Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has appointed Lanre Lasisi of Channels TV as his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity and Musa Krishi of Daily Trust as his Chief Press Secretary.
The Speaker also appointed The Nation Newspaper’s NASS correspondent, Dele Anofi, as Special Assistant on Print Media, Kunle Somoye as Special Assistant on Electronic and Broadcast Media.
Also appointed are Bukola Ogunyemi as Special Assistant on New Media, while 25-year-old Ayo Adeagbo, a former Chief Photographer to former Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi is now Special Assistant on Visual Communication as well as the Speaker’s official photographer.
Afflictions pushed me into 41-day dry fasting, says SS1 student
Recuperating SS1 student of Ishieke Secondary School, Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State has revealed why he embarked on a 41-day dry fasting which landed him in the hospital after concluding it.
Oke, who hails from Ohataekwe in Umuezeokaoha community, Ezza North Local Government Area of the state had collapsed after the marathon praying and fasting on a mountain in Azugwu, Abakaliki metropolis.
Oke, who commenced the fasting on July 23, sneaked to the mountain without informing his widowed mother, Elizabeth and his elder brother, Obinna Oke who lives with him in Ishieke.
Some of his prayer colleagues hurriedly carried him to the elder brother who consulted a patent medicine dealer who administered drip and some drugs on him to revive him following his sudden collapse.
A former House of Rep member in the state, Peter Edeh, who is an old boy of Ishieke Secondary School and who was not satisfied with the local treatment, instructed Nteoma Chimaobi to take him to the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (AE-FUTHA) for proper medical examination and immediate treatment.
Edeh also donated N40,000 for Oke’s treatment.
The 19-year-old boy stayed in the hospital for more than a week. He reportedly died on September 9 while in hospital. He had gone into coma and was placed on oxygen life support before he reportedly passed away.
His mother, who was taking care of him at the hospital, started making arrangements on how his body will be taking out of the hospital for burial.
But Ikechukwu reportedly came back to life after about an hour.
Few days later, he opted to be discharged from the hospital.
The boy had severally complained of hardship in his family and sort assistance from government and private individuals but to no avail.
He hawks sachet water otherwise known as pure water and gala in Onitsha Anambra after every academic term in the school calendar, to raise his school fees and decided to embark on 41-days praying and fasting to seek God’s intervention.
Ikechukwu spoke to Sunday Telegraph from his Ohataekwe village. His two legs are very swollen and he still looked malnourished.
He said: “I am fine, I have no health issues. I embarked on 41-days dry fasting for the welfare of Ebonyi my dear state, the country Nigeria, all over the world and above all my family that has been passing through difficulties.
“There are afflictions everywhere and it is only God that can deliver us. Life has not been easy for us and I believed it was high time to seek God’s intervention.
“I also embarked on the dry fasting to serve him, I want to be a
Catholic priest and need God’s help to achieve this goal. I have burning desire to serve God; he has called me to serve him. This dry fasting has revealed to me that God is the ultimate God and it has also shown me that I will later serve him.
“Since I finished the dry fasting, I have not been eating solid foods. I only eat fruits, drink tea. I am having pains inside my stomach but I know it is just for a while, it cannot last. Another problem I have is these my swollen legs.”
His aged widowed mother, Elizabeth Oke told our Correspondent that the boy has passed through very tough times in life as things continue to be very difficult for the family since the demise of her husband in 1996.
She disclosed that four of her daughters have dropped out of school as a result of lack of money to carter for them in their studies which according to her was one of the reasons Ikechukwu embarked on the fasting.
She said: “When we were in the hospital, some persons visited us to know how Ikechukwu was doing. Ikechukwu himself was the one that compelled us to return home and leave the hospital. He said he was not feeling comfortable in the hospital and opted to be discharged. While in the hospital, he was always complaining of attack and insisted we must leave.
“On September 9, he went into coma and he was on oxygen, sadly he later died. Doctors and nurses did all they could to revive him. I had to contact his elder brother and other siblings including my first daughter and we started making arrangements to bring his corpse home for burial.
“I was gathered his clothes I washed and spread on ropes, preparing for his body to be taken home when his elder brother, Obinna, who rushed to the hospital after receiving my call that Ikechukwu is dead, came to me and told me Ikechukwu had started moving his body and I told him to stop deceiving me that the oxygen they put on his nose is just for formality sake, that he is dead and we have to take the corpse out of the hospital before they deposit it in the morgue and it becomes another expense for us which we will not be able to carry.
“I gathered all his clothes and came back to the ward and saw
Ikechukwu already seated on the bed and he told me we should go home immediately. We told him to remain in the hospital for proper medical treatment but he refused. His siblings had no option than to push for his discharge after some medical tests were conducted on him by the hospital management.
“We finally left the hospital last Friday, September 13 and returned home. There is tremendous improvement; he speaks what one can hear, baths, and eats by himself although he has not started eating heavy foods like fufu and others. He only drinks tea, palp, vegetables and fruits. He sleeps well at home and he studies his Bible, prays very well. He was not doing all these things when we were in the hospital and that is why is said there is great improvement.
“Ikechukwu is an ardent Catholic; he is very committed in the church. He started very early that he wants to be a Reverend Father but that his father who would have helped him actualize the dream is no more alive. I put him in primary school in the village and he graduated successfully. After concluding the primary school, he said he wants to go to seminary school so as to become Catholic Priest but Obinna, his brother, told him no that he must attend secondary school and then enter Seminary school and that it is the procedure.
“Since their father died in 1996, I have been suffering to train them. I mix concrete in construction sites and I do other menial hard jobs to carter for them. Life has continued to be very difficult for me and my children.”
On his part, Obinna Oke his elder brother said Ikechukwu will return to school when he recovers fully.
He corroborated his mother that the boy was the one that insisted that he should be discharged from hospital to enable him relax, pray and study his Bible.
“I will bring Ikechukwu out of the village back to my base in Ishieke after recovering very well to enable him continue his education. He cannot drop out school because of this problem. I decided to relocate to the village and go to work on daily basis from the village because of Ikechukwu’s condition.
“I want to monitor him and he is doing well in the village than when he was in the hospital. While in the hospital, he said we should go home that his problem is not something that can be handled medically, that it is a spiritual matters. He said he should be discharged so that he will have enough time to pray and study his Bible,” said Obinna.
Nteoma Chimaobi, who was the one that assisted in taking Ikechukwu to hospital, described Ikechukwu as a strong Christian who preaches the word of God with zeal.
He revealed that N15,000 medical test was conducted on the boy to ascertain his health condition after the fasting and that only N200 drugs were prescribed for him by doctors.
Speaking further Chimaobi said: “The government has not done anything so far. The Local Government Area Chairman, Mrs Nora Allu is yet to do anything, for the family.”
Tension in PDP over Ayu’s report
•BoT, NWC divided over House of Reps minority leader
•Nobody leaving party –Ologbondiyan
risis is brewing in the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), similar to the post-2015 leadership tussle which nearly led to its extinction.
Last Thursday, the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) meeting witnessed one of its longest sessions, but in the end, it failed to resolve one of the knotty issues facing the party.
The board was convened to discuss the report of five-man investigative committee into the minority leadership crisis in the House of Representatives, which it inaugurated. The committee was headed by former President of the Senate, Iyorchia Ayu.
A source at the meeting disclosed that the members failed to adopt the recommendations of the committee, which included the exoneration of seven members of the party led by Ndudi Elumelu who went against the decision of the PDP on the choice of minority leadership of the House of Representatives.
BoT Chairman, Senator Walid Jubrin and the Secretary, Senator Adolphus Wabara, openly disagreed on the resolution on the board.
While Wabara told journalists that a decision had been taken and the handed over to the National Working Committee (NWC), Jubrin said the board would meet again on the matter.
PDP BoT Chairman later said in a statement he circulated after the press conference: “In view of conflicting reports that the BoT has submitted its report of Senator Ayu committee that investigated the emergence of Hon Elumelu as the Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, I want to state categorically that such report is yet to be sent to the National Chairman because as one family, the PDP is handling the matter internally.
“I assure you that everything will soon be resolved amicably.”
The source said this was an indication that there was crack.
He disclosed that the NWC was not comfortable with the report of the Iyorchia Ayu’s Committee and wanted the BoT to reject it.
“It was a confirmation that something went wrong somewhere. We are not saying that the committee was compromised but there is a lot of explanations members of the committee have to make. Why the outright exoneration of Elumelu and others of any offence?
“Remember the report was submitted in Asaba (Delta State). Why did they choose Asaba of all places?
“The committee was constituted in Abuja but they travelled all the way to Delta State where Elumelu comes from, to submit their report!” the source wondered.
It was learnt that BoT members were divided on the report. While some members wanted it to be submitted to the NWC and allow it to handle the matter, others said the NWC was an interested party and might not be fair.
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike had earlier accused the committee members of corruption.
PDP is also yet to receive Senator Wabara investigative committee into the voting pattern of its lawmakers during the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly leadership last June.
The 10-member committee was inaugurated July 9 and were given three weeks to submit its findings.
The party leadership had directed its lawmakers to vote Senator Ali Ndume and Hon. Umar Bago as President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively.
But at the inauguration of the National Assembly on June 11, some PDP lawmakers went against this directive resulting in the emergence of Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila to the two positions.
PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on June 24, described the action of the lawmakers as “embarrassing.”
A source at the party’s secretariat told Sunday Telegraph that there was pressure on the party leadership to drop the matter.
But the party’s Spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, however, said the party is still waiting for the probe committee’s report.
When reminded that the three-week period given the committee has expired, he responded, “They might have asked for extension of time.”
According to him: “The committee is not under pressure to submit its report.”
The Wabara committee was mandated to probe “whether there is any involvement of the ruling party in the decision taken by the members involved;
“Where there are established reasons for taking the action by members, the committee should identify such so that the party can create mutual and political atmosphere for reasonable interaction with senators and House members.”
In the meantime, PDP has debunked reports making the rounds that some of its members were planning to leave the party.
There were reports that some aggrieved members of the party, during the last primaries in Kogi and Bayelsa states, have defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Those reported to have defected were former speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, Clarence Olufemi and the Senator who represented Bayelsa East in the Senate between 2007 – 2011, Senator Mimi Barigha-Amange.
Olufemi, who was Director General of Abubakar Ibrahim Campaign Organisation, was at the press conference addressed by Abubakar who came second in the Kogi State primary, last week. He denied that he had left the PDP.
There were, however, still conflicting reports concerning the status of Senator Amange as the PDP chapter in Bayelsa State denied that he had also defected.
Ologbondiyan, in an interview yesterday, said the party has not received any report that any of her members had joined another party.
“There was no truth in the rumour. What you have to understand that once there is an election, there will be contestation.
“We know where the rumour is coming from and we are not surprised.
“Our party is intact. Nobody has left, nobody is planning to leave,” Ologbondiyan defended.
He also denied that some PDP governors were no longer comfortable with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s candidacy, recalling that the governors had already issued a statement in support of the appeal.
“They issued a statement signed by their Chairman given their support to the appeal. Mind you, it is the party that went to court, not Atiku Abubakar,” Ologbondiyan added.
PDP governors had in a statement by the Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum, Governor Sierake Dickson of Bayelsa State, pledged their “undiluted loyalty, deserving support and maximum commitment to our great party and the Atiku-Obi Presidential Ticket.
“This is our stand, now and in the future. Posterity would judge us harshly if we did otherwise.”
Ologbondiyan also said that the congratulatory message sent to President Muhammadu Buhari by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike should not be interpreted to mean his support to the president.
“That does not mean that the governor does not support our candidate and the appealing. The same Wike also said the president has refused to pay Rivers State the money it used to execute federal projects,” he further postulated.
Ezekwesili to FG: You may ‘cage’ Sowore but not his idea
ormer presidential candidate in the last general election, Oby Ezekwesili, has said that the continued detention of co-convener #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore was not only unconstitutional but also unlawful.
Ezekwesili, who was also a former minister, said this on Saturday via her verified Twitter handle.
She described the government of the day, as one which is intolerant of criticism, which she said is guaranteed in the constitution.
Ezekwesili said: “We stand on with @YeleSowore and defend his constitutional right and freedom to protest any matter of governance that worries him. Mr Sowore’s convening of citizens to protest poor governance – via #RevolutionNow– is constitutionally guaranteed.
“Democracy and voice are Siamese twins. The good kind of Siamese twins. No one regardless of their position is given the right to shut down voices like @YeleSowore’s for daring to disagree. How long shall it take before the FG @NigeriaGov understands the basics of democracy?
“Our FG @NigeriaGov led by @NGRPresident @MBuhari may think they have ‘caged’ @YeleSowore because he dared to challenge bad leadership and poor governance through #RevolutionNow. Not so, actually. His idea can never be caged. Why? You cannot cage an idea whose time has come.
“@YeleSowore is unconstitutionally and unlawfully detained for calling out deadly incompetence of the @NigeriaGov of @MBuhari.
“Not even the Judiciary is spared this spread of deadly incompetence. Here’s the thing. It is painful that @YeleSowore bears the brunt of the collective dissatisfaction of the citizens of Nigerians toward a grossly incompetent and intolerant @AsoRock.
“We must thank him for once again reminding us that: the power of the people is greater than the people in power.
“When the Citizens of Nigeria are ready, neither @YeleSowore nor anyone else need publicly mobilise them and be accused of “wanting to overthrow a government”. The citizens shall on their own rid themselves of a trenchantly incompetent and wicked political class. It’ll happen.”
It would be recalled that the Federal Government on Friday charged Sowore, who is the publisher of online news platform, SaharaReporters, with treason and insulting President Muhammadu Buhari at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Cashless policy: Charges on deposits will derail financial inclusion drive –Analysts
•Banks fee income to rise, says CardinalStone
s reactions continue to trail the new cashless measures recently announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), analysts have said that though the policy is aimed at strengthening the Federal Government’s cashless policy, the move would derailing the financial inclusion drive in the country.
This came as CardinalStone Research have said that the new charges that customers will incur for exceeding deposits and withdrawal limits will further boost banks’ fee and commission income.
The CBN had in a circular to banks last Tuesday, directed that as from September 18, cash deposits and withdrawals from individual bank accounts would attract additional charges.
In explaining the new charges, the Central Bank said that the cashless policy deposit/withdrawal charge is only on the amount in excess of the limit. The daily individual cumulative or single cash withdrawals in excess of N500, 000 would attract a 3 per cent charge, while 2 per cent would be paid on deposits above the amount.
Similarly, corporate accounts will attract five per cent processing fees for withdrawals and three per cent processing fee for lodgments of amounts above N3 million.
The CBN said the charges would be in addition to already existing charges on withdrawals and will be aimed at encouraging its cashless policy.
The statement, however, said that the charge on deposits shall apply in Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra, and Rivers states as well as the Federal Capital Territory.
The nationwide implementation of the cashless policy will take effect from March 31, 2020, it said.
Commenting on the development in a note issued last Thursday, the CardinalStone Research analysts stated that: “Overall, we see the news as largely positive for banks’ fees and commission income, notably for cash and e-Business related transactions. Although banks already charge fees on withdrawals in excess of the regulatory limits, we believe the introduction of charges on deposits increases scope for additional income.
“First, an induced migration to alternative channels is likely to increase deployment of POS and ATM terminals as well as encourage debit card issuances. This is also likely to lead to increased adoption of banks’ USSD and online platforms by customers. Secondly, customers who fail to migrate will have to pay the required processing fees, which is also likely to be supportive of banks’ fee incomes. BDCs, petrol stations, traders and small businesses who handle a lot of cash are likely to be negatively impacted by the new charges,” they added.
President of the Bank Customers Association of Nigeria (BCAN), Dr ‘Uju Ogbunka, had stated in a chat with Sunday Telegraph last Wednesday that the reintroduction of charges on cash deposits may discourage savings.
He said that while the CBN’s move may help to promote the cashless policy, it could also deter savers.
Ogubunka said: “The move is a two- edged sword. While it is intended to promote the cashless policy, it could also deter savings. Why should people be charged for saving their money in their bank accounts? Leaving money in banks is helping the business of the banks. So people will not be happy with the new charges on cash deposits.
“Indeed, although the move is intended to reduce the use of cash, it could have the opposite effect as people will prefer to be leaving their cash at home and be spending it gradually instead of taking the cash to the bank and be charged fees for it.”
“If you discourage people from saving, that is not going to help the economy,” the BCAN president said.
Fayemi mourns Oluyin of Iyin-Ekiti
Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has mourned the passing away of the Oluyin of Iyin-Ekiti, HRM. Oba Ademola Ajakaiye, Oyinyosaiye Uyin II.
Oba Ajakaiye, the 17th Oluyin, was the pioneer Chief Judge of Ekiti State and former administrator of the National Judicial Institute, Abuja.
Governor Fayemi, who received the news of the Oba’s passage from the royal family, described the death, as a huge loss to the state.
Fayemi commiserated with the late monarch’s family, the people of Iyin-Ekiti in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government and indeed the entire citizens of Ekiti State.
In a statement signed by Chief Press Secretary, to the Governor, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, in Ado -Ekiti on Saturday, the Governor said that the State had lost one of its most cerebral and colourful royal fathers who combined brilliance with admirable traditional flamboyance.
Dr. Fayemi, who described the late monarch as a successful lawyer and respected bencher, during his stint in the legal profession, said the late Oluyin was ever willing to avail the government his wise counsel on issues of development and social justice.
He also observed that in spite of the late monarch’s commitment to Christianity, the rich, cultural heritage of the ancient town flourished under his leadership, the same way Iyin-Ekiti witnessed unprecedented level of development, peace and prosperity during his reign.
The Governor said the late Oluyin would be remembered as one of the patriots whose commitment led to the creation and successful take off of Ekiti State in 1996. He recalled how Oba Ajakaiye vacated his official residence as Chief Judge for the Military Administrator of the newly created state to live, while he commuted to Ado-Ekiti daily from his personal residence in Iyin Ekiti.
“On behalf of the government and the good people of Ekiti State, the Land of Honour, I commiserate with the members of the immediate and extended families of the late monarch, the Oluyin-in- Council, Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers and the entire people of Iyin-Ekiti on the passage of our highly revered Kabiyesi, HRM Oba Ademola Ajakaiye. Oyinyosaiye Uyin II.
2023: S’East has no basis to demand for presidency –ACF
…says no consensus that all zones must taste power
We’re opposed to another northerner succeeding Buhari –Barabe Musa
ollowing widespread calls that the rest of the country should allow the South East to have a shot at the presidency, the umbrella organisation of all Northerners, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), yesterday, stated that no zone of the country, has any basis to demand for the country’s number one position.
The organisation wondered which premises those agitating for the zone (South East) are basing their arguments.
According to ACF, Nigeria is practicing a multi-party democracy and the political parties based on their game plan should decide which zone and personality should contest and attain the presidency and not the elite.
Speaking through its Secretary General, Anthony Sani, ACF told Sunday Telegraph that some people are speaking as if there is a national consensus that power must rotate among all the zones of the country.
He also accused former President Goodluck Jonathan of trying to deprive the North of the presidency in 2011 and 2015, positing that if there was a consensus for power rotation, the Bayelsa-born politician would not have contested against the interest of the North.
Sani stated that: “What is more, in 2019, of the 76 presidential candidates, only about six or so were northerners.”
He added: “The controversy about which zone is to produce the president in 2023 just few months after the sitting regime is not up to six months in office, is uncalled for, just as it is unhelpful. This is because such controversy can be distracting and promote politics of identity at the expense of allowing the political parties to assume real responsibilities for real issues of real concern to real ordinary Nigerians.
“Where the president comes from in 2023 is the exclusive responsibility of political parties. The political parties do so with their winning game plans. So, let us allow the political parties to develop their winning game plan and present candidates to Nigerians when the time comes.”
Speaking specifically on the South East, he said: “Every section of this country deserves to rule this country if a political party considers a candidate from the section of the country.
“I do not think there is an existing unwritten national consensus on rotation of the office of the president as is being posited in some quarters. This is because if there were such national consensus, President Jonathan would not have presented himself in 2011, considering the North had not served eight years at that time
“Not only that, he also presented himself in 2015. If he had won the elections in 2015, the South would have served more than 16 years. What is more, in 2019, of the 76 presidential candidates, only about six or so were northerners.
“The rest came from the South.
“So, when people talk about rotation of president as if there is an existing national consensus to that effect, I begin to wonder the basis.”
On the permutations that the Vice President should come from the North Central zone, such as Kogi, Benue, Plateau, Kwara and Nasarawa in view of the fact that these states are yet to produce the President or vice in this dispensation, Sani said: “You talk as if the nation is no more governed by multi-party democracy which allows the political parties the exclusive right to present candidates for elections.
“I expect the media to know this and promote the practice of multiparty democracy instead of promoting something alien to the practice of multiparty democracy. I do not think the media should promote something different from the practice of democracy.
“And since politics is matter of group interest, group goals, group cohesion, group coherence and even group conspiracy, and not an individual enterprise, I advise those who hanker for the position of president in 2023 to do so democratically, using the multiparty system.”
However, elder statesman and Chairman Board of Trustees of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Alhaji Balarabe Musa, disagreed with ACF, insisting he is one of those canvassing for an Igbo presidency in 2023.
Musa, a former governor of Kaduna State, said: “Even though zoning was introduced by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that we are opposed to, it is good for us as a country because it gives every person and area a sense of belonging.
“So we support the zoning and we are saying the presidency should go to the South East and we have our reasons.”
On whether the PRP would zone its presidential candidature to the South East in 2023, Musa said: “If I have my way, I will definitely push towards that, but remember am just an individual in the party like the others. I only have my own opinion, but I can still tell you that, like me there are others in the North who believe in that.
“For instance Senator Shehu Sani is in line. He is opposed to the North continuing in the presidency beyond 2023, after President Buhari and he has made that very clear and there are others like that. Like Yunusa Tanko of ACP, the same thing and we are all northerners, if you want to use that card.
“We are very much in favour of the presidency going to the South East in 2023. We are opposed to the North continuing in power after Buhari. We have made that quiet clear and they are many in the North like that. We are also happy to hear that there are some people in the South West who are speaking in the same direction, like elder (Ayo) Adebanjo of Afenifere and others. You cannot just discard the opinion of Adebanjo in the South West,” he said.
Leadership: Don’t sacrifice merit for quota, Osinbajo warns
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo at the weekend warned that, prioritising quota over merit in ascending leadership positions could be counter-productive and bring about mediocrity in any given society.
He then agitated for meritorious pattern of ascending leadership positions.
The Vice President made the charge while speaking as a Guest Lecturer at the 8th Osun State University Convocation Lecture in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, with the theme: “Decades of a Chequered Nationhood, Nigeria Still Holds the Key to Africa’s Development”.
Osinbajo argued that, no nation survives and attains greatness by giving consideration to quota over merit and clamoured for merit.
“Merit and not quota should be the first consideration in any position; anywhere in the world, it is always merit and later quota,” he said.
Prof. Osinbajo appealed to the youths in the country to learn from the great past of Nigeria and get inspiration to contribute quality quotas in the bid to move the nation forward.
“Many of Nigerian youths and the new generation do not have knowledge of the great past of Nigeria and the path towards greatness as being conceived by the nation’s founding fathers, they have enmeshed in what I term ‘existential hopelessness,’” he said.
According to the number two citizen, the three founding fathers of Nigeria, namely: Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and Al haji Ahmadu Bello, were characters of different backgrounds with conflicting ideas of how best the country could be run but implicitly agreed on the Nigeria’s indivisibility and propensity for growth and development.
Osinbajo, who, however, affirmed that, the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration would continue to wage monumental war against corrupt individuals in the public service, argued that, “corruption is presently fighting back and has started pointing accusing fingers”, as he reiterated the administration’s resolve to “fight on without hesitation”.
The governor of Osun State, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, at the event, charged the management of the state university and all stakeholders in the education sector, to ensure that incessant disruptions in the university calendar are done away with.
He stressed also that the state government has so far demonstrated its commitment to rebuilding and repositioning education in the state, especially through improved funding of the sector.
While congratulating the graduands, the governor tasked them to pursue things that could help to effect change and bring about positive impacts on the nation’s economy.
“I congratulate the graduands here today for the successful completion of their programmes and graduation. They are young men and women who have been baked in the best tradition of Uniosun and whose lives and accomplishments hold great promise for the state, Nigeria, and the world,” he said.
Xenophobia: SA minister demands better migration control
South Africa’s International relations minister has called for Africa to better manage migration.
Naledi Pandor’s comments came in the wake of a wave of xenophobic attacks against African migrants in his country.
Talking to migrant representatives, she also said that African leaders should not be allowed to worsen conditions in their countries and expect others to deal with the resulting migration.
Twelve people were killed earlier this month when mobs attacked businesses belonging to African migrants in the country, mainly in Johannesburg.
President Cyril Ramaphosa told the BBC that he felt ashamed by the recent violence.
“We are very concerned and of course as a nation we [are] ashamed because this goes against the ethos of what South Africa stands for,” he said.
But in looking for solutions, Ms Pandor suggested this was not just a South African issue.
“We need to talk about the role that sending countries and transit countries play in assisting receiving countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and many others and in helping them manage the issue of migration far more effectively,” she told members of the African Diaspora Forum in Pretoria.
South Africa has become a magnet for migrants from other parts of Africa as it has one of the continent’s biggest and most developed economies.
But there is also high unemployment in the country and some people feel foreigners are taking their jobs.
Ms Pandor turned to the continent’s need for rapid economic development to help deal with the rising population.
“No leader should be allowed to get away with allowing degradation and expecting someone else to provide a response to their countrymen and women,” the Daily Maverick news site quotes her as saying.
The people who have migrated to South Africa “tended to be… poor and unskilled, just as many millions of black South Africans are”, she told BBC Hardtalk earlier this week
Arthur Eze: A septuagenarian with heart of benevolence
The long convoy of state of the art vehicles from Onitsha-Enugu Express way pulled to a stop at Amawbia junction and scores of crippled Hausa beggars lined up begging for help at the junction.
Inside one of the vehicles was an average height dark complexioned slim man dishing out instructions to his aides.
“Stop! He ordered, get me one million naira and give it to those people by the road side” he added.
His aide obeyed and quickly handed over N1 million to the crippled baggers on the road side.
One of his friends ridding along with him in the same car exclaimed; “Chief, you mean that you just handed over N1Million to these bunch of baggers? This is too much and do they really need such a huge sum of money?”
The man replied “what is your problem? If you need N1 million; become a cripple like them and I will give you N1million.
“These people are handicapped and there is no work they can do to get N1Million. But you are strong and healthy enough to make more than N1million. So let them enjoy themselves” he said.
His country home in Ukpo, Dunukofia Local Government Area, Anambra State; is a rendezvous for baggers and those who come to seek for financial assistance.
The number is always unprecedented each time he is at home and a man in his mid fifties waited in the compound for days in order to see him.
He came out of the house and sent for the man asked him why he wanted to see him.
“My wife has just been delivered of a set of twins. I need N350, 000 to discharge them from the hospital” he lamented.
The man handed him the sum of N500, 000 to go and solve his problems but instead of the embattled father of twins to go home, he shared the sum of N100, 000 to some baggers around him.
As he was passing the exit gate, the man called him back and said.
“I gave you money to solve your problem and you started sharing the money to beggars. That means that if you are as rich as I am, you will use your money to assist people. Chief Security Officer, get me N1million and give it to this man; he is a good man. You can now go to the hospital and bring home your family,” he told the obviously elated and shocked man.
The staff of Radio station in Anambra State was at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka for an assignment. The man with a heart of gold also came to the institution as a special guest.
He announced that he would begin the immediate construction of the entrance road to the university’s main campus and the build three blocks of office for the university. The reporter introduced himself to him as one of the beneficiaries of his education foundation in Imo State.
“Oh! You are from Imo State and beneficiary of the scheme, you are now a graduate and you are married. I did not know that the foundation got to Imo State. This is good and just like in the bible; one out of the ten came back to say thank you. In that case I will give you N250, 000 for your family”, he said.
This same man during the Nigerian civil war gave a glimpse of his love for philanthropy when he bought food items, relief materials and passed through enemy lines to the Internally Displaced People’s Camp (IDC) where the defunct Biafra refugees were kept and shared it to all and sundry without asking for a kobo.
For Arthur Eze, the act of philanthropy did not start today. Stories also had it that he gave his school uniform to a class mate who was sent out of school because he did not have a proper one. When he got home, he asked his father a wealthy monarch, to buy another one for him. Reason?
“The boy is from a poor home and the father do not have the money to provide him with uniform”.
This man is Prince Engr. Arthur Eze from Ukpo community in Dunukofia Local Government Area, Anambra State. He is arguably the richest Igbo man in the South East.
Born on the 27th of November, 1948, he attended St Augustine Secondary school Nkwere, Imo state as well as California State University where he studied Mechanical and Chemical Engineering.
He is the CE, Atlas Oranto Petroleum, the largest holder of oil exploration blocks in Africa.
Stories about Engr. Arthur Eze’s act of kindness are countless and all points to his philanthropic gestures to humanity irrespective of tribe or religion. He leaves on his trail hallowed songs of praise and ever green memories of benevolence in the minds of those who encounter him.
Recently, he declared a state of emergency on all poor homes in his community. He built building and reconstructed ancient dilapidated houses of poor families. As at the time of this report fifty buildings are nearing completion.
When people living with sickle cell disorder came for help, he spent N5 million in Ukpo communities for the treatment and management of patience and victims of the disorder.
Victims of the 2013 flood disaster across the country received the sum of $6.3 million while their counterparts who were affected by the terror of Boko Haram got relief materials worth $800 million
The Anglican Deanery and Youth Development Centre, Otuoke, Bayelsa State got empowered to the tune of $800 million while the elders in his community got the sum of N10 million as stipend.
To Ozoigbondu “Savior of the Igbo race”, as he is fondly called, philanthropy and benevolence is a virtue which all and sundry must imbibe for the sake of God and posterity.
He has always quoted the popular Anglican chorus in Ancient and modern hymn book “only our good works that we shall be remembered for”, insisting that only good deeds earn good name for a person.
According to him; “I am above sixty years and I do not think I need any other thing in life.
“At most ten years or so I will be no more unless God says I should stay longer. So there is the need for us to be good to the person next to you and let God crown your efforts with blessings” he said.
Ironically Arthur Eze has no political ambition unlike the regular Nigerian wealthy man but he has continued to sponsor politicians contesting for one elective position or the other such as former president Goodluck Jonathan, incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and countless National State Assembly and gubernatorial candidates across the country.
By November this year, Engr. Arthur Eze would be seventy-one years old. Many still contend that he doesn’t look it, reducing his age to sixty five.
True to the nature of a Sagittarius his generosity at the age of seventy-one has continued to over flow y leaps and bounds. His bluntness has remained a great threat even to those who may not help but like him.
“The problem I have with some politicians is that they do not want the poor people to be in power. If children of poor people are in government they would be in a better position to appreciate the needs of the masses and provide good governance for everyone. I know that they are my friends and brothers but I always tell them that the greatest campaign ever in politics is touching the lives of the masses and no amount of rigging will stop you from winning the election” he said.
The Christendom appears to be the highest beneficiary of his kindness as both the congregation and clerics attest to the fact that such men come once in a century and they are always rare to come by.
At his quiet moment he studies his holy bible in a bid to rekindle his covenant with God Almighty and after the Episcopal attendance he relaxes with his favourite ancient and modern hymn rendered by his private choir “Pass me not Oh gentle savior, hear my humbly cry.”
Insecurity: Accept the truth, stop fighting UN Rapporteur, PDP tells Buhari
he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to stop picking fight with the United Nation (UN) Rapporteur, Agnes Callamard, on the state of insecurity in the country.
Callamard had in her report, described Nigeria as a “pressure cooker of internal conflicts and generalised violence that must be addressed urgently.”
The Federal Government had rejected this position.
But PDP in a statement yesterday by National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said instead of picking fight with Callamard, the President should seek for help since the problems have been festering.
“If anything, the UN Rapporteur’s report only reinforces the positions of credible international bodies including the United States Department of State, Amnesty International (AI) and Transparency International (TI) which also reported cases of arbitrary and extra-judicial killings, illegal arrests, arbitrary detention, torture, festering violence, reported disappearances and abuse of human rights under the Buhari administration,” the party noted.
It added that the UN report was a vindication of PDP’s stand on the ineptitude and repressive tendencies of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
According to the statement, Nigeria is becoming one of the most insecure places to live.
“Citizens can no longer move freely around their country as marauders, kidnappers, insurgents and bandits take over the highways, pillage communities, kill and take citizens captive at will.
“By fighting persons or organisations that tell us the truth instead of seeking solutions, the Buhari presidency is doing a great disservice to Nigerians especially those in communities being ravaged by insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and ethnic clashes,” PDP stated.
It urged President Buhari to accept responsibility for his failures and seek help since he has not demonstrated the capacity to effectively lead a nation as complex as Nigeria at the moment.
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