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Before We Crucify Hon Gbajabiamila

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Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila



By Philip Agbese


What is grace? This is a question that I have been battling with for a while. I have looked at some of the recent happenings in the country concerning some individuals, and one of them is the Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, the Chief of Staff to the President.

Gbaja as he is fondly called could pass for a man with nine lives. He has been around for a while. He has had his share of good, bad, and ugly times. He has been accused, and he has been commended. Interestingly, he kept his cool in all these, and grace continued to work for him.

I recall that in the 8th Assembly, he aspired to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives. He worked hard but didn’t get it. He didn’t despair. He was loyal and waited for his turn. And guess what? Grace turned up for him. He was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 9th Assembly, and those who worked against him went on their knees seeking forgiveness and patronage.

He was calm as usual and did what he knew how to do best. He was on top of his game. I recall an incident in the twilight of his tenure as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Deputy Speaker challenged his grace, and the rest is history.

He served out his term successfully, and another assignment came calling. This time around, the opposition was fierce. Many thought his grace was over, and they rejoiced. They sang to the high heavens, dancing to the imminent fall from grace of Femi Gbajabiamila.

But grace turned up again. He smiled and moved on. He was appointed the Chief of Staff to the President. Those who felt he would be a hard nut to crack in their desire to call the shots within the presidency went to work. But they failed. And they didn’t stop.

It is an era of slander and blackmail. They churned out invective against him. He was to blame for everything that emanated from the presidency. They went as far as insinuating issues that only existed in their imaginations. All was geared towards making the President uncomfortable with him and ultimately showing him the way out.

But they forgot that when grace speaks, protocols are suspended. And indeed, the grace has been sufficient for Femi Gbajabiamila. I do not envy him, but I salute his mien and ability to stay calm. That is one of the qualities that endeared him to the President.

You can’t predict his next move. He keeps you guessing until you run out of steam. He allows you to exhaust your arsenal, no matter how dangerous. It is a very risky enterprise, but it has worked for him and is still working.

Femi Gbajabiamila reminds me of the phrase, “Touch not my anointed. Maybe he is the anointed one. Perhaps the chosen one or the special one. Whichever you choose, you are right. Love him or hate him; he stands tall at all times.

Very brilliant and analytical. He smiles at you even when he is supposed to wear a frown. He encourages you to do more. What a daring person. But he watches you closely with the eyes on the eagle. I wonder what runs through his mind when he comes under mindless attacks from some vested interest.

Does he blink in his closet? I doubt it because his composure does not give him away. Someone said Femi Gbajabiamila is an enigma that is worth studying. Someone also said he waits for you at the end of the road to welcome you from your vicious journey. If you are lucky, he will offer you a bottle of water. Would your conscience allow you to drink the water? Only those in that boat can answer the question.

What sort of grace does Femi Gbajabiamila exude? The grace that beats human understanding. The grace that runs faster than the speed of lightning. The grace that strikes like a thief in the night. The grace that is confusing to the human eyes, and the grace that warns you to retrace your steps in the slander and blackmail enterprise.

A word is enough for the wise. What is his offense that some want his head? For being a gentleman and a leadership guru or a political strategist? The former number four man in the leadership hierarchy of the country is not mediocre, and one that does not play to the gallery.

He has seen it all in leadership, and when some allegations are made against him, it only smacks of mockery of common sense. Most times, these allegations need to be better thought out. The promoters are always in haste and, in the process, make a mess of themselves.

Before we crucify Femi Gbajabiamila, let us pause and think it through. He is a patriot who is devoted to his principal and the country. He has demonstrated capacity and love for the country. You don’t have to like him. But commonsense would suffice that the grace of God surrounds some individuals. Femi Gbajabiamila is one, and let those with ears hear this—my two cents.


Agbese MHR is the Deputy Spokesman, 10th House of Representatives, the member representing Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency.

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Ecobank Partners Nigeria Chess Federation: To Host 2024 National Schools’ Team Chess Competition

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Lagos, April 15, 2024 – Ecobank Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of the Ecobank Group, has entered a strategic partnership with Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF) to host the 2024 National Schools’ Team Chess Competition. The competition is scheduled to hold between 24th – 28th May 2024 at the Ecobank Pan African Centre (EPAC) in Victoria Lagos. It is open to students from primary, Secondary and Tertiary education level with prizes of over N10 million to be won. Representatives of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth Development, parents, teachers, embassies and several others are expected at the event. Registration and participation are free, and School’s team can register by sending an email to: nationalschoolsteamchess@gmail.com Managing Director/Regional Executive, Ecobank Nigeria, Bolaji Lawal, said the decision of the bank to sponsor the Chess competition was to further showcase Ecobank’s commitment to supporting intellectual and sports development in Nigeria, being part of Ecobank’s strategic human capital development drive.“Children and youth empowerment is part of our shared objective as the pan-African Bank. It aligns with our overall long-term vision of building a world class Pan African bank that contributes to the economic and financial integration of the continent. We are also using the opportunity of this competition to introduce and empower them with convenient, affordable, and accessible digital financial services they can access anytime and anywhere they are. Arrangements are in place to make the competition exciting and fulfilling for both the children and undergraduate students”. He stated.Vice President, Nigeria Chess Federation, Prince Adeyinka Adewole said Chess, the game of Kings and Queens, has proven to be more than just a pastime, stating that it is an educational tool that enhances critical thinking, concentration, and problem-solving skills. While commending Ecobank for being a good ‘corporate citizen’ for sponsoring the competition, he noted that the competition will promote and showcase the skill and talent of chess players from Nigerian schools, while promoting teamwork, fostering a spirit of sportsmanship among participants, and providing networking opportunities to players.He enjoined all the institutions to take advantage of this opportunity to participate in the prestigious event, adding that participation will undoubtedly contribute to the championship’s success and provide an enriching experience for the participating students.Ecobank has embarked on several initiatives to develop youths in the country. The bank through a collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), is currently providing training and support services on Agribusiness which includes aquaculture, horticulture, poultry, and value addition to 16,000 youths in Nigeria. Also, Ecobank recently partnered with Learntor to provide capacity building for youths through Agile, Scrum, Data Analytics, Business Analysis, Cyber Security, and Scrum Master Certifications. The bank has also refurbished and donated learning equipment, provided digital training for students and promoted financial literacy in several schools across the country.

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LAWMA Welcomes April Interns  

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LAWMA Academy, the educational arm of the Lagos Waste Management Authority, has welcomed a fresh set of candidates, for its one-month internship for the month of April.The interns were all recent graduates of various universities in the country, across different academic disciplines.Addressing the interns, the Managing Director/CEO of LAWMA, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, congratulated them for making the internship programme, as it would assist them, to learn as much as possible about waste management and inherent benefits.He noted that waste was really not waste but resource, urging them to embrace the business opportunities offered by the circular economy value chain, where so-called waste becomes wealth and blessing, to individuals, society and the environment.According to him, “This internship will go a long way in exposing you to the positive and rewarding side of waste management. I am sure you are aware that nothing is a waste until you waste them. What used to be waste is now a resource that can be harvested to make money and improve lives. Indeed, it’s a long value-chain you can tap into, depending on your area of interest. It is a promising and highly rewarding venture.”Speaking further, the LAWMA boss urged them to pay good attention to the practical aspects of their training and arm themselves with determination, to become change agents and champions of environmental sustainability.Speaking in the same vein, the Executive Director of LAWMA, Mr. Kunle Adebiyi, urged the interns to maximize the knowledge gained, to leverage their areas of interest along the value-chain, for personal enterprise and good reward.He said, “This is a good opportunity for you to acquire knowledge and make money from modern waste management initiatives. What is important for you here, is to pay attention to the various things you will be taught, so that you can decide where to key in, for future enterprise and handsome financial rewards”.Similarly, LAWMA Academy had last month ran a one-month internship programme for some graduate and post-graduate candidates, representing the first batch of interns for this year. The candidates who enjoyed in-depth training in modern waste management from various departments of the agency, received completion certificates, after presenting their group final project, an illustrative diagram on circular economy, relating to manufacturing industries, to the LAWMA boss.LAWMA Academy, has since the beginning of this year, taken environmental advocacy to more than 5,000 pupils of public schools across the state, in Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Mushin, Ijora –Olopa, Agege, Victoria Island, and other areas.The pupils were enlightened on LAWMA’s diverse operations, effects of indiscriminate waste dumping, making money from recyclables, usage of trash bags and cans, shunning cart pushers and the need to patronise assigned PSP operators.The founding objective was to expand the frontiers of knowledge on waste management, by teaching it as much as possible, to the younger generation for new cultural orientation and perception of waste management, for environmental sustainability. It is the basis for stretching the dragnets to bring in as many young people as possible into the fold, to form the vanguard of environment ambassadors, for a new culture and orientation, for a people-friendly environment.LAWMA Academy Internship, is a monthly programme of environmental and waste management education, for willing candidates.

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Cryptotimes Africa and 4 Other Crypto-Focused Publications shaping the narrative of cryptocurrency in Africa

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It’s no doubt that Africa has emerged as a hotbed for cryptocurrencyadoption and innovation. With a growing interest in digital assets andblockchain technology, several publications have sprung up to cater tothe information needs of crypto enthusiasts across the continent.Among these, Cryptotimes Africa stands out as a leading source of newsand insights on the African crypto scene. Let’s take a closer look atCryptotimes Africa and five other noteworthy publications that areshaping the narrative of cryptocurrency in Africa.1. Cryptotimes AfricaAs the name suggests, Cryptotimes Africa is dedicated to covering allthings crypto-related on the African continent. From news updates andmarket analysis to interviews with industry experts, this publicationoffers a comprehensive view of the rapidly evolving crypto landscapein Africa. With a focus on promoting blockchain adoption and financialinclusion, Cryptotimes Africa serves as a valuable resource for bothnewcomers and seasoned veterans in the crypto space.2. Bitcoinke.ioBitcoin Africa is another prominent publication that provides in-depthcoverage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Africa. With a teamof experienced writers and analysts, Bitcoin Africa deliversinsightful articles, guides, and reviews to help readers navigate thecomplexities of the crypto market. Whether you’re interested intrading strategies, regulatory developments, or technologicalinnovations, Bitcoin Africa has you covered.3. TechnextTechnext is a broad tech publication with a strong focus on Africanstartups, innovation, and trends, coverage includes articles onblockchain technology, cryptocurrencies beyond Bitcoin, and theirapplications in Africa.4. Tech CabalTech Cabal focuses on providing in-depth analysis and reporting on theAfrican tech ecosystem, including funding rounds, investment trends,and interviews with key players. While its primary coverage is notsolely focused on cryptocurrencies, Tech Cabal features insightfularticles on blockchain technology, cryptocurrency adoption in Africa,and the regulatory landscape. Targeting investors, entrepreneurs, andprofessionals working in the African tech sector, Tech Cabalcontributes valuable insights to the broader conversation on cryptoinnovation in Africa.5. NairametricsNairametrics is a financial and business news platform with a focus onthe Nigerian economy and markets. While covering a wide range offinancial topics, Nairametrics includes articles on cryptocurrenciesas an investment asset class, analysis of their impact on the Nigerianfinancial sector, and regulatory updates. Targeting investors,business people, and those interested in the financial sector inNigeria, Nairametrics provides valuable insights into the evolvinglandscape of cryptocurrencies in Africa’s largest economy.In conclusion, Cryptotimes Africa and the aforementioned publicationsare playing a crucial role in shaping the narrative of cryptocurrencyin Africa. By providing reliable news, analysis, and educationalresources, these platforms are empowering individuals and businessesto participate in the digital economy and seize the opportunitiesoffered by blockchain technology. As the crypto revolution continuesto unfold, these publications will undoubtedly remain essential guidesfor enthusiasts and professionals alike.

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