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Who is afraid of Bola Tinubu? By TUNDE Rahman



Why do many political opponents dread the All Progressives Congress National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, so much so that in their wishful thinking they hope he gives way or simply quit the stage? Why should political contestation get to the point where our so-called political leaders would be wishing their competitors dead if they are actually in politics for the public good? These are some of the questions that have agitated my mind following the repeated unfounded rumours about Asiwaju Tinubu’s health status.


In the last few months, the former Lagos governor has died many times over in the reckoning of these nefarious persons.
Each time Asiwaju travels, the next thing these detractors, who abound in PDP as in APC, do is to shamelessly claim he is seriously ill undergoing surgery or that he has died. Yet, each time they have made such blatant claims, the lie has always blown up on their very faces, as they have always been proven wrong.


Surprisingly, some of these evil persons would also claim the APC national leader is no longer relevant in the scheme of things in the party he helped form. And you wonder: if he is no longer important within the APC, why dissipating energies about him? Why hoping he dies each time he steps out of the country?
These people have been in this despicable game for quite a while. They have perpetrated so much hatred and told too many lies such that to track them can be a herculean task.Let me attempt a recall of a few of these.


In April this year, when we went for Umrah (lesser Hajj) in Saudi Arabia, they brought out a photo-shopped photograph that portrayed Asiwaju in very bad light. The picture was so bad that you would wonder whether it had any feature of him. All that these malicious people wanted to demonstrate is Asiwaju is so badly ill or incapacitated that he cannot even aspire to lead this country, talk less mount the exalted office. Ironically, at the same lesser Hajj, Asiwaju, who the malevolent imagined dead, effortlessly performed tawaf (going round the holy Kabbah) several times and underwent all the rites of Umrah. I was in that entourage to Umrah along with some of his friends and associates including Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, former EFCC Chairman Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, and former National Welfare Officer of APC, Alhaji Ibrahim Masari, among others.


Elucidating on how we arrived in Medina around 4 am, how tired, weary and needing sleep we all proceeded to Mecca, a distance of 4-and-a-half hours, that same morning we landed in the kingdom, and how on eventual arrival in Mecca we immediately headed for the Kabbah, would help put a lie to the claim about Asiwaju’s ill-health.
The journey from Medina to Mecca by road was very strenuous. Virtually all of us slept. Not Asiwaju. He was awake throughout, conversing with the driver, Mustapha, and ensuring he was awake and alert for the duration of the drive. We arrived in Mecca without any hassle, quickly checked into a hotel, and then headed for the Kabbah for tawaf and other rites of Umrah.


Leading the charge, Asiwaju Tinubu painlessly performed the seven-round tawaf and shortly after, being a Friday, it was time for Jummah. We left Medina immediately we arrived because way back in that holy city, Asiwaju had insisted he would like to observe Jummah in Mecca.
For the duration of the trip, Asiwaju’s hotel suite in Mecca was turned into a Mecca of sort with governors, ministers, other top dignitaries and Islamic clerics coming to visit him. Overlooking the Kabbah, it was in his living room that we were observing some of the prayers and making supplications to Allah.


Many took selfies with him with their cameras and phones unencumbered. He allowed as many as wanted to take photographs with him to do so, an opportunity some abused. An example was someone who either unknowingly deployed a phone with a bad camera or deliberately doctored the photograph, which was now used to achieve nefarious ends, as depicted by that damaging picture of Asiwaju in Saudi.


Again, not long after we returned from Umrah and the former Lagos governor undertook a trip abroad, I think to France and UK, there were also unfounded reports that he had been hospitalised in Paris for alleged coronavirus attack and had even purportedly undergone an operation. Some proceeded from there to claim he had died. Now, Asiwaju has never tested positive for COVID-19. Not at that alleged time, not at present. For the life of me, how could someone who had never been positive for coronavirus be hospitalised for it or undergone a surgery for complications arising from the virus he never contracted? I volunteered this much not to disparage many who had contracted the virus or those presently battling the dreaded menace.


Each time we felt we had over-exposed ourselves or someone had contracted the virus in the team, we would call for coronavirus tests and no one is exempted. Asiwaju and some of us must have undergone close to 15 COVID-19 tests each. Some of us, including this writer, had even tested positive for the virus at one point or another. Asiwaju has never experienced it once.


The fake news about Asiwaju’s alleged ill health or death is something we have become accustomed to each time he travels out of the country such that it has become a joke of sorts. Indeed, we had a hilarious encounter when he embarked on the extant travel some two weeks ago. As I made to leave him at the Lagos airport, I said: “Sir, now that you are traveling again, when these mischievous guys begin to say you are either dying or dead, what do I say to them?” We had a good laugh. He then said: “Just say I have travelled and don’t mind whatever they say.”


So the speculation trailing the extant trip is what it is: fake, unfounded news. It bears repeating, however, to state that Asiwaju is hale and hearty. He is not in any hospital. He does not have any medical situation that would require hospitalisation either in Nigeria or abroad. It is sad that perpetrators of this mischief are not deterred by the fact that each time this fake news has been propagated they have been proven wrong.


However, there are a few points to make at this juncture. Firstly, some speak magisterially on the state of health of Asiwaju Tinubu. They say he doesn’t enjoy good health. Are they his doctors? Are they saying they are privy to his medical records? Pray, how could an unhealthy man muster the strength and energy to go through the rigors of tawaf and all rites associated with Umrah immediately after a six-hour flight and over four-hour road trip? Those perpetrating this evil think they are unknown. They hide their identities behind the anonymity of the social media. But we have a fair idea who they are. Their luck will run out soon as they would be exposed sooner than later!


Again, these people who try to rubbish Asiwaju’s health, peddling rumours that he is dead forget that the matter of life and death is within the realm of God. Not of any individual. They should not attempt to play God. They conveniently forgot what many dubbed the Zik’s curse. Recall that Nigeria’s first president and one of our foremost leaders, late Dr. NnamdiAzikiwe, was rumoured dead I think around November 1989. Some prominent print media organisations and television stations published the story without conducting due diligence and checks. With banner headlines cast in impressive adjectives befitting the Great Zik, they proudly proclaimed the nationalist dead. Some of Zik’s associates, some of whom had not seen him in years, particularly the late Chief RBK Okafor, also fell for it, ranting about their close relationship with the late nationalist and how they were with him in his last moments.


Reminiscing on this episode in an article titled “The Day Zik Didn’t Die” published by THE NATION newspaper on November 8, 2016, celebrated columnist, Professor Olatunji Dare, had this to say: “Out-of-work politicians saw an opening and moved in swiftly. A First Republic legislator and former stalwart of the Zikist Movement, Chief RBK Okafor, panting as if he had sprinted all the way from Nsukka to Rutam House in Lagos, narrated breathlessly how he had cradled his “beloved Zik” in his arms and how, even as his life ebbed, the great nationalist had said to him: “Chief RBK Okafor, my political son, remember that I am a Pan-Africanist and should be given a Pan-African burial.”
As it turned out, Zik’s rumoured death was false. It was fake news. Zik did not die. At least he did not die at that time. He read that obituary in the newspapers. He also reportedly cursed those people grandstanding over his purported death. And one by one, they died before him. Zik went on to live for another seven years. The long and short of all of this is those wishing Asiwaju dead, hoping to profit from it should be very careful. They should be wary of the wrath of God.


Having stated all of that, my final point is media stakeholders must meet minds together and devise a way to halt the excesses of the social media. We must help to stem this menace of fake news, hate speech and abusive language. There must be a form of regulation for this nonsense going on, on social media. I’m totally in support of peer regulation, regulation within the media industry itself, but we must scale up enforcement of this regulation. Why don’t we draft the regulations ourselves and approach the National Assembly for legislation to back them up to make these regulations institutional as some professionals have also suggested?
Rahman is media adviser to Tinubu. He was formerly Editor, THISDAY on Saturday and Sunday newspapers.

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The Yoruba Nation Global Directorate rebuttal to the Yoruba Appraisal Forum





The Yoruba Nation Global Directorate, the Yoruba government in exile, has lambasted the group otherwise known as YAF being the Yoruba Appraisal Forum for visiting some prominent Yoruba Royal fathers to mislead them with their anti-people position in Yoruba struggle.

In a statement issued by the Directorate Director, Princess Adeola Atayero Olamijulo, YAF said like the proverbial ‘agbalagba to nsare l’orere, bi o le nkan, nkankan ni lati maa lee.’

She said Yoruba people needed to observe closely who are their sponsors?

They need to honestly tell the world who are the drummers of these Uromis dancing on Yoruba socio-political waterway?

It will be recalled that few days ago, the YAF paid some Yoruba Obas a courtesy call. The Royal fathers in their response advised against self-determination and asked the agitators to tow the path of peace with the federal government.

Prince Olamijulo said YAF, are like, the name they bear. They appeared to have appraised the Yoruba nation, it perceives as a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder.

She said: Let us examine the major points of their advocacy:

1. that the Yoruba should continue to endure the current Fulani-induced meta-crisis in Nigeria.

2. That advocacy for Yoruba self-determination may lead to war with the rest of Nigeria.

3 That the prevailing clamor for Yoruba self-determination efforts is fueled by selfish interests of some politicians.

4. That Nigeria was the architect of economic success of the South West.

5. They urge the Youths to seek the available gainful employment rather than agitate for autonomy.

6. That YAF needs to answer the question, whose actions are provocative and war laden?

7. Who is misappropriating the power entrusted to them: the government impostors implementing the Fulani national interests instead of the true Nigerian national interests?

8. Who is the aggressor who is the victim? Who is killing, maiming, raping, and scorched-earthing who?

Princess Atayero Olamijulo claimed that the Yoruba are on the receiving end of the atrocities. Yet, YAF is asking us to stay-put, till it is too late to be viable.

She positioned that normally, if faced with danger, humans have the options to fight, flee or succumb.

What is YAF asking the Yoruba nation to do?

Will the Yoruba remain and submit to Fulani supremacist control? or will they take flight and disperse to the sea or the desert, Or turn global waka-abouts and live in virtual nation state, located only in their collective epic memory; while the Fulani occupy and enjoy the land and the valuables therein that Yoruba and their ancestors built up for ages?

Is YAF asking the Yoruba to take the submission option to appease the Fulani and become their slaves or manure to fertilize their usurped land?

YAF apparently is exhibiting the pathological state indicative of the protracted abuse they suffered in Nigeria over time. They now identify with their chronic abuser, a function of Stockholm syndrome. YAF, seems apparently bribed by the preserver of the status quo, who obviously derive immense benefits from the present chaotic state in Nigeria.

Let us appeal to YAF sponsors to stay away from confusing our traditional rulers. They should desist from smearing our royal fathers with their pathological state of mindset.

We should let sanity prevail. Let us draw a lesson from history. The stalwarts in quest for Yoruba freedom should take a cue form history.

We cannot continue to appease the Fulani nationalism aimed at destroying other ‘Nigerians’. Rather, we should resist it. It will boomerang on the Yoruba Survival Thrust if we pursue an appeasement strategy.

Appeasement of the aggressor never succeeds in human history: The Chamberlain 1938 appeasement policy to Adolf Hitler, led to World War II, gory warfare.

Princess Olamijulo recalled that the Native Americans successive appeasement to the invading Europeans led to the demise of the Native American (NA) nations. NA yielded their treasured land to the European settlers, adopted their religion, spoke their language, and way of life to appease the Europeans, yet, to no avail. What did they get in return: annihilation! The Yoruba have no choice, but to fight for self-determination. Any other suggestion will doom our group survival.

We can also draw further lessons from recent history of the other struggles for self-determination in Zimbabwe and South Africa. In Rhodesia, Iain Smith, illegally enacted white minority regime via the ill-fated Unilateral Declaration of Independence- UDI, from Britain, 1965.

The Africans opposed and a series of negotiations with the intransigent racist regime failed.

The Africans, led by Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe, opposed Smith regime via the Patriotic Front insurgency.

When the opposition were gaining diplomatic and military success, to buy time, the illegal regime sought alliance with the traditional ruler, Chief Sikireta Chirau, the cleric pacifist, Bishop Abel Muzorewa and politician, Ndabaningi Sitole Smith renamed the country Zimbabwe Rhodesia, to reflect the alliance. The PF team were smart to refuse and the rest is history. The independent nation of Zimbabwe was born.
Identical situation happened in South Africa.

When the efforts of the African Congress alliance were about to yield fruitful result, the apartheid regime forged unholy alliance with the Zulu and other tribal chiefs, to slow down the apparent progress ANC was making diplomatically and to a lesser extent, militarily via insurgency. Chief Gatsha Buthelezi, lured by conservative Boers, introduced what he called, Ndaba initiative to dialogue between the Africans and the racist regime of South Africa. The ill-conceived ploy failed. The ANC triumphed and Apartheid disbanded.

Princess Olamijulo advised that the Yoruba freedom fighters should not relent their efforts. Victory is near and certain, because, Otito nii leke iro, Truth shall prevail. Lori otito la gbe ijangbara Yoruba le. Awa laa l eke, bi ojuoro ṣe n leke omi. Ase o

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Redefining Education in The Developing World by Nelson Tosin Ajulo PhD




Education has been identified as the ultimate route to escape poverty. It is widely held that if you attend school, graduate, and get a lucrative job, your economic status will automatically be boosted or improved. This is still the case in today’s competitive world. However, it is hugely dependent on the nature or type of education you are receiving.

Sadly, the type of education delivered to African students and many other developing nations can not get them out of poverty. This is why we have millions of young graduates out there that are not employable.

The World Bank reports that youths account for more than 60% of all of Africa’s jobless population, and a large chunk of them are taking to crime, internet fraud and other anti-social activities to make ends meet.

According to the Accra-based African Center for Economic Transformation, a policy think tank, almost 50% of current university graduates in Africa do not get jobs.

For the African Development Bank (AfDB), it reports that of Africa’s nearly 420 million youth aged 15-35, one-third are unemployed and discouraged, another third are vulnerably employed, and only one in six is in wage employment.

The crucial challenge here is a disconnection between the education these graduates are getting and what the labour market needs. So what they need to get them out of extreme poverty and get them the much-needed job is quality education.

What is quality education? Quality education is the education you receive that would enable you to compete in the global marketplace. Any education outside of this is irrelevant.

Quality education is not necessarily about attending university for four years and afterward graduating. Even if you leave with a distinction, and your skills are not in demand, you will find it very difficult to get a job.

No apologies. Countless people are used to this type of education that is primarily theoretical. Unfortunately, governments and educational institutions across these developing countries are yet to understand or realise it. They keep pumping funds into this weak education system and expecting a different outcome. This is impossible. As long as there is a mismatch between the education received by students and what is in demand in the global marketplace, this problem will continue to linger. And if not addressed, youth crimes would persist in the fragile society.

Hence, governments and educational institutions must understand this and give youths quality education. Education that would empower them with skills that would get them well-paying jobs. These are digital skills, and they are currently in high demand. Skills like software development, cybersecurity, product design/development and UXUI designer, among others. Today, you do not need to attend a university where you would spend four years plus intermittent industrial actions to become a junior software engineer and earn money.

A platform like Zwart Academy, the edtech arm of the Zwart Talent Foundation, offers quality education to young people between the ages of 15 and 22 by equipping them with IT skills that will quickly get them out of poverty earn them their desired lifestyle.

Zwarttalent does this by training young people within the earlier age bracket in digital skills for six months. Upon completing the intensive and efficient training, they join Zwarttech for a one-year internship to work on projects and gather practical experience. After completion of the internship, they are connected with international IT jobs and start earning. The training comes at no cost. The students only need to commit their time and energy throughout the training and internship.

Importantly, you must have observed that the Zwarttalent approach is quicker, faster and well-planned. For example, it takes less than two years to become a software engineer, and there is no cost implication until the engineer starts working. This means that they can quickly get out of poverty, and the crime rate would significantly and drastically decline.

The developing world is faced with such myriads of challenges. It is also critical that sustainable solutions are deployed to tackle them. Therefore, it is only reasonable to learn the right kind of education to allow young people into poverty. With this, we can create a just, equitable and fair world. The governments and educational institutions must adjust to these realities and support or partner with an edtech like Zwart Academy to offer safety nets for young people.

Ajulo is the Chairman of the Zwart Talent Foundation


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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider has again reinforced its commitment to Youth Empowerment and Entrepreneurship through its sponsorship of the docuseries ‘’First-Class Material’’ from the stables of Linda Ikeji TV 


Arguably Nigeria’s most valuable bank brand, FirstBank continues to pride itself as indeed the Bank of many firsts. First Class Material is a docuseries designed to celebrate Nigerians who are excelling in various fields of endeavour whether academic or non-academic. It is a program that aims to chronicle the success stories of Nigerians who are distinct and exemplary in their achievements and importantly, a testament to the greatness of the West African country. This docuseries aims to make education, vocational training and skill acquisition trendy, attractive and fashionable to the nation’s human capital by celebrating and rewarding innovators and trailblazers in various sectors. First-Class Material is a celebration of notable First’s by Nigerians which underscores what FirstBank stands for. The essence of the programme is to have many more people informed and encouraged by the successes, thereby having these feats emulated in their chosen endeavors.


First-Class Material aims to change the narrative about Nigeria and Nigerians by highlighting the great work Nigerians are doing in different fields, including Academics, Technology, Arts, Music, entrepreneurship, and many more. It also aims to inspire others to aspire to excellence and to see hard work, legitimate work, and diligence as something rewarding and deserving of emulation. FirstBank was the official sponsor of the maiden edition of First Class Material by Linda Ikeji TV and based on its success, the Bank is now also sponsoring Season 2 which will commence 3rd week in August. 


This innovative partnership would have viewers exposed to Nigerians across the globe that have carved a niche for themselves by being exemplary and influential in their chosen endeavours and career path. Success stories of notable firsts and trailblazers would be highlighted, with viewers encouraged to go beyond limits and leave no stone unturned at making their dreams a reality. Like the first season, which showcased exceptional individuals, the forthcoming season promises to share truly inspiring stories of great feats and accomplishments by some of the most unassuming Nigerians, in the country and dotted around the world. FirstBank’s goal is to inspire the youth and encourage them to make informed choices, critical to securing their future whilst impacting mankind and society at large.


FirstBank, historically, has had diverse interventions in promoting thought leadership and promoting initiatives that will stimulate the advancement of skill acquisition and capacity building for the Nigerian Youth to equip them for a bright future. The Bank’s sponsorship of the Programme is in tandem with the noble objectives of the bank which includes building and instilling values into its customers. FirstBank’s core values of people, passion and partnership very much align with the vision of the First Material towards building the youth to become tomorrow’s leaders. With over 127 years of continuous banking operations, First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is giving a good account of itself in this regard not only as a true financial powerhouse but also as a life enabler, helping Nigerians live better and achieve their dreams.


Apart from the First Class Material initiative and in the furtherance of the Bank’s long term commitment to promote youth development, professional excellence and education, FirstBank has also in the past and currently actively supporting various activities and initiatives in the youth segment. The bank partners with Eventful Nigeria Ltd for Fashion Souk, a platform that creates an opportunity for players in the fashion industry to exhibit and sell their wares to the thousands of event participants. The bank, also in a bid to ensure the sustainability of the industry, recently introduced fashion design loans specifically designed to offer financial support to the participants in the textile industry.


Through its [email protected] initiative, FirstBank consolidates all its efforts in the arts, supporting the entire value chain of the creative arts, providing much-needed financing and advisory support, showcasing and facilitating the successes of the industry, and enabling customers to explore and access the wealth of opportunities the creative industry has to offer.


Achieving these and a host of many others have been implemented through strategic partnerships with organizations like the British Council, Duke of Shomolu Productions, Live Theatre Lagos, Freedom Park, Terra Kulture, and the Cross Rivers State Government (Calabar Festival), among others.


With the sponsorship of similar socio-cultural initiatives in the creative arts industry like Moremi, Makaliki, Oba Esugbayi stage drama, October 1st (a movie), the Calabar Festival and the recently concluded, The Voice Nigeria (Season 3) the Bank remains exemplary to expose the youth to a wide range of opportunities that are integral to the realization of their dreams, as they contribute to the continued socio-economic development of their immediate environment and the country at large.  


Indeed, FirstBank remains a noble brand close to the heart of the youths and the deliberate efforts made by the bank has indeed been a catalyst of socio-economic growth of Nigerian youths and the nation as a whole.

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