Thursday, 5 December 2019

The Almond Tree

“Do you not see how the Almighty Allah has sets forth the parable of a Pleasant Word like that of a splendid tree with formidable roots firmly entrenched in the belly of the earth and gorgeous branches gloriously sprouting into the firmament of the sky yielding edible fruits every season by Allah’s grace? Allah talks to men in parables that they may be mindfully alert about the outcome of that parable”. Q.14:24

 

Human life is like a proverbial coin which may turn up the head or the tail any time it is tossed. Perhaps that is why an Arab poet once enacted an axiomatic rune that has come to be a school from which sensible people are still learning a lesson. An excerpt from the poem goes thus:

“…Those are the occurrences of life as you are witnessing them; whoever is gladdened by an occurrence today should not be over joyous as many other occurrences may come with unbearable sadness”

Some occurrences of this era are quite capable of serving as a marvellous reminder of the memorable month of April in relation to the establishment of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) in 1954. That was 65 years ago.

In Retrospect

Looking back at the wonderful cultivation of a proverbial fertile land, and the planting of an adamant seed on it which eventually grew up into a gargantuan tree, one cannot but reflect deeply on the above quoted verse of the Qur’an with faithful appreciation.

MSSN and NSCIA

Narrating the story of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) today, no matter how ardently, may not be complete without cogent reference to the Muslim Students Society of   Nigeria (MSSN). The two bodies are like Siamese trees of a gargantuan nature with gorgeous foliages and a formidable stem. Just as it is almost impossible to pluck the fruits of any tree without recourse to its stem so it is difficult to play a significant role in NSCIA today without haven passed through the MSSN. The one is like a wonderful edifice built on the solid foundation of the other. Though, most of the founders of MSSN were not initial members of the MSSN, the role played by each of them in nurturing the tree of that Muslim apex body to fruition cannot be quantified.

The Almond Tree

The similitude of MSSN is like that of the Almond tree. For those who do not know, the Almond tree has no equal among domestic plants in grandiose and splendour. Its magnificent   appearance alone simply personifies its environmental grandiose by all ramifications. But much more than that, the tree called Almond is highly curative in medicinal substance and almost indispensable in essence. No soil, whether in the forest, savannah or desert, is ever repugnant to this great tree for dwelling. Wherever it is found, Almond tree creates an incomparably serene environment just as it  serves as a protective umbrella for other living organisms around. It is one unique tree that wears the crown of a king among trees and bears the sceptre of a generalissimo among tropical plants.

Parable

The summarised analysis here is not much of the Almond tree per se but that of a Society which it seeks to exemplify. In a nutshell, that parable is of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) which is like the Almond tree. The seed of that Society was planted like a Mustard seed on April 18, 1954 and the seed gradually germinated into an enlivening tree with no irrelevant part.

Most Nigerian Muslims of the current generation may not easily recall how MSSN came into existence 65 years ago either because they were not part of the struggle that brought it to bear or because the struggle has now taken a different form which they are unable to relate to the past.

A Memorable Revolution

MSSN is both a spiritual and a social revolution which quietly crept into the Nigerian society at the very right time that a revolution was direly in need for Muslim youths. If Islam enjoys a hitherto denied official recognition in Nigeria today, it is mostly due to that miraculous revolution.

Genesis

It all started like a dream in April 1954 when a student of Methodist Boys High School (MBHS) Lagos, Tajudeen Aromasodu, now of blessed memory, clairvoyantly mooted a unique idea by proposing an association of all Muslim students in Nigeria starting with Lagos secondary schools. His intention was to create a forum of unity through a common identity for Nigerian Muslim youths of secondary school age. Such a forum was to enable them to agitate for their rights and defend those rights for their common interest.

Aromasodu’s idea had emanated from a journal of the Muslim Students Association of Burma (Myanmar) which he accidentally came across. He read the constitution of that Association in the journal and became fascinated by it. That was at a time when Muslim school pupils could hardly pass through secondary schools in Southern Nigeria without getting forcefully converted into Christians. Muslim children seeking Western education in those days were seen as trespassers or usurpers despite paying the demanded fees. Besides denying them their rights to worship according to their belief, the Christian Missionaries who owned most schools in those days used the schools as an instrument of forceful conversion. Thus, most of the Muslim boys and girls who attended Christian missionary schools either ended up becoming Christians or were forced to drop out of schools if they rejected conversion.

The Nucleus Team

Aromasodu’s focus at that time was probably not beyond Lagos which was then Nigeria’s federal capital and the seat of the colonial rulers. He quickly contacted a few other Muslim students of like minds in Lagos and, together, they decided to invite two delegates from each of the then seven most prominent schools in Lagos. Thus, fourteen of such students (boys and girls) formed the pioneer membership of what was destined to become a proverbial Almond tree of a formidable nature. The seven schools were Kings College, Lagos; Queens College; Yaba, Methodist Boys High School, Lagos; CMS Grammar School, Bariga; Ahmadiyya College (now Anwarul Islam Model College), Agege; Methodist Girls High School, Yaba and Baptist Academy, Obanikoro.

That nucleus body held its inaugural meeting at Ansar-ud-Deen Primary School, Alakoro, Lagos, on April 18, 1954. It was at that meeting that a proposal which had earlier been sent out to the mentioned schools was formally adopted. And, a resolution was taken to draft the constitution of the Society which was ratified thereafter.

First Executive Body

With the constitution in place, some members of the first executive body were elected into office. Dr. Abdul Lateef Adegbite of King’s College was unanimously elected as President while one Shuaib Oloritu also of Kings College and Saidat Anibaba (now Professor (Mrs.) Mabadaje (rtd) of Queens College became first and second Vice Presidents respectively. Dr. Adegbite’s election was quite timely and coincidental because he was not just the Chairman of the Library and Debating Society of Lagos secondary schools, at that time, which made him a first among equals, he too had been planning a common forum for all Muslim students in Nigeria.

Some other officers were also elected and given responsibilities. Duties were delegated with trust and virtually everybody lived up to the trust.

What would have been a major hindrance to the realization of that dream was lack of funds. But nothing fails at the dream level if it has the hands of Allah in it. With strong determination and commitment, the young boys and girls levied themselves one shilling each monthly which they dedicatedly contributed from their monthly stipends. Besides, each of them bore the cost of transportation when assigned to a duty outside their immediate environments.

Conferences

If the first national conference of the Society, held in Lagos in 1954, drew the attention of many people to MSSN and attracted many new members, that of 1956 held in Ijebu-Ode was a watershed. It was at that conference that the Society can be said to have become a real national body. It was at that conference that some members especially of northern extraction who later became prominent in that Association joined in 1956. Some of those members included the late Shehu Musa of Niger State who later became Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Adamu Ciroma who became the Governor of   the Central Bank of  Nigeria, Jubril Aminu who rose to become the Secretary of Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) after serving as Vice Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri and later became Nigeria’s Minister of Education and that of Petroleum. There were also people like Yerima Abdullah and a host of others.  It was about the same year that some other Lagos students like Lateefat Oyekan (later) Alhaja Lateefah Okunnu (a former Deputy Governor of Lagos State) joined the Society and boosted its growth with special indefatigability. At that time, Islam was not yet known to have significantly reached what is now called South East or South-South of Nigeria.

Read Also: MSSN challenges Muslim women on hijab

 

The third conference was held in Ilesha in 1957. It was hosted by one Alhaji M.A. Smith, a prominent businessman with substantial financial wherewithal. The fourth and fifth conferences were held in Ibadan and Abeokuta in 1958 and 1959 respectively. In all those places, the conscious attention of local Muslims was drawn to Islam and some of them gladly encouraged their children to join the newly formed society of Muslim students in the secondary schools.

The Turn of Events

By 1957, Abdul-Lateef Adegbite, the first President of the Society had completed his secondary school education at Kings College and he wanted to vacate the office for someone else but other brothers would not hear of it. They persuaded him to continue with the leadership in appreciation of his cool-headedness and leadership ability. However, providence set in to play a role in the life of Abdul-Lateef and that of MSSN simultaneously. He got a job as a researcher at the Historical Research Scheme in Ibadan in which he was engaged while awaiting admission into The University College, Ibadan (UCI) to read English Language.

At that time, Adegbite experienced a repeat of fortuitous providence working for him against his wish. He did not succeed in gaining admission into the University College but that was a blessing in disguise for MSSN. If he had been admitted as he wished, he would have had less time for the Society in its infancy and he would not have become a lawyer that he gladly became later. He also would have studied English at the University College, Ibadan (UCI) without any scholarship. Eventually, his patience and faith paid off as he later got admitted into the University of Southampton, England, where he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Law before proceeding to the University of London for his Master’s and Ph.D degrees on scholarship.

Gender Dichotomy

Realizing the implications of toasting any of the sisters into marriage within the Society, Adegbite, the President himself, avoided any act that could set a bad precedent for others. When it was time for him to choose a marital partner, he made sure that his wife to be, one Miss Taibat Yetunde Carew (now of blessed memory) was not a member of the Society. Although he met her at an MSSN forum, the latter merely escorted her friend to that forum.

When he returned into the country in 1965 with a Ph. D degree, Dr. Adegbite was surprised at the growth rate of MSSN across the country. Virtually all the Muslim secondary school pupils had fully become members and most of the foundation members had either graduated from Higher Institutions or about to graduate.

He therefore thought of a higher pedestal for the Society’s alumni to operate spiritually. Fortunately, he was appointed Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the Western State in 1967 a position that put him in very good stead. He was therefore, able to strengthen the MSSN and encourage fellow alumni to join hands in floating another Muslim Society that would be meant for only adults as members. That Society was named Western Jama’h otherwise called Westjomo which later graduated into National Jama’ah otherwise called Najomo. Today, most of the pioneer members of MSSN are great men and women in various public and private sectors. The current Sultan and President-General of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, some Emirs, Ministers, Governors, Vice Chancellors, Professors, a JAMB Registrar and, even the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua were prominent members of that great Society called MSSN. And now, the newly appointed Chairman of National Hajj Commission, Alhaji Dhikrullah Olakunle Hassan was once the National President of MSSN.

Office Accommodation Problem

It, however, became disturbing that despite the greatness of this Society and its alumni, there was no permanent office that could be called its national   headquarters even by the time its 50th anniversary was celebrated in 2004. An attempt was once made to sight such office in Ilorin being the midway between the north and the south, but that attempt was unsuccessful. It was only when the elders decided to pay attention to the issue of headquarters, recently, that a plot of land was secured for office in Abuja on which work is yet to fully commence even 65 years after the establishment of that great Association.

National Brotherhood

Dr. Abdul-Lateef Adegbite’s appointment as Commissioner in the Western State in the 1960s also helped tremendously in bridging the religious gap between the north and the south especially in respect of the formation of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) in which he was to play a major role as Secretary-General later in life. As far as Islam is concerned, Dr. Adegbite’s role was a footprint on the sands of life. Let those who are yearning for a similar footprint be as dedicated to Islam as he was.

A Leadership Training Ground

Apart from serving as a unifier of Muslim youths in Nigeria, MSSN also started as a potent leadership training ground for Muslim men and women of the future. That many brothers and sisters who passed through the Society are occupying various prominent positions including Gubernatorial, Ministerial, top managerial and core professional posts in Nigeria today is an attestation to that assertion. At least not less than five Heads of State or Presidents of Nigeria have been produced by the Association. However, the tempo of leadership agility of the past seems to have waned tremendously partly due to change of focus and unwarranted desire for acquisition of wealth and position.

Thus, due to the fact that most students of nowadays are immature, some experienced hands at the helm of affairs in the Society continue to hold sway as principal officers of the Society thereby hindering the upcoming ones from gaining the necessary leadership training and experience that should normally prepare them for the future. The implication of this is that leadership is no longer by training or experience but by mere incidental assumption. This in itself is a great disadvantage to the growth and development of MSSN as well as a cause of various divisions leading to the emergence of splinter groups. If this Society must progress as expected, a return to the original system that gave it a prominent vibrancy in the past should be a sine qua non.

Clarion Call

This is a clarion call on all Nigerian Muslim men and women of substance,   who had passed through the MSSN, and are now blessed in one way or the other, to pull their loins together and rebuild the once great Society that has now become ramshackle for posterity sake. Let those who were once made by history turn round to make history tor the benefit of the future generations. Our footprint must not be obliterated in our lifetimes. The one time great, guiding  crescent of MSSN must not be allowed to eclipse.



The Nation Newspaper

Johnny Drille to storm Abuja

By Sampson Unamka

Following the success of the first leg of the Johnny’s Room Live 2019 concert h Lagos in October, alternative-rock singer Johnny Drille is set to hold the Abuja and Benin edition of Johnny’s Room Live.

Read Also: Sensational singer Waje announces first ever concert ‘RED VELVET’

The Abuja concert will hold on Sunday, December 8, at Central Park, Garki 1, by 5 pm.

The Benin edition, tagged: ‘Homecoming’, will be held on December 15, at Image Gardens, Boundary Road, Benin, by 5 pm.

 

 



The Nation Newspaper

Movie maker Ani Amatosero unveils film village in Asaba

By Adeniyi Adewoyin

Prolific movie maker Ani Amatosero has unveiled a mini-film village in Asaba, Delta State.

Ani, who has shot over 10 movies, said the film village, Effixzzy Villa, is her contribution to Nollywood.

“I am coming into 2020 with a bold step,” she said.

“My dream is to take Nollywood to the height it truly deserves. Recently, I set up a fully equipped studio with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to enable me contribute my quota to the development of this enviable industry, which has … placed Nigeria among the giants in world cinema. I named it Effixzzy Villa.

“…movie makers don’t have to visit and disturb people in their various houses to shoot your movies anymore. You don’t need to go to the hospital to disturb the sick all in the name of shooting a movie because I have made it easy for producers in Asaba. I have two sitting rooms, a hospital ward, three standard bedrooms, two standard offices and a doctor’s office.

Read Also: Nollywood Actress Eniola Ajao opens up: my relationship with movie star Odunlade Adekola

“We also have a fast food restaurant inside the Villa. The hustle is real oh, my brother. And by the grace of God, people come there to shoot all the time. Sometimes all this is too heavy to carry. I need investors that will come and invest in this business.  She said the village is fully equipped and suitable for film production.

“What I have will help filmmakers in terms of aesthetics and good decor.  Secondly, it saves time. And time to me is money. A movie that was budgeted for two weeks can be shot in 10 days or less because a lot of time has been saved. The time you use in moving from a police station set to a hospital set will be well spent on same place.”



The Nation Newspaper

Eminent Nigerians bid Johnson farewell

Oziegbe Okoeki

 

FAMILY, colleagues and friends of the late first military administrator of Lagos State, Brig.-Gen. Mobolaji Johnson (rtd) gathered on Thursday at the Hoares Memorial Methodist Cathedral, Yaba for his final funeral service and interment.

The late Mobolaji Johnson died at 83. He was described by family and friends as a thoroughbred Lagosian, an astute leader and administrator.

In his sermon, Prelate, Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence Samuel Uche, noted that believers serving God and persevere were bound to enjoy paradise.

Eminent personalities at the event include Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his wife Ibijoke, former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola.

Others are Gen. Alani Akinrinade, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, former Ogun State Governor Aremo Olusegun Osoba, former Cross River State Governor Donald Duke and Chief Akin Aduwo.

On Tuesday, the Onikan Stadium was named him. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced the change of name during the Day of Tribute for Late Johnson at Onikan Stadium, Lagos Island.

The stadium is now known as Mobolaji Olufunso Johnson Stadium.

The late Johnson, the first military administrator and governor of Lagos State, set the state on a course and a race of an unending quest for improvement, innovation and development.

•From left: Senator Tinubu; Chief Obasanjo and Gen. Oladipo Diya. Behind: Senator Obanikoro

The late Johnson was first appointed the Administrator of the Federal Territory of Lagos on January 15, 1966, and later as Military Governor at the creation of the State on May 27, 1967.

His regime witnessed an increase in the state’s revenue from N36.7million to N99.7million. The increase was largely due to the revenue allocation formula that had just been introduced and increased revenue from crude oil, which was partly shared out to the state governments.

Read Also: Sanwo-Olu, Tinubu, others honour Johnson

Under his leadership, the state government generated a larger proportion of its earnings from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

The Mobolaji Johnson administration began the construction of Ikorodu and Mushin General Hospitals. It also modernised the General Hospital, Lagos, by building the new mortuary block, physical medicine department, sewage treatment plant and installation of a standby generator.

The administration also inaugurated the nurses’ hostel, doctors flat at Marina, Isolo and Harvey Road Health Centres.

His administration also built the maternity annexe at Onikan Health Centre and an additional ward at Igbobi Orthopaedic Hospital.

The administration opened five new Government Colleges in each of the five divisions of the state.

The Gen. Johnson administration also introduced the harmonised teachers’ salaries and conditions of service to enhance the status of the profession and commenced the implementation of the Universal Primary Education (UPE).

The late Johnson also completed projects under the Lagos Water Supply Phase 1 Expansion Programme and designed the Owo Water Works as an alternative to Iju Water Works to serve Ojo and environs.

Other strides of the administration are Construction of the Victoria Island Sewage Scheme for Ikoyi, Lagos Island etc.; introduction of the regulations for motorcyclists to wear crash helmets; and introduction of Traffic Courts.

Johnson died on Wednesday, October 30 after a brief illness. He was aged 83. Johnson was born on Feb. 9, 1936.

The late first military governor ruled from May 1967 to July 1975 during the military regime of General Yakubu Gowon.

Former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu, in a tribute to the late Johnson, described him as a gentleman.

Tinubu said: “Johnson was a true gentleman, a servant leader and a man of incorruptible character. He never used his position to amass personal wealth.

•From left: Former Cross River State Governor Donald Duke; Ndubuisi Kanu and Brig. Gen. Olagunsoye Oyinlola

“He did not compromise in his profession. He left a good legacy in public service. He laid a durable foundation for Lagos State. He served the people and made them the cornerstone of social and economic policies.

“Johnson embarked on re-engineering and assembling the best cabinet to show transparency at that time.

“He showed courage and strong determination for the benefit of Lagos State. His retirement was sudden following the coup in 1975. He lived a life of great contentment.”

The first son of the deceased, Mr Seyi Johnson, said: “One of the lessons our father taught us as children is the attribute of tolerance. He told us not to discriminate against anyone irrespective of background.”



The Nation Newspaper

Skin diseases revisited: allergic disorders (2)

Last week, we discussed the functions of the human skin. We also discussed the fact that the environment, individual behaviours (your conducts), your profession or occupation, your food and many others can have significant impact on the health of your skin. We also saw that emotions such as happiness and aging process can be gauged through the skin. Internal diseases may similarly manifest through the skin.

Today, we will move away from these generalisations and focus on specific disorders that afflict our skin: the largest organ in human body. Let us take a look at a very common clinical complaint called allergy. Allergy (hypersensitivity) in lay terms, implies that a person is reacting to a substance, condition or event. For example, a person may react to food such as salad or milk. In such a situation, she may have skin eruption, itching, vomiting and even fever. She may become so ill that individual life may be threatened and may require admission in hospital. Similarly, a person may react or be allergic to medications with severe consequences internally and on the skin. Some may react to clothing. There are individuals who react badly to their spouses or partners that they dislike. Such partners become hypersensitive to everything pertaining to the other person. Yet, work places, bad memory may bring bad allergic reactions. Perhaps, one of the commonest causes of allergy is the environment the person finds himself or herself.

What causes allergy? Allergic disorder may be due to a variety of causes. The common saying that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander is not true when it comes to allergic illness. An individual “X” and “Z” may take the same substance or be exposed to the same situation and yet they do not react in like manner.  X may not show any sign of dislike while B may come up with severe reactions that can be seen in the skin. Example is skin cream that we use. That is to say, personal characteristics and genetic make-up, in handling situations, matter a lot in development of allergic reactions. No two people are the same.

Read Also: Skin Diseases: Your open secret that needs care

 

Allergy may be due to foods. Sea foods are notorious in the respect. Fish, crayfish, crabs do not agree with some people.  Clothing especially new ones, or the old one washed in chemicals or soaps may cause severe reaction in wearers. Ear rings and finger rings may elicit reactions.  Chemicals: industrial chemicals and domestic chemicals are notorious in causing allergies in persons who are exposed to them. Examples are cleaning agents, washing agents and home paints. Personal beauty products: again, these are based on chemicals and pharmaceutical agents. Lipsticks, body creams, hair sprays, and soaps are examples. Medications are well known amongst medical doctors as a notorious allergy causing agents.

Environment: Pollutions from industrial wastes, fossil fuel combustion from motor vehicles, deposit dangerous particles in the environment. Ultimately, these particles fall on our skin or enter our food and water. Either way, the effect may manifest as allergic reactions on our skin and in internal organs. Who would have thought that infectious agents such as bacteria, parasites, insect bites and viruses may cause us to react badly when they get into our body? Example is vaccinations. A number of individuals may develop intolerance to either vaccinations or the infective agent itself. On balance, vaccination is still the beneficial way to follow, notwithstanding. Exposure to either cold or warm water, rainfall or sunshine is known to cause allergic reactions in some people. Body sponge for scrubbing our body may elicit reactions in some individuals.

Finally, not the least, our genetic composition may have the ability to resist us from developing hypersensitivity reactions.

How does allergy present?  Itching is a common complaint in individuals that are suffering from allergic illness. Some may not itch at all. Rashes are common too.  The type of rashes will depend on what is causing the allergy. Sores with weeping or oozing liquid may accompany the allergy. Throat, in severe allergy may swell up and the person may suffer breathlessness. Life may be threatened.

Treatment: It’s important to get to the root of the causes of the allergy. Thus, a visit to a qualified medical doctor or skin specialist is required especially if the allergy refuses to go away after a week or if life is in danger (as in severe reactions called anaphylaxis). In some occasions, relief of symptoms such as itching may become urgent. Once the cause is identified, the steps to treatment become easier.

 

In the meantime, if you have been affected by this article and you require assistance, you may call/or WhatsApp 07087733114 or 08188343865 for support.



The Nation Newspaper

‘How advertising can respond to digitilisation’

By Jane Chijioke

The President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Ikechi Odibo, has declared that advertising practice needs to undergo a change to cope with the demands of post-digital age.

Odibo, who made the declaration in a paper presented at the National Advertising Conference, organised by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) in conjunction with other sectoral bodies, in Abuja,  noted that practitioners must acquire new business mindsets and approaches crucial to the business in a rapidly evolving business landscape.

He further revealed that the evolution has been assisted by the emergence of e-commerce, with television advertising transferred to digital platforms such as Youtube, Instagram advertising taking the place of print advertising and with celebrity endorsements mutating into influencer marketing. This process, he said, is still treated by practitioners as requiring just a few changes when wholesale changes are required.

“We congratulate ourselves a lot for adapting things that have been done before, making minimal changes and feeling like we understand the modern world. However, we cannot force-old templates to new expectations, new objectives and expect to be regarded as relevant, strategic and indispensable by the clients,” he said.

Read Also: YouTube announces new initiatives to support local Creators in Nigeria

 

He made it known that in a fast-changing business environment, clients seek up-to-the-moment partners, who are ahead in terms of proffering understanding, thought leadership and fresh solutions to their marketing problems. This, he said, makes it important to accurately understand and embrace digital reality and for practitioners to continuously broaden their perspectives and take creative responsibility without waiting for marching orders from clients.

The AAAN President further advised practitioners to embrace new tools, which are multi-functional and not limited by geography. “In the digital age, devices do a lot of things well and also work together across physical geographies thanks to telecommunications and the internet. Consumers now move seamlessly between devices, with data providing borderless interconnectedness and continuity. We can seamlessly engage our favourite apps, social platforms and skits across various devices, anywhere and anytime,” he said..

 



The Nation Newspaper

Multichoice introduces new offerings

Pay-TV service provider, MultiChoice Nigeria, has announced the launch of new packages on the DStv and GOtv platforms namely; DStv Confam, DStv Yanga, GOtv Jolli, and GOtv Jinja, for the festive season.

The company says customers with active subscriptions on DStv Family, DStv Access, GOtv Plus and GOtv Value will enjoy a two-week free trial from December 1 – December 15, 2019, on the new packages, at no extra cost.

The Chief Customer Officer, Martin Mabutho, explained that the objective  of the launch of the new packages was to offer customers new lower and higher tier packages for DStv and GOtv at affordable prices.

Read Also: MultiChoice introduces new DStv, GOtv packages

 

“Our key priority is to put subscribers’ needs at the heart of every new offering. From time to time, MultiChoice reviews the packages available on our platforms that may result in the addition or removal of packages” he said, adding that with more package options available on both the DStv and GOtv platforms, subscribers can easily choose the subscription plan that best fits the budget and viewing needs of their families.

 



The Nation Newspaper

Flip side of Kennedy Uzoka

by Oladapo Sofowora

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the United Bank For Africa(UBA), Kennedy Uzoka is regarded as a cosmopolitan, suave banking and financial guru. His wealth of experience and depth of knowledge in finance and economics-related field, places him far above his peers. If you doubt his competence, take a trip to UBA, his innovative efforts have redefined and repositioned the bank to global standard. The unmatched feat, earned UBA an award as the ‘African Bank of The Year’ 2019 at Banker Magazine award gala night, held at Sheraton Grand Park Lane, London, United Kindgom.

Those close to him, disclosed that; when he is at work, he is a different person entirely. He discharges his duty diligently so as to make a difference. He has successfully installed that virtue of excellence in the work ethics of members of staff. Apart from his tight business schedule and tight travel itinerary, Kennedy is a jolly good fellow, blessed with a wonderful sense of humour. “Sit with him for just 10 minutes, you will surely laugh and forget your problems. He is a sweet and different person outside the banking arena. He loves cycling”, a source confirmed.

Recently, RedTv, an online lifestyle and entertainment TV arm of the bank, organised a mega rave party, held at the Lekki Special Event Centre, Admiralty way, Lekki, Lagos, tagged “The Shutdown” on Saturday, November 30. Top wavemaking artistes like Jidenna, Wizkid, BurnaBoy, Olamide, Fireboy, ShowDemCamp, Ajebutter 22 and a host of other artistes thrilled over 5,000 guests present at the well attended free entry musical jamboree.

Read Also: Tony Elumelu’s dream for African youths

 

Like the proverbial gold fish that has no hiding place in the water, Kennedy was spotted at the VIP spot, fitted in a blue face cap, Blue polo top and army green pant trousers looking dapper, flanked by stylish Chairman of UBA and Heirs Holding, Tony Elumelu. The Havard Business school graduate was looking so relaxed, wearing an endearing smile and exchanging pleasantries with members of staff and friends.

To the surprise of many, he was seen miming to songs word for word. Displaying his other side outside the bank, came as a big shock to his admirers, they were surprised how a consummate boardroom guru like him managed to memorise those lyrics despite his busy work schedule. He also went ahead to wow many during Wizkid and Burna Boy’s performance, when he displayed his electrifying “Zanku” dance steps.



The Nation Newspaper

Bukola Saraki smiles again

by Oladapo Sofowora

Senate President of the 8th Assembly, Senator Olubukola Abubakar Saraki, might currently be facing quite a ?turbulent time. First, it was losing his bid to return to the red chambers during the just concluded general election. Last week, the court declared interim forfeiture of his highbrow properties in Ilorin, alleging it was built with public funds when he was Governor of Kwara.

While the two-term Governor of Kwara state was still nurturing the verdict of the court injunction on his Ilorin property interim forfeiture, his creator gave him and his household a big reason to smile again.

Read Also: Court orders interim forfeiture of two more of Saraki’s houses

 

He was blessed with a gift laced with a title money cannot buy. His eldest daughter, Olutosin Halima Saraki married to Adeniyi Olatunde Olukoya, delivered a bouncing baby girl, penutimate Friday, at a highbrow hospital located in the United Kingdom making him a proud first time grand father.

Society Rendezvous gathered that Dr Bukola and his wife Toyin, immediately jetted down to the UK the next day to see their grand child and also give moral support to the nursing mother. The name of the child is yet to be disclosed as mother and daughter, we gathered are doing good.

 



The Nation Newspaper

Maryam Belgore’s Reward for Humanity

by Oladapo Sofowora

Maryam Onikijipa Belgore has been quietly nurturing her dreams and aspirations, until she came into prominence after her nuptial to Abdusamad Belgore, son of former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Salihu Modibbo Alfa Belgore. This further cemented her presence as a house hold name in the country. Maryam is not a woman who finds joy in clout chasing, she loathes unnecessary attention, but her impact is  felt across the country through her MOB foundation.

The NGO was founded years back with the sole aim of catering for the downtrodden, who could not afford quality education and other basic amenities of life. The Kwara State born mother of three made a convenant with her creator, to do everything within her capacity to make her environment a better place through giving by advancing happiness in the lives of the needy.

Read Also: We will bequeath a better Kwara, says AbdulRazaq

 

The daughter to top Kwara clergyman, Sheik Sulaiman Farooq Onikijipa, was decorated with an award for humanitarian service of the year at Morekule All Youth Award (MAYA). The organisers revealed she bagged the award for her selfless comittment to humanitarian and charitable causes. Last month, she visited Galadima junior secondary school, Abuja, where she generously donated educational grant worth millions of naira to selected students, whose parent can’t afford school fees.

The Cresent university graduate is also a passionate girl child advocate. She has advocated for free sanitary pad for female students to ensure they have a stress free monthly menstrual cycle. At the award ceremony presentation, she mounted the stage fitted in an all white sleekly flowing gown as she received the award presented by popular Nollywood actor, Jide Awobona. In her acceptance remark, She thanked her husband and well wishers for supporting her dreams to making her immediate environment a better place. She further added that her best is yet to come as the award is an encouragement to do more and seek public and private partnership to achieve the goal of extending assistance to anyone who needs it.



The Nation Newspaper

Otunba Gbenga Daniel’s tears of joy

by Oladapo Sofowora

Drawing a line from the Holy Bible in Psalm 126:1-2 “When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing” this verse captures the present state of mind of former Ogun state Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, popularly called OGD, as he is currently basking in laughter and joy.

The Sagamu, Ogun State-born engineer faced so many challenges after he left office in 2011. His successor who came under the umbrella of Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN), Senator Ibikunle Amosu, had allegedly literally caused him so much pain, as many of his properties, including his multi-billion naira hotel situated in Abeokuta, were also allegedly seized.

At the beginning of Amosun’s first term as Governor, he set up a panel of inquiry to probe the activities of Daniel between 2003-2011. Eventually, the panel made its recommendations that the government should revoke the Certificates of Occupancy (C-of-O) granted to Golf Resort Hotels and Gateway Front Foundation (GFF) in Abeokuta, the state capital.

The recommendations of the panel were published in the Ogun state of Nigeria Gazette No. 6 Volume 37, stating the government is taking over the property in public interest, alleging that, slush funds from the states coffers were used in the construction of the gigiantic hotels.

Read Also: Gbenga Daniel for minister!

 

Consequently, heavy security personnel was deployed to the site to maintain and enforce the outcome of the panel’s recommendation to prevent Daniel from gaining access to his property.

The hotel, located along Presidential Boulevard, Oke-Mosan, opposite the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, was said to have encroached on an illegal land belonging to Golf Resort.

OGD teamed up with Dapo Abiodun and Aremo Olusegun Osoba to deny Amosun’s preffered candidate, Adekunle Akinlade the highly coveted Okemosan plum job. Immediately after the swearing-in ceremony of Prince Dapo Abiodun as Governor, the hotel previously taken over by termites, dangerous reptiles and weeds, was returned to Daniel, as it was given a new facelift.

It has now been turned into an architectural masterpiece named Conference Hotels and Suites. It is currently boosting employment opportunities with over 2,000 direct and indirect job creation for the host community.

Society Rendezvous gathered that the hotel will be launched amidst pomp today Friday, December 6, as Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Governor of Ogun State Dapo Abiodun, Chief Olusegun Osoba and other top political names in the state will converge at the opening gala.

 

 



The Nation Newspaper

Hannah Omobolanle bags Chieftancy title

by Oladapo Sofowora

Chief Mrs. Hannah Omobolanle Okusanya is a woman of high repute blessed with a heart of gold. She has her hand in many businesses ranging from real estate and fashion including Rachest Fashion, Hanbol Ventures, Hann, BOL, Hanchest Fashion and her Non-governmental organisation, Bola Okusanya Initiative which is solely aimed at touching the lives of the needy by providing food, clothes, shelter and medical aid.

On the 30th of November, the Ugo Eji Ejemba 1 of Etim, was recognised yet again for her contributions to philanthropy, charity and girl child advocacy with the conferment of a traditional chieftaincy title in Umuakuma Community, Okposi, Ohaozara LGA, Ebonyi State as the Ozua Oha 1 of Ekuma Obia meaning (The nation feeder).

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The Lagos state born, Isonyin Ijebu-ode Ogun State stylish fashion-preneur, has clinched several local and international awards to her credit.

She was recognised as the most vibrant participant in a global summit held in Malaysia 2010, Philanthropist Lady in Red Cross Society (motherless baby unit), Lagos Mainland Chapter among others. She has vowed never to relent in her quest to touch lives positively via her Bola Okusanya Initiative.



The Nation Newspaper