By Ambassador Dapo Fafowora
I know him quite well. I was the one who in 1981 brought him to the UN at his request as a member of the Nigerian delegation. He was then a senior lecturer at the ABU. In fact, the late Prof Audu, who was then Foreign Minister actually advised me against inviting him to the UN. But he had strong academic credentials which impressed me.
He had obtained his first degree in political science from the LSE, and a doctorate from Colombia University in New York. We were looking for strong delegates to the UN General Assembly and I considered him the kind of delegate we were looking for. So I invited him as one of our delegates to the UN General Assembly. He was at the UN in New York with me. I gave him and his wife my city apartment which I was not using free for 3 months plus a car. I liked him and I was not seeking any favours from him.
After 3 months he returned home and sent me a note thanking me for giving him the first opportunity to visit the UN as a delegate and giving him his first experience at multilateral diplomacy.
However, he sent President Shagari a secret and private note that while he was at the UN he observed that I had not been attending the meeting of Islamic states at the UN.
President Shagari sent the note to Prof Audu who forwarded it to me in New York. He didn’t even ask me for any comments on Gambari’s secret memo as Prof Audu fully understood that Nigeria had traditionally not been attending meetings if the Islamic states as we were not then a member of the Group. Gambari asked for a private meeting with President Shagari which Prof Audu advised against. I was shocked that someone I had helped so much turned round to betray me so blatantly. I did not tell him I knew about the secret letter he had sent to the UN. When Shagari was overthrown by Buhari Gambari became Foreign Minister.
When career ambassadors were being suddenly retired I was at first not on the list. But Gambari, now FM and Rafindadi, the head of the NSO who had worked under me in London, and was now head of the NSO worked together to secure my retirement. In fact, when I called him from New York to confirm from him news about my retirement he first denied it.
Thereafter, he no longer took my calls. In fact, I remained at my post in New York for another 3 months during which the MFA tried to reverse the decision to retire me. I had done absolutely nothing wrong in my entire career in the diplomatic service and only got into trouble for helping a young academic who turned against me to fulfil his own personal ambition. Since then, he and I have only met twice in very difficult circumstances. First at a dinner by a mutual friend in New York several years after my retirement.
He could barely look directly at me. He was clearly embarrassed. Then when Buhari won the elections in 2015 I headed a team that was set up to prepare a paper for him on our Foreign Policy. Subsequently, Alhaji Joda asked him to join the team. Last year, he suddenly called me to ask if I would kindly represent him at a public lecture he had agreed to chair.
I told him I could not and that he should look for someone younger. He immediately hung up on me. Now, ha may be the kind if person Buhari is looking for to succeed Abba Kyari as COS.
They are very much alike but Gambari is more subtle and even more dangerous and will substitute the national interests for his own personal interests. I have no doubt about that.
What I have written in this long piece is just some of my personal experience and encounter with him. Everything I have written here is in my memoirs ‘Lest I Forget ‘which he has seen and read.
It is nothing new. But I think it important that the character of our top govt officials should be revealed and not covered up. We have, as a nation, paid dearly for supporting appointments to high office that are often detrimental to our nation. Enough is enough and this has to stop.
NIGERIA @ 60: DON’T DESPAIR, EXPECT A GREATER NIGERIA, SAYS GOV. DAPO ABIODUN
Lagos based business man wins TYLgames N1million grand prize
A Lagos based young entrepreneur, Emmanuel Umoga, has emerged the first N1million grand prize winner at the inaugural draw and cheque presentation ceremony of the lottery platform, TYLgames in Lagos.
The TYLgames grand launch and cheque presentation that took place at Calabar Hall in Surulere, Lagos at the weekend saw another 29 gamers being presented with their winning cheques ranging from N10, 000 to N500, 000.
TYLgames, a gaming (Lottery) platform is designed to positively touch gamers’ lives one game at a time. The focus is on gamers rather than on the gaming platform; placing in their hands the power to transform their lives with each game they play hence the acronym “TYL”.
TYL is an Instant Play, Instant Win, instant cash out game played on SMS, USSD, and Mobile Web platforms with the short code 33088. There are currently two games available to choose from, an instant numbers game tagged “SHOKI” and “SHAFFLE” which is a daily raffle game. With N100 game cost, a player can win up to N100,000 instantly and up to N1,000,000 in 24 hours by dialing or texting to 33088 or *33088# for USSD respectively.
According to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Humber Group, owners of TYLgames, Mr. Andrew Humber-Osofisan, “TYLgames is an innovative luxury product that is designed to positively touch gamers’ lives in real time.”.
“You can change your life with N100”, Andrew Humber-Osofisan said. “Currently, there are two games available to choose from, SHOKI and SHAFFLE. SHOKI is an instant number game while SHAFFLE is a daily raffle game. Every time you dial *33088#, you win a SHAFFLE ticket that qualifies you for a draw that will be done every night, making you stand to win up to N1 million. Every successful play is charged N100.”
On transparency, he said, the regulatory authorities and Lagos State government are fully involved hence the platform desire to be credible and transparent
The Managing Partner of Cognitio Communications, Mr. Sam Osunsoko, referred to TYLgames as a vision of empowerment due to the fact that it came at a time when the economy has suffered at the hand of COVID 19 pandemic.
“TYLgames gives you the opportunity to win different range of prizes that can help you cushion the effect of the current economic hardship” he said.
Mr. Bola Shodipo, Former Special Adviser to the Lagos State government on Revenue and Taxation, who encouraged and mandated the managers of TYLgames to make sure the platform is fair to the gamers, stated that state government is to ensure growing opportunities that can increase the GDP of the state. “TYLgames is an economic activity that can grow the GDP of Lagos State and by extension, the Federal government”, he said.
The Deputy Director/Coordinator National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lagos Zonal Office, Mrs. Onuzulu Priscilla Nkiru, ascertained that TYLgames is approved and that Humber Group has been doing the right thing from day one. She encouraged gamers to shout out if there is any reneging on promises made.
An elated Umoga who narrated his experience said, “I saw the game online and I played. I played only once and my number was picked. It is very refreshing to know that game like this exist in Nigeria. I want to encourage Nigerians to play this game because it is valid,” he said.
Amongst the thirty winners who emerged during the inaugural draws Umoga, the grand prize winner of N1 million, Mr. Opeoluwa Ogundibo and Mr. Kehinde Sadik were present at the cheque presentation ceremony.
OLOMORE RESIDENTS, MOTORISTS SEEEK ABIODUN’S INTERVENTION ON BAD ROADS
Residents of Olomore Housing Estate in Abeokuta North Local Government Area of Ogun State and Motorists have again appealed to the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun to urgently repair gapping potholes and bad portions of Olomore, Brewery roads.
Both residents and motorists had insisted that the areas has not had it as bad as it had been in the past two to three years under the past administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
The Community Leaders, Businessmen, Traders and Commuters in the areas have called on the governor to factor Olomore, Brewery roundabout into the key areas he would pay attention to, noting that it has been very difficult for people of the areas to ply the roads as they usually arrived lately to their various destinations.
A Community Leader, Elder Jacob Fagbounge said that it was pathetic that Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration had forgotten the people of the area, noting that no roads in Olomore Housing Estate was motorable, as even the link road had been in deplorable situation as such.
He said that it took the Community Development Associations (CDAs) of Olomore to take the bull by the horn in repairing the roads during the lockdown period, saying that no refund was made to them by the State Government till date.
“We need to repair the roads by ourselves during the lockdown period, as we find it very difficult to ply the road, though it was a self-help projects but now that it is beyond our capacity, Governments needs to come to our aid by putting the roads in better condition for the betterment of our people,” Fagbounge said
Solomon Ajakanri, a motorist, who plies Olomore- Brewery road, said it was sad that such a terrible road was still existing in Nigeria, while describing the road as a death trap, Ajakanri called on both the Federal and State Governments to take urgent steps to fix it.
“Imagine, a journey from Olohunda to Abeokuta that is supposed to be for one hour take well over two hours because of the poor condition of our roads, especially this Olomore and Brewery roundabout,” he said
It will be recalled that in July this year, Ogun State Government said that it was aware of the challenges confronting residents as a result of deplorable conditions of roads spread across the State, but till date most of these roads has not been attended to by the government.
The State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya then stated that all the deplorable roads across the state would be repaired, but those of Olomore, Brewery roundabout, Oke-Ata, Ibara Orile and many more remain same as at filling this report.
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