The Chairman of Del-York Group, in conjunction with his U.
S. partners, Messrs.
Huffine Global; paid a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to meet with key government officials, investment fund managers and strategic investors interested in taking advantage of potential strategic partnership opportunities between the Kingdom, the United States and Africa.
Hot on the heels of the recent visit of U.
S. President Joe Biden to the Kingdom, the Del-York CEO was part of a select team of business interest follow-up mission to the Kingdom to expand on established protocols and opportunities between the two countries initiated during the previous week of the Presidential visit.
Del York’s President and CEO, Mr Linus Idahosa, whilst on the visit, met with several pivotal stakeholders and investor groups who indicated a very keen interest in exploring partnerships in the U.
S. and Africa in key areas such as Agriculture, Energy (Gas & Power), Defense, Transportation, Education, Mining and Tourism.
Idahosa also pitched Del York’s ongoing partnership with the Lagos State Government to develop a multimillion-dollar film city project soon to commence in Epe at the international investor meetings.
S. delegation was led by the President of Huffine Global Solutions, Edward Huffine, accompanied by the CEO of the King Abdullah Global Humanitarian Fund, Sultan Alsadoon: a special rep to the Crown Prince and a team led by the President of the Financial Coordination Center (FCC) met with the Governor of the Mecca Province of Taif HRH Prince Saud bin Nahar bin Saud Al Saud, Ministers, heads of multiple Saudi investment fund groups, amongst other influential high-level chief executives, who indicated their firm interest in exploring and executing the business opportunities.
While speaking in the meetings, Linus Idahosa indicated, “We are hoping to introduce a number of these high-powered investors with whom we have formalized partnership arrangements on this trip to mutually beneficial opportunities with partners at the subnational level and with important private sector operators in Africa.
At a time, Nigeria is in dire need of dollar-denominated patient capital, the opportunity for these relationships could not have presented itself at a better time.
Expectedly, our partnership with the Lagos State Government to develop a major Film City project in the State is top on our agenda.
Still, there are different important and exciting opportunities across other sectors that we believe will be of immense benefit to the business community back home were concretized throughout this visit.
” The delegation will leave Saudi Arabia upon completion of its engagement with other high-level state functionaries during the week.
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON) Mr Osita Okechukwu, says Northern Christians would not vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Okechukwu also a foundation member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said this while answering questions from journalists in Abuja on Sunday.
Reacting to the Northern Christians outrage over APC’s Muslim-Muslim Ticket, Okechukwu said he shared their anguish on identity politics and fears.
“But I know that in the fullness of time, contrary to the speculations of spin doctors, they would not vote for the former Vice President,” he said.
He assured that whatever marginalisation the Northern Christians suffered today, they would suffer no more if the APC standard bearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu becomes the President in 2023. “Our first slogan in APC is change.
Our mantra is change.
We will not remain static, never.
We will change whatever is not working.
All we ask Nigerians is to give us another 8 years as you gave our sister political party, the PDP.
“Regarding the Northern Christians outrage over APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket; if any pundit thinks they will vote for Atiku, my answer is ‘Capital No’.
No matter what, they know he is bringing nothing new to the table.
“Find out, Northern Christians do not trust Atiku.
They know his cherry-picking antics as per rule of law and rotation convention.
They also know his ambivalence on religion, as demonstrated in the late Deborah’s imbroglio in Sokoto, which is still fresh in the mind of every Christian.
“Secondly, they know that Tinubu and by extension the Yorubas’ DNA is devoid of religious extremism and bigotry.
Yorubas celebrate Eid and Xmas together,” Okechukwu said.
The Enugu APC chieftain added:“As a matter of fact, without being personal, one was a witness when my dear friend Babachir Lawal informed the world during his Thanksgiving Church Service at ECWA Wuse, that Tinubu and Pa Akande were instrumental to his appointment as Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF).
“May one ask, is it possible that neither Tinubu nor Pa Akande didn’t know any Northern Muslim then to lobby for?
Or has Tinubu changed 360 degrees?
” “Thirdly, they’re fully aware that Atiku has violently breached the rotation convention of president from north to south and painfully by extension of the PDP’s Constitution.
For Atiku rotation convention is north-south geopolitically benched, only when he wins the president.
If he fails as in 2019, the rotation convention goal post must be shifted.
“It is on record that Atiku enjoyed and celebrated rotation convention when in 2018, Governor Nyeson Wike and other Southerners in obedience to the letters and spirit of Section 3(c) of PDP’s Constitution allowed only Northern presidential aspirants to contest in Port Harcourt.
“But in 2022 PDP presidential primary election he fought tooth and nail to jettison the rotation convention, arguing childishly that it is not applicable to PDP?
Hence breached Section 3(c) of PDP’s Constitution.
Some of us Southerners are as hurt as Northern Christians over this willful breach.
” “Yes, faith balance is very important in building bonds of inclusion, so is rotation convention which bonds north and south, and cements inclusion and corporate existence.
This is why I continue to salute APC’s Northern Governors, majority of whom unlike PDP’s Governors by this noble patriotism, restored equity, natural justice and national loyalty in our clime.
“If PDP Governors had obeyed rotation convention from north to south, to be honest there wouldn’t be the imperative of APC’s Muslim-Muslim Ticket.
They cannot benefit from their negligence.
I stand to be contradicted,” Okechukwu stated emphatically.
On the anger of the Northern Christians over a seeming premeditated plan to exclude all Christians in both the APC party structure and government, Okechukwu maintained that he shares their plight, assuring that such marginalisation would not repeat itself under Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as President.
“We are witnesses when Dr Umaru Dikko as Transport Minister, was more powerful than Vice President, when Mrs Diezani Madueke as Petroleum Minister was more powerful than Vice President and recently, how powerful Abba Kyari (of blessed memory) was as Chief of Staff to the President.
Therefore, Christians nationwide should give APC another chance.
” He said every Nigerian knew Tinubu’s antecedents as Governor of Lagos State, describing him as a master of sourcing for the best from every creed, tribe and tongue.
“I maintain that the next APC’s Federal Government must as a matter of urgent national importance adopt the good policies of the current administration, contain the palpable insecurity in the land and build new bonds of brotherhood.
” He summed up that throughout history there were no two successive regimes that were identical in every particular matter.
“In fact, it is only President Buhari’s regime that has the credit record of continuity of 98% of abandoned and ongoing roads, rails, and other infrastructural projects in Nigeria, both at federal, state and local councils for over five decades.
The Labour Party (LP) Senatorial Candidate for Southern Kaduna Senatorial Zone, Micheal Auta, says he is still the party’s candidate and advised his supporters to ignore the false rumour and propaganda that he is working for other parties in the state.
Auta disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday in Kaduna.
He described the unfounded allegation that he was working for the All Progressives Congress (APC) or the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) in the state as very unfortunate.
Auta noted that the false allegation against him emanated from the camp of his political opponents who were out to tarnish his hard-earned reputation.
He said that the sponsored campaign of hate and calumny was a calculated attempt to confuse his supporters, who had remained firm with their trust for just and fair representation come 2023 general elections.
“It is laughable that anyone will accuse me of working for political parties that have lost touch with our present reality.
“I am not working for any political party, and I do not only remain a Labour Party member, but the preferred choice to represent the people of Southern Kaduna in the 2023 general elections.
“People need to stop mounting such a campaign of calumny against their perceived rivals,” Auta said.
The Senatorial candidate, who said he was in the contest to rescue his people from bad leadership challenged those levelling the allegation to come forward with proof or he would take legal action.
He said that the leaders who were voted to give credible representation over the years were carried away by the“sit tight syndrome”rather than facilitate infrastructural developments that would put smiles on the faces of the people.
“I am in the contest to rejig the system, conscientise our people on the need to vote for leaders with impeccable track records that can entrench true democratic values and improve their livelihood.
“I remain committed and ready to change the docile political status quo that has remained insignificant to the plight of our people,” he said.
Auta urged his supporters to remain committed and focus until they achieve the desired goal of voting credible representatives that would improve the quality of their lives.
He also advised the people of Southern Kaduna against mortgaging their future for peanuts during the election and urged them to defend their votes no matter the intimidation by political opponents.
The Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) has onboarded beneficiaries of the Youths Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness (YEAP) in crop production enterprise.
This is contained in a statement by Dr Wasiu Olatubosun, the State Commissioner Information, Culture and Tourism, which was made available to newsmen on Sunday in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that youths were part of the 3, 300 beneficiaries who received training at CSS Farms, Nasarawa State, in 2021. In his remarks, Dr Debo Akande, the OYSADA Director-General, said that the onboarding and orientation marked the beginning of the project’s second phase for the beneficiaries.
Akande said that each of the 100 beneficiaries would get land allocations for crop production at Fasola Agribusiness Industrial Hub. “As part of their orientation, youths had been taken to the allocated land, where land preparation is ongoing.
“The youth will get inputs as needed, as they embark on land cultivation and crop production.
“They will also get technical and agricultural extension support from OYSADA,” he said.
Akande urged other YEAP beneficiaries to be patient with the state government, saying that the authorities were working assiduously to ensure that more beneficiaries get the needed support.
He said about 120 beneficiaries had received enterprise support from the state government prior to this project, adding that more would be empowered as funds are available.
The director-general said that the state government’s approach in offering practical training to youths was superior to simply giving handouts and funds to individuals that would not contribute to economic growth.
Akande thanked youths who were already using the knowledge they acquired during the training to improve their existing businesses, urging others to emulate them.
NAN reports that part of the programme were representatives of the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NCARES).
Also, as part of the support to YEAP beneficiaries, the Oyo Arm of NCARES tagged: “Oyo-CARES” would be profiling YEAP beneficiaries who already have agribusinesses for further support.
Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Police are tasked with enforcement of traffic rules and regulations on roads across the country.
The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) joins the bodies to carry out such functions in the state.
It is not uncommon to find personnel of such bodies littered along the roads, trying to make life easier for motorists and commuters in general, day by day.
In places like Lagos, where traffic on the roads can be hellish, encounters between law enforcers and drivers of vehicles sometimes leave sour tales.
Road users in other parts of the country also have different stories to tell, some sweet, others sour.
Stakeholders across board, however, want the authorities to harp on civility in the dealings of the law enforcers with road users, as is done in advanced countries.
Mr Sunday Imoh, a supervisor at Excellence Hotel, Ogba, narrated one of his experiences, in which he believed the law enforcers could have done better.
He said that on a certain day, a combined team of traffic regulatory agencies, including the Police, accosted him on his way home from work.
Imoh said the officers forcibly took over his steering without telling him his offence and drove the vehicle away.
He said that he was too tired and took a commercial vehicle back home.
According to him, it took three days of search in various units of both the Federal Government and Lagos State Government agencies to locate the vehicle.
He said that he was accused of “wrong overtaking”.
Another motorist, a mechanic in Isolo who simply identified himself as Abbey,, also said some traffic law enforcers could do with more ciivility.
He alleged that in some cases, traffic law enforcers collude with street urchins popularly called Area Boys, to apprehend innocent motorists.
Narrating his ordeal, Abbey said he was test running a customer’s vehicle and some Area Boys jumped on the road, blocking him for no reason before some traffic law enforcers joined to take over the steering.
He said he had to negotiate his release and parted with some money to avoid being taken to the station.
“May God not allow us to be unfortunate to encounter the bad officers on the road,” he said.
The Lagos police command spokesman, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, told NAN that an average of five complaints are recieved weekly, alleging violent conduct in enforcement of traffic rules and regulations by some officers.
He said the Complaint Response Unit of the command takes care of such cases.
Hundeyin said as punishment, some officers are reprimanded by demotion if their misconduct is found to be serious.
He said that some were stationed at barracks, stations, or headquarters where they would have limited dealings with the public.
He said that the Police does not condone misconduct by its personnel.
The Lagos Sector Commander, FRSC,, Corps Commander Olusegun Ogungbemide, on his part, said that officers involved in misconduct while on duty stood the risk of being dismissed from service.
The Corps Commander said there were several punishments put in place by the management to checkmate the excesses of their personnel.
Ogungbemide said that they varied, depending on the nature of the offences committed by an officer.
He, however, said that reports of such violent behaviour among his men was minimal.
This, he said, was because of stringent measures in place to guide the activities of officers while on duty.
He said the officers of FRSC had good orientation regarding their job ethics According to him, this has given them a positive disposition while dealing with the members of the public.
The FRSC boss, however, said that despite the efforts put in place by the management, there could still be one or two bad eggs in the system.
He said FRSC disciplinary procedures had been put in place to take care of all forms of misconduct.
Ogungbemide said that they always allowed members of the public to make their submissions and these were investigated.
LASTMA, on its part, so bad said it could only get better, if and when members of the public share their experiences.
It said these also include positive ones, while they provide evidence where applicable of perceived misdemeanours.
Experts from various sectors of the economy on Sunday emphasized the need to utilize the social media for positive gains.The experts spoke at the Bodex Social Media Hangout 3.0 (BDSMH), with theme, “Using Social Media in Shaping the Society”, held at Radisson Blu, Ikeja, Lagos.The Convener of BDSMH, Florence Hungbo, said the theme was chosen because of her experience with social media.“My team came up with this topic because we have gone through so much when it comes to social media.“The use of social media is sometimes abused just like it has its benefits.The BDSMH is a unique talk-media event designed to create consistent awareness on the abuse of social media.“It also generates practical solutions through crowdsourcing.BDSMH is dedicated to promoting trustworthy journalism by mobilizing well-trained front runners in the online and traditional journalism space,” she said.Mr. Kolawole Osinowo, who spoke on trends and opportunities in social selling, said that “COVID-19 has reset every brand to the extent that no brand can claim to be big.”Osinowo said the world would continue to be complicated and there was a need to learn how to manage one’s brand either online or offline.“There is this set of people called ‘Generation Z’, those are the people you will deal with as a brand manager or as an employer.“There are trends that you need to understand for you to satisfy your customers in this generation.Social media should be seen as a sales strategy, not just a sales point,” he said.Osinowo added that social media became a business model since the breakout of COVID-19 and not just a digital strategy.He urged brand owners to listen to their consumers online and offline and also monitor competitors as there will continue to be evolving trends with consumers.“Everything that can be social will be social.Social media is a place to build trust and credibility,” he said.Mr. Femi Babafemi, Director of Media, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), who spoke on the “Impact of Social Media on Law Enforcement Agencies”, said social media is utilized as a communication and investigation tool by the agency.“The agency has realized that social media has come to stay which made the agency adjust to utilizing all social media platforms to engage the public,” he said.Babafemi added that the NDLEA, having realized that those most involved in the abuse of substances were young people, then targeted them with messages on awareness and drug abuse on all social media platforms.“Social media also avail the people the opportunity to demand accountability.That is why we engage the people on the Twitter space and other social media platforms,” he said.Segun Awosanya, human rights activist, popularly known as “Segalinks”, who also spoke on “Impact of Social Media on Law Enforcement Agencies in Nigeria”, said social media could be utilized to breach the gap between the people and the government.Segalinks, who referred to the EndSARS protest, said the intention was also to call the law enforcement agencies to order, following several reports of unprofessionalism before it was misconstrued.He added that it was a good thing that social media, to an extent brought the people closer to law enforcement agencies.Mr. Ramon Nasir, a communication expert, who spoke on “Curbing Fake News and Regulating Social Media in Nigeria”, said, fake news destroys humanity as he almost lost his marriage two years ago due to the same menace.“People have suffered from fake news either as an individual or as an institution.Fake news destroys a lot and we need to put an end to it.“Fake news destroys the essence of living.Although the rise of social media had availed us a lot of advantages.A lot of us won’t be recognized or be here if not for social media,” he said.Nasir said social media brings networking, breaks barriers, and helps businesses grow.He further called on stakeholders, influencers, journalists, and the government to proffer solutions to tackling fake news without trampling on the freedom of speech.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
Mrs Beatrice Itubo, Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Rivers, has called on Nigerians to vote for their conscience in the 2023 general elections.
Itubo made the call during the launch of ObiStructure organised by the Peter Obi Volunteer Network in Port Harcourt on Sunday.
She further urged Nigerians against casting their votes on sentiments that might be inimical to the progress and development of the country.
Itubo, who is the governorship candidate of Labour Party in Rivers, said a vote for the right candidates would lead to the development and progress of the country.
“So, it is important that we vote for the right leaders like Peter Obi, whose presidential candidacy is a tsunami that has given people hope again.
“We want a positive change, but not the kind of change they gave to us, and definitely not the one we have in Nigeria today.
“If people offer money to induce you, please collect it, but vote for your conscience; vote Peter Obi and Labour Party,” she told party supporters.
Itubo said aside who became president, it was important for Nigerians to also vote for the right candidates into the National Assembly and other elective offices.
“So, it is important to vote for Labour Party candidates into various elective positions both at the state and federal levels.
“Obi cannot be there alone.
You must vote Labour Party into all other positions because if Obi is there alone, corrupt people in the National Assembly will impeach him.
“They will impeach him because they don’t want the country to work, so that they can continue looting our common wealth,” she added.
Itubo said that defectors from major political parties in Rivers had approached her to step down and give them her governorship ticket – owing to the popularity of the party.
According to her, the Labour Party is built on strong ideals based on turning around the fortunes of Nigerians towards prosperity and progress.
“We do not want to continue in the old system, and definitely do not want to recycle the old people who have destroyed the country.
“God will grant us wisdom to achieve what we are yearning for.
So, when they intimidate and give you money, collect it but vote Labour Party,” she said.
Earlier, the Convener of Peter Obi Volunteer Network, Mr Philip Thomas, said the ObiStructure was launched to help promote the Peter Obi candidacy to Nigerians.
He said the group would take a message of hope to every home in the country, to educate the people on the Peter Obi mandate.
“Nigerians are tired of the status quo, and so, we demand change.
The only person who has presented himself as an alternative to the status quo is Peter Obi. “By Peter ObiStructure, we are decentralising power from the political class to the ordinary citizens of Nigeria, in order to restore the country to a right track.
” Thomas said the group was not sponsored by Peter Obi or any other politician but rather funded from members of the group.
“I am not a member of the Labour Party, and so, this is not about the party but about the personality involved.
“So, we are identifying with the party because it is the vehicle of our candidate.
“I am optimistic that come 2023, there is no other candidate that will take this mantle of leadership other than the person of Mr Peter Obi.”
Nigerians from different walks of life in the South-East have expressed mixed feelings regarding Federal Government’s plan to ban commercial motorcycles, otherwise called “Okada”, in the country.
While some hailed the proposal, believing that it might help to curb the crime rate, others disapproved of it on the grounds of its negative economic implications.
In Abia, proponents of the ban argued that commercial motorcycles had become ready tools for robbery, banditry, kidnapping and other violent crimes in the country.
A businessman, Mr Kingsley Madu, said that he had long expected the ban, given the spate of criminal activities that were executed with motorcycles in different parts of the country.
Madu said: “Most criminals and kidnappers hide under the guise of commercial motorcyclists to kill and dispossess their victims of their valuables.
” A seamstress, Mrs Faith Ugwu, said that a lot of criminals use motorcycles to perpetuate criminality due to bad roads, especially in rural communities.
“I think kidnapping and robbery are on the increase because the perpetrators use motorcycles for their operations.
However, those who are opposed to the idea, urged the government to jettison the plan because of its dire consequences on the nation’s prostrate economy.
An undergraduate, Mr Felix Nwankwo, feared that the plan could boomerang, if implemented.
“There is already a high rate of unemployment in the country, so banning okada would worsen the situation.
“This will also worsen crime and criminality that the policy intends to checkmate.
“Although there are bad eggs among the operators, it is not enough reason for a blanket ban across the country,” Nwankwo said.
He argued that there were many responsible men, who entered the business as their only means of livelihood.
A commercial bus driver, Mr Anthony Onyeizu, dismissed the plan, saying that it would be counterproductive.
Onyeizu said that the ban would create more problems in the transport sector, if enforced.
“Are commercial motorcyclists our problem as a country at this time, when people are being killed everyday like animals?
“Commercial motorcycles remain the major, and in some cases, the only means of transportation in most of our rural communities.
“So banning it would make life more difficult, especially in communities with deplorable road conditions,” Onyeizu said.
Also in Imo, an entrepreneur, Chief Evaristus Nkwocha, said that the policy would be detrimental to the nation’s economy.
Nkwocha, who deals in hire purchase for motorcycles in Owerri, said that “many unemployed persons, including graduates, depend on commercial motorcycles for their livelihood” because of the high unemployment rate.
“The ban will affect not only the operators but spare parts dealers and motorcycles repairers.
“Commercial motorcycles have always been there and we cannot just wake up and accuse the users of masterminding insecurity,” he said.
He argued that crime was also prevalent in cities where commercial motorcycles were not operational.
“Most of those who get our facility are unemployed graduates, who have no criminal records,” Nkwocha said.
Dr Fabian Odunka of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, said that rather than the ban, government should encourage the study of automobile engineering to stimulate students’ interest in the manufacturing of automobiles.
This, he said, would help to strengthen the economy and enhance the nation’s foreign exchange earnings through export.
Odunka further said that automobile entrepreneurs, such as Innoson Vehicle Manufacturers and Kotec motorcycle parts manufacturers, should be supported rather than discouraged in their efforts to grow the nation’s economy.
Mr Chukwudi Ndudi, an ex-Secretary, Motorcyclists Association, Emekuku, in Owerri North Council Area of Imo, spoke on the contributions of commercial motorcycle to crime reduction.
According to Ndudi, banning the business would worsen the country’s security situation.
He said the ban would render many persons jobless, hence create room for more people to take to crime and criminality to survive.
“At this time in the history of Nigeria, we should be talking about job creation to take the youths out from the streets and discourage them from crime.
“A ban on commercial motorcycles will leave many jobless with crime, including cyber crime, as the only way out,” Ndudi said.
In Abakaliki, a Civil Servant, Mr Donatus Okereke, said the Federal Government should first provide an alternative means of livelihood for youths who depend on okada to sustain themselves and their dependants.
Okereke said that banning okada without an alternative for the riders would increase the level of hardship, poverty and criminality in the country.
“I hope such a policy will not lead to another End-SARS protest in the country,” he said.
Also, Mr Ogbonna Uslor, said that the ban would have negative effect on motorcycle dealers, mechanics and others in the value chain.
“It is dangerous to say you will completely stop a means of livelihood of a people without an alternative,” Uslor said.
Two food vendors, Mrs Oluchukwu Ukeoma and Nkechi Ejike, said that their business would suffer if okada is banned.
“We will lose substantial patronage because the okada riders are our major customers,” they said.
Also in Awka, a journalist, Mr Chuks Ilozue, described the services of commercial motorcyclists as crucial, especially in far-flunged locations.
Ilozue said that banning them could cause untold sufferings for travellers to such locations.
“There are some communities that are difficult to access because of bad roads and the only means of transportation are commercial motorcycles.
“If government ends up banning okada, people travelling to such areas would face serious challenge,” he said.
He advised government to allow state governments to place such ban in areas where the use of okada to commit crimes is considered rife.
Another respondent, Mrs Uzochukwu Izuchukwu, said that in most agrarian communities, farmers relied more on commercial motorcycles to transport their produce to markets.
Izuchukwu warned that the ban would further increase the prices of farm produce, thus increasing the hardship in the country.
But a public servant, Mr Uchenna Ezedigwe, described the proposal as a step in the right direction.
Ezedigwe said that the upsurge in crime in some parts of the country could largely be attributed to okada riders.
“For instance, the activities of bandits and other criminal elements terrorising the nation today are usually perpetrated with motorcycles,” he said.
He opined that crime would reduce with a ban on commercial motorcycles.
A health worker, Mr Elvis Nwobuani, described the planned ban as appropriate.
Nwobuani said that apart from crime, the recklessness of okada operators had resulted in accidents, leaving many permanently maimed.
“If you conduct a survey on the number of motorcycle-related accidents in states where they operate and the states that have banned it, you will see the difference,” Nwobuani said.
According to him, banning okada would save many from the resultant disability and untimely death from okada accidents.
In Enugu, the Association of Tricycle Riders Transport Union (ATRTU) said that okada business had restrained millions of jobless youths from taking to crime.
The Chairman of ATRTU in the state, Mr Benjamin Ikah, said that many okada operators saw it as their only legitimate means of livelihood due to the high rate of unemployment.
He said that government should not think that the millions of school leavers and graduates that went into it were happy.
“They are not happy.
Rather, they went into it to avoid idleness, hunger and crime.
Ikah said: “Once they go out each day, they are sure of that day’s meal both for themselves and their families.
“So, why would government want to increase their frustration?
“Is it not enough for someone to make a living by doing a job as hazardous as okada riding in the rain and under the sun and exposure to accidents?
He charged the National Security Council to use intelligence to arrest terrorists and other criminal elements that operate with motorcycles.
“It could also isolate areas where crimes and terrorism are prevalent and ban motorcycles there, if need be,” Ikah said.
Also, traders under the aegis of the South East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA) urged the Federal Government to jettison the plan because of its “serious negative socio-economic consequences”.
In a statement issued by SEAMATA President-General and Secretary-General, Chief Gozie Akudolu and Mr Alex Okwudili, in Enugu the group advised that the ban be applied in places where they had become necessary.
It stated: “The council should have considered hundreds of motorcycle manufacturing industries across the federation with thousands of youths in their employment and others in ancillary and indirect employment.
“The proposal means not only the closure of these industries, with its adverse implications on the economy, but sending those in their employment into the saturated Nigerian labour market.
“There are other industries that produce motorcycle components, especially the rubber and plastic parts, which shall also fold up and in turn add to the nation’s security problem.
“The distribution chain, ranging from the dealers in motorcycle spare parts, artisans, such as mechanics and vulcanizers, and their apprentices, will have their businesses shut down.
“They will likely become potential criminals and bandits being uploaded into society.
” A senior citizen, Pa Alfred Udeh, advised the government to encourage the resuscitation of industries to absorb the teeming youths that depended on okada, before banning it.
He described okada as a product of economic downturn, saying that it never existed in the 1980s and 1990s, when the industries were booming in the country.
Udeh, a retired police officer, however, urged the government to increase its number of security personnel to at least 1.5 million.
“Government should also equip the security agencies with hi-tech crime detecting devices and criminal databank to enable them to function optimally,” he said.
Mr Chris Isiguzo, President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Mrs Ladi Bala, President, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) have congratulated Dr Yemi Kolapo, Publisher, The Point Newspaper as she clocked 50. The leadership of the media unions at an event organised by Kolapo’s family and friends in Abuja, described her as a professional, result oriented person whose hard work and diligence should be emulated by younger journalists.
Isiguzo described Kolapo as a professional who had always been while practicing on the field until becoming a publisher and a kindhearted person who had touched the lives of almost every Nigerian journalist.
He however, prayed that God continued to bless and keep her alive to mentor younger and spiring journalists.
“As a media entrepreneur, it speaks volume of who Yemi Kolapo is, meaning she carries on her a lot of media practitioners, with so many persons also reliant on her.
“She is a very professional person that takes her job with a lot of seriousness, knowing how important the media is to the nation’s development.
“There are so many people that she has touched their lives and that is why whenever she organises any event, even though on a short notice, you will see journalists scamper to be a part of the event.
“At 50, Yemi Kolapo has attained a milestone which so many people yearn for, which means she has achieved a lot.
“On this occasion, I thank God our paths crossed and I pray that her next 50th will even be more result oriented,” Isiguzo said.
Bala on behalf of NAWOJ, congratulated Kolapo, describing her as an icon in the media industry with a humble personality.
The NAWOJ president said that as women continued to clamor for inclusion in governances, Kolapo had exhibited all the qualities that qualified her to becoming a governor of her state, Ogun. “Today, I want to celebrate this great woman who is a source of inspiration to women journalists, and I commend her doggedness.
“I describe her as an inspiration to younger women journalists because she has succeeded in a terrain that most women find very challenging.
“I urge women journalists, especially the younger ones to emulate her virtues so that her kind will be replicated in the media industry.
“She has great qualities which qualifies her to becoming a governor in her state, Ogun very soon, and the women will be ready to throw all our weight behind her,” Bala said.
Mr Francis Kadiri, Head, FCT Bureau, The Point Newspaper also described Kolapo as a great teacher who remained keen on the professional growth of her staff and the organisation as well as ensuring staff wellbeing.
Kadiri said the publisher had been able to institute best practices in The Point media organisation.
He also noted that unlike the challenges encountered by colleagues in some organisations, Kolapo is not disposed to sacking of her staff but rather believed in grooming and teaching such persons to be the best.
“I am very proud and happy to have worked with Alhaja Oyeyemi Kolapo for nearly seven years, and I will boldly describe her as a courageous journalist, a great teacher and manager of people.
“She ensures the growth and progress of staff as well as the company.
She is humane and rather than sack a staff, believe in correction and teachings,” Kadiri said.
Mr Segun Sowumi, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial flagbearer in Ogun, described Kolapo as a professional, spiritual and morally upright woman.
Sowumi said that “the World and Nigeria needs more of Yemi Kolapo.
And I pray God keeps her alive to achieve more and do even more for people and the nation,” Sowumi said.
Kolapo appreciated family and friends for celebrating her, appreciating God almighty for his grace upon her, noting that the words of encouragement would continue to spur her to do even more.
“I pray we all find God’s favour in all we do and I appreciate you all a great deal for coming.
God bless you all,” Kolapo said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Kolapo turned 50 on July 30. (
Former Governor of Enugu state, Sen. Chimaroke Nnamani has canvassed for inclusion of more women in elective and appointive positions in government in the 2023 elections.
Nnamani also condemned the unabating cases of human trafficking, especially against women and the girl-child for labour and prostitution .
Nnamani in statement to commemorate the “World Day Against Trafficking in Persons” on Sunday in Abuja, urged governments at all levels to provide stringent measures to curb trafficking in persons against women, children and the girl child.
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2013, declared July 30 of every year as a day to mark trafficking in persons as part of sensitisation and global plan of action to combat the menace.
This year’s theme focuses on the role of technology as a tool that can impede human trafficking.
Nnamani decried that women carried undue burden of poverty, ignorance, disease and sociological abuse, in addition to displacement and denial of political spaces which shut them out from nation building.
He said an affirmative action was urgently needed on basis of equity to enable women to complement their male counterparts in the onerous task of developing the beleaguered nation.
Nnamani stated that equity in women representation and empowerment was the order of the day, stressing that the task at hand demanded joint efforts between the male and female citizens but not the exclusive reserve of men.
He acknowledged the existence of the Ministry of Women Affairs, but suggested the establishment of the office of “equal opportunity” for women to specifically address the imbalances and other issues affecting them and the girl child.
“ Women rights are human rights, there is need to reserve jobs quota for women and address issues of job discrimination and the likes against women .
“Women suffer work place discrimination and harassment, stigmatisation and poor prosecution for rape and assault.
”He cautioned against early or forced marriage because of its attendant birth injuries, including Vesico-Vaginal fistula, poor and neglected post delivery, maternity welfare among others .
Nnamani said Nigeria in the 21st century should lead the way in Africa to give women a chance in governments at all levels.