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OPINION: Oyinlola Keeps His Promise Despite Tinubu’s Victory (2)

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Tunde Odesola

After reading the first part of this article last week, Oyinlola called me, and as my phone was ringing, I was tempted to fetch the bitter kola in my hunter’s pouch, take a bite, gargle some aromatic schnapps and chant the incantation, “Ohun ta wi fun ogbó, l’ogbó n gbo, ohun ta wi fun ogbà, l’ogba n gba, kóse kóse ni ti ìlákòse, á sùn má párádà ni ti igi àjà… tùèh!”

I wasn’t going to harm Oyinlola with my chant. Far from it. I was only going to safeguard the kill that Ògún Lákáayé Ósìnmólè, the god of War and Iron, had secured for me, a gunless hunter, from a gunnery old soldier. I didn’t want to hear, “Tunde, I mistakenly sent some bags of cowries to your vault. I’m sorry; they’re not meant for you. They’re meant for Tunde Kelani, the world-renowned cinematographer.”

Well, if Omo’ba Lagun had tried to recall the ancient legal tender aka cowries in my possession, in the manner Bible-loving Godwin Emefiele recalled the naira, I wouldn’t have been sheepish like the Nigerian masses. I would’ve stood up to him and reminded him of the epic Battle of Òrè during the Nigerian Civil War.

Oyinlola knows the art and science of war. He knows why the intensity of the Òrè Battle is prefixed with the phrase ‘O Le Ku’, Ija Òrè. It was in Òrè, Ondo State, that Biafran forces were turned back by federal forces.

I would’ve refused to return the cowries because in vain the moinmoin seeks escape after entering the house of agidi corn meal. The bracelet is cast on the wrist of Olóòsà, nobody can pull it off! I’ll remind Oyin that the Kelani that directed Ò Lé Kù also directed Agogo Eewo, which affirms the efficacy of African traditional powers. I have the full support of the Awise Agbaye, Prof Wande Abimbola, and the Araba of Osogbo, Baba Yemi Elebuibon.

FROM THE AUTHOR: OPINION: Travelling Through Nigeria In Tinubu’s Yacht

When I picked up Oyin’s call, his voice was unmistakable, “Young man, you want to reveal what we did in secret, abi? I’m going to sue you and press for damages because people are going to bombard me.” I protested, “They’ve been bombarding me too, despite my incantations, sir.” “Na you sabi di fake incantation you’re chanting. You’re muddling ‘Ohun ta wi fun ogbó, l’ogbó n gbo’, and ‘Fírí, fírí loju n ri, bòhùn, bohun làgùtàn ń wò’; the two serve different purposes. One is to make you do what you wouldn’t do, the other is to render you powerless,” he said. Hmm, I could see Oyin doesn’t know Ifa has gone digital.

Oyin belongs to the rich cultural past when mothers exhaled thrice ‘ha! ha! ha!’ before slicing open the gizzard of a freshly killed fowl, nowadays, ‘ha! ha! ha!’ could indicate delirium or the commencement of cult war. Nowadays, everything is muddled up.

Oyinlola continued, “I was the one God used to end the Ife-Modakeke War, not Chief Bisi Akande, as contained in the first part of your article. When I became governor, they were still fighting, albeit on a low scale. So, I went to Ooni Sijuwade Okunade. I told him, ‘Kabiyesi, you’re the only one who can put a permanent end to this crisis’. I said he should cooperate with me. Thereafter, I went to Baba Ogunsua, the late Chief Francis Adedoyin. I told him of the need to put a permanent stop to the war. I pleaded with him to follow me to Ife. And he agreed.

“It was on a Sunday. Modakeke people said Ife people were threatening that Ogunsua should not come. I said the Ogunsua should come in my car, that anyone who wants to kill or harm him would have me to contend with first. When we got to Ife, we entered the palace, and Ogunsua was given a seat, but he refused the seat and sat on the floor.

FROM THE AUTHOR: OPINION: My Children Won’t Suffer What I Suffered

“At the meeting, I suggested to Oba Sijuwade that all the lands of Modakeke seized by Ife should be returned, and he agreed. I also urged him to upgrade Ogunsua, who was a baale, to a king. Sijuwade also agreed. Also, I implored Sijuwade to pay all the salaries accruable to Ogunsua, which had been seized, during the war. Oba Sijuwade agreed to that, too. That was how the war ended permanently. So, when people ask what my greatest achievement was as governor, it is ending the Ife-Modakeke war, not the Osun State University, not the numerous infrastructural projects. Human life is sacrosanct.”

Never dig the hole of antagonism deep because you might find yourself in it, counsels a Yoruba proverb. I was the Lagos State Governor’s Office/Lagos State House of Assembly reporter when the letter transferring me to Osun State as correspondent came. Some of my Alausa colleagues I shared my impending destination with warned me of virtually everyone on Oyinlola’s media team. “Ha! Lasisi will want to control you.” “Oh! Oladeji is cunning. You can never know where he’s going.” “Salam is manageable, but don’t trust him totally.” The advice came in torrents. But I never allowed what I had heard about the trio to affect my relationship with them.

I cherish and nurture friendship. An ex-Osun House of Assembly Speaker, Chief Adejare Bello, was the first politician I met when I got to Osun. His enigmatic Press Secretary, the late Olumide Ajayi, (my ‘aburo’) saw me the day I arrived and insisted I must see his ‘oga’ in Ede. I complained it was getting late, but Olumighty begged. He was such an irresistible soul. I succumbed.

When Bello left government, I still kept in contact with him. Bello, now the Ambassador to Mexico, loves football. His team is Real Madrid and his favourite player is Ronaldo. Hardly a day passes without me needling him about the inability of Ronaldo to win the World Cup like my favourite player, Messi did. In return, he would remind me that Real Madrid are superior to Barcelona, my team.

During the Qatar 2022 World Cup, I was rooting for Argentina while Bello was seeking their ouster. When Argentina got to the final and I started to diss Bello, he said in annoyance, “Argentina will never win the cup.” “The cup is already in Bueno Aires,” I fired back. “Do you want to bet?” “Yes, sir, I want to bet.” “How much?” “N100k.” “OK?” Ok!”

FROM THE AUTHOR: OPINION: When I Forged My Exam Record

When the referee blew the final whistle and I was jumping about the house, thanking God for crowning Messi’s stellar career with a World Cup, my phone rang, it was Bello, “Tunde, congratulations! Send your account number, please.”

“N100k just like that? Why have you been wasting your time in journalism? Why don’t you become a pundit and make money, Tunde?” I wondered.

I don’t like to bet. The few times I have betted in my life, I returned the won bet. But what’s N100k to an ambassador? Did I ask for the win? Tunde, send your account number jo! I did and heard an alert shortly afterwards.

In 2011, inside PUNCH newsroom, I predicted the outcome of the 2011 Osun governorship election. Saturday PUNCH had on its cover the map of Osun, showing the 30 local government councils. The election was a straight fight between the incumbent, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, and the challenger, Chief Iyiola Omisore. Saturday PUNCH Editor, Mrs Bisi Deji-Folutile, predicted victory for Omisore.

The Executive Director, Publications, Mr Adeyeye Joseph, now Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, asked if I was the one that shaded each candidate’s areas of strength on the map. He was told I wasn’t. He called for me and directed that I handle the map.

On election day, Aregbesola won in all the 22 councils while Omisore won in the eight I predicted, though there were one or two councils where I predicted victory could go either way. When I got to the office on Monday, Segun Olugbile, the news editor, told me Saturday PUNCH editor was looking for me. When she saw me, she was full of praise for me.

I speak regularly with General Oyinlola. After the 2023 presidential election, I called Oyinlola to get his view. He said Alhaji Atiku Abubakar would win but I said Tinubu would win. He said, “Do you want to bet?” “Yes,” I said. “How much,” he asked?” I said, “Sir, let me stake N500,000.00 to you N5m.” He said, “Which type of betting is that?” Are you betting or not,” he asked with a military finality. I said, “Yes.” “How much?” he asked again. I said, “If I bet N500,000, I’ll win N5m.”

Last Monday, I got an alarm from a microfinance bank. I called Oyin. He said, “I am a soldier. I keep my word.”

Concluded

This article written by Tunde Odesola, a columnist with The PUNCH newspaper was first published by the same paper. It’s published here with the permission from the author.

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Alhaji Ibrahim Dende Egungbohun: A Philanthropist Par Excellence, Business Magnate

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Alhaji Ibrahim Dende Egungbohun, born on March 3rd, 1970 in Igbo Atan, Ebute Igbooro, Yewa North, is a prominent Nigerian businessman and entrepreneur known for his successful ventures in various sectors. He hails from Ebute-Igbooro in Ogun State, Nigeria.

Early Life and Education:

Alhaji Ibrahim Dende was born and raised in Ebute-Igbooro, located in the Yewa axis of Ogun State. He received his primary education at Saints John Anglican Primary School and later attended Ebute Secondary School. Additionally, he pursued further education by enrolling in various online courses. Notably, he obtained a Master’s Class in Leadership from the Commonwealth University and acquired knowledge in Business Art and Technology from the London Graduate School. Throughout his career, he continuously expanded his expertise by completing several business courses online.

Career:

Alhaji Ibrahim Dende began his career in the field of clearing and forwarding, gradually diversifying his business interests into multiple sectors. He demonstrated exceptional entrepreneurial skills and successfully ventured into hospitality, quarry and mining, automobile sales, and real estate. His company, IBD-Impex, has become one of the fastest-growing privately-owned companies in Nigeria. Under the subsidiary, IBD Hotels, he has established a leading brand in the hospitality industry within Ogun State. Through his business endeavors, Alhaji Ibrahim Dende has made significant contributions to the local economy, generating employment opportunities and actively supporting the communities in Yewa land.

READ ALSO: Economic Hardship: Edo NLC Chairman Leads Protest In Benin

Personal Life:

In addition to his professional achievements, Alhaji Ibrahim Dende enjoys a fulfilling personal life. He is happily married and blessed with children. Furthermore, he is widely recognized for his selfless philanthropic activities, which reflect his commitment to giving back to society.

Awards and Recognition:

Alhaji Ibrahim Dende has received numerous accolades and honors from prestigious organizations, both locally and internationally. His philanthropic ventures and exceptional contributions to society have garnered recognition and appreciation. Notable among the awards he has received are the Chartered Fellowship Award from the International Association of World Peace Advocates, the Outstanding Award from the Oduduwa Development Initiatives, and the Distinguished Merit Award from the Yewa People Development Council. His dedication to serving humanity and supporting noble causes has also been acknowledged by organizations such as the Lions International Abeokuta Lions Club, the National Community Ethics and Value Environmental Compliance Corps, and the Arewa Gamji Emirate Royal Council.

Alhaji Ibrahim Dende’s commitment to excellence in business, community development, and philanthropy has made him a respected figure and a source of inspiration in Yewa land and beyond. His remarkable achievements and positive impact continue to shape the lives of many, making him a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs and a beacon of hope in his community.

Furthermore, Alhaji Ibrahim Dende is the founder of the IBD Foundation, a charitable organization that has transformed the lives of many individuals. With the support of his wife, Omolara Egungbohun, and the Managing Director of IBD Hotels, the foundation has made a significant difference in the lives of those in need.

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[JUST IN]Attack On Journalists: Edo NUJ Takes Decision On APC

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The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State council has put on hold the planned boycott of activities of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

This was a decision reached at an emergency congress held by the council in Benin on Tuesday, February 27, 2024.

The decision followed letters of apology and commitment written by the APC and addressed to the state council of the NUJ and national secretariat of the union.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: CBN Begins Sales Of Dollars To BDCs

Recall that during the party governorship primary held on February 17th, some thugs from the party invaded Lushville Hotels, venue for collation of the governorship primary election, attacked some journalists and also damaged their equipment.

The NUJ, Edo State council thereafter gave the APC an ultimatum of seven days to apologize to the council and also to replace all equipment damaged.

The Edo NUJ also threatened that failure to do so would attract a protest from the council, that is, boycott of all activities of the party in the state.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Joe Ajaero Leads NLC Protest In Abuja

INFO DAILY reports that the ultimatum expired last Sunday and the council was about taking a decision to boycott the party activities when the letters came.

Addressing members of the council , chairman, Edo NUJ, Comrade Festus Alenkhe said the decision to put the boycott on hold became necessary after the party promised to pay for all equipment on before March 16.

Alenkhe said: “Base on these letters of apology and commitment to replace all damaged items, Congress has therefore today resolved that the decision to boycott all activities of the APC is therefore put on hold.

“And we also agreed that between now and 16th of March 2024, the APC in Edo State has also agreed to replace all equipment belonging to the 10 journalists who were attacked. Failure to do so before this date will make us to convene an emergency congress and take decision on the matter.

“… for now, I want to implore all journalists in Edo State to continue to cover APC activities in Edo State.”

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JUST IN: CBN Begins Sales Of Dollars To BDCs

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced its decision to sell foreign exchange worth $20,000 to each eligible Bureau De Change operator across the country.

This is coming more than two years after the suspended former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, stopped the sales of foreign exchange to BDC operators in that segment of the forex market.

The apex bank disclosed this in a new circular issued and signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Hassan Mahmud, on Tuesday.

The circular titled, “Sale of Foreign Exchange to Bureau de Change Operators to meet retail demand for eligible invisible transactions” said the move aimed at rectifying the persisting distortions in the retail segment of Nigeria’s foreign exchange market and bridging the widening gap in the exchange rate.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: CBN May Increase Bureau De Change’s Share Capital To N2bn

It said the allocation will be sold at a rate of N1,301/$, reflecting the lower band rate of executed spot transactions at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market as of the previous trading day, dated February 27, 2024.

The circular read, “Following the ongoing reforms in the foreign exchange market, aimed at achieving an appropriate market-determined exchange rate for the Naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria has observed the continued price distortions at the retail end of the market, which is feeding into the parallel market and further widening the exchange rate premium.

“To this end, the CBN has approved the sale of foreign exchange to eligible Bureau De Change to meet the demand for invisible transactions. The sum of $20,000 is to be sold to each BDC at the rate of N1,301/$- (representing the lower band rate of executed spot transactions at NAFEM for the previous trading day, as of today, 27th February 2024).

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Tinubu Seeks Senate Confirmation For Five CBN Directors

“All BDCs are allowed to sell to end-users at a margin NOT MORE THAN one per cent (1 per cent) above the purchase rate from CBN.”

It further directed eligible BDCs to make Naira payments to the designated CBN Foreign Currency Deposit Naira Accounts and submit confirmation of payment, with other necessary documentation.

All eligible BDCs are directed to make the Naira payment to the designated CBN Foreign Currency Deposit Naira Accounts and submit confirmation of payment, with other necessary documentation, for disbursement at the appropriate CBN Branches ABUJA, AWKA, LAGOS and KANO,” it added.

The CBN in frantic efforts to save the free fall of the naira has made a number of significant reforms towards addressing Naira depreciation, such as probing and clearing FX backlog, limiting forex for foreign education and medical tourism, increasing BDCs’ minimum share capital, and curbing FX speculators, among others.

Details later…

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