THE NIGERIA/AFRICA’S YOUNGEST AUTHOR, CLOCKS 18. (OLUEBUBE SHARON JAMES)

Miss Ebube, the Morning of her 18th birthday

Miss Ebube, the Morning of her 18th birthday

April 11, 2018 Nigeria/Africa’s youngest author,  clocks 18 and according to the Guinness book of records, probably the second youngest female published author in the world, after Dorothy Straight who was born on May 25, 1958 in Washington, DC, USA, and wrote “How the World Began” in 1962, aged 4. It was published in August 1964 by Pantheon Books.

Born April 11, 2000, she enrolled in Beulahfield Nursery & Primary School in 2001 at the age of 9 months. She started writing at the age of 5, but presented her first published book on her 6th birthday, April 11, 2006 “FREEDOM”

She was described then by the Lagos State Polytechnic Magazine as the “The Guinness Book Of World Records success breaker and youngest author in the World”.

In 2007-2008, she received the Beulahfield Nursery & Primary School, Certificate of Merit for the overall best performance in neatness. Sharon is also involved in philanthropy works; she donated foodstuffs, clothing and a tricycle to the Center for Destitute Empowerment, Idimu Ejigbo in 2007. She has been interviewed on Women Tower FM, Israel, Radio Nigeria, Inspirational FM 92.3, TVC, NTA2 Channel 5. In 2010 she served as her School Social Prefect while in Primary six. Same year, on February 10, she was voted as ‘The Western Magazine “Face of the future – EBUBE, Nigeria’s Young Author”, on February 19, 2010, she launched project “WASH-A-HAND” and donated 18 wash hand basins to all the classes from nursery one – primary six in her school. On July 28, 2016, her graduation day from secondary school, she donated 50 lap top bags to her class mates and school teacher in appreciation of time spent with them while in secondary school.

In December 2011, she got a special phone call from American based, Nigerian born Computer wizard Professor Philip Emegwali, who showed great interest in her book and encouraged her to write more.

On February 23, 2012, she played host to Professor George Luchiri Wajackoya in her school, when the American based Professor of Law and Kenya’s Presidential candidate visited her school. Prof Wajackoyah described his meeting with 12 year old Oluebubechukwu as the height of his joy, during his visit in Nigeria and in his words, “I have met with world leaders outside Nigeria and Kenya, but meeting with this young girl who is proudly standing tall even at this tender age is a thing of joy, I am honoured, and I consider it a great privilege to have her visit me specially.” Sir George made a contribution to the young writer towards her upcoming second book. She has also hosted in her school Chief Emeka Kalu PDP Chairman in the United States of America and Chief Reagan Ufomba an Abia State Gubernatorial candidate. In June 2015, she hosted Miss Nollywood Nigeria Gwendolyn Elohor Tagbarha in her school and donated 100 copies of her book to her.

On Monday February 10-17, 2014 she was voted the author of the week by the Port Harcourt World Book Capital 2014. On November 15-17, 2013, she was among the Readers at the “GREEN FESTIVAL” Green Reading’ young authors of the Lagos book fair held at the Freedom Park, Lagos. On August 2013, she was Special Teen Guest at “TEN TO SIXTEEN/COKER-AGUDA BACK TO SCHOOL BOOK FAIR” held at the Coker-Aguda Development Council. On July 17, 2013, she was appointed the Children Pastor during the Children’s Week program at the Redeemed Christian Church, Mount Zion Parish, David’s Court, Province 37, Idimu

On July 28, 2016, she received ‘Excellent Service Award’ for her contribution to her school FirstBuelahfield College, as the school Ambassador and Assistant Health Prefect. On May 27, 2016, she was among the “TIKFA Faces of the future: celebrating ten children affecting lives in Nigeria” OnOctober 3, 2015 she received a ‘Merit Award in recognition & celebration of her achievement & ground breaking ingenuity as Nigeria’s Youngest Published Author’ by SPEAK QUILL INITIATIVE (SQI) in celebration of Nigeria’s 55th Independence anniversary. On 30th September 2015, she was honoured with the Kwame Nkrumah Pan-African Meritorious Award by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Africa Genius Award Centre, Ghana. On February 20, 2015, she won the ‘Youngster of the Year’ The Ikenna Kalu Facebook Award (TIKFA) 2014. On July 22, 2014 she was awarded the First BuelahfieldCollege Promotion Merit Award for promoting her school at the national and international level. On July 20, 2013, she was appointed and crowned her School Ambassador – “First Buelahfield Ambassador” On July 17, 2012, she was awarded with a Certificate of Recognition form “Shake The Tree” Organisation in America, for her accomplishment and valuable contribution to the world of literature.

She has autographed her book for personalities including Professor Wole Soyinka, Professor J P Clark, Professor George Luchiri Wajackoyah, Governor Rotimi Amechi, General Jones Arogbofa, Chief Alex Akinyele jp, Chief Mrs. Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Ochiagha Reagan John Ufomba, Chief Olu Jacobs, Uncle Pelu Awofeso, (aka) Waka-About,  Amara Van Lere and many others.

She has featured in over two dozens of book readings in Lagos and other states including the: She delivered a talk at the CEE-HOPE’s Girl Conference and the review of ‘RUN’ her documentary film on girl marriage, October 16, 2016.  “REFLECTOR BOOK FESTIVAL” at the Obafemi Awolowo University on March 5th 2016.

She has donated over 7000 copies of her book, “FREEDOM’ to schools, Orphanages and NGO, She also donated books to the Internal Displayed Persons in Northern Nigeria through the ‘Young Bookworms of Nigeria’. On Saturday April 26, 2014 she featured on 92.3 Inspiration FM.  on “Teen Times with Chichi” and was subsequently appointed to reign from Monday April 28- May 5, 2014, as the week leading youth, “TEEN OF THE WEEK’ on the 9INETEEN magazine website. She also took part in March 1, 2014 ‘Notable Wo-Men of the Centenary‘ event held in Lagos.

She was also invited as a guest at the World Book Capital in Port Harcourt, where she donated 30 copies of her book for the program.

Magazines cover: She has been on the cover of the ‘Pacifist Success Digest Magazine‘ August 2016 edition and ‘Life Experience’ magazine May 2014 edition; cover of ‘Echonews School edition’April May 2012. Highlighted on the cover of ‘The National Pride Magazine‘ June/July 2006. She has granted interviews to over 10 publications and featured in 18 news-stories.

She is a member of the Lagos based CRIMMD Library, a member of the Children And The Environment (CATE). A volunteer member of the Beach Samaritan, a volunteer member of the CRIMMD FREE SKILL ACQUISITION CENTER FOR WOMEN. Her hobbies include writing, reading and bead making.

Her First book Freedom written at age 5+
Ebube producing a bag
 Pacific Success Digest features Ebube on the cover page
Ebube with her family
 Mrs Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, OON with Ebube
Prof Wole Soyinka with Ebube
 Prof Wajackoya with Ebube when he visited her in her school
 Miss Nollywood Nigeria Gwendolyn Elohor Tagbarha during her visit to Ebube’s school
Leading Africa television house and other station conduct interview for Ebube at the CRIMMD WORLD LIBRARY
Ebube signing an autograph for Gov Rotimi Amaechi of rivers state
 Mr Mike Awoyifa of the Sun Newspaper with Ebube .
Ebube after making a presentation in a program with some of the students
A Vanguard newspaper publication on Ebube 2006
A Newswatch Publication on Ebube 20006
when she received the Kwame Nkrumah Award with other recipients

Culled from – http://www.drraphaeljames.com

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WASTE TO ART RECYCLING WORKSHOP COMING UP IN IBADAN

AIE-logo-flyer.

The ancient and the Largest city in west Africa will host the first ever waste-to-art-recycling workshop from Apr 16 – Apr 21st , 2018 at the Alliance Française Ibadan, Oyo State.The first of it’s kind recycling workshop is organised by  Art Is Everywhere Waste-to-Art Project . Art is Everywhere is an annual recycling workshop project that focuses on waste-to-art initiative.

Artist
Art is Everywhere is an annual recycling workshop project that focuses on waste-to-art initiative. It was initiated in 2005 by Ayodeji Adewunmi in collaboration with the Alliance Francaise Enugu.
For more details visit – http://www.art-is-everywhere.com.ng
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ABOUT THE BIRTH OF IBEJI, EJIRE, TAYE & KEHINDE, TWINS IN NIGERIA (Taiwo Abiodun)

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Photo Credits – Adedeji Olalekan@stylomedia1

 

Twins, the birth of two offspring from the same pregnancy, is a relatively uncommon phenomenon, and as such, twins are often regarded as special.
Worldwide, the birth rate of twins varies by region and country. Latin America and Southeast Asia have the lowest rates, with only about 9 sets of twins per every 1,000 births.

In Europe, the figure is about 16 twins for every 1,000 births, and in the United States, it is about 33 for every 1,000 births.

And in central Africa, that number raises to around 18 to 30 sets of twins for every 1,000 births.

However, the Yoruba people of southwest Nigeria boast the highest number of twin births in the world, with about 50 sets of twins for every 1,000 live births.

And in Yorubaland, one town in particular appears to take the prize for the highest number of multiple births in the world.
Igbo Ora, a sleepy agrarian town 80 kilometers from Lagos, is easily the twin capital of the world: unconfirmed estimates from the town say it boasts a mind-blowing 158 sets of twins for every 1,000 live births.
At the entrance to the town, visitors are welcomed with a large plinth, which proudly celebrates its reputation as “the land of twins.”

While there is no empirical reason for the high incidence of twin births in the town, around Yorubaland, fertility experts say a possible explanation for the high incidence of multiple births in the area could lie in the consumption of a specific type of yam containing a natural phytoestrogen, which is thought to stimulate a woman’s ovaries to release eggs from each side.

The locals and residents of Igbo Ora, however, say the secret of their multiple births lie in their staple, which consists of the leaf of an okra plant and yam.

In a 2013 interview, a community leader said, “We eat a lot of the okra leaf or Ilasa soup. We also eat a lot of yam and these diets influence multiple births.”
Hardly could one get to a household at Igbo Ora, Oyo State, without seeing a set of twins. The indigenes believe that a kind of okra leaves, locally known as ewe ilasa, is capable of making women who use it give birth to twins. Taiwo Abiodun who visited the town writes on this phenomenon.

At the mere mentioning of Taiye or Kehinde in the public place could trigger a simultaneous response from more than four people. In other words, the names, being what twins are called (the former for the one who came first and the latter for the one who followed) in Yoruba land, unusually have more than one claimant in this land.

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OLAWALE RASHEED (MOR), GOVERNORSHIP ASPIRANT IN OSUN STATE ABRIDGED PROFILE

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Olawale Rasheed popularly known as MOR is a reputable journalist, media entrepreneur, philanthropist and a politician from Iwo, Osun West district, Osun state. He is aged 52 years and married to Sister Tolulope Olawale with maternal and paternal background from both Ekiti/Ijesaland.

Olawale had his Primary School Leaving Certificate from District School, Araromi Iwo,Osun State in 1979. Thereafter, he went to United Methodist High School, Iwo, Osun state, where he had his Secondary School Certificate in 1985. In 1990, he bagged Bachelor of Art Degree in English Language from the University of Ilorin, with Second Class Upper Division. Moreover, in 1993, the University of Ilorin awarded him a Professional Masters degree in Public Administration [MPA] with a focus on Public Policy analysis, Policy design, Policy management and Implementation

While at UNILORIN, Olawale was the Vice President, English Students Association, UNILORIN; General Secretary, Linguistic Students Association, Faculty of Arts, UNILORIN; and Editor of several departmental journals including Editor-in-Chief, Fesascope Press Club. His leadership trait was quickly noticed at the Post Graduate College, as he was made the Public Relations Officer, Post Graduate Students Association, and Social Director, Association of Masters of Public administration Students.

Politically, his Dad, late Pa Bilawu Akanji, who was a foundation member of Action Group, Unity Party of Nigeria, Social Democratic Party and Alliance for Democracy in Osun state, mentored Olawale Rasheed. Afterwards, he was a teenage member of the youth wing of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria. Also, a member of the defunct Peoples Solidarity Party; defunct Social Democratic Party; Member of the defunct Imeri Unity Group; and a member of the defunct United Nigeria Congress Party. As a prelude to the fourth republic, Rasheed was a member of the New Dimension, one of the political associations that fused to form the Peoples Democratic Party. He was present at the maiden meetings of the PDP in Abuja and Ibadan in 1998.

His political grounding was sharpened by his presence as a political assistant to a leading delegate at the 1994/1995 National Political Conference under late General Sani Abacha.As an active political player, Olawale Rasheed has been involved in several local elections and as much as such as five national and state campaigns at topmost levels. In addition, he had strategic political consultancy experience at national level. More notably, he actively participated in the political process as a politics journalist for more than 20 years.

Olawale Rasheed’s private sector experience, which has largely contributed to his development process, included his role as Bar Manager at the defunct Olode Hotel, Iwo, in 1977. In addition, he served as Education Officer at the Federal Capital Development Authority, Abuja during his national service [NYSC] period from 1990-1991. He was also briefly an Education Officer, in Igbo Elerin Grammar School, Oyo state from 1992-1993.
In 1995, Olawale Rasheed began his rewarding journalistic experience when he was employed as Proof Reader /Senior Reporter at Third Eye Newspapers, Ibadan, Oyo state. Within a year at Third Eye Newspaper, his sterling attributes caught the attention of Tribune Newspapers, who poached him and made him Senior Reporter [Political Desk] in 1996.

Soon enough, he was re-drafted as Lagos Political Correspondent, Nigeria Tribune: 1998-1999 and became National Assembly Correspondent, Nigerian Tribune, Abuja, between 1999 -2004. Swiftly, his career progressed as he was promoted to the position of Assistant Editor, Politics, Abuja, a role he held from 2000 to 2003. From 2004 to 2007, his career saw a deserving promotion when he became the Group Politics Editor, Tribune Newspapers and later Abuja Bureau Chief, between 2005 -2006. Olawale Rasheed’s steady rise in his career goes on as he was made Deputy Editor/Northern Region Editor, Tribune newspapers from 2011 to 2012.

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In a bid to fulfill his entrepreneurship goal, he quit Tribune newspapers to establish Sahel Media Group, collection of media outfits, where he is now the Group Chief Executive Officer.

On the public sector, Olawale Rasheed worked as the Media Officer to the Board of the Federal Capital Development Authority [FCDA] under Senator Olu Alabi in 2003. Prior to that, he had served as an unofficial Media Aide to late Minister of Internal Affairs, Chief SM Afolabi in 2002. From 2007 to 2011, he served as the sole Special Assistant to former Minister of Youth Development. In addition, he served as a Special Assistant to Minister of State Power: 2014-2015.

Olawale Rasheed had extensive experience in designing of many landmarks public policies as well as hands-on experience in the implementation of many public policies. He was part of the initiation of many public policy proposals. He served as a member of several sectoral policy committees and have deep experience in both social and infrastructural policy sectors.
Alongside his deep experience in intra and inter – governmental communications, he participated in many policy conferences, seminars, workshops and attended multiple international policy conferences and statutory meetings.
As a media and political consultant, his firm, Sahel Consult handles many high profile briefs both locally and internationally. His firm specializes in management of elections, media crisis and online reputation management. As a Government Relations practitioner, Rasheed specializes in management of inter face between citizens and government agencies and between agencies and other agencies of government.

In his quest for a better and just society, Olawale Rasheed founded the Society for Youth Research, an NGO devoted to advocating/sustaining innovative youth development. For his philanthropist gesture, he established the Olawale Rasheed Foundation in 2010 guided by the principle of “Charity in the Dark”. In addition, he founded the Osun Governance Society, a budding NGO devoted to study/analysis/innovation in policy process.

Olawale Rasheed has numerous awards, both locally and internationally to his name.

Osun People Shine your eye and reclaim your state back from destruction.

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BIOGRAPHY OF CHIEF OBAFEMI AWOLOWO G.C.F.R., S.A.N (March 6, 1909 – May 9, 1987)

 

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BIRTH
Jeremiah Oyeniyi Obafemi Awolowo was born on March 6, 1909, to Chief David Sopolu Awolowo and his wife Mary Efunyela Awolowo in Ikenne, Remo, in what is now Ogun State of Nigeria..

EDUCATION
He had his primary school education at St. Saviour’s School, Ikenne, and at Imo Wesleyan School, Abeokuta. His education at this early stage was interrupted for several years by the sudden death of his father in April 1920, an event that left him without financial support and compelled him to fetch firewood for sale, and do similar jobs, to support his schooling.

He had higher education at Wesley College, Ibadan (a teachers’ college) in 1927, and much later at the University of London as an External Student. He was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) and the Bachelor of Laws by the University of London. He was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple on November 19, 1946.

MARRIAGE
On 26th December, 1937 Obafemi Awolowo got married to Miss Hannah Idowu Dideolu Adelana. They remained each other’s best friend to the end; together they fought for the cause of justice and for the release of their fellow man’s mind from ignorance and the freedom on his body from disease. They had 5 children: Olusegun (1939-1963), Omotola, Oluwole, Ayodele and Tokunbo.

After a brief spell as school teacher, stenographer, and Daily Timesreporter-in training, Obafemi Awolowo set himself up in Ibadan as a produce buyer and a transporter. It was in Ibadan that his political life began to unfold: he served there as secretary of the Nigerian Youth Movement before he went abroad to study Law in Great Britain.

Back home from Britain, Awolowo formed the cultural group known as “Egbe Omo Oduduwa” in 1949 and a political party, the Action Group, (AG), in 1951 also known as Egbe Afenifere in Western part of Nigeria as part of the Social Programme for the emancipation of Yoruba race. His party won the first elections ever conducted in Western Nigeria. As a result of that victory, the AG formed the first elected government in the Western Region and Obafemi Awolowo, now a Chief, became the Leader of Government Business and Minister for Local Government in 1952. In 1954, Awo (as he had come to be fondly known within his party) became the first Premier of the Western Region. His party won the elections again in May 1956 and Awo retained his position as Premier. He voluntarily gave up that position when, on December 12, 1959, he was elected into the House of Representatives where he became the Leader of Opposition in Nigeria’s central legislature.

He stood up stoutly against mediocrity and drift in government, and began to define alternative channels along which Nigeria’s government should go. His own concept of a Nigerian nation was probably too advanced for his opponents, who began to see the Awolowo-led opposition as a major threat. Following a trial for treasonable felony, he was jailed for 10 years in September 1963.

By July 1966, Nigeria’s problems had become so interactable that disintegration of the country seemed inevitable. A new Federal Military Government promptly opened the gates of Calabar Prison, brought Awolowo out and appointed him as a minister to take charge of the country’s treasury and to provide political support as Vice Chairman in the Federal administration. In those two roles, he was one of the major architects of Nigeria’s victory over s~cession in the 3D-month Civil War. When the war ended, Awo waited just long enough to give Nigeria a National Development Plan; as soon as the Plan was completed, he resigned from the government, although, to his last day, he remained grateful to the man who gave him an opportunity to serve his country.

When Nigeria’s Armed Forces lifted the ban on civilian participation in politics in September 1978, Nigerians who believed in Awo’s political ideas and principles joined him in forming the Unity Party of Nigeria which presented Nigeria with a dynamic programme of socio economic change along democratic socialist lines. Awo led the party until it was banned, along with Nigeria’s other political parties, during the military take-over at the end of 1983.

Chief Awolowo was a great political thinker who committed many of his thoughts to writing. From 1946, he had started a long career in political writing, which flourished whether he was in freedom or in detention, whether he was in power or out of it. It continued to flourish till the very end of his life.

ACHIEVEMENTS:
Chief Awolowo’s greatest achievements resulted from the foresight, clear sense of direction and sheer competence that he brought into government.

At the beginning of his career in government, Chief Awolowo quickly reformed the Local Government system of the Western Region and took revolutionary steps to Nigerianise and improve the Western Nigeria Civil Service. An extremely good judge of men’s qualities, he had also put together a very efficient team of ministers. Having taken those steps, he was set to achieve within 5 years a string of “Firsts” in the history of Africa. Between 1954 and 1959, his government

evolved, and was served by, the most efficient Civil Service in Black Africa;introduced and successfully implemented the first Free Primary Education programme in Africa;introduced and successfully managed the first Free Medical Service programme in Nigeria – for children up to the age of 18;established the first Television Station in Africa;built the Liberty Stadium, the first such modem sports facility in Nigeria;introduced and successfully implemented the first minimum wage policy in Nigeria and actually paid to Western Nigerians from October 1954 a minimum wage that was doublethe amount paid to workers of the same level in some other parts of Nigeria;set up Nigeria’s first industrial complex at Ikeja;set up Nigeria’s first commercial Housing Estates at Ikeja and Bodija, Ibadan.

Besides these, Chief Awolowo’s government had laid the foundation for development in commerce and industry by creating an efficient Western Nigeria Development Corporation, the ancestor of the present-day O’dua Investment Company;taken successful bold steps to revolutionise the production and marketing of cocoa by farmers in Western Nigeria; and .created the infrastructure for rural development by promoting 900 cooperative societies in about 3 years and by providing within 5 years almost 10 times as many miles of road as he inherited from the British administration.

There is a not-so-visible achievement arising from all these. By making election promises and fulfilling them within a few years, Awo had led his region to evolve a culture that demands and evaluates a socio economic programme from those who seek to govern them.

In the Federal government, Awo managed the finances of Nigeria so shrewdly and so competently that the Federal Government successfully waged an expensive 30-month war against secession without resorting to foreign loans and without compromising its sovereignty.

HONOURS:
In recognition of his intellectual contributions, Awolowo was honoured by the following institutions of learning:
University of Nigeria, Nsukka: LL.D. (1962)
University of Ife, Ile-Ife: D.Sc. (1967)
University of Lagos: D.Litt. (1968)
University of Ibadan: LL.D. (1972)
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria: LL.D. (1975)
University of Cape Coast, Ghana: LL.D. (1976)

He was Chancellor of the University of Ife (1967 -1975) and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1975-1978).
In recognition of his professional contributions at the Bar, he was made a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 1978.

In recognition of his invaluable service to Nigeria, he was given the highest honour in the land, the Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR)in 1982.

He was honoured with many chieftaincy titles, including the following:

Asiwaju of Yoruba
Asiwaju of Remo
Losi of Ikenne
Lisa of Ijeun
Apesin of Osogbo
Odole of Ife
Ajagunla of Ado-Ekiti
Odofin of Owo and
Obong Ikpan Isong of Ibibio Land.

In recognition of his esteemed contributions, he was awarded the Grand Band of the Order of the Star of Africa by the Republic of Liberia in 1968, and made Grand-Officer de l’Ordre National du Lion, Republique du Senegal, in 1972.

PUBLISHED WORKS:
Republished many books and still had some in the press at the time of his transition. Among his best-known works are: Path to Nigerian Freedom (1947), Awo – an autobiography (1960), Thoughts on the Nigerian Constitution (1966), The People’s Republic (1968), The Strategy and Tactics of the People’s Republic (1970), The Problems of Africa: The need for ideological reappraisal (1977), Adventures in PowerBook 1: My March Through Prison (1985). Re had planned to launch Book 2 entitled The Travails of Democracy and the Rule of Lawon 6th June 1987.

The oldest privately owned newspaper in Nigeria, the Nigerian Tribune, and two other newspapers (the weekly Sunday Tribune and Irohin Yoruba) were founded and owned by Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

Courtesy: OBAFEMI AWOLOWO FOUNDATION

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BERNICE ERIEMEGHE, Head of Finance & Administration. Reject greek gift offer from EFE OMOROGBE .

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BERNICE ERIEMEGHE, Head of Finance & Administration.

THANK YOU MR OMOROGBE BUT NO TO YOUR GREEK GIFT
I have been informed that Mr. Efe Omorogbe and his group have asked me to take over as Acting General Manager of COSON.
I am a woman of honour and I hereby say ‘No’ to what I consider a Greek gift and a scheme that will result in divide and rule. My colleagues and I in the Management of COSON jointly signed a letter to the NCC in which we emphasized our position and informed them that issuing opaque directives to COSON which they know cannot be obeyed will result in chaos in the organization. We have also warned of our massive resignation should they continue to meddle in the internal affairs of the organization which we are capable of resolving. I have no intention of betraying my colleagues.
Furthermore, I was present at the COSON Extra- Ordinary General Meeting held in COSON Arena on December 19, 2017 when the members of COSON from every part of Nigeria spoke loudly and clearly in one voice that Chief Tony Okoroji should remain as the Chairman among other issues. Please let us all respect the collective will of the majority of the members of COSON that we are all accountable to and represent their interest.
Mr. Efe Omorogbe is a very good friend of mine but the interest and desires of the members of COSON is most paramount at this point. It is a statement of fact that the members of COSON do not want Mr. Omorogbe as their Chairman at this time. That is clear to me. Anyone trying to force him on the members of COSON does not mean well for COSON as this clearly is capable of destroying the organization.
For the avoidance of doubt, I will continue to support Mr. Chinedu Angus Chukwuji as General Manager of COSON and Chief Tony Okoroji as Chairman.
Thank you.

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Osun Governorship Race – Why I’m the Best. Olawale Rasheed

In this interview with one of the guber aspirants in Osun State, Mr Olawale Rasheed, he speaks on his political sojourn, integrated experience that qualifies him fit for the office, his convincingly innovative five point agenda for the state and other issues evolving the guber race.

Excerpts

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Can we meet you sir?

I’m Mr Olawale Rasheed (MOR), a media enterprenuer, policy analyst, former ministerial adviser and a former editor with Tribune newspapers. I hail from Iwo town, Osun west. I am the Director, Society for Youth Research in Nigeria and President, Olawale Rasheed Foundation. Equally, I am a Council Member, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the Director of the Chamber’s Policy Advocacy Centre. I am a foundation member of PDP and a political actor since the defunct Third Republic.

What is the current state of your political party, People’s Democratic Party both at state and federal level?

PDP has moved closer to resolution of her leadership crisis. What we await is a date for the conclusion of the congresses. Behind what you see as crisis is an unwritten agreement among all leaders that we must get over this mess and unite for victory in September. All leaders across factions agree to this. Leaders are aware that Osun people are waiting patiently and we have resolved not to disappoint our people. Also I must add that despite the internal feud, mobilisation for victory is ongoing state wide. The gubernatorial aspirants are winning more souls and are marketing the party to Osun people. Eventually, PDP will present an acceptable candidate to redeem the state from these years of locust.

There are reports that you’re likely to contest in the coming guber race in Osun State, how true is that?

That is very true. We are very much in the race because we know Osun state at this point in time deserves a new millennium, new age leadership. On all parameters, we are convinced we have a lot to offer the state at this critical point in time.We have over two decades of political experience during which we served many leaders. We have close to three decades of private sector experience during which time we traversed the length and breadth of Nigeria as a politics journalist. We have close to six years government service experience from the social to infrastructure sectors during which time we partook in critical policy making and implementation. We have also devoted our time working on policy design and innovation in a depressed economy both as Director of Society for Youth Research and Director, Policy Advocacy Centre of Abuja, Commerce Chamber. We thus have an all round integrated experience qualifying us for the top job.

Beyond that, Osun at this point does not need a super human as a leader. We need a leader who can identify with the poor and govern with the fear of God. We need a leader who will govern from the people and not from the shadow. We need a leader who will simplify governance and enforce truly pro-people, pro-good governance agenda. We need a leader who will embrace open government initiatives. Let open up government’s accounts to the people; let embrace open procurement; let embrace open budget; let embrace open information access; let embrace open expenditure; let embrace open decision making. To all these I am committed to, hence my interest in the guber race.

From historical trace, you’re one of the founding members of the People’s Democratic Party, will you say this will enhance your chances of getting the guber ticket of your party?

The beauty of my aspiration is that I am a political son of most key leaders of the party. We have been with many of the leaders for long. They know me growing up politically. I worked with many of them at close quarters. I was there at the maiden meeting in Abuja in 1998 and at the maiden meeting for South West at Ibadan. I was the Director of Publicty for the governorship campaign in 1999 when our leader and elder, Senator Oluwole Alabi was the guber candidate.We are like party strategists.We have paid our dues.

That experience is combined with competency. We are lucky to have distinguished ourselves in many critical assignments. So our candidacy is an integration of qualification, experience and competency. Olawale Rasheed as a guber candidate will unite the leaders and win the state for us.

Our partnership with the youth sector is the strongest among all the aspirants. Our five point agenda is convincingly innovative and workable -10 point action plan against debt; Human Approach to Governance; Business-State Property Partnership; Local Content Infrastructural Plan; and Open Government Initiatives .

And of course, we are seeking for one thing – the grace to serve the under-privilged, the neglected, the jobless, the poor, the abandoned, the greater mass of our people. We will govern with fear of God and we will redeem our state from this repressive reign.

Do you think your party has the wherewithal to wrestle with the ruling party, considering the internal wrangling in your party?

The fight for change of government in September is beyond PDP. It is of the people backed by God. Our God has seen the suffering of our people. The Israelites were powerless before Pharaoh but the strong arm of God fought for them. So I can assure you PDP will win with God and the people. That is why many leaders are careful about the guber candidate. The leaders are listening and studying the feelings of the people to ensure we have the right man for the job. Just go to the streets of our major towns -our citizens want a new face, unsoiled hand with requisite integrated experience to tackle the job at hand. The job at hand is that of technocat with applicable political understanding and emphaty for the poor.

How would you access the government of the ruling All Progressives Congress at the state and federal level?

If Osun state is to be a company, by now it would have entered into receivership and the managers probably in jail. That is the bitter truth. So my view – Governor Aregbesola is an ambitious developmental planner with skewed financial skill. It is great to have huge infrastructures. But many questions will follow. Why the huge contract cost? Why the unsustainable borrowing habit? Why the failure to balance human and infrastructural needs of the people? Why the opaqueness in government contract and finance? Why the arrogance of power and neglect of leadership responsiveness? Why the near zero love for workers welfare?

Osun state is in a mess irrespective of white washing and propaganda.

What will you do differently?

As a Governor, I won’t probe my predecessor. I won’t probe the tenure of Governor Aregbesola. I would rather concentrate on cleaning the mess using my five point agenda. First, I would tackle the debt crisis. I have a ten point action plan specifically designed to address this. Then I will go into creating prosperity through business government partnership ,our number two agenda. Here Osun will be transformed into a huge economic machine alongside a modified Japanese/Korean model. The partnership will raise revenue, create massive jobs and ensure communal prosperity in place of growing poverty. Three, we will enforce human approach in governmental plans. Education and health will be handled innovatively and workers welfare will become first line charge. We have the best integrated youth development agenda. This is our area of speciality. We have about 12 sub-plans under the human approach. Four, we will stop capital flights by innovatively implementing a comprehensive local content infrastructural plan. Local contractors and local content are key policy direction. We will implement social procurement, the first of its kind in Nigeria. And lastly, we will rebuild trust in government. We will do this by adopting open government initiatives.

Like I said above, Let’s open up government’s accounts to the people; let’s embrace open procurement; let’s embrace open budget; let’s embrace open information access; let’s embrace open expenditure; let’s embrace open decision making. To all these I am committed to, hence my interest in the guber race.

By then Osun people will trust the governor to lead them to prosperity.

Source PrimusXpression

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