Editor

Jibrin: Undisputed Kingmaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, By Idris Omolabake

The story of the emergence of former Speaker Yakubu Dogara and his successor, Femi Gbajabiamila, will be incomplete without adequate mention of the exploits of Abdulmumuni Jibrin, an influential member of the House of Representatives from Kano State.

Jibrin has succeeded in ‘installing’ two different speakers of the House of Representatives in two different circumstances, first through a rebellion against the establishment; and the other in enforcing the position of same establishment.

In 2015, the youthful Jibrin who only joined the House in 2011, played prominent role in the leadership tussle between then ‘Equity Group’ headed by Yakubu Dogara and the ‘Loyalist Group’ headed by Femi Gbajabiamila. That struggle eventually produced Dogara as Speaker, thereby causing a major rift within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Fast forward to 2019, Jibrin who served as the Campaign Director General for the election of Gbajabiamila like he did for Dogara in 2015, has also delivered the incumbent Speaker. This is a feat exclusive to him as no one person has delivered two speakers consecutively in the history of Nigeria’s House of Representatives.

Who is Abdulmumuni Jibrin?

Abdulmumin Jibrin is a Nigerian politician and a 3rd term member of Nigeria’s House of Representatives from Kofa, Bebeji LG, Kano state. He is 42 years of age. He was at various times chairman House Committee on Finance, Appropriation and Land Transport with oversight on Nigeria’s revenue, expenditure, railways and rail projects respectively. 

He is a globally trained business executive, academician turned politician. He holds a BSc, MSc and PhD in Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations from University of Abuja and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He was at various times trained at the London Business School, Harvard Business School and SBS- Swiss Business School- Zurich Switzerland where he obtained SEP, PLD and MBA respectively. He is an Alumnus of the Harvard, London and Swiss business schools. 

Prior to joining politics, Abdulmumin played an active role in the private sector as Chairman/ CEO Green Forest Group LTD running a Nigerian conglomerate in diverse fields.  He served as Chairman (Nigeria) of Turkish construction giant Tasyapi and Chairman Abuja branch of Nigeria-British chamber of commerce. He also lectured at the university with publications to his credit. 

A consummate mobiliser, Abdulmumin was the Director, Media and Strategic Communication of the Women and Youth Presidential Campaign Team and most recently, Director General of Femi Gbajabiamila for Speaker campaign council. He is a public finance and foreign policy expert and has shown significant interest and contributed to improving Nigeria’s revenue and expenditure process. He has won numerous awards and he is a fellow of many professional bodies including the Chartered Institute of Finance and Control. 

He is a Paul Harris fellow of Rotary international.  He holds the traditional tittle of Jarman Bebeji conferred on him with the approval of the Kano Emirate Council. It is a tittle reserved for the courageous and generous.

Political Career:

Prior to his emergence on the federal parliamentary scene, Jibrin had been involved in national politics especially during the presidential campaigns in 2003 and 2007. In 2011, Jibrin won election to represent Kiru/Bebeji Federal constituency under the Platform of the PDP, and later decamped to the newly formed All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014. It is worth noting that he led the first set of 37 lawmakers who defected in a massive swoop that shook the political landscape. Not surprisingly, he won re-election into the House under the new platform in 2015.

2015 speakership election…

In 2015, the APC just like in 2019, zoned the position of Senate President to the north-east geo-political zone and specifically chose Ahmed Lawan while the post of Speaker, the south-west zone was favoured with Gbajabiamila anointed. However, the rebellion against the party’s position led by immediate past Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Equity Group in the House of Representatives where Jibrin played prominent roles, eventually led to a defeat of the choices of the party. Suffice to say that it was same Jibrin who nominated Dogara for the post on that historic day thereby culminating months of chaperoning an arduous campaign that eventually paid off.  

In the political preambles to the election, Jibrin reportedly led a walk out of the mock primary organized by the party at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. This much was amplified in an apology letter he wrote to former APC national chairman, John Oyegun in 2018, when he needed forgiveness and a relaunch into reckoning after a political drought that almost ended his public life. He wrote then: “I recollect with deep regret and pains and can still hear the echo of your voice in the make-or-mar meeting at the ICC shouting “sit down Jibrin, sit down Jibrin, Jibrin sit down” ” you dare not walk out of this hall Jibrin”! Sen Lawali Shuaibu watched helplessly with the box of ballot meant for the mock elections as I forced myself up, stood my grounds, made my points, held the hands of Yakubu Dagara, and pulled him out of the hall.”

Jibrin and his group were able to garner votes across the two political parties to pave the way for Dogara to emerge speaker. After the election, he was offered the chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee of the House, a position that became the springboard to the travails that bedeviled him for much of that 8th assembly.

Budget controversy and suspension from the House…

Jibrin’s journey into the wilderness kicked off with his resignation as the Chairman House Committee on Appropriation as announced by the Speaker on Wednesday, 20th July, 2016. He described the speaker’s speech announcing his exit as the chairman of the committee as “a misrepresentation of the facts, false, mischievous, unfair and a calculated attempt” to bring his name to “disrepute.” That disputation led to weeks if not months of rancorous exchanges between him and the leadership of the House.

Between late July and early August, 2016, Jibrin visited several law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies of government including, the Department of State Services (DSS), the economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Nigeria Police with a wounding petition that contained purported gross misconduct on the part of the accused lawmakers. But it was unclear if any of the agencies acted on the documents submitted with so much fanfare.

Before he was eventually banished by the House, Jibrin was left in the cold as 10 principal officers of the House rallied in support of Dogara and denounced Mr. Jibrin. Incidentally, Femi Gbajabiamila, then Majority Leader who was at the time thought to be a political enemy of the Speaker as a result of the previous, bitter speakership battle that lead to the emergence of Dogara, also joined the body of principal officers in denouncing Jibrin. It is however, worth noting that the Lagos lawmaker now speaker, had spoken against the suspension of his Kano counterpart, describing the decision as illegal and unconstitutional.

Furthermore, Jibrin’s party, the ruling APC warned him to ceasefire but Jibrin was defiant and continued his onslaught against the House leadership. He even refused to appear before a disciplinary committee set up in September, 2016 to investigate his claims of budget fraud against the leadership claiming the investigation was a witch-hunt. On September 28, 2016 the grand finale of the Jibrin saga played out as the House Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions swiftly concluded its investigations and submitted its report a week after the commencement of the probe.

The Committee’s recommendation that Jibrin be suspended for 180 legislative days was adopted by the entire membership of the House in plenary. He was also barred from positions of responsibility in the House till the end of the 8th assembly. Like the fighter that he is, Jibrin filed an action in court to challenge his suspension.

Whistle-blower banished to the cold…

Despite his suspension and subsequent ‘relocation’ to London, Jibrin refused to pipe down on his attacks on the leadership of the House and maintained forthrightness on the matter. 

Even when Jibrin completed his suspension, he still could not resume his duties as a federal lawmaker as the House insisted on an apology which he bluntly refused to offer.

However, on Tuesday, 13th March, 2018 Jibrin finally decided to end his long drawn battle with the House leadership. The following day he was ushered into the green chamber in a manner that demonstrated conciliation and mutual forgiveness. On his return, Jibrin said: “Lessons were learnt by both parties; the leadership and the victim. Lessons on the part of leadership and lessons on the part of members.” Incidentally, the court at about this time, ruled that his suspension was unconstitutional. He was subsequently appointed as Chairman of the House Committee on Land Transport and his entitlements hitherto withheld, paid in full. 

2019 elections and the Parliamentary Support Group…

Upon resumption at the House in 2018, Jibrin convened the Parliamentary Support Group PSG, with the mandate of full loyalty to President Buhari. Notably, the group was already in existence in the Senate. It was seen as a demonstration of courage by his colleagues. Thus, Jibrin even led over 100 members of the House to pay solidarity to the President in 2018 at a time when the National Assembly Joint executive session issued a 13-point demand to the President. Jibrin had earlier described it as a “PDP executive session” prompting a reproach from the House. Former member, Sunday Karimi moved a motion calling for sanction against Jibrin who just returned from suspension.

Interestingly, the new group also had a subtle leadership tussle with Gbajabiamila who in his position as the Leader of the House, was automatically leader of the APC caucus. The PSG reportedly made attempts to undermine Gbajabiamila, even though jibrin, in a tweet attempted to diffuse the tension by saying: “Against the back drop of the media reports, I wish to state that there is no crack in the APC caucus. We have internal issues, and there is nothing unusual about it. However, the issues will be resolved internally. We have one caucus, and Femi is the leader.”

2019 election and Jibrin’s declaration not to re-contest

Jibrin won his re-election in a resounding fashion. He took to Twitter to declare that he will not be re-contesting the post of House of Representatives member again, saying “victory against all odds…the hardest in all elections I ran. Exhausted and utterly worn out! It’s additionally an emotional exit as this shall be my final contest for the House of Representatives.” For Jibrin, the 2019 election was not without some controversy as he was arrested in connection with an alleged attack on Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso’s convoy.

The 2019 speakership election

Jibrin supported the aspiration of the current Speaker and was promptly offered the position of the Director General of the Campaign, in recognition of his knack for political dexterity, hard work and antecedence of success. Off to work he went, canvassing, persuading, and deploying carefully crafted political strategies that eventually paid off on June 11, 2019.

Jibrin perhaps gave the longest nomination speech ever when nominating a Speaker, engaging in a charm offensive to woo members across party lines on the day of election. Although many pundits predicted the 2019 tussle for speaker would replicate the 2015 scenario, but it turned out the rebellion had lost a fighter in Jibrin.

The same manner he was at the forefront of the action in 2015, he was at the forefront of action in 2019. Bringing energy, doggedness and organization to the Campaign, something probably missing in 2019.

Maybe learning from the 2015 election of speaker, Jibrin in an interview with Channels Television, disclosed that he had no agreed compensation deal with Gbajabiamila. He even ruled himself out of the post of Leader of the House, the next most powerful position after Speaker and Deputy Speaker. In a further show of humility and modesty, he related his feeling in a tweet thus: “Twice lucky…it’s fair to say hard work, courage and commitment BUT honestly I have been so many times lucky…really nothing special about me. Just your regular guy! Best wishes to Yakubu Dogara and congrats to Femi Gbajabiamila. God has been so gracious…humbled!”

Political future…..

After the emergence of Gbajabiamila as Speaker, all eyes have been on Jibrin. What does he want? What will he be offered? Insiders in the Gbajabiamila camp revealed that everyone is confused about what to do with Jibrin. He has held the two most important committees of Finance and Appropriations consecutively with a wide scope of oversight covering almost every sector. The two committees are even referred to as the 11th and 12th Principal Officers in the House. There is also strong whispering within the House that the Kano Born politician may consider an immediate return to his private business or the university to pursue his professorial ambition. The next few days or weeks will tell.

In the long term however, there are other options for Jibrin: maybe he would seek to be governor of Kano or choose to go to the senate. Whatever choice or moves he makes, one thing is certain: opponents will only underestimate him at their own peril.

Omolabake, a public analyst, writes from Abuja

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Health Ministry Signs MoU with NI-ABAE To Continue Conditional Cash Transfer Beyond 2020

The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and New Incentives-All Babies Are Equal (NI-ABAE) Initiative, an organization registered in the health sector has signed an Memorandum of Understanding to continue implementation of its conditional cash transfer (CCT) program to increase demand for routine immunization in North Western Nigeria beyond 2020 dependent on outcome of randomised control trial that assess the impact of the CCT program.

NI-ABAE Initiative had last month signed a similar agreement with the government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Budget and National Planning where it was agreed that NI-ABAE Initiative among other things will support routine immunization system by engaging in conditional cash transfer, social mobilization and defaulter tracking to raise demand for immunization in primary health care facilities.

The organisation is also expected to support the State Primary Health Care Development Agencies (SPHCDAs) in Jigawa, Katsina and Zamfara States by supporting in community mobilisation, vaccine supply review, aiding top up vaccine transportation and other requested support by the agencies.

The MoU with the FMOH, which is for a period of 2 years and expected to elapse in 2021, has the endorsement of the Federal Ministry of Health to continue the implementation of the CCT program beyond 2020.

Under the new arrangement, the Federal Ministry of Health and NI-ABAE Initiative will collaborate and work together to achieve greater accountability and ensure greater coordination of NGOs registered with the ministry, support NI-ABAE Initiative programme and potential scale-up in 2020 dependent on study outcome and share information on cash monitoring procedures, data and results.

The MoU also stipulates that the parties shall encourage the exchange of information and develop cooperation in many areas which includes relevant knowledge and data sharing between the ministry and NI-ABAE Initiative support to NI_ABAE initiative to map NGOs working in the health sector in Nigeria and support to host national review meetings on health based NGO governance. NI-ABAE Initiative had gone ahead to support the review meeting even before the signing of the MoU and recently donated office items to strengthen the setup of the NGO technical working group.

Both parties will also agreed to develop cooperation in the support of monitoring of NI-ABAE Initiative conditional cash transfer program at implementation locations by the FMOH team as well as the support at no financial or staff cost for NI-ABAE Initiatives such as written recommendations to relevant government and non-governmental organisations.

NI-ABAE Initiative CCT program gives mothers of eligible infants you receive routine immunization the sum of N500 for the first four mandatory immunization visits and N2,000 for the last visit.

Nearly 500,000 cash transfers has been disbursed to the caregivers of over 100,000 enrolee infants eligible for routine immunization in their intervention clinics worth over N350,000,000 since the commencement of the program in 2017.

The cash transfer compensates for transport, loss trading income and waiting time. NI-ABAE Initiative said will continue to raise demand for routine immunization through innovative means like CCT.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

@abikedabiri Denies Accusing Ethiopia, Egypt Airlines Of Running Drug Cartels In Nigeria

The Chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa has denied accusing some foreign airlines of running drug cartels in the country.

Hon. Dabiri-Erewa appeared before the Senate ad-hoc committee investigating the circumstances leading to the arrest of Zainab Aliyu, a Nigerian student in Saudi Arabia over allegations of drug trafficking was reportedly quoted as saying that the airlines working with syndicates at the countries airport plant drugs in the bags of unsuspecting passengers.

But a statement in Abuja on Thursday by the Media aide, Abdur-Rahman Balogun stated that the headline is totally incorrect and not a true reflection of what she said during the Senate committee public hearing chaired by Senator Kabiru Gaya on Wednesday.

“Dabiri-Erewa had during the hearing stressed the need for those two airlines to ensure compulsory baggage identification as all cases recorded on issue of drugs had been from both airlines,” the statement said.

Balogun added that “Luckily enough, the representative of Ethiopian Air, who was at the public hearing, promised that baggage identification would be strengthened.”

“The Senate public hearing was geared towards probing the circumstances surrounding the framing up and eventual arrest of Zainab Aliyu in Saudi Arabia over allegation of carrying tramadol drug in her baggage.”

“Members of the public are hereby urged to discountenance previous publication that is contrary to this clarification.”

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

APC Primaries: I Conducted A Free And Fair Election In Edo – Farida Suleiman

Farida Suleiman, who presided over the State and National Assembly Election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State has said that she conducted a free and fair election in the state.

In a statement personally signed by her, Mrs Suleiman, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore the open letter by the Coalition of Concerned Members Of APC Edo State which asked the President to call Adams Oshiomhole, the national chairman to order.

According to Mrs Suleiman, the allegation by the Coalition of Concerned Members Of APC Edo State is not only baseless and unfounded but a figment of the imagination of the group, whose hatchet job for the embattled State Governor is visible to the discerning.

The statement reads in part; “When the Primaries Committee members and I arrived Edo State, an obviously concocted primaries had been conducted a day before and attempts were made by Gov. Obaseki and his aides to persuade us to adopt the results of the jaundiced primaries. We stood our ground that due process must be followed and that the guidelines for the primaries as directed by the APC National Working Committee (NWC) will be carried out to the latter.

“This, I restarted at a press conference that was aired on major TV stations in Edo State. At the conclusion of our assignment, the results were also announced via a press conference in Benin city and not in Abuja as fabricated by the discredited coalition. It is therefore pertinent to state that I followed my conscience and performed the assignment to the best of my ability. Indeed, I stood my ground and turned down overtures made to us by the Governor and his emissaries to manipulate the process in favour of his anointed candidates.

“Under my watch as Chairperson of the APC primaries committee in Edo State, I make bold to say that all candidates emerged through a free, fair and transparent process. The said the younger brother of the National Chairman, Seid Oshoimhole which the authors alleged was imposed on the people of Etsako West 1 for House of Assembly was unanimously elected by APC members in that constituency. There were no manipulations, whatsoever, in his favour. Those crying wolf are sore losers who are disconnected from the people at the grassroots.

“No wonder they lost their zones and Senatorial districts to the opposition while their object of slander, the Comrade Chairman swept his own Edo North Senatorial zone for your great party.

“Prior to my deployment for the party assignment in Edo, I have never met with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. Indeed, my nomination to serve was facilitated by a reputable party leader from the North. The attempt to impute personal relationship with Oshiomhole as the motive for alleged malfeasance in the conduct of the primaries is a ploy to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.

“I consider the publication with respect to myself, malicious and a veiled defamation of character. I ask that the so-called “Coalition of Concerned Members of APC Edo State” retract the mention of my name in its open letter and tender an unreserved public apology within 7 days. Failure of which, I will be left with no option than to seek legal redress.

“The campaign of calumny against the party chairman orchestrated by sponsored groups will fail as our reformist leader will not be distracted in his mission to assert party supremacy and restore internal democracy whilst also ensuring that only performers get the party ticket at all levels.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

UBA Premieres most Anticipated Men’s Club Season 2 Trailer

Lagos, Saturday 18th of May, 2019 was the definition of entertainment success. From the lights to setup, the atmosphere was filled with the euphoria of excitement. The wait was finally over, almost 6 months after the first season hit YouTube, The Men’s club, season 2 is set to launch.

In anticipation, a private screening was held at the IMAX Filmhouse cinema, Lekki. In attendance were the cast, crew and industry supporters. A little waiting room held a re-enacted set from the show’s opening montage, signature cocktails, mock tails  and delicious canapés were served. The Crème-de-la Crème of Lagos entertainment elites including Kemi Adetiba, Noble Igwe, Eku Edewor, Ashionye Raccah, Bola Atta and guests mingled and re-lived their favourite scenes from Season 1 through pictures and interviews.

At 7:30 pm, all guests were ushered into the main screening hall by the Creative Director of REDTV, Obinna Okerekeocha, intimating fans and guests present that the new Season was about to bring on a different dimension. ‘REDTV has taken drama to a different level and we aren’t scared to push the boundaries. Our vision at REDTV is to continually produce premium content for entertainment. The new season of The Men’s Club is real. Its aspirational and relatable. The cinematography and scores are top class and its wonderful to see how the lead actors have grown. This is going to be a bigger hit than Season one’ said Okerekeocha. He reminded everyone to spread the message and invite friends to subscribe on the REDTV.

As end credits from the show reeled on the screen, the room was filled with a resounding applause. In a thank you address, Bola Atta the Executive Producer expressed her uttermost joy as the show more than surpassed expectations. She thanked the United Bank for Africa(UBA) for the endless support to ensure the success of REDTV and congratulated Tola Odunsi and Akins Akinkugbe, co-producers of the The Men’s Club.

The curtains drew with a final address from Tola Odunsi and Akins ‘AK’ Akinkugbe returning immense gratitude to every single actor and crew behind the scene reminding guests that ‘it’s easy to see the finished show but every single person who contributes to the show makes the job worthwhile’.

The Men’s Club starring Daniel Etim Effiong, Ayo Ayoola, Efa Iwara, Baaja Adebule, Mimi Chaka, Sharon Ooja, Segilola Ogidan, Enado Odigie. This season hosts some new faces including Shawn Faqua, Ijeoma Aniebo, Somto Akanegbu as we follow the lives of 4 young men in Lagos, discovering love, breaking hearts and trying to find meaning to life through their daily experiences and encounters.

The new season drops on YouTube this Thursday 23rd, May on the REDTV channel.

REDTV is a fast paced lifestyle channel that puts Africa on the global stage. Proudly powered by the  United Bank, UBA.

The network is here to entertain and inform with rich content that feature the very best of Africa focused on entertainment, fashion, news, design,
music, sport, movies and travel and much more. 

REDTV collaborates with the most talented visionaries, creative minds daring to believe in a New Africa, putting together content that reflects it. Feel the Heat on REDTV.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

President Buhari’s Trip Creates No Legal Or Constitutional Incident – BMO?

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has admonished the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to desist from its unwarranted and frivolous media attacks on President Muhammadu Buhari over his recent private trip to the United Kingdom.

The pro-Buhari group gave the admonition in its reaction to a press conference addressed by Mr Uche Secondus, National Chairman of the PDP where the party had descended heavily on President Buhari for a private visit to the UK without informing the National Assembly.

In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO averred that President Buhari’s has created no legal or constitutional incident and that  he is in fact the first Nigerian President to adhere to the Nigerian Constitution in that particular respect.

“We are constrained to remind the Peoples Democratic Party that throughout its sixteen years in power, Nigerians cannot recall any particular time a president transmitted letters to the National Assembly while embarking on vacation or any foreign trip.  

“In fact President Buhari is the first President to start adhering to the constitutional provision on the transmission of letters to the National Assembly whenever embarking on vacation.

“For the avoidance of doubt, President Muhammadu Buhari in deference to the constitution has always transmitted a letter to the National Assembly when embarking on vacation or medical trip and this is in line with his belief in the rule of law.”

BMO therefore enjoined the opposition party “to always stick to constructive engagements as an opposition party, and refrain from overheating the polity with careless statements.

“Even on the position of the law, we make bold to say that Section 145 sub section 2 allows the President twenty one days window within which to transmit a letter to the National Assembly. In this particular case the president will only be away for ten days, and this indicates that no section of the Constitution has been breached.

“We condemn the tendency of the PDP to always drag the country into needless controversies. Perhaps we need to once again remind the PDP that President Buhari was in the forefront of the patriotic Nigerians who supported the transfer of power to then vice president Goodluck Jonathan during the absence of late President Umaru Musa Yar’dua.

“He is therefore not averse to transmission of letters to the National Assembly. We wish to reassure Nigerians that the President remains committed to diligent adherence to the rule of law and the Constitution of the country,” the group added.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

UBA Partners Mastercard To Reward Customers With All-Expense Paid Trip to UEFA Champions League Semi’s & Finals

Leading Pan-African Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) PLC in partnership with leading global payments and technology company, Mastercard, have announced they are giving away all-expenses paid trips to the Semi-Finals and Finals of the 2019 UEFA Champions League to 12 lucky UBA Mastercard holders and their plus ones. 

Open to all existing and new UBA Platinum Mastercard holders, this amazing giveaway is an opportunity to pamper customers and give them a unique, unforgettable and priceless experience including flights, visas, 5-star accommodation, tickets to watch either the semi-finals or final matches of the UEFA Champions League and so much more with their MasterCard Platinum Access. 

 A total of 12 UBA Platinum Mastercard holders from Nigeria and 11 other African countries will share the enthralling experience of watching the finals live with a loved one as well as enjoy the great ambience of host city of the Semi-Finals or Finals (Madrid). The participating countries are Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia. 

“As we celebrate our 70 years of Banking and excellence, this is our way of rewarding customers for their continued patronage to the UBA brand. There will be many more this year as we want to continue to appreciate all our customers … for now. Customers who qualify should get a UBA Platinum Mastercard and spend a minimum of $10,000 or its equivalent in his or her local currency to stand a chance to win the all-expense paid package. To get your UBA Platinum Mastercard at any UBA Branch, a customer simply needs to contact his or her relationship manager at any UBA branch office” the Group Head, Marketing, UBA Plc, Mrs. Dupe Olusola said.

She said, “The UEFA Champions League is the most sought-after trophy in club football competition, and one of the most followed sporting spectacles in the world. To this end, we decided to partner Mastercard and UEFA in bringing the most iconic and cherished moments in the history of football to our esteemed and loyal customers who are the reason why we are so successful.

“We realize that, a lot of our customers love football and we feel giving them this treasured experience while they are pampered in far-away Spain is the way to go. These are the moments that make football such a passionate sport and we want to share these moments and experiences with our loyal customers across Nigeria and Africa,” Olusola said.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading pan-African financial services group, operating in 20 African countries, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and with presence in France.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

KOGI 2019: Babatunde Irukera Fits The Bill, By Bala Haruna

Kogi, the confluence State is presently groaning under the abysmal leadership of incumbent Governor, Yahaya Bello. While workers are being owed several months of salaries, decrepit infrastructure dot the landscape of the State with no visible projects in almost 4 years. It is generally discussed in hushed tones across the State that Kogi has never had it so bad. The yearning for change has literarily become a movement, and not a few people are looking in the direction of this very refined gentleman – Babatunde Irukera, to salvage the State.

Babatunde Irukera is the Director General/Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Protection Council (CPC). He is responsible for the daily management of the Council and leadership in fulfilling its mandate to protect consumers and secure remedies when consumer rights are violated. His record of advocacy and cases in favour of consumers is outstanding and provides the clarity that both the Council and industry need in ensuring due regard for customer service and protection of consumer rights.

Irukera has to his credit key sector related consumer protection advancements including advising the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority with respect to its role in sector consumer protection. He led the initiative in developing current aviation consumer protection regulations as well as the Passenger Bill of Rights. He also led the team that revised existing aviation economic regulations and superintended a comprehensive regulatory and parliamentary investigation into anti-competitive behaviour by foreign airlines. He has also provided capacity-building and advisory services to federal agencies and other clients with respect to competition/antitrust issues. He co-authors the Nigerian chapters in a range of competition/antitrust related widely regarded international publications.

Born on the 4th of September 1968 in Kaduna state, Irukera hails from Egbe, Yagba West. He studied law from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife and upon graduation in 1989, he proceeded to the Nigeria Law School in Lagos in 1990.  In 1995 he proceeded to the United State of America, where he carved a niche for himself as a successful Immigration expert in 1996 after passing the Washington State Bar examination at first sitting, a year after arriving America. In 1997, he started a partnership ( Thomas & Irukera) which ultimately become Partners, Attorneys & Counsellors, both in Chicago.

The legal luminary returned to Nigeria in 2006 to continue his professional career and became a founding and Managing Partner of Simmons Cooper Partners, now a leading law firm in Nigeria. So far, he has had a very successful career, winning many leading and landmark cases. Many of which are in the U.S, where he handled a case for black workers who were subjected to racial discrimination and a hostile work environment in a Fortune 500 company. The case went on appeal, he succeeded on appeal and the case ultimately settled in favour of his clients. It’s a major case and a reference point in employment discrimination cases in the U.S.

In Nigeria, Babatunde  Irukera represented the Federal and Kano state government in a major case against Pfizer for using Nigeria children in Kano as Guinea Pigs to test run a polio drug which caused deaths and other unbearable consequences on the affected children in 1992. The pharmaceutical giant, because the overwhelming evidence established against it by Irukera and his team, pleaded and secured the largest settlement in the history of Nigeria by compensating the victims and constructing a world class infectious disease hospital in Kano.

In another landmark case, Irukera represented a class of investors against one of Nigeria largest bank and secured judgment that subscribers should be fairly treated. Very important case as it was the only class action in the judicial process and it provided remedy for every single subscriber. The list of his success story as a lawyer is endless, his tenacity of purpose in that regard and in his present assignment as DG CPC is the reason the Kogi people are looking in his direction for exemplary leadership. 

One of his celebrated case was which the Nigerian government launched a $43-billion lawsuit against three multinational cigarette manufacturers it accuses of trying to hook young Africans on tobacco, to replenish a market that is dwindling in the West and and attempts to influence lawmakers to keep tobacco sales unregulated, the companies are the British American Tobacco (BAT), Philip Morris and International Tobacco. Babatunde Irukera  was the  Federal Government lawyer in the case. The companies questioned the massive sums demanded by the government and say the case “has no merit”.

However, Irukera proved them wrong and went ahead to establish a case against them with a dossier of evidence that runs to 3,000 pages consisting of internal company e-mails discussing how to target children and influence lawmakers in Nigeria. “If this case gets to the evidence stage, the companies are dead on arrival,” says Babatunde Irukera, the case eventually settled out of court in favour of the government.

He successfully handled the complex multi jurisdictional cases of firms in the United States and England in establishing a broad based practice in Nigeria, focusing primarily on public interest litigation to protect society from injurious conduct and unscrupulous behaviour.

He routinely conducted oral arguments before the United States Court of Appeals and the Nigerian appellate courts with reported “locus classicus”, passages more authoritative and known, that are currently of worthy presidential value

It is believed therefore that with his wealth of experience as a litigator and seasoned administrator, Babatunde Irukera is the breath of fresh air that Kogi desperately needs to neutralise the suffocating stench oozing out of the State as a result of Yahaya Bello’s maladministration. A proverbial round peg in a round hole, widely believed to be imbued with impeccable character and leadership acumen, It is widely acclaimed that he holds the ace for an All Progressives Congress (APC) victory in the November Gubernatorial polls. For Kogi to prosper again, give us Irukera! 

Bala Haruna, is an APC chieftain and concerned Kogi State Indigene

Views expressed are solely those of the author and does to necessarily reflect the views of Abusidiqu.com or its associates

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

El-Rufai’s Convoy Foils Kidnapping Along Kaduna-Abuja Road

The Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai’s convoy foiled attempted kidnapping of motorists along Kaduna-Abuja road on Wednesday afternoon.

The Governor who was on his way to Abuja got to the Akilubu village around 3:40pm, sighted dozens of vehicles parked by citizens alarmed that kidnappers were ahead.

Security operatives in the governor’s convoy advanced and cleared the road of the criminals who fled into the forest.

After clearing the road, Governor El-Rufai directed that travelers who had been wounded by the criminals be rushed to the nearest hospital. The Governor also directed security agencies to intensify patrols and permanently clear the road of the bandits.

Signed

Samuel Aruwan
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor (Media and Publicity)
3rd April 2019.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

More Winners Set To Emerge In UBA Wise Savers Promo… N90m Still Up For Grabs

Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has again announced that another set of  20 loyal customers will get a chance to win N1,500,000 each, in the second edition of its quarterly drawfor the ongoing UBA Wise Savers Promo, which would hold in April at the bank’s Corporate head office.

This development more than anything is an opportunity for potential and intending customers to take their chance and add to the growing number of millionaires who have benefitted from the ongoing Wise Savers Promo as a whopping N90Million is still up for grabs.

To qualify for the draws, new and existing customers of the bank are expected to save at least N10,000 each month for three consecutive months, or N30,000 for 90 days in the  promo, which will run for the rest of the year. Apart from the N30 million, won by 20 customers last month, January to be precise  another N90 million is still expected to be won by 60 more loyal customers in the remaining three quarters of the year.

Already the following winners, who cut across all regions of the country; Nnadumije, Ebube Dawn; Onwochei Christiana Okwukwe; Eze Mathias Nnaji; Christian N Orie; Uka, Okwudiri; Okata Stephen Uche; Okafor Onyinye Esther; Nwanekezi Chimezie Jude; Ayomide V Yahaya and Olanegan, Oyetunde Keji, have already claimed their cash prize and are currently spreading the news so others can take advantage of the once in a life time opportunity.

Others winners doing same are Emmanuel Onu Chidozie; Mohammed Fatima; Aminu, Mustapha; James Nanre; Pahinti Albert; Emmanuel O Adeniji; Jaki Movihinze Mercy; Saminu Muritala Mohammed; Ezeh Raphael Uballa; Uchenna Iheji.

The Group Executive, Digital and Consumer Banking, Mr. Anant Rao, while speaking on the forthcoming Raffle draw, noted that a lot of lives have been positively impacted, following the previous draw where 20 people went home with N1,500,000 each totaling, N90 million.

According to Rao: “there is no better time to give back and delight customers than this challenging economic period where people need all the support they can get to make life more meaningful. With this in mind we decided to prioritise them as we always like to do at UBA by giving them plenty to cheer about and that is the reason for the ‘Wise Savers Promo”.

“I have been privileged to visit some of the customers who won in January, and was more than fulfilled to see happiness and gratitude on the faces of the fortunate 20 when their cash prizes were presented to them. That feeling is indescribable, to this end we are more than motivated to do more so our customers can better achieve their dreams and goals in life, I am happy this cash prize can go a long way, to this end, enjoin many more customers to participate in the promo, you never can tell, it could be you”.

Head Retail Liabilities, Tomiwa Sotiloye, also explained that the promo was consistent with the bank’s novel initiatives in prioritizing customers and this was necessitated because our customers are invaluable to all that we do.

“He continued, we would continue to listen and give them nothing short of the best that they deserve. UBA will not relent, because we are impressed with the impact this has made so far and would continue to touch the lives of our loyal customers positively”. Sotiloye noted

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Stop Victimising Civil Servants, AbdulRazaq Tells Kwara Govt

Kwara APC governorship candidate AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Monday asked the PDP-led state government to stop victimising civil servants on flimsy and petty excuses.

“We are aware that civil servants who did not agree to do the bidding of the ruling PDP are being sacked or victimised in one way or the other. This is wrong, inhuman and unlawful,” AbdulRazaq said in a statement by his media aide, Rafiu Ajakaye.

“Civil servants are humans and are covered by the social contract. Any government, such as the one currently in Kwara State, with no regard for the social contract cannot expect the civil servants to remain silent in the face of tyranny.”

The statement also said the state government has over the years politicised the civil service as the “discredited dynasty and patron to the government has a notorious history of coercing civil servants to support their candidates and suppress popular wishes of the electorate.”

“Once elected, we will look into the cases of all the civil servants who were victimised or sacked on account of refusing to compromise their professionalism or integrity. We will restore their rights and dignity as Kwarans,” the statement quoted AbdulRazaq as saying.

AbdulRazaq’s comments came on the heels of a civil servant who was recently sacked by Kwara state government and others who were being threatened for not doing the political bidding of the PDP-led government.

The sack has led to outrage on the social media as Nigerians criticized the ugly development.

“It is outrageously hypocritical for a government that is notorious for coercing and blackmailing civil servants to do its political bidding to turn around and accuse civil servants of getting involved in politics,” the statement added.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Only Dapo Abiodun Shows More Seriousness To Buhari’s Campaign In Ogun State – Olamide Lawal

However, the president raised the hand of his annointed and preferred candidate for the Oke-mosan seat late December last year in the presence of the world- Prince (Dr) Dapo Abiodun. 

Upon arrival from the Aso villa, the prince swung into action by ensuring that the APC win all its elections, from the Presidential to the Senate, Reps and the State House of Assembly. This is perhaps because the Iperu-prince has no other party than the APC. 

Unlike Akinlade who is over-burdened with the task of marketing his new party, rebranding the already stained name of his political godfather and putting in place and re-strategizing their rigging mechanism in a bid to buy the electoral umpire. Commonsensical, If Governor Amosun had gone with his political stooges into the APM, It might be understandable. If he had remained in the APC with his people, he would have been a hero by now just like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. But the 61-year old had proved himself to be dubious and ungrateful to the party that rescued him in 2011 and even 2015 when he was at the edge of loosing the seat he occupied. 

If Governor Amosun, who is also the senatorial candidate of the APC in Ogun Central is claiming daily in the papers that he is supporting and mobilising for President Buhari, how many local governments has he visited since the campaign began in December last year?  ANSWER- Only the six local government areas in the central senatorial district where he is seeking their votes. He has no mission in Ijebu/Remo or Yewa/Awori areas for now politically. 

Prince Dapo Abiodun has gone to the nooks and crannies, even the most extreme and remote parts of Ogun state have hosted the business moguls.

Dapo Abiodun’s mission to the length and breadth of the state is VOTE APC ACROSS BOARD, VOTE APC ALL THE WAY. He knows that he needs not to talk about the candidates after all there are no candidate’s name on the ballot paper. The ballot papers have only party logos and names. 

Another interesting aspect of Abiodun’s campaign language is that he is the only candidate in Ogun state who has adopted President Buhari’s second term campaign slogan-NEXT LEVEL     

He says this at every of his campaign venues. 
Ask Akinlade when last he mentioned Buhari during his campaign. Why would he even mention an APC Presidential candidate when the APM (His party) also have a Presidential candidate whose name is still on INEC’s list of candidates. 
The combination of Akinlade and Amosun no longer carry weight in Ogun state. This is because even the APM (With no structure and reputation) cannot win a single polling boot in the next election and this is perhaps why they have focused on demarketing the APC and even President Muhammodu Buhari. 

For example, the vice president of Nigeria was in Ogun state on Monday, where was Governor Amosun? Why was his stooge which he claims has the annointing of the president absent? 

Until the above questions could be answered with sincerity, the APC remains the headache of Akinlade, giving  the APM and its members sleepless nights and serving as nightmare for the outgoing governor.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]