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BRF At 55 : Greying Gracefully, Going on with Gusto

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By HAKEEM BELLO

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In November 2010, in a tribute to Stephen J. Solarz, a former nine-term New York congressman, Douglas Martin wrote that he was a “torrent of activity” supporting it with a statement issued by the late lawmaker’s office that “during his first six months in Congress, he made 12 speeches on the House floor, co-sponsored 370 bills, held 11 news conferences, made 24 trips to his district and attended 99 events there, visited 23 subway stations, sent constituents 513,720 pieces of mail and took an 18-day tour of the Middle East.”

In October 2015, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, was honoured amongst seven distinguished personalities with an award named for Stephen J Solarz by the International Crisis Group.

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From his eight-year tenure as the governor of Lagos State to his two-year-plus as Nigeria’s minister of Power, Works and Housing, our own BRF has, as the global conflict-prevention organisation acknowledged in conferring the honour on him, been a “relentless fighter for the improvement of people’s lives…”

Barely a month after the global recognition of BRF’s “commitment to resolving social, economic and security challenges in one of the world’s most challenging urban environments”, President Muhammadu Buhari tapped him to join him in tackling the nation’s multifarious infrastructural challenges.

Ever since, the three-in-one ministry has witnessed a “torrent of activity” towards the making life more meaningful for Nigerians of all strata.

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Has he lived up to the recognition of the ICG and the confidence reposed in him by President Buhari to deliver?

His 55th birthday on 28 June affords us the opportunity to not only answer that question but also look at The Essential BRF.

For BRF, results rather than excuses should count towards measuring a leader’s gravitas. So, not for him any argument which suggests that , comparing an executive position with an appointive capacity within a complex federation such as Nigeria is like comparing apples with oranges. Not even if you illustrate with the now-common fiasco over the national budget as an example of a barrier to effective delivery of much-expected services to the people.

Any unbiased but informed observer would, unhesitantly, proffer that, within those constraints, and with the unwavering support from his principal, the minister has demonstrated unflinching commitment to reducing Nigeria’s infrastructural deficit to the barest minimum, one project at a time, across Nigeria’s 36 states.

One thing you can’t take away from BRF is his penchant for, to use a favourite word of his, dimensioning any problem, no matter how seemingly gargantuan. He is the master of drilling down. His staff at the ministry will attest to how, from the day of his inauguration, he has been engaging everyone in marathon consultations, sometimes into the night, to be able to put every problem in proper perspective and then ensuring that the job gets done – without any short-cut.

A DEVELOPMENT MATRIX

For him, nothing should be done superficially. Let’s take work on roads. He starts with the premise that good roads will help reflate and grow the nation’s economy, reduce travel time, cost of transportation of goods and services, and create jobs which will provide the economic means for the worker to live meaningfully. To achieve this, in the short term, would mean starting with roads which can be quickly completed to facilitate connectivity. This should further be guided by choosing first the roads which connect states together and bear the heaviest traffic such as the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and working the way across Nigeria gradually. By sticking religiously to, and developing this plan, enunciated with his team in the Ministry with necessary policy and budgetary support from the Cabinet led by the President and National Assembly, albeit, with all the “constituency complications,” Fashola has been delivering on his mandate.

On Power, Fashola believes that predictable supply achieved through incremental, stable, and, ultimately, uninterrupted supply of electricity, availability will be a critical and defining component of our economic renaissance, job creation, GDP growth and reduction of income inequalities. This has formed the basis of the Federal Government’s Roadmap to Power with the accompanying policies and plans like the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP) aimed at strengthening the responsibility of the Ministry as a regulator through the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), so that the GenCos and DisCos can be held to their contracts with citizens; getting the support needed to complete stalled power projects in the generation, transmission and distribution value chains; and improving the liquidity in the sector.

Coming with a practical experience from Lagos, Fashola believes the construction of houses will complement the economic growth drive by direct and indirect jobs in the housing value chain from construction companies, to artisans, labourers, vendors and many more. The Federal Government’s housing project is currently going on in 34 States of the Federation which have provided the required suitable land for the programme, currently at its pilot stage and poised to address the issues of affordability, acceptability and climatic/cultural diversities which have been the bane of the previous housing programmes.

What used to be the standard question about how one man can cope with the leadership of three ministries comes less frequently in its monotony now because Fashola has continually demonstrated that tackling challenges is his second nature. Never mind that he has had to sleep less than the averagely-required hours and do unusual things – for instance in 2017 during an inspection of projects in the North East, he led the team to drive on the road by the dreaded Sambisa Forest in the thick of the night – whilst greying graciously but achieving results. By the way, Hamza Idris of the Daily Trust, who was on the trip, had asked him what gave him the courage to travel at that time, he answered as only a BRF would: “Well, I don’t think it is courage. I have a job to do and it has to be done well. If you are building and managing roads, you can’t manage them from slides, you can’t manage them remotely. You must at least see how good or bad those roads are. It gives a sense, either of urgency, enthusiasm, or a combination of both, to be able to really deal with it. The Ministry of Defence is aware that we are here, but the security arrangement is just precautionary. We have seen ordinary Nigerians travelling in their buses. I have seen the Taraba Mass Transit Services, Adamawa Express, Bauchi Express and others. So, life is going on and we just have a job to do.”

There is no better way to end this birthday tribute to this quintessential man who is extremely loyal to his principal, political party and his principles, than quoting his answer to another question on that North East inspection trip:    “I am never satisfied with anything I am involved in; I just keep going. It’s difficult to satisfy me, and if you ask me to assess myself, I would continue to push myself.”

·      Mr Bello is Special Adviser, Communications to the Hon.Minister.

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For the Love of Music and Musicians: Legendary Femi Esho Collaborates with Iconic Dr DK Olukoya to make History

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For the Love of Music and Musicians: Legendary Femi Esho Collaborates with Iconic Dr DK Olukoya to make History

 

 

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Something big and unprecedented is brewing right now! It is massive and its one of its kind. And when it is done and ready for launch, it will take the entire nation, and indeed the African continent, by storm. That is what happens when you have two brilliant minds, one, an accomplished and respected preacher of the word in the mold of Dr. DK Olukoya, and the other, the renowned music encyclopedia and practitioner, the legendary Femi Esho of Evergreen Musical company, come together to birth a phenomenal project.

 

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As you read this, intensive work is in progress to build and complete before the end of the year the biggest music empire ever seen in Africa. It will consist of a music Museum, music library, gallery showcasing Head Burst of Artistes, display of over 1,000 pictures of Nigerian musicians from 1914 and relics of their costumes/old musical instruments, an event center for music concerts, cinema theatre, recording studio and so much more. It is a one stop shop for all music lovers all over the world as it will become a big tourist attraction center for all enthusiasts of Nigerian music.

 

It is called the Evergreen Music Heritage Foundation. The Chairman of this historic project is none other than Chief Femi Esho, the music Aficionado & practitioner, who also doubles as Chairman of Evergreen Music Company, while the Patron is one of Nigeria’s most revered preachers and prophet, the Iconic Dr. DK Olukoya.

 

This will come as a huge surprise to many who cannot understand the connection between the firebrand preacher/prophet, and this landmark musical project.

 

First, anyone who knows Dr. Olukoya closely will tell you that, after his unbridled love for God, comes his intense love for music. He himself is a music Aficionado. He loves music and he is knowledgeable about many genres of music, ranging from highlife to juju, folklore, traditional music, reggae, country music, gospel, etc. And his rich knowledge of music reflects undeniably in the music ministry of his church, MFM. In fact, many do not know he was a music teacher. He still teaches music. This is why it is common place to see the MFM choir sing and perform brilliantly during church programmes some of Nigeria’s most enduring highlife and folklore compositions. The idea is to bring back the morals in these classics and instil them in the minds of everyone listening to them. Little wonder why the MFM choir is widely regarded as one of the best in the world, having won several international choir competitions in Europe and other parts of the world.

 

So, for those who do not know, Dr. Olukoya is not just a First class major, best in his course at Unilag, first scientist to clone genes and a hugely respected preacher, he is also a lover of quality music. And this is why he has graciously agreed to be Patron of the Evergreen Music Heritage Foundation. He knows Chief Femi Esho very closely and respects his works. They both share a strong passion for quality music.

 

According to Bimbo Esho, the Executive Secretary of the foundation, Dr. Olukoya’s financial and moral contribution to the realisation of the project has been invaluable. It is to his credit that the foundation has been able to make huge progress so far. But she says there is still a long way to go and the foundation still needs a lot more financial support from well meaning Nigerians who appreciate quality Nigerian music and desire a legacy that will serve as a custodian of our rich musical history and heritage.

 

“The project is a massive one,” Bimbo Esho explains. “It is a historic landmark project that will stand the test of time and outlive all of us. Dr. Olukoya has been more than supportive to our cause. He has been magnanimous and we remain eternally grateful to him for his love and support for this dream. But there’s still plenty of work to be done.”

 

“This magnificent edifice is situated at Oyedele Ogunniyi street, Anthony Village, Ikeja, Lagos. We are still calling on all music enthusiasts, lovers of Nigerian music all over the world to come support this dream, it will be your contribution to a legacy that will sustain for generations to come all of the enduring morals and intrinsic values that our music of yesteryears taught us, all of which is lacking today. The edifice is a place the youth can come to enjoy quality music and research into the past musical history of some of Nigeria’s most accomplished musicians of the 50s, the 60s down to the 90s.,” she concludes.

 

For the Love of Music and Musicians: Legendary Femi Esho Collaborates with Iconic Dr DK Olukoya to make History

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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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