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Aruma Oteh’s encounter with lawmaking has left us with no clues Many Nigerians, with their love of drama and- in popular parlance- swagger, were very pleased with the way erstwhile Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) boss Aruma Oteh handled the probe of her office by committees of the national assembly. She was irreverent, she was sassy and she was determined to give the male dominated council as good as she got.

In the end, the governor of her state, waded in, though he appeared more like some political opportunist who was boasting about the caliber of women their mutual state could produce than some tacky fellow whose ethnic instincts were more predominant than the common good, or the simple truth.

*Ms Arumah Oteh

Corruption  is like the proverbial palm oil, which has the tendency to stain even innocent bystanders. Yet, it has remained a controversy whether Oteh is indeed innocent, as it were, or just simply a typical bragado mistress who will escape justice or die trying.

Unfortunately, the processes of filtration in our country are, at the very least, most unscientific. And since there are no hard and fast rules, it becomes easy for those who are unfortunate enough to be accused of corruption while in public office to counter-accuse their accusers of victimization, particularly if it is a woman. From the days of Tafa Balogun and governor Fayose, this has been the case.

At the end of the day, the palm oil did stain, and badly enough for Oteh to be so unceremoniously thrown out of office. Suspension is merely the beginning- or even middle- of the end.

There are those who still believe her enemies had their way in the end, while others  are of the opinion that she had what was coming to her, considering her luxurious lifestyle while in office. There is only one thing that has become exceedingly clear from the Oteh case: anyone who takes office with the Nigerian government is in danger of being rubbished, regardless of their past, or even their future.

GIABA Partners with WAWA

The Intergovernmental Action Group Against Money Laundering Crusade in West Africa, an affiliate of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) , last week made good its promise to work with the West African Women Association (WAWA).

In a small conference in the ECOWAS regional office in Onikan, Lagos, the GIABA Director General  Dr. Abdullahi Shehu  made a presentation to the WAWA membership of  office materials including  desks, water dispensers, personal computers, air conditioners and others.

Tagging the ceremony as a landmark of things to come, Dr. Shehu  during the brief ceremony extolled the virtues of women, referring to them as being hardworking, loving and pillars of the society.  In addition, he referred to women as the most influential members of families, and will, as such, be invaluable in the commission’s missions of fighting against child trafficking, porous borders and money laundering  in border communities.

To the audience of GIABA representatives  from diverse countries including Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cape Verde; as well as WAWA members, he spoke in glowing tones about the leadership  of WAWA. Full of high praise for the Focal Person whom he referred to as a “mother to all”, he fondly recalled meeting with the chairman of the WAWA board, Mrs. Toyin Olakunri several years ago under the auspices of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). “She was a woman of integrity”, he remembers.

Welcoming guests at the occasion, Focal Person for WAWA in Nigeria Mrs. Beatrice Ubeku expressed deep thanks to the GIABA leadership on behalf of the Nigerian chapter of the organization. She also gave her solemn promise to work with GIABA, particularly in their common areas of interest chiefly child trafficking, child labour and money laundering across the West African borders, particularly as it affects women who are being encouraged to trade along the regional corridors.

She also seized the opportunity to  list the achievements of her organization  in the past year, including the obtainment of an office in Abuja.

Representing the board of WAWA was Mrs. Pansy Olakanpo, who also expressed much appreciation over the gifts, as well as the goodwill of members of GIABA, including the most junior, who have always been of help to WAWA within the ECOWAS Lagos  premises.

JUBILEE: the last mornach?

Many of her subjects are groaning under the weight of a bad economy, but the Jubilee celebrations for the 60th year on the throne of Queen Elizabeth the second have gone on, anyway. It is as good  a time as any to examine the life of a woman who has been an enigma that has been uncrackable, though no less admirable. The Queen has been so genteel that she has been referred to as boring.

She does not joke with her responsibilities, and these include the several countries of the commonwealth. There is the fear that Queen Elizabeth might be the last King that will actually be a king in the sense of most African cultures, where the difference between a king and a slave is not in the vastness of wealth but in character.

It is unfortunately a value that has become lost on us, with our royal fathers and mothers going to virtually be begging at the National assembly to be given a so-called constitutional role.

Mind Your Colours

We have the rules down to pat in our heads about what the colours we wear signify, but at the end of the day it’s about what you wear when you wear it.

White is for purity, but white is also for sophistication.

Have you ever joined up to make fun of an old maid for wearing white at her wedding? You might well be the colour blind one. While the colour is traditionally virginal, it is the style, rather than the colour, that counts. A woman who wears white is confident and clean.

Black and grey are for mourning, but are also  for power.

There is so much obsession these days about colours, but the dark, somber colours still have their use to the woman who wants to make her mark . Traditional severely cut black or grey suits and dresses , especially with good cut and fabric, will carry a career or businesswoman much further than colours ever will.

Pastels are girly and sweet, but not for everyone.

The modern woman goes out of her way to show she is not afraid to shine or appear less than modest. Pastels have  put their stamp on our fashion this millennium and are probably here to stay, yet they are not for everyone.

Standard rules apply, with patterns, lines and hues to be worn according to existing laws. Also, the pastel fashion came from the West, where the majority of women are fair in complexion. When wearing pastels, mind your complexion.

Purple is the royal colour, but watch out  for tacky.

Indeed, purple- particularly the deep, rich one- is the colour of royalty. Not surprising at all, purple has become the most abused colour, with choirs and such like embracing it in droves.  So while purple is the most distinguished colour, a badly combined or ill fitting purple is the very opposite. Avoid, also, purple from head to toe. There are only two colours you can get away with wearing from head to toe: red and black.

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