need to resolve it

amicably. We have to first listen to the

other side to find out their grievances

before advising the governor to

accommodate those demands. We were

together as a family before God gave us

victory. Now it’s management of the

victory due to different opinions, different

reactions and different outlooks that have

resulted into one family splitting into

various groups. So, we need to come back

to a round table and discuss. Even though

when we come round to the table, there

will still be a lot of noise but we just have

to listen to each other..

Considering how the ‘Otoge’

movement was launched to ensure

victory for your party, did you envisage

the present crisis?

I didn’t envisage this crisis, but the point

to be made is that we were only concerned

about snatching power from somebody

who had been holding it for long, so for

everybody, all efforts were directed at

stopping the other person from getting

there. So, there was a general consensus

and a marriage of all efforts to deliver

for our party. Now, after winning the war,

there now comes the problem of how to

manage the victory which is what we are

experiencing now.

It appears whatever you have done to

resolve the crisis as an elder statesman

has not yielded the desired result

I have been talking. But I can’t come

out and be telling you what I’ve been

doing, it’s not right. The aggrieved

persons for instance would not want the

matter to be in the open, but I am trying

my best. If the aggrieved parties will all

come and sit down, things will work out.

We go around in the nights and talk, when

the result come at the end of the day, we

will all see it. And again, like I accused

most of our people that when we were

looking for victory, every one of us in our

various denominations and beliefs was

calling on God to give us victory but when

the victory was given to us, did we

remember God again and say God please

keep us united so that we can deliver?

Nobody has said God keep us united so,

God is teaching us a

lesson in Kwara.

Was that the cause of

the crisis?

Apart from the other

dimensions that we have

mentioned, there is also

the spiritual aspect to it

in my own opinion. We

asked God to give us

victory, but we didn’t

remember to say God

thank you and please

keep us together. So, God

has left us alone with the

devil.

Is it too late to return

to God and salvage this

situation?

No, it is not too late,

God is always there ready

to welcome erring people.

Have you done that?

Don’t you see me with my tesbi (praying

beads)?

Recently, stakeholders from Kwara

north where you are from agitated for

2023 governorship slot, how do you see

the agitation?

Although the

central figure

can assist but

sometimes

these problems

would still come

Answer—In Kwara north, we are

entitled to the governorship position. But

the question now is the timing. For

whatever reasons, when we were all

together trying to fight and deliver Kwara

state, we all came together and put

somebody there. The constitution of the

Federal Republic of Nigeria permits that

person to run for two terms. Now, unless

you want to bring another crisis, you

shouldn’t be saying that the governor must

do only one term, because the constitution

permits him two terms.

There is an argument that the lack of a

respected leader within the APC in

Kwara state, unlike in the days of Dr

Bukola Saraki who would give an

instruction and everyone would fall in

line, was responsible for the current

leadership crisis in the state party

When Baba Saraki himself was faced

by his son, and was booted out, what

happened to the central figure?

Management of diversity is the issue, the

central figure can always backfire.

Although the central figure can assist

but sometimes these problems would still

come.

The current governor has been seen to

be working hard to develop the state to

the admiration of many and while some

people are impressed, others are saying

that he has not done anything. How do

we reconcile this issue of politics and

performance?

Its normal, that’s politics, no matter

what you are doing some other persons

will say you are doing

nothing. But the generality

of the people out there who

will take the final decision,

are they satisfied?Those of

us who are struggling for

power, we can cause all

kinds of confusion within

ourselves but the person on

the steering wheel, who is

driving and doing the

correct things, what are the

voters thinking about him?

That is the most important

thing. But again, like I say

we are supposed to be able

to manage our diversity;

diversity of opinions,

diversity of reactions,

diversity of feelings,

diversity of temperament,

diversity of so many things

which coalesce together in

this party. Some people are

displeased, we have to find out the cause

of their displeasure and see how we can

accommodate ourselves.

Don’t you think that if the current crisis

is not resolved early enough it can cost

the governor his second term?

We have agreed on so many things, the

whole boat can tumble and drop all of us

into the ocean. That is clear, that if we

don’t manage the journey very well, the

boat can capsize and all of us will go

down, that’s why all of us are struggling

to see what we can do to manage the

situation.

There have been allegations of

hoarding of materials in the ongoing

party registration,what’s your take?

I have heard complaints that some

people were trying to frustrate the

registration of others, some people have

been registered, some have not. They are

normal problems of administration. The

party has not declared who should be a

member and who should not. And again,

registration is a continuous exercise, some

people join, some leave the party while

and others die. So, the gate of the party is

permanently open to members to be

registered continuously. Registration is a

continuous exercise. But under this

political heat going on, some people are

frustrating others from registering. But if

I were you, I will just go and sit down and

leave the whole matter alone. When they

finish the entire registration, I will just

walk across and say I want to join the

party. I can decide that I’m not joining

now, and wait till next year and walk to

the party’s office and register as a

member. Membership registration of the

party never closes, so, nobody should

disturb himself.

What do you think can be done to check

the incessant attacks by Fulani

herdsmen on the residents?

This issue has always been there, we are

just over exaggerating it. If there are

criminal elements doing some things, law

enforcement and other relevant agencies

should be able to handle them. Everyone,

has Fulani men around their village who

speak your language and do their rearing,

they are part of the community. Then, you

have the itinerant herdsmen who move

with the weather. Now, it’s February, the

rains have withdrawn from the desert

areas, through the grassland areas,

towards the forest, so they move with the

rain backwards, feeding their cattle.

Those ones have always been doing that

for hundreds of years. As they move

through communities there are always

clashes, cattle do not distinguish between

the grass that they should eat and the

grass they shouldn’t eat. So, they cross

into people’s farms and normally every

community has this problem which they

managed. So, it has been in existence. But

suddenly, everything has turned upside

down. Are you going to drive away those

ones around your village who were born

there and speak your language or those

ones who for hundreds of years continue

to move with the weather? Cattle routes

were marked out in the past so that they

could be moving.


SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021—13

statements on issues of criminality as it affects

his Fulani kinsmen. I do hope he will stick up

with ensuring that the law and its integrity are

upheld at all times.

In his own reaction, the General

Secretary of the Ekiti Council

of Elders, Mr Niyi Ajibulu, said

“it is rather unfortunate that the country is

speedily sliding towards a state of anomie.

Such statement coming from a governor and

Nigerians agree with

a chieftain of the ruling party at the federal

level seriously depicts the level of our insecurity,

fear for the survival of the nation and the

inability of existing security structures

including legislature to cope. Clearly, it is now

imperative for us to evolve new strategies for

ensuring security of all. And if urgent steps are

El Rufai on bandits

not taken, hapless citizens would naturally

resort to self help. What we have been saying

all along is that there must be community

policing, in which case those serving in the

police would be taken from their community.

It appeared the bandits or the killer herdsmen

are being given some legitimacy and that is

what has emboldened them now, government

engage them in a talk as if they are a legitimate

group. I support the extreme position being

•Tell govt never to negotiate with criminals canvassed by the governor and that is on the

short run. On the long run, we should make

sure they are not allowed access into the

community. The call from the governor, is from

Dayo Johnson, South West Regional

somebody who knows, somebody who sees the

Editor; Samuel Oyadongha; Umar

atrocities and the effect on the economy and

Yusuf; Wole Mosadomi; Peter Duru;

the people. I think we have to take extreme

Festus Ahon, Egufe Yafugborhi; Rotimi

measure, otherwise the existence of the country

Ojomoyela; Peter Okutu; Charly

is in jeopardy”.

Agwam; Femi Bolaji; Ozioruva Aliu;

Shina Abubakar; James Ogunnaike and

Adeola Badru

Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna State

recently boldly renounced negotiation

as a solution to bandits’ criminality.

He said negotiating with bandits would never

work. He wants them arrested and dealt with

squarely. They should be eliminated. Speaking

on a BBC Hausa programme few days ago,

Governor El-Rufai declared that those who are

trying to negotiate with the bandits are only

wasting their time because the criminal

herdsmen and bandits who were used to

receiving about N100,000 in a year herding

cows are now getting millions of naira from

kidnapping will never stop. He said the only

solution therefore is to get rid of them.

Nigerians have been reacting to El-Rufai’s

position including his governor colleagues.

While some argue that it will amount to jungle

justice and taking laws into our hands, majority

of the people however support killing the

bandits whenever they are arrested if that will

bring peace to the land.

Excerpts:

Joseph Ambakederimo,

Convener, South South

Reawakening Group said:

“Bandits are robbers and marauders therefore

they do not deserve any special treatment from

the state. Any bandit caught should either be

summarily dealt with or according to law.

They cannot continue to hold the country to

ransom and ride roughshod over everyone.

People who kill their fellow man should be

killed so that they will know that killing is bad.

Therefore, the position of the governor is a

welcome development and I would implore

government to tow that line of action and bring

peace to all trouble spots. No form of

negotiations and amnesty should be

considered whatsoever because what is going

on right now is pure criminality and nothing

more. A bandit is a bandit and should be treated

as a bandit.”

Eric Omare, former President,

Ijaw Youth Council

(IYC) worldwide aligned himself with Nasir

El-Rufai saying, “I agree that killers should

also face similar punishment. There is no basis

at all to negotiate with people who kill for the

fun of it. Above all, people who fight for just

reasons all over the world don’t kill. The basic

rule of engagement is not to kill innocent

people but in the case of Fulani bandits, killing

is their past time. So I support that they should

face the consequences of their actions

according to law.”

Darlington Nwauju,

Spokesperson, Niger Delta

Rights Advocates said, “Sometimes

the severity of the pains inflicted on the public

psyche alone slams a death sentence on these

marauding bandits. The high level of

destruction on human lives and economy of

Kaduna state must have influenced Governor

El-Rufai’s position. However, I think Kaduna

as a federating unit can make laws to permit

capital punishment for this category of

criminals. One is forced to agree with the capital

punishment option canvassed by Governor El-

Rufai.”

Abdulhammed Olabintan, the

president of the Yoruba

community in Taraba state, said past

governments are partly to be blamed for not

looking out for the well being of the growing

young population. According to him, “the

situation we have found ourselves today is a

result of neglect by successive leadership in

this country. Most of these outlaws that are

now terrorizing the rest of us have no job to do

which has made them resort to crime as a

means of survival. If past leaders have been

proactive, parents would have been compelled

to either enroll their children in school or make

them learn a trade. However, I won’t agree

with the idea of holding dialogue with the

bandits because these groups of criminals are

everywhere across the country; how many of

them will the government sit down with and

dialogue? What the government should do is

to equip our security agencies to fight crime

and criminality effectively. They should

however go further to compel parents to

compulsorily enroll their children in school to

acquire formal education or rather send them

to where they can acquire skills that would be

useful to them in future.”

For Andeta’rang Irammae, Taraba state

publicity secretary of the Peoples’ Democratic

Party, PDP, said, “you can only go into dialogue

with an organization that is structured.

Banditry connotes criminality. These are

criminals who run into their hideout after

wreaking havoc, so how do you dialogue

with people like this? It is rather

unfortunate that a country like Nigeria

can be exploited by people who don’t

mean well for both the political and socioeconomic

dynamics of the country. It pains

me when people come out with solutions

as callous as dialogue. I wonder why it is

so difficult for our security operatives to

smoke them out and make them face the

wrath of the law. What I expect from every

Nigerian now is to join forces with the

government to preach peace and compel

the government to deploy the necessary

machinery to go after these bandits, arrest and

prosecute them.”

Coordinator, Patriotic

Volunteer League (PVL),

Mikiste Ewansiha-Thomas has

thrown his weight behind Governor El-Rufai’s

position saying his group was ready to render

any assistance needed to flush out bandits in

the south. Besides, he said security agencies

should involve the indigenes of the areas where

they want to operate. According to him, “these

are people who are exploiting religion,

exploiting the vulnerability of the people to

organise themselves through the forest. When

Boko Haram started in Borno state, they were

in localized areas such as Biu, Nguru that small

area. Now they are in Fika, Damaturu, Yerwa,

Michika, Hong, and many other areas. The

bandits in Zamfara state started in a small

area but now they are

encroaching Gwarzo, they

have gone as far as to

Kaduna. The bandits who

are coming down south are

ISWAP from outside

Nigeria and they are

kidnapping people to raise

money not for themselves

but for their lords who are

buying arms and

ammunition with this

money to prosecute their so

called caliphate goals.

Governor El-Rufai is very

correct, there is no other

way because even if you

negotiate with them and

they collect huge money on

negotiation, they will pause

for a while and they will

start again. So, there is no

need to negotiate with

them. We have to give them

a classic military defeat.

Al-Qaeda started this way,

they have not been defeated, the Taliban are

still there, so El-Rufai is correct, we should

attack them because these are people who are

already launching rural guerrilla warfare and

no modern armed forces in the history of 150

years of modern warfare have been able to

defeat guerrilla warfare. The only people who

succeeded in defeating them were the Israelis.

We have to mobilise the masses against these

people and because these criminals are

operating outside their territory, makes them

very vulnerable and quick to defeat. We have

However, I won’t agree

with the idea of holding

dialogue with the

bandits because these

groups of criminals are

everywhere across the

country; how many of

them will the

government sit down

with and dialogue?

•El-Rufai

to mobilise the people because their locations

can easily be detected since they don’t own

these forests, they only use landmarks to

navigate their way. There are people who can

almost close their eyes and walk through these

forests, they are indigenous people so we need

to mobilise these indigenous people to join

forces with the military and go after these

bandits and they will be defeated. Even if there

are collaborators, you have to start from

somewhere and localizing the collaborators

is not going to be difficult because under

strategic intelligence gathering, these

collaborators will be unmasked”.

Governor Bello Matawalle of

Zamfara state, however believed the best and

only option to douse tension and bring an end

to banditry in Zamfara and beyond was to

dialogue them. He said “I have always been

saying that the best solution and option to

tackle banditry is to seek for dialogue with the

bandits. I believe if really we

want to end this banditry we have

to sit at a round table and

negotiate. So, the best way out

for my colleague governors, is

for them to subscribe to

dialogue. We are ready to sit

down and listen to any bandit or

group of bandits who are

prepared for dialogue, and listen

to their grievances, if any but as

for those who refuse to take part

in dialogue, we will fight them.

As a governor, my number one

priority is to ensure peace and

stability, and to ensure people are

sleeping with two eyes closed”.

Zadok Akintoye,

political analyst and

former Publicity Secretary of the

Peoples Democratic Party in

Ondo state, said, “the Kaduna

state governor has spoken the

truth. Our laws are very clear on

the issue of armed robbery and

banditry and it is important to state that, where

the law fails to hold on to the integrity of its

creation, society fails. Over time, bandits have

become more emboldened to flaunt their

illegal and criminal actions within the

Nigerian territory because our systems;

judicial, administrative, enforcement and

punitive, have failed to stand up to the purposes

for which they are set up. I totally agree with

El-Rufai but the question is, why is he taking

this position at this time considering his past

Chief Taoffek Jimoh, Coordinator,

Yoruba World

Congress, Ogun State said “ anybody that

is involved in any form of criminality should

face the full wrath of the law. The law of the

land should take its course on such person.

Law is no respecter of anybody, regardless of

the age, tribe or position in the society. The

herdsmen have invaded nearly every

community in the southern part of

the country and they are killing

innocent souls indiscriminately,

but unfortunately, the federal

government under President

Muhammadu Buhari is not

saying anything. It seems the

federal government is shielding

them. With the current situation

of our security, nobody is

willing to partner with

Nigeria any more. I want to

challenge President Buhari

and all other people in the

positions of authority in the

country to take the ‘bull by the

horn’ and address the

problem of insecurity

squarely.

Chief Abia

Onyike, Chairman, Media and

Publicity, Alaigbo Development

Foundation, ADF, said Fulani herdsmen should

not be accorded any special treatment as the

only solution is for them to be decimated for

peace to reign in the country. He said: “it is

only in Nigeria that Fulani are too important.

Three months ago in Guinea, Alpha Conde

defeated a Fulani opponent to win a third term

in office. Before then, the Guinea military dealt

a deadly blow on the Fulani bandits in that

country. In 2017, a Fulani militia known as

Seneka rebels were decimated in Central

African Republic and they disappeared from

the scene. In Niger, the Tuaregs have held the

Fulani down and they did nothing. It is only in

Nigeria that they claim important”.

Niger State Governor, Alhaji

Abubakar Sani Bello however has

thrown his weight behind his Kaduna state

counterpart, El-Rufai as he condemned any

sort of negotiation by any individual or group

of people with the bandits. He said rather than

stop the crime, it will only aggravate it. The

Governor who spoke through his

Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Sani

Idris said criminals have no other name than

criminals and should therefore be treated as

such according to the law of the land. In Niger

state, many local government areas have now

been taken over by bandits who are killing,

maiming, rustling of cows and setting houses

ablaze and so, if such people are apprehended,

they should also be killed. Niger and Kaduna

states are being constantly invaded by these

criminals and all steps taken to curb this situation

have not been successful and so we are in full

support of what the Kaduna state governor has

said and that is also our stand on it. If any bandit

is caught in the act, he must be made to face the

full wrath of the law because they are also

criminals,” the governor asserted.

Former Spokesman of All Progressives

Congress,(APC) and Commissioner of

Information and Strategy, Mr Jonathan

Vatsa in his reaction said Governor El-Rufai’s

stand was in order.

“World over, you don’t spare criminals. How

do you negotiate with bandits or armed

robbers? Anybody negotiating with bandits is

questionable. For us to put to rest these criminal

activities, the bandits should also be killed

when apprehended. The Federal Government

should be able to police the movement of

firearms in the country or better still,

government should legalise carrying of fire

arms by all Nigerians.


14—SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021

Sometimes I

feel no essence

to live on

Man who lost wife, three children,

everything in Lagos building

collapse tells his story after

6 months in coma

By Joseph Erunke

Even as he tries to conceal the true

situation of developments around

him,a look at him evokes pity,given

that as young as 32,Mr Emmanuel Otache

moves around in crutches without shelter

and living from hand to mouth. This is

certainly not the way he wanted to live life

but he has no choice as fate has confined

him to that side of life for now.

Before October 12,2019,when a

building located on top a hill collapsed

on his apartment down similar hill at

Magodo-Isheri area of Lagos, killing his

pregnant wife, two children and a sisterin-law,

leaving him in an

unconscious state for six

months at the Lagos

University Teaching

Hospital where he was

rushed to, Otache was a

promising young family

man with hope and

aspiration. He was a young

man with a beautiful

family living life without

depending on anyone for

survival.

From Opaha Village in

Apa Local Government

Area of Benue State,

Otache had relocated to

Lagos in search of greener

pastures and thought luck

had shone on him when he

was engaged as a staff by a

logistics company, Opay

Nigeria.

On that fateful day, like he had always

done, Mr Otache returned to his house

after the day’s tedious work. As expected

of a good wife, Faith served him food after

which she warmed water for him to have

his bathe and subsequently go to bed. As

she did this, little did the couple know that

it would be the last time they would be

together on planet earth.

Mrs Faith Otache, her two kids

identified as Dominion and Daniel died

in the building that collapsed during

rainfall about 4am on the day while Mr

Emmanuel Otache, her husband and

father of her children survived narrowly

with a life threatening injury.

It was late before help could come the

way of the victims who were removed from

the rubble about 7 am. However,

occupants of the building on the plains

escaped unhurt.

Families, friends, associates as well as

residents of Oton Araromi Isheri area of

Isheri-Magodo mourned the tragedy.

Mrs Faith Otache, her two

kids identified as Dominion

and Daniel died in the

building that collapsed

during rainfall about 4am on

the day while Mr Emmanuel

Otache, her husband and

father of her children

survived narrowly with a life

threatening injury

But more than one year after the

incident, Mr Emmanuel Otache, the lone

survivor who went into coma for about six

months recounts a very sad tale of what

stripped him of all that he had.

The 32 year old Emmanuel Otache,

recalled that, “On Friday night of 11

October, 2019,after I came back from

work, my wife boiled water for me to bathe

and presented me food to eat, I went to

bed. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what

happened again as I recovered from

unconsciousness in the hospital after six

months. People told me what happened.

“I didn’t really know what happened but

was told that it was after heavy rainfall

that a building on top the one we were

living in with my family,

collapsed between 3am

and 4am at Magogo,

Isheri, killing my

children-my wife, children

and my wife’s sister.

“I was on admission at

the Lagos State University

Teaching Hospital for six

months. Within that time,

I was abandoned as

nobody to care for me

except my Church,

Lighthouse Outreach

Centre that cared for me,

helped me and fed me.

While he had survived ,

Otache can’t escape the

trauma associated with the

horrible development as

well as neglect and many

other challenges confronting him ahead

of life.

Whenever I think of my family, I would

be quick to pray that death comes my way

so I can join them once because I feel I

have no essence of living again in this

world. But on a second thought, I console

myself because of my belief in Jesus Christ

that he is the way, the life and the truth.

While expressing gratitude to those who

have helped him going, he solicits the

assistance of government and wellmeaning

Nigerians to give him a shoulder

to lean on.

“Since my discharge from the hospital

after six more months of being admitted

there on account of what happened, I have

no job again and have lost everything I

worked for. Now, I walk around, living

from hand to mouth. No house to live

again in . I want government and spirited

individuals to assist me start life again,

he begged.

Emmanuel Otache can be reached on

09056969174. First Bank: 3049481636

•Emmanuel

Otache


SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021—15

•Makinde

Shasha market mayhem:

They’ve killed me;

victim cries out

•I lost t my y brother

other, , my y two houses, goods worth N60m

•As other victims count their losses

By Adeola Badru

With over four hundred (400) ethnic

groups and several religious sects,

Nigeria has been grappling with

problems arising from ethnicity

and religious intolerance since independence.

These, many times degenerated into conflicts

and serious crisis leading to loss of lives and

property.

The clash between the Yoruba and the

Hausa in Shasha area of Ibadan, in Akinyele

Local Government Area of Oyo State, last

week was triggered by an exchange of words

between a Yoruba pregnant woman and an

Hausa tomato seller and the eventual murder

of a cobbler, popularly known as “Adex”. There

was however no evidence that the fight was

caused by ethnic differences. The victim who

was stabbed was confirmed dead in a hospital

on Friday morning, leading to crisis between

the Hausa community and their Yoruba

hosts. Within hours, the conflict spread beyond

the market

According to eyewitnesses, scores of people

died on both sides during the crisis. Several

shops and houses were also burnt down while

the market was deserted.

Victims count

their losses

One of the victims of the mayhem, Garuba

Adamu, said: “I am the most unfortunate man

in the incident. I lost my brother to the crisis.

My brother left behind a wife and four

children. He was killed. I lost more than N60

million because I had many trucks bringing

perishable goods from the North to the South.

My two houses in Shasha were burnt down. I

have a store where I loaded 420 bags of rice,

beans, corn, and other valuables. They were

destroyed. They have killed me alive. I just

returned from the hospital now.”

Another victim, Muibat Osuolale, a Yoruba

trader said: “we were in our shops when we

saw some Hausa men running. We asked to

know what the issue was. But they said they

were looking for someone. I said I was not the

person, but one of them raised a dagger and

wanted to stab me. I was scared. My children

were with me; I started screaming. My shop is

directly beside my husband’s house. My

husband is crippled. They started throwing

stones. They threatened to kill us if we refused

to vacate our shop and home. We ran out and

they burnt down both our home and shops.”

One other victim who lost over N30 million

in the crisis also recounted that his house was

burnt and looted in the process. He said, “I

housed these Hausa traders unfortunately my

house was the first to be burnt on that day. I

am not a trader. I was not involved in any

violence. I am a spare parts dealer. I had a

large sum of money that was burnt with my

house. I was expected to travel to Lagos to

purchase some motor parts. I lost over N30

million.”

Governors

sympathize

This unfortunate incident, attracted the

attention of many people across the country.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State

was first to visit Ibadan, to sympathise with

his Oyo State counterpart, Governor Seyi

Makinde, as they went to the market for an

on-the-spot assessment of the level of

destruction that took place during the clash.

A delegation of the Nigerian Governors’

Forum (NGF) also visited to show solidarity

with the Oyo state government and took

various to douse tension.

In his resolve to check escalation of the crisis

as the Chief Security Officer of the state,

Governor Seyi Makinde declared a curfew

and closed down the market until normalcy

would return to the community. In

demonstration of the continued peaceful

coexistence among the ethnic tribes, Governor

Seyi Makinde received Governor Abdullahi

Ganduje of Kano State,

Governor Abubakar Bello of

Niger state and Governor

Bello Matawalle of Zamfara

State. The visit of the four

Northern governors to

Ibadan, was at the instance

of the Nigerian Governors’

Forum.

Before then, Governor

Makinde, had in a statewide

broadcast on Monday,

disclosed that a judicial

panel would be inaugurated

to investigate the crisis and

stressed that anybody found

culpable would be

sanctioned.

While speaking after

visiting the scenes of the

destruction, Governor

Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi

State, who spoke on behalf

of the other governors, said

the conflict at Shasha

Market in Ibadan was not a tribal or ethnic

one but “the handiwork of miscreants who set

out to loot, steal and cause mayhem.”

He also described the crisis as a regrettable

spontaneous incident.

Gov Bagudu admonished youths and social

media warriors and influencers to desist from

painting the conflict as tribally-motivated and

to also stop fanning of the embers of discord

that could destabilise the country. He noted that

normalcy had returned to the Shasha

community as the leaders there were working

together to put the incident behind them.

The Kebbi governor said: “the streets of Ibadan

are calm; there is no one chasing another and

people are supporting one another to ensure

normalcy.” He noted that such skirmishes were

bound to happen in communities, but that

“sometimes they are exploited by miscreants to

I lost my brother to the

crisis. My brother left

behind a wife and four

children. He was killed. I

lost more than N60 million

because I had many trucks

bringing perishable goods

from the North to the South

loot, steal and to cause mayhem. At Shasha

Market, we saw the destruction, but more than

the destruction was the regrettable loss of lives

that was caused by an unfortunate and

condemnable spontaneous response to

emotions. Everyone in the community

recognised that two issues led to the crisis.

“First, there had been contention over the

leadership at Shasha Market. Both the Seriki

and Baale of Shasha are in agreement over the

leadership but other interested groups were not,

hence, there was an undercurrent for trouble to

brew.”

Cause of

mayhem

“What was the trigger? There was somebody

pushing a wheelbarrow with tomatoes and

the items fell in front of a shop. Ordinarily,

that is normal in markets. But when emotions

rose and social media posts instigating crisis

became strident, we had the situation we had.”

“We sympathise with those who lost their

lives and property. Also, we appreciate what

Gov Makinde, community leaders, security

agents, youth groups, have done so far. We are

also glad that the Seriki and Baale of Shasha

are firm that everyone is free to stay and

conduct his or her lawful activities.”

Bagudu said Governor Makinde had

assured that he would continue to engage the

people to ensure that all

communities lived without

fear.

“As we speak, it is certain

that some people are hiding

and experiencing fear about

what will happen. So it

behoves us to ensure that we

communicate properly. This

will make those living in fear

to know that the NGF,

President Mohammadu

Buhari and security agencies

are working hard to ensure

that we treat things for what

they are,” Bagudu said.

He also expressed

satisfaction that the Oyo State

governor was rendering

assistance, assuring that NGF

would support him.

“In fact, we have given a

token to support those who

are already displaced. We will

meet at a wider forum on

Wednesday and I’m sure more support will be

mobilised,” he said.

The Seriki Shasha of Ibadanland, Alhaji

Haruna Maiyasin, who regretted the

unfortunate incident however, lauded

Governor Makinde for his peaceful

relationship with the Hausa community since

the inception of his administration.

Speaking at the Seriki Shasha’s Palace,

Governor Makinde sued for peace and

promised that his government would find

means to restore peace to the community.

The governor said: “As a government you

trust and elected us 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. 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 victims”.

In furtherance to ensuring a lasting peace

and to provide succour for the victims of the

mayhem, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of

Kano State kick-started the process by

donating a total of N18.5million to 185

indigenes of the state affected in the clash and

Kano State Commissioner of Information,

Malam Garba Mohammed who led the

government delegation, handed over a cash

of N100,000 to the select victims.

Consequent upon this, the Federal

Government promised to give humanitarian

assistance to the affected persons through the

National Emergency Management Agency.

The assurance was given by the Director

General of the agency, Air Vice Marshal

Muhammadu Muhammed (retd) after an

assessment of the market to ascertain the level

of damage. He said the agency had worked

on an interim report submitted by sister agency

for the humanitarian support, while urging

the affected traders to cooperate with a team

of the agency for necessary measures.

He said: “The NEMA is working with other

stakeholders. They have submitted an interim

report which we have worked on and

processed. We are aware that this unfortunate

incident has led to displacement of citizens at

different locations in Sabo, Shasha, Oojo,

Akinyele. Humanitarian assistance is being

processed for them and very soon, it will be

ready.”

In line with the President’s directive, the DG

NEMA Air Vice Marshal Muhammed (retd)

said government has constituted a team of

officers of the agency working in collaboration

with state emergency management agency

and other relevant agencies to visit Shasha,

the scene of the incident and conduct an

indepth assessment of what happened.

In their respective remarks for peace to reign,

both Baale Shasha, Akinade-Ajani and Seriki

Shasha, Maiyasin restated their commitment

to peaceful coexistence.

They rose in unison to make case for a quick

rebuilding, reopening of the market as well as

provision of palliatives to the affected traders.

Akinade-Ajani said: “We do not discriminate

against any tribe; we believe we are of the

same family. We want peaceful coexistence of

all tribes here. We want a return to how we

have been coexisting in Shasha. It is

unbelievable to hear that some people are

moving to settle in another place within the

same Akinyele Local Government.

“We can’t approve of them selling in another

place and then coming here to sleep at night.

Government should arrest and deal with

anyone causing crisis. We are no more fighting.

We want to live in peace; we are not fighting

with Hausa, Igbo. We know those causing

trouble; help us take them away from Akinyele

Local Government. We don’t want people that

beat drums of war. We welcome anyone who

wants to trade at Shasha market peacefully.

We welcome anyone that will live here in

peace.”

On his part, Maiyasin said: “We are brothers

and sisters and we must all live in unity. This is

one Nigeria irrespective of different

backgrounds. Yoruba people are also living

in our communities without any fear. We are

accommodating people and love should be

our only language.”


16—SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021

Priesthood doesn’t stop

you from following your

passion

By BENJAMIN NJOKU

When an American

occupational therapist,

Anisha Joshi opined that

“following our passion makes us

smile, boosts our confidence and

makes life more satisfying and

fulfilling,” she probably had Rev. Fr.

Peter Abiona in mind.

Abiona is a Catholic priest by

calling, but he also has a strong

passion for music. Despite his tight

schedule as a priest, Abiona still

finds time to do music. And it’s not

surprising that the eloquent priest is

out with his debut album.

The album, with the hit track, “You

Are God” contains other tracks

including, ”Mo Gbe Olorun(I Lift

Up My God)”,”I Weep No More”,

and “Instrumental.”

Rendered mostly in Yoruba, Igbo

and pidgin English, the songs are

Rev. Fr Abiona’s way of further

propagating the gospel of salvation.

Abiona who was ordained in 2017,

as a priest, said he’s not doing music

because of what he would gain from

it. Rather, “It’s something I love

doing and it started while I was

growing up.”

He also revealed that he started

playing musical instruments at the

age of 6, adding that gospel music

spices his priesthood. Many of the

parishioners at ‘Our Lady, Seat of

Wisdom’ on Ago road readily attest

to his talent in singing. “His

homilies are always deep and he

begins with moving songs,” one of

them said, adding “his combination

with the parish priest, highly

cerebral Reverend Father Eric

Onyeoziri is a blessing to our

—Rev. Fr Peter Abiona

*Says priesthood is my calling, music my passion

*Out with debut album

parish.”

Said Father Peter Abiona: “I have

always loved music from childhood.

Priesthood is my calling, while

singing is my passion, adding “

Becoming a priest, I got to know

that music is very important even in

the lives of the parishioners.

“When you combine preaching

with music, it lifts their souls and it

makes them come closer to God.

It connects them with their

maker. Preaching of the

gospel is fine, but when

it comes to music,

people are always

responsive of the

message being

conveyed. My

music is helping

me to reach out

to many

people.”

Abiona,

who’s from the

O s o g b o

Diocese of the

Catholic

Church but

currently

working with

L a g o s

Archdiocese,

dedicated his debut

album

in

thanksgiving to God

Almighty on the occasion

of his 3rd year priestly

ordination anniversary (29/12/

2017 – 29/12/ 2020).

However, narrating what inspired

him to delve into gospel music, the

Catholic priest said he was always

close to the choir while growing up.

“I have always been very close to

the choir. I

was an instrumentalist when I was

young before I got into the

seminary.”

Singing is something Rev. Fr.

Abiona started doing while

he was a child. He also admits

that music runs in their family.

“My going into music is generic.

My dad sings and my mum was a

choir mistress for many years. That’s

where I developed my passion for

music.”

“I started playing instrument at

the age of 6. Then I was playing the

local drum. When I was in primary

and secondary schools, I was good

at playing instrument. That made

me to join my Diocese drama group

because of my skills in playing local

instrument. I also learned how to

do acrobatic dance too, while

growing up,” the priest said.

Abiona revealed that he

composed the songs during the

COVID-19 lock down.

“ I have always wanted to sing,

but because of the nature of my

activities, which couldn’t give me

enough time to relax and draw the

inspiration to compose songs, it was

difficult. But during the last COVID-

19 lock down, I had the time to go

back to who I was. So, I composed

these songs during the lock down.

The lock down really helped me to

actualize my dream.”

Abiona said his third track, “I

Weep No More” was composed in

the hope that the deadly COVID-19

pandemic would be a thing of the

past, where the people will continue

to live their normal lives again. The

last track, according to him, is

mainly instrumental as a lover of

instruments.

“The message of my music is at

the centre of your life, around you,

everything you do, who you are and

what you are. The air you breathe,

your challenges and sorrows.”

Describing the message of his

music as “soul-searching, resolving

around us and our challenges, the

priest said his next project is to shoot

the music video of the songs. He’s

also planning to put out more soullifting

music, stressing that “This is

just the beginning of my journey in

music.”

For the Priest, his music which is

currently available on different

digital platforms is helping him to

proclaim the gospel of salvation to

humanity.

“When we compose and make it

musical, it sings more in the ears

and eyes of the people. It’s

evangelization, since the nature of

my work is to propagate the gospel

of salvation.

“ So my music which is currently

enjoying massive airplay within and

outside the shores of the country, is

helping me to reach out to many

people. I have been privileged to

evangelize beyond my territory.

Being a musician as a priest is

helping me to touch more souls even

those who are far from Him because

I sing a gospel music” Abiona said.

Nigerian Fulani must t stop op foreign Fulani NOW!

W!

BY Dr Omaghomi Ofioritse

At the national level ,there is a

dilemma of primordial versus

patriotism facing the educated and

powerful Fulani clan of Nigeria...

This very serious choice between

reaction and reason may very well cut the

last threadbare stitch holding together, this

poor, troubled nation called Nigeria.

There are between 20 to 50 million Fulani

who live either in settled or nomadic lifestyle

across 18 different African countries (

Wikipedia) ; we have to appreciate that it is

almost impossible to get an accurate

population figure for the Fulani, due to their

very fluid itinerant lifestyle.

In landmass (5) five of these 18 countries

are bigger than Nigeria.

Nations like Niger, Chad, Mali,

Mauritania and Sudan are all larger in land

area than Nigeria.

Not withstanding the above. Nigeria

holds two special attractions for the army

of foreign Fulani. First, Nigeria is one of

the wettest of these 18 countries ; with an all

year round lush green vegetation, secondly,

the elite, educated Fulani of Nigeria

constitute a huge political block.

In a country like ours, this political

leverage puts the Nigerian Fulani at a

vantage position to dispense wealth and

favours and this keeps a large section of the

country very loyal and afraid to speak up

against their perceived interest. This is

because political influence readily translate

to economic empowerment for cronies or

economic strangulation for dissenters in a

developing country with an untoward ease

of doing business like Nigeria .

The only other country, where the Fulani

could have enjoyed huge political

patronage, was truncated by Mr Paul Biya;

when he out maneuvered Ahmadou Ahidjo,

the Fulani civil servant that ruled for the

first twenty two years following Cameroon’s

independence from France.

The above reasons might make foreign

Fulani battling desertification, to seek

refuge in Nigeria. Another reason is the

trouble in Libya, where it is believed that a

large section of the criminal Fulani

currently disturbing Nigeria had fought on

one side or the other of the anti and post

Gaddafi turbulence. Others came in from

Mali , having fought with rebels and they

now see Nigeria as a cash cow.

These foreign Fulani are very different

from the ones who have lived side by side

with the Hausa of Northern Nigeria.

Unfortunately, these foreigners are using

the Fula ethnic mask to blend amongst

indigenous Fulani and then unleash terror

and banditry in Nigeria.

We sincerely believe that Nigeria will

disintegrate economically, if these bands of

foreign Fulani, continue to swarm Nigeria

in their numbers, due to the fact that Nigeria

has very deep challenges of it’s own which

have weakened its economy and unity.

The first problem is land hunger. Nigeria

is one and the half times denser in population

than China. This means that if 100 Chinese

are found in a hall in China, then that

same size of land in Nigeria would have

150 people crowded into it.

This land hunger is worse when you

compare Nigeria with USA; our land

hunger becomes more scary because

America is about two times the population

of Nigeria. But just two out of America’s 50

States, is far bigger than twice Nigeria’s

size, so if you share the entire American

population into two and settle each half;

one each; into these two states...the

population density of people in America will

still be less than in Nigeria! and then the

remaining 48 states of America will be

totally unoccupied!!! Free of people and

available for farming !!!. Frankly the

population of Nigeria has grown almost five

times! since independence , while it’s

landmass remains the same.

Another present and painful challenge,

is that crude oil is now a dying resource, a

giant of the past. Electric powered vehicles

are now the frightening reality of today and

likely the norm of the future.

Nigeria is also not a technology or tourist

hub; even amongst West African countries.

As for manufacturing , the pitiable reality

is that we still import common food items

like peanut butter. Shame!!!

Coupled with the fact that excellence and

competence have been killed on the platter

of allowing for good geographical spread

of public offices...

Laudable as Federal character might

seem at first, looking at it more closely, one

would see it’s fatal draw back; in that strict

adherence to federal character, discourages

excellence and wealth creation, because

competence is not the factor for filling

vacancies, rather it is a turn by turn , rotatory

federal lottery machine.

Hard work is not considered. Laziness

, mediocrity, incompetence and

unproductivity take over , therefore penury

and misery are the end result.

From the above it can be seen that the

country is weakened. The only thing that

can pull us from the brinks is a patriotic

decision by the educated , indigenous and

hopefully loyal Nigerian Fulani ; to prevent

and stop this migration of millions of

foreign Fulani into Nigeria.

In other words a “Primordial choice” by

the Nigerian Fulani elite isn’t innocuous;

it is in fact a dangerous option.

The right decision would be one of

patriotism to the Nigerian nation, by the

elite Nigerian Fulani.

This is the only way to reverse the telling

effects on the Nigerian economy brought

about by the wanton invasion of Nigeria by

millions of Fulani from North , West and

Central Africa.

Nigerian Fulani! Nigeria needs you

now!!!!


SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021—17

Scientists develop blood test to predict

environmental harms to children

cientists at Columbia University

SMailman School of Public Health have

developed a method using a DNA biomarker

to easily screen pregnant women for harmful

prenatal environmental contaminants like air

pollution linked to childhood illness and

developmental disorders.

This approach has the potential to prevent

childhood developmental disorders and

chronic illness through the early identification

of children at risk.

While environmental factors — including

air pollutants — have previously been

associated with DNA markers, no studies to

date have used DNA markers to flag

environmental exposures in children. Study

results are published online in the journal

Epigenetics.

There is ample scientific evidence that links

prenatal environmental exposures to poor

outcomes in children, yet so far there is no

early warning system to predict which children accessible biomarker measured in a small

are at highest risk of adverse health amount of blood to distinguish newborns at to other environmental exposures, and could

outcomes.

elevated risk due to prenatal exposure. They

eventually be made into a routine test.

The researchers took a major step toward used air pollutants as a case study, although The researchers used machine learning

overcoming this barrier by identifying an they say their approach is easily generalizable analysis of umbilical cord blood collected

through two New York City-based longitudinal

birth cohorts to identify locations on DNA

altered by air pollution. Study participants

had known levels of exposure to air pollution

measured through personal and ambient air

monitoring during pregnancy, with specific

measures of fine particulate matter, nitrogen

dioxide (NO2), and polycyclic aromatic

hydrocarbons (PAH).

They tested these biomarkers and found that

they could be used to predict prenatal exposure

to NO2 and PM2.5 (which were monitored

throughout pregnancy), although only with

modest accuracy. PAH (which was only

monitored for a short period during the third

trimester) was less well predicted.

The researchers now plan to apply their

biomarker discovery process using a larger

pool of data collected through the ECHO

consortium, which potentially could lead to

higher levels of predictability. It might also be

possible to link these biomarkers with both

exposures and adverse health outcomes. With

better predictability and lower cost, the

method could become a routine test used in

hospitals and clinics.

“While further validation is needed, this

approach may help identify newborns at

heightened risk for health problems. With this

information, clinicians could increase

monitoring for high-risk children to see if

problems develop and prescribe interventions,

as needed.”

Polymer optical sensor implant for long-term health monitoring

Researchers have developed an

extremely sensitive miniaturized

optical fibre sensor that could one day be

used to measure small pressure changes in

the body.

“Our new pressure sensor was designed

for medical applications and overcomes

many of the issues of using silica-based

fibers,” said research team leader Hwa-Yaw

Tam from The Hong Kong Polytechnic

University.

“It is sensitive enough to measure pressure

inside lungs while breathing, which changes

by just a few kilopascals.”

The researchers describe their new optical

fibre sensor in The Optical Society (OSA)

journal Optics Letters.

The sensor, which is based on a Fibre Bragg

grating (FBG) inscribed into a fibre made

from a new polymer called Zeonex, was able

to detect pressure changes of just 2

kilopascals.

“Our FBG sensor could be used in various

medical applications because, in addition to

its biocompatibility, the fibre is chemically

inert and also not sensitive to moisture,” said

Tam.

“Our ultimate objective is to use these types

of sensors to monitor various parameters —

including pressure, temperature and strain —

inside animals and people.”

Many fibre optic sensors are based on FBGs,

tiny periodic microstructures that can be

inscribed onto a fibre. When pressure rises the

fibre stretches slightly, increasing the grating

period in a way that changes its refractive

index and shifts the light output toward the

red end of the spectrum. Similarly, a decrease

in pressure produces a blue shift.

Making an FBG sensor from a traditional

silica optical fibre is not ideal for medical

applications, especially those involving longterm

use in the body, because these fibres

exhibit a relatively high stiffness and can be

brittle.

FBGs embedded in silica fibers also have

limited sensitivity to small pressure changes

because the material does not stretch and

contract very easily.

To overcome the hurdles, the researchers

turned to the advanced polymer Zeonex. This

new material is not only chemically inert and

works well in the aqueous environments like

those found in the body, but also exhibits a

higher light shift in response to a pressure

change compared to silica fibres.

To demonstrate the new sensor, the

researchers compared its performance with a

traditional polymer-based sensor

of a similar design.

They found that the Zeonexbased

sensors with the side-hole

design produced a response that

was linear, repeatable and had

negligible lag or errors. The tests

showed that the sensor can be

used for low pressure

measurement up to 50

kilopascals above or below

atmospheric pressure with a

resolution of 2.0 kilopascals.

The sensitivity of the pressure

measurement is increased by

80 percent compared to a

traditional polymer-based

sensor.

The researchers are now

working to further reduce the

sensor’s response time, which

is currently few tens of seconds.

They also want to expand the sensor to

measure other physical and chemical

parameters such as pH and to functionalize

the probe so that it can detect the pressure

of a particular gas.

EFCC: Can Bawa challenge Nigeria’s

graft gods?

By Soni Daniel,

Northern Region Editor

•Bawa

With the appointment of a young

ster, Abdulrasheed Bawa, 40, by

President Muhammadu Buhari to

head the country’s anti-graft agency, the Economic

and Financial Crimes Commission,

many have raised both excitement and concern

over the choice. Apart from those criticising

his emergence on the ground that only people

from Bawa’s tribe have headed the organisation

since its inception, others have pointed

out that his choice has flouted the law establishing

the commission, which stipulates that

the chairman should be a police officer, not

below the rank of an assistant commissioner

of police.

But these issues pale in the face of the superior

fact that Bawa is duly qualified to lead the

EFCC given the fact that he is a trained law

enforcement officer with a law-enforcement

agency. He can also be said to be the right

candidate for the job at the moment given the

thinking in the Presidency that it is high time

the agency was headed by a non-police officer

as has been the case since its inception.

Thus, Bawa can be rightly presented as one

who has been properly schooled in the art and

science of law enforcement, economic and financial

crimes investigations and prosecution.

Although Bawa, a native of Kebbi State

and a graduate of Economics and International

diplomacy, appears as an innocuous school

boy with a baby face, he comes into the job

with at least 17 years experience, having joined

the EFCC in 2004 at the time he was only 23

years old. From available records, the Kebbi-born

officer, has spent his entire career with

the EFCC and risen to the pinnacle of the establishment

through the instrumentality of

hard work, commitment and dedication to a

single course of detecting and punishing economic

and financial crimes-bank fraud, cybercrimes,

official corruption and fraud cases.

Bawa may be young and inexperienced in

political intrigues that have plagued many

Nigerian leaders and organisations but those

who chose him for the tough job might have

leveraged on his toughness in pursuing and

prosecuting those bent on enriching themselves

through economic and financial crimes and

impoverishing the nation and its people.

But given the ruthlessness of the ‘godfathers’

of graft who define the national political space,

picking and choosing those who should hold

sway in certain places and time, can Bawa withstand

the forces that are already holding Nigeria

on its jugular and selfishly and poignantly

looting its treasury with impunity?

With the EFCC designed to fish out and punish

without fear or favour anyone who dips

their hands into the national treasury and Bawa’s

appointment having to be sanctioned at

the highest political level by some of the kingmakers

who may be facing some unfinished

corruption cases, would he be able to look any

culprit no matter how powerful and influential

in the face and drag them to court without

fearing for his continued stay in office?

Not minding the fanfare that comes with

Bawa’s appointment, the job is as tempting as

it is promotionally huge. He can use the new

post to write his name on the right side of history

and can as well flounder his name and

everything depending on how he goes about

doing the tough job, which has already rubbished

many and sent them to the wrong side

of history while they are still alive.

Although his choice resonates with those who

have been campaigning for more Nigerian

youths to be given prominent positions in government,

the euphoria can easily be disrupted

if Bawa does not deviate significantly from

the malady that has often afflicted some of his

predecessors and created furore over the management

of confiscated assets, selective arrest

and trial of suspects and sometimes ignoring

those who have blood on their hands because

of their proximity to the corridors of powers.

The new EFCC boss, if confirmed by the

Senate has an ample opportunity to rewrite

the history of the commission by approaching

the job with unprecedented ruthlessness

and neutrality in dealing with crime suspects

and charging them to court promptly so as to

send the right message to potential criminals

and set a new tone for economic and financial

war in the country. His appointment

should not encourage the usual grandstanding

and flip flop in economic and financial

crime fight, which has encouraged many powerful

and influential elements in the land to

loot with ease and flaunt the illicit wealth with

recklessness. Some even use the proceeds

of crimes to fight back the system and promote

their stooges into high offices in the land,

thereby perpetuating sleaze as a way of life

that pays to indulge in.

That’s why Bawa must learn fast, act fast

and settle fast to confront the monster that

has eaten deep into our nation’s fabric

and dented the image of Nigeria as a catastrophe

over the years even with the

mantra of ‘fighting corruption’ ringing

boisterously across the land.

It is either he wins the fight and etches his

name in gold or loses it and burns his fingers

in the cauldron called EFCC, no matter the

good intentions of his godfathers who pushed

him into the job.

The choice to do good to all manner of

people without fear, ill-will or affection

in the discharge of this thankless job,

rests squarely with him!

Welcome on board, Bawa!


18—SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021

Last week, I told you a strand of

the story of my trip to the popular

Ladipo Spare Parts Market in

Lagos. I also told you about the heavy

rain that caught up with me while I was

there. By the time the rain subsided,

everywhere was flooded. Floating on the

flood were empty food packs, plastic

bottles of water and drinks, among other

debris that were earlier disposed of

indiscriminately. From Ladipo Market to

Agege Motor Road, the story was the

same, flood everywhere, with debris Real eal and met

floating. On Agege Motor Road, one of

the reasons for the flooding became

apparent. The flood had started

debris

subsiding, leaving behind the debris. I

saw one vulcaniser clearing the debris service, but I know in some low

by the road side, where he plies his trade, income neighbourhoods, residents do

and dumping them into the drains. Down not like paying for such services, so

the road about 150 metres away, a hotel the refuse disposal there is either

security man was doing the same thing. epileptic or non-existent. The roads

There lies the problem of Ladipo, Agege and drains are basically their

Motor Road and many parts of Lagos and dumpsites.

the rest of Nigeria during the rainy Whatever the shortcomings of the

season. We have converted the open Ladipo Market spare part dealers, I

drains to garbage dumps. When it rains, admire them for their ingenuity. You

they are useless to do the work they are cannot take it away from them. Long

built to do. I have asked this question before your vehicle comes to a halt,

many times before: where did we get this their expert eyes have surveyed it

culture of open drains that breeds this and they bring forth many of the parts

irresponsible behaviour from? I have gone and services you need. Many of us

to a few places in the United Kingdom, in business and marketing

our colonial masters, I never saw open departments need to learn from their

drains.

marketing skills: spotting business

The other thing that beats my opportunities with an eagle eye

imagination is why people decide to be wherever we find ourselves. Many of

so cruel to themselves. In Mushin and us gloss over opportunities in our

adjourning areas like Idi Araba and Itire environments and it is hurting our

(that is not to say middle class and businesses and life generally.

highbrow Ikeja, Surulere, Lekki, Victoria The traders are also very

Island and Ikoyi are spared), any heavy persuasive. They talk you into buying

rain brings sorrow. As my vehicle waded parts you need (sometimes want), but

through the flooded roads in Mushin, not the reason why you came to the

some people were already baling water market. In those days, I used to

from their flooded houses. If you go into spend at least twice the money I had

these houses, some do not have dustbins. budgeted, each time I went to Ladipo.

They dump their garbage sometimes by But on this day, I only went with the

the roadside or inside the open drain in money I had budgeted.

front of their houses. Some people are Notwithstanding, I overspent, thanks

quick to point fingers at government to that plastic we carry about called

inefficiencies, but in some cases, the debit card. But in all fairness to me,

people are the problem. Where I live, every item I purchased was needed.

trucks come to empty the bins every week, But give it to them, they are great

so we have no reasons to dispose our salesmen. The traders are also very

waste anyhow. And we pay for the resilient: it is this resilience, in

eal and metaphoric floating

addition to their eagle eyes for

opportunities and great

salesmanship, which has made many

of them runaway successes.

But before you go to Ladipo, like

many other markets, carry out your

little research to have

an idea of the prices of

the items you want to

purchase. If not they

will rip you off, but still

leave you with the

feeling that you are a

great bargain hunter.

One of them wanted to

sell an item I bought

recently for N300,

albeit the fake one, for

N2,000. If I had not

fallen victim to the

fake, I could have

parted with a lot more

money, but I ended up

buying the original for

N500. I learnt my

lesson long ago on

how traders rip

customers off. In year

2000, I needed to buy a generator. I

contacted John (not his real name),

the electrician nearby, to take me to

Alaba International Market. He was

nowhere to be found on the day we

agreed to go to Alaba. The next day,

he showed up. We went to Alaba

International Market. After over four

hours of hard bargaining, we got one

for N96,000. I went home feeling

very fulfilled and thankful that John

had helped me to get a good bargain. That

was until my brother, Emma, came from Delta

and saw the generator. “Brother, bro

wod’onana (Brother, how much did you buy

this gen?)” He asked. I adjusted myself and

proudly told him N96,000. “Awhawere (They

cheated you),” he exploded. He bought the

same type of generator for N63,000 in

Onitsha the previous weekend.

Then everything began to fall into place.

The initial date we were supposed to go to

Alaba, when John did not show up, he had

gone to Alaba to set me up. In anger we went

to Alaba the next day to confront the seller,

but his army of boys wanted to fight with us.

We were badly outnumbered. I told Emma

we should leave. I wanted to arrest John,

but my parish priest told me to ignore him,

which I reluctantly did. He went further to

tell me to pray for John, which I was even

more reluctant to do. A few days later, John

started selling wires and electrical parts,

apparently from the money he made by

defrauding me. He, with his

collaborators, ripped me off,

of over N30,000, which was

plenty of money in year

2000. The exchange rate

was about N35 to a US

dollar. You do the

arithmetic. That was

We have

converted the

open drains to

garbage dumps.

When it rains, they

are useless to do

the work they are

built to do.

November. By December,

John travelled home for

Christmas. He never got

back to Lagos. He died in

an accident at Ore. Teledensity

was low then, so his

corpse was in the morgue

for two weeks before his

wife in Lagos and his

people in the village knew

what happened. When I

heard, it was tough to

ignore his betrayal of trust,

but I did and prayed for the

repose of his soul. Another thing that hurt

me was that my money went to waste, John’s

new business packed up. I would have been

consoled to see John grow to a successful

electrical parts merchant, knowing that my

money, albeit illegally taken, contributed to

his success. The whole incident reminds me

of the fickleness of life, the emptiness of

trying to make it by all means and foolishness

of pursing vengeance. If not well managed,

our lives can easily become floating debris.

Isee myself as a stakeholder in what was

known as Nigerian Prisons Service but

changed to Nigerian Correctional

Services (NCoS). Whatever affects that para -

military organisation also affects the nation.

Now the name suggests that our leaders need

to balance the polity.

New Service chiefs were appointed recently

and the South-East geo-political zone was

ignored. No officer of South-East extraction

has so far been deemed fit to head any of the

various para- military agencies. The Controller

-General of NCoS, Ja’afaru Ahmed, from Kebbi

State retired from service in January 2021.

There is no substantive CG yet. John Mrabure

is acting as boss at the moment but is due for

retirement. I have a feeling that fair play must

be applied in picking the next CG. We have

enough Service and Para- military chiefs from

the North. It would be inconsiderate to pick a

Northerner as Ahmed’s successor.

I am sure there are officer gentlemen from

other zones who are eminently qualified to

move up. However, the South- East deserves

another shot at this plum job. The story is not

sweet to the ear at all. It is like there is a deliberate

policy to diminish the people.

On July 1, 2005, Okwara Uche Kalu, from

the South-East was appointed Acting CG. This

followed the exit of Abraham Iyorker Akpe. It

was expectations turned to exasperation. Kalu

acted for one year and was never confirmed.

Olusola Adigun Ogundipe moved in and was

there until 2012.

Zakari Ohinoyi Ibrahim took Ogundipe’s

place and left in 2014. Aminu Suley acted for

five months before stepping aside for Dr. Peter

Ezenwa Ekpendu from the South-East on

December 5,2014. Ekpendu spent just two years

before Ahmed was announced as the next CG.

This is the same agency where the first

substantive indigenous Director of Prisons,

Frank Sumola Giwa-Osagie, spent 10 years

and six months between 1961 and 1972. The

rank of Controller- General was first worn by

Lily Ojo in 1991. He retired in 1995.

I also know that A. A. Ahmadu was in charge

for about 11 years, from 1975 to 1986. Even

Ibrahim Mohammed Jarma, the man who

Balancing equation @

correctional services

introduced weapons training spent six years

as boss. Carrying arms was not novel for

the second Director of Prisons, Lt.col E. L.

Salier and the fourth, Col. V. L. Mabb, were

soldiers.

Mabb was in office for 11 years and three

months between 1932 and 1943.

I insist on fair play in choosing the next

CG because the Correctional Services and

Sports have come a long way. Giwa-

Osagie was Vice President of the Amateur

Athletics Association of Nigeria in the

1970s. He was picked on merit as Director.

For a man who attended Kings College,

Lagos and joined as a cadet in 1948, that

appointment was generally accepted.

Steven Ibn Akiga was Minister of Sports

in 2002. We met in Japan and he said he

was a member of the Prisons Football Club.

Akiga was also Aide de Camp (ADC) to

Jomo Adapoyi, Director of Prisons between

1972 and 1975.

David Ejoke perhaps remains one of the

best athletes produced by the Correctional

Services. He won two medals at the First

All African Games, Brazzaville ’65. Ejoke

made it to two Olympic Games, Tokyo ’64

and Mexico ’68 respectively.

My good friend, Malam Alhassan

Yakmut, is today, Secretary, Civil Defence,

Correctional, Fire and Immigration

Services Board (CDCFIB). He represented

Nigeria in Volleyball and was a Director,

at the Federal Ministry of Sports and

Youth Development. Yakmut is

very popular in the South-East

where he kept the Nnamdi

Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu

glowing as Zonal

Coordinator.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni

Rauf Aregbesola, is an Ijesha

man. May I remind him that

there is a strong bond between

the Igbo and Ijesha- Yoruba.

He knows that the Ijesha

Progressive Association

Canada (IPAC) is led by an

Igbo man from Enugu. I am

sure,beyond politics, he is

supposed to make

recommendations based on

merit.

I am a keen watcher of

developments in the

Correctional Services because

it is like family business. My

grandfather, Chief Obasi

Onukwuire, was made a

Warrant Chief in 1912

through the influence of his kid brother,

Uchegbu, a Warder. Uchegbu’s wife,

Sarah, called her husband ‘Gand roba’,

for warders were known as Gang Drivers.

The Traditional ruler of my town, Eze Nelson

Obasi, retired from Service, as a Controller. I know

so much about the big Correctional Services farms

in Ibite Olo. I also met a Controller at Ikoyi, I guess,

Mrs. Ononye in 2007. I was told she was good in

Karate during training.

I had an in- law, Chief Henry Ehijator, who retired

as Controller of Prisons, old Anambra State. He

helped the Esan of Edo State in the Correctional

Services as much as Chief Tony Anenih did in the

police. They were contemporaries. I also know that

CG Ogundipe is one of the younger siblings of Brig.

Babafemi Ogundipe.

So when I speak passionately about this paramilitary

organisation, I am in order. President Buhari

must be informed that at this time when ethnic

tension is high, it will be politically wrong to give

the CG job to someone from the North.

It will be politically correct to look for a candidate

from the South-East,

based on merit. I am so

sure that should Yakmut

and Aregbesola shine

their eyes, they will find

one worthy senior officer

from the South-East.

Customs, Immigration,

New Service chiefs

were appointed

recently and the South-

East geo-political zone

was ignored. No officer

of South-East

extraction has so far

been deemed fit to

head any of the various

para- military agencies

EFCC are all headed by

Northerners.

I am personally going

to write a protest letter

should this job elude the

South-East. President

Buhari is also my friend,

those who think they

have connections at the

Villa must respect my

friendship with the

President. And if the

wrong candidate is

announced, I will find out

exactly what happened.

Ohanaeze, Afenifere,

Arewa Consultative

Forum, Middle Belt

Forum and the South- South Peoples Assembly will

definitely wade into this appointment. Enough of

injustice. I am so sure those who think Mr. President

is not watching are in for a big surprise.


C

M

Y

K

Anyone who lives or has lived in

Nigeria knows that the occupy

Lekki protest of last Saturday

would not hold. And if it did, it would

be low key probably with some casualties

on the side of the protesters. They would

know that the balance of the power which

was touted by the preceding

grandstanding and flexing of muscles

by the two sides would invariably tilt

towards the side with the real muscles –

the law enforcers. So I was not surprised

when the Lekki neighbourhood and

most of Victoria Island were disturbed

by the sound of sirens throughout the

weekend – even after the protest had

been completely muzzled. Neither was

I surprised by the massive movement of

heavily armed personnel to the Lekki

toll plaza. Nor by the belligerent

swagger of the law – or anti-protestenforcers.

It’s our way. We lack a sense

of proportion. We use excessive force

where minimal force would suffice and

are curiously absent where

overwhelming force is necessary.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not in

support of the protest. Not at this time.

My reason is largely economic. The last

protest which came soon after the COVID

19 lockdown, brought Lagos to its

economic knees and set it back several

decades developmentally. Besides, the

argument that the toll gate should not

be opened yet after four months of

closure is curious. If the alleged shooting

of the endsars protesters had taken place

on the Third Mainland Bridge would

the bridge then be closed until the

tribunal finished its sitting? Again, one

has to ask what the occupy Lekki protest

would achieve except another economic

disruption which could escalate to

another purposeless carnage. At the end,

the poor, largely the youths would suffer

more. Besides, the protest seemed to be

targeted at the perceived financial

revenue of an individual which gives a

political colouration to it. I am more in

support of a monument of sorts being

put there to remind us all of what

happened on October 20, 2020.

Having said this, the level of force

deployed to the scene was hardly

proportional to the perceived threat.

These protesters would not be armed.

Friends and charitable foes must

be pitying the lot of Lai

Mohammed, Nigeria’s minister

of information and tormentor in chief,

first of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and

subsequently of Dr. Bukola Saraki.

When Yekini Nabena, who was in the

shadows in the heyday of Lai’s activism,

decided to take on Lai and rubbish his

contributions to the Muhammadu Buhari

legacy, it again brought another oddity

associated with politicians.

Nabena who was or is the Deputy

National Publicity Secretary of the All

Progressives Congress, APC had delved

into the crisis between Lai and Governor

Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara

State and urged the minister to submit

to the leadership of the governor.

When Lai rebuffed him as a nonentity,

N a b e n a

squirmed back

depicting the

minister as the

baggage in the

Buhari cabinet!

Saraki must be

having a laugh

and so, must

Reno Omokri

and all the many

folks who had in

the past suffered

from Lai’s

sharp-witted

tongue and

statements.

As the

longest-serving

spokesman of

the opposition,

with a pedigree

ranging from

A c t i o n

After the party leadership

tilted towards the governor

and against Lai in handing

over the registration of

party membership

materials to the governor,

the minister is

undoubtedly faced or

headed towards a cul de

sac that only God can help

him out of.

Congress, AC, Action Congress of

Nigeria, ACN to the militant days of the

APC, Lai’s contributions to the

evolvement of the democratic culture

remain memorable.

As opposition spokesman, Lai wouldn’t

Swatting a fly with a sledgehammer

The ammunitions in the hands of most of

them would be posters. The protesters

would not be many given the lack of

consensus among the major actors and

the lukewarm attitude

towards it by the rest of us.

So deploying road and air

operations against a

handful of unarmed

protesters was comical and

an overkill. Especially since

many areas in the country

need the services of the

security operatives more. In

Ogun State, just a few

hours’ drive from the toll

plaza, a helpless

community has sent an SOS

to government to help save

its farms from invasion and

its people from being

kidnapped. Further down in

Oyo State, there have been

weeks of skirmishes which

could have been prevented

had authorities acted

proactively. Many States

have cried out that their

forests have been infested

and need them cleansed

and bandits flushed out. But

the security operatives have

been largely unresponsive to these cries.

Many roads have been made unsafe by

kidnappers and herdsmen. The nation

knows these roads. The security heads

are aware of these roads. But they pay lip

service to the security needs of the areas.

We all know that a small fire soon becomes

a conflagration if it is not quickly attended

have let it pass that people were stopped

from peacefully demonstrating. He

certainly would have as opposition

spokesman shouted himself hoarse if

Nigerians do not see the president up and

about and challenged the president to

move from his den in Abuja and feel the

pulse of Nigerians outside

Aso Rock.

And certainly, Lai as

opposition spokesman

would have daily

embarrassed any

spokesman of government

who claimed or claims that

Boko Haram had been

defeated or degraded in the

face of insecurity all around

the country.

Even more, Lai as

opposition spokesman

would have so much

embarrassed the ministers

in government and

challenged them to travel on

Nigeria’s roads without

loads of security.

As an opposition

spokesman, his attributes

were legendary. Your

correspondent gathered reliably, that he

was a first choice for the position of Chief

of Staff at the inception in 2015, but it was

an offer he politely declined for personal

reasons. Perhaps, Buhari’s legacy may

have been better defined.

So, given his attributes, it was

SATURDAY Vanguard, , FEBRUARY 20, 2021—19

to. So our tardiness in putting out these

fires could cost us dearly at the end of the

day. Yet should there be a senatorial

election in a State in which the powers

that be are interested, the place would be

crawling with ‘law

enforcers’. And a

State CEO on an

official visit would

go with a large

contingent of

armed personnel

just to feel safe and

to feel good. This

speaks to the mind

set of our leaders

and security chiefs

when it comes to

their perception of

security threats. It

explains what they

feel about the

plight of Citizen

Joe and Citizen

Jane who just want

to earn a modest

but decent living

and thereafter be

able to sleep on

their beds at night.

But to them, a

security threat is

probably limited only to things that affect

their tenuous hold to power.

A recent social media post after the

botched occupy Lekki protest showed two

contrasting pictures. The first one showed

the protesters being shoved, shirtless and

handcuffed, into police trucks. The other

picture had politicians sitting down to take

To rid the

country of

growing

insecurity will

mean focusing

on substance

and not on

shadows

The travails of Lai Mohammed

embarrassing that someone who many

Nigerians have not heard or seen

articulate a statement on his own as ruling

party spokesman would come and

embarrass him.

Lai’s problems with Abdulrazaq did not

just start recently. The first public flash of

crisis came when Lai was appointed a

minister for the second term and the

governor honoured him at the reception

in Abuja in August 2019.

At that reception, Bashir Bolarinwa, BOB

the chairman of the state chapter of the

party introduced Lai as the leader of the

party in Kwara.

Within a week of that reception,

mobilization for signatures to remove BOB

as chairman among his exco members

commenced. However, fortunately for him,

not enough signatories were obtained to

remove BOB.

Since that Abuja incident continued

efforts to remove BOB as chairman have

surfaced now and then, here and there.

BOB unlike many other political actors

has stood firm with Lai. After all, they were

both imports from Lagos.

After the party leadership tilted towards

the governor and against Lai in handing

over the registration of party membership

materials to the governor, the minister is

undoubtedly faced or headed towards a

cul de sac that only God can help him out

of

Ṡurely, he is bound to be frozen out of

the political arena in Kwara except the

governor decides to have mercy.

photographs with suspected bandits after an

alleged attempt to negotiate with them. The

first picture was captioned ‘how Nigerians

treat peaceful protesters’. The second caption

read ‘how Nigerians treat terrorists’. Our

disproportional approach to the use of force;

our lack of discretion on how to maintain law

and order is what led to the endsars protest

in the first case. The allegations of brutality

and use of indiscriminate force against youths

who happened to fit a particular profile boiled

over and culminated in a reasonably popular

youth protest. People were said to be tortured

sometimes to the point of death because they

were in possession of phones they didn’t know

was stolen in the first place. Some had found

themselves in detention for the contents of

their phones or computers. Misdemeanours

at home or in the office that should receive a

slap on the wrist would end up in

brutalisation and incarceration. Talk about

swatting a fly with a sledgehammer.

Meanwhile hardened criminals who operate

atop a chain of command are given a wide

berth. Bandits are courted and negotiated

with. Our Courts are equally as guilty. A man

was once jailed four years for stealing a goat.

Yet politicians and public officials who loot

the treasury are left to roam about scot free.

The battery of senior lawyers who get rich

thieves off the hook on technicalities are as

guilty. They shouldn’t complain about the

infrastructural decay in the country.

To rid the country of growing insecurity will

mean focusing on substance and not on

shadows. It will mean diverting our scarce

resources to dealing with the real criminals

and their sponsors. It will mean setting

examples. Should the Federal Government

have the will to rid the Ondo State forests of

bandits for example, it would send an

unmistakeable message to bandits in other

places who use the cover of the bush to commit

heinous crimes. Should the courts have the

will to jail a few rich public officials, it would

send an unequivocal message to their ‘kith

and kin’ still in office.

If we can prioritise and deal with crimes

according to their severity and not on the

profile of their perpetrators; if we can be

passionate and equitable in our pursuit of

justice and not cherry pick the low hanging

fruits then we can maybe begin to get a handle

on the various crimes that have unfortunately

led to insecurity everywhere in the country.

Kwara is a sure test for the APC’s claim to

democratic norms. If it is really so, all

tendencies including that of Senator Gbemi

Saraki should be given an open hand in the

registration and the eventual election of party

officers.

But the unfolding development in Kwara is

not the first time that a godson would fight a

political godfather.

Adamu Attah, the first civilian governor of

the state was made by the Oloye, Senator

Olusola Saraki in 1979.

Attah, however, rebelled midway and the

National Party of Nigeria, NPN leaders

apparently sided with Attah not wanting to

lose a governor. There was also the gist that

Saraki’s rivals in the NPN aiming to stop his

presidential aspiration decided to humble him

by backing Attah.

However, Oloye went home and ensured

that Attah despite the support of the NPN

machine lost the 1983 re-election to Cornelius

Adebayo of the Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN.

Saraki again suffered the same rebellious

act from the two governors he foisted on the

state in the Fourth Republic.

Mohammed Lawal pulled all the tricks but

Saraki was so prepared in 2003 and with the

backing of his son, Bukola, ensured that

Lawal suffered the same fate as Attah in 1983.

The second rebellion against Saraki was,

however, what finished the old man. This

time, the rebellion came from home. It was

his son, Bukola who as governor refused his

sister Gbemi as his successor as his father

desired. Oloye vowed to use the same tricks

he had successfully used against Attah and

Lawal. But alas, the attack from home

wounded him not just emotionally, some

allege it killed his spirit, leading to his death

a year after that epic 2011 battle.

Apparently, Bukola is the only godfather in

Kwara who did not suffer a rebellion. His

appointed governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed came

quietly and went quietly, even if he brought

down the roof on Bukola!

So, for Lai who led the revolution to upstage

the Saraki phenomenon, he has his job well

cut out. Only that the echoes of the past now

stir him in the face. So bad that one as Nabena

is the one hitting at him!


20—SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021

They won’t face reality. They won’t

accept facts.

In the North, the chickens are

coming home to roost.

The northern elite are the most shortsighted

and selfish in Africa. The breed of

the Aminu Kanos and the Sarduanas have

gone extinct. The preoccupation of the bulk

of North’s political leadership, a rapacious,

self-conceited bunch masquerading as

politicians, political mercenaries is

political conquests rather than

development. How could anyone run a

parched ground like Yobe and sleep well,

let alone have time for national politics?

I know politicians in the south and

elsewhere in the country are not better, but

the south’s situation is not as stark as the

North’s. In not resisting westernization, the

south’s culture has masked the equally

gaping southern political leadership

deficiencies. The south has fairly good

literacy levels. The south has no good

healthcare and public schools but the south

has teachers and exports doctors to the West.

The south could yet crumble, but the North

is already in tatters.

That’s why the continuing somnolence of

the North’s public has become tragic.

For so long northern governors competed

for farcical righteousness. They competed

to institute the sharia. Sharia is good. But

the adoption of religious

fanaticism as state policy

by politicians to hoodwink

the people and win

elections was costly

charlatanism. They got

the votes but didn’t give

them education and jobs.

All they did was legitimize

extremism, encourage

more children to embrace

the Almajiri system, and

indirectly bolster the idea

that western education is

corruption. The governors

watched and frolicked in

Abuja as school

enrollment figures

plummeted.

Zamafara, the erstwhile

throne of righteousness, is

now tired of sharia.

Where is the

wealth of millions

of children born in

the wild to

herdsmen, born

into the servitude

and perpetually

slavery of roaming

thousands of

miles with cattle to

earn crumbs?

Zamfara directly

negotiates with outlaws.

Some days ago, Mr

Matawalle, the Governor

of Zamfara, in a blatant

display of empathy for

bandits, literally justified

banditry. He said some of the bandits were

not criminals. They were wronged people

who took to assault rifles and RPGs to fight

for justice the way they knew best. This is

the same Zamfara where people lost their

limbs for petty theft. The same Zamfara

where a former deputy governor placed a

The North and its political

ostriches

fatwa—kill on sight order— on a

Nigerian journalist for alleged

defamation. In today’s Zamfara, the

governor now sympathies with

insurgents, terrorists. That is the story

of the North.

Quota system, federal character, and

differential cut-off marks can only do

so much. They can fetch a few unmerited

positions which the occupants would use

to fatten their egos and pockets. They

can’t create jobs and healthcare for

impoverished millions who live

miserably, threatened by a burgeoning

desert.

The North’s elite is

culpable. The North has

experienced a frightening

population explosion.

Everybody knows that the

pace of population

growth in the North has

far outstripped the

country’s economic

growth. But desperate to

retain a hold on power,

the northern elite love the

skyrocketing population

numbers. So they have

failed to initiate any

population control

measures. They have no

hospitals. They have no

schools. They have no

teachers, yet they will do

nothing to check the

burst.

Children who are

unschooled and

unsheltered will

invariably end up streets

urchins and intensify

societal decay. They

know. Yet, in the face of that ticking

bomb, we are often reminded that every

child comes with his own wealth. Where

is the wealth of millions of children born

in the wild to herdsmen, born into the

servitude and perpetually slavery of

roaming thousands of miles with cattle

to earn crumbs?

The chickens are back to roost. We will

reap what we have sown.

Before our eyes, banditry has seized

the North. Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara,

and Niger. Taraba, Benue, Plateau have

had their stories. The Northeast is

already desolate; the northwest is falling

apart. Rather than hold village

meetings every day,

weep together to find

lasting solutions to

these problems, the

northern elite have

their eyes on 2023 and

A b u j a

calculations. Sometimes

I wonder if we shouldn’t

just surrender

sovereignty to the

European Union so

that our local

politicians can

concentrate on being

local government

chairmen.

The minister of

defense, in a veiled jab,

called us cowards. In

their days, he said, they

used to stand up to

violent criminals. Their

days were the

Maitasine days, I

guess. But now, he has

suggested, we must not

sheepishly surrender to

bandits. He urged us to confront

insurgents with RPGs with bare hands.

Please forgive the minister. He is out of

touch. When he tried to recant, he said

he wanted us to be courageous. He

moves around courageously with armed

security guards. It’s not his fault.

Honestly, the courage missing in the

North is not that which can lead to a

bloodbath when bandits who seek to

dine with governors and collect bags of

ransoms come to abduct school

children. The courage missing is that

needed to confront the governors and hold

them accountable.

The ordinary people in the North are easily

seduced by the political conquests of their

leaders rather than developmental

projects. They are delirious when their

leaders win federal appointments and

become big men. The courage they need is

the courage to force accountability. The

courage to prioritize their reality—poverty,

illiteracy, and misery—above the vanity of

their selfish leaders’ ego diameter.

But that courage will come. I know the

North’s masses have the innate capacity, the

effervescent temperament to turn around

quickly and chase away political ineptitude

overnight. But they are still slumberous. The

spark they need will come quicker if regional

autonomy is granted. The stark pictures of

the regions, juxtaposed side by side, in a

restructured federation, will rouse fury. When

powers are devolved and resource control

ceded to the regions, a healthy rivalry will

ensue. The people of the North will see their

potentials and see their nightmarish decline

in 3D.

Today, any governor can hide under the

federal government. After

restructuring, the federal

government will be so thin

and so naked it can not

conceal anybody’s

ineptitude. Some healthy

regional rivalry had

begun in the first republic.

When regional

governments return,

Rather than hold

village meetings

every day, weep

together to find

lasting solutions to

these problems, the

northern elite have

their eyes on 2023

and

calculations.

Abuja

Northeast youths’

migration to Lagos to

become okada riders

alongside literal refugees

from Niger Republic will

become visible.

While we have an obese

Abuja, the northern

political elite can live in

abject self-deceit. Aminu

Kano was worried about

the poor. He mingled with

them and made them his

preoccupation. Today

besides a man like Gov

Zulum and El Rufai,

perhaps, many other

governors do not

understand the depth of the problem. They

do good talks, pay lip service to development,

and sleep well. They are not shocked by the

data that has the core north in the

neighborhood of a wretched

Afghanistan. When regional restructuring

and resource control forces the truth on the

North, it will see the lies and rise. It will find

the Aminu Kanos and it will recover lost

grounds.

The North thirsts for the naked truth, but

its leaders are soothing it with clothed lies.

Surprisingly, the Nigerian Chief of

Defence Staff (CDS) is often seen as an

officer who has been merely kicked

upstairs to make way for, sayan Army, Air or

Naval Chief of Staff. In fact, there were

murmurs of disaffection when former President

Shehu Shagari appointed Nigeria’s first Chief

of Defence Staff, Lt. General Alani Akinrinade,

in 1981, during the Second Republic, from

Army Chief, to be the apex military coordinator,

and appointed Gen. Inua Wushishi as his

successor.

The recently dropped Chief of Army Staff, Lt.

Gen. Yusuf Buratai, for all his failures, was

decidedly more than a decorative flower vase,

while he occupied that office. He forgot one

important thing; that he was not the Chief of

Defence Staff; General Abayomi Gabriel

Olonisakin was.

Please, dear Gen. Leo Eluonye Onyenuchea

Irabor, as CDS, there is a terrible sore that your

predecessors have allowed to fester; reforming

the character of the average military man or

woman for the concept of honour; a keen sense

of ethical conduct: INTEGRITY, to take root.

In the US, it is easy to guess who is a soldier;

because of their behaviour, punctuality, sense

of duty towards others, their readiness to defend

the underdog, respect for the rule of law and

those in authority over them, esprit de corps (a

feeling of pride and mutual loyalty shared by

the members of a group) and elevated sense of

integrity. Here esprit de corps is exhibited only

in a mob attack against a civilian.

Dear General, the military and paramilitary

academies destroy the morale of youths

because the average soldier or policeman is

worse than the worst civilian in cutting corners,

in making the quick buck, in telling lies, in

smoking ganja, in disobeying traffic lights, in

lawlessness, what lesson has the military learnt

from the losses suffered in the hands of Boko

Haram? When USA, after fighting brilliantly

against Britain in the American War of

Independence, suffered disgraceful

losses in the War of 2012, it was time to rejig

Gen Leo Irabor: Ref

eform the

Militar

ary; coordinate

operations

its military. So, Captain Sylvanus Thayer

approached the Secretary of War, James

Monroe, in 1815, with his plan. After touring

Europe for two years, Thayer took charge at

West Point. The late American journalism

legend, Jenkin Lloyd Jones in an article titled

a MAN OF HONOUR, said that Thayer

“had been thinking about those intangibles

that separate merely clever fighters from

great leaders. He had been wondering why

military history was full of fools for whom

men would gladly die while abler men

couldn’t get a following. And he concluded

that perhaps the difference was honour and

truth and devotion to duty”.

From that day, the training at West Point

changed to bring about “Honour without

Supervision,” Thayer’s motto. Soon, all

other military academies copied the change

at West Point. Yet, we have soldiers who

suspect that their own commanders, at all

levels, have short-changed them. So, their

loyalty and devotion are shallow. Today in

American military academies, barracks and

parade grounds “honesty is raised almost

to a fetish” wrote Jenkins. And Thayer used

to say: “A cadet does not lie, cheat or steal”.

Not in Nigeria; here, even Service Chiefs

have been found guilty of embezzlement.

Soldiers sell arms to terrorists and betray

fellow soldiers. Troops suspect officers of

creaming off their rations or ammo.

The second reform is that you must

provide command. You must be a conductor

of the Nigerian military orchestra. The

bombing runs of the Air Force must be

coordinated with the actions of the ground

forces to cut off and decimate escaping

terrorists. The intelligence units must

become fruitful. In a symphony, the rising

volume of the brass, the increased speed of

the guitars and violins, the heightening

kpam kpam dim dim of the drums, the

crashing of the cymbals, the wailing of the

trumpets, and the baritone or soprano voice

or voices are all coordinated to give a

predetermined effect. So you must coordinate,

yes, provide command.

Esprit de corps is one of Henri Fayol’s 14

administrative principles. The principle states

that an organisation must make every effort to

maintain group cohesion in the organisation. It

notes that dividing your competition is a clever

tactic, but dividing your own team is a serious

error. But dear Gen Irabor, there appears to be a

terrible competition and mutual suspicion

between the different military arms.

You may have often read about what the Air

Force has done to nuetralise bandits or Boko

Haram insurgents, or what the Army itself has

done, but have seen relating to a heightened

collaboration among the various services? Also,

there appears to be little input from the

intelligence arms of the military, so insurgents

abduct school children and receive ransom

before they release them. This is a cause for shame

for often, we read or hear about instances or

accusations of collaborations between soldiers

and insurgents. Even military and political

leaders complain about villagers giving real time

intelligence to vandals to successfully ambush

troops. But those heartless criminals move from

their bases, carry out a campaign without the

police or the military getting any hint. If the

criminals could recruit and maintain

informants, why can’t the military?

In the 1991 Operation Desert Shield, General

H. Norman Schwarzkopf, was the actual

Commander-in-Chief, United States Central

Command, in the Middle East war theater. But

everyone knew who coordinated all operations;

sea, air and land; General Colin L. Powell,

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - though

his job was really to advise the US President.

Today the world still talks about the Powel

Doctrine of war. Give us the Irabor Doctrine, and

may it consign Boko Haram and banditry into

history! You were Theatre Commander,

Operation Lafiya four years ago. So, you know

you have an urgent job to conclude.

God’s speed!


SATURDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 20, 2021—21


22 — SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021

You are multi-talented.

How do you cope with

these talents?

When God gives you talents,

He equally gives you the will,

wisdom and knowledge to

manage them.

How do you combine your job

as an actor who could play

some negative roles with your

religion or faith?

My job is different from my

faith which you chose to call

religion. As a professional, I am

supposed to play or act any and

all roles assigned to me. This

has nothing to do with my faith

as a Christian. But I need to

correct one impression here,

being religious is different from

being spiritual.

You may be religious yet very

carnal....but once you are

spiritual, you see things from

divine point of view.

You have featured in countless

movies, which of them is most

outstanding?

Life evolves and no

progressive dwells in the past

or wants to remain static. Each

work I do takes me to a bigger

challenge. It is very difficult for

me to pick any of my works as

outstanding because I try to go

a step further in every job as

they come....more so, the roles

differ with each movie.

I have tried as much as

possible to maintain a standard

professionally. I don’t go below

that standard, instead, I go

higher. So with such mindset

on your job, everything comes

out with a different higher or

better result. So it is difficult to

pick.

Wha

hat t I tell my

female admirer

ers

when they y make

advances to me

— Odunlade Adekola

*Says: ‘My family is my strength’

Multiple award- winning actor,

Odunlade Adekola is our

guest this week. In this

interview with DESMOND

EKWUEME, he speaks on how Nollywood

could improve to compete favourably with

Hollywood and Bollywood. He also talks about

his career and how his family has been his

source of strength among other salient issues.

Excerpts

Many of the actors on set with

you refer to you as “Boss”.

How much of a boss are you

to them?

This question should have

gone to them...and not me.

However, being a boss and a

good one for that matter goes

beyond the job. You must be

friendly with your colleagues.

The boss and subordinate

relationship works better while

you’re on location or set

shooting a movie. There must

be seriousness which boils

down to professionalism.

Outside that arena, you see

yourselves as one big family.

You should care and concern.

You must know what’s

happening to your colleagues

outside the job. You must know

how they are faring. You should

be part of their pains and gains

so to say. When you keep such

relationship, it won’t be out of

place for colleagues to address

you as Boss.

Have you groomed actors and

I am not a husband snatc

tcher

her, Ada Ameh cries

out ...as she makes public appearance after the death of her only child

Ada Ameh

By BENJAMIN NJOKU

Nollywood actress, Ada

Ameh, was in high

spirits once again

during the week, after months

of mourning her only child,

Aladi Godgifts, who died in

October, last year, following

an unsuccessful surgery in

Abuja.

Since her daughter’s

demise, the star of M-net

produced TV series

‘The Johnsons’ has

refused to be

consoled, as

s h e

continues

to mourn

the loss

of a

young girl, whom she had at

the age of 14.

But at the night of

tributes,which was held in

honour of the late movie

producer, Chico Ejiro, on

Tuesday, at the National

Theatre complex, the Idoma,

Benue State-born actress was

spotted cracking jokes and

exchanging pleasantries with

her colleagues, as if she has

overcome the painful exit of

her daughter. It was perhaps,

her first ever public

appearance after the death

and burial of Aladi.

However. while she was

having a swell time with her

colleagues under the popular

Abegi tree, after the event,

Onos Morgan ready to take Nigerian

music scene by storm

Italy-based Nigerian singer and

songwriter,

Onoriode

Oghenevwogaga popularly known

as Onos Morgan is banking on his

recently released debut single, “Alika”

to break into the Nigerian music scene.

Onos Morgan teams up with the prolific

singer, Graham D to serve fans and music

lovers this well curated record.

“Alika” happens to be the singer’s first

project of 2021. The song, already

available on different digital

platforms, is said to have the potential

to top charts in the coming weeks.

The Delta State-born Afro-pop singer,

who doubles up as a dancer, relocated

to Italy in 2015, where he has

developed his passion for singing.

He’s all out to take the country’s music

space by storm, and his debut single

is his starting point.

one of her colleagues jokingly

accused Ada Ameh of being a

husband snatcher following

the fact that she was playing

passionately with one of her

male colleagues.

The actress, who’s best

known for her role as Anita in

1996 movie titled “Domitilla”

and as Emu Johnson in the

award winning sitcom, ‘The

Johnsons’ quickly denied the

accusation. “I am not a

husband snatcher,” she

enthused.

Indeed, while the event

lasted, the popular actress

was not only lively, but was

also seen jumping from one

place to another, reuniting

with her friends and

colleagues.

Onos

actresses?

The hallmark of a good leader is to

groom other leaders. By the grace of God,

some people have benefitted from my

tutelage in the industry even as young

as I am. But I won’t mention names

because I am still growing and yet to

reach the point I want.

Many of your fans describe you as

ladies man. How do you react to this?

It depends on what they mean. Yeah if,

you say ladies like my work or roles

in movie, I will understand and

appreciate.

By ladies man, they

seem to be talking

about your look.

Or haven’t you

been told by

your female

fans that you

are handsome?

Oh, sure...and

I show

appreciation

by saying,

Thank you to

them. Of

course, I

equally thank

my creator for

making so.

Has a lady

ever made

advances to

you?

It is normal for

such to happen

in the western

world. But in our clime,

we often see such as an

abomination or a taboo.

When a female fan of

mine makes advances at

me, I simply thank her,

then, remind her that I

am a happy family

man....and then make

her to understand that

she could get my betters

as there is a good man for every

good woman.

How do you combine family

life with your job as an actor?

I am always grateful to God for

the kind of family especially

wife that He gave to me. When

you truly have your better half

as a wife or husband, every

other thing falls in place. Once

the home front is at peace, you

will surely have a sweet and

smooth sailing career. Beside,

every successful man there is

always a virtuous woman and

vice versa. Truth is my family

is my strength.

What is the secret of your

scandal free career?

Fear of God and selfdiscipline.

Temptations will

come naturally but with the fear

of God which goes with

prayers, you will conquer.

How will you describe

Nollywood?

It is an industry with great

potential. It is growing in leaps

and bounds...yet it has potential

to grow more. All we ask for is

for an enabling environment

from government to help us

thrive.

It would be nice if the

entertainment industry gets

greater attention and

consideration in government

finances because this is a

money spinning industry. What

you invest is what you get. That

is why Hollywood and

Bollywood remain on top. They

have made the movie industry

in America and India part of

their income generators.

Government must equally

tackle piracy. By this move the

copyright laws should be

effectively put to use.


SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021—23

C

hristina Ozturk, 23, only gave

birth to one child naturally

before setting up a programme to

select multiple surrogate mothers

and have as many kids as possible.

A young mum who already has 11

babies hopes to have dozens more

using surrogate mothers.

Christina Ozturk, 23, lives with her

millionaire hotel owner husband

Galip Ozturk in the coastal town of

Batumi in the former Soviet republic

of Georgia where the practice is

legal.

And after 10 babies, including one

that the mum gave birth to naturally,

the couple have got the process down

to a fine art.

They mentioned on social media

they wanted at least 105 but later

admitted that number was a joke.

All of the potential candidates go

through counselling and sign legal

paperwork before becoming

pregnant with children that are

genetically from Christina and her

husband.

he young mum, who is originally

from Moscow, Russia, was a single

mother when she decided to take a

break to the subtropical paradise

referred to as the ‘Las Vegas of the

Black Sea’.

She said it was love at first sight

when she met Galip on the first day

there, and described him as her

“mentor, guide and fairytale prince

all rolled into one”.

For his part, he confirmed it was

love at first sight as well. “She is so

easy to be with, she always has a smile

on her lips and yet at the same time

is shy and mysterious.

“She was the kind of wife I always

wanted for myself, an uncut diamond

where I saw what a pure and kind

heart she had,” he said.

After the meeting things moved

quickly, with Christina taking her

little daughter Vika with her and

moving to Batumi.

The couple also agreed that they

wanted as many children as

possible, but they were ambitious

and realised quickly that her

reproductive ability was not enough

to meet their demands.

So they decided to get involved in

using surrogate mothers, which

works out at a cost of around EUR

8,000 (£7,000) for everything

involved.

She said: “At the moment, I have

10 children with the latest addition,

Olivia, who arrived at the end of last

month.

08116759759

Young mum, 23, already has 11 1 kids and

wants dozens more with wealthy husband

“I gave birth to my eldest daughter

Vika myself six years ago.

“The rest of the children are

genetically ours from my husband

and I, but were carried by

surrogates.”

On social media they have spoken

about having 105 children but admit

this was just a random number.

She added: “I don’t know how

many they will eventually be, but we

certainly don’t plan to stop at 10.”

She said: “We just not ready to talk

about the final number. Everything

has its time.”

While admitting it is more difficult

to raise a large family than she

assumed, she said she had planned

at first to have a baby every year

before she learned about surrogacy.

A clinic deals with the surrogate

mothers, while Christina and Galip

monitor health indicators and set a

meal plan during pregnancy.

The couple only choose young

women who have already had at

least one pregnancy, and have no

addictions.

One surrogate had trouble giving

up the baby but legally had no rights

and had to hand it over.

Georgia has allowed surrogacy

since 1997 as long as the couple

involved are heterosexual and

married.

While still using surrogates,

Christina has not ruled out having

other babies herself but said it

currently not practical while IVF is

a big strain on her body.

Christina said people assume she

has an army of nannies while she

lives the high life, but claims she

actually spends all day with her

children.

Police officer

icers s punish teens by y shaving

off f their eyebr

ebrow

ows s after parking fee scam

Murder Riddle

A

HUSBAND who allegedly

threw his pregnant wife off a

cliff after posing for a selfie with her

tried to claim her life insurance and

took out loans in her name.

Hakan Aysal, 40, was arrested for

the murder of his wife Semra Aysal,

32, and their unborn baby while on

holiday in Butterfly Valley in Mugla,

Turkey.

Prosecutors allege Aysal brutally

pushed his wife off the 1,000ft cliff so

that he could cash in on the insurance

he had taken out on her life.

The seven-months pregnant

woman and her unborn child were

both instantly killed following the

incident in June 2018.

The couple had been taking

pictures on the cliff, and prosecutors

say the “accident” was in fact murder

carried out by the husband.

They claimed his motive was

cashing in on the insurance he

previously took out.

In the indictment prepared for the

crime of “deliberate murder”

against the husband, it stated he

planned the ordeal in order to get

the guarantee of £40,865 from

insurance.

Prosecutors claimed that the only

reason they sat on top of the cliff for

three hours was so that he could

make sure no one was around.

As soon as he realised they were

alone, he deliberately killed her by

pushing her off the cliff, according

to prosecutors.

The indictment also noted that

Aysal had claimed the insurance

payment a short while later, but it

was declined when news of the

investigation was

unveiled.

The Fethiye High

Criminal Court has ruled

that he be remanded in

custody for premeditated

murder.

In a video interview, the

court heard from the

victim’s brother, Naim

Yolcu, who said: “When we

went to the Forensic

Medicine Institute to get

the body, Hakan was

sitting in the car.

“My family and I were

destroyed, but Hakan did

not even appear sad.”

He added: “My sister was always

against taking out loans. However,

after she died, we learned that she

had three loans taken by Hakan on

behalf of my sister.

“Also, Hakan had a fear of heights,

what extreme sport is she going to

be doing when she is scared of

heights?”

Asked about the questionable

insurance premiums, Aysal said: “I

have been interested in extreme

sports since 2014; parachute,

bungee jumping, rafting. That is why

I had life insurance before I got

married.”

Aysal was also asked about the

article in the accident personal

insurance which stated that he was

the heir if she died.

Aysal said: “I did not examine the

policy much. The banker arranged

the paperwork.

“I just brought it to my wife to get it

signed. I was not aware that there

was such an article.”

He has denied being responsible

for her death, saying: “After taking a

photo, my wife put the phone in her

bag.

“Later she asked me to give her the

phone. I got up and then heard my

wife scream behind me when I

walked a few steps away to get the

phone from her bag.

he teenagers were demanding

Tmotorists pay a parking charge

in a beach side car park in South

Sulawesi, Indonesia, with the police

taking the odd step to stop them committing

the scam again.

Two teenagers had their eyebrows

shaved off by police officers as punishment

for an alleged parking fees

scam.

Video footage shows the two boys

having their brows lopped off by a

razer after they reportedly admitted

to extorting money from motorists

in Indonesia.

The pair are said to have been ordering

charges from tourists on a

road overlooking the Losari Beach

in South Sulawesi province on October

31.

And when the police got involved,

rather than take them to a police station

they decided to teach the boys a

strange lesson.

One tourist had called the police

after refusing the teens’ demands,

who are said to have also threatened

him.

Officers eventually found the alleged

culprits and they are reported

to have admitted to the scam and

apologised in front of the motorist.

Iman Hud, Makassar public order

chief Back in Makassar, said the

punishment was supposed to “discourage”

them from further wrongdoing.

“The punishment serves as a light

sanction so that they do not repeat

their actions,” he said, adding beach

parking fees were scrapped in 2015

to help tourism.

“The two young men forced the

owner of the vehicle to pay the parking

fees. They even dared to threaten

them,” he said.

The footage shows the bewildered

kids looking a little distressed as an

officer in a face mask uses a razor.

Odd punishments may seem a

thing of the past, but there are still

plenty of examples in recent years.

In Ohio, US, a woman was reportedly

ordered to spend a night in the

woods after abandoning 35 kittens

in a park.

She was also given the choice of

jail, house arrest or a large charitable

donation, but opted to stay overnight

in the woods with just the

clothes on her back.

The same judge had reportedly

also ordered a man to stand on a

street corner with a pig and a sign

saying “This is not a police officer”

after calling some officers pigs.


24—SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021

bunmsof@yahoo.co.uk

Romance - The great stress buster!

(Valentine’s Day Special)

To renounce your

individuality completely,

to see with another’s

eyes, to hear with

another’s ears, to be two, and

yet, but one, to so melt and mingle

that you no longer know you are

you or another, to constantly

absorb and constantly radiate, to

double your personality in

bestowing it – that is love” -

Theophile Gauter.

“Few things”, said Alain, a

chronic romantic; “can rival

stumbling bleary-eyed on the

morning mail and finding a letter

bearing the handwriting of your

beloved. I imagine tearing open

the envelope and being caressed

by a flow of prose, full of tender

compliments, unambiguous

sentiment and courageous

displays of affection. He misses

you; he can think of nothing else

or no one else but you. He

stumbles to find the right words.

He could never bring himself to

say it before, but yes, you are his

flower, his Venus, his honey pie.

He longs to hold you in his arms

to kiss the nape of your neck and

caress your eye-brows till the end

of time...”

My God! Can this be the same

tongue tied character who

yesterday would rather have

climbed Everest than say, “I

missed you?” Who would have

thought that beneath this exterior

lurked a most passionate and

sensual wordsmith?

It’s St. Valentine’s season once

again dear readers. Yes, romance

ought to be in the air. This hasn’t

been a particularly happy year

so far. What with the aftermath

of political and non-political

shenanigans, the ASUU sixmonth

strike actions and your

stress over how you’re going to

pay that huge over draft you

wheedled but of your

disapproving bank manager to

pay yet another batch of school

fees? But optimistic we should

be and the year is not ended yet.

Who knows what pleasant

surprise these adventures that

are our leaders have up their

sleeves for us?

So cheer up then! I’ve gone

through my archives with a tooth

comb to bring you few of the best

passionate letters that spanned

three centuries. So, sit back and

enjoy them! Should take your

mind off the seething rage you

now feel!

Remember the French warrior,

Napoleon Bonaparte and his

Waterloo fiasco? Beneath his

warring heart apparently beat a

very romantic and passionate

one: In 1776, he wrote the love

of his life, Josephine: “I have not

spent a day without loving you;

I have not spent a night without

embracing you; I have not drunk

a single cup of tea without

cursing the pride and ambition

which force me to remain

separated from the moving spirit

of my life. In the midst of my

cities, whether I’m at the head of

my, army or inspecting the

camps, my beloved Josephine

stands alone in my heart,

occupies my mind, fills my

thoughts. If am moving away

from you with the speed of the

Rhone torrent, it is only that I

may see you again more quickly.

“Dear Nora”, wrote James

Joyce, the author of classics like

Ulysses and The Portrait of the

Artist As A Young Man, in 1904:

“I came in at half past eleven,

since then I have been sitting in

an easy chair like a fool. I could

do nothing. I hear nothing but

your voice... I am like a fool,

hearing you call me “dear”.

“When I am with you, I leave

aside my contemptuous,

suspicious nature. I wish I felt

your head on my shoulder. I

think I will go to bed...”

Zelda Sayre, fiancé of Scott

Fitzgeralf wrote in 1919 before

they got married:

“Sweetheart, please don’t be

so depressed. We’ll be married

soon and then these lonesome

nights will be over for ever –

Scott, there’s nothing in all the

world I want but you and your

precious love... I would do

anything to keep your heart for

my own. I don’t want to live, I

want to love first, and live

incidentally. Don’t ever think of

the things you can’t give me; you

have trusted me with the dearest

heart of all and it is so damn

much more than anybody else

in all the world has ever had...”

Franz Liszi, whose lover Marie

d’ Agoult, left her husband to

elope with him wrote her this:

“My heart overflows with

emotion and joy! I do not know

what heavenly languor, what

infinite pleasure permeates it

and burns me up. It is as if I

have never loved!!!. Tell me,

whence these uncanny

disturbances spring, these

inexpressible foretastes of

delight, these divine tremors of

love... All this can only be, is

surely nothing less than a gentle

ray screaming from your fiery

soul, or else, some secret

pregnant tear-drop which you

have long since left in my breast.

“Marie! Marie! Oh, let me

repeat that name a hundred

times over; for three days now, it

has lived within me, oppressed

me, set me afire ... Oh! Leave

me free, to rave in my delirium.

Drab, tame, constricting reality

is no longer enough for me. We

must live our life to the full, living

and suffering to extremes! This

is to be! To be!!!”

Another literary giant, John

Keats in 1819, wrote his

heartthrob, Fanny Brawne:

“Even when I’m not thinking of

you, I receive your influence and

tenderer nature stealing upon

me. All my thoughts, my

unhappiest days and nights

have I found not at all cured of

my love of beauty, but made it so

intense that I am miserable that

you are not with me or rather I

Good fortunes can actually come your way

Forget four-leaf clovers,

horse-shoes, and lucky

charms – “If you want good

fortune to smile on you, all

you need to do is get into a

lucky frame of mind, then sit

back and enjoy as everything

starts going your way...”

advises Professor R. Wiseman

in his book: The Lucky factor.

Here are some of the steps he

recommends to help you find

your lucky self:

Step 1: Reset your mind:

The first step on the road to

good fortune is to programme

your mind to think of yourself

as fortunate. Start, by

resisting the temptation to

relive your past failures and

worries. Many of us do this,

but all it achieves is to blind

you to any good coming your

way. Lucky people get things

in perspective, look for

opportunities in a disaster and

focus on the future.

Try this: ‘Refraining’ is a

technique often employed by

psychotherapists to help

clients get positive

perspective. It involves

placing an experience that

you’re viewing negatively

into another frame, which still

fits the facts of the situation

equally well or even better,

but changes its entire

meaning.

So if, for example, you were

unsuccessful in a job

interview, instead of

concluding that you’re always

unlucky, congratulate yourself

on getting an interview and

consider the positive things

that have come out of it.

Step 2: Pat yourself on the

back: Professor Wiseman’s

studies show that successful

people don’t assume their

winning catch in a netball

game was due to change –

they put it down to their skill.

So don’t tell yourself that

what you’ve achieved is a

fluke; think of it as an

example of your ability.

Try this: Wiseman

recommends keeping a luck

‘Journal’, where you note

down all the good things that

have happened to you along

with how you’ve influenced

the outcome. So, for example,

it might be that you looked

great in a pair of jeans you’ve

just bought (because you’ve

been to the gym regularly).

Step 3: Look Lucky: Lucky

people expect, and are always

open to good fortune, which

radiates from the way they

carry themselves. Make

yourself one of them by

mimicking their body

language.

Folded arms hunched

shoulders and lack of eye

contact are all clear signals

that you’re feeling

uncomfortable, which won’t

make people warm to you.

Instead, look up and around

and smile – how else are you

going to get lucky in love if

you miss the opportunity to

catch the eye of the handsome

guy at the bar?

Try this: If you find yourself

worried about making a fool

of yourself, or messing up,

Wiseman suggests creating

your own lucky mantra. Start

and end each day by

repeating a sentence that

makes you feel positive such

as, “Things are going to go

my way.” Soon, it will filter

into your subconscious and

become part of the way you

perceive yourself, and a

natural part of how you

interact with others.”

Step 4:Become a social

butterfly: Lucky people have

broader social networks than

others, which increases the

chances of them having lucky

encounters,” says Professor

Wiseman. “We asked

thousands of people to

classify themselves as either

lucky, neutral (neither lucky

nor unlucky), or unlucky.

Next, they were presented

with a list of 15 common

British surnames and asked to

indicate whether they were on

first-name terms with at least

one person for each surname.

The results were dramatic and

demonstrated the huge

relationship between lucky

and social connectivity.

breathe in that dull sort of

patience that cannot be called life.

I never knew before what such a

love as you have made me feel

was; I did not believe in it, my

fancy was afraid of it lest it should

bum me up... I would never see

nothing but pleasure in your

eyes, love on your tips, and

happiness in your steps...”

Our last letter is from an

unknown housewife who could

compete with the best wordsmith

any day. She wrote her husband.

“It’s been fifteen years now since

I became your wife. I never got

a diamond, but I got a wonderful

life. I’ve become a wealthy

woman, have riches without

price. You’ve given me beautiful

children, not just once, not twice,

but thrice.

“You’re there to boost my ego,

and help my confidence grow.

I’ve become a better person, with

your love for me, I know. Yes,

I’m a wealthy woman. I’ve riches

beyond measure. I don’t need

valentine present. You are my

greatest treasure”.

Still deliberating on St.

Valentine’s Day, do you know that

Valentine card originated

through St. Valentine, a third

century Christian who was

martyred on 14 th February in

AD270? During imprisonment,

he restored the sight of his

gaoler’s daughter, and on the eve

of his execution, sent her a

farewell note, signing it ‘from

your Valentine.’

The custom of sending

Valentine cards was later revived

in 1926 by Lady Jeanette Tuck,

the wife of the greetings card

planner, Sir Adoph Tuck. She

realised that the Victorian lady,

no longer young and a little

unhappy with the pace of the

twenties, would welcome the

opportunity to send a courtly

token of affection to someone she

loved. The custom has since

gone from strength to strength!

So, this is hoping that you will

all have a lovely celebration of

love, (and life, come to think of

it!). With naughty smiles on your

face remembering that: “Nature

couldn’t make us perfect, so, she

did the best thing – she made us

blind to our faults, just as love is

blind to the faults of the one upon

whom it is bestowed”.


SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021—25

Abefe has finally been dislodged from

her exalted position as the Queen of

the Manor. The one who reigned

supreme until the most brutal and unkind

dethronement recently, as the official

matriarch of the family, has been pushed off

the top of the ladder. In the most intriguing

and damning manner, Abefe is no longer

the one to be referred to as “Madam” by all.

She can no longer determine who gets what

and when it is due to them, of her husband’s

wealth and connections. No more is she the

woman to whom all the PR and patronages

for oga’s favours must be deposited. For, at

the height of her reign, you might not be

able to see oga, either at home or in the office

without her consent. As the official Mrs., She

attended all the social and official functions,

even registering her presence with or without

her husband in tow. As “Emi-oga”, Abefe

was the all in all of the title and all it entails.

But like a flash of lightning, Abefe’s world

had come crashing down all around her. In

a twinkle of an eye, everything she had come

to identify as her own, right or wrong was

snatched from her, leaving her in a state of

shock and bewilderment. As the reality of

what has transpired right before her eyes

dawned on Abefe, the once exalted queen of

the manor, has found herself desolate, alone

and bereft of the will to live. For without her

king, she is nought. Now, weeks after, Abefe

looks like one in mourning, only that the

one for whom she mourns is still alive, hale

and hearty but lost to her now cold arms.

Her king has acquired a new queen. This

one, much younger, more beautiful and

classy, better educated, exotic to behold, soft

to the touch, above all, is still very flexible at

the joints and knows how to tickle the king’s

fanny, such that Abefe is no longer top on his

list of pleasure items. Abefe no longer gave

him the kind of pleasures this younger,

beautiful arm candy does. Yes, she made him

feel young, needed as a child needs her

loving daddy to care for her. The young

Yetunde Arebi

The fall of Abefe’s

kingdom

lady’s hopes, safety and happiness depends

of Abefe’s king and he was going to give her

his cover, openly and officially. Only Abefe

could come against his wishes and he was

prepared to sacrifice her

and all they’d shared in

over 20 years. The die was

cast. Abefe just had to take

the fall, so he could move

on with his quest for the

desires of the heart and the

pleasures on the loins.

Abefe, now thrown from

grace to grace battles with

humiliation, her pride and

honour snatched away, she

desires nothing except for

the ground to open up and

swallow her. She thinks

that death is better than the

shame she is going

through. Better than the

segregation she will suffer

from the circle of honoured

For in Nigeria,

you only need to

have the right

connection and

not necessarily

what good you

have to offer

Stanford Wives’

Association. Better that the

exclusion from creme de la

creme of high society

parties and functions. Yeah, better than being

subject to the questioning gazes of people

once regarded as friends, trying to figure

out if all she’d been accused of are indeed

true. And better than stand by, out in the

cold, to watch as a little slip of a girl mount

her throne to fit perfectly into her shoes.

Had anyone informed Abefe that her

throne was under threat by another

devouring female a couple of years back,

she would have scorned it

off as anyone as sure of her

position ought to. For Abefe

was sure that her king had

reached his final destination

in the journey of life and love.

At close to three scores and

ten, was there anything

extraordinary to be

searching for on the love

track? All he needed was

some stability in his life to

enable him enjoy his wealth

and status in society. So, with

respect, she’d ‘mummied’

him into boredom, packing

his lunch and cleaning his

mess after him in silence. For

her king did mess up a lot,

not sparing maids and

nieces in the trail of his

rampaging libido. All these

she’d endured for the sake

of the throne, dragging her

family along on the journey of emotional

and sexual abuse. A sacrifice now in vain.

However, Abefe is not as innocent as she

appears. Nay, Abefe has only fallen by the

sword she’d once wielded against another

as herself. She has only been given a dose

Twitter: @yetundearebi

yetty5050@yahoo.co.uk

08054700825

of her own medicine, only this time, a more

potent brand. For Abefe was not the first

queen to mount the throne of honour as Mrs.

Her king once had a Queen with whom he’d

started life’s journey back in their rustic

village. She was once his girl in the days of

their youth, back in the dark ages when

neither of them knew not what laid ahead.

She later became his woman and finally

wife with whom he bore four blessed

children, male and female of equal

numbers. Together, they’d struggled to

raise their young family, created wealth and

dreamt of the good life happily ever after.

The good life did come. For in Nigeria,

you only need to have the right connection

and not necessarily what good you have to

offer.

The connections bought positions, power

and wealth. Alas, it also brought along pain.

Abefe was one of the women who walked

into the palace another had built with her

sweat and blood and quickly decided to

covet it for herself. Smitten with her beauty,

youth and social lifestyle, a once devoted

lover, husband and father soon became

estranged from the wife of his youth, and a

stranger to his helpless children. He found

every reason in the book to convince their

family and friends that his once best friend

had become an enemy who wished him no

good. The queen went from pillar to post,

deploring missiles and emissaries to her aid

in a bid to secure her palace. Only, it was

too late.

Abefe’s wiles were too sophisticated to be

ignored and the king’s heart had been

captured. Thus, Abefe reigned for over 20

years after the banishment of the first queen.

It is now Abefe’s turn to be banished from

the palace. This time, in a more vicious and

well articulated plot. Abefe was led out of

the palace in handcuffs on trumped up

charges of attempted murder of the king.

What a world! Let him that thinks he stands,

take heed.

Do have a wonderful weekend!!

OKONJO-IWEALA: Hope rises for global

trade accord

By Victoria Ojeme

Prior to Monday’s announcement of

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the new Di

rector-General of the World Trade Organisation,

it was not clear who would be the

next DG following the impasse orchestrated

by former U.S President, Donald Trump’s administration

decision not to support the election

of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

While Okonjo secured the support of 110 of

the 164 member countries and was set to defeat

South Korea’s trade minister, Yoo Myunghee

at the final stage of the race on October

28th, the United States opposed her candidacy.

However, things took a new turn after Yoo

Myung-Hee of South Korea, withdrew from

the race, leaving just Okonjo-Iweala as the sole

candidate.

Okonjo-Iweala, was appointed the head of

WTO by representatives of the 164 member

countries, according to a statement from the

body.

The appointment came after new U.S. President

Joe Biden endorsed her candidacy, which

had been blocked by Trump.

Biden’s move was a step toward his aim of

supporting more cooperative approaches to

international problems after Trump’s “America

first” approach that launched multiple

trade disputes.

Okonjo-Iweala is actively involved in mobilizing

financial support in the fight against

COVID-19 as African Union’s (AU) Special

Envoy and a Special Envoy to mobilize International

Health Organization’s Access to

COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.

According to Wendy Cutler, the Vice President

of the Asia Society Policy Institute, Washington

DC, “by lifting the US reservation on

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for director-general, Joe

Biden stands to gain immediate international

goodwill.”

The WTO’s decline accelerated dramatically

over the past four years, with the United States

retreating from leadership, the US–China trade

war spilling over to Geneva, and the many

excessive trade restrictions imposed worldwide

through the COVID-19 crisis. With Director-

General Roberto Azevedo’s early departure,

the WTO leadership transition has since been

less than smooth, with no one serving in an

•Okonjo-Iweala

acting capacity and the United States blocking

consensus on a new director-general.

There are still glimmers of hope. Middle

powers have undertaken important work, such

as the recent statement on trade and health

issued by Canada, the European Union, Japan,

Australia and others. Biden has also emphasised

the importance of working with allies

and partners and through international

organisations to achieve US foreign and economic

policy objectives. And it is hoped that

Okonjo-Iweala’s selection will set Nigeria

ahead in the International community.

Okonjo-Iweala has emphasised her experience

fighting COVID-19 as her strong suit. As

head of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and

Immunizations (GAVI) she understands the

importance of open trade so that vital supplies

can get to where they are needed.

During her campaign, she promised to empower

the WTO’s secretariat. Some analysts

say that could be controversial as some members

will resist what they see as a threat to their

power over negotiations. But it could also help

poorer countries, some of which lack the capacity

to draft proposals on their own, making

it hard to participate in talks. Her political

clout will be useful too. If the problems of the

global trading system were purely technical,

“they would have been solved long ago”, she

told members in July.

The Economist suggests that Okonjo-Iweala’s

success would also say something about

the geopolitics of trade. China rejected Ms

Myung-hee which allows it to keep its deputydirector-general

spot. (Historically, jobs have

been divvied up among regions.) Japan’s nasty

trade dispute with South Korea makes it

unlikely to support Ms Myung-hee. Brazil, a

big exporter of farm products, may have been

put off by South Korea’s membership of the

G10 group of countries, which staunchly defends

agricultural subsidies. Indeed, the agreement

on the next director-general was born

from a host of disagreements.

Former colleagues of Okonjo-Iweala

also believe she is

well-suited for the position.

“Ngozi is one of the most qualified

people for that particular

post she vied for. So I wish her

well in terms of the final decision,”

Dr. Shamsudeen Usman,

a former minister of national

planning, told DW.

Okonjo-Iweala and Usman

had served alongside each other

as ministers under Nigerian

President Goodluck Jonathan

in 2011. Before taking up the

Cabinet portfolio, Okonjo-

Iweala had resigned at the

World Bank, where she served

for 25 years.

An internal memo, addressed

to World Bank employees on

July 8, 2011, seen by DW, notes

that Okonjo-Iweala had played an exceptional

role there. Bob Zoellick, the World Bank’s

president at the time, wrote that her contribution

had been stellar.

“Along with her oversight of the bank’s work

in Africa, South Asia, Europe, and Central Asia,

and Human Resources, Ngozi has played a

pivotal role in overseeing the Bank’s work to

help countries hurt by high and volatile food

prices,” Zoellick wrote in the memo. “As you

are aware, with Ngozi’s leadership, we put together

a food crisis response fund to allow for

fast assistance to countries in need. It has helped

more than 40 million people in 44 countries.”

“I know that she will discharge her duties

very well as she has done in a lot of jobs she has

held before,” Usman said of his former colleague.

Okonjo-Iweala will have her work cut out

for her particularly in terms of the ongoing

dispute between the US and China. She will

become the first African and the first woman

The appointment

came after new

U.S. President Joe

Biden endorsed

her candidacy,

which had been

blocked by Trump

to hold the top position at the WTO.

“I see her appointment as a validation of

African women’s competency and leadership

skills, and of African women’s excelling despite

the systematic hurdles and obstacles facing

them,” Fadumo Dayib, the first female

Somali presidential candidate, told DW.

Dayib added that the choice of Okonjo-Iweala

is a sign that “the tide is turning in favour of

competent women and it’s about time that

happened.”

Nigerian economist Tunji Andrews agrees

with Dayib. He says the international community

has finally realized that Africans can sit at

the table with global powers.

“Many people across the world will start to

say, let’s put more Africans in such roles, not

just roles of peacekeeping, but roles of intellectual

capacity and roles of pedigree.”

Although Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

will make history by becoming

the first female and black African

to lead WTO, Amara Nwankpa

says his fellow Nigerian brings

more than just “diversity and inclusion”

to the world stage.

“I’m optimistic that her impact

on global trade will be positive,

given that her antecedents suggest

that she’s passionately committed

to reducing inequality, poverty,

and corruption across the

world,” Nwankpa, director of

Public Policy Initiative at Shehu

Musa Yar’Adua Foundation,

a Nigerian nonprofit that is

committed to promoting national

unity and good governance,

told DW.

During her second term as finance minister,

Okonjo-Iweala was “credited with developing

reform programs that helped improve

governmental transparency and stabilize

the economy,” according to the US business

magazine Forbes, which ranked her No.

48 in the world’s top 50 “Power Women” in

2015.

The Harvard-educated economist holds

a Ph.D. from MIT and chairs the Gavi

board, a global vaccine alliance instrumental

in ensuring that developing countries

have much-needed access to COV-

ID-19 vaccines.

Nwankpa says her background shows

that “she brings to this job impressive skills

in international negotiations and leadership

capacity to confront the key challenges currently

facing the planet.”

“She’s exactly the person that the world needs

at the helm of international trade in these turbulent

times,” he added.


26 — SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021

CALL ON UNARMED NIGERIANS TO DEFEND THEMSELVES:

Magashi, defence

minister under fire

•He should’ve been fired by now – Gbagi, HM Ayemi-Botu, HRM Whiskey

•YCE, Afenifere, Agbekoya blast him

•Magashi said nothing wrong - Brig-Gen. Ikponmwen (retd)

By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South; Dapo Akinrefon &

Rotimi Ojomoyela

MINISTER of Defence, General Bashir Magashi, faced barrage of criticisms, weekend,

over his proclamation that weaponless Nigerians should defend themselves against

bandits.

Angry reactions have continued to trail the remarks credited to the Minister of Defence, Maj.

Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd) asking Nigerians to defend themselves whenever they were attacked

by bandits and other criminal elements.

The Minister of Defence, while reacting to the kidnap of students in Niger State had tasked

Nigerians to defend themselves.

In their separate reactions, the Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE, the pan-Yoruba socio-political

organisation, Afenifere and Agbekoya Farmers’ Association, yesterday, berated the minister

over his remarks.

•Magashi

His statement is

embarrassing —YCE

The Secretary General of the YCE, Dr. Kunle

Olajide, said, “I’m not happy about it at all,

because the Minister of Defence is supposed

to be the Chief Defence Officer for all

Nigerians and the territorial integrity of the

country and if he now calls all us to rise up

and defend ourselves it means that he is

throwing up his hands in despair, that he can

no longer protect us and that the government

is no longer interested in protecting us. So

anybody who wants to live should find other

means of protecting himself or herself. And

that is particularly more embarrassing in a

country where it is unlawful to purchase and

carry fire arms. So, he is literally calling on

Nigerians to violate the law of this country

and go and look for fire arms anywhere they

can get it to protect themselves.

“It is as if there is no government in place, I

have been expecting our legislators, both at

the state and national level, and our governors

to rise up and challenge him and call the

attention of the president to such statement

which is an abdication of responsibility.”

Should we attack with bare

hands against AK-47?

—Afenifere

In its own reaction, the Pan-Yoruba sociopolitical

organisation, Afenifere, lampooned

the minister for making such remarks.

Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Yinka

Odumakin said: “We are not impressed with

that deception. To defend ourselves with bare

hands against AK47? When the people are

ready, they will see.”

It’s a licence to carry

firearms — Agbekoya

Farmers’ Society

Also, the Agbekoya Farmers Society, said

such remark has given Nigerians licence to

carry fire arms.

Agbekoya’s National Publicity Secretary,

Mr. Adetunji Bandele said: “The position of

Agbekoya on this is that, the government and

security agencies in Nigeria have lost the battle

against insurgency, banditry and kidnapping.

The minister of defense has given green light

to Nigerians to carry fire arms and weapons

to defend themselves. Such a statement

coming out from the minister of defense is an

indication that the federal government is

supporting the criminal Fulani herdsmen to

carry AK47.”

It’s official endorsement of

self defence—S-West security

stakeholders

On its part, the South-West Security

Stakeholders said the minister’s statement was

an official endorsement of self-defence. In a

communique issued after its security summit,

which was convened by the Aare Ona Kakanfo

of Yoruba Land, Iba Gani Adams, the summit

faulted the minister’s remarks.

The summit was attended by members of

the Oodua Peoples Congress, Agbekoya,

Hunters Group, Isokan Ile Yoruba, Vigilante

Group of Nigeria (JAHUN), Vigilante Group

of Nigeria, Ibarapa Group and Community

Society Awareness Initiative.

According to their communique, “the

meeting noted the exasperation inherent in

the statement of the Minister of Defence of the

nation calling on Nigerians to defend

themselves. This is clearly official

endorsement of self defence. The meeting

feared that the situation, if not addressed,

signals a grievous national crisis. The meeting

therefore called on the government to quickly

arrest the apparent descent into anarchy.

“The meeting aligned with the call of the

governors of South West that President

Muhammadu Buhari should prove his

innocence in the carnage being perpetrated

by herders by not only unambiguously

condemning the nefarious acts but also take

clear steps to exterminate it.

Defence minister should’ve

lost his job by now – Gbagi

Criminologist and former Minister of State

(Education), Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi,

expressed surprise at the implication of the

minister’s declaration just as a retired military

officer and paramount ruler of Seimbiri

Kingdom, Delta State, HM Charles Ayemi-

Botu found the proclamation unacceptable.

However, former Provost Marshal,

Nigerian Army, Brig Gen Don Idada

Ikponmwen (retd.) said the minister should

not be crucified for voicing the palpable truth.

Olorogun Gbagi who spoke to Saturday

Vanguard on phone, said:

“Asking Nigerians to defend

themselves, my immediate

reaction is that could that

actually have come from the

Minister of Defence of

Nigeria, will that

automatically not remove

him from that office by any

standard of measurement in

the world. Is it possible for a

man who is supposed to be

coordinating the agencies

of security in the country to

make such a statement. That

statement by itself is

disturbing to the diplomatic

world, disturbing to

investors, disturbing to

people that have any reason

to have anything to do with

this country, disturbing to

what the flag represents to

the entire fabric of this

country.

“I find it unacceptable and unbelievable that

the Minister of Defence can ask Nigerians to

handle their own security by themselves. It is

a grand failure, accepting that that nation has

collapsed and indication that there is no more

government.”

“If the Minister of Defence made that

statement, it is a serious confirmation of what

The minister of

defense has given

green light to

Nigerians to carry

fire arms and

weapons to

defend

themselves

people like General Theophilus Danjuma

(retd), Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state

and people all over the country have said, even

President Muhammadu Buhari alluded

partially to it. But coming from the Defence

Minister, it speaks volume not just to Nigerians

but the entire world. Anarchy is what has been

spelt out as the position we find ourselves in

the country.

“As a criminologist, I am disturbed that a

statement such as this is credited to the defence

minister of the federal government, I think

this calls for serious discussion and to go to

the drawing board - as to where we got it

wrong, as to who are benefiting from these

hoodlums, as to who are taking advantage of

the country and its resources and creating this

mayhem. As I said five years ago, I do not see

why the military apparatus should not move

to exterminate this mess we have found

ourselves. But for the defence minister to

accept, which again is a blatant truth of the

situation on ground, we need to decide as a

people where we go from here. The man whose

duty to protect us has spoken, we have to decide

as people and as a country whatever it will

take for us to go forward,” he said.

Resign or be sacked

– HM Ayemi-Botu

Retired army officer, HRM Ayemi-Botu,

said: “The Minister of Defence has made total

mockery of himself and the President who

appointed him as Defence Minister and the

entire nation that he is incapable and not

qualified to be appointed to such sensitive and

very important ministry.”

“No wonder the entire security architecture

in Nigeria has failed or better still collapsed.

To tell Nigerians to defend

themselves is a clear

demonstration that he has

surrendered the country to the

insurgents and he should

resign immediately if Buhari

does not sack him within the

next 24 hours.

“It is very shameful for this

unguarded statement

coming from the minister,

taking into cognizance the

numerous deaths recorded on

a daily basis and the security

situation that is at the brink

of collapse and the Senate

asking the President to

declare a state of emergency.

But the question that is

begging for answer is where

is the National Security

Adviser? In developed

countries when the service

chiefs were shown the way out,

both the Minister of Defence

and the National Security Adviser would have

equally been sacked. But ‘Baba Go Slow’ is

taking his time until the entire country is

invaded, overrun and overwhelmed by the

tripod of Boko Haram, combined team of

foreign and indigenous Fulani killerherdsmen

and bandits unabatedly

rampaging, raiding, kidnapping, taking

hostage innocent students who are our future

leaders throughout the length and breadth of

Nigeria,” the monarch added.

Govt should issue firearm

license to Nigerians - HRM

Whiskey

Security advocate, HRM Whiskey informed

Saturday Vanguard that: “The statement by

the defence minister has more security

implication on the general security

architecture of the nation. Firstly, is the defence

minister accepting that our security operatives

have been overwhelmed by bandits? Or is he

advocating for individual arms for defenseless

Nigerians who are being killed like chickens

in their farms?”

“If the two questions have affirmative

answers, then let government start the issuance

of permit for guns ownership. On the other hand,

if the defence minister is encouraging our

populace to defend themselves without arms

against heavily armed bandits, then he must be

encouraging our unarmed Nigerians to embark

on a suicidal mission which will result in a journey

of return.

“The country must now sit down and review

the general security architecture of the country

as evidence are now available that most of these

deadly bandits are foreigners and if that is

correct, the Federal Government must rise

swiftly and deal decisively with all foreign

bandits and their collaborators so that Nigeria

and Nigerians will enjoy their peaceful life

once again,” the monarch stated.

We are not in state of

hopelessness – Ikponmwen,

ex-Army Provost Marshal

Brig- Gen Ikponmwen, who is also a lawyer

asserted: “I would like to start by saying that

this is not the first time in recent times that

pronouncement such as this has been made.

Gen Danjuma once spoke in the same vein.

His statement was applauded by some

people while others criticized him. Now, the

follow up question is how and when did we get

to this point of apparent breakdown of security?

One cannot proffer answer to this poser without

first having a meaningful appraisal of the right

to self- defense on one hand and the doctrine of

social contract on the other hand. Right to selfdefense

can simply be defined as the right to

prevent being a victim of force or violence

through the use of a sufficient level of

counteracting force or violence. It is an inherent

right to use force in response to an armed attack.

Originally, there was no restriction to anybody’s

effort to defend his life and property.

“So it was until the advent of social contract

doctrine which concept originated during the

age of enlightenment and usually concerned

the legitimacy of the authority of the state over

the individual. Social contract arguments

typically posit that individuals have consented

either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some

of their freedoms and submit to a central

authority in exchange for protection of their

remaining rights for the maintenance of social

order.


Trade Ministr

try to support t SMEs as more

than 700 benefit from P&G, BoI Academy

Stories by Moses Nosike

he Federal Ministry of industry,

T Trade and Investment (FMITI)

said it is committed to providing

Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

the required support and trainings

as over 700 (SMEs) benefit from the

P&G-BoI SME Academy.

Speaking, the Vice President,

Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who

delivered the keynote address at the

webinar program titled: ‘SME

Development and Growth as a

Precursor to Nation Building’ said:

“The Federal Government believes

wholeheartedly that SMEs are the

bedrock of the economy and we are

constantly aiming to support

innovations that can help SMEs

grow and in turn groom the

economy and provide job

opportunities.

The government has been

working diligently and creatively on

engaging the most vulnerable

businesses especially during this

current crisis. We thank P&G and

BoI for this proactive initiative

In order to bring about the

desired social values of human

life and build the Nigerian children

to a responsible adults, Indian

Christian Congregation has

initiated a charity outreach of its

ministry, ‘Abraham Children’ as an

avenue to the Nigerian child

especially the most needy ones

among us.

According to the General

Overseer, Indian Christian

Congregation, Santhosh Abraham,

Abrahams Children is an initiative

which was developed as part of the

charity outreach ministry of the

Indian Christian Congregation.

“The purpose of this programme was

to partially support needy Nigerian

children between the age group of 4

and 14 to provide sound Biblical

and social values of human life and

build them up as responsible adults

who can contribute to the future of

Nigeria. We are also open to work

as a channel of blessings for some

overseas ministries who would like

to contribute into the lives of such

needy Nigerian children.

On how ICC initiated ‘Abraham

Children’, Santhosh said, “In 2020

designed to ensure a better

Nigeria”.

In addition, the Minister for

Industry, Trade and Investment,

Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo reiterated

the need to create a favorable

business environment for SMEs in

Nigeria: “The FMITI is committed

to providing SMEs the required

support and trainings needed to

Do Nigerians really have money in Pension?

There is a popular

misconception about saving

for the future, particularly through

pension schemes. Those who save

for the future start to count their lose

at the point of making those savings

giving a number of factors, hence, it

is a wise decision to rather invest for

the future.

According to a real estate

investment Analyst, Munachino

Obinna eze this article is to enlighten

Nigerians on finance and value of

money saved or sometimes invested.

“I will start this article by talking

about pension savings, how it works,

its stated benefits and the negative

part which you are yet to be informed

about. Even though I don’t like

talking about the negative aspect of

a subject, on the contrary, it is

important to make smart decisions.

More certainly, there is always a

light at the end of the tunnel.

As people develop through their

lifetime they have an expectation

that a time will come when they will

have to retire. For some people,

pension is sufficient to provide a

basic level of income.

Results from research studies

revealed that complete retirement

leads to a 5-16 percent increase in

difficulties associated with mobility

•Fourth from right is James Useghan with friends at the media lauch of his

book; ‘The Competent Youth’ recently in Lagos.

•Munachino Obinna Eze

and daily activities, a 5-6 percent

in- crease in illness conditions, and

6-9 percent decline in mental

health, over an average postretirement

period of six years”.

Eze said that it is expected that

when people retire they will

experience a reduction in income -

a pension makes up for some of this

loss of income upon retirement.

“Pension schemes can provide

protection in the form of lump sums

for the pensioner or to his/her

dependants in the event of death. In

order to encourage pension

schemes, governments provides tax

relief on contributions made to

pension schemes and the growth in

their investments.

Pension savings may lead to deeper

and more efficient capital markets.

Pension savings directly increase

funds in capital markets available

for private investment. In addition,

deeper capital markets may lead to

better allocation of capital, thereby

improving overall efficiency and

economic growth”.

Continuing he said, “although

these are some of the reasons and

benefits of subscribing to pension

plans. On the contrary, there are

other things that you are not told.

This is why at Muna Real Estate,

our mission is your prosperity. We

implore people to make wise

investment decisions at earlier

stages of their lives so as to avoid the

huge mistakes most people do not

even realize they are making and

continue to make. We will review a

few things: Control, Inflation and

Depreciation.

Control - Given that your pension

will be invested in stocks and shares,

there will be a fair bit of risk involved.

Of course, if your pension

investments do perform terribly for

a while, the good news is that if you’re

SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021—27

ICC initiates outreach ‘Abraham Children’ to develop, create values for

Nigerian children

•Abraham and wife happy with

the Nigerian children

as a result of the COVID 19

lockdowns all Nigerian schools were

closed and many poor children were

left without any formal education or

access to any online education. Basic

needs like food, shelter and clothing

were also lacking. As part of our

‘Abraham Children’ of ICC outreach

at awareness programme

social responsibility, we decided to

adopt 50 children from Orile area of

Lagos and supported them”.

Santhosh said also that to our

surprise, there were almost a

response of 1000 children who

wanted to be part of this ministry.

“Due to the social distancing terms

we decided to call them in lots of 50

and start registering them into the

Abraham’s Children programme.

While registering we also conducted

an awareness session about COVID

19 as well as the precautions needed

consistently project their

businesses in an upward trajectory.

Remarking, the Managing

Director, P&G Nigeria, Mr. Adil

Farhat highlighted the need to

continuously support SMEs in

Nigeria as they have the potential

of outrightly transform the country.

Farhat added, “in line with the

focus of Nigeria’s economic

recovery and growth plan to drive

industrialization and economic

growth through globally

competitive SMEs, P&G in

collaboration with the FMITI and

tanbic IBTC Bank PLC, a

Ssubsidiary of Stanbic IBTC

Holdings PLC, has reaffirmed its

commitment to the growth of

Nigeria’s agriculture sector by

supporting farmers and other

players in the agricultural value

chain.

As the demands on agribusinesses

change seasonally, the foremost

financial institution provides

financing solutions for agricultural

enterprises to suit their

requirements. These needs range

from availability of resources,to

farming equipment, as well as

enhancement of seasonal cashflow,

amongst others.

The bank offers various lowinterest

credit facilities across the

agricultural sector that will help

clients to cushion the impacts of the

to safeguard themselves during this

pandemic time. All registered

children were provided with

facemask and a bag of rice too”.

Continuing, Santhosh told the

media that ICC has already

registered 1000 children into this

programme tagged ABRAHAMS’

CHILDREN. And all registered

children will be given a certificate.

“After this we would be in constant

touch with the children, praying for

them and providing them moral

and spiritual values”.

However, we will be monitoring

their educational progress and also

support the best students for their

educational needs. “Along with this

we would be supporting them in

their psychological, medical and

welfare needs. If you want to know

more about this programme or

want to be a part of this initiative,

contact us.

He further said that Indian

Christian Congregation also

organizes outreach programmes

to Orphanages, Old Age Homes,

Prisons and the unreached. “There

is no greater privilege than to be a

blessing to others and to take the

gospel of Jesus Christ to the

needy”.

still far off retirement, there’s plenty

of time for those investments to

bounce back. What’s more, you will

be able to acquire more shares for

your money in a falling market. So,

this may work to your advantage,

but if you are approaching

retirement and your pension

scheme is performing badly, it can

be extremely worrisome.

That said, most pension schemes

use ‘life styling’ – a process where

your pension money is

automatically moved out of shares

and into a lower risk investment

such as fixed interest bonds and/or

cash as you come closer to

retirement age.

One of the biggest fears is also

misappropriation of funds and

terrible investment decisions made

by those who control or have access

to pension funds. The big question

is: do you have control over this

pension fund? The sad answer is

NO.

Inflation on the other hand

increases the price of goods and

services over time, effectively decreasing

the number of goods and

services you can buy with money in

the future as opposed to that same

amount of money today.

If your earnings remain the same

the BoI launched the SME

Academy to improve their standard,

ensure longevity, and facilitate

integration into global value chains.

Contributing, the Managing

Director/Chief Executive Officer of

BoI, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, in his

presentation reiterated the

importance of the SME Academy

especially during this challenging

economic situation across the

globe. “The maiden edition was held

in October 2019. This second

edition and first virtual event has

been expanded to incorporate

structured trainings.

Stanbic IBTC boosts Nigeria’s agriculture

sector with low-interest loans

Covid-19 pandemic

Speaking on this, Head,

Agribusiness, Stanbic IBTC Bank

PLC, Wole Oshin, said that the

agribusiness financial solution is

geared towards ensuring that

players in the agriculture space are

not hindered by lack of finance.

He said: “The Bank’s suite of

agribusiness solutionsminimises

risks, ensures maximum control and

optimises profits associated with

international trade by making

transactions smoother, simpler and

safer for all parties involved.Some

benefits of the Stanbic IBTC

Agribusiness Finance include:

availability of gap-funding for

unforeseen financial needs,

maintenance of cashflow and

flexibility of repayment terms based

on the type of funding. This facility

is also versatile and can be utilised

for funding resources, vehicles and

farming equipment.”

U.S. supports

Nigeria Dairy

Industr

try, , set to train

stakeholders

T

he first shipment of pregnant

Jersey breed dairy cows from

the United States arrived at the Ikun

Dairy Farm in Ekiti State.

Ikun Dairy Farm, a joint venture

between Promasidor Nigeria

Limited and Ekiti State

Government plan to produce

10,000 liters of milk daily and will

take delivery of two additional

shipments of dairy cows from the

United States over the next couple

of weeks.

These shipments will provide a

better breed of cow for the rapidly

growing Nigerian dairy industry,

helping to diversify the Nigerian

economy.

Gerald Smith, Counselor for

Agricultural Affairs at the U.S.

Mission to Nigeria noted that

introduction of U.S. dairy cows will

boost local milk production and

contribute significantly to ensuring

sustainable food security in

Nigeria.

Smith explained that the

successful cattle shipment was as a

result of the strong partnership

between the Foreign Agricultural

Service of the U.S. Mission in

Read more on

www.vanguardngr.com

but inflation causes the prices of

goods and services to increase over

time, it will take a larger percentage

of your income to purchase the same

good or service in the future.

So, for example, if an apple costs

$1 today, it is possible that it could

cost $2 for the same apple one year

from today. This effectively

decreases the time value of money,

since it will cost twice as much to

purchase the same product in the

future. To mitigate this decrease in

the time value of money, you can

invest the money available to you

today at a rate equal to or higher

than the rate of inflation.

Another big question is: the annual

interest on pension, is it higher or

lower than the annual inflation in

the market? The sad answer is NO.

We will now take a look at time

value of money and see how

Depreciation sneaks into the

equation.

Read more on

www.vanguardngr.com

Munachino Obinna Eze is a real

estate investment Analyst with a track

record of multiple property

investments for clients and himself in

various countries.


28—SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021

The Dream Academy - the

future of grassroots sports

development

It is most unlikely that many would

be familiar with the name of a

town called Ileogbo. I never heard

about it until a few months ago,

when I was appointed as a

consultant to work on a project sited

in Ileogbo in Osun State.

Two weeks ago, a seed was

planted in the little-known rural

township, comfortably and serenely

nestled half-way between Iwo and

Oshogbo, in Osun State.

I was in Ileogbo to witness a

dream become reality.

My visit was meant to be for the

purpose of a meeting, but it turned

out to be a big pleasant surprise.

The invitation to go to Osun State

had to be honoured. One month

before, I had been made a consultant

on a project, I was very excited

because when we laid the

foundation stone of a similar project,

the first in Nigeria, in the little

hamlet of Wasimi Orile in Ogun

State, some 17 years ago, my hope

was that sports stakeholders would

take whatever happened with the

Segun Odegbami International

College and Sports Academy

(SOCA) as a test of the feasibility

and possibility of such an institution,

take useful lessons from my own

experiment, avoid the mistakes I

make, embrace the successes I

record, and establish many more of

such a model around the country in

order to fast track the development

of the youth population that are

crazy about taking up the vast

opportunities that professional

sports in several parts of the world

offer the most gifted young boys

and girls. My intention was that

SOCA would be a model.

It has been 17 years since the

turning of the sod of SOCA in

Wasimi Orile, and the laying of the

foundation by Otunba Gbenga

Daniel, the governor of Ogun State

at the time.

It took a little while but since

then, at least 4 other such

academies, all of them for young

footballers only, have sprung up in

Abuja, Owerri and in Orile Imo in

Ogun State and all are running

well.

Yet, this number is but a drop in a

country with 60 percent of its 200

million people as youths in a world

of boundless opportunities in the

sports industry.

From the introductory brief I got,

this particular academy is

envisioned to top all existing similar

institutions in the country. The

vision is to establish, potentially, the

biggest and best grassroots sports

development institution in Africa. I

was excited about the prospect. I

needed to see and hear, first hand,

from the horses' mouth how this

would be achieved.

So, I broke my 'hibernation' and

embarked on my first travel outside

Ogun and Lagos States in a long

time. For obvious reasons of the

Coronavirus pandemic, and

because I belong to the vulnerable

age-group, I had been confined to

the 'bubble' of my homes, my

workplaces and the SOCA, all in the

short hops between Lagos,

Abeokuta and Wasimi Orile.

Weeks ago, I traveled to Osun

State to witness and be a part of

history. I am very glad that I did. It

turned out to be a fantastic

experience worth all the 'trouble' to

convince my family to let me go

outside our 'bubble'.

This is the brief on the Sports

Academy.

It will combine sports and

education. It will be co-educational

(for boys and girls). It will be fully

residential (the students will all live

on the campus). It will promote more

than football which would remain

its main catchment area. There will

be track and field athletics, tennis

and golf. It will run at a senior

secondary school level only, to start

with, and shall use the junior

secondary schools around the

country to identify young gifted and

passionate children that fit the

profile of those that can be admitted

to the school and become the best

Eagles 'll miss Chukwueze – Ugbade

Ex International Nduka Ugbade

has stated that the Super

Eagles will miss the services of

forward Samuel Chukwueze

during the forthcoming Nations

Cup qualifiers.

Chukwueze’s injury has ruled

him out of the doubleheader

encounter next month and

Ugbade told brila.net that the

Rohr-led side will surely miss

Samuel Chukwueze.

“It is an injury that has not made

him play much at Villarreal this

year and I am sure the National

team will miss him,” Ugbade said.

Meanwhile, head coach Gernot

Rohr has revealed new players

won’t be invited for their 2022

Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in

March.

The three-time African

champions will square off against

the Republic of Benin and then

take on Lesotho in Afcon

qualifying games.

The Super Eagles are leading

Group L with eight points and a

win in either of their matches next

month will seal their place in the

continental showpiece while defeat

in both games will halt their target

of playing in the competition.

•Chukwueze

From what I saw

two weeks ago,

from what I heard

from the horses'

mouth, and

knowing the

antecedents of the

drivers of this

vision, a very

healthy grassroots

sports development

institution, called

the Lanreleke

Sports Academy,

will birth a healthy

baby in September

2021

in the world.

Down the line, beyond secondary

school education, the academy will

also introduce education classes

and entrepreneurship courses that

will empower the student/athletes

with higher education and specific

fit-for-industry programmes.

At the end of the programmes, the

graduates can then embark on either

further education, or proceed

directly to careers in professional

sports, depending on the level of

their sports talent and development.

Either way, the graduates would

have been well-equipped for life

with the training they would have

received in the Sports Academy.

The brief was sweet music to my

ears. I only needed to add my

experiences in running a similar

project, fit it snugly into the

expectations of the brief, and

guarantee its success.

To demonstrate the seriousness of

the project, Engineer Lanre

Adeleke, an enigmatic

entrepreneur, whose construction

CAF CC: Enyimba star talks tough

ahead clash with Rivers Utd

Enyimba striker Tosin Omoyele

has stated that the People’s

Elephant will take the fight to Rivers

United the same way the Egumaled

side approached the first leg in

Aba a few days ago.

Omoyele said the people’s

elephant will not relent despite

leading the encounter on

aggregate. He said the Osho-led

team was willing to take the fight

to Port Harcourt and get a point.

“They came here with a fight on

arry Kane should be fit to play

HWest Ham on Sunday, Jose

Mourinho has confirmed.

The top scoring Tottenham striker

was left out of the squad for Thursday’s

4-1 Europa League win over

Wolfsberger, but any fresh injury

concerns were played down by his

manager.

Asked if Kane, who returned from

an ankle injury less than two weeks

ago, will play in east London,

Mourinho said: “I believe so. He’s an

experienced guy that had injuries in

the past. He knows his body better

than anyone.

“He knows that I want him to play

every minute of every game. So it’s

our own ground we too we are

going to do the same thing by

taking the fight to them this

weekend.

“But we just believe that it can

only be done with God on our

side.”

The 1-0 goal difference that

separated both sides in this

encounter was scored by midfielder

Cyril Olisema.

The match comes up tomorrow

in Port Harcourt at 4 pm.

works in different parts of the

country are amazing success

stories, invited me to Osun State to

witness the take off of the 'plane' of

implementation already revving on

the tarmac.

He tells me the institution must

take off in 9 months time, in

September 2021, yet the foundation

stone had not been laid by the time

I entered Oshogbo to catch up with

him. His further projection is that

the institution will be fully

completed in 2 years!

The time table is breathless.

Construction work has started on

the huge site with cranes and

caterpillars strewn all over the vast

virgin area in Ileogbo, some 200

acres of land that will house an 18-

hole golf course, a helipad, a hotel

and golf academy section, a

sprawling school campus of

classroom blocks, sports fields, and

tartan and laterite tracks, boarding

facilities, a mini 6000-capacity

stadium and other service and

recreational facilities.

I am dazed. SOCA is 17 years old

since the foundation stone was laid,

and we are nowhere near (not even

half way) completing all the

infrastructure to run a world class

academy.

With Engineer Adeleke whose

antecedents in infrastructural

construction speak volumes in all

the States where he has projects,

adopting a unique funding strategy

that diminishes the burden of

paying for the projects off State

governments, and delivers every

project either on time or well before.

expectations.

When I arrived Oshogbo on the

first day of my two-day visit, he was

waiting and roaring to go. We met

with his key staff and other

consultants on the project. He then

led our delegation to meet with the

governor of Osun State, Gboyega

Oyetola, in his residence, that

evening.

The very unassuming and amiable

governor, whom I had known for

some years, welcomed us warmly

and brightly. Incidentally, the

governor and I have always had a

mutual liking for each other. I

believe he knows I respect and like

him a great deal. His calmness, soft

voice and very humble disposition

are disarming.

Before I knew what was going on,

I was called upon and thrown into

the deep end of explaining the full

scope and benefits of such an

academy to Osun State.

Understandably, I was assuming

my role as the chief image maker of

the project that aims to promote the

highest level of sports development

at the grassroots with the highest

level of scholarship in a simple,

viable and workable combination.

Of course, all the evidence of the

project's efficacy is 'daylight' in the

model in Wasimi Orile, and the

whole world can go there and have

their own taste of 'paradise' for the

youths.

With the commitment of Lanre

Adeleke and the political will of

support that I saw of the Osun State

governor, achieving the dream of

making Osun State the new Mecca

of grassroots sports development,

empowering the youths of the State

with education and fulfilling their

passion for sports, building a

community of youngsters that will

be some of the best in the world of

sports and scholarship through the

Sports Academy, I can feel the air

of a resounding success blowing in

the wind.

Lanre wants to make the academy

the biggest and best on the

continent. That's his commitment -

to deliver it.

The government's commitment is

to ensure that there is a good access

to the vicinity of the school, that

there is electricity supply to the area,

that public water supply gets to the

environment and that a specific

number of the State's children are

sponsored there annually.

After paying a visit to the Oba of

Ileogbo in his Palace, the entire

entourage drove to the huge

construction site where the first

foundation stone was to be laid.

That's when the surprise of the day

was sprung on me.

Unknown to me, the honour of

undertaking that historic first step

had been ceded to me.

That's how, mask-in-face, in

accordance to coronavirus protocols,

in swirling dry dust of Harmattan

in the month of January, I stepped

into a dug shallow trench, a

bricklayer's trowel in hand, laid

down the first brick of the Classroom

block and said a short prayer

committing the project and its

successful completion to the Creator

of the Universe. The resounding

chorus of 'Amen' marked the start

of a very exciting journey that will

unfold in the coming months in

Ileogbo, the little Town that will

soon become a household name in

the world of sports.

Like a jigsaw puzzle, daily since

then, small pieces are being added.

In September 2021, the academy

will take off with its first set of young

boys and girls that will be admitted

in the coming months to pioneer this

dream project.

My advise to parents that have

children, gifted in sports and

passionate about pursuing sport

within an academic or vocational

institution that will provide a solid

ground upon which their future can

be built, is that they should watch

out for more information on the

processes for admission.

From what I saw two weeks ago,

from what I heard from the horses'

mouth, and knowing the

antecedents of the drivers of this

vision, a very healthy grassroots

sports development institution,

called the Lanreleke Sports

Academy, will birth a healthy baby

in September 2021.

Mourinho: Kane fit to face West Ham

never a question of a choice.

“But I believe on Sunday he is going

to be okay and ready.”

Tottenham coped well without Kane

as goals from Heung-min Son, Gareth

Bale, Lucas Moura and Carlos Vinicius

put them in a commanding lead

heading into the second leg with

Wolfsberger.

Bale also registered an assist in an

Onazi signs for Lithuanian champions

Zalgiris

L

ithuanian A Lyga champions

Zalgiris have completed the

signing of former Lazio and

Trabzonspor midfielder Ogenyi

Onazi on a free transfer.

Onazi has been a free agent since

January 5 when he left Danish Super

Liga club SonderjyskE by mutual

agreement after he was restricted to

just two league matches in six

months.

Prior to the completion of the deal,

the Nigeria star has been working his

socks off with a personal training

programme which he often shared on

social media.

His arrival in Lithuania is expected

to boost Zalgiris, who won their

eighth top-flight title last November.

Onazi could make his debut in

impressive display, before being

substituted in the 64th minute.

Mourinho has hinted the Welshman

could be involved against West Ham.

“One of the reasons why he left the

pitch was to try to have him available

for the next match because one of the

things that is not easy related to his

condition is the accumulation of

minutes,” he said.

Lithuania when the Green-Whites

battle cup winners Panevezys for the

Super Cup on February 27.

Back in 2018, the Super Eagles

midfielder's career took a blow when

he ruptured his Achilles tendon

while in action for Trabzonspor in the

Turkish Super Lig.

The injury ruled him out of action

for more than a year and his contract

was terminated by the Black Sea

Storm. The setback also made him

miss the 2019 Afcon in Egypt where

Nigeria finished third.

The 28-year-old immediately

teamed up with Denizlispor on a

short-term contract until the end of

the 2019-20 season before he moved

to Denmark.


SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021— 29


30— SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021

ONYEAKA : Wh

Sam Onyeaka was one

of the storm troopers

who made Enugu

Rangers African Winners

Cup champions in 1977. A

veteran of many battles, he

survived the Civil War,

survived Demba Diop

Stadium, Dakar and met with

Idi Amin in Kampala. One

outcome that continues to

haunt him is the 3-0 loss to

Insurance of Benin in the

grand finale of the 1978

Challenge Cup.

Our Columnist, Emeka

Obasi, got him talking from

the United States recently.

Excerpts:

One of your team mates,

Nwabueze Nwankwo, was

buried on February 5, 2021.

I understand you were

close.

Yes, we were quite close.

Captain Nwabueze

Nwankwo of the defunct

Biafra Army, a Rangers

pioneer, former Green

Eagles’ defensive midfielder,

was a great footballer. A

vigorous player, built for the

game, one could easily

match him with Dick Tiger

for his body building. He

took the lead on our

marathon races.

You have sad memories of

the 1978 Challenge Cup

final in Lagos. Rangers

were given a thorough 3-0

battering by Bendel

Insurance.

It was my worst match. A

strong team does not care

about home or away ground.

The business is to win home

and away matches. Enugu

Rangers of the 1970s did it.

In 1977, Rangers did not

lose a game, home and

away, playing in the African

Winners Cup.

Against Insurance in 1978,

we played about four hard

games, including continental

assignments, in 10 days. The

fatigued Rangers players

could not stand the pressure.

The Insurers were good but

not so good to beat Rangers

3-0 under normal

circumstances.

No team in Nigeria could

play more than three

important games under 10

days and survive it.

Insurance rested for 10 good

days and the NFA refused to

give Rangers a breather by

moving the duel.

Ok, let us talk about your

most memorable match.

My most memorable

definitely must be the

African Winners Cup quarter

finals second leg match

against AS Police of Senegal

at the Demba Diop Stadium

in 1977. I was at my peak

and had everything going

my way. No player could

match my speed.

We needed at least a score

draw to advance since the

first leg in Lagos ended

goalless. We sensed trouble

right from touchdown. On

match day, it was obvious

that hell would be let loose.

Trust Rangers, we gave

them more than a good fight.

Chimezie Ngadi got the

opener. I made it two. The

Senegalese were lucky to get

one past us. It ended 2-1.

Come and see beating. I was

stabbed in two places.

Nnamdi Anyafo, Okey

Emordi and reserve keeper,

John Uwanaka were not

spared.

As we made our way to the

dressing room, more beating

and stoning continued. All

the players were cramped in

a tiny four by nine feet toilet

room. We had to be

smuggled out in a police

truck.

What of the semi finals

clash with defending

African Winners Cup

champions, Shooting Stars?

That game really divided

Nigeria and General

Olusegun Obasanjo saw it

and took the right action by

moving the second leg to

Kaduna. Obasanjo had also

done well after we defeated

AS Police by sending a

military aircraft to bring us

back to Nigeria.

The tension generated by

the semi final match

involving Rangers and

Shooting Stars made it

uninteresting. Both teams

played below their normal

standard even if we won

through penalty kicks.

•Sam Onyeaka with the

Challenge Cup he won with

Rangers in 1976

•Onyeaka and Chukwu

Who was your toughest

marker?

Without any doubt, my

toughest opponent was Sam

Ojebode of Shooting Stars.

He was a tough defender to

beat, experienced player.

You crossed over to

Rangers from Vasco Da

Gama. Tell me about the

Enugu derby.

Vasco kept Rangers on

their feet. Playing against

Vasco then was like Rangers

taking part in the Challenge

Cup or a continental

championship. Anytime both

teams met, it was internal

war.

You had two nicknames,

404 and Achimota. Let us

talk about them.

hit Rangers 3

Chief Ernest Okonkwo, the

greatest soccer commentator

known to Nigerians, named

me 404. He coined the name

apparently because of my

speed, with or without the

ball. I was one of the fastest

players in the country. The

French car Peugeot 404,

known for its speed was

common at the time.

Achimota came from

Achimota College, Ghana. I

had intention of securing

admission into that famous

elite school before I diverted

attention to the United

States. I fell in love with the

name and it became my

nickname throughout my

High School period at the

GTC Awka. I am from Awka

too.

You saw battle during the

Civil War. That experience

should interest your

admirers.

I was a Biafran Air Force

officer in charge of the

Airport Fire Fighters

Squadron based at the Uga

Air Force base.

The landing Airstrip was

constructed at a secondary

school, about three miles

from Uga and used as BAF

base. It was a mile off the

Aguluezechukwu-

Ekwulobia- Uga Junction.

The runway was not tarred.

The runway lights were

giant lanterns. Air Force

personnel inside the

trenches along the runway,

will light up the lanterns and

place them above their

dugouts.

The plane blew them off as

it passed each lantern on

both sides of the runway.

We covered the runway

with palm fronds after the

landing and during the day.

The plane taxied into

hideouts near

Aguluezechukwu, about a

mile or more off the landing

strip. Nigerian Air Force

aircraft were unable to hit

Biafran planes on the

ground because of that. Even

when they finally detected

and bombed the Air Force

base, the Biafran Babies

(minicon) were never hit.

You must have been

familiar with Count Gustav

Rudolf von Rosen, the

Swedish philanthropist who

donated five jet fighters and

also fought for Biafra.

The man was my hero. As a

group leader in the Biafran

Air Force Fire Fighter

Squadron, I was there

during take-off and landing

on a daily basis, mostly at

night. The DC-3 was

converted to a war plane

together with the Biafran

Baby.

The small two- seater

training plane was fitted

with two six rocket

launchers, at each wing. Von

Rosen and his pilots

destroyed more military

hardware than the Nigerian

Air Force, with their best

Russian MIG planes.

Operation Biafra Babies

and Swedish Air Mission,

better coded as OPS BB and

SAM did not miss your

name

That’s a funny one...

you’ve got me thinking.

How did this soccer trip

begin?

My soccer journey started

in Jos, at St. Paul’s

Elementary School, before

the war. I was born in Jos,

Dankalfana Lane, in 1950.

We left in 1966 for good.

After the war, I continued

with soccer at Government


y Insurance

-0 in 1978

School Awka and the

Government Trade Center

(GTC) Awka. I also played

for Awka Iron Founders

Football Club. Upon leaving

GTC Awka, I was gainfully

employed by the Nigerian

Construction and Furniture

Company (NCFC) Enugu. I

was part of the company’s

football team, Dragons.

In 1973, I joined Vasco Da

Gama, Enugu briefly before

I was recruited by Enugu

Rangers where I ended my

career.

My post secondary

education was at Alabama A

and M University and the

University of Alabama in

Huntsville, USA. I qualified

as an engineer.

At GTC, we won the All

GTC Cup in the then East

Central State of Nigeria and

the Ejidike Cup in the early

1970s. I also played for the

University of Alabama in

Huntsville (alongside

Ndubuisi Luis Isima and

Idika Aku). We did not win

any national trophy but we

left indelible marks within

•Alaba

SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021 — 31

Alaba ‘ll be EPL’s best-paid

player if Chelsea sign him

DAVID ALABA will

become the best-paid

player in the Premier League

should he join Chelsea this

summer.

The Austrian star, 28, has

confirmed he will quit Bayern

Munich at the end of the

season.

Alaba is out of contract at the

Allianz Arena and has turned

down a number of extension

offers, believing the club to be

undervaluing him.

It’s claimed the versatile

defender is chasing wages of

£400,000 a week - with Bayern

unwilling to go that high.

Chelsea and Real Madrid

appear to be locked in a

straight shootout to sign Alaba.

And while £400,000 a week

would be an astronomical paypacket,

signing him for

UCL net bursters:

Obafemi Martins makes top 5 level of most UCL goals before 21st birthday

•Obafemi

NCAA.

You sacrificed so much for

Rangers and were unable to

attend your dad, Ichie

Johnson Nwofor Onyeaka’s

burial.

We, the players appreciate

what Ndigbo did for us. It

was an honour to play for

Enugu Rangers and I am

ready to do it all over again

if old age should allow me.

What about your children,

are they interested in

soccer?

None of my siblings or any

of my sons was interested in

playing football. In America,

football ( soccer) was not a

popular game among the

youth, so my kids were

interested in Basketball and

American football.

I met my wife (Cathy) in

Nigeria as I was

approaching retirement. We

have four boys : Benjamin

Nweze, Samuel Jr., Kenneth

and Kevin.

Europa Cup:

Iheanacho to miss Slavia Prague return fixture

Leicester City will be without

Kelechi Iheanacho for the

return fixture of their Uefa

Europa League Round of 32

clash with Slavia Prague after

the Super Eagles striker was

shown a yellow card in the

competition on Thursday.

Just after he replaced Jamie

Vardy in their goalless draw in

Prague, Iheanacho received a

yellow card in the 64th minute

which increased his bookings

to three yellow cards this

campaign and he will

consequently serve a onegame

suspension.

The Super Eagles forward has

been impressive in the Europa

League so far with three goals

to his name after seven

matches, and his absence

might be a concern for the

Foxes who are aiming for a win

against Slavia Prague at the

King Power Stadium next

Thursday.

Nigeria midfield dynamo

Wilfred Ndidi also received a

yellow card in the encounter,

but Brendan Rodgers has rued

the bookings handed to the

Super Eagles duo and he

summed up the officiating as

“really poor”.

“I thought the officials were

really poor, I’ve got to say,”

Rodgers was quoted as saying

by Leicestershire Live.

•Iheanacho

Europe’s football governing

body,

UEFA has published the players

with the most Champions

League goals before the age of

21, with a Nigeria

international making the cut.

Former Monaco striker

now at Paris Saint-

Germain, Kylian

Mbappe is the top

scoring player with

nineteen goals to his

name, followed by

Borussia Dortmund’s

Aussie Open: Medvedev confronts

Djokovic in men’s final

Daniil Medvedev will face

Novak Djokovic in the

Australian Open 2021 final,

after beating Stefanos

Tsitsipas in straight sets! The

men’s final comes up

tomorrow 8.30 am(Nigerian

time)

Medvedev extended his

winning streak to 20 matches

on Friday, as he advanced to

the Australian Open final for

the first time with a dominant

6-4, 6-2, 7-5 victory against

Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Aside from a late third-set

comeback attempt from

extraordinary talent Erling Braut

Haaland with eighteen goals.

In third place is Real Marid’s

Karim Benzema who racked up

twelve goals before his 21st

birthday while ex-Ajax

Amsterdam star Patrick Kluivert

comes in fourth with nine goals.

There is a four-way tie for fifth

place, with each of ex-Inter

Milan striker Obafemi Martins,

Barcelona legends Lionel Messi

and Javier Saviola, and Real

Madrid icon Raúl González

scoring eight goals.

Tsitsipas, Medvedev

neutralised his opponent’s

attacking skills and contested

the majority of the two-hour,

nine-minute encounter on his

terms inside Rod Laver

Arena.

The World No. 4 landed 46

winners, compared to just 21

unforced errors, and won 88

per cent of his first-serve

points (49/56) en route to

victory.

“It was definitely not easy,

because we saw the match

with Rafa was kind of the same

score after two sets. [In] the

Super Sunday: Milan derby headlines Serie A

...As Real, Barca battle mid-table foes in La Liga

The top-of-the-table fixture

from Serie A this weekend

sees Milan and

Internazionale meet in the

Derby della Madonnina

(Milan derby) tomorrow

afternoon. Not only is this

clash about bragging rights,

it will also be key to deciding

the Scudetto – with the teams

in a pitched battle to try and

prevent Juventus claiming a

10th straight title. The much

anticipated encounter will be

aired live on SuperSport and

GOtv Select 1.

There’s usually no shortage

of ‘edge’ in this match, but

there will be even more this

time around after their last

meeting – a 2-1 win for Inter

in the Coppa Italia in late

January – featured a verbal

bust-up between star strikers

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and

Romelu Lukaku.

Juventus complete the

round with a Monday night

clash at home to Crotone.

The round also features a

potential thriller between

Atalanta and Napoli on

Sunday evening.

Top picks from the legendary

La Liga, sees log leaders

Atletico Madrid host Levante

at Estadio Wanda

Metropolitano today.

Elsewhere, in Spain’s top

flight today, champions Real

Madrid will face Real

Valladolid at Estadio

Municipal Jose Zorrilla

Barcelona have also had

their fair share of struggles

this season, though Ronald

Koeman’s men have

improved since the turn of the

year and will be confident of

defeating Cadiz at the Camp

Nou on Sunday afternoon .

Martins scored the first of his

Champions League goals on his

starting debut in the competition

against Bayer Leverkusen on March

19, 2003 and his eighth was against

Porto in March 2005.

The Super Eagle netted just one

goal in the Champions League after

his 21st birthday and it came against

Villarreal in the quarterfinals of the

competition in March 2006.

Overall, Martins made 34

appearances in the UCL - 25 in the

colours of Inter Milan, 4 for

Wolfsburg and 5 for Rubin Kazan.

absolutely nothing would take

the edge off.

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel is

keen to add Alaba to his

defence to play on the left of

his back-three.

But, in order to bring him to

England, Chelsea will have to

pay him more than any other

player in the Premier League.

Manchester United

goalkeeper David De Gea

currently leads the league in

wages, raking in £375,000 per

week.

The Spaniard signed a new

deal with vastly improved

terms in September 2019.

More-recently, Pierre-

Emerick Aubameyang put

pen to paper on a new deal

last summer, pledging his

commitment to Arsenal for

£350,000 a week.

third set, Rafa was

dominating but didn’t

manage to win the match, so

I got a little bit scared and

tight,” said Medvedev, in an

on-court interview. “It is the

semi-final of a Slam… It was

not easy, but I am happy I

managed to switch my game

on, especially in some tight

moments on my serve and I

am really happy to be in the

final.”

•Djokovic

•Medvedev

Haaland admits,

Mbappe inspired me

ERLING HAALAND paid

tribute to Kylian Mbappe for

motivating his own fantastic

performance in the Champions

League.

After the Paris Saint-Germain

star hit a hat-trick past Barcelona

on Tuesday, Borussia Dortmund’s

Haaland struck a brace against

Sevilla a night later.

The Norwegian teed up

Mahmoud Dahoud’s powerful

equaliser in the last-16 first leg

before completing the first-half

comeback.

A devastating counter-attack

saw Jadon Sancho play a

delightful flick into Haaland for

his first before adding another

calm finish before half-time.

With Dortmund 3-2 up and in

control of the tie, he stated

afterwards that Mbappe’s Camp

Nou heroics drove him onto a

performance of his own.

Haaland told Norwegian

broadcaster Viaplay: “It was good

to score goals.

“I love the Champions League

and when I saw Mbappe score the

hat-trick yesterday I got free

motivation, so thanks to him.

“He scored some nice goals and

I got a good boost from him.”


C

M

Y

K

SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 20, 2021

CROSS WORD PUZZLE

SOLUTION ON PAGE 3

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