All posts by Ogechi Ekeanyanwu

Afri-Dev condemns abduction of Chibok school girls

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Afri-Dev links Boko-Haram to the socio-historical abuse of female rights.

The Africa Health, Human and Social Development, Afri-Dev, on Wednesday condemned the abduction of over 250 girls in Chibok, and eight more in Gwoza, both in Borno State.

It also condemned the threat by the Boko Haram to sell the girls and called for their immediate release.

In a statement, the Afri-Dev Coordinator and Editor of Afri-Dev.Info, Rotimi Sankore, said the abductions and threats to sell the girls as slaves is “a fallout of misguided long term tolerance of successive Federal and State Governments for forced ‘marriage’ of underage girls”.

This, he said, leads to the increasing gender based violence especially against girls that brave the odds to seek an education.

Mr. Sankore also blamed the past and present governments of the North East and North West states for failing to invest in education and endangering the minority literates who he says have to face “a wide and growing social base of antagonism against schools in general, and girl education in particular”.

He said with only a little over 30 per cent of both boys and girls in schools, the three states under emergency rule have become a fertile ground to harbour extremism which stems from an ignorant mind. This, Mr. Sakore, said, is the reason “groups like Boko Haram have a wider social base in North East and North West states from which to recruit people to set schools ablaze, murder male students, and abduct girl students with impunity threatening to sell them into sexual slavery and servitude”.

“The data and statistics demonstrate that successive generations of political elite, and especially Governors and political representatives of North East and North West states have failed to develop their communities. It is now universally clear that poor governance, and failure to invest in human and social development has serious consequences not just for immediate communities, but also wider society. The resulting almost failed states and disaffection has been harnessed by militant extremist groups to attack human development, and destabilise the country,” Mr. Sankore said.

Mr. Sankore said Boko Haram, having existed in socio-cultural settings that promote under-age forced marriages and female servitude, does not think it is doing anything “wildly out of the ordinary”.

Citing an example of the documented 1987 murder of 12-year-old Hauwa Abubakar who was brutally killed because she attempted to resist forced marriage and sexual assault by a 40-year-old Shehu Kiruwa in Bauchi State, Mr. Sankore said Boko Haram’s philosophy can be traced to a history of female rights abuse.

“Must almost 300 girls suffer the same collective fate as Hauwa before the Presidency, and National Assembly declare zero tolerance on forced ‘marriage’ of underage girls and close all legislative and so called cultural and religious loopholes? We should never have forgotten Hauwa, but it seems we have, and in 2014 we are brutally reminded of the historic failure to act.

“In 1987 there was no You Tube. Now the mass abduction girls is accompanied with impunity of global video terrorism threatening to sell them into slavery, and the world is waking up to a more violent and more publicised manifestation of a long standing trend,” Mr. Sankore said in his statement.

He said with 25 per cent of over 33 countries in Africa engaging in forced marriages, especially in countries bordering Nigeria including Niger, Chad and Cameroon, the continent and Nigeria’s future is at stake.

He said a way to stability is “a combination of constitutionally guaranteed protection of girls from forced and underage ‘marriage’, strict law enforcement, and improved overall investment in education, human and social development.”

“It is imperative that all African parliaments hold public hearings on the status, rights and development of girls and youth as recommended by two successive sessions of the Pan African Parliament. A Heads of State Summit on the theme of Girl’s and Women’s Development is long overdue,” he said.

WEF on Africa

Mr. Sankore warned Nigerian and African decision makers as a whole, to not be deluded with the World Economic Forum on Africa coming to Nigeria.

He said “narrowly based economic growth indicators which have no real impact on human and social development cannot ensure long term stability and sustainable economic development”.

“It is globally acknowledged that poor governance, and a combination of certain sets of poor socio-economic indicators facilitate failed states, fertile ground for barbarism, violence against women, and variants of extremist groups to emerge and destabilise wider society.

These conditions are mirrored to different extents across several African countries”.

Mr. Sankore warned of the impeding peril if nothing is done to abate terrorism.

“By 2025 in about 10 years – Nigeria’s population will rise to about 239 million – and by 2050 in about 36 years is estimated to rocket to about 440 million. Africa’s overall population is expected to double from current 1 billion to 2 billion the highest global population growth rate. At current rates of low education and high youth unemployment – with runaway fertility rates and no improved investment in population based development policies – much more serious instability could emerge and degenerate into wider ethnic and religious based conflict across Nigeria and Africa.”

Chibok Schoolgirls: Nigeria deploys ‘two special battalions’ for search – Okupe

Women protest Chibok

Mr. Okupe said fighter jets scanned for the girls.

In what can be described as the first major information on the efforts put in place to rescue the over 200 girls abducted from their secondary school in Borno State, a presidential aide, Doyin Okupe, said “two special battalions were devoted to searching for the girls”.

Mr. Okupe in a grilling interview by CNN’s Isha Sesay also said over “250 aerial sortees with helicopters and fighter jets” scanned the forests to find the girls. He said the attempts have not yielded any results.

This information comes amid heavy criticisms of the handling of the abduction of over 200 girls from the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, on April 14.

There has also been international and local rage on the abduction of the girls and the lack of information on the efforts to find and rescue them.

The US, CNN also reports, has offered to help Nigeria rescue the girls.

John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State, and Mr. Jonathan had a conversation with the later accepting the help offered.

Another presidential aide, Reuben Abati, had earlier confirmed that the U.S. would be sending a special team to help in the rescue as part of the agreement reached during Mr. Kerry’s phone conversation with President Jonathan.

#BringBackOurGirls Abuja rally continues

Bring Back our girls protest

“Rallies and/or marches will be held daily at Unity Fountain Abuja at 3 p.m. each day”.

Nigerian women, including some from Chibok in Borno State, continued on Thursday with the protest they started on April 30 to demand that the Federal Government do more to regain freedom for the 230 girls abducted from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.

On Wednesday, amid the heavy rainfall, the women in tears and obviously in anguish promised to continue the protest as long as the girls remain with their kidnappers believed to members of the dreadful Boko Haram sect.

While workers in Nigeria staged various activities for the May 1 Workers’ Day, and citizens in Lagos and Kaduna protested against the kidnap of the girls and bad governance in Nigeria, the women and some men stayed at the Unity Fountain.

The Chibok women at the rally refuted the Nigerian Government’s claim that concrete attempts were being to rescue the girl. They said community members continue to provide security officials with leads that are not followed through. They also vowed to continue to gather at the fountain every day at 3 p.m. till the girls are found.

Below is a report by Jibrin Ibrahim, a leading member of Nigeria’s civil society movement and one of the protesters at the rally.

Abuja #BringBackOurGirls Rally of 1st May 2014

News report by Jibrin Ibrahim

Following yesterday’s successful march on the National Assembly by women, accompanied by some men, to demand Government accelerates action, finds and releases the girls immediately; another rally took place on May 1 to sustain the tempo of the demands. Following the irresponsible statement by the PDP Woman Leader that there is no evidence that the girls were taken away, the head of the Chibok community in Abuja put rally leaders in touch with the school teachers in Chibok who expressed dismay that the ruling party would express such cruelty towards their plight. Rally drew attention to the fact that the girls were taken from a government secondary school and the state government has indicated that they have full details of the girls abducted. Rally however advised that the names and photographs of the girls should not be released to the public as the girls are in captivity and such action can further jeopardise their situation.

The Chibok community leaders in Abuja also informed the rally that they know that no efforts are actually being made on the grounds after two week to locate and release the girls. The community has been providing leads to the security agencies but there is no follow-up.

In his solidarity message to the women, former speaker, Ghali Umar NaAbba, said that Government has a core responsibility to find these girls and we must continue to pressurise them to do so. In the same vein, Ireti Kingibe informed the rally that Government does to respond to talk, only action. She advised Nigerians to adopt the types of tactics deployed in the struggle against the third term agenda, saying when Government sees the real anger of the people, they will sit up.

Fatima Gana, a medical doctor from Borno, expressed delight at the emerging unity of all Nigerians around the issue of #BringBackOurGirls. She added that in reality, over a thousand girls have been abducted in small numbers but the Chibok girls are the largest group so far. She concluded that to save the society, we must stop these abductions and insurrection.

Hadiza Bako, also from Borno, informed the #BringBackOurGirls Rally that there is no thick forest in and sambisa is not a thick rain forest. She said the insurgents can be and should be found and the girls released.

The #BringBackOurGirls Rally then decided as follows:

1) Rally representatives will meet with the National Security Adviser on May 2, 2014 to express their demands for immediate and effective action to release the girls.

2) Rallies and/or marches will be held daily at Unity Fountain Abuja at 3 p.m. each day. The next rally is 3 p.m. on May 2.

3) Rally agreed that we should set up a trust fund to provide material support and trauma counselling to the victims and their families.

4) Rally calls on Christian and Muslim religious leaders in Abuja to demonstrate their concern for the girls by joining the movement.

5) Rally called on the Nigerian Labour Congress to come and join the movement and demonstrate with action their concerns.

6) Rally participants committed to mobilising more participants for
tomorrow. COME ONE, COME ALL.

Nigeria Governors attack Jonathan over Sanusi’s suspension, demand accountability on missing $20 billion

Presiding Officer, Asishana Okauru, announcing the result of the controversial NGF election

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, on Tuesday lambasted President Goodluck Jonathan for suspending Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido, weeks after he blew the whistle on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, for allegedly diverting not less than $20billion of the country’s oil revenues.

The apparently angry governors said at the end of their meeting in Abuja, which ended in the early hours of Tuesday, that the president’s action was meant to divert attention from the ongoing national discourse on the missing millions.

They faulted Mr. Jonathan for the action, saying he lacked the power to unilaterally send the CBN governor on suspension.

The President had insisted during a televised media chat on Monday that he had oversight powers over the CBN and therefore had absolute power to suspend Mr. Sanusi.

But the governors disagreed, saying the President’s action was a clear breach of the CBN Act 2007, which demands the president to consult the Nigerian senate before activating any process that might lead to the removal of the bank’s governor.

“The suspension of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, by Mr. President is in clear breach of the Nigerian Constitution and the CBN Act, 2007,” the governors said in a communique read to journalists by their chairman, Rotimi Amaechi.

“The suspension is aimed at diverting attention from the current national discourse on the missing $20billion from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Account, allegations of corruption and questionable accountability.”

The governors demanded accountability on the missing billions, and backed “the call of the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the Senate Committee on Finance for a forensic audit of the NNPC Account”.

The governors also condemned the Federal Government for failing to convene the meeting of  the National Economic Council, NEC, in the last seven months, an action they believe was hindering the constitutional opportunity to discuss the state of the nation’s economy.

They appealed to the judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court, to accelerate hearing on constitutional cases such as those on the Excess Crude Account and illegal deduction of oil subsidy.

The Forum also deliberated on the deadly insurgency in the North-East geopolitical zone and urged the Federal Government to be more responsive to its responsibility of protecting lives and tackle the spate of terrorism attacks in Borno State.

“We expect that the Federal Government should wake up to its responsibility of protecting lives and property in the country, especially in the North-East,” they said.

The Forum, however, commended the Federal Government’s efforts at curbing Boko Haram insurgents in the North and urged the government to up their strategies.

While condemning the current spate of killings in the North- East, it applauded the effort of the Nigerian military and other security agencies, which were tackling the insurgents.

The governors also accused the Federal Government of illegally plotting to impeach Governor Tanko Al- Makura of Nasarawa, describing the action as a renewed assault on constitutional democracy.

The NGF is an umbrella association of the 36 elected state governors of the federation, irrespective of party affiliation.

Tuesday’s meeting was attended by governors of Rivers, Nasarawa, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kano, Lagos and Imo, while Osun, Borno and Edo were represented by their deputies.

A former Governor of Kwara, Bukola Saraki, now a senator, also made a brief appearance at the meeting. Mr. Saraki was Mr. Amaechi’s immediate predecessor as chairman of the Forum.

Read full communique below.

ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 3RD MEETING OF THE NIGERIA GOVERNORS’ FORUM HELD ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24  2014, AT THE RIVERS STATE GOVERNOR’S LODGE, ASOKORO, ABUJA

We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting today, at the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge, Abuja deliberated on a number of issues and resolved as follows:

1.     The suspension of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, by Mr. President is in clear breach of the Nigerian Constitution and the CBN Act, 2007. The suspension is aimed at diverting attention from the current national discourse on the missing $20billion from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Account, allegations of corruption and questionable accountability. We support the call of the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the Senate Committee on Finance for a forensic audit of the NNPC Account.

2.     Forum reiterates its concern about the deliberate refusal of the presidency to convene the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting for seven months. This has emasculated the constitutional opportunity to discuss the perilous state of the Nigerian economy thus plunging the nation into an economic and political crisis. In addition, members appeal to the Judiciary particularly the Supreme Court to accelerate the hearing on the constitutional cases especially the case of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) and illegal deductions on oil subsidy.

3.     Members condemn in totality the current spate of killings in the North East. We commend the Nigerian military and other security agencies in their effort to quell this. However, we expect that the federal government should wake up to its responsibility of protecting lives and property in the country especially in the North East.

4.     It has come to our notice that the presidency is plotting to illegally impeach the Governor of  Nasarawa State, Mr. Umaru Tanko Al-Makura. We condemn this renewed assault on constitutional democracy.

Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi

Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum

February 24th, 2014

 

 

EXCLUSIVE: Okonjo-Iweala opens up, says Nigeria economy in danger

Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

On Monday, June 10, at the third round of the 2013 ministerial platform in Abuja, Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, spoke glowingly about the Nigerian economy, saying the fundamentals were strong and that the economy was buoyant beyond danger.

But a few hours later, on Tuesday, when all the doors were closed, the minister sang a different tune. She told her colleagues in government point blank that the Nigerian economy is shaky despite the official fundamentals and that drastic steps are needed to save it from collapse.

Mrs Okonjo-Iweala spoke at the 50th meeting of the 15-member Federal Government Economic Implementation Team held behind closed-doors at the presidential villa.

The implementation team is headed by the minister, and meets every week. It was established by President Goodluck Jonathan to oversee the effective implementation of decisions of the Economic Management Team chaired by the president.

Other members of the committee are the Ministers of Petroleum Resources, Power, Agriculture, Trade & Investment, Works and Health as well as the Ministers of State for Finance and Health, the Chief Economic Adviser to the President, the Special Adviser to the President (Monitoring & Evaluation), the Director-General of the Budget Office, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprise and a Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

At Tuesday’s meeting, a presidency source said, the minister painted a gloomy picture of the economy and hinted that there was an urgent need for “stringent budgetary measures” to arrest the downward slide.

Although the meeting was convened to review the government’s plan to create 3.5 million jobs in the agriculture sector and consider the report of a subcommittee on the automotive industry, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala could not hold back on the disturbing prospect of the economy.

The minister explained that crude oil production now hovers around a disturbing 1.3 million barrels per day,  a figure far lower than that seen during the height of the protracted militancy in the Niger Delta.

The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC,  had on April 18 reported a drop in crude oil production in the first quarter of 2013, January to March, which cost Nigeria a loss of crude oil revenue to the tune of $1.23 billion (N190 billion). That loss is now set to continue and the country might not be able to meet its obligation to its customers.

Mrs Okonjo-Iweala also informed the meeting that crude oil theft had continued unabated and was at its highest level ever despite the best effort by government to stem the tide.

Nigeria is estimated to lose about $6 billion annually to crude theft and the development, the minister lamented, is now severely hurting the economy.

The administration has paid several billions of naira to former Niger Delta militants to guard oil installations and block oil theft. But if anything, the situation has worsened.

At the meeting, the minister also predicted a further dip in national revenue following the increase in shale gas production around the world, a situation she said would definitely have serious adverse effect on oil prices and sales.

Shale gas, according to Wikipedia, is natural gas found trapped within shale formations and has become an increasingly important source of natural gas in the United States and the rest of the world.

Shale gas now provides over  20 percent of U.S. natural gas need and that figure is set to rise to 46 percent by 2035, according to the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration.

Mrs Okonjo-Iweala hinted that as more and more countries depend on shale gas, the demand for Nigeria’s oil and gas would drop, with a corresponding dramatic drop in revenue.

The minister also lamented that the situation with the economy was not helped by the lack of accountability at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, saying the corporation had refused to render returns for its share of crude oil for local refining.

She thereafter informed her colleagues that beginning with the 2014 budget, there would be stringent budgetary measures and a lot of belt tightening within the government, our sources say.

She did not provide details of what the drastic measures would be, said one of our sources.

Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala has never been this frank in the open about the economy and its gloomy prospects.

She has said on several occasions that the economy was buoyant and strong, with its outlook remaining great, despite the current global economic uncertainty.

On Monday, she spoke along that line, asking Nigerians to ignore critics who have continued to insist that despite government claims, the economy was not in good shape.

Nigeria: Battling Malaria Without Drugs or Knowledge

mosquito-5

The statistics are shocking. Over 300,000 Nigerians die from malaria each year – more than in any other country. An estimated 250,000 are children younger than five.

When the disease strikes, most Nigerians visit patent medicine vendors (PMVs) like Bisi (not her real name) for relief.

“You will take chloroquine; four today, four tomorrow and two afterwards”, says Bisi to a customer, prescribing treatment for a bout of malaria.

Bisi operates a small pharmacy in a poor area of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. Many of her patrons buy medicine for their children’s malaria, which causes twenty per cent of all deaths of children under five in the country.

According to her neighbours, and by her own account, Bisi is a “trained nurse”. She administers drugs to the residents of Lugbe, a slum of about 50, 000 people among a metropolitan population thought to number well over three million.

“You will take the chloroquine with Panadol”, a popular brand of analgesic in Nigeria), Bisi tells her client.

The only test Bisi conducts is to ask, “How are you feeling, are you feeling cold, headache?” As soon as she gets an answer in the affirmative, she administers chloroquine and piriton, an anti-allergy drug.

Chloroquine was once the most effective treatment for malaria. As early as 2005, however, Nigerian health officials advised against using the drug, because the malaria parasite had become resistant to it.

But Bisi is oblivious to that problem. She administers chloroquine in the confidence that her client will be cured of her ailment.

The baby killer

The death of a child is a sensitive issue to discuss, especially with immediate relatives of the deceased. As reporting for this article unfolded over three weeks, two child deaths from malaria were encountered in one neighborhood. Although traumatised parents refused to speak about it, a relative agreed to talk.

“My uncle’s daughter was poorly treated for malaria,” the source, who wants to remain anonymous, told PREMIUM TIMES. “She was complaining, they gave her medicine, and then she died. It was the only girl. It is too sad.” The child was about four years old.

“My neighbour’s child”-  a boy between five and six – “went to the pharmacy,” the source continued. “But they gave him adult dosage.”  He, too, died.

The 2010 Malaria Indicator Survey showed that only 11 per cent of Nigerian children treated for malaria were given ACTs. Most took chloroquine.

Ineffective but popular

Dr. Oladimeji Oladepo, a medical school professor at the University of Ibaden, is working with PMV associations in a program aimed at providing more effective treatments. The Institute of Development Studies has been a partner in the research.

Oladepo’s unit in the Department of Health Promotion and Education, found that people buy chloroquine, “because it is almost 15-fold cheaper than the ACT” – the ‘artemisinin combined therapy’ drug cocktail that is effective against most malaria cases.

“In fact, 70 per cent of people who have fevers, symptomatic of malaria, will visit the patent medicine vendor first, and they would want to buy chloroquine, the cheapest drug, to treat their malaria,” he said.

A walk into a pharmacy – perhaps better to call it a shop where drugs are sold – reflects chloroquine’s continuing dominance.

In the Agboju area of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial center and largest city, medicine vendors stock chloroquine because it remains the drug that is most in demand, especially among the older generation.

“We sell it because people still buy it, especially the old school people,” one of the vendors said.

Emmanuel Otolorin, the Country Director of JHPIEGO, a non-profit affiliate of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, spoke with PREMIUM TIMES on the efficacy of chloroquine.

“The malaria parasite became so clever that it started looking for survival,” Otolorin said. The spread of chloroquine resistance, first in Latin America and Asia and then across Africa, prompted the development of ACTs. A looming challenge is that resistance to these latest drugs has already been found in four south-east Asian countries.

Know your enemy – and how to fight it

In addition to treatment with ACTs, the World Health Organisation(WHO)  recommends a four-point strategy to combat malaria, Otolorin said. The first is education.

“Everyone should know how malaria is transmitted” – by mosquitoes – and “how it breeds in stagnant water,” Otolorin said. Armed with that information, communities can reduce the places the insects can breed.

A second element of the strategy is sleeping under an insecticide-treated bed net. When a mosquito touches it,” Otolorin said, ” it dies”. But even when bed nets are available, they aren’t always used.

Nneka Okechukwu knows that sleeping under a net can help protect her. The problem is that the net’s small holes, designed to restrict penetration by mosquitoes, also reduce air flow. “The weather is hot,” she says, “and there is never light to use the air conditioner or fans at night, so it uncomfortable to use these nets.”

Nigeria has an erratic supply of electricity, insufficient to power even the homes of the minority of Nigerians who can afford it. South Africa, by comparison, a country of 50 million people, has 10 times the electrical production capacity of Nigeria, with a population of 180 million.

“You either die of heat or of malaria,” Okechukwu says. “Because malaria is not immediate, I usually consider the heat, so I sleep without the net.”

Nnenna Ibeh, a journalist, tolerates the nets because she knows they work. “I would sleep under the mosquito nets and when I wake up, I would see dead insects surrounding the nets” she said. “This way I feel safe.”

Early detection and treatment with effective medicines is the third step in malaria control. A rapid diagnostic test (RTD) to confirm or rule out a malaria infection – is an important step. Limiting treatment to people who have an acute infection is a precaution against the spread of ACT-resistant malaria.

The fourth recommended approach is giving malaria-prevention drugs to all pregnant women at least twice in their pregnancies – after the first trimester and at 16 weeks – a practice called intermittent preventive therapy. WHO’s 2012 World Malaria Report, released in December, says 10,000 thousand women and 200,000 babies die annually from malaria in expectant mothers.

“Pregnancy lowers their immunity; it lowers their ability to fight malaria parasites,” Otolorin explains. “The baby will get less oxygen and food during pregnancy; as a result, the baby becomes malnourished inside the womb.”

Malaria in pregnant women should be treated at any gestational stage, he says, because it is so deadly.

A flawed policy

Despite the human and economic costs of malaria, most Nigerians remain uninformed about both prevention and treatment. Oladepo says there is a need to translate the government’s policy on malaria into the three major Nigerian languages, so that people can understand it.

An attempt to speak about government policy to the national coordinator of the Nigerian Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), a division of the Public Health department of the Federal Ministry of Health, is stalled by bureaucracy. “Madam is busy; come back later,” a reporter is told.

“Madam cannot talk to you just like that. You will have to fill a form; then she will respond to you later,” the coordinator’s secretary said, in response to a request for an appointment.

However, a staff of the NMCP, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because his superiors had not authorised him to speak, acknowledged that there has been no major reduction in malaria deaths. But he insisted that the health ministry is fully involved in campaigns at the grass root level.

“Definitely information gets to the rural areas,: he said. “There is a cascade effect from the top to the bottom. ..The national programme coordinates everything about malaria. We also have state offices that coordinate down to the local government level.

“Right now as we speak, insecticidal nets are being distributed in the states. This evolves down to the lowest wards in the state,” the source said.

“There are some gains that have been made. It may not have been exactly drastic as everybody would have been expecting. But we are on the right path,” he continued.

Asked about the continued popularity of chloroquine, the NMCP source defended health officials. . “It is not something we have full control of,” he said. “There are no government hospitals where you see chloroquine”.

But a policy that focuses mainly on hospitals seems flawed, in a country where most people buy medicines from venders in the private market. The PMVs serve rural people and those who have little money – and about 60 per cent of Nigerian live below the poverty line.

Venders like Bisi are offered little support to provide effective drugs and no official instruction to help her help her customers. On a recent day, she was sternly warning a pregnant women not to take malaria drugs”.

“You cannot take malaria medicine for now,” she said, offering, instead a mild painkiller and a nutritional supplement.

“Take it all this morning”, she advised.

This article was produced by Premium Times for AllAfrica, in partnership with the Institute of Development Studies.

Banned by Nigerian Government, fuelling poverty competes for best documentary at 2013 AMAA

Fuelling Poverty

The film was banned by the Nigerian government on April 8.

The documentary Fuelling Poverty, described as a national threat by the Nigerian government, has received industry acclaim following its nomination for the 2013 African Movie Academy Award, AMAA, in Malawi.

On March 15, barely 25 days to the ban announced by the Nigeria Film and Video Censor Board, NFVCB, fuelling poverty, a documentary made by Ishaya Bako, was announced, amidst pomp, one of the best made documentary for the year 2013.

AMAA, a highly competitive and arguably the most important African film event and awards, nominated Mr. Bako’s documentary in accordance with its core values of professionalism, excellence, integrity and passion.

The NFVCB however consider “highly provocative and likely to incite or encourage public disorder and undermine national security” as it banned the airing and distribution of the film.

The NFVCB, in a letter dated April 8, warned Mr. Bako to desist from distributing the film, a move described by critics as anti- democratic and a descent into the Gestapo style of clamping down on the media adopted during military regimes.

In a twist of event, though, the film which was already on YouTube, a video sharing website, garnered more viewing than would have been possible had the ban not been announced.

After the announcement and the subsequent exclusive publication of the ban by PREMIUM TIMES, activists on social media urged all Nigerians to go to the video sharing site to watch the documentary.

The call received massive compliance as the film rose from a low popularity level of about five thousand views to 46, 397 views, a development analysts and media rights activists have said might have been impossible if the NFVCB had let the film be.

The Federal Government “made a serious mistake,” Tive Denedo, the Campaign Director of the Media Rights Agenda said, “More people will now want to see the film.”

Social media activists say this is just the beginning of good times for the film as they intend for the video to grow even more popular.

Clearly the government has no power over what is viewed on social media. What is not so clear at the moment is if the NFVCB ban will affect the documentary’s performance at the awards ceremony which holds on Saturday, April 20, in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

Nominated for the best documentary category at the AMAA awards, Fuelling Poverty, might have another hurdle to scale, perhaps two – will it win the best documentary award; will it even be allowed continued participation at the AMAA?

Organizers of the awards could not be reached for comments Friday. But Mr. Bako is optimistic. “As it stands the film is still nominated,” he told PREMIUM TIMES.

Fuelling Poverty documentary goes viral after Nigeria ban

Fuelling Poverty

Fuelling Poverty, a documentary made by Ishaya Bako, documents the fuel subsidy scam scheme.

Banned for being “highly provocative”, Fuelling Poverty, a documentary inspired by the huge scam around the subsidization of petrol in Nigeria, has garnered more attention than might have been possible where the ban not announced.

PREMIUM TIMES had exclusively reported on Saturday how the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board, NFVCB, wrote a letter to the filmmaker, Ishaya Bako, saying the contents of the documentary “are highly provocative and likely to incite or encourage public disorder and undermine national security.”

The Board warned Mr. Bako to abide by the order as he would now be treated as though he were a threat to national security.

“All relevant national security agencies are on the alert. A copy of this letter has been sent to the Director General, Department of State Services and the Inspector General of Police for their information,” the Board said to Mr. Bako instilling fear in the filmmaker whose aim for the film was for people to reflect on the process of change.

The documentary had witnessed a seemingly unimpressive amount of views since it was first released for public consumption in December.

Some social media analysts say while the film came with a strong message of change and advocacy against corruption and greed in Nigeria, there was no commensurate strategy for airing and distribution.

The documentary had not been shown on any Nigerian television station; and on the internet, only about 2,000 people had viewed it.

Ban spirals views

But the ban by Nigeria’s film censors board propelled the video to go viral after activists on social media, in protest against the ban, began sharing the video online.

Angry at what has been perceived as the clamp down on media freedom in Nigeria, particularly the unruly detention of journalists by Nigeria’s security agents even without charges being pressed against them, the activists on social media platforms as twitter and facebook, urged Nigerians to view the documentary.

The response to the call has been enormous.

In 48 hours, the film went from having about 2,000 viewers to having 37, 364 viewers.

The film producer had no inkling that this would have been possible, he said to PREMIUM TIMES. Mr. Bako said that for four months the film had been without motivating airplay, explaining that the ban certainly popularized it.

“On the one hand, I think it is a good thing … I am only happy that more and more people will see the film,” Mr. Bako said.

Mr. Bako also disagreed that there is any inciting material in the film. “ I didn’t think the film should have been banned, there is nothing in the documentary that is news. I am still disappointed that the film was censored

“I want to show the film to Nigerians, it would have been nice to show the film on air,” he said.

The ban on the documentary and other assault on journalists, at federal and state government level, have been described by critics as an abuse of Nigerians rights to freedom of information; and a stealthy descent into tyranny.

Civil Society condemn ban

Civil Society Groups have risen in strong condemnation of the recent attacks on Nigeria’s media.

Tive Denedo, the Campaign Director of the Media Rights Agenda, said the ban on the documentary is a “violation of the right to the freedom of right to information.”

“The federal government are become reactionary… it is a road to proscription of news houses.

“The federal government should rescind the ban immediately before the people take to the streets which the government will not like,” he said.

Mr. Denedo also pointed out that the ban made the film more popular.

“They also made a serious mistake, Mr. Denedo said, “more people will now want to see the film”.

The Executive Director of the Enough Is Enough, a coalition of young Nigerians promoting good governance and one of the foremost groups protesting the ban on the documentary, said having seen the documentary, she is baffled that it will be described as a material that will provoke public rage.

Ms. Adamolekun said the clamp down on the documentary is a reflection of the war on the media, including the social media by the presidency.

She said the ban did more good than harm to the documentary.

“72 hours later, the documentary has gotten twice as many views than it had, this is pretty significant,” she said.

Ms. Adamolekun especially lamented that over a year after the corruption in the fuel subsidy scheme was exposed, “not one person has been convicted”.

“It speaks volume to government on tackling the issue,” she said.

Increasing arbitrariness

The ban on the documentary may also show a gradual descent into arbitrariness by the federal government.

In August 2012, Benedict Uwalaka, a photojournalist with Leadership Newspapers, was beaten to a state of coma by attendants of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.

Another journalist working with BusinessDay Newspapers, Kehinde Akintola, was beaten in Abuja, by officials of the Department of Federal Capital Territory Road Transport Service, DRTS.

In December 2012, the Akwa Ibom correspondent of ‘The Nation Newspaper’ was pummeled by the SSS in Akwa Ibom amidst other tortuous experiences journalists have had in the state.

At the federal government level, it has been tales of woes. On December 24, 2012, the State Security Service, SSS, in military style, stormed the homes of two journalists who write for Al-Mizan, a Kaduna-based Hausa language newspaper, and arrested them. They were detained for days without trial.

On April 8, four journalists of Abuja-based Leadership newspaper were detained by the police for refusing to name the source for a story accusing the president of plotting to botch a proposed merger of four opposition parties in Nigeria.

On February 22, the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, suspended the operating license of Wazobia FM over allegations that their programme triggered the killing of nine female healthcare workers shot to death in the restive northern metropolis.

On March 3, the NBC suspended the broadcast of a popular programme, Dimokradiyya a you, on Radio Gotel, Yola, a private station owned by a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.

EXCLUSIVE: FG bans film on Nigerian poverty, places producer under security watch

President Goodluck Jonathan

The Nigerian government has banned the airing and distribution of the documentary, Fuelling Poverty, a 30-minute film which documents the massive poverty in Nigeria and advocates against corruption and greed in the country.

The documentary, released late in 2012, was produced by young filmmaker, Ishaya Bako, in partnership with the Open Society for West Africa [OSIWA].

After the project was completed last year, Mr. Bako sent it in to the National Film and Video Censors Board, NFVCB, a national agency which vets,  classifies, and approves films and videos meant for distribution and exhibition in Nigeria.

But in an April 8 letter to Mr. Bako, exclusively obtained by PREMIUM TIMES Friday, the agency prohibited the distribution and exhibition of the documentary in Nigeria, saying its contents “are highly provocative and likely to incite or encourage public disorder and undermine national security.”

The letter, signed by the NFVCB’s Head of Legal Services, Effiong Inwang, warned the filmmaker against violating the order, saying “all relevant national security agencies are on the alert. A copy of this letter has been sent to the Director General, Department of State Services and the Inspector General of Police for their information.”

The banning of the documentary, seen by critics as further evidence of Nigeria’s creeping descent into dictatorship,  came on the same day that four journalists of Abuja-based Leadership newspaper were detained by the police for refusing to name their source for a story which alleged the presidency was plotting to sabotage the merger of the leading opposition parties in the country.

A review of Fuelling Poverty

Fuelling Poverty, which addresses the serious issue of corruption in governance, compresses the reality of Nigerians into a 30- minutes film that immediately evokes a lot of passion-mostly anger.

The documentary goes into life, sucks from it and forms art out of it. In this sense, there is a connection between art and community in a way that art operates, socially responsible to the society it belongs.

The producers of Fuelling Poverty say the essential aim of the documentary is to re-enact the “process of change driven by Nigerians.”

In the mind of the filmmaker, Bako, if Nigerians are properly educated, they can hold government responsible and accountable to its actions. So, in his 30 minutes production, he tries to document the reality of contemporary Nigerian abyss and chaos, but laces the the work with a pungent advocacy against corruption and greed.

Inspired by the huge scam around the fuel subsidy exposed last year, Fuelling Poverty was originally designed to be a film “advocating for the full implementation of the report of the fuel subsidy probe,” however, its final realization included intrigues by Nigerian leaders who mange the oil resource and the uncanny manner in which the report of a probe into the fuel subsidy scam was turned into a charade. The film ultimately evolved into one moving, though painful, narrative against corruption and materialism in Nigeria.

The film, Mr. Bako says, was “not just talking about scam but the culture and greed in Nigeria”. He said it was a timely and interesting journey, because the film covers “real issues, on everyday life.”

The documentary is announced with an attention grabbing sound track, by Femi Kuti. He was one of the prominent figures of the occupy movement with ordinary Nigerian instantaneously drawn to him because of the popularity of his songs and his savour for criticising Nigeria’s government, something Femi Kuti learned from his father, Fela, whom Nigerians still revere.

The documentary starts with the strong presence of Nobel Laureate,  Wole Soyinka, and his commandeering voice which immediately seizes a viewer into listening. He characterizes the subsidy scheme “a seven billion scam perpetrated at the federal government level. …[as]  essentially a scam scheme.” He goes on to relate it to the prevailing corruption in Nigeria’s ruling class.

The film then transits to actual footages of the occupy era. It was dominated by actual events of the occupy Nigeria movement, printed material of newspaper reports , recreations with animations, interviews with renowned Nigerians, and interviews of ordinary Nigerians impacted by the subsidy removal from fuel in January and the rising cost of fuel occasioned by the corruption in governance.

The filmmaker uses a lot of panoramic shots especially in presenting the occupy protests. This is particularly brilliant as it tells of the high number of Nigerians who were aggrieved at the exorbitant price of the fuel and the attendant poverty. Then, there are footages that recall the real violence government perpetrated on Nigerians during the protest with the aid of its armed personnel.

The fraud perpetrated by independent importers of fuel and Nigeria’s statutory oil agencies, was brought to lime light in the documentary. It captures footages of some of the sittings of investigations into the subsidy scam. At this point, what the viewer sees are various government officials brandishing contradictory figures, exposing the ongoing sleaze and sloppiness with which the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency handle the resource which Nigeria’s economy is heavily dependent on. There is also an insight into how independent marketers get subsidy payments for products that were never imported.

Mr. Bako, with his documentary, tried to articulate the sentiments, emotions and the frustrations of Nigerians. His method of selecting footages from reality and editing it to form a coherent, informative art is ingenious. He gives the viewer a peek into the lives of ordinary Nigerians who are affected by corruption in the oil industry. Several times, the viewer hears the voices of Nigerians in their own language, without sophistication narrating the pangs of the corruption.

In those voices, there is a lot of anguish, tales of not being able to afford a living, tales of frustrations abound, but most worrisome are the tales of resignation. One of the documentary’s participants, a commercial bus driver who is on an extremely long fuel queue that is characteristic of fuel stations across Nigeria, is heard saying “we can’t fight the government… they are bigger than us”.

In that scene, beside the revelation that the untold hardship and the corruption in Nigeria has created; there is a remarkable connection between the inability of government to address the corruption in the oil sector and the extremely long queues witnessed at filling station 11 months after the fuel subsidy scam was highlighted. Yet, 11 months after, no government official has been convicted.

The film wraps up with another Femi Kuti’s song, ‘bo bo’, a slang for lie. The song speaks about the lies of Nigerian leaders.

This immediately transports the viewer to January, when Nigerians staged the occupy Nigeria and shut down the economy of Nigeria. The sound track served as one of the major thematic songs, energising people at the various occupy centres especially in Lagos. At that time, a lot of Nigerians felt power in their hands, power to tackle corruption in governance.

It did not last for long.

Just one week after the protest, the strike was called off by the Nigerian Labour Congress, one of the key participants in the protest. Nigerians were left disillusioned. But the filmmaker says the film is a call to action, a reminder that citizens can hold their officials accountable.

President Goodluck Jonathan and Press Freedom

Press freedom in Nigeria has increasingly come under threat since President Jonathan was elected in 2011.

On December 24, the State Security Service, SSS, in a military-era jack-boot tactics, stormed the homes of two journalists who write for Al-Mizan, a Kaduna-based Hausa language newspaper, and arrested them.

They were arrested over a story which detailed how the Joint Task Force in Yobe State was allegedly engaging in extra-judicial arrests and murder of innocent citizens.

The two journalists were released on January 1 without charge  only for one of them to be rearrested on February 14. He was released on  February 22 and no charges were pressed against him.

On February 12, two radio journalists of Wazobia FM and a cleric were arrested and charged to court over allegations that their programme triggered the killing of nine female healthcare workers shot to death in the restive northern metropolis.

The Kano state police claimed the radio reporters incited the killings when they discussed fears about the vaccination campaign.

On February 22, the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, suspended the operating license of Wazobia FM over the same matter.

The NBC continued with its muzzling agenda on March 3 when it suspended the broadcast  of a popular programme, Dimokradiyya a you, on Radio Gotel, Yola. The station is owned by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is especially critical of President Jonathan.

The commission also suspended another programme, Taba Kidi Taba Karatu, on Adamawa Broadcasting Corporation, Yola, on the same day.

Nigerian Presidency resorts to Gestapo tactics as police detain four Leadership editors

President Goodluck Jonathan

In what critics are describing as a creeping descent into dictatorship, the Nigeria Police on Monday detained four journalists of Abuja-based Leadership newspaper for refusing to name their source for a story which alleged the presidency was plotting to sabotage the merger of the leading opposition parties in the country.

The story, entitled “Outrage Trails Presidential directive on Tinubu, APC”, was based on an alleged document suggesting that President Goodluck Jonathan had given orders to his aides and appointees to harass leading opposition politicians and frustrate the ongoing merger arrangement by the Action Congress of Nigeria, the All Nigeria Peoples Party, the Congress for Progressive Change and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance.

On April 3, presidential spokesperson, Doyin Okupe,  dismissed the document, saying it was an amateurish forgery but the government did not charge the paper or the writer of the story to court.

Police spokesperson, Frank Mba, could not be reached Monday night to explain why the police suddenly descended on the newspaper and its reporters after the presidency had denied the publication.

But Leadership said Monday the four reporters were being held because they wouldn’t divulge the source of the document.

The paper said the four journalists – Chinyere Fred-Adebulugbe, Chuks Ohuegbe, Tony Amokeodo and Chibuzor Ukaibe –  were summoned to the police headquarters in Abuja and then detained for failing to say who leaked the controversial document to the publication.

Chucks Ohuegbe
Chucks Ohuegbe… Being detained

The paper called on the police to release the reporters without delay.

“We demand the unconditional and immediate release of our journalists,” Azubike Ishiekwene, managing director of Leadership Group, said in a statement Monday.

“President Jonathan and his handlers need to tell Nigerians and the civilized world why they have suddenly moved from describing the document as “fiction,” to a do-or-die obsession with knowing the source; they need to tell Nigerians most of who now live in mortal fear of their personal safety and security, if clamping down on the press has now become a priority sport.

“We stand by our story and will neither be cowed nor intimidated by the strong-arm tactics of President Jonathan nor by the puerile attempts by his spokesmen – Doyin Okupe and Dr. Reuben Abati – to tarnish our report.”

The Nigerian Guild of Editors has also demanded the release of the  journalists.

Femi Adesina, the Guild’s president,  condemned the arrest, saying “no government that lays claim to democratic credentials can afford to be at loggerheads with the Press”.

Also, a group, Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has asked the police and Federal Government to go to court if it has any case against the Leadership Newspaper rather than resorting to crude tactics of self help by harassing the organization and its staff.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, on Monday, urged President Jonathan to direct the hierarchy of the police to stop harassing the reporters and other allied workers of the newspapers, but instead go to court if they have evidence that the said report was false and malicious.

It said that rather than harassing the media organization and its staff, the police should concentrate their energy on restoring peace and security in the country as well as focus  attention on how to regain the respect of Nigerians.

“HURIWA ask the nation’s police to stop playing ‘political pranks’ and concentrate their energy towards restoring peace and security across the country at a time of serious attacks on civilian targets by armed terrorists in the North,” the group said.

The group noted that it was wrongheaded for the government to resort to the use of armed police operatives to intimidate and psychologically harass journalists any time the government feels that an unfavourable story has enjoyed wide media sympathy.

It reminded the government that section 22 of the 1999 Constitution (amended) “obliges the Nigerian media to hold the government officials to account to the people of Nigeria who are the owners of the sovereignty of Nigeria.”

Chinyere Fred Adegbulugbe
Chinyere Fred Adegbulugbe…. Being detained

Press freedom in Nigeria has increasingly come under threat since President Jonathan was elected in 2011.

On December 24, the State Security Service, SSS, in a military-era jack-boot tactics, stormed the homes of two journalists who write for Al-Mizan, a Kaduna-based Hausa language newspaper, and arrested them.

They were arrested over a story which detailed how the Joint Task Force in Yobe State was allegedly engaging in extra-judicial arrests and murder of innocent citizens.

The two journalists were released on January 1 without charge  only for one of them to be rearrested on February 14. He was released on  February 22 and no charges were pressed against him.

On February 12, two radio journalists of Wazobia FM and a cleric were arrested and charged to court over allegations that their programme triggered the killing of nine female healthcare workers shot to death in the restive northern metropolis.

The Kano state police claimed the radio reporters incited the killings when they discussed fears about the vaccination campaign.

On February 22, the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, suspended the operating license of Wazobia FM over the same matter.

The NBC continued with its muzzling agenda on March 3 when it suspended the broadcast  of a popular programme, Dimokradiyya a you, on Radio Gotel, Yola. The station is owned by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is especially critical of President Jonathan.

The commission also suspended another programme, Taba Kidi Taba Karatu, on Adamawa Broadcasting Corporation, Yola, on the same day.

Ekiti announces 7-day mourning period for late deputy governor

Sporty Funmi Olayinka. She will play football no more

Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has made a moving statewide broadcast to the people of the state, announcing a seven-day mourning period for his departed deputy, Olufunmilayo Olayinka, who died Saturday after a prolonged battle with cancer.

“In reflection of the mood of our state in this trying moment, a period of seven-day mourning shall commence from this moment during which all flags in the state will fly at half mast,” Mr. Fayemi said. “During this period also, all state official ceremonies will be suspended.”

Mr. Fayemi described Mrs Olayinka as “a hardworking, God fearing, reliable and trustworthy companion. She served our people meritoriously in various capacities, overseeing key units of government including the Ekiti State Economic Management Team; Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Ekiti State Tenders Board; the State Pilgrims Welfare Board; the Branding and Communications Strategy e.t.c.”

The governor added that the late deputy governor served the state well and delivered excellently on the responsibilities she was given.

“Among her several achievements in office, she would be particularly  remembered for overseeing the birthing of a new brand identity for the state; restoring the dignity and honour of our people and bequeathing brand identity icons that have become unifying forces among our people regardless of age, gender, or socio-political leanings,” Mr. Fayemi said.

“Her unique legacy is that active participation and high achievement in politics and governance should not exclude women; this is particularly instructive in our society today as we pursue inclusion in every sector of national life.

“She was a virtuous family woman and devout Christian who served God practically and diligently, touching many lives in compassion and humility. Even as we mourn the dearly departed, we are consoled by the fact that she has gone to rest with the Lord and thus she is free from the burdens and worries of this earthly realm.”

Read full broadcast below.

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TEXT OF STATE BROADCAST ON THE PASSAGE OF DEPUTY GOVERNOR, EKITI STATE, MRS FUNMI OLAYINKA

 

SUNDAY, APRIL 7, 2013

My dear good people of Ekiti State,

With grief in my heart, I address you today on the passage of our Deputy Governor, Mrs Funmilayo Adunni Olayinka. In the evening of yesterday, April 6, 2013, the death of Mrs Olayinka occurred after a long but spirited battle with cancer. This was duly communicated to the public immediately her death was confirmed in a statement from the Government of Ekiti State.

This is indeed a trying period in the life of our dear state. We have been aware of the health challenges of our Deputy Governor which culminated in the government issuing a statement a month ago when she commenced a sick leave during which we requested that you remember her in your prayers. In the course of her ailment, she battled gallantly and availed herself of the best medical services within and outside Nigeria.

In all of these challenges, I was of the belief that because of her courage and determination to live, she would pull through her health challenges. But man proposes and God disposes. She lost the battle.

Fellow citizens of Ekiti State, I am pained by the exit of our Deputy Governor who was my ready partner in our collective quest to develop our dear state.  As my dependable ally in the struggle to free Ekiti, she was a consistent bulwark of support, especially through the period of the judicial struggle to reclaim our mandate. I was never in doubt of her unalloyed loyalty, competence and integrity. I shall miss her greatly. In the course of our struggle, she also became my wife’s best friend.

As my Deputy, she was a hardworking, God fearing, reliable and trustworthy companion. She served our people meritoriously in various capacities, overseeing key units of government including the Ekiti State Economic Management Team; Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Ekiti State Tenders Board; the State Pilgrims Welfare Board; the Branding and Communications Strategy e.t.c. Among her several achievements in office, she would be particularly  remembered for overseeing the birthing of a new brand identity for the state; restoring the dignity and honour of our people and bequeathing brand identity icons that have become unifying forces among our people regardless of age, gender, or socio-political leanings. Her unique legacy is that active participation and high achievement in politics and governance should not exclude women; this is particularly instructive in our society today as we pursue inclusion in every sector of national life.

She was a virtuous family woman and devout Christian who served God practically and diligently, touching many lives in compassion and humility. Even as we mourn the dearly departed, we are consoled by the fact that she has gone to rest with the Lord and thus she is free from the burdens and worries of this earthly realm.

In reflection of the mood of our state in this trying moment, a period of seven-day mourning shall commence from this moment during which all flags in the state will fly at half mast. During this period also, all state official ceremonies will be suspended.

Condolence registers have been opened in the Governor’s and Deputy Governor’s offices, Government House, the State House of Assembly, her residence and the Liaison offices in Lagos and Abuja.

The State shall liaise with her family in preparation for a full state burial. I also use this opportunity to request that you remember the family she has left behind in your prayers.

Olufunmilayo Adunni Olayinka, Akoni Obinrin, Moremi Ekiti, Sun re o.

I wish all of us the courage and the fortitude to bear the loss.

Thank You and God bless.

Dr. Kayode Fayemi,

Governor,

Ekiti State, Nigeria

07/04/13