How 3,000 Nigerian S*x Workers In Italy Became Artists – Nike Art Gallery
The Founder, Nike Art Gallery, Mrs Nike Okundaye, popularly known as “Mama Nike”, said she changed the narratives of 5,000 Nigerian professional s*x workers through artwork training in Italy.
Okundaye disclosed this on Thursday at the “Destination Marketing Strategy in Cultural Tourism“ organised by the National Council for Arts and Culture in Abuja.
She said that she had a passion for training the trainers’ programme because she aimed at using artwork to reduce poverty, unemployment and crimes in society.
“My love is to train and people I trained should train other people. I was in Italy training Nigerian prostitutes, 5, 000 of them. We used artwork to change 3,000 to become artists.
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“These paintings you are seeing here are the ones that started in 1995.
“A lot of those prostitutes are now engaged and they are no more prostitutes.
“I was born into art, I am a fifth generation artists from my family and the way they passed education to the kids in those days, you teach your child what you do.
“When I completed Primary Six and I did not have money to attend secondary school, the weaving of “adire“ and the painting that I learnt from my father and mother are what I am doing today.
“I started this because of poverty but from poverty, I was able to become an icon in the society,” she said.
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Okundaye urged the youth to practise what they learnt from their parents and upgrade it in a creative manner.
“The message I have for the youth is that if your parents used akara money to train you, you have to upgrade that akara to burger.
“Upgrade and follow your heart and do things you have learnt from your parents. Do them and create them in a good way and always think positive,” she said.
Okundaye said since she opened the Nike Art Gallery in Abuja, youths have been coming over for training.
“I have had a training centre here since 1996. I have over 2,000 artworks in this edifice.
“I have a lot of artists that I trained. When I trained them, they trained others and they bring their works and if we sell them, they give us 10 per cent of the total cost,” she said.
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In his remarks, the Director-General of NCAC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, said he supported Nike Art Gallery to make it a destination market for Nigeria.
Runsewe described the arts and culture sector as public-private driven.
He said if Nike Art Gallery was given necessary support it would go a long way in reducing unemployment and crimes in the country.
“In most cases, we make mistakes in Africa for not recognising our own, not believing in our own and not developing our own.
“If the private sector or an individual can put up this type of gallery, what we need as the government is to support.
“This can generate a lot of resources for the country. If you travel to other parts of the world, they have galleries like this that you will pay to visit.
“One of the fundamental aspects of tourism is experience. Some people have never seen this number of paintings and fabric designs,” he said.
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He recalled that three weeks ago when an ambassador saw Fela’s painting, he felt like removing his dress.
“This is because he is one of the big fans of Fela. He continued taking pictures with Fela’s artwork.
“These paintings you see are therapy on their own. Some people when they are sick or down, this is what they use to come up with.
“We need to use what we have now to develop and promote our country. There are so many artworks here that can speak for Nigeria.
“For me, we will support Nike Arts Gallery and make it a destination in order to market the country,” he said.
VIDEO: Dismantle EFCC, Sack Bawa For Successful Anti-corruption War – Agbakoba
Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Olisa Agbakoba, has asked President Bola Tinubu to dismantle the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in his bid to have a successful anti-corruption war.
Agbakoba stated this while speaking in an interview on The Morning Show of Arise Television on Wednesday.
The legal luminary also urged the President to relieve the EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa of his job, in order to have a fresh leadership for the agency in the new administration.
He said, “We need to talk about anti-corruption. The anti-corruption process is not working. I have challenged the constitutionality of the EFCC. The EFCC is a behemoth and it needs to be dismantled.
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“Mr. Bawa needs to go because what he’s doing is not attracting people’s confidence. He needs to go. He’s always in battles with everybody. Now, he’s battling Metawalle. That’s not the way to fight corruption.
“We need to see Mr. Bawa step aside honourably so that the anti-corruption process can be seen to be genuinely fought by the President without any equivocation,” he said.
Tinubu needs to dismantle EFCC, sack Bawa for successful anti-corruption war – Agbakoba
Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Olisa Agbakoba said President Bola Tinubu needs to dismantle the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in his bid to have a successful… pic.twitter.com/CJXdhlw2SI
— Vanguard Newspapers (@vanguardngrnews) May 31, 2023
NAPTIP Sacks Director, Four Officers For Misconduct
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons has dismissed a deputy director and four other officers for various offences including bribery, corruption and leaking confidential information to suspects.
The Press Officer of the NAPTIP, Vincent Adekoye, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.
Adekoye explained that the offences range from corruption to demanding and receiving bribes from suspects and relatives.
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According to him, other offences committed by the officers were leaking confidential information to suspects that endangered the lives of colleagues, violating the oath of secrecy, stealing and alteration of official records and being absent without official leave.
He said, “These offences are all contrary to provisions of the Public Service Rules and other extant laws and regulations. Two other officers were demoted by two ranks for soliciting bribes from a suspect of human trafficking, while one officer was demoted by one rank for negligence of duty.
“The disciplinary actions followed the approval of the Governing Board of the Agency at its meeting of May 25, 2023. At that meeting, the board considered and ratified the decision of the agency’s Senior Staff Committee which earlier sat on the disciplinary matters in accordance with the Public Service Rules and other extant laws and regulations.”
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Adekoye also announced that a Federal High Court sitting in Sokoto State convicted a law enforcement officer and sentenced him to prison.
He said the officer was convicted on two counts of trafficking, contrary to section 26 (2) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act (2015) and was sentenced to five years on each count.
He added, “This is NAPTIP’s 37th conviction and counting for the year 2023.”
Otti Suspends Transport Levies In Abia
The Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, has suspended all transport levies imposed on commercial drivers in the state.
This was contained in a statement by the special adviser to the governor on Media and Publicity, Ferdinand Ekeoma, on Wednesday.
He stated that the directive was in line with the campaign promise of the governor to sanitize methods of revenue collection in the state and stop all kinds of extortion, intimidation and harassement of motorists.
The statement read, “The governor has directed the immediate suspension of all kinds of transport levies payable to Abia state government and imposed on Tricycles (Keke), Buses, taxis and other commercial vehicles plying Abia roads.
“This suspension takes immediate effect, and will remain until government reviews these levies and makes public its arrangements for the smooth, organized and transparent collection of such transport levies in a manner it would not lead to extortion, intimidation and violation of rights and privileges of Abia residents.
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“The government believes that the present method is archaic and very harmful to the lives of the people and the economic well-being of the state, and thus should not be allowed to continue.
“In the light of the above decision, the governor has asked all those involved, directly and indirectly to please discontinue forthwith, or face the wrath of the law, as security agents have been briefed and directed to apprehend and bring to justice anyone found violating this directive”.
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