24022021 - Banditry designed to 9 destroy Nigeria — GOVS

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Vanguard Newspaper 24022021


We acted in

Nigerians' best 19

interest EMEFIELE

FG concessions 12

highways to investors

•Expects N1.34 trn investments, 250, 000

jobs to be created•Obtains nod from ICRC

to proceed with project 5

Zenith Bank’s profit before tax rises 5% to N255.9bn


VOL. 27: NO. 64278 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021

Banditry designed to


destroy Nigeria GOVS

•As S-West govs vow to fight criminality with every legal means

•Herdsmen, farmers now carry AK-47, Northern govs lament •Say farmers/herders crisis would have been

averted if livestock plan was implemented •PDP intervenes in Ortom/Mohammed’s rift over herdsmen

Nigeria operating fatherism,

not federalism


– Adesina, AfDB boss 10


Chairman of the Nigeria Governors' Forum and Governor of Ekiti State,

Dr Kayode Fayemi (2nd left) with a delegation of the Forum in Minna, Niger

State, yesterday, to commiserate with government and people of Niger State

on the series of kidnappings in the state.

Mr & Mrs


STATE OF THE NATION: How to save Nigeria

Utomi, Na'Ábba, Ozekhome, others 35

Uzodimma, 12

Ohanaeze differ

over military

invasion of Orlu

Oando’s shareholder

wins court case

against SEC 32

2 Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021 3

4 Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021







Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021 5


private sector

investment will flow into

the highways, while no

fewer than 50,000 direct

jobs and 200,000 indirect

jobs would be created by

the concessioning of the

highways to the private


UZODINMA IN ASO ROCKPresident Muhammadu Buhari receives Imo

State Governor Hope Uzodinma in State House, Abuja, yesterday. Photo:

State House.

FG concessions 12

highways to investors

•Expects N1.34 trn investments, 250, 000 jobs

to be created•Obtains nod from ICRC to

proceed with project

By Soni Daniel,

Northern Region


ABUJAIn its bid to

ensure regular

maintenance of road

networks across the

country, the Federal

Ministry of Works and

Housing plans to

concession no fewer than

12 federal highways to

private entities to


The arrangement will

enable the private

companies introduce toll

gates on the 12 highways

and generate revenue

which they would use to

regularly maintain such


This information is

contained in a

document, which

Vanguard obtained,

yesterday, from the

Federal Ministry of

Works and Housing in


The 12 highways to be

concessioned under the

Ministry’s “Highway

M a n a g e m e n t

Development Initiative”,

HMDI, are: Benin-

Asaba, Abuja-Lokoja,

Kano-Katsina, Onitsha-

Owerri, Shagamu-Benin

and Abuja-Keffi-


Others are: Kano-

Shuari, Potiskum-

Damaturu, Lokoja-

Benin, Enugu-Port

Harcourt, Ilorin-Jebba,

Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta and



The roads, according to

the ministry, come under

the pilot phase of the

HDMI to be managed by

selected private sector

investors under its

V a l u e - A d d e d

Concession, VAC,


The 12 highways,

according to the

document, reviewed by

Vanguard represent

merely 5.6 per cent or

1,963 kilometres of the

country’s 35,000 km

federal highway


The document

estimates that not less

than N1.34 trillion of

Not about revenue

“It’s not really about

revenue, it is about the

expected injection into

the economy. The

estimated private sector

investment required for

the development and

maintenance of the 12

routes is N1.34 trillion

and the impact such

investment will have on

the economy cannot be


“The anticipated

private sector

investment will stimulate

thousands of job

opportunities for

Nigerians as the

Highway Economy

comes alive along

federal highways.

“A minimum 50,000

direct jobs and over

200,000 indirect jobs are

envisaged to be created,

spanning construction

works, installations,

steel fabrication, security,

hospitality, vehicle

repairs, waste

management and

administrative work as

the value chain along the

Highway Economy is


“The combined impact

of this mini economy

will be a significant

boost to our national

GDP as productivity and

earnings are enhanced,”

the document read.

Beyond the Value-

Added Concession, VAC

arrangement, the

FMWH is also planning

to use another vehicle,

known as the Unbundled

Assets Approvals

initiative, UAAI, to

maximize the use of its

assets on the highways.

Under this category,

the ministry plans to

issue approvals/permits

to individuals to use

assets on the right of

way on a Build, Operate

and Maintain basis.

Both the VAC and the

UAAI, according to the

ministry, aim to provide

adequate highway

services through the

development of


assets along the


“This is key to

maintaining the

functionality of the

highway as well as

engaging and

generating wealth for

indigenous small and

medium enterprises,” it


Approval obtained

The ministry explained

that it has already

obtained the approval of

the Infrastructure

Concession and

Regulatory Commission,

ICRC, to go ahead with

the implementation of

the HMDI which

incorporates the

concessioning of the

highways and the right

of way to private sector


Explaining the

objectives of the HMDI,

the ministry said: “The

objective is to develop

an eco-system along the

federal highway

network by bringing


resources of skills,

manpower, finance,

technology, and

efficiency into the

National Highway


“Ultimately, this homegrown

initiative will be

the lasting solution to the

development and

management of federal

highways by introducing

order, accountability and

p r o f i t a b l e

entrepreneurship to the

operation, management,

and maintenance of

Nigeria’s 35,000 km

federal highways.

“The Initiative is

expected to be anchored

on private sector

engagement via

concessioning of

economically viable

routes to technically and

financially capable

private companies,



management and

development of the rightof-way.

“A major hindrance to

highway development

and management has

been paucity of required

funds to service the vast

and ever-expanding road

network. To negate this

handicap, the FMWH



Continues on Page 35



By Yinka Latona

Should FG grant amnesty to bandits? (3)

Lemony Snicket was right

when he said: ‘Criminals

should be punished, not fed

pastries.’ When you pardon a

criminal, you have just

encouraged him or sent a

message to some people

somewhere that they can

always go Scot-free whenever

they break the laws. Bandits

are criminals. They have no

good intentions. They don’t

deserve amnesty. They

deserve a visitation to the


Folorunso F.Adisa,


Bandits are threats to

national security and

if a country cannot allow

peaceful protesters to

have their way, they

shouldn’t in any way

negotiate with anything

that threatens the peace

of the nation. In my

opinion, several innocent

untried individuals in

prison need amnesty.

Adeleke Kehinde,

Content creator


actually do not believe

amnesty should be

granted to bandits. Besides,

more people will see it as a

shortcut to success looking

at how past repented

criminals are treated when

granted amnesty. If they can

take weapons and start

killing people for no reason,

I don’t see any reason why

they won’t keep going back

to the same crimes when

their demands are not met.

Sunkanmi Ade,

Make-up artist

Bandits don’t deserve

amnesty. Why should

they be granted one? I

support what Gov El-Rufai

said on BBC Hausa Service.

If they are granted amnesty,

they will never honour it.

Then the government will

have to be meeting with

different groups and new

ones will continue to spring

up here and there.

Odunayo Ayobami,



don’t think it’s the right

step. Those who commit

crime should be punished;

it’s strange to be thinking of

granting them amnesty. It’s

high time we started

implementing our laws

religiously. The law says that

if you offend, you face the

consequences. Should we

grant amnesty to people who

had killed and maimed us?

It's unfair.

Mrs. Shokoya Yetunde,


The northern elders

based their requests on

the fact that Niger-Delta

militants got amnesty.

Comparing that struggle to

this one is baseless. That

struggle was based on

resource control,


degradation of a resourcerich

region. They had

regard for human lives

unlike the bandits who kill

at will. What economic

reason is their struggle

based? They are terrorists

that should be treated as

such . Aremu Precious,


6 Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021



acquits engine

oil trader over

death of



By Peter Okutu


State High Court, Abakaliki

Division, has discharged and

acquitted one Chukwudi Omeh,

who has been standing trial for

eight years over the death of his

pregnant fiancee.

Omeh, an engine oil trader, was

accused in 2012 of killing his

pregnant fiancee, Chinagorom


The mutilated corpse of the

deceased, a student of Ebonyi

State College of Education, ÊkwÍ,

and her bag were discovered at

the Alisaoko forest in Ohaukwu

Local Government Area with her

private part, hair and breasts


At the time of her death, she

was three months pregnant.

Her fiance, Omeh, was

sponsoring her in school from

proceeds of his engine oil

business at ÌkwÍ Ngbo market in

the local government.

Their relationship, it was

gathered, started in 1999 while

they were in secondary school but

they decided to marry in 2012.

Following the discovery of her

corpse, Omeh was arrested and

accused of killing her and

arraigned in 2013 before the court.

However, the court presided

over by Justice Vincent Nwanchor

declared the defendant

discharged and acquitted.

He held that the prosecution

failed to prove beyond a

reasonable doubt that the accused

committed the crime.

The prosecuting counsel for the

state, Lilian Okorie, blamed the

inability of the police to carry out

a diligent investigation on the

matter before charging the

accused to court.

She also advised the discharged

man to make a lasting peace with

the deceased’s family members

irrespective of the court


Counsel to the defendant,

Cletus Nwokposi, appreciated the

court for discharging his client,

noting: “The court has

demonstrated that it is indeed the

last hope of the common man.”

Omeh, while thanking the court

for acquitting him, prayed for the

repose of the souls of his late

fiancee and unborn baby.

Cultists kill bricklayer in Delta

By Ochuko Akuopha


Kcultists have reportedly

killed a bricklayer, simply

identified as Mr Jerry, at his

residence around Utagba-Uno

Street, Kwale, headquarters of

Ndokwa West Local

Government Area of Delta

State, Monday.

Sources said the deceased,

who is also a member of the

commercial motorcycle task

force in the area, was shot at a

close range by his assailants,

who broke into his house while

he was with his wife.

Policeman killed as suspected hoodlums

attack police station in Aba

•Govt places N1m bounty on attackers

•Bans Keke, Okada operations from 7 pm to 7 am

By Steve Oko

ABAA policeman on duty was,

yesterday, killed in an early

morning attack on a police station

at Abayi Osisioma Local

Government Area, near Aba, Abia


It was gathered that the attackers

stormed the station around 2:00 am

and set the station ablaze after

killing one of the police personnel

on duty.

An unspecified number of

vehicles parked at the station were

also set ablaze by the invaders

whose identities are yet to be


Meanwhile, the Abia State

government has promised N1

million reward for any credible

information that could lead to the

arrest of the invaders.

Confirming the attack, yesterday,

Abia State’s Police Public Relations

Officer, Geoffrey Ogbonna, said

investigations into the incident had

commended to apprehend the


It would be recalled that another

police station was also in a similar

fashion set on fire at Omoba in

Isialangwa South Local

Government Area in early January.

The Abia State government,

yesterday, described the attack on

the police station and the killing of

the police officer as “mindless and


Govt places N1m

bounty on attackers

The government in a statement

by the Commissioner for

Information, John Okiyi, promised

N1 million reward for any credible

information that could lead to the

arrest of the invaders.

The government also announced

an immediate ban on tricycle and

motorcycle operation between 7 pm

and 7am in all major cities

throughout the state.

The statement made available to

Vanguard in Aba read in part: “The

attention of Abia State Government

has been drawn to a mindless and

cowardly attack on a police station

in Aba by yet to be identified armed

hoodlums in the early hours of today

(yesterday) leading to loss of

precious lives.

“We wish to assure members of

the public that the government is

working with security agencies in

the state to fish out the perpetrators

of this dastardly crime and bring

“There have been series of

cult clashes in Kwale in the

last few months. This is

making it eight persons that

have been killed by cultists

since January. Some survived

the attacks.

“They shoot every day and

on Valentine’s day, two

persons were killed," a source

who craved anonymity told


Effort to get comments from

Delta State Police Public

Relations Officer, Mr Bright

Edafe, was abortive at press

time, but a security source in

the area confirmed the


them to justice as quickly as possible.

“No part of Abia land will be ceded

to criminals operating under any

guise and we will not spare any

resource in ensuring that the

perpetrators of this dastardly act are

brought to book in no distant time

and the stolen arms and ammunition

recovered completely.

“Government, therefore, calls on

citizens to avail law enforcement

agencies with vital information that

will lead to the arrest of the criminals

and recovery of these arms.

“We are determined to pay N1

million for any information leading

to the recovery of any of the stolen

arms and or arrest of any suspect.

“Consequently, the Government

hereby imposes a ban on Keke/

Okada operations between 7 pm

and 7 am in all major cities of the

state starting from today,February

23, 2021.

“Once again, we call for total

vigilance and prompt information

from citizens to ensure the arrest and

prosecution of the hoodlums. We call

on banks and other vulnerable

institutions to fortify security around

their places of business while

strongly advising all security

formations in the state to remain on

red alert until the situation is fully


“Law-abiding citizens and visitors

are advised to go about their normal

businesses while maintaining

vigilance as measures have been

put in place to ensure their safety.

"Those attacking security agents

and formations only seek to

engender anarchy. We will,

therefore, continue to support

security agencies with whatever

they need to foil the agenda of the


“While we implore community

leaders to be vigilant, we urge

parents and guardians to take more

interest in the activities of their

children and wards to avoid their

falling prey to criminally minded


Police arrest 2 ex-convicts for robbery in Ogun

By James Ogunnaike

TWO ex-convicts, Abiodun

Oshoba and Mustapha Sakiru,

have been arrested by operatives of

the Ogun State police command for

robbing one Aminu Iliyasu of his

Bajaj motorcycle at gunpoint.

The suspects, according to a

statement by the command

spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi,

were arrested following a complaint

lodged at Sagamu police station by

the victim.

Iliyasu reported that the two

suspects boarded his motorcycle as

passengers and asked him to take

them to the Conference Hotel at

G.R.A quarters, Sagamu.

Oyeyemi said: “On their way to

the place, the suspects brought out

a gun and ordered him to stop. They

subsequently dispossessed him of

the motorcycle and made away with


“Upon the report, the DPO

Sagamu Division, Okiki

Agunbiade, mobilised his men and

in-conjunction with members of

Vigilante Group blocked all the exit

points of the GRA and commenced

stop and search.”

He added that their efforts yielded

positive result when the motorcycle

was sighted at one of the exit points,

in possession of Abiodun Oshoba

The suspects.

with the number plate folded.

Oyeyemi said: “On sighting the

policemen, he abandoned the

motorcycle and took to his

heels. He was chased and

apprehended by the

policemen and his arrest led

to the apprehension of his

accomplice, Mustapha


A locally made pistol with

one live cartridge was

recovered from them.

The Police spokesman

disclosed that preliminary

investigation revealed that

the duo met in Igbeba prison

where they served different

jail terms and decided to

form a gang after their terms

in the prison.

“While Sakiru Mustapha

was jailed in 2016 for

hijacking a truck, Abiodun

Oshoba was jailed in 2019

for snatching a phone; both

of them came out of prison

in 2020 and decided to

continue their devilish

trade,” he said.

Meanwhile, the state

Commissioner of Police,

Edward Ajagun, has

ordered the transfer of the

suspects to the State Criminal

Investigation and Intelligence

Department for discreet

investigation and prosecution.

Mother of 3 jailed 28 years for child theft in A-Ibom

By Chioma Onuegbu

UYOA mother of three, Mary

Effiong, was yesterday,

sentenced to 28 years imprisonment

for child theft by an Akwa Ibom State

High Court sitting in Uyo.

It was gathered that Effiong stole

two pupils of Saint Philip’s Primary

School, Use Offot and sold them in

Osisioma Ngwa, Abia State.

Effiong had in her statement to

the police confessed that on

November 12, 2018, she lured the

pupils, five and six years old, with

biscuits, claiming to be a friend to

their mothers.

She testified that she had an

agreement with one Blessing

Sunday alias Mummy Vom from

Osisioma Ngwa in Abia State, who

engaged her to look for children in

Akwa Ibom for her.

According to her statement, a man

saw her in a bush while trying to

escape with the two pupils and

raised the alarm, and she was

eventually caught and taken to the

primary school where the

headteacher identified the pupils

and denied knowing the convict.

In his judgement, yesterday,

Justice Okon Okon described

Mary Effiong's conduct as

despicable, abominable and an

embarrassment to motherhood,

adding that for her to leave her

children to abduct other people’s

children for financial gains, speaks

volume of her wickedness.

He held that the defendant “is a

joy killer set to cause grief and inflict

pains on other parents, while

jealously protecting and guiding

her children.

“But for providence, she would

have succeeded in trafficking the

two children to Abia State and

ultimately sold them to a ready and

willing buyer.”

The trial judge ruled that the

convict needed to be punished

severely to serve as a deterrent to

others, who engaged in the illicit


He found her guilty and

sentenced her to 28years


Child stealing is punishable

under Section 380 of the Criminal

Code, Cap. 38, Volume 2, Laws of

Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, 2000.

Gunmen invade poultry farm, kidnap 24-yr-old man in


By Ola Ajayi

IBADANA popular poultry farm

at Oke Odan, Olomo area in Apete

community, Ido Local Government

Area of Oyo State was, Monday night,

invaded by gunmen, who abducted a

24-year-old man.

It was gathered that the attackers shot

severally to scare people when they

stormed the farm before kidnapping

the young man, who is the son of the

owner of the farm.

According to information, the

hoodlums on arrival demanded to see

the owner of the farm. So, when they

did not find him, they went away with

his son.

Contacted, National President of

Soludero Hunters Association, Oba

Wahab Anabi promised to mobilise his


Also, the Divisional Police Officer at

Apete Division and other officers, a local

vigilante group have since been

combing the surroundings of Olomo

community in search of the abductors.

It was gathered that the abductors

escaped through a forest between the

University of Ibadan and Ajibode.

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 20217

Police rescue 81-yr-old monarch from kidnappers

in Calabar •They made me trek for more than a mile Monarch

By Ike Uchechukwu

CALABARTHE 81-year-old

monarch, Chief Bassey

Iyamba, whisked away from his

house at Ambo by Idang in

Calabar South Local Government

Area, late Monday night,

yesterday, recounted how he was

made to trek for more than a mile

before he was rescued by the


According to him, ”Three men

entered my compound

pretending to be customers, who

came to buy chicken from our

poultry not knowing they came

to kidnap me, Although I got

information that they wanted to

kidnap me a month ago and I

restricted my movement, not

knowing I was still a target.

•Says they came pretending to be customers

“One of them entered my sitting

room and started harassing me,

he molested my wife and my

children while asking me to bring

the money, I told him I had no

money in the house.

“They dragged me, hit my head

and face before succeeded to

whisk me away. They took me to

the creek, where I trekked for

more than a mile before we

arrived at our destination because

they took me from one camp to


“I must commend the police

and the youths of my community,

they did a lot of work to ensure

my captors did not succeed in

taking me across the water into

the other side of the creek. I am

most grateful because God used

them to save my life.

“I am an 81-year-old man, those

men would have killed me inside

the creek were it not for the timely

intervention of the police because

they escaped when they

discovered that the police were

on their trail and were closing in

on them.

“They left me alone in the creek,

and when I started shouting I

realised no one was with me. That

was when police rescued me this

early morning (Tuesday).”

Speaking on the incident, the

state Commissioner of Police,

Sikiru Akande, said the incident

had given them a platform to

prove that they can react promptly

and swiftly during emergencies.

His words:”I want to thank God

for helping us react swiftly in the

rescue of the 81-year-old

traditional ruler. Our response is

an insight and a tip of the iceberg

to the fact that we have started

keeping our promise to Cross


“We are sending a message to

hoodlums and all criminals alike,

who want to test our strength or

will that we are not going to relent

until they are completely flushed

out of the state.

“I want to thank the youths of

the community, Operation Puff

Adder, Operation Akpakwu, the

Efut Division and most especially

the Marine police, who took the

risk of securing the waterways,

ensuring the hoodlums did not

escape through the waterways

with their victim.”

53-yr-old man stabs neighbour to death while defending

his brother

By Esther Onyegbula

TRAGEDY struck in the

early hours of Monday at

8, Akpaku Lane, Mafoluku-

Oshodi area of Lagos when a

man allegedly stabbed his

neighbour to death during an


Vanguard gathered that the

incident occurred about an

hour after the deceased,

Chibuike Nwanne, returned

from a party, with his wife.

A report had it that Chibuike

Nwanne had an altercation

with one of his neighbours,

Ifeanyi Emmanuel, over an

unknown issue.

In the course of the quarrel,

another tenant, Sunday

Amaefula, was said to have

dashed out of his room with a

broken bottle to defend

Emmanuel, claiming he

(Emmanuel) was his brother.

He allegedly stabbed

Nwanne at the chest region,

causing him to slump. The

victim’s pregnant wife was

said to have raised the alarm

that jolted other occupants

from sleep.

Efforts to save the life of 43-

year-old Nwanne said to have

wedded last year, failed as he

reportedly bled to death.

Tenants prevented

Amaefula, 53, from escaping,

until the arrival of policemen

from Mafoluku division.

During interrogation,

Amaefula told policemen that

he did not know what came

over him. Besides,

investigation also revealed

that he and Ifeanyi

Emmanuel, the tenant he took

side with during the

altercation, were not blood


Police nab 2

suspected robbers

In another development, two

suspected robbers were,

yesterday, arrested around

Alakara area of Lagos State.

The Divisional Police Officer

of Alakara and his men on

patrol, according to Muyiwa,

intercepted two men on a


The suspected robbers.

He said: “During a search,

two brand new Beretta pistols

with three magazines and 22

live ammunition were

recovered from them.

“The suspects, Mojeed

Satan and Kudaisi Ajetumobi,

could not give satisfactory

explanation on their means of


"Meanwhile, Commissioner

of Police, Lagos State, Hakeem

Odumosu, has ordered that the

Sunday Amaefula, suspected killer.

suspects and exhibits be

transferred to the State

Criminal Investigation and

Intelligence Department,

SCIID, for proper


23-year-old man killed in Imo cult clash

By Chinonso Alozie

OWERRIA cult clash

between rival groups at

Agwa Secondary School in

Oguta Local Government

Area of Imo State has

reportedly claimed the life of

a 23-year-old man, Tobechi


Confirming the death of the

man, the state Police Public

Relations Officer, Orlando

Ikekwo, said the command

got the information through a

distress call and moved their

men to the scene.

Okonkwo said another 23-

year-old man, Wisdom

Uzoma, was arrested in

connection with the incident

after he allegedly confessed to

committing the crime.

The PPRO in a statement,

yesterday said: “On the 20/02/

21, through a distress call,

operatives of the command

moved to Agwa Secondary

School, Agwa, in Oguta Local

Government Area.

Wisdom Uzoma, the suspect,

“Upon arrival at the scene,

operatives met the remains of

a young man, who was later

identified to be Tobechi

Chijioke Duru, 23-year-old, of

Obudi Agwa, in Oguta Local


Area, Imo

State. He

was said to

have been

killed while

two rival

cult groups

clashed at

the school



on the 21/

0 2 / 2 1 ,

based on

discreet and




of the


arrested the


suspect, one Wisdom Uzoma,

23-year-old, of Obudi Agwa,

in Oguta Local Government

Area of Imo State. He

confessed to the crime, and

will be prosecuted


SON arraigns

bizman for

engine oil


logo forgery

By Onozure Dania


Federal High Court

sitting in Lagos,

yesterday, ordered the

remand in police custody of

a businessman, Chidi

Nwanyanwu, charged with

adulteration of engine oil

and inscribing forged

Standard Organisation of

Nigeria, SON, logos on the


Trial judge, Justice

Maureen Onyetenu,

ordered the remand of the

defendant following his

arraignment alongside his

two firms, Two Ocean Oil Ltd

and Hi-Power Lubricants.

In the four-count charge,

SON accused the defendants

of dealing in adulterated

engine oil, non-compliance

with SON’s Conformity

Assessment Programme and

forging of the SON’s logo,

the mark of quality and

certification number.

The SON’s counsel, Joseph

Olofindare, said the

defendants, of 21, Kenneth

Obas Place Estate, Ojo,

Lagos committed the offence

on or about February 1, 2021

at the Trade Fair

Administrative Block

Complex, Badagry

Expressway, Lagos.

The offences, according to

Olofindare, are punishable

under sections Section 26,

26(a)&(b) of the SON Act,

2015, and section 1(18a)(ii)

of the Miscellaneous

Offences Act, 2004.

The defendants pleaded

not guilty.

Their counsel, Uchenna

Umoneke, informed the

court that his client’s bail

motion had been filed and

served on the prosecution.

Olofindare did not oppose

the application but noted that

Nwanyanwu had been

evasive since 2016 and had

dishonoured all of the SON’s

invitations for a meeting on

how to find a remedy for the

problems created by his


Following the allegation,

Umoneke prayed for a short

adjournment to enable him

to file a further and better

affidavit for Nwanyanwu’s


Granting his prayer,

Justice Onyetenu,

adjourned till March 10,

2021, for the hearing of the

defendant’s bail application

and remanded Nwanyanwu

at the Force Criminal

Investigation and

Intelligence Department,

CIID, Ikoyi, Lagos.

8 Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021

:Vanguard News

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

VISIT: From left Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Aliyu Ahmed; Minister of Finance,

Dr Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed; and Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq; during a

courtesy visit by the governor to the minister's office, in Abuja.

We’re ready to end insecurity in Nigeria,

new service chiefs tell Senate

•Reps urge service chiefs to rescue abducted Kagara

students, staff

By Henry Umoru &

Tordue Salem

ABUJA The new serv

ice chiefs yesterday assured

the Senate and Nigerians

of their readiness to end

insecurity in the country.

Speaking separately in the

Upper Chamber yesterday,

the Chief of Defence Staff and

other service chiefs-designate

all expressed their individual

and collective readiness to

bring the scourge of insecurity

in the form of Boko Haram,

banditry, kidnapping,

among others, to an end. The

Senate Joint Committee of

Defence, Army, Air-force and

Navy, led by Senator Aliyu

Wamakko, APC, Sokoto

North, yesterday screened

the new service chiefs.

Other chairmen of the committees

are Senator Ali

Ndume, APC, Borno South for

Army; Senator George Sekibo,

Peoples Democratic Party,

PDP, Rivers East, Chairman,

Navy; and Senator Bala

Ibn Na’allah, APC, Kebbi

Central, Chairman, Airforce.

The new service chiefs were

led to room 211, Senate New

building, venue of the

screening by the Senior Special

Assistant to the President

on National Assembly matters

( Senate) Senator Babajide


The service chiefs include

Maj. Gen. Lucky Eluonye lrabor,

Chief of Defence Staff

(CDS); Maj. Gen. Ibrahim

Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff

(COAS); Rear Admiral Awwal

Zubairu Gambo, Chief of

Naval Staff (CNS); and Air

Vice Marshal Isiaka O.

Amao,Chief of Air Staff (CAS).

When the nominees appeared

before the Joint Senate

Committee on Defence,

Army, Navy and Air Force yesterday,

they all pledged their

best to ensure that insecurity

became a thing of the past.

Recall that President Muhammadu

Buhari had in a

letter dated January 27, 2021,

forwarded the nominations of

the military chiefs to the Senate

for confirmation.

Also recall that Buhari had

in a letter to the President of

the Senate, Senator Ahmad

Lawan, dated January 27,

2021, said the screening was

being sought in furtherance of

Section 18 (1) of the Armed

Forces Act Cap A.20 Laws of

the Federation of Nigeria.

To begin the screening process,

President of the Senate,

Senator Ahmad Lawan had

last week, referred the names

of the newly appointed Service

Chiefs to its Joint Committee

on Defence, Army, Airforce

and Navy to commence the

screening exercise and report

back to the Senate at Plenary

for other legislative actions.

In his remarks, Major

General Lucky Eluonye lrabor,

Chief of Defence Staff,

CDS, said the mandate of President

Buhari was very clear to

him and his colleagues, stressing

that they would deliver on

the core mandate.

He said: “I have had extensive

experience as a commissioned

officer of the Nigerian

Army. I have had experiences

in both operational and, of

course, instructional and field

experiences and I hope as we

interact together, you will see

more of what we could deliver

in a manner Nigerians will be

happy.” On his part, the

COAS-designate, Major General

Attahiru, assured the panel

that if confirmed for the position,

he will provide the right

leadership for the Nigerian

Army and reposition it.

He said: “My vision is to

reposition it for professionalism,

defeat all adversaries in

joint environment.

“Futhermore, let me assure

you all that I will do all that is

necessary to work assiduously

with other service chiefs to

bring an end to the security

challenges in the country.’’

Also speaking, the Chief of

Naval Staff Designate, Rear

Admiral Auwal Gambo, said

his vision was to leverage on

all factors to re-energise the

Nigerian Navy in fulfillment

of national security objectives.

On his part, the Chief of

Air Staff Designate, AVM Isiaka

Amao, recalled how the

country has spent taxpayers

money to train him right from

1984 to date, promising not

to let the country down in his

new capacity. ‘’Of course, for

my resume, you can see that I

have the experience to hold

this appointment. I want to

promise that I will not let the

Nigerian people down and I

will do my best, with the coordination

of my colleagues, to

ensure that the insecurity in

the country becomes a thing

of the past,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the House of

Representatives yesterday

urged the new service chiefs

to rescue Government Science

Secondary School, Kagara,

Niger State, students

that were abducted last

Wednesday. The legislators

called for the rescue through

a motion of urgent national

importance, sponsored by

Unyime Idem(Akwa-Ibom/

PDP). Presenting the motion,

Unyime said: “On Wednesday,

February 17, 2021, at

about 2:00am, Government

Science College, Kagara, Niger

State, was attacked by

unknown gunmen reportedly

dressed in military uniforms

and killed one student. abducted

27 students and three

members of the staff alongside

12 of their relatives and

several others running into

nearby bushes for safety.

“At least 30 travelers were

abducted on Sunday, February

14, 2021, by gunmen

who ambushed commuters

along the TeginaZungeru

highway in Rafi Local Government

Area of Niger State.

‘’It was confirmed by the officials

of the drivers’ union in

the area who said the victims

were travelling in a bus of the

Niger State Transport Authority,

NSTA, when they ran into

an ambush by the bandits.

The gunmen also killed three

members of the local vigilante

group which attempted to

foil their operation.

“While the government and

the security agencies were

working in securing the release

of the several abducted

persons, another attack occurred

in Shiroro also in Niger

State, on Thursday, February

18, 2021, where gunmen

attacked and killed one

person, injured two, and a yet

to be ascertained number was


Zenith Bank’s PBT rises 5% to N255.9bn

LAGOS Zenith Bank

Plc has announced an

impressive result for the year

ended December 31, 2020,

with Profit Before Tax (PBT)

rising by five per cent to

N255.9 billion from N243.3

billion in the corresponding

period of 2019.

This is in spite of a challenging

macro-economic environment

exacerbated by the

COVID 19 pandemic.

The increase arose from a

combination of growth in the

top-line and a significant reduction

in interest expense to

N121.1 billion in 2020 from

N148.5 billion in 2019, as

the net interest income increased

toN299.7 billion in

2020 from N267.0 billion in


According to the bank’s audited

financial results for the

2020 financial year presented

to the Nigeria Stock Exchange

(NSE) on Tuesday, the

Group recorded a growth in

gross earnings of five per cent

to N696.5 billion from

N662.3 billion in the previous


The Group recorded eight

per cent growth in non-interest

income to N251.7 billion

in 2020 from N232.1 billion

in 2019 and a one per cent increase

in interest income to

N420.8 billion in 2020 from

N415.6 billion in 2019 The

Group’s increased retail activities

translated to a corresponding

increase in retail

deposits and loans.

Thus, retail deposits grew by

N612.7 billion from N1.11

trillion to N1.72 trillion Yearon-Year

(YoY), while savings

balances significantly grew by

88 per cent Year on Year, YoY

and closed at N1.16 trillion.

This retail drive, coupled with

the low-interest yield environment,

helped reduce the cost

of funding to 2.1 per cent from

3.0 per cent and also reduced

interest expense. However, the

low-interest environment also

affected the net interest margin,

which declined to 7.9 per

cent from 8.2 per cent due to

the re-pricing of interest-bearing


Other performance indicators

showed that operating

costs grew by 10 per cent YoY

but are still tracking well below

inflation which at the end

of the year stood at 15.75 per


The Group also increased

corporate customer deposits,

which alongside the growth in

retail deposits, delivered total

deposit growth of 25 per cent ,

to close at N5.34 trillion, driving

growth in market share.

Total assets also increased

significantly by 34% to N8.48

trillion from N6.35 trillion.

Govs should decide what to

pay workers Reps

•Want states to run prisons

Cryptocurrency used to fund

#EndSAR protests, ICPC

tells Senate

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA THE Independent

Corrupt Practices

and Other Related Commission,

ICPC, yesterday told

the Senate that the #End-

SARS protest was largely financed

by cryptocurrency

According to ICPC, there

are strong indications that

cryptocurrency could be used

to fund insurgency.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja

during an interactive session

with Senate Joint Committee

on Banking, ICT, Cybercrime

and Capital Market,

led by Senator Uba Sani, All

Progressives Congress, APC,

Kaduna Central on the decision

of the Central Bank of

Nigeria to ban cryptocurrency

in Nigeria, chairman of

ICPC, Bolaji Owasanoye,

threw his weight behind the

Central Bank.

He said cryptocurrency lent

itself to money laundering

and terrorism financing.

Speaking further, the ICPC

boss noted the anti-graft agency

currently had a number of

cases linked to cryptocurrency

but was unable to track the

suspects. He reminded the

Senate how in 2018, a

number of globally rated financial

institutions had their

financial statements hacked,

with the perpetrators asking

to be paid in cryptocurrencies.

According to him, the CBN

as a regulator, has responsibility

to ensure sound financial

stability. ‘’It will be difficult

to achieve in the case of

cryptocurrencies where the

role of players are unknown,’’

he said. The ICPC boss warned

the lawsmakers to, as a matter

of urgency, take decisive

action against cryptocurrencies,

sharing with them the experience

of the Indian Supreme

Court and how it ruled

and admitted that it “does not

know what it is”.

By Tordue Salem

ABUJA The House of

Representatives yesterday

passed for second reading

a bill to allow state governors

determine how much

they will pay their workers.

The issue of remuneration

is at the moment on the concurrent

list(duties shared by

federal and states) in the 1999

Constitution, as amended.

Besides, the House also

passed another legislation for

the federal government to

hands off from the administration

of correctional centres

in the country.

The two bills, after a thorough

debate, were referred to

the ad hoc committee of the

House on the review of the

1999 constitution (as amended).

The bill seeking to remove

establishment correctional

centres from the exclusive

list aims to empower

the states to establish and

manage correctional centres

in their various states, so as to

reduce the menace of prisons


Chairman of the House

Committee on Media and

Public Affairs, Benjamin Kalu

who sponsored the bill, argued

that the growing population

of inmates in correctional

facilities across the nation

and resultant over-stretching

of the facilities had made it

impossible to reform the inmates,

adding that as a result,

most inmates return to the society


He also said that Section

12(8) of the Nigerian Correctional

Act empowers the state

controllers of correctional

service to reject inmates where

it is apparent that the operational

centre is filled to capacity,

noting that inmates will

soon be rejected if the bill was

not passed.

Although the bill was stiffly

opposed by some lawmakers,

it was eventually passed for a

second reading. In the same

vein, the bill seeking transfer

of the subject matter of minimum

wage from the exclusive

list to the concurrent list, sponsored

by Garba Dattj Muhammed

(APC-Kaduna), was

passed after a long debate.

Muhammed while leading

the debate, said the proposed

legislation “would allow individual

states negotiate remuneration

with their staff

according to their workforce

and resources”.

He said: “Virtual and

cryptocurrencies pose serious

legal and law enforcement

risks for Nigeria. The current

National Identification

Number registration and linking

with SIM cards is a pointer

to the fact that insurgents,

terrorists, kidnappers, bandits,

and drug merchants have

used the anonymity of unregistered

SIM cards to commit

crimes with relative ease.

“Cryptocurrencies guarantee

similar anonymity and

can easily be used as leverage

for terrorist financing and

other crimes. With the NIN

registration, cryptocurrencies

may become an alternative

payment platform for kidnappers

and this would be impossible

for law enforcement to

agencies to trace.”

The ICPC boss cited a case

study of a current investigation

by the commission on

money laundering involving

several hundreds of millions

of naira. He said: “The main

suspect used technology in

placing the money in the banking

sector. A sizable amount

was traced to several bank

accounts but before investigators

recovered some of the

money, a large proportion had

been made to disappear using

serpentine ICT-aided

transfer schemes that has so

far eluded investigators.

“This ongoing case is a

glimpse into the world of anonymity

of virtual or digital

transactions. With cryptocurrencies,

the wallet of the user

of cryptocurrency system only

store information, or encrypted

links in the Blockchain

where transaction confirmation

can be found. “There is

no movement of any ‘currency’

in the real sense of the word.

By their very nature, they provide

considerable anonymity

that is almost impossible to

be accessed by unauthorized

persons, including law enforcement


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021 9

:Vanguard News

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

INSECURITY: Banditry designed to destroy

Nigeria GOVS

By Wole Mosadomi & Mary



Governors Forum, NGF,

said yesterday that there was no

other term to describe acts of

banditry and kidnapping than

terrorism, noting that banditry

was designed to destroy Nigeria.

The NGF spoke on a day

Northern governors lamented

the proliferation of arms,

including AK-47 rifles among

herdsmen and farmers in the


Chairman of NGF and

governor of Ekiti State, Kayode

Fayemi, who stated this during a

solidarity visit to Niger State

governor, Abubakar Bello, in

Minna over the abduction of

students and staff of Government

Science College, Kagara, by

bandits, said the President and

governors were worried about

insecurity in the country.

He said: “At the level of the

governors’ forum, we met last

week and we came out with some

specific ideas we have shared with

the federal authorities but for us,

our visit is in commiseration,

solidarity and in identifying with

you, the government, and the

good people of Niger State.

“We want to reassure you that

even this difficult time shall pass

but we must put our heads

together, put all our efforts

together, demonstrate resilience,

reassure our people not to give

up hope because ultimately we

can only defeat terrorism

collectively, not in isolation.

“What we are witnessing is

terrorism, there is no other name

for it. We may call it banditry,

kidnapping, these are the

remnants of the actors in the

north-east that have found

themselves in other parts of the

country. Whether they are

known as ISWAP, Shekau faction,

they are remnants of what we

are still dealing with in that part

of Nigeria.

“That is why we must not treat

the north-east in isolation of this

problem. We are all victims as long

as any section of our country is

ravaged by this problem.

“On behalf of all your brother

governors, I want to assure our

people in Niger State that we are

all for Niger State. We shall not

rest until we resolve the

challenges we have here as we

have in other states.”

Fayemi said the country

cannot run away from the fact

that the problem had to do with

poverty, inequality, illiteracy and

loss of hope among Nigerians.

“The ultimate agenda is to

destroy Nigeria, let’s not make

any mistake about it. It’s either

we succumb to that agenda or

fight it with every fibre in our

being,” he said.

Responding, the Niger

governor thanked his

counterparts and expressed his

happiness at the visit, describing

it as a “morale booster.”

He said the state had always

been peaceful but noted that

there was an agenda by some

groups to deprive “our young

ones of having a good education.

“Everyone you see here has

been on his/her toes praying for

the safe return of the kidnap

victims. Niger State has always

been a peaceful state. Agreed

from time to time we’ve had

incidences of kidnapping but not

to this magnitude.

“I think the time has come for

us to come together and impose

on the federal authorities to do

the needful. I think there is need

for the federal authorities to key

in and work with state

governments, so we are able to

provide adequate intelligence

and find a final solution to this


Also yesterday, Northern

governors lamented the

proliferation of arms, including

AK-47 rifles among herdsmen

and farmers in the country.

Chairman of Northern

Governors’ Forum and governor

of Plateau State, Simon Lalong,

who stated this in a Channels

Television breakfast programme,

Sunrise Daily, also said recurring

farmers/herders clashes could

have been averted, had states

implemented the federal

government’s National Livestock

Transformation Plan, NLTP.

Lalong, who insisted on ban of

open grazing in the country to

stave off the frequent clashes

between farmers and herders,

said: “Today, we are now seeing

the hazard of allowing people do

open grazing here and there.

‘’But they (herders) also want

solution. By the time you explain

to them, they also want to stay in

one place, they would also stop

carrying AK-47.

‘’I’m not justifying anybody to

carry AK-47 but don’t forget that

in the course of our deliberations

and investigations, it was not

only Fulani herdsmen that were

carrying AK-47, even farmers

were carrying AK-47.

‘’It is just proliferation of arms

in respect to guarding

themselves. Everybody is trying

to protect himself, we shouldn’t

allow self-help.

“At the time there were

farmers-herdsmen clashes here

(in Plateau), we arrested people,

farmers also had AK-47 and the

herdsmen were also holding AK-

47 too.

‘’But if you want all of them not

to hold AK-47 again, you must

put deliberate efforts to curtail the

influx of light arms and secondly

find ways to take these people

away from the old type of farming

and then introduce them to the

modern system.”

Speaking further, Governor

Lalong said the country would

have avoided the frequent

clashes between farmers and

herders, if the National Livestock

Transformation Plan, NLTP. was

well implemented.

NLTP was proposed by former

Minister of Agriculture, Audu

Ogbeh, in 2018 and was adopted

by the National Economic

Council, NEC, headed by Vice-

President Yemi Osinbajo.

The plan, a voluntary initiative

that allows state governments to

implement whichever aspect

they feel comfortable with, was

to run for a period of 10 years,

from 2019 to 2028.

But the governor expressed

regrets that some states rejected

the plan on the grounds that

they didn’t have land for it.

“When we came and

realised that what was really

very prevalent was the Boko

Haram and farmersherdsmen

issue, the national

livestock plan was


‘’But when we got to the

period of implementation,

there were a lot of problems

here and there, even from some

regions of the nation.

‘’Some said they don’t want the

national livestock plan because

PARLEY: Managing

Director of the

Nigerian Ports

Authority (NPA),

Hadiza Bala Usman

(left) with Governor

Babajide Sanwo-Olu of

Lagos State, during the

NPA MD’s courtesy

visit to the governor to

discuss collaboration

for the take-off of the

Eto Electronic Truck

Call-up app for the

management of trucks

at the ports in Lagos.

•Herdsmen, farmers now carry AK-47, Northern govs

lament •Say farmer/herder crisis would have been

averted if livestock plan was implemented •PDP

intervenes in Ortom/Mohammed’s rift over herdsmen

bearing AK-47 rifles

they don’t have the land. At that

time, if the policy had been well

implemented, today we would not

have been talking about farmersherdsmen

crisis because that

policy was well drafted,’’ he said.

The governor said some people

did not care about reading the

plan because they believed it was

for a particular ethnic group.

He explained further: “Now

people don’t even care about

reading it. By the time ranching

and grazing is mentioned, people

believe it belongs to a particular

ethnic group.

‘’We don’t even want to read

what is contained in the policy to

even talk about accepting it to be

implemented in our various states.

Now you can see the menace


“The policy is still there, why

don’t we go back and address this

issue because it was specifically

not only about grazing. It was to

assist the farmers-herdsmen crisis

and also empower the farmers and

herdsmen to be kept in one place.”

Recall that the clashes between

farmers and herders had caused

verbal exchange between Benue

State governor, Samuel Ortom,

and his Bauchi State counterpart,

Bala Mohammed, who justified

the bearing of arms by herders,

saying they used such arms to

protect themselves against cattle


But Ortom and even Ondo

State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu,

disagreed with the Bauchi State

governor, contending that he

(Governor Mohammed) was

encouraging the herders to

continue to kill innocent people

in their ancestral lands.

In fact, the umbrage between

Ortom and the Bauchi governor

degenerated on Monday, as the

Benue governor accused his

Bauchi counterpart of being a part

of the terrorist group terrorising


He also said Governor

Mohammed should be held

accountable should anything

happen to him as, according to

him, the Bauchi governor was

profiling him for assassination by

the herdsmen.

The disagreement

between both governors of

Peoples Democratic Party,

PDP, has attracted the

intervention of the party.

NASS confirms Buratai, others

as ambassadors-designates

amid minority protest

•Buhari should post them to neighbouring

countries, says Lawan

By Henry Umoru &



A protest BUJAAMID

from the Minority

at the hallowed chamber

yesterday, the Senate confirmed

the immediate past Chief of Army

Staff , Lt-Gen Yusuf Tukur Buratai

from Borno State and other former

service chiefs as non-career


Also confirmed by the Senate

were General Abayomi

Olonisakin, retd, from Ekiti State;

Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas, retd,

Cross River; Air Marshal Sadique

Abubakar, retd, Bauchi; and Air

Vice Marshal Muhammad S.

Usman, retd, Kano.

The appointment of the former

service chiefs was also confirmed

in the lower chamber, the House

of Representatives.

Presenting the report,

chairman of the Committee on

Foreign Affairs, Adamu

Muhammad Bulkachuwa, All

Progressives Congress, Bauchi

North, said their appointments

were made in line with section

171(40) of the 1999 Constitution

as amended.

Bulkachuwa said: “Their

experiences as service chiefs in

the military where they rose to

the highest ranks in their careers

have made them eminently

qualified; and the nominees were

very knowledgeable and

articulate in their response to

questions directed at them by the


“The committee received

petitions against their

nominations as non-career

ambassadors of the Federal

Republic of Nigeria but the

petitions were dismissed.”

Immediately after Senator

Bulkachuwa presented the report

of his committee for

consideration, the Senate

LASG to take 24 % equity in TBS,

Trade Fair Complex

By Emma Ujah


government, yesterday,

offered to take up 24 per cent of

Tafawa Balewa Square, TBS, and

the Lagos International Trade

Fair Complex, according to

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at

a virtual investors’ forum

Under the arrangement, Lagos

State government would

contribute 24 per cent of required

investment in exchange for the

same amount of shares in

concession Special Purpose

Vehicle, SPVs, in partnership

with the concessionaires.

The Director-General of the

Bureau of Public Enterprises,

BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh, disclosed

that the concession would be

for a period of 30 years, renewable

by the federal government for

another 30-year period.

Okoh said: “The purpose of this

Investors’ Forum is to showcase

two government enterprises

which require private sector

investment, as well as,

innovative management capacity

to unlock their full potentials

which hitherto had been suboptimally


‘’Both of these enterprises had

Minority Leader, Senator

Enyinnaya Abaribe, PDP, Abia

South, referred the Senate to

page three of the report and asked

the chairman of the committee

to explain the recommendation

that the nominees be confirmed,

even with a petition hanging

around their nominations.

Abaribe, while coming under a

point of order, demanded

explanation as to the rationale

behind the dismissal of the

petition against the nominees by

the committee, particularly

against the backdrop of the

Senate resolutions in the past

calling for their removal as service


According to Abaribe, the

petitioner had that for integrity

sake, the Senate cannot confirm,

especially considering the fact

that it had repeatedly called for

their sack because of continued

insecurity challenges in the


At this point, the President of

the Senate, Senator Ahmad

Lawan, interrupted Abaribe,

saying the fact that the Senate

had called on President Buhari

to sack them as service chiefs did

not forestal their appointments

for different national


Lawan, who pointed out that

the Senate resolution

demanding their removal was in

no way related to President

Muhammadu Buhari’s request

for the Senate to confirm them

as ambassadors-designate, said

the two roles were different.

“Without prejudice to what the

executive will do, where we need

to fight Boko Haram insurgency

and banditry, because of their

experience in the field, they

should be able to interact very

closely and sufficiently to advice

and create the atmosphere for

working together, for partnership

and cooperation between

Nigeria and its neighbours.''

previously been concessioned but

government had to act decisively

to terminate the concessions in

view of the fact that the former

concessionaire acted contrary to

the expectations guiding the

development of those iconic and

legacy facilities in Nigeria.

“The fact that these two

enterprises are being showcased

again today for private sector

investment speaks to

government implicit confidence

in the ability of the private sector

to reinvigorate these national

assets and make them, not just

viable, but to again stand as

monuments of national pride.”

The BPE boss said the

expectation of the Federal

Government in undertaking the

concession of Lagos Trade Fair

Complex was to catalise business

in West Africa through strategic

trade exhibitions that project the

vast potentials of the industrial

axis of Lagos and Ogun states.

He said: “Similarly, it is

government’s expectation that

the TBS must move beyond

disjointed cluster of business

premises to a world-class

integrated events and business

facility comparable to its

counterparts globally.’’

10 Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021



#EndSARS: Lagos panel

summons IGP

By Gabriel Olawale,

with agency reports


Judicial Panel of

Restitution and Inquiry, set

up to investigate cases of

police brutality, especially

involving officers of the

now-defunct Special Anti-

Robbery Squad, yesterday,

summoned the Inspector-

General of Police,

Mohammad Adamu.

The IGP was summoned

over a case involving one

Adewale Adewuyi, a

petitioner, whose 26 acres

of farmland were allegedly

seized by police since 2013.

This came on a day a

rights activist and a lawyer,

Dele Farotimi, alleged

threat to his life over his

position on the reopening

of Lekki toll gate.

Lagos panel

summons IGP

Debo Adeleke, the

petitioner’s lawyer, alleged

that the police invaded the

farmland located at Age-

Mowo near Badagry on

December 17, 2013, and

destroyed it.

The development, the

counsel said, affected the

health status of his client.

Adeleke, who asked the

panel to summon the IGP,

said his client – brought on

a stretcher – could not feed

himself after the incident.

The lawyer also said a

Federal High Court had in

2017 ordered the police to

release the farmland and

pay damages for physical


The petitioner’s lawyer

said: “That order is needed,

although I’m not supposed

to say this is a fact-finding

panel, we need to summon

the IGP, so that he can tell

the commissioner of police

to release this land to us.

They are not using the

land, it is just there.

“Everybody fears the

Lagos state judicial panel

on restitution. We will be

grateful if my lord will issue

the order.”

On his part, police

counsel, Cyril Ejiofor,

requested two weeks to get

the issue resolved.

But Chairperson of the

panel, Doris Okuwobi,

ordered that the parties

mentioned in the petition

should be served the

summons and adjourned

till March 30.

Farotimi, activist,

alleges threat to


Meanwhile, Mr.

Farotimi, who is a member

of the Radical Agenda

Movement in the Nigerian

Bar Association, NBA, said

that he has already filed a

petition to the DSS and

Nigeria Police over alleged

plans to assassinate him by

some people, who are not

comfortable with his


Farotimi, who addressed

newsmen in Lagos, said: “I

am already aware that I was

...as Farotimi

alleges threat to


offending a lot of powerful

people due to my position

as regards the EndSars

protest, the killings at the

Lekki toll gate and the

planned reopening of the

toll gate.

“But on Tuesday last

week, I was threatened by

some state actors that my

life is not safe so long as I

am in Lagos. I was told to

watch my back because I

can be killed at any time if

I don’t back down.

“Somebody, who is also

privileged to certain

conversations at a certain

level which I won’t want to

disclose, now revealed the

calculated plan to

assassinate me. I won’t

reveal the name of my

sources and I know it is not

one of those empty threats

because the threat was

specific, names were

mentioned and I know one

of those mentioned at a

personal level because he

is someone I have known

for years.

“I have written a petition

to security agencies and

also requested protection

from the Nigeria state. I am

not a drug baron, I don’t

cheat people, if anything is

to happen to me look no

further than the person I

mentioned in my petition.

The identity I have already

made clear to my associates

and family.”

Farotimi, however, made

it clear that his position on

the EndSars protests was

not for personal gains, but

an obligation he owed

future generations.

He said: “I am speaking

for the voiceless, my

activism did not start today,

the threat to my life did not

start today, but this

particular one is coming as

a function of my role in

questioning the rationale

behind the rush to reopen

the toll gate."

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

INSECURITY: We’ll fight criminality

with every legal means S-West govs

....Say Amotekun not against any ethnic group or business

....Moves against open grazing

By Dayo Johnson


the South-West

Governors’ Forum,

Governor Rotimi

Akeredolu, yesterday,

declared that governors in

the region would fight

criminality with every legal

means. He also dismissed

insinuations by some

Northern governors and

leaders that Amotekun was

established to attack ethnic

nationalities or businesses.

Akeredolu, who said this

during his second term

inauguration lecture, held

in Akure, stated: “What we

have set out to do in the

South Western states is not

targeted at any ethnic

nationality or business.

Nigeria operating fatherism, not federalism Adesina, AfDB boss

By Dayo Johnson




Development Bank, AfDB,

Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina,

yesterday, lamented that

Nigeria is not practicing

true federalism, but


Adesina, who was the

guest lecturer at the second

inaugural lecture of

Governor Rotimi

Akeredolu, in Akure, said

Nigeria’s system is

essentially a revenuesharing


Speaking on the theme:

'Towards a New Nigeria:

From Federal Fatherism to

a Commonwealth’, the

AfDB boss said: “With

stupendous resources, all

concentrating at the centre,

states are ever dependent

on the centre. With the

magnetic field of Federal

Revenue Allocations, states

are constantly pulled,

powerless, into perennial

LECTUREFrom left: Ondo State All Progressive Congress Chairman, Ade Adetimehin; wife of the

state governor, Betty Akeredolu; Governor Rotimi Akeredolu; former Osun State deputy governor,

Senator lyiola Omisore; Deputy Governor-elect, Lucky Ayedatiwa and wife, during Governor

Akeredolu's Second Term Inaugural Lecture, in Ondo.

“But we are against

criminality and we shall

fight criminality with every

legal means.

“It is in the interest of our

collective wellbeing. All we

require is the support and

understanding of all

federating units, including

the Federal Government.

“The simple truth is that

we have lived in self-denial

amid an excruciating pain

that is almost cancerous


“Notwithstanding our

challenges today, my firm

belief in the Nigerian

Project is strengthened by

my fact of a true Nigerian.

“That I desire a more

united Nigeria with every

ingredient of freedom, rule

of law, patriotism, love,

mutual respect and

harmony is an


“I am prepared to fight for

it legitimately for the benefit

of all. Today, the most

potent threat to national

belief is insecurity.

“And because we have

allowed a sustained, nonbeneficial

stagnation for too

long in our approach, the

consequences are

increasingly becoming

more dire.

“The time to act is now,

not tomorrow. As leaders,

the choices we make create

the path to our desires. “We

cannot pretend that all is

well when indeed, more

things are going wrong.

“Today, rather than our

nation, Nigerians are more

• Twisted federalism responsible for sectional activism, says Akeredolu


His words: “This financial

pilgrimage creates a sense

of helplessness and overt

dependency on the centre.

“State governors now

spend more time in Abuja

than they do in their states,

seeking the monthly

federal manna.

“Like a pendulum, ever

moving from side to side in

constant motion, so too has

this unfortunate

dependency become

seemingly unstoppable.

“The truth, however, is

that to survive and strive,

states must become

financially independent of

the centre in Abuja.

“This is federalism of

fiscal dependency. It’s

federalism that’s fiscally

unhealthy for the states and

the federal government.

Because Nigeria depends

on oil for over 70 per cent

of government revenue,

any decline in the price of

oil creates fiscal and

economic volatilities that

reverberate across the


“What’s needed is

greater economic and fiscal

autonomy for the states.

The issue is less about

states or regional autonomy,

but the financial and

economic viability of

Nigeria’s constituent states.

“If Nigeria were to be a

conglomerate firm, it would

not be economically viable

because 92 per cent of its

constituent subsidiary

companies are not viable

without the support of the

holding company.

Nigeria’s federalism

doesn’t grow its constituent

entities. It simply makes

them perpetual dependent.

“The Nigeria system is,

therefore, not federalism,

but fatherism. The

agitations for

decentralization can be

understood when viewed

in the light of a craving for

greater autonomy.

“But let us face it, political

autonomy is meaningless

unless it’s backed by greater

fiscal self-reliance at the

state level

“We tend to copy a system

that is not well suited to our

context. The United States

that we copied from does

not control resources at the

state level. Instead, the

states generate the bulk of

their income from taxes.”

Speaking on the

restructuring of the country,

Adesina said it should not

be driven by political

dependency but by

economic and financial


He said: “As a way out of

the economic quagmire,

much has been said about

the need for restructuring.

Restructuring should not be

driven by political

expediency, but by

economic and financial

viability for political viability.

“The achievements of

economically viable entities

inclined to ethnic


“We have resorted to

clannish satisfaction in

place of nation-building.

We are gradually and

unconsciously replacing

national patriotism with

sectional activism.

“No one, I repeat, no one

should be blamed. Our

very faulty and twisted

federalism is responsible.

“Regrettably, even those

with palpable national

passion and patriotism are

today, gradually tilting to

the unintended ethnic

nationality cabin.

“Most Nigerians are

losing faith in our “Unity in

Diversity” sloganeering, but

there is an opportunity to restore

national consciousness through

true federalism. It hurts none, it

pays all."

and the viability of the

national entity, require

constitutional changes to

devolve more economic and fiscal

powers to the states or regions.

“Our union would be equitable.

Our union would be fully

participatory. We must be




responsible for


activism, says


In his opening remarks,

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu

blamed the growing sectional

activism, which he said is

gradually replacing national

patriotism on the faulty and

twisted federalism as operated in

the country.

He lamented that most

Nigerians are losing faith in unity

in diversity sloganeering while

urging that the only opportunity

to restore national consciousness

is through True Federalism.

Vanguard, , WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021 11




• NO ROADTraffic gridlock at Oshodi-Apapa expressway, along the Mile 2 axis, yesterday.

APAPA GRIDLOCK: NPA, Lagos to impound

trucks without call-up slip

• 8 truck holding bays to take-off; move to end corrupt practices

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

LAGOSTHE Nigerian Ports

Authority, NPA, and Lagos

State government, yesterday,

disclosed plans to finally

commence a three-month trial on

enforcement and compliance of

Electronic Call-Up System from

February 27, 2021, as part of

measures to ensure the free-flow

of traffic in Apapa access port

areas and environs.

Governor Babajide Samwo-Olu

and the NPA Managing Director,

Hadiza Usman, said this when

the latter led a delegation of NPA

management on a courtesy visit

to the governor at the Lagos

House, in Alausa, Ikeja.

While receiving the delegation,

the governor said: “There have

been conversations around the

call-up system, It has been a

tedious and rigorous process and

we are happy it is taking off now;

it is will be a transparent system,

there will be a virtual dashboard

that people will see at the various


“We are starting with eight

holding pass at the first instance,

and as numbers and investments

improve, NPA will approve

others, our target is to take about

3,000 and 5,000 articulated

trailers off the road to be able to

feed and serve our ports well.

“This will certainly be the

beginning of better customers’

ASOHON seeks govt's intervention on

kidnappings in orphanages

By Providence Adeyinka


Orphanages and Homes

Operators in Nigeria, ASOHON,

yesterday, urged the Federal

Government to intervene in the

invasion of orphanages and

homes by kidnappers and, at the

same time, pay attention to

funding of social services.

Speaking at a media briefing in

Lagos, the National President of

ASOHON, Gabriel Oyediji, said

kidnappers have now included

orphanages and homes in their

checklists of terror, raiding

orphanages and abducting

children for ransom.

Oyediji said: “This is a new

cancer, a horrible phenomenon

threatening the future of Nigerian

journey in the ports and people

living around the port areas.

Since it will be app-based and no

one had to interface with security

agents or call at ungodly hours,

enforcement will be that if you

don’t have any business on the

road, we will have enough towing

vehicles to tow your truck off the


“There will also be fines to deter

others so that people can

understand the seriousness of

this. The Lagos State Traffic

Management Authority,

LASTMA, Federal Road Safety

Commission, FRSC, and Police

should work together to ensure

the free flow of traffic around the

ports and Apapa/Oshodi


“There are regulations to

ensure that shipping firms have

holding bays to park their trucks

rather than park on the roads and

then cause gridlock and pay

demurrage on empty containers.

“They are not responsible for

ensuring their trucks get into the

port, they are not under pressure

to ensure the best time since their

deposits will be refunded so they

are not under any form of


Three months’ trial of

e-call up

“This is the beginning of a

strong collaboration among the

NPA, Lagos state and the people.

orphans. If orphanages are now

being targeted and therefore

made unsafe, then where else is

safe? This is a new cancer

traumatizing children. It needs

an urgent cure before it begins to

spread like wildfire. We call on

relevant authorities to help protect

our orphanages and homes.”

The ASOHON boss also said

that apart from insecurity, which

at the moment is the number one

problem plaguing orphanages

and homes in Nigeria, the poor

attention being paid to social

services in the country which

operators face and must be


He also identified scarcity of

adoptable children to be the major

cause of child kidnapping,

explaining that many people

Our officers should ensure this

project works; we are starting

with a two-three month trial.

“There could be initial teething

problems but we would ensure we

smoothen the journey so that the

trailers can get to the ports early

enough. “Lagos will ensure these

resolutions come to life and give

relevant strength and support to

make it work.”

Menace of trucks


NPA boss

Earlier, Usman, in her address,

said: “We are here to strengthen

the collaboration with Lagos State

Government on the

implementation and compliance

as we commence deployment of

E- Call up system on February

27, 2021.

“We have worked seamlessly

with the Lagos State Government

to ensure that Apapa and Tincan

ports are rid of the menace of

trucks that have bedevilled that


“It’s quite an embarrassment to

all of us in government year in

year out. Now, we believe we

have a strong e-call up that will

remove human interference from

the process.”

She, however, stated that one

of the key aspects of the new

system is that truck parks have

been approved where it is safe to

access port location.

wishing to adopt children from

homes and orphanages get easily

frustrated by the legal hurdles and

cumbersome process they have to

scale in Nigeria before achieving

their dreams.

Oyediji pointed out that the way

forward is to empower the

supervising ministries so that

they could provide needed reliefs

in the areas of funding,

engagement of professional

security outfits, maintenance of

facilities in orphanages and

homes, among others.

He said that the solution to the

many challenges bedeviling

orphanage homes is robust

funding and adequate provision

of modern security equipment

and security agencies for homes

and orphanages.

Consult your ancestors!

Try Native Law and Custom!

12 Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021

:Vanguard News

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


From left;

Speaker, Anambra

State House of

Assembly, Rt.

Hon. Uchenna

Okafor; MD/CEO,

Esso Properties

Ltd, Mr. Smith

Ezenagu and Com.

Nweke Oliver at

the launching of

Berry Prime

Estate, Agu-Awka

and Sunray Estate,

Amansea Awka,

Anambra State at

Parktonian Hotel,

Awka, Anambra


Uzodinma, Ohanaeze differ over

military invasion of Orlu

•As Uzodinma explains why he invited military

•It's another war IPOB

By Johnbosco

Agbakwuru & Steve



cio-cultural organisation,

Ohanaeze Ndigbo has

decried the use of force by the

military in Orlu to tackle the

Eastern Security Network,

ESN, even as the Imo State



Uzodinma,yesterday, explained

why he invited the

military to the state.

President-General of Ohanaeze

Ndigbo, Prof. George

Obiozor on Monday, expressed

dismay on the use of

force, intimidation and violence

in the crisis in Orsu in

Orlu zone of Imo State, adding

that it will amount to national


According to him: “The use

of the violent method will lead

to a synchronised national crisis

and ultimate disintegration

of Nigeria and this too

must be avoided”.

The Ohanaeze leader who

spoke on Monday when his

team visited the traditional

ruler of Amaifeke in Orlu Local

Government Area of Imo

State, said that those who

preached or preferred military

solution to Nigeria’s problem

were equally a threat to

Nigeria’s unity as those enemies

they were fighting.

He said: “Nigeria is in a

precarious situation and a

great caution must be taken

by the leadership to avoid

events that have the capacity

of incrementally aggravating

or opening more threats of

national crisis.”

He stated that insecurity in

the country was real and

should be treated as a matter

of national emergency.

Obiozor, however, thanked

the South-East traditional

leaders for their role in maintaining

peace in the zone, adding

that the Orlu senatorial

zone was relatively the most

peaceful in the country.

In his reaction, Eze Okeke,

who is the chairman of the

state Council of Traditional

Rulers thanked God that

peace had eventually returned

to Orlu.

He said that the recent crisis

between the Eastern Security

Network, ESN, of Indigenous

People of Biafra and the

military started from the

#EndSARS riots.

The monarch said: “It is

surprising to people that this

crisis is happening in Orsu in

Orlu zone. It should have taken

place in the bush instead

of the town. We don’t want war

but peace.”

Why I invited

military to Orlu


Explaining why he invited

the military, Governor Hope

Uzodinma yesterday, said

the military came to Orlu as

the situation at hand was beyond

the capacity of the local


Governor Uzodinma, who

stated this after meeting with

President Muhammadu Buhari

at the Presidential Villa,

Abuja, said it was the responsibility

of government to protect


Speaking with State House

Correspondents after meeting

with the President, the



governor explained that his

decision to invite the military

was to douse the uprising in

Orlu district, adding that his

action was precautionary especially

with the experience

and the destructions that followed

the #EndSARS protests.

He said that the situation

in Orlu region of the state

had gone beyond what could

be handled locally, hence his

invitation to the military.

According to him, “On the

issue of bringing the military

to Imo State,you would recall

during the #EndSARS

protests that a lot of properties

were damaged in Imo

State, police stations were

burnt down, soldiers were

killed and their rifles removed

from them.

“And immediately after the

#EndSARS, we thought it

was over but issues of kidnapping

began, where you know,

a Catholic Bishop was kidnapped

who was killed. And

these militants came out and

begin to shoot. We’ve lost

lives, market women were

killed, old women were raped

in Orlu area of Imo State and

they visited this serious terror

on the citizenry.

“And I came here (presidential

villa), pleaded with Mr.

President for his support and

he sent additional support by

sending in more police. The

military also came in and that

is where we are.

“It was on my invitation

that the military came. And I

did that because I know the

situation was beyond the local

arrangement. We needed

help and the help was given

to us.

“And as I speak to you, the

situation has come down to

normal. People are now going

about their businesses

and those caught will soon be

charged to court. And all those

military riffles from the army,

the police, AK 47, and so on,

were recovered by the people

that came.

“We are a government. It is

our responsibility to protect

lives and we have the Nigerian

Army, Nigerian Police. We

had security challenges and

we invited them to go to work."

Governor Uzodinma has

been under serious attack that

he brought the military to

crush the people he was supposed

to protect, unlike some

of his governor colleagues

who are negotiating with

bandits to solve their security


But he denied the insinuation,

saying that he used the

security personnel he invited

to restore peace and normalcy.

“I don't know what you

mean. I told you that our initial

intelligence and the efforts

to control the sporadic

shootings in Orlu that led

many to death, innocent

women in the market being

killed by a group of people

that we were not able to identify.

Preliminary intelligence

reviewed where they were in a

bush. Our local police and

local military who went there

and confronted them were


“So, we discovered that the

people had serious fire power.

And that, of course, Nigeria

is a federation, Imo State

is a federating unit and all over

the world, you have provincial

police, you have federal police.

So, there was a need for

me to report the situation and

that I did and we were supported

to deal with the situation.

“It is not about crushing

anybody and those that came

didn't do any crushing. Those

that came through their intelligence

identified where these

people were and I can tell you,

all the people were arrested,

all the rifles recovered are intact.

The people are under interrogation,

not even one soldier

or one of those militants

died in the process.

“I must commend DCP

Abba Kyari for a brilliant job

he did. So, let anybody politicize

it. But I have a responsibility

to protect the lives of my


On his meeting with the

President, he said he informed

Buhari about the progress on

the effort to tackle insecurity.

“I informed Mr. President

that we were already making

progress. And of course,

you know, the President is a

very peaceful man.

“The federal government

maybe negotiating with the

Boko Haram but God knows

that if I have the opportunity

to see any man who is taking

lives, I will confront the person

head-on. That is why we

are government.”

No personal issues

with Okorocha


Governor Uzodinma also

dismissed allegations that he

has a personal score to settle

with his predecessor, Rochas

Okorocha and denied there

was an assassination attempt

on the former governor.

“Who will assassinate him?

I don't know about any attempt

to assassinate Okorocha.

What I know is that I

have no personal issues with


“You will recall that before

I became the governor, the

Ihedioha's administration set

up a judicial panel of inquiry

to look into acquisitions and

allegations of lands, converting

government lands to personal

property and then removing

private lands from individuals

and giving to other


“The judicial panel of inquiry

chaired by a judge met and

they concluded the job and a

white paper has since been

raised. You know institutions

and agencies that are involved

with implementation

are doing their job.

“And the only thing I know

is that few days ago, the

former governor went with his

thugs to one of the properties

sealed by government. You

people saw it, it was was live.

He went there with thugs himself

physically, wounded the

policemen there, wounded the

Civil Defense Civil people, the

Civil Defense officer is currently

in the hospital and then

broke in .

“Of course, you must have

heard him saying that he is

richer than government and

that he is above the law. I am

not directly involved. It is a position

taken by government.

There is a difference between

governor and government.

“The government of Imo

State sealed a property. And I

think that if there is anything

anybody considered that is not

right, the person should go to

court to address the issue and

not to take laws into their


“I remember that under

Ihedioha, there was a recovery

committee chaired by one

Jasper Ndubaku. When they

tried to visit Okorocha’s house,

they were beaten to a stupor.

And the same man who did

that is now also doing the

same thing and almost killed

the man who did it during his


“So, I don't want to go into

that matter because government

is a serious business and

I'm very serious. I don't even

have enough time to run the

affairs of the state.

“But people should know

the difference between being

a governor and the government

decisions and policies.

“And you know, we took

oath to protect the rule of law,

to protect our laws and we

shouldn't be part of any arrangement

to violate our

laws", he said.

It's another war


In his reaction to the military

raid , the leader of the

Indigenous People of Biafra,

IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu said that

the Orlu military raid marked

the beginning of the second

Nigeria/Biafra war and

vowed to mobilise the people

in defense of their ancestral

land "no matter the consequences".

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


" Herdsmen will attack us,

rape our women, destroy our

farms, kill our farmers and

nobody will arrest them but

when we try to defend ourselves,

government will come

after us rolling out the tanks

and using their helicopter

and 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 a mere vigilante volunteer


" If defending our ancestral

land against conquest by Fulani

Janjaweed invaders will

take me to the Hague, I am

ready to go to the Hague",

Kanu thundered.

" The world has the indicting

report by the UN Reportuer

against Nigeria but they

have not done anything. Do

we have to wait until we are

all killed before we defend


Kanu expressed shock that

the world had helplessly

watched the Nigerian State

use brute force against mere

peaceful agitators while on

the other hand, dialoguing

with and facilitating amnesty

and payment of ransom to

bandits and terrorists who

have not shown any remorse

or sign of ceasation to their

killing spree.

According to him, world

leaders ought to have demanded

probe of Nigerian

leaders including some northern

governors and Islamic

clerics over their romance

with bandits.

Don't turn Imo into war zone Imo PDP

By Chidi Nkwopara


Democratic Party, PDP,

Imo State, has strongly condemned

what it called "the

horrific, violent and bloody

battle, which recently occurred

in the state, between

supporters of Senator Rochas

Okorocha and Governor

Hope Uzodimma, where they

were engaged in a bizarre sporadic

shooting over the sealing

of Royal Spring Palm Estate

hotel by the government."

The PDP position which

came on the heels of last Sunday's

confrontation, was

signed by the state Publicity

Secretary, Mazi Ogubundu

Nwadike and made available

to newsmen in Owerri.

His words: "It is highly disgusting

that the present All

Progressives Congress, APC,

government in the state has

turned Imo into a terror zone,

theatre of war and conflict. In

recent times, Imolites have

had the most tragic and excruciating

experience, ranging

from the recent military invasion

in Orsu, which led to loss

of lives and properties, insecurity

and other forms of gruesome

attacks, leading to

breakdown of peace and order

in the state.

"The recent violence perpetrated

by supporters of Senator

Rochas Okorocha and

Governor Hope Uzodimma

has stirred up tension and apprehension

in the state, thereby

toppling the atmosphere

of saturated peace and tranquility.

"It is indeed, highly despicable

that under the present

administration, Imo State,

which used to be the centre

and cynosure of public peace

and orderliness has turned

into a jungle of terror where

hooliganism, rascality, thuggery

and abuse of the dignity

of human peace have become

the order of the day.

"The APC government in the

state has created a Frankenstein

monster which haunts

the relative peace and social

order in the state. Imolites are

now living under fear and apprehension

and can no more

sleep with their two eyes


While saying that it was

most disheartening that "Imo

has become a laughing stock

and object of mockery and

caricature due to the present

psychopathic leadership that

is creating unnecessary tension

and mortgaging the

peace of the state", Nwadike

also recalled that only last

week, Uzodinma invited the

Nigerian Army to Orsu local

council area and environs,

"on what is purely a failure of

intelligence gathering by appropriate

security agencies,

leading to the death of innocent


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021 13

:Vanguard News

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


From left: Mr. Premier

Oiwoh, MD/CEO,

Nigeria Inter-Bank

Settlement System,

NIBSS, Plc.; Mr. Seye

Awojobi, Registrar/

CEO, The Chartered

Institute of Bankers of

Nigeria, and Mr. Niyi


Plc., during a press

conference for the

official launching of

the e-payment

certifications, held at

Bankers House,

Victoria Island, Lagos,


PANDEF, Ikponmwen, others lambast

Gumi over comments on militants

By Emma Amaize,

Regional Editor,



ta Forum, PANDEF,

former Provost Marshal,

Nigerian Army, Brigadier-

General Idada Ikponmwen

(retd), agitators and other

Niger Delta stakeholders,

yesterday, upbraided Muslim

cleric, Sheikh Gumi,

over his claim that rampaging

Fulani herdsmen were

militants and not bandits.

National Publicity Secretary,

PANDEF, Ken Robinson,

said, "It is unfortunate

that the nation should be

hearing one absurd statement

or the other from this

man, every day. It is high

time that the media stopped

giving him attention. He is

nothing other than an eccentric

bigot, a paladin of

marauders and murderers,

dressed in cleric's toga.

"It is vexing that he would

have the effrontery to say

Fulani herders are not

criminals but militants

fighting for 'their ethnic

survival'. What nonsense in

a hitherto illustrious country

reduced to almost a Lilliputian

Republic by a Fulani


"Nigeria has never experienced

the kind of nepotism

and prejudice being

perpetrated under the Buhari

administration, in a

constitutional democracy.

"Virtually all strategic positions

in the nation's public

sector, including the

military, paramilitary and

intelligence agencies are

firmly under Hausa-Fulani


"Oil blocks and marginal

fields in the Niger Delta

have been mostly exploited

by northerners. The Nigerian

National Petroleum

Corporation, NNPC, has

become a 'grazing' ground

for a few.

"In the last four years, several

eminent Nigerians,

across the country, including

patriotic Northerners,

have spoken out against

the skewed and lopsided

nature of appointments by

Mr President.

"As we speak, PANDEF

national leader and distinguished

elder statesman,

Chief Edwin Clark and 15

other eminent Nigerians

are in court over the several

violations of the Federal

Character Act.

"But the administration

continues to play deaf and

dumb to the protestations

and genuine concerns put

forward by well-meaning

Nigerians, in the interest of

peace, equity and justice.

"Look at the recent appointments

made by the

President for the headship

of the Nigeria Security

and Civil Defence Corps,

NSCDC; the Nigerian

Correctional Service, formerly

Nigerian Prison

Service, and the Economic

and Financial Crimes

Commission, EFCC.

"And in the face of these

irking circumstances, a socalled

Sheikh Gumi could

imagine asserting killerherders

are fighting for

their ethnic survival. It

then becomes necessary to

reckon that the rest of Nigeria

needs to be on the

alert," he said.

No time to play



Former Provost Marshal,

Nigerian Army, Brigadier

General Don Idada

Ikponmwen (retd), told

Vanguard: "At a time when

all reasonable persons are

putting heads together to

fashion out solutions to our

worrisome security problems,

it is utterly disturbing

that an otherwise acclaimed

religious cleric

would speak in this manner.

Sheikh Gumi's utterances

are diversionary, illogical,

inflammatory and


"As most Nigerians know,

the killer- herdsmen are

simply murderous invaders.

Militancy relates only

to conscientious believers

fighting for justifiable causes."

Speaking through the

Coordinator, 21st Century

Youths for Niger Delta and

Agitators with Conscience,

21st CYNDAC, self-styled

"General" Izon Ebi, campaigners

in the oil-rich region

said: "Which ethnic

survival in the name of killing

and kidnapping innocent

Nigerians? It's not

RUGA and cow rustling

anymore. Nigerians know

the truth about their agenda.

It is a shame that Nigerians

are quiet.

"It is so unfortunate and

disheartening that this

government of President

Buhari is playing politics

with the lives of innocent

Nigerians. Is this government

taking Nigerians for

a fool or what? First, the

government told Nigerians

that they are mercenaries

from Libya and Mali and

later blame it on foreign

herdsmen because their

cows are being rustled."

Reacting also, activist,

Mr Emmanuel Igbini,

said: "It is very unfortunate

that AIT did not immediately

cut off Sheik Gumi

when he started uttering

'destructed words'. He

should have been treated

exactly the way Tweeter

shut out Trump and his lunacy.

"He is just seeking attention.

It would have been

better he did so by going to

offer himself freely as a

medical doctor at the IDPs

in Maiduguri and other

parts of Nigeria."

Asaba Airport: Delta signs concession

agreement with state Airport company

•Concessionaire to pay an initial sum of N1bn to the state govt

By Festus Ahon

ASABATHE Delta State

government, yesterday,

signed a concession agreement

with Asaba Airport Company

to manage and run the Asaba

Airport for 30 years.

The agreement is coming

after five years of negotiations

between parties in the concession.

The negotiation started

in 2016 when Governor Ifeanyi

Okowa indicated his intention

to concession the airport

for better management.

The Asaba Airport Company

Limited, the concessionaire,

is a consortium that has technical

partners as sub-concessionaires.

They are Air Peace as the

Anchor Airline and MRO operator,

Multifreight Cargo and

Logistics for the cargo and Logistics

centre, Arbico Construction

Company to build the Business

Park, Hotel and Convention

Centre, Rainoil Limited

and Cybernetic Limited to develop

the Tank Farm and provide

aviation fuel, and Quorum

Aviation Limited to develop the

private jet and Helicopter Terminal

of the airport.

Speaking on the agreement

and how it was arrived at,

Chairman of Delta State government,

Asaba International

Airport Concession Committee,

Mr Chiedu Ebie, who is also

the Secretary to the State Government,

said, "The Delta State

government is delighted that

after an extensive bid process,

which spanned five years, with

two major consortia emerging

in the last round of bidding process,

the FIDC-Menzies Consortium

was selected as the preferred

bidder to operate as the

Master Concessionaire.

"FIDC is an emerging and

fast-growing Nigerian building,

construction and civil engineering

company. Menzies

on the other hand is one of the

biggest airports operators in

the world. It operates in over

200 airports around the world,

showing dominance in most

major airports in the United

Kingdom, United States of

America, Europe and South


Meanwhile, Governor

Okowa in his speech at the signing

ceremony said that the Concessionaire

would "pay an annual

fee of N100 million to the

state while the agreement lasts.

They will also pay an initial

sum of N1billion to the state

government hours after the

agreement is signed."

Okowa who enumerated

other benefits of the concession

of the airport to the people

of Delta State praised the

efforts of the Airport Concession

Committee for making

his vision for the airport a reality.

Alema bags Warri Voice Award

of Excellence

Assembly passes bills for establishment of 3 varsities

in Delta

By Festus Ahon


House of Assembly, yesterday,

passed three bills for

the establishment of University

of Delta, Agbor, Dennis

Osadebe University, Anwai,

Asaba and Delta State University

of Science and Technology,


The passage of the three

bills which were sent by Governor

Ifeanyi Okowa, seeking

legislative backing of the

House for the upgrade of the

College of Education Agbor,

Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro

and Delta State University,

Anwai Campus to Universities,

was done at plenary pre-

Edo govt, APC fight over N30bn

stormwater project

•Security beefed up at Palm House as

govt alleges arson attempt

By Gabriel

Enogholase &

Ozioruva Aliu


State Government and

the All Progressives Congress,

APC, have engaged in

a war of words over plans by

the state government to probe

the multi-phased Benin Water

Storm project which the first

phase of N30billion, Governor

Godwin Obaseki on

Monday, said was not designed

to work and was a plot

to defraud the state.

The state government, also

said, yesterday, that it had deployed

security operatives on

Monday night to safeguard

the premises of the state Government

Secretariat also

known as Palm House, in Benin

City, following intelligence

reports of an arson attempt

at the Ministry of Environment

and Sustainability

offices, to destroy critical documents

about the N30 billion

Benin stormwater project.

But a statement by Publicity

Secretary of APC, Chris Azebamwan,

yesterday, dared

Governor Obaseki to carry

out his threat to probe the

project and make its "findings

public, so that the very enlightened

and informed Edo

people would know the truth

of the matter."

A statement by the Secretary

to State Government, SSG,

Osarodion Ogie, said that the

government would ensure


Warri Kingdom, Delta

State, Chief Emmanuel Uduaghan

has been conferred with

the prestigious Warri Voice

Newspaper Award of Excellence

as the 'Outstanding Itsekiri

Man of the year.'

Editor of Warri Voice Newspaper,

Ms Tetsoma Neyin in

her address, said that the

award conferred on Chief

Uduaghan was due to his outstanding

contributions to the

growth and development of

Delta State, which was made

in specific reference to his timely

palliative distribution to

Deltans in the ongoing coronavirus

pandemic that is ravaging

the world.

that it uncovers the details

surrounding the project, its

execution and also assured

that all those culpable were

brought to justice.

Ogie noted, "Following the

commitment of the Edo State

Government to probe the N30

billion Benin stormwater

project, the state received intelligence

of a possible arson

at the offices of the Ministry

of Environment and Sustainability,

which houses vital

documents on the project.

"The government immediately

deployed security operatives

to guard the premises

of the Ministry overnight to

protect its assets.

"We have successfully evacuated

these vital documents

to a safe location to ensure

their integrity and in readiness

for a probe."

Meanwhile, APC in a statement

by Azebamwan said the

project was jointly handled by

the State Ministry Environment

and Public Utilities and

Ministry of Works with several

commissioners including

Ogie, who was in charge of

the Works Ministry.

He said: "While the project

was ongoing, Obaseki as

chairman of the Economic

Team, regularly accompanied

his predecessor to inspect

the progress of work after he

played the key role of sourcing

the first N25 billion from

the Capital Market through

his company, Afrinvest, which

reportedly got N1.5billion

commission from the deal.‘‘

The ceremony took place in


Publisher of Warri Voice

Newspaper, Mr Femi Odonmeta,

while presenting the

award to the recipient, called

on him to see the award as a

stepping stone for greater

achievements as well as a

challenge to do more by increasing

the temple of his

charitable work to humanity,

for which he is known.

Responding, Chief Uduaghan,

who was represented

by Monday Agbeyi, thanked

the Warri Voice Newspaper

crew for finding him worthy

of the award, noting that the

award would spur the recipient

to do more for the people

of Delta State as well as the

media, especially the Warri

Voice Newspaper.

sided over by the Speaker,

Chief Sheriff Oborevwori.

Vanguard reports that separate

motions for the third reading

of the three bills were

moved by the Deputy Majority

Leader, Mr Oboro Preyor

and adopted at plenary presided

over by the Speaker,


The names of two of the institutions

were, however,

changed during the Committee

of Whole by members in

line with law making processes

of the legislature.

The Delta State University

of Education, Agbor, was

changed to University of Delta,

Agbor, while the Delta State

University of Science and Agriculture,

Anwai, is now known

as Dennis Osadebay University,


The House Committee on

Education, had presented its

reports on the three bills,

where it said rigorous legislative

scrutiny was carried out

by members on the bills.

Chairman of the Committee,

Mr Charles Emetulu, explained

that some amendments

were proposed for the

consideration of the House.

The Speaker, Oborevwori

expressed happiness over the

passage of the bills, saying

that it would further grow the

educational sub sector of the

state and commended the

naming of one of the universities

after the former Premier

of the defunct Midwestern region,

Chief Dennis Osadebay.

The House adjourned plenary

to March 9, 2021.

14 Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021

:Vanguard News

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

From left: Chief Victor Okuyemi; Mr. Dayo Keshinro, and Bayo


FUNERALMrs. Olufemi Akinbiyi, widow of the deceased (sitting), and from left:

Adeyemi Akinbiyi; Bioku Bankole; Busola Akinbiyi; Ronke Akinbiyi; Laolu Akinbiyi;

Simi Bankole, and Bisi Akinbiyi, all children of the late Prince Edward Olajide Akinbiyi,

the pioneer Managing Director of Radio Lagos and Lagos Television and also Director

of Publicity in the Jakande Administration, during his (Akinbiyi's) funeral ceremony

held at Grailland Temple, Iju Hills in Lagos, yesterday. Photos: Akeem Salau.

Miyetti Allah blames Ortom for enmity btw

Fulani herders, Tiv

•Urges Buhari to call Benue, Ondo,

Ekiti govs to order

By Charly Agwam


Allah Cattle

Breeders Association of Nigeria,

MACBAN, yesterday accused

Governor Samuel Ortom of

Benue State of creating the

hostility between Fulani

herdsmen with the Tiv by his

utterances and actions.

By Ndahi Marama



have successfully charged

through Marte Local

Government Area, LGA, of Borno

State, killing scores of ISWAP/

Boko Haram terrorists who seized

the area few days ago.

This came as heavy explosions

and sound of gunshots late

which yesterday engulfed parts

of Maiduguri, the Borno State

capital, reportedly claimed several

lives with many others

Chairman of Bauchi State

MACBAN, Sadiq Ibrahim,

named Benue, Ekiti and Ondo

states as anti-herders states,

urging President Muhammadu

Buhari to call their governors to


At a briefing, he also said if the

government did not protect the

herders, they would have no

option than to protect


sustaining different degrees of


A Military Officer while

confirming the successful

operation said troop successfully

and safely detonated series of

IEDS laced along the routes and

finally dominated the general


According to him, “new Marte

is effectively in our hands since

3pm. Our will and determination

are unshaken. We are ever

determined not to let our Service

Chiefs and the nation down.”

Recall that after insurgents

According to him, “The current

problem of the Fulani was

authored by Ortom. In recent

time, Bauchi State Governor

tactically called for protection of

herdsmen because he

understands the sufferings of

herders in the country. Benue

governor was first to ask Fulani

herders to leave his state. Prior

to Ortom’s election, the Tiv people

were our playmates.

I stand to be corrected; Terwase

Garase (alias Gana) was one of

the sponsors of terrorism who

caused a lot of crises in Benue

State and neighbouring states.

captured Marte Local

Government Area, and allegedly

hoisted their flag in the area,

weekend, Chief of Army Staff,

COAS, Major General Ibrahim

Attahiru on Sunday, gave

troops of the Nigerian Army,

‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ 48 hours

to clear insurgents off Marte


General Attahiru also

directed troops to clear off

terrorists from Kirenowa,

Kirta, Wulgo, Chikingudo

communities of Marte and

Ngala LGA in the state.

He even caused the death of

many people but these deaths

were blamed on Fulani. When

Gana died in a battle with the

army, Ortom queried why Gana

was killed.

“Benue, Ekiti and Ondo states

are no longer safe for Fulani. We

urge President Buhari to call the

governors of these states to order.

If the government does not

protect us, we will have no option

than to protect ourselves. We will

also ask our members to stop

transporting our foodstuff to

these parts of Nigeria if our

members are not protected.”

Troops kill scores of terrorists, recapture Marte

•Scores feared dead as heavy explosions, gunshots rock Maiduguri

Union invites EFCC to probe alleged fraud in CAC

Housing Scheme


Staff Association of

Statutory Corporations and

Government Owned Companies,

SSASCGOC, an affiliate of the

Trade Union Congress of Nigeria,

TUC, has invited the Economic

and Financial Crimes

Commission, EFCC, to

investigate alleged fraud in

Corporate Affairs Commission,

CAC; housing scheme.

According to SSASCGOC, “a

situation where staff and even

members of our union in other

establishments were made to pay

for provision of Houses under

CAC Staff Housing Scheme in

2012 and are yet to get the house

after full payment nine years after

is worrisome.”

At a briefing in Abuja yesterday,

Secretary General of

SSASCGOC, Ayo Olorunfemi,

demanded for forensic audit of the

housing scheme, saying “The

issue of forensic audit to be carried

out must be part of the fight

against corruption which is a

major policy of government that

NLC, its affiliates and all of us

must support. A situation

whereby staff and even members

of our Union in other

establishments were made to pay

for provision of Houses under

CAC Staff Housing Scheme in

2012 and are yet to get the house

after full payment nine years after

is worrisome. EFCC should be

invited to unravel the mysteries

going on with people’s money.”

On the issue of planned

picketing by the NLC, today,

Olorunfemi said the members of

TUC and SASCGOC would

vehemently resist the action,

arguing that a judgment by the

National Industrial Court, NIC,

and in line with the Trade Union

Act had made a declaration that

SSASCGOC and the TUC were

the ones vested with the power

to organize and unionize the

statutory corporations including

CAC, rather than the

Amalgamated Union of Public

Corporations, Civil Service

Technical and Recreational

Services Employees, AUPCTRE,

an affiliate of NLC.

According to him, “It is therefore

wrong for NLC to claim any form

of jurisdiction on affairs that affects

senior staff in CAC. It is

SSASCGOC and TUC that have

such power.

He gave the ultimatum while

addressing troops of the Nigerian

Army Super camp 9, Dikwa,

saying “areas around Marte,

Chikingudu, Wulgo kirenowa and

Kirta must be cleared in the next

48 hours. You should be rest

assured of all support you

required in this very onerous


“I have just spoken to the

Theater Commander, and the

General Officer Commanding 7

Division, you must not let this

nation down. Go back and do the

needful and I will be right behind


Meanwhile heavy explosions

and sound of gunshots which

engulfed some parts of

Maiduguri, the Borno State

capital, reportedly claimed many

lives with others sustaining

various degrees of injuries, forcing

many residents to scamper for


The explosion and firing of

Rocket Propelled grenades

which started at about 5:45pm

up to the time of this report were

heard around Kaleri behind

University of Maiduguri, Adam

Kolo, Limanti and Kagarmari

wards of the metropolis.

Sources also said sounds of

gunshots were heard around Fori

and Cashew plantation general

area near Giwa military barracks.

It was gathered that insurgents

attempting to infiltrate the city,

encountered strong resistance

from troops who engaged them

in heavy gun battle.

FG secures •400,000 grant to

kick off Nat’l Livestock

Transformation Plan in 4 states

By Gabriel Ewepu



yesterday announced securing

•400,000 grant to kick off National

Livestock Transformation Plan,

NLTP, in four states.

In a statement by the Federal

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural

Development, and Project for

Agricultural Coordination and

Planning, PACE, President

Muhammadu Buhari, secured

the grant from the Dutch

Investment Agency, RVO, after

approval of the grant, which

Buhari signed an Memorandum

of Understanding, MoU, during

his visit to the Netherlands.

The states for the NLTP include

Nasarawa, Adamawa, Plateau

and Gombe.

The statement by the Senior

Special Assistant to the President

on Agriculture, Dr Andrew

Kwasari who was accompanied by

members of the FMARD-PACE

Team, on a two-day visit to the

Nasarawa State Livestock

Transformation Office to ensure

that the State Livestock

Transformation team was fully

aware of the requirements for

successful implementation of the

pilot, said the •400,000 covered

50 per cent cost of the pilot startup

of NLTP model in Nasarawa

State for 30 pastoralist households

with a start date of March, 2021.

He said: “On the back of the

MoU signed during the State visit

of Mr. President to the

Netherlands, the Dutch

Investment Agency (RVO)

approved a grant of about 400,000

Euros to cover 50% cost of the

pilot start-up of NLTP model in

Nasarawa State for 30 pastoralist

households with a start date of

March, 2021.

“In each of these states, a pilot

farm, which will also serve as a

training centre, will be developed.

Cownexxion (the lead consultant

in this bilateral collaboration,

leading the Dutch Consortium;

the Holland Dairy House Group)

will serve as technical partner for

the implementation of the NLTP

pilot ranches in Nasarawa,

Adamawa, Plateau and Gombe.''

“Cownexxion, is a leading

Dutch consultancy focused on

dairy farming. It has carried out

projects in Europe, Asia, Africa,

and the Middle East. The

Company is experienced in

improving technical and

economic performance of dairy

farming systems.”

According to the statement the

focus of the two and a half -year

project will be on feed production,

transfer of knowledge and skills

plus the transformation of

management. Cownexxion will

work together with the Nigerian

Federal and State teams, led by

Dr Andrew Kwasari.

....Flags off gold processing

cluster, others in Kogi

By Boluwaji Obahopo



yesterday stepped up efforts at

diversifying the nation’s

economy with a

groundbreaking ceremony of

the Gold Processing Cluster,

located in Mopa, Mopamuro

Local Government Area of Kogi


Permanent Secretary,

Federal Ministry of Mines and

Steel Development, Dr.

Oluwatoyin Akinlade, who led

the Federal government's team

for the event, said the project

was part of the government’s

efforts at refocusing the

economy from heavily

depending on oil.

He said the gold processing

cluster would also cater for

other gems stones and solid

mineral mining activities in the

North Central.

According to him, “The

Ministry of Mines and Steel

Development has commenced

the implementation of

programmes aimed at

establishing and accelerating

mineral value chain activities

through the development of a

Mineral Mining cluster in each

of the six geopolitical zone.

“The objective of the project

is to assembly and coordinate

the activities of the artisanal

and small scale miners in the

identified areas based on the

identified mineral type for each

geopolitical zone.

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021 15



He knows my past and is

blackmailing me

Dear Bunmi,

IN my student days

abroad in the early 80s,

life was tough and I did a

lot of things to keep going,

as funds coming from home

were virtually non-existent.

I slept with a lot of men for

money and was able to

finish my studies.

I got married and had two

children, but the marriage

didn’t last and I returned

home. I have a good job

because I’m well qualified.

I have my own flat and a

loving partner. Recently,

my partner, who is married,

visited my flat with one of

his good friends, and you

can imagine my shock and

embarrassment when he

turned out to be one of my

‘regular customers’ during

my student days abroad.

Dear Bunmi,


’M a single mum and

I’m 29. I’ve never been

that lucky with men, as my

partners have always been

violent and cheats.

Although I still care for the

father of my child, we’ve

been apart for close to two


Now I’ve fallen in love

with a friend who works in

the same office as I do. As

a matter of fact, he is my

boss. We’ve been sleeping

together for close to a year

now. It was meant to be just

a bit of fun, till we fell in


I’ve asked him to make

me his second wife, but he

He didn’t let on that he

knew me and I was grateful

to him for that. However, a

few weeks after the visit, he

came calling on his own,

and it was plain what he

wanted. I told him I was

now involved with my

partner and he said he

wasn’t looking for a

permanent relationship

and that he would keep his

mouth shut.

Of course, it was

blackmail and, I’m

ashamed to say, I let him

have sex with me. He left

some money and went


I feel dirty and used and

dread his coming back. I

would hate for my partner

to find out about my sordid

past. What can I do to get

rid of this shameless man?

says that he’s not ready for

that. I want to be his wife

but, instead, I am the other

woman...and I hate it.

He says he hasn’t slept

with his wife since we

started sleeping together,

but I don’t believe him and

we argue a lot. I’m scared

of losing him.

Faith, by e-mail.

Dear Faith,

Why are you afraid to lose

what you haven’t really

got? The sooner you dump

this liar and cheat the

better. You need a man you

can trust to be a true and

caring person for you and

your child.

Nonye, by e-mail.

Dear Nonye,

Your past should be well

behind you and you have to

call the bluff of this

shameless man from your

past. It is a pity that you

gave in to his blackmailing


When and if he comes

calling again, let him know

you’re not having any of

his crude overtures, and

that if you had to, you could

come clean with your

partner. It would be nice if

you had a tape recorder to

record what would

transpire between the two

of you, in case he denied


I am sure if your man is

any friend of this creep, he

wouldn’t breathe a word

about pestering you for sex

to him.

I hate being the other woman

Are my friends selfish not to help?

Dear Bunmi,

BECAUSE of the type

of friends I keep, and

our life-style, I’m in

terrible debt. I have a

thriving business and it’s

not that I spend a lot on

myself per se. But I’ve run

up huge debts trying to

keep up with the various

aso-ebi I bought for my

friends’ numerous social


As things are, I don’t

even have my rent, which

is due soon, and I haven’t

got a clue how I’m going to

survive. Thanks to the

months of lockdown, due to

the COVID-19 pandemic.

My business is also


A lot of my friends know

how bad things are, but

they have refused to help

me when I asked for

assistance from them. I was

always very generous to

them. I can’t believe

they’re being so selfish.

Mandy, by e-mail.

Dear Mandy,

It seems to me as if you’re

very laid-back about

money. The good side of

that is you’re generous to

your friends. The bad side

After a series of

unfortunate relationships,

and on the rebound from

parting with the father of

your kid, you’ve taken up

with a man whose loyalty

and duty is to his wife,

although he’s delighted to

have a willing young bit on

the side!

Your self-esteem right

now is low. You may feel

that you and your child

don’t merit more than men

who beat and cheat on

women. But this is not the


Ditch the adulterer and

hold out for a man who can

give you the love and

respect you deserve.

is it means you let your

spending get out of hand.

Your friends are obviously

much more careful about

money and don’t indulge in

every aso-ebi as you do,

and they don’t lend money

to others. It’s nothing

personal; it’s just the way

they are...in the same way

as you’re easy come, easy

go. And for all you know,

your friends too might be

having their own financial

crisis, due to the aftereffect

of the lockdown.

Don’t feel too bad about

your friends. Instead, ask

them to help you learn how

to budget, so this situation

doesn’t occur in future.

Not all men fancy flashy


Dear Bunmi,

IREAD a letter on your

page from a woman

who complained that all

men think women are just

“sex on legs.” Well, she’s

wrong. Not all of us think

that way.

I’m a divorced man of 49

and I live on my own with

my teenage son. I think

that a woman’s personality

matters most, than her

sense of humour, trust and


She doesn’t have to be

sexy or very attractive. All

that glitters is not gold!

Gbogbo, by e-mail.

Dear Gbogbo,

The cruel experience of a

broken relationship

humbles a man and

teaches him to value the

emotional qualities that

help a couple to get on. But

you must admit that sexual

attraction and the need for

a mate are what draw men

and women together.

Men want to know that

sex will be on the cards if

they invest love on a

woman, and demand sex as

soon as they can. Women

are inclined to resist sex

without the commitment to

care for her that she needs.

With time, when needs

are identified and trust

comes in, the relationship

takes deeper roots, or just

withers and dies.

He won’t have sex after

surviving prostate cancer

Dear Bunmi,


husband was

diagnosed with prostate

cancer. He’s now much

better, but our sex life has


I’m only 40 and I’ve tried

to be understanding, but

don’t know how much

longer I can go without

making love. I want things

back to the way they used

to be.

Christina, by e-mail.

Dear Christina,

A major life-threatening

illness can put people off

Dear Bunmi,



with my boyfriend, and

we have been trying for a

baby for close to a year now

with no success. I’ve had

fertility tests and so has he

– they’re all positive. I’m

getting really depressed at

not being able to conceive

yet. I’ve noticed that every

time we have sex, the

sperm seems to run back out

of me. Do you think this

could be the reason why I’m

not pregnant yet?

Jola, by e-mail.

Dear Jola,

Even if some sperm leaks

out when you make love,

enough should be able to

travel up through the

cervix to your ovaries. But

She doesn’t

have to be

sexy or very

attractive. All

that glitters is

not gold!

sex completely. So, I can

see where your husband is

coming from. But I also

appreciate your point of

view – this crisis has hit

you hard and you need the

comfort of sex.

There’s no easy answer,

but two things will help.

The first is to listen to how

your husband is feeling,

and lovingly explain the

impact his illness has had

on you.

The second is physical

affection. Even if love

making is not on the

agenda, ask your husband

to give you cuddles and

kisses to show you’re still


I want to conceive soon

if you think there’s a

problem, try sexual

positions that let your

partner penetrate you

deeply – the missionary

position with your legs on

his shoulders is particularly

good. When he climaxes, he

should thrust in as far as

possible, then withdraw in

a straight line, so the semen

pools at the far end of your


You should try to orgasm,

as this will dip your cervix

into the semen. Afterwards,

lie on your back for 30

minutes with your knees up

to your breast and a pillow

under your pelvis, to stop

sperm leaking out. If after

three months you’ve still

had no good results, ask for

further tests.

Share your problems and release

your burden. Write now to

Dear Bunmi,

Vanguard Newspapers,

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


Where federalism works

THE world has for more than a week

now been treated to images from

Texas, in the United States of America,

that many Americans thought belonged

in the “Third World”. The state was

plunged into prolonged darkness

caused by extreme weather conditions

that froze and disabled the power grid

that was not winterised. It’s stating it

mildly to say that the entire state was


While the sub-zero weather,

characterised by snow storms, made

outside movement impossible, life

indoors was no less harrowing. It was

really heart-rending to see some of the

four million people affected by the dire

situation breaking up and destroying

their own home furniture in order to

make fire that would keep them warm

while wondering how they would make

it through the next day.

Many were frozen to death right inside

their homes while broken water and gas

pipes left many homes flooded with

water. The disaster, avoidable as it was,

was a firm reminder of the awesome

power of nature and how nature could

humble human ingenuity. Not only were

residents compelled to put out

containers to collect storm water for

domestic use, as we normally do in our

part, entire families filed out with their

own bottles and other means to stand

on queues where they could collect

water from taps in open spaces made

muddy by human feet. Texans carried

water in buckets to flush their toilets and

lit their homes by candle light.

After days in darkness the state

gradually returned to civilisation by

rationed power. Not every home could

have it at the same time in order not to

ground the entire power system again.

Does that sound familiar? We here in

Nigeria are used to the peculiar magic

of our power providers, be it the defunct

NEPA or its successor PHCN, providing

power to two adjacent streets where one

is lit and the other remains in pitch

darkness. Texans had their own

Nigerian moment when they let out loud

cheers after power was restored to parts

of the state. There are online images of

Nigerians in Texas cheering the

Nigerian way of “Up NEPA!” after power

was restored to their home. These are

moments that show that, when reduced

to the same condition, human beings are

the same anywhere.

One telling evidence of this are reports

of rich or influential Texans, especially

politicians like Ted Cruz, bailing out of

the situation rather than thinking of what

to do to bring succour to the people they

claim to represent. Ted Cruz took the

next available flight and bolted out of

town with his family to neighbouring

Cancun in Mexico. Caught in the act,

he responded that he was only being a

good father to his daughters. Of course,

other Texans don’t know how to be good

parents or they would not stay back to

face the situation back home. As

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 202117

and solar power, etc. But he was quickly

reminded that the bulk of Texas electricity

supply came from fossil fuel. Like

Nigeria that produces oil that is beyond

the reach of Nigerians, Texas is the

largest producer of electric power in

America. But its fixation on fossil fuel,

refusal to upgrade its power grid by

winterising it, were more crucial factors

in the energy crisis of a state that rejects

any form of federal intervention in its


As an affirmation of its right of selfdetermination

within a federal setting,

Texas runs an independent power grid

outside the one controlled by

Washington. If Texas could exercise its

right in this manner, it also follows that

it should take responsibility for its action.

Save its attempt at buck-passing, is it not

remarkable to Nigerians that Governor

Abbot and not Joe Biden is being held

responsible for the power situation in his

state? But that, together with the fact that

he is a Republican, is no reason for

President Biden to stand aloof. He is not

issuing releases through spokespersons

while staying back in the White House.

He is doing what a president does at

these times, even offering to visit Texas

if it won’t disrupt things in the state.

But it was here in Nigeria that the plan

by Lagos to begin a metro line system or

even run an independent power system

under ENRON was run aground and

scuttled by so-called federalists who

probably thought Lagos has no right to

develop at its own pace. As terrorists

misnamed bandits, insurgents and

armed herders run over the country,

making life ever more precarious, it is

governors who have no control of

anything outside their ill-spent security

votes, without oversight or power over

any of the military or paramilitary

agencies- it is these governors that are

called upon to secure the country even

by “the presidency” in which all these

powers are vested. This is what happens

in a polity where it is crippled and other

handicapped Nigerians that stand at

road intersections to control vehicles

driven by abled bodied people.

Nigerians remain without hopes for a

vaccine, some of our politicians have

been quick to make their way to America,

the United Arab Emirates and other parts

of Europe to get one of the available

vaccines out there. Not satisfied with

their acts of betrayal of a people they

are supposed to be responsible for, they

sent back proud photographs of

themselves taking the jabs, no doubt

passing the message that only

politicians and others of influence

deserve to live in times of danger and

that taking care of oneself at the

expense of the majority is good


Following the power debacle in Texas,

Americans have been asking questions

about how they found themselves in the

place where they were reduced to a

Banana Republic. Well, they have been

on that path in the last four years they

chose to Make America Great Again

under Donald Trump. The situation in

which America finds itself today with its

loss of influence and respect, while

floundering where other countries are

Texans had their own Nigerian

moment when they let out loud

cheers after power was restored

to parts of the state

standing tall in their management of

global crises like the COVID-19

pandemic, was at least four years in the

making. It all came to a head with the

attempted coup of January 6, 2021 when

Donald Trump, straining for tenure

elongation, made one last ditch attempt

to bend the electoral will of Americans.

For us in Nigeria what the four years

of Donald Trump’s presidency should

tell us is the importance of good

leadership. Where a leader fails to step

up and lead as their position demands

they endanger those they lead. That is

where Nigeria is today with its failed

leaders. Greg Abbot, the governor of

Texas, tried to pass the buck for the

power crisis in his state by being

political, blaming the crisis on the

inadequacy of renewable energy – wind

08055069060 (SMS Only)

For Telecoms, a place in the sun

for alarmists

THERE was suppressed

excitement across the land

last week. The country’s economy

dealt a massive blow into

depression by COVID-19 suddenly

witnessed a renaissance, a stirring

out of that dazed stupor into some

place under the sun, making some

of us to learn how to smile again.

The news was so sudden that

some people didn’t know how to

believe it and are only now trying

to respond in a way to encourage

the economic minders to do even

more. Because the possibility is

that if we mistake these tiny ripples

of life to be strong signs of real

recovering, there is the more

likelihood that we go into a more

serious one as we often don’t know

how to dance our way out of

trouble but instead force ourselves

down the slippery slope like

somebody courting disaster.

This is why the people walk about

wearing forlornness as garment.

The economy is dreary. Life is cruel

and the danger which stalks us can

break into death any time.

Therefore, the announcement that

Nigeria witnessed 0.11per cent in

Q4’2020 sounded more like music

to the ears although Nigerians are

not about breaking into a dance.

They have been so disappointed

over the years, taking promises in

their face value to the effect that

they are unable to seek forgiveness

for attracting this moment of

hazardous folly upon themselves.

But good news is good news and

even in its infinitesimal

manifestation in our land, we must

manage a smile with suspicious


The smile came last week, giving

a justification to the alarmists,

those always shouting about the

protection of the

telecommunications sector, that

they are not wrong and that there

is, indeed, a justification to

jealously secure the sector for our

collective good. The cliché

instructs that you do not kill the

fowl that lays the golden eggs! The

ICT sector of which Telecoms

remains a very visible component

is heading down that lane that

attracts protection and


The figures released by the

National Bureau of Statistics,

NBS, which showed a mild positive

economic growth of 0.11 per cent

also credited the Information and

Communications Technology

Sector with an encouraging

growth of 15.06 per cent in Quarter

4, 2020, thus remaining one of the

few sectors to enjoy a double digit

growth throughout the year in spite

of the pandemic, with others being

13.47 per cent Quarter 3, 2020, 17.

83 per cent Quarter 2, 2020, and

14.07 Quarter 1, 2020.

Comparatively, the Oil sector

contributed 5.87 per cent in the

same quarter down from 8.73 per

cent in Quarter 3, 2020. The report

noted that oil production stood at

1.56m barrels per day which is way

What showed on the

GDP is not a fluke and,

without being a prophet,

technology is going to

provide the support

structure for our GDP into

the foreseeable future

below the 2.00m per day recorded

in the same quarter of 2019. In

everything production there is

unpredictability especially in our

part of the world and the oil sector

is not sequestered from such

vagaries. And this should give us

some concerns because we are still

some years away from what Jeremy

Rifkin called the ‘carbon bubble’

in his book, The Green New Deal,

when the world will rely more on

cleaner sources of energy, and what

we have always bragged about as

our massive investment in the oil

sector, the magic mono product

that sustains our economy, will

become stranded assets. That day

is not far away and yet our oil

production is not stable enough to

meet the exigencies of the


So, in a troubled world the ICT

sector rallied to a surge. This is

hardly surprising because

technology has always been there

to ameliorate the worries of the

world in moments of crisis. This is

what has happened in Nigeria.

When the world started to shut

down last year under the weight of

COVID-19 and shifted the

breathing pattern to a new normal,

ICT provided the vessels of

communication. There were no

movements but people were

talking. There were no cinemas yet

people were entertained. Even

when jobs were lost and people

suffered hunger they still

scrounged enough to buy air time

so that they could stay connected.

But for technology it would have

been a nightmare far beyond what

anybody could ever imagine. What

showed on the GDP is not a fluke

and, without being a prophet,

technology is going to provide the

support structure for our GDP into

the foreseeable future.

You, therefore, need to

understand the alarmists when

they cry that the

telecommunications sector needs

to be delivered and protected. As I

write, there still some states that

put strictures on the path of rollout

of services by telecom operators or

even allow expansion where

services are already available. In

parts of the country where there are

security challenges – and the

challenges are pervasive – but

obviously more serious in some

areas, telecommunications

services have been seriously

disrupted and or totally decoupled

from existence.

Plus the security challenges are

the activities of some highly

placed government officials, the

politicians among them who throw

their weight around some

regulatory agencies while trying to

approximate the laws setting up

these agencies. This writer has

always shouted on this column that

the telecommunications and

broadcast sectors are too

important to be subjected to the

mood swings of an ephemeral

politician. They need to be freed

up for growth to enable the sectors

build up the strength to leverage

the country into the future. Those

who doubt the importance of ICT

should ask themselves just these

questions: Where was Zoom two

years ago and where is it now?

Which technology supplies the

oxygen to the new normal?

One other matter. The

government seems to be thinking

right when, last week, the Federal

Executive Council, FEC, approved

about N8.9bn for a new National

Information and Communication

Technology park in the Federal

Capital Territory, FCT. My little

warning is that this project should

not be a packaged deal for any

politician or a political stunt. This

nation obviously needs such

intervention projects that can

withstand or at least attenuate a

headline inflation of 16.47 per cent

and food inflation of 20.57

percent. We need to put an end to

the hunger in the land using


18 Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021

IN a sense, and as in the case of

petrol, countries that do not have as

much sunshine as Africa are already

‘selling sunshine’ to Nigeria through

photovoltaic solar panels and other

renewable energy equipment.

In February 2018, the Nigeria

Customs Service arbitrarily imposed

a five per cent duty and five per cent

VAT on solar panels coming into

Nigeria, triggering protests from the

Renewable Energy Association of

Nigeria, REAN, a private sector

renewable energy interest group.

Already, batteries needed for storage

of solar energy are suffering a 20 per

cent duty. Yet, solar panels are

supposed to be exempted from duties,

according to Nigeria’s Harmonised

Systems Codes classification. These

duties hiked the cost of solar

equipment, resulting in the closure of

many solar firms.

There was general outrage among

Nigerians on February 16, 2021 when

the Minister of Power, Mamman

Nigeria’s dream of renewable energy

revolution (2)

Saleh, disclosed, while receiving

members of the Hausa Guild of Actors

and Film Producers, Kannywood, that

Nigeria has been spending N50 billion

monthly as subsidy for electricity


Nigeria is obviously still paying

dearly for the miscarried involvement

of the private sector in our power

supply. If this amount was dedicated

to our renewable energy efforts our

power supply woes would change for

the better in ten years.

Considering the monumental

problems bedeviling electricity supply

in Nigeria – non-availability of gas,

operation and maintenance

difficulties, corruption, underfunding

and others – it is obvious that one of

the solution to the country’s power

problems lies in the massive

investment in renewable energy.

With sincerity of purpose, the right

legislations, policies and the correct

deployment of Nigeria’s tech savvy

youths, green energy can light up the

country once and for all and solve the

perennial power crisis. It will reduce

our carbon overload and eliminate the

air and noise pollution arising from

millions of power-generating sets used

everyday in the country.

As Chief Olu Falae, a former

Secretary to the Government of the

Federation, once advised in an



in Vanguard Newspaper of January

13, 2020, which underscored the prime

place power generation occupies in

the economy and every aspect of the

life of a nation. “President Buhari

should give priority to power

generation, because if you don’t solve

the power problem, nothing else is

going to work well. We need power

for everything,” he said.

A country without reliable and

steady power supply in this age of

Information Communication

Technology, is doomed. Nigerians,

who are part of the modern world,

practically live their lives and earn

their living on the internet through

smart electronic devices. How will they

cope if they cannot access adequate

electricity to power those gadgets?

Renewable energy is the solution as

well as the future.


Why we must not ignore history


RECENTLY, some people brought up the

Asaba massacre saga as a reminder of

the outstanding issues of the Nigerian civil war

(1967-1970) and someone said we should

forget it.

For those involved in perpetrating or

upturning of the status quo, it is very easy to

forget. However, those who lost dear ones and

their means of livelihood terminated will never

forget, and will pass their grievances as history

to generations to come.

It is not possible to erode history; that is why

those responsible for our education curricula

must be very careful in what they do.

History is fact as it records past events as

they happened. Because of ethnic and religious

sentiments some of us have tried to bend the

facts to suit individual and collective interests.

But like Uthman Dan Fodio noted:

"Conscience is an open wound and only the

truth can heal it".

So it is with history: you cannot kill it; what

you fail to do with your tainted education, the

people will, on their own, pass it to their

children through oral tradition, historical

relics or monuments or whatever means of


Those in leadership positions today, trying

to rewrite history because of their privileged

positions must be very careful, as examples

abound of their predecessors who have failed

in this venture.

What does history say we should do? Simple.

Record the facts as you see them without any

tainting. Are you doubting the possibility of

this? Okay, let us take a trip to the history of the

Jews as recorded by all the major historical

books. At a time, they were slaves in the land of

Egypt, until they left for the land God had

prepared for them. After a lengthy sojourn and

uncountable battles, they finally arrived the

Promised Land where they settled, with

Jerusalem as the capital. Again their stay in

Jerusalem was truncated by superior forces

and all of them had to be taken again to foreign


Before year 1948, the Jews had no land that

they could call their own. It took them 1,948

years, after the death of Christ to be able to

settle in a country of their own. Can you

imagine this? And today, they are one of the

strongest nations on the face of this earth. When

you imagine what Hitler and his accomplices

Those who fail to learn from

history will keep on repeating

their mistakes; we must tell our

stories correctly

did to them during the Second World War, you

would not have imagined this: A small country,

with so much power and influence. People will

tell you that the hand of God is in it, but you

cannot doubt what you see, it is clear for the

whole world to see.

The story of the Jews is recorded in history. A

people with no land and country until the year

1948, but today, boast one of the strongest

countries in the world. In fact, they are in

control of the Middle East region presently.

What does this tell us? We must deal fairly

with people and neighbours because we cannot

tell what tomorrow will bring. At the time Jesus

was crucified, the Israelis were under the

control of the great Roman Empire, with

Pontius Pilate as governor of the province of

Judea, under Emperor Tiberius, from year 26/

27 to 36/37 AD. The question to ask is: Where

is the Roman Empire today?

History can be likened to the symbol of

justice, the lady with a blindfold, a sword on

one hand and a set of scales on the other. "She

symbolises fair and equal administration of

the law without corruption, favour, greed or

prejudice.” That is history when you tell it as it

is; there will be no need for people to try to

change it and it will also serve as lessons for

mistakes of the past.

Those who tried to change the course of

history in the past found it difficult to appreciate

the changes taking place in the world today.

History is a reservoir of knowledge: those

who are interested go through it and learn but

those who refuse to learn from history are stuck

in the past and subsequently are conquered by

the change that will surely happen.

The recent American presidential election

afforded us the benefit of seeing history

unfolding; we witnessed Black

discriminations; how they have been sacrificed

to build a nation of freedom and justice.

Yet a Blackman had occupied the highest

seat in the land as President, with a Black

female vice president currently in power. Who

would have thought that this will happen in

the 21st century. And the change is still going

on. I have gone this far to help us understand

that, like justice, history is slow but it will finally

have its way.

Look at the great British empire; look at

France with the great Emperor Napoleon

Bonaparte bestriding the whole of Europe like

a colossus; look at the great Soviet Republic:

all that is left of them have collapsed within

their respective boundaries.

Those who fail to learn from history will keep

on repeating their mistakes and failures; we

must tell our stories and we must tell them

correctly. It is not the Biafran story alone. The

Send Opinions & Letters to:


history of the entire Nigerian nation must be

told correctly. The Biafran story must be

included in our curriculum; we must know

what caused it, consequences and why it must

not be allowed to repeat itself. If we fail to do

this, we will only be postponing the evil day.

It is year 2021 and Nigeria is 61 years in

existence but no history to tell. We must learn

how the British manipulated the story of this

great nation, a nation that is full of vibrant

and hospitable people, a people classified as

one of the happiest in the world. The British

must open up their museums and libraries and

let us study the manipulations that took place;

how people in a desert land became more

populous than those in the coastal areas and

the Middle Belt. How the Fulani people were

able to hold their own and force the British to

hand power over to them.

How the Fulani with their minority

population, are able to impose themselves over

a vast landscape with millions of people. We

must understand our history, how the Hausa

nation became docile and allowed a nomadic

people to rule over their land. We must open

our history books because there lies the answer

to all of the problems facing this nation


In history, you are taught to understand the

immediate and remote causes of events; a wise

ruler will learn from it and avoid previous

pitfalls. As it is today, we have not learnt any

lessons from the Biafran civil war, we must

look for the root causes. The solution is the

acceptance of all nations under the

geographical space called Nigeria as one, with

rulership based on love, fairness and progress.

But how is this possible? Again I repeat, we

must go back to our true history, based on justice

and fairness.

•Ikhioya wrote via: www.southsouthecho.com













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 23/02/2021

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021 19

60% of electricity consumers lack prepaid meters

NERC *Says exploitation through estimated billing persists

By Udeme Akpan

EXHIBITION: From left - MD. Patrons, Peter Imo, Director Patrons, Keturah Ovio, Programs

Manager Heartwells Foundation, Sandra Ukele, Curator Luciano Uzuegbu, General Manager,

Bunmi Obanawu, DIDI Museum and CEO Heartwells Foundation, Ogbonnaya Igbokwe at the

Art exhibition “Arts For Cancer” organised by Heartwells Foundation in Lagos recently.

ABOUT 60 per cent of

Nigeria’s electricity consumers

lack prepaid meters and

are currently being exploited

through estimated billing.

Disclosing this in its Second

Quarter 2020 Report, Nigerian

Electricity Regulatory Commission,

NERC, said: “The huge

metering gap for end-use customers

remains a key challenge in the

industry. The records of the Commission

indicate that, of the

10,516,090 registered electricity

customers as at 30 June 2020, only

4,234,759 (40.27%) have been


“Thus, 59.73% of the registered

electricity customers are still on

estimated billing which has contributed

to customer apathy towards

payment for electricity bills.

In comparison with the first quarter

of 2020, the numbers of registered

and metered customers increased

slightly by 0.36% and

0.07% respectively.

“The increase in registered customers

was, in addition to new

connections, due largely to the ongoing

customer enumeration exercise

by DisCos through which

unregistered consumers of electricity

were brought unto the

DisCos’ billing platform. Similarly,

the increase in metered customers

was attributed to the roll-out of

meters under the MAP scheme.

The Abuja, Benin and Eko DisCos

had metered more than 50% of

their registered electricity customers

as at 30 June 2020.”


However, NERC, which ordered

the DisCos, to ensure the metering

gap is closed by the end of

2021, stated: “To ensure speedy

metering of electricity customers

in order to meet the target of closing

the metering gap in NESI by

31 December 2021, the Commission,

in addition to securing

waiver of the levy previously imposed

on imported meters, continued

its monitoring of DisCos’

implementation of and compliance

with the provisions of the

MAP Regulations to fast-track

meter roll-out.”

Consumer complaints

Continuing, it stated: “During

the second quarter of 2020, the

eleven (11) DisCos received

203,116 complaints from consumers,

indicating 0.68% fewer complaints

than those received during

the first quarter of 2020. In total,

the DisCos attended to 189,684

complaints representing an increase

of 1.09 percentage points

from the preceding quarter.

“The report shows that Ibadan

followed by Benin DisCos had the

lowest customers’ complaints resolution

rates based on the proportion

of complaints not addressed

in the second quarter of 2020.”

Estimated billing

Nevertheless, it added: “The

estimated billing, metering and

service interruption remain the

most significant areas of concerns

for customers, accounting for

64.88% (131,789) of the total complaints

in the second quarter of

2020. As stated in the preceding

reports, to ensure improved customer

service delivery, the Commission,

on regular basis, continued

to monitor and audit customers’

complaint handling and resolution

process by DisCos. The

Commission also continuously

monitors the operation and efficacy

of its Forum Offices which

were set up to redress on consumers’

complaints not adequately resolved

to the customers’ satisfaction

by the responsible DisCos.”

Prices of

petrol, others

fall in January

By Elizabeth Adegbesan


CONSUMERS paid less for

Premium Motor Spirit,

PMS, (petrol), National Household

Kerosene (NHK) and Liquefied

Petroleum Gas (Cooking

Gas), in January following decline

in prices of the commodities

during the month.

On the contrary, the price of

Automotive Gas Oil (diesel) rose

during the month.

The National Bureau of Statistics,

NBS, disclosed this in its

Petrol Price Watch Report for

January released yesterday.

According to the report, the

price paid by consumers for petrol

fell month-on-month (MoM) by

0.97 percent to N164 in January

2021 from N165 in December


Similarly, the NBS Kerosene

watch report disclosed that the

price per litre paid by consumers

for NHK fell by-0.64 percent

MoM to N350 in January 2021

from N352 in December 2020.

Furthermore,the NBS in its

Cooking Gas Watch Report, said

that the price for the refilling of a

5kg cylinder for Cooking Gas fell

by 0.04 percent MoM to

N1,949 in January 2021 from

N1,949 in December 2020.

However, the price of diesel rose

by 0.22 percent MoM to N224 in

January 2021 from to N224 in

December 2020.

The NBS stated: “Average

price paid by consumers for petrol

increased by 13 percent year-onyear

(YoY) and decreased MoM

by 0.97 percent to N164 in January

2021 from N165.70 in December


“States with the highest average

price of petrol were Abia

(N173), Adamawa (N166) and

Gombe (N165).

Cryptocurrency: CBN acted in Nigerians’ best interest

– Emefiele *SEC to develop regulation for cryptocurrency trading


By Babajide Komolafe and

Obas Esiedesa

THE Governor, Central

Bank of Nigeria (CBN),

Mr. Godwin Emefiele says the

Bank’s decision to prohibit deposit

money banks, non-banking

institutions and Other Financial

Institutionsfrom facilitating

trading and dealings

in cryptocurrency

is in the best interest of

depositors and the

country’s financial system.

Meanwhile, the Securities

and Exchange

Commission, SEC, has

said it would work with

other regulators to develop

a regulatory

framework that will ensure

safe trading in

cryptocurrency and protect

investors in the sector.

Emefiele defended

the decision of the apex

bank yesterday, while

briefing a joint Senate

Committee on Banking,

Insurance and

Other Financial Institutions;

ICT and

Cybercrime; and Capital

Market, on its directive

to institutions under

its regulation.

Describing the operations of

cryptocurrencies as dangerous

and opaque, the CBN Governor

said the use of

cryptocurrency contravened an

existing law. He said given the

fact that cryptocurrencies were

issued by unregulated and unlicensed

entities made it contrary

to the mandate of the Bank, as

enshrined in the CBN Act (2007)

declaring the Bank as the issuer

of legal tender in Nigeria.

Emefiele, who also differentiated

between digital currencies,

which Central Banks can

issue and cryptocurrencies issued

by unknown and unregulated

entities, stressed that the

anonymity, obscurity and concealment

of cryptocurrencies

made it suitable for those who

indulge in illegal activities

such as money laundering, terrorism

financing, purchase of

small arms and light weapons

and tax evasion.

Citing instances of investigated

criminal activities that

had been linked to

cryptocurrencies, he stated that

the legitimacy of money and

the safety of Nigeria’s financial

system was central to the mandate

of the CBN, even as he

declared that “Cryptocurrency

is not legitimate money” because

it is not created or backed

by any Central Bank.

“Cryptocurrency has no place

in our monetary system at this

time and cryptocurrency transactions

should not be carried

out through the Nigerian banking

system,” he added.

Also addressing the senate

session, the Director General

of the SEC, Mr. Lamido

Yuguda disclosed intention of

the Commission to develop a

regulatory framework that will

ensure safe trading in

cryptocurrency and protect investors

in the sector.

Yuguda said the SEC recognizes

the disruption of FinTech

in the financial industry and

aims to create an enabling

regulatory environment that

would ensure a balance between

investor protection and

technological advancement.

He said, “We believe that

FinTech would not only bring

about efficiency to the capital

market but would also serve as

a veritable tool for advancing

Nigeria’s Financial Inclusion


“However, there is a need to

develop an appropriate regulatory

framework to ensure the

safety of innovation to investors

and preserve market integrity.

The SEC boss said to develop

an appropriate regulatory

framework; regulators

need to understand the crypto

asset space to be better positioned

to address identified


He said the SEC will advance

efforts towards developing a comprehensive

regulatory framework

that ensures that operators in the

crypto asset space conduct their

activities in a manner that protects

investors and maintains financial

system stability.

“The SEC will continue to

monitor developments in the

digital asset space and further

engage/collaborate with all critical

stakeholders, including the

CBN, to create a regulatory

structure that enhances economic

development while promoting a

safe, innovative and transparent

capital market” he added.

According to Yuguda, the

SEC’s approach is consistent

with the approaches of several

securities regulators around

the world as in the United

States of America, the US SEC

requires platforms that offer

trading in digital asset securities

and operate as exchanges

to register or seek to be exempted

from registration.

20 Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021

By Rosemary Iwunze

IN 2012, the Central Bank

of Nigeria, CBN,

launched the National

Financial Inclusion Strategy

with the aim of increasing the

number of adults that have

access to financial services to

80 per cent by 2020.

To achieve this, different

targets were set for each

sector of the financial system.

For the Insurance industry,

the target was 40 per cent

insurance penetration

amongst the adult population

by the year 2020.

According to a survey

released by Enhancing

Financial Innovation and

Access, EFInA, in 2018 titled:

“Access to Financial Services

in Nigeria 2018 Survey”, out

of a total adult population of

99.6 million, only about 1.6

million adults representing

1.6 per cent had any form of

insurance in 2018,

representing 0.1 per cent

decline from 1.7 million adult

population in 2016.

Further research show that

only about five per cent of the

total adult population had any

form of insurance as at the

end of 2020.

According to National

Insurance Commission,

NAICOM: “The insurance

penetration in the country is

still very low as only about five

per cent of adult population

have one form of insurance or

the other. ”

The poor performance of the

industry in attracting more

adults and hence, patronage,

is further reflected in a report

by AM Best, a rating agency,

which indicated that the

industry contracted in real

terms by four percentage points

between 2014 and 2018.

According to the report titled:

Nigeria’s Insurance Market

Offers Significant Potential

despite Headwinds, the

Nigeria Insurance industry

generated N426 billion as

gross written premium (GWP)

in 2018, representing 14.5 per

cent growth over the previous

year. In the five years between

2014 and 2018, the compound

annual growth rate of total GWP

grew on average by 8.6 per

cent per annum.

“But that growth is not what

it appears. AM Best analysts

note that although growth has

seemingly been strong, when

viewed in real terms, the

market actually contracted by

approximately four percentage

points due to inflation that

averaged 12 per cent over the

same period,” the report


Role of insurance in financial


According to the World Bank,

financial inclusion is achieved

when every member of the

adult population has easy

access to a broad range of

formal financial services that

meet their needs at affordable

•Sunday Thomas, Commissioner for Insurance


Financial inclusion implies

not only access but usage of a

full spectrum of financial

services including but not

limited to payments, savings,

credit, insurance and pension

products designed according to

the need of the customers.

Unfortunately, the majority of

Nigerians are living below

poverty line of below one dollar

per day. Evidently, such a class

of people can hardly afford

insurance services and as such,

remain largely uninsured

against any form of disaster.

Hence, when disaster strikes,

they find it difficult or even

impossible to find their feet


Speaking on the issue, former

President of the Nigerian

Council of Registered

Insurance Brokers, Mr.

Babajide Agbeja stated: “The

impact of not being able to

secure adequate cover can be

extremely serious, particularly

for those with lower incomes.

Being uninsured leaves people

unable to plan beyond their

immediate future, protect

themselves against unexpected

financial hardship and enjoy

the peace of mind an insurance

cover can bring. In other words,

insurance products should be

made affordable to every

Nigerian, especially to the

grassroots to mitigate against

unforeseen risks and place

them back to the position they

were before the loss occurred.”

Also speaking, Deputy

Managing Director of African

Reinsurance Corporation, Mr.

Ken Aghoghovbia noted that

access to insurance services is

critical to financial inclusion

particularly at the grassroots,

hence insurance being a

veritable tool to bringing

people out of poverty, will

greatly enhance the spread of

financial inclusion.

Speaking at an Insurance

Directors’ conference in

Lagos, Director, Policy &

Regulation, National Insurance

Commission, NAICOM, Mr.

Pius Agboola said that there

is a strong positive correlation

between insurance and

economic development, as

such, there is a need to improve

insurance acceptance in

Nigeria, particularly to the

underserved and excluded

segment of the populace.

Why insurance penetration is


Several reasons have been

Although growth

has seemingly been

strong, when

viewed in real

terms, the market

actually contracted

by approximately

four percentage

points due to

inflation that

averaged 12

percent over the

same period

•Muftau Oyegunle, President, Chartered Insurance Institute

of Nigeria

Financial Inclusion: Challenges,

prospects of increasing access

to insurance

adduced for the poor insurance

penetration in Nigeria. These

include: peculiar market

environment, limited public

awareness and negative public

perception by those who are

aware of insurance.

Explaining, Director, Policy &

Regulation, National Insurance

Commission, NAICOM, Mr.

Pius Agboola said that the very

low acceptance of insurance in

Nigeria is largely due to

ignorance on the part of the

consumers and the general


“This is further aggravated by

sheer lack of special purpose

machinery for the continuous

enlightenment campaign to the

members of the general

public,” Agboola said.

On its part, A.M Best noted

that obstacles to insurance

market growth include low

consumer awareness, lax

enforcement of mandatory

coverage laws and new

proposed capital requirements.

The report stated: “A key factor

behind the relatively slow real

GWP growth has been the low

insurance penetration in retail

lines. Low retail penetration

can be partly explained by the

low level of awareness and

trust in insurance, as well as

the absence of strong financial

literacy across large parts of the


“Furthermore, the extremely

shallow level of economic

growth in recent years has

affected both the demand for

insurance as well as the value

Continued on page 21

Effina Survey on Access to Insurance in 2018)

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021 21

Financial Inclusion: Challenges, prospects of increasing

access to insurance

Continued from page 20

stated: “To help close the

protection gap, insurers need

the support of the government

to enforce and promote the

benefits of insurance. Also,

there must be additional steps

to enforce the uptake of

mandatory coverage.

“Insurers could improve their

distribution and premium

collection via mobile

applications to reach a greater

proportion of the population.

The industry needs the support

of the government to improve

trust and understanding of

insurance if the market is to

grow in the country.”

For Agboola, there is need for

the implementation of financial

inclusion initiatives in the

insurance sector such as microinsurance

for low income

earners and those given credit

loans by various state

governments which will help

to deepen insurance

penetration in all the states of

the federation.

He said: “The goal of

achieving and surpassing the

target of 40 per cent adult

population penetration will be

Distribution of Net Premium in 2018)

of insurable assets across a

number of lines of business.”

Another challenge: there is

also a shortage of technical

expertise across some lines of


How to grow insurance


Despite the various

challenges confronting the

insurance sector, operators

•Ganiyu Musa, Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association

achieved by providing an

enabling environment and

framework for the excluded

and low income population to

participate and benefit from


This will be done through:

argue that to boost financial

inclusion through insurance,

there is need to carry out

sensitization and awareness on

insurance business campaigns.

They also stressed the need to

build confidence and promote

public understanding on

insurance mechanisms, as well

as development of insurance

education across the board.

In this regard, A.M Best

development of legal and

regulatory frameworks on

takaful and microinsurance;



implementation of insurance

literacy programmes;

enforcement of quick

settlement of claims and

sanctions for infractions; as well

as incentivise insurance

companies to develop microinsurance

products, takaful

insurance and index-based

insurance products to serve

low-income/rural individuals.”

Also speaking, Anike

Okechukwu, Vice-Chancellor,

Enugu State University said at

the root of poverty lies the

depriving the people access to

basic necessities such as food,

shelter, healthcare, education,

security and assets, and to solve

these issues there must be

concerted efforts toward

financial inclusion for all


Speaking at a conference by

the Chartered Insurance

Institute of Nigeria, CIIN,

Okechukwu noted that

financial exclusion is a

burden that must be lifted,

and which requires adequate

financial planning through


He said: “Appropriate

financial services can help




risk, build






b e t t e r


t h e


o f



•Eddie Efekoha, Managing Director,

Consolidated Hallmark Insurance

and invest in assets and grow

businesses. To achieve this,

insurance remains strategic.”

Okechukwu also noted that

health insurance can ensure

adequate healthcare for many

families and reduce out-ofpocket

expenditure. “In fact,

health insurance is linked to

economic growth and

reduction in poverty.

Nigeria is battling with a

number of scary health issues

including malaria,

tuberculosis, infant and

maternal mortality, all of

which have a sweeping

impact on productivity.

Insurance services can make

a significant difference in the

lives of vulnerable

individuals by helping

households mitigate shocks

and improve the

management of expenses

related to unforeseen events

such as medical emergencies

and death in the family,” he


He stated that another

critical area that insurance

could cover is education,

noting that this could ensure

that parents and guardians

save enough money to

ensure stability in the

education of their wards.

“If education insurance is

taken up, the stability in

providing quality education

is guaranteed even in the

event of the death of parents

and guardians.

“Housing or property

insurance is fundamental in

ensuring that a great majority

of Nigerians have access to

affordable shelter and

protection against natural or

man-made disasters.

Effectively, if one is covered

by housing insurance, it will

ensure easy access to funds

in any event. As you know,

many families are homeless

today because they are

financially excluded.”

Also speaking, Managing

Director of Consolidated

Hallmark Insurance Plc, Mr.

Eddie Efekoha said that it is

common knowledge that

insurance penetration is

nowhere near where it

should be in the country. “As

practitioners, we can also

acknowledge that companies

are doing all that they can

within the tenets of the law

to reach out to customers in

order to create a sustained

demand for insurance


“The question is, are our

best efforts enough? What

more can we do to improve

our lot? Efekoha queried.

He said: “Even the smallest

molecule of our operations

should be clear and concise

to our target audience and

our messages should reach

them wherever they are. Only

then can we truly retain top

of mind awareness and

agree that we have taken a

significant step in what we

collectively desire to achieve,

an insurance industry that is

a significant contributor in

terms of numbers to the

economic growth.”

In essence, operators

believe that the low

insurance penetration means

there is room for geometric

growth. However, there must

be improved market conduct,

service delivery, value

creation as well as prompt

and fair claims settlement,

among others, if the sector

hopes to contribute

significantly to financial

inclusion strategy going






22 Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021

Ehingbeti 2021: 9mobile pledges support for Lagos Smart City initiative

By Prince Osuagwu

HE Chief Executive Officer of

T9mobile, Alan Sinfield, has

said his company will support the

‘Smart City’ initiative of the Lagos

State Government.

Sinfield at a panel session , Digital

Transformation Solutions for

Smart Cities at the Lagos State Economic

Summit - Ehingbeti 2021,

noted the significance of the Smart

City Masterplan of Lagos State and

how 9mobile would facilitate its realisation.

He said: “At 9mobile, we are continually

innovating, and smart city ,

smart building and other IoT solutions

will be delivered through the

deployment of technologies and infrastructure

. This will be made possible

by collaborating with stakeholders

to provide seamless access.

Telecommunications is the foundation

and the critical building block

for the delivery of a smart city. It

supports the delivery of digital transformation

and inclusion and underpins

how the goals of full financial

inclusion for everyone will be realised,”

he said.

He also noted that “one additional

critical element will be the service

management element. We

should never lose sight that once envisioned,

developed, and implemented,

nothing ever works well or

is sustainable without the necessary

support teams to maintain and keep

things working. There is a real need

to focus on developing the skills and

support framework and not just the

appealing AI/ML and technology


Sinfield highlighted the telco’s

outstanding service quality and

noted that digital and tech hubs are

crucial for building talent. “At 9mobile,

we have plans to further support

an environment that enables

creativity and visions to be realised

by using our resources to build ICT

development areas and sandboxes

for entrepreneurs to develop their

ideas for the future.”

He also highlighted the importance

of big data and data mining

as the lifeline of a smart city. “Data

is the building block of the digital

revolution, storing and profiling

this for various uses will support

the achievement of the necessary

smart city automation. While discussions

continue as to the extent

to which humans can participate

and provide real-time data input

to the collective data feeding automated

machine learning, first

steps in this journey will rely on

sensors and machine-based data

which is much more reliable.”

CYBERSECURITY: Beware, new hacking

method, Agent Tesla comes through email


By Juliet Umeh

research firm, Sophos, has

A joined in the call for African

mobile money, and internet

users generally, to guard their

data jealously as fintech growth

appears to be astronomical in

the continent.

According to Sophos, as data

explosion sets to happen in Africa

considering the growth in

mobile money and other financial

services accounts, users in

Africa should adopt the method

of first considering every mail as

a potential threat before opening


A report released recently by

the company revealed that a new

information stealer, Agent Tesla

which spreads through malicious

email spam is being used

to destroy hapless internet users

and vulnerable corporate organisations.

Although Sophos says the hacking

method is seven-year-old,

and goes through new phases, it

has, however, remained a powerful

threat to people. The research

firm warned that people

should be cautious with email

attachments from unknown


According to the company,

Agent Tesla steals information

from web browsers, email clients,

virtual private network clients,

and other software that stores

usernames and passwords.

It explained that it can capture

keystrokes while users are typing,

for example entering their

password, and record screenshots,

so it can see what is on

their screen.

It noted that the more recent

version of the info-stealer can use

the Telegram messaging service

to communicate with its operators,

as well as a software programme

called Tor (that’s very

popular on the dark web) to hide

activity like the removal of stolen

data. It also tries to alter software

code to block security protection.

Senior Security Researcher at

the company, Sean Gallagher

said: “Agent Tesla malware has

been active for more than seven

years, yet it remains one of the

most common threats to Windows


“The most widespread delivery

method for Agent Tesla is malicious

spam attachments. The

email accounts used to spread

Agent Tesla are often legitimate

accounts that have been compromised.

Organisations and

individuals should, as always,

treat email attachments from

unknown senders with caution,

and verify all attachments before

opening them.”

The firm recommended that

Information Technology, IT admin

checklist for email security

should include:

*Installation of an intelligent

security solution that can screen,

detect and block suspicious

*Cyber attacker

emails and their attachments

before they reach users.

*Implementing the recognised

authentication standards to verify

emails are what they claim

to be.

*Educating employees to spot

the warning signs of suspicious

emails and what to do if they encounter


*Advising users to doublecheck

that emails come from the

address and the person they


*Advising users to never open

attachments or click on links in

emails from unknown senders.

*Sophos endpoint protection,

Intercept X, detects Agent Tesla


Another internet security outfit

recently disclosed that out of

over one billion mobile money

accounts in the global financial

technology space, Africa has

about 46 per cent of the accounts.

The one billion accounts were

said to be processing up to $1.9

billion daily, meaning that 46

per cent of that is processed in

Africa. The continent is also expected

to exceed half a billion

accounts before the end of first

quarter 2021.

Signal Alliance @ 25, pushes ambitious holdco structure

By Prince Osuagwu

T 25 years old, technology

Acompany, Signal Alliance is

beginning a new phase of life. The

company is on the verge of completing

a holding company (holdco)

structure that will see it become

even a bigger player in the

IT sector.

The proposed holdco structure

would have three subsidiaries -

one focused on cloud business,

another on technology consulting

while the third, Sasware, which

is already operating as a venturing

company, would harmonise

current investments and further

invest in tech start-ups and techenabled


Signal Alliance is looking to

make an emphatic statement in

the tech ecosystem in Nigeria.

Foreign investors have dominated

the venture activities in Nigeria

and Africa and they are increasing

their positions in the

Nigerian tech market.

Executive Vice-Chairman of

the company, Collins Onuegbu,

said: “Diversification of our business

portfolio is imperative and

we believe that these activities, in

line with our medium to longterm

strategy, would produce

compelling returns. Size and efficiency

are key factors for our

new outlook.”

Onuegbu also believes the tech

market in Nigeria is still evolving

despite the strides it has made

in recent years, adding that there

is still a lot of room for growth


and the company is being positioned

to be part of that growth


He revealed that in the coming

months, the company will be

looking to either acquire a majority

stake in promising ventures

or minority interest.

“There is no more sitting on the

fence while the good deals get

done. We need to gain a foothold

in the tech space venturing in

Nigeria and are targeting 50 tech

and tech-enabled companies

within a 3-year horizon,” he said.

For him, “last year, Stripe, the

second-largest payment company

in the world, acquired Nigerian-based

payment gateway company,

Paystack. Nigerian startups

also dominated the venture capital

activities in Africa in 2019

only to fall behind South Africa

in 2020 due to the impact of the

COVID-19 pandemic.

There are also local venture

capital firms and equity funds that

are springing up and positioning

for the market. In January, Iyinoluwa

Aboyeji, founder and

CEO of Future Africa, a new venture

capital that launched in 2020

said it has returned $3.7 million

to some of the firm’s limited partners

and invested over $1 million

in 16 startups. So, there is a need

to consolidate and grow our investments

in technology-enabled


Signal Alliance said it would

also be looking to grow its cloud

market position - a market it

knows very well given its partnership

with Microsoft.

Signal Alliance is a Gold LSP

Partner of Microsoft; among the

other three partners in Nigeria

and intends to utilise this partnership

for its cloud business focus.

Interswitch links HF on International Money Transfer Service

By Juliet Umeh

IGITAL payments and com-

company, Interswitch


Group, has partnered another giant

in the sector, HF Group to expand

digital banking services to

include International Money

Transfer (IMT). The IMT service

will enable people in the diaspora

to remit funds seamlessly into

any HF account and also provide

a simplified channel for them to

make their loan/mortgage payments.

The partnership is coming

on the heels of the company’s diversification

efforts into full-service


Robert Kibaara, HF Group

Chief Executive Officer said: “We

Soft skills will help girls appreciate tech

career, says Afro-Tech Girls

By Juliet Umeh

ON-profit organization

NAfro-Tech Girls, has said

that provision of soft skill capacity

building could help girls and

women appreciate Information

and Communications based careers.

The group made the statement

at a conference it held to commemorate

the 2021 International

Day of Women and Girls in

Science themed ‘Women Scientists

at the forefront of the fight

against COVID-19.’

Afro-Tech Girls is focused on

encouraging and empowering

females in the areas of Science,

Technology, Engineering and

Maths (STEM).

The event which was hosted in

partnership with IHS Nigeria, a

subsidiary of IHS Towers, saw

female speakers from the medical,

science and technology sectors

interact with over 100 participants

in attendance online

and a further 100 girls from public

secondary schools watching

from their classrooms. The event

was also used as a soft launch of

a longer-term partnership between

Afro-Tech Girls and IHS


Co-founder, Afro-Tech Girls,

Adeola Shasanya said the theme

of the event, reinforced present

challenges associated with the

current pandemic and high-

have made significant investments

in technology in order to

bolster our full service banking

proposition. Our focus is in building

a digital first bank that is responsive

to emerging customer

trends. Designing the best customer

experience is a continuous process

and our vision is to empower

customers to make their personal

and business transactions at the

click of a button.”

Kibaara added: “Our understanding

of the customer and the

market, coupled with strategic

partnerships with fintech, enables

us to design solutions that are simplified

to address our customers’


lighted how women in science

are currently playing a critical

role to address these challenges.

Shasanya said that confidence

and soft skills needed to be improved

to drive more interests

among the young females looking

to build careers in STEM

She said: “We are grateful for

organisations like IHS Nigeria

that have committed to improve

STEM outcomes in Nigeria particularly

within young females.

We are confident that their support

will go a long way to ensure

these females are equipped with

the skills required to compete

and contribute immensely in

STEM related careers.”

Some of the speakers at the

event included - Dr. Ngozi Onyia,

MD, Paelon Memorial Hospital;

Ms. Cima Sholotan, Director

of Sustainability & Corporate

Communications, IHS

Nigeria; Dr. Yetunde Adewunmi,

Microbiologist, Wadsworth Center,

New York State Department

of Health; Dr. Mobola Oyefule,

Medical Doctor, Mayo Clinic,

Rochester, Minnesota; Dr. Kemi

Ezenwanne, Medical Doctor,

Armoured Shield Medical Centre;

Ms. Jessica Uwoghiren,

Data Analytics Expert; and Ms.

Gloria Okereke, Team Lead,

Network Operating Centre, IHS


*From left: Romana Rajput,

Interswitch Kenya Country

Manager; Robert Kibaara, HF

Group CEO and Regina Anyika, Ag.

HFC Managing Director during the

launch of the HF Whizz

International Money Transfer in

Kenya recently.

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021 23

24 Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021 25

26 Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021

VOL. 2 NO. 71

Why the first son is accorded

high respect in Igboland

Monarchs, Igbo leaders

By Anayo Okoli, Vincent

Ujumadu, Chidi Nkwopara,

Ugochukwu Alaribe,

Nwabueze Okonkwo,

Chinenye Ozor, Chinedu

Adonu, Chinonso Alozie,

Ikechukwu Odu &

Steve Oko

ENUGUIN Igboland, the

first son is generally

accorded high recognition and

respect by the family. He also

wields enormous traditional

powers in the family’s decisionmaking.

Whether he is rich or

poor, his opinion is always

sought and respected by

members of the family. This age

long tradition has not changed

and may not likely change in the

near future. Question is; what is

special in first sons of Igbo


According to the revered

monarch of Abriba ancient

kingdom, Enachioken Abriba,

Eze Kalu Kalu Ogbu (iv), Igbo

accord high recognition to the

first son because he is the

family’s first hope for continuity.

The first son, he said, is the first

proof of his father’s strength and

symbol of hope for the family’s

continuity, hence, the special

place he occupies in the family.

This strong position, he

explained, stems from the

tradition and common mentality

among the Igbo that male

children are sine-qua-non for

the family lineage to be


“The first son is the first male

blood of the man; his alter ego,”

the monarch explained, "and he

is considered the heir apparent

of the family. Besides,because

male children unlike their female

siblings carry on the family’s

name, it becomes necessary that

the first son who is also the

evidence of the progenitor’s

manhood, is highly revered.

“Ndigbo have the culture that

female children will eventually

be married off; so any family

without a male child is seen to

have gone into extinction. That

is why the first son has much

respect”, the monarch said, but

however, noted that some first

sons tend to get carried away by

their coveted position while some

act irresponsibly.

He noted that such

unbecoming attitude is not

enough to deprive them of their

birthright as doing so is not

without some consequences.

The Enachioken also cited a

case in his kingdom where a

certain wealthy subject who

trained his first son abroad and

upon graduation, he returned to

•He is the family’s first hope for continuity Enachioken Abriba

•First son has same authority as his father Igwe Ekere

•A Jewish tradition, confirms Igbo connection to Jews Ezekwesiri

•He enjoys special privileges in the family Eze Nwabeke

•He represents the father, whether dead or alive Igwe Ukuta

•Plays prominent role in family, upon father's death Lawyer

•A group of Igbo entertainers.

the country and he assisted him

to secure a lucrative job but

unfortunately, that man’s son

was later got involved in stealing

of the firm’s property, a situation

that landed him in jail.

“In those days when there was

bucket latrine, the boy, from

prison, would carry bucket of

faeces past their house and the

father who felt disgraced,

stripped him of his right as the

first son. But till today, that family

has not known peace.”

In the opinion of the traditional

ruler of the Iggah Ancient

Kingdom in Isi-Uzo Uwani Local

Government Area of Enugu

State, Igwe Herbert Ukuta, the

respect being accorded every

first son in Igbo families is

because he represents the father,

whether dead or alive.

According to Igwe Ukuta,

because the daughters of the

family would be married off

eventually, only the first son

bears the family symbol with or

without the father of the house.

“The culture has been there

from time immemorial. In Igbo

tradition, he inherits whatever

the father left for the siblings. It

is left for the first son, whether

he is a good or a bad one to be

in unity with the siblings,

especially after the death of the


“Sometimes, the first son can

be the last born of the family but

the sisters still nurture him and

accord him huge respect in Igbo

tradition,” the monarch said.

The Chairman, Abia State

Council of Traditional Rulers,

Eze Ndubuisi Nwabeke, agreed

that it is the tradition of the Igbo

people for the first son of the

family to enjoy special privileges

and explained that enjoyment of

the special privileges has

nothing to do with whether he

is rich or poor.

According to him, most

families treasure the training of

Ndigbo have

the culture that

female children

will eventually

be married off;

so, any family

without a male

child is seen to

have gone into


the first son because he is

expected to take care of the family

on the retirement of his parents.

The respected monarch noted

that such special privileges

include the fact that the family

cannot take any major decision

without the consent of the first

son and taking over the control

of the family when his father

dies. “It is a known fact that in

Igboland, high recognition and

respect is accorded the first son

of the family. He is accorded this

respect not minding his financial

and social status, wealthy or


“The family cannot take any

major decision without seeking

the opinion of the first son. Most

times, a father may want to

dispose of his property but the

buyer of such property will like

to get the approval of the first

son because if he didn’t get the

approval, there may be

problems. In most cases, you

can’t buy a property from a

family without the consent of the

first son. Such transactions are

invalid until the first son

appends his signature. It is a

tradition in Igboland that in the

absence of the father of the

family, the first son takes over

the administration of the family.

He is expected to take care of

the mother and assist his


•An Igbo first son.

Eze Nwabeke further

explained that on the sharing of

the family’s wealth on the death

of the father, the first son gets

ther largest share.

“At the demise of the father, the

traditional system of sharing the

father’s property allocates

bigger shares to the first son. The

father while alive takes time to

show the first son his property,

his money in the bank and even

his liabilities. The father also tells

his first son his life story.

Whenever his father dies, the

first son is answerable to the

kinsmen on the burial plans and

other issues pertaining to the

sharing of the father’s assets and

liabilities. So, the first son enjoys

special privileges in the family.

It is a revered and time-tested

tradition in Igboland,” Eze

Nwabeke declared.

In his contribution, the

traditional ruler of Amandim Olo

in Ezeagu Local Government

Area of Enugu State, Igwe

Hayford Agana agrees that the

first son plays vital roles in the

administration of his late father’s

property. The position under the

customary law of succession in

Igboland, according to him, is

that the first surviving son takes

over the leadership of the family

when the father dies.

Igwe Agana, however, noted

that in Olo heterogeneous

cultural affinity, the first son does

not enjoy all the property without


He is responsible for the

upkeep of the spouses of his late

father in a polygamous family.

He also takes care of the needs

of the younger ones from the

inherited property which he

cannot shy away from.

The paramount ruler of

Isuochi, Eze Godson Ezekwesiri

links the special recognition of

the first son to Jewish tradition

which he said lends credence to

the theory that Igbo have their

roots in the Jewish tradition.

According to him, birthright is a

serious matter even in the Bible

as seen between Jacob and Esau

following the animosity by Esau

against Jacob for taking over

his birthright. The monarch said

the first son is also revered in

Igbo tradition because the

responsibilities of his father

squarely fall on him upon the

death of his father.

According to him, the first sons

sometime deny themselves of

certain pleasures and

opportunities in their bid to cater

for the family or ensure their

siblings are reasonably trained.

He cautioned that under no

circumstance should the first son

be robbed of his birthright.

According to him, the first son

even if he happens to be the last

born of the family, should be

accorded his rights and


“The first son indisputably

inherits the father’ s Obi

(ancestral compound), his gun

Continue on Page 27

•The jetty at the Ogurugu seaport in Uzo-Uwani

local government area of Enugu State.

By Ikechukwu Odu


of the agrarian

community of Ogurugu, in Uzo-

Uwani Local Government Area

of Enugu State are lamenting

the hardship they currently face

following the collapse of Isi

Bridge linking the community

to the rest of the state.

They have therefore sent a

save our soul message to Enugu

State Government to come to

their rescue by repairing the


The aged bridge was said to

have caved-in when a heavy

duty truck conveying goods to

the community impacted on it

on the first day of January, 2021.

Community members who

cried out for help in

rehabilitating/reconstructing the

bridge, told South-East Voice

that it provided the linkage to

their only access road, adding

that they have been cut off from

the other parts of the state since

the incident happened.

The traditional ruler of the

community, HRH, Igwe

Emmanuel Egwuaba, while

regretting the inability of the

community members to move

their farm produce to the rest of

the state since the collapse of

the bridge, said life has become



Chioma Gabriel, Lagos



Anayo Okoli, Enugu


Vincent Ujumadu, Awka

Chidi Nkwopara, Owerri

Dennis Agbo, Enugu

Peter Okutu, Abakaliki

Chinonso Alozie, Owerri

Chinedu Adonu, Enugu

Chimaobi Nwaiwu, Nnewi

Ugochukwu Alaribe, Aba

Nwabueze Okonkwo, Onitsha

Chinenye Ozor, Nsukka

Ikechukwu Odu, Nsukka

Steve Oko,Umuahia

•The collapsed Isi Bridge in

Ogurugu, Uzo-Uwani local

government area of Enugu


Collapsed bridge cuts off Enugu

community...indigenes lament

attendant hardship

difficult for farmers and other

persons doing business in the

Igala-speaking community of

Enugu State, adding that

unless urgent steps are taken

to put the bridge in shape,

farmers in the community

would incur heavy losses due

to their inability to move their

produce out of the community.

The monarch while calling for

the speedy completion of the

jetty at their seaport, also called

on the government to support

the farmers in the community

with tractors in order to explore

the agricultural potentialities of

the community to the fullest. He

also said that the jetty, when

completed, would boost

employment generation in the

rustic community.

The President-General of the

community, Dennis Uba, while

calling for the rehabilitation/

reconstruction of the collapsed

bridge, said the community has

written a letter to the state

governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi,

and the council chairman,

Chukwudi Nnadozie for the

reconstruction of the bridge.

Some of the community

members who spoke to South-

East Voice narrated how the

collapsed bridge made life very

difficult for them, adding that

they sand-filled part of the road

to enable only those on foot and

motorcycles access into the


Regarded generally as the

Food basket of Enugu State,

Uzo-Uwani Local Government

Area is endowed with other

mineral deposits and

uncompleted infrastructure

which can aggressively

transform the economic fortunes

of the state when harnessed.

Apart from the vast arable

farmlands in the rustic council

area, it is also blessed with crude

oil, gas and gold deposits which

were discovered in the 50s by

Safraab Oil Company at Iga.

Part of the key infrastructure

which now lie fallow in the

council area are a seaport and

an airport started by the military

regime of General Olusegun

Obasanjo at Ogurugu.

The coastal community,

Ogurugu, would have attained

unprecedented development

and equally become a

commercial hub of the state just

as Onitsha is to Anambra State

because of its early connection

with the Europeans but for the

abandonment of the key

infrastructure in the


Traders like UAC, JOHN

HOLT and others who

purchased local products like

palm oil, palm kernel, and

timber, brought their products

which were largely gotten from

the community to the Ogurugu

seaport from where they are

shipped to other parts of the

country or exported abroad.

The abandoned airport, also

in Ogurugu served as an

aerodrome to the former

military head of state, Obasanjo.

By Dennis Agbo

ENUGU Residents of the

coal city, particularly those

residing in Nike area of Enugu

metropolis have become excited

at the news that the state governor,

Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has concluded

plans to resolve the perennial

traffic jam being experienced

along Nike Lake and Abakpa-

Nike roads with the construction

of a flyover at the T-junction nexus

of Enugu-Nsukka new road.

Following the development of

the Abakpa-Ugwogo-Nsukka

road by the preceding

administration in the state, and

with the collapse of the 9 th Mile-

Nsukka road, vehicular traffic had

constituted frustration for

motorists and residents in Nike

area as most vehicles coming

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021 27

Why the first son is accorded

high respect in Igboland

Monarchs, Igbo leaders

Continues from page 26

(if there is any), machete and

other personal effects. He then

picks a choice parcel of land as

the right of first son before the

remaining property of their father

is shared among him and his


Eze Ezekwesiri noted that even

if the first son is irresponsible or

insane, Igbo tradition forbids that

he be denied of his rights.

For the traditional ruler of

Ogrute autonomous community

in Enugu-Ezike, Igbo-Eze North

Local Government Area, Enugu

State, Igwe Wilfred Ogbonnaya

Ekere, the first son has same

authority as his father in a family.

He said that the first son in

Igbobland is designated to inherit

his father’s property as the heirapparent,

adding that he is the

successor of his father. He said

that a woman may love her first

son more than her husband

because the first son determines

her power in the family.

Noting the importance of the

first son to the Igbo, the monarch

also linked it to what happened

in the Old Testament and said the

first son was the one who

normally received double

inheritance. However, he notes

that God sometimes reverses this

order, as he did with Jacob and

Esau in Genesis 25:21-26.

“The first son is known as the

Okpala and he plays a very

important role in the

administration of his father’s

property. The first son is the chief

administrator of his father’s

property. In the absence of any

direction by the father, the right

of the eldest son cannot be taken

away. “If a woman is married and

has not gotten a male child in that

family, it is assumed that she is

not established because that first

son is the heir-apparent of that

family. That first son is the

representative of the family.

Our people are more interested

in getting a son when they get

married because of his role in

the family.

•Gov Ugwuanyi inspecting the Ava bridge at Ugbene

“In a polygamous family, any

woman that bears the first son is

assumed to own the family

because the first son must be

consulted before anything could

be done. Women have more love

for their first son than their

husband. Without a son, nobody

will represent you when you are


“If someone wants to marry my

daughter and my son doesn’t

approve of it, the marriage will

not hold. As a family, if you want

to sell a property like land and

the first son doesn’t sign it, it will

not augur well because he can

contest it in the law court. In a

family, any property that the

father wishes to sell, he must

make the first son a signatory to

perfect the deal. It is the first son

that represents his father in the

meetings of the kinsmen when

he is dead.”

For Chief Clifford Iloegbune

Okoye, a legal practitioner, the

first son has prominent roles to

play in a family upon the demise

of his father.

According to him, in the family

circle, the first son is regarded

as head of the family. The

decision of the first son, as the

family head, in terms of

moveable and immoveable

property, is given priority

attention as against the decision

of any other family member.

For Nze Dozie Nweke, a

community leader and

President-General of Aboji

Akanano Union, Oba community

in Idemili South Local

Government Area of Anambra

State, the issue of first son is

Biblical, just as Jesus Christ is

the first son or Diokpala of


Nweke noted that the first son

being the symbol and

representative of his father owns

his father’s property with his

other siblings such that when

sharing their father’s

inheritance, he will take a

special share and then share the

rest with others.

Applause, worries, as Ugwuanyi plans flyover, new road

from parts of South-East and South-

South states, except for heavy duty

trucks, ply the road to Nsukka and

parts of northern Nigeria.

The Nike Lake road was marked

for dualisation by the past

administration in the state but was

unable to execute the project when

the administration ended with the

hope that the promised ‘seamless

transition’ mantra of the Ugwuanyi

campaign team in 2015 will continue

from where his predecessor stopped.

The road was, however,

abandoned until 2016 when the

new administration reconstructed

the road in just a single lane to the

amazement of the residents that

expected dualisation with street

lights as obtained under the

Sullivan Chime administration.

Not long after, traffic congestion

on the road became an

embarrassment to all the residents

and travellers, to the extent that even

the convoy of the governor, most

times, was trapped in the hold up

that sometimes lasts for hours.

There were smiles on the faces of

the residents in December 2020

when Governor Ugwuanyi while

presenting the 2021 budget to the

state House of Assembly, dropped a

hint that his administration will

construct a flyover at the T-junction

of Nike Lake road in order to

decongest traffic in the area.

Ugwuanyi got further applause

when, unannounced, he

commenced construction of a

bridge that will serve as a bye-pass

from Trans-Ekulu GRA through

Ugbene II-Alulu to Nkwo-Nike,

when the Nike Lake road will be

closed from traffic during the

construction of the anticipated


Residents interviewed at Ugbene

II said they were excited that

Governor Ugwuanyi remembered

the suburb after the internal road

developed by the administration

was left uncompleted by the

preceeding administration for close

to six years.

A tailor in the area, Chibuzor

Okpatu said he was happy to see the

governor pass through the ‘forgotten’

part of the capital city when he

inspected the Ava Bridge constructed

by the state government in

preparation for construction of the

road that would be used for diversion

when work begins at the flyover.

28 Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021

EFCC: Bawa as game-changer

By JOHN OLORUNTOBA parts of the world. Aside being a Certified

Fraud Examiner, CFE; Certified Anti-

WITH the appointment of Money Laundering Specialist, CAMS, he

Abdulrasheed Bawa, President was also trained by the United States

Muhammadu Buhari may have finally Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI,

found the magic wand to reinvigorate the United States Financial Crime

Economic and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, FINCEN, the

Commission, EFCC, and combat graft. World Bank, the United Nations Office of

This was the preponderant thinking Drug and Crimes, the Nigeria Police

among stakeholders following the Force, the Nigeria State Security Services,

statement announcing a change of guard the EFCC Academy and United

at the iconic Tunde Idiagbon House, thus Kingdom’s Global Training Consulting.

sealing the hopes of embattled Ibrahim Armed with such variegated training

Magu to return to his exalted office after from such top-notch institutions, it can

his dramatic suspension last year and even then be said that EFCC has finally come

melodramatic trial by the Justice Ayo under the command of a young turk

Salami-led panel.

weaned on EFCC’s originating doctrine -

EFCC came into being in 2003 as part forensic and professional approach to

of a national response to address the tackling corruption.

challenge posed by the Financial

Action Task Force on Money

Laundering, FATF, which had

indicted Nigeria as one of 23

countries that were not

cooperating in the global efforts

to fight money laundering.

In seeking power in 2015,

President Buhari had anchored

his promise to the nation around

three key pillars - security, anticorruption

and economy. Aside

sundry allegations of impropriety

levelled against Magu which

necessitated his removal,

government insiders had often

confided that the president’s

vision of the anti-graft agency all

along is one driven by core

professionals independent of the


From his own rich experience

in governance over the past five

•Abdulrasheed Bawa, EFCC chairman designate

decades, President Buhari is said

to be of the view that specialised agencies

like EFCC are better run by core

professionals exposed to vigorous

specialised training. Until now, all past

chief executive officers of the commission

- from Ribadu to Farida Waziri to Ibrahim

Lamorde to Magu - were seconded to the

commission from the police.

But Magu

had the

distinction of

being the

o n l y

chairman to

have served

more than

five years in

At 40, welleducated


decorated, Bawa

obviously brings

youthful energy

to the table

a c t i n g

capacity. The serial nominations of Magu

to the Senate by President Buhari after

repeated rejections were said to have been

informed by a powerful lobby within the

ruling party alleging blackmail, whipping

up the sentiments that his confirmation

was being stalled only because he had

acted against the interests of principal

officers of the Senate, including the then

Senate president, Bukola Saraki.

At 40, well-educated and decorated

Bawa obviously brings youthful energy to

the table, perhaps serving as a signal that

President Buhari is quite conscious of the

growing popular clamour for more

inclusiveness of younger Nigerians in the

commanding height of governance.

Aside a Bachelor of Science degree in

Economics from Usmanu Danfodio

University in Sokoto, he obtained a

Masters in International Affairs and

Diplomacy from the Usman Danfodio

University in 2012. He is currently

studying for a Bachelor of Laws, LLB,

degree at the University of London.

But much more significant is the fact

that Bawa belongs to the select cadre who

joined the commission from foundation

as cadets and were bred and mentored by

Nuhu Ribadu widely acclaimed as the

most impactful chairman of the anti-graft

commission in history.

Since joining the commission in 2004

as Assistant Detective Superintendent, the

chairman-designate has undergone

several specialised trainings in different

“By settling for someone who joined the

commission as a greenhorn and has

undergone rigorous training locally and

internationally, and has indeed risen

through the ranks in the past 17 years, the

deduction one can make is that President

Buhari is determined to do things

differently this time in order to achieve a

different outcome,” said Mr. Benjamin

Anyaoku, a senior researcher at the

University of Abuja.

In his last posting as the head of the

Lagos operations, Bawa definitely showed

capacity and character. Of course, Lagos

is the biggest operations zonal office of

the EFCC with 604 officers.

Under his watch, EFCC secured 227

convictions. He supervised the

investigation of all cases in the Port

Harcourt Zonal office in which a record

215 convictions were secured in eleven

months. He also secured the final

forfeiture of hundreds of property to the

Federal Government.

Bawa supervised the investigation of all

cases in the Ibadan Zonal office in which

113 were concluded and 54 were charged

to court within six months. He was

involved in the recovery of millions of

dollars worth of property belonging to

former Minister of Petroleum Resources,

Diezani Allison-Madueke.

He was also involved in the fraud cases

involving former Governor of Niger State,

Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu. He equally

participated in several other periodic

raids on notorious 419 cyber cafés.

It is perhaps a measure of his

professional brilliance and dedication

that he received the EFCC Merit Award in

2020. Just as he earned the appreciation

of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation

(Criminal Investigative Division) in 2019

after facilitating the collaboration

between the EFCC and the FBI, which

resulted in a mutual fight against

Economic and Financial Crimes on an

international scale.

Definitely, with Bawa, Nigerians can

look forward to a reinvigorated EFFC in

the times ahead.

*Oloruntoba, a security expert, wrote from


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021 29

30 Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021


NLC demands upward review of

minimum pension

AMIDST poor pension and

unpaid benefits to the

nation’s senior citizens,

Nigeria Labour Congress,

NLC, has demanded for an

immediate upward review of

minimum pension in line with

Section 173 of Nigeria’s


While lamenting the plight

of pensioners in the country

at the National Executive

Council, NEC, meeting,

President of NLC, Ayuba

Wabba, a few days ago,

contended that the nation’s

constitution clearly demanded

for a review of minimum

pension every five years.

According to him: “We are

also mindful of national

minimum pension for our

pensioners. Section 173 of

Nigeria’s Constitution

demands review of minimum

pension every five years. This

must be dutifully complied


Recall that the Nigeria

Union of Pensioners, NUP, had

for years now been pleading

with the Federal Government

to approve a National

Minimum Pension for


The NUP which lamented

that some pensioners were

earning as little as N4,000

monthly as pension, backed

their demand with sections

173 (3) and 210 (3) of the 1999

Constitution (as amended)

which states that “pensions

shall be reviewed every five

years or together with any

Federal Civil Service salary

reviews, whichever is earlier.”

Speaking in Abuja, NUP

president, Dr Abel Afolayan

recalled that the last pension

review was in July 2010 and

a new review should have

been due in July 2015.

He said: “Despite our efforts

and submissions, nothing has

been done in compliance with

the above constitutional

provisions. This is the reason

why the union has been very

vocal and unrelenting in

restating its position on the call

and demand for a new minimum

pension alongside the on-going

negotiation for a new minimum

wage which by all indications,

will soon be implemented by the

Federal Government.

“It is, therefore, our humble

request, in accordance with the

above constitutional provisions

that a uniformed national

minimum pension be approved

for Nigerian pensioners to be the

same as any minimum wage. In

other words, whatever amount

is approved as minimum wage

for workers, should also apply

as minimum pension for


“We believe that whatever is

good for the goose is also good

for the gander, as both workers

and pensioners go to the same

market for their daily needs.

Regrettably and pathetically too,

many pensioners today earn as

low as N4, 000 per month which

is nothing to write home about.

With the present economic

*Aggrieved pensioners protesting over unpaid allowances.

situation in the country, it is

unacceptable and in fact,

inhuman for a pensioner to earn

less than N30, 000 which is not

even enough to cater for his


Also, retired Federal Civil

Service workers under the

Defined Benefits Scheme, DBS,

had demanded adjustment in

their pension payment to reflect

the new N30,000 national

minimum wage already being

implemented in the Federal Civil


National Chairman of the

Federal Civil Service Pensioners,

Sunday Omezi, expressed

dismay that government had

contrary to provisions of the

Constitution, not reviewed their

pensions since 2010.

He said it was unfortunate that

Defunct PHCN retirees cry over unpaid benefits

Defunct Power Holding

Company of Nigeria,

PHCN, pensioners,

under the aegis of Concerned

Pensioners, CPP, have

appealed to the Federal

Government to intervene

over shortfalls in payment of

their pension benefits by the

Nigeria Electricity Liability

Management Limited,


The CPP alleged unethical

practice by NELMCO in

shortchanging the retirees in

payment of pension benefits.

CPP Secretary, Mr Julius

Ayodeji, said some of the

pension benefits,

harmonisation, monitisation

and electricity rebates, were

trapped in NELMCO.

Ayodeji said NELMCO

officially transferred pension

payment obligations to

Pension Transitional

Arrangement Directorate,

PTAD, in July 2014, however,

the Budget Office remitted

arrears to NELMCO instead

of PITAD, thereby causing

administrative conflicts.

The CPP scribe lamented

that the pensioners were yet

to receive the 33 per cent

arrears of pension increment

approved during President

the retirees were not factored into

the consequential adjustment

negotiation arising from the new

minimum wage.

Omezi in a statement , insisted

that it was time government

harmonised pensions of its

workers just as it did in the

military in January 2019.

He regretted that some

pensioners were still receiving

paltry N4,000 monthly pensions,

urging the government to

increase pension to a minimum

of N25,000 against the N4,000 in

place at the moment.

He said: “We appeal to the

Federal Government to as a

matter of urgency, harmonise our

monthly pensions. They have

harmonised military pensions.

Military pensions were

harmonised in January 2019. We

Goodluck Jonathan’s regime

by PTAD.

He noted that 16,000

retirees spread all over the

country were affected by the

shortfall in payment of

pension benefits.

“We were prematurely

retired in year 2000, with

some of us spending about 15

to 18 years in service,” the

CPP secretary lamented.

He explained that before

their premature retirement,

there was increment in the

workers’ salary by 100 per

cent under former President

Abdulsalami Abubakar and a

further increment of 42 per

cent by former President

Olusegun Obasanjo.

“However, when we were

prematurely retired in year

2000, our gratuities were

computed only on 100 per

cent approved by

Abubakar’s regime; we were

not paid the 42 per cent

increment by Obasanjo,” he


Ayodeji said CPP appealed

to NELMCO when it realised

the pensioners were

shortchanged and the

organisation agreed to rectify

the problem.

“Till this moment, we are

expected the government to

equally harmonise the pensions

of civilians. But they don’t want

to harmonise ours. That is why

we said they have taken us as

second class citizens.

“Also, in line with the

Constitution of the Federal

Republic of Nigeria, the Federal

Government is supposed to be

reviewing our monthly pensions

every five years.

“The last one they did was in

2010. It was due for another

review in 2015 which was not

done. In 2019, workers’

salaries were increased and

the Constitution says they are

supposed to review our

monthly pensions every five

years or whenever workers’

salaries are increased but

nothing is happening.”

are yet to be paid the

benefits. These benefits

consist of harmonisation,

monetisation and electricity

rebates. We were short-paid

by 42 per cent for 10 years

from 2003 to 2014. We made

several efforts, even

protested for these arrears

to be paid but to avail. PTAD

also did not pay the 33 per

cent pension increment. We

are using this opportunity to

appeal to President

Muhammadu Buhari to

direct those holding our

pensions to release them to

us,” he said.

According to him, some of

the retirees that started the

struggle had died because

there was no money to take

care of their medical and

other needs.

“We worked under

hazardous conditions; some

pensioners were partially

burnt, some paralysed and

have several dependents. I

trained all my children to

university level but how

many of them are working? I

still feed them, if the

economy is good, the

children should have been

the ones taking care of us,”

he added.


retirees raise

alarm over



By Gabriel Enogholase

NIGERIA Union of

Pensioners, NUP,

University of Benin,

UNIBEN branch, has

alleged that the Federal

Government has been losing

N1billion monthly to ghost


It claimed the loss is due to

shoddy verification exercise

carried out by the Pension

Transitional Arrangement

Directorate, PTAD, and the

Federal Ministry of Finance.

This was disclosed by

UNIBEN NUP branch in a

Save-Our-Soul, SOS, plea to

President Muhammadu

Buhari by the Chairman,

Michael Ehinyameh and

Secretary, Samanu Momodu


The pensioners lamented

that over N2 billion was

spent in the verification

carried out by the PTAD and

Federal Ministry of Finance

in 2017 without achieving

any success.

They expressed sadness

that the last management of

PTAD did not help their

cause, claiming that during

that time, pension arrears

were paid for only three or

six months.

According to them: “The

Federal Government lose

over N1billion to ghost

workers monthly and we

brought it to the attention of

the then management

during a meeting with us on

February 27, 2017. It was a

thing of joy that the

management of the

University of Benin did its

internal verification and

over 300 names were sent to

PTAD. Those names are still

in the payroll as at January,

2021 but their families never

received such money.

“Many pensioners were

not paid their monthly

entitlements and there were

always short payments after

suffering for 35 years with

unblemished records.

"The palliatives to the

vulnerable given by the

Federal Government was

never given to the

pensioners and may have

been hijacked by unknown


They, however, lauded the

Federal Government for

establishing PTAD, even

though the agency had not

fully met the aspirations of the


The pensioners called on

President Muhammadu

Buhari to immediately direct

the resolution of their

plights, adding that "the

verification exercise carried

out by the PTAD and Federal

Ministry of Finance did not

see the light of day."

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021 31

:Vanguard News

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

AWARDFrom left: Mrs.

Tochukwu Emewulu

(left), receiveing The

Nigerian National

Legacy Award for

Leadership, in honour

of the MD, Seamfix

Ltd., Chimezie

Emewulu, in

recognition of his

relentless commitment

to Nation Building,

from Amb. Ovie Odubu,

Executive Secretary,

Nigerian National

Legacy Awards. With

them is Miss Deborah

Babudoh of Seamfix

Ltd., during a brief

award presentation

ceremony, held in

Lagos, weekend.

Sen Adeyemi under fire over anti-Ikpeazu


By Henry Umoru &

Steve Oko

THE SENATOR represent

ing Kogi West senatorial

zone, Senator Smart

Adeyemi, has come under fire

over his remarks that "Abia is

governed by drunkards".

Adeyemi had while contributing

to a debate on the floor

of the Senate yesterday, veered

off from the subject on ground

and began to attack Gov.

Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.

The motion being debated

was how to protect schools

across the country against attacks

by bandits but the senator

in his contribution, stated

that while his state governor,

Yahaya Bello, had awarded

contracts for the renovation of

schools, "Abia is governed by


But in a swift reaction, the

Chief Press Secretary to the

Governor, Mr. Onyebuchi

Ememanka, said the Kogi

senator needed "psychiatric


Another aide of the Governor,

Sir Isaac Nkole, described

Adeyemi as " a disgrace and

national embarrassment".

Ememanka in a release,

asked the former National

President of the Nigeria Union

of Journalists, NUJ, to first

address issues of underdevelopment

in his home state before

commenting on Abia.

The release read: "Our initial

response was to totally ignore

the story because it is difficult

to believe that a Senator

of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

will reduce both himself

and the institution of the Senate

to such gutter level, but

having confirmed that indeed,

the Senator made such comments,

a response has become


"Our view is that the senator

is either suffering from a protracted

case of mental illness

or is battling with occasional

fits of schizophrenia which

manifests in making careless,

dishonorable, unrelated and

incoherent statements.

"This conclusion becomes

irresistible judging from the

total disconnect between the

matter being discussed by the

Senate and the comments

made by the senator as they

affect the Governor.

"If Senator Adeyemi was of

sound mind, he should have

known that when it comes to

education, Abia is miles ahead

of his home State of Kogi. Indeed,

not just in education but

in every single area of development.''

"If Senator Adeyemi had his

•He needs psychiatric evaluation Ememanka

•He's a national disgrace Nkole

•Ikpeazu's champagne drinking gov, says Adeyemi

PDP petitions security agencies over

destruction of Anyim's birthday billboard

in Ebonyi

By Peter Okutu


ples Democratic Party,

PDP, in Ebonyi State, led by

Elder Fred Udeogu, yesterday

petitioned various heads of security

agencies in the state

over the removal of the birthday

billboard of the former

Secretary to the Government

of the Federation, Senator

Pius Anyim in the state.

Elder Udeogu who made

this known while speaking

with newsmen in Abakaliki,

charged the Commissioner of

Police, Department of State

Security, DSS, among others

to fish out the perpetrators

without delay.

He said: "We are not having

issues with the state government

but the attacks and

victimization that we have

been receiving is very unbearable,

like the removal of our


"Last Friday, some concerned

indigenes of Ebonyi

State placed a giant billboard

for the birthday of the former

Senate President, Anyim Pius

Anyim at the Union bank

junction and the next morning,

the bill board including

the PDP billboard were all

removed by thugs and we

know those who sponsored


"We don't encourage hooliganism

in this state. If we have

been doing that, this state

wouldn't have been governable.

I am using this opportunity

on behalf of my friends

and the good people of the

genuine PDP, to advise the

people that are sponsoring

these young men to desist

from that. I have always emphasised

that nobody has the

monopoly of violence.

"The point is that the state is

faculties intact, he should

have known that under the

watch of Governor Okezie

Ikpeazu, Abia State has

maintained first position in

WAEC Examinations in the

entire country for five years

now. Kogi has not come close

to the first 20. Never!''

Making his contribution on

the floor of the Senate, Senator

Adeyemi had said: "Despite

the fact that some governors

are doing their best, we

are lucky to have a governor

who has taken the issue of security

as a serious priority.

''We are bordered by nine

states, but we had an experience

of the unfortunate incidents

that are happening in

neighboring states.“

Some governors are committed

to the protection of

too dear to us. This is a PDP

state. And this is my state and

I was one of the youths that

fought for the creation of Ebonyi

State. I wouldn't like to

watch s ome people destroy

the state.

"I will never at any point in

time join them in doing what

they are doing. And they cannot

lure us into fight because

we are more matured than

them. But if they continue, we

will have no option.

"It will be good for them to

be warned. If they want to get

money from their sponsors,

there are some other ways to

get money from them and not

by inciting people to go into


"They have more billboards

in this state more than us. Assuming

we start removing

their own billboards, it won't

go down well with them. And

it will be stupid of any human

being that you draw blood

because of billboard. What is

billboard? Why not allow the

billboard to be there? It was

paid for.

"I condemn that act. And I

Lagos East: Tribunal strikes

out APM's petition against

Senator Abiru

Stop using Uzodimma's name to seek attention,

Imo govt warns Okorocha


governor of Imo State,

Rochas Okorocha has been

warned to stop using the

name of Governor Hope

Uzodimma to seek attention.

According to a statement

signed by Oguwike

Nwachuku, the Chief Press

Secretary and Media Adviser

to the governor, “No day

passes without Senator Okorocha

trying to use the name

of Governor Uzodimma to

either seek or divert attention

of the public from activities

linked to him, most of them

their people, in my state the

governor awarded contracts

for the renovations of schools

and provides security services

to them.

"In some states of Nigeria

today, where we have highly

intelligent people, highly educated

people, very enterprising

people, like Abia they are

governed by drunkards. The

governor of Abia is a champagne

drinking man.''

am emphasising that no right

thinking person will allow

himself or herself to be used

in that dastard act. And I assure

you that those people who

did it must be found out. I am

giving them one month, we

will get at them.

"I am calling on the security

agencies to note what is happening

because these people

are trying to cause problem

in this state.

"This billboard belongs to

his Excellency, the former

Senate president and secretary

to the government of the

federation, Senator Anyim

Pius Anyim. Anyim is our leader

in PDP. In fact, he is a national

figure. This is his state.

"His birthday was generally

celebrated by all Nigerians

and even outside this country.

And so, why would people attack

his billboard at his own

state. Attacking his billboard

does it stop people from celebrating

him? They are just

being stupid and petty. There

must be bitter repercussions

on this thing they have done"

he stated.


“Senator Okorocha's recent

ordeal where he wilfully broke

the law by approaching the

Royal Spring Estate belonging

to his wife, to forcefully

unseal it after the government

had legally sealed the place,

says it all about his mischievous

intention to use Governor

Uzodimma's name to

seek public notice. Senator

Okorocha does not do this

alone, but with the People's

Democratic Party in Imo

State, his newest political ally.

But we are not surprised.

N10m trademark judgment:

A-Court strike-out Facebook's


By Innocent Anaba


Appeal sitting in Lagos,

yesterday, dismisses Facebook's

appeal challenging the

judgment of a Federal High

Court, Lagos, which awarded

N10 million against it (Facebook)

in favour of a Nigerian

firm, Double Paws Enterprise,

as damages for unlawfully interfering

with the use of the

firm's trademark.

The appellate court justices

that decided the matter were

Justices Haruna Tsammani,

Oluwayemisi Williams-Dawodu

and Abdullahi Bayero.

Justice Bayero read the lead


Facebook had appealed the

“It is on record that Senator

Okorocha recently said he is

working in cahoots with the

opposition to achieve his political

ambition, and he has not

hidden his romance with key

PDP figures in Imo State to

undermine the All Progressive

Congress government of Governor


“Nothing can be as embarrassing

and unfortunate as a

former governor deliberately

flouting the law and instead

of facing the reality, he is busy

stoking flame with inciting

comments he knows are not

true representation of what the

APC government of Governor

Uzodimma stands for.”

By Onozure Dania


Assembly and State House

of Assembly Election Tribunal

sitting in Ikeja, yesterday,

struck out a petition by Allied

Peoples' Movement, APM,

challenging the December 5,

2020 election victory of Senator

Adetokunbo Abiru of the

All Progressives Congress,


The three-man panel struck

out the petition while granting

an application by APM

and its candidate, Olusola

Babatope to withdraw the petition.

The panel is chaired by Justice

Bassey Ikpeme with Justice

Mohammed Abubakar

and Justice M. Odanya as

members of the team.

Abiru, following his victory

at the poll, represents Lagos

East senatorial district in the

National Assembly.

But, dissatisfied with the election

outcome, the APM approached

the tribunal seeking

to nullify it.

Other defendants in the petition

were the APC, and Independent

National Election

Commission, INEC.

Yesterday's session was the

scheduled for hearing of the

APC and INEC's objections to

APM and Babatope's petition.

But the petitioners did not

file any response to the respondent's


Rather, APM and Babatope,

having appraised the

respondents' defence to their

petition, filed an application

seeking to withdraw it.

Abiru's counsel, Mr. Kemi

Pinheiro, SAN, confirmed receipt

of the petitioners' application

to withdraw.

Pinheiro informed the Tribunal

that under paragraph

30 of the First Schedule to the

Electoral Act, 2010 (as

Amended), Abiru had filed the

affidavit required and would

not be opposed to the application.

The APC's counsel, Mr

Abiodun Owonikoko, SAN,

and INEC also confirmed receipt

of the petitioner's application

to withdraw.

Consequently, the APM and

Babatope's application to

withdraw their petition was

heard, granted and the tribunal

struck it out.

lower court judgment

through its counsel, Jackson

Etti. However, counsel to the

respondent, Double Paws Enterprise,

was Mr Gideon


Facebook challenged the

competence of the appeal and

urged the Appeal Court to

dismiss same for being fundamentally


Justice Bayero in the lead

judgment, yesterday, upheld

the arguments of Okebu,

counsel to the respondent and

struck out the appeal.

It will be recalled that Justice

Ayokunle Faji of the lower

court had in March last

year, in his judgment, also

granted a perpetual injunction

restraining the social

media firm from interfering

with the plaintiff's statutory

rights under the Trademark


Gas Flaring: Group wants FG to

initiate environmental audit of

Bayelsa community

By Samuel



Rights Action/

Friends of the Earth Nigeria,

ERA/FoEN, has expressed

concern over the safety of Ogboinbiri

community in Southern

Ijaw Local Government

Area of Bayelsa State, where

the natives are daily exposed

to gas flaring from a flow station

in the area operated by

Nigerian Agip Oil Company,


It urged the Federal Government

to initiate a move for

an environmental audit or

post-impact assessment of the


ERA/FoEN in its report

presented to newsmen in

Yenagoa described the Ogboinbiri

situation as pathetic

due to the intensity of the roaring

flares from the two vertical

gas flare stacks in the area

which sometimes causes panic

among the natives.

The report by Alagoa Morris,

Head of ERA/FoEN

Bayelsa office lamented the

plight of the locals, noting

that apart from the destruction

of their means of livelihood,

the extreme heat and

buildings vibration they are

confronted with, their sources

of drinking water have also

been polluted.

32 Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021

:Vanguard News

DINNER/AWARD NIGHTChief Nosa Edo-Osagie (left) exchanging pleasantries with Dr.

Nat Bunuji, Manager, Vanguard, Benin, during the 2020 Annual Bar Dinner/Award Night of

The Nigerian Bar Association, Lion Bar, Benin Branch, in Benin City. Photo: Barnabas Uzosike.

INSTALLATIONCelebrants Rotn Sanjueen Tandon (4th left), his wife, Rotn Geetika,

(4th right), flanked by Charter President, Rotary Club of Eko Atlantic, Rotn Sunit

Debroy (2nd right), his wife and incoming president of the club, Rotn Mamta (3rd

right); the club President, Rotn Vinod Kauani (2nd left), with other exco members of

the club, during the celebration of the Tandon's 35th wedding anniversary and cutting

of cake, and the installation of Rotn Bola Oyebade as the 2020/2021 District 9110

Governor, Rotary International, at The Heavens Events Centre, in Ikeja GRA, Lagos.

BRIEFING: From left; Oladipo Maiye, Partner and Head, Oil, Gas and Power

Services; Joshua Bamfo, Partner and Head, Transfer Pricing Services; Omawunmi

Martins, Head, Marketing and Branding; Lateef Surakatu, Partner and Head, Business

Advisory Services and Amaka Samuel-Onyeani, Associate Director, Transfer Pricing,

all of Andersen at the press conference to announce the change of name from

Andersen Tax Nigeria to Andersen in Lagos yesterday.

WAKE-KEEPING: From left; Prophet Dr Oluwademilade Akpata (G.O. Divine

Ewulomi Church), Snr PRO E.K Ogunlesi (The Church Of The Sogunle) Rt

Rev Bishop Mary Licien (The Church of The Lord, Agege) and Prophertess

Adetounawoseso (Church of The Lord, Oshodi) during a Christian Wakekeeping

for late, Mrs Mariam Adike-Ohunene Otubu (82yrs) By Church Of

The Lord Aladura, Lagos Centre, Agege on Thursday.

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

Oando’s shareholder wins

court case against SEC


shareholder of

Oando Plc, Engr. Patrick

Ajudua, has won a case

challenging the directive of the

Securities and Exchange

Commission, SEC suspending

Oando’s Annual General

Meeting (AGM) on the ground

of breach of his right to freedom

of association as guaranteed

under Section 40 of the Nigerian

Constitution and Articles 9, 10 &

11 of the African Charter on

Human and Peoples Rights.

The shareholder took it upon

himself to legally challenge the

commission in a suit filed at the

High Court of the FCT.

Engr Patrick has been hailed a

savior of Oando Plc following his

big win in court yesterday.

In a hearing presided by

Honorable Justice O. A Musa,

all cases filed were granted in his

favor. Engr. Patrick who has

painfully endured the SEC’s

infringement of his rights as a

shareholder and an individual, for

the past two years, was the much

needed respite that the

shareholders required especially

at a time when many are

grappling for survival following

the country’s second recession

in three years.

Recall that in 2019, the SEC

suspended the AGM of Oando

indefinitely. AGM’s are an

important platform for the

protection of the shareholders of

a company, furthermore they are

a legal requirement for all publicly

listed companies the world over.

According to Patrick Ajudua,

the SEC has denied him this

right over the last two years. Since

the suspension of Oando’s 2019

AGM shareholders have been

kept in the dark on the

company’s affairs – specifically

corporate initiatives and


Presiding over the case,

Honorable Justice O. A Musa,

made the following declarations;

Ordered that Engr. Patrick as a

member and shareholder of

Oando has a right and freedom

of association and assembly with

other shareholders and right to

receive information at the AGM;

declared the May 31, 2019 letter

of SEC to Oando sanctioning its



unconstitutional, null and void

and violation of Engr. Patrick’s

fundamental right to fair hearing

and his human right to receive

information on the affairs of

Oando and his interest and

shares in Oando; an order setting

aside the directive of SEC


indefinitely the AGM of Oando

in violation, breach and

contravention of Engr. Patrick’s

right and freedom of association

and assembly with other

shareholders and right to

information from other

shareholders and Oando Plc; an

order restraining SEC and Oando

from interfering with, disrupting

and or interfering with the Engr.

Sun Editor, Femi Babafemi, appointed

NDLEA’s Director of Media


Drug Law Enforcement

Agency, NDLEA, yesterday,

appointed editor of the

Saturday Sun, Mr. Femi

Babafemi as the agency’s

Director of Media and


The appointment, which

takes immediate effect will

enable the new appointee

leverage on his almost two and

half decades experience in

journalism, media and strategic

communications to lead the

publicity and advocacy

campaigns of the Agency as

envisioned by its new

Chairman/Chief Executive,

Brig. General Mohamed Buba

Marwa (retd).

The Board and management

of The Sun Publishing Ltd has

since approved a leave of absence

for him to enable him take up the

national assignment.

Babafemi holds a Master’s

degree in Public and

International Affairs from the

University of Lagos and a

Bachelor of Arts in English

Language from the Obafemi

Awolowo University, O.A.U, Ile-


Besides, he holds certificates in

Communication Strategies,

Royal Institute of Public

Administration, RIPA, London,

2008; Managing People For

Strategic Advantage, Lagos

Business School, Pan-African

University, Lagos, 2009; and

Effective Public Relations

Planning, The Management

School, London, 2011.

Babafemi, who joined The Sun

in 2003 as a pioneer staff, left as

Deputy News Editor in 2008

when he joined the Economic

and Financial Crimes

Commission, EFCC, as the

agency’s Head of Media and


He returned to The Sun in

April 2012 as an Assistant Editor

and promoted Deputy Editor in

June 2013. In January 2017, he

was appointed the substantive

Editor of Saturday Sun.

With over 24 years postgraduation

experience in

Journalism, Media and Public

Relations, Communication

Strategies and Reputation

Management, Babafemi started

his career in the pen profession

in the defunct National Concord.

THE Chief Executive

Offficer of Rolex

Emameyan Foundation and

Rox Mny Entertainment,

Ambassador Rolex Erhomo

Emameyan has condemned

the killing of youths in Sapele

as a result of cult and other

related cases.

Speaking to journalists

yesterday in Sapele

Emameyan described the

killings as barbaric act that

needed to be stopped.

According to him, youths in

Sapele needed to be united

in bringing culprits to book.

He also noted that Sapele

before now used to be a

peaceful city and the current

cult and other related cases

are uncalled for.

Patrick’s constitutional right of

association, assembly and right

to receive information from other

shareholders and members of

Oando PLC at the postponed

2019 AGM; an order of injunction

restraining SEC from acting and

/or taking any steps pursuant to

its letter of 31st May 2019 or

interfering in any manner

whatsoever with Directors

lawfully appointed by the Engr.

Patrick and Shareholder; an order

directing Oando to convene and

hold AGM of Oando plc within

90 days of the order of the court

in compliance with the provisions

of Companies Allied Matters Act.

Speaking on his win, Engr.

Ajidua said: “A win for me is a win

for all shareholders. The lingering

delay in resolution of the conflict

have brought untold hardship,

financial difficulty and loss of

capital appreciation on our

investment. Therefore, the

shareholders received this

judgement with high sense of

humility and praying that all

hands must be on deck to move

the company forward. We plead

with the regulators and others to

give peace a chance and allow

for harmonious resolution of the


''The shareholder community

will continue to protect their

investment, ensure high

compliance with code of corporate

governance & ensure integrity

of company operating in the

capital market.”

Mr. Femi Babafemi.

Emameyan condemns Sapele

killings, sues for peace

"Our youths needed to

shun cultism as it is inimical

to human and economic

development in Sapele.

“There is no gain in joining

cultism and killing your fellow


“Our security agencies

needed to be alert and our

parents have to take it upon

themselves to educate their

children on the dangers of


“We need Peace to return to

Sapele and this can happen if

we all come together to stop

the unnecessary killing of our

young ones.

“My condolence to the

families of those we have lost

and may all culprits be

brought to book."



I, formerly known and addressed

as Ashiru Saifullah, now

wish to be known and addressed

as Ashiru Raifullah

Inuwa. All former documents

remain valid, general public take



I, formerly known and

addressed as Maryam

Sunday Shawulu, now wish

to be known and addressed as

Maryam Alhassan. All

former documents remain valid,

general public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed

as Suleiman Ismahim, now wish

to be known and addressed as

Ismail Suleiman. All former

documents remain valid,

Access Bank and general public

take note.


This is to confirm that Ajayi

Ezekiel and Ajayi Olalekan Ezekiel

is one and same person.

Henceforth, wish to be known

and addressed as Ajayi Olalekan

Ezekiel. All former documents

remain valid, Access Bank and

general public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed

as Fallang Paul Bernard, now wish

to be known and addressed as

Bernard Konang Paul. Date of

birth is 22/02/1994. Not 12/12/

1992. All former documents

remain valid, general public take



I, formerly known and addressed

as Ahulo Iji Lawrence, now wish

to be known and addressed as

Ahulo Lawrence Iji. My correct

date of birth is 7/07/1983. All

former documents remain valid,

general public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed

as Ekani Monday, now wish to

be known and addressed as Ekani

Ekanee Monday. My correct date

of birth is 10/10/1998. All former

documents remain valid, general

public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed

as Chidera Ani, now wish to

be known and addressed as

Sherif Lawal. All former

documents remain valid, general

public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed

as Saidu Adamu Kani, now wish

to be known and addressed as

Adamu Kani. All former

documents remain valid, FCMB

PLC and general public take



I, formerly known and addressed as

Abass Obatayo Saheed, now wish

to be known and addressed

as Abass-obatayo Saheed

Timileyin. My correct date of birth

is 3/10/2000 and not 3/10/1999. All

former documents remain valid,

general public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed

as Miss Rahma Muhammad

Danzaki, now wish to be known

and addressed as Mrs. Rahma

Muhammad Danzaki. All former

documents remain valid, NYSC

and general public take note.

:Vanguard News


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021 33





$2.6bn AKK pipeline project: Reps query contractors,

summon BPP

By Levinus



resentatives last night

raised questions over the alleged

exclusion of Bablinks

Resource Ltd, a Nigerian firm,

in the construction contract

of the 40’’× 318.6km BVS12

Kaduna-Kano section or Segment

2 of Ajaokuta-Kaduna-


Acting on a petition by

Local Content Advocacy and

Management Group, alleging

that contractors in the consortium

who submitted bid

for the project had been

changed by the authorities,

the House Committee on Local

Content which met with

some contractors over the

matter, said it was interested

in the implementation of the

local contents in the project.

Similarly, the Executive

Vice Chairman, Brentex Nigeria

Ltd, Sani Abubakar, in

his testimony, said the company

was owned by Nigerians,

admitting however a

partnership with Bablinks.

But the Managing Director/


I, formerly known and addressed

as Muhammed Ammar, now

wish to be known and addressed

as Muhammed Ammar Aliyu.

Wrong date of birth 2/11/1992.

Correct date of birth 2/11/1995.

All former documents remain

valid, general public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed

as Ogbuehi Bright Emenike, now

wish to be known and addressed

as Ogbuehi Bright Chikadibia.

All former documents remain

valid, general public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed

as Oyinye Josephine Achinaulo,

now wish to be known and

addressed as Oyinye Josephine

Imonigie. All former documents

remain valid, general public take



I, formerly known and addressed

as Amina Aliyu, now wish to be

known and addressed as Amina

Aliyu Ibrahim. Date of birth is

28/12/1976. Not 28/12/1978. All

former documents remain valid,

general public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed

as Ishaku Dogo, now wish to be

known and addressed as Ishaku

Dogo Mark. All former documents

remain valid, general public take



I, formerly known and addressed as

Titus Christiana, now wish to be

known and addressed as Titus

Christiana N.(NANI). Wrong date

of birth 30/08/1989. Correct date of

birth is 30/08/1996. All former

documents remain valid, general

public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed

as Obi Michael Uzomma, now

wish to be known and addressed

as Mr. Obidigwe Michael

Uzomma. All former documents

remain valid, general public take


Chief Executive Officer of

Bablinks, Bolaji Isiaka, said

the company was sidelined

after providing the technical

expertise that made the bid

for the contract successful.

Ruling on the matter, the

committee decided to invite

the Bureau of Public Procurement

to appear before it and

give testimony about the true


It also asked Brentex CPP

and Bablinks to furnish the

committee with every contractual

documents with them,

directing its clerk to Corporate

Affairs Commission for

details of owners of the companies.

Speaking with journalists,

the lead consultant and solicitor

for the advocacy group,

John Lebor, alleged that the

contractors didn't not give recourse

to the local content

law, Nigerian export regulation,

among others.

He said: “That project is

about $2.6bn. At the award of

that project, BPP insisted that

there must be a local content

company with the capacity

and Bablinks Nigeria Limited

is the company that has

that local content capacity, in

the sense that they have done

a lot of pipeline projects in

Warri with Shell and they are

one of the best in the country.

“Now, Brentex Consortium,

being a company without experience

into oil and gas pipeline,

entered into partnership

with Bablinks. In legal terms,

there is supposed to the Chinese

company, Bablinks and


“The due process document

produced by the Bureau for

Public Enterprise that was

taken to the Federal Executive

Council to approve this contract,

clearly specify that

Brentex should be responsible

for procurement of the

pipelines while Bablinks

should be responsible for construction

and engineering services.

“So, as technical partners,

after they entered the agreement,

they now removed

Bablinks. If Bablinks was not

part of the due process, there

would have been no local content

that the contract would

have been awarded.

“Remember that Brentex

Consortium brought in the

Chinese Company, CPP, because

they claimed to be the

company financing the


“The Chinese government

now offered loans to us at inhumane

sovereign guarantee.

They are not doing us a favour,

they gave us money and we

are going to pay for 10 years.

What they have done is that,

they now imported content.

“One Chinese engineer that

they are bringing would earn

what up to 500 Nigerians cannot

earn in that project. You

have a job of $2.6bn and you

cannot find Nigerian companies

and Nigerians there.

“What we want the Parliament

to do is to force Chinese

company and other to come

to the table and provide and

take away the Chinese content

from the contract and allow

the local content to provide


“Let nobody deceive you,

China is not doing us a favour

by borrowing us money.

They have collected sovereignty

guarantee, meaning

that we are going to pay at

very high rate. They have taken

more than 60 per cent. We

will not accept it and if we

need to go to Court, we will

do that."

LG polls: Work hard for victory, Muturu

charges PDP candidates in Bomadi

By Chris Ochayi

ABUJAA Peace Ambas

sador in Bomadi Local

Government Area of Delta

State, Amb. Kingsley Muturu,

has charged all the Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP,

flag bearers in the March 6,

2021, Local Government elections

in the state to work hard

for victory.

Ambassador Muturu, who

gave this charge in a press

statement made available to

journalists urged the PDP flag

bearers to see this opportunity

as a stepping stone to something

greater. He advised them

to work hard and not see the

PDP ticket as victory already

secured but “to reach out to

the voters to sell the party and

their candidacy.”

According to him, “you

should not rest having been

handed the PDP flag. It is now

the real work should start; the

work of campaign, going to

the grassroots to mobilise the

people, telling them what they

stand to gain when you are

elected. Use this opportunity

to aspire to something greater.

“Consider yourselves privileged

to bear this flag because

many had sought for it. Do

not abuse this rare privilege.

When elected, do not turn your

back on the people at the

grassroots who you are meant

to represent.

“Local government is the

tier of government closest to

the people. Therefore, I urge

you to let the people feel your

presence and impact when

elected. Distinguish yourselves

from ineffective predecessors

so that if, and when

you seek higher things, the

people will still be there to see

you through.”

The PDP in Delta state had

recently handed its flags to its

chairmanship, vice chairmanship

and councillorship

candidates in the 25 local

government areas in the state

preparatory to the local government

council elections

slated for March 6th.

Office of Senior POLAD,

Christian community pray for

peaceful Delta LG polls

ASABAA body of Clergy

men, the Christian Community

Platform, and the Office

of the Senior Political

Adviser to the Governor of

Delta State have organized a

prayer session to seek the face

of God in the March 6 local

government election.

The event, which took place

at the Life and Power Christian

Assembly auditorium on

Maryam Babangida way,

Asaba, featured praise and

worship, Bible readings, exhortation,

hymns and special

prayer sessions.

In his remarks on the occasion,

the Senior Political Adviser

to the Governor,

Funkekeme Solomon, said it

was informed by the understanding

that peace was key

to a successful election.

Solomon noted that

though Deltans had the right

to choose who would represent

them in the local government

councils, it was important

to submit to Him in prayer

to guide the electorate in

making the right decision.

The Senior POLAD maintained

that the PDP believed

in the possibility of election

victory going either way and

had chosen not to leave anything

to chance, including resorting

to prayer for victory

for its candidates.

He thanked the Christian

Community Platform for

partnering with his office in

the search for peace in the

Council polls, stressing that

the time had come to deemphasize

violence in politics

and elections, as power could

only come from God.

The Chairman, Board of

Trustees of the Christian

Community Platform, Bishop

Greatman Malagu, described

the prayer session as

a wise decision by the PDP

hence the involvement of the

Platform, urging Deltans to

vote wisely.

Earlier in a brief exhortation,

Bishop Gim Bright

Adaigho, noted that the PDP

governnent of Governor Ifeanyi

Okowa of Delta state had

positively impacted on the

lives of the people, and expressed

optimism that the

party would do well at the local

government level if given

the opportunity.

34 Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021

:Vanguard News

Open grazing: challenges (2)

Cattle farming are private owned

businesses, the responsibility for

which should be borne by the owners

and not the other way round.

LAST WEEK, I commenced a

discussion on the menace of

criminal herdsmen who continue

to pose major security challenges.

Also, I discussed the attempt by the

Nigerian government to placate

the herders by the subtle

suggestion of acquisition of

massive lands all over Nigeria for

grazing, a move which will no

doubt create more chaos as it will

engender the acquisition of private

lands to satisfy the spatial

requirement for grazing ranches.

It is, however, important to note

that the clashes brought about by

open grazing is not limited to

Nigeria. Similar clashes have

occurred in other African

countries. In examining the

development across West Africa,

the Cable, an online publication

wrote as follows:

Eighteen killed in Niger: In

November 2016, eighteen people

were killed in various clashes

between herdsmen and farmers.

The clash, which broke out near

the village of Bangui along the

country’s southern border with

Nigeria, also left 20 others injured,

the country’s officials had said.

What happened? Livestock

belonging to the herders were said

to have invaded the field of one of

the farmers, damaging crops.

“The nomadic herders fought

with a farmer, whom they wounded.

He was taken to the medical centre

and everything started from there,”

Oumarou Mohamane, Bangui’s

mayor, had told Reuters. In a

reprisal attack, a group of farmers

then attacked the camp, burning

down houses numbering about 15.

Ghana too…: Villages in the

Kwahu east district of the eastern

region of Ghana were thrown into

mourning after clashes between

herdsmen and some of their

farmers left a reported number of

15 persons dead, including five

Fulanis. Hundreds were also left

stranded and displaced after

fleeing their communities in the

incident which occurred in


The clashes, which were between

residents of Dwibease and

Hweehwe, and the herders,

followed the death of an

unidentified boy at Dwerebeafe.

Solomon Aboagye, an indigene,

was quoted by Ghana Web, an

online platform, to have said: “In

retaliation, three of the Fulanis

were also killed at Aboyan. Two of

the natives went to the farm and

did not return. I asked some people

to search for them and

unfortunately, they found them

dead.” It was also reported that the

deaths occurred at night in the

farms and the bodies spotted


Bloodshed in Ivory Coast:

Seventeen persons were confirmed

dead and 39 others injured after a

clash broke out between herdsmen

and farmers in Bouna, north-east

of Ivory Coast, in 2016. Among

those injured in the clash, which

There is no doubt that

there is an urgent need

by the Nigerian

government to resolve

the issue of open

grazing once and for all

spanned two days, were five of the

security personnel deployed to

quell the crisis. The attack was said

to be just one out of many other

violent clashes between the two

parties “but none has been of this


“On the night of March 23 to 24,

the situation was particularly

aggravated and it was at this time

that 17 people died,” Vincent Toh

Bi, one of the residents, had told

AfricaNews. Indeed, some contend

that clashes between herdsmen or

cattle herders and farmers are as

old as mankind itself as indicated

by the biblical verse in the book of

Exodus Chapter 22 verse 5 which

enjoins anyone who allows his

animal to stray and graze in the

field of another to pay

compensation to that other. What

is, however, clear is that while

mankind, inclusive of many

African countries have developed

policies aimed at reducing the

conflict, Nigeria is yet to come up

with any identifiable means of

bringing about peaceful coexistence

between farmers and


Rethinking the incidence of open

grazing: There is no doubt that

there is an urgent need by the

Nigerian government to resolve

the issue of open grazing once and

for all. One of the ways to deal with

the matter is to encourage largescale

farming by the cattle owners.

The US has led the world in largescale

farming, pioneering the use

of intensive livestock rearing in hog

farms, cattle sheds and sheep pens.

There are now more than 50,000

facilities in the US classified as

“concentrated animal feeding

operations,” CAFOs, with another

quarter of a million industrialscale

facilities below that


Around the world, developing

countries in particular were quick

to catch up. Intensive farming of

livestock offers many advantages

over traditional open ranges, not

least in the economies of cost and

scale, it provides more efficient

healthcare for the herds and flocks,

and ultimately cheaper food.

According to the UN, globally

CAFOs account for 72 per cent of

poultry, 42 per cent of egg, and 55

per cent of pork production.

Instead of the present itinerant

method of grazing prominent in

Nigeria, owners of cattle should

acquire or lease land for the

purpose of grazing. However

rather than directly foot the bill for

development of such large-scale

farming, all that the government

should do is to make loans

available to cattle owners and

other farmers. The Punch

newspaper editorial was quite

detailed in pointing that as the

Federal Government did with the

Anchor Borrowers Programme for

rice, it should facilitate such loans

for cattle farmers. Such loans

would be used to buy land in their

states of choice.

In Brazil, government has grown

to become a major player in the

meat business and the country’s

foreign trade secretariat states that

from an income of $1.9m in 1994,

beef export income of the country

rose to $1.9bn in 2004, providing

360,000 direct jobs as the records

show. What the country does is to

aid the business by facilitating

low-interest loans to farmers.

In Spain, livestock farming is

intensive, with animals living on

farms and consuming fodder and

this practice became further

entrenched following the country’s

admission into the European

Union, which caused the country

to change some of its agricultural


The country received significant

economic assistance from the EU

to modernise the sector, increase

productivity and improve the

quality of its products.

In Argentina, the practice is not

any different. Livestock farming as

a form of agriculture is aimed with

increased productivity and

modernity at the base of its

practice. The role of government

differs slightly from country to

country but it is poignant to note

government’s intervention is

limited to making available

assistance in terms of roving loans

at low interest rate and regulated

policies and not for government to

undertake financial burdens as

being suggested in government


In Botswana, the country’s beef

and cattle farming has grown

exponentially from a few hundred

thousand cattle in 1950 to close to

three million today. The growth is

traceable to deliberate

government’s policies which

averted this kind of crisis currently

rocking the middle belt and

southern region with occasional

flares in other parts of the country

with mindless deaths and

destructions in its wake.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the

dangers inherent in the

government’s proposal are

numerous to say the least. It is

brazenly discriminatory and

offensive to common sense, law

and good judgement. How can a

purely private business become the

burden of a central government or

constitute a menace to other

private citizens? Cattle farming are

private owned businesses, the

responsibility for which should be

borne by the owners and not the

other way round. Examples

suggested in the above listed

countries of how their

governments have handled

potentially intractable issues can

be imbibed here. Borrowing from

all that, government in Nigeria

should encourage herders to

acquire lands and modernise their

practice in conformity with global

best practices.


Makinde reopens Shasha market,

lifts curfew

By Adeola Badru


Makinde of Oyo State,

yesterday, ordered the reopening

of Shasha market.

The order for reopening of the

market was reached during a

meeting with the two warring

communities in Shasha, held at

the Western Hall, Secretariat,

Ibadan, weeks after it was shut


The governor said:

“Considering the economic

situation and the peculiarities we

have with us, I have heard what

you said, and we will immediately

reopen the Shasha market. They

will bring a bulldozer to the

market today.

“When my brother Governors

visited Seriki Shasha’s palace,

while we were working around, I

realised that both the people I saw

at Seriki’s place and those I met

at Baale’s place were not happy

because they have been

deprived of doing their job.

“If you look at Oyo State, even

By Ozioruva Aliu


Irue N’Owina, Iyekogba area of

Oredo local government area, Chief

Efemwenkiekie Eresoyen and the

Catholic church are at loggerhead

over allegation that St Paul Catholic

Church, Benin City in connivance

with some persons in his community

acquired several plots of his

ancestral land for their church’s


In two letters by his counsel,

Olayiwola Afolabi to the Archbishop

of the Roman Catholic Church,

Most Rev Augustine Akubeze and the

Parish Priest of St Paul Catholic

Church, Rev Fr. Nosakhare

Omorogbe said the church acquired

the said land in connivance with

“some infamous young men in the

village parading themselves as

community development

association (CDA) illegally

purchased and took over our client’s

community lands including our

client’s own ancestral home which

was utterly destroyed and bulldozed.

The extent of the land wrongfully

taken amounts to over thirty five

plots on which your church has

erected several structures even after

been aware of the confirmation of

the position of our client by an order

of court vide a judgement delivered

on the 23rd Day of June 2014 in suit

number B/339/2009 in a case which

lasted for about four years.”

The letter claimed the church was

still meeting with the people he

when the COVID-19 was at its

peak, I decided not to shut our

market places because I know and

also explained to the leadership

of the country at the national level

that in our state, we have people

that the proceeds from what they

get today will determine if they

will eat tomorrow or not.

“Since peace more or less

returned to the market and the

community, we have given the goahead

that the market should be


“I have also given instructions

for some palliative works to be

done. I have instructed that solar

light be installed in the market

any time of the day or night; we

will see what is going on in the


Speaking on the existing curfew

placed on the market, the

governor said: “You can see the

CP and the DIG; they are the ones

maintaining the curfew. And if

they tell me peace has returned

to the community, the curfew will

also be lifted. But security

agencies will still dominate the


Edo community head, Catholic church

bicker over land acquisition

claimed misled the church into the

crisis but that it was ready to

amicably resolve the crisis but

without people he claimed were

masquerading as CDA which has

been banned.

But reacting to the incident,

Chancellor, Catholic Archdiocese of

Benin City, Very Rev Fr. Michael

Oyanoafor denied the allegation

saying the Church acquired the land

from the elders of the community to

build schools with a view to bringing

development to the community.

He said: “I do not think his case is

tenable because St Paul's Catholic

Church was given a land in that

community to build a church and

they did, that church has been there

now for more than ten years, then

the community said they don’t have

school, they gave land by the church

and a school was built nursery and

primary school, they were to pay

stipend but the church discovered

that they could not pay, the church

requested for more land to also build

a secondary which is on-going and

then decide to make education free

for the community, the church

employed teachers and paying


He said the Church requested to

meet with Eresoyen and the

community when he claimed to be

the Enogie but that he failed to attend

the meeting and that when the

church requested that the meeting

be held in the community, he also

declined, an indication that he was

not in charge of his community.

Esso Properties launches 2 estates in



LEADING real estate

companies, Esso Properties

Ltd has launched two estates:

Berry Prime Estate and Sunray

Estate in Anambra State.

The event started with a

roadshow, with the company’s

canvassers and the Head,

Corporate Communications, Miss

Blessing Ugbem touring the state.

Briefing journalists at the

unveiling of Sunray Estate in

Amansea, Awka, the marketing

manager of Esso Properties

Limited, Mr Humphrey Odie said

the company was attracted by the

huge development potentials of

Anambra State.

Odie said, “Anambra is a very

attractive state in the South East.

We are actually launching two

estates in the state, Sunray Estate

in Amansea, Awka and Berry

Prime Estate in Agu-Awka, both

in Anambra State.

“Our coming to Anambra is

because of its potentials, Anambra

is a state you cannot ignore in

terms of investment. We are in

Anambra to give the people

affordable accommodation, and

that is what we are here to do.”

Continues from Page 5

concessionaires who will

manage and develop the

right of way, whilst

maximizing its

commercial potential.

Main objective

“The main objective of

the Initiative is to attract

expertise and

sustainable investment/

funding in the

development of road

infrastructure and to

maximize the use of

assets along the Right of

Way and develop other

highway furniture,” the

ministry pointed out.

The government,

according to the

document will soon call

for bidders in a

transparent process that

would be conducted in

collaboration with the


It said: “The Federal

Ministry of Works and



collaboration with the

ICRC, will soon

advertise the Request for

Qualification (RFQ)

bidding process for the

available categories

under the HDMI


“The process will be

transparent to allow the

most effective bids to

compete vigorously in a

process that delivers

service and dividend to

Nigerians. (technically

and financially capable


“We are determined to

ensure our assets are

entrusted into capable

hands. Therefore,

interested persons,

companies and groups

are advised to form

consortium of


maintenance companies,

financiers, toll operators,

rest house operators,

advertising companies,

lane marking experts,

refuse managers and

other partners.”

Some of the revenuegenerating

assets and

highway services being

targeted by the ministry

are toll plazas,


advertising assets,

directional signage

structures and space,

street lighting with

advertising space and

open spaces, including

but not limited to truck

parks and rest areas,

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

vanguardnews @vanguardnews @vanguardnews

FG plans tolling on 12 highways

refuse management,

towing services,

highway monitoring and

emergency services.

The ministry made it

clear that it was carrying

out the new initiative

since it had a legal

framework under the

Federal Highway Act,

which vests the Minister

of Works and Housing

with authority over

federal highways’

network and empowers

him to administer tolls on

federal highways.

Besides, the ministry

said the Infrastructure

Concession Regulatory

Commission, ICRC,wass

mandated by law with

regulatory oversight

over Ministries,

Departments and

Agencies, MDAs, in

developing bankable

PPP projects, pointing

out that the ICRC

worked closely with it in

the conception of the


“The ICRC has just

issued a Certificate of

Compliance to the

Ministry of Works and

Housing. What this

means is that the

ministry has met all the

conditions necessary to

proceed to the next stage

of procurement of the

HDMI scheme.

“So, we are about to

kick-off with the pilot

phase of the HDMI

scheme. In the first

phase, the government is

proposing the concession

of 12 selected federal

highways to private

sector investors, under

the Value-Added

Concession, VAC


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 202135




ON CRYPTOCURRENCY From left: Chairman, Independent Corrupt

Practices And Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Prof Bolshoi

Owasanoye; Executive commissioner, Legal and Enforcement, Securities and

Exchange Commission, Mr Reginald Karawusa; Director General, SEC, Mr

Lamido Yuguda and CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, during the Public

Hearing to investigate reason for the scrapping of Cryptocurrency in Nigeria

at the National Assembly, yesterday.

STATE OF THE NATION: How to save Nigeria

Utomi, NaÁbba, Bugaje, Ozekhome, Awolowo-Dosunmu, others

By Clifford Ndujihe,

Politics Editor

A group of eminent

Nigerians, yesterday,

looked at the state of nation

and returned a grim

verdict: Nigeria is at the

precipice of disaster and all

hands must be on deck to

save her.

The solutions to the critical

problems of the world’s

largest black nation, they

said include fashioning

and implementing a

people’s constitution,

enjoining elite consensus,

getting professional bodies

to hold their members

accountable for their

misdeeds, observing rule of

law, and ensuring justice,

equity and fair-play in the


Eminent Nigerians, who

shared this view include

former Speaker of the

House of Representatives,

Alhaji Ghali Umar

Na’Abba; former

presidential candidate,

Professor Pat Utomi; Chief

Mike Ozekhome, SAN;

Rev. Fr. George Ehusani;

Dr Tokunbo Awolowo-

Dosunmu; and Dr Usman


They spoke, yesterday,

during the inauguration of

the Constitution Drafting

Committee and Coordinating

Committee of

the People’s Constitutional

Dialogue initiated by the

National Consultative

Front, NCFront to rescue

Nigeria from the precipice

Naira appreciates to N408.60/$ in

I&E window

The naira yesterday appreciated to N408.60 kobo

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


Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative

exchange rate for the window fell to N408.60 kobo

per dollar from N410 per dollar on Monday,

indicating N1.40 kobo appreciation for the naira.

The volume of dollars (turnover) traded in the

window yesterday rose by 135 percent to $123.37

million from $52.58 million on Monday.

and brink of nationwide

insecurity, ethnic and civil


The ceremony, which held

both physically and

virtually in the light of the

second wave of COVID- 19

pandemic ravaging the

world was flagged off by

NCFront Co Chairpersons,

Hon Ghali Umar Na’aba

and Prof Pat Utomi, who

charged the Committee to

work assiduously to make

the Draft People’s

Constitution of Nigeria

available by December


Members of the

coordinating committee of

the National Constitutional

Dialogue are Dr Olisa

Agbakoba, SAN, Dr

Hakeem Baba Ahmed,

Reverand Father George

Ehusani, Alhaji Buba

Galadima, Dr Tokunbo

Awolowo Dosunmu,

Hadjia Najatu

Mohammed, Chief Mike

Ozekhome, SAN, Amb Mrs

Nkoyo Toyo, Senator Chris

Anyanwu, Dr Usman

Bugaje, Senator Mike

Ajegbo, Femi Falana

(SAN), Rev. Chris Nubia,

Dr Bilikisu Magoro, Prof

Ademola Abbas, Comrade

Joe Ajaero, and Sidi Ali


The committee would be

supported by Prof. Isawa

Elaigwu, Prof Attahiru

Jega, and Ambassador

Martins Ohomoibi as

advisors; and draw from the

elderly experience of

Professor Wole Soyinka,

Alhaji Ahmed Joda,

Professor Ango Abdullahu,

Chief Edwin Kiagbodo

Clark, Professor Ben

Nwabueze and Chief Olu

Falae among others.

National Constitutional

Consultation will open on

May 1, 2021, Utomi and

Na’Abba said, disclosing

that the structure of the

committee is broken into

four categories. The Cochairs,

Dr Olisa, Agbakoba

(SAN), Dr Usman Bugaje,

Dr Tokunbo Awolowo-

Dosumu, and Rev Fr. (Dr)

George Ehusani, with

Agbakoba. Dr Hakeem

Baba-Ahmed is secretary of

the coordinating


The NCFront said the

objectives and terms of

reference of the committee

shall be to ‘’engage all key

Stakeholders within the

Nigerian project

nationwide, facilitate robust

national consultations and

dialogue among them,

Collate Memoranda and

build consensus among

Nigerian Stakeholders on

various Nigerian national

questions such as and not

limited to; Proper and

Acceptable federating units

for Nigeria, Devolution of

constitutional powers,

appropriate governance

system and structures for

Nigeria, Citizenship,

Indigenes - Settlers

(Farmers - Herders)

matters, Independent State



Commissions, Justiceable

rights of Citizens,

Framework for State

Constitutions, Policing,

Military Operations,

Democracy and Guidelines

for Political Parties, Tenure

of office, Judicial Reforms

& Access to Justice in

Nigeria, Parliamentary

Reforms & Principle of

P r o p o r t i o n a l

Representations in Nigeria,

Civil Service Reforms,

Youth and Women

empowerments, Self

determination Principles,


among others that may be

duly proposed by Nigerian

stakeholders in the process

of the National


“This intervention has

become imperative for us in

the NCFront, as Citizens of

Conscience, as it’s now

quite clear that the

Nigerian Government and

ruling political leadership

in Nigeria have lost the

legitimacy and capacity to

foster national harmony

and political stability for the

country and it will be

formally be open to

delegates and the Nigerian

stakeholders on May 1st


Our moves to save

Nigeria – Utomi

Stressing the need to save

the country, Utomi said:

“Beginning next week the

NCF will collaborate with

the New Fabian Society of

the Concerned

Professionals and select

media organizations to

host Town Hall discussions

on why Nigeria is sliding

backward and how to save

and rebuild it.

“The first in the series will

seek to hold professional

bodies like The Bar

Association, ICAN, ANAN,

etc accountable for the

conduct of their members

in public life. The Bar

Association can sure not

escape blame and must call

their members in public life

to order if the judiciary,

Attorneys-General and

Elections Lawyers are the

ones messing up our


“We can challenge ICAN

and Accountants on the

corruption and

transparency challenges in

government. We can say

the same for Bankers and

abuse of state finances.

So our Town Hall

meetings will bring together

experts, ordinary people

and categories of

stakeholders in conditions

of frank talk.”

We’re in unusual times –


Supporting the move,

Ehusani said: “These are

unusual times. Unusual

times call for unusual

measures, and sometimes

from unusual quarters. I

am happy to be part of the

team to fashion measures

to save our country. We

can’t continue with what

Britain gave us. We need

to continuously review the

basis of our staying


Lack of elite consensus,

cause of our problems –


Also speaking, Bugaje

said with elite consensus all

of Nigeria’s nagging




“We can resolve all the

problems of Nigeria if we

are determined. Absence of

elite consensus is the major

problem. The elites are

pulling in different

directions. Once we agree

to pool resources together

and work for the benefit of

all instead of individuals,

we will start making

progress,” he said.

We’re running out of

time, says Awolowo-


In like manner, Dr


stressed the need for

urgent measures to save

Nigeria,saying: “We are

very close to the brink. We

are running out of time for

peaceful resolution of the

problems. We can this from

what is happening all over

the country. I pray that this

initiative will succeed.”

We need political will to

save Nigeria – Ozekhome

To Chief Ozekhome,

pretence and lack of

political will on the part of

leaders are the stumbling

blocks to rescuing Nigeria.

‘’There is need to save

Nigeria from the brink of

the precipice. Some people

are pretending that all is

well but we know that all is

not well. That a sore is not

bleeding does not mean it

has healed.”

Wondering how far the

NCFront move would go,

Ozekhome recalled past

efforts via the PRONACO

conference of 2005, and the

2014 conference, which

leaders elected to throw

into the archive despite the

over 600 resolutions and

recommendations that

would have saved Nigeria

if implemented.

“My worry is what has

changed? What is our new

narrative? The 1999

Constitution is a fraudulent

document. While we are

working for Nigeria, some

don’t believe in Nigeria.

These are my worries so

that we don’t engage in a

fruitless journey,” he said.

36 Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021


By Joshua Adeyemo Phone 08056180139

AQUARIUS: You should not have it tough while trying to

win the needed supports of others. Take good advice from some

of your friends who are creatively gifted.

PISCES: Your creativity quotient is enhanced today and if

you demonstrating this within your working arena, you’ll earn

success and consolidate on your recent progress.

ARIES; It is important you don’t take things for granted.

Watch carefully what you agree to do.

TAURUS: Better than yesterday. Others will be willing to

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

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

GEMINI: Those of you who are more enterprising will have

much to show for your efforts. The more cooperative you. Don’t

neglect love.



Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the

thrill of creative effort.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Let your light shine more brightly, as you inspire

others to be cheerful, be confident to be yourself.

Trust your inner feelings and ideas, as they are

divinely given tools towards inner peace and happiness.

-Ella Randle -



The hyena

with a cub

does not consume

all the





CANCER: You will need to re-examine both your personal

ideas and advice given to you by other people. Be family


LEO: Provided you don’t allow others to mislead you, things

will not go wrong. The more willing you are to take the initiative

the better for you. Take your love life more seriously.

VIRGO: Although you will need to be as secretive as you can,

your success will attract others’ attention to you to the betterment

of your cause. Be ambitious.

LIBRA: People who more influential than you will be willing

to support your cause but you will need to make the necessary

move. The more self assertive you are the better.

SCORPIO: Challenges of yesterday will today bring you

good opportunities along your career/business lines to the betterment

of your finances. Seek supporters of powerful ones.

SAGITTARIUS: Think of the best way to improve on your

working pattern in order to enhance your career prospects if

you listen to your creative self, things will work out fine for you.

Be more loving.

TERROR MUDA in “Never say goodbye”

By Kola Fayemi

CAPRICORN Think of both immediate and far future while

you are savouring goodies offered you by mother nature.



ASTROLOGICAL our date and place of COUNSELLING

birth to the Astr


Send your dat


Counselling, P.M.B 100

007, Apapa, Lagos

What does future have for me

Dear Joshua,

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

to know how the planets lined up when I was born. And

which day of the week was I born, would I record success

in life? When would my success come?

Mathias, Jos.

Dear Mathias,

You were born on a Jupiter ruled day – Thursday.

You’ll succeeded earlier than you think.

Your Horoscope Data


























Saturn as the final depositor-the most influential

planet at home when you were born, pointed to you as

an ambitious person who must have a well developed

career. You are a disciplined person with higher degree

of leadership quality in yourself. Although, you

can be emotional, you are stable and reliable. Less

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

indication of your being an amiable person. Both your

natal sun/moon in Pisces and Aquarius are indications

of characteristic of star signs are highly pronounced

in your inner-self Having your hands on public pulse

will always bring you unexpected success and


Around your 30th birthday an endless cycle of great

success and achievements will start for you. Oil-petrol

chemicals will feature in your life when the predicted

great cycle gets started for you.





By Lawrence Akapa


El Chapo’s wife arrested in US

over drug trafficking

THE wife of jailed Mex

ican drug lord

Joaquín “El Chapo”

Guzmán has been arrested

in the US on suspicion

of drug trafficking, US authorities


Emma Coronel Aispuro,

31, was detained at Dulles

International Airport outside

Washington DC.

She is charged with participating

in a conspiracy to

distribute heroin, cocaine,

methamphetamine and


Guzmán is currently serving

a life sentence in New

York for drug trafficking and

money laundering.

The 63-year-old is a

former head of the Sinaloa

cartel, which officials say

was the biggest supplier of

drugs to the US.

His trial in 2019 heard

shocking revelations about

his life, from drugging and

raping girls as young as 13

to carrying out the coldblooded

murders of former

cartel members and rivals.

Ms Coronel Aispuro is

due to appear in a federal

court in DC via video conference,

the US justice

department said.

As well as facing drug

trafficking charges, she is

also accused of conspiring

with others to help her husband

escape from prison in

Mexico in 2015.

He was sprung from

Mexico’s maximum-security

Altiplano prison after

his sons bought a property

near the prison and a GPS

watch smuggled into the

prison gave diggers his exact

location. He escaped by

riding a specially adapted

small motorcycle through

the tunnel.

Court documents said Ms

Coronel Aispuro was allegedly

involved in planning

another prison escape for

her husband before he was

extradited to the US in January


She has not commented

on the charges. Mexican

President Andrés Manuel

López Obrador said the arrest

was “a matter that the

United States will decide”,

but said he hoped the US

would share more of the


Bazoum declared winner of Niger’s presidential

election, opponent alleges fraud

NIGER’s ruling party

candidate Mohamed

Bazoum was declared on

Tuesday the winner of its

presidential election, while

his opponent alleged fraud

and opposition supporters

burned tyres in the streets.

Bazoum, a 61-year-old

former interior minister, won

55.75% of the vote in Sunday’s

election, according to

the electoral commission. He

beat out Mahamane Ousmane,

a former president

who was toppled by a coup

in 1996. The provisional results

must still be confirmed

by the constitutional court.

The election is meant to

usher in Niger’s first transition

from one democratically

elected leader to another,

with President Mahamadou

Issoufou stepping

down after two fiveyear


Shortly before the results

were declared, Ousmane’s

campaign alleged widespread

fraud, including the

theft and stuffing of ballot

boxes and threats against

voters. It did not provide

any evidence.

“We demand the immediate

suspension of the

publication of these results,

which do not in any way

take into account the expressed

will of the Nigerien

people for change,”

Ousmane’s campaign manager

said in a statement.

Outside Ousmane’s

campaign headquarters

and in other parts of the

capital Niamey, his supporters

protested by burning

tyres. Police fired tear

gas to disperse them.

The electoral commission

has not yet commented on

the allegations of irregularities.

The vote was also marred

by two attacks that killed

eight people in two regions

of the country where Islamist

militants are active, commission

president Issaka

Souna said. Seven of the

victims were election workers

in the western Tillabery

region, near the border with

Mali, whose vehicle struck

a landmine as they headed

to the polls.

Facebook reverses ban on news pages

in Australia


nounced it will restore

news content to its users in


The tech giant has blocked

news to Australians on its

platform since last Thursday

amid a dispute over a

proposed law which would

force it and Google to pay

news publishers for content.

Australian Treasurer Josh

Frydenberg said Facebook

chief Mark Zuckerberg had

told him the ban would end

“in the coming days”, after

the pair had talks.

Mr Frydenberg said

amendments would be

made to the law.

“Facebook has re-friended

Australia,” he told reporters

in Canberra on


The government has been

debating the law - seen as

a possible test case for regulation

globally - in the

Senate, after it was passed

in the lower house last


Last Thursday, Australians

woke up to find they

could not access or share

any news stories on their


Facebook argued it had

been forced to block Australian

news in response to the

proposed legislation.

The government’s news

code aims to set up a “fairer”

negotiation process between

the tech giants and

news companies over the

value of news content.

But it has been strongly

opposed by Facebook and

Google - both argue the code

misunderstands how the

internet works. Facebook

has also said it gets little commercial

gain from news


Hutu rebels accuse DRC, Rwanda

after Italian ambassador killed



rebels denied allegations

they were behind the

killing of the Italian ambassador

to the Democratic Republic

of the Congo and

instead accused the armies

of the DRC and Rwanda of


An Italian Carabinieri

unit, meanwhile, was expected

in DRC on Tuesday

to investigate.

Luca Attanasio died of

his wounds on Monday

after a World Food Programme

(WFP) convoy

came under fire near the

eastern city of Goma while

he was on a field trip. The

Italian government said an

Italian policeman, Vittorio

Iacovacci, and a driver it

did not identify also died.

DRC’s interior ministry

blamed the killings on

“members of the Democratic

Forces for the Liberation

of Rwanda [FDLR]”, a

Rwandan Hutu rebel group

that has plagued the region

for more than a quarter of a


But the FDLR rejected the

allegation in a statement

received by AFP news

agency on Tuesday. It said

the ambassador’s convoy

was attacked near the

Rwandan border, “not far

from a position of the

FARDC [DRC’s armed forces]

and Rwandan soldiers”.

“The responsibility for this

despicable killing is to be

found in the ranks of these

two armies and their sponsors

who have forged an

unnatural alliance to perpetuate

the pillaging of

eastern DRC,” it said.

The FDLR denied “being

involved in the attack” and

called on Kinshasa and UN

peacekeeping force MO-

NUSCO to “shed light” on

the killings “instead of resorting

to hasty accusations”.

Govt College Kaduna arrives Lagos for

Principals Cup opener

•Igbobi College battle ready

Players and officials of

Government College,

Kaduna are expected to

arrive Lagos today for the

opening match of the

National Principals Cup

football competition.

The Kaduna boys have a

date with Igbobi College,

Lagos in the opening match

of the developmental

competition slated to take

place at the Agege Stadium

on Friday.

A total of 18 players and

three officials are to arrive

Lagos together with the

Principal of the school


The competition is a

project of the ministry of

sports in conjunction with

the marketing consultants

and organisers of the event,

Hideaplus Limited and the

event is open to all

secondary schools in the


The Minister of Sports,

Sunday Dare, has

reassured that the ministry

was committed strongly to

the National Principals Cup

because of its importance.

Dare said: “We expect

this event to bring back the

lost glory in football at agegrade

level especially now

that our U-17 and U-20

teams struggle in

continental competitions.”

The Managing Director

of Hideaspus, Tony Pemu,

has said all arrangements

have been concluded for a

very exciting Kick Off of the

Anthony Joshua and

Tyson Fury are on

course to meet for the

undisputed Heavyweight

crown in the Spring, with

discussions ongoing

between both teams.

WBC International

Featherweight champion,

Lowe who trains alongside

WBC Heavyweight titlist,

Fury and has featured on all

of his recent undercards in

the USA, believes the 32-

year-old will stop his rival

inside five rounds and will

be one of his easiest


“I’ve said it from day one,

I think Joshua is one of

Tyson’s easiest fights,”

Lowe told Pro Boxing Fans.

“Because, he’s robotic, he

hasn’t got good feet and

when he throws threes and

fours he gasses up.

“If you notice when he

hurts someone or if he does

hurt them, that’s his

weakness, he gets caught


Pemu said: “We have

been on this for close to one

year and we expect a good

take off on Friday after

which the preliminaries

will start across the states

of the federation.

“I want to thank the

minister of sports, Dare, for

his huge support and

fatherly role played as we

go about this project. We

want to use the event to

serve as feeder tournament

for the age grade

competitions especially the

U-15 and U-17


Meanwhile, Igbobi

Thomas Tuchel has

praised Kylian

Mbappe’s ‘shark

mentality’, but insists the

Frenchman has some way to

go to knock Lionel Messi

and Cristiano Ronaldo off

their perches as the

dominant forces in football.

Talk of a changing of the

guard heightened last

week after Mbappe’s

dazzling performance at the

Nou Camp against Messi’s


A stunning hat-trick has

placed Paris Saint-

Germain thoroughly in

control of their Champions

League last-16 clash and

Joshua's one of Fury’s easiest

fights, says Lowe

College players have

intensified training ahead

of the opening match of the

event billed for Friday. The

school football team in the

past two weeks has stepped

up preparation at the

school’s football pitch.

Former internationals

like Henry Nwosu, Haruna

Ilerika, Stephen Keshi,

Adokiye Amesimaka,

Samson Siasia, Victor

Ikpeba, Tajudeen Disu,

Joseph Dosu, Franklin

Howard, Paul Okoku, Chris

Anigala, Godwin Odiye and

Sam Bazuaye are some of

the products of the

Principals Cup


Tuchel: Mbappe has potential

to be world’s best

and he can’t deal with it. I

think Tyson will knock him

out in the first four rounds,

honestly I do.

“[I’ll] just say first five

[rounds] I genuinely do. I

think when Klitschko

knocked him down and

hurt him, Klitschko

could’ve got him out of

there, but with the old age

and that maybe he was

thinking about his legs and

saving them a bit.

“But, if Tyson catches him

or hurts him, anything at all