Eminent Nigerians on Tuesday paid tributes to the late Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Fasanmi, as his remains were interred in his country home in Iye Ekiti, Ilejemeje Local Government Area of Ekiti.
Fasanmi, a Second Republic Senator, died on July 29 at the age of 94.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the casket conveying Fasanmi’s corpse was brought to the community in a white jeep for the funeral service held at Saint John’s Anglican Church, Iye Ekiti.
Fayemi said Fasanmi’s contributions to the development of democracy was immeasurable, particularly his role in the formation and operation of the defunct National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) that fought the military.
The governor disclosed that his government was already constructing a secondary school to honour the deceased for his contributions to the state before his death.
” My only regret is that he has left us before the school will be officially inaugurated for academic activities when schools finally reopen,” Fayemi said.
Fayemi, in his tribute entitled, “‘Tribute to a Man of Integrity,” said what attracted him to the deceased was his integrity.
“His death has, therefore, robbed me of a godfather, counsellor, an advocate and a father. A good man has left us.
” We will sorely miss him but we are consoled that he was dedicated to selfless service,” he said.
Fayemi added that Fasanmi belonged in the class of the youths of the 1950s when the nationalist movement was at its feverish peak.
He noted that the deceased got indoctrinated into nationalism struggle through the writings of Dr Nnamdi Azikwe and his contemporaries.
“He proved his political mettle in 1964 when he was elected as a member of the Federal House of Representatives before 1966 and he got imprisoned in Agodi Prison and was later released.
“He offered to serve as governor of the old Ondo state in 1978 and slugged it out with Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin who defeated him in the primary.
“One legacy for which Baba would be fondly remembered was his credential of incorruptibility. He was a man of tall integrity and honesty.
“It would be recalled that he was the first to start the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Committee in 1973 under Col. Oluwole Rotimi of the Western Region.
“Chief Ayo Fasanmi has come, he has seen and conquered. He conquered human cravings, vanity of power, ostentation, greed and malice,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Southwest Governors, Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, said the news of the passage of the icon was a loss to the Yoruba and Nigeria at large.
“Baba living long for 94 years was not what we are celebrating, but we are celebrating how many lives he had impacted on. He lived an impactful life.
“He was not petty but he spoke truth, lived a remarkable life and was one politician who became senator and came home to rest,” he said.
The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by his Special Adviser on Civic Engagements, Aderemi Adebowale, said Fasanmi’s influence became more pronounced by his incorruptible nature.
The All Progressives Congress National leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, represented by former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Abiodun Ogunleye, said Nigerians must learn from the late politician who lived a modest and spartan lifestyle.
Tinubu described Fasanmi as a revolutionary and a politician of outstanding mien, civility and character who was worthy of being emulated .
In his sermon, the Bishop of Ekiti Oke, Anglican Communion, Peter Olubowale, said Fasanmi was not a noise maker and trouble maker during his time.
The cleric urged the people to continually do good to humanity the way Fasanmi did to his family, political associates , friends and companions.
“We need to be available to ourselves and committed to God. Nigerians are number one people in the world that are easy to govern with patience, zeal and endurance.
“Baba has told us that all these monies you are spending and the one you are keeping inside bullion vans and the ones being stashed in banks accounts are all vanity.
” Use the position you are occupying very well to develop humanity. This is the only way you can gain eternity because materialism will lead you to hell fire,” he said.
Edited By: Josephine Obute/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Buhari holds closed-door meeting with Ghanaian president at Aso Villa
President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday night met behind closed doors with President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Bashir Ahmad, the President’s Personal Assistant on New Media, confirmed this on his Twitter handle.
The presidential aide, who could not elaborate on the agenda of the meeting between the two leaders, however, posted pictures in which the Nigerian leader could be seen escorting his guest after the meeting.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the closure of shops owned by Nigerian traders in Ghana had heightened tensions between the two countries, a situation which led the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama to summon Ghana’s Charge d Affaires to Nigeria, Ms Iva Denoo for discussions.
Onyeama had also met with representatives of Nigerian traders in Ghana, led by Jasper Emenike, the National President of Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (PAN), and the organisation’s National Director, Ruth Ango over the matter.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, had also visited Ghana on Sept. 2 with a view to seeing how the issues at stake could be resolved amicably.
According to the speaker, the closure of the Nigerian shops in Ghana contravenes the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol on free movement of citizens of member states, and trade liberalisation scheme.
NAN reports that the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) adopted in 1979 with an agreement on agricultural, artisanal handicrafts, and unprocessed products, and extended to industrial products in 1990, is the main framework for trade and market integration in ECOWAS as it addresses protocols on the free movement of goods, persons, and transportation.
The scheme’s main pursuit of consolidating the free trade area is guided by the National Approval Committee that informs the member states.
Similarly, Article (3) of the Revised Treaty of ECOWAS on trade and market integration stipulates the removal of trade barriers and harmonisation of trade policies for the establishment of a Free Trade Area, a Customs Union, a Common Market and an eventual culmination in to a Monetary and Economic Union in West Africa.
NAN further reports that the Ghanaian government had proposed a meeting between the two leaders prior to the one they held behind closed doors on Sunday.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Nasarawa state to host teqball championship in November, official says
Ndudi Edede, Secretary-General of Nigerian Teqball Federation (NTF), says Nasarawa state will host the first edition of the National Teqball Challengers Series scheduled to kick off on Nov. 7.
Edede disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday after a meeting between the federation’s national and state officials.
He urged Nasarawa state officials to step up preparations for the series.
”Nasarawa state will serve as a litmus test for the series in view of the fact that the 2020 series will be the maiden series in the country since the commencement of the sport in Nigeria.”
Edede said the first phase of the event would be held on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 and would provide an opportunity for youths to learn something new.
He added that the second phase of the event would then hold on Nov. 10 and Nov. 11 also in Lafia.
“We had Nasarawa state and the FCT bidding for the hosting rights, and now we are certain that this event will take place in Lafia.
“The national challengers series is a qualifier for the Teqball World Cup slated for Europe towards the late part of this year. So, I am sure Lafia will be a good host,” Edede said.
Speaking also, Promise Uwaeme, NTF’s Director of Competition, said the event in Lafia would be streamed live internationally.
He added that athletes from various states of the country would compete in the singles and doubles events of the competition’s male and female categories
Uwaeme added that winners in various categories would represent Nigeria at the international level.
“Teqball is an interesting game and you have to be skillful to play teqball. It is played on a curved table with a regular certified ball. You can play with all parts of the body apart from the hands.
“Then the championship will help our players to get world ranking,” he said.
David Allu, The Nasarawa State Chairman of NTF, expressed happiness with the hosting rights given to the state.
He assured the national officials of a strong synergy between the state’s Ministry of Youths and Sports and the NTF, saying this would ensure the events were a huge success.
“We are quite excited that we will be the first state to host this Challengers Series in the country and we will put in our best to collaborate with the state Ministry of Sports to see that we get a befitting venue and get all the arrangements to host this tournament done.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that teqball is a ball sport played on a curved table, combining elements of football and table tennis.
Back and forth, the players hit a football with any part of the body except arms and hands.
Teqball can be played between two players as a singles game, or between four players as a doubles game.
The game is represented at an international level by the International Federation of Teqball (FITEQ).
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Ebonyi bus accident: FRSC, Police confirm 3 more bodies retrieved from river
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ebonyi has confirmed the recovery of three more corpses from the Akeze-Ukwu River after a Mercedes 608-model bus plunged into the river on Sept.18.
The News Agency of Nigeria , recalls that the bus conveying members of a Church who attended their pastor’s burial was returning to Enugu when the accident occurred.
The bus driver was said to have lost control of the vehicle while trying to overtake an articulated vehicle on the bridge.
Uchegbu said that the corps sent its personnel to the hospital, where some rescued victims were being treated, to interact with doctors on the true reports concerning the ‘unfortunate’ incident.
“We have been getting conflicting reports on the casualties so we sent our personnel to the hospital to interact with the doctors handling the cases.
“We were able to ascertain that seven persons were actually rescued from the river on the day of the incident instead of five earlier reported.
“One person was confirmed dead, two persons are presently on admission, two have been officially discharged while two opted to return home having sustained no injuries from the incident,” she said.
Ughegbu said that with the 14 corpses retrieved from the river on the second day of the rescue operations and the three other corpses retrieved on Sunday, the total number of retrieval is 24.
According to her, the total number of dead victims is now 18.
Also, the Ebonyi command of the Nigerian Police Force confirmed in a stateement the retrieval of three more corpses on Sunday, adding that a retired police officer was among the deceased persons.
“Efforts are still on to recover the remaining 10 persons,” it stated.
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Donald Ugwu
Gov. Matawalle eulogises late Emirs of Biu, Zazzau
Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara has described as “commendable” the roles played by the late Emir of Biu, Borno state and Emir of Zazzau in Kaduna state.
This is contained in a statement by Yusuf Idris, the Director-General of Media, Public Enlightenment and Communication to the governor in Gusau on Sunday.
News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Emir of Biu, Mai Umar Mustapha the 28th emir, died at the age of 80 years at the Federal Medical Centre, Gombe on the 15th of September, after serving on the throne for 31 years.
The Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, who was emir for 45 years as the 18th emir, also died at the age of 84 years at the 44 Hospital, Kaduna on Sunday, the 20th of September after a brief illness.
According to Matawalle’s media aide, the governor, particularly commended the significant roles played by the two mornarchs in ensuring the indivisibility of Nigeria, and their great contributions in finding lasting solutions to acts of terrorism and banditry during their historic reigns.
Matawalle said the duo would be remembered for their patience, honesty, sincerity and preaching of peace and unity in Nigeria.
He said, “Allah, Who is the All Knowing, knows best why He chose these trying times to take away the royal fathers from our sinful world.”
The governor prayed that Allah in His endless mercies hosts the departed souls of the two great rulers in Jannatul Firdaus, grant the people and governments of the two states the fortitude to bear the loss and continue to bless members of the families left by the natural rulers.
Edited By: Felix Ajide