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OPINION: Ekweremadu On The Cross

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Tunde Odesola

Babatunde Raji Fashola, God bless him. When you watch American presidents, past and present, and hear how inspirational words drip with honey from their mouths, you wonder why inspiration is almost non-existent among Nigerian leaders just as black is non-existent among rainbow’s seven colours.

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In an article, “Fashola’s eureka moment at Lekki toll gate,” I criticised Fashola, the incumbent Minister of Works and Housing, when he miraculously discovered a hid-in camcorder, James Bond-like, at the Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos, days after the ever inept regime of retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari ordered assassins to kill protesting innocent youths on October 20, 2020.

When in November 2020 Fashola told Nigerians to direct their demand for infrastructural development to state and local governments, and not Buhari, because both governments are closer to the masses, I responded with an article entitled, “Fashola dresses Buhari in borrowed robes.” I also wrote “Fashola and the angels” when Fashola said in November 2019 that Nigerian roads were not as bad as Nigerians portrayed them.

Since 1999 till date, however, no Nigerian politician, living or dead, has uttered a statement as profound as what Fashola said when cornered at the nation’s capitol in Abuja by congressmen who were desperate to set him against his godfather, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, while fielding questions in 2015 during a ministerial nomination screening.

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Asked to comment on his taut relationship with Tinubu at the time, Fashola responded, “May our loyalties never be tested.” He continued, “In the course of my work, there was a family that had a parent who had a kidney malfunction, and (the) diagnosis was that the patient needed a transplant, and needed to go overseas. We had a procedure in government where we help indigent people who apply to get a board review and get overseas treatment.

“When we had paid and they were to go, the question was who was going to be the donor? It turned out that the only matching kidneys were those of her two daughters, and none of them was willing to give a kidney for their mother, but that was their supreme test of loyalty.

“So, I alway pray that my loyalty will not be tested because you do not know, you may have to take a bullet for somebody or even your own child.”

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FROM THE AUTHOR:
OPINION: Tinubu’s Karma And Osinbajo’s Ingratitude (2)

Life is, indeed, a rollercoaster of twists and turns. From an enviable life lived on horses, hailed with trumpets and entertained by cymbals, the tide of life suddenly changed for serving senator and immediate past Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who found himself on the back of a furious tiger in faraway UK last week. In Igbo language, ‘Ike’ means power. Surely, the embattled senator needs all the power to save himself and wife, Beatrice, from ending in the belly of the tiger.

A test came the way of the Enugu-West legislator and his wife when their daughter, Sonia, was diagnosed with renal malfunction last year, triggering a search for a donor.

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Last December, what a relieved father and a happy mother thought was an answer to their prayer appeared in the person of Ukpo Nwamini David, a homeless young lad, who lived on the streets of Lagos, and a UK visa was procured for the prospective kidney donor, en route to Royal Free Hospital in the UK, where the transplantation was scheduled.

The tale ostensibly developed a twist after David landed in London and the medical test performed on him to know if his kidney matches Sonia’s came out negative, thus an onward journey back to Nigeria loomed. When the doctor inquired about his age, David said 15, despite his passport saying he’s 21. This prompted the invitation of the police whom David told he was brought into the UK for organ harvest.
But does the Nigerian David look as young as his teenage Israelite namesake who killed Goliath? I’ll say no.

Ekweremadu means: “Human beings are unreliable.” What a name! Some claims by the two parties – the young boy and the Ekweremadus – appear unreliable for now, hence the police have remanded Beatrice and Ike in prison pending investigation outcome.

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The 60-year-old lawmaker was arrested alongside his wife at the Heathrow Airport on their way to Istanbul, where they were purportedly going to continue their search for another kidney. A cash of $20,000 was allegedly found on Ekweremadu, who has denied the allegations of organ harvesting and exploitation, just like his wife. Both husband and wife were represented by separate British lawyers.

Investigation by yours truly shows that the cost of setting up a kidney dialysis centre in Nigeria is a mere N25m, an amount which isn’t up to the sum being spent by the Ekweremadus to perform kidney transplantation on Sonia.

A Nigeria-based consultant physician and nephrologist, Babajide Gbadegesin, described Nigeria’s healthcare system as primitive, stressing that the system had yet to reach the underdeveloped stage, not to talk of reaching the developing or developed state. He noted that subsequent Nigerian governments had engaged in medical tourism instead of developing the sector.

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Gbadegesin said, “Our healthcare system is so primitive that it has remained at the neophyte stage. Sadly, there’s a global upsurge in diabetes and this has led to a consequent upsurge in the incidence of diabetes-related kidney failures in Nigeria.

“Dialysis and renal transplantation are well known medical treatments for patients with renal failure.The three major types of renal replacement therapy are haemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and renal transplantation, which is the gold standard.

“To set up a dialysis centre with just one machine will cost about N25m. This will include the cost of the machine which is between N12m and N15m, land, building, a water treatment unit, good water storage system, catheters, and other consumables.”

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Explaining that transplantation was the most preferred option of the three kidney treatments, Gbadegesin said it offered patients good quality of life and is not as time and money consuming as haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis in the long run.

FROM THE AUTHOR: OPINION: Tinubu’s Karma And Osinbajo’s Ingratitude (1)

“Dialysis costs up to N40,000 per session, and you do this thrice a week. That is N120,000 weekly. Some centres take N50,000 or N60,000 per session,” said the physician, warning that there was a strong link between the use of bleaching creams, toning injections, toning pills, consumption of herbal concoctions, herbal aphrodisiacs and renal malfunction.

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Shedding light on the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 by which the Ekweremadus are being tried, Gbadegesin said, “The UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 frowns on inducement of any form. You can only be in the UK to donate organs to a family member whom you’re genetically related to or to someone you have close personal relationship with. This means that only your siblings, husband, wife, partners, friends can donate organs. And it must be established that there’s no inducement.

“There’s nothing like buying a kidney in the open market in developed countries like the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Germany etc. When a citizen or legal resident needs a kidney transplantation, it’s the government – through the National Health Insurance Scheme – that’ll get a kidney from the national bank for the patient – if the patient demands it or can’t personally get a donor. Many people in those countries donate their organs to the national organ bank at death.”

When coronavirus commenced mass killing of the rich and poor between 2019 and 2021, a sensible leadership would have embarked on overhauling Nigeria’s health sector. Instead, the Buhari leadership embarked on pervasive corruption and N100m presidential nomination forms.

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To go home free, the Ekweremadus must answer these questions without canting: Did they inform the parent(s) or guardian(s) of David before flying him to London? How did David come to agree to donate his kidney without the promise of a reward? What’s the source of the money in David’s account? If the Ekweremadus answered these questions successfully, they would have proved that David was just a Good Samaritan that strayed into Nigeria. If not, the maximum penalty for contravening MSA 2015 is life imprisonment.

May our loyalties never be tested.

Tunde Odesola is a seasoned journalist, columnist with The PUNCH newspaper and a guest writer at Info Daily.

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Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com
Facebook: @tunde odesola
Twitter: @tunde_odesola

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Opinion

OPINION: ASUU, Keyamo And Buhari’s Profligacy

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Suyi Ayodele

Former human rights activist, Mr. Festus Keyamo is from Effurun in Uwvie Local Government Area of Delta State. I passed through Effurun on Saturday, July 30, 2022, on my way to Omadino, an Itsekiri town. Keyamo has been in government for seven years. I did not see any positive impact of his being a minister of the Federal Republic in his hometown. The roads are still very deplorable. The traffic by the popular Effurun roundabout snarled as usual. So, I was not surprised, when I saw him on national television last Friday, approving the closure of our universities, since February 14; six months ago. You definitely cannot give what you don’t have. Someone who has no empathy at home, will likely not have sympathy for the weak outside. I will come back to what he said at the interview, presently.

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When the history of Nigeria is written from its contraption as a nation in 1914, to the end of this present pseudo-democratic dispensation, the government of General Muhammadu Buhari will go down in history as the most insensitive, incurably deaf, pathologically dumb and pitiably unexciting. I refused, deliberately, to add wickedness to the qualities of the over seven-year old government of the Daura-born retired General. Since a figurine was sold to us in 2015 as a Messianic meteor from the celestial realm, the nation has witnessed negative attributes that cast the present administration as a leadership that thrives in wickedness. And it will not matter how the promoters of the government and its Hallelujah orchestra would want us to see the Buhari government. In their sub-consciousness, the promoters and the man who heads the comatose government, know that their place in history is on the negative side. No amount of window- dressing, propaganda or advocacy, like the one marshaled by Festus Keyamo last Friday, can change the verdict of history.

Since February 14, 2022, till the moment you are reading this piece, a period of 176 days, ASUU has been on strike. That is half of a year. The strike action, as we all know, was called by the Union because the government refused to honour the valid agreement it willingly entered into with the university lecturers in 2009. From the time the agreement was signed some 13 years ago, only God Himself knows how many times ASUU had gone either on full strike, warning strike, or entered into negotiations with the government. While canvassing for votes in the build-up to the 2015 general election, one of the issues on the front burner, and which the then opposition All Progressive Congress, APC, and its candidate, General Buhari, used to de-market the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration, was the issue of ASUU strike. From Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the one, who claimed to have single-handedly installed Buhari, to the very vuvuzela of the opposition party and now a minister in the badly-run government, Lai Mohammed, Nigerians were told once Buhari was sworn in as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, strike by university teachers and other unions in our tertiary institutions would be a thing of the past. Nigerians believed them and chased Jonathan back to his Otuoke, Bayelsa State country home. Now, the hoi polloi are wiser. Not only has the Buhari government failed to honour the 2009 agreement, it has reneged over and over again, on the new common fronts his government found with ASUU. The cerebral union has been raped over and over again by Buhari and his deceits, such that at a time in history, ASUU went on strike for nine full months. The sad implication of Buhari’s infidelity to ASUU struck me on Tuesday last week when some children returned from their school. One of them announced: “Daddy, I am now a 400 level student o”. I stole a glance at him as we meandered through the barricades mounted on the road by some aggrieved Nigerians, protesting one of the inhumane policies of the government, and asked him about his secondary school classmates, who opted for public universities. His answer got me thinking and I was very sad. Those poor students across the country, who gained admission to the university the same year, are still in their second semester of part one, or first semester of part two! That is what Buhari’s insensitivity has done to the Nigerian children.

Unfortunately, it is the same government that Keyamo went on a national television to defend. For all he cares, ASUU can go on strike till the second coming of the Saviour because the Buhari government would not borrow money to pay them. The former “human rights activist” turned politician, asked Nigerian parents to go and beg ASUU instead of appealing to the government to fulfill its agreements with ASUU. Keyamo is not just a lawyer. He wears the Silk as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN. He was noisy in his days in the human rights community. I am sure those who mistook him as one of them and as a freedom fighter, are in pain now. I am not in the least disturbed because I can differentiate noise from real sound. As a SAN, Keyamo knows the sanctity of agreements. He knows that once you put pen to paper and sign the dotted line, going back on the terms, letters and spirits of the signed document is not only criminal, but equally immoral. But he is in government. And not just an ordinary government, the one that has no single blood of humanity flowing in its veins and those of its handlers. I knew almost immediately the Buhari administration began in May 2015 that nobody would be in the administration and retain his or sanity afterwards. If you ask me, I will tell you without blinking that the first thing anybody in the Buhari government traded off is his or her humanity. Check all of them out and tell me anyone in this government who will pass the test of humanity, compassion and kindness. Keyamo asked: “Should we go and borrow to pay N1.2trillion yearly? Terrible! What the Urhobo, Delta State -born lawyer asked us is if we expected the government to borrow to get our children back to school. But what he did not tell us or ask us is how much of our patrimony his principal, Buhari, has spent on his interminable medical trips to the United Kingdom. He failed to tell us how much a pint of blood costs in a London hospital, where Buhari once spent 104 days. I take a bet that Keyamo, in his wildest activism, will dare not ask his principal how much airport charges Nigeria paid to keep the Presidential Jet at Heathrow for months, while Buhari was hovering between heaven and earth. What percentage of N1.2 trillion would the Buhari hospital bills, estacodes, Basic Travel Allowances for aides and other ancillary expenditure be?

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FROM THE AUTHOR: OPINION: Nigeria’s Democracy On Life Support

Keyamo, again, did not take into cognizance that whenever his principal becomes invalid and hands over the nation to a cabal, the nation loses in trillions of hard currencies. He failed to recognise that our economy would have been a lot better had we been fortunate to have a president who is physically fit, mentally alert and psychologically sensitive. The SAN did not know, or ignored the fact, at that interview, that a town which makes the invalid its king does not prosper because the health of a king determines the prosperity of the town. He is also ignorant of the fact that if the Buhari administration, at its inception, had employed core economists to run the affairs of the nation, there wouldn’t have been need for Nigeria to borrow a dime. Had it been we have people, whose knowledge of basic economic theories is higher than that of a POS sales girl, our Naira would not have been left to be in its present free fall, thinking that things will sort themselves out. Keyamo, in his bid to defend the voodoo economic policies of the Buhari administration, failed to take into account that the N1.2 trillion he bandied as ASUU demand came to that figure because the administration he serves has spent the last seven years and three months blaming others for its lack of focus and directionless policies. He is deliberately ignorant of the fact that he, as a junior Minister of Labour and Employment, and his principal in the ministry, Chris Ngige, are misfits, whose trainings, dispositions and intellects have no bearing in dealing with a cerebral body like ASUU; hence they keep compounding the issues for an already apathetic government.

Again, Keyamo said: “You cannot allow one sector of the economy to hold you by the jugular and then blackmail you to go and borrow N1.2 trillion for overheads when our total income would be about N6.1 trillion”. What a way to reason! Did it not occur to Keyamo, at that interview, that nobody has held the country “by the jugular” more than a president, who spends half of his days nursing his failing health?. Does the senior lawyer need us to tell him that by the lukewarm attitude to the issue of insecurity, banditry, Boko Haram, insurgency and killer herdsmen, the Buhari government under which he serves as a junior minister, has held and still holds Nigerians’ windpipes? If Keyamo thinks ASUU is the one trying to “blackmail you (Nigeria) to go and borrow N1.2 trillion for overheads”, can we ask him who “blackmailed” this government to donate one million US dollars to Afghanistan? ASUU? Was it ASUU that “blackmailed” the Buhari government to lay standard gauge railway to Maradi, Niger Republic, while trains in Nigeria got stuck in the middle of nowhere because of lack of diesel? And if indeed, the government cannot pay ASUU because “you have roads to build, health centres to build, and other sectors to take care of” , as Keyamo argued, can we simply ask him how good is the road to his Effurun home town? How many Federal Government hospitals are in Effurun? Funny people!

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FROM THE AUTHOR: OPINION: Oyetola, Aregbesola And The Palm Oil On Their Bedclothes 

But while Keyamo was at it, dissipating energy to defend his principal, Buhari had a different game. To the shame of Keyamo, his ilk in government and “the-government-is-broke” orchestra, Buhari approved the sum of N1.141 billion for Niger Republic to purchase vehicles for its security personnel! That is a government that has kept our children at home for the last six months because it has no money to pay ASUU. Talk about insensitivity; think about Buhari! I will refer you, dear readers, to my March 8, 2022, piece on this page titled: “Nigeria: The Story Of A Squatter Who Nurses A Pet Dog”. That is what Buhari does. My people say “Eniyan ti a nbo kii bo aja” – he that is living on charity to feed does not rear a dog. Keyamo said Nigeria cannot afford to pay ASUU but his master doled out N1.141 billion of our patrimony to his brothers in Niger Republic. Nigerians daily live at the mercy of bandits and are killed like poultry products yet we are supporting another country to fight insecurity. Have you seen the rickety vehicles the Nigeria Police Force uses? You wish to puke when you read some of the things this administration does. Hours after bandits attacked Kuje Prison and set free felons, Buhari jetted out to Liberia to deliver a lecture on security. How many police stations have functional vehicles in Nigeria? How many patrol vans would Innoson Motors, for instance, have given us with the N1.141billion Buhari’s Father Christmas gift to Niger Republic? When you think of those things, you will come to one conclusion: This government is not just insensitive; it is congenitally wicked!

Suyi Ayodele is a senior journalist South-South South-East Editor Nigerian Tribune and a columnist with the same paper

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2023: Niger-tuary, Land Of The Living Dead [OPINION]

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Tunde Odesola

As the Boeing 747 airliner descended at the J.F. Kennedy International Airport, spread-eagled, its massive tyres forked out, grinding the New York tarmac on the dot of 4pm.

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This was when Abba Kiyari roused from his deep slumber since the Delta airplane embarked on the 13-hour flight from Lagos, Nigeria. All his life, he had never slept for 13 straight hours before. Only a powerful sleeping drug could make him do so. When was he injected? He had no idea.

He took in his environment, slowly; he was sandwiched between two sunglasses-wearing white male Americans on the very last row of seats in the commercial aircraft. Kiyari looked across the aisle to his left, a well-built black man in suit kept a straight face with a large dog sitting beside him. Across the aisle to his right were two young ladies in black T-shirts that announced their collective identity, FBI.

“FBI?!”, Kiyari thought to himself, letting out a silent fart and two drops of urine in his pant. He lifted his right hand to suppress a yawn but the hand was snapped back by a handcuff shackled to the seat.

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Gradually, everything came back to him: The FBI had got an injunction of the Federal High Court, and served it on the Inspector General of Police: “Release Abba Kiyari for immediate onward journey to the US.”

“Welcome to America, Mr Kiyari,” one of the white guys greeted politely as the plane taxied to a stop. He unlocked the handcuff on Kiyari’s right hand.

Like the Very-Important-P he was, a convoy of police cars pulled up to pick Kiyari outside the arrival hall en route to Rikers Island Prison, Queens, New York. He appeared in court the next day and was remanded in prison custody till March 17, 2023, his birthday.

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However, it was a memorable reunion for Kiyari, his fellow compatriot, long-time business partner and fraudster, Ramon Abass aka Hushpuppi; and Obi Okeke aka Invectus Obi, another compatriot and solid internet fraudster, in the prison.

Hushpuppi: Oga Kiyari, na your face bi dis? When you land for God’s Own Country? I’m very happy to see you. (Smiles, stretches out his hand.).

FROM THE AUTHOR: Gbàjàbíàmílà: Once Upon A Thoughtless Speaker [OPINION]

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Kiyari: Hush, no be so we talk am nah. (Reluctantly shakes hands).

Hushpuppi: Oga A-K, you too see say na cast di deal cast nah.

Kiyari: But you supoz no mention my name nah. You ruined the career of an awaiting IGP.

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Hushpuppi: I no mention your name; FBI bust my phone and retrieve all our conversations and voice notes ni.

Kiyari: Wetin go come happen now?

Hushpuppi: Heaven no go fall, oga. Make you just relax and await your sentencing. Here safe pass Ikoyi and Ass–o-Rock.

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Kiyari: Me, the begotten son of President Bubu go to jail?

Hushpuppi: Even Bubu go go jail if e commit crime against America. You think say here na abbattoir like Naija? Tell your Bubu to dey pray make International Crimnal Court no open book reach the human right abuses im maladministration commit for Lekki Tollgate. Broz, you don see Obi?

Kiyari: Which Obbi? The politician?

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Hushpuppi: No, our own Obi, the Guy Man. Invectus.

Kiyari: Oh, dat one? E dey here, too?

Hushpuppi: Yes nah…Ah, see am dey come for front so.

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(Obi walks up to the duo. Greetings)

Obi: Good to see you, Abba. Which day you land?

Kiyari: Yesterday.

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Obi: How Naija nah?

Kiyari: Naija dey o, everybody dey busy with 2023.

Obi: If Nigerians wise, make dem vote for Obbi. Na im bi di messiah.

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Hushpuppi: Becos na your brother, abi? Obbi ko, Obiagheli ni. Na Bourdillion go win the election, jo!

Kiyari: As Sai Baba don allow US get me, na Atiikuu Waziri I dey support now. After e enter, e go arrange my freedom.

Hushpuppi: Atiikuu na don, Bourdillon na mafia. Oga Kiyari don port fast-fast.

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Kiyari: I don port o. But Obbi can never win.

READ ALSO: 2023: Lord, Give Us A Criminal For President [OPINION ]

Obi: Why?

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Kiyari: E no get experience. Na guy man.

Hushpuppi: Correct!

Obi: No, he’s not 419, he’s just smart like Trump, that’s all.

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Is that why your people are wishing him dead?

Hushpuppi: Leave matter for Matthias. Tell your idol to declare where e get money to build personal supermarket while serving as governor. We also sabi wetin happen for the brewery matter.

Obi: Chai, see Hush dey talk about corruption o? Fear God nah!

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Hushpuppi: You no talk? Why I no fit talk about corruption? Nigeria na game and we all bi players, including the pre-sin-dential candidates. Me, I no talk say Bourdillon na angel. Na No 1 thief e be. But na im I go mobilise for even from prison here because e sabi chop and share.

Kiyari: Me, na Atiikuu I go mobilise for because na fellow northerner and professional presidential candidate. Make no hypocrite come dey do like saint for where I dey o. If no bi for wetin happen to me, I for don open Obbi yansh nah. You sabi say na thief dey know how to catch thief. See di man wey admit say im put state money inside private account come dey claim saint now.

Hushpuppi: Na di same man get foreign accounts while serving as governor o.

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Obi: Seriously, are you guys comparing Nigeria’s foremost principalities, Bourdillon and Atiikuu, with Obbi? Are you guys mad?

Hushpuppi: We no mad. E gbe kini yi wa, Bourdillon lo kan! Giam Bourdillon, na im turn!

Obi: Hush, you’re rooting for someone who owns the treasury and state of Lagos since 1999? I know we’re scammers, but, please, let’s say the truth for once! Obbi is not in the same class with Bourdillon and Atiikuu. Never! Oil doesn’t mix with water.

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Kiyari: Abeg, leave story! No bi una people dey call Nigeria zoo before? When did the zoo turn into paradise? The North will never allow your people to rule. Never!

Obi: Kiyari, you prefer to die worshipping someone who privatised all Nigeria’s assets into his pocket, ehn? America jail im senator, Jefferson, wey folo Atiiku do deal but some people big pass the law for Naija.

Kiyari: Leave us alone. We no dey jail for North.

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Obi: You, Hush, your candidate na real bat: fake origin, fake parentage. No visible investment, yet e sit on top multibillion political empire wey consist governors, ministers, senators, representatives, CEOs etc.

Hushpuppi: Who no dey fantastically corrupt among Nigerian leaders? Mention one.

Obi: No dey compare whistle with thunder, Ofe-mmanu. Pickpocket different from armed robber, Mala (fool).

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Hushpuppi: Na you sabi, Ajòkúta-mámumi.

FROM THE AUTHOR: OPINION: Ekweremadu On The Cross

Kyari: Hush, leave the Nyamiri alone. Dem tink say dem wise. When Obbi queue behind Atiikuu four years ago, Atiikuu na saint. But now, na devil.

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Obi: Let’s leave pettiness, Ofe-mmanu and Aboki; Nigeria needs rescue fast!

Hushpuppi: Continue with your internet terrorism as if na only eastern votes go win di election.

Obi: Obbi is young, healthy and willing to serve.

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Kiyari: Make e carry im will go wilderness.

Hushpuppi: All Bible prophets na old men.

 

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Obi: Bullion vans, senator wife, Iyaloja daughter, billionaire son, missing secondary school certificate…

Hushpuppi: Leave am, e don repent. Obbi daughter no dey Pandora Papers?

Kiyari: What of Obbi wey list im high credit score as qualification for presidency?

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Hushpuppi: Dat na anoda misleading claim. Even me wey dey jail get highest credit score. Any idiot can have highest credit score nah.

Obi: Una sabi say Igbo bi di most enterprising tribe for Naija. We go survive if heaven fall.

Hushpuppi: Ta! Enterprising kill you there! Stinking arrogance!

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Obi: Ok, make una continue with una madness.

Kiyari: Na we own Naija.

Hushpuppi: Jaga lokan.

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Tunde Odesola is a seasoned journalist, columnist with The PUNCH newspaper and a guest writer with Info Daily.

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com
Facebook: @tunde odesola
Twitter: @tunde_odesola

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Capt Hosa Okunbo: Remembering A Legendary Philanthropist, Bridge Builder One Year After

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By: Ifetayo Adeniyi & Patrick Ochoga

It was former South Africa President, late Nelson Mandela that wrote, “Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and country, he can rest in peace”.

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While one of the greatest and famous Scientist that lived, Albert Einstein wrote about death, “Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us; our bodies are only wilted on the tree of life”.

A sad fact is that with life comes death. It will happen to all of us. But that doesn’t make dealing with or understanding it any easier.

The devastation that the death of a friend or loved ones causes is profound. And facing up to our mortality can be distressing too.

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So, looking for a way to cope or help with the loss of someone is natural. We seek ways to make tough times that’s bit easier, as well as some understanding.

Exactly, on the 8th of August, 2021, dark clouds covered the blue sky for millions across the globe when the news of the demise of a global icon, an illustrious leader, a father, business mogul, philanthropist, industrialist, a humanist, a brother and grandfather, late Capt (Dr) Idahosa Wells Okunbo, (JP), was snatched by the cold hands of death to join his creator.

It was indeed sad and devastating that Capt Hosa had gone to join the saints. He was everything good to those who came across him.

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Expectedly, the passing of iconic business mogul attracted reactions across the world among those who knew him and those who had encountered him cannot but be overwhelmed by his penchant to always champion and pursue peace and unity in the society.

Tributes that greeted his demise last year was a clear testimony to the fact that Capt Hosa lived a life worthy of emulation by all men of good and clear conscience.

His path to greatness as rightly submitted by many who spoke during his burial were unanimous in the fact that Capt’s larger than life image was indeed a gift not only to his Edo people but to the world and those whose path crossed during his sojour here on earth.

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It was difficult for us during his demise to pen down a tribute for a man we considered, a father, benefactor, whose large heart to always put a smile on faces and give listening ears had gone.

In all our interaction with Capt which we will cherish is also a reminder to reflect deeply about legacies and what one would be remembered for after we must have gone.

READ ALSO: Captain Hosa’s Son Pays Tribute To Late Father, Reveals Some Things His Father Told Him

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In his usual baritone voice in some of our conversations often talked passionately about his desire to make an impact in the Nigeria economy and lives of the people with his God’s given wealth he will say, “listen my friends, I’m not driven by money but by value. When you create value naturally money will come. That for us, sank and quite inspirational and that has guided us in our professional dealings.

His love for God at all times was visible aside the fact that his late father was a Reverend; his passion for things of God was legendary. He would say, “God has done so much for me beyond my life expectations. I will serve him forever him”. He would say.

Sustaining Legacies

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As aptly captured during the grand burial, ‘Capt. Lives Forever’. His children led by the scion of the family Osahon Okunbo and the Olori of Warri Kingdom, Olori Atuwatse III has continued to toe the path of their father by sustaining and keeping to his legacies which are worthy of commendation.

READ ALSO: Edo APC Mourns Captain Hosa, Says Its Owes The Businessman Gratitude

They have ensured that their late father’s vast investment which cut across all sectors of the economy continued to flourish, a demonstration that they are indeed the scion of a noble and influential family of the Okunbo’s.

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In keeping faith with their father’s legacies, his children and family members came together during their father’s 64th posthumous memorial birthday on 7th January, 2022, doled out free scholarship to 100 under privileged students in public’s schools in Edo state.

Also, the first daughter and wife to the Olu of the Warri Kingdom, Olori Atuwatse III, on behalf of the Okunbo’s family fulfilled their fathers promised by providing solar-powered streets light to Government College, Warri where the late philanthropist attended.

In faraway Northern state of Keffi, Nasarawa state, the Keffi Polo Club also donated a cup to the memory of capt Hosa’s outstanding development of polo games. The cup according to the organizers was one of their initiatives to immortalize the philanthropist who was a patron of the club before his demise.

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Biography

Late Capt Idahosa Wells Okunbo, (JP) attended Government Primary School Benin City and Federal Government College Warri, where in 1975, he wrote and passed the West African School Certificate Examination, (WASCE) in flying colours.

In 1979, he graduated from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Training Centre, (Zaria) as a professional Commercial pilot . He was just 21 years old at the time. He began his professional career with Aero contractors Nigeria Ltd. He later joined the Intercontinental Airline, where he accumulated most of his flying experience in jet time. He thereafter proceeded on further training at the Acme School of Aeronautics in (Dallas Texas USA) in 1983, where he obtained an Airline Transport Pilot license; the young Idahosa Okunbo was promoted in the same year to the position of Airline Captain, having accumulated a compulsory 4,500 flying hours to his credit at the age of 25 years.

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Having reached the zenith of his profession at the age of 25, with a broad horizon of experience traversing various aircraft types and flying over different continents, he felt the need to pursue new challenges and subsequently ventured into other endeavours.

It was this singular decision and the desire to engage in new pursuits that led him into oil and gas terrain. He quickly identified the windows of opportunities inherent to his new aspiration in the Oil and Gas sector and registered his company, Hoslyn Ventures Nigeria Limited in 1986 targeting procurement for refineries as the area of core competence.

Capt Okunbo later realized the enormity of the commitment required in this industry which had zero tolerance for part-time human capital investment. At the age of 30, he resigned as an Airline Captain with Okada Airline, after booking over 7, 500 hours of flight time (most of which was jet experience).

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Hoslyn Venture was responsible for the successful supply of refinery catalysts which were used in major refineries in Nigeria. Hoslyn was also involved in major revamp projects and procurements in the Oil and Gas sector and also participated in the procurement of major engineering components for the Warri Refinery Turn around Maintenance, (TAM) in 1992. Never scared to take a new challenge, Captain Okunbo , through Hoslyn Technologies Nigeria Limited , one of the first indigenous companies to carry out Engineering , Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract in Nigeria, was able to complete and commission the early production facility for Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, (NPDC) at Ajoki Oziengbe South field in 2001.

He was the Executive Chairman of Ocean Marine Solutions LTD , (OMS), a company that provides relevant, effective and modern solutions to high –risk security concerns in Nigeria. Among other services, OMS provides Maritime Management and Logistic, Sea Patrol Security and Ocean Vessel Escorts.

READ ALSO: Olu Of Warri: What Captain Hosa Said Before His Demise

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As Chairman, Captain Okunbo continues to provide leadership for a host of other successful local and international companies.

Principal among them are: CMES-OMS Venture Limited (an integrated energy related company with enormous capacity to provide financing and technical solutions to the upstream Oil and Gas sector) , Wells Property Development Company Limited (a company involved in the development of affordable properties for low income earners, high net-worth individuals and office development), Gyro Air Limited (a private airline charter service with a fleet of aircraft in its ownership ), Wells procurement Services Limited , The Wells Carlton Hotel and Luxury Apartments (Abuja), The New London Carlton (London). Wells Entertainment Limited (entertainment and movie production), Westminster Security Solution Nigeria Limited (franchise of Westminster Group Plc Uk in which he was a shareholder), Wells Bakery and FEVA TV are both making waves in Canada.

Prior to his demise he was also on board of many striving companies. May his gentle soul continue to rest in peace our great Capitano, the iroko to Many forest.

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