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Second term ambition of Kingsley Esiso laughable, nonsensical – Sapele Political Leaders, Endorse Hon Godwin Atose

Again, Sapele Political Leaders denounce Delta PDP chairman’s second coming

· Write Okowa

· Praise Ibori, Oyovbaire, others

Stakeholders in the politics of Sapele on Saturday sent message to Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to prevail on the chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Kingsley Esiso to accept the rejection of his second term ambition in good faith.

‘’The issue of Sapele producing the next chairman has been decided upon by the leaders of the party. Mr. Kingsley Esiso has forfeited every moral right to become PDP chairman from Sapele Local Government’’ the leaders said.

They also lauded former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, former Minister of Information, Prof Sam Oyovbaire and Political Adviser to the PDP National Chairman, Senator Ighoyota Amori for shifting ground and reaching compromise in the overall interest of the ruling party.

The members of the party in Sapele are becoming restive in the light of what they suspect is a ploy to foist a man from Ethiope East on them.

At a meeting designed to identify political Judases and deal with the fresh crisis in the party, the leaders advised Esiso to imbibe the spirit of consensus politics.

They described the second term ambition of the incumbent chairman as laughable and nonsensical.

‘’More ridiculous is the attempt to suggest that Sapele political leaders are tribal’’

In a communiqué at the end of the meeting, the leaders appealed to supporters of Esiso not to drag the name of the party leader in the state, Governor Okowa in the mud.

‘’Democracy should be based on fairness. Delta State PDP is not the personal property of Esiso. The incumbent chairman has shown a total disregard for the directives of Delta Central PDP leaders and much scorn for Okpe people. He has been made blind by personal ambition’’.

According to the communiqué read by the spokesperson of Sapele PDP Leaders Forum, Mr. Gibson Egbedi ‘’there is no going back on the plan to ensure that an Okpe man is made PDP chairman in Delta State’’.

‘’ Only enemies from within will support Mr. Kingley Esiso. The second term ambition of Mr. Kingsley Esiso is capable of doing the party more harm than good. The incumbent chairman has become a liability to our great party’’

The leaders urged Governor Okowa to look into the political crisis and cries for marginalization in order to sought out and plan a better political agenda that would move Sapele forward.

The forum also urged Okpe indigenes in Nigeria and abroad to assess their collective strength and burst all fetters that held them down.

‘’The strength of Sapele people must be mobilized and deployed behind Godwin Atose. This is another opportunity to put Sapele in the bedroom of power where appointments, resources and projects will be allocated. This opportunity will give Sapele its due in terms of appointment into career, non-career and political positions’’

‘’Godwin Atose will emerge as the chairman of Delta State PDP based on the zoning consensus reached by the party. It is almost alone contest. No other individual is vying for this position since we have held our Delta Central meeting’’

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FOURTH MAINLAND BRIDGE: LASG SHORTLISTS 10 FIRMS

FOURTH MAINLAND BRIDGE: LASG SHORTLISTS 10 FIRMS

The Lagos State Government has shortlisted 10 firms out of the 32 eligible companies that responded to the call for Expression of Interest (EOI) and applied for construction of the Lagos Fourth Mainland Bridge.

This disclosure was contained in a joint statement issued on Friday by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye and the Director-General, Office of Public-Private Partnerships, Mr. Ope George.

The statement read, “Following the issuance of a request for qualification to the 32 shortlisted and eligible respondents to the Expression of Interest, we are pleased to announce that the Lagos State Government has received a total of 10 responses to the request for qualification (the applications) from the applicants”.

“The Lagos State Government will now proceed to evaluate the applications in line with the evaluation criteria set out in the request for qualification and, thereafter, announce the successful pre-qualified bidders, who shall be eligible for participation in the next stage of the selection/bidding process, being the request for proposals stage”, it added.

The 10 shortlisted firms include – CCECC Nigeria Limited; CGGC-CGC Joint Venture; China Harbour Engineering Company Limited; China State Construction Engineering Corporation Nigeria Limited and IC ICTAS Insaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.

Others are Julius Berger Nigeria Plc; Mota-Engil and CCCC Consortium; Mutual Commitment Company Limited; Power Construction Corporation of China and Ingenieros Consultores, S.A., through Makais Energy.

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COVID-19: PRESIDENT BUHARI CANVASSES SPEEDY TRIAL OF COURT CASES AND DECONGESTION OF CUSTODIAL CENTRES

CORONAVIRUS WATCH 1444

STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE

COVID-19: PRESIDENT BUHARI CANVASSES SPEEDY TRIAL OF COURT CASES AND DECONGESTION OF CUSTODIAL CENTRES

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for urgent measures towards the speedy trial of cases and decongestion of custodial centres in the country in view of Covid-19 pandemic.

In a letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, the President drew His Lordship’s attention to the recent call by the United Nations on all countries “to consciously reduce the population of prison inmates since physical distancing and self-isolation in such conditions are practically impossible.”
According to President Buhari, “From available records, the inmates population at various custodial centres across the country presently stands at about 74,127 out of which 52,226 are Awaiting Trial Persons (ATPs).
“Most of these custodial centres are presently housing inmates beyond their capacities and the overcrowded facilities pose a potent threat to the health of the inmates and the public in general in view of the present circumstances, hence the need for urgent steps to bring the situation under control.”
In view of the above scenario, the President said “it has become imperative for Your Lordship to request State Chief Judges to embark on immediate visit to all custodial/correctional centres within their respective States to identify and release deserving inmates where that has not been done already.”
He noted that during such visits, “the Chief Judges are enjoined to consider conditional or unconditional release of ATPs who have spent 6 years or more in custody. ATPs who have no confirmed criminal cases against them, aged inmates and terminally ill may be discharged.
“It is expected that particular attention should be on the aged, those with health issues, low risk offenders, those with no sufficient legal basis to remain in custody, inmates convicted for minor offences with or without option of fines and inmates who have less than 3 years term left to serve having served a substantial term of their service for offences that attract 5 years and above.
“Payment of fines may be made in favour of inmates convicted of lesser offences with option of fine, who are in custody because of their inability to pay such fines.”
President Buhari said a Report on the proposed visits is expected to be forwarded to the Presidential Committee on Correctional Service Reform and Decongestion Secretariat, Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja for compilation and onward transmission to his office.
He also suggested to the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria to “at this stage, consider taking immediate steps as appropriate to ensure the setting up or designation of Special Courts in all States, including the FCT, to try cases of armed robbery, banditry, kidnapping and other serious offences, in order to facilitate speedy trials.”
In addition, President Buhari said “there is the need to ensure that the Chief Judges of States and FCT High Courts direct lower courts to comply with requirements of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act/Law in issuing remand warrants in criminal cases especially in cases which are not within their jurisdiction.”
According to him, “this will regulate the volume of entry of Awaiting Trial Inmates into custodial centres.”
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 21, 2020

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Geoffrey Onyeama April 19, 2020 – Tribute to Kyari: The Best Man

Geoffrey Onyeama April 19, 2020 – Tribute to Kyari: The Best Man

I first met Abba Kyari in 1977 at Warwick University in England. I had gone there to do law as a second first degree. He had come to do a degree in sociology. I had a pending application to do Law at Cambridge and when the result of that application came and it was positive, I left Warwick during the second semester. But my five months at Warwick was enough to build a strong friendship with Abba that lasted till his passing. Almost 43 years!

There was a small group of Nigerians at Warwick then, which included former President Yakubu Gowon (who was doing a PhD in Political Science) ; Senator Osereihmi Osunbor (former Senator and Governor); Sitonye Roy Wakama (former Deputy Inspector General of Police) and the lawyer, Desmond Guobadia.
There were a few other Nigerians.

Abba was quite skinny in those days! We became friends very quickly and a life-long bond was formed.

Abba was very simple and humble. He was also very friendly with everyone. He had very litte interest in material things. We had a common interest in politics and I believe it was our socialist political values that cemented our friendship because we were always discussing politics and how to salvage Nigeria right up to his passing.

Abba was also surprisingly sociable for someone who was so self-effacing and we
had a lot of enjoyable and memorable experiences at parties and discotheques! Abba also had a very good sense of humour belied by his often stern visage.

When I left Warwick University for Cambridge, Abba came to Cambridge to introduce me to his friends there as he had studied in the city for his Advanced levels. After graduating from Warwick University, Abba went up to Cambridge to study law. We kept in touch throughout the last 43 years. We ended up together in Lagos in 1982 to attend Law School for a year. When I left Nigeria in 1985 to work in Geneva for 30 years Abba came to Geneva often to stay with me and whenever I was in Nigeria, he made it a point of coming to see me wherever I was.

When I got married in Owo to my wife from Idoani, Ondo State, Abba was my Best-Man. The officiating Vicar was somewhat perplexed because I was a Roman Catholic Igbo, marrying an Anglican Yoruba in an Anglican church with a Muslim Kanuri/Shuwa Arab Best-Man from Borno State!

The officiating Catholic priest in Geneva, Switzerland, two years later, during the baptism of our first son, was equally perplexed when a muslim Abba Kyari and a muslim Muni Attah-Sonibare were the Godfather and Godmother respectively! Abba was a Pan-Nigerian, global citizen, who recognized no boundaries between peoples, be they racial, ethnic, religious, class or political. He made friends with everyone.

Abba was a man of unimpeachable integrity. Absolutely incorruptible! I remember after he got married to his wonderful wife, Kulu, he told me how he showed her his first paycheck so she would know that he was not wealthy and would not steal!

It broke my heart to see all the false allegations against him on issues of corruption. He showed me the safe in his office where he put any unsolicited gift .

I remember asking him about the rumours making the rounds that he was making money from the fine imposed on MTN. He immediately showed me the memorandum setting up the Committee to deal with the issue and he was not even a member. He also showed me how he had been able to block attempts by many influential and powerful persons to make a lot of money at the expense of the country. He knew that fighting corruption with such single mindedness and fearlessness would see him at the receiving end of the venom of very powerful forces but was undeterred and preferred to ignore all the defamation against him.

Abba was loyal to a fault. He decided he was going to protect his boss, President Muhammadu Buhari, at all costs and would take any number of bullets for him. And he did!
Since he became Chief of Staff to the President, Abba never rested. He worked day and night, seven days a week. He was a hard taskmaster who did not suffer fools gladly. A very demanding boss. He gave a lot of himself and expected his subordinates and colleagues to do the same.

He was very intelligent, very well-read and had a wide and varied professional experience. He held strong opinions and did not yield position easily. But once he believed in someone or a cause, he would fight with everything he had.

Abba believed completely in the Nigerian project and believed completely in President Muhammadu Buhari. During the last five years he gave every second of his life for the success of both. His health suffered as a result but it was a sacrifice and investment he was happy to make. Nigerians will look back in years to come and see that he was truly the Best Man.

Rest In Peace my brother.

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COVID-19: ‘Reverse cut in health budget or face legal action’, SERAP tells Buhari, NASS

COVID-19: ‘Reverse cut in health budget or face legal action’, SERAP tells Buhari, NASS

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has given “the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and leadership of the National Assembly 14 days to reverse the proposed illegal cut of N26.51 billion in basic healthcare budget and to cut the National Assembly and Presidency budgets instead, or face legal action.”

SERAP is also calling on them to meet to “reverse the proposed illegal cut of N50.76 billion in the education budget. There is currently no proposal to cut the National Assembly and Presidency budgets.”

In the letters dated 18 April, 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization expressed: “concern about the scale of the cuts in basic healthcare and education budgets and their disproportionate impact on the poorest. These cuts are not inevitable. The authorities have a lot of choices as to what to cut but chose to balance the budget on the backs of the most disadvantaged.”

According to SERAP, “The cuts would leave the poorest and most vulnerable people without access to these essential public goods and services, and without anywhere to turn, and despite the COVID-19 crisis. This would put both the government and the National Assembly in breach of their constitutional and international human rights and anti-corruption obligations.”

The letters addressed to President Buhari, Dr Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, read in part: “Continuing to neglect these basic public goods and services to sustain the apparently lavish lifestyles of members of the National Assembly and other powerful politicians wound exacerbate poverty, inequality, marginalization and impunity in the country.”

“The COVID-19 crisis is a good opportunity to cut the costs of governance, particularly the unsustainable spending on the National Assembly expenses, and the Presidency budget, and to focus on increasing budget allocations to healthcare and education.”

“The authorities’ approach to National Assembly and Presidency budgets ought to be ‘do more with less.’ While we understand that the country is facing difficult choices in budget allocations, the authorities should have prioritised cuts in National Assembly and Presidency budgets to increase the allocations to healthcare and education.”

“If the cuts are sustained, Nigerians will become justified in thinking that the government and the leadership of the National Assembly do not really care about improving access of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people to basic public services like healthcare and education.”

“Cutting basic healthcare budget, especially at a time of COVID-19 crisis in the country, will undermine the ability of your government to effectively and satisfactorily respond to the crisis and to protect Nigerians and ensure their well-being. Cutting education budget would mean that 16 million out-of-school Nigerian children would remain on the street for many years to come.”

“Basic healthcare and education should not bear the brunt of your government’s efforts to balance the 2020 budget. Cutting basic healthcare budget would exacerbate the effects of COVID-19, have long-term consequences for the well-being of Nigerians, and violate the government’s constitutional and international human rights obligations to the people.”

“Any perceived budget crisis does not excuse this flagrant violation of constitutional law and international standards. Any budget cuts to healthcare and the Universal Basic Education Commission will only worsen Nigeria’s ailing health and education sectors.”

“These essential public goods and services must be protected even during these lean budget times. Doing the opposite would cause significant health challenges to the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people.”

“Disproportionate cuts in healthcare and education budgets will also continue to deny Nigerians particularly the poorest and the most vulnerable people access to effective and functioning public healthcare and education services.”

“SERAP proposes cutting among others, the following aspects of the National Assembly and Presidency budgets: the N15 million monthly allowances/running costs per senator, about N10 million monthly allowances/running costs per member of the House of Representatives, as well as budgets for the Presidency on travel, feeding, and vehicles.”

“Other aspects of the National Assembly budget revealed by the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), and which SERAP proposes should be cut include the following: basic salary (N2,484,245.50); hardship allowance (N1,242, 122.70); constituency allowance (N4,968, 509.00); furniture allowance (N7, 452, 736.50); and wardrobe allowance (N621,061.37).”

“Others include: recess allowance (N248,424.55); accommodation (N4,968,509.00); utilities allowance (N828,081.83); entertainment (N828,081.83); vehicle maintenance allowance (N1,863,184.12); leave allowance (N248,424.55); severance gratuity (N7, 425,736.50); and motor vehicle allowance (N9, 936,982.00).”

“Continuing to spend scarce public funds on these expenses would deny the most disadvantaged access to public goods and services, and burden the next generation.”

“SERAP further urges you to instruct Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to work with the leadership of the National Assembly to work out the details of cuts to National Assembly and Presidency budgets, and the reversal of the cuts to basic healthcare and education.”

“According to our information, your government has proposed to drastically cut basic healthcare budget by N26.51 billion, that is, from the N44.49 billion initially budgeted down to just N17.98 billion. Your government has also proposed to cut education budget by N50.76 billion, that is, from the N111.78 billion initially budgeted for UBEC down to just to N61.02 billion.”

“SERAP notes that access to basic healthcare is closely related to and dependent upon the realization of other human rights, including the right to education, human dignity, life, non-discrimination, equality, and access to information. These and other rights and freedoms address integral components of the right to health.”

Kolawole Oluwadare

SERAP Deputy Director

19/04/2020

Lagos, Nigeria

Emails: info@serap-nigeria.org; news@serap-nigeria.org

Twitter: @SERAPNigeria

Website: www.serap-nigeria.org

For more information or to request an interview, please contact Kolawole Oluwadare on: +2348160537202

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SANWO-OLU MOURNS KYARI, COMMISERATES WITH PRESIDENT BUHARI

SANWO-OLU MOURNS KYARI, COMMISERATES WITH PRESIDENT BUHARI

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari on the death of his former Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, who passed on in the early hours of Saturday.

Sanwo-Olu, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile described the death of Mallam Abba Kyari as shocking, painful and a monumental loss to the nation, the people and government of Maiduguri and the Kyari family.

Sanwo-Olu said: ‘‘I received the sad news of the death of Mallam Abba Kyari, an astute public servant with a heavy heart. Mallam Kyari was a dedicated Nigerian, a deeply committed and patriotic citizen, who contributed remarkably to the smooth and successful running of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.’’

The Governor added that Kyari was a ‘‘conscientious, competent, cerebral and outstanding administrator whose life traversed the fields of law, journalism, banking and politics.’’

Sanwo-Olu described the death of Mallam Kyari as a great loss to Nigeria, happening at a time the country is desirous of more deeply patriotic individuals to contribute selflessly towards the development of the country.

The Governor urged President Buhari to take solace in the quality of life lived by Mallam Kyari and his exemplary contribution to the current administration.

He said: “as human beings, the death of a close ally will be painful and devastating, but we must always look back at the beautiful moments one shared with the deceased as well as the legacies left behind by such individual. Therefore, Mr. President should find comfort in the good works done by the late Kyari”

Sanwo-Olu said the country and the immediate community of the deceased would remember him for many years to come.

Sanwo-Olu prayed to Almighty God to grant the soul of late Abba Kyari eternal rest and comfort the families he left behind the fortitude. “Surely, the Almighty will be with them and grant them the grace to bear the irreplaceable loss”, he concluded.

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CHIEF OF STAFF TO PRESIDENT BUHARI, ABBA KYARI, PASSES ON

 

STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE

CHIEF OF STAFF TO PRESIDENT BUHARI, ABBA KYARI, PASSES ON

The Presidency regrets to announce the passage of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari.

The deceased had tested positive to the ravaging COVID-19, and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, April 17, 2020.

May God accept his soul.

Funeral arrangements will be announced shortly.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
April 18, 2020

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Itsekiri Bible translator, Deacon Stephen Aganbi’s burial date announced

Itsekiri Bible translator, Deacon Stephen Aganbi’s burial date announced

Dignitaries are expected in Koko, headquarters of Warri North Local Government for the burial rites of Deacon Stephen Ejueyitsi Aganbi.

The nonagenarian died in his hometown on Thursday, March 19, 2020.

The family on Wednesday disclosed that the burial rites for the late Olara-Aja of Koko (Community Head) would begin on Friday, May 8, 2020.

A statement signed by Mr Tunde Aganbi said the remains of the 99-year-old legal luminary, politician par excellence and an astute intellectual would be interred on Saturday, May 9, 2020 in his hometown.

‘’There will be Service of Songs on Friday, May 8, 2020, while he will be committed to mother earth on Saturday, May 9, 2020 ’’ the statement said.

‘’A thanksgiving service in honour of the Baptist Deacon, Bible Translator and Community Head will hold on Sunday, May 10, 2020’’.

Survived by his eight children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, the statement described Deacon Aganbi as a man of integrity and action.

‘’Deacon Stephen Aganbi will be greatly missed by his entire family, friends and colleagues’’ the statement added.

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Godwin Atose is next PDP Chairman, Sapele leaders tell Okowa, Ibori, others

2nd Term: Sapele leaders stop Delta State PDP Chair

Okay Ex-Council Boss

Task Okowa, Ibori, Oyovbaire on Party’s Constitution

Urge incumbent chairman to emulate Diden

The leaders decision to reject the Delta State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Kingsley Esiso is aimed at getting fair share of political privileges.

The member representing Sapele State Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly, Chief Felix Anirah gave the explanation Thursday while addressing a meeting of Sapele political leaders.

“A position zoned to a local government is meant for those carrying INEC voter’s card and the party’s membership card from the constituency or local government area. The incumbent State Chairman, Chief Kingsley Esiso enjoyed full privileges and political benefits before he relocated to Ethiope East Local Government. In 2015, he moved his INEC voter’s card from Sapele State Constituency elsewhere. He cannot struggle with the constituents in Sapele Local Government ” he said.

Anirah maintained that there was no tribal undertone in the decision of Sapele PDP leaders.

“Nobody ever contemplated a tribal factor into the position of the State Chairman zoned to Sapele Local Government in Chief James Onanefe Ibori’s residence on Thursday, March 19, 2020 by the leaders of Delta Central Senatorial District on the instructions of Delta State PDP caucus where the Governor and Deputy Governor of Delta State and other leaders of the party were present ”

The lawmaker stressed on the fairness question, saying that the PDP leaders in Sapele rejected the candidacy of the incumbent chairman.

He noted that the exercise of selecting a nominee for the position of State PDP Chairman by the leaders of the party in Sapele was undermined by the incumbent chairman.

“The decision taken on March 19, 2020 as stated in agreement with all leaders of PDP in Delta Central with clear instructions that positions zoned to the various local governments should be filled and returned on Monday, March 23 , 2020 to Senator Ighoyota Amori’s residence for onward transmission to the appropriate quarters. The incumbent assumes it is his birthright. He refused to consult the leaders of Sapele Local Government ”

The Sapele representative scolded the State PDP Chairman for violating the Party’s Constitution.

He also lashed out at Esiso for engaging in mudslinging by calling leaders of Sapele Local Government all sorts of names.

He pointed out that the Office of the State Organizing Secretary and State Assistant Secretary were zoned to Ethiope East Local Government.

“Sapele is gazetted for the Office of the State Chairman of the Party in Delta State ”

Anirah pleaded with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, Prof Sam Oyovbaire and leaders of Delta Central to ensure that only those with INEC voter’s card and party card in Sapele Local Government should be considered for the post of State PDP Chairman.

“Hon Michael Diden started his political career in Sapele and until he moved to Warri North Local Government, he enjoyed all the political privileges accrued party members. He lives in Sapele. He has never taken what is shared to Sapele because he does not vote in Sapele. Prince Joseph Atseyinku is a Local government and Ward 8 leader. Engineer Tony Aniretan is the PDP LGA Youth Leader. They have INEC voter’s card and party card in Sapele Local Government Area. They are accorded full status and benefits like other party members in Sapele ”

Meanwhile, there are efforts to replace Esiso with former Sapele Local Government chairman, Hon Godwin Atose.

The leaders in a letter to Governor Okowa nominated Atose as the choice candidate for the position of Delta State PDP Chairman, a position zoned to Sapele Local Government.

Signed by Chief Anirah, Margaret Unukegwo and others, the leaders gave arrogance, lack of consultation, high handedness, selfishness, divide and rule policy as reasons for rejecting the incumbent chairman.

A meeting of political stakeholders was held Tuesday in Sapele to drum support for Chief Godwin Atose.