Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, a lawyer and politician, is a man who does not shy away from his duty. As the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, he is naturally responsible for the political decisions taken by President Goodluck Jonathan. With the emergence of the All Progressive Congress, APC, and the insistence of some politicians that Jonathan should not contest the 2015 election, Gulak says the President is entitled to run in the poll. The presidential aide asserts that it would be wrong for any Nigerian or group to abridge Jonathan’s tenure on account of the fact that he came in by circumstance to serve out the remainder of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Ádua’s tenure.
Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, 68, is chemical engineer product of University of Liege, Belgium. A farmer that he also is, Ladoja was one of the very few Nigerian figures that created the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Between 2003 and 2007, he was elected governor of the Oyo State. For three hours at his Bodija GRA home in Ibadan last weekend, he told Sunday Vanguard the story of what transpired between him and Governor Abiola Ajimobi and how the attitude of the governor has led to the current strained relationship between the ACN-led government and his young but vibrant Accord Party. On the state-of-the-nation, he said since Nigeria cannot be discussed without a mention of the PDP, that PDP’s biggest mistake was its failure to make the late Sunday Awoniyi its national chairman.
Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye clocked 80 two Fridays ago, precisely February 8, 2013.
An economist, seasoned administrator and former President of the Alumni of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, which is the highest body for policy formulation and leadership training in the public sector of Nigeria, the Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State- born democrat put in 35 years of meritorious service in the public service including 28 years in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) where he rose to the position of Director. In 1992, he was an aspirant to the office of the President of Nigeria on the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP). He later became an elected Senator of the Republic (1999-2003).Durojaiye, currently a constitutional lawyer, speaks, in this interview, on many issues.
Ever since the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Onyeabor Azubuike Ihejirika, ordered the redeployment of Major General Mohammed Isah, the former Commander, Infantry Corps and Centre, co-located with the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji that was bombed by Boko Haram terrorists, last November, the COAS has known no peace.
Prince Tony Momoh, 72, is a journalist, lawyer and politician. He was the Minister of Information and Culture (1986–1990) during the military regime of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, when he concurrently operated as Chairman, African Conference of Information Ministers (1988-1990). He became the Chairman, Board of Directors of Nigerian Airways (1991-1993) and was elected National Chairman, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in January 2011. Momoh, an Auchi, Edo State-born author, for two hours, spoke to Sunday Vanguard in his office in Abuja on his new book, “Echoes From The Past”, the ride by the opposition parties toward the formation of a mega party and rounded it off by saying, “2015 elections will be fought at the polling units not in courts.”
Dr Simon Imuekheme is one leader in Edo State who assisted in the stabilization of the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led administration from its inception in 2008. He was Permanent Secretary, Head of Service and Secretary to the State Government until November 9, 2012, when the State Executive Council was dissolved. Following his accomplishments in the civil service, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) honoured him.
“CAPTAIN” Mark Anthony was the spokesperson for the Niger-Delta Liberation Force, NDLF, a defunct militant group, led by “General” John Togo who was killed in a bombardment by the Joint Task Force, JTF, on Niger-Delta in 2010. Togo initially accepted amnesty in 2009, but reneged when he returned to the creeks to wage a fresh oil war.
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Rules and Business, Hon. Sam Tsokwa (PDP Taraba) heads a very vital committee which could be likened to the engine room of the Green Chambers of the National Assembly. In this no-holds-barred interview he granted to a group of journalists, he postulated that the Farouk Lawan saga was contrived by the executive arm of Government to rubbish the report of the House Committee on Petroleum Subsidy which the embattled Lawan chaired.He asked why the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar who investigated the allegations against Farouk refused to charge him to court?
As the deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and an associate of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Chief Olabode Ibiyinka George, a retired navy commodore, bestrode the south-west PDP like a colossus. Severally, he went on collision with the Alliance for Democracy (AD) government in Lagos, his home state, under the leadership of Ashiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu. Then he fell from grace to grass after he was convicted of fraud while he was the chairman of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA). In this interview, Bode George tells the story of his imprisonment which he attributes to politics.
The Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexander Polyakov, speaks on the crisis in Syria.According to him, the position of his home government is that solution to the crisis lies in political dialogue between the government and the opposition.
In view of the recent communal clashes that have displaced over 12,500 persons in four villages in Nasarawa state last week, many displaced are still living in apprehension of possible reprisal attacks though the governor assured them of adequate security while urging them to return to their respective domains
Former National Woman Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mrs Josephine Anenih was in Benin City last Monday for a sensitization training on rights of persons living with HIV/ AIDS. She spoke passionately about the rights of victims and women in politics. Saturday Vanguard in this interview discusses the rights of victims. She also speaks on the PDP crisis and other national issues.
In this exclusive interview with Vanguard, the Honourable Commissioner for Finance of Imo State, Deacon Chike Okafor speaks with Vanguard on his invitation to EFCC on what he described as a spurious allegation to tarnish the image of the present leadership of Imo State. While addressing a number of issues, he emphasized that the roadmap of development is sure and that all sons and daughters of the State should be rest assured
From an Apomu town boy in Osun State to a world renowned cardiologist, that is the story of Dr.Kingsley Kolapo Akinroye. Vice-President of the World Heart Federation in Geneva, President of the African Heart Network and also Executive Director, Nigerian Heart Foundation, Kingsley’s titles are almost inexhaustible.
Senator Ben Obi is the Special Adviser to the President on Inter -Party Relations. In this interview, Obi says he warned as far back as 12 years ago (2001) that terrorism in Nigeria could turn deadly. According to him, his experience motivated an anti -terrorism bill he initiated eight years ago in the Senate. He also speaks on President Goodluck Jonathan’s plan for Nigeria this year, Igbo leadership and the potentials of the country achieving Vision 20:2020, among other national issues. Excerpts:
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State last October marked his two years in office. In this interview, Fayemi reflects on the challenges of the 24 months as the chief helmsman of his state. He also speaks on his endorsement for second term by his party, Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN), based on the mid term report of his administration.
The dust raised by the crash of Dana Air plane at Iju Ishaga, Lagos, killing all 153 passengers and crew on board, and others on ground is yet to settle, as National Assembly members and regulatory agency, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority are still on war path.
Prince Bola Ajibola (SAN), a former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, says President Jonathan has more challenges to contend with than having a face-off with former President Olusegun Obasanjo on his comment on the state of the nation. As a member of the panel of judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which decided the issue of Bakassi between Nigeria and Cameroun, the former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, in this interview with Sunday Vanguard at his Hilltop GRA home in Abeokuta, gives some insight into how the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroun actually occurred.
Francis Okpozo is a Second Republic senator and a Niger-Delta leader. He is one of those in the forefront of the agitation that the 13 percent derivation must go straight to oil producing communities and not the state governors. In this interview, he warns that the agitation may snowball into another round of crisis in the Niger-Delta if President Goodluck Jonathan fails to take urgent steps towards addressing the issue. He also speaks on the 2015 presidency, just as he calls on the old brigade politicians to quit politics and allow the younger generation of Nigerians take the mantle of leadership. Excerpts:
WITHIN minutes of meeting Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, you would notice he is impatient and wants to be in charge. His impatience with finishing things quickly has had to battle with traditional bureaucracy. There is so much to do that he fears there may not be enough time for him to complete the transformational projects for Rivers State.
DELTA State Coordinator of FADAMA III, Mr Anthony Abanum, in this interview, speaks on how the project is redressing poverty and enhancing agrriculture in the state. He also says the recent flooding in Delta has some positive impact on the project. Excerpts:
What do you think could have been responsible for this alleged forgery?
Greed is the driving force behind it, because there are attempts to negotiate my patrimony.
I did not bribe God to make me my father’s first son.
If someone emerges from that door and says he is my father’s son and DNA confirms it; and if the person says he was born on August 2 1956, I will remove my cap and bow for that person because I was born on August 3 1956. And I will not argue with the person because first son comes from God and in Igbo land the first son own the father’s Obi.
Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, 46, is unarguably one of the major persons that have recast the face of banking in the country. Though originally trained as a lawyer, Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede has never really been known to have donned the lawyer’s robe, having taken to banking from his National Youth Service Corps days in 1986.
Zakari Mohammed is the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs. In this chat, Mohammed speaks on the activities of the 7th Assembly. He also gives an insight into the frosty relationship between Mr President and the Green Chamber. Excerpts:
THE National Examinations Council (NECO) has the mandate to conduct five major examinations, namely, National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE), National Entrance Examination into Federal Unity Senior Secondary Colleges (NEEFUSSC), Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) (Internal and External).
The OMBATSE traditional prayer group of Eggon people of Nasarawa state has been described by other ethnic groups in the state as a militia group which is being linked with the crisis that has bedeviled the state in recent times. In this interview with Zachary Zamani Allumaga, our correspondent in Lafia, ABEL DANIEL seeks to unravel the secret behind the OMBATSE group and their activities.
It started like a small matter but after just a few months, Orji Uzor Kalu, former Governor of Abia State and multi-sectoral businessman, has been able to drive the process of putting the pursuit of Igbo presidency on the front burner of national discourse.
Captain Hosa Okunbor is a business mogul and a lover of the less privileged. Last weekend, he bagged the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science Award from the University of Benin (UNIBEN). Eminent people across the country were in Benin-City to celebrate with him on the honour. The soft spoken Captain, who also is a close friend of President Goodluck Jonathan, spoke with Sunday Vanguard shortly after the award on his life and some national issues.
Professor Patrick Muoboghare, a former leader of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Delta State University Abraka chapter turned Commissioner for Basic Education in Delta State, is never scared of controversies. In this interview, he bares his mind on the war of words in the aftermath of Chinua Achebe’s newest book; state police; indigenous crude oil refineries destruction; kidnapping; armed robbery; and sports. Excerpts:
As Comrade Adams Oshiomhole settles down for his second term in office, he has told Edo people that he will not leave any stone unturned in his determination to take the State to the next level.
CHAIRMAN of the Governing Council of Ugborodo Community Trust, Ugborodo, Chief Thomas Ereyitomi, speaks on how he emerged and the allegations of embezzlement against him.
It was a rough beginning for him.He abandoned school after his father died and took to motorcycle spare parts apprenticeship. After finishing and practising the trade for some time, he moved to the motor parts business. Then he dabbled into bulldozer parts business and equipment leasing.