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Tokunbo Wahab: An uncommon legal eagle soaring daily to a greater place in history

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By Victor Ojelabi

It amazes many how some politicians quickly gather court-like followership that often transcend their generation. Why would the likes of Winston Churchill, D. Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela and the sage himself, Awolowo still command so much respect, many years after their death? Beyond oratory, these figures have an underlining nature of selflessness, deft wisdom and uncommon abilities to get things done and always for the greater good of the society. Politicians in this class live their lives pursuing the dream of a fair and prosperous society so much that it becomes the only image the people hold of them.

One Nigerian political figure that is fast assuming that status is the Special Adviser on Education to the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Barr. Tokunbo Philip Wahab, whose partisan political journey is only short of a decade.

Like the Legends of People Service that were mentioned above, the endearment to the TW brand cascades from his many years in legal practice and private business. And those very close to him often attest that it is his unsatisfied desire to scale up the impact of his programmes for the betterment of the lots of the majority that drove him into active public service. The TW brand that is fast becoming associated with landmark long-term sustainable development projects is one that both the masses and the political class have become connected to.

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Though, political kinship these days, particularly in a nation like Nigeria, has been commoditized. Whereby wealthy individuals purchase crowd of supporters and induce loyalty with cheap gifts and bonded favours with thousands chanting their praises because of basic handouts without a deep relation with their values, vision and personality, the soaring followership of TW is by every yard organic, because there is value-based image and his personality, vision and performance easily command bountiful followership.

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Leadership positions, the finality of politics and politicking, is a basic output of a life that is predisposed to the nature of selfless service, where the pursuit of the happiness and fulfillment of the other person is always the focus of the leader. This naturally makes more and more people voluntarily put their interests, goals, aspirations, voice and rights in the hands of that individual. The growing attraction to Tokunbo Wahab is easily traceable to his natural ability to indeed lead, gaining tremendous trust and support from all corners and strata of the society!

TW is an amiable leadership brand in the eyes of a lot of people who follow the development of Lagos State. His outlandish impact in the last 3years have drawn a lot of people to him, placed him the radar of progressive governance watchers, sparked curiosity amongst the gentlemen of the press, endeared validity amongst educationist and futurists, placed dignity in the office he occupies, which hitherto was not a highly reckoned position in the large scheme of things in the state.

In 2019, when Babajide Sanwo-Olu struck the right chord by calling TW to join his team in pursuing the THEMES agenda with a major emphasis on education, no one could have imagined what the next three years held for Lagos educational sector.

Here are we in 2022, with accelerated transformation, modernization and diligent purposing of all the fundamental aspects of education in Lagos State to meet the immediate needs and drive the future development of not only the state, but the entire West African region. Now at the brink of another election, if all BOS’ government will judged by are the successes in this sector, a second term ticket will not only be deserving but worth championing by the common man.

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Education is said to be an organized mechanism through which society develops its human resources by equipping them with desirable knowledge, skills, attitudes and values which will enable them operate the social institutions of a given country or nation effectively. The state and future of a state is directly proportional to the investment put into quality education of her people.

By TW’s standard, quality means global competiveness. Hence, the use of his office to design and promote a new benchmark and objectives for the substructures of the sector and their managed institutions. LASU’s sporadic climb to the top tier lists of universities in the world, first-of-its-kind training of the heads and management of the state top educational institutions at the University of London, future-proofing programme to digitize libraries across primary, secondary and tertiary institutions across Lagos state are products of a resolve to put Lagos at an advantaged position now and in the future of a rapidly changing and globalised world.

William F. Buckley once said, “I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the telephone directory, than by the Harvard University faculty.”

Of course, this speaks to elitism and how the common person in many ways is superior and better at politics for the good of the people they govern. The philosophy around this is the associative tendencies of experiencing the worst of a society, where the common person can relate with plight of the ordinary man.

A Tokunbo Wahab would perfectly fit into the class of an elite, having enjoyed world-class education in the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School of Governance and Wharton University of Pennsylvania, amongst other things. Just like majority of the ruling class, he’s expected to be classist in approach to leadership and governance – more given to personal ambitions and protecting of the power block.

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But for his aggressive drive for the liberation of the people through quality education, one is easily reminded of his humble beginnings and attestable progress through life’s success mountains. From public schools in Epe to polytechnic in Ogun, University of Benin and with such experiences which has apparently formed his appreciative disposition to power, TW connects the divide between the government and the governed, the powerful leader and the common man in many ways deserving of a case study in political science.

So it was quite deserving when Wahab emerged the Most Outstanding Thought Leader in Education at the maiden edition of TheFLEA Awards.

According to the awards organisers, the desire to create thought leadership category in key sectors is to acknowledge exceptional personalities making real impact in the lives of the common man in the society.

“In our consideration of suitable candidates in education, we made deliberate effort to review the roles of several non-mainstream political figures – elected office holders, whose major projects are often powered by behind-the-scenes think tanks. Our very vast team indexed quite a number of public servants who fit into our model and after several considerations concluded on awarding it to you based on
Eko Digital Initiative and Overall Transformation of Lagos Education,” the award committee revealed. Read more.

As Tokunbo Wahab turns 50, majority of his adherent supporters across the world, those he has impacted directly through his programmes, and those he has inspired by his performance and personality, firms up their gaze to the sky to watch this soaring legal eagle glide higher in the ranks, for the sake of our future as a people.

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This article was first published on Freelanews.

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Lifestyle

Man takes N120k loan, uses N119k to bet and lost (Video)

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Nigerian man has narrated how a customer took a loan from a popular microfinance bank and lost almost everything to sports betting.

He shared the man’s story in a documentary about the dangers of gambling and people who are addicted to the act.

The young bet centre operator said that the man visited the microfinance bank and took a loan of N120,000 using his brother as guarantor.

But the shocking part is that as he was leaving, he entered his virtual betting centre which was in the same building.

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He then used N119,000 out of the money to bet, unfortunately he lost it all. Feeling frustrated by the outcome, he used the remaining N1k to buy weed and alcohol.

Watch video below:

 

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A post shared by GossipMillNaija (@gossipmilltv)

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Chimamanda Adichie declined the national honors, media aide says

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Award-winning Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who was recently decorated with Harvard University’s iconic W.E.B. Du Bois Medal, has broken her silence over her non-appearance at the conferment of national honours ceremony by President Buhari. on Tuesday, October 11.

Putting the records straight, a member of Chimamanda’s communications team, Omawumi Ogbe, told The Guardian that she declined the honour.⁣

“Following the recent conferment of national awards by the President, there have been conflicting reports about one of the announced recipients, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Some social media users say the award-winning writer rejected the award, while others say she accepted it.⁣

The author did not accept the award and, as such, did not attend the ceremony. She, however, did not want to create undue publicity around it, so her non-acceptance was conveyed privately,” Ogbe said.

While conferring the award on 450 Nigerians and foreigners, President Buhari had justified the honours, saying the awardees had distinguished themselves in the service of the nation and humanity.⁣

“We have among the recipients today, Amb. Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who are doing our country proud on the international scene. Our dear sisters are a source of inspiration to our young women that through the dint of hard work and dedication, they can achieve greatness,” ⁣the President said.

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Lady says as she recounts lovely experience with husband

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A young woman has taken to Twitter to recount her experience with her husband after he lost his job one month into their marriage.

The Twitter user, identified as @adaratheexploer, in a series of tweets, said when her husband was fired at his place of employment, he was scared that she would dump him because he could no longer provide for their family but she stood by him and became the breadwinner without complaining.

She said after her husband got back on his feet and was financially stable, he fulfilled all the promises he made to her because she was loyal to him.

Speaking from her experience, the young woman asserted that a man who loves his wife would never forget how she supported him during his trying times.

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Read the full thread below,

“One month after we got married, my husband was fired from his job. We were newly married. Wedding was debt free & we used the money we got in gifts to pay down student loans. That left us with a whopping $1500 in our accounts between the two of us. $1000 in mine and $500 in his.

Fired with $500 in his bank account. That left me with $1000 in mine but I still had a biweekly paycheck because I was working. I will never forget the day he was let go. It was not like a usual day. He barely spoke to me all day and in the afternoon he texted. We have a rule – No important things are discussed by text (that’s another post for another day) but I will never forget the text “hey babe, we need to talk and it’s not a text conversation. Can I call you right now?” I knew this was serious so I excused myself to talk I called him.

Before I could utter a hello he broke down & told me he got fired out of nowhere. He kept saying “I don’t know what I’ll do if you leave. Give me time to find another job & provide”. I had never seen him so afraid. He kept begging me to come home and that he would figure it out

I was baffled because leaving had never even crossed my mind! In my mind as soon as I heard the “fired” I started calculating how much overtime I could swing to carry us and our church mortgage. Oh yeah, my husband pastors a church. The whole idea that pastors steal money is wild.

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We were paying several of our church’s bills. Because that’s what you do when there’s a need. Anyway, I told my manager I had an emergency at home and left. I came home to him crying & I realized this deeply hurt him because he was used to providing and always had done so.

Now a month later that was being snatched and things were about to get shaky. We would struggle a bit. However, never in my mind did I think about leaving. In fact, I got another job. For better or worse was imprinted on my soul. So we had dinner that night.

We didn’t have a kitchen table so we sat on our pull out couch and ate Wendy’s. He said “babe, I know it doesn’t seem like it right now but we can come back from this. I just need a little time. Please just give me time. To which my question was obvious – how much time.

He said he didn’t know but he gave me his word that it would happen and my dream of being a stay home wife would happen. Dreams are funny little things. They require work to become reality. And that’s what we did. We worked together. And I never once spoke down to him.

He just needed time and for me to trust. Fast forward, everything he promised, he made good on. The moral of this is that a man who loves his woman never forgets how she was there when he lost everything. When he is in the position to, he will later give her everything and more.”

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