That Ambode London Bus Advert; A Cheap Lie

As 2019 electioneering gets near by the day, politicians are playing true to type: raising dust, throwing tantrums, by all means making feverish noise so that they can be heard or be seen to be hurling pebbles at opponents, especially frontrunners that they are unable to slow down. 

Those peddling lies about Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s election campaign advert on a London double decker bus and the suggestion that public fund might have been deployed into that exercise deserve a response. 

Their lie this time is too cheap and the Nigerian public should be told how cheap these people are. 

I see how they have tried in vain to regurgitate a lie, circulating an old photo of one of the campaign adverts that were deployed in London towards Ambode’s election in 2015. 

I should know because I was directly involved in the processes that got not just the APC chapter in London involved but also a few pro-Ambode professionals and enthusiasts who formed themselves into formidable cluster groups across the UK and Ireland in a bid to ensure that the progressives retained the mantle of leadership in Lagos State. And more importantly to ensure that a tested manager of men and resources like Akinwunmi Ambode become governor at a critical time when several economies of the world were haermorraging.

Although they knew they had no voting power, but the Ambo UK supporters sure cherished how influential their campaigns could go among friends and folks back home; home where many of them have varying degrees of investments and will ultimately return to.  

So with ideas and resources at their disposal, men, women and students in the diaspora behind Ambode’s ambition joined hands and deployed creative campaign materials across various platforms in the UK not just to influence votes in Lagos but, more importantly, to create and accentuate the unique brand that Akinwunmi Ambode represents in the new political landscape of Nigeria that now has ample space for professionals, technocrats and people of integrity. 

Of course that self-funded intervention  by the supporters of Ambode and APC worked.

Three years after, everyone can see the sterling performance of this unassuming and unobtrusive accountant and the giant strides being recorded across sectors. The development in Lagos State affects people in the diaspora and that’s why they make it their business to directly or indirectly influence who emerges either the governor of Africa’s 5th largest economy or President of Nigeria as the continent’s largest economy itself. 

They knew the import of #NotTooYoungToRun bill and that’s why they supported it and have applauded President Buhari for signing it into law. Getting Nigerians living legitimately abroad to be able to vote from their respective bases is yet another dream that must be realised so as to make exit votes count in choosing our leaders. 

Before then, however, those who have a reason to root for candidates of their choice and put their money where their mouths are should be allowed.

Bringing out an old campaign photo that had served its purpose in 2015 cannot dent the image or reduce the chances of a man that is destined to touch many lives through people-oriented policies for another four years. Campaigns for 2019 elections have not yet started and so it stands logic in the head that a law-abiding governor and enlightened people behind him, at home and overseas, would flout the rules. Even if London buses and undergrounds are to be wrapped in Ambo garb again, if his UK supporters deem it fit, is it an old picture of the governor that would be used for such a major campaign in 2018/19? Let the naysayers swallow the chill pill and wait for the flag-down for the campaigns. There is a lot more fresh ideas from whence that lovely design of 2015 came from. The Ambode support base across Europe like in Nigeria has since grown in leaps and bounds and members are not tired of sowing into a good cause like campaigning for the re-election of an achiever whose works speak loudly and audibly for him. 

*Oyindamola Soares lives in Kent, UK

Prominent Nollywood Producer, Bambino Anachina, Is Dead

Nollywood producer, Chukwudi Anachina, is dead.

Popularly known as Bambino Anachina, the deceased was also an actor and event compere.

Member of the Board of Trustees of Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP), Chris Ekejimbe, told members of a WhatsApp group on Saturday afternoon that Bambino’s wife confirmed the death to him.
“Just spoke with his wife. He is dead,” Ekejimbe wrote.

Friends and colleagues have expressed shock on Amachina’s Facebook page.

A product of Federal Polytechnic in Oko, Anambra State, Amachina counted musician, actor and politician, Tony One Week, as the biggest influence on his career.



IN PICTURES: Buhari Receives Sallah Homage At Presidential Villa

President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja received FCT residents at the Presidential Villa for the Eid-al-fitr celebration. 

It was a gathering of religious leaders, traditional rulers, security chiefs and top government officials 

The president also received women groups led by his wife, Aisha Buhari, President of the National Council of Women Societies, Dr. Laraba Shoda, and former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Pauline Tallen.

Kudirat Abiola, Maryam Babangida Fought Physically In Aso Rock Over June 12 – Agbakoba

This was revealed by a former President of the Nigeria Bar Association and one of the activists that fought for the revalidation of the election, Chief Olisa Agbakoba, in an interview with Saturday PUNCH.
Agbakoba, who said Kudirat had a great sense of decency in the actualisation of the June 12 mandate, said Babangida had invited Abiola to Aso Rock for a meeting when the fight broke out between Kudirat and Maryam.
He said it took the intervention of their husbands and others to separate them.
Agbakoba told Saturday PUNCH: “It was Kudirat who had a great sense of decency; Abiola was a bit a too ambitious in wanting to become president.
“He went to Aso Rock to meet with Babangida in the course of which Babangida’s wife and Kudirat started fighting.
“It led to a fight.
“Babangida and other people had to rush out to separate them.”

Femi Odulaja Joins Ogun Reps Race, Welcomes Adebutu To Ijebu Ode

Hon. Ladi Adebutu, a member of the Federal House of Representatives, now running for Ogun State governor’s seat moves his campaign train to Ijebu Ode, with the enthusiastic people of Ijebu Ode and party members already aligning to make the rally one to remember. And among them is a National Assembly hopeful, Hon. Femi Odulaja, representing Ijebu Central Constituency which comprises of Ijebu Ode, Ijebu North East and Odogbolu.

According to the Igbobi College Yaba alumni as Adebutu, Odulaja said, “Hon. Ladi Adebutu is a Noble Nigerian, a respected politician and leader of principle, who I believe is sufficiently equipped for the task of leading Ogun State and projecting the gateway state to occupy its rightful place in the comity of states in Nigeria.”

Adebutu, a frontline politician in Ogun State, contesting for highest office in Oke Mosan in the 2019 elections, would be visiting Ijebu Ode in a mega rally organised by the People’s Democratic Party members in a countdown to salvage the state from anarchy and retrogression.

When asked about the rally coming up on Monday, Odulaja, whose campaign mantra is hinged on Hope ’19, stated, “With the assurance of the good people of Ijebu Ode, I’m more than confident that the rally is going to be a successful one.”

Odulaja, who is a mechanical engineer, philanthropist and well grounded personality in hospitality industry, stated that such a visit brings hope and signifies the beginning of new dawn in the state come 2019.

On why Femi Odulaja Campaign Organisation’s decision to adopt Hope ’19, “My principle is to work and restore the confidence and sense of value in the good people of my constituency.

“By attracting the right policies,” he continued, “I am certain that our constituency has all what it takes to be at the forefront of economic advancement in the whole of Ogun State.”

The largest political and foremost opposition party in Nigeria, People’s Democratic Party, PDP, which is undergoing healing continue to attract eggheads into its fold as Hon. Femi Odulaja insisted that the party remains the best option considering the calibre of personalities it displays in Ogun State.

Lagos High Schools Battle For Honours At LHSMC

As CMS, Lagos Orchestral Group Battle For LHMSC Title

High school students and lovers of live music are in for exciting times as a novel Lagos High School Music Challenge (LHSMC) kicks off.  LHSMC is a unique music contest aimed at harnessing music talents among children and teenagers in the state while empowering and offering early guidance into the ever growing and exciting world of live music.
 The program which is opened to secondary students in Lagos will officially debut on the 20th of June, 2018 at t the Multi- Purpose Hall, EKO FM, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos with over thirty contestants vying   for honors and fantastic prizes up for grabs.
The executive producer of the show, Biodun Kupoluyi , the Chief Executive Officer,  Entertainment Media Limited, explained that “the appalling trend of parading music illiterates as the elites of Nigerian music pushed us as an organization to birth this idea. The rich musical history that King Sunny Ade,  Fela, Dan Maraya Jos, Bala Miller, IK Cairo, Ebenezer Obey, Osita Osadebe, Oliver De Coque, and all the other great legends toiled to build is gradually eroding, dying and that is why we decided to face the next generation to help arrest the situation.”
Checks on the official website of the competition,, shows that registration closed Thursday, 14 July 2018 and the excitements among school pupils, music instructors and parents is high. Organizers say schools have since began rehearsals for the competition that will parade 14 of the 26 bands eliminated during the first round leaving the remaining contestants to face the battle in front of a panel of industry experts for the second round.
Also solo talents in music will be on stage to contest among themselves.
The qualified 12 bands as well as winners of the solo performances from the first round will move up to this year’s Grand Finale set for June 21 which coincides with the globally celebrated World Music Day.
Contestants are to perform cover songs and original compositions during the competition.
The talent search show is supported by the Lagos State’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ministry of Education and EKO FM. Lagos High School Band Challenge (LHSMC)  is conceived and designed by Entertainment Media Limited  to discover, develop, and promote live music and band culture among secondary school students in Lagos.

PHOTOS: Mr Toyota, Chief Michael Ade Ojo Celebrates 80th Birthday

Nigeria’s No 1 car salesman, Chief Michael Ade Ojo, known variously as Elizade or Mr. Toyota, clocked 80 years on June 14, 2018. 

A thanksgiving Service was held at Archbishop Vinning Memorial Church, Off Oba Akinjobi Way, GRA Ikeja. This was followed by a reception at 10th Degree Event Centre, Oregon. 

Why I Cannot Refund Money To EFCC – Ladoja

A former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rasidi Ladoja, yesterday explained why he could not refund money to the Economic Financial and Crimes Commission (EFCC) over his alleged misappropriation of state funds while in office between 2003 and 2007.

He said he did not steal state funds and it won’t be reasonable for anybody to expect him to refund what he did not steal.

An EFCC investigator, Abubakar Madaki, had recently testified against the former governor at the Federal High Court in Lagos that the former governor gave instructions in 2007 that the shares of the state which was worth N6.6 billion, be sold at discounted rates without the executive council’s resolution. The witness said the money allegedly went to Ladoja, his family and friends but Ladoja denied the allegation.

Ladoja who spoke with reporters yesterday at his Ibadan residence said, “It is true that I did not return any money to the anti-graft agency because I did not steal the state’s money. Why would I refund money when I did not steal any money? I am not bordered. It is true that EFCC said I didn’t not refund money. This is because I did not steal any money”.

On the crisis in the state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party, Ladoja said the party’s stakeholders had made its position known to the National Working Committee (NWC) of that party, adding that if the leadership of the party refused to act on time, the leaders and their followers may have no option than to leave.

Super Eagles Will Deliver, Say Rohr, Mikel

Super Eagles’ head coach Gernot Rohr and captain Mikel Obi said the team is capable of delivering on its promise on Saturday against Vatreni of Croatia.

The Nigerian side will face Croatia at the Kaliningrad Stadium in their opening Group D match at the FIFA World Cup, needing to win for a bright start.

This will be against the backdrop of disappointing opening match losses by fellow African sides Egypt and Morocco on Friday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Egypt had lost their opening Group A match at Ekaterinburg 0-1 to Uruguay, after an 89th minute goal by Jose Gimenez.

Morocco followed in their trail hours later with a 0-1 loss to Iran at St. Petersburg in Group B, falling to an own goal in added time by Aziz Bouhaddouz.

Rohr, who earlier in the day had addressed the media before the team’s training session, said he was sure that his team was in shape to get a good result.

“We know the importance of getting a good result. It is important that we set out well, and we have been doing our best to be in good condition, just like I said earlier today.

“Now that we are here and close to the hour, the players are in the right mood and ready for Croatia. We will do what is necessary,’’ he said.

Rohr assured that injuries were not the team’s worries at the moment, but how to get it right during the game.

“What we need to worry about is how to get our tactics right, and I am confident that we have done all that is necessary in this regard,’’ he added.

Team Captain Mikel Obi equally assured that his teammates were ready and raring to go against the Croats.

“As a team, we have done all that is needed, training and getting fit. We the players are also ready to do the job on the pitch as expected.

“I can assure Nigerians and all our other fans worldwide that we will do our best and ensure we do not disappoint them,’’ he said.

NAN reports that Africa’s two other representatives at the 2018 World Cup — Tunisia and Senegal — will join the fray on Monday and Tuesday respectively.

Tunisia take on England at Volgograd in Group G, while Senegal face Poland in Group H at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow.