EXPOSED: Deep corrupt practices in Sterling Bank. 

​President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to order a probe into the nation’s banking system to weed out the systemic corruption bedevilling it.

This came as the sleaze rocking one of the new generation banks, Sterling Bank, perpetrated by the Managing Director, and the banks directors have been uncovered.

Recently, Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been on the trail of some of the nation’s bank chiefs over the arms fund scandal.

An authoritative source in Sterling Bank, who wishes not to be mentioned for security reasons alleged that aside the scandal of $88 million illegally collected from the former Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Madueke, the bank’s MD, Yemi Adeola allegedly masterminded the illegal sale of the assets of one of the bank’s clients to his fellow director, Yemi Idowu, after selling the customer’s loan to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

The source alleged that Sterling bank needs to have a feel of President Buhari’s anti-graft war, as its MD and directors were self-enriching themselves at the expense of customers.

The source in a statement titled: ”The Sterling Bank Chronicles: Yemi Idowu, Yemi Adeola and Cadogan Estate,” stated that “The world needs to know how the MD and Directors of Sterling Bank are enriching themselves at the expense of their customers. Yemi Adeola is currently embroiled in a crisis over $88 million illegally collected from Mrs Diezani Madueke, but that is not the only scandal concerning Sterling Bank and its directors, and their greed.

“Yemi Adeola masterminded the illegal sale of the assets of one of the bank’s clients to his fellow director, Yemi Idowu, after selling the customer’s loan to AMCON. Rather than transfer the security to the Corporation as required by law, Yemi Adeola sold the assets, 10 hectares of land around Jakande Estate (Circle Mall) in Lekki to Yemi Idowu, a prominent real estate developer and fellow director of the bank.

“The customer was a company called, Grant Properties Limited a real estate company based in Lekki, Lagos, and owner of the popular and exclusive Goshen Beach Estate and Victory Park Estate, both also in Lekki.

“The company took a loan from a group of 4 banks, namely Skye Bank, Wema Bank, Sterling Bank and Unity Bank to finance the development of Victory Park Estate. The company used a 50 hectare piece of land as security for the loans.

“The company also transferred shares in its subsidiary, Knight Rook Ltd, to the banks to hold as security, with the understanding that the banks would return the land and the shares once the loan was settled.

After the project began, one of the directors of the bank started to covet the land which Grant Properties pledged as security. Yemi Idowu, director of Sterling Bank and owner of several estates including Still Waters Gardens, Friends Colony, Bourdillon Court, Milverton Court and Cadogan Estate made an offer to buy 10 hectares of the land but the customer refused to sell to him, because his offer was below the market value of the land. He used his position as a powerful director of the bank to blackmail the client to force them to sell to him.

“As a large shareholder of the bank, Yemi Idowu sat on some of the most powerful committees, including the Credit Committee, the Asset Management Committee, Real Estate Committee among others. He used his position to frustrate the customer’s loan – for instance, after the Board had approved the loan to the customer, he refused to allow the bank disburse to the customer for over a year, just because of his immoral and unethical ambition.

“In one of the meetings, he told the customer, “if you agree to sell to me, I will make sure you get any loan you want from this bank, but if you don’t sell I will make things impossible for you”

“Eventually, the customer was able to draw down their loan and begin their project. The first phase of Victory Park Estate was 100 plots of land and 90 flats, which were oversubscribed. It was a resounding success. Rather than encourage the bank to support the customer, it made the bankers jealous, and they started scheming to take over the project from the owner. The second phase was also over-subscribed.

“The bank’s director Mr. Lanre Adesanya structured a deal to buy over 100 houses in bulk, so that he could resell them later, through a surrogate company called Bena Management Services He claimed that he was representing an unnamed buyer, but he handled all negotiations personally. He bought the houses at 40% discount.

“The customer started construction and everything was going smoothly,until the bank appointed Mr. Yemi Idowu to manage the account. This was a very strange and unusual turn of events, because Yemi Idowu was also a real estate developer, and a direct competitor and rival to Grant Properties. In fact, his Friend’s Colony Estate is located directly opposite Victory Park Estate, which was being developed by Grant Properties.

“It’s also strange that Adeola, MD of the bank, appointed Idowu to manage the customer’s account, even though he knew that Idowu had expressed an interest in acquiring the security of the customer, which could be considered immoral and unethical. Adeola was also aware that Idowu had tried to blackmail the customer to sell their land to him.

“From the day that Yemi Idowu started to manage the account despite the conflict of interest – as a real estate developer, it was wrong for him to be appointed to manage the assets of a customer who was his direct competitor. It was also very wrong because he had expressed an interest in buying the asset that the customer pledged to his bank.

Yemi Idowu deliberately frustrated the project, and after a short while he declared that the project was no longer viable, even though more than 160 homes had been sold off-plan.

“He repeatedly offered to buy the land again and he told Grant that he would only allow the project to be completed if they agreed to sell 10 hectares of their land to him. The customer refused, because Yemi Idowu was offering to buy the land at a give-away price – they told him they would sell to him if he offered them the proper market value of the land.

“The other banks grew frustrated that the project was not moving forward, and once AMCON (the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria) was established, Skye Bank sold its share of the loan to the Corporation and move on. The Chairman and MD of Grant both met with Yemi Adeola, MD of Sterling Bank, and they agreed that Sterling and all the other banks would also transfer all of the liabilities and assets of the Grant Properties to AMCON, along with all of the outstanding loans.

“However, unknown to the management of Grant, instead of transferring the assets, Yemi Idowu sold 10 hectares of the security to himself, using a surrogate company called Real Estate Development Company of Nigeria (RED). He immediately sold 2.4 hectares of the land to UPDC Plc, earning himself a significant secret profit of about N1 billion.

Meanwhile, they received payment from AMCON for all of the assets and liabilities of Grant Properties, some of which they had already sold to themselves. This was an illegal transaction, and a financial crime, which was expressly prohibited by the provisions of the AMCON Act.” Continuing, the authoritative source said: “When Grant Properties complained to AMCON, the Corporation investigated the matter. Yemi Idowu immediately offered to refund about N500 million of the secret profit to AMCON, rather than return the customer’s land that he had illegally diverted.

“Strangely, rather than insist on the return of the collateral that should rightfully have been transferred to AMCON, the management of the Corporation decided to accept the deal, in a show of solidarity and esprit de corps with their colleagues in the bank. When the erstwhile Board of AMCON learned of these facts, they mandated the chairman (the well-respected banker, Alhaji AK Belgore) to write a letter to the CBN to report the illegal act of Sterling Bank, and the complicity of the AMCON management led by Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi in this immoral act.

“The crimes of Yemi Adeola/Yemi Idowu and Sterling Bank did not end there however. In order to cover their tracks, they paid the proceeds of the secret sale of the land into Grant Properties account, and they immediately moved the money out to cover the deposit of their director, Mr. Lanre Adesanya, who was rumoured to be fronting for Yemi Idowu and Yemi Adeola. They moved the money out of the customer’s account without a mandate, an act that is both illegal, and contrary to every principle of banking practice.

“Aggrieved at the blatant theft of the assets that they pledged to the bank, Grant Properties took their case to the courts, at which point the Chairman and MD were summoned to a meeting in the office of Yemi Adeola. They expected that the matter would be resolved, due to the previously close relationship between Mr. Adeola and the Chairman of Grant Properties, who was a colleague of Yemi’s older brother, Fola Adeola, one of the founders of GTBank.

“Instead, Mr. Yemi Adeola told them to forget their case because they had no hope of winning their case against the vast resources of the banks. He reportedly told the Awosedo, “I am told you went to court. I would advise you to forget that case because you cannot win. I know that what we did is wrong, but I cannot undo it. And you know we are banks, we have deep pockets. We can afford to delay and frustrate your case for the next 20 years.

“We have over 200 cases in court, and we cannot lose. We have deep pockets, you don’t have enough money to fight us. We can hire the best lawyers, and tie you up in court until you are tired. I advise you to move on sir.” He also boasted that one of the directors of AMCON was

his former colleague from his Citi Bank days, “he’s like my brother, and he will do whatever I ask of him. If you agree to let go of the land, I will tell him to help you. But if you continue fighting us, he will make things extremely difficult for you with AMCON”.

“Immediately after this, Yemi Idowu started building on the land, despite all the court cases. He has since built Cadogan Estate, comprising of more than 200 luxury flats, and duplexes on this land, despite several court injunctions ordering the parties not to build on the land. He is making billions of Naira from developing the land, while AMCON is putting pressure on Grant Properties to repay their loan obligations,” he said.

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Believe me, This Buhari Cabinet Isn’t Flying by @DeleMomodu 

Fellow Nigerians, let me start by thanking all the blogs, WhatsApp groups, Facebook and Twitter wizards who make the incredible efforts and sacrifice to mass-circulate my Pendulum column every week. I’m sincerely grateful for your abiding faith in the written word. Let me assure you that you push me to write this piece regularly no matter how tough. I must also salute all those who reach out to me via emails, SMS and telephone calls offering their appreciation of my humble contribution to nation-building. I’ve just received one such call from a businessman who believes so much in Buhari but feels the man has been encircled by desperate political jobbers who are not bothered whether he fails or succeeds. They are only interested in the allure and lucre of power, he says and he may not be far from the truth.
I truly appreciate the men and women of power who see my weekly sermon from the perspective that I mean no harm but that I am determined to prop up a government I helped bring to fruition in my own little way. It is impossible to forget and ignore my own critics who can never agree with my position on any national or international issue. Unknown to them, they keep me on my toes and force me to hone the elementary logic I learned as an undergraduate student at the then University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

I wish to say categorically and with all emphasis at my command that the Buhari government is flailing. And only the ubiquitous hypocrites and cheer leaders would fail to say it as it is, that the grunts of the people are fast turning into deafening lamentations. No amount of approbation by a President Obama can detract from the plaintive suffering and cries of the Nigerian people. Indeed, much as I love Obama, we must remember that his primary interest is America and the fight against corruption which is a sub-plot in America’s fight against terrorism.

In case our dear President is unaware, and he feels only the wailing wailers are grumbling, I wish to assure him that this is not the case. Some of the President’s friends and supporters are deeply worried at the sad turn of events. They are wondering what went wrong and what can be done to turn the dangerous slide around. In fact, everything looks to them like a bad dream, a nightmare in reality. But on a personal note, I don’t think the situation is as irredeemable as it seems. The solution lies squarely on the President’s table. Only he can salvage his government from this stupendous slump from grace to grass.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s biggest equity is in his legendary incorruptibility. He must have assumed that this equity is rock solid and unassailable. But while the people truly want a reduction in the level of corruption and general indiscipline, you must replace something with something. Buhari’s team believes the problem they have is as a result of waging a relentless war on corrupt people and the freebies that have suddenly frozen up for their friends and acolytes. Not so simple folks. Where are the jobs to occupy and engage the innocent beneficiaries of corruption? A lot of those who had jobs have lost their means of livelihood. Companies are sacking their workers, as if with a vengeance. Foreign investors are running helter-skelter and many have closed shop already running back to wherever they came from. Everyone wants stability and not sermons. And there is no stability, either in the polity, in the economy, in our currency or indeed in our social life.

Unfortunately, this government has been very high on proselytising and low on performance. Their swansong has become abysmally boring. The people are now less interested in the results of President Jonathan’s recklessness in office but more in President Buhari’s remedial panacea. It is shocking that 16 months after our friends took over power they are not yet tired of moaning and groaning about Jonathan. But we sacked Jonathan because we knew and felt his case was very bad. We supported Buhari because of the mystic that he had the magic wand. We didn’t want to be accused in the future of wasting yet another best President Nigeria should have had, after Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola. That is why we worked assiduously for a man we had rejected serially in the past. We must beg this government to wake up from its deep slumber. It would be a huge embarrassment and an unmitigated disaster if it fails. So many Nigerians risked everything to midwife this change. I’m willing to support this government to the very end but they should please listen to our pleas and humble suggestions.

The President needs to re-energise his team. Nigeria is too big and too bold to be controlled by a timid cabinet. We need eagles who can fly high. We should be able to find them in a country of nearly 200 million people. There is no doubt that President Buhari has some good hands in his team but most of them have refused to fly, because they are scared. Many have melted into oblivion and irrelevance. We do not need to mention names. Some jobs are so visible that we do not require masquerades to handle. Some jobs require common-sense and not loquacious rabblerousing. Some members of the team have attracted public odium to this government. They make Buhari look so pitiably bad and that should not be so.

The human rights records should also have been better handled and managed during this second coming after the massive damage he suffered in the past. Fighting wars on all fronts from day one distracted and occupied the government. That game-plan was clearly faulty. They should have known that the temperament and tone of a democratic government is ostensibly different from that of a military junta. I once read that too much anger sometimes beclouds reasoning. The government failed to take certain steps to mitigate against the expected backlash of its many wars. It did not reason that hungry people are not always reasonably tolerant of the cause of their social conditions.

No one is sure if President Buhari was ever inclined or advised by his team to plan its offensive well or if he thought he had the same omnipotent power he had from 1983-85. He would have waited a bit and stabilised his government before unleashing mayhem against the enemies of state. I’m told surprise is one of the deadliest strategies in warfare. Most of the looted resources would have remained in our banks if government had not shown its fangs too early. As a lay man in Economics, I will never understand and appreciate the decision to ban people from paying dollars into their own accounts. What did it matter if dollar was paid in cash or by transfer? That was the beginning of the free-fall of our currency down the economic ladder. A large chunk of the money looted has invariably vamoosed into foreign vaults or under some beds or dug-up holes. Shame!

I strongly recommend that the President rejigs his cabinet, especially his economic team and even replace some of the members. This is what a bank would do if some of its managers were not meeting their targets. No manager is too big to be fired by football clubs. There is nothing new under the sun about this approach to governance. There are so many global examples. In 2014, when Saudi Arabia experienced a surge after the outbreak of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS) disease, Saudi King Abdullah fired his Health Minister Abdullah al Rabeeah. In July this year, President Raul Castro of Cuba removed his Minister of Economy Marino Murillo from his portfolio amid the economic hardship that was plaguing the country. Just two weeks ago, Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos fired the country’s Finance Minister Armando Manuel. Manuel had presided over an economic recession caused by a sharp dip in oil prices that weakened dollar inflows, hammered the Angolan Kwanza, leading to heavy government borrowing.

The President should borrow from such examples and do the needful without further delay. I’m happy that even the National Assembly is thinking along the same lines. The government does not have time on its hands and at its disposal. Two years would soon evaporate and the third year will come knocking. It has to start working for those Nigerians who put their fate and faith in the hands of Buhari. We have had enough of the blatant excuses that sound more like expressions of hopelessness and helplessness, thus leading to deja vu.

A few priorities must be tackled speedily. None is greater than the issue of power generation which is already witnessing appreciable progress. I believe the Minister of Power, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, should be allowed to concentrate strictly on power and give his other portfolios to equally competent people. I would love to see a former Governor Donald Duke take over works. I do not care WHICH PARTY HE BELONGS. I have deliberately mentioned this great Nigerian who could easily have been our own Obama if we were a country where merit and achievement catapulted people into the highest office. This government would do well to consider a government of National Unity. Since the suffering we are enduring does not discriminate along Party lines, the solution should not ostracise any capable Nigerian.

On the economy, President Buhari should invite and involve the best brains at home and abroad including non-Nigerians. The Bank of England brought in an expert from Canada as its Governor. Dubai invited a Briton to run one of the most ambitious airports on planet Earth. The London Gatwick Airport was sold to a consortium led by a Nigerian. Ghana has just built a world-class Cargo section by Swissport. Before our very eyes, Ghana is attracting the biggest aviation businesses in West Africa. The world has moved beyond our jejune and archaic style of doing things. Our parastatals have become too unwieldy and totally wasteful. We have so many agencies all over the places managing nothing but eating everything. That does not mean a wholesale sale of our national assets but recourse to effective and efficient lean management wherever that may come from. I say emphatically, nothing would change unless we change our retrogressive ways.

Instructively, the National Assembly and the Executive arms of government must cut down on government expenditure drastically. The National Assembly is making sense with some of its recommendations but it is has to go beyond that by actually implementing those recommendations and putting pressure on the Executive to do the same. All the legislative aides, executive aides, delegations to foreign assignments and government’s fleet of aircrafts and motorcades are atrociously over-bloated and unnecessary. I stumbled on a video footage of President Vladimir Putin of Russia’s motorcade. It had nothing more than four (4) vehicles accompanied with escort motorbikes. In 2012, President Putin even went as far as announcing that he and his prime minister will work more from home to cut the disruption caused by their motorcades in the city of Moscow. That is Russia, a global super-power making an effort to run a leaner and more effective governance structure.

In Ghana where I have lived for over a decade, I have seen the simplicity of the Presidential system of governance from Rawlings to Kufuor to the late Atta Mills and now John Dramani Mahama. Her Majesty, the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II in all the glory of her monarchy goes around in a simple motorcade of usually two or three vehicles. The accompanying vehicles are oftentimes unmarked. But the case of Nigeria is a stark contrast. It sometimes looks as if we are war with some imaginary alien foe. Every security outfit competes to feature in the entourage of our respective leaders. Then there are the support vehicles, including ambulances, bomb disposal vehicles and anti-tank machines!

Everything is collapsing except the business of politics. Every government that comes to power seems to be in competition with previous governments in the craze to practice capitalism without capital. Clearly, this is not sustainable and we cannot continue like this. Something has to give. President Buhari must restore confidence again by allowing the change millions of Nigerians voted him for in March 2015 to begin from his desk. It is commonly said that, “desperate times call for desperate measures.” Our time is now.

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Unveiling President Buhari’s Mindset – Pendulum By @DeleMomodu

Fellow Nigerians, I doubt if there is anyone who does not see and feel President Muhammadu Buhari is a complex character. As a matter of fact, that is the veritable hallmark of his persona and super brand. Those of us that supported him voluntarily, and almost blindly, last year did so out of our acute frustration with Project Nigeria.

There were those who hated his guts but still went ahead to vote for him because they expected him to wave the fabled magic wand and bring sanity and succour to our insane clime. What no one bargained for was the repercussion, and reverberation, of such venture and adventure. As always, Nigerians felt their situation could never be worse under Buhari than that of the 16-year rule of profligacy of the PDP and the squander-manic regime of President Goodluck Jonathan.

nollyland_nigerian_movie_obama_confession

The APC operatives ran a blistering campaign with active collaboration and connivance from some of us. On the matter of the continuation of the Jonathan Presidency, there was no negotiation. Even now as people pummel us over the seeming inertia or retrogression of the Buhari government, I still stand by my decision to support Major General Muhammadu Buhari, warts and all. Walahi, I would have loved any of the combinations of Donald Duke, Nasir El Rufai, Rotimi Amaechi, Aminu Tambuwal, Mobola Johnson, Babatunde Raji Fashola, Nuhu Ribadu, Oby Ezekwesili, Charles Soludo, Akinwunmi Adesina, Pat Utomi, Kayode Fayemi, and some of our other tested and brightest young stars.

They may have their personal foibles like all mortals do but I’m persuaded that Nigeria would have joined the comity of other nations parading some youthful cerebral leaders by now. But the ways of Nigerian politicians are not the ways of mere mortals. We have our unique and peculiar methods of doing things. Our incorrigibility is almost second to none. Everything about us is about self and self alone. Everyone’s permutation is about who is his friend, school mate, church member, Muslim brother, godfather or godson, village folk, and so on. It is not about what you know but more about who you know. Nepotism is the order of the day!

That is why the best of the myriad of Nigerian brains would never be able to win elections at certain levels because of our irredeemable obsession with primordial and parochial sentiments. The import of my preamble is that Buhari was a product of our maddening and inordinate search for a near saint amongst us and he perfectly fitted the bill. Buhari himself must have assumed that the votes given to him were signed off carte-blanche and in blind trust. I’m sure he never expected that the honeymoon would not be an endless romance.

But things and times have changed. It is now sour grapes time. Except for profiteers and/or pretenders who would not tell our President the gospel truth, things are falling apart. The reasons are not because of what Buhari and company are doing wrong but because of what they are not doing right which I hope to enumerate and dissect.

I had chosen to write on this topic before I received the message quoted below from a young, concerned Nigerian reflecting on the “new” rebranding that we have been subjected to. His views mirror the present mood of the nation and the restiveness of our people especially the young ones who fought gallantly for Change and PMB!

“President Buhari, with all due respect to your high office, you are losing me. What’s wrong? What’s wrong with your advisers? Who got you to sign up to the cliché called “Change Begins With Me” and to throw the weight of your office behind it? Did they put together a crack team of psychologists, communicators, sociologists, political scientists, etc? I refuse to believe that this programme, and especially the name, is the product of deep thinking and reflection.

First, the idea that “Change Begins With Me”, renders all our efforts to get you elected in 2015 worthless. Heck, why did we bother? If it’s going to start with us Lilliputs, we might as well have left Goodluck Jonathan in office and allow him and his band of hopeless cohorts to get on with the good job they were doing of raping Nigeria. Don’t you get it? Change began with you! We, the people, already implemented the biggest change possible with turning around this country by electing you on the mantra of change. So why are you now passing the buck? The buck is on your desk. Make the change happen and we will follow from there. It’s over a year and many, sadly, are already suffering buyer’s remorse. Arrest the trend!

Secondly, what change can any single individual put into action that will impact the culture and behaviour of 180m people in double quick time? We are in a hurry, Mr. President. So much has been lost. So to rely on Adeola, Abubakar or Opara to start the change and hope that we will be counting gains in months is delusional. You don’t have all the time. We do not have the time. Start the Change!” – Chris Adetayo
Let me reiterate that I have had the privilege of meeting and interacting with some members of the Buhari administration.

I can confirm that I have held discussions and communicated the feelings of both the rich and poor on the streets directly to them. However, I am not sure that they are in tune with the reality of things on this side of the divide. I believe I have sufficient knowledge of the political history of Nigeria. I’m afraid to say, I see the same symptoms of afflictions that ravaged previous governments and rendered them incapacitated. I’m saddened that no lessons seemed to have been learnt from our beleaguered past. Government appears to believe only in its own mind-set and every complaint or suggestion is summed up in some dangerous conclusions: the wailing wailers; corruption is fighting back; the suffering of Nigerians is exaggerated, etc.

Equally worrisome is the apparent paranoia that has crept into our senior government officials. Every commentator or demonstrator is perceived an enemy of government. I was surprised to read how my childhood friend and brother, Femi Adesina, singled me out in his article yesterday and accused me of insinuating that he was too comfortable in Aso Rock. There are so many occupants in Aso Rock and I know the limits of Femi’s influence on the men of power. I can never blame him for what I clearly know is beyond him. He faces the same dilemma of his predecessors who found themselves defending the indefensible in order to exhibit their hard work, competence and loyalty. It is a delicate and thankless job that leads oftentimes to Golgotha. I love Femi so much that I would rather offer him my sincere prayers instead of hanging him.

Let me go to the next case at hand. I could not believe the shabby treatment meted to Mrs Oby Ezekwesili and other members of the Bring Back Our Girls agitators. Their harmless and defenceless group is being harassed for merely exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights of expression, association and movement. They constitute no danger whatsoever to society. Even if President Buhari won’t receive or entertain them, a senior member of the Federal Government should have been assigned to meet, pacify and reassure them.

Something is terminally wrong with our crisis management capabilities. Our proclivity for mismanaging and escalating troubles is legendary. This particular case is as disgraceful as it is unnecessary. Once upon a time, in the not too distant past, these were the friends of Buhari. They had pinned their hope on the muscular and military abilities of our President to liberate the Chibok girls in a jiffy. If things were proving difficult as it seems, constant dialogue is the only way out of the debacle.

But the handlers of Buhari prefer to fuel the long held belief or myth that Buhari is a mean and ruthless man. This is not good. It also comes at the wrong time. This administration has been accused of several human rights abuses and, according to the Minster of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, the President is heading for the United Nations on Tuesday to make the case that his administration is not guilty of such allegations. Intolerance for the rights of expression, association and movement cannot be a good way of making out such a case.

Anyone who has met President Buhari would readily attest to his simplicity and humility. His witty jokes are remarkable and legendary, just like his hearty smiles and laughter are infectious. He certainly means well for Nigeria and wants to rid our nation of the debilitating cankerworm of corruption and indiscipline. Why, therefore, would anyone want to remind Nigerians that the Buhari in uniform is not different from Buhari, the born again democrat. Why are they compounding Buhari’s image of an irascible dictator? Buhari needs to make a conscious effort to tear the toga of vindictiveness and irritability that appears to surround him. The biggest image deficit he has today is due to the fact that his biggest pet project, the war against corruption, is believed to be largely uncoordinated and too staccato in outlook.

It is difficult to ignore the cries of so many Nigerians who feel let down by a government that promised so much change but seems to have short-changed the people who saw Buhari as a liberator. Even if some of the most vociferous complainants are being cheeky and outright mischievous, many are doing so out of genuine concern. They do not want Buhari to fail. It is someone who loves you unconditionally that can do this. They are worried that the President behaves like a man who feels he has all the time in the world when in reality he has none. Some believe that he started fading and failing when he took his time in selecting his ministers and advisers. The intractable squabbles in his Party has also contributed to the lacklustre nature of his government. APC does not look or act like a Party in power. There seems to be no serious input from the Party to the affairs of government and governance.

The government has been wobbling and fumbling by doing the same things PDP used to do that led to the disintegration of the biggest political party in Africa, according to their self-glorification. The war of attrition in PDP has been passed on to APC. A house divided against itself is inviting extermination. And whenever politicians fight dirty it affects governance adversely.

The economy is in shambles and the commonest justification is that Jonathan’s gang looted the treasury. All that is well and good. But Nigerians knew this and therefore voted for Change! We promised to make things much better. Fighting corruption alone would not save Nigeria. We must fight endemic poverty. If Alhaji Lai Muhammed likes, let him launch a million campaigns and waste more scarce resources on doing a rehash of what past governments did that led nowhere. The Yoruba have a way of describing this kind of unproductive sermonisation: “Eni ebi npa ko gbo iwaasu!” (A hungry man does not listen to sermons in the church).

What the people want to see are the following: a drastic reduction in the size and budget of our over-bloated governments; a sustained war against poverty; protection of lives and properties; creating a less rancorous atmosphere for businesses to thrive; special concessions and incentives to employers of labour; a stable currency; upgrading our educational system and making the schools’ curriculum more relevant to our communities and society in general; provision of social infrastructure, particularly power, good roads, hospitals and potable water; and so on.

The mind-set of gloating over the fall of some former members of the privileged class is counter-productive. We must be careful of the image portrayed to foreign investors. Let government concentrate urgently on alleviating the suffering of the people. It is obvious that government may never be able to collect enough money back from the brigands and looters to make appreciable impact on our national treasury. We should stop building our castle in the air and start thinking outside the box. 

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Profiling Abiodun Ajayi #IAmMandate For NYCN Secretary General. 

PROFILE OF AJAYI ABIODUN ABIDEMI



Rotr Abiodun Abidemi Isaac Ajayi, is a dynamic, visionary, pro-active, focused, goal driven and motivational young Nigeria. He is an award winning youth both within and outside Rotaract fold. Mandate has he is fondly called, his an embodiment of humility who was born into the family of Mr Muibi Ajayi and Mrs Comfort Ajayi. He hailed from Oyo state Ibadan to be precise. He was born on the 20th December.
He was raised to become change agent in all ramifications of life that was why he was nicknamed Mandate. As one who has passion for public speaking and journalism, the toast master enrolled to further  study  Mass Communication at the prestigious National Open University. He is an alumnus of Daystar leadership Academy and presently running a professional course at Nigeria Institute of Public Relations.

Mandate is a member of many national and international organizations where he had serve meritoriously with evidence quality leadership. He is a member and stakeholder in various Youth organizations a cross the world.  Also a member of Rotaract Club which is the youth wing of Rotary. He joined Rotaract Club of Isolo D9110 where he served as the revived President in the year 2010/2011 when the RI President Rotn Ray Klingsmith asked us to Build communities and bridge continents. After that year he has served in the club, zone, District and Multi District meritoriously.

CLUB 

 Chairman, History and Archive 2016-2017. 

Chairman, Strategic Planning 2016-2017. 

Chairman, Council of Past Presidents 2016-2017. 

Chairman, Membership Dev. Taskforce 2013-2014, 14-15, 15-16. 

Chairman, Bye-Law Review Committee 2012-2013. 

Chairman, Membership Dev. Taskforce 2012-2013. 

Chairman, Electoral Committee 2011-2012. 

Immediate Past President 2011-2012. 

Club President 2010-2011. 
ROTARY  INTERNATIONAL DISTRICT 9110:

District Secretary 2014-2015. 

Chairman, Bye-Law Review 2014-2015. 

Secretary, PolioPlus Committee 2014-2015. 

Secretary, Membership Dev. Taskforce 2014-2015. 

Secretary, Vocational Service Committee 2014-2015. 

Member, District Directory 2014-2015. 

Chairman, Annual District Conference 2013-2014. 

Assistant District Secretary 2013-2014. 

Secretary, DRRN Screening Committee 2013-2014. 

Secretary, Membership Dev. Taskforce 2013-2014. 

Secretary, DRRN Screening Committee 2012-2013. 

Zonal Representative Zone K 2012-2013. 

Council Secretary (Lagos) 2012-2013. 

District Interact Liaison Officer 2011-2012. 

Secretary, Rotaract District Zone K 2010-2011. 

Secretary, Vocational Service Committee 2010-2011. 
 MULTI-DISTRICT IN  NIGERIA:

Chairman, NIGEROTA 2015-2016. 

Vice Chairman, NIGEROTA 2014-2015

Volunteer, NIGEROTA 2012-2013

CONFERENCES /SYMPOSIA ATTENDED:

32nd Annual District Conference (Akile-Ijebu) 2015-2016

31st Annual District Conference (Solution) 9110 2014-2015

30th Annual District Conference (Rota-Fied) 2013-2014

23nd All Nigeria Multi District Conference (Badagry) 2012-2013

29th Annual District Conference (Fulfilment) 2012-2013

2md International Collegiate Conference  (Solution) 2014-2015

1st International Collegiate Conference (Agege) 2012-2013

27th Annual District Conference (Ki ti gbe) 2010-2011
MEMBERSHIP  OF  OTHER ORGANIZATIONS:

Past South West Regional President of Youth Action Movement 2008-2014

Team Leader, Youth Volunteers Network 2007 till date

Secretary, Lagos State AIDS Control Agency LSACA (YouthWork Group) 2010-2011

Member, African Resource Leadership Foundation 2010-2014

Governing-in-Council, Business Student Association Lagos Chapter 2016-2011

Lagos state Coordinator of Campaign Against Girl Child Abuse 2016 till date

Dynamic Youth Organization of Nigeria 2006 till date.  

AWARDS  RECEIVED:

Outstanding Service Award as the Chair, Nigerota by Rotaract District 9110, Nigeria 2015-2016

Most Supportive Rotaractor Award by Rotaract District 9125, Nigeria Oyo zone 2015-2016
National Merit Award by All Nigeria Rotaract Multi District Conference 2015-2016
Most Valuable Rylarian by Rotary District 9110, Nigeria 2015-2016
Exemplary Leadership Award by Rotaract Club of Obantoko 2015-2016
National Merit Award by All Nigeria Rotaract Multi District Conference 2014-2015
Distinguished Service Award by Rotaract Advisory Committee Rotary District 9110, Nigeria 2014-2015
Best District Leader by Rotaract District 9110, Nigeria 2014-2015
Service Above Self Aware by Rotaract District 9110, Nigeria 2014-2015
Exemplary Youth Leadership Award by Rotaract Club of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta FUNAAB 2014-2015
Best District Programme Chairman ROTAFIED 2013-2014
Exemplary Youth Leadership Award by Rotaract Club of Isolo 2013-2014
Outstanding Rylarian by Sea School 2008 & 2015
Young Motivational Speaker of the year by Department of Chemical Student Association (Tasued Chapter) 2009
Best 300 level student by Headstone Academy 2008
Outstanding Young Nigeria by BrandIT Nigeria 2007
COURSES  ATTENDED  WITHIN  AND  OUTSIDE  NIGERIA:
Rotary Youth Leadership Award 2015

Rotary Ethics and Etiquette Training 2014

International Conference on AIDS and Sexual in Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2011

Rotary Youth Leadership Award 2010

Daystar Leadership Academy 2008

Headstone Speaker Academy 2007

He is a sort after speaker at conferences, seminars, talkshows and media houses such as television continental,  Unilag fm, noun fm to mention a few. His hobbies are traveling, reading, meeting new people and speaking. He is a young man who has demonstrated impeccable commitment and dedication in the area of membership drive and growth in every organizations he finds himself.
He is Currently the Principal Consultation of Xplore Communications, a business borne of the passion to help in unleashing great potentials. He is a co-founder of the striving Committee of friends.

His vision is to help people maximize their innate potentials. He is a devoted Christian. A proud member of Christ Apostolic Church CAC worldwide and also a member of the Light of God drama ministry. His mentor is Bishop David Oyedepo.

He is single and based in Lagos.

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Opinion: Nigeria Youths discusses Infidelity amongst them. 

A graphic illustrating relationships amongst Youths in recent times.

Due to the alarming rate at which Unfaithfulness in relationship amongst youth is taking a firm root and becoming a norm. This has become growing concern for physiologist, religious groups, and even the youth themselves. In an effort to understand why most youths are not faithfully committed to one partner, #DareHeights decided to conduct a wide spread opinion poll with the poser: Why is it difficult this days for youths to stay loyally faithful to a partner when in a relationship?
You may be appalled, happy, amazed or indifferent by various responses gotten from a collection of highly placed youths, youth leaders and very intelligent Youths nationwide. Are these collected opinion an ascertion or mere excuses? I leave you and relationships expert with the onus of responsibility to decipher and chart a noble cause for the Youths to stay loyally faithful to one partner when dating. However, I’m of the conviction that, no matter what, infidelity  can  not be justified. 

Below are excerpts from opinion gathered:


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Disclaimer

It is the policy of DareHeights Group not to endorse or oppose any opinion expressed by a user or content provided by a user, contributions or other independent party. Opinion pieces and contributions are the opinion of the  writer only and does not in any way represent the opinion of DareHeights Group. 

© DareHeights Group 2016. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The uploading, scanning and distribution of this material in any form or by any means- including but not limited to electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise- without the permission of DareHeights Group is illegal. Your support of the DareHeights right is appreciated.

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Pendulum : How to move Nigeria forward by @delemomodu


​Fellow Nigerians, let me start by saying nothing worries me more than the intractable problems of our dearly beloved country. There are times I wish I could just mind my own business but it seems I’m addicted to the issues and problems of Nigeria.

Lately, I have come up with different theories about why we are where we are. One of them is to go superstitious and believe we are jinxed and we’ve been jazzed by some fiendish demons. Or how does one explain the fact that no government has been able to find a practical and workable solution to our incredible challenges.

My second theory is that we actually hate our country but just pretend to be patriotic which is best seen in our words and not, of course, in our action.

An average Nigerian spends a large proportion of his time daily lamenting about Nigeria and regurgitating the same simple facts and seeming solutions that would ultimately lead to no grand denouement because nothing is done about them. We talk, talk and talk and that’s where it ends. If we truly love our country as much as we claim, we should have arrived at our Eldorado by now given the plethora of sometimes practical and workable solutions that we proffer.

My third theory is that we have a cultural problem that requires a cultural revolution. Our culture turns a once simple human being to an unrecognisable monstrosity in little or no time. One begins to wonder what suddenly caused the 360-degree transformation. Leaders in Nigeria at all levels live and act like emperors. Even the most enlightened ones among us behave like victims of hypnotism and accept whatever was in place before, and continue the madness.

One of them is the over-ceremonial nature of governments. Every leader over-dresses, over-militarises security, and over-spends on personal comfort and so on. I must commend the simplicity of the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo as he seems to be able to buck this trend and dress simply in Kaftan and suits as he has always done. Governor Olusegun Mimiko is another leading politician who imbibes the simple culture.

The Federal Government has properties scattered everywhere in choice locations lying fallow most times. Our Presidential fleet is competing with that of America and they must be maintained by all means. So, how can we complain about under-development when leaders are not ready to compromise on expensive lifestyles?
My fourth theory is that a society gets the type of leaders it deserves. We are largely docile and accept our leaders’ excesses. If you complain too much, they would ask “is it only you that knows how to talk?” I watched closely as Wole Soyinka, Tai Solarin, Gani Fawehinmi, Femi Falana, Balarabe Musa, and others struggled so much for a thankless nation. They were regularly harassed by government and frequently abused by the same people they were trying to protect. Their families suffered in silence without any of us asking how they fared. And as popular as they were, none except Balarabe Musa could win major elections. Gani Fawehinmi was a Presidential candidate and he lost resoundingly. Femi Falana tried to be the Governor of Ekiti State but it was an impossible mission. Our society moves on regardless of what happens to these social and welfarist gladiators.
Where then do we go from here? There are no easy solutions to these problems. None springs out as being the most practical and necessary. My suggestion however, is that we must start from somewhere. We cannot just resign ourselves to fate and do nothing.

I have received some impetus lately from my experience in Ghana. Anyone following me on social media would have noticed my romance with the old Gold Coast. The country has demonstrated that we can surmount our problems once we make up our minds to start the journey. My advice is that we should never feel too big to learn from others, even from those we feel are smaller to us. The story of Ghana should impress and not depress us.

I have had the privilege of watching President John Dramani Mahama build and transform Ghana into a modern nation state. We, therefore, don’t have to travel far to borrow examples. I know that in our usual bravado we may dismiss this innocuous call as arrant nonsense but I wish to beg our leaders, in the name of all that is good, to treat this as a clarion call. There is ample evidence that Ghana is working and there is no reason why Nigeria cannot work. Ghana has fewer resources than Nigeria but it has managed to properly harness and enhance these resources over the years. More recently, President Mahama has taken up the gauntlet and done a lot more to make Ghana a progressive, buoyant economy with significant infrastructural development.

The first reality check is to accept that no leader can do it all. No leader has the monopoly of wisdom and nobody should try to pin that on any of our leaders and seek to transform them into what they are not. Once we understand that the President is not a magician or sorcerer, we can begin to appreciate his limitations and not be overly expectant of miracles.

Nonetheless, President Muhammadu Buhari can still do much more in the under two years that he has left before he decides to seek re-election or not. His first task is to prioritise the activities of his Government having substantially dealt with his primary agenda of fighting corruption. I am sure that the President knows that the fight against corruption is just one of the foundations upon which the monument of development and progress will be based. Unfortunately, added to the traditional features of progressive development like the economy, education, health, agriculture and social welfare, Nigeria has added security and insecurity. All of these need to be given proper consideration and prioritised in order to ensure that the elusive well-being of our people is achieved.

I will never get tired of reiterating this fact; Nigeria will never make substantial progress until we upgrade our educational institutions. This is one area Ghana is doing very well. Ghana today has about 60,000 educational institutions from primary to tertiary institutions. I know that Nigeria has many more but it is in the quality and the detail that Ghana emerges superior. Enrolment in the various levels of Ghanaian institutions is about ten million out of a population of about 26 million. I am aware that Nigeria falls far short in this regard.

In 2013, close to 32 million exercise books were distributed by Government to nearly five million pupils. About two million school uniforms have gone out to pupils since 2010. In 2013, 12.5 million Maths, English and Science text books were distributed to government basic schools. An average pupil in Ghana has access to about four textbooks. Osun State has taken a welcome lead by its controversial Tablet, called Opon Imo which features several textbooks.

School feeding Programme is approaching about two million children. 60,000 laptops have been given out to Basic School pupils while about 50,000 teachers received ICT training. 10,000 locally made sandals went to underprivileged pupils. Teacher Training institutions now have well equipped science laboratories in order to improve the teaching of Science and Maths. Massive library facilities have been undertaken even in rural areas. Technical schools are thriving where artisans are trained for performance and efficiency.

Tertiary institutions are receiving special boosts. The University of Ghana has nearly completed a 617-bed teaching hospital complex for the training of medical students and nurses. Government is providing Distance Education ICT centres for all ten regions of Ghana equipped with video conferencing and lecture auditoriums. Kwame Nkrumah University of Technology in Kumasi has ultra-modern laboratories with latest gadgets such as “high capacity nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, mass spectrometers and analysers… petroleum engineering laboratories with drill simulators…” There is a new Veterinary hospital equipped to be the most advanced in West Africa. Polytechnics are being rebranded into Technical Universities. Just imagine how many billions of dollars Nigeria would save on foreign education if we can improve the quality at home drastically. Whilst it is laudable that the Nigerian Government is allowing entrepreneurs and religious organisations to invest in education, Government cannot and must not abdicate its responsibility to them. Government owes a duty to see the proper educational advancement and development of its children. It must take the lead and show the way and not wait for such private institutions to provide the foundation for our industrial development. Happily, some of these institutions like the Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin which has an Engineering Faculty that has equipment capable of producing a fire engine and race cars in the not too distant future have taken up the challenge.

Health they say is wealth. Nigeria would do extremely well if we can return to the days of old when our medical facilities were world class. Ghana has set up an ambitious plan to deliver 6,000 new hospital beds soon and some of the projects have advanced so much in the past two years because about two billion dollars has been invested by the Mahama government covering “two Teaching Hospital projects, three Institutional Hospitals, four Regional Hospitals, 14 District Hospitals, dozens of polyclinics and scores of health centres…” The beauty of it is that, the government is reaching out to many rural areas in the distribution of facilities. Looking through the Ghana Green Book containing the endless accounts of developmental projects garnished with crispy pictures one could see a country fully and gloriously at work for the improvement of the lives of its people.

On the international and tourist front, the small but efficient Kotoka International Airport Accra is being upgraded. The general ambience has improved with about 26 Immigration cubicles equipped with cameras and finger-printing machines. There are new conveyor belts, elevators, escalators, etc. The cargo section is heavenly. A new terminal is being added because of the economic expansion and development that is attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Ghana. All this has been achieved within a very short period. On the contrary, our airports remain horrible. Where there is work in progress like the extensions at at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja and Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos the work has been done at snail speed. This is not good enough for the giant of Africa. Something must be done urgently to stop this disgrace. The airport is always the first point of contact with most countries for visitors and investors. For whatever reasons, our airports have remained our worst PR edifices as a nation.

President Buhari has urgent work to do. It must start now by first deciding the way forward after the corruption battle.

Follow us on Twitter @DareHeights And @Rolex7Michael 

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Profiling Panshak Derrick Gowok Aka Oluwa Peezy.

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Oluwa Peezy doing what he does best, making Music.

On that faithful day, 3rd of March in the early 90’s, a rare gem came into the world at Jude Hospital in the great city of Jos, Plateau State via Mr. and Mrs. Gowok Song’A Christopher. The only son with four pretty sisters was named, Panshak Derrick Gowok. It is worthy of mention that the young man came into this world on a Sunday. He hails from Kanke Local Government of Plateau State. A native of Ngas.

The talented music act had is primary education at Police Children School, Jos (Do note that that was the same school the popular music art, Ice Prince attended. This proves something unique), he had a stint of primary education at Methodist Primary School, Jos ans thereafter completed his primary education at St. Thereasa primary school, Jos in the year 2003. Oluwa Peezy as he is popularly known in the music industry was under the management of the late MC Longs, the upcoming act in 2007 joined a group called Triple Wheels, it would be worthy of mention that more than ever before the group had more invitations for shows and performance, a rare feat that was attributed to Oluwa Peezy’s drive for excellence in music and attainment of success, even his group mates can attest to this. Oluwa peezy has been in the game of music since the year 2004 and still making his mark till date.

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Oluwa Peezy gracing the red carpet after a performance.

After giving it some conscientious thoughts, the multi-talented music art decided to go solo! This decision really paid of as he has shared the stage with great music icons, some of which are:, Terry G, Ice Prince, Face, Jesse Jagz, J Martins, Terry the rapman, Black face, JaYung L, Endia, Blackah, Flouv, to mention but a few. Panshak is truly an indigenous artists as he speaks all there major Nigeria languages fluently, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo

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Album act of his latest single, Robo Club.

The Jos breed was on the 14th of May awarded by the Benue State Government as the youth ambassador to the people of Agatu Local Government Area, this was predicated on a song he did on Agatu, which emphasized the essence of oneness, peace and love. The said song till date is widely accepted not only in Agatu but in Benue State as a whole. His love for music comes naturally as he often say that ‘Music has life in her, she goes beyond the Beats, she’s usually alive to give hope, support, soul searching and challenge you, good music though’.

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Chilling Oluwa Peezy.

His hobbies are writing music lyrics, making good musical tunes. A fan of water melon, and loved red, white and black colors. Oluwa Peezy is currently signed with any  record label. He has worked with great producers like Geekbeatz, Savebeatz, ­EM1, Eskay, Greal and many others.

Oluwa Peezy has his mentor to be the legendary Bob Marley, he admires 2Face, Olamide,
Ice prince, Jagz, MI, Wizkid, Seyi Shay, Kiss Daniel and Reekado Banks. Oluwa Peezy is an afro singer, although his musical flexibility can work on all genre of music.

His vision is to make an indelible mark on the Sands on time in the music industry both locally and globally. Often asked what will give him satisfaction in life, his response has always been “I want to have a music school where kids in the project can be taken off the streets and their talents properly harnessed and utilized positively for the greater good”.

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