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Abdulwasiu Gbolahan Lawal, Portrait of an Intellectual on the Throne —- By Victor Ganzallo

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When a good king reigns, the people prosper. The prosperity of a kingdom should not be measured by how well off the household of the king is, but rather by the collective prosperity of the inhabitants of the kingdom, irrespective of whether they have a blood tie to the kingdom or not. That is when a kingdom can be termed to have been prosperous.

Coming from a background that is rich, one as a decorated law enforcement officer, and also as a public administrator, the newly crowned Oniru of Iru Kingdom, Victoria Island, Lagos, Abdulwasiu Gbolahan Lawal has ascended the throne of his forebears, with one mandate he has been known for, even while as a prince of the land, to bring prosperity and growth to Iru land. Little wonder when his name was announced as the new Oniru, shouts of ‘Iru gaan gaan’, meaning, ’this is the real Iru’ rented the air from all around the palace and within the kingdom.

A peace-loving gentleman, Abdulwasiu was the Aide de Camp to Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu throughout his tenure as the Executive Governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007 and carried out his assigned duty with admired candor and diligence. In spite of how tempestuous the politics that characterized the period was, his name never came up in any negative report or controversy.

Upon retirement from the force after the completion of his service to the nation, rather than return home and make politics a career, which would have happened on a platter of gold, considering his royal background and political connections, the lover of cerebral debates and intellectual stimulations opted to go back to school to further deepen his intellectual wells. He obtained an M.sc in Violence, Conflicts, and Development, from the School of Oriental and African Studies, SOAS, the University of London in 2008. Kabiyesi Abdulwasiu Gbolahan Lawal also did a program in International Housing Finance Program and Advanced Management Program, AMP at the prestigious Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, the United States in 2015. These are strong testimonials to his quest for knowledge and personal development, which are his dream for the kingdom of Iru as its ruler.

To have served as a commissioner in the cabinet of Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, who many consider as the actualizer of the dream of a modern Lagos, attests to the resourcefulness of Kabiyesi Gbolahan Lawal. He would also serve in the cabinet of Fashola’s successor, Akinwunmi Ambode, and lastly in the current cabinet of Babajide Sanwo-Olu before he was selected by the kingmakers of Iru kingdom to ascend the throne of his forebears.

With the ascension of Kabiyesi Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal to the royal Iru stool, the kingdom can only expect to benefit from his rich knowledge in public administration, industry, connections, and international exposure. He has already started out on a very commendable footing with the setting up of a team with the mandate ‘LET’S GROW IRU LAND TOGETHER’ an avenue to share ideas, suggestions, and concerns of the residents and families of Iru kingdom because he believes together; they can make the kingdom one of the most sustainable cities to live in.

-Victor Ganzallo

BIG STORY

JUST IN: Many Missing As Truck Plunges Into Lagos River

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Many people have been declared missing after a truck fell off the Berger bridge into the Epe river in Lagos State on Friday night.

As at the time of filing this report, the number of persons in the truck was unknown.

However, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) confirmed the incident on Saturday.

Head, Public Affairs of LASEMA, Nosa Okunbor, said search and rescue operations are ongoing.

More to come.

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BIG STORY

‘Jail Me But Set Him Free’ — Foreign Activist Writes Buhari Over 13-Year-Old Sentenced For Blasphemy In Kano

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Piotr Cywinski

Piotr Cywinski, director of Auschwitz Memorial in Poland, says he is ready to be imprisoned in Nigeria so that Umar Farouq, a 13-year-old boy sentenced for blasphemy, can regain freedom.

A Sharia court in Kano had convicted Farouq for “using disparaging language on Allah” during a disagreement with his friend.

In a letter dated September 25 and addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, Cywinski sought pardon for Farouq.

He said if Buhari is unable to facilitate the teenager’s release, he and 119 volunteers would serve a month in a Nigerian prison on Farouq’s behalf.

“I permit myself to write to you personally about a young boy named Omar Farouq, who was convicted recently in a Sharia court in Kano State in north-west Nigeria after being accused of blasphemy used during an argument with a friend,” he said.

“I wish to request the pardon of this 13-year-old boy. Regardless of what he said, he cannot be treated as fully aware and responsible, given his age.

“If it turns out that the words of this child absolutely require 120 months of imprisonment, and even you are not able to change that, I suggest that in place of the child, 120 adult volunteers from all over the world, gathered by us myself personally among them should each serve a month in a Nigerian prison.

“In total, the price for the child’s transgression will be the same, and we will all avoid the worst.

“If you agree to grant clemency, or to the above proposal in lieu of punishment, I will make an attempt to provide financial help for the boy’s proper education. This way, instead of a destroyed young man, Nigeria will gain an aware and educated young citizen.

“You will undoubtedly agree with the statement that human rights begin with the rights of the child. I kindly ask you to consider my proposal favorably.”

Cywinski’s request came days after the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) appealed to the Kano state government to reverse the jail sentence.

Auschwitz Memorial preserves the remains of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp, where children were imprisoned and murdered.

Adolf Hitler, the late leader of Nazi Germany, reportedly oversaw the killing of 6 million Jews.

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Don’t Join Nationwide Strike, FG Warns Civil Servants

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Folasade Yemi-Esan, head of the civil service of the federation, has warned workers under the federal government not to join the planned strike by labour unions across the country, scheduled to begin on Monday.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and its affiliate unions had enjoined workers to embark on an indefinite strike, pending when the federal government reverses the price of petrol and electricity tariff.

In a statement on Friday, Yemi-Esan said the federal government is in talks with the labour unions towards ensuring that all agitations by the workers are resolved.

She, however, added that the workers cannot embark on the industrial action because there is a court injunction restraining them from doing so.

“Sequel to the call by the Labour Unions for workers to embark on industrial action from Monday, 28th September 2020, the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) wishes to inform all public servants that the Federal Government team is currently engaging with the Labour Unions with a view to resolving all contentious issues and avert the planned industrial action,” she said.

“Furthermore, it is important to note that there is a court injunction granted by the National Industrial Court (Suit No. NICN/ABJ/253/2020) on 24th September 2020, restraining the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria from embarking on any form of industrial action pending the hearing and determination of a Motion on Notice.

“Accordingly, all officers on Grade Level 12 and above and those on essential services are hereby strongly advised to be at work to perform their official duties.”

In two separate rulings, the National Industrial Court had restrained the labour unions from embarking on the strike.

Meanwhile, other unions such as the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE), the Joint Action Front (JAF), Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), aviation unions, among others, have declared their interest to join in the strike.

 

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