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India Hosts Diplomatic Community in Celebration of 75th Republic Day

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By Eric Elezuo

The Indian Community in Nigeria has hosted a splendid soiree to celebrate its 75th Republic Day.

The event, which took place at the Country’s Consulate at Walter Carrington Crescent in Lagos, witnessed the gathering of the diplomatic community, high society, Indian nationals resident in Lagos and lovers of India.

Anchored by Abhinit Puri, the event showcased inspirational speeches, cultural displays and solid networking.

In his opening speech, the Indian High Commissioner, Mr. G. Balasubramanian, welcome everyone in his characteristic joviality, setting the stage for an evening of warm, friendliness and conviviality.

In his speech, Balasubramanian traced the origin of the Indian Republic Day, saying it is dated back to 1950, when it was agreed shortly after independence in 1947 that the country needs a body of rules to govern its activities. And that birth the Indian Constitution.

“India’s love for orderliness, democracy, rule of law and constituted authority necessitated that a day be set aside to celebrate the establishment of deep rooted democratic institution in the country. And today, we are commemorating the 75th edition.

“We therefore, urge you our friends, members of the diplomatic Corps, representatives of the Lagos State government, friends of India and the general public to feel at ease and enjoy the best of India’s democracy,” the High Commissioner said.

SSA to Lagos Governor Jermaine Sanwo-Olu with High Commissioner, Balasubramanian and CG Kern

He added that the Nigerian-Indian relationship is built on a strong pedestal as both countries are on the path of supporting each other ‘as part of the capacity streams that we have’.

He informed also that “We also have a large number of students, who are studying in India, about 5000 residing in India. India is also a sought after medical destination for people from Nigeria.

“So the relationship from people to people, to economic, to political has been consolidated, and it continues to grow further. And I can assure you of the commitment of the people of India to further strengthen these ties.”

Also speaking the Consul General in charge of the Consulate, Chandramouli Kumar Kern, who hosted the event, ably supported by his wife, Mrs. Nita Kern, reiterated the stand of the High Commissioner, noting that the Republic Day is another way of saying Constitution Day, or Democracy Day.

“This is what we do to remind ourselves that we are a democratic country; a sovereign country; and we celebrate India with the friends of India.

“This is quite different from Independence Day. When we got independence from the British in August 1947, we were still governed by previous laws and rules. We therefore, needed a constitution so that we can become sovereign. And after about two-three years, a Constitution came to be,” Kern said.

He further noted that the Indian Constitution has been amended a hundred and twenty times all in a bid to fashion out what is best for the country.

Home Creation group performing

“The Supreme Court of India has said that the constitution can be amended as many times as possible provided the basics doesn’t change, he informed.

He commended President Bola Tinubu for participating in the last G-20 Summit in New Delhi, India, where he noted that a total of $14 billion investtment was placed.

Sanwo-Olu, Folashade Ambrose, Balasubramanian, Momodu and Kern

He also stressed that India was party to the release of a strong leaders declaration document, where it showed ‘finest idea of diplomacy’ to secure the outcome of the document unanimously.

He listed the important outcomes as follows:

1. The peace resolution of conflicts and efforts to address crisis through diplomacy and dialogue. Today’s era is not the era of war

2. Greater management of global financial institutions.

3. Improves access to digital medium and development of public digital infrastructure.

In her remarks as the special guest of honour, the Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Trade, Cooperatives and Investment, Mrs. Folashade Ambrose, said that the thrust of her ministry is to make Lagos State a 21st century economy, maintaining that the thrust is about drawing economic growth.

We are drive economic prosperity and growth, focus on trade, and essentially strengthen the organised private sector through MSMEs, the industrial sector.

Delivery the message of the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Diaspora and Foreign Relations, Jermaine Sanwo-Olu, who represented the governor, celebration is the reflection of the remarkable journey of the country since independence, and a celebration of India’s rich and colourful cultural.

“This celebration also provides the opportunity to restate our commitment to economic and trade ties binding our two nations with Lagos State featuring prominent as huge quite number of Indians and their business interests,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu traced the relationship between India and Lagos to two alyears after Nigeria’s independence when Lagos played host to India’s diplomatic house, which effectively laid the foundation for the mutual beneficial relationship between Lagos State and India and Nigeria.

He commended India that after 75 years as a Republic, the country stands as one of the world’s fastest economy. In fact, the fifth in the hierarchy of most economically viable nations of the world.

The event was not without side attractions as Swaryatra Band group entertained the guests continually with sounds from Nigeria and India, chiefly among them tunes from the original Indian classic movie, Disco Dancer and a rendition of Rema’s Calm Down.

Also on hand to entertain the guests with superlative dance steps was the group, Home Creation, which thrilled everyone present with native Indian dance steps.

Among very special guests of honour that graced the occasion was Chairman, Ovation Media Group, Aare Dele Momodu.

Photos: Koya Adegbite

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High Society Present As Rotimi Akeredolu’s Laid to Rest in Owo

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By Eric Elezuo

The ancient town of Owo, Ondo State on Friday was a beehive of activities as it played host to dignitaries and citizens from all walks of life who stormed the town to grace the final burial ceremony of the late former governor of the state, Alakunri Rotimi Akeredolu.

The funeral service held at the St. Andrew’s Cathedral Anglican Church, Imola, Owo, Ondo State.

Akeredolu died on Wednesday December 27, 2023 during a protracted illness in German hospital.

The Vice President, Kashim Shettima, was among the dignitaries, who attended the funeral service at the church, and thereafter.

Other dignitaries whose presence were noted are the Ondo State Governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde; Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Ganduje among others.

Others were former governor of Ondo State, Segun Mimiko; governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun and members of the Ondo State House of Assembly, federal law makers among others.

The late former governor was interred at a burial ground in the town, at a brief ceremony that was strictly attended only by the immediate members of the Akeredolu family before a grand reception was held.

In his speech at the burial, the state Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who was Akeredolu’s deputy, said his former boss always stood for good governance and the rule of law.

“You are all here because he stood for something: good governance and the rule of law. He means a lot to different people, and that is why he has been described in different words. He was a courageous leader, a fighter, and a warrior. How can we forget him so soon? It is not possible because he lives on.

“He used the instrument of governance to intervene in different sectors of the state, including education, health services, and infrastructural development and security, among others,” he said.

Photos: Koya Adegbite

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Osun Gov, Adeleke, Loses Brother-in-Law

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A brother-in-law of the governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, Alhaji Tohir Aderemi Sanni, has died.

Alhaji Sanni is the husband of Governor Adeleke’s sister, Chief (Mrs.) Modupeola Adeleke Sanni.

Meanwhile, the Osun Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has commiserated with the bereaved, Mrs Sanni over the loss of her husband.

In statement signed by the state party chairman, Hon. Sunday Bisi, the party  described the news of the death as extremely sad and shocking, adding that the late business mogul was too good to depart at this time.

The statement reads:

“Osun PDP is really in short of words over the loss of a loving father and friend of our great party, Alhaji Aderemi Sanni, whose carriage exuded love beyond borders. He was a friendly father, so accommodating to a fault!”

“Alhaji Sanni would not hold back words of advice to anyone, no matter the societal disparity in class or status. Baba lived like a friend to all. He was an embodiment of humility in greatness”

“While we continue to grasp with the reality of the demise of Alhaji Sanni, our thoughts are with his wife, Chief Mrs Modupeola Adeleke, the children and members of the immediate family the great icon left behind”

“May Almighty Allah repose his gentle soul and grant him jannatul firdaus.”

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Lagos Country Club Appeals to Members for Calm

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The Lagos Country Club has appealed to its members and well wishers to remain calm and exercise restraints in the face of the current developments at the Club.

The appeal is coming on the heels of the illegal moves by the Registered Trustees of the Club to suspend the Management Council and constitute an Interim Management Board.

The Management Council made the appeal in a Special Statement to members and staff urging them to go about their activities in the Club without fear.

The Statement assured them of their commitment to upholding the Constitution of the Club, resolving the issues as soon as possible, and providing a safe and enabling environment.

The Chairmen of eight out of the ten sections of the Club have rejected the Interim Management Board arrangement and called on well meaning members of the Club and elders to wade in and explore avenue for peaceful resolution and allow peace to reign.

Meanwhile, His Lordship, Hon Justice Lewis Allagoa of Federal High Court of Nigeria in the Lagos Judicial Division has granted an Interim Injunction restraining the Trustees of Lagos Country Club from dissolving the Management Council of the Lagos Country Club and constituting a Caretaker Committee howsoever called or described.

In line with the order of Court for the status quo to remain, the Management Council remains in charge of the day to day running of the Club.

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