BREAKING: OONI REAFFIRMS OGUN FOREMOST LAWYER AMB. HABEEB WHYTE ESQ AS MD/CEO OLOFIN PRODUCTS INTERNATIONAL
The Ooni of Ife, Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, today Friday, September 16 2022 at Ile-Ife, Osun state, unveiled an iconic retail outlet branded OjajaMore, a viable food-chain retail store dealing in groceries and other consumables.
Explaining the initiative at the commissioning ceremony held at the premises of the retail store located at the KM 10, Ife/Ibadan express way in Ile-Ife today, the Ooni stated that the establishment of OjajaMore is in fulfillment of his agelong aspiration to redesign retail activities that will be gainfully driven by the Nigerian youths with a view to creating an enduring legacy for Africa in the global space.
“Today, I am exceptionally fulfilled to unveil the OJAJAMORE, one of the profound and timeless initiatives that I envisioned for the modernization of Ile-Ife, Osun State, and other Nigerian cities. It is a triumph and regeneration of retail economies, a reservoir of seamless opportunities for new agro-commodities markets significantly improving access to B2B value chains, a social sanctuary for groceries and other products, and an iconic global brand name that will leave indelible marks on young people through job creation, resolving commoditization issues, and harnessing the integration of locally built flawless novelty digital transactions.
A rethinking of our approach and values for shopping malls in Nigeria and for Nigerians need to be pioneered and readapted. The vision of OJAJAMORE as an indigenous entity with a modern continental outlook is to play a prominent role in people’s lives as a conduit that provides relatable experiences beyond traditional shopping while driving a robust economic culture. It will broaden the boundaries of business growth, increase efficiency, and incorporate value-added elements that will span a remarkable experience and instill a deeper bond in customers.
The OJAJAMORE is part of my multichannel investment strategies, which will naturally serve the Ife Grand Resort and Industrial Park, the OJAJA Arena (a 3,000-seat multi-purpose event center), the OJAJA Hostel (a 2,000-bed hostel facility at Obafemi Awolowo University), and other iconic facilities that I have built in Ile-Ife and the surrounding communities over the last six years. This was a promise that I made at my historic coronation six years ago, and I will stop at nothing to fulfil the truest vision of Ile-Ife as both a symbol of ancient and modern economic powerhouse”. Ooni said.
The Natural Head of the Oduduwa race worldwide stated that he intends to use the new retail store initiative as his deliberate way of getting youths gainfully engaged.
“This is a job creation for the Nigerian youths. OjajaMore simply means where people (consumers) can pay less and get more. It is a combination of royalty and retail to create a different shopping perspective starting from Ile-Ife The Source. The business is structured to allow personalized shopping to grow the retail business which is grossly underdeveloped in Nigeria due to reasons which include proliferation of neighborhood stores and unorganized markets among others.
“While in Johannesburg about 15 years ago on a business visit, I saw so many retail stores, I thereafter realized that as big as Nigeria was and still is, there are only five (5) major malls with no single one in my hometown Ile-Ife that is refined, classy and affordable.
“Like we have names of people branded into companies like this in developed countries, I initiated this project to build the confidence of our younger ones in productive business and investment activities. Youths are the real drivers of economic growth.
“We have started from Ile-Ife because charity begins at home, from here we will cover the entire South West and Nigeria with a chain of over 100 stalls within the next 24 months. It will be first of its kind in Nigeria and the continent of Africa.
“Beyond grooming young minds and serious minded youths in retail business, this initiative will offer over 100,000 direct and indirect employment to our youths across the country, thereby contributing in no small means to human development and capacity building. That’s my target” The Ooni said.
On what Nigerians stand to benefit from patronizing the new outfit, the MD/CEO. of OjajaMore, Mr. Benedict Orioye explained that high-powered technology will be deployed to ensure that customers are treated with respect and royalty as part of value for their money, beyond what is obtainable in similar outfits nationwide.
Orioye said, “Our focus is to have local content as items making up of at least 70 percent of items to be sold here, this is why we are dueling mostly on the farm market. Everything you can think of in the farm will be sold in OjajaMore with decent packaging in line with global standard operating procedure for food handling.
“Aside from fresh and healthy farm produce, the mall will be filled with other retail items as obtainable in other malls around the world but blended with royalty. Our goods are going to be affordably cheap and environment friendly as we have concluded plans to partner the university communities around us to ease the stress of students and other low income earners in shopping.” Orioye said.
In keeping with his unorthodox shift, the Ooni has said OJAJAMORE will be guided by the young people, as they are heroically dedicated to one Nigeria whose greatness and prosperity they are inextricably connected to. As a result, he has intentionally entrusted some of his initiatives and projects to some of Nigeria’s brightest young people. It will be recalled that monarch had on the day of his official coronation in December 2015 dedicated his reign and the throne to the youth. This has consistently seen him engage the youths meaningfully in all his projects and programs both businesses and NGOs.
Apart from Orioye Benedict Gbayisemore, a one time local fisherman from Ilaje Ese Odo area of Ondo state who was appointed MD/CEO of the OjajaMore by the Ooni having discovered him as a well educated and super versatile young man with a Bsc Physics from Obafemi Awolowo University and currently studying for his MSc Business Admin at the University of Ibadan, the super dynamic monarch has also given an array of other brilliant and multi-talented Nigerian youths gainful job opportunities with a lot of them performing creditably well in their various engagements.
Makinde Covenant(DJ Smith) from Ile-Ife, a 3 hundred level student of Dramatic Arts at Obafemi Awolowo University is the one in charge of YAKOYO AFRIKANA an African restaurant which occupies the Gallery section of the OjajaMore established to promote the African heritage using the aspect of our diverse local food and cuisines. There are several other Nigerian youths who have benefited from the Ooni’s G2G platform which he created 4 years ago to drive his Grass-To-Grace aganda for the youths.
A graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Oluwaseun Victor Badejo from Ile-Ife is handling OJAJA PARK, a 25 billion naira model city project in Akure while a 30 year old Kamarudeen Adefajo an indigene of Modakeke-Ife with an HND architecture is the one in charge of OjajaMews, another multibillion housing estate project located at Osogbo in Osun state.
A graduate of Osun State Polytechnic who is fondly called Engineer Fisayo has been made to carry out several successful constructions of the Ooni’s projects like the Ife Grand Resort and Industrial Park, the 3000 seaters multi-purpose event center called OJAJA ARENA, a 2000 bedded hostel facility OJAJA HOSTEL at the Obafemi Awolowo University, the OjajaMore all in Ile-Ife.
Former president of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) Comrade Bello Shagari from Sokoto state is the MD/CEO of Royal African Young Leadership Forum (RAYLF) a platform set up by the Ooni in 2018 for showcasing and celebrating the talented young leaders who are already great but untapped assets for Nigeria. he studied Business Information Systems & Information Technology Middlesex University, London.
Barrister Habeeb Whyte from Abeokuta, a Law graduate of the University of Ilorin is the
MD/CEO Olofin Products Ltd.
an Ooni’s company Packaging everyday agricultural products for sale locally and exports.
One of the Ooni’s Personal Assistants, Tomisin Olawale a graduate of Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada was also recently appointed as Director of Olofin Microfinance Bank, a one-time Ife Community owned bank which has just been succoured by the Ooni for resuscitation. An award winning Inya Sarah Lawal, who coordinates his “Women Owned Micro Businesses” (WOMB).
Others include Olusola Owonikoko, who runs the Royal African Foundation (RAF), Ibidapo Fashina, who runs the Royal African Medical Outreach (RAMO), According to the dynamic king, these young men and women, like millions of others, are a microcosm of his royalty, woven into the fabric of our modernization and industrialization even as history weighs heavily on their shoulders.
While inviting individuals, groups, government and other corporate organizations in Ile-Ife and its environs to join him in the daily patronage of the iconic OjajaMore, the African foremost who doubles as Co-chairman, National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NCTRN) monarch admonished government and well meaning Nigerians to always consider the Nigerian youth as the best partners in progress for the economic liberation of the country.
Otunba Moses Olafare,
Director, Media & Public Affairs,
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Foreign guests, other dignitaries arrive Abuja for Tinubu’s inauguration
AHEAD of the inauguration of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who takes over as Nigeria’s President on Monday, foreign guests and other dignitaries have started arriving at the Federal Capital Territory for the ceremony.
Officials at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria confirmed on Saturday that the authority received a memo from the Federal Government on the expected arrival of presidents and other VIPs, who had started arriving at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
It was also gathered that though foreign nationals had started arriving at Abuja since Monday, the number of visitors coming through the international and presidential wings of the airport increased significantly on Saturday.
A senior Canadian official told Sunday PUNCH that the country’s (Canada) delegation would enter Abuja Saturday night.
It was gathered that the Canadian Government would be represented by the Minister of Housing, Diversity and Inclusion, Ahmed Hussen.
Though the time of arrival of the United Kingdom delegation could not be ascertained, our correspondent learnt that the delegation might come in on Sunday. The UK delegation will be headed by the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for the inauguration.
The delegation includes Minister of State for Development and Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Andrew Mitchell; the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Nigeria and Special Envoy on Girls’ Education, Helen Grant, and the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Richard Montgomery.
From the United States, those on the delegation include; Chargé d’Affaires, US Embassy Abuja, David Greene; United States Representative, California, Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade, US Department of Commerce; Marisa Lago; Commander of US Africa Command, General Michael Langley, and Director, US Trade and Development Agency, Enoh Ebong.
Others are Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, US Department of State, Mary Phee; Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs, National Security Council, Judd Devermont, and Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Africa, US Agency for International Development, Monde Muyangwa.
Speaking on the arrival of VIPs for the inauguration of Nigeria’s 16th President, FAAN’s Head of Corporate Affairs, NAIA, Oluwakayode Adeyeoluwa, told one of our correspondents that a memo was sent to the authority about the high influx of VIPs into Abuja beginning from Saturday.
Adeyeoluwa said, “Of course, we should expect that. Dignitaries and possibly Presidents have started coming, because by the memo that came to my table, it shows that they’ve started arriving.
“They started coming into the country since last week, but it peaked today (Saturday) based on the influx at the international and Presidential wings of the Abuja airport.”
When asked if he had an idea on the Presidents that had already arrived, Adeyeoluwa replied, “No, I didn’t follow-up with that, because those categories of dignitaries will come through the Presidential wing of the airport, and that is not under our jurisdiction.”
India sends delegation
In a related development, the Indian government has sent its Defence Minister, Mr Rajnath Singh, as a Special Envoy of the Prime Minister to attend the inauguration of Nigeria’s President-elect.
The Indian Embassy in Nigeria disclosed in a statement on Saturday that Singh will arrive in Abuja on Sunday for the occasion.
“Mr. Singh is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising senior officials from the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of External Affairs of India,” the statement partly read.
Heavy security at Eagle Square
Meanwhile, operatives of the Nigeria Police, the Armed Forces, the Department of State Services, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Corps, among others, have taken over Eagle Square, venue of the inauguration.
Military personnel, police officers and other security agents deployed for the match past parade continued their dress rehearsals at the venue.
During a tour of the city centre by one of our correspondents, it was observed that major roads leading to the Central Area of the Federal Capital Territory were partially cordoned off by security operatives.
The Central Business District began to look like a ghost town due to the presence of heavy security operatives. Several helicopters were also seen hovering over the city for aerial surveillance on Friday and Saturday.
Similarly, vehicles belonging to the Presidential Guards Brigade and the Nigeria Police Force were seen moving around the city centre, blaring sirens.
Sunday PUNCH also observed that Eagle Square had been deserted by traders, as the usual business activities on the premises had disappeared.
The surroundings of the federal secretariat were also quiet, as civil servants were asked to stay off work from Friday until Tuesday.
Security at five-star hotels
At the Fraser Suites Hotel, one our correspondents observed the presence of four armed police officers stationed at the entrance and an NSCDC squad car in the parking lot and a couple of military officers in the hotel lobby on Saturday.
Hotel security officers conducted car bomb checks upon entry and also directed guests to go through the metal detectors, as well as put their luggage through the detectors.
Some foreign nationals, believed to be delegates of European and Asian countries were spotted moving in and out of major Abuja hotels. The front desk officer confirmed that the hotel was fully booked and would only be available after the inauguration.
At the Transcorp Hilton, several vehicles both of the Nigeria Police Force and the NSCDC were stationed at the junction of Aguiyi Ironsi Street where the hotel is located.
Four officers of both security agencies manned the street and took turns in patrol. While two armed officers were spotted at the exit and entry points of the hotel.
A hotel employee confirmed that the hotel was fully booked, adding that some of the clients included top officials of the Nigerian government as well as foreign dignitaries.
“Yes, we have quite a number of VIP guests, including delegates of foreign governments, but that is the most I can say,” the employee, who pleaded anonymity, stated.
Meanwhile, the police deployed personnel to be on guard for the protection of Aso Rock Presidential Villa and provide security around the Eagle Square.
The personnel are to man all borders, seaports and airports for the purpose of achieving a hitch-free ceremony on Monday.
Sunday PUNCH reports that the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, earlier disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.
Personnel for the inauguration were drawn from Special Forces namely, the Police Mobile Force, Counter-Terrorism Unit, Special Protection Unit, Anti-Bomb Squad, FIB-Intelligence Response Team, and the Special Tactical Squad, among others.
Also deployed by the police were helicopters and drones for aerial surveillance in Abuja and its environs, as well as water cannons and armoured personnel carriers.
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, said police officers and other security operatives were currently located along routes to-and-from the inauguration ground.
However, bands of merrymakers have also besieged the nation’s capital to add colour and melody to the inauguration.
The video of a band entertaining people at the Abuja airport on Saturday was shared on social media.
The drummers were seen at the airport welcoming guests with songs and dances as they disembarked from their aircraft.
Fight corruption, unite Nigerians, Buhari, ex-Kenyan president tell Tinubu
In another development, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and former Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, on Saturday tasked the President-elect to work towards uniting Nigerians irrespective of ethnic and political affiliation.
Both leaders gave the charge during the Inauguration Lecture at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.
This was contained in the statement issued on Saturday by Tinubu’s media officer, Tunde Rahman.
In his keynote address, Kenyatta pleaded with the incoming president to unite the country irrespective of ethnic, political and religious cleavages that might exist.
“The contest is now over and the hard work of building a prosperous and unified Nigeria now begins. Upon assuming the office of President, you will be wise to transcend from tactical politics of an election and assume your role as Nigeria’s vision bearer,” Kenyatta said.
The President also re-echoed Kenyatta’s appeal, stressing that the inauguration lecture highlighted the imperatives of democratic governance, nation-building and various challenges confronting the socio-political fabrics of Nigeria.
He spoke extensively on the significance of democracy in driving Nigeria’s sustainable development.
Tinubu, who was represented by Shettima, used the opportunity to call on Nigerians to stand together with the incoming administration to birth a better country.
Meanwhile, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, has told the President-elect not to occupy his mind with the thought of winning the next election, but on how to develop the country and the next generation.
The Sultan spoke at an event where the former Kenyan President delivered an inaugural lecture titled, ‘Deepening Democracy for Integration and Development’.
Atiku, Obi shun inauguration
In another development, the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is not expected at the inauguration.
This was disclosed to Sunday PUNCH by the Media Adviser to the former Vice President, Mr Paul Ibe.
Giving reasons why his principal will be absent from the event, Ibe denied knowledge of Atiku’s invitation to the event.
The former Vice President, he said, would be in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, on Monday for the commencement ceremony of the American University of Nigeria, a school he founded in 2003.
In the same vein, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has turned down the prospect of attending the May 29 inauguration of Tinubu.
Obi, who spoke through his media aide, Emeka Obasi, told one of our correspondents that it would be absurd for him to be seen attending the inauguration of the same person he believed didn’t win the 2023 presidential election.
The development is coming in the wake of Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed’s, visit to Kaduna on Saturday for the fathia (wedding ceremony) of his deputy campaign director, Alhaji Augie Mohammed’s daughter.
Just in: Diezani slams N100bn defamation against EFCC
A former Minister for Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, on Friday, instituted a N100billion defamation suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The erstwhile Minister, who left the country since 2015, in the suit she filed before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, alleged that the anti-graft agency authored and sponsored several publications that portrayed her as a treasury looter.
For instance, she alleged that the EFCC, on December 16, 2021, made a publication against her that was captioned; “Diezani: EFCC uncovers additional $72.8 million.”
She told the court that the Commission had in 2017, also caused to be published, an article, titled: “Unbelievable!!! EFCC traces N47.2 Billion, $487.5 Million to ex-Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke.”
The former Minister, in the legal action she filed through her team of lawyers led by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, insisted that the publications were done under the supervision of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, who was cited as the 2nd Defendant in the case.
She told the court that the articles, which were widely published by the EFCC, was “false, malicious, injurious and intended to lower the reputation and integrity of and did indeed lower the reputation and integrity of the Claimant in the estimation of right thinking members of the society within and outside Nigeria”.
More so, the former Petroleum Minister, in the suit marked: CV/6273/2023, maintained that the said defamatory publications brought her into “public ridicule, odium, contempt, derision and obloquy.”
Therefore, she is among other things, seeking; “A declaration that the publication titled, ‘By virtue of an order of the Federal High Court of Nigeria sitting in Abuja, Diezani Alison Madueke, had forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the sum of $40,000,000.00, (forty million dollars) only, which jewelries were found and recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the premises of the Respondent and reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of the Respondent’s unlawful activities’, made by the honourable court on Monday, 24th day of January, 2022, relying on the false information made available to the court by the 1st Defendant in a court process dated and filed on the 4th day of July, 2019, and widely published in print media, online and hard copies by various media houses are libelous, false, malicious, injurious and intended to lower the reputation and integrity of and did indeed lower the reputation and integrity of the Claimant in the estimation of right thinking members of the society within and outside Nigeria and also brought the Claimant into public ridicule, odium, contempt, derision and obloquy.
“A declaration that the publication titled ‘By virtue of an order of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, sitting in Abuja, the Prosecution Counsel to liaise with the office of the Attorney General of the Federation towards the extradition of the Defendant’, made by the honourable court on the 28th day of October, 2020, relying on the false information made available to the court by the 1st Defendant in a court process dated and filed on the 13th day of November, 2018, and widely published in the print media, online and hard copies by various media houses are libelous, false, malicious, injurious; were intended to lower the reputation and integrity of, and did indeed lower the reputation and integrity of the Claimant in the estimation of right thinking members of the society within and outside Nigeria and also brought the Claimant into public ridicule, odium, contempt, derision and obloquy.
“A declaration that the claims and publication made by the 1st Defendant on the 16th of December, 2021, to the effect that it had uncovered an additional $72.8 Million, purportedly belonging to the Claimant; and widely published by the 1st Defendant in the print media, online and hard copies by various media houses are libelous, false, malicious, injurious; were intended to lower the reputation and integrity of, and did indeed lower the reputation and integrity of the Claimant in the estimation of right thinking members of the society within and outside Nigeria and also brought the Claimant into public ridicule, odium, contempt, derision and obloquy.
“A declaration that the false and defamatory statement made by the 1st Defendant of and concerning the Claimant on or about 17th of February, 2022, (Channels Television https//:www.channelstv.com→video), to the effect that the Claimant should be extradited for stealing a sum of $2.5 Billion belonging to the Nigerian government, which she must account for, which was widely published by the 1st Defendant in the print media, online and hard copies by various media houses are libelous, false, malicious, injurious; were intended to lower the reputation and integrity of, and did indeed lower the reputation and integrity of the Claimant in the estimation of right thinking members of the society within and outside Nigeria and also brought the Claimant into public ridicule, odium, contempt, derision and obloquy.”
Aside from seeking an order directing both the EFCC and the AGF to retract the said libelous publications against her, the Claimant further demanded for an unreserved apology to be published in at least three national dailies within seven days from the date of judgment.
She also prayed the court for; “An order directing the Defendants jointly and severally to pay to the Claimant the sum of N100,000,000,000.00 (100 billion naira) only as damages for the false, injurious, malicious and libelous publications against the Claimant in the 1st Defendant’s publishing platform, and at the instance of both the 1st and the 2nd Defendants.”
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.
BREAKING: Federal Government Declares Public Holiday
The much awaited declaration has finally be made. The federal government of Nigeria after plenty suspense has later decided to declare holiday for all workers in Nigeria.
The Federal Government has declared Monday, May 29, 2023 as work-free day for all workers in the country to commemorate the inauguration 16th elected President of Nigeria. The declaration was made by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, in Abuja on Friday on behalf of the Federal Government.
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