25022021 - Way out of Nigeria’s security problems

vanguardnewspaper

Vanguard Newspaper 24 February 2021

The irony of President Buhari’s

nomination of Agah and Okonjo-

Iweala as DG of the WTO is that he

doesn’t share their economic views;

but Dr. Okonjo-Iweala and Dr. Agah

have done Nigeria and Africa proud

and deserve our best wishes

16

Borno: Death toll

rises to 16, over 60

injured as survivors

recount ordeals

•FG to begin

trial of 5,000 Boko

Haram suspects

14

Osinbajo to lead discussions

at Banks’ CEOs Summit on

Economic Growth tomorrow

Exit from recession, result of

our fiscal policies —FG

FG considers new options to deliver prepaid meters

19

8

8

VOL. 27: NO. 642281 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

Victims of

NAF plane

crash for

burial at

national

military

cemetery

today

9

18 killed

in Kaduna

as bandits

attack

6

soft

targets

United

Capital's

profit up

by 61% to

N7.95

19

billion

Senate

confirms

Bawa as

EFCC 9

chairman

Way out of Nigeria’s

security problems

—IBB, ABDULSALAMI,

ONAIYEKAN, OTHERS

•Nigeria can overcome its security threats, if... —IBB•Negotiating with

bandits not the best —Abdulsalami•Onaiyekan warns against dialoguing

with criminals•Says there must be evidence of repentance before

criminals are granted amnesty •Northern elders blast Gumi over profiling

of military•Say military, professional, non-partisan institution•Urge

public to see military as symbol of national unity•No apologies for

defending herdsmen —Bauchi gov

ZULUM VISITS ATTACK VICTIMS...

Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno (R) commiserates with a victim of Tuesday night’s attack by Boko

Haram insurgents who fired rocket-propelled grenades that killed 10 residents and injured 47 in Gwange

and Adam Kolo communities, during his visit to the hospital in Maiduguri, yesterday. Photo: NAN.

5

•Babangida

•Abdulsalami

•Onaiyekan

Mr & Mrs

COLUMNIST AMAECHI 17

30

SEE INSIDE


2 — Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021


Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021 — 3


4 — Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021


vanguardnews @vanguardnews @vanguardnews

Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021—5

POCKET CARTOON

SENATE COMMITTEE ON NDDC VISITS RIVERS: Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers State (R), presenting

a souvenir to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC),

Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi, during the visit of the Senate Committee to the governor in Port Harcourt,

yesterday. With them is Minority Leader, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe (M). Photo: NAN.

Way out of Nigeria’s security problems

By Joseph Erunke &

Charles Agwam

ABUJA—Former

M i l i t a r y

President,

General Ibrahim

Babangida, former Head of

State, General Abdulsalami

Abubakar, and Archbishop

Emeritus, Catholic Diocese

of Abuja, John Cardinal

Onaiyekan, have

suggested ways out of the

nation’s security problems.

The trio spoke, as

Northern elders, acting

under the aegis of North-

East Elders for Peace and

Development, yesterday,

disowned Islamic cleric,

Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, for

profiling the military as

contributors to the security

problems in the country.

Gumi had alleged in a

television interview on

Monday that southerners

in the military were

responsible for killing of

bandits in Nigeria.

The Northern elders

spoke on a day Bauchi State

governor, Bala

Mohammed, said he had

no apology to make to

anyone for defending

Fulani herders against

alleged ethnic profiling of

herdsmen.

What to do —

Babangida

Receiving Nigerian

Governors’ Forum

members who were on a

courtesy visit to his Hilltop

mansion in Minna, Niger

State, late Tuesday,

Babangida said the threats

faced by Nigeria at present

can be dealt with, if those

in position of authority

planned appropriately.

According to him,

quashing the threats posed

by kidnappers, bandits,

and insurgents require a lot

of planning, and not a

short-term plan.

General Babangida, retd,

said he has obtained

information suggesting

that security agencies were

working together to map

out new strategies on how

to deal with the situation.

The former president,

who noted that he was

concerned about the

situation in the country,

urged the government and

the citizenry to join forces

to overcome the problem.

“At this point in time, interagency

cooperation is very

important to deal with

these threats staring the

country in the face,”

Babangida said.

Negotiating with

bandits not

solution —

Abdulsalami

Also receiving the

governors in his residence

in Minna, former Head of

State, General Abdulsalami

Abubakar, retd, said

negotiating with terrorists

and bandits is not the best

way to tackle the insecurity

in the country.

He said the best way to

solve Nigeria’s banditry

and kidnapping issues was

to first make sure that the

crimes were not committed.

While admitting that

sometimes negotiations

might be used to save the

lives of kidnap victims,

General Abdulsalami said

the nation needs tight

security to checkmate the

miscreants before they

strike.

Alluding to the Kagara

school abduction,

Abdulsalami said: “Even if

anyone knows where the

students are, it will be

foolhardy to storm the place

in a bid to fight and bring

them back.”

He, however, urged the

authorities to ensure that

security is beefed up to

forestall further

occurrences.

According to him, the

nation’s security

architecture is

overstretched and the

Police Force is underpopulated,

hence the need

for support from the citizens

and an increase in

manpower.

General Abdulsalami

appealed that all hands

must be on deck to ensure

that insecurity in the

country was tackled

appropriately.

“Let us go back to when

we were our brothers’

keepers,” Abdulsalami

pleaded.

The elder statesman said

it is sad that citizens are

now being seen as

strangers and looked at with

suspicion when they leave

their states of origin to visit

other parts of the country.

Recall that the NGF, led

by the chairman and

governor of Ekiti State,

Kayode Fayemi, were in

Minna, Niger State, on a

solidarity visit to the State

governor, Abubakar Bello,

over the kidnap of students

and staff of Government

Science College, Kagara,

last Wednesday.

Onaiyekan warns

against dialogue

with criminals

Speaking in a similar vein

yesterday, former Catholic

Archbishop of Abuja, John

Cardinal Onaiyekan,

warned against dialogue

with criminals who

masquerade as bandits,

saying doing so will further

compound the security

problems in the country.

He also cautioned the

Federal Government

against granting amnesty

to criminals until there is

evidence of true

repentance.

He spoke against the

backdrop of a statement by

the chairman of Nigeria

Governors’ Forum, NGF,

Kayode Fayemi, that there

is nothing wrong in

dialogue with bandits.

Fayemi had stated this

when he led governors on

a solidarity visit to Niger

State governor, Abubakar

Bello, following the

abduction of students of

Government Science

College, Kagara, last

Wednesday. The abductees

are yet to be released.

Onaiyekan, who gave the

warning in an interview on

Channels Television

breakfast programme,

Sunrise Daily, said

dialogue with criminals

might become an incentive

for others to pick up arms

with the confidence that

they would receive

amnesty.

He said the Federal

Government must not get

to the point of giving the

impression it cannot deal

with criminals holding the

nation hostage.

“I don’t think we should

reach a stage where the

nation simply says we’re

unable to deal with the

situation.

Continues on Page 28

By Cynthia Alo

Should FG grant amnesty to bandits? (4)

F

G should not

grant any amnesty

to the bandits.

They should be in

jail and not use amnesty

to fix social

vices. The law is the

law! Northern elders

need to take their IQ

seriously and stop

blabbering.

— Chukwuma Eke,

Medical Doctor

Watching the SSG

of Niger state and

other Muslim clerics

standing and discussing

with those Bandits in the

forest tells us that Northern

leaders behind the

crisis happening in our

country. Let the Bandits

state what they’re

fighting for and we can

take it from there.

—— Kizito Omenukwa,

Nurse

The IPOB were tagged

terrorist when they don’t

even move about armed,

how come bandits who are

fully armed, and who kidnap

and kill cannot be tagged

same.

Who knows if these bandits

are not the Boko haram sect?

If the federal government grants

them amnesty then automatically

and indirectly Boko Haram has

been granted amnesty.

—- Damian Ocho,

Student

Why should FG

grant amnesty to

bandits? What is the

assurance that they

won’t commit the crime

again? I don’t think its

right to grant amnesty to

bandits. What if they use

that opportunity to commit

the crime again?

—— Cinderella Kene-

Onyiba, Accountant

Amnesty in the first place

is demanded by a set of

people who are legally bound

to be punished for either political

offense or they have been

publicly convicted. Hence the

official pardon can be

weighty... Northern bandits

aren’t remorseful in the least,

more so they should at least

be convicted properly before

expecting reprieve by the government.

——Newton Epepa,

Sales Executive

Granting amnesty to

bandits has never

had any positive impact

in the control of terrorism

anywhere in the

world even in this country.

It rather motivates

other rising group of

bandits with the aim to

be granted amnesty

some day.

— Okeke Henry,

Self Employed


6— Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

One dead as

gunmen

attack

bullion van in

Delta

By Festus Ahon

ASABA—A lady was

reportedly killed, Tuesday,

when gunmen attacked a

bullion van at Ubulu-Okiti

along Benin/Asaba expressway

in Aniocha North Local

Government Area of Delta State.

It was gathered that the over

10 gunmen came out of a bush

on sighting the bullion van,

shooting sporadically until the

bullion van and the escorts

stopped.

An eyewitness, who lamented

that the gunmen succeeded in

robbing the bullion van, said a

female passenger in a bus was

killed by a stray bullet from the

gun of the armed robbers.

The eyewitness, who pleaded

anonymity, could not confirm

how much the gunmen made

away with, adding that the

robbery attack caused serious

traffic on the ever-busy

expressway.

Lamenting that motorists,

passengers and villagers closed

to the scene of the robbery,

scampered for safety, the source

said it took a while for those who

ran into the bush to come out

even when the robbers were

gone.

Contacted, acting Police

Public Relations Officer in the

state Police Command, Mr

Bright Edafe, confirmed the

attack, but said he was not aware

if a female passenger was killed

or not.

Tipper driver

crushes

conductor to

death in Abia

By Steve Oko

ABA—Many

cried

uncontrollably,

yesterday, as the body of a

conductor, who was

accidentally crushed to

death by his driver, laid by

the side of the tipper

opposite the entrance of the

Abia Line Transport

Network, Umuahia.

It was gathered that the

driver, who was conveying

sand, was flagged down by

the conductor and as he

made to open the door of

the tipper, his hand,

unfortunately, slipped off

and the back tyre ran over

him.

The conductor died on the

spot following serious

injuries he sustained as the

tyre crushed his spinal

cord, hands and neck.

Bewildered by the tragic

incident, the driver alighted

and began to cry as he saw

his conductor, who was said

to be his kinsman, dead.

The driver rushed to

report the matter to the

police, who later arrived at

the scene and evacuated the

corpse.

18 killed in Kaduna as bandits attack soft

targets

By Ibrahim

HassanWuyo

EIGHTEEN persons have been

reportedly killed by bandits in

Igabi and Chikun Local

Government Areas of Kaduna State

with houses and barns set ablaze

and cattle rustled.

The state Commissioner for

Internal Security and Home Affairs,

Samuel Aruwan, said,yesterday,

that seven residents were killed in

one of the attacks on Anaba village

in Igabi Local Government Area.

He said many of the houses in

the community were burnt down,

with storehouses and barns. About

20 cows were rustled and several

birds slaughtered and carted away.

•Dozens of bandits neutralised in several locations

Aruwan said eight persons were

killed by the bandits in Barinje

village, Chikun Local Government

Area.

“Some residents were abducted

and cattle rustled during the attack.

An unspecified number of injured

victims are receiving treatment in

hospitals," he said.

According to the commissioner,

the attacks on these soft targets at

Anaba and Barinje villages in Igabi

and Chikun LGAs followed the

killing of several bandits via

targeted air operations.

He said: "Air platforms had earlier

conducted armed reconnaissance

around Anaba village. The crew

observed houses on fire and locals

migrating to nearby settlements.

Some motorbikes were observed

with suspicious movements

underneath some trees; probing

shots were fired at them..

"Herds of cattle were spotted with

bandits at Malul forest and were

engaged accordingly.

"Also, air platforms conducted

armed reconnaissance over some

affected locations. Kawuri, Chikun,

Godani, Kusasu, Godani Station,

Kwafe, Kuduru, Irina, Chikwale,

Kudame, Kwakwau, Beni, Akilbu,

Polewire, Rijana, Rugu, Olam farms

and adjoining areas were covered.

"Bandits in large numbers on

motorcycles were sighted on a track

leading to Kankomi. They were

trailed and engaged by the crew,

with scores seen neutralised

afterwards.

Regrettably, armed bandits

attacked the loosely connected

communities of Kwarten Rigasa,

SENSITISATION: A team from the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, led

by the Federal Controller of Works in Ogun State, Mr Umar Bakare, during a

sensitisation of illegal occupants under the bridges on the Lagos-Ibadan

Expressway on dangers of their abuse and advised them to vacate before forceful

eviction, in Lagos, yesterday. Photo: NAN.

Man tortured to death over missing goat

in Benue

By Peter Duru

MAKURDI— Chairman of

Ushongo Local Government

Area of Benue State, Mr Joseph

Asawa, has ordered an

investigation into the alleged

torture and death of a middleaged

man, one Ordue Akume,

over a missing goat.

According to a statement,

yesterday, by the Information

Officer of the local government

area, Mr Edmund Igbawua,

the council chairman gave the

order, Tuesday, after visiting

the scene of the incident.

Igbawua in the statement

PRESENTATION:

General Overseer,

Christ Mercyland

Deliverance

Ministry, Senior

Prophet Jeremiah

Omotosho (right)

presenting cash of

N1.5 million to

members of the

National Youth

Service Corps,

NYSC, during the

sendforth and

welcome service

for outgoing and

incoming corps

members at the

ministry, in Warri,

Delta State.

explained that a sibling of the

deceased had allegedly

reported to the youths of the

community that his goat was

missing.

“In the process of

investigation, they decided to

consult an oracle and

according to them, the oracle

revealed that it was the

deceased that stole the goat.

“The accused, however,

denied the allegation but in a

bid to ensure that he admitted

and returned the stolen goat,

the suspects persisted with all

forms of torture despite pleas

by neighbours and passersby

to spare him.

“When it became obvious to

them that he would not survive

the torture, they moved and

dump him at a private clinic

where he gave up the ghost.

“The council chairman, who

expressed shock at the barbaric

act, enjoined the police and

traditional rulers to effect the

arrest of the six suspects who

are now in police net.

“He also visited the clinic

where the corpse was

abandoned and moved it to

General Hospital, Lessel

morgue for necessary action.”

Meanwhile, efforts to reach

the Police Public Relations

Officer, Catherine Anene, was

unsuccessful but it was reliably

gathered that the suspects were

being moved to the state

command headquarters in

Makurdi for further

investigation.

Kwarten Waziri and Kwarten

Shaku in Igabi Local Government

Area.

"The bandits reportedly emerged

from the Buruku area and raided

the villages in a cattle rustling

operation. In the process, one

Danjuma Isa from neighbouring

Ungwan Kanti village was killed,

as he made his way on foot to

Kwarten Rigasa.

"Similarly, armed bandits

invaded Sanhu Makera village,

Birnin Yero in Igabi Local

Government Area area and killed

one Yakubu Abdullahi, a farmer.

"In another incident, unknown

assailants killed one Maryam Lash

Tahir in unusual circumstances at

the Ministerial Pilot Housing

Estate, Millennium City, Chikun

Local Government Area.

Murder of

housemaid:

Court

discharges,

acquits Kano

housewife

By Bashir Bello

KANO— A Kano Chief

Magistrate's Court presided over

by Ibrahim Khalil, yesterday,

discharged and acquitted a 30-

year-old housewife, Fatima

Hamza, alleged to have

murdered her housemaid, Khadija

Isyaku, 22, in Sharada Quarters,

Kano.

Chief Magistrate Khalil

discharged the defendant after

terminating the First Information

Report (FIR) based on legal advice

by the Ministry of Justice, which

found her not guilty of the offence.

Khalil said: “Following the legal

advice by the Department of Public

Prosecutions, DPP, dated February

22, I hereby terminate the FIR and

discharge the defendant.”

Earlier, at the resumed hearing

of the case, yesterday, the

prosecution counsel, M. Ahmad

presented legal advice by the

Department of Public

Prosecutions, DPP, to the court,

according to sections 376 (6) and

299 (3) of the Administration of

Criminal Justice Law(ACJL) 2019

to terminate the FIR.

Ahmad urged the court to

terminate and discharge the

defendant according to sections

259(3) 376(3) of the Administration

of Criminal Justice Law(ACJL).

Ahmad said: “There is no single

evidence that shows the defendant

committed the offence.

“The legal advice should also be

forwarded to the State Police

Command and make a proper

investigation on the case, invite

those involved, if found guilty they

should be charged to court.”

Counsel to the defendant,

Ibrahim Chedi, did not object to

the legal advice.

It would be recalled that Fatima

was arraigned in court on a count

charge of culpable homicide

sometime on January 22, for

beating up her housemaid,

Khadija, to a pulp before she was

rushed to Murtala Muhammad

Specialist Hospital where she was

confirmed dead by a medical

doctor.


Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021—7

Bandits on treetop kill policeman, injure

3 others in Niger

By Wole Mosadomi

MINNA — BANDITS have

devised a new strategy of

attacking their unsuspecting

victims in Niger State as a gang

of Gunmen reportedly attacked

and killed a Police Inspector from

the top of a tree and injured

three other policemen.

It was gathered that the

policemen drafted to protect

travellers along Minna-Suleja

road were attacked Tuesday

evening at Kaffinkoro junction on

the busy highway.

The policemen were said to be

standing patrolling the highway

Boat driver, 11

passengers

missing as

pirates strike

in Bonny

waters

By Egufe Yafugborhi

PORT

HARCOURT—

THE whereabouts of 11

passengers and the driver of

a Port Harcourt-Bonny bound

commercial boat remain

unknown following another

pirates attack in Rivers State,

on Tuesday.

Chairman, Bonny Maritime

Union Workers, Henry Jumbo,

yesterday, said: “Our boat that

left Port Harcourt yesterday to

Bonny with 11 passengers and

the driver have been

apprehended by unknown

gunmen.

“A search party had gone

round the creeks through out

the night. This morning

(yesterday) we started the

search again with the help of

another gunboat. No headway

yet.

“Please, government and the

security agencies should come

to our aid because Bonny

people and Maritime Workers

Union of Nigeria, Bonny Unit

are suffering.

“We frequently lose our

customers, lose our boats,

drivers, we are losing our

entire business, increasing

hardship among the people.

We need all the help from

relevant stakeholders.”

Reacting, the new

Commissioner of Police, Rivers

State Command, Friday Eboka

said: “I have not received any

report on this. Give me little

time to call my DPO Marine,

please.”

Moments after, Jumbo, the

marine workers leader on

update said the search party

had located the abductors'

hideout through intelligence

gathering.

“We only saw our life jackets

worn by some of the

passengers and other

materials on the boat at the

time it took off on the

commercial ferry from Port

Harcourt to Bonny. We are yet

to find any of the victims," he

said.

when the bandits pumped

bullets on them from the top of

a tree, leaving the Inspector

dead and injuring three others.

The name of the deceased

Inspector, who has since been

buried according to Islamic

rites, was given as Mohammed

Mohammed, while the injured

policemen were rushed to the

IBB Specialist hospital, Minna

by good Samaritans.

An uncle of the diseased

Inspector and former Speaker of

Niger State House of Assembly,

Ndanusa Hassan, confirmed that

the deceased was buried

yesterday.

Tension as bandits

invade Lapai

community

It was also gathered that a middleaged

man was abducted while two

others sustained injuries when

armed men raided Ebbo

communities in Lapai Local

Government Area of the state.

An eyewitness said the over 10

armed men that invaded the

community, Tuesday night, shot

sporadically to scare the residents

and succeeded in abducting a sales

boy of a popular mobile telephone

shop while two others were injured

during the invasion.

It was gathered that the target of

the gunmen was the owner of the

shop, one Malam Abu Magaji, who

was said to have retired home, but

his sales boy, Sule Isah, was

abducted.

Public Relations Officer of the state

Police Command, Wasiu Abiodun,

when contacted on phone to confirm

the stories.

NDLEA arrests Indian, 89 Nigerians in

Lagos raids

By: Kingsley

Omonobi

A BUJA.—NINETY

persons, including an

Indian, have been arrested by

operatives of the National

Drug Law Enforcement

Agency, NDLEA, during raids

of some drug cartels in parts

of Lagos where a total of

614.396 kilograms of various

hard drugs were seized.

During raids of some drug

spots in Agege, Ikorodu, Lekki,

Okokomaiko and other parts of

Lagos State, the operatives

busted one of the cartels led

by one Samuel Ebenezer in

Lekki.

Ebeneezer’s cartel imports

special sophisticated drugs

baked in cakes, biscuits and

cookies from the United States

and sells them to the rich and

affluent people in Lekki and

Lagos Island.

The second syndicate busted

by the Lagos State command

is co-ordinated by an Indian,

Inderpreet Singh, alias Bobby,

that imports Tramadol 225mg

from India and sells in Nigeria

from his Osy Agomo Close,

Apple Estate, Amuwo Odofin

area of Lagos.

Singh is also a dealer in

tricycle parts and Managing

Director of Rashaan Trading

Ltd. Arrested with him is a

Nigerian, one Sylvester

Omoredien.

At the Apapa seaport, about

two million capsules of

Tramadol tucked in 554 cartons

were intercepted in the

•Impounds 614,396 Kilograms

of hard drugs

Singh (right) and his accomplice.

container, which was falsely

declared to contain ceramic

tiles.

According to the Apapa

Seaport Area Commander of

the NDLEA, Mr Samuel

Gadzama, one of the containers

bearing the illicit drug had been

intercepted and seized in

Kenya.

“Though the second container

found its way to Nigeria, the

eagle eyes of our narcotic

agents discovered it during a

joint inspection of the ship.

We’re continuing with further

investigations,” he stated.

In his reaction to the Apapa

seaport seizure and Lagos

raids, Chairman/Chief

Executive of the NDLEA,

Mohamed

Marwa,

commended the commanders,

men and officers of the

commands involved in the

operations for their efforts even

as he charged them to remain

focussed on the maxim of his

leadership, that is, offensive

action against illicit drug

users, peddlers, traffickers and

the barons.

Police nab 5 for killing kidnapped victim in Kaduna

•After collecting N5m ransom

By Ibrahim

HassanWuyo

FIVE

suspected

kidnappers, who

allegedly murdered their

victim after collecting N5

million ransom, have been

arrested by police operatives

in Kaduna State.

The command’s Public

Relations Officer, Mohammed

Jalige, who confirmed the

arrest in a statement,

yesterday, said on December

30, 2020, the command

received a complaint from a

resident of Panbeguwa

village, claiming that on

December 9 his elder brother,

of the same address, travelled

to Delta and had never

returned since then.

He said efforts to reach him

through his mobile phone

number proved abortive.

Jalige added that the

complainant further stated that

on December 12, 2020, he

received a phone call, via an

anonymous number, informing

him that his brother was in the

custody of the caller and was

demanding N4 million as a

ransom for his release.

“It is, however, disheartening

that the said amount was paid

but the abductors failed to

release the victim. Rather, they

demanded an additional N1

million, which the family

obliged but yet, could not

secure the freedom of the

victim,” he said.

Jalige said upon receipt of

the complaint, the command

immediately swung into

action, using the available

intelligence and technical

support, and succeeded in

arresting one suspect in Wase

Local Government Area of

Plateau, in connection with

the incident.

The police spokesman said:

“Upon interrogation, he

mentioned his accomplices

and equally confirmed that

they have since killed the

victim.

“In a bid to ensure that

justice is served, as it has

always been, the investigation

was further expanded, using

the available information from

the first suspect in custody.

6 killed, others

injured as

cultists clash in

Lagos

By Bose Adelaja

R

AMPAGING rival cult groups

engaged in a violent clash,

yesterday, in the Oyingbo area of

Lagos, leaving one person dead and

others injured.

This is just as a similar crisis broke

out Tuesday night in the Ibeshe area

of Ikorodu, where five persons were

feared dead.

The Oyingbo victim, identified

simply as “Badoo” was said to have

been hit by a bullet from the warring

cultists while on his way to an

unknown destination.

Help was far from the victim, who

resided in the area, as everyone took

to their heels. He was said to have

bled to death.

The cultists, according to

eyewitnesses, blocked alternative

routes in the axis having accessed

the area through Jebba and Oko-

Baba streets and extended to

Herbert Macauley, towards

Adekunle and neighbouring streets.

Vehicular and human movements

were hampered, while shop owners

hurriedly closed for the day.

An eye witness, Moronfolu

Abedoye, said: “Violence started at

about noon and lasted for about 45

minutes before the intervention of

policemen from Delton,” adding that

dangerous weapons, including

guns were freely used by the cultists.

Another eyewitness, Mr Eriola

Adedapo, said: “I boarded a

commercial bus from Fadeyi en

route Oyingbo to alight at the Post

Office bus-stop. But the bus

conductor delayed me due to lack

of change. Out of annoyance, I

followed the vehicle to the UBA area

where I heard gunshots. We all ran

for our lives and I ended up not

collecting my N800 balance from the

conductor."

A similar incident occurred

Tuesday night in Ibeshe area of

Ikorodu during which five persons

were feared dead.

Vanguard gathered that some

suspects had been arrested in

connection with both crises.

Reacting, Lagos State Police

Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa

Adejobi, said two suspects had

been arrested and weapons

recovered.

“This equally yielded result,

thus leading to the arrest of

the other four suspects in

Delta, Niger and Kano states.”

He noted that the suspects

had confessed to being

involved in the kidnap and

killing of the victim as well as

other kidnapping incidents

before the current one.

Jalige said an investigation

had commenced, adding that

the suspects would be charged

to court upon completion of the

investigation.

He also said concerted

efforts were being made to

apprehend the four remaining

suspects currently on the run.

Jalige called on all residents

of the state to promptly report

any suspicious disappearance

of their loved ones and wards

to the nearest police station for

immediate action.


8 — Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

:Vanguard News

Exit from recession, result of our fiscal

policies — FG

•As FEC okays N5.9bn for FCT projects

By Johnbosco

Agbakwuru

ABUJA —THE federal

government said yesterday

the country’s recent exit

from recession was a direct

result of its fiscal policies.

Government insisted that

sustained implementation of

good fiscal monetary policies

as well as economic sustainability

plan by President Muhammadu

Buhari led to the

country’s exit from the recession

which is the shortest exit

so far.

Minister of Finance, Zainab

Ahmed, who briefed State

House correspondents, along

side Ministers of Information

and Culture, Lai Mohamed,

and FCT, Mohammed

Bello, at the end of the

Federal Executive Council,

FEC, meeting, presided over

by President Buhari, said the

quick exit showed that government’s

economic diversification

efforts were yielding

positive outcomes.

The minister explained that

the Vice President, Prof. Yemi

Osinbajo-led Economic Sustainability

Plan,ESP, approved

by council last June,

was being carefully implemented

She said: “At he Federal Executive

Council, we had the

opportunity to brief Council

on the National Bureau of

Statistics recently published

fourth quarter GDP report estimates,

which measure the

economic growth of our country.

Nigeria’s GDP in the fourth

quarter of 2020 grew by 0.11

per cent and in real terms in

the fourth quarter of 2020.

This follows, if you recall, two

consecutive negative growth

in the third quarter and the

second quarter of 2020, which

saw us as a country going into

recession. As a result of this

fourth quarter positive growth,

the total growth for the year

2020 is -1.92 per cent.

“It would be recalled that

we had ourselves reported,

that we will be going into a

negative growth at the end of

2020 at -4 per cent and some

of the international development

institutions reported

much higher negative growth

for Nigeria. So at -1.92 per

cent, it is a very good performance.

But also, the good story

for us is that with this positive

growth in the fourth quarter, it

means Nigeria has exited recession.

This is one of the

shortest lrecessions we have

witnessed in the country, despite

the impact of the COV-

ID-19.

‘’But I must say that the result

of this exit is a function of

the fiscal policies, the monetary

policies and the Economic

Sustainability Plan that the

administration of President

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

Muhammadu Buhari has

been implementing.

“So, of the 46 sectors of the

economy, 17 recorded positive

growth and this is higher

than the number of sectors that

had recorded positive growth

in the third quarter. In real

terms, the growth between the

third quarter and the fourth

quarter is a positive growth of

3.73 per cent, a movement

within one quarter we have

never witnessed in this country,

so we’re growing from one

quarter to another by 3.73 per

cent.

“The movement from the

second quarter to the third

quarter also witnessed a

growth of 2.48 per cent; this is

an indication that the policies

that are being implemented

are the right ones and the trajectory

is a positive one and

Nigeria is well on its way of

restoring a consistent and stable

growth, a growth that we

hope to grow to be a strong

growth from the fragile

growth that we now have at

0.11 per cent.

“So this is a good performance,

but on a broad sectoral

basis, the agricultural sector

posted a strong growth of 3.42

during the last quarter and

when you compare to the previous

quarter, it’s a much better

performance.

“Similarly, services sector

grew. Other sectors that witnessed

slow down in growth

include industry, crude, petroleum

and natural gas sectors.

The decline in oil production

and prices in 2020, of course

reflective of global drop in

demand, and it is one of the

major reasons why our country

went into recession.

“Another positive story for us

is that the non-oil sector grew

by 1.69 per cent. This is an indication

that the diversification

efforts that the economy

has been pushing is actually

also posting results; while the

oil sector is declining, the nonoil

sector is is growing. “We’ve

seen overall economic activities

reported strongly in the

quarry and minerals sector,

in the ICT and Telecommunications

sector, in the cement

industry, in broadcasting, in

crop production as well as in

agriculture.

“On the other hand, there

are some sectors that are still

witnessing negative and that’s

why I said the growth is still

fragile. These sectors include

oil refining, air transport, coal

mining, crude petroleum production,

as well as accommodation

and food services.

“Just of note is that we had

vigorously implemented the

Economic Sustainability

Plan and we continue to implement

the ESP. Even as we

are taking the principles and

the tenets of the ESC into the

new National Development

Plan that will be completed,

we hope in the Medium Term

Plan that we hope will be completed

and launched in the

month of April.”

In another development,the

Federal Executive Council

approved N5.9 billion for

three projects under the Ministry

of the Federal Capital

Territory (FCT). The Minister

of the Federal Capital Territory,

FCT, Mohammed Bello,

explained that three memos

were on the provision of infrastructure

in the city as well

as the purchase of needed

equipment to make the city

safe He said: “During today’s

(yesterday) Federal Executive

Council meeting, I presented

three memos, two of which

were on infrastructure and the

other was for the purchase of

needed equipment to make

the city safe.

‘’The first was for a contract

to rehabilitate the road leading

to the Federal Integrated

Staff Housing Estate in Apo,

Abuja, and that contract was

approved at the sum of N2.3

billion with a completion period

of 24 months. “As you

know, the Federal Integrated

Staff Housing Estates are being

constructed in some locations

in Abuja under the office

of the Head of civil Service of

the Federation and these estates

are intended to provide

needed accommodation to

federal civil servants.

“The second infrastructure

project relates to the contract

for the construction of an access

road and car park for the

Abuja light rail station at ring

road II otherwise known as

Kukwaba station, which you

see on the airport expressway

immediately after the city gate

near the Kukwaba recreation

park under the Ministry of

Aviation. The contract was

approved for N3.6 billion,

with a completion period of

18 months.

“The intention is that by the

opening of that road, that railway

station can be made functional

and then commuters

can use the station either when

they visit the national park

there or they want to have access

to the Kukwaba district.”

Osinbajo to lead discussions

at Banks’s CEOs Summit on

Economic Growth tomorrow

*Govs Fayemi, Zulum, Sanwo-Olu to speak

VICE President Yemi

Osinbajo, Finance

Minister, Zainab Ahmed,

Governor of the Central Bank

of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele

and Chief Executive Officers

(CEOs) of banks will converge

tomorrow at the Banks’ CEOs

Summit.

The event which is being organised

by Vanguard Newspaper

in collaboration with the

CBN and the Bankers Committee,

will also be attended

and addressed by Dr Kayode

Fayemi, Chairman, Governors’

Forum and Governor of

Ekiti State; Governor Babagana

Zulum of Borno State; and

Governor Babajide Sanwo-

Olu of Lagos State.

Vice President, Prof Yemi

Osinbajo, is the Special Guest

of Honour at the hybrid event

holding virtually and onsite,

with the Minister of Finance,

Budget and National Planning,

Zainab Ahmed, as Guest

of Honour.

The event is coming against

the backdrop of the country’s

exit from its second recession

in five years, and the need for

measures to sustain the recovery

and ensure robust economic

growth in the new decade.

The theme of the one-day special

summit, which holds at

Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos,

is “How to Overcome the

Pitfalls of Recession: Bankers

Perspective and Prescriptions

for An Enduring National

Growth Path”.

Among other things, the

summit will feature a keynote

address by three state governors,

a special session on ‘Road

Map to Economic Recovery’,

and executive syndicate sessions

of banks’ CEOs.

Keynote speakers at the

summit include: Dr Kayode

Fayemi, Chairman, Governors’

Forum and Governor of

Ekiti State; Governor Babagana

Zulum of Borno State; and

Governor Babajide Sanwo-

Olu of Lagos State.

Fayemi will speak on “Rebuilding

the Economy Through

State Governments”, Zulum

Insecurity: Reps reject motion

to allow citizens carry arms

By Tordue Salem

ABUJA — The House

of Representatives yesterday

shot down a motion to

reverse President Buhari’s Executive

Order prohibiting the

issuance of licenses for fire

arms by the police in Nigeria.

Sponsor of the motion,

Uzoma Nkem Abonta (PDP-

Abia), failed to present the

motion on notice when the

public address system went off

just after the speaker had introduced

it.

The lawmaker, however

pressed to be heard, when the

House Leader, Alhassan

Doguwa (APC-Kano), interjected,

saying the motion was

“dead on arrival”, because,

according to him, it is an unpopular

subject. The motion

was entitled “Need to Reverse

the Executive Order and Police

Directive banning Possession

and Issuance of New Licenses

for Firearms in the

Country”. Sensing a strong

swell of opposition to the motion,

Abonta appealed to the

speaker to allow him step it

will speak on “Rebuilding the

Economy of Northern Nigeria”,

while Sanwo-Olu will speak

on “Rebuilding Lagos and the

Southern Nigeria Economy”.

The session on “Road Map

to Economic Recovery” will be

addressed by Mr. Ben Akabueze,

Director of Budgets in the

Presidency, who will speak on

“The Road Map to Economic

Recovery: The role of Planning

for a Desired Future”. On his

part, HRM Sanusi Lamido

Sanusi will speak on “The

Road Map to Economic Recovery:

Towards Positive Social

Impacts”, while Dr. Doyin Salami,

Chairman, Nigeria’s

Economic Advisory Council

will speak on “Insights on the

Economy: Towards Sustainable

Development and Growth

Paths”. The session will be

moderated by Mr Bismarck

Rewane, MD/CEO, Financial

Derivatives Limited.

The executive syndicate sessions

will feature six groups

of banks’ CEOs.

Group A will address “Exploring

Agro and Agro Allied

Businesses as a Booster to Economic

Growth”. The discussants

are the Managing Director/CEOs

of Ecobank Nigeria

Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc,

First Bank of Nigeria Limited,

FSDH Merchant Bank.

Group B will address “Resuscitating

Nigeria’s Manufacturing

Capabilities for the

Next Level”. The discussants

are the Managing Directors/

CEOs of FCMB Plc, GT Bank

Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc,

Citibank Nigeria Limited,

and Nova Merchant Bank

Limited.

Group C will focus on

“Funding for the Telecom and

Oil and Gas Sectors”. The discussants

are the Managing

Directors/CEOs, Polaris Bank

Ltd, Standard Chartered

Bank Ltd., Sterling Bank Plc,

United Bank for Africa Plc and

Titan Trust Bank. The syndicate

session Group D will address

“Harnessing Economic

Potentials Through Integrated

Rural Development”.

down for next Tuesday.

However, the speaker urged

Abonta to go ahead and take

the motion since the public

address system had been restored,

or withdraw it altogether

not to waste legislative

time. Gbajabiamila told

Abonta that listing the motion

for Tuesday could jeopardize

the chances of other items

making the order paper.

‘’So many issues are pending

and in need of attention,’’

the speaker said. At this point,

Ahmad Jaha (APC-Borno),

raised a point of order on

matters of privilege, saying

Abonta had three options

available to him, including to

take the motion already listed

on the order paper; step it

down for further legislative

consultation beyond Tuesday

next week; or to withdraw it

totally, having developed cold

feet in the ability of the motion

to sail through. In his intervention,

Fred Agbedi (PDP-

Bayelsa), accused the House

leader, Doguwa, of initiating

the ill- will against the piece

of legislation.


Y

K

Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021 — 9

:Vanguard News

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

MEETING: From left; Former Governor Liyel Imoke, Fformer Governor Ibrahim Hassan

Dankwambo, Hon. Linus Okorie, Former Senate President, Iyorchia Ayu, Former Senate President,

Bukola Saraki, Former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim at the PDP National Reconciliation &

Strategy Committee’s meeting with Senator Ayu at his home in Maitama, Abuja.

Senate confirms Bawa as EFCC chairman

•I’ve never sold a single asset seized by EFCC, Bawa tells Senate

•Says all stolen assets must be repatriated for benefit of Nigerians

A BUJA—THE

Senate has confirmed

the appointment of Abdulrasheed

Bawa as the substantive chairman

of the Economic and Financial

Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The upper legislative chamber

confirmed Bawa after screening

him for over two hours yesterday,

after he entertained questions

from over 14 senators.

Bawa, who was ushered into the

hallowed chamber at about 11.

45am by the Senior Special

Assistant to President

Muhammadu Buhari, Senator

Babajide Omoworare, was

through with the screening at 1.

55 pm.

Last week, President

Muhammadu Buhari nominated

Bawa as EFCC chairman and

asked the upper legislative

chamber to confirm him.

Bawa, 40, is one of the pioneer

EFCC cadet officers. Before his

appointment, he was the Lagos

zonal head of the anti-graft agency.

At the screening, Deputy

Senate President, Ovie Omo-

Agege, said Bawa’s nomination

has generated hope for the youth.

He said: “Ordinarily I’d have

pleaded for him to take a bow but

let him further showcase himself.

This nomination has generated

hope.

“I thank President

Muhammadu Buhari for this

nomination. This is the first time

we are sticking within the EFCC

to govern this institution.”

In his remarks, former Deputy

Majority Leader, Bala Na’Allah,

said Bawa has displayed the

capacity to run the anti-graft

agency.

“He has displayed that he has

the capacity to run the EFCC. I

know him very well, he is not even

half of the qualities of his father. I

call on my colleagues to approve

this nomination,” Na’Allah said.

Speaking during the screening,

Bawa, who was accompanied to

the Senate by the speaker and

members of Kebbi State House

of Assembly, denied the allegation

that he sold assets recovered by

the anti-graft agency for personal

gain.

According to him, the power to

dispose of any asset lies with the

secretary of the commission.

He said: “I never sold a

single truck at the Port

Harcourt office; the head office

handled that at the time,” the

nominee told the Senate.

“When I took over the Port

Harcourt office, they had 34

convictions but when I got there,

we recorded 216 convictions.

“Anybody that is familiar with

the processes of the EFCC

knows that the chairman doesn’t

have the power to sell an asset

but the secretary of the agency.”

Bawa, who assured that if he

was confirmed, he would work

towards strengthening the antigraft

agency, said further: “Before

we reposition, we need to know

what the institution stands for.

We would work on our standard

operational procedures to

improve on those procedures.

“We are looking forward to an

EFCC that when I give a wrong

instruction to a junior officer; he

will refuse it because that order

contravenes the law.”

He also said the nation must

recover all stolen assets for the

benefit of Nigerians, and promised

to work with strategic partners

around the world to see that

Nigeria benefitted from the

repatriation of assets stolen from

its coffers.

According to him, EFCC will

FG sets up 13-member ministerial

taskforce on digital switch-over

By Soni Daniel

ABUJA—THE Federal

Government has set up a

13-ministerial taskforce to

conclude the transition from

analogue to digital broadcasting

in Nigeria.

Government also released

additional N9.4 billion for the

conclusion of the process

nationwide.

The taskforce, which has the

Minister of Information and

Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed,

as chairman, also has Prof.

Armstrong Idachaba (National

Broadcasting Commission);

Engineer Edward Amana

(Digiteam); Dr. Tunde Adegbola

(Digiteam); Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim

(Broadcasting Organizations of

Nigeria); and Engineer Sadeeq

Musa as members.

Other members include Mr.

Godfrey Ohuabunwa;

Dr. Lekan Fadolapo; Ms. Aisha

Shehu Omar (Federal Ministry

of Finance, Budget and National

Planning); Mr J. O. Attah

(Nigeria Customs Service); Mr.

Nnanna Ibom (Federal Ministry

of Information and Culture);

Engineer Olusegun Yakubu

(Pinnacle Communications); Mr.

Joe Mutah (Federal Ministry of

Information and Culture) who will

serve as Secretary.

So far, the digital switchover has

only been piloted in Osun,

Plateau, Kwara, Kaduna, Enugu

states and the FCT, leaving the

rest to continue to transmit on

achieve its independent objective

by sharing information with its

partners.

He promised that at the end of

his tenure, the EFCC would be a

better place than he met it, noting

that his training by the FBI and

the National Crime Agency of the

United States and the United

Kingdom respectively would

come in handy.

Bawa said he will reposition the

commission by ensuring that it

strengthened its standard

operating procedures and

improve on them.

•Releases N9.4bn to complete DSO •Kick-starts Audience

Measurement, Media •Project to create 1m jobs

the analog mode, which is limited

in scope and dynamism.

The Minister of Information,

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who

disclosed this while inaugurating

the ministerial task force, saddled

with the task of completing the

digital switch over across Nigeria.

pointed out that with the

payment of the outstanding

amounts due to the stakeholders

by the federal government, the

roadblock to the entire process

had been removed.

He, however, warned that the

government would no longer be

subsidising the project but would

encourage the private sector to

drive the scheme which has

enormous economic potentials.

Mr. Mohammed said that with

the payment approval by FEC,

and with 31 states to cover, there

was no more excuse by the

ministerial committee not to

rapidly roll out the DSO across

the country and meet the

expectations of the government

and Nigerians.

The minister made it clear that

from now on, government

involvement in the DSO would

be limited and that the lucrative

business would henceforth be

spearheaded by the private

sector.

He said: “We have studied the

trend and it is clear that we have

to reduce government

involvement in the DSO

ecosystem and allow the private

sector to take the lead, on purely

commercial terms. With the

devastating effects of COVID-19

and the fall in government

revenues, the Federal

Government can no longer afford

to subsidize the program,

especially the Set-Top-Boxes and

the Signal carriage, which

ordinarily can and should be

highly-competitive commercial

ventures. And in order to begin

the commercialization of the

DSO, we need to create a

structure and an ecosystem

that is self-sufficient, self-reliant

and able to generate revenue

which will drive strategic

growth in key areas. The details

of that structure are for the Task

Force to explore.

“My decision to set up the

ministerial task force to drive the

DSO process is hinged on the

fact that a successful digital switch

over is a massive job creator and

a huge revenue generator. This

process is capable of creating over

1 million jobs over the next three

years.

“As part of our efforts to

maximize the opportunities

available in the process, we have

made necessary changes in the

broadcast code to protect local

jobs and production, we have

started the process of introducing

world class Audience

Measurement and Media

Monitoring to deliver on our

potential 1-billion-dollar TV and

Online Advertising revenue

market and now we will ensure

that the DSO ecosystem delivers

value to the economy.''

Victims of NAF plane crash for

burial at national military

cemetery today

By Kingsley Omonobi

ABUJA—The

seven

Nigerian Air Force officers

who died in last Sunday’s

Beechcraft King Air B359i air

crash will be buried at the

National Cemetery, Lugbe,

Airport Road, Abuja, today.

The Nigerian Air Force, NAF,

disclosed this in Abuja yesterday.

Recall that the surveillance

aircraft crash landed at Bassa

village just before the runway of

the Nnamdi Azikiwe

International Airport, Abuja,

after reporting engine failure.

The late officers are Fl. Lt.

Haruna Gadzama; Flight

Captain, Fl. Lt. Henry Piyo (Co-

Pilot); Flying Officer Micheal

Okpara (Airborne Tactical

Observation System Specialist);

Warrant Officer Bassey Etim

(ATOS Specialist); Fl. Sgt.

Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS

Specialist); Sgt. Ugochukwu

Oluka (ATOS Specialist) and

Aircraftman Adewale Johnson

(Onboard Technician).

The tragic incident generated

an outpouring of grief nationwide

while the Chief of Air Staff, Air

Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao,

ordered an investigation into the

mishap.

The CAS said the deceased

personnel, had been in Minna,

Niger State, for days conducting

intelligence, surveillance and

reconnaissance missions in

connection with the efforts to

secure the release of the 42

students and staff abducted from

the Government Science College

Kagara, Niger State.

Meanwhile, following the crash

and the death of the seven

young Air Force officers, tributes

have continued to pour in from

their family members and friends

via different platforms.

The father of late Gadzama,

who hails from Borno State, is a

first class electrical engineer who

retired as a wing commander in

the Nigerian Air Force and was

By Nkiruka Nnorom

THE

Managing

Director/CEO of First

Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Adesola

Adeduntan, has restated the

bank’s resolve to continue

providing funding and other

supports that would enable the

growth of Small and Medium

Enterprises, SMEs, in Nigeria.

Adedutan made the

commitment at the 2021

Ehingbeti/Lagos Economic

Summit, with the theme “For a

Greater Lagos: Setting the Tone

for the Next Decade”.

He noted that SMEs formed

an important aspect of what the

bank does due to the importance

of SMEs in the overall growth

and development of the

economy.

He said besides proving

financing, the bank also provides

advisory service and mentorship

that helps the owners of small

business to prepare basic

financial statement through its

SME College.

He said the bank’s support for

businesses that are relevant to

growth and development of the

economy was the secret of its

enduring business success over

also the HOD, Electrical/Electronics

Engineering, while late Henry

Piyo, has an aged father, Mr Bitrus

Piyo, who lives in Jos.

Piyo’s father, who hails from Plateau

State, once worked as a staff

of the University of Jos and later

transferred to University of Ibadan,

UI, is a retiree after working with

the Plateau State Government. He

currently lives in Jos, Plateau State.

Abbas Waziri, a fellow officer and

friend to late Gadzama, described

his late friend as very friendly and

intelligent fellow while alive. He

said they shared the same

battalion and he was also the

course senior in the battalion.

“Late Flight Lieutenant Ciroma

Haruna Gadzama was not only

a course mate to me he was also

a brother. We were both air force

cadets in the Air force wing of the

Nigerian Defence Academy and

his room was directly below mine

in Charlie company.

“The last time I saw Gadzama

was at the Nnamdi Azikiwe

International Airport when I was

travelling to Lagos some time ago.

He was himself. Dashing, lively

and chatty.

“People that saw the plane

crash say the pilot and the copilot

were brave and considerate.

They maneuvered the plane to

not crash into people’s houses

and domain,” he said.

Piyo Bernard, brother of the

deceased co-pilot said on his

social media page, “Woke up with

a sad news. Just lost a very dear

brother, Flight Lieutenant Henry

Piyo who lost his life in the Air

Force plane crash. Rest on

brother, you will forever be

missed.”

Members of the Ex Junior Pilot

Association also took to the social

media to mourn Gadzama,

describing him as a jovial and

hardworking officer.

They said, “We are saddened

by the tragic death of Flt Lt CH

Gadzama of 07 set of Air Force

Secondary School Kaduna on

the Sunday 21st of Febuary 2021.

He was a jovial and hardworking

officer of the Nigerian Airforce.''

First Bank reiterates commitment

to SMEs support, funding

the past 127 years it has been in

Nigeria.

He said: “As a bank, First Bank

will always remain the largest

lender to the SME sector. We

have a dedicated portal that we

call SME college where we

basically support SMEs,

providing them advisory services,

ensuring that we up their skills

and capabilities either in the area

of preparing basic financial

statement, assisting them with

choice of technology and basically

supporting them work through

the threat.

“Our portfolio of SME facilities

is quite sizable and that’s quite

understandable given the history

of First Bank in Nigeria. We have

been very active whether in

providing overdraft, term loan,

and all types of structured debt

instruments to our SME

customers.”

Speaking at the plenary

session on the topic, “Destination

Lagos: Becoming the World’s Best

Investment Destination,”

Adedutan said: “If there is

anything that is generally

agreed, is the fact that the fast

growth and development of

Nigeria economy is by developing

and growing SME sector.''

C


10 — Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

By Henry Ojelu

LAGOS—TATA Africa

Services, yesterday,

dragged Jasper

Biochemical and Allied

Products Limited before a

Lagos High Court over

alleged breach of contract.

According to court papers

filed by Metrocrest Legal

Practitioners, on behalf of

Tata Africa, the company is

asking the court to compel

Jasper Biochemical to pay

an outstanding debt of N39

million for the supplies of

industrial and food

chemicals.

Tata averred that Jasper

Chemical had purchased

some industrial and food

chemicals worth N44,

352,357.59, but only paid a

marginal part of the

:Vanguard

News

Tata Africa sues firm over

alleged breach of contract

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

INSECURITY: Allow states to secure their space —Akeredolu

By Dayo Johnson,

Ola Ajayi, Shina

Abubakar & James

Ogunnaike

A

K U R E —

CHAIRMAN of

the South-West

Governors’ Forum,

Governor Rotimi

Akeredolu of Ondo

State, yesterday,

advocated that all states

in the country should be

allowed to secure their

space.

This came on a day the

Olowu of Kuta, Oba

Adekunle Oyelude, said

that devolution of power

remains the only

solution to insecurity in

Nigeria.

Also, the Chairman of

Myetti Allah Cattle

Breeders’ Association,

MACBAN, in Oyo State,

Ibrahim Jiji, yesterday,

distanced himself from a

report that Fulani

herders demanded

damages of N475 billion

from Governor Seyi

Makinde for the losses

they incurred during the

recent crisis at Shasha

market, in Akinyele local

government area of the

state.

Similarly, the Ogun

State House of Assembly

said plans were in

motion to legislate on

animal husbandry and

related activities,

through the enactment of

an all-inclusive law on

anti-open grazing in the

state.

Allow states to

secure their

space

—Akeredolu

Akeredolu, who spoke

during his swearing-in

ceremony for a second

term in office, also

commended Amotekun

operatives saying they

have done well in their

short time of existence.

The second term

inauguration ceremony

of Akeredolu and his

deputy, Lucky Ayedatiwa

purchased sum leaving an

outstanding balance of

N39, 088,877.

However, in a statement

of defence, Jasper

Chemicals denied all the

claims against it and

insisted that on the contrary,

Tata Africa is indebted to it.

The defendant is also

asking for damages in the

sum of N20million for

breach of contract arising

from the loss incured as a

result of the sale of unfit and

unsellable bad stock of food

and industrial chemical

Products which were

returned by costumers as

unsold.

Meanwhile, the

presiding judge, Justice

Lateefat Folami has

adjourned till April 15, 2021, for a

hearing of the suit.

• Says devolution of police central command is inexorable

• My second term is not for relaxation

• True federalism, a panacea to insecurity, says Osun monarch

• Expedite action on compensation, Miyetti Allah tells Makinde

• As Ogun Assembly considers law to ban open grazing

attracted Governors

Babajide Sanwo-Olu

(Lagos), Dapo Abiodun

(Ogun), Kayode Fayemi

(Ekiti), Gboyega Oyetola

(Osun) and Godwin

Obaseki (Edo).

Also present were

former Lagos State

governor, Asiwaju Bola

Tinubu; former Osun

State governor, Chief

Bisi Akande; former

Senate President, Ken

Nnamani; former Deputy

Governor of Osun State,

Senator Iyiola Omisore;

the Ohinoyi of Ebira

land, Ado Ibrahim,

ministers and National

Assembly members

Speaking on the state

of insecurity in the

country, Akeredolu said:

“The primary

responsibility of any

government is the

security of lives and

property of its citizens.

“We are of the firm

belief that it is high time

the police central

command became

devolved to the

federating units for

effective monitoring.

“We have been

relentless in advocating

for the establishment of

state police. There can be

no other way if we are

indeed serious about

securing lives and

property.

“It is this incongruity

which propelled the

southwest governors to

form a Regional security

Network codenamed

Amotekun.

“The ultimate is to

convince others to

understand that

devolution of authority is

inexorable. Every state

must be allowed to

RETREAT—Chairman, Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, former president Goodluck Jonathan (centre)

flanked by the former vice president of The Gambia, Mr. Ousiniu Darboe, and the Majority Leader,

The Gambian Parliament, Hon. Kebba Barrow, in a photograph with delegates and officials of the

Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, at the closing of the two-day consultative retreat for political party

leaders on the draft constitution, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, yesterday. Photo: Abayomi

Adeshida.

secure its space.”

On the setting up of

the Amotekun outfit, he

said: “It has been able to

work within the law

establishing it. Its

operations and successes

recorded justify its

establishment.

“We are not paying mere

lip service to this avowal. It

is a priority. There cannot

be prosperity in an insecure

environment.”

My second term

not for

relaxation

Governor Akeredolu

assured the people of the

state that his second term

in office would not be for

relaxation.

His words: “The second

term, for us, is not a time

for relaxation. We are not

under any illusion that it

will be easy. We are,

however, ready to proceed

on the journey with

renewed enthusiasm and

vigour.

“Though we are yet to

reach the set goal, we are

confident that this

administration is on the

right path.

“We will not depart from

the trodden path which has

earned us affection and

deep reverence for the

citizenry. We shall continue

with more vigour, to justify

the trust earned by our

administration.

“We shall, God willing,

continue to serve in the best

interest of the people. Their

welfare will be the central

focus under my

leadership.”

Besides, the governor

said that his administration

in the next four years will

pursue repackaged

programmes christened

REDEEMED.

“Our administration

intends to focus on

agriculture and youth

empowerment through

entrepreneurship.

“This has led us to

establishment of the Ondo

State Entrepreneurship

Agency, ONDEA”, he said.

I’ll bring Obaseki

back to APC

Governor Akeredolu,

however, promised to

ensure that Governor

Godwin Obaseki of Edo

State returns to the All

Progressives Congress,

APC.

He said: “I will personally

lead in bringing back my

brother Governor Godwin

Obaseki to our fold, the

ruling All Progressives

Congress very soon.”

True Federalism,

a panacea to

insecurity

—Olowu Kuta

Meanwhile, the Olowu of

Kuta, Oba Oyelude

advocated for true

federalism; an

arrangement where

powers are shared among

the federating units which

are coordinate, to exert

overwhelming influence

over their sphere of

jurisdiction without any

form of usurpation.

The monarch, in a

statement, said: “True

federalism as a system that

promotes devolution of

power is the only

institutional framework that

arrogates exercisable

amount of power and

resources to every state to

have overbearing influence

on the governance

activities within its spheres.

“Taming insecurity and

engendering social

wellbeing are only

realizable in Nigeria when

the workload of the federal

government emanating

from the excessive power

and influence which it

wields, can be assuaged.”

Expedite action

on compensation,

Miyetti Allah tells

Makinde

But Chairman of Myetti

Allah in Oyo State, Alhaji

Jiji has asked Governor

Makinde to expedite action

on the compensation he

promised the herders who

lost 27 cows in a crisis at

Alafara/Ologuneru/Apata

axis.

Jiji, who spoke with

Vanguard, said: “I don’t

know anything about that

demand but I want to plead

with Governor Makinde,

who has been of

tremendous help to us, to

please see to the

compensation he promised

my people, who lost their

cows during the recent

attacks at Ido local

government area.

“When that incident

happened, the attackers

shot 27 cows and also

wounded the herder who

is now in the hospital.

Those who lost their cows

have come to me that I

should plead with

Governor Seyi Makinde to

help us as he had

promised”.

“My people had a

meeting yesterday and

they promised that they

wanted to live in peace with

everyone and that any

move that will lead to

peace, they will support it.

“Fulani and Yoruba have

been living together as

brothers. We want this

peaceful relationship to

continue. We will abide by

what Governor Makinde

says because he is a father

to us.”

Ogun Assembly

considers law to

ban open

grazing

On its part, the Ogun

State House of Assembly

said yesterday that plans

were in motion to legislate

on animal husbandry and

related activities through

the enactment of an allinclusive

law on anti-open

grazing in the state.

Speaker of the Assembly,

Mr. Olakunle Oluomo,

disclosed this during a

parley with executive

members of the State

Coalition of Civil Societies

led by its Chairman,

Comrade Yinka Folarin at

the Assembly Complex,

Oke-Mosan in Abeokuta.

Oluomo recalled that

stakeholders including

some northern leaders had

openly condemned the

uncontrolled wandering of

cattle, which had resulted

in series of attacks and

criminal activities

associated with herdsmen/

farmers’ clashes across the

State, especially in the

Yewa axis of the state

The speaker noted that

the Assembly had equally

finalized plans to engage

relevant stakeholders

through public hearings to

put in place laws for the

creation of an agency for the

collection and maintenance

of database for all residents

in the State, thereby having

verifiable details and biodata

to improve on security

operations of residents

across the State.

He added that the

legislative arm was already

liaising with the executive

arm to secure their

commitment for the speedy

assent of the bills within a

reasonable time.

C

M

Y


Vanguard, , THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021 — 11

:Vanguard :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES:

MEETING—From left: Lanre Olusola, Secretary General, Association of Professional Bodies

of Nigeria, APBN; Akin Oyegbola, President/Chairman, APBN; Dr. Danazumi Ibrahim,

Director General, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, and Rawlings

Elaumadu, Publicity Secretary, APBN, during APBN 2021 board meeting, in lagos,

Yesterday.

REHAB: Lagos to shut 3rd Mainland

Bridge for 24hrs

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

LAGOS—LAGOS

State

Government said, yesterday,

that it has concluded plans to shut

down the Third Mainland Bridge

from midnight Friday February

26, to midnight Saturday 27th.

The bridge was slated to be

reopened to traffic by February

ending, after over six months of

rehabilitation.

The Commissioner for

Transportation, Dr. Frederick

Oladeinde, said the closure of the

bridge was slated to enable the

contractors to move the equipment

used, during the rehabilitation

process, off the bridge completely

to allow both the Oworonshoki

and Adeniji bound lanes to open

....Sets to launch FMLM scheme

Decay in education, source of Nigeria’s crises,

says Babalola

By Rotimi Ojomoyela

A DO-EKITI—FOUNDER

of the Afe Babalola

University, Ado Ekiti, ABUAD,

Chief Afe Babalola, SAN,

yesterday, attributed the decay

in the nation’s educational

system as the source of the

crises confronting the country.

Babalola said this in Ado-

Ekiti, while playing host

simultaneously to leaders of

Bursars’ Association of

Polytechnics and Colleges of

Technology, BURSCON, and

Glo leads Internet growth rate

….As telecom sector contributes 12.45% to GDP

N

A

T I O N A L

telecommunication

Company, Globacom, grossed a

total of 11,172,220 new internet

subscribers between December

2019 and December 2020, thus

emerging the highest percentage

gainer for year 2020.

This is according to statistics

released by industry regulator, the

Nigerian Communications

Commission, NCC, and

published on its website.

According to the data, the

telecom industry’s acquisition of

28,145,458 new data subscribers

represents 22 per cent increase,

as the number of data users in

Nigeria moved from 125,728,328

subscribers, as at December 2019,

to 153,873,786 in December 2020.

Leading other operators,

Globacom recorded 39 per cent

fully to traffic.

Meanwhile, the Managing

Director of Lagos Metropolitan

Area Transport Authority,

LAMATA, Mrs. Abimbola

Akinajo, has affirmed that the

agency was working towards 'a

connected Lagos' with the various

transport projects being

implemented through it by the

state government.

Akinajo spoke, while

addressing officials of the Office

of Transformation, Creativity and

Innovation, (Office of Head of

Service), who led consultants

engaged for scoping assessment/

situating structure of MDAs

whose mandate directly impact

the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda of the

state to the agency.

the Federal Government’s Gas

expansion Committee, who

paid a courtesy call to ABUAD.

While addressing the

gathering of professionals,

administrators and academics,

the ABUAD founder said: “The

problem we have today is

decay in quality education in

this country. That was why,

after turning down ministerial

appointments thrice, I agreed

to go to the University of Lagos

as Pro-Chancellor and

Chairman of the Governing

Council, where I had an

insight into what was

happening to our education

growth in the telecoms sub-sector,

adding 11,172,220 new data

subscribers in 2020. It ended the

year 2019 with 28,934,439

subscribers and moved to

40,106,659 at the end of 2020, thus

surpassing the 22 percentage

growth recorded in the sector in

the year under review.

Globacom's performance has,

thus, lent credence to the NCC

statement, Monday, which said

that Nigeria telecoms sector’s

contribution of 12.45 per cent to

the country's Gross Domestic

Product, GDP, played a huge role

in getting Nigeria out of

recession.

In the second place is MTN with 21

per cent growth, closely followed by Airtel

with 20 per cent, while reverse was the

case for 9mobile, which dropped figures,

recording 12 per cent loss.

She said: “We have a transport

master plan, which speaks to the

vision of Mr. Governor on

transportation. We have six rail

lines and one monorail, 14 Bus

Rapid Transit, BRT, corridors, over

20 water routes and are sure that

when all of these are properly

harnessed, Lagos will join the

league of cities with an efficient

transport system.

“We have advertised four other rail lines

for the private sector to invest in. We are

working on the private sector so they

could bring in about 1500 high-capacity

buses by 2022; we would be launching

our First Mile Last Mile, FMLM, scheme

very soon. We are working on the

construction of two interchanges at Mile

2 and CMS. We want to ensure that

Lagosians travel in comfort.”

system.

“At times, they used to close

down the schools under the

guise of strikes for almost a

year, this is criminal. I want to

be an example, a leader in the

transformation of education,

and that was why I established

ABUAD.

“Added to the foregoing was

also our very selfish leaders.

There are many Nigerians

who could buy me; they are

expected to set up a university

like this to give functional

education to Nigerians at

affordable fees, but they never

did.

“I want you to be committed

to financial discipline. But the

problem has been that some

wanted to be Bursars to steal

because money is there.

“The government is not doing

enough to fund education.

UNESCO directed governments

to set aside 26 per cent to fund

education, but what have they

done? During the Western

region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo

set aside 22 per cent; the military

came and reduced to nothing.

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999

budgeted 12 per cent and now, it

is just six per cent.

“Looking at all these, we are not

serious with education in this

country. What are we doing about

endowments? We must set up

endowments in our schools. The

endowment is the main source of

funding for universities. If you

check American universities, they

were being majorly funded

through endowments.”

The 9 months cannot arrive oo, when your

grammar has arrested the pregnancy

...Including all the goodies that come with

the vow. Smart man!

...And for the mutual ‘gains' thereof!

C

M

Y

K


12 — Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

:Vanguard News

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

PRESENTATION: From left—Robert Giles, Senior Banking Advisory, Retail Banking, Access Bank Plc; Tolulope

Agbaje, winner of Access Bank transact and win promo; Mr Victor Etuokwu, Executive Director, Retail Banking,

Access Bank Plc and Chioma Afe, Group Head, Retail Marketing and Analysis, Access Bank, during the

presentation of car prize to the winner of transact and win promo in Lagos. Photo: Akeem Salau.

NASS to pass PIB April

•As joint c'ttee regrets poor condition of Nigeria refineries

By Davies

Iheamnachor

PORT

HARCOURT—

THE National Assembly

said it was working tirelessly

to ensure the passage of the

Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB,

in April 2021.

This came as the Joint Adhoc

Committee of the National

Assembly expressed regrets

over the poor condition of the

nation's refineries, adding that

PIB when passed would revive

the refineries to function optimally.

The joint committee of Senate

and House of Representatives

said this in Port Harcourt,

Rivers State, yesterday, during

a visit to Port Harcourt Refinery

Company, in continuation

of its oversight visit of the refineries

in the nation.

Speaking, Mohammed

Mougunu, Chairman of the

Ad-hoc Committee in the

House of Representatives on

PIB, and Chief Whip of the

House, noted that the committee

was poised to pass the petroleum

bill as soon as possible.

Mougunu noted that the

main focus of the Bill was to

entrench reformation of all the

nation's refineries to international

standard, noting that

there as the need to make the

Ambassadorial appointments:

Nigerians angry with NASS —Wike

By Egufe Yafugborhi

PORT HARCOURT —

GOVERNOR Nyesom

Wike of Rivers State, has reasoned

that Nigerians are angry

with the National Assembly

for confirming the nation's

recently retired service chiefs

nominated by President Mohammadu

Buhari as ambassadors.

Wike, expressing disappointment

of Nigerians in the National

Assembly over the development,

asked visiting Senate

Committee on Niger Delta

at the Government House, Port

Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday,

why the Senators who

joined Nigerians in decrying

poor performance of the service

chiefs would now clear them

for another appointment.

He told the senators, "Let me

express the dismay of most Nigerians

at the Senate. Convey

this to the Senate. We must be

courageous in whatever we are

doing. Everything must not be

party affairs. You (Senators) sat

and discussed that they should

dismiss the service chiefs.

"You said they're not performing.

Now, same people who

were not performing, you have

confirmed as ambassadors.

What kind of country is this? In

Senate c'ttee assures NDDC of support, collaboration

PORT

HARCOURT—

CHAIRMAN, Senate

Committee on Niger Delta

Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi,

has assured the Niger

Delta Development Commission,

NDDC, of the support

and collaboration of his committee

in the task of developing

the Niger Delta region.

Speaking during the oversight

visit of the Senate Committee

at the NDDC permanent

headquarters in Port Harcourt,

Rivers State, Nwaboshi

noted that the commission's

strategy of engagement and

collaboration was important

for progress in the Niger Delta

region.

He said: "The Interim Administrator,

Mr Efiong Akwa,

has been so nice in terms of

reaching out, communicating

and discussing. He opened

discussions with us. He apologised

for whatever happened

country's refineries more

competitive.

He said: "The main thrust

of the PIB is to reform our oil

and gas industry, to make it

more competitive and bring

their operation in tandem

with international best practices.

"We are here in Port Harcourt

refinery to see their constraints

and how best within

the prodigies of PIB, leverage

on same and then make their

operations more competitive

in the past and he told us that

he is ready to work for the

people of the Niger Delta region.

We are happy that he

accepted that there is need for

cooperation and collaboration

for Niger Delta to move

forward."

Nwaboshi assured that they

would continue to collaborate

with the Interim Administrator

and the NDDC for as long

as Akwa remained as the

Chief Executive Officer of the

Commission.

"We don't have any problem

with anybody. Let's be clear

on that. This committee has

no problem with anybody. But

if in the course of our oversight

function, we step on toes,

it is because it is our duty.

What happened in the past

happened in the course of our

oversight function.

"No commission is perfect

because you cannot satisfy

in a bid to attract the muchneeded

investment in the oil

and gas industry, especially

against the backdrop of the

fact that the world is now

moving away from fossil fuels

to renewables."

The committee's co-chair,

said NASS would ensure the

passage of the long-awaited

PIB in April, adding that the

bill will bring to an end the

capital flight.

Speaking earlier in a meeting

with the management of

everybody. You started well

by bringing peace and giving

people the opportunity to discuss.

I assure you that we have

an open mind to collaborate

and cooperate in the interest

of the Niger Delta region.

"The Interim Administrator

appeared before us and we

told him that to whom much

is given, much is expected. We

are here to represent the Senate

and our function is to

make sure that the interest of

the people of the Niger Delta

region is protected. We oversight

the NDDC, Ministry of

Niger Delta Affairs and the

Presidential Amnesty Programme."

Nwaoboshi expressed delight

over the completion of

the NDDC permanent headquarters,

noting that the committee

had appropriated N16

billion for the completion of

the headquarters building.

Port Harcourt Refinery,

PHRC, the Senate Ad-hoc

Committee Chairman on

PIB, Sen. Sabo Nakudu, noted

that committees were

mandated to submit it's report

to the House as soon as possible.

Also, Sen. Albet Bassey, who

is Chairman Upstream, at the

Upper Chamber, expressed regrets

over the moribund condition

of the nation's refineries,

noting that efforts were on

to return life to the facilities.

However, the Managing

Director of PHRC, Ahmed

Dikko, expressed optimism

that rehabilitation of the facility

would commence in

April.

anything we do, we must remember

there is tomorrow.

Conscience is key. It's not because

I want to be a loyalist to a

party. There are things you cannot

reconcile at all."

On Niger Delta Development

Commission, NDDC, the governor

told the senators, "I don't

like talking about it. It is unfortunate

that those who fought for

it if they knew that this is how

NDDC will be, I don't think they

would have even asked for it."

He chided the National Assembly

committees on NDDC

for failing to provide sufficient

direction to make the commission

focus on the core mandate

of developing the region, accusing

some politicians of rather

transforming NDDC into a

cash cow for prosecuting sinister

political agenda.

Wike also expressed displeasure

over a Senator (Smart

Adeyemi) for allegedly overstepping

his immunity during

a plenary to demean a serving

governor by calling him a

drunk.

Chairman, Senate Committee

on Niger Delta, Peter Nwaoboshi

told Wike, "As a committee,

we are aware that you have

some reservation about the

NDDC based on your state's previous

relationship with them.

"We have come to assure you

that with the people you have

seen here, who are patriotic

Nigerians, that we will make

sure that the aspirations and the

aim of creating the NDDC are

achieved. We will do everything

possible within the limits of the

constitution through our oversight

functions for them to

achieve their objectives."

I'm new king of Idumuje-Ugboko

—HRM Solomon Nwoko

Emma Amaize

IAFTER DUMUJE-UGBOKO—

a process that conformed

to customs and traditions,

HRM Solomon Nwoko,

said, yesterday, that he is

the new king of Idumuje-Ugboko

in Aniocha North Local

Government Area, Delta

State.

HRM Nwoko, who addressed

newsmen at Idumuje-

Ugboko in the presence of the

Obi-in-Council, Diokpas,

Iyase of Idumuje-Ugboko,

Umu-Nwoko royal family

and jubilant natives, said: "It

is true that the Idumuje-Ugboko

Kingdom now has a new

Obi. His name is HRM Nwoko.

I did not fall from the sky.

I am one of you, your kith and

kin and your blood.

"Yet, I cannot be without you,

as a leader has no value if he

has no followers. I have

emerged as Obi through a

transparent process that has

regard for the customs and

traditions of our people. I

come as a peacebuilder to

right the wrongs of our yesterday

and to open the floodgate

to development and peace for

our community."

On the controversy that has

dogged the kingdom since the

death of Obi Albert Nwoko III

in 2017,

he said: "In 2017, the only

LAND DISPUTE: Delta community

leader raises alarm over threat to

life •Accuses Police of shooting his wife

By Festus Ahon

ASABA—THE 'Arum' (Ad

ministrator), of Ilenobu

quarters, Umunede kingdom,

Ika North East Local Government

Area, Delta State, Mr Ifeanyi

Ikem has raised the

alarm over an assassination

attempt on his life, following

a lingering land dispute in the

area.

Narrating his ordeal in the

hands of some police officers

who purportedly came from

Zone 5, Benin City, Edo State

to arrest him, Ikem, said, "On

that fateful day, February 18,

2021, I just put off my generator

so I could go to bed that

night. I was about to lie down

when I heard footsteps and my

dog barking when I saw two

men. One was wearing complete

native attire while the

other was on Jean trouser and

a jean jacket.

"They requested to know the

occupants of the house but I

kept quiet because I don't know

them. So, my wife from inside

the house sought to know who

they were. They replied to her

that she should call her husband

that somebody is looking

for him.

"My wife told them that her

husband was already asleep.

They asked if he was not the

one that just put off the generator.

In the process of my wife

interrogating them, they frequently

called one Sunny.

They said we had some discussions

and arrangements.

"My wife came in to ask me

if I knew anyone by the name

Sunny, I said no. They walked

away and one of them was

pressing his phone, so I

thought they had my number

and wanted to call me. I

reached out to my phone and

put it on silence.

nominee as the Obi of Idumuje-Ugboko

after the demise

of Obi Albert Nwoko III

on February 6, 2017, from

existing records was I, Prince

Solomon Nwoko."

"In 1927, following the vacant

stool of Obi of Idumuje-

Ugboko, Nkeze, the son of

Omorhusi, assumed the

throne. Upon Obi Albert

Nwoko III's demise in 2017,

the Umu-Nwoko family met

on August 21, 2017, at the residence

of Diokpa Prince Onwuamaonyeuku

Nwoko to

recover the throne.

"This was after confirmation

that I, Solomon Ezeokwubundu

was the only surviving

son of Nkanye, the son of

Nwabuokei. By the principle

of primogeniture, the name

of Prince Solomon Eziokwubundu

was forwarded to

the Aniocha North Traditional

Rulers Committee by the

Obi-In-Council of Idumuje-

Ugboko, dated July 2, 2018,

and signed by the Iyase of Idumuje-Ugboko,

Chief Christopher

Ogwu.

"If this simple line of succession

was adhered to, perhaps

the Idumuje-Ugboko

community would have been

spared the agony of bloodletting,

maiming of innocent citizens,

court cases and the global

stigmatization of Idumuje-Ugboko

as a land of bitter

royal tussle.

"Since I assume this Arum,

many things have been going

on and I have been watching

them. So, my uncle came out

and questioned them on why

they came at this time of the

night to arrest someone?

"They kept shaking the front

burglary. By then, the window

was opened because I wanted

fresh air after putting off

the generator. So, I closed it

quietly. After some time, I

thought they had gone, surprisingly,

they returned and

started forcing the glass on the

window and they pulled down

the burglary proof.

"I told my wife and children

to shout. Their shouting made

people know that something

was happening around the

area. Three men entered first,

we were struggling together.

I saw them with guns and I

thought they wanted to kill

me.

"After the first three persons,

another three entered through

the window, making it six,

they kept dragging me. They

opened the back door and we

started struggling, including

my wife.

"I asked them to tell me

what I did and they said one

Prince Paradise sent them that

I destroyed his car and building

and I told them that I don't

know anything about it.

"As they saw that people

were coming, they started

shooting and they were still

dragging me but my wife

didn't allow them to take me

away. So, they shot her as my

wife was shouting that she had

been shot, I held onto them,

they started shooting and

started their vehicle and

zoomed off. They came with

about three vehicles, one

black Jeep, Tundra and one

ash coloured Sienna, that was

what happened that night."

C

M

Y


Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021 — 13

:Vanguard News

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

RECEPTION: From left—Chief Chukuma Igwe, Secretary General, Ndigbo Lagos, Dr. Raymond Obieri, Chairman,

Council of Elders, Ndigbo Lagos, Prof. George Obiozor, President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Major

Gen. Obi Umahi (retd.) , President General, Ndigbo Lagos and Amb. Okey Emutchy, Secretary General, Ohanaeze

Ndigbo, during the Ndigbo Lagos civic reception for the PG, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, held at Civil Centre, Victoria

Island, Lagos, yesterday. Photo: Joe Akintola, Photo Editor..

BIAFRA: Igbo not at war with Nigeria

—Obiozor •Says Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB must listen to us

By Nnamdi Ojiego

& Olayinka Ajayi

THE PRESIDENT General

of the apex Igbo socio-cultural

organisation, Ohanaeze

Ndigbo, Professor George

Obiozor, yesterday, reiterated

that Ndigbo are not at war with

Nigeria, stressing that Ndigbo

would continue their efforts to

seek justice, peace and fairness

in all their dealings with everybody

in Nigeria.

Obiozor who spoke at a

grand reception in his honour

by Ndigbo Lagos, at the Civic

Center, Victoria Island, cautioned

those making utterances

that have tendencies to put

Ndigbo in danger to refrain

from it.

He said: "Everybody should

stop utterances or actions that

will or have the tendencies to

put Ndigbo in present and immediate

danger or on harm's

way. That is what my message

is in this matter.

"Igbo are not at war with Nigeria.

I want it to be noted very

clearly. And we are not planning

to have a separate existence

from Nigeria. People

should make no mistake about

it.

"On the issue of Biafra, it is

well beyond the capacity of

young men to resolve. Biafra

is a collective dilemma of Ndigbo

and it is not a child's play.

"Biafra is not a child's play. It

requires mature and experienced

handling. Children

should stop playing with fire

and children shouldn't play

with fire. Nnamdi Kanu is one

of us. He is our son and he must

listen to some of us because he's

one of us."

The former ambassador of

Nigeria to the United States of

America, described the security

situation in Igboland as a

matter of concern and national

emergency.

"The greatest affliction of

man is insecurity. With insecurity,

nothing happens. It is the

greatest challenge facing Ndigbo

in particular and Nigeria

at large. However, we thank

God that the South East governors

themselves shared this feeling

and have started taking

steps particularly, about antiopen

grazing ban; a great step

which we believe is the right

step to take towards handling

security challenges in Igbo

land."

On restructuring, Obiozor

charged the Igbo to pursue it

with pride and dignity, saying

that Nigeria must be restructured

in order to reduce hostile

Kingsley Omonobi &

Steve Oko

OTIES NITSHA—AUTHORI

of the Nigerian

Army have dismissed as handiwork

of unpatriotic elements,

a trending video alleging that

troops of 302 Artillery Regiment,

Onitsha, were given orders

to commence the killing

of people at Orlu market.

This came as the Indigenous

People of Biafra, IPOB, has

distanced its members from

the purported killing of six

children in Anambra State,

describing the allegation as

"malicious and mischievous".

Deputy Director, Army Public

Relations, Col Aliyu Yusuf

made the army position

known in a statement yesterday.

Yusuf said:“The attention of

Headquarters 82 Division Nigerian

Army has been drawn

to an orchestrated video clip

by an unpatriotic element

which is being circulated on

the social media, claiming to

be a soldier in the Nigerian

Army by name Joseph from

Bayelsa State.

“The video was recorded in

an unknown market claiming

to be privy to a supposed order

given by 302 Artillery Regiment,

Onitsha to start killing

everybody at Orlu market and

environs, Orlu L.G.A in Imo

State.

“Preliminary investigation

revealed that it was a calculated

attempt to maliciously

fabricate sensational stories

to cause resentment and

smear campaign against Nigerian

Army Internal Security

Operations.

“The supposed individual in

the video was not bold enough

to reveal his true identity as

claimed or present his so

called military uniform and

identity card which were deliberately

obscured to deceive

innocent target audience.

“The Nigerian Army recognizes

the right of citizens to

hold and share opinions on

tension among ethnic nationalities

and move the country

forward.

According to him, restructuring

would address the issue

of hostile contacts

among Nigerians and reduce

tensions.

On his part, Ndigbo Lagos

President, Major General

Obi Umahi, rtd, described

the event as home

coming for Ambassador

Obiozor.

He however, urged him to

collaborate with south eastern

governors to give considerations

and attention to

three key areas which are:

"security of Alaigbo, requiring

an urgent need for state

police; . restructuring of the

country and president of

Igbo extraction come 2023.

"Ndigbo are not asking for

too much. They are only

asking for equity and fairness

in a country they have

contributed so much to it's

development", he stated.

Orlu mayhem: Army debunks false video

information

•As IPOB denies killing of children in Anambra

social media and not to spread

divisive contents by unpatriotic

individuals.

“This mischievous misrepresentation

of facts, misinformation

and fabrication of outright

falsehood as deliberately captured

in the video clip are being

orchestrated in the social

media to tarnish the good image

and reputation of the military.

This great disservice is

not acceptable by any standard.

“The Headquarters, 82 Division,

Nigerian Army therefore

wish to reassure law abiding

citizens that the Nigerian

Army remains a professional

force that respects fundamental

human rights and deploy

its personnel whenever or

wherever duty calls.

“It is worth to note that Nigerian

Army troops deployed

for Internal Security Operations

are guided by extant rules

and regulations as stipulated

in Nigerian Army Code of

Conducts and Rules of Engagement

in line with global

best practices.

“The general public is therefore

urged to disregard the

false information contained in

the video.”

IPOB denies

killing of children

in Anambra

Denying the allegation,

IPOB in a statement issued by

its Media and Publicity Secretary,

Emma Powerful entitled:

"it's ridiculous to link IPOB,

ESN with killing of children

in Anambra State", said mischief

makers were behind the

false report.

The pro Biafra movement

said it is inconceivable that

IPOB and ESN whose main

mandate is to defend the people

of Eastern region against

terrorists, would turn against

the same people they stake

their lives to protect.

The statement read:"The attention

of the Indigenous People

of Biafra (IPOB) ably led

by our great leader Mazi

Nnamdi Kanu, has been

drawn to a malicious and mischievous

report trying to link the

IPOB and the Eastern Security

Network, ESN with the purported

killing of six children in Anambra

State. Fabricated claims

like this is only akin to giving the

dog a bad name in order to hang

it.

"Those behind this lame and

poorly scripted dummy forgot

the main reason for the establishment

of ESN, and the mission

of IPOB. We came to save

lives and not to waste them. We

don't kill those we daily put our

lives on the line to save and

protect. Associating us with

such barbaric act is not only

insulting but a lie from the pit

of hell.

"But for the sake of the gullible,

we wouldn't have bothered

to signify distracting reports like

this with a response. We have

no hands in the purported incident."

IPOB also denied that those

paraded by the military were

ESN members arrested in Orlu,

claiming that security agents

only arrested innocent citizens

and branded them ESN operatives.

"We also want to debunk the

reports by the Nigeria military

that those it arrested in Orlu during

their genocidal raid and air

strike last week are ESN operatives.

" It's just unfortunate that the

Army could curiously arrest innocent

Biafran civilians at Orlu

branding them ESN

operatives.Their propaganda

cannot work.

"We equally want to warn the

Nigerian military to ensure

nothing happens to the Jewish

Rabbi Kelechi Nwachukwu

and his family as well as other

IPOB members they arrested

out of frustration following

their humiliation by the indomitable

ESN operatives at Orlu.

"We must warn Hope Uzodinma,

to ensure that nothing

happens to these IPOB members

and 33 synagogue worshipers

arrested in Orlu and

paraded in the public as if they

were criminals."

Uzodinma lauds Buhari over

Nigeria’s exit from recession

O WERRI—GOVERNOR

Hope Uzodimma of Imo

State has commended President

Muhammadu Buhari’s

deft management of the economy

which resulted to the

country’s exit from recession,

just as he predicted that the

President would soon overcome

the security challenges

in the country.

He said only a leader with

the patriotism, vision and determination

of President Buhari

would have seen Nigeria

through recession within five

years, adding that the same

zeal and vision will navigate

the country out of the present

security situation in the country

Ṡpeaking with reporters in

Owerri, Governor Uzodimma

noted that it was remarkable

that the president was not responsible

for any of the recession,

yet he fought gallantly to

steer the economy to safety.

He also recalled that while

notable World economies including

UK,US, Japan,

France and Switzerland

among others were still battling

with Covid-19 induced

recession, Nigeria was out of

it due mainly to Buhari’s hardwork.

“If you recall, the first recession

occurred as the President

was assuming office and the

second one came about as a

result of the Covid 19 pandemic

which devastated the

world economy, but our president

rose to the occasion in the

two instances,” the governor

said.

According to him, just like

Japan overcame recession in

2015, Buhari also led Nigeria

Okorocha: Igbo rights groups

attack Uzodinma

By Anayo Okoli &

Chidi Nkwopara

ENUGU—ANGRY reac

tions have continued to

trail the alleged intervention

of the Presidency when Senator

Rochas Okorocha was arrested

weekend by the police

in Owerri for breaking the seal

of Imo State Government.

While the Commissioner

of Information and Strategy,

Declan Emelumba,

claimed that the police released

Okorocha late Sunday

night on health

grounds,", the former governor

disclosed that he was released

through the prompt

intervention of the Presidency.

IGBO elite group, Alaigbo

Development Foundation,

ADF, has condemned the invitation

of the military by Governor

Hope Uzodinma of Imo

State to overrun Orlu zone,

warning that Ndigbo will n ot

forgive him if he pushes the

Federal Government to declare

war on Igboland.

ADF urged Uzodinma to

“moderate his extreme s lavish

loyalty to the Northern

to achieve the same thing by

repositioning the economy.

On the security challenges

in the country, the governor

noted that both state governors

and local government

chairmen should equally

take responsibility for the security

situation in their areas

of jurisdiction, noting that security

was the collective responsibility

of all stakeholders

He argued that the same

tenacity from the president

which propelled the country’s

exit from recession will

soon bring about a lasting

solution to the security challenges

in the country.

He commended the president

for being proactive last

year by setting up the Economic

Sustainability Committe

which fashioned out

ways of mitigating the effects

of the pandemic in the

country”s economy.

He was also happy that the

massive job creation embarked

upon by the federal

government including the injection

of funds into the economy

accelerated the exit from

recession.

Uzodimma said it was

clear that Buhari has delivered

on his campaign promises

of reinvigorating the

economy and will overcome

the security challenges sooner

than later.

Canvassing support for the

president from Nigerians, the

Imo governor said Buhari

was more than determinebd

to turn the country around,

the current challenges notwithstanding.

Caliphate rulers and show

loyalty to the people of Imo

State."

Another leading right

group, International Society

for Civil Liberties and Rule of

Law, Intersociety, also described

it as “sad” and lamented

that the governor decided

to compromise the security and

safety of his own people by aiding

the unspeakable state violence

against his own people

and the state.

ADF, in a statement by its

spokesperson, Chief Abi Onyike

said: “Governor Hope Uzodinma

should be advised to moderate

his extreme slavish loyalty

to the Northern Caliphate

rulers. He will not be forgiven

by Ndigbo if he pushes the

Federal Government to declare

war on Igboland.

“He should show loyalty to

the people of Imo State and

stop behaving like a surrogate

character. Afterall, no

other Nigerian governor has

ever invited the military to

invade his domain.

“He is becoming a major

problem by his poor governance

skills and treacherous

anti-Igbo posturing”.

C

M

Y

K


14 — Vanguard, , THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

:Vanguard News

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

Zulum secures FGC admissions

for 959 out-of-school girls, boys

By Ndahi Marama

M GOVERNOR

AIDUGURI—

Babagana Zulum of Borno

State, has facilitated the

admissions into Federal

Government Colleges, FGC,

for 959 boys and girls from 16

Local Government Areas,

LGAs, who had been forced out

of school by Boko Haram

activities.

Of the 959 children,

admissions were secured for

774 girls into Federal

Government Girls College,

FGGC, Monguno operating

temporarily in Maiduguri; while

185 boys were taken to FGC,

Maiduguri.

In the first phase of

implementing Zulum’s multidimensional

strategies on basic

education, the Executive

Secretary of the newly

By Peter Duru

M AKURDI—FIRST

Lady of Benue State,

Dr. Eunice Ortom, has

expressed optimism that in no

distant time, Sexual and

Gender Based Violence, SGBV,

would be a thing of the past in

the state.

Mrs. Ortom made the

assertion yesterday in

Makurdi at the assessment

and review of activities of the

State Sexual and Gender

Based Violence, SGBV, Policy

and

Advocacy

Implementation Team which

she inaugurated last year.

While expressing satisfaction

at the efforts made by the

committee members to work

out a template to tackle SGBV

in the state, the Governor’s

wife noted that capacity

building through campaigns

established Borno State

Education Trust Fund, Alhaji

Maina Yaumi, yesterday formally

welcomed 185 boys into JSS 1 at

FGC Maiduguri for

commencement of studies.

Governor Zulum had already

approved an initial N60 million

for sponsorship of the 774 girls

going to FGGC Monguno, and

over N37 million, for the 185 boys

at FGC, Maiduguri.

The boys were drawn from 16

local councils with most

backward number of school

enrollments in which long

displaced Abadam was given

the highest number of 17 slots,

followed by Guzamala which

got 15 slots, Marte-13, Maga-

13, Mobbar-12, Kala-Balge, 11,

Konduga 10, Ngala 10,

Magumeri 10, Bama 10, Gubio

10, Dikwa 10, Kaga 10,

Kukawa 10, Nganzai 10 and

Monguno-9 slots.

Sexual, gender-based violence'll

soon be a thing of the past in

Benue — Mrs. Ortom

and on-field contacts were imperative

to reach local

communities.

She however noted that

despite the gains made, “there

is still room for improvement.

That is why it is important to

assess the successes so far

recorded in order to seek ways

to improve in areas that need

attention.

“I must also point out that

with the work plan put

together by the committee,

I am optimistic that SGBV

will soon be a thing of the past

in Benue State.”

Earlier, Chairman of the

SGBV Implementation Team,

Dr. Magdalene Dura stated

that bills had been proposed

to tackle obnoxious practices

such as female circumcision,

discrimination against

disabled persons, equal rights

and host of others.

TGL promises reduction in

auto accidents in Nigeria

THE pioneer of

computerised vehicle

inspection service (CVIS), Temple

Group Limited (TGL), has

reiterated its commitment to

providing good services in an

effort to minimise the rate of auto

accidents and fatalities across

Nigeria after it concluded its

The group said it has partnered

government at all levels to

guarantee sound road

worthiness of vehicles plying

Nigerian roads.

rising from its annual

management retreat held in

Abuja with theme "Greater

Workforce for Sustainability," the

group said the retreat which

hosted top management staff and

key executives of the company

was to ex-ray some of the causes

of road accidents with a view to

proffering solution.

According to the MD/CEO of

TGL, Prince Segun Obayendo,

the retreat was an opportunity

for the company to strengthen

the commitment to grow the

people behind the Temple Group

brand.

He said: “You will all agree with

me that last year was a defining

moment for us as a group. Right

from the headquarters here in Abuja

to the coastal city of Lagos, we

weren't totally immune to the destruction

occasioned by COVID-

19 and the #ENDSARS protests,

which rocked the country to its

foundation.''

He said the company will soar

higher regardless of the pandemic

and protests, saying: ”As we

emerge from the ashes of these

destruction into the bright

sunlight, we are confronted with

the reality that business will only

triumph when its workforce is in

full control of all the opportunities

to improve its capacities and

capabilities at its disposal.”

Other objectives of the

meeting was to ensure that

vehicle owners and other road

users ply the roads with minimal

mechanical defects and accidents.

Obayendo said among the

inspections carried out at any of

the computerised vehicle

inspection centres are emission,

headlamps test, brakes efficiency

states, steering and alignment

tests, visual inspection to check

for safety requirements in

vehicles and underneath

inspection to check for chassis

and frame of vehicles.

BORNO: Death toll rises to 16, over 60

injured, as survivors recount ordeals

•As FG moves to begin trial of 5,000 Boko Haram suspects •Minister

condemns attack

By Ndahi marama &

Joseph Erunke

M VICTIMS AIDUGURI—

of Borno

Haram’s attack on Maiduguri

Tuesday night yesterday

recounted their ordeals, as death

toll rose to 16, with over 60

injured persons in hospitals

receiving treatment.

This came as the Federal

Government disclosed that it

would soon begin trial of no fewer

than 5,000 Boko Haram suspects.

Meanwhile, Governor

Babagana Zulum early yesterday

disclosed that 10 persons died in

the attack, while 47 were injured

but by noon, the death toll had

risen to 16.

A survivor in Kaleri/Adam Kolo,

one of the densely populated area

affected by the attack in the

metropolis, Alhaji Musa Kolomi,

71, said: “We were sitting just

before magrib (evening) prayers,

when we saw something (rocket)

coming from a distance and it fell

in the middle of the road. It tore

the car that was parked there

into pieces and those of us that

were there got affected by the

impact of the explosion.

‘’A man carrying a mat to go to

the mosque got hit and his skull

was opened and he died instantly.

Then the rest of us sustained

injuries. My leg was injured,

while two boys hit in the head

were rushed to University of

Maiduguri Teachning Hospital,

UMTH.’’

Another survivor in Gwange,

Abubakar Mohammed, said: “I

was just standing in front of my

house in Layin bori, near COCIN

church, when something that

looked like a rocket landed before

me. There were several of us

there, some of the people even

got killed instantly.’’

Efforts to speak with some of

the survivors receiving

treatment in hospitals were

unsuccessful as Vanguard’s

correspondent who visited two of

the hospitals was not allowed in.

Most of the victims were in the

emergency and intensive care

units accessible only to health

workers on duty call.

Governor Zulum during his

empathy visits to the State

Specialist Hospital, and the

University of Maiduguri Teaching

Hospital, both in Maiduguri

earlier yesterday, had told

journalists that 10 persons died

in the attack, while 47 were

injured.

The governor was told that

some of the victims had sustained

various degrees of injuries and

were being treated, for which he

directed the state ministry of

health to take over their bills.

According to him, “Indeed it is

a very sad moment for the people

and government of Borno State,

about 60 persons were affected,

among them, 10 have died. It was

as a result of long distance shots

fired by the insurgents. I believe

this is a new trend we have to rise

up and stop it. We experienced a

similar incident exactly one year

ago. The solution is to deploy an

appropriate technology, which we

will have to work on. I share the

pains of all those affected. We are

not just visiting hospitals, we do

so much behind the scene in our

combined responses to the Boko

Haram insurgency and we will

keep making these and more

efforts.”

On military’s recapturing of

Marte, seized by Boko Haram’s

terrorists few days ago, Governor

Zulum said he was not just

pleased, but optimistic that the

Nigerian military would work had

to retain, continue its peacebuilding

and stability efforts in

ways that should ensure the

insurgents never took Marte

again, or any part of the state.

“I am optimistic that the

insurgents will not take over

Marte again,” Zulum said.

Trial of 5,000 Boko Haram

suspects

In the meantime, on the

planned trial of Boko Haram

suspects in detention facilities

across the country, the Director

General of Legal Aid Council,

Aliyu Abubakar, disclosed the

development during a courtesy

visit to Borno Governor Babagana

Zulum at the Government

House, Maiduguri.

According to Abubakar, Giwa

Barracks, Maiduguri, Kainji

prisons were among facilities,

where the suspects were being

kept over alleged involvement in

Boko Haram sect’s activities.

He said the trial would be

conducted by the Office of the

Attorney General of the

Federation, Office of the National

Security Advisers in collaboration

with the Theater Command

Operation Lafiya Dole, while the

Legal Aid Council had been

mandated to provide defence for

the inmates.

According to him, the legal aid

team had already interviewed 283

suspects as part of efforts to

establish their involvement in

terrorism as well understand the

nature of the crime they

committed.

Abubakar said “As their defence

counsel, we have to interview

them from time to time to enable

us know their own part of the

story. It so because regardless of

the crimes they committed, it is

possible that out of hundreds, you

may find out that one or two

persons are innocent.

“It is necessary for them to be

represented by this council to

make sure that all the

requirements of the law are

fulfilled. All evidence must be

presented against them before

the court of the law so that those

found guilty would be prosecuted.

In as much as everybody is aware

of the nature of the crime they

have committed, under our laws,

they are innocent until proven

guilty.”

Responding, Governor Zulum

represented by his Deputy, said

the government was ready to

partner with the Federal

Government to achieve its

Saidu tasks northern

leaders on dignity before

southern politicians

By Jimitota Onoyume

WARRI—LEADER

of

the Arewa in the South,

Alhaji Musa Saidu has enjoined

Emirs and northern political

leaders in the north to be mindful

of how they visit politicians in the

southern part of the country

ahead of the 2023 general

elections.

Alhaji Saidu who is also

spokesman of northern

traditional rulers in the South

said they maintain the dignity of

northerners before southern

politicians.

Saidu spoke to the Vanguard

in Warri, Delta State, saying they

would continue to commend the

Emir of Katsina for his courage.

“Our northern politicians

should not come to sell

themselves in the south, they

SOLIDARITY

VISIT: Nigeria

Governors

Forum, NGF

Chairman,

Governor Kayode

Fayemi of Ekiti

State (2nd left);

Hon Shina Peller

(2nd right); and

others, during a s

solidarity visit to

Governor Bello of

Niger State over

the recent

kidnapping in the

state.

mandate and lauded the council

for providing legal support to the

people of the state.

Minister condemns attack

Reacting to the attack, Minister

of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster

Management and Social

Development, Sadiya Farouq,

condemned the attacks on

residents leading to several

fatalities.

In a statement by her Special

Assistant on Media, Nneka Ikem

Anibeze, the Minister described

insurgents ‘action as not only

wicked and inhuman but also

insensitive.

The statement read: ”The

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs,

Disaster Management and Social

Development, Sadiya Umar

Farouq has condemned insurgent

attacks on residents of Borno

state which left 10 persons dead

and 47 injured.

“Boko Haram insurgents fired

rocket-propelled grenades shots

from Kaleri on the outskirts of

Maiduguri on Tuesday night.

“Two densely populated

communities Gwange and Adam

Kolo areas including a children’s

playground were mostly hit by

the grenade. I condemn in its

entirety, the attacks on innocent

residents of Gwange and Adam

Kolo commutes.''

should not sell northern honour

before southern politicians. I also

want to commend the Emir of

Katsina for the way he has been

carrying on.

“As the leader of Arewa in the

south, I also want to appeal to

our Emirs to help defend the

values of the north. The south

calls us beggars, pest so we should

be careful.

“I implore our leaders to be

mindful of how they visit. They

should defend the northern

honour. You know when you visit

politicians, people will say they

gave you money even if they did

not.

''So, as leader of Arewa in

the South I appeal to our

northern politician, leaders,

to uphold the dignity of the

north in all they do.“

C

M

Y

K


Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021 — 15

GOVERNOR AKEREDOLU'S SECOND TERM INAUGURATION

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and his Deputy, Mr. Lucky Ayedatiwa were sworn in for the second term at the

International Centre for Culture and Events (The Dome), Alagbaka, Akure, yesterday. PHOTOS: DAYO JOHNSON

From left; Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; wife of Ekiti State governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi;

her husband, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Ondo State governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN); his wife,

Betty; Ondo State Deputy governor, Mr. Lucky Ayedatiwa; his wife, Esther; Governor Adegboyega Oyetola

of Osun State; his Ogun State counterpart, Prince Dapo Abiodun and Chairman, Ondo State Council of

Obas, Oba Obateru Akinruntan (Okoro Ajija I) during the inauguration.

Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State (crouching)

exchanging pleasantries with National leader of APC,

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and former Osun State governor,

Chief Bisi Akande (right).

Governor Akeredolu and wife swearing to the oath of allegiance.

From left: Wife of Ondo State governor, Betty Akeredolu, Governor Rotimi

Akeredolu, his deputy and wife Hon Lucky Ayedatiwa while taking the oath of office.

Governor Akeredolu and former Senate President Ken Nnamani.

Governor Akeredolu, wife, Betty and traditional rulers at the ceremony.

From left; Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, his wife, Betty, Ondo State Chief Judge,

Justice Olanrewaju Akeredolu, Deputy governor Lucky Ayedatiwa and wife.

Governor Akeredolu addressing the gathering.

C

M

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16 — Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

ISTORY is made,” the

‘HWorld Trade Organisation

exulted on February 15 after its

164 members finally appointed

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as its

next Director-General. History is,

indeed, made because, when she

assumes office on March 1, Dr.

Okonjo-Iweala will be the first

female and first African Director

General in the 73-year history of

the WTO and its predecessor, the

General Agreement on Tariffs and

Trade, GATT, established in 1947.

Since her appointment, Dr.

Okonjo-Iweala has received

congratulatory messages from

across the world. I, too,

congratulate her on her

remarkable achievement. But

congratulations are also in order

for Dr. Yonov Frederick Agah, an

outstanding Deputy Director-

General of the WTO since 2013,

whose tenure will end next week.

This column pays tribute to these

two great Nigerians and Africans!

First, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala. Last

November, the erratic Trump

administration blocked consensus

on appointing her for the WTO job.

Thankfully, democracy intervened.

Trump was voted out of power and

Joe Biden became president.

Elections have consequences:

President Biden promptly

endorsed Okonjo-Iweala for the

WTO job after persuading her

Trump-backed South Korean

opponent, Yoo Myung-Hee, to

withdraw her candidacy.

In her acceptance speech, Dr.

Okonjo-Iweala said: “Without the

recent swift action by the Biden-

Harris Administration to join the

consensus of the membership on

my candidacy, we would not be

here today”, adding: “I am

grateful to the US for the prompt

action and strong expression of

support.” She’s right: by lifting

WTO: Kudos to Okonjo-Iweala and

Agah for making Africa proud

Trump’s block, Biden helped her

make history!

But she also, rightly, said:

“Special thanks to President

Muhammadu Buhari and all my

Nigerian compatriots for their

support and prayers.” Of course,

apart from nominating her for the

job, the Buhari government had

little influence on her selection.

Yet, the Nigerian element played a

big role in her victory. Without it,

she wouldn’t have won. So, what’s

the Nigerian element and how did

it account for Okonjo-Iweala’s

victory?

First, let’s bust a myth. Dr.

Okonjo-Iweala didn’t get the

Director General job mainly

because of her former role as

managing director of the World

Bank. Indeed, that worked against

her with the Trump

administration. Recently, Robert

Lighthizer, former President

Trump’s trade chief, told the

Financial Times that Dr. Okonjo-

Iweala wasn’t qualified for the

WTO top job because she “has no

experience in trade at all”, adding:

“We need a person who actually

knows trade, not somebody from

the World Bank who does

development.” But WTO members

knew that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was

not a trade guru. Yet, they wanted

her for the Director General job.

Why? Well, the three things that

everyone said about her were her

negotiation skills, reformist

mindset and anti-corruption zeal.

These experiences were linked to

her spell as finance minister in

Nigeria, first, under President

Olusegun Obasanjo, when she

negotiated Nigeria’s debt relief

The irony of President

Buhari’s nomination of

Agah and Okonjo-

Iweala as DG of the

WTO is that he doesn’t

share their economic

views; but Dr. Okonjo-

Iweala and Dr. Agah

have done Nigeria and

Africa proud and

deserve our best wishes

and undertook far-reaching

economic reforms, and second,

under President Goodluck

Jonathan, when she was believed

to fight corruption.

Of course, her World Bank job

got her noticed in Nigeria in the

first place; made President

Obasanjo to invite her to be his

finance minister, and President

Jonathan to appoint her as his

finance minister and coordinating

minister of the economy. And her

achievements as minister gave her

a global profile. She captured these

experiences and achievements in

two fascinating books – Reforming

the Unreformable and Fighting

Corruption is Dangerous – that have

been read by influential people

globally. So, truth is, the Nigerian

factor contributed significantly to

her victory in the WTO’s DG race.

But there’s also the American

factor. By becoming a US citizen

in 2019, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala

strategically removed a potential

obstacle to her being appointed as

head of a world economic body. In

2012, she lost out in the race for

the World Bank presidency when

President Obama appointed a

Korean-American, Jim Yong Kim.

But, recently, when a group of

influential Americans wrote to

President Biden urging him to

endorse Okonjo-Iweala’s

candidacy, they didn’t refer to her

as a Nigerian. Instead, they said:

“Her selection as the first

American and woman of colour to

serve as the WTO’s directorgeneral

will send a clear message

of inclusion to the rest of the

world.” Dual-nationality, of

course, has its benefits!

So, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is Director

General of the WTO, what next?

Well, she wants to reform the WTO

and will certainly inject fresh

energy and momentum into the

organisation. But unless she can

manage the tense and febrile

relationship between China and

the US, she would struggle to

make real progress. What’s more,

Africa’s, nay Nigeria’s, entrenched

opposition to sensible reforms at

the WTO could also limit the scope

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of what she can achieve.

Which, finally, brings us to Dr.

Agah. He was President Buhari’s

first choice for the Director

General job but later dopped for

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala. Harsh, but it

was a wise decision, given that

Agah doesn’t have a fraction of

Okonjo-Iweala’s global profile.

Yet, he has been a linchpin of the

WTO for nearly 15 years and has

chaired all the main WTO bodies.

In 2011, Dr. Agah served as chair

of the WTO’s General Council,

responsible for organising the

WTO’s eighth Ministerial

Conference. The conference was

widely predicted to fail, but Agah

snatched victory from the jaw of

defeat, and ensured its success. He

was rewarded two years later when

DG Roberto Azevêdo appointed

him as one of his four Deputy

Directors-General, with

responsibility for development,

training and technical

cooperation, knowledge and

information management, among

others.

Dr. Agah is a strong advocate of

economic liberalisation. Recently,

he stressed the importance of open

and predictable markets to foster

economic recovery. Sadly, this idea

is utterly at odds with the Buhari

government’s entrenched

protectionism. The irony of

President Buhari’s nomination of

Agah and Okonjo-Iweala as

Director General of the WTO is

that he doesn’t share their

economic views.

But Dr. Okonjo-Iweala and Dr.

Agah have done Nigeria and

Africa proud and deserve our best

wishes. Indeed, if underperforming

service chiefs could be nominated

as non-career ambassadors, Dr.

Agah certainly deserves a topranking

diplomatic appointment!

Dealing with gender-based violence

By OMOLARA OTUYEMI

ACCORDING to the

United Nations, UN, Gender Based

Violence, GBV, interchangeably used with

Violence Against Women or at times

domestic violence, is any act of violence

that results in or is likely to result in

physical, sexual or psychological harm or

suffering to women/young girls, including

threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary

deprivation of liberty whether occurring

in private (domestic) or public life.

GBV is a global phenomenon and not

limited to Nigeria. It occurs in various

cultures and affects people irrespective of

their economic status. The primary targets

of gender based violence are women and

adolescent girls.

They also suffer exacerbated

consequences as compared with what men

endure. As a result of gender

discrimination and their lower socioeconomic

status, women have fewer

options and less resources at their

disposal to avoid or escape abusive

situations and to seek justice.

GBV can be physical, sexual or

psychological. It can also be in the form

of neglect and abandonment and

economic disempowerment.

It includes, but is not limited to, such

acts as slapping, kicking, stabbing,

shooting, hitting, pouring of acid or any

other corrosive substance on victims and,

of course, murder. Other forms are harmful

traditional practices and female genital

mutilation.

Perhaps, the most common form of GBV

is rape. Rape is having sex with a woman

without her consent. Today, the rape

epidemic in our society reflects the extent

to which women’s human rights are

flagrantly being threatened. Our laws and

collective attitudes toward this weapon of

domination and repression call to question

not only our sense of justice but our level

of civilisation. Like a scourge, the regular

cases of reported rape in the country’s

media and confirmed statistics from some

states are threatening to smother the

essence of the society.

Each day, the media are awash with

weird stories with varying degrees of what

can be described as ludicrous: from child

defilement to the rape of old women.

Nobody, not even an infant, is safe from

the rampage of these randy felons on the

prowl.

Domestic violence is so

entrenched in our society that

even the victims condone

such violations of their rights

Domestic violence is also a common

aspect of GBV. These days, it is not

unusual for husbands to turn their spouses

to punching bags and oftentimes vent their

anger and frustrations on the latter. They

label their wives as witches whenever they

experience downturn in their economic

status or lose their jobs.

Consequently, the wives suffer for the

situations they did not create in the first

place. In most cases, some charlatans

pretending to be prophets or spiritualists

are the major culprits.

Similarly, if a woman earns more than

the man, there may be conflicts in the

home leading to domestic violence

because the man may be feeling inferior

and may believe the only way to assert his

authority in the home is by becoming

violent.

In Lagos State, statistics have shown that

30 per cent of females from age 15-49 have

become victims of gender- based violence,

either sexually, physically and

emotionally, but most prevalently sexual

violence. 2020, in particular, ushered in a

spike in GBV.

This, probably, is due to the COVID-19

pandemic and its attendant effects on

peoples’ sources of livelihood.

For instance, at the peak of the

pandemic, before the lockdown, reported

cases of domestic violence in the state

were relatively low compared to when the

lock down was implemented.

In the first half of 2020, the Lagos Police

Command recorded 32 cases of sexualbased

violence in the state. It was also

reported that one in every four girls before

attaining the legal age of sexual consent

have been a victim of sexual violence. And

this has continued to rise amidst the

pandemic.

In view of the evil it portends and

dangers associated with it, the

administration of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-

Olu has demonstrated sufficient resolve

to frontally confront the social vice in the

state. In the forefront of the war against

GBV is the wife of the State Governor, Dr.

Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, who has declared zero

tolerance to all forms of gender-based

violence.

Currently, diverse methods geared

towards eradicating the monstrous crime

of GBV in the state are being deployed by

Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, with the support

of relevant government agencies.

With the active role of the Ministries of

Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation,

WAPA, Youth and Social Development,

Justice, Education, Health and

Information and Strategy, Lagos State

Judiciary, the State Police Command as

well as the Lagos State House of Assembly,

government is battling GBV through a

multi-dimensional approach. This

includes legislation, public enlightenment

campaigns and proper implementation of

existing laws against GBV, among others.

Many GBV usually lack the courage to

seek legal redress on the violation of their

rights due to lack of positive response from

the society as the problem is often

dismissed as a private one even by law

enforcement agents and the fear of being

exposed to more intense forms of abuse.

Domestic violence is so entrenched in

our society that even the victims condone

such violations of their rights as some

perceive it as a sign of love and the socioreligious

belief that a broken marriage or

relationship is a mark of failure in life.

And also because many women and girls

depend on the financial resources of their

husband, father or families, they are forced

to put up with domination for fear of the

withdrawal of this financial support.

Therefore, in Lagos State, for instance,

the government and its partners have

continued to sensitise and educate women

to draw a line between true love and

abuse.

Similarly, several empowerment

programmes aimed at creating credible

sources of livelihood for the women are

being constantly organised by the

government.

The issue of gender-based violence is a

social malady that requires holistic

approach and solution from all

stakeholders. The civil society groups,

traditional and religious bodies, women

rights groups, law enforcement agencies,

all tiers of government and families must

all work together with a view to stemming

the tide of this dreadful societal ill.

•Otuyemi is of the Features Unit, Ministry

of Information and Strategy, Alausa,

Ikeja.


Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021 — 17

The governor as a quisling

THE idea of democracy is

straightforward. “Democracy

is government of the people for the

people and by the people,” said

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president

of the United States, a definition that

borrows heavily from its meaning in

Greek – “rule by the (simple)

people.”

Lincoln simply amplified the

essence of the concept, and his

definition presupposes that in a

democracy, the interest of the people

is preeminent. It superintends over

every other interest, including the

interests of government officials. But

the idea in an ideal democratic

setting is for the interest of the people

to resonate with the leaders since the

ultimate goal is the promotion of the

common good.

For this to happen, there must be a

constitution, which, among other

things, guarantees basic personal

and political rights, fair and free

elections, and independent courts of

law. In a democracy, the inalienable

right of the people to choose, in a

free and fair election, those that will

allocate their collective values, is

sacrosanct and inviolable because

the fidelity of a leader to the common

good is predicated on the fact that he

owes his office to the sovereign will

of the people expressed through the

ballot box.

But when leaders in a so-called

democracy access power not by the

sovereign will of the people but

through the back door, they are

alienated from the people they claim

to lead. Their allegiance is to those

powerful external forces who brought

them to power. Such leaders

inevitably become quislings - traitors

to the common good. That is the

wretched fate of Imo State today.

When Imolites went to the polls on

March 9, 2019 to elect a governor,

they voted massively for the candidate

of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,

Emeka Ihedioha; not Hope

Uzodimma, the man now sitting

pretty in Douglas House.

The Independent National

Electoral Commission, INEC,

dutifully returned Ihedioha winner

and on May 29, 2019, he took the

oath of office. But the sovereign will

of the people was whimsically

upended on January 14, 2020 when

the Supreme Court illogically

declared Uzodimma, the man who

came a distant fourth, winner of the

election in which the same Supreme

Court had ruled barely two weeks

earlier that he was not even a

candidate.

While throwing out the petition of

the governorship candidate of the

Action Alliance, AA, Uche Nwosu, on

December 20, 2019, the apex court

ruled that he was not qualified to vie

for the election because he doubled

as both the candidate of the APC and

AA.

In a lead judgement read by Justice

Amina Augie, the apex court held that

by virtue of double candidature,

Nwosu, ab-intio, was not qualified

to vie for the office. In an April 29,

2020 article titled: “Hope

Uzodimma’s 100 days of

hopelessness”, I predicted that the

consequences of the Supreme Court’s

shenanigan will be dire for the state.

“What the country’s apex court did

by imposing Hope Uzodimma on a

people who rejected him at the polls

is to create a hopeless situation for

the state. The consequences are better

imagined.”

You need to get this background to

appreciate what is happening in Imo.

Today, the state is in a sorry situation.

There is little or no governance. Most

workers are not paid their salaries

as and when due. Those who are

lucky to get paid at all take a cut

without any explanation. Beyond all

that, Imo is in a state of war, literally

and metaphorically. In the last 13

months since the Supreme Court

torpedoed the electoral will of the

people and imposed Uzodimma on

them as governor, the stories have

been horrifying, more so in the last

two weeks. On the invitation of

Uzodimma, military fighter jets took

to the skies on Thursday, February

18 reminiscent of the civil war years

and rained bombs on towns and

villages, killing and maiming

innocent, law-abiding citizens in the

name of hunting for operatives of the

Eastern Security Network, ESN, the

so-called military wing of the

Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB,

led by Nnamdi Kanu.

Suddenly, 51 years after the

fratricidal war, Alaigbo has once

again become a theatre of war, with

videos showing old men, women and

Alaigbo has once

again become a theatre

of war, with videos

showing old men,

women and children

running out of their

homes, some of them

half-naked and terribly

frightened as military

jets hovered above

children running out of their homes,

some of them half-naked and terribly

frightened as military jets hovered

above because Uzodimma wanted

to please those who made him

governor. The only crime the IPOB

activists committed was their

audacity to resist bandits occupying

the forests in the South East and

committing unspeakable atrocities.

Yet, no one is waging war against

the bandits.

Last week, Uzodimma boasted that

“our government decided to invite

military to flush out IPOB and their

so-called ESN,” insisting that his

administration will not hearken to

the pleas of those calling for the

withdrawal of the soldiers. He has

made all manner of allegations

against Igbo youths, accusing them

of murdering “four Moslems doing

their business in Orlu,” and killing

“several policemen and innocent

citizens in the area”, without any

shred of evidence.

Of course, he has been hailed by

those who gave him the power he

did not merit. Yet, the same people

hailing him as an action governor

for decimating his own people are

negotiating for not only

unconditional amnesty for the

bandits up North but insisting they

be paid compensation. Bandits

wreaking havoc across the country,

we are told by the northern elite, are

not criminals. They are militants -

and even freedom fighters - who

have the right to carry AK-

47 rifles, not to protect

themselves but to kill

Nigerians, if need be,

because the herdsmen are

aggrieved.

Despite the carnage in

the North, none of the

governors hailing

Uzodimma as a patriot has

called for the military to

flush out the bandits from

their states even when they

know where they are in the

forests. Instead, they are

negotiating and paying them

millions of naira as ransom. This

week, Uzodimma went to Aso Rock

to brief President Muhammadu

Buhari on how well the military

operation in Orlu was going. “I came

here (Presidential Villa), pleaded

with Mr. President for his support and

he sent additional support by

sending in police and 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,” he told

journalists after a close-door meeting

with Buhari.

That is what quislings do - they

collaborate with an enemy

occupying force. Uzodimma could

invite the military to decimate his

own people because he does not owe

any allegiance to them. He owes

allegiance to those who made him

governor. He knows his power base.

It is not Imo State. If he became

governor without the people’s vote,

why should he care a hoot about

them?

Political

observers

While the battle is still raging in

Orlu, a new theatre erupted in Owerri

between Uzodimma and one of his

co-conspirators, Senator Rochas

Okorocha, former governor of the

state. Discerning political observers

know it is a war foretold - natural

consequence of a shenanigan taken

too far.

In his dissenting judgement when

Ihedioha asked the Supreme Court

to set aside its January 14, 2020

ruling, Justice Centus Nweze - who

was not part of the original sevenmember

panel that nullified

Ihedioha’s election - said most

profoundly: “The decision of the

Supreme Court in the instant matter

will continue to haunt our (Nigeria’s)

electoral jurisprudence for a long

time to come.”

He is right. But it is not only the

electoral jurisprudence the

judgement is haunting. It is haunting

Imo State terribly. It is also bound to

haunt those who orchestrated the

injustice. That is called nemesis,

which explains the deadly tango

between Uzodimma, Okorocha and

Ifeanyi Araraume. Okorocha’s

humiliation over the weekend in a

state he thought he had conquered is

a well-deserved comeuppance.

Same for Araraume who was denied

the APC senatorial ticket in Okigwe.

That is what happens when

bootleggers sit back to share the

spoils of their political philandering.

Interestingly, Okorocha’s son-inlaw,

Nwosu, has gone back to the

Supreme Court to request a

declaration that Uzodimma was not

the APC candidate in the 2019

election. He is also praying the apex

court to declare Ihedioha winner

and mandate the INEC to once

again issue him with the certificate

of returns. I wish the Supreme Court

justices will appreciate the fact that

Imo, a constituent part of Nigeria,

will not know peace as long as

Uzodimma continues to usurp a

position he does not merit. And

Nigeria will be worse for it.

:Vanguard News

By Ozioruva Aliu

BENIN CITY—THE Private

Depot of Oil and Gas Marketers

Association of Nigeria, PDOGMAN,

has in collaboration with the Nigerian

Security and Civil Defence Corps,

NSCDC, inaugurated a security

surveillance team in Benin City, Edo

state to check incidences of pipeline

vandalism across oil installation and

oil pipeline routes.

The Assistant Commander, Edo

State Command of the NSCDC,

Emmanuel Ojile who represented the

Edo State Commander of NSCDC,

assured that the command has what it

takes to protect all federal

government's critical assets and

infrastructure in Edo State and the

country in general, adding that it has

Divisional Officers in all the eighteen

local government areas of the state

that can be called upon in case of any

emergency.

He said: "We have a core mandate

to protect all federal government assets

and infrastructure across the country.

We are happy to be part of this success

story that the Edo State branch of

PDOGMAN is being inaugurated

today. We have the capability to

NANNM endorses JIK to promote

hygiene practice in Nigeria

By Gabriel Olawale

L AGOS—NATIONAL

Association of Nigeria Nurses

and Midwives, NANNM has

announced a strategic endorsement

with leading household disinfectant

brand, JIK to promote hygiene

practices in Nigeria.

The partnership is in line with JIK’s

long-term vision to realise a world

where families are safe from illnesscausing

germs and viruses. It will

also enable Reckitt Benckiser (RB

Nigeria), through its brand JIK, to

further encourage good hygiene

practices in communities and the

public through several far-reaching

bouquet of programmes.

In his remarks, General Secretary

:@vanguardnews

Private depot operators, NSCDC

partner to tackle pipeline vandalism

interface and protect, even at the state

headquarters, we are available for you

to work with", he assured.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the

National Secretary of PDOGMAN,

Mr. Fred Ufuah said the inauguration

of the joint security surveillance team

was made possible because of the

MoU the body entered with NSCDC

which spelt out all the legal

requirements of the operation which

he said is for three years in the first

instance.

According to Ufuah, "we signed an

MoU, a legal document with them to

collaborate in the security activity. The

legal document was signed in July last

year and it has three years tenure which

is subject to renewal based on the

performance of the officers in the job.

Before the signing of the MoU, our

officers went through lectures and

training from the NSCDC command".

While reminding the team

members that the Benin NNPC

petroleum products Depot became

moribund because of pipeline

vandalism, Ufuah urged them to hand

over to the officials of NSCDC anyone

caught vandalising petroleum

pipelines or any other oil installation.

Delta Speaker, Oborevwori was never

invited by EFCC —CPS

By Festus Ahon

ASABA—CHIEF Press Secretary,

CPS to the Speaker of Delta State

House of Assembly, Mr Dennis Otu,

Tuesday, said the Speaker, Chief Sheriff

Oborevwori was never invited by the

Economic and Financial Crime

Commission, EFCC over the purchase

of cars for members of the House.

Otu in a statement made available

to newsmen in Asaba, described media

reports that the Speaker and the Clerk

of the House, Mrs Lyna Ocholor were

arrested and detained by the EFCC as

incorrect and malicious.

Noting that the report was the

handwork of mischief-makers who

were out to tarnish the good image of

the Speaker, he explained that VAT

and Tax were deducted at source by

the office of Accountant General of the

State from the value of the cars.

ASUU offers scholarship to 30 most

deserving UNIZIK students

By Vincent Ujumadu

AWKA—THE Nnamdi Azikiwe

University branch of the

Academic Staff Union of

Universities (ASUU) yesterday

awarded scholarships to 30 students

of the institution as part of measures

to reduce the burden on their parents

who were finding it difficult to

finance their education at this period

of economic hardship in the country.

The students received N50,000

each for the 2019/2020 academic

session, with the Unizik ASUU

chairman, Comrade Stephen

Ufoaroh explaining that the

Explaining that the Clerk who was

invited by the EFCC to bring

documentary evidence of the cars

transaction based on a petition, he said

the Clerk returned same day after

presenting documents requested by the

Commission.

Otu held that the cars were

purchased in accordance with the

procurement law, adding that the

Petitioners decided to resort to

blackmail having failed in their

devilish act.

While calling on the public to

disregard the said media report in its

entirety, he reiterated that neither the

Speaker nor the Clerk of the House

was detained by the EFCC.

Insisting that the Speaker has never

been involved in shoddy businesses,

he said the Speaker is on the same

page with the members and very

transparent in the running of the

House.

beneficiaries were those who deserved

it most.

Ufoaroh said the gesture was to

support the students to complete

their academic pursuit, adding that

ASUU members tasked themselves

to raise the money despite the fact

that all academic staff of Unizik were

owed salaries between four and

twelve months.

He said: "Despite the prevailing

problems, ASUU-Unizik, still saw

the need to help in alleviating the

suffering of our students, who have

also borne the pains of the ruling

class insensitivity to the suffering

masses of this country.‘‘

of NANNM, Comrade Thomas

Shettima, said the association was

proud to identify with JIK. “Reckitt

Benckiser’s products are well-tested

and the efficacy of their products –

especially JIK, is not in doubt; the

reason for our endorsement. We are

confident that this will further

promote the acceptance of the

brand.”

With the Memorandum of

Understanding signing, the

association has granted RB the

exclusive right to use its official logo

on all its JIK products and brand

materials. Every RB’s advertising

material for JIK products and

brands on all media platforms will

likewise carry the association’s

official endorsement and logo.

C

M

Y

K


18 — Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

IT has long been public knowledge

that most occupants of political

offices in Nigeria send their children

to schools abroad due to the virtual

collapse of quality education in

Nigeria.

A non-resident scholar of the

Carnegie Endowment for

International Peace, Matthew Page

(who is described as “a Nigerian”),

in a study titled: “West African Elites’

Spending on UK Schools and

Universities: A Closer Look”, has

accused Nigeria’s politically-exposed

persons, PEPs, of perpetrating money

laundering by using the education of

their children and wards abroad as a

conduit pipe.

The report, which was

commissioned by the United

Kingdom government, according to

its High Commissioner in Nigeria,

Catriona Laing, was meant “to better

understand the risk to the UK from

illicit finance in West Africa.

We will now consider the report’s

Funding Nigerians’ education

abroad with illicit funds

finding and take a view on what if

any further action is required”.

Page’s report also accused the UK

government of reluctance to

acknowledge the shortcomings of its

anti-money laundering policies or

learn lessons from recent anticorruption

failures, especially as

many UK schools are clearly

complicit in matriculating students

linked to known or even convicted

“kleptocrats”.

We are waiting to see exactly what

the UK government is going to do

about this unwholesome finding

which hurts both the UK and the victim

countries. Nigeria bears the

main brunt of public treasury fleecing

to educate the children of PEPs

abroad while virtually abandoning

public-funded education.

We suggest they start by monitoring

the sources of funds being used

to pay for the children and wards of

these Nigerian PEPs and consider

rusticating/deporting any student

being sponsored with stolen or illicit

public funds.

The UK has an obligation to show

its sincerity in commissioning the

inquiry by the resolve with which it

deals with the proven cases of

money laundering.

In spite of the much-vaunted “anticorruption

wars” in Nigeria, the

country has almost lost its capacity to

bring culprits to book because of the

nature of the system we run.

Without the assistance of developed

countries and international bodies,

corruption in the topmost political

circles in Nigeria virtually has no

deterrence.

The deterioration in the quality of

education in Nigerian schools is

greatly responsible for the poverty,

underdevelopment and growing

instability in Nigeria.

It also affects advanced countries

like the UK by way of the quantum of

unwanted emigrants seeking better

life.

It is in the UK’s interest that

Nigerian leaders are encouraged to

educate the bulk of their children in

well-funded and run domestic

schools.

OPINION

The delusion of institutionalising online learning

BY SEGUN IGE

ALEARNING management system is an

online learning platform or portal where

lecturers upload lecture notes, slides, or videos

on certain courses on the one hand, and where

students download relevant materials, submit

assignments and take whatever assessments,

on the other hand. LMS is not actually a

modern technique of learning. It’s been an

integral part of every successful “management

system” where learning is invariably mediated

via socio-cyber space.

Schools in Nigeria, in general, have not been

digitally institutionalised and equipped to the

point of meeting up with the demands of

teaching and learning online. And as far as

online learning is concerned, we’re extremely

lagging behind because the foundation of our

educational system wasn’t digital-driven, and

we’re entrusted with the decades-to-come

responsibility of recalibrating the education

sector to the proper place of competence and

performance.

The new learning environment the

pandemic has created is an indisputable social

proof and indispensable fait accompli that

students would not continually be physically

gathering to learn for a long period of time,

and the necessity of putting in place spatiallearning

modes, models and platforms comes

to the fore. It’s such a servile way of saying

physical learning has come to an end.

The deception of lecturers, who claim to be

technological “know-hows” and have indeed

been systematically bred and reared by the

traditional ‘paper-and-pencil’ methodology of

teaching and learning, is typically posing a

great deal of threat to students who themselves

have been endangered by such learning

processes.

The danger it presupposes is, of course, the

overwhelming under-performance of students,

who surely find it a herculean task coming to

classes, let alone attending one Zoom lecture

fluctuated by power outage and insufficient

data, who are under duress and in a gruelling

situation to grasp one thing or two.

Such is the endemic problem students are

achingly and perilously going through as a

result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But clearly,

the fact that the students would not rarely

observe social distancing, and what have you,

is a selling point that really they could resume

physical learning some way or other. That is

not to say that the preventive protocols of the

pandemic would not be observed. No! It would

and it should! This stance should not be

If we’re going online, then

students should not have

problems accessing the internet

put in place by the managements

problematically given, notably when one

considers the same holds sway in churches and

mosques.

To me, I could dare to argue, with the

measures and sanctions imposed on schools

vis-à-vis religious bodies, how deteriorating

we’re devaluating and denigrating the role

education plays in national-building and

national development. I perceive there

couldn’t have been any pandemic greater than

that. Education, not religion, is the lifeblood

and spring of life of everything and anything

we do – adding to or subtracting from the social

norms, moral principles, and all-round success

of a nation – depending on how we handle it.

What’s the lot of students struggling to learn

online, download avalanche of lecture slides

and materials which are largely untaught,

amid unstable internet access, erratic power

supply and exorbitant purchase of data from

telecommunications network service

providers?

To be sure, the lecturers would admit that,

because of how stochastic and sterile the

operational system is in adapting to the “new

normal,” going virtual is technically a will-o’-

the-wisp. In other words, it’s a sheer waste of

time, on the one hand, trying the impossible in

an excessively monolithic environment and,

on the other, the preference for physical

learning could be overtly overemphasised. The

bottom line is the online learning is not

working for them!

Students are seriously going to be on the

receiving end, after all. The new measure

seems to favour the lecturers who have

generally been monochromatically

programmed, nay in tabula rasa, in coming

for late classes. The students, sometimes or

most of the time, would be the ones running

after them, reminding them, calling them,

wasting their precious airtime and time in

holding a diluted, prevaricated, soporific,

jejune, ‘story-telling,’ ‘song-singing,’ mumbojumbo

class.

The narrative would essentially have been

rather hooked to the sinker, thanks to the

pandemic. Mostly, such is the pervasive scene

of higher institutions of learning. Well, these

lecturers themselves have been side-cheeked

of their salaries, overtime, particularly with

the Federal Government’s indefatigable

enrolling of the new Integrated Payroll and

Personal Information System mode of

payment, which really denied certain senior

staffers of their rights, regardless of the

daggers-drawn altercation of one worldwithout-end

Memorandum of Understanding.

Send Opinions & Letters to:

opinions1234@yahoo.com

The solution to this is to ensure the labourers

get paid and the learners get quality education.

And quality education is integrating, not IPPIS,

but computer-assisted standards of learning

the pandemic has envisioned for us. Period!

It’s a good thing that now we’re embracing

Zoom, Telegram, and the like, to hold two-orso

hour classes. But beyond that, we need to

start funding and supporting our social-science

and engineering departments; encouraging

and sponsoring them to compete with their

global peers; and making use of and promoting

our domestically-produced technological

inventions locally and internationally. That’s

what could squarely cement the synergy

between the parents, the President, those in

loco parentis, and those in statu pupillari.

If we’re going online, then students should

not have problems accessing the internet put

in place by the managements. Remember, it’s

a “management system,” not “student system.”

They should not be deeply sorrowful and

regretful ever coming to school, namely, the

freshers. Some of these students absolutely

depend on this that they use it to take tests,

submit assignments, and eventually and if

possible, take exams. It would be so, so

catastrophic for them if they in the end see the

outcome. It’s not ideal to use their ‘pocketmoney’

on data that’s largely predictably

going to shatter their hopes on crucial days.

That would be abundantly outrageous.

And if we’re going physical, which is what’s

presumably going to work if the former is not,

we should strictly adhere to the safety measures

put in place in preventing COVID-19. Simple!

And as though they’re babes, they’ve been

baby-seated in baby-walkers, while the babes

themselves are physically learning in school

every now and then.

Continues online: www.vanguardngr.com

•Ige, a freelance journalist, wrote via,

igesegunadebayo5@gmail.com


ENERGY

Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021 — 19

FG considers new options to deliver prepaid

meters

By Udeme Akpan

THE Federal Govern

ment has started considering

new options in delivering

prepaid meters to 60 per

cent of consumers still being

exploited through estimated

billing in Nigeria.

In its ‘Consultation Paper on

the Review of Meter Asset

Provider’ obtained by Vanguard,

yesterday, Sanusi

Garba, Chairman, Nigerian

Electricity Regulatory Commission,

NERC, disclosed that

the three options include:

allowing the implementation

of both the National Mass

Metering Programme,

NMMP and Meter Asset Provider,

MAP metering frameworks

to run concurrently, continuing

with the current MAP

framework with meters procured

under the NMMP supplied

only through MAPs (by

being off-takers from the local

manufacturers/assemblers);

and winding down the MAP

framework and allow the

DisCos to procure meters directly

from local manufacturers/assemblers

(or as procured

by the WB), and enter into

new contracts for the installation

and maintenance of such

meters.

The Chairman, who noted

that the options have their

merits and demerits, stated:

“Under the concurrent framework

all customers are expected

to pay their bills without

any specific reference to

metering charge. The metering

component shall be embedded

in the energy charge.

The payment framework under

the MAP-NMMP concurrent

implementation option

shall require all customers

on the same tariff classification

in a DisCo to pay a uniform

energy tariff that includes

a metering cost that would en-

CURRENCY BUYING SELLING

US DOLLAR

POUNDS

EURO

FRANC

YEN

CFA

WAUA

RENMINBI

RIYAL

RAND

379 379.5 380

533.8973 534.6017 535.306

460.6366 461.2443 461.852

420.8773 421.4325 421.9878

3.6006 3.6054 3.6101

0.6819 0.6919 0.7019

545.9805 546.7008 547.4211

58.6297 58.7075 58.7853

101.0505 101.1838 101.3171

25.8178 25.8519 25.8859

CBN Exchange rate as at 24/02/2021

able DisCos recover the cost

of meter and other associated

expenses for the repayment

of the NMMP facility and the

services provided by MAP.

“The repayment of the

NMMP facility would be a

second line charge against

DisCos’ monthly collections in

accordance with the term

sheet for the financing. This

option recognises the continued

role of MAPs and the

DisCos while strengthening

the securitisation of payment

to MAPs through a third line

charge against the DisCos’

monthly revenues. This option

maintains all other provisions

of the Meter Service

Agreement (“MSA”) except

where both parties choose to

make amendments to the

agreements.

“The MAPs are thus required

to make arrangements

for the procurement, financing,

delivery and installation

of meters in line with approved

deployment plans and

the MSA. Customers who

choose not to wait to receive

meters based on the deployment

schedule of the NMMP

shall continue to have the option

of making upfront payments

for meters which will

be installed within a maximum

period of ten working

days. Such customers shall be

NPA records 6.6% decline in

vessel call

MARITIME

refunded by the DisCos

through energy credits.

“However, it is imperative

to note that this option is an

exception as all MAPs are required

to deploy meters in

accordance with the agreed

meter roll out plan and consistent

with the MAP framework.

There shall be no option

for meter acquisition

through the payment of a

monthly meter service

charge. In the determination

of rates payable by customers,

the Commission shall

take into account the blend of

“cost of debt” on account of

the concessionary financing

to DisCos under the

NMMP.”

“The increase in registered

customers was, in addition

to the new connection,

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 of 30 June 2020.”

United Capital’s profit up by 61% to N7.95 billion

By Godwin Oritse

Reflecting the impact

of the COVID-19

pandemic on the

maritimes sector, the

number ships that sailed

into the nation’s port (vessel

call) fell by 6.6 per

cent, year-on-year, (y/y) to

3972 in 2020 from 4251 in

2019.

Similarly, the volume of

goods imported into the

country, or

c a r g o

throughput

137.80 -0.50 fell by 2.2

per cent y/

1,835.00 -1.00 y to 78.4

million

17.15 +0.14 metric

tonnes

(MT) in

2020 from

66.84 +1.47

80.2 million

MT in

63.73 +0.90 2019.

Managing

Director,

Nigerian

Ports

Authority,

Hadiza

B a l a -

Usman,

disclosed

this yesterday

while

addressing

maritime

correspondents

in a virtual forum.

She said, “In 2019, we

had a total of 4,251 vessels

that called into our ports,

according to the ship traffic

data. In 2020, we had

3972. So, we had a drop.

In terms of cargo throughput,

we had 78.4 million

metric tonnes in 2020

while in 2019 the nation

recorded 80.2 million MT

in 2019.”

Speaking on the new

truck park initiative designed

to ease traffic

around port access roads

and drive down port cost,

she said: “We will address

the challenges we

have with the movement

of the barges themselves,

to sequence it and make

sure that the harbour

master is in control of the

activities. We will also

develop a Standard Operating

procedure on

barge operations.”

Bala-Usman warned

trucks to desist from parking

along the port corridors,

noting that they could not

drive into the ports to receive

a cargo without using

the e-call up app.

She explained that the

process is free, inclusive of

on-boarding but the truckers

would pay when they

are exiting the truck park

though it would not be operational

till February 27.

United Capital Plc,

has recorded 61 per

cent growth in Profit Before

Tax, PBT to N7.95 billion for

the year ended December

2020 from N4.95 billion in

2019.

Consequently, the company

recorded a 57 per cent

increase in Profit After Tax,

PAT which rose to N7.81

billion N4.97 billion in 2019.

The marked increase in profitability

was inspired by a 50

percent growth in gross earnings

which rose N12.87 billion

in 2020, from N8.59 billion

in 2019.

Furthermore, United Capital

recorded a 48 per cent increase

in total assets to

N224.75 billion in 2020 from

N150.46 billion in the 2019;

while shareholders’ funds

grew to N24.43 billion rising

by 25 per cent from 19.59 billion

a year earlier.

Consequently, the Directors

of United Capital have

proposed a dividend of 70 kobo

per share, amounting to a total

of N4.2 billion dividend to be

paid upon ratification by shareholders

at its forthcoming

Annual General Meeting,

AGM. The 70kobo dividend

per share, which is higher than

the 50k per share declared in

2019, is payable to shareholders

whose names appear on

the Register of Members at

the close of business on

March 5, 2021.

The Group Chief Executive

Officer, United Capital Plc,

Mr. Peter Ashade, expressed

delight on the performance,

which according to him is

cheering news despite the

challenges that most companies

faced in the year 2020.

He said, “I am pleased to

inform all stakeholders that

United Capital delivered impressive

returns amid the unprecedented

environment

worsened by the pandemic

during the 2020 financial year

with remarkable double-digit

growth in revenue, PBT and

PAT and solid performance

across key business

parameters.

“This empowers us to adopt

a more positive outlook for the

year 2021 as we navigate the

tough terrain compounded by

a second wave of the COVID-

19 pandemic among other

severe economic challenges,”

Ashade noted.

WorldRemit

backs CBN on

new USD bank

account

opening process

By Nkiruka NNorom

MONEY MARKET

WorldRemit, a crossborder

digital payments

service, has expressed

support for directive

of the Central Bank

of Nigeria’s (CBN) mandating

banks in Nigeria to

facilitate money transfers

by opening domiciliary accounts

for those who

currently do not have one.

Commenting on this

development, Gbenga

Okejimi, Country Manager,

Nigeria and Ghana,

at WorldRemit, said: “We

are very pleased by the

CBN’s decision to mandate

Nigerian banks to

help citizens who do not

have a dollar account by

automatically providing

this facility on their behalf.

This development will

make all the difference to

those who receive

support from family and

friends abroad.

“For our part, we are

excited by the fact that we

can continue to enable the

transfer of remittances to

more people across Nigeria

while also supporting

the Nigerian government

in its efforts to strengthen

the economy.

C

M

Y


20 — Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

We need new ways to project Nigeria

positively — Young CEO

By Gabriel Ewepu

THE Managing Director,

Multimix Academy,

Oluchi Okafor, in this

interview expressed concern

over challenges facing

Nigeria’s supply chain

industry and the need for

urgent attention to tackle

issues including professional

manpower to boost the

economy, as she discloses

Multimix Academy’s

commitment towards

changing the narrative and

her views about the Nigerian

Press.

Excerpts;

On your recent

appointment as the Managing

Director of Multimix

Academy, what was on your

mind when you accepted the

appointment?

Well, I’m no stranger; it is my

family’s business and was

founded by my father, Dr.

Obiora Madu about 25 years

ago. In a way, it was a full

circle moment as I have done

holiday jobs here as a

teenager, accompanied my

father for presentations as a

young girl and helped him

change slides on his computer

before laser pointers became

the in-thing. Even during my

10-year stint in corporate

Nigeria, I was still involved

with the company from a

distance. However, it was time

for the company to move in a

different direction which made

me take the very difficult but

very necessary decision to

leave paid employment and

resume as General Manager

of the academy. Becoming the

MD of a company that has

survived for so long is

definitely daunting, but I have

accepted the challenge

wholeheartedly and with the

help of the very impressive

human capital of friends and

mentors I have been able to

build along the years. My

father is now the Chairman/

CEO.

What are you going to do in

transforming this Academy?

The transformation has

already begun. Since my

resumption in 2019, it has

been about setting processes,

and moving gradually into

becoming a tech-enabled

organisation. This work is

currently ongoing and we are

making great strides.

Becoming tech-enabled

essentially means that our

services, customer

engagement, advertising,

marketing and teaching

methods are up to 21st

Century standards and in just

two short years, we have

achieved this.

What areas of the academy

do you want to improve and

taken to the next level?

We would like to be more

visible than we currently are.

We believe that we should be

part of the conversation at all

levels, where the topic is

concerned in this country. The

supply chain industry in

Nigeria is suffering from one

major thing; an extreme lack

of talent, especially amongst

the younger generation. They

are unaware of the

opportunities that lie within the

sector. People who are already

in it found themselves there by

virtue of posting or that being

The timing of

Dr. Okonjo-

Iweala’s

appointment

as DG of the

WTOcould

not be more

important;

she would

not be there

if she was

not supported

and

encouraged

in her quest

for

knowledge

the only available course of

study for them. We are

committed to changing this

narrative, one professional at

a time through our intervention

programmes for private and

public organisations. A well

trained supply chain

department can make or mar

an entire company and its

goals. We understand this, but

we need everyone else to

understand this too.

What do you intend to

achieve in the next five years

as MD?

Apart from Multimix

Academy becoming a

household name, I would like

to have achieved a lot with

regards to working with the

Nigerian government on

supply chain and logistics

matters. Many state and local

governments organise training

sessions in different fields for

young Nigerians to give them

more access to opportunities.

Trainings in Logistics and

Supply Chain should not be

missing from the narrative.

Imagine having more trained

Warehousing personnel,

procurement professionals,

young people well versed in

International trade and

Import/Export processes. I

would like to be a part of that

and because we are an Impact

First company, we measure

our successes on the number

of lives changed before

speaking to monetary gains.

This is what I intend to focus

on, with the assistance of wellplaced

individuals and others

who buy into this vision.

On the issue of girl-child

education in Nigeria, are you

impressed with the effort of

government to give the girlchild

a sense of belonging

and quality education?

I think a lot more needs to

be done with our society in

general not just the

government. Yes, there needs

to be more governmental

support for girls in school but

the society itself should also

not have the perception that

an educated female is a waste

of money. The timing of Dr.

Okonjo-Iweala’s

appointment as DG of the

World Trade Organisation,

WTO, could not be more

•Oluchi Okafor

important. She would not

be there if she was not

supported and encouraged

in her quest for

knowledge. She is the first

African and first female in

that position and it is

important that we ensure

she is not the last.

What do you think can be

done to add value to girlchild

education in Nigeria?

A lot of care should be

given to initiatives and

NGOs that cater to

ensuring education among

disadvantaged children,

male and female alike,

while ensuring that these

interventions take equality

seriously, in terms of ratio

of participation of boys and

girls. Initiatives like Slum

to School, The Stellar

Initiative and Girls who

Code are just a few

examples.

What is your assessment

on the way government

has addressed genderbased

violence with rape

topping the chart after

several protests on the

dastardly act?

I like to look at issues

from what can be

immediately done, and not

from the sea of problems

plaguing whatever it is that is

being discussed. Yes, the

government has done some

things recently with regards to

posting some individuals as

sex offenders and reviewed

the punishments to be more

suitable for the crime.

However, stigmatisation is one

of the major issues

surrounding this. People are

reluctant to come forward with

allegations because no one

believes them, and the longer

time passes, the harder it is

to prove it in a court of law

and the perpetrator more often

than not, walks away scotfree.

More support must be

given to survivors by way of

therapy, support and mental

health initiatives to help them

heal and live a healthy life

post- trauma.

Do you have any plan to be

a voice in this struggle to

stop gender-based violence?

Definitely, I am very

passionate about this subject

and I participate in any and

every way I can to help any

initiative that fights against

this.

Also being a media

professional, what do you

think about press freedom in

Nigeria?

Press freedom is

unfortunately mostly a myth

in a lot of countries in the

world and not just Nigeria. It

speaks to the innate difficulty

of us as human beings to take

criticism or to accept the fact

that our best intentions are not

viewed as what it is by the

public. It’s really all about

perspective for all parties

involved. One party thinks

they are doing all they can

and the other party thinks

nothing is being done. Press

freedom in Nigeria can

definitely be better, and will

help the government plug

identified holes detected by

the media.

Can you say Nigerian Press

is divided along regional,

religious and political lines?

It is, but that doesn’t mean it

is a bad thing. In developed

countries, different factions and

regions have their own

dedicated media. One central

media source alone cannot

serve an entire nation, certainly

not one as diverse as Nigeria.

It is, however, important that

the regional and political sides

do not descend to falsehoods

and maintain journalistic

integrity at all times.

What is the missing link in

the Nigerian Press in terms of

promoting professionalism?

For me, there are several

missing links. Passion must be

rewarded and remunerated

properly. The damage in ethics

with most journalists and their

willingness to sacrifice their

professionalism more often

than not boils down to

Continues on page 21

C

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Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021 — 21

Osaide for Girls Foundation awarded scholarships to seven girls during her first anniversary. Four from the

secondary school and three from the university. In the Secondary School category were Idemudia Esohe

and Purity Eloghosa Edegbe from St.Maria Goretti Girls' Grammar School; Osaigbovo Franca from Oba

Akenzua Sec.Sch.and Osamwonyi Mercy from Imaguero Girls Secondary School, Benin City, Edo State

while in the University category were Esther Imhande Ehiawaguan, Chemical Engineering (a first class

student with a CGPA of 4.94); Jasmine Aizenosa Nosa-Ehima, Civil Engineering. Post-Graduate category

was Maduka Hephzibah Chidimma,Civil Engineering, who made second class upper.

Lokoja varsity viral videos: Kogi women network

decries attack, calls for probe

By Boluwaji Obahopo

LOKOJA— A nongovernmental

organisation, Kogi Women

Network for Democratic

Change and Good

Governance, KWNDCGG, has

decried the attack on the

former Vice-Chancellor,

Federal University Lokoja,

Professor Angela Freeman

Miri by some staff members.

Last weekend, some

members of the staff unions

made a mock obituary poster

of the former VC and

circulated it round the achool.

They also 'swept -off’ her feet

from the institution. All these

were recorded in a vedio that

went viral across social

network.

The group, however, decried

the action of those involved,

describing the attack as a

collective attack on womenfolk

which should be resisted.

National Co-ordinator of the

association, Hajia Ramatu

Muhammed made this known

in a statement made available

to newsmen in Lokoja on

Monday.

“We berate the few

individuals within the

university community who

came out shamelessly and

childishly to embarrass the

entire university community

with their ill-motivated protest.

Continues from page 20

“Those in the Ivory tower that

should be cultured,

abandoned decency,

decorum and civilized way of

life and embarked on a

shameful, disgraceful and

degrading protest carried out

last Saturday.”

The association who called

on the law enforcement

agencies to wade into the

matter to unravel those

behind the despicable act,

stressed that those involved

have been behind all sorts of

wicked publications mounted

in the last three and half years

to cause serious disaffection

in the institution between the

former Vice-Chancellor, Prof.

(Mrs.) Angela Freeman Miri

and the rest of the staff.

“It should be noted that

these few individuals had

been the evil brains behind

various skirmishes between

the university community

and the host communities in

the past.

“They lied about and raised

false alarms as well as sowed

the seed of discord

everywhere in order to create

tension and chaos in the

university. Prof. Miri, on

several occasions, was

accused of financial

recklessness, corruption,

nepotism and embezzlement

which they could not

substantiate.

“They never had the

audacity and the facts to

prosecute her in a law court

or any of the anti-corruption

bodies. What did she

embezzle? No funds came to

her account. Most of the

projects executed are

TETfund-funded projects

which she worked hard to

attract to the university and

the contractors were not

recruited by her. The work

done are there for all to see.

“These enemies of progress

did everything within their

power and imagination to

pull her down, but God did

not allow them to have their

selfish way. The only thing

they felt they could do was to

place an obituary of the

woman who is hale and

hearty. Everyone that had

input in the obituary saga has

no fear of God as they

wanted her dead, This is

wicked of them and they have

belittled themselves and

made the university a

laughing stock of the

Nigerian society.

“They have done what

ordinary illiterates wouldn’t

have done. What a shame,

and in Yoruba parlance, if

people announce anyone's

death when in actual fact, he

or she is alive, it simply

means he or she will live long

and in fact outlive his or her

detractors. For Prof. Miri, it

is a sign of long life for her.”

We need new ways to project Nigeria positively

— Young CEO welfare of Nigerians, unity

survival. Other missing links

boil down to personal

convictions and morality, and

a willingness to deep-dive for

the hidden stories, and to

always report the hard truth

and facts.

What can help the Nigerian

Press impact positively in the

of the country and attraction

of investors and tourists to

Nigeria?

A lot is to be said of how we

are projecting the nation. I

personally think not enough

attention is being paid to

places like our very own

Silicon Valley in Yaba, by

members of the traditional

press corps. The majority of

the news that has gotten out

there with regards to Yaba is

via social media and other

means of reporting. It seems

like news about Nigeria is

restricted to more traditional

roles like medicine, education

and social governance, but it

is tech that is attracting big

names like Mark Zuckerberg

and Jack Dorsey to come to

Yaba. We need to look for

new ways to project the

nation positively.

Make shelters more accessible to

PLWDs, foundation tells NAPTIP

By Esther Onyegbula

NATIONAL Agency for

the Prohibition of

Trafficking in

Persons, NAPTIP, has been

urged to ensure that safe

homes and shelters are more

accessible to people with

disability.

The call was made recently

in Lagos at the public

dissemination of findings on

gender audit report of

shelters and safe homes in

Lagos by Cleen Foundation.

According to the Executive

Director, Cleen Foundation,

Benson Olugbuo: “NAPTIP

should monitor existing safe

homes and shelter services

and ensure caregivers and

other service providers take

a victim-centered approach

to victim care.

“NAPTIP should carry out

quarterly monitoring of all

safe homes and shelter to

ensure compliance with

stipulated guidelines as well

as develop uniformed

template guidelines for data

collation with built-in periodic

Imaan Sulaiman – Ibrahim

By Providence Adeyinka

ANon-Governmental

Organisation, NGO,

Bola Oyebade

Foundation, BOF, has

empowered some Nigerian

entrepreneurs as part of

activities marking the 50th

birthday anniversary of Bola

Oyebade.

Oyebade is the founder of the

NGO and some of the items

given out to empower the

entrepreneurs included 15

sewing machines, 10 barbing

kits, five industrial machines,

five grinding machines and

cash to 50 traders in 10

communities which is part of

the NGO’s third anniversary

celebration.

Meanwhile, he urged the

government to extend lowinterest

loans with long

payback period to

entrepreneurs to further boost

the small and medium scale

sector.

submission method of data

collated by all frontline

protection service providers,”

he said.

Olugbuo noted that it is also

paramount for the agency to

popularize the existing

National Monitoring Centre

and expand its use to

accommodate data entry by

other frontline protection

service providers.

The project, which was

focused on preventing forced

migration and trafficking of

women and girls in Nigeria,

was aimed at building

resilience, promoting

sustainable development as

well as enabling a gendersensitive

policy environment

that addresses forced

migration and trafficking sites.

The project also seeks to

strengthen genderresponsiveness

of

interventions by the National

Agency for the Prohibition of

tTrafficking in Persons,

NAPTIP, and other relevant

government agencies.

Beyond the 16 days of

activism observed globally in

the month of December, the

gender audit report of safe

homes and trafficking

shelters resonates perfectly

to increase efforts to amplify

the voices of women workers

in the informal economy

while continuing to end all

forms of gender-based

violence in public and private

spaces.

Human trafficking which

mostly involves women and

girls is a form of gender-based

violence and must be stamped

out from our communities.

Gender-based violence is a

pervasive threat that survives

through harmful gender

norms and silences, and which

has been exacerbated by

COVID-19 pandemic.

Foundation empowers entrepreneurs,

calls for low interest loan

In a statement, Oyebade said

that the items received by the

entrepreneurs were in

fulfillment of the vision of the

NGO which was founded to lift

individuals through economic

empowerment and improve

their lives.

“For one to live and help

others, he must be equipped

with sustainable skills. The NGO

planned to delve into

mechanised agribusiness,

micro credit scheme,

entrepreneurial mentorship

and vocational training,” he

said.

In his address titled: Turning

ideas into profitable ventures,

financial expert, Ayobami Alabi,

said that lack of passion,

commitment and poor funding

are some of the factors that

impede

budding

entrepreneurship.

Alabi advised entrepreneurs

to deploy their savings in

starting up a business instead

of borrowing.

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22 — Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

By Davies Iheamnachor

SENIOR Advocate of

Nigeria, SAN, Tuduru

Ede in this interview,

speaks on the

reoccurring clashes

between herdsmen and

farmers across the

country and how a

holistic amendment of

the Land Use Act can

effectively tackle the

problem. He also speaks

on the agitation by oilbearing

communities and

other national issues.

Excerpts:

IN recent times, cult-related

killings have been on the increase

in Rivers and some other states

in the Niger-Delta area. How can

this be checked?

Cult killings and restiveness

arising from cult-related activities

have been on the rise and this is

traceable to some politicians.

Unemployment, opportunities for

self-actualisation of our youths are

also responsible for the rise in cult

activities in the region. When

some of us left secondary school

in the late 70s, we had the

opportunity to work anywhere we

wanted. We got employed without

knowing anybody. I think one of

the ways to tackle the problem is

for government to come up with

worthwhile programmes to

engage the youths.

Do you think new laws should

be made or enforcement of

existing ones should be given

more attention in order to end

this menace?

Enforcement of law and making

of additional laws will not really

solve the problems of the society.

Take for instance, immediately

after the civil war, laws relating

to armed robbery were enacted,

but people also forget that there

have been laws governing armed

robbery. Those days, they used

to call it Highway Robbery. If you

look at the Tribunal set up

pursuant to the robbery laws that

were enacted by the Federal

Government, has it reduced

armed robbery? It has even

accentuated it. So it is not a matter

of making new laws.

I agree on enforcement, but it

is also the business of the society

to give out information to the law

enforcement agencies about cult

and criminal activities. Don’t also

forget that sometimes, those who

pass information are also given

out by the security agencies, who

receive this information and that

is why we have what I may term

the conundrum in law

enforcement.

EDITORIAL

Innocent Anaba

( Editor)

Ikechukwu Nnochiri

Henry Ojelu

Onozure Dania

08152060944

HERDERS/FARMERS' CLASHES:

Review of Land Use Act 'll ensure

lasting solution — EDE, SAN

The Petroleum Industry Bill

has generated a lot of debate,

particularly on the aspect of

percentage of equity holding by

host communities. How can oilbearing

communities get a bill

that will protect them?

The simple thing is to make oilbearing

communities co-owners.

You cannot produce oil from a

community and not make the

people have a sense of belonging

in a resource that is removed from

under their soil. Communities

should be made part owners of

the resources. For instance, if oil

well is struck in community A,

you should be able to give the

community opportunities relating

to employment. I am aware some

companies enter into MoU and

GMoU with the host communities.

They should, however, go

further to say, if from this oil well

we make N1 million, we intend

to give back to the community

something in the region of a given

percentage, so that, if the oil no

longer flows, the community will

know that they will no longer get

anything. I can assure you that

when such is done, some of these

agitations will be brought to the

barest minimum.

Oil spill is a regular occurrence

in the oil-bearing communities

from the activities of the oil

majors, but most times, the

regulatory agencies fail the

people by not holding the oil

majors accountable. Even when

oil communities get court

judgment, paying the judgment

sum is often times frustrated by

the oil majors. What should be

done to make sure oil

communities that suffer spills

don’t continually go through that

challenge?

All the companies, with

exception of one or two, are

colossally responsible for the

incessant oil spills in most of the

communities, but they claim that

the spills are largely man-made,

sabotage or third party

interference. It is not true. First,

the communities do not have the

technical know-how, the

knowledge on how to tamper with

those facilities. It is the company

staff that go to the communities

and collude with some persons

to ensure that there are spills to

enable them give out or get

contracts. Again, if 1000 barrels

of crude oil spills in a community,

the oil company in collusion with

the regulatory agencies like

NOSDRA and DPR will bring

down the quantity of the crude

oil spill to about 500 barrels in

order to escape payment of

compensation to the people.

It is even worse when they go

to the spill site with armed escorts

and exclude the communities. Part

of the solution will be to make oil

conglomerates pay judgment

sums accruable to communities

and affected landlords from the

share they hold or they are

If one section of the

country uses the

issue of herdsmen

to say let all the

people from a

particular origin

leave their place,

there may be some

reprisal from the

other states to say

people from this

ethnic group should

leave their place too

•Ede, SAN

obligated to give to the company

through the JV agreements. All

the oil companies have JV

agreement with the NNPC. So if

the National Assembly can go to

the extent of providing for a kind

of funds or making it part of the

law that when oil company owes

community, then NNPC should

be made to pay, that will help the

communities get their judgment

sum paid on time.

What is your take on what

played out in the country

following the quit notice given

to killer herdsmen by Oyo State

Government and FG’s reaction

to the issue?

It is a complicated situation.

First, there is the provision for

freedom of movement. You also

have the freedom or Right to Life.

If you put these together then,

somebody should be able to leave

his home and go to some other

place to be able to find a living

and occupation provided that

person will make all efforts to

conform with the rules and norms

of the locality where he or she

resides. The issue of killer

herdsmen has been a problem all

across the country. You and I know

that to do a meaningful activity

here, our people buy cows. So if

you ask them to completely move,

what do we do? Secondly,

amongst the lot you will always

find those who cause security

challenges; robbery, kidnappings

and killings.

My attitude to it is that, the state

governments and governors

should actively engage the

Federal Government, so they

have a common solution. If one

section of the country uses the

issue of herdsmen to say let all

the people from a particular origin

leave their place, there may be

some reprisal from the other states

to say people from this ethnic

group should leave their place

too.

What is the way out?

When there is an issue, you

complain and the authorities do

not seem to listen to you, the best

approach is to make public your

concerns. For me, I commend

those who protest when no

listening ear has been extended

to their complaints. I commend

them because that is the only way

they should go. I urge the

security agencies not to terrorise

them, not to cause them any harm.

In civilized societies, when

people protest, it is the place of

the security agencies to shepherd

them along and ensure that they

are not attacked and they are safe;

subject only to the fact that you

can also give reasonable notice

not seeking permission because

I am aware that within the laws

of Nigeria, if you want to protest

or demonstrate, you don’t need

to secure any permit from any

place. But you can give notice of

what you intend to do so that the

authorities will ensure that traffic

is not halted.

Which areas of the Constitution

do you think need to be

amended to forestall looming

ethnic crisis in the country?

The most challenging aspect of

the Constitution in relation to what

is going on generally in Nigeria

is the question of the Land Use

Act. It needs either to be

completely abrogated or to be finetuned

to assure every community

and every landlord of their right

to use the land upon which they

were born or inherited, just the

way people exercise rights

relating to property. It is not

strange that we are from the

Niger-Delta. That is what God

has done for us. It is also not

strange that people are born

elsewhere. The best and most

fundamental change which the

Constitution will receive is if the

Land Use Act is tinkered with. I

say so because you are talking

about oil spill which has to do with

Land Use Act. If you are talking

about herdsmen, it is about Land

Use Act. If the rights of every land

owner is protected and if the

mineral laws do not say once oil

is discovered, the land

automatically belongs to

government, the problem will be

less. If somebody is not

somewhere misinterpreting the

law by saying that because of the

Land Use Act, all land belongs to

government, the issue of

herdsmen will be less.

You saw how the judiciary

refused to be used to thwart the

US election. What lesson should

Nigeria’s judiciary learn from

this?

It shows that each of the three

arms of government can function

effectively without one

overlapping into the functions of

another. I can tell you too that our

judges have done very well. The

judiciary in Nigeria does not

receive what it ought to have. So,

it also tells you a lot about how

our elections should be conducted.

If there are no disputes, the case

won’t go to court.

The first point is to conduct

credible elections. If we conduct

the elections well and INEC do

their job well, no case will go to

court. In the US election, it was

confirmed by the election agency

that nothing went wrong, but in

our case, INEC will be the first to

say everything went wrong.

C

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Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021 — 23


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24 — Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

Ekeh: Toast to an

entrepreneur-patriot

By RAY UMUKORO

NIGERIA is reputed to be a difficult place

to do business, especially if your

business is the type that requires constant

power supply. It’s even more cumbersome if

other businesses depend on your business to

thrive. When your business is an enabler of

other businesses, you are encumbered with

more pressure and responsibility. You must

grind out success for others to succeed. That

was the dilemma of Leo Stan Ekeh over three

decades ago when he returned from the United

Kingdom to birth an information

communications technology, ICT, start-up. And

he chose the complex computer ecosystem,

then thought to be out of the ken of knowledge

for Africa and Africans. Against odds, he has

made a success of it, etching his name on the

boulder of history.

As he marked his 65th birthday, February

22, it was apposite to peek into the life odyssey

of the man who easily typifies the true Nigerian

spirit of courage and productivity even in the

face of crippling headwinds. Needless to say

that no comet heralded his birth but his life

has been a herald of hope for humanity and

the nation. And if every victory has a scar, as

it’s often said, then Leo Stan bears many scars,

seen and unseen. He has fought many battles,

chief of which is the battle against ignorance.

The Imo State-born computer magnate is

reputed to be behind the computerisation of

many Nigerian secondary schools, higher

institutions and corporates. He has spent more

than half of his life working to change the

orientation of Nigeria and Nigerians from

analogue to digital. This has seen him at the

cutting edge of pioneering several tech-based

initiatives, and growing a small computer typesetting

office operating from a rather obscure

office in Alausa, Lagos into a conglomerate

with interests in ICT, property, banking, e-

commerce, oil, among others.

Gifted with unrelenting entrepreneurial

spunk, he has since grown his yesterday’s startup

from its initial one-office space in Lagos to

a multinational with offices in Africa, Europe

and Asia. So, who’s Leo Stan? He’s the one his

close associates call the pioneer-in-chief. He

pioneered desktop publishing in Nigeria. It’s

akin to setting the captives free. He changed

the entire Nigerian publishing landscape from

its slow and dodgy analogue routine to a smart,

clean digital patch. Newspapers, advertising

agencies and printing houses were the early

birds to embrace what was then seen as the

magic box, the computer. At a time Nigerian

media houses felt very comfortable with their

typewriters and compugraphic machines, it

took Leo Stan to disrupt the system. He pushed

aside their burly

compugraphic

machines and

placed in their

hands the then

rave of the

moment, Apple

computers. He’s

the one who for the

Leo Stan is the one

his close associates

call the pioneer-inchief;

he pioneered

desktop publishing

in Nigeria

first time

introduced theWorldwide Interoperability for

Microwave Access, WiMAX, to Nigeria,

planting the first hub in Yobe State in 2007,

and exposing the state to a brave new world of

opportunities and skill in cyberspace. He

pioneered the deployment of digital dispensing

pumps at Nigerian filling stations, a business

born out of circumstance than anything else.

Before he partnered with then Elf oil (now Total

Plc) to upscale fuel dispensing with digital

dispensers, he had fallen victim to a notorious

scam among petrol station attendants who

cashed in on the unintelligent analogue fuel

pumps to cheat on motorists.

Leo Stan was fleeced at a filling station in

Ikeja, Lagos. It was that incident that opened

his eyes to the business opportunity unnoticed

by many at the filling stations. He’s the

archetypal street-smart opportunistic investor.

Again, who’s he? He’s the undisputed pioneer

of e-Commerce in Nigeria when he launched

BuyRightAfrica.com in 2012. Aside being the

forerunner of all the e-commerce ventures in

Nigeria, BuyRightAfrica, though suffered a

temporary death, was later resurrected by his

son, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, first as Yudala and

now Konga. He’s the man who, having made

a success of automating corporate Nigeria

with exotic computer brands, decided to create

his own brand, a Nigerian computer identity.

He made good his ambition when he launched

the Zinox range in 2001 during President

Olusegun Obasanjo tenure. Zinox was not just

an expression of patriotism and ambition, it

was a carefully created brand and the first

indigenous computer to earn both Intel and

Microsoft certification. It came bundled with

inbuilt power surge protector, taking

cognisance of Nigeria’s epileptic power supply

prone to surges and brownouts. Plus, it has a

naira sign cleverly engrafted as part of the Q-

w-e-r-t-y keyboard.

This gave Zinox a shoulder-high advantage

over other exotic brands to the delight of

President Obasanjo who had to issue a

directive to ministries, departments and

agencies, MDAs, to standardise their tech

operations on Zinox and other indigenous

brands most of which were swamped in the

marketplace by foreign brands until Zinox

burst into the stage. Today, the Zinox brand

has not only made inroad into Nigerian offices,

it has been deployed to host major

international conferences and events

including the seventh Ordinary Session of the

Assembly of the Africa Union, AU, from July 2

to 5, 2006 in Banjul, The Gambia. The list is

•Leo Stan Ekeh @ 65

long. Leo Stan is the patriot who made gamechanging

interventions during Nigeria’s 2007

and 2011 general elections. He leveraged on

the strength and international partnerships of

Zinox to salvage Nigeria’s voter registration

exercise by delivering 11,500 Direct Data

Capture, DDC, machines in 14 days for the

2007 polls. That marked an epochal

introduction of technology into the nation’s

electoral process and ended the duplicity that

hallmarked the voter register in the past.

He repeated the same feat in 2011 when he

delivered 80,000 fully integrated units of DDC

machines within 35 days ahead of two foreign

companies just in time for the conduct of the

general elections of that year much to the relief

of then INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru

Jega. Though a successful entrepreneur, but

he’s quick to tell you he’s not mindful of the

balance sheet, but is concerned more by the

value he adds to humanity. He tells you he’s

not driven by profit but by empathy for

mankind and it shows in the manner he strives

to wipe away tears from those who weep and

give food to the hungry. A very silent

philanthropist, he has built a collateral of

integrity over the years which has earned him

respect from global players in the ICT agora.

For his ceaseless efforts to help in building a

better Nigeria not just by creating jobs but by

creating the milieu and technology that make

it possible for Nigerians, especially the youths,

to claw their way into the complex computer

technology marketplace where they have

brought honour to the country, Leo Stan has

been rewarded with a couple of national

medals. President Muhammadu Buhari in

2019 honoured him alongside Aliko Dangote

and others with the National Productivity

Order of Merit, NPOM, award. President

Obasanjo also on October 1, 2001 named him

‘Icon of Hope,’ a symbolic emblem that speaks

to his birthing of a new threshold of hope for

the nation and her teeming youths.

All this in addition to the Order of the

Federal Republic, OFR, national honour,

Microsoft Global Adviser, dozens of national

and international awards and several honorary

doctorate degrees (Honoris Causa) from

Nigerian universities.

Continues online:www.vanguardngr.com

•Umukoro, a journalist, wrote from Lagos

TRIBUTE

Jide Akinbiyi: Man of history drops into

history

By BANJI OJEWALE

AFTER his long engagement in enriching

and enchanting encounters with history,

Prince Edward Olajide Akinbiyi has himself

slipped into the annals, passing on at the age

of 87. He died in Lagos on Tuesday, February

9, 2021, leaving behind a mixed multitude of

mourners and merrymakers. It has been a rare

hybrid of emotions at the loss of one man.

The point is that all deaths, even if timely at

a grand old age, bring up criers. Akinbiyi didn’t

depart a young man, but there are those

grieving who would have loved to relish more

of his old age tenderness, compassion and

charity. They claim they got to meet the prince

of Ibadan only lately. And then suddenly, he

was cut off from them. Surely, they have

reasons to be sorrowful.

There’s a large crowd of this group in the

prince’s primary constituency, journalism. A

WhatsApp conclave with the mission to revive

the ideals of the iconic WNTV, Africa’s first TV

station, has continued to wail on account of

the death of Akinbiyi, a revered member of the

platform. He was part of the pioneering staff

of the news room of WNTV when it all started

in 1959. They say they will henceforth be bereft

of the prudence of his intervention each time

they derailed. And we go off line often in the

group. We routinely depart from the mission

and vision that should drive the struggle to

reclaim the Obafemi Awolowo dream aborted

by a military junta under Olusegun Obasanjo

in the '70s.

Yemi Farounbi, Nigeria’s ex-ambassador to

the Philippines and one-time general manager

of WNTV-WNBS, leads us in the group. He is

our chief mourner. He can no longer count on

the weighty counsel of Akinbiyi. For, in the

past, when the former envoy failed to tame the

tempests of members’ wild tempers, he would

look in the

direction of the

sedate Pa

Akinbiyi. The

prince of

Ibadan never

turned him

down. What

many of us

didn’t know

A nationalist until

he died, Akinbiyi

never supported

the strident calls

that Nigeria should

break up

was that most

times Farounbi kept the hotline between him

and Baba busy, all in the service of the group.

Mama Olufemi Akinbiyi, Pa Akinbiyi’s

spouse of 55 years, is in the company of

mourners. In her 80s also, she will miss Baba.

They were love birds to the end. Each time you

called to say hello to Akinbiyi, and you

rounded off by requesting him to extend your

compliments to his wife, Akinbiyi would say:

"She’s right beside me. Will you want to speak

to her?” And Mama’s voice would be next on

the line. They were inseparable. Now, there’s a

divide: doleful, painful and baneful. You can’t

blame Mama if she weeps, consolably or

inconsolably.

The community of activists urging that

Nigeria should be structured in order to return

the country to a genuine federal arrangement

that powered its progress before the military

struck in 1966 would also miss Akinbiyi. He

was a recognised member of Afenifere and

National Democratic Coalition, NADECO,

two of the implacable anti-military bodies that

have been responsible for Nigeria not sliding

into anarchy and extinction. He was also a

founding father of Alliance for Democracy,

AD, the party seen as the successor to Awo’s

UPN that made waves in the Second Republic.

Akinbiyi’s early links to the camps of the

great Obafemi Awolowo and Lateef Jakande,

Awo’s acolyte, placed the Ibadan prince in the

ideological cauldron that served to brew a

disciple who on his own continued to shape

himself, first from what was passed to him by

the masters, and later from what he gained by

diligent study of the Nigerian political

environment. The progressive camp in the

society will feel the absence of Baba Akinbiyi

because his professional exploits were

interpreted, correctly in my view, as the

outgrowth of his intercourse with politics.

His position, as I gathered in many of

discussions with him, was that journalism, or

any other profession, should be an avenue to

serve the society. So, when there was a political

crisis in the Western Region that displaced his

hero, Awo, Akinbiyi left WNTV. The emerging

•The late Prince Edward Olajide Akinbiyi

atmosphere threatened the concept of

marrying ideology and profession. There must

be a union of the twain to allow for perfect

professional service to the people. So in 1964

he dashed to Lagos, where he applied his

experience at the premier TV station to work

in the Nigerian Television Service at Victoria

Island. That, again, was history for Akinbiyi.

He would go on to be at the centre of the

formation of Nigerian Television Authority

Network News.

That didn’t last. Akinbiyi wasn’t getting

ideological fulfillment in his work at NTA,

owned by a conservative government at the

centre. Jakande, his old friend, had become

the governor of Lagos State in the Second

Republic in Lagos. Seeking to break the

propaganda monopoly of the central

government as well as use the media to

publicise the great socio-economic strides in

Lagos, Jakande brought in Akinbiyi to

establish the leveller Lagos Television, LTV8.

It was a leveller because other states followed

suit and opened their own stations, ushering

in a level ground for TV broadcast. The Federal

Government was no longer on the high horse

we all looked up to in the industry.

How did Jakande and Akinbiyi develop such

intimate bond? Once, Akinbiyi had left Lagos

to interview Jakande in Ibadan. The latter was

working on a script he couldn’t abandon to

attend to Akinbiyi, who was kept waiting for

five hours. The interview finally commenced

at 1.00am! Akinbiyi impressed Jakande,

himself a journalist of no trifling note, who

knew how to weigh a reporter through his

capacity to endure or manage seeming

rejection by the ‘prey’.

Now, for Jakande also, like Awo when he

inaugurated WNTV, your service to society

through your journalism, must be in the context

of your ideological instincts. Let’s not make

any mistake about it: when you report the news

or engage in any editorial outgrowth of the

news, you’re reflecting society, not for the raw

mission of informing, but for applying a

complex process of the information to improve

society. A study of the legislative debate that

preceded the creation of WNTV forcefully

confirms this.

In his lifetime Akinbiyi followed that

tradition, standing on journalism to look into

his environment. He didn’t suffer any prismatic

disorder to blur his vision. A nationalist until

he died, Akinbiyi never supported the strident

calls that Nigeria should break up. He coined

the term ‘emirate north’ to describe the cabal

responsible for the problems of Nigeria. He

argued this group would be neutralised only if

Nigeria is restructured to let the regions operate

with a severely enervated centre.

I did say at the opening of this tribute that

there are those who would celebrate the

passage of Jide Akinbiyi, even when we mourn.

They are those, like me, that sat at his feet and

received an exceptional experience of history.

He would speak of journalistic trips. He would

tell you of meetings he had with great

personalities: Awo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Jakande,

Kwame Nkrumah, Anthony Enahoro, etc. He

would tell you that his country began sinking

when the weight of the military was added to

the ship of state.

Sadly, Baba Akinbiyi didn’t complete a book

he began writing in old age to document the

story of Nigeria and the roles of some of these

nationalists along with his interpretations of

their actions and how they could help repair

the gravely battered polity now on a cusp

overlooking an abyss. The country will miss

Prince Edward Olajide Akinbiyi!

*Ojewale, a journalist, wrote from Ota, Ogun

State.


Towards a new Nigeria: From Federal

Fatherism to a Commonwealth

BY DR AKINWUMI

ADESINA

I

would like to congratulate my

dear brother and friend, H.E.

Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, on his

well-deserved re-election as the Executive

Governor of Ondo State.

Your renewed mandate by the good

people of Ondo State, is an undeniable

mark of confidence in your remarkable

leadership.

Thank you for greatly honouring

me with an invitation to deliver this

inauguration lecture. My lecture today

is titled: “Towards a New Nigeria:

From Federal Fatherism to a

Commonwealth”.

Let me be clear from the onset that

I speak for no one, I speak about no

one, I speak for myself, from my

heart, about my country, the nation

of my birth, for which I have a relentless

passion and longing for its glorious

future, not too far from now. It

has been a long time Governor

“Aketi” since our student days at the

great University of Ife, where we always

say “great”. Today, I say to you

“Aketi”: “Great”! - congratulations!

Your Excellency, Governor Akeredolu,

like an athlete on the 4th and

final lap of a 400-meter race, you

must now run for the home stretch

with your eyes fixed on the finish line

that is ahead of you.

Race for legacy

It is a race for legacy. A legacy, for

you, a legacy for the people of Ondo

State. You stand today as Governor

of Ondo State, for a second time, by

the grace of God. Be the instrument

to change things, more radically.

Make your second term one of double

blessings for the people.

Make growth more inclusive.

Harness the dynamism and entrepreneurship

of the youth and the

power of the industrious women of

Ondo State. This is the time to consolidate.

This is the time to readjust.

This is the time to move at a pace

faster than you ever have. There is

always a tendency for complacency

during a second term, with the pressure

of running for re-election no

longer a factor. In such situations,

the sense of urgency can easily evaporate.

Therefore, with an eye on history,

this is the time to reignite your

vision. When the pages of history are

turned, let them be turned to remember

you for the exceptional good that

you have done for the people of Ondo

State.

As a Minister of Agriculture in

Nigeria, I had the great opportunity

to work with all the state governors

and state governments. When I

launched the Agricultural Transformation

Agenda that revolutionized

Nigeria’s agriculture and food security,

and turned agriculture into a

business, I recognized that success

required that I worked very closely

with all state governments of the

federation — regardless of party

affiliation. Without the States, there

will be no Nigeria.

Therefore, Nigeria can only be as

strong as its constituent States. Ondo

State is rich in resources. Consider

that it has the second largest deposits

of bitumen in the world. With an

estimated 37 billion barrels of bitumen

reserves, the bulk of which is

found in Ondo State, this vital resource

remains untapped in Nigeria

(Source: The State of the States

Report, 2018).

Given its vast resources in bitumen,

Ondo State should have the best

roads in Nigeria. But its roads are

barely tarred with bitumen. That is

the irony of Nigeria: it imports what

it has in abundance and leaves its

own resources untapped. The total

value of bitumen reserves in Nigeria

could be worth up to $1.5 trillion.

With an estimated 16 billion barrels

But let us face it,

political autonomy

is meaningless,

unless it is backed

by greater fiscal

selfreliance at the

state level

ency.

State Governors now spend more

time in Abuja than they do in their

own states, seeking the monthly federal

manna. This financial pilgrimage

creates a sense of helplessness

and overt dependency on the centre.

States must become financially

independent of the centre in Abuja.

The USA from which Nigeria

derived its federal system, is

essentially a coercive federalism. The

federal government uses conditional

grants to states to mainly support

social, infrastructure and insurance

programs. Essentially, these are

‘carrots’ to get the states to do what

the centre expects.

Nigeria’s system is essentially a

revenue sharing system. To be clear:

only three states in Nigeria can

survive without a Federal Revenue

Allocation.

This is a Federalism of fiscal dependency.

It is a Federalism that is

fiscally unhealthy for the states and

the Federal Government. Because

Nigeria depends on oil for over 70%

of government revenues, any decline

in the price of oil creates fiscal and

economic volatilities that reverberate

across the states. What’s needed

is greater economic and fiscal autonomy

for the States. The issue is

less about state or regional autonomy,

but 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% of its constituent

‘subsidiary companies’ are

not viable without the support of the

holding company. Nigeria’s federalism

does not grow its constituent

entities. It simply makes them perpetually

dependent. The Nigerian

system is therefore not Federalism ...

but ‘Fatherism’. The agitations for

decentralization can be understood

in Ondo state, the potential state

wealth from bitumen alone could be

worth $657 billion. The paradox

however is that Nigeria spends over

300 billion Naira importing

bitumen. The publication The State

of States (2018) shows that the vast

deposits of bitumen can help Ondo

State break into the asphalt shingles

market that is estimated to be worth

$10 billion globally by 2022 (The

State of States, 2018 edition).

Ondo State also has abundant deposits

of metals and minerals such

as granite, gold, marbles, gemstones,

lignite, and diorite. The State has one

of the largest gas deposits in the

world. It could also become a leading

exporter and processor of cocoa

and earn at least $1 billion per year

(Source: The State of the States, 2018

edition, by www.YourBudgit.com).

But nobody eats potential.

Ondo State’s wealth is not seen. It

is locked under the ground. The state

ranks number 13 of the top 20 States

in Nigeria in terms of its GDP, estimated

at $ 8.4 billion. That is the

irony of Nigeria’s states: They are

poor in the midst of plenty. They do

not maximally explore or leverage

what they already have in abundance.

The Federal system of monthly

grants has paralyzed them. With

stupendous resources, all concentrated

at the centre, states are ever dependent

on the centre. With the magnetic

field of federal revenue allocations,

states are constantly pulled,

powerlessly into perennial depend-

Dr Akinwumi Adesina

when viewed in the light of a craving

for greater autonomy.

Greater fiscal selfreliance

But let us face it, political autonomy

is meaningless, unless it is backed

by greater fiscal selfreliance at the

state level. Nigeria has an estimated

87 million people living in extreme

poverty. You cannot tax people who

can barely afford to eat. This

debilitating poverty makes the country

highly vulnerable to social and

political risks. And it provides fodder

for anti-social behaviour and recruitment

by insurgents and terrorists.

Poverty provides supermarkets

for terrorists.

The level of indebtedness of

Nigeria is extremely high, at N22

trillion. The debt stock of states is

over N4.1 trillion. The three states

with the highest revenues also have

the highest levels of debt. Without

incomes and rising debt, many states

are essentially not viable. Nigeria’s

inequality is also extreme. Over 55%

of the youth do not have jobs. Rural

areas are now zones of economic

misery with high rates of poverty and

extremely high birth rates. This

double whammy continues to

perpetuate an inter-generational

transfer of poverty. Poverty, comingled

with high levels of unemployment

and underemployment

has led to an astonishing rise in

crime, banditry, and kidnappings.

Great dangers of leadership

Sometimes leaders think all is well

when it is not! One of the great dangers

of leadership is to rely on others

to tell you what is going on. Effective

leaders must connect themselves.

You can delegate tasks, but you

cannot delegate your vision and responsibility.

Transparency is the core

of accountability. Citizens have the

right to know. Today, therefore, there

is a greater need for e-governance

systems to enhance transparency and

accountability to the people. That is

people-centered governance. That is

why the African Development Bank

is developing a public service

delivery index that will rate

governments on the quality-of-service

delivery for citizens. Participatory

tax-based financing systems demand

participatory governance.

While tax rates are low in Nigeria

compared to several African and

non-African countries, this is not a

justification to increase taxes.

Norway's tax to GDP ratio is 39%.

In Singapore, the tax to GDP ratio is

13.2%. Nigeria’s tax to GDP ratio is

6.1%. It is easy to make the

comparison and say Nigeria needs

to raise its taxes to similar levels as

in Norway or Singapore. But in Norway,

like all the Nordic countries,

education is free through university.

Singapore, a country that had 1/3 of

Nigeria’s per capita income at its

independence in 1965, has today

100% access to electricity and 100%

access to potable water.

Also think of the following: the per

capita income of Norway is $68,000,

while that of Singapore is $ 65,300.

Nigeria’s per capita GDP is just $

2,250. Taxes must therefore take income

levels into consideration. The

rich must pay more, but we cannot

tax the poor to death. We must distinguish

between nominal taxes and

implicit taxes — taxes that are borne

by the people but are not seen or re-

Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021 — 25

corded. Truth be told, Nigerians pay states focus on unlocking the huge

one of the highest implicit tax rates resources they have, based on areas

in the world.

of comparative advantage, they will

Many Nigerians provide rapidly expand wealth for their

electricity for themselves via people. With their increased wealth

generators; they repair roads in their they will be able to access capital

neighborhoods, if they can afford to. markets to secure long-term

There is no social security system. financing to fast-track their growth

They provide security for their own and development.

safety. They provide boreholes for States that adopt this strategy

drinking water with their own monies.

Governments simply transfer trips to Abuja for grants.

would have less of a need for monthly

their responsibility to citizens. When Instead, part of their federal

governments or institutions fail to revenue allocations can be saved as

provide basic services, the people internal ‘state sovereign wealth

bear the burden of a heavy implicit funds’. This can then be used as

tax. If people pay taxes, governments guarantees against borrowings from

must deliver services. The public capital markets.

service is the engine of government. Restructuring should not be driven

The more efficient it is, the better by political expediency, but by

government runs. The slower and economic and financial viability.

more bureaucratic it is, the slower Economic and financial viability are

governments deliver. Governments the necessary and sufficient conditions

for political viability.

should set high performance targets

for public service and be held Surgeries are tough. They are

accountable.

better done well, the first time. The

Tangible delivery

resources found in each state or state

If the people do not see tangible groupings should belong to them.

delivery in terms of improved quality

of services, they should demand federal taxes or royalties for those

The constituent entities should pay

for them. That is why the African resources. The achievement of

Development Bank will support the economically viable entities and the

development of public service delivery

indices for state and federal gov-

requires constitutional changes to

viability of the national entity

ernments in Nigeria.

devolve more economic and fiscal

There is an urgent need to diversify powers to the states or regions. The

the source of financing for states stronger the states, or regions, the

across Nigeria. Just take a look at stronger the federated units. In the

the Nigerians in the diaspora and process, our union would be renewed.

what they hold in resources. The value

of remittances to Nigeria in 2019 of Nigeria, we could think of The

Instead of a Federal Government

was $24 billion. Compare that to the United States of Nigeria or The

value of crude oil exports at $48 billion.

Remittances to Nigeria ac-

will pass away for the new. We would

Commonwealth of Nigeria. The old

counted for 50% of the value of crude change the relational mindset

oil exports from Nigeria.

between the states and Abuja: the

It is clear: Nigerians in the diaspora

are Nigeria’s new oil. State gov-

the centre would support them, not

fulcrum would be the states, while

ernments should float diaspora lord over them.

bonds targeting specific investments With good governance and better

in their states. States can match the accountability systems, and a zero

diaspora resources to finance infrastructure

development.

economically stronger constituent

tolerance for corruption, more

We need a better way of supporting

States to finance critical infra-

We would unleash massive wealth

states would emerge!

structure. While many roads are across the states. It would be a

federal roads, the challenge is that commonwealth. Wealth for all, not

they pass through state boundaries. wealth for a few. A New Nigeria

The poor condition of some of the would arise! We will need all of us —

Federal roads negatively affect the not some of us. From the flickers of

economies of the states. The very fading longings of forgotten rural

high cost of construction makes villages, to our boisterous and

many of the roads too expensive for dynamic urban areas; from the

the States. As a result, critical roads sparks of desire in the eyes of our

take forever to complete. People in children, to the heartbeat of hope of

the states do not care whether a road our youth; from the yearnings of our

is a federal road or a state road. women and mothers, to the pride in

They just need good roads. We must the heart of fathers for a better

learn from others and deliver quality

infrastructure, faster. For a com-

that our end would be better than

tomorrow, and the desires of the old

parison, the Golden quadrilateral our past; from the hard-working

road project, the largest in India, with street vendors and small businesses

a length of 5,846 kilometers, with 4- to the largest business

6 express lanes, was started in 2001 conglomerates — we must create a

and completed in 2012 — in just 11 movement of hope. Hope for a better

years. The total cost? $13.2 billion Nigeria! Not a Muslim Nigeria. Not

or $2.2 million per kilometre. In Nigeria,

the East-West road, of only 337 Nigeria, Western Nigeria, or

a Christian Nigeria. Not Eastern

kilometres, is one that has been on Northern Nigeria, but one Nigeria -

the books for decades. Originally estimated

to cost N211 billion in 2006, A New Nigeria, powered by

a New Nigeria.

its cost has since risen to N349 torrents of hope, trust, equity, fairness,

billion, with estimates that it may and wealth at every level, in every

cost up to one trillion naira by the state ... by all and for all. We have the

time the road is eventually capacity to do this and make it

commissioned.

happen. We must rise above mistrust

For a 337 Km road, that is a cost and divisions and make history. Not

of $2.7 billion or $8.1 million per the history that is written about us,

kilometre. It’s been 14 years and the about Northern Nigeria, Eastern

road is still not completed.This is also Nigeria, Western Nigeria; not the

the case with the Lagos-Ibadan history of divisive political parties;

express way, a road of only 128 but a new history that we commit to

kilometers. It is time for governments write for ourselves - the history of a

to strongly embrace the private New Nigeria — a nation where

sector more strategically and majority prosper, not just a privileged

transition into Public-Private few; a nation that provides real

Partnerships for all major opportunities for the youth. A nation

infrastructure projects. The Federal where equality of opportunities for

government could also allow states women is a reality, not a dream.

to own these roads by delegation. A nation known for wealth, not

This will allow the states to support poverty. A nation set on a hill whose

their construction by utilizing light will never be hidden. A New

development finance institutions to Nigeria that we all are proud to call

provide cheaper sources of finance home. So, help us God! May the

to complete these roads.

same God bless you, Your Excellency,

I am delighted with the progress Governor Akeredolu. Thank you

Nigeria is making of recent on very much. God bless you all.

railways. The recent launch of the Speech Delivered By Dr Akinwumi

A. Adesina, President, Afri-

InfraCo to mobilize 1 Trillion Naira

for investment in infrastructure, can Development Bank Group, on

under public-private partnership, is The Inauguration of His Excellency

Rotimi Akeredolu, S.A.N, Exec-

highly commendable. It will be the

first such fund in Africa. This should utive Governor of Ondo State, February

23, 2021 Akure, Ondo State,

help support infrastructure

development across the states. If Nigeria


26 — Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

How to end farmers/herders’ crises

— YCE, AFENIFERE, AGBEKOYA, HUNTERS

•We’ve lost over 60 members — FARMERS’ ASSOCIATION

By Dayo Johnson, Dapo

Akinrefon, Ola Ajayi,

Rotimi Ojomoyela, Shina

Abubakar & James

Ogunnaike

THE clash between farmers and

herders across the coun-try has

led to sorrow, tears and blood.

Already, tongues are wagging over

the rising conflict between herders

and farmers in Nigeria especially in

the South-West which is taking a

dangerous dimension if not urgently

nipped in the bud.

There have been repeated calls on

governments, at all levels, to wade

in and calm frayed nerves by finding

a lasting solution before it degenerates

to a level that can no longer be

salvaged.

Unfortunately, the violence between

herders and farmers has

escalated, killing more than 1,300

people since January 2018.

Also, it has been discovered that

three factors have been identified to

aggravate the decades-long conflict.

They include the environmental

degradation in the far north and

encroachment upon grazing

grounds in the Middle Belt: militia

attacks; the poor government response

to distress calls and failure to

punish past perpetrators; and new

laws banning open grazing in some

states.

With the incursion of killer herdsmen

into the South-West, stakeholders

are no longer at ease with these

pastoralists, who have seen the region

as a haven to unleash terror on their

hosts.

S-West govs should enforce

anti-open grazing law

The Director-General of

Development Agenda for Western

Nigeria, DAWN, Mr. Seye Oyeleye,

proposed the enforcing of open grazing

law in the region saying it will

solve the problem of incessant

herders/farmers clashes.

Oyelele said: “Our governor

should use the police and Amotekun

to enforce the ban on open grazing.

You can’t make a law and go to bed

expecting that it would be complied

with. Former Governor Ayo Fayose

enforced the law when he was there.

Our governors are serious but to

be seen as serious, they must enforce

the anti-open grazing law.

“Open grazing has been banned

by states in the South-West and we,

at the DAWN Commission, believe

this is the first step towards ensuring

security in our forests.

“Everybody must comply, we don’t

want open grazing. It is the way of

life of some people to graze cows but

that way of life is harmful to our own

way of life which is agriculture and

it must stop.”

But the Yoruba Council of Elders,

YCE; the pan-Yoruba socio-political

organisation, Afenifere; the

Agbekoya Farmers’ Society, and the

Soludero Hunters’ Association,

share different views to the farmers/

herders’ clashes.

There’s no clash but terror

from herders — Afenifere

On his part, Yinka Odumakin,

National Publicity Secretary of the

pan-Yoruba socio-political

organisation, Afenifere, insisted that

there is no clash between herders and

farmers but terror from herders.

Odumakin said: “There is no clash

but terror from herders. The way out

is for government to become governmental

or for the people to fight

back as the Minister of Defence has

advised. But enough is enough!"

Govs must ensure

enforcement of the law

— Agbekoya

While proffering solution to the

conflicts, the Agbekoya Farmers’

Society, who spoke through its

National Publicity Secretary, Chief

Olatunji Bandele said: “The South-

West governors should enact a law

banning open grazing of cattle and

ensure the enforcement of the law.

Nigeria’s porous land borders

should be properly manned to

prevent illegal foreign Fulani herdsmen

from entering Nigeria and the

South-West.

Also, erring criminal herdsmen,

bandits and kidnappers should be

prosecuted. The federal and

state governments should conduct

farmers and herdsmen enumeration

and issue identity cards to them.”

Herdsmen should stop

destroying farmlands

— Hunters Association

While speaking with Vanguard in

a telephone interview, the National

President of Soludero Hunters' Association,

Oba Wahab Anabi expressed

worry over the pains inflicted

on farmers and their families in the

region.

Anabi said: “In this year alone, they

have killed over 40 people across the

state. People keep calling me to inform

me about the atrocities of these

herders. I don’t know how many

women they have raped. They are

too many.

“We are not out to kill Fulani

because they are our brothers. We are

ready to live in peace with them. But,

any Fulani herder caught with

dangerous weapons will be arrested

and handed over to the police.

“Also, those Fulani herders whose

intention is to kill, rape, maim our

people and destroy our farms will be

arrested. Now, we Soludero Hunters’

Association, are in Oke-Ogun

area of Oyo State. We are here to

ensure that all those bad eggs among

Fulani herders are fished out.

“We promise our people that by

the time we are able to fish out these

bandits, they will experience a great

relief.”

When asked how the issue could

be resolved, he simply said the violent

Fulani herders must stop kidnap-

ping, raping women and destroying

their farmlands.

He said: “The only way out is for

Fulani herders to stop disturbing the

peace of our zone. When they stop

kidnapping people, raping our

women and destroying our means

of livelihood which is farming, there

will be peace. But, you don’t expect

us to fold our arms while our promising

men and women are being

hacked down.

"We are ready to live in peace with

those Fulani who are not violent or

armed with dangerous weapons.”

We’ve lost many members

— Farmers’ association

The Chairman, Ondo State Agricultural

Commodities Association,

OSACA, Gbenga Obawoya

expressed worry that no fewer than

FARMERS KILLED BY

HERDSMEN SINCE

JANUARY 2021

OYO — 40

ONDO — 10

OGUN — 15

OSUN — 1

10 farmers have been gruesomely

murdered since January this year by

the herders adding that the herders

have destroyed farmlands worth over

N500m since January this year.

Obawoya said: “Because of the

stigma, those who have been raped

kept it to themselves without

reporting to the association. But

many wives and daughters of farmers

have been raped in their presence

on their farms. It is really a pitiable

experience.”

On his part, the Chairman of the

All Farmers Association of Nigeria,

in Ogun State, Chief Segun Dasaolu

said: “The State government has set

up a Conflicts Resolution

Committee, which I am the

chairman. The committee will,

among other things, uncover the root

cause of the problem and the number

of casualties.”

Investigation by Vanguard revealed

that no fewer than 15 persons

had been killed by Fulani herdsmen

in different parts of Ogun State between

January and now.

Also, a farmer identified as Ridwan

was killed on his farm at Boole

village via Ijabe in Osun State after

a fight ensued between the deceased

and herdsmen, following the

destruction of his farm by the latter’s

herd.

The secretary of farmers association

in the state, Adewale Wahab said

the deceased was killed on January

12, 2021 at a village in Ijabe, Odo-

Otin Local Government Area of the

state.

Our morale is low in Oyo

— Amotekun official

One of the coordinators of

Amotekun in Oyo State, who is not

authorised to speak, confided in

Vanguard that from January to date,

Fulani herders have killed several

people.

The operative said: “I can confirm

that they have killed a lot of people.

I have lost count of their number.”

The official used the opportunity

to tell Vanguard that the morale of

his colleagues is down now because

of one Amotekun operative the police

arrested for the past 35 days over

the death of a Fulani herder.

The official said: “There was a

distress call and the officer was there

to help but the Fulani herder opened

fire on him, used machete but all

these didn’t have effect on the

Amotekun operative. It was then

somebody shot the herder in the thigh.

He started bleeding and was rushed

to the hospital where he was confirmed

dead.”

“Despite the fact that it was not the

operative that shot the herder, he was

arrested and taken to Iyaganku. For

over 35 days now, he is still being

held by the police. His wife has been

extorted many times to the extent that

the grocery store she has went under.

“The Amotekun operative has now

been transferred to Oyo town. So,

this has lowered the morale of other

operatives. If such a thing could

happen to a colleague, then it means

we, too are at great risk.”

Amotekun’ll ensure safe

forest in Osun

— Brig-Gen Adewinmbi

When contacted, the Amotekun

Corps Commandant in Osun State,

Brig. Gen. Bashir Adewinmbi, retd,

disclosed that though herdersfarmers’

clash is minimal in the state

but the corps is not relenting in

ensuring the forests are safe for

farmers.

According to him, the state has

mechanism in place with which it is

settling crisis between farmers and

herdsmen and avoid escalation. But

the corps is not overlooking the

possibility of any eventualities.

Adewinmbi said: “Although the

issue of violent clash between farmers

and herdsmen is minimal here,

possibly because of the peace committee

on farmers-herdsmen

relation put in place by the state government

to resolve disputes before it

escalates into crisis, however, the

corps is not relenting to ensure

measures are put in place to tackle

any eventualities that may arise as a

result of displacement of herdsmen

from other states in the region.

“We are also exploiting area of

common interests with our partners

in a bid to ensure our forests, along

border lines, are also secured.”

Herders must be law abiding

— Ondo Amotekun

Commander

For the Amotekun Commander in

Ondo State, Chief Adetunji Adesina,

the “only way out is for herders to

stop destroying farmers' crops, the

farmers are doing their business, the

herders are doing their business, both

of them are doing their businesses,

they should respect each other’s

position. You don’t expect the farmers

to sit idle when their crops are

destroyed by the herders.

“Tactically, they are destroying the

farmers’ economic base and that of

the herders are growing and that’s

not fair. That’s why the government

is not too happy about it.

“You’ve the right to do your business

and they also have the right to

do theirs.

“The herders should respect the

law, once everybody is law abiding,

there would not be clashes.

“The herders can do their

businesses anywhere in the country

and the farmers can do theirs too.

“If the herders are law-abiding and

respect the right of others, there

wouldn’t be any skirmishes.”

Amotekun established to

serve our people, — Ogun

Amotekun Commandant

On his part, the Commander of

Amotekun Corps in Ogun State, Mr.

David Akinremi, said that the corps

is established to serve the people of

the state

He said all states in the South- West

region of the country need to work

and collaborate to guarantee

security of lives and property that will

allow indigenes and residents of the

region to sleep with their two eyes

closed.

He said: “We are prepared, we are

taking our time to ensure that we get

the best available grassroots men

who will be able to function

adequately well towards achieving

the vision and purpose of establishing

the agency. We have been given

the go-ahead to commence recruitment

by His Excellency and we are

working out modalities to ensure

that we have quality men in line with

the Ogun Standard of excellence.

“The state has been known for

producing fantastic men and women.

We want to leverage on that and

ensure that we have an effective takeoff.

On the issue of fear being

expressed by our people, I want to

assure them that we have come to

work. We have come to serve them.

“Our people have no cause to fear,

we are on top of the situation. Notwithstanding

that operatives have

not taken off, we are doing some

strategic work underground on the

security situation on hand, not just

within the state but in the South-West

as a whole.

“I had cause to meet with my

colleagues from other states trying

to tap from their experiences to build

up the security architecture that

would meet our security challenges.

“Criminals are everywhere! I hate

it when people begin to profile some

set of people. Criminals abound

everywhere.

"All that is important is to make it

clear to people that it is either you

Continues on page 27


Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021 — 27

ASHIRU

I, formerly known as Ashiru

Saifullah, now wish to be known

as Ashiru Saifullah Inuwa. All

former documents remain valid.

General public take note.

ACHINAULO

I, formerly known as Onyinye

Josephine Achinaulo, now wish

to be known as Onyinye

Josephine Imonigie. All former

documents remain valid. General

public take note.

FALLANG

I, formerly known as Fallang

Paul Benard, now wish to be

known as Bernard Konang

Paul. Date Of Birth 22/02/

1994. Not 12/12/1992. All

former documents remain

valid. General public take note.

ABUH

I, formerly known as Abuh

Patience, now wish to be

known as Alilu Ezekiel Patience.

All former documents

remain valid. General public

take note.

PETER

I, formerly known as Peter

Benjanin Ezioba, now wish to

be known as Benjamin Osita

Ezioba. My Correct Date Of

Birth Is 28/12/1974. Not 17/

11/1974. All former documents

remain valid. General public

take note.

SHAIBU

I, formerly known as Shaibu

Popoola, Shaibu Popoola

Salaudeen and Salahu Shu’aibu

Popoola, now wish to be known

as Shu’aibu Salaudeen Popoola.

All former documents remain

valid. General public take note.

HAKEEM

I, formerly known as Hakeem

Nekan Bashiru, now wish to

be known as Abdulhakeem

Bashir. All former documents

remain valid. NIMC and Polaris

Bank and general public

take note.

SALLAU

I, formerly known as

Abdulrahman Sallau, now wish

to be known as Abdulrahman

Sallau Nuhu. All former documents

remain valid. General public

take note.

MUHAMMAD

I, formerly known as Jamila Aliyu

Aja, now wish to be known as

Jamila Muhammad Aja. All former

documents remain valid. First

Bank PLC and general public take

note.

DAVID

I, formerly known as David Sunday,

now wish to be known as

David Uzah Sunday. All former

documents remain valid. Access

Bank PLC and general public take

note.

USMAN

I, formerly known as Usman

Hadiza Bawuro, now wish to be

known as Hadiza Bawuro. All

former documents remain valid.

General public take note.

:Vanguard News

How to end farmers/herders’

crises

Continues from page 26

are law-abiding or you are

not.

If you are law-abiding, you

have a peaceful enjoyment of

the facilities but where you

decide to run afoul of the law,

of course, the long arm of the

law will catch up with you.

We are willing and ready and

we are capable of providing

protection to their lives and

property.

There is no security without

human beings and no human

beings without security. It is a

symbiotic relationship. The

work of security agencies at

whatever level cannot be done

without the support of the

people.

That is why we want to build

a people-oriented

organisation.”

YCE on way out of

farmers/herders

clash

Secretary-General, Yoruba

Council of Elders, YCE, Dr

Kunle Olajide, who spoke on

the way out of the farmers/

herders clashes in the South-

West said: "Honestly, I don't

know where the Federal

Government stands on the

matter, because Mr President

hasn't addressed the nation on

this issue. Unfortunately, our

EKE

I, formerly known as Eke

Joy Oluchi, now wish to be

known as Uchechukwu Joy

Oluchi. All former documents

remain valid. General

public take note.

ENANG

My name was wrongly captured as

Sylvanus Enang, instead of Precious

Enang Sylvanus, henceforth wish to

be known as Precious Enang

Sylvanus. All former documents

remain valid. General public and

authority concerned please take

note.

WARRIE

I, formerly known as Miss

Etieneabasi Uyoata Warrie,

now wish to be known as Mrs

Etieneabasi Maurice Inyang.

All former documents remain

valid. General public and

authority concerned please

take note

IKOTIDEM

I, formerly known as Miss

Patience Asuquo Ikotidem,

now wish to be known as Mrs

Patience Enobong Ntuen. All

former documents remain

valid. General public and

authority concerned please

take note

YAKUBU

I, formerly known as Yakubu

Mohammed, now wish to be

known as Yakubu Mohammed

Kabiru. All former documents remain

valid. General public take

note.

HASSAN

I, formerly known as Hassan

M. C. Tahir, now wish to be

known as Hassan Muhammad

Tahir. All former documents

remain valid. General public

please take note.

unitary constitution has put all

the powers over the security

agencies in the hands of the

Federal Government and the

Federal Government's body

language appears to support

the invasion of forests

anywhere and in fact, a state

governor was quoted to have

said that anybody can go into

any forest, it is as if we are in a

lawless society."

Besides, the YCE scribe said:

"Personally, I would think state

governors ought to take up the

responsibility of protecting

their states and find whatever

means possible to flush out

criminal herders in their

forests. I know about South-

West, I know that there are no

free forests in the South-West.

The forests are either forest

reserve or forest owned by

family and you will have to go

through certain processes to be

able to go to the forest. The

Chairman of Governors'

Forum reminded us a few days

ago that in the days of yore, we

had forest guards employed to

secure the forests so that no

invaders go into the forests.

"Forest reserves are treasures

for the people of the states. I

think that the way out is number

one... the governor of Kano

State has made very cogent

point, that he had land that he

was prepared to surrender for

ranches. I think we should

encourage that. On top of it all,

those who are interested in the

genuine unity and progress of

this country must push for a new

constitution that would give

powers over security to the

governors of the states and then

will devolve powers to the states

and local governments where

the citizens of this country

reside.

"The citizens of this country

reside in the states and local

governments, not in Abuja but

this constitution has reversed

the order, it gives the power to

Abuja, whereas few of the

citizens reside in Abuja.

"The final solution to this

recurring crisis is for us to have

a new constitution that will

empower each of the states to

take responsibility for its

security, protection and welfare

of its citizens and their

property."

Ban open grazing

— Ekiti Farmers'

Association

When contacted on

telephone, the chairman, Rice

Farmers Association who

doubles as the Secretary, All

Farmers Association of

Nigeria Ekiti State branch, Mr.

Kolawole Rotimi affirmed that

there had been many cases of

herders killing farmers and

destroying farms in the state.

Mr Rotimi said: "There was

a recent case of Mr Ilori, a rice

farmer and a hunter; he was

killed by herdsmen. I led a

protest to the Government

house but to my surprise,

nothing concrete has been

done to put a stop to this

dastardly act.

On its part, the Ekiti State

Security Network Agency

codenamed Amotekun Corps

has revealed that the decisions

of governors in the South-West

to ban open grazing would go

a long way to address the

lingering farmers-herders

clashes.

The Amotekun Corps

commander, Brig. Gen. Joe

Komolafe (retd) noted that

the herders must be made to

adhere strictly to the new

directives, saying his

personnel would be out to

enforce the directive.


28—Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

Way out of Nigeria’s

security problems

Continues from Page 5

“We should be able to deal

with it and on one hand,

we must be open to

amnesty, forgiveness, and

on the other hand, we need

to keep law and order and

not make it an incentive for

others to pick up arms and

wait for amnesty and

rehabilitation,” he said.

Onaiyekan said though

he believed criminals

should be forgiven when

they repent, there was the

problem of figuring out if

they had truly repented or

not.

He asked the

government to ensure that

criminals had truly

repented before they were

given amnesty.

He cited instances of

return to insurgency of

some Boko Haram

members after they had

been granted pardon by

the federal government.

According to him, the

supposedly repentant

Boko Haram members

either return to the sect as

fighters or informants.

Onaiyekan said: “I

believe firmly in what the

Bible says, that it is not

the will of God that a

sinner should die but that

he should repent and

live.

“So obviously, if a

criminal sincerely repents,

he should be forgiven.

But the question is when

it comes to the real facts

of whether he has

repented or not, the state

must have a way of

making sure that this is

not a joke.

“The whole idea of

amnesty is not only to be

applied to armed bandits,

in that case it is true for

everybody in jail in

Nigeria. For the sake of

law and order, to protect

the rest of us, the few who

are making life difficult

have to be restrained. The

armed dogs should be

tied down. The armed

bandits should be

disarmed.

“Before we talk of

amnesty, there should be

clear evidence that there’s

a sincere repentance and

that the people concerned

have decided not to pick

up arms anymore, that

they’re ready to go back

to their normal way of life

and if they’re foreigners,

they’re ready to go back

home. All this must be

part and parcel of the

process of amnesty.

“The bandits must be

reconciled with society,

they must change, they

must decide to be really

repentant and show it

clearly. And not be put in

a position to brag around

to appear that they have

actually won, and

defeated the nation.”

Rejig 1999

vanguardnews @vanguardnews @vanguardnews

constitution

He also canvassed total

overhaul of the 1999

constitution to make way

for state police, so that

governors and local

government chairmen can

be seen as real chief

security officers of their

domains.

According to him, this

will help to effectively

protect the nation’s illegal

entry points to stop

criminals from infiltrating

the country.

“I don’t know who

doesn’t want this

constitution to be

improved because too

much of it does not work,”

the cardinal said.

Northern elders

disown Gumi

Also yesterday, northern

elders dissociated

themselves from recent

comments credited to

Islamic cleric, Sheikh

Abubakar Gumi, who

accused the military of

triggering the raging

banditry in parts of the

North.

Gumi had alleged in one

of his visits to interface

with bandits in Kaduna,

Zamfara, Kaduna and

Niger states, that non-

Muslim soldiers had

carried out orchestrated

killings in some

communities,

precipitating anger.

But replying Gumi, the

northern elders in a

statement signed by the

National Coordinator of

NEEPD, Engr. Zana

Goni, said Gumi’s

allegations are not a

representation of the

position of the region,

saying the public must

see same as personal

sentiments of the cleric.

While urging the

general public to

discountenance the

allegations, the elders

vouched for the

professionalism and nonpartisan

nature of the

Armed Forces of Nigeria.

The elders vowed to

resist attempts by any

individual or group to

profile the military which

they maintained

remained the most visible

symbol of national unity

and cohesion.

They wondered why an

Islamic cleric and scholar,

who had taken the

initiative to discuss with

bandits, will end up

taking sides, as his

statements suggested.

The elders expressed

worries that Gumi’s

action might expose the

lives and safety of non-

Muslim soldiers to serious

danger in their operational

theatres in the North.

The statement read: “We

rise in one voice to

dissociate ourselves from

the dangerous and divisive

allegations levelled against

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NLC PROTEST—President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Waba (M) leading

the joint unions of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) employees in a protest over alleged antilabour

matters by CAC management, in Abuja, yesterday. Photo: NAN.

our patriotic soldiers by

Sheikh Gumi in one of his

missions to meet with

bandits in a forest around

Niger State.

“Ordinarily, we would

have commended the

Sheikh for daring to do

what the authorities failed

to do, but for the profiling

comments attributed to him,

which we consider

abhorrent and unhelpful to

national development and

peace.

“We insist that our military

is one of the finest in the

world, with zero-tolerance

for partisanship, ethnic

consideration and other

unprofessional

dispositions.

“We warn that comments

such as this have the

potential of pitting the

exposed soldiers against

general areas in the North,

where they have continued

to put down their lives to

protect the territorial

integrity of the nation from

those that seek to violate it.

“Our concern is further

hinged on the possibility of

the world concluding that

the North may be offering

tacit endorsement to

banditry and associated

crimes against society.

“To douse this tension,

therefore, we call on

relevant authorities,

including prominent

individuals and groups

from the North, to condemn

Gumi’s position in a

manner that will absolve

the region of conspiracy and

vicarious liability in the

long run

“In whatever position we

find ourselves, we must, at

all material times,

endeavour to put the

collective interest of

Nigeria over and above all

other considerations,

bearing in mind the fact

that when the country

collapses, it will do so on

all of us, regardless of

religion, ethnicity, or belief.

“Lastly, we urge Gumi to

stop approbating and

reprobating at the same

time, and to immediately

call-off his mission, if he

has developed lethargy in

the course of undertaking

visits to deep forests.”

No apologies to

anybody — Bauchi

gov

Meanwhile, Bauchi State

governor, Bala

Mohammed, has said he

won’t apologize to anybody

for defending Fulani

herders against alleged

ethnic profiling.

The governor, who stated

this during the official

launch of the 2020/2021

annual livestock

vaccination campaign, held

at Galambi Cattle ranch in

Bauchi, said the Fulani,

over the years, had made

so much sacrifices in their

nomadic and pastoral life,

noting that they provide the

protein needs of the country

through the supply of beef,

milk and other essentials.

He said: “We kicked

against the profiling of the

By Innocent Anaba

A Federal High Court

sitting in Lagos,

yesterday, adjourned till

March 2, 2021, to rule on

whether to hear the

contempt application

filed against three banks

and their officials for

disobeying a court order

to block Shell Petroleum

Development Company

of Nigeria Ltd bank

accounts.

Trial judge, Justice

Oluremi Oguntoyinbo

adjourned to the date

after hearing arguments

of counsel on which

application should be

heard first.

AITEO Eastern E & P

Company Ltd through its

counsel, Kemi Pinheiro,

SAN, had filed form 48

against officials of the

three banks.

Pinheiro told the judge

that the alleged

contemnors willfully

disobeyed the court’s

interim orders of

Fulanis as killers and

kidnappers. We have no

apology for what we have

done because what we

have done is to say the truth

that there is no tribe or

group that is free of

criminality.

“We are not saying that

to spite anybody or spark

unnecessary controversy,

we have made our point.

Nigerians across board

have discussed it and I am

happy to say that from all

indications, majority of

sensible Nigerians have

appreciated what we have

said and that is the point.

“I, therefore, won’t say

anything further on this

matter, for fear that

controversy will be

escalated. I will listen to

voices of reason and keep

quiet about it. I am calling

on our brothers, the

Fulanis, to ensure they

make their communities

free of criminality.”

The governor, however,

urged the Fulani to rid their

communities of criminals

among them and make

efforts to show that majority

of them are good citizens.

“They must make sure

they fish out the bad eggs

among them because

criminality is criminality. In

as much as we will protect

them from being badly

profiled, they should make

efforts to show that majority

of them are good citizens,

contributing positively to

the growth and

development of Nigeria,”

he added.

Governor Mohammed

said his administration will

free resources which

belong to the Fulani

pastoralists, so they could

have their own right of way,

thereby reducing the

conflicts between Fulani

herders and farmers.

Shell $2.7bn ‘oil theft’ case: AITEO asks court

to commit 3 banks officials to prison

January 25, 2021,

directing them to block

SPDC’s accounts for

allegedly “interfering,

obstructing and/or

frustrating compliance

with the interim orders.”

Justice Oguntoyinbo,

had on January 25, 2021,

made the interim order

against SPDC, following

AITEO’s ex-parte

application, seeking to

recover the cash value of

more than 16 million

barrels of crude oil

allegedly diverted by the

oil giant from AITEO.

She directed 20 banks

to “ring-fence any cash,

bonds, deposits, all

forms of negotiable

instruments to the value

of $2.7 billion and pay

all standing credits to the

Shell companies up to

the value into an interest

yielding account in the

name of the Chief

Registrar of the court.”

Pinheiro told the judge,

yesterday, that out of 20

nominal respondent

banks in the case, only

the trio had failed to

comply with the order.

The banks’ and Shell’s

counsel opposed the

application to hear the

committal proceedings

first.

SPDC counsel,

Adewale Atake, SAN,

informed the court of his

pending motion praying

the court to stay

proceedings and refer

the case to arbitration.

But the judge declined

his oral application,

noting that the Federal

Government was not a

party to the suit.

Counsel for the banks,

Mr Olawale Akoni,

SAN, also prayed the

court to hear his motion

to discharge the Mareva

order first.

Justice Oguntoyinbo

said the Mareva order

subsists and differed

ruling on which

application to be heard

first on March 2, 2021.


Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021—29

NLC, TUC affiliates at war over CAC's workers

By Victor Ahiuma-Young

ONE of the things the harsh

economic situation and

globalisation has taught trade unions

especially in this part of the

world, is that the days of armchair

unionism where workers are

forced into union membership

through legislation and check- off

dues automatically deducted and

remitted to unions is fast fading

away.

In fact, the principle of

voluntarism as encapsulated by

the Trade Union Amendment Act

of 2005 has made unions’ struggle

for membership more daunting

and demanding in the midst

of unwilling and antagonistic

employers.

In efforts to boost their membership,

affiliate of Nigeria Labour

Congress, NLC;

Amalgamated Union of Public

Corporations, Civil Service

Technical and Recreational

Services Employees, AUPCTRE,

and affiliate of Trade Union

Congress of Nigeria, TUC; Senior

Staff Association of Statutory

Corporations and Government

Owned Companies,

SSASCGOC, are at each other's

throats in long drawn battle over

the unionisation of workers of the

Corporate Affairs Commission,

CAC.

Already, the SSASCGOC, has

petitioned the Minister of Industry,

Trade and Investment,

Otunba Richard Adebayo, accus-

•NLC pickets commission over alleged anti-Labour practices

ing NLC and AUPCTRE, of efforts

at reversing the judgment

of National Industrial Court,

NIC.

In the petition by its General

Secretary, Ayo Olorunfemi among

others, the union insisted that

“AUPCTRE has no locus standi

under the law as pronounced by

the NIC judgment, to speak for

any senior staff be it in CAC or

any Statutory Corporation until

the judgment of NIC is reversed

through the Court of Appeal or

Supreme Court.

"We make bold to state this

because the NIC has made

several pronouncements/

judgments to that effect that the

freedom of association as

enshrined in the Nigeria Constitution

is not absolute. The Trade

Union Act specifically classifies

AUPCTRE as a junior staff union.

These judgments and the

provision of the Trade Union Act

can never be subjected to the

NLC President’s mere internal

digestion. He must obey the judgment

otherwise he risks being

charged for contempt of the

court."

According to him, NLC and

AUPCTRE do not have jurisdiction

over senior staff of Corporate

Affairs Commission and cannot

speak for them. NLC and

AUPCTRE can only speak on behalf

of junior staff of CAC which

they represent according to the

Trade Union Act and NIC judgments.

SSASCGOC which is the

legitimate union of senior staff in

CAC has put machinery in place

to discuss and resolve all

industrial relations issues both

old and emerging trends.

If NLC and AUPCTRE are not

happy with the NIC judgment,

they should approach the Court

of Appeal or the Supreme Court

as provided for in the law of the

land. SSASCGOC that controls all

the senior staff of the Nigeria Ports

Authority and many other

Statutory Corporations in

Nigeria, has never issued threat

of strike or picketing because we

advance our courses.”

Pending appeal

Reacting, President of

AUPCTRE, Benjamin Anthony,

among others said: “Ordinarily,

we would not have responded to

such a petty write up if not for the

ignorance of the position of law

displayed and an attempt to mislead

the Minister and the general

public. It should be made

clear that the court judgment

floated by SSASCGOC has been

appealed against and is still

before the Federal Court of

Appeal. That signifies that status

quo ante should be maintained.

Unfortunately, SSASCGOC

goofed in questioning the

legitimacy of NLC to intervene in

a case where the CAC has turned

itself to a defacto management to

proscribe AUPCTRE, dissolve

the executive and transfer all

union executives to all parts of the

country without regards to

married people within the executive.

“The excesses of the Registrar

General of CAC must be curtailed.

Workers are no slaves.

Their rights must be protected.

Having a meeting with

SSASCGOC as they advised the

Minister to do, will amount to creating

a heroic figure out of nonentity

thereby giving them

recognition. The Registrar-General

of CAC should be advised to

face his work and stop dabbling

into union affairs. AUPCTRE is

disposed to a mutually beneficial

industrial relations practice that

will endure peaceful coexistence."

NLC pickets CAC

Meanwhile, officials of NLC,

led by its President, Ayuba Wabba,

yesterday picketed the Maitama,

Abuja, headquarters of the CAC

to protest alleged anti-Labour

activities of the management.

However, when the NLC

officials stormed the premises as

early as 8 am, they were

confronted by members

SSASCGOC who tried to stop the

picketing.

This led to a mild drama

between leaders of AUPCTRE

and SSASCGOC members led by

its General Secretary, Ayo

Olorunfemi.

There was exchange of harsh

words as well as accusations and

counter-accusations by the

leaders of the two unions on

issues of jurisdiction and the

rights to organize and unionize

the members of the commission

between the NLC and the TUC.

In the melee, a young man,

who attempted to set ablaze NLC

buses used to block the entrance

of the CAC’s building was

arrested by policemen who were

around to ensure the picketing

did not degenerate.

Addressing the protesters and

others, Wabba said: “All the female

workers with their husbands

working here (CAC head office),

the Registrar General had

transferred them and left their

husbands here causing problem

is their homes.

“We are here to make the point

and to ensure that workers’ right

are not meant to be trampled

upon. The fundamental issue is

not about unionization. It is about

respecting workers’ right. It is not

about the issue of membership but

about defending the workers’

right. For the first instance, we

will be here for three days. He

(the Registrar General) should try

to come out to address workers

because we have raised some

fundamental issue of how he

used N250 million to build car

pack.

how he used N35million to fumigate

office, which is why he is

afraid that the unions have exposed

him; and that is why he is

fighting the unions.


C

M

Y

K

30 — Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

Incessant abduction of students: Great

disservice to education — Stakeholders

By Adesina Wahab

HOLDING the unenviable

record of being home to the

highest number of out-of-school

children, OSC, about 15 million, and

also regarded as the poverty capital

of the world, Nigeria’s quest for

economic and social growth will be

further hampered if the trend of

abduction of school children is not

stopped now, stakeholders have said.

The mass abduction of school

children started with the kidnap of

students of Government Secondary

School in Chibok, Borno State on

April 14, 2014 and was followed by

the abduction of over 110 school girls

in Dapchi, Yobe State on February

19, 2018.

While over 100 of the Chibok girls

are still missing, only Leah Sharibu,

is still unaccounted for among the

Dapchi girls. However, with the

abduction of students in Government

Science College, Kankara, Katsina

State, last December and a repeat of

the incident at the Government

Science College, Kagara, Niger State,

penultimate Wednesday, it is like the

kidnap of students to bargain for

certain things has come to stay in the

country, a development that will

adversely affect education, according

to stakeholders.

By Adesina Wahab

THE Registrar, Teachers

Registration Council of

Nigeria, TRCN, Prof. Josiah Ajiboye,

has said the country needs

technologically savvy teachers to be

able to cope with developments in

the sector and achieve her potential.

He noted that though technology

will not be able to fully replace

teachers in the classroom, teachers

who are able to use technology to

aid their work will replace those

who lack the ability.

He described teachers who are not

technologically savvy as “Born

Before Computer.”

Ajiboye stated this while delivering

the 48th Inaugural Lecture of the

University of Ibadan, titled:

Teaching: In the classroom, as a

regulator.

While emphasizing the

importance of teachers in the

education sector, Ajiboye noted that

while education is a means to better

life and uplift the society at large,

teachers, being the major operator

of the system, have a lot of

responsibilities thrust upon them.

He added that the modern world

requires the kind of education where

knowledge is the primary

commodity and therefore, teachers

must be able to fit into that.

“Today’s teacher is therefore,

expected to function and fit into this

world. It is for this world that today’s

educational system and schools

have to prepare learners who will

contribute to its continued progress.

“Teachers are essential players in

promoting quality education. They

are advocates for and catalysts of

•Immediate past Deputy Vice-Chancellor, who is also a Professor of Statistics at the Redeemer's University,

Ede, Osun State, Prof. Kayode Adekeye, left, with the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Anthony Akinlo,

after Adekeye delivered the Seventh Inaugural Lecture of the university titled: Assignable variation: The

unknown that must be known.

Psychologist’s view

A psychologist, Adeyemi Akinleye,

explained that the trauma of being

kidnapped is not only felt by the

victim, but by many other people

too. “To know how such a

development would adversely affect

people apart from the victim, let me

give you this Yoruba proverb that says

“one’s child being dead is better than

one’s child being missing.” Apart from

the victims, the effects on relatives,

parents and others are also weighty.

The victims would have been seriously

traumatized no doubt and that will

surely affect their perception of

education and going back to school.

“Also, the incident may negatively

affect other students too, whether in

the same school or other schools. They

may not feel safe in school. An

unfortunate aspect of the

Type of teachers Nigeria needs now — Ajiboye, TRCN boss

change. This, therefore, means that

no education reform is likely to

succeed without the active

participation and ownership of

teachers. “The progress of education

is judged mainly by the products

(results or outcomes) and these

cannot be the desired type and level

if the processes go wrong,” he said.

While calling for better funding of

the sector, he noted that quality

education must be provided for the

youth and that the image of the

teacher be enhanced.

On what the TRCN is doing to

improve the lot of teachers and the

teaching profession, Ajiboye listed

the introduction of the Professional

Qualifying Examination, PQE,

and the Professional Qualifying

Examination Integrated, PQEI.

“The PQE and PQEI have put the

Council on global map and are

paradigm shift that introduced

teachers to the digital world and

make them literate in computer

application and manipulation.

By Shina Abubakar, Osogbo

OVER 27,500 applicants, out of

which over 19,000 were

female sat for the recently-concluded

teachers' recruitment test exercise

conducted by the Osun State

Government.

The Special Adviser to the state

Governor on Education, Jamiu

Olawumi, in an interview with

Vanguard, said the state government

deliberately outsourced the

computer-based test to the Joint

Admissions and Matriculation

Board to ensure credibility.

“Also, the new career path for

teachers recently approved by the

National Council on Education, and

professional standard for teaching

in Nigeria serve as a major stepping

stone and introduction of a new path

for teachers career programme and

growth,” he stated.

By Mary Obaebor

THE Office of Education

Quality Assurance, OEQA,

Ministry of Education, Lagos State

has commenced safe school

clearance visits to public and

private schools below tertiary level

in the state to ensure they are safe

to remain open for academic

activities.

OEQA had earlier mandated

public and private schools in the

state to register online on the

development is that the schools being

targeted are boarding schools that the

government set up to be a sort of model

schools and take some burdens off

the parents.

“Now the boarding schools are

being shut down, the parents and

students are back to square one. The

parents of the affected students will

be in deep pain. The Chibok girls that

are still missing, can one imagine

how the parents have been coping for

the past seven years? All the Dapchi

girls have been freed except Leah

Sharibu, let us put ourselves in her

parents’ shoes, over three years and

the girl is still missing. Unfortunately,

all these terrible things are

happening in a region where the

literacy level is very low. To convince

parents to send their wards to school

now may be difficult and such will

have ripple effects on the country as a

whole,” he submitted.

Parents’ view

The National President of the

National Parent Teacher Association

of Nigeria, NAPTAN, Haruna

Danjuma, described as unfortunate a

situation where innocent students

have been turned to objects of

merchandise by criminals.

“How do we want the parents to

feel now? Students are now being used

by criminals to bargain for freedom

or make cheap money through

ransom payment. In as much as we

sympathise with the government, we

want them to take the necessary steps

and do the needful. Ugly incidents like

this must be nipped in the bud and

not allowed to be a recurring decimal

in our society. Security in and around

our schools must be beefed up and

people should also help in

intelligence gathering. If we continue

to have ugly developments like this

happening over and over again,

many will lose interest in education,"

he noted.

Teachers’ opinion

According to the Lagos State

Chairman of the Nigeria Union of

Teachers, NUT, Rotunda Adesina

Adedoyin, human life is no longer

valuable in the country. “What we are

seeing is a reflection of the high level

of insecurity in the country.

Unfortunately, that has translated to

the school environment now. It is not

only the students that are feeling

threatened and unsafe, teachers too

are feeling so. How do you get the

best out of the teacher if he has to

work in a state of fear?

"Something urgent must be done

about the issue. A nation’s

development is tied to its level of

educational development. If those in

the education sector are now

traumatized to the point of not feeling

safe in their beat, then we have a big

problem on hand,” he said.

Students’ perspective

The Coordinator, South-West Zone

of the National Association of

Nigerian Students, NANS, Kappo

Samuel Olawale, urged the

government to put an end to the

development as quickly as possible.

“Nigerian youths want to be educated

and be able to compete with their

colleagues anywhere in the world, but

that cannot be possible with these

abductions of students every now and

then. Students should feel safe in

schools if we are not to discourage

parents from sending their wards to

school,” he said.

COVID-19: Lagos starts safe school clearance visit

agency’s website, develop and

upload learning plans which

include: operational,

communication, environmental

and safety & health plans to obtain

a clearance for reopening.

The process includes schools

self-assessment on COVID-19

safety protocols and an online

training, a certificate to be issued

which ends up with visits from

OEQA evaluators for physical

assessment of submitted plans to

obtain a final clearance to remain

Osun teachers' recruitment: 27,500 candidates sit for test

He berated those spreading

rumour that the state deliberately

wanted to fail candidates, saying the

questions were such that they met

prerequisites for teaching, including

questions in Mathematics, English

Language, Education Psychology

and Education Management.

He added that the cut-off mark

arrived at by the State Executive

Council meeting was 40% for an

average graduate teacher and 35%

for an average NCE teacher.

"A major problem is that some of

them couldn't operate computer and

scored zero and they want to give

Osun students 21st Century

education, it is not possible. Don't

forget about 32,000 registered for it,

29,000 accessed the internet for the

exam, while 27, 000 wrote the exam

proper.

"Out of this, we have close to 19,000

female candidates and about 8,500

male candidates. There are also

candidates from other states of the

federation that came. So, if you now

say the cut-off mark is this, do they

expect an examination not to have a

pass mark? So you can't deliberately

fail anybody.

open.

Speaking during the visit to

Corona Day Secondary School

and Primary School, Lekki, the

Director-General, Office of

Education Quality Assurance,

Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni,

disclosed that the OEQA had

commenced the physical

assessment of schools across the

state.

This is based on the clearance

request of schools received upon

successful online submission of all

required safety plans. According to

her, the state government had put

measures in place to ensure

compliance to COVID-19 safety

protocols which would help reposition

the state’s educational

system to fulfill the T.H.E.M.E.S.

agenda of Governor Babajide

Sanwo-Olu, on education and

technology.

OEQA has embarked on a

continuous professional

development training for its

evaluators, private school

proprietors, public junior and

senior secondary school

principals and heads of public

primary schools, on what is

expected of them this period.


AFCON Qualifiers: Lesotho train in Covid’19 bubble

Lesotho have created a

Covid’19 bubble for their

players to train ahead of

next month’s Africa Cup of Nations

qualifying tie against the

Super Eagles.

The Likuena were given the

green light to train by the country’s

National Covid-19 Secretariat

(NACOSEC) on Tuesday.

Lesotho will play against Sierra

Leone before coming down to Lagos

to face the Super Eagles in

must win games, if they hope to

qualify for the AFCON billed for

Cameroon February 2022. Lesotho

have just two points so far.

Last month, LeFA suspended all

footballing activities on the back

of a spike of Covid-19 cases.

The government later declared a

national lockdown suspending all

sporting activities.

Lesotho coach

According to Lesotho Football

Association (LeFA) secretary general

Mokhosi Mohapi,

NACOSEC met with cabinet on

Eagles suffer blow as Osimhen

out until early March

Manager Gernot Rohr’s

bid to have Victor

Osimhen available for

Nigeria’s two African Cup of Nations

qualifying matches next

month, has been dealt a big blow

as the Napoli striker’s doctor

warns he’ll be out until early

March.

The forward fell backwards and

•Pepsi Football Global Stars: Jadon Sancho, Leo Messi,

Shanice Van De Sandem and Paul Pogba

Joshua: I’m the boss of Fury

Anthony Joshua insists “all options

are open” for the location of

his fight with Tyson Fury, and has

described himself as “the boss” as

talks intensify.

Joshua and Fury’s teams are

locked in negotiations to finalise

the generation-defining heavyweight

fight that would crown an

undisputed champion.

IBF, WBA and WBO titleholder

Joshua exclusively told Sky

News: “[The pandemic] is getting

close to things being normal.

We’re working on a date for

around June.

“So if Tyson is serious, which I

think he is, he’ll know where to

come and find the boss!

“I’m ready. I’m really looking forward

to competition - all I want to

do is fight, fight, fight!”

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn

recently told Sky Sports that

Saudi Arabia, America, Qatar,

Dubai, Singapore and China were

all interested in hosting the fight.

Joshua told Sky News when

asked if it was possible for the

fight to remain in the UK: “Any

option. Home turf, Middle East,

my back garden, your back garden.

I don’t mind where it is.

“I’m just ready to fight. I want

that belt. I want to compete with

Fury so all options are open to

me.”

Man Utd, Arsenal, Leicester in

Europa League action tonight

Europa League is back today

with round of 32 return leg

showing matches holding across

different venues, with the likes of

Manchester United, Arsenal and

Leicester, featuring Eagles duo of

Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi

Iheanacho all bidding to qualify

to the next ound..

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s

Arsenal will face a tough match

against Benfica with the first leg

ending in a draw.

Marcus Rashford’s Manchester

United and Tottenham Hotspur

have less pressure, having won

the first leg. Last English club,

Leicester City, will have to step

up their games if they want to advance

in the competition.

Monday and tabled LeFA’s proposal

for commencement of

preparations for the AFCON

qualifiers. The proposal was approved.

After hard fought victories

against South Sudan and

Rwanda recently at the 2021

Afrobasket qualifiers, D’Tigers

shooting guard, Keith Omoerah

says the team should be prepared

for more difficult games on the

continent.

Many expected and predicted a

stroll in the park but we were

shocked when D’Tigers had to

dig deep before pulling off a 75-

70pts win against South Sudan in

their first game and another 64-

Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021 — 31

Get politicians off our sports

– Professor Bademosi

By Jacob Ajom

surgeon

Alfredo

Bucciero to

Radio Kiss

Kiss.

“Now the

medical tests

are showing

good results,

but we still

need to wait

for the natural

recovery time

to be completed.

hit his head on the turf during the

Serie A match against Atalanta on

Sunday and was dropping in and

out of consciousness.

He was rushed to the local hospital

for tests, which fortunately

all came back clear, but it has

emerged he has no memory of the

incident.

“He suffered head trauma with

memory loss,” explained neuro-

“We don’t

have signs of a

haematoma

on the brain, nor damage to the

skullcap. We must be cautious, he

needs at least a week of complete

rest.

“I think he could be available

again from early March. Osimhen

is in a rush, he wants to play and

asks me to hurry up the process,

but in these situations, rest is necessary.

We cannot run any risks.”

African opponents tougher than ever-

Omoerah

Coach Fatai Osho has said

Enyimba have a good chance

of becoming only the first Nigerian

club to win the CAF Confederation

Cup.

The two-time African champions

have been drawn in a tough-looking

Group A of the Confederation

Cup alongside Orlando Pirates of

South Africa, Algeria’s ES Setif

and Al Ahli Benghazi from Libya.

At the weekend, Enyimba pipped

fellow Nigerian club Rivers

United 5-4 on penalties after aggregate

scores stood at 1-1.

‘The People’s Elephant’ open

51pts victory against Rwanda.

The player who is currently with

Mykolaiv in Ukraine reckoned

that kudos must go to their opponents

for putting up a good fight

to make them sweat for the wins.

“We didn’t have big wins this time

around against South Sudan and

Rwanda unlike when we met the

first time and that’s credit to them.

Every time we play a team we are

going to get their best effort, especially

in Africa and that was apparent

in those games. We have to

be ready for that and we will be”.

Enyimba can win CAF Confederation Cup—Osho

their campaign in the group

phase at home on March 10

against Ahli Benghazi.

“It’s a tough group, I believe

none of the teams are

comfortable with this pairing,”

admitted Osho, who

calls his own brand of football

as “Sugar Football”.

“All four teams are very experienced

playing on the

continent.

“We respect our opponents,

but we remain positive and

our immediate target is our

Former Captain of the Nigerian

and West African Cricket

teams, Professor Jide Bademosi

has called on the federal government

to get rid of politicians in the

administration of sports in the

country.

Speaking with our reporter in his

Ibadan home early in the week,

Professor Bademosi who turned 80

today said it was unfortunate that

people who had no business running

sports were occupying sensitive

positions and taking decisions

that affect the everyday life

of athletes in the country.

“They should get rid of politicians

who want to interfere with the administration

of sports in the country,”

he said at the interview which

was part of events lined up to mark

his 80th birthday.

Continuing, the former Nigerian

national cricket team captain said,

in place of politicians, they should

“get people who are knowledgeable,

who have a background in

sports whether on academic or on

practical basis.

“And more importantly, probity. If

you cut away all those fringes like

Senators, friends and all those who

see every sporting event as a jamboree,

where you pay one individual

estacodes that would be

enough to pay the whole team

things would be better.”

He recalled the step he took to

ensure probity, when he was captain

of the Oyo State cricket team.

“As captain of my team, I was supposed

to be on $180 – $250 dollars

a day, but as a player, I was supposed

to be paid $6 dollars a day.

Yet they wanted me to take more

officials who would have been paid

$180 dollars a day. We asked some

of them, why don’t you let go part

of your allowances, put it in the

kitty, along with mine and we distributed

it among the players. But

that is on a personal basis as either

a captain or a player.” He said

the excess money was shared

among the players who were all

happy to give their best.

“If we have such strict adherence

to probity and justifiable administration

of funds and those who

know enough, not because they

want to be there for the largess,

then there will be a future,” he remarked.

He praised the efforts of cricketers

both old and young who have

invested their time and resources

in the development of the sport in

the country, heaping encomiums

on the present leadership of the

first game against Benghazi at

home.

Osimhen, Ndidi among most expensive stars in world football

...Worth N29 Billion, 26 Billion Naira respectively

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen star Paul Pogba and his teammate

and Leicester City Kalidou Koulibaly.

midfielder Wilfred Ndidi have However, his valuation decreased

by 6.8 million Euros since

been ranked among the 150 most

expensive football stars in the December 2020 an account of personal

performance, the

world.

Top auditing firm KPMG has Coronavirus Pandemic among

published its latest market valuation

of football stars after it last Defensive midfielder Ndidi is

several other variables.

did so in December 2020. the 122nd most valued player in

Osimhen, 22, who cost Napoli a

record-breaking 83 million Euros

when he moved from French

Ligue 1 club Lille last summer, is

the most valued Nigeria star.

The report put his market value

at 50 million Euros (about 29 Billion

Naira) and that places him as

the 98th most expensive player in

the world.

Wilfred Osimhen Ndidi

His value is higher than those of

the likes of Manchester United

The Europa League matches are

live on pay television network,

StarTimes.

Arsenal, who drew 1-1 against

Benfica, will play their home

game in Greece because of the

Covid 19 pandemic, while Leicester

City, who played a goalless

draw in Slavia Prague, welcome

the Czech club to the King Power

Stadium.

Bademosi

Enyimba

the world with his price tag now

44.2 million Euros (about 26 Billion

Naira) after an increase of a

million Euros from December

2020.

Genk striker Paul Onuachu is

666th most expensive footballer

with a price tag of 14.10 million

Euros following a remarkable increase

of 8 million Euros from

December 2020.


Vanguard, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

TODAY’S CROSSWORD

QUICK CROSSWORD

YESTERDAY’S SOLUTION

TODAY’S PUZZLE

Sudoku

YESTERDAY’S ANSWER

ACROSS

7 Definitely (7,4)

8 Set alight (6)

9 Powerful (6)

10 Hang loosely (6)

12 Spanish rice dish (6)

13 Melody (3)

14 Vocalist (6)

16 Trial (6)

18 Sloping script (6)

20 Need for food (6)

22 US state (5,6)

DOWN

1 Small branch (4)

2 Twine (6)

3 Ancestor (8)

4 Stalk (4)

5 Bracelet (6)

6 Fleet of small ships (8)

11 Airmen (8)

12 Foretell the future (8)

15 Eight pints (6)

17 Concerning teeth (6)

19 Head-cook (4)

21 Whirlpool (4)

How to Play Sudoku

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

two of the same number).

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

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

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

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

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

multiplication, just plain logic and your imagination.

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