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Adegoke Adelabu Penkelemesi: A Dazzling Politician, Meteor and Iconoclast (1915-1958)



By Hon. Femi Kehinde

A meteor is like a shooting star. It sparkles, it dazzles, it brightens up, but it is also a falling star. They are also like joy, that has a slender body, that breaks so soon-Ayo abara bin tin, as was depicted in Ola Rotimi’s epic play- The gods are not to blame. A meteor rises fast and disappears at the apogee (height) of its glory.

Joseph Sanusi Gbadamosi Adegoke Adelabu, born on the 3rd of September, 1915 and died on the 25th of March, 1958, certainly lived like a meteor and his rise was meteoric. He was Ibadan’s most prominent politician of his time. He was born in Oke-Oluokun, Ibadan, to Sanusi Ashiyanbi Adeyege Adelabu and his mother was Awujola Ajoke, who died in 1920, when Adegoke was still an infant.


Although born a Muslim, he was sent to a secular school- The Saint Davids CMS Elementary School, Kudeti Ibadan, between 1925 and 1929 and the CMS Central School, Mapo Ibadan in 1930. He had double promotions in the elementary and primary schools, he proceeded to the Government College Ibadan, where he also had double promotion. He left Government College in Form 4, and proceeded on a U.A.C scholarship to Yaba Higher College, Yaba Lagos, in 1936, which was then Nigeria’s only higher college.

Adelabu Adegoke had said of his educational exploits-

“I had a brilliant scholastic career, earning accelerated promotions on three occasions in the elementary, primary and secondary schools respectively. Despite this, I never took a second position throughout my school days. Instead, I was always several laps ahead of my runner up and not infrequently, saved tutors from tight holes.”

He was perhaps the most brilliant scholar that had passed out of the Government College, Ibadan. As was attested to by his contemporary and colleague in Government College- Professor Sabori Biobaku, who attested of his educational brilliance as thus-

“Adelabu was not much good at sports, although he subsequently distinguished himself at the long distance events, especially the half mile and mile races. It was in his studies that he excelled. At the end of his second year, he received a double promotion from class two to class four and was top of that class from the first term till the end of his time at the college. He was perhaps the brightest boy that Government College Ibadan has ever produced.”

His head master at the Central School Mapo- Chief James Ladejo Ogunshola was bereaved and Adegoke, despite being a pupil, quickly came to the rescue by taking up the classes in the absence of the bereaved headmaster. The headmaster, a diarist, wrote in his diary of Wednesday, the 15th of February 1935-

“Master Adegoke Sanusi, an old boy of central School and a pupil of Ibadan Government College who had been helping me since Monday in the school also rendered help today; he took my class in all the subjects for today”

Adegoke was simply non-pariel; he was in fact a genius. Despite all these academic attainments, he also believed that the best of him had not come, he said-

“I had everything to rejoice over, but I lamented. I was successful, but I was dissatisfied. Happiness eluded me like the miraculous mirage of the desert.”

Despite being a studious and serious student at the Yaba College and also on U.A.C scholarship, he quit his studies according to him-

“To prove my mettle”


He was instantly employed by the U.A.C, as its first African Manager in the produce section and later the singlet factory section of the Haberdashery department. He was in the U.A.C for four years and later joined the civil service for seven years in the cooperative department and eventually, for another five years, was doing his own business as a private entrepreneur. He later took sojourn in partisan politics, from where he rose from comparative obscurity, into so strong a lime light, that he had completely dazzled and baffled his opponents and admirers.


At the first meeting with Adelabu, one would be easily amazed about his strength, resourcefulness and also how he managed to get his magnetic force with which he captured his followers to the point of fanaticism. His admirers usually called him “portable Ade” and you would also easily wonder, according to him-

“how my enemies would enjoy carrying a small keg of explosives?”

There was a common saying in Ibadan then that-

“if you do not know Adelabu, then you do not know any man worthy of his name”

To the native Ibadan man then, Adelabu is the only “Omo Okunrin” or better still “Alagbara” (the strong one). Adelabu, easily dazzled by his own accomplishments had said

“Despite an unparallel record of intellectual achievements in the classroom, considerable success in recreational games and athletic sports, respect from my subordinates, encouragement from my masters, I had everything to rejoice over, but I lamented, I was successful but dissatisfied.”

He had a steady and turbulent rise in politics. He was a councillor, chairman of the Ibadan Divisional Council, member of the Western House of Assembly and Federal House of Representatives, on the platform of the NCNC, Western Secretary of the NCNC and later rose steadily from the rank and file of the everyday politician to hold the post of Minister of Natural Resources and social services after the Federal Election of 1954.

The story goes that during campaigns for election, while others were talking themselves hoarse, Adelabu won over his supporters with inspiring songs to which all and sundry danced along the streets of his constituency.

Adelabu reveled in the pomp of the worshiped and did not intend to conceal his love for their worship. As a restless and busy politician, he told a journalist during a press interview- “I can only spare you a few minutes”; and when he really got down to business, he refused to sit down, and he said- “I talk better when walking about.”

Adegoke Adelabu admits egotism. In his book- “Africa in Ebullition” he said-

“I am a deliberate egotist. I do not regret it, I do not apologize. My philosophy is that the world would be much better and happier if we would only dare to be ourselves completely instead of being faded copies of other unknown and misunderstood mythical heroes.”

Adegoke Adelabu was ambitious and introspective. Once, he shouted to an Ibadan crowd- “I am greater than Zik!” Not even as a Federal Minister, did he show any inhibitions. He converted his ministerial quarters- No 15, Alexander Road, Ikoyi Lagos, to a meeting place of the Declass or the Talakawas or the common man or the beggars.

Every morning, the drummers and praise singers he took to Lagos from Ibadan, would wake up the elitist neighborhood of Ikoyi, with drumming and singing, eulogizing the exploits of the Ibadan great man and grass root politician. The Europeans or “Oyinbos” in the neighborhood, protested vehemently against this early morning nuisance and they also addressed a press conference. Adelabu in his usual style, made a mince meat of this protest, asking them to go back to their country, if they did not like his style and that was the end of the protest.

As minister in the Federal Government, Adelabu was given an official car. He took the car to his constituency in Ibadan and summoned a meeting. After the meeting at his Oke-Oluokun residence, he asked his constituents at the meeting, to be riding in the car in a group of four, from his Oke-Oluokun residence in Ibadan, to Beere round about, to savour the joy of ministerial ride. This audacious act hit the newspaper headlines the following day- “Talakawas ride in ministerial car”.

In 1956, Adelabu Adegoke left the Federal Parliament, soon after; he faced a series of criminal charges, ranging from bribery and corruption to disturbing the peace. From all these, Adelabu emerged unblemished to continue his fight for the down trodden.

During this trial, his admirers went on the street of Ibadan to sing and eulogize him with the popular song-”Adelabu ma ko owo wa na!

Igunnu loni Tapa, tapo loni igunnu!”

i.e. “Adelabu steal our money the more!

Igunni owns Tapa, Tapa owns Igunni! “


Adelabu’s first voyage into politics was at the meeting of an NCNC mission led by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who came to Ibadan on a fund raising mission for the party. Adegoke listened to the missionaries, donated four guineas, but did not join the party as a card carrying member, until about five years later, when Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was called again, with other party members to help solve the Fijabi/Agbaje chieftaincy tangle. Adegoke was one of the citizens who sailed forth to welcome Dr. Azikiwe; but he did not stop there. When Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe got up to make his speech, Adegoke got up to interpret the speech to the Yorubas.

The two prophets had met and there was no parting of ways until death. Before Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe left Ibadan to Lagos, they had formed the Ibadan Grand Alliance and Adegoke had been appointed as its first secretary. A year later, he became Vice President of the Western Committee of the NCNC and a leading NCNC member in the Ibadan People’s Party, which later merged with the NCNC. He did not find things easy. Within his party, were a few elements with dual loyalties- to the NCNC and the Egbe Omo Oduduwa, a cultural organization.

On the 1st of December, 1951, Adegoke Adelabu, who had described himself as-”A strong man and the political voice of the west”, suffered a political master stroke. Five of the elected members- 1. Chief A.M.A Akinloye. 2. Chief D.T Akinbiyi. 3. Chief S. Owoola Lanlehin. 4. Chief Moyosore Aboderin 5. Chief S.A Akinyemi, all of the Ibadan People’s Party- NCNC Alliance, attended an Action Group rally. Adegoke commented acidly- “the long awaited proof of treachery has arrived”

Adegoke resented this, by opening up a salvo in the Southern Nigeria Defender Newspaper, with a serialized, devastating and documented attack, titled – “A stab on the back”

The Ibadan desertion blasted his hope of an NCNC majority in the Western House of Assembly. On the 7th of January, 1952, only 25 NCNC members could be mustered in the assembly. Adegoke wrote-

“On the Day of Shame-January 7, 1952-only 25 NCNC members could be mustered in the Assembly. The motley crew of mercenary careerists trooped in with their badge of shareholding in Political Booty Ltd. And among them, pale and guilty, the five deserters from Ibadan! Everyone held their breath at the shamelessness of men born of women and the whole house sat spell-bound.”

But if Adegoke Adelabu had failed to become the leader of the government of Western Nigeria, he had, through his steadfastness to the NCNC, become the leader of the people of Ibadan. In his speech to his loyal followers, he bade defiance to the Action Group and took an oath to fight it, until his last day on earth. He kept his oath. Then came, in 1954, the local government election to the Ibadan District Council. During the electioneering campaign, Adegoke was everywhere. He was seen by the people, taking time off from the political campaign and speech making to drinking Tombo (native wine) with the masses of the people. Adelabu had become a one man political circus. He knew to his fingertips what the people wanted; above all, he had learned one lesson in mass psychology: that being ridiculous is the only form of notoriety that does not kill a politician. When the results of the council elections were announced, Adelabu and his grand alliances had won all the seats. A few days later, he was made the chairman of the Ibadan District Council.

The year 1955 saw him at the Zenith of his powers. He was appointed a Federal Minister of social services. But political enemies were at work and an enquiry into the workings of the Ibadan District Council was appointed. The commission found heavily against him and the council. He reluctantly resigned his post as federal minister, but refused to resign as Council Chairman, until the Council was dissolved two months later.

The people of Ibadan were shocked and displeased, but a bigger shock was in store. A few months after the dissolution, Adegoke, together with other councillors were charged with corruption.

He was acquitted and discharged, only to be rearrested and charged with many offences. Again, he was acquitted and discharged and the whole cacophony of arrests, charges, acquittals and discharges ran into a couple of tens and built themselves up to a legend, that their victim and hero, Adegoke Adelabu was a man “they can never get”

After his trials, Adegoke found himself in the political doldrums. The fire of his enemies had pinned him down. A chance for further activity did not occur until 1957. The political leaders of Nigeria had been summoned to London, to review the constitution of the country. Adegoke went with his party’s delegation. After this, nothing substantial was heard of Adegoke Adelabu for many months- except that he had gone to Mecca and returned an Alhaji. It was said that he was biding his time, resting.


Then on March 25, 1958, came another sensational story about the man whose whole life had been like a meteoric flame. The story was that Alhaji Adegoke Adelabu was dead!

How did he die? Some said he had been shot. Some said he was killed with juju. Many others said he was run over by political enemies.

But the fantastic story of his death had gone around Ibadan. Alhaji Adelabu dead? Impossible! But if he’s dead, others will surely die with him! Down with his killers! Down with all those who have hands in his death! Kill and burn them. Spare no one. Let no one live after Ade! Over his grave let us March!

That was the shout of the Ibadan masses and it was no idle cry, Ibadan became a besieged and enraged city. To avenge his death, twenty people, possibly including those who did not know him in person, were done to death by the irate crowd. Many houses were set on fire. Much property was lost.

When the law recovered from the shock, it recovered by arresting 564 persons. Of these, 102 stood trial for murder, 25 were acquitted and discharged by the lower court, and seventy seven were sent to face the Assizes.

After a volcanic life and a volcanic death, with the souls of twenty men keeping him company, Alhaji Adegoke Adelabu- the colossal egotist, the god and prophet of Ibadan- must still now, if there is an afterlife, be stepping it off to brass band and bugle to keep his rendezvous with the noble and gallant band, composed of all the manic personages who had, with lines of fire, stamped their names on the face of our all-too-sane world.

Adegoke Adelabu was certainly the architect of grass root politics in Ibadan and with him went a certain glamour from Ibadan politics. He was popularly known as “Penkelemensi”, ie peculiar mess, which was his usual refrain when making contributions on the floor of the Western Region House of Assembly.

It is also interesting to note that a number of Ibadan Politicians and elites have benefited tremendously from Adegoke Adelabu’s political legacy.

Chief Mojeed Agbaje, Richard Akinjide, Adeoye Adisa and many others, would forever remember him in glowing tributes.

Akinjide, who qualified as a lawyer on the 4th of March, 1956, came back home to join the grass root politics of Adelabu. Adelabu had found Akinjide’s legal prowess amazing, in the celebrated case of slapping a Customary Court Judge – D.T Akinbiyi (later Olubadan). Akinjide was the younger counsel to Dingle Foot Q.C- the British lawyer, hired by Adelabu for his defense. As a payback, Akinjide was elected into the Federal Parliament at the age of 27, in 1959, with an official emolument of £840 per annual, i.e. £70 a month. He later became a minister in 1965 at the age of 34.


Adelabu’s sudden exit ignited a volcanic eruption in Ibadan’s political firmament and a lot of distinguished personalities paid glowing tributes to this stormy petrel.

Chief H.O Davies, a front line Nigerian Nationalist painted this epithet-

“Adelabu’s life in my mind, appears to have been something like a meteor, which shines with conspicuous brilliance for a short period and disappears again into the unknown”

This was further corroborated by his friend and classmate in Government College- -Professor Saburi Biobaku who also commented in his condolence remarks-

“maybe he was one of those rare phenomena who dazzled the world by their brilliancy only to leave behind memories of what might have been”

Anthony Enahoro- a colleague parliamentarian, also said of Alhaji Adelabu as a man- “Who fought for his successes and he never seized to rise above his misfortunes”

His friend and colleague in the Federal Parliament and also prime minister of Nigeria- Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, in his tribute in the Daily Times of 27th March, 1958 said-

“Alhaji Adegoke Adelabu was an intellectual and his capacity was recognized by his opponents” and that … “if anybody died fighting for a cause, it was Adelabu. His death was not only a loss to NCNC, but to all politicians in the country. I am really sad about his death.”

His friend and leader, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe while expressing his regret on the painful exit of Penkelemensi, also said of him-

“A man of conviction and did not disguise his feelings on any particular issue” and that he was- “a man of amazing intelligence, ready wit and uncanning understanding of human nature.”

Chief Remi Fani Kayode, the then Action Group Chief Whip in the Federal House of Representatives also had this eulogy-

“Forget the man’s faults, which of us is faultless? Remember his courage, his dogged will, his ardent belief in the masses, in the common people of our father land and the great faith of his own people on him.”

Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the then Premier of the Western Region, summed it up, when he said-

“Alhaji Adegoke Adelabu was, in his life time, and ever since he entered politics, a fighter first and last, with all the characteristics of a fighter. He was fearless, formidable, forthright, often caustic and uncompromising. In his death, the NCNC had lost a very able, indomitable and extremely resourceful leader and Nigeria, a most colourful, versatile and undoubted nationalist.”


Penkelemensi lived a highly organized life. At the beginning of 1955 in his diary, he had calculated his expected earnings and expenditure of the New Year and he wrote –

  1. As federal minister- £3,200
  2. Various allowances to cover entertainment, ministerial house upkeep – £1,700
  3. As chairman of Ibadan Local Council – £1,500
  4. Profit from business ventures- £600.

On another paper, he wrote out his expected expenditure for the New Year

  1. Vehicle maintenance- £900
  2. Social obligations-£600
  3. Food- £480
  4. Drinks-£360
  5. Light- £120
  6. Tax- £60.

The death of Adegoke Adelabu pained the Ibadan folks so much, that when Chief S.L.A Akintola faced similar recriminations and despair, after he was expelled from the Action Group Party, at the National Conference of the Action Group in Jos in February 1962, he was derided by some party members; he had begged the leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the Yoruba Traditional Rulers and religious leaders, like Bishop Odutola, Bishop Akinyele, Bishop Jadesinmi and a host of others had waded in, but the rift could not be settled.

When they got back from Jos, Akintola’s supporters went on a mass protest, carrying placards and singing derisive political songs –

“Akintola Ose Pa! Eyin tee pete pero te pa Adelabu, Akintola Osee pa.”

Meaning ”Akintola cannot be killed. Those of you who conspired to kill Adelabu, Akintola cannot be killed”; insinuating that Adelabu’s death on the 25th of March, 1958 was not natural.

The story of the passage of Adegoke Adelabu was equally strange and interesting. Unusually, he woke up his household at about 4:30am, had his morning prayers, had his shave, bath and toiletries, had his usual breakfast of Akamu (pap) and summoned his young children for a meeting.

As recalled by his first daughter, Adedoyin Jagun, who was about 8 years old then; her father, Adegoke Adelabu admonished them early in the morning-

“Elo mu ara yin se giri

Ori lomo ibi ti ese nre”

– “you should all work hard and be up and doing, it is only the head that knows where it is to go with the feet.”

At about 7:00 am, he entered a Peugeot 205 car that belonged to his white friend- a Syrian British national, who had come from Lagos to pick him on a business trip.

He called his aides- Adeleke and Ganiyu and he bid them goodbye. Adegoke Adelabu left no single penny or kobo in his bank account. The two houses he had at Oke Ado, he had sold and kept the money in the bank until later, when he withdrew the money gradually, to cater for the poor of Ibadan. He left his Oke-Oluokun residence as his only property. Adelabu also took loans from the bank to buy the Auxmobile car with Registration Number- IB-121, which he used as a private car.


After his death, a number of his political aides, supporters and admirers came to the instant aid of his children. The late Aminu Kano helped to train one of Adelabu’s children in secondary school, the Late Vincent Ikeotunonye trained Adedoyin-his daughter, K.O Mbadiwu trained Aderemi, and the NCNC Central Committee trained Adekumbi up till secondary school and the late Rev. Akin Aduwo also gave a scholarship to one of the children.

The late Chief Bola Ige, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Alhaji Arisekola Alao and Alaafin of Oyo, Oba (Dr.) Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III and other early admirers of the politics, learning, diction, erudition and brilliance of penkelemesi, had also at one point or the other, assisted the family.

Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, being so enamoured with the life and times of Adegoke Adelabu, would easily, always, regale his audience, at any given opportunity, with memorized verses of Adegoke Adelabu’s memorable quotable quotes.

The glory of Adegoke Adelabu Penkelemensi, will continue to gather legendary coatings as the years go by and as the story of his greatness passes from one generation to another.

Akande Iji Oloye Igbetti, may your soul continue to rest in peace.

Barr. Femi Kehinde, former member House of Representatives for Ayedire/Iwo/Ola-Oluwa Fed. Constituency (1993 – 2003)

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Silec Founder, Irakpo, Congratulates Tinubu, Charges President on Sustained Fight Against Drug Abuse




Founder/President, Silec Initiatives, Amb. Sunny Irakpo,  who also doubles as a youth and anti-drug advocate, has congratulaed President Bola Tinubu on assumption of office, charging him to give privileged attention to the fight against drug abuse.

Irapko, who is also a  U.S Government Sponsored Exchange alumni, and certified by the United Nations on Drug Prevention and Care Sensitization, made the remarks via a statement he signed himself, and made available to The Boss, noting that the emergence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) flag bearer in the 2023 elections, is the herald of a new era.

The statement in full:

As the nation heralds the emergence of a president like your humble self, there is hope in the land to see the Nigeria of our dream surfaces. We join millions of people across the globe to heartily congratulate you on your successful inauguration as the new president to oversee the affairs of the nation with your deputy His Excellency, Kashim Shettima as the vice-president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

History was made once again on May 29th, 2023 when you were successfully sworn-in as the 16th democratically elected president of the most populous black nation on earth.

As a statesman and an indefatigable leader that fought for democracy since the military days, we are filled with hope that you will revamp critical sectors of the economy by providing the basic necessities of life for all Nigerians. As a firm believer of democratic values and an experienced administrator with track records of excellence, we humbly ask that you look at all sectors of the economy including the health sector and improve on the current state of our infrastructures.

As one of the leading Non Governmental Organizations in the fight against drug abuse and Illicit trafficking in the country, we are mostly concerned about the youths. We are looking forward to seeing your administration combat this enemy of our youths called drug abuse, just like your predecessor, former President Muhammadu Bahari did by throwing his fatherly weight behind the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to launch the master plan to rescue the nation from the den of drugs and substance abuse.

As a lover of the youths, we want you to fight this menace that keep destroying many promising youths, causing serious damages to the nation even on the international space by proving to the whole world that your personality carries a different approach despite the many publications on your person on this subject matter.

Mr President Sir, I must confess to you that the rate at which youths of this great nation are engaging in drugs, if nothing is done to nip it at the bud, we will gradually lose our productive workforce and brilliant minds that could help reposition this nation for rapid development.

No parents will watch his/her ward die while living, the truth is Mr President Sir, many parents are watching their children dying as a result of drug abuse without finding help.

We are fully confident that your administration will prove your political detractors wrong with the many publications put at the public domain that a “Drug Baron” has taken over the affairs of the most populous black nation on earth to turn her economy to a narcotic jungle.

Mr President Sir, as a passionate anti-drug organization , we humbly ask that you prove them wrong by your open presidential declaration to fright drug abuse amongst the youths of Nigeria as you give top most priority to the vigorous war against drug abuse as launched by former President Muhammadu Bahari, under the leadership of Brdg. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd), the Chairman/CEO of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) whom through his gallant men and civil society groups such as ours, Silec Initiatives is driving the campaign against drugs and substance abuse in order to reduce illicit trafficking in the country.

Mr President Sir, just as we worked successfully with your predecessor through the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), we are fully ready to continue the noble course with your administration in educating the Nigerian populace on the dangers of drug and substance abuse.

You remain a progressive father-figure who will never allow drugs to destroy his children neither allow drug barons and traffickers to have their way to kill our youths and destroy the heritage handed over to us all by our forefathers under your administration.

The NDLEA as the country anti narcotic agency needs all the funding, presidential backing, policy framework and consolidation on the national master plan in the fight against drug abuse and Illicit trafficking to combat the drug epidemic in the country.

On our part as a non governmental organization of international repute championing this campaign for over a decade, we understand the art and science of drug merchandise and the various experimentations presently taking place amongst the Nigerian youths.

No doubt we shall continue to play our pivotal roles as a critical stakeholder by the deployment of our expertise, working closely with the Federal Ministry of Health/Youths and the NDLEA and other critical stakeholders in the areas of research, education, talent discoveries, empowerment and sensitization as alternatives to drug abuse.

As a pragmatic organization, we understand the place of young people in national development which we believe that with your assumption into office , social reengineering and overhaul of the socio-economic sectors to create massive employment to millions of our youths currently jobless leading to consumption of drugs should be prioritized.

As a father, we also appeal to you to launch a reward system for hard working youths who over the years have shown resilience and total commitment to their endeavour and nation building. This reward system should come to youths in the streets, cities and villages across the country.

Mr President Sir, under your administration, let hard work pay for the youths to help restore many of our national values we have lost to the get-rich-quick syndrome by all means engulfing the Nigerian system.

As an harbinger of light on your administration’s ” _RENEWED_ _HOPE_ “, we want to go to the streets energize the creative minds of Nigerian youths to fight passionately and creatively in the course of seeing the Nigerian of our dreams. At SILEC Initiatives, we see all Nigerians as critical stakeholders in nation building. We believe that the fight against drugs should take a centre stage in your government, because we are currently losing promising Nigerian youths and even future industrialists like Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Jim Ovia, Tony Elumelu, Mike Adenuga, Dele Momodu, John Momoh, Alibaba to drugs and substance abuse.

Mr President Sir, many of our youths are wasting away on a regular basis. Please, it will gladden our hearts to see you roll- out a policy framework to combat this cankerworm with the 10th National Assembly.

These negative realities are what we have been fighting against for years and we shall continue to play our continuous role in our capacity on the area of community sensitization, leadership training, peer-to-peer education, mental transformation, value re-orientation and empowerment programs.

We know that you have come as a father to all and to rewrite history that will allow generations unborn to know that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was truly a president for all Nigerians.

Once again, we heartily convey our congratulations to you on your emergence as the 16th president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

We pray that God should grant you longer life with good health and wisdom to lead and not rule and the grace to select your cabinet to advance development so Nigeria can be ranked amongst the comity of developed nations of the world under your leadership.

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Glo Wins ‘Africa’s Beacon of ICT Excellence, Leadership Award’




Total telecommunications solutions provider, Globacom, has added another award to its kitty with the recent ‘Africa’s Beacon of ICT Excellence/Leadership Award’ awarded on Saturday in Lagos.

The 2023 Africa Beacon of ICT and Leadership Awards was held at the Oriental Hotels, Lagos and attracted the cream of the nation’s and continents’ telecom sector including the President of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Ikechukwu Nnamani, Director of Public Affairs, Nigeria Communication Commission, (NCC), Mr. Reuben Mouka, Regional Executive, (West Africa) at the Africa Data Centre (ADC), Dr. Krishman Ranganath and Digital Architect Manager and representative of Nigerian Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Falilat Jimoh.

In his remarks at the ceremony, Ken Nwogbo, Founder and CEO of Communication Week Media Limited, organisers of the BoICT Award, disclosed that Globacom won the award owing to  its outstanding contributions in the last twenty years, including the 3G and 4G technologies, Glo 1 submarine cable, in addition to its  unique products and services.

He added further that “The Beacon of ICT Award which was instituted to celebrate outstanding brands and the visions that birthed them has become one of the most prestigious annual awards in the nation’s ICT industry in the last 14 years”.

The organisers added that the award was also designed to celebrate individuals who have made sterling contributions in commerce and industry as well as government officials whose policies and programmes have had positive impacts on their jurisdictions.

The award was received on behalf of Globacom by the company’s representatives, Catherine Bomett, Director of Customer Care; Oladipo Olusanwo, Head of Gloworld Operation, and Obumneme Ikechebelu of Technical Department.

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Don’t Dare Nigerians, NLC Warns Tinubu over Fuel Subsidy Crisis




The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on Tuesday, expressed displeasure over the pronouncement by President Bola Tinubu that the subsidy on petrol is gone, without consulting relevant stakeholders and putting in place adequate measures to cushion its effect on the citizens.

The NLC, through a statement by its President Comrade Joe Ajaero, noted with regret that a few hours after the pronouncement, some marketers shut down their filling stations, and immediately there was a price hike in some places.

While describing the action as insensitive, the NLC President said it has brought tears and sorrow to millions of Nigerians instead of the renewed hope, which the administration has promised.

He also said that Tinubu’s pronouncement has devalued the quality of the lives of Nigerians by over 300 per cent and counting.

The statement read: “We at the Nigeria Labour Congress are outraged by the pronouncement of President Bola Tinubu removing ‘fuel subsidy without due consultations with critical stakeholders or without putting in place palliative measures to cushion the harsh effects of the ‘subsidy removal’.

“Within hours of his pronouncement, the nation went into a tailspin due to a combination of service shutdowns and product price hikes, in some places representing over 300 per cent price adjustment.

“By his insensitive decision, President Tinubu on his inauguration day brought tears and sorrow to millions of Nigerians instead of hope. He equally devalued the quality of their lives by over 300 per cent and counting.

“It is no heroism to commit against the people this level of cruelty at any time, let alone on an inauguration day. If he is expecting a medal for taking this decision, he would certainly be disappointed to receive curses for the people of Nigeria consider this decision not only a slight but a big betrayal.

“On our part, we are staunchly opposed to this decision and are demanding and immediate withdrawal of this policy.”

NLC argued that the pronouncement has ripple effects on the economic well-being of the people

He said, “The implications of this decision are grave for our security and well-being.

“We wonder if President Tinubu gave a thought to why his predecessors in office refused to implement this highly injurious policy decision.

“We also wonder if he also forgot the words he penned down on January 8, 2012, but issued on January 11, 2012.

“We have chosen to reproduce substantial parts of the statement for the benefit of those who did not have the opportunity of reading it then.
“As Nigerians gathered with family and friends to celebrate the New Year, the federal government was baking a national cake wrapped in the scheme that would instantly make the New Year a bitter one.

“Barely had the public weaned itself from last year when government dropped a historic surprise on an unsuspecting nation. PPPRA issued a statement abolishing the fuel subsidy. By this sly piece of paper, the federal government breached the social contract with the people.

“This government….has turned its back on the collective will. By bureaucratic fiat, government made the most fateful economic decision any administration has made since the inception of the Fourth Republic and it has done so with an arrogant wave of the hand as if issuing a minor regulation. Because of the terrible substance of the decision and the haughty style of its enactment, the people feel betrayed and angry.

“At this moment, we know not to where this anger will lead. In good conscience, we pray against violence. Also in good conscience, it is the duty of every citizen to peacefully demonstrate and record their opposition to this draconian measure that is swiftly crippling the economy more than it will ever cure it.

“By taking this step, the government has tossed the people into the depths of the midnight sea. Government demands the people swim to safety under their own power, claiming the attendant hardship will build character and add efficiency to the national economy. It is easy to make these claims when one is dry and onshore.

“Government would have us believe that every hardship it manufactures for the people to endure is a good thing. This is a lie. The hardships they thrust upon the poor often bear no other purpose than to keep them poor. This is such a time…..

“Though someday, Nigeria will have to remove the subsidy, the time to do it is not now. This subsidy removal is ill-timed and violates the condition precedent necessary before such a decision is made. First, the government needs to clean up and throw away the salad of corruption in the NNPC.

“Then, proceed to lay the foundation for a mass transit system in the railways and road network with long-term bonds and fully develop the energy sector towards revitalizing Nigeria’s economy and easing the burden any subsidy removal may have on the people.

“But we know this is about more than the fuel subsidy. It is about the government’s ideas on the role of money in bettering the lives of people, about the relationship between the government and the people and about the primary objective of the government’s interaction with the economy. It is about whom, among Nigeria’s various social classes, does government most values.

“This is why the public reaction has been heated. It is not so much that people have to spend more money. It is because people feel short-changed and sold out.

“… What this government claims to be economic decisions are essentially political ones. As there is progressive politics, there is progressive economics. As there is elitist politics, there is elitist economics. It all depends on what and who in society the government would rather favour. The Jonathan tax represents a new standard of elitism.

“This whole issue boils down to whether the government believes the general public is worth a certain level of expenditure…

“However, because the distance between the government and the people is far and the genuine level of affection is low, the government sees no utility in continuing to spend the current level of money on the people. In their mind, the people are not worth the money.

“Government sees more value in “saving” money than in saving the hard-pressed masses…

” If the government thrashed the fuel subsidy based on considerations that it will run out of naira then it based its decision on a factor that has not been relevant since the time of the Biafran war.

“…. Since In a fiat money system, the problem with the fuel subsidy is not impending insolvency as the government asserts. The serious constraint is inflation. Here we must ask whether the payment is so inflationary as to distort the economy. We have been making the payment for years and inflation has not wrecked the economy. This historic evidence refutes the imminent disaster claimed by the government.

“In advancing the argument that subsidy would lead to imminent bankruptcy, government reveals its lack of trustworthiness on important matters of fact….

“Nigerians have a collective stake in the ownership of our oil resource held in trust by the government of the day. What we need then is the effective management of this scarce resource that will beget long-term prosperity to the suffering people of Nigeria and not the present racket in which those in power abuse access and control of NNPC and oil revenue to warehouse money to fund their election campaigns.

“This brings us to another inconsistency. On one hand, the government states the expenditure is unsustainable yet on the other it claims the amount now earmarked for the subsidy will be used to fund other people-oriented programs. However, the two assertions cannot exist at the same time. If the subsidy is bankrupting us, then reallocating funds to different programs will be no less harmful. A bankrupting expenditure retains this quality whether used for a subsidy or another purpose. Earmarking the funds to something else will not change the fiscal impact. If the government is sincere about using the funds for other programs, then it must be insincere about the threatened insolvency.

“The concern about the government saving naira is purely superfluous. Officials cry that Nigeria will become like Greece. Those who say this disqualify themselves from high office by their own words. Greece sits in a terrible situation because it forfeited its own currency. Thus, it cannot print itself out of insolvency and it must save or earn euro to pay its bills. Because Nigeria issues its own currency, it does not face the same constraint.

“Again, Nigeria’s problem with the subsidy is not insolvency. Therefore, to go from subsidy to nothing is not wise economics for it “saves” government nothing. What it does is produce real havoc and misery for the majority of the people while the governing elite worship their mistaken fiscal rectitude.

“Ironically, by acting like the old gold standard fiscal constraints are real, this government will incur the very thing it seeks to avoid. It will subject Nigeria to a crushing economic contraction.

“The difference between us and the Greeks will be that their situation is the inevitable result of being a weak member in a monetary union dominated by a strong economy, while our downturn will be a discretionary one artificially induced by the backwardness of our policymakers…

“Again, we must rid ourselves of the old notion that government saving and budgetary surpluses are inherently good and that deficits are always bad. For government to save naira, that means it brings in more than it pays out. Where does this influx come from? It comes from you and me, the private sector. If the federal government saves more, it means the private sector will have less. Government surplus means private sector contraction. This shows that the administration has its priorities confused. It acts as if the people are there to help government run itself.

“The more beneficial relationship is that government should be giving people the help needed to better live their lives. The government’s position is akin to a wealthy parent demanding his young children bring home more food for him to consume than the parent gives them to eat. We would deride any parent for such meanness. Yet, this government believes this conduct is wise and prudent.

“Another argument government has presented is that removal of the subsidy will stabilize the exchange rate. This makes no sense. True, since marketers convert much of the naira from selling petrol gained into dollars, there is downward pressure on the exchange rate and foreign reserves. However, this pressure is not a byproduct of the subsidy.

“It is a byproduct of importation. With the subsidy lifted, the marketers will earn the same or more from the sale of petrol. For there to be less pressure on the exchange rate would mean the marketers would seek to exchange significantly less of the same amount of naira into dollars simply because the subsidy was removed.

“There is no logical basis to assume the new Jonathan tax will have the behavioral impact of causing importers to want to hold more naira. The downward pressure on our currency and reserves will not change simply because the imported items are no longer subsidized. In fact, the higher rate of inflation caused by the removal may make importers keener to change naira into dollars. Thus, the real challenge in this regard is for government to pave the way to increased domestic production.

“There is another “philosophical mystery” in the government’s position. They state the subsidy must be removed to end the unjust enrichment of the importing cabal. There is a major problem with this assertion. If this is truly a subsidy, there should be no unjust enrichment.

“A subsidy is created to allow the general public to pay a lesser price while sellers earn the prevailing market price. Subsidy removal should not increase or decrease the amount earned per litre by the suppliers. If the amount earned by the suppliers will diminish materially, what government had been operating was in part a pro-importer price support mechanism on top of the consumer-friendly subsidy. If this is the case, government could have abolished the unneeded price support while retaining the consumer subsidy.

“More to the point, government has failed to show how the system it plans to use will be protected from the undue influence and unfair dealings of those who benefited from the discarded subsidy regime. Because it is capital intensive by its very nature, this sector of the economy is susceptible to control by a few powerful companies.

“Most of the players will remain the same except that a few cronies of the administration will be allowed entrance into the lucrative game. Sending the economy into the gutter is a steep cost to pay just so a few friends can.

“Government claims the subsidy removal will create jobs. This is misleading. The stronger truth is that it will destroy more jobs than it creates. For every job it creates in the capital intensive petroleum sector, it will terminate several jobs in the rest of the labor intensive economy. Subsidy removal will increase costs across the board. However, salaries will not increase.

“This means demand for goods will lessen as will sales volumes and overall economic activity. The removal will have a recessionary impact on the economy as a whole. While some will benefit from the removal, most will experience setback.

“What is doubtless is that the Jonathan tax will increase the price of petrol, transportation and most consumer items. With fuel prices increasing twofold or more, transportation costs will roughly double. Prices of food staples will increase between 25-50 percent. Yet this is more than about cost figures.

“Most people’s incomes are low and stagnant. They have no way to augment revenue and little room to lower expenses for they know no luxuries; they are already tapped out. The only alternative they have is to fend as best they can, knowing they must somehow again subtract something from their already bare existence.

” There will be less food, less medicine, and less school across the land. More children will cry in hunger and more parents will cry at their children’s despair. This is what government has done. Poor and middle class consumers will spend the same amount to buy much less.

“The volume of economic activity will drop like a stone tossed from a high building. This means real levels of demand will sink. The middle class to which our small businessmen belong will find their profit margins squeezed because they will face higher costs and reduced sales volumes.

” These small firms employ vast numbers of Nigerians. They will be hard pressed to maintain current employment levels given the higher costs and lower revenues they will face. Because the middle class businessman will be pinched, those who depend on the businessmen for employment will be heavily pressed.

“States that earn significant revenue from internally generated funds will find their positions damaged. Internally generated revenue will decline because of the pressure on general economic activity. The Jonathan tax will push Nigeria toward an inflation-recession combination punch worse than the one that has Europe reeling.

“This tax has doomed Nigeria to extra hardship for years to come while the promised benefits of deregulation will never be substantially realized.

” People will starve and families crumble while federal officials praise themselves for “saving money.” The purported savings amount to nothing more than an accounting entry on the government ledger board. They bear no indication of the real state of the economy or of the great harm done the people by this miserly step.

“As stated before, the threat of bankruptcy is nothing more than a ghost of something long dead. The real consideration is not whether this sum should be spent but whether it is better spent on the subsidy or on other programs. Nigerians do not need to be wedded to the subsidy. It is not the subsidy that gives life to the social compact; the amount of the expenditure is the better litmus.

“When attempting to douse popular sentiment, government pretended that the social contract would remain intact because government would spend the money saved from the subsidy on other programs. This would be nice if supported by action. If government were sincere in this regard, it would have used an entirely different strategy…”

“In light of the foregoing, we advise Tinubu to respect his owe postulations and economic theories instead of daring the people. It could be a costly gamble.”

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