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CBN Relocation: I Don’t Hate Yorubas, I Have Five Yoruba Grandchildren – Ndume

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Chief Whip of the Senate, Ali Ndume, on Thursday, February 8, said he harbours no hatred for the Yoruba race when he criticized the relocation of some staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from Abuja to Lagos.

He said his two daughters are married to Yorubas and have given him five Yoruba grandchildren.

He, however, said he has no regrets for criticising plans by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to relocate some departments of the apex bank from its headquarters in Abuja to Lagos State.

Ndume, who made these assertions in a statement in Abuja, insisted that his intervention was based on reality and the irrelevance of the action by the leadership of the CBN.

He noted that following his comment on the issue some elements have been attacking him in the media by questioning the credentials of his daughter who is a staff of the CBN.

He said even though he is a lawmaker, his daughter and children are qualified to work in any government agency as long as they possess the required credentials.

He said the veiled blackmail against him would not stop him from pointing out lapses in government, saying it was his way of assisting President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to succeed.

He said he’ll continue to speak truth to power whenever those saddled with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the country err.

He challenged those attacking him and claimed that he harbours ill feelings against the Yorubas to show their pan-Nigerian credentials, saying his two daughters are married to Yoruba men and have both given him five Yoruba grandchildren.

He called on the CBN governor, Olayemi Cardoso, to focus on stabilising the monetary situation in the country, especially the spiralling exchange rate and the rising inflation, rather than dwelling on the relocation of departments to an already over-populated Lagos State.

He denied being the mouthpiece of certain interest groups.

Ndume said he doesn’t speak for the North, nor Northern senators, but in the interest of Nigerians and President Tinubu whom he has tremendous respect for.

Ndume said: “I stand by what I’ve said about the relocation of FAAN and some departments of the CBN to Lagos State. If it is about decongestion, Lagos is not the right place. There are CBN offices in all the states of the Federation. Why move the departments to Lagos which is already populated?

“Since my intervention, people have been using a particular newspaper to attack me and saying that I hate the Yorubas. They’re ignorant and they don’t know what they’re saying.

“My two daughters are married to Yoruba men, one from Lagos State and the other from Kwara State. And I’ve five grandchildren who are Yoruba. How can I hate them and allow my daughters to marry them?

“Those saying I hate the Yorubas, how many of their sons and daughters are married to Hausas or Northerners? I’m a true Nigerian.

“They’ve also been questioning the fact that my daughter works at the CBN. They should check her records. She’s a Nigerian and she’s qualified to work anywhere, including the CBN.

“I’ve been the one pleading with her to remain there. She’s almost done with her Ph.D. and she wants to go to the classroom as a lecturer. She’s a brilliant lady.

“Instead of these attacks on my person, the CBN should do its job and address the rising inflation and stabilising our exchange rates. They should leave me alone.

“President Tinubu is my friend and he knows that I support him 100%. He appreciates honest feedback and will not tolerate what these people around him who are becoming a political cartel are doing.

“I’ll continue to speak the truth and point out areas where corrections are needed. That’s my job as a senator. It is not personal at all.”

 

 

 

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Lagos Agog As Olusegun Aderiye Marks 70th Birthday Anniversary In Style

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The mega city of Lagos was thrown into celebration mood as an Erudite Scholar and a quintessential broadcast journalist Rev. Dr. Olusegun Aderiye celebrated his 70th PLATINUM jubilee anniversary and book launch in style.

The event which took place on Wednesday February 14th 2024 at Airport Ikeja Lagos stated with a Public Lecture titled, “The Imperative of Peace in a Troubled World” taken by Amb. (Dr) Martins Uhomoibhi (Fmr PS, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria) and the formal unveiling of: “Journey to Stardom” An Autobiography of the celebrant.

Rev Dr. Olusegun Solomon Aderiye was born on 14 February in Ekiti State, then Western Region, Nigeria.

He attended Methodist Primary School, Apaara, Oyo, 1958, Ifaki Grammar School, 1968-72, University of Lagos, 1977 and University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) 1981.

Olusegun was the Chief State House Correspondent, Nigerian Television Authority, 1985-89; Head, Current Affairs Department, African Independent Television, since 1998; Secretary, Nigerian Television Authority Ibadan Chapel.

He was a co-author of ECOMOG, Gabumo Publishing, Lagos in 1992.

Dr. Aderiye Creative Works includes Kilo Ndan Bi Wura, 1978, Awamaridi, 1979, Maje Nse 1981, My Lord is Good, 1983, What only God can do, 2023.

His National Awards are Nigeria Television Authority’s Reporter of the Year, 1983 and Nigeria Union of Journalists, since 1978.

 

The special guest of honour of the event was General Ibrahim Babangida GCFR (Former President of Nigeria) and Chief Bode George (Former Military Governor of Ondo State).

Dignitaries present at the event were Lagos state Governor ably represented by his commissioner of information and strategy Gbenga Omotoso, Speaker, Lagos State House of representative represented by one of the honourable members of the house, Steve Ogundipe.

Others were (Dr) Martin Uhomoibhi. Amb (Dr) Yemi Farounbi, Nigeria’s former Ambassador to the Philippines. The event was indeed an array of who is who in Nigeria.

 

The chairman in his remark describes the celebrant as a fine gentleman and a highly efficient, courageous and diligent media practitioner with a high sense of national patriotism and an unrepentant nationalist in broadcast journalism.

He prayed that God Almighty should continue to shower Dr. Aderiye with divine wisdom, guidance, good health, protection, prosperity and longevity, so he could continue to contribute his quota to national development in the years ahead.

Dr. Aderiye in his speech appreciates his lovely wife who shared the same birthday with him Deaconess Mary Kehinde Oluwakemi and family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances both in the physical and spiritual realms for their love, friendship and kind support all through these years.

He also thanks the VIPs, relations, friends and acquaintances who have come to honour his invitation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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London Operation: Air Peace, Norse Atlantic Sign ACMI Agreement On Charter

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Norse Atlantic Airways, yesterday, announced that it entered into an agreement with Air Peace for an ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance) charter service.

This collaboration, according to the statement made available to LEADERSHIP, marks the beginning of a strategic partnership aimed at providing seamless air travel solutions between London and Lagos, Nigeria.

Commencing in April 2024, the ACMI charter will operate four times a week, offering travellers convenient and reliable transportation options between these key destinations.

Norse Atlantic Airways will be using slots at London Gatwick allocated to Air Peace to facilitate this new route.

“We are thrilled to be working with Air Peace to launch this ACMI charter service between London Gatwick and Lagos. This collaboration represents an exciting opportunity to leverage our expertise in charter operations to deliver a reliable and high-quality service to Air Peace and their customers,” said Bjørn Tore Larsen, CEO and Founder of Norse Atlantic Airways.

“Air Peace is delighted to have signed this partnership deal with Norse Atlantic Airways for the commencement of our London service. As we make a foray into the European market, we are confident that this strategic partnership will further position us to surpass the expectations of our customers, offering them superior air travel experience while we continue to optimise our operations for more innovative service delivery”, stated Allen Onyema, Chairman/CEO, Air Peace.

Norse Atlantic and Air Peace will continue to discuss potential longer-term partnerships between the two airlines to explore avenues for further collaboration and expansion in the future.

 

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N30bn To Govs: ‘My Statement Unverified’, Akpabio Recants

“The President of the Senate recognizes and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda.”

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President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has recanted his claim that state governors received an additional N30 billion from the Federal Government to address the biting economic hardship in the country by the distribution of palliatives to Nigerians.

Recall that Akpabio made the claim on Wednesday, February 22 while the Senate considered the report of its joint Committees on Finance, Agriculture/Food Sufficiency, Banking and Insurance.

The committee had interfaced with the economic management team of the government, led by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, to find out what the government had done to tackle hunger, food inflation, a free-falling naira exchange rate to the US dollar, among others.

In the course of deliberations on the matter by senators, Akpabio had repeatedly stated without mincing word that each state governor received an additional N30bn from the centre to address the challenges, besides the regular allocations the states draw from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).

“Each of the 36 states received N30bn; they received N30bn”, he kept saying.

However, 24 hours later, governors began refuting the claim.

Prominent among them was the Governor of Akpabio’s own state, Akwa Ibom, Pastor Umo Eno, who not only said such an amount was not received by the state but also added that it was possible the Senate President was speaking with prophetic expectations.

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State also said much, dismissing Akpabio’s claim.

On Monday night, Akpabio’s office finally summoned the courage to recant his statement, saying that he acted on unverified information.

His Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Hon. Eseme Eyiboh, in a statement on Monday night, appealed for calm, saying that Akpabio held the governors in high esteem.

Eyiboh’s full statement is reproduced below: “The office of the President of the Senate has been drawn to various misconceptions in the public domain on the statement credited to the President of the Senate in plenary of Wednesday, February 21, 2024, during the presentation of a report of the joint Committees on Finance, Agriculture/Food Sufficiency, Banking and Insurance. During the session the President of the Senate commented on the payment of an unverified cumulative sum of about N30b to the sub-national governments by the Federal Government for various interventions to ameliorate the food situation of our citizens at the sub-national governments.

“The unfortunate conjectures to take away the kernel in the material facts of FAAC payment are rather regretted. In considering the well-intended motive of urging state governments to collaborate with the Federal government of President Bola Tinubu to facilitate strategic interventions to mitigate the prevailing economic situation in the country remains the underpinning motivation in the comment.

“The President of the Senate is not oblivious to the fact that State governments are functional partners in all the efforts of the current administration of President Bola Tinubu and are also valuable Stakeholders’ in the various legislative engagements of the legislature in creating the nexus between the legislature and the people.

“The President of the Senate has always demonstrated commitment to team building and shall not do less in the circumstance. He therefore urges the sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.

“The President of the Senate recognizes and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda.”

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