Omolara  Adebiyi Set To Open HighPoint Event Centre In Lagos 

All set for HighPoint Event Centre Opening in Lagos
Few years at the helm of affairs at ADDAS Mall , Omolara Adebiyi  has proved to be the quintessential Chief executive with her string of achievements .
This industrious woman of substance is an accomplished industrialist and entrepreneur par excellence, set to open all-embracing event center which will be one of the best and biggest event centers in Nigeria.

All hands has been on deck as preparation are in top gear for the new state of the art event Centre named HighPoint which will be officially opened to the general public come Tuesday 25th, January 2022.
The ‘HighPoint’ event centre aptly sited on over a 10,000sqm of land located at the heart-beat of Lagos, in Alausa, Ikeja, owned by wife of Nigeria’s biggest indigenous contractor, Lekan Adebiyi, is a one-stop-shop for all that is required to have a memorable event with its masterpiece architectural design, top of the range interior décor, shopped from the biggest designers across the best in the world, with over a 500-capacity car park.

HighPoint as a masterpiece is set to change the face of event centres in the city of aquatic splendour in Lagos, is a testament of class, pristine and exquisitely burnished with class, the building emphasizes without much effort, the sheer tastefulness of the owner. The attention to detail that characterizes the structure is excellent; both the interior and exterior decor were carefully chosen and planned with flawless finesse. 
As a virtuous woman, Omolara will always find reasons to add more to her husband’s high-flying fortunes and will continue to take great steps in this dimension, especially when her husband is in the vanguard of doing great things for Nigeria.

Obasanjo Decorates Son Adeboye Obasanjo As Army Brigadier-General

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Wednesday, had proud father moment, when he decorated his son, Adeboye Obasanjo, as brigadier-general in the Nigerian Army, following his recent promotion in the military.

Obasanjo, a former army general and former commander-in-chief of the armed forces, was accorded the privilege by military authorities to decorate his son with his new position at the Nigerian Engineering Corp, Bonny Camp, Lagos.

The former president was accompanied to the even by the Towulade of Akinale Kingdom of Egbaland, Oba Olufemi Ogunleye.

The decorated Adeboye Obasanjo rose to the rank of a brigadier-general last December. He holds two master’s degrees and other professional qualifications. He passed through the military mills both in Nigeria, and in various foreign formations.

NdaniTV Releases 5th Season of Real Talk Show! [PHOTOS/VIDEO]

NdaniTV has released new photos and a teaser video from the 5th season of its Talk show, Real Talk. The production company has also unveiled the multi-talented, Bisola Aiyeola, as the host for this season and if the teaser video is anything to go by, we are in for an exciting season! 

About Real Talk 

Real Talk first launched on the NdaniTV YouTube channel in 2016 and has had a number of popular hosts including Nicole Asinugo and Cornelia O’Dwyer. The talk show brings celebrities together to speak on societal issues and a lot more. The new season is set to launch on YouTube on the 20th of January 2022. 

About NdaniTV

NdaniTV is Africa’s premiere platform for original web series and is home to some of the most popular series including GidiUp, Rumour Has It, Skinny Girl in Transit, Officer Titus and more.

With over 441,000 subscribers on YouTube and over 109million minutes in watch time, the channel is one of the fastest growing platforms for original content out of Nigeria and made for Africans. 

NdaniTV content remains free to view on YouTube and is powered by GTCO PLC. 


PHOTO NEWS: Sanwo-Olu Tours Talgo Incorporated, Milwaukee to Acquire Train Coaches for Lagos

L-R: Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Managing Director, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Engr. (Mrs) Abimbola Akinajo; President & CEO, Talgo Incorporated USA, Antonio Perez; member, Lagos House of Assembly, Hon. Temitope Adewale and other stakeholders in the transport sector, during a factory tour of high-speed train manufacturers, Talgo Incorporated Company for the acquisition of two sets of brand new 10-car Metro Trains for Lagos Rail project, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
L-R: Acting Mayor of Milwaukee, Cavalier Johnson presenting a souvenir to Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu during a factory tour of high-speed train manufacturers, Talgo Incorporated Company for the acquisition of two sets of brand new 10-car Metro Trains for Lagos Rail project, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
L-R: Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Federic Oladeinde; President & CEO, Talgo Incorporated USA, Antonio Perez; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Managing Director, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Engr. (Mrs) Abimbola Akinajo, during a factory tour of high-speed train manufacturers, Talgo Incorporated Company for the acquisition of two sets of brand new 10-car Metro Trains for Lagos Rail project, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu alighting from a train coach during a factory tour of high-speed train manufacturers, Talgo Incorporated Company for the acquisition of two sets of brand new 10-car Metro Trains for Lagos Rail project, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
L-R: President & CEO, Talgo Incorporated USA, Antonio Perez; Acting Mayor of Milwaukee, Cavalier Johnson; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Managing Director, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Engr. (Mrs) Abimbola Akinajo and Vice President, Public Affairs & Business Development, Talgo, Nora Friend, during a factory tour of high-speed train manufacturers, Talgo Incorporated Company for the acquisition of two sets of brand new 10-car Metro Trains for Lagos Rail project, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
L-R: Acting Mayor of Milwaukee, Cavalier Johnson presenting a souvenir to Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu during a factory tour of high-speed train manufacturers, Talgo Incorporated Company for the acquisition of two sets of brand new 10-car Metro Trains for Lagos Rail project, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Dangote Refinery to Reduce Africa’s Petroleum Importation by 36%, says APPO

African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) has said that the establishment of Dangote Oil Refinery will bring about a 36 per cent reduction in the importation of petroleum productions into the continent.

Besides, the organisation expressed a belief that the success of Dangote Refinery project could incentivise the rise of similar projects across Africa despite the current focus on energy transition.

The Secretary-General, African Petroleum Producers Organisation, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, said in an interview that Dangote Refinery shall be supplying over 12% of Africa’s products demand when it becomes operational.

Ibrahim stated, “To appreciate the impact that the Dangote refinery is going to have on African economies and especially on the supply of petroleum products, and to some extent the conservation of scarce foreign exchange, a look at some statistics on the continent’s petroleum products demand and supply is in order.

“Currently, Africa’s daily petroleum demand is 4.3 million barrels per day (mbd). Of this volume, 57% is produced locally (on the continent) while 43% is imported. When Dangote is fully onstream, the percentage of Africa’s products import shall drop to 36%. This is even as the total volume of products demand rises to 5.4 mbd. You can therefore see the huge impact that Dangote refinery shall be making to overall products supply in Africa. Dangote shall be supplying over 12% of Africa’s products demand.

“That is huge savings for a continent that has scarce foreign exchange and little to export. We shall save from buying abroad and from shipping and insurance costs. Furthermore, the success of Dangote could incentivise the rise of similar projects, the noise about energy transition notwithstanding,” oil analyst noted. 

Ibrahim also hailed Dangote’s decision to go ahead with the construction of crude oil refinery despite a campaign against fossil fuels, adding that the demand for fossil fuel is going to continue for several decades to come.

“We believe that Dangote made a very wise decision to proceed with the project, despite the campaign against fossil fuels. There will be demand for petroleum products for many decades to come. Indeed, we see petroleum products prices rising steadily in the next few years for at least two decades.

“This is because new refineries are not coming up in Europe and North America, where Africa imports 34% of its supplies, because their governments have embraced energy transition, some willingly, others due to pressure. So, some of the sources of Africa’s imports are going to dry up. At the same time, Africa will not be in a position to fast track the development of non-fossil fuels.

“In fact, even the developed countries will not be able to move as fast as is projected. We see Africa and many regions of the world continuing to rely on fossil fuel energy at a time when deliberate decisions are being made to stop funding fossil fuel projects. The world risks abandoning fossil for renewable, but in the end not getting the renewables, and at the same time losing the fossils due to deliberate neglect”, he explained.

Ibrahim urged African refiners to invest more on technology and develop the right expertise to manage their refineries, which are going to serve the continent as western refiners halt the establishment of more refineries.

He stated, “African refiners have no cause to worry about their investments. All they need to do is to ensure that they have developed the right expertise to manage their refineries, get honest managers and staff to run their business and come together to join APPO’s initiative to establish foundries and other equipment manufacturing plants to service their refineries. Once they have these, the market is there for their products.

“For the next three decades or more, Africa shall continue to use fossil fuel-driven vehicles and with its population projected to double within that period, there will be a huge market for petroleum products. Africa cannot rapidly transit into electric vehicles, as the bulk of the vehicles on our roads today and in the next 20-30 years are going to be non-electric. There is the market, and we should not be discouraged from thinking positively”, the APPO scribe noted.

He disclosed that APPO is working with its Member Countries to construct cross border energy infrastructure like pipelines for crude and products as well as for oil and gas terminals, depots etc.

“Once we have this infrastructure on the ground, the markets for African refiners shall not be limited to their home countries. Fortuitously, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which came into force in 2021, is there to support this initiative”, he added.

FirstBank Rewards Customers in Transact and Win Promo

Getting rewarded for spending money is a dream that is probably going to remain exciting for many people, but not for the Firstmonie Wallet users. In a two month Transact and Win campaign that started on November 22, 2021, First Bank of Nigeria Limited is rewarding several customers for carrying out transactions on its Firstmonie Wallet application. 

The e-wallet is useful for conveniently paying utility bills, purchasing airtime and data, transferring and receiving money, and many other digital transactions. Just for using the mobile-friendly wallet app, Customers got rewarded with mouth-watering prizes both in cash and kind. The number of transactions done on the app determines the price a user could win. 

100 customers who had done 1-15 transactions through Firstmonie Wallet within the month won N10,000 cash price; 53 25kg bags of rice and 50 units of standing fans were also won by customers who carried out 16 – 30 transactions with the Firstmonie Wallet; 2 units of power generating sets, 1 unit of Air Conditioning systems and 1 unit LED Televisions went to customers who carried 31 – 50 transactions; while 2 units of iPhone 12 were won by customers who had carried out over 50 transactions on the app within the month. 

Victor Nnanna Onyedikachi, a student of the University of Abuja was one of the winners of the iPhone 12, and while receiving his gift, he admitted that he did not expect to win the prize.  “I used the Firstmonie Wallet App, and just like that, I was told that I had qualified. I did not believe it until I saw it myself. I am truly grateful to FirstBank” he said. 

Other winners also expressed their pleasure at being rewarded for using a completely user-friendly app. “There is no issue of service error when using it for any transaction. The service is seamless and the app is easy to use” one of them said. 

The Group Executive, e-Business & Retail products, Mr Chuma Ezirim had noted that the promo was targeted at appreciating customers for their patronage; and in line with the Bank’s December-is-a-Vybe campaign. “This promo is hinged on the need to appreciate our customers for their patronage, especially as we have had an increased engagement and usages of the various services offered by our mobile-friendly wallet product,” Ezirim said when the promo was being launched. 

Interestingly, the promo also includes new customers and users of the app. By simply downloading the mobile app from the play store, or using the *894# USSD string to sign up, anyone can qualify for the promo. The promo runs till January 22, 2022, so what are you waiting for as you could be the next winner of any of these fantastic prizes.

As the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 127 years, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has remained at the forefront of promoting digital payment in the country, and the Firstmonie Wallet is one of the channels for digital transactions. 

Little wonder FirstBank was named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” and “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International.  FirstBank also bagged the Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. 

2023: Some Proverbs For The North and Tinubu

By Lasisi Olagunju

The aged died, we replaced him with the chronically ill; who does not know that there will be wailing once more soon in the palace?. (Arugbo ku a fi olokunrun j’oye; taa ni ko mo wipe ariwo k’eekan l’aafin?). This Yoruba proverb covers the field of fears of those worried about the age and health of those seeking to be our president in 2023. The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) at the weekend gave regional fillip to this. It made a public call for any medical report that would nail the presidential aspiration of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Asiwaju of Lagos. Spokesman of the ACF, Emmanuel Yawe, as reported by The Guardian, said Nigeria must be saved the agony of having another president with a health challenge. “The people who have the evidence that Tinubu is not strong enough for the presidency should save us the agony of having a sick president in office. They should speak out,” the ACF stated. It cited the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, who was sick and died in office. It also cited President Muhammadu Buhari who, it said, always travelled abroad for medical attention.

Legitimate as that call was, I have a problem with it. I know the ACF speaks for the North and not for Tinubu’s All Progressives Congress (APC). And so, I am amused that a regional group was making that demand of an individual among many seeking the crown. I am surprised that the ACF just assumed that Tinubu is the automatic candidate of the APC-and even the president-in-waiting. That is rather unfair to the many others who will square up to the leader. It is even more unfair to Tinubu who has been singled out for medical scrutiny. For that call to be godly, it would have to be re-made and applied to all in all parties fighting to be our leader. But were Tinubu not in this race what would be his position on this matter? He would clap and applaud the ACF’s unjust position or, at best, maintain a conspiratorial silence. That is my problem with him-and it is fundamental. It makes sympathizing with him difficult. Tinubu’s politics endorses only that which flows from its spring head-and which benefits it. That has been the practice since his ascendancy. But it is suicidal for the powerful to think he should be the only force in town. After all, is it not said that “without impalas and hyenas, the lion cannot be the king of the jungle.”?

Last week, Tinubu was at the Villa in Abuja where he told the media that he was a kingmaker who would be king in 2023. Where else apart from Ibadan do kingmakers become kings? In 15th century England, there was Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick who was nicknamed ‘Kingmaker’ and who enjoyed living the title. History describes him as “the most powerful magnate in the land” who helped enthrone kings and saw to the deposition of kings. He was powerful but power is like money; it is never enough. Neville’s desire for power and more power led to changes in his allegiance. His loyalty to allies shifted and moved with the speed of his ambition. At long last, he fought against his one-time ally, King Edward IV, in a campaign that ultimately led to his death on the battlefield at Barnet in 1471 (see schoolshistory dot org).  Tinubu’s claim of being kingmaker after meeting a non-committal incumbent was loud and pompous. He did not fear the world (ko beru aye; aye toto). I watched his regal loneliness as he addressed the press in that Villa of treachery and felt sorry for him. If I could, I would have shoved Kahlil Gibran’s insightful poetic warning in his face: “Travel and tell no one/ Live a true love story and tell no one/ Live happily and tell no one/ People ruin beautiful things.” Kahlil Gibran was a Lebanese-American writer, poet, visual artist and philosopher with great priceless words for the wise. Unfortunately, the Lion of Lagos has grown too big to listen to the voice of moderation and it is too late already. The enemies heard him clearly and are circling him. If you don’t agree with me, listen to the reaction of northern leaders who held a strategy conference in Kaduna on Saturday. The convener of the meeting, Professor Ango Abdullahi, directly addressed Tinubu’s claim: “I heard that somebody was saying he is the kingmaker and now wants to be king. It is not that I want to be seen to be arrogant, but the North has always been the kingmaker.” He said this and got a loud applause.

There is a bush rat called òkété in Yoruba. If you’ve ever dwelt in the wild, you would understand my drift when I say this rat points its own home to death each time it steals palm fruits (òkété tó bá jalè ẹyìn ni filé ara rẹ̀ han ikú). That is what conspicuous accumulation of claims and privileges does. It invites hate and destruction. It becomes more problematic if those claims are audaciously poisonous and repugnant to good conscience. If a man makes meals of taboos and insists no one could question him, one day the ultimate quizzer will query the deviant. It is like the one whose father died and he then demanded to inherit his own mother as widow. A shocked world heard his weird demand, exchanged glances and kept quiet. The world knew that that one had long passed the line of return. (Bí ẹnìkan ń jèèwọ̀, bí ẹnìkan ò bíi, bó pẹ́ títí, ohun tí bí ni, a máa bí ni, èèwọ̀ a sì máa bèèrè, dífá fún ẹni tí bàbá ẹ̀ kú tó lóun ó súpó ìyá òun). Those who do what the world approves, they live; the ones who make wrong their right are buried in the mounds of life (Wọn ń ṣe é, ilé ayé ní gbé, wọn kii se é, n bẹ lóde ọ̀run…).

It is not strange that the North has shown zero appreciation to Tinubu for his great gestures. The behemoth called northern Nigeria does not befriend anyone whose wife it cannot sleep with. Like M.K.O Abiola, Tinubu is the North’s bosom friend. He was in Zamfara State last week in solidarity with the government and people of the state over their security challenges. He even donated N50 million to the victims. Earlier, in March 2021, he was in Katsina where he made a donation of N50 million to Katsina Central Market victims and to rebuild the market. These are huge gestures of brotherly feelings. Yet, there has been no word of thanks from the Arewa Consultative Forum, from the Northern Elders Forum and from the more militant CNG – Coalition of Northern Groups. Instead, what Bola Tinubu has been getting are poisoned arrows aimed at the throat of his life ambition. Now, the lesson is, never let your charity begin abroad. More importantly, if you sold your relation for a paltry sum, you would not be able to buy him back for good value (Eni to ta ara ile e lopo ko le ri ra ni owon). You remember Tinubu’s South-West has continued to suffer blistering insecurity. Remember the Akesan Market in Oyo Alaafin that got burnt on Sunday, January 5, 2020. Reports said losses recorded there were worth billions of naira. The blaze left over 900 traders in pains and ruins. The Oyo fire victims waded through the disaster without a glance from the ultra-rich Bourdillon. Seyi Makinde’s government has rebuilt the market but there was neither a word, nor a kobo, nor a minute sympathy visit from the kingmaker of the South West. If you love someone, her house won’t be too far for your feet. Lagos, where Tinubu lives, is 226.6 kilometres to Oyo town; Katsina is 102,273 kilometres to Lagos. Tinubu chose Katsina as the destination of his largesse. He loves the North.

Successful kingmakers are also king breakers. The very process of choosing who would be  king creates implacable enemies for the maker of kings. Like Banquo’s ghost in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, aborted ambitions always lurk around to inflict vengeance on the kingmaker who procured the abortion. I have read columns and comments that were very unfriendly to the kingmaker who wants to be king. I have also read counter-comments from friends of the attacked accusing the songbirds of prebendal criticism. And I say: this contestant has flowery associates and powerful writers who lick his lips and wantonly bite his opponents. Were they paid too? The bottom line is, let no office seeker seek to be Kabiyesi who is beyond questioning. Throne seekers should always pay for their deeds and misdeeds. The wise stays away from trouble knowing that whether king or kingmaker, the benefits are the same. Bashorun Gaa of old Oyo was renowned for obsessive power, yet when he was greeted ‘Kabiyesi’ he ran and shouted No – “K’araole l’aa k’Oshorun” (‘May you be well’ is how the city greets Bashorun). When a kingmaker covets the throne, he invites trouble and disaster. He is no longer a watcher of the king; he has become an object in the range of the king’s binoculars. That is why those whose lot it is to put princes on the throne retreat after every coronation. The Yoruba put it in this elegant way: move near the king in seven steps; stay far from the king in six steps. It is wisdom harvested from the facts of history that the blood of king makers paints the foot mat of the throne.

Nigeria has suffered too much at the hands of bad-headed leaders. It needs a break from the cycle of misfortune. Yet, the fog won’t be clear enough for a safe landing on the tarmac of 2023. In the mall of leadership, many are seen, very few are select-able. Who should be the next president? My elders have a narration. At the very beginning of time, 401 princes of the heavens contested for the position of the controller of the universe. Olodumare (God) took a very long look at them one after the other and asked: how would you rule the wild world and stabilize it? Four hundred out of 401 said they would reign over the world with heartless iron hand; with fists and knocks. The ones they could bribe they promised they would bribe; the ones that needed to be broken, they said would be broken. It was their panacea for the chaos of the beginning. This is the way Yoruba’s ancestors put it: “…Oníjà-oòle, níjọ́ tó lóun ó joyè Ọba Atúnlé-ayé-se. Wọ́n bi i pé kín ni yó fi máa sèlú, ó ní ọ̀dájú, ìkà, ọwọ́ líle. Wọ́n ní Oníjà-oòle ò le è j’ọba Atúnlé-ayé-se…” One after the other, the wicked were rejected. The lone head that was different-his name was Fiwajoye. He laid compassion and justice on the table and he got the crown: Won bi Fiwajoye, ki loo fi se’lu? Fiwajoye ni ọgbọ́n, ìmọ̀ àti òye lòun ó fi tún ilé ayé ṣe. Wọ́n fi Fiwajoye j’oyè Ọba Atúnlé-ayé-se. Ayé rójú, ìlú tòrò. Ká ṣe é bó ti yẹ ká ṣe é, kó lè rí bó ti yẹ kó rí. Do not ask me for further translation of those lines. They come from the unfathomable depths of the earliest times; they are the ancestral poetisation of what the world forever grapples with while foraging for the leader that would care. We have to be deliberate in the march to freedom. I have heard some Yoruba persons wondering why their baby-girl’s beautiful waist would be bare while we deck a foreigner’s with coral beads. And I asked: What kind of logic is that? Those who strung together the beads of that wit and wisdom also warned that our palms must not deceive us. They said we should never use our own hands to poison ourselves. We cannot have a country of peace and plenty when we bless ourselves with bad-headed leaders.

Lagos Acquires New Fleet For Metropolitan Rail Project

In line with his administration’s commitment to traffic management and transportation, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has acquired two sets of new 10 cars Talgo 330kmph trains for Lagos Red Line project.
In a statement, yesterday, the Lagos chief executive completed the deal at a public event inside the Milwaukee facilities of Spanish train manufacturer, Talgo Incorporated in the United States, yesterday.
The trains will be heading to Lagos, for the Red Line, a 37-kilometre track rail project started by the governor. The project will have 11 stations, and when completed, it will be the first operational metro system in West Africa.

Speaking at the event, Sanwo-Olu, who was accompanied by the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde; Special Adviser on Works, Aramide Adeyoye and Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Abimbola Akinajo, stated the state government was excited to complete the purchase of the two brand new trains. He said they were in Milwaukee to see things for themselves.
The governor observed: “A train is not something you can just go on the shelf and pick up. We are very lucky to get brand new trains. We have seen our beautiful white and red trains. Coincidentally, the rail line is called Red Line, and you can see they have given us the colour. We are just going to brand it and put up our seal there.
“We hope that this (purchase of the trains) will be the beginning of a mutually beneficial business relationship. Providing source of livelihood for our citizens is all about providing jobs for our people, and that is what we are doing. It is about ensuring that we can build our economy, people can move from one location to another and businesses can grow.

“Part of what we have done in the last two and half years is to have what we call integrated urban mass transportation system, where we will be using road infrastructure, waterway infrastructure and rail infrastructure so that we can move over 20 million Lagosians within and around the city.”
The acting Milwaukee Mayor, Cavalier Johnson, who received Governor Sanwo-Olu in the city, said: “It is a little bittersweet. I am sending my congratulations to the Governor of Lagos State in Nigeria, but also a little disappointed that we missed out on the opportunity to have those train sets operating here in Milwaukee and in Wisconsin.”
In his contribution, the CEO and President, Talgo USA, Antonio Perez, submitted: “For us, it is important that our trains are utilised. It doesn’t make any good for the trains that we built to be stored and kept without passengers riding them.”
Sanwo-Olu has specifically promised Lagosians that first phase of the Red Line will begin by the last quarter of 2022 or first quarter of 2023, with a capacity of 500,000 passengers daily.

Tinubu Apologises Over Statement on Expired PVCs

Presidential aspirant Bola Tinubu has clarified his statement on “expired” permanent voters’ cards (PVCs) and apologised for the dust it may have raised.
The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday night in Abuja granted audience to a delegation of women from Lagos and across the country attending the Progressives Women Conference.

“They may not announce to you on time, the PVC you have has expired,” he told them.
Calling on his visitors to mobilise voters from the grassroots, the former Lagos State governor added that voters’ turnout in elections has been diminishing over the years because the PVCs have expired.

But the chief press secretary to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman Rotimi Oyekanmi noted that “Nigerians who already have their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) do not need to register again.”
Chief technical adviser to the INEC chairman Prof. Bolade Eyinla also reacted to it in a message shared on a WhatsApp platform.

“This information is NOT CORRECT!!! The PVC issued to all previously registered voters remains VALID,” he said.
However, spokesman of the APC leader Tunde Rahman in a statement issued on Wednesday said Tinubu used the word ‘expire’ in error.
He said, “While charging the women to check the status of their voting cards and mobilise supporters to vote, he mistakenly used the word ‘expire’ instead of stating that the cards may have to be updated.
“Immediately upon being apprised of this, Asiwaju apologised for the incorrect statement and felt sorry for any confusion it may have caused.
“Asiwaju Tinubu also stressed that he appreciates the patriotic and necessary work of INEC and its personnel in assuring a free and fair electoral process for all Nigerians in all political parties.”

Rahman added that at the meeting convened at the behest of the women, Tinubu stressed the need for people to fully participate in elections to strengthen the nation’s democracy.
He said the ex-senator urged them to continue to mobilise voters to update their PVCs and help thwart the prevailing voter-apathy.
“Women must mobilise heavily to reverse the trend,” Tinubu was quoted as saying.

2023: Now That Tinubu Will Run…2

By Bola Bolawole

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Expectedly, it has been torrents of hails and brimstones since Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu officially declared his intention to contest the presidency in 2023. Tinubu lovers have also responded in kind; “arguments for” and “arguments against” rent the air as the contenders compete for supremacy. The din is deafening and the atmosphere electric. The cacophony over Tinubu’s “life-long ambition” has crowded out other trending matters including, surprisingly, the Super Eagles’ good run at the AFCON taking place in Cameroon. Thus, Tinubu has become the proverbial new-born babe that calls attention unto itself when it steps out to be named (on the eighth day). Should Tinubu have expected anything less? A man must be ready to float or swim with his life-long ambition; nothing else can be higher.

Tinubu is a gold fish that has no hiding place. His life has been an open book and hardly any of the issues being raised now about his personality or candidature is new. Stories already told will be rehashed, nonetheless, with garnishments, embellishments and adornments (salt and pepper, iru and ogiri will be added) before they are served a la carte as the occasion demands! New “world exclusives” on Tinubu will surface as old confidants-turned foes jostle for their own pound of flesh. Expect Tinubu, a veritable disciple of Nicollo Machiavelli (“the end justifies the means”), to fight back. We have been told that Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not Asiwaju’s real or original name; that, contrary to his claims, he has no family relationship with the Tinubu of Lagos and that he is not even from Lagos. When the going got bad between him and Alhaji Rafiu Babatunde Ayinla Okanlawon Tinubu (now deceased), erstwhile Head of Service of Lagos state, RB, as he was fondly called, authored a book to denounce Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s claim to the Tinubu name. As he told me (because I edited and printed the book) RB said he saddled himself with the tedious and strenuous task of researching the Tinubu roots to set the records straight. The book is titled “Onijumu Wura: The Tinubu Dynasty of Kakawa, Lagos: The Tree”. Apart from Bola Ahmed Tinubu, there were other notable personalities bearing the Tinubu name in Lagos that RB said were not biologically Tinubu. RB also disproved the story of the Tinubus’ Kanuri ancestry as posited by respected History professor, Gafar Siyan Oyeweso, and which was repeated recently by respected columnist, Farooq Kperogi. RB insisted, instead, that the progenitor of the Tinubus,”Alfa Momoh Bugara Tinubu was a Yoruba man from Ijumu and Ibunu in present-day Kabba Province in Kogi state…Bugara Tinubu was also known as Alfa Tibunu (Alfa from Ibunu)”.

If Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not the real name, I do not see anything spectacular about that. People change or modify their names. God started it all; and so Abram became Abraham; Sarai became Sarah; and Jacob became Israel. Jesus Christ modified Simon’s name from Simon Barjona (son of Jonah) to Simon Peter (the rock). I modified my own name from Ojo Saliu to BOLAWOLE Bolanle Ojo Saliu. I still call Prof. Oyeweso “Gafar” although he now answers “Siyan”. Recently, I noticed that RCCG’s Pastor Bisi Daniel (or Daniels) used to be my old friend, Bisi Ojediran. Among my family and friends, Yunusa is now Fola, Risikat now Dupe, Mulikat now Rev. Esther, another Mulikat now Toyin, Gani now David, Sikiru now Richard, Braimoh now Olanrewaju, ad infinitum! The only question we should ask Bola Ahmed Tinubu is whether he openly declared his name-change. Not doing so is fraught with dangers; one of which is mistaken or crisis of identity.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu has also been accused of not owing up to his ancestry: His parentage, place of birth, date of birth, and state of origin. Hiding one’s ancestry is an exercise in futility because you have relations and once they are traced to their roots, you, too, would be exposed. If you grew up in a locality, you are bound to have people who will tell you your history. I grew up in Owo, Ondo State among family, friends and neighbours who can tell my history. For my Primary School (Ansar-U-Deen Primary School), Owatowose, Owo, I still remember some of my classmates like Banji Adelegan (aka Bomber), Lasisi Olukokun (aka “Three Stones” because of the shape of his head), Dupe Ajape, Yunusa Adenola, etc. Ibikunle Falana was my classmate at All Saints Modern School, Owo. Recently, Ibikunle (who also became my classmate at Owo High School) reeled out the names of some of our other All Saints classmates that I have even forgotten: Funmilayo Oloye, Owolabi (the oldest in the class), Ogundare Alfred, Adeniran Adeseluka, Foluke, Daramola, Bayo Aladegbule, Maku, John (whose mother fried “akara” opposite St. Andrews Church), Florence Olotu, Alite (very troublesome stammerer), and Aiyedun, without forgetting our hard-hitting teacher, Mr. Famose (a replica of Mr. Jacobs, later Mr. Omole of Owo High School), and our unforgettable headmaster, Mr. Agunbiade (and his scanty mustache!) That was some 54 years ago! My Owo High School class of 1974 operates a Whatsapp platform and only on December 4 last year, my alma mater (the then University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University) honoured me, along with 59 others, with its Distinguished Alumni Award. No one, least of all someone of the standing of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, can hide their identity and or ancestry. If Tinubu fails to come out clean on it, what of all those out there who know the truth; shouldn’t someone be bold enough to speak on camera?

When they say Bola Ahmed Tinubu has no certificates, I wonder if it means he never went to school! How come he worked in an organization like Mobil Oil as Treasurer? Maybe he went to school but in another name. There should be people living who have the information. Who were his classmates? Who were his friends? Who were his colleagues at work? Who were his neighbours? All of them down the line cannot be timid or lily-livered. It can also not be that all of them have been bought or silenced. They should come out and tell us what name he answered and in which school or place of work. It is unfortunate that one-time governor of Oyo State, Lam Adeshina, is not alive to dispel or confirm the rumour that he took out of circulation documents that could have thrown some light on these issues – but some aides must have run the errands for Lam. They should come out and speak!

Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s actual age is also in contention. Some say he is 10 years older than he claims. We are all familiar with the fact that people “doctor” their age for many reasons; some because there were no records of their date of birth. Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo reportedly said he belonged in this category. I, too, but plus or minus, the gap should not be a whopping 10 years. Even at that, friends, relatives, classmates, and neighbours can help us pin down the exact age of Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Another issue in contention is Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s tenure as governor of Lagos State. One good thing I remember Bola Ahmed Tinubu for is how he fought Obasanjo to a standstill over the latter’s mindless seizure of Lagos State allocations over the creation, deservedly, of more local governments in Lagos. That tango created the necessity for Lagos under Tinubu to look inward and exponentially balloon its IGR. The use to which the resources have been put is another matter entirely. In my opinion, Lagos is more of a mega slum than a mega city – but the fault is not entirely Lagos’. It bears repeating that the influx of every Tom, Dick and Harry into Lagos plays a big role in its degradation while its neglect by the Federal Government since the capital moved to Abuja on 12 December, 1991 has not helped matters.

In conclusion, should Bola Ahmed Tinubu run? Yes, if he feels like it! And that is not the same thing as saying he is a good or bad candidate for the job! Have you noticed that the same hysteria of 2015 has returned in 2022? “Anything but Jonathan! Away with Jonathan! Nothing can be worse than Jonathan! Buhari is the Messiah!” Have you seen where that led us? The same hysteria is building, this time against Tinubu! I was party to the hysteria in 2015; I refuse to be party to it in 2022 or 2023. It is too early to make a choice. This time around, I will shine my eyes very well, as they say. Many of those yelling at Tinubu are in the same breath rooting for the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo (though he is yet to officially declare). A Pentecostal pastor who cannot defend the Church and Christians against genocide by Islamic fundamentalist terrorists; a Senior Advocate of Nigeria who cannot stand up for the rule of law; a professor who cannot lend a voice to the ASUU and his colleagues in the Ivory Tower; a Yoruba man who did not lift a finger as Fulani herdsmen over-ran the South-west, killing, maiming, raping but who went to the United States to say reports of the mindless killings by the terrorists were exaggerated; a supposed good man who was as silent as the graveyard while our #ENDSARS youth were cut down at the Lekki toll gate; and who looked away while the same youths were made to lose good money to the vexatious Twitter ban by Buhari!

Birds of a feather! Six and half-a-dozen! Grandma taught me: If for any reason I cannot swing my hands, I should fold them on my head!