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2023: Babatope Speaks On Tinubu, Adeleke and G-5

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Presidential Election: Oyebanji thanks Ekiti People for peaceful conduct, APC victory

2023: Babatope Speaks On Tinubu, Adeleke and G-5

 

Chief Ebenezer Babatope, a former Minister of Transport and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) marked 80 years of his existence on earth last week. In this exclusive interview with TEMIDAYO AKINSUYI, he shares his thoughts on his life and developments in the country ahead of the 2023 general elections. Excerpts:

 

Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari and other eminent Nigerians congratulated you on the occasion of your 80th birthday. How do you feel at 80?

 

I feel good at 80 and thank God Almighty because I never knew I would live this long. I am very grateful to God who has kept me this far. My life has been an eventful one because of the time I spent with Papa Obafemi Awolowo in the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). Papa Awolowo gave leadership and inspired us as youths to lead Nigeria and used our privileged position for the common good and advancement of humanity. That is the legacy that Papa Awolowo left behind for us. That is the path I have followed all my life and I am grateful to God who has kept me this far. I am very happy to have been appointed the National Director of the Organisation of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) by Papa Awolowo at that time, and it was a glorious thing to have served under Papa Awolowo because I was lucky that Papa chose me as an official of his party at the time when people who were better than me politically and ideologically were all over the place. And for that, I would ever be grateful to him. So, it was a pleasure to serve the party and to rekindle the energy of Papa Awolowo’s ideological life. Thank God for it, and it was a good reflection, very good memory. I would forever thank my God for making that possible and for making it something I would live with.

 

In a country where life expectancy is below 60 years, what is the secret of your longevity?

 

It is because of the fact that I believe that life is one thing that must be handled with care. You do so by loving the people and doing everything they want as you are enabled to do. The reason why God blessed you is for you to be a blessing to others. That has been my philosophy. The people have the power and that is one of Papa Awolowo’s teachings.

 

What are your regrets?

 

I have many regrets. The Nigeria Papa left has been compromised; it has been destroyed because Papa taught us all the principles that would make the nation great. We never thought we would have this kind of thing whereby elections would be hopelessly rigged by those who are in power to ensure they have political dominance in power and in government. I never knew, now I know better. Suppose you want to win an election in Nigeria. In that case, you must pray to God Almighty and you must pray to God to help you solve the problem of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). INEC is a terrible organization now; they manipulate elections at will; they are never afraid of God Almighty and, therefore, the Nigerian people are held at the mercy of those who do not want Nigerians to have the freedom to elect those who would govern them. The best option one can have, Chief Awolowo said, is a democracy, that democracy is the last option for mankind. Mankind can only progress if we enthrone proper democracy. Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, I will share his view in all my interviews. He gave a proper definition of democracy when he was alive. He said, ‘Democracy is a demonstration of craze, crazy demon.’ And he was right. When you have a democracy that was not guided by rules, that has estranged government from the people, then you have ‘demon crazy.’ Not democracy, but ‘demon crazy,’ ‘crazy demon.’ Well, we pray to God Almighty that INEC will, one day, change its mind and give the people of Nigeria the right to elect those who would govern them, and when they do that, they would enable Nigeria to stabilize democracy.

 

However, my major regret is my unjust dismissal from the University of Lagos (UNILAG) by General Olusegun Obasanjo without any retirement benefit to date. Obasanjo dismissed me from the services of the University of Lagos in 1978 as a result of the “Ali Must Go” demonstrations of Nigerian students in 1978.I was accused of supporting students against the government when the late Segun Okeowo led the students for reforms in Nigeria’s educational system. The Governing Council of the university later met in November of that same year to turn my dismissal to retirement.

 

The university later sent my papers to merge my services with the then Ministry of Establishment which was then under the late Brigadier-General Solomon Kikiowo Omojokun. I am not blaming Omojokun but today at 78, I served my country meritoriously as a public servant but today, I have no established mark from the federal government to say this is what I have done. I am still bitter because nobody has paid me a single kobo after my services to the university as retirement benefits.

 

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo wrote a letter few days ago where he endorsed Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of Labour Party. Do you think his endorsement carries any weight?

 

Obasanjo can do anything he wants to do but I know people also have the power to also undo things with their votes. Obasanjo can write any letter, in fact, he can endorse anyone he wants. He has freedom and constitutional rights to do that but I know that on election day, Nigerians will decide who they want as their leaders in the next four years.

 

What is your take on the concept of Emilokan in Nigerian politics?

 

Emilokan is Bola Tinubu’s style. When I hear him say that, I began to laugh because he is just wasting his bloody time. I don’t know the conception of Emilokan in the minds of Tinubu but all I know is that Emilokan which literally means ‘It is my turn’ is all about self-interest. Emilokan does not take cognizance of the fact that the people have the power to do things for themselves and choose the leaders they want. Nigerians must choose their leaders and they must be given the opportunity and freedom to do so in an unfettered manner. Emilokan can only become meaningful when you grant the rights and freedom to the people to elect the leaders they want to govern them.

 

Do you think the controversy trailing the redesigning of the Naira should be addressed by the FG?

 

I think we should give the government the chance to succeed. The government has a motive on why it keeps insisting that we must redesign the naira notes and vowed not to extend the January 31st deadline for usage of the old notes. We should respect the decision of the government because the moneybags want to use the Naira. They have stored to frustrate the wishes of Nigerians. So, let’s give them a chance to succeed. By the grace of God, we are going to see the back of the money marauders.

 

The Osun State Election Petition Tribunal has sacked Ademola Adeleke as the state governor and declared Gboyega Oyetola as the winner of the governorship election. As a chieftain of the PDP, were you shocked at the outcome of the ruling?

 

It is a very funny judgment. I know that by the grace of God, the will of the people of Osun who freely gave their mandate to Governor Ademola Adeleke will prevail. The tribunal is not the last, we still have the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. I am confident that they will reverse the ruling of the tribunal and uphold the wishes of the people. The Osun people rejected the APC and chose Ademola Adeleke as their governor and nobody can in a cavalier manner make nonsense of that wish. Those who gave the judgment will be very sorry for themselves because the people have shown to them that they are irrelevant when it comes to who really has the power to determine things for the people of Nigeria.

 

The presidential election is just less than a month away and the G-5 governors led by Nyesom Wike are still adamant on not supporting Atiku Abubakar. Do you think any solution is in sight?

 

We have tried our best to placate them. At this stage, if they want to go, goodluck to them. If they want to remain in PDP, the better for all of us. Governor Wike and his allies must not arrogate powers that they don’t have to themselves. If they do so, they will make mistakes and may regret it. We all love Wike for his courage but when you arrogate powers to yourself, then you may lose the support of the people.

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Middle Belt Youths Won’t Protest Against Tinubu, Bago’s Administration – NCYG

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*Middle Belt Youths Won’t Protest Against Tinubu, Bago’s Administration – NCYG

 

 

The North Central Youth Group, a vibrant coalition of young people from the Middle Belt, has distanced itself from any form of protest against President Bola Tinubu and Governor Umar Bago of Niger State.

The group’s stance comes after a thorough evaluation of the leaders’ performances, which they say has brought hope, opportunities, and smiles to the faces of Nigerians, particularly the people of the North Central region.

A statement jointly signed by Abdullahi Mohammed and Barr Fidelis Elaigwu described President Tinubu’s administration as a beacon of light in just one year, illuminating the path to a brighter future for Nigeria.

They said Governor Bago has also been making giant strides in his administration’s focus on agriculture, education, and youth empowerment.

“President Tinubu’s visionary leadership has led to the implementation of the National Development Plan, a comprehensive blueprint for economic diversification and growth,” the statement said.

“This laudable initiative has already started yielding positive results, with the economy showing signs of stability and growth.

“Additionally, the President’s establishment of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council has brought together a team of experts who provide sage advice on economic matters, further solidifying his commitment to good governance.

“Moreover, President Tinubu’s dedication to youth empowerment is a testament to his belief in the potential of young people to drive positive change. His administration’s innovative programs, such as the National Talent Export Programme, the 3 Million Tech Talents (3MTT) initiative and Nigerian Youth Academy (NiYA) have provided countless opportunities for young Nigerians to acquire skills, gain employment, and start their own businesses.

“These initiatives have not only impacted the youth positively but have also positioned them as key players in the country’s development narrative.”

The statement added: “On his part, Governor Bago’s commitment to agriculture has transformed Niger State into a major food hub in the region, providing a sustainable source of food and income for the people.

“The Governor’s passion for education has led to the construction of new schools and the renovation of existing ones, creating a conducive learning environment for students to thrive.

“Bago’s reforms have had a direct and positive impact on the youth in Niger State. His administration’s youth empowerment programs have provided training, mentorship, and entrepreneurship opportunities for young people, enabling them to acquire skills, start their own businesses, and become self-sufficient.

“The Governor’s dedication to youth development is evident in his policies and actions, and we commend him for his unwavering commitment to the future of Niger State.”

The youths, therefore, described President Tinubu and Governor Bago as champions of good governance, visionary leaders, and true advocates for the welfare of Nigerians.

“Their selfless service, integrity, and passion for development have earned them our respect, admiration, and endorsement.”

They, however, urged other “youths to join us in supporting these leaders, who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to our collective progress.”

The youths noted: “We recognise that challenges still exist, but we believe that President Tinubu and Governor Bago are working tirelessly to address them.

“We urge our fellow youths to be patient, supportive, and constructive in their engagement, rather than allowing themselves to be used by political manipulators. Let us work together to build a brighter future for ourselves, our region, and our country.”

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Socialite Woman, Chief Mrs Tracy Adedokun-Ekam Extols Grandmother, Henrietta Glass@94

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Socialite Woman, Chief Mrs Tracy Adedokun-Ekam Extols Grandmother, Henrietta Glass@94

 

American socialite woman known as Chief Mrs Tracy Adedokun-Ekam extends warm felicitation to her energetic robust and good looking nonagenarian grandmother, Henrietta Glass of lake Jackson Texas, USA as she marks her 94th birthday today, joining family, friends and well-wishers to celebrate a living legend nonagenarian, who has positively contributed immensely to the society.

In a congratulatory message issued by her media aide, Oluwaseun Fabiyi. Chief Mrs Tracy Adedokun-Ekam made it known to the general public that her grandmother, Mrs Henrietta Glass is an embodiment of virtue and a strong pillar of support in the pursuit of a greater Texas community, sacrificing so much for the service of the community, Texas environs and humanity, and tirelessly working to improve the lives of others.

Saying further, on her birthday, we’re reminded of her positive roles in nation building, particularly her sterling records during his service years in Texas, USA.

As she turns 94 today, Chief Mrs Tracy Adedokun-Ekam offer her very best wishes and salute the nonagenarian, Henrietta Glass for her doggedness and untainted loyalty to good causes, which stood her out as a great asset, not only to Texas but to America as a whole.

“My prayer is that God Almighty bless her with all she ever hoped for, and grant her more celebrations in good health and prosperity. Congratulations to a virtuous woman per excellence, a good leader and dependable granny of the source”. She concluded.

Socialite Woman, Chief Mrs Tracy Adedokun-Ekam Extols Grandmother, Henrietta Glass@94

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Gov Zulum Denies Murder Allegations Against Son, Issues stern warning Against Peddlers Of Falsehood 

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Gov Zulum Denies Murder Allegations Against Son, Issues stern warning Against Peddlers Of Falsehood 

Gov Zulum Denies Murder Allegations Against Son, Issues stern warning Against Peddlers Of Falsehood 

Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum has said his son is not currently held in custody in India over any alleged murder.

Gov Zulum Denies Murder Allegations Against Son, Issues stern warning Against Peddlers Of Falsehood 

The governor in a signed statement by the media unit in his office, said the report was false and far from the truth.

The statement on Wednesday signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on New Media, Abdurrahman Bundi read: “The Borno State Governor’s media unit‘s attention has been drawn to rumours circulating that the son of the Borno State Governor has been arrested for the alleged murder of some Indian citizen.

This misinformation was published in an online blog, Nairaland, titled “Son of Borno State Governor Murders Someone In India—Politics.” The blog claimed that the Governor also travelled to India, attempting to use diplomatic status to resolve the matter.

“It is on record that Governor Babagana Zulum was on a one-month vacation in Saudi Arabia for the 2024 Hajj and later travelled to Egypt to attend the annual ASUWAN forum conference in Cairo.

The Media Unit would like to clarify and set the record straight that Nairaland and other online blogs have mischievously spread defamatory content without any speck of truth.

We hereby warn Nairaland and all those who have spread the false information to pull down this misinformation from its website and platforms within the next 24 hours and offer an unreserved apology to Governor Zulum, his son, and the entire family, or risk legal action. The Governor shall also not hesitate to take legal action against any media outlet that continues to publicise this defamatory information on its platform.

“We would like to inform the public that none of Governor’s Zulum’s son was either arrested or charged with any crime, or involved in any unlawful activities anywhere.

“We urge the public to exercise caution when consuming and sharing information, particularly when it comes from unverified sources and blogs instead of credible media outlets.

“We enjoin all media organisations to engage in responsible journalism of truth and factual verification while recognising the potential harm and psychological trauma the spread of false information might have caused to the Governor’s family.”

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