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GBAJABIAMILA MOURNS EX-UNILAG VC, PROF OYEWUSI IBIDAPO-OBE

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Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has expressed sadness over the death of a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oyewusi Obidapo-Obe.

He said Prof. Obidapo-Obe, who died on Sunday at the age of 71 was one patriotic Nigerian who gave his best toward the development of his country.

In a condolence statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker said Prof. Obidapo-Obe’s death was a great loss not just to the academia but also the country.

Gbajabiamila recalled with nostalgia how Prof. Obidapo-Obe, a onetime chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, made remarkable strides during his term as the VC of UniLag.

Obidapo-Obe, who also later served as the VC of the Federal University Ndufu Alike, Ikwo( FUNAI), Ebonyi State, was until his death the chairman and pro-chancellor of First Technical University, Ibadan, Oyo State.

Gbajabiamila said his thoughts and prayers are with Prof. Obidapo-Obe’s family at this difficult moment, praying God to grant his soul eternal rest.

The Speaker also condoled with the Unilag Vice-chancellor Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, staff and students of Unilag and the entire university community over the great loss.

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Hon. Onari at 55: An icon and pillar of the progressive movement – Eze

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Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has felicitated with former Rivers Lawmaker, ex Admin. Secretary of the President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Office and Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Rt. Hon. Onari Brown.

In a statement made available to media houses, the party chieftain said Onari’s  stunning credentials and impressive antecedents speak of his unwavering commitment towards the development of society for the good of all of humanity.

Describing him as a man with a heart deeply rooted in compassion and love for humanity, Chief Eze said Onari, a consummate administrator remains an icon, an enigma, a study in resoluteness, benevolence, audacity, resourcefulness and above all, a composite gentleman with the fear of God.

The party Chief said his creativity in leadership and commitment to public service has earned him a place in public esteem and has positioned himself as an emerging force in public administration. Given his soaring profile, Onari is one man whose pride of place in the politics of Rivers State is unarguable

Asserting his thought on Rt. Hon. Onari Brown, the exceptional leader of our time, Rt. Hon. Dr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi stated, [in his birthday message to this great leader stated and I quote, “It is NY prayer that from this day, the hand of the Almighty shall guard abs guide you in a new dimension, and build you into the image of His thoughts towards you.”

In describing Onari, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, one of the outstanding Pillars of the APC in Nigeria said “Onari is a quintessential gentleman who rose through the ranks to become a reference for God’s amazing grace and mercy has continued to live a life of purpose and impact, even as he is deeply committed to the business of touching lives.”

While to another APC Leader and Chairman, NIMASA Board, Rt. Hon. Asita Honourable said this, “It brings me great joy to celebrate you today. I pray the Almighty God to bless you and wraps His mighty hands of protection around you on this special day and always “

Eze postulated further that one thing that differentiates and distinguish Hon. Brown amongst other leaders of his class is that he wears humility and loyalty as a cloth and today pride himself as one of the finest disciples of the political family of Rt. Hon. Dr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and one of the emerging powers in the politics of Rivers State

Chief Eze said after Onari served as the Director of Administration; (APC) 2019 Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) and  even when he could not be given any platform or recognition considering his inputs in the formation and stability of APC, he kept his cool and continued to work assiduously for the progress and good of a party on which ideology he believes until four years after when he was appointed as the Executive Director in Nigeria Ports Authority.

He said Onari’s qualities are true definitions of loyalty and the kind of patient a leader must posses. Unlike most of his colleagues who decided to jump ship immediately they were not considered for an appointment.

 

Background and Educational Qualifications of Rt. Hon. Onari Brown:

 Eze highlighted and postulated that Hon. Onari Brown was born on 13th February 1966, in Obonoma, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State and attended Government Secondary School, Ke, Degema Local Government Area, Rivers State where he obtained his West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1983.

He also attended Rivers State University of Science and Technology Port Harcourt from where he got his Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Management in 1990.

From the same Rivers State University of Science and Technology Port Harcourt, he had his Master of Business Administration (MBA) Management in 2009 and proceeded to obtain Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) in 2013.

He is a Fellow, Chartered Institute of Public Diplomacy and Management.

 

Working Experience:

Accordingly, Onari Brown has a summary of twenty three (23) years of Post Qualification working experience in the Banking, Energy Servicing and Politics/Public Service Sectors. He worked with Oceanic Bank International (Nigeria) Limited various branches across the country in Treasury, Marketing and Operations from 1993 to 2000. He worked with Mipet Services Limited Port Harcourt, as the Head, Personnel/Administration from 2000 to 2004.

He was also a Supervisor, Finance, Budget, Economic Planning, Education and Special Duties in Akuku-Toru Local Government Council, Abonnema 2004 to 2006.

His Political Journey:

On the Political arena, Onari Brown was a Member Representing Akuku-Toru Constituency 1, in the Rivers State House of Assembly from 2007 to 2015. He served as Chairman and or Member of various Committees, some of which were on, Commission and Agencies, Commerce and Industries, Information and Training, Agriculture and Urban Development.

As a Member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) he served on various Committees, key among them were: the All Progressives Congress (APC) 2019 Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) where he was the Director of Administration; All Progressives Congress (APC) State Congress Committee, Edo State; where he was the Chairman and All Progressives Congress (APC) Membership Registration Committee, Edo State; where he was the Secretary.

Hobbies And Inspiration;

His Hobbies include Reading, Sports, Nature watching and International Affairs while his inspiration is Amazing Grace.

Congratulating him on his birthday, Eze expressed thanks to President Buhari and his son, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, for duly recognising the great qualities of this unassuming leader whose love for Progressives members is infectious.

Eze wished him the best in all future endeavours and prayed God to continue to give him the requisite foresight needed to make indelible footprints on the sands of time in his service to fatherland.

“Happy birthday my brother, friend and leader and may our great God not only bless your new age but grant you more fruitful years for better services to humanity”, Eze said.

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LAGOS, POLICE HALT PLANNED PROTEST, COUNTER RALLIES IN LEKKI OVER THREATS OF VIOLENCE

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The Lagos State Government has issued a stern warning to various opposing groups planning to embark on protests at the Lekki Toll Plaza on Saturday, advising them to shelve the plan. It is not an auspicious moment for such action, the State Government told the groups planning opposing rallies.

The position of the State Government was made known at a joint press conference held at the Press Centre on Thursday by the Attorney General of Lagos, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, and Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu.

The Government said it acknowledged the rights of the citizens to a lawful assembly and freedom to express their feelings as guaranteed by Section 39 and 40 of the Constitution, but it said the rights did not give any citizen the freedom to block highways and prevent other citizens from moving freely within the State.

Onigbanjo said the Government would not allow any group to push the State, once again, to the edge of carnage, strongly advising those organising the “Occupy Lekki Toll Gate” and “Defend Lagos” protests to desist from the planned action. He said the State Government’s respect for the citizens’ rights to protest should not be seen as a licence to break the laws, warning that any individual or corporate organisation that incites an action leading to the destruction of public and private properties would be prosecuted and be made to pay damages.

He said: “Attention of the State Government has been drawn to the planned protest scheduled for Saturday February 13, 2021 at the Lekki Toll Gate for and against the opening of the Admiralty Toll Gate. The State is aware of Sections 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which guarantees the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. However, such right does not permit the violation of the rights of other citizens in the State.

“While the State recognises the importance of exercising the rights to peaceful protests, the same cannot extend to blockage of roads or actions preventing other members of the public from enjoying their fundamental rights to move freely within the State. Any individual or corporate body that incites or condones any act leading to the destruction of public and private properties shall be prosecuted under the extant laws and in addition to any penalty the court might pronounce. Such person or body will be liable to compensate for any damage, which may arise as a result of the action or inaction of such person or body.”

The Attorney General also said the public health crisis occasioned by the spread of deadly variants of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) should discourage anyone attempting to assemble people for the planned protests, urging all groups to consider COVID-19 protocols that limit public gathering not to be more than 50 persons.

Onigbanjo, therefore, directed the State’s Police Command to stop opposing groups from holding rallies in Lekki and any other parts of Lagos.

Odumosu said the security intelligence gathered by the Police Command indicated the “Occupy Lekki Toll Gate” protest and planned counter rallies would degenerate into a breakdown of law and order, stressing that the police will not allow any group to carry out the action.

The police chief said adequate arrangements on the deployment of security forces had been put in place to stop any violent protest, gathering and procession in any part of Lagos, stressing that the Police Command would rise in protection of law-abiding residents from any form of the violence.

He said: “The Police Command has gathered credible intelligence that some hidden agents of destruction and shadow parties that orchestrated the last EndSARS violence have concluded plans to cause another mayhem in Lagos and spread the same to other parts of the country, tactically and spontaneously, like the recent violence.

“Premised on the available intelligence and due threat analyses carried out on the planned protest, the Police Command perceives such proposed protest as a calculated attempt to cause pandemonium and massive destruction of lives and properties under whatever guide; such will not be allowed to hold in Lagos.”

Odumosu appealed to the general public to advise their wards to ignore mobilisation for the protest and gathering in flouting the existing peace and security situation of the State. He said the police would resist the protest with necessary force, while respecting the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Omotoso said the steps taken by the State Government on the planned protest was not to take away the fundamental rights of the citizens, but to prevent re-enactment of the event that led to destruction of public and private assets last October.

The Commissioner sued for peace, urging the organisers of the planned protests and rallies to allow the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry conclude its investigation on what transpired between the military and EndSARS protesters.

“We believe this kind of tension and anxiety being brought forward by the planned protest will not allow the panel to do a thorough job. If the authorities allow the protest and counter rallies to go on, there would be a breakdown of order and Lagos is not ripe for such action. It is on this premise that the State Government is appealing to all parties to thread with caution. Both sides have the right to express their feelings, but the time is wrong,” Omotoso said.

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SANWO-OLU MOURNS JAKANDE

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has mourned the passing of the first Civilian Governor of the State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande.

Jakande, a renowned journalist and elder statesman, who governed Lagos State during the aborted Second Republic between 1979 and 1983, died on Thursday at the age of 91.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, on Thursday said the late Jakande will remain one of the best public office holders in the political history of Nigeria based on how he transformed Lagos State and Nigeria during his tenure as Honourable Minister of Works.

The Governor said Alhaji Jakande popularly referred to as ‘Baba Kekere’ brought a lot of development to Lagos State as governor between October 1,1979 and December 31, 1983 in line with the five cardinal programmes of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), founded by the late sage and former Premier of the Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

The Governor also described the former Minister of Works as an epitome of honesty, dedication and selflessness, who used his elevated positions for the betterment of the people he served.

Governor Sanwo-Olu said the late Alhaji Jakande is one of the few Lagosians and Nigerian leaders that demystified politics by bringing governance closer to the people.

He said Jakande left with impeccable records in Lagos State and that is why he remains till date, a reference point for governors in Lagos and other parts of the country.

He said: “On behalf of the Government and people of Lagos State, I want to express my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and associates of the late Alhaji Lateef Jakande as well as members of the progressive community.

“No doubt, the death of Alhaji Jakande is a colossal loss to Lagos State and Nigeria. He made lots of positive impact and contribution during his lifetime to the growth of our dear State by introducing housing and educational programmes that targeted the poor, building new neighbourhood primary and secondary schools and providing free education for all.”

“Baba Jakande within his four years in office established the Lagos State University. His government constructed over 30,000 housing units,which were of great value to the masses.

“Having distinguished himself as ‘Action Governor’, Alhaji Jakande was appointed Minister of Works in 1993 where he replicated his developmental programmes, by building thousands of housing units in different parts of Nigeria as Federal Low Cost Housing Estates.

The Governor added that the late Jakande’s selling point is not only in politics but journalism, his chosen profession.

“Alhaji Jakande also made remarkable contributions to the media industry as a respected journalist and media manager. He used the power of the press to influence positive changes in the country’s social and political landscape.”

The Governor reminded Lagosians that the best way to immortalise ‘LKJ’ as late Alhaji Jakande is popularly known, is to ensure that good governance the deceased advocated spreads to every facet of the Nigerian society.

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