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In The Lighter Mood: Made In Nigeria

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I believe in One Nigeria. I know, you’re going to start asking me why –  with herdsman running rampage, and Oba saying ‘jump in lagoon’, and Arewa Youth giving till October 1, and Evans and co waiting for me at home; with corruption, dysfunction and discriminatory cut-off marks, bombings in the South and shootings in the North; with President promising to work according to vote, bad schools, no-light, poor hospitals, bad roads; with Dino waxing new hits every day, newspaper trials and no convictions; with billions stashed in Ikoyi apartment – what can I say? It’s home.

 

For one, I like the smell of suya… And that early morning drive out of Jos this time of the year, with the fog like lingerie faintly masking the topography of beauty. I tell you, I grew up here, you know, born in that maelstrom that is Mushin, drinking in the sights from Ore to Asaba, those sleepy journeys when we stopped at Benin to stretch young legs. I’ve crossed the Niger back and forth, each time letting it carry my imagination out to the Atlantic, where I am told the water stretches as far as the eye can see. How is this possible? Matched in magnificence only by that road twisting round and round on its way to heaven, for that is what it’s like at Obudu, at Gembu, where men can stretch and touch the dangling beards of gods. I ask you, have you seen the desert? Or that silent savannah that sheaths the thin road between Potiskum and Maiduguri in melancholy, have you seen it? As it is in the South, so is it in the North, a sight that leaves you slack-jawed in awe; this too is Nigeria.

 

So, yes, a northerner has called me ‘nyamiri’ before. But for each one, I will show you two who have called me ‘friend’. And, yes, a westerner has called me ‘omo ibo’ before. But for each one, I will show you two who have called me ‘brother’. And, yes, an easterner has called you ‘animal’ before, but I am here, not alone, not willing to judge you for the actions of people who did not confer with you before they acted. To me, you are not the re-incarnation of Ahmadu Bello, or the continuation of a 19th century jihad. To me, you are Salisu, the same Salisu I strolled with from Boys Hostel to Lecture Hall One, telling stories, sharing jokes, looking ahead to what the future might be. Ramalan, the same one I teased endlessly for your hopeless crush on Amina. To me, you are Duzu Mustapha, whose death I still mourn, because a good man is a good man in whatever tribe, tongue or religion. Do you understand? That you are not the second coming of Awolowo? Not to me. Or the return leg of a grudge match? No. You are Tunde Okeowo, best friend, the same one I jumped molues with at Race Course, exploring the contours of growing up, together. And that for every recording of two people talking xenophobia, there are hundreds of conversations, up and down the country, about tolerance that no one ever records and sends around on whatsapp. Do you understand? That I am not Zik. Or Ojukwu. That I am not even my own father, Uche! And this urge to inherit the fights of our ancestors is the greatest abdication of responsibility possible. For they lived their lives. Shall we not live ours?

So, call me what you will, but Nigeria is my mother. She is responsible for it all – my tendency to beat traffic lights and straddle two lanes when I drive, to jump queues and interrogate public officials for alternative means of sorting out minor infractions, yes? But, I tell you, if I make you laugh as well, yes, if I make you laugh out loud and shake your head in wonder, if I amaze you with this ability to constantly pull light out of darkness, to combat recession with a heady mixture of kokoma and gyration, to climb out of any pit you throw me into, and instantly become recognizable anywhere I go, it is also because of this, that I was shaped by her contradictions and forged in the fierce furnace of her womb, so that somewhere on my soul, burned into its very essence, is a stamp no adversity or hate-filled speech will ever erase… And it reads, simply: ‘MADE IN NIGERIA’.

…………………………

#MINosun

Oduduwa Hall. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

Words on marble from Dike

From Prince Shittu

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ABS @80: Sarumi, Great Man Who Humbly Works To Become Godly – Vicar Agbelusi

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ABS @80: Sarumi, Great Man Who Humbly Works To Become Godly - Vicar Agbelusi

…Tasks congregants to prioritise God, in whatever they do

The Doyen of the Nigerian Maritime industry, High Chief Adebayo Babatunde Sarumi was on Saturday described as a great man, who through enduring humility, gradually worked his way before the Lord, until he became godly.

 The Vicar of Our Saviour Church TBS, Ven Ore Agbelusi made the observation in a Special Thanksgiving Service sermon, on the occasion of Chief Adebayo Sarumi’s 80th Birthday, at the Race Course, in Lagos.

The big Church was heavily occupied by a huge population, comprising core maritime industry operators, Sector decision-makers, political juggernauts, families and friends of Chief Sarumi, trying to dwarf the large numbers of actual congregants of the church.

Also Read: Echoes From ABS @80

Addressing the revered audience, the Vicar highlighted Sarumi’s virtues, dwelling especially on his selflessness, capacity to sow in seasons and out of season, and his unspared commitment to touching the lives of everyone who came in contact with him.

Leveraging on the 3rd Bible reading, taken from Matthew 6: verses 25- 34 which dwelt on not worrying over anything, but trusting the Lord to provide everything; while seeking His righteousness as everything else shall follow;  the Vicar stressed that Sarumi owed his success to his unhindered fear of God 

Ven. Agbelusi said while he had a strong desire to posit that Chief Sarumi had enjoyed some special favour of God, he was still restrained by his realisation that the celebrant always, especially prioritises everything about God, particularly the art of maximally giving glory to God!

Emphasising the symbolism of touching lives and demonstrating extreme gratitude to God, the Vicar recalled how once the Church decided to train some of its youths on skills acquisition; and at the end of the training, the church needed a certain number of Laptops.

The Church had vigorously and helplessly sought until the Celebrant’s wife brought it to her husband’s attention: pronto, a significant number of laptops were provided.

The elated Preacher stressed that a good number of those who obtained the laptops had since moved up the ladder of life, not necessarily because of the acquired skills, but because of the availability of the vital equipment!

He also recalled another instance of a seemingly lacklustre church building development, until Sarumi heard about it, and he wholeheartedly mobilised everyone to swoop on the project, and the uncompleted church building became a thing of the past!

“How then will God not be partial unto a man who prioritizes the things that touch Him!?”, he asked, adding that Sarumi knows that on whatever he had gone through, be it thick or thin, God is always there with him,

Ven. Agbelusi tasked his revered audience, to understand the need not only to serve God, wherever they are, but more importantly, to do so with genuine humility.

“God will never share his glory…”, he stressed, and strongly warned that the easiest way to go into oblivion, is to try to share God’s glory.

“Therefore, if anyone wants to go into oblivion, that person should strive to share God’s glory”, he stated, drawing sharp examples of the legendary King Nebuchadnezzar, who ate grasses of the fields like a beast until he repented; aside from another King, who was struck by an angel and instantly devoured by worms.

The sermon, obviously was tailor-made for the occasion. There was not a single poor man in the Church; and nobody slept or dosed in the excitingly, vivacious environment.

Some of those in attendance were the nation’s foremost shipping mogul, and Chairman, the Starzs Group, Engr. Greg Utomwen Ogbeifun; Chairmen of Seaports Terminal like Chief Obvude; the President, Nigerian Masters Mariners Association NMMA, Capt. Tajudeen Also; NMMA former president, Capt. Ernest Ishola.

Also in attendance were Maritime experts, the former Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Barrister Mfon Usoro and her husband, a guru and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Usoro, a Prince of Ibadan and President General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria.

Other Maritime industry experts in the church included Capt Iheanacho Ebubeogu, and Capt Olopoenia, amongst several others.

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Igbo-Owu 1999 Old Student Alumni Set Celebrate 25th Anniversary

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Igbo-Owu 1999 Old Student Alumni Set Celebrate 25th Anniversary

The Old Students Association of Igbo-Owu Secondary School 1999 set (IGBOSSAA) Mushin, Lagos on Sunday celebrated the 25th anniversary of the graduation from the school.

The celebration involving prominent personalities from various professions was held at Standard Hall Hotel in Mushin, Lagos state.

Part of the lineup of activities done during the previous week was the presentation of the public address system to the school, An Award presentation was given to the pupils of the school, as free medical outreach like blood sugar level, and BP Checks among others was organised for the old school students of the school, the teachers and disable at the programme.

In his welcome address, the alumni president, Mr Hakeem Kazeem, commended members and their former teachers for creating time to attend the event.

Kazeem said the programme’s major objective was to promote the school’s development and encourage students graduating from the school to embrace the developmental programme and its milestone achievement.

He said the programme would feature the exchanging of ideas among old students on projects and programmes, showcasing products and networking among members that can be executed to enhance the development of their former school members.

” I want to thank God for his grace upon our lives to witness this special day to gather and celebrate the 25th anniversary of our graduation from Igbo-Owu secondary school.

“The major objective of this programme is for us to brainstorm and interact on how to promote the development of our school for upcoming graduating students to emulate and build on.

” We appreciate all our past and former principals and teachers who came from far and near to honour our invitation.

“‘ Ladies and gentlemen, you are officially welcome and I wish us all happy celebrations,” he said.

In his remarks, one of the former principals of the school, Mr Folorunso Etti thanked the association for inviting him and other former teachers to the event.

Etti appreciated God for giving him and the old students good health and grace to be alive to see each other after many years.

He advised the old students to embrace leadership positions in society to bring positive development to the country.

“I want to advise every one of you to embrace a leadership position in society and promote the development of our country.

“What we impacted unto you is the idea of what you are doing today, so replicate the same to change the narration and history of Nigeria,” he advised.

Some of the highlights of the activities of the association during the week include a football novelty match between the old students and the students, an award presentation to the best students and free medical treatment for school teachers.

Igbo-Owu secondary school, Mushin, Lagos was founded in 1983 and has produced prominent Nigerians who were successful in their chosen careers.

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ADEBAYO SARUMI: Doyen of Maritime Industry Marks 80th Birthday Anniversary, Saturday 

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ADEBAYO SARUMI: Doyen of Maritime Industry Marks 80th Anniversary, Saturday 

All roads will lead on Saturday, to Lagos Island as Movers and shakers of the Nigerian Maritime industry, diplomats and Royal fathers assemble to celebrate the Doyen of the Nigerian Maritime industry, Chief Adebayo Babatunde Sarumi, as he marks his 80th Birthday anniversary.

Chief Sarumi is the only renowned Nigerian administrator to successfully manage both the Nigerian Shippers Council and the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA as Chief Executive Officer; and honourably vacate the seats, leaving behind, truly indelible marks!

ADEBAYO SARUMI: Doyen of Maritime Industry Marks 80th Anniversary, Saturday 
Chief Adebayo Sarumi

Happy Birthday Sir, the only Maritime Guru who is a revered High Chief in both the Southwest and South-South.

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ADEBAYO SARUMI: Doyen of Maritime Industry Marks 80th Anniversary, Saturday 

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