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Nigeria @60: Saraki, Fayemi, Dapo Abiodun, Throw Weight Behind Compendium On Foremost Nigerians

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Former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and Governors Kayode Fayemi and Dapo Abiodun of Ekiti and Ogun States respectively have thrown their weight behind the trans-generational compendium to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Nigeria.

The book, entitled Nigeria @60: Foremost Nigerians of the Last 60years; is written by former Society Editor of Thisday, Lanre Alfred. It will hit bookshelves across the nation and beyond in the first week of October.

In his Prologue entitled‘Enriching the History of a Giant’, Senator Saraki espouses Nigeria’s greatness which he agrees had been tested in several ways. “This book “Nigeria @60: Foremost Nigerians in the Last 60 Years” by Lanre Alfred, a journalist with many years experience, is definitely going to add fresh pages to the body of literature and biographical work on this great country.

As someone, who loves reading biographies, the author’s decision to tell the Nigerian story through account of the contributions and achievements of selected citizens remains interesting and another attraction for me.

This unique attempt at recounting our national history also seeks to put on display the roles of the selected players in national development over the years. It also presents a challenge for those key players, who are alive to strive to improve on their roles while also giving the rest of the citizenry the opportunity to honestly and genuinely assess the account and the roles it ascribes to these individuals.”

Interestingly, Saraki says Nigeria has been the country whose huge resources and dynamic, resourceful, creative, ebullient, and hard-working people represent the hope of the black man to stand on an even dais with the most developed part of the world. “She is the country that has carried the burden of the rest of Africa during difficult times as she did during the period of the apartheid system in South Africa and the liberation struggles in other parts of Southern Africa,” he states.

Saraki adds that though Nigeria might not have fully fulfilled the aspirations of her citizens and the rest of the world, she has continued to play a major role in stabilizing her region and the continent at large. Thus, he says he welcomes any attempt to give a good account of Nigeria’s existence as an independent country in the last six decades.

The former two-term governor of Kwara State concludes that Nigeria will overcome her challenges and fulfill her manifest destiny because there are several ways of leading Nigeria out of the woods; “One way is the one Lanre Alfred has taken with this book; celebrating the nation’s birthday through a revisit of the role of some of the key players.”

In the Foreword,Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the Ekiti State governor, writes that Nigeria is an amazing story and an evolving power whose destiny is far beyond the convulsive spasm that often diminishes the narrative of her undeniable glory. “This lesson is what has attracted the intellectual lens of Lanre Alfred in this insightful book. He takes us through an undulating labyrinth of the Nigerian story and points our attention to the mesh of our socio-cultural plurality, which ultimately makes ours a complex political experiment.

“He depicts the nation’s foundational challenge as that of a sailing mission without a rudder and a flying expedition without a compass. For it was clear that, at independence, there was no consensus around vision, purpose, and strategy for the actualization of the nation’s dream.”

Like Saraki, Governor Fayemi concurs that the irony of the Nigeria story is that while her inadequacies are apparent to all, her progress is difficult to ignore either. “And this is the reality, which many critics and commentators have failed to factor into their evaluation of the nation’s trajectory. One of the ways to appreciate this progress might be to focus on the contribution of many compatriots, who have invested their God-given talent and creativity for the progress of the nation in the different segments of our national life,” he says.

Governor Fayemi says he is satisfied with Alfred’s optimistic approach to the appreciation of Nigeria because, “He has elected to gauge our progress in terms of verifiable and invaluable contributions of some individuals, who have greatly impacted the nation and whose contributions to her development since independence, are of immense significance.

“This approach is not only a commendable reward system; it is also an effective story-telling strategy that properly situates the nation’s milestones around the exploits of her heroes and heroines. To suggest that Nigeria has not made progress is to declare that the works of her heroes and heroines are in vain. It is to assume that, generally, nonentities had led the nation in politics, business, culture, religion, and leadership!”

He also commends the efforts that went into putting the book together, saying, “Alfred has launched his fecund mind into a fertile territory that many people would have ignored. It is another demonstration of his depth, prodigious intellect, and mastery of the nation’s story as a social commentator and chronicler. He has taught us a new lesson that nation-building is a collective responsibility and that a nation’s prosperity is the aggregation of the industry and prosperity of her citizens.”

In a correspondence with the author, Governor Abiodun of Ogun State lauded the ingenuity of the book while praising the writing proficiency of Alfred who he said has evolved as not just a reporter but a redoubtable historian. Abiodun stated that he would gladly recommend the book for reading across a broad spectrum of the society because “of its depth and richness and the fact that it makes for easy and compelling reading.” He continued, “This book is a storehouse of information about the people that made and are making Nigeria great. History well told is beautiful. Many of the historians who most appeal to the general reading public know the importance of dramatic and skillful writing as well as of accuracy and this is where Alfred has excelled with this book.”

However, the book is dedicated to Globacom chairman, Dr Mike Adenuga Jnr, as an homage to his humanity and relentless strides at rewriting the African business narrative; for standing tall and wading through odds with the courage of a knight and confidence of a champion. Interestingly, in the midst of the doom and gloom, the pervasive fear of the Corona-Virus pandemic, and the flagging faith of Nigerians per their survival, the chairman of Globacom Limited, raised hopes and planted joy in the bosoms of Nigerians. His huge donations to the Federal Government of Nigeria and several state governments play a huge role in containing the ravaging virus.

Alfred’s new book, which attempts to profile the trajectories of Nigeria’s heroes past and present, is the latest in a burgeoning corpus that includes the popular coffee table books; Titans…The Amazing Exploits of Nigeria’s Greatest Achievers; and Highlife – Lifestyles of Nigeria’s Rich and Famous; and biographies like Pacemaker – Triumphs of Igho Sanomi at 40; The Lion of Afia Nsit – Triumphs of Scott Tommey at 45; Julius Rone…The Jewel of the Delta; and Dapo Abiodun…The Heart of Prince.

BIG STORY

Biden Reverses Trump’s Travel Ban On Nigeria, Yemen, Eritrea, Others

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The newly sworn-in American President, Joe Biden, on Wednesday, issued an executive order nullifying a travel ban imposed on citizens of some Muslim-majority countries by his predecessor, Donald Trump.

Before his exit from White House on Wednesday, Mr Trump-led administration was notorious for its harsh policies against immigrants and asylum seekers, one of his many election campaign promises.

He tightened the policies amidst the coronavirus pandemic which rocked the globe, claiming his decision was to protect the American populace.

However, Mr. Biden, immediately after his inauguration on Wednesday, issued a number of executive orders undoing some of the policies and projects of his predecessor.

Reversals

Mr Biden has now nullified the entry ban on citizens from over a dozen countries, including Nigeria, Eritrea, Yemen, and Sudan.

“There’s no time to waste.

“These are just all starting points,” he said before signing the 17 executive orders in the White House, a statement that connotes the possibility of many more to come.

Mr Trump’s strict immigration policies have been condemned by leaders and civil groups in the past.

The American Civil Liberties Union, on Wednesday, lauded Mr Biden’s decision berating his predecessor’s travel policy a “cruel Muslim ban that targeted Africans.”

Against his predecessor’s plan to exit the World Health Organisation (WHO) by July 2021, Mr Biden has also submitted a letter renewing the U.S. ”commitment to funding the organization and honoring the country’s policies on climate change”.

Mr Trump ordered the suspension of funds to the WHO based on his suspicion of the alleged mismanagement of the deadly pandemic by the health agency and its (WHO) pandering to the whims, of the Chinese government.

One of Mr Biden’s newly signed executive orders also includes the abolishment of the construction of a wall along the U.S-Mexico border to deny citizens of the latter outright entry.

In a bid to combat the spread of the deadly virus, the 46th U.S. president (Biden) also encouraged his people to mask up as “it’s a patriotic act that can save countless lives.”

“It’s time to mask up, America,” he wrote on his Twitter handle.

Meanwhile, Mr Biden also signed an executive order mandating all people to wear masks in all federal buildings and on federal lands to fight increase the country’s chances against the pandemic.

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BIG STORY

Makinde Warns Sunday Igboho, Others Over Ultimatum To Fulanis

Peter Okunoren

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The Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has warned an acclaimed freedom fighter in the state, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, and other Yoruba youths over the recent seven-day ultimatum quit notice given to Fulanis resident in the state.

Makinde stated this on Wednesday in a statewide broadcast on the rising insecurity and unrest in the state.

He said enemies of Oyo State are neither the Hausa-Fulani pastoralists, who are looking for pasture for their flock nor the farmers, who are seeking to produce food for human consumption.

Igboho, had in a radio interview claimed that the Fulani herders possessed more sophisticated weapons than the operatives of the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, and they have to leave because of consistent killings and kidnapping in Ibarapa Local Government Area of the State.

However, Makinde said in the statewide broadcast to residents of the state, aired on the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State: “The past few weeks’ events have made it imperative that I address issues that have to do with the internal security of our dear state.

“We cannot overlook the fact that there have indeed been instances that cause concern. The fragile peace between the herdsmen and farmers in Oke Ogun is being threatened.

“Individuals who are not authorized are going around chasing people from their homes and causing mayhem. This assault on residents of Oyo State is not the way to further the Yoruba cause.

“Let me state that we shall not sit back and watch anyone make any law-abiding resident of Oyo State feel unsafe in their homes, farms, or business places. We are aware of some people circulating flyers and giving people ultimatums to leave their land. This is totally unacceptable and will not be condoned.

“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which I swore to defend and protect, guarantees freedom of movement in Section 41(1), such that citizens are free to reside in any part of the country without fear. We are determined to preserve that right in Oyo State.”

The governor called on local government chairpersons, traditional rulers, and other sectors of the state to work with the security agencies to secure the state and ensure maximum peace.

He said: “Let me also use this medium to speak to our traditional rulers. They must not be part of any plans to disrupt the peaceful coexistence of residents of Oyo State.

“I must reiterate that we will not hesitate to take appropriate action against any individuals who try to disrupt the peace in Oyo State. Our administration is taking all necessary steps to protect the good people of Oyo State from harassment, thuggery, and banditry. We believe we have the situation under control.

“It is time for us to come together and put the interests of our state first. We have a common enemy. That enemy is not the Hausa- Fulani who is looking for pasture for his flock. It is not the farmer who just wants to grow food to sell in the market or to feed his family. Our enemies are the hoodlums, cultists, armed robbers, kidnappers, and bandits. These people live among us.

“With our collective efforts, we can continue to keep the peace in Oyo State. Together, we can preserve the secure environment that has contributed to the growth of our economy.”

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Vice-Principal Impregnates 12-Year-Old Student, Says He Gave Her N300-N500 For Sex

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The Vice-Principal of the Kadandani Community School in the Rimi Local Government Area of Katsina State, Ibrahim Tukur, who allegedly raped and impregnated a student of the school, has explained the circumstances surrounding the development.

He made the explanation in Hausa language to journalists at the police headquarters in Katsina, where he and other suspects were paraded on Wednesday.

Tukur stated, “I am being accused of committing rape and it’s true I committed the crime. I have been having affairs with the girl for eight months ago now. I used to take her to my house and offer her the sum of N300 of N500; some other times, I would give her N200 to have sex with her.

“Information reaching me right now is that the girl has been delivered of a baby boy for me. I have three wives.”

Tukur and the other suspects were arrested between January 9 and 14, 2021.

The spokesman for the command, SP Gambo Isah, told journalists during the parade that the vice-principal was arrested on January 9, 2021, following a formal report at the Rimi Divisional Police Headquarters by one Ibrahim Sani.

Isah said Tukur took advantage of the victim to impregnate her.

“The vice-principal, who is married to three wives, used to take the girl from the school to his house, where he had serial sex with her. As a result, he got the girl pregnant and she was delivered of a baby through caesarean section.”

 

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