Ondo Health Commissioner Dies of COVID-19 Complications

Dr. Wahab Adegbenro, Ondo state commissioner of health, has died of COVID- 19 complications.

A family source told TheCable Adegbenro died at the state’s infectious disease hospital on Thursday.

“I still saw him on Monday, I never knew that was the last time I would set my eyes on you alive,” the source said.

His death comes two days after Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of the state, announced he had tested positive for COVID- 19.

The late Adegbenro is a native of Ilara-Mokin, in Ifedore local government area of the state.

Source: TheCable

Dubai Police Extradite Hushpuppi, Woodberry To US

Dubai authorities have extradited suspected Nigerian fraudsters, Ramon Abbas, better known as Hushpuppi, and Olalekan Ponle, also known as Woodberry, to the United States.
A statement released on Thursday by the Dubai police highlighted the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Christopher Wray, praising the United Arab Emirates for the arrest and extradition of the duo.

The statement read: “The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Christopher Wray has praised the exceptional efforts exerted by the United Arab Emirate, represented by the Dubai Police General HQ, in combating transnational organised cybercrime including the recent arrest of Raymond Igbalode Abbas, known as ‘Hushpuppi’ and Olalekan Jacob Ponle aka ‘Woodberry’ who were taken down in operation ‘Fox Hunt 2’.

“Mr Wray also extended his appreciations to Dubai Police for their cooperation in extraditing the wanted criminals, who committed money-laundering and multiple cybercrimes, to the United States.”

Daddy Freeze, Hushpuppi and the Future of Nigeria

By Niran Adedokun

The broadcaster, ‘Youtuber’ and self-proclaimed preacher, Ifedayo Olarinde, also known as Daddy Freeze, is a subject whose interests almost always invite attention. As a person though, I have resisted the temptation to join debates about his views on some charismatic preachers.

Although I always felt his stand are sometimes extreme and borne out of a fragmentary understanding of the psychology of man in relation to the God he serves, my judgement is always tempered by the conviction that life is “live and let live.”

The Creator gave every man the ability to think and decipher issues as we see them. Those who believe in God look forward to a day of reckoning when accounts would be rendered to the Supreme Being. More so for those who claim to have been called into the service of God. In their own case, in fact, the Christian holy book indicates that they will answer for themselves and every prospective believer who is misled by their teachings, action or inaction. So, arguments for and against views held by the popular broadcaster about faith and its practice in Nigeria are a waste of time, in my opinion.

However, last week’s revelation of his seemingly casual relationship with Mr Raymond Igbalode otherwise known as Hushpuppi, who was arrested in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates for alleged fraud, raises a few issues about Olarinde and the gospel he preaches.

For the avoidance of doubt, the broadcaster stands on solid ground when he insists on his right to be friends with anyone, even if they were convicted criminals. However, in Hushpuppi’s case, he had no idea that the man had any other means of livelihood aside from being an “influencer”. It is even possible to overlook the fact that not even the Mark Zuckerbergs of this world live in the affluence that social media influencing, and whatever other business the Malaysia-based Igbalode was involved in, have thrown on him. The point is, Daddy Freeze was oblivious of the alleged crooked ways of his friend. And how would anyone suspect when in the few moments they spent together post dinner, Hushpuppi got calls from Gucci, Versace and Louis Vuitton but not one single criminal. We can also conveniently overlook the fact that all these companies and the owner of the new restaurant, who grovelled to have Hushpuppi’s company as revealed in a video on Daddy Freeze’s Youtube page are capitalists who do not care whether anyone with money just killed their mother. The most important point here is the media personality had no idea in whose den he dined and wined.

Another creditable point Daddy Freeze made is that the one who “called” him, (Yeshua) would not discriminate against anyone, even if they were criminals. In other words, even if Husspuppi has just come out of jail, neither of Daddy Freeze’s calling as a newshound or preacher allows him to discriminate.

The gentleman-preacher argued this point vehemently in the video. To drive his point home, he quoted from Mark 2:15 and challenged his followers to explain the scripture with “5k up for grabs.” This passage of the Bible speaks about Jesus Christ dining in the house of Levi, a tax worker and that many other sinners sat together with Jesus and his disciples. It turned out that his followers were more interested in expressing their disappointments in their “hero,” something he did not have the grace to take kindly. And it was at this point that Daddy Freeze fell into the same error he criticises about pastors.

Let us start with the Bible passage; Jesus truly sat with these sinners. He actually literally ordered Levi to follow him. At the end of that verse, the Bible also says of these sinners: “For there were many, and they followed Him.”

Now, “follow Him” here implies that they repented of their sins and became followers of Jesus. The implication of what happened in this passage and the continuation until verse 17, is that being part Divine and Omniscient, Jesus actually knew that these ones were called to be His followers, just as He knew from the outset that Judas was called to betray Him! So, the question is, was Daddy Freeze on a soul-winning mission to Hushpuppi?

Of more concern is the revelation that the preacher shows himself susceptible to the same emotions he accuses other preachers of. Like some men of God who have turned themselves into gods of men, Daddy Freeze waxed so much in this video that he came out as utterly infallible and unaccountable to anyone. He actually said as much. After flaunting the N5,000 giveaway, he said: “…And you know, my problem with you is… Nigerians are the funniest of people. I am glad I am not accountable to you people, una dey pay my bill? Why am I accountable to you people?” But no sir, you are wrong!

You cannot claim you are only accountable to God when you have a multitude believing in your teachings. And this feeling of superiority leads to pride and so many other vices! The Apostles in the Bible submitted to one another and had respect for the needs and desires of the Church who did not have to pay their bills. The Bible which Daddy Freeze quotes actually speaks about the futility of claiming to love God (whom you cannot see) when you do not love the man you see!

That takes us to the way this man humiliated some of his followers. When one of his followers said he didn’t need his N5,000, Daddy Freeze responded: “Just look at his face, you don’t need N5,000 bro, you need N1.5k to revolutionise your life. Comot for there jo, na your type I dey find….wetin I go tell you, if you no drink sniper, na small e go remain…” Really, preacher?

Another follower cautioned him against cursing the fathers and grandfathers of his critics as he repeatedly did, Daddy Freeze quoted from Matthew 23:13 and 17 where Jesus speaks to Pharisees and scribes calling them “blind fools”. He justifies his position by saying Jesus was in his 30s here and abusing people who were in their 70s, 80s and 90s. “Were they not old enough to be his father…? I learnt from my Master…” And when one of his followers pointed out that the context of Christ’s insult was different, “he was addressing fools, I am addressing fools too,” he fired back. It is pointless recalling the unprintable things he said after.

A point of correction needs to be made here though. Jesus was talking to religious leaders who were hypocrites and cons, in this passage. His attention was on getting people into heaven, he addressed these people as fools because they knew the truth but were misleading a lot of candidates of heaven. Daddy Freeze was clearly not speaking about heaven.

Assuming without conceding that Jesus was speaking to fools however, there is a particular thing Jesus never did that Daddy Freeze exhibited in this video and his Dubai dinner with Hushpuppi. It is the derision of the poor attended by the salacious worship of the obscene display of lucre! From the people whose fathers should beg to become Hushpuppi’s drivers, to the people who earn N35,000 and all, it is disappointing that he chose not to exhibit the compassion and humility of his Master here. Just as the rain of curses on those who hold contrary views is unlike Jesus who prayed for His enemies, even at the point of death!

And concerning Hushpuppi, it is tragedy foretold. One which should worry and inspire Nigerian leaders to have a quick rethink about the direction the country is going.

Let me conclude with a quote from “We kill militants, but in vain,” article published on this column on August 4, 2016. “Although Nigeria is said to have a total of 430 higher institutions with 520,000 admission spaces, as of 2013, 1,735,729 sought admission in that year alone. The implication is that about 1.2 million youths were unable to gain admission, a situation that has not improved in any significant measure till date. Nigeria is neither able to get most aspiring young ones into higher education postings nor provide employment for hundreds of thousands of those who graduate from institutions yearly. We therefore have a crowd of agile, restless but idle and angry youths on our hands. My suggestion is that the country work towards providing more opportunities for its young ones to get educated. If children do not get formal placements, a serious country must provide alternatives for them. Serious attention also needs to be paid to providing gainful employment for the youths… What about exploiting the massive opportunities in agriculture, entertainment and sports? Nigeria must also deliberately re-orientate its youths discouraging the get-rich-quick-by-all-means mentality that has possessed the soul of our nation.”

He who sows the wind will reap the whirlwind, a saying goes. Hushpuppi (if he is truly found guilty) and his ilk including the bandits, rapists and insurgents all around, are signs that Nigeria is on the edge of the precipice. Sure, this should worry everyone!

Adedokun tweets @niranadedokun
Copyright PUNCH.

Two Senators Exchange Blows In Fight Over Committee Post

There was drama in Kenya earlier this week when two nominated senators Beatrice Kwamboka (ODM) and Mary Seneta (Jubilee) engaged in a scuffle before parliamentary security separated them.

The scuffle over a post is said to have led to the suspension of the vice-chairperson of the Election of Senate health committee.

It is gathered that trouble brewed after Ms Senata accused some members, including Ms Kwamboka of colluding to edge her out of the position. Seneta made the accusation after Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina was declared the winner.

The accusation made Kwamboka who is the deputy minority leader angry and she confronted Seneta.

A scuffle is said to have broken out between the two women.

The row over the post may be linked to proxy voting as it is gathered that Senator Fred Outa (Kisumu) had proposed Kina to take over the vice chairperson’s seat.

Seneta was reportedly backed by some committee members led by Deputy Majority Whip Farhiya Ali (Jubilee) after she left DP William Ruto’s Tanga Tanga faction.

Things got tricky when Ali showed up with a proxy vote which she wanted to cast on behalf of nominated Senator Beth Mugo.

Afte casting her vote, Ali went out and appeared to receive a phone call. She came back and said she also wanted to vote for nominated Senator Millicent Omanga, in support of Seneta.

Kwamboka said she did not trust the signature on the alleged letter by Ms Mugo, allowing Ali to vote on her behalf.

Later, Omanga distanced herself from Ms Ali’s claim saying she supported Kina.

The election was cancelled and sitting adjourned by Trans Nzoia Senator Michael Mbito, who had retained the chairmanship.

Access Bank Celebrates Recognition of Tracy Batta As Forbes Africa 2020 30 Under 30

Helping female businesses grow through discounted access to finance is one of the many unique value propositions under the Access Bank’s W Initiative. Tracy Batta, co-founder, SmoothieExpress and a W Power Loan beneficiary recently emerged on Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30 list.

Tracy Batta co-owns Smoothie Express, a healthy focused brand known for providing consumers with healthy fast foods. Prior to her recognition under the 2020 class of Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30, Tracy was recognized under Business Day’s Top100 Fastest Growing SMEs. She has since grown to become a household name in Lagos.

Since its launch in 2018, the W Power loan has impacted the businesses of growing female entrepreneurs with N14bn for expansion whilst seeking opportunities and exposure to the global market.

Speaking on the impact of the W Power Loan on female owned businesses, Ada Udechukwu, Head, Women Banking at Access Bank says, “Ensuring access to affordable finance for SMEs and opportunities to access new markets is an integral part of Access Bank’s economic ecosystem for SMEs. Since the introduction of the W Power Loan, more women can now sit at the helm of entrepreneurial affairs and grow their businesses to be internationally recognized. We strengthen female-owned SMEs in Nigeria by being a pillar for them to lean on for growth and expansion”.

Access Bank’s support for female-owned home-grown businesses is undeniable and this is evident in the resultant benefits from its discounted financing initiative, The W Power Loan.

Invest In Technology, Localise Supply Chain, Redefine Purpose, Airtel MD Advices SMEs At UBA Business Series

In adjusting to the new normal, business owners and operators of Small and Medium Scale businesses have been advised to invest massively in technology and find ways to source their raw materials or supplies locally, as this is expected to boost their activities and help them stay afloat especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria,  Segun Ogunsanya, who gave these tips at the UBA Quarterly Business Series on Tuesday, said that it is important that businesses redefine their activities to adapt to the new normal which most economies have found themselves as a result of the raging virus.

The UBA Business Series, organised by Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, is a capacity building initiative held every quarter, where leading business leaders share insights on best business practices and how entrepreneurs can build a sustainable business empire especially in the challenging business environment in Africa. This edition was moderated by the Chief Executive Officer, Lyd Consulting, Bankole Williams.

Ogunsanya spoke on the topic: ‘Strategies and competencies for adjusting to a Post COVID-19 Business Environment’, where he sought to equip business owners with the important and essential strategies on how to recover and rebuild their business concerns following losses incurred due to the pandemic which took the world by storm, forcing many businesses to re-examine their models and strategies in line with the new normal.

Giving essential strategies to business owners to help their businesses thrive and stay afloat, he said, “I must stress the need for business owners to invest in technology as it is very key in the new normal to ensure that our employees are able to deliver the goods and services to customers while remaining safe and keeping the customers safe also. Remember that the customer is still the king, so it is important to ensure that you configure all your operations to make sure that they are still able to transact their businesses and also encourage online payment for services because handling cash can also be dangerous. More importantly, look for ways to configure your businesses to what your customers actually need especially in this era of physical and social distancing.”

While giving examples of companies that have changed the direction of their businesses due to the limitations occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic, Ogunsanya told the over 2,000 participants at the webinar, that this period called for critical evaluation of businesses where SMEs should think of creative ways to ensure that they meet the needs of customers and provide services that customers are actually willing to pay for.

“If as a business you find out that a huge part of your key services are not in high demand as a result of lockdown rules, then it is important to reconfigure your services; find other needs that you can meet for customers; look for various things you can do differently, completely cut out wastes and costs that are irrelevant as well as areas where value is not being added to the customers and ensure that you have a digital roadmap” he said in response to a participant who wanted to know how to increase productivity.

UBA’s Group Head, Consumer and Retail Banking, Jude Anele, who spoke ahead of the webinar, said that far beyond banking services, UBA is interested in ensuring that customers and entrepreneurs run businesses that can stand the test of time, adding that the Business Series seeks to arm business leaders with all the knowledge and experience required to take their businesses to the next level. “it is always an opportunity to learn something new from the people who have the experience,” Anele said.

United Bank for Africa is a leading pan-African financial institution offering banking services to more than twenty million customers globally. With footprint in 20 African countries and presence globally in the United Kingdom, the USA and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.

Jada Pinkett Smith Denies Having An Affair With August Alsina

Jada Pinkett Smith has denied the claims made by August Alsina that the two had a romantic relationship which Will Smith gave his blessings to.
Jada Smith’s representatives have said that the claim is “absolutely not true”, TMZ reports.

Jada Smith and Alsina’s friendship have spawned speculations over the years. However, during a recent interview with The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee, Alsina claimed that he did, in fact, have a romantic relationship with the 48-year-old Red Table Talk host — and Will knew about it.
“I actually sat down with Will and had a conversation … He gave me his blessing,” he said.
“And I totally gave myself to that relationship for years of my life, and I truly and really, really, deeply loved and have a ton of love for her (Jada). I devoted myself to it. I gave my full self to it. So much so that I can die right now, and be OK knowing that I fully gave myself to somebody … Some people never get that in this lifetime.”
When asked if it was “disappointing” that Jada never publicly acknowledged the long-running rumours of a romance. He said:
“I really can’t even get into the thought of that because I am only responsible for myself, right? And I am only responsible for what I do. When I am repressing and suppressing things and it starts to affect me. I have to address it. I just always stay solid because I never want to be the person to start confusion.”
August Alsina met Jada in 2015 through her son, Jaden Smith. He became close with the family, vacationing with them in Hawaii a year later and attending the BET Awards with the fam two years later.

Buhari Names Debo Adesina, Djeba, Seriki, 39 Others As Ambassadors-nominees

+ Retains 11 non-career envoys

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday requested the Senate to screen and confirm 42 non-career and one career ambassadors.

It was learnt that the President retained 11 serving non-career ambassadors and recalled 35 of them.
President Buhari’s request letter was read on the floor at plenary by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

Among the nominees are two frontline journalists Debo Adesina (Oyo) and Oma Djebah (Delta) as well as a former Minister of State for Defence, Ademola Seriki (Lagos) and Mr. Dare Sunday Awoniyi (Kogi).
The President also urged the Upper Chamber to confirm Mr. Sulyman Sani as a career ambassador representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Sulyman’s nomination may not be unconnected with the protest by Senator Philip Aduda (FCT) that the territory was neglected in the earlier list of career ambassadors sent to the Senate for confirmation.

Following the reading of President Buhari’s letter, Aduda, raising a point of order, thanked Lawan for helping to ensure that the FCT was not neglected in the appointment of the career ambassadors.
He averred that the Senate President would also intervene to ensure that the FCT is represented in the appointment of non-career ambassadors.

Other non-career ambassadors-designate are: Umar Suleiman (Adamawa), L. S. Mandama (Adamawa), Oboro Effiong Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Chief Elijah Onyeagba (Anambra), Abubakar D. Ibrahim Siyi (Bauchi), Philip K. Ikurusi (Bayelsa), Tarzoor Terhemen (Benue), Paul Ogba Adikwu (Benue), Al-Bashir Ibrahim Al-Hassan (Borno), Brig.-Gen. Bwala Yusuf Bukar (Borno) and Prof. Monique Ekpong (Cross River).
Also on the list are:  Ominyi N. Eze (Ebonyi), Yamah Mohammed Musa (Edo), Maj.-Gen. C. O. Ugwu (Enugu), Dr. Hajara I. Salim (Gombe), Obiezu Ijeoma Chinyerem (Imo), Ali M. Magashi (Jigawa), Prof. M. A. Makarfi (Kaduna), Hamisu Umar Takalmawa (Kano), Jazuli Imam Galandanci (Kano), Amina Ado Kurawa (Kano), Ambassador Yahaya Lawal (Katsina), Ibrahim Kayode Laaro (Kwara) and Abioye Bello (Kwara).
The President also nominated Zara Maazu Umar (Kwara), Henry John Omaku (Nasarawa), Chief Sarafa Tunji Isola (Ogun), Mrs. Nimi Akinkugbe (Ondo), Adejare Bello (Osun), Adeshina Alege (Oyo), Ms. Folakemi Akinyele (Oyo), Shehu Abdullahi Yibaikwal (Plateau), Maureen Tamuno (Rivers), Faruk Yabo (Sokoto), Adamu M. Hassan (Taraba), Alhaji Yusuf Mohammed (Yobe) and Abubakar Moriki (Zamfara) as non-career Ambassadors-designate.
President Buhari, in a letter titled “Appointment of non-career Ambassadors-Designate” said: “In accordance with Section 171 (1),(2)(c) and subsection (4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, I have the honour to forward for confirmation by the Senate, the under listed 41 names of nominees as non-career ambassadors-designate.”
The ambassadors retained by the President are: Dr. Uzoma Emenike (Ireland), Prof. Tijjani Muhammad Bande (Permanent Representative to the UN), Yusuf Tuggar (Germany), Dr. Eniola Irele (France), Adeyinka O. Asekun (Canada), Maj.-Gen. Chris Eze (India), Dr. Eniola Ajayi (Hungary), Joseph Olusola (Togo), Uyagwe Igbe (Mozambique), Baba Madugu (Switzerland) and Muhammadu Rimi Barbade (United Arab Emirates). It was learnt that the President reviewed their performance and decided to retain them for distinguishing themselves in the service of the country.

Tinubu Mourns Industrialist Bode Akindele

The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has described the death of foremost industrialist  and philanthropist, Chief Bode Akindele, as an irredeemable loss to the country.
In his tribute to the late business mogul, Tinubu on Wednesday in Lagos said Akindele’s large-heartedness, the extraordinary enthusiasm with which he gave of his time and of himself, was what separated him from other men of means.
The renowned entrepreneur, Bode Akindele, died in Lagos on Monday at 87 years.
The Parakoyi of Ibadan and the founder of the Bode Akindele Foundation, was renowned for his philanthropy which spanned several decades.

According to Asiwaju Tinubu, “Chief Akindele was a renowned philanthropist whose foundation employed and empowered many people.
“Throughout the span of his life, Chief Akindele lived charitably and his passing will be keenly felt by the multitude of young Nigerians touched by his generosity.
“His beneficence towards his fellow man, particularly the people of Ibadan, was legendary.
“He shall be sorely missed by the needy and oppressed Nigerians whom he so loved and cared for.”
Tinubu said the late Akindele lived a long and fulfilled life, marked by a multitude of impressive achievements.
“Akindele was a self-made man who single-handedly built a large and successful business empire with interests spanning from maritime to property, manufacturing, real estate, finance and flour milling.
“He was an astute and driven businessman through his perseverance, determination and consistency of effort and character, he was able to achieve greatness on a global scale.
“His accomplishments in life stand testament to all that can be achieved by tenacious and astute African businessmen,” Asiwaju said.
The APC leader thanked God that the late industrialist was able to live a long and fulfilled life, adding that his passing was a great loss to the Nigerian people.
He condoled with the government and people of Oyo State, particularly the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1.
“We are grateful to Almighty God for the time that we spent with Chief Akindele here on earth and for the way he was able to touch the lives of so many with his philanthropy.
“He left his footprint in the sands of time and his memory will live long in the hearts and minds of all of us, who were blessed to have known him personally and a multitude of those who did not,” he said
Tinubu prayed solace to Bolaji, his son and all other members of his family.
“May Almighty God grant them all the resolve to bear this loss and the fortitude to carry on in honour of his legacy,” he said.

Turkish Airlines Appreciates Health Workers, Offers 40% Discount

Turkish Airlines is offering a 40% discount on their services as a show of appreciation to health workers in Nigeria who are the front-liners in the fight against COVID 19 pandemic.

According to a statement released recently by the airline, by simply registering with us as a health worker with your Miles & Smiles membership number, you qualify to receive a promotional code providing a 40% discount on all Economy or Business Class flights.

According to them, this gesture is part of efforts to appreciate the sacrifices made in the past months by health workers who put their lives on the line to ensure that the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria is won.

The statement reads “A Thank You to our valued health workers. It is impossible to fully express our deep gratitude to the health workers who care for our lives at all times and under any circumstances.

“To show our great appreciation, we are offering a 40% discount on flights for our devoted health workers and the loved ones accompanying them. “By registering with your Miles&Smiles membership number, you can receive a promotional code providing a 40% discount on all Economy or Business Class flights”

The statement explains that to benefit from the campaign, interested health workers will have to first register to be a Miles&Smiles member, click on the “Register to Campaign” button on the registration portal and tick the “New Feedback” option at the bottom of the page you are directed to.

At the bottom of the section, you will find “Exclusive for Healthcare Professionals”. You can reach the registration form through this part of the page.

“Enter your details on the registration form and upload your healthcare professional ID card to the system.

Within 5 days after your information is approved, your promo code will be sent to the e-mail registered to your Miles&Smiles membership account.

When you purchase your ticket via our online channels, the discount will be applied during the payment process by entering the promo code in the related section” it reads.

The statement further explains that the campaign will run from the 8th of June, 2020 – 18th of July, 2020 while the traveling period will span from the 8th of June – 31st of May, 2021.