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Sunday Dare: Profile Of Buhari’s Ministerial Nominee, A Trans-Generational Operator

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Well-traveled journalist, a seasoned scholar and accomplished administrator, Mr. Sunday Dare, was on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019, announced as one of the 43 Ministers Designate by Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari.

The multilingual 53 year-old hails from Ogbomoso in Oyo State, South-West Nigeria, and represents a generation of Nigerians, who have come full circle having been born just before the Civil War, witnessing the 2nd and 3rd republics, fighting the military junta via guerilla journalism, helping to entrench the 4th Republic before now taking up leadership roles. Mr. Dare’s impressive resume reads like a thriller novel, as it shows a man that has lived an exciting, challenging but ultimately successful and exemplary life.

After bagging a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) degree in International Studies and a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from two of the most respected universities in Northern Nigeria, Mr. Dare took to the skies to pursue more knowledge abroad. Before this, though, he left his indelible mark all over his country of birth. Tired of seeing his country ravaged by poor and contemptuous corruption aided and abetted by unscrupulous military leadership, he joined the elite league of news reporters, who dedicated their lives to afflicting the comfortable while comforting the afflicted. While his contemporaries choose to join the civil service or take up cushy jobs in the banks, he chose to risk his life by investigating corruption, unearthing deep truths and exposing it to the world. This was one of the most dangerous jobs anyone could do at the time, but he and a select few did it and excelled at it. For more than a decade, he lived vicariously. He saw his closest friends and mentors dragged to jail, felled by bullets or beaten to within an inch of their lives. He was never deterred.

When in 1999, the military handed over power to civilians, Nigeria owed a great amount of gratitude to the likes of Mr. Dare. But, he had done his service to his fatherland and it was time to move on. Given how much respect and experience he had garnered over the years, Mr. Dare was offered so many fellowships and jobs abroad. In 2001, he took up the challenge to become the Chief of the Voice Of America (VOA) Hausa Service, Africa Division in Washington D.C. His job, simply put, was to compete in content and audience share with the already established BBC Hausa Service. Armed with all the experience he needed, Mr. Dare quickly conceptualized and directed radio programming in Hausa and English languages to a targeted weekly audience of over 21 million in Nigeria and countries in the West Africa Sub-region. He was a hit. He held the job for eight years until the call to return home became too loud to ignore.

In 2009, he became the Media Adviser to the Honourable Minister for Information and Communication on all media-related matters and government information dissemination and media policy. He held the job for a year until he was asked to take up the role as Chief Of Staff/Special Adviser Media to Former Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Being the first person the great man saw in the morning and the last person he saw at night was a herculean task. The political leader was oiling his machinery to get the Progressives into power at the center, hence his schedule was grueling. Mr. Dare was, among other things, responsible for the overall coordination of all political, social and business activities while simultaneously acting as Media Adviser and was coordinating all media interventions, interviews, interactions,  communications, speech writing, research, documentation, and advice on policy matters. The job of at least four men but he did it with enviable calm and grace. 

At the request of President Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu reluctantly released Mr. Dare from his duties and he was appointed as Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC. This has been his role in the last three years until this new call to serve.

In 2010, the father of two lovely girls became an Oxford University Research Fellow with his research work published under the heading: New Media and Citizen Journalism in Africa-A Case Study: Using New media Tools and Citizen Journalism to Investigate Corruption in Nigeria. He has authored three other books and is working on two more.

He is also a multi-award winner home and abroad and is a member of many prestigious associations. He is constantly sought out to provide insight on establishing media outlets, a skill he is most proud of. 

In the run-up to the 2019 elections, Mr Dare briefly offered himself to serve as Governor of his beloved state but aligned with the party when it chose to field another person as the candidate. His contributions to his community have won him accolades as he introduced a new way of doing politics to the grassroots. His health intervention, “Digi Dare”, was a fan favourite. 

President Buhari made a particularly great choice in picking this man, who bridges the gap between the old and the young. He is a product of tested and trusted political operators but has the mien and energy of youth. His love for technology and how it fits into almost all spheres of life shows how balanced he is. Little wonder his nomination has drawn praise from everyone from his traditional rulers to his massive followers on social media. 

Mr Dare is duty-ready!

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BIG STORY

[VIDEO] Herdsmen Kill Bus Conductor In Lagos Over Cow’s Death

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Persons identified as herdsmen have stabbed a bus conductor to death for killing a cow in Lagos.

This happened in the early hours of Monday and became public in a viral video from the scene of the accident.

According to one of the videos making rounds on social media platforms, the incident occurred at Mowo on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, close to President Muhammadu Buhari Estate.

The commentator in the video said the bus conductor, who fled after the accident that led to the death of the cow, was killed close to a police checkpoint.

The driver, who was said to be heading to Badagry from Mile 12, was said to have fled as soon as he sensed danger.

This made the herdsmen go after the conductor of the bus with registration number: FKJ 756 XH.

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JUST IN: Olukayode Ariwoola To Be To Sworn In As Acting CJN

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Report has it that plans are underway to swear in Olukayode Ariwoola as a tentative replacement for the former CJN, Tanko Muhammad so as to leave no vacuum.

Ariwoola is the next highest-ranking justice of the supreme court and he is expected to take over in an acting capacity from Monday.

According to the procedure for the appointment of the CJN, the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) shortlists two or three most senior judges among the supreme court justices and sends their names to the National Judicial Council (NJC) which then selects one candidate and forwards it to the president before it goes to the Senate confirmation.

But to leave no vacuum, an acting CJN must be appointed.

ABOUT OLUKAYODE ARIWOOLA

Ariwoola was born in Iseyin, Oyo State, on August 22, 1958. He had his primary education at the Local Authority Demonstration School, Oluwole, in his hometown between 1959 and 1967. He then moved to Muslim Modern School in the same town from 1968 to 1969 before graduating to Ansar-Ud-Deen high school, Saki area of Oyo, for secondary education.

He earned his law degree at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1980 and a year later he was called to the Nigeria bar and got enrolled as a solicitor and advocate of the supreme court.

He kicked off his career as a legal officer in the Oyo state ministry of justice and stayed in the role until he moved into private practice in 1988.

Ariwoola spent less than four years in private practice before he was whisked back into public service.

Between 1988 and July 1989, he was a counsel in-chambers of Ladosu Ladapo before moving to establish his own legal firm named “Olukayode Ariwoola & Co”. Three years later, he was called to the bench.

Ariwoola was back in public service by 1992 when he was appointed a judge of the superior court of record in Oyo.

He was named the chairman of the Oyo state armed robbery tribunal between May 1993 and September 1996.

In 2005, he then rose to the position of a justice of the court of appeal and he held the position before he was appointed a justice of the supreme court of Nigeria in 2011.

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Ekweremadu: Immigration Dismisses Organ Donor’s Underage Claim

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The Nigeria Immigration Service has stated that it followed due process in issuing a Nigerian passport to Mr. David Nwamini, who was allegedly trafficked to the United Kingdom for organ harvesting by former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

David had allegedly claimed to be a minor after he arrived in the UK where he was to donate his kidney to Ekweremadu’s daughter.

However, photos of his Nigerian passport, making rounds on social media, showed his date of birth to be October 12, 2000, placing him at 21 years old.

Making comment on the controversy surrounding David’s age, Mr. Idris Jere, the Comptroller General of the NIS, at a press conference on Sunday, said Nwamini is indeed 21 according to his record in the possession of the NIS, discarding claims that the Service didn’t thoroughly vet the documents provided by the applicant.

Jere said, “The fact of the matter concerning the case above, therefore, is that Mr. David Ukpo Nwamini applied and paid for the e-passport using the NIS portal after which he approached the passport office in Gwagwalada, FCT Abuja, on November 2, 2021, for his interview.

“To support his application, Mr. Nwamini presented all necessary documents required including his birth certificate issued by the National Population Commission, showing October 12, 2000, as his date of birth; his National Identification Number, issued by NIMC corroborating the date of birth; a Certificate of Origin issued by Ebonyi State Government Liaison office in Abuja, and a guarantor’s form duly signed.

“NIS relies on documentation supplied by other agencies and we are not under any obligation to go to those agencies to verify those documents. What we do is that we look at the documents and applicants physically. Once that is done, we go ahead to process.”

Meanwhile, the Senator representing Bayelsa West, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has told Nigerians not to hastily pass judgment against Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice.

Dickson said this in a statement he issued on Sunday titled, ‘The Ekweremadu I know will not traffic an underage boy for organ harvesting.’

Dickson said, “I am sure from the beginning when this story broke that the Ekweremadu I know could not have taken an underage and underprivileged young man, smuggle him out to harvest organs for whatever purpose.

“The circumstances surrounding this will fully come to light in the cause of investigation.

Also reacting, the Ebonyi State Government, in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Uchenna Orji, in Abakaliki, on Sunday urged the UK authorities to exercise caution in the investigation of circumstances leading to the arrest and eventual trial of the senator and his wife.

The statement read, “Ebonyi State Government is following up the turn of events and twists that followed the medical intention of the former Deputy Senate President’s family.

“While we urge the UK Government to act progressively and meticulously and critically look at the intention (Mens rea) and the minds of the detained family and please give them the benefit of the doubt, we enjoin the public, especially those with shades of opinions and surge of anxieties to remain calm as we hope to see light at the end of the tunnel.

“The state government is reaching out to the family of David Okemini Ukpo from Ebonyi State, whose information to the Metropolitan Authority of UK orchestrated the criminal charge against the senator and his wife. The state government stands with Senator Ike Ekweremadu at this trial moment and hopes that the truth and nothing but the truth shall guide the outcome of the matter.”

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