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It has come to our attention, we the Concerned people of Gombe State, that the outgoing Governor of our dear state, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, has invited the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo to Gombe State to commission some phantom projects. The President, based on available information, is billed to visit Gombe State on Monday, May 27th while the Vice president is to visit on Friday 24th May to commission the said projects. Available records show that the phantom projects, which the governor now wants the president to commission, in order to give him some respite and acceptance from the good people of Gombe State, were executed using billions of Naira of debts taken by the Dankwambo administration. Example of such is the international conference center which gulped billions of Naira and served as a conduit pipe for siphoning public funds and which till date has not been taken over by the state government from the contractors owing to a balance of about 2 billion Naira owed them. There were startling revelations of the huge sums of money, amounting to over N120 billion, that Dankwambo took as loans from both internal and external sources, part of which the PDP administration now claims was used in executing the projects. We want to make it abundantly clear that the governor’s invitation to the President and the Vice president was done in bad faith, because all this while that the Gombe State Government existed under Dankwambo, the governor did not deem it fit to invite the president to commission his projects until few days to his exit from office. There is indeed more to it than meets the eye! Apart from the over N120 billion internal and external debts burden that the Dankwambo’s PDP administration is leaving behind for the incoming APC administration, there is also another liability of over N16 billion pension fund, being owed retirees in the state. Dankwambo wants President Buhari to come and give credit to what is clearly a manifestation of bad governance in Gombe State, which Dankwambo himself spearheaded in the last eight years in the state. Besides, these projects do not in any way have direct bearing or impact on the good people of Gombe State. Why then should Dankwambo involve our dear President in this shenanigans? Of all the so-called projects that Dankwambo executed in the last eight years, none has benefited the rural people of Gombe, who form the overwhelming majority of the population in the state. Even the Dadin Kowa Gombe Water Project that would have been of benefit to both rural and urban dwellers has been abandoned long ago. At this point, it is pertinent to ask some critical questions: where is the billions of naira Paris Club exit refund money that Gombe State got? Apart from the Paris Club refund, where is the bailout money that the Federal Government under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari graciously gave to states, including Gombe? Where has the billions of naira monthly Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC’s) money for Gombe State been going to? What happened to all these monies that Dankwambo got as governor of Gombe State that he had to take loans of over N120 billion? It will be good if the governor provides answers to these questions and many more before inviting President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo to Gombe State. Aside the trap that the Dankwambo administration has set for the incoming administration through his last minute bank withdrawals and spending spree which has depleted the state’s accounts, unlawful recruitments and promotions, he also established four higher institutions, including a state University of technology all of which he deliberately delayed their take off until later this year, thereby cunningly transferring the burden to the incoming administration of Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya. True to his character, the outgoing Governor wants to use the visit to create an impression that President Buhari is in support of him and his actions and to also use it to further deplete the coffers with outrageous amount as cost of hosting the visitors. But we want to use this medium to call on the president to stay away from this attempt to rubbish his hard-earned reputation, which he has built over the decades. We have it on good authority that the intention of the Dankwambo administration to invite the president for the commissioning of the projects is to score a cheap political point as he leaves office. But we say no to this kind of politics. To us, as concerned people, the commissioning of these phantom projects is nothing but a jamboree, which President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo should never be associated with let alone be the ones to carry out the commissioning. Once again, we, the Concerned people of Gombe State, call on the President and the Vice president not to waste their precious time to sully their names with this counter productive visit. Signed: Comrade Ayuba Hassan 08053811963 Aliyu Usman Chokalin Waja 0810 332 4797 Hon. Markus Gwandum 08032476614 For Concerned people of Gombe State.
INTRODUCTION Hon Umaru Bago Mohammed is a Member of the House of Representatives from Niger State, representing Chanchaga Federal Constituency, a responsibility he has been holding since 2011. EARLY LIFEHon. Bago was born in 1974 and began his education in Marafa Primary School, Minna where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC). He proceeded to The Federal Government College Jos where he also obtained the West Africa School Certificate (WAEC) as one of the best in his set. He then gained admission into the prestigious Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, from where he bagged a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. CAREER Hon. Umaru Bago had a very disciplined and focused childhood which in no small measure assisted his career in the banking industry. Hon. Bago worked with the United Bank for Africa (UBA), First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Afri-Bank PLC respectively, where through hard work, high sense of responsibility and dedication to duty, he rose to managerial level in the ever competitive banking sector. POLITICS Being the jovial, ever friendly, kind and considerate people’s person he is, it was no surprise when his people chose him to represent them in the House of Representatives. Hon. Bago hence yielded to the clarion call to serve his people as a Federal Legislator. He pitched his tent with the then Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) at its formation stage, securing the Party’s ticket; he went ahead to overwhelmingly defeat his closest rival from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the seat of House of Representatives Member, representing the Chanchaga Federal Constituency in the 2011 General Elections. In his second stint in the House of Representatives, Hon. Umaru Bago having gathered political experience hit the ground running, and apart from contributions on the Floor of the House, he served with diligence in the following committees:-I. Banking and Currency. II. Appropriation III. Education IIII. Internal Security V. Information and Communication Technology VI. Defense VII. Loans and Debts VIII. National Planning and Economic Development IX. Media X. Civil society and Donor Agencies XI. Police Legislative ImpactHon. Bago had participated actively in all Legislative activities for the four years as a Federal Legislator. He is also a Representative with the wellbeing of his constituents firmly rooted in his heart, little wonder in immediate response to the needs of his constituents; he Moved the Motion on the outbreak of cholera in Chanchaga Federal Constituency, urging the State and Federal Government as well as the National Primary Healthcare Agency to ensure the disease was effectively contained. Constituency InterventionsOver the years, Hon. Bago as a Member has attracted diverse Government projects to Chanchaga Federal Constituency. He has also personally intervened in diverse areas, his personal interventions include the following areas:- EducationAs the bedrock of development in any society, and as a Member who recognizes its necessity to the socioeconomic development of his people, it was necessary for Hon. Umaru Bago to give the required attention to education. In that regard, priority was given to scholarship to indigent students and provision of educational infrastructure to schools in Minna. Some of the infrastructures include:- I. Construction and furnishing of a block of 3 classrooms at DutsenKuran Gwari Primary School, Limawa ‘B’ Ward, Minna.II. Construction and furnishing of a block of 3 classrooms at Sauke Kahuta Primary School, Tudun Wada South Ward, Minna.III. Construction and distribution of class seats and literary materials to schools across the constituency. IIII. Award of scholarship and exams sponsorship for Youth (male/female) across the constituency between 2011- 2014 Health and Social Services In this critical area, a number of interventions were undertaken which include among others:-I. Construction of a Primary Health Care Clinic at Al-bishirivillage in Minna South Ward. II. Resettlement and provision of free medical services to displaced lepers in Minna. III. Provision of support services to less privileged patents and their relations in General Hospital Minna, 2011- 2012.IIII. Provision of wheelchairs, free of charge, in support for the physically challenged persons across the constituency. Electricity Considering the importance of stable power supply as a development driver for the economic growth and well being of his people, Hon. Bago took the following bold steps to complement the government effort:-a. Distributed and installed 13 units of brand new 500 KVA transformers at 13 locations in Minna.b. Also, 10 broken down transformers for different communities in the constituency were repaired and put to use. Youth/ WomenFor the good of the women and youth in his constituency, below are some of the contributions of Hon. Umaru Bago channeled towards their wellbeing:-i. Facilitated the employment of 26 young boys and girls into the Federal Public Service notably, Military, Police, Civil Defense Corp and Nigeria Immigration service. ii. Assisted 150 women with deep freezers, sewing machines and other vocational appliances to help in job creation.iii. Provision and distribution of tri-cycles to 70 youth and 25 co-operative groups as a means of empowering them to generate stable income, wealth creation and poverty alleviation. iiii. Provision of motor cycle to students to ease their transportation problems as well as empowerment of over 100entrepreneurs to set up small businesses. Religious Tolerance and Peaceful Co-existenceIn a bid to ensuring peaceful co-existence among the people of different diverse groups and religious bodies on his constituency, the Honourable Member has remained resolute by sustaining the peaceful environment that the constituency was noted for. In this regard, Hon. Bago often interacts with these religious leaders with a view to preaching peace and harmony in the constituency. Similarly, about 16 vehicles were distributed to different religious bodies as support for logistics of their members. He also donated ambulances to Minna Central Mosque and Minna General Hospital. All these aforementioned interventions had in no small measure built tremendous confidence on the Honourable Member by his electorates that the popular chanting of “SAI BAGO” became a household name in Chanchaga Federal Constituency. Consequently, Hon. Bago was rewarded with another tenure of four (4) years having contested and won convincingly under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the General Elections. In the 8th Assembly, and his third stint in the House of Representatives, Hon. Bago is not only a ranking legislator and a leading figure; he is also the Chairman, House Committee on Maritime, Safety, Administration and Education in the Federal House of Representatives. This is in addition to being a member of the following Committee:-• Works • Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) •
By Emmanuel Uzodinma A random survey of people of South East And South South extraction who claim to support Atiku will be quite illuminating: their support is largely based on anything besides logic and visible fact. Most times when presented with the indisputable evidence of President Buhari’s service in the last four years, it becomes clear that the seeds of discord, which PDP is known for planting is, what they’re clinging to. Since the Buhari administration swung into work in 2015, it has shown that it is interested in developing all parts of Nigeria and will not be swayed by age-long ethnic and tribal disputes. In the words of Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano, “I have no choice but to praise President Muhammadu Buhari for his determination in the implementation of other Federal Government’s projects in the state and other states in the geopolitical zone.” The case is the same in Bayelsa, the home state of the last PDP president, Goodluck Jonathan, where citizens who have been deprived of amenities now have access to pipe borne water. Yet, the most vocal supporters of the Atiku campaign are definitely not those whose lives have been touched for the better, but instead, undesirable elements and divisive characters such as Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra. It is not a coincidence that Kanu’s emergence into the polity was in 2015, just as President Buhari was getting into office; exploiting the ethnic fault lines which had long existed in Nigeria and began his xenophobic gospel. Indeed, as the late Odumegwu Ojukwu once said, Biafra is not child’s play. As Kanu continued his ideological brainwash, political leaders from his area looked on, encouraging him by their silence anytime he called the Nigerian State “zoo”. It took a confrontation with security agencies wherein arms and ammunition were recovered from the IPOB strongholds before governors from that region “proscribed” the group. Nnamdi Kanu may have escaped to the UK but he still continues his war on Nigeria. Only this month, he called for a boycott of the general elections by his members. Thousands of them took to the street, not caring about the attendant security risk a mob like that posed to the safety of innocent citizens. It was telling that all the governors from that region spoke against this boycott. Worse still, the presidential candidate they supported did not condemn this, nor did he even speak public about the danger Nnamdi Kanu posed to the country. Only when Nnamdi Kanu, who for many years had insulted the sanctity of the Nigerian state, declared that Atiku was from Cameroon did PDP members start to have a problem with him. At this state of Nigeria’s history, the politics of ethnicity and tribalism should be a thing of the past. People who are sympathetic towards ideals that will break up the country and set us back 50 years are evidently no good for continued existence of Nigeria. It cannot be surprising, then, that a collective voice of the South East And South South does not exist. While Buhari continues to develop infrastructure in those places, one thing is clear: as he lays in the mausoleum which the present government finished after a 23 year abandonment, the late President Nnamdi Azikiwe will be disappointed in some of his kinsmen who have placed ethnic and tribal politics over nationhood. Emmanuel Uzodinma, a Social Commentator writes from Lagos
Here are 10 TEN important things I wish someone had taught me in digital marketing school or when I was starting out my business but they didn’t. In no particular order: 1. Don’t just be on Social, BE Social. A lot of us are on social media and are not building relationships on social that can help. Who are the people you want to know and be known on a first name basis with.. Get in touch, tweet at (mention) them, ask questions, share info, (without being in their faces). People will let guards down on social. 2. You are your first client: You are creating a brand impression, create a good one. From the very first minute you created that social media account and started posting, you started to build an impression about the sort of “brand” that you are. Think of yourself personally as a global brand. People can’t see you but they can see your posts, Sell yourself as you would sell your most important client, there is a thin line between “being yourself” & “being a global brand” online, you need to tapdance on that line. I am not saying don’t be yourself, I am saying be yourself with sense. You chose this career, as such remember your office is no longer physical, it is a virtual, parade yourself thoughtfully. 3. Perception- My number 3 is a spin off my number 2 and important for my number 4. A famous wiseman once said “Thank God belle no be showglass.” What I am trying to say Fam is – Control the narrative. As a digital marketer, one thing they forgot to teach us (but very critical with every client you work with especially yourself) is to control the narrative. On Social, you can gently direct the conversation or brand perception in the narrative you prefer, never let the narrative spin out of control. How do you people want people to perceive or describe a brand – especially if this brand is you. Control the narrative. What people think of you (or your brand) online is up to you, it’s not up to them. You are writing the story. Make it huge. 4. Thought leadership: You know when they said “no one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”?? They were not referring to Digital marketers. It’s important that you are showing thought-leadership in your circle, people are reading, they may not be commenting, but they are taking notes. Keep it short, simple, easy to digest. “How to” “Did you know?” “5 ways to” Kenechukwu Ndubisi says your free content is your audition. No one really wants to do this work, they just want to know that you know what you are doing and that they can trust you. 5. Network – No really, actually go for these events. Meet people, get business cards, connect and network for real. A hack for this is event apps, download one today, download two for efficiency.. Matter of fact, download it now! Search online for events, what’s happening, where is it happening, who is coming, register for events that suit you and have great speakers and when you get there brothers and Sisters of Master Jesus- kindly learn, ask questions, network, turn to your neighbor and say, my name is …., I do… what do you do? 6. Elevator pitch: Do you have your Elevator pitch ready? An Elevator pitch is a 30-45 seconds marketing pitch of your business. Have one ready! When asked what do you do? Know your business and mind it.. You have 30 seconds to get it right, please, try to skip the “emm”, “you know”, “you get”, “Err”, each of those has lost you a potential network! Sound confident, be confident, ain’t no one about to give their business to someone who don’t sound like they know what they do, stand up straight, don’t slouch. Give your elevator pitch. Write one today, act it in front of a mirror. 7. Follow up: Some of you collect business cards like you want to use it to build a house of cards. (See what I did there? 😉) What are the cards for if not to follow up. Post event, send a quick text or a quick message. It was nice connecting with you today. My name is… I do…. Looking forward to working with you sometime soon. My style? I do a selfie, ask for handle, do a quick social post and tag the person on it. It was nice to connect…. Follow via DM and drop a few lines. 8. This is awkward.. but someone has to say it. I had to learn it to. Because I am your typical “anywhere belle face” Dress how you want to be addressed. Nobody is asking you to wear Gucci, or dress expensively. But look the part. Dress neat, look good, smell good. Success is a look, people tend to trust successful people with their businesses. “Dress like where you are going to, not where you are coming from” If you are bus hopping to an event or a meeting, go on time, don’t arrive sweating like … Then you are telling the person you can handle a 5 million Naira business. When you look like a N100,000 business. They will price you like N100,000. Our people say na how daughter in law (to be) dress go hin in-law house na hin go determine whether them go tell am make she go wash plate. Don’t complain people are underpricing you when you are first underpricing yourself 9. Underpromise – Over deliver. Don’t be a Nigerian tailor Truth is – Trust is the online currency of digital marketers. If people trust you to keep your word, you can sell anything. Once you build your perception of someone that can be trusted and you are able to keep your word. You can market any brand. People will refer you for business before you say I can do it. Trust = Sales. Underpromise, Over deliver. If you know something will take you 5 days to do, say 1 week. Deliver as at when due in that 5 days. The client will be like “wawuuu.” 10. Finally, last but not least. Take responsibility – You will fail and you will sometimes fail woefully.
Allow me to take you back a bit. Remember Akinwunmi Ambode, who then with no political clout, no political base, was chosen and backed by the entire party structure against a Jimi Agbaje, a heavy weight? Remember, yea? Well, you’ll also recall that Fashola campaigned and toured the state with him; singled-handedly literally running the campaign. If you also remember, read of, or were at the rally in Ikorodu, then you’d know the amount of energy put behind the Ambode candidacy by the party- the APC. Fashola then, literally took him round the state, imprinting his image in our minds and ensuring Jimi Agbaje, with all his Federal might at that time, was defeated. Again, Babatunde Fashola, despite the beef between them (recall all the roforofo issues at that time), despite the fact that Mr. Supo Shasore, his preferred candidate, lost at the party’s primaries, yet he put the party first and ensured Ambode was successful. Ambode rode, enjoyed and won based on the party structure. And he changed… Rather than acknowledged his predecessor, Fashola, who worked tooth and nail for him, he started a campaign of calumny against him; releasing documents to tarnish his image and what not. He went after contractors, abandoned some projects and generally neglected the Lagos Master Plan started by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Party elders intervened and tried calling him to order, but Ambode refused. Uncle Ambode was out to ruin Fashola, the party and the Lagos Master Plan at all cost and there was no going back. These are but few of the grievances the people of Lagos have against him: – Ilubirin and Adiyan water works projects were abandoned. – Odo-Iyalaro Waste Water Project & Mile2-Badagry projects nko? They suffered the same fate! – Ambode removed Oladimeji Oresanya (LAWMA boss) to make road for his ineffective Visionscape team – He went on to sack both LASAA and LAMATA bosses; disorganized LASEB, disorganized LAWMA, the state’s public works, and changed KAI to LAGESC in his egocentric overhaul! – Ambode wasn’t through with the sacking frenzy, at least just yet; he extended the gesture to the Alausa Chaplain because his wife was not first to take Holy Communion! Other atrocities of the Akinwunmi Ambode administration include: – Increased Toll fees and property tax – Treating electorates with disdain; no communication and accessibility – Abandoning the Lagos Healthcare plan – Dilapidated infrastructure everywhere across the state – Unconcerned attitude to traffic gridlock in major parts of the state – Sack of Lagos State Health Volunteers’ Scheme workers after five years of hardwork and volunteerism. In all, Ambode refused to be calm and nobody could reach to advise him – he literally evolved to a demigod! Till today, Lagos state is yet to provide land for National Housing project despite former Governor Fashola’s plea as Minister of Housing. 30 states have keyed into this plan and Lagos state is on the list. Ambode refused categorically, to give free land to the scheme! Here you have it. The Akinwunmi Ambode you didn’t know!