Niger Delta Avengers: Britain Cautions FG Over Military Option

Niger Delta Avengers, Niger Delta, MILITARY OPTIONThe British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, has cautioned the federal government over military option as a measure to tackle the resurgence of militancy and other criminality in the Niger Delta region.

The British High Commissioner was speaking in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, shortly after his courtesy visit to the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo.

He also advocated for dialogue as part of a comprehensive approach that should be adopted by Nigerian government to address the situation, adding that force alone may not bring about a lasting solution to the Niger Delta issue.

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), an armed militant group, and other violent youth organisations have been launching violent attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta area.

Early on Friday, the Niger Delta Avengers militant group claimed three new attacks in the Niger Delta region.

The group said through its Twitter account that it had blown up a pipeline in Bayelsa State owned by Italy’s ENI, hours after attacks on another ENI pipeline as well as one belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC).

This is sequel to several other attacks they have carried out in recent weeks resulting in international oil companies shutting down their facilities and consequently a drop in the country’s revenue from oil.

The action has forced the federal government to respond by deploying troops to the area’s creeks to stop the alleged destruction of national economic assets and spate of sabotage being perpetrated there by the region’s restive youths.

Chief Ernest Shonekan Celebrates 80th Birthday

Ernest ShonekanThe story of Chief Ernest Shonekan’s life is one centered on merit, humility and service to humanity, and that was re-echoed when the British-trained lawyer, industrialist, Baba Isale of Egbaland and former Interim President of Nigeria turned 80.

The celebrant, who takes his Christian faith seriously together with his dear wife Margret and their lovely children, began the special birthday event with a thanksgiving service at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina in Lagos

The occasion saw several important guests honouring Chief Shonekan in a service officiated by the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh.

The special guests include former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon and wife Victoria; former Vice President, Chief Alex Ekwueme and wife Helen; Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun and wife Olufunso, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Idiat Adegbule.

Others are former Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Danjuma and wife Senator Daisy; Chairman of FCMB, Otunba Shubomi Balogun and wife Adebutu; and the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Micheal Adedotun Gbadebo amongst others

Indeed, it was a special day as they joined him on the altar for thanksgiving and then sang a special birthday song for him.

Students from his Alma Mata, CMS Grammar School Lagos, also did a special presentation in his honour.

The social part of the celebration kicked off right away with veteran juju music maestro, Ebenezer Obey, dishing out some of his evergreen tunes in honour of the celebrant and to the delight of his A-list guests.

More important guests joined the party, like ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi and wife Olori Wuraola; former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, and former Governor of Lagos, Chief Mobolaji Johnson.

Business mogul, Chief Razaq Okoya and wife Shade; Justice George Oguntade and wife; Chairman of Doyin Group, Mr Samuel Adedoyin; and the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Relations and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, also shared in the fun.

Chief Ernest Shonekan was born on the May 9, 1936 in Lagos. He is a British-trained lawyer, industrialist, and was the former Chief Executive of the United African Company of Nigeria Plc (UAC), before he was appointed as Interim President of Nigeria by General Ibrahim Babangida on August 26, 1993.

Chief Shonekan’s transitional administration only lasted three months before General Sani Abacha took over on November 17, 1993.

Christians Celebrate Easter In Southwest Nigeria

Easter - Christians Jesus ChristChristians in southwest Nigeria have joined their counterparts globally to observe the Easter Sunday which is believed to signify the resurrection of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago.

At the House on the Rock Church in Lagos State visited by Channels Television crew, the entire church was in the mood of thanksgiving with a strong conviction that Jesus Christ has resurrected.

There was also a pleasant side attraction lined up to make the Easter service an unforgettable one as international gospel icon, Don Moen, performed some of his hit tracks.

In his Easter message, the Senior Pastor of the House on the Rock Church, Pastor Paul Adefarasin, urged citizens to adopt a positive approach and good deeds towards the reprieve that has come the way of Nigerians.

In Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Aremu Gbadebo, and wife joined other Christians at the St. Peters Cathedral, Ake to be part of the thanksgiving service marking the Easter celebration.

In his Easter note to the populace, the Bishop of Egba Diocese, Bishop Emmanuel Adekunle, admonished Nigerians to continue to have faith in God in the face of the many challenges currently facing the country.

Similarly, Christians in Osun State were not left out of this year’s commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as they all trooped out to their various places of worship.

It was a filled day for choristers and bands at the various worship centers in Oshogbo, the state’s capital, which were packed full with worshippers apparently in joyous mood dancing and singing.

In their various sermons, clergymen at the various worship centres sued for ‎peaceful coexistence among Nigerians and emphasised living in love and humility between the rulers and the ruled.

They urged leaders‎ to embrace the virtues of sacrifice and tolerance in governance, stressing that the welfare of the people should be their priority.

In Edo State, the Bishop of the Benin Catholic Archdiocese, Most Reverend Augustine Akubeze, admonished Christians to see the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the right path to eternal life.

The Edo State Police Command also had a special thanksgiving at the cathedral to commemorate the end of activities for 2016 Nigeria Police Force Week.

Governor Amosun Settles Alleged Rift Between Alake, Awujale

AmosunIt appears the purported rift between the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Aremu Gbadebo, and the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, over the ranking of obas in Yoruba land may have been put to rest.

This is coming as the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, waded into the crisis that has pitched the two paramount rulers against each other.

The Governor held a closed door meeting with both monarchs which lasted three hours at the Governor’s Office in Abeokuta, the state capital.

Governor Amosun emphasized the need for peace and unity among Yoruba obas for the harmony and progress of Nigeria’s southwest region.

While fielding questions from reporters after the meeting, the two paramount rulers maintained silence over the alleged crisis, vehemently denying any rift.

Nigerian Navy Urged To Maintain High Degree Of Loyalty

Nigeria NavyThe Chief Staff Officer of the Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Bee Ibenwo, has urged  officers of the Nigerian Navy to continue to maintain a high degree of loyalty and discipline in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities to Nigeria.

He gave the admonition in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, south-west Nigeria while representing the reviewing officer, Rear Admiral Jonathan Ango, at the 21st passing out parade of the 2014/2015 of the Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Abeokuta.

Addressing the young graduating students at the ceremony attended by the Alake of Egbaland, Service Chiefs in the state and other dignitaries, the Chief Staff Officer warned them against cultism, terrorism and other vices that may put the nation and their future in disrepute.

Rear Admiral Ibenwo also took off time to admonish men and officers of the Nigerian Navy to be loyal to the civil authorities and discharge their constitutional duties with utmost professionalism.

The party was moved to the parade ground where the out-going students put to test the military training they had acquired.

The 200 graduating students were,  however, pulled out in a military version out of the school into the wider world to the admiration of parents, relatives and well wishers.

Ogun Plans Referendum On Establishing LCDA

OgunThe Ogun State Governor has stated that his administration would conduct a referendum before May 29 for the establishment of Local Council Development Areas (LCDA).

Governor Ibikunle Amosun made this known when the Egba Traditional Council, led by the Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Aremu Gbadebo, paid him a visit on his re-election at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

He explained that the decision to establish LCDAs was aimed at effectively bringing development to the grassroots.

While promising the people that he would not betray the confidence reposed in him, he said that his second term in office would be a new beginning of turn around development in all facets.

He noted that the only way to show appreciation for his victory at the polls was through greater performance.

Speaking earlier, the Alake of Egbaland and Chairman, Egba Traditional Council, Oba Gbadebo, said that the council was at the Governor’s Office to congratulate the Governor on his deserved victory at the polls.

He expressed confidence in the Governor’s ability to surpass earlier achievement and pledged the support of the traditional rulers in Ogun State for all developmental programmes embarked upon by the Amosun administration.

Ibikunle Amosun of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was declared winner of the 2015 governorship election in Ogun State on April 12. Mr Amosun clinched 306,988 votes to beat his closest opponent, Mr. Gboyega Isiaka of the PDP who had 201,440 votes.

Obasanjo Eulogises MKO Abiola’s Sacrifice For Nigeria

obasanjoIn what seems a deviation from his former comment on the late MKO Abiola, former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, said that the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, late Chief MKO Abiola, sacrificed a lot to the development of the country.

Obasanjo made the remark while speaking as Eminent Guest of Honour at the Fourth Founder’s Day Celebration and 85th Birthday Anniversary of the Founder/Patron of the Nobel House College, Chief Olatunde Abudu, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

The former president acknowledged the contribution of the late business mogul to the development of Nigeria in all areas of human endeavour.

Obasanjo – who re-echoed what was earlier said about Abiola by the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba (Dr) Adedotun Gbadebo, that Ogun State and indeed Egbaland would have produced three presidents – attributed the failure to achieve this to “bad belle”.

This remark comes few days to the 15th anniversary of the annulled election adjudged to be the freest election in the country

“Indeed, Abiola contributed to the development of this country. He sacrificed everything for the development of this country”, OBJ added.

Also speaking, the State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, stressed the essence of developing the education sector by all stakeholders, maintaining that Government would always be ready to provide the enabling environment for its growth.

Obasanjo, Amosun Reconcile Traditional Rulers In Egbaland

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun on Saturday called for an enduring, purposeful peaceful co-existence and harmony among the four sectional traditional rulers of Egba extraction to fast track socio economic and political development in the state.

The two leaders made the call in Abeokuta, the state capital, at the peace parley among the four sectional traditional rulers held at the Ogun state Government House facilitated by the state governor.

The peace parley initiated by Mr Amosun was attended by the Alake of Egbaland; the Osinle of Oke Ona; the Olowu of Owu kingdom; and the Agura of Gbagura; Mr Obasanjo, former head of interim government, Earnest Sonekan; and the Deputy Governor (Operation) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Tunde Lemo.

The goal of the meeting was to end the mistrust, and leadership tussle among the Egba traditional rulers.

While recommending dialogue and communication as panacea to world peace and harmony, Mr Obasanjo decried the slow pace of development in the country despite abundance of natural and human resources. However, he was quick to say that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Reading the communique after the closed-door meeting which lasted for several hours, the Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Aremu Gbadebo said the traditional rulers have agreed to leave the past behind them all for the progress and development of Egbaland and Ogun state in general.

Mr Obasanjo admonished the traditional rulers to do the needful to sustain the new found peace.

The highpoint of the occasion was the toast to the unity and continuous progress of Egbaland; Ogun State; and Nigeria in general.