How Rotimi Amaechi Singlehandedly Installed Lackey, Mohammed Koko, As NPA Boss After Hadiza Usman’s Suspension

  • Koko’s Trajectory From Account Officer to Transport Minister’s Loyal Boy

Politicians tend to live in character and many a public figure has come to imitate the journalism that describes them. Hence you may be forgiven for likening Rotimi Amaechi to the bald eagle. Like the clinical bird of prey, the minister of transport has learnt to fly without perching even as he swoops to claim the prize of the wild.
If politics has taught Amaechi anything, chief among them is the patience of the wild, a clinical depth and the capacity to march in lockstep with his dreams of becoming one of the most powerful godfathers, at least in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari.
As the clouds and blue expanse of the skies arouse questions about their vastness in every curious heart, Amaechi provokes inquiry and endless streams of speculations about the limits and otherwise of his influence on the corridors of power.
For only a man inured to the fiery swirl and challenges of power could dare what he did; drawing on his influence as the incumbent transportation minister, the former Rivers State governor masterminded the sack of Hadiza Usman from her exalted office as Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) boss, and installed his lackey, Mohammed Bello-Koko, as the new NPA boss.
Until his appointment, Bello-Koko was the Executive Director, Finance and Administration. It would be recalled that he was actually the account officer that managed the Rivers FAAC account at Zenith bank when Amaechi was the state governor.
Sources said Amaechi rewarded him with the NPA job for his past loyalty to him.
Since his appointment as the NPA boss, Koko has developed wings; he now struts about like a peacock , throwing the weight he never had. He has reportedly become cocky on his newfound power.

Sources within the NPA revealed that he is inordinately excited by the sudden change in his status and this has manifested in his carriage and approach to the job.
Everyone who wants any favour from the NPA has to go through Amaechi in order to be heard by Koko.
There is no gainsaying Koko and Amaechi are in cahoots and they share a great bond. So chummy are they with each other that Koko spiritedly defers to Amaechi over every issue but for how long? How long before the bond impairs between godfather and godson?
Will Koko forever accept his role as ‘boy’ to the transport minister and kowtow to his every wish?
Or will he, in time, go the way of Hadiza Usman and bite the fingers that fed him?
Will he, like Hadiza, eventually abhor Amaechi’s intimidating stature, and begin to dare him? Will he, some day, summon the nerve to look his godfather in the eye and go head to head in battle with him over the running of the NPA?

Will Koko get so power drunk like his predecessor and eventually seek to extricate his neck from the leash of the transport minister? Will Amaechi, on his part, be so careless and let another stooge rebel against him? Would he let Koko treat him with disregard?
Or will he clinically clip his wings and sever them lest he becomes too well-heeled to be controlled and lorded over? Only time will tell.

Source: The Capital

TSS Motors Introduces Asiastar Luxury Bus

The multi franchise holder and Assembler of heavy, medium and light, duty trucks and mini bus company in Nigeria, Transit Support Services Limited (TSS Motors), officially introduced the Asiastar luxury bus models to its range of commercial vehicle productions, late last year. The new product brand and models were unveiled in November 2020, at the Ikeja Sheraton Hotels.

The 53 passenger seater, non-independent air-condition luxury coach, which is suitable for commercial passenger transport, football club and sports teams’ transportation, government executive shuttle services, with an advanced concept in body design and architecture, is equipped with adjustable soft passenger seats with USB charger, LCD TV (front, middle), DVD, and a modern ambient lighting design on the roof.

The U-beam body structure of the Asiastar luxury bus has length, width and height of 12000, 2550 and 3860 (mm) respectively. It is equipped with WP10.336N/WD615 engine models, Fast 6DS (Benz GO230-6 as optional) gearbox, a Pneumatic double circuit air brake system, and air suspension shock absorbers. It comes with a unique set of headlamps which are divided into two parts, with full LED lighting, making the front view elegant and very beautiful.

According to the General Manager, TSS Motors, Mr. Dave Chukwudulue, “TSS Motors is known for her state of the art, top of the line products which conform to the latest design trends in the automobile industry. With the Asiastar luxury coaches, the Operators and passengers of these coaches will not be disappointed on any point of our standard offerings before now”.

“And as with our other products, our key selling points for the Asiastar luxury coaches are effective and efficient after sales service and parts support backup, cost effective, durable, robust, rugged, comfortable and smooth luxury ride, all through the distance and operational life of the vehicle. And no matter the operational application: as commercial passenger luxury coach, government executives’ group shuttle, football club and sports teams’ logistics medium, the Asiastar is configured and built to deliver, and even surpass on all, expectations, without fail. Furthermore, the vehicles are on ground for immediate delivery on receipt of payment. It’s cash and carry. No delivery lead time, with attendant costs on capital outlay prior to operations”, he added.

Amina Mohammed Gets 2nd Term As UN Deputy Secretary-General

António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), has asked Amina Mohammed to serve as deputy secretary-general for a second term.

On Friday, Guterres was re-appointed as the secretary-general of the UN for a second term by the general assembly.
His second term starts on January 1, 2022, and will run for a period of five years.

Guterres succeeded Ban Ki-moon in January 2017 as the ninth secretary-general.

Speaking with journalists after taking the oath of office for a second term, Guterres said he had extended an offer to Mohammed to continue in office.
“After being elected, I have the pleasure to invite the deputy secretary-general to remain in my second mandate and I hope she will accept,” he said.
Mohammed, who was standing behind Guterres at the press briefing, responded with the comment “absolute honour”.

Before her appointment in 2017, she was Nigeria’s minister of environment under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
She had also served as the special adviser to Ban Ki-moon on post-2015 development planning, which focused on the 2030 agenda for sustainable development goals.

How Lagos Explosion Threw Omole Residents Association into Mourning Over Death of Chairman

Residents of the popular Omole Estate have been thrown into mourning after the news of the death of their Chairman, Adeniyi Odetoye.

Odetoye died as a result of the gas explosion that occurred at the OPIC Plaza, along the popular Mobolaji Bank-Anthony Way Ikeja on Thursday.

At least about eleven persons have been reported dead in the inferno which was allegedly caused by a leaking gas tank which came into the premises of the plaza.

The fire that resulted had caught up with more than 25 vehicles while many people near the explosion site were caught up.

NPO Reports gathered that Odetoye, a Town Planning Consultant was one of those caught in the inferno.

He was said to have been one of those evacuated to the Burn Center where he died.

An update obtained from the Lagos State emergency management agency showed that “an adult female and four adult males suffered various degrees of burns and were taken by the paramedics to LASUTH and Gbagada General Hospital for further treatment. “Unfortunately, three adult males were discovered dead at the scene. They were bagged before being handed over to SEHMU for onward transfer to the morgue while two died at the hospital bringing the total number of deaths to five.

Though there are claims that more deaths occurred, the agency said “Five deaths recorded whileTwenty three (23) vehicles were burnt.

The building (Opic Plaza) was damaged by the inferno. “

Dangote Women Empowerment Program Reaches N4.3billion in Disbursement

The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) has doled out a whooping N4.2billion as part of its unconditional Micro Grant Programme for empowering women in the rural areas across the country.

Speaking at the flag-off of its one-off unconditional Micro-grants Programme Tuesday in Bauchi, Chairman of the Aliko Dangote Foundation empowered twenty thousand vulnerable women across the 20 Local Government Areas of the State.

Dangote who was represented by the company’s Group Executive Director, Government and Strategic Relations, Mansur Ahmed said so far over four hundred thousand poor women have benefited from the programme in the country.

He said in Bauchi State, N200million is currently being disbursed to vulnerable women across the 20 Local Government Areas.

According to the Africa’s top philanthropist, the unconditional micro grant is aimed at supporting the government effort’s in empowering poor families in the State.

He said the Foundation had earmarked N10billion to be disbursed to vulnerable women across the 774 Local Government Areas in the country.

Dangote said states that have also benefitted from the scheme include: Lagos, Kano, Jigawa, Kogi, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Niger, Nasarawa, Sokoto, Katsina and Kwara state.

He added that the next states to benefit from the programme are: Osun, Edo, Ogun, Rivers, Anambra and Ebonyi state respectively.

“The Micro-grants programme is one component of the Economic Empowerment pillar of the Aliko Dangote Foundation. It provides disadvantaged and vulnerable women with a one-off, unconditional N10,000,00 cash transfer to boost their household income generation. This we believe will help reduce their vulnerability and meet their livelihood needs,” he added. 

He said it is gratifying to note that majority of women who benefitted from the scheme have been able to grow the seed capital.

While thanking Aliko Dangote Foundation to coming to assist the vulnerable women in  Bauchi State,  Governor Senator Bala Abdulkadir Muhammad said he was very elated with ADF’s intervention across the country and especially in his state.

He expressed optimism that the intervention will support lives and livelihoods of women, children and families in Bauchi State.

According to him: “Aliko Dangote is a beacon of hope for the Bauchi people. He has been creating not only business institutions at the highest levels but also touching lives at the lowest level. He seems to understand Nigeria more than some of us who are politicians. He’s supporting our mothers who will help put food on our tables and train their children in schools.

“We’ve just named the school of nursing and midwifery after him. This is to mark his huge contribution to our societies in Bauchi.”

“We are also using this opportunity to inform him that he should come and invest in Bauchi. We have the highest deposit of limestone in the country. We have the largest arable land and the largest forest. Bauchi is also very peaceful and secured.”

The Governor also presented a book to the Aliko Dangote Foundation.

The book was written over a 100 years ago by Sheik Uthman Danfodio, and titled: The Principle of Leadership.

Speaking also, the Speaker, State House of Assembly Rt Hon Abubakar Y. Suleiman described the intervention as huge saying it would go a long way in supporting the poverty alleviation stride of the state government.

He said the state will continue to collaborate with the state in area of economic empowerment of womenfolk.

Commending the foundation, First Lady and wife to the Governor Mrs Aisha Bala Muhammad  said the intervention will help lift families from economic problems, even as she urged the women to invest it wisely.

Speaking, one of the beneficiaries Amina Musa, 50, said she would start micro business and use the profit to support her family.

Another beneficiary Jumai Rabiu, 47, described the intervention as huge and timely, adding that she will use the money judiciously and employ others too.

Oyetola’s Wife Spends Millions of Naira To Organise Prayer Against Insecurity

The wife of the Osun State Governor, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola, gathered hundreds of women on Wednesday In Osogbo, the state capital, for a prayer programme that gulped millions of naira as directed by the Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum.
Kafayat, whose husband, Gboyega Oyetola, has not paid pensions of workers who retired as far back as 2017, said the programme was to seek the face of God for Nigeria.

At the inter-religious prayer session which was held on Wednesday, women from two religious circles were led in prayer over incessant killings, kidnappings, banditry, among other challenges currently bedevilling the country.
Our correspondent learnt that millions of naira were spent on mobilisation and refreshments for the event.

Speaking, the Osun first lady said Nigeria needed divine intervention in all aspects of life.

She said, “The challenge of insecurity has continued to assume various dimensions. They are dimensions that affect every aspect of our daily living.
“This development has raised concern for every Nigerian. This is the reason why we, (the Nigerian Governors Wives Forum {NGWF}), have resolved to have this country-wide programme of prayer.
“It is also pertinent at this juncture to call on each one of us to begin to change our approach to issues of nationhood. We must start a cause of behaviour change. Let us change our attitude in relation to one another, in relation to community affairs, in relation to our state affairs, and in relation to our national affairs.

“Yes, Nigeria is a nation with a large number of churches, mosques, and homes of traditional religions. It is also a fact that Nigeria is one of the nations that seriously need healing in all aspects of life. This healing can come only through the divine intervention of God.
“However, the intervention will require that we work. We must start from our homes. Let’s change the culture that places money as the ultimate value of a relationship. Let us enthrone virtue, let us enthrone love, let us bring back the virtue of humanity that our great grandparents handed down to us.
“Mothers should begin to teach our children these abandoned virtues. They were virtues that made our society greater than many of those that our children run to today. We can still reclaim our land. Time is ticking for this individual and collective intervention.
“I, therefore, plead with our mothers, the teachers in our schools, our religious leaders, our trade unions to make this a key assignment. We should make messages and teachings of these virtues to be at the forefront. We should de-emphasize the love of money as the ultimate value. We should begin to imbue our children with a sense of dignity, love, and service to the community. This will generate significant wealth for our communities and our homes. It would generate peace of mind and safety. It happened before in our nation. We can make it happen again.”

Olu of Warri Tussle: Protesters Invade Court, Disrupt Proceedings

…Princes Ask Court To Nullify Prince Tsola’s Emergence As Omoba

The succession crisis rocking Warri Kingdom over the emergence of Prince Tsola Emiko as Olu-designate assumed a new twist on Thursday as unruly crowd invaded the Warri High Court venue of a suit challenging his emergence.

The protesters are believed to be supporters of Prince Tsola Emiko.

They stormed the court and chased out judicial workers, litigants, and lawyers, including a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who is representing one of the parties, and disrupted the day’s proceedings.

It would be recalled that the emergence of the Omoba, son of Ogiame Atuwatse II (19th Olu of Warri), had polarized the Itsekiri, despite his general acceptance.

The son of the late Olu Ikenwoli, Prince Oyowoli Emiko, and his uncle, Prince Bernard Emiko, approached the court to challenge the processes that led that to his choice as the 21st Olu of the ancient stool.

It would be recalled that Prince Tsola was snubbed in the race to succeed his father in 2015, on account of his maternal parentage, which is also a sticking point in the present dispensation.

However, it was learnt that pandemonium broke out on Thursday when women and youths, who were armed with green leaves and singing war songs, invaded the hallow premises of the court where the case was instituted.

“The issue for debate was the method of services to the defendants, but this could not go on because the youths took over the place and stopped legal proceedings,” a source at the scene said.

It was gathered that Prince Bernard Emiko, Olu Ikenwoli’s younger brother, in an affidavit supporting the suit, said that he is the Olori-Ebi (head) of Ogiame Erejuwa II (18th Olu) Ruling House.

He prayed the court to nullify the nomination and adoption of Prince Tsola Emiko as Olu-designate.

The appellant urged the court to declare the processes that threw up the Omoba as null and void, and prayed the court to stop him from performing the Ideniken and other rites that are mandatory towards his assumption of the stool of Olu of Warri.

The affidavit pleaded “an order of perpetual injunction restraining Pa Akoma Dudun (the parallel Olare-Ebi (oldest member) of the Ginuwa I Ruling House from presenting Prince Tsola Emiko to Chief Ayiri Emami (Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom).”

The affidavit also seeks to restrain members of the Olu Advisory Council, from accepting the candidacy of Prince Tsola as Omoba.

It also sought the an order setting aside and nullifying the 5th April 2021presentation by Prince Johnson Amatserunleghe, the Iyatsere, of Prince Tsola to the Itsekiri nation as Olu-designate in Ode-Itsekiri, the ancestral home of the Itsekiri people.

Prince Bernard confirmed this and the invasion of the court in a text message response to our reporter’s inquiry on Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, Sir Amorighoye Sunny Mene, secretary of the Itsekiri Leaders of Thought has denounced the protesters’ action as ‘barbaric and uncouth’, stressing, “I don’t support the invasion of court by anybody.”

Mene said the ILOT was disposed towards an amicable settlement of the issues surrounding the stool, and appealed to all parties to conduct themselves in responsible and peaceful manner.

Why The Naira Is Now Gaining Against the Dollar

The exchange rate between the naira and the dollar at the parallel market strengthened on Thursday, rising from N503/$1 to N485/$1. Initial checks by Nairametrics reveal the rebound of the naira from one of its lowest points in about 4 years held its support levels after the initial rise from N505/$1 to N497/$1 on Wednesday.
Sources inform Nairametrics that the trigger for the recent gains is related to chatter that the central bank may be gearing up to pump forex into the retail end of the market as part of its efforts to boost liquidity. Nairametrics reported recently that the CBN was going to sustain massive funding of Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators according to the President, Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Alhaji Dr Aminu Gwadabe. He had told reporters last week that the CBN was “committed” to improving selling forex to over 5,000 operators.
Nairametrics understands this may have triggered a slow down of demand by speculators who fear they might be on the wrong side of the bargain should the CBN make good its promise. We are yet to get official confirmation if indeed, FX was sold during the week by the CBN to BDCs.
The ABCON Chairman has also chastised speculators, blaming them for the recent depreciation of the naira and accusing them of creating artificial scarcity in the market.

“The ABCON and CBN have observed with disdain the speculative behaviour currently beclouding the market with the misinformation that the CBN has adopted I&E window as its official rate. The above information is not true because as operators we still funded our accounts at our normal rates of N393/$ and not the I&E window rates for our operation this Friday.’’ Gwadabe.

BDC Operators also suggested earlier in the month that they were considering banning street trading of forex as a strategy for curbing FX speculation. They called it ‘Operation No Street Trading.’
“All operators are to collaborate in bringing down the forex rates in the market; street trading by BDCs should be discouraged/banned and ABCON will commence operation ‘no street trading’. BDCs should improve return rendition to regulatory authorities; margin review to meet operational requirements; widening the scope of transactions; digitalization of BDC operations. ABCON to punish errant members; ABCON compliance officer and staff to commence nationwide supervision of BDC operations.” ABCON

Exchange rate

Dealers who spoke to Nairametrics on Thursday confirmed an exchange rate of N485/$1 if you wish to sell dollars and N492/$1 should you want to buy in the parallel market respectively. This also suggests without any empirical data that the sell pressure might be sustained in the short term.

In a major boost to the outlook of Nigeria’s forex supply, oil prices have remained above $70 per barrel with some analysts predicting it could rise past $80 and soar to $100 as the world gradually returns to full capacity. Nigeria relies heavily on oil for over 50% of its forex supplies.

A reliable source also informed Nairametrics that the CBN is considering closing the disparity between the official market and parallel market rates but prefers a rate that is stronger than the N485/$1 currently being traded. The CBN hopes to achieve this by injecting more forex into the market.
Despite the fall in forex prices on the black market, those sourcing for wire transfer forex still pay above N500/$1. A source informed Nairametrics that they purchased for about N505/$ on Thursday via wire transfers to a foreign currency denominated account.
The World Bank recently blamed CBN Policies for Nigeria’s forex woes calling on the apex bank to allow greater flexibility in the forex market so as to instil confidence in the market and open the floodgates for foreign investment into the country. The CBN recently adopted the NAFEX rate published by the FMDQOTC as its official reference price.

Fani-Kayode Reveals Those Behind MKO Abiola’s Death

Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Aviation Minister, on Wednesday named those behind the murder of former Nigerian Head of State, Gen Sani Abacha and businessman, MKO Abiola.

Fani-Kayode claimed that Abacha was killed by one of the bodyguards of late Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat.

He claimed that Arafat’s bodyguard poisoned Abacha through a handshake.

In a series of tweets, the former minister alleged that the incident was done with the knowledge of the United States, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and two former Nigerian heads of state.

He also alleged that the same people were responsible for the death of Abiola.

Buhari govt must arrest killers of Abacha, Abiola – Fani Kayode

According to Fani-Kayode: “Gen. Sani Abacha was killed by one of late Yasser Arafat’s bodyguards. He administered poison to him through a handshake.

“This was done at the behest of the CIA. Two former Nigerian Heads of State and a former Head of Military Intelligence who are also CIA agents knew about the plan.

“The same people decided that MKO Abiola had to be killed as well in order to balance the equation. The CIA, through Susan Rice and Ambassador Pickering, did the rest.

“Nigerians please know your history and find out the truth. Stop accepting the lies that are fed to you and stop brushing evil under the carpet.

“Neither Abacha nor Abiola deserved to be murdered even if we did not all agree with either or both of them. The CIA has no friends and there is nothing more despicable than working for a foreign intelligence agency against ur own people and nation.”

Meanwhile, a former Chief Security Officer of Abacha, Hamza Al-Mustapha had said the former Head of State developed a brief illness that led to his death after a handshake with Arafat’s bodyguard in Abuja.

Senator Ubah Emerges YPP Candidate for Anambra Gov Poll

A member of the National Assembly, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, has emerged the candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in the November 6, 2021, governorship election in Anambra State.

Ubah, who is the senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District, emerged the party’s governorship candidate yesterday in Abuja with a pledge to defeat whoever emerged the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
He recalled that he defeated candidates of the People’s Democratic Party and the APGA in the last national Assembly election in his senatorial district.
He said: “We gave them a hot chase in the Senate and I am going to defeat them again.”

The YPP’s candidate absolved his party of the crises rocking the APGA and PDP chapters in the state.
“If other parties are having crisis, it means their processes are not right. As you can see in the YPP we are moving with the speed of light.
“We are unique in the YPP and Anambra will see a new ray of hope. We are expecting a smooth election and are ready to take over the governorship seat in Anambra,” he said.

Ubah believed that forthcoming governorship election in his state would not be truncated despite the violence in certain states in the South-east that was instigated by hoodlums bent on burning facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said: “Election is a constitutional process that must be met and the election will be conducted without chaos. The YPP has the blessing of God and we meant well for Anambra.”