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Okowa Celebrates 30th Anniversary Of Delta, Pays Tributes To Predecessors

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How I Survived Assassination Attempt - Okowa's Aide

Delta State Governor Dr. Ifeanyi Okowaon Tuesday paid tributes to his predecessors as he celebrated the 30th anniversary of the creation of the state.

Okowa spoke at a Stakeholders Interactive Forum in Asaba as part of the activities marking the anniversary.

He said that the forum would afford people the opportunity to reflect on the last 30 years, share experiences and chart a course for the future, recalling that due to political differences at that time, the creation of the state was greeted with cautious optimism.

The governor, however, announced that he was happy to report that skepticism had now given way to belief in a more united Delta.

“Thirty years ago, Delta State was born, and given the prevailing political atmosphere at the time, its birth was, understandably, greeted with cautious optimism.

“Indeed, not a few were skeptical about the future of the new state, given its ethnic plurality and the initial feelings of disappointment among those who felt shortchanged in the process.

READ ALSO: PDP Deputy Chairman’s Bid To Stop National Working Committee Meeting Fails

“But after 30 years of existence, it is gratifying to note that the skepticism has given way to belief, despair has been replaced by confidence, and suspicion has succumbed to understanding and acceptance.

“I dare say that Deltans have come to live as one big, happy family and the state has continued to forge ahead in all indices of human, physical and economic development,” he said.

He expressed gratitude to civil servants – serving, retired, or late – who made huge sacrifices to ensure the successful take-off of the state.

“My appreciation also goes to elected politicians and political appointees who have served the state at various times.

“Your ideas, policies, programmes, and contributions have helped to raise the profile of Delta to what it is now, a pacesetter in the Nigerian federation.”

Okowa paid glowing tributes to his predecessors, the late Chief Felix Ibru, Chief James Ibori, and Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan for their immense contributions to the growth and development of the state.

He said that his administration had improved on the growth trajectory recorded by his predecessors and lauded the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administrations in the State for the continuity of programmes and policies since 1999.

READ ALSO: Deputy Chairman Takes Over PDP As Secondus Is Suspended

He added that the new universities created by his administration would commence academic sessions in September this year, and would provide opportunities to many bright students who, due to limited space, were unable to gain admission into the existing public universities.

“In the tertiary education sector, three existing institutions have been upgraded to universities to broaden access to university education for our bright students, especially in the fields of medicine, engineering, law, ICT, and architecture,” Okowa said.

On the health sector, he said that Delta became the first in the country to commence universal health coverage with no fewer than 950,000 enrollees under the scheme, the highest so far in the country, with 487 hospitals officially accredited to provide service.

The governor disclosed that his administration had extended the frontiers of rural-urban integration and urban renewal through massive infrastructure development, especially road projects.

“The 20.28km Obotobo I-Obotobo II-Sokebolou–Yokri-Road in Burutu Local Government Area underscores our commitment to providing infrastructure of the most vital interest and consequence.

“Indeed, the riverside communities of Burutu, Oporoza, Okerenkoko and Benekrukru, amongst others, have been given a facelift with well-paved roads.

“Building on the foundation laid by my predecessors, we have transformed Asaba, the capital city, into one of the fastest-growing cities in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Kebbi Speaker, Deputy Impeached

“The sprawling ultra-modern Central Secretariat Complex, which is nearing completion, has enhanced the architectural beauty of Asaba landscape,” he said.

On the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 as assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, the governor commended the passage of the bill, but with reservations.

“We welcome the passage of the PIA but I must say that the three percent allocated to host communities from the operating cost of the oil companies is unsatisfactory.

“We are convinced that the five percent demanded by our state and other oil-producing states is fair, just and equitable in view of the ecological and environmental degradation that the host communities are exposed to from oil exploration.

“We shall continue to push for higher compensation but I appeal to all Deltans, particularly the youth, to be calm and law-abiding. I am confident that we will have the opportunity to make improvements to the law by way of amendment,” the governor stated.

Welcoming guests earlier, Secretary to the State Government, Chief Patrick Ukah, said that at 30, Delta was smart, strong, and safe and had brought to the fore the results of three decades of hard work and dedication by the founding fathers of the state.

Ukah stressed that Delta was celebrating 30 years of massive infrastructure, education, sports, entertainment, human capital development, and small-scale enterprises among others.

Stakeholders at the forum commended Governor Okowa and other past leaders for their outstanding accomplishments in the governance of the state.

READ ALSO: Governor Ifeanyi Okowa The Fearless

The forum was attended by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Kingsley Otuaro; former military administrator of the state, Navy Commander Walter Feghabo (Rtd); Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Sheriff Oborevwori; Chief Judge, Justice Theresa Diai; Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Chief Ndudi Elumelu, Traditional Rulers among others.

 

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BREAKING: Ex-VC Of University Of Ibadan Ayo Banjo Dies

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Emeritus Prof.Ayo Banjo.

A former vice-chancellor, University of Ibadan, Emeritus Prof. Ayo Banjo, has died at the age of 90 years.

The don died early morning, Friday, May 24.

The top academic celebrated his 90th birthday on May 2nd.

Renowned for his contributions to the development of the English Language curriculum in Nigeria and the promotion of Nigerian varieties of English, Banjo was a former Chairman of the Board of the National Universities Commission

He was Pro-Chancellor of the Universities of Port Harcourt, Ilorin, and Ajayi Crowther.

Banjo’s scholarly contributions include over 50 publications and widely used textbooks in primary and secondary education.

He was born into the family of the late Pa. Reverend Samuel Ayodele Banjo, a graduate, an educationist and a teacher at St. Andrew Primary School, Oyo, a period when Professor Ayodeji Banjo was born. He was a native of Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State.

He started his education career at the St. Andrew Anglican Primary School where he did standard One (1) to three (3). On the transfer of his father to Christ Cathedral Primary School in Lagos on the same mission, he completed his Standard Four (4) and Five (5) at St. Aroloya and Christ Cathedral Primary Schools both in Lagos.

He attended Igbobi College, Lagos from 1947 to 1952 for his secondary education.

Following his sound academic background and excellent performance at ‘A’ Level Class at the Nigeria College of Arts Science and Technology, Ibadan, on the nomination, Professor Ayodeji Banjo was awarded the British Council Scholarship in 1959 to study Master of Arts (M. A.) in English Language at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. He thereafter proceeded to do a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PG in education) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in English Studies at the University of Leeds in England and came out, with distinction.

In 1966, he was awarded a scholarship by the American State Department to study Master of Arts (M. A.) in Linguistics, at the University of California, Los Angeles, United States of America (U. S. A.). He got his Ph.D with a specialization in English Language at the University Ibadan, Ibadan in 1969. Professor Banjo’s work experience was garnered across several countries of the world.

During summer, he was consistently travelling to the Oxford University press, England, to write English Course Books and Oxford Dictionaries at primary and 4 secondary levels. This work, he did from early 70’s until he was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan in 1981.

Professor Ayodeji Banjo had to his credit, over 55 publications (books, chapters in books and articles in learned journals).

Professor Ayodeji Banjo spent ten (10) Years, consistently in the University of Ibadan, managing the affairs of the University; two (2) years as Deputy Vice-Chancellor, one (1) year as Acting Vice-Chancellor and seven (7) years as Vice-Chancellor respectively. Records have shown that Professor Ayodeji Banjo is the longest-serving Vice-Chancellor in the history of the University of Ibadan, to date!

On successful completion of his term of office as Vice-Chancellor in 1991, Professor Ayodeji Banjo, humbly displayed a beauty in the academics by returning to the classroom to lecture. In 1994, Professor Ayodeji Banjo, clocked sixty (60) years of age in service and consequently retired from the service of the university.

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Sanusi Reinstated As Emir of Kano State

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By John Michael Ojo

Former CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has been reinstated as the Emir of Kano State four years after he was humiliated and dethroned by the then Governor of the state, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

This was made known on Thursday by the state governor, Alhaji Abba Yusuf moments after he abolished the five emirates earlier created by Ganduje while signing the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Bill 2024 into law.

While making the announcement, Governor Yesuf said “With the full support of the kingmakers, I have approved the reappointment of Malam Sanusi Lamido,”

READ ALSO: Banishment Of Sanusi After Dethronement As Emir Illegal – Court

In addition to Kano Emirate, in December 2019, Ganduje created the emirates of  Karaye, Bichi, Rano, and Gaya. Thereafter, he dethroned Sanusi on March 9 2020 after a prolonged power tussel.

 

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House Of Reps Passes Bill To Revert To Old National Anthem

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By John Michael Ojo

Despite opposition from some lawmakers, a bill seeking to adopt Nigeria’s former national anthem ‘Nigeria We Hail Thee’, was on Thursday passed by members of the House of Representive after a third reading.

The bill sponsored by Majority Leader, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, was also debated upon by the Senate in an executive/closed door session.

While there are currently no official comments from the National Assembly on the proposed bill, the bill has however been greeted with criticism by the public.

The House Minority Leader, kingsley Chinda, who opposed the bill, stated that the old anthem has a colonial tag which was the reason for the new anthem.

READ ALSO: South Sudan President Urinates On Self While Reciting National Anthem

‘Nigeria We Hail Thee’ was the nation’s first national anthem used at independence in 1960 but was replaced by the current anthem “Arise, O Compatriots,” in 1978.

Composed by Frances Berda, a British in 1959, it has the lyrics.

Nigeria we hail thee

Our own dear native land

Though tribes and tongue may differ

In brotherhood we stand

Nigerians all, are proud to serve

Our sovereign Motherland.

Our flag shall be a symbol

That truth and justice reign

In peace or battle honour’d,

And this we count as gain,

To hand on to our children

A banner without stain.

O God of all creation

Grant this our one request.

Help us to build a nation

Where no man is oppressed

And so with peace and plenty

Nigeria may be blessed.

 

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