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Mr Intrepid: Again, Tokunbo Wahab Stuns Lagosians With Remarkable Feats — By Lanre Alfred

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Roses do not bloom hurriedly; beauty, like any masterpiece, takes time to blossom. So it is with Tokunbo Wahab, the Lagos Commissioner of Environment and Water Resources. The spirit of his excellence exorcises the demon of mediocrity from his work.

Since his appointment by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Wahab has refrained from the untoward act of singing his own praises; like the proverbial star, he never had to deploy words to tell the world what he does; he simply shines.

In a nutshell, Wahab never had to speak for his work; on its own, his work finds its own voice.

Little wonder Governor Sanwo-Olu, in apparent divergence from the established norm, has become a major cheerleader for Wahab’s exploits.

Indeed, it is not every time that a governor effusively extols, in public, the performance of one of his commissioners for a job well done. But delighted by Wahab’s remarkable work, Governor Sanwo-Olu was moved to praise him in public.

The governor, in a social media post, last Tuesday, hailed Wahab for his achievements in the last two months.

According to Sanwo-Olu, “The Clean Up of Lagos, getting rid of waste and reducing pollution is a shared vision and collective effort that demands out-of-the-box thinking and extreme discipline. When I moved Tokunbo Wahab to the role of Commissioner of Environment and Water Resources, it was because I saw passion and pragmatism as well as the discipline required to do the difficult things. Working closely with LAWMA (Lagos Waste Management Authority), LASEPA (Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency), LAGESC (Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps), as well as other agencies, they have hit the ground running in the efforts to clean up Lagos.”

Corroborating him, a former Commissioner for Environment, Dr Muiz Banire, who served between 2007 and 2011, wrote a well-syndicated article entitled ‘All Hail the Lagos State Environment Commissioner’ wherein he declared that the environment ministry is a vast terrain because the ecological issues linger while the need for industrial and noise pollution abatement is still extant. Not forgetting the menace that the ubiquitous culture of street trading poses to society and the government. Thus the ministry, he said, needs an ‘actualiser and enabler.’

He described Governor Sanwo-Olu’s choice of Wahab as fitting and auspicious. “The Ministry is now fortunate to have a young, vibrant, hardworking, committed, and dynamic person as the chief executive. Leadership in any community dictates the mood of the followership. Where the leadership is weak, inept, incompetent, and corrupt, no miracle should be expected from the followers. At the barest minimum, the followers mimic the leader. The environment of a state creates the first impression to a visitor about not only the quality of the leadership in the state but signposts the seriousness and commitment of the administration,” he wrote.

Dr Banire stated further that the environment encompasses virtually all strata of society, which explains why pre-eminence is accorded it globally. He commended Wahab for ‘hitting the ground running,’ while accomplishing what seemed impossible in recent times.

“No doubt, within the short time of his ascendancy to the office, he has proven that he is not a wrong choice. A few days ago, the social media via the X platform was on fire for the impacts the commissioner was already making. Except for the consciously blindfolded Lagosian, even the naturally blind and the deaf in Lagos State are already feeling the impact of the helmsman in the Ministry. You cannot but notice that something is happening currently in terms of the environmental rejuvenation of the state,” noted Banire.

Indeed, since his inauguration in September, Wahab, who served as the Special Adviser on Education in Governor Sanwo-Olu’s first term, has been the most visible commissioner in a state with a major flooding problem caused largely by clogged waterways and drainage systems and developments on floodplains.

An intrepid and self-motivated public officer, Wahab committed to his duty from the get-go without fear or favour of anyone or group. Many popular markets have been locked up for environmental pollution and reopened upon compliance. A lot of illegal buildings and structures on canals and flood channels have also been demolished.

It all seemed impossible until Wahab started doing it and in time, Lagosians learnt to repose their trust in Wahab. Through him, Governor Sanwo-Olu is successfully enthroning a clean, flood-free, hygienic, and sustainable environment conducive to tourism, economic growth, and the well-being of the citizens.

There are no surprises to the vigour that Wahab brings to bear on his work. It would be recalled that in his previous posting, he superintended the creation of two new universities for Lagos State which, since its creation in 1967, had just one; the Lagos State University. Now, Lagos can boast of the Lagos State University of Education in Ijanikin and the Lagos State University of Science and Technology in Ikorodu.

To underscore his excellent performance in that office, the State government has now elevated the Office of the Special Adviser on Education to a full-fledged Ministry of Tertiary Education.

In all that Wahab does, his busy hands achieve more than a million idle tongues. So adept is he at emblazoning every new portfolio with his signature presence.

He goes about his work with the passion of a man who understands that if success were to be a room, it takes skill to get one’s feet at its door, and the secret key combination would be perseverance, hard work and excellence.

Wahab also understands that you can only be in the room for as long as your character and integrity would permit.

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Economic Hardship: Express Your Grievances In A Responsible And Mature Manner — VP Shettima To Nigerians

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Nigeria’s Vice President, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, says the federal government expects Nigerians to express their grievances over the current economic crisis in a responsible and mature way.

Speaking on Saturday at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Muslim Alumni’s 29th pre-Ramadan lecture, Shettima said that if the alternatives had been feasible, the government could have chosen a simpler course of action instead of its current course.

The event was themed “Economic Reforms for Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects for the Future”.

Shettima, who was presented by Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, his special adviser on political matters, said all the options before the President Bola Tinubu-led administration are difficult.

He said the government is left with no choice than to adopt certain policies which are “more telling on the poor”.

Several states, including Lagos, Imo, Kaduna and Oyo have, in the past weeks, staged protests to express their reservations over the hunger and high cost of living in the country.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) also staged a nationwide mass protest on February 27 over the economic hardship being faced by Nigerians.

“The consequences of our past are the stark realities we face today, such as rising cost of living and pessimism over our prospect to turn round our economy in the direction of growth and inclusive development,” Shettima said.

“Yet, my brothers and sisters, we do not have the choice of continuing in the direction that brought us where we are today. We have to fix this country, and failure to do this is not an option. All the options we have are difficult and challenging, and they are, without a doubt, more telling on the poor. If there are easier and reliable alternatives to the policy choices we have adopted, we wold have adopted them.

“Our administration does not plan to make lives of Nigerians more difficult. Nor do we intend to deceive fellow citizens that the change in direction and the expected outcome can be achieved without pain or sacrifices.

“Fellow alumni, I appeal to you to help make space for our administration to achieve the goal of turning our nation around. As products of a distinguished institution, we have learnt that progress is only possible if it is informed by criticism and critical scrutiny. We expect that Nigerians should express their feelings over our circumstances in a responsible and mature manner.”

The vice president further said that the federal government is aware that the forthcoming Ramadan “will come with severe challenges for most Nigerians”.

He added that as “deeply religious people”, Nigerians believe in the powers of prayer and faith that God will ease the hardship.

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Report Nigerian Officials Who Demand Bribes — Tinubu To Qatari Investors

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Nigeria’s President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has asked Qatari investors to bring their investments to Nigeria, encouraging them to report any public officials who demand bribes.

Speaking at the Nigeria-Qatar business and investment forum in Doha on Sunday, Tinubu told the investors that Africa’s largest economy and its systems are being reformed and upgraded.

According to a statement on Sunday, the president assured the international business community that Nigeria is ready for serious business, pledging to remove all bottlenecks hindering profitable and legitimate enterprise.

He encouraged Qatar’s captains of industries to report any government official who demands a bribe or any form of inducement at any point in their business endeavour, assuring them of direct access to his office.

“I am here to give you the assurance that reforms are going on; forget about whatever you heard in the past. Whatever is the obstacle or problem that some of you might have experienced; it is in the past, because there is no obstacle in the future,” he said.

“Do not offer a bribe to any of our people, and if it is requested or taken from you, report to us. You will have access to me.

“Nigeria will no longer be defined by the past, but by what we do now and moving forward. Do not let perceptions become a hindrance to your will to invest. Nigeria is serious about revolutionizing investment promotion.

“We are removing obstacles today and we are going to continue to remove all obstacles. We have done so much within nine months. And I am assuring you, it is free entry, and free exit. Your funds will flow smoothly into and out of our country. Bring your investments.”

He said Nigeria possesses vast opportunities in various fields, telling his host that the West African nation is rich in mineral resources.

“We have oil and gas; we have solid minerals. I do not see why we cannot become prolific partners in exploring iron ore, as well as steel production, and energy across the board,” he said.

“I am here to give you assurances in all spheres: tourism, hospitality, healthcare, and in many other opportunities that abound around us. Do not be the investors who miss out on the golden opportunity we present.”

Tinubu also said the war against corruption and insecurity in Nigeria has been significantly strengthened with the appointment of Nuhu Ribadu as the national security adviser (NSA).

“We have a man who has won many global awards for anti-corruption as an anti-corruption czar,” he said.

“My responsibility is to tell you that Nigeria is open for business, and to assure you that your investments are safe in our hands. We have men and women of great reputation here. And we believe we can forge a good committee that will advance our discussions to fruitful conclusions.

“A nation is an artificial entity unless there are good people to drive it. People build great nations and we have great people. We are ready.”

Welcoming the Nigerian delegation, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Qassim Al Abdullah Al Thani, Qatar’s minister of commerce and industry, said his country looks forward to exploring opportunities in Nigeria, owing to its population demography and market, as it seeks to prioritise new investments in low carbon initiatives, mineral products, petroleum chemicals, industry, and consumables.

Accompanying the president to the Nigeria-Qatar business forum were Babagana Umara Zulum, Borno governor; Uba Sani, Kaduna governor; Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos governor; Wale Edun, coordinating minister of the economy and minister of finance; Dele Alake, minister of solid minerals development; Muhammad Ali Pate, coordinating minister of health and social welfare; Adegboyega Oyetola, minister of marine and blue economy; Doris Uzoka-Anite, minister of trade, industry and investment; Jamila Bio Ibrahim, minister of youth; and Ekperipe Ekpo, minister of state for petroleum resources (Gas).

Others include Nuhu Ribadu, national security adviser; Olu Verheijen, special adviser on energy; and Dele Kelvin Oye, president of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

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Olori Omo Oba Hit 67 And Still Waxing Stronger By Seun Oloketuyi

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Alhaji Wasiu Omo Gbolahan Olasunkami Adewale Ayinde is a man of destiny, focused and passionate about what he wants.

Or, what do you call a man, who rose from the streets of Isale Eko chasing his dreams to be a musician highly insipired by Islamic beliefs before trying out as an actor and then going back fully to Fuji, a genre of music that has blessed him and vice-versa.

Over the years, the princely singer from the Fidipote family has remained focused with his eyes firm on the crystal balls.

Despite his royal status, the Ijebu people, humanity, building bridges and indeed the entertainment industry have been the better for it as he remains one of the biggest act from Africa as at today.

KWAM 1 or K1- de Ultimate as many love to call him, loves his root – the Yoruba people – and undoubtedly, he loves his Ijebu root more and that’s why he has moved back home for about a decade.

Since moving back to Ijebu, he has established businesses and continues helping the development of the land.

Little wonder, the Awujale of Ijebuland, the highly respected Monarch, sees KWAM 1’s efforts and contribution to the growth of the revered Ijebuland and decided to reward him by bestowing upon him the important title of Olori Omo Oba – a position formerly occupied by banking doyen Otunba Subomi Balogun until his demise.

Alhaji Wasiu is 67 today in good health and we pray his tenure is peaceful and brings progress.

Long May you live Olori Omo Oba

Long May you live Awujale

Long May Ijebu prosper

 

Seun Oloketuyi is the Producer of Awujale Biopic

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