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At the Ambassador Walter Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative Graduation in Lagos



By Funmilayo Adeyemi

Jubilation was the order of the day at the U.S Consul General’s residence at Ikoyi, Lagos when parents, well wishers and families of the Fellows of Ambassador Walter Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative gathered to celebrate the successful fellows who had passed through the initiative in 2017.

U.S Consulate General , F. John Bray giving his speech

The Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative, CYFI, is a dynamic youth-based initiative launched in 2011 by the U.S. Consulate General, Lagos. CYFI brings together Nigerian youths of exceptional vision, skills and experience to design and implement projects that have a positive impact on Nigerian society. Former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, had been a champion of civil liberties, democracy and closer ties between the U.S. and Nigeria.

Sir Adebutu Kessington & U.S Consulate General , F. John Bray

In attendance were the Consul General, F. John Bray, members of the Carrington Alumna, Chief Kessington Adebutu, Comedian Bovi and many others.

In his speech, the Consul General, F. John Bray, thanked all those who made the graduation possible, and reiterated the US support for every form of Nigeria’s economic development plans.

Renee Calender, Bart Thiltgen & Caitlin Keegan

“Our objective at the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos is to support efforts that address Nigerian issues, particularly economic development, access to healthcare, peace and security and transparency and good governance. To that end, the CYFI program is an incredibly valuable program, in that it allows some of the most promising young people in Nigeria who are passionate about these issues to affect real, positive change.

Peter Hansen giving the opening remarks

“The CYFI projects from 2017 are truly inspiring. You taught indigent youth to sustainably farm. You developed the next generation of young female coders. You improved the health of Nigerian women by promoting early detection of cervical cancer. You taught young men that they can speak out about their abuse at the hands of adults.

“You have laid strong foundations for future work. These are meaningful, impactful projects and I look forward to seeing where these initiatives go from here.

Ben Gordon, Stephanie Shoemaker, Kalisha Holmes, Ben Williams & Will Stever

“I sincerely hope that you will remain involved in the program through the vibrant alumni network run by your peers, and that you will use this network to help guide and encourage future CYFI fellows.”

He reminded the fellows that they are a select few chosen from a pool of talented and driven young people in Nigeria. “The friendships and partnerships you’ve developed during your years with CYFI will become some of the most rewarding. Stay committed and passionate to societal innovation and change in your society, even in the face of obstacles.” He said.

The 2017 Carrington Fellows include: Abimbola Ajayi, Adeola Agbonyin, Afoma Mildred Chiegboka, Derin Adebayo, Festus Ibe, George Onyejekwe, Halima Layeni and Henry Ibitolu.

Hon. Davies Salako

Jumoke Adeoye, Olalekan Ayodele Sipasi, Olaoluwa Abagun, Oluwafunmilola James, Oluwatosin Akintola make up part of the list. Others include, Omoefe Eromosele, Peter Okeugo, Rasheedat Ajayi, Tolu George, Yetunde Abatan and Yetunde Aderenle

Funmilayo Adeyemi & U.S Consulate General , John Bray

Aside other activities and goodwill messages from Ambassador Walter Carrington and Dr. Arese Carrington, there was presentation of certificates and awards for deserving fellows of the initiative.

Pictures by Funmilayo Adeyemi

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Society Lady, Chioma Ugochukwu, Celebrates Grand 50th Birthday (Photos)




By Eric Elezuo

Society lady and amiable technocrat, Mrs. Chioma Ugochukwu, rolled out the drums to host a souree in celebration of her ascension to the fifth floor. The shindig was held in the presence of friends, colleagues and well wishers did at Artisan Lounge, Victoria Island Lagos.

The grand 50th birthday dinner was characterised by a parade of class, pomp and pageantry as attendees were treated to high level of entertainment, cuisines and beverages.

The high point of the event was well penned tributes from close friends, followed by the cutting of the cake, which elicitated thunderous applause from a retinue of guests.

Among the guests who attended the event were Chairman, PWAN Group, Dr Augustine onwumere; Dr Jayne Onwumere and Chairman, Ovation Media Group, Aare Dr Dele Momodu.

Mrs. Ugochukwu is married and blessed with wonderful children.

Photos by Tunde Bolarinwa…

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Glamour, Glitz As Esama of Benin, Gabriel Igbinedion Celebrates 89th Birthday




By Eric Elezuo                    Photos: Ken Ehimen

The Esama of Benin an pioneer of the Okada Dynasty, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion CFR, CON, KSJI, has always been a censure of many eyes wherever the journey of life takes him, and his 89th birthday celebration was another opportunity for another razzmatazz.

carnival as people gather from all parts of the world to celebrate the great Esama of Benin Kingdom.

A philanthropist of no mean repute, business mogul, and politician, Chief Igbinedion left no stone unturned to ensure that this year’s celebration tagged “His Grace is sufficient for me”, sustains the carnival-like identity it has always been known for, while reflecting testimonies of his numerous achievements in life.

With wholesome lineup of activities, the birthday celebrations held in various locations including his Benin palatial home and the prestigious Archangel Gabriel Catholic Church, along Sapele Road, where the thanksgiving mass was held.

The celebrant Chief Sir Dr Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, accompanied by his wife, Lady Cherry Igbinedion, his son and former governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbinedion his siblings among other dignitaries arrived the Archangel Gabriel Catholic Church, to a warm reception by the members of Archangel Gabriel Catholic Church community with band parade.

The Mass was celebrated by the Catholic Archbishop of Benin Archdiocese, Most Rev Dr Augustine Akubueze, represented by the Vicar General of the Archdiocese, Very Rev Fr Dr Augustine Ehigie.

Because of it’s a unique nature, the Parish Priest, Rev Fr Jerome Idegbe took time to introduce the essence of the day, after which he invited all to be part of the thanksgiving Mass.

Speaking during the homily titled Uncommon Path to Peace, the Parish Priest, St Francis Catholic Church, Benin City, Rev Fr Dr Andrew Obiyan, paid glowing tribute to the Esama, with emphasis on how he built peace and empowered his community.

According to Fr Obiyan, Chief Igbinedion was a man with intimidating kind heart, whose greatness is not in the riches and wealth he has acquired, but in his unrelenting act of generosity.

Dignitaries that attended the Mass were the Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shuaibu, Senator Matthew Uroide, High Commissioners and Representatives of High Commissions so from over 15 countries including, Jamaica, South Africa, Namibia, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Mauritania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, bostwana, Cameroon among others.

There was also a large turnout of traditional rulers within and outside of Nigeria led by the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, who was represented by over 20 notable traditional rulers from the south west of Nigeria.

Also the traditional rulers and title holders from the Benin Kingdom were fully represented, led by the highly revered Ilawure of Usen Kingdom, HRM Oluide II and a host of Benin Chiefs and traditional title holders.

The highpoint of the event was the thanksgiving procession by Chief Igbinedion and his immediate family members, amid soulful renditions from the Archangel Gabriel Parish choir.

Dwelling further on the theme of the day, “His Grace is sufficient for me”, the Chancellor, Catholic Archdiocese of Benin, Rev Fr Dr Mike Oyanoafoh also extolled God’s goodness on the celebrant just as the Vicar General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Benin, Very Rev Fr Dr Augustine Ehigie led in rendering a happy birthday song.

Responding on behalf of the House of Igbinedion, a former Governor of Edo State and son of the celebrant, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, expressed joy at the love showered on their patriarch on his birthday.

He prayed for journey mercies for all those who have come to celebrate their father

Speaking on behalf of some of the dignitaries that graced the occasion the representative of the Mauritanian High Commission in Nigeria, Mrs Stella Arhewo, and the APC governorship candidate in next year’s Edo State governorship election Hon. E.J Agbonayiwa described the celebrant as a Man who has added value to the lives of many.

Guests at the birthday thanksgiving Mass were later hosted to a lavish reception at tastefully decorated country home of the Esama of Benin Kingdom where music was supplied by a host of upcoming artists, live band, cultural troupes among others.

The colorful event was rounded off with the cutting of the 89th birthday cake of the Esama of Benin Kingdom His Excellency Chief Sir Dr Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion , done his behalf by his son, Lucky Igbinedion, his siblings and selected dignitaries.

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Sights and Sounds As Esther Ajayi’s Love of Christ Celebrates 16th Anniversary




By Eric Elezuo

The Love of Christ Generation Church (C&S) located in the highbrow Victoria Island,  was a beehive of activities penultimate Sunday as members led by their leader, Reverend Esther Abimbola Ajayi, in company of well wishers and the general public, trooped out enmasse to celebrate the church’s 16th year anniversary.

Hosted by a wholesome colour of white, faith adherents and special invitees had a swell time giving God glory for 16 unbroken Yeats of His goodness, provision and protection.

From far and wide, and all walks of life, dignitaries trooped in, in solidarity with the woman popularly called Iya Adura, to sing, worship, praise and dance before the Almighty, who made all things perfect for the church.

Among notable personalities that graced the occasion were former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke; Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, Chairman, Ovation Media Group, Chief Dele Momodu, Sir Shina Peters and a host other very important persons.

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