General Yakubu Gowon Calls For Peace In Nigeria

GowonFormer Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, says the insurmountable problems facing  Nigeria, which include insecurity and the state of the economy, among others, can be solved through prayers.

Gowon, who spoke to journalists shortly after a Church thanksgiving service on Sunday at Umuda, Isingwu, Abia state, noted that such problems are usually obtainable in any country because people have different ideologies.

“Look, I think that whatever problem we have as a country, we should pray concerning it, I know that if we pray sincerely, God will hear the prayer for peace and well-being of the country.

“There would be problems as long as there are human beings living in this country.

“But I can assure you that the problems are there to be dealt with and to be solved, and part of the true solution in the end is prayer, I believe in prayer and I know that this country is heading for the better,” General Gowon said.

Meanwhile, the Abia state Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu who was also at the service, made a commitment to take the state to a higher level of development and promised to ensure that all the youths in the Umuda community will register for the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), as education is priority for his administration.

“I want to assure you that each and every youth in Umuda must register for the Secondary School Certificate Examination.

“I have taken it upon myself to relieve parents of the financial burden, I do not want to hear that any child did not participate in the examination because he or she cannot obtain the form.

“I have no other direction, rather than upwardly mobile to take Abia state from one level of development to another higher level,” the governor said.

Gowon Visits President Buhari At The Villa

Yakubu Gowon Visits Muhammadu Buhari At The Villa Former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), says the safe return of President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigeria, after receiving medical attention in the United Kingdom has proven critics wrong on the President’s state of health.

General Gowon said this during an interview with State House correspondents after a private meeting with President Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.

The former Military Head of State who also came to pay a welcome visit to the President from his medical vacation, said “the other thing is to thank him very much indeed for ringing me when he was in London, to commiserate with me on the death of my sister and this was rarely very gracious of him.

“I’m sure that also helped to make Nigerians to rejoice, especially those who are sending all those unfortunate messages about him. It was a good thing that was done and Nigerians know that yes he’s still well and for him to be able to ring.

“This is rarely the purpose of what brought me here and then to encourage him to continue to his work to the best of his ability”.

He then wished President Buhari well as he braces up to tackle the challenges confronting the country.

Elder Statesman, Samuel Ogbemudia Laid To Rest

ogbemudia3The remains of late elder statesman and two-time Governor of Mid-Western State and later Bendel State, Brigadier General Samuel Ogbemudia (rtd), has been laid to rest.

Dr. Ogbemudia was buried at his residence in Ihaya Street, Benin City, following an interdenominational service held at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in the Edo State capital.

A combined team of clergymen from the Christian Association of Nigeria, Edo and Delta chapters took charge of proceedings at the venue.

Family, friends, close associates, past and serving Governors of Edo and Delta states, as well as members of National Assembly and their state counterparts also witnessed the ceremony where they paid their last respects to the two-time Governor.

In a sermon titled “the man and his works”, Bishop Oyonude Kure said the late Ogbemudia by his laudable achievements as an administrator lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation.

Shortly after the sermon there were tributes from former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and Deputy Governor of Delta State, Kingsley Otuaro among others.

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Dr. Ogbemudia died on Thursday, March 9 at the age of 84 at a private hospital in Lagos.

While serving as Governor of the old Bendel State, Dr. Ogbemudia initiated improvements in the areas of sports, urban development, education, public transportation, housing, commerce and agriculture.

Osinbajo, Gowon, Others Celebrate Ambassador Isa Wali

Osinbajo, Gowon, Others Celebrate Ambassador Isa Wali Prominent political and traditional leaders from pre and post-independence period, elderly diplomats and legal lumineries have converged in Abuja to celebrate the golden jubilee of the death of Isa Wali.

Mr Wali, considered as a close confidant, friend, brother and father by many during his lifetime, was a Nigerian diplomat from Kano who served as the Ambassador to Ghana during the independence of Nigeria.

The 50th anniversary is marked by the Isa Wali Empowerement, an organisation which supports women, youths and children in rising above poverty and economic hardships.

The event brought together dignitaries such as General Yakubu Gowon, Justice Muhammadu Uwais, Alh Maitama Sule, Ambassador Isaac Sagay, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

Detail of ongoing lecture soon.

Nigerian Leaders Optimistic About Greater 2017

Nigerian Leaders Optimistic About Greater 2017Nigeria’s former leaders and current Vice President, Yemi Osibajo, have collaborated to release a hymn in which they advocated a greater, united and more peaceful Nigeria in the year 2017.

Singing Isaac Watts’ hymn, “O God, Our Help in Ages Past,” were: the former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Former Chairman of Nigeria Interim Government, Ernest Shonekan, Former Vice President Alex Ekwueme and Former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Admiral, Ebitu Ukiwe.

The VIP choristers released a video recording of the rendition on Monday.

Thereafter, in a goodwill messages to Nigerians, Yakubu Gowown said: “We pray to God, to continue to grant us that peace and unity that this country dearly deserves”.

They believe that: “In spite of the mess we tried to make of the country, God manages to always rescue us when we get to the edge of the precipice and we thank him for that”.

Furthermore, they expressed gratitude to God for “accepting and accommodating us, despite the mess we’ve made of ourselves”.

Meanwhile, speaking on the state of the country, Obasanjo believes that “God created Nigeria as we are, and he doesn’t make a mistake. So, we should thank him for that”.

Mr Shonekan, also encouraged citizens to continue to work hard in order to achieve desired results.

The former leaders equally expressed appreciation to the President, Muhammadu Buhari, and Mr Osinbajo, for coming up with the idea of bringing them together to render the song.

Yakubu Gowon Pushes For Eradication Of NTDs In Delta State

gowonA former Head of State in Nigeria, General Yakubu Gowon, is championing a campaign for the control of Malaria and other Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in Delta State.

General Gowon made the call for more efforts to tackle diseases in the Niger Delta region when he led the Board Of Trustees of the Yakubu Gowon Carter Centre and the South South Advocacy Group on the control of Malaria and other Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) on a courtesy visit to the State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa.

At the meeting held at the Government House in Asaba, the capital of the state, the group sought the support of Governor Okowa’s administration towards the eradication of the disease.

According to The World Health Organisation, an estimate of more than one billion people including more than 500 million children are affected by Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Out of the figure, 40 per cent live in the African region while Nigeria accounts for 25 per cent of the African burden.

This perhaps has necessitated the courtesy call on the Governor of Delta State by a General Gowon and the South South Advocacy Group.

Giving an insight on the effort of the group towards the total eradication of Malaria, River Blindness, Elephantiasis and other neglected tropical diseases, General Gowon said that the group had distributed over 1.7 million Long Lasting Insect Nets and still had 3.5 million to distribute in order to eradicate the diseases.

“We have trained 8,281 community Directed Distributors, 1,170 Volunteer Supervisors, 525 Health Staff and 2,345 Teachers for school treatments.

“The Carter Centre Nigeria has been in Nigeria assisting the Federal Government since 1988 to fight NTDs and I joined the fight in 1999. I am here with my team to solicit the support of the Delta State government to battle River Blindness, Elephantiasis and Malaria until they are defeated in the state and country at large,” he said.

General Yakubu Gowon also spoke on his association with the Carter Centre, his experiences and challenges.

After the group briefed him, Senator Okowa called for a holistic approach towards eradicating malaria, and other neglected tropical diseases.

While lauding the use of Long Lasting Mosquito Treated Nets to check malaria, Governor Okowa observed that a holistic approach to tackling the issue would bring greater relief to Deltans and Nigerians as a whole.

“I support the campaign for the distribution of insecticide treated mosquito nets but. We should try a holistic approach to control malaria scourge,” he said, reiterating that “until we do this, we will find that year in, year out, we will keep on distributing nets while we are not controlling malaria holistically”.

“We need to combine both the net and other control measures in the fight against malaria. This is possible because, until we start driving our nation in that direction, we may not get the desired result. In the long run, we will find that the money that we have put into the distribution of mosquito net could have produced better results using the holistic approach,” he added

Neglected Tropical Diseases are a diverse group of tropical infections which are especially common in low-income populations in developing regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

They are caused by a variety of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa which thrives through an unhygienic environment.

These diseases are contrasted with the big three diseases (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria), which generally receive greater treatment and research funding.

The general consensus at the meeting was that by 2020 these diseases would be completely eradicated.

New Movie: Nollywood Thriller ‘Oloibiri’, Stirs A Buzz

Nollywood thriller, OloibiriNew Nollywood action thriller, ‘Oloibiri’, has stirred a buzz, as it became a hot topic among public figures who attended the Lagos premiere of the film.

The movie, which vividly paints the hardship endured by locals in the titular town as a result of oil exploration, weaves a compelling story of greed, poverty, and vengeance.

The event was well attended by a number of public figures including a Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, Former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Emeka Antaoku, as well as a Former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana, who was impressed by the overall message of the film.

Nollywood thriller, Oloibiri
Jerry Gana

He advocated for more of such movies that would push the government to take action on matters of grave importance.

“The message is clear and very powerful.

“This has succeeded, we should do more of it,” he said in an interview with Channels Television.

Nollywood thriller, Oloibiri
Richard Mofe Damijo

Oloibiri stars a stellar cast including veteran actor, Richard Mofe-Damijo, who also expressed hopes that the buzz the film has created would lead to further dialogue in the public sphere.

This, according to him, would bring the much needed respite to the local community which inspired the movie.

Other prominent cast include: Olu Jacobs, Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett, Ivie Okujaiye, Nollywood thriller, OloibiriIfeanyi Williams, Daniel K Daniel and William Moses among others.

Several stakeholders in the Nigerian film industry present at the event were equally impressed by the movie delivery as well as the overall production.

President Buhari Meets With Gowon

Buhari GowonPresident Muhammadu Buhari has met behind closed doors with a former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd) at the Presidential Villa.

The meeting was held inside the President’s office for about 30 minutes.

The former military leader did not speak to reporters after the meeting.

The meeting of the two leaders was the second one in two months. The first was in August, just before the former head of state travelled abroad.

Among other matters, the August meeting focused on the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption campaign, which the former leader expressed support for.

In a chat with newsmen after the meeting, he encouraged the Nigerian leader to deal with the situation which he said had created serious setback to Nigeria nationally and internationally.

He also expressed delight at the Federal Government’s determination so far in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents and efforts to rescue the missing Chibok girls.

General Gowon said at the time that the government would soon get credible information that would lead to the rescue of the girls abducted in April 2014 from their school’s dormitory in Borno State.

He urged Nigerians to be patient with the President who he said took over power at a time Nigeria was witnessing dwindling crude oil price.

It was the same month that President Buhari agreed to the idea of swapping Boko Haram prisoners for the Chibok girls and just as Gowon predicted, the government went on to secure the release of 21 of the abducted Chibok girls.

The release was the outcome of negotiations between the Nigerian government and the Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.

President Muhammadu Buhari has also said his government would sustain efforts to free the remaining girls, kidnapped by the jihadist group.

 “About 100 more (girls) are still in the hands of the terrorists,” Buhari told reporters in Berlin after a meeting with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. “We hope we’ll get some … intelligence to go about securing the balance.”

Council Of State Confirms IGP, Appoints Commissioners For INEC, NPC

Council-of-State,-Police-INEC-NPC-IGPNigeria’s Council of State and the Police Council have confirmed the appointment of Mr Ibrahim Idris as the Inspector General of Police.

The Governor of Jigawa State, Mr Abubakar Badaru, who briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, said that the confirmation of Mr Idris as the Police Chief was unanimous.

President Buhari and IGP Idirs
President Muhammadu Buhari and IGP Ibrahim Idirs

President Buhari had approved the appointment of the Police Chief, as acting Inspector General of Police on June 21, to succeed Mr Solomon Arase who retired from service.

The Council also appointed six national commissioners for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to bring the number of commissioners for the electoral body to 12.

Briefing reporters on the appointments on Wednesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, said that the six appointees were drawn from the six-geopolitical zones of the country.

They include Mohammed Haruna (north-central), Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Tijani Muazu (rtd) from northeast, Abubakar Nauche (northwest), Professor Okechukwu Ibeanu (southeast), May Agbamuche Mbu (south-south) and Dr. Adekunle Ladipo Ademola (southwest).

The Council further approved five new commissioners for the National Population Commission (NPC).

They are Dr. Eyitayo Oyetunji from Oyo State, Mr Patricia Inyanya from Benue State, Mr Benedict Ikpong from Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Haliru Bala from Kebbi State and Gloria Izonfo from Bayelsa State.

The National Council of State is the highest constitutional advisory body and it constitutes Nigeria’s sitting President, Vice President, all former Presidents and Heads of State, former Chief Justices of the Federation, the 36 state governors and the leadership of the National Assembly.

The meeting, which held at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Only three past Heads of State were present – Chief Ernest Shonekan, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and General Abdulsalami Abubakar.

Also present were five former Chief Justices of the Federation, state governors and some deputy governors.

Former Heads of State; General Yakubu Gowon, General Ibrahim Babangida, Alhaji Shehu Shagari and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo were  absent.

Also absent are the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara.

Meeting in pictures:

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President Muhammadu Buhari presiding over the National Council of State meeting
L-R: Chief Ernest Shonekan, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan
Some state governors at the meeting
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Some other state governors at the meeting

Corruption Plays Key Role In Nigeria’s Setback – Gowon

Yakubu Gowon, Corruption, NigeriaA former military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, has described corruption as one of the problems that have created serious setback to Nigeria nationally and internationally.

While in a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, General Gowon encouraged the Nigerian leader to deal with the situation.

After the meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the former military leader briefed reporters.

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President Buhari and General Gowon having a meeting

General Gowon commended President Buhari’s determination and effort in the fight against corruption and called on Nigerians to give him the needed support.

He also expressed delight at the Federal Government’s determination so far in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents and efforts to rescue the missing Chibok girls.

General Gowon believes that the government would soon get credible information that would lead to the rescue of the girls abducted over two years ago from their school’s dormitory in Borno State.

He urged Nigerians to be patient with the President who he said took over power at a time Nigeria was witnessing dwindling crude oil price.

Gowon Urges More Effort To Fix Nigeria’s Economy

Yakubu Gowon, Economic RecessionFormer Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd.) has appealed to the Federal Government to do all at its disposal to bring an end to the economic recession which Nigeria is currently grappling with.

General Gowon made the call on Wednesday at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, in Osun State.

He told reporters in Ile Ife that he was optimistic that the team put up by the Federal Government can come up with a solution to the crisis.

The former Head of State, who declined to speak further on the state of the economy, however admitted that the masses and businesses were going through a tough time.

He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to find a way to restore the confidence of the people in the economy and the country at large.

“Let the current authority find a way out of the current economic crisis. The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has been telling us what they have been doing to get the economy strong again. She said all will be well by September. Let’s wait till then.

“I have left government for a long time, so I may not really know what the problem is. The current administration should do whatever they can to solve the economic challenge. They should find a way to restore confidence in citizens and the nation at large by fixing the economy.”

IoD Identifies Policy Inconsistency As Bane Of Economic Diversification

Yobe-Chambers of CommerceThe Institute of Directors in Nigeria (IoD) has identified corruption, policy inconsistency and lack of trust as stumbling blocks to several government policies on economic diversification.

According to members of the institute such policy somersault has made successive governments discontinue programs originally aimed at diversifying the economy by their predecessors.

The directors, who spoke at a conference in Abuja, also argue that investors have been discouraged by such policy inconsistencies.

Participants at the conference brainstormed on how Nigeria can diversify the economy by investing in petrochemicals, agriculture, solid minerals and manufacturing.

Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, on his part, explained why the discussion at the gathering is apt at this moment.

Meanwhile, other participants at the conference argued that policy inconsistency, corruption and selfish interest of a few individuals is the bane of economic diversification policies in Nigeria.