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Blogging Is My Contribution To Nation Building — Ayobami Ladipo



A media entrepreneur, Ayobami Ladipo, is the founder of Porsche Classy Media. He tells Kehinde Ajose of The Punch about his entrepreneurial journey.

How did your journey in the media space start?

My journey in the media started when I was a student of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State. I used to be the entertainment editor of a magazine called Splash back then. Those were the days when we would leave Ago Iwoye to ‘cover’ music video shoots in Lagos. I recall that I took part in the video shoot for ‘Fe nu so’, by Lord of Ajasa featuring 9ice in 2008.

After I graduated from the university, I did a bit of acting. I featured in a couple of soap-operas, and acted in some movies as well. After some time, I had plans to travel to Europe. I also worked in a ‘branding’ company for about two years, before I eventually started Porsche Classy Media in 2012. At that time, the big names in blogging were Bella Naija, Linda Ikeji.

Though my educational background is in the sciences, I have always had passion for communication. I always wanted to be someone people would listen to. There was no social media in the nineties, so I used to tell my mother that I would end up on TV. I think I should have studied Mass Communication, instead of Geology. It was quite tough for me at that time, because (even as a student of Geology), I was always interested in anything that had to do with communication.

What niche does your media brand cater to?

Back in the university, I was always around members of the Student Union Government. I remembered when the ALUU 4 incident (mobbing of four students of University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on the allegation of being thieves) in 2012, I started the ‘ALUU 4 Say no to Jungle Justice’ campaign. At that time, I did not really know how to go about it. I was still trying to kick start the campaign when it was hijacked from me by some big names who had the cash and connections, to make it big and get credit for it.

It was at that point I decided to go into blogging, in order to create a platform through which I could be heard. The focus of the brand is on politics and general news; not gossip. I am a politically-savvy person, and I want to be a part of nation building. I want to contribute my quota to the success of Nigeria, till it becomes a great country.

What were the challenges you encountered in the early days of the business?

Back then, the challenges were much. Funding was a challenge; as well as getting work tools and Internet connectivity. Those were the days of struggling, when I had nothing. Back then, having N1,000 was a big deal for me. It was pretty difficult. I was ‘squatting’ with a cousin in Oshodi, Lagos. I recall that I used to sleep on the rug. It was a ‘face me, I face you’ (one-room apartment) house. In those days, I would go to the back of the house, put my second-hand laptop on a neighbours’ washing machine, and stand there for several hours. While there, I would source for stories, and keep writing. It was a quest for relevance, because I wanted my platform to be known. Thankfully, I was able to pull through, and I am still pushing till now.

What is your educational background?

I had my primary and secondary education in Ogun State. My tertiary education— Olabisi Onabanjo University— was also in the same town. I have also attended some media-related training, as well as in movie productions.

What strategies do you deploy to make your brand stand out?

I stay true to my niche, and I don’t try to join the bandwagon. My brand is for people who like ‘serious’ content. They know that our platform is for people reading about serious news in Nigeria and the rest of the world.

Timely updates of ‘serious’ content also helps us to stand out.

What were the challenges you faced as a young entrepreneur, and how did you surmount them?

Acceptance was a major issue, and it entailed getting the attention of people who ordinarily do not read the national dailies, and make them to trust one’s brand. I don’t do blackmail; neither do I malign or slander people. Our readers know that whatever we publish is true. We are not purveyors of fake news. Having to get along with veterans was also major challenge. One needs the input of those that had been there before one, especially when one is entering the industry as a greenhorn. A couple of veterans have been helpful and wonderful. They have helped to support the brand to get to where it is right now

As a public affairs commentator, what are your thoughts on the 2023 presidential elections?

The 2023 presidential elections have come and gone. But, there is no doubt that it was keenly contested; which is a good one for our democracy. It was not just about the two biggest parties (like it usually was). This time, there was a third force that disrupted the political space. That brought the much needed ‘rejig’ to the political space. It made our politicians realise that one cannot occupy public office, do nothing and think that one is untouchable.

In a democracy, the power is with the people, and they can always demand and cause a change. The last elections were a real eye opener, and they changed the narrative of politics in Nigeria. Right now, the voice of the people is more powerful than it used to be.

How do you think the spread of fake news can be curtailed?

To tackle the spread of fake news, there has to be more sensitisation. More importantly, media practitioners, including bloggers, journalists and broadcasters, need to be more responsible. We always need to verify whatever information we want to share.

Also, the onus lies on the average Nigerian to be responsibile. If we are more responsible and not in a hurry to spread falsehood, fake news will become a thing of the past.

How do you like to dress?

I love to appear classy. I believe I am a stylish person, and I like to look good. I like to walk into a space, and people would notice my appearance.

Meanwhile, I am proudly African. Ninety per cent of the time, I am dressed in native attire, such as kaftan or buba and sokoto, with a cap to match. I can hardly be seeing wearing native attire without a cap. One is addressed the way one is dressed. Fashion is a lifestyle for me.


Italian Bags 24 Years Jail Term For Beating Physically Challenged Nigerian To Death



Filippo Ferlazzo, the Italian who beat Italy-based Nigerian man Alika Ogorchukwu to death in July 2022, has been sentenced to 24 years in prison.

The 39-year-old Nigerian who was beaten to death in the Italian city of Civitanova Marche in the Marche Region in the Province of Macerata has finally received justice.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), made the announcement in a statement signed by NIDCOM spokesperson Gabriel Odu on Thursday.

Dabiri-Erewa who expressed satisfaction over the justice meted out to Ferlazzo commended the Nigerian Mission in Rome for following through with the case and other cases involving Nigerians.

“I am glad that this case finally got justice. Like I always say, there has to be consequences for actions”.

The NIDCOM boss also urged Nigerians in the diaspora to remain law-abiding, excel in what they do, and never forget home by giving back to their homeland.

She also exhorted Nigerians living abroad to uphold the law, be the best at what they do, and never forget their roots by supporting their home country.

According to the Italian police, Ogorchukwu was assaulted while strolling in broad daylight, after the Nigerian asked Ferlazzo’s fiancée to buy him a handkerchief.

With the use of Ogorchukwu’s crutches, the attacker battered the victim to death in front of multiple witnesses, some of whom made videos on their smartphones.

On July 30, 2022, Ferlazzo was detained and arrested on charges of having murdered Ogorchukwu and having stolen Ogorchukwu’s phone.

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Lagos Government Implements Total Ban On Street Trading, Hawking To Improve Safety And Sanitation



In a bid to create a cleaner, safer, and healthier environment, the Lagos State government, under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, has implemented a comprehensive ban on street trading, hawking, and related illegal activities.

This landmark decision aims to address the rising concerns over public safety, traffic congestion, and the preservation of vital infrastructure.

Led by the dynamic Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, the state government has assigned the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (commonly known as KAI) with the responsibility of ensuring strict compliance with the newly enforced environmental sanitation laws.

One of the primary reasons driving this ban is the need to curb the nefarious activities of hawkers who have increasingly resorted to disguising themselves as vendors while preying on unsuspecting motorists. These incidents of theft and robbery have not only threatened the safety of commuters but have also contributed to the disruption of traffic flow on major highways and streets.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration, with its T.H.E.M.E Plus Agenda, is exhibiting a zero-tolerance approach towards street trading, hawking, and other illicit practices. By intensifying efforts to enforce these regulations, the government aims to foster a more conducive and orderly business environment while addressing the concerns of the general public.

The ban extends to the construction of illegal structures on drainage systems, as they pose significant risks to the local water management infrastructure. Additionally, the prohibition encompasses the display of wares on walkways, a practice that not only obstructs pedestrian movement but also contributes to unsightly and cluttered public spaces.

Citizens and traders are urged to cooperate fully with the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps, adhering to the newly implemented regulations in order to promote a more organized and hygienic society. The government’s commitment to ensuring the health and safety of its residents remains resolute, and these measures signify a significant step towards achieving that goal.

As the Lagos State government takes proactive steps towards creating a cleaner, safer, and more sustainable urban environment, the hope is that this ban will not only elevate the quality of life for all residents but also serve as a model for other regions to follow suit.

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Marketers Urge Federal Government To Address Rising Gas Prices



The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) has urged the Federal Government to develop measures to keep gas prices stable and make it available to ordinary Nigerians.

The NALPGAM National President, Abideen Olatunbosun, made this plea during the association’s 36th annual general meeting/conference on Tuesday in Ibadan, Oyo State, with the theme “Expanding gas utilisation beyond imagination.”

He added that if nothing was done to stop the price growth, petrol will soon become a commodity for the few wealthy.

Olatunbosun said, “It is very vital for me to say that the galloping hike in the price of gas in recent times stands as a big challenge to LPG marketers. The government need to find ways to ensure the stability of gas price as well as make gas available to the common Nigerians. If nothing is done to the increase in price, gas will soon be a commodity for the few rich in our society.”

“As a country, we need to improve on our gas utilisation level. If we adopt gas, it will save our forest, improve quality of our lifestyle and the economy will grow. The hike in price of gas is a concern to all.”

In his lecture, the Guest Speaker, Prof Sunday Isehunwa of the Department of Petroluem Engineering, Faculty of Technology, University of Ibadan, identified changes in demand, changes in supply, natural gas production and consumption, changes in price and electricity pricing as some challenges facing LPG market in the country.

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