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Sunday Dare: Profile Of Buhari’s Ministerial Nominee, A Trans-Generational Operator

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Well-traveled journalist, a seasoned scholar and accomplished administrator, Mr. Sunday Dare, was on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019, announced as one of the 43 Ministers Designate by Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari.

The multilingual 53 year-old hails from Ogbomoso in Oyo State, South-West Nigeria, and represents a generation of Nigerians, who have come full circle having been born just before the Civil War, witnessing the 2nd and 3rd republics, fighting the military junta via guerilla journalism, helping to entrench the 4th Republic before now taking up leadership roles. Mr. Dare’s impressive resume reads like a thriller novel, as it shows a man that has lived an exciting, challenging but ultimately successful and exemplary life.

After bagging a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) degree in International Studies and a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from two of the most respected universities in Northern Nigeria, Mr. Dare took to the skies to pursue more knowledge abroad. Before this, though, he left his indelible mark all over his country of birth. Tired of seeing his country ravaged by poor and contemptuous corruption aided and abetted by unscrupulous military leadership, he joined the elite league of news reporters, who dedicated their lives to afflicting the comfortable while comforting the afflicted. While his contemporaries choose to join the civil service or take up cushy jobs in the banks, he chose to risk his life by investigating corruption, unearthing deep truths and exposing it to the world. This was one of the most dangerous jobs anyone could do at the time, but he and a select few did it and excelled at it. For more than a decade, he lived vicariously. He saw his closest friends and mentors dragged to jail, felled by bullets or beaten to within an inch of their lives. He was never deterred.

When in 1999, the military handed over power to civilians, Nigeria owed a great amount of gratitude to the likes of Mr. Dare. But, he had done his service to his fatherland and it was time to move on. Given how much respect and experience he had garnered over the years, Mr. Dare was offered so many fellowships and jobs abroad. In 2001, he took up the challenge to become the Chief of the Voice Of America (VOA) Hausa Service, Africa Division in Washington D.C. His job, simply put, was to compete in content and audience share with the already established BBC Hausa Service. Armed with all the experience he needed, Mr. Dare quickly conceptualized and directed radio programming in Hausa and English languages to a targeted weekly audience of over 21 million in Nigeria and countries in the West Africa Sub-region. He was a hit. He held the job for eight years until the call to return home became too loud to ignore.

In 2009, he became the Media Adviser to the Honourable Minister for Information and Communication on all media-related matters and government information dissemination and media policy. He held the job for a year until he was asked to take up the role as Chief Of Staff/Special Adviser Media to Former Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Being the first person the great man saw in the morning and the last person he saw at night was a herculean task. The political leader was oiling his machinery to get the Progressives into power at the center, hence his schedule was grueling. Mr. Dare was, among other things, responsible for the overall coordination of all political, social and business activities while simultaneously acting as Media Adviser and was coordinating all media interventions, interviews, interactions,  communications, speech writing, research, documentation, and advice on policy matters. The job of at least four men but he did it with enviable calm and grace. 

At the request of President Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu reluctantly released Mr. Dare from his duties and he was appointed as Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC. This has been his role in the last three years until this new call to serve.

In 2010, the father of two lovely girls became an Oxford University Research Fellow with his research work published under the heading: New Media and Citizen Journalism in Africa-A Case Study: Using New media Tools and Citizen Journalism to Investigate Corruption in Nigeria. He has authored three other books and is working on two more.

He is also a multi-award winner home and abroad and is a member of many prestigious associations. He is constantly sought out to provide insight on establishing media outlets, a skill he is most proud of. 

In the run-up to the 2019 elections, Mr Dare briefly offered himself to serve as Governor of his beloved state but aligned with the party when it chose to field another person as the candidate. His contributions to his community have won him accolades as he introduced a new way of doing politics to the grassroots. His health intervention, “Digi Dare”, was a fan favourite. 

President Buhari made a particularly great choice in picking this man, who bridges the gap between the old and the young. He is a product of tested and trusted political operators but has the mien and energy of youth. His love for technology and how it fits into almost all spheres of life shows how balanced he is. Little wonder his nomination has drawn praise from everyone from his traditional rulers to his massive followers on social media. 

Mr Dare is duty-ready!

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Heavily Armed Thugs Attack Kwankwaso In Kano, 8 Persons Critically Injured

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Former Governor of Kano State and the immediate past Senator representing Kano Central, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, was attacked by thugs who are yet to be identified in Kano, Monday.

The attack, which followed the former governor’s visit to his hometown, Madobi where he had gone to open a midwifery school, was said to have been carried out around the state underpass.

Eight persons were said to have been critically injured while several cars were damaged beyond recognition.

However, Hajiya Binta Sipikin, Kwankwaso’s media aide, linked the attack to thugs loyal to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

She said, “This attack was preplanned because we were told that heavy-armed thugs were waiting under the bridge to attack us when we were coming from Madobi.

“We believe Ganduje was behind this attack because we heard one of his aide names being mentioned during the attack.”

She noted that scores of their members were seriously injured and currently receiving medical attention in various clinics including the International Hospital while 10 vehicles destroyed and personal items carted away by political thugs believed to have been sponsored by the Kano State Government at Sharada Panshekara Sabon Titi bridge.

However, one of the Governor’s top aides, who pleaded not to be named, denied being behind the attack on Kwankwaso’s convoy.

He alleged that the attack was an internal wrangling between the Kwankwasiyya members who were apparently tired of their boss, Kwankwaso.

He said, “The attack was a misunderstanding between the Kwankwasiyya members, who accused Kwankwaso of betraying their trust by after them for his personal gains.”

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BREAKING: Court Orders Forfeiture Of Saraki’s Houses In Ikoyi

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A federal high court sitting in Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of two properties of Bukola Saraki, former senate president, in the Ikoyi area of Lagos state.

Nnaemeka Omewa, a counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), had approached the court, seeking an order of interim forfeiture of the properties located at 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa local government area of Lagos.

He had told the court that they were acquired through “proceeds of unlawful activities”.

Part of the reliefs sought by the EFCC included “An order of this honourable Court forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria landed property with appurtenances situate, lying and known as No. 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State found and recovered from the respondent which property is reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity”.

The commission alleged that while serving as governor of Kwara state, Saraki withdrew over N12 billion cash from the account of the Kwara government and paid the same into his accounts domiciled in Access and Zenith Banks through one of his personal assistant, Abdul Adama.

Delivering ruling on the application, Mohammed Liman, the presiding judge, ordered interim forfeiture of the two properties.

He also instructed that the EFCC should publish the order in a national newspaper within 14 days, for anyone with interest in the properties to show cause, why they should not be finally forfeited to the federal government.

The federal government had arraigned Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) while he was the nation’s number three citizen.

He was accused of failing to declare his assets, an allegation he denied, alleging that he was being witch-hunted.

The supreme court subsequently dismissed the false assets declaration trial.

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BREAKING: Court Takes A Second Look At Sowore’s Bail Condition, Waives N50m Security Deposit

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has agreed to the request by the convener of #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare for the variation of the conditions attached to the bail earlier granted them.

The court had on October 4 this year granted them bail on certain conditions, which they considered stringent and which they could not meet, prompting them to apply to the court for variation.

In a ruling on Monday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu waived the earlier requirement that one of Sowore’s deposits N50million as security and reduced the amount attached to Bakare’s bail from N50m to N30m.

Justice Ojukwu said all other conditions should remain. She said the decision to restrain the defendants from participating in rallies was in order in view of the nature of the case.

She adjourned till November 6 for the commencement of trial in the case, in which Sowore and Bakare are charged with among others, a treasonable felony.

The judge in a ruling on October 4, 2019, granted Sowore bail at N100million and two sureties in the same amount and barred him from travelling out of Abuja.

Justice Ojukwu ordered one of Sowore’s surety to deposit N50m in the account of the court as security.

She granted Bakare bail at N50m with a surety in the same amount and barred him from traveling out of his base in Osogbo, except while coming for the trial in Abuja.

The judge added that the sureties, who must be resident in Abuja, must also have landed assets worth the bail sum in Abuja, and should deposit the original title documents of the assets with the court.

Justice Ojukwu ordered that the defendants be remanded in the custody of the Department of State Service (DSS) pending when they are able to meet the bail conditions.

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