President Muhammadu Buhari arrived Abuja around 4.35 pm today. He had been in London on medical vacation since 7th May, 2017.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) welcomes the president. We thank Almighty Allah for his recovery. We also thank Nigerians for praying for him during his illness.
We recall the #ResumeorResign and #OurMumuDonDo protests staged in Abuja and London against the continued absence of Buhari. Those protesters manifested heartlessness, pettiness and the inhumanity of man to man. There was no reasonable casus belli for protests when no law has been broken and there was no palpable lacuna in the presidency. How can you protest against a man for seeking medical attention? It is the height of wickedness.
It is clear to discerning minds that Buhari’s departure from London was not due to pressure from protesters. He had confirmed two weeks ago that he was physically fit but waiting for his doctor’s orders. He had also said he was feeling homesick and willing to return to Nigeria.
Besides, those protests stood logic on its head. Where on earth have you seen a man who won a presidential election abandoning his plump job, the pump and pageantry just for the fun of it? Where is it done? We have heard of sit-tight syndrome in presidencies but we have never heard of any run-away phenomenon in governance. Not in Europe, not in Asia, not to talk of it happening on the African continent where leaders are known to love staying in power for decades.
But the wind has blown and we have seen the ruff of the hen. Looters used part of the humongous amounts of money stashed away in secret accounts to rent idle and jobless stowaways to stage protests. It is corruption fighting back. The sponsors of those protests in Abuja and London should bury their heads in shame.
It is quite germane at this juncture to remind Nigerians that Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State allegedly promised to commit suicide if Buhari returns to Nigeria alive. Well, the president is back and Nigerians owe it a duty to ask whether or not Fayose would redeem his pledge. Is Fayose a man of his words? Will Fayose commit suicide? Will he be man enough to do just that? Fayose is an interesting study in political fanaticism and executive exuberance. The garrulous self-confessed danfo conductor just pushed his luck too far this time around. We are constrained to ask, “Where is Fayose’s integrity?”
For closing his ears to Satanic whispers, we single out Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for glowing encomiums. Osinbajo demonstrated faith in Project Nigeria, exhibited strong character and manifested self-satisfaction cum exemplary statesmanship.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
The Top10 magazine, Nigeria’s foremost publication that celebrates the top of the best in all areas of endeavor, has released the list of Nigeria’s top 10 maritime leaders, under the title, “Nigeria’s Maritime Top 10”.
In the latest edition of the magazine which looks at the stakes and contributions of indigenous maritime operators, the magazine lists the top 10 investors shaping local participation in the sector.
Top on the list are former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, who is the founder of Intels Nigeria; General T.Y Danjuma (rtd), chairman, Five Star Logistics Limited and NAL-Comet Shipping; Chief Oladipo Jadesimi, founder of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) and Alhaji Aliko Dangote, founder and chairman of Greenview Development Services Limited.
Others on the list are Adesuyi Haastrup, chairman, ENL Consortium Limited; Emeka Ofor, chairman, Inland Container Terminal Nigeria Limited; Aderemi Makanjuola, chairman, Caverton Offshore Support Group; Taiwo Afolabi, founder of Sifax Group of Companies; Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, chairman, Daddo Group of Companies and Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, chairman, Genesis Worldwide Shipping Company Limited.
Mr. Tony Iji, publisher of The Top10, said in a release that, “In line with our tradition of celebrating 10 leading lights in every sector of the society, this edition of the magazine focuses on the top 10 Nigerian investors who are shaping indigenous participation in the maritime industry”. He said the major criteria for selection were market leadership of the operators, investment in infrastructure, as well as contribution to industry growth and economic development of Nigeria.
“In an industry dominated by foreigners, celebration of local investors who have distinguished themselves in contributing to the development of the sector is our little way of encouraging those who are working towards indigenous control of the industry”, Iji said.
He said the maritime sector was very critical to the economic development of Nigeria, hence the need to pay special attention to what happens in the industry, in view of the need to strengthen local participation. He also said in spite of its potential as a major driver of the economy, studies have shown that the industry is largely dominated by foreigners, to the detriment of indigenous operators. This notwithstanding, some indigenous operators have demonstrated capacity to increase local participation in the sector by investing in the required infrastructure and technologies to handle big and lucrative businesses such as lifting of crude oil, and other capital intensive operations.
“Our intention, therefore, is to identify and celebrate the top 10 industry leaders who have made the difference in the drive towards establishment of indigenous control in the operation of the Nigerian maritime industry”, Iji said. “These industry leaders comprise magnates that have built enormous operating capacities in various aspects of the business and, in them, rest the hope of increasing the participation of indigenous operators in the Nigerian maritime sector”.
Enugu , South East Nigeria, is set to receive a cross section of politicians, entrepreneurs , investors and women leaders for the International African Women and Empowerment Conference holding on the 28th to 30th of August 2017. This was revealed to the Director General of Igbo Mandate Congress, IMC, Rev Obinna Akukwe in Abuja last week when a delegation of leaders of Diamond Youth Transformation Initiative (DYTI) paid him a courtesy call.
The leader of Diamond Youth Transformation Initiative, Ambassador Uchechukwu Ekpere Paul stated that the International Women’s Conference is geared towards opening up wide range of business and political opportunities for the Nigerian and African Women. Ambassador Paul stated that the conference is geared towards helping women entrepreneurs to find their feet.
In the situation report briefing, Igbo Mandate Congress was intimated that the wife of the Acting President, Mrs Dolapo Osiibanjo had confirmed her presence. Those slated for the event include Mrs Sarah Jubril (former presidential aspirant), Miss Linda Ikeji( celebrated blogger), Femi Fan Kayode, Senator Dino Melaye, Leo Stan Ekeh (computer entrepreneur), and among others.
Participants from Italy will be led by Dr Antonello Lo Vecchi , one of the leading investors in Italy. The Italian delegation is coming with business empowerment and investment partnership choices. Dr Dvora Anat Perl, an Israeli Agriculturalist will lead another group from Israel while Dr Mary Francois will lead the United States delegation which will include Dr Chigbundu Anene (celebrated Speaker), Barr Gozie Udemezue (Women Affairs Expert) among others
The event will be chaired by Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra State and Prof Chinedu Nebo, fprmer Minister of Power while women activists, poiliticians and entrepreneurs from across Nigeria will take the stage.
The conference which will hold at The Dome Events Centre, New Haven welcomes women professionals, entrepreneurs, and those interested in mentor-ship at various levels.
The Director General of Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC) Rev Obinna Akukwe told the Diamond Youth delegation which included Miss Onyeakaruru Chisimdi Stephanie (Admin Secretary), and Rev Friday Gary Ndubuisi that IMC will start mobilizing women professionals and entrepreneurs to make the most of this rare opportunity.
He commended Diamond Youth Transformation Initiative for successfully bringing Israel investors to the South East after the South East Youth Economic Summit of 2016 and pledged the support of IMC in mobilizing progressive minded women activists, professionals and entrepreneurs from the South East to make best use of the conference opportunity.
Akukwe commended the Igbo-Israeli partnership which came out of the earlier SEYES conference saying that he had personally supervised some projects in Igbo lands that sprang out of the Israeli partnership. Akukwe also described the array of speakers and mentors as revolutionary and capable of making Nigerian women think out of the box and spearhead the accelerated development of Nigeria.
Best mates Karl and Abu are both 17 and live near Kings Cross. It’s 2011 and racial tensions are set to explode across London. Abu is infatuated with gorgeous classmate Nalini but dares not speak to her. Meanwhile, Karl is the target of the local “wannabe” thugs just for being different.
When Karl finds out his father lives in Nigeria, he decides that Port Harcourt is the best place to escape the sound and fury of London, and connect with a Dad he’s never known. Rejected on arrival, Karl befriends Nakale, an activist who wants to expose the ecocide in the Niger Delta to the world, and falls headlong for his feisty cousin Janoma. Meanwhile, the murder of Mark Duggan triggers a full-scale riot in London. Abu finds himself in its midst, leading to a near-tragedy that forces Karl to race back home.
Olumide Popoola is a London-based Nigerian German author, poet, lecturer, performer and speaker who presents internationally, often collaborating with musicians or other artists. The scope of her work concerns critical investigation into the ‘in-between’ of culture, language and public space where, sometimes uncomfortable, a look at complexity is needed.
Olumide holds a Masters and PhD in Creative Writing, and a Bachelor degree in Ayurvedic Medicine. In 2004, she won the May Ayim Award in the poetry category.
Her book ‘When We Speak of Nothing’ will be available in Nigeria from September 2017.
The Federal Government recently set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the Nigerian Military and it’s compliance with the rules of engagement in the war against the insurgency in the North East.
Members of the seven-man Commission include Hon. Justice Biobele A. Georgewill (Chairman), Major-General Patrick Akem, Mr. Wale Fapohunda, Mrs. Hauwa Ibrahim, Mr. Jibrin Ibrahim, Mrs. Ifeoma Nwakama and the Representative of the office of the National Security Adviser.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is constrained to bring the concerns of stakeholders in the sub-region to the attention of the Federal Government (FG). For a Commission whose terms of reference are of great significance with wide implications, its credibility is now at stake as the question of an exclusive and all-Christian membership is being raised. This is likely to affect the prospects of a fair, impartial and objective fact-finding exercise.
It is being alleged that those who bear Muslim names among the members are non-Muslims. Jibrin Ibrahim is allegedly a Christian from Kano State. Hauwa Ibrahim who is from Gombe reportedly abandoned Islam a long time ago. He is married to an Italian and works with Harvard’s School of Divinity.
The exclusion of indigenes of the North East from membership of the Commission is another bone of contention. There is no single person from Adamawa, Borno or Yobe among the members. Yet these are the major stakeholders. Who feels it knows it. John cannot be taking panadol when Mustapha is the one who has headache.
The indigenes are the main victims of the insurgency. The fact that they speak the local languages and understand the various cultures and may be conversant with the history, trends and events as they unfolded should have qualified them for membership more than anyone else.
Is there a hidden agenda? Is something about to be swept under the carpet? The Nigerian Army is known for setting up probe panels to investigate itself and, expectedly, to vindicate itself and all its actions in the final findings. Is FG preparing the ground for a padded report?
MURIC demands a review of the membership of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate the activities of the Nigerian Army in the North East insurgency. It is natural to nurse suspicions concerning a body established to investigate Muslim communities which excludes Muslims from its membership. Neither can the indigenes be expected to be comfortable or to repose confidence in a Commission in which they are not represented.
To round up, an experienced Muslim judge ought to have been made chairman of the commission while another Muslim should also serve as a member. It is definitely not too much to have at least two Muslims in a Commission whose membership is seven and whose area of operation is a predominantly Muslim territory.
Can anyone imagine the uproar that would be generated if an all-Muslim Commission is set up to investigate an issue based in the South-East, South-South or South-West? FG must always consider these factors in sensitive appointments and assignments. This is the way to make a multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country work.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) and Liverpool FC today announced a multi-year partnership that will see Western Union, a leader in global payment and money transfer services, become an Official Principal Partner and the Official Money Transfer Partner of Liverpool FC. They will also become the Club’s first-ever Official Shirt Sleeve Sponsor – with the Western Union logo appearing on LFC shirt sleeves.
As the official Money Transfer Partner of Liverpool FC, Western Union will use its global cross-border digital transfer and payments platform to provide money transfer capabilities to the club. Western Union will offer fast, easy digital payments and money transfers for Liverpool Football Club and its fans, linking them to their home communities or to virtually anywhere in the world.
“The businesses of Western Union and Liverpool FC are both driven by our passion for bringing communities together, whether that be through moving money or delivering the excitement of football experiences,” said Jean-Claude Farah, President of Global Payments at Western Union. “This partnership goes far beyond a badge on a shirt, as we will be bringing our digital money transfer expertise to better connect Liverpool FC and fans around the world.”
Billy Hogan, Chief Commercial Officer and Managing Director at Liverpool Football Club said: “Western Union is an instantly recognisable brand with a truly global footprint and we are absolutely delighted to welcome them as our first ever Shirt Sleeve Sponsor and official Principal Partner. We are very much looking forward to working with Western Union through this partnership to create new experiences and opportunities for our fans both in the UK and abroad.”
The two organizations mirror each other in their storied histories and truly global followings. Just as football powerfully transcends borders and brings people together, Western Union has a 160-year global brand history of connecting customers across more than 200 countries and territories. The 125-year-old Liverpool football club has more than 700 million active followers globally across television, social and traditional media.
“We are proud to celebrate a sport that unifies billions of people worldwide, and to work with a partner that so closely shares our values,” said Elizabeth G. Chambers, Chief Strategy, Product and Marketing Officer at Western Union. “Our customers are digitally-savvy and on-the-go, moving not just money but their human capital – their cultures, values and sporting allegiances. Like us, Liverpool FC has an active and diverse global following who want to be a part of something bigger and we can help them achieve this.”
Western Union continues to drive its ambitious digital expansion in countries across the world, and will harness its deep cross-border and fintech capabilities to improve the payments experience for the club as well as LFC fans, suppliers and business partners. Whether close to home or far afield, they can look to Western Union to help move money when, how and where they need it.
Western Union’s logo is the first to appear on the sleeve and sixth to appear on the shirt, since the inception of Liverpool FC.
The partnership will see Western Union benefit from a diverse range of LFC marketing and promotional rights, including digital and social media support, pitch side LED messaging, and branding across Anfield stadium, its fan lounge and the Club’s media channels. Also included are exclusive hospitality and conference opportunities, and access to International pre-season tours, Liverpool FC players and Legends.
To celebrate the launch of the partnership, Western Union will be offering Liverpool FC fans in the UK, Ireland, France, Denmark, Norway and Sweden a fee-free* money transfer promotion, running from August 10 through until the end of August.
The Western Union patch will be available free of charge to all LFC fans that have purchased a 2017-18 Liverpool FC shirt and will be available in-store and online from Sunday 27th August. Full details will follow on www.liverpoolfc.com.
‘Nigeria Beyond Oil: The Future,’ a conference organized by ‘Inside Out with Agatha’ – Nigeria’s longest running independent television talk show – held on Friday 5 August, 2017 to mark the show’s 20th anniversary.
The event, which was held at Harbour Point, Victoria Island, Lagos, was part of a series of activities lined up to celebrate Agatha Amata as she steps down as host of the show.
According to the media entrepreneur, the theme for the event was inspired by the vision of the former Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who stated his mission to create a ‘Delta state beyond oil’, and providing solutions for disgruntled youth who feel that the government has not done enough for them.
Giving her keynote speech, the Special Guest Speaker, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, emphasized the urgency in the need for change, advocating for a massive shift in the focus from crude oil to other promising sectors of the economy.
“The federal government and other Nigerian financial institutions that provide credit facilities for growing businesses have to remove loan conditions that continue to stifle creativity and entrepreneurship,” Alakija said.
“Nigerian youths have to avoid the prevalent get-rich quick culture, and other negative values affecting the socio-economic development of the country, and divert their skills to businesses with long-term potential such as agriculture, ICT amongst others,” she stated.
Joining a panel session which included Folorunso Alakija; Muda Yusuf, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce; Tosin Akande, a social critic; Shedrack Madilon, Managing Director, Safari54; and Obi Buogo, CEO, Wood Designs; Uduaghan reiterated his message that human capital development is imperative for capital investment. According to him, this can be assisted with strategic mentorship that helps youth across the country to identify economic opportunities inherent in the environment.
Supporting the former governor’s statement, Yusuf stated that current government policies impedes foreign direct investment, pointing out that the private sector should become a strategic partner in driving investment that will pull the country out of recession.
President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has stated that youth unemployment in Nigeria can be curtailed with a collaborative policy and legislative thrust that would help improve access to finance and develop basic infrastructure.
Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja on Monday, noted that the inability to access finance, inadequate power supply and the nation’s current under-developed transport systems in many parts of the country, hinder millions of otherwise productive but unemployed and under-employed youth from starting small businesses.
“Nigeria currently has a working age population of just over 108 million people. Out of this number, people under 35 years old are the worst affected by the high rate of unemployment and under-employment in our nation.
“To begin to put a dent in these detrimental statistics, we need to combine our strategies at the legislative and executive level to create greater access to finance for young people. Right now, it is clear that no arm of government can go at this alone. On our end in the 8th Senate, we are working to create new forms of capital through the passage of Bills like the Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Bill, that will allow young people to use their portable assets like cars and laptops as collateral for loans to start small businesses.
“We have also passed the Warehouse Receipts Bill to create new type of transactional currency that will allow people to use their invoices from pending transactions and contracts to access loans from credit institutions,” the Senate President said.
Saraki also emphasized that improvements need to be made in Nigeria’s transport systems to allow for easy and efficient movement of people, goods and services across the country.
He noted that this will not only improve the country’s economy as suggested in a 2016 World Bank Report, it will also help to create more opportunities for young people to contribute to the development of the economy.
“As it stands, at the National Assembly, we are working hard to pass laws that will improve Nigeria’s infrastructure and transport systems by creating more avenues for private sector participation in the building of roads and railway systems.
“This can be seen through our amendment of the 62 year-old Railway Act; the passage of the Federal Road Authority establishment Bill; and our ongoing work on the National Transport Commission Bill.
“We are also continuously working to reform and strengthen our ability to import and export through our ports with the passage of the National Inland Waterways Act; the amendment to the Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority Act; and our update to the Nigerian Customs Service Act.
“Moving forward, although it is clear that both the legislature and the executive are working hard to address these critical areas, there needs to be closer collaboration and emphasis on using both policy and legislative interventions to bring down the rising unemployment in the country,” Saraki said.
The Buhari Media Support Group has cautioned politicians against bringing in the Military into the murky waters of politics.
The Group, in a statement signed by the Acting Chairman, Hon Austin Braimoh, and its Secretary, Chief Cassidy Madueke, dismissed claims by Governor Fayose that the Military is corrupt mischievous and ill-motivated.
It described the Nigerian Military under its current leadership as professional and far from corrupt.
The group noted that Governor Fayose had uncharitably failed to take into consideration the succession steps taken since the coming of President Buhari, the rid the military of corruption but also their notorious image on human rights.
“Unlike the previous administration, where the military made the institution a vehicle for the channeling of funds to fund political campaigns and elections, of which Governor Fayose was a beneficiary, the Nigerian Military under Buhari has been reformed and refocused leading to unprecedented feats at the war front, ” the statement said.
The group further noted that the Nigerian Military is a longstanding symbol of Nigeria’s unity and this must not be toyed with by divisive and hate-brewing politicians.
The group further lamented the under-reporting of the achievements of the Nigerian Military in the war against Boko Haram, and the unnecessary and unpatriotic prominence given to pockets of Boko Haram’s guerilla attacks on the media.
The group urged politicians and the media to be agents of unity and eschew commentaries that sow division in the country.
A group, Goal Initiative, has concluded plans to host the ‘Goal 2017 Charity football fiesta’ billed for August 5th, 2017 at the Citybridge Sportsplex, City Park, Wuse II, Abuja.
Goal is a charity football exhibition, as well as a fiesta initiated to emphasize the need for assimilation of the less privileged into the society. The event is an embodiment of ‘The GOAL Initiative’, which was birthed to support less privileged children and promote the development of the ability of the youths in Nigeria.
This year’s event will be the 5th edition. Goal at 5, is slated to be a grand celebration of growth and a step towards expanding our reach to further enrich lives. This has led to a coalition amongst 6 non-governmental organisation, including Goal Initiative. The coalition has been created in order to promote the ideals of all organisations involved using the event as a platform to reach the public. especially the youthful population of Nigeria that inhabits the federal capital territory, Abuja.
The event is to feature Novelty football matches from 2 Female Teams in a Penalty Shoot-out and 4 All-Star Teams in a head to head feat, Powered by Royale Football Foundation. There will also be many side attractions for the spectators to indulge. It promises to be a fun-filled event as well as an impactful one.
Donations made will be used to provide for the immediate needs of the orphanages and will also be used to support the orphanages in setting up means to generate funds.