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Why Nigerian military must develop capacity for self-sufficiency – COAS


The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, has reiterated the need for Armed Forces of Nigeria to attain self-sufficiency in production of military hardware to internally meet its operational needs.

Lagbaja said this, while delivering a lecture titled: ‘Role of the Military in the Protection of Nigeria’s National Interest and Security’, at the Maiden Edition of The Chief of Army Staff Annual Lecture Series 2024, at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre on Thursday in Abuja.

He said the lack of industrial base had turned Nigeria into a mere consumer nation, saying that the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) Act 2023, would to some extent, address the shortcoming.

According to him, the ability of the country to look inward and produce its needed equipment will help the military to be at par with other developed nations of the world.

He said that experts had argued that international system was anarchical as all the nations pursued their interests at the expense of others.

This, ac
cording to him, explains why some of Nigeria’s strategic partners do not assist nor sell equipment to the country and the armed forces of Nigeria.

‘In the past, during the civil war and in contemporary era when the Boko Haram crisis was at its peak, Nigeria was denied by the US using human rights record, the international humanitarian law and America’s Adversary through Sanctions act of 2017.

‘ Nigeria’s ability to procure some of the weapons needed was at variance with the interests of countries involved at that material time.

‘While the nation and the armed forces of Nigeria adhered to the specific international standards, the antisocial elements are not and some, like the Boko Haram, do not even recognise those enforcing the standards on the armed forces of Nigeria,’ he said.

The COAS called for enhancement of the military’s effectiveness in internal security operations, containing external aggression and territorial integrity for a safer nation starting with implementation of a whole of society approa
ch.

He said the Nigeria’s National Security Strategy 2019, provided for adoption of a Whole of Society Approach to Security, adding that the concept needed to be refined to suit Nigeria’s environmental circumstances.

According to him, awareness about it must be given wider and extensive publicity, using the Ministry of Information and its agencies. .

This, he said, would assist in bringing in all segments of Nigeria society to be part of the efforts, thereby ensuring the citizenry would be ready to assist law enforcement agencies, particularly the armed forces of Nigeria, with information and intelligence.

‘This in turn, will entrench trust and cooperation of citizens and local communities with the military and other security agencies.

‘It will also take care of the need for the citizenry to understand the essence of security and ensure participation of the private sector,’ he added.

Lagbaja called for increased manpower for the armed forces and all other security agencies, particularly the police, to h
ave the requisite capacity to effectively man the nation’s security landscape.

He also called for increased funding for the military to be able to deploy optimally to tackle prevailing security challenges bedeviling the country.

The Minister of Defence, Muhammed Badaru, promised to ensure that the nation reaped the full benefit of DICON with signing of the bill into law.

Badaru urged all Nigerians and private sector to key into the idea of investing in the military industrial complex as a viable and profitable venture for the benefit of the nation.

He said the security situation had been improving , assuring that President Bola Tinubu would continue to do his best to provide all necessary equipment and funding needed to fight the war.

He added that there had been significant improvement in funding of armed forces even though not adequate, adding that the nation is progressively moving toward the right direction.

In his remarks, Tajudeen Adeola, a Nigerian businessman and Co-Founder of Guaranty Trust Ban
k, who chaired the session, said the purpose of government was to improve the standard of living of citizens.

Adeola said the military, saddled with the responsibility of defending the territorial integrity of the country had continued to keep the country safe and secure.

He said that greater things could only happen if the nation achieved an environment of peace, adding that the military must be equipped and empowered to carryout the responsibility.

The Director-General of NARC, retired Maj.-Gen. Garba Wahab, said the lecture was meant to look at national issues and the role of the forces in national security and interests.

He thanked the army chief for the support to the centre and the minister of defence for his support for the lecture series, assuring that subsequent editions would be opened to interaction.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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Right governance key to continent’s transformation- AfDB


The African Development Bank (AfDB) has reiterated the need for efficient and effective governance on the continent to enable Africa achieve transformation.

The Secretary-General of AfDB, Prof. Vincent Nmehielle, said this at a pre-media virtual briefing to herald the 2024 AfDB Annual Meetings.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meetings are scheduled to hold in Nairobi, Kenya from May 27 to May 31.

‘Africa has to get its governance right. We have to manage our resources well. We have to engage to minimise waste of resources.

‘Africa must come to the point where it sees governance as an important instrument of economic development.

‘We all have to put our hands on deck, the government, the private sector, commercial entities and all citizens. We need to get certain things right to ensure Africa’s transformation,’ he said.

According to Nmehielle, Africa’s access and participation in the global financial system is key.

He said it was, therefore, crucial for African countries to have greate
r participation and prepare themselves to take better advantage of available access to finance.

Meanwhile, Prof. Kevin Urama, AfDB’s Chief Economist and Vice President for Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, also reiterated the importance for economic transformation on the continent.

Urama said :’ Debt, management, improving risk ratings of countries and related topics will be on the table at the Annual Meetings as part of global architectural reform discussion.

‘Already, the government of Zimbabwe is doing a lot to address debt arrears clearance.

‘The bank is working with its minister of finance to ensure debt reduction models to enable the country maximise its huge economic advantages.

‘I commend Mthuli Ncube, the nation’s finance minister as well as the country’s central bank governor for putting Zimbabwe on track.

‘If you look at their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, it is really on a very positive trajectory.’

According to the vice-president, Africa is a key participant in the ongoi
ng dialogue around global architectural reforms.

He said the bank under the leadership of its president, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, was leading and shaping the conversation through innovation and pioneering initiatives such as hybrid bonds.

He said AfDB was also working to see International Monetary Fund (IMF) Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), channeled to Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) that could leverage them to provide extra financing for development.

‘And Africa is really driving that conversation significantly. Therefore, African countries should be well positioned to access the funds,’ Urama said.

According to Urama, the statutory annual meetings are AfDB’s group most important event of the calendar year.

He said the meetings would take place at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, Kenya.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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Wike appoints Amb. Tamuno MD Abuja Investment Company


The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, has appointed Amb. Maureen Tamuno as the new Managing Director of Abuja Investment Company Limited.

Mr Anthony Ogunleye, Director of Press, Office of the Minister, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, said that the appointment was with immediate effect.

Ogunleye said that Tamuno, an experienced public officer, entrepreneur, and diplomat, was the Nigerian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Belize, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.

The director also announced the termination of the contract of Messrs Integrated Facility Management Services Ltd, for the management of the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

He said that the termination was with immediate effect, adding that Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, has been contracted for the immediate and comprehensive renovation of the centre.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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‘Ajakaju’ grosses N101.2m in 5 days


Eniola Ajao’s debut cinema production, ‘Ajakaju (Beast of Two Worlds)’, has grossed N101.2 million within five days of its release.

FilmOne Entertainment, disclosed this on Thursday via its instagram handle, @filmoneng.

The epic film was released nationwide on Friday, March 29.

The film distribution company wrote: ‘The Beast has conquered!!!????

‘Ajakaju: Besst of Two Worlds is making all the waves in the cinemas nationwide hitting 101.2m at the box office in five days??.

‘Nigerians are not playing on this one. Thank you for trusting every movie we dish out ??????.’

Ajakaju explores the plight of a king facing exile due to his wives’ inability to conceive a male heir.

To ensure the continuity of his dynasty, he marries a woman from another realm, leading to unforeseen turmoil and a battle for his legacy.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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Foundation empowers youths, grassroots women on inclusion


An NGO, Trueneed Stage Empowerment Foundation (TSEMF), says it has empowered more than 80 female National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and grassroots women on how to promote gender equity and inclusion.

The Founder of the organisation, Olasupo Austin, made this known during the empowerment event in Abuja on Thursday, saying it was part of the group’s 2024 advocacy programme with the theme ‘Radiant Resilience: Every Woman’s Journey.’

Austin said the programme was to alleviate poverty, improve the quality of life of vulnerable and less privileged persons, as well as promote women inclusion in socio-economic and leadership positions.

He added that ‘after the programme, we want them to become advocates and we need them to realise that there is nothing they want to achieve that they cannot do.

‘We want to see them at the forefront, making impactful changes because when you empower a woman, you empower the whole nation.

‘We are here to get to the grassroots and also bring them to the fore so that the government
can see them, and their voices heard.’

Sophia Adeosun, the Project Officer, Innovation Empathy and Movement for Gender Justice (INEMO Foundation), said the exercise would empower women with skills that would enable them to excel in all areas.

Adeosun said ‘women and girls lag behind in our society due to certain factors, which can be addressed.

‘So, we believe that with women empowerment and girl-child education, we will be able to address them and provide them with opportunities to participate and contribute to the growth and development of the country.’

Dr Oshadare Victor, the Financial and Security Consultant, urged women to key into business opportunities that would empower them and enable them to access funds that would make them at par with others.

She said ‘you need to look for alternatives and earn for yourself from little things you are doing and start small and grow the business.

‘When you grow a business to a point, banks may even be willing to give you additional funding to expand it.’

Mrs
Patience Okolo-Dickson, the Founder/Executive Director, Advocacy for Women with Disabilities Initiative (AWWDI), stressed the need to invest and encourage girl-child education to harness their potential and reduce inequalities.

Okolo-Dickson said there are challenges hindering the growth, development and utilisation of the potential of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), and called for support and attitudinal change toward addressing them.

Ms Mainmuna Sani Magaji, a Youth Development Professional, called for mentorship and skill building to advance women in leadership positions.

Also, Ms Oluwatosin Folajimi, a youth corp member, said the capacity building has equipped her with investment skills that will generate income for her, rather than rely on government job opportunities.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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Idris Malagi: A refreshing example in public information management


Delivering a keynote address at a well-attended National Spokespersons’ Summit and Awards on March 26 in Abuja, former Director-General of the Nigeria Television Authority, Prof. Tonnie Iredia, was excellent as he articulated what should constitute the critical success factors in the work of a spokesperson.

The summit with the theme ‘Change Narrative, Change Society’ was organised by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and National Orientation. Participants at the summit included communication experts, top journalists, scholars and other dignitaries.

A spokesperson must build trust and credibility through transparent and truthful messaging, Iredia said. Such a person must place premium on facts. ‘A spokesperson must also employ clarity in his messaging.

There should be no ambiguity. Such a person must deploy positive narratives. The spokesperson must be detailed and persuasive and make sure that he or she is first with the information to avoid specul
ation. Feedback is important and must be prioritized,’ he pointed out.

An erudite scholar, lawyer, administrator and communication expert, Iredia knows his onions and has earned his stripes. He worked with the then Midwest Television in Benin-City (now Nigerian Television Authority) where he rose to become Manager, News and Current Affairs.

It would appear the former NTA DG had the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris Malagi, a seasoned communication consultant and media mogul in mind, in his brilliant and lucid diagnosis. This is because in his handling of the Federal Government’s information and public communication machinery, Malagi parades all those essentials of effective communication brilliantly encapsulated by Iredia.

Malagi is humble, cool, calm, not loud, factual, truthful and evinces believability in his appearance, carriage and conduct.

In his speech at the summit, Malagi himself identified the imperatives of some of the earlier mentioned principles behind ef
fective public communication.

He said Nigeria is a diversely blessed and vibrant country, grapples with the need to create a cohesive national identity; one that transcends ethnicity, religion, and political affiliations, and as such ‘crafting a compelling national narrative becomes paramount as we strive to live up to our vast potential.’

According to him, as communication professionals, the spokesperson must be aware he plays a crucial role in shaping perceptions, disseminating accurate information, and fostering trust.

‘Indeed, the nation’s peace, stability, growth, and development can only be attained by how we communicate. We must recognize the critical role that effective communication plays in shaping narratives, building trust, and fostering understanding.’

Both Iredia and Malagi harped on the significance of trust in public communication or indeed in any communication for that matter.

The Minister of Information puts this succinctly: ‘The future of communication points toward technology, but for
technology to make a meaningful impact, it must be anchored on trust. Trust remains a critical element in building relationships; be it at personal, group, and even community levels.

‘As spokespersons, we need to make conscious efforts to build trust and restore hope wherever we are. Building and maintaining trust must be a collective responsibility. For trust to have value, it must be anchored on authenticity, transparency, and consistency.’

Like Iredia, who stressed that both external and internal publics are important and that all stakeholders should be carried along because a disgruntled person within the system can endanger the messaging, Malagi also spoke about collaboration and inclusivity at the summit.

‘The current trend of communication is driven by technology. While technology allows us to personalize messages like never before, collaboration enables us to build consensus among colleagues, stakeholders, and experts.’

Indeed, Malagi not only believes in his precepts, he practices them. He tries
to carry everyone along in an all-inclusive manner. That he acts out his preaching is evident enough in the way and manner he carries on as Information Minister, which is perhaps why he is achieving bounteous positive results.

For instance, as he stepped out as minister he constituted a National Communication Team headed by him and comprising the Information, Strategy, Media and Publicity Managers in the Presidency and Director-Generals of Information and Communication agencies under him to build consensus and synergy and promote collaboration on the important task of disseminating the policies and initiatives of the government and its agencies under the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu. The team will also track post-messaging feedback.

Recently, the National Communication Team was on tour of Kano, Jigawa and Kaduna states in the North-West. In Jigawa, the team visited wheat, millet and maize farms, an example of dry season farming, which raised the likelihood of the state meeting the expected n
ational targets for domestic consumption and exports. The team also engaged in an interactive session with the farmers, millers, and other important stakeholders in dry season farming in the state.

In Kano, after meeting and exchanging ideas with senior journalists and social media influencers in the North, who had converged on the city, the team returned to also interface with the business community in that commercial city on the government’s economic programmes, their impressions, expectations and challenges.

Arriving in Kaduna to attend the annual Ramadan Lecture organised by the NTA and Voice of Nigeria and attended by prominent Islamic scholars and Emirs from the North, the team opted to return to Abuja by rail so it could inspect the facilities at the train station in Kaduna and interview some of the operators and passengers using the train.

The Information Minister’s speeches on these visits were also remarkable. The speeches reek of the passion and enthusiasm he takes to the job.

Speaking when he
paid a courtesy call on Gov. Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State, he said: ‘We are here in Kano as representatives of His Excellency, Mr. President, to meet with Nigerians, from various walks of life.

‘The President has tasked us with engaging with various groups of stakeholders, to share and explain what his administration has been doing to make life better for all Nigerians, and to ask for patience and understanding in the face of the economic challenges we are experiencing.’

A day after at a stakeholders’ meeting with the business leaders in Kano, he highlighted the achievements recorded so far by the Tinubu Administration to make Nigeria a better place to live, and do business and investment. He said the President is committed and has shown rare leadership on many fronts.

On why the team decided to return to Abuja by train, the minister said: ‘The National Communications Team embarked on a train journey back to Abuja from Kaduna after our stakeholders engagement in Jigawa, Kano and Kaduna.

‘We had a fruitf
ul interaction with commuters, welcoming their enthusiasm and noting their feedback. We reiterated the commitment of our administration to securing the lives and properties of travellers, safeguarding our rail infrastructure and improving the quality of service delivery.’

-Rahman is a Senior Presidential Aide

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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Again fire guts Gamboru market in Borno


Again fire has gutted the Gamboru market around the Custom area in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on March 18, 2023 and Nov. 13, 2023, fire gutted the market which is the biggest perishable goods market in Maiduguri.

Confirming the incident, the Borno Commissioner for Information and Internal Security, Alhaji Usman Tar, said the fire broke out at the Layin Yan Katako and outer sections of the market.

Tar in a statement said the incident which occurred on Wednesday at about 10 p.m., was effectively extinguished by men of the fire service.

‘The Borno State Fire Service immediately dispatched a team of firefighters to site and the fire was effectively extinguished.

‘No human casualty reported. The security of the market was not at risk of trespass or vandalisation,’ he said.

According to him, the fire service and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) are conducting on-the-spot assessment of the incident to determine the root causes and steps to a
void future occurrence.

The commissioner said that the state government would take all steps to overcome fire disasters in the state.

He advised members of the public to maintain law and order and ensure the safety of the market is not breached.

‘On behalf of the Borno State Government, we commiserate with all who are affected by this incident.

‘We also thank the first responders for their speed of action which prevented the fire from spreading across the market space,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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U.S. destroys drones, missile fired by Houthi militants


The U.S. Armed Forces said on Thursday that they destroyed two drones and a missile launched by Iran-backed Houthi militants and targeting a U.S. destroyer in the Red Sea.

The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and destroyer USS Gravely on Wednesday morning successfully engaged and destroyed one inbound anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM).

Two Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) were launched by Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists from Yemen towards USS Gravely in the Red Sea, the command said.

‘There were no injuries or damage reported by U.S., coalition or commercial ships,’ it said in a statement.

CENTCOM forces also destroyed a mobile surface-to-air missile system in Houthi-controlled territory after determining they presented a threat to U.S., coalition forces and merchant vessels in the region, the command added.

The Islamist militia has vowed to attack ships in the Red Sea linked to Israel.

However, many of the vessels that have come under fire have no connection with the country.

The Houthis say they wanted
to force an end to the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip.

Because of the continuing Houthi attacks, major shipping companies are increasingly avoiding the shortest sea route between Asia and Europe and sailing around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope instead.

Several Western countries, including the U.S. and Britain, have launched operations to protect ships in the region in response to Houthi attacks.

The European Union has also launched a military operation to secure merchant shipping in the Red Sea, one of the most important shipping routes for world trade.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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Steer clear of political activities, Ondo govt warns civil servants


The Ondo State Government has warned civil servants to stay away from political activities ahead of the Nov. 16 governorship election in the state.

The state Head of Service (HoS), Bayo Philip, gave the warning on Wednesday during the commencement of the 2024 promotion exercise for civil servants in the state.

Philip charged them to maintain the highest standard of professionalism and adhere to the established rules and regulations of the service.

‘I must also tell you, this is an election year, do your job. You are civil servants and have nothing to do with partisan politics; engage your mind more than you engage your mouth.

‘I want to admonish you, in your respective desks, you must not deliver short of quality and you must not deliver late.

‘Whatever you are to do must not be short of quality and must not be done late. Do your job as patriotic civil servants that you are,’ he said.

He disclosed that Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa had approved the promotion of 4,200 workers with attendant financial benefits.

Philip, who appreciated the governor for the gesture, urged the benefiting workers to reciprocate by putting their best in service delivery, saying ‘to whom much is giving, much is expected’.

‘I must appreciate Mr Governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who said ‘head of service, don’t pursue me with any file, everyone who is due for promotion, go ahead and promote them’.

‘The position of our governor is that a labourer is worthy of his wage even before his sweat will dry and an officer is worthy of his promotion as and when due,’ the HoS said.

Earlier in her remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Establishment and Training, Mrs Olufunke Dare-Atuse, enjoined participants not to take the promotion for granted, but rather justify it through improved efficiency in their new positions.

Dare-Atuse lauded the government for prompt approval of the process and without stringent conditions and unnecessary encumbrances.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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Nigeria’s Usiobaifo, bags U.S. Embassy 2024 ‘Woman of Courage’ award


The United States Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria has conferred its 2024 Woman of Courage award on Ms. Priscilla Usiobaifo, Executive Director, Braveheart Initiative for Youth and Women (BHI), an NGO.

This is contained in a statement issued by Ms. Aishah Gambari, the spokesperson of the U.S. Embassy on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to Gambari, Usiobaifo’s recognition stems from her two decades of unwavering dedication and contribution to reforming laws and dismantling socio-cultural norms which perpetuate gender-based violence in Nigeria.

Speaking at the ceremony, Gambari said that the Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, Art Brown, explained that preventing all forms of gender-based violence was a cornerstone of the U.S. government’s commitment to promoting democracy and human rights.

‘This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Invest in women: accelerate progress.’ I’m proud of the United States government’s longstanding investment in women.

‘Together with the government of Nigeria and our local part
ners, we’ve made significant investments in the lives of Nigerian women and girls, particularly in health, enterprise, and ending all forms of gender-based violence.’

‘The U.S. Embassy conferred the award as part of activities celebrating the 2024 Women History Month, in keeping with the U.S. government’s commitment to recognise and celebrate individuals who are advancing gender equality and equity,’ Gambari quoted Brown as saying.

She further said Brown noted that the U.S. government was working with Nigerian partners to dismantle all the barriers and impediments to gender equality.

‘Ending all forms of gender-based violence requires a whole-of-society approach to address the deep-seated socio-cultural norms underlying gender-based violence in Nigeria.

‘Today, we’re delighted to celebrate and amplify the work of a woman who is a fierce advocate for women’s rights,’ Gambari also quoted Brown as saying.

The Embassy spokesperson said that Usiobaifo, in her acceptance speech, thanked the U.S. Mission for sp
otlighting her work and pledged to do more for women and girls.

‘Young women, especially those who work in rural communities, can be unrecognized because of the locality of the work that we do. But here I am today as a testament that no matter where you are and where you do your work, your work speaks, and it speaks very loudly.

‘I want to see this as a spur to do more for women for girls, for children in marginalized communities in Nigeria. I hope that an award like this will inspire government to become more accountable to their citizens and to promote justice for survivors of gender-based violence in Nigeria,’ Usiobaifo said.

Gambari said that Sen. Ireti Kingibe, Senate Committee Chairperson on Women Affairs, in a remark at the event, commended the U.S. Embassy for Usiobaifo’s recognition.

Kingibe added that the award would motivate other young women to continue to do their best.

Gambari also said that Mrs. Dayo Benjamin-Laniyi, FCT Mandate Secretary for Women Affairs, congratulated Ms. Usiobaifo for
her courage and reiterated FCT’s commitment to end gender-based violence.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ‘Woman of Courage’ award recognises women who have taken unusual risks, surmounted significant obstacles, challenged harmful practices, and fought gender-based discrimination.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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We received 5,020 visitors in Q1-National Museum Curator


Mrs Oriyomi Otuka, the Curator of National Museum of Unity, Ibadan, said that no fewer than 5,020 visitors visited the museum in the first quarter of the year.

Otuka who said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Ibadan, said that the number of visitors received in the first quarter was not impressive.

She said that out of the number of visitors received, 11 were foreigners, while 4,008 were Nigerian students.

According to her, the museum received 1,195 visitors in January, while in February it received 1,306 and in March 2,519.

She said although the numbers were not what they would have wanted; they were however impressed that it kept increasing monthly.

‘Looking at the figures from January to March, you will agree with me that it keeps getting better each month, and we are impressed.

‘If we keep reaching out to the people, we are sure we are going to double the total of the first quarter, God willing.

‘Usually everyone sees January as a dull period for business, an
d the Museum is not left out; that’s why we had just a little above 1,000 visitors.

‘In February and March, the total number of visitors, especially the school children, increased. We are expecting many more school children and adults in the next quarter,’ she said.

The Curator added that plans were ongoing to create more awareness for the museum.

‘We are making museum visits interactive. We are attracting tourists both within and outside Ibadan with an online events calendar. We are promoting local attractions and local events,’ she said.

Otuka said that hosting a festival to attract tourists and art lovers all over Nigeria was also in the pipeline.

NAN reports that Museums are institutions that acquire, preserve, interpret, and exhibit artifacts of artistic, cultural, scientific, and historical importance.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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Gospel singer Nathaniel Bassey petitions IGP over paternity allegations


Gospel singer Nathaniel Bassey has petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, over allegations that he fathered his colleague, Mercy Chinwo’s son.

The singer, in a petition filed by his lawyers, Peter Abraham, Uche Matthew, Gbenga Agunloye, and Anthony Abia, asked the IGP to investigate and prosecute four social media users who accused him of paternal fraud.

It may be recalled that four social media users; Okoronkwo Ejike, Kingsley Ibeh, Terrence Ekot, and DJ Spoiltkid, had alleged that Bassey fathered the son of the popular gospel singer, an allegation that went viral social media.

They made the allegations on their social media accounts when Mercy and her husband, Blessed Uzochikwa posted pictures of their son and themselves on different social media platforms on March, 29.

Mr Ejike’s post read: ‘This Mercy Chinwo’s child she was hiding after giving birth, but the truth is that this baby looks exactly like singer Nathaniel Bassey.

‘Nothing anybody wants to reason with me oh. Th
is child is Nathaniel Bassey’s Baby. Maybe a secret away match occurred; otherwise, how can we make empirical sense of this.’

Mr Terrence Ekot on the platform ‘X’ reads: ‘Take a look at the stunning resemblance of Mercy Chinwo’s son and Nathaniel Bassey.

‘Though the duo has been working together on several projects, what do you have to say?’

The posts had gone viral on social media, with many calling out Bassey on why he should be involved in such an appalling act .

According to the petition submitted to the IGP on 1 April, the consequences of making such statements on social media had been known to tarnish the reputations of individuals, render marriages unstable.

The lawyers said the social media posts by the four individuals amounted to complete assassination of Bassey’s character.

They therefore urged the police authorities to urgently treat the petition against the four social media users.

The petition reads in part : ‘Our client is a gospel music minister whose songs and ministrations have impact
ed the lives of so many from different walks of life across the globe.

‘On Friday, the 29th day of March 2024, Mercy Chinwo Blessed another popular gospel music minister, and her husband posted pictures of their son and themselves on different social media platforms.

‘However, our client was disheartened, saddened, and grossly disturbed to find that the above-mentioned suspects, as mischief makers with a criminal intent to destroy the image and character of our client..

‘They had made different social media posts of defamatory matter, calling our client ‘the father of minister Mercy Chinwo Blessed’s son,’ a woman who is married to another man.

‘In a post on the platform ‘X’ formerly known as Twitter, ‘Dj SpoiltKid’ a verified X user, quoted the statement by Okoronkwo Ejike along with a screenshot of the post and added, ‘When are we doing DNA test?’

‘These nefarious acts of these suspects, if not immediately dealt with, will continue to destroy our client’s image, injure his reputation, assassinate his ch
aracter and cast aspersion on the good name built by our client over the years.’

The lawyers said the alleged actions of the four individuals contravened sections 373 and 375 of the Criminal Code Act as well as Section 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.).

‘Consequently, we urge you to use your good offices to, in the interest of justice, investigate this matter, arrest, and bring the suspect to justice, which will serve as a deterrent to others.’

Source: News Agency of Nigeria