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Isa Gusau: A part of me is gone

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Isa Gusau: A part of me is gone

By: Yakubu Ahmed BK

Innalillahi Wa’inna Ilaihirrajiun. Death – the ultimate leveler has knocked on the door (as it will on ours) of Malam Isa Gusau, the Special Adviser, Media and Strategy to the Borno state Governor Professor Babagana Umara Zulum.

Isa was a complete gentleman, a professional and a loyal friend who gave his all to what he so much loved. Years my junior but almost at par with those who began before him.

Our paths crossed in Maiduguri early 2000 or thereabout and we clicked almost immediately, because we shared many attributes. He was Daily Trust’s Correspondent in Borno and I was Concord Press Correspondent there too, after I had spent 10 years as a Reporter and later a News Editor with Borno Radio Television Corporation BRTV. If you work in Borno, you just have to be at your best. Borno has a way it builds your confidence and sharpens you into a courageous person – and of course into a go getter. He was courageous, and one thing nobody can take away from him was his professionalism – one hell of a writer if you would.

It was not for nothing that he meritoriously served former Borno state Governor (now Nigeria’s Vice President) Kashim Shettima as SA Media for eight solid years from 2011. It was not for nothing again that Kashim Shettima’s successor Babagana Umara Zulum inherited him – and was glad to have done that. Isa was somewhat irreplaceable, no carbon copy of him, take it or leave it.

We spoke last some two weeks ago and believe me even though we were close, he never uttered a word about what he was going through healthwise other than the general knowledge even amongst his closest friends that he had some challenges which we all thought he had dealt with since his surgery at a hospital in India a year ago. It was he who called and as usual, he had some professional suggestions on how I should handle certain PR issues of my Principal in my position as the Commissioner for Information and Culture Kebbi state. We have become used to checking on one another on the professional realm. Each time either of us called, it must be about what either he or I thought should be done to advance the frontiers of image making for our respective bosses.

Since my appointment as Information Commissioner some five months ago, he became restless for me to hit the ground running and to make “that first impression.” The advises we offered to each other were mutual, but I must confess that I drew much more from his fountain of knowledge than he did from mine. That was obvious because he has image managed and PR consulted much earlier than myself and had done it more successfully. The fact that he achieved that much in a state that was not his attested to his capacity and ability in the area he had chosen for himself.

A part of me is gone and I just can’t decipher where to run to when I hit that point of creative slowdown. Of course, we drew from each other but my sense of loss was made worse by the reality that I must dig out with bare hands since one of the shovels is gone. Allah ya jikan Isa Gusau.
Yakubu Ahmed BK is Commissioner for Information and Culture, Kebbi state.

Isa Gusau: A part of me is gone

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Nigeria, UAE to Strengthen Partnership and Collaboration

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Nigeria, UAE to Strengthen Partnership and Collaboration

By: Michael Mike

Plans are underway to further strengthen areas of partnership and collaboration between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This way revealed during the visit of the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa to the Embassy of UAE in Abuja following the removal of the visa ban by placed on Nigeria by the Arab country.

Dabiri-Erewa who was received by the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, stated that NiDCOM intends to engage and sensitize Nigerians in the UAE to be good ambassadors of their country of stay and country of origin, to excel in whatever they are doing and never to forget home.

She added further “this initiative aims to foster better understanding and compliance with local regulations”, while She disclosing that 190 Nigerians were repatriated to Nigeria, with an additional 250 expected to return soon.

She said the actions of individuals in a host country can greatly impact the overall image of their home country, noting that the role of Western media imperialism in perpetuating negative stereotypes about Nigerians.

The UAE Envoy on his part, explained that the visa ban on Nigeria has been officially lifted.

He confirmed that the Visa on Arrival policy has been canceled for all countries, but assured that the new procedures are designed to facilitate tourism and ensure travelers’ safe return.

The Ambassador expressed his commitment to providing the best possible services for Nigerians, with the support of the determined Nigerian government.

He also acknowledged the UAE’s role in safely repatriating 96 Nigerians at no cost.

Marking his one-year anniversary as the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Al-Shamsi shared his positive impressions of Nigeria, describing it as a beautiful country with warm-hearted people who share similar cultural, religious, Android ethnic backgrounds with the UAE.

He expressed his eagerness to continue collaborating with NiDCOM to strengthen ties between the two countries.

Nigeria, UAE to Strengthen Partnership and Collaboration

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UK Government Hosts Stakeholder Meeting on Serious and Organised Crime

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UK Government Hosts Stakeholder Meeting on Serious and Organised Crime

By: Michael Mike

The United Kingdom Government has hosted a multi-stakeholder meeting in Abuja to discuss how its Serious & Organised Crime (SOC) Prevent Programme is making significant strides in deterring vulnerable young people from joining Organised Crime Groups in Nigeria.

Launched as a three-year pilot in December 2021, the programme is designed to disrupt Nigerian Organised Crime Groups by redirecting at-risk youth towards positive alternatives in Bayelsa, Edo, Zamfara and Lagos states.

In select local governments of these states, the SOC Prevent Programme has established robust structures and delivered various interventions, including Back-to-School Initiatives, Digital Skills Acquisition, Dance and Drama Workshops and Sports Interventions.

Collaborating closely with the Nigeria Police Force, the programme has trained 83 officers in the Prevent methodology, reinforcing the commitment to institutionalise this approach in tackling SOC, and to date, approximately 1,500 beneficiaries across the four states have been diverted from potential involvement in organised crime.

Speaking at the meeting, the Acting British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Lever said: “Serious & Organised Crime is a priority for both Nigeria and the UK, and can take many forms. Ranging from online focussed activities like cybercrime to the physical movement of illicit commodities and people in the form of trafficking.

“Our results in Nigeria have proven that the Prevent methodology works, and it has been successful in diverting young people from choosing a life of crime. I believe that the valuable discussions that took place today will smoothen the way for Prevent to be fully institutionalised in Nigeria.”

The meeting included representatives from the Federal Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Police Affairs, the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security & Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), INTERPOL, Office for Strategic Preparedness and Resilience (OSPRE), Ministry of Police Affairs, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and others.

The Prevent programme is an approach to tackling SOC. Others are Pursue, Protect and Prepare. Prevent methodology looks to prevent or deter people from engaging in SOC by raising awareness of the consequences of SOC and developing techniques to deter people from continuing in criminality.

UK Government Hosts Stakeholder Meeting on Serious and Organised Crime

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Adeola Odutola College 79/84 set celebrate 40 years in grand style with multi-million naira donation of solar street light to school

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Adeola Odutola College 79/84 set celebrate 40 years in grand style with multi-million naira donation of solar street light to school

By: Michael Mike

All is now set for the commissioning of multi-million naira installed solar street light by Adeola Odutola College 1979-1984 set as part of the activities lined up to commemorate the 40 years of leaving the school on Friday July 19.

In a statement, the set said the celebration which had earlier been kicked off with a thanksgiving in the Church on Sunday June 16, to mark the 75 years Founder’s Day, will witness a special Jumat service for the commemoration in the school.

According to Abiodun Balogun, the President of Adeola Odutola College Old Students Association 1979-1984 set, stated that the programme will start with the set participating in the morning assembly with the students from 8 a.m followed by a courtesy call on the Principal and Management of the school.

Thereafter, he said there would be commissioning of the installed solar street light at 11.00 a.m donated by the set to the school.

Balogun said the set will join the Muslim community of the School to observe a Jumat service specially for the set .

Other activities lined up for the anniversary include a get together and gala nite where the old students will reunite and reminiscence of their five years stay in the school.

Balogun added that the set is grateful to God for His benevolence on them as it has produced Professors and academicians, top civil servants, businessmen and women, educationists among several others both at home and in the diaspora.

It will be recalled that the set regrouped in 2014 to mark its 30 years in existence with renovation of some classrooms in the school.

Adeola Odutola College 79/84 set celebrate 40 years in grand style with multi-million naira donation of solar street light to school

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