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Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, his Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and Lagos State Governor, Mr.  Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday took turns to eulogise the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as he clocked 66.

Speaking at the 10th Bola Ahmed Tinubu Colloquium, organised to commemorate the former Lagos Governor’s birthday, President Buhari described Tinubu as a political patriot who has over the years invested in building people and creating future leaders of tomorrow.

 

“I call on Nigerians to join me to celebrate Asiwaju, a man who is widely known as a political strategist and I have come to see him as a man who cares about people and is a fountain of ideas for the economy and for the common man and woman. He is a true democrat and we appreciate his contribution for Nigeria’s capital progress.

 

“Asiwaju has invested in people because he believes that tomorrow will be better than today and good will one day triumph over evil,” Buhari said. 

 

Commending the concept of the Colloquium and describing the theme, ‘Investing In People’ as apt, the President said the Federal Government over the last two years had initiated programmes and policies that have made direct impact on the people, adding that the nation can only grow when government invests in its people. 

 

(3rd left); Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (2nd left); his wife, Dolapo (left); Celebrant, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (middle); his wife, Senator Oluremi (3rd right); Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right) and his wife, Bolanle (right) during the 10th Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Colloquium at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria island, Lagos, on Thursday, March 29, 2018.
(3rd left); Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (2nd left); his wife, Dolapo (left); Celebrant, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (middle); his wife, Senator Oluremi (3rd right); Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right) and his wife, Bolanle (right) during the 10th Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Colloquium at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria island, Lagos, on Thursday, March 29, 2018.

Also speaking, Professor Osinbajo said he was proud to have garnered experience in public service under the tutelage of Tinubu when he was Governor of Lagos State, noting that it was during that period the foundation of development currently ongoing in Lagos was laid.

He particular alluded to the concept of the Land Use Charge which Tinubu’s administration initiated, saying that despite the challenges and dissenting voices, he (Tinubu) successfully defended, a move which, according to him,  made Lagos better for it. 

“When we introduced the Land Use Charge, which was the foundation of the development we see in Lagos today, some of us believed that it should not be introduced at all, others believed it should be introduced. I remember we were having a meeting in a small room, Asiwaju, myself, Yemi Cardoso, Wale Edun and some others and the argument got so heated that Asiwaju asked us if we were the ones the people elected.

“He stormed out of the room and we did not leave, we stayed there. After some minutes, he came back into the room and asked us why we were still there. Then we continued the discussion. In the end, we developed that law and it has become part of the success story in Lagos. This showed that Asiwaju is one leader who allows people to develop ideas,” Osinbajo explained.

The Vice President who also presented a discuss on the topic, ‘Linking the Philosophy To Governance and Commitment’, also described Tinubu as a “fighter and a champion of people- oriented courses.

In his welcome address, Governor Ambode said Tinubu’s era as Governor of Lagos from 1999 to 2007 showed the depth of his governance capacity, adding that he has over the years sustained his relevance in the nation’s polity. 

“After his gubernatorial years, he has continued to show pivotal leadership, particularly on the national stage.  It is not for nothing that he is acknowledged for his defining role in the emergence of a progressive political party in Nigeria,” the Governor said. 

He said there was no better birthday present that his friends and well wishers could give to him as befitting as what the theme of this year’s colloquium epitomized, saying that Tinubu’s legacy was built around his capacity to invest in people.

“The theme of this year’s colloquium is “Investing in People”. Whether it is called human capital development or people-centric investment, the meaning is clear enough and its importance is undeniable.  For us on the political landscape, it may well be the greatest governance challenge.  Creating highly impactful programs and policies for our people is my simple understanding of good governance.  At the end of the day, the level of investment on our people will determine our future sustenance as a Nation always.

“Look around you, there are only a few people that can match his (Tinubu) unquestionable thirst to invest in people.  It goes without any gainsaying that, I join numerous others seated here or outside, that have gained in the investment Asiwaju has made on people.  I am grateful for that,” Governor Ambode said.

He said the colloquium was not just a talk shop, but a veritable platform for the generation of ideas by all stakeholders on the need to invest in people, adding that the ultimate objective and expectation is for the forum to avail policy makers at all levels of government new ideas and perspectives and to enrich the process of policy formulation, design and implementation.

Besides, Governor Ambode thanked President Buhari for the support to the State and gracing the occasion as part of his activities to mark his two-day official visit to Lagos, just as he expressed optimism that the historic visit would be more beneficial to the State on the long run

In his response, Tinubu thanked President Buhari and the host of dignitaries including several Governors, members of the National Assembly, Ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, among other stakeholders for finding time to grace the occasion, saying that he was highly honoured by their presence.

Tinubu, particularly lauded the strides of Governor Ambode, assuring him that he would continue to support his administration as it continues to drive Lagos was on the right path of economic development.

“You (Governor Ambode) have been exceptionally committed to the progress and economic development of Lagos state and I can only say thank you. The act of many good jobs is more work and after beautiful challenges is more success. Work hard at it; we are in the booth together,” Tinubu said.

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AJE FESTIVAL 2020 Holds In Ile-Ile

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All roads lead to the ancient city of Ile-Ife believed to be the cradle of humanity as the Arole Oodua & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II will on Monday 24th February 2020 lead thousands of Ife indigenes, market men and women, tourists, financial experts and business tycoons from across Nigeria and abroad to celebrate the 2020 edition of Aje festival.

Reports from the Ile-Oodua palace of the Ooni confirmed the organizers of this year’s AJE festival led by Dr Toyin Kolade are not leaving any stone unturned with top gear preparations to enable Ooni Ogunwusi host this year’s edition of the annual AJE FESTIVAL expected to be attended by both local and international participants in a more remarkable way.

Speaking on behalf of the Ooni who is the natural head of the Oduduwa race globally, his Director of Media & Public Affairs Comrade Moses Olafare said in a press release that not less than twenty Africans in diaspora like Cubans Brazilians and Americans have confirmed their flight tickets to arrive Nigeria this weekend to take part in the festival on Monday.

“The 2020 AJE FESTIVAL Planning Committee ably led by Princess(Dr) Toyin Kolade are working assiduously with the Arole Oodua Olofin Adimula to ensure a better and more superlative edition of the festival this year with several foreigners coming to participate, especially from Cuba, Brazil and America. Olafare said.

According to Princess Toyin Kolade captured in the statement, Ooni Ogunwusi with white pigeons in his hands will lead the procession of participants from the palace ‘Ile Oodua’ to the Aje shrine known ‘Idi Aje’, located a kilometer away from the palace right inside the Ejigbomekun market believed to be oldest market in the world where prayers for economic and commercial prosperity of the Oduduwa race worldwide and Nigeria in particular will be made, after which the pigeons are released into the air.

“Iyalaje Toyin Kolade last Saturday led her committee to brief His Majesty the Ooni that not less than twenty Africans in diaspora have already confirmed their flight tickets to arrive Lagos before Saturday from where they will be conveyed to Ile-Ife for the Aje festival holding on Monday which will witness a long procession by the the participants to be led by the Ooni himself holding some pigeons in his hands which will be released into the air after prayers are offered at the shrine(Idi Aje)”. Olafare said.

The statement added that as one of the 401 gods and goddesses like Ogun(iron), Osun(water), Kori(children) and Orunmila(divination) Aje is a deity in charge of wealth and economic prosperity with great positive influence on the world’s economy.

“The deity of AJE is in charge of wealth, commerce and economy just like Ogun is in charge of iron and Osun is in charge of waters. The festival annually holds on a Monday traditionally known as ‘Ojo Aje’ in Yoruba parlance. During this Aje Festival, participants including foreign tourists, business men and women would purchase a white pigeon each, this is symbolic of purity and peace.” Olafare added

It will be recalled that Princess Kolade led a royal team to Brazil in August last advancing the cause of AJE FESTIVAL where fruitful discussions and meetings were held with government of the city of RIO and other cultural tourism stakeholders for collaboration on the festival in furtherance of the Cultural Tourism Revolution Agenda of the Arole Oodua’Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife & Traditional Head of the Yoruba race globally.

The activities of 2020 edition of ODUN AJE will be climaxed with a dinner party at the banquet hall of the palace where guests and the foreign tourists will be entertained by the Apala music maestro, Musiliu Aruna Isola.

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Princewill’s Trust – “Help a Hard Worker”: George Emerges Winner of 2020 Edition

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A 300 level student of the music department in the University of Port Harcourt has emerged winner of the January edition of the “Help the Hard worker” competition organized by the popular non-governmental organization, Princewill’s Trust for entrepreneurs, youths and Rivers residents who are engaged in micro business ventures and all forms of hard work in Rivers State.

Mr. George Tamunomenji Amonia beat over one thousand contestants who entered for the contest to emerge winner for the month of January 2020, with Mr. Princewill Goodluck and Miss Duru Cynthia emerging first and second runners up respectively.

Receiving the cash prize of One Hundred Thousand Naira at his gaming centre premises in Buguma city, capital of the Asari Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, Mr. George thanked the organizers and described the gesture as a big testimony to the fact that hard work and consistency actually do pay.

He noted that, he started out the business with funds realized from menial jobs and called on youths in the state to look for other tangible activities such as fishing, farming and any vocational activity, rather than waiting for white collar jobs or engaging in criminal activities or economic crimes within the state and around the country at large.

On her part, a highly elated mother of the winner, Deaconess Fabia Amonia George thanked the team from Princewills Trust for the gesture which she initially had doubts about. She confessed though that the doubts have now been cleared by the arrival of the team in Buguma and the handing over of the prize to her son. She commended the founder of the Trust, Prince Tonye T.J.T Princewill for the initiative and prayed for more blessing in his life to enable him sustain the good work the Trust is doing.

Speaking on behalf of Princewill’s Trust, Dagogo Emmanuel stated that the aim of the Princewill’s Trust is to contribute to the development of Rivers State through little support to entrepreneurs of small, micro and medium scale business owners to enable them expand their business and in turn create jobs which in turn help reduce poverty and so making a small contribution to bridging the inequality gap in the state.

Dagogo also used the opportunity to call on youths in the state to be peaceful and law abiding so as to give the state a positive image which will not only help attract the needed investments into the state but will enable existing businesses strive, which will in turn create job opportunities, reduce poverty and improve our development.

Finally, he called on other Rivers men and women, small business owners, youths and hard workers in the state to take advantage of the Princewill’s Trust initiative by going to register for the February edition of the competition as they too might emerge winners of the competition some day. With almost two decades of giving back, the Trust has been engaged in many interventions from small business support, women and skills development, disaster relief, scholarships, youth engagement and continuous medical outreach.

 

 

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OGUN PROMISES ZERO TOLERANCE FOR STIGMATIZATION OF LEPERS

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Ogun State Government has renewed its commitment towards ensuring a leprosy-free society and to ensure that the age-long disease was no longer a source of shame, stigma and prejudice in the society

The Commissioner, Ministry of Women affairs and Social Development, Hon. Oluwafunmilayo Efuwape made this known during the celebration of the 2020 world leprosy Day, with the theme,” Overturnning the Stigma of Leprosy”, held at the Women Development Centre, Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta.

According to her, “despite the progress of science and the fact that leprosy can be treated with drugs, just like other diseases, there are still people suffering from the unwanted discrimination that exist towards leprosy”.

Efuwape said her Ministry would continue to create awareness of the existence of leprosy as a disease in the society and sensitize people against stigmatization, saying government was commemorating the Day with an empowerment programme to encourage those affected and make them self-reliant.

She enjoined beneficiaries to make judicious use of tools provided and get themselves fully established.

Earlier in her speech, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Oluranti Oladeinde, said the effects of leprosy were worsened by the negative stigma surrounding the disease, hence the 2020 World Leprosy Day celebration focused on ending discrimination, stigma and prejudice by debunking common myths associated with the disease.

“Although, progress has been achieved in recent decades, leprosy has been forgotten by the society, thereby leaving the affected to be ignored and isolated. I want to call on every member of the society to collaborate with the State government towards ensuring a leprosy free society by 2030’’, she stated.

In her lecture, the Principal Scientific Officer, Ministry of Health, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Adu, informed that, the disease was air borne and contagious, enjoining people living with it to ensure they maintain a clean environment and visit government’s hospitals, where the treatments are available free of charge.

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