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Lere Olayinka: PDP Catalyst For A Comeback

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When the progenitors and ubiquitous sycophants of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, claimed with curious and condescending certitude years back that the former ruling party would be in power for 60years, they obviously did not reckon with the invincible electoral power vested in the people. Well, the party did rule for 16years, not 60, before being swept away by the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the 2015 general election.

Apart from losing the presidency, the party lost many traditional states to the drumbeats of change as beaten by the APC. You know the rest of the story of the PDP’s fall from the zenith to zero.

As things stand now, the PDP is dangerously cliffhanging as many of those that benefitted from it, those who swore by its green-white-red colours during bloom time, have jumped ship. Those who didn’t seek pastures greener have been cowed into ominous silence and acute paranoia as the fear of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is a constant shadow in their lives these days.

With the consequent resignation of its former national chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, rechristened ‘Game-Changer’ during electioneering in May 2015, paving the way for the emergence of his deputy, Uche Secondus, from Rivers State, to take over the reins of the party.

If Secondus thought he was home to roost, he underestimated the agitation, angst and anger of some party leaders who maintained that the position should be reserved for the northeast since Mu’azu, from Bauchi State, did not complete his term.

Leading the opposition vanguard was Ahmed Gulak, former senior special assistant on political matters to former President Goodluck Jonathan who actually instituted a case against the leadership of the party at a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Abuja, and got judgment in his favour.

Gulak’s riotous invasion of the PDP secretariat however prompted an emergency meeting of PDP governors, who then asked Secondus to step down in compliance with the court order that gave him a 14-day ultimatum to do so.

Consequently, Sheriff was appointed at a meeting attended by the party’s governors and other stakeholders but his appointment was rejected by many party leaders including National Assembly members and the Board of Trustees owing to his purported affiliation with Boko Haram.

However, beleaguered PDP’s spokesman, Olisa Metuh, said Sheriff’s selection was ratified by the party’s National Working Committee, Governors’ Forum and National Caucus. He did not however mention the National Executive Committee (NEC), which is the highest party organ after the Convention. In his acceptance speech, Sheriff pledged to midwife a smooth convention that would usher in new executives for the party and galvanise all party members and structures into action to ensure the re-emergence of the PDP into a formidable force that will retake power in 2019.

In the midst of the pervasive gloom and doom around the party, a new dawn beckons. May 21st has been set aside for the convention of the party. A zoning committee led by the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Udom, zoned the positions of President and Vice President in the 2019 election to the North and South East while the southwest gets the national publicity secretary among other positions.

Now, this is the crux of the matter. Without gainsaying the fact, the incumbent National Publicity Secretary of the party, Metuh, currently being prosecuted by the EFCC for allegedly receiving N400 million from the Dasukigate scandal, had done a marvelous job of keeping the opposition on its toes before he was arrested. A fine gentleman and successful lawyer, his erudition and analytical mind were a thorn in the flesh of the APC-led government. It was only tactical albeit disingenuous that he was taken out of the way by the ruling party.

As the PDP puts its house in order, realign its members and prepare for the 2019 elections, starting with the May 21st convention, there is a strategic inevitability to elect a spokesperson who is at once eloquent, perspicacious and fearless. Not surprisingly, the searchlight has already been beamed on Governor Ayo Fayose’s special assistant on communications, Lere Olayinka.

A journalist, public commentator and former media aide to former Ekiti State governor, Segun Oni, Olayinka’s cutting-edge communication skills and fiery bravura and invaluable experience in political communications give him a comparative advantage over the other contenders to the office.

At once Fayose’s muse and mouthpiece, Olayinka is young, urbane and conversant with trends and evolutions in the global political landscape.

He comes well acquitted, no doubt, for the position. And he is already garnering a groundswell of support from even unlikely quarters.

Olayinka’s suitability for the PDP’s publicity secretary job was recently put in perspective by former spokesman of the Goodluck Jonathan campaign and former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani Kayode.

An accustomed and acknowledged smooth talker who served as special assistant on public communications during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, FFK, as he is popularly known can therefore not be accused of infantile flippancy when weighing in on the affairs of his party.
On the evening of Sunday, May 8, FFK posted a tweet from his official twitter account stating, “I wish to express my support for Lere Olayinka for the position of National Publicity Secretary of the PDP. Lere will do an excellent job.” It would be recalled that some time back, renowned Canada-based Professor and public commentator, Prof. Pius Adesanmi, posited; “Lere Olayinka has been consistent with his opposition to Mr. Fayemi’s government.

He has led a very successive Facebook campaign which I follow closely.” Adesanmi further opined, “I have followed Mr. Olayinka long enough to be able to offer a considered assessment of his methods. You may hate the fact that he works for the degenerate PDP establishment (I do) but you cannot take away the empirical thoroughness of his critiques. He is unrelenting.” That is the stuff of Olayinka that he is now being perceived as the catalyst, that individual that can articulately marshal and convey the party’s policies and positions on national issues with grit, gut and gusto.

Article sent in by Seun Oloketuyi, a media entrepreneur

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PreDiagnosis Partners American University For Better Grassroots Healthcare

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Nigeria’s leading grassroots telemedicine platform, PreDiagnosis International, has announced its partnership with the Project ECHO Institute of the University of New Mexico, USA for knowledge sharing and transfer on chronic and complex diseases with medical professionals in the country.
According to Dr. Folarin Olasogba, the Chief Project Officer of PDI Telehealth Consult which is the arm of PDI driving the collaboration, the innovative telementoring programme codenamed ‘Project ECHO’ is designed to create virtual communities of learners by bringing together healthcare providers from all over Nigeria and subject matter experts from different parts of the world using video conference technology, brief lecture presentations, and case-based learning to foster an “all learn, all teach” approach.

He said the Project ECHO which stands for Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes is a collaborative model of medical education and care management programme designed to empower local clinicians including consultants, doctors, nurses and technicians to deliver better care and treatment of chronic, common and complex diseases, especially in remote and underserved locations.

He added that PDI as the Nigerian Official Replication Partner with the Project ECHO Institute of the University of New Mexico is undertaking the project to assist the country develop the capacity to safely and effectively treat chronic, common, and complex diseases in rural and underserved areas across Nigeria and to monitor outcomes of this treatment while leveraging the resources of the PDI Telehealth Consult platform.

In his words, “The project is not only designed to use innovative technology to bridge the gap between urban and rural healthcare specialists and providers in the country; it is to help health services providers to better undertake co-management of patients’ treatments, thereby fostering knowledge depth and technical competencies, in addition to reducing professional isolation”.

Dr. Olasogba further explained that by encouraging collaboration and communication between rural and urban healthcare providers and specialists, the Project will help health professionals in the country to become more highly skilled in the treatment of diverse chronic and complex diseases, thus creating a center of excellence in many remote communities.

“Under the PDI-Project ECHO collaboration, healthcare providers in rural and underserved areas of Nigeria will be able to treat their patients with a remote team of specialists in the fields of oncology, cardiology, endocrinology, psychiatry, infectious diseases, pharmacy, and substance abuse/addiction, among others. Through this Initiative, PDI Telehealth Consult is trying to lead in the race to build a viable and sustainable national Clinical Knowledge Platform that combines authoritative contents and shared experiences drawn from the expertise available in the Nigerian healthcare community and across the world so that physicians, medical students, and other healthcare workers will be able to tap into Nigeria’s largest, most powerful Continuous Professional Development (CPD) network to resolve challenging questions at the point of care for mostly lower-income patients of different diseases,” he submitted.

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GTBank Marks 10 Years of Autism Advocacy, Holds Annual Autism Conference July 27th- 28th

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For the past 10 years, Guaranty Trust Bank plc has been at the forefront of the advocacy for people living with autism.

The Bank’s Orange Ribbon Initiative has also become a major rallying point for driving awareness about Autism, campaigning against the social stigma associated with developmental disorders, and helping people with autism live a full and productive life.

This year, as part of its Orange Ribbon Initiative, GTBank will hold its 10th Annual Autism Conference via live stream on Monday, July 27 and Tuesday, July 28, 2020, so that anyone, anywhere can interact and learn from globally renowned medical experts, caregivers and health practitioners about supporting children and adults living with Autism.

Themed, “Autism: Focusing on similarities rather than differences,” the two-day conference will feature keynote presentations, panel discussions and Q&A sessions facilitated by specialists on Autism, such as Dr. Andy Shih, a Senior Vice President at Autism Speaks, Dr. Pamela Dixon, the Director of Clinical Services and Inclusion at Autism Speaks and Dr. Brooke Ingersoll, Associate Professor and Director of the Autism Lab at Michigan State University, USA, amongst others. To participate in the conference, visit www.gtbank.com/autism2020.

Commenting on the 10th Annual Autism Conference, Mr Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, said; “This is one of the most important Autism Conferences we have held over the years, not only because it marks the 10th anniversary of our advocacy for people living with autism, but also because it is happening at such a critical time. The Covid-19 pandemic has made life more difficult for people all over the world, and at this year’s Conference, we are bringing together specialists, caregivers, parents and concerned members of the public to share expertise and experience about how we can continue to be there for children and adults living with autism, during this pandemic and beyond.”

Guaranty Trust Bank plc is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world-class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation. The Bank is also going beyond the traditional understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility as corporate philanthropy by intervening in key economic sectors through non-profit consumer-focused fairs and capacity building initiatives for small businesses.

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James Hope College Honored At The Fourth Edition Of British Council Recognition And Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards

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This year, to recognize scholarly excellence, James Hope College received multiple prizes including,

  • Best in the World Category for English as a Second Language – Two awards
  • Best Across Eight Subjects in Nigeria – One award
  • Best in Nigeria Category – Eight awards
  • High Achievement Category – Two awards

These awards acknowledge exceptional Nigerian-based learners’ achievements in Cambridge examinations taken by students around the world. The primary purpose of these awards is to celebrate and recognize the success of high-performing Cambridge learners and the partner schools that have exemplified Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and Child Protection policies.

Elated at this laudable feat, the Founder/Chairman of James Hope College, Mr. Jim Ovia congratulated the awardees and commended the management of the College. According to Mr. Ovia, the College would continually offer “world-class education that would enable our students to compete favourably on a global scale.”

James Hope College is an educational initiative of the Jim Ovia Foundation. Since its inception, the College has consistently maintained an outstanding academic pace within and beyond Nigeria. Some of its accolades include (but not limited to):

  1. 100% A* – C in all 13 subjects registered for the 2019 November IGCSE Examinations
  2. The 2019 Cambridge Summer School Scholarship awarded to a James Hope College student
  3. British Council Awards for Best In Nigeria in Biology, Chemistry and Geography for the 2018 November IGCSE Examinations
  4. British Council Award for High Achievement in Nigeria in Design and Technology for the 2018 November IGCSE Examinations
  5. 100% perfect score in the 2018 Cambridge Checkpoint Examination
  6. Best 2016/2017 BECE result in Delta State
  7. Overall Best Student for the 2016/2017 BECE in Delta State

The Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards recognizes the exceptional performance of learners around the world in Cambridge examinations. The awards reflect the talent and hard work of learners and acknowledge the dedication and commitment of both teachers and parents.

Indeed, James Hope College is making its mark in the academic landscape within and outside Nigeria.

See photo excerpt below:

 

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