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Our president is not missing

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Our amiable no-nonsense President, Major General Muhammadu Aleko (Idowu in Yoruba) Buhari (retd.) is not missing. He is very much on the ground as can be confirmed by his recent appearance at the Eagle Square where the primary of the All-Progressives Congress was held. He was there with his wife, Aisha, and on many occasions, he flashed smiles at the TV cameras, showing the whole world how happy he was and how much he was at peace with himself.

“That’s a lie. You can’t say our president is on ground. As far as we are concerned our president is missing. He was missing at Owo and at very many places where disasters struck and our president was expected to show up as presidents do in civilised countries,” this garrulous university professor, Idi-Ishin, was stamping his huge fist on the centre table at the University Recreation Club, with his hoarse voice reaching to the sky.

“Yes, I concur,” Professor Idi-Araba roared. “Let no one bamboozle us with that balderdash. It is erroneous and gregarious circumlocution and hypocritical hocus-pocus to want to put wool on our face and confuse the perimeters of our medulla oblongata.”

“When last did you see or hear our president,” Professor Idi-Arere interjected. “Even if some of you are blind and denied of visionary propensities as a result of ophthalmological dislocation and dis-functionality are you also deaf and denied the pleasure of functional auditory canal? Professor Idi-Arere joined the chorus.

“Yes, this year alone the president had travelled out of the country more than eight times. That is eight trips in five months! Two-day visit to Spain, visit to UAE on condolence visit which he denies grieving communities in the country, visited Equatorial Guinea to attend AU Extraordinary Summit, visited Brussels, Belgium in February, he was in Nairobi, Kenya in March, was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in February, London for two weeks on medical check-up.” It was the turn of Professor Idi Olo a cartographer to catalogue the overseas trips made by Mr. President in five months.

“As for me, the man has made me to forget the name of our Minister of Foreign Affairs. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe we have one. There were occasions I thought our president would have sent a permanent secretary or a career ambassador to represent him. As far a I am concerned I am waiting for my retirement and the opportunity to invite His Excellency to my housewarming ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.” That was Professor Morolari  Olaniyonu, one of the three women engaged in the tirade.

I thought the professors were flexing muscles out of ignorance. A Head of State is the face and symbol of his country anywhere in the world. And he or she is recognised as the chief image maker for his or her country. A president who is fit and able can elect to travel out of his/her country on as many occasions as he/she deems fit. It is his/her prerogative to delegate or not delegate.

I don’t think General Buhari has breached any law or protocol. Besides, most people are ignorant of the core characteristics of a Sagittarius-born male. The Sagittarius is the most adventurous of all the individuals in the Zodiac calendar. Our president, according to his official age, was born on December 17, 1942, a very typical Sagittarius. Element is Fire. Symbol is Archer. Ruling Planet is Jupiter.   I checked the Labyrinthos to find out more about this wonderful fire sign. Here is what it says: Sagittarius is a sign that loves to roam and wander. They don’t like to be stuck in a routine that is boring and repetitive. Their curiosity about all things drives them to have a lifestyle that allows them to move around the world and indulge in their love for questioning the world, dreaming about its mysteries and experiencing all the best pleasures it has to offer.

Why should anybody deny the president actualisation of his dreams if a once-upon-a-life-time opportunity offers it? Besides, our president has surrounded himself with capable hands after putting his government on auto-drive. And in fairness to him, the country runs whether he is around or not around. What further proof does one need of his efficiency and ability including his sense of judgment in recruiting capable hands to act for him in his absence and discharge their responsibilities along his design and guidelines?

It was interesting, refreshing and reassuring seeing the president on his recent trip to Equatorial Guinea accompanied by his beautiful wife and two lovely daughters. That widely publicised photo of the first family finally put to rest the silly innuendos of ‘the other room’.

One other point the university dons didn’t take into consideration was the possibility that our president, like Yoruba monarchs, may be forbidden by tradition from seeing the site of a dead body, a reason Yoruba Obas do not attend funeral rites. Our president, though he had seen plenty of bloodshed in his career as a combatant soldier, may have been forbidden along the line never to look at fresh human blood, the probable reason he did not visit the gory scene in Benue when about 200 innocent lives were snuffed out with machetes and gun bullets.

I reiterate that our president is not missing and is very much on the ground. Whoever is in doubt should visit the Aso Rock Villa and hold court with him.  I love Buhari whose photo donned my mobile phone screen until 2015. As he approaches the gate of Octogenarian Club next December, I wish His Excellency more days in the air as he traverses the world. Those hungry professors, who are jealous because their salaries were not paid and who earn less than what a politician’s favoured messenger makes in a week, should query their fate and not bother about the president’s travels.

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Governor’s wife advises Jerusalem pilgrims on conduct

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The returnees who participated in the 2022 pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Jordan have held a thanksgiving service to appreciate God for the successful journey.

According to a statement issued by the state government, the service, held at Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa, was graced by the wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.

Represented by the wife of a former Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mrs Mayowa Ikuforiji, Sanwo-Olu advised the returnees to be true ambassadors of Christ and allow their encounters during the pilgrimage to strengthen their relationship with God and the people around them.

The governor’s wife said, “You cannot afford to go back to your old ways and lifestyles. As you have been described as the light and salt of the world in the Holy Book, it means that you have a lot of tasks ahead of you.”

Sanwo-Olu then thanked God on behalf of the pilgrims for the successful completion of the exercise and the journey mercies experienced.

She said, “We bless the Lord that there was no report of any negative eventuality. It is fitting at this point to state that we are indeed peculiar people with a deep sense of appreciation and we show this trait in praises and thanksgiving to God who specifically called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.”

In her remarks, the Secretary, Lagos State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mrs Yetunde Gbafe, said the thanksgiving service was in line with God’s injunction as recorded in Psalm 100 where believers were enjoined to come into His presence with praise and thanksgiving.

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up oil spills – Report

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up decades-old oil spills in southern Bayelsa State over a 12-year period, a new report revealed on Tuesday, as it singled out two international oil companies, Shell and Eni, for being responsible for most of the pollution.

Oil majors in Nigeria have long faced legal challenges over Niger Delta spills, which they mostly blame on sabotage and vandalism of pipelines and illegal refining.

The Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commission said in a report that it started an investigation in 2019 on the impact of spills and looked at evidence from forensic scientists, blood samples from people in affected areas and company data, according to Reuters.

The investigation discovered, among other findings, that toxic pollutants from spills and gas flaring were many times higher than the safe limits in samples of soil, water, air, and in the blood of local residents, the commission said.

“The report finds failures of strategy, prevention, response and remediation by oil companies,” it said.

Reuters stated that a spokesperson for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited said the oil firm was not privy to the final report and could not comment.

An Eni spokesperson said the oil spills were due to theft to feed illegal refineries as well as illegal exports and sabotage but the company undertook to remedy all spills.

Most of the gas produced from Eni’s Nigerian unit was converted into LNG and fed local power plants, the spokesperson said, adding that “Eni conducts its activities according to the sector’s international environmental best practices, without any distinction on a country basis.”

Toxins that cause burns, lung problems and risk of cancer were widespread while oil company-led clean-ups were often poorly executed and could further contaminate soil and groundwater, the commission’s report said.

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Experts advise marketers to leverage technology

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Experts have advised marketing professionals to take advantage of technology to revamp marketing tactics.

The marketers were admonished at the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria Ikeja Chapter 3rd Annual Public Lecture held recently in Lagos.

Speakers at the event said due to the highly competitive marketing arena, marketers must be willing to adjust their approaches in response to shifting market trends and economic circumstances, to remain competitive and achieve success.

The Ikeja Chapter Chairman of NIMN and Chief Executive Officer of Procon Group, Adebayo Oke, noted that the conference was basically to review the position of things in the institute in the face of the country’s dynamic economy.

He said, “We all know that in terms of political economy, we are going to be having a change very soon. Where we are coming from, there are issues that have affected consumerism in terms of the power of a consumer, choices and whether it will get tougher or better that is why we are here. To also share knowledge among the top practitioners to floor it down.”

According to him, a lot of quacks are in the market and most companies believe marketing is anybody’s function.

“And going forward, we are going to be regulating the practice of marketing across all industries and in partnership with the international brands in the areas of marketing, including the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK, amongst others,” he stated.

He disclosed that the institute would be partnering with most companies to ensure that only certified marketer would be allowed to practice marketing, to enable the institute get rid of all the quacks.

The President and Chairman of Council for NIMN, Idorenyen Enang, in his keynote address, highlighted the significance of marketers harnessing the potential of technology while ensuring that they adhere to ethical principles of the profession.

He said, “The benefits of technology in streamlining operations are widely appreciated. However, concerns about job displacement due to AI have arisen. Marketers must strive for a harmonious implementation of these technologies, striking a balance that mitigates such disadvantages.”

He added that while automation greatly enhances efficiency, there is a potential loss of intellectual capacity as the current generation prioritises speed, brevity, and simplicity.

Also, the Head Sub-Saharan Africa Digital Media & Insights of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc, Ifeoluwa Obafemi, said, “In the phase of technological advancement and changes in consumer behaviour, as marketing professionals, we should set our organisation in a future forward mode. For businesses to maintain a competitive edge in the present-day business environment, undergoing a marketing transformation is a necessary process.”

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Axiom Intel Limited, Kolawole Oyeyemi, said, “Marketers should attract and retain their customers. Nowadays, customers are now more informed and know your business more than you do because they now compare your services to global best practices.

“There is a revolution in technology which has assisted in creating tools and devices and building platforms to allow customers to interact with companies across the world.”

According to him, it is a volatile environment and things one does not think will connect one’s business may connect from a very long distance.

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