23022021 - Bauchi gov part of groups terrorising Nigeria —ORTOM

vanguardnewspaper

Vanguard Newspaper 23 February 2021

COVID-19: Fake

vaccines now in

circulation, FG

raises alarm

PIB’ll be

passed with

9

Abducted Kagara

students, staff

found in Birninspeed

of light,

9

Gwari, Kaduna

8 NASS assures —ZAMFARA GOV

Shippers Council, NICON move to avert N670m loss to container deposits

33

FROM KANKARA TO KAGARA:

The deification

of banditry

—DAKUKU PETERSIDE

19

VOL. 27: NO. 64277 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

Bauchi gov part of groups

terrorising Nigeria —ORTOM

•Says gov profiling him for possible assassination by armed herders

•Wants gov to be held responsible if anything happens to him

Govs

have final

say on

petrol

price

hike

—FG

United's

B-777

engine

failure:

We’re

studying

situation

—NCAA

5

9

NIGER KIDNAP VICTIMS RELEASED...

Gov. Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger State (M) and other officials, receiving the 53 passengers recently

kidnapped on the Kontagora-Minna Road on board of the state-owned Niger State Transport Authority

(NSTA) bus, which were released by their abductors and brought to Government House, Minna, on

Sunday. Photo: NAN

Okorocha's aides charged to

court as S-East govs wade in

COLUMNISTS ODUMAKIN TENIOLA 18

See

inside

16 DELE COLE 17

13

14

INSECURITY:

Fulani

herdsmen

aren’t bandits,

but militants

fighting ethnic

war —Sheikh

Gumi 8

Foreign

exchange

rate can't

equal

parallel

market

—FINANCE

MINISTER

Mr & Mrs

35


2— Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021—3


4— Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021


vanguardnews

@vanguardnews

LAWAN IN ASO ROCK—President Muhammadu Buhari receives in

audience, Senate President Ahmed Lawan in State House, Abuja, yesterday.

Photo: NAN.

Govs have final say on

petrol price hike —FG

•As governors meet on issue Thursday•We’re

done with labour, says Ngige

By Obas Esiedesa

ABUJA — THE

F e d e r a l

Government’s plan to

increase the price of

petrol took a curious twist

yesterday, as the it

pushed the final decision

on whether or not to hike

price to governors of the

36 states of the

federation.

Consequently, the

governors are expected

to meet on Thursday to

take a decision on this.

Independent marketers

had weekend, asked

Nigerians to brace up for

the challenge of buying

the product for between

N190 and N195 per litre.

National Publicity

Secretary of IPMAN, Dr.

Emma Ihedigbo, had said

weekend: “What we are

saying in effect is that we

are crying out that PPMC

wants to strangulate

IPMAN members and all

the businessmen dealing

on petroleum products

and we are no longer

happy about it. And if

nothing is done, we will

come out and tell the

world what is going on.

“With

the

inconsistencies of

government, Nigerians

should expect the price

of fuel to be between

N190 and N195.”

The Nigerian National

Petroleum Corporation,

NNPC, in a response,

yesterday, by the Group

General Manager,

Group Public Affairs

Division, GPAD, Dr.

Kennie Obateru, said

there was no plan to

increase the price of fuel

this February.

Govt done with

Labour on this

— Ngige

But rising from the

bipartite meeting of the

Federal Government and

organised labour at the

banquet Hall of the

Presidential Villa,

Abuja, on Sunday night,

the Minister of Labour

and Employment,

Senator Chris Ngige,

said the government has

finished with labour

leaders on the issue of

petrol price increase.

The leadership of the

Nigerian Labour

Congress, NLC, and the

Trade Union Congress,

TUC, represented the

organised labour at the

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021— 5

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POCKET CARTOON

018773962,

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meeting.

Ngige told journalists

that labour had

investigated the report of

the Technical Committee

on Premium Motor

Spirit, PMS, Pricing

Framework as agreed at

the last meeting and

made their submissions,

even as the Nigerian

National Petroleum

Corporation, NNPC,

presented its own report.

He explained: “The

labour side saw that they

(NNPC) were making

some points and like I

said, it is work in

progress. Governors are

going to discuss this on

Thursday.

“They have discussed

this at the National

Economic Council, NEC,

and so everybody is

involved because we find

ourselves in dire straits.

There is no money for

subsidy.

“The NNPC has

explained this. What

they (NNPC) are doing

is import-dependent.

Deregulation is importdependent

but they are

doing bulk purchasing.

So, they can get

discounts. They are also

using foreign exchange

that is discounted for

them.

“They are not buying

from the parallel market.

So, all these things will

be put in a basket and a

price will emerge from

it.”

Ngige maintained that

the Federal Government

has finished with the

organised labour on the

issue of fuel price,

insisting that the

decision was for the

governors to make.

Electricity tariff

increase

Speaking on electricity

tariff increase, the

minister disclosed that

the meeting adopted the

report of its Ad-hoc

Technical Committee on

Electricity Tariffs, made

some adjustments and

transformed the

committee into an

implementation

committee.

According to him, the

committee will

implement all the

recommendations made,

including mass

metering.

“You will start seeing

members of the

committee with the

Minister of Power, going

around now and making

sure that the DISCOS

install metres for people,

because there are

reports that they don’t

want to distribute metres

but want to be doing bulk

and estimated billings.

We don’t want that.

“There is also a

resolution as regards gas

companies reducing gas

pricing for gas sold to

power companies,

GENCOS, so that the

price of electricity per

unit will go down for

consumers to benefit. We

have given the marching

orders for them to do so.

“Some paper work has

to be done and once that

is done, the price of

electricity will go down

and once it goes down,

the consumers will

benefit,” he stated.

Ngige explained

further that the

committee also

Should FG grant amnesty to bandits? (2)

recommended that those

forcibly migrated by

distribution companies

from lower paying bands

C and D to upper bands

A and B should petition

the National Electricity

Regulatory Commission,

NERC,

“They will be brought

back and the DISCOs

will be sanctioned,”, he

added.

He, however,

announced that the

social dialogue between

the Federal Government

and Labour had been

adjourned to April, since

the two standing

committees are still

working.

Secretary to the

Federal Government,

Boss Mustapha,

congratulated Organised

Labour for their

sacrifices at “this time of

economic difficulty”,

which had been

rewarded with Nigeria’s

exit from recession in the

third quarter of 2020.

Exit from recession

Mustafa explained

that all the projections,

including the reports of

economic sustainability

committee put in place

with robust response to

COVID-19 pandemic,

provided clear evidence

that Nigeria was on its

Continues on Page 35

By Cynthia Alo

THE

Niger-Delta

militants got amnesty

because the resources

sustaining Nigeria is from

their region while they had

nothing. The northerners

clamoured for NE Devt.

Commission just to have a fair

share of what the NDDC is

receiving all in the name of

Nigeria belongs to us all. Now

what are these terrorists

fighting for? You don’t give

amnesty to people wielding

sophisticated weapons and

committing atrocities.

—Merife Ugoo,

Businessman

The Northern elders are

looking for means to

enrich themselves. How can

they be talking about amnesty

for terrorists and are sending

battalions to ESN who chose

to protect their people? Some

are asking that they be

included in the army so they

can become legal terrorists

later? Bandits should be

treated as criminals; don't give

room for further menace in the

name of repented bandits.

—Ukachukwu Chinweike,

Data Analyst

IT will be foolhardy for

the FG to grant

amnesty to bandits.

Amnesty is mainly for

people who fight for a just

cause, who are deprived of

what is theirs and had to

fight to get it back. So

bandits should be given

amnesty for killing and

terrorizing people? It

would only encourage

more criminals to come out

of their shells and this

would only lead to more

security challenges.

David Williams,

Accountant

IT would be

irrational for the

Federal Government

to grant amnesty

to bandits. These

people are criminals.

Compensating

people for carrying

arms against the state

and innocent citizens

amounts to breeding

crisis and anarchy.

—John Nzekwe,

Educationist

A

RSONISTS who have

raped, killed, raided

villages, caused farmers to

abandon their homes, should

face the law. Offering them

amnesty is encouraging evil and

sending a message that anyone

can go rogue and after a while,

'repent'. How about those who

have refused to follow that path

but have sacrificed to better their

lives? Even if the bandits

surrender willingly, they should

be tried, then justice may be

tampered with mercy. Those

advocating for amnesty should

be investigated.

—Gideon Emmanuel,

Graphics designer

IT’s dangerous for the

FG to grant amnesty to

bandits, this may cause

more anarchy in the nation,

since every terrorist

organisation would

demand for amnesty. How

can you grant amnesty to

terrorists that kill and

kidnap innocent citizens?

Are they saying the FG and

northern elites are

accomplices?

—Esigbone Lilywhite,

Visual Artist


6— Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

Gunmen abduct

UNIPORT

lecturer,

monarch, attack

3 journalists in

Rivers

By Davies

Iheamnachor

A

lecturer with the

University of Port

Harcourt, UNIPORT, Dr

Jones Ayuwo, and a firstclass

traditional ruler in

Rivers State have been

abducted by suspected

gunmen, who also attacked

three journalists of the

Rivers State Television

RSTV.

It was gathered that

Ayuwo, a lecturer in the

Department of Linguistics

and Communications

Studies, was kidnapped

Sunday night on Andoni-

Ogoni Road, Rivers.

The victim was reportedly

returning from a meeting

with members of his local

language Bible translation

committee when he was

attacked.

Ayuwo, whose wife is the

Bursar of UNIPORT, also

serves as a member of the

Governing Council of

Elechi Amadi Polytechnic,

Rumuola, Port Harcourt.

It was gathered the three

journalists, who had

covered the committee’s

meeting, were also attacked

while returning from the

event in separate incidents.

The journalists had their

phones, video camera and

other valuables forcefully

taken from them by the

hoodlums.

UNIPORT’s spokesman,

Mr Samuel Kpenu, who

confirmed the abduction,

said no contact had been

established with the

suspected kidnappers.

“However, the university

is on top of the game, and

has already contacted and

sympathised with the

family and promised to

stand by them,” he said.

Also on Sunday,

suspected gunmen

kidnapped a first-class

traditional ruler, King Aaron

Ikuru of Ikuru Town in

Andoni Local Government

Area of Rivers.

An eyewitness said the

traditional ruler was taken

away from his palace by the

gunmen.

Confirming the

abduction, the Police Public

Relations Officer in Rivers,

Nnamdi Omoni, said the

command was aware of the

incidents.

He said: “The command

has received the report of

the abductions but we are

yet to get the full details of

the events.”

Omoni promised to

release a statement when

the command gets details of

the abductions.

3 children rescued from suspected ritualists

in Anambra

By Ikechukwu Odu

THREE children battered

beyond recognition were

rescued from suspected

ritualists at Nkwelle, in Oyi

Local Government Area of

Anambra State by the state’s

Police Command.

According to the police

spokesperson in the state,

Haruna Mohammed, the

suspects identified as Rejoice

Raymond, 39, and Chidi Felicia

Nwafor, 80, were arrested by

police operatives attached to 3-

3 Police Station, Nkwelle.

He said police stormed the

address at 13, Akunwanta

Mbamalu Street, Federal

Housing Estate, 3-3 Nkwelle

Ezunaka, Anambra State, based

on intelligence report, on

February 19, where they found

three children locked up in a

room filled with fetish items.

The children, two boys and a

girl, were badly bruised and

were looking malnourished.

They had broken bones and

were left lying in the pool of

their blood.

It was observed that the entire

room had blood stains

alongside fetish items,

including a mortar and multiple

pestles, blood-stained canes,

concoction and more.

In the room was also found a

bucket where the children were

made to excrete as they were

not allowed out of the room.

The children, whose parents

RELEASED:

Some of the 53

passengers

recently

kidnapped on

the Kontagora-

Minna road on

board the stateowned

Niger

State Transport

Authority, NSTA

bus, arriving

the Government

House, Minna,

after they were

released by

their abductors

on Sunday.

Photo: NAN.

One of the suspects, Felicia Nwafor.

were not yet known at press

time, were too battered to speak.

They were barely conscious and

appeared to be in shock.

Mohammed said the women

“subjected them to physical and

emotional torture without

feeding and inflicted several

wounds on their bodies, leaving

them unconscious.

“Scene was visited by the

DPO 3-3, CSP Abdul Bawa,

where gory sights of badly

battered victims, one with a

broken arm were found in the

pool of their blood and whose

parents were neither seen nor

known. Meanwhile, the

Suspected cultists set police vehicle ablaze, kill

inspector in A-Ibom

By Chioma Onuegbu

UYO—Gunmen suspected

to be cultists reportedly

set a police vehicle ablaze,

yesterday, in Essien Udim

Local Government Area of

Akwa Ibom State, killing a

Police inspector in the process.

It was gathered that the

incident occurred when the

hoodlums attacked a

checkpoint at Ikpe Annang

junction where operatives of

the Quick Response Squad,

QRS, were positioned and set

their patrol van ablaze.

The Police inspector, it was

gathered, was inside the Hilux

van when the hoodlums set the

vehicle ablaze.

It was gathered that when

the gunmen started shooting

in the area and saw that the

police officers had fled, they

went and set their Hilux van

ablaze.

A source from the area

simply identified as Inyang

said: “It was unfortunate that

the police inspector was inside

the vehicle when the

hoodlums set the van ablaze.

It could be that he was

sleeping and that was how he

was burnt to death.

“I believe it was a reprisal

attack because the police have

been dealing with hoodlums,

especially armed robbers

terrorising the area for some

time now. One suspected

cultist, I was told, was killed

in the area last weekend.

“And it is very, very

One of the victims

children were

rescued and rushed

to the hospital."

Some sources

alleged the women

own a ministry but

also engage in

fetishism, including

pounding children

in mortar.

Consequently, the

police have ordered

a full-scale

investigation to

unravel the

circumstances

surrounding the Some of the fetish items discovered in

incident.

the room.

unfortunate that the security

situation in the society has

degenerated to the level where

hoodlums now target police

officers. It means nobody is

safe.”

The Police Public Relations

Officer, Mr Odiko MacDon,

who confirmed the incident,

yesterday, said: “The

command has confirmed the

news of the unfortunate

incident at Ikpe Annang

junction, which led to the

death of one of our personnel.

“While the Commissioner of

Police, Mr Andrew

Amiengheme, is saddened by

this development and

condoles with the family of the

deceased, he has ordered a

discreet investigation over the

incident and vowed to bring

the perpetrators to book.”

Woman seeks

divorce, says

husband can't

impregnate her

A 30-year-old housewife,

Marwanatu Muhammad,

yesterday, prayed a Shari’a

court sitting in Rigasa, Kaduna

State, to dissolve her 10-yearold

marriage to Iliyasu, on the

grounds of his inability to

impregnate her.

In her petition, Muhammad

alleged that Iliyasu has not

gotten her pregnant since they

got married in 2011.

She said: “He was married

before now but the wife left him

due to his infertility issues. I

thought my case would be

different but I was wrong.

“I am okay and have no

health issue. I am no longer

interested in marriage. I am

ready to return the N20,000

dowry he paid.”

In his defence, Iliyasu said the

petitioner owes him N17,700

and wants the court to assist him

to recover his money.

The Judge, Malam Salisu

Abubakar-Tureta, had earlier

ordered the parties to go for

medicals to know where the

problem was.

Abubakar-Tureta asked the

petitioner to swear with the

Quran that she did not receive

N17,000.

He held that the union had

been dissolved through Khul’i

(redemption) and adjourned

the matter until February 24 for

the complainant to produce the

N20,000 dowry and to swear.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021—7

Sowho killing: Gunmen kill 2, as residents

urge Okowa to intervene

•Residents accuse community leaders of not speaking out

By Paul Olayemi

BARELY 24 hours after

Special Adviser to Delta State

Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, on

Youth Development, Okiemute

Sowho, was assassinated, two

persons were again shot dead in

another suspected cult-related

killing.

At the Shell Road end of the

town, close to a private school, an

unidentified man was shot

Sunday night, with his body still

lying at the front of a shop in the

area at press time.

Sources told Vanguard that he

was shot at about 8 pm, Sunday,

by gunmen, who came in a black

Sienna bus, while at the New

Road end of the town another

victim, identified as Efe, was

gunned down.

Efe, a butcher at Sapele main

market, was said to be boarding a

motorcycle heading to Ogorode

area of the town when gunmen

shot him, before speeding away.

There was pandemonium at the

Okpe Road area of the town as

gunshots were heard with

residents taking cover as another

gang engaged in a shooting

spree.

Contacted, Delta State Police

Command spokesperson, Edafe

Bright, told Vanguard that he has

not been informed, noting: “I will

get back to you once it is confirmed.”

Meanwhile, residents of the town

have called on Governor Ifeanyi

Okowa to come to their rescue from

cultists, insisting the community is

under siege.

A resident, Arero Onome, a

mechanic, who lives along Owumi

Road, said it was no secret that

politicians were part of the problem,

adding: “They, politicians, are the

cause of this whole thing. Just arrest

them and the next day you will hear

that they are out.”

Another woman, Madam Caro

Anuviena, accused the community

leaders of not speaking out. “They

won’t condemn the killing because

they know the killers. So, how will

they act, they have refused to speak

out“

Vanguard learned that a security

meeting meant to hold yesterday at

the Sapele local government council

secretariat was, however, cancelled

for no reason.

PROTEST: Members of Ondo State Flitchers Association barricading the Benin/ Ore/Lagos Expressway

in protest against alleged illegal extortion. They accused officials of Ogun State government of extortion in

the name of collecting revenue from them while transporting planks and teak wood through Ogun State.

Photo: Dayo Johnson

Court remands 3 persons for allegedly beating Osun monarch with cutlass

By Shina Abubakar

SOGBO—An Osun State

OMagistrates’ Court sitting

in Osogbo, yesterday, ordered

the remand of three persons

in Ilesha prison for allegedly

slapping a monarch, Alabudo

of Abudo, Oba Morufudeen

Olawale.

The defendants are Tijani

Wasiu, 35, Akangbe Tairu,35

and Samad Mutairu, 30.

They were docked on two

counts, bordering on breach of

public peace and assault.

The prosecutor, Kayode

Asanbe, disclosed that the

defendants were at Alabudo

palace to disturb labourers,

who were working in the

palace by acting like a thug.

He added that the

defendants also slapped the

monarch, Oba Olawale in his

palace and beat him with a

cutlass severally.

The police prosecutor noted

that the offences committed

are contrary to and punishable

under sections 249 (D) and

351 of the Criminal Code Cap.

34 Vol II. Laws of Osun State

of Nigeria 2002.

They allegedly committed

the offence on February 20,

2021, at about 4:45 pm in

Abudo village in Awo,

Egbedore Local Government

Area of the state.

However, the three

defendants pleaded not guilty

to the charge preferred against

them.

Defense counsel, S. O. Okgi,

in his oral bail application

urged the court to admit the

defendants to bail in the most

liberal terms, adding that they

would not jump bail if

granted.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor

opposed the application on the

ground that the offence was

grave, adding that the

defendants must be

appropriately punished.

The presiding magistrate, Mr

Isola Omisade, denied the bail

application and ordered that

the defendants be remanded

at Ilesa prison and adjourned

the case to February 25, 2021.

One dead, 4 injured in Osun auto crash

By Shina Abubakar

OSOGBO—The Federal

Road Safety Commission,

FRSC, Osun Sector

Command, yesterday,

disclosed that one person lost

his life in an auto crash that

occurred on the Gbogan-

Ibadan expressway.

The Sector Commander, Mrs

Kudirat Ibrahim, who

disclosed this in a statement

by the command’s

spokesperson, Mrs Agnes

Ogungbemi, said the incident

in which four persons were

also injured, was caused by

over-speeding and noncompliance

to road traffic

regulations.

He noted that the accident,

which occurred around Salam-

Salam area, seven kilometres

to Sasa Bridge, involved 11

persons.

She said: “The accident

occurred at about 9:30 a.m.

today (yesterday) on Gbongan

expressway and 11 persons

were involved. They include

six males, four females, and

one female child.

“A navy blue Toyota Sienna

bus with number plate, WWD

172 AA, lost control while on

top speed and somersaulted

several times before landing in

a bush on the roadside.

“Four persons that were

injured were one male, two

females and a child. They

have been taken to Obafemi

Awolowo University Teaching

Hospital (OAUTH) for further

treatment.

“The dead has also been

taken to the OAUTH morgue

while items belonging to the

deceased were recovered.”

According to her, the

damaged vehicle has been

towed by the command’s

heavy-duty truck to allow free

flow of traffic.

The sector commander

appealed to motorists to desist

from speeding and also obey

road safety regulations to

avoid loss of lives and

property.

Thugs invade

Atele community

over land dispute

By Onozure Dania

NO fewer than six members of

the Adogun Atele family

sustained various injuries when

armed thugs invaded a disputed

land situated at Sogunro-Itele

Awori, in the Ado-Odo area of

Ogun State.

This came barely six days after

members of the Atele family

dragged former President,

Olusegun Obasanjo and his firm

before an Ogun State High Court,

praying the court for an order

restraining him and his farm

(Obasanjo Farms Nigeria

Limited) from further trespassing

on their family land measuring

464.77 hectares situated at

Sogunro-Itele Awori, in Ado-Odo,

Ogun State.

The armed thugs led by two

prominent members of the

community (names withheld)

invaded the disputed land with

sophisticated weapons and

attacked members of the Atele

family.

The thugs, according to sources

in the area, caused disquiet in the

community as the hoodlums shot

indiscriminately into the air.

However, three of the hoodlums

were arrested and taken to Ota

Police station and later granted

bail.

A source in the community said

the defendants were afraid of

courtroom trial, so they were bent

on creating trouble with the

dubious assistance of the

hoodlums whose predilection was

to wreak havoc in the community.

The Adogun Atele family had

through their lawyer, Gbenga

Ajala, in the suit filed against

former President Obasanjo (1st

defendant) Obasanjo Farms

Limited (2nd defendant) and

Bureau of Lands and Survey,

Ogun State (3rd defendant),

prayed the court to cancel the

purported interest of the former

President and that of the 2nd

defendant, Obasanjo Farms

Nigeria Limited on the disputed

land.

In their statement of claims, the

family stated that they are the

affirmed founder and the first

settler of Itele land comprising of

Ayetoro-Itele, Odan-Otun, Ajasa,

Ejigun, Aparadija, Adeleye,

Efura, Kongi, Lafenwa,

Olugbode, Oguntedo, Beyioku,

Egunjobi, Senikoro, Onifade, and

Sogunro villages.

The claimants added that the

land in dispute falls within their

family’s comprehensive Survey

Plan No-PEG/06/2001/025 drawn

by surveyor J.O Olorunkunle and

Plan No LA/49/1946 drawn by

Surveyor Liasu Smith respectively.

The claimants stated that

sometime in 2012, Obasanjo and

his farm applied to the Bureau of

Lands and Survey, Ogun State for

issuance of Certificate of

Occupancy on the disputed land.

They stated that immediately

they became aware of it, they

objected to it but the former

president through his aide, Chief

Abraham Akanle, allegedly

subjected their family members to

series of Police arrests and

harassment.

The family stated that the

ownership of the entire Itele land,

including the land in dispute had

been judicially affirmed by the

Court of Appeal in three separate

judgments.


8 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

:Vanguard News

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

LAUNCHING:

Former President

Goodluck Jonathan

(right) and

Chairman, Euronat

Energy, Mr.

Abe Ibraheem

during the official

launching of the

Jeniffer Etuh

Foundation in

Abuja. Photo:

Abayomi Adeshida

COVID-19: Fake vaccines now in

circulation, FG raises alarm

Nigeria to receive 4m doses of NAFDAC-certified

AstraZeneca

By Omeiza Ajayi

ABUJA — The Federal

Government has raised

alarm over the circulation of

fake COVID-19 vaccines in

the country, warning Nigerians

of dangerous consequences

should they resort to

taking such uncertified jab.

It added that following the

recent certification given by

the National Agency for Food

Drug Administration and

Control, NAFDAC, for the use

of AstraZeneca vaccines, Nigeria

is set to receive four million

doses of the vaccine, as

part of efforts to stem the wave

of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government also said preliminary

evidence before it

showed that the second wave

of the pandemic is gradually

easing out, but warned Nigerians

against complacency.

Speaking during Monday’s

briefing of the Presidential

Taskforce PTF on COVID-19,

Chairman of the PTF and

Secretary to the Government

of the Federation SGF, Mr

Boss Mustapha, said the issue

of vaccines continued to dominate

discussions and major

policy and financial decisions

by various countries of the

world. “As you are aware,

NAFDAC, in the course of the

week, granted emergency use

authorization of AstraZeneca

vaccines in Nigeria. This decision

was reached after due

process by the regulatory body.

“Despite this milestone approval,

which will obviously

be a game changer, the PTF

wishes to underscore the need

to continue to take responsibility

by observing all the nonpharmaceutical

measures.

‘’Vaccines remain critical in

the battle but we must remain

well informed because of the

intense transmission which is

putting enormous pressure on

hospitals, intensive care units

and health workers in our different

communities. Let me

state that decisions made by

leaders and citizens will determine

the level of our success

in tackling the acute

phase.

“The PTF has been assured

that Nigeria shall receive the

initial four million doses of

the AstraZeneca vaccines very

soon and Nigerians will be

adequately informed on developments.

The multi-

sectoral machinery will be

deployed to enhance the logistics

to the ‘last-mile administration’

processes that have

been put in place. This will involve

community mobilization,

training, transportation,

storage, operations, etc.

‘’The real work involves

every sub-national entities, the

communities, the citizens, and

the civil societies. We crave

your cooperation and support

to achieve this. In terms of

numbers, statistics show that

global cases and deaths have

continued to decline. Most

countries have registered significant

declines in cases but

among the top five, the decline

in Brazil is still minimal.

‘’The African region has

shown high decline and South

Africa continues to record a

sustained daily decline in

cases,” Mustapha stated.

Fake vaccines

Minister of Health, Dr

Osagie Ehanire, on his part,

said the federal government

was in receipt of reports of fake

COVID-19 vaccines in circulation.

He said: “Nigeria is

aware of official reports of

large scale fraud and counterfeit

vaccines that are already

in circulation. Since our vaccine

needs for this year are virtually

fully satisfied by multilateral

and bilateral original

manufacturer sources, the

Ministry of Health does not,

for now, intend to procure

vaccines from private importers,

and no vaccine will be allowed

into the country unless

they are certified by NAFDAC.

“The need to involve the private

sector in dispensing vaccine

will be studied by the vaccine

coordinating committee

and NPHCDA, who have the

mandate to administer

vaccines in Nigeria.

‘’We must, however, remember

that the COVID-19 vaccine

is not an ordinary routine

vaccine, but an unfamiliar,

novel vaccine with properties

that are still being studied.

There may be effects during

their administration, for

which government must issue

indemnification and take responsibility,

which will not

cover vaccines imported or

administered privately, outside

of legal framework.

‘’We applaud private sector

moves to support COVID-19

vaccine financing by the Nigerian

private sector, which

will be exclusively channelled

through the account Nigeria

has opened with the Afrexim

Bank in Addis Ababa. We shall

themselves. If there is peace,

you will not see such things as

banditry, kidnapping among

others.

“If you are talking about

victims, they have more victims

on their side than others.

To them, they are fighting a

war of existence. If you have

seen them (herdsmen), you

will discover they have nothing

like civilization other than

the guns they are carrying.

“We are trying to talk to

them to drop their guns. There

are peace processes ongoing

and they are ready to put down

their arms. They are not killing

people; they are just engaged

in ethnic revenge. The

Fulani herdsmen are victims

of military excesses. The

armed herdsmen are kidnapping

to make money.”

Speaking further, he said:

“When bandits go to a Fulani

be happy to discuss the processes

and terms further with

members of CA-COVID.

“There are reports of an offer

of 300million doses of

Sputnik V vaccines to the

AVATT portfolio, which

boosts availability to 557million.

This would be a great

relief to the African region

and also increases the variety

of vaccines to four. The vaccine

coordination committee

will advise on the best options

for Nigeria, bearing salient

factors in mind,” he said.

Ehanire said bed occupancy

at the various treatment centres

in the country has dropped

to 36 percent, urging those

who test positive and were

vulnerable to heed the advise

to be hospitalized.

“Findings from supportive

supervision of treatment centres

also indicate that vulnerable

and ‘at risk’ persons are

among those reluctant to accept

hospital admission, especially

if they have no severe

symptoms.

‘’It is important to follow

medical advice and comply

with directives. The bed occupancy

at our isolation and

treatment centres is about 36

per cent, so there is sufficient

bed space to comfortably accommodate

patients and we

stand ready to redistribute

from heavy burden to lower

burden hospitals, if the need

arises,” he stated.

Insecurity: Fulani herdsmen aren’t bandits but

militants fighting ethnic war — Sheik Gumi

*Says military knows where they are

By Dapo Akinrefon

& Olayinka Ajayi

RENOWNED Islamic

cleric, Sheik Ahmad

Gumi, yesterday, insisted that

the armed Fulani herdsmen

are not bandits but militants

fighting for ethnic survival.

The former captain in the

Nigeria Defence Academy,

NDA, spoke on Channels Television’s

Politics Today, while

reeling out his experience with

the armed herders. His words:

“It is a complex issue. It is an

ethnic war and the solution is

dialogue and teaching them

Islam. To them, they are talking

about an ethnic existence.”

Asked if the armed bandits

are Nigerians, Gumi said:

“They are Nigerians. I hate to

call them bandits. They are

militants fighting for ethnic

survival. They want to defend

village, they go in groups and

ransack the village just to revenge.

It is a form of revenge.

It is not because of criminality,

it is ethnic revenge.”

When asked why it is difficult

for the military intelligence

to know where the bandits

are, the cleric said: “The

military knows where they are.

When they go in and start killing,

the military realize they

are creating a monster. The

Federal Government should

go in and negotiate.”

While clarifying that the

armed herdsmen are not Boko

Haram insurgents, he said: “I

can say categorically that they

are not Boko Haram but we

have to be very careful. The

Boko Haram we know are

internationally connected but

so far, they are not Boko

Haram; they have some elements

of Boko Haram and

they presented it to the government."

Kwara Hijab controversy: CAN

seeks spiritual intervention

By Demola Akinyemi

ILORIN — Following pro

tests by Muslim students

in Christian schools over stoppage

of use of hijab, in Kwara

State, Christian Association of

Nigeria, CAN, has chosen the

option of praying to God for

peaceful resolution of the controversy.

Christians in Kwara State

are making some key demands,

including return of

their schools, insisting that

CAN does not want the

schools to lose the identity of

being built and owned by

churches. Government’s closure

of the schools was

prompted by protest on Friday,

by hundreds of female

students who wore hijab but

were turned back to their various

homes.

The 10 Christian-built

schools were closed to forestall

breakdown of law and order

due to the fact that some

groups of Muslims vowed to

forcibly effect the use of hijab

by female students in the affected

Christian schools. This,

the Christians resisted.

The well attended prayer

session by members from various

units and denominations

was held Sunday, February

21, 2021, at St. Barnabas Anglican

Cathedral, Sabo-Oke,

Ilorin. While awaiting government’s

pronouncement on the

issue after series of meeting,

CAN leaders called out members

to pray to God for ultimate

solution.

FG, oil, gas stakeholders

tackle accidents

Rev Fr. Ralph Ajewole,

Chairman, CAN Ecumenism

who gave the brief on the reason

for the gathering, said it

was for the faithful to raise

their voices to the Lord in unison,

giving the example of how

Israelites do overcome in battles.

He reminded Christians

that “God is with us in facing

the current challenges as he

has always been,” charging

them never to be tired or worried.

After Bible lesson from 2nd

Chronicle 20:15 - 22, which

was taken by Evangelist

Mary Okoye, Rev. Dr. S. O.

James of Ebenezer Baptist

Church, Sabo-Oke, Ilorin

gave the exhortation.

Rev. James charged the people

to believe in God who does

not forsake his own people.

He gave the example of

Gideon who was almost going

into hiding before he was

strengthened to face the challenges

ahead and conquered.

“We have reached a level in

Kwara in which Christians are

just living to survive. Why?

What happened on Thursday

and Friday in respect of attempted

enforcement and resistance

of hijab in Christianbuilt

schools will make anyone

to feel sorry for the state,”

he remarked.

He reminded all: “God is

with us. We have Him as Israelites

have Him. He has promised

to be our God and He has

superior power.” He enjoined

Christians to go in might as a

united body of Christ.

•As DPR flags off SeRAS in Lagos

By Udeme Akpan

LAGOS — The Department

of Petroleum Resources,

DPR, has flagged off

the Oil and Gas Search, Rescue

and Surveillance, SeRAS,

Command and Control Centre,

targeted at improving

safety and operational efficiency

in the petroleum industry.

Director, DPR, Mr. Sarki

Auwalu, who flagged off the

programme in Lagos, yesterday,

stated that it was being

implemented in collaboration

with Omni-Blu Aviation

Services Limited, in order to

increase safety and revenue

generation. He noted that the

Search, Rescue and Surveillance

were critical to operations

in the industry, and

added that this necessitated

the establishment of the National

Oil and Gas Excellence

Centre, NOGEC, which was

inaugurated recently by President

Muhammadu Buhari.

Specifically, he said: “If it is

not safe, it cannot generate

revenue, and if the revenue has

to be constant, it has to be safe.

This is why we have to create

an insurance and assurance

for all workers across the

value chain, whether working

off-shore and on-shore, either

you are working for exploration

and production, marketing

or refining.

“The essence of this programme

is to guarantee the

safety of lives, while also guaranteeing

for any emergency

and, at the same time, provide

medical services to victims

that will be involved in the incident

and, above all, it creates

a cooperative agreement

to reduce cost and enhance

value for all the stakeholders.”

He maintained that the vision

of the Buhari-led administration

and the Minister of

State for Petroleum Resources,

Timipre Sylva, was to

open up Nigeria for business.

Auwalu said reducing the

risk of operations in the oil and

gas sector would attract more

investors, which would enhance

the country’s economic

growth and development.

The Commissioner, Accident

Investigation Bureau,

AIB, Nigeria, Akin Olateru,

said Nigeria was a signatory

to Annex 12 of the Chicago

Convention, which requires

the setting up of a programme

like SeRAS. “Search and rescue

is a big deal. It saves lives

and property and enhances

productivity, which should be

taken seriously by any nation,”

he said.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021 — 9

:Vanguard News

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

BURIAL:

Chairman,

Fiscal

Responsibility

Commission,

Victor

Muruako (left)

and Secretary

to the

Government of

the

Federation,

Mr. Boss

Mustapha, at

at the burial of

Chief Ziggy

Chibuzo

Azike, over

the weekend,

in Okohia

Mbano, Imo

State.

NAF jet crash: More experienced pilot

should've been used —Experts

•ACF, Nigerians in diaspora lament crash

By Sam Eyoboka

& Ibrahim

HassanWuyo

FOLLOWING Sunday

morning crash of

Nigerian Air Force jet at

Bassa village, near Abuja

airport runway, which

claimed seven officers,

military observers have been

asking why very young

officers without much flying

experience were deployed for

the hazardous mission of

searching for the kidnapped

Kagara School students in

ungoverned dangerous

forests in Niger State.

Among the personnel on

board, the most senior officer

was Fly Lt. Haruna

Gadzama, the captain, who

was among 14 pilots that

were ‘Winged’ by the NAF

only in 2018 after completion

of flight training in Nigeria

and South Africa.

Others were Flight

Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-

Pilot), Flying Officer Michael

Okpara (Airborne Tactical

Observation System (ATOS)

Specialist, Warrant Officer

Bassey Etim (ATOS

Specialist), Flight Sergeant

Olasunkanmi Olawunmi

(ATOS Specialist), Sergeant

Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS

Specialist) and Aircraftman

Adewale Johnson (Onboard

Technician).

An expert, who pleaded

anonymity, wondered why

senior and more experienced

pilots, such as a Squadron

Leader or a Wing

Commander, was not

assigned the role of flight

captain, to be assisted by one

of the flight lieutenants,

which is often the practice.

Another expert noted that

if a more experienced pilot

was put in charge, the impact

of the air crash would most

probably have been less fatal

as he would have managed

the crisis better, since the

aircraft was a relatively small

plane.

Experienced pilot

would've jettisoned

fuel, prevented

explosion

“For instance, an

experienced pilot would have

jettisoned the fuel as the

aircraft was struggling mid air

before crash landing and this

would have prevented the

fire explosion that consumed

both the plane and the

officers,” he said.

ACF, Nigerians in

diaspora lament

crash

Meanwhile, reactions have

continued to trail the crash of

Nigerian Air Force plane in

Abuja on Sunday.

Reacting to the crash

yesterday, Arewa

Consultative Forum, ACF,

described the victims as

gallant officers who died in

the service of their fatherland.

ACF in a statement by

National Publicity Secretary,

Emmanuel Yawe, condoled

with the Chief of Air Staff,

officers and men of the Air

Force and the families of the

seven officers, who died in

the crash.

The forum prayed that God

will give their close family

members and their military

colleagues the fortitude to

bear their untimely death.

Also reacting, Nigerians

living in the United States

have lamented the crash,

saying they were deeply

saddened by the

development.

In a statement by Mr

Emmanuel Ogebe, the

diaspora Nigerians said:

“While condoling with the

families of the valiant officers,

who died in the line of duty,

we must ask some pertinent

questions.

‘’If the team was going to

assist with the rescue of the

abducted school children,

why was it leaving more than

72 hours after the students

were abducted when it is

globally normative that the

first 48 hours are the most

mission critical?

“Given the seven-year

history of school mass

abductions and massacres,

Nigeria should have been

better prepared for rapid

responses.

“Niger State is the nearest

•As victims recount experience

to Abuja, the Federal Capital

Territory as the FCT was

carved out of Niger State, so

why was air transportation

used when the road trip to

Minna is shorter than to

Makurdi, Jos, Lokoja or

Kaduna, all neighboring

states’ capitals?

“Once again, the

misprioritisation of resources

has resulted in an avoidable

air catastrophe. There should

be limited military aviation

operations over the capital

city to minimize the danger

to vital installations and

population centre. We recall

that an aviator similarly

crashed in Abuja, also

during our mission a couple

of years ago.

“Was it the threat of

abduction by the notorious

Fulani kidnap syndicate that

caused the rescue team to fly

instead of drive the short

distance on the dreaded

Abuja-Kaduna express way?

‘’If we have army Generals

with military escorts taking the

train out of fear and then

rescue teams taking a flight

to evade abduction, then our

security situation is a joke."

Abducted Kagara students, staff found in Birni

Gwari, Kaduna — Gov Matawalle

GOVERNOR

Bello

Matawalle of Zamfara

State has said the students and

staff of Government Science

College, Kagara, Niger State

kidnapped by bandits last

Wednesday were being kept in

Birni Gwari, Kaduna State, by

their abductors.

The governor, who disclosed

this on Channels Television

programme, Sunday Politics, on

Sunday night, also assured that

the abductees would soon be

released.

“The students of Kagara are

located around Birnin Gwari in

Kaduna State, which I believe

very soon they would be back

home,” the governor said.

Matawalle also harped on

cooperation from stakeholders

and believes it is the key to

unlock success in the country’s

fight against criminality.

He said: “As you are aware,

the security issue needs more

commitment from all

stakeholders. We have two

major problems of insecurity in

the north with banditry and

Boko Haram.

“The security operatives are

doing their best but we must all

put our hands on deck to

succeed. Another issue is that all

the leaders who are

stakeholders must come to

terms with the challenges at

hand and speak with one voice.’’

52 abducted

passengers

reconcile with

families

Meanwhile, the 52 passengers

abducted by bandits while

travelling in Niger State

Transport Authority, NSTA, bus

were yesterday reconciled with

members of their family after

their release was secured by the

state government late Sunday

night.

They were received by the state

governor, Alhaji

AbubakarBello, at Government

House at about 11:30pm on

Sunday.

Early yesterday, the abductees

were subjected to series of

medical checkup before they

were finally released to their

relatives, who had thronged the

State Supply Company Suite

opposite the Government

House where they were

accommodated under tight

security.

Chief of Staff to the Governor,

Alhaji Ibrahim Kagara, while

addressing the highly elated

victims and their relatives on

behalf of Governor Bello before

they departed for their respective

homes, said they should put

behind their sad experiences as

they go home and start thanking

God for their safety.

In an interview with some of

the released victims, they said

the aim of the bandits was to

eliminate them due to their

failure to part with their money

and other valuables and pay the

demanded ransom.

Victims recount

experience

One of the victims,

Boeing 777 engine failure: We’re

studying situation —NCAA

By Lawani

Mikairu

FOLLOWING

the

grounding of Boeing 777

aircraft by operators across the

globe over the incident in

Colorado, USA, last Sunday,

Nigerian Civil Aviation

Authority, NCAA, has said it

was studying the situation

and would take the necessary

action to ground the aircraft

type if the need arises.

The regulatory agency

spoke against the backdrop

of grounding of the aircraft

type by operators worldwide,

following the incident

involving United Airlines’

Flight UA328 travelling from

Denver to Honolulu, which

experienced an engine

failure that led to some

dramatic footage being

posted online.

While the plane landed

safely and no passengers

were hurt, parts of the nacelle

landed in residential areas,

causing damage to vehicles

and property.

Pieces of the airplane

engine also scattered in a

Colorado neighborhood on its

way to Hawaii, compelling

Mohammed Ndagi, who is a

civil servant, said for the first two

days, they were not fed at all and

made to trek several kilometers

to the thick forest.

He said: “The aim of the

bandits was to kill us. We were

made to trek several kilometers

until we got to the thick forest.

“We were not given food nor

water. We were made to sleep

on bare floor in the forest and

mercilessly beaten

intermittently by the bandits.”

A female victim, simply called

Hajiya Rabiu, said she never

knew she would survive the

agony.

She said: “The bandits were

demanding money, phone and

other valuables from us and

threatened to kill us if we refused

to cooperate with them.

“We gave all with us, including

cash, telephone and other

valuables but they still

threatened to kill us if we refused

to comply with their

instructions. They also

demanded N50 million

ransom from us, which we

were unable to raise and this

further aggravated their

anger."

the pilot to make an

emergency landing.

NCAA Public Affairs

General Manager, Mr Sam

Adurugboye, told Vanguard

yesterday: “We are studying

the situation and will take

appropriate action.”

Following the incident,

United Airlines voluntarily

removed 24 of its aircraft from

service, while investigations

are being carried out on the

aircraft type.

In a statement posted to

Twitter, the airline said. “We

are voluntarily and

temporarily removing 24

Boeing 777 aircraft powered

by Pratt & Whitney 4000 series

engines from our schedule.

‘’We will continue to work

closely with regulators to

determine any additional

steps and expect only a small

number of customers to be

inconvenienced.”

The Japanese government

also toed the same line,

ordering Japan Airlines Co.

and ANA Holdings Inc. to

ground their Boeing 777

planes.

So far, at least five airlines

have grounded their entire

fleets of Pratt & Whitneypowered

777s.

PIB’ll be passed with speed

of light, NASS assures

By Ibrahim

HassanWuyo

MEMBERS of the

National Assembly

Joint Committee on

Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB,

have assured Nigerians that

they would pass the bill with

the speed of light.

They also regretted the

comatose state of Kaduna

Refining and Petrochemical

Company, KRPC, which has

not been functional for some

years.

Senator Sabo Nakudu,

chair of the Joint Committee

on PIB, who gave the

assurance during the committee’s

visit to the KRPC,

yesterday, said: “It’s very sad

to see this kind of edifice lying

comatose all these years.

‘’Looking at our economy at

the moment, we are always

using the little foreign

exchange we have to import

finished petroleum products

and we have this kind of

edifice and nothing is going

on, apart from the implication

of loss of jobs.’’

The co-chair of the

committee, Mohammed

Monguno, told journalists

that the visit further reinforced

the need for them, as

legislators, to pass the PIB

with the speed of light.

According to him, it has

become necessary to pass the

bill, “with a view to

revamping this place within

the context of the PIB that we

are going to pass, so that this

edifice will be of benefit to

Nigerians.

“The revamping of this

edifice would generate a lot

of multiplier effects on the

economy by way of creating

employment and business

opportunities.

‘’As such, our assessment

of this place, the state which

we met this place further

reinforces the need to pass

the PIB with all the speed of

light that it deserves, so

Nigerians would have the

maximum benefits of this

place.”

In his remarks, Managing

Director of KRPC, Mr Ezekiel

Osarolube, said by their

current timeline, it was

hoped that the complex

would come back to life by

the first quarter of 2023,

adding that the company had

placed order for some

materials that would take

long to be manufactured.


10 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

:Vanguard

News

DAWN to S-West govs: Enforce

anti-open grazing ban

I BADAN—THE

Development Agenda

for Western Nigeria,

DAWN, yesterday, urged

South-West governors to

enforce the anti-open

grazing law in their states,

saying the enforcement

would enhance the security

in the region.

Director-General of

DAWN, Mr. Seye Oyeleye,

said this while addressing

newsmen in Ibadan.

Oyeleye said: “Our

governors should use the

police and Amotekun to

enforce the ban on open

grazing. You can’t make a

law and go to bed

expecting that it would be

complied with. Former

90% of criminalities in Nigeria

linked to drug abuse —Marwa

By Dapo Akinrefon

L AGOS—CHAIRMAN/

Chief Executive of the

National Drug Law

Enforcement Agency,

NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba

Marwa (retd), said,

yesterday, that 90 per cent

of criminalities in Nigeria

is linked to drug abuse

and, as such, the war

against the menace of illicit

drug trafficking, peddling

and abuse is a fight to

finish, with him in the

saddle of the lead agency.

Marwa spoke at three

different fora, in Port

Harcourt, Rivers State,

where he met with various

stakeholders.

Addressing men and

officers of the Port Harcourt

International Airport

Command of the NDLEA

along with officials of other

security agencies and

stakeholders that operate at

the airport, the anti-drug

czar reminded them that the

airports and seaports serve

as the gateway for

importation and

exportation of illicit drugs

and as such they need to

work in synergy to ensure

that no hard drug enters or

goes out of the country

through their area of

responsibility.

His words: “We need to

Late Gen Aboki, a passionate,

devoted officer —Olanrewaju

By Gabriel Olawale

L AGOS—FORMER

General Officer

Commanding, GOC, Third

Armoured Division, Jos,

Maj. Gen. Tajudeen

Olanrewaju (retd), has

described late Gen. Ahmed

Aboki as a passionate,

patriotic and devoted

officer, whose contributions

to the Nigerian Army and

nation would forever

remain imperishable.

Olanrewaju said his nonregimental

postings as the

military administrator of

Kwara State and, later, as a

minister of the Federal

Republic are equally noble

and important.

Governor Ayo Fayose

enforced the law when he

was there.

Our governors are serious

but to be seen as serious,

they must enforce the antiopen

grazing law.

“Open grazing has been

banned by states in the

South-West and we at the

DAWN Commission

believe this is the first step

towards ensuring security

in our forests.

“Everybody must comply,

we don’t want open

grazing. If it is the way of

life of some people to graze

cows, that way of life is

harmful to our own way of

life which is agriculture and

it must stop.”

secure our country from

the menace of drug abuse

by working together. For

us in the new NDLEA,

this is a fight to finish; we

can’t allow this country to

be destroyed by criminalities.

All those involved in

this criminal act must be

fished out and punished.”

At the Onne seaport,

Marwa said: “Nobody in

his right sense will take up

arms to kidnap, rape and

kill innocent people.

Therefore if we are able to

tackle the issue of drug

abuse, most of the security

challenges the nation is

facing now would have

been solved. We also need

to take this war as a battle

to save our children and

women, and ultimately our

society and the country at

large.”

Also addressing another

stakeholders meeting comprising

men and officers of the Rivers

State Command of NDLEA, at

the command’s headquarters,

along with Christian and Islamic

leaders, as well as the leadership

of the National Union of Road

Transport Workers, NURTW, in

the state, the NDLEA boss said:

“Our society is a religious one and,

as such, our religious leaders must

use their privileged position to

make the campaign against drug

abuse part of your sermons in the

churches and mosques."

In a statement, the

former minister of Communications

said:

“Earlier in our military

career, Ahmed and I served

together at the Onitsha war

front where we deepened

in friendship and martial

comradeship in the cause

of protecting our nation. I

vividly remember his last

days in the army. During a

particular visit to my office

when I was the Minister of

Communications, Ahmed

observed prophetically:

“Gasper, now that I am

being pushed out, I

suspect that you will be the

next. His words were both

a friendly warning and,

eventually, a self-fulfilling

prophecy."

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

FIDAU—From left: Dr. Suleiman Gambari; Vice President, Industrial Global Union, Comrade Issa

Aremu, with Abubakar Muhammed Esq., during a special Fidau [prayers] for the former governor

of Lagos State, the late Alhaji Lateef Jakande, and late Dr. Janaidu Muhammed, in Kaduna,

yesterday. Photo: Olu Ajayi.

ALLEGED DETENTION: Ondo govt,

NBA bicker over probe of chief judge

• She was not given fair hearing, says NBA

• Judges aren’t above the law —Ondo govt

By Dayo Johnson

AKURE—ONDO State

government and the

Nigerian Bar Association,

NBA, Akure branch,

yesterday, engaged in

verbal war over the

investigation into

allegations against the

Chief Judge of the state,

Justice Olanrewaju

Akeredolu, by her

stepbrother, Olupelumi

Fagboyegun.

Olupelumi Fagboyegun,

in a viral video, had

accused the Chief Judge of

illegal detention for three

years, over their father’s

property and using her

office to deny him Justice

in a pending criminal court

trial.

The Attorney-General

and Justice Commissioner,

Charles Titiloye, after

investigating the

allegations against the

Chief Judge ordered that

the matter at a Chief

Magistrate court be

discontinued.

Chief Judge not

given fair

hearing —NBA

But the NBA, Akure

Branch, through its state

chairman, Rotimi

Olorunfemi accused the

state government of not

giving the Chief Judge a

fair hearing before making

public its findings on the

allegations against her.

The NBA chairman, in a

statement, said: “Referring

the matter to the State

House of Assembly is,

however, unconstitutional

and therefore, uncalled for

and of no moment

whatsoever as the AG had

done the most needful and

taken the wisest decision in

the case which is entering

a nolle prosequi which will

no doubt douse the tension

the case has generated and

allow the family to freely

ventilate their paternity

dispute via civil action.

“That the hurriedly

prepared report of the

investigation by the office

of the AG did not give the

CJ a fair hearing, as it is

our honest belief that the CJ

ought to have been heard,

assuming but not

conceding that the AG can

constitutionally investigate

the CJ.

“That we would not close

our eyes to the fact that the

1999 Constitution (as

Amended) has not only

strengthened judicial

independence but has also

restricted the ease with

which political office

holders interfere with the

Judiciary and we would not

at this stage allow that to

happen.

“The NBA, therefore,

urges all parties in this

matter to thread solidly on

the path of constitutionalism

as anything short of this

will seriously erode and/or

eliminate the little

confidence the public still

has in the judicial system.

Judges aren’t

above the law

—Ondo govt

However, the Attorney-

General and Justice

Commissioner, Charles

Titiloye fired back by

accusing the NBA of

“misrepresentation of facts

calculated to mislead the

General public.

Titiloye said: “The Chief

Judge of Ondo State was

accorded fair hearing before

the report was released

contrary to the position of

NBA Akure Branch.

“I visited her office on

17th of February, 2021 to

hear her side of the issue.

The Chief Judge was not

available and her staff

confirmed that she will not

be available till Monday,

22nd February 2021. I was

conscious of the fact that the

four-year tenure of the

current Executive Council

of Ondo State will lapse

very soon and it was not in

the public interest to delay

the report.

“The Chief Registrar of

the High Court, Mrs.

Ajibade stood in for the

Chief Judge and presented

her position and that of the

Judiciary on the issue."

Court orders AMCON to unfreeze

NCC director, others’ bank accounts

By Onozure Dania

LAGOS—A Federal

High Court, sitting in

Lagos, yesterday, set

aside an ex-parte order

freezing the bank

accounts of a member of

the Board of Nigerian

Communications

Commission, NCC, Mr.

Clement Baiye, and two

other companies, Verity

Communications

Limited and Verity

Associates Limited.

The suit, which was

formerly before Justice

Maurine Onyetenu, was

now re-assigned to

Justice Muslim Hassan.

Justice Onyetenu had,

on June 16, 2020,

granted an ex-parte

interlocutory injunction

brought by Asset

Management Corporation

of Nigeria, AMCON,

against Capital

Consortium Limited (1st

defendant) and seven

others, over alleged N128,

975,094.04 debt.

Other defendants are

Falobi Owolabi (2nd

defendant), Clement Baiye

(3rd defendant), Idris

Bashir (4th defendant),

Credence Assets

Management limited (5th

defendant), Verity

Communications limited

(6th defendant), Alidan

Investments limited (7th

defendant), and Verity

Associates Limited (8th

defendant).

Baiye was joined in the

suit for being a Director of

the Capital Consortium

Limited (first defendant)

when the facility was

granted to the company by

the defunct Intercontinental

Bank while his companies

were sued based on him

being a substantial

shareholder of the

companies.

Upon being served with

the ex-parte orders, the

3rd, 6th and 8th defendants,

through their counsel,

Prof. Taiwo Osipitan,

SAN, filed a motion on

notice dated August 21,

2020, seeking to set aside/

discharging the ex-parte

orders.

Osipitan further argued

that the computer

generated exhibits ACC4

attached to the ex-parte

application which resulted

in the interlocutory

injunctive orders did not

comply with Section 84 of

the Evidence Act on

computer generated

evidence and therefore

inadmissible.

But, lawyer to AMCON,

Chris Eze submitted that

the defendants were not

entitled to the reliefs sought

on the grounds that the

facts in support of the

motion are incompetent for

delving into the merits of

the case vide an

interlocutory application.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021 — 11

:Vanguard :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnewsNEWS HOTLINES:

VISIT—From left: Iyabo Aboaba, Doyen, International Facilities Management Association,

IFMA, Nigeria chapter; Segun Adebayo, President, IFMA, Nigeria chapter; Prof. Modupe

Omirin, Department of Estate Management, University of Lagos; Bayo Owojori, Assist.

General Secretary, IFMA, Nigeria chapter, and Sherifat Adeleye, Publicity Secretary,

IFMA, Nigeria chapter, during the courtesy visit of the IFMA Council, to the University

of Lagos.

Alleged N69bn debt: Court vacates orders

obtained by AMCON over Jimoh Ibrahim’s

assets

ABUJA—A Federal High

Court, sitting in Abuja,

yesterday, vacated the orders

obtained by the Asset

Management Corporation of

Nigeria, AMCON, in aid of Taiwo

Lakanu, the receiver/manager it

appointed to manage the assets

of two seized companies owned

by a businessman, Jimoh

Ibrahim, over alleged N69 billion

debt.

The companies are NICON

Investment Limited and Global

Fleet Oil and Gas Limited.

Justice Okon Abang, in a

ruling, held that it was an order

made without jurisdiction,

because there was a subsisting

order by a court differently

constituted on the matter.

Justice Abang said that

AMCON misled the court by

withholding material facts from

the court to obtain the interim exparte

order.

Justice Nkeonye Maha of a

Federal High Court, Abuja, had,

on Jan. 4, granted the AMCON

exparte motion.

The court had restrained the

defendants, their directors,

shareholders, officers, employees,

agents, or privies from interfering

or obstructing Taiwo Lakanu (4th

plaintiff) in the course of

performing his duty as receivermanager

whether by himself and

or other persons employed by him

over the 2nd and 3rd plaintiffs’

assets pending the determination

of the originating summons,

among others.

The judge made further

consequential orders directing the

Inspector-General of Police and

other security officers named in

the application, to provide

Lakanu with all the needed

assistance to execute his task.

Gridlock: Lagos completes

repair work on Eko Bridge

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

LAGOS—THE Lagos State

Government, yesterday,

completed the palliative

intervention on Eko Bridge, in

support of the Federal

Government’s efforts to replace

the eight expansion joints on the

highway.

The Commissioner for

Information and Strategy, Mr.

Gbenga Omotoso, who

announced this, stated that the

palliative entailed the cutting and

removal of asphalt, as well as the

placement of a steel plate on the

affected parts of the bridge,

pending the arrival of the

reinforced rubber expansion

joints to be installed as a

permanent remedy.

Omotoso said: “The palliative

was initiated by the State

ROF leader donates to elderly, orphanage

By Gabriel Olawale

LAGOS—SUPREME Leader

of Reformed Ogboni

Fraternity, ROF, Mr. Francis

Meshioye, has donated relief

materials and foodstuffs to elderly

people, orphanage and

vulnerable groups of the society,

as part of activities to celebrate his

60th birthday.

Speaking during a visit to the

Lagos State Government Old

People’s Home and Heritage

In the matter with suit number:

FHC/ABJ/001/2021, Jimoh

Ibrahim, NICON Insurance Ltd,

Nigeria Re-Insurance Hotels Ltd,

Abuja International Hotels Ltd

and NICON Hotels Ltd are 1st to

5th defendants.

But in a ruling, Justice Abang

vacated the main order and the

accompanying consequential

orders made by Justice Maha

because AMCON withheld facts

from the court and that the orders

were made without jurisdiction.

Abang said: “The first plaintiff

(AMCON) did not disclose to

this court, differently constituted,

that this court on the 2nd of

October, 2019, sitting in Lagos

Division, in suit number: FHC/L/

CS/776/2016, stayed proceedings

in the subject matter of this suit,

which is the same with the one

Homes for abandoned and

orphaned children, the wife of the

celebrant, Mrs. Mojisola

Meshioye said that her husband

is always passionate about wellbeing

of the elderly and children

in the society.

Meshioye said: “This is part of

activities to celebrate our leader,

my husband and to appreciate

God for preserving his life. His

being alive is not by his power or

might but God’s love. He wants

to appreciate God not just by

pending at the High Court of

Lagos State, pending when a

forensic audit of the disputed debt

between the parties, is

ascertained.”

The judge noted that the issue

at stake was not about AMCON’s

power to appoint a receiver/

manager, but whether AMCON

deposed to the court in Abuja,

before obtaining the Jan. 4 orders,

that there was a subsisting order

made by the Lagos division on

Oct. 2, 2019, staying proceedings.

“This is a clear case of

concealment of material facts

before the ex-parte order was

made.

“This is a case of non-disclosure

and suppression of material facts.

AMCON cannot pretend that the

order made on the 2nd of October, 2019

does not exist, having not appealed.

Government to ensure the safety

of motorists and reduce traffic

congestion. The intervention is

the direct responsibility of the

Federal Ministry of Works but

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

instructed the Ministry of Works

and Infrastructure to take up the

job immediately.

“The average resident does not

want to know whose

responsibility it is to effect the

repairs. What is important is to

get the work done and remove

the gridlock.

“A permanent solution, which

will be put in place soon, will

eliminate the gridlock from the

Alaka end of the road. The

required reinforced rubber

expansion joints, which have

been ordered from the

manufacturers, will be installed

immediately they arrive in the country.”

drinking and dancing alone but

to give to people who cannot

afford to put food on their table.

“We want to assure the less

privileged children that they have

a good and bright future ahead

of them once they are the focus; also to

appreciate people taking care of them.

“He is a leader that leads by example,

he is a man of his word and as a wife, and

I call him mentor and teacher. He is a

voice to the voiceless and a fighter for

the less privileged of the society. He is a

wonderful father to his children.”

Our mothers find happiness in getting

pregnant, but new generations find reasons

to complain!

Hmmm, wahala be like albino wey dey waka

for hot sun!

Lets restart Nigeria, our brain don hot. Full

time response!


12 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

By Emem Idio

YENAGOA—THE Ijaw

Youths Council IYC,

Worldwide has called on the

Federal Government and the

Niger Delta Development

Commission, NDDC, to immediately

publish the report of

the forensic audit embarked

upon by the commission.

The IYC in a statement by

its President, Timothy Igbifa,

said:”We were all happy when

this forensic audit started in

February 2020 because we

believed that it would sanitise

the NDDC and give the commission

a new beginning to

actualize its mandate in the

Niger Delta region.

“But it has been one year that

the investigations started. It is

time to publish the report of

this investigation. Every audit

has a lifespan and we think

that one year is more than

enough to complete the audit

of NDDC and publish the report.

“At a point, our leadership

insisted on the dissolution of

the IMC and the inauguration

of the substantive board but

instead of constituting the new

board, a sole administration

headed by Effiong Akwa was

put in place to run the affairs

of the commission with the singular

task to conclude the audit

and hand over to a substantive

Board while expending the

2020 budget tenured to March

31, 2021.

“The March 31 is a few

weeks ahead and we believe it

is time the President readies

the board for the commission

knowing full well that the

Board members would be

subjected to an official inauguration

before the handover

date which is April 1, 2021. We

are calling on the President to

:Vanguard News

inaugurate its members before

April.

“The IYC and other stakeholders

in the region want to

see a published forensic audit

and swearing-in of the

board for the commission,

which has already been

screened by the National Assembly.

We repeat that the

audit is not in perpetuity. It

has a terminal date and we

believe that it is about time it

ends.

“We won’t allow any politician

or group to ride a

roughshod with the resources

of the commission and

mess with the NDDC Act for

their selfish political interest

forthwith. The time to end the

aberration in NDDC is

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

VISIT: Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri (left) and the Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty

Programme, PAP, Col. Milland Dikio (retd), during the governor's courtesy visit to the PAP office in Abuja.

Obaseki threatens to probe N30bn Benin

stormwater project

By Gabriel

Enogholase &

Ozioruva Aliu

BENIN CITY—GOVER

NOR Godwin Obaseki of

Edo State, yesterday, threatened

to probe the N30 billion

Benin stormwater project by

the previous administration in

the state. He described the

project as a ploy to defraud Edo

people.

The governor made the disclosure

while inspecting the

Textile Mill Road catchment

of the project, in Benin City.

He said, "You can see for

yourself that the so-called

stormwater project was a

fraud; it was a contract to

defraud Edo people. From

what I can see now, the stormwater

project in this catchment

area was never designed

to take water away

from the area. The area was

never drained. You can see the

level of what we are doing

Publish reports of NDDC forensic audit

now, IYC challenges FG, NDDC

Diri flays attempt to ethnicise Bayelsa fertiliser

now as compared to that of

the previous administration.

"It is almost a two-meter difference.

There is no way you

can drain water from a low

land into a higher ground. We

say we have experts and paid

over N30 billion for this

project. The person that supervised

this project today calls

himself a minister supervising

bigger projects for the Federal

Government. This is not

acceptable."

He added that the previous

administration spent huge

sums of money on the water

storm project claiming that on

March 31, 2021.”

Igbifa said the IYC and the

Niger Delta were expecting

an end to the sole administration

of NDDC before April 1,

2021, and called on President

Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate

the board that will

take over from Akwa on April

1, 2021.

He recalled that the Minister

of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator

Godswill Akpabio, mentioned

April as the resumption

date for the substantive board

to take over the management

of the NDDC, adding that IYC

and other stakeholders in the

region would not allow the

current management structure

in the commission to

stretch beyond March 31,

2021.

completion, it would drain

water from the area and restore

the property of Edo people

living in that area.

He assured Edo people that

his administration would do

everything necessary to drain

the area and restore life to the

people, noting, "They spent

N30 billion claiming that

they want to take away the

suffering of Edo people, deflood

the area and restore value

to the people's property.

Look at what has happened

now to this project for five

years?

"With what we have done

now with less amount of money,

we are going to finally

drain this area and bring back

life to the people in this catchment

area. I don't like probing

but this time, we have to

set up a panel to get the facts

of what happened. We can't

throw away such a huge

amount of money. People

must be made to account for

their time in service in government.

"They have to explain to us

how they spent the N30 billion

on a project they claim

will drain water from a community.

But the project drains

the water to nowhere. They

have the boldness to claim that

we abandoned the project

which was never made or designed

to work in the first

place.

"Clearly, we will take the

necessary precaution to recover

all the money due to

Edo people that was stolen

through this project."

project

By Samuel

Oyadongha

YDouye ENAGOA—Governor

Diri of Bayelsa

State, has condemned the attempt

to cause ethnic disharmony

in the state through the

Brass Fertiliser and Petrochemical

Company project.

Diri, while reacting to a

trending post on social media

accusing him of plans to

scuttle the project as it was

allegedly not sited in a "core

Ijaw area," said those behind

the allegation do not mean

well for the state and the Ijaw

nation.

The governor in a statement

in Yenagoa said, "As governor

of the only homogenous Ijaw

state, I owe our people the responsibility

of promoting and

preserving our unity. Having

been in the frontlines of advocacy

for a better Ijaw nation

in the past, I cannot now

negate those cherished principles

and ideals. It is, therefore,

out of sync to ascribe to

my person such primordial

and base sentiments."

Diri called on critical stakeholders,

including the Minister

of State for Petroleum,

Chief Timipre Sylva, whose

ministry supervises the

project, to consider the overall

interest of the state while

working with others to ensure

the project succeeds.

The billion-dollar investment

sited in Odioama community

in Brass Local Government

Area had been on the

drawing board for a while and

the Diri administration has

held meetings with various

stakeholders in order for it to

commence.

The state's Attorney-General

and Commissioner for Justice,

Mr Biriyai Dambo, SAN,

who has been part of the meetings,

equally described the

allegation against the governor

as a blatant lie.

He noted that the governor

from the inception of his administration

has wholly supported

the project.

"This is a blatant lie. We

should try and get our facts

straight and right.

"I have been part of the entire

meetings with the governor

and top officials of Brass

Fertiliser and Petrochemical

Limited. The Bayelsa State

Government under Diri is in

full support of the project and

meetings are still ongoing to

finetune the Joint Venture

Agreement to be executed by

the parties. Core Ijaw has had

nothing to do with this.

"The progress, development

and interest of the state is key

to the administration. We

must be very circumspect in

whatever we utter or write,"

Dambo said.

WTO: PANDEF commends

Okonjo-Iweala on appointment

Confectioneries/Comsmetology:

Rep member trains women,

youths in constituency

By Gabriel

Enogholase

BENIN—NO fewer than 20

women and youths have

been trained by the member

representing Egor/Ikpoba-

Okha Federal Constituency

of Edo State in the House of

Representatives, Mr Jude Ise-

Idehen in Confectioneries and

Cosmetology as part of the

empowerment enhancement

of his constituents.

Idehen, who was represented

by Mr George Anigboro

during the closing ceremony

of the training programme,

also provided the beneficiaries

with starter- packs to enable

them to take-off their businesses

immediately.

He said, "The era of whitecollar

jobs is over and I implore

you and others to take

By Emma Amaize

PAN NIGER Delta Forum,

PANDEF, has expressed delight

over the appointment of

Nigeria's former Finance

Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-

Iweala as the Director-General

of the World Trade Organisation,

WTO.

The regional group in a

statement by the National

Publicity Secretary, Ken Robinson,

said: "It gives us great

pleasure to extend our warmest

congratulations to Dr

Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment

as the first African

and first female Director-

General of the global organization.

"PANDEF is enormously

proud of Dr Okonjo-Iweala's

attainments and of the great

honour she has brought to

Nigeria, and the Niger Delta

region in particular, by this

appointment. She has been so

balanced and focused and deserves

all the praises she is now

receiving.

"Her unanimous selection by

the 164- member countries of

the WTO is a clear statement

of recognition and appreciation

of her remarkable contributions

to the global finance

and development sector during

her time at the World

Bank, and twice as Nigeria's

Minister of Finance, as well

as her other previous assignments

in the global space.

"At a time, the country is

being overawed by a myriad

of challenges, with distressing

happenings day-to-day, the

news of her appointment was

like a sweet tonic to the generality

of Nigerians, within

and outside the shores of the

nation.

"It has generated so much

positive excitement across

Nigeria and serves as a reassurance

that the global community

still recognizes that

there are topnotch human resources

in Nigeria, despite the

awful goings-on in the country.

"We congratulate President

Muhammadu Buhari and all

Nigerians, particularly people

of the South-South geopolitical

zone on her historic

appointment. We further

commend Mr President for

his firm support for the aspiration

of Dr Okonjo-Iweala,

as well as other African leaders

for their solidarity. This

appointment has, again, no

doubt, raised the image of

Nigeria in the world," PAN-

DEF added.

advantage of the training you

have just received to provide

food for yourselves and your

families. You can also become

the employer of labour

if you work very hard.

Grants and loans will be

given to those of you who are

able to excel to expand their

businesses just as starter packs

will be given to you to start

immediately."

Earlier, in her address, the

chairman of the occasion and

Edo State Coordinator of the

National Directorate of Employment

- NDE, Mrs Ayo

Edegba, expressed gratitude

to the sponsor of the training

programme, Mr Jude Ise-

Idehen for his foresight in

sponsoring the training for

women and youths especially

at a time like this when jobs

were longer available in the

country.

Environmental, security threats:

Akwa Ibom approves checklist

for artisanal miners

By Chioma Onuegbu

UYO—The Akwa Ibom

State government has

approved checklist for current

and prospective artisanal

miners to check environmental

and security threats the activities

of illegal sand dredgers

and gravel miners pose in

the state.

State Commissioner for

Environment, Mr Charles

Udoh who disclosed this in a

statement, yesterday, in Uyo,

said the checklist was developed

after due consultation

with other relevant regulatory

bodies.

He said, "The activities of

illegal sand dredgers and

gravel miners have continued

to pose severe environmental

and security threats

in Akwa Ibom State. Critical

state infrastructure and

assets are currently being

threatened, several communities

have lost their sources

of natural drinking water,

farmlands are being devastated

with an attendant

loss of revenue.

"It is even more worrisome

that suspicious characters

from all parts of the

country are beginning to

find dwelling places in our

state under the guise of sand

dredging or gravel mining.

"In view of the urgent need

to alleviate these concerns,

generate a database of practitioners

in the state and ensure

that all mining activities

in Akwa Ibom State are

carried out in accordance

with the extant laws.

"This checklist was developed

after due consultation

with other relevant regulatory

bodies. Implementation

takes immediate effect."


Y

K

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021 — 13

:Vanguard News

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

PROTEST—

S o m e

Rochas

Foundation

students

protest

the arrest

o f

Okorocha,

in Owerri,

yesterday.

Okorocha's aides, others charged to court,

as S-East govs intervene

By Chidi Nkwopara,

Peter Okutu &

Chinonso Alozie

OWERRI—Senator Roch

as Okorocha, his sons inlaw,

Chief Uche Nwosu and Dr.

Uzoma Anwuka, as well as his

political appointees, Chief Laz

Okafor Anyanwu and Ijeoma

Igboanuni, yesterday, failed to

appear in the Magistrate

Court, Owerri, to face their alleged

charges.

This came as the governors

of the South East geopolitical

zone of the country, weekend,

waded into the rift between the

former governor and Governor

Hope Uzodimma.

Vanguard gathered that although

the former governor

and about 19 others were arrested

Sunday evening by the

police,only 14 persons were

however, arraigned in the

Magistrate Court on a sixcount

charge, vide suit number

OW/80C/2021.

The accused persons included

Obasi Goodluck, Nwaiwu

Ndubuisi, Median Ijeoma,

Obor Victor, Ucheka Claudin,

Sunday Chisom, Ekpendu

Peace and Nev F. Raphael.

Others are Basil Mba, Steve

Asimobi, Ebere Nwokeji, Eberendu

Chimechefulam, Ibekwe

Darlington and Olu Chizoba.

The charge sheet, which was

signed by the O.C Legal/Prosecution

Unit, Imo State Police

Command, Mr. M. A. Omo-

Osagie, a superintendent of

police, specifically charged

Olu Chizoba of unlawfully

possessing one Italian made

double barrel pump action

gun without license from the

issuing authority.

The charge read: "That you,

Olu Chizoba, on the 21st day

of February, 2021, at about

1700 hours,in the premises of

Royal Spring Palm Hotel and

Apartments, in the Akachi

Area of Owerri Municipal, in

the Owerri Magisterial District,

did unlawfully had in your

possession, one Italian made

double barrel pump action

gun, with breach number

6546, without license from the

issuing authority, contrary to

Section 3 and punishable under

Section 27(1)(iv) of the

Firearm Act Cap F28 Laws of

the Federation of Nigeria

2004, as applicable in Imo

State."

Similarly, Ibekwe Darlington

was accused of publishing

a recorded defamatory matter

on social media, with intent

to injure the reputation

of the state government and

the person of Governor Hope

Uzodimma by exposing him

to hatred, contempt, ridicule

and to damage his reputation

and thereby committed an offence

punishable under Section

375 of the Criminal Code,

Cap C38 Laws of the Federation

of Nigeria 2004, as applicable

in Imo State."

The suspects and Ebuka,

surname unknown and others

at large, including Chief

Uche Nwosu, Chief Las Okafor

Anyanwu, Dr. Uzoma Anwuka

and Ijeoma Igboanuni,

on the same date, time and

place, in the aforementioned

Magisterial District, willingly

and unlawfully destroyed

the official seal of Imo State

Government, one big padlock

and chain valued at

N35,000 used to seal Royal

Spring Palm Hotel and

Apartment, property of Ministry

of Lands, Survey and

Physical Planning, Imo State

and thereby committed an

offence punishable under

Section 451 of the Criminal

Code, Cap C38 Laws of the

Federation of Nigeria 2004,

as applicable in Imo State."

The accused persons denied

the charges levelled

against themwhile their defence

counsel quickly moved

an oral motion for their bail.

Midway into the delivery of

the ruling on their bail, Ibekwe

Darlington slumped in the

dock but the act did not stop

the presiding Magistrate,

Mrs. B. U. Adikibe from completing

her ruling.

Each of the accused persons

were granted bail on the sum

of N5 million, while a traditional

ruler or the member

representing their respective

state constituencies should

stand as sureties for them.

The matter was later adjourned

to March 18, 2021.

S-East govs

intervene

According to a statement by

the Special Adviser, SA to the

Governor of Ebonyi State on

Media and Publicity, Francis

Nwaze, the chairman of the

South East Governors' Forum,

Engr. David Umahi has

already made contacts with

those involved and assured

that the parties to the dispute

have agreed to call a truce.

He further explained that

the leaders of the southeast

were capable of settling their

disputes internally instead of

washing their linen in the public

Ḣe called for calm among

the supporters of the two political

heavyweights to ensure

timely and amicable resolution

of the disagreement within

the shortest possible time.

The southeast Governors'

Forum Chairman called on

the people of Imo State and

the South East Zone to go

about their normal businesses

and shun provocative statements

until normalcy is completely

restored between the

former governor and his successor.

Disagrees with

Imo govt on

release

Also yesterday, the Imo

State government and the

former governor differed on

the reason for his release from

police custody.

The state government said

the former governor was let

off the hooks at the state command

headquarters around

11.30 on Sunday night because

he was stooling and was

released to go and take care

of his health.

However, Okorocha while

addressing his supporters

said he was released because

the federal government intervened.

The Commissioner for Information

and Strategy, Declan

Emelumba said that

Okorocha, who now represents

Imo West at the Senate,

was released by the police on

“medical grounds.”

Emelumba said that the release

of Okorocha didn’t

mean he won’t answer to the

offence he committed”.

Emelumba said: “Okorocha

was released on Sunday

by the police on medical

grounds. The man was purging

and stooling consistently.

The police had to release him

on medical grounds to enable

him take care of his health.

His release doesn’t mean he

will not answer his case.”

But Okorocha who reacted

to the claim while addressing

his supporters at his Spibat

mansion in Owerri yesterday,

said that the presidency intervened

in the matter.

Okorocha said: “They kept

me there ( police headquarters)

and about 11:30pm, they

asked me to go. I want to

thank the Presidency for intervening

in the matter. Governor

Hope Uzodinma

shouldn’t take my peaceful

disposition for granted.He

should remember that he will

not be remembered by how

many people he fought but

how many projects he built.”

About ten houses

destroyed by

military

—Okorocha

The former governor also

used the opportunity to reveal

that about ten houses were destroyed

during the recent military

and Eastern Security

Network clash in Orlu and

Orsu local government areas.

Okorocha said that

Uzodimma was using the air

force to intimidate Orlu people.

"What happened on Sunday

is a display of thuggery. I never

expected that a governor of

a state can embark on thuggery

of this level. Uzodimma

may not end well as governor.

Imo is very unsecured. You go

to Orlu, they are using air

force fighter jet to destroy

Orlu.

"About ten houses were

burnt. People are intimidated.

He made a law to detain people.

Since he came to office,

what he achieved was the

breaking down of houses

built by me. He demolished

all roundabout built by me.

Rather than making peace ,he

wants to rule by force.

"The governor has not paid

workers. The governor is inciting

violence in the state.

The case has been in court and

there has not been any judgement.

"I call on the Inspector General

of Police to direct the arrest

of Chinasa Nwaneri and

Eric Uwakwe. They led the

thugs and the police were

there watching them and I

want them to be investigated.

This shows there is complete

breakdown of law.

"The hotel, Royal Spring

Palm is as a result of my wife

investing her wealth in Imo. I

was never a poor man before

I became governor.

"On arrival to the hotel, I

saw thugs with Nwaneri and

Eric and they started shooting

at my cars and beating my

people. I ruled for eight years

and I never arrested anybody

when I was the governor,"

Okorocha said.

Secession demand: Troops arrest

20 IPOB members, recover arms,

hands them to Police

By Steve Oko

UMUAHIA—TROOPS of

82 Division, Nigerian

Army have arrested 20 suspects

said to be members of

the Indigenous People of

Biafra,IPOB, made up of 16

men and 4 women and they

have all been handed over to

the Nigerian Police force.

This came as Mazi Nnamdi

Kanu, has declared his

readiness to stand trial at the

International Criminal

Court, ICC, in the Hague, if

defending Biafrans against

unprovoked genocidal attacks

by killer herdsmen and

terrorists would warrant his

appearance at the ICC.

Col Aliyu Yusuf, Deputy Director,

Army Public Relations

disclosed the arrest of IPOB

members yesterday while giving

an update “on the activities

of the proscribed Indigenous

People of Biafra (IPOB)

members”.

He said: “Through its unreasonable

demand for secession,

IPOB has continued to

interrupt the security situation

in 34 Brigade Area of Responability.

“The activities of the threat

elements have led to an increase

in organized crimes

such as armed robbery, kidnapping

and other sundry

criminal violent acts.

“Recently, there have been

various attacks on civilians,

Police and military personnel

on check points and escort

duty. It is as a result of the activities

of these criminal elements

that appropriate superior

authority directed the

conduct of aggressive patrol

within the general area to

safeguard lives and property

of law abiding citizens.

“On January 7, 2021, following

incessant robbery and

killing of civilians and security

operatives by suspected

IPOB militia within Orlu Senatorial

Zone, troops of 34 Brigade

were deployed in Orlu

and its environs to commence

effective patrol and dominance

of the general area to forestall

the activities of IPOB.

“On Thursday, January 7,

2021, our troops in conjunction

with Nigeria Police conducted

a raid operation of a

suspected hideout of the

armed group in Umutanze

community in Orlu Local

Government.

“An SUV Lexus 330 with

Registration Number Lagos

KRD 320 EY was intercepted

with 5 occupants, suspected to

be members of IPOB. On sighting

own troops, four of the occupants

absconded. However,

one Mr. Freedom Udochukwu

Nwachukwu was arrested and

handed over to the Police for

further interrogation.

“On Friday 22 January

2021, troops of 34 Brigade in

conjunction with the Imo

State Police Command carried

out raids in Okporo/

Ezenta and Akata axis of Orlu

Local Government Area to recover

a corpse of Police Officer

killed by members of IPOB.

“During the raids, one

IPOB member was killed and

one Jeep was recovered. Various

IPOB Training Camps

were discovered and destroyed.

“On Monday 25 January

2021, own troops were ambushed

at Banana Junction,

Orlu Local Government Area by

members of IPOB while escorting

Army Headquarters

Team led by Director Civil Affairs,

Brigadier General HE

•I'm ready to stand

trial in the Hague

—Nnamdi Kanu

Nzan who came to inspect

Nigerian Army Civil Military

Cooperation Project at Nkwerre.

“IPOB militia attacked

own troops and during the encounter,

four escort soldiers

were killed and four AK47 got

missing. One Hilux vehicle

was recovered.

“In a similar development,

on Wednesday February 17

2021, based on accurate intelligence

reports, a raid operation

was conducted in the

forest close to Lilu Village in

Ihiala general area of Anambra

State by combined troops

of Nigerian Army, Nigerian

Air Force and the Nigeria Police.

“The operation commenced

with air strikes from Mi-35

Combat Helicopter on confirmation

of the IPOB camp/

hideout, while ground troops

engaged the escaping IPOB

criminals.

“Thereafter troops exploited

further into the IPOB camp.

The militia were suspected to

have escaped with their dead

and varying degrees of gunshot

injured members, taking

advantage of the poor visibility

during the preceding operation."

I'm ready to stand

trial in the Hague

—Nnamdi Kanu

Kanu's decision to stand trial

at the hague was made on

a live broadcast on Radio Biafra

Sunday night. He regretted

that harrasments and extra-judicial

killings by security

agencies have continued

unabated across Biafra land.

The IPOB Leader said that

the world had maintained

criminal silence over the

plight of Biafrans despite

complaints and petitions by

IPOB as well as indicting reports

against the Nigerian

authorities and security agencies

by some reputable global

agencies including the

UN Reportuer on Human

Rights and Amnesty International.

He said that besides statesponsored

persecutions and

brazen infuriating marginalisation

and exclusion against

Biafrans, killer herdsmen and

terrorists have continued to

raid communities in the region

unchallenged by the security

agencies.

"Herdsmen will attack us,

rape our women, destroy our

farms and kill our farmers.

Nobody will arrest them but

when we try to defend ourselves,

governmet will come

after us rolling out their tanks

and using their helicopter gun

boats", he fumed.

Kanu explained that the incessant

unprovoked genocidal

attacks by herdsmen and

the docility of the Nigerian

authorities gave rise to the

formation of the Eastern Security

Network, ESN, to protect

the hapless Biafran locals

against terror.

But he regretted that instead

of going after the perpetrators

of the heinous crimes

against innocent citizens, the

Nigerian state rather chose to

declare war against mere vigilante

volunteer group as

demonstrated in Thursday's

air strike in Orlu.

C


C

M

Y

14 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

:Vanguard News

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

PRESENTATION: From left—Isaac Nkemchor, Business Development Manager, Victoria Adeleke, ex BBNaija

Housemate and Special Guest, Easywin Lotto, Ibrahim Rabiu, winner, Easywin Jackpot, and Adewale Aloyinlapa,

City Manager, Easywin Lotto, during the presentation of N10 million Naira Jackpot to the winner in Lagos.

Bauchi gov part of terrorist groups

terrorising Nigeria —Ortom

•Says gov profiling him for possible assassination by armed herders

•Wants gov to be held responsible if anything happens to him

By Peter Duru

MNOR AKURDI—GOVER

Samuel Ortom of

Benue State, yesterday hit back

at his Bauchi State counterpart,

Senator Bala Mohammed,

accusing him of being

part of the terrorist groups unleashing

mayhem in Nigeria.

This came as Governor Ortom

also raised the alarm, accusing

Governor Mohammed

of profiling him for possible

assassination by armed Fulani

herders, contending that

by repeatedly accusing him

(Ortom) of instigating hatred

against armed herders in the

country, the Bauchi Governor

was putting his life in danger.

Governor Ortom who spoke

in Makurdi while reacting to

the recent media outburst by

governor Mohammed, also

alleged that the Bauchi State

Governor's unrelenting support

for herders to carry AK47

riffles for self defence clearly

indicated that the Governor

was supporting the mindless

killing of Nigerians by armed

herders.

The Benue State Governor

who said he did not want to

join issue with his Bauchi State,

counterpart however said,

"Since he has chosen to continue

to vilify, intimidate and

blackmail me, and since it is

said that silence is consent, I

am compelled to respond.

"I am beginning to think that

my brother the Bauchi Governor

is part of the Fulani terrorist

organisation that is unleashing

mayhem in this country.

Why do I say this? This is

the same Governor who took

the oath of office to protect the

Constitution of the Federal

Republic of Nigeria. The Constitution

does not leave room

to allow foreign herdsmen or

foreign Tiv people of Fulani

people or Yoruba to come in

without valid papers.

"This is a Governor who said

that the Fulani man is a global

man so he can come in

from anywhere and enter Nigeria.

It is quite disappointing

to hear a Governor who took

an oath to say that. He should

go back and check the oath if

he is protecting the Constitution

by allowing foreign terrorists

herdsmen to come into

Nigeria.

"Of course he justified his

position that Fulani herdsmen

should carry AK47 to protect

themselves. I do not know

where the Constitution of this

country allows any man or

woman who is not licensed

by security agencies to carry

even dane guns not to talk of

automatic rifles like AK47.

"Again the Land Use Act

permits and gives the Governor

the sole authority over

land. Even if the federal government

comes to my state to

execute a project they ask for

land from me and until I

grant the Certificate of Occupancy

they cannot do anything

whether in the forests

or any part of the state. He

should read the Land Use Act.

"As Governor you hold the

land in trust for the people,

even his so-called response to

try to run away from the truth

implicated him the more. It

was on national television

and his defense did not go

down well with Nigerians.

"I beg my brother Governor

to just come out and apologize

to Nigerians; it will be

consoling because we all

make mistakes. If he apologizes

it will be appreciated

but if he continues to argue

he would be inflicting pains,

especially on some of us who

have been victims of these

armed Fulani herdsmen.

"We are thinking that it is an

act of conspiracy to wipe some

people away including Benue

state. This is not right.

"I want to think that, with

what he said and what those

herdsmen wrote to me that

they would assassinate me,

Governor Bala Mohammed

might be part of what they

said and if anything happens

to me, I do not want anybody

to be in doubt, Governor Bala

Mohammed should be held

responsible.

"Especially by the last week's

outright condemnable remarks

he made about Fulani

carrying AK47 and living anywhere

in Nigeria whether in

the forests and any other

place.

"He also repeated that Ortom

is responsible for the hatred

against Fulani as a way

of vilifying me and profiling

me towards assassination because

he was instigating the

Fulani people against me.

"I am not against Fulanis,

we have them in Benue State

and they will remain here as

long as they respect our extant

laws. Some of my very

good friends are Fulani and

we relate very well. I am

against terrorist Fulani coming

from other countries to

seize our land and take over

and create problems.

"Governor Bala Mohammed

should learn from the

likes of Governors Ganduje

who came out as a Fulani

man to proffer solution to the

issue. He should also take a

cue from the Governor of Kaduna

State, Mallam El Rufai,

who is against the terrorist

herdsmen who are killing his

people.

"These are Fulani people. Is

he a more Fulani man than

the Sultan? So, my brother

Bala Mohammed maybe you

have not seen the castigation

that greeted your support for

herders to carry AK74 in Nigeria.

"Nigeria is not a banana republic,

we are an organized

country, and bandits cannot

find a forest and come in from

other countries to take it over.

My massage to them is that

they should not come to Benue

but go to Bauchi and stay

with him."

Zulum pledges full support to

recapture Borno communities from

insurgents

By Ndahi Marama

M AIDUGURI—GOV

ERNOR Babagana

Zulum of Borno State yesterday

pledged his administration's

full support to the military

and other security agencies

to recapture Marte Local

Government Area, LGA,

and other Borno State communities

from Boko Haram

terrorist group.

The governor spoke at the

official launch of Rapid Response

Intervention, RRI,

across the six states of Taraba,

Gombe, Yobe, Adamawa,

Bauchi and Borno by the

North East Development

Commission, NEDC.

The event took place at the

Multi Purpose Hall, Government

House, Maiduguri.

According to him, the renewed

attacks in some parts

of the state, especially in Dikwa

and Marte and other resettled

communities would

not deter the present administration

in its recovery, reconstruction

and resettlement

drive in the state.

Governor Zulum while

thanking President Muhammadu

Buhari and the NEDC

for its support to the traumatized

citizens in the region,

appealed to the Commission

to key into some critical areas

such as restoration of

power, road construction, agricultural

transformation and

livestock production in the

state.

Among others, he said "Today's

Intervention/support by

NEDC is the huge amongst

any other interventions we

got in Borno State. Although,

some parts of Borno have witnessed

renewed attacks by insurgents

in the last one week,

I want to assure that my administration

is in full support

of the military and other security

agencies to recapture

Marte LGA which was attacked

and currently under the

occupation of Boko Haram.

"These renewed attacks in

some parts of the state, especially

in Dikwa and Marte

and other resettled communities

would not deter the

present administration in its

recovery, reconstruction and

resettlement drive in the state."

Earlier, the Managing Director,

NEDC, Alhaji Goni

Alkali, said apart from RRI

across the six states, the commission

resolved to implement

an average of two

projects in each of the 112

LGAs of the region, with a

budget of N50 million per

LGA.

FG to collaborate with UNFPA

on youth empowerment

THE FEDERAL Ministry of

Youth and Sports Development

is to collaborate with the

United Nations Population

Fund, UNFPA, to initiate and

implement programmes that

would enable youth to realize

their potentials for national

development.

This is as the Ministry said it

is committed to actualizing the

thematic contents of the National

Youth Policy to create

champions of youths.

Minister of Youth and Sports

Development, Mr Sunday

Dare, made this commitment

when the Country Director of

the UNFPA, Ms. Ulla E. Mueller

paid him a courtesy visit in

his office in Abuja.

The Minister stressed that

the youth policy was wellgrounded

on education,

health, inclusiveness, politics,

drug abuse etc which are in sync

Kano to conduct livestock census

By Abdulmumin

Murtala

KANO—KANO

State

Government through its

Agro Pastoral Development

Project, KSADP, will conduct

a livestock census, aimed at

obtaining reliable and updated

information on livestock

numbers and production system.

This was made known by the

State Project Coordinator,

Mallam Ibrahim Muhammad

while receiving the National

Project Coordinator,

Livestock Productivity and

Resilience Support Project (L-

PRES), Mrs. Winnie Lai-Solarin,

in his office yesterday.

According to him, "The livestock

survey is very important

because it will provide the

much needed data for the formulation

and implementation

of the livestock productivity

enhancement component

of our project".

Mallam Ibrahim also explained

that the project would

REAN, WIEN set to hold

international symposium

•Creates initiative to bridge gender gap

LAGOS—THE Renew

able Energy Association,

REAN, in collaboration

with Women in Energy

Network, WIEN, is set to

hold an International

Women in Energy Symposium

this year.

According to the President,

WIEN, Mrs Funmi

Ogbue, the symposium titled

Light Up Africa which

will hold on the 13th of

March, 2021, is aimed at

increasing the number of

women not only in the energy

industry but specifically

in the renewable energy

space.

The event would be

graced by speakers like

Olasimbo Sojinrin of Country

Manager Solar Sisters,

Chike Nwosu, Managing

Director/Chief Executive

Officer, Waltersmith, Usman

Yusuf- COO Gas and

Power Nigerian National

Petroleum Corporation,

Tony Ogbuigwe of Managing

Consultant Pejad

Group, Tari Akhibi- General

Manager, Human Resources,

WalterSmith

among others.

with the five key areas of UN-

FPA.

"It is only proper that the

Ministry collaborates with

UNFPA on key areas to make

champions of our youths by

providing them opportunities

and support to actualize their

potentialities. The Ministry

will work with you to sustain

the momentum and expected

outcome to re-engage and

contribute counterpart funding,"

he said.

In her remarks, the Country

Representative of UNFPA,

Ms Ulla Mueller assured that

the international agency

would cooperate and collaborate

with the Ministry to actualize

its vision and mandate

for youth and gender development.

According to her: "To

actualize our mandate, we

have to work with your Ministry."

seek the support of the Dakarbased

financial and management

consulting firm, Africa

Consulting and Trading (ACT

Afrique Group), to conduct a

thorough job.

"Livestock plays a very important

role in agriculture in

this part of the country but,

unfortunately, the data we

have on livestock is obsolete

and unreliable. Therefore, we

need accurate information

and statistics to guide us on

the design and implementation

of our livestock productivity

and enhancement initiatives",

he stressed.

Earlier, the National Project

Coordinator, Livestock Productivity

and Resilience Support

Project (L-PRES), Mrs.

Winnie Lai-Solarin, said she

was in Kano to discuss with

the KSADP Project Management

Unit, on how her office

and the KSADP can collaborate

in the areas of pasture

development, artificial insemination,

milk collection

and training of pastoralists.

Speaking at a Webinar

press organized by REAN

and WIEN, Oigbue said:

"We have come together to

work on increasing the

number of women not only

in the energy industry at

large but specifically in

the renewable energy

space and our first event

that we have agreed to

work together will coincide

with the international

women's day."

On her part, Executive

Secretary, REAN, Mrs

Lande Abudu, expressed

delight in the collaboration

saying, "The first thing

I want to say is that it is

great to collaborate and we

should never try to do it

alone which is why the conversation

started on how do

we get gender equality and

equity in the energy space.

"We are going to collaborate

to ensure that every

woman has a story in the

energy sector and more

importantly to be able to

highlight our contributions

in the energy space of

which they are immersed."


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021 —15


16 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

Still on Jakande

BOLA Oloro, an

engineer, was

the Rector of the now

vandalised Lagos

State Polytechnic

from 1992-1999. The

polytechnic is a

school built by Alhaji

Lateef Kayode

Jakande, the man

who developed what

we know as Lagos in

four years. His bright

idea of a metro line

for Lagos was, like

the polytechnic,

officially destroyed by

Gen. Muhammadu

Buhari in 1984 and

the full cost of the

contract paid with no

rail.

We cannot but weep

that those who

denied Lagos that

service are now

building one to Niger

Republic with our

money in a season

when Rotimi

•Lateef Jakande...developed what we know as Lagos in four years

Amaechi under

whose watch cars are being he became governor. It took I knew Alhaja was just

asked to watch their speed for the leadership of the Lagos running around like a good

cows is asking us what cows Assembly under Speaker

have got to do with Adeyemi Ikuforiji to buy him FEEDBACK

transportation on national a good car years back.

television.

A retired General of Yoruba

The son of Oloro was extraction told me a few days Sir

T

introduced to me by the Ooni ago of how Alhaji Jakande HE appointment of noncareer

ambassadors or

of Ife months after Prof. Banji went to Abuja years back and

Akintoye introduced the father had to sleep in a very dingy

diplomats by nations is nothing

to me. The junior Oloro

new as it has always been the

invited me to the father’s first

norm right from time

anniversary weeks back in our

immemorial. Benjamin

Franklin, the father of the

neighbourhood only for him to We cannot but

United States nationalism, a

call me two days to the event

weep that those

charismatic personality who

that Prof. Akintoye had

advised them to cancel the who denied

had succeeded with scientific

inventions, printing and

event as four colleagues of Lagos that

publishing business, despite his

their father who were service are

limited formal education, was

Professors contracted

coronavirus at same wedding

now building

appointed as Uncle Sam’s

pioneer Ambassador to France

and are dead.

one to Niger

during the war for

Republic with

independence against the

Personal

our money

United Kingdom.

comfort

During the Second World

War, the then US President

The last time I met the young

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

hotel. A man saw him and

man was at the palace in Ife

appointed Joseph Patrick

asked him what was he was

where he accompanied Alhaja

Kennedy Sr as the country’s

doing in that God-forsaken

Abimbola Jakande to see the

Ambassador to Great Britain

place? And when he was told

Ooni of Ife. They were

where he brought to bear his

that was where he slept, the

planning to return to Lagos

vast experience as a securities

man got LKJ a plot of land in

that night when Kabiyesi

trader and investment banker

Abuja that same day.

insisted that they must sleep

who had greatly reformed the

The lack of respect Jakande

till the next day.

stock market after the 1929

was treated was reflected in crash by banning insider

It was a night I had very little that sad trip that took Alhaja trading. In the heady days of

sleep when I learnt that Alhaja to Ife that night.

the Civil Rights Struggle, a

was at the palace to lobby for Even those who served no prominent Civil Rights Leader,

LKJ’s son who was seeking more than commissioners now Andrew Young, who had served

ticket to contest election in have their children benefiting as the Mayor of Atlanta, was

Lagos that LKJ served all his maximally in Lagos, just as appointed as the nation’s

life without looking for those who have no record of Ambassador to the United

personal comfort.

serving the state. First class Nations. In all the above cases,

He rode his own car and thugs would secure such the United States put forward

lived in a house he built before tickets on phone.

the names of their first eleven

to represent them as high

mother as LKJ who issued a

notice to the bank where he

was a director not to give a job

to any relation of his possibly

would not have known about

the trip or even lobby for such

for his children.

A relation of his was on the

queue for housing allocation

unsuccessfully until the coup

in 1983.

He would do more for the

children of others. LKJ was

said to have been advised by

Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe in

1979 to cancel free education

on the eve of swearing in

as Lagos had no money.

He told Ukiwe he would

try.

He implemented the

programme to the letter

and all the schools and

estates he built are

named after him by

Lagosians today.

I recall how I spent

quality time looking for

Bayo Fabiyi’s LSDPC

Estate in some part of

Lagos months back until

a good Okada man asked

if it was Jakande Estate,

and within minutes I was

there.

I can’t say emphatically

whether it was fate which

made former governors of

Ogun State, Chief

Olusegun Osoba and

Ibikunle Amosun to be at

LKJ burial ground for

final bye and none of his

successors in Lagos was

there.

I saw Fashola on TV in

Lagos that night but he

was not there for Jakande.

Their not being there

removes nothing from

Jakande who immortalised

Re: From service chiefs to ambassadors

powered envoys especially in

times of crisis. It was with shock

and disgust that I read the

nomination of the recently

retired service chiefs - Chief of

Defence Staff, General

Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of

Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur

Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff,

Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas;

and Chief of Air Staff, Air

Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

These were service chiefs who

performed greatly below

expectations while they held

sway. There was an order given

by President Muhammadu

Buhari, the nation’s

Commander-in-Chief for them

to relocate to Borno State so as

to better tackle the Boko Haram

insurgency. These chiefs chose

instead to stay in their comfort

zone in Abuja without any

reprimand from the president.

What contempt! No form of

sanction was meted out to them

by Buhari.

Meantime, the rank and file

were at the mercy of their

adversary.

Many of these soldiers

weren’t allowed to leave the

battlefield even after spending

more than the allotted fighting

time; many didn’t have their

allowances paid to them; many

of their widows were left to the

elements to fend for themselves

with some even immediately

thrown out of the military

barracks into the cold streets.

himself forever.

••Yoruba governors should

emulate LKJ

The security brouhaha the

Federal Government has

thrown to non-Fulani

Nigerians and which is biting

the Yoruba hard is a challenge

the governors in the Yoruba

space should borrow the

Jakande spirit to tackle.

There is nothing that stops

them from devoting their

security votes to confront this

challenge head on in a rare

commitment to their people.

We recall how Babatunde

Fashola, as governor,

confronted insecurity

challenge in Lagos and got

the late former president,

Umaru Yar’Adua, who was

Fulani, to cooperate with him.

The Olusegun Mimiko

government in Ondo got the

herdsmen who kidnapped

Chief Olu Falae jailed and

President Muhammadu

Buhari could not shield them

from the law.

The governors can’t just

throw their arms in the air and

not do what they have to do

under the fear of Fulanisation.

The Governor of Ondo State

has been saying and doing the

right things that should be the

standard in the Yoruba spirit

in this season of sheer

anomie.

If they do what is right, they

have a chance to win. If they

don’t, they would lose. They

must insist on equipping

Amotekun and let the FG say

they can’t do it.

They should have the

testicular fortitude to tell the

people if that happens so we

can begin to sort things out.

How callous! Is it a crime to be

patriotic and to lay down one’s

life for your country? Nigeria is

truly a hater of honest labour.

Many political pundits opine

that the raison d’etre behind

Buhari’s nomination of them as

service chiefs was to shield

them from any form of

prosecution by the International

Criminal Court, ICC, for war

crimes.

Nigeria boasts of an array of

shining stars and talents both

at home and in the Diaspora

who are contributing positively

to either the motherland or their

second adopted countries. Why

can’t he tap from their wealth

of experience to launder

Nigeria’s image which is

currently at its lowest ebb? Why

field people not even fit to be

on the bench using the football

sport as an allegory to represent

the supposed ‘Giant of Africa’

abroad?

When the Central African

Republic emerging from the

ashes of decades-long strife

wanted to shore up its image

abroad and attract the much

needed foreign direct

investment to stimulate the

economy, it wisely tapped the

services of the late charismatic

larger-than-life businessman,

Antonio Deinde Fernandez.

That move was akin to a

successful coup-d’etat as it

greatly helped the nation

advanced its economic interest

-Anthony Ademiluyi

C

M

Y

K


Arabs, Islam and Nigeria

IN many places, including

Nigeria, that which are Arabic

and Islamic have been conflated and

even combined to mean the thing -

the clothes and robes, the hijab,

purdah, etc., in a way that is not

common to other religions and every

day aspects of life in other parts of

the world with different religions.

In Europe Islamic schools have

been established in an aggressive

display of what it is to be Islamic or

Arabic – exhibiting these differences

in culture, clothes, etc. Even so the

Islamic schools have to conform to

the laws and regulations covering the

education institutions and systems.

In short, you may, in the United

Kingdom or Germany, have

chartered educational Islamic

schools but the students still do the

same examinations and learn from

the same syllabuses as all other

schools in order to get state

recognised educational standards

e.g. GCSE, A-Levels, etc., which are

requirements for entering

universities and tertiary institutions.

Arabic knowledge is built on

foundation of Greek, Roman,

Chinese and Indian knowledge. Its

legacy was the foundation it laid for

the remarkable explosion and spread

of knowledge which was the

Renaissance – (a rebirth after the

Dark Ages), and the birth of the

modern nation state.

Islamic/Arab knowledge was

seminal to human development (and

whatever ISIS or Boko Haram is

doing is not knowledge – indeed it is

based on lack of Islamic/Arabic

knowledge – a total regression and

denial of the essence of knowledge –

debasing the heights of human

development for the capture of a few

boys and girls and the enthroning of

self-immolation in the name of

“religion”.

It has become fashionable to trace

all of the problems of Nigeria to the

machinations of all Islamic cult-like

grips on the levers of power:

appointments to political and

administrative cadres in all branches

of government . The North is accused

of importing millions of Fulani

Muslims from as far as Burkina

Faso into Nigeria – fully armed to

support the North. There is an

explosion of conspiracy theories

begining long before Usman Dan

Fodio and his jihad, culminating, as

the conspitorialists insist, in the

perfidy of the British in the

amalgamation of Northern and

Southern Nigeria in 1914 under

Lord Lugard so that the Islamic

element and programme can

continue inexorably.

Every single problem now arising

in Nigeria is looked at from this

trajectory - a deep-seated Arabic/

Islamic/Northern playbook which

has polluted our body politic, our

Constitution, or political institution,

etc. Since the origin of this playbook

is Arabic/Islamic, perhaps we should

look at the originators - Arabs and

Islam. What do Nigerians know

about Islam, Arabism, etc?

Arabs, horses, camels, language:

Chronic disunity was the Arab curse,

(their hamartia). It was a tragic flaw

which sealed Arab destiny.

Nevertheless the military innovation

of horses in war spread rapidly

among all Arabs, while giving them

great mobility and power, it also

ensured that none of them gained

an upper hand for long. It

perpetuated an almost rebellious

streak and sparked an explosion in

Arab inter and intra raiding.

Every tribe was open to raid and

insecurity. This vulnerability

attracted larger and better

organised nations who soon

discovered that, but something ran

underneath the Arab mind: a spirit,

indefinable but powerful, a latent

base self-awareness, an inchoate

nationalism.

Arabs are most empowered when

there is more than one dominant

power in their area. They did well

when the Roman and Persian

Empires were against each other;

they prospered when Britain and

France were at war, when United

States and NATO faced the other

Warsaw power. For example, Rome

took over Palmyra in 272 and thus

brought two great powers (of Rome

and Persia) face to face. During that

face-off between the two lions of

Rome and Persia, Imra al Quays, a

fearsome Arab, led raids as far as

1700 kilometres while engaged in

the building of the Himyari Empire.

Arabs in their phonetic language

described themselves as the ‘Rat with

Iron Teeth’. Their land saw empires

come and go. Sharmar, Ethiopia,

Persia established Empires in

Arabia.

Rodent with iron teeth describes

the various garbs the Arabs put on:

first as mercenaries, then power

brokers, metamorphosing into

power breakers – then power

grabbers. Even then throughout all

this; the Arabs continued to display

their inherent “dynamic disunity”,

a central feature even which

continues to play out till today. For

the rest of humanity life is a journey:

for Arabs, life is the road.

Mobility was always another

theme in Arab history and was

prophesised as such. “You shall be

fugitives – You shall love your

children’s land”. This mobility

syndrome manifested itself as late

as the 1950s and 1960s in restless

Zeitgeist of those periods now known

as the Arab Spring. The word, this

restless impulsive mobility, equally

applies to the super raids of early

Islam, to the early migrations that

preceded them as well as the flood

of refugees of the 21st century.

Added to this military prowess of

constant mobility, the Arabs were

endowed with a language that was

deep in meaning, difficult to master.

Its mastery was celebrated by poets,

orators and speakers who gathered

to compete for who was most adept

in the use of language: they travelled

throughout Arabia. These were the

word gatherers. The rhetoric of these

“word gatherers” united their tribes,

creating “asabiyyah” … spirit of

solidarity, which powered the

revolution of the wheel of fire that is

the spread of Islam. The Romans and

the Persians and the Arabs

themselves played deadly musical

chairs but the Arabs believed that

they never will be more unfortunate

than when their kings were Persian.

They hated the Persians with visceral

passion. They also hated the Turks.

Both Persia and Turkey returned the

sentiment of hatred of the Arabs in

full measure. Arab legitimacy was

entrenched in their language – it

rested above all in their control, not

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021 —17

of institutions but in rhetoric of their

language. Thus, by the time the

Quran came out it was, therefore,

not only the Scripture of Islam, it

was also the founding text of Arab as

we know it with all the historical

weight of the Pentateuch, a Magna

Carta and a Declaration of

Independence, all rolled into one.

The foremost Arabic scholar Ibn

Khaldun said that Muhammad

“gathered the Arabs together upon

the word of Islam”.

This is a similar saying in St John

chapter 1: “In the beginning was the

word and the word was God. The

The one force that

brought the separate Arabs

together was language, not

the everyday speech but a

language that evolved

from the larger Arab

identity

word of God was made flesh”. The

day Muhammad was born is called

‘Day of the Elephant.' Riyadh (Arab)

and Teheran (Persian) are physically

separated by the Gulf of Hormuz but

are also separated by an abyss of

antique antagonisms older than

Islam and deeper than the Persian

Gulf. Arabic independence was

sustained by their language, which

Byron, the poet, described as a form

of oratory, a transformation of

speech from the audible to the visible.

“Recite… by the pen and what they

write”.

The Kahins travelling from town

to town, settlement to settlement

were the poets (orators, poets,

rhetoricians,) didacticians – early

Arabic rappers and custodians of the

language “The old oral magical

world of the Kahims come together

to the new era of recording

technology” as one Arab historian

put it. There are copious examples

of these descriptions of Arabic as

etherealising speech and vision and

hearing the script that fills the ears

of him that sees it. In Arabic letters

are not just phonetic, they are phonic,

acoustic: Arabic is not a dictation, it

is a notation like that of music,

according to another Arabic scholar.

Legitimacy for the Arabs rested on

their control not of institutions but

of rhetoric, of language. Was this a

similar experience in Nigeria when

the Fulanis through language

controlled the Hausas? Thus control

of Northern Nigeria is not based on

control of institutions but control of

rhetoric Hausa language. In Bonny,

the ruling houses virtually

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abandoned their language of Igbani,

and adopted Igbo as the controlling

language). (Yoruba – the language

of the Ifa priests - is substantially

different from spoken Yoruba; in

Igbo the language of the controllers

of the society of the Aros, is unique,

so also is the Jeli families of West

Africa.

Babalawo and other Yoruba deity

priests in Yoruba speak a higher or

different form of Yoruba, not easily

or commonly understood. In Igbo

the opi praise singers use a language

not common to most Igbos. Among

the Ijaws, the priest of Akaso speak a

dialect unknown to most Ijaws. Till

recently, devout Catholics preferred

mass said in Latin which seemed

holier to them. The Catholic

choristers sang in Latin, which they

did not understand. Today the most

non-Arabic Moslems worship in

Arabic, which they do not understand

in much the same way as old Roman

Catholics used to pray in Latin. The

Ogala masquerade in Igboland

sings in a falsetto voice and in a

language which the followers do not

understand. The Pipilibo

masquerade in Ijaw Kalabari also

sings in a falsetto unknown to the

followers.

The one force that brought the

separate Arabs together was

language – not the everyday speech

but a rich, strange, subtle, suavely,

hypnotic, magically, persuasive,

difficult “high” Arab language that

evolved from the larger Arab

identity – a reversal of the divinely

inflicted disunity of Babel in the

Bible. Wisdom according to popular

folklore descended in three organs

of the people of the South – the brains

of the Greeks, the hands of the

Chinese and the tongues of the Arabs.

The Arab spring has shown how

words – slogans, chants,

propaganda, mis and

disinformation which are

mesmerisingly magical can still

shape the course of history. The

Arabs had had a long history. As

early as 853 BC – Arabic was known.

Mohammed produced in AD 582 the

seminal works of the Koran: the

beginning of the Arabic information

technology establishing new ways to

use and control language and shape

identity. Language coarsed and

strengthened a 3000 year past,

making the Arabs legible and visible

into their historic present and the

establishment of an empire, taking

over settled states and becoming the

new rulers.

Continues next week

Between Matawalle and the naysayers

By ABDUKADIR SULAIMAN

GOVERNOR Bello Muhammed

Matawalle of Zamfara State has

been a subject of sustained media

onslaught which reveals mischief and

malicious intent.

The reckless accusation by the

Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini

Nabena, that a PDP governor of a

North Western state is responsible and

sponsoring insecurity in the region is

obviously the first of the many

orchestrated attacks on Governor

Matawalle.

Then came another attack through a

publication by Sahara Reporters that

an unnamed General claimed "bandits

were carrying out their attacks with

Hilux vehicles given to them by the

governor of Zamfara State.

This was soon followed by another

round of accusations by the governor

of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-

Rufai and a senator from the state,

Senator Uba Sani, where they both

blamed the approach of Governor

Matawalle for the sustenance of

banditry in North West Zone.

It is curious that this is coming from

a Nasir El-Rufai who, in 2016, claimed

he went after Fulani herdsmen to stop

killings in Southern Kaduna.

It is also hypocritical for these two

persons to criticise Governor

Zamfara is on the path into a

new dawn and no amount of

hatchet job can derail this

noble course

Matawalle and not criticise President

Muhammadu Buhari for his

"Operation Safe Corridor" which is the

purported deradicalisation

programmes for Boko Haram fighters.

These are the same set of people APC

chieftains are clamouring for

scholarship and foreign education for,

while children of fallen soldiers in the

ongoing war on insurgency are not

granted scholarship to study at Army

Day Children Schools.

The recent attack was the deliberate

misinformation by a former State

House correspondent who did not

quote the governor out of context, but

lied against the governor in a report

which is now widely syndicated that

he (Matawalle) said "not all bandits are

criminals".

It is on record that what Governor

Matawalle said while addressing a

group of correspondents was "not all

Fulani are criminals" and this is

sensible enough in the face of the mass

profiling of all Northerners as Fulani

and all Fulani as killer herdsmen.

Records have it that Nasir Ayitogo is

no more at the State House and this

account must be a figment of his

imagination.

It is pertinent to note that there is an

obvious hunt for Governor Matawalle

in a bid to discredit him and create a

bad perception about him among

Nigerians.

Nigerians should disregard this

campaign of calumny which is the

handiwork of the former governor,

Abdulaziz Yari, who is doing

everything he can to destabilise the

current administration, especially in its

quest to expose the monumental graft

allegedly perpetuated under his

watch.

This is nothing but a desperate

attempt from the camp of Abdulaziz

Yari to divert attention from him. This

has further corroborated the assertion

that the sponsors of this mischief and

wickedness are those who are yet to

come to the reality that Zamfara is no

longer at their whims and caprices.

Zamfara is on the path into a new

dawn and no amount of hatchet job can

derail this noble course.

•Sulaiman, a staff of Public Enlightenment

and Media Communications of Zamfara

State Government, wrote from Gusau.


18 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari

on September 24, 2019 in New York

during the 74th Session of the United

Nations General Assembly, expressed

Nigeria’s hope to have at least 30 per

cent of its total electricity supply from

renewable sources by 2030. Also, Vice

President, Yemi Osinbajo, re-echoed

the hope recently at the inauguration

of a 1.12MW Solar Hybrid Project at

the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa

University, Bauchi.

The hope, inappropriately called a

plan, is aimed at providing solution to

Nigeria’s epileptic power supply, and

at the same time reduce Nigeria’s

carbon footprint.

Government has, however, not

followed up this commendable idea

with any concrete roadmap that would

lead to the realisation of such a dream.

Fortunately, there are quite a number

of countries trudging on the road of

renewable energy revolutions from

which Nigeria can learn.

Nigeria’s dream of renewable

energy revolution (1)

In 2009, by aggressively increasing its

reliance on green energy, the United

States of America under President

Barack Obama had projected that 25

per cent of its electricity would be

generated from renewable energy

sources by 2025.

As at 2019, it stagnated at 11.4 per

cent, no doubt due to his successor,

President Donald Trump’s open

contempt for renewable energy.

Matching words with actions, USA (by

far the greatest emitter of climatedamaging

carbons among the

industrialised countries) was investing

$112 billion in green technology with

the main focus on improving hybrid

vehicles and research into highperformance

batteries. Hybrid vehicle

is a technology in which electric motor

supports an internal combustion

engine.

Similarly, carbon-free Germany by

2050, a plan vigorously pursued by

renowned German environmentalists

like Jurchen Flasbarth supported by

their federal government, is also

anchored on huge investments in

renewable energy, legislations and

incentives, not wishful thinking.

As early as 2009 in Germany, there

were 66 sections of Renewable Energy

Act known as EEG, which guaranteed

market access and minimum prices to

producers of energy from sun, wind,

water and biomass. The EEG was

instrumental in making Germany,

which has relatively little sunshine, the

world leader in solar-power generation

up to 2014, and the third in wind

power.

China, which attracted global mass

manufacturing influx due to its cheap

labour costs, is also very ambitious in

pursuing the green energy revolution.

Between 2008 and 2012, China was at

the top of the ladder in clean energy

investment. Its Renewable Energy Law

passed in 2005 prioritised renewable

energy usage in its energy

development plan. Subsequently, in

2017, China announced a plan to invest

£291 billion in renewable energy by

2020 as well as a continuous movement

away from fossil fuel.

Today, China, USA and India, in that

order, are world leaders in the

renewable energy revolution.

Can we afford bicameral legislature? (2)

This piece, last week, highlighted the

difference between bicameral and

unicameral systems of governance. Today,

it traces the history of Nigeria’s bicameral

constitution

CERTAINLY the presidential system of

government is not the major cause of

our problems, but it has worsened our crises.

No consultation with the people on the new

adventure, no mandate of the people. The

House has fallen but we can pretend that it

has not. But we can still do something about it

if we are determined. For example, since 1978

all countries in Latin America have either

changed or replaced their constitutions. Why

should our own be different.

On March 19, 2011, a constitution

referendum was held in Egypt. In April 1993,

a referendum was held in Eritrea. Even Kenya

has held three referendums on their

constitution. There have been several

referendums in Morocco, most of which were

related to the Moroccan constitution. A

constitution referendum was held in

Bangladesh on September 15, 1991. The

current constitution of Iraq was approved by

referendum on October 15, 2005. The present

constitution of the Philippines was approved

via a plebiscite in 1987. We can quote many

countries where there have been many

constitutional referendums.

Let’s take Chile as an example. There were

jubilant scenes in Chile on October 26 last

year according to a BBC report, after an

overwhelming majority voted in support of

rewriting Chile's constitution, which dates to

the military rule of Gen Augusto Pinochet. With

almost all the ballots counted, 78 per cent had

voted "yes" in a referendum that was called

after mass protests against inequality. President

Sebastián Piñera praised the peaceful vote.

He said it was "the beginning of a path that we

must all walk together".

Right-wing President Piñera agreed in

November 2019 to hold the referendum after

a month of huge and almost daily protests

across Chile which saw more than a million

people take to the streets in the capital,

Santiago. The protests, which had originally

been triggered by a fare hike on the Santiago

metro, drew a wide variety of Chileans who

shared an anger about the high levels of

inequality in Chile onto the streets.

One of their key demands was to reform the

old dictatorship-era constitution, which they

argued entrenched inequalities by putting the

private sector in control of health, education,

housing and pensions. The referendum, which

was originally due to be held in April, was

postponed to October due to the corona virus

pandemic. The referendum asked Chileans two

OPINION

questions: firstly, if they wanted a new

constitution, and secondly, what kind of body

they would want to draw it up.

With almost all the votes counted, more than

78 per cent voted in favour of a new constitution.

An overwhelming majority of 79 per cent also

voted in favour of the new constitution being

drawn up by a body which will be 100 per cent

elected by a popular vote rather than one which

would have been made up by 50 per cent of

members of Congress. President Piñera

acknowledged that the current constitution

had been "divisive" and urged Chileans to

"work together so that the new constitution is

the great framework of unity, stability and the

future".

He also praised the democratic nature of

the vote: "Today citizens and democracy have

triumphed; today unity has prevailed over

division and peace over violence. And this is a

triumph for all Chileans who love democracy,

There have been several

referendums in Morocco, most

of which were related to the

Moroccan constitution

unity and peace, without a doubt." As the results

came in, the word rebirth was projected onto a

building in downtown Santiago. The new

constitution will then be put to the Chilean

people in another referendum in 2022.

Let’s go back to how we adopted the

Presidential system of government. After

overthrowing General Yakubu Gowon, GCFR,

in a military coup, the then Head of State,

Brigadier Murtala Muhammed, GCFR, on

July 30, 1975, announced that his government

will come out with a political programme. On

October 1, 1975, Brigadier Murtala

Muhammed in a broadcast to the nation

declared “One important subject before us is,

of course, the question of a political

programme. I promised in my last address to

announce a programme, and the government

has since then given considerable thought to

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this matter. The ultimate aim is to forge a

viable political system, which will be stable

and responsive enough to needs and realities

of this country. This is not an exercise that

begins and ends in the mere drafting of a

constitution. Viable political institutions only

emerge from hard experience and practice and

the corporate experience of all is what matters.

It is, therefore, my belief that our immediate

task is to set the stage for this corporate effort

to work on a new constitution. Whatever the

outcome, the decision has to be made

democratically, openly and by all. With this in

mind, the Supreme Military Council has

approved a five-point programme designed

to ensure a smooth transition to civil rule by

those elected by the people of the country”.

A few days later, the central government

named a 50-man constitutional drafting

committee headed by Chief Rotimi Alade

Williams. Other members included, Chief

Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. C.S. Abashiya, Dr. K.

Abayomi, Alhaji Abdul-Rasaq, Dr. I. D. Ahmed,

Chief R.O.A. Akinjide, Dr. S.C. Aleyideino, Mr.

A. Al-Hakim, Dr. A.Y. Aliyu, Professor S.A.

Aluko, Mr. P.R.V. Belobo, Mr. S.M. Angulu,

Alhaji Ardo Buba, Alhaji Nuhu Bamali, Alhaji

Mamman Daura, Prof. T.S. David-West, Prof.

U.P. Diejomuoh, Mr. D.D. Dimka, Professor B.J.

Dudley, Professor E.C. Emovon, Alhaji S. Gaya,

Mr. R. Gbadamosi, Dr. T.O. Idris, Mr. Bola

Ige, Professor O. Ikime, Mr. S. G. Ikoku, Alhaji

I. Imam, Mr. K. Isola-Osobu, Alhaji Aminu

Kano, Alhaji S.M. Liberty, Mr. M.A. Makele,

Chief K.O. Mbadiwe, Chief I.I. Murphy,

Professor B.O. Nwabueze, Professor G.A.

Odenigwe, Dr. P. Okigbo, Alhaji Femi Okunnu,

Dr. S. Osoba, Dr. Oye Oyediran, Dr. Tahir

Ibrahim, Alhaji Talib Ahmed, Dr. M. Tukur,

Mr. G.P. Unongo, Dr. Y.B. Usman and Dr. Obi

Wali. Chief Awolowo, GCFR, declined to serve

as a member of the committee. A few days

later the committee was inaugurated at the

Nigeria Institute of International Affairs,

Victoria Island, Lagos.

Continues next week


Shippers Council, NICON move to avert N670m

loss to container deposit

By Godfrey Bivbere &

Providence Adeyinka

CURRENCY BUYING SELLING

US DOLLAR

POUNDS

EURO

FRANC

YEN

CFA

WAUA

RENMINBI

RIYAL

RAND

MARITIME

THE Nigerian Shippers

Council, NSC, and the

National Insurance Company

of Nigeria, NICON, have

finalised measures to curb the

loss of about N670 million suffered

by shippers in the country

over failure to return empty

containers within the time

specified by shipping lines.

Shippers pay container deposits

to shipping lines

namely, N300,000 for a 40 foot

container or N150,000 for a

20 foot container. However,

the shipper forfeits the deposit

if the container is not returned

to the shipping line within

the grace period which is

usually two to three weeks.

Disclosing this yesterday to

Vanguard in an exclusive chat

in his office, the Executive Secretary

and Chief Executive Officer,

CEO of the NSC, Hassan

Bello, explained that NICON

and the Council have been

meeting to strategise on the

best way to curb the huge revenue

loss incurred by shippers

via container deposits.

Bello explained that the plan

is to make importers pay a token

to insurance companies

which will, in turn, ensure that

the importers’ empty containers

are returned to the shipping

company.

According to him, “the committee,

comprising officials of

the NSC and NICON has

completed work last week.. I

am studying the report before

we present it to NICON.

“We spent N670 million two

129.25 +0.10

2,498.00 +55.00

16.99 +0.10

64.71 +1.80

61.05 +1.81

379 379.5 380

530.5242 531.2241 531.924

460.0681 460.6751 461.282

423.7004 424.2594 424.8183

3.5968 3.6016 3.6063

0.6791 0.6891 0.6991

544.8413 545.5601 546.2789

58.7042 58.7821 58.86

101.0505 101.1838 101.3171

25.8442 25.8783 25.9124

CBN Exchange rate as at 22/02/2021

BRIEFING: MD/CE, NEXIM Bank, Mr. Abba Bello, (Middle) to his right is Dr. Balla Bello,

Executive Director, Business Development and his left is Honourable Stella Okotete, Executive

Director, Business Development, all of NEXIM Bank, at a press briefing in Abuja

years back on container deposit,

it is clumsy, we want to

use the money for more productive

courses. People should

return containers as at when

due, but to be honest, the contract

is frustrated because

there is no access for returning

these containers and you

are going to charge importers

and their agents’ demurrage,

which is not fair.

“We have looked at what is

obtainable in other countries

where you can have it like insurance

and you have a lot of

takers. It should be insured,

instead of paying N300,000 as

container deposit, you can pay

an insurance company

N20,000 and the company will

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021 — 19

make sure your container is

returned by any means necessary.

“It is because of this hurry;

rush to escape demurrage that

you see a lot of truck laden

with empty containers that are

meant for return. That regime

of empty containers has to be

addressed holistically,” he

concluded.

Jaiz Bank, NAHCON launch Hajj Savings

Scheme

By Emma Ujah

MONEY MARKET

JAIZ Bank Plc, in a bid to

ease pilgrimage to

Saudi Arabia for muslims,

has launched the National Hajj

Savings Scheme (HSS)

in the North East and

South East zones of

the country.

The bank is collaborating

with the National

Hajj Commission of Nigeria

(NAHCON) and

Muslim Pilgrims Welfare

Boards of the respective

regions.

The ongoing launch

and sensitization of

HSS have already been

flagged off in parts of

the North Central,

North West, South-West

and South-South, according

to the bank’s

spokesman, Mr. Idris

Ahmed, yesterday.

Speaking at the occasions,

Jaiz Bank’s Managing

Director/Chief

Executive Officer,

Hassan Usman, represented

by the bank’s Divisional

Head, Corporate

Services, Ismaila Adamu,

said the National Hajj Savings

Scheme is a significant milestone

for all stakeholders in the

hajj ecosystem in Nigeria.

He said the importance of the

scheme emanated from the fact

that right “from planning, funding

to actual operations, the

scheme has the potential to

positively affect every act and

actor in the process.

According to him, “With such

a scheme in place, intending pilgrims

that do not have the

wherewithal can gradually plan

and actualize their dream without

stress by saving gradually.”

He said that even those who

do not live long enough to complete

their savings might still in

“Allah’s infinite mercy receive

the reward for hajj because they

are pilgrims by bringing intention

(niyyat) and action (amal)

together.”

Chairman of National Hajj

Commission of Nigeria, Barr.

Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, who

earlier flagged off the launch

in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State and

was represented in Taraba and

Adamawa states thanked the

governments of the states for

buying into the scheme.

He said HSS has several

benefits amongst which is to

assist the less privilege to save

money overtime to go to hajj

and also to earn profit on their

savings.

He said: “You don’t have to

sell your farmland to go to hajj

as the scheme will make the

hajj fare affordable.”

Chairman, Ebonyi State

Muslim Pilgrims Welfare

Board, Engr. Abbas, said the

launch of HSS was significant

as it will make it easier for

muslims to go to Hajj. “You

don’t have to sell your items

to go to Hajj. Ebonyi has fully

integrated into the scheme

and is ready to work with

NAHCON,” he said.

In his speech, the Chairman,

Taraba State Muslim Pilgrims

Welfare Board, Alhaji

Hamman

Adama

Tu k u r,

assured

NAHCON

and all

stakeholders

that the

state Pilgrims

Welfare

Board

would

do its

best to

ensure

the success

of

t h e

programme.

Experts seek

effective media

report of govt

agencies

By Babajide Komolafe

ECONOMY

COMMUNICATION ex

perts have advocated effective

media coverage of strategic

agencies and parastatals

of the federal government.

Such strategic government

agencies include the Nigerian

National Petroleum Corporation

(NNPC), Pensions Commission

(PenCom) and the Nigeria Sovereign

Investment Authority

(NSIA), among others.

The experts spoke at a seminar

organised by The Whistler

Newspapers in Lagos, with

the theme: “COVID-19 and the

Journalists: Effective Reporting

of the NNPC, PenCom and

NSIA” .

They urged journalists to

up their game by adopting modern

technological tools to make

their job easier and more efficient.

They were also encouraged to

put more effort in always probing

critical aspects of the operations

and mandates of the agencies

to keep Nigerians well informed

and help entrench transparency

and accountability in

the establishments.

In his presentation, the Senior

Lecturer, Mass Communication

Department, University of

Lagos, Dr Tayo Popoola, urged

business journalists to engage

in thorough research of the

agencies and adopt modern

technological tools to help them

to effectively report the agencies

in this pandemic time.

He said journalists could get

information on the activities of the

agencies from the National Bureau

of Statistics (NBS) and could

as well explore the opportunity

provided by the Freedom of Information

(FOI) Act to demand

information from the agencies.

On his part, a former Bloomberg

Correspondent, Mr. Vincent

Nwanma, advised journalists to

always probe into what the agencies

are doing and how their operations

are impacting on the lives

of average Nigerians as spelt out

in their mandates.

Nwanma said that Nigerians

look up to business journalists to

probe the government on their

behalf on how the nation’s

economy is being run and how

policies and programme of government

really affect their lives.

C

M

Y


20 — VANGUARD, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021


VANGUARD TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021— 21


C

M

Y

22— Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021 — 23


24 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

C

M

Y

K


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021 — 25


26 — Niger-Delta Voice, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

LIFESTYLE EXTRA

Those ones are not regular inmates

but come during meal times. We

have many of them like that but he

chose to come and steal. Since then,

he stopped coming here; maybe his

conscience is pricking him,” she

added.

VOL. 2: NO. 273 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

Rev Sisters go farming to feed

C’River Catholic home inmates

•We split our period between chapel and farm – Rev. Sister Bridget

•Callous thief break into farm, carts away yams

CROSS RIVER

…THE PEOPLE’S

PARADISE

By Emmanuel Una

CALABAR-

TWO

compassionate Reverend

sisters of the Catholic Church,

Calabar, Cross River State, simply

identified as Bridget and Onuigbo,

have joined farming to their

ecclesiastical work to raise

supplementary fund to feed old

and indigent persons at the Pope

John Paul II Good Samaritan

Home, a Catholic facility, which

they oversee.

They cultivate yam, cassava,

coco-yam and vegetables and

harvest at due season to feed about

25 persons, mainly old and needy

persons who can no longer feed

By Chancel Sunday

BURUTU—TWO months

after the Joint Military Task

Force, JTF, officially in search of

kidnappers, invaded Bolou-

Tubegbe community, Burutu Local

Government Area, Delta State with

gunboats and warplanes, burning

down houses, distressed residents

of the community have cried out

to the Federal Government that

they were living in hell and

abandoned since the offensive.

Leaders of the community have

issued the Federal Government a

21-day ultimatum to visit the

community and address the plight

of the people or face court action

for misapplication of power.

Operatives of the military JTF,

Bomadi Division, Nigerian Navy,

Warri Command and Nigeria

Airforce, Warri, stormed the

community on December 10, last

year, in a combined antibunkering/sea

piracy operation.

NDV visits Bolou-Tubegbe

community

NDV visited the community two

months after the invasion, where

the traditional head of Bolou-

Tubegbe community, Chief Boro

Ebegha, traditional head of the

parent community, Tubegbe, Chief

Christopher Appeal, chairmen of

both communities, Mr. Jacob

Pereotubo, Mr. Omoro Lawrence

and others were met deliberating

themselves at the home located

along Target Street, by Mary

Slessor Avenue.

The home has been hit by

shortage of food and other

provisions for some years now as

donations from kind-hearted

persons were no longer enough to

cater for the inmates, hence the

reverend sisters thought of a way

out.

It was learned that a thief,

suspected to be one of the

interlopers that come to the home

to eat from the labour of the sisters,

broke into the farm last year, and

carted away tubers of yam.

We share our time between

chapel, farm – Rev. Sister Bridget

NDV visited the home and was

received by Rev. Sister Bridget who

said they share their time between

going to the chapel for prayers and

going to the farm daily, except on

Sundays.

2 MONTHS AFTER JTF OPERATION:

on the studied destruction and worsening

dilemma of victims.

Communities cry out

In a resolution signed by Chief Ebegha,

Chief Appeal and two others, they said: “As

elders and opinion leaders of Tubegbe and

Bolou-Tubegbe communities, we hereby

inform the Federal Government that indigenes

of Bolou-Tubegbe are going through hell with

utter abandonment.

“On 10th December, 2020, the Nigerian Navy,

Nigerian Air Force all from Warri, and JTF

Bomadi and Warri commands invaded our

community with four gunboats, two warplanes

and burnt down our community.

“In the course of the invasion, about 5,000

indigenes have been rendered homeless as

property worth billions of naira were destroyed

in the community.

We are going through hell

“As law-abiding citizens, we waited patiently

for government intervention for two months

with no response. We are going through hell

as epidemic outbreak, both airborne and

water-borne, as well as hunger, are order of

the day.

JTF commander told us it’s routine

operation

“The community contacted the JTF

Commander, Bomadi Division, Captain

Dominic, over the issue and he said that it was

a normal routine anti-bunkering and sea

piracy operation.

What we want from Buhari

“We want to know from the Commander-inchief,

President Muhammadu Buhari, how a

routine anti-bunkering and sea piracy

operation should warrant burning down of a

whole community which has existed for over

1000 years?

“Note that Bolou-Tubegbe is not a militant

“Today is Saturday, we just left

the farm to the chapel for midday

prayers before you came and later

in the evening, we will go to the

farm before we retire for the day.

“The church is doing its best but

our prime supporters are members

of the public and organisations.

Since the support does not come

sometimes, we have to farm and

the harvest from our farm is most

times quite useful,” she added.

She confirmed that they farm

such crops as yam, cassava, cocoyam

and vegetables.

How suspect was caught

On the reported invasion of the

farm by thieves last year, Rev. Sister

Bridget disclosed: “The suspect is

one of the persons who usually

come here to eat and we do not

know what got into him and he

came to steal our yams which is

quite unfortunate.”

She said the suspected thief was

chased by some passers-by and he

•Rev. Sister Bridget

ran into the wildlife park but was

identified before he escaped into

the forest around the Calabar Zoo.

“Some people come from outside

during our meal times to feed.

By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo

LEADERS of Eket Local

Government Area, Akwa

Ibom State, have raised the alarm

over criminal activities

perpetrated by scrap metal

collectors and scavengers in their

villages, ranging from stealing to

breaking into people’s homes.

We’re going through hell, Delta community cries out

•5,000 Bolou-Tubegbe villagers displaced as epidemic breaks out — Leaders

•Community gives FG 21-day ultimatum to address dilemma or face court action

•We carried out simple operation—Army

DELTA... THE BIG

HEART OF THE NATION

camp, it is a community of law-abiding citizens under the

laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Some victims,

women and children are still taking refuge in Tubegbe here.

21-day notice

“As law-abiding citizens, we will still wait for the Federal

Government to visit the community to do the needful, failure

to which we will seek redress in a competent court of law for

misuse of power after 21 days of this Save-Our-Soul, SOS,”

they added.

*Bolou-Tubegbe community in ruins

Why children, family

members chase away their

old ones

She said many of the inmates

were those abandoned by families

and brought by members of the

public or alert is sent and someone

is sent to pick such a person.

Her words: “Some people when

they are virile and well-placed did

not take care of their children or

family members and so when they

grow old and cannot fend for

themselves, they are usually

pushed out by the family but we

cannot allow them on the streets,

we pick them up.”

She stated that old people in the

place were not restricted to only

Catholics but from all

denominations, adding: “The only

work they do now is to pray since

they are very close to their terminal

end.”

Scavengers, scrap metal collectors

vandalise homes, Eket leaders scream

AKWA A IBOM …

LAND OF PROMISE

Concerned leaders, including

former Minister of Lands, Housing

and Urban Development and the

Ata of Ekid, Chief Nduese Essien

and Chairman of Etebi Idung

Akpaisang, Chief Udia-Duff

Edohoeket who spoke at a town

hall meeting convened by Eket

Council chairman, Mr Akan

Tommey, called for urgent action

by the local government

authorities.

Youth president of Ikot Ibiok, Mr.

Ime Akpan lamented: “They

usually move around the villages

and carry out criminal activities,

especially on Sunday, when the

residents must have gone to

church. I also want to suggest that

the best solution is to ban them

from going into our villages to look

for scrap metals.

“People who have scraps to sell

should instead go to wherever the

collectors have their scrap

dumpsite. And I want to assure the

Council Chairman on behalf of

other village youth presidents that

we will support your effort to

ensure our villages are safe, clean

and peaceful,” he added.

Similarly, Mrs. Grace Itauma

who spoke on behalf of women

disclosed that the situation was

worrisome because the scrap

metal collectors were armed. she

said: “If you attempt to question

them, they will threaten you with

dagger, or even gun.”

Chief Essien pointed out: “Let

me also add that Eket residents

should always be vigilant. You

should be able to identify

strangers living among us and

what they do for a living. The

village youth presidents and

village heads must work together

to ensure that the villages are safe

and peaceful.”

“After the local government, the

next level of government is the

village government. That is why

this town hall meeting today is

very, very important. And I must

appreciate the LG Council

Chairman for the initiative,” he

said.

Responding to the issues raised,

the council boss, Akan Tommey,

said: “I cannot disclose our

strategy to tackle crime and

criminality at a public event like

this, but I can assure you that we

will not relax over the situation.

We will work with the security

agencies to ensure we tackle the

challenge. The village heads and

village youth presidents should

also assist us by reporting strange

movements in our villages.”


Niger-Delta Voice, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021 — 27

5 years after, Delta community

criticises snail-paced Emevor-

Orogun NDDC road project

•NDDC making efforts to address challenges

—Olorogun Egbo, Special Adviser on Media,

Publicity to Interim Administrator

By Festus Ahon &

Ochuko Akuopha

MEVOR — WHEN the

ENiger-Delta Development

Commission, NDDC, eventually

awarded the 17-kilometer

Emevor-Orogun Road to

WEKAMA Construction Company

in 2017, after several decades

of being in a deplorable

state, the joy of indigenes of the

agrarian community, Isoko

North Local Government Area,

Delta State knew no bounds as

they were optimistic that their

dream of having their major

road constructed was finally

coming to fruition.

However, five years after the

contractor mobilised to site, an

air of despondency has again

crept into the oil-rich community

as the traumatic experience

they have been going through

continues to persist.

Contractors vanishes

— Agboro, presidentgeneral,

Emevor

The contractor, according to

them, disappeared from site

without making any meaningful

progress.

Recounting the ordeal of his

people in an interaction with

NDV, President-General of the

Emevor Improvement Union,

Sir Moses Agboro, said: “It is

very painful in the sense that it

CROSS RIVER

…THE PEOPLE’S

PARADISE

By Ike Uchechukwu

AKWA ESUK IYAMBA —

PARA-MOUNT Ruler

and Head of Edem Odo Clan,

Akpabuyo Local Government

Area, Cross River State, HRM

Etinyin Maurice Nya and residents

of the area have called

on the Federal Government to

renovate the abandoned Slave

Trade Beach and Market at

Akwa Esuk Iyamba community

into tourist site.

It will also earn foreign

exchange

— HRM Nya

HRM Nya made the call

when NDV visited his community,

saying the project would

also bring in foreign exchange

to the Federal Government.

The beach/market situated at

Akwa Esuk Iyamba village was

established by a Dutch citizen

in the 17th Century and featured

a trade by barter market.

It was largest route for the

white men who came from

England and Germany during

is the only road Emevor has.

That is the only road that you

can say enters Emevor and you

will pass it to all the other villages,

about five of them, on the

way to Orogun.

“The problem is that people

are not able to fathom why

Emevor should be befallen by

such fate. The road is

deplorable, the government

talks about it, everybody talks

about it but it is not being addressed

in the way it ought to

be addressed.

“Since 2017, the road has

been given to a particular contractor.

If till now, the contractor

is not doing anything meaningful,

I think NDDC is supposed

to call him to order and

determine from him whether he

has the capability to carry on.

Out of all the clans in Isoko, it

is only Emevor that is suffering

what everyone is now talking

about. It is very painful to us.

“We have cried as much as we

can; we cannot talk of how

many community prayers have

been done, sometimes seven

days, calling upon God to intervene.

“If you say you want to go to

the villages now, you cannot

believe that in 2021, there is a

road that leads to a community

that is of that nature. It is not as

if you are driving along that

road and it gets bad at some

*Emevor-Orogun NDDC road project abandoned in Delta State.

point. It is bad right from James

Welch Grammar School. NDDC

that awarded it is not committed

to ensuring that the road is

completed.

From bad to worse

“From 2017 till date, the contractor

is yet to work to the level

of asking for payment. It is as

bad as that. We said now that

you have this problem, what can

you do to help the community

in the interim? He came and

dug the road and made it

worse; worse in the sense that

the potholes are now bigger

and deeper. Everyone in

Emevor is just confused about

this road.

“Frankly speaking, if they

have to address this problem, it

has to be a matter of deliberate

effort by government where

they will determine the contract

immediately and re-award it to

a competent contractor that has

the financial muscle to do it.

“NDDC is plagued with

problems in terms of payment,

they are not doing well at all,

unless you have your own

money and you can finish a job

and by using your connection.

Without connection, from what

I have seen, it is very difficult

to complete jobs in NDDC and

get paid.

“The present team handling

this contract will not be able to

complete it even in five years’

time. They have not shown the

sign at all.

What we want from

Omo-Agege, Manager,

Ogor

“What I am saying is that, it

is the only road that is called

Emevor road. If you are coming

from Orogun to Emevor, it

is the road you will pass

through. You are coming from

Emevor and you want to go to

Orogun to Abraka, it is also the

road you will pass, it is so strategic

and prominent.

“What we want is a road and

not an awarded job. We call

upon Deputy Senate President,

Senator Omo-Agege, Senator

James Manager and Hon. Leo

Ogor, to intervene by calling on

NDDC and putting pressure on

the contractor to complete the

project or hand it over to a more

competent contractor.”

On the problems presently

facing the commission, Agboro

said: “Those are the already

made excuses they now have,

forensic audit is pursuing them,

dissolution of board and all

C’River monarch, residents entreat FG to

transform slave trade beach/market to

tourist site

the slave trade era.

The monarch told NDV: “This

beach in Akwa Esuk Iyamba

River should be developed

into a tourist site to tell our

children what happened to our

great grandfathers who were

sold out to the white man’s

country.”

“By so doing, the history of

slave trade in this community

will not be completely wiped

out given the role it played in

our history. There is evidence

to show that the white men,

especially the Germans, lived

in Akwa Esuk Iyamba village,”

he said.

Trade by barter

still in practice

Speaking further, he disclosed

that there were a lot of

relics and other evidences that

could be “polished” to make

tourists come en-masse to the

community.

“From stories our forefathers

told us, what we have today

as “the bell” is always rung

whenever the ship for slave

trade arrives the beach, informing

slave trade merchants

to move their slaves down the

beach.

“Also, we have in this

community a “big bowel” only

God knows for what purpose

it was meant for. It took over

30 young men to move it out

from the beach to the paramount

ruler’s residence.

“Uruwa (market) Esumba” or

trade by barter market still

holds from 5.00 am to 7.00 am

every Saturday as people from

riverine areas will come with

their goods for sale. It was

called Ebon Christian. The

Germans were all living along

the beach too.”

We’ve plenty to

fascinate tourists

— High Chief Duke

Explaining further, a community

leader, High Chief

Duke, said: “Akwa Esuk

Iyamba is one of the major

beaches in Nigeria. The beach

had existed since 17th

Century. That is the only root

and road for slave trade market

in those days. The white man

had a wharf where their slave

trade ships berth. There was

also a bridge down the beach.

“The bridge collapsed because

we are minority, they

neglected us and we had nobody

to speak for us. Up till

today, the trade by barter market

still exists.

“We are appealing to the

Federal Government and wellmeaning

tourist and nonprofit

organisations to help develop

the place. We have a lot that

can attract tourists and many

of them (visitors) were actually

born here.

“The market, beach and

other relics can become a huge

foreign exchange spinner if

properly developed, and we

hope and pray that the

government will look into

this,” he said.

that.”

NDDC owing

WEKAMA, didn’t fund

project

—Anonymous official

Speaking on behalf of the

company, a top management

personnel who craved anonymity

said: “NDDC did not

give us money to continue

with that work and everybody

knows what is going on in

NDDC board right now.

“We have done a lot of work

which certificates are in the

system for that road expecting

payment for job done so that

we can continue. NDDC

people have been there

several times to inspect and

check.

“We still have some other

certificates in the system for

other projects which have not

also been paid. There is one

we did in Emevor, Ogoba

Street, which we have completed.”

Interim NDDC administration

to scrutinize

genuine contracts

—Olorogun Egbo

Special Adviser to the Interim

Administrator of NDDC

on Media and Publicity,

Olorogun Jaro Egbo, said: “I

actually passed through the

road recently and I raised it

with them and they said they

are working on it from the

Orogun end.

“This new administration is

taking so many things into

consideration in trying to work

out some of these things. With

the forensic audit going on

now, all contractors are

advised to go back to site so

that they can be paid. What

the interim administration is

doing now is to ensure that all

those who have genuine

contracts who have been

cleared by the audit and

certified that their work has

been done, will be paid.

“Do not also forget that for a

long time now there has been

no budget, but the budget has

just been passed and I think

by next week, the

management committee will

sit down and analyse the

budget and now arrangement

for payment.

“They have a budget now.

You know, because of the problem

and controversy generated

by the last interim management

committee and the

National Assembly, no budget

was passed, so they are just

trying to recover now and see

what can be do done."


28 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

Nigeria signs new power deal, plans 170MW supply to Togo, others

By Obas Esiedesa

THE Niger Delta Power

Holding Company (NDPHC)

has reached an agreement to

supply power directly to the

Republic of Togo, and is also in

discussion with the Cross River

State Government to supply

additional power to Calabar.

The Executive Director,

Generation, NDPHC, Mr. Kassim

Abdullahi stated after inspecting

the plant at the weekend.

The plant, which is wholly owned

by NDPHC under the NIPP

prgramme, has five units with

designed total capacity of 600

Mega Watts.

Speaking shortly after the

inspection visit, Abdullahi

described the plant as one of the

best among NDPHC plants with

gas available, and with a good

dispatch network.

According to him, “Calabar is one

of our best power stations under

the NDPHC and it is one of the

power stations that we have good

gas supply. Where we have a gas

supply agreement with ACCU

Gas and also we have very good

dispatch from Calabar axis because

we have some eligible customers

as well.

“We are here as part of our

inspection activities that are ongoing

as part routine maintenance

that we do on this power station.

We are running two units. In the

morning it was three units that

were available and on grid but

because of the instability and some

frequency control we had to go

down with one unit. The other two

units are undergoing

maintenance on the transformers,

loop oil and also on some of the

borrow scope inspection on the

engines.

“Calabar is doing very well. We

have gas, we have good network

for dispatch. It is one of the best”.

He explained that when all the

units are firing, Calabar plant has

560MW but with a designed

capacity of 600MW.

He disclosed that the Eligible

Customer framework “is one of the

key relieves for the power sector

that we have here in Nigeria.

More especially, most of the power

stations that we have in NDPHC

today are limited in their

operations because of the dispatch

challenges.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

Nigeria’s cooking gas supply drops by 22%

LPG supply in January 2021

Source: PPPRA

By Udeme Akpan

DESPITE its over 200 trillion

standard cubic feet, SCF, of

gas reserves, the supply of

Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG,

also known as 'cooking gas', has

dropped by 22 per cent in Nigeria,

due mostly to limited domestic

supply.

Data obtained from the

Petroleum Products Pricing

Regulatory Agency, PPPRA,

indicated that a total of 69,747.078

metric tonnes, MT, was supplied

in January 2021.

On Year-on-Year, YoY, basis, this

showed a drop of 22 per cent, when

compared to 89,908.839MT,

supplied in the corresponding

period of 2020.

Breakdown

A breakdown showed that of the

69,477.078MT supplied in 2021,

40,326.737MT was imported from

the United States, Argentina,

Trinidad & Tobago, and Equatorial

Guinea, while 29,420.341MT was

locally sourced from mainly the

Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas,

NLNG, Limited.

It also showed that of the

89,908.839MT supplied in 2020,

51,341.817MT, and

38,567.022MT were imported

from the global market, and

locally sourced, respectively.

NLPGA comment

Commenting on the

development, the Nigeria LPGas

Association, NLPGA, which

disclosed that demand has been

rising in the nation, added that

Nigeria, recently, exceeded one

million metric tonnes of the LPG

consumption per year.

In a document obtained by

Energy Vanguard, NLPGA,

stated: “The year 2020 will be

remembered for so many things,

least of all, a once in a century

global pandemic. But, within this

year also, Nigeria’s LPG sector

achieved a major milestone with

the laudable achievement of

exceeding the one million metric

tonnes per annum mark for gas

consumption.

“As at December 30, 2020, LPG

coastal supplies broke the one

million tonnes barrier for the first

time in Nigeria’s history, and

Nigeria being the first country to

hit this mark in the West African

sub region! Added to this are

additional milestones, such as

incremental volumes from inland

producers, as well as the

commissioning of two major inland

production plants. These are

significant achievements, in spite

of a COVID-19 ravaged economy,

global economic downturn and

numerous business environment

bottlenecks.

“Congratulations to industry

operators and the relentless efforts

of private sector-led ruggedness

of members of the Nigeria LPGas

Association, the umbrella body for

all stakeholders of the Nigeria’s

LPG sector.

“The NLPGA remains

committed to the sectoral growth

and development of gas, market

penetration and the multiplier

effect of expanded gas utilisation,

as can be gleaned from the

initiatives and policy direction of

Government.

Year of gas

Continuing, it stated: “The

declaration of 2020 as the ‘Year of

Gas' by the minister of State for

Petroleum Resources was no fluke.

The recent pronouncement of

President Muhammadu Buhari

that 2021-2030 is Nigeria’s next

‘decade of gas development’ is a

clear wake-up call for massive

growth and investment from

both local and foreign investors

to take advantage of the ever

dynamic and fast-growing LPG

market segment in Nigeria.

“Notably contributing to this

feat are the positive and forwardthinking

policies of the Federal

Government (more required), the

support from the office of the Vice-

President and its National LPG

Expansion Plan, NLEP. Equally

appreciated are the initiatives of

the National Gas Expansion

Program, NGEP, of the Ministry

of Petroleum Resources. We

recognise the continued support

and enforcement efforts of

government agencies, such as the

Standards Organisation of

Nigeria, SON, and the

Department of Petroleum

Resources, DPR, in conjunction

with the Joint Working Committee

in promoting, educating and

ensuring the safe use and

handling of LPG in Nigeria.

“In our strive to achieve

additional one million tonnes in

the next two years, the NLPGA

continues to advocate for

international best practices,

investment unlocking policies and

incentives, safe switch to gas from

other dirty fuels, and the famous

ease of doing business initiatives,

devoid of counter-productive and

unpopular levies, to further

catalyse sectoral growth for the

consequent public health safety

and macro economic advantages

to Nigerians in particular and the

nation’s economic wellbeing in

general.”

It also added: “Congratulations,

once again, to Nigerians for

demonstrating through increasing

demand for LPG as clean cooking

fuel that we do understand the

benefits and overall imperatives

for an accelerated switch to gas

from use of dirty fuels. And well

done to Nigeria’s LPG sector

players for ensuring that the

market was not starved of

sustained supplies.

Congratulations to the industry

and, please, continue to stay

safe.”

NLNG Report

However, in a report obtained

from its website, the NLNG

Limited, which expressed its

commitment to sustaining supply,

stated: “For over 10 years,

NLNG’s intervention in the

supply of Liquefied Petroleum

Gas, LPG, otherwise known as

cooking gas, to the domestic,

market under the NLNG

Domestic LPG, DLPG, scheme

has helped reduce the use of dirty

fuel sources for cooking. It has also

stimulated growth in the industry

by guaranteeing LPG supply,

availability, affordability and

enabling the development of a

value network for a sustainable

ecosystem towards a better

Nigeria.

“Between 2007 and 2018,

NLNG cumulatively supplied

over 1,452 kiloton, kt, of LPG to

the domestic market, spurring a

steady rise in annual domestic

consumption in a market that

was below 50kt per annum in

2007, to over 600kt per annum

in 2018. To ensure steady supply

of products, deliveries are made

through NLNG’s dedicated vessel

chartered for the DLPG scheme.

“The ongoing DLPG market's

deepening strategy yielded some

further dividends with the

commencement of deliveries to

Stockgap Terminal in Port Harcourt,

as part of deliberate moves to

encourage growth of the sector

beyond Lagos, and reduce the

impact of congestion of the Lagos

ports on deliveries into the market.

In continuous demonstration of its

commitment to its vision of 'helping

to build a better Nigeria', NLNG

has committed to delivering

350ktpa of DLPG annually to the

domestic market through Nigerian

companies, with whom it has

signed Sales and Purchase

Agreements, SPAs. The number of

these off-takers has increased from

just six at the inception of the DLPG

scheme in 2007, to 33 in 2018.”

Conclusion

However, experts expect

domestic supply to increase when

the Train 7 plant construction

becomes a reality. Besides

increased LPG domestic supply,

the plant would also increase LNG

production from the current 22

million tonnes to 30 million tonnes

per year, thus attracting additional

foreign exchange into Nigeria.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021 — 29

Alleged $4.5m debt: Heritage Oil MD

to face contempt proceedings

By Innocent Anaba

A

Security services

company, Eraskorp

Nigeria Limited, has initiated

a contempt proceeding

against the Managing

Director, Heritage Energy

Operational Services Limited,

HEOSL, Mr. Naeem Sadiq,

and the Managing Director

of a new generation bank,

before a Federal High Court,

sitting in Lagos.

The firm claimed that the

duo were yet to obey an order

of court restraining them from

interfering with specific

HEOSL accounts domiciled

in the bank to the limit of the

sum of $4,567,500, pending

the hearing and

determination of the motion

on notice filed before the

court.

Consequently, Eraskorp,

through its lawyer, Anthony

Omaghomi, filed Form 48,

which is a notice of

consequence of disobedience

to order of court, before the

Federal High Court in Lagos,

in suit number FHC/LCS/

1467/2020.

Trial judge, Justice

Chukwujekwu Aneke, had, on

December 10, 2020, following

an application by lawyer to

Eraskorp Nigeria Limited,

Omaghomi, restrained

Heritage Oil from tampering

with the specific account

domiciled in the bank.

Granting the application,

Justice Aneke restrained

Heritage Energy Operational

Services Limited from

tampering, utilising,

interfering, dissipating,

withdrawing, paying or

transferring funds in the

accounts with Nos:

4135082019 (Naira account),

4135082026 (Dollar

account), 4135082033 (Naira

cash call account),

4135082040 (Dollar cash call

account), 4135082095 (Naira

revenue account) and

4135082105 (Dollar cash

account) all the bank to the

limit of the sum of $4,567,

500, pending the hearing and

determination of the motion

on notice filed before the

court.

The court also directed the

respondent (HEOSL) to

immediately appoint two

members of its company, for

the purpose of constituting the

Performance Assessment

Team, in line with Clause 1

and 10.2 of the OML 30

Facilities Protection Services

Agreement entered into

between the parties.

But the applicant, in a letter

dated February 2, 2021,

written to the Group Legal

counsel of the bank, entitled:

Disobedience of Court Order in

Electricity: Local producers of pre-paid meters

kicks-off operation in Lagos, February ending

•As Lagos govt promises support

By Olasunkanmi

Akoni

A

Lagos-based foreign

electrical wares

manufacturing firm,

Elsewedy Electric has

disclosed plans to commence

full operation by February

ending, 2021 with emphasis

on production of pre-paid

meters.

Meantime, as part of

measures to create jobs and a

business-friendly

environment, the Lagos State

Government has assured that

it will continue to provide

support for the take-off and

sustenance of the enterprise in

the state.

Lagos State Deputy

Governor, Dr. Kadri Hamzat,

stated this while receiving the

Chief Commercial Officer

and Group Vice-President,

Africa of Elsewedy Electric

who led a team on a courtesy

visit to the state government,

in Alausa-Ikeja.

Speaking further, Hamzat

assured that the state is open

to engaging such businesses

towards taking off and

operating successfully.

Recalling an Executive

Order issued by the state to

patronise locally produced

goods, the Deputy Governor

said it was a strategy to ensure

that Nigeria- based

companies operate

sustainably.

He further promised that the

company would get the state’s

support if it puts on a

sustainable and competitive

operation that allows its

products to be marketed to

other states.

Earlier, the Chief

Commercial Officer and Vice-

President of the electric firm,

Mr. Mohammed Atef, said

the visit was to seek the

support and cooperation of

the state government on

expanding its investment in

the state and boost job

creation as the company “is

set to resume operations at its

Badagry factory.”

He stated that apart from

producing transformers, the

company will also produce

pre-paid meters for

households.

Atef explained that the

operation will push the

employment of Nigerians in

the organisation from 150 to

350 with a significant transfer

of technology by way of

training.

Total investment in Nigeria gulps

$10bn

By Ediri Ejoh

THERE are indications

that Total, the French oil

major company operating in

Nigeria may have made

investment worth over $10

billion in the country's oil and

gas sector in recent times.

This revelation is coming on

the heels of the global outfit's

announcement that it

henceforth wants to be known

as TotalEnergies, subject to

approval by shareholders.

Its new name is meant to

signify a move away from

dependence on crude. The firm

wants to grow its presence in

renewables and electricity

generation instead.

News of the rebrand came

as Total announced a huge

loss. In 2020, it plunged to a

deficit of 7.2 billion dollars.

However, the Nigerian arm

of the company claims to have

injected an investment worth

Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1467/

2020, accused the bank of

conspiring with Heritage Oil

(respondent) to dissipate the

funds from account numbers

4135082040 USD and

4135082033 NGN,

respectively.

The letter stated that since

the interim order was to last

till the hearing and

determination of the motion

on notice, all parties must

maintain status quo until the

motion on notice was

determined.

Facts deposed before the

court revealed that sometime

in 2017, the applicant

(Eraskorp) was appointed by

the respondent for the purpose

of securing crude protection

pipeline infrastructure,

installation and other

ancillary services across the

OML 30 operations.

On December 1, 2017, the

applicant and the respondent

reduced the applicant’s

engagement into writing and

a formal agreement titled:

OML 30 Facilities Protection

Services Agreement was

signed by parties.

The applicant claimed that

it performed its

responsibilities efficiently and

there was no reported case of

security lapse, neither was the

respondent dissatisfied with its

performance.

While stating that the

company will become fully

operational by the end of

February, Atef disclosed that

the organisation is very

interested and ready to

support efforts by government

to develop the state. Elsewedy

Electric is a manufacturer of

electrical components with

origin in Egypt. It has evolved

into a global provider of

energy, digital and

infrastructure solutions with a

turnover of Egyptian Pound,

EGP 46.6 billion in 2019.

It operates in five key

business sectors: Wire and

Cable, Electrical Products,

Engineering and

Construction, Smart

Infrastructure and

Infrastructure Investments.

$10billion into the nation's

economy in recent times.

An official of the company

who confirmed these

investments to Vanguard

Energy, reiterated the

company’s position in

deepening investment in

Nigeria.

According to him: “Total

has been relentlessly investing

in Nigeria regardless of the

not very favourable fiscal and

regulatory environment. But

the company has shown a lot

of faith in Nigeria and has

continued to invest regardless

of the uncertainties.

"We have our mantra to

become a strong energy

major. So this means we want

to provide energies in a cheap,

clean and affordable manner

and carbon neutrality by

2050. This means we are

refocusing on energy mix to

reflect the environmental

consciousness and preserve

the environment.‘‘


30 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

COVID-19: When Nigeria receives vaccines

doesn’t lie in our hands

— Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister for Health

• Says pandemic, vaccine nationalism, delaying supplies from COVAX Facility

By Chioma Obinna

SINCE the beginning of

January, 2021, Nigeria

has been expecting

delivery of COVID-19

vaccines, but nothing has

happened to date.

The World Health

Organisation, WHO and

GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance

and the Coalition for

Epidemic Preparedness

Innovations, CEPI, came

up with the COVAX

initiative to ensure that low

and middle income

countries have access to

the vaccines.

But COVAX has not

given a precise date for

when it will begin

distributing the vaccines.

Nigeria has put all its

hopes on the COVAX

Facility. The federal

government is also

expecting some vaccines

from the Africa Union

arrangement, expected to

deploy from March.

This development has

attracted criticisms about

government’s readiness

and commitment towards

ensuring the timely

vaccination of Nigerians

against the dreaded

pandemic.

Last week, the Minister

for Health, Dr Osagie

Ehanire, was in Lagos on

a working tour of facilities

at the Lagos University

Teaching Hospital, LUTH.

During the visit, Good

Health Weekly took him up

on the pending delivery of

the vaccines and he stated

categorically that Nigeria

may be getting the first

batch of the much-awaited

COVID-19 vaccines by the

end of February.

In hisresponse, Ehanire

said vaccine availability in

the country will depend on

when the government is

able to receive the doses.

Giving reasons why

Nigeria was yet to receive

the vaccines, he explained

that most of the countries

where the vaccines are

being manufactured are

having challenges and a

rough time with COVID-

19 pandemic.

“So, the question of

when you get a vaccine

depends on when the

manufacturer can give you

a vaccine.”

Speaking on the

COVAX facility, he said the

government has been told

that the vaccines will be

supplied by the end of the

February, which is in about

seven days time from

today.

“But, that is, as a matter

of hope that if it may not

be now but by March. But

it doesn't lie in our hands.

It is when the vaccine is

given to them we are ready

to receive it.

“We are ready to receive

it even this evening or

tomorrow. We are ready

and prepared, we have all

the things that we need to

prepare ourselves.”

Below is the full excerpt

of the interview:

Delivery of the

COVID-19 vaccines

First, let me say that we

do not produce these

vaccines. Now, we are

receiving a lot of messages

and questions around

when are we going to get

a vaccine, when are we

going to start vaccinating?

Other countries are

vaccinating, so we are

working on that subject

very diligently.

They (vaccines) are

manufactured abroad in

about four or five countries,

as well as the creators of

vaccines; I think they are

few the United States,

United Kingdom, Russia,

and China. I think these

have really succeeded in

making vaccines.

Manufacturing

licenses

Now, they're giving

manufacturing licenses to

other countries to

manufacture these

vaccines.

For example, South

Africa has a license to

By Sola Ogundipe &

Chioma Obinna

NO less than 1 in 5

individuals in Lagos,

Enugu and Nasarawa

States have ever been

infected with SARS-CoV-

2 (COVID-19 virus), even

as more Nigerians are still

at risk, according to

findings of COVID-19

H o u s e h o l d

Seroprevalence Surveys in

Four States of Nigeria.

The surveys were

conducted by the Nigeria

Centre for Disease Control,

NCDC, the Nigeria

Institute of Medical

Research, NIMR, and

their partners, between

September and October

2020.

They were designed to

improve the estimated

burden of COVID-19

infection in the country

and provide a more

detailed estimate of the

extent of infection with the

Dr Osagie Ehanire

manufacture Johnson &

Johnson vaccines, India

has a license to make

AstraZeneca, and Russia

has just given license also

to India, to make their

Sputnik V, and so on and

so forth.

Pfizer has given license

to Belgium to make their

own vaccine. So all these

vaccines are being made

elsewhere, and all these

countries are all having

very serious challenges

with the COVID-19.

SARS-CoV-2 virus which

causes COVID-19.

The report , jointly signed

by Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu

and Professor Babatunde

Salako, the Directors

General of the NCDC and

NIMR, respectively, said

the prevalence of SARS-

CoV-2 antibodies was 23

percent in Lagos and

Enugu States, 19 percent

in Nasarawa State, and 9

percent in Gombe State.

“This means that as many

as 1 in 5 individuals in

Lagos, Enugu and

Nasarawa State would

have ever been infected

with SARS-CoV-2. In

Gombe, the proportion is

about 1 in 10,” the

statement noted.

The findings also said:

“These rates of infection are

higher than those reported

through the national

surveillance system and

reveal that the spread of

infection in the states

They are having rough

times. Most of the vaccines

being manufactured are

held up in those countries.

Vaccine

nationanlism

The World Health

Organisation has decried

what they call ‘vaccine

nationalism’ - they're

making the vaccines and

keeping to themselves

whereas these vaccines are

actually what the whole

world needs.

COVID-19 is attacking

the whole of mankind so

the world should get

access to vaccines.

Just yesterday, (Friday)

they were saying that 75

percent of all the vaccines

produced so far, is being

used in 10 countries.

Others are not getting. So

even if you have the

money, and you go there

now, they will not give you

the vaccine because they

have to satisfy the needs of

those countries who have

paid before or paid big, big

money before now.

Donation of surplus

doses

So the next issue we

have now is asking those

countries who have

surpluses to release some

of theirs. And just

yesterday, France

suggested that all those

countries should release 5

percent of the vaccines they

ordered.

And then, Boris Johnson

of the of the UK said that

they will release some of

their surpluses, because

they all booked surpluses,

some of them booked three

times of their population.

If their population is 39-40

million, then they booked

200 million doses while

others have none.

So the question of when

we will a vaccine depends

on when the manufacturer

can give you the vaccine.

We are working with the

COVAX initiative. They're

waiting for the vaccines to

be supplied to them so

they can distribute. They

haven't gotten vaccines yet

but we are told that it will

be at the end of this month,

which is about 10 days time.

Federal government

readiness

The arrival of the vaccines

doesn't lie in our hands but

when the vaccines are

given to them (COVAX),

we are ready to receive

even this evening and start

vaccinating tomorrow.

We are getting vaccines

from the COVAX facility

which was set up by the

World Health

Organisation, and GAVI

that has always been a

partner for vaccine access,

and they have the facility

to supply 20 percent of our

vaccine requirements.

That vaccine requirement

of 20 percent will cover

health workers and some

other people but we are

looking for a total of about

60 to 70 percent. So apart

from this 20 percent, we

need another 40 to 50

percent, which we can get

from the African Union, we

are working with the

African Union for all African

countries where before

yesterday (Friday), they

had only 270 million doses.

But last night I heard they

got another 300 million

doses 570 million that will

take care of most Africa

countries, and we can now

choose the type of vaccine

that we are looking for, and

make our order.

Bank account

opened

We have already opened

an account. This is been

underwritten by the African

Bank, which is

underwriting with $2

billion so that Africans and

African countries will not

be left behind.

1 in 5 persons infected with COVID-19 in Lagos, 2 others — SURVEY

• Significant proportion of Nigerians still at risk

surveyed is wider than is

obvious from surveillance

activities.

“This is not surprising for

COVID-19, given that a

majority of those infected

do not have any

symptoms.”

Results of the surveys

further showed higher

rates of infection among:

males than females (for

example, 10 percent vs 7

percent in Gombe and 21

percent vs 17 percent in

Nasarawa); urban

compared to rural and

residents (for example, 28

percent vs 18 percent in

Enugu and 23 percent vs.

19 percent in Lagos); and

persons aged 18-64 years.

There were also variations

across the local

government areas (LGA)

within the four states.

The survey team noted

that these observations are

in tandem with what had

been reported by the

NCDC based on the

national surveillance

system.

Blood samples were

collected from over 10,000

individuals residing in a

representative sample of

households in the four

states.

The blood samples were

then tested for the

presence of SARS-CoV-2

antibodies applying

locally validated

laboratory tests.

Individuals who provided

blood samples also

answered a brief

questionnaire that enabled

the study team to

characterise factors related

to positivity and identify

which population groups

were most affected.

In interpreting the

results, the survey team

noted that "SARS-CoV-2

emerged only one year

ago and antibody

response according to

severity of infection and the

duration of antibody

persistence are not yet

completely understood".

“Given the high

proportion of asymptomatic

cases in Nigeria, the true

seroprevalence of ever

having infection may be

underestimated in the

survey if individuals

infected early in the

outbreak no longer had

sufficient antibodies for

detection when the survey

was conducted.

“From the survey, a

significant proportion of

people in Nigeria are still

at risk of SARS-CoV-2

infection and therefore,

COVID-19.

“It is very important that

Nigerians continue to

adhere to public health

and social measures

including regular

handwashing, proper use

of face masks and

physical distancing.”


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021 — 31

Beware of Nipah virus, potential next

disease pandemic, WHO warns

.75 times more deadly than novel coronavirus

By Sola Ogundipe

AS the second wave

of the COVID-19

pandemic sweeps across

the world, a brain-swelling

viral disease known as

Nipah, that is 75 times

more deadly than

COVID-19, could potentially

mutate to become the

next global pandemic, scientists

have warned.

The fruit bat-borne virus

that manifests with severe

brain swelling, seizures

and vomiting was first discovered

in 1999 in Malaysia

after it spread from

pigs to humans.

Nipah is one of 260

known viruses with epidemic

potential. Already,

the disorder has sparked

fears among health experts

in view of its high

rate of mutation and fatality.

The World Health Organisation,

WHO, has already

listed the Nipah

virus as one of 16 priority

pathogens for research

due their epidemic potential

to spark an epidemic

Nipah is particularly

worrying as it has high

rate of mutation and an

incubation period of up to

45 days, meaning a person

could spread it long

before falling sick.

Worse still, the virus has

ability to jump from one

animal to another and

there are fears that a

strain that is better

adapted to human infections

could spread rapidly

across South East Asia.

With COVID-19 virus

mutating and so far killing

almost 2.5 million people,

the next pandemic

could be far worse. The

WHO says the mortality

rate of Nipah is 40 to 75

percent higher than the 1

percent rate for COVID-

19.

In view of the foregoing,

scientists are worried that

the next pandemic could

be far worse than the

COVID-19 crisis and they

are putting the world on

notice to be prepared for

the inevitable.

The Director of Vaccine

Research and Development

at the at the Coalition

for Epidemic Preparedness

Innovations,

CEPI, Dr Melanie Saville,

said the world needs to be

prepared for the next "big

one".

Saville said although

there are no current

Nipah outbreaks in the

world, it is 'extremely

likely' another will happen

in the future.

"Nipah is one of the viruses

that could absolutely

be the cause of a

new pandemic. Several

things about Nipah are

very concerning.

"Most crucially we

shouldn't just be looking

at Nipah. We know that a

future pandemic is inevitable,

and there are many

other emerging infectious

diseases that are recognised

as having epidemic

potential,” Saville

warned.

She said known diseases,

such as influenza,

could turn into

pandemics, as well as

unidentified viruses,

known as 'Disease X'.

GSK, Sanofi begin new COVID-19 vaccine

study after setback

G LAXOSMITHKLINE

and Sanofi on Monday

said they had started a new

clinical trial of their proteinbased

COVID-19 vaccine

candidate, reviving their

efforts against the

pandemic after a setback in

December delayed the

shot’s launch.

The British and French

drugmakers aim to reach

final testing in the second

quarter, and if the results

are conclusive, hope to see

the vaccine approved by the

fourth quarter after having

initially targeted the first

half of this year.

In December, the two

groups stunned investors

when they said their

vaccine would be delayed

towards the end of 2021

after clinical trials showed

an insufficient immune

response in older people.

Disappointing results

were probably caused by an

inadequate concentration

of the antigen used in the

vaccine, Sanofi and GSK

said, adding that Sanofi

has also started work

against new coronavirus

variants to help plan their

next steps.

CLEANER PLANET: Milo switches to paper straws

By Chioma Obinna

FOR a safer cleaner

planet, Milo has

switched from plastic to

paper straws for its

Ready-To-Drink (RTD)

packs, a first of its kind in

Nigeria in the beverage

category.

According to the makers

of the product, Nestlé

Nigeria, the aim was to

eliminate 60 metric tons of

plastic yearly.

Nestlé Nigeria is taking

on this bold step to deliver

on the company’s global

commitment to make 100

per cent of Nestlé’s

packaging recyclable or reusable

by 2025 to protect

the environment.

Speaking in a press

statement on the paper

straws for MILO Ready-

To-Drink (RTD), the MD/

CEO for Nestlé Nigeria,

Mr Wassim Elhusseini

who explained that the

newly developed paper

straws are 100 per cent

biodegradable as well as

safe and easy to use

added that consumers can

purchase the new packs

starting this February.

“We are proud to take

this leading action to

protect the environment.

Transforming how we

make, use, reuse and

recycle our packaging

plays an important role in

the bold commitments we

have made to reduce

packaging waste and

mitigate climate change.

“This is proof that Nestlé

and other companies can

be a force for good in

society by providing

products that are good for

people and good for the

planet,” Wassim

reaffirmed.

On his part, the

Category Manager,

Beverages, Nigeria,

Olutayo Olatunji said:

“By introducing papers

straws, Milo is shoulderto-shoulder

with

consumers to improve our

environment.

Scientists have long expressed

concerns over the

threat of zoonotic diseases

(infections jumping from

animals to humans) and

the danger of them causing

a pandemic every five

years.

Human interaction with

nature is a prime driver

of Nipah and other new

zoonotic diseases.

Pigs caught the disease

after eating infected mangoes

before passing the

virus on to pig farmers

and other humans.

Lagos deploys COVID-19

result verification platform

By Sola Ogundipe

THE Lagos State

Government has

deployed a verification

platform to validate

authenticity of COVID-19

PCR tests done within the

Private Laboratory

Consortium and all State

Public laboratories for

outbound flights.

In a statement, the

Commissioner for Health,

Prof Akin Abayomi, said the

platform can be accessed

through an App and the

use of a USSD option, which

is available on all networks

in Nigeria, and abroad as

long as the mobile line is

on a Nigerian

Telecommunications

Network.

“It can be accessed by

dialing *35131*19# on the

9mobile network and

*55500*19# on all other

networks and following the

onscreen prompts to verify

results.

“The first 30,000 result

verification will be free –

courtesy of the Lagos State

Government. Subsequent

verification attracts N50

per usage for the user/

client.”

Further, he said the Lagos

State COVID-19 Result

Verification App can be

downloaded through

Google Store, Apple Store

or directly through the

internet.

“It will utilise the

laboratory reference

number to verify the

COVID-19 PCR test,

validating the result realtime

and passengers can

download their result

sheets, which can be

shown to anyone requiring

it.

The App version can be

used and accessed within

and outside of Nigeria but

unlike the USSD, does not

require a Nigerian

Telecommunications

Network. It is available once

it is downloaded and the

internet is available. It is

noteworthy to mention that

verification through the

App is free at all times.

“The process can be used

by all clients who require

the validation of COVID-

19 PCR results, such as

Airports, Airlines, Workrelated

processes and

passengers themselves.

The Lagos State

Government would also be

placing personnel at the

Murtala Mohammed

International Airport to

assist in the verification

process of the COVID-19

PCR results for all outbound

passengers.


32 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

Housing deficit: Developer canvasses one million homes yearly, delivers N1.4b housing project

Against the backdrop of

the huge housing deficit

facing the country, the

Managing Director,

Tetramanor Nigeria Limited,

a real estate development

firm, Mr. John

Beecroft, has stressed the

need for stakeholders in

the housing sector to deliver

one million homes

yearly, to close the gap.

Beecroft stated this at the

grand opening of TM

Meadows, a residential

housing project located in

Ebute-Metta. The

commissioning witnessed

the handing over of keys

to the subscribers of the

project.

TM Meadows comprises

37 units of two and threebedroom

apartments and

four-bedroom maisonettes.

Other facilities include

maid’s room, extensive

parking lots, ‘reverse osmosis’

treated water supply,

spacious garden and playground,

24 hours security,

Closed Circuit Television,

backup power transformer,

and supermarket.

The N1.4 billion project

which started two years ago,

is a mixed purpose development

that includes both residential

and commercial

spaces and is strategically

located five minutes drive

from the Third Mainland

Bridge.

According to him, developers

would have to keep providing

the basic infrastructure

for housing projects,

which will invariably impact

on cost of housing delivery,

as expectation that

government would provide

the basic infrastructure has

failed over time.

Speaking on TM Meadows,

Beecroft said: “Out of

the 37 units, 34 have already

been sold. And this is well

understood when you consider

that despite the adverse

economic environment,

we went all out to provide

real quality spaces,

with special features such

as a jogging path, Gym,

Mini Basket Court, Italian

electrical and sanitary fittings,

and high quality

wooden GQ doors.”

The firm, he noted, was no

exception to the impact of

the global health crisis, increase

in the exchange rate,

prices of building materials

and the #EndSARS protest,

which prompted shutting

down of site and caused delay

of about six months to

deliver the N1.4b project.

He said: “We provide light;

the paving on the road was

done by us, water and power

supply, as well as pay for

security. Most of our building

materials are imported,

price of cement went up

from N2,300 to N3,500, iron

rod increased by about 20

per cent, POP went up by ove

100 per cent, the cost of

doors also increased by 100

per cent. The cost of labour

didn’t increase that much

but material costs are the

main thing in any building

project. We had to increase

prices a bit, but we couldn’t

cut down on quality.”

However, he said the firm

remains resolute in delivery

of quality, reasonably priced

residential and commercial

spaces for Nigerians

who are in need of a place

to call home.

“The site for TM

Meadows initially was a

scanty town with old ships

buried when we came here

but it has been

transformed now. We have

completed several projects

including serviced

apartments, residential estates

and homes for private

clients. We have completed

about 13 projects

that include, Comfy Burrows,

TM Gardens and

Winterfell providing 110

homes and creating jobs.

By Kingsley Adegboye

There are various

land documents affecting

real estate

development in Nigeria

such as the transfer of

land ownership and legal

interest in a property.

A prospective buyer of

land must be acquainted

with appropriate land

documents relevant to

the property under consideration.

All documents

are not mandatory

or relevant to a single

property, however, an

appropriate document

for any proposed property

transaction will be

determined by the nature

or circumstances of

the property to be purchased.

Corroborating this, the

Managing Director,

Why land title issues remain

inimical to real estate development

Abuja Property Development

Company APDC,

Lawal Aliyu Magaji,

while speaking on One

Square Metre, a real estate

development programme

recently in

Abuja, said the high cost

of land titles has been

identified as a major impediment

to real estate

development in Abuja in

particular and Nigeria in

general.

According to the managing

director of the

Abuja-based real estate

company, government,

especially in the FCT, is

going in the right direction,

as they are trying to

•Housing Estate

ease the process, and remove

one of the major

impediments to the

growth of real estate in

the area of title.

He said the new programme

is making it possible

to have titles within

a very short period of

time, something that has

been a real problem, especially

for those in the

sector.

Magaji said: “At a particular

time, we wanted

to develop with Shelter

Afrique. Nigeria is one

of the biggest contributors

to them, but in terms

of benefits or loans, Nigeria

is the least in terms

of getting funds from

Shelter Afrique and the

major issue is title.

“Shelter Afrique will

not fund projects without

Certificate of Occupancy

C of O, and you find out

that most developers find

it difficult to lay the premium.

Once you have

the Right of Occupancy

RoO, you feel you can go

to the field and start

something. But when the

computation is done for

the premium that you

have to pay, you see that

it is so massive. But now,

the government is trying

to make it easy for people

to be able to have

those titles and we hope

to see a lot of good in

that.”

Meanwhile, some of

the title documents required

for real estate development

according to

Resolution Law Firm include

land purchase receipt,

which means that

a land purchase receipt

is a normal receipt or

document reflecting the

receipt of payment for a

particular property or

land. Usually, vendors

issue a receipt to the

buyer upon the sale of a

property. However, the

receipt may be obviated

where the clause for receipt

is contained in the

document transferring

the land.

Contract of sale of

land: This is used by parties

to agree on some

terms before the finalization

of the transaction. It

is relevant when any

property is to be purchased

by anyone. It is

not a registrable instrument

and must be preceded

with other

documents transferring

title in the applicable

property.

Survey plan: A survey

plan is used to show the

location and size of

landed property. With

the descriptions and coordinates

on the survey

document, it is easier to

check or search from the

office of the Surveyor-

General whether the

land is actually under

any government acquisition

or not.

Deed of assignment:

Deed of assignment or

deed of conveyance is

used in sales

transactions to permanently

transfer a landed

property from the seller

(also known as assignor)

to the buyer (also refers

to as assignee). It may

be drafted by the

assignor and reviewed

by the assignee or vice

versa.

Certificate of

occupancy: C of O is

usually issued by the

state government indicating

that a person

owns a parcel of land or

property. It is issued to

individuals that have

held a piece of land

before 1979. State governments

also give it to

the allottees of the government's

land. An

individual who subsequently

takes over land

by way of sale does not

require a new certificate

of occupancy but rather

a deed of assignment

with the governor's

consent.

Deed of mortgage:

Deed of mortgage is actually

used in mortgage

transactions to show that

land or property has been

transferred from the mortgagor

(borrower) to the

mortgagee (lender). It is

a temporary transfer in the

sense that the mortgagor

shall be entitled to

retrieve this property back

from the lender when the

total loan amount, together

with the accrued

interest, has been paid.

Deed of gift: A document

that proves that land

or property has been

gifted from one person

(Donor) to another

(Donee). A deed of gift can

be used to transfer interest

in a landed property

permanently.

Grant of probate: A

grant of probate is a document

derived after proving

the will of a deceased person

through inheritance in

the probate registry. The

document vests all the

assets contained in the will

into the executors of the estate,

who are now

recognised legal owners of

the property in law. After

the owner of any property

has become late, all the

property's documents of

such person are no longer

valid to transfer any

interest in the assets left

behind by him or her. The

Probate will now be the

only recognised legal

documents to prove the

title to such property.

Letter of administration:

The letter of administration

also vests the property left

behind by a deceased

person into the

administrators of a specific

estate. It is usually granted

to the personal

representatives of a deceased

person where the

deceased left no will before

death or where the will

has become invalid for any

reason.

Assent: This is a legal

document used to vest an

interest in a specific estate

into the beneficiaries of an

estate or any third-party

buyer by the executors or

the administrators of the

estate. It is always

accompanied by a copy of

a grant of probate or letter

of administration.


From Kankara to Kagara: The

Deification of Banditry

BY DAKUKU

PETERSIDE

THE recent abduction of 27

pupils and 15 workers of

Government Science College,

Kagara, Niger State by armed

bandits is another demonstration

of the dilapidated state of

security in Nigeria and the Nigerian

state’s failure to secure

the lives and ensure the safety

of her citizens. According to

news reports, the bandits demanded

N500m to release the

abducted students and workers

held in a forest that connects

Kebbi, Zamfara, Niger and the

Kaduna States. Kaduna-based

Islamic cleric Ahmad Gumi is

said to be negotiating with the

bandits. Niger State Governor

Abubakar Bello Sani has

vowed to do everything within

his powers to ensure the students

are released unhurt.

This incident comes at the

heels of the heinous abduction

of about 400 government secondary

school students, Kankara

in Katsina State by bandits

last December. Many Nigerians

scoffed at government

claims that it did not pay any

ransom for the Kankara boys’

release.

Interestingly, there are no

records of any official inquest,

arrest or prosecution relating

to the Kankara incident. Some

of the bandits who carried out

the abduction have become

media celebrities. Kagara is an

*Dakuku Peterside

expected consequence of Kankara.

If Kagara goes the way of

Kankara, the stage is set to deify

armed banditry in Nigeria

and tacitly give it consent as an

industry.

Northern Nigeria, especially

the Northwest, which used to

be the bastion of security and

stability, has been hit hard by

rural banditry, becoming a

more significant security threat

to the country than the Boko

Haram insurgency. While the

terrorists seem more organised

and carry out more coordinated

attacks, the bandits are a

loose bunch of armed criminals

operating on a more incredible

expanse of territory. They

attack villagers daily and keep

tens of millions of Nigerians in

perpetual fear and angst. About

21 million Nigerians living in

Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger,

Sokoto, Kebbi and the Katsina

States are exposed to insecurity

from bandits’ activities.

The incidents of banditry in

Northwest Nigeria began as a

farmer/herder conflict in 2011.

It intensified between 2017 to

2018 to include cattle rustling,

kidnapping for ransom, sexual

violence, and mass murder.

Innocent Nigerians are currently

bearing banditry’s

scourge in about 35 out of 92

local government areas in the

five states.

The problem further exacerbated

by the discovery of gold

mines, which brought about illegal

miners competing to control

gold reserves. According to

a news report, by March 2020,

more than 210,000 people have

been internally displaced by the

bandits. More than 35,000 refugees

have crossed communal

borders to Maradi in the Niger

Republic seeking refuge.

The bandits are very deadly

too. According to the West Africa

Network of Peacebuilding

(WANEP), from January to December

2019, armed bandits

were responsible for more than

1,000 civilian deaths in the

Northwest. This figure is more

The armed bandits

of north-western

Nigeria are

hardened criminals

taking advantage of

geography, illegal

mining, inadequate

security, ungoverned

spaces, and

small arms proliferation

than civilians killed by Boko

Haram over the same period

(though not more than all those

killed, including soldiers and

Boko Haram members). In the

last decade, more than 8,000

people were murdered in the

states of Kebbi, Sokoto, Niger

and Zamfara, according to the

International Crisis Group.

The armed bandits of northwestern

Nigeria are hardened

criminals taking advantage of

geography, illegal mining, inadequate

security, ungoverned

spaces, and small arms proliferation.

It is also related to the

vexatious farmer-herder imbroglio.

In Nigeria’s Northwest, we

have a vast, rugged, and haz-

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021 — 33

ardous terrain grossly underpoliced.

more than ten daily kidnap-

Some of the forests in pings in the central road con-

this area run alongside the various

necting Abuja and Kaduna.

porous borderlines on the Since last year, they entered annecting

region’s frontiers. The borders other level, targeting schools

are poorly demarcated, underpoliced

and abducting many students.

and thus not well-gov-

They draw local and interna-

erned. Consequently, there is an tional attention as they negotiate

abundance of nefarious activities,

with government authori-

often facilitated by criminal

ties for the release of their ab-

syndicates. Most of the ductees.

country’s poorly governed rural

Last year, their crass brazen-

communities, with little or ness became apparent when

no government presence, are they attacked President Buhari’s

remote. In most of these places,

home state of Katsina, just

houses are separated by and interspersed

as the president was visiting for

with forest areas. a vacation. They had already

This fact renders them vulnerable

killed more than 100 people in

to banditry, and the situa-

Katsina in attacks between

tion is made worse by the absence

April and June 2020.

of useful community po-

The Kagara incident and

licing mechanisms capable of prevalence of rural banditry in

addressing the hinterlands’ peculiar

northwest Nigeria raises fun-

security challenges. damental questions about the

Some bandit attacks are rooted

government’s ability to govern

in decades-long competition effectively. The state security

over resources between herders machinery has so far failed to

and farming communities. The tackle the scourge of banditry.

nomadic herders sometimes At the same time, it is understandable

get in deadly clashes with farmers,

that the prevailing

which leads to the formation

socio-economic existential

of armed self-help groups, conditions in Northwestern Ni-

called vigilantes, by both the geria complicate the area’s security

farmers and herders for protectionans

situation. Some Nigeri-

assume that the government

In some instances, these herders,

is waving a white flag in

initially armed to protect the face of bandits’ criminal activities.

their cattle, often use their guns

and ammunition for criminal I suggest that the federal government

activities, especially kidnapping,

should adopt a kind

which is more lucrative of carrot and stick approach to

than herding. While a big cow bringing the problem of banditry

can fetch about N200000 in

to an end. On the carrot

the market, one successful kidnapping

side, there should be a recognilions

can fetch tens of miltion

that some of the factors that

of Naira. This is the economic

lead to banditry include youth

incentive to banditry. unemployment, poverty, and

Allegedly, the bandits based inequality. The government

in North west forests are the latest

should strive to build trust with

to join Nigeria’s lucrative local communities by address-

kidnap for ransom industry and ing the structural inequalities

are the most daring in their operations.

that drive people to violence -

Kidnapping for ran-

poverty, a lack of education and

som is widespread in Nigeria, opportunity and government

but the bandits seem to have ineptitude at various levels.

redefined it. Between 2017 and

2018, they organised themselves

into more than 20 differ-

online:@www.vanguardngr.com

C o n t i n u e s

ent groups who perpetrated


34 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

Anyim at 60: Salute to service and humility

By SAM NWAOBASI

RE you sure he is only 60?”

‘A a close associate of his shot

at me during a discussion on the

60th birthday celebration of

Senator Anyim Pius Anyim. I was

taken aback. I could have asked

that question myself. Knowing

where he comes from, Igbo land,

where opportunities are lean and

competition very keen, if not cut

throat, to have been elected Senate

President 21 years ago and

appointed Secretary to the

Government of the Federation ten

years ago should raise questions

or doubts as to how can Anyim be

only 60? I believe Senator Anyim.

I know some of his school mates.

I have listened to his story from •Senator Anyim Pius Anyim @ 60

both himself and people who grew

up with him in their rural village in Ishiagu

in Ebonyi State.

His is a clear case of God’s grace locating

a man, whom nothing from his family or

his own efforts recommended for what God

has brought his way. His story and

background are not lost on him. I guess, his

humility and simple life style all stem from

the fact that he acknowledges that it has

been God all the way for him. Senator Anyim

Pius Anyim has refused to be defined by what

life threw at him at birth. With limited

resources, to put it most mildly, he struggled

through primary and secondary schools. He

ended up reading Law at Imo State

University and later obtained a Master’s

degree also in law from the University of

Jos. His career progression and

accomplishments in life are already in the

public domain.

Anyim has been specially blessed by God

in ways and areas that are very obvious and

many other areas people may not see easily.

It is easy to see the political offices he has

occupied, which have given him stature and

visibility in the society. It is also easy to see

his acquisitions: houses, cars, etc. Now, how

easy is it to see good health and sound mind,

that enables a man to wake up strong, work

from morning to night every day of the week?

How easy is it to

see peace of

mind, made

possible by a wife

who is totally

devoted, caring,

loving, a prayer

warrior and an

excellent

manager of the

home front? How

Anyim has

incredible

energy and

appetite for

work; he holds

nothing back

when there is

work to be done

easy is it to see the

joy that comes from responsible, respectful

and well-mannered children who are

nothing like the typical’ rich man children’

peddling their father’s influence and

flaunting their family wealth?

I wonder how many people, outside the

church and family circles that know Anyim’s

wife, an accomplished woman in her own

right; a law graduate from a modestly noble

background. She minds her business, which

essentially are to look after her husband and

children. These are real wealth hidden from

the eyes. Senator Anyim has successfully

‘infected’ his closely knit family with his

humility and modesty. In his home peace

and love reign. His wife, like the submissive

and dutiful wife she is, treats people with

respect and welcomes visitors warmly. She

shares freely whatever she has with all

around her. She spares a thought for

everyone. This is also to wish Mrs. Chioma

Anyim a happy birthday, which she marked

on February 18, only a day before her

husband’s.

As Senator Anyim celebrates 60, his

family, friends and associates are rejoicing

with him. Save for the COVID-19 pandemic,

there are many people, whose lives Senator

Anyim has touched in positive ways, who

are ready to bring down the roof in

celebration of him. Many people have good

things to say about Anyim. One recurring

testimony from almost every person that

paid tribute to him on the occasion of his

60th birthday is his humility. From bosses

whom Anyim worked under, to associates

and contemporaries, to people who have

worked under him or for him, to widows in

his Ishiagu community, everyone is talking

about his humility and sense of commitment

to duty.

Anyim has incredible energy and appetite

for work. He holds nothing back when there

is work to be done. He drives those working

with him very hard. He has served Nigeria

with commitment and dedication. His

record of service to our dear country is

outstanding and untainted by scandals and

controversies. From a distance, given his

huge frame and often serious visage, Anyim

may come across as a-not-too friendly

person. His taciturn nature does not help

this assumption either. He talks little and

when he does, his almost inaudible voice,

which belies his physical disposition masks

the seriousness of his subject matter. He can

be very committed to whatever he is doing.

Senator Jonathan Zwingina, while paying

tribute to him said: “If Anyim wants

something from anyone, he will be so

focused and persistent that the individual

will have to yield, if not on the merit of the

request but at least to have some respite”.

Anyim thinks his actions and moves

through thoroughly. He is easily taken for

granted by those who don’t know him too

well. I guess this has worked well for him

especially in politics. People don’t easily see

him coming. Anyim loves and guards his

peace of mind jealously. He avoids

confrontations as much as he can, but does

not run away from battles when brought to

his door steps. There is an interesting side of

the Anyim persona that was hidden by

pressure of work that has come to the fore

since he left office in 2015. Anyim now

radiates happiness, banters lively, ‘laughs

out loud’ to borrow the language of today’s

people, and generally has time to ‘live’.

Anyim is not the typical career politician.

He has a second address. Once out of office,

he retires to his law firm and carries on with

his life like any other ordinary citizen. At 60

what should Anyim be doing with his rich

experience and deep knowledge of the

workings of the government at both the

legislative and executive arms? Having been

exposed to the business of governance at very

strategic and high levels, what benefits can

the nation draw from the reservoir of

knowledge that Anyim and many like him

possess? At such a time Nigeria is grappling

with myriad of challenges in almost every

area of our national life, should people like

Anyim throw up their hands in the air in

gratitude to God for his manifold blessings

and proceed into retirement when there are

still so much to be done? Should Nigerians

allow people with such requisite experience,

character and proven record of quality

service just walk away while the country

wallows in the woods? I just wonder.

This is wishing Senator Anyim a joyful and

memorable celebration of his 60th birthday.

May the wisdom of God continue to guide

him in whatsoever his chooses to apply his

time and energy in the days to come.

Congratulations my boss and my brother.

*Nwaobasi, a public affairs commentator,

wrote from Abuja

NBS Rating: How Abia became Nigeria's third

most preferred investment destination

By JOHN OKIYI KALU

IN its latest release, the Nigeria Bureau of

Statistics, NBS, revealed that Abia State

had the third highest foreign capital inflow

among the 36 states of the federation,

including the FCT for the year 2020. Lagos

had the highest of $8.3bn followed by Abuja

with $1.3bn and then Abia with $56m.

Abia's rise on this index was not fortuitous

but was a result of deliberate policies put in

place by the Governor Okezie Ikpeazu-led

administration. Some of these were targeted

long term programmes meant to redefine the

business environment, while others were short

term measures to support firms to sustain, grow

their businesses and retain employment despite

the pandemic that ravaged the world

particularly in 2020.

These strategies are indicative of Ikpeazu's

Government's commitment to overall

macroeconomic stability, security of lives and

property, strategic approach to dealing with

the pandemic, promotion of MSMEs and

amicable resolution of industrial disputes etc.

Some of these measures put in place to help

firms sustain their operations, grow, and attract

new investments despite the pandemic

included:

•Tax palliatives to investors during the

pandemic: At the height of the pandemic in

2020, the governor rolled out mouthwatering

tax waivers to both existing and potential

investors. These were mainly in the form of tax

reliefs to mitigate the economic impact of

COVID-19 pandemic on firms. In particular,

the state gave soft landing to all firms that

were in arrears of any form of tax obligation

to clear them at very reduced rates. Some of

such reliefs included:

Small scale industrialists and artisans:

Governor Ikpeazu gave waivers and discounts

to small scale industries and artisans in filing

for their PAYE and all forms of personal

income and other direct taxes. For three years

arrears, it allowed for waivers/discounts of: 25

per cent for payments from April to end of July

2020; 20 per cent for payments in August 2020;

and 15 per cent for payments in September

2020.

First time tax clearance certificate: It also

gave waivers/discounts for first-time tax

clearance certificate issuance, TCC, by

reducing the minimum from flat rate of

N60,000 to: N30,000 for payments made in

July 2020; N35,000 for payments made in

August 2020; N40,000 for payments made in

September 2020; N50,000 for payments

made in October 2020 and; N55,000 for

•Abia State under Governor Okezie Ikpeazu

payments made in November 2020.

Capital gains tax: It graduated the reduction

of minimum payment for capital gains tax

from a flat rate of 10 per cent of value to as

little as five per cent for payments made in

July 2020. For each month of delay, only one

per cent was added till it got to nine per cent

for payments made in November 2020.

Land and property tax: For those in arrears

of Abia Property and Land Use Charge,

AbiaPLUC, the government waived two of the

three years for all arrears paid before end of

July 2020 and one of three years for payments

made after August 2020. For payments

associated with Change of Purpose Clause for

property use, the government provided for

reduction of the registration cost from a flat

fee of N30,000 to N20,000 for payments made

in July 2020 and N25,000 for payments made

in August 2020. For issuance of Certificate of

Occupancy, C of O, the government collected

only 50 per cent of assessed fee for payments

made in July and reduced the proportion of

waiver by 10 per cent for each month up till

October, i.e. collecting 20 per cent of assessed

fee by October 2020.

Prudent financial management: Abia’s

finances have never been better managed than

it presently is. The government is careful with

its priorities, ensuring appropriate utilisation

of scarce resources to create value for potential

investors. This has made it possible that the

State’s meagre resources are ploughed in areas

that directly complement private investment.

Motivation has equally been high among the

State’s workers and even pensioners as they

Abia’s

finances have

never been

better

managed than

it presently is

receive their

remunerations on

time, making them

willing to provide

whatever support

that is needed for the

Government and the

private sector to

f u n c t i o n

appropriately.

•Attraction and complementation of FG's

sectoral support programmes: The

government of Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu has

not only been very active in ensuring that

provisions of support to different sectors of the

economy are properly harnessed for Abians,

the state has made generous provisions to

ensure such is accessed and utilised by Abia

investors. This is across virtually every sector

of the Abia economy - agriculture, textiles and

leather, fashion industry, entertainment, etc.

The government goes all out as though it is the

direct beneficiary but only does so on behalf of

the private sector. This has created the added

motivation needed to spur investors in Abia to

seek and attract complementation from their

counterparts outside.

•State industrial policy: Abia State

Government has signaled unmatched

commitment to due process and proper support

to industrial growth through the

commencement of a process of industrial

policy in collaboration with United Nations

Industrial Development Organisation,

UNIDO. There are few, if any state in Nigeria

at the moment with a viable industrial policy.

This policy, at the point of finalisation, has

given potential investors confidence that their

investments in Abia are safe and that

Government will use everything within

its powers to support their growth.

•Long term development plan: In

collaboration with the Foundation for

Partnership Initiatives in the Niger

Delta, PIND, Abia State has put

together a 30-year development plan.

This is in addition to a robust industrial

policy mentioned earlier. This

innovative plan has helped in

strengthening the State's position as

a stable investment destination. Abia

is among few states with functional

investment one-stop shop which

presents potential investors

opportunities to start and process all

local aspects of their investments

within a few days. Governor Ikpeazu,

early in his first tenure, constructed

Abia Investment House located at

Ogurube Layout, Umuahia, which

houses the one-stop shop that was

commissioned by the Vice President,

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in one of his visits

to the state. The Investment House hosts the

office of the Abia State Internal Revenue

Service with all other relevant ministries and

agencies involved in the investment processes

also having offices within the building.

Ikpeazu’s Abia subscribed to the World Bank

sponsored States Fiscal Transparency,

Accountability and Sustainability, SFTAS,

programme with the state enjoying the highest

rating within the South East and South South

regions of the country as well as being in the

top five per cent of best performing states in

Nigeria.

Continues online:www.vanguardngr.com

•Chief Kalu is Commissioner for

Information, Abia State


vanguardnews @vanguardnews @vanguardnews

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021— 35

NEWS HOTLINES

018773962,

08052867058

VISIT—Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations, Mrs Amina Mohammed (5th left); Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline

Tallen (M); Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Women Affairs, Dr Anthonia Ekpa (5th right), and others, during the visit of the

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations to the ministry in Abuja, yesterday. Photo: NAN.

Foreign exchange rate can't equal parallel

market —FINANCE MINISTER

•Says Nigeria technically out of recession

•Puts budget performance as at March at 100%

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA — THE

F e d e r a l

Government, yesterday,

told the National

Assembly that it will be

unreasonable to expect

the foreign exchange

rate of the naira per

dollar to equal that of the

parallel market.

It also said that in

response

to

developments affecting

the supply of foreign

exchange to the

economy, the Central

Bank of Nigeria, CBN,

adjusted the official

exchange rate recently to

N360 per US$1.

The government also

told the leadership of the

National Assembly that

Nigeria was technically

out of recession.

“In effect, the economy

slipped into recession in

Q3 2020 when it

recorded a -3.62%

negative growth, after a

-6.10% negative growth

Q2 2020.

“However, with the

significant and targeted

fiscal stimulus as well as

other interventions from

the monetary

authorities, a mild

recovery was recorded in

Q4 2020 with a 0 11%

real GDP growth. This

exit from recession is

coming much earlier

than we had

anticipated,” the

minister said.

Speaking yesterday in

Abuja when she

appeared before the

leadership of the

National Assembly on

the presentation of 2020

Federal Government’s

Budget Performance,

Minister of Finance,

Budget and National

Planning, Mrs. Zainab

Ahmed, said that the

economy suffered

serious challenges in

2020, with the macroeconomic

environment

significantly disrupted

by the COVID-19

pandemic.

She added that as at

year end 2020, Federal

Government’s retained

revenue was N3.94

trillion , representing 73

per cent of target.

The minister said that

at the end of January this

year, the extended

capital component of the

2020 budget achieved 30

per cent.

The meeting was

attended by the

President of the Senate,

Senator Ahmad Lawan;

Speaker, House of

Representatives, Femi

Gbajabiamila; Deputy

Naira stable at N410/$ in I&E

window

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

The naira yesterday was stable at N410 per

dollar in the Investors and Exporters (I&E)

window.

Data from FMDQ showed that the volume of

dollars (turnover) traded in the window yesterday

rose by 19 percent to $52.58 million from $66.41

million last week Friday.

Speaker, House of

Representatives, Idris

Wase, and other

principal officers of the

Senate and the House of

Representatives.

According to her, crude

oil prices declined

sharply in the world

market , with Bonny

Light Crude Oil price

dropping from a peak of

US$72.2 per barrel on

January 7, 2020 to below

US$20 per barrel in April

2020.

According to her, the

impact of these

developments was about

65% decline in projected

net 2020 government

revenues from the oil

and gas sector, which

adversely affected

foreign exchange

inflows into the

economy.

On the exchange rate,

the Minister said: “I will

say that it will be

unreasonable to expect

that the exchange rate at

the market window will

be the same as the

exchange rate in the

black market.

“But we do have to plan

and the monetary

authorities handling this

should plan to work as

quickly as possible to

close the gap that now is

close to N100.

“On the fiscal side, it

will be to our benefit

because we will be able

to realise more naira to

run the economy.”

Speaking further,

Ahmed told the

leadership of the

National Assembly that

on the expenditure side,

N9.97 trillion was

appropriated as at the

end of December 2020,

while N10.16 trillion,

representing 102 per

cent was spent.

She also explained that

of the expenditure, N3

trillion was for debt

service, while N3.19

trillion is for personnel

cost which include

pensions.

According to her, as at

year end 2020, N1.74

trillion had been

released for capital

expenditure,

representing about 89

percent of the provision

for capital, adding that of

this figure, up to

N118.37 billion was

released for COVID-19

capital expenditure.

The minister said that

hopefully, 2020 budget

Implementation by

March will be 100%.

“We expect 2020 capital

budget implementation

to enhance our economic

recovery efforts, and

budget execution.

“Also, with the early

passage of the 2021

budget as well as the

uptick in oil price, we

expect that the 2021

budget will significantly

contribute towards

achieving fiscal

sustainability as well as

government macro-fiscal

and sectoral objectives,”

she added.

When the President of

the Senate, Ahmad

Lawan, asked the

Finance Minister what

will be her estimation for

the budget performance

as at March since it was

30% as at end of January,

she said: “The

performance of the

balance of 2020 budget

is a function of funds

that are available; we

have provided the funds,

so agencies have the

funds, it is also a

function of procurement

and the capacity of the

agencies to implement.

“So my hope is that this

performance is a

hundred per cent. That

is not to say that they

may end up as hundred

per cent. Otherwise, the

time extension that the

National Assembly has

been given will not

have been so justified

and we don’t have

maximum utilisation.

“It is difficult for me to

say this is what it will be

but my hope is that it

will be hundred per cent

as well.”

On the issue of

complaints by MDAs to

access the platform as

raised by the speaker,

House

of

Representatives, Femi

Gbajabiamila, the

Finance Minister said:

“I think the complaint

was earlier in the year

when we were trying to

transfer the balances.

“As far as I know, in the

past three weeks, I

haven’t heard any such

complaints and we have

been able to address

them. But when we

started the transfers, we

couldn’t transfer some of

Govs have final say on

petrol price hike —FG

Continues from Page 5

way to exit from

recession in the first

quarter of 2021 “but we

beat them to it in the

third quarter of 2020.

“This could not have

been achieved without

the support of

Organised Labour and

the working population

of the country because

you were the ones that

drove the economy and

ensured that the

petroleum sector, the

lifeline of the country’s

economy, is not

disrupted.

“If we had disruptions,

it would have been

difficult for us to exit

recession in the first

the agencies’ capital

components because of

some limitations in the

system but we have since

been able to transfer the

capital component that

is been utilised by the

agencies budget to the

system.

“On the issue of the

performance of the

budget, you will agree

that while it is

important to pass the

budget early and get the

implementation early,

the agencies do need to

prepare and be ready to

start the implementation.

“In 2020, we had

disruptions due to

COVID-19. It affected

the performance of the

budget but we don’t have

those peculiarities in

202,1 so we are hoping

that the performance will

be better than in 2020.

“The reason we asked

for the extension is the

fact that agencies didn’t

really have the

opportunity, despite the

early passage of the

budget, to implement the

budget fully and we are

glad that the National

Assembly has agreed to

this extension so that the

performance will be

better for us to be able to

achieve the goals and

aspiration of the

economy.”

In his remarks, Senate

Majority Whip, Senator

Orji Uzor Kalu, APC,

Abia North said: “I want

to commend the minister

and her team because

this is the first time in

the history of Nigeria

that by December 31, we

are having 89 per cent

expenditure of the

budget, it has never

happened before.

“Last year was the very

first. The budget had

been going 49 per cent,

27 per cent. This means

from what the Senate

President was asking, it

means by March, we

should be looking at

budget implementation

of 100 per cent.”

quarter of 2021, let alone

fourth quarter of 2020.’

Others from the

government side at the

meeting include the

Minister of State for

Power, Jeddy Agba,

Group Managing

Director of Nigerian

National Petroleum

Corporation, NNPC,

Mele Kyari, Chairman of

National Electricity

Regulatory Commission,

NERC, Sanusi Garba

and Special Adviser to

the President on

Infrastructure, Ahmed

Zakari.

The President of NLC,

Comrade Ayuba Wabba

and his TUC

counterpart, Quadri

Olaleye, led Organised

Labour.


36 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

RE-APPOINTMENT:

Minister of State,

Health, Dr

Olorunnimbe

Mamora (left),

presenting a letter of

reappointment for a

second term of four

years, to the

Registrar, Dental

Therapists

Registration Board,

Mrs Omowunmi Ojo,

at the minister's

office, in Abuja.

:Vanguard News

:@vanguardnews

:@vanguardnews

$1.6m, N50m judgment sum: Emirates Airlines

quest to stay order dismissed

By Innocent Anaba

LAGOS—A Federal High

Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday,

dismissed the application

by Emirates Airlines urging

the court to stay the judgment

sum of $1.630 million

and N50 million awarded

against it by the court for the

unlawful conversation of a

businessman's money.

Trail judge, Justice Muslim

Sule Hassan, dismissed the

Airline's application for lack

of merit.

The court had on January

11, 2021, awarded the judgment

sum against the airlines,

while delivering judgment in

a suit filed by the businessman,

Orji Prince Chu Ikem.

The businessman had sued

Emirates Airlines in a 009, for

illegally and unlawfully converted

his money, totalling $1,

630 million, during a business

trip from Lagos to China, in

2007.

Dissatisfied with the court's

order, Emirates Airlines

through its counsel appealed

the judgment and urged Justice

Hassan to stay execution

of his order pending the determination

of its appeal.

Urging the court to stay the

execution, Chief Awa Kalu,

SAN, told the court through

his client, could pay the money

to the judgment creditor,

but they are afraid that if his

client's appeal succeeds at

Appeal Court, the judgment

creditor would not be able to

pay back the money.

Responding to the airline's

application, the businessman

through his counsel, Chief

Chris Ekemezie and Anayo

Alpheus Mbah, urged the

court to dismiss Emirate Airlines'

application for stay and

to make an order compelling

it to pay the judgment sum

into the court's account, pending

the determination of the

appeal filed by the airlines.

Delivering ruling on the applications,

yesterday, Justice

Hassan, dismissed the airline

application for stay for lacking

in merit.

In dismissing the application,

Justice Hassan held that

"The application has not satisfied

the conditions to make

the court to exercise its discretion

in its favour for granting

the application.

"Consequently, the application

is lacking in merit and

same is accordingly dismissed."

CRIME RATE: Delta CP reads riot act, removes

3 DPOs

By Festus Ahon

ASABA—DELTA State

Commissioner of Police,

Mr Ari Mohammed, yesterday,

vowed that any Area

Commander and Divisional

Police Officer in the state who

records more than three cases

of robbery, kidnapping, assassination

and other crimes

in their areas or division

would be removed.

Mohammed who gave the

warning in a chat with newsmen

in Asaba, said he had

removed the Divisional Police

Officers, DPOs in charge

of Sapele, Warri 'A', and Asa-

part of Nigeria.

He said: “For a long time,

we have been talking to the

government to rejig the

security architecture of this

country, we kept shouting that

they needed to change the

security chiefs, thank God

though belatedly that has

been done, it is better late than

never that the security chiefs

were changed but the level of

deterioration of security in

this country has reached a

stage that it is very clear that

the federal government has

failed, it has failed completely

under the present leadership

of President Muhammadu

Buhari so there is need for a

restructuring of this nation

especially in the area of

security.

“I think states need to have

more direct control and

command of security

apparatus. Some states have

already taken their initiative

by setting up their security

networks like in the southwest

where we have the Amotekun

and I think that is really a very

great idea and step to take and

I think it is even better to

ba 'C' DPOs on account of repeated

crimes within their division.

Saying he was out to drastically

reduce crime in the state,

he vowed that those behind the

killings of Police officers in the

state would be apprehended

and brought to book with all

the missing service rifles recovered.

He said that there were one

or two syndicates perpetrating

crime in the state, warning

Area Commanders and

DPOs against allowing crime

to thrive in their areas.

Maintaining that he was in

the state to work and not to

stay in the office, he said, "Any

of my Area Commander or

constitutionally allow states

to have their own security

apparatus, be it state police,

and all others so that the

governors who are the chief

security officers of their states

will be able to take decisive

actions timely in order to

arrest crisis and other security

issues that are bedevilling the

states because as of now, they

DPO that records cases of

robbery or kidnapping for

three times, will be shown the

way out.

"I have started with DPO of

Warri 'A' Division, Sapele Division

and Asaba 'C' Division.

I have removed them to serve

as a deterrent to others. The

rate of crime in Delta State in

these few weeks is alarming

and I will not let this to continue.

I am not here to stay in

my office, I'm here to work and

drastically reduce crime."

Mohammed said that

crime has no jurisdiction, enjoining

his officers and men

to work in synergy towards

ensuring that these hoodlums

were brought to book.

Insecurity: Panya seeks restructuring of security agencies'

operations

By Ozioruva Aliu

BENIN CITY—AS the

security challenges across

the six-geo political zones of

the country continue to

deteriorate, the leadership of

the Evangelical Church

Winning All, ECWA, has called

for restructuring of the

country’s security system that

would enable the state

governors have control of

security agencies in their

domain to achieve quick

response to security challenges

like kidnappings, banditry,

killings and other crimes.

President of ECWA, Rev.

Stephen Panya made this call

in Benin City weekend when

he installed some district

executive members and

commissioned newly built

hostel and district secretariat

for the Edo/Delta District of the

church.

Panya lamented that ECWA

Church has been a major

victim of attacks on churches

in the middle belt and northern

Air crash: Obi condoles with

bereaved families, military

A BUJA—FOLLOWING

the recent air crash that

claimed the lives of 7 people,

the Vice Presidential Candidate

of the People's Democratic

Party PDP in 2019 elections,

Mr Peter Obi, has sympathised

with the affected families

and the Nigerian Air Force,

over the tragic incident.

The Nigerian Air Force on

Sunday said seven passengers

onboard a Beechcraft KingAir

B350i aircraft died when

the jet crashed in Abuja. The

jet en route Minna in Niger

are incapacitated even

though the commissioner of

police and commanders of

armies and other security

agencies are resident in the

states, they don’t take orders

from the state governors, they

take orders from the federal

level and this is the reason why

we are having continual

deterioration.”

State crashed close to the runway

of the Abuja airport after

reporting engine failure.

Obi described the incident

as a tragic loss to the nation.

He commiserated with the

affected families and the Nigerian

Air Force, praying God

to give them the strength to

bear the loss.

"We, as a nation, are united

in prayers for the victims of

the Abuja air crash. This is a

painful incident for us all.

May God grant the victims

eternal rest", Obi prayed.

CHANGE OF NAME

UDE

I, formerly known as Charity Ude,

now wish to be known as

Chioma Charity Chukwu-Omeh.

All former documents remain

valid. General public should

please take note.

UDE

I, formerly known as Ude

Oluchukwu Rose, now wish to be

known as Azodo Oluchukwu

Rose. All former documents

remain valid. The general public

should please take note.

ADAMU

My name was wrongly captured as

Adamu Shuaibu Sulaiman, instead of

Zayyanu Abdulahi Musa.

Henceforth I wish to be known and

addressed as Zayyanu Abdulahi

Musa. All former documents remain

valid. The general public should

please take note.

SHOBOYEDE

I, formerly known as Shoboyede

Damilola Olamiposi, now wish to

be known as Adenekan Damilola

Olamiposi. All former documents

remain valid. The general public

should please take note.

IBRAHIM

I, formerly known as Ibrahim Atanyi

Muhammad, now wish to be known

as Atanyi Muhammad Ibrahim.

Wrong Date Of Birth 11/10/1992.

Correct Date Of Birth Is 11/10/1994.

All former documents remain valid.

The general public should please

take note.

IFOMA

I, formerly known as Nworie

Sarah Ifoma, now wish to be

known as Nworie Marcellina

Ginikachukwu. All former

documents remain valid. The

general public should please take

note.

TYAV

I, formerly known as Miss Helen

Ngufan Tyav, now wish to be

known as Mrs Helen Ngufan

Tyough Kpe. All former

documents remain valid. The

general public should please take

note.

ALFA

I, formerly known as Alfa Serah,

now wish to be known as

Oguche Esther Peter. All former

documents remain valid. The

general public should please take

note.

ATAH

I, formerly known as Usman

Husseni Atah, now wish to be

known as Usman Husseini. All

former documents remain valid.

The general public should please

take note.

OLASODE

I, formerly known as Olasode

Alirat Iyabo, now wish to be

known as Olaosebikan Alirat

Iyabo. All former documents

remain valid. NPC, PTAD and

general public should please take

note.

MUO

I, formerly known as Miss Muo

Uchenna Clara, now wish to be

known as Mrs. Chijioke-Ofoma

Uchenna Clara. All former

documents remain valid. The

general public should please take

note.

SANI

I, formerly known as Sani Idrisu,

now wish to be known as Idris

Muhammad Idris. All former

documents remain valid. The

general public should please take

note.

AYEME

I, formerly known as Naomi Ayen

Ayeme, now wish to be known

as Ayen Naomi Ayeme. All former

documents remain valid. Unity

Bank and general public should

please take note.

ITUEN

I, formerly known as Miss

Emilia Monday Ituen, now

wish to be known as Mrs.

Emilia Anthony Akpan. All

former documents remain

valid. The general public

should please take note.

DAUDA

I, formerly known as Lovina

Dauda, now wish to be known

as Lovina Judah Attah. All former

documents remain valid. The

general public should please take

note.

INUWA

I, formerly known as Ashiru

Raifullah, now wish to be known

as Ashiru Raifullah Inuwa. All

former documents remain valid.

The general public should please

take note.

EKEBUIKE

I, formerly known as Miss Chioma

Justina Ekebuike, now wish to be

known as Chioma Justina

Igbokwe Clement. All former

documents remain valid. The

general public should please take

note.

USMAN

I, formerly known as Yahaya

Farouk Usman, now wish to be

known as Yahaya Faruok Ojo.

All former documents remain

valid. The general public should

please take note.

ADEH

I, formerly known as Adeh

Chinenye Mary, now wish to be

known as Edeh Chinenye Mary.

All former documents remain

valid. The general public should

please take note.

HAMIDAH

I, formerly known as Hamidah

Fatima Ibrahim Khalid, now

wish to be known as Fatima

Hamida Khalid. All former

documents remain valid. The

general public should please

take note.

IDOWU

I, formerly known and

addressed as Idowu Bintu

Fatimo and Akanni Bintu

Fatimo, now wish to be known

and addressed as Mrs. Sanusi

Fatimo Ayinke. All former

documents remain valid.

General public take note.

SPACE

FOR SALE


Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021 — 37

By Chinonso

Alozie

O WERRI—FORMER

governor of Imo

State and Senator

representing Imo West

Senatorial district,

Rochas Okorocha,

yesterday, allegedly

ordered his students of

Rochas Foundation to

protest in Owerri.

Okorocha’s students were

seen protesting, with

placards reading: 'Don't

Hurt Our Daddy',

:Vanguard News

:@vanguardnews

Okorocha allegedly ordered his

foundation students to protest

Enugu govt to commence operations of tech

hubs, youth innovation centres

•Advertises posts of general managers

TO actualize its policy on

skills acquisition and

youth empowerment, the

administration of Governor

Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu

State has called for applications

from qualified

candidates for appointments

as General Managers

of the newly established

State Tech Hub and Youth

Innovation Centres in Enugu

Urban and Obollo Afor,

Udenu local government

area.

A statement by the Secretary

to the State Government

(SSG), Prof. Simon

Uchenna Ortuanya, disclosed

that the advertisement

for the posts of General

Managers was in keeping

with the state government’s

commitment to the

immediate commencement

of the two Technology Hubs

and Youth Innovation Centres.

Prof. Ortuanya explained

that “the General Managers

shall be the Chief Executive

Officers responsible

for the day to day administration

of the Enugu State

Technology Hubs and Youth

Innovation Centres”.

The SSG added that their

duties also include managing

the business of training

youths in the centres; coordinating

and directing the

Departmental Heads; supervising

staff matters and

carrying out such other

functions as may be delegated

to them from time to

time by the Supervising

Ministry.

He pointed out that a candidate

eligible for appointment

as General Manager

of the centre must possess

“a good Honours Degree

or its equivalent in Information

and Communication

Technology, Computer Science,

Engineering, Administration,

Management and

other related disciplines

from a recognized University

or other institution of

higher learning”.

Prof. Ortuanya who maintained

that interested candidate

must have a minimum

of five (5) years cognate

experience in the relevant

industry, revealed

that “possession of a Master’s

degree or post-gradu-

'Okorocha should not be

intimidated in Imo', 'We

don’t want to leave the

Rochas Foundation, Orji

road', 'Release Okorocha',

and others, along Orji

road, in Owerri.

The students were seen

to have staging the protest

outside the Orji

Foundation, formerly

known as Imo Broadcasting

Quarters, a place said to

have been forcefully

acquired by Okorocha,

when he was the governor

of the state, and was

ate certificate will be an

added advantage”.

The SSG therefore asked

qualified and interested

candidates to submit in

sealed envelopes, their

typewritten applications

with ten (10) copies of relevant

credentials, Curriculum

Vitae (CV), two (2)

recent photographs,

names and addresses of

three (3) referees, one of

whom must be the candidate’s

present employer, to

the Permanent Secretary

(General Administration),

Office of the Secretary to the

State Government, Abuja

Building, Government

By Emmanuel

Elebeke

A inducted BUJA—NEWLY

Ambassadors

from South East and South

South regions of the country

have vowed to end the

issue of delay in visa

booklets in their respective

countries, saying that it will

soon be a thing of the past.

The envoys also pledged

to market the image of

Nigeria outside the world

and also bring in some

things to stimulate the

economy.

The new Ambassadors

made the pledge when the

Chairman and CEO of E. F

Networks limited, Gideon

Egbuchulam hosted them

at his Maitama office,

Abuja.

Nigerian Ambassador to

Jamaica, Dominican

Republic, Haiti and Belize,

Maureen Tamuno from

Rivers State while speaking

at the event assured that

with the new breed and

wave of change brought

into the Ministry of Foreign

Affairs by the present

administration, they had

been adequately equipped

and prepared to do their job

with a new vigor and

approach that would bring

positive returns to the

country.

She said: ‘‘There is a new

breed and new wave of the

crop of people that are

converted to his Rochas

Foundation.

However, the camp has

been tensed, after their

leader, Okorocha, was

arrested on Sunday, for

allegedly invading the

sealed Royal Palm Estate,

linked to his wife, Nkechi.

However, he was said to

have been released around

23:30pm, same day,

on health grounds, as well

as intervention from top

leaders of the All

Progressives Congress,

APC.

House, Enugu, on or before

March 12, 2021.

The statement noted that

the sealed envelopes

should be marked “Post of

General Manager, Enugu

State Technology Hub and

Innovation Centre” on the

top left corner, indicating

the preferred centre (Enugu

Urban or Obollo Afor).

It highlighted that each

referee is to forward a confidential

report on the applicant

directly to the address

above, stating that

“the conditions of service

are as obtainable in the

state’s Public Service System.”

We'll end Visa booklets delay

soon —SE/SS envoys

Ambassadors, especially

the Minister and

Permanent Secretary. We

just finished training. Very

shortly, the issue of delay

in visa booklets will be

things of the past.

‘‘We know what we are

doing, we know we need

to market Nigeria outside

and also bring in some

things to stimulate the

economy. We will like to

work with you because you

are employing labour.

‘‘We want to thank the

President for the

opportunity. We will not let

Nigeria down, we will not

let the President down and

we will not let women

down,’’ she said.

She, however, charged

Nigerian youths to

cultivate the culture of hard

work and integrity, saying

that it is only through

service and honesty that

they can succeed.

‘‘In life, if you worked

hard and it had not come,

do not be discouraged. You

need to market where you

eat from. Service is very

key. Do not think God does

not see you, but serve with

excitement. You need to be

honest in service.

‘‘Most people are in a

hurry to get off, keep

serving so that when your

time comes, people will

serve you. To the girls, the

beautiful ones are not yet

born. Keep on striving.’’

editor@yahoo.com

Ondo govt’s quit notice to

criminals herdsmen

PRESIDENT Buhari needs to

dissociate himself from criminal

elements using Fulani herdsmen as

subterfuge to unleash terror on innocent

travellers and farmers across Nigeria.

When Olusegun Obasanjo was

president, the Odua Peoples Congress,

OPC, was very useful during his regime

and crime was reduced but because of

the popularity of the ethnic security outfit

many perpetrated evils with the security

outfit. Obasnjo exhibited nationalistic

trait by arresting and prosecuting

suspected criminal elements among

members of the Oodua Peoples

Congress.

President Buhari’s silence on activities

of the criminal herdsmen in all parts of

the country is worrisome! His body

language shows that he is in support of

the criminal elements and the ethnic

region he belongs to, otherwise he

should publicly condemn and warn

criminal elements either from the Fulani,

Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa and others ethnic

groups to desist from their activities

because the killings are too many and

worrisome.

Anonymous, 2348137518785

Igboho’s quit notice to criminal

herdsmen in Oyo

Sunday Igboho’s action is not out of

place as some people may try to put it!

Constitutionally or unconstitutionally,

human rights or not, the first

constitutional right of every human

being is to defend himself when he or

she is in danger or pushed to the wall.

This is what Sunday Igboho is doing.

What Igboho is doing is not based on

ethnicity, religion or ego and he is not

as bad as the northerners have painted

him. He is fighting to protect his people

which is what the Federal Government

ought to be doing than being

sentimental.

The Federal Government’s style of

governance and leadership has

instituted nepotism, tribaliism as

trademark, and this is what gave birth

to the killings, kidnapping and

insurgency in Nigeria.

Usman Hassan, 08131822223

CBN and FG yet to unfreeze

#EndSARS protesters account

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN,

should stay out of politics and focus

more on banking business! CBN’s

blocking of the accounts of #EndSARS’

organisers is indirectly telling the world

that what the Federal Government

promised to the youths is false and fake!

If not why must those wonderful

organisers’ account be blocked? The

Central Bank of Nigeria misled the court

into believing that some grave offences

had been committed which would

require the apex bank to investigate.

The bank must have learnt some lesson

not to deny protesters access to the

account and property when they are not

terrorists which is gross violation of their

right.

The CBN has no right to freeze

protesters’ accounts when it has no

evident or case against those that were

genuinely protesting against

infringement of their fundamental rights.

Bazakey, 08114219960

Gumi and amnesty for bandits

Anyone that watched the video of

Sheikh Gumi with criminal bandits

surrounding him with guns should

know that it is the last thing that should

be contemplated!

Gumi should be called for questioning

and be prosecuted because he knows

those bandits that are terrorising this

country. Those bandits should be

arrested alongside with him. Why should

bandits be compensated or granted

amnesty after the atrocities they have

committed?

The Niger Delta militants were granted

amnesty because they were fighting for

injustice done to them through

exploration of oil in their land which

damage their environment.

President Buhari should address this

madness and put a stop to all of this.

Romanus Ndehigwo, 08024209181

Killing of Christians by herdsmen

The word “terrorism” which used to

sound quite alien to Nigerians has

become part of our daily grammatical

lexicon.

The latest killings of Christians in the

North, and Benue State by the dreaded

Fulani militia has really opened another

chapter in the on-going campaign of

terror being masterminded by some

Islamic fundamentalists in various parts

of the North.

But my question is: who wants to

exterminate the Christian minority of

North? Honestly, Fulani traditional

leaders and elders have not made any

attempt to put an end to these devilish

acts being perpetrated by their children

because they think that their collective

interest as a people is being protected!

But this is genocide.

Anonymous, 08060768946

Stop the killings in Kaduna

The loss of lives in Kaduna is

worrisome and very sad! Armed robbery,

banditry for ransom are becoming

rampart in some parts of Birnin Gwari

and Chikun local government in Kaduna

State. The governor should do more to

protect the lives of people.

It is unfortunate the security agents in

Kaduna State have been unable to arrest

criminals and resolve the crisis. How

would the police that cannot protect

themselves protect Nigerians? Was it not

in Maiduguri in Borno State that a

person took courage to arrest a Boko

Haram suspect and only for him to be

killed the next day?

Lawal Muhammad Hayin,

2348080796365

SAYINGS OF OUR ELDERS

Challenges are what makes life interesting, overcoming

them is what makes life meaningful.

From Onyeka Ruth

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

proverbs. Biblical or English proverbs are unacceptable. Address

your sayings to: wwwsimade@yahoo.co.uk


38— Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021

US S’Court allows release of Trump

tax records to prosecutors

THE US Supreme

Court on Monday rejected

a bid by Donald

Trump to prevent his tax

records from being handed

over to prosecutors in

New York.

The nation’s highest court

denied the request filed by

lawyers for the former president

without comment.

Trump has been waging

a protracted legal battle to

prevent his tax records from

being handed over to Manhattan

District Attorney

Cyrus Vance.

The prosecutor has been

fighting for months to obtain

eight years of Trump’s

tax returns as part of an investigation

into the expresident’s

finances.

The ruling concerns a

subpoena that Vance had

issued to Trump’s accountants

Mazars USA ordering

it to hand over documents

stretching back to 2011.

“The work continues,”

Vance said in a three-word

statement issued after the

ruling. Vance’s probe was

initially focused on payments

made before the

2016 presidential election

to two women who claim

they had affairs with Trump,

including porn star Stormy

Daniels.

But the state-level investigation

is also now examining

possible allegations

of tax evasion, and insurance

and bank fraud.

Trump, who left the White

House last month, did not

immediately respond to

Monday’s ruling.

In the past, he has called

the investigation “the worst

witch hunt in US history.”

US presidents are not required

by law to release

details of their personal finances

but every US leader

since Richard Nixon has

done so.

Vance’s investigators

have interviewed Trump’s

former personal lawyer

Michael Cohen, who received

a three-year prison

term after admitting making

hush payments to the

two women.

The ex-lawyer had testified

to Congress that Trump

and his company artificially

inflated and devalued the

worth of their assets to both

obtain bank loans and reduce

their taxes.

If the allegations are true

and Trump was charged

and convicted then he could

face a possible jail term.

Unlike federal offenses,

state crimes are not pardonable.

Investigators also recently

interviewed employees

of Deutsche Bank, which

has long backed the former

president and the Trump

Organization, US media

reported.

They spoke to staff at

Trump’s insurance broker

Aon, too. In July, the Supreme

Court rejected

Trump’s argument that as a

sitting president he was

immune from prosecution.

Trump’s lawyers then

challenged the scope of the

requested documents, saying

it was too broad.

Italian ambassador to DR Congo killed in

UN convoy attack

ITALY’s ambassador to

the Democratic Republic

of Congo has been

killed in an attack in the

east of the country, its foreign

ministry has said.

Luca Attanasio, 43, died

in hospital on Monday after

the United Nations

convoy he was travelling

in came under fire near

Goma, a statement said.

The convoy reportedly

belonged to the UN’s

World Food Programme

(WFP).

An Italian military police

officer travelling with the

envoy and a Congolese

driver were also killed.

“It is with deep sadness

that the foreign ministry

confirms the death, today

in Goma, of the Italian

ambassador,” the ministry’s

statement said.

The attack in North Kivu

province is believed to

have been an attempted

kidnapping, according to

officials at the nearby

Virunga National Park.

Mr Attanasio was a passenger

in one of two vehicles

travelling about

15km (nine miles) north

of Goma when the attack

happened on Monday

morning.

The vehicles were “ambushed

by a group of six

attackers, who fired warning

shots before taking all

the passengers into the

Virunga National Park”,

the governor of North Kivu

province, Carly Nzanzu,

told the BBC.

“That’s when a patrol of

Virunga National Park

rangers intervened and

managed to free four people,”

he said.

“Unfortunately, before

they ran away, the assailants

shot the ambassador

and his bodyguard, and

they killed the Congolese

driver at the start of the attack,”

the governor added.

Dozens of Boeing 777s grounded after

engine failure

US plane manufactur

er Boeing has recommended

grounding all of

the 777-model aircraft

which have the same type

of engine that suffered failure

and shed debris over

Denver on Saturday.

It said 128 jets should be

suspended until inspections

are carried out.

United Airlines and Japan’s

two main operators

have already stopped using

56 planes with the same

engine.

Flight 328, carrying 231

passengers, was forced to

make an emergency landing

at Denver airport. Noone

was injured.

“While an investigation is

ongoing, we recommended

suspending operations

of the 69 in-service and 59

in-storage 777 aircraft powered

by Pratt & Whitney

4000-112 engines,” the

company said in a statement.

Pratt & Whitney said it

had dispatched a team to

work with investigators.

According to the Federal

Aviation Administration

(FAA), United is the only

US airline flying this model

of 777, with the others

being in Japan and South

Korea.

Korean Air, which has six

planes in operation and 10

in storage, said it was

awaiting instruction from

South Korean regulators

regarding any measures for

its 777 jets.

United Flight 328, bound

for Honolulu, suffered a failure

in its right-hand engine.

Debris from the jet

was found scattered over a

nearby residential area after

it returned to Denver airport.

WHO slams rich countries for

hogging COVID-19 vaccines

THE World Health Or

ganization on Monday

blasted wealthy countries for

not only hogging Covid vaccines

but in doing so, hindering

the pathway for poorer

nations to get them too.

WHO director-general

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

said some rich countries’

direct deals with manufacturers

had meant that previously-agreed

vaccine allocations

for poorer countries, via the

Covax programme, were being

reduced.

The UN health agency

chief said the money was

there to procure doses for

some of the poorest countries,

following fresh contributions

from the United States, the

European Union and Germany

— but it was worthless if

there was nothing to buy.

Tedros urged wealthy nations

to start checking first as

to whether their own deals

with pharmaceutical companies

were undermining Covax,

which poorer countries

are relying on as they await

their first doses. “Even if you

have the money, if you cannot

use the money to buy vaccines,

having the money

doesn’t mean anything,” he

told a virtual press conference

with German President

Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Champions League:

Tuchel has raised Chelsea’s

game, says Simeone

Atletico Madrid boss

Diego Simeone has

said his Chelsea

counterpart Thomas

Tuchel has raised the Blues’

game ahead of their

Champions League clash

this evening.

The two sides are set to go

head-to-head in Bucharest

in the home leg for Los

Rojiblancos, who are unable

T

he 2021 edition of the

Masvi Cycling road race

is to serve as preparation for

the much postponed National

Sports festival (NSF).

The second edition comes

up on April 3 while NSF has

been rescheduled for April 21

to May 4 2021. To that effect

to host the game in their

Madrid home due to the

Spanish government’s travel

restrictions on arrivals from

the UK.

Simeone told reporters at

his pre-match press

conference, as cited by

Marca: “Chelsea are always

an extremely powerful club

financially that always

strengthens itself very well.

many states outside the

South South states have

signified their intention to

take part in the race

sponsored by Mr. Sunday

Ajayi.

Six states within the South

South states namely Delta,

Rivers, Cross Rivers, Bayelsa,

Akwa Ibom and Edo had

earlier been named to take

part in the road race that

would be flagged off by the

Chairman of Owan West

Local Government Area,

Frank Ilaboya.

The rescheduling of the

NSF has seen more states

applying to be part of the

road race to enable them use

the competition as

preparation for the National

Sports Festival.

Eleven states took part in

the maiden edition in 2020

won by Rivers and Delta

This year they did it with a

group of young and very good

footballers.

“Since Tuchel’s

appointment, their numbers

have improved a lot. Seeing

the level of the three

goalkeepers that they have,

shows the potential of the

team. The attackers could

play for any team in Europe.

Their squad speaks for itself.”

Premier League to welcome back

fans into stadiums for final weekend

he final weekend of the

TPremier League season

could see as many as 10,000

spectators at stadiums under

the government’s new

lockdown measures.

The news comes as part

prime minister Boris

Johnson’s latest roadmap for

the easing of lockdown

restrictions to limit the

spread of coronavirus, which

was announced in the House

of Commons on Monday

afternoon.

English stadiums with

40,000 seat capacity will be

allowed 10,000 fans and

smaller ones will be allowed

to be at 25 per cent capacity

from 17 May at the earliest.

The final weekend of the

2020/21 Premier League

season is scheduled for 23

May.

The announcement also

leaves open the possibility of

spectators returning to events

over the summer, such as

Euro 2020, Wimbledon,

•Simeone

cricket internationals and

county matches, depending

on whether the conditions for

easing restrictions have been

met by 17 May.

Indoor events will be

capped at 50 per cent

capacity or 1,000, whichever

is lower, and for outdoor

events this will be 50 per cent

capacity or 4,000, whichever

is lower.

The roadmap includes

special provision for large,

outdoor, seated venues

where crowds can be safely

distributed,

allowing up to

10,000 people

or 25 per cent

of total seated

capacity,

whichever is

lower.

Pilots will

also run to

examine how

such events

can take place

without the

need for social distancing

using other mitigations such

as testing, the Government

said.

The Football Association

have welcomed the move.

“The FA is absolutely

delighted that fans will be

allowed back soon”, the

governing body said in a

statement. “The game is

simply not the same without

them and we look forward to

the return of full stadia as soon

as it is safe and possible”.

NSF: MASVI cycling tour to serve as preparation

for South South states —Ilaboya

•Ilaboya

states in the male and female

categories.

The organizers of the three

day cycling extravaganza,

Owan West Local

Government had earlier said

this year’s race is to help

Team Edo and its

counterparts from the South

South region prepare well for

the National Sports Festival

holding in Benin City in

April.

Meanwhile, the Technical

Director of the Cycling

Federation of Nigeria (CFN),

Bashiru Mohammed has

commended the sponsor Mr.

Ajayi for identifying with

cycling despite the harsh

economy.

“Ajayi has won my heart

and should be commended

for his part in the growth of

cycling in Nigeria”, he

emphasized.


•Mourinho

TOTTENHAM boss Jose

Mourinho was in typical

bullish mood after yet

another defeat - claiming

that he is still the best manager

in the world.

Goals from Michail Antonio

and Jesse Lingard helped West

Ham to a 2-1 win against their

London rivals.

Lucas Moura’s header proved

only a consolation, with the

result seeing West Ham climb to

fourth spot in the Premier

League.

Spurs, meanwhile are down in

ninth and nine points behind the

Hammers in that final

Champions League

spot.

But Mourinho

batted away criticism

speaking after the

game - despite

having the lowest

points total from 50

games in his entire

managerial

career.

•Osimhen

o fans will be allowed into

Nthe Stadium when

Manchester City clash with

Tottenham Hotspur in the

Carabao cup April 25.

Return of fans to the stadium

is part of the road map out of

lockdown expected be published

today according to sportsmail,

but it is considered that too early

to cover the Carabao cup as

government remains cautious

about lifting the lockdown.

The cabinet agreed the

roadmap on Sunday, which is

based on opening schools from

Mourinho

says he’s still

world best

despite loss to

West Ham

Asked whether results have

made him doubt his methods,

the 58-year-old told Sky Sports:

“No, not at all. Not at all. Zero.

Sometimes results are a

consequence of multiple

situations in football.

“Mine, and my coaching

staff’s methods, are second to

nobody in the world.”

Earlier this season Spurs were

sitting pretty at the top of the

Premier League and there was

plenty of talk that their hunt for

a trophy would finally end.

But now they face a battle to

even bag a European spot,

although they are in the League

Cup final and still in the Europa

League.

He was asked whether the

Londoners were ‘in crisis’, to

which he responded: “I don’t

know what you mean by crisis.

“If crisis is frustration and

March 8 and then gradually

allowing normal life to return.

It had been hoped that the

Carabao Cup final at Wembley

could be one of the first test

events, but that now looks

unlikely.

As reported by Mail Online,

after the return of schools the

next key date is expected to be

March 29, but only outdoor

gatherings of six are expected to

be sanctioned, assuming

infection rates are under control,

serious illness is not rising and

the vaccination programme

sadness in the dressing room, I

would say so, because nobody is

happy, we all showed that in this

game.

“When a team fights the way

we did until the last second

trying to get a different result, it

is never a group in crisis.

“Groups are in crisis when you

are not together in the search for

better results than you have.

“So I wouldn’t say crisis, I

would say a really bad run of

results. That is obvious. We are

losing too many matches.”

Next up for Spurs is the

second leg of their Europa

League clash against Wolfsburg

on Wendesday, holding a 4-1

lead.

Then it’s back to the Premier

League and a chance to arrest

their recent dismal run when

they host Burnley on Sunday.

Osimhen

out of danger,

returns to

Naples today

Super Eagles and

Napoli striker,Victor

Osimhen has

been discharged from

hospital in Bergamo after

being knocked unconscious

in Napoli’s 4-2 loss to Atalanta

last weekend.

Reports monitored on Radio Kiss

Kiss of Naples stated that

Osimhen was released after

medical tests on Monday

morning revealed that he did

not suffer any concussion. He

was rushed to the hospital in

Bergamo on Sunday and spent

the night under observation.

A statement by Napoli said

the player will be monitored and

he is most likely to miss their

up coming Europa League

match against Granada unless

the team doctor thinks otherwise.

Alfonso De Nicola, sports

doctor and former head of the

Napoli health staff, spoke on the

development: “Though I do

not know the specific

situation, but based on my

experience, I do not think

Osimhen can be on the pitch

against Granada on

Thursday.

“To know the recovery

times, it would be necessary

first of all to carry out analyses

and take the diagnosis of the

neurologist and then of

course allow Napoli doctor

Raffaele Cononico decide.”

Osimhen missed most of

Napoli Games during the

Christmas period after he

suffered a shoulder injury

during last November’s

Africa Cup of Nations

qualifiers clash between

Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

And in December he tested

positive to coronavirus and

had to be quarantined for

three weeks.

No fans for Carabao Cup at Wembley April 25

remains on track.

In April, non-essential shops

will reopen if the nation’s

recovery from the virus

continues and in May pubs, bars

and restaurants may open their

doors, too. It is not until July

that life could be ‘broadly back

to normal’.

However, it is expected that the

return of fans to elite sport will

be phased using test events, as

previously intended. There were

initial plans to accommodate

about 22,500 fans at the venue

but that plan appears to have

been set aside.

A

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021 — 39

Europa League:

Aribo gingers Rangers

for Royal Antwerp clash

fter scoring a wonder goal

against Dundee United in last

Sunday’s Scottish Premiership

game, Joe Aribo has urged his team

mates to gear up for Thursday’s

Europa League clash against Royal

Antwerp.

The Super Eagles player who put

up a man-of-the-match

performance for Rangers last

weekend helped his team to a 4-1

win and according to him, there

needs to be a repeat of that showing

when they host the Belgian side.

Rangers won the first leg away 4-3.

“It’s a big game and it’s knockout

football. We know what we have to

do and we just have to focus, get

ready, dust ourselves off and move

Tuchel holds ‘clear the air’

talks with Hudson-Odoi

helsea coach Thomas Tuchel

Chas held talks with Callum

Hudson-Odoi after his

controversial decision to sub the

player on and off in Chelsea’s 1-1

draw away at Southampton.

The highly-rated Stamford

Bridge academy graduate was

asked to provide inspiration when

Tennis: Djokovic suffers muscle tear,

faces long spell on the sidelines

Novak Djokovic will need to

spend some time on the

sidelines recovering from a

muscle tear that hindered him in

the later rounds of the Australian

Open, the Serbian said as he

celebrated his ninth Melbourne

Park title on Monday.

The 33-year-old extended his

own record with an emphatic 7-

•Djokovic

NPFL: Abia Warriors’ win over Warri

Wolves excites Amapakabo

ollowing their emphatic 4-1 win

Fover Warri Wolves, manager of

Abia Warriors, Imama Amapakabo

has expressed satisfaction on the

performance of the team,

BSNSports.com.ng reports.

The Umuahia based team started

the season on a rough patch but has

been able to run it around and the

position of the coach that has been

under threat is a bit guaranteed at

present.

“When we started at some point I

was even asking my bench if the

team warm up properly because the

way we started the game was so

slow and as I told my team the goal

was a gift, after that we rallied

round the goal put us under

pressure to the level that we were

given away the ball many time, we

needed a goal to let us back in the

game which came later and I

agreed that we can have the game

under control.

“The players are showing

character and we actually work

hard for this, we believe that if we

keep on organising ourselves the

way we wanted to, I think we will

be difficult to beat. Tactically we’ve

working very hard and we just we

on to that,” Aribo told Rangers TV.

Speaking on his goal, the

midfielder who has now scored

seven goals this season and

provided four assists in 29

appearances, said he hopes to finish

the campaign impressively.

“I probably haven’t hit a shot with

as much power. Everyone in

training says I just like to finesse

and curl it but I’ve been practising

so I just thought I would put my

laces through it and thankfully it

went in.

“I just want to finish the season

strong, keep pushing, keep going

and giving all that I can and I am

happy that I’m getting positive

results,” he stressed.

introduced in place of Tammy

Abraham at the interval.

He was withdrawn just half-anhour

later, with Tuchel questioning

the 20-year-old’s attitude when

explaining his decision.

“It is not a big thing at all for me.

I have spoken to Callum, and I’ve

spoken to the whole group.

Sometimes, these things happen in

football and it was just my dec