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No great nation exists without painful past – Tinubu

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Seyi Tinubu, the son of Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, asserted that no great nation can exist without a painful past.

He made this statement at the Episcopal Ordination of the Catholic Bishop of Ahiara Diocese, Most Rev. Simeon Nwobi, on Tuesday.

Represented by Belusochukwu Enwere, the National Chairman of the Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Tinubu said that Nigeria, despite its challenging history, has the potential to rise again and shine among other nations.

He said, “Despite the challenges facing us as a country, I am very optimistic that Nigeria will rise and shine again in the comity of nations because there is no great nation that does not have a negative past.”

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Drawing inspiration from the Bible, Tinubu underscored the universal nature of national adversity, stating that “there is no great nation that does not have a negative past. There is no country that doesn’t have challenges. But, as the Bible says, dry bones shall rise again.”

He urged the religious leaders present and the entire church to seize this opportunity to pray for the unity of Nigeria, irrespective of religion, ethnicity, or tribe, stressing the need to come together and combat the challenges that beset the nation.

Shifting the focus to the Episcopal Ordination ceremony, Tinubu conveyed his sincere affection and brotherly love for the unity of the church and the country.

He expressed his belief that the church, under the leadership of the newly ordained Bishop, could play a crucial role in uniting Nigeria across religious, ethnic, and tribal lines.

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He invoked the scripture of Jeremiah 3:15, emphasizing God’s choice of Most Rev. Nwobi as a true witness to Christ, the Good Shepherd.

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“Congratulations on your elevation to the episcopacy. As you undertake this great task as Chief Shepherd of God’s flock, I wish you God’s abundant blessings in all your pastoral and other endeavors,” Tinubu said.

The ordination ceremony brought an end to the controversies surrounding the bishopric seat following the loss of Bishop Victor Chikwe, the first bishop of the diocese.

The announcement of Most Rev. Nwobi’s appointment by the Vatican sparked joy in the diocese, especially considering the rejection of Cardinal Peter Okparaeke. His appointment was viewed by the local congregation as a violation of certain sections of Canon law.

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Opinion

Consultations on reopening of borders in progress –Customs’CG

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The Nigerian government is making progress in consultations regarding the reopening of the country’s land borders, according to the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Adewale Adeniyi.

He spoke after the inauguration of the National Single Window Project.

He said he has been in touch with his counterparts from Benin Republic and Niger Republic, discussing ways to address the issues that led to the border closure and prevent similar occurrences in the future.

He commended President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to securing Nigeria’s economy, particularly through the launch of the National Single Window Project, of which he is a member of the Presidential Steering Committee.

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He explained that consultations on the reopening of the land borders are ongoing, with high-level interactions taking place over the weekend between himself and his colleagues in Benin Republic, as well as earlier interactions at the Nigerian borders with Niger Republic.

The CG Customs emphasized the importance of securing Nigeria’s borders and ensuring their efficient management, stating that the deployment of the Single Window at ports and border stations will contribute to these goals.

He assured the public that steady progress is being made in the consultations and that the guidance of President Tinubu will continue to be sought in this matter.

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Stand with Tinubu or exit, Matawalle tells northern appointees

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The Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, has called on all northern appointees to either support President Bola Tinubu or step down from their positions.

Matawalle’s call came after Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, who formerly served as the spokesperson for the Northern Elders Forum and currently holds the position of Special Adviser on Political Matters in the Presidency, expressed a differing opinion regarding the Minister’s defence of Tinubu’s administration.

On Saturday, the minister slammed the NEF for saying it regretted supporting Tinubu in the 2023 general election.

He described the action of the NEF as a political burden on the North.

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This comment, however, did not sit well with Baba-Ahmed, who said Matawalle was ill-advised in his X post on Sunday, noting that a better defence could have been presented.

He wrote, “Scathing criticism of NEF by a junior minister of defence, Matawalle, is ill-advised. He could have done a better job for this admin if he identified the contributions of especially northern ministers and other appointees like me to improving security and reducing poverty in the North.”

However, in his defence, Matawalle in a statement on Monday, said as an appointee of the current administration, Baba-Ahmed needs to work towards its success and protect it from unwarranted criticism rooted in ethnic or narrow interests.

“Consequent to my position on the recent attack on the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR by a spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, it has come to my attention that Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed who once served as the Spokesperson of the group and currently a Special Adviser on Political Matters in the Presidency took to his page on it to express a different position.

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“According to Dr Baba-Ahmed, my stand against the unjust and spurious attack against the new administration of President Tinubu which is working very hard to reposition our country and economy for the better is ‘ill-advised’. He suggested I could have done a better job in my defence of the administration where I have the rare honour of serving as a Minister.

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“Dr. Baba-Ahmed’s relationship and affinity with the NEF is well-known. The fact now is that he is an appointee of the administration as Special Adviser and it is incumbent on him to work for the success of the government he is part of, protect and defend the government against unjust and vicious attacks from those who hide under ethnic and other primordial interests to heat the polity for myopic reasons

Matawalle emphasised that every appointee under Tinubu carries a significant responsibility to promote and highlight the government’s achievements across all sectors.

He stated, “It is pertinent to state that every appointee of President Tinubu including Dr. Baba-Ahmed owes the government a copious duty to promote, elucidate and advance the good works and commendable efforts of the government across all sectors.

“As appointees of the government from the North, we must all take a stand, be unequivocal and be counted in the roll of honours for our support and work for the success of the administration we are serving.”

The minister warned that this is not a time for silence or acquiescence in the face of intimidation or misrepresentation but rather an opportunity to demonstrate loyalty or make way for others who will.

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“This is not the time to keep quiet in the face of intimidation and misrepresentation of the efforts and achievements of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR. We must stand up to be counted for being on the part of the government or take our exit,” he added

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Opinion

Why is Odunmbaku Baba Eto’s name on every lip?

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Cardinal James Omolaja Odunmbaku, the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) cleric and political engineer, is one of a kind who stands in a unique class of his own.

His types don’t happen too commonly. Infact, in our clime, he is a rarity, to have one person clothed in celestial and terrestial robes so fittingly.

Only few of his peers can honestly say they don’t envy his sartorial elegance whenever he appears in his ecumenical garments. And when he sheds that, to adorn the political regalia, he’s also a people’s delight.

Few of his type readily come to mind anywhere – in Africa or in any continent. I think of Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and, elegantly speaking, Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus who ruled from both the pulpit and the polity in his life time.

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Odunmbaku, better known as “Baba Eto”, is a mortal, but given the extraordinary gift of the garb and demonstrable style that is uniquely his own, he’s fast assuming the status of an indispensable human specie.

His type acquire larger than life status that is bound to attract positivity and negativity.
Those who are enamoured of him present to the world a cult-like image of him. To them, he can do no wrong. One such person, before the satanic instinct in man, reared its ugly head in him, was so fanatical of the man, Eto, he registered some of his personal vehicles “Aremo”, for which he used to tell those who cared to know, that he was “heir-apparent” to Eto. Today, that person is singing new tunes, as if his new listeners cannot decipher sychophancy and crass opportunism in his new drumbeats.

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Another was said to have appeared at a political interview panel where, when asked what credentials she had to seek a position, she matter-of-factly told the panelists “Eto”. And when repeatedly asked what qualifications did she have to think she was fit for the job, she retorted: ” Eto ! Eto !! Eto !!!

That secured the job for her !

Such a person is bound to attract envy, jealousy and disdain, dislike, or even hatred to himself. That is the fate of Baba Eto !

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There must be something extra going for the “priestly-politico” that the talent-discoverer, otherwise known as Bola Ahmed Tinubu, identified him to drive his gubernatorial campaign in Lagos State; and has ever since held on to him so fanatically that he has solely led the campaign of other guber candidates like Babatunde Raji Fashola, Akunwunmi Ambode and Babajide Sanwoolu to roaring successes.

If beneficiaries of Baba Eto’s gifts turn round to paint scurrilous pictures of the man, such people can only be consigned to the dustbin in which immortal Chief Obafemi Awolowo put those he described as ingrates of his large-ness of heart. As the late sage declared: ” There’s no escape for those who deny benefits”

Let the person without any blemish come out and cast the first stone. If we put aside belly-aching, jealousy and such-like vices, you cannot encounter Odunmbaku, Baba Eto, on the pulpit or the political rostrum and not doff your hats for this quintessential orator, mobiliser and professor of political mobilisation.

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If some see him negatively from the positive binoculars with which Tinubu and many more view Baba Eto, then such minority must be wearing blurry blinkers in their faces.

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