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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: DPO, Seven Other Policemen, One Civilian Killed In Kogi Bank Robbery [PHOTOS & VIDEO]

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Nine persons, made up of eight Policemen and one civilian, were feared killed on Thursday in Isanlu, Kogi State when a gang of armed robbers launched an attack on a first generation bank in the town.

The News Agency of Nigeria gathered that among those killed was the Divisional Police Officer in the town, two policewomen, and five policemen.

NAN sources indicated that while the DPO, the two policewomen, and four policemen were killed at the Police Station, one policeman was killed at the bank’s premises.

The other victim, a male civilian, died when a stray bullet hit him.

The armed robbers were said to have invaded the Police Station at about 1 pm and opened fire on all officers and men on duty.

The source told NAN that the Police Station was completely destroyed by the armed robbers who also set free all detainees in the detention facility.

The robbers later proceeded to the bank where they killed one of the Policemen on duty and carted away money.

An eyewitness, Segun Thomas, told NAN that the robbery operation lasted almost one hour.

Thomas said: “The robbers came in two vehicles – a bus and a car – with which they also escaped from the town.”

NAN learnt that the car, believed to have been snatched from its owner, was later abandoned around Kizito College, Isanlu.

William Aya, spokesman of Kogi State Police Command, confirmed the robbery incident and the invasion of the Police Station, but added that the casualty figure was “still hazy”.

Aya told NAN: “The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ede Ayuba, has dispatched the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operation to Isanlu to ascertain the true situation.”

Aya promised to brief the press “as soon as details are available”.





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BIG STORY

Nigerian Lawmakers Reject Castration As Punishment For Rapists

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The House of Representatives has voted against a prayer seeking to recommend castration for rapists.

The House, at the plenary on Thursday, considered and adopted a motion on the rising cases of sexual violence in Nigeria.

A member, Mr James Faleke, had recommended that persons found guilty of rape should be castrated.

Just before the prayer was subjected to a voice vote, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, however, asked what would happen to an older female who rapes a younger male.

The comment generated noise in the chamber, The PUNCH reports.

Putting the prayer to vote, the nays had it.

In honour of victims of sexual violence in Nigeria, the House resolved that members should be dressed in black on the next legislative day.

The House is expected to sit on Tuesday.

Debate on rape and other sexual crimes lasted over two hours during Thursday’s plenary.

Details later…




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BIG STORY

Alleged Rape: Nigeria Police Forward Biodun Fatoyinbo’s Case To Justice Ministry

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The Nigeria Police Force says it has forwarded the alleged rape case of the Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Biodun Fatoyinbo, to the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation at the Federal Ministry of Justice.

The NPF said this in a letter addressed to Lagos-based photographer, Busola Dakolo, who is also the wife of popular musician, Timi Dakolo.

In the letter signed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Administration at the Force Criminal Investigation Department, the police said the DPP would study the case file and then give advice.

The letter read in part, “I am directed to inform you that the Force Criminal Investigation Department had concluded its investigation and forwarded the case file to the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation for legal advice and further necessary action.’’

Mrs Dakolo had last year accused Fatoyinbo of raping her in Ilorin, Kwara State in 1999 while she was still a teenager.

The cleric, however, denied the allegations.

The scandal sparked a series of reactions last year which led to the pastor stepping down for several weeks.




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