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Ambode, the consolidator in time of famine by Idowu Ajanaku

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Idowu Ajanaku

His defining moment came when he was sworn in as the 4th democratically elected governor of Nigeria’s Centre of Excellence and Africa’s ever ebullient commercial hub, Lagos State.

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That was precisely on May 29, 2015 after the two-horse, riveting race between him, the governorship flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress, and Jimi Agbaje of the Peoples Democratic Party. A lot of water, as the wise ones say, has gone under the bridge ever since. But this piece is not all about his modest achievements within a short span of two years across the spectrum of security, massive infrastructural outlay, agriculture, education, transportation, health care delivery, human capacity development and of course, entertainment and tourism.

Rather, it is a personal perception about the distinguished gentleman who fate brought me in contact with at Glover Home back in 2014. What was my first impression about him? It was that of a well-groomed, complete gentleman whose alluring persona radiates a cool, composed and calculating ambience. It was that of a man with a touch of finesse reflected in his carefully chosen clothes, wristwatch and shoes! Has that first impression dimmed?

Of course not, if not bolstered by getting closer to him at work and more significantly discovering that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s taste and touch for perfection has been extrapolated to all the solid structures his administration has brought to bear, so far. If in doubt, check out the roads, bridges, school buildings, that dot the landscape of the fast-developing megalopolis. But before then there was another enigmatic bearing about him that raised some dust.

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That was when he decided to throw his Epe-grown ‘cap’ into the governorship ring back in 2014.Not a few observers then had some reservation about his capacity to deliver in the intricate art of political governance. Here was a man, who though as an accomplished auditor, has traversed 13 out of the 21 local government councils and written his name in gold as an Accountant-General. But he was no politician. He may have even become the youngest and an achieving Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance. Yet, that was a different kettle of fish. What did he know about managing  erratic and ever ambitious politicians with their idiosyncrasies?

Besides, his looks and demeanour were that of a top technocrat, not carved out for the gadabout gamble of poll-i-tricks. He was too meek, too simple, too gentlemanly. He could not even shout to browbeat opponents. Simply put, he did not have the guts to delve into the murky waters of Nigerian politics and swim with the sharks! One could not blame those who held on tenaciously to this line of argument. But how wrong could they be, as one was to discover on closer observations and events over the past two years have since unveiled.

With more intimate interaction, I discovered and felt both impressed and intrigued by his deep knowledge of the city called Lagos. Throw questions on the nitty-gritty of governance and one is awed by his  full  and firm grasp of what it takes to run the ever ebullient city that has become home to all. He does not believe in rhetoric or beating about the bush with wishful words. He is a down-to-earth, man of action. And even before such actions are taken he must be convinced that he has had the right background information with thorough thinking through.

All these came to the fore and eventually manifested during the first governorship debate held at the Church at Ikeja. It was between him, Agbaje and other governorship hopefuls. At the end of it, the Bishop in charge confessed that if the good people of Lagos were looking for someone with a clear vision; someone who knew his onions  on how to pilot the affairs of Lagos and take it to the next level, Ambode was the man to choose.

On the flip side however, he observed that if they were out for a sweet talker, one who could convince Lagosians to toe his political path, Agbaje fit that bill. To him therefore, Ambode stood head and shoulders above his competitors. But it was left for the electorate to make a wise choice. So, looking back today one is grateful to Lagos people for taking their destiny in their own hands. Thank God for that!

Indeed, Ambode never ceased to tell those close to him that his political ambition was directed by the ‘hand of God.’ It was a divine project. It was not too surprising therefore, to listen to him sing two of his favourite gospel songs. One is the popular line that says that: “I have a father who will never fail me. Jesus is my father and he will never fail me, rock of ages, never, never fail.”

The other, popular as well is: “Olore mi.” He would sometimes break the silence, after a hard day’s campaign with: “Olore mi, olore mi o, kini ma fi san fu en o.” He was grateful to a benefactor that he was short of words on what he could do to repay Him for his divine grace and favour.

Perhaps, it is that grateful spirit that has imbued him with the uncommon virtue of patience. Evident during the planning and take-off for the campaigns were the attributes of a patient soul, a good listener as well as a good team leader. He never for once betrayed the trait of a bossy person; of one who rams his views down the throat of others.  Ideas for programmes and projects were thrown open for thoughtful debate. At the end, the decision of the majority always held sway. One admires him much for such sterling qualities of a visionary leader.

Without sentiments therefore, one is not surprised by Governor Ambode’s astounding  achievements over the past two years. Name them: the veritable vision of Lagos as a destination of choice for far-sighted entrepreneurs from all over the world. And why not? There is the assurance of all-round, tight security network, courtesy of his donation of top-of-the range security gadgets to the police and all-inclusive community surveillance, across the state. The fast growing mega-city was in 2016 ranked as the 5th most robust economy on the African continent. With a population of 21 million people it accounts for 80 per cent of the maritime trade conservatively put at some N3 trillion.

In addition, the Internally Generated Revenue, which rose from N20bn in 2013 to N23bn in 2014 has under Ambode achieved a feat of  N380bn in 2016-the highest ever.  These are properly utilised  in  the massive infrastructural development of roads, bridges and clearing of waterways to facilitate journeys by sea. There is the increasing focus on the triple projects of Eko Atlantic City, the $300 Elegushi Kingdom Imperial City as well as the history-making Smart City, coming up in conjunction with Smart City LLC, Dubai  being  the first of its kind in Africa.

On food security, there is the adoption of all-season farming and establishment of green-houses across the state, including the recent one established at Iyaafin Vegetable Estate in Badagry. The LAKE Rice project is to be boosted with the 16 mmt per hour rice mill in the state as an upgrade on the Imota Rice Mill set up with a  20, 000 metric ton rice processing and milling plant.

On fish farming and aquaculture, the government has optimised the use of the natural endowments to develop industrial fisheries, artisanal fisheries and aquaculture facilities across Lagos. So much more can be added in other sectors of the economy.

Interestingly, the man who was not given a chance to succeed back in 2015 has surpassed the expectations of millions of Lagos people. Just like the biblical Joseph who was not thought of as a credible leader in the time of famine, he has truly confounded his critics even in the nation’s trying period .That is why many in Lagos today sing that two is greater than eight.

It is again a tribute to the political sagacity of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu that when a credible successor was being sought for, to replace Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), he pitched his tent with a financial expert, knowing that an economic recession was looming. Now, we applaud that choice.

Like the phoenix, Ambode has risen from the ashes of political backwaters to become a reference point in Nigeria’s economic development. This indeed, should be an inspiration to all.

Ajanaku, is a senior special assistant (media and strategy) to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

 

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REVIEW OF, ‘THE LEGEND OF BURATAI 2’ By Hannatu Lot Dickson

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AMBASSADOR (LT. GENERAL RTD) TUKUR BURATAI, WOULD BE AN INVALUABLE ASSET TO THE GOVERNMENT OF PRESIDENT BOLA AHMED TINUBU. By Comrade Oladimeji Odeyemi

REVIEW OF, ‘THE LEGEND OF BURATAI 2’

By Hannatu Lot Dickson

The Legend of Buratai Volume 2 is authored by General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the former Chief of Staff of the Nigerian Army. The book was Published by Sprezzatura Publishing Ltd. Cover design by Mereo Books. It was published October 13, 2021 in English Language. It has 125 pages with ISBN-10: * 186151915X and ISBN-13: * 978-1861519153.

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The author Tukur Yusuf Buratai CFR psc(+) NAM GSS ndc (BD) was born 24 November 1960. He is a retired Nigerian army lieutenant general, former Chief of Army Staff appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2015, and Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Republic of Benin. He was commissioned into the Nigerian Army in 1983 and has had multiple command, administrative, and instructional appointments.

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The Legend of Buratai 2 is a novel base on true-life story of General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the former Chief of Army Staff. It is a novel of eight (8) chapters and has one hundred and twenty-five (125) pages. Each of these chapters and pages is so richly engaging and informative from start to finish.
Just a recap of the plot summary, the book is the enthralling true-life story in his own words, General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the Chief of Staff of the Nigerian Army, who rose to legendary status by dint of hard work, bravery, diligence, excellence and honesty. His journey through life is presented as an exemplary story for all who would aspire to follow his path. His childhood and formative years were also captured.

 

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The preliminary pages of “The Legend of Buratai 2” begins with the titled page where the titled of the book was boldly written and the author’s name. Then followed by the cover page design which contains the cover photo which was taken in Ngamdu. The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusufu Buratai is clearly seen in the picture with troops during operations against Boko Haram terrorists at the Nigerian Army Special Super Camp Ngamdu, Borno State in April 2020. He was practically leading the combat operations. Them followed by the content page which outlines the book’s structure, listing chapters, which helps readers navigate the book’s organization and content.

 

The Photographic Acknowledgement section credits the sources of photographs used in the book, acknowledging photographs taken from the personal album of the author. Followed by a heartfelt message dedicating the book to all young people in Nigeria, and especially those of the Nigerian Military School and the Nigerian Defence Academy.

 

The Publisher’s Note and acknowledgement pages expressed gratitude while the Forward was written by Major General Paul Tarfa mni (Rtd), who described General Buratai’s records of service as Chief of Staff of Nigerian Army as legendary and cannot be surpassed. ‘He is a General who inspires his subjects by leading from the front’. He further, provided context, endorsement, and insights into the book’s significance.

 

 

The author begins chapter one by talking about the beginning which captures the lineage, nuclear family and the journey of Yusufu Buratai especially when he joined the RWAFF. Chapter four depict the miraculous escape from the pond as a child, Dr. Gidado Kumo and John Atanda spoke in chapter three and four, while chapter five and six described the author’s encounters with Snakes and Ghost respectively. chapter seven followed with matters bordering on patriotisms and chapter eight list several principles guiding Lt. General TY Buratai, a few out of those principles are: Do not bother about what people say,; Commit to improving yourself to the extent that you do not have time to compete or criticize others; Let excellence be your trademark anywhere you find yourself; Do not be too proud to retrace your steps back to the right path; Listen more and say less; Always lead with courage or not at all; Honour your words as your bond and never make a promise you can’t keep…
The plot is set in Buratai town, Biu Local Government Area of Borno State to Potiskum, Yobe State. The genre is non-fiction.

 

The book, ‘The Legend of Buratai 2’ is the best pick for young minds in need of inspiration and mentorship. It is a captivating and fascinating masterpiece, rich in original history, military tactics, strategies and important life lessons with a touch of spirituality straight from the mind and experiences of true and pragmatic General TY Buratai.

 

 

The Legend of Buratai 2 has the potentials to recoup reinvigorate patriotism to our fatherland Nigeria. It also has the capability and potentials to make a young mind dream and do everything in their powers to live their dreams just like Lt. General TY Buratai.

 

 

The book is so real, it’s not a conventional love story with a perfectly Happy-Ever-After. It was infused with strong themes, I love how Lt Gen. TY Buratai recollected his childhood and formative years, how he was educating us on how to be patriotic and how he described ‘the wretched rustic life of a terrorist’ infused in a poem titled, ‘ARE YOU A TERRORIST?’
The themes in “The Legend of Buratai: Volume 2” include

– Hard work: General Tukur Yusuf Buratai’s rise to legendary status is attributed to his diligence and hard work.

 

– Bravery: General Buratai is known for his bravery and military tactics.
– Excellence: General Buratai’s journey to excellence is presented as an exemplary story for all who would aspire to follow his path.

 

– Honesty: General Buratai’s honesty is one of the key characteristics that contributed to his legendary status.

 

– Patriotism: The book is capable of reawakening patriotism to one’s fatherland, according to Moses A. Uyang, author and humanitarian.

 

– Diligence: Buratai’s diligence is another factor that contributed to his success.

 

The book is practically a handbook or a catalyst for youngsters who dear to dream, who wants to love and serve their country whole heartedly, be patriotic and serve humanity in all earnest and honesty.

 

The book offers a wide range of literary appreciation and acceptance, historical sources, and educative values. It is a foundation for historical and otherwise critical evaluation.

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Saturday Faaji : The Much Anticipated Neon Night With Osupa Saheed Is Here

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Saturday Faaji : The Much Anticipated Neon Night With Osupa Saheed Is Here

Saturday Faaji : The Much Anticipated Neon Night With Osupa Saheed Is Here

 

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For some time now, the teeming fans of the undisputed King of Fuji Music, Saheed Osupa have been longing to see him back on stage on home soil due to his long absence oversee on tour.
Now, the much anticipated show, Neon Night with Osupa Saheed is here, the date is Saturday 18th May 2024, at prestigious RM Hall Magodo, Lagos.

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Saturday Faaji : The Much Anticipated Neon Night With Osupa Saheed Is Here

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Saheed Osupa would be thrilling his fans live on stage this time in another dimension, as all necessary things have been taken care of, including maximum security for this much anticipated event.

In the uniqueness of this Neon Night, with Osupa Saheed, the Lord of music will not be alone on stage as other fast rising artiste, Suave, The Omalicha’s crooner will also be performing on the same stage with Saheed Osupa alongside some other popular artistes.
It’s going to be a Bomb as this is the first show he would be doing in Lagos since he came into Nigeria.

A large percentage of his fans have been calling to register their joy that their favorite Fuji king would be performing that day. According to LAWBELL Manager in Nigeria ,OLABANJI ADELANA, he said the Canadian entertainment company packaging the show is fully prepared for the event and no stone would be left unturned

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Ogun Commissioner for Forestry, Engr. Oludotun, Conferred Fellow of Nigerian Society of Engineers In Abuja

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Ogun Commissioner for Forestry, Engr. Oludotun, Conferred Fellow of Nigerian Society of Engineers In Abuja

 

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The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has conferred the prestigious honor of Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (FNSE) on Engr. Taiwo Oludotun, the Ogun State Commissioner for Forestry.

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Ogun Commissioner for Forestry, Engr. Oludotun, Conferred Fellow of Nigerian Society of Engineers In Abuja
The conferment ceremony took place in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, and is a testament to Engr. Oludotun’s dedication and expertise in the field of engineering.

Our correspondent reports that Engr. Oludotun, popularly known as Twinny, has had a distinguished career in engineering and public service.

The Forest Commissioner is also a registered engineer with the Council of Registered Engineers in Nigeria (COREN) and has held various leadership positions, including General Manager at Unistar Hi-Tech Systems Ltd and Commissioner for Rural Development in Ogun State.

His experience in policy development and leadership has driven inclusive and sustainable development in rural areas, improving the quality of life for residents and promoting social and economic progress.

The conferment of FNSE on Engr. Oludotun is a well-deserved recognition of his achievements and commitment to the engineering profession.

Engr. Oludotun is actively participated in various technical and management trainings, workshops, seminars, and conferences, both locally and internationally.

The Commissioner’s contributions to humanity have been recognized by various NGOs, and he has earned several outstanding awards and accolades.

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