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  • Nubi Achebo
    http://www.nigerian-tribune.com/ TUESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2001 PDP votes N80b to rig — Adefarati alleges •My sack, political — Commissioner Ayodele
    Message 1 of 29 , Aug 14, 2001
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      http://www.nigerian-tribune.com/

      TUESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2001

      PDP votes N80b to rig � Adefarati alleges
      �My sack, political � Commissioner
      Ayodele Adesanmi, Akure
      ONDO State governor, Chief Adebayo Adefarati, on Monday in Akure
      revealed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had set aside N80
      billion to wrestle the South-West, the stronghold of the Alliance for
      Democracy (AD), from the party come 2003 elections.

      This was against the backdrop of a statement credited to a Second
      Republic Minister, Chief Richard Akinjide, that the PDP would take over
      the South-West come 2003.

      Speaking with Right Reverend Michael Ipinmoye who led other clerics
      from the Akure Anglican Diocese on a courtesy call on Adefarati, the
      governor stressed that he was not opposed to the PDP taking over the
      South-West, but the party must work for it rather than using money to
      buy the voters.

      However, he reiterated that Alliance for Democracy would not let go the
      South-West, stressing that the 2003 elections might spell doom for the
      country, if not properly managed. �All the ingredients we had in 1963
      and 1983 would be present in 2003 elections. The signs are omnious,
      only God can save us.�

      The governor decried the activities of the PDP in Ondo State, accusing
      the party of using federal might during the local government
      bye-election in Ilaje. He berated one of the ministers in the current
      government of fomenting trouble in the state, stressing that the
      minister was not a good apostle of the party.

      Bishop Ipinmoye, in his response, stressed that there was no need to
      register more political parties, believing that the crises and
      divisions in the existing political parties were due to merging of
      different ideologies under one umbrella.

      He implored people to be patient, noting that the rot caused by the
      military could not be cleared within two years, but commended Governor
      Adefarati for the harmonious relationship between him and his deputy,
      most especially for relieving tension in the troubled area of Ilaje.
      But reacting to the allegation, the PDP national deputy chairman,
      Alhaji Yekeen Adeojo, during a telephone conversation, said Chief
      Adefarati was only trying to sound funning.

      Alhaji Adeojo noted that how on earth could it be possible for a party
      �to spend a large sum of money which is a budget of a country on
      rigging an election.� According to him the PDP has made transparency
      and accountability its watchword, adding �Are we going to spend what we
      are supposed to spend in a year on rigging elections in South-West
      alone?� �Chief Adefarati is only trying to sound funning and he does
      not know what he is saying. How on earth can that be possible, Chief
      Adeojo stated, reiterating that the PDP would not rig the 2003 and
      still hijack the South-West from the Alliance for Democracy.�

      Also, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief
      Bola Ige, said on Monday in Akure, the Ondo State capital, that the
      Alliance for Democracy (AD) was more determined than ever, not only to
      retain its hold on the South-West, but to sweep polls in other states.
      Speaking with newsmen at the Governor�s Office, Chief Ige stated
      that he was in the state to consolidate the gains of what he called
      �historic meeting of the chieftains of Afenifere,� which was held in
      Lagos last week.

      According to him, �there is no way the PDP can win any election in the
      South-West. It is not possible.�
      ----------------------------

      NITEL commences GSM service Sept...
      John Awe, Lagos
      THE Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) may commence Global
      System for Mobile Communications service in about four weeks if a crash
      programme it mapped out works well.

      Nigerian Tribune reliably gathered on Monday that the company had put
      in some measures to have the GSM switches and other equipment flown
      into Nigeria in the next three to four weeks.

      It was learnt that arrangements had been made to have the plane
      bringing the equipment land first in Abuja to drop a switch there
      before proceeding to Lagos to drop the Lagos switch. A reliable source
      told the Nigerian Tribune that installation of the equipment would be
      fast as it would come in containerized, and ready for operation.

      The sites for the equipment have been prepared, according to sources.
      It was further gathered that a lot of work was being carried out in
      terms of installation of base stations in the areas where operation is
      to start before spreading to other parts of Nigeria.
      Meanwhile, the Minister of Communications, Dr Mohammed Bello, on
      Monday was in Lagos to inspect the NET Building of the Nigerian
      Telecommunications Limited following reports that the building was
      gutted by fire last Friday.

      Nigerian Tribune reliably gathered on Monday that the Minister, in
      company of some top officials of NITEL, went round the building to
      discover that there was no damage to it.

      NITEL officials told the Nigerian Tribune that a hot iron from the
      welding work on the scaffolds fell on some of the wood used in the
      course of the project.

      They explained that the resultant amber was fanned by the wind until it
      spread and smoke started coming out of a window which drew the
      attention of the guards and passers-by who called in fire fighters.

      The officials said the fire was put out before it became serious.

      The NET building in Marina, Lagos, was initially gutted by fire over a
      decade ago and had been under repairs ever since.
      --------------------------

      FG orders payment of contractors
      Bankole Makinde, Abuja
      SUCCOUR has finally come for contractors handling road projects all
      over the country as the Federal Government on Monday, directed that all
      their interim certificates must be processed and payment effected
      within 28 days of the completion of any of their scheduled works.

      Also, the Federal Government directed that the interim certificates
      must be prepared within two days by engineer�s representatives and that
      the cheques should be released by the Finance and Accounts Department
      of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing within five days of
      receiving approval from the Permanent Secretary and Minister. However,
      the Federal Government vowed that it would claim liquidated damages
      from contractors who did not perform as scheduled and charged
      government officials to avoid lapses on their part that could give way
      to litigations for liquidated damages by contractors.


      Works and Housing Minister, Chief Tony Anenih, who stated these while
      addressing a meeting of Highway Zonal Deputy Directors, Engineers�
      Representatives and Supervising Consultants on federal highway capital
      projects in his office, also charged them to endeavour to offer
      technical expertise in the supervision of projects so as to ensure that
      government got value for money from the total investment made on road
      projects.

      Also, the minister warned that Engineers� Representatives have �no
      authority whatsoever to relieve any contractor of any of his duties or
      obligations under the contract.

      He also has no authority to order any works involving delay or any
      extra payment by the employer or to make any variation of or in the
      works.�
      ------------------------------

      Sen. Idris Abubakar suffers food poisoning
      �May be flown abroad
      Hassan Ibrahim, Kaduna
      THE Senate Committee Chairman on Public Accounts, Senator Idris
      Abubakar, escaped death by whiskers on Sunday as a result of food
      poisoning. Abubakar, who is currently receiving medical attention at
      the National Hospital, Abuja, was said to be on his way to Kaduna where
      he was to lead members of the committee on a meeting with the Kaduna
      House of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts.

      Disclosing this while on a courtesy call to Governor Ahmed Makarfi of
      Kaduna State on Monday, Senator Sai�du Mohammed Dansadau said �Senator
      Idris was on his way here when he suddenly fell ill.� Although
      Dansadau, who was the Deputy Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public
      Accounts, did not comment further on the plight of his counterpart, a
      competent source close to the Senate told newsmen that Senator Abubakar
      might soon be flown overseas for intensive treatment.

      According to the source, who pleaded anonymity, �Abubakar�s condition
      was critical and if by now (at the time of filing this report) there is
      no treatment, I think he will be rushed abroad for a detailed
      diagnosis.�
      ----------------------------

      Robbers attack Speaker
      �FG to reward dead cops with N4m
      By Isaac Shobayo and Chris Agbambu
      SPEAKER of Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon Samuel Larlong, was on
      Monday attacked by armed robbers along Jos�Shendam Highway, while
      valuable items worth thousands of naira were snatched from him and
      other people in the convoy.

      According to sources close to the state House of Assembly, the armed
      robbers, numbering about 10, laid ambush along the highway when the
      convoy of the Speaker ran into them at a sharp bend, which made it
      impossible for oncoming vehicles to notice them (the robbers).

      Nigerian Tribune learnt that the robbers, who were armed to the teeth,
      overpowered the security men attached to the Speaker and asked
      everybody in the convoy to lie face-down and subjected them, including
      the Speaker, to beating.

      It was gathered that the police in the convoy lost their rifles to the
      armed robbers in an operation which lasted for about 30 minutes and a
      thorough search was carried out on all the vehicles in the convoy.

      A source at the Assembly told the Nigerian Tribune that some of the
      people in the convoy, including the Speaker, were now recuperating at
      an undisclosed private clinic in Jos as a result of the merciless
      beating they received from the thieves.

      When the Nigerian Tribune called at the Assembly, the whole place was
      deserted as the Assembly had gone on recess, while the state Police
      Public Relations Officer, Mallam Aliu Yusuf, confirmed the incident,
      but added that the DPO in charge of the area where the incident
      occurred was yet to brief the headquarters.

      In another development, senior police officers who die on active duty
      will now receive four million Naira, while constables will receive
      N500,000 compensation as hero�s award.
      The Minister of Police Affairs, Mr Steven Akiga, who announced
      this on Monday in Abuja on the occasion of a national seminar organised
      by the office of the Special Assistant to the President, said that with
      the constitution of the Police Service Commission, the problems of
      stagnation and lack of promotion which had been the lot of the police
      would be effectively solved.

      He also disclosed that President Olusegun Obasanjo had given approval
      for modalities to be worked out to put in place a Police Trust Fund
      that would seek to channel and harness the resources and efforts of all
      stakeholders in the security sector towards this objective. �Our
      over-riding goal here is to inculcate in the public, a policing culture
      that sees policing not as an exclusive responsibility of the police and
      other security agencies, but as that of everybody,� he said.

      The Minister implored members of the public to always be ready to
      volunteer information to members of the force and should always
      complement the efforts of government in funding and providing the basic
      requirements and facilities that would ginger efficiency from the
      force. Mr Akiga announced that the Federal Government had purchased a
      large quantity of arms and ammunition from Bulgaria for use by the
      police to improve the fire-power of the officers and men of the police
      force.

      According to him, this was to motivate the officers and men to face
      challenges from men of the underworld, while the welfare of the police
      was being given serious attention by the government. He charged
      officers at the seminar, particularly from Inspectors and below, to
      start making conscious efforts and take urgent steps to positively
      change the image of the Nigeria Police Force.

      The Minister added that the image of the new police, �this
      administration wants to build is that of courteous, polite, well
      disciplined and well behaved police officers and men who are truly
      friends of the people.� He noted that their appearance and disposition
      while on and off duty speak a lot about the Nigeria Police and
      undoubtedly creates lasting positive or negative impression in the
      minds of the public, while these in turn positively or negatively
      affect the force.
      ------------------------------



      He further said that the crisis within the AD had been resolved, adding
      that the resolution would make the party stronger and more determined
      not to lose any state to the PDP.

      Chief Ige also stressed that he had never been a member of the Yoruba
      Council of Elders, which in his opinion, would dualise the Yoruba
      elders role.

      �Let me reiterate for the umpteenth time, I am the deputy leader of
      Afenifere, I cannot be in YCE. I am not and I have not been in YCE. Pa
      Alayande and some other members of the YCE are respected leaders of
      Afenifere,� he said.

      He described the comments credited to Chief Akinjide that the party
      would sweep the South-West as a �paper weight� comment.

      �I am telling you with all authority that the AD is winning. In 1979,
      I, Bola Ige, contested the governorship election in Oyo State with
      Akinjide. I got 85 per cent of the total votes cast and Akinjide scored
      12.5 per cent. Then tell me, who is to talk in Oyo State?� he queried.

      On the spate of litigation between the Federal Government and the
      states, he said that the litigation was a good development in the
      country�s democracy. �It is normal in advanced democracies of the world
      to seek clarification on constitutional issues especially as they
      concern tiers of government at the law courts. It is good for us. The
      constitution has the final say.�

      In another development, former Ondo State Commissioner for Lands and
      Housing, Alhaji Abass Aidi, on Monday said that his removal from office
      was political and that it had nothing to do with fraud.

      On Sunday the State Executive Council in an emergency meeting sacked
      him from office, accusing him of defrauding the state to the tune of
      N23 million.

      However, Aidi denied the allegation, stressing that the controversial
      money, N35 million, was not paid to him but to the agent, Biola
      Olasehinde and Partners, who acted for the Federal Housing Authority
      (FHA).

      According to him, �I am refuting all the allegations of fraud against
      me. No money was paid to me. Biola Olaseinde and Partners is the agent
      of the Federal Housing Authority to whom the money was paid. The agent
      collected the money and lodged it in his account.�

      He, however, said that political undertone could not be ruled out from
      the way he was removed, stressing that he would meet Governor
      Adefarati after which he would give full details of what happened.

      When contacted, Chief Dele Ogedengbe, the state Commissioner for
      Justice and Attorney General, vowed to pursue the case to a logical
      conclusion at the court of law.

      ---------------------------

      Shell laments death of youth in Bayelsa
      THE Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria Limited has
      lamented the death of a youth from Aguobiri Community in Bayelsa State,
      describing it as painful. SPDC, in a press release signed by its
      Corporate External Relations Manager, Precious Omuku, while consoling
      the family of the deceased said �we feel very saddened by this
      unnecessary loss of life�.

      It described some accounts of the story which happened between some
      youths from the community and policemen assigned to accompany SPDC oil
      spill emergency response team to investigate the spill as incorrect,
      adding �we will fully cooperate with the police in their on going
      investigation�.

      The statement reads:

      �The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria is saddened to
      learn of the death of a youth from Aguobiri community in Bayelsa state,
      as a result of injuries he sustained following a confrontation between
      some youths from the community and police assigned to accompany our oil
      spill emergency response team to investigate a spill near the village
      of Aguobiri on August 9, 2001.

      �We understand that the injuries occurred during a scuffle when the
      youth attempted to disarm one of the policemen. Whilst the police are
      investigating the matter, SPDC would like to extend its deepest
      sympathy and condolences to the family of the deceased and the Aguobiri
      community over this very sad loss.


      �We have seen some accounts of the story, which inaccurately represent
      SPDC�s involvement in the incident. We feel that it would be right to
      set the record straight.

      �On July 28, a number of oil spills were reported on SPDC�s 16-inch Nun
      River-Kolo Creek Trunkline at Aguobiri. As statutorily required, a
      joint investigation team (JIT) comprising representatives of SPDC,
      Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment, DPR and FEPA visited the leak
      points on August 1, 2001 to ascertain the cause of the spill.

      �Following the investigation, and with agreement from the community, a
      repair contractor, Deck Oil, was mobilised to site. The contractor
      successfully clamped two out of three leaks. But following threats by
      community youths, the team was stopped from continuing with the third
      leak repair. While efforts were being made to resolve this
      disagreement, another leak was reported at the neighbouring Igeibiri
      community, along the same trunkline.

      �Concerned about the potential threat to the environment posed by such
      unattended spills, SPDC continued to press for dialogue with the
      communities. It finally received their go-ahead to resume the clamping
      and clean up activities at Aguobiri and re-mobilised its crew for the
      repair work.

      �We feel very saddened by this unnecessary loss of life and will fully
      co-operate with the police in their on-going investigation�, it said.
      ---------------------------

      Eleme Petrochemicals resumes production
      Christ Agbambu, Abuja
      AFTER five years of inactivity, all the process units of the Eleme
      Petrochemicals plants of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
      (NNPC), have finally resumed production.

      The Managing Director of the Eleme Petrochemicals Company Limited, Dr.
      Eze Dennar, disclosed this while briefing the Group Managing Director
      of NNPC, Mr. Jackson Gaius-Obaseki, in Eleme, near Port Harcourt, at
      the weekend.

      The Group Managing Director, who visited NNPC facilities in Rivers
      State to parley with the staff-on the need to be vigilant in the
      plants, was informed that this was the first time in five years that
      all the process units of the petrochemical plant would be functioning
      at the same time.
      The process units are polyethylene, polypropylene, olefins and
      butene which produced raw materials for plastics, among others.

      The Eleme Petrochemicals, a subsidiary of the NNPC, was shut down for a
      long time because of technical problems.

      Mr. Gaius-Obaseki, impressed by the new development, implored the staff
      to work harder, assuring them that the NNPC management would reward
      them if they sustained for six months, the prevailing level of
      production with all the units of the plant functional.

      The group managing director had earlier visited the Port Harcourt
      Refinery, Eleme, where the plants were fully operational, assuring the
      staff that the corporation was satisfied with their input in the
      refinery.
      ---------------------------

      Obasanjo orders security beef-up at MMA
      �Supo Atobatele, Lagos
      PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo has given the management of the Federal
      Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) one week to beef up security at
      the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, following reported
      robbery attacks on passengers.

      Aviation Minister, Dr (Mrs) Kema Chikwe, who disclosed this in Lagos on
      Monday shortly before inspecting facilities at the airport, said the
      President was worried that passengers, including expatriates, had
      recently fallen victim to armed robbers around the airport.

      President Obasanjo, according to the minister, was equally worried that
      drug trafficking had been reported on the Lagos�New York route recently
      opened, while some Nigerians had been detected for travelling with fake
      documents.
      Chikwe explained that the President�s concern was informed by the
      new image of the country abroad and would not want anything that could
      drag it back.

      She told aviation reporters that the President had mandated that a new
      security framework should be worked out to check the incessant
      robberies around the airport.

      The Aviation Minister, briefing the press after the tour of the airport
      later in the evening, hinted that the government would be considering
      the employment of the services of private professional security outfits
      to complement the effort of the FAAN security personnel.

      She also stated that airport car services would in future be run by
      experts with modern communication equipment to monitor the activities
      of the transporters.


      ------------------------

      Why naira �ll still be devalued �Sam Aluko
      Sanya Adejokun, Abuja
      FORMER chairman of the National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC),
      Professor Sam Aluko, has warned that each attempt to allign the
      official exchange rate of the naira with the black market rate will
      always lead to heavy devaluation.

      Prof. Aluko spoke in Abuja at the fourth anniversary of Conscience
      International magazine and awards ceremony held at the Congress Hall of
      the NICON Hilton Hotel.

      According to Prof. Aluko, expected reduced foreign exchange leads to
      the acquisition of the stronger currency with the hope of changing it
      into more of the weaker currency in the future.

      Such speculative motive, he said, gave rise to black marketing in
      Africa, where the currency exchange rates are very volatile.

      �The more attempt to chase the black market rates, the further it
      moves, like a man chasing the shadow. This is why the advice of the
      IMF/World Bank to African countries to align their official exchange
      rates with the black market rates inevitably leads to reasonably heavy
      devaluation of the currencies,� he said.

      The economist lamented the role of the Bretton Woods institutions in
      the devaluation saga, complaining that compelling African countries to
      hold their foreign reserves in foreign currencies over which they have
      no control is suicidal.
      �Even when Nigeria holds its reserves in a basket of
      currencies, it is at the mercy of the countries of the stronger
      currencies. The IMF programme of making countries hold a large part of
      their reserves in Special Drawing Rights (SDR), means that the reserves
      are held in US dollars (42%); German Marks (19%); British Pounds (13%);
      French Francs (13%) and Japanese Yen, (13%),� he stated.

      Prof. Aluko insisted that it was unsustainable for poor countries like
      Nigeria to tie its exchange rate to a free market determination as the
      exchange rates between the Naira and the dollar and the pound and
      between the other dominant economies and currencies defy explanation
      via the market.

      �Therefore, to argue that the exchange rates of the Naira should be
      determined by the market is to leave the Naira in perpetual state of
      flux. It will depreciate and be regularly devalued against the dominant
      currencies as in Ghana. �We have seen through the interforce between
      the weak and the strong industrial economies that the �market� is not a
      free one with equal entry or exit by all. The flow of wealth is in the
      direction of the richer countries which dominate and corner the
      market,� he lamented.

      Citing the examples of the United States, Japan, Italy and France since
      1939 to date, where these large economies have officially intervened in
      the exchange rate of their currencies Prof. Aluko declared that it was
      time the Nigerian government faced the reality. The examples of
      Eastern Europe, he said, have shown that whenever or wherever the
      state collapses, development retreats, investment disappears, and
      capital flees.
      ------------------------------

      ACF�s change of gear
      SINCE the emergence of Alhaji M. D. Yusufu as the leader of the Arewa
      Consultative Forum (ACF), the group seems to have changed its approach
      to issues. What could have been responsible for this,? asks BAYO
      OLADEJI.

      THE dramatic departure of the military that held the country captive
      for years from the political scene in May 1999 led to the emergence of
      ethnic organizations and their militant groups. The list includes the
      Oodua People Congress (OPC), Arewa consultative Forum (ACF), Arewa
      People�s Congress (APC), Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Bakassi Boys, Middle Belt
      Forum, the Odenigbo and a host of others.

      It could be argued that the trend began in the West. Even though the
      mission of the OPC was to chase out the military but the post-military
      era seems to have also justified its existence. While the Afenifere
      agitates for the Yoruba interest on the political scene, the OPC
      complemented in checking criminal activities especially in Lagos.

      Then, like a bolt from the blues, came the ACF having seen the
      aggressive agitation of the Afenifere together with the OPC on one hand
      and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo which is crying marginalization of the
      Easterners in the scheme of things on the other hand.

      The ACF seemed to have set for war as its chairman, Alhaji Sagir
      Mohammed, a close ally to General Babangida and Brigadier-General
      Hakilu Alilu three former Heads of State including Alhaji Shehu
      Shagari. Then came the salvos being fired at the Obasanjo
      administration from the North led by these yesterday�s men. As if that
      was not enough, the Sharia legal system became a weapon to settle
      political scores with President Obasanjo on what was perceived as his
      anti-North stance.

      Every policy of Obasanjo�s administration also attracted condemnation
      from the Arewa House, Kaduna while ACF leaders granted interviews using
      unprintable names to address Mr. President.

      Political watchers agreed that such is not unexpected. The aggrieved
      had been in control of the state affairs in the last 40 years either
      directly or indirectly and to expect them to keep silent when they are
      allegedly not taken into confidence by the man they considered their
      protege could be regarded as a dream.

      Then, all of a sudden, a new man arrived at the helms of the ACF
      affairs by name Alhaji Muhammadu Dikko Yusufu. Since his emergence, the
      group seems to have changed its aggressive approach to issues.

      Not a few people regard this new development as a dream of the Obasanjo
      administration fulfilled, as from the outset, the ACF was believed to
      be the baby of the Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, but along the line,
      it was hijacked by the �hawks�.

      Informed sources have it that the intention was to get a platform in
      the North that would be championing the cause of the government since
      Atiku was not in the good book of the core-North.

      The sin of Obasanjo was his choice of the running mate whereas the
      core-North preferred the likes of Prof. Jubril Aminu, Mallam Adamu
      Ciroma and Alhaji Bamanga Tukur to Atiku, the heir to the Yar�Adua
      political empire.

      General Yar�Adua might have committed political harakiri when in 1983
      signed a political pact with the sage, Papa Obafemi Awolowo and until
      he was killed in the Abakaliki prison by the Abacha junta, they never
      regarded him as one of them and this is why Atiku is being rejected by
      the core-North.
      The core-North would not give Obasanjo a breathing space as
      they kept criticizing every step he took, but now, they have changed
      their approach as they mount pressure on Obasanjo to drop his vice
      having seen the futility in their aggression.

      What is not known is how M.D. Yusufu, an old friend of Obasanjo,
      �hijacked� the ACF. Some believed he was given the needed logistics
      support by the presidency while to others, the drought of political
      heavyweights in the North-West to wrestle power from the Obasanjo/Atiku
      team is their undoing. as they have to depend on the military top
      brass who could not challenge Obasanjo who has power to expose their
      rotten skeletons to the public.

      Political watchers believe that the withdrawal of support from the
      likes of IBB has led to the emergence of Yusufu who refocused the ACF
      agenda and this is making some quarters to see him as Obasanjo protege.


      When he was asked to react to the insinuation that his election was
      sponsored by the President, Alhaji Yusufu who served the country as
      the Inspector General of Police during the Obasanjo�s first coming
      shouted foul.

      His words: �You see this is still the thing, that these Northerners are
      stupid. They don�t know what they want, they don�t know how to go about
      doing their thing other wise, how can you get that type of collection
      of people and you say that Obasanjo ordered them? How can Obasanjo
      order them to do something? I kept telling you from the beginning that
      I am not anybody�s lackey. I am not usable by anybody. I am a man of my
      own.

      When he was reminded that he once reportedly said the era of criticisms
      against Obasanjo was over, he said he was mis reported. According to
      him, �what I said was that we are concerned with issues and programmes
      not with party or with this minister or that minister or even the
      President. I am not going to say Obasanjo didn�t do this. We will take
      his actions or programmes on agriculture or on power supply and
      criticise or praise him for it, that is a better way of doing it�.

      Political watchers noted that the North might have discovered the
      futility in the old approach and has seen the need to be less critical
      of Obasanjo�s administration which they still regard as their friend
      when considering its stands on issues like the Sharia legal system,
      the resource control, the Sovereign National Conference and true
      federalism.

      In fairness to the ACF, its co-travellers like the Ohanaeze Ndigbo,
      Afenifere and the Middle-Belt Forum have soften their approach to the
      Obasanjo administration. And since the ACF was formed to counter them,
      there might be the need for a retreat.

      On this Yusuf said �I think I made it clear that ACF came into
      existence because of the onslaught of Ohanaeze and Afenifere and the
      general atmosphere that was created in the South that the North is
      different from the country.� He referred to the OPC and the Hausa clash
      in Lagos and Shagamu to buttress this view.

      But whether the ACF has been hijacked by its original owners or not,
      the beneficiary of the new trend is the Obasanjo administration.
      Whether this new development has come to stay, or not is what one could
      not say.

      Few hours after Abubakar Rimi�s declaration for the presidential race
      for the 2003 polls, the ACF told him �you are on your own� Then came
      the turn of the three former Heads of State that refused to appear
      before the Oputa Panel to which the ACF called for their arrest. But
      for the ACF new look, who could ever imagine this new development?


      ---------------------------

      UI ASUU in fresh crisis
      By Jackson Udom
      BARELY one month af-ter the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)
      called off its three-month old strike to press home its demand for
      adequate funding and better condition of service, the University of
      Ibadan chapter appeared set for another crisis.

      Information made available to the Nigerian Tribune revealed that the
      University of Ibadan had not been able to pay the July 2001 salary of
      its staff due to shortage of funds.

      Nigerian Tribune also gathered that the Vice Chancellor of the
      university, Professor Ayodele Falase, in a letter dated 10 August,
      2001, with Ref. No. VC/ON4 and addressed to Professor Peter Okebukola,
      the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC),
      stated the inability of the university to pay its staff the July
      salary.

      �I wish to call attention to the fact that the University of Ibadan has
      not and will not be able to pay salaries of staff for July 2001 from
      the funds released to the university for July 2001.�
      It was also gathered that while the university required about
      N229 million to pay salaries for 2001, the commission has released only
      N82 m for personnel cost and N35.4 m for overhead, including library
      development and research grants, which was a far cry from the needed
      N217 m monthly expenses, including salaries.

      The university, according to the letter from the VC, �had written
      various letters to the Executive Secretary since January this year, in
      the hope that something would be done urgently. The Executive Secretary
      had always promised that a supplementary release was on the way to
      cover the shortfalls, a development which had now forced the university
      to incur debts of about N500 m, all to service salary payments and to
      save the university from any disruption of work from the unions�.

      The Executive Secretary of the NUC, Nigerian Tribune gathered, had been
      told of the restive situation on campus and the need to nip it in the
      bud before it got out of hand. The workers� unions are already
      agitating for payment of their salaries. They are also threatening to
      down tools any moment from now. The university administration has
      continued to plead for their understanding and patience.
      ---------------------------

      To clone or not: The ethical question
      By Joseph Farnsworth
      A couple that had been married for only two years was in a terrible
      car accident. The wife walked away with a few cuts and bruises. The
      husband, however, was unconscious when the paramedics arrived. He went
      into a coma shortly after arriving at the nearby hospital. He came out
      of the coma but was never to be the same again. It turns out that when
      he was in the accident he had severe head trauma, and would be a
      vegetable the rest of his life. He could not take part in the
      reproduction of children. The wife is now distraught because they will
      never have children together. She heard about the possibility of
      cloning and believes that it is the only way that she will ever have
      children. Is it so?

      The ethics of human cloning has become a great issue in the past few
      years. The advocates for both sides of the issue have many reasons to
      clone or not to clone. This is an attempt to explore the pros and cons
      of human cloning and to provide enough information of both sides of the
      arguments in order for the reader to make their own informed decision
      on whether human cloning is ethical or not. Cloning will first be
      defined. Then a brief explanation of why questions concerning cloning
      humans have arisen will be presented. Some things cannot be known for
      sure unless it is tested, i.e. human cloning is allowed. Followed by
      that, a discussion of the facts and opinions that support cloning will
      be presented and then the same against cloning. Please remember that
      not all of this has proven true nor is able to be proven yet, but has
      simply been argued ads a scientific hypothesis. Finally, my own
      personal opinion will be stated.

      When speaking of human cloning, what is meant? Different groups and
      organizations define it differently. To use a specific definition, the
      American Medical Association (AMA) defined cloning as �the production
      of genetically identical organisms via somatic cell nuclear transfer.
      �Somatic cell nuclear transfer� refers to the process which the nucleus
      of a somatic cell of an existing organism is transferred into an oocyte
      from which the nucleus has been removed� (Council on Ethical and
      Judicial Affairs 1). In other words, cloning is the method of produce a
      baby that has the same genes as its parent. You take an egg and remove
      its nucleus, which contains the DNA/genes. Then you take the DNA from
      an adult cell and insert it into the egg, either by fusing the adult
      cell with the enucleated egg, or by a sophisticated nuclear transfer.
      You then stimulate the reconstructed egg electrically or chemically and
      try to make it start to divide and become an embryo. You then use the
      same process to implant the egg into a surrogate mother that you would
      use with artificial insemination. (Eibert).

      However, many groups have used a broader definition of cloning. They
      include the production of tissues and organs through growing cells or
      tissues in cultures along with the actual producing of embryos to be
      born. This is done with the use of stem cells. When an egg is
      fertilized and begins to divide, the cells are all alike. As the cells
      divide, certain cells differentiate and become the stem cells that
      produce certain tissue and then organs. Research in this very active.
      There is still much for scientists to learn about cell differentiation
      and how it works. To a clone an organ, a stem cell must be produced and
      then used to a clone that specific organ. For the sake of this paper,
      both definitions will be used in order to cover all opinions.

      One must understand that cloning does not produce an exact copy of the
      person being cloned. What cloning does, is that it copies the DNA/genes
      of the person and creates a duplicate genetically. The person will not
      be a Xerox copy. He or she will grow up in a different environment than
      the clone, with different experiences and different opportunities.
      Genetics does not wholly define a person and the personality.

      There are a great number of possible medical benefits and disadvantages
      to cloning and its technology. They include the following:

      Potential medical benefits include:

      �The possibility that through cloning technology we will learn to renew
      activity of damaged cells by growing new cells and replacing them.

      �The capability to create humans with identical genetic make-up to act
      as organ donors for each other, i.e. kidney and bone marrow
      transplants.

      �The benefit of studying cell differentiation at the same time that
      cloning is studied and developed.

      �Sterile couples will be able to have offspring will have either the
      mother�s or father�s genetic pattern.

      Potential harms and disadvantages include:

      �The possibility of compromising individualities.

      �Loss of genetic variation.

      �A �black market� of fetuses may arise from desirable donors that will
      want to be able to clone themselves, i.e. movie stars, athletes, and
      others.

      �Technology is not well developed. It has a low fertility rate. In
      cloning Dolly, 277 eggs were used, 30 started to divide, nine induced
      pregnancy, and only one survived to tern (Nash).

      �Clones may be treated as second-class citizens.

      �Unknown psychosocial harms with impacts on the family and society.

      The governments went to work shortly after the cloning of Dolly. They
      wanted to take control and make laws before anything drastic could ever
      happen. Several ethics committees were asked to decide whether
      scientists should be allowed to try to clone humans. Many of the
      committees found the data displayed above. In the United States, the
      National Bioethics Advisory Commission recommended a five-year
      moratorium on cloning a child through somatic cell nuclear transfer
      (Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs 1). In the state of Michigan,
      Governor Engler signed a law last year making human cloning illegal
      with harsh penalties if it is attempted (�Governor Engler ...�). In the
      United Kingdom, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)
      and the Human Genetics Advisory Commission (HGEC) have approved human
      cloning for therapeutic purposes, but not to clone children (�HFEA
      Supports Human Cloning in UK�). Many organizations have come out and
      stated their opinions also. Amongst all this ethical defining, many
      people are being ignored by the governments. People are speaking out
      about what they want done.

      After a couple has had their first child, to their disappointment they
      become infertile and cannot have more children. Cloning would enable
      such a couple to have a second child, perhaps a younger twin to the
      child they already have. This example has a very good argument. Many
      couples have difficulties having children, and sometimes it is
      impossible for couples to have children because they are infertile.
      Cloning would allow these couples to have children. Also,
      occasionally a woman is born without a uterus or has other
      complications and cannot produce eggs, then with the help of a
      surrogate mother, she can have a child of her own using her own DNA or
      her husband�s.

      This and the example at the beginning are both arguments that some have
      made in promoting cloning. It is hard to tell someone that they cannot
      use cloning to have children when no other possible ways to produce
      offspring are available. This is one reason why it is difficult to
      decide if cloning is ethical or not. The following are some of the
      reasons why cloning should be allowed.

      As just discussed, cloning can be used to help benefit those that are
      sterile and cannot have children through the normal, natural way. It is
      the desire of most couples to have children and when it is impossible
      to bare children of your own, some are willing to do anything to have a
      child. Cloning will allow them to have a child or many children that
      have the genetic pattern of one of the parents.

      Through cloning, research can progress. It is hard to say what we can
      learn from cloning if cloning is not allowed. We possibly can learn
      more about cell differentiation. We can learn enough to produce human
      organs without having to produce human beings. We may develop
      technology to allow easier genetic testing and fixing problems such as
      spinal cord injuries, cancer, Tay-Sachs disease, and many more.

      Cloning organs for organ transplants is one of the major practical
      reasons that cloning should be allowed. There is always a high demand
      for organs. Some argue for the cloning of humans to create spare body
      parts. Others talk of just wanting to clone an organ to replace a
      defective organ.

      Rejuvenation is also a key argument for advocates of cloning. Human
      cloning may one day reverse heart attacks. Some scientists believe that
      by injecting cloned healthy heart cells into damaged heart tissue will
      lead to healing of the heart (Human Cloning Foundation). By combining
      the technology for cloning and the technology for growing human stern
      cells, conditions like Alzheimers disease, Parkinson disease, and
      degenerative joint disease may be curable. The possibilities are
      endless and may be left undiscovered if human cloning is banned.

      One of the main goals of the government is to protect human life. Some
      people want the government to regulate cloning and not allow it.
      Michigan government believes this and became the first government to
      place a ban on cloning. years from now!� (�Governor Engler ...�)
      Producing clones for research or to use their parts is unethical. It
      would be against the code of ethics of a doctor to harm a clone (i.e.
      use it for an organ transplant). The clone would be a human being and
      deserve all the rights and privileges that a non-cloned human has. A
      clone should not be a second-class citizen). It is speculated that they
      would be considered as such.

      The American Medical Association holds four points of reason why
      cloning should not take place. They are: there are unknown physical
      harms introduced by cloning; unknown psychosocial harms introduced by
      cloning, including violations of autonomy and privacy; impacts on
      familiar and societal relations, and; potential effects on the human
      gene pool (Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (4-6). WE just
      simply do not know the harms that will come from cloning.

      Cloning would lead to the loss of individuality because one=s genetic
      predispositions and conditions would be known. If raised by a
      clone-parent or as a sibling to the cloned, one may have great
      expectations to live up to. However, the human clones could differ
      greatly in personality and even grow up with different conditions than
      the cloned. Even monozygotic twins differ. This could be a great stress
      to the clone and possibly even the loss of ability to chose for itself
      (Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs 5).

      The long term genetic effects of cloning may cause more problems than
      can be imagined. The question of what can go wrong in cloning needs to
      be discussed. In an evolutionary standpoint, cloning is not good.
      Evolution relies on a continual mixing and matching of genes to keep
      the gene pool alive (McCormack). With cloning, the natural process of
      selection of gene would be bypassed and evolution would be impaired.
      The Council of Ethical and Judicial Affairs for the AMA stated the
      following concerning possible problems with mutations and clones:

      We can see that cloning can possibly change the gene pool from how we
      now know it. Most likely, it would not be a good change.

      The fear that clones will be treated as second-class citizens is also
      present. If a clone is created to act as bone marrow or kidney donor,
      the question arises if they would be treated like the first child?
      Would the parents even love this child the same? If not, this would
      lead to negative self-esteem and/or other physiological problems.

      There is also the fear that some would want to clone people to create
      large armies of the same soldier or even produce large amounts of
      workers. This would also lead to the creation of a second and lower
      class for clones.

      Cloning only involves one parent, therefore it is not following God�s
      plan in which a man�s sperm and a woman�s egg are needed to create
      life.

      As a student studying biology, I have tried to approach both sides and
      approach them with an unbiased opinion. I personally think that the
      world of genetics is fascinating, but after learning of what is now
      possible through technology, I changed my mind about pursuing a career
      in the field. I see cloning as a wonderful advancement in technology
      and knowledge. I do not think it should be used to reproduce humans
      though. I do not believe that we should try to develop other ways
      beside the natural way to bring life into this world. I strongly
      believe that God created us and that we are subjected to His laws and
      must obey. The laws of God that have the worst punishment deal with
      bringing life into the world and taking life out of the world. I
      believe that cloning people would fall under these laws also.

      Cloning tissues and organs falls under a different category that
      cloning human beings. I think it would be advantageous to science and
      medicine to clone tissues and organs. However, the research in this
      involves fetal tissue which is a completely different ethical
      discussion. I do not know enough about the procedure be against it. So,
      with my present understanding I would allow cloning for tissues and
      organs.

      Cloning can revolutionize the world and the way we live or it may be so
      minimal that it would not affect us at all if it is allowed. The first
      human to be cloned was reported in Korea by Dr. Kim Seung Bo and Dr.
      Lee Bo-Yeon. The clone was born and then killed just days into life
      (Alton). Before we knew it, the first clone was created and then
      destroyed. Is this the world you want to live in? Each person
      individually must decide for himself or herself if they believe that
      cloning should be allowed or if the governments should intervene with
      it.
      --------------------------------

      The Marketing System under a New Democratic Dispensation (1)
      By Rotimi Oladele, MD, ANN Plc
      The Organisation of marketing excellence today and tomorrow must be
      able to prove

      - That it is creating fresh demand not merely struggling for market
      share of existing demand.

      - That it is investing in the child, the agent of continuity and the
      manager of the future

      - That it is replenishing and compensating the environment if not
      adequately at least to the best of its capability without taking
      anything.

      OBJECTIVES

      Aim: This paper is to facilitate listeners� ideas, provoke more
      thoughts and elicit further contributions to enable us all re-share for
      a good measure of balance.

      Objectives: The paper is

      - to marry democracy with marketing or divorce them as the case
      may be

      - To turn both into values of bettering our nation and its economy

      - To make additional contribution to the body of knowledge called
      marketing

      - To look beyond the traditional roles of marketing as agent of
      employment creation, wealth creation and redistribution, sponsor of
      environmental aestethics, etc.

      � Re- challenge the world class business organisation managers and the
      up-coming professionals.

      1.0 INTRODUCTION

      How does one satisfy a gathering like this in an oddity made up of a
      suspicious title like- Marketing System In A New Democratic
      Dispensation.

      The challenge is of many dimensions. A young man who found himself
      lucky or unlucky since 30 years ago running through marketing ladder
      first by unstructured experience and later by formal academic/
      professional training to talk to selected academic gurus,
      internationally acclaimed professors, management pioneers, outstanding
      industrialists, colleague media practitioners and colleague learners
      just to mention a few.

      It is a tall marketing challenge I feel unqualified for but since I
      see it as a great honour from my own primary constituency �into power
      3�:

      � Being a pioneer Graduate of LASUMBA Programme.

      � Being one of the part-Timer Lecturers of the LASUMBA Programme since
      1997

      � Being the current Chairman of the LASUMBA Social Forum.

      If I succeed in delighting you all, give LASU and the Ag. Vice
      Chancellor the first kudo for making me a professional marketer of
      relevance. Then give yourselves the second kudo for encouraging me by
      your presence and support and then give the third to the organisers of
      this forum as well as all stake-holders in today�s activities.

      But If I disappoint you, I stand to be on my own, claiming
      responsibility for my failure ( if any). Any way, I have my trust in
      God Almighty who is ever faithful to His Words. He promised and
      counselled that I should not be afraid of what to say before the kings
      and nobles like this gathering before I open my mouth, He will fill it
      with words and thoughts that can meet your expectations.

      Once again, Mr. Chairman, respected ladies and gentlemen, I wish to
      crave your indulgence to swim and float freely by having a free talk.
      This democratic prayer will guard against my possible failure if judged
      with the cannonicity of academic regulations and conventions for this
      kind of forum.

      Thank you.

      2.0 MARKETING SYSTEM: Definition Dilemma.

      Going by gradient approach but without taking all of you for granted,
      I think for record purposes and the logic of sequences, it is
      necessary to examine semantics and coinage. Moreso that mutually
      beneficial understanding is key to me as the marketer of my topic today
      and you as my target customers.

      2.1 MARKETING DEFINED

      Interestingly, dictionaries prefer defining � market� rather than
      �marketing�. Most of them just like marketing as a word-product of
      �market� without its detail. However, from the definition of market, we
      may derive inferences for marketing before we market �marketing� to
      the authors of future dictionaries.

      According to Chambers Dictionary, market is referred to as: � a
      periodic concourse of people for the purpose of buying and selling; a
      building, square, or other public place used for such meetings; a shop;
      a region in which there is demand for goods; buying and selling
      opportunities; demand; state of being on sale; bargain�.

      Marketing therefore could be:

      �� dealing at a market

      �� buying and selling

      �� putting on the market

      �� meeting a demand

      �� act of practising-demand and supply.

      Even from these jargons, following deductions are obvious and
      self-explanatory:

      � marketing is a public affair

      � Marketing involves agreeable exchange

      � Marketing is a people-oriented activity

      � Marketing is business

      � Marketing is a profession necessitating learning and practice

      � Marketing is a purposeful venture

      � Marketing is a corporate activity calling for specific venue at
      times.

      � Marketing involves opportunities.

      � Marketing being a bargain has as its target, profit and
      relationship; ( one cannot bargain for nothing and alone).

      2.2 SYSTEM DEFINED.

      For consistency, let us consult same Chambers Dictionary for basic
      definition of �System�.

      � System� is referred to as: anything formed of parts placed together
      or adjusted into a regular and connected whole; a set of things
      considered as a connected whole, a set of bodily organs of like
      composition or concurring in function; a body of doctrine; a scheme
      of classification; a plan; a method; a method of organisation.

      From this basics too, we can deduce that a system could pass for any
      of the following:

      - Synergy of effort

      - Law of coherence

      - Integration

      - Planning

      - Connectivity

      - Concord and harmony

      - Ethics, rules, regulations, conventions mores and values

      � Methodology

      2.3 COINEAGE REVIEW: Marketing System

      Since we now have a fair knowledge of the elements; � marketing� and
      �system� respectively, to review their merger becomes easy.

      Marketing System could then be something like:

      �� The organisation of marketing

      �� The scheme of marketing

      �� Marketing as an institution

      �� Marketing as a philosophy

      � Marketing as a profession/ career

      �� Marketing as an ideology

      - marketing as an occupation

      2.4 MARKETING SYSTEM IN THE EYES OF PROFESSIONALS

      The world acclaimed marketing scholar, Phillp Kotler, in its 9th
      edition of Marketing Management attempted the task of redefining
      marketing by putting forward the following questions:

      � What core concepts underline the discipline of marketing?

      � What basic tasks do marketing managers perform?

      � What is the marketing concept, and how does it contrast with other
      philosophies of doing business?

      � What role does marketing play in different industries, in non-profit
      organisations, and in different countries?

      These questions may look like jumping the guns at this juncture but as
      we go along and discover answers to them in this discussion, their
      relevance as both causative and derivative factors will become obvious.


      In plain approach, Williams Stanton et al (4) described marketing
      system in business context by referring to it as � a total system of
      business activities designed to plan, price, promote and distribute
      want-satisfying products to target markets to achieve organisational
      objectives. His assertion emphasizes relationship based transaction.

      Ordinarily, marketing is considered to be an activity of a business
      organisation. However, it has become the philosophy through which
      organisation and individual manage competition, improve performance and
      ensure relevance, continuity and sustenance.

      Let me conclude this definition by stating what I believe marketing
      system is. It is a structure that allows for a creative and
      deliberate attempt of using the organised resources of an organisation
      to satisfy the most profitable opportunity among all the demands out
      there.

      This could be achieved through any or with the combination of the
      following:

      � Departmental integration within the organisation

      � Corporate philosophy of the organisation

      � Role assignment as individual or departmental portlofio assignment or
      delegated representation as in principalship and agency.

      3.0 A NEW DEMOCRATIC DISPENSATION EXPLAINED.

      Since I am neither a politician or political scientist, I shall make
      a layman�s attempt at explaining my own ideas that will make for a
      common understanding of a new democratic dispensation for the purpose
      of this paper.

      3.1 SEMANTICS

      �A� refers to just one while �new� refers to something fresh or the
      latest around.

      �Democracy� on the other hand, is known by all and sundry as the �
      government of the people by the people and for the people�. It is said
      to be an arrangement whereby the masses repose their confidence in
      one or more representatives by giving such representative(s) their
      mandate to take up the mantle of leadership for service and
      accountability.

      Don�t mind my importation of �service and accountability� with
      leadership, it is a marketing approach to the definition of democracy
      since the mutual benefits should be implied. If we give our mandate to
      the leader, he should serve us and be accountable if he is leading but
      they always rule instead.

      May be the whole argument of today should start from here, leaders
      should lead by service and accountability as marketers to delight the
      masses who are customers paying by their sacrificed mandate.

      Another element we should consider in the semantic here is a new
      dispensation . This ordinarily refers to the fresh way or manner of
      dishing out democracy. I term it to be experimentation hence my prayer
      to you to forgive me if I say that ours is experimental democracy.

      3.2 EXPERIMENTAL DEMOCRACY

      From Lugard to Azikiwe, Ironsi to Obasanjo, Shagari to Buhari, Buhari
      to Abdulsalam, democracy remained an infant suffering from repeated
      mortality. I hope as a new baby again on the laps of Obasanjo it will
      enjoy the maternity approach to caring from all Nigerians, i.e. where
      every expert plays his own role.

      Let us make some fun for a while. Nigerian democracy had always be an
      �Ogbanje�, yes an �abiku� or worse still, �mutiu adole�. It enjoys
      being born, being named but being buried so soon. This is why our
      democracy needs marketing and marketers more than marketing needs
      democracy at least to make our democracy now in its infancy again
      survive.

      We need � maku� ( death-proof) or �gbogbonise� (cure all magic drug) in
      form of marketing strategies and tactics to sustain the young but sick
      infant-democracy.

      But before taking the challenge as a marketing task, we need to
      examine marketing system under democracy itself as our primary focus.

      3.3. DEMOCRACY AS A MARKETING EVIRONMENT

      Marketing does not operate in a vacuum. It is a system that lives
      within an environment as an organism of sort. For now, the new
      democracy of Nigeria is that environment. There is need therefore to
      list the features of this environment called democracy as factors
      favourable or inimical to marketing system.

      Today Nigeria Democracy has the following features among others:

      �� Bicameral legislative system

      �� Presidential style of executive power

      �� Protective of our cultural diversity by giving equal treatment to
      all unequals at times and unequal treatment to all equals at times.

      �� 3-tiers of government- central, state and local

      �� 4-year tenure at both centre and state levels

      �� Multi-party system

      �� Free and open market enterprise with equal access to enterprises
      for government, bodies corporate, individual both indigenes and
      foreigners.

      �� Government in control of major factors of production

      �� Privatisation and commercialisation are on-going as part of the so
      called experimentation of the new democracy

      �� A mixture of green leaves and spent forces politicians dominating
      both legislative and executive arms of government (two exremities of a
      kind).

      �� Continuous global promotion of the newly repackaged nation Nigeria
      even with the various obvious abnormalities

      �� Gaining of new affiliations and renewal of ceased international
      ties

      �� Stages setting for political contest between the youths and the
      older politicians

      �� Getting close to a one-party system

      �� Monetised politicking prevailing

      �� Good intentions but faulty implementation because of defiants and
      greedy role players
      �� Rebellion through religion and tribalism.

      �� Political jobblery eroding merit.

      �� Poverty breeding crime

      �� Global impact of highly dynamic technology hurrying up the nation

      �� Grossly import-dependent

      �� Hide and seek game between the North and the South on one hand and
      between the military and the politicians on the other hand.

      In a nutshell, this is the environment under which we are examining
      marketing system.

      4.0 COMPARING AND CONTRASTING MARKETING AND DEMOCRACY.

      We have seen together, the definitions of different kinds of both
      terms. We need to see further similarities and differences for a
      balance.

      4.1. SIMILARITIES

      � Democracy is people oriented as marketing is people
      oriented.

      � Democracy is a give and take scenario as marketing
      involves mutuality beneficial exchange.

      � Democracy allows for promotion ( campaign) and wide range
      of choice just like marketing does.

      � Competition is a peculiar feature of both democracy and
      marketing

      � Democracy enhances marketing as corporate governance
      gives mandate to marketing department or personnel to represent the
      organisation just like marketing enhances democracy by allowing the
      elected when chosen ( bought) to represent the masses. There are common
      process and procedure to both marketing and democracy.

      - Both democracy and marketing are media dependants in order to
      make success.

      - Both democracy and marketing make use of research, objective/
      goal setting, continuous evaluation, test marketing, and every element
      of the marketing mix.

      - In democracy, it is not the majority that really carries the
      vote, it is the vocal minority that carries it on behalf of the
      majority. This is the true nature of marketing in every organisation.

      4.2 DIFFERENCES

      - Democracy may allow for propaganda which is abomination
      in marketing.

      - Ethics and rules are more specific and respected in marketing.
      Democracy may throw them to the winds.

      - Marketing calls for expertise, experience, professionalism
      and acknowledged strategies and tactics but democracy being political
      may be free for all as equal right is part of the ethos.

      - Marketing is both a career and a profession but
      democracy is not even when politics is taken for a career.

      5.0 NIGERIA AS A PRODUCT AND THE POLITICAL LEADER AS A
      MARKETER

      Taking Nigeria as a product in a marketing system under a new
      democratic dispensation, it becomes a consumer crisis situation.

      Consumer crisis situations involve uncountable forms, multi-various
      scenarios and myriad of derivative problems.

      Managing such a multi-dimensional dilemma through public relations now
      as marketing tool therefore calls for among others:

      - synergy of efforts among various professionals within and
      outside with background in different sub-disciplines of marketing,
      other business studies and social sciences.

      - Wide experience of each of the professionals playing a role in the
      synergy

      - An enabling environment with high level of literacy, communication
      technology and consumer-friendly legal frame work.

      All these of course look more of an utopian setting. Nigeria of today
      does not have these and the consumers therefore cannot enjoy what does
      not exist. The situation in itself is a crisis.

      5.1 THE BASICS

      All marketing texts on consumerism apart from its history emphasizes
      one thing- The Right of The Consumer. These rights are globally
      recognised as follow:

      - Right to be informed

      - Right to be heard

      - Right to be safe

      - Right to choose.

      In a buyer�s market, the seller is compelled to go extra mile to
      comply with and protect these rights of the almighty consumer. But in
      the seller�s market, the rights are thrown to the winds.

      The crisis here is what makes a seller�s market or buyer�s market?
      The economic situation of any particular community ( the market) is
      informed by the following among others:

      - Leadership philosophy, style and stability

      - Demand and supply interplay within the framework of the leadership in
      place

      - Integration of all socio-politicio-economic fabrics of the society
      and its consequences reciprocally

      - International Relations and Diplomacy of the society with the global
      village

      - Literacy level of the masses

      -Technological dependence or independence as the case may be

      - Availability or non-availability of natural resources

      - The efficiency level or greed level of the technocrats

      - Historical and cultural positivity and possibility enhancing or
      inhibiting cooperation, mutual respect, teamwork and progress.

      5.2 PUBLIC RELATIONS IMPLICATIONS

      The side on which a society leans between the two positions of each
      scenario listed above will essentially form the bedrock of:

      - What is the society like in reality

      - What the society thinks it is

      - What internal people think the society is

      - What the external people think the society is

      - What the society thinks the internal people think it is and

      - What the society thinks the external people think it is.

      This is what I call image cube. It is true to life of any
      phenomenon. Be it state, a person or a product. The Public Relations
      cannon to manage this crisis situation could be outlined as follows:

      - Who is the consumer in this respect on whose returns the society or
      organisation or product could survive and thrive?

      - What is the view of this consumer?

      - What is the variance between this consumer�s view/ expectation and
      other various views available?

      - How does one balance the differential and at what cost of efforts,
      time and resources?

      - What are the opportunity costs and their implications?

      This is the way diagnostic and preventive public relations will go for
      marketing advantage. Curative efforts will then emerge as derivatives
      with astute planning, focus and
      (Message over 64 KB, truncated)
    • Nubi Achebo
      THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2001 FG changes police’s name •Declares war on robbers Yemi Giwa, Abuja THE Federal Government on Wednesday declared total war on
      Message 2 of 29 , Aug 16, 2001
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        THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2001

        FG changes police�s name
        �Declares war on robbers
        Yemi Giwa, Abuja
        THE Federal Government on Wednesday declared total war on armed
        robbers, just as it re-christened the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria
        Police, explaining that there was much in a name.

        While disclosing other measures for effective policing of the
        country, government said at the end of the weekly Federal Executive
        Council (FEC) meeting that �what the criminals have done in recent time
        is like a declaration of war. We are declaring our own war on them
        too.�

        Transport Minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, who briefed the press at the
        end of the meeting, also threatened that �it is going to be too hot for
        criminals tormenting Nigerians. This is not just a mere threat, we have
        tremendous capacity to deal with the criminals.�

        Although the United Nations standard of a policeman to the people is
        ratio one to 400, Maduekwe promised the nation that on or before 2004,
        Nigeria would have achieved ratio one policeman to 600 people.

        The minister, however, explained that for the new name to be effective,
        it would be ratified by the National Assembly. The new name, Nigeria
        Police, will convey the right message that the Nigeria Police was not a
        police of occupation, but a public friendly one and servant of the
        community.

        To this extent, government, according to Maduekwe, was determined to do
        a restructuring, a re-engineering and a re-tooling of the police. �It
        should be noted that criminals could not be allowed to terrorise our
        citizens and take over a democratic state,� he said.
        Government, he said, was particularly concerned about the
        increase in the crime wave, especially in Lagos.

        Consequently, he disclosed that government had rolled out a five-year
        development plan for the police at seven basic levels, namely, the
        police headquarters command, state police command, area police command,
        divisional police command, police station and police post.

        For instance, the police headquarters would be restructured to
        accommodate seven departments, each of which would be headed by a
        Deputy Inspector General of Police.

        The departments are: Operations, Communications, Logistics and
        Transport, Training, Intelligence/Investigation, and Research.

        The four new zones being recommended are: Umuahia Zone 9, Sokoto Zone
        10, Osogbo Zone 11, and Bauchi Zone 12.

        Coupled with the above, the minister said the existing 37 state police
        commands in the country would be intact.

        He said in carrying out this restructuring aimed at achieving
        efficiency, the Federal Government solicited the cooperation and
        support of state governors who are chief security officers in their
        respective states.

        Already, the Federal Executive Council has ratified a decision that all
        vehicles belonging to the Federal Highway Patrol should be fitted with
        communication gadgets.

        The minister, who said that other far-reaching measures were taken,
        however, did not disclose them for security reasons.


        -----------------------

        Importers get reprieve on new tariff
        Dele Aderibigbe, Lagos
        THE Federal Government may have caved in to the pressure mounted by
        importers and their agents, as it has suspended Customs implementation
        of the newly hiked tariff, bringing to an end a two-day closure of
        the Roro and the Tin Can Island ports.

        Sources told the Nigerian Tribune that government directed the
        Nigerian Customs Service boss, Alhaji Aliyu Mustapha, to deliberately
        give in to the agents, in order to give peace a chance.

        Government�s position, it was learnt, was anchored on the notion that
        while the Customs gesture could not be faulted, the timing was,
        however, wrong, particularly with the ports congestion induced by
        customs 100 per cent examinations, yet to be cleared.

        The sources further revealed that the Customs boss was advised not to
        implement for now anything capable of affecting the tragile industrial
        peace, until the issue of ports congestion was fully done with.

        When the Nigerian Tribune contacted the National President, Association
        of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Mr. Shittu, he confirmed
        the government�s suspension of the Custom�s earlier directive on
        tariff, saying that a meeting held in Abuja Wednesday between the
        Customs hierarchy, agents and other stake-holders rose on the note
        that �we revert to the status quo ante�.

        Shittu also explained that discussion was expected to continue on the
        issue, until an agreeable and workable solution could be arrived at.
        --------------------

        Returnee drug traffickers, prostitutes 'll be re-tried � Ige
        Adelowo Oladipo/Soji Ikotun, Lagos
        DRUG traffickers and prostitutes, who are caught and jailed abroad,
        will, henceforth, suffer the same fate whenever they return to the
        country.

        The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, who said
        this in Lagos, on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the first
        preparatory meeting for the West African Joint Operations (WAJO), held
        at Eko Le Meridien Hotel, Victoria Island, also vowed that �anybody
        caught, henceforth, to have served jail terms abroad either for advance
        fee fraud, prostitution, money laundering or other vices would be
        prosecuted for denting the image of Nigeria.

        �We are doing our best to ensure that drug trafickers and other
        criminals do not use our country any longer as drug trafficking
        routes, and as long as I am the Attorney-General of the Federation, the
        law that was made to curb the nefarious activities of these criminals
        would not be tampered with�, he said.
        He also disclosed that since he became the Minister of Justice,
        the Federal Government, in conjuction with other security agencies, had
        made 419 letters difficult to get out of the country, just as he
        regretted that such letters had however found refuge in other countries
        like Benin Republic, South Africa, South Korea, Japan, Senegal, Ghana,
        United Kingdom and US among others. In his own address, the Chairman
        and Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency
        (NDLEA), Mr Bello Lafiaji, regretted that the West African sub-region
        had become a favoured transit route for hard drugs, despite the fact
        that the sub-region was not a producer.

        �In as much as the drug challenge is enormous, the greater challenge,
        staring us in the face, is the will to take the decision to tackle the
        drug threat, in concert with one another,� he said. �I believe we are
        all professionally knowledgeable enough to appreciate the benefits of
        working in tandem with our professional colleagues, across our
        respective borders. Since drugs respect no border, our counter-measures
        should, therefore, not be constrained by national boundaries, which is
        the fundamental objective of this meeting today�, he concluded.


        ---------------------------

        Afenifere, Arewa in rare friendship
        Hassan Ibrahim, Kaduna
        THE pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisa- tion, Afenifere, on Wed- nesday
        extended a hand of friendship to the North with a message for both
        Northerners and people of the South-West not to allow their differences
        to disunite the country.

        The Afenifere leader, Senator Abraham Adesanya, who spoke at the Arewa
        House, Kaduna, on the occasion of late Abdul Rahman Okene Memorial
        Lecture, expressed hope that Afenifere�s meeting with the Arewa was a
        step towards uniting the people from the various regions.

        Senator Adesanya, who led a powerful delegation of his group to the
        meeting including Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, observed that, �today is a
        historic day in the political history of Nigeria, the symbolism is not
        lost on me and I know that it is not lost on the nation, What is this
        symbolism that I am referring to?

        �This event is being held under the auspices of the Gamji Members
        Association. Everyone knows that Gamji is the nickname of the late
        Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, of blessed memory, the first
        Premier of Northern Nigeria.

        �This event is being held in Arewa House, residence of the late
        Sardauna. You have invited me, the leader of Afenifere and leader of
        the Yoruba to be your special guest of honour. History will record that
        this is the first time in Nigerian political history, whether ancient
        or modern, when a descendant of Oduduwa will be honoured in such an
        environment so closely and worthily associated with a descendant of
        Othman Dan Fodio.�
        He observed that, �the chairman of this occasion was expected to
        be Alhaji Liman Ciroma, the Grand Patron is my Lord Justice Maman Nasir
        but the chairman turns now to be the former head of state, General
        Buhari.

        �And the late Alhaji Abdulrahman Okene in whose memory this lecture is
        being held, all of them are prominent sons of Arewa who have been
        closely identified with the interest and aspirations of the Arewa
        people, yet you have chosen me, a descendant and exponent of Yoruba
        interest to be your special guest of honour and you have chosen Prof.
        Bolaji Akinyemi, another prominent son of Oduduwa, to deliver the
        inaugural lecture.�

        He, therefore, explained that �let the whole world know that I applaud
        the positive and noble initiative which has led to our presence here
        today. My acceptance of your invitation and the large presence of the
        members of my delegation are a manifestation that we not only
        appreciate your initiative, we have warmly and positively responded to
        it, we have had considerable political differences for more than a
        century, at times, these political differences are turned into bitter
        antagonism.�

        �May be it was avoidable or may be it was unavoidable, after all, both
        of us leaders of Yoruba and Arewaland were and are committed to
        protecting and defending the interests of our people.

        �It is only fake leaders who will seek to ignore or bury the interests
        of their different people in order to foster fake and unstable
        friendship,� he concluded.


        ----------------------

        Indicted judges still in practice � Lagos CJ Ekeoba Friday,
        Lagos
        TWO out of the 19 judi-cial officers indicted by the Justice Kayode
        Esho�s Panel of Enquiry over allegation of corrupt practices on the
        bench are still in service, Justice (Mrs.) Ibitola Sotiminu, Lagos
        State Chief Judge, has disclosed. Besides, the state Chief Judge also
        hinted that as part of the state administration�s effort to check
        corruption in its rank and file, offices of the Lagos State judiciary
        were to be fitted with close-circuit cameras.

        This, according to Sotiminu, was part of the state�s resolve to monitor
        sharp practices in court premises, adding that various petitions
        received so far were undergoing investigations. Sotiminu, who stated
        this on Wednesday while fielding reporters� questions in her office
        after an inspection tour of the new court rooms under construction for
        the newly appointed judges in the state, observed that, as a follow up
        to Justice Esho�s report, the Lagos State government had set up a
        panel of inquiry to be headed by Justice Babalakin.

        According to the Chief Judge, who spoke at length on integrity in the
        administration of justice in the state, noted that �allegations of
        corruption against judicial officers� were being received on a daily
        basis.

        She, however, assured that the outcome of the Babalakin panel of
        enquiry report would help in a long way in addressing some salient
        issues on corruption, urging aggrieved litigants and genuine
        complainants to be fearless in their pursuit of justice, equity and
        fair play.

        While taking stock of Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu�s welfare improvement
        gesture to the state judicial officers since she assumed office, Hon.
        Justice Sotiminu reiterated her earlier warning that any of her
        surbodinates that is corrupt �will be shown the way out of office�.
        ----------------------

        IBB jets out with family
        Dipo Laleye, Minna
        HOURS to his 60th birthday anniversary, former Military President,
        General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, jetted out of the country to Saudi
        Arabia on Wednesday to perform the lesser Hajj (umrah). General
        Babangida with his wife, Maryam, and their sons and daughter left Minna
        at about 9 a.m. on Wednesday for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International
        Airport, Abuja.

        Nigerian Tribune learnt that from the Airport, the former president and
        members of his family were expected to jet to Mecca aboard Kabo
        Airline. It was learnt that the Babangidas would mark the General�s
        birthday in the Holy Land with prayers before going to Germany and
        France on vacation.
        A close aide of the General, who preferred anonymity, confided in
        the Nigerian Tribune that the family would be away for a minimum of one
        week.

        However, the Nigerian Tribune learnt that the former President chose
        the period preceeding his birthday to travel out of the country to
        avoid a situation whereby the ceremony would be misconstrued as a
        political gathering.

        The aide confided in the Nigerian Tribune that General Babangida had
        not been comfortable with the political meaning given his attendance of
        the wedding in Kano a month ago of Brigadier General Halilu Akilu�s
        daughter.
        -----------------------

        LG boss spends N10m on newspapers �N1m on torches
        �Suyi Ayodele, Benin
        THE Edo State House of Assembly was on Tuesday told by the chairman of
        Igueben local government area of the state, Felix Imoisihi, that he
        had so far spent N14 million on entertainment and N10 million on
        newspapers and gifts.

        Imoisihi, who was briefing the House on the activities of his
        administration, equally told the House that he spent N10 million to
        attend three trade fairs in addition to spending over 84 per cent of
        the entire N421.479 million accruing to the council on overheads.

        Also, the council chairman, who said that he met a debt profile of
        N10.3 million on assumption of office which he had since defrayed,
        added that he was owing contractors over N50 million and that the
        balance the council had in its bank account was N3.48 million

        The chairman of the All Peoples Party (APP) controlled council also
        told the House during the period under review, that he spent N53.4
        million for the office of the chairman and another N28 million on his
        personal transport and travelling allowance.
        Most startling of the revelations was the claim by Imoisihi that
        he spent N10 million on newspapers, magazines and gift items adding
        that the amount was staggering because expenditures on councillors were
        grouped under his office.

        Of the N421 million that accrued to the council, he said that N84
        million, representing about 38 per cent, was expended on capital
        projects, while the balance was on overhead, adding that he spent
        another N8 million to construct a one-kilometre road in the area.

        Members of the House, who commented after the briefing, chastised what
        they called the Father Christmas Posture of the chairman at the expense
        of the physical development of the area.

        To Patrick Obahiagbon (Oredo East), with the expenditure of N1 million
        to buy torches and another N10 million on three trade fairs, he was
        �unreasonable�.

        Deputy Speaker of the House, Pally Iriase, while responding, said that
        the chairman, while taking money from the purse of the council in bits
        did not realise that when totalled, it would amount to such a huge sum.



        -----------------------

        YCE cautions politicians
        Edward Dickson, Group Political Editor
        FOR the second time within 72 hours, the Yoruba Council of Elders
        (YCE), on Tuesday, warned politicians of Yoruba stock to watch their
        utterances.

        The YCE�s repeated warnings came on the heels of sporadic and volatile
        pronouncements being made on the turn of political events in the South
        - West as far as elective positions were concerned between the Alliance
        for Democracy (AD) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

        Justice Adewale Thompson (rtd), Secretary-General of the YCE, told the
        Nigerian Tribune at his Ibadan residence that the body of Yoruba
        elders would not hesitate to be locked in political battle against �the
        enemies of peace in the South-West.

        �We shall not hesitate as Yoruba elders to campaign openly against
        those who don�t want peace in Yorubaland�, he said.

        The YCE Secretary-General expressed disgust at certain statements
        credited to individuals during the course of their politicking in the
        past few days, saying, �I am highly embarrassed by the talk about
        rigging in Yorubaland�.
        He was particularly irked by the fact that the drumbeats of
        political �war� had been localised to the South-West, saying, �In
        Hausa and Igbo lands, do they not have politicians there? Why are they
        not talking about rigging election in those places?

        Contending that the Yoruba nation was in the process of
        nation-building, Justice Thompson warned that �anybody who is
        inordinately ambitious should caution himself. Yoruba want people who
        would join hands in building a sovereign nation.�

        The eminent jurist, who reiterated that the Egbe Igbimo Agba Yoruba is
        partisan, posited that� If anybody wants to be seen as a partisan
        politician, that person should quit Igbimo Agba.

        �You cannot be making vitriolic statements and still claim that you
        belong to Igbimo Agba�, he noted.

        Frontline politicians and former Justice Minister in the second
        republic, Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN) had during a PDP elders meeting
        in Ibadan, last Saturday, boasted that the would match the Alliance for
        Democracy (AD) in the South-West dollar for dollar and that some of the
        states currently being controlled by the AD would fall into the hands
        of the PDP. Oyo State governor, Alhaji Lam Adesina, on Tuesday,
        replied the PPD threat, saying that his party was ready to meet the
        PDP �fire for fire�.


        ----------------------

        Bonnke set for another crusade in Nigeria By Taiwo Fagbuyi
        EVANGELIST Reinhard Bonnke has in the last six years preached to over
        27 million people in 63 major countries around the world. This was
        disclosed to pressmen on Wednesday by the Vice-President of Christ For
        All Nations, Rev. Peter Van den Berg, at a press conference held in
        Ibadan towards the forthcoming gospel power crusade, Ibadan 2001.

        According to Rev. Van den Berg, Nigeria occupied a very special place
        in the heart of the international evangelist, and he would stop at
        nothing to bring the gospel to the country, especially Ibadan, which he
        would be visiting in November for the third time, having held similar
        crusades in 1985 and 1989 respectively. While appealing to newsmen to
        help the crusade team in sensitising the people of Ibadan and its
        environs for a massive turn-out at the crusade, Rev. Van den Berg
        disclosed that all necessary facilities would be made available for a
        hitch-free and successful crusade.


        Speaking earlier, the West African Regional Co-ordinator of Christ For
        All Nations, Rev. John Darku, said not less than six million souls were
        being expected at the gathering, just as he disclosed that about two
        million persons attended a similar crusade in Lagos last year and that
        the objective of each crusade was to get people saved.

        While answering journalists� questions, Rev. Van den Berg said the Kano
        crusade, billed to hold a couple of years ago, was put off due to
        ethnic tension in the ancient city and the crusade team would not want
        to be involved in such a crossfire.

        On venue arrangement, Rev. Alaje disclosed that about 500 acres of land
        had been made available between the Trans Amusement Park and the Old
        Airport, Ibadan for the event, with not less than 10 access roads
        already mapped out for easy human and vehicular movement.
        ---------------------

        No water, no sex � Women tell hubbies
        �Kid kills grandad
        NO water, no sex. That is the message a group of women in Southern
        Turkey have given their husbands, banishing them from the bedroom.

        The women have been refusing to have sex with their husbands in an
        attempt to force them to re-establish a water supply to Sirt, a village
        near the Mediterranean resort of Antalya.

        The local governor, Mehmet Carpraz, said the women began their boycott
        a month ago after getting fed up with carrying water to their homes
        from wells several kilometres from the village.

        Mr. Carpraz said that since the protest began, men from Sirt had sought
        government help to repair the local water system and asked for the
        necessary materials.

        The Turkish newspaper, Hurriyet, said most of the village women were
        involved in the protest, but gave no numbers.

        �One of the women launched the idea (of the boycott) as a joke, but it
        is serious,� said one of the women, Faliha Sari, referring to the
        boycott.

        �It�s natural... When we cannot wash ourselves and cannot wash our
        clothes, we don�t want to do other things�, she is quoted as saying by
        the Associated Press news agency.
        According to local newspapers, the bedroom boycott appeared to
        have been inspired by a popular Turkish comedy.

        In the 1983 film, women in a village refuse sex in protest at having to
        work in the fields while their husbands enjoy tea and backgammon at the
        village coffee shop.

        Meanwhile, a two-year-old boy in the US state of Ohio has short and
        killed his grandfather, authorities have said.

        The toddler was playing with a loaded .45 calibre gun, belonging to his
        grandfather, Thomas Hopps, at his home when the accident occurred.

        The child had found the gun and was playing with it behind Mr. Hopps�
        chair, Stark Country Sheriff, Tim Swanson, said.

        The gun fired and the bullet went through the chair and fatally struck
        Mr. Hopps in the back.

        Mr. Hopps, aged 55, died some hours later in hospital.

        The child�s mother was in the room at the time of the shooting, but
        according to Mr. Swanson, neither she nor Mr. Hopps could see the boy
        behind the chair and was unaware as to what he was doing.

        The grandfather lived with both the boy and his mother in Plain
        Township, Ohio.
        --------------------------

        Tiger Woods invited for Nigeria Open
        John Akpodovhan, Lagos
        World�s leading golfer, Tiger Woods and other top leading golfers may
        participate in this year�s Nigeria Open Golf championship billed for
        the IBB Golf and Country Club, Abuja, from November 19 to 25.

        The chairman, organising committee for the Open, Chief Olusola
        Adekanola told journalists on Tuesday at the IBB Golf and Country Club,
        Abuja. He said that he did have a discussion with the world leading
        golfer, Tiger Woods, recently, though the American kept an open mind
        on the issue.

        Chief Adekanola disclosed that because of the calibre of players
        coming, the committee decided to up the prize money from $250,000 to
        $500,000.

        Otunba Adekanola named NICON Noga as the official hotel for the
        championship and it has opened discussions with banks and breweries so
        that the championship may have its official banker and drinks.

        On how it would source for the N100 million targeted, he revealed that
        it would make N2 million from billboard, N3 million from gala, while
        the naming of holes after companies or individuals would fetch N1
        million.

        The remaining amount would come from individuals, corporate bodies and
        top brass in the government and society. He assured that the committee
        would do all within its power to make the championship a success.

        Omodara, NFA member, escapes gunmen�s attack Steve Ojo, Ado Ekiti
        A member of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Chief Ayo Omodara,
        narrowly escaped death in the early hours of Wednesday when a group of
        armed robbers stormed his residence in Ado Ekiti.

        Briefing the chairman of Ekiti State Sports Writers Association of
        Nigeria (SWAN), Mr. Odeyemi Samuel, Chief Omodara stated that a group
        of people arrived his residence by 2 am on Wednesday, knocking at his
        door.

        Parading sympathisers round the premises in a pair of knickers and
        T-shirt, he further disclosed that when he tried to enquire the
        identity of his nocturnal guests, what he received were bullet shots
        to which he responded as an Akogun (Chief Warrior) of Oye Ekiti

        Omodara further disclosed that his bullet hit one of the hoodlums, whom
        the gang took away, threatening to come back in few minutes.

        True to their words, Omodara, who recently won the chairmanship
        election of the Ekiti State Referees Association, stated that when the
        gang could not gain entrance into his residence, they went to his
        generating set took a jerry can of diesel and set his two cars ablaze,
        with the intention of burning him in the house.

        The NFA member also stated that his attackers took to their heels when
        they realised that the fire could not be put out easily by 5.30 am.

        It was at this junction that he decided to come out of the house and
        called for his neighbours� assistance before the fire which had burnt
        part of the roof of the house could be put out. Sympathisers were seen
        trooping into the area when the news of the attack went round the town.


        When Ekiti State SWAN chairman, Mr. Samuel, visited the scene, traces
        of gun shots were found on the walls of the house and pieces of broken
        louvre blades littered his living room.

        One of the cars, a Mercedes Benz was burnt beyond repairs, while the
        front part of his Mazda car was affected by the inferno.

        Nigeria four-nation tourney doubtful
        By Tosin Omojola
        THE proposed four-na-tion tournament involving Nigeria, South Africa,
        Egypt and Cameroun which was billed to hold in October at the National
        Stadium, Lagos, may not see the light of the day.

        Secretary General of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Dr. Tijani
        Ahmed Yusuf, disclosed that the tourney, being packaged by the NFA, in
        collaboration with a London-based soccer marketing firm, may be
        cancelled due to Eagles� friendly game against Japan.

        According to the NFA scribe, the Super Eagles/Japan international
        friendly clash billed for London on October 7 has finally been sealed,
        thus putting in doubt the possibility of the proposed four-nation
        tourney.

        Explaining further, Dr. Yusuf stated that the soccer-ruling house would
        not want a situation whereby the club versus country dispute which has
        often denied the country the use of its players in the recent past to
        repeat itself, saying that, �we want to try as much as possible to
        avoid a clash with these foreign clubs.�


        ITF commends Heineken Tennis organisation
        Cajetan Nkwopara, Lagos
        REPRESENTATIVE of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the
        Africa Tennis Federation (ATF), at the on-going Heineken Satellite
        Tennis Championship in Lagos, Mr Ian Smith, has given kudos to the
        Nigerian organizers for a job welldone.

        Smith, who spoke at a press briefing held at the head office of the
        sponsors, Nigerian Breweries Limited, told Tribunesports that he was
        impressed with the quality of organization and the standard of the
        competition.

        �They have been able to provide all that should make the championship
        an international event and I am sure these foreign players here will
        have something good to tell about Nigeria when they return home,� he
        said.

        The representative who is also the chief referee of the Satellite
        competition praised the ability of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF)
        and the Nigerian Breweries in providing befitting accommodation for all
        the players and officials, as well as arrange well co-ordinated
        transportation system to take each to and from the hotels.


        NIKE ready with Eagles� 2002 World Cup kits Sunday Ogunkanmi,
        Abuja
        Sports kits manufac-turers, NIKE, is ready with the uniforms the Super
        Eagles would dorn at the 2002 World Cup finals billed for Korea/Japan.


        The uniforms, which comprise jerseys, boots, bags, training materials
        and other things had their designs completed four months ago even
        before the conclusion of the African qualifying series.

        Noel Okorougo, the representative of the kits maker, NIKE, also the
        sponsors of Super Eagles, told sports journalists in Abuja that the
        design for other teams were also completed along with that of Nigeria.


        Okorougo who is also the chairman of the executive committee of the
        National Sports Lottery (NSL), swore that NIKE would do all within its
        power to help Nigeria achieve a good result in the mundial next year.

        �Whatever we can do as the sponsors of Nigeria to help achieve a good
        result, we�ll do it�, Okorougo who is also the Chief Executive Officer
        of Prosports Limited emphasised.

        Okorougo, who noted that so much had been going on, underground to make
        Nigeria and other countries, being sponsored by NIKE to do well,
        described the uniforms designed for the Super Eagles as beautiful and
        incredible.

        He explained that the kits makers took great care in the consideration
        of weather situation in Korea/Japan during the World Cup. The sponsors�
        representatives said in deciding the design, the manufacturers took a
        gamble even when Nigeria was yet to know if it would qualify or not.

        �If you waited until they qualify and started designing something that
        would take about nine months, you may not do a good job. It was a
        gamble and thank God, it paid off. You know at times you look at the
        group and ask, �why should Nigeria not qualify from this group?�,
        Okorougo explained.

        No better time to quit � Johnson
        FIVE-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Johnson, set to retire next
        month from competitive running, said on Wednesday he decided to quit
        while he was still on top of his game.

        �It�s time. When I started my career, I always wanted to finish on top,
        like I started. I�ve always been afraid of becoming one of those
        athletes who hang around a little too long,� the 33-year-old told NBC�s
        Today show.

        �The time is right, I�ve been able to do everything I wanted in the
        sport,� he added. Johnson�s last major event will be the Goodwill Games
        in Brisbane, Australia, next month, when he will run the final leg of
        the 4x400 relay.

        After that, Johnson said he planned to spend time �mostly being dad� to
        his toddler, doing some sports broadcasting for NBC and corporate
        motivational speaking. Looking back on his career, Johnson said the
        highlight was the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta when he became the
        first man to win gold at 200 and 400 metres in the same games.

        �It was great for me to be able to make history there. It was a great
        opportunity for me there to be successful,� he said.

        Last year�s Olympic Games in Sydney, he said, were the most enjoyable
        because his family was there and it was his son Sebastian�s first
        Olympics. He added two more Olympic titles in Sydney with victories in
        the 400 metres and 4x400m relay.

        �I knew it was my last one and so I wanted to take away some great
        memories,� said Johnson. In addition to winning five Olympic gold
        medals, Johnson has nine World Athletics Championship gold medals.

        Johnson�s world records are 19.32 seconds in the 200 metres and 43.18
        seconds in the 400.

        Nigerian junior athletes seek consolation in Mauritius
        �After Edmonton woes
        By Tosin Omojola
        NIGERIAN athletes will to-day in far away Mauritius begin the rush for
        medals as the African junior athletics championship flags off with the
        memory of the country�s poor performance at the just concluded IAAF
        World Athletics Championship, held in Edmonton, Canada, still in
        memory.

        Coming on the heels of the lack lustre show of the country�s top
        athletes at the world championship where the country failed to win a
        single medal, the young athletes would be saddled with the
        responsibility of wipping off the Edmonton memory as they slug it out
        with their contemporaries from other countries of the continent for
        medals.

        Expected to lead the assault in the track and field championship is
        Alice Nwosu, the national record holder in the 800 metres. Nwosu who
        was dropped from the contingent to Edmonton, having won her event in
        the Mobil Track and Tield Athletics Championship, held in Lagos,
        setting a new national record in the process, would now have the chance
        to prove herself as she leads nine others in the rush for medals in
        Mauritius.

        Other athletes expected to redeem Nigeria�s image in athletics
        include, Glory Nwosu (high jump and 4x400m), Hajarat Yusuf (200m and
        4x400m), Christiana Augustine (10,000m) Chichi Edeh, (discuss), Cecilia
        Cyril (5000m), Ibifuro Tobi, Chinendu Obilor (400m hurdle and 4 x
        400m), James Ayewoh (javelin) and Sunday Adejoh (200m).


        ---------------------

        Cries of marginalisation from Udenwa�s quarters
        JOE NWACHUKWU writes on some allegations levelled against Udenwa�s
        administration and how a government official has debunked them all.

        THE discovery of oil wells in Nigeria in 1956 at Olu Elobiri in
        Bayelsa State during the colonial days perhaps seemed to be a blessing
        to the nation. But the problems encountered with this God-given mineral
        resourcement to alleviate people�s suffering seems to be a curse to the
        nation.

        Before oil was discovered in Nigeria, each of the four regions, mainly.
        Northern Nigeria, Western Eastern, and Mid-Western regions, were very
        comfortable with their agricultural crops, mainly groundnut, cocoa,
        palm products and rubber.

        Each of the regions were comfortable with the revenue realised from
        the sales of these crops with each region only paying 50 per cent to
        the federal government from their proceeds.

        However, with oil the distribution of national cake automatically
        changed with the federal government collecting proceeds from oil which
        accounts for 90 per cent of the total revenue realised from the
        economy. All the groundnut pyramids, cocoa, palm product and rubber
        continued to decline in each of the region.

        In view of the foregoing, the communities that lay the golden eggs
        continued to suffer because the money set aside to tackle the
        ecological problems arising from oil exploration was enough to solve
        the problems.

        The oil companies operating in these areas became target to their
        host communities in view of lack of social amenities, coupled with
        decline on agricultural products because the land was no longer fertile
        for planting.

        For example, during Umuechem Eteche crisis in Rivers State in 1990,
        the entire community was wiped out when youths in the community
        protested the neglect of Shell Company which had discovered oil wells
        in the area since 1958 without providing social amenities in the area.

        That incident claimed the lives of about 48 people, including the
        traditional ruler who happened to come from Umuechem, His Royal
        Highness, A.A Ordu. His two sons also died from the bullets of Mobile
        Police men who invaded the community.

        In view of the crisis, Shell pulled out from Ogoniland to avoid
        further problems.

        Following the problemst that were associated with oil producing
        communities that the federal government decided to set up the Oil
        Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) to take care
        of the welfare of the welfare of the people of these areas.

        However, the establishment of OMPADEC was a welcome idea, but as usual,
        the implementation became faulty as those entrusted with the progamme
        abused it.

        As a result of this, the OMPADEC was forced to wind up by President
        Olusegun Obasanjo which led to the setting up of the Niger-Delta
        Development Commission (NDDC).

        The issue of determining which states to belong to the NDDC caused a
        problem among the nine states that produce oil in the country as the
        minority South-South felt that NDDC was mainly for them while Imo, Abia
        and Ondo States fought their way through into NDDC.

        At Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta Local Governments, the youths and elders
        mobilized themselves and threatened to drive away the oil companies
        operating in their areas. However, with the help from their various
        state governments, they were able to scale the hurdles.
        Ohaji/Egbema, and Oguta local government were vexed to their
        marrow when they were about to be droped from NDDC because their local
        governments in Imo State did not benefit from OMPADEC. In view of the
        foregoing, the two local government areas, Ohaji/ Egbema and Oguta have
        vowed to actually verify how much Imo State collects from the 13 per
        cent oil derivation fund and how the money is being spent.

        In their efforts to pursue this course, an extraordinary meeting of
        the traditional rulers and elite of Ohaji/Egbema was held at Umuokanne
        on May, 19,2001 during which they adopted a resolution to join as
        co-plaintif in a civil suit filed by the elite. Dr. Placy Ekwueme led
        the suit against the Imo State Government on the issue of the 13 per
        cent derivation paid to the state since May,2000.

        They unanimously resolved to act in agreement and unison on other
        matters that pertain to the development of Ohaji/Egbema equitable use
        and control of their natural resources.

        Earlier in April 9,2001, the elite of Ohaji/Egbema local government
        had issued a press statement signed by Dr. Placy O. Ekwueme on behalf
        of others, stating that, if the government fail to address the issue of
        marginalisation and neglect of the area, they may be further
        constrained to renew their historical agitation to rejoin their kith
        and kin in Rivers State since their interests are longer met in the
        state.

        According to the press statement, the marginalisation of Ohaji/Egbema
        has reached a crisis point, and they had expected to be fairly
        treated since the present governor was from Orlu zone, adding that
        since this was not the case, they may consider pulling out of Orlu zone
        and joining other zones where their interests would be protected.

        The people from the area explained that the NDDC Act states
        specifically that the 13 per cent derivation was for the development of
        oil producing areas and was part of the federal government strategy to
        restore calmness in oil producing communities torn apart by years of
        neglect. Based on this, the people of Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta want to
        know how the Imo State Government utilized the money the administration
        has been collecting from the fund since May last year. Egbema youths
        are becoming restless, because they want an immediate account on the
        expenditure of the fund.

        Among other things, which they wanted from the Chief Achike Udenwa
        administration is to publish the criteria upon which appointments were
        made and explain why Ohaji/Egbema, the goose that lays the golden egg,
        was left out and also for the government to explain why no indigene
        from the area has been appointed as Chief Executive of Adapalm Oil
        Plantations. In view of understanding between the two local
        governments that produce oil in the state and Imo State House of
        Assembly, they decided to suspend all legal actions till the
        expiration of their understanding with the house.

        Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta Consultative Assembly (OEOCA) in their recent
        communique signed by Dr. Placy O.Ekwueme, co-ordinator, and made
        available to the Nigerian Tribune shows utter dismay at the attitude
        and manner of operations of the Imo State representative on the NDDC
        board, Mr. Victor Kogah, noting that his actions are contrary to the
        expectation of the people he represents. Reacting to some of the
        allegations levelled against the Imo State Government by the group, a
        government official debunked some of the issues raised by the assembly,
        saying that Ohaji/ Egbema benefited much in this present administration
        like any local government in the state.

        The government officials pointed out that the former Commissioner for
        Lands, Survey and Urban Planning, Barrister Golden Ihekwumere came from
        the area, also a member representing Imo State in NDDC, Mr. Kogah is a
        native of the area, and that the two best roads constructed by the
        present administration are from the area. A top government official
        while reacting to issue of marginalisation of the area, explained that
        Chief Onyema Ugochukwu was appointed by President Olusegun Obasanjo to
        be the chairman of NDDC did not come from the oil producing communities
        of Abia State.


        ------------------------




        PDP chances in Osun bright
        ��Gov. aspirant
        HOW would you assess the 27 month-old administration of President
        Olusegun Obasanjo?

        Democracy in Nigeria started two years ago, under the leaderships of
        President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice President Abubakar Atiku. For the
        past two years, we have noticed a significant improvement in the living
        standard of the people. Before they came into power, a lot of
        destructions had been done to the Nigerian nation by successive
        military regimes before they relinquished power on May 29, 1999. We all
        know that it is easier to destroy than to build. The period of
        building undoubtedly takes a much longer time than the period to
        destroy. On the whole, the regime of Obasanjo has tried in the areas of
        infrastructural development, value of the naira, job creation, health
        and education, just to mention a few. We should also realise the fact
        that a lot of industries were not in operation before they came into
        power, so things like this take much more time than one could envisage.


        Apart from that, the resources at their disposal must also be taken
        into consideration, especially if one thinks of the zero level of
        the nation, foreign reserve before May 29, 1999.

        In the overall assessment, I am convinced with the performance of the
        President Obasanjo administration up to date and I know its best if
        Nigerians could be patient with it as majority of Nigerians want an
        immediate solution to their problems because of the poverty level.

        As a gubernatorial aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic
        Party (PDP) in Osun State what would say, if any, are the prospects of
        the Alliance for Democracy AD in Osun State?

        The AD government in Osun State has performed very poorly and the
        expectations of the people that voted it into power have not been met.
        They came into power using the name of sage Awolowo but when they got
        there, they forgot completely about the good ideals and principles the
        sage stood for. They have actually disappointed the electorate who gave
        them their mandate.

        For example, the mass retrenchment and premature retirement of civil
        servants in the state should have been done in a more humane way, and I
        believe come 2003 when we would have a PDP government in the saddle, we
        will definitely correct all these abnormalities. You don�t throw
        people out of their livelihood when an alternative has not been
        provided. The retired or sacked workers up to date have not been paid
        their entitlements which would have enabled them to engage in one form
        of business in order to keep body and soul moving.

        Taking a look at other sectors of the state�s economy, you�ll notice
        that in Osun State, there is no industrial establishment and government
        is not even making any move to create jobs for the unemployed masses.
        These are the things that we have recognised and we�ll make sure that
        people get jobs as soon as we get into power.


        How do you hope to achieve that considering the financial situation in
        the state, which is very pathetic?

        Well, the way one manages these resources goes a long way. If Osun
        State is not financially buoyant, there are other means the government,
        in order to enhance the establishment of industries. For example,
        over 90 per cent of Osun people are farmers and when you want to create
        jobs, you consider the dominant profession of the people. Since
        majority of them are farmers, so we have to start from the agricultural
        sector, in order to improve the farming system, especially, animal
        husbandry. It is rather sad that Nigeria in the 21st Century is still
        importing chicken, turkey and what have you, when we have the
        potentials to do all these things here in Osun State to create job
        opportunities for our young school leavers and the unemployed
        graduates.

        What do you think are the chances of the PDP in Osun State in the
        forth-coming elections?

        The chances are very bright. Like now, I can say that the PDP winning
        Osun State because of the poor performance of Governor Akande.

        Come 2003 and you are elected the next executive governor of Osun
        State, what are your plans for the state?

        Oh, I will create jobs for the unemployed graduates and young school
        leaders as a way of moving the state forward. Emphasis would be
        geared towards the agricultural sector, especially annual husbandry.
        Funds to carry out the programmes will also be sourced from financial
        institutions if the revenue generated by the state government is not
        enough for the projects earmarked. We would also look at the
        educational sector of the state. Currently, the situation is very
        hopeless because most schools do not have classrooms, the buildings are
        in a state of total disrepair and no adequate and qualified teachers.
        These are the areas we have to urgently address when we come into
        office come 2003. The teachers will also be made to undertake refresher
        courses, through workshops and seminars, in order to be able to teach
        the students for positive results.

        Your name does not ring bell in the political circles of Osun State,
        who are you?

        I am a young politician who is eager to serve his people.

        Since you are eager to serve your people. One would have expected you
        to start from the councillorship, why the governorship?

        A lot of people have been asking me that same question. What I know is
        that individual decisions are normally based on the conviction that one
        is capable of performing better here or there if given the chance. I
        feel I am currently needed at the executive level of the state and
        that is why I am starting from that level. As I said earlier, the
        current administration in the state has not met the yearnings of the
        people. Apart from that, when you review the political activities in
        the state since its creation, you�ll notice that there is nothing to
        show for it. All these are challenges we feel are necessary to correct.
        I was born in 1959, I am also by the grace of God a graduate and a
        professional. Currently, I am into business of importing and exporting.




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      • Nubi Achebo
        MONDAY, AUGUST 20, 2001 NEW REVENUE FORMULA Govs storm Abuja Sanya Adejokun, Abuja THE 36 state governors will arrive Abuja this morning to hold a crucial
        Message 3 of 29 , Aug 20, 2001
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          MONDAY, AUGUST 20, 2001

          NEW REVENUE FORMULA
          Govs storm Abuja
          Sanya Adejokun, Abuja
          THE 36 state governors will arrive Abuja this morning to hold a crucial
          meeting on the proposed revenue allocation formula submitted to
          President Olusegun Obasanjo last week.

          Spokesman for the governors and Ogun State governor, Olusegun Osoba,
          said at the presentation of the document at the State House, Abuja,
          that the governors would be meeting today to present their stance.

          Although it was not immediately known what the reaction of the
          governors would be, Nigerian Tribune reliably gathered, however, that
          it would be mixed. They would announce their acceptance of the
          increment the states got in the percentage of their statutory share of
          the Federation Account from 26 to 31 per cent.
          On the other hand, the governors are also expected to raise
          eyebrows on the creation of the Basic Education and Skill Acquisition
          (BESA) Fund and the allocation of seven per cent of the Federation
          Account to it under the Special Fund.

          At their meeting with chairman and members of the Revenue Mobilisation
          Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) some months ago, the governors
          had expressed their opposition to a situation whereby the Federal
          Government has too much share of the nation�s wealth.

          According to their spokesman at the meeting, Chief Achike Udenwa, Imo
          state governor, states would prefer to meet their responsibilities so
          far as they were given adequate funding.

          Again, at several fora, the governors had also accused the Federal
          Government of taking over the responsibility for primary education
          which is on the residual list.


          --------------------

          NULGE rejects new allocation formula
          By Akin Durodola
          THE National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has rejected
          the new revenue formula proposal released by the Revenue Mobilisation
          Allocation and Fiscal Commission, saying much resources were still
          concentrated with the Federal Government.

          The NULGE President, Mr. Deji Akinwalere, while speaking with newsmen
          in Ibadan at the weekend, however, called on both President Olusegun
          Obasanjo and the National Assembly to reject the proposal and review it
          in favour of local governments.

          Mr. Akinwalere said though the burden of teachers� salaries had been
          removed from the local government chairmen, the proposal was not a good
          one for the councils, rather an attempt to destroy the third tier of
          government through inadequate funding. According to him, "how can the
          commission recommend just one per cent over what was given to local
          governments in 1991, (10 years after) to it in 2001?

          �We, the National Union of Local Government Employees, are rejecting
          the proposal and call on all Nigerians to reject the proposal by the
          Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission. Much resources
          are still concentrated with the Federal Government. Much powers are
          still given to the Federal Government.
          �The danger inherent in the approval of the proposal is that, it
          is not a good omen for the country. It is anti-people and
          anti-development. Anybody who is abreast of development would still not
          go ahead to approve the proposal,� the NULGE president declared.

          He therefore suggested that �our proposal is that they should review it
          in this order; 30 per cent for the local governments, 40 per cent for
          states and 30 per cent for Federal Government,� adding that the more
          the Federal Government has much power, �it is a threat to our
          democracy.�

          Mr. Akinwalere, pointed out that he was advocating 40 percent for
          states �because most of the agitations are being articulated by them,�
          adding that with the 30 per cent, local governments �which are nearest
          to the grassroot people� would be able to bring much-desired
          development at the grassroot.

          On the tenure of local governments chairmen, the NULGE chairman,
          stressed that the entire 1.6 million local government workers were in
          support of Brig. Ogbeha�s committee and four-year tenure for the
          council bosses, �it will aid development�.

          While saying that the National Assembly had powers to determine the
          tenure of council bosses, Mr. Akinwalere called on the lawmakers in
          Abuja to speed up their action �in the enactment of the bill into law
          in order to avoid constitutional crisis�.
          -------------------

          AD rejects 1,000 soldiers in Lagos
          Austin Jacobson, Lagos
          THE Alliance for Democracy (AD) has warned the Federal Government
          against the deployment of 1,000 soldiers to Lagos State to contain the
          deteriorating security situation in the state.

          This warning was contained in a press release issued by the national
          secretariat of the party and signed by its national Director of
          Publicity, Barrister Opeyemi Bamidele.

          According to the release, the party was greatly alarmed and shocked at
          the decision of the Federal Government to deploy soldiers to Lagos
          without due consultation with the state government.

          The Alliance for Democracy further explained that it was particularly
          astounded at the mode of arrival of the decision which appears more
          like a military take over of the state by an army of occupation.
          It further stated that before such a decision should have been
          taken, the Federal Government should have invited the state governor in
          his capacity as the chief security officer of the state before soldiers
          could come to assist the police in combating crimes. The release
          further stated that the party (AD) would have welcomed the idea of
          deploying soldiers to Lagos if indeed they are capable of combating
          crimes.� But the bitter truth is that Nigerian soldiers lack the
          discipline, the patience, the emotional stability and the dexterity
          needed to combat crimes.�

          The party also emphasised that �the concern of many Nigerians as to the
          mentality of soldiers to always engage in adventureism and this kind of
          situation is an opportunity for the soldiers to engage in atrocities of
          unimaginable proportions, which raises serious questions as to whether
          they are suited for the job.� It explained further that people are
          particularly concerned about the soldiers� age-old habit of extorting
          money from motorists, mounting illegal road blocks and their practice
          of molesting peace-loving citizens.
          ------------------------

          Poly teachers threaten strike
          Wole Efunnuga, Abeokuta
          THE Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has given the Federal
          Government up till 19 September, 2001 to sign its three-point-demand or
          face nationwide industrial action.

          ASUP National Executive Council (NEC) said at its emergency meeting
          held in Kaduna last Wednesday that if the Federal Government failed to
          sign the agreement by Tuesday, 12 September, all members shall proceed
          on an indefinite strike action.

          The National Public Relations Officer of ASUP, Mr Akin Ajayi, said in a
          statement issued in Abeokuta that �ASUP NEC, therefore, resolved that
          if the Federal Government fails to meet its demands and sign the
          agreement on Tuesday, 12 September, 2001, all academic staff in
          polytechnics nationwide will embark on resumption of suspended total
          strike with effect from Tuesday, 19 September, 2001.�
          The association expressed dismay at the Federal Government�s
          failure in meeting the demands and signing the agreement reached
          between the body and the Federal Government.

          Mr Ajayi stressed that the requests before the Federal Government
          include: Immediate release of the white paper report on Adamu Yabani
          Committee�s report; establishment of National Polytechnics Commission
          (NPC) and the implementation of Polytechnics Academic Salary Scale
          (PASS) effective from January, 2001. ASUP called on the Federal
          Government to sign the agreement reached on its demands presented to
          Alhaji Alhassan Kpaki�s Committee on Tuesday, 12 September, 2001, in
          the interest of national peace.

          Mr Ajayi stressed that the association had exercised enough patience
          with the Federal Government on the issue raised, adding, �anything
          short of approval of the requests will lead to nationwide strike action
          by ASUP with effect from 19 September, 2001.�


          ------------------------

          NECA proffers fresh solution to unemployment
          ORGANISED private employers of labour in the country under the umbrella
          of the Nigeria Employers� Consultative Association (NECA) has
          profferred fresh solutions to the current high rate of unemployment in
          Nigeria.

          Speaking at a two-day seminar on �Labour Policies and Job creation
          organised by the Labour Writers Association of Nigeria (LAWAN) in
          conjunction with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung held in Ibadan, Oyo
          State, Director General of the Employers Group, Mr Olusegun Oshinowo
          noted that it was wrong to assume that employers had a primary role to
          create jobs.

          Highlighting some of the key problems why employment has become an
          issue in Nigeria, the NECA Director General declared: �Employment has
          suddenly become an issue in Nigeria because of the collapse of the
          nation�s economy, low economic growth rate dependency on import and
          monocultural economy. According to him, others include: �Collapse of
          infrastructure, collapse of technical and vocational institutions,
          rural/ urban drift, collapse of the agricultural sector and high
          population growth rate.

          Mr Oshinowo explained that in attaining full employment in the country,
          Nigerians should key issues from other economies of the world,
          particularly that of the high performing Asian economies where public
          policies were geared towards providing stable macro-economic
          environment; reliable legal frame to promote domestic and international
          competition; investment in people, education and health, openess to
          foreign technology and high quality civil service that has the capacity
          to monitor performance and is insulated from political interference.

          Other key areas of the high performing Asian economies include the
          macro-economic stability and export growth through encouraged long term
          planning and private investment; increased financial savings; limited
          fiscal deficits that could be prudently managed without increasing
          inflationary pressure and low interest rate.

          Others are the building of institutional basis for growth by giving
          voice and authority to technocratic elite and key leaders of the
          private sector who helped to devise credible economic strategy and
          business friendly environment particularly a legal and regulatory
          structure that was hospitable to business.

          Accumulated human and physical capital through focus on education by
          providing universal primary education focus on vocationally and
          technologically sophisticated disciplines which produced broad
          technically inclined human capital base well suited to rapid economic
          development.
          On the way forward the neca Director-General pointed out the need
          to stem rural/urban drift by resusitating the agricultural sub-sector
          of the economy. He said government should also create enabling
          environment by resuscitating infrastructure, vocational/technical
          schools and the establishment of venture capital.

          �If we are talking about resolving our employment problems, our
          educational system should be re-structured to prepare that products of
          our higher institutions of learning to take advantage of opportunities
          even beyond the borders of Nigeria� Mr Oshinowo said.

          He pointed out the �Look at the GSM, how it has caught us napping? the
          truth is that we don�t have the needed manpower base to support the GSM
          and what will that translate to? You will find a situation where people
          from all over the world will come in and take advantage of job
          opportunities in our own society while we are talking of unemployment
          here.�

          The NECA DG said that it was the duty of the government to have a
          futuristic view of the manpower needs of our economy and plan towards
          meeting those needs.

          He also expressed the need to restructure the economy to make it export
          oriented and stem import of �necessary goods,� revisitation of backward
          integration programmes, ensure policy commitment and consistency and
          develop a reliable database on manpower need of the economy.

          According to him the National Manpower board should be able to conduct
          a survey on the nation�s manpower needs such a survey, he explained,
          should be able to give the entire Nigerians areas where we have
          opportunities so that, training, education and development could be
          channelled along the line for people to take advantage of it �we need
          to look at other areas where we have comparative advantage and develop
          them so that we can also benefit from the world economy.�

          Mr Oshinowo also said that government should institute a reward system
          that would hinge towards productivity, relevance and dignity of labour
          rather than elitism; those at the elms of affairs should ensure
          responsible governance at the three tiers of government.

          He pointed out the need to adopt direct labour approach in the
          execution of projects; diversification of the nation�s economic base;
          development of a finanical system that would provide long term funding
          and reduction of population growth.

          The Director-General said that Nigerians had never demonstrated
          suffient commitment and dedication rate and this was not the best for
          the development of the nation�s economy.

          -----------------------

          Akhigbe opens up on Abiola
          Bankole Makinde, Abuja
          FORMER Chief of General Staff, Vice Admiral Mike Okhai Akhigbe, on
          Sunday in Abuja, controverted the official claim by government that the
          late winner of the June 12, 1993 election, Chief M.K.O. Abiola, died
          after having a meeting with an American delegation and consequently
          washed his hands off the state murder of the billionaire politician.

          �To put the records straight, I want to say categorically that it was
          not to my knowledge that the late Chief Abiola had any meeting with any
          officials from the United States of America.

          �It would be recalled that on the Sunday preceding the sad event, I led
          the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Kofi Annan to a meeting
          with Chief Abiola to discuss the way forward out of the political
          logjam of that period. At the meeting, the Chief was in the best of
          mood and in fact his contributions were more intense than that of
          everybody at that meeting (and) after that meeting, there was no other
          meeting to my knowledge that was fixed for the fateful Tuesday which
          eventually led to the death of Bashorun Abiola,� Akhigbe declared.

          The government of General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) had, on the death
          of Chief Abiola on July 7, 1998, told a bewildered nation that the late
          billionaire politician, while holding a meeting with an American
          delegation led by Mr Thomas Pickering, demanded for a cup of tea which
          he took, slumped and died.

          The then American President, Mr. Bill Clinton, while condoling the
          people of Nigeria, echoed the same official position of the General
          Abubakar government that Chief Abiola died of heart attack after taking
          a cup of tea in the course of a meeting with an American delegation.

          While exonerating himself of any complicity in the death of the
          business mogul, Akhigbe said it was only a coincidence that his office
          was opened on the day Abiola died.

          �It was just a coincidence that my office had to be opened on the day
          the said event took place and this is very unfortunate. It is
          unfortunate that our revered Bashorun Moshood Olawale Abiola died on
          the day I was entering my office after having been sworn in as the
          Chief of General Staff,� Akhigbe said.
          Admiral Akhigbe, who spoke through a release signed by one of his
          personal aides, Mr. Muritala Sani Ahmed, lamented that at the sitting
          of the Justice Chukwudifu Oputa Panel in Abuja, the Security Detail of
          Chief Abiola, Mr Zadok, said that he (Akhigbe) invited him to open the
          door to his office and that before he could finish the assignment,
          Chief Abiola had been poisoned.

          �I want to state for the sake of posterity that inviting Zadok was a
          mere coincidence. By protocol, Zadok had the key to the office of the
          Chief of General Staff after the office had been locked up when my
          predecessor, General Oladipo Diya, had been arrested for alleged
          involvement in a coup plan. After having been sworn in as the new CGS,
          it was only normal that I should settle down to business, more so when
          the regime in which I served as the CGS had a very short tenure,�
          Akhigbe said.

          The former CGS expressed shock that his resumption of office �could be
          linked with the unfortunate murder of Bashorun Abiola.� �By the time I
          informed him (Zadok) that I would want to move into my new office, he
          did not tell me that Chief Abiola had been scheduled to attend a
          meeting and until later in the day when Nigerians heard the sad news of
          the death of the highly-respected Bashorun, I never knew he had a
          meeting.�

          Akhigbe, who said that what happened on July 7, 1998 was an unfortunate
          coincidence in the history of Nigeria, concluded by saying that, �I
          have had a long-standing relationship with Chief M.K.O. Abiola and he
          was one Nigerian that had influence across the globe. His business
          sense was more than what a nation would have toyed with easily. I have
          a lot of regards for him even in death and I pray that the legacy of
          democracy he struggled for will thrive in our land.�

          The death of Chief Abiola in the custody of General Abdulsalami�s
          government has continuously generated controversy since the former
          Director of the Directorate of Military Intelligence revealed before
          the Oputa Panel in Lagos that the former Chief of Army Staff,
          Lt-General Ishaya Bamaiyi (rtd), suggested to him that Chief Abiola be
          murdered in exchange for the death of General Sani Abacha.

          The Security Detail to Chief Abiola, Mr Zadok, fingered the former
          Chief Security Officer to General Abubakar, Major Aminu, General
          Abubakar and Admiral Akhigbe as prime suspects in the murder of Chief
          Abiola.


          -------------------------

          Plastic vehicles coming
          SCIENTISTS in the United Kingdom are planning to build plastic vehicles
          that will be recyclable if there is an accident.

          The encouraging news is that the international motor industry has
          already recognised the product�s potential for use in vehicle
          interiors. Betterstill, its promised uses extend much further into many
          diverse applications, including packaging, consumer and sports goods
          and building materials.

          In particular, its impact resistance is maintained even at subzero
          temperatures, offering outstanding opportunities for cold weather and
          refrigeration applications. Invented by scientists in England, the
          material has the additional feature of radar translucency, giving it a
          potential application for the aerospace and defence industries.

          BP has acquired exclusive rights for the production of the �super
          green� plastic which is not only extremely strong, durable and light
          but can be used again. The material at the heart of this revolution is
          known as Hot-Compacted Polypropylene (HCP).

          HCP was invented at the University of Leeds, Northern England, by
          Professor Ian Ward, Dr Peter Hine and Keith Norris of the
          Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) in Polymer Science and
          Technology.
          By using this material, BP will be able to make a new generation
          of formable, self-reinforced and lightweight thermoplastic composites
          specifically targeted at a plastics automotive market conservatively
          estimated in excess of 10 billion dollars. The exclusive worldwide
          rights were granted to BP by BTG, the UK-based global technology
          commercialisation company, as part of a patent portfolio known as hot
          compaction.

          Operating in the UK, US, and Japan and holding more than 8,500 patents,
          BTG quickly recognised the commercial potential of HCP and acquired the
          rights to the technology. It funded the initial development before
          filing patents worldwide that ensured a fast-track development for
          Vantage Polymers, a spin-off company set up by Leeds University to
          develop the technology further.

          BP�s agreement includes an accelerated earnings clause providing
          incentive for BP to acquire rapid market-share with this technology. BP
          is making significant investment and a trade name for the product will
          be announced shortly. It expects its first production line to be fully
          commissioned later this year at its site at Gronau, Germany.

          The manufacturing process involves thermoplastic fibres being compacted
          to form a homogeneous solid without the use of a second material. The
          process works by selectively melting a small fraction of each fibre
          surface which recrystallises on cooling to bind the structure together.

          ---------------------

          Obasanjo dot com
          By Tola Adeniyi
          WHEN he addressed an enthusiastic Nigerian community audience in
          Toronto, Canada May last year and said he was �now Obasanjo dot com�,
          most skeptics merely laughed, and took the statement as one of his
          rib-cracling jokes.

          But President Obasanjo was not joking. He was alluding to his planned
          determination to transform Nigeria to a technological state. The
          soldier-turned-chicken farmer-turned-politician wanted to revolutionize
          the communication industry, and in that regard, address and solve, once
          and for all, the nagging problem of the energy sector. Fifteen months
          on, this columnist is constrained to pay a second public tribute to
          President Obasanjo for his performance in office. Ordinarily, I am
          vehemently opposed to Obasanjo�s domestic policy, even though his
          foreign policy scores highly on my Assessment Chart. He is slow,
          ultra-conservative, stubborn and unnecessarily rigid. And he has
          refused to listen to the voice of reason in matters of national
          reconstruction, restructuring, national security and intelligence, and
          federalism. This refusal to get a sovereign National Conference on the
          table beats all imagination.

          But paradoxically, the two issues that won for him kudos this morning
          are in the realm of domestic policy.

          The GSM

          Nigerians all over the world should have cause to rejoice and
          congratulate Mr. President for the quiet revolution his administration
          has put in place in the communication sector. Suddenly, Nigeria is
          going to join the league of Eritria, Ghana, Botswana, and such other
          countries in Africa where taxi drivers and sundry shop owners have
          access to cheap and affordable telephone.

          With the GSM, Obasanjo is using one stone to kill about five or six
          birds. The first bird is security. Now, armed robbers and other
          villains will think twice before they strike. With mobile phones all
          over the place, people in distress can alert their neighbours for
          urgent assistance. Even where armed robbers trail their victims home,
          there could be one person in the house-hold who could quickly phone for
          help and thus block the get-away route of the miscreants. And robbers
          do not like to be caught talkless of being killed.
          The second bird within the onslaught of Obasanjo�s stone is
          health care delivery and emergency services. Lots of lives that usually
          get lost at accident scenes could now be saved with rapid
          communication. Ordinary passersby can phone for help for motor and fire
          accident victims, while ambulance services could be readily reached.

          With the GSM, most unnecessary trips and inter-and intra-city journeys
          would be radically reduced. Traffic congestion will be reduced.
          Consumption of petrol will be reduced. Wear and tear on over-used
          vehicles will be reduced, and of course, accidents on our roads will
          be reduced.

          Gradually, but steadily, Nigeria may also join the league of the
          nations that thrive on home-based businesses. And this is the stone
          that connects us to the second major sector which has earned Obasanjo
          some credit.

          NEPA has not earned any praise since the early seventies. I remember a
          season in 1974, when Surulere was in total darkness for over six weeks!
          If we are quick to condemn when it is necessary to condemn, we should
          be magnanimous to praise if and when praise is due.

          The epileptic NEPA has performed fairly creditably in the last couple
          of months. And of course, with good, steady and reliable energy supply,
          a million dividends are bound to follow.

          Power supply to Ibadan, to Ago-Iwoye, and to Abuja and Ikeja, the four
          areas I feel most competent to talk about, has been wonderful. And
          before I left Nigeria on my recent visit, I kept asking myself, �are
          these things possible in this country?�

          Of course, they are possible. NITEL is going to make GSM more
          affordable. NEPA is going to transform our industrial sector and
          restore to it the maximum utilization output as designed.

          Yes, President Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo deserves congratulations as the
          fruits of these endeavours begin to fall on our hitherto beleaguered
          laps.


          -----------------------------

          Afenifere/Arewa parley
          That handshake across the Niger
          The historic meeting between Afenifere and the Arewa Consultative Forum
          (ACF) in Kaduna last Wednesday was unprecedented in the political
          annals of the country. But why the meeting? asks BAYO OLADEJI.

          THE country stood still last Wednesday when two long standing strange
          bed-fellows, the Afenifere, the Yoruba socio-political organisation and
          the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), met at Arewa House, Kaduna, the
          political headquarters of the core North, at the instance of Gamji
          association.

          The occasion was the first memorial lecture and launching of a book in
          honour of the former chairman, Committee on Devolution of Power during
          the Abacha era, the late Alhaji Abdulrahaman Okene.

          Interestingly, the guest speaker for the day was Professor Bolaji
          Akinyemi, the former External Affairs Minister and now leader of a
          Contact Committee of the Afenifere, who delivered a lecture titled:
          Devolution of Power: A Prerequisite for National unity �� The Need for
          Dialogue.

          Afenifere was ably represented by its leader, Senator Abraham
          Adesanya, who led other members like Hon. Oladiipo Olaitan (the AD
          Leader, House of Representatives), Mr. Ayo Opadokun, Dr. Supo Shonibare
          and Mr. Dayo Adeyeye.

          Representative, of the ACF were its key leaders which included Alhaji
          M.D Yusufu, (its chairman), Alhaji Ibrahim Tahir, a northern
          intellectual of the infamous Verdict �83; Justice Mamman Nasir, the
          retired president, Court of Appear; Alhaji Liman Ciroma, a former,
          Secretary to the Government of Federation and the Chairman of the
          occasion, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, a former Head of State.

          The Third Force at the occasion was the Union of Niger-Delta
          represented by its president and Second Republic Senator, Chief David
          Dafinone and its Secretary who was the pioneer chairman of OMPADEC,
          Chief Albert Horsfall, among others.

          What has been giving political watchers a pleasant nightmare is what
          could have brought the two political parallel lines to a meeting point
          for the first tune since the political struggle began in the country?

          If the content of the lecture delivered by the erudite professor shall
          be anything to go by, the historic meeting might have had to do with
          the need to have the long-delayed National Conference (plus or minus
          sovereign). The title of the lecture spoke volumes in this direction
          and Professor Akinyemi reportedly lived up to the billings by allaying
          fears about the conference.

          He reportedly declared that the National Conference would not turn out
          to have an anti-Arewa agenda because the �Arewa will not be on the side
          alone on all the issues to be raised and discussed at the conference".

          Professor Akinyemi argued that the most contentions issue in the
          country today, which is Sharia legal system, would be defended by the
          South too where Islam has a substantial followers while the resource
          control too would be defended by all the mineral producing states in
          the South-South and the Middle Belt, adding those that would not
          benefit from the agitation, in the North and the West would say no.

          The former External Affairs minister also reportedly reminded his
          audience that it was not dialogue that led us to the needless Civil War
          but the personality clash among the military top brass. He was said to
          have listed the gains of having the long-awaited conference. Whether
          the mission was accomplished remains to be seen.

          Of all the ethnic pressure groups in the country, only the ACF has been
          consistent in its opposition to the conference of ethnic nationalities.
          The intervention of the Concerned Traditional Rulers in the country who
          organised a Leaders of Thought meeting in Abuja of recent has not
          helped the core-North to soft pedal.

          Their argument has remained the constitutionality of such a forum. To
          the core-North, the existence of the National Assembly has put paid to
          the agitation for any other conference, but four out of the six
          geo-political zones in the country think otherwise.

          At the Leaders of Thought Forum, the Afenifere represented the West,
          the Ohanaeze Ndigbo stood in for the East, the Union of Niger/Delta
          represented the South-South while the Middle Belt Forum was the there
          to champion the interest of the Middle-Belt. The ACF kept away from the
          venue, just as the likes of Alhaji Maitama Sule who came said he was
          on his own, eventhough he disclosed �the North is not afraid of any
          conference�.

          The ACF, after the meeting, faulted the arrangement of the forum,
          especially the representation whereby the likes of Yohnna Madaki and
          Commodore Dan Sulaiman stood in for the Middle-Belt. The ACF wanted the
          whole North to be represented by it.

          Political watchers believe that the fear of the unknown was responsible
          for the core-North to shun the conference. Which had been at the helm
          of affairs since 1959 They argued that such a conference would tinker
          with the status quo.

          Aside from the Sharia and Resource Control issues other, contentions
          matters include the census, political domination, lopsidedness in
          existing states and local government areas, lopsidedness in the
          National Assembly and in the military that are all affecting true
          federation.

          Since independence, the power-that-be had been blocking all attempts
          being made by the ethnic nationalities to meet. The agitation became
          strident during the Babangida regime such that the Kangaroo arrangement
          made by the Abacha administration could not douse the tension.

          The death of Bashorun Moshood Abiola in military gulag heightened the
          situation but to General Abdulsalami Abubakar, once the National
          Assembly was inaugurated, the agitation would die naturally. However,
          the turn of events has proved him wrong. Perhaps, in the words of Hon.
          Tony Anyanwu, the National Assembly was part of the problem as he said:
          �Maybe, we in the National Assembly are part of the problems�.
          From all indications, some northern elements, especially the
          young Turks want the National Conference to hold, and if the topic
          given to Professor Akinyemi is anything to go by, the Gamji Association
          belongs to this group, unless the topic was chosen by the lecturer
          himself.

          It seems the association believes that, for the country to move
          forward, the ACF and the Afenifere that have been holding
          irreconcilable opinions on national questions must be brought together.
          The presence of Pa. Adesanya, the leader of the Yoruba tribe that has
          been very critical of the core-North, was equally enough for the
          organisers to jubilate over.

          Arguably, Pa. Adesanya today is wearing the shoes of the sage, Papa
          Awolowo, who the North denied the opportunity to rule the country
          throughout his political career, a costly mistake the whole nation has
          been paying for.

          The political struggle to liberate the country from the claws of the
          colonialists was championed by a divided political class which used
          tribal based political parties to ask the whites �to let my people go�
          and this was largely responsible for the post-independence political
          turbulence.

          The three dominant parties included Hausa-Fulani owned Northern
          People�s Congress (NPC), the Yoruba dominated Action Group (AG) and the
          Igbo�s party, National Conference of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC).

          Each party regarded its territory as a no-go-area for the other two.
          Thus, the attempt made by the AG to expand its territory in the 1959
          elections fetched it just 25 seats in the North and 14 in the East. The
          NPC and the NCNC later took their own pound of flesh by declaring a
          state of emergency in the West in 1964.

          Earlier, the 1959 election produced no clear winner and the NPC and the
          NCNC formed a coalition government at the expense of the AG that wanted
          to do the same with the NCNC, since no party won an overall majority of
          the 312 seats.

          Before then, the AG too had defeated the NCNC hands down in the West
          with NCNC alleging electoral manipulation or carpet crossing. We then
          had the West under Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the North was ruled by Sir
          Kashim Ibrahim and Dr. Okpara called the shots in the East.

          While the First Republic lasted, the AG and the NPC never went into any
          political alliance. Instead, each always tried to break the domination
          of the other using the �rebels� from each side. The AG got the support
          of elements like Alhaji Aminu Kano, Joseph Tarka and Sir Kashim Imam,
          while Sir Ladoke Akintola and his supporters became the satellites for
          the NPC.

          It was the NPC/NCNC government that rail-roaded Chief Awolowo to prison
          where he was until a Daniel came to judgement through General Yakubu
          Gowon. An attempt made by Lt. Col Kaduna Nzeogwu to bring the sage out
          to rule was foiled, while the abortive coup itself was believed to have
          prevented the Maimalari coup allegedly sponsored by the Balewa regime
          to eliminate the opposition from enthroning a government.

          When the military decided, in its wisdom to hand over the baton in
          1979, hostility resurrected as the NPC resurfaced as the National
          Party of Nigeria (NPN), the AG as the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and
          the NCNC as the Nigerian People�s Party (NPP).

          Again, history repeated itself when the NPN and the NPP re-enacted the
          1959 scenario by forming a coalition government that later collapsed
          like a pack of cards. Interestingly, the hostility between the sage
          and the North continued during the military regimes that came not to
          restore sanity but to maintain the statue quo. Tribunals that were set
          up seemed to be out to deal more with those that stood against the
          North than those that looted the treasury.

          The situation remained the same until after the Abdulsalami era when a
          Yorubaman, Olusegun Obasanjo, became the President of the country until
          the present moment, even though the winner is the person �we can
          trust�, according to a section of the military/political class. This
          became imperative to appease the Yoruba for the murder of Bashorun
          Abiola who was not allowed to rule the country despite the mandate
          given to him to do so in a free and fair election.

          In the on-going dispensation Afenifere nay the Yoruba, have found
          themselves in a landlocked party, the AD, and this has not been helping
          them as the same, still see President Olusegun Obasanjo more of an
          �out-sider�. An average Yorubaman believes that the Jagunmolu of
          Egbaland has never done anything for his race despite all the hues and
          cries. Political watchers believe that it was in an attempt to garner
          support for Obasanjo, especially for his second term bid that led to
          the emergence of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE). This had become
          imperative as both the ACF and the Afenifere are very critical of the
          PDP government.

          This leads us to another question: Will the ACF and the Afenifere float
          a political party that would wrest power from the PDP come 2003? The
          question has become pertinent due to the fact that the man who
          delivered the lecture at the historic occasion is believed to be
          nursing an ambition to rule the country. This is said to be largely
          responsible for his disagreement with Chief Olu Falae over the on-going
          re-alignment of forces.

          But if the agenda is to present a common candidate come 2003, which
          platform are they going to use? Who will be the candidate? Since the
          two have very sharp differences in political ideology and approach to
          issues, could such an alliance last? Where is the meeting point of the
          two? If the mission is to float the same party, then the two have more
          works to do, especially on how to secure INEC�s registration, unless
          they are ready to hijack either the AD or the APP.

          However, the mission of the Afenifere, according to Pa Adesanya, is a
          resolution, for now, �to lay down channels of effective communication
          between us so that rumours of hostility can be quickly laid to rest
          and misunderstanding cleared off�.

          Should this dream become a reality, what becomes the fate of the Ndigbo
          that has been a ready-made groom to the North? The East and the North
          seem to be poised for �war� at least before the Human Rights Violation
          Investigation Commission (HRVIC) and the end seems not to be insight.
          Which ever way one looks at the Arewa and Afenifere parley, agitators
          of the long-awaited National Conference may be the first beneficiaries
          of the historic pact.
          ------------------------

          Board meets to resolve FCT masterplan problem
          Olawale Rasheed, Abuja
          THE Board of Federal Capital Development Author-ity (FCDA) will
          tomorrow converge at the Federal Capital Teritory (FCT), Abuja to
          discuss in details, the previous board�s decisions and designs of
          follow up policies for accelerated physical development of the Federal
          Capital Teritory.

          The meeting to be Chaired by the Chairman, Board of Directors, Senator
          (Dr.) Olu Alabi will specifically review the presidential directives on
          the demolition of illegal structures as well as the resettlement
          schemes that is presently going on at a neck-breaking speed.

          The concerns of various interest groups over the possible consequences
          of the demolition would be laid on the table alongside the President�s
          pledge of compensation for those likely to be displaced. A restatement
          of the goal of demolition is expected at the meeting in addition to a
          decision on elaborate public enlightenment campaign for the residents
          which are expected to be two-pronged.

          The first is the longtime negative impact of the continued existence
          of illegal structures on sewer lines, underground drainage, green areas
          and others on the realisation of the goal of the Abuja Masterplan.
          Specifically, the pain of demolition is being placed side by side with
          the debilitating effect of a future Abuja city in the model of slum and
          shanty towns.

          The second aspect has to do with the fact that long after the
          demolition order, residents in areas adjacement to the city center are
          still busy buying illegal plots and building illegal structures. The
          Board Chairman has personally went round to confirm this development.

          However, the board is also considering the acute accommodation crisis
          in the city with a view of finding alternatives to the increasing
          over-crowding of the city centers.
          A specific policy to be further pursued is the provision of
          necessary infrastructures at the satellite towns to, effect and upgrade
          the towns to the level of the City Centers and thereby ease the
          pressure on the city centers. Contracts to that effects have been
          awarded and such major satellite towns like Kubwa, Karu, Nyanya,
          Gwagwalada and others are undergoing upgrading of their facilities.

          Aside upgrading the satellite towns, the Board will also explore
          further opportunities in the area of building of new residential
          accommodations through a joint effects with the private sector. As the
          parent ministry has signed more than agreements in that lines, the
          Board is also set to complement that efforts by working out further
          incentives to encourage private investment in the area of residential
          accommodation.

          The Board Chairman recently challenged the private sector to
          participate more actively in the development of the Phase II of the
          Capital Territory. His appeal was extended to specific aspect of
          residential accommodation on the ground that government alone cannot
          solve the accommodation problems.

          Other issue the Board is out to resolve is the compliance with the new
          tendering process in the public service. As the Chairman put it, �we
          must comply with the guideline as issued, as this administration is
          hinged on transparency and accountability.�

          A major policy shift which commenced at the last Board meeting was the
          maintenance culture. The degeneration of some infrastructures in the
          recently completed phase I of the capital territory is being tackled
          through rehabilitation contracts already awarded. The Board will at
          tomorrow�s meeting examine other areas that need urgent attention in
          terms of rehabilitation and maintenance. Others expected at the Board
          meeting includes Senator Idris Samaho, Chief Uche Nnaji, Dr. Kalu Ebitu
          Ukiwe, Engr. Femi Ojo, Chief Isaac Obele Beh, Senator E.O. Elayo and
          Mr. Defwan Haruna Dariye.


          ------------------------

          I never ordered anybody�s arrest �� Usman
          By Isaac Shobayo, Jos
          THE encounter turned out to be very interesting. With what I had heard
          of Colonel Ahmed Usman, former Military Administrator of Ondo and Oyo
          States, I looked forward to a difficult task of getting him to talk on
          certain contentions issues such as the famous �prisoner of war�
          declaration. But Usman was warm and he radiated understanding for the
          journalist and the job he had to do.

          But the reporter thought, �well, one had to be very cautious� and so
          took a look at the retired colonel and asked him how he felt clocking
          50? (He is 50 years old today).

          And the man replied with thanks to God for all His blessings, �I am
          happy and I will ask God to let me live longer and healthier. I feel
          happy that I am fifty.�

          The reassured reporter decided to probe further into the background of
          Usman and thus asked him why, in the first instance he decided to join
          the Army to which Usman replied:

          �To be candid, as a young man, I never dreamt of joining the military.
          I joined the Army through one of my teachers to whom I was very close.
          After my WASC, he asked me what I would like to do after leaving
          school. I told him I would like to go to the high school which was
          H.S.C at that time. Then he had a friend in the military who was a
          Brigade Commander who asked him if anyone of us would like to join the
          Army through the Nigeria Defence Academy. He persuaded me to obtain a
          form. It was in his house that I filled the form. I did the exam,
          passed, and was called for an interview and eventually scaled through.
          Initially I thought it was all a joke.

          When I became the second Lieutenant, I faced the career squarely, since
          I had no other profession. I was very lucky, right from second
          lieutenant, I was given a position of greater responsibility. I was
          made an acting Brigade Major in Sokoto. I was in the acting capacity
          for six months before a substantive Major was posted in. I went to the
          Army School of Infantry, Jaji to teach because I was a qualified mortal
          officer and Assistant Warfare Officer, After that, I went to Britain
          for a course, and later found myself in greater position of
          responsibility again at divisional level. From there, I was posted to
          be Battalion Second in Command, that was how I put myself down for
          military job, I found it very fascinating. I had the opportunity of
          going around the world doing military duties.

          When I came back to Nigeria in 1993 from Western Sahara, I was in Jos
          as Camp Commandant, from there I was promoted to Colonel and deployed
          to Army Headquarters in Lagos. By 1994, I heard my name over the radio
          being appointed as the military administrator of Ondo State. I did what
          I could do despite the situation at that time for the people of the
          state and of course for my own profession. I felt bitter when I was
          retired because I put all my eggs in one basket. Unfortunately, I
          didn�t force myself to get political appointments. Why I was chosen, I
          didn�t know I didn�t beg anybody to make me Military Administrator.�

          He also spoke on his exploits in rescuing O�dua Investments Limited
          from those bent on selling the company. While speaking on this this, he
          refused to take solely the credit. He would rather bring his colleagues
          in the other states along.

          �I stood my ground that the peoples� heritage must be put on the path
          of honour and development. We accepted collectively that this must be
          done. That was why we set up board of audit to look into the
          activities of the companies under O�dua.

          �We discovered how the National Bank was killed. There were customers
          who took loans and cancelled their names on the loan sheet and gave
          wrong names or wrong addresses. That was how the National Bank died. We
          found out that, there was a lot of fraudulent activities going on. I
          noticed that right from the time I was in Ondo, but there was nothing I
          could do then.

          So when I came to Ibadan and subsequently became the chairman, we
          appointed a committee after dissolving the initial management and put
          up management committee headed by Jobi Fele and asked the state to
          nominate members.

          During the tenure of the management committee, the chairman was getting
          inspiration from me. I had to tell him what to do. Luckily, I was in
          Ibadan, the headquarters location of O�dua. We were in touch almost
          every day with the then chairman and that was how we were able to put
          the company in proper shape.
          �I am very happy on the resuscitation of the National Bank. Don�t
          forget I resuscitated Owena Bank now Omega Bank. In Ondo State, there
          was this Okitipupa Oil Mill when I was there some people wanted to take
          it through the back door to buy off the shares but I stood on my feet.
          �That was how we were able to bring back the Okitipupa Oil Mill and
          made sure that people benefitted greatly from that company especially
          those whose land were seized because there were seven plantations
          covering several thousands of hectares of land and many other companies
          that the late Papa Ajasin set up during his time. In any thing I do, I
          have respect for Ajasin as a result of what he did for his people. But
          people had nearly turned all the companies into their own and the same
          thing happened to companies of O�dua which had been taken over by
          people that were brought in as Chairmen and Managing Directors but we
          were able to retrieve many of them when we were there. I don�t know
          what is happening now but during our time, it was a tug-of-war but we
          thank God that O�dua is back. I expect the people when they are
          mentioning the survival of O�dua and the National Bank to mention my
          name. I fell out with a lot of people, I stepped on a lot of toes. If
          you visit me and you give me kolanut, I will ask you why you are giving
          me kolanut. So may be it is the blessing of what I have done in Ondo
          and Oyo that is still keeping me alive. When the present civilian
          government in Oyo State set up panels of investigation, some of my
          detractors said I looted the treasury, but I was not found guilty at
          the end. I thank the Governor of Ondo State for sparing me. If he was a
          bad person or had bad blood against me, he would have implicated me in
          a lot of things, but he is very Godly.�

          Asked whether he intended to go into politics, the retired Colonel
          answered �I am a politician I have not joined any political party yet,
          I am working towards becoming a politician. We are all political
          animals, and you cannot separate yourself from politics, because it is
          the order of the day.� The reporter then went for explanation on his
          controversial �prisoners of war� statement to which he answered that
          everything he said and did following the May 1, 1998 crisis in Oyo
          State was done to avert a total break down of law and order. �I know
          there was one sentence people were associating with me, �prisoners of
          war�. It was not a declaration of war. I won�t deny that, when they,
          the rioters heard that from me, they knew that I was serious and that
          stopped the whole thing. I wouldn�t sit and fold my hands�

          �At times, you use words that you don�t really mean, you use it to
          scare people. I am a military man and I know what a prisoner of war
          means. We don�t declare wars. No state has a right to declare war
          against another state. At that time, there was nothing we could do,
          when I got the intelligence report, I thank God that I was able to step
          ahead of people, if not they were targeting a lot of people�s property
          for reasons I don�t know. I always tell people that we must try and
          appreciate other people�s view. The word was used, and people like Lam
          Adeshina capitalised on that to win election. Lam Adeshina said Usman
          locked him up and made him a prisoner of war, I didn�t know him, I
          never know he was arrested until about a week or two.

          I was on talking terms with Chief Bola Ige, he had never said anything
          against the person of Usman or the government of Usman. I was surprised
          when he was arrested. He was arrested from Abuja. If he was arrested by
          me, he wouldn�t have been taken away from Ibadan. But those that the
          police arrested because of May riot were detained in Ibadan and many
          were released for lack of evidence and it was the court that ordered
          their detention in prison, it wasn�t the police that took them directly
          to prison. I felt embarrassed by their arrest then, but there was
          nothing I could do. I don�t have an organ to declare myself innocent
          that was why I have been quiet, I think that is the best solution to
          such a problem. I thank God, there was nobody who can point an
          accusing finger at me that I lock him up, even my own personal staff.
          The retired Colonel also had some words for Nigerians on the nascent
          democracy. He asked them not to be impatient, that they should support
          the Obasanjo administration in its efforts at re-building the nation.

          �We are impatient in this country. Things have been bastardized over
          the years. What do they expect President Obasanjo to do under two
          years. I believe the government now is making enough plan to take care
          of tomorrow and this plan would not just materialize over night, it
          would take time. I believe with time, democracy will work and
          discipline will be entrenched in our body polity and also with time,
          corruption will reduce. As far as I am concerned, the government has
          not derailed, they are working hard. Some of the guys in the National
          Assembly are new on the job. It takes time for you to be a proper
          lawmaker.

          And at 50 what are Col. Usmans aspirations. He said throughout his 25
          years in the military he was �facing just one direction� �When I got
          out of the military and surveyed my background, I found out that I am
          very far behind. I thank my God anyway. I never expected that my
          retirement would come so soon. So, what I am asking God to give me is
          long life, and to help me fulfil my obligations to my family.�


          ----------------------------

          Britain denies preventing Nigeria Airways from UK
          �Bosun Odedina, Lagos
          BRITAIN has debunked insinuations that British authorities are
          preventing Nigeria Airways from flying to the United Kingdom. In a
          release issued by the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos, the
          United Kingdom authorities, asserted that the action taken had to do
          with safety which it noted was paramount .�The problem is not with
          Nigeria Airways, our concern lies with the capability of the Djibouti
          Civil Aviation Authority to properly regulate Air Djibouti,� the
          release stated.
          �On August 3, the UK granted permission for Nigeria Airways to
          resume services to the UK, using a Boeing 747 leased from Air
          Djibouti,� the release stated, adding, �on August 6, the International
          Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAD) sent to all member countries a
          summary report on their audit of the Directorate of Civil Aviation of
          Djibouti. This report raised many safety concerns.�

          According to the commission, the UK only became aware of the ICAD
          report on Djibouti after permission had been given to Nigeria Airways
          to commence services.


          -------------------------

          Adefarati flays CBN's directive on loans to states, LGs
          Ayodele Adesanmi, Akure
          ONDO State governor, Chief Adebayo Adefarati at the weekend, condemned
          the directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to commercial
          banks to stop granting loans to both states and local governments.

          Speaking at the commissioning of the Akure main branch of the Societe
          Generale Bank Limited, the governor stressed that the directive was
          not only contrary to the spirit of democracy, but would strangulate
          development efforts at the grassroots level. �Effective performance of
          the states and the local governments will strengthen democracy and
          foster stability in the country. The banks are in business and before
          they give loans to any state or local governments, they would have been
          satisfied by high probability of recovering such loans,� Adefarati
          stated.

          The governor, however, observed that since governments were continuous,
          any loan given to them could always be recovered, even if there were
          changes in personnel of government. Consequently, Chief Adefarati
          called on the Federal Government to have a second thought on the
          directives which to him, could be viewed as a calculated move to
          stall development at both the state and local government levels.


          The chief executive, however, reminded banks to adhere strictly to the
          policy of setting aside 10 per cent of their annual profit before tax
          for on-lending to small and medium-scale enterprises.

          According to him, �it is a laudable policy and if well implemented by
          the banks, Nigerians will be better for it.�

          He further stated that �unemployment has become a serious problem in
          Nigeria. The small and medium-scale enterprises are veritable employers
          of labour, apart from being the engine of growth in any country.�

          Earlier in his welcome address, Chief Olusola Saraki the Chairman,
          Board of Directors of the bank stated that the opening of the branch of
          the bank in the state was borne out of the genuine desire to complement
          the efforts of the industrious and hardworking people of the state with
          banking services backed with modern art of technology.

          Dr Saraki, who said the bank wanted to play a prominent role in the
          economic development of the state stressed that the bank had over the
          years excelled in public sector business in various states of the
          federation.
          ---------------------------------

          Aku told to leave NFA Sec Gen alone
          Tunde Oyekole, Ilorin
          A boardmember of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Dr Ayodeji
          Ayo-Bello, has pleaded with the Minister of Sports and Social
          Development, Mr Ishaya Aku, not to tamper with the secretariat of NFA.
          Dr Ayo-Bello made the appeal in Ilorin at the weekend while speaking
          with newsmen over a report that the minister wants to remove the
          Secretary-General of the NFA, Dr Tijani Yusuf.

          Dr Ayo-Bello said that tampering with the NFA secretariat by the
          minister and removing Dr Yusuf at this time was dangerous and would
          spell doom for Nigeria as it would destabilise the association and the
          national teams.

          Dr Ayo-Bello, who said that the Secretary-General was performing and
          cooperating with the NFA board, stated that Nigerian teams including
          the Super Eagles, Flying Eagles and Falcons had qualified for
          international competitions because of the dedication of Dr Yusuf.

          The NFA boardmember, who described Dr Yusuf as a level-headed man,
          stated that apart from coordinating the programmes of the board, the
          country had also used him to achieve much in international politics.

          Dr. Ayo-Bello said that Dr Yusuf had also brought trust between the NFA
          and the players and had also made connections for the Super Eagles to
          play friendly matches in some countries of the world.

          Said Dr Ayo-Bello, �we are not saying that the minister does not have
          the power to remove the Secretary-General as stipulated in Decree 101,
          but we are pleading with the minister to leave him alone.�

          While calling on the federal government to repeal Decree 101, Dr. Bello
          said that the minister should leave NFA alone and allow its principal
          officers to function.

          Female tennis players appeal for tourney
          Female tennis players in the country have appealed to the Women Tennis
          Association (WTA) to pressurise corporate bodies and individual in
          Nigeria to sponsor female competitions.

          Margaret Olagundoye, a prominent tennis player, said in Lagos that
          since the Heineken tournament had become an Association of Tennis
          Professionals (ATP) tournament, and the Governor�s Cup would become an
          ATP tournament next year, the women need their own tournament. She said
          the women had virtually no tournament now and appealed for one.

          �Women don�t participate in ATP ranked tournament, so the WTA should
          please come to our aid and influence corporate bodies and individuals�,
          Olagundoye said.

          �Before, we had Green Sands Shandy tournament for women sponsored by
          the Nigeria Breweries. Last year when Gulder Open was changed to
          Heineken Open, we participated, but now this year the tournament
          assumed an ATP ranked tournament, we are left out�, Olagundoye said.

          �Nigeria Beweries should name another tournament for us, maybe Amstel
          Malta tournament,� she pleaded.

          Femi Odeyemi-Musa, another top female player said: �we also heard that
          by next year, the annual Governor Tinubu Cup would also become ATP
          ranked, so what is left for us�.


          Obasanjo lobbies for Adamu
          � Ahead of CAF elections
          By Ade Somefun, Deputy Editor (Sports)
          IN the bid to have a seat on the Confederation of African Football
          (CAF) executive committee, the government of President Olusegun
          Obasanjo has started extensive lobbying for its representative, Dr.
          Amos Adamu.

          According to a Presidency source in Abuja on Sunday, President Obasanjo
          has personally started campaigning for Dr. Adamu ahead of CAF elections
          holding�, next January in Bamako, Mali.

          The source stated further that President Obasanjo had begun
          consultations with the country�s friends and those �sitting on the
          fence� in order to see that Dr. Adamu get elected into the CAF
          executive committee.

          Dr. Adamu, who is the Executive Director of the 8th All-Africa Games
          to be held in Abuja in 2003, the source added, was chosen because of
          his wealth of experience and great achievements in sports
          administration and football matters. The Presidency source also added
          that nomination papers for Dr. Adamu would be filled soon before the
          closing date of October 23.

          Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA),
          Austin Mgbolu, confirmed the development. He noted that the federal
          government had officially notified the NFA in writing, endorsing Adamu
          as the country�s candidate for the CAF elections.

          Mr. Mgbolu said that the NFA on its part had also tried to reach out to
          its friends in Africa in order to curry their favour, adding that CAF
          President, Issa Hayatou, who is a good friend of the country, would
          also be contacted because he wields a great deal of influence amongst
          CAF nation-members.

          It would be recalled that Nigeria has not had a representative in the
          CAF executive committee since Orok Oyo Orok, a former vice-president of
          the continent�s soccer-governing body, became incapacitated because of
          old age.


          Injury knocks out Barcelona�s Reiziger
          BARCELONA�S Dutch international defender Michael Reiziger is facing a
          one-month lay off after tearing a muscle in his left leg during his
          side�s 3-2 victory over Parma in a friendly on Friday night.

          Reiziger hobbled off in the 12th minute of the game at the Nou Camp and
          after an initial diagnosis, club doctor Richard Pruna said he thought
          the player would take a month to recover from what he termed a
          �significant� injury. This will mean that the Dutch right back will
          miss the second leg of Barcelona�s Champions League qualifier against
          Wisla Krakow on Wednesday.

          Barcelona won the first leg against Krakow 4-3 in Poland and Spanish
          international Carles Puyol is likely to replace Reiziger at right back
          for the return match. Reiziger is also almost certain to be
          unavailable for his country�s crucial World Cup qualifier against the
          Republic of Ireland in Dublin on Septermber 1.





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        • Nubi Achebo
          THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2001 NNPC, Chevron sign $2b gas contract Simbo Ogbolo, Lagos THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Chevron Nigeria
          Message 4 of 29 , Aug 24, 2001
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          • 0 Attachment
            THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2001

            NNPC, Chevron sign $2b gas contract
            Simbo Ogbolo, Lagos
            THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Chevron Nigeria
            Limited (CNL) have signed agreements worth $2 billion for the execution
            of Escravos Gas Project Phase 3 (EGP-3) and Escravos Gas-to-Liquid
            (EGTL) project.

            With these aggreements, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation is
            expected to commit 60 per cent in equity participation in EGP3, 25 per
            cent in EGTL, while Chevron Nigeria Limited would bear the remaining
            cost.

            The two projects, which were the major initiatives of both the NNPC and
            Chevron were aimed at putting out the flares and at the same time
            monetize the gas being produced along oil in its operations.
            In addition to that, the completion of the projects would improve
            the environment through the reduction of green house gases and generate
            revenue for Nigeria and Chevron through product export, while creating
            jobs. The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Jackson Gaius-Obaseki
            who signed on behalf of the corporation, said the venture aggreement
            marked a significant milestone.

            �Today, we can say that the projects have truly begun, and we can
            begin a countdown to their completion, which will almost totally
            eliminate routine gas flaring in oil fields operated by NNPC/Chevron
            joint venture."

            In his own remark, Mr. Ray Wilcox, Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria
            Limited, described EGP3 and EGTL as �a direct result of our continuing
            efforts at meeting the challenge for gas utilization initiatives, and
            our commitment to putting out the flares in our operations in 2008.�
            ---------------------

            New revenue allocation formula unjust � Amodeni
            By Rotimi Omole
            THE Chairman, Akoko South East Local Government in Ondo State, Prince
            Solagbade Amodeni, has described the proposed revenue formula as
            unjust.

            Prince Amodeni in an interview with newsmen on Monday, stated that the
            new formula, if implemented, would further cripple the third tier of
            government financially under the pretext that the Federal Government
            has removed teachers� salary from the allocation to the councils.

            �The Federal Government is not fair to the councils. Why should they
            reduce the allocation to local governments to 16 per cent in the
            proposed new formula? Why should they continue to stiffle councils with
            funds despite the fact that they are closer to the people?� he asked.


            �The fact of this matter is that what they are allocating to the
            Federal Government is too much, they are becoming too rich and
            powerful. That is why the Federal Government is building a block of
            four classrooms for over N5 million because they have enough funds to
            throw about, we reject the new revenue formula in its entirety�, he
            stated.

            He further implored the National Assembly to increase the allocation
            of councils from its present 20 per cent to 24 per cent and states
            from 31 to 35, while advising the President to put an end to his
            present diplomatic globe-trotting and stay at home to do his
            supervisory job. He condemned a situation where the president travelled
            abroad to blackmail the council chairmen despite his harsh financial
            policy to the third tier of government which created a clog in the
            wheel of progress to the local governments.
            ---------------------------

            US promises assistance on democracy
            Idowu Samuel, Abuja
            UNITED States Ambas-sador to Nigeria, Mr. Howard F. Jeter, has said in
            Abuja that the American government would do everything within its means
            to prevent Nigeria�s nascent democracy from failing.

            Jeter said this at the US Embassy in Abuja, while receiving three state
            governors, Dr. Achike Udenwa (Imo), Ahmed Muazu (Bauchi) and acting
            governor of Abia State, Mr. Stanley Ohajuraka, who came to sign two
            agreements with the US government.

            The US Ambassador stressed that it was important that Nigeria succeeded
            with her democracy, pointing out that the consequences of failure of
            democracy in Nigeria could cause some problems for the African
            continent.
            According to him, since the future of Africa rested with Nigeria,
            it was important that Nigeria got its bearing with democracy, a reason
            why he said the US would fight tooth and nail to assist the country.

            He said the basis of success of democracy rests with an improvement in
            her economy, adding that one of the ways by which the economy could be
            strengthened was by allowing free participation of the private sector.


            Jeter emphasised that Nigeria had the resources and the potential to
            tend a strong economy, adding that all the country needed was to
            encourage the input of private investors in the process of building a
            strong economy for the country.
            -----------------------------

            NLC bemoans economic situation
            Austin Jacobson, Lagos
            THE Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has decried the worsening situation
            of the economy and its biting impact on the common people especially
            workers.

            In a communique issued by the congress at the end of the Strategic
            Planning Workshop and signed by the Acting General Secretary, Mr. John
            Odah, the participants called on the Federal Government to take
            immediate steps to reduce the trend.

            According to the communique, the high rate of inflation was causing a
            lot of hardship, and called on the Federal Government to create an
            investment friendly environment in order to generate employment.
            The workshop also condemned the spate of external borrowing by
            state governments, noting that they were laying basis to intensify the
            country�s debt burden.

            Participants further expressed concern over the lukewarm attitude of
            the Federal Government to the destructive effect of Nigeria�s
            indiscriminate opening of her borders to all kinds of goods

            The communique further applauded the efforts of the current leadership
            of the congress to rebuild the movement and restore it�s credibility
            and fighting capacity.

            It however resolved that the NLC and its affiliates needed to do more
            to strengthen the tradition of transparency, self sufficiency in funds
            generation and internal democracy.
            ---------------------------

            FG pay workers� salaries
            TO the generality of Nigerians, democracy means happiness and other
            good things that can make life more meaningful.

            Therefore, the entire populace (Federal Civil Servants inclusive), were
            highly elated when the present democratic government came on board on
            the 29th of May, 1999.

            Not long after they were sworn in, the Head of State and
            Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Chief Olusegun Aremu
            Obasanjo announced an increment in the salaries of all categories of
            workers in all the three tiers of government throughout the country.
            This singular action sparked off jubilations and greatly endeared the
            government to the entire citizenry, most especially the federal civil
            servants who believed the new package will enhance their purchasing
            power.

            However, the thing is turning out to be a nightmare for virtually all
            federal workers and those of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and
            Rural Development in particular, for, more than three occasions, the
            federal government had failed to pay the salary of its workers for
            periods ranging between three and five months. Presently, they are yet
            to be paid their June 2001 salary when September is round the corner.

            This act has put many families in distress as most workers are not able
            to feed their families let alone paying their children�s school fees or
            providing other basic necessities of life.

            The Federal Government should bear it in mind that Year 2003 is around
            the corner and the hungry workers would not be eager to return a
            government that has persistently failed them.

            Finally, the Federal Government would not only be doing the workers any
            form of favour but living up to its responsibilities. A word, the
            elders say, is enough for the wise.

            Comrade Lawal Musliu Adetunji,
            Secretary, (NASU) NIHORT branch,
            P.M.B. 5432,
            Idi-Ishin, Ibadan,
            Oyo State.



            Ibadan needs water
            FOR the past three months or so, water supply to Ibadan metropolis has
            been curtailed for unknown reasons.

            Initially, officials of the Water Corporation of Oyo State attributed
            the cause to a faulty underground cable supplying electricity to the
            dam at Asejire and promised to restore normal supply as soon as the
            fault was corrected.

            But recently, another reason was given; that some of the big pipes
            supplying water to the city have become old and rusty and would
            therefore need a replacement for efficacious service to the people.

            Since then, many people have been waiting anxiously for the restoration
            of normal water supply while scouting for water from wherever it is
            available such as rain, well, brook and other doubtful sources for
            their domestic chores, particularly for food, drinking and other uses.

            But the corporation should realise that water from such doubtful
            sources is hazardous to health and could cause cholera, diarrhoea,
            dysentry, guineaworm among others which spread like wild fire in the
            city some years ago. The cause of this episode had been traced to the
            consumption of bad water.

            By not attending to the situation promptly, the corporation is not
            being fair to the people since they pay for the service including the
            period the water was completely curtailed or services unrendered.

            My advice to officials of the Water Corporation of Oyo State therefore,
            is to speed up efforts on the current rehabilitation of water projects
            and make water available to the people within the shortest time to
            further enhance the niche which the organisation has already carved for
            itself in the hydro industry.

            Ola-Olaniyi Bamgbola,
            Ibadan, Oyo State.




            Osoba, a man of the people
            GOVERNOR Olusegun Osoba of Ogun State has spent a little more than two
            solid years in office. His name, when mentioned, arouses curiosity
            among people with regards to his achievements so far in Ogun State. The
            debate becomes a bit hot where the PDP and, or APP supporters are
            involved. The verdict to them, is usually that of non-performance and
            the governor a persona non-grata.

            I must make it known here that the govenor does not know the writer
            personally therefore, there is no way I could have been his political
            megaphone. I only believe that it is high time we departed from
            political mudslinging of yesteryears and see things the way they are.
            The government of Chief Olusegun Osoba met a huge debt incurred by the
            last military governor of the state and the debts had to be settled
            first, before anything could be done. Even teachers in secondary
            schools in the state would remember that the April 1999 salary was
            recorded to have been paid but in actual fact, the military governor
            did not pay it before he left. Governor Osoba had to pay it.

            The governor�s Free Education Scheme is gradually taking shape and is
            benefiting all and sundry. Desks and benches were first produced in
            large numbers for all Ogun State secondary school students without any
            form of discrimination. I am sure more desks and benches are still
            being produced. The WAEC fees usually paid by parents of final year
            students in the secondary schools have been taken over by the Ogun
            State government. Parents, irrespective of their political parties, are
            greatly relieved.

            Teachers and other workers in Ogun State have collected all
            outstanding salaries and allowances accruing to them by the grace of
            the Obasanjo Jumbo pay, a.k.a. Gbemu. Even the recent outcry of the
            secondary school teachers as a result of what they consider
            over-taxation, has been redressed as Governor Osoba has ordered the
            return of excess tax deducted from teacher�s salaries back to them
            while promising that subsequent months would not suffer such over
            taxation. The pensioners under the state government are happy since
            their pension allowances are paid on time every month.

            Governor Olusegun Osoba has brought joy and happiness to many
            communities by providing them with electricity, water, tarred roads,
            health centres, including those upgraded to the status of state
            hospitals. The communities in mind are too numerous to mention for lack
            of space but I must mention that Ago-Iwoye, the hitherto stronghold of
            PDP in Ijebu North, has been provided with potable water. Many
            indigenes of Ago-Iwoye now see AD as a better alternative political
            party.

            The people of Ogun Water-Side Local Government Area which is controlled
            by PDP are now waiting for the next Local Government election to prove
            to the world that they have forsaken PDP. The governor has provided
            electricity to many towns and villages in the area. There is no local
            government in Ogun State that has not benefited immensely from this
            ideas. Even in some local government areas where the chairmen have
            refused to perform, the governor�s commissioned state projects have
            reduced the negative impact of the chairmen�s non performance.

            Still, I will like our dear governor not to rest on his oars but dish
            out more to the people, the dividends of democracy. I will also advise
            him to urgently see to the yearnings of the state pensioners about
            their outstanding 58% arrears of the 150% increase, the 30% increase
            and the 142% increase on their allowances. They are green with envy
            since the federal pensioners have been settled.

            Finally, if Governor Osoba, with the support of his energetic deputy
            and the team of dedicated commissioners, plus the forward-looking
            assembly men, could achieve as much within the past two years, there
            is every hope of achieving more. And my verdict is that, Governor
            Osoba, the Akinrogun of Egba , the Aremo Awujale, is of course, a man
            of the people.

            R.O. Rabiu,
            Assistant Secretary,
            Ward 4,
            Ijebu North LG Area,
            Ogun State.


            Facts on aborted Nigeria Airways Lagos-London flight
            By R. U. Audu
            IN view of the conflicting information arising from the cancelled
            Nigeria Airways Lagos - London flight on Thursday 16th August, 2001
            using a wetlease Djibouti B747 Aircraft, it has become necessary for
            the Ministry to clarify the issues.

            As far back as two months ago, Nigeria Airways Ltd. had problems in
            leasing the aircraft from Djibouti which informed the former Managing
            Director seeking Air Operator�s Certificate (AOC) from any accredited
            country by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to issue
            the papers. In the meantime, the Ministry was not aware of the
            problems he was experiencing because he never reported to the Ministry.


            Suddenly on 6th August 2001, the former Managing Director informed the
            Ministry about his plans to commence the London flight and requested
            the Honourable Minister to flag-off the flight. The Honourable
            Minister advised that:

            (i) �we should first of all commence the proposed flights, stabilize
            and win public confidence before any ceremonies could be conducted;

            (ii) �Mr. President is very keen on the revival of NAL�s regional and
            local routes. Your organization is therefore expected to prioritize
            such routes and commence flights as soon as possible�.

            The Honourable Minister thereafter enquired from the Managing Director,
            NAL whether he had obtained all necessary clearance from the British
            Regulatory Authorities and he confirmed that, NAL, had been cleared.
            However, on 13th August 2001, the Director General, NCAA wrote to
            Managing Director, NAL, and copied the Honourable Minister seeking
            compliance as follows:

            (i) The AOC and OPS Specs issuance exercise needs to be concluded
            (attached is the list of outstanding issues on this matter);

            (ii) A meeting of Moroccan CAA and NCAA to sign agreement on sharing
            of safety oversight responsibility over the Moroccan registered
            aircraft is yet to be held;

            (iii) A copy of the lease agrement needs to be submitted to NCAA;

            (iv) Pre-arrival inspection to audit the aircraft
            airworthiness/maintenance records and physical survey together with
            the operational base inspection needs to be concluded.

            The NCAA emphasized that the issue would need to be resolved as quickly
            as possible, as the necessary approval of the NCAA and the UK
            Government may depend on this. It has been found out that the Nigeria
            Airways Management used wrong documents in applying for entry permit
            into London. They should use Nigerians AOC for this purpose. For them
            to do. This, they needed to apply to NCAA to include Boeinig 747 which
            they did not have in their AOC. This they did not do, they only went
            to NCAA after being denied entry into Britain.

            NAL did not know the crew status of the Djibouti aircraft; i.e. whether
            they had Djibouti or Moroccan licence. Nigeria Airways management
            ought to have seen their licences but again they failed to do this.
            The aircraft is in Dublin with Nigeria Airways properties. Without
            proper arrangement, Nigeria Airways management involved themselves in
            such a risky and shabby transaction.

            On Monday 13th August, a fax letter was received from the British
            Authorities informing the Ministry of the certification problems facing
            Nigeria Airways. On the Honourable Minister�s arrival in Lagos, on
            inspection of facilities at Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja same day,
            she called attention of Managing Director, NAL and Director General,
            NCAA and directed that the matter be addressed with dispatch. The MD,
            NAL was advised to defer the flight if he could not resolve the
            problems and advise the intending passengers ahead of time to enable
            them make alternative arrangements. Rather than do that, he mounted
            pressure on everyone trying to circumvent the processes. Most
            unfortuantely, he accused the British Authorities of trying to sabotage
            NAL in favour of the two British carriers - British Airways and Virgin
            Atlantic.

            The Honourable Minister contacted the Nigerian High Commissioner in
            London who detailed a Minister-Counsellor in the Mission, Mr. Ellah to
            go to the British Authorities to obtain authentic information on the
            matter. Mr. Ellah confirmed that the British Authorities were not in
            anyway sabotaging NAL. The Honourable Minister was also in contact
            with the British Deputy High Commissioner in Nigeria who clarified that
            the matter had nothing to do with sabotage but compliance with safety
            and security requirements as prescribed by ICAO. The Honourable
            Minister directed the Director General, NCAA to contact all relevant
            authorities within and outside Nigeria to seek a speedy resolution of
            the matter. The DG, NCAA reported back to the Honourable Minister that
            ICAO issued the letter on Air Djibouti to the British Authorities. The
            DG, NCAA also spoke to the British Authorities and reported confirming
            and corroborating the position of the British Deputy High Commissioner.
            He also contacted the Moroccan Authorities who confirmed that they did
            not have evidence of issuance of AOC to the aircraft and its crew.

            The British Authorities, in their letter of 15th August to NAL, stated
            inter alia.

            �I regret to say that we have been unable to find an immediate
            solution. It is our understanding that Air Djibouti applied to the
            Moroccan Civil Aviation Authority for its Airline Operator�s
            Certificate issued by them some three months ago. They expect this AOC
            to be issued in approximately 15 days time. If that is the case we
            would be content for Nigeria Airways to operate to the UK with a
            wet-lease from a Moroccan AOC holder. We were informed by Nigeria
            Airways that this is a possible solution. I have been given assurance
            by Airports Co-ordination Limited that Nigeria Airways� slot at
            Heathrow will be available at that time.

            I would like to take this opportunity to stress that our concerns do
            not lie with Nigeria Airways nor with the Federal Ministry of Aviation,
            rather our concerns lie entirely with the ability of the Djibouti
            authorities to fully discharge their functions. In the light of the
            ICAO report I am sure that you can appreciate these concerns�.

            To our utter surprise, the Management of NAL deliberately misled the
            staff of NAL and the general public and even tried to mislead the
            Government into believing that the British Authorities were sabotaging
            NAL on an issue that was inefficiently handled. This unfortunate
            manner of doing business, especially in Aviation Industry that has an
            internationally approved regime of standards and procedures has been
            reflected in virtually every business conducted by the airline.

            One instance is when NAL resumed the London flight with their own DC
            10. Shortly after, they lost two engines which they leased from Agies
            in London. In their usual inefficient manner of doing business, NAL
            ended up in a London court for delaying the return of the leased
            engines and not making proper arrangement for their retention. The
            Ministry knew of this only when NAL was already in court. Before then,
            grapevine information had it that NAL was being taken to court but this
            was denied by the former Managing Director only for the information to
            become true later.

            The Honourable Minister in a frantic move to forestall embarrassment
            sought intervention of the High Commissioner, Prince Bola Ajibola, SAN.
            Almost all transactions of the former MD, NAL, were not transparent
            and were characterized by general inefficiency. The computerisation of
            operations of NAL, New York office was approved long ago but up till
            date, the former MD could not actualise the programme leaving NAL on
            manual process in a highly computerised environment and unable to
            compete effectively. One of the reasons of the overbooking experienced
            in NAL New York office is a direct result of absence of a computerised
            process.

            It is unfortunate that the NAL Public Affairs Officer gave a Press
            Conference from an uninformed position thereby misinforming the public
            and embarrassing the Goverment. It is equally embarrassing that NAL
            resorted to blackmail of the leadership of the Ministry of Aviation in
            an effort to explain and defend their failures and inadequacies through
            an apparently sponsored demonstration.

            �Audu is Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation.
            --------------------------

            ITF lauds Tribune
            By Sangolade Ifedayo and Olonoh Funke
            INDUSTRIAL Training Fund (ITF) has commended the Tribune titles for
            their objectivity, forthrightness and incisive news dissemination in
            the country, just as it praised the industrial harmony prevalent in the
            organisation. Speaking during a courtesy call to the African Newspaper
            of Nigeria (ANN) Plc, publishers of the Tribune titles, in Ibadan on
            Wednesday, Mr. Fola Fakorede, ITF Area manager, remarked that �the
            Tribune titles had carved a niche for themselves as credible media
            where forthrightness, objectivity and incisive news dissemination are
            the hallmark.�

            The ITF boss, who was accompanied on the visit by Mrs. T. A. Odeniyi
            and Engineer J. A. Layemo, Head, Finance and Administration
            respectively, noted that the organisation had weathered every storm in
            the newspaper industry, hence its emergence as �the best newspaper in
            the country.� Mr. Fakorede praised the level of industrial harmony in
            the ANN Plc which he described as �rare�, stressing that the company�s
            management deserved commendation, while urging the company to impart
            its �survival secret� on ailing newspapers in the country which desire
            such assistance.
            The ITF boss, who expressed satisfaction at the level of mutual
            co-operation between both corporate entities, solicited for the
            continued co-operation of the ANN Plc on matter relating to staff
            training.

            The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the ANN Plc, Mr.
            Rotimi Oladele, in his remarks attributed the �Tribune success story�
            to God, the co-operation among members of management and the
            understanding of the staff of the company.

            Mr. Oladele explained that the Tribune titles had always been guided in
            its news dissemination by the time-tested philosophy of the founder of
            the newspaper, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, which centered on �truth, equity
            and justice� for all, irrespective of creed, political beliefs and
            ethnic affiliations.

            On hand to receive the ITF team to the ANN Plc premises were, Chief
            Bayo Fadoju, Executive Director (Distribution), Mr. Abiodun Adebisi,
            Controller (Human Resources), Mr. Peter Ajibade, Finance Manager; Mr.
            Lanre Akanbi, Deputy Manager (Training) and Mr. Edward Dickson, Group
            Political Editor.
            -----------------------

            Bankers warned on universal banking
            Adekunle Adesola, Lagos
            CONTRARY to wide-spread beliefs, that universal banking offers a new
            vista of opportunities, bankers have been warned that it only presented
            new levels of risks which posed challenges to both the market operators
            and their supervisors.

            This assertion was made on Tuesday by the Chief Executive of Nigeria
            Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Alhaji Ganiyu Ogunleye, at a
            workshop in Lagos on �Risk Management Practices In Financial
            Institutions,� jointly organised by NDIC and Chartered Institute
            Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

            �The removal of the regulatory barrier between money and capital
            markets, through the adoption of universal banking, had not only
            offered a new vista of opportunities in banking, but had also presented
            new levels of risks,� Alhaji Ogunleye said.

            According to him, great concern was being expressed by various
            stakeholders in financial institutions, over their ability to
            appropriately assess and manage their overall risk exposure.
            He noted that this concern, was borne out of the fact that
            conventional tools and approaches of appraising and managing these risk
            were increasingly become inffective.

            Alhaji Ogunleye, however, pointed out that it was imperative to
            continually develop appropriate assessment tools, for the latest risks,
            and also disseminate such knowledge among banking practitioners and
            sponsors, in order to ensure the safety and soundness of the nation�s
            financial system.

            Due to abusive ownership, the NDIC boss pointed out that some board
            members of banks had undermined the very mechanism put in place, to
            appropriately assess and manage risk such as the internal control and
            credit administration systems. He added that some others had, out of
            ignorance or shies incompetence, failed to discharge their
            responsibility, in respect of assessing and managing the risks of their
            financial institutions.

            For instance, he said less than 16 per cent of the insured banks had
            adequate fidelity insurance coverage in 2000, compared with a figure of
            37.8 percent for 1999.
            ----------------------------

            Battle for the soul of Oshodi
            BAYO ALADE writes on the battle for the ownership of Oshodi in Lagos
            between two family rivals and in which some Nigerian courts have
            severally intervened.

            OSHODI as it is constituted and recognised by many people today is
            nothing but a large expanse of land, mainly a market place where you
            can buy anything. You can also get to virtually every part of Lagos and
            elsewhere from there but it was about 400 years ago that the actual
            history of Oshodi began.

            At that time, slave trade was at its peak and the Dahomey slave
            raiders were most notorious for their near perfect strategy of getting
            slaves. Their forays into parts of Yorubaland soon got to the ancient
            town of Igbesa in present day Ogun State.

            The Onigbesa at that time, soon got wind of an impending Dahomey
            invasion which was not only coming to raid his town but was also coming
            for his crown. To avoid this, he left Igbesa with his chiefs, family
            and town�s people for a thick bush near Lagos.

            Having made sure he was well out of the reach of the Dahomey invaders
            he settled at a site around the place now known as Oshodi. With time
            he got to know about a fierce Nupe warrior who guards the Oba of Lagos
            and the entire territorial boundary. His name was Ashodi commonly known
            as Osodi Tapa.

            The Onigbesa sent for Osodi Tapa to help him against the Dahomey slave
            raiders and he agreed. He brought his domestic servants (Arotas) and
            family members to live where the Onigbesa settled, to guard him. Among
            the Arotas were Obayomi, Kupoluyi, Ope, Dawodu, Odebisi, Ajenifuja,
            Mabinuori and Akesode.

            For about 50 years the Onigbesa stayed at the site known as Oshodi
            today free from any form of harassment from slave raiders. After
            sometime, slave trade was prohibited and he decided to go back to his
            old domain

            Not knowing what he could give to show his gratitude for Oshodi Tapa�s
            support, he asked him to take over the settlement he had founded, as
            compensation. This he left for his old town, Igbesa family.

            Oshodi Tapa and his Arotas continued to live and farm on this
            settlement which was until then not known as Oshodi. It was not until
            the railway was built and more people came in, that the name Oshodi
            stuck.

            Today, various factions and families are reconstructing and
            rewriting history in order to lay claim to Oshodi. The case which
            started several years ago has got to the supreme court and decided in
            favour of the descedants of Oshodi and his Arotas. In 1975 for
            example, a faction of Aworis from Isolo sued the Oshodi chieftaincy
            family over a portion of land in question. (Onigbesa who settled at
            Oshodi was said to be an Awori. The Oshiodi family in the case defended
            not just that position of land claimed by the Awori faction but the
            whole of Oshodi land.

            Such suits as IK97/62, IK75/65 IK251/71, IK15/72 were all decided by an
            Ikeja High Court concerning Oshodi land, stating the position of law
            and custom over alienation of land in Oshodi.
            At a point when there was no family head in Oshodi family a
            management committee under a protein head of family was appointed. A
            suit also decided at the Ikeja Hight Court with no IK112/62 decided
            that the management committee should continue to manage issues
            concerning land in Oshodi.

            In 1959, however, late Chief Durojaiye Oshodi, the new head of Oshodi
            family was appointed . He dissolved the management committee but some
            faclions especially among the Arotas continued to agitate to have
            control over Oshodi.

            In a suit, AB16/57 the Oshodi chieftaincy family and the Arotas again
            won in a court decision in 1960. In 1961, an appeal was heard which
            went to the Supreme Court. The Oshodi family again won. In year 2000
            the court reconfirmed that the whole land belongs to Oshodi Chieftaincy
            family.

            As at today there are several cases in court between a faction of the
            Arotas and the Oshodi family. Some of these are suits ID278m/2001, ID
            436m/2001 and others between Arota Ologun family and Oshodi family for
            acts regarded as mis-behaviour and anti-family interest by the latter.

            Meanwhile, Alhaji Ganiyu Kale, a member of Arota Oshodi family from
            Epetedo, Lagos who is also a tenant on Oshodi land, speaking on the
            issue said, �As for me, I believe that Oshodi family refers to blood
            members and their Arotas, once you say Oshodi family traditionally
            and legally, it included the Arota descendants at Orile Oshodi�

            He continued, �Since alienation of land must be with the concurrence
            of the Oshodi family and the authority of the head of family,
            therefore, I have obtained my own land from the Oshodi family by lease
            and freehold�

            Alhaji Ganiyu Kale further said the Arotas should team up with the
            mainstream Oshodi family adding that the Arotas are equally entitled to
            the benefits of Oshodi land �instead of going about with any different
            and unestablished traditional history�

            He said his advice is based on the fact that there are Arota
            descendants who are loyal to Oshodi chieftancy family while others are
            forming associations separating themselves from the rest.

            Also lawyers to the Oshodi family V.O. Otuyemi and Otuyemi
            associates said, �The position of law and traditional constitution of
            chieftaincy house cannot be unneccessarily changed by anybody.�

            They added that the Oshodi family is not wicked against any landlord
            provided they regularise their land tenure with the family except in
            cases where the land had been given out to another person.

            While advising on the way forward, Alhaji Ganiyu Kale, who had worked
            with the late Secretary-General of Oshodi chieftaincy family, Alhaji
            Al-Maroof Ewa, said proliferation of groups within the family such as
            the Arota Ologun would not augur well for unity.

            For example, around1990 a new head of the Oshodi chieftaincy family,
            Chief Musa Esugbayi Oshodi was appointed. In opposition to this the
            Oshodi Arota Ologun family sprang up in an appeal with suit no
            SC/53/55 just like that of suit no AB/ 15/57 involving the Olusi
            Onigbesa of Agedegudu.
            ---------------------------

            ITF lauds Tribune
            By Sangolade Ifedayo and Olonoh Funke
            INDUSTRIAL Training Fund (ITF) has commended the Tribune titles for
            their objectivity, forthrightness and incisive news dissemination in
            the country, just as it praised the industrial harmony prevalent in the
            organisation. Speaking during a courtesy call to the African Newspaper
            of Nigeria (ANN) Plc, publishers of the Tribune titles, in Ibadan on
            Wednesday, Mr. Fola Fakorede, ITF Area manager, remarked that �the
            Tribune titles had carved a niche for themselves as credible media
            where forthrightness, objectivity and incisive news dissemination are
            the hallmark.�

            The ITF boss, who was accompanied on the visit by Mrs. T. A. Odeniyi
            and Engineer J. A. Layemo, Head, Finance and Administration
            respectively, noted that the organisation had weathered every storm in
            the newspaper industry, hence its emergence as �the best newspaper in
            the country.� Mr. Fakorede praised the level of industrial harmony in
            the ANN Plc which he described as �rare�, stressing that the company�s
            management deserved commendation, while urging the company to impart
            its �survival secret� on ailing newspapers in the country which desire
            such assistance.
            The ITF boss, who expressed satisfaction at the level of mutual
            co-operation between both corporate entities, solicited for the
            continued co-operation of the ANN Plc on matter relating to staff
            training.

            The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the ANN Plc, Mr.
            Rotimi Oladele, in his remarks attributed the �Tribune success story�
            to God, the co-operation among members of management and the
            understanding of the staff of the company.

            Mr. Oladele explained that the Tribune titles had always been guided in
            its news dissemination by the time-tested philosophy of the founder of
            the newspaper, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, which centered on �truth, equity
            and justice� for all, irrespective of creed, political beliefs and
            ethnic affiliations.

            On hand to receive the ITF team to the ANN Plc premises were, Chief
            Bayo Fadoju, Executive Director (Distribution), Mr. Abiodun Adebisi,
            Controller (Human Resources), Mr. Peter Ajibade, Finance Manager; Mr.
            Lanre Akanbi, Deputy Manager (Training) and Mr. Edward Dickson, Group
            Political Editor.
            -----------------------

            CAF cancels WAFU Nations Cup
            Sunday Ogunkanmi, Abuja
            THE planned West African Football Union (WAFU) Nations Cup competition
            has run into a hitch with the continental body, Confederation of
            African Football (CAF), ordering its cancellation.

            However, WAFU officials, led by its chairman, Col. Abdulmumuni Aminu
            of Nigeria, are running helter skelter to make the competition see the
            light of the day.

            According to Austin Mgbolu, the Nigeria Football Association (NFA)
            image-maker, CAF ordered the cancellation of the competition, obviously
            because it was not convinced of its intention.

            A lobby team has already been set up by the sub-regional body to
            convince CAF on the genuineness of the competition.

            The lobby team which leaves for Cairo on Monday comprises the football
            association bosses of Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, the first Vice Chairman
            and the Secretary General of WAFU.

            The lobby team has been mandated to convince CAF that the Nations Cup
            is not a rival to the continental Nations Cup, but an avenue to raise
            talents to take over from tired legs.

            A powerful sponsorship team had earlier been packaged to bankroll the
            competition which has suffered several postponements.

            Among the sponsors are TV Africa, Coca-Cola and TOTAL, the French oil
            company.




            Nigerian athletes top in Mauritius
            WITH eight gold, five silver and one bronze, Nigeria emerged tops at
            the African Junior Athletics Championships which ended in Mauritius on
            Sunday.

            According to a faxed message to Lagos by the Assistant Secretary of
            the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Alhaji Bode Durotoye, South
            Africa placed second with eight gold, two silver and two bronze, while
            the hosts, Mauritius, placed third with six gold, five silver and five
            bronze.

            Ibifuro Tobi-West won the women�s 100m, Kate Obilor, the 200m and 400m
            hurdles, Gloria Nwosu, 400m, while the quartet of Kate Obilor/Gloria
            Nwosu/Alice Nwosu/Hajarat Yusuf clinched the 4x400m relay.

            Other gold medallists are Alice Nwosu (800m), Gloria Nwosu (heptathlon)
            and Ibifuro Tobi-West (long jump).

            The silver medallists are Hajarat Yusuf (200m & 400m), Christiana
            Augustine (10,000m), Gloria Nwosu (high jump) and James Ayewoh
            (javelin).

            Chichi Edeh won the country�s sole bronze medal in the women�s discuss.
            Eighteen countries competed in the championship.


            Kenya invites Nigeria for rugby match
            KENYA has invited the Nigeria Rugby Football Association (NRFA), to an
            international rugby match in Nairobi on September 24 or October 25,
            according to Ntiense Williams, NRFA Acting Secretary.

            Williams said in a statement that the NRFA was delighted to be
            recognised by the �Rugby World� particularly with the Kenyan
            invitation. He said the association had already begun arrangements to
            be in Kenya for the match.

            The secretary added that the NRFA had plans to invite the Kenyans for a
            return match in Nigeria. Meanwhile, the NRFA said it had secured a
            sponsor, Vitamalt to bankroll its �catch them young rugby programme,�
            tagged �Vitamalt Rugby Schools Pilot Project� expected to begin on
            September 20.

            Williams said the project would target about four secondary and four
            primary schools during the first term of the new school calender. �We
            are taking rugby to the grassroots through the project. The basics of
            the sport will be imparted to the pupils at a very early age.

            �This is expected to create a rugby culture in Nigeria,� he said,
            adding that the project would be spread across the game�s 10 zones of
            the country.



            Brig Oneya leads Nigeria to foil WAFU �coup�
            A Nigerian delegation, led by NFA Chairman, retired Brig.-Gen. Dominic
            Oneya, successfully foiled an attempt to upstage the West African
            Football Union (WAFU) President, retired Col. Abdulmumini Aminu of
            Nigeria, last month in Argentina.

            Austin Mgbolu, NFA Head of Protocol and Public Relations told the News
            Agency of Nigeria (NAN) shortly on arrival from Abidjan that some
            countries within the sub-region had ganged up with the aim of removing
            Aminu from office.

            The Nigerian delegation was in Abidjan to witness the draw for the
            WAFU Nations Cup.

            �The attempt was aborted as Nigeria, in concert with some friendly
            nations, including Senegal, Ghana and Togo, foiled the plan,� he said.
            According to Mgbolu, a meeting was held during the World Youth
            Championship in Argentina to muster support to oust Aminu.

            He said that a letter jointly written by the group lacked credibility
            and �Nigeria then moved that a vote of confidence be passed on the WAFU
            executive committee, which was carried.�

            Mgbolu did not explain the content of the letter and those who wrote it
            but stated that all plans to oust Aminu had been shelved. Aminu was the
            a former chairman of the NFA.

            Accra Polo Club for Katsina tourney
            Segun Olaniyan, Katsina
            TWO teams from Accra Polo Club in Ghana will be participating in this
            year�s Katsina Polo Tournament, slated to commence on August 25.

            A statement issued by the spokesman of the Katsina Polo Club, Ibrahim
            Ango Cikin Gida, said the two teams had already registered to vie for
            the nine trophies at stake in the eight-day derby.

            The teams which will be featuring their best handicapped players
            include, Mr Azam Obet, Kwakey Dapolde, Kenneth Qualay and others.

            The statement further added that because of the teams� participation in
            the tournament many Nigerian higher handicapped players have indicated
            their intention to converge in Katsina to defend their trophies won by
            their various clubs.

            The trophies under the Nigeria Polo Association to be contested are
            divided into two categories, comprising four major cups and five lower
            cup ratings.

            A total of 29 teams are expected to battle for the nine trophies at
            stake. Among the Nigerian players that would grace the eight-day derby
            include Mohammed Babangida, son of former head of state, General
            Ibrahim Babangida, Bello Buba and Adamu Yaro, all plus five players.

            Meanwhile, Vice President Atiku Abubakar (Turakin Adamawa), who is the
            President of Yola Polo Club, is expected as a special guest of honour
            at the closing ceremony of the derby, while the Katsina State deputy
            governor, Alhaji Tukur Ahmed Jikamshi, will declare the tournament
            open.




            Athletes face accommodation problem in Beijing By Wale Emosu
            THE city of Beijing, prepar-ing to host the Olympic Games in 2008, is
            being faced with accommodation problem in a lesser competition, as many
            athletes from different countries, in the Chinese capital for the
            on-going University Games are battling with the problem of having
            places to put up.

            Reports from Beijing say over 7,000 athletes have already arrived for
            the 21st edition of the World University Games, with many more still
            being expected before the end of the week. However, all the over 7,000
            athletes already around cannot be accommodated as reports have it that
            accommodation was originally provided for only 6,000 athletes at
            Beijing University District.

            To alleviate the problem, the reports added, Chinese contingent of
            athletes and officials to the games, 360 in all, were asked to give out
            their accommodation to some other visiting athletes and officials.

            The accommodation is a high hurdle before the local organisers of the
            World University Games, requiring drastic solution to impress it on the
            whole world, of the city�s ability to host the most glamorous sports
            fiesta on earth in seven years.

            Meanwhile, it was a particularly bad start for African representatives
            on Tuesday, when the South African female football team was hammered
            9-1 by France. Nigeria was walked over by the Chinese male football
            team. Morocco, however, redeemed Africa�s image when it beat Uruguay
            2-0 in another male football match.

            Finidi in fine Ipswich start
            By Tosin Omojola
            EFFERVESCENT Super Eagles player, Finidi George, proved his readiness
            to surprise the English Premiership this year when he found the back of
            the net in his first home game for Ipswich Town as the team beat Derby
            County 3-1 on Tuesday evening.

            Playing before Ipswich home fans for the first time, the Nigerian
            international, who recently crossed over to the premiership side from
            Spanish clubside Real Mallorca, in a move that cost Ipswich �3.7
            million, justified the huge amount spent on him by scoring the first
            and the last goals for his side.

            Coming into the game with 0-1 loss to Sunderland in the season�s opener
            last Saturday, the George Burley team swooped on their opponents and
            one of such moves resulted in Finidi�s opener. The wing wizard, in his
            usual character, received a loose ball, speedily pounced on it and
            released a grounder which Derby�s goaltender could not stop in the 14th
            minute.

            Finidi�s goal was complemented by another goal from a teammate of his,
            while the Nigerian star put the game beyond the reach of the visitors
            in the 76th minute when he headed in the third goal, off a corner kick,
            taken from the left flank after which Derby got a consolatory goal
            towards the end of the encounter.

            An excited Finidi, who celebrated his first goal in a ground style when
            he ran to the line and hugged a lady-fan of Ipswich, who responded by
            giving the Nigerian international a hug, expressed happiness at scoring
            for his team in his home debut, saying that, �yes, I was very happy
            because it is very inportant playing in front of your home crowd. I am
            a new player and everybody is expecting a lot from me, I felt really
            great you know and that was why I had to celebrate�.



            Tyson may appear in court again
            A 50-year-old grandmother who accused boxer Mike Tyson of rape said on
            Monday that she was �distraught� that officials had refused to bring
            criminal charges against him and said she might sue the former world
            heavyweight champion to get her day in court.

            But prosecutors insisted they subjected Tyson to close scrutiny and
            decided that the charges would not stand up in court. The alleged
            victim, Arlene Moorman, speaking for the first time, told a news
            conference that she had cooperated �fully� with the investigation.

            �I am very distraught and in disbelief that the district attorney�s
            office has decided to forgo prosecution in this matter,� Moorman said.
            �My suffering has been magnified by their decision. However I remain
            optimistic that other options may lead to some measure of justice.�

            Darrow Soll, Tyson�s lawyer, told Reuter that the 35-year-old boxer �
            who was convicted of rape in 1992 and spent 3 years in an Indiana
            prison - had also fully cooperated with prosecutors and had passed a
            lie detector test. �Ms. Moorman can do whatever she wants�, Soll said
            when asked about the possibility of a lawsuit. �There was a
            comprehensive investigation and a conclusion that embraced the facts in
            the case.�

            Moorman�s attorney, Gloria Allred, said the California woman was
            considering a lawsuit, �to obtain her day in court against the
            convicted rapist Mike Tyson� and suggested that Tyson got special
            treatment because of his fame.



            Berger still in the race for Champions League � Ogunjobi
            By Olakunle Opeyemi
            THE General Manager of embattled Julius Berger F.C. of Lagos, Nigeria�s
            flagbearer in the on-going CAF Champions League, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi,
            has said that the team should not be written out of contention for this
            year�s CAF Champions League trophy, submitting that the team is still
            in the race.

            Speaking with Tribunesports ahead of this weekend�s crucial encounter
            against Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa, Ogunjobi said, �it�s too
            early for people to judge us by our performance against T.P. Mazembe a
            fortnight ago in Kinshasa, it was unfortunate that we lost that match,
            our aim was to secure either a draw or away win, but with the outcome
            of the match, people should not write us off from the contention for
            the cup.�

            The former Shooting Stars Sole Administrator, who led the Ibadan side
            to the final of the same competition in 1996 explained further that,
            �our defeat in Kinshasa was due to loss of concentration by our
            defenders, as well as the goalkeeper, who did not position himself
            very well, nevertheless, my boys lived up to expectation, that was how
            God wanted it.�

            He added that the team will try all its best to ensure that it records
            victories in the two consecutive home matches against Mamelodi
            Sundowns, this Saturday and Esperance of Tunisia on September 8.

            According to him, �we will make good use of the home advantage in our
            next two matches we will be playing on a familiar terrain, backed by
            our teeming supporters. If Mazembe could beat us at their home we
            would also intensify our effort to ensure that we win all our home
            matches, to bounce back into contention�.

            He expressed further that the club�s ultimate aim is to capture the CAF
            Champions League trophy which has been elusive to Nigeria for the past
            36 years, adding that, �we know the big task ahead of us, we are
            ready to make Nigeria proud. We appeal to soccer followers in Nigeria
            to troop out in large number to cheer us to victory this weekend.�






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          • Nubi Achebo
            Gani Adams OPC, Police clash • 4 killed •Adesanya keeps mum, YCE comments •Informant’ll get N100,000 — Okiro By Sayo Akintola, Bosun
            Message 5 of 29 , Aug 25, 2001
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            • 0 Attachment
              Gani Adams
              OPC, Police clash � 4 killed
              �Adesanya keeps mum, YCE comments
              �Informant�ll get N100,000 � Okiro
              By Sayo Akintola, Bosun Odedina,Michael Olugbode, Austin Jacobson,
              Johnson Fagbamila and Edward Dickson
              NO fewer than four persons were feared dead on Thursday in Lagos as
              members of the Oodu�a Peoples Congress (OPC) engaged the police in a
              gun battle, leading to the complete paralysis of commercial and
              business activities at the popular Idumota Market.

              Investigations conducted by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that trouble
              started in the early hours of the day when a team of policemen, on a
              tip-off, intercepted a gang of armed robbers that was in a running
              battle with some members of OPC at about 5:00 am.

              It was gathered that the fierce battle that lasted several hours along
              Idumota-Jankara market, resulted in casualties of various dimensions
              from the three parties involved.

              No fewer than two residents of the area, it was gathered, were hit by
              stray bullets right inside their houses.

              Shops and offices remained shut for the better part of the day as
              tension pervaded the atmosphere in the entire neighbourhood.

              The crisis, according to further investigation, snowballed into a
              fiercer battle when members of the OPC and the police resumed the fight
              at about 10a.m. at Balogun market. Bonfire was made by miscreants at
              the Balogun/Azikwe/Idumota junction, said to be the meeting point for
              the warriors.

              It was further gathered that members of the OPC sympathetic to the
              arrested factional leader of the militia group, Adams, engaged the
              police in the battle for several hours.

              Normalcy, however, returned to the entire neighbourhood around noon
              when the superior fire-power of the police subdued the OPC members.

              Shops and offices that opened for business closed for the day around 5
              p.m. as tension continued to pervade the atmosphere at the Lagos
              Island.

              When the Nigerian Tribune visited the trouble spot around 7:30 p.m.,
              miscreants, numbering about 20, were sighted smoking Indian hemps at
              the bus-stop adjacent Lagos State Development and Property Corporation
              (LSDPC) building.

              The pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has kept mum over the
              Wednesday arrest of Mr. Adams.

              Leader of the Afenifere, Senator Abraham Adesanya, on Thursday turned
              down all entreaties to offer a word on the arrest of the militant
              factional leader, saying he had already spoken to about 50 people as at
              noon.

              The Afenifere leader bluntly refused to comment, even on the intercom,
              insisting on having spoken enough to people for the day.

              Also, Justice Adewale Thompson (rtd), Secretary-General of Igbimo Agba
              Yoruba, while reacting to the arrest of the OPC factional leader,
              cautioned the police to be careful in the handling of his case, just as
              he appealed to OPC members not to foment trouble.

              �The police should be careful about Gani Adams. There should be no
              torture, no inhuman treatment and he should be given reasonable comfort
              in police detention,� he warned.
              Justice Thompson expressed the opinion that �majority of the
              people in the Yoruba nation today are thanking the OPC for arresting
              the wave of crime committed in Yorubaland by people who are not Yoruba
              and who don�t live there.�

              The police, he opined, �is not equipped for the guerilla warfare on the
              people which the incidents of armed robbery attack had turned into and
              the government is silent. Only the people, represented by the OPC, can
              deal with the situation.�

              Speaking from the angle of law, Justice Thompson stated that �the rule
              says he (Gani Adams) must be charged to court within 24 hours after
              formal arrest. The police cannot issue a detention order. They can only
              arrest and bring to court. They should prefer a charge(s) against him,
              which the law permits him to defend.�

              In its reaction, the Centre for Constitutional Governance (CCG)
              advised that Mr. Adams should as a matter of urgency and
              constitutional rights, not be kept beyond the stipulated 24 hours as
              entrenched in the Nigerian constitution without trial in a law court.
              �He should be given a fair hearing and must not be used as a
              scapegoat,� the director of CCG, Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, stated in a
              news release, stressing, �the whole world is watching.�

              According to Dr. Ransome-Kuti, the police, judging by its past
              activities, had been a tool for human rights violation, alleging that
              there had been many people languishing in police detention without
              trial.

              While speaking on Adams� arrest, Chief Dejo Raimi, former Secretary to
              the Oyo State Government (SSG), contended that arraigning the OPC
              leader before a court of law would not necessarily solve the problems
              of ethnic militias in the country. Chief Raimi wondered why the
              clampdown on the OPC and its leadership by government when �in one zone
              of the country, the Bakassi Boys, an ethnic youth militia, are still
              allowed to operate despite the law banning all such activities in the
              country.

              Also reacting to the OPC leader�s arrest, former Oyo State governor,
              Chief Kolapo Ishola, called for the release of Adams, advising
              government to de-emphasise the use of high-handedness to solve the
              problem of ethnic youth militias in the country.

              Chief Ishola opined that government�s clampdown on these militias could
              cause them to go underground and that this phenomenon could trigger off
              a chain of events that government could find difficult to contain,
              stressing that �the best thing is to let the sleeping dog lie.�

              Also, a Washington D.C-based chartered accountant, Mr. Lanre Banjo, has
              appealed to members of the OPC to remain calm and refrain from violence
              as a result of the arrest of their leader, while also enjoining them
              not to fold their arms and allow him to be poisoned.

              In a press statement, sent to the Nigerian Tribune, Banjo described
              Adams as a true patriot and human rights fighter, who would never allow
              his fellow Yoruba citizens to suffer unjustly.

              The arrest of the leader of a faction of the Oodua Peoples�
              Congress (OPC), Mr. Ganiyu Adams, on Wednesday in Lagos is to fetch an
              informant N100,000, a pledge made by the Police.

              The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro, told NAN on
              Thursday in Lagos that the money would be paid to the �person� who gave
              the police the tip that led to the arrest of Adams.

              �We will pay him, but it will not be made public for security reasons,�
              he said. Okiro said that the arrest of Adams was a confirmation of �our
              stand that he is not invisible.� He gave an assurance that the arrest
              of the OPC leader was not going to cause a breach of the peace, saying:
              �Heavens will not fall because we are equal to the task.�


              -------------------

              FG signs $304m loan deal with World Bank Sanya Adejokun, Abuja
              FINANCE Minister, Mallam Adamu Ciroma, on Thursday, signed an agreement
              with the World Bank for another loan of $304.3 million.

              The Minister who hosted the Managing Director and Executive Vice
              President of the International Finance Corporation, Mr. Peter Wricke
              and his team, also said that �the economy has begun a turn around.

              �I can testify to the fact that this economy has begun to turn around.
              In the next year or so, Nigerians will begin to see concrete signs of
              this development,� he stated.

              Details of the loan include transmission development project for $100
              million which will support overall programme of power sector reform and
              privatisation by addressing the requirements of transmission.
              Another one is the privatisation support project for a total of
              $114 million for technical support for the implementation of the
              overall privatisation programme and emerging rehabilitation and private
              sector participation in the water sector in Lagos State.

              The third segment of the loan facility is the $90.3 million HIV/AIDS
              programme development project which will support HIV/AIDS Emergency
              Action Plan (HEAP) to be implemented in the next three years and also
              to assist in the long term strategy to fight disease.

              Responding, Mr. Woicke reiterated that Nigeria was a dear country to
              the World Bank and that the Bank was desirous of being partners in
              development and not dictators.

              Admitting that the private sector might not have solution to every
              problem, he said it could, however, contribute in a major way to
              development and could even do certain things better than government.

              -----------------------

              Army, Navy, Police parade in Lagos

              Sayo Akintola, Lagos

              MEN of the Nigeria Police and a combined team of military personnel
              literally took over the major trouble spots in Lagos on Thursday in
              anticipation of a possible reprisal attack by members of the Oodu�a
              Peoples� Congress (OPC) whose factional leader, Gani Adams, was
              arrested on Wednesday.

              Investigation conducted by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that the
              Inspector General of Police, Mr. Musiliu Smith, had directed the Lagos
              State Command of the Nigeria Police to ensure that there was no
              breakdown of law and order in the metropolis following the arrest of
              Adams.

              Unconfirmed reports indicated that Adams had been flown to Abuja for
              security reasons on the order of the Inspector General of Police.

              Sources close to the State Security Service (SSS) confided in the
              Nigerian Tribune that the decision to fly Adams out of Lagos was
              informed by the fear that OPC members sympathetic to Adams might try to
              launch an attack on the police station where their leader was being
              detained.
              It was gathered that the Owutu Police Station was attacked on
              Sunday by members of the OPC led by Adams to set free some of their
              colleagues detained by the police. No fewer than 50 men of the Nigerian
              Army and Navy were sighted at Mile 12 market at about 10a.m. on
              Thursday, taking instructions from their commander inside the
              premises of the liquidated North-South Bank.

              The military personnel, armed to teeth, caused a stir as they paraded
              the market vicinity, purportedly aimed at sending warning signals to
              any trouble makers in the locality.

              The situation was not different at Ketu where about eight Rapid
              Response Squard (RRS) vehicle load of security operatives took
              strategic positions to ward off any possible attack by members of the
              militia group sympathetic to Adams.

              All efforts to speak with the leader of OPC, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, at
              the militia group�s headquarters in Mushin, proved abortive, as the
              Nigerian Tribune was told that the social crusader was not available
              for comments.

              The area was, however, under the effective control of the men of the
              RRS whose vehicles were sighted at strategic locations.


              --------------------------

              Lagos House plots Bucknor�s impeachment
              �For declaring self acting gov
              Michael Olugbode, Lagos
              LAGOS State House of Assembly has concluded plans to begin impeachment
              moves against the Deputy Governor of the state, Senator Kofoworola
              Bucknor-Akerele, for insurbordination and declaring self the acting
              governor of the state.

              An impeccable source in the state House of Assembly informed the
              Nigerian Tribune that a motion had been sent to the House to pass a
              vote of no confidence on the Deputy Governor to prepare the ground for
              her eventual impeachment. The move to impeach her was also hatched on
              the premise that she had indicated a desire to contest the state
              gubernatorial election against Governor Bola Tinubu.

              It was also learnt that the motion would give her an option to resign
              her position as the deputy governor, failing which she would be
              impeached. The move was said to have been purportedly made by the
              state governor, Senator Tinubu, before embarking on the business trip
              abroad.

              According to the source, information at their disposal was that
              Governor Tinubu�s loyalists met somewhere in Ogun State, where they
              agreed to initiate the impeachment process and that the governor was
              said to have directed them to ensure that the job was wrapped up before
              his return from his two-week business tour abroad.
              However, the impeachment plans were brought to the open on
              Thursday, as a member of the House who attended Tinubu�s loyalists�
              meeting in Ogun State last weekend, suddenly developed sympathy for the
              deputy and hinted the Deputy Governor�s loyalists.

              It was also gathered that the information had led to a face-off among
              members of the House who were exchanging words over the purported
              impeachment move.

              In a swift move to forestall the plan, lawmakers who are loyal to the
              Deputy Governor, are said to have started to mobilise some members of
              the party in the state to demonstrate so as to disrupt the deliberation
              on the motion on the proposed date.

              It was also gathered that due to this development, the Lagos State
              Police Command has beefed up security around the Deputy Governor to
              forestall any attack on her.

              However, when the Nigerian Tribune took up the Speaker of the House of
              Assembly on the issue, he stated that everything about the impeachment
              plans were a mere rumour.

              �I don�t have any knowledge about such moves or whether some members
              are making such plans to be executed in the nearest future. It is just
              a mere rumour,� he said.


              ----------------------

              I�ve done enough for Igbo
              �Obasanjo tells Ohanaeze
              Yemi Giwa, Abuja

              PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday took exception to the
              persistent allegation that the South East was being short-changed in
              the present political arrangement.

              He was reacting to the presentation of a delegation of the Ohanaeze who
              visited him at the State House, Abuja.

              The Ohanaeze team consisted of some Igbo personalities such as Justice
              Ezebuilo Ozobu, Dr. Joe Nwaorgu, Comrade Uche Chukwumerijie, Chief
              M.C.K. Ajuluchukwu, Elder Anyim Ude, Chief C.C. Onoh, Chief (Mrs.) Joy
              Emodi and Chief Nnanyelugo Ani Odunze.

              The President told the delegation that his administration was following
              the spirit of federalism as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of the
              Federal Republic of Nigeria.
              He was painstaking in listing all federal projects done or being
              done in Igboland. On transportation, the President, according to
              sources, said that his administration had committed, in terms of
              mileage and cost, the highest amount in the South East zone.

              President Obasanjo explained to them that government had initiated
              moves to take over the Alvan Ikoku College of Education from Imo State
              and was designing a second bridge across the River Niger and inland
              water projects in Abia and Imo States, among other projects.

              He explained that every arm of government from the federal to state and
              local, had its powers, resources, functions and responsibilities with
              minimal understanding to each other.

              Earlier, the Ohanaeze had called for more Federal presence in the South
              East geo-political zone.

              They canvassed the construction of more roads, ndustries,
              telecommunication and other development facilities.


              ---------------------------


              Ondo slashes councillors� pay
              �From N125,000 to N53,000
              Ayodele Adesanmi, Akure

              THE Ondo State government on Thursday announced the slashing of local
              government councillors� monthly take home pay of N125,000 to N53,000
              and directed the refund of excess to the state treasury.

              This was in accordance with a circular from the Presidency which
              endorsed the downward review of the local government councillors�
              salaries and that �where any over payments have been made, they should
              be recovered from the beneficiaries in the public interest.�
              A circular by Mr. R.A. Kazeem, the Permanent Secretary, Local
              Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Department of the Deputy-Governor�s
              Office,

              stated that all 18 local government chairmen in the state �should
              please ensure strict compliance with the directives contained in the
              said circular.�

              The Ondo State branch chairman of the Association of Local Government
              Chairmen of Nigeria (ALGON), Engineer Afolabi Akinbowale, confirmed the
              receipt of the said circular from the state government, stressing that
              all hands were on deck to refund the excess money.

              He said all the chairmen had held meetings with their respective
              councillors to explain the directives and determine how best to refund
              the excess.

              According to him, �office of the state Auditor-General has been
              intimated of the development.�


              ----------------------

              Court stops commissioner�s arrest
              Ayodele Adesanmi, Akure

              THE Federal High Court, sitting in Akure, has restrained the Ondo State
              Commissioner of Police or his agents from arresting or harassing the
              sacked Commissioner of Land and Housing, Alhaji Abbas Aidi, pending the
              determination of the motion on notice, even as he failed to appear in
              court for the second time over the alleged N23 million fraud.

              Hon. Justice A. Abdu-Kafarati, the presiding judge, on Wednesday,
              granted the former commissioner an order of leave to enforce his
              fundamental right to fair hearing, freedom and personal liberty as
              preserved by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

              The former commissioner had sought the court to grant him leave to
              enforce his fundamental rights to fair hearing and personal liberty as
              contained in the 1999 Constitution.

              Beside, Aidi prayed the court to restrain a magistrate, Mr. Idowu David
              Kolawole, from considering and determining the complaints/charges made
              against him pending before the said court.

              Also, the sacked commissioner sought the court to restrain the
              Commissioner of Police from arresting or harassing him.
              Consequently, the case was adjourned to September 4, 2001, for further
              hearing.
              It was also learnt that Biola Olaseinde, the estate agent who
              was on the run, had been apprehended and taken to Police Force
              headquarters, Abuja, to state his own side of the alleged fraud story.

              Meanwhile, the sacked commissioner was conspicously absent at the
              Magistrate Court sitting in Akure on Thursday when further hearing on
              the alleged N23 million fraud was supposed to continue.

              However, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mr. Akin Ladapo was
              present in court in connection with the case and met with presiding
              chief magistrate to discuss further actions.

              Nigerian Tribune reliably gathered that the case could not be heard as
              the alleged chief suspect was still in Abuja with the Inspector General
              of Police in connection with the fraud.

              It was also learnt that Biola Olaseinde the estate agent who was on
              the run has been apprehended and taken to Police Force headquarters,
              Abuja, to state his own side of the alleged fraud story.

              At the court yesterday, friends and sympathisers were disappointed at
              the case could not be head as Mobile Policemen numbering about 40 led
              by Divisional Police Officer (DPO) �A� Division, Akan Abbas with
              armoured tank were seen at court premises prempting violence.

              The case has been adjourned to September 6, 2001.


              ----------------------

              Oyo CJ grants amnesty to 50 detainees
              By Tope Abiola

              NO fewer than 50 detainees in Oyo State were on Thursday released by
              the retiring Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Moshood Adio.

              The detainees, who had been in Agodi and Oyo Prisons over allegations
              of various offences, were paraded for minor trials by the Chief Judge,
              who was accompanied by some members of the state�s Administration of
              Justice Committee in Oyo and Agodi prisons, Ibadan.

              While addressing the detainees, who were charged for minor offences,
              ranging from fighting to stealing, arson, forgery and fraud, the Chief
              Judge advised them to repent and refrain from illegal acts that could
              tarnish the image of their families as well as spoil their lives.

              The Chief Judge, who explained that the release of the criminals was a
              part of the efforts of the Federal Government to decongest Nigerian
              Prisons and maintain peace and justice in the nation�s nascent
              democracy, also said that �some of the detainees were released based on
              the fact that they might not be guilty of their allegations.�
              �The release of the detainees is part of the discongestion the
              Federal Government is embarking on, to improve the Nigerian prisons.
              It is in the interest of the Federal Government that criminals who
              have been in the detention for long period of time should be allowed to
              go� said Justice Adio, adding that �the more you keep them, the more
              they would interact and cultivate more ideas on how to commit crimes.
              It is not necessary to kill offenders but they can be rehabilitated�.

              While speaking on behalf of the released criminals, which included four
              women and about 46 men, Mr. Aminu Tijani, who hailed from Kaduna State
              and has alleged of arsons in Iseyin, thanked the Chief Judge for
              granting them amnesty, saying �I hope that some of us would go back to
              our various destinations to continue a crime-free life.

              Justice Adio, however, advised the Nigerian Police to be more humane in
              their dealings with the suspects. �I am using this opportunity to
              advise the Nigerian Police to be more humane and fair in their dealings
              with suspects. They should also desist from illegal arrest of people
              who live a sinless life. It is surprising to see some of these
              detainees with allegations of wandering and related offences which
              should not attract capital punishments.
              ---------------------

              CHECKING THE PROFLIGACY OF OUR GOVERNMENTS

              THE recent directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to commercial
              banks to limit their credit to states and local governments has
              expectedly generated strong reactions from the state governors and
              local government chairmen. The Ondo state Governor, Chief Adebayo
              Adefarati, was quoted as saying that the directive, if implemented,
              would compromise the development programmes of the lower tiers of
              government, and negatively affect their capacity to deliver the much
              awaited democracy dividends.

              THE CBN has expectedly been worried about the high expansionary rate of
              spending at all levels of government. In fact, the recent directive it
              issued to the commercial banks would be the second time that the CBN
              Governor, Chief Joseph Sanusi, would draw the ire of the state
              governors. His previous attempt to sterilize the increase in projected
              crude oil export earnings by keeping the increase in a form of
              stabilization account was roundly condemned by the governors. One of
              them was quoted in the media as having stated that they knew what to do
              with their money, implying that it was not the Central Bank�s job to
              instruct them on what to do. In fact, it is reported that the governors
              are preparing to go to court to press the Federal Government to release
              their share of the proceeds from GSM license to them.

              THESE developments are very sad. It is unfortunate that the governors
              and local government chairmen have refused to appreciate the impact
              their unbridled and almost profligate spending is having on the
              economy. While it is true that the Federal Government is also culpable
              of over-spending, it is generally acknowledged that the Federal
              Government is more conscious of the need to maintain macroeconomic
              stability. The rise in the nation�s foreign reserves to over US$10
              billion, and the gradual release of capital votes, are some of the
              attempts by the Federal Government to limit fiscal expansion.

              IN fact, the recently published IMF country report on Nigeria indicted
              all the tiers of government over their expansionary fiscal spending.
              The report warned the governments on the impacts of such expansion on
              macroeconomic stability and economic recovery programme. The report,
              while applauding the intention of the Federal Government not to spend
              its share of excess proceeds in year 2001, advised the states and local
              governments to contribute to the re-establishment of macroeconomic
              stability.

              THUS, it is clear that the lower tiers of government have more
              important roles to play in curtailing the rising growth in money
              supply. Some of these governments have also resorted to heavy borrowing
              locally and even internationally to maintain their spending appetites.





              However, as it is increasingly becoming obvious to everybody,
              corruption and mismanagement of funds are widespread in the present
              political dispensation.

              STATISTICS released recently by the CBN show that money supply has
              grown by 27 per cent in the first five months of the year compared to
              the target of 12.5 per cent for the whole year. The impact of this
              fiscal recklessness is now felt on all sectors of the economy.
              Inflation rate is back to 2-digit level, interest rate is close to 30
              per cent and the naira continues to lose value against major
              international currencies at the parallel market and Bureau de Change.
              Operators of the real sectors are already feeling the heat of rising
              inflation, which has depressed consumer spending, high interest rates
              which have increased the risk of corporate failure and financial
              distress, and high and unstable exchange rate, which has also increased
              their costs of production and reduced their competitiveness in local
              and foreign markets.

              THUS, the earlier the state governors and the local government
              chairmen started to see that they share the same goal with the Federal
              Government in ensuring macroeconomic stability, the better for the
              economy in the long run. Macroeconomic stability is important to
              achieving sustainable growth and improvement of the standard of living.
              The Federal Government, while not completely free from this fiscal
              recklessness, has provided some form of leadership in maintaining
              fiscal prudence, fiscal responsibility and transparency. These are
              important principles that the other tiers of government need to
              emulate.

              WE are worried that if something was not done urgently, as the next
              elections get closer, the fiscal recklessness would get worse. Hence,
              there is a need for all tiers of government to agree on a fiscal
              framework or a fiscal code that would harmonize their fiscal policies.
              This should include giving a greater role to the CBN in monetary
              management and also maintaining a form of stabilization account. Unless
              this is done, the democratic dividends would continue to be a mirage.
              Or what is the use of higher salaries when governments cannot improve
              the standard of living of the people?
              ----------------------

              Ibadan Airport to air-lift pilgrims from 2002

              PILGRIMS from South-West part of the country would as from 2002 be
              airlifted from Ibadan airport to Saudi-Arabia, Oyo State governor,
              Alhaji Lam Adesina disclosed this on Thursday, just as he commended the
              Federal Government for the award of a N3.1 billion contract on Ogunpa
              channelisation.

              The governor, while addressing local government chairmen in the state,
              said the Federal Government had given approval for the creation of a
              new zone for the commencement of airlifting of intending pilgrims from
              the South-West.


              Alhaji Adesina said, �usually flights were from Lagos to Saudi Arabia
              and ever since then, only one zone had been created for the South-West
              and there are about five or six in the North.

              The governor, however, said that he was happy to inform the chairmen
              that the Federal Government, through the Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku
              Abubakar, after several letters and reminders had approved the creation
              of a new zone which will be in Ibadan.

              �He told me that hajj operation will now commence from Ibadan airport
              as from 2002,� Alhaji Adesina told the newsmen.


              -----------------------

              Group chides Saraki on Ilorin obaship crisis
              By Taiwo Fagbuyi
              THE role of Dr. Olusola Saraki in the campaign for Ilorin as a Fulani
              town has been condemned by a group known as the Apapo Omo O�odua, which
              also advised him to either leave the town or stop his negative
              campaign.

              The group, in a press statement, described anyone who failed to
              recognise Ilorin as a Yoruba town �as a mischief-maker."

              The group observed that it was an aberration for any Yoruba town not to
              have an Oba, and, therefore, �fully endorsed the decision of the Yoruba
              in Ilorin to correct the error which the feudal Othman Dan-Fodio
              imposed on the town, with the killing of Afonja, the king of Ilorin and
              his replacement with Sulu Gambari, the Emir of Ilorin.�

              While claiming that it was the rights of Yoruba in Ilorin to instal an
              Oba with full Yoruba culture, the group observed that this step met
              with standard world practise, where usurpers were shown the way out, as
              countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe resisted and shook off
              apartheid and white rules from their lands.
              Speaking further, the group said �efforts of men who do not know
              their history, who, due to military incursion into our politics with
              all political miscalculation, find themselves in positions of power,
              must be stopped from continuing to mislead our race.

              �We are aware of his plans of trying to use this situation as an
              opportunity to cause trouble in Kwara, and, as a way, to regain his
              declining political fortunes", warning that Saraki and his group in
              such political adventure would be held responsible for any crisis in
              Ilorin and other parts of Kwara.

              While commending the Kwara State governor, Rear Admiral Adebayo Lawal
              (rtd), for his support for Ilorin as a Yoruba town, the group urged
              all Yoruba in Kwara to fully support Lawal�s government by pulling
              their resources together to actualise the effort to instal an Oba in
              Ilorin.

              �We in the Apapo Omo O�odua support and fully endorse this legitimate
              desire of our people in Ilorin and Kwara State and will always give
              logistic support to them, to attain their desire. We warn all external
              aggressors to steer clear of this, which is purely by traditional and
              cultural rights of the Yoruba of Ilorin,� the statement concluded.



              -------------------------

              Lam opens up on Oloko report
              By Akin Durodola

              OYO State governor, Alhaji Lam Adesina, on Thursday broke his silence
              on the controversial Oloko Commission of Inquiry into chieftaincy
              matters in the state, released few months ago, saying it was based on
              truth and justice.

              Alhaji Adesina, during a peace meeting with the warring groups in Irawo
              community in the Atisbo Local Government Area of the state, pointed out
              that his long silence was due to his conviction that the release of the
              report was in good faith.

              According to him, the release took almost two years because he was
              under studying it, adding, �anything I do, I think over it before
              making it known. I have not made comments on the issue because the
              report was based on truth�, the governor stressed.
              Speaking on the crisis in Irawo, Alhaji Adesina enjoined the
              affected parties to close ranks and allow peace to reign in the
              community, adding, �you must also avoid rumour-mongering and
              backbiting�.

              He also directed that all road blocks in Irawo be dismantled, adding
              that anybody who mounted road blocks would be dealt with according to
              the law.

              The governor equally directed that the Ajoriwin of Irawo be allowed to
              come back into the town.

              Meanwhile, the Oke-Ogun Conference of Alliance for Democracy (AD) has
              commended the state governor, Alhaji Adesina, for actualising Oloko
              Commission of Inquiry. At a press conference addressed by Hon. Samuel
              Adegbiji Adekola, on behalf of others, the Oke-Ogun AD said Alhaji
              Adesina �only actualises it in the interest of peace and tranquility,
              especially among the obas and chiefs, and the citizens of Oyo State in
              general."


              ------------------------

              I never spent N1m on torches �LG boss
              �Suyi Ayodele, Benin
              THE chairman of Igueben Local Government Area of Edo State, Chief Felix
              Omi Imoisili, has said that it was not true that he spent N1 million to
              buy torches and another N10 million to buy newspapers.

              Imoisili, who spoke to the Nigerian Tribune in reaction to newspapers
              reports of his briefing of the State�s House of Assembly last week
              Wednesday, said that the N14 million he was reported to have spent on
              entertainment, �was also not true because all the details about what
              that N14 million was expended on were contained in the annextures of my
              brief to the House of Assembly.�

              �The money spent on entertainment was all embracing. Hospitality
              involves financial assistance to accident victims, lunatics, donations
              to charity organisations, students� bodies, visits of important
              personalities to the council, various assistance to the NULGE,
              churches, victims of the kerosine explosions and what have you,� he
              explained.
              The council boss, who said that his opponents were already using
              the reports to run him down, added that the bogus figure arose �because
              we lumped everything together in our report but the breakdown is
              contained in our annextures attached to the brief we gave to the
              Assembly.

              �Here, we don�t have anything to hide. We don�t cook our records. Our
              donations to the underprivileged have gone a long way to saving lives
              that would have been lost if we had not intervened financially. The
              records are there for anybody who cares to know the details, as we are
              prepared to open our books to such person,� Imoisili emphasised.

              The N1 million reported to have been spent on torches alone, he said
              was expended on other materials such as, raincoats, wheel barrows,
              boots, cutlasses, hoes, shovels, rakes and Iron file cabinets, between
              May 1999 and July 2001, for the use of labourers, day and night
              watchmen and other members of the staff of the council.
              --------------------

              �Supo Atobatele, Lagos

              A near air disaster was re-corded at the Abuja Airport on Tuesday
              following a reported mix up in the air traffic services that nearly led
              to collision of two aircraft.

              It was reported that a flight operated by EAS airlines with a BAC 1�11
              nearly ran into another aircraft which was about to take off from the
              airport when the pilot aborted landing.

              The incident, which was reported around 9. 45 a.m., caused panic among
              the passengers onboard the EAS jet, but the pilot later briefed them
              what happened.
              One of the passengers onboard the aircraft, who confronted the pilot,
              Captain Bashiru Buba, later quoted him as saying that the mix up was
              caused by some air traffic officers on training.
              The incident, it was learnt, was being investigated by the
              aviation ministry.

              Meanwhile, the government had given two additional frequencies to
              Virgin Atlantic Airways, British private carrier on the London route,
              to clear the backlog of stranded Nigeria Airways passengers.

              Nigerian Tribune learnt on Thursday that with this development, Virgin
              Airways would be running five frequencies on the most lucrative route,
              while British Airways would be maintaining 10 frequencies.

              Virgin Atlantic will now be flying into Lagos on Mondays, Tuesdays,
              Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays while BA runs daily flights into
              Lagos and thrice weekly to Abuja.

              A source hinted that Virgin had, at inception, asked the government to
              approve seven frequencies for it but was turned down.


              -----------------------

              Dangerous signals from Ghana

              THE political drums are not beating well in Ghana. The signals coming
              out from Ghana now tend to indicate that the end of democratic rule is
              in sight.

              The feud going on between Jerry Rawlings, the former President of Ghana
              and John Kuffor, the current Head of State, has gone beyond the decent
              bounds of political party differences. The feud has re-awakened once
              more the bitterness generated years ago by the execution of some
              military leaders in Ghana after the June 4, 1979 revolution of Jerry
              John Rawlings. Unless care is taken by all sides, it may soon be bye
              and farewell to democracy in Ghana, once again.

              On Thursday 19 July 2001, two national newspapers in Nigeria carried
              stories on the sad Ghana situation that adequately threw up the danger
              signals from the country in Africa where Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah lit the
              flames of the African Revolution in 1957.

              The Comet newspaper published a story titled, �Ghana To Rebury Three
              Ex-Rulers in show of Penitence.�

              �In an apparent indictment of its predecessor for the execution, 22
              years ago, of eight senior Ghanaian military officers, including three
              former heads of state, the John Kufour administration will exhume their
              bodies for reburial with full honours.

              �Former President Jerry Rawlings, then a Flight Lieutenant, ordered the
              execution of the officers in the heat of a coup by junior officers and
              other ranks that ousted the Supreme Military council on June 4, 1979.

              �Those executed for alleged corruption and economic offences in a
              period that Rawlings described as one of �house cleaning� included
              former Heads of State. General Akwasi Afrifa, General Ignatius
              Acheampong and General Frederick Akuffo.

              Their execution by firing squad sent shock waves around the world.
              Although, Rawlings ruling AFRC then based the decisions on what it
              called recklessness with state funds to the detriment of the nation,
              the severity of the punishment and rebuff of pleas for leniency from
              around the world, cast a slur on his 20 year tenure in office.

              At the heat of the elections last year, the ruling party, the NPP, then
              the opposition party, claimed that Rawlings 20 year presidency was one
              of pain and blood and promised Ghanaians that if voted to power, it
              would raise questions about blatant cases of human rights violations
              under Rawlings.

              Opposition activists, many of whom were in exile, had hinged their
              return to a review of the processes of what they called unjustified
              murder and thousands of miscarriage of justice under Rawlings.

              Aware of the growing groundswell of discontentment against his AFRC
              revolutionary actions, Rawlings, on the eve of his handover to the new
              administration, set a tone for national reconciliation when he
              apologized in a national broadcast to his compatriots.

              He said: �while most of the actions are not my personal decision, I am
              sorry and I urge those who were personally hurt in the process of
              nation building to forgive and forget.�

              Ghanaian official newspaper, The Times, quoted an official statement as
              saying that the decision was agreed by members of the executive
              committee on the exhumation and burial of the Generals after meeting
              the widows and families of the Generals.

              Two of the bodies are to be exhumed.

              The statement said the widows had expressed the wish that their
              husbands be given military burials.

              Human rights activists described the era of Rawlings� maiden incursion
              into government as that of bloodshed and abuse unparalleled in the
              country�s history.

              Rawlings won the Presidential election in 1981 and quit the
              helmsmanship of the country last year after ruling for 20 years.�

              The Nigerian Tribune of the same date 19 July 2001 carried another
              front page story on Ghana under the caption �Rawlings Warns of Coup in
              Ghana�.

              The story published by the Tribune ran thus:

              �Ghana�s former President, Jerry Rawlings, has kicked up more dust in
              the West African country by repeating that there could be a military
              coup, if the government continued to intimidate the people.

              Rawlings also said he feared for his life.

              �The statement in a BBC interview, split Parliament down the middle in
              a debate over the issue. Rawlings� statements came just over one month
              after a similar warning in an emotional speech on June 4, the 22nd
              anniversary of a coup that first brought him to power in 1979.

              �Hundreds of people demonstrated against Rawlings last month when he
              issued the warning. �They are instilling fear back into the people and
              when you do that, people will be afraid to tell you they are feeling
              pain. But then they will be harbouring fear and the fear will be
              degenerating into hatred, and then it becomes active and this will snap
              into your face,� Rawlings said.
              Rawlings, an outspoken former Air Force fighter pilot who
              converted himself into a civilian ruler and won two elections, said the
              new government was �trying to create a cover-up for subterfuge for an
              attempt on my life.�

              Rawlings also said the government was using the press to tell lies
              about him, citing as an example, a report in the private press that he
              had gone to the Air Force station to demand that he be allowed to fly a
              plane, a ploy to stop him from entering any military installation.�

              We have republished the two stories as reported by The Comet and
              Nigerian Tribune respectively to let our readers assess at first hand
              the explosive political situation that now stares Ghana in the face.

              On 15 May 1979, Jerry Rawlings, a flight lieutenant of the Ghana Air
              Force, attempted a coup in Ghana. The Rawlings coup which was
              exclusively executed by Rawlings and some Air Force boys in Ghana,
              failed. Rawlings and his fellow conspirators were immediately arrested
              by the Major-General Fred Akuffo-led military government.

              The Akuffo government made the greatest mistake of a life time in
              ordering a public trial of Rawlings and his colleagues. Jerry Rawlings
              used the public sittings to explain to the Ghana people why he and some
              of his colleagues of the Ghana Air Force had wanted to overthrow the
              military government only three months away from the official hand over
              of power from the military to the civilians. He charged the government
              with corruption and other crimes against humanity.

              The Rawlings oratorical delivery at his public trial immediately swept
              junior officers of the Ghana Army to his side. On 4 June, 1979 the
              junior officers of the Ghana Army led by Major Poku-Mensah, Major
              Boakye-Djan and Sergeant Alolga Akatapore struck and effected a coup.
              Rawlings was brought out from prison to lead an Armed Forces
              Revolutionary Council (AFRC). Three former heads of state, General Kutu
              Archeampong (who had ruled Ghana between 1972 and 1978), General Akwasi
              Amansa Afrifa who ruled Ghana between 1969 and 1970 and who had just
              been elected before Rawlings struck into the Ghana legislative Assembly
              and General Fred Akuffo were lined up and executed by the young
              military �revolutionaries�. Also executed were General Robert Kotei (a
              former Commonwealth champion in high jump), Air Vice-Marshall Boakyi,
              General Utuka and Colonel Roger Felli (a former Minister for Foreign
              Affairs in Kutu Archeampong�s government).

              The Armed Forces Revolutionary Council handed over power to civilians
              in three months as promised, Ghana�s third civilian republic was born
              on September 24, 1979 with a former civil servant in the Nkrumah years,
              Hilla Limman sworn in as president. The experiment lasted only twenty
              seven months before Rawlings, and the Ghana Army dismissed the regime
              on 31 December 1982.

              The disintegration of Ghana�s civilian regime had started just exactly
              as this current one is now developing. By 1980, signs of discord
              between the erstwhile young �revolutionaries� of the June 4, 1979 coup
              had started to appear. Major Poku-Mensah and Major Boakye-Djan in a
              world press conference held in Accra in 1980 accused Jerry Rawlings of
              nursing another ambition to return to government by overthrowing the
              civilian regime. Jerry Rawlings quickly informed the world also that it
              was the civilian government of President Hilla Limman that was
              sponsoring hostilities of his former colleagues against him.

              In 1986, David Ogunsade a Nigerian journalist then based in Cologne
              Germany and we of the Private Eye succeeded in tracking down Major
              Boakye-Djan for an interview at his Haslemere residence in U.K. By that
              time, Boakye-Djan and a group of Ghanaians in exile had established
              opposition groups to Rawlings in Britain. Major Boakye-Djan who was the
              military spokesman for the AFRC in 1979 and easily the most ideological
              (an Nkrumaist) among the June 4 �revolutionaries� told us stories that
              nearly sent us to a world of bewilderment. Boakye-Djan accused Rawlings
              of having used his fellow Ewe tribesmen in Ghana to murder the military
              Generals. Boaky Djan said Colonel Roger Felli from Northern Ghana was
              brought out for execution in order to balance the executions. Roger
              Felli was from Northern Ghana. Rawlings quickly dismissed these claims
              and contended that reactionary politicians in Ghana were all out to
              destabilize his (Rawlings) government.

              During Rawlings� second coming (from December 31, 1982), some judges
              were abducted from their homes by unknown persons. Their bodies were
              later discovered days later in shallow graves.

              The move to disintegrate Ghana has sadly begun. If Ghana falls into
              instability again, it is clear that no one (Rawlings and Kuffor
              inclusive) will come out smiling. The bitterness now appears too deep.
              President John Kuffor believes that for as long as popular Jerry John
              Rawlings is around, his civilian government will never make it to the
              end. Jerry on the other hand believes that his political enemies are
              once again out to exterminate him. Ghana is now unfortunately caught
              between the hammer and the anvil.

              President Olusegun Obasanjo must mediate immediately in the current
              Ghana�s political debacle. Delay will be dangerous.

              Ghana needs sincere national reconciliation. The number of Ghanaians in
              exile today is too large. The progressive movement in Ghana is equally
              in tatters. The clouds are indeed gathering over Ghana as the owls of
              Minnerva seem to be gathering their wings for an impending cataclysm.
              May our good Lord forbid this.

              Good luck of Ghana.




              -----------------------

              Amodu�s salary to be increased

              Sunday Ogunkanmi, Abuja

              IN spite of denying that he was asking for a pay rise, the Nigeria
              Football Association (NFA) says it would give Super Eagles coach, Amodu
              Shaibu a salary increase.

              Rising from a board meeting on Wednesday evening, the NFA, through
              spokesman, Sani Zaira, said a new deal awaited Amodu.

              The coach, who was reported to be asking for an increment in salary
              shortly after guiding Nigeria to a World Cup ticket, later came out to
              deny the claim.

              Zaria explained that with the contract of Amodu about to end, the NFA
              would surely open a better deal for the former BCC Lions coach. He
              noted that such a new deal became necessary in view of the enormous
              challenges before the ebullient coach.

              �I think NFA is on the way to make something good for him�, Zaria said
              in answer to an enquiry on whether Amodu�s reported request would be
              granted.

              �We are going to give Amodu a fresh mandate and if we�re going to do
              that I think it is only fair that we motivate him too in terms of
              remuneration�. Zaria disclosed, adding that NFA wanted to do that not
              because Amodu asked for it but to deal with him as a professional.

              NFA�s proposal is coming on the heels of an earlier assurance by the
              NFA Secretary-General, Dr. Tijani Yusuf, that a foreign coach would not
              lead the national team to the mundial.

              Eagles play Cote d�Ivoire Dec.

              THE Super Eagles of Nigeria will in December this year play a friendly
              football match with the Elephants of Cote d�Ivoire in Abidjan, the NFA
              chairman, Gen. Domnic Oneya has said.

              He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abidjan that the Federation
              of Ivorian Football (FIF) made the request as a means of tuning up the
              Elephants for the African Cup of Nations and that the NFA has accepted.


              �Nigerian players are coming to play in Cote d�Ivoire as a way not only
              of tuning up for the Nations Cup but to give the Ivorians and Nigerians
              living in the country a dose of Nigerian football�, the chairman said.

              He said that the NFA has lined up series of friendly matches in
              preparation for the Nations Cup and the World Cup, adding that the team
              did not play many friendlies as it was waiting to qualify first before
              embarking on any.

              Gen. Oneya urged Nigerians, both in Cote d�Ivoire and all over the
              world to bear with the team, adding, �I know that we gave lots of heart
              ache to Nigerians during the qualifying rounds but we promise that we
              will do better at the finals.�


              3SC to retain Coach Owolabi

              Ganiyu Salman, who was in Enugu

              CHAIRMAN of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC), Engineer Yomi Salami, has
              said Coach Felix Owolabi (MON) will remain on the technical crew of the
              team, just as plans to hire a substantive chief coach have reacted on
              advanced stage.

              Engineer Salami speaking with Tribunesports at the Dannic Hotel, Enugu,
              shortly after his team crashed out of the Coca-Cola FA Cup at the
              expense of Wikki Tourists, hinted that the club management had endorsed
              the retention of Coach Owolabi in the team.

              �We have conducted interview with some coaches but whoever gets the job
              will take over the team while Coach Owolabi will still be there to
              perform advisory roles. The new coach will be in charge while Owolabi
              will only come in to advise on areas that should be improved on,� he
              said.

              Engineer Salami stated that the team would commence preparation for
              next season in earnest, stressing that the system of open screening may
              not be adopted this time around.

              Amodu�s programmes approved

              Sunday Ogunkanmi, Abuja

              NIGERIA Football Association (NFA) on Wednesday approved the training
              programmes of the Super Eagles as worked out by the chief coach, Amodu
              Shaibu.

              The coach had last week submitted the programme meant to keep the team
              in shape for the 2002 World Cup to be hosted by Japan and South Korea.

              The programme consists of friendly matches continental competitions and
              invitational tournaments expected to terminate by April 14, 2001.

              Sani Zaria, the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN)
              representative on the board of the soccer associastion told journalists
              in Abuja on Wednesday evening after a board meeting that the NFA had
              ratified the programme, explaining that after exhaustive deliberation
              and scrutiny they were sure that Super Eagles needed those matches and
              would excel with them if sincerely prosecuted and insisted that
              everything would be done to make the programme.


              -----------------------

              Obasanjo hails inspection at ports

              PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo has said the 100 per cent inspection of
              imports ordered by the Federal Government has led to increased
              production by Nigerian manufacturers.

              The President was speaking to Mr. Peter Wocke, an Executive Vice
              President of the International Finance Corporation, who led a
              delegation on a visit to the State House on Thursday. He said the
              supply of imported substitutes to some Nigerian products had dried up,
              leading to a rise in the demand for Nigerian goods. President Obasanjo
              agreed with the IFC Executive Vice President that banks were reluctant
              to lend money for agricultural projects, and said only government -
              supported credit

              schemes would help speed up agricultural development. He said from
              personal experience, no government could successfully invest in
              agriculture.

              President Obasanjo welcomed the efforts of the IFC in providing credit
              to Nigerian banks for on-lending medium term investors, because this
              would further strengthen the Nigerian private sector to contribute to
              the economic growth and development of the nation.

              Earlier, Mr. Woicke had told the President that the IFC had provided
              $180m to banks in Nigeria for on-lending to medium and long-term
              investors in the economy.








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            • Nubi Achebo
              WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2001 My life under threat — Anyim cries out Jacob Segun Olatunji, Abuja SENATE President, Anyim Pius Anyim, on Tuesday, alerted the
              Message 6 of 29 , Aug 30, 2001
              View Source
              • 0 Attachment
                WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2001

                My life under threat � Anyim cries out
                Jacob Segun Olatunji, Abuja
                SENATE President, Anyim Pius Anyim, on Tuesday, alerted the nation on
                alleged attempts on his life by some elements he described as �agents�
                of some people in Ebonyi State.

                In a four-page press statement in Abuja by his Special Adviser (Media),
                Mr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, and made available to newsmen, the Senate
                President alleged that �the paid agents� had continued to put across
                threatening calls to him in the last few days with deadly warnings that
                they had been fully paid to terminate his life any moment from now.

                �The hired assassins equally accused the President of the Senate of
                visiting Ebonyi State last weekend for a peace meeting� without express
                permission. �They made it clear that no amount of security around the
                President of Senate will stop them from carrying out the assassination
                plot.

                The statement reads: �Information available to this office confirmed
                that a separate squad had been raised to trail the Senate President,
                even in his village, Ishiagu.
                �It is of common knowledge that several peace meetings have been
                held in Abakaliki, Abuja and other places to resolve the lingering
                problems in Ebonyi State. President Obasanjo, Vice President Atiku
                Abubakar, the PDP national leadership, churches and other well-meaning
                indigenes of the South East Zone, including state governors in the
                zone, have all made spirited efforts to bring His Excellency, Governor
                Sam Egwu, to respect the decisions reached at each of these meetings.

                �Although the governor usually willingly endorses all agreements in
                each of these meetings, Dr. Egwu habitually reneges on the
                implementation of the agreements immediately after each of the talks.

                �...On the recent police shooting in Ebonyi, the allegation that the
                policemen who shot the armed men were from Abuja is false, diversionary
                and misleading.

                �The police statement in Ebonyi State has already confirmed that the
                affected persons were armed men who refused to stop at police
                checkpoints.

                �The incident has nothing to do with the Senate President who arrived
                in Ebonyi on that day, 10 hours after the incident occurred,� the
                statement said.

                -----------------------

                Crisis looms in 2003 � M.D. Yusufu
                By Akin Durodola
                FORMER presidential aspirant and chairman of the Arewa Consultative
                Forum (ACF), Alhaji M.D. Yusufu, has warned that the self-succession
                bid of present political office holders might lead to another political
                crisis.

                Alhaji Yusufu, speaking at the silver jubilee celebration of Radio OYO,
                Ibadan, pointed out that the country �is not likely to ensure a
                credible civilian to civilian succession in 2003.�

                According to him, �this failure will prepare the ground for military or
                another form of dictatorial rule.�

                Likening the current political situation to the 1991�1993 political
                crisis, the ACF chairman said, �Right now, we seem to be heading the
                same way towards squandering another opportunity for successful
                civilian to civilian succession.

                �In 1991�1993, we experienced, yet another debacle, though not strictly
                going through a civilian to civilian succession, nevertheless, it
                involved a serious succession problem at the federal level. It was
                peculiar, for we had a military regime with an elected civilian
                National Assembly, state assemblies and state governors which failed to
                successfully arrange a succession to full scale civilian rule.

                �This led us into another crisis, the June 12 political crisis, which
                was used to reinject the poison of ethnic chauvinism and regional
                politics into Nigeria. We are still struggling to overcome the
                after-effects of this crisis. So we really have various problems of
                succession to face and tackle,� Alhaji Yusufu maintained.

                He warned people he described as politics sycophants moving round in
                support of the automatic re-election of those in office. The danger in
                such moves, according to him, �is our attempt to build a democracy that
                is heading for the rocks,� urging people to stand up and do something
                about the development.
                PDP reaffirms support for Obasanjo/Atiku
                Femi Ojewuyi, Abuja
                LEADERS of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the North-Central
                zone, on Tuesday, dissociated themselves from speculations currently
                making the rounds that President Olusegun Obasanjo planned to drop Vice
                President Atiku Abubakar and pick Niger State governor, Alhaji
                Abdulkadir Kure as running mate in the 2003 presidential elections.

                In a joint statement issued by the PDP chairmen of Nasarawa, Benue,
                Plateau states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the leaders
                said that newspaper stories and posters published to the effect that
                Kure would replace Atiku as Vice President were attempts by sponsors of
                the publications to blackmail the PDP and its credible members.

                �We as state leaders of the PDP in the Northern Central zone, hereby,
                disssociate ourselves from the said posters and stories credited to the
                leaders and elders of the PDP in the zone.� The chairmen maintained
                that various PDP stalwarts who addressed a recent rally in Minna,
                including the former campaign manager of Governor Kure, dismissed the
                posters as �not our project�, and that �the people of Niger State want
                their governor to continue with his good job.�

                The chairmen said, �We, therefore, strongly condemn the recent
                publications in various newspapers by faceless people whose aim is to
                create disunity among the various geo-political zone which are
                strongly controlled by the PDP. �We are warning these detractors and
                their mentors to subject themselves to the democratic processes
                provided by the PDP constitution rather than hide behind some facade
                and fix posters in the middle of the night.�

                The leaders also appealed to PDP members in the North Central zone and
                other parts of the country to dismiss the anti-PDP campaigns and
                uphold the dignity bestowed on them by God through the mandate of the
                electorate. The chairmen who signed the joint statement included,
                Alhaj Umaru Daddare (Nasarawa), Chief Michael Iduma (Benue), Alhaji
                Abu Shina (Plateau) and Alhaji Alhassan Galadiman (FCT).


                --------------------------

                IBB posters surface in Benue
                Johnson Babajide Makurdi
                RESIDENT of Makurdi, the Benue State capital, on Sunday woke up to see
                the posters of former military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, for
                2003 president flooded the whole city.

                The posters which read �IBB for Positive Change,� were pasted round the
                conspicuous places such as round abouts, trees NEPA poles mostly at
                Wuruku, High Level, lower Benue and some other parts of the town.

                At Wadatta area, (the settlement are of Hausa Community) the posters
                were pasted on the wall with the inscription written in Hausa language
                � IBB 2003 Na Gari Na Kowa.� Nigerian Tribune also gathered that
                similar posters flooded other urban area such as Gboko and Otukpo.
                The posters came a few weeks after the tooth-gap former occupant
                of Aso Rock sneaked into Makurdi.

                The self-acclaimed evil genus, a few weeks ago sneaked into town where
                he spent two days in an

                According to source at the hotel, the former president had twice
                lodged in the hotel, adding that whenever he is expected in town, full
                preparations were made for him a day before his arrival and used to
                arrive town late in the night with a few aides.

                His mission in the ancient town, according to sources not be
                unconnected with his political manouvering comes 2003.

                Of recent, it was alleged government circle that he was sponsoring a
                candidate under the platform of APP for next gubernatorial election.


                ---------------------------

                Amalgamation, genesis of Nigeria�s woes � Akinjide
                FORMER Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation,
                Chief Richard Akinjide, on Tuesday, declared that the amalgamation by
                British colonial government, of Northern and Southern Nigeria in 1914,
                was the genesis of the country�s present crisis of political
                succession.

                Chief Akinjide, in his lecture titled: �Democracy and the Challenges of
                Succession in Nigeria,� delivered at the silver jubilee lecture of the
                Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State, said that since then, the
                problem of political succession had remained.

                According to the guest lecturer, �Nigeria, as amalgamated, has not been
                able to find neither love, unity nor workable machinery for democracy
                and the challenges of succession.�

                He said the journey of democracy and the challenges of successions
                could be traced to �the Legislative Council established in 1862, the
                1914 Amalgamation of the North and South, 1922 � Sir Clifford�s
                Constitution promulgated and named after the governor, Sir Hugh
                Clifford and the 1945 Richard�s Constitution which created a single
                legislature for Nigeria with the group of provinces in the North, West
                and East in March, 1945.�
                However, there was a sharp controversy between Chief Akinjide and
                the Oyo State governor, Alhaji Lam Adesina, over who moved the motion
                for Nigeria�s independence in 1957. While Chief Akinjide said it was
                Chief S.L. Akintola, the late Premier of Western Region, who moved the
                motion and seconded by late Chief Ayo Rosiji, from Egba East, Alhaji
                Adesina maintained that it was Chief Anthony Enahoro. Chief Akinjide
                challenged anybody with a contrary view to come with documentary
                evidence.

                But Alhaji Adesina faulted the claims of Chief Akinjide, insisting that
                �from the reports and proceedings of the House of Representatives,
                Chief Enahoro moved the motion for our independence.� �I will like to
                correct the mistake made by my big brother, Chief Akinjide, who wrongly
                said that Chief Akintola moved the motion for Nigeria�s independence.
                From the Hansard of the House, it was Chief Enahoro who moved the
                motion,� the governor said.

                Speaking further, the governor explained that there was no problem
                between the North and the South except that �we should be accepted as
                equals. Anything less than that is not acceptable to me.� He also
                warned against rigging of the 2003 elections, saying such would not
                make smooth succession possible.


                ------------------------------

                Lawmaker sues Lagos over N25b loan
                Adewale Ajayi, Lagos
                A member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Thomas Fadeyi, has
                instituted legal action against the state government over its decision
                to seek N25 billion loan from the stock market, praying the court to
                prevent the state government from going ahead with such plans.

                In the suit filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos Division, Mr. Fadeyi
                representing Mushin II Constituency, stated that resolution of the
                House passed on August 2, 2001 that the state government should seek
                for N25 billion loan to finance most its projects, was based on the
                fact that the lawmakers were misinformed.

                He said that the House has power only to pass resolution for money
                bill, and the resolution of August 2 for N25 billion loan was not a
                money bill.

                He prayed the court to stop the state from taking the loan, and that
                the state was financially buoyant and should not be considering taking
                any loan.
                In his statement of claim, it stated that the money that accrued
                to the state in 2000 was N22.8 billion, made up of N3.2 billion from
                Value Added Tax (VAT) and N19.6 billion as Internally Generated Revenue
                (IGR), statutory allocations and other grants. In Mr. Fadeyi�s claim,
                he said the state had been giving money to poorer states in the past
                and it was mismanagement that led it into borrowing.

                The plaintiff asserted that if Lagos State government was allowed to
                take the loan, the people of the state would become pauperised as the
                servicing and repayment of capital would practically leave the state
                with little or nothing with which to execute any development in the
                state.

                The plaintiff asserted that the borrowing was not tied to any specific
                project, which the people of the state will benefit from and as a
                stakeholder in the state, it is his duty to ensure that the future of
                the state was not mortgaged for any reason. The suit which was filed
                on Monday, August 27, 2001, have as defendants Attorney-General, Lagos
                State, Security and Exchange Commission and the Nigerian Stock
                Exchange.


                --------------------------

                Gani Adams must not die in custody
                � Afenifere warns police
                �Dispatches lawyers to defend him
                Sunday Olajide, Lagos
                PAN-YORUBA socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has dispatched
                members of its legal team to defend the factional leader of the Oodua
                Peoples Congress (OPC), Mr. Gani Adams, when the court resumes on
                September 14, 2001.

                The organisation, however, warned the Police to ensure the safety and
                health of the OPC leader while in custody, stressing, �he must not die
                in custody.�

                Speaking through its National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye,
                in Lagos on Tuesday, Afenifere said it had sent members of its legal
                action committee to meet Mr. Adams for his briefing and to get his own
                side of the story.

                Afenifere said it acknowledged the constitutional duty of the Police to
                maintain law and order and to apprehend and arraign before a properly
                constituted court of the land suspected offenders of the law.

                �We, however, also insist on total respect of the fundamental human
                rights of suspected offenders, especially their right to fair and
                decent treatment in the course of investigation,� the organisation
                said.
                �We have noted with consternation and not a little worry, marked
                changes in the physical appearance of Mr. Adams between the time of his
                arrest and the time of his arraignment in court,� it said.

                According to Afenifere, whereas Adams was fully and decently dressed at
                the time of his arrest, he was brought to court half naked with his
                jacket removed. It was also noticed that his eyes had swollen up and
                there were bruises all over his face and body.

                �Is this the evidence of torture and maltreatment?� Afenifere queried,
                stressing that it would appear that Adams was having a raw deal in the
                hand of the Police.

                While congratulating the Police for apprehending Adams on whose head
                they had placed a price, Afenifere cautioned that the euphoria of their
                celebration must not becloud their sense of justice in recognising the
                elementary rights of their captive.

                It added that the right to life was basic and Adams� right to life must
                be fully respected, saying that �Gani Adams remains innocent until
                proven otherwise by a competent court of law.�

                While insisting that everything must be done to ensure his health and
                safety, Afenifere said this had become necessary because many innocent
                Nigerians, including the late M.K.O. Abiola, lost their lives while in
                custody in bizarre circumstances.


                ----------------------------

                Reps committees for shake-up
                Femi Ojewuyi and Jacob Segun Olatunji, Abuja
                AS the National Assembly reconvened on Tuesday after seven weeks of
                recess, palpable fears laced the atmosphere of the House of
                Representatives amid indications of an impending restructuring of the
                House Committees by the Speaker, Hon. Ghali Umar Na�abba.

                Members of the House, who were jittery over the shake-up, are mainly
                chairmen who reportedly discovered through the leakage of a draft list,
                that their positions were shaky.

                Amid exchange of banters that usually characterized resumptions, the
                lawmakers were seen in groups, reviewing the first half of the
                legislative year, and making some projections into what the remaining
                period would look like.

                Investigation revealed that the main topic for discussion on Tuesday
                morning was the Speaker�s proposed recomposition of the 63 committees,
                half of which are expected to get new chairmen.

                Nigerian Tribune gathered that the leakage of the plan prompted a
                marathon meeting of the House leadership last Thursday, where some
                principal officers were said to have persuaded the Speaker to drop the
                idea, which they argued was likely to plunge the House into a fresh
                crisis.

                The meeting, which was attended by Na�Abba, his deputy, Chibudom
                Nwuche, Deputy House Leader, Mao Ohuabunwa and a few other principal
                officers, also discussed the alleged neglect of members� welfare which
                almost set the House against its leadership shortly before it proceeded
                on recess early last month.

                Indication that the Speaker was yet to succumb to pressure from the
                principal officers not to go ahead with his plan was glaring on
                Tuesday, as most members were heard asking their colleagues about the
                impending restructuring.

                Most members spoken to declined comment on the matter, pleading with
                newsmen to wait until events unfolded during the week, although a few
                were of the opinion that the remaining part of the legislative tenure
                would be peaceful.

                According to Hon. (Dr.) Ahmed Lawan, �I think we have had enough of
                crisis in the last two years. If we really want to achieve anything, if
                we want Nigerians to feel our impact, it is better for us to put
                personal ambition aside and give the people the much needed democracy
                dividends.�

                Meanwhile, the House is set to repeal the Privatization and
                Commercialization Act with a view to enacting a replacement that would
                correct the imbalances and imperfections in the current law.
                Na�Abba, who dropped the hint in his welcome address to the
                lawmakers, said the most viable legacy the House could leave behind was
                the impact of democracy on the lives of the people, particularly the
                disadvantaged segment of the society, and enact laws that would protect
                them and advance their interest.

                To this end, the House plans to give priority to the Handicapped
                Persons Bill, introduced by the Deputy Speaker last session, the Women
                and Child Trafficking Bill and the Privatization and Commercialization
                Act.

                �We shall also repeal the Privatization and Commercialization Act and
                enact a replacement with a view to correcting the imbalances and
                imperfections in the current enactment,� Na�Abba said.

                The Speaker, who insisted that the principles and practice of democracy
                should take firm roots in Nigeria, said to achieve this, the House
                should enact numerous legislations aimed at improving the welfare of
                the people with minimum delay.

                According to him, some innovations would be introduced in the House
                rules this session, which include sessional orders that would
                fast-track the passage of legislations.

                Meanwhile, the Senate on Tuesday on resumption directed its
                Intelligence and Police Affairs Committees to investigate the alleged
                intimidation and harassment of one of its members, Senator Isa Mohammed
                (Niger State), by armed mobile policemen who escorted some foreigners
                from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to the city.

                The Senate, in a motion unanimously passed after extensive
                deliberations by members, also mandated the committees to look into
                possible ways to regulate the use of police escorts and siren on the
                nation�s highways and to submit their findings within two weeks.

                Senator Mohammed had, under Order 14 of the Senate Rules, informed his
                colleagues that on Monday while returning from the airport to Abuja,
                his vehicle was moving behind a Toyota Jeep marked AP 22 ABJ occupied
                by whitemen with another Peugeot 504 salon car occupied by armed mobile
                policemen and other plain clothed security operatives.

                According to him, when his driver tried to overtake the two vehicles,
                the policemen and the plain clothed security operatives brought out
                their guns, corked them and threatened to shoot, driving dangerously on
                the highways.

                Senator Mohammed explained that he got down from his vehicle and
                accosted the policemen and others to inquire about the identities of
                the occupants of the Jeep which they were not willing to disclose.


                ------------------------

                Reps committees for shake-up
                Femi Ojewuyi and Jacob Segun Olatunji, Abuja
                AS the National Assembly reconvened on Tuesday after seven weeks of
                recess, palpable fears laced the atmosphere of the House of
                Representatives amid indications of an impending restructuring of the
                House Committees by the Speaker, Hon. Ghali Umar Na�abba.

                Members of the House, who were jittery over the shake-up, are mainly
                chairmen who reportedly discovered through the leakage of a draft list,
                that their positions were shaky.

                Amid exchange of banters that usually characterized resumptions, the
                lawmakers were seen in groups, reviewing the first half of the
                legislative year, and making some projections into what the remaining
                period would look like.

                Investigation revealed that the main topic for discussion on Tuesday
                morning was the Speaker�s proposed recomposition of the 63 committees,
                half of which are expected to get new chairmen.

                Nigerian Tribune gathered that the leakage of the plan prompted a
                marathon meeting of the House leadership last Thursday, where some
                principal officers were said to have persuaded the Speaker to drop the
                idea, which they argued was likely to plunge the House into a fresh
                crisis.

                The meeting, which was attended by Na�Abba, his deputy, Chibudom
                Nwuche, Deputy House Leader, Mao Ohuabunwa and a few other principal
                officers, also discussed the alleged neglect of members� welfare which
                almost set the House against its leadership shortly before it proceeded
                on recess early last month.

                Indication that the Speaker was yet to succumb to pressure from the
                principal officers not to go ahead with his plan was glaring on
                Tuesday, as most members were heard asking their colleagues about the
                impending restructuring.

                Most members spoken to declined comment on the matter, pleading with
                newsmen to wait until events unfolded during the week, although a few
                were of the opinion that the remaining part of the legislative tenure
                would be peaceful.

                According to Hon. (Dr.) Ahmed Lawan, �I think we have had enough of
                crisis in the last two years. If we really want to achieve anything, if
                we want Nigerians to feel our impact, it is better for us to put
                personal ambition aside and give the people the much needed democracy
                dividends.�

                Meanwhile, the House is set to repeal the Privatization and
                Commercialization Act with a view to enacting a replacement that would
                correct the imbalances and imperfections in the current law.
                Na�Abba, who dropped the hint in his welcome address to the
                lawmakers, said the most viable legacy the House could leave behind was
                the impact of democracy on the lives of the people, particularly the
                disadvantaged segment of the society, and enact laws that would protect
                them and advance their interest.

                To this end, the House plans to give priority to the Handicapped
                Persons Bill, introduced by the Deputy Speaker last session, the Women
                and Child Trafficking Bill and the Privatization and Commercialization
                Act.

                �We shall also repeal the Privatization and Commercialization Act and
                enact a replacement with a view to correcting the imbalances and
                imperfections in the current enactment,� Na�Abba said.

                The Speaker, who insisted that the principles and practice of democracy
                should take firm roots in Nigeria, said to achieve this, the House
                should enact numerous legislations aimed at improving the welfare of
                the people with minimum delay.

                According to him, some innovations would be introduced in the House
                rules this session, which include sessional orders that would
                fast-track the passage of legislations.

                Meanwhile, the Senate on Tuesday on resumption directed its
                Intelligence and Police Affairs Committees to investigate the alleged
                intimidation and harassment of one of its members, Senator Isa Mohammed
                (Niger State), by armed mobile policemen who escorted some foreigners
                from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to the city.

                The Senate, in a motion unanimously passed after extensive
                deliberations by members, also mandated the committees to look into
                possible ways to regulate the use of police escorts and siren on the
                nation�s highways and to submit their findings within two weeks.

                Senator Mohammed had, under Order 14 of the Senate Rules, informed his
                colleagues that on Monday while returning from the airport to Abuja,
                his vehicle was moving behind a Toyota Jeep marked AP 22 ABJ occupied
                by whitemen with another Peugeot 504 salon car occupied by armed mobile
                policemen and other plain clothed security operatives.

                According to him, when his driver tried to overtake the two vehicles,
                the policemen and the plain clothed security operatives brought out
                their guns, corked them and threatened to shoot, driving dangerously on
                the highways.

                Senator Mohammed explained that he got down from his vehicle and
                accosted the policemen and others to inquire about the identities of
                the occupants of the Jeep which they were not willing to disclose.


                -------------------------

                Tribune managers parley with Savannah Bank
                IN a bid to explore new areas of mutual co-operation, a team of
                officials of the African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, publishers of the
                Tribune titles, on Tuesday, held talks with the top management team of
                Savannah Bank of Nigeria Plc at its corporate head office in Lagos.

                The Tribune team, led by the Managing Director, Mr. Rotimi Oladele,
                during the meeting, rubbed minds with the Savannah team led by the
                Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr George Irechukwu on
                ways of improving the relationship between the organisations and
                exploring new frontiers. In his speech at the occasion, Mr. Oladele
                stressed that �the main purpose of the visitation was to renew the old
                relationship and cultivate fresh ones�.

                Mr. Oladele noted that Savannah Bank had demonstrated how strong it is
                by pulling out of its lean periods in the past and re-positioned for
                the challenge of modern-day banking. Speaking further, Oladele said
                the Nigerian Tribune newspapers had jettisoned old ideas and had
                repositioned in order to give a wide coverage to all the important
                segments of the society.
                This new focus, according to him, has endeared the newspaper into
                many beneficial arrangements with corporate bodies.

                In his own speech, the MD/CEO of Savannah Bank noted that the bank felt
                highly honoured as one of the organisations entering into a partnership
                with the Tribune.

                While emphasising that the Tribune and Savannah Bank have common goals
                in the area of corporate re-positioning, Irechukwu said the union could
                not have come at a better time than now.

                �You are coming at the right time. We want to move forward by entering
                into a partnership with your organisation,� he said.

                Irechukwu, however, berated a section of the press whom had allowed
                themselves to be used by people with selfish ends.

                Speaking on the new drive of the bank, the Managing Director said the
                bank had put machinery in motion to re-launch it as a corporate entity
                in the area of more improved customer service.


                ---------------------------

                Merit of Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE)
                THEN on Saturday, 21st October 2000 AD, Mama, Yeyeoba Mrs. H.I.D.
                Awolowo, sitting on the right of Archdeacon E. O. Alayande and next to
                Chief Richard Akinjide, declared: A o jamo (we are tired of fighting
                each other), she was expressing the views of ALL Yorubas at home and
                abroad. The occasion was the inauguration of the Yoruba Council of
                Elders, an organization of Yorubas between the ages of 100 and over and
                not less than 40, formed to consolidate the Yoruba Nation which was
                duly proclaimed on that occasion. Its objectives are principally to
                foster unity among the different groups in Yorubaland, torn apart in
                the past, by partisan politics which truncated the people into three
                groups: those who supported Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his programmes as
                designed by the Action Group and Egbe Omo Oduduwa and those who opposed
                him and teamed up either with the Sardauna of Sokoto of the Northern
                People�s Congress (NPC) or with Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe of the National
                Council of Nigeria and the Cameroon (NCNC). The NPC drew its majority
                membership from the North while the NCNC had easterners in the
                majority. In each case, Yorubas were satellites whose unquestionable
                loyalty to NPC and NCNC converted Yorubaland into the political
                battleground of Nigeria. Although the seat of the Federal Government
                was in Lagos in Yorubaland, the majority of Yorubas represented by the
                Awolowo group did not participate in the Federal Government at the
                centre which was dominated by the NPC and NCNC. The difference here is
                ideological and although there were Yorubas in the Federal Government
                at the centre, they belonged to political parties which did not adopt
                the four cardinal programmes of Free Education, Free Health, Rural
                Development and Gainful employment � the creed of the masses who could
                number 90% of the population of the Yoruba Nation. These masses
                regarded those who supported NCNC and NPC as betrayals of the nation.
                That was not true as we have since discovered that these men were
                patriots who were fighting the same cause behind �enemy lines�. It was
                however difficult, if not impossible, to convince the masses who were
                likely to regard us as accomplices. This position lingered on,
                increasing the gap every day until the death of Bashorun Abiola on 23rd
                June 1993, which all Yoruba peoples at home and abroad regarded as
                murder; committed not against an individual, but against the Yoruba
                Nation, by the combined forces of the principalities and powers outside
                Nigeria and their Sancho Panzas in Nigeria, who have vowed never to
                permit a Yorubaman to rule Nigeria because he is too mentally
                sophisticated to accommodate their economic mischiefs.

                August 3, 1998.

                That was the position as at August 3, 1998 when all Yorubas from all
                walks of life, whether pro-Action Group or pro-NCNC, or whether pro-Awo
                or pro-Akintola, realized that their survival as a nation was at stake
                and unless something was done and that quickly, the game would be lost.


                That was a meeting of meetings. Megaforce, in its long years of this
                and that, has not witnessed such a convocation of men and women whose
                minds were like burning inferno, for the purpose of consummating a
                single wish �to be or not to be� in Nigeria. Every mind erupted like
                Vesuvius. Those who came from abroad brought maps showing how ready
                they were to determine their destiny by quitting Nigeria.

                At the crucial meeting, the elders were able to convince the youths who
                outnumbered them, that it was discreet and more beneficial for the
                Yoruba Nation to participate in the General Abubakar Transition
                Programme than to opt out of Nigeria. If the decision had been the
                other way round, Nigeria would not have survived the deluge. A civil
                war could have ensued, resulting in the devastation of the environment
                and loss of lives; but what is certain is that the anti-Yoruba
                mischief-makers, would not be alive today to reap the fruits of their
                mischief.ium Book
                Thanks to the Elders
                Agba ki nwa nilu kilu baje (no community can fail where the wisdom of
                the elders prevail). Today, Nigerians are hopeful of a brighter future
                with Obasanjo at the helm of affairs. The anti-Yoruba conspiracy has
                been broken by God Himself, so that Nigeria could survive. There is a
                peace which is not perfect, but this is better than the chaos of war.

                Yoruba Council of Elders backs Obasanjo for second term
                The transition programme of General Abubakar was conceived and executed
                in frightful hurry like the Roman last will and testament which could
                be made in a battle field as an exception to the solemnity of Roman
                Will-making (the Testamentum Profectitium). It was therefore not
                perfect and contains many errors, the worst of which was the
                ideological nudity which propelled us to vote for those who CLAIMED to
                be June Twelvers, without checking their credentials. The result was
                the election into most of the 36 state legislatures, men who had
                cooperated with Abacha and thereby possessed the funds from Abacha
                loots with which to campaign. In the South, where the ideological June
                Twelvers live, another factor became indelibly entrenched - the
                institutionalization of OPPOSITION, to the extent that every move by
                the Federal Government was suspected as an extension of anti-Yoruba
                policy of the past 15 years.

                God elected Obasanjo
                This anti-federal stance continued even after listening to President
                Obasanjo that he has changed from Saul to Paul. It was however
                indiscreet and disadvantageous for the Yorubas not to support Obasanjo
                if they must participate in the rebuilding of the new Nigeria under a
                democracy. The irony of it all was that Afenifere, which championed
                that participation on 3rd August 1998, continued to maintain a hostile
                and pugnacious policy towards those Yorubas, including the president,
                who did not toe the line under their leadership. This attitude cannot
                help the Yorubas, who are in hopeless minority in the executive system
                (6 governors out of 36 and 19 Senators only in the National Assembly).
                A change of policy was therefore inevitable if the Yorubas must
                survive. This does not entail the abandonment of principles. It merely
                involved the stretching out of the cordial right hand of fellowship to
                ALL, to work together in UNISON. If Abiola had not died in Abacha�s
                detention, and if the West had voted 100% for Obasanjo and if the
                Western world had not advised the northern generals to pipe down and if
                Babangida, in spite of his faults, had not travelled to Abeokuta to
                plead with Obasanjo to enter the race and if the North had defied the
                warning that the West would secede and thus deny them the goose that
                laid the golden egg, Obasanjo would not have been elected President in
                February 1999. This collocation of incredible events did not occur by
                chance. It has been planned by God HIMSELF and no one set of people
                should claim the glory. ALL GLORY SHOULD GO TO THE MOST HIGH. For the
                Yorubas, it is a warning NEVER to rely solely on their own wisdom, but
                to watch after praying and striving, for the path channelled by God,
                Himself, who only is capable of thinking aright. The elders only, are
                gifted with the 6th sense to see and hear what the others cannot see
                and hear; they therefore decided in the language of Mama Yeyeoba, Mrs.
                H.I.D. Awolowo, A o jamo (We are tired of fighting each other). We
                should all come together under the banner of IGBIMO AGBA YORUBA, to
                plan not only for the survival of the Yoruba Nation but for the unity
                and progress of Nigeria.

                The decision of the Yoruba Council of Elders to back Obasanjo for his
                second term is based on this wisdom, encapsulated in the motto of the
                council: Agba ki nwa nilu ki ilu baje (No community can fail where the
                wisdom of elders prevails) as it has prevailed on 3rd August 1998 when
                Nigeria was kept together by the decision of the elders.

                Archdeacon Emmanuel Oladipo Alayande at 91, in January 2001 AD and
                Yeyeoba Mrs. Hannah Idowu Dideola Awolowo, 86 on 25th November 2000AD,
                have had their lives prolonged to accomplish this feat as PRESIDENT and
                GRAND PATRONESS respectively. May God preserve them to give more of
                such sagacious leadership.


                ---------------------------

                Lawmaker sues Lagos over N25b loan
                Adewale Ajayi, Lagos
                A member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Thomas Fadeyi, has
                instituted legal action against the state government over its decision
                to seek N25 billion loan from the stock market, praying the court to
                prevent the state government from going ahead with such plans.

                In the suit filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos Division, Mr. Fadeyi
                representing Mushin II Constituency, stated that resolution of the
                House passed on August 2, 2001 that the state government should seek
                for N25 billion loan to finance most its projects, was based on the
                fact that the lawmakers were misinformed.

                He said that the House has power only to pass resolution for money
                bill, and the resolution of August 2 for N25 billion loan was not a
                money bill.

                He prayed the court to stop the state from taking the loan, and that
                the state was financially buoyant and should not be considering taking
                any loan.
                In his statement of claim, it stated that the money that accrued
                to the state in 2000 was N22.8 billion, made up of N3.2 billion from
                Value Added Tax (VAT) and N19.6 billion as Internally Generated Revenue
                (IGR), statutory allocations and other grants. In Mr. Fadeyi�s claim,
                he said the state had been giving money to poorer states in the past
                and it was mismanagement that led it into borrowing.

                The plaintiff asserted that if Lagos State government was allowed to
                take the loan, the people of the state would become pauperised as the
                servicing and repayment of capital would practically leave the state
                with little or nothing with which to execute any development in the
                state.

                The plaintiff asserted that the borrowing was not tied to any specific
                project, which the people of the state will benefit from and as a
                stakeholder in the state, it is his duty to ensure that the future of
                the state was not mortgaged for any reason. The suit which was filed
                on Monday, August 27, 2001, have as defendants Attorney-General, Lagos
                State, Security and Exchange Commission and the Nigerian Stock
                Exchange.


                --------------------------

                Who will save NANTA?
                THE only viable tourism association, National Association of Nigeria
                Travel Agencies (NANTA) seems to be doing everything humanly possible
                to castrate its own virility.

                News filtering into TTH�s ears are worrisome and call for concern as
                it will be a shame if the private tourism sector should allowed NANTA
                to die. The whole organisation called NANTA is in a pitiful mess.
                The Association is no longer at ease with itself again.

                The Association which was created to serve as a succour and protector
                of the members has turned into a monster which not only witchhunt
                members but engages in a co-operative endeavour with Airlines to
                impoverish member. It is not absurd and strange for a man to offer his
                son as food for the roaring lion?

                This is what NANTA is currently doing. And it is not only embarrassing
                but totally anti-association. For the essence of forming NANTA is to
                protect and safeguard the interest of members against the exploitative
                tendencies of Airlines, governments and other related groups which may
                harm the interests of members.

                It is no longer news, that NANTA, recently expelled some members on the
                request of some Airlines just because these concerned members were
                owing them. In as much as TTH is not advocating non payment or
                remittance of money on ticket sold by the agents to Airlines, NANTA
                should not have allowed itself to be used as debt collector. And not
                stopping at that, but accepted dictation from the Airlines as how to
                deal with members.

                It is a shame, that NANTA could not devise a smooth way of settlement,
                between its members and some Airlines on how to solve the problem
                before arriving at expelling its own members. This posture is only
                making mess of being a member of NANTA, which is demoralising and
                discouraging. For a prospective member will think that �what is the
                essence of joining an association which can not shelter one during the
                rain or when its blows.

                TTH believes that, had it been members of the Exco painstakingly and
                seriously explore other noble means, they would not have committed the
                blunder of sacrificing their members for the satisfaction of those
                who exploit them. After all, these are members who have contributed
                immensely to the growth of the association. NANTA urgently needs a
                saviour before it eventual collapse.


                LATE CAPTAIN MALONEY TOMB / HILLS
                Malony Hill is situated near Keffi. It has a beautiful site for
                camping and picnicking. On top of the hill a tourist is able to have a
                view of the entire Keffi town. The hill consists of the tomb of the
                late captain Malony, a colonialist who was a victim of resistence
                against colonial rule by the Keffi emirate.


                OKU AKPA PICNIC CENTRE
                Oku-Akpa Rock formation are spectacular range of Rock formation formed
                along Nasarawa village-Udege-Loko road in Nasarawa Local Government
                area of the State. The area is suitable for picnicking,
                mountaineering, sport hunting, birds watching etc.


                UMAISHA RIVER BANK RESORT
                Umaisha is a town situated at the eastern part of Toto Local
                Government Area of the State. The town is an old settlement since the
                14th century and its inhabitants are the Igbiras, which are refered to
                here, as the Opanda Kingdom. Behind this settlement is a river that
                runs across into River Benue. The river at the months of December-April
                leaves a large surface of the sand reducing the water to a sizeable
                level suitable for water sport activities like swimming, fishing,
                regatta, diving and boating. This is usually organised by the umaisha
                people in form of a festival to entertain and commemorate their
                cultural heritage in their annual cultural festival tagged �Ogani
                fishing and cultural festival.�

                Umaisha river bank resort is about 40km away from Toto Local Government
                headquarters and about 85km away from the F.C.T. Abuja
                through-Abaji-Toto road. While is about 250km away from Lafia the State
                Capital.


                AKIRI WARM SPRING
                The spring water is warm and becomes warmer during cool weather. The
                spring water gushes out bubbles at regular intervals looking normal
                like water being boiled. The water is believed to have some curative
                power, the people of Akiri drink and bath from it for such purpose.


                DOMA DAM
                Doma Dam is situated 6km away from Doma town the headquarters of Doma
                Local Government Council. It is about 30km away from Lafia the State
                Capital. Doma Dam is a man-made dam meant for agricultural irrigation,
                the Dam is structured into 3 arms with each arm measuring over 2km at
                length and about 300 metres wide. The surrounding of the lake is hilly
                with thick vegetation, fishing is a common activity on the lake. Doma
                Dam is a popular picnic site in the State.


                DYEING PITS AND CALABASH CALVING IN LAFIA
                The Lafia dyeing pits are found near the Kotal Pada at the Emir Palace
                Lafia the State Capital. At the dyeing pits traditional cloths are
                woven and dyed in various sizes and designs. The dyeing pits are as old
                as the Lafia town.


                KEANA SALT VILLAGE
                There is the Keana salt village. Located in the Headquarters of the
                Keana Local Government Council. It is 67 kilometres away from the state
                Capital, Lafia.

                The Keana salt mining industry dates back to the twelfth century when
                the salt discovery attracted human settlement in the area. This is
                where you see local technology in operation, a visit to the area shows
                that the industry is made up of huts with large pots and ridges laid
                out for mining of salt. Each of these huts belong to an individual
                whose acquisition or ownership is by inheritance.


                ARA ROCKS
                Ara Rock is located at Ara town, Nasarawa Local Government Area of the
                State. It is found at about 12km away from Nasarawa town and about
                220km away from Lafia the State Capital. The rock measures about 150
                metres from the ground surface. The Ara Rock, which stands
                magnificently as a tower facing the Ara town, is beautiful and
                fascinating in appearance. This rock attracts many people on a
                sightseeing visit to Ara town. Legends abound about the Ara rock. The
                settlers worship annually on top of the rock, which follows with a
                festival of cultural display.



                EGGON HILLS AND CAVES
                The Eggon Hills and caves are found in Nasarawa Eggon Local Government
                Area, they are range of hills over 300 metres at some peaks. They have
                the appearance of Kopjes and Inselbegs. Apart from the striking
                beautiful scenery they offer, they have so many historical sites with
                settlements. They also have geographical natural features and wildlife
                for tourism adventures. There are water springs and caves, which have
                great and interesting historical antecedents.


                Ekiti UI students plan Iyan Carnival
                FEDERATION of Ekiti State Students� Union, University of Ibadan, is
                planning to hold the first Ever Iyan Carnival in Nigeria. According to
                Mr. Dada Olu-David, the outgoing president of the Union, the
                Association has decided to expose the beauty in Iyan on a large scale
                so as to package it as tourism product.

                He revealed that the union has set up a committee which will be headed
                by Dr. A.S Jegede in mapping out activities for the carnival.
                �Henceforth, Iyan carnival will be the greatest event to be held in
                Univesity of Ibadan. You know that we are very proud of our cuisine and
                we shall not only celebrate it but make it a thing to venerate all over
                the world�.


                HOTEL INDUSTRY
                A number of standard Hotels are found in Lafia, the State Capital and
                other major towns. Prominent ones include Lafia Hotel and Lubona Hotel
                found in Lafia the State Capital. In Keffi town, is New Keffi Hotel and
                Gwaza Hotel etc. In Karu and mararaba Gurku about 3km to F.C.T. Abuja
                are criss park Hotel, Rosy Guest Inn, Cool Inn, Ado Guest Inn and
                others.

                Lafia Hotel is in Lafia the state Capital. The Hotel is today the best
                standard Hotel in the state Capital. It has enormous facilities to take
                care of all categories of visitors to the state. The Hotel is 3 star
                status and it is being managed by the state Hotels and Tourism Board.
                D�Rovans clocks 10
                THE beautiful D�Rovans Hotel, located on Ring-Road, Ibadan, Oyo State
                was conceived 10 years ago by Chief Francis Aiyegbeni.

                Though, there will be no song or drum this month of August, TTH learnt
                that a week long activities has been mapped out for December 2001.
                Congratulations Chief Aiyegbemi for this effort at boosting tourism in
                Oyo State.


                Abuja Sheraton revives Rugby
                � Slates international tournament for October
                IN its efforts to generate sport tourism traffic to Nigeria and Abuja
                in particular, the management of Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers, under
                Mr. Rajeev Gholan, has put in motion activities aimed at re-launching
                the game of Rugby.

                Towards this end, the Hotel is packaging the first ever International
                Rugby Tournament, to be held at Old Parades Ground, Area 10, Garki
                Abuja, in October 25-28, 2001.

                According to Mr. Alphonsus Alhassan, Director Sales and Marketing, the
                idea to re-launch Rugby was not borne out of economic interest, but to
                create the awareness and interest of sport loving Nigerians for the
                game; to expose the feat of Nigerians who have made names in the sport
                to their fellow men and to prepare the Nigeria teams for two major
                events to be held in 2003, that is, the 4th Rugby World Cup and the All
                Africa Games which has been scheduled for Abuja and where Rugby would
                be featured.

                He pointed out that Rugby was battling volleyball for No 2 sport in its
                rate of growth behind soccer, thus Nigeria and Nigerians should not be
                allowed to go and sleep, hence the urgent need to embrace and
                popularise the game.

                Mr. Alhassan revealed that, though Rugby seemed not so popular in
                Nigeria but it was introduced to the country by the colonialists in the
                1950s and Nigerian players have long been figures on the international
                stage for club and country.

                He said that, though players such as Martin Offia, Victor Ebogu and Ade
                Adebayo have won in Englands�s red rose embroidered jersey, unknown to
                their countrymen, thus, Abuja Sheraton is promoting this game as to
                breed home based stars and players.

                �You know there are some good teams in Nigeria despite the seemingly
                low awareness of the game in the country, Nigeria is still the
                defending champions of West-Africa. We have good 14 teams in Nigeria�
                Mr. Alhassan said.

                Mr. Alhassan also revealed that there was hope of Nigeria making waves
                in the game because the Nigeria Rugby Football Association (NRFA) which
                was founded in 1998 has recently been admitted into the International
                Rugby Board as the 93rd Rugby playing nations in the world. This, he
                said qualified Nigeria to play in the various Rugby world competition
                organised by the IRB.

                �Hence, all hands must be on deck to boost the morale of the Nigeria
                teams, to sponsor the event, and do everything humanly and sport like
                possible to make the international Rugby Tournament a grand success�.

                Mr. Alhassan who is the project cor-ordinator revealed that sponsors
                will have access to a wide range of packages designed uniquely to meet
                their requirements and that such interested sponsors should contact him
                in earnest.


                NASARAWA: Tourism beauty of a state
                Nasarawa State �The home of solid minerals� situates within the Benue
                and Plateau highlands and very close to the Federal Capital of Nigeria
                (Abuja).

                In Nasarawa State, you have some of the most beautiful sites and
                landscape in the world. These include the beautiful hills, striking and
                unique natural lakes, well built and fascinating Doma Dan, The
                magnificent Farin Ruwa water falls, Springs, Rivers and Wild-life. The
                people are very hospitable and have a very rich cultural antecedents.

                The State is made up of various ethnic groups who have common history
                and share similar social and cultural ideologies. The ethnic groups
                include Afo, Agatu, Akye, Alago, Baribari, Bassa, Egbura, Eggon,
                Fulani, Gade, Gbagyi, Gwandara, Hausa, Jukun, Kanuri, Mada, Mighili,
                Ninzom, Arum, Rinderi, Yeskwa, Tiv.

                Nasarawa State is located at the centre of the middle belt region. The
                State shares common borders with the Federal Capital territory Abuja on
                the West, Kaduna State at the South-West and Kogi State on the South.
                Nasarawa was carved out of Plateau State on 1st Oct. 1996, with the
                Capital in Lafia.


                PEPERUWA LAKE:
                Eperuwa Lake is an elongated natural lake situated at the North-West of
                Assakio town in Lafia Local Government area of the State. It is about
                50km away from Lafia the state capital with 6km drive on Assakio Tunga
                Nupawa road.

                The Lake surface is estimated at over 7km at length and 3.8km wide at
                each point. The Peperuwa Lake is famous for water acquatics such as
                Manatees, fish, hippo-po-tamous, water ducks and geese. The surrounding
                is of thick beautiful vegetation with animals and reptiles.

                Tourism activities on the lake include boating, swimming, sport
                fishing, picnicking, game viewing and camping. A tourist Holiday resort
                is proposed for the lake by the State Government.



                El-Amin students commend Cazogie Travel
                THE students of El-Amin International School, Minna, Niger State, have
                showered a whale of commendations and praise on the management and
                staff of Cazogie Travel and Tours for successfully taking them on tour
                of France and Spain.

                The students, who arrived Nigeria some days ago revealed that the
                summer tour of France and Spain packaged for them by Cazogie Travel was
                a turning point in their lives.

                �Apart from visiting those exotic places in France and Spain, we were
                exposed to children from different background whom we exchanged and
                compared note with. To cap it all, we studied French language in a
                conducive and stimulating environment which enhanced its
                comprehension�, said one of the student.

                Another student of the school, who took part in the tour revealed that
                �it was my first time out of this country, and I was surprised to
                discover how good I am at socialization and interaction. I am happy, I
                made a lot of friends, whom we have started talking since I came back.
                I am looking forward for such trips.� Another student of the school
                was full of praise and thanks to Mrs. Carol Ogunbufunmi, CEO, Cazogie
                Travels, for the motherly care and affection.

                �I never knew I was far away from my parents. Aunty Carol took very
                good care of us. We all enjoyed the fun, merriment and beauty of France
                and Spain,� it was first class package of fun and educational tour.
                There was nothing to complain about.�

                DOWTW appoints Peacock agent
                AN international travel organisation, Destinations of the World (DOTW),
                has appointed the Ikeja, Lagos-based Peacock Travel and Tours its agent
                in Nigeria. With the appointment, it means that Peacock Travel and
                Tours now has the DOTW�s franchise to offer the Electronic Travel
                Manual (ETM) services to the Nigerian travelling public.

                The General Manager of Peacock Travels, Mrs. Bunmi Phillips who broke
                the news, said: �the Electronic Travel Manual is an application that
                enables Peacock Travels to maintain a database from which it provides
                instant travel-related services and information about countries,
                cities, hotels, apartments, car hire, transfers, tours and other travel
                related services to intending travelers.�

                She explained how the Electronic Travel Manual works thus: �It helps an
                intending traveler to get every information about his destination. If
                it is about hotel for instance, the ETM gives the traveler detailed
                information about various categories of hotels � the location,
                facilities services and rates. And through electronic devices, the
                traveler is even availed the opportunity of viewing the various details
                of the hotels, displayed on the screen.�

                According to her, an intending traveler can make bookings and
                reservations through the DOTW agents. �The traveler will receive his
                reservation documents within same day. DOTW is a reputable
                international travel organisation and any travel document or advisory
                issued by it is widely accepted and respected, even by Embassies and
                High Commissions�; she said.


                --------------------------

                Minister harps on car loan for workers
                Isaac Shobayo, Jos
                THE Federal Government has made it mandatory that all qualified public
                servants should be granted car loans.

                The Minister of Employ-ment, Labour and Produc-tivity, Alhaji Musa
                Gwadabe, who disclosed this on Tuesday at a national workshop on
                �Work Ethics for Organisa-tional Effectiveness� held in Jos, said the
                step became necessary because the ultimate aim of all endeavours for
                improving productivity was to upgrade and improve the quality of life.


                Alhaji Gwadabe explained that the government�s gesture would enable
                civil servants become proud owners of their own cars which he said
                would go a long way to alleviate the problem of mobility and at the
                same time enhance their social status.
                The minister declared that the government had made productivity
                and hardwork the cornerstone of the admini-stration in order to
                strengthen the nation�s industrial relation systems, adding that
                govern-ment was making con-certed efforts to lay down basic guidelines
                for smooth industrial relations. In her address, the Director-General,
                National Productivity Centre, Abuja, Dr. (Mrs.) Sefiya T. Ajayi,
                pointed out that an organisation must be guided by some ethics, a body
                of moral principles and rules of conduct in order to enhance optimal
                utilisation of resources.

                Dr. Ajayi, who said most of the organisations in Nigeria was
                bedevilled by poor work ethics stated that it was against that
                background that the National Productivity Centre, in collaboration with
                the Michael Imodu Institute for Labour Studies, organised the
                workshop. According to her, the workshop was designed to make the
                participants appreciate the importance of cordial labour-magagement
                relations and its implication for organisational effectiveness among
                others.


                --------------------------

                Scientists make computer baby
                ISRAELI scientists have invented a computer �child� who like any
                18-month-old toddler, likes bananas, toys and plays in the park. He
                especially enjoys bedtime stories. But while other children are flesh
                and blood, Hal is actually a chain of algorithms - a computer programme
                that is being raised as a child and taught to speak through
                experimential learning in the same way as human children.

                �He is a curious, very clever child, someone that always wants to know
                more,� said neuro-linguist, Dr. Anat Treister-Goren, who is Hal�s
                �mommy� and readily admits her attachment. �Some kids are more
                predictable than others. He would be the surprising type,� she said.
                Treister-Goren talks to Hal and reads him stories in much the same way
                a mother teaches her young child to learn about colours, food and
                animals.

                �I build his world on daily basis,� explained Treister-Goren. She
                heads the training department at the Israeli-based Artificial
                Intelligence (AI), where she inputs information and language ability
                through conversations with Hal and works with computer experts who
                fine-tune his algorithms to enhance performance.

                The privately owned company, which is run by Israeli high-tech
                entrepreneur, Jack Dunietz, aims over the next 10 years to develop Hal
                into an �adult� computer programme that can do what no programme has
                ever done before -- pass the Turing test. The British mathematician,
                Alan Turing, is one of the founders of computer science and the father
                of artificial intelligence. More than 50 years ago, he predicted the
                advent of �thinking machines�.

                But in Turing�s time, computers were slow and cumbersome devices,
                utterly incapable of fulfilling his vision. Turing, who died in 1954,
                left behind the benchmark test for an intelligent computer -- it must
                fool a person into thinking it is human. No computer programme has ever
                succeeded.

                If, or when one does, it will open a pandora�s box of ethical and
                philosophical questions. After all, if a computer is perceived to be as
                intelligent as a person, what is the difference between a smart
                computer and a human being? Today�s chatbots -- a computer programme
                that has a persona and a name and chats with you -- are incapable of
                dealing with changes in context or abstract ideas and succeed only at
                momentarily tricking people regurgitating pre-programmed answers.

                But Hal has fooled child language experts into thinking he is a toddler
                with an understanding of about 200 words and a 50-word vocabulary which
                he uses in short, infantile sentences. �Ball now park mommy,� Hal
                tells Treister-Goren, then asks her to pack bananas for a trip to the
                park, adding that �monkeys like bananas,� a detail he picked up from a
                story on animals in a safari park.

                When Hal was �born�, he was hardwired with nothing more than the
                letters of the alphabet and a preference for rewards -- a positive
                outcome -- over punishments -- a negative one.



                New York bans cell phones
                ATTORNEY Jane Wagner was so busy talking on her cell phone while
                driving that when she stuck something she said though it was a deer. It
                wasn�t until the next morning, when she heard that a hit-and-run driver
                had killed a 15-year-old girl, that Wagner said she realized what she
                had done.

                Whether Wagner was making work-related calls when the accident occurred
                is a matter for the courts to decide, but a $30 million lawsuit against
                her firm is causing some employers to restrict the use of cell phones
                on the road, ahead of legislation by most states.

                �The recent lawsuit focused our attention, but it�s a common-sense
                safety concern,� said David Fuss, a partner at Wilkes Artis, one of
                several Washington, D.C.-based law firms that have curbs on cell phone
                use.

                �Our policy is that personnel are not to conduct business while using
                cell pones, unless they pull over and stop or use a hands-free device,�
                said Fuss.

                In June, New York became the first state to ban the use of hand-held
                cell phones. Curbs are pending in 42 other states. Japan, Israel,
                Portugal and Singapore are among 23 countries with restrictions.

                Chemical companies had long restricted what drivers could do behind the
                wheel.

                �Safely operating a motor vehicle requires a driver�s total attention,�
                reads DuPont Co.�s personnel policy. Praxair, a $5-billion industrial
                gas maker, banned cell phone use in 1999.



                ----------------------------

                State of our higher institutions
                I wish to draw the attention of Nigerians to the deteriorating state of
                our institutions of higher learning. It is sad that our institutions
                of higher learning have become a den of robbers, a seat of crime and
                violence, and all sorts of social vices. All these are made possible
                through unproductive lecturers who claim to be interested in reshaping
                and remoulding the characters of their students. Investigations
                conducted recently, revealed that lecturers� offices have
                metamorphorsed into boutiques where all sorts of illegal business
                transactions are being carried out. Lecturers with dead conscience have
                discouraged hardwork which had greatly affected productivity in the
                workforce. Bad eggs come out in flying colours because they �know their
                way� while hardworking students always manage to secure lower credit.

                Again, selling of handout is now the order of the day. Failure to buy
                means one is preparing to fail. Lecturers have forgotten that fingers
                are not equal. Some parents can afford to give their children/wards
                money for handouts while others find it very hard even to carry out
                their basic parential obligations let alone pay for handouts. No
                doubt, the provision of handouts is a good avenue for serious students
                to prepare ahead of the class but it should not be made mandatory. It
                is also a pity that some parents still live in the dark age. They hand
                over their daughters custody, to �Mr. or Prof.� to take good care of
                them and monitor her movements but they are unaware they are
                ignorantly exposing their daughter to the field of prostitution. Such
                lecturers who take advantage of girls put in their care will be caught
                up by nemesis one day.

                In view of the above, I therefore appeal to both the Minister of
                Education and Commissioners for Education at various states to please
                embark on unscheduled visits to our institutions of higher learning
                and see what is going on in each department. I also feel a body should
                be instituted for such visitations of our various campuses and if such
                body is existing, it should be reactivated.

                I also appeal to the government (Federal and State) to improve the
                working condition of lecturers. I belong to the school of thought that
                says bad working condition encourages corruption in all spheres of
                human endeavours.

                Adeomi Jimmy Adekolajo,
                Osogbo, Osun State.

                Open letter to Gov Adesina
                I wish to join a host of others in congratulating Your Excellency for
                the achievements recorded so far in Oyo State. I pray the almighty God
                will continue to endow you with Solomonic wisdom with which to tackle
                the tasks ahead, for, in the words of Shakespeare�s Macbeth, the
                greatest is behind. Your Excellency, I chose to make this appeal to
                you after reading the pathetic story of a young school leaver in the
                Saturday Punch of August 11, 2001. Since I do not have a cutting of
                that story with me, I will summarise it here as follows:

                The boy lost his father early in life. The mother was not in a position
                to fend for him. He took his destiny in his own hand by fending for
                himself and was able to complete secondary education, even when he had
                to live in an uncompleted building. After secondary school education,
                the boy went out looking for job that was not there. At last, he was
                invited for interview for a casual job. But there was still a hurdle on
                his way � no transport fare.

                As a way of looking for money at all cost with which to attend the
                interview, he had to steal a neighbour�s wrapper to sell. He was caught
                in the act and charged to court. The law took its natural course and,
                the boy was found guilty and sentenced to six months imprisonment with
                the option of ONE THOUSAND NAIRA. Unable to pay the fine, the boy was
                marched to prison. That story spoilt my breakfast on Saturday, 11th
                August. I thought of that cruel fate befalling a poor Nigerian. I
                thought of the desperation that led him into crime. I thought of the
                children of the mighty who have things going easy for them. And I
                concluded that the nation cannot afford to make a hardened criminal out
                of that boy for, if something is not done to help him out, the tendency
                is there for him to transfer that aggression to the larger society in
                the nearest future after he must have undergone �initiation� in prison
                for six months.

                Your Excellency, I am pleading with you in the name of the almighty
                God to please grant that boy clemency and rehabilitate him. Sir, think
                of what Barrister Niyi Akintola would have been today without the mercy
                of his photographer-master (Saturday Tribune, August 11, 2001). Your
                Excellency, that boy within the four walls of a prison yard can be as
                useful to the society as Niyi Akintola if he is helped out of his
                predicament by you. Please, in the name of God, help the boy out.

                May God continue to be with you and guide all your thoughts and
                actions.

                Remi Adegbola,
                Crown-Rem Communications,
                Basorun-Okere villa, Agoro village,
                Monatan, Ibadan, Oyo State.

                Ekiti on the rise
                By David Ajiboye
                OF COURSE, one of the few states, if not the only state that has been
                able to stand the test of time in the attempts at moving Nigeria
                forward within the ambit of democracy is Ekiti State. The man behind
                it all is no other person than Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, a nexus
                in the Alliance for Democracy (AD) that connects various elements and
                interests in the party as far as politics is concerned. By his good
                conduct as a governor, �Niyi Adebayo has been able to completely absorb
                erring insinuations that men in his age bracket had not reached the
                peak of their usefulness and hence, could not serve the government of
                the day maturely.

                Adebayo, categorised essentially as a green horn, has received several
                knocks from cynics out of a warped contention that he, and some others
                like him, are too young to be found in the corridors of power, but with
                his achievements he has been able to prove to them that age has nothing
                to do with administration. Hence, he was undaunted. Adebayo, from his
                day one in office has, through his per
                (Message over 64 KB, truncated)
              • Nubi Achebo
                THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2001 Varsities to fix lecturers’ salaries •As FG bans satellite campuses Jacob Segun Olatunji, Abuja THE Federal Government has
                Message 7 of 29 , Aug 31, 2001
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                • 0 Attachment
                  THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2001

                  Varsities to fix lecturers� salaries
                  �As FG bans satellite campuses
                  Jacob Segun Olatunji, Abuja
                  THE Federal Government has empowered the governing council of each of
                  the nation�s universities to determine the conditions of service of all
                  categories of staff of their respective institutions.

                  Education Minister, Dr. Babalola Borishade, who dropped the hint in
                  Abuja on Tuesday while inaugurating the implementation committees on
                  the Federal Government/university staff unions� agreements, said that
                  this was in line with the autonomy being granted to the universities.

                  Following this development, central negotiations for conditions of
                  service, including salaries, by the staff unions of the nation�s
                  universities, had been prohibited.

                  The staff unions affected are: Senior Staff Association of Nigerian
                  Universities (SSANU), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU),
                  Association of University Technologists of Nigeria (ASUTON) and the
                  Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions
                  (NASU).

                  He said that the delay in inaugurating the committees to implement the
                  agreements reached with the four staff unions was to allow other unions
                  conclude their negotiations with the government.

                  According to him, �It was deemed expedient not to inaugurate the
                  committees piecemeal as soon as a union concluded its negotiation, but
                  to wait until all negotiations are concluded since you are members of
                  the same university community.�

                  Dr. Borishade, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary of the
                  Ministry, Mr. Geoffery Enukora, pointed out that in carrying out the
                  series of negotiations, the government negotiating team was mindful of
                  the resolve of the present administration to grant autonomy to the
                  universities.

                  According to him, �under the new dispensation, governing councils have
                  been granted wide-ranging powers, among which is the power to determine
                  the conditions of service of the university staff.�

                  Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities
                  Commission (NUC), Professor Peter Okebukola, had described the
                  inauguration of the implementation committees as a dawn of a new era in
                  the anal of the nation�s university system.

                  Professor Okebukola, who expressed optimism that full implementation of
                  the agreements would bring back the nation�s universities� lost glory,
                  appealed that its implementation should not be seen as business for
                  government alone, but a task that must be done by all stakeholders in
                  the university education system.

                  Meanwhile, the Federal Government on Wednesday announced a blanket ban
                  on operations of satellite campuses and outreach centres by the
                  nation�s universities.
                  Also affected by the order are sandwich centres of the
                  universities where various degrees are being offered outside the parent
                  universities.

                  Addressing newsmen in Abuja on the decisions of the Federal Executive
                  Council (FEC) and that of the National Council on Education (NCE) which
                  met a forthnight ago in Enugu, Professor Okebukola said that the
                  action became necessary because of the bastardization of university
                  education in the country by the satellite campuses.

                  On the fate of the students already enrolled at such centres, Professor
                  Okebukola said that they were on their own as the Federal Government
                  had been consistent in its disapproval of the operation of such
                  outlets in the country.

                  While declaring that the matter is now a foreclosed issue, Professor
                  Okebukola said that a task force, headed by Professor Placid Njoku, a
                  director in NUC, which also has all state commissioners of education as
                  members, had been put in place to ensure that all such existing outlets
                  were shut immediately.

                  According to him, the task force would use every available civil method
                  to carry out the order, stressing that if not for the democratic rule
                  in the country, the NUC would have used force to ensure strict
                  compliance with the directive since it was issued last year by the
                  Federal Executive Council (FEC).

                  �You are all aware of the order of the Federal Executive Council
                  directing NUC to close down all satellite campuses and outreach
                  centres. The mandatory statutory notice of 60 days given to all
                  universities operating satellite campuses and outreach centres to close
                  down had expired since the beginning of April this year.�

                  He said that in order to secure a national consensus on the matter, the
                  National Council on Education, which is the highest policy making body
                  on education in the country, at its 48th meeting held in Enugu,
                  mandated the NUC to enforce the directive.

                  He stated that the Senate of each university now has the opportunity to
                  wind down the operations of such satellite campuses.

                  Professor Okebukola urged all affected universities to ensure strict
                  compliance with the new directive as, according to him, defaulters
                  would be made to face the full weight of the law.

                  The NUC boss declared that already, all the Vice-Chancellors of the
                  nation�s universities (Federal, states and private), had been informed
                  in writing about the development and the penalties awaiting defaulters
                  which he declined to mention.

                  He said to meet up with the increasing demands for the acquisition of
                  university education by Nigerians which prompted them to be patronising
                  such illegal outlets, the Federal Government would ensure the take-off
                  of the National Open University in the country before the end of the
                  year.


                  --------------------------

                  Aikhomu quizzed in Abuja
                  By Lasisi Olagunju
                  FORMER Military Vice President, Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, was on
                  Tuesday quizzed by top operatives of the State Security Service (SSS)
                  in Abuja. Admiral Aikhomu, according to a reliable security source,
                  was at the SSS headquarters between 11 am. and 12:30 pm on Tuesday,
                  where he was quizzed on some undisclosed security matters.

                  At the end of the encounter which the source described as frank and
                  cordial, Admiral Aikhomu was said to have pledged to work towards the
                  sustenance of the nation�s democracy and the peaceful co-existence of
                  its people.

                  The source said Admiral Aikhomu promised to conduct himself in a
                  statesmanly manner and that he would not do anything to threaten the
                  nation�s democracy. The SSS, it was learnt, also rescinded its
                  decision preventing the former Vice President from travelling out of
                  the country. Last Wednesday, Admiral Aikhomu was prevented from
                  travelling abroad by men of the SSS.

                  It was gathered that Aikhomu�s stoppage was in connection with his
                  invitation by the SSS in Edo State to clear some issues on the Peoples
                  Democratic Party�s (PDP), an invitation which the former Vice President
                  was said to have ignored and opted to travel out.
                  Aikhomu, it was gathered, told the security operatives that he
                  was travelling to one of the Western countries to attend the wedding
                  ceremony of one of his children resident abroad.

                  He however, vowed to take legal action against the Federal Government,
                  alleging violation of his rights to free movement.

                  But the Department of State Services in a statement the following day,
                  said the conduct of its operatives in disallowing Aikhomu from
                  travelling abroad was in accordance with due process and laws of the
                  land.

                  It exonerated the Presidency, adding, �no one in the Presidency ordered
                  any security action in respect of the former Vice President�.

                  Part of the statement reads: �The department of state services would
                  not wish to join issues with the respected senior statesman. Suffice
                  it to say, however, that the incident at the airport was stage-managed
                  to ridicule constituted authority. Vice Admiral Aikhomu (rtd.), was
                  aware of an outstanding security investigation which he had stalled
                  deliberately, without any regard for due process. The respected
                  retired Admiral considered that it was more important to travel abroad
                  for a social event than to respond to a security enquiry�.


                  -----------------------

                  FG seeks N11b loan for NEPA
                  Femi Ojewuyi, Abuja
                  IN a bid to meet the December 2001 target of providing constant
                  electricity to all parts of the country, the Federal Government is to
                  secure $100 million (N11.5 billion) loan from the International
                  Development Association (IDA) to enhance power generation,
                  transmis-sion and distribution nationwide.

                  The loan was approved on Wednesday by the Federal Executive Council
                  (FEC) which met in Abuja with Vice President Atiku Abubakar presiding.

                  The council also approved a similar loan of $204 million three years
                  ago, to be taken from the IDA to aid the Federal Government�s
                  privatisation programme. Economic Matters Minister, Chief Vincent
                  Ogbulafor, who addressed a joint press conference with the Minister of
                  State for Power and Steel, Alhaji Murtala Aliyu, said the N11.5 billion
                  loan was to address three aspects of the power sector.

                  These include transmission which gulps the lion share of $85.69
                  million, institution development which gets $12.34 million and
                  environmental institution which is allocated $1.7 million. Chief
                  Ogbulafor explained further that the loan was interest free, but would
                  attract a service charge of .075 per cent.
                  The council also approved a contract of N906.75 million for the
                  purchase of NEPA transformers for the Central District Area of Abuja to
                  enable foreign embassies allocated plots to relocate to their various
                  sites.

                  The contract, according to Chief Ogbulafor, was awarded to Aphcon Power
                  Company Limited, and is expected to be completed within the next 18
                  months.

                  Another contract was also awarded at the cost of N395.29 million, for
                  the provision of street lights in the city of Kano. The contract, which
                  the Minister said, was also to be completed in 18 months, was awarded
                  to ASETEC Limited.

                  Contributing, Alhaji Aliyu who reiterated President Olusegun Obasanjo�s
                  promise to provide nationwide constant power supply by the end of this
                  year, explained that only power distribution would be privatized while
                  transmission would be commercialized.

                  The Council also deliberated on a memorandum from the Culture and
                  Tourism Ministry, on the proposed establishment of a National Institute
                  for Hospitality and Tourism, while it decided that the Minister of
                  Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige, should
                  forward to the National Assembly, the draft bill on the proposed
                  institution for legislative action.


                  ------------------------



                  Foreign airlines shun panel on overbooking
                  �Supo Atobatele, Lagos
                  FOREIGN airline opera-tors in the country have refused to appear
                  before the special committee set up by the Aviation Minister, Dr.
                  (Mrs.) Kema Chikwe, to look into the issue of overbooking of
                  passengers on both domestic and international routes.

                  According to reports, virtually all the foreign carriers, except Air
                  France, had refused to assist the committee in its findings and
                  recommendations.

                  Nigerian Tribune reliably gathered on Wednesday that the affected
                  airlines were using flimsy excuses to evade appearing before the
                  six-man committee headed by NCAA Director General, Zakari Haruna.
                  The airlines are British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, Alitalia,
                  Sabena, Swiss Air, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Ghana Airways, Air
                  Gabon, Air Afrique, Kenya Airways, among others.

                  A member of the committee was quoted as saying that the foreign
                  airlines believed that they could walk into the Aviation Minister�s
                  office and Aso Rock and achieve their aims. It was also reported that
                  the airlines were obviously afraid of possible exposure on their
                  illegal activities in Nigeria as more of them were not registered as
                  companies in Nigeria.

                  Nigeria was said to have lost millions of naira as tax from these
                  airlines reported to have dominated the country�s aviation market. It
                  was learnt that the airlines were now selling almost 45 per cent of
                  their tickets as against the normal rules in the air transport
                  industry.


                  ------------------------

                  Senate rejects ID card for elections
                  Jacob Segun Olatunji, Abuja
                  THE National Assembly on Wednesday declared that the proposed National
                  Identity Cards would not be a condition for participating or voting in
                  future elections in the country as earlier endorsed by the Federal
                  Executive Council.

                  Addressing newsmen in Abuja the chairman Senate Committee on
                  Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Senator Oserhiemen
                  Osunbor, urged Nigerians not to lose sleep over the pronouncement of
                  the Federal Government that National Identity Cards would be used in
                  future elections.

                  He said that as far as the Senate was concerned, �voters cards, and not
                  the National Identity Cards, would be used in the 2002 council
                  elections, 2003 general elections and in future elections.�

                  According to him, �the electoral bill of 2001 which considerations had
                  reached an advanced stage, makes provisions for the issuance of a
                  voters� card to every registered voter which must be presented to the
                  polling officer before voting during the election.�

                  While assuring Nigerians that the National Assembly would ensure that
                  the voters cards would be used in the next elections, Senator Osunbor
                  pointed out that there was no assurance that the National Identity Card
                  project would have been ready then. He said that the National Assembly
                  was very alive to its constitutional duties and as such would not allow
                  illegality to go unchallenged or stopped.
                  Internal Affairs Minister, Chief Sunday Afolabi, had, after a
                  Federal Executive Council meeting (FEC), declared that National
                  Identity Card had endorsed for future elections in the country. Since
                  the pronouncement there have been divergent views from various ethnic
                  groups which support and opposed the adoption.

                  Abuja the chairman Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral
                  Commission (INEC), Senator Oserhiemen Osunbor, urged Nigerians not to
                  lose sleep over the pronouncement of the Federal Government that
                  National Identity Cards would be used in future elections. He said
                  that as far as the Senate was concerned, �voters cards, and not the
                  National Identity Cards, would be used in the 2002 council elections,
                  2003 general elections and in future elections.�

                  According to him, �the electoral bill of 2001 which considerations had
                  reached an advanced stage, makes provisions for the issuance of a
                  voters� card to every registered voter which must be presented to the
                  polling officer before voting during the election.�

                  While assuring Nigerians that the National Assembly would ensure that
                  the voters cards would be used in the next elections, Senator Osunbor
                  pointed out that there was no assurance that the National Identity Card
                  project would have been ready then. He said that the National Assembly
                  was very alive to its constitutional duties and as such would not allow
                  illegality to go unchallenged or stopped.

                  Internal Affairs Minister, Chief Sunday Afolabi, had, after a Federal
                  Executive Council meeting (FEC), declared that National Identity Card
                  had endorsed for future elections in the country. Since the
                  pronouncement there have been divergent views from various ethnic
                  groups which support and opposed the adoption.


                  ----------------------

                  Ebonyi Gov, Speaker reply Anyim
                  �Reps back Anyim
                  �Senate rejects state of emergency motion on Ebonyi
                  By Gill Nsa-Abasi, Femi Ojewuyi and Jacob Segun Olatunji
                  EBONYI State governor, Dr. Sam Egwu, has expressed surprise at the
                  political differences between him and the Senate President, Anyim Pius
                  Anyim.

                  Governor Egwu, who was speaking at the Government House, Abakaliki,
                  with the Abakaliki branch of Mgbo Development Union, noted that the
                  political crisis was normal.

                  He maintained that having the number three citizen in the country
                  should portend additional blessing to Ebonyi people , but regretted
                  that such blessings were yet to be achieved.

                  Governor Egwu, however, expressed optimism that the current
                  misunderstanding would soon give way to a better relationship between
                  him and Anyim , adding that both the Senate President and himself had
                  a common objective of developing Ebonyi State.

                  The governor said that he was encouraged by the solid support of Ebonyi
                  people from all walks of life, and assured that he was determined to
                  deliver more democracy dividends to Ebonyi electorate.

                  Earlier, the Mgbo Development Union had attributed the political
                  differences between Governor Egwu and the Abuja group to acts of
                  jealousy aimed at distracting the governor from his laudable
                  programmes.

                  The union, which spoke through its Secretary General, Mr. Omogo Samuel,
                  advised Governor Egwu to continue to focus his attention on his
                  people-oriented programmes rather than allowing detractors to push
                  him around.

                  Also, the Speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Hon. Ucha
                  Julius Ucha, on the floor of the House on Wednesday, said Anyim should
                  check his security apparatus because while Ebonyi State was peaceful
                  and that the security report to the Senate President probably alerted
                  of plans to assassinate him in his home state, which prompted heavy
                  police presence anytime he was coming home.

                  The Speaker maintained that security chiefs could, atimes, make one
                  restless by creating all manners of insecurity and even stopping one
                  from going out. �Signals could even be drawn that members of MASSOB
                  were in Ebonyi and that the place was unsafe, whereas it was false�,
                  Hon. Ucha added.

                  He decried the quantum of police presence in the state anytime the
                  Senate President was billed to visit the state, adding that such
                  police presence was always intimidating and embarrassing.

                  The Speaker noted that such policemen who were brought from outside the
                  state, were not as friendly with the people as men of the state
                  police command.

                  Referring to the recent arrest of politicians in the state by
                  policemen from Abuja, Hon. Ucha said the series of arrests was still
                  going on as some PDP chieftains in the state were still being trailed,
                  arrested and taken to Abuja.

                  In another development, the House of Representatives on Wednesday
                  unanimously moved against the Ebonyi State governor, Chief Sam Egwu,
                  condemning the governor�s perceived witch-hunting of the Senate
                  President, Anyim Pius Anyim, an indigene of the state.

                  In a motion passed by an overwhelming majority, the House also called
                  on President Olusegun Obasanjo to direct the Inspector-General of
                  Police, to cause an investigation to be carried out into the lingering
                  Ebonyi crisis and attempts on the Senate President�s life, in order to
                  bring the culprits to book.
                  �Whereas this despicable act was shown on the network news
                  programme of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), alleging the
                  assassination of the Senate President, and whereas the Senate President
                  is the Head of the National Assembly, this House do resolve that the
                  alleged attempt on the life of the Senate President was condemnable and
                  that the President be called upon to investigate the matter,� said
                  Deputy Speaker, Chibudom Nwuche, who read the motion before putting it
                  to vote.

                  Earlier, Speaker Ghali Umar Na�Abba, who was presiding before leaving
                  for another official engagement at the Women Development Centre,
                  supported the motion moved by Hon. Patrick Dumi (Delta), to the effect
                  that the House intervene in the crisis.

                  Na�Abba said: �What I saw on TV yesterday was quite frightening to
                  democracy. States in Nigeria should not be regarded as personal
                  estates. Nigerians would not take that, and we must not take that. We
                  will not condone any governor who uses state apparatus to suppress
                  other citizens. We will do all we can to stop this, and I will lend my
                  support to any move to do so.�

                  The Speaker�s remarks which saved the motion from its opponents, was
                  preceded by objection from Hon. Francis Aladejebi (Ekiti), who faulted
                  the procedure by which his colleague, Dumi, moved the motion. He
                  insisted that since it was brought under a matter of urgent public
                  importance, it should be stated for proper debate today.

                  His observation was objected to by Hon. Morris Ibekwe, who argued that
                  allegations of attempts at the life of the third citizen were grave
                  and, therefore, must not be treated with levity.

                  He was supported by Hon. Tony Anyanwu, who reframed the motion and
                  urged the House to discard its rules in order to give the motion
                  accelerated hearing.

                  He said the fact that the NTA showed some rented thugs, carrying a
                  coffin in the Government House in Ebonyi, purportedly meant for the
                  funeral of the Senate President, did not only confirm Anyim�s claims,
                  but also desecrated the person and office of the Senate President.

                  Hon. Efeobi, on his part, noted that the high-handedness of some state
                  governors should be condemned in its totality, adding that failing to
                  do so would embolden other governors to employ thugs to way-lay
                  perceived opponents.

                  The Senate on Wednesday rejected a motion urging it to compel
                  President Olusegun Obasanjo to declare a state of emergency in Ebonyi
                  State.

                  Moving the motion as a matter of urgent national importance, Senator
                  Vicent Osulor (Ebonyi Central), a close associate of Senator Anyim,
                  urged the Senate to impose a state of emergency in Ebonyi following the
                  recent �mock burial� of the Senate President by sponsored agents.

                  He averred that the act carried out by some sponsored protesters with
                  mock coffin of Senator Anyim was an open invitation to anarchy. He
                  said already there had been a total breakdown of law and order in
                  Ebonyi State in recent time.

                  Supporting his motion with Section 305(3c) of the 199 constitution,
                  Senator Osubor said that the crisis in the state had reached a peak and
                  only a state of emergency would restore normalcy in the state.

                  However, Senator Saidu Dansadau (Zamfara State) moved a counter motion
                  and appealed to the Senate to throw out the motion and allow an Ad-hoc
                  committee to look into the crisis and report back to the Senate.

                  Senator Dansadu, who advised that the matter should be handled with
                  care, said that similar cases happened in Kaduna, Nassarawa and Lagos
                  states and that a state of emergency was never declared in any of the
                  states.


                  -------------------------

                  World Bank to give N1b grant for Agric Bank�s take-off
                  Steve Ojo, Ado-Ekiti
                  ARRANGEMENTS have been concluded by the World Bank to release $100
                  million (about N1 billion) grant towards the take-off of Agro-Success
                  Bank Plc early next year.

                  The new bank which would have its headquarters in Ido-Ekiti, Ekiti
                  State, was being planned to take care of the interest of farmers all
                  over the country.

                  Besides, a N100 million loan is being worked out with the Nigerian
                  Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB) for
                  disbursement to farmers through various cooperative societies.

                  Speaking with newsmen in Ido-Ekiti on Monday, the principal consultant
                  of FHT Ventures, a private agricultural firm spearheading the project,
                  Mr. Olubunmi Faboro, said this grant would be used to the advantage of
                  farmers nationwide. Faboro said that officials of the World Bank
                  would be in Ekiti soon to assess the facilities on ground including
                  the major farm settlements.
                  When it eventually took off, the bank, he said, would be a public
                  liability company with branches all over the country, adding that it
                  would be subscribed to by farmers nationwide through their various
                  cooperative societies.

                  �The grant, which we are negotiating with the assistance of the
                  Federal Ministry of Finance, will be used to set up demonstration farms
                  in all the local government areas of the country�.

                  The demonstration farms, according to Faboro would serve as avenues
                  to keep farmers abreast of new farming methods as well as other means
                  of boosting food production.

                  Already, he said a pilot farm settlement had been established in
                  Orin-Ekiti while a farmers� market aimed at eradicating middlemen would
                  be commissioned in Ido-Ekiti next week.

                  �All we are trying to do is to ensure that all the farmers are actively
                  engaged in the process of mechanised farming and that they form
                  cooperative societies to enable them reap the benefit of the
                  profession:�


                  ---------------------------

                  Chevron awards N1.2b contract to indigenous firm
                  Martins Ayankola, Lagos
                  CHEVRON Nigerian Limited (CNL) has awarded a $12 million (over N1.2
                  billion) contract to an indigenous company, Transcoastal Nigeria
                  Limited. The three-year contract is for the fabrication and loud-out of
                  standard off-shore well platforms under CNL�s on-going well programme.
                  According to Chevron, Transcoastal got the job after a
                  pre-qualification exercise and competitive bidding of process that
                  included seven other contactors.

                  A statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday and signed by the company�s
                  General Manager, Government and Private Affairs, Mr. Sola Omole, said,
                  �under the contract, Transcoastal has already been called out for the
                  fabrication of four helidecks in NNPC/Chevron�s Isan Field, using
                  locally sourced materials as a further demonstration of the NPC/Chevron
                  Joint Venture commitment to local content development�. Recently, five
                  other indigenous companies in the oil service sector, won drilling
                  jobs worth over N2 billion, while two others got sub contracts that
                  would be executed in partnership with a foreign company.

                  �Also as pat of its programme to promote local capacity utilisation and
                  the development of indigenous business in the oil industry, the
                  company, earlier this year, organised local content development seminar
                  and fair in Lagos� , Chevron said. Under its local content
                  development policy, Chevron said it makes deliberate provisions for
                  full and fair opportunities for competent local forms.

                  Maths centre holds conference
                  THE National Mathematical Centre (NMC) Abuja will hold a two-day
                  national conference for research Scientists in the field of
                  Computational Mathematics and Applications from Friday, August 30, to
                  Saturday, September 1, at the Merit House, Nigeria National Merit
                  Award Secretariat, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja.

                  The conference, which is the second to be organised by the Mathematics
                  Programme of the Centre this year, will focus on the research papers
                  designed to generate questions that would be collected, discussed and
                  used to determine new research directions for conference participants.
                  It will equally serve as a forum for sharing ideas on the nation�s
                  quest for technological breakthrough through computational mathematics
                  and applications.

                  Papers to be discussed will include some contributions to computational
                  mathematics, heuristic approach to intelligent systems, controllability
                  of retarded and neutral system via the attainable set, a continuous
                  numerous method for improved performance in the block solution of
                  second order ordinary differential equations, and model reduction and
                  simplification of large scale systems.

                  Resources scientists who will present papers include: Prof O.
                  Ibidapo-Obe, Acting Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos; Pro. J. U.
                  Onwuatu, Federal University of Technology, Owerri; Prof. P. Onumanyi,
                  University of Jos; Prof. O. Taiwo, Obafemi Awolowo University,
                  Ile-Ife. They will also lead in the group of discussions. Other guest
                  scientists expected at the conference include: Prof. K. R. Adeboye,
                  Federal University of Technology, Minna, Dr. F. O. Otunta, University
                  of Benin, Benin City, Dr. J. O. Omolehin, University of Ilorin,
                  Ilorin.

                  Participants will include postgraduate students, young academics from
                  the nation�s universities, polytechnics and colleges of education as
                  well as eminent mathematical scientists from all over the country and
                  abroad who will present original research papers. Professor Muhammed
                  Abdullahi Daniyan, Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology,
                  Minna will preside at the opening ceremony of the conference, while
                  Professor A. S. Sambo, Vice-Chancellor Abubakar Tafawa Balewa
                  University, Bauchi will deliver the keynote address to the conference.
                  The executive secretary, NUC, Professor Peter Okebukola is expected to
                  be the special guest of honour at the opening ceremony.
                  Sugar firm increases production
                  Tunde Oyekola, Ilorin
                  THE Nigerian Sugar Company (NISUCO), Bacita, in Kwara State, produced
                  about 9,000 tonnes of sugar during the year 2000 season.

                  The Managing Director of NISUCO, Engineer Isaac Gana, who disclosed
                  this to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Industries, Senator
                  Fidelix Okoro, when he visited the company, stated that the pioneer
                  sugar company in the country was back on course, adding that the
                  production was about five times of what was produced in 1998 and 1999.

                  Engineer Gana attributed the healthy development to prudent use of
                  resources and proper monitoring of operations.

                  Speaking on the problems of the company, the managing director said
                  that it included lack of funds to adequately meet the overhead cost.
                  Shortage of water for irrigation during the dry season and periodic
                  flooding of the sugar cane plantation.

                  To check flooding in the plantation, Engineer Gana stressed the need to
                  construct dyke against the River Niger, adding that the that with the
                  construction of the protection dyke, the company would be able to
                  cultivate additional 1,000 hectares of sugar cane presently lying
                  idle.

                  He also stressed the need to reconstruct the 18-kilometre Bacita-Jebba
                  road for smooth transportation of finished sugar product.

                  On the price of sugar in the open market, the managing director called
                  on the Federal Government to intervene by buying up the total sugar
                  production at an economic rate which he put at about five per cent
                  below the domestic requirement.

                  The measure, he explained would ensure the sustenance of the sugar
                  industry which now faces unfair competition with the imported sugar
                  which sells at a lower price because of the subsidy the exporting
                  countries give their manufacturers.

                  This step, he said if taken by government would also sustain employment
                  opportunities we are presently providing and which has multiplier
                  effect of benefitting thousands of benefitting thousands of people./

                  In his response, Hon. Fidelix Okoro said that it is the intention of
                  the Federal Government to revive all industries to ensure creation of
                  employment for the people.

                  He however urged the management of the company to look inward for the
                  raw materials needed by the company.




                  -------------------------

                  Letter to Gov Ibori
                  Though this mail is coming late, however, better late than never.
                  Firstly, I wish to congratulate you on your success as the second
                  executive governor of my dear Delta State.

                  I personally rejoice with Deltans, that we have a governor like you who
                  is neither too young nor too old to give what it takes to occupy the
                  driver�s seat of such a boisterous state. Going by your available
                  achievement records within the past two years, one cannot but give you
                  kudos. However, there is still much room for you to improve upon
                  especially in the development of the rural areas. In this respect,
                  you will meaningfully touch the lives of many people.

                  Your Excellency, at the end of this letter, you may term me selfish. Be
                  that as it may, you should permit me to be a true Nigerian. I hail
                  from Ndokwa West Local Government area, and my town is Utagba-Uno.
                  Utagba -Uno clan is large enough to constitute a local government area
                  on its own but in the interim, that may not be a priority.

                  The entire people of Utagba-Uno clan, I in particular, hereby invite
                  you to pay us an official visit to see how neglected the clan has
                  been since the conception of the geographical expression called
                  Nigeria. To make your trip more thrilling and fulfilling, you could
                  approach the clan through Iselegu road and exit through any of the
                  other three roads that serve the town because the experience will be
                  the same. This visit is very important to my people for the following
                  reasons:-

                  (1) Since time immemoria the clan has never had the honour and
                  privilege of playing host to such an important dignitary, military or
                  otherwise. We want you to break this jinx.

                  (2) It will offer you the chance of seeing for yourself the amount
                  of hardship your people in this part of the state have been subjected
                  to.

                  (3) Year 2003 is very much around the corner, you might need the
                  support of this people as a person or for your party to enable you
                  achieve your political dreams. Your party had a landside victory in
                  this area; after two years, we are yet to feel your impact.

                  (4) My people firmly believe that it is you and you alone that can
                  be their MESSIAH. Where they derive this optimism and inspiration beats
                  me hollow, but that is what it is, you cannot afford to let them down.

                  I will not be fulfilled without a mention of the intention of your
                  administration to extend the on-going rural electrification programme
                  to Utagbo-uno. Not many people are excited because during the regime of
                  Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia in 1975 to be precise, we had a similar exercise.
                  Prof Ambrose Ali came with a road project. OMPADEC came with series of
                  people oriented projects. All these did not go beyond the drawing
                  board. Till today, the clan is as dark and inaccessible beyond what you
                  can imagine.

                  Could His Excellency bring succour to the people of Utagba-Uno clan by
                  building an all - season road from Obiaruku to Isselegu and another
                  from Ogume to Abavo? If you do just this, you would have written your
                  name and that of your party in GOLD.

                  F. Ogboru Emegwali,
                  1st Floor, Awolowo House
                  Ikeja, Lagos State.





                  How Abacha started OPC
                  WHEN the Yoruba race under the tyrannic government of Gen. Sani Abacha,
                  came to the point of extinction, it became apparent that the Yoruba
                  nation must defend herself hence the emergence of the O.P.C. O.P.C is
                  the mind of the Yoruba nation.

                  No one defended the Yorubas during Abacha�s government. The North as a
                  whole, was so pleased with what Abacha Government was doing, no one out
                  of them raised a dissenting voice against it. The Yoruba nation became
                  vulnerable, our businessed were destroyed, our leaders were jailed,
                  killed, bombed, while others were forced to go into exile, their houses
                  were razed. Many other innocent Yorubas were detained in underground
                  cells all over the country, killed at police stations, schools were
                  close down and all sorts of evil were perpetrated on our people.

                  We cannot easily forget the horror of yesterday just because Obasanjo
                  is in power today. What about tomorrow when he will no longer be
                  there? The haters of Yoruba nation are still waiting in the wings to
                  avenge the wrong they think Obasanjo government may have done to them.
                  Hence, I advocate a serious O.P.C now more than ever before. No one
                  will save us except ourselves, in the time of trouble. The Nigeria
                  Police which is today after O.P.C, was the same force used to bomb our
                  houses, killing our people, while commiting a great crime by telling
                  lies against the innocent people of Yoruba origin.

                  If we fail to realise who we are as a nation and we get carried away
                  because Obasanjo is in power, we shall forever regret our mistake. It
                  is time to empower ourselves the more and make the Yoruba nation for
                  all. If Bakassi Boys can practise their trade without police
                  harassment, why not the O.P.C. The police are trying to open a can of
                  worms. The Nigeria Police cannot be an army of occupation again. We
                  have suffered too much in the hand of the Nigeria Police. The
                  organisation has been too hard on us. I once travelled from Kaduna to
                  Abuja on road, I saw only a policeman at a toll gate, maybe he too
                  was travelling. Here, you cannot travel on our streets or the highways
                  without police harassment. The worst is that you must be searched to
                  your pant and the degraded. A yoruba man is the head of government and
                  another is head of police, why the continue harassment? In the olden
                  days, there were traffic policemen but today, checking of vehicle
                  particulars is every policeman�s job. Mr. Musliu Smith, that should not
                  be. Your men use this opportunity to extort money from the people of
                  South West while they delay our business transactions and butalize our
                  people. Bribe taking from our people continues, unnecessary arrests
                  continue. Let our leaders, I mean Yoruba leader shun politics and move
                  to reconcile our people so that the Yoruba nation will progress God
                  bless the Yoruba nation, God bless Nigeria.

                  Olorunfemi Olorunda,
                  Ekiti, Ekiti State.



                  SOS to Gov. Adefarati
                  TO start with, I will like to congratulate you for the peaceful and
                  conducive environment for living, learning and business transactions in
                  Ondo State in your time. We commend you for the various improvements
                  in the nooks and crannies of the state, most especially in Ile-Oluji
                  township of Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State where
                  many roads and bridges are being constructed. We are very grateful to
                  you �Baba peace�!

                  Sir, it is indeed a painful thing that Ile-Oluji, the headquarters of
                  the aforementioned local government, lacks telephone services which is
                  available in other neighbouring local government headquarters. Infact,
                  the lack of channel for communication is inimical to her progress and
                  development. Please bail us out.

                  The project had already been started by the defunct regime led by Chief
                  Ogundayomi before it was sent into an extinction all of a sudden. Then,
                  the telephone wires have now become ropes for games for the children
                  and the poles fire woods for the women. This is shameful. Shall we
                  then remain in this condition for ever? Please save us.

                  Morakinyo kehinde,
                  College of Health Science, LAUTECH,
                  Ogbomoso, Oyo State.





                  Obasanjo as a democrat
                  By Vincent Oyefeso
                  TWO years in the democratic saddle is more than sufficient time for Mr.
                  President to discountenance the misgivings of skeptics to the effect
                  that his military background and experience, rather than tend to
                  undermine democratic norms and values, have actually turned out an
                  asset that nourishes Chief Obasanjo�s distinctive attributes as a
                  decisive and focused democrat.

                  To start with, President Obasanjo�s qualities as a democrat do not
                  tally with the misguided perspective of a sheepishly pliable and
                  malleable yes-man that endlessly waivers to sundry opinion. Let�s face
                  it, being a democrat does not imply having to pander to the opinion of
                  an idiot or of mischief-makers.

                  But the president has convincingly acquitted himself as receptive to
                  constructive criticism, and tolerant of opposing views. He has given a
                  rare vent to freedom of expression at public forums, especially in the
                  mass media. For a change, and in spite of glaring media shortcomings,
                  state power is yet to be mobilized or abused to detain dissenting
                  journalists or worse still, stifle the media outright.

                  An apt assessment of the president as a democrat derives from his
                  commitment to ensuring that state affairs are based on good governance,
                  social trust and responsibility, sustainable development and carrying
                  the people along. On this last score, his attitude is that of ensuring
                  that his informed messages are carried far and wide to garner the
                  acceptance of the generality of the people.

                  On assumption of office, a major pointer to Chief Obasanjo as a
                  democrat was his avowed adoption of the principles of transparency,
                  equity, accountability and justice. And the president has minced no
                  words that all acts of his government must be based on these sterling
                  principles.

                  His demonstrable faith in the supremacy of the constitution and
                  insistence on the observance of the public service rules, and Financial
                  regulations are a clear testimony to his complete transformation from
                  the days of military arbitrariness to a new era of upholding the due
                  process of civil governance.

                  A trait of the president as a democrat is in his administration�s
                  principled stance that hurried decisions taken by the Abacha regime
                  must be revisited, reviewed, and those found defective of the dictates
                  of transparency, accountability and social justice, be appropriately
                  reversed. Committees were set up to reappraise such weighty issues as
                  major appointments and contracts awards. Among others, the criteria
                  applied were, in the case of appointments, whether or not they were
                  based on fair competition and, or merit? And in respect of contract
                  awards, were they done by selective tendering or subject to
                  advertisement and open, competitive bidding? The committees, as a
                  result, made far-reaching decisions such that some suspicious
                  appointments were reversed and questionable contracts cancelled. For
                  instance, it is now on record that after renegotiating just one such
                  contract, government was able to save a whopping $22 million; that is,
                  a $66 million over bloated contract was renegotiated to $44 million.

                  Obasanjo�s second coming is unique in its democratic flavour, and
                  hardly is there a leader with Obasanjo�s multidimensional qualities.
                  He was a man who as a military head of state, voluntarily relinquished
                  power to carve a niche for himself as a focused elder-statesman, social
                  critic, rendering selfless service at national and international
                  levels. He co-founded the Africa Leadership Forum and served creditably
                  as a triumvir of the United Nations appointed Eminent Persons Group,
                  which in collaboration with other stakeholders ultimately midwife the
                  emergence of an Apardtheid-free South Africa.

                  However, the president�s lot is such that he is more of a victim of
                  this plethora of experiences that, in a disciplined society, ought to
                  be a great asset. It ordinarily would have taken a green president one
                  or two years to settle down to active and sure-footed governance. Not
                  with Uncle Sege, who at the outset of his Presidency already knew his
                  onions. Little wonder then, that Fidel Castro once publicly attested
                  that if he had someone like Chief Obasanjo in his cabinet, he would
                  just have handed over and gone to sleep.

                  However, in a bid to bridge the glaring gap between him and his team,
                  Mr. President graciously condescended to organizing a series of
                  retreats tailored to orientating his cabinet members to the high thrust
                  of his policy and governmental perspectives.

                  The thesis of Obasanjo being a victim of his own assets and experience
                  is deducible from his jail experience during which his encounter with
                  God made him to be born again, not just in the spiritual sense but also
                  in being imbued with the passion to do his best for his country even at
                  the risk of his life. And in this regard, his democratic traits are not
                  unperceivable. For example, his first bill, sent to the National
                  Assembly was the Anti-Corruption Bill, for which he waived his own
                  presidential immunity to be investigated for possible acts of
                  corruption.

                  The democrat in Mr. President is equally perceivable in his pragmatic
                  handling of the series of crises that have troubled this democracy, as
                  in the recently doused running battle with the legislature. The fact
                  may not be denied that the president may have been on a fast track in
                  seeking to carry out certain initiatives because he knows his bearings
                  pretty well.

                  Even on accusations of his having overreached himself on constitutional
                  issues, the president has invariably acquitted himself as a
                  better-informed democrat, as the executive had ultimately emerged from
                  such skirmishes vindicated.

                  Oyefeso is of National Orientation and Public Affairs, Department of
                  the Presidency.


                  ------------------------

                  US Rep begins visit to Nigeria
                  Bosun Odedina, Lagos
                  THE chairman of the United States House Republican Conference,
                  Representative J.C. Watts of Oklahoma, has begun a his visit to Nigeria
                  in company of four other members of the House of Representatives.
                  About 30 American business leaders joined the delegation which will
                  focus on trade, economic development, health care, disease prevention
                  and the promotion of democracy and stability in the region.

                  A news release issued by the Public Affairs section of the United
                  States Consulate General in Lagos on Tuesday, stated that
                  Representatives Eva Clayton (Democrat of North Carolina), Pete Hoekstra
                  (Republican of Michigan), John Lewi (Democrat of Georgia) and Bob
                  Schaffer (Republican of Colorado) would be on the entourage.
                  Representatives of nearly 30 companies would comprise the business
                  delegation, including the Coca-Cola company, Exxon Mobil Corporation,
                  Halliburton company, J.P. Morgan, Chase and company, Quallcomm
                  Incorporated and Target Corporation.


                  �We are on the crisp of a new day in Africa�, Representative Watts was
                  quoted as saying, adding, �Democratic and economic reform are sweeping
                  the continent, so it is critical that leaders in congress and the
                  corporate world seize this moment and work together to accelerate this
                  change�.

                  According to him, �I am particularly delighted to be joined by top
                  leaders in the business community who, I hope, will see the opportunity
                  that I saw during a trip to Africa in April with other members of
                  congress.

                  �I am hopeful that this trip will allow us to explore ways to forge new
                  partnerships between the businesses and nations of Africa and our own
                  country and improve millions of lives�, Watts stated. The delegation
                  will also visit Mali, Ghana and Cote D�Ivoire.


                  -----------------------

                  'No soldier arrested for coup'
                  Chris Agbambu, Abuja
                  THE Defence Headquarters on Wednesday said that no officer had been
                  arrested and detained for any alleged coup plot.

                  Chief of Defence Staff, Vice Admiral Ibrahim Ogohi, who announced
                  this while briefing defence correspondents in Abuja, said �For the
                  avoidance of doubt, the authorities of Command and Staff College have
                  denied the arrest of its officers either on course or as staff
                  officers in the college�.

                  According to him, "for clarity of records, President Obasanjo�s son is
                  not a Captain in the Nigerian Army, but a Lieutenant and is presently
                  in the United States of America on an Engineering course. He did his
                  Young Officers Course in Infantry Centre and School in the first
                  quarter of last year before he left for his course in the U.S.A."

                  The Chief of Defence Staff, who was debunking a magazine report,
                  disclosed that aside from this, the Junior Division Staff College only
                  resumed their course on August, 2001, adding that it stood to reason
                  that the young officers would not have had time to start discussing
                  important security issues such as this.

                  On the issue of a powerful meeting attended by the Chief of Defence
                  Staff, Chief of Army Staff, National Security Adviser and Director
                  State Security Service to brief the President, he said it was a figment
                  of the imagination of the writer, as there was never any meeting held
                  either to discuss the issue or to brief the President.
                  Admiral Ogohi added that there was nothing from current
                  monitoring efforts that gave credence to the story of the magazine,
                  adding that the obvious implication of course was being that the
                  magazine might have been penetrated by those who were still bent on
                  causing dissentism within the military with a view to distabilising the
                  current democratic dispensation.

                  He noted that it was already a common knowledge that these enemies of
                  government had tried to pitch top personalities and their loyalists
                  against each other in the current interplay of political forces in the
                  country. The Defence Headquarters assured Nigerians that there would
                  be no derailment of the government by the military stressing that
                  officers were absolutely loyal to the Federal Government.

                  Also addressing a world press conference, the Chief of Army Staff,
                  Major-General Alexander Ogomudia, noted that a section of the media had
                  a hidden agenda against the military and the Army in particular, as
                  they never saw anything good in them. According to him, �anyone is
                  free to publish whatever he feels�, but such publications should be
                  based on facts, adding that there was no iota of truth in the story.

                  The Army boss disclosed that the Army was at peace with itself and the
                  whole nation, �as we had finished in getting involved in the governance
                  of the nation�. He said that the report had portrayed the Army as
                  being prone to coup, adding that the publishers of the alleged coup
                  scare were being dishonest to the country, as they would have
                  substantiated their facts with figures and all necessary things to lay
                  credence to the story.


                  ----------------------------

                  Kachallah, challenges and dividends of democracy
                  OKEY MUOGBO writes on the challenges facing Governor Malla Kachalla of
                  Borno State and how he is standing up to them to give dividends of
                  democracy to his people.

                  TRANSFORMATION of Borno State in the industrial sector to any one
                  converant with the state, is the greatest democracy dividend in the
                  state. Two of the industries, The Borno Plastic Industry and the
                  NEITAL Shoes Factory are shining examples of what democracy has brought
                  to the people.

                  The state fertilizer blending company is also another giant stride in
                  the industrialization of the state but the two earlier mentioned
                  companies are the best suitable indices of dividends. Again, the
                  fertilizer blending company has just been completed on the assumption
                  of office by Alhaji Mala Kachallah, and he has put the company into
                  operation targeting to produce some 12,000 metric tons of fertilizer
                  for farmers in the state.

                  Secondly, the state government has been able to set up its own new
                  factory, from scratch and has begun production of plastic products.
                  The third angle to the industrialization drive is the NEITAL shoe
                  factory lying idle for the past 15 years has been rehabilitated and put
                  back to production. Kachallah�s administration has proven that the
                  state is not jinxed when it comes to managemen of industries.

                  Hitherto it was very convinent for the people of Maiduguri and indeed
                  Borno State to rush to Kano and to the southern part of the country to
                  buy whatever industrial goods they require. Until the coming of
                  Kachallah, Borno�s contribution to the nation�s goods production was
                  some where around 0.05%.

                  Meanwhile, all the factories not functioning had general
                  managers/managing directors appointed and sustained by a vicious
                  clique of petty bourgoise who use the appointees to collect state
                  money for doing nothing, year in year out. The state government
                  continued to give allocation to industries that produce nothing. Such
                  allocation ended up in private pockets while the state wallowed in
                  poverty and financial misery.

                  For the two neighbouring countries of Chad and Niger Republics, the
                  demand for instance, of plastic products is very high. All along,
                  businessmen from Nigeria, and the two countries had to supply the two
                  countries by going down to the southern part of the country to bring
                  plastic products. Now, products from the Borno Plastic Company can get
                  into Chad or Niger in short time and under 400 kilometers distance from
                  Maiduguri. This will be a wonderful production and marketing advantage
                  the new plastic company will enjoy.

                  The Kachallah administration stated in its policy on industries that it
                  is committed to �the resuscitation of all domant industries and
                  encourage private sector participation.� It went further to say
                  that, � considering the fact that the raw materials of this industry
                  (plastic industry) are found in the state and the fact that there is a
                  ready market for the product, the state being a commercial center for
                  the neighbouring countries of Chad Cameroun, Niger, Sudan and Central
                  Africa Republic, the state government thought it wise to establish the
                  industry.�
                  Today virtually all facilities or structure that service the
                  Borno and Yobe states could be traced to the administration of Goni.
                  The NEITAL shoe factory, the Maiduguri International Hotel, Yobe
                  Specialist Hospital and so on were all set up by Alhaji Goni. Even with
                  little credit going to him for all this achievements, Goni and his
                  administration remain a model in Borno and Yobe States.

                  However, one puzzle that has rattled analysis is why Kachallah is
                  being dismissed as somebody who has done nothing? Let us try to unravel
                  the puzzle.

                  To start with, Borno continues to function as a social system with
                  strong hierarchical structure. The hierarchy is led by the bourgoise
                  elite who depend on government for survival. And in all fairness, they
                  mobilized the resources and public opinion that made Kachallah
                  governor.

                  On assumption office, Kachallah side tracked the upper echelon of that
                  hierarchy and started concentrating developmental efforts around the
                  peasants . The Kachallah administration is one of the best
                  cost-effective governments in the 18 states so far visited by the
                  National Media Tour Group.

                  Minister of Information and National Orientation Prof Jerry Gana was
                  unequivocal in commending Kachallah for that.

                  Again, Borno workers are not happy with the regime of Kachallah. The
                  running battle between His Excellency and the workers has started
                  long ago. The civil servants obviously preferred the defeated PDP
                  governorship candidate, Alhaji Baba Ahmed Jida. But Kachallah won the
                  election and sooner, the workers were owed salary and allowances in
                  arrears. Although Kachallah has severally denied being negligent
                  against the civil servant not many people believe him.

                  Things got worse when protesting workers ran into the secretary to the
                  Borno State Government, Dr. Shethina Bukar Abba (a confidant of
                  Kachallah) stripped him naked and thoroughly beaten him up after that,
                  the state government came up with certificate and position verification
                  and restructing. Many highly placed workers fell victim.

                  There is a story in Maiduguri of how an assistant director was given an
                  option of retiring or reverting to level 03 on account of low
                  eduational qualification. But the embattled director opted for demotion
                  to level three. Stories like this abound in Borno State.

                  In the evolving crisis, there emerged an informal and unholy alliance
                  among the workers with the feudal lords commanding the hierarchy and
                  of recent, political enemies from both the PDP and the ruling All
                  People Party (APP) to make governance difficult for Kachallah.

                  History appears to be repeating itself. All the progressive
                  governments that ruled Borno had to contend with what Kachallah is
                  going through. It is on record that Goni was once held by the throat
                  and prevented from entering a public office by his political enemies
                  when he was in office. At other places, he was booed, shot with arrows
                  and so on.

                  Today, no meaningful monument or street is named after Goni for all he
                  did. Late General Sani Abacha is better honoured in Borno and Yobe
                  States than Goni.


                  -------------------------

                  Greene out of Goodwill Games
                  OLYMPIC champion and world record holder, Maurice Greene has not
                  recovered sufficiently from a leg injury to compete in next week�s 100
                  metres at the Goodwill Games, his manager said.

                  �Maurice is going and will participate in the festivities, but he will
                  not compete,� Emmanuel Hudson told Reuters in a telephone interview
                  from his office in Irvine, California, on Tuesday night.

                  �We had every intention of him competing in the Goodwill Games up until
                  yesterday (Monday) afternoon when he called because he had a problem at
                  practice. His leg gave out and he said it wasn�t holding up�, Hudson
                  said.

                  Greene was due to be one of the star attractions at the athletics
                  competition in Brisbane, along with fellow American Marion Jones and
                  Michael Johnson.

                  Games organisers in Brisbane said they were expecting Greene both for
                  the festivities and to compete. �We have been in touch with him. He has
                  plane reservations and he�s flying in on September 2,� Goodwill Games
                  Public Relations Director Jeff Pomeroy said.

                  �We have no other word from his camp other than he�s coming to compete.
                  I only see it as an issue if he doesn�t get on the plane.�

                  Klochkova claims Goodwill first medal
                  UKRAINE�s Yana Klochkova claimed the first gold medal of the Goodwill
                  Games when she won the women�s 800 metres swimming final on Wednesday.


                  The dual Olympic champion fought off a dose of fly and a bad case of
                  jet lag to add another international title to her rapidly growing
                  collection. Klochkova, 19, trailed American Adrienne Binder through the
                  first 700m before surging clear on the final lap to win the gold in
                  eight minutes, 38.71 seconds.

                  Jamaica�s Janelle Atkinson took the silver in 8.39.71 as Binder faded
                  to finish third in 8.40.00. Klochkova also won her 400m individual
                  medley race but could not prevent her European All Stars team from
                  losing their round-robin match against the United States, with the
                  Americans taking the tie 82-67.

                  Australia, favourites to win the women�s team title, also won their
                  opening match, beating the World All Stars 96-53. Under the Goodwill
                  Games� unique format, the four teams will compete against each other
                  over the next four days before the top two swim off for the gold
                  medal.

                  After Tijani, more heads to roll
                  �Aku insists
                  Sunday Ogunkanmi Abuja
                  THE cyclone of re-organi-sation sweeping through the Glass House
                  secretariat of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) is not yet over
                  as it was confirmed on Wednesday that all heads of departments in the
                  football house would be sent packing.

                  The Sports Ministry said on Wednesday that there was no going back on
                  the sacking of the heads of departments, many of whom have become
                  apprehensive since the Secretary-General, Dr. Tijani Yusuf, was sacked
                  on Monday.

                  Victor Iroele, the Press Secretary to the minister, confirmed to
                  sports journalists in Abuja on Wednesday that the departmental heads
                  would not escape the sack hammer.

                  He said though the chief scribe had been hammered, that of the heads of
                  departments would come later. Iroele explained that the heads of
                  departments were merely holding on for the purpose of handing over
                  their offices to Okpomo, who is coming to re-organise the soccer-ruling
                  house.

                  He added that after the sack, those who are Sports Ministry staff among
                  the affected heads would be re-deployed back to the ministry.

                  Said he: �That the heads of departments would go is settled. They would
                  definitely be sacked. It would be done gradually. �They are left now
                  to prepare their handing over notes to Okpomo and they would leave
                  soon. They are expected to receive their sack letters later.

                  �Those who are staff of the ministry would be re-deployed back.
                  Certainly, the die is cast. Nigerians should be patient for the
                  re-structuring being carried out by the minister,� Iroele said.


                  Come and defend your action
                  �Reps summon Aku
                  By Tosin Omojola
                  THE removal recently of Dr. Tijani Yusuf, the immediate past Secretary
                  General of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), by Ishaya Mark Aku
                  has thrown the Sports Minister into a big trouble as he has been
                  summoned to appear before the House of Representatives Committee on
                  Sports.

                  Tribunesports reliably gathered that apart from the lawmakers, the
                  Presidency, through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,
                  Chief Uffot Ekaete, has also served the water engineer a letter
                  inviting him to come and defend his recent action.

                  Apparently shocked by the removal of Dr. Yusuf by the Sports Minister,
                  the committee headed by Honourable Suraju Dantata, swiftly reacted by
                  expressing its dismay over his (Aku�s) action and promptly sent a
                  letter to him, inviting him to appear before the committee without any
                  delay.

                  Okpomo keeps Aku waiting on NFA job Sunday Ogunkanmi, Abuja
                  SPORTS Minister, Engineer Ishaya Mark Aku was all airs of expectation
                  on Wednesday as he waited endlessly to hear from Patrick Okpomo, the
                  man tipped to hold fort as the Secretary General of the NFA following
                  the sack of Tijani Yusuf on Monday.

                  Okpomo, who has remained incommunicado since Monday was yet to relate
                  with the minister who is worried over the silence. Press Secretary to
                  the minister, Victor Iroele, who confirmed the choice of Okpomo in
                  Abuja on Wednesday, said his coming would be a stand-in arrangement.

                  Iroele disclosed that the tenure of Okpomo, himself a former secretary
                  of the association, would be a temporary measure. He explained that the
                  tenure would last three months and not indefinitely as being
                  speculated.

                  The Press Secretary expressed surprise that Okpomo had not reported as
                  at Wednesday afternoon. �We are surprised Okpomo has not reported. We
                  have not heard anything from him and he was supposed to have reported
                  since Tuesday� Iroele complained.

                  The minister�s aide explained that Okpomo would only stay in office for
                  three months and within that period, he is expected to re-organise the
                  football house. �Okpomo is coming is as a temporary measure and would
                  only be there for three months.

                  �Within that period, he is expected to re-organise the NFA, advertise
                  the jobs and recruit before he leaves. There is no controversy about
                  that. He is the one to hold fort pending the final re-organisation,�
                  Iroele said.

                  Tribunesports recalls that Okpomo, who once served as the secretary of
                  the NFA, is also an instructor of the Confederation of African Football
                  (CAF).

                  Milan holds on to Blanc
                  INTER Milan�s French de-fender Laurent Blanc continues to be linked
                  with a transfer to English champions Manchester United, but for the
                  moment, Inter president Massimo Moratti is keen to hold on to the
                  35-year-old.

                  Media reports have claimed United has lined-up Blanc as a replacement
                  for Dutch defender Jaap Stam who was sold to Italian club Lazio on
                  Sunday for 15.25 million pounds ($22.18 million).

                  Blanc was at Inter�s training ground on Wednesday morning and a source
                  close to the club told Reuters that Moratti is reluctant to sell him.
                  �At the moment Moratti is keen to keep hold of Blanc�, the source said.


                  United has until midnight Friday to register with UEFA any replacement
                  for Stam in time to feature in the first group phase of the Champions
                  League.


                  ------------------------

                  774 LGs to hold rally over zero allocation
                  Chris Agbambu, Abuja
                  ALL the 774 local government councils in the country are to hold a
                  national rally in Abuja on September 12, to protest the zero
                  allocations to the councils as a prelude to the national strike of all
                  local government workers.

                  President of the National Union of Local Government Employees, Comrade
                  Deji Akinwalere, who announced this in Abuja on Wednesday, condemned
                  the proposed revenue allocation which reduced the councils' allocation
                  to 16 per cent and did not translate immediately to the eradication of
                  zero allocation.

                  According to him, there was never a time the payment of primary school
                  teachers salary was the legal responsibilities of the local government
                  councils, as the National Primary Education Decree No.96 of 1993
                  provided that teachers' salary should be taken from the Federation
                  Accounts, and to link the solution to zero allocation to the released
                  reviewed formula was to display ignorance of the law or further
                  compound the issue.

                  Comrade Akinwalere, who gave reasons for the rejection of the proposed
                  revenue allocation formula, noted that it was not a product of serious
                  empirical research on how the resources of the federation should be
                  shared' adding that NULGE demanded nothing less than 30 per cent.
                  He said that inspite of the Attorney-General of the Federation�s
                  letter to President Olusegun Obasanjo, advising that since decree 96
                  of 1993 has not been repealed by the provision of the 1999
                  constitution, the deduction of the primary school teachers salary ought
                  not to operate beyond the 29 of May, 1999, and based on the judgement
                  of the Federal High Court, some government officials are bent on
                  sabotaging the president�s of efforts.

                  The NULGE president disclosed that investigation carried out by his
                  union has revealed that there are officials in the Ministry of Finance
                  who have sworn to sabotage the president�s action to uphold the Rule of
                  Law in accordance with the Federal High Court injunction.

                  Furthermore, he said, the saboteurs detached the president�s memo from
                  the file in which it is been treated and the illegal deduction has
                  since continued unabated.

                  The union vowed not to fold its arms and watch the action of travesty
                  of justice which portends danger to the survival of our nascent
                  democracy.

                  They urged the president to beware of saboteurs in his government who
                  by their action, as it might portray the government as being
                  insensitive to the plight of the people at the grassroot level.


                  ------------------------

                  Politics of national cake
                  The on-going wagging of tongues over the sharing formula of the
                  federally collected revenue is as old as the country itself and the
                  problem has to do with the principles of sharing which have made
                  nonsense of the principles of federalism,writes BAYO OLADEJI.

                  FEW days ago, the Obasanjo administration in its wisdom �generously�
                  donated about four percent of its allocated share of the federally
                  collected revenue to the states, among others but turned round to
                  deduct the local government councils� share by 4 per cent from 20 to 16
                  percent.

                  Before then, the sharing formula was 45, 24 and 20 in favour of the
                  Federal Government, states and local government councils which now
                  reads 41.3; 31 and 16 respectively. If the donor -FG- thought it has
                  acted well, the harvest of condemnation that has trail the decision,
                  especially from the victim of the new order - the local government
                  councils �
                  (Message over 64 KB, truncated)
                • Nubi Achebo
                  Millionaire hangs self •After losing millions to wife By Yinka Akinremi A multi-millionaire businessman in Ibadan on Monday night hanged himself after being
                  Message 8 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                    Millionaire hangs self
                    �After losing millions to wife
                    By Yinka Akinremi
                    A multi-millionaire businessman in Ibadan on Monday night hanged
                    himself after being duped of millions of naira by some fraudsters who
                    allegedly included one of his wives.

                    Nigerian Tribune gathered that the businessman, Mr. Mufutau Ibrahim,
                    popularly known as Mufu Eleja, was found dead after hanging himself on
                    the ceiling in his residence at Jericho, Idi-Ishin area of Ibadan
                    Monday night.

                    When the Nigerian Tribune visited the family house at Ososami area of
                    Ibadan, sympathisers were seen going in and out of the house while his
                    parents, pregnant wife, Funke and other relations were seen weeping.

                    A source close to the family told the Nigerian Tribune that the corpse
                    of the deceased had since been deposited at the mortuary of a
                    government hospital in Ibadan.

                    It was gathered that the problem of the multi-millionaire fish magnate
                    started when he was duped of an amount put at over N20 million
                    sometimes ago.

                    According to one of his friends, who did not want to be named, one of
                    Mufu Eleja�s wives had colluded with some people to dupe him of the
                    huge sum which paralysed his businesses.
                    The source stated that Mufu was convinced by the wife to move his
                    accounts from a commercial bank (name withheld) he was using to another
                    bank (name withheld) where she connived with some people there �to
                    empty her husband�s account.�

                    According to the source, �Mufu so much loved and trusted this lady that
                    he allowed her to know much about him and his businesses.

                    �But since the time he was duped, he was faced with a big problem. His
                    business went down and things were no longer the same with him. But the
                    woman went and enriched herself with his money,� the source stated.

                    The deceased�s mother, amid sobs, told some sympathisers how several
                    attempts were made by people she described as enemies to kill her son.
                    On Mufu�s financial position until his death, his mother lamented that
                    there was no time he came to request for money from her.

                    �I was ready to sell my house because of him. All that mattered to me
                    was for him to be okay. If I had sold my building and all my goods for
                    him to be in business, I know I would not die of hunger. At least, he
                    would still have been alive to take care of me,� the mother lamented.
                    His pregnant wife, Funke, wept uncontrollably and refused to be
                    consoled.

                    Efforts to get the reactions of the Police last night were
                    unsuccessful, as telephone calls to the State Police Command were not
                    answered.

                    ---------------------

                    NUC wants varsities to absorb satellite students
                    Chris Agbambu and Jacob Segun Olatunji, Abuja
                    THE National Universities Commission (NUC), on Tuesday, pleaded with
                    universities whose satellite campuses and outreach centres were
                    recently shut, to put necessary machinery in place to integrate the
                    students of the affected outfits into their main campuses.

                    In a statement signed by the Executive Secretary of the Commission,
                    Professor Peter Okebukola, which was made available to newsmen, the NUC
                    said that the closure order was final which would no longer be
                    subjected to any debate.

                    While acknowledging the sharp criticisms the closure order generated
                    from the public, Prof. Okebukola disclosed that the NUC was only
                    carrying out a long standing order of the Federal Executive Council of
                    November 2000 as well as the recent directive of the National Council
                    on Education (NCE) to close down satellite campuses.

                    Prof. Okebukola pointed out that no responsible government would fold
                    its arms and allow the bastardisation of university education in the
                    so-called �satellite campuses.�
                    He said that government was fully on course with the
                    implementation of its policy on Open and Distance Learning in order to
                    widen access to quality university education.

                    Meanwhile, the Federal Government has set up a task force to enforce
                    the closure of all university satellite campuses nationwide.

                    The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Musliu Smith, who made the
                    disclosure on Tuesday, while receiving the chairman of the task force,
                    Professor P.C. Njoku, who called on him in his office, said that the
                    police would give all necessary support to ensure that the government�s
                    directive was carried out.

                    Smith, who described the establishment of the task force as timely and
                    in the best interest of educational development in the country, said
                    that he had directed all zonal and state commands to give their maximum
                    support to members of the task force during the course of their
                    assignment.

                    Speaking also, chairman of the task force, Professor Njoku, solicited
                    for the cooperation of the police to enable the task force to achieve
                    its set objectives, adding that the exercise had the backing of the
                    Federal Executive Council.


                    -----------------------

                    Obasanjo okays sharing of $1b oil windfall Chris Agbambu,
                    Abuja
                    PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo has approved the sharing of part of excess
                    earnings from crude oil sales in the Federation Account.

                    He has, however said that it is his belief that additional funds
                    accruing to the Federation Account from higher crude oil sales should
                    be saved in the interest of prudent economic management.

                    The President, who was speaking at a meeting with members of the
                    National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC), reluctantly approved
                    the recommendation of the committee, that some of the funds be shared
                    to the three tiers of government.

                    He, however, directed that there would be no further disbursement from
                    the excess crude oil sales account for the rest of the year. NEIC had
                    in one of its reports to the President urged him to resist pressures
                    from the states and local governments to disburse funds which had
                    accrued to the country from higher crude oil prices.

                    In recommending that the funds be saved, the committee noted that the
                    current high oil prices might not be sustainable over a long period and
                    that the government needed to guard against shortfalls in national
                    revenue which might occur with a decline in oil prices with negative
                    consequences for the national economy.
                    The President declared that he agreed, �entirely and absolutely�
                    with NEIC�s position on the additional funds from higher crude oil
                    prices. On other matters raised by NEIC, President Obasanjo assured
                    that 100 per cent inspection of imports arriving at Nigerian ports
                    would continue for the time being because the measure was having a
                    positive impact on the national economy.

                    He said that the government had received reports that some local
                    manufacturers who could not sell their products before because of
                    unfair competition from smuggled goods were now able to sell them for
                    months in advance as a result of the measure.

                    President Obasanjo welcomed the report by NEIC that farmers in
                    virtually all the states of the federation had benefited from the
                    Federal Government�s provision of fertilizer with 25 per cent discount
                    at the point of delivery.

                    He further directed the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to take steps
                    to meet the request of the farmers, conveyed by NEIC for additional
                    support through the provision of herbicides, insecticides, improved
                    seedlings and tractor hiring services.

                    The second quarter reports on the performances of the national economy
                    presented to the President by NEIC on Tuesday dealt with national
                    income and expenditure, inflation, supply of petroleum products,
                    smuggling, distribution of grains and fertilizer as well as the Turn
                    Around Maintenance of the Warri Refinery.


                    ----------------------

                    Shell to supply 6 fuel cargoes to Nigeria
                    Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell, has won a tender to supply fuel to
                    oil-rich Nigeria, breaking into the select club of private companies
                    that normally dominate the trade. Nigeria�s four refineries produce
                    only a fraction of their capacity of 18 million litres a day, forcing
                    the world�s sixth largest crude oil exporter to import fuel.

                    Daily demand ran to about 25 million litres and the government intended
                    to license more refinery operators to reduce the dependence on imported
                    fuel. Shell is already the dominant player in Nigeria for exploration
                    and extraction of crude oil and now the company had tightened its grip
                    by securing a supply contract for refined products.

                    Nigeria�s largest foreign joint venture is operated by Shell with the
                    state oil company to pump almost a million barrels daily of crude,
                    about half the country�s oil output. Shell said it would supply six
                    cargoes of gasoline during the fourth quarter, about 17 per cent of the
                    market, after aggressive bidding for the regular quarterly tender.


                    ----------------------

                    Col. Akiyode died of hypertension
                    �Prisons chief tells Oputa
                    Idowu Samuel, Abuja
                    THE Chief Superin- tendent Officer in charge of Makurdi Prisons,
                    Nathaniel Nandete, on Tuesday, disclosed at the sitting of the Oputa
                    Panel that Lt. Col. Olu Akiyode, sentenced to 20 years imprisonment
                    over the coup of 1997, died in prison of hypertension, contrary to
                    general beliefs.

                    Wife of the deceased, Mrs. Ruth Akiyode, had earlier told the panel
                    that her husband died in Makurdi prisons due to utter neglect by the
                    prison authorities. But testifying, the prisons superintendent
                    disclosed that Akiyode was accorded the best treatment having been
                    categorised as a �high-risk� prisoner, adding that he was equally made
                    to enjoy periodic medical examinations beginning from when he first
                    complained of being ill.

                    According to the witness, the prison authorities, with the aid of a
                    medical doctor, discovered a few days after he was brought to the
                    prisons that he had a history of hypertension, disclosing further that,
                    soon after the discovery, Akiyode equally complained of poor eye sight.
                    He said in addition to periodic medical treatment given to the
                    prisoner, he was allowed the option of ordering for honey, garlic,
                    vegetable and other food items.

                    Speaking further, Nandebe said on Decmeber 24, 1998, a day preceding
                    Col. Akiyode�s death, he was in good condition of health as, according
                    to him, he never complained of any problem from morning till night. He
                    said on the ill-fated day, the prison authorities discovered to its
                    shock that the Colonel was no longer responding to greetings, a
                    development which he said compelled the officials to call for the
                    prisons doctor who later confirmed him dead.

                    Nandebe said on the doctor�s recommendation, Akiyode was taken to the
                    General Hospital, Makurdi, where he was again confirmed dead.

                    He, however, pleaded with the wife not to grieve over the incident, but
                    to regard her husband�s death �as an act of God,� stressing that the
                    prisons� authorities regretted the occurrence.

                    Responding, Mrs. Akiyode debunked the claims of the prisons chief,
                    insisting that her husband never before had a history of hypertension.
                    According to her, Akiyode must have developed the problem while serving
                    the prison sentences.

                    Earlier, Mrs. Akiyode had mounted the witness box, alleging that she
                    and her children had been unjustly detained and harrassed over her
                    property whcih she said was forcefully confiscated by the authorities
                    of the Lagos Garrison shortly after the arrest of her husband.

                    According to the petitioner, her husband had personally discovered a
                    Federal Government abandoned property located at No. 26, Saka Tinubu,
                    Lagos, and had secured it with the consent of the Federal Ministry of
                    Works, adding that her husband equally furnished the house having taken
                    the inventory of what it contained earlier.

                    She told the Commission that the family had hardly occupied the
                    property for a period of seven months when the issue of the 1997 coup
                    plot occured, leading to Col. Akiyode�s arrest.
                    She said with that incident, the Lagos Garrison Command, on the
                    order of Col. E.F. Zamani, ordered her ejection from the house, a
                    situation whcih she said made her to approach Col. Zamani and plead for
                    more time to pack out.

                    According to Mrs. Akiyode, rather than granting her request, Col.
                    Zamani refused to personally attend to her, but ordered through one of
                    his aides that she should go back and start packing immediately.

                    �I started packing on getting home. In the process of packing, one
                    Second Lieutenant Abubakar came in and asked for the inventory of the
                    house. That was on January 19, 1998. Shortly after, he then asked for a
                    telephone and later called the officer and reported that we had been
                    packing government property.

                    Later, Col. Zamani came, entered the house and looked around without
                    making any comment.

                    �On January 22, I went back to the Garrison to retrieve my husband�s
                    jeep. On getting there, I was arrested for packing away government
                    property. I wrote a statement that I did not pack government�s
                    property. Notwithstanding, I was locked up for about 24 hours without
                    attention and food.�

                    In his own testimony, Col Zamani said that he never knew the petitioner
                    and that she was seeing her for the first time and hence, could not
                    have possibly ordered her arrest, and subsequent detention.

                    According to him, it was the Lagos Garrison Command which he said
                    approved the property for the late Akiyode which ordered his family to
                    move out following the 1997 coup plot incident.

                    He said he was aware, however, that Mrs. Akiyode requested for two days
                    to pack out her belongings and was granted, adding that the military
                    police who were sent to take the inventory of the house later
                    discovered that Mrs. Akiyode had tampered with government property in
                    her custody.

                    According to Zamani, Mrs. Akiyode was made to write a statement to the
                    head of military police who thereafter confirmed from the Ministry of
                    Works that the property on 26, Saka Tinubu, was funished by the
                    government.

                    He said based on that confirmation, Mrs. Akiyode was invited to the
                    office of the military police where, according to him, she later
                    confessed, even though she had earlier given contradictory statements
                    on the wherebouts of the property.

                    Zamani, who expressed surprise that Mrs. Akiyode had petitioned the
                    Oputa Panel on the issue, however, alleged that she still had part of
                    her property with the Garrison Command.

                    He blamed Mrs. Akiyode, alleging that she had caused her ordeals by
                    moving out government property.

                    Justice Oputa called on counsels to both parties, including those of
                    the Commission, to reach a common agreement based on the two
                    inventories tendered as exhibits and determine what property should be
                    returned to the petitioner. He gave two days for the conclusion of the
                    case.


                    ------------------------

                    Harry Who? The humble billionaire
                    By Kayode Akinmade
                    Chief Harry Akande, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the All Peoples
                    Party (APP) is a man of excellent taste.

                    His choice of cars, clothes, shoes and houses vividly depicted his
                    aristor-cratic life style. He has several business interests worth
                    millions of dollars in Europe, America and South Africa, but despite
                    these intimidating credentials, Harry Akande still looks humble and
                    respectful. His business adventure recently put him at cross
                    loggerhead with the federal government over the revocation of the
                    earlier permission given him to construct a multi-billion naira 5-star
                    hotel near the country�s premier airport, Muritala Mohammed Airport,
                    Ikeja.

                    His grouse with the government is, why such revocation order after
                    successive governments had worked on the blue print of the hotel
                    before allocating the area for the construction of the hotel? He is
                    also of the opinion that such revocation should be extended to the
                    mosque and the church beside the controversial site of the hotel.
                    Chief Harry Akande in an encounter with High Profile, believed
                    the government, through the revocation, had denied several unemployed
                    youths an opportunity to earn a decent living

                    �The hotel would have generated about 50,000 employment. It would have
                    brought employment to our people. The multiplier effect would have
                    been enormous and would have made a lot of difference in the lives of
                    our people�, Akande stated.

                    The APP cheiftain is convinced that the controversy surrounding the
                    construction of the hotel has political undertone because, according to
                    him, the same government that gave us permission to build the hotel was
                    the one that sworn in the present government.

                    The hotel which would have been constructed with about $100 million
                    dollars with 500 rooms capacity, Akande said, would have enocouraged
                    foreign investors to come into the country. The revocation of the
                    construction of the hotel notwithstanding, Chief Harry Akande seemed to
                    be focussed in his bid to reposition the All Peoples Party for the
                    2003 polls.


                    ----------------------

                    Democracy and the challenges of succession in Nigeria
                    By Richard Akinjide
                    Democracy as a modern way of life for ordering human affairs was
                    totally alien to black Africa. At least, not as enunciated and
                    practised as a governmental political system in the West, particularly
                    in Europe. Democracy is predicated on choice. Choice is predicated on
                    more than one person competing for one political office. Competition
                    means multiplicity of ideas, opinion and the means of disseminating and
                    ventilating them. In short, freedom of expression by multiplicity of
                    people without let or hindrance. Fairness. No monopoly. Lack of
                    fairness and balance in the channels for dissemination of opinion and
                    ideas are the anti-thesis of democratic norms.

                    Generally, democracy and the challenges of succession owe their origin
                    and political ideals to the Greeks and the Romans, who in turn, owe a
                    lot of their ideas to the Egyptians, thereby tracing the sources back
                    to ancient Africa. The great Roman philosopher, Pliny, confessed:

                    �Ex Africa semper aliquid novi� Meaning: There is always something new
                    out of Africa.

                    The slave trade provided the badly needed capital for the industrial
                    revolution of Europe. That was the triangular trade. Europe to Africa
                    particularly West Africa. West Africa to North America cum West Indies.
                    From there back to Europe thereby completing the triangle. This
                    triangular trade, apart from providing the badly needed capital for
                    Europe also triggered European settlements in the West Indies, North
                    America and South America. But the European settlement in North and
                    South America, West Indies, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa
                    followed different ethos from the European colonization of Black
                    Africa. Whenever and wherever the Europeans settled, the European
                    concepts of democratic norms were planted immediately. Just look at
                    the thirteen British North American colonies. The British settlements
                    in Australia and New Zealand. Democratic principle were planted
                    immediately as a way of life. In North America, no taxation without
                    representation was the battle cry. In New Hampshire, the recalcitrant
                    British Colonial Governor was expelled and bundled into the first
                    available ship back to England for the three months trans-Atlantic
                    sailing. The sickly British King George was helpless.

                    But in black Africa, the story was different. King Leopold of Belgium
                    converted Congo and all her resources into his private estate
                    dishonestly and falsely calling it �Congo Free State�. In Nigeria, the
                    treaties signed with the various rulers, kings, obas, chiefs and
                    communities were honoured more in breach than in observance. In East,
                    Central and South Africa, the minority white settlers were made to
                    rule the black majority under elections in which only the whites have
                    the votes. The battle grounds for democratic succession and survival
                    were first in East Africa. Then in the Central Africa, that is, Africa
                    South of the Zambezi River before the struggle moved to Africa South
                    of the Limpopo River. Gold had been discovered on the Witwatersrand and
                    the battle for control in the form of Anglo-Boer war was ensured at a
                    terrible price costing �350 million and 20,000 British lives. 26,000
                    Boer women and children died in concentration camp. All in desperate
                    efforts to control the land and minerals which God gave to the black
                    people. It was the battle for succession and control. An interesting
                    book: �Diary of an African Journey� by H. Rider Haggard and published
                    by Hurst & Co. at �20 is just released on the subject.

                    In 1798, the first independent black people government was established
                    in Haiti. The slaves boldly revolted and rebelled in 1791 on the French
                    Island of Saint Dominique �� one of the oldest and most lucrative of
                    the Caribbean sugar plantation. It was a rebellion that could not be
                    contained. The last European military forces were evacuated in 1798.
                    Thus, the black Africa obtained for themselves by force what the white
                    sugar settler planters denied them, namely, freedom and democracy.

                    What about the Oyo and Ashanti systems in West Africa? The built-in
                    divisive system brought about the collapse of the Oyo empire. But not
                    so with the Ashanti system (now in Ghana). There was no structured
                    opposition in Ashanti. The kings and the chiefs were both integrated
                    in a National Council called the Asantemanhayiamu. The Asanhere was
                    the King-in-Council. He was chosen from among the eligible matrilineal
                    candidates by the Queen Mother and prominent chiefs �� a system that
                    averted the dangers of succession disputes that have destroyed many
                    African states, the former Oyo Empire in particular. The Golden Stool
                    is sacred in Kumasi

                    We later inherited the British democratic culture and attitudes to a
                    great extent. But since 1979 that culture has been diluted with that of
                    the United States presidential system of government.

                    In spite of all the built-in safety-valves in the British system,
                    there had been times of succession crisis. What of the rotten Boroughs
                    in Britain? And the Reform Act of 1832 which passed through the British
                    House of Commons with a majority of only one vote? The King�s
                    Abdication Crisis of 1936-7! General Crowmwell took political power
                    from King Charles I in 1649 and remained in office till 1660. He
                    attempted to pass on power in 1860 to his son but failed and hence the
                    Restoration. It was the first and the last time the military overtly
                    intervened in British politics. Crowmwell, possibly, conscious of the
                    British political succession traditions and the judgement of history on
                    his action described what he did as �cruel necessity� Crowmwell
                    beheaded Charles 1 and ensured, in fear, that all the members of the
                    British Parliament, signed a document approving of his action. Or was
                    Crowmwell afraid of a possible charge for treason? In a strange irony,
                    a massive statute of Crowmwell is on display today in the premises of
                    the British House of Parliament. And his head is buried in the library
                    of Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge -the College of two
                    of my children. With the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 - democracy
                    has since been uninterrupted in Britain till today. The Representations
                    of the People�s Act 1910-1911 and giving the women the right to vote
                    in 1919 were landmarks in democracy in British political history. Women
                    members of Parliament! Woman Prime Minister! Women in the Cabinet!
                    Unprecedented democratic norms!

                    The forced amalgamation by imperial Britain of the various
                    nationalities of Lagos, the North and the South in 1914 was the
                    genesis of our present crisis of confidence and political succession.
                    Therefore, the journey of democracy, and the challenges of successions
                    could be said to be as follows in Nigeria:

                    (a) 1862-Legislative Council established

                    (b) 1914-Amalgamation of the North and South decreed

                    (c) 1922- Sir Clifford�s Constitution promulgated and named after
                    Governor Sir Hugh Clifford. This replaced the Legislative Council of
                    1862 with an enlarged Council.

                    (d) 1945-Richard�s Constitution. It created a single Legislature for
                    Nigeria with the group of Provinces in the North, West and East. In
                    March 1945, the Motion of Legislative Council was moved by Sir Gerald
                    Whitely -the Secretary to the Government and seconded by Rev Effiong.
                    It was passed unanimously. The Richards Constitution was enacted.
                    Unelected majorities for the Centre and the Provinces were established.


                    (e) 1951-Macpherson Constitution: This introduced political parties
                    and the first elected Legislature and Government in Nigeria.

                    (f) 1954-Lyttleton Constitution: Regional autonomy and self-government
                    were introduced by installments.

                    (g) On March 26, 1957, Chief S.L Akintola (Oshun West) moved the
                    following motion in the House of Representatives:

                    �That this House instructs the delegates specifically added to the
                    Federal Delegation to the forhtcoming Constitutional Conference to
                    express the views of this House to do all the their power to secure the
                    grant of self government to the Federation of Nigeria in 1957.�

                    The motion was seconded by Chief Ayo Rosiji (Egba East).

                    Mr. Jaja Wachukwu moved the motion for the amendment, which was
                    seconded by Maitama Sule (Kano), the effect of which was to ensure self
                    government in 1959 and not 1957. Chief Akintola accepted the amendment
                    . The Motion was passed unanimously as amended by the House. A matter
                    of great national importance was faced and handled with maturity and
                    the utmost spirit of unanimity. The Prime Minister, Tafawa Balewa,
                    supported the Motion as amended in the following words, among others,

                    I have a copy of the official record of the House of Representative
                    Debate in case any one wants to make a photocopy.

                    That was political succession in accordance with democratic norms.

                    (h) 1960 - The Independence Constitution

                    I was elected to the Federal Parliament on December 12, 1959
                    representing the Ibadan South-East Federal Constituency starting from
                    the Gege River in the City of Ibadan to the Ijebu-Igbo Boundary next
                    door to Abraham Adesanya.

                    I was in the Parliament that debated and accepted the Independence
                    Constitution. On October1, 1960, the British flag was lowered for ever
                    and the Nigerian flag raised. What a momentous moment! What a day in
                    our history of political succession! I was there.

                    The Independence Constitution created a Troika of the Regions-the
                    North, the West and the East. It was centrifugal. Each Region had its
                    own:

                    (i) Constitution

                    (ii) Flag

                    (iii) Diplomatic relations with Britain and could have with any other
                    country if it wished.

                    (iv) Judiciary with power of appointment via its own Judicial Service
                    Commission

                    (v) Revenue - on the basis of derivation

                    (vi) State Police.

                    It was a true Federation which enabled each Region to develop at its
                    own pace and meet the peculiar challenges to its own people. The Ijaws
                    of the Delta are the fourth largest nationality block in Nigeria.
                    Although they have oil and gas, they still lack political clout and
                    economic power. Their revenue situation has improved within the last
                    two years.

                    The crisis and problems of political succession in Nigeria today
                    cannot to be divorced from Major Lugard who came here as an employee
                    of the Royal Niger Company. Lord Harcourt, a ruthless imperialist, was
                    the Colonial Secretary - at that crucial period in our history, Lugard
                    and Harcourt imprimatur remain with us till today. In fact, the
                    problems of democracy and political succession we have in Nigeria in
                    recent times and today have their genesis in the Lugard and Harcourt
                    policies. Our June 12 crisis must be traced back to Major Lugard and
                    Lord Harcourt. Lord Harcourt saw the South as a Lady of means who must
                    marry the North a poor and indigent bachelor.

                    Lord Harcourt stated the purpose of amalgamation as follows:

                    �We have released Northern Nigeria from the leading strings of the
                    Treasury. The promising and well conducted youth is now on an allowance
                    on his own and is about to affect an alliance with a Southern lady of
                    means. I have issued the special licence and Sir Frederick Lugard will
                    perform the ceremony. May the union be fruitful and the couple
                    constant�

                    Before the 1914 amalgamation, the colonial administration of the
                    Northern Nigeria was financed from British Treasury, Whereas the South
                    was financially self-sufficient and viable. The North was bankrupt. Not
                    economically viable. And the British was unwilling to educate the
                    North. The view of the British Commercial and Colonial interests was:
                    educate the North and lose Nigeria. Lugard was one of the greatest
                    advocate of that policy.

                    Lugard�s policies in the North were disastrous. F. Nicholson, a
                    British expert on his colonial administratiion put Lugard�s failure in
                    the North as follows:

                    �Instead of administering �things� and developing �service�, Lugard had
                    been pre-occupied with the widespread extension of rule over �people� -
                    an undertaking so unprofitable that it made the amalgamation of the
                    viable South and the bankrupt North both far more urgent from the point
                    of view of the home government and far more difficult than the joining
                    of two viable administrations would have been. The immediate task was
                    to free the home government from the expensive milestones which
                    Lugard had fastened round its neck and to transfer the whole burden to
                    a new amalgamated Nigeria�

                    In short, Lugard, as an administrator, was a disaster in the North.
                    Lugard forcibly put under the Hausa/Fulani Rule by Indirect Rule the
                    Northern minorities that the Fulanis could not and did not conquer.
                    Lugard brought the Indirect Rule system from India.

                    In the South the emphasis of the administration had been on �things�
                    and �services� and there was good progress particularly, in
                    agriculture. Just compare the earning capacities of six export crops:
                    cocoa, palm oil, palm kernels and rubber from the South and of Cotton
                    and Groundnuts from the North. See Williams Geary�s book: Nigeria
                    Under British Rule at P 257. Sir Frederick Lugard, after five years
                    service as Governor of Hong Kong, came back to Nigeria as Governor of
                    both the North and South. At the request of the Colonial Office,
                    Lugard undertook a familiarization tour of North and South-Nigeria-and
                    submitted concrete amalgamation proposals.
                    For that, Lugard arrived Nigeria on October 3, 1912, and was
                    sworn in as Governor by the Chief Justice of Southern Nigeria the same
                    day. The following day he travelled to Zungeru by special train to be
                    sworn in as Governor of Northern Nigeria by the Chief Justice of
                    Northern Nigeria. Then, there was no Nigeria as we know it today.

                    Lugard did not hide his hatred for the educated Southerners whom he
                    called �educated natives�. Nor did he disguise his bias and affection
                    for the Northerners-and the North. His letters to his wife were very
                    revealing. Of the educated natives of the South he wrote:

                    �His loud and arrogant conceit are distasteful to me, the lack of
                    natural dignity and courtesy antagonises me� Lugard�s hatred and
                    contempt for the South and and Southerners were total.

                    On a visit to Ibadan, he detected signs that some �educated natives�
                    from Lagos and the Lagos press were stirring up people in Yorubaland
                    �to resist loss of their lands and taxation�. At Ibadan when Lugard
                    found that the colonial government was paying for land used for the
                    railway line, he condemned the polity and asked why should
                    �government pay to be allowed to confer benefits.�

                    When Lugard visited Abeokuta in December 1912 and met a vital,
                    viable United Egba Government ruling the Egba State with the
                    essentials of a modern government secretariat, water works, roads and a
                    printing press for issuing out official government gazettes, Lugard
                    blamed the British Commissioner, Abeokuta, Mr.J. W. Young, complaining
                    that his policy of allowing the Alake and his Council to operate a
                    modern system of government would �make our (British) position in
                    Nigeria difficult�. In short, if the Africans were capable of running
                    their affairs so efficiently, where was the justification for
                    colonialism? Where was the dark continent? Where was the sore of the
                    continent? The hands of the clock must be put back to justify
                    colonialism!

                    Lugard submitted his amalgamation proposals to the Colonial Office on
                    May 9, 1913. He proposed, among others, that the Executive Head of the
                    amalgamated Nigeria should be called �Governor-General�. Sir John
                    Anderson, a top official of the Colonial Office, London, and who was a
                    delegate to the �Berlin Conference� of 1884-85 opposed Lugard�s
                    proposal. Sir John minuted in the file as follows:

                    �As to Governor-General, I see no reason why he is keen on it, he
                    should not have it�

                    Lugard twisted the fingers of the Colonial Secretary, Lord Harcourt,
                    and got the title he wanted but only personal to limit, not to be
                    adopted by his successor.

                    Another top Colonial Office Official, C. Strachey minuted as follows
                    in the file

                    �Sir F Lugard proposals contemplated a state which is impossible to
                    classify. It is not a unitary state, it is not a confederation of
                    states. If adopted his proposals can hardly be a permanent
                    solution-the machinery may work possible for sufficient time to enable
                    the transition period to be left behind, by which time the answer to
                    the problem-Unitary State versus Federal States- will probably have
                    become clear�.

                    How prophetic was Strachey! From 1914 till today, Nigeria as
                    amalgamated has not been able to find either love, or unity or workable
                    machinery for democracy and the challenges of succession. The June
                    12 crisis was the epitome of the 1914 amalgamation fraud. During the
                    1953 Budget Session of the House of Representative in Lagos, Sir
                    Ahmadu Bello, the Sarduna of Sokoto made that historic, statement:

                    �The mistake of 1914 has come to light�.

                    At the Ibadan Constitutional Conference in 1950 to review the Richard�s
                    Constitution, the Emirs of Katsina and Zaria said unless the Northern
                    Provinces were granted 50 per cent of the seats in the proposed Central
                    House of Representative, they would �ask for separation from the rest
                    of Nigeria on the arrangements existing before 1914�

                    I am quoting this from page 218 of the �Proceedings of the General
                    Conference on Review of the Constitution� held at Ibadan, January
                    1950.

                    Threatened divorce between the North and the South is therefore nothing
                    new!

                    Between 1950-52, the Cohonial Government hurriedly manufactured
                    population census to justify the North�s demand for half of the seats
                    in the Federal Parliament. Today, the North is allocated by far more
                    than their 1950 demand in Federal arrangement. It is even worse than
                    that in other respect. Even though it is officially accepted that
                    the population of Lagos is by far more than the population of Kano,
                    yet Kano is carved into forty-two (42) local governments and Lagos is
                    given 20 local governments. The local governments are among factors
                    used to allocate seats for representation in the House of
                    Representative as well as for revenue allocation! Lugard and Harcourt
                    must be happy laughing in their graves!

                    Lord Scarbrough, Chairman of the Niger Company-the former �owner� of
                    what is now called the �North� in Nigeria and the employers of Major
                    Lugard, made it clear that the South should pay for the development of
                    the North and added that any other policy was suicidal. Any wonder the
                    views of the Colonial Civil servants in London differed fundamentally
                    from those of Major Lugard who was originally sent to Nigeria to
                    protect the commercial interests of his employers against those of the
                    Nigerians. Lugard and the colonial administration kept the North in
                    purposeful ignorance.

                    The British Civil Servants in London who were skeptical of Lugard�s
                    amalgamation project had good reasons. If the people of the South did
                    not see themselves as one entity, what then was the basis for the
                    amalgamation of the North and the South? The various kingdoms or
                    communities in the South signed treaties of protection and
                    cooperation with the British as separate and independent entities. The
                    British representatives signed as �Consul� - one sovereign state to
                    another.

                    There was no provision for amalgamation in any of the treaties. The
                    outlooks of the various Southern pre-amalgamation nationalities were
                    fundamentally different from those of the Northerners.

                    From the Lugard�s papers were letters in Hausa showing the warm
                    relationship between the Emirs and Lugard. The letters show the
                    differences in attitudes between the North and the South . While Lugard
                    hated the latter, he was, in love with the former. That was Governor
                    Lugard seething with bias and prejudice yet sat in judgements between
                    the North and the South. Just hold your breath and listen to some of
                    the letters from the Emirs to Lugard:

                    SHEHU OF BORNO:

                    �Letter from the slave of God... to our good helper , our prop, the
                    solver of our difficulties, the one who carries our heavy burdens,
                    Governor Lugard with salutations more scented than the musk perfume
                    and sweeter than honey. May God prolong your life, the keeper of
                    those who keep others.�

                    EMIR OF BIDA:

                    �Sent ... salutations and good will shining bright as do the planets
                    and constant as their light as the return of morn and eve, Oh! My
                    Chief, My Leader, we ask God to prolong your life in prosperity and
                    health. My present to you is a sword in a silver scabbard and two
                    gowns.�

                    EMIR OF YOLA:

                    �To the Deputy of the King of England, the Governor , who holds all
                    our country in his hand and rules it all. A thousand salutations and
                    fealty and homage repeated.�

                    EMIR OF JAMA:

                    �I and my people, all of us, will not refrain from praying for you
                    morning and evening... I told my people to rejoice at your safe
                    return. We rode our horses and raced. I read your letter morning and
                    evening and it makes me very happy.�

                    EMIR OF NUPE:

                    �Many beautiful salutations, a clean love... my present to you is two
                    turkeys, One package of plantains and one of limes.�

                    The fundamental law of our country is the constitution. The current
                    Constitution is the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
                    1999. Because of the seriousness of its section 1,I quote it in full:

                    �1.-(1) This Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have
                    binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal
                    Republic of Nigeria.

                    (2) The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall
                    any person or group of persons take control of the Government of
                    Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions
                    of this Constitution.

                    (3) If any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this
                    Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall
                    to the extent of the inconsistency be void.�

                    The kernels of the provision are that any military rule is totally
                    ruled out. No coup. The government must be in accordance with the
                    provision of the Constitution. Any law purportedly made by a military
                    usurper is void. Political succession must be as stipulated in the
                    Constitution and the laws made under it. The Oaths of office are
                    sacred. Loyalty must be total. A political office in government must
                    be one of trust and confidence. A jurist has put it as follows:

                    �A fiduciary is someone who has undertaken to act for or on behalf of
                    another in a particular matter in circumstances which give rise to a
                    relationship of trust and confidence. The distinguishing obligation of
                    a fiduciary is the obligation of loyalty. The principlal is entitled
                    to the single-minded loyalty of his fiduciary. This core liability has
                    several facets. A fiduciary must act in good faith; he must not make a
                    profit out of his trust; he must not place himself in a position where
                    his duty and his interest may conflict; he may not act for his own
                    benefit or the benefit of a third person without the informed consent
                    of his principal. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but
                    it is sufficient to indicate the nature of fiduciary obligations.
                    They are the defining characteristics of the fiduciary. As Dr. Finn
                    pointed out in the classic work Fiduciary Obligations (1977), p. 2, he
                    is not subject to fiduciary obligations because he is a fiduciary; it
                    is because he is subject to them that he is a fiduciary.�

                    The sum total of the central message of Major-General Chris Alli (rtd)
                    in his brilliant book �The Siege of a Nation-The Federal Republic of
                    Nigeria Army� is that the Nigerian Military was so sectional, so
                    corrupt and so political that it has defiled its place in history be
                    it in the history of Nigeria or in the history of the world. This is a
                    harsh judgement. But the question is: is it true or not? You only have
                    a apply the �shoe-on-the-other-foot� test.

                    Major-General Chris Alli (rtd) in that book spoke frankly as someone
                    who comes from the Northern minority:

                    �The fears are deeper than political, Northern political leaders are
                    wary of non-Moslem leaders. Their clerics and political opinion
                    leaders often voice this openly, with impunity. It is really nothing
                    new. The North has ruled the nation for thirty-five years of its
                    independence. Even non-northern leaders from the South and Middle Belt,
                    have carried on with a decisively more northern mentality even core
                    northerners can often not match. Northern hold on power had been
                    predicated on four strategic leverages, namely: geopraphy, the Ahmadu
                    Bello�s �north for the north� or northernization, language which eases
                    intra-regional communication, religion which provides political
                    connection and rally, and finally, the military as a fallback position
                    should these demographic advantages be neutralized. The latter
                    explains the sophisticated design of a military high command that is
                    exclusive and responsive to northern interests. The North�s dilemma
                    began with, and was crystallized by General Ibrahim Babangida�s
                    reign. His annulment of the June 12 election, his succour within the
                    northern hierarchy, and his presumed involvement with the Islamizations
                    of Nigeria put paid to the confidence the North had garnered over the
                    years, for itself in the control of power.�

                    And as regards the federal system, the retired Major General said on p
                    153 of the book:

                    �The Nigerian federal system is a colossal deception of the highest
                    order, a colonial, political construction inherited by the elite in
                    1960�

                    and he added on page 167:

                    �The struggle among the contending interest for the control of the
                    central government is the major source and cause of Nigeria�s
                    cut-throat politics and recurring instability. There is also a very
                    strong linkage between the military barracks, oil resources and coups
                    d�etat as soldiers ravage the nation to assuage personal and group
                    appetite for power and wealth�.

                    All the above sum up the doubts and fears inseparable from the subject
                    of this lecture:

                    �Democracy And The Challenges of Succession in Nigeria�.

                    That is our dilemma!

                    �Chief Akinjide SAN, FCIArb delivered this lecture at the Radio Oyo
                    Silver Jubilee anniversary held at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan, last
                    week.
                    ----------------------

                    SPECIAL TREAT
                    Bible saves boy from death
                    �As father beheads son for goddess
                    POLICE in Florida, the United States, have said a mother shot dead her
                    six-year-old son Sunday, but another shotgun blast intended for his
                    16-year-old brother was absorbed by the teenager�s Bible.

                    The woman, Leslie Ann Wallace, 39, was later shot by Sheriff�s deputies
                    and hospitalized in critical condition.

                    Authorities said Wallace shot her son, James Wallace, at home, then
                    drove to her family�s church where she fired her shotgun at 16-year-old
                    Kenneth Wallace as he stood outside.

                    The blast, fired at close range, struck his �Bible and the overcoat he
                    was carrying. Kenneth Wallace�s arm had minor scratches.

                    �The Bible certainly saved his life,� said Lee County Sheriff�s deputy,
                    Larry King. �Had his Bible not been in the way, he would have sustained
                    the brunt of the blast and very well could have died from that type of
                    injury.�

                    Mrs. Wallace then drove to a pizzeria, police said, where her
                    19-year-old son, Gregory, was working. Police had forewarned Gregory
                    Wallace that his mother might be on route. Police said she pointed the
                    gun at the manager at the restaurant.
                    Authorities said she then went to a pay phone and called 911 to
                    report the killing of the six-year-old. Police found his body at the
                    family�s home. When deputies pulled over the car, she began firing at
                    them, authorities said. They returned fire, hitting her once.

                    King said police did not give a motive for the shootings, but said
                    officers found anti-depressant medication at her home. �We�re still
                    sorting through things,� King said. �The rest of the circumstances
                    aren�t really clear yet.�

                    Also, a goldsmith in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu beheaded
                    his son, allegedly as a sacrifice to a Hindu goddess, reports said.
                    The Indian Express newspaper reported that Chandra Shekharan, 45,
                    chopped off his 20-year-old son, Shanmuchasundaram�s head on Monday in
                    his prayer room in the state capital, Madras. Neighbours said they
                    heard screams from the goldsmith�s residence early in the morning as
                    his wife and mother-in-law screamed for help. Eyewitnesses said that
                    when police came, Shakharan was waiting at the doorstep with his son�s
                    head which he handed over to them.

                    He then escaped and hid in a neighbouring house, where he was arrested,
                    police said. The goldsmith was reeling under heavy debt and was upset
                    over the loss of his job with a local jeweller and became
                    superstitious, believing in all kinds of omens and signs, his second
                    son, Kumar, said. Shakharan reportedly informed police that he dreamt
                    of a goddess asking for the sacrifice of his eldest son promising him
                    financial gains in return.


                    ----------------------

                    Disregard Saraki on OPC, ACF told
                    Tunde Oyekola, Ilorin
                    PROMINENT indigenes of Kwara State at the weekend took on Dr. Olusola
                    Saraki over his allegations that the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) was
                    planning to invade the state capital. The group, led by one-time
                    Minister of Defence, Alhaji Akanbi Oniyangi, told members of the ACF
                    during a meeting in Kaduna, to disregard the claim of Dr. Saraki that
                    OPC members were planning to invade Kwara State.

                    A competent source at the meeting gave the names of other prominent
                    Kwara leaders in the group as Alhaji Yinusa Gada, one time chairman of
                    the Peugeot Automobile of Nigeria (PAN), Alhaji Ade Yusuf, one-time
                    Permanent Secretary in the Sokoto State Civil Service, Alhaji Bayo
                    Giwa, Alhaji Yinusa Tsaragi and Chief Joseph Aderibigbe, one time
                    Secretary to the Kwara State Government and Head of Service.

                    The source said the group wondered how Dr. Saraki could condescend so
                    low as to be peddling rumours about the security of Kwara State,
                    insisting that, there was no threat to peace and security in the state.
                    Beside, the group also explained that the relationship between the
                    state governor, Alhaji Mohammed Lawal and the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji
                    Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari had continued to wax stronger, pointing out that
                    Saraki had tried in vain to put a wedge between the duo.


                    ----------------------

                    Obasanjo, true Igbo friend �PDP
                    Bola Badmus, Enugu
                    DEPUTY National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji
                    Yekeen Adeojo, has said that President Olusegun Obasanjo is a true
                    friend of the Igbo and should therefore be fully embraced by them for
                    the 2003 polls.

                    Alhaji Adeojo made this remark on Monday in Enugu, while addressing
                    newsmen as part of activities marking his tour of the state on the
                    sensitisation and mobilisation of party members for registration
                    exercise nationwide.

                    Justifying his claim, Alhaji Adeojo said that apart from President
                    Obasanjo contributing immensely in bringing the civil war to an end, he
                    had been using the opportunity of his second coming to heal the wounds
                    inflicted by the fraticidal war. According to PDP Deputy National
                    Chairman, the President had restored the ranks and entitlements of
                    soldiers on the Biafran side who took part in the war.

                    He said this was commendable apart from the huge investment which the
                    Federal Government also expended on neglected and new roads including
                    other federal projects in the entire South-East. �Within two years,
                    President Obasanjo has identified himself with Nigerians and the Igbo,
                    whom he had never abandoned and would still do more if given the
                    opportunity of serving a second term come 2003,� Alhaji Adeojo
                    explained.
                    Lagos AD factions in free-for-all
                    Soji Ikotun, Lagos
                    FACTIONS in the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in Lagos on Tuesday engaged
                    in a free-for-all at a rally in the Ikorodu local government area of
                    the state.

                    Eyewitnesses said that the three factions comprising the Alhaji Mufutau
                    Ajisebutu led Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Organisation (BATCO),
                    Afenifere Unity Forum (AUF) and Prince Biodun Ogunleye�s Justice Forum
                    (JF) who were parties to the conflict started trouble at about 12.30
                    p.m., when the state chairman of the AD arrived the venue of the rally.


                    Witnesses further said that in a bid to prevent the state chairman from
                    addressing the rally, one of the leaders employed the services of some
                    hoodlums who clashed with loyalists of the chairman in the process of
                    distrupting the rally.

                    Commenting of the feud, the Lagos State chairman of the party, Prince
                    Biodun Ogunde sued for peace among the warring factions noting that the
                    hooligalism in AD would only lead the party to nowhere.

                    �There is no problem in other local governments, it is only here in
                    Ikorodu, so let all come together and ensure the success of the party
                    come 2003.� Ogunleye explained.


                    -------------------------

                    I�ve been maltreated �Effiong
                    By Festus Adedayo
                    GENERAL Philip Effiong (rtd), the man who surrendered Biafra to federal
                    troops in 1970, has said that Nigeria was not fair to him by giving
                    preferential treatment to the then Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu
                    over him.

                    Effiong, who made this known in a paper he presented at the
                    International Conference on the Nigerian Civil War and its Aftermath
                    organised by the Programme on Ethnic and Federal Studies (PEFS) of the
                    University of Ibadan, lamented the fate that befell him, blaming it on
                    his minority origin.

                    �I was the man who brought peace to the country and re-united it in
                    that single act of unparallel bravery. In spite of the summary of
                    events above, I was dismissed from the army through the medium of a
                    newspaper publication in 1971. No discharge or dismissal papers were
                    issued to me by the military authorities in Lagos which in itself, was
                    tantamount to an act of brigandage against my person,� he lamented.
                    Effiong, now 75, had to be excused to read his speech sitting by the
                    chairman of the occasion, Senator Azuta Mbata, who underscored
                    Effiong�s immense contributions to Nigeria�s togetherness.
                    Stating that the vestiges of the war had not yet been removed,
                    Effiong, now an Obong, said he joined the Army in 1945 and had �put in
                    21 years of continuous and meritorious service in the Nigerian Army and
                    would have been entitled to all discharge benefits, gratuity and
                    pension accruable to an officer of a Lt. Col�s rank if he had retired
                    from the Army at that time,� but that all was thrown into the wind, in
                    spite of his �gallantry.�

                    �On the other hand, General Ojukwu, an Igbo man, who abandoned Biafra
                    as its Head of State, was granted state pardon in 1982 and returned to
                    Nigeria to a red carpet reception and has been rehabilitated,
                    reconciled and fully reintegrated,� he lamented.

                    Earlier in one of the presentations at the conference, Dr. Rotimi
                    Suberu of the University of Ibadan had said that one of the effects of
                    the civil war was the movement from �centrifugal federalism to
                    centripetal federalism where the centre has become too powerful.�

                    Also, Mr. Said Adejumo, who spoke on the part oil played in the war,
                    said that oil politics was central to Biafra, Nigeria, America and
                    Britain, saying the oil in Biafra garnered international attention.


                    -------------------------

                    MPUMALANGA:
                    South African province of the rising sun
                    THE Province of Mpumalanga, meaning place of the risings sun� is
                    situated on the north east border of South Africa bounded by Swaziland
                    and Mozambique, Mpumalanga is a land of contrast. Highveld grasslands
                    dominate the western border with Gauteng, moving eastwards through
                    bushveid to the Greater Drakensburg Escarpment overlooking the lowveld
                    and the Kruger National Park. The wildlife, birds and plant life are
                    all truly representative of Africa. The scenery is majestic and
                    endless. Here you will find the true Africa where peace reign in the
                    stillness of an African sunset. At dark, you will thrill to the sounds
                    of the wild. The people of Mpumalanga wait to welcome you with African
                    warmth to their land.

                    CAR HIRE
                    All major car hire companies are represented in Mpumalanga. Driving is
                    on the left hand side. An international driving licence is required.

                    ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORT
                    The superb natural conditions and excellent year-round climated are an
                    invitation to the practice of outdoor sports such as golf, tennis,
                    fishing, horse riding, paragliding, abseiling hilking, hunting, 4 x 4
                    trails, game viewing, bird watching and numerous other activities.
                    Mpumalanga has three casinos situated in:

                    1. Nelspruit
                    2. Witbank
                    3. Secunda

                    Most towns boars cinemas, restaurants, bars and discos.

                    GETTING TO MPUMALANGA BY AIR
                    Mpumalanga is served by several direct flights to Nelspruit, Malelane
                    and Skukuza. Between Johannesburg and Nelspruit, 5 return flights
                    daily. Between Durban and Nelspruit, 1 return flight daily.

                    ACCOMMODATION

                    Most hotels, guests houses, lodges, self catering establishments and
                    campsites provide a high quality service for visitors. We recommended
                    you contact the local information office in the area you wish to visit
                    to assist you with reservations and advice.

                    Complaints relating to any unsatisfactory tourism service, may be made
                    in writing to the Mpumalanga Tourism Authority.

                    A GUIDE TO TRAVEL IN MPUMALANGA
                    Mpumalanga borders on two foreign countries, namely Swaziland and
                    Mozambique. Passports are required for all cross-border travel. Visa
                    requirements vary according to nationality � visitors should check with
                    their Consulate before departure. Border posts are open daily.

                    The road network across the province is excellent, providing fuel
                    facilities and service station at frequent intervals.

                    Be careful when driving at night, since wild animals, often stray on to
                    main roads and can cause accidents. In all cases, animals have the
                    right of way. Natural hazards include fog, dust, smoke, rain and hail.
                    Forests fires are a dry season hazards throughout the province. Fires
                    should only be lit in designated areas and then only with extreme
                    caution.

                    Always travel with the doors of your vehicle locked. Motorists to the
                    hotter areas should avoid dehydration by carrying a good supply of
                    liquids. Malaria occurs in some of the lower lying regions of
                    Mpumalanga. Travelers should consult or pharmacists for advice. Always
                    carry your Mpumalanga map in order to plan both the best route and
                    petrol stops along the way.

                    MAIN BORDERS
                    Komatipoort to Maputo
                    Bulembu to Swaziland
                    Jeepers Reef to Swaziland
                    Oshoek to Swaziland

                    CLIMATE
                    Mpumalanga�s climate is mild throughout the year. Temperatures vary
                    from mild winters between 0-15O C (32-59OF) to warm hot summers between
                    20-40OC (68-104OF). Summer is from October to April and winter from May
                    to September which provides a welcome getaway for visitors from the
                    Northern Hemisphere.

                    CREDIT CARDS AND CURRENCY
                    The unit is the Rand. Most major cards and traveler�s cheque in major
                    currencies are accepted at all commercial banks. Most hotels, shops and
                    businesses also accept traveller�s cheques and foreign currency,
                    although commission on exchange varies. Petrol (gas) cannot be
                    purchases with standard credit cards.

                    DINING AND SUPERMARKETS
                    Most shops are open between 09h00 and 17h00 during the week and until
                    13h00 on Saturdays (supermarkets closed later). In major cities,
                    shopping malls and supermarkets are open all day on Saturdays and in
                    smaller towns and later in the cities. South Africa is world famous for
                    its excellent witness.

                    ELECTRICITY
                    The standard power source is 200/250v. It would be advisable to
                    purchase an adapter or transformer to link with local electrical power.


                    MEDICAL CARE
                    You are advised to buy medical insurance before departure from your
                    home country, since hospital and doctors can be expensive. Pharmacies
                    will be to meet most of your medication needs, but to be sure, carry
                    any specialist medication with you.

                    TIME
                    Standard time in South African is two hours ahead of GMT. There is no
                    daylight saving. There are no time zone changes between South Africa
                    and her neighbouring countries, nor between the nine provinces.


                    Who owns Bowers� Tower?
                    THIS question may sound stupid, but it is not. Although it is generally
                    assumed that Bowers� Tower Tourist Centre, located on Layipo�s Hill,
                    Oke-Are, Ibadan, should automatically belong to the Government of Oyo
                    State. But there is another opinion which tends to believe that the
                    Bowers� Tower Tourist centre belongs to the Federal Government.

                    The Oyo state Tourism Board under Chief A. Adeleye should come out with
                    a proper clarification of issues on the, ownership status of Bowers
                    Tower. Does it belong to the Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism
                    or the state government and by law, who should exercise control over
                    the site?. TTH believes that the Nigerian Tourism Development
                    Corporation (NTDC) too should make clarification on Bowers� Towers
                    tourist centre before it generates controversy.s



                    Premier Hotel for rebirth
                    THE king of hospitality, Premier Hotel, situated on Mokola hills,
                    Ibadan, Oyo State is heading for a re-birth and total overhauling.

                    TTH investigations revealed that the new Managing Director, Mr. Bola
                    Jaiyeola is busy mapping out strategies and tactics of overhauling the
                    hotel with a view of offering excellent services.

                    An inside source revealed that, the new Managing Director, being a
                    professional, was not happy about the level of services and operation
                    when he assumed duty, hence, his determination to ensure excellent
                    services at all cost.

                    Although TTH tried in vain to speak with the new MD, but the testimony
                    of his determination was visible at the gents which now looks neat,
                    beauty and decent.

                    Also, there was a noticeable warm customers� relationship at the front
                    office where prompt attention were being showered on customers.

                    The source revealed that Mr. Jaiyeola who was formerly at Ikoyi Club,
                    Lagos has quietly started a new process of re-engineering Premier
                    Hotel, which will ensure re-birth, as one of the best hotel in Nigeria.
                    Stay tuned.
                    Visit us and win, Abuja Sheraton assures
                    ABUJA Sheraton Hotel & Towers, meeting the challenges of modern
                    marketing, reaffirm its commitment to give its customers value for
                    their money. It maintains that all its dealings with guests should be
                    of mutual benefit: a win-win situation that satisfies both parties. �We
                    don�t just want your money, we want your friendship too�, says Mr.
                    Alphonsus K. Alhassan, the Director of Sales and Marketing.

                    To maintain this position, the management of the hotel trained its
                    staff on �Sales Negotiation Skills�, to attract business of course, but
                    also to ensure a win-win situation where the customer did not just
                    compromise, feel persuaded or just accommodate, but would have a
                    feeling of satisfaction at the end of the negotiation. �This is not the
                    bottom-line. The real issue is when the guest is happy with his room,
                    his meeting and the quality of food served him so much so that he�s
                    willing to come again, then it�s a win-win situation� says the
                    Facilitator, Mr. Paul Onyia, Director of Sales and Marketing, Sheraton
                    Lagos Hotel & Towers.

                    The idea impressed upon the participants was that negotiation is a
                    complex process involving intensive analysis, planning strategies and
                    tactics. All of these elements require considerable knowledge and
                    skill, including knowledge of key issues (and their value to you and
                    the customer), knowledge of the customers interests, and the skill to
                    negotiate fairly and maintain a working partnership with the customer.

                    Speaking at the end of the event, the General Manager of the hotel, Mr.
                    Sanjeev Gohlan, enjoined the participants to take advantage of the
                    opportunity to sharpen their sales negotiation skills and to assess
                    their power sources and limitations and those of the customers. He
                    assured that the management would not relent in its efforts to train
                    staff so that standard is not compromised.

                    The participants expressed satisfaction with the training and stated
                    their willingness to put to practice all that they have learnt. The
                    hotel�s customers are assured of a fair deal and the promise of better
                    service.


                    Plateau scouts for foreign investors on N3b hotel Isaac Shobayo,
                    Jos
                    PLATEAU State Commissioner for Tourism and Culture, Barrister John Bala
                    Magaji has declared that the state required about N3 billion to
                    complete its abandoned Five Stars Rock International Hotel.

                    Speaking with TTH in Jos, over the weekend, the Commissioner who said
                    the project was dear to the state in view of its importance to the
                    development of tourism in the Plateau, pointed out that, his ministry
                    in conjunction with the state government is presently looking for
                    foreign investors for the project.

                    Barrister Magaji mentioned that the state government has approved a
                    total sum of N5 million for the renovation and rehabilitation of
                    Wildlife Park, Jos and Pandam Wildlife Park as part of its effort to
                    enhance and boost tourism in the state.

                    He added that renovation have commence on the two Parks and further
                    revealed that plans are underway to make the Parks and other tourists
                    attraction centres in the state more attractive by improving their
                    facilities.

                    On the Ray Field Resorts which is now a subject of litigation in court,
                    the Commissioner said the State Government had initially budgeted N30
                    million to update and upgrade the facilities of the Resort before the
                    court case.

                    The Commissioner who said the Resort was not completely abandoned as a
                    result of the court action, stated that skeletal services was still
                    going on at the site by the former management but assured that state
                    has the plan of making it a reputable resort site as soon as the case
                    was determine in favour of the state government.

                    Barrister Magaji said the government intended to make Plateau state,
                    a tourist haven, re-position the ministry and make tourism the arrow
                    head of the state economy.


                    NIHOTOURS establishes IT Centre
                    � Gets legal backing soon
                    THE National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Studies,
                    (NIHOTOURS), Bagauda, Kano, has in its quest to join members of the
                    global village, established a well equipped information technology
                    centre.

                    The centre, according to Mr. F. O. Taiwo, was an idea of Mr. Ubayo
                    Danzaria Kedeng, the Executive Director who believed that such a
                    training institution must be linked up to the world service.

                    Thus in its strive to make the Institute excel in its reponsibilities,
                    Mr. Kedeng sourced the financial means and established the centre not,
                    only for obtaining information but to train students and generate
                    revenue.

                    Realizing that establishing an IT Centre alone without a qualified and
                    competent co-ordinator will make mess of the effort, the institute has
                    also employed Mr. Munir Akintola, a graduate of the University of Lagos
                    who bagged his first and Master Degrees in Computer Science and had
                    working experience with University of Lagos Consult and Intersystem
                    Computer, Kano.

                    In the same vein the Executive Director has also taken step at making
                    sure that the Institute which was established in 1988 has legal
                    backing.

                    Mr. Kedeng in conjunction with the Minister of Culture and Tourism ,
                    Ms. Boma Bromillow-Jack was said to have initiated a bill through the
                    Federal Executive Council for onward transmission to the National
                    Assembly with the hope of passing it into law.

                    Lyrics Restaurant set for Halloween Festival Wale Olapade
                    AS part of its efforts at promoting tourism and attracting foreigners
                    to Nigeria, Lyrics Restaurant and Night Club, located inside the Trans
                    Amusement Park, Samonda, Ibadan, Oyo State has finalised plans to mark
                    Halloween Festival on October 31, 2001.

                    This was disclosed to TTH by Mr. Shola Babasola, G.M. Lyrics, during a
                    brief chat last week.

                    Mr. Obasola revealed that Halloween Festival is usually marked on
                    October 31, of every year to commemorate the day when the Americans and
                    Jamaicans got rid of some ugly looking ghost-like creatures which used
                    to attack their race in the pre-historic period.

                    The defeat of these creatures and their elimination was a big relief to
                    them and since that time they usually make it a big event which was
                    handed down to generations.

                    Mr. Obasola said that, Halloween festival is usually celebrated in a
                    big way which further cement the socio-cultural connections of the
                    Americans.

                    �Halloween is a tourism induced Festival which is usually witness by
                    many people all over the world�.

                    According to him, Halloween was organised last year by Lyrics and was a
                    grand success, hence there is need to mark it this year in biggest
                    form ever.

                    Mr. Obasola revealed that Lyrics has got in touch with the American
                    Embassy for technical and material support.


                    (Message over 64 KB, truncated)
                  • Nubi Achebo
                    Friday, January 25, 2002 Glorious end, as Olagbaju is buried FOR the late Hon. Odunayo Olagbaju of the Osun State House of Assembly, who was killed on
                    Message 9 of 29 , Jan 25, 2002
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                      Friday, January 25, 2002


                      Glorious end, as Olagbaju  is buried
                      FOR the late Hon. Odunayo Olagbaju of the Osun State House of Assembly, who was killed on December 19, 2001, it was a glorious end as thousands of Ife people gave him a heroic burial in the town on Thursday.

                      Apart from shops, offices and all forms of commercial activities that were suspended in honour of the late legislator, thousands of Ifes from far and near gathered at Ife City Hall, Enuwa, and the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, to receive his corpse as early as 8.00 a.m.

                      The large crowd, which comprised both the young and the old, moved in a convoy through Fajuyi and Sabo roads to Oduduwa College Road family house of the Olagbajus.

                      The octogenarian father of the slain lawmaker, Chief Titus Olagbaju, who wept uncontrollably as he touched his son�s casket, prayed for the repose of his soul.

                      The bereaved chief, assisted by sympathisers, recalled that his late son was a patriotic Ife man who fought for the progress of his fatherland to the end.

                      The long convoy later moved to Ido street, home of the late Olagbaju�s mother, where he lived, before his body was taken to the city hall at Enuwa where politicians, religious leaders and all categories of the town�s people paid their last respect.

                      Amid tears, wailing and raining of curses on those responsible for the killing of the lawmaker, Venerable Ayo Omisope Banmosun, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in Ife, appealed to all to  take solace in the good life lived by Olagabju.

                      Death, in the words of the clergy, �is a necessary end for human beings since God gives and takes�, consoling the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II, his chiefs and the Ife people.

                      He urged  Ife youths, elders and politicians to use the death of the late Olagbaju to love one another and live together in unity, advising them to stop further destruction of property and killing �because it is our own assets that are being destroyed.�

                      In his own sermon, Alhaji Idris Opeloye, the Chief Imam of Ife, observed that there must be moments of joy and sadness in life, adding that the late Olagbaju lived and died for his fatherland.

                      He stated that it opened to no dispute that the slain legislator was a lover of truth who also stood by the truth and that he did not die for his family alone.

                       

                      The Deputy Governor of Osun State,  Otunba Iyiola Omisore, who wept profusely, pointed out in his funeral oration that the late Olagbaju �fought a good fight.�

                      According to the deputy governor, the assassinated legislator came with a list of those who were planning against him (Omisore) on December 18, 2001, and �stressed the need for me to be security conscious.�

                      �As a token of our appreciation to your contribution to your fatherland, College Road where you were born, bred and lived be named henceforth as Hon. Odunayo Olagbaju Road�, said Omisore.

                      The acting chairman of Ife Central Local Government Council, Hon. Rotimi Adeyenuwo, announced that the council was �working towards the immortalisation of Olagbaju who fell on the battle field.�

                      One of such steps, said the acting chairman, was organising an annual political discourse to be tagged: �Odunayo Olagbaju  Lecture Series�, where principles and ideologies of the late legislator would be passed to all politicians.

                      At the burial ceremony were some members of the state House of Assembly, representatives of the National Conscience Party (NCP), representatives of Obafemi Awolowo University students, traditional chiefs, community leaders, market men and women.

                      Meanwhile, Chief Omisore has charged the police to fish out all those who were involved in the murder of Hon. Olagbaju.

                      Chief Omisore gave the charge  while speaking at the Ife City Hall during an interdenominational service organised by the Ife community as part of the programme lined up for the burial of the assassinated lawmaker.

                      He also disclosed that a state legislator and five other persons had been invited by the police to explain what they knew about the late Olagbaju�s death.

                      While adding that the police were looking for other suspects in the lawmaker�s murder, the deputy governor appealed to the people to be peaceful.

                      The deputy governor, who maintained that nobody should be above the law on the matter, stressed that Nigerians would be interested in apprehending those that assassinated the lawmaker.

                      Speaking further at the service, Omisore described Olagbaju as an epitome of integrity, saying he was no more, but his spirit lives.

                       

                      ------------------------

                      Econet begins transmission in Ibadan
                      By Sulaiman Olanrewaju
                      Econet
                      Wireless Nigeria (EWN) on Thursday rolled out its GSM services in Ibadan without any fanfare, five months after it commenced operation in Nigeria.

                      Subscribers who had already acquired the handsets and SIM packs observed on Thursday morning that their sets,  suddenly came to life with many of them displaying �Nig-20� signal.

                      This prompted the subscribers to dial some numbers on the handsets all of which were successful.

                      All attempts to get Econet officials to comment on the development proved abortive. However, some dealers contacted confirmed it.

                       

                      One of them said, �We are glad that Econet has started in Ibadan. I can confirm that the network is now on. A few people came to our office this morning, got the packs and were able to make calls.�

                      At another dealer�s office in the city, a customer who just got his pack, made calls to Osogbo and Lagos in the presence of the Nigerian Tribune.

                      It, however, looked as if Econet was yet to cover the whole of Ibadan as those who attempted to make calls on their handsets at Dugbe, Apata and Ring Road areas of the city were unsuccessful.

                       

                      ---------------------------

                      Frayo is ill �Keyamo
                      Adekunle Tayo, Friday Ekeoba and DELE ADERIBIGBE, Lagos
                      ANXIETY mounted Thursday over the state of health of the prime suspect in the murder of Chief Bola Ige, Mr. Olugbenga Joseph Damola Adebayo (alias Frayo) as his lawyer, Festus Keyamo, disclosed that he had developed a serious liver problem.

                      The suspect, currently being detained at Force Headquarters, Alagbon close, Lagos, according to Mr. Keyamo, developed the health problem shortly after he was handed over to the police on Monday.

                      The lawyer, who expressed concern at the development, told the Nigerian Tribune that neither him nor Frayo�s wife was allowed access to Frayo as the police stated that there was an instruction from the Force Headquarters, Abuja that nobody must be allowed to see or speak with him.

                      �We sent a lawyer to Alagbon in company of Frayo�s wife and his two-year old baby, but they were denied access to him�, he said.

                      The lawyer, who said he suspected foul play, announced that his chamber would today file a motion at the Ikeja High Court to get an injunction for an unrestrained access to him at any given point in time.

                      Keyamo, who could not say whether the suspect was receiving treatment, posited that the new development was bound to have serious implications on the case.

                      Meanwhile, there  were fears that Frayo might have been poisoned.

                      Sources told the Nigerian Tribune that the prime suspect, who was handed over to the Nigeria Police, hale and hearty Monday morning had suddenly taken ill.

                      The sources further revealed that the nature of the poison was somehow similar to the type applied on Lt. Gen. Musa Yar�Adua, saying the effect was likely to have a devastating effect on the suspect�s liver.

                      Efforts to get Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mike Okiro, for his comments failed, as he was not available, while the police commissioner�s assistant who picked his mobile phone at 4.10p.m. merely said the police boss was on a crutial meeting, adding that Mr. Okiro would not be free until three hours later.

                      Frayo�s lawyer, Festus Keyamo, was not available when his office was contacted.  But one of his assistants, who identified himself as Mr. Lucky Ayorinde, said he was aware that the prime suspect was sick, and for which reason, his boss, (Festus Keyamo) was no longer being allowed to see the suspects, despite his determined efforts to the contrary.

                      Meanwhile, Mr. Keyamo has advised Chief Iyiola Omisore to step aside as deputy governor of Osun State and subject himself to police investigation.

                       

                      Mr. Keyamo gave the advice in a statement on Thursday, in which he condemned the deputy governor�s denial of the Chief Bola Ige murder suspect, who had earlier declared that Chief Omisore offered him N5 million  to kill the late minister.

                      According to Keyamo, �the advice I have for Omisore is that for his honour and integrity, white-faced lies and denials are not enough. He should step aside as deputy governor and remove his immunity and willingly subject himself to police investigation.

                      �It is only a thorough police investigation, not a mere oral denial, that can clear his name of such a dastardly act�, stressed Keyamo, who described the deputy governor�s denial as �evidence of a man desperately trying to hide something.

                      �The deputy governor is being clever by  half. If he had agreed knowing Frayo, but denied ever discussing such gruesome details with him, then, perhaps he would have been taken seriously�, the counsel declared.

                      While recalling that Frayo emphasised that Chief Omisore was on errand for the Presidency in Washington D.C at the time of the Osun Assembly fracas, Keyamo queried, �How did Frayo know where the deputy governor was at that time.?

                      �Secondly, as a deputy governor cannot perform any official assignment, except those given him by the governor, considering the feud between the duo, the governor could not have sent him abroad then�, Keyamo noted, and tasked Chief Omisore to tell the world the particular �official assignment� he was performing in Washington D.C.

                      Mr. Keyamo also asked how Frayo was always knowing the deputy governor�s movement to the extent of knowing  his private visit to the Assistant Inspector General of Police two days to the death of Chief Bola Ige and the meeting at the Hilton Hotel after the incident at the Ooni�s palace.

                      Keyamo then disclosed that Frayo recognised the security details of Chief Omisore who were also being detained at the Force CID, Alagbon, the day he handed him (Frayo) over to the police, stressing, �they greeted themselves very familiarly the moment we walked in.�

                      The Alliance for Democracy (AD), Osun State chapter, has said that nothing must happen to Frayo and Keyamo, as it said the truth has been finally been said over the cause of Osun crisis.

                      While stressing that the state was eager to know more of Ige�s killers, the AD stated that the truth must be told, adding �no one should intimidate, terrorise or influence police investigation.

                      �Festus Keyamo must not be killed or handicapped in the performance of his duties to humanity and justice and Adebayo (Frayo) must not die, get missing or be wasted under police custody�, he said.

                       

                      --------------------------

                      NLC shelves strike
                      �Oshiomhole in detention

                      PETER ONOCHIE, SUNDAY OLAJIDE and AKIN DURODOLA
                      THE Central Working Committee of the Nigeria  Labour Congress (NLC) rose on Thursday   and called off the nationwide strike called to protest recent increases in fuel prices.

                      The NLC said that it was calling off the strike after wide ranging consultations with the generality of Nigerians.

                      The NLC also said it had  decided to respect an Abuja High Court ruling asking the NLC to call off the strike.

                      The news came as reports from Abuja also indicated that the NLC president, Adams Oshiomhole, re-arrested by the police, had  been released.

                      As at press time last night, there were strong indications that a gentleman�s agreement between the Federal Government and the NLC might have been reached to end the strike that crippled several parts of the nation while it lasted.

                      On Tuesday, the Federal Government had pronounced the strike illegal and took its battle to the courts where the strike was declared illegal.

                       

                      The judicial victory by the government also gave it the courage to move against several labour leaders, many of whom were arrested and charged to court.

                      The congress has, however, announced another emergency meeting for today in Lagos to review the suspended industrial action and strategise on the next line of action.

                      NLC vice president, Comrade Daniel Adekola, told newsmen after the emergency meeting �that the NLC decided to call off the strike to demonstrate that the congress, was law abiding.

                      He commended industrial unions which took part in the two-day  industrial action.

                      The nationwide strike at the instance of the NLC entered its second day on Thursday with Oyo State governor, Alhaji Lam Adesina, appealing to the striking workers to go back to work.

                      There was an improvement in market and traffic situation as many people were seen on the road, though workers still kept away from offices.

                      More private and commercial vehicles plied the roads, while major markets

                      -----------------------------

                       

                      Oputa: Supreme Court gives IBB 2-week ultimatum
                      LANRE ADEWOLE,  Abuja
                      EX-HEAD of state, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), Brigadier-General Halilu Akilu (rtd) and Brigadier General Kunle Togun (rtd), have been given two weeks ultimatum to reply to the brief filed by the Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission (HRVIC) over their continued refusal to honour the summons served on them by the commission.

                      The Supreme Court handed down the ultimatum to the retired generals in Abuja on Thursday at the hearing of the appeal filed against an Appeal Court decision which ruled that the Generals could not be compelled to appear before the commission.

                      The apex court�s decision was a fall-out of the request of counsel to the retired military officers, Chief Clement Akpamgbo (SAN), who informed the court that the reply to the commission�s brief would be ready within two weeks.

                       

                      The presiding judge, Justice Abubakar Bashir Wali, also ordered the counsel to the committee, Mrs. Chinwe Nwadu, to reply to the brief  that would be filed by Chief Akpamgbo within two weeks, while further hearing on the case was adjourned to April 18, 2002.

                      A Lagos High Court had earlier ruled that the commission could not compel the appearance of the retired military officers before it.

                      Generals Babangida, Akilu and Togun were variously summoned by the commission to defend themselves in a petition filed by Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) indicting them on the death by letter bomb of founding Editor-in-Chief of Newswatch magazine, Mr. Dele Giwa.

                      All the summons were shunned by the ex-officers throughout the duration of the public sittings conducted by the commission.

                      -----------------------------

                      1999 � The Road to Assassination
                      WE will be breaking cover today. We are doing this for special reasons. We will resume our cover soon. We do apologize to the readers of this column and hope they will, in the end, understand why we have done this. God bless you all.

                      I took a copy of Uncle Bola Ige�s book KADUNA  BOY first published by NPS Educational Publishers Limited in 1991 (ten years before he was murdered) and noted the people in whose honour the book was dedicated.

                      Uncle Bola wrote:-

                      �This book is dedicated To My mother, My father, And my sister, Comfort Folorunsho, who are now resting in the Lord, and To my brothers and sister George, Fehintola and �Dele With gratitude and filial love�.

                      Now, Bola Ige himself is gone. He has now joined his father, mother and sister, having been assassinated by some demented brains.

                      The road to assassination started in 1999. It started with General Abdulsalami Abubakar�s transition to civil rule programme. Immediately the programme was announced by Abdulsalami Abubakar, the politically restless side of Uncle Bola took over. He was the political centre of gravity that nearly all the progressive politicians in the southern states of Nigeria hovered around. He eventually became the moving spirit in the formation of the Alliance for Democracy (AD). As the story of the party goes, it was put together within few hours in the Abuja Hotel suite of Uncle Bola Ige.

                      Uncle Bola Ige was able to get his personal friends particularly from the southern minority states of the country, to also declare their membership of the AD. It is instructive however that these men started to move back to their shells immediately they started seeing the AD losing the momentum that had instigated its formation.

                      Sometimes in October 1998, I visited Uncle Bola Ige at his house in Bodija, Ibadan. This was shortly after I had returned from Britain after a self-imposed exile. I was accompanied to his house by Akanni Odumuyiwa, a former colleague at the UPN headquarters in Lagos and Evangelist Bola Longe (now a Barrister). We discussed many things pertaining to the political situation of the country. I complained to Uncle Bola about what I had felt was his misrepresentation of me in his UNCLE B column in the Sunday Tribune. Trust him, he (Uncle Bola) was able to reply all the points I had thrown up with very brilliant and satisfactory replies. During the discussion, I told Uncle Bola the following:-

                      �Uncle, with LKJ and me already dealt with by our adversaries inside the same family, you are the next on the firing line.�

                      I have my witnesses to the above event. He looked at me with his penetrating eyes but said nothing in reply. Having known him for thirty years (at that time) I knew that Uncle Bola, who was a  man with magnetic brain, had fully grasped the kernel of my message.

                      When Uncle Bola mounted the soap box at Ilesha campaigning for votes later in 1998, he told our people at Ilesha �Myself and my Aburo (brother) Ebino have met. All is well between us�. While Uncle Bola did not spare the members of the other political parties, PDP  and APP, in his campaigns, he never spoke ill of me.

                      Then came the 1999 D�ROVANS HOTEL Ibadan nomination show of the AD. Uncle Bola Ige was defeated in the nomination exercise. All Nigerians who read this column will remember that I did write the following on December 14, 2001 on this page while commenting on  my friend Chief Bisi Akande�s comments on goings-on within their AFENIFERE organization:-

                      �Bisi may not know that the plot against Bola Ige started from the night Bola Ige visited Papa and Mama Awo at Ikenne after his release from prison. He met one of our leaders at Papa�s place that night. Bola could not restrain himself from the invectives that came out of his mouth on this leader he had met in Papa�s house that night. The gentleman retreated without saying a word. The result was their D�ROVANS show at Ibadan�.

                      Despite Bola�s loss at D�ROVANS hotel, he still threw himself fully into the campaigns. It was clear to him that Chief Olu Falae who had been pronounced his victor at the nomination contest, was never opposed, rude or antagonistic to his person. D�Rovans has a long history that has its roots in the UPN days. One day, the full story will be told if we will not also be eliminated as has been done to Uncle Bola Ige.

                      In 1999, Bola Ige campaigned vigorously for his party the A.D. At Iwo and some other towns and villages of the old Oyo State, A.D leaders were met with cheerful and chorus songs by the PEOPLE.

                      Sometimes in April 1999, Uncle Bola Ige organized a grand reception in his residence at ESA-OKE for all elected A.D leaders. Uncle Bola Ige invited me to the function. I was there as I had not joined any political party at that time. Many of the A.D elected men (Governors, Senators, House of Representatives and House of Assembly members) were also there. 

                       

                      LAGBAJA supplied the music. Otunba Subomi Balogun and his inseparable twin, Chief Kola Daisi, were there. The Tell boys, Dare Babarinsa and Ademola Oyinlola were equally there. It was a heavily attended social gathering.

                      It was at the party that Uncle Bola Ige talked about a YORUBA AGENDA within the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Uncle Bola Ige was never apologetic to anyone about this YORUBA AGENDA, though he was a fervent federalist. The Yoruba Agenda, as preached by Uncle Bola and (as I understand it) it was to ensure justice and fairness for Yoruba people in all socio-political matters the Federation of Nigeria will always contend with.

                      Uncle Bola Ige was a fervent believer in his leader, Papa Obafemi Awolowo�s saying: �Before anyone can be a good Nigerian citizen, he must first and foremost be a good person from his tribe�. In other words, before a Yoruba man or Hausa man or Ibo man can claim to be a good Nigerian citizen, he must first be a very good person from his village and tribe.

                      Bola was never a tribalist. He believed religiously like Papa Awo that Nigeria, being a federation, must ensure justice and fairplay for all the units that make up the entity. Federations are afterall governed by consensus, compromise and coalition of interests. Bola could never have been a tribalist. He was born in Kaduna and he spoke Hausa language very well. He could also speak Igbo. His Yoruba was simply flawless.

                      The 1999 posture of Uncle Bola on the Yoruba agenda was completely misunderstood by many people, particularly from the none Yoruba States. Uncle Bola Ige did organize the social gathering to pave the way for his later nomination by President Olusegun Obasanjo as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He had organized the party as a programme of bringing together all Yoruba people, no matter their party affiliation.

                      When Uncle Bola Ige was subsequently nominated by Obasanjo to be a minister, his decision to serve was taken by millions of Yoruba people who believe that a brilliant and articulate leader like Bola Ige should support Obasanjo in his tenure as president of Nigeria and ensure that his (Obasanjo�s) rule brought peace, progress, unity and development to Nigeria. I am happy and delighted that the millions of Yorubas and Nigerians who supported Uncle Bola�s nomination as minister came out to show their love for the man and his life when he was assassinated by despicable elements destined to end up in the rubbish heap of history.

                      At the funeral service held for Papa Hassan Odukale at Ilishan in 1999, I moved close to Uncle Bola Ige and whispered in his ears in typical Ijesha dialet Buoda Bola, monko appointment Obasanjo. Ojare. Meaning �Brother Bola, please do not reject your nomination as Minister by Obasanjo�. Uncle Bola looked at me and said, �Aburo mi, o se. All is well. Awon ore e Yemi Farounbi ati Tunde Adeniran na wa so be�. �I am grateful my young brother. All is well. Your friends, Yemi Farounbi and Tunde Adeniran, have also said the same thing.�

                      I knew I was speaking the language of many of our people. He went there to Abuja. He served well and he proved himself a stalwart behind President Olusegun Obasanjo. The rest is history.

                      The Yoruba people have a saying Ti iku ile o ba pani tode ole pani. This literally means that if a man does not fall a victim of betrayal and subvertion within his fold and ranks, he can not be vanquished by an outside foe. I am clear in my mind the leaders of the Awo political family never planned the murder of Bola Ige. We have however left our ranks and flanks too open for long to allow illiterates, hoodlums and professional political manipulators easy blackmail and subvertion. If we will be honest to ourselves, we have failed collectively to unite our ranks ever since Papa Obafemi Awolowo, the leader of leaders, departed this world on May 9, 1987.

                      Professor Wole Soyinka in his funeral oration rendered at the Liberty Stadium on 11 January, 2002 at the funeral of his friend, Uncle Bola Ige, did predict that many more Nigerians would still fall victims of the assassin�s bullets. Only the politically naive and idealogically bankrupt persons will dismiss Bros Kongi�s statement with a wave of the hand. In 1995, it was Papa Alfred Rewane. In 2001, it was Uncle Bola Ige. Why, for goodness sake, must it always be the Awolowo associates? I believe it was Regis Debray who said in one of his books that:-

                      �When the list of martyrs grows long, it is because something is wrong. And it is just as much a moral duty to seek out the cause as it is to pay homage to murdered or imprisoned comrades.�

                      I sincerely believe that something is indeed wrong with our political family.

                      I give praise to God that with the way and manner the PEOPLE of Nigeria gave Bola Ige a hero�s burial, it has now become impossible for lies to become history and for truth to vanish from our horizon for ever.

                      Uncle Bola, rest on in peace for those who live in the hearts of men never die.

                      Next week, Who Murdered Bola Ige?

                       

                      ---------------------------

                       

                      Attempt on  Alayande meant to silence YCE � Thompson
                      By Jackson Udom
                      THE Secretary-General of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Justice Adewale Thompson, on Thursday, reacted  to attempt on the life of  the group�s President, Pa Emmanuel Alayande, describing the attack as a calculated attempt by some faceless individuals to silence the council.

                      Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune on the  development at the residence of the YCE leader at Oke-Offa, the former Commissioner for Justice in the old Oyo State said, �I believe some people are  after the Yoruba Council of Elders. If anybody could send assassins to the house of a 92-year old person, for what?� Justice Thompson, who went down  memory lane on the incessant attacks on the leadership of the YCE, stated  that �in October 2001, some hoodlums stormed my residence, I was not in and I believed it is the same people who sent them then that are also after Pa Alayande.�According to the legal luminary, �when we were founding the YCE, they declared war against us, threatening the lives of Papa Alayande and other notable Yoruba who showed interest in the cause of the council. Let me state clearly that no matter what, Papa would continue to give Yoruba nation the leadership it deserves.�

                       

                      In his short response,  Pa Alayande said �I am hale and hearty. I have over come the shock and we will remain undaunted.�

                      Three police  detectives were at Pa Alayande�s house in Ibadan on Thursday, following Tuesday night�s invasion of his  house.

                      The detectives, who arrived the house at  5.15 p.m. in an unmarked police van, headed for Pa Alayande�s sitting room and met the YCE leader attending to visitors.

                      On introducing themselves to him and stating their mission, Pa Alayande took the detectives to the balcony where he briefed them on the incident for about 45 minutes.

                      Pa Alayande�s driver later led the detectives round the premises after which they left without speaking with newsmen around.

                       

                      ---------------------------------


                      Don�t judge me yet
                      �Amodu tells Nigerians

                      By TOSIN OMOJOLA
                      JUST as it is being speculated that he may lose his job should he fail to guide the Super Eagles to success in Mali, Super Eagles coach Amodu Shaibu has called on Nigerians to exercise patience until after the 2002 Nations Cup before passing judgment on him.

                      Apparently aware of the speculation making the rounds, the Edo born sweat merchant who alongside Stephen Keshi and Joe Erico would be calling the shots from the bench said Nigerians should not pass judgment on him yet, saying they should wait till the final whistle is blown in Mali.

                      Speaking ahead of the 23rd African Cup of Nations billed to commence this weekend, the former Orlando Pirates of South Africa tactican expressed confidence to tinker the Eagles to its third Nations Cup triumph but urged Nigerians to be patient with him.

                      Coach Amodu who admitted that a tough task is indeed ahead  of him, said his not too prepared team explained that they in the technical crew would try their best to ensure victory for the Eagles, adding that all hands are already on deck to achieve success in Mali.

                      According to the ex-BCC Lion of Gboko handler, the expectation of Nigerian soccer fans is well known  to him, stating that he knows that Nigerians want nothing but an outright victory and he was therefore prepared to put in his best to deliver the good.

                      �I am quite aware of the enormous task before me and I know the expectation of Nigerians even with what is on ground, I would want to promise Nigerians  that we are going to try our best to lift the trophy in Mali, although it is going to be tough but, we are going to try our best.�

                      He therefore made a special plea to Nigerians, in particular, his employees and  sports journalists to wait and see what will happen in Mali before making any comment adding, �I will like to receive comments from my employees and journalists after the championship.�

                       

                      World football officials in Mali
                      MANY leaders of world football community were invited by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for its meeting which began on Wednesday in Bamako, reports from the Malian capital have indicated.

                      According to the reports, the former president of FIFA, Joao Havelange of Brazil (FIFA�s president emeritus), and the president of the European Football Union (UEFA), Lennart Johanssen are already in Bamako.

                      The current president of FIFA, Joseph Blatter is expected to have arrived Bamako for the opening of the 25th CAF ordinary general assembly.

                      All of them will attend the kick off of the 23rd edition of African Cup of Nations which kicks off on Saturday.

                       

                      Mali offers team 1m franc
                      THE Malian Football  Federation (FMF) has offered each member of its national team � the Eagles and their technical staff about one-million franc CFA bonus, the local press reported on Wednesday.

                      �This selection bonus has nothing to do with other bonuses, including those that may be awarded them if they emerge victorious at the championships,� an FMF official was quoted as saying.

                      The Malian Ministry of Economy and Finance allocated a billion francs to the eleven national players to prepare for CAN 2002 starting in Mali on Saturday.

                      The money would cover the team�s preparations, accommodation expenses as well as cost of the foreign-based player�s arrival and playing bonuses.

                      The Eagles play Liberian Lone Star in the opening game. Mali has

                      (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

                    • Nubi Achebo
                      Fresh crisis rocks AD •Governors get petition •NEC members want him out Bankole Makinde and Bola Badmus, Abuja BARELY one month after the gruesome
                      Message 10 of 29 , Jan 28, 2002
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                        Fresh crisis rocks AD
                        �Governors get petition
                        �NEC members want him out

                        Bankole Makinde and Bola Badmus, Abuja
                        BARELY one month after the gruesome assassination of Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Federation and a Chieftain of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Chief Bola Ige, fresh crisis has engulfed the party.

                        Specifically, majority of members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party are demanding for the removal and replacement of the incumbent chairman of the party, Alhaji Ahmed Adamu Abdulkadir, over various allegations.

                        In a letter marked �Secret� and dated December 20 and 25, 2001 which was copied to Governors Adebayo Adefarati of Ondo State, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu of Lagos State, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo of Ekiti State, Alhaji Lam Adesina of Oyo State, Chief Segun Osoba of Ogun State and Chief Bisi Akande of Osun State amongst others, and made exclusively available to Sunday Tribune, the NEC members lamented that the AD has been mismanaged, bastardized and raped like no great party ever was by Alhaji Abdulkadir, who, according to them, has proved grossly ineffectual.

                        In the letter signed by two high-ranking officials of the party who are members of the NEC of AD on behalf of others, the governors were asked, to, as a matter of urgency and expediency, nip in the bud �this potentially-dangerous situation� by Abdulkadir, �a fifth columnist, who is bent on sabotaging the aims, aspirations and imperatives of the founding fathers of AD.�

                        The signatories, an Easterner and a Northerner (names withheld) who boasted of having the backing of 80 per cent of NEC members of the party in their crusade against the chairman and who declared that they did not want the issues raised in their petition to become a subject for National perusal hence its being kept highly confidential, accused Alhaji Abdulkadir of racketeering and using the agency of AD for personal gain and enrichment.

                        For example, the NEC members accused the AD chairman of single-handedly commandeering the N5 million worth of grains allocated to the party by the Presidency around the middle of 2001 without reference to the NEC of the party or the Secretariat.

                        Also, Alhaji Abdulkadir was alleged to have, without reference to the National Secretariat or the NEC of AD or event the landlord of the property presently housing the secretariat of the party at Nassana/Bunbuna Street, by Amusement Park, Wuse, Zone I, single-handedly sublet part of the newly-acquired national headquarters to a family at the princely sum of N1.4 million per annum and pocketed the money. The petition titled �Abberant happenings in the Alliance for Democracy (AD) reads: �As you might have read from the national dailies, our great party has been mismanaged, bastardised and raped like no great party ever was by incumbent Chairman Ahmed Adamu Abdulkadir who has proved grossly ineffectual. �Several pleas and advices to him to make amends have fallen on deaf ears. The man is simply beyond redemption. He has been racketeering and using the agency of the party for personal gain and enrichment.

                        �... In addition to the charter of demands (attached herein), there are other critical but sobering issues which we did not want to become a subject for national perusal, which was why we essentially limited ourselves to purely administrative and constitutional matters but considering the fact that you (the AD governors) are, by virtue of your exalted position(s), both as executive council member(s) and critical factor(s) in the operation of the party, we are compelled to give you further insight into Abdulkadir�s misrule.

                         

                        �Abdulkadir�s misdeeds are too numerous to recount here but a few will suffice for clarification. Around the middle of the year 2001, all the political parties had grains allocation from the Presidency. Our party, the AD, got more than N5 million worth of grains. Without reference to the NEC of the party or the secretariat, Abdulkadir single-handedly commandeered the allocation as if AD is a personal outfit.

                        �During nominations into the Presidential Technical Committee for the review of the constitution, the directive from the Presidency was that the Legal Adviser of the party was to represent the party on the committee. Again, Abdulkadir, without reference to the NEC or the Secretariat decided to substitute the party�s Legal Adviser, Barrister Dickson and in his stead nominated Alhaji Babangida, the Deputy Legal Adviser of AD to represent the party for very illogical reasons (and) as if AD is a personal property, Abdulkadir even had the audacity to nominate his in-law, a non-party member, to serve on the committee to the chagrin of genuinely-motivated party members.

                        �Again, Abdulkadir has been racketeering with the party in Enugu, Jigawa, Sokoto and Taraba States amongst others by propositioning other political parties (and) even requesting them to nominate their candidates as our party chairman. Never did calumny seem so odious.

                        �Two weeks ago (December 6, 2001) after these, Abdulkadir, without reference to the National Secretariat or the NEC of AD or even the Landlord of the property decided to single-handedly sublet part of the newly-acquired National Headquarters to a family at the princely sum of N1.4 million per annum and pocketed same.

                        �We could go on and on, but suffice to mention that Chairman Abdulkadir is nothing but a fifth columnist bent on sabotaging the aims, aspirations and imperatives of the founding fathers of the great Alliance for Democracy.

                        �Your Excellency(ies), if this potentially-dangerous situation is not nipped in the bud, not even you is (are) immune to Abdulkadir�s abberant acts which border on gross misconduct and financial impropriety and criminality.

                        �We are therefore, earnestly appealing to your Excellency(ies) for support and visionary treatment of this progressive move which enjoys the total support of more than 80 per cent of members of the NEC in order to save our party from going under.�

                        An influential member of the �rebelling� group who does not want his name in print confided in Sunday Tribune that another grouse of the group was the refusal of the chairman to call any meeting of the NEC of the party since the members were elected at the factionalised national convention of the party at Eagles Square, Abuja last year.

                        He, however volunteered that progressive members within the party are putting the necessary machinery in place to ensure that a meeting of the NEC of the party or an emergency meeting of the credible leaders of the party hold latest next month where the fate of Abdulkadir will be determined. According to him, all the six governors of the party are in concert that Abdulkadir be replaced as AD chairman to fully reconcile all the factional interests in the party now that Chief Ige, the staunchest supporter of Abdulkadir, is no more.

                        Meanwhile, Sunday Tribune scooped that the position of the Chairman of AD may be zoned to the South-South after the impending removal of Abdulkadir to reposition the party in a way that it �ll be formidable enough to wear a national outlook and be strong enough to contest the 2003 presidential elections on its own.

                         



                          



                        The Electoral Act and gamble of the troika
                        By Festus Adedayo
                        A thousand-and-one things fascinate me about Nigeria. You do not need to be a Guevarist �� believer in Ernesto �Che� Guevara, that is �� to see the slide of affairs, especially the unwholesome mortgage of the country�s economy to the West by successive Nigerian governments (Sani Abacha�s  excluded, we must be fair to the dead). You also do not need Thomas Hobbes to come over from his grave to be able to compare notes between his state of nature thesis and Nigeria�s present political turf. Neither do you need the Papacy to tell you that  that time which Christian theologians speak glowingly about �� the end time, that is, when absurd occurrences would dominate the firmament, is down here at last.

                        Before I progress, I must state,  for the benefit of all, that I strive strenuously, week in week out, to trip over charges of nihilism of my views. I seek honey in the polity to commend to the world. I scan the polity for candies, seeking, even if for once, to play down the galls. But, with a proviso: misrepresenting issues seldom. Yet have I always met brickwalls and maelstroms on my way. When a commendable issue sneaks into  the polity and you leap up for joy at a slight opportunity to tell the world that things are looking up, it immediately shows itself to be pyrrhic.   Nigeria is such a complex admixture that scorns logic and orderliness of sane societies.

                        Sorry, I digressed.  I am actually interested in talking about the Electoral Act and the stream of occurrences  which has since followed its enactment. To be candid, scant issues, since the inauguration of the present civilian government, have rivalled the Act in its task of heating up the  polity unnecessarily. Virtually everyone was against the Act, even from its infancy as a bill. Everyone, except  President Olusegun  Obasanjo, his wife and perhaps a handful of other palace guards who believe the president can do no wrong, believed that something sinister was afoot. Students, lawyers, artisans, politicians et al held strongly that those who midwifed that Act had tucked up their sleeves some evil plans.

                        The shame of the Act is actually not that Obasanjo, in cahoots with the leadership of the National Assembly, smuggled into the Act such an alien proviso. The shame is the cadences of the buck-passing,  from Obasanjo down to Pius Anyim and Ghali Na�Abba. On a radio network, the president  had tactically  passed the buck of involvement in the shame and threw the blame at both Anyim and Na�Abba�s feet. Trust the latter, Na�Abba  immediately frantically argued his innocence but it came out porous and wonky.

                        What came out of it all is the picture of an unholy alliance that went sour. In conjunction with the National Assembly leadership, it was obvious that the president had sought to foist the cowardliness of his party, the PDP, in contesting the 2003 elections against other parties, on the whole country. The  contentious provisions that  were inflicted on the Electoral Act smack of an importation of the bedroom wishes of the president into a law that was supposed to govern the whole country. Which is tragic.

                        For once, in spite of myriad differences, Nigerians came out with one voice to denounce the autocracy of the troika at the top. Yes, there have been insinuations that General Ibrahim Babangida, with his invincible  omnipresence, had remote-controlled the whole country to dissent from the then Electoral Bill�s passage. It has also been reasoned that his immeasurable hand of graft was thrown to the media and this kept the discourse and bile against the illegal  Act�s passage afloat. Whichever it was, Nigerians, for once, came out in unison to attack the troika and their self-centred Act,  throwing overboard the colouring of tribe and creed. Even Chief Gani Fawehinmi, who was once Na�Abba�s attorney, pooh-poohed the nocturnal Act and the evil it portends for the polity. So also everyone else I know of, except contractors at the presidency and Villa lick-spittles. What Nigerians were able to establish was that, even if IBB had a hand in the widespread dissent against the illicit provisions in the Act, a hand far greater than his hands, prodded  him up. God is capable of using the evil man to bring joy to good people,  you know?

                        Obasanjo and the National Assembly leadership�s attempt to extricate themselves from the blame of the Act is infantile and shameful. In a more stabilised democracy, the troika and the conduits through which the illegality was foisted on the nation, ought to be shown the door of their offices.The president�s attempt to justify his role in the nocturnal importation also lacks finesse and is a mere adumbration. The decision was the PDP caucus�, he had said. But the fact remains that it was autocratic and fraudulent.



                        Fine, we all feel that Babangida ought to roast in Hades for being the foundation of the country�s present systemic rot. It is also true that most Nigerians feel that it is an insult for the man who ruled the country for eight fruitless years  to attempt to sidle up to the same polity he ruined. The fact, however, remains that what we improvise at present in Nigeria is supposed to be a democracy, in which case we must abide by democratic tenets that is known all over the world. One of such tenets is due process.  If Nigerians  reject IBB, they do not need Obasanjo to  help them do that via a nocturnal importation into law. If Babangida actually believes in  his own relevance in the political scheme of things in Nigeria, the platform through which he could do this and thus seek a definition of his stand the hearts of the Nigerian people, is to face the electors who would be man enough to tell him some home truth. Not Obasanjo, nor the troika in which he is a prominent accomplice.This brings me to the press conference on �Resource Control and Social Justice in Nigeria�  held late last week in Abuja where Na�Abba, represented by a member of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Adamu Fanda, had accused Obasanjo of having committed 100 offences worthy of an impeachment. Much as I agree with Na�Abba that Obasanjo is yet a military dictator donning a civilian garb, the Speaker is an indefatigable part of a leadership rot in Nigeria that saner  societies would not risk withholding at the top. Let  us refrain for a moment from talking about the rot under his leadership that has become a refrain in the media. Would anyone want to ask what impression the legislature which he leads has made on the present democracy other than squabbles over allowances and insatiable lust for graft?  Na�Abba is,  more than anything else, a culprit of our tragic  governance of the past two and half years. The mistake that Na�Abba and the like make is to assume that the same pliant collective that makes up Nigeria�s masses at present is what would endure for time to come. Soon, he and his minions would be asked to plot the graph of their contributions to the country�s uplift and juxtapose it with the graph of the benefits (both licit and illicit) which they scooped up from the system. The execution of a judgement of guilt would be pellets of stone by the outskirts of the town.

                        Where I think Na�Abba made sense was the president�s militarist tendencies in a democracy. The Electoral Act is one. Calling some National Assembly members into a room in the Villa to smuggle in the tone of the banters he exhanged inside his bedroom awhile before is shameful and autocratic. The president has demonstrated this Mobutuistic tendencies a number of times too: disrespect for the constitution over the fuel price hike and periodic solo decisions, in spite of laid down rules. What the president misses in a military decree was what his civilian collaborators at the National Assembly gave him the leeway to do by importing fraudulent provisions into law inside his living-room.

                        It is all right that the Senate reversed the Electoral Act tragedy. No one would take Nigerians for granted any longer. But, take a look, for once, at the Senators who sought to have Anyim impeached last week because, a according to them, a great wrong had been done to the integrity of Nigerians: Gbenga Aluko (can you beat that! Integrity?) Chuba Okadigbo, Joseph Waku, etc. You would surely enjoy a good laugh.

                        But more than this, I look forward to a day when Nigerians would follow this display of an impermeabe skin for  evil policies at the top with calling for the head of those who made the attempt. When we get to this period, we would cease having the conspiracies of a selfish troika as we had on the Electoral Act  debacle.


                        The Burden of Proof   
                         FESTUS Adeniyi Keyamo has a bounden duty to prove this fearsome scripture of Coleridge   ( in The Devil�s Thoughts) wrong .

                        He took a chance with fate on January 15 by assembling journalists to serve them the exotic menu of having finally busted the Bola Ige murder case.

                        Damola Adebayo  a.k.a. Fryo had on a priest�s cassock and a Fulani multi- colour  cap. A cross hung on his neck; a bible was in his  palm. He was sitting by Keyamo.

                        Then the yarn. Fryo had walked into Keyamo�s chambers, a chance in some 5000 in Lagos to identify himself  as Nigeria�s most wanted man. Out of fear for his client�s life, Keyamo housed him for fivedays, providing him with food, drinks and lodging even with the full knowledge that his ward might be the finger that pulled the trigger on James Ajibola Ige. Keyamo must have been responsible for his laundry too as the white cassock  bore clear testimony. On Fryo�s outfit, Keyamo obviously knows little about religion or he would have advised his client that no christian sect dresses the way he was turned out before the press.

                        The  C&S church does not wear iron crosses on long chains and the CCC that does, does not wear shoes in cassock. No christian sect I know wears Shagari caps over their priestly garments.

                        And we were told that comic costume was for disguise! How disguised is a priest who combines the attire of the C&S church with cele, shoes and Hausa cap to match? But was there the need to disguise Fryo before the media which was more than eager to take his evidence-in- chief? Anyway, not  to waste precious time on what the bible calls �outward appearances�. OAU wasted no time in telling the world that contrary to his claim, Damola was last a student of  the school almost a decade ago.

                        It is quite fashionable for � professional students� to consider themselves scholars of their imagined schools. What may never be understood is why Damola had to talk of having practicals (or tests?) in the same school. With that he crossed the thin borderline between wishful thinking and practiced mendacity.

                         

                        Fryo also put himself on the staff of an activist group which promptly disowned him.

                        Concerning the 5million naira reward for information leading to the arrest of Ige�s murderers, Niyi Keyamo wanted it given to charity.

                        The sum total? A lawyer kept a murder suspect in his house for  5days. He took him first to the press before handing him over to the police. His statement: The suspect   did not kill Ige but knew those who might have killed Ige or who wanted to kill Ige.

                        Keyamo and his client pointed their index fingers at Omisore, almost accessorising the Ooni and the presidency among others.

                        Perchance there is some truth in what Fryo said; the formidable catalogue of easily detectable fallacies in his evidence-in-chief robs him of far too much credibility, and hence, believability.

                        Keyamo kept custody of a possibly dangerous criminal for five days after knowing that he was wanted by the law. He accessorised himself to murder (after the fact) and tendered a certified liar as his star witness.

                        If a Nigerian lawyer is the architect of such grotesque theatre , a huge question mark hangs above the integrity of our law. Perhaps the murder of our attorney-general signalled some death of our laws. Perhaps.

                        I humbly take the queue at the big back of Professor Wole Soyinka, a decorated conscience of the nation,  and Bola Ige�s best friend to seek a thorough probe of the Keyamo embarrassment. Perhaps in the skin of a placcid sheep resides a raging lion.

                        Need one say that there is too much in Keyamo�s Fryo that reminds one of the madman of late December.

                        For the  killers of Bola Ige, they should remember that such crimes never go  forever undetected. Only that the law may be too encumberanced by its own intrinsic ineptitude and the husbandry of impious hands. Even then, posterity has its own  way of evening all scores.

                         



                          


                        Ige: The enquiry so far
                        By Philip Oluwole Ukanah

                        THE police investiga-tions into the ruthless murder of erstwhile Attorney General and Justice Minister who was also Alliance for Democracy Chieftain and Afenifere leader enter its 35th day today with no culprits of the dastardly act yet to be apprehended. Except for confessions here and there (which a section of the public are picking holes in), there is still nothing to cheer about.

                        Although, a section of the police are seeing the confessions as a divine intervention and breakthrough in unravelling the murder, a police officer averred that for a meaningful breakthrough to be achieved someone who actually saw the assassins and who can give a profile of them no matter how faint would have to come out.  He opined that it is that that could actually give the police a clue as to the line to toe in the course of trying to apprehend Ige�s killers.

                        The source pointed out that corroborative evidences could now then be sought and the picture of the assassination would come clearly into the open and the truth will be out. When his attention was drawn to the confessions of Ademola Joseph Elusode Adebayo alias Frayo and that of the insane man who walked into the waiting hands of the police, our source said that for criminal confessions to be credible, all the stages of the execution of the criminal act must be well outlined and articulated by the so called confessor, an ingredient which Frayo�s confession so obviously lacked. As it is now, he averred that Frayo�s confession may not be admissible in court.

                        What our source however failed to acknowledge was that there are some crimes that the masterminds deliberately keep out the arrowheads from knowing some parts. It is only the aspect that concern the arrowheads that are made known to them all in a bid to forestall, the culprits being traced to them in the event that the bubble burst. Moreover, our source also overlooked the fact that in substance Frayo, by his confessions was not saying that he did the killing but that the embattled deputy governor of Osun State, Iyiola Omisore once approached and offered him N5 million for the head of Ige. Period. The baffling angle in the whole scenario is the striking similarity between the confessions of Frayo, the so-called Ibadan mad man and the paper prepared by the Osun State government to help the police in the course of their investigations.

                        A top police officer who told the Sunday Tribune last week that Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka�s  outbursts in the paper against Frayo�s statement and Frayo himself should be taken with a pinch of salt, said the investigations are now three-pronged with everything gathered being funnelled to Lagos. He said there is a police investigation axis in Osun State, Oyo and Lagos pointing out that directives are also received from Lagos on whatever �Lagos� would want any of these axis to do to help the investigation. All bits and details got are however sent to Abuja.

                        The police officer dismissed the dismissal by Prof. Soyinka of Frayo�s statement as irresponsible pointing out that Prof. Wole Soyinka was not competent to speak on the matter. �Was Soyinka in the country when Ige was murdered?,� he quipped �Did Soyinka know the blow- by- blow account of what happened at Ife?� �You see, too much book is worrying Soyinka�.

                         

                        Meanwhile, according to Nigerian  Tribune Frayo and Co. had been flown to Abuja for further investigations and interrogation. It would be recalled that his lawyer, Festus Keyamo raised some dust in the press that he was not being allowed to see his client, Frayo.

                        Sunday Tribune further gathered that the police are meeting some brickwalls and are possibly running into some facts to prove that big toes may have to be stepped upon if a thorough job should be done in the matter. Omisore it was said had the effontery to blindly be denying Frayo because he is not in police net. The immunity he enjoys which had debarred the police from not being able to arrest him (though he had been interrogated) is believed to be giving him the leeway to be so blatantly denying Frayo when available information is said to be pointing the other way.

                        It is also believed that the police might have paid visits to the Hilton Hotel to verify some of the issues Frayo raised in his confessions about the �well-done boys� party allegedly thrown by Omisore and the lodging of the state speaker in a room in the same hotel that same day. Corroborative evidences linking  Omisore with Frayo if there are should not be difficult to establish if someone is thorough and desperate enough to get to the root of the murder.

                        One surprising and curious dimension to the scenario however is the blunt refusal of the Federal Government to seek foreign police assistance over the matter. If the United States could be brought in to furnish us with satellite pictures of the scene of the black December 23 incident, why the reluctance? If Israeli intelligence force widely acknowledged worldwide with good forensic technology could be brought to help hasten the conclusion of the murder riddle, why the cold feet moreso that the president had severally assured Nigerians that everything necessary to get the killers would be done? Question, questions and again questions. A strange dimension to the matter that Sunday Tribune gathered recently is that some faceless hoodlums are said to be using the Ige murder to demand ransoms from some ministers and top government officials. According to our source, some hoodlums call or write some ministers threatening to mention their names as being among Ige�s killers except of course they put a stipulated amount at a venue they mentioned.

                        Sunday Tribune learnt that at least Honourable Elayo, Minister of State for Justice who was in substance Ige�s junior minister has received such threat and he was asked to put N500,000 at a place. Ditto Dr. Segun Agagu, Minister of Power & Steel. In his own case the ransom was higher � N1.5 million was said to have been demanded to be put at a place around Asokoro or else...

                        The ministers were further warned that should they try to play smart by bringing the police either after bringing the money or when bringing it, though they might succeed in getting their linksman who would be at the venue to collect the money, the ministers should consider themselves dead men thereafter as the rest of them (blackmailers) would ensure that the ministers are dispatched from the world soon after.

                        All attempts to reach Dr. Agagu to confirm the story last week proved abortive as repeated calls to his office, that of his special assistant, personal assistant and press secretary failed to get any of them on the line to speak on the matter.

                         



                          


                        Ige killed over presidential ambition?
                        �Police probe new clues

                        Bankole Makinde and Chris Agbambu, Abuja
                        THE slain Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige had before his death concluded plans to contest the coming presidential election.

                        Sunday Tribune reliably gathered that the police are currently studying the claim that the late  minister was warming up against the background of rumours making rounds that President Olusegun Obasanjo might not be interested in running for the second term as a possible clue to his death.

                        According to the source, Chief Ige had intimated the President of his intention to contest the 2003 election.

                        Chief Ige, who reportedly believed that the South West must rule the country for eight years after many years of Northern domination was said to be positioning himself for this assignment.

                        To make this dream a reality, Chief Ige had made up his mind to leave the federal cabinet and take up an international appointment at an International Justice Committee.

                        This, according to the source, would afford him the opportunity to interact with people that matter in the international communities as a prelude to launching his presidential campaign.

                        In another development, police authority are reportedly beaming their searchlight on fresh clues to unravel the mystery surrounding the gruesome assassination of Chief Ige on December 23, 2001 at his residence in Ibadan

                        This development, Sunday Tribune gathered, was due to the sudden volte face made by the prime suspect in the murder case Olugbenga Joseph Damola Elubode Adebayo (alias Fryo), who reportedly confessed to the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Musliu Smith, that he was tutored by Lagos Lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, to implicate Osun State Deputy Governor, Otunba Iyiola Omisore and other unnamed �Abuja bigwigs� as being the brains behind the murder of Chief Ige.

                        Others earlier implicated by Fryo included Osun State governor, Chief Bisi Akande, the speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Dr. Mojeed Alabi, and an unnamed Assistant inspector-General of Police and the Presidency.

                        Informed Police sources confided in Sunday Tribune that the police is now working on the theory that those who burgled the office of Chief ige twice in Abuja may be responsible for his assassination.

                        The burglars, according to the statements reportedly volunteered to the police by Chief Ige on the incidents, were said to have invaded the office looking for some vital security documents in possession of the late minister.

                        Chief Ige was also said to have catalogued all the other vital documents taken away by the hoodlums in his office when they could not lay their hands on the real documents they were reportedly looking for.

                        In the statements, Chief Ige was said to have indicted some top government officials and topshots of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who in his words, were bent on seeing him eased out of the Federal cabinet and whittle down his political influence in the south-west in particular and national politics in general.

                        The much sought-after documents are said to be detailed security reports compiled by many security agencies in the country concerning the nefarious activities of some prominent and highly influential Nigerians who served the country during the regimes of General Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha and reportedly submitted to the Presidency.

                         

                        Some of the prominent Nigerians were said to have engaged in bunkering and illegal sales of crude oil without records while some were said to have been found to be drug barons and money launderers.

                        The report was also said to have spelt out in graphic details, the many reasons for the many political assassinations that took place during the regime of the former heads of state, the names of the victims and those of who were directly responsible for their physical liquidation.

                        A substantial part of the facts contained in the document was said to have been made available to the security agencies by murdered Admiral Babatunde Elegbede who reportedly boasted to some people at the Murtala Muhammed Airport on his way out of the country that he was going to expose all the atrocities of the highly-placed Nigerians before he was brutally assassinated.

                        Chief Ige was said to have kept the documents very close to his chest and was said to be planning to use them as strong political weapon against some prominent politicians who are already reportedly jostling to occupy Aso Rock come 2003.

                        Those who reportedly saw through the working of the mind of Chief Ige and who knew he was in possession of such sensitive documents that could jeopardise their chances in 2003, according to Sunday Tribune sources, might have colluded to do away with him.

                        Also, Sunday Tribune gathered that the police are also working on the probable linkage of the murder of Chief Ige with that of the assassination of the Confidential Secretary to the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Uwais, one Mr. Awolusi.

                        The late Mr Awolusi whose body was found dumped somewhere in Abuja was said to be a close confidant of Chief Ige and his killers, according to sources, might think that Chief Ige kept the documents in his possession hence his elimination.

                        Another nut the police is said to be trying to crack is to find out the reason for the �visit� of the minister of state for justice, Mr. Musa Elayo Abdullahi to Ige�s Abuja official residence 24 hours after his assassination.

                        Also, the police is said to be trying to find out from the minister the type of documents he removed from the house and why.

                        Mr Elayo, in a statement released to the press on Wednesday, January 9, 2202 confirmed that he actually visited Ige�s residence but that he went there to �beef up security.�

                        But the reasoning in police circles, according to informed police sources who confided in Sunday Tribune is that the minister had no business visiting the place after he had officially written to police authorities to provide Security cover for the place.

                        The police is also said to be wondering how Elayo was able to gain entrance to some of the rooms when in the press release he stated that all the keys to the rooms were with Chief Ige.

                        When contacted for reaction to the latest development, a staff officer attached to the Force Headquarters, Abuja who refused to disclose his name declared that Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Haz Iwendi, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, who should be the appropriate person to speak on it is on a two-month course at the Police Staff College, Jos.

                        His assistant, Mr. Femi Oye�eye too is said to be on an assignment of the Police Officers Wives Association (POWA) taking place at the Police College, Ikeja.

                        He however said he could not comment on the issues raised by Sunday Tribune as there has not been directives from the top on the development.

                         



                          


                        Statement by Igbimo Agba Yoruba (Yoruba Council of Elders) on National Security delivered on Friday, 18th January, 2002 at the Y.C.E. National Secretariat, 59 Ondo Street, Bodija, Ibadan.

                        IGBIMO Agba Yoruba urges the Federal Government to look specially into the security condition in the Yoruba nation with a view to providing quick and permanent solution.

                        The following is a catalogue of the consequences of security lapse in Yorubaland:

                        1.Dele Giwa was killed with letter bomb. No clue up till today.

                        2.Alfred Ogbeyiwa Rewane was killed in his room. No clue up till today.

                        3.Kudirat Abiola was assassinated by a government sponsored killer squad in broad daylight at Ikeja.

                        4.Omatshola was blown to pieces by bomb blast planted in his car.

                        5.M.K.O. Abiola, a prisoner of the Federal Government and President-Elect, a Yorubaman died in detention under questionable circumstances.

                        6. Admiral Elegbede was killed in his car.

                        7. Suliat Adedeji was killed in her home.

                        8. Lai Balogun was killed in his home.

                        9. Felix Ibru, Guardian Publisher, was brutally wounded by an assassin in Lagos.

                        10. Hundreds of Yoruba youths demonstrating peacefully against the cancellation of June 12 Presidential Election were gunned down by tanks under the command of General Abacha.

                      • Nubi Achebo
                        We suspect sabotage—Military •Tragedy dangerous to security —Lam •This soldier, with his two kids, is looking anxiously to see his wife. But the
                        Message 11 of 29 , Feb 2, 2002
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                          We suspect sabotage�Military
                          �Tragedy dangerous to security �Lam

                          �This soldier, with his two kids,  is  looking anxiously  to see his wife.  But the mother of the two kids is nowhere to be found after the explosions at the Ikeja Military Cantonmen
                          MILITARY authorities are strongly suspecting sabotage in the massive bomb explosions that wreaked monumental havoc on  lives and property in Lagos on Sunday.

                          The latest thinking in top military circles, it was gathered on Wednesday, was informed by the manner the explosions started and the extent of damage.

                          Indeed, a top military chief told the Nigerian Tribune on Wednesday that sabotage was being strongly suspected, but said the result of the on-going probe into the explosions would  clear all grey areas.

                          Also, retired Major General I.B.M. Haruna declared on Tuesday that the explosions were not accidental.

                          Top military chiefs were said to be surprised at the extent of the explosions because �the armoury was not as bad as portrayed.�

                          Nigerian Tribune gathered that the armoury was recently repaired with about N3 million, with military sources insisting that �the armoury  was not as bad as to ignite such level of explosions.�

                          Feelers from the Defence Ministry revealed that due to the development, the Board of Enquiry which was constituted to investigate the explosions, has been charged to look into the possibility of sabotage.

                          The Defence Minister, General Theophilus Danjuma, had on Tuesday faulted claims by the army authorities that the explosions were due to the bad state of  the armoury, insisting that only the outcome of the investigations would reveal the reasons behind the explosions.

                          Speaking on NTA Newsline Tuesday night, General Haruna questioned the position of the military authorities that the explosions were due to accidental discharge, insisting that the matter was beyond accident.

                          General Haruna, who was a General Officer Commanding of many divisions of the Nigerian Army in the 1970s, questioned why an �accidental discharge� should take place on a Sunday instead of during working days.

                           

                          Urging an open-ended approach to the investigation, General Haruna noted that the circumstances of the incident showed that elements within the cantonment might have been involved.

                          He stressed that the incident revealed that morale and discipline within the brigade was at the lowest level, leading to what he called the sabotage.

                          �Some lower level officers may be involved to possibly show the authority,� the widely respected General stated.

                          The Minister of State for Army, Alhaji Lawan Batagarawa, however, declared that �nobody as at now is sure of what is behind the explosions.�

                          Batagarawa, speaking at the NTA Newsline, declared that Nigerians should be patient to allow the Board of Enquiry on the incident to do its investigations.

                          The Oyo  State governor, Alhaji Lam Adesina, has said that the circumstances of the Sunday, January 28, bomb explosions in Lagos portend danger for national security and charged President Olusegun Obasanjo to view the incident with all the seriousness it deserved. Alhaji Adesina, in a release signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Kehinde Olaosebikan, advised that no effort should be spared in getting to the root of the disaster, adding that anybody found culpable should be dealt with and treated as a saboteur.

                          While charging the President to take the Lagos incident with all seriousness as no stone should be left unturned in getting to the root  cause of the bomb blast, the governor stressed: �I hope some people are not out to deliberately destabilize our nascent democracy.�

                          According to him, �the explosions and attendant deaths are capable of eroding the confidence of our people in government�s ability to protect lives and property of the citizens.� He, however, urged all Nigerians to see the disaster as a challenge to them to rise up to guard against any act capable of truncating the fledgling democracy.

                          �It is our responsibility as citizens of this country to join hands with the government in order to point out any sabotage in the serial explosions,� he added.

                          Alhaji Adesina, who expressed the sympathy and condolence of his government and the people of the state with their Lagos  State counterparts, prayed that God would grant families of victims the fortitude to bear the loss.

                           



                            


                           

                          SSS chief�s son wanted for  robbery, assassination
                          JOHNSON FAGBAMILA, Lagos

                          THE son of a senior op-erative of the State Security Service (SSS), Lagos Zone (names withheld), is being wanted by the Police over armed robbery and assassination of an Army Captain.

                          The  man, simply identified as Idowu �Oloye,� was among an eight-man gang that besieged the Flash Estate, Off Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos on December 13, 2001, during which the said Captain was killed and his housegirl raped. The Commissioner of Police, Force Special Anti Robbery Squad (FSARS), Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Mr. Gabriel Adejoh, while  addressing newsmen at Adeniji Adele, Wednesday, said Captain Ebikeye Okudu was killed in the course of the robbery alongside a Korean national. The FSARS took over the case following the order of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Musiliu Smith and got a break in the case when on January 11, 2001, following a tip off, one   Gabriel Kanei, alias Big Joe�, was presented for interrogation and later confessed to the crime and named others.  �Out of the suspects mentioned that participated in the robbery, four of them had been arrested and during interrogation, they confessed to the crime. The robbers narrated how and  why Captain Okudu was murdered.

                           

                          The armed robbers claimed that the captain got hold of one of the suspects named Bolaji who was in possession of their operational weapons.

                          In order to rescue their men from the Captain, one of the robbers, called Sunday, broke a bottle with which he stabbed him severally which led to his death.

                          Nigerian Tribune investigation further revealed that one of the robbers had pounced on the Captain�s house girl, and was raping her when his gang members left him, adding that when the other gang members got down stairs and discovered his absence, they came back for him.

                          Mr. Adejoh said the police had contacted the Director of SSS in Lagos to help get the suspect�s father to release the boy to the police.

                          Speaking on the Captain�s death, Mr. Adejoh warned victims of armed robbery attacks to be cautious of attacking or confronting robbers, as such could be dangerous or spell doom for the victims or members of their families.

                           




                            


                           

                          I was misinformed on tragedy �Obasanjo
                          �Would have shelved Katsina trip
                          �Cancels US visit
                          �Donates N200m to victims

                          Yemi Giwa, Abuja
                          PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday apologised to Nigerians over his comments and subsequent actions over the bomb explosions that occurred last Sunday, explaining that he was not informed of any casualty figure when  he visited Lagos on Monday.

                          As a mark of respect for the victims of the bomb disaster, the President has also cancelled his trips to the United States and Venezuela.

                          At the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, the President and his colleagues also observed two minutes silence in memory of the departed innocent souls.

                          The President,  inaugurated an 11-man Lagos explosion disaster relief led by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Uffot Ekaete.

                          Describing the incident as a �tragedy of monumental proportions�,  Obasanjo explained that when he visited the site of the tragedy he was not fully abreast of the real situation and the extent of the calamity.

                          Remorseful Obasanjo said that if he had known the extent of the disaster he would have cancelled his scheduled trip to Katsina and remained in Lagos for the entire day to mourn with the bereaved.

                          Meanwhile, Vice President Atiku Abubakar today leads a Federal Government delegation to Lagos to visit the sites of the tragic deaths and as well condole some families of the deceased.

                          The President�s spokesman, Mr. Tunji Oseni, explained that the President�s cancellation of the trip was voluntary and not as a result of pressure from anybody or any quarter.

                          According to him, �he decided on his own to cancel his proposed trip to the United States. He did not do it because of pressures from any quarters but because of the feeling he has and the proportion of the tragedy. The attention of the President has been prompt and deep.�

                          The House of Representatives had on Tuesday   passed a resolution urging the President to shelve the trip.

                          Mr. Oseni, however, cautioned against politicising the disaster unnecessarily.

                           

                          Speaking at the inauguration of the Lagos Explosion Disaster Relief Committee, Obasanjo said the directive was aimed at forestalling future occurrence of the kind of explosions which rocked Lagos last Sunday from the Ikeja Cantonment of the Nigerian Army. He further expressed government�s resolve to investigate causes of the explosions as part of efforts to avoid future occurrence.

                          On his utterances when he visited the scene of the explosions on Monday, Obasanjo said his comments were guided by the fact that he did not know there were loss of lives. �When I visited the site of the tragic explosion at the Ikeja Cantonment on Monday morning, no loss of life was reported to me and my comment then was to thank God that no life was lost,� he stressed.

                          Obasanjo also said, �If I had received any reported case of loss of life, I would have cancelled my trip to Katsina and would have remained in Lagos for the day.� He explained that the magnitude of loss of lives and property could melt a �heart of stone�, adding that news on the number of people that died as a result of the mishap reached him later same day after he had arrived Katsina for an official visit.

                          Obasanjo also said that he had cancelled a proposed visit to New York where he would have attended the world economic summit, adding that Vice-President Atiku Abubakar would visit Lagos on Thursday to condole  families that could be seen.

                          He said the committee had five terms of reference which were to establish the identity of victims, the nature of losses, receiving and administering all contributions and donations, identifying other sources of relief and submitting report to the government.

                          The committee, which has three months to conclude what Obasanjo described as �bringing immediate relief to victims�, has Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Ufot Ekaette, as chairman. The committee also has the Minister of State for Defence (Army), Lagos State Commissioner for Special Duties, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency, publisher of  ThisDay Newspapers, Nduka Obaigbena, Emmanuel Ijewere of the Nigeria Red Cross, as members.

                          Other members are Mr. Dolapo Atekoja, who will represent the civil society; Mr. Akinpelu of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria; Chief Odeyemi of NACCIMA and a secretary to be appointed by Ekaette.

                          Obasanjo, who announced a Federal Government donation of N200 million to the fund, appealed to Nigerians to donate to the fund as well as assist the committee in identifying genuine victims for purposes of recording losses and bringing  relief.

                           




                            


                           

                          Want to go to UK?
                          NIGERIAN professionals longing to live and work in the United Kingdom are now at liberty to fulfill their dreams as the British government on Monday launched its version of the American visa lottery.

                          In a message posted on the website of the programme tagged:  The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, the British government said the scheme was aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the United Kingdom in the global economy.

                          �This programme is a new way of allowing individuals to migrate to the United Kingdom. It aims to provide an individual migration route for highly skilled persons who have the skills and experience required by the United Kingdom to compete in the global economy�, a statement on the programme read.

                          Unlike the US Diversity Visa Lottery programme where any applicant can be chosen by chance, the UK programme is restricted to highly skilled individuals.

                          Although the UK government said any individual could apply for the programme, it went ahead to advise whoever could not score 75 points  in five areas to shelve the idea. The areas include educational qualifications, work experience, past earnings, achievement in one�s chosen field and HSMP priority applications.

                          In the area of educational qualifications, Ph.D holders are awarded 30 points while 25 points is given to those with   Master�s degrees. First degree holders are given 15 points.Any individual with five years work experience, or three years for Ph.D holders, will score 15 points.

                          Additional 10 points is obtainable by those with two years work experience at a senior level or in a specialist position within the person�s chosen field.

                           

                          In the area of past earnings, applicants are required to demonstrate minimum earned income in their countries of residence.

                          The minimum income level differed from country to country to reflect the disparities in living standard.

                          The minimum income level for applicants from Nigeria is �15,000 per annum and the scores from this area ranged from 25   to 50 points.

                          Individuals with exceptional or significant achievements in their chosen professions can also score between 25 and 50 points. Achievements are viewed from the perspectives of awards won by the individual applicant or inventions such applicants would have made.

                          The HSMP priority applications field is restricted to general practitioners.

                          There is a maximum of 155 points out of which applicants are expected to score at least 75 points.

                          In addition to scoring 75 points, applicants must also demonstrate an ability to continue in their chosen field in the UK, must have enough savings to support themselves and their families and must be willing to make the United Kingdom their main house.

                          The applications are to be made to the nearest British Embassy or High Commission and they are processed within one week of receiving them.

                          Successful applicants are given a visa for 12 months in the first instance. This can be renewed for a period of three years followed by a permanent residence arrangement if the applicants so desire.

                          The applicants� spouses and dependant children are eligible to accompany or join them.

                           




                            


                           

                          Rusticated students cause UI crisis �VC
                          By JACKSON UDOM
                          THE Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Ayodele Falase, has said that those causing crisis on the university campus are students who had at one time or the other been involved in criminal offences.

                          He stated this on Wednesday while fielding questions during a courtesy visit to the African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, publishers of the Tribune titles.

                          Falase, who spoke on the crisis in the university, as well as the larger problems in the academia, also said that for the university system to succeed in Nigeria, there is the need for improved funding from the government and granting of  autonomies to universities.

                          Falase, who averred that there were several misunderstandings on the situation at the university, explained that a negligible fraction of students were opposed to the increment of maintenance fees on accommodation slots. The Vice Chancellor claimed that before now, the state of hostels at the university was so deplorable that the infrastructure were decaying.

                          More than this, he said, was a situation in which the university had become a haven of prostitutes, cultists and several other undesirable elements who used the campus residence halls as a place of habitation. According to Falase, the school authorities thus renovated the halls with about N450 million and were advised by contractors who handled the renovation and construction that about five per cent of the amount had to be expended on a yearly renovation of the halls.

                          The Vice Chancellor said that taking into consideration the above exigency and the poor funding from government, the university had to decide on the payment of the sum of N3,500 by each student which he said many students had begun to pay.

                          On the issue of autonomy, Falase had said: �We have asked for university autonomy and the Federal Government has agreed to it, but the problem is that, they (government) are still telling us not to charge so so and so fees and that is where the problem lies. If the government cannot adequately fund universities and the universities are not allowed to charge some fees, then the system can�t work.�

                           

                          On the crisis currently rocking the institution, Professor Falase opined that those causing problems on the campus are those who had been suspended from the institution on account of one crime or the other.

                          He said they were by all standards not bonafide students of the institution but they went about instigating students against the decisions of the Senate especially on the new accommodation fees.

                          �Majority of the students have paid the accommodation fee of N3,500 per session. In fact, they even described the charges as understandable. But this people would not allow them move in. Our accommodation charge is the cheapest in Ibadan�, he said.

                          He also noted that the various stake holders in the university community were taken in to confidence before the N3,500 was arrived at. �We asked the students to look at the rules made for them on the new arrangement. We discussed with hall wardens and chairmen who are all students, though they advised that the cost be reduced. We have taken their plea to the Senate which is the only body that can give such a directive,� he stressed.

                          He, however, emphasised the need for adequate funding of the university system, saying �if you don�t fund education very well, there would be problems with the youth of the nation. The training and facilities in the past are not the same today. And if something urgent is not done to arrest the pathetic situation in our universities, it may lead to mafia groups emerging from our universities and taking over the whole country�, he asserted.

                          Speaking further, he noted that the cultural decay in the society has eaten deep into the fabric of the youth, who are imposed on the university after their character had been formed at the post primary and primary levels. �The country has to take action now, we can�t do that in the university. Before a student gets to the university, his character had been formed. The universities can�t mould characters.�

                          On the way out of the crisis in the Ivory Towers, he said, �Government should as a matter of priority cater for indigent students through the award of scholarship. It should also give the universities commensurate amount to pay lecturers and maintain structures. The issue of free tuition is a political decision.�

                           




                            


                           

                          FG approves N2.5b for school libraries
                          JACOB SEGUN OLATUNJI, Abuja
                          THE Federal Government has approved over N2.5 billion for the execution of Virtual Library Project in the nation�s schools to enhance the quality of teaching and learning processes in the schools.

                           

                          The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Peter Okebukola, who disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday, said the foundation of the National Secretariat of the project christened, �National Virtual (Digital) Library� would be laid in Abuja tomorrow (Friday) by the Education Minister, Professor Babalola Borishade.

                           

                          According to him the project which was one of the several strategies that had been devised by the Education Minister to boost the quality of teaching and learning in Nigerian schools would be executed in three phases beginning at the university level.

                           

                          The breakdown of the project showed that phase one designed for Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education would cost N898 million, second phase designed for secondary schools to cost N322.8m and the third phase designed for primary schools N1.3 billion while N49m would be spent on its national secretariat. He said that eleven universities had already been selected for the pilot phase of the project as well as the national open university when it re-opens. 

                          Christopher Kolade nominated envoy to Britain

                          PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo has nominated Dr. Christopher Kolade as Nigeria�s High Commissioner to Britain. If confirmed by the Senate, Kolade would replace Chief Bola Ajibola, who left the job recently to sit at the World Court of Justice at the Hague.

                          Deputy Senate President, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu, who presided over proceedings at the Senate, presented the nomination of Kolade for confirmation. Deliberating on the nomination, the Senate directed its committee on Foreign Affairs to screen the nominee and submit its report within seven days. (NAN)

                           




                            


                           

                          NNPC donates N100m to victims
                          �Some of the victims of the explosions queue for relief materials.
                           
                          THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Wednesday donated N100 million to the Lagos explosion disaster relief fund as part of the efforts to assist the victims of the disaster.

                          Presenting the cheque to the Chairman of the fund, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Jackson Gaius-Obaseki, said that the gesture was in line with the corporation�s social responsibility policy to assist the needy.

                          �The NNPC was set up, not only to efficiently manage the nation�s hydrocarbon resources, but most importantly, to act as a fallback position for government in providing immediate  relief in times of national disaster or distress.�

                           

                          He said that the victims deserved positive and prompt assistance from corporate bodies in view of the intensity of the calamity, the attendant human suffering and the impact on the socio-economic well being of the people.

                          In its determined effort to impact positively on the lives of the people, Mr  Gaius-Obaseki said that the corporation would continue to assist and support victims of natural disasters.

                          He directed the emergency response unit of the corporation to provide immediate relief in terms of medical care, medicine, dressing, blanket and food, among other needs, to the victims of the accidents.

                          Mr. Obaseki said that prompt response to disaster of such magnitude was the responsibility of all and sundry and urged other corporate bodies, especially multinational oil companies, to donate generously to the relief fund.

                          He prayed for the souls of the departed to rest in peace.

                           




                            


                           

                          A serious implication for Nigeria�s attempt to acquire nuclear power �Don
                          By LANRE IPAYE

                          A university don, Profes-sor Moses Akinola Makinde, has reacted to the Lagos bomb explosions, saying it had  a serious implication for Nigeria�s attempt to acquire nuclear power now or in the future.

                          According to Professor Makinde, a lecturer at the Department of Philosophy, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, �the incident is quite disturbing, especially the gruesome pictures of innocent people whose death occurred as result of negligence of government functionaries.

                          �If Nigeria should have a nuclear plant, there is no guarantee that there would not be carelessness somewhere which would lead to leakages and release of nuclear fumes which might result in the death of every Nigerian and also affect other West African countries, like Benin, Togo and Ghana. It would make the Chernobyl  nulear disaster in Russia a child�s play�, he stated.

                           

                          Professor Makinde further advised that Nigeria should shelve the idea of acquiring nuclear plant because of her poor maintenance culture, carelessness and official corruption, saying the acquisition of a nuclear plant would turn to a curse rather than blessing as oil has turned into a curse rather than blessing for Nigerians.

                          While reacting to the setting up of an inquiry,   Professor Makinde said, �If there was going to be any, it should  concentrate on knowing how much money the Federal Government voted for the upkeep of the armoury annually and whether money was spent or pocketed by individuals. However, if the Federal Government did not vote any money for that purpose, then the government should be indicted for negligence. On the other hand, if the Federal Government did vote money for the upkeep of the armoury and it was not spent, then that is embezzlement and corruption which is very rampant in Nigeria, where money for projects are not accounted for. An example is the Lagos-Ibadan expressway which government had failed to maintain despite the huge amount collected as toll fees.�

                           




                            


                           

                          In search of an academic as governor
                          By Yushau Shuaib
                          THERE is nothing more disheartening than to see  politicians and elected public officers wrangling on unnecessary hassle for supremacy while ignoring the basic tenets expected of them as well as failing to address the yearnings and aspirations of the electorates.  Some are advocating for academicians probably professors to contest for higher posts in the next election, while few are disposed to traditional  rulers and religious leaders.

                          My write-up is compelled by the desire to see that more outstanding academics whose experience and leadership qualities have endeared them to the citizenry are  encouraged to seek for elective positions in future elections to better the lot of their people and practically apply the theoretical knowledge in governance.

                          Examples abound everywhere where politicians and political office holders in their desperation to hold on  or to grab power have discreetly patronised outlawed groups or introduced diversionary tactics to win support from the gullible public.  It is  not a surprise therefore  that we have to face this startling reality of the existence of so-called OPC states, MASSOB Region, Sharia environment and the resource

                          (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

                        • Nubi Achebo
                          Thursday February 7, 2002 LAGOS EXPLOSIONS Mass burial for 500 •Na’Abba demands N500m for victims From Austin Jacobson, BAYO OLADEJI and IDOWU SAMUEL OVER
                          Message 12 of 29 , Feb 7, 2002
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                            Thursday February 7, 2002

                            LAGOS EXPLOSIONS
                            Mass burial for 500
                            �Na�Abba demands N500m for victims
                            From Austin Jacobson, BAYO OLADEJI and IDOWU SAMUEL
                            OVER 500 unclaimed corpses of victims of Lagos bomb
                            explosions have been slated for a mass burial on
                            Thursday, just as the Nigerian Red Cross Society has
                            declared that about 200 displaced children are still
                            in its camps.

                            According to an official of the Red Cross, Mr. Austin
                            Umude, who spoke with the Nigerian Tribune, the
                            over 500 corpses would be given a mass burial in Lagos
                            on Thursday.

                            He said the corpses were already constituting health
                            hazards to people living near the mortuaries where
                            they were deposited.

                            Speaking further, he said the Red Cross could only
                            take care of children who were not above two years,
                            adding that any child above two years, would be the
                            responsibility of the government.

                            Mr. Umude explained that Nigerians had been very
                            responsive to the plights of the victims by donating
                            well, bringing both materials and cash for the
                            displaced victims.

                            Meanwhile, the Ikeja Military Cantonment scene of
                            the bomb blast has become calm, just as the Command
                            Children Secondary School, which was closed down due
                            to the bomb blast had been re-opened.

                            Scores of soldiers were seen at the entrance of the
                            gate of the cantonment checking people moving into the
                            barracks while journalists were restricted from
                            covering activities within the barracks.
                            Investigations also revealed that most of the
                            displaced victims at the Ikeja Cantonment had been
                            relocated, while others had been taken to other
                            rehabilitation camps.

                            In another development, the Speaker, House of
                            Representatives, Hon. Ghali Umar Na�Abba, on Tuesday
                            asked for additional N500 million in the 2002
                            Appropriation Bill to be given to the victims of
                            recent ethnic clashes in the country and the Ikeja
                            bomb explosions.

                            In an internal memo dated 4 February, 2002, signed by
                            the Speaker and addressed to the Chairman, House
                            Committee on Appropriations, the Speaker also called
                            for adequate fund for the Federal Government Relief
                            Agencies.

                            The text of the memo reads: �The country has, in
                            recent times, witnessed many disasters and these do
                            occur all too often that the House is obliged to
                            respond by way of donations so as to give succour to
                            the majority of the victims of particular relevance
                            were the recent clashes in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa
                            states. The recent bomb explosions in Lagos also
                            demand our compassionate and generous contribution.

                            �In the light of this, therefore, I would like to
                            direct that a vote be created that will take care of
                            assistance to victims of disasters, now and in the
                            future. The sum of five hundred million naira (N500m)
                            should be appropriated for this purpose.

                            �The recent Lagos bomb explosions have also brought to
                            the fore the need for the Federal Government relief
                            agencies to be adequately funded in order to enhance
                            their response capabilities. It may therefore be
                            desirable for the House to consider a reasonable
                            increase in the amounts appropriated for these
                            agencies.�

                            -------------------

                            Robbers abduct LG boss� wife
                            �Sergeant, Corporal killed in gun battle
                            �Wale Sadeeq, Ado-Ekiti
                            HELL was let loose in Iluomoba, Ekiti, a community in
                            Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State, on
                            Monday, as dare-devil armed robbers engaged the police
                            in a shoot-out, then abducted the wife of the local
                            government chairman.

                            In the ensuing battle, the armed bandits killed five
                            people including a police corporal, injured three
                            other policemen and abducted the wife and the driver
                            of Ekiti East Local Government Chairman, Alhaji Saka
                            Bello.

                            Nigerian Tribune gathered that the men of the
                            underworld, dressed in mobile police uniforms, on
                            entering the town, made straight for a petrol station
                            and dealt some blows on the petrol attendants after
                            collecting all the proceeds of the day.

                            As this was going on, a detachment of the robbers were
                            said to have barricaded the Iluomoba-Agbado Road,
                            raiding any motorists on sight.

                            It was further gathered that men of the state
                            anti-crime outfit, Quick Intervention Squad,
                            apparently unaware of the incident, ran into the
                            robbers while on their routine patrol.

                            This led to the exchange of fire between the police
                            and the armed robbers, even as already trapped
                            motorists scampered in various directions for dear
                            life.

                            A public relations officer in one of the ministries in
                            the state, while recounting his ordeal, told the
                            Nigerian Tribune that he covered almost three
                            kilometres inside the bush while trying to escape from
                            the scene of the gun duel.

                            After killing a policeman and wounding three others,
                            the robbers were said to have fled.

                            On their way, they snatched a Prado Jeep belonging to
                            the Ekiti East Local Government Chairman which was
                            carrying the chairman�s wife and others said to be
                            coming from Ado-Ekiti where a prayer session was held
                            for intending hajj pilgrims.
                            The wife of the local government boss and the
                            driver were later dropped in a bush some kilometres
                            away.

                            However, in an attempt to escape through Omuo, the
                            headquarters of Ekiti East Local Government, the
                            robbers were said to have met a road block mounted by
                            some people who had earlier heard about the abduction
                            of the wife of their council chairman.

                            They reportedly sprayed the people with bullets,
                            killing four instantly and wounding about five others
                            before escaping to Kabba in Kogi State.

                            When contacted, the state Police Commissioner, Mr.
                            Richard Chime, confirmed the incident, saying only one
                            police officer was killed while no arrest had been
                            made.

                            The police boss also disclosed that the official Prado
                            Jeep of the council chairman had been recovered in
                            Kabba where it was abandoned by the robbers.

                            Also in Lagos, a police Sergeant was shot dead and
                            three others seriously injured on Monday in Lagos as
                            suspected armed robbers opened fire on a police patrol
                            team at the Law School junction on Ozumba Mbadiwe road
                            on Victoria Island, Lagos.

                            The AIG, Zone 2, Mr. Sunday Ehindero, who confirmed
                            the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said
                            the attack on the four-man patrol was �unprovoked and
                            most unfortunate�.

                            According to Ehindero, the police patrol team had
                            stopped at a junction when some men in two
                            unidentified cars approached them and suddenly opened
                            fire with automatic weapons.

                            �Unfortunately, the assailants and their vehicles
                            escaped from the scene of the incident which occurred
                            at about 6.30 a.m. before another police team
                            arrived,� he said.

                            He said that the body of the Sergeant had been
                            deposited in a morgue while doctors were battling to
                            save the lives of the injured policemen.


                            --------------------------

                            Zamfara gov vows to cancel magistrate courts
                            Muhammad Sabiu, Gusau and SUNDAY OLAJIDE, Lagos
                            ZAMFARA State governor, Alhaji Ahmed Sani, has vowed
                            to abolish magistrate courts in the state if they
                            continue to sabotage the Sharia system being
                            implemented in the state.

                            In a phone-in programme on the state radio, Alhaji
                            Sani explained that information reaching him indicted
                            the magistrates of being insensitive to the progress
                            of Sharia.

                            He said most of the cases brought to the magistrate
                            courts ought to be taken to Sharia courts, but
                            lamented that the magistrates would just allow such
                            cases to die naturally or strike out such cases.

                            According to him, the complaint he received about the
                            activities of the magistrate courts judges �is
                            becoming unbearable�, and as such, �I am thinking of
                            abolishing the magistrate courts and leaving only one
                            to operate.�

                            Sani stressed further that the existence of magistrate
                            courts are to entertain cases involving non-Muslims,
                            pointing out that �I see no reason why magistrate
                            courts would still accept or entertain cases involving
                            Muslims.�

                            The governor also accused the police in sabotaging the
                            efforts of his government, maintaining that the duty
                            of the police is to take those cases involving Muslims
                            to the Sharia Courts and vice versa.

                            �Unfortunately, cases involving Muslims are taken to
                            magistrate courts�, Governor Sani said.

                            He urged Muslims to resist any attempt by the police
                            or magistrate court judges to lure them into accepting
                            to be heard in the magistrate courts.

                            A Lagos-based lawyer in Chief G.O.K. Ajayi chamber who
                            pleaded not to be named told the Nigerian Tribune that
                            the governor of Zamfara State would be wrong to scrap
                            magistrate courts in the state.

                            According to the lawyer, if the governor goes ahead to
                            scrap the magistrate courts as planned, the
                            fundamentals human rights of non-Muslims in the state
                            would be in serious jeopardy.

                            The lawyer added: �That means he will introduce full
                            blown sharia in the state without any regards to the
                            fundamental human rights of non-Muslims in the state,
                            to that extent, the governor would be wrong to scrap
                            the magistrate courts in the state.�
                            SPECIAL TREAT
                            Cigarette sets Sharia headquarters on fire
                            Muhammad Sabiu, Gusau
                            THE headquarters of Sharia Youth Forum, a
                            non-governmental organisation enforcing Sharia in
                            Zamfara State, was gutted by fire on Monday.

                            An eyewitness told the Nigerian Tribune that the fire,
                            which started around 10 a.m., also destroyed 12 other
                            shops located at the same vicinity with the Sharia
                            Youth Forum headquarters.

                            Sources added that the fire, which emanated from a
                            cotton store, might have been caused by smoking by the
                            guards.

                            He said the security guards were on several occasions
                            warned to desist from smoking while in the cotton
                            store.

                            Nigerian Tribune findings revealed that the raging
                            fire took the fire service personnel who came to the
                            rescue over three hours to put off.

                            A shop owner, who gave his name as Malam Abubakar,
                            disclosed that his shop was burnt and that he could
                            only remove some of his computers, though he
                            maintained that the whole situation was God�s will.

                            ---------------------

                            Blair addresses N/Assembly Thursday
                            Okey Muogbo and Olawale Rasheed, Abuja
                            BRITISH Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is to address a
                            joint session of the National Assembly tomorrow
                            (Thursday) and the Senate has given its approval.

                            Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, who informed the
                            Senators about the address, said details on how they
                            would attend would be made available today.However,
                            President Olusegun Obasanjo would on Thursday receive
                            Mr. Blair, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja

                            A statement issued from Aso Rock, Abuja on Tuesday,
                            said that Blair, would hold discussions with Obasanjo,
                            while officials from both countries would also take
                            part in bilateral talks. The statement said that
                            discussions were expected to focus on investment
                            prospects in NIgeria, youth development, the strong
                            role played by Nigeria in peace efforts in West
                            Africa, and the involvement of Nigeria in African
                            issues generally.

                            Meanwhile, a motion on the OPC/Hausa clash in Lagos
                            could not sail through on Tuesday as the Senate
                            resolved to wait till today to get more facts about
                            the crisis from some Senators who were in Lagos.


                            The motion was raised by Senator Isa Mohammed who
                            drew the attention of the Senate to the clash and
                            moved that urgent measures be taken to stop the
                            violence in Lagos as well as nip in the bud any
                            reprisal attack in the North.

                            He lamented the poor security situation in the country
                            and suggested that inefficiency of the police and
                            other security agencies was responsible for the
                            constant violence in parts of the country.

                            Senator Isa Mohammed suggested that the
                            Inspector-General of Police and Director of the State
                            Security Services (SSS) be invited to the Senate to
                            explain why there had been so much clashes in the
                            country.

                            His motion was deferred when the Senate President,
                            Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, told the Senators that the AD
                            Senate leader, Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa,
                            telephoned him to say that he (Akinfenwa) was in Lagos
                            with some Senators and that they would be coming back
                            with first hand information on the crisis.


                            ------------------------

                            Police arrest 15 over mayhem
                            �As calm returns to Lagos
                            JOHNSON FAGBAMILA and ERIC IKHILE, Lagos
                            AT least 15 people have been arrested over the ethnic
                            clash in Lagos, even as the Lagos State Police Command
                            ordered its Senior Police Officers (SPOs) to forestal
                            any resumption of the fight.

                            The fight entered its fourth day, Tuesday, as early
                            morning skirmishes broke out in Agege, Oyingbo, Iyana
                            Ipaja and Ijora areas of Lagos, but was quickly
                            brought under control by the presence of heavily armed
                            policemen and soldiers.

                            Also, community leaders in Mile 12, Mushin, Idi-Araba,
                            Agege, Ijora-Badia and other troubled areas met with
                            the police and agreed to sheathe their swords.

                            Deputy Commissioner of Police, �B� Department
                            (Operations), Mr. Emmanuel Adebayo, revealed to the
                            Nigerian Tribune that the arrested men were picked
                            up in action while killing, burning and looting at
                            various locations in Lagos.

                            Mr. Adebayo, who said heavy casualties were recorded
                            in the clash, said that three policemen were injured
                            while over 50 people were burnt to ashes, and that the
                            displaced people from both sides had been moved to the
                            Police College, Ikeja and the Abatti Barracks, Yaba,
                            by the Red Cross.

                            The police boss added that the police hierarchy
                            ordered all Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) in all
                            its police stations, the Area Commanders and other top
                            police officers to be on the street pending the time
                            that there would be an end to the fighting and to give
                            the people a sense of assurance and security.

                            Meanwhile, the arrested suspects are currently being
                            detained at the State Criminal Investigation
                            Department, Panti, pending the completion of
                            investigation to determine the depth of involvement of
                            each of the suspects. Relative peace has, however,
                            returned to the troubled Idi-Araba and Mushin areas of
                            Lagos State.

                            This was, however, occasioned by the heavy presence of
                            armed security personnel in most parts of the areas,
                            particularly Idi-Araba, which was most affected by the
                            violence.
                            It was, however, not certain how long the
                            fragile peace could be sustained by the security
                            personnel stationed at major junctions, as there were
                            rumours of clandestine meetings by the warring youths
                            for a possible resumption of hostilities.

                            Most streets in Idi Araba were deserted when the
                            Nigerian Tribune visited Tuesday. Some of the
                            residents were seen fleeing the area while others took
                            time to evacuate the remains of their belongings.

                            Houses along Ajegunle, Taiwo, Paul Ogunmola streets
                            were vandalised while those on Ishaga Road, Haruna
                            Street which were most affected by the clash were
                            burnt down.

                            One of the security men, who spoke with the Nigerian
                            Tribune under the condition of anonymity, said that
                            they had effectively taken control of the area. He
                            assured that the current peace would be maintained if
                            their presence in the area was sustained.

                            At the premises of the Lagos University Teaching
                            Hospital (LUTH) where some of the residents were
                            taking refuge since the inception of the crisis, the
                            displaced residents were seen being attended to by
                            members of the Red Cross.

                            Mr. Ade Abubakar Alobo, who led a team of Red Cross
                            personnel to LUTH premises, told the Nigerian Tribune
                            that they had only brought �direct relief materials�
                            which included clothes, food items and medication to
                            the displaced people.

                            Mr. Alobo, who could not give the number of those
                            currently taking refuge at the LUTH premises,
                            explained that more relief materials would still be
                            brought to the people by tomorrow morning.

                            He assured that the Red Cross would be able to cope
                            with an enlarged population of displaced people as the
                            society�s capacity was not yet over-stretched.

                            The Red Cross personnel explained that the number of
                            people displaced in the Idi-Araba crisis was not
                            limited to those within the LUTH premises as others
                            had taken refuge in Abbati Barracks, Ojuelegba and
                            Police College, Ikeja.


                            --------------------------

                            States can�t supervise LGs �Obasanjo
                            Yemi Giwa, Abuja
                            PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo has observed that many
                            local governments have nothing to show since the
                            democratic government was put in place in 1999 just as
                            he said it was wrong for state governments to
                            supervise local governments.

                            He therefore urged the electorate to always hold the
                            council chairmen accountable to them because the power
                            belonged to voters.

                            The President, who was speaking at an interactive
                            session with the national executive of the National
                            Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), said that
                            many local governments did not meet up to
                            expectations.

                            His words, �I have seen local governments that are
                            performing creditably, but many have nothing to show.�


                            He reiterated the fact that the local government was
                            the closest to the people and as such the councils
                            must do more to make their impact felt by the people.
                            The President said that there was no need for organs
                            to supervise the local government as the third tier of
                            government.

                            Indeed, he disagreed with the present situation
                            whereby many state governments are lording it over the
                            local governments.
                            �There is no need for this. The electorate is
                            there and I do not think that it is right in a
                            democracy to ask states to supervise the local
                            governments,� he said.

                            On the funding of local governments in the country,
                            the President said that the provision in the proposed
                            new revenue allocation formula which recommended that
                            7 per cent of the account be set aside for basic
                            education was a possible way out of the problem of
                            zero allocation currently being experienced by the
                            local governments.

                            According to him, the current problem was predicated
                            on the deductions from funds due to the local
                            governments to cover the cost of the salaries of
                            primary school teachers.

                            If the recommendation is passed into law by the
                            National Assembly, the local government would no
                            longer have to bear the full burden of the salaries of
                            primary school teachers.

                            The President assured the NULGE delegation led by Mr.
                            Deji Akinwalere that he would do all in his power to
                            support the entrenchment of greater probity and
                            accountability in the administration of local
                            governments in the country.

                            He also assured the NULGE delegation that the Federal
                            Government would support the efforts to verify and
                            settle the N8.3 billion salary arrears being owed
                            local government employees in the country.


                            --------------------------

                            Bamaiyi, Mustapha petition Chief Justice
                            Bankole Makinde, Abuja
                            DETAINED former Chief of Army Staff, Lt-General Ishaya
                            Bamaiyi (rtd), former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to
                            the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, Major
                            Hamza Al-Mustapha and three others have formally
                            petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice
                            Mohammed Lawal Uwais, accusing Justice Ade Alabi of
                            the High Court of Lagos State of demanding bribe from
                            them.

                            The bribe allegation, according to them, was to enable
                            the judge grant them bail in their alleged attempted
                            murder and conspiracy to murder trial currently
                            pending before the judge.

                            General Bamaiyi, Major Al-Mustapha, former Lagos
                            Police Commissioner, Mr. James Danbaba, former
                            military administrator of Zamfara State, Colonel J.B.
                            Yakubu and CSP Rabo Lawal are being held at Kirikiri
                            Prisons, Lagos, over the murder of Kudirat, the late
                            wife of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993
                            presidential election, late Chief M.K.O. Abiola.

                            The men are praying Justice Uwais to set up an
                            independent body to investigate their allegation
                            against the judge as well as issue a directive to the
                            Chief Judge of Lagos State to transfer their case to
                            another judge in the Lagos State judiciary.

                            The petition, endorsed by the five men and dated
                            January 30, 2002, was also copied to the Senate
                            President, Speaker, House of Representatives,
                            Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of
                            Justice, President, Court of Appeal, President,
                            Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), chairmen of the three
                            registered political parties and the Advisory Judicial
                            Council.
                            Others copied were the Chief Judge of Lagos
                            State, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice,
                            Lagos State, Chairmen, Senate and House Committees on
                            Judiciary and Justice Ade Alabi himself.

                            In the petition, the detained former military officers
                            accused Justice Alabi of sending a member of Yoruba
                            Tennis Club of which he (Alabi) is a member to them
                            three times to demand for money so that he could
                            grant them bail and stated their resolve to
                            substantiate their allegation against the judge
                            before any independent body set up by Justice Uwais as
                            �we cannot make such allegation without facts and
                            figures at our disposal.

                            �The judge, when the issue of our bail was being
                            canvassed, sent someone to us from the Yoruba Tennis
                            Club of which the judge is a member and demanded money
                            from us. The person came at least three times and when
                            we were not forthcoming, the judge refused us bail
                            (and) since then, every application brought before him
                            fails (and) he became visibly antagonistic to both
                            ourselves and our lawyers�, according to the petition.


                            Saying that they were no longer ready for trial before
                            the judge who they accused of intimidating them and
                            bullying their lawyers in his court, they alleged that
                            Justice Alabi had arrogated to himself the status of
                            an unmitigated oppressor who had done things that are
                            highly unbecoming of a High Court judge.

                            They pleaded with Justice Uwais not to let that day
                            come when an ordinary man is made to understand that
                            justice is for sale.


                            -------------------------

                            Okocha insists on English Premiership action
                            By TOSIN OMOJOLA
                            SUPER Eagles midfield dynamo Austin Okocha is
                            insisting on lacing boot for English premiership side
                            Liverpool, saying that he can only change his mind if
                            French club, Paris Saint Germain (PSG) can reach an
                            agreement with him as far as the renewal of his
                            contract with the club is concerned.

                            The Nigerian international, whose contract with the
                            French club expires at the end of this summer, had for
                            the past few months been having a running battle with
                            the management of PSG over the issue of money.

                            While the officials of PSG are planning to slash
                            Okocha�s 80 million pounds per month salary, the
                            Nigerian international wants an increament in his
                            wages if the club still wants his services renewed.

                            However, moves by the management of PSG to convince
                            Okocha to dance to their tune seems to be hitting the
                            rock as top English premiership side, Liverpool is
                            already wooing him with mouth-watering offer which
                            sources say is too tempting for him to reject.

                            Okocha seems to have made up his mind to join his
                            compatriots Celestine Babayaro, Kanu Nkwankwo and
                            Finidi George in England as he was quoted as saying
                            that, �I will soon be 29 years old, I will not like to
                            go to the premiership at old age and with the offer
                            from Liverpool, I look forward to England.�



                            Jordan, wife try to salvage marriage
                            BASKETBALL superstar Michael Jordan and his wife of 12
                            years, Juanita, have decided to try to save their
                            marriage and she has withdrawn her divorce petition,
                            the couple said in a joint statement released on
                            Monday.

                            �We have decided to attempt a reconciliation and our
                            efforts to do so would be greatly enhanced if the
                            privacy of our personal lives is respected,� said the
                            one-sentence statement released by Jordan�s attorney.

                            Juanita Jordan, 42, cited irreconcilable differences
                            in seeking a divorce from Jordan, 38, who is averaging
                            more than 25 points a game in his second successful
                            comeback in the National Basketball Association (NBA),
                            this time with the Washington Wizards.

                            The couple, who were married in Las Vegas in 1989,
                            have three children.

                            In her divorce petition, which was dismissed by a
                            court in Lake County, Illinois, on Monday, Juanita
                            Jordan sought custody of their three children,
                            possession of their 2,300-square-metre house in the
                            Chicago suburb of Highland Park, an �equitable� share
                            of their marital property, and unspecified alimony
                            payments.

                            Jordan�s wealth, earned mostly from basketball and
                            endorsements, was estimated at nearly 400 million
                            dollars last year by Fortune magazine, which ranked
                            him 13th on a list of the nation�s richest people
                            under 40.

                            Much like his first basketball comeback in 1993,
                            Jordan�s return to the court this season after two
                            years away has resurrected his star quality � and
                            potential endorsement earnings.

                            When he last retired from the sport in 1998 after
                            leading the Chicago Bulls to their sixth championship
                            in eight seasons, Jordan said he planned to spend more
                            time with his family and even to join a carpool to
                            drive his children to school.

                            But he bought a reported 50 million dollar stake in
                            the company that controls the Wizards and the National
                            Hockey League�s Washington Capitals. Jordan was often
                            away from home as he presided over the basketball
                            franchise and then spent more time on the road as he
                            resumed playing this season.



                            South African company�s largesse for CFN
                            THE Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN) says it will
                            receives 10 bicycle, spare parts and other cycling
                            kits from South Africa by the end of this month.

                            Teresa Ezobi, the President of CFN told the News
                            Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday that a
                            firm based in South Africa offered the materials as
                            grants, to assist the body develop cycling in Nigeria.


                            �A company in South Africa made the offer to CFN to
                            enable us train our athletes to world-class
                            standards,� she said, adding that the materials would
                            arrive in Lagos soon.

                            Ezobi said that other materials apart from bicycles
                            and spares, include vests, helmets, clothings, gloves
                            and shoes to kit athletes properly.

                            She said the gesture was made by the South African
                            company, following the recent visit to Nigeria of
                            African cycling champion Chris Willemse, a South
                            African, whose father owns the company providing the
                            grants.

                            Willemse, 18, participated in an exhibition cycling
                            show in Lagos on January 20, emerging a distant
                            seventh in an energy-sapping 174km race along the
                            Lagos-Epe highway.

                            �We are also looking into the possibility of sourcing
                            bicycles from Italy, Germany and Spain to give our
                            athletes an edge in the All-Africa Games billed for
                            2003,� Ezobi added.

                            The CFN president said that the body had intensified
                            its sponsorship drive to get more corporate bodies to
                            assist, adding that a shipping company, Mersk and
                            Econet, a telecommunications company, had said they
                            were interested in assisting.

                            �We are hopeful that the companies will give us
                            support to buy additional bicycles for our athletes,
                            who have been showing tremendous promise in recent
                            times,� she stated.



                            Fans hold NEPA officials hostage
                            AYODELE ADESANMI, Akure
                            IRATE soccer fans on Monday in Akure, Ondo State,
                            stormed the state headquarters of National Electric
                            Power Authority (NEPA) and abducted three of their
                            staff for power outage during last Sunday
                            quarter-final match between Nigeria and Ghana.

                            The fans, mostly students of the Federal College of
                            Agriculture, Akure, stated that they were denied
                            watching the football match because of the power
                            outage caused by the staff�s ineptitude and
                            negligence.

                            After the fans� attempt to remove some NEPA equipment
                            failed, they abducted three officers of the district
                            and took them to the campus on Akure-Owo road for
                            questioning.

                            The Public Relations Officer of NEPA, Akure District,
                            Mr. Ademola Adegoke, in a chat with Tribunesports
                            stressed that the power outage was not caused by the
                            district but by the system collapse at Osogbo, Osun
                            State, which is feeding the district.



                            Pele�s World Cup jersey for auction
                            THE number 10 shirt worn by Pele during Brazil�s
                            famous victory over Italy in the 1970 World Cup final
                            will go under the hammer in London in March,
                            auctioneers Christie�s said on Tuesday.

                            The auction house, hoping to cash in on World Cup
                            fever ahead of this summer�s tournament in Japan and
                            South Korea, said the piece of footballing memorabilia
                            was expected to fetch 30,000 to 50,000 pounds (43 -
                            71,000 dollars).

                            Christie�s described Pele�s performance in the epic
                            4-1 win over Italy, in front of more than 100,000
                            spectators, as �arguably his finest performance on the
                            World Cup stage.

                            �This shirt is one of the most important pieces of
                            football memorabilia I have ever had the pleasure of
                            offering for sale,� said Christie�s football
                            specialist David Convery in a statement.

                            The shirt is being sold by former Italian
                            international Roberto Rosato, who was given the shirt
                            by Pele in a swap after the final whistle in Mexico
                            City�s Azteca Stadium on 21 June 1970.



                            Greece to press for Olympic truce in Middle East
                            GREECE said on Monday that it would send an envoy to
                            Israel and the Palestinian Authority to appeal for an
                            Olympic Truce to be respected in the Middle East
                            during this month�s Salt Lake City Winter Games.

                            Eager to promote the Truce idea before hosting the
                            Olympics in its capital of Athens in 2004, Greece is
                            also sending envoys to other trouble spots to promote
                            a ceasefire during the February 8 and February 15
                            Games.

                            There would also be visits to nuclear-armed rivals
                            India and Pakistan, Armenia and Azerbaijan and to
                            Balkan nations. �This is not about a Greek peace
                            mediation,� Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis
                            told reporters. �This is more about an appeal to
                            respect the Olympic Truce idea during the Olympic
                            Games.�

                            Greek European Parliament deputy Anna Karamanou and a
                            foreign ministry official will deliver the letters to
                            Israelis and Palestinians within the week, he added.



                            Freeman targets Beijing 2008 Olympics
                            AUSTRALIA�S Olympic 400 metres champion Cathy Freeman
                            is refreshed after taking a break in 2001 and is
                            considering competing long enough at the Beijing Games
                            in 2008.

                            �Beijing is a long way away but time flies so quickly.
                            I�m not an athlete under pressure like I was before
                            Sydney,� Freeman, 28, told a news conference in
                            Melbourne on Monday.

                            �I�m an athlete who�s just doing it for one reason,
                            that�s the pure love of it. It�s so black and white
                            like that. I feel that anything thrown at me now, I
                            think I can deal with it okay.

                            �Long-term thinking, it makes life interesting I
                            think.� Freeman, the world champion in 1997 and 1999,
                            opted not to defend her 400 metres title in Edmonton,
                            Canada, last year. Australia�s most prominent
                            Aboriginal sportswoman took the opportunity to sleep
                            in, travel the world, eat as she pleased, drink red
                            wine and visit friends.



                            Congolese player enters record book
                            THE first red card for the current African Cup of
                            Nations was issued on Monday to Congolese substitute
                            Alexis Mbongo Tekumu in an ill-tempered quarter-final
                            game between Senegal and the Democratic Republic of
                            Congo at the Omnisport Modibo Keita Stadium, Bamako.

                            Although Senegal booked its semi-final ticket with a
                            2-0 win in the biennial competition, the day�s game
                            was almost marred by poor officiating by Italy�s
                            Domenico Messina.

                            The players disputed several of Messina�s calls and he
                            booked four of them in a game marked by rough tackles.
                            The Senegalese, who also got to the semi-finals of
                            the competition during their debut in 1965, will now
                            take on Nigeria in Thursday�s semi-final.

                            Both sides had met at the quarter-final stage of the
                            competition two years ago and Senegal came close to
                            creating the biggest upset of that championship, but
                            Julius Aghahowa�s two strikes denied them the
                            opportunity.


                            Crisis rocks Eagles camp
                            � Money, bone of contention
                            CRISIS is gradually brewing in the Super Eagles camp
                            here in Bamako, even as the Nigerian team prepares to
                            engage the Lions of Senegal in a semi-final match of
                            the Mali 2002 African Cup of Nations, on Thursday.

                            The bone of contention, as usual, centres round money.
                            After a meeting of top Sports Ministry officials, NFA
                            officials and the Super Eagles players last Monday at
                            the Eagles� Hotel de L�amitie camp here in Bamako,
                            inside sources disclosed to Tribunesports that while
                            the Director of Sports Development, Patrick Ekeji,
                            agreed to pay each of the players $1,000 each for
                            their return ticket to their bases after the
                            competition, the players refused to collect any amount
                            less than $3,000.

                            The players� argument, Tribunesports gathered, was
                            that there had been an earlier agreement that each of
                            them would be given $2,500 flat rate � $1,500 short of
                            what Ekeji is offering. Though the players came to
                            settle for $3,000, Arsenal FC player, Kanu Nwankwo was
                            said to have initially demanded for $4,000, his reason
                            being that he came in a first-class flight which does
                            not cost less.

                            Patrick Ekeji, Tribunesports further gathered, was
                            said to have made matters worse when he confronted the
                            players that their performance had not been impressive
                            so far, adding that afterall, they had only been
                            �managing to win.� The Director of Sports
                            Development, however, paid each of the players $5,000
                            for beating the Black Stars team on Sunday.

                            Ekeji�s stand was said to have infuriated the players
                            to have asked him to stay away from them. As a
                            further measure to show their grievances, the players
                            stayed away from the Stade Modibo Keita, where they
                            were supposed to watch the Senegal/Congo DR match, to
                            understudy their impending semi-final opponent. Only
                            coaches Amodu Shaibu, Joe Erico and Stephen Keshi were
                            at the stadium.

                            The issue was still unresolved by the time of filing
                            this report.



                            Ike�ll be ready for Senegal
                            �� Eagles� doctor
                            SUPER Eagles team doctor, Abdulkadir Mu�azu, confirmed
                            on Monday that goalkeeper Ike Shorunmu, injured in
                            Sunday�s quarter-final clash with Ghana when he
                            collided with defender Isaac Okoronkwo, had
                            concussion.

                            Mu�azu said he regained consciousness on the way to
                            hospital and had since been under observation. �He has
                            shown marked improvement�.

                            The doctor expressed confidence that the goalkeeper
                            would recover fully for the semi-final against Senegal
                            after passing a medical.



                            Eagles scare Gov Kure
                            DIPO LALEYE, Minna
                            GOVERNOR Abdulkhadir Kure of Niger State has said that
                            he has not been watching live telecast of all the
                            matches involving the national team, the Super Eagles,
                            since the beginning of the on-going 23rd Nations Cup
                            competition in Mali.

                            Kure told Tribunesports that, �I don�t watch our
                            matches live because I don�t want to have high blood
                            pressure.�

                            In fact, the governor only got to know the outcome of
                            the Super Eagles quarter-final showdown with
                            arch-rivals Black Stars of Ghana played last Sunday on
                            Monday. �I asked my wife to know the result of the
                            match with Ghana the next morning,� Kure stated.

                            He, however, said that his decision not to watch the
                            Super Eagles encounters live was not a lack of
                            confidence in the team, adding that, �I have faith in
                            the players.�

                            Alhaji Kure is optimistic that Nigeria will scale the
                            Senegalese semi-final hurdle and go on to win the
                            coveted trophy.

                            President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF),
                            Engineer Sani Ndanusa, has also sent warm greeting to
                            the Super Eagles and their handlers for qualifying for
                            the semi-final of the on-going Nations Cup.

                            Ndanusa lauded the performance of the Super Eagles and
                            urged them to cement the string of victories by
                            winning the Nations Cup again. �We are proud of you,�
                            he said, adding that the team should make Nigeria
                            proud by beating Senegal to qualify for the final and
                            win the cup.



                            Pele slams Ghana for co-hosting CAN 2000
                            SUNDAY OGUNKANMI, Abuja
                            TWO years after the co-hosting of the 22nd edition of
                            the African Nations Cup by Ghana and Nigeria, Abedi
                            Pele Ayew, one-time African Footballer of the Year, is
                            still angry over the joint hosting.

                            Nigeria and Ghana came to the rescue of the
                            Confederation of African Football (CAF) immediately it
                            was evident that the designated host, Kenya, could not
                            shoulder the responsibility.

                            However, Abedi Pele is still bitter at the co-hosting
                            by the two countries, saying Ghana made a fundamental
                            mistake by accepting to jointly host with Nigeria.

                            Pele told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
                            that the Ghanaians should have solely hosted the
                            competition.

                            Specifically, Abedi Pele explained that the Ghanaians
                            would have used the opportunity to develop the
                            country�s stadia. Ghana currently has two stadia in
                            Kumasi and Accra that could host a competition of the
                            magnitude of the Nations Cup.

                            Pele, who commended Mali for singlehandedly hosting
                            the 2002 Nations Cup, contended that Ghana should have
                            done what Mali now does.

                            Mali, according to official sources, threw more than
                            hundred million pounds sterling (about N16 billion)
                            into the hosting by building and upgrading stadia
                            facilities in five cities in the country.

                            The initiative received the applause of Pele who said,
                            �it was a commendable effort on the part of the Malian
                            soccer authorities.

                            �That was what I expected the Ghanaians to do in 2000.
                            It was a great opportunity lost by my country to
                            develop football facilities in the country. That is
                            exactly what the Malians had done,� Abedi, now head of
                            the technical study team of the Ghana Football
                            Association (GFA) said.

                            The erstwhile skipper of Ghana�s Black Stars was
                            optimistic that the Malians would definitely reap the
                            fruits of standard soccer facilities, saying,
                            developing nations of the continent should struggle to
                            emulate the country.



                            Elephants escape fans wrath
                            MEMBERS of the Ivorian football team, the Elephants,
                            escaped the wrath of local fans waiting for them, by
                            using a special exit normally reserved for pilgrims,
                            on their arrival at the Felix Houphouet Boigny
                            Airport, Abidjan, at the weekend.

                            The team was returning home after an early exit from
                            the ongoing African Cup of Nations tournament in Mali.


                            On arrival in Abidjan, the players and their officials
                            took taxi cabs and individual cars home, while the bus
                            that was to convey them, left for the headquarters of
                            the National Football Federation, booed by fans.

                            Informed sources said Marseilles� player Ibrahim
                            Babayoko and his Auxerre mate Lacina Diabate, have
                            since left for their bases in France.

                            After their elimination from CAN 2000 jointly hosted
                            by Nigeria and Ghana, the Elephants were briefly
                            detained at the Zambakro Military Camp, by the last
                            military junta in Cote d�Ivoire, for �indiscipline�.



                            Kasperczak tips Eagles, Lions for World Cup success
                            OF the five African teams at this summer�s World Cup,
                            only Nigeria and Cameroun have any real chance of
                            success, according to Mali�s Polish coach, Henry
                            Kasperczak.

                            �Most of the African teams are stewing in their own
                            juice,� said Kasperczak in an interview published on
                            the Polish soccer federation�s website on Monday.

                            �Only two African teams have chances of success �
                            Nigeria and Cameroun � they have the most experience
                            in international tournaments,� added Kasperczak, who
                            guided hosts Mali into the semi-finals of the African
                            Nations Cup on Sunday.

                            In their quarter-final, Mali won 2-0 against South
                            Africa, who together with Tunisia and Senegal complete
                            the African quintet at the World Cup in South Korea
                            and Japan.

                            Kasperczak said African teams lacked experience
                            playing top opposition from Europe or Latin America.

                            The experience Pole won 73 caps for his country and
                            played in the Poland side which reached the
                            semi-finals of the 1974 World Cup. He was in charge of
                            Tunisia at the 1998 World Cup and has also coached,
                            among others, Cote d�Ivoire and Morocco.





                            Nigeria enters for 10 sports
                            NIGERIA is to vie for honours in 10 sporting events
                            at the 17th Commonwealth Games scheduled to hold from
                            July 25 to August 4 in Manchester, England.

                            A statement signed by Mr. Tony Nezianya, Public
                            Relations Officer of the Nigeria Olympic Committee
                            (NOC), on Tuesday in Lagos listed the events as
                            athletics, table tennis, weightlifting, boxing and
                            swimming.

                            Others are: wrestling, judo, badminton, gymnastics and
                            special sports, the statement added.
                            ---------------------

                            Delta Deputy Speaker impeached
                            BAYO ONAKOYA, Asaba
                            FOLLOWING the protracted crisis within the Delta State
                            House of Assembly, the suspended Deputy Speaker, Hon.
                            Pius Ewherido, was on Tuesday impeached while three
                            new principal officers were elected.

                            Moving the motion for impeachment, Hon Ossai N. Ossai,
                            alleged that the suspended Deputy Speaker had
                            continued to impugn the integrity of the House by
                            publishing disparaging words which was termed by the
                            House as a grievous offence.

                            According to Hon Ossai, �The conduct of the suspended
                            Deputy Speaker has shown that he has no remorse for
                            what he did on the day he was suspended from this
                            House. He had manifested lack of accountability in the
                            way he handles the duties of his office as the Deputy
                            Speaker of this House.�
                            While moving that the suspended Deputy Speaker
                            be removed from office, the lawmaker also hinted that
                            two-thirds majority of the House had endorsed the
                            removal of the Deputy Speaker from office.

                            The motion, which was seconded by Hon Ejaife Odebala
                            from Sapele constituency, was unanimously carried when
                            put to voice vote by the Speaker, Hon. Basil Ganagana.


                            No sooner was this done than Hon. Ossai nominate Hon
                            Ovie Agas from Ughelli constituency to replace the
                            former Deputy Speaker and was seconded by Hon. Jackson
                            Omatsola from Warri South.

                            The Speaker then called for the taking of oath by the
                            newly elected Deputy Speaker which was conducted by
                            the Clerk of the House, Sir Dan Ukenyi.
                            -------------------

                            Prostitutes also live in our hostels ��VC
                            The Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, Prof. Ayo
                            Falase, speaks with Nigerian Tribune on many problems
                            plaguing the Unibadan community which are drastically
                            affecting the standard of discipline

                            We want you to tell us exactly what is happening
                            pertaining to the accommodation problem; why students
                            are angry and the steps the university has taken to
                            calm them down.

                            Well, let me go back to what the situation was before
                            we embarked on what we�ve done with the accommodation.
                            When I came in, the accommodation was really terrible,
                            toilet facilities were very bad, there were about
                            sixteen students in a room, in fact, virtually, there
                            were no toilet facilities. The electrical system was
                            overloaded and in fact, structural problems have
                            developed in one or two halls and it is just a
                            question of time that one of them would just collapse
                            on us one day. But we have more important problems
                            than that, two incidents happened; one, we found a gun
                            in a student�s room. Of course, we called in the
                            police because we didn�t know what a student was doing
                            with a gun. That student has been rusticated a long
                            time ago and he�s not even expected to stay in the
                            university. Then, another incident, one young lady
                            came to our Students� Affairs Office to complain that
                            she had lost N40,000 and everybody in the Students�
                            Affairs Office asked what she was doing with so much
                            money in her room. They asked for her faculty and
                            department and she said she was not a student, but she
                            lived there.

                            Then, there was another incident, I was in Ekiti,
                            attending the burial service of a friend and while
                            people were sitting, one of the ladies there was
                            talking to another lady. I was overhearing, saying
                            �Look, where are you living now�, she said U. I., �but
                            are you a student� she said, �no, but I just live
                            there. It�s cheaper to live there. I work at the
                            Secretariat�. We went into this and we found out that
                            there are many people living within the university who
                            are not students of the university, some of them are
                            spare parts sellers and some of them are just
                            photographers. We have been having complaints of rape
                            in Idia Hall, one of the old halls which was
                            particularly very bad, that�s where the structural
                            problem was surfacing and we�ve gone into it and found
                            that some of these rape cases are disagreement between
                            a man and a woman, because we have wondered how a man
                            can remain in the room, in the night for a long time.
                            So, that convinced us that some of the people living
                            in the hostels are prostitutes and when we went into
                            it, we confirmed it. So we looked at the best way of
                            doing it, one, the physical facilities are very bad
                            and honestly if you have a daughter there, you
                            wouldn�t feel comfortable putting your son or your
                            daughter there. So, we decided that we were going to
                            embark on complete rehabilitation of the halls. But as
                            a prelude towards doing that, we asked everybody to
                            get out, in the hope that by the time we re-admit
                            them, we will now re-admit only students and then we
                            will not permit any squatting and all that bad
                            behaviour because squatting, we found, was overloading
                            the systems; the sewage system, the electrical system.
                            Infact, we were just lucky that when I went into the
                            halls, on a visit, I found that students have broken
                            into the rotors for fans and were tapping electricity
                            from the rotors, so we found black smoke all over. If
                            not for the fact that the white people painted those
                            hostels very well, else, we would have had fire on our
                            campus. So we thought this was the best way and we
                            went into it.

                            When we went into it, we found out that the damage was
                            so bad, that it was going to cost us about N450
                            million. Now, this is an amount we have not received
                            from the government, in fact, there was a debate on
                            whether to go on with it or not. The government has
                            promised us some money to rehabilitate, but we have
                            not received, even up till now.

                            So, we did two things, we felt that we should go on
                            with it because we believe that the environment
                            determines the students character, if a student lives
                            in a bad environment, by the time he comes, he himself
                            will behave in a bad way and I wouldn�t want my
                            daughter to stay with a prostitute because,
                            eventually, she too will become one through the
                            influence. So, we felt we should go on and plead the
                            government gives us money and that�s what we have been
                            doing. We went into it, we did extensive renovation,
                            they are really beautiful, I mean if you see the place
                            now, one is really proud of it, it is good that the
                            heritage. So we went into it, we repaired it, however,
                            the question then came up, in fact, it was the
                            consultants who wrote a report, who told us that, �if
                            you don�t maintain these structures, all the money we
                            have spent will be money that has gone into the drain
                            because within six months the place will be back to
                            what it was before�. One of the things with Nigeria is
                            that we don�t maintain our things. In any case, if we
                            had maintained those structures, they wouldn�t have
                            reached that state.

                            So, we decided that let�s look at the number of bed
                            spaces. Okay, consultants, how much do you think we
                            need to set aside in a year? And he said that, at
                            least, five percent of the cost price for renovation,
                            at least. We said, okay, let�s take the least
                            percentage, we divided it by the number of bed spaces,
                            we calculated how much five percent will be and it
                            came to N3,500 and we thought that was not too much
                            for a student to pay towards maintaining the place and
                            ensuring that they live comfortably and as decent
                            human beings. So, it was a surprise to us when, the
                            students accepted and many of them have paid, but
                            there is a group of students who decided that, no,
                            they are not going to accept and they are the ones
                            that are causing problems.

                            If we go into the problem of accommodation, we also
                            laid down the rule that you can not be more than four
                            in a room and secondly we don�t permit squatting and
                            we don�t permit cooking in the rooms. This is what
                            they were doing before; they would cook in the room
                            and just pour water outside. I was a visitor one day,
                            before I became VC, when I came to see my daughter,
                            somebody just poured water on me and I felt that this
                            is not done. So we created kitchenettes. One of the
                            briefs we gave the consultants was that there would be
                            kitchenettes, where students could go and cook. In any
                            case, this one happens overseas, you have
                            kitchenettes, where you can cook and in fact, they put
                            all sorts of things there. So, they created
                            kitchenettes and laundries and we restored all the
                            reading rooms and the common rooms. Also, we restored
                            all the cafeteria and in our quest to making things
                            easy for them, we said let students appoint two
                            companies who would provide cafeteria service for
                            them, so that if there are two, you will create
                            competition, through that you will get quality and
                            cheap prices. For those who don�t have money, we
                            created places outside, where we call, �black
                            markets�, for them to be able to go and eat. So it was
                            a surprise to us, during the re-entry period, these
                            boys took it upon themselves to cause trouble, to lock
                            up the gates, mahandle contractors up to the point
                            where a seventy year old contractor fainted and all
                            sorts of things. They went to the extent of
                            threatening the contractors that they were going to
                            shoot him.

                            We called in the Police, but you know, one has to be
                            careful, if you call in the Mobile Police and a
                            student is shot, So, that�s why we�ve not applied the
                            full force.

                            How did you communicate all that you�ve said now to
                            the students and their leaders?

                            We did. When they first came in, in fact, what we
                            planned to do before they resumed was to ask each
                            hall, now you know you need so much to maintain these,
                            you decide how you are going to do it. But there was a
                            problem, we were not going to resume early, all the
                            students have gone, so we called in the wardens and
                            everybody and we took the decision that this is what
                            we�ll take and we called some of the students. Now, we
                            don�t have a Student�s Union. That one is another long
                            story. I will tell you why we don�t have a student
                            union. If you ask the student to enter the hall before
                            you ask them to come and pay, you are just wasting
                            your time, nobody will pay. We ... eh ... we �ask them
                            to go and look at the rules we made for them and we
                            asked them to debate it and see if they have what is
                            called management committee. They looked at it, they
                            communicated the discussion with all chairmen and many
                            of them have agreed but they said perhaps we reduce
                            the price. Now, I�m a Vice Chancellor but I�m
                            responsible to the Senate, Senate dictates the tune, I
                            will ask them to write and we take it to Senate. If
                            Senate feels they are going to reduce, Senate will
                            reduce the price.

                            If you are waiting for the Senate decision sir, is it
                            not going to affect the resumption of the ....?

                            No, it is not going to. We�ve assured them that, if
                            Senate decides to reduce the price then, they will
                            refund their money, the excess they paid. And in any
                            case like we told them, staying in the hall of
                            residence is not mandatory. It is voluntary, you can
                            stay outside but if the Senate reduces the price,
                            then we pay them. What they are asking for, is that
                            ..... what some of those boys who are causing the
                            problems are asking is that, there should be no
                            payment at all and we said no, that cannot happen
                            because we don�t want a situation where those halls
                            will go back, we mean all the money we spent, we
                            should have spent on other things to go down the
                            drain. And I can�t earnestly sit down there and allow
                            university property, federal government or community
                            property to just go down the drain.

                            If eventually the Senate does not reduce the fee,
                            don�t you think you�ll be shutting off some indigent
                            students who will not be able to afford the N3,500
                            because a school of thought holds that you are, by one
                            way or the other, commercialising education by
                            charging so much?

                            When you are saying we are commercialising education,
                            remember we are not charging tuition fees from the
                            government, and the boys are insisting that they will
                            pay N90 for a bed space. Obviously, this is
                            ridiculous. The amount we got from government last
                            year was only around N175 million a month and that was
                            not enough to pay salaries. Consistently, every month,
                            last year, we had N100 million deficit with salaries
                            and that�s what government gives us. So, maintaining
                            the university, we are left on our own.


                            It�s either we now say okay, we wash off our hands,
                            we are not going to bother about these students, let
                            them live in their wrong or we do something about it,
                            through our own efforts and that�s what we�ve done. If
                            the government does not give us money and we have a
                            short fall of N100 million in a month and when we
                            submitted our figures to the government, when we met
                            them the last time, there was a shortfall of N1.3
                            billion, between actual and what government gave us.
                            So we have a problem; how to maintain the university,
                            how to pay for electricity which stands at about N8
                            million a month, how to pay for water, which we are
                            sourcing from Eleyele because water situation in
                            Ibadan is very sick, so we are sourcing it from
                            Eleyele and the Oyo State government is fighting us.
                            We are going to maintain all our pumping stations and
                            all the areas where we purify the water. If we are
                            going to do all that, we need money, pure and simple.
                            Government says don�t charge tuition, but the
                            government does not give you the commensurate money to
                            run the university. So we are in a problem. If a cable
                            blows now and there is no light in one of the halls,
                            the students themselves will come out, because once
                            there is no power in the halls, they will come and
                            riot, they will go and drag the Director of Works and
                            beat him and if there is no water, they will riot. So,
                            we�ve got to maintain those things. How do you
                            maintain those things if you don�t have money? When
                            you talk about indigent students, it�s because we are
                            in Nigeria that we talk about indigent students. This
                            is the business of the government, government should
                            cater for them. Why should you make universities cater
                            for students, when you don�t have enough money to run
                            the university and you are saying that you are
                            subsidising students education and everything, when
                            the government itself is not doing anything about it.
                            Government said there should be free tuition,
                            government should give us a commensurate amount that
                            will be enough to pay them and we�ve asked government
                            to do that, also, we�ve asked government to give
                            students scholarships. Let us charge our own fees so
                            that we can run the university properly. It�s no use
                            telling me that the University of Ibadan, without any
                            money, without anything. I can�t pay salaries, but I
                            should be running a free tuition and the government
                            says, �no� that everything is fine when there is a
                            shortfall of N100 million. I hope you understand the
                            point? What I am trying to say is that free tuition
                            and all those things are political decisions and
                            government should work out something and we have
                            submitted to government that, look, what you should do
                            is allow the universities to have their money, but you
                            give the students scholarship. My father wasn�t rich
                            enough to send men through a university but I had a
                            scholarship and at that time, we were paying 161
                            pounds and you pay 41 pounds for your accommodation
                            and we gladly did, but I a given a scholarship. I paid
                            a bit to the university, the rest, I used to maintain
                            myself in the university. That is what should happen.
                            The interesting situation is that you�ll say that,
                            �oh, you must maintain a free tuition style, but you
                            can not get the money, just try your best to keep
                            things going� then the whole thing is wobbly, the
                            universities are in a terrible shape and everywhere,
                            there is decay and then you will go and give a
                            student, scholarship of N40,000 to N50,000. I don�t
                            know how much is given. What will the student do, he
                            doesn�t pay to the university, the student uses it to
                            buy a big sound system and such things that are not
                            meant for studies.

                            You talked about a clique that is preventing the
                            majority from taking the advantage of the new system.
                            Don�t you think you should dialogue with these people?


                            Like I said, we have dialogued with hall chairmen and
                            faculty chairmen. Many of these people, troubling the
                            school are under suspension. They�ve committed acts of
                            hooliganism in the past and they�ve been suspended,
                            but they hang around, recruit people from Agbowo and
                            other schools to disturb the school. You can�t go on
                            dialoguing with people who are under suspension, when,
                            in fact, part of their suspension order is not to step
                            into the university. The others have one disciplinary
                            issue or the other, and if you are the authority and
                            you start doing that, then you undermine discipline.

                            These are the set of boys who have kept Ibadan in
                            turmoil before my time. For four, five years they kept
                            Ibadan in turmoil. They are the people who organised
                            the municipal problem, they organised the kidnapping
                            of the vice chancellor, when they poured all sorts of
                            things on him. They�ve done so many things, they have
                            a lot of disciplinary issues to face. I believe what
                            they are doing now is that they don�t care. One of the
                            things they wanted us to do, which is why it�s
                            difficult to have dialogue with them, they wanted to
                            take over the campus cab system, where they collect
                            money from drivers everyday and put it in their
                            pocket. They want to allocate shops in the student�s
                            union building, to people. They allocate a space if
                            you want to put up a kiosk and charge N40,000 and put
                            it in their pockets. In addition, they do all sorts of
                            atrocities. The third thing they want is to be
                            returned to the rooms in which they stayed last year,
                            you can�t do that. First of all, you are under
                            suspension. Again, when the contractors went into such
                            rooms, they found all sorts of guns, some toys, some
                            reals but they didn�t want to put this down because
                            they were afraid these boys can go after them. So,
                            they are not easy boys. The people we are talking
                            about are well connected and organised, they have the
                            experience of organising this.

                            You talked of decay in education.

                            There is decay in education. The decay starts from
                            primary school. These boys are being dumped on us in
                            the university. Let me give you one instance, we�ve
                            repaired all these things, all of a sudden, we found
                            that one of the toilets was messed by somebody and a
                            student defeacated in a nylon, and there is water
                            there, we have restored water, in fact we put
                            underground tank and put pumps to go up How can a
                            student in the university where there is water be
                            defecating in a bucket. It is wrong. It means that
                            there is something wrong with our system. And the
                            thing started from primary schools. When we had our
                            training, we went through and we came out as gentlemen
                            because had it been during our time, we didn�t think
                            of such, we were just there to read.

                            The training we went through is not worth the training
                            they are giving the training anymore and this is why
                            you are having student gangs that keep rearing
                            cultism. They are student gangs and that is why you
                            have student gangs in to secondary school and even
                            primary schools. What you are going to end up to in
                            this country, if we don�t do anything to our moral
                            behaviour, is that we are going to end up with
                            mafia-life which has been troubling Italy because some
                            of these boys will come out, they will form their gang
                            and they will have what we call mafia-gang. So the
                            country has to take action, we can�t take action in
                            the universities again; you see before a chap comes to
                            the university his character is formed unless the
                            religious bodies can change it, whether Christian or
                            Muslim. His character is formed and that is the
                            character he�s going to stay with till the rest of his
                            life. And many of our parents do not even ask, if a
                            student is spending seven years for a four year what
                            are you doing?

                            Sir, we are interested in the structural aesthetics of
                            the school. The University of Ibadan, beyond the
                            hostels, is not so beautiful. U. I. is one of the most
                            ugly universities around. What are you doing about the
                            general aesthetics of the school?

                            Again, it�s all a question of money, when I came in, I
                            as a student of the university, everything was well
                            managed and good, the problem of that university came
                            when government abolished tuition fees and
                            universities are left on their own to fend for
                            themselves. University is not a company. If we apply
                            company rules, we would have sacked many workers
                            because the university is broke, but the point is
                            this; we have to start somewhere and that�s why we
                            started with the hostels, the next thing, when we�ve
                            got the contractors and we�ve done all necessary
                            things, we will then move over to the rest of the
                            university; faculty by faculty. If you see some of the
                            lecture theatres, they are really awful and we need to
                            repair them. We�ve already put it to the government
                            and the President is agreeing that something must be
                            done to restore our universities. I believe he has
                            mentioned it several times. If he provides us with the
                            money, honestly, when you see Ibadan, you�ll be proud
                            that you have a very fine University of Ibadan. We�ve
                            already started with the hostels, let us find money to
                            pay our contractors, then we can move to the next
                            phase. And we�ve asked for university autonomy for a
                            long time and the reason is very simple. The
                            university academia can�t thrive under government
                            regulated system. As you know, university lecturers
                            are free thinkers and you can�t really gag them, I
                            hope you understand what I am saying. So, university
                            can not be run under civil service rules. We have
                            asked for autonomy, we are just waiting for the
                            enabling laws. But what we are saying is that you
                            don�t have an autonomy with a rope tied down your
                            neck, what do you mean by autonomy in that? I think if
                            we all realise that government must play its part and
                            the university must play its own part, then things
                            will go well with universities as they used to do. I
                            don�t know whether the point is clear? You don�t say,
                            university we are giving you freedom, but don�t take
                            this, don�t do that, then, it�s no freedom. I hope you
                            understand my point.

                            But, what the government is trying to straighten out
                            to you is that you can not be asking for autonomy and
                            still be asking the government to provide part of the
                            funding.

                            Government has to provide part of the funding and I
                            believe that the President has said that government
                            will not abandon the universities. Government has to
                            provide it because the students are citizens of this
                            country. Like you rightly said, there are some
                            students who don�t have the financial muscles, to
                            enter the university. Government must provide the
                            means to allow poor students to undertake university
                            education. There are many ways of doing it, I have
                            suggested several times, that what government can do
                            is to set up a fund. Where if you apply means test
                            you�ll know those who don�t have money. Through means
                            test, you can identify those who have genuine
                            difficulties and give them money. That is the business
                            of the government because government must look after
                            its citizens. That�s why we are citizens and they are
                            government, but what we are saying is that government
                            must not look after citizens by just saying
                            university, don�t charge and because students are
                            poor, you don�t charge anything and you allow all your
                            facilities to decay, you can�t get chalk, you can�t
                            get equipment, people in the university can�t research
                            anymore, they can�t do anything. That is bad for the
                            country and for the university.


                            ----------------------

                            �We�re in dilemma over naira�s value�
                            Bayo Oladeji & Idowu Samuel, Abuja
                            THE Federal Government is in a dilemma over the
                            exchange rate of the naira to the dollar since it was
                            going to be a yardstick to measure its performance
                            come 2003, just as it disagreed with the National
                            Assembly on further devaluation of the currency.

                            The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Chief
                            Joseph Sanusi, made this disclosure on Tuesday in
                            Abuja, while appearing before the Appropriation
                            Committee of the House of Representatives sitting on
                            the 2002 Appropriation Bill.

                            �We all know there is a political reason as to why we
                            need to work on the exchange rate. The easiest
                            yardstick to measure whether the PDP government
                            performs or not is the exchange rate. Our penchant for
                            imported goods and the low productivity of our economy
                            are largely responsible for the present exchange rate.
                            Unfortunately, we can not just reduce the exchange
                            rate because it will not help in the long run.�

                            Chief Sanusi regretted the situation where some
                            unpatriotic elements preferred the parallel market to
                            the CBN for personal reasons. He specifically
                            identified industrialists as a group patronising the
                            black market �when no request for US dollars has ever
                            been denied them in the last two years.�

                            He explained that the dilemma of the financial
                            authorities in the country was laid in the fact that
                            if the exchange rate was too low, more people would be
                            demanding for hard currencies which would again, put
                            the naira in trouble.�



                            Ethnic clashes, threat to investment �Tinubu
                            �AD boss deplores explosions, ethnic clashes
                            Michael Olugbode, Lagos &BOLA BADMUS, Abuja
                            LAGOS State governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, has
                            described the ethnic clashes which enveloped the
                            state as a threat to the quest for foreign investment
                            in the nation�s economy.

                            Speaking in Lagos on Tuesday, Governor Tinubu said the
                            ethnic clashes which were spreading to other parts of
                            the state, had the ability of bringing the newly
                            redeemed image of the nation to doom.

                            Tinubu also explained that efforts at bringing foreign
                            investment into the nation could come to nought with
                            the way things were going in the nation.

                            While lamenting the situation of the country, Tinubu
                            explained that with the way things were being
                            broadcast to the rest of the world, it would be
                            difficult to build the reputation of the country.

                            The governor said whil
                            (Message over 64 KB, truncated)
                          • Nubi Achebo
                            I’m worried over 2003—Obasanjo •Says critics are ignorant Yemi Giwa, Abuja Bureau Chief PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed concern over the
                            Message 13 of 29 , Feb 9, 2002
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                              I�m worried over 2003�Obasanjo
                              �Says critics are ignorant

                              Yemi Giwa, Abuja Bureau Chief
                              PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed concern over the escalating cases of violence across the country and its effects on the 2003 elections.

                              Speaking at the opening of the four-day presidential retreat on electoral process and violence at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, the President condemned the disturbances and killings in Lagos and political thuggery that greeted political parties conventions.

                              All these, he said, portended danger for 2003, noting that �there is hardly an observer of our political scene who is not worried that our political environment is becoming  hostile to non-democratic practices and values.

                              �There is no Nigerian who is not profoundly worried over the social environment that will be generated by 2003 elections,� he said.

                              The President, categorised violence to include: the violence in the subtle manipulation of rules and regulations to acquire an advantage, the violence in the elaborate organizations of terror that is designed to intimidate both political opponents and the electorate, and the violence in the attitude of winning at all costs, and not accepting that when there are winners there have to be losers.

                              Violent activities, he said, also include  the violence in speech behaviour by which opponents are verbally abused with such coarse language that made all decent onlookers wonder  if Nigerian politics was so dehumanising.

                              Obasanjo who, in strong terms, condemned the disturbance in Lagos, described the killings as �senseless and absolutely unacceptable.�

                              The police, he said, had been instructed to leave no stone  unturned in dealing with renegade and destructive elements within the society.

                              �I hope this retreat will join me in condemning the anti-social and the outright criminal behaviour of those who, for whatsoever reason, may have supported or intended to ever give succour to militant hoodlums.

                              �No sane or decent person should ever be in support of crimes and criminals,� he said.

                              According to the President, every occurrence of violence eroded the legitimacy to stand alone and be exposed to those who want to subvert it further or destroy it altogether, because the people would not have cause to rise and defend it.

                              He observed that the political process had been burdened with certain limitations and encumbrances that �we cannot at this stage, in all honesty, claim with certainty that our electoral process will produce leaders from the outcome of free and fair competition, and the free exercise of popular will.

                              �What kind of future will those type of elections then hold for our nation?  Nigerians are worrying about 2003 for very good reasons.

                              �Nigerians are puzzled about declarations of parts of the country as no-go-areas for some political parties by other political parties, as a means of holding unto what they have, a very undemocratic and dangerous  action.

                              �Nigerians are seeing how we violently compete for offices, from party ward elections to national offices and they shudder at the spectre of general elections.  Nigerians are asking whether we can break the jinx of successful civilian to civilian transition,� he said.

                              President Obasanjo  pledged to respect all the laws of the land and any other decisions put in place to bring about peaceful conduct of the 2003 elections and a successful civilian to civilian transition.

                              Obasanjo said that if he or the PDP eventually emerges winner in the 2003 elections, the victory would come from a fair and just competition.

                              �If I cannot make a difference, I need not  be here,� he said, stressing that all the three registered political parties and any new ones that might come up must also pledge to disassociate themselves from any forms of violence and should stop their candidates that appear  to support violence in any way. �We must all be proactive to make our new democracy endure,� Obasanjo said, and condemned in very strong terms, the pronouncements by one of the three registered parties that its territory was a no-go area for other  parties.

                               

                              �A leader not respected is a leader not elected,� the President said, adding that any leader that secured office through dubious means would tend to use the powers of coercion to organise terror and intimidate others in order to stabilise himself in power.

                              Obasanjo urged the press to join in the crusade to ensure a  peaceful transition in 2003, adding that the media must always remain conscious of its laid down responsibilities, one of which, he said, was to evolve a style that would encourage peaceful co-existence among all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic backgrounds.

                              He said that the massive response in  attendance at the retreat was indicative of the serious concern of all Nigerians to the dangers that violence posed to the polity and the electoral process.

                              President Obasanjo also on Thursday described critics of his foreign trips as ignorant people who deserved little attention.

                              He was reacting to a question by a journalist at a joint press conference he had with the visiting British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

                              There had been a deluge of criticisms against President Obasanjo�s several trips abroad by  people who claimed that he had travelled out of the country in the last two and half years for about 70 times.

                              The foreign reporter who accused Tony Blair of the same �offence� wanted to know the rationale behind the British Prime Minister�s numerous trips instead of attending to domestic problems.

                              But Obasanjo quickly took over the microphone, expressing satisfaction that he had an ally in Mr. Blair, saying �it is a consolation for me to hear that Blair is equally being criticised.�

                              President Obasanjo took exception to the criticism of his foreign trips by those he described as ignorants.

                              To him, it had reached a ridiculous level that �some people were passing motions that I should not travel�, in an apparent reference to recent House of Representatives motion against the President�s trip to US last week.

                              Meanwhile, President Obasanjo, who left for Paris last night to attend IFAD financing development summit, is expected back tonight.

                              Obasanjo at the joint press conference reiterated that the dividends of his oversees trips were too many to be quantified, pointing out that �in this day and age, there are some things you get answers to through personal contacts.

                              �For instance, today, Mr. Blair and I have been able to look at some issues that will be useful to Nigerians and Africans generally.

                              �It is a pity that I am being accused the way Tony Blair is being accused. It is ridiculous that people pass a motion that I should not travel. I don�t pay attention to it.

                              �While I know that it is borne out of ignorance, it is for us as leaders to explain. It is, however, a consolation for me that Blair is equally being criticised,� he said.

                              Pitching his tent with Obasanjo, Blair explained that nations of the world were increasingly becoming interdependent and as such leaders should interact.

                              According to him, the world has become a global village and whatever happens in one country has effects on others.

                              He said that his visit to Nigeria would further strengthen the bi-lateral relationship between the two countries and pave way for a new partnership towards the development of Africa.

                              President Obasanjo had earlier hinted  him about the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), a new initiative by African nations to develop the continent.

                              He also told him of the African leaders� resolve to ensure that free and fair election to be observed by independent observers is conducted in Zimbabwe, a proposal he said President Robert Mugabe had agreed to.

                              Thereafter, Mr. Blair addressed a joint session of the National Assembly at the Three Arms Zone, Abuja

                               



                                


                               

                              Anti-graft: LG boss jumps fence to escape arrest
                              Ayodele Adesanmi, Akure
                              SPECTATORS at the Federal High Court, Akure, on Wednesday witnessed a drama between the Chairman of Ondo East Local Government, Mr. Yemisi Akinmade and some mobile policemen as the council boss jumped over the fence of the court and escaped arrest.

                              Led by an Inspector, the mobile policemen, who came on the instruction of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Abuja, almost effected the arrest of the run-away Akinmade, but for the timely intervention of human rights lawyer, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, who, though was in court for another matter, pleaded for the embattled chairman.

                              Nigerian Tribune gathered that some prominent indigenes of the local government had earlier petitioned the Justice Mustapha Akanbi-led commission over alleged misappropriation of the council�s funds by the chairman.

                              Besides, the petitioners alleged that the council chairman lacked accountability and was fond of spending the council�s funds on non-existing projects.

                              Consequent upon this, the embattled chairman, who was dissatisfied with the commission�s decision to arrest him, came to court in company of his lawyer, Mr. Adetunji Adeyosoye, to challenge the  planned order and seek the court�s protection.

                               

                              Earlier, the Federal High Court, Akure, presided over by Justice Abdul Kafarati, had granted him leave to enforce his fundamental human rights.

                              However, not pleased with the action of the council boss, the ICPC sent a team of policemen, led by an Inspector, to effect his arrest, arming themselves with a counter affidavit to arrest Akinmade before hearing of the motion on notice.

                              Sighting the ICPC officials and policemen, Akinmade took to his heels, leaving behind his Mercedez Benz 230 V-boot car and his aides and jumped over the fence.

                              The embattled chairman, however, in his counter affidavit, claimed that the affidavit seeking to enforce his arrest was false in content.

                              The ICPC in its  affidavit said investigations into the complaints were going on and that the documents had been recovered by the investigating team.

                              �He had been invited to explain his own side of the story which he refused, saying that as the chief executive officer and chief security officer of his local government, he could not be questioned in the local government.�

                              The ICPC also stated that the chairman used uncomplimentary language against the investigation team while the Divisional Police Officer in the area had tried unsuccessfully to investigate the allegation.

                               




                                


                               

                              Doctors re-attach man�s hand 24-hr after
                              A saw on a fishing boat severed a worker�s hand while he was 100 miles offshore, and it took him more than 24 hours to get to an operating room, but surgeons managed to reattach the hand and were hopeful about his recovery, the Associated Press reported.

                              �I thought it was gone,� Patrick Laulu said Tuesday, �but no � so I�m happy.�

                              Laulu�s ship, the 238-foot Alaska Juris, was travelling for mackerel west of Adak, Alaska, in the Aleutian Islands on Thursday when Laulu reached for a fish rake that was sliding along the floor. Just then, a big wave hit.

                              �A belt pulled my hand underneath  the saw blade,� Laulu said. �I didn�t know my hand was off. It just hurt a little bit, then it was numb.�

                              Guided by a Coast Guard flight surgeon through radio, shipmates applied a tourniquet and injected Laulu with morphine as they waited for a Coast Guard helicopter that flew nearly 500 miles over open sea amid 45-knot wind gusts, swirling snow and 8-foot waves. The severed right hand was placed on ice.

                               

                              �I was thinking about God. I said a prayer, asking Him to help me through this accident,� said Laulu, 37, a former construction worker who turned to fishing after leaving Samoa a year ago.

                              By the time he reached Seattle�s Harborview Medical Centre 15 hours later, Laulu had lost as much as a third of his blood.

                              Usually, muscles die from lack of blood after several hours and release toxins that can be deadly after a hand is reattached, said Dr. Tom Trumble, the surgeon who directed Friday�s operation.

                              The odds for success were poor, but Laulu had three factors in his favour � the clean cut made by the razor-sharp saw, plenty of ice to preserve the hand, �and the last thing is luck,� Trumble said.

                              A report on the unusual operation was published Wednesday by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Laulu faces more surgery and rehabilitation. At best, Trumble said, Laulu will regain some use of his hand but not small-motor functions such as writing. �I don�t know if a hand has been put back on after 24 hours,� Trumble said. So far, he added, �things seemed to have worked out.�

                               




                                


                               

                              Britain unveils tough immigration policy
                              �To assist Nigeria on debt forgiveness

                              Olawale Rasheed, Idowu Samuel,  Bayo Oladeji &  Okey Muogbo, Abuja
                              PEOPLE wanting to become British citizens will have to undergo stringent tests in future to help them integrate into the wider community.

                              The new requirements are at the centre of a package of sweeping reforms to the immigration and asylum system unveiled by the British Home Secretary, David Blunkett.

                              Immigrants wanting British nationality would have to have a working grasp of English and an understanding of British institutions, according to proposals in a long-awaited white paper published on Thursday.

                              The raft of measures are the most far reaching reforms on immigration, asylum and nationality for a generation, said the Home Office.

                              Mr. Blunkett argued that stopping asylum being used as a political football will remove it from the armoury of far-right groups.

                              The new white paper contains proposals for making the asylum process more effective, but it is the plans for immigrants applying for British nationality that are likely to provoke most controversy.

                              Under his plans, immigrants will also be asked to take part in citizenship ceremonies and to swear a new loyalty oath - similar in style to those held in the US.

                              Earlier, Mr. Blunkett told BBC that knowledge of English would be �mandatory� for those applying for British nationality.

                              But there would be a �light touch approach� focusing on a working understanding of the language learnt alongside other education about �our laws, our values, our institutions.�

                              Mr. Blunkett said a comprehensive nationality and immigration policy was needed to build trust that there were alternatives to people trying to enter the UK hidden on trains and cargo ships.

                              The plans could �settle once and for all the fear that the asylum issue, as opposed to overall policy on nationality and immigration, will constantly reappear as a political football and as a weapon in the armoury of the National Front and BNP�, he said.

                              The Conservatives support parts of the plans but shadow Home Secretary, Oliver Letwin, argued the UK government will make little headway without changing the international framework on asylum.

                              Mr. Letwin wants the bilateral asylum agreement with France on the issue to be restored and for a new Europe-wide framework to replace the current system. In another development, Prime Minister Tony Blair pledged British support for debt relief for Nigeria just as he opened up on the New Partnership for Africa�s Development (NEPAD) having as its components conflict resolution, good governance and growth.

                               

                              Addressing a joint session  of the National Assembly in Abuja, the British Prime Minister accepted that �debt relief is important,�  adding, however, that Nigeria must establish a clear track record of economic reform.

                              He stated that the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative had brought real benefit to many of the poorest countries in Africa, urging Nigeria to re-establish its credentials as a credit-worthy nation.

                              Debt relief, he said, could best be achieved through economic reform, pledging that �the UK, the largest creditor, is prepared to consider debt relief for Nigeria.�

                              Blair, who described Nigeria as a continental power house, noted that the G8 had concluded arrangement to launch the partnership programme for more equitable and prosperous world.

                              He affirmed that Nigeria had a special role in any partnership for African development, declaring, �you need our support, but we need you to succeed.�

                              In the speech interjected with applause, Blair commended President Obasanjo and three other African leaders for presenting a consensus on how to achieve development, a submission he said would be the key issue of the G8 summit holding in Canada by July.

                              NEPAD, the British leader said, had identified critical areas for development partnership which he said African nations must adopt without delay.

                              He identified conflict resolution  as a must for the continent, insisting that �violent conflict is becoming a threat to global security.�

                              Faster progress, Mr. Blair stated, can also be made through good government, commending the Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU) over its resolution not to accept any governments established through unconstitutional means.

                              He specifically called on African governments to eradicate corruption in government business, pledging British support for the reform of civil service and justice system.

                              While commending NEPAD plan for a coherent set of codes and standards for economic and political governance, Blair urged crackdown on corruption for transparent governance.

                              The partnership, he added, has as its last plank growth of the economies of African countries, disclosing that developed countries have made certain commitment in that direction.

                              While admitting unfair trade practices, Blair informed the legislators that Britain supports duty free and quota free access for imports from all  developing countries.

                              �We should commit ourselves not only to a reduction of overall tariffs level in WTO round but to peaks and escallation of certain tariffs which hit African countries the  hardest,� the British leader said.

                               




                                


                               

                              Mass burial for explosion victims postponed
                              THE mass burial of the remains of drowned victims of the January 27 bomb explosions at the Ikeja Military Cantonment, earlier slated for Thursday, will now take place next week, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported. It will be recalled that more than 1,000 persons drowned at the Oke Afa canal, near Isolo, while fleeing the deafening sounds of the explosions.

                              NAN correspondents, who visited the site of the grave near the canal, gathered from a reliable source that the postponement was sequel to a request by Julius Berger, which is constructing the grave, for an extension. The grave, which is still under construction, is located on the bank of the canal, directly under the bridge which links Isolo and Ejigbo.

                               

                              At the Isolo General Hospital, where some of the corpses were deposited, a top official, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that they had been prepared for burial.

                              The official added: �We were told Julius Berger said that it was not informed on time and as such would need some more days to finish the construction of the grave.

                              �Altogether in this mortuary, we have 55 bodies: three male children, 24 adult males, 13 adult females, 11 female children and four adult males whose corpses were identified by their relatives but were not collected.�

                               




                                


                               

                              Ige�s suspected killers may be
                              arraigned next week

                              CHRIS AGBAMBU, Abuja
                              All the 11 suspects being detained in connection with the murder of the Attorney General and Minister  of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, may be arraigned before an Ibadan High Court next week.
                              Informed police sources disclosed to the Nigeria Tribune in Abuja that the arraignment of the suspects was informed by the conclusion of  investigation into the case.

                              Nigerian Tribune gathered that the President, having being satisfied that the police had done a good job, directed that they be charged to court, so that Nigerians would know the extent of their involvement. Informed sources also  revealed that  the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Muslim Smith, forwarded the final report of the case to the President. Also, the leader of the investigating team, D.I.G. Abimbola Ojomo handed over investigations at the tail end of the case to the commissioner of police

                               

                              Federal special anti riot squad was also satisfied that the 11 suspects being detained in Abuja have case to answer in connection with the murder.

                              Out of the 21 suspects brought to Abuja in connection with the murder of Chief Ige and Hon. Odunayo Olagbaju, 10 of the suspects were held liable for the lawmaker�s death, and were all taken to Lagos.

                              The 10 suspects being held in connection with Olagbaju�s death included  some members of the Osun State House of Assembly, while among those being held in connection with Chief Ige included a younger brother to a top politician in Osun State, a lecturer in one of the universities and a member of the Osun State House of Assembly.

                              The source also revealed that those involved in the Olagbaju�s case also be arraigned before an Osogbo High Court next week.

                               




                                


                               

                              Questions Keyamo and Fryo must answer
                              IN the period of mass hysteria and hasty conclusions massively based on lazy and convenient summary deduction, Professor Wole Soyinka broke the silence and raised serious issues and concerns about Keyamo�s conduct in the Fryo confessions.

                              When Soyinka asked �Why is Keyamo hiding a suspect even for a minute only to present a suspect speaking as if he is already coached?�, it was a germane and ominous question by a master of theatre and rehearsals which Chief Gani Fawehinmi in his reaction to the Soyinka question failed to address.

                              Gani took refuge under the power of arrest which is every citizen�s right. Nobody challenges that. What Gani and the Nigerian Bar Association missed is the fact that in the Fryo case, Keyamo did not arrest Fryo; indeed, borrowing Soyinka�s words �Keyamo hid Fryo� though not for �a minute� but for at least a whopping  five days and produced him with fanfare and a �fantabulous� story-line, and just as Louis Odion hinted in his column following this �public presentation� of Fryo, if Fryo�s story and accusations are correct,then, he and his lawyer Mr. Festus Keyamo will stand to gain a N 15 million ransom being the grand total of all the sums promised by the Oodu�a state governors and the police for the person�s who provide a lead to the arrest of the killer�s of Chief Bola Ige; It does not require a genius to know that a great motive was now created for all manner of charlatanism to manifest.

                              That the surfacing of the �most wanted� man in the police investigation was done with premiere orchestrated fanfare could all dovetail into a bid to claiming the ransom no matter the �victim.�

                              Any detective will tell you that the most likely suspects in great crimes are not always the actual offenders. In the events penultimate to the Ige assassination you do not have to be brilliant, or be an Oyewole, Olabayo or Nostradamus to zero things down to Osun State and more particularly to Omisore the embattled deputy Governor of Osun State. The lazy arm of the boisterous mass media have since found the man guilty, just like Keyamo. Interestingly Keyamo and Fryo were not the first to publicly accuse Omisore of that heinous crime, one Alhaji Adekojo of Ibadan, Oyo State had been shouting Omisore�s name long before Keyamo produced Fryo.

                              But the assassination of a very senior citizen of Ige�s stature is not a laughing matter  the investigation and unravelling of the crime requires great attention. I am very happy that Professor Soyinka who the whole world knows to be one of the closest friends of Bola Ige sees beyond the laziness and greed of bounty hunters in spite of his misty eyes and heavy heart at the death of his soul mate. Nothing will delight Soyinka more than the arrest of the culprits, and Soyinka is not the man on the street, although he is as street-wise as they come, and he knows like I know that Fryo�s confession and Keyamo�s antics are just tell tales, well-rehearsed and rehashed.

                              Omisore is a custom made fall guy, after that interview in  the Tempo, the harassment of Ige at Ife, and the murder of Hon. Olagbaju, the killers of Ige knew that mass hysteria based on the Yoruba traditional proverb which says Aje ke-lana omo ku la aro� meaning�the witch cried at night and the child died in the morning� would automatically point to Omisore. But the man from Idanre (Soyinka) knows that in the real life of high political and power stakes, those who would plan and murder a man like Ige will never deliver public notices and warnings. Never.

                              In the game of power, nobody doubts that Chief Bola Ige was a major stakeholder, assassination is a very strong medium of delivering political messages, thus Count George Muster the 19th Century Hanoverian diplomat stated in his treatise <

                              (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

                            • Nubi Achebo
                              US vows to protect Nigerian democracy •Europe plans to keep Africa in poverty—Britain Ishola Michael, Bauchi with Agency Reports UNITED States Ambassador
                              Message 14 of 29 , Feb 12, 2002
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                                US vows to protect
                                Nigerian democracy
                                �Europe plans to keep Africa in poverty�Britain
                                Ishola Michael, Bauchi with Agency Reports
                                UNITED States Ambassador to Nigeria, Howard F. Jetter,
                                has declared that his country would ensure that
                                democracy is sustained in Nigeria, come what may.

                                The ambassador, who stated this on Monday in Bauchi
                                when he paid a courtesy call on the Emir of Bauchi,
                                Suleiman Adamu, said that the 2003 elections would
                                serve as a litmus test for the sustenance of a virile
                                democracy in Nigeria, saying that the US was ready to
                                see to it that the elections were hitch free.

                                Howard F. Jetter also declared that �the US is
                                interested in seeing that democracy thrives in Nigeria
                                because whatever happens here in Nigeria has a great
                                impact on what happens in Africa. Nigeria is the giant
                                of Africa and it must remain so.� He said that as it
                                is now, the US through the Agency for International
                                Development, had investment in Nigeria worth over $100
                                million and is prepared to do more because, according
                                to him, �Nigeria is one of the USAID focused nations.�


                                The envoy further assured that his country was ready
                                to assist Nigeria to revamp its ailing economy,
                                pointing out that for now, Nigeria is the major source
                                of US crude oil. Jetter added that he was going round
                                the country to identify areas where the US could give
                                significant assistance to Nigeria.

                                Responding, the Emir of Bauchi commended the US for
                                accepting Nigeria back immediately after the
                                inauguration of civilian administration in the
                                country, saying that the action was a demonstration of
                                US� friendship with Nigeria.

                                Adamu added that since the institution of democracy,
                                Nigerians now have opportunities to travel abroad
                                without any molestation from foreign agents, saying
                                that it is a sign of dividend of democracy. The emir
                                called on the ambassador to ensure that there are more
                                concrete ties between Nigeria and the US because,
                                according to him, when there is rapport between the
                                two countries, they can learn from each other to make
                                progress.
                                In another development, British International
                                Development Secretary, Clare Short, has reportedly
                                accused France and the European Union of a
                                �conspiracy� to keep Africa in poverty.

                                Ms Short was quoted in the Daily Telegraph as saying
                                British-backed proposals to dismantle trade barriers
                                between Africa and Europe were being undermined by
                                French and EU protectionism.

                                The newspaper said Ms Short�s remarks risked
                                undermining Tony Blair�s efforts to build a diplomatic
                                consensus on African development.

                                She is reported to have made the comments during her
                                four-day visit to Africa with Prime Minister Tony
                                Blair.

                                Behind the scenes, Downing Street is said to be
                                frustrated by obstacles placed in the way of reforms
                                by France.

                                Mr. Blair is attempting to gain French approval for
                                his New Partnership for Africa�s Development, which
                                hinges on unconditional free trade for African
                                nations.

                                The plan will be raised at the next meeting of the G8
                                group of industrialised nations later this year.

                                �The proposals have big power blocks in their way.
                                Europe is a bag of tricks about this at the moment,�
                                Ms Short was quoted as saying.

                                �It�s a conspiracy from France and the EU to lock
                                Africa into poverty, and at the same time Europe
                                preaches free trade.�

                                France is still a major player in Africa and maintains
                                strong links with its former colonies.

                                Mr. Blair and Ms Short visited Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra
                                Leone and Senegal during their four-day fact-finding
                                tour.

                                Asked to comment on Ms Short�s reported remarks, Mr.
                                Blair told the Telegraph: �I don�t want to get into a
                                diplomatic row with France.�
                                ---------------------

                                Unilag, Adeleke, others to operate radio stations
                                Jacob Segun Olatunji, Abuja
                                THE Federal Govern- ment has granted broadcast
                                licences to 16 new private radio stations to operate
                                in the country, including the University of Lagos
                                (UNILAG).

                                Information and National Orientation Minister,
                                Professor Jerry Gana, who disclosed this to newsmen in
                                Abuja on Monday, said that the licences approved by
                                President Olusegun Obasanjo made up of 12 main radio
                                stations and four specialised stations.The main
                                stations, according to Professor Gana are: Radio Gotel
                                Ltd. (Yola), Joy FM Ltd (Makurdi), Nagarta Radio
                                (Kaduna), Pacific FM (Oshogbo), believed to be owned
                                by Dr. Deji Adeleke, younger brother to former
                                governor of Osun State, Alhaji Isiaka Adeleke.
                                Ghoffan Communication Ltd (Oraifite) and Zuma Radio FM
                                (Abuja).Others are: Unity Broadcasting Company
                                (Abuja), Crowther Communications (Abuja), Okin
                                Communications (Offa), Sunshine Radio Ltd (Ondo),
                                Radio Savanah Ltd (Kano) and Films Laboratory and
                                Production Services Ltd (Kano).

                                The specialised stations are, Atlantic FM (Lagos)
                                which would operate exclusively in French, Spectrum FM
                                (Lagos) mainly for news, Brilla FM (Lagos),
                                exclusively for sports and UNILAG FM (Lagos) which
                                would be exclusively for academic.
                                Professor Gana said that the Director-General of
                                the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mallam
                                Danladi Bako, had been directed to make the public
                                presentation of certificates of approval to the
                                affected stations to enable the public know the owners
                                while the commission had also been alerted to curb the
                                misuse of the airwaves.

                                The minister disclosed that President Obasanjo
                                approved the new licences because of the conviction
                                that the best way to enable democracy flourish is
                                through a free and responsible press.

                                He said that President Obasanjo approved the 16
                                licences from hundreds of applications submitted to
                                the NBC after thorough screening by the commission,
                                the Ministry of Information and National Orientation,
                                State Security Services (SSS) and the Presidency.

                                On the licence granted to UNILAG, Prof. Gana said
                                government took the action to further enhance pursuit
                                of study of Mass Communication in the country as it
                                would serve as teaching aids to the students,
                                stressing, �This is a test case. We are going to
                                extend it to other tertiary institutions in the
                                country, if

                                ----------------------



                                Ige: Court grants Fryo access to lawyer
                                �Adjourns suit to Feb 25
                                Eric Ikhilae, Lagos
                                A Federal High Court in Lagos has granted Mr Olugbenga
                                Adebayo (alias Fryo), detained suspect in the murder
                                of former Attorney-General, Chief Bola Ige, unhindered
                                access to his counsel, Mr Festus Keyamo.

                                The court, on Monday, also granted him leave to
                                enforce his fundamental human rights in challenging
                                his continued detention by the police without trial.

                                Mr Adebayo had, in an ex-parte motion filed by his
                                counsel, Mr. Keyamo against the Inspector-General of
                                Police and the Attorney-General of the Federation,
                                sought the order of the court to apply for, among
                                others, a declaration that his denial of access to his
                                counsel by the police was illegal and
                                unconstitutional.

                                He also asked the court for an order compelling the
                                respondents to, forthwith, allow him unhindered access
                                to his counsel or his agents.
                                The applicant also want the court to grant an
                                order compelling the respondents or their agents to
                                produce him in court at the next adjourned date or
                                show cause why he should not be released
                                unconditionally. At the hearing of the matter on
                                Monday, Mr Keyamo told the court that it was necessary
                                that the respondents be asked to produce his client in
                                court at the next adjourned date owing to his
                                (Keyamo�s) fear that anything could have happened to
                                him.

                                He explained that his fears were informed by police�s
                                report on January 15 that his client was being treated
                                for liver problem, �whereas nothing was wrong with him
                                when I handed him over to the police on January 14,
                                2002.�

                                In his ruling, Justice Abdulahi Mustapha granted the
                                applicant access to only his counsel, Mr Keyamo.

                                He also asked the applicant to bring his application
                                in the form of an originating motion which should be
                                served on the respondents within eight days. The
                                matter has, however, been adjourned till February 25
                                for hearing.

                                ------------------------

                                Blair in 419
                                �SSS1 student arrested with pistol
                                By Femi Osinusi
                                BRITISH Prime Minister, Tony Blair was accommodated
                                in Room 419 of the prestigious NICON Hilton Hotel,
                                Abuja when he visited Nigeria last week.

                                When Mr. Blair arrived the country on Wednesday night
                                and after all the airport formalities, he headed
                                straight to the prestigious NICON Hilton Hotel to
                                rest.

                                Mr. Blair, who was welcomed to the hotel lobby by the
                                General Manager, Mr. Andreas Searty, was led by hotel
                                officials and his aides to Room 419 which,
                                incidentally, is one of the best furnished suites in
                                the hotel. With this �embarrassment� of keeping a
                                prime minister in a �419 room�, the hotel management
                                reportedly swung into action to redeem the situation
                                and immediately removed the �Room 419� tag, and
                                renamed the prestigious room, No. 10, Downing Street.
                                No. 10, Downing Street is the official residence of
                                British Prime Ministers.

                                Mr. Blair, probably unaware of the development,
                                reportedly wondered why the management decided to
                                change the number of the room, but was told that the
                                change was to underscore the meaning of 419 and how
                                Nigerians had played fast on visitors to the country
                                through advanced fee fraud, popularly known as 419. In
                                another development, police authorities in Okitipupa
                                have arrested a Senior Secondary School (SSS1) student
                                (names withheld) over an alleged possession of a
                                locally made pistol at the school premises.
                                The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that
                                the suspect, a boy and student of Stella Maris
                                College, Okitipupa, was alleged to have concealed the
                                pistol loaded with cartridges during school hours.

                                However, luck ran out on him when a fellow student,
                                who saw the gun, reported the incident to the school
                                principal, Mr. S. Ogayemi.

                                Police sources told NAN that the principal alerted
                                some members of staff who apprehended the student and
                                locked him up at the principal�s office before the
                                pistol was retrieved.

                                The principal was said to have summoned an emergency
                                staff meeting where the decision to hand over the
                                student and the pistol to the police authorities was
                                taken.

                                The DPO, Mr. Tunde Awanebi, was said to have travelled
                                when NAN visited Okitipupa Division Police
                                Headquarters.

                                The Divisional Crime Officer (DCO) refused to comment
                                on the incident, but a senior police officer who
                                confirmed the arrest said that the source of the
                                pistol was still being investigated.

                                The source said that the suspect had been transferred
                                to the state Police Command Headquarters, Akure, for
                                further interrogation.

                                -------------------

                                FG releases N4b for police rent arrears
                                OLAWALE RASHEED, Abuja
                                FOLLOWING fresh threats of police strike action,
                                President Olusegun Obasanjo has directed the Finance
                                Ministry to release the balance of N4 billion for
                                backlog of police rent allowances.

                                This was in addition to the N1 billion already
                                released to the police to pay officers nationwide.

                                Police Affairs Minister, Mr Stephen Akiga, who made
                                the disclosure at the Senate Chambers on Monday, said
                                the rent subsidy not paid last year had been included
                                in the new pay schedule.

                                �The President has asked us to write and we have
                                written and he has sent the letter to the Ministry of
                                Finance,� the minister told Assembly corespondents.

                                The minister said that N1 billion was released last
                                Monday and that the money would be paid in due course,
                                adding that �the money, both old and new, has been
                                included in budget 2002.

                                �We could not pay the rent subsidy for last year
                                because it was not included in the budget and when it
                                was not included, there was no way we could pay,� Mr
                                Akiga said.
                                He said the reason for the delay in the payment
                                of the rent subsidy was because the government was
                                not sure of who was staying in the barracks and who
                                was not, clarifying that �the allowance is not for
                                those staying in the barracks.

                                �That was what caused the delay, it was not a
                                deliberate action on the part of government, he
                                stated.

                                The minister, who was in the Senate for his ministry�s
                                budget defence, denied media reports that the N1
                                billion had not been released, saying, �it was all
                                rumours.

                                �When government said it has released money and has
                                not said anything contrary, it means the release has
                                been made.

                                �As far as we are concerned, by Monday last week, all
                                letters have gone to all the pay officers,� he said,
                                adding also that �the police have no pension problem.

                                �Don�t compare us with the military pensioners. We are
                                operating fine and we have no backlog of pension
                                arrears,� Mr Akiga said.


                                -------------------



                                Crude oil prices may fall
                                �As Russia increases output
                                MARTINS AYANKOLA, Lagos
                                CRUDE oil prices may fall further this month as
                                Russia, the second biggest oil producer in the world,
                                which promised to cut production by 150,000 barrels
                                per day in January after the Organisation of Petroleum
                                Exporting Countries (OPEC) 1.5 million barrels per day
                                cut has been over producing instead of cutting
                                production.

                                Though a non-OPEC member, Russia is influential in
                                the oil market and OPEC had, since last year, been
                                including Russia and other major non-OPEC oil
                                producers in its output cut plans.
                                As at Monday, crude oil prices averaged $19.16
                                per barrel following reports of Russia�s over
                                production. According to a data released last Friday
                                by the Paris based International Energy Agency (IEA),
                                Russia�s oil production increased by 60,000 barrels
                                per day in January from the previous month.

                                Russia�s President, Mr Vladimir Putin, had also been
                                quoted as saying that Russia would follow its own
                                course in the oil market, which could include
                                increasing its oil production.

                                It was also gathered that oil exports from the former
                                Soviet Union rose by 760,000 barrels per day, meaning
                                that besides Russia, countries like Kazakhstan were
                                not also cooperating with OPEC.

                                --------------



                                Mbeki, S/African President, in auto crash

                                SOUTH African President, Thabo Mbeki�s office
                                confirmed Monday that the President encountered a
                                traffic accident earlier in the day outside
                                Johannesburg, but was unhurt.

                                The President�s official car had been involved in an
                                accident on a highway while he was on his way from
                                Pretoria to Johannesburg, presidential spokesman,
                                Bheki Khumalo, said.

                                The President was unhurt and unaffected by the
                                accident, he said.

                                �He was at the Luthuli House in Johannesburg carrying
                                on with his normal duties, the spokesman said.


                                �The President is in a meeting at the moment and is
                                continuing with his duties as head of government,� he
                                said.

                                Meanwhile, police Inspector, Wayne Minnaar, said two
                                of the drivers of other cars in the presidential
                                entourage sustained slight injuries.

                                Minnaar said Mbeki�s car was bumped from behind around
                                9:45 a.m. in heavy traffic.

                                The exact cause of the accident was not yet known. By
                                10:15 a.m. Mbeki had been whisked away, but traffic on
                                the highway was still badly congested.

                                ---------------------

                                Presidential Retreat: Participants vow to shun
                                violence
                                SOJI-EZE FAGBEMI, Abuja
                                PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo, Vice President Atiku
                                Abubakar, ministers and other participants at the
                                Presidential Retreat on Electoral Process and Violence
                                held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja,
                                have adopted and made personal pledges to shun
                                violence in 2003 polls.

                                This was the high point of resolutions reached at the
                                summit.

                                The political class, which also included members of
                                the National Assembly and state governors, declared
                                that they would not do anything, or encourage any
                                action that would bring the democratic process into
                                disrepute.

                                Besides, they have resolved to convoke, as early as
                                possible, a summit of political parties on electoral
                                process and violence, under which a comprehensive code
                                of conduct for political office holders, including
                                party officers would be produced.

                                The participants at the four-day retreat jointly
                                agreed as stakeholders in democracy to abhor violence
                                in all its ramifications and pledged to expose all
                                agents of violence within their party and elsewhere.
                                They also promised to build consensus and seek
                                dialogue in settling political differences; avoid and
                                discourage use of violence in speech and action,
                                attain political objectives and assist the leaders of
                                the party, Independent National Electoral Commission
                                (INEC) and law enforcement agents to enforce the rules
                                and regulations against violence.

                                �I further pledge that should my utterance and actions
                                tend to fuel violence, I automatically disqualify
                                myself from playing any major role in the political
                                process,� they individually declared.

                                The retreat, which was attended by President
                                Obasanjo, Vice President Atiku, former heads of state
                                and president, former vice presidents, members of the
                                National Assembly, state governors, leaders and
                                members of the three political parties, ministers, top
                                heirarchy of the Nigeria Police, security agencies and
                                Non-Governmental Organisations, agreed that there
                                should be a convocation of the summit of political
                                parties in the country very soon on electoral process
                                and violence.

                                The code of conduct to be produced, according to them,
                                would be binding on all politicians, including party
                                officers. The summit, according to the recommendation,
                                should strive to identify the issues which breed and
                                give succour to violence in the nation�s political
                                activity and find solutions to them.


                                ------------------------



                                Edo House wades into AAU fees controversy
                                THE Edo State House of Assembly has stepped into the
                                controversy over the new fees introduced by the
                                authorities of the Ambrose Alli University (AAU),
                                Ekpoma.

                                The House, which resumed on Monday from a three-week
                                recess, decided to invite all the stakeholders in the
                                controversy to a meeting where the issue will be
                                resolved.

                                The Speaker of the House, Mathew Egbadon, said that
                                while the Assembly was on recess, he received a
                                delegation of the students who came to protest the new
                                fees, pointing out that while the old fees could no
                                longer sustain the university, there was the need to
                                ensure that any new fee introduced was reasonable
                                enough.
                                He, therefore, mandated the House Committee on
                                Education to invite the school authorities,
                                representatives of the students, lecturers, parents
                                and government officials to a meeting where the matter
                                would be considered. It would be recalled that AAU
                                authorities last month increased the tuition fee from
                                N3,500 to N12,500 for indigenes and N27,000 for
                                non-indigenes per session.

                                Justifying the fees, Mr. Frank Erewele, Commissioner
                                for Education, said that increment was to prevent a
                                situation where some departments would be shut for
                                lack of funds.

                                Mr. Erewele attributed the recent poor rating of the
                                university by the National University Commission (NUC)
                                to poor funding of some of its departments, adding
                                that compared to other state universities, AAU was
                                charging the lowest fees.


                                -----------------------

                                Chevron Texaco holds spill control drill for staff
                                SEGUN JAMES, Warri
                                AS part of its preparedness to respond to major oil
                                spillages and other emergencies in its area of
                                operation, ChevronTexaco Nig. Ltd., over the weekend,
                                held a safety and spill control drill for 500 of its
                                staff and the Escravos oil terminal and tank farm in
                                Delta State.

                                According to Mr. Sola Omole, General Manager,
                                Government and Public Affairs, ChevronTexaco, the
                                exercise, which involved the mobilization of
                                specialised oil spill and fire control equipment, was
                                held on a large-scale to assess the company�s
                                �preparedness to respond to major incidents such as
                                fire outbreaks and spills at any of its location and
                                facilities.�

                                Mr. Omole said that the exercise, which involved about
                                500 employees, began in the early hours and involved
                                the simulation of explosion and major fire

                                outbreak along pipelines running from the Olero Creek
                                to the Abiteye production platform. According to him,
                                �part of the drill scenario was to reproduce the
                                potential of the fire to threaten a nearby community,
                                this was to test the company�s preparedness to protect
                                the lives and properties of its neighbours, in
                                addition to its facility.�

                                Also speaking, Chevron�s Operations Manager, Escravos
                                Terminal, Mr. Dudley McDaniel, said that �the drill
                                was activated as part of our commitment to the
                                ChevronTexaco way, which puts the protection of
                                people, property and the environment at the core of
                                our operations.�

                                Although reaching to a make-belief situation, the
                                participation and cooperation of the host communities
                                was high, during the drill, members of the community
                                nearest to the location were moved away from the area
                                designated as impacted by the fire for their safety.
                                ----------------------

                                OPC members hold Fasehun residents hostage
                                RESIDENTS of Frederick Fasehun Street and others at
                                Okota in Lagos got the shock of their lives Monday
                                when they awoke to find their streets barricaded by
                                members of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) over an
                                alleged failure to pay their �salaries� for two
                                months.

                                The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the
                                residents contracted the organisation to watch over
                                the streets at night when the menace of armed robbery
                                in the area was at its zenith about six months ago.

                                The OPC members, who barricaded the streets, would
                                neither allow the residents in nor out, forcing them
                                to look for other ways to get to their various
                                destinations. An OPC member, who pleaded anonymity,
                                said: �We have been writing to them (residents) for
                                three weeks now to pay the money they owe us, but to
                                no avail. So, we felt that this was the only way we
                                could get their attention.
                                �We have been guarding the street for sometime
                                now. We asked for N1,000 per compound and they paid
                                for sometime, but for two months now, they have not.
                                If they don�t want to contract us anymore, they should
                                let us know so that we can withdraw our services.�

                                A resident, who simply identified herself as Mrs.
                                Afolabi, told NAN that she had paid her share of the
                                money and wondered why others would not do same.

                                �I don�t know why people would let things get out of
                                hand before they do what they are to do. See now, my
                                children are getting late for school,� she lamented.

                                Another resident, who pleaded anonymity, said: �They
                                should pay them their money. We were the ones that
                                called them and they have been doing a good job around
                                Okota and its environs. We have not heard any shooting
                                for sometime now.�
                                ---------------------

                                17 armed men arrested in Abeokuta
                                Wole Efunnuga, Abeokuta
                                SEVENTEEN armed per-sons have been arrested by the
                                police in Ogun State. The people were said to have
                                been apprehended by men of the State Security Service
                                (SSS) following a tip off by some members of the Oodua
                                Peoples Congress (OPC) who suspected their movement
                                and later handed them over to the police.

                                Nigerian Tribune learnt that the group was seen
                                roaming the major streets of Abeokuta without any
                                specific destination. Members of the OPC who suspected
                                their strange movement immediately reported them to
                                the security operatives.
                                It was learnt that dane guns and other deadly
                                weapons were found in their possession.

                                The security operatives were said to have transferred
                                them to the police for further interrogation.

                                The state Police Commissioner, Prince Udom Ekpoudom,
                                told newsmen in Abeokuta on Monday that 11 people
                                were in his custody.

                                He said that they claimed to be hunters who came from
                                Kebbi State on hunting expedition.


                                --------------------

                                Oyo to take N1b loan to repair roads
                                By AKIN DURODOLA

                                A total of N1 billion loan is to be taken by the Oyo
                                State government to rehabilitate roads within Ibadan,
                                the state capital, the Nigerian Tribune can reveal
                                authoritatively.

                                Nigerian Tribune learnt that the state executive
                                council had, during last executive meeting, approved
                                the obtaining of the bond.

                                The loan, which would be taken from the stock
                                exchange, the Nigerian Tribune gathered, is going to
                                be a secured bond aimed at improving the road network
                                within the Ibadan metropolis.

                                Work on the roads, it was further gathered, would
                                commence early next month.
                                Though the state government had said several
                                times that it would not borrow money to prosecute any
                                project, the Nigerian Tribune gathered that the
                                government changed its mind in view of the complaints
                                by residents of Ibadan on the state of roads in the
                                city. This, it was further learnt, could spoil the
                                electoral chances of the Alliance for Democracy (AD)
                                controlled government, hence, the decision to
                                rehabilitate the roads and consolidate on the
                                electoral fortunes of the party.

                                However, sources said the reason was beyond campaign
                                but �in order to fulfil the promises made by Alhaji
                                Lam Adesina during his electioneering campaign in
                                1999.

                                �And moreso when the bond will not have any negative
                                effect on the economy of the state, whether now or in
                                the nearest future, so there is nothing wrong in the
                                state government taking the loan,� the source said
                                further.

                                ---------------------



                                Edos mourn Inienger�s death
                                EDO people are mourning the death of Rtd Maj-Gen. John
                                Inienger, who was military governor of the defunct
                                Bendel State between August 1985 and July 1990.

                                A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent in Benin
                                reported that the news of the former military
                                governor�s death was received with shock by a cross
                                section of Benin City residents who described him as
                                �a humane military man.�

                                A commissioner in his cabinet, Dr Godwill Ogboghodo,
                                told NAN in a telephone interview that �Inienger ruled
                                with dignity and Bendel State enjoyed one of its
                                finest moments under him.�
                                �He (Inienger) initiated the policy of payment
                                of teachers first before any other civil servant, a
                                legacy that stands out to his worthy memory,�
                                Ogboghodo said.

                                He said that old colleagues of the deceased in Edo and
                                Delta states were in consultation to send a befitting
                                representation to the burial.

                                Also, a media consultant and former editor with the
                                state-owned Bendel Newspapers Corporation, Mrs. Bisi
                                Amagada, described Inienger as �a humane and caring
                                man who was efficient and accommodating.� Although the
                                Edo government had not formally reacted to the death,
                                sources, however, told NAN that it would send a
                                delegation to the burial in Benue.

                                -------------------

                                THE BAR EXAMS LEAKAGE

                                In what appears to be a vindication of the school of
                                thought opposed to the multi-campus system for the
                                Nigerian Law School, the Bar final examination was
                                recently cancelled due to the cankerworm of
                                examination leakage. The cancellation was reportedly
                                due to �concrete evidence� of hand-written questions
                                copied from printed question papers before the
                                examination and this led to the cancellation of all
                                the five subjects taken out of the required seven
                                papers for the Bar Examination.

                                The incident marks the first time that examination
                                leakage and cancellation of conducted examination
                                would occur at the Law School since it was established
                                in 1962. Significantly, the cancelled examination was
                                the first to be organised under the multi-campus
                                system of the Law School with locations in Abuja,
                                Lagos, Enugu and Kano.

                                Whilst the controversy on whether or not to
                                decentralise the law school raged, proponents opposed
                                to the idea had argued that the move would compromise
                                quality by killing merit and destroying excellence and
                                the mass leakage in all the campuses tends to
                                corroborate their views. However, we do not agree that
                                the examination leakage is an indication that the
                                multi-campus system would not work as the problems
                                which necessitated the decentralisation are grave and
                                urgent. It will be recalled that inadequate facilities
                                at the Lagos Campus which led to the adoption of quota
                                system for Law School admission necessitated the
                                decentralisation of the citadel of law training.

                                the Director General of the Law School, Mr. John
                                Kayode Jegede, reportedly disclosed that examination
                                malpractices were anticipated by the school
                                authorities, who put security measures, such as,
                                asking the Deputy Director-Generals (DDG�s) to
                                physically take question papers to the various
                                campuses in addition to enlightenment campaigns, in
                                place. Unfortunately, students with the collaboration
                                of some unscrupulous official of the Law School had
                                circumvented the security measures. Therefore, new
                                strategies have to be mapped out to curb examination
                                malpractices at the Law Schools. WE recommend a return
                                to the �status quo ante� in the printing of the
                                examination paper. With careful planing, air
                                transportation can be sourced to get the question
                                papers printed overnight to centres across the country
                                on the day of the examination rather than a day or two
                                earlier as being currently practised,


                                Secondly, the Nigerian Law School is a microcosm of
                                the larger society where corruption, bribery and
                                general lawlessness subsist. Hence, the bar
                                examination leakage is on indication of the
                                deep-seated nature of the rot in our society, to the
                                extent that hitherto hallowed professions are now
                                affected by the malaise. We feel mortified that
                                lawyers who are supposed to be trail blazers and
                                �mirrors of the society� are involved in the
                                fraudulent act of examination malpractices. According
                                to the Director-General of the Law School �.... it is
                                a great shame that Nigerian students studying to
                                become Lawyers, who aspire to be judges, Senior
                                Advocate tomorrow ... people who owe supposed to
                                assist in the machinery of justice, servants in the
                                temple of Justice are involved in this scandal. It is
                                very worrying ...� we implore students to trend the
                                path of honour at all times by shunning acts that are
                                illegal and unconscionable.

                                We are surprised at the patent betrayal of trust
                                displayed by the officials of the Law School who must
                                have colluded with the students to leak the
                                examination questions and call for a thorough
                                investigation of the matter as well as due punishment
                                of the students and officials implicated in the
                                national shame in order to serve as deterrent to
                                others.

                                We also call for a review of the curricula of the Law
                                School to accommodate cumulative assessment and
                                de-emphasise the incubus of the final examination
                                which may compel students to devise ways, fair and
                                foul, to pas the examination.

                                Furthermore, the bar examination leakage should serve
                                as a wake-up call to the three organs responsible for
                                the training of lawyers namely, the Council of Legal
                                Education, the Nigerian Law School and the Body of
                                Benchers to be more alive to their duties. Law is a
                                very important and honourable profession and its
                                age-long tradition must be protected by all the
                                stakeholders
                                --------------------

                                Governorship aspirant presents manifesto
                                By JACKSON UDOM
                                A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in
                                Osun State and a governorship aspirant, Mr. Tunde
                                Fagbohungbe, over the weekend formally presented his
                                manifesto to party elders and officers in the
                                Ife/Ijesha Senatorial district, with a promise to
                                recall all sacked teachers in the state on his
                                swearing-in day.

                                Mr. Fagbohungbe stated this while addressing party
                                officers at a special session organised for senatorial
                                and governorship aspirants from the Senatorial
                                district to showcase their programmes for the state at
                                the council chambers of the Atakunmosa West Local
                                Government, Osu.

                                �My ambition to become the governor of Osun State
                                started the very first day the state was created. It
                                has been a long period of planning, mobilisation and
                                sensitisation of Osun State indigenes which cuts
                                across the three registered political parties.
                                If I am given the mandate of the people of Osun
                                State, I promise to recall all teachers who were
                                illegally sacked by the Alliance for Democracy (AD)
                                government. �Because of the seriousness I attach to
                                the welfare of the teachers, I have personally filed
                                27 cases on behalf of teachers in the state, while
                                the provision of relief materials to over 3,000
                                dismissed teachers of state origin were presented by
                                my organisation.�

                                Speaking further, the legal practitioner assured the
                                traditional rulers of enhanced pay and better living
                                condition, saying, �Because of the hard conditions our
                                royal fathers are made to live, we now see them going
                                out of the palace in searching contracts. As the
                                governor of Osun State come 2003, our royal fathers
                                would experience better remuneration and
                                recognition.�

                                On his plans for education, he stated that Osun State
                                had enough human resources for the development of the
                                state.
                                ----------------------

                                'APP's future is shaky'
                                THE Assistant National Secretary of the All Peoples
                                Party (APP), Alhaji Umaru Isa speaks in Kaduna with
                                Hassan Ibrahim on a wide range of issues concerning
                                the party. He concludes that unless the party has a
                                change of leadership, facing the ruling Peoples
                                Democratic Party (PDP) in 2003 would be a hard nut to
                                crack. Excerpts:-

                                IT was in the news that former Minister Wada Nas was
                                being courted by stalwarts from your party, the APP,
                                to contest for the party�s National Chairmanship
                                position. Since we have not heard any reaction to
                                that from the party, would you kindly put us in the
                                picture?

                                Sincerely speaking, Alhaji Wada Nas is an elder, a
                                respected Nigerian from the North and to have him join
                                my party is a credt. But I would like a situation
                                whereby Wada Nas would join the party for the
                                sympathy he has for the APP, but not outrightly
                                seeking for the leadership of the party. He should
                                have allowed us, within the party, to select and say
                                he is the best and I think that is what democracy is
                                all about, for people to see your competence and judge
                                you as a person that can deliver and not you telling
                                us that you can deliver. I believe that is not
                                democratic.

                                In essence, the APP welcomes Wada Nas, but has not
                                concluded in giving him a chance to vie for the
                                national chairmanship of the party?

                                We welcome him into the party, but with the present
                                decision of NEC some days ago, it has clearly shown
                                that the leadership of the party would be thrown open
                                to whosoever is interested. If he (Nas) is interested
                                and he comes on board and people agree with his
                                principles and feel he can deliver, good and fine.
                                But for now, seeing Wada Nas as the only alternative
                                has been eroded.

                                Could you give us an assessment of the incumbent
                                leadership under Alhaji Yusuf Ali?

                                The incumbent leadership has been manipulated with
                                lots of negative activities. In the first place, as a
                                member of the National Executive Council, I would
                                read the situation as very negative because in Ilorin
                                we agreed that the tenure of the leadership would be
                                extended by one year, but because of the pressure, so
                                much pressure on the leadership, we have been
                                disgracefully denied 6 months from our tenure, and we
                                were asked to all leave in 6 months time. That alone
                                is negative because if we have been performing to the
                                expectations of Nigerians, we would have gotten an
                                additional one year to articulate the party for the
                                forth coming presidential election. But with our
                                present position, it has seriously reduced the party�s
                                credibility and put us at a negative stand to contest
                                the presidential election with the ruling PDP. For us
                                to elect new national executive members in 6 months
                                time, and then come around again in the next 3 months
                                to put the past in shape to elect a presidential
                                candidate for the party, and for the person to now go
                                out on campaign throughout Nigeria to get the ticket,
                                it has given clear indication that we are incompetent
                                and that has reduced our image greatly under the
                                incumbent national leadership.

                                Then what is the future of the APP?

                                As a matter of fact, the future is shaky, and we won't
                                go into merger or alliance. Merger or alliance with
                                a political party like ours is a negative trend. You
                                should believe in yourself, believe in your
                                manifestoe, believe in your ideas and articulate them
                                to reach a position. But these have been lacking in
                                the APP National leadership and that is why we are
                                being disgracefully forced to vacate our seats in 6
                                months' time.

                                We have NEC members who are not hypocrites, who want
                                to see this party achieve greatness, but they were
                                never given the chance, they were never given time to
                                air their views or make any meaningful contribution,
                                the party has been left under the leadership of Alhaji
                                Yusuf Ali and George Moghalu, the National Secretary,
                                who turns the party the way he feels.

                                What exactly do you mean?

                                Yes, George Moghalu is a sell-out because today, you
                                see him with the Cross River State Governor, tomorrow
                                you see him with Bayelsa State Governor, you see him
                                buying shares in a PDP conglomerate, it is just
                                unfortunate for the APP.

                                But going down memory lane, we saw how your former
                                National Chairman, Alhaji Waziri accepted a position
                                under the opposing PDP government, don�t you feel your
                                current observation should not come as a surprise?

                                You see, I will not automatically blame the party, I
                                will rather blame the military regime of General
                                Abdulsalam Abubakar at that point in time on the way
                                we were rushed into the political dispensation, and as
                                of then, the government of General Abubakar had shown
                                clearly that it was the PDP and Obasanjo they wanted.
                                He, being a retired military General, it was a case of
                                es spirit de corp. So at that point in time, no matter
                                what you do, you will be seen negatively.

                                So for that, I think Alhaji Mahmud Waziri took the
                                part of the government then. But his decision had a
                                negative impact on the party, we are still feeling the
                                pain. With Yusuf Ali, we thought there would be a
                                change, we have now found out that the same PDP
                                government has penetrated Yusuf Ali and you see, there
                                are lots of secrets, lots of things but it is not yet
                                time to air them. If we give you a little of it now,
                                it will not make the impact we need, but it has
                                something to do with the PDP and the APP governors and
                                the leadership when the time comes, we will air it. We
                                would want Nigerians to see what exactly is going on
                                in this country. Democracy seems to be at the verge
                                of collapse. As I said, sincerely speaking,
                                information management requires time and situation.
                                I love Nigeria so much than won't like to add to its
                                problems, but when the time comes, we will alert
                                Nigerians.

                                How would you comment on the crisis in some of the APP
                                controlled states? For instance in Jigawa State where
                                the deputy governor resigned voluntarily for not
                                having a smooth sail with Governor Turaki, the
                                political crises in Zamfara, the war of nerves between
                                Governor Aliero of Kebbi and his state legislators, in
                                Borno, Governor Kachalla versus workers etc?.

                                The entire thing boils down to the leadership of the
                                party. The party is the Alpha and Omega of settling
                                all scores, and if it can not be checked, then you
                                check the leadership.

                                How prepared is the APP for the forthcoming hurdles?

                                Wallahi, APP has the brightest chances of winning all
                                elections in 2003.

                                Inspite of all the problems that you have earlier
                                enumerated?

                                Yes, we shall win particularly the presidential
                                election.

                                Then what measures have you put in place to correct
                                all these anomalies that you have observed?

                                Well, just as I have said, that is exactly what has
                                happened , the pushing out of the leadership from
                                office before its tenure ends. That is the first
                                step. The next step is for members and delegates of
                                the APP to feel that yes, they want this party to
                                elect the next leadership that will take them to
                                glory, and we are prepared to elect this leadership by
                                July 10, 2002. We will educate, mobilise and sensitise
                                members of the APP as to what exactly is going on and
                                where we should stand to achieve victory.

                                You have not spoken on your purported suspension from
                                the APP by the Kaduna State chapter of the party
                                during its last convention?

                                Actually, that was a kind of mischief by some party
                                members. Ordinarily, I was not elected at a state
                                congress, I was elected at the National Convention
                                and it was only myself and Alhaji Yusuf Ali, the
                                incumbent National Chairman of the party, that were
                                elected from the North-West during the National
                                Convention. So if for instance, the state chapter of
                                the party would say they have suspended me, then Kano
                                chapter of the party can suspend the National Chairman
                                likewise. It was a convention decision and
                                ratification, and so it is only a convention or the
                                National Executive Council of the party that can
                                suspend me. And to my surprise, till today, the
                                leadership of the party has not deemed it fit to
                                correct this abnormality in the party that no state
                                has the right to suspend a national officer. You can
                                see the last time when Pascal Bafyau and the rest were
                                having problems, it was the National Executive Council
                                that suspended them, and it was the same National
                                Executive that recalled them. So my issue is a kind of
                                a clique working between the leadership and the
                                incumbent Kaduna APP exco against me because, they
                                are afraid of my principles, they know where I stand.
                                I want to see my party as a level playing ground
                                where everybody can exercise their franchise. But
                                these people, so long as you say anything that would
                                enhance the party, they don�t want it and they would
                                never want you to get any closer to anywhere to
                                achieve your desired objectives.

                                My suspension is, therefore, very illegal. When you
                                come to look at it, I have the votes of Katsina, Kano,
                                Jigawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, how can Kaduna now take a
                                decision to suspend me? It is just that I respect my
                                party, hence I have restricted myself so much. I would
                                have taken the leadership to court and I would have
                                claimed damages for that.




                                Oyo PDP would soon stabilise
                                Chief Kolapo Olawuyi Ishola is a chieftain of the
                                Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State and a
                                one-time civilian governor in the Third Republic. In
                                this interview with JACKSON UDOM, he speaks on the
                                high level of insecurity in the land, the Oyo PDP and
                                sundry issues. Excerpts:

                                SIR are you satisfied with the security situation in
                                the state, in view of the recent assassination of the
                                chief law officer of the country, Chief Bola Ige?

                                We cannot say it is okay, we feel what is happening
                                and the government is not just sleeping, it is doing a
                                lot of things to improve the situation. You can see a
                                lot of jeep land- cruisers, all over, being acquired
                                for the police. The incident that happened a few days
                                ago, under one or two hours when we contacted the
                                police, all locations in the country were contacted
                                and road-blocks put in place, but this dare-devil
                                armed robbers got to the road blocks and started
                                killing policemen. They had superior weapons, so
                                government has to improve the gadgets they acquire for
                                the police and make sure that they give them more
                                equipment to out match the armed robbers.

                                That reminds me of this development. Is it true that
                                the attackers were armed robbers, assassins or thugs
                                from the opposing camps of your party?

                                Em... They turned out to be armed robbers, they were
                                not assassins, they were not political thugs but a
                                gang of armed robbers raiding and snatching vehicles
                                on the road. It was just by accident that they got to
                                the venue of our meeting at that particular time.
                                Before they dropped that man at Eruwa, they had
                                snatched about seven vehicles, all along the road. So
                                that proved to us that they were not assassins nor
                                political thugs. A friend was shot and was put in the
                                car and was taken away, to help them operate the car.
                                As they were going, they were snatching other cars and
                                before that my friend was dropped, they had snatched
                                about seven cars. So, that served as a prove to us
                                that it was a gang of robbers that came to operate at
                                that particular time.

                                Has there been any arrest by the police or further
                                comments on the incidence?

                                No... To the best of my knowledge, there has not been
                                any arrest yet. These people dropped the victim at
                                Eruwa and they escaped to the republic of Benin.

                                With the car?

                                Yes with the car. Not his car alone but about seven of
                                them. The land-cruiser jeep and all sorts of cars.

                                Sir, the picture being painted is that some political
                                thugs were sent to disrupt the meeting from another
                                faction of your party. What efforts have you made to
                                tell them what really happened?

                                Well, we have not made any effort yet. We are
                                concentrating on saving the life of our friend and
                                that is what is happening, eh..., once that danger is
                                over, we will start looking into things like that. But
                                the point we have now is pointing to the contrary. It
                                was not any political thug or assassin, but armed
                                robbers snatching vehicles all over the places.

                                Sir, after you were eased out of office by the
                                military, you went underground. What informed that?

                                (Laughs)... No, it is not like that. I was active to
                                the best of my knowledge, may be that is the way you
                                look at it. There are times to talk, there are times
                                not to talk. When you look at the situation of the
                                country, you think of which assignment you want to
                                take part in. So, immediately after the military took
                                over, there was no serious political programme and I
                                was not ready to bother myself for any election. So, I
                                had to arrange my political activities to be in line
                                with what I wanted.

                                Working?

                                Yeah...

                                There is this rumour that you are warming up for the
                                governorship race on the platform of the PDP. Is it
                                true?

                                Is the governorship the only position in the political
                                process?

                                Okay, which of the positions are you gunning for?

                                I�m gunning for the establishment of sanity in the
                                PDP, that is the system of democracy on party basis.
                                The party has to be stable before any reasonable
                                person can think of becoming anything.

                                2003 is just around the corner, you are talking about
                                stability in your party. For how long would it take
                                your party to stabilise?

                                It is not my party alone. Among all the three parties,
                                which one is stable now? You see, that is the
                                contradiction. When you have prolonged military
                                administration in a country and you have the civilians
                                coming in, it takes some time before it can settle.
                                And some of us who understand some politicking will
                                just want to make sure that we take part in putting
                                sanity into the system, so that we could reduce
                                everything to routine, so that the actual party
                                activities can operate under normal atmosphere.

                                The Oyo State chapter of the PDP is in shambles,
                                factions here and there, what do you think is wrong
                                with the party in Oyo State?

                                I won't say the Oyo State chapter is in shambles. We
                                have reduced the crises. We are at the verge of
                                settling it. It is going to be settled. Emm..., for
                                any party that introduces elections into party
                                positions, what they call primaries, we cannot but
                                have this kind of crisis after the primaries. We have
                                to settle down to harmonise. Party elections is not a
                                winner takes all, you have to bring everybody on board
                                to work for the party and that is what is happening.
                                It has happened to other parties that did the
                                primaries before. It is the same thing in the PDP. It
                                is a common phenomenon to all political parties
                                anywhere in the world.

                                When we talk about factionalism in the party, which of
                                the factions do you belong to?

                                I belong to Kolapo Ishola Solidarity Group.

                                As a former chief executive of Oyo state, how would
                                you assess the present administration of the Alliance
                                for Democracy (AD)?

                                Well, it is the same trend that is going on all over
                                the country. After a prolonged military rule, the
                                people�s expectation of civilian administration used
                                to be very high and for any administration to come in
                                and meet that, it can be very very difficult. But all
                                the civil administrations that have been put in place
                                have been trying their best. But all the
                                infrastructure that could have made them to perform
                                have been weakened by prolonged military
                                administration. If you look at the local governments
                                now, they cannot maintain their roads because they
                                don�t have graders. So it will take some time before
                                they acquire it and they�ll start performing well.

                                The issue of the Electoral Act is almost tearing the
                                country apart. What is your reaction to this?

                                Yes, that is the beauty of democracy, people have to
                                debate issues and the minority will have their say
                                while the majority would have their way. And once we
                                have the law, the law has to be respected, that is
                                just the thing. If any ammendment is carried out and
                                the law is in place, that law must be enforced. That
                                is democracy. Sanity will prevail. I don�t see
                                anything that is wrong in what is going on. Some
                                people want things to be done one way, others want
                                things to be done the other way, but the majority must
                                have their way. That is democracy.













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                              • Nubi Achebo
                                Friday, February 22, 2002 Fryo, Keyamo in war of words •Paraded in Abuja From yemi giwa, Bayo Oladeji, soji eze-fagbemi and john awe THE prime suspect in
                                Message 15 of 29 , Feb 23, 2002
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                                  Friday, February 22, 2002

                                  Fryo, Keyamo in war of words
                                  �Paraded in Abuja
                                  From yemi giwa, Bayo Oladeji, soji eze-fagbemi and
                                  john awe
                                  THE prime suspect in the murder of the Attorney
                                  General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Chief
                                  Bola Ige, Mr. Olugbenga Adebayo (Fryo) and his lawyer,
                                  Mr. Festus Keyamo, openly disagreed on Monday on the
                                  authenticity of the suspect�s earlier confessional
                                  statement released to the public by the lawyer. The
                                  two disagreed as they were paraded along with two
                                  journalists before newsmen in Abuja by the police.

                                  Fryo repeated what he said in his letter to Keyamo
                                  exclusively published last Friday by the Nigerian
                                  Tribune that Keyamo�s exposition about him was a
                                  figment of his imagination.

                                  The suspect told the crowded press conference that he
                                  never killed in his life and was alarmed when he was
                                  declared wanted by the police.

                                  Fryo said he was confused and contemplated escaping to
                                  Togo in order to escape being shot by the police on
                                  the pretext that he wanted to escape.

                                  According to him, he later dropped the idea upon the
                                  advice of two journalist friends of his, Olufemi
                                  Davies and Segun Banjo, Editor-in-Chief of ACE
                                  magazine. He claimed that the Lagos based lawyer then
                                  tutored him to implicate some top government officials
                                  if he wanted to extricate himself from the web of the
                                  crime.

                                  Fryo said that his lawyer specifically asked him to
                                  mention the name of Osun State Deputy Governor, Otunba
                                  Iyiola Omisore, as the sponsor of the murder and that
                                  N5 million was involved.

                                  By mentioning big names, Fryo stated that his lawyer
                                  said that the evolving scenario would create a picture
                                  akin to that of Sergeant Roger, one of the Abacha
                                  goons.

                                  He insisted that Keyamo might have tampered with his
                                  original statement as the one presented by the lawyer
                                  was different from the one he made. The suspect, who
                                  also explained that Keyamo counselled him on how to
                                  write the statement added that the lawyer said he
                                  (Fryo) would become a multi-millionaire from the case
                                  if he followed his instruction.
                                  Fryo, at the press conference, snapped at his
                                  lawyer when he asked, �Where is my original statement?
                                  Where are my millions?�

                                  However, Keyamo insisted that the turn of events was
                                  a deliberate ploy by the Federal Government and the
                                  police to bungle investigations into the slain
                                  minister�s death.

                                  He said all the confessional statements made by Fryo,
                                  during the Lagos press conference, were not doctored
                                  but given out of his own violation.

                                  Festus Keyamo said the new development was an attempt
                                  by the police to cover up the whole story and
                                  discredit him in the process.

                                  He said at no time did he insert the aspect
                                  concerning the deputy governor of Osun State, Otunba
                                  Iyiola Omisore and some top government officials as
                                  now being claimed by the accused.

                                  He said, �I cannot, I did not, I could not, and I
                                  would never in anyway insert anything. Can a lawyer
                                  tell his client to implicate himself in a case he has
                                  no hands? I sympathise with Fryo, I warned him before
                                  he gave himself over. I told him, you are doing that
                                  because of the enormous weight you have on your head.
                                  He did not pay me a kobo, I did everything from my
                                  pocket, I did not collect money from him.�

                                  He accused the police of detaining illegally the two
                                  journalists who linked him up with Fryo and helped to
                                  give information to the police before Fryo was handed
                                  over to the police.

                                  �The first illegality by the police was keeping the
                                  journalists for this long. They have kept them for
                                  three days, this is democracy, they should not be held
                                  for more than 24 hours. They are only trying to help.
                                  They introduced somebody to me, they have done
                                  nothing, absolutely nothing wrong. They told him not
                                  to run away, it is laughable that they are using one
                                  evidence against three�, he countered.

                                  Earlier, the Commissioner of Police (Legal), Mr.
                                  Charles Akaya, who read a press statement, told
                                  reporters how the number one suspect in the case,
                                  Fryo, was formally handed over to the Force CID, in
                                  Lagos with an affidavit sworn to by Keyamo.


                                  ---------------------

                                  3 killed, 22 injured in Urhobo/Itsekiri crisis
                                  SEGUN JAMES, Warri
                                  THREE persons have been confirmed killed and 22 others
                                  seriously injured in Sunday�s crisis between the
                                  Itsekiris and Urhoro of Okere in Warri, Delta State.
                                  Nigerian Tribune gathered that two of the three
                                  casualties of the crisis were killed in battle front
                                  while the youths of both ethnic groups were exchanging
                                  gun fire.

                                  They were allegedly left behind by their colleagues
                                  while retreating from the battlefield.
                                  However, the third person was allegedly
                                  killed by men of the Nigerian Army who had earlier run
                                  away due to superior fire power by the youths.

                                  He was still at his hiding place waiting for his
                                  victim when he was hit by a soldier�s bullet. He died
                                  immediately and his remains were deposited at the �A�
                                  Division of the Nigerian Police from where the
                                  Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Alhaji Rasheed
                                  Akintunde, ordered it to be deposited at the Warri
                                  Central Hospital Morgue.

                                  Also, the traditional head of Okere community, Chief
                                  Felix Esisi, has asked the Federal Government to probe
                                  the source of the weapons used in the crisis.


                                  ---------------------

                                  Senator wants grassroots mobilisation
                                  By JACKSON UDOM
                                  IF Nigerians are to experience and enjoy the gains
                                  inherent in this current democratic dispensation,
                                  there is the need for the grassroots to be mobilised
                                  and informed of government activities in order to
                                  enhance their participation and contribu-tion to the
                                  sustenance of the nascent democracy. Making the call
                                  was Senator Peter Adeyemo representing Oyo South
                                  Senatorial district, while receiving the reports of
                                  the 12 committees of the Brain Trust, at the Western
                                  House, Secretariat, Ibadan.
                                  �There is the need for the electorate, especially the
                                  grassroots, to be adequately informed and mobilised so
                                  that the issue of governance would be all
                                  encompassing. In this Senatorial district we have
                                  those who are better qualified than me to be Senators,
                                  but at a particular point in time, it is only one of
                                  us that would be there. That is why we have to come
                                  together to do it together�, he asserted.
                                  Speaking further, the vice-chairman, Senate
                                  committee on Privatisation, who commended the effort
                                  of the 12 committees for turning in their reports and
                                  recommendation, promised to, within the resources
                                  available at his disposal, execute the projects for
                                  the betterment of the people of his district.

                                  �Your recommendations are heart-warming and they are
                                  products of extensive debate, brain racking and
                                  sleepless nights. Therefore, I have no doubt in my
                                  mind that the Oyo South Senatorial District would soon
                                  be transformed�, he stated.

                                  �We also noted that it is the responsibility of the
                                  people to know that their destiny is in their hands
                                  participating in political activities. The best
                                  legislator can do his best, but the problem is beyond
                                  what one can do. The Brain Trust was formed to
                                  generate ideas for the development of the OYSSD and it
                                  therefore demanded that all hands must be on deck,� he
                                  said.
                                  -----------------------

                                  Lagos bomb
                                  �Some of the victims of the bomb blast.
                                  SOLA ALABADAN
                                  On September 11, 2001, terrorists attacked the United
                                  States of America, reduced to rubble, the twin towers
                                  of World Trade Centre and Pentagon, but immediately
                                  the incident happened insurance companies in that part
                                  of the world waded in and came up with a reasonable
                                  claim figure.

                                  On January 27, 2002, the armoury of the Ikeja Military
                                  Cantonment, Lagos exploded, shook the entire Lagos
                                  State and left in its wake loss of lives and property,
                                  but since most of those items involved may not have
                                  been insured, insurance may not be able to help. The
                                  scenarios above serve to explain the indispensability
                                  of insurance in today�s world of risks.

                                  Again, while insurance had helped Americans and the
                                  government to cushion the effects of the attack, her
                                  economy is still struggling to get back on track, but
                                  in the case of Nigeria where issues that border on
                                  insurance are usually dismissed with a wave of hand or
                                  at best, taken with levity, the aftermath is easily
                                  predictable and is already being seen.

                                  As if exposing the extent of decay of the nation�s
                                  economic and infrastructural sectors, the commandant
                                  of the Cantonment, Brigadier - General George Emdin,
                                  said few hours after the explosions, on a Nigeria
                                  Television Authority (NTA) broadcast that: �It is our
                                  old armoury, where we keep heavy calibre bombs; it�s
                                  been begging for repairs for quite sometime. The
                                  higher authorities are aware, and I am aware they are
                                  doing something. It is just unfortunate that before
                                  all arrangements for repairing it were put in place,
                                  this accident had to happen�.

                                  Insurance industry, the world over is usually at the
                                  receiving end whenever there is a calamity resulting
                                  in loss of lives and property. As a risk bearing one,
                                  the industry is expected to provide succour to the
                                  insureds that might have suffered losses when the need
                                  arises.

                                  The sporadic bomb blast at the Ikeja Military
                                  Cantonment, Lagos might have simmered, yet its adverse
                                  implications on the Nigerian economic scene would
                                  continue to linger on for some time, most especially
                                  in the insurance sub-sector. While the affected
                                  people and the nation are counting their losses, the
                                  explosions whose magnitude is stupendous enough to
                                  dwindle the fortunes in disguise, if the operators
                                  could make good use of the opportunity. Nigerians may
                                  now see the need to insure. Though, it could not be
                                  stated here the total amount of claims that would be
                                  paid by insurers for losses incurred, a senior
                                  military officer who put the rough estimate of the
                                  cost of the armoury at $12 billion (about N1.3
                                  trillion) has given an insight into how unprecedented
                                  the losses were. The amount above represents only the
                                  cost of the armoury but excludes destruction of
                                  property in the military formation and losses incurred
                                  by other people (third party as it is called in
                                  insurance parlance) outside the cantonment.
                                  Investigation by Nigerian Tribune, however revealed
                                  that reprief may not come the way of those who lost
                                  one thing or the other to the explosions as most of
                                  those items lost in the process were probably not
                                  insured. The military installation in question is
                                  also not an exception as there are indications that
                                  the armoury might not have been insured.

                                  Most Nigerians do not procure insurance cover for
                                  their property because they are handicapped by
                                  poverty, illiteracy and have a lukewarm attitude
                                  towards insurance. Successive governments on the
                                  other hand, are not favourably disposed to insuring
                                  public property, coupled with the fact that such
                                  avoidable losses would not in anyway affect them.

                                  Prince Omosanya Akinyemi, Chairman, Nigerian Insurers
                                  Association (NIA), the market umbrella body for risk
                                  underwriters operating in the country said it would be
                                  reasonable to conclude that all military installations
                                  in the country could not have been insured. �I will
                                  be surprised if any military installation is insured,�
                                  he said.

                                  Akinyemi, who described the explosions as a national
                                  tragedy while also sympahatizing with third parties
                                  who lost their lives and property to the near-war
                                  situation said it was a pity that �70 per cent of
                                  items lost during the explosions may not have been
                                  insured�.

                                  As if also describing the explosions as a blessing in
                                  disguise to the Nigerian Insurance Industry, the NIA
                                  boss pointed out that the unfortunate incident, had
                                  brought to the fore, the need to put insurance in its
                                  rightful pride of place. He said �the incident has
                                  brought home the need to insure one�s property, noting
                                  that most Nigerians who had hitherto shown apathy
                                  towards insurance could now be persuaded to have a
                                  change of attitude.�

                                  It must also be stated, however, that insurance
                                  practitioners in the country would have to do a lot to
                                  be able to turn the near doom situation to boom for
                                  the industry. There is an urgent need to create more
                                  insurance awareness so that every adult will have one
                                  form of insurance cover or the other. This will
                                  translate to increased premiums for insurance
                                  industry.

                                  Insured persons that might have been affected by the
                                  explosions, Akinyemi hinted have nothing to fear,
                                  stressing that even though such risks might not have
                                  been anticipated during the time of entering into the
                                  contract the affected insurance companies would not
                                  shirk their responsibility to pay claims not minding
                                  how colossal the amount could be.

                                  Without losing sight of the fact that President
                                  Olusegun Obasanjo had already set up an Explosion
                                  Disaster Relief Fund in the Office of the Secretary to
                                  the Federal Government with about half a billion
                                  already raked in, Akinyemi who also doubles as the
                                  Managing Director of Law Union and Rock Insurance of
                                  Nigeria Plc said such government compensation could be
                                  slow in coming or may not come at all due to
                                  bureaucratic bottlenecks. And where such money is
                                  actually released on time, it is usually embezzled by
                                  the people in high places.

                                  He also said that, insurance companies would be
                                  obliged to pay claims if the explosions were caused by
                                  negligence on the part of the military authority,
                                  especially if the installation had also been insured
                                  against negligence. In the same vein, a policy to
                                  cover accidental explosions could have been put in
                                  place before hand.
                                  Mr. Bolaji Banjo, Managing Director of Fire
                                  Equity and General Insurance Company Limited described
                                  the loss of lives and property to the explosions as an
                                  economic loss to the nation, noting that money that
                                  should have been used for the economic development of
                                  the country, would be diverted to other things. Claims
                                  that would arise from the development Banjo said may
                                  be valid, adding that details of the quantum of losses
                                  incurred were still being collated.

                                  Banjo, who is the immediate past chairman of NIA
                                  berated the government for the incident, saying
                                  �individuals should have a recourse to the government
                                  for compensation because it is an act of negligence on
                                  the part of government that caused the deep sorrow in
                                  the nation.� It is a disaster that the government
                                  must account for�.

                                  Experts in the Nigerian Insurance Industry who spoke
                                  on the issue decried the people�s attitude towards
                                  insurance while also imploring every Nigerian to
                                  insure his propety against future losses and urged the
                                  nation to preserve her wealth against disasters.

                                  Reacting to the explosions, Chief Stephen Ogunniyi,
                                  Managing Director of Marine and General Insurance Plc
                                  said �in insurance natural disasters were payable
                                  claims adding, �due to the fact that such cannot be
                                  justified simply because an accident occurred due to
                                  anything other than nature�

                                  He cited an example of a property insured against fire
                                  and pointed out that except it is found to have been
                                  deliberately ignited by the insured or his agent,
                                  claims would have to be paid after thorough
                                  investigation might have been conducted.

                                  In a similar vein, Mr. Francis Adebayo, an executive
                                  director of Asset and Liability Insurance Company
                                  Limited berated government for its non-challant
                                  attitude towards insurance bearing in mind that
                                  accident could occur while war may break out at any
                                  time.

                                  As experts in their own right, who are quite aware
                                  that whatever affects the economy would also affect
                                  the insurance industry, he said certain clauses were
                                  included in insurance agreement to cater for such
                                  occurrences even though riot, civil commotion or war
                                  may not be covered.

                                  While noting that the time to insure is now, he called
                                  on both the police and the military to insure
                                  themselves against their liability, stressing that no
                                  reasonable insurer would be willing to insure an
                                  asset when war is around a nation or property, in a
                                  disaster prone area.

                                  The insurer reiterated that the government should make
                                  insurance of its property a priority so that it would
                                  be easy to replace or rebuild such whenever they are
                                  lost or destroyed by any means and at any time,
                                  especially when the principle of indemnity that
                                  promises to bring the insured person back to its
                                  former position before the loss, does not give
                                  premonition of when the loss will occur to either the
                                  insurer or the insured. Corroborating Adebayo, Mr.
                                  Tunde Oyolola, Managing Director of Royal Property and
                                  Casualty Assurance Company Limited state that there is
                                  need for concerted efforts at awakening the people�s
                                  awareness towards recognising needs to indemnify
                                  themselves or property against unforeseen
                                  circumstances.

                                  He emphasised that both government and insurers need
                                  to intensify their efforts at intimating the Nigerian
                                  populace with the relevance of insurance, even as he
                                  appealed to people who reside around the area of the
                                  occurence, but had hitherto neglected the partronage
                                  of insurance to have a change of attitude and avoid
                                  future losses.

                                  Economic watchers, however, have also argued that if
                                  the military installation that exploded had actually
                                  been insured, insurance companies could have refused
                                  to pay expected claims. This position is hinged on
                                  the fact that the explosions could not be said to have
                                  been caused by natural disaster.

                                  The commandant of the cantonment, Brigadier-General
                                  George Emdin might have unwittingly buttressed this
                                  fact when he hinted that the old armoury had been
                                  begging for repairs for quite sometime - That the
                                  repairs had not been completed before the blast is
                                  enough to heap blames at the doorstep of military
                                  authorities and by inference, government could be
                                  denied expected compensation.

                                  The unprecedented destruction resulting from the
                                  recent explosions is so enormous that there is hardly
                                  any insurance company in the country which could have
                                  provided cover for such an asset as a military
                                  formation or war implements.

                                  It will be pertinent to state at this juncture that
                                  the explosions have no doubt brought to the fore the
                                  need to insure all assets against unforeseen
                                  contingencies. It is wiser to put in place measures
                                  that would prevent total loss than trying to save a
                                  situation that had already got out of hand.
                                  Individuals, corporate bodies and government should
                                  endeavour to make insurance of their assets a priority
                                  while also joining hands with insurance practitioners
                                  to create insurance awareness �let people know the
                                  benefits of insurance and if possible, make it a way
                                  of life�, said the Commissioner for Insurance, Chief
                                  Dipo Bailey. The governing Council of the underwiters
                                  in the country, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA),
                                  met recently to discuss the impact of the explosions
                                  on their trade, even as they feared that the largest
                                  claim ever may be on the way. The NIA had earlier in
                                  a letter dated January 28 directed all its member
                                  companies to provide for any claim that may arise in
                                  the process. The step taken by the association is in
                                  the right direction as the acid test of a viable and
                                  competent insurance firm is the ability to pay claims
                                  promptly when the need arises.

                                  As at the time of writing this report, details of the
                                  outcome of the NIA meeting were still sketchy, but
                                  what was clear was that the association that had
                                  already informed its member companies to swing into
                                  action deliberated extensively on what is to be done
                                  in this situation and took a formal stand.

                                  The bottomline, however, is that the insuring public
                                  should desist from relegating insurance to the
                                  background, procure insurance cover for all assets as
                                  and when due, while insurers on the other hand, should
                                  strive to pay all genuine claims promptly so that the
                                  populace would not have any cause to regret
                                  patronising them.


                                  --------------------

                                  FG overshot budget in �99, 2000, 2001
                                  Olawale Rasheed, Abuja
                                  THE Federal Govern- ment has responded to the query
                                  issued by the National Assembly, giving details of the
                                  financial condition of the government including the
                                  level of foreign reserves as at December 2001.

                                  In a response dated February and signed by the
                                  Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Kayode
                                  Nayeju, the account revealed details of deficit in the
                                  fiscal budget and accounts in the last three years.
                                  The Federal Government overshot budget expenditure in
                                  1999, 2000 and 2001, with the Accountant General
                                  giving the differential figures. The report, which is
                                  causing ripples within the National Assembly, stated
                                  the differential as follows: 1999
                                  2000 2001

                                  Budget N34.10b N120.30b N201.48B

                                  Actual N79.07b N203.81b N218.25b

                                  The letter referenced OAGF/SD/ABJ/027/405 did not,
                                  however, explain why the deficit was incurred, though
                                  it was mainly on recurrent expenditure.

                                  Aside the details on expenses, the AGF, in another
                                  letter with the same date and titled: �Budget
                                  Performance and Position of Foreign Reserves�, gave
                                  the figure of total reserve as 10,267 billion dollars
                                  as at 2001.
                                  A breakdown of the foreign reserve account
                                  showed common reserve as $484,784 million and Net
                                  Reserve as $9.782 billion.

                                  The Accountant General stated that only $1.7 billion
                                  dollars was available for allocation and appropriation
                                  in the current fiscal year.

                                  The following components are listed as available for
                                  appropriation: Recovery Fund Account (243.1 million
                                  dollars), Excess Proceeds of Crude (666.5 million
                                  dollars), Excess proceed of PPT (82,504.6 million
                                  dollars), and Special Residual Account (803.309
                                  million dollars).

                                  Also available for appropriation is the pound sterling
                                  component of the recovered loot totalling about
                                  6.766.672 pound sterling.

                                  The AGF letter is, however, causing ripples within the
                                  Senate, as the Upper House has expressed
                                  dissatisfaction with the deficit incurred on the
                                  recurrent expenditure.

                                  Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe disclosed that the Senate
                                  would probe the deficit incurred without National
                                  Assembly�s authorisation
                                  ----------------------

                                  Yoruba expose plot to truncate democracy
                                  Bosun Odedina and Kayode Akinmade, Lagos
                                  THE coalition of Yoruba socio-political, cultural and
                                  economic groups, the Yoruba Leaders Forum (YLF), has
                                  raised an alarm about concerted efforts by a section
                                  of the Nigerian entity at truncating the nation�s
                                  democracy.

                                  Addressing newsmen in Lagos on Monday alongside
                                  representatives of the various groups comprising the
                                  Y.L.F., its leader, Senator Abraham Adesanya,
                                  condemned the recent clamour for the return of the
                                  military as being canvassed for by the Chairman of the
                                  Board of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting
                                  Corporation, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi and accentuated by
                                  some youths at Idi-Araba, Lagos as an aftermath of the
                                  February 2, ethnic crisis.

                                  Chief Adesanya pointed out that since the commencement
                                  of this administration in May 1999, there had been
                                  over 40 religious, ethnic or tribal crises across the
                                  country in which thousands of lives were lost. He
                                  agreed, however, that the PDP-led Federal Government
                                  has, in large measures, contributed to the state of
                                  instability in the country. The YLF leader also said
                                  the PDP�s leadership �has deliberately promoted
                                  conflicts even within its ranks.�

                                  According to him, �the shameful and disgraceful
                                  electoral act fraud, remains one of the sour points of
                                  this administration�, adding, �the parlous state of
                                  the economy with an ever increasing army of the
                                  unemployed has only compounded matters.�

                                  Asserting that the enemies of democracy always find a
                                  ready market to recruit those they use to perpetuate
                                  their evil deeds from the rank of the unemployed, he
                                  lamented that those who had carried out all the
                                  killing, looting and arson in the various
                                  ethnic/religious riots were able bodied, trained and
                                  educated people, who otherwise would have been
                                  usefully engaged in the development of the nation.

                                  �Unfortunately, the government had adopted an
                                  arrogant, selfish, parochial and ultimately a failed
                                  approach to ameliorate the problem. The result is huge
                                  waste of the nation�s resources with little to show
                                  for it,� Chief Adesanya declared. He further
                                  identified the greed and selfishness of those in
                                  authority from the local government level to the
                                  federal level, as another cause of frustration in the
                                  system, noting that those in authority today care more
                                  about themselves than those they serve.
                                  �The salaries, emolument and other
                                  entitlements of those in government, particularly the
                                  executive and legislative arms at all levels, are
                                  totally out of tune with economic realities in the
                                  country,� he charged, adding, �Those in government are
                                  living far above the rest of the society and yet their
                                  appetite for more seems insatiable.�

                                  �Economically, the military brought Nigeria to its
                                  knees. They completely destroyed the economy.
                                  Corruption reached unprecedented levels. Every major
                                  national institution was destroyed and ruined,
                                  including the military (their immediate constituency),
                                  the police, the judiciary, educational sector, the
                                  civil service etc. That was the military legacy. And
                                  all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic and
                                  religious backgrounds suffered,� the Yoruba leader
                                  said.

                                  He pointed out that certainly, those who wreaked such
                                  havoc on this nation could not be the solutions to
                                  the nation�s problems. �They are only looking for an
                                  opportunity to totally destroy the nation. We must not
                                  allow them,� he said.

                                  �For the ordinary Nigerians who are being misled,
                                  military dictatorship will be another nightmarish
                                  experience. Only the privileged cabal will benefit,�
                                  Senator Adesanya warned.

                                  Charging all patriotic Nigerians, the human rights
                                  groups, labour, students, market women, political
                                  parties and associations to commence immediate
                                  preparations to defend democracy against the threat of
                                  subversion, the Yoruba leader said the call is not a
                                  defence of those currently in authority, many of whom,
                                  according to him, are military apologists.

                                  �We call on President Olusegun Obasanjo, the National
                                  Assembly, the governors, the state legislatures and
                                  the local government authorities to behave more
                                  responsibly to ensure that military rule is forever
                                  confined to the ash tray of history in Nigeria.�

                                  The briefing was attended by leaders of such groups as
                                  Afenifere, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Self
                                  Determination Group, Apapo Omo Yoruba.

                                  Present were Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, Dr. Oluyomi
                                  Finnih, Bishop Magnus Atilade, Chief Jimoh Aliu, Dr.
                                  Frederick Fasehun, Comrade Baba Omojola, Prof. Wale
                                  Omole, Senator Femi Okurounmu, Senator Kofo
                                  Bucknor-Akerele, among others.

                                  --------------------

                                  Voters� registration: Guobadia laments delay of funds
                                  Abass Dan Subair, Abuja
                                  CHAIRMAN, Independent National Electoral Commission
                                  (INEC), Dr Abel Guobadia, has said that the delay in
                                  the release of fund by the Federal Government has
                                  hampered the take-off of the voters� registration
                                  exercise.
                                  Dr Guobadia also indicated that about N8 billion would
                                  be needed for the exercise anytime the commission
                                  decided to carry out the programme.

                                  Speaking while receiving in audience a delegate of
                                  Electoral Reform Network (ERN) which was on a courtesy
                                  visit to INEC headquarters in Abuja, Dr Guobadia
                                  hinted that the commission only required just two
                                  months to commence the exercise anytime fund was
                                  released.

                                  �If we get the fund today, we shall start the
                                  registration exercise two months after,� he said.
                                  To ensure a hitch free exercise, the INEC boss
                                  hinted that 120,000 registration centres to be manned
                                  by at least three officials each would be created
                                  throughout the country.

                                  Dr Guobadia hinted further that to ensure that the
                                  exercise was not manipulated, all parties would be
                                  required to have their agents at the centre while
                                  other non-partisan non-governmental organisations
                                  would be given a free hand to participate in the
                                  exercise.

                                  Earlier, leader of the delegate, Hajia Saudatu
                                  Mahdi,wondered why the voters� registration exercise,
                                  which she considered central to the 2003 elections had
                                  not been conducted.

                                  Hajia Mahdi, who is the vice chairperson of Electoral
                                  Reform Network, a conglomeration of about 50 NGOs
                                  commended the INEC and its other state commissioners
                                  for the painstaking way in which they had been
                                  carrying out the affairs of the commission.


                                  ------------------



                                  This is a cover up �Keyamo
                                  Keyamo�s response at the parade in Abuja
                                  I need to protect my per-sonal integrity and this is
                                  why I will beg that even if it is more than 15 minutes
                                  we should not restrict any question because...... this
                                  is a grand design to cover up. Those who condemned me
                                  for taking those steps, being careful and said I took
                                  much time before I handed him over, those people will
                                  now know that I am fully justified.

                                  Why am I justified? Because with this scenario now
                                  Nigerians are there as witnesses that is why I am
                                  happy because they know the fact of the case as stated
                                  originally untainted by the prime suspect whom the
                                  police still confer.

                                  I sympathise with Fryo, I warned him before he gave
                                  himself up, before I handed him over that you are
                                  doing all this because of the enormous burden I know
                                  you carry on your shoulders, the enormous pressure you
                                  carry on your shoulders. I warned him and so I am
                                  happy that this is now happening today and so I
                                  sympathise with Fryo. I went to court to file paper,
                                  I did not take a kobo from him. One kobo I did not
                                  demand, now you can see why they are holding us here.
                                  Let us talk about something serious. May be there is
                                  link between us and the major event of Bola Ige and
                                  all that, like these journalists one linked one person
                                  to this person, they brought someone to me and they
                                  are keeping them for four, five days. We are in a
                                  democracy, they are supposed not to keep them for more
                                  than 24 hours. That is the first illegality by the
                                  police. The first illegality by the police is keeping
                                  these journalists, these poor gentlemen that were
                                  trying to help, for more tan 24 hours. The worst
                                  offence you can accuse them of as simple is at least
                                  for committing felony, and they should not be detained
                                  for more than 24 hours and in a democracy like this
                                  you are holding them for this long, I am conditioned
                                  to take such weather, they can keep me, but they
                                  should not lock them up. So, stop this illegality,
                                  keeping these gentlemen here for more than 24 hours,
                                  they should not be here. They have only introduced
                                  somebody and in the process they have done nothing
                                  wrong, because all they did was the process of handing
                                  him over to the police.

                                  In fact he confirmed too that they told him never to
                                  run away. So what is the offence, is it that they are
                                  using one testimony against three testimonies is it
                                  not funny? Is it that they are using one evidence
                                  against three evidences as to what he said and what he
                                  did not say. What is going on gentlemen? What is
                                  going on? And they are holding me, keeping away my
                                  practice, keeping me away because they want the heat
                                  to go down keeping me away when they know we shouldn�t
                                  be in detention for more than 24 hours. The worst you
                                  can accuse me of is perjury, that is the worst, and I
                                  will bring the recording, I will bring the handwritten
                                  statement. I will bring everything in court. All
                                  that is why in my statement to them, I said I prefer
                                  to talk in court because I know this is an open
                                  investigation. And the purpose of my making this
                                  thing originally raising so much dust is that I wanted
                                  this thing not to stop.
                                  You can see that if it is not because of what
                                  I did, this matter would have died, it is what is
                                  keeping it alive, and I am happy about it let me be in
                                  detention, let them keep on arresting me, I will keep
                                  talking, I will keep insisting. With what has
                                  happened now, I don�t know about it, I know about it,
                                  we have comeback to square A. About who killed Bola
                                  Ige? That is what we are all looking for, but they
                                  muddle up the whole investigation. These are all side
                                  shows, they are off the road, it does not lead to who
                                  killed Bola Ige. All these are side shows, they are
                                  not the main investigation.

                                  Who killed Bola Ige? We are back to Square A, we are
                                  making no head way about it, we are not briefing the
                                  nation. I expect the police to have come up today to
                                  say these are the details we have found out in Fryo�s
                                  statement, gentlemen, these are the crux of the
                                  matter, it is not about calling me and Fryo to be
                                  exchanging words, it is for the police to come and
                                  tell us today that these facts stated by Fryo, we have
                                  confirmed this, they have denied this, this one we
                                  find it not to be true.

                                  What is happening? The police are not talking, they
                                  are tongue in cheeks and they are telling us nonsense,
                                  fooling the world, they should tell us the authority
                                  should not bring undue influence to be on this case.
                                  Is it that they put pressure over Omisore that he too
                                  is going to foot the bill? That is exactly what I
                                  want the police to tell the world? What are the
                                  details of their investigations? Why did they declare
                                  him the prime suspect? What evidence did they have
                                  before they declared him the prime suspect? What have
                                  they collated as at then when they declared him and do
                                  they still consider him as a prime suspect now?

                                  They should tell the world, what and what did they
                                  find out? At the end of the day I am justified. In
                                  the whole of my action now. People said I am in Eye
                                  confraternity that is why I know Fryo, people said I
                                  went to Ooni�s palace to bring him, at the end of the
                                  day, my hands are clean, I am justified at the end of
                                  the day. I was at the normal course of my practice in
                                  my office when the case came to me, thank God all the
                                  actors are here, now, I was in my office. Whether it
                                  was Jesus or whether it was Muhammed or whether it was
                                  Orunmila that introduced Fryo to me what was all this
                                  ..... about? It has confirmed my position earlier
                                  that I did not go to Ooni�s palace, I said there was
                                  no link at all.

                                  He said he gave first statement, I did not gave it to
                                  him, now ask, what is that first statement Fryo gave
                                  me? Will he be a stupid lawyer, that your client
                                  claimed he was not involved in a case, and instead of
                                  him pursuing that angel, you tell your client to
                                  rather implicate himself in a conspiracy, isn�t it
                                  stupid? Come to think of it isn�t it stupid. Like I
                                  said, I still owe him a duty.


                                  ------------------

                                  Super Eagles disbanded, Amodu sacked
                                  �Onigbinde leads team to World Cup
                                  Sunday Ogunkanmi, Abuja
                                  THE heavy hammer of the Federal Government finally
                                  fell on Monday on the Super Eagles and the technical
                                  crew following their lack-lustre performance in the
                                  recently-concluded African Nations Cup.

                                  The national team has been dissolved while the
                                  technical crew of Amodu Shuaibu, Stephen Keshi and
                                  Joseph Erico has been sacked with immediate effect.

                                  Sports Minister, Mark Aku, who sent the team and the
                                  technical crew packing, subsequently mandated Chief
                                  Adegboye Onigbinde, head of the technical department
                                  of the NFA, to take over as the handler.

                                  Onigbinde, the former technical handler of Trinidad
                                  and Tobago, would also lead the new team to the World
                                  Cup in Korea/Japan in June.

                                  Aku, who met with the board of the NFA on Monday and
                                  dropped the hammer, also ordered the soccer-ruling
                                  body to submit strategies for the forthcoming
                                  international competitions within a week.

                                  The global competitions are the World Cup in
                                  Korea/Japan, the 8th All-Africa Games in 2003, the
                                  Olympic Games in Greece in 2004, the Nations Cup in
                                  Tunisia in 2004 as well as the 2006 World Cup.

                                  Aku, who spared nothing to disparage the NFA board,
                                  argued that its inappropriate leadership had led to
                                  the football disasters beginning from Trinidad and
                                  Tobago to the Mali outings.

                                  He also lamented that his efforts to redress the ills
                                  affecting the NFA had largely been resisted from
                                  within the board and the staff, accusing both of using
                                  the press to whip up sentiments.

                                  The minister held the NFA board responsible for the
                                  indiscipline in the national team, while he branded
                                  the work ethics within the staff as one against the
                                  philosophy of the present administration.

                                  Aku said the attitude of the NFA board and staff
                                  listed above led him to apply section 19(1) of the
                                  Decree 101 of 1992 setting up the NFA, saying, �I
                                  should not be expected to watch the goings on in NFA
                                  as an unconcerned observer�.

                                  Mercenaries dangerous to school sports
                                  development�NSSF

                                  THE president of Nige-ria School Sports Federation
                                  (NSSF), Dr. Adeleke Olaiya, has expressed worry about
                                  incursion of mercenaries into school sports, saying it
                                  poses potential danger to the development of school
                                  sports.

                                  Olaiya, speaking at the flag-off of the maiden
                                  Vitamalt Rugby Schools Pilot Project and National
                                  Rugby Challenge Championship on Saturday at the
                                  National Stadium, Lagos, noted that such presence of
                                  mercenaries was the greatest problem confronting
                                  school sports.

                                  �It is a common phenomenon in school sports and it is
                                  difficult to eradicate but we are trying to minimise
                                  it,� he said, advising the Nigeria Rugby Football
                                  Association (NRFA) to watch out for mercenaries.

                                  He urged students to also fight the cankerworm so as
                                  not to rob them of opportunities of participating and
                                  excelling in international sporting competitions.

                                  Expressing the support of the NSSF for the game,
                                  Olaiya appealed to the sponsors of the pilot project
                                  and the NRFA to organise national championships at
                                  both primary and secondary school levels.

                                  In a welcome speech, the NRFA president, Maj.-General
                                  Joshua Madaki explained that the rugby school project
                                  was

                                  to �catch them (rugby players) young and to
                                  popularise the sport.

                                  Madaki who was represented by Mr. Ntiesen Williams,
                                  the project co-ordinator, expressed the hope that a
                                  national championship would be organised for primary
                                  and secondary schools.

                                  In a chat with NAN shortly after the demonstration
                                  matches, Master Akanniyene Ekure of Corona School,
                                  whose school lost 0-5 to CMS Primary School, said he
                                  was excited playing rugby, adding that their interest
                                  in the sport would be sustained.



                                  Yobe Stars sack coach
                                  RAYMOND Ogosi, Chief Coach of Yobe Desert Stars FC of
                                  Damaturu, has been relieved of his appointment, for
                                  poor performance.

                                  Mr. Alloy Chukwuemeka, a member of the management and
                                  media co-ordinator of the club, stated in Benin, on
                                  Saturday, that the decision to sack the former Kwara
                                  United FC of Ilorin tactician was taken on Friday
                                  night.

                                  According to him, the declining performance of the
                                  players of the club had been of a great concern to the
                                  management and government of Yobe.

                                  �You can see that the boys played their league match
                                  with Bendel Insurance without their coach,� he said.

                                  The Co-ordinator then said that former NPA of Warri,
                                  Chief Coach, Godfrey Esu was being considered as a
                                  replacement for Ogosi.

                                  Chukwuemeka said that he was optimistic that the
                                  fortunes of the club would witness a boost if Esu was
                                  eventually brought on board.

                                  Meanwhile, Bendel Insurance defeated their Yobe Stars
                                  counterparts 2-0 at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium,
                                  Benin, on Saturday, in the professional division one
                                  league.

                                  The home boys opened scoring in the 40th minute
                                  through a free kick, by Wilson Oboh. The second was
                                  scored in the 55th minute via a penalty, by Shuaibu
                                  Karimu.



                                  ...Team gets N40m lifeline
                                  THE Yobe State government has approved N40 million for
                                  the Yobe Desert Stars FC of Damaturu to boost its
                                  performance in the current professional division one
                                  league championship.

                                  Mr. Alloy Chukwuemeka, a member of the management and
                                  media co-ordinator of the club, disclosed this in
                                  Benin,on Saturday, adding that the money would be
                                  released as soon as an appropriation bill before the
                                  state assembly was signed into law.

                                  He explained that the money would enable the club meet
                                  up with payment of sign-fees of players.

                                  Chukwuemeka, however, said that the players and their
                                  technical crew had been placed on half salaries in
                                  view of their declining productivity.

                                  He noted that such a punitive measure was taken in
                                  order to compel the players and their technical crew
                                  to brace up for better performance in the league.

                                  The co-ordinator pointed out that the players were not
                                  owed any allowances, as they had been paid up to date.


                                  He stated that the governor, Alhaji Bukar Ibrahim,
                                  donated a bus and a Peugeot 504 car to the club,
                                  hinting that the two vehicles would soon be released
                                  to the club.

                                  Lewis,Tyson may keep June date
                                  TDIPO LALEYE , Minna
                                  HE world heavyweight title fight between Lennox Lewis
                                  and Mike Tyson could go ahead in June, according to
                                  Lewis�s business manager Adrian Ogun.

                                  The original fight, scheduled for April 6 at the MGM
                                  Grand in Las Vegas, was cancelled after Tyson was
                                  denied a boxing licence by the Nevada State Athletic
                                  Commission following last month�s infamous pre-fight
                                  news conference brawl in New York.

                                  But Ogun is optimistic that the bout will take place
                                  this year. �Lennox wants a true sporting contest but
                                  it was clear to me watching Mike Tyson before Nevada
                                  Commission that he needs help,� he told BBC Radio on
                                  Sunday.

                                  �June gives Mike plenty of time to seek help and all
                                  true sports and boxing fans want to see the fight.�

                                  Venues on four continents have expressed interest in
                                  hosting the Lewis-Tyson fight, which will carry an
                                  estimated purse of 150 million dollars, but Ogun said
                                  it was still most likely to be in the U.S.



                                  Baggio dreams World Cup action again
                                  FORMER European Player of the Year Roberto Baggio is
                                  still holding out hope of making Italy�s World Cup
                                  squad despite a recent knee operation.
                                  Baggio, who will be 35 on Monday, underwent an
                                  operation on a cruciate knee ligament earlier this
                                  month, prompting speculation that he could retire. But
                                  Baggio is determined to return to the field and
                                  believes he can do so in time to push for a place in
                                  Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni�s squad of 23 for the
                                  tournament in South Korea and Japan.

                                  Asked on Italian television about the World Cup,
                                  Baggio said: �It is a personal challenge and I am not
                                  used to losing against myself. I will try. I want to
                                  take up this extreme challenge.� Baggio admitted that
                                  he was pessimistic straight after suffering his latest
                                  injury. �When I was injured I thought the worst but
                                  since the operation, the prospects have changed,� the
                                  Brescia striker said. �I can hope.�

                                  Baggio was stretchered off with an injured left knee
                                  after coming on as a substitute during an Italian Cup
                                  semi-final match at Parma on January 31. It was only
                                  his second game back after three months out with an
                                  injury to the same knee. Baggio played in the last
                                  three World Cups, making his mark at the 1990
                                  tournament on home soil with a fine individual strike
                                  against Czechoslovakia before leading the Azzurri to
                                  third place.


                                  Aftermath of Eagles disgraceful act in Mali
                                  Aku reads riot act to coaches, athletes
                                  SUNDAY OGUNKANMI, Abuja
                                  Sports Minister Ishaya Mark Aku on Monday read out
                                  riot acts to coaches and athletes, warning that
                                  henceforth indiscipline from them would no more be
                                  condoned. The minister, who was addressing the board
                                  of the NFA at a meeting in Abuja also warned that the
                                  country would no more take dictation from the
                                  athletes. Apparently reacting to the face-off that
                                  trailed the controversial ticket refunds to the Super
                                  Eagles players in Mali, Aku told the country�s
                                  athletes that the era of disrespect to constituted
                                  authority was gone forever.

                                  Tribunesports recalls that both Aku and the Director
                                  for Sports Development in the Sports Ministry, Patrick
                                  Ekeji were tongue-lashed by the Super Eagles and their
                                  coaches during the Nations Cup.

                                  Amodu, while challenging Ekeji to say whether he ever
                                  beat Ghana twice during his coaching and playing
                                  careers also held the former international responsible
                                  for �fouling the atmosphere in Eagles� camp�.
                                  Referring to the performance of the Super Eagles in
                                  Mali, Aku said though he agreed one might not win all
                                  the time, he would not brook indiscipline from the
                                  players. Said he, �whereas I agree that one may not
                                  win at all time, whereas I agree that some members of
                                  the Super Eagles did bring glory to the country indeed
                                  at a time we were a pariah nation, I shall not for one
                                  moment condone any attitude from not only footballers,
                                  but any other athlete in any other sport which
                                  expresses disrespect for constituted authority,
                                  dictation of terms to fatherland and non-committed
                                  performance on the field of play�.



                                  Ajax back on top of Dutch div one
                                  AJAX Amsterdam moved back on top of the Dutch first
                                  division in spite of a goalless draw at AZ Alkmaar as
                                  Feyenoord lost 1-2 at Vitesse Arnhem on Sunday.

                                  With 22 matches played, Ajax has 46 points with
                                  Feyenoord one point behind. PSV Eindhoven, which won
                                  4-0 at NEC Nijmegen on Saturday, is third with 43
                                  points from 23 matches. Vitesse Arnhem kept its
                                  unbeaten home record this season intact against a
                                  Feyenoord side which has never won in the Gelredome
                                  Stadium since first playing there in 1996.

                                  In a tight match the Rotterdam side, which visit
                                  Glasgow Rangers in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals on
                                  Thursday, took the lead after 26 minutes when Shinji
                                  Ono scored his second goal of the season with a
                                  well-placed shot from just outside the box. The lead
                                  lasted just four minutes as Vitesse levelled through
                                  Dejan Stefanovic, who beat goalkeeper Edwin Zoetebier
                                  from close range. In the 51st minute Vitesse decided
                                  the match when Emile Mbamba made it 2-1 from a Niki
                                  Hofs cross.

                                  It was Feyenoord�s fifth defeat this season. Ajax
                                  failed to take full advantage of Feyenoord�s stumble
                                  and could even have lost against lowly AZ which
                                  matched a visiting side badly missing injured
                                  playmaker Rafael van der Vaart.



                                  Lewis/Tyson bout planned for Abuja
                                  NIYI ALEBIOSU, Lagos
                                  THE much publicised heavyweight boxing championship
                                  fight between the current heavyweight champion, Lennox
                                  Lewis and former heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson has
                                  been slated to hold in April, in Abuja.

                                  The bout, according to a press release made available
                                  to the Tribunesports and signed by Luke O. Aghanenu
                                  (Esq.) of Aghanenu and Associate P.C., is being
                                  facilitated by Vi-Tech Systems Limited in Nigeria with
                                  Akbar Productions INC of Charlotte North Carolina,
                                  USA.

                                  The release further stated that Vi-Tech had committed
                                  enormous resources to put the fight together and that
                                  it promises a repeat of the famous Rumble in the
                                  Jungle bout between Muhammed Ali and George Foreman in
                                  Zaire in 1974.

                                  Aghanenu further stated that requisite negotiations
                                  with all the parties involved, at home and abroad were
                                  on-going and nearing conclusion, adding that world
                                  conference by all parties, including the boxers will
                                  be held in New York, USA, and Abuja, Nigeria, to
                                  announce the date of the bout.

                                  Meanwhile, attached press statement from the promoter,
                                  Akbar Promotions INC and signed by its chairman Akbar
                                  Mohammed, informed that they have been meeting with
                                  both Lewis and Tyson on the bout being staged in Abuja
                                  and that it has been successful so far.

                                  It further stated that Vi-Tech Systems Limited had
                                  been asked to host the fight in a 100,000-seat
                                  facility in Abuja which Aghanenu later told
                                  Tribunesports in a telephone conversation would be
                                  constructed at Eagles Square, saying that the company
                                  has discussed with Julius Berger Construction Company
                                  which promises to provide 20,000 seating facilities
                                  for the fight.



                                  Venus wins Antwerp Open for Serena
                                  WORLD number two Venus Williams, a last-minute
                                  replacement in the tournament for her injured sister
                                  Serena, beat second-seeded Belgian Justine Henin 6-3,
                                  5-7, 6-3 to win the Antwerp Open on Sunday. The
                                  top-seeded Williams is now in a good position to claim
                                  the world number one spot for the first time by edging
                                  out Jennifer Capriati who currently tops the rankings.


                                  Henin, playing before a capacity crowd including
                                  Belgium�s Crown Prince Philippe and the country�s
                                  number one player Kim Clijsters, started slowly in
                                  spite of the home fans cheering her on. Just as in
                                  Saturday�s semi-final against Switzerland�s Patty
                                  Schnyder, Henin took time to settle. The teenager
                                  struggled to hold her opening service game, having to
                                  save break point twice.

                                  Henin lost the next four games in a row but managed to
                                  bounce back in the fifth to break Williams serve. The
                                  American had started her opening service game with her
                                  usual show of force � a killer ace that reached 182
                                  kph � and continued her attack with some strong
                                  volleys and baseline shots into the corners of the
                                  court to take the first set 6-3.

                                  Henin narrowed the gap in class during the second set,
                                  firing off powerful returns and backhand slices that
                                  sent Williams scrambling. From 3-5 down the world
                                  number nine fought hard to stave off defeat as the
                                  American carved out three match points on the Henin
                                  serve but the Belgian survived. Henin won the
                                  penultimate point of the game with a punishing volley
                                  to the deafening applause of the crowd before finally
                                  holding her serve. After missing her chance to clinch
                                  the match Williams � who has won the Australian Gold
                                  Coast and Paris Open indoor tournaments this year �
                                  lost concentration and the next three games as Henin
                                  won the set 7-5.



                                  Nathaniel Idowu/ NANF Cup enters s/final
                                  ADEWALE Sports Club will on Thursday take on Oppy
                                  Stars in the semi-final of the Chief Nathaniel
                                  Idowu/NANF U-15 Soccer Championship, Ibadan Zone.The
                                  match is billed for 2p.m., at the practice pitch of
                                  the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan. To qualify for the
                                  semi-final, Adewale walloped NIPCO FC 4-0, while Oppy
                                  Stars defeated Marvellous FC by a lone goal. In the
                                  second semi-final scheduled for 4p.m., Abiade Babes,
                                  which edged out Orelope FC 5-3 via penalties after a
                                  1-1 draw at regulation time, will entertain New Stars
                                  FC also at the same venue.

                                  New Stars had in the quarter-final thrashed Golden
                                  Boys FC 2-0 to qualify for the semi-final.
                                  ---------------------

                                  Acceleration of Economic Growth and Development
                                  Through Increased Agricultural Production:
                                  The Case of Nigeria
                                  By Prof. Bola Okuneye, University of Agriculture,
                                  Abeokuta
                                  The Nigerian economy has been struggling to improve
                                  since the time of Structural Adjustment Programme
                                  (SAP) was introduced. However, because of the great
                                  damage that had been done to the nation�s economy, due
                                  to lack of vigour and commitment to human
                                  development, it has been very difficult. Various
                                  policies were put in place, but today Nigeria is
                                  still battling to rescue itself from a battered
                                  economy, partly due to inadequate priorities that were
                                  given to the overall development of basic economic
                                  sectors such as agriculture, industry and commerce.

                                  Perhaps a major index of the status of the Nigerian
                                  economy is the level of poverty, which is currently
                                  put at about 65% of the nation�s population.
                                  Furthermore, the rate of growth of the Gross Domestic
                                  Product (GDP), decline persistently from 4.7% in 1991
                                  through 3.0% in 1992, 2.2 and 3.8% in the period 1995
                                  through 1999. Developments in Nigeria�s per capita
                                  income, indicate a worrisome declined from US$850 in
                                  1982 to US$370 in 1995 (Nemedia, 2001).

                                  Moreover, the rate of inflation in Nigeria has further
                                  worsened the pace of the country�s economic growth and
                                  development. This has dealt a great blow and further
                                  devastated the incidence of poverty in Nigeria. This
                                  rate of inflation rose from 13% in 1991 to a peak of
                                  72.8% in 1995 before declining to 29.3% in 1996 and
                                  later 8.5% in 1997. This also shows the rising
                                  exchange rates from N0.765 to a dollar in 1984,
                                  N2.021 in 1986 to N113.6 in 2001, under the CBN
                                  bidding arrangement.

                                  It should be emphasised that prices of imported goods
                                  rose steadily as the exchange rate worsened, further
                                  putting pressure on the Naira and the insatiable
                                  �desire� of Nigerians to purchase foreign goods.
                                  These are signs, of at least two things. One, that
                                  the non-oil sector has not been supportive enough in
                                  revamping the economy and two, that an over-handling
                                  is required in the Nigerian economy. Given the fact
                                  that the Nigerian economy is mainly agrarian, perhaps
                                  agriculture should be to the rescue. What then are
                                  the basic issues in Nigerian Agriculture today?

                                  AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION AND POVERTY IN NIGERIA

                                  In an agrarian economy, the land as a unit for
                                  agricultural production provides the needed fulcrum
                                  upon which a sustainable development should blossom.
                                  Agricultural production to date, remains the mainstay
                                  of the Nigerian economy. It is the main source of
                                  food for most of the population. It provides the
                                  means of livelihood for over 90 percent of the
                                  population, a major source of raw materials for the
                                  local agro-allied industries and a potent source of
                                  the much needed foreign exchange (World Bank, 1996;
                                  Okumadewa, 1997).

                                  The agricultural sector in periods immediately after
                                  independence, performed creditably the roles
                                  highlighted above, to such an extent that the regional
                                  development witnessed during these periods were linked
                                  directly to the sector. However, over the years, the
                                  sector had witnessed a tremendously decline in its
                                  contribution to national development. For an
                                  instance, the percentage of economically active
                                  population in agriculture nose-divided to 50-52
                                  percent in 1999 as against 85% and 75% in 1960 and
                                  1970 respectively. Development economists have in
                                  fact, attributed the present economics marasmic
                                  situation in Nigeria to the poor performance of the
                                  agricultural sector. The near eclipse of the sector
                                  in the era of oil boom (1972-1975), inconsistent and
                                  unfocussed government policies have been described as
                                  the fatal perturbations that rocked and almost
                                  capsized the boat of food security in Nigeria.

                                  Much of the scholarly debate on agricultural growth
                                  and poverty in Nigeria have followed the general trend
                                  of regressing measures of poverty against agricultural
                                  output per head and a time trend (World Bank, 1996;
                                  Okumadewa, 1997). This is based on the knowledge of
                                  agricultural production landscape in Nigeria. The
                                  small-scale farmers that inundate the production
                                  landscape, produce about 85 percent of the total
                                  production (Okeneye, 1995). These resource poor
                                  farmers are also characterized by a strong dependence
                                  on agricultural labour market, little or no forms of
                                  savings or storage facilities and cultural practices
                                  adopted are highly labour intensive. The
                                  socio-economic and production characteristics of the
                                  farmers, inconsistent and unfocussed government
                                  policies, the poor infrastructural base, all interact
                                  in a synergism to asphyziate the sector, resulting in
                                  low production, high prices of food items, inflation
                                  underdevelopment and concomitant poverty

                                  The place of agriculture in an agrarian society cannot
                                  be over-emphasized given its importance in the life of
                                  human beings. Agriculture is expected to ensure
                                  adequate supply of food to the people. Globally,
                                  there is enough food for all, but more than 780
                                  millions of people are chronically undernourished
                                  (FAO, 1992). Millions of people in developing world
                                  simply cannot obtain the food they need for a healthy
                                  and productive life.

                                  Similarly, agriculture is expected to produce a high
                                  level of agricultural raw materials for the
                                  industries, save the industry and the nation from high
                                  costs of importation, produce excess over and above
                                  the local demand for food and raw materials for
                                  export. The Naira cost of Nigeria�s food import has
                                  been increasing over the years. Agriculture should
                                  continually generate employment for the people and a
                                  high level of returns for the farmers.

                                  The Nigerian Agricultural System as elsewhere,
                                  consists of production, processing, storage,
                                  marketing, extension, research and training. While
                                  production is a resultant of the combined factors of
                                  land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship, its
                                  magnitude and efficiency from farm gate to the
                                  consumer depends on handling and preservation as well
                                  as the processes of making the products readily
                                  available and affordable to the consumers.
                                  Productivity, which is the efficiency with which the
                                  produce or commodity is obtained, is a function of the
                                  combination of research and the application of skill
                                  and is measured per unit of land, per unit of labour
                                  input or per unit of investment. Research addresses
                                  the issues of material, temporal and spatial
                                  constraints which are themselves function of skill
                                  acquisition and development through formal and
                                  informal training, generally called education. It is
                                  obvious from this multi-factorial essence of
                                  agricultural production, that it must be practiced
                                  with the deepest sense of national responsibility by
                                  way of sustainable policy environment, reliable policy
                                  instruments and professionally sound and stable
                                  institutional framework.

                                  The performance of agriculture in Nigeria has not been
                                  able to match the expectation ascribed to the sector
                                  in the development process. At independence,
                                  agriculture sustained the Nigerian economy and held
                                  the promise of a vibrant agrarian economy (Akande,
                                  1998). In fact, according to Adedipe (1999),
                                  agriculture contributed in the 1960/61, 67% of the
                                  Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In the 1999-2000,
                                  agriculture contributed 42 percent to the total GDP
                                  but almost 46% to the Non-oil sector�s contribution.
                                  The Civil War (1967-70) and the emergence of petroleum
                                  in the early 1970s scuttled the prodcution foundation
                                  of agriculture through lack of visionary planning for
                                  sustainable development. The sector is yet to regain
                                  its central role in the economy. The misfortune is
                                  that, based on the voluminous human, material and
                                  financial resources expended on agriculture to the
                                  last 40 years, the country ought to have done much
                                  better to address the fight against the mysteries of
                                  poverty, hunger, malnutrition and ill-health.

                                  MAJOR PROBLEM CONFRONTINGNIGERIANAGRICULTURE

                                  It should be noted that agriculture has been beset by
                                  long standing problems impeding its productivity and
                                  contribution on national aggregate output. These
                                  problems can be grouped into:

                                  (a) Infrastructural facilities:

                                  (i) Poor feeder roads and inadequate road network
                                  within and between the rural areas where
                                  agricultural production mainly takes place and the
                                  urban areas;

                                  (ii) Lack of appropriate on farm and off-farm
                                  storage facilities;

                                  (iii) The rural electrification programmes in
                                  Nigeria have not fully taken off as the government
                                  battles with supply of electricity in urban
                                  areas;

                                  (iv) Irrigation facilities are still very poor
                                  despite the existence of River Basin and Rural
                                  Development Authorities (RBRDA). For an instance, in
                                  Ogun State, only 15 hectares of land were irrigated
                                  between 1997 and 1999 by Ogun-Osun RBRDA; the current
                                  board of OORBDA has however, fine-tuned plans to
                                  irrigate more land. The total land irrigated in
                                  Nigeria was 229,270 being only 14% of the total arable
                                  land. (CBN), 2000).

                                  (v) There are few or no health care facilities in
                                  the rural areas;

                                  (vi) School, primary and secondary, are few in the
                                  rural areas and hence the migration of theyouths to
                                  the urban areas, among other reasons.

                                  (b) Manpower/skill Development

                                  (i) The extension service delivery system still
                                  suffers from inadequate number of extension men/women.
                                  The few ones that are in place lack mobility to
                                  improve on extension-farmer contact,particularly with
                                  the withdrawal of the World Bank support and the
                                  Federal Governmentcounterpart funding to the ADPs.

                                  (ii) The frequency of extension message discovery
                                  is limited by poor research situation in Universities
                                  and Research Institutes;

                                  (iii) Shortage of experienced professional and
                                  technical manpower;

                                  (iv) Able-bodied people are leaving farming/rural
                                  areas. This has negative effects on labour
                                  availability, productivity and production. Hence, the
                                  wage rates have increased.

                                  (c) Socio-cultural factors

                                  (i) The land tenure systems in the South limit
                                  land availability to would be farmers, women and the
                                  landless. Hence the predominance of small and
                                  uneconomic holdings in Nigerian agriculture

                                  (ii) Arising from religion, women�s roles are
                                  limited to few activities, hence low returns, and low
                                  family income.

                                  (d) Economics factors

                                  The main issues are as follows:

                                  (i) Prices of inputs: The prices of fertilizer,
                                  herbicides, pesticides have risen
                                  astronomically. These have limited their adoption and
                                  subsequent impact on yield and prodcution
                                  levels;

                                  (ii) Unavailability of inputs;

                                  (iii) Wage rates have increased in the rural areas
                                  over the years;

                                  (iv) Lack of credit to farmers and hence limited
                                  farm size commensurate to what they can
                                  afford. When credit is available, the interest is
                                  high, thus increasing farmers� cost of production;

                                  (v) Low participation by the organised private
                                  sector in agriculture;

                                  (vi) Lack of good linkages between the farm sector
                                  and the industrial sector to generate a
                                  demand pull situation, which will
                                  propel high prices for industrial raw materials.

                                  (e) Government/Regulatory Policies

                                  The unemployment situation in Nigeria as shown by the
                                  labour force sample survey conducted by the Federal
                                  Office of Statistics (FOS) in March 2000 indicated
                                  that the composite unemployment rate was 3.6 percent
                                  compared with 3.0 percent in 1999. However, urban
                                  situation worsened from 4.2% to 5.9% and might have
                                  risen to 7.1%. Unemployment by educational level
                                  showed that secondary school leavers topped the group
                                  of unemployment people. CBN (2000) cautioned that the
                                  rates may be far higher than presented above. These
                                  are veritable targets for employment in the
                                  agricultural sector if enabling environment can be
                                  created for more production, processing and marketing
                                  activities to take place.


                                  Shiganga becomes country manager for Lafarge

                                  TO better support its subsidiaries in Nigeria,
                                  Lafarge is incorporating Lafarge Nigeria Limited and
                                  opening an office in Abuja. Mr. James Shiganga has
                                  been appointed as Country Manager for Lafarge Nigeria
                                  Limited.

                                  Mr. Shiganga is from Kenya and has held various
                                  senior positions within Lafarge and is currently the
                                  Managing Director of Hima Cement Limited in Uganda.

                                  The goal of Lafarge Nigeria is to bring world class
                                  standards and best practices to its Nigerian
                                  subsidiaries: West African Portland Cement Plc
                                  (Wapco), Ashaka Cement Plc. (Ashaka), and Atlas Cement
                                  Company Ltd., and to increase efficiencies and
                                  synergies between the three companies. The Lafarge
                                  practice is to treat each country where it operates as
                                  a single business unit whilst respecting the
                                  individual legal identities of companies. This
                                  approach creates economies of scale and co-ordinates
                                  the efforts of the individual units towards common
                                  business goals while benefitting the individual
                                  companies.

                                  Larfarge has been involved in developing new
                                  initiatives in its Nigerian subsidiaries already, such
                                  as the recent implementation of JD Edwards Enterprise
                                  Resource Planning (ERP) software at Wapco, and the
                                  introduction of new communications services by
                                  satellite to Ashaka. Engineers and other professional
                                  staff at both sites are now connected to their peers
                                  worldwide through the Lafarge network. They also have
                                  access to state of the art Lafarge databases of
                                  technical information directly on their desktops.
                                  PRAGMATIC APPROACHES TO MAKING AGRICULTURE
                                  PERFORM
                                  ITS ASCRIBED ROLES
                                  Nigerian agriculture has a lot of potentials. What
                                  the country needs to do, is to direct its search ligh
                                  policies to agriculture. Consistent and supportable
                                  policies for commercial agriculture need to be put in
                                  place at all levels of governance; Federal, State and
                                  Local Government levels. The former Western Regional
                                  government did this in late 1950s and early 1960s and
                                  we excelled in all areas of economic growth and
                                  development, cocoa, rubber, palm produce and kolanut
                                  were the main cash crops. They fetched the region,
                                  i.e ODU�A a lot of foreign exchange and this was used
                                  to transform the regions in Nigeria. Let us go back
                                  to this, through plantation agriculture. Large areas
                                  can be cultivated to tree crops in each Local
                                  Government Area (LGA) or combination of LGAs depending
                                  on the comparative advantage in the production of
                                  specific crops. For instance, Ondo and Osun should
                                  intensify the production of Cocoa; Ogun, Ondo and
                                  Ekiti to produce of Palm produce more, Rubber,
                                  Kolanut, Cocoa etc, depending on the types of soil and
                                  vegetation.

                                  Let the NACCIMA set up a committee to work out this
                                  and map out areas of actions. Processing and storage
                                  facilities can then be set up to tap on these and open
                                  the door for exports. Through this, more youths will
                                  be employed and social ills will diminish. More
                                  agro-allied industries can be set up and they would be
                                  able to produce at high capacity. There should be
                                  Agricultural Land Development Schemes. These can be
                                  in two forms. The first is the revitalization of the
                                  existing NALDA projects so as to optimize their
                                  potentials. The Federal Government should show
                                  greater interest in NALDA and reorganize them. At the
                                  moment, not much progress is observed despite the huge
                                  sums already sunk into the programme. The second is
                                  that, Local Governments should have at least 100ha
                                  reserved for would-be or intending farmers to farm on,
                                  in each LGA. Only arable crops and livestock can be
                                  so produced. The ADP extension agents and the Local
                                  Government Department of Agriculture should perform
                                  the farm advisory roles for these farmers. By his,
                                  planning, monitoring and evaluation can be effected at
                                  minimal costs since the farms are in contagious areas.
                                  Depending on the experience of the first few years,
                                  modification can take place to improve
                                  (Message over 64 KB, truncated)
                                • Nubi Achebo
                                  Monday February 25, 2002 IBB, Atiku take battle to Adamawa Okey Muogbo, Abuja FORMER President Ibrahim Babangida and Vice President Atiku Abubakar appear set
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Feb 25, 2002
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                                    Monday February 25, 2002



                                    IBB, Atiku take battle to Adamawa
                                    Okey Muogbo, Abuja
                                    FORMER President Ibrahim Babangida and Vice President
                                    Atiku Abubakar appear set to clash over the
                                    governorship race in Adamawa State come 2003 as both
                                    men are backing separate candidates for the race.

                                    Adamawa is strategic to both powerful men being the
                                    Vice President�s home state.

                                    Investigations by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that
                                    while IBB is throwing his weight behind Senator
                                    Abubakar Girei, Atiku was said to be opposed to the
                                    Senator�s ambition.

                                    The political battle, we learnt, might be the first
                                    major test on which of the two men really controls
                                    politics of the North, especially if Babangida would
                                    run for the Presidency next year against the
                                    Obasanjo/Atiku ticket.

                                    Sources hinted that Senator Girei, after failing to
                                    win Atiku�s support, opted to look elsewhere for
                                    help and found one in Babangida.

                                    General Babangida, it was gathered, was acting on the
                                    assumption that Alhaji Atiku would back the incumbent
                                    Governor Boni Haruna for a second term.
                                    However, it is not certain yet if Governor
                                    Haruna enjoys that level of support from the Vice
                                    President as sources said that the religious equation
                                    in the predominantly Muslim Adamawa State does not
                                    favour the governor who is a Christian. He contested
                                    the last governorship election as running mate to
                                    Alhaji Atiku but moved up to be governor after Atiku
                                    became the Vice President.

                                    Another reason why the governor may not get Atiku�s
                                    support, the source said, was that the Vice President
                                    was embarrassed by the governor�s inability to win any
                                    of the National Media Tour awards with Atiku present
                                    at the award ceremony.

                                    The governor�s persistent bickering with the political
                                    elite in Adamawa is also a point working against him
                                    in getting the Vice President�s support for a second
                                    term. In any case, a source said both Babangida and
                                    Atiku are not likely to support the same candidate,
                                    setting the stage for a big political battle between
                                    the duo.

                                    The Vice-President, it was learnt, had been under
                                    intense pressure from powerful Muslim blocs in the
                                    state not to facilitate Haruna�s re-election next
                                    year. Senator Girei, a Muslim, might be capitalising
                                    on the support of the pro-Muslim governors and the
                                    support from IBB to challenge the awesome influence of
                                    Atiku in Adamawa State politics as represented in
                                    having a political minority as the governor of the
                                    state.


                                    ----------------------



                                    'Achievement is quicker and easier as military head
                                    of state�
                                    President Obasanjo in Talking Point BBC interactive
                                    phone-in-programme
                                    By Robin Lustig, BBC
                                    PRESIDENT Obasanjo made history in 1979, when he
                                    became the first African military leader to hand over
                                    power to civilian rule.

                                    In 1999, he returned to power as a civilian after
                                    spending three years in prison at the hand of military
                                    dictator, Sani Abacha.

                                    He is a firm advocate of a strong, unified Nigeria,
                                    and has made some progress in battling corruption and
                                    drawing global attention to the need for Third World
                                    debt relief.

                                    But Nigeria is still beset by war and poverty, despite
                                    burgeoning oil exports and healthy economic growth.

                                    Islamic Sharia law is in force in twelve Nigerian
                                    states, and at least 10,000 people have died in
                                    communal or religious violence across the country over
                                    the last three years.

                                    Below is the full text of the questions posted to
                                    President Obasanjo on the special web, radio and
                                    television edition of Talking Point with Robin Lustig
                                    as compere:

                                    My guest today is President Olusegun Obasanjo. He is
                                    one of the most powerful politicians in Africa. The
                                    man who leads the continent�s most populous nation. He
                                    was elected three years ago after 15 years of military
                                    rule and he was himself in the late 1970s the
                                    unelected military ruler of Nigeria. It was then that
                                    he gained an international reputation as the first
                                    military leader in Africa to hand over power
                                    voluntarily to an elected civilian administration. So
                                    how does he feel now as a democratically elected
                                    politician? How does he answer his critics who say
                                    too little has changed in Nigeria since the return to
                                    democracy and what does he think the role of the
                                    military should be in a country that�s still suffering
                                    from so much violence and corruption?

                                    We�ve had a huge number of e-mails and phone-calls
                                    from all over the world-in this programme President
                                    Obasanjo will be answering some of them?

                                    My President, thank you very much indeed for joining
                                    us on Talking Point. As I said, there are great many
                                    people who are hoping to have the chance to talk to
                                    you directly. Our first caller is Kolade Akinyele who
                                    is in London. He wants to ask you about that terrible
                                    arms dump explosion in Lagos last month which resulted
                                    in the deaths of more than 1,000 people.

                                    Kolade Akinyele:

                                    Good afternoon, Mr. President. Following the recent
                                    bomb blast in Lagos on 27th January, why has no one
                                    taken any political respondibility officially
                                    following the fact that over 1,000 people, mainly
                                    children, lost their lives at that incident and no one
                                    has taken any political responsibility for that event?


                                    This was cutting-edge, multi-media, interactive
                                    broadcasting, and President Obasanjo seemed to love
                                    every minute of it.

                                    I had been warned that he has the mind- set of a
                                    general - I took that to mean that he likes giving
                                    orders - and that he sometimes has a frighteningly
                                    short temper.

                                    Given that he had no idea what sort of questions he
                                    would be asked � although after the many recent horror
                                    stories to come out of Nigeria, he didn�t have to do
                                    too much guessing � there would be plenty of
                                    opportunities for fireworks.

                                    In the event, he kept his cool and was perfectly
                                    friendly as our callers threw their questions at him.

                                    Why has no one taken responsibility for the disastrous
                                    arms dump explosion in Lagos last month, which led to
                                    the deaths of 1,000 people as they stampeded in terror
                                    into a canal?

                                    How many generations will we have to wait until
                                    corruption has been rooted out? Why have you not been
                                    able to do anything about the violence which has
                                    killed 10,000 people since you were elected? Why
                                    should anyone vote for you again?

                                    Sometimes his answers were slow, tortuous and
                                    mind-boggling detailed. Others were short, pithy and
                                    very much to the point.

                                    Why do you tolerate Islamic Sharia law in the Muslim
                                    states of the North? Because under the constitution,
                                    Nigeria is a multi-religious nation in which states
                                    can draw up their own legal code.

                                    Do you, as a Christian, approve of punishment such as
                                    amputation for theft or stoning to death for adultery?
                                    Personally, for reasons of humanity, I don�t, but in a
                                    democracy, my personal opinion counts for no more than
                                    anyone else�s.

                                    And what about all the rumours � Nigerians love
                                    rumours � about how the military are plotting another
                                    coup?

                                    The governor of Lagos state says all Nigeria�s recent
                                    troubles are due to retired generals plotting to
                                    destabilise the country so that people will start
                                    demanding the return of military rule.

                                    Show me the evidence, snaps ex-General Obasanjo. I
                                    quote an interview in which the governor says he has
                                    seen intelligence report.

                                    So show me the reports, he replies. He is asked about
                                    the terrifying levels of violence, and his reply is
                                    all about recruiting more police and increasing their
                                    pay. Might the extension of Sharia law in the north of
                                    the country have contributed to an increase in
                                    communal tensions? Maybe, maybe not, he says, show me
                                    the evidence that it has.

                                    And so we go on for the full 60 minutes. He gives as
                                    good as he gets, and if he does not want to give a
                                    straight answer, he doesn�t.

                                    He may once have been a general; but now, he�s
                                    politician, through and through.

                                    And he is still not ready to say if he�ll be a
                                    candidate in next year�s.

                                    PROLOGUE
                                    THE first thing you see as you approach the
                                    presidential villa in Abuja are hundreds of bats,
                                    circling high in the sky above the trees just outside
                                    the presidential compound.

                                    Their screeching in sharp contrasts to the respectful
                                    silence, which pervades the opulent meeting room in
                                    which we have arranged to meet His Excellency,
                                    President Olusegun Obasanjo.

                                    Having negotiated three separate security checks, and
                                    having walk along endless corridors lined with
                                    apparently empty offices-this was after all
                                    Saturday-we find ourselves in a vast, wood-panelled
                                    room, furnished with huge black leather sofas,
                                    positioned around low, glass-topped tables.

                                    At one end of the room, there is a slightly raised
                                    plinth with two chairs on it. Behind one fo them are
                                    two giant flags, of Nigeria and the armed forces.

                                    That is the president�s chair. The other one,
                                    evidently, is mine. If there are any windows, we do
                                    not see them. The walks are draped top to bottom with
                                    dark curtains; there is no way of telling whether
                                    outside it is night or day.

                                    This is where our programme will be recorded.

                                    The technical arrangements are made, the lines to
                                    London are checked and re-checked-and exactly at the
                                    appointed time, the President appears.

                                    He is resplendent in flowing ivory robes and
                                    head-dress-business-like, yet friendly. He has just
                                    walked out of a meeting of the regional West African
                                    cooperation organisation ECOWAS, he tells me, and as
                                    soon as we are finished, he will be going back in.

                                    In other words, let�s get on with it.

                                    President Obasanjo is a fascinating man. A former
                                    general, he was Nigeria�s unelected military ruler for
                                    three years in the late 1970s, having taken over when
                                    the previous military dictator was assassinated in an
                                    unsuccessful coup attempt.

                                    He was by no means the worst of Nigeria�s many
                                    military dictators, and in 1979, he arranged a
                                    peaceful transition to an elected civilian government.


                                    Then, three years ago, after another 15 years of
                                    military rule, he became president again � this time a
                                    democratically-elected, civilian head of state,
                                    accountable to the people and answerable to
                                    parliament.

                                    And with little more than a year to go till the next
                                    elections, more and more people are asking: just what
                                    has President Obasanjo achieved?

                                    So here he was, submitting himself to an hour of
                                    questioning from BBC listeners around the world. His
                                    answers would be transmitted live on the internet, in
                                    audio and video on BBC News Online, and recorded for
                                    later transmission on BBC World Service radio and BBC
                                    Worldtelevision.
                                    Face to face
                                    Obasanjo, IBB meet in public
                                    SOJI-EZE FAGBEMI, who witnessed the launch of the
                                    Murtala Mohammed Memorial Foundation in Abuja reports,
                                    how General Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd) and President
                                    Segun Obasanjo met and spoke glowingly about each
                                    other.

                                    BEFORE the President walked in, he was already seated.
                                    In times past, he would have enjoyed that priviledge
                                    of walking in last, but today, the situation is no
                                    longer what it used to be.

                                    He probably did not nurse him any grudge anyway
                                    because OBJ, at least used to be his Commander in
                                    Chief. The two briskly exchanged greetings and one
                                    could visibly read uneasiness on the faces of both
                                    ex-soldiers, ex-Heads of state.

                                    Ibrahim Babangida or IBB as he is popularly known, and
                                    Chief Olusegun Obasanjo or Obj, as the press has
                                    christened him was meeting under public glare for the
                                    first time in a long while.

                                    The press had reported the reading public of the
                                    unspoken enmity between the two of them over the 2003
                                    elections.

                                    However, today was no talk about elections.

                                    The meeting place was the congress hall of the NICON
                                    HILTON HOTEL, Abuja and the event was the launching of
                                    the Muritala Mohammed Memorial foundation.

                                    The two great men spoke glowingly of one another: IBB
                                    compared the President with Murtala Muhammed saying
                                    that Obj has �similar qualities in skill, courage and
                                    professionalism�. According to him, Murtala was able
                                    to lay a solid foundation for discipline and
                                    professionalism in the military within six months of
                                    his government with the support of the them General
                                    Segun Obasanjo.

                                    Trust the President not to miss such once in a life
                                    time opportunity.

                                    Obasanjo used the occasion to spiritedly defend
                                    Murtala�s ascension to power while he strived hard to
                                    give a hard knock to other military regimes which came
                                    afterwards. You can imagine IBB�s demeanour under such
                                    attacks.

                                    The President recalled that when the regime came into
                                    power on July 29, 1975, �Many of us had become
                                    painfully aware that the record of the military
                                    leadership and the behaviour of some of those at the
                                    helm of affairs had so deteriorated that many soldiers
                                    were ashamed to be seen in military uniforms�.

                                    The President�s audience, who were awed by his aura
                                    and paraphenelia of office rather than what he was
                                    saying, became attentive when he started a comparison
                                    of Murtala�s regime with those of military regimes
                                    that came later.

                                    �I am sure Murtala would have turned in his grave to
                                    see how subsequent military incursion into Nigerian
                                    politics resulted in not only the abysmal corruption
                                    of his vision for Nigeria but also in the disdain
                                    Nigerians have for the military as an institutions.�

                                    Chief Obasanjo who said he agreed to be the Chairman
                                    of the foundation because of the hope he had for the
                                    MMF to promote the legacy of Murtala for the benefit
                                    of generations to come, expressed appreciation to all
                                    the members for accepting their roles, especially the
                                    Deputy Chairman, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.

                                    He said, �I particularly wish to express my
                                    appreciation to the Deputy Chairman, Gen. Ibrahim
                                    Babangida, who incidentally was a member of Murtala�s
                                    Supreme Military Council and therefore should be
                                    sufficiently acquinted with the vision, inspiration
                                    and selfless service that Murtala portrayed. Then, he
                                    was a comparatively young officer. Today, he still
                                    looks young!�

                                    Members of board of the MMF include President Olusegun
                                    Obasanjo, chairman, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Deputy
                                    Chairman while Theophilus Danjuma, Defence Minister
                                    and Mrs. Ajoke Muhammed, widow of the late head of
                                    state are the vice chairmen. Other members are Dr.
                                    Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Mr. Abba Mohammed, Mrs. Francesca
                                    Emmanuel and Dr. Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo. The Executive
                                    Secretary of the foundation is the daughter of the
                                    late head of state, Mrs. Aisha Oyebode.

                                    About N100 million naira was realised at the launch
                                    with the highest donation of N20m coming from the
                                    Chief Launcher, Chief Michael Adenuga, Jnr. All the
                                    state governors gave N36m, the National Assembly,
                                    (senators and honourables) N6 million, Alhaji Abdul
                                    Samat and his group of companies, N6m, all ministers
                                    N2.5m, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and companies, N1.5m
                                    Nigeria Labour Congress, N.5, Alhaji Aminu Wali,
                                    N250,000, former Vice President Admiral Augustus
                                    Aikhomu, N200,000 while the Speaker, House of
                                    Representatives gave N100,000.

                                    The President refused to announce the amount donated
                                    by the Federal Government to the fund and IBB also
                                    chose to follow suit.

                                    Present at the occasion were the Who is Who in
                                    government circles. The President and his vice, former
                                    President Ibrahim Babangida, Head, Interim National
                                    Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, Senate President,
                                    Senator Pius Anyim, speaker, House of Representatives,
                                    Alhaji Ghali Umar Na�Abba, Ministers of Defence, Gen.
                                    Theophilus Danjuma, Finance, Adamu Ciroma, Aviation,
                                    Kema Chikwe, Works and Housing, Chief Tony Anenih,
                                    Finance (state) Jubril Martins-Kuye, Special Duties,
                                    Yomi Edu, FCT, Eng. Muhammed Abba-Gana and the
                                    Governor, Central Bank, Chief Joseph Sanusi Governors
                                    of Ogun, Ekiti, Edo, Bauchi and Kogi states, secretary
                                    to the government of the Federation, Chief Ufot
                                    Ekaette, Head of Civil Service, Alhaji Ahmed Yayale
                                    and special Advisers to the government were also part
                                    of the August occasion.
                                    --------------------

                                    NATIONAL MEDIA TOURA: participant�s conclusion
                                    As the scores awarded to many states of the federation
                                    by the National Media Tour team continue to generate
                                    ill-feelings among many Nigerians, particularly states
                                    that were scored low, TAYO LEWIS, a participant
                                    during the tour, concludes that the project has
                                    prosed a challenge for the Nigerian press and
                                    democratic experience.

                                    THE National Media Tour has come and gone but the
                                    furore generated by the award ceremony is still having
                                    ripple events across the country.

                                    The fact of the tour itself went without much noise
                                    because while examinations are going on, it is usually
                                    silence, except for maybe occasional calls for �more
                                    papers, please.� The tour also witnessed them at some
                                    times in the course of the tour.

                                    As is usual with examinations, it is when the results
                                    are released that most students remember how much the
                                    lecturer had hated their faces before the
                                    examinations. Students find it easy to say �I got
                                    ......,� when they pass but it becomes, �he awarded me
                                    ...,� While winners are still feasting, losers are
                                    still fuming but today, we want to attempt an
                                    examination of why some states won while others lost.

                                    There are some basic facts that the critics of the
                                    media awards were unaware of.

                                    The journalists on the media tour were made up of
                                    practising journalists. There was no single cub
                                    reporter among them. When they go out to inspect
                                    projects, there are usually opportunities for
                                    intelligent journalists to cross check facts handed to
                                    them by the government official leading the team.

                                    The team spent three days in each state and while one
                                    will agree that those days were not sufficient to
                                    cover the whole state, it was certainly enough to do a
                                    spot check of the achievements of the local government
                                    or state government being visited. Even class
                                    examinations do not cover the whole syllabus, do
                                    they?

                                    Aside from the official documents printed by the
                                    states, local and even federal government agencies, we
                                    had the advantage of the correspondents of our
                                    various media outfits who were able to brief us on
                                    happenings in the state and this aided us in the
                                    questions we put to the officials while inspecting
                                    projects.

                                    For example in Sokoto State, we had reason to praise
                                    the governor for the marvelous work he was doing on
                                    the 100,000 cubic metres per day water project there
                                    but at a village where we visited, we were shocked
                                    when the Commissioner for Information told us how much
                                    they had spent on a borehole project.

                                    My colleagues who were in Lokoja recalled that
                                    Governor Audu told them that he cannot spend more than
                                    N150,000 on any borehole. When someone asked the
                                    commissioner (in Sokoto) why the project was that
                                    expensive, he flared up. This is to let Nigerians
                                    know that it was not just a gloss over inspection that
                                    was done.

                                    What most critics of the project are unaware of, or
                                    rather refuse to acknowledge is the fact that there
                                    has to be someone at No one while someone will bring
                                    up the rear when marks are awarded.

                                    Most journalists, and all media houses in the country
                                    had representatives at one time or the other, will
                                    tell you that the project was carried out with all
                                    sincerity. This is however not to say that politics
                                    was not introduced at all because democracy itself is
                                    about politics. That is the reality. For instance
                                    most of us felt Kogi should have come first while
                                    Enugu and Ebonyi battles for the second position.

                                    There are several reasons why most states did as badly
                                    as they did � some through no fault of the governors.

                                    Enugu State is an example and that governor is still
                                    an example. On his performance at the awards, he said
                                    his people are the ones to judge his performance. Most
                                    journalists who visited Enugu State were bowed over by
                                    the governor�s popularity with his people and his
                                    achievements. But in the South-East, someone had to
                                    win.

                                    Katsina State governor was marvellous. He is doing a
                                    fantastic job but like the quiet achiever that he is,
                                    he has refused to live a borrowed life by borrowing
                                    money to execute projects but the youths would thank
                                    him for his foresight in the future. He is investing
                                    and also actually paying contractors.

                                    The Katsina State governor made a comment, that the
                                    idea of the media tour is a good one in that it has
                                    awoken the governments at the three levels. Everybody
                                    wants to have something to show.

                                    Even his Zamfara and Kebbi State counterparts echoed
                                    this point. The Gusau landlord recalled that he
                                    personally had to go out and crosscheck projects to be
                                    visited by the journalists.

                                    The journalists were however not restricted to the
                                    projects listed for visitation and this was reflected
                                    in some of the reports for those who sincerely
                                    followed the media tour reports.

                                    The case of Kwara State has generated so much furore,
                                    but Gov. Mohammed Lawal�s not being declared winner
                                    is a pointer to the fact that he has a lot of work to
                                    do before 2003.

                                    His aides are his major headache. There seems to be so
                                    much sycophancy around him and his Sokoto State
                                    counterpart. When one saw the full advertisement by a
                                    group, Kwara Frontiers, listing his achievements,
                                    one was surprised.

                                    The team aside from the projects inspected in Ilorin
                                    township during which the governor was with us, was
                                    led from one Oba�s palace project to the other. The
                                    oba�s palaces, (coincidentally this did not make Kwara
                                    Frontier�s list) were similar but we wasted time going
                                    from one palace project in Offa to the one in Ajasse
                                    Ipo and then to Omuaran.
                                    The only tangible project we saw at the
                                    Polytechnic campus was a water project and the
                                    commissioner of works could not tell wether it was a
                                    motorised borehole or just a borehole. A female
                                    journalists who had attended the institution informed
                                    that the borehole had been there before this regime
                                    and independent investigations among the students
                                    informed that there was no water on campus.

                                    Even the representatives of the Minister was still
                                    querying the officials about this when a snake
                                    emerged, sending everybody scampering.

                                    It is only a man without a mind that will be invited
                                    to your houses as a consultant and will not be able to
                                    tell what is wrong with it. The journalists on the
                                    tour did their job and represented Nigerians well.

                                    Sources even hinted at sabotage in Kwara. The
                                    journalists come back tired having seen only palace
                                    projects. The officials seem to know nothing and all
                                    projects seem to be ongoing.No end in sight.

                                    Governor Lawal needs to borrow a leaf from his Niger
                                    State counterpart by breaking some of the shields
                                    around him so that he can know the truth. No man can
                                    be killed except God has ordained it so.

                                    Niger State came 12th because someone had to be in
                                    that position. He is indeed a good manager of men and
                                    resources. A bit restless but positively so. The story
                                    of Kebbi is also that his projects, having started
                                    from almost a nil position seem not to be so much
                                    but the governor definitely has vision.

                                    Whatever is said for or against the National Media
                                    Tour, it has opened up a lot of horizons for our
                                    present democratic experiment.

                                    It has also exposed the journalists and this is no
                                    mean achievement for our democratic dreams.

                                    All who have won should strive harder and those who
                                    did not do too well should go back to the drawing
                                    board rather than pouting like the Nigeria Union of
                                    Journalists president, Smart Adeyemi said in an
                                    interview, �this project is part of our own social
                                    responsibility to the Nigerian people. Perhaps more
                                    than any other group of professionals, the press spear
                                    headed this new democratic dispensation .... and we
                                    have a responsibility to monitor a process we laboured
                                    for to ensure that the fruits of this democratic
                                    dispensation is worth the suffering.�



                                    How marks were awarded
                                    CONTRARY to what most critics of the National Media
                                    tour awards think, the journalists on the tour do not
                                    get the assessment forms until the end of the tour of
                                    each state.

                                    The forms are printed by the Federal Ministry of
                                    Information on computer but the forms are coordinated
                                    by the leader of the team at each point in time. This
                                    is usually the National President of the Nigerian
                                    Union of Journalists (NUJ) Smart Adeyemi or any other
                                    journalist agreed on by the team.

                                    At a point in time, it was the Vice President of the
                                    union who was co-ordinating things and for a good part
                                    of the tour, the Lagos State NUJ Chairperson, Mrs.
                                    Funke Fadugba was co-ordinating.

                                    The form calls for an assessment of each state on 15
                                    items such as sports, water, rural roads, urban roads,
                                    employment creation, health, eduction and so on.

                                    Each journalist scores on each point over 100 and
                                    he/she signs the form, indicating the media house
                                    represented and passes this on to the co-ordinator in
                                    confidence.

                                    At this, stage, the journalists does not know what
                                    happens to the form except for the national officers.

                                    That is why some have expressed the opinion that
                                    political intrigues must have dictated that Kogi
                                    State APP, government come second whereas for some
                                    others it improved their chances. It has since been
                                    discovered that he came fourth and not second.

                                    There have been criticism that the states were not
                                    fairly assessed because of the disparity in revenues
                                    accrueable, level of development and terrain. Infact,
                                    the size of the country introduced some limitations to
                                    the journalists among those themselves.

                                    No serious media house will release a useful staff to
                                    go the whole hog of the tour and that was exactly what
                                    happened. Except for five journalists among those who
                                    started the tour with the initial team at Benin and
                                    ended with the last leg in Lagos, not many actually
                                    went round the whole states.

                                    Even the Minister and the NUJ President delegated
                                    their officers to stand in for them at one point in
                                    time or the other. However, this did not remove from
                                    the credibility of the programme as it is only those
                                    journalists that visited a particular state that gets
                                    forms to assess such state.

                                    One should however note that despite the poor revenue
                                    accruing to any state, or its peculiar terrains, what
                                    the journalists measured was each state�s response to
                                    the needs of her people under this democracy.

                                    For example it made sense to see Sokoto and Zamfara
                                    states attacking the evil Almajiri system with
                                    education but for Oyo to be pumping equal amount of
                                    money to such a programme would not make sense wether
                                    anyone acknowledges it or not, the educational
                                    legacies of Chief Obafemi Awolowo is foundation
                                    already. All the governors needed to do, was build on
                                    it.

                                    An example was Osun State where the journalists could
                                    not even find accommodation in the best of the hotels
                                    there and government is doing nothing about
                                    hospitality. To the contrary, in Ekiti, there is also
                                    no good hotel but the governor is already working on
                                    the Fountain Hotel and we saw it.

                                    The tour is one good idea that must survive but the
                                    idea of ranking needs to be reconsidered.
                                    --------------------

                                    This is a cover up �Keyamo
                                    Keyamo�s response at the parade in Abuja
                                    I need to protect my per-sonal integrity and this is
                                    why I will beg that even if it is more than 15 minutes
                                    we should not restrict any question because...... this
                                    is a grand design to cover up. Those who condemned me
                                    for taking those steps, being careful and said I took
                                    much time before I handed him over, those people will
                                    now know that I am fully justified.

                                    Why am I justified? Because with this scenario now
                                    Nigerians are there as witnesses that is why I am
                                    happy because they know the fact of the case as stated
                                    originally untainted by the prime suspect whom the
                                    police still confer.

                                    I sympathise with Fryo, I warned him before he gave
                                    himself up, before I handed him over that you are
                                    doing all this because of the enormous burden I know
                                    you carry on your shoulders, the enormous pressure you
                                    carry on your shoulders. I warned him and so I am
                                    happy that this is now happening today and so I
                                    sympathise with Fryo. I went to court to file paper,
                                    I did not take a kobo from him. One kobo I did not
                                    demand, now you can see why they are holding us here.
                                    Let us talk about something serious. May be there is
                                    link between us and the major event of Bola Ige and
                                    all that, like these journalists one linked one person
                                    to this person, they brought someone to me and they
                                    are keeping them for four, five days. We are in a
                                    democracy, they are supposed not to keep them for more
                                    than 24 hours. That is the first illegality by the
                                    police. The first illegality by the police is keeping
                                    these journalists, these poor gentlemen that were
                                    trying to help, for more tan 24 hours. The worst
                                    offence you can accuse them of as simple is at least
                                    for committing felony, and they should not be detained
                                    for more than 24 hours and in a democracy like this
                                    you are holding them for this long, I am conditioned
                                    to take such weather, they can keep me, but they
                                    should not lock them up. So, stop this illegality,
                                    keeping these gentlemen here for more than 24 hours,
                                    they should not be here. They have only introduced
                                    somebody and in the process they have done nothing
                                    wrong, because all they did was the process of handing
                                    him over to the police.

                                    In fact he confirmed too that they told him never to
                                    run away. So what is the offence, is it that they are
                                    using one testimony against three testimonies is it
                                    not funny? Is it that they are using one evidence
                                    against three evidences as to what he said and what he
                                    did not say. What is going on gentlemen? What is
                                    going on? And they are holding me, keeping away my
                                    practice, keeping me away because they want the heat
                                    to go down keeping me away when they know we shouldn�t
                                    be in detention for more than 24 hours. The worst you
                                    can accuse me of is perjury, that is the worst, and I
                                    will bring the recording, I will bring the handwritten
                                    statement. I will bring everything in court. All
                                    that is why in my statement to them, I said I prefer
                                    to talk in court because I know this is an open
                                    investigation. And the purpose of my making this
                                    thing originally raising so much dust is that I wanted
                                    this thing not to stop.
                                    You can see that if it is not because of what
                                    I did, this matter would have died, it is what is
                                    keeping it alive, and I am happy about it let me be in
                                    detention, let them keep on arresting me, I will keep
                                    talking, I will keep insisting. With what has
                                    happened now, I don�t know about it, I know about it,
                                    we have comeback to square A. About who killed Bola
                                    Ige? That is what we are all looking for, but they
                                    muddle up the whole investigation. These are all side
                                    shows, they are off the road, it does not lead to who
                                    killed Bola Ige. All these are side shows, they are
                                    not the main investigation.

                                    Who killed Bola Ige? We are back to Square A, we are
                                    making no head way about it, we are not briefing the
                                    nation. I expect the police to have come up today to
                                    say these are the details we have found out in Fryo�s
                                    statement, gentlemen, these are the crux of the
                                    matter, it is not about calling me and Fryo to be
                                    exchanging words, it is for the police to come and
                                    tell us today that these facts stated by Fryo, we have
                                    confirmed this, they have denied this, this one we
                                    find it not to be true.

                                    What is happening? The police are not talking, they
                                    are tongue in cheeks and they are telling us nonsense,
                                    fooling the world, they should tell us the authority
                                    should not bring undue influence to be on this case.
                                    Is it that they put pressure over Omisore that he too
                                    is going to foot the bill? That is exactly what I
                                    want the police to tell the world? What are the
                                    details of their investigations? Why did they declare
                                    him the prime suspect? What evidence did they have
                                    before they declared him the prime suspect? What have
                                    they collated as at then when they declared him and do
                                    they still consider him as a prime suspect now?

                                    They should tell the world, what and what did they
                                    find out? At the end of the day I am justified. In
                                    the whole of my action now. People said I am in Eye
                                    confraternity that is why I know Fryo, people said I
                                    went to Ooni�s palace to bring him, at the end of the
                                    day, my hands are clean, I am justified at the end of
                                    the day. I was at the normal course of my practice in
                                    my office when the case came to me, thank God all the
                                    actors are here, now, I was in my office. Whether it
                                    was Jesus or whether it was Muhammed or whether it was
                                    Orunmila that introduced Fryo to me what was all this
                                    ..... about? It has confirmed my position earlier
                                    that I did not go to Ooni�s palace, I said there was
                                    no link at all.

                                    He said he gave first statement, I did not gave it to
                                    him, now ask, what is that first statement Fryo gave
                                    me? Will he be a stupid lawyer, that your client
                                    claimed he was not involved in a case, and instead of
                                    him pursuing that angel, you tell your client to
                                    rather implicate himself in a conspiracy, isn�t it
                                    stupid? Come to think of it isn�t it stupid. Like I
                                    said, I still owe him a duty.
                                    --------------------

                                    Beware of strange objects �Police warn Lagos residents
                                    �Soldiers in confusion
                                    Sunday Olajide, Lagos
                                    RESIDENTS of Lagos have been warned to avoid picking
                                    up strange objects around Ikeja where a military
                                    ammunition dump went up in flames on Sunday, resulting
                                    in a series of explosions.

                                    In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
                                    in Lagos on Monday, the state Commissioner of Police,
                                    Mr. Mike Okiro, explained that the warning had become
                                    necessary because there were some unexploded bombs
                                    scattered in the area.

                                    �Anyone who sees a strange object should avoid having
                                    any contact with it. He should immediately alert the
                                    police or military authorities who have bomb disposal
                                    experts,� Okiro pleaded.

                                    A NAN correspondent monitoring goings-on at the
                                    military cantonment since the explosions began at
                                    about 5.00p.m. on Sunday, reported that some hitherto
                                    unexploded bombs were still going off intermittently
                                    as at noon on Monday.

                                    The correspondent also reported that strange objects
                                    that were obviously bombs and explosive devices of
                                    various sizes, littered the cantonment and its
                                    environs.

                                    Meanwhile, vagrants, popularly called area boys
                                    who cashed in on the confusion to loot where caught
                                    and given beatings of their lives by soldiers at the
                                    cantonment.

                                    Meanwhile, following the 2.00 p.m. deadline given to
                                    soldiers at the Ikeja Cantonment to move their
                                    families away from the scene of explosions, many of
                                    the soldiers are now stranded in Lagos. Some of the
                                    displaced soldiers were seen with their family members
                                    sitting at the entrance of the main gate leading to
                                    the Ikeja Cantonment when the Nigerian Tribune visited
                                    the area on Monday.

                                    Also seen with the displaced soldiers were the wives
                                    and children of the soldiers, some of who were
                                    carrying their babies with one hand and luggage on the
                                    other hand. When the Nigerian Tribune spoke with some
                                    of the displaced soldiers, they complained that they