The Journey To Change Has Started – Tinubu

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said yesterday that Nigeria has already begun the process of re-inventing itself under President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said that after “many years of mis-governance and its myriad consequences,” the country has a fresh opportunity to reshape its future.

Tinubu spoke in Sokoto while responding on behalf of honorary doctorate degree awardees of the Usuman Dan Fodiyo University at the Joint 32nd, 33rd and 34th Convocation and 40th Anniversary of the institution.

Reviewing the polity before and since the assumption of office by President Buhari last May, the former Lagos State governor said: “We were led down a path in which bad was deemed good and good was deemed inconvenient. We were handed a way of governance in which anything goes and too much went – as if gone with the wind.

“Our present was squandered and future mortgaged. A few people took as their own what God intended to belong to all Nigerians.”

This, according to him, was not in tandem with the principle of “Conscience is an open wound, only truth can heal it” preached by the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate Usmanu Dan Fodiyo.

He added: “This was not the way of Usmanu Dan Fodio. This was not the way to build the nation we seek. It was the way to lay waste to our dreams and to jettison all the lessons that heroes such as Usmanu Dan Fodiyo and our forefathers taught us.

“Yet, human nature is such that it cannot exist for long without true and justice. For a period, darkness may descend and a lie may rule. But not forever, society needs justice and fairness as much as the body needs food and water.

“With last year’s election, the national conscience awoke. The people rejected the distorted arrangements of past governments in order to make room for a better future. They had once again found the courage that Usmanu Dan Fodiyo had bequeathed them. They had rediscovered their way and their right to pursue it.

“Today we all participate in an epic struggle. We seek to undo many years of mis-governance and its myriad consequences. The process is hard because good is always harder to achieve than evil. Creation is always more difficult than destruction. Greed is easier than greatness.

“Yet Nigeria has begun the process of turning to its better self. The government of President Buhari is cleaning out the rot of years of galloping corruption and avarice. This government is also moving to pursue policies that will spark development and bring prosperity to long oppressed Nigerians.”

But he warned that the process of re-building is not going to be a tea party.

His words: “Be reminded that this will be a battle. No battle is easy. We must be firm in our resolve to reform this nation. We must have the courage to stand fast in the times of difficulty, having faith that the rightfulness of our cause will see us through to the success of our collective efforts and yearnings.

“The truth today is that Nigeria has the greatest opportunity to get it right with a leader like Mr. Muhammadu Buhari.

“Another truth is that Nigeria and Nigerians are suffering under the yoke of corruption. The economy is based on a model no longer sustainable given the realities of today’s markets and global trends.

“There is much to fix. President Buhari is committed to fixing them. But he needs your support and patience. He cannot do it all alone. We must stand beside him or else we may be knocked down and not stand at all.

“Thus, let us be resolved to see reform and change that will make Nigeria rise as the nation it should be.”

He paid tribute to the great Islamic scholar for his “courage in the face of open danger; Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State who, he said, “represents the new hope of a new progressive political era”; and the Oba of Lagos and Chancellor of the institution, Rilwanu Akiolu, whose appointment, he said, “represents the best of Nigeria and signposts the promotion of unity, peace, harmony and better understanding.”

He expressed happiness for the honour done him and other awardees by the university and urged it to “strive to be the best and produce students who think as much of this nation as they do themselves.

“That is how this revered institution may do honour to the name it bears. This is how this institution may ensure that the ethics and principles of Usmanu Dan Fodiyo continue to have life and continue to breathe life into the progress of this nation.”

Tinubu was honoured with Doctor of Business Administration D.BA-Honoris Causa,

Also conferred with honorary doctorate degrees at the ceremony were : Sultan Abubakar (Doctor of Law-LLD- Honoris Causa) Oba Akiolu (Doctor of Law-LLD- Honoris Causa); former Defence Minister, Lt.-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), Doctor of Science -DSC-Honoris Causa) and the Executive Director, Public Sector, First Bank Nigeria Ltd., Dauda Suleiman (Doctor of Business Administration-D.BA-Honoris Causa),

Three retired eminent public officers were conferred with Emeritus appointments.

They are Prof. Shehu Galadanchi and Prof. Mahdi Adamu, first and second Vice Chancellors of the institution, respectively, who were appointed as Vice Chancellors Emeritus.

Prof. A.T. Suleiman was appointed as Professor Emeritus.

Governors Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto); Bello Masari (Katsina); Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara); Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos) and Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi) witnessed the ceremony.

Former Cross River governor, Donald Duke; former deputy governor of Niger State, Musa Ibeto and former Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Nuhu Ribadu also graced the occasion.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi led other prominent traditional rulers to the occasion.

The Nation

Asiwaju Tinubu To Receive Honourary Doctorate Degree

The Uthman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto State will on Saturday March 19th confer on Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu the Honorary Degree, Doctor of Business Administration, DBA during its joint 32nd, 33rd,and 34th convocation ceremony and 40th anniversary.

The Convocation ceremony starts at 9am at the main campus of the institution.

The award is in recognition of his contribution to the development of the political economy of Nigeria

Full Acceptance Remarks of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu On Receiving Honorary Award At University Of Abuja Convocation Ceremony

The life of a nation is determined by the education it affords its youth. From its universities and schools, a nation derives its leaders and those who shape its society, for good or for bad.

Our nation faces many challenges, some imposed on us by forces beyond our control, some self-inflicted due to the errant ways of past leadership and governance.

Nigeria stands at the threshold of sober decisions. The ways in which we have grown accustomed to running this nation suddenly no longer suffices. If we are to continue as we have done over the years, that malpractice will deliver us into the vise grip of national failure. That which we used to do and laugh at ourselves for in our errant ways is no longer a joking matter. It is now fatal.

We must reform and do so quickly and with alertness to the severity of the circumstances mounting about us.

I am here today because I believe in the achievements that can be wrought by good education when properly applied. If I thought our cause was lost, I would have absented myself from this noble event; yet, I could not because this event symbolises the hope and potential of our collective purpose and effort.

This convocation represents more than just an academic rite of passage. It represents the dedication of a gathering of reformers, creative thinkers, builders and achievers to a purpose greater than each person’s individual pursuits. You represent a community of ability and learning, the whole of which is greater than the sum of its parts. You represent the path way to a better, more prosperous land. That path must be taken for we can’t go back because the falsely comforting ways of the past have now turned to dross before our very eyes.

As such, you must match love of nation with personal excellence. Education without patriotism degenerates into selfish pursuit; it promotes a cunning that serves the individual but undermines society. And patriotism without education and wisdom writes the tale of fatal mistakes committed with the best of intentions.

Today, I stand here on behalf of all awardees asking you to make history. We ask because we know you can do it. I also ask because I know it must be done.

That we dedicate ourselves to this task on this day in this place is most appropriate, for Abuja is our capital city. It is the place that best symbolises our unity and epitomises our collective desire to build a strong and reliable nation. We must turn that shining symbol into an even more brilliant reality. The University of Abuja is integral to this process.

As such, this institution must realise its important position in the educational salvation of our youth and the rejuvenation of our nation.

I therefore congratulate the Vice Chancellor and his team for how far they have built this institution of learning. I urge a continuous commitment to quality and excellence. This University, numbered among the new generation universities, must strive in the tradition of groundbreaking scholarship and research. Inspite of the challenges of infrastructure and funding, this university must not compromise its academic standard. It must seek to pursue initiatives that will make it overcome the ever present and common limitations. Our nation, like other nations,need developed minds and a high level of intellectually curious minds that can think through our problems and offer solutions before night falls.

Having said this, let me thank the University, the Vice Chancellor and Faculty for the honour bestowed on me and these even more distinguished Nigerians than myself, such as Chief Dr. Alex Ekwueme, former Vice President of Nigeria; Justice Idris Kutigi, former Chief Justice of Nigeria; and Justice Maryam Aloma Muktar, former Chief Justice of Nigeria.

I am doubly honoured to be asked to speak on their behalf, for these very eminent Nigerians awardees, I express the utmost thanks and gratitude to the university. On behalf of all Nigerians, I want to thank these other awardees for the great service and sacrifice done our nation. You have done well and we are proud of you all.

We accept these awards with humility. The awards are like tonic to our souls and will drive us unto greater sacrifice and service. On their behalf and with their permission, let me lend our voices to the tasks of nation building still before us.

Nigeria stands in the corridor between greatness and failure, between progress and collapse, between hope and despair. Our fate depends on whether we summon the courage to take the bold steps ahead and move in the direction of progress. We must turn our present challenges into opportunities for the re-engineering of our nation’s economic challenges. The University and our educational system have a role to play in these.

We look up to institutions such as yours to provide workable solutions to our problems and also provide us with individuals with vision, strength of character and capacity to reshape our national life.

While confronting multiple major challenges. I believe this government has the chance and the mission to better our society and forge a new model for our political economy. We have demonstrated the courage and determination to change a non-performing government through a democratic election. This electoral success has brought new challenges. These challenges are numerous and we must brace up and confront them.

We dare not rest on the satisfaction of electoral victory alone. We must continue our strive towards democratic governance that can usher in a progressive era of broad prosperity, development, democracy and human dignity for our people. This is our preoccupation. Our desire.

If you asked me to describe the state of the nation, I would say it is a difficult but encouraging one: we are emerging from a period of great moral uncertainty in which vice and virtue were too often indistinguishable and too often confused, one for the other.

We must ask – are we hopeless due to the sordid nature of the past 16 years? No. Are the challenges left behind too much to surmount? No.

Even though the nation, before, stood half in the light of progress and half in the darkness of injustice, there is much hope because we now have a government committed to a new era of discipline and prosperity. The journey we have embarked upon will not be easy. It requires us all to make sacrifices and persevere until we achieve. Nigeria needs some fundamental restructuring, both politically and economically. Not the constant tinkering and patching we often resort to. We must therefore begin with fundamentally restructuring the economy if we are to rid ourselves of joblessness.

Agriculture remains a key pillar in our development. We must return to the days when Nigeria had surplus food and exported. Now we import too much food for our own good and security.

Our small farmers sink under the reality of rising costs and too little income from the crops they raise. Moreover, we annually lose arable land to desert encroachment. I believe the current administration under President Buhari has set its priorities right in this regard. Our farmers will once be proud again. We believe farmers need to earn a sufficient enough income that will bring prosperity back to their families. They must be encouraged and supported.

A vibrant agriculture sector will produce enough food for domestic consumption and for export, thus earning foreign exchange as it did decades ago. It will also create and maintain jobs.

We must also create jobs for our growing urban populations. We must create production to meet the rapidly expanding population. This means changing the oil export model upon which our economy has for too long been based. This means shifting to were human labour and ingenuity now feature as the catalyst of economic development and wealth creation. This means the creation of industries. This means government must embark on fiscal policies and programmes that encourage industrial development and employment to create the openings and opportunities that shall employ many.

As a progressive government, we have as one of our top priorities the lifting of 20 percent of Nigerians out of poverty within the first four years of our administration.

To happen, the state must be a catalyst for job creation and economic development that touches all the people and not just a narrow growth that benefits a small number.

We shall do this by implementing a national industrial policy linked to a national infrastructural plan and a national employment strategy.

Before our children can dream of a university education, they must first enjoy the foundational education of primary school. Our position is that we make a special effort to draw all children to school, particularly the poor. We cannot afford to allow poverty to keep children out of the classroom. If so, we are suborning a life of ignorance and poverty for millions of our young ones.

This progressive government is committed to providing all school-age children one free meal daily. This seems a simple thing. But it is also wise and prudent. A hungry student does not learn. If the child is too hungry too often, he stops attending school altogether. By this programme, students will more eagerly attend because their stomachs, as well as their minds, shall be fed. Parents will encourage children to attend because this will take the children off the streets while also alleviating pressure on the family to feed the children.

This current leadership will anchor its efforts to re-build Nigeria on massive industrialisation and the re-structuring of the economy to allow for growth. Then will hope be rekindled for millions of our people and a country of great potentials and possibilities will emerge.

The future starts today for all our graduates. As I congratulate them, I also counsel them to anneal themselves for the future that lies ahead of them. It is a challenging and hardy one. Things will not be handed to you on a silver platter or on any platter for that matter. However, it is also a hopeful one for those willing to work at it. You shall be the architects of a new political economy that will lead to a better Nigeria. The opportunity to be part of building a new country beckons.

I urge you all to assume your proper role in this just mission that years from now many of you shall be on a stage as these distinguished Nigerians are today, and that your names and your deeds will be forever written in the book about how this nation changed itself for the better and for the good of all its people.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu is National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Nigeria Must Turn Challenges Into Opportunities- Tinubu

National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday challenged Nigerians to turn the country’s present socio-economic condition into opportunities for a desirable re-engineering of the economy.

Nigeria, according to him, has long stood in the corridor between greatness and failure, between progress and calamity and must now “summon the courage to take the bold steps and move in the direction.”

“We must reform and do so quickly and with alertness to the severity of the circumstances mounting around us,” Tinubu said in a prepared speech he delivered at the 15 – 20th Convocation ceremony of the University of Abuja where he awarded the honorary doctorate degree in Business Administration (DBA, Honoris Causa).

Tracing the country’s woes to past leadership, he said: “The ways in which we have grown accustomed to running this nation no longer suffice.

“If we are to continue as we have done over the years our malpractice will deliver us into the vice grip of national failure.

“That which we used to do then laugh at ourselves for our errant ways is no longer a joking matter. It is now fatal.”

He spoke of the plan of the ruling APC to lift 20 per cent of Nigerians out of poverty within four years.

For this to happen, he said, the state must be a fulcrum for job creation and economic development that touches all Nigerians not just a narrow growth that benefits few people.

“Although confronted by multiple challenges, I believe this government has the chance and the mission to better our society and forge a new model for our national governance,” he said.

“We have demonstrated the courage and determination to change a non-performing government through a democratic election. This electoral success has brought new challenges. These challenges are numerous and we must confront them with an even greater courage than that which saw us through the election.

“We shall do this by implementing a national industrial policy linked to a national infrastructural plan and a national employment strategy.

“Before our children can dream of a university education they must first enjoy the foundational education of primary school.

“Our position is that we make a special effort to draw all children to school, particularly the poor. We cannot afford to allow poverty to keep children out of the classroom. If so we are suborning a life of ignorance and poverty for millions of our young ones.

“This progressive government is committed to providing all school-age children one free meal daily. This seems a simple thing. But it is also wise and prudent. A hungry student does not learn. If the child is too hungry too often, he stops attending school altogether.

“By this programme, students will more eagerly attend because their stomachs as well as their minds shall be fed. Parents will encourage children to attend because this will take the children off the streets while also alleviating pressure on the family to feed the children.

“This current leadership will anchor its efforts to re-build Nigeria on massive industrialization and the re-structuring of the economy to allow for growth. Then, will hope be rekindled for millions of our people and a country of great potentials and possibilities will emerge.”

Second Republic Vice President Dr. Alex Ekwueme, was one of those conferred with honorary degrees.

His Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) was received on his behalf by his daughter.

Others who bagged awards at the ceremony were: former Chief Justices of Nigeria, Justice Idris Kutigi, Doctor of Laws (LLD) and Justice Maryam Aloma Muktar, Doctor of Letters (Dlitt) – both (?Honoris Causa) as well as Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who got PhD in Law and Senator Buhari, PhD Social Sciences.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in a message on the occasion said that government alone could not meet the needs of higher education.

Represented by Director, Tertiary Education, Ministry of Education, Hajia Abdullahi Hindatu, the president encouraged private sector to invest more in research and development in the universities.

He said:”It is pertinent to emphasize on the quality of teaching and research in our universities.

“Research should not be relegated to the background in our universities. I therefore urge Nigerian universities to ensure that the quality of the graduates produced compares with products from other universities globally,” the president said.

Twenty-five thousand, eight hundred and seventy-eight students received their degrees at the ceremony.

The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Michael Adikwu said 20, 461 received first degree in various fields while 1697 received postgraduate diploma.

Eight students bagged first class between 2008 – 2015 sessions.

The breakdown showed that 2,324 were awarded with Second Class, Upper Division; 11,180 were awarded Second Class Degrees, Lower Division.

Adikwu said that Nigeria’s road to sustainable economic development lied in the creative ability of citizens to turn adversities into opportunities.

He urged the graduating students ?to use personal initiatives to seize the opportunities that still abounded in the country for them to be self employed.

Present at the ceremony were former interim Head of State, Chief Ernest Shonekan; a former interim chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande; state governors; Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed; House of Representatives Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila;, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, a former Niger State governor, Dr. Mu’azu Aliyu; and Rep. James Faleke among others.

The Nation

Tinubu Bags Honorary Uniabuja Doctorate Degree

Former Vice-President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, and former governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, have been conferred with honorary doctorate degrees at the Combined Convocation of the University of Abuja (UniAbuja).

NAN reports that former Chief Justices of Nigeria, Justice Idris Kutigi and Maryam Aloma Mukhtar, were also conferred with honorary doctorate degrees.

NAN reports that a total 25,878 students were awarded various degrees at the 15th to 20th combined convocation of the institution on Saturday.

Ekwueme was said to be unavoidably absent as he was represented by his daughter, Mrs Chidi Onyemelukwe.

In his speech, the Visitor, President Muhammadu Buhari, congratulated the Governing Council, Senate, Management and staff of UniAbuja for recording progress in achieving the objective for which it was set up.

Represented by Hajiya Hindattu Abdullahi, the Director, Tertiary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Buhari enjoined the institution to take research seriously as it was key to economic development.

He said it was pertinent to emphasise on the quality of teaching and research in Nigeria’s universities as it affected the quality of graduates from our universities.

“I therefore urge Nigerian universities to ensure that the quality of the graduates produced compares with graduates produced from other universities globally.

“Research should not be relegated to the background in our universities; rather universities should ensure that the education impacted is strongly influenced by research,” he said.

On his part, UniAbuja’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Michael Adikwu, said that the graduands had brought honour to the institution by distinguishing themselves in various fields of study.

“They comprise 20,461 undergraduate students and 4,261 postgraduate students spanning the 2009/2010 to 2014/2015 sessions.

“Eight undergraduate student graduands bagged first class honours; 2,324 bagged second class upper division; 11,180 bagged second class lower division; 6,647 bagged third class while 836 bagged pass.

“Of the total of 4,261 postgraduate graduands, 331 are graduating with Doctorate degrees, 2,233 with Masters’ degree and a total of 1,697 are Postgraduate Diploma graduands.”

Adikwu explained that UniAbuja was graduating five sets of students at the event because of the crises that engulfed the system over the last few years.

He said that normalcy had been restored to academic activities on campus through the intervention of the National Universities Commission and the Ministry of Education.

In his acceptance speech on behalf of the other recipients of honorary degrees, Tinubu thanked the institution’s authority for deeming them worthy of the award.

He said that UniAbuja symbolised national unity and epitomised a collective desire to build a strong nation.

“The institution must realise its important position in the educational salvation of our youth and the rejuvenation of our nation.

“I urge a continuous commitment to quality and excellence.

“The university, numbered among the new generation universities, must strive in the tradition of groundbreaking scholarship and research.

“In spite of the challenges of infrastructure and funding, the university must not compromise its academic standard,” he said.

The highlight of the event was the investiture of Alhaji Shehu Idris, the Emir of Zazzau, as the Chancellor of the institution.

NAN

APC Peace Meeting At Aso Villa Leaves Saraki Visibly Angry

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Senate President Bukola Saraki yesterday had a closed-door meeting called by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo inside the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja, amidst indications that there’s a serious leadership crisis within the All Progressives Congress.

The meeting, which lasted for about 3hr:45mins, might not be unconnected with the ongoing alleged false assets declaration trial of Senator Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal. The trial is widely believed to be part of numerous discontentments that have bedeviled the ruling APC since the emergence of principal officers of the 8th National Assembly.

It would be recalled that Saraki, House Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun and other principal officers of the National Assembly were elected against the permutations and internal arrangements of the APC.

Journalists were restricted from covering the meeting and were also denied access to conduct interviews with the leaders after the meeting. An official statement released by the Vice President’s office said, “Select leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, drawn from the party’s National Headquarters, the legislative and executive arms of government had a consultative meeting on issues affecting the party and the nation.

The statement further noted that, “The meeting, which held at the Vice President’s conference room, was very useful and resourceful towards achieving the goals of the party and the government.”

How to end the lingering apprehension that has gripped the nation following revelations that the 2016 budget contained a lot of duplicitous items was also said to have been discussed at the meeting, a source disclosed. Senator Saraki had said he will continue to scrutinise the budget, first proposed in 2015, for more erroneous contents. But several leaders of the party and the Vice President are rumoured to be prevailing on the top lawmaker to plead with his colleagues at the National Assembly to expedite the passage of the budget in order to save Buhari administration further embarrassments and avoid damages to the economy that could stem from the indefinite delay.

Other leaders of the APC present at the meeting include: the APC National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, Chief Bisi Akande, Senator Ali Ndume, Deputy Speaker Lasun, Umana Umana and Babachir Lawal, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

While most of the leaders present at the meeting emerged with laughter and cross chats, Saraki came out alone wearing an angry face as he departed the Villa.

Asiwaju Tinubu’s Acceptance Speech As Sun Man Of The Year

BRIEF ACCEPTANCE REMARKS AT THE SUN AWARDS, SATURDAY FEBRUARY 20TH, 2016 BY ASIWAJU BOLA AHMED TINUBU, SUN MAN OF THE YEAR 2015.

PROTOCOL
Time knows us all but opportunity is reticent and makes itself known to but a few. To be placed by the convergence of destiny and incident in a position to play a key role in bringing historic change to the politics of this nation is a gift that was given me by the supreme hand of Providence.

2. God in His wisdom placed me in the position to recognize the change that was needed and to help effectuate that change.  I thank God for giving me this chance and for allowing me to be born a black man and a Nigerian.

With this in mind, let me say I am honoured to have been picked as The Sun Man of the Year. The decision to give me this award I understand resulted from a thorough process reviewing the significant political developments that our country in the last quarter of a century has witnessed and particularly the monumental happenings in the past one.

3. I am humble enough to know that the Sun could have chosen any one of several figures. Their decision would not have been gainsaid. I think particularly of the man at the helm of affairs and who won the election, President Muhammadu Buhari.

Yet, I am mindful enough to realize such awards do not come frequently and that I better grab the good thing given me.
I thank The Sun Management for this validation and recognition of my modest efforts to help place our beloved land on the path of reformation, progress and hope.

4. What was accomplished in 2015 was not a singular effort. It was done through the collective love and labor of millions of Nigerians. A handful of them were well known. Most of them are hardworking anonymous people who together constitute the backbone and great strength of this nation. It was this collective effort that produced the unprecedented electoral victory in 2015.

5. Therefore, I accept this award on behalf of all the people who contributed to opening a vitally new chapter in the book of our national history. Many sacrificed greatly to achieve this great turn of events. Some practically surrendered their businesses. Some provided funds. Especially that elderly 90-year old woman, Hajia Fadimatu Mai Talle Tara who donated 1 million Naira, her life savings for the  campaign  of President Muhammadu Buhari . (May Her Soul Rest in Peace). Others worked ceaselessly, hour after hour, day after day until the historic job was done. Many hit the campaign trail day and night from Katsina to Lagos. I reserve a special recognition and commendation for the Youth across this nation who formed part of the foot soldiers in the struggle for change. It is to these heroes that I dedicate this award.

6. We have come to a point where there is no turning back for there is nothing worthy of the sacrifices so recently made to turn back to.
We have reached the juncture at which we must reform our institutions, rid our country of corruption or admit that we have mortgaged away the good future due us. The infrastructural decay of past decades, the unemployment time bomb, the challenging security situation make a compelling case for us all to join with this government embrace a new politics that will help build a new country.

7. The media is a key partner in this regard. The Sun and other media organizations must employ journalism as a tool for development. Journalism must become a force for good and a voice against injustice, poverty and discrimination. It must always speak right to might. You must be objective.  You must not be a partner to power or to those who have lost power. Your role is that of guardian and herald of the truth for the people themselves.

8. Do that and you will shine in a way that will make the name of this newspaper more than apt. The media will stand the best of time and with other patriots work to make Nigeria great again.

9. To my fellow Nigerians, the Constitution to which we all subscribe to as ‘We the People” must be used to re-build our country, revitalize our economy and ultimately protect and empower our people. Our renaissance must come from within through perseverance, strong determination and an irrevocable sense of patriotism.

Nigeria is going through a challenging period and truly we must build our tomorrow today-together.

Thank and may God bless you all.

Tinubu Explains Role He Played In Buhari’s Emergence; Bags Sun Man Of The Year

National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday explained the role he played in the emergence of Gen. Muhammudu Buhari as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, saying God merely used him to play a crucial role in the polity.

Senator Tinubu recounted the many political struggles that culminated in the change of government last year and brought the APC to power in a speech after receiving the Sun Man of the Year award.

“God in His wisdom placed me in the position to recognize the change that was needed and to help effectuate that change,” Tinubu stated.

Sen. Tinubu the victory was made possible through the commitment of members of the party.

He expressed joy that most of the titans who formed the nucleus of the APC during the struggle were on hand to witness the award presentation.

He specifically mentioned the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and his predecessor, Chief Bisi Akande.

Tinubu said, “They brought back hope to the people and the desired change.” Going down memory lane, Tinubu regretted the huge decline the country witnessed in the last 25 years, “and particularly between 2011 and 2015.”

“What was accomplished in 2015 was not a singular effort. It was done through the collective love and labour of millions of Nigerians,” he said in the speech issued by his media office.

Continuing, he said: “a handful of them were well known. Most of them are hardworking anonymous people who together constitute the backbone and great strength of this nation. It was this collective effort that produced the unprecedented change.

“Many sacrificed greatly to achieve this great turn of events. Some practically surrendered their businesses. Some provided funds. Especially that elderly 90-year old woman, Hajia Fadimatu Mai Talle Tara, who donated N1 million, her life savings for the campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari, (may her soul rest in peace).

“Others worked ceaselessly, hour after hour, day after day until the historic job was done. Many hit the campaign trail day and night from Katsina to Lagos. I reserve a special recognition and commendation for the youth across this nation who formed part of the foot soldiers in the struggle for change.”

He dedicated the award to “these heroes.”

But he warned that Nigeria, having reached this point in its desire to move forward must not look back, saying:”we have come to a point where there is no turning back for there is nothing worthy of the sacrifices so recently made to turn back to.

“We have reached the juncture at which we must reform our institutions, rid our country of corruption or admit that we have mortgaged away the good future due us. The infrastructural decay of past decades, the unemployment time bomb, the challenging security situation make a compelling case for us all to join with this government embrace a new politics that will help build a new country.”

He added that the renaissance for a better society must come from within through perseverance, strong determination and an irrevocable sense of patriotism.

Tinubu charged Nigerians to remain steadfast and build a nation that all can be proud of.

“The nation is going through a challenging period and truly we must build our tomorrow today-together,” he said.

On the award itself, he said: “I am honoured to have been picked as The Sun Man of the Year. The decision to give me this award I understand resulted from a thorough process reviewing the significant political developments that our country in the last quarter of a century has witnessed and particularly the monumental happenings in the past one year.”

He said there were equally other Nigerians eminently qualified for the award.

“I am humble enough to know that The Sun could have chosen any one of several figures. Their decision would not have been gainsaid. I think particularly of the man at the helm of affairs and who won the election, President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Yet, I am mindful enough to realize such Awards do not come frequently and that I better grab the good thing given me.”

The publisher of The Sun, Dr. Orji Kalu called on Nigerians to rise up to the task of nation building. He said the country was passing through a critical stage and needed patriotic people to join hands to salvage the country from the problem it was facing.

He said those who were honoured were considered in view of their track records to the betterment of the country. “Those selected made positive impact on Nigeria, so we are celebrating excellence and achievement.”

The award was formally presented to him by The Sun publisher and former Governor of Abia State, Dr.Orji Uzor Kalu who recalled Tinubu’s involvement in the fight for democracy from the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) days till now.

As Tinubu was called to step forward to receive the award, a large coterie of his friends and political associates including Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. David Babachir, Labour Minister, Chris Ngige, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, former Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Demola Seriki and Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello accompanied him to the podium.

Also flanking him was his wife, Oluremi.

Also honoured at the ceremony were former military head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Lifetime  achievement award); Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano (Governor of the Year); General Ike Nwachukwu (rtd), Gen. Samuel Ogbemudia, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, Chief Kessington Adebutu, and  Chief Mbazulike Amechi,.

The most supportive First Lady of the Year went to Hajia Nana Shettima, Public Service Award went to Chenelo Anohu-Amazu; Banker of the Year went to Yemi Adeola; Business Man of the Year, Anthony  Chukwuka.

Others were Erick Umeofia, Uche Ogah, Amaju Pinnick, Josephine Ugwu, Obateru Akinruntan , Rockview Hotels, Omoni Oboli and Harrison Okiri for their impact on the society.

Libel Suit: Raymond Dokpesi Begs Tinubu, To Broadcast Apology For Three Months

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has agreed to accept an unreserved apology from Chairman of DAAR Communication Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi as settlement for the libellous documentary “Lion of Bourdillon” aired on Africa Independent Television, AIT last year.

The documentary was aired in the heat of the 2015 electioneering campaign. AIT was then campaigning for the re-election of former President Goodluck Jonathan, while Tinubu’s party, the APC was vigorously campaigning for Muhammadu Buhari, who won the election.

Lawyer to Tinubu, Wole Olanipekun and Dokpesi’s counsel Mike Ozekhome Friday presented the terms of settlement reached on 29 January, 2016 before the trial court judge, Justice Iyabo Akinkugbe.

The terms of agreement include among other things, a retraction of the broadcast by AIT, an apology by AIT, which should be aired daily for a quarter.

The trial court subsequently adopted the terms of settlement.

Here is the letter of retraction:

Retraction and Apology by DAAR Communications Plc to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Further to the terms of settlement in Suit No: ID/196GCMW/2015 between Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Daar Communications Plc filed as a result of the broadcast of a documentary titled ‘Lion of Bourdilon’ and which terms were adopted at the High Court of Lagos State on 5th February, 2016 as the judgment of the court, the defendant, Daar. Communication Plc, hereby retract and apologies to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as follows;

1. Daar Communications Plc, acknowledges that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is an outstanding. Political leader of unblemished character and integrity, as well as a leading public figure and opinion moulder who has made and continues to make immense, colossal and gargantuan contributions to the progress and development of the nation in general. And Lagos State in particular.

2. Daar Communication Plc admits that in airing the said documentary, it had no intention whatsoever to embarrass or diminish the high reputation of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu which it respects and attests to.

3. Daar Communications Plc hereby makes a public and unequivocal retraction of the said documentary titled ‘Lion of Bourdilon’, which was broadcast on its television station, AIT.

4. Daar Communications Plc hereby tenders unreserved apology to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the broadcast of the documentary on its television station, AIT.

5. Daar Communications Plc prays that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu will live long to make more enormous contributions to the advancement of our nation, Nigeria, Lagos State and the world at large.

 

The News

Tinubu Wins Thinkers Magazine’s Man Of The Year Award

A national leader of the All Progress Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has emerged the 2015 ‘Man of the Year’ of one of the Nigeria’s fastest growing monthly magazine, Thinkers Magazine.

This information is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by the Company Secretary of Thinkers Communications Limited (publishers of Thinkers Magazine and the online-based Thinkers Newspaper), Hajiya Saratu Muhammad.

She said that Tinubu’s emergence as winner of the prized award followed a keenly contested nomination and selection process.

She stated that the award was instituted as part of the magazine’s activities towards celebrating outstanding individuals, who have distinguished themselves in their chosen areas of human endeavour and impacted positively on the lives of their countrymen and women.

“For this particular category, Man of the Year, a number of eminent Nigerians with remarkable track records of performance and industry were nominated.

“After a rigorous screening exercise by the Awards’ Board of Governors, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was subsequently and unanimously picked as the best person for the honour,” she said.

According to her, among the criteria for the prestigious annual honour are significant contributions made by the nominees to their community, state and nation in particular, and humanity in general.

She said the nominees’ virtues and quality, such as selflessness, integrity, compassion, commitment to a common cause, courage and audacity, were also considered.

She noted that although each and all the three personalities who made the final cut fulfilled the criteria in various measurers, the APC national leader triumphed on account of the huge significance, immense impact and historic nature of his contributions to national development and progress.

This, she emphasized, crystallized in the yeoman role which the former Lagos state helmsman played in the historic victory recorded by the ruling party in the last year’s general elections.

“In Nigeria, nay Africa, it is rare for an opposition party to defeat a ruling party as done by the APC in 2015.

“What makes Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s contributions particularly impressive is that, as far back as 2013, he had spearheaded the move to form an all-encompassing political party that can overcome the then ruling PDP.

“And then, against all odds and despite clear dangers to his safety and business interests, Tinubu helped secure victory for APC, particularly, during the presidential poll.

“We also took into cognizance the number of brilliant gentlemen and women whom Tinubu has groomed over the years and who occupy strategic positions in our polity today.

“The competence shown by these men and women in present and previous positions held has also shown that Tinubu is the ultimate Talent Hunter.

“In short, he is a true man of the people who fully deserves this honour.

Olubadan Was Fearless – Tinubu

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has described the late Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana, as a fearless and incorruptible monarch.

The APC chief, who showered eulogies on the late Olubadan during a condolence visit to his Monatan, Ibadan, private residence, on Sunday, added that his modest lifestyle is worthy of emulation by the country’s traditional institution.

Tinubu said that Oba Odulana would be remembered for his moral support for the governorship ambition of Ajimobi and his administration’s programmes and policies, climaxing with the conferment of a chieftaincy title of Atunluse on the governor.

He recalled that the late Olubadan did not hide his satisfaction and backing for the Ajimobi-led administration’s urban renewal and operation clean-up Ibadan; a city, he said, was dotted with heaps of refuse before Ajimobi mounted the saddle.

Tinubu said, “Our late Baba lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation by our traditional institution. He was fearless, courageous and incorruptible. We are proud of his Spartan lifestyle and discipline, including that of his children.

“Kabiyesi loved Ajimobi and I can say that he was one of his staunch backers for the governorship ticket. His support for the governor and his programmes, especially the urban renewal and cleanliness we are now witnessing in Ibadan, was without bounds.

“Ibadan was full of filth and heaps of refuse before Ajimobi became governor, but he cleaned up the city. Kabiyesi was so impressed by this, just like many of us, that he conferred the title of Atunluse on Ajimobi. We are proud of the governor’s achievements.

“But for its clean environment, he said that Ibadan could have been ravaged by the latest Lassa fever outbreak that has claimed more than 60 lives across the country.”

Tinubu expressed delight with the age-long seamless Olubadan of Ibadanland succession process, which, he said, would have been a worthy model for political succession, but for what he called the intrigues and do-or-die phenomenon introduced into the country’s politics.

He said, “Olubadan of Ibadanland succession process is very impressive and unique. When one Olubadan joins his ancestors, the city already knows the successor through the hierarchy. How I wish we politicians can adopt this model of succession.

“But this can hardly be possible because of some people’s belief in do-or-die politics and because some politicians are in politics for reasons other than service to the people.”

During the condolence visit Tinubu was in company with the Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Michael Adeyemo; former interim National Chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande; National Vice Chairman, South-West of the party, Chief Pius Akinyelure; State Chairman, Chief Akin Oke, among others.

The team was received by the Olubadan-in council, led by the Otun Olubadan, High Chief Lekan Balogun; and Otun Balogun, High Chief Owolabi Olakulehin; as well as the children of the late foremost traditional ruler, led by Prof. Femi Lana.

Responding on behalf of the palace, the Otun Olubadan said the Olubadan-in-council and the people of Ibadan felt highly honoured by the visit, adding that the council was proud of Ajimobi and his support for the palace before and after the death of the Olubadan.

Balogun said it was “heartwarming” that Oba Odulana was on the throne and died when “the son of the soil” (an Ibadan indigene) was the governor.