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Nature and providence have away of bringing some exceptional people our way. In  the course of our life’s journey, with these people, you navigate the trajectory of purpose.
Gbenga Adeyinka, Grand Comedian of the Federal Republic, GCFR, a colossus, an incurable addict of success, a protagonist of dedication and hard work, a highly resourceful and dependable man, a humble jolly good fellow, a tireless visionary and an incredibly funny man.
Today, Monday, May 7, he joins the gracious league of the quinquagenrians, the golden 50!
Many up and coming entertainers hungry to cut their teeth in the entertainment industry have always quizzed the older generation with the question, ‘What is the way up the ladder of success in the industry”, or “what is the secret of consistency and staying relevant in the show-biz?”.
Dear friends, I present to you, ‘Gbenga, a breathing compendium of doggedness, astuteness, humility and of how staying original takes you up the cadre and keeps you up there’.
Gbenga and I have been friends for close to two decades.We met about a time I was putting up an event. He approached me and offered to host my show free of charge. That singular act of selflessness thrilled and warmed me to Gbenga.
The level of our closeness way back made some persons speculate that I was probably his manager. The bond I share with this man is beyond being friends, he has become lfraternal.
Writing about Adeyinka, this multi talented man at 50, may not exactly be very easy, but having known him from when his career was just taking off to now that he has become a brand to reckon with on the Nigerian entertainment scene, I should be qualified to assert that what stands this special man out is his strength of character and humility.
So many success stories in the entertainment industry, the comedy industry especially aren’t complete without a mention of his name in their journey at some points or the other. He is noteworthy for mentoring quite a number of next generation of comedians, and also pitch them for jobs he is not available to handle himself, ‘not too many established acts do that’s.
While Gbenga was leaving Unilag, popular comedian and compere Tee A had just gotten into Unilag at the time, even though Tee A was already a name to be reckoned with, Gbenga was instrumental to his joining the famous Theatre 15 group back then, and also assisted Tee A with publicity for his first show.
A thorough business man, Gbenga’s human relations skills are exceptional, he is great at engaging his clients and knows how to retain them. There are families here in Nigeria that Gbenga has been compere for the wedding of (almost) all their children.
He has a knack for keeping to time, Gbenga arrives events where he is billed to perform way ahead of time, and even joins the organizers in the last minutes arrangements for the event. These are rear qualities.
A fine gentle man, and committed family man with a sizzling marriage of over 25years, not many know that Gbenga already has two kids who are graduates of Covenant University, and a third who is prepping to leave the University too from Babcock.
While congratulating my good friend on this momentous occasion, I pray that the creator grants him good health, and the privilege to continue to be relevant in the scheme of things on the Nigerian Entertainment landscape and beyond.
Seun Oloketuyi A proud Igbemo man writes is COO at Best of Nollywood Awards

ENTERTAINMENT

Buhari Is Weak Mentally, Physically —– Eedris Abdulkareem

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Nigerian singer, Eedris Abdulkareem has opined that President Muhammadu Buhari is weak mentally and physically.

The controversial rapper was reacting to the President’s performance at a town hall meeting organised by the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and Daria Media with support from the MacArthur Foundation in Abuja on Wednesday.

Buhari had while responding to a question about the disability bill, called on the press and the elite to monitor the progress of the Disability Bill 2018.

He had said,“I cannot honestly remember the plan being taken to the National Assembly and how much they have done on it and sent it back to the centre. It is the same with the Disability Bill. There are so many (bills) with the National Assembly and unfortunately, I expect the elite through the press to keep an eye on the activities of the bills between the executive and National Assembly.

“If the executive sends a bill, they can hardly put it in the budget except it is returned to the National Assembly with their comments and recommendations.”

But, reacting, Eedris on his official Instagram page, said that he was surprised Buhari denied that the disability bill has been transmitted to him.

He said, “Fact Check Buhari is weak mentally and physically. Buhari denied that the disability bill has been transmitted to him. Link 1: in October, after BUHARI declined assent to the Bill, NASS worked to address the concerns he raised.

”The Senate referred the Disability Bill 2018 back to the conference committee of both chambers of the National Assembly for a review. Link 2: the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) who have been following this issue closely the Disability bill was transmitted to President Buhari, on Tuesday, December 18, ”18, by the Clerk of the National Assembly.”

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ENTERTAINMENT

CCTV Footage Exposes Policemen Who Raided Lagos Night Club, Robbed Customers, Beat Them With Axe; Stole Club Drinks And Money

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The management of Lakers County, a popular night club in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, is seeking redress over an attack by men of the Anti-Cultism Unit of the Lagos State Police Command, who allegedly invaded its premises on Sunday and seized from its customers and workers valuables worth several millions of naira.

Closed-circuit television footage provided to PUNCH Metro by the club’s management revealed how the officers perpetuated the act that sent shivers down the spines of the customers and workers on duty at the club at that time.

Some of the customers and workers have yet to recover their belongings, which were seized by the officers during the raid.

A customer of the club, Hassan Adebowale, said he had gone to Lakers County to buy shawarma, when the policemen, who shot into the air, invaded the premises.

The University of Lagos undergraduate said, “My friend and I came to the club to buy shawarma; we were at the bar waiting for it to be ready when we suddenly heard gunshots. The policemen rushed upstairs, ordered everyone to lie down. We initially thought they were robbers, because not all of them were in police uniform; it was when we saw some of them in uniform that we realised that they were policemen.

“While we were on the floor, we were told to submit our phones; as we did that, they also collected chains, car keys, and went to the bar to pack drinks and money. Thereafter, they told us to stand up and tied our clothes together and marched us into the bus they brought for the operation. The police officers in uniform were about 20, while the ones without uniform were about 10, with three female officers leading the squad.”

Another customer, Nifemi Solipo, said one of the officers, who allegedly collected her phone during the assault had refused to release it when she visited the Anti-Cultism Unit in the Gbagada area of Lagos despite acknowledging that he collected it.

The make-up artist said, “The officer searched my purse and brought out my phone and kept it in his pocket. I bought that phone for around N350,000. I have been sleeping at the club for two days now because the phone means everything to me. I use the phone to work and to advertise my business, and I will not let go of it.

“I saw the officer at their station in Gbagada and he confirmed that he collected my phone, but could not provide it when they were told to release what they collected from customers. I know that phone is there but they don’t want to release it, and I won’t give up on it.”

The Lakers County’s barman, Samuel Edeh, who was on duty during the police invasion, said the sales proceeds were taken by one of the police officers who was in mufti.

The 22-year-old stated, “We had a lot of customers that day. But when the officers entered the premises and started shooting, I hid under the counter of the bar and hoped that none of the officers would find me, but when one of the officers came into the bar, I was very scared.

“I saw him packing drinks, phones and other valuables; he also collected the sales proceeds for the day. The CCTV captured everything.”

The Chief Executive Officer, Lakers County, Oladimeji Ogunfolaju, who said the raid had cast a dent on the image of the club, stated that he initially thought that the attack was carried out by armed robbers and he informed the officer in charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Ikorodu and the Divisional Police Officer, Ipakodo Police Station, who mobilised to engage the invaders before their identities were revealed.

He added that the inspector in charge of the case at the Anti-Cultism Unit in Gbagada was dumfounded when he presented footage of the assault that disrupted the activities of the club for the day and has also drastically affected activities there ever since.

Ogunfolaju said, “I was on the Island when I received a call that my club was being robbed and what I did immediately was to put a call through to the OC SARS, Mr Geoffrey, and the DPO, Ipakodo Police Station, Mr Salami, who both swung into action. They were prepared to have a gun battle with the invaders before signals were sent to them that they were men of the Anti-Cultism Unit of the Lagos State Police Command.

“But before the police officers from the Ipakodo Police Station got there, the supposed men from the Anti-Cultism Unit had assaulted and arrested my workers and customers, and marched them into four commercial buses that they brought for the operation. I have 40 CCTV cameras that record everything happening here, and it was through the recorded footage that I saw the whole drama that the officers acted out.

“It showed the way they assaulted my workers and customers; how one of them broke into my bar to steal almost N1m in sales proceeds; how they took my drinks and drank them while they were operating; how they broke my tables and collected customers’ valuables like chains and mobile phones; everything was recorded.

“I can’t imagine police officers using axes to beat customers, including pregnant women; I learnt that one of the pregnant women, who was there during the operation, lost her pregnancy.”

Ogunfolaju, who said a press briefing on Monday had prevented him for presenting the CCTV footage to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, urged the police to apologise to him and the people assaulted during the invasion.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, who confirmed the incident to our correspondent, said operatives of the Anti-Cultism Unit of the command were at the club to arrest a cultist.

Oti said, “There was information that a male cultist and his group were at the club at that particular time. The cultist was known for his violent activities in Ikorodu and its environs, and this prompted operatives of the Anti-Cultism Unit to go there for his arrest.

“However, while making attempts to arrest the cultist, the operatives were violently resisted by his gang members, and to avoid casualties, the policemen retreated.”

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ENTERTAINMENT

American Singer, Bobby V, Arrives Nigeria For ‘Style By Zenith’ Fashion Fair

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Bobby Wilson, an American singer better known as Bobby V, is in Nigeria to perform at a fashion fair tagged ‘Style by Zenith’.

Bobby V arrived Lagos on Thursday alongside members of his crew ahead of the fair scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

The fair, which will take place at the Open Ground by Four Points Hotel, is a two-day lifestyle, beauty, fashion, accessories, and entertainment fair.

‘Style by Zenith’ is a collaboration between Virtual Xchange Limited and Zenith Bank Plc.

Speaking of the event, Kaycee Kennedy, CEO of Virtual Xchange Limited said: “The collaboration with Zenith Bank to develop the ‘Style by Zenith’ platform not only emphasizes our resolve to build and strengthen the fashion ecosystem but to drive the business of Fashion.

“We need to heed the call to focus on Fashion Trade, by making fashion Africa’s biggest export to the world.”

‘Style by Zenith’ will feature runway shows headlined by Nigerian and international models who will be accessorised by top designers and beauticians.

There will also be an exhibition of beauty and lifestyle products, food and confectioneries, as well as performances by top Nigerian artistes.

The Zenith model search, an initiative billed to unfurl in 2019, will also be launched at the fashion fair.

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