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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

Kidnappers Collect N3.5m, 10 Tubers Of Yam, 30 Litres Of Palm Oil, Carton Of Schnapps To Release Victims In Ogun

Peter Okunoren

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Facts have emerged on how the three victims of kidnappers in Ode-Omi in the Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of Ogun state were released from their captors.

A family source told our correspondent on Monday that the kidnappers collected a sum of N3.5m, a carton of Schnapps, 30 litres of palm oil and 10 tubers of yam before the victims were released.

The police in the state had last Friday said they had rescued the son of the Chief Imam of Ode-Omi, Abdulazeez Sanni and two others – Adams Bamidele and Jelili Adams – who were abducted last Sunday.

The trio were reportedly kidnapped on the eve of the Eid-el Adha in Ode-Omi, a boundary community between Lagos and Ogun states.

The state Commissioner of Police, Bashir Makama, had said no ransom was paid.

The source said, “The kidnappers collected N3.5m, carton of schnapps, 30 litres of palm oil, 10 tubers of yam and a five-litre keg of vegetable oil.”

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the police command was not aware of the payment of any ransom.

Oyeyemi said, “The victims were rescued by policemen of this command. We are not aware of any ransom.”

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BREAKING: EFCC Raids Former Lagos Governor Ambode’s Country Home In Epe

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Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, are raiding the residence of Akinwumi Ambode, former governor of Lagos state, in Epe area of the state.

Tony Orilade, the spokesperson of the anti-graft commission, confirmed this development to journalists.

Orilade denied that they were at Ambode’s residence on a raid, explaining that they are only there for an investigation.

“It is not true, we don’t raid. An investigation is on-going in respect of the petition we have, that is why we are here,” he said.

This is a developing story.

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BIG STORY

Soldiers Attacked, Beat Up Policemen For Arresting Drug Dealer —- Report

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More revelations have come to light about the activities of soldiers attached to Battalion 93, Takum, including how they allegedly shielded a drug dealer who was about to be arrested by the police.

Special Forces from the battalion were said to have also attacked the five policemen who went on an operation to arrest a narcotics dealer in Kwesati village, Ussa Local Government Area of Taraba State, last year.

The policemen who stormed the village to arrest one Endurance Mike for allegedly selling tramadol and other banned psychotropic drugs were allegedly beaten up by 10 soldiers attached to the Operation Whirlstroke.

A police report on the incident, obtained from police archives on Monday by Punch correspondents in Abuja, stated that the incident, which occurred on June 30, 2018, almost led to a violent confrontation between policemen and soldiers of Battalion 93.

The report, with reference number CK4161/AC/TK/TRS/VOL.1/2 dated July 7, was written by the Area Commander, Takum Area Command, ACP Ayuba Dickson, to the Commissioner of Police, state headquarters, Jalingo.

It explained that when the policemen got to Mike’s shop where he also sold medicines, they met a soldier who exchanged hot words with them on learning that they wanted to arrest the shop owner.

It said, “While the police team was still inside the shop, the unnamed soldier went out and mobilized more than 10 fellow soldiers who came on motorcycles and beat up the policemen, seized the confiscated drugs and set the suspect free. One of the men also seized and chewed the search warrant and swallowed it.

“The soldiers also forcefully seized two rifles from the police team and took them to their makeshift office.”

The report identified the injured policemen as the Divisional Crime Officer, Ussa Division, ASP Usman Madugu, Inspector Ishaku Garba, Sergeants Moses Ashoon and Punadanda Ahmadu and Cpl. Manasseh Alfred.

 

Punch

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