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Itsekiri Nation backs FG, honours Godswill Akpabio

• Makes case for NDDC Plum Job
• Wants East West Road project extended to Warri-Benin Road

Youths in Warri Kingdom on Friday night commended the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for his commitment to the cause of the region.
‘’We should all take a cue from this outstanding statesman and driving force behind the reinvention of the Niger Delta region’’
They also said that Akpabio had come to work, serve and make the Niger Delta region great.
‘’The Niger Delta region is progressing steadily’’
At a ceremony organised to honour Akpabio in Warri, the youths critically assessed Akpabio’s performance and scored it excellent.
Speaker after speaker hailed Akpabio for the multiple dividends of democracy, his efforts to revolutionize the Niger Delta region and uplift the lot of his people.
The youths expressed satisfaction with the level of performance of the development agency and the on-going NDDC forensic audit.
The event drew who-is-who in Warri Kingdom and many youths and elders from other parts of Delta State.
Chairman of All Itsekiri Youth Associations (AIYA), Dr. Omatshola Sagay, praised Akpabio for making the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) more responsive and accountable to all its principal stakeholders.
‘’Chief Godswill Akpabio is a pragmatic and visionary leader who thinks ahead of his people. He is the best thing happening in the Niger Delta region’’.
The Itsekiri youths and elders who spoke in one voice urged youths in other parts of the region to give peace a chance, which they said was necessary for development of the oil and non-oil producing communities in the Niger Delta region.
‘’Everybody in the Niger Delta region, irrespective of his/her status or political leaning should join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Godswill Akpabio in the onerous task of moving the Niger Delta region forward’’
They described the seven-day ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio to constitute the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) or face a major breakdown of law and order in the Niger Delta by certain people as ridiculous.
The youths suggested that current moves to inaugurate a substantive Board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) should include the consideration of someone from Itsekiri nation.
Warri Kingdom is the highest oil producing area in Delta State.
They also urged Buhari to extend the construction of the East West Road to Warri -Benin Road.

Asking TV, radio stations to deactivate Twitter accounts unlawful, SERAP tells NBC

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has condemned “the patently unlawful and unconstitutional directive by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to all broadcast stations in the country to suspend the patronage of Twitter with immediate effect.”

The NBC had reportedly stated that the decision followed the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria by the Federal Government over purported use of the platform for “activities that are capable of undermining the corporate existence of Nigeria.”

But SERAP in a statement today by its deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare stated: “This directive by the NBC is itself unlawful because it is based on another unlawful decision by the Federal Government to suspend Twitter in Nigeria. The NBC’s directive has political interference written all over it. It is a blow to Nigerians’ rights to freedom of expression, media freedom, media independence and diversity. The directive must be immediately withdrawn.”

The statement, read in part: “Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. This action by the NBC is yet another nail in the coffin for human rights, media freedom and independent journalism under this government.”

“The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights should publicly and vigorously express concerns over the Nigerian government’s increasingly brutal crackdown on media freedom, and use all possible means to urge the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to protect and respect freedom of expression.”

“The international community should stand with the broadcast stations and journalists and make clear to the Nigerian government that freedom of expression, media freedom, transparency and accountability, as well as respect for the rule of law are essential to democracy.”

“The UN and donors should continue to take every opportunity to call on the Nigerian government to rescind the unlawful suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, respect freedom of expression, and media freedom, and hold to account anyone targeting broadcast stations and journalists simply for carrying out their professional duty.”

Kolawole Oluwadare
SERAP Deputy Director
7/6/2021
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 us on: +2348160537202
• 07 June 2021

• Multiple award-winning architect Olajumoke Adenowo discusses feminism, living a life of impact and biggest life lessons #Withchude
• This week’s episode of #WithChude unveiled the professional and personal life of multiple award-winning architect and philanthropist Olajumoke Adenowo. Described as Africa’s Starchitect by CNN, Olajumoke’s experience spans over 30years with the design and execution of over 70 buildings. In this exclusive interview with host and co-founder Joy Inc. Chude Jideonwo, Olajumoke discusses feminism in a male-dominated industry like Architecture, people constantly putting her in a box, and the most significant lessons life has taught her.
• Living a multi-faceted life where she functions in many roles as speaker, teacher, author, radio host, preacher, amongst others, Jumoke talked about how stifling it could be when people put her in a box, side-lining an integral part of her life which is architecture and design.
• “I find it totally and completely frustrating, I wish there were stronger terms to use”, she said.
• “It is the bane of my existence that people will insist on putting me in a box. It shouldn’t be a shock to the system that someone in the apostolic and prophetic can also have a day job. I’ve had to comfort myself with the fact that everybody defines you by what they draw from you. I am not holding it against them anymore because the vast majority encounter me as a speaker, teacher or preacher, but that does not change the fact that architecture is my passion. You don’t get a first distinction in architecture from the University of Ife and throw it away. God is not a waster of talents or resources. It would be a waste for God to say to me, do not practice architecture after the years I’ve spent honing and perfecting my craft,” she continued.
• Olajumoke spoke extensively on her love for architecture and her recent appointment as Visiting Professor at the Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) in Germany, where she was honoured as a Laureate and Guest Scientist at the Chair of Theory, History of Architecture, Art & Design.
• Despite this remarkable feat, Olajumoke revealed that she and many other women in male-dominated industries continue to face roadblocks in their careers. She explained this in a powerful elucidation of the bible verse; it is not good for man to be alone. “When God said it is not good for man to be alone, he wasn’t talking about marriage. He was saying it is not good for man to be alone anywhere. It is not good for the male gender to be alone in the board room, in governance, commerce, and every other sector. Why? Well, first because the world population is 51.8% women. How can you side-line half of the world population, especially in important sectors like architecture? We have so much to give. There is so much energy put into blocking us and reminding us constantly that we are women as though it is some sort of disability. We are not asking for help; we just want men to step out of the way and let us be us.”
• Living up to her life philosophy of impactful living, Olajumoke continues to inspire women in Africa and globally, to push against narratives and shatter glass ceilings, especially where many say women can’t.
• #WithChude is a special series of targeted multimedia conversations and investigations focused on narratives that enable and strengthen the mind, heart, and spirit.
• New episodes of #WithChude show every Saturday at 9 pm on Vimeo by subscribing to watch.withchude.com, with reruns every Sunday on Wazobia TV Channel 98 at 5 pm, every Wednesday on Pop Central Station on DSTV Channel 189 at 8.00 pm,
• and every Thursday on EbonyLife TV at 7:30 pm.
• An extended play podcast is up on Spotify, iTunes, among other podcast platforms, every Wednesday at 10:00 am.
• Everyone can join the conversations.
• An extended play podcast is up on Spotify, iTunes, among other podcast platforms, every Wednesday at 10:00 am. Everyone can join the conversations.

PRESS STATEMENT
CDWR CONDEMNS THE BAN ON TWITTER BY THE BUHARI-LED REGIME
FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS MUST BE RESPECTED
Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) condemns in strong terms the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria by Muhammadu Buhari-led regime. We also condemn the government’s order to arrest and prosecute Nigerians who use Twitter after the ban. The action undermines free speech and democratic rights in Nigeria. The ban will also negatively affect small businesses and jobs that depend on Twitter to transact business and for jobs.
We observe the dangerous degeneration of the Buhari-led government into a full-blown Police State reminiscent of a dictatorial military regime. The Buhari-led government has repeatedly harassed and attacked activists, journalists, media houses etc. Most Nigerians are under economic, social and political siege! Activists have been arrested, detained and attacked for protesting unfair and anti-people policies. We witnessed how the Buhari regime and the military brutally attacked and suppressed the ENDSARS protest leaving deaths, sorrows and blood.
These attacks are the typical Buhari regime’s responses to agitation against its anti-people policies and obvious failure to resolve any of the problems bedevilling the country including insecurity, the rising cost of living, ailing economy, factory closures amid rise in exchange rate, mass job losses, lack of basic infrastructure and nationality question. Buhari regime’s agenda is to hold the working people down in subjugation and slavery to allow a few privileged self-serving bourgeois elite to continue the loot and exploitation unchallenged.
CDWR demands the reinstatement of Twitter and respect for freedom of speech and democratic rights. We also demand an end to all forms of attacks currently going on including the release of all detained activists and protesters and compensation to all victims of brutality of the Police/Military.
In the same vein, we are also critical of big media including the big tech which are in the hands of tiny oligarchy, business moguls and the capitalist state across the world. They are as well used to undermine the interest of the working masses and the poor. So, CDWR calls for democratic control of the big media by the working people. This will make it possible for the media to serve the interest of all.
We call on Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to end their strategic alliance with the self-serving capitalist ruling elite and government and mobilize the working people and the poor against all anti-poor policies, attacks on democratic rights and failure over the insecurity by the Buhari government.
SIGNED
Comrade Rufus Olusesan Comrade Chinedu Bosah
National Chairperson National Publicity Secretary
PRESIDENT BUHARI APPOINTS NEW AIDES FOR FIRST LADY
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Dr. Rukayyatu Abdulkareem Gurin as Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administration and Women Affairs in the Office of the First Lady.
She is a Doctorate degree holder in Curriculum Instruction from the University of Maiduguri.
She was at various times a Lecturer at the University of Maiduguri; a Deputy Director at the National Universities Commission (NUC); and a Director at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru.
Dr. Gurin who was a Senior Lecturer at Baze University in Abuja before her appointment, replaces Dr. Hajo Sani who was recently appointed as Nigeria’s Delegate to the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) in France.
The President also approved the appointment of Dr. Mohammed Kamal Abdurrahman as Senior Special Assistant to the President on Health and Development Partners in the Office of the First Lady.
He holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree from University of Maiduguri. He worked at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Yola Specialist Hospital, Sithobela Health Centre in Swaziland, and at the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) before his appointment as the Personal Physician to the First Lady in 2015 and reappointed in 2019.
Dr Abdurrahman will combine his new role with his position as the Personal Physician to the First Lady.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 7, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI MOURNS PASTOR TB JOSHUA
President Muhammadu Buhari commiserates with the family and members of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) on the passing of their father and founder, Pastor Temitope Balogun, popularly known as TB Joshua.
The President notes that the renowned televangelist will be missed by his followers all over the world not only for his spiritual contributions, but for touching many lives through philanthropic gestures.
President Buhari urges Pastor Joshua’s followers to take solace in the knowledge that life is not measured and defined by chronological longevity but by enduring legacies and lives touched positively.
He also condoles with the government and people of Ondo State and prays that God Almighty will accept the soul of the departed pastor.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
June 6, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI EULOGIZES DR. JOSEPH NWODO AT BURIAL IN ENUGU STATE
President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday described the late Dr Joseph Nwodo as “one of the leading lights of the legal profession” at burial ceremony of the deceased held in Ukehe Nsukka, Enugu State.
The President was represented at the ceremony by a Presidential delegation led by Dr Chris Nwabueze Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment accompanied by Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sharon Ikeazor, Minister of State, Environment, Senator Ita Enang, and Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.
The funeral service, held at St Peter’s Catholic Church, Ukehe, was graced by distinguished personalities like Gov Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, former governors Jim Nwobodo, Sam Egwu, Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, members of the National Assembly, the Bar and Bench, top government officials, and people from different walks of life.
The eulogy by President Buhari, addressed to the Nwodo family, goes thus:
“I write to condole with you on the death of your Patriarch and brother Dr. Joe Nwodo – the Agadagbachiruzo of Ukehe, Ochendo Umu Ogbenye.
“The late Joe was an epitome of humility and good manners and radiated utmost friendliness in his relationship with people of all ethnic groups and calling. He was also an intellectual who despite having bagged his LLB; BL (Cantab) at the prestigious University of Cambridge went further to acquire a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in International Law and Jurisprudence from the London School of Economics (LSE). The legal family in Nigeria will always remember him as one of the leading lights of the profession, because of his erudite contributions to the nation’s jurisprudence.
“In the political arena, the Ochendo was a great grassroots mobiliser and will forever be remembered for his philosophy of Equity and Justice to all. He was a strong Governorship contender that emerged in Old Anambra State in 1990 – 1991 and later the National Republican Convention (NRC) Presidential aspirant that emerged from Enugu State under the Party’s Option A4 Presidential Election in 1992.
“With his towering stature, as a great giver and philanthropist and servant of the people, I have no doubt that God will grant him eternal rest in his Kingdom.”
Dr Nwodo passed away recently, aged 77.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
June 5, 2021

PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT ON TWITTER SUSPENSION IN NIGERIA
The temporary suspension of Twitter is not just a response to the removal of the President’s post. There has been a litany of problems with the social media platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and fake news spread through it have had real world violent consequences. All the while, the company has escaped accountability.
Nevertheless, the removal of President Buhari’s tweet was disappointing. The censoring seemed based on a misunderstanding of the challenges Nigeria faces today.
The President in his address at the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA in 2019 said “the world was shocked and startled by the massacre in New Zealand by a lone gunman taking the lives of 50 worshippers.”
This and similar crimes which have been fueled by social media networks risk seeping into the fabric of an emerging digital culture.
Major tech companies must be alive to their responsibilities. They cannot be allowed to continue to facilitate the spread of religious, racist, xenophobic and false messages capable of inciting whole communities against each other, leading to loss of many lives. This could tear some countries apart.
President Buhari has therefore been warning against social media’s disruptive and divisive influences and the government’s action is not a knee-jerk reaction to Twitter’s preposterous deletion of his tweet which should have been read in full.
The tweet was not a threat, but a statement of fact.
A terrorist organisation (IPOB) poses a significant threat to the safety and security of Nigerian citizens.
When the President said that they will be treated “in a language they understand,” he merely reiterated that their force shall be met with force. It is a basic principle of security services response world over.
This is not promotion of hate, but a pledge to uphold citizens’ right to freedom from harm. The government cannot be expected to capitulate to terrorists.
IPOB is proscribed under Nigerian law. Its members murder innocent Nigerians. They kill policemen and set government property on fire. Now, they have amassed a substantial stockpile of weapons and bombs across the country.
Twitter does not seem to appreciate the national trauma of our country’s civil war. This government shall not allow a recurrence of that tragedy.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 5, 2021

June 7, 2021
Press Statement
Twitter Ban: PDP Cautions APC, FG Against Harassing Foreign Envoys
Considers Court Action, Civil Protests
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cautions the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government against harassing foreign envoys and other members of the international community for speaking out against the infringement on the rights of Nigerians by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The PDP’s position is predicated on the summoning of the envoys of the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Canada among others by the Federal Government, for standing on the side of Nigerians in criticizing the unwarranted suspension of Twitter in our country.
The PDP is alarmed by the development which smacks of intolerance towards the international community as obtained in Idi Amin’s dictatorial Uganda of 1971 to 1979.
Our party notes that there is no law or statute that prohibits foreign envoys from speaking out against clear violation of internationally enshrined freedom of expression and right to social interactions as provided by Twitter and other social media platforms.
In fact, the defence of such rights is a fundamental duty which envoys owe their host nations and the international community.
The PDP therefore cautions that any harassment or assault on foreign envoys place them at great risk as well as pitch our nation against other members of the international community.
It is instructive for the APC and the Buhari administration to note that given the current downturn of our national life under their misrule, Nigeria cannot afford being declared a pariah nation.
The PDP is worried that the APC administration has been overheating our polity leading to escalation of insecurity, killings, bloodletting and violence in the country.
Nigerians would recall that ahead of the 2019 general elections, one of the leaders of the APC, the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, had threatened that some of the foreign election monitors would be returned to their countries in body bags.
Our party therefore demands that the Federal Government should listen to the voice of reason, end its misrule and desist from infringing on the rights of Nigerians as being witnessed in the illegal and vexatious ban on Twitter.
Already, the PDP is perfecting processes for a legal action against the APC-led Federal Government’s suspension of Twitter and the directive to broadcasting stations to pull out of Twitter.
In the same vein, our party is considering a directive to all our wards, local governments and state structure to commence peaceful civil protests against suspension of Twitter, the spate of insecurity and the failures of the Buhari administration.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

June 6, 2021
Press Statement
APC Behind Twitter Ban and Moves to Suppress Nigerians
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accuses the National Caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of being behind the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The PDP says revelations available to it show how APC leaders at one of their party’s national caucus meeting recommended the regulation of social media in Nigeria and how they have been plotting to obliterate internet-based interaction platforms such as Twitter.
The PDP recalls how the APC Caucus has been pushing bills in the National Assembly, particularly in November 2020, seeking to enforce a draconian regulation of social media so as to gag Nigerians from exposing its atrocities, including human right abuses, treasury looting, nepotism and sectional marginalization by the APC administration.
Nigerians can also recall how the APC administration in carrying out the agenda of its party have been using the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, to suffocate the media space with humongous fines and threats of suspension of operating license on broadcast stations.
The PDP wants the APC to know that their plot against Nigerians have been exposed and cannot stand.
Our nation is known for her resilient citizenry and no leader or political party has been able to suppress the wishes of Nigerians.
The APC, in spite of its machinations, cannot vanquish Nigerians in their determination for a free and democratic nation where sovereignty belongs to the people.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

June 5, 2021
Press Statement
Twitter Suspension: Malami’s Prosecution Order is Illegal, Null and Void -PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) declares that the directive by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration to arrest and prosecute any Nigerian using Twitter, is blatantly unconstitutional, illegal, null and completely of no moment.
The PDP asserts that the directive by the APC through the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, is not only downright ludicrous, but shows the frenzied desperation by the Buhari Presidency to muzzle, victimize, clamp down on innocent Nigerians and foist a totalitarian system on our country.
The PDP states that nothing in our extant laws, not even the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, constitutionally criminalized the use of Twitter by Nigerians or empowers the Federal Governments to arrest and prosecute any Nigerians for using Twitter.
For Malami’s information, section 36 (12) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that “a person shall not be convicted of a criminal offence unless that offence is defined and the penalty therefor is prescribed in a written law, and in this subsection, a written law refers to an Act of the National Assembly or a law of a state, any subsidiary legislation or instrument under the provisions of the law”.
President Muhammadu Buhari and his APC are informed that there is no extant law that defined the use of Twitter as a criminal offence and there is no penalty prescribed in a written law for the use of Twitter by any Nigerians.
Moreover, they should also realize that the suspension of Twitter by the APC Federal Government, in addition to its unconstitutionality, only suspended Twitter operations and not the use of Twitter by Nigerians.
The directive by the Attorney General to arrest and prosecute any Nigerians found using Twitter, does not have the backing of any law enacted by the National Assembly or any state legislative house, and as such, Malami’s declaration is completely of no legal consequence.
Malami’s directive to arrest and prosecute Nigerians using Twitter is therefore an attempt to suspend the 1999 Constitution (as amended), a development which bears the imprints of the leaked memo in which Mr. President was reportedly advised to suspend the constitution and strip Nigerians of their rights and freedom.
The PDP again cautions the Buhari Presidency and the APC to end their acts of suppression against Nigerians as such amounts to pushing the people to the wall.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

June 4, 2021
Press Statement
PDP Rejects Suspension of Twitter By FG…Cautions That Buhari Is Pushing Nigerians to the Wall
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) vehemently rejects the unwarranted suspension of the social media platform, Twitter, by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, describing it as a draconian action and a slide towards a fascist regime in our country.
The party asserts that the suspension of twitter, is a vexatious, condemnable and barbaric move to muzzle Nigerians, particularly the youths, ostensibly to prevent them from holding the overtly corrupt, vindictive and divisive Buhari administration accountable for its atrocities, including human right violations, patronizing of terrorists and outright suppressive acts against innocent Nigerians.
Our party is appalled that the Federal Government could exhibit such primitive intolerance and power intoxication because the social media giant demonstrated international best practices in not allowing the Buhari presidency to use Twitter as a platform to propagate and spread the Buhari administration’s hatred towards Nigerians.
The PDP insists that rather than being a platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence, as claimed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Nigerians, particularly the youths, have been using the social media platform, largely, for activities that promote unity, as well as social, economic and commercial interaction in our country.
Our party notes that Mr. Lai Mohammed, in his statement, failed to cite an example of where Nigerians used Twitter as a platform to promote acts that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence as he claimed.
Of course, the failure to give any such instance, confirms that the Federal Government is only out to victimize Nigerians.
The Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration are only afraid of Nigerians on Twitter because of their evil machinations for which they dread the Nigerian youths.
Moreover, freedom of speech is firmly guaranteed in our constitution and the Buhari administration should be ready to face Nigerians over its misrule.
In the case of any infringement, our nation has adequate extant laws to deal with such and not this move to gag the people.
The PDP therefore charges President Buhari to end this assault against Nigerians by immediately and unconditionally rescinding its decision to ban Twitter, as such amounts to pushing our citizens to the wall.
Afterall, it was the same Twitter that provided President Buhari and the APC the platform to campaign in 2015 and 2019.
It is also on record that President Buhari would not be the first President in the world whose tweet would be deleted.
When it happened to former US President Donald Trump, he was not known to have deployed any act coercion against Twitter.
Our party invites President Buhari to halt this international shame by rescinding this ugly decision.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

NO GOING BACK ON FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF IRU-V.I, LAGOS MASTER PLAN, SAYS SANWO-OLU
…Glamour, Glitz as Clerics, Others Task Oniru on Service, Humility, Transparency

Lagos State Governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has restated his administration’s commitment to the full implementation of Iru-Victoria Island Lagos Master Plan, saying that the axis is too critical to the economic posterity of the state to be ignored.

Speaking during the first Anniversary of coronation of Oba Omogbolahan Lawal (Abisogun II) as the 15th Oniru of Iruland, Governor Sanwo-Olu said that he was proud of the achievement of the monarch in the last one year that he ascended the throne his forebears. He added that more infrastructural and economic development had taken place in his kingdom within the first year of his ascendancy.

The governor, who also said that more roads and other infrastructure would be executed in the axis, urged the monarch to partner with the state government in the urban and regional regeneration of the Iruland in order to realise the full potential of the Greater Lagos agenda.

He said the members of the state executive council were excited with the innovation the monarch introduced in less than a year he was enthroned.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, said that the people of Iru kingdom were lucky to have the caliber of the Oniru, who is internationally acknowledged as a cerebral scholar as their king. He said that with Oba Lawal, the kingdom would witness more transformation and developments.

He said: “I know very well that his wealth of experience will bring about positive economic development into Iruland. How I wish that they had more land, how I wish they could extend into the Atlantic so that they can create a bigger kingdom for his people.

“Even within what he has, I know that he will transform this place into an enviable location that all of us in Lagos and Nigeria will truly be proud of.

“The waterfront, the economic activities that is happening there, the commercial hub that is happening also on the waterways, we have discussed this and we said as a state government, we will continue to help because it is only when you bring development to local communities like this, that people can see better growth.”

The governor urged the people of Iru kingdom to support the Oniru with prayers in order for him to excel and bring progress to the people. He also charged them embrace local and foreign investors to bring about positive development to the kingdom.

“Today is about our Kabiyesi, it’s about our traditional institution in the Yoruba land, it’s about development for our people and about ensuring that there’s a space and there is a responsibility for our traditional institution. His royal majesty, Omogbolahan Lawal is an example of that institution, is an example of the capability that can happen in that sector.

“I want to commend you , I want to thank God for your life, I pray that as you celebrate the first anniversary, we will celebrate your fifth, 10th, 20th, and 50th and if God wishes, we will celebrate much more with you and you will do it with grace.”

On their part, the National Missioner Ansar-UD-Deen Society, Sheikh Abdul Rahaman Ahmad and Pastor of Trinity House church, Ituah Ighodalo, urged Oba Lawal to always make himself accessible to his subjects in order to endear himself to them. They said that the monarch would be able to make more impact on the lives of the people of the kingdom, if they have access to him.

Dignitaries at the event were: Deputy Governor of Lagos, Dr Obafemi Hamzat; former Defence Minister (State), Senator Musiliu Obanikoro; former deputy governor of Lagos, Otunba Femi Pedro; Erelu Abiola Dosunmu; Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheikh Oluwatoyin Abou-Nolla; Pastor in Charge of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Idowu Iluyomade; traditional rulers; captains of industries chairmen of various local government in the state.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
JUNE 7, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI GREETS PASTOR W.F KUMUYI AT 80
President Muhammadu Buhari rejoices with General Superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi, as he turns 80 June 6, 2021.
The President felicitates with the family of the renowned preacher, members of the Deeper Life Bible Church, and Christendom in general, wishing the “spiritual General” greater service to God and humanity, “in good health and sound mind.”
President Buhari recalls his 2018 meeting with Pastor Kumuyi and wife, Esther, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the warmth they radiated, and their love and prayers for country, urging younger preachers to take a cue, and intercede for Nigeria and people in positions of authority, as God’s word enjoins.
As Pastor Kumuyi reaches the milestone, the President prays that his vision for the country will be realized, and the works of his hands will continue to prosper.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
June 5, 2021

PINNICKS’S POSITION IN FIFA COUNCIL BENEFICIAL FOR FOOTBALL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA, SAYS PRESIDENT BUHARI
President Muhamamdu Buhari Friday in Abuja expressed optimism that the membership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President Amaju Pinnick into the FIFA Council ‘‘will provide benefits that will lead to the advancement of football in Africa and Nigeria.’’
In an audience with the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare and Pinnick, the President, once again, congratulated the NFF boss on his election victory into the strategic body that sets the vision for global football, assuring him of Nigeria’s support in his new position.
‘‘The position on the Council of the world’s football governing body, FIFA, comes at a time when Nigeria is determined to turn the fortunes of her sports development around through better infrastructure, more investment both public and private government incentives.
‘Without prejudice to the continental nature of your assignment at the Council, I urge you to use your position to ensure Nigeria’s sporting image receives a boost.
‘‘I know this position will assist Nigeria get technical and financial support from FIFA; and your position should create a platform for other Nigerians to enter into the FIFA family and other international Sports Federations,’’ he said.
Emphasising his belief in the potential of sports to promote peace, unity, enhance good health and stimulate the economy, President Buhari said ‘‘one of the greatest sports is football and Nigeria is a great football nation. I am myself a keen follower of football.’’
On his vision for Nigerian football, the President told the Minister and the NFF President:
‘‘I want to see Nigeria’s football develop and move in a more dynamic trajectory from football administration to youth and grassroots football, talent hunt and use of Nigeria’s home based talents.
‘‘Nigeria also needs a more privatized and better organised football regime that can rival others in Europe and America.’’
The President, therefore, urged the NFF to work with the Sport ministry and football stakeholders to provide Nigeria with a 10-year Football Master Plan that will ensure youth football development, in line with FIFA’s commitment.
Urging corporate organisations to invest in sports development, the President pledged his administration’s commitment to turn sports into business, adding that the expected reviewed Sport Industry Policy ‘‘will be the catalyst that turns football activities associated with it into key contributors to the national economy.’’
In his remarks, Dare thanked the President for his support for sports development in the country, and for approving the reclassification of sports as business, instead of mere recreation.
He promised that a new draft policy on the sports industry was almost ready, as well as a 10-year master plan for football at all levels.
The new FIFA Council member, Pinnick, equally lauded President Buhari for his support for football, saying: ‘‘Without you, I couldn’t have won election into FIFA Council. Your name is highly respected across the continent.’’
Pinnick pledged to be a worthy Ambassador of the country, adding ‘‘I will use the office to build Nigerian football, in conjunction with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.’’
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 4, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI EXTOLS GENERAL DOGONYARO’S VIRTUES
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Lantang, Plateau State extolled the military qualities of Lt-General Joshua Nimyel Dogonyaro, a one-time Chief of Defence Staff, days after describing him as one of the finest soldiers the Nigerian Army has ever produced.
In a funeral oration read on his behalf by the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (rtd) at the burial ceremony of the late Dogonyaro, President Buhari said General Dogonyaro was “an icon of professionalism, bravery and discipline as amply demonstrated in the attributes he displayed in his national and international military assignments.”
The President added that “the late general was a reference point for us and will remain a source of inspiration for several officers, serving and retired. He was a great son of Nigeria, widely known for his uncommon loyalty to his country, a virtue which at this critical period of nationhood, Nigeria needs from all of us.”
In a letter of condolence delivered by the Presidential delegation to Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, President Buhari said:
“Laying down one’s life for the country is one of the greatest sacrifices any citizen can make to his country. His (Dogonyaro’s) many contributions will be remembered for years to come. I pray that Almighty God will grant his family and the entire people of Plateau State the fortitude to bear the loss.”
Speaking on behalf of the family, one of the late General’s children, Ibrahim thanked the President “for his love and care for the Dogonyaro family.”
Accompanying the Minister of Defence in the President’s delegation to the event were the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline K. Tallen and the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 4, 2021

PRESS RELEASE

SECURITY: SANWO-OLU GETS LIST OF ABANDONED BUILDINGS, SET TO TAKE ACTION
•Lagos Procures Machine to Detect COVID-19 Variants – Governor
Criminals will find no space in Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said.
The Governor, on Monday, said a long list of abandoned buildings across Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), which may serve as safe haven for criminals, had been compiled.
Sanwo-Olu said the State Government would be taking proactive action towards ensuring that the buildings do not become security threats in communities where they have been found.
The popular thinking is that such buildings are occupied by criminals who use them to plan attacks. The government plans to take control of such buildings.
Sanwo- Olu spoke of the development during a live interview on Arise TV, where he shared details of his administration’s achievements in the last two years. Sanwo-Olu was 731 days in office on May 29.
At a consultative meeting on security held last month, participants requested the Government to take control of uncompleted buildings and abandoned vehicles to boost security.
The Governor, who spoke against the background of rising spate of kidnapping and criminalities in some States across the nation, said the State Government remained at alert to prevent the spillover of criminalities from neighbouring States into Lagos. To this, he said his administration was on the verge of recruiting additional 1,500 men into the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC) to boost intelligence gathering in local communities and aid security agencies to quickly respond to crimes.
He said Lagos, in the last six months, had collaborated with the police to strengthen community policing in addressing localised crimes and checking activities of cultists. The State gave the police 1,250 men from the state’s Neighborhood Watch.
He stressed that the strategy would be effective if residents remained vigilant and offered information on strange activities in their neighbourhoods.
He said: “Two days ago, I receive report of abandoned buildings across the State from Neighbourhood Watch. The list is about 250 pages with addresses and pictures of the buildings. These are some of the places where the criminals and miscreants hide to launch their activities. We are passing this list to the security for immediate response and actions. This surveillance speaks to the necessity of state police. All the preventable criminalities happening are because we have not agreed as a nation that there should be state police.
“We have been an advocate of state police and it is one of the submissions I made at the recent public hearing on constitutional amendment in Lagos. State police is a force whose time has come. Whether it is Amotekun or Neighbourhood Watch, these are all pointers to the necessity of States to have police to make them stronger. All the kidnapping and killings we have been witnessing can be nipped in the bud. Our challenge in Lagos is not having forests where kidnappers hide; it is more about cultism. I need to think global but localise my response to these challenges.”
On whether the State would ban commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, Sanwo-Olu said the Government was providing an alternative to the motorcycles with the First and Last-Mile minibuses; thousands of them will be pushed into the system.
The Governor, however, disclosed that transport unions had reached out to the State Government on regularisation of informal transport services, including Okada. He said efforts were underway to leverage biometric data for approval of commercial motorcycle operation in areas where it had not been proscribed.
On the recent progress recorded by the State in its response to infectious diseases, Sanwo-Olu revealed that Lagos now has the capacity to detect new variants of Coronavirus (COVID-19), given procurement of latest PCR machine. This, he said, came ahead of the move by the State to build a world-class Infectious Disease Centre in Yaba to support research for diagnosis and treatment of contagious diseases in future.
Sharing his opinion on the suspension micro-blogging site, Twitter, by the Federal Government, Sanwo-Olu said: “Mr. President, who is the Commander-in-Chief, may have some security information, which I do not have as a sitting Governor. I won’t say what the Federal Government or Twitter has done is right or wrong. What I see is that, on both sides, there are issues that can be resolved.
“So, in this period of suspension, let us sit and have a conversation. Had it been Twitter has an office in Nigeria, issues would have been resolved a lot quicker. In other climes, Twitter signs agreements on the rule of engagement. I don’t think that has happened here. The Federal Government, I believe, can handle the issue a lot better, because of the number of e-commerce firms and youths that are engaging in digital stuff.
“I believe there should be a lot of restraint and better management from both sides. I’ll plead that both sides come together in next one or two days and resolve this. We should not politicise this issue. People are losing money and economies are being destroyed, but there are also security issues. I am ready to give quality advice on what needs to be done if I’m called upon.”
The Governor said the repeal of Pension Act for former Lagos Governors and military administrators was a popular action taken by his administration to cut spending and improve good governance.
“There is no need for any pension for ex-Governors in Lagos. I won’t be earning any pension after my tenure,” he said.

BLACK GIRL MAGIC: RISING AFRICAN SUPERSTARS TEMS (NIGERIA) AND ELAINE (SOUTH AFRICA) ARE NOMINATED FOR BET AWARDS 2021 ‘BEST NEW INTERNATIONAL ACT VIEWER’S CHOICE’ CATEGORY

BET International announced the ‘BET AWARDS 2021 Viewer’s Choice: Best New International Act’ nominees today, with Nigeria’s Tems and South Africa’s Elaine clinching two spots on the nominees list. These African vocal powerhouses join an array of talented black women who are dominating the music industry on the BET Awards 2021 nominees list.

The BET AWARDS 2021 will air Live, Monday, June 28 on BET Africa, DStv channel 122, at 1am WAT/2am CAT. You can also catch the repeat at 7pm WAT/8pm CAT on the same day.

“The ‘Viewer’s Choice: Best New International Act’ category was created to award breakthrough talent and emerging voices in music from around the world,” said Monde Twala, SVP of BET International. “We’re thrilled to honor this year’s exceptional nominees on the global ‘BET Awards’ platform.”

Now in its twenty-first year, the BET AWARDS continues its reign as the ultimate platform to showcase the most beautiful aspects of the global black experience – celebrating black music’s present and future, elevating the culture and being a driving force for social change.

Voting for the ‘BET AWARDS 2021 Viewer’s Choice: Best New International Act’ will run from 3pm WAT/4pm CAT June 7 to 3pm WAT/4pm CAT June 11. For the latest BET AWARDS2021 news and updates, please visit BET.com/Awards.

The nominees for the ‘BET AWARDS 2021 Viewer’s Choice: Best New International Act’ category are:

TEMS (NIGERIA)
ELAINE (SOUTH AFRICA)
ARLO PARKS (UK)
BRAMSITO (FRANCE)
BREE RUNWAY (UK)
MC DRICKA (BRAZIL)
RONISIA (FRANCE)

Previously announced nominees according to category for theBET AWARDS 2021 are:

BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT
WIZKID (NIGERIA)
BURNA BOY (NIGERIA)
AYA NAKAMURA (FRANCE)
DIAMOND PLATNUMZ (TANZANIA)
EMICIDA (BRAZIL)
HEADIE ONE (UK)
YOUNG T & BUGSEY (UK)
YOUSSOUPHA (FRANCE)

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
AFTER HOURS – THE WEEKND
BLAME IT ON BABY – DABABY
GOOD NEWS – MEGAN THEE STALLION
HEAUX TALES – JAZMINE SULLIVAN
KING’S DISEASE – NAS
UNGODLY HOUR – CHLOE X HALLE

BEST COLLABORATION
CARDI B FT. MEGAN THEE STALLION – WAP
DABABY FT. RODDY RICCH – ROCKSTAR
DJ KHALED FT. DRAKE – POPSTAR
JACK HARLOW FT. DABABY, TORY LANEZ & LIL WAYNE – WHATS POPPIN (REMIX)
MEGAN THEE STALLION FT. DABABY – CRY BABY
POP SMOKE FT. LIL BABY & DABABY – FOR THE NIGHT

BEST FEMALE R&B / POP ARTIST
BEYONCÉ
H.E.R.
JAZMINE SULLIVAN
JHENÉ AIKO
SUMMER WALKER
SZA

BEST MALE R&B / POP ARTIST
6LACK
ANDERSON. PAAK
CHRIS BROWN
GIVEON
TANK
THE WEEKND

BEST NEW ARTIST
COI LERAY
FLO MILLI
GIVEON
JACK HARLOW
LATTO
POOH SHIESTY

BEST GROUP
21 SAVAGE & METRO BOOMIN
CHLOE X HALLE
CHRIS BROWN & YOUNG THUG
CITY GIRLS
MIGOS
SILK SONIC

BEST FEMALE HIP HOP ARTIST
CARDI B
COI LERAY
DOJA CAT
MEGAN THEE STALLION
LATTO
SAWEETIE

BEST MALE HIP HOP ARTIST
DABABY
DRAKE
J. COLE
JACK HARLOW
LIL BABY
POP SMOKE

DR. BOBBY JONES BEST GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL AWARD
BEBE WINANS – IN JESUS NAME
CECE WINANS – NEVER LOST
H.E.R. – HOLD US TOGETHER
KIRK FRANKLIN – STRONG GOD
MARVIN SAPP – THANK YOU FOR IT ALL
TAMELA MANN – TOUCH FROM YOU

BET HER AWARD
ALICIA KEYS FT. KHALID – SO DONE
BRANDY FT. CHANCE THE RAPPER – BABY MAMA
BRI STEVES – ANTI QUEEN
CHLOE X HALLE – BABY GIRL
CIARA FT. ESTER DEAN – ROOTED
SZA – GOOD DAYS

VIEWER’S CHOICE AWARD
CARDI B FT. MEGAN THEE STALLION – WAP
CHRIS BROWN & YOUNG THUG – GO CRAZY
DABABY FT. RODDY RICCH – ROCKSTAR
DJ KHALED FT. DRAKE – POPSTAR
DRAKE FT. LIL DURK – LAUGH NOW CRY LATER
LIL BABY – THE BIGGER PICTURE
MEGAN THEE STALLION FT. BEYONCÉ – SAVAGE (REMIX)
SILK SONIC – LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
CARDI B – UP
CARDI B FT. MEGAN THEE STALLION – WAP
CHLOE X HALLE – DO IT
CHRIS BROWN & YOUNG THUG – GO CRAZY
DRAKE FT. LIL DURK – LAUGH NOW CRY LATER
SILK SONIC – LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN

VIDEO DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
BENNY BOOM
BRUNO MARS AND FLORENT DÉCHARD
COLE BENNETT
COLIN TILLEY
DAVE MEYERS
HYPE WILLIAMS

BEST MOVIE
COMING 2 AMERICA
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI…
SOUL
THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY

BEST ACTRESS
ANDRA DAY
ANGELA BASSETT
ISSA RAE
JURNEE SMOLLETT
VIOLA DAVIS
ZENDAYA

BEST ACTOR
ALDIS HODGE
CHADWICK BOSEMAN
DAMSON IDRIS
DANIEL KALUUYA
EDDIE MURPHY
LAKEITH STANFIELD

YOUNGSTARS AWARD
ALEX R. HIBBERT
ETHAN HUTCHISON
LONNIE CHAVIS
MARSAI MARTIN
MICHAEL EPPS
STORM REID

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
A’JA WILSON
CANDACE PARKER
CLARESSA SHIELDS
NAOMI OSAKA
SERENA WILLIAMS
SKYLAR DIGGINS-SMITH

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
KYRIE IRVING
LEBRON JAMES
PATRICK MAHOMES
RUSSELL WESTBROOK
RUSSELL WILSON
STEPHEN CURRY

About BET
BET, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African American audience. The primary BET channel is in 125 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa and France. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including BET+, the preeminent streaming service for the Black audience; BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.

ABOUT “BET AWARDS”
The “BET Awards” is one of the most-watched award shows on cable television according to the Nielsen Company. The “BET Awards” franchise remains as the #1 program in cable TV history among African-Americans, and it is BET’s #1 telecast every year. It recognizes the triumphs and successes of artists, entertainers, and athletes in a variety of categories.

SMW Fashion Sets Record, Hit 25,000 Sales in First Month
* How We Recorded 25,000 Sales in First Month -SMW Fashion
*SMW Fashion Beats Record, Hit Massive Sales in First Month

The management of SMW Fashion has announced that the fashion label has received over twenty-five thousand (25,000) orders of its various merchandise in its first month of business commencement in Nigeria.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of the brand, Mr. Philip Ikezahu, the requests for their products have been overwhelming and it’s still of great surprise that such sales can be pulled in the first month of business.

Recall that the Fashion brand which is a sister company to Soso Music Worldwide- a music production & recording company, earlier last month disclosed that the fashion outfit will be kicked-off with about 50,000 pilot merchandises ranging from luxury wears to shoes, jewelries, as well as other fashion accessories.

“Our target is the Nigerian Pop Culture. And fashion as you know it evolves every day; we promise to continue giving our esteemed customers top notch designs. The accelerated sales we have experienced in the last one month is an indication that we need to do more and with our team of creative innovators and designers, our customers are rest assured they will get only the best.” Ikezahu said.

While the Dubai-Based jeweler also spoke on Soso Music Worldwide, he disclosed that the music company is ready to unveil its two newly signed artiste by the end of June 2021. He said that the artistes are fired-up already and that the Nigerian music scene should be ready to witness talents like never before.

“Also, our talent management outfit is in the pipeline and will commence operation before the end of 2021, the actual goal is to fuse together Music, Fashion, and Talent management which will eventually showcase Nigeria to the world.” He added.

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Akpabio has put Niger Delta on the path to true development- South-South leaders

Akpabio has put Niger Delta on the path to true development- South-South leaders

· Counsel Niger Delta youths

· Urge oil companies to ignore seven days ultimatum

· Justifies forensic audit, appointment of sole administrator

South-South leaders on Thursday took a swipe at some youths in the zone, urging them to be decorous.

The leaders also queried the rationality of the ultimatum given to international oil firms to vacate the Niger Delta region.

‘’There is no reason for any such thing’’

Leader of South-South Front (SSF), Chief John Harry and other notable leaders in the zone, said the South-South had fared better in the last few years under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

They described the position of the youths on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) forensic audit as unfortunate.

‘’We believe they are misguided and they need the counsel of the elders to regain their focus’’

They warned the youths not to destroy through reckless accusations the only institution that is promoting accelerated development in the Niger Delta region.

‘’We strongly believe that the stance of some youths is not in the interests of the South-South geo-political zone’’

Speaking at a solidarity forum organized by South-South Front in Abuja in honour of ministers from the South-South geo-political zone, the leaders faulted the stance of the youths in the appointment of sole administrator and the achievements of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio.

‘’We are grateful for having Chief Godswill Akpabio as Niger Delta Affairs Minister. He has performed greatly since his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari’’

The leaders chided Chief Edwin Clark for evolving pathetic little schemes to ensure his continued relevance, engaging in a fruitless campaign against the former governor of Akwa Ibom State and shying away from the conclusion that, as a minister, Akpabio has already restructured the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

‘’We state without any trepidation that it is most unfair and very uncharitable for some people to throw muds at the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs’’

The leaders scolded the youths for their propensity to issue unsavory rebukes and impolite pronouncements.

‘’They are gang of spoilers’’ the leaders said.

The leaders hailed Akpabio for taking far reaching decisions, bringing about a reform to save NDDC from the clutches of some individuals and doing everything within his power to better the life of the Niger Delta people.

‘’Godswill Akpabio has put the Niger Delta region on the path to true development’’

They also commended him for formulating policies to check leakages, making NDDC more responsive and accountable to all its principal stakeholders and ensuring the spread of ‘’the gospel of transparency and accountability which are essential ingredients of good governance’’.

‘’The Commission needs to have sufficient resources required for recurrent and capital expenditure’’

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Okpe Union President General, Professor Igho Natufe, restates calls for restructuring



President General of Okpe Union, Professor Igho Natufe, on Sunday made a critical appraisal of the Nigerian State and concluded that restructuring of the Nigerian Federal System in accordance with the notion of federalism was inevitable.
‘’Our contribution to Nigerian development shall be influenced by the tenets of federalism. As a component of the Nigerian federation of ethnic nationalities, we endorse the call for restructuring the Nigerian federal system in accordance with the notion of federalism. In due course, after consulting with stakeholders in Okpe Nation and Okpe in the Diaspora, we shall announce the Okpe positions on key elements of the debate on restructuring’’ he said.
Natufe spoke at Okpe House, Lagos on Sunday.
In a paper entitled Internal Cohesion and Development in Okpe Nation, Natufe said that active participation of Okpe Union in Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination will encourage rapid development of Okpe kingdom.
‘’Nigeria is a federation of ethnic nationalities. Okpe is one of the more than 350 ethnic nationalities that constitute this federation. Like all the other components of the Nigerian federation, there are opportunities and challenges that we must grapple with to move Okpe forward and firmly establish Okpe Union as a powerful voice for the Okpe Nation in the various communities of ethnic nationalities in Delta State and in Nigeria, including the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination’’.
He declared: ‘’Okpe Union shall be an active participant in these organizations by promoting and defending Okpe interests as a distinct ethnic nationality. These interests shall be pursued at all fora, domestic and international, with inputs from all stakeholders in Okpeland and Okpe in the Diaspora. Towards this end, we shall establish and maintain strategic relationships with all ethnic organizations in Delta State and in Nigeria on the principles of peaceful coexistence and mutual respect of the rights of each ethnic nationality to define and determine its own socio-economic and political development’’.
The renowned foreign policy expert hailed all the contestants, elders, delegates and observers that contributed to the success of the Annual General Assembly (AGA) and National Elections of the Okpe Union.
‘’Yesterday, a new National Executive Council (NEC) was elected to guide the affairs of the Okpe Union for the next four years. I congratulate all the contestants, elders, delegates and observers that contributed to the success of the Annual General Assembly (AGA) and National Elections. I commend and congratulate the Immediate Past President, Mr. Patrick Akpotor and members of the previous NEC for their stellar leadership in conducting the affairs of Okpe Union during their tenure. I also congratulate Mr. Igho Akeragha, Chair of the Electoral Committee and his committee members for their invaluable services to the Okpe Union. Be assured that every one of you shall have a role to play in Okpe Union as we move forward’’.
The crucial role of the newly elected officers was equally addressed by Natufe.
‘’Your unanimous vote for me to assume the portfolio as the President General of our great Union is an honour and privilege which I humbly accept. With the calibre we elected yesterday as members of NEC, I can assure you that a new dawn has arrived that is anchored on the provision of selfless leadership for the growth and development of our beloved Okpe Nation and Okpe Kingdom. The gender balance in the NEC demonstrates Okpe Union’s adherence to the concept of equity which we are going to champion in Okpeland’’.
The former University of Benin lecturer noted that the success of the regeneration of the union which the present executive committee is committed would depend to a great extent on reconciliation, unity and progress.
‘’Our immediate and foremost priority is to focus on Okpe reconciliation, unity and progress as we grapple with the challenges of youth and women empowerment in Okpeland. My dear Compatriots, I state very clearly and categorically that there is no division in our 91-year-old Union as, in fulfilment of our mandate, we have reviewed our Constitution to meet the needs and aspirations for the Okpe Nation and Okpe Kingdom in the 21st Century. We in NEC shall count on all Okpe nationals at home and in the Diaspora to contribute their advice and knowledge to this historic imperative vis-à-vis the delivery of our 4-Year Agenda’’.
He commended the people for coming together and working for the progress of Okpe kingdom.
‘’Today, Okpe in Nigeria and worldwide celebrate the 91st Anniversary of the founding of the Okpe Union, the oldest ethnic organization in Delta State. We salute the founders for their foresight in establishing the Okpe Union as an umbrella organization of Okpe nationals in Nigeria and in the Diaspora. Founded in Lagos on May 16, 1930, the Okpe Union was technically a “near Diaspora” organization. By “near Diaspora” I am referring to Okpe residents in non Okpeland in Nigeria. It was well established in several Nigerian cities, including (in alphabetical order) Abeokuta, Abuja, Ibadan, Ilesha, Jos, Kaduna, Kano, etc. and in the “far Diaspora”, the United Kingdom and North America decades before a branch was stablished at home in Okpe Kingdom, in Sapele Local Government Area’’.
To effectively discharge their responsibilities, Natufe said members of the union must redefine their strategic approach to enable them grapple with contemporary challenges.
‘’We are here because they were there. As we proudly celebrate our Founder’s Day and marvel at the successes and achievements of the Okpe Union in yesteryears, we must redefine our strategic approach to enable us grapple with contemporary challenges that confront us in Delta State and in Nigeria. I hereby provide a sketch of our agenda for the next four years. The task begins from building blocks for unity and development in Okpeland’’.
Aside this, he said the union must strive to reconcile contending views.
‘’We recognize the imperative of unity within a society for it to move forward meaningfully by providing a conducive environment for its citizens to progress and develop. Our immediate action is to strive to reconcile contending views on this front in the Okpe Nation. This will be revealed after due consultation with all stakeholders in Okpeland.
Natufe pledged to use his wealth of experience and international connections to help Okpe kingdom.
‘’Our focus shall be on the following, inter alia: Strive to align Okpe Union with the aspirations and consciousness of the Okpe man and woman, especially in the territory of the Okpe Kingdom. Liaise with Local Government Councils in Okpe Nation, District and community leaders on key issues affecting Okpe. Liaise with youth and women organizations in crafting developmental strategies for the Okpe Nation. Liaise with appropriate authorities to recognize Okpe as a distinct ethnic nationality in DESOPADEC. Enhance an appreciation of Okpe Identity by agitating for the teaching of Okpe Language, Okpe History and Culture in all educational institutions in Okpeland. Liaise with all religious places of worship in Okpe land for the use of Okpe Language in their sermons. Revive the Institute for Okpe Studies that was established by the OKPE VOICE INTERNATONAL in 2008. Host an International Conference on Okpe Society in collaboration with the Institute for Okpe Studies in 2022. Liaise with appropriate authorities for the naming and recognition of the Airport at Osubi as OSUBI AIRPORT’’.
While he admitted that the Okpe people are lacking behind several ethnic groups in educational attainment, Natufe called for the launching of a one Billion Naira Okpe Scholarship Trust Fund.
‘’ In recognition of the value of education in the development of a society, we are launching a ONE BILLION NAIRA OKPE SCHOLARSHIP TRUST FUND for the education of Okpe nationals in post-secondary institutions. We shall establish a data base of Okpe nationals (teachers and students) in all post-secondary educational institutions in Nigeria and in the Diaspora. Facilitate the establishment of a post-secondary educational institution in Okpe Nation.
‘’ To facilitate growth and development in Okpeland, Natufe called for strategic alliances with domestic stakeholders and foreign partners in attracting and retaining investments in Okpeland.
‘’This will be achieved via consultation and collaboration with the two Local Government Councils (Okpe and Sapele LGCs) and chambers of commerce and industry in Okpe Nation’’.

Okpe leaders task Buhari on Sapele Seaport, true federalism, others
• Urge Okowa to revisit Sapele Polytechnic issue
• Sad over inadequate number of public Secondary Schools
• Condemn purported imposition of illegal Interim leadership
• Pledge support to Orodje
Okpe leaders at the weekend urged President Muhammadu Buhari to open up different areas in the Southern parts of the country which have good seaports to decongest Lagos and ease the gridlock in the Nation’s commercial capital.

‘’On the economy, now is the time to look at opening up different areas in the Southern parts of the Country which have good seaports to decongest Lagos and ease the gridlock in the Nation’s commercial capital. One Seaport that will help achieve this is the Sapele Natural Harbour which from Colonial times is renowned for its advantages of being one of the few fresh water ports in Africa. The reopening of the Sapele Seaport as well as others in the South South Region will be a definite solution to the ports crisis in the Country’’.

They also called on Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, to revisit the suspension of the establishment of the only higher Institution in Okpeland which is the proposed Sapele Polytechnic, at Elume.
The polytechnic construction began during the Administration of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan administration but was suspended by the current Administration.
At a meeting in Lagos, the leaders called on the Government of Delta State to look into the issue of inadequate number of public Secondary Schools in Sapele and Okpe Local Government Areas.

‘’The large town of Orerokpe with its population has only one Government Secondary School. The entire stretch of communities from Okurighwre, Amuokpe, Igbeku (Old Sapele/Warri Road) up to Ibadan Elume in Sapele Local Government Area has only Okpe Grammar School with the only other Secondary School near this area, Eziafa Grammar School being far into Eku/Abraka Road. Parents who are unable to afford private Schools for their Wards therefore find it difficult to afford the huge transport costs. We therefore call for the immediate establishment of more Government Secondary Schools in Okpe kingdom’’.

In a State of the Okpe Union address by Mr. Patrick Akpotor, Outgoing President General, Okpe Union, the leaders enjoined the chairmen of Sapele and Okpe Local Government Areas to work with communities to enhance the effectiveness of the Vigilante neighbourhood security arrangements in order to improve the security of Okpeland.

The leaders recalled how Okpe Union started in Lagos.

‘’Assembling here by the Okpe people began under a mango tree for Okpe dance practices at the early times of British governance of Nigeria until the Okpe people organised themselves into a formal Union of the Okpe people. They were able to acquire the land of the epic mango tree by purchase decades later and on the land the founding fathers of the Okpe Union planned the future progress of the Okpe Nation including the resuscitation of the Okpe Monarchy of the Orodje throne we are assembled here today’’.

They urged members and branches to be steadfast.

‘’On the 14th of November, 2020, in very unprecedented circumstances, the General Assembly of the Union met here and took some important decisions. The Assembly on that date gave specific mandate to the Executives (now outgoing National Leadership) to ensure that the independence of the Okpe Union is protected from influences outside the provision of the Constitution which has been the case for ninety one (91) years of its existence as a Union and voice for the Okpe Union. We report to you that we have done exactly that even in the face of daunting challenging circumstances. The Okpe Union having been a registered democratic Organization with its own inviolable Constitution since the 13th of December, 1934 on which date the Union was incorporated with Registration Number 69, has never allowed Institutions or individuals who are not empowered its Constitution to dictate to it or interfere in its governance. We remind all Okpe people and the World that Okpe Union is a member’ ONLY Organization. To participate in the Union, an Okpe person will have to register in a Branch and pay all the prescribed fee. Therefore, the purported imposition of an illegal Interim Leadership which parades itself on the pages of newspapers and about and on an extortion of unsuspecting Members of the public must be condemned by all patriotic Okpe persons and lovers of democracy and good governance. To permit that in our time will amount to the betrayal of the legacy handed over to us by the founding fathers of the Okpe Union’’.

The leaders called for unity, solidarity and love amongst members and branches all over the Country and the World.

‘’Members must close ranks and join hands to defend the Independence of the Union from forces of destabilization whose sole objective is to reap political benefits. That is not the purpose for which our founding fathers established the Union’’.

Specifically, they called on Okpe elite especially those who have the interest of the development of the Okpe Nation at heart to work closely with His Royal Majesty, Orhue I, the Orodje of Okpe Kingdom as the Okpe Union has done for ages to continually offer their expert advice so that the quality of human resources available to him will be enhanced.

‘’This will promote unity and inclusiveness in the decision making of the Udogun Okpe Traditional Council. To achieve this, honest and dedicated Ekakuro have to be regular at the Udogun Okpe meetings’’.

They urged Okpe people to avoid artificial divisions and Fifth Columnists.

‘’Nigeria is facing precarious times. This is a time that the Okpe ethnic nationality must close ranks and plan on how to achieve greater cohesion for the survival of our people. We must avoid artificial divisions and Fifth Columnists, whose Main Agenda is to break our ranks and set Okpe Nation backward.

The leaders called on all levels of government to provide for and support well-coordinated community or neighbourhood vigilante.

‘’The Nigerian State is undergoing serious security and economic challenges. The Nation cannot afford to slide into chaos. The Okpe Union therefore calls on all levels of government to provide for and support well-coordinated Community or neighbourhood vigilante. Alternatively, put in place localised security structures. By so doing, the incidences of kidnapping, robbery and ritual killings pervading different parts of the Country will be minimized’’.

The leaders renewed their calls for true federalism in Nigeria to reduce the responsibilities of the Federal Government for the States to be viable for the overall social and economic development of the Country.

They paid tribute to the fallen Hero from Jos.

‘’Let us pause for a minute, and pay tribute to one of us, the Chairman of Jos Branch of the Okpe Union, who transited to join our fallen heroes. Mr. Johnson Usieta the Chairman of Jos Branch, danced into eternity in April, 2021’’

‘’Let us remain steadfast to the dreams of the founding fathers of Union for a Representative, vibrant and independent Okpe Union’’.

Okpe Union Elects New National Executive Members
Professor Igho Natufe, a Nigerian-born Sovietologist and a specialist in International Relations and Soviet/ Russian Foreign Policy, has been elected President General of Okpe Union.
The alumnus of the People’s Friendship University, former university professor of Political Science (University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana, 1978-1980, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, 1980-1989 and senior advisor to the Government of Canada (1970-1978, 1989-2011) who ran unopposed, emerged as the President General Saturday evening in Lagos.
The election which took place at Okpe Union Headquarters, Obalende saw the emergence of Engineer Francis Redemi as 1st Deputy President General, Mr. Omamurhomu Ayaruja as 2nd Deputy President General, Dr. Lucky Akpere as 3rd Deputy President General and Mr. Bernard Adibor as 4th Deputy President General.

The members elected Akpederin Kingsley as
General Secretary, Madam Patience Ikokoyo as Asst. General Secretary, Mr. Freeborn Adibor (National Organizing Secretary) Comrade Faith Ukpevweru (Asst. Nat. Organising Officer) Mrs. Mercy Ovwile (National Treasurer) Arch. Patrick Redemi (National Financial Secretary)

Other officers elected at the General Assembly were Mrs. Atarhe Abuh (National Publicity Secretary) Erakpotobor Emmanuel (National Legal Adviser) Madam Dinna Erhiurhoro (Nat. Women Coordinator) Comrade Mary Pender (National Youths Coordinator) Mrs. Mary Arejomo Ogunnde (National Director of Welfare) Mr. Roland Ogbatemuru (National Provost) and Mr. Pius Unuayefe (National Traditional Orator)

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Youths restate Niger Delta support for Buhari, Akpabio


Youths in the Niger Delta region on Tuesday endorsed the current drive by the Federal Government to eradicate corruption in the country.

They also said the Federal Government had started well in the Niger Delta region by approving auditors for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)

‘’It requires time to complete the forensic audit’’ the youths said.

At a meeting of the Niger Delta Youth Forum (NDYF) in Calabar, the youths praised President Muhammadu Buhari for opting to entrust the affairs of the Niger Delta Ministry on Chief Godswill Akpabio.

‘’We are grateful to Mr. President for the perspicacious judgement’’

Particularly, the youths praised the Federal Government for giving the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) new and strategic direction aimed at achieving viable development in the oil rich region.

‘’President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Godswill Akpabio deserve our commendation for the changes so far in the oil rich Niger Delta region’’ the youths said.

The youths in a statement signed by NDYF Chairperson, Dr. Roseline Umoh, defended the administration’s role in appointing a sole administrator for the interventionist agency.

The youths explained that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs had a minister who is committed to doing things right.

They underscored Akpabio’s long trail of legacies in Akwa Ibom State, his inspiring leadership in the Senate and the effort he was making to develop the oil rich region.

The youths enjoined South-South governors to cooperate with the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and give him the needed support for success.

They advised the governors to be patient with the Federal Government.

The youths also called for greater understanding amongst all stakeholders in the region.

‘’We must not set roadblocks before ourselves. We must unite. The harmony which has now been achieved between the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the National Assembly is here to stay’’

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Mrs. Akeredolu Shares BRECAN’s Journey, Urges Vaccination Against Cervical Cancer

Mrs. Akeredolu Shares BRECAN’s Journey, Urges Vaccination Against Cervical Cancer

*As All Saint’s College Wins BRECAN’s Inter-School Arts Competition

The wife of Ondo State Governor and founder Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, shared her breast cancer story. She said hers was a lone voice in the wilderness as nobody wanted to be associated with BRECAN at its formative stage.

Mrs. Akeredolu stated this while addressing student participants drawn from different schools across Oyo State during the Inter- School Arts Competition held at the Law Hub, Ibadan organized as part of activities marking 2021 World Cancer Day by the Oyo State Chapter of BRECAN.

Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, who acknowledged the contributions of individuals, groups and most especially volunteer students who through advocacy raised funds for BRECAN’s activities, said the journey has been tortuous and rewarding as more lives have been impacted.

While noting that the Arts Competition was the second of its kind in the history of BRECAN in promoting breast cancer awareness, Mrs. Akeredolu said BRECAN is now set to help eliminate incidence of Cervical cancer which she noted can be eliminated one hundred percent.

On why women have continued to die needlessly because of the disease, Mrs. Akeredolu identified ignorance as one of the major causes, saying, “it is shocking that some still assume it is a spiritual attack and only present when it is too late.”

Mrs. Akeredolu, while stressing that cervical cancer can be eliminated through vaccination, said it’s high time parents are educated on the need to give consent to the vaccination of their children against Cervical Cancer. She also urged the students to be breast aware and be breast health advocates wherever they find themselves.

In her Goodwill Message, Olori Adejumoke Adeleye, Olori Olubaka of Oka land, commended Mrs. Akeredolu for initiating BRECAN. The Olori said Arabinrin Akeredolu’s committment to the cause is laudable and will remain a ray of hope to many. She prayed for wisdom and grace for survivor of 24 years to continue in her service to humanity.

The climax of the event was the presentation of prizes to winners. All Saint’s College came first in the competition followed closely by Seed of Life College which came second and the third position went to Lead City International College.

Earlier, Promise Ihieze while speaking on the theme of the program: “Hope” said the Arts Competition was their own way of sending the message of hope across to survivors and bringing attention to the cause.

Earlier, the state Chairperson for Oyo State BRECAN, Tolu Taiwo, in her Welcome Address, acknowledged all those who have been pillars of support to BRECAN over the years, noting that there is still more grounds to cover.

Other dignitaries in attendance include Bashorun Arogunjo and his wife, BRECAN members from across the state among others.