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‘How Kebbi Governor’s Humility Humbled Me’ —– City Architect, Teju Ajayi Chronicles His Experience With Abubakar Bagudu

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In the course of life’s peregrination, one has been fortunate to meet highly placed Nigerians across the socio-political and economic divides. Every one of them has left an impression, whether good or bad.

None has, however, left me humbled and awed as did Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State.

Some days ago, we boarded the same Aero flight from Abuja to Lagos. I saw him the moment I got aboard. He sat sedately in Business Class, deep in conversation with his wife.

Except for a few people who recognised and exchanged hearty pleasantries with them, you would hardly believe that this was the Kebbi State First Couple. They had no airs or affectations of the powerful. All through the flight, I noticed that the Bagudus kept chatting and laughing, seemingly oblivious to the world around them.

It was when the plane eventually taxied to a stop at the domestic wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, and we all alighted that the real surprise awaited me.

I was hoping that waiting at the foot of the plane would be a retinue of protocol and security aides but the reverse was the case. Governor Bagudu would further shock me when he and his wife joined the Airport Shuttle alongside ‘lesser mortals’.

All through the short trip to the arrival terminal, I kept glancing at the urbane and unobtrusive couple to see if this act was just a smokescreen and their mien would sooner betray their discomfort.

Not at all; they looked relaxed as the shuttle soon burped to a stop. At that point, my mind was made up on making his acquaintance; my conviction buoyed by the fact that there were no overzealous security men around to shove off a hapless passenger about to extend mere courtesies to their boss.

As we approached the arrival lounge, and with madam slightly out of sight, I walked up to the governor and introduced myself. He beamed, then, extended a warm handshake which I grabbed enthusiastically.

Having spent considerable time around some of Nigeria’s finest media professionals, I knew not to blow my chance. I knew also that my time was limited. So, I asked why he chose to fly commercial (and this should not be interpreted to mean that other governors do not fly commercial) when he could have simply chartered a flight and why he had no aides waiting for him. He smiled and said holding public office does not mean one should detach themselves from reality. Instructive!!!

I would later find out that Governor Bagudu was born into a wealthy home, holds two Master’s degrees in Economics and International Affairs, both from the University of Jos; and was a successful businessman in the United States before venturing into politics where he served as a Senator between 2011 and 2015. In spite of these accomplishments, he remains unassuming.

Even by the rating of Nigeria’s Northwest geopolitical zone, Kebbi is like the self-effacing but brilliant younger sibling.

Governor Bagudu is not like his counterpart in Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, a very popular former minister with national name recognition; neither is he Sokoto’s Aminu Tambuwal, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives or Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano who has been in the news more than any other Northern governor in recent time. Still, those who are abreast of happenings across Nigeria must have heard a couple of good things about the man in Kebbi.

I can safely say that I got to know Governor Bagudu when Kebbi entered into a partnership with the former Governor of Lagos State to produce ‘LAKE Rice’. The two states made a success of the venture.

Since then, I have inadvertently followed news about him and been impressed by all, so far. He shared with me some of the ideas that have separated Kebbi from other Northern states and which have placed him high on the list of Nigeria’s most ingenious and futuristic governors. Then, his ADC emerged from the blues. I looked at my wristwatch and we had barely spoken for about seven minutes, which in reality, seemed like seventy.

As we exchanged numbers, I thanked him for his time, the knowledge he freely shared with me and promised to keep in touch and he said likewise. I hope I have begun to fulfil my part of the bargain, Your Excellency.

Your friend

Teju Ajayi

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JUST IN: SARS Officers Allegedly Shoot Two Hausa Traders While Chasing Yahoo Boy In Abeokuta

Peter Okunoren

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There was pandemonium on Thursday in the Olomore axis of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, when operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force allegedly shot two Hausa traders.

The SARS operatives were reported to have stormed Olomore Pepper Market while chasing an internet fraudster also known as Yahoo boy, who ran into the market.

Findings showed that stray bullets from the SARS officers’ gunshots hit two pepper sellers in the market during the chase.

An eye witness identified simply as Adamu said one of the victims was shot in the head and the other was shot in the leg.

Adamu said the victims had been rushed to a nearby hospital.

There has been no confirmation that the victim shot in the head died as of the time of filing this report but the other victim it was gathered is being treated at the undisclosed hospital.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, had yet to reply a text message sent to his phone and several calls made to his phone were not answered as of the time of filing this report.

Details to follow….

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REVEALED: How Yahoo Boys Murdered Aso Rock Director After Police Betrayed Her

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Laetitia Dagan, an assistant director at the statehouse, Abuja, was murdered by ‘Yahoo boys’ after the police allegedly betrayed her, THISDAY reports.

‘Yahoo boys’ is a term used to describe those who engage in advanced fee fraud.

Dagan, 47, was killed about 11 pm on Monday at her residence in Abuja.

According to the newspaper, the late director was uncomfortable when she found out that she was living among alleged fraudsters in Lokogoma area of Abuja.

She contemplated relocating from the area, according to the report which quoted some of her friends as saying.

It said Dagan later reported to the police but they allegedly betrayed her confidence and told the criminals that she was their informant.

It was on that note her assailants attacked her in revenge.

Dagan’s security guard, who has been reportedly arrested, was said to have aided the killers.

The police said they have arrested one suspect in connection to the murder.

“Preliminary investigation into the suspected murder by the Criminal Investigation Department of the FCT Police Command led to the arrest of one Edirin Ohonre who is suspected to have conspired with others now at large to perpetuate the crime,” the police said in a statement.

“The suspect, who is currently under interrogation, is assisting the team of police detectives with information that will lead to the arrest of the other suspects connected to the crime, that are now at large.”

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We’ll Hold Oshiomhole, Sylva Responsible If Anything Happens To Mary Odili —- Rivers Govt

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Rivers state government says it will hold Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, responsible if anything happens to Mary Odili, a justice of the supreme court.

Odili, the wife of a former governor of Rivers state, had led the panel of justices who sacked David Lyon, candidate of the APC in the 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa state.

Lyon had been declared winner but was sacked by the apex court on the grounds that Biobarakuma Degi-Eriemienyo, his running mate, presented forged credentials to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Following the ruling, protesters suspected to be supporters of the APC had besieged the residence of Odili on Tuesday in protest against the judgment.

Reacting in a communique issued on Wednesday, Paulinus Nsirim, the state’s commissioner for information, said: “that the Rivers State Executive Council observed that the Federal Government seems not to show interest in the sponsored threats to the lives of Dr Peter Odili and members of his family”.

“That the Rivers State Executive Council condemns the barricading of the residence of Dr Peter Odili at Maitama, Abuja by sponsored thugs of the All Progressives Congress (APC),” the communique read.
“That the Rivers State Executive Council wondered why Dr Peter Odili’s family should be singled out for the unwarranted attack when the judgment that ousted David Lyon as Governor of Bayelsa State was a unanimous decision of a five-member panel of Supreme Court Justices.

“That Rivers State Government will hold Timipre Sylva and Adams Oshiomhole responsible if anything happens to Dr Peter Odili and members of his family.”

The Rivers government noted that in the past it has suffered unfavourable judicial pronouncement and never resorted to self-help.

It added that it will employ all legal means to protect Odili’s family, and Rivers indigene serving as judicial officers both at the federal and state level.

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