Oil & Gas on my mind — Iyabo Ojo

Multiple award-winning Nollywood actress, Iyabo Ojo whose business conglomerate is fast growing is dreaming of stepping into the oil and gas sector. In this interview with DESMOND EKWUEME, she speaks on her new interest among other issues. How is your new line of business the Abula Spot eatery moving? To God be the glory. OurRead More
The post Oil & Gas on my mind — Iyabo Ojo appeared first on Vanguard News.

Nigeria vs Iceland : Football fans nationwide in frenzy over Super Eagles victor

Nigeria vs Iceland: Soccer fans across the country were in a frenzy as they celebrated the 2-0 victory of the Super Eagles against Iceland in the ongoing World Cup in Russia on Friday.
The post Nigeria vs Iceland : Football fans nationwide in frenzy over Super Eagles victor appeared first on Vanguard News.

APC elects new officers today amid tight security

• Police Deploy 5000 Personnel, Two Helicopters
• FCTA’s 900 Traffic Personnel To Ease Movement
For the first time since assuming power as the ruling party, members of All Progressives Congress (APC) will today elect its national officers at its maiden convention in Abuja. The convention which many have expressed fears that it would be crisis ridden, may be hitch-free, following last minute consultations and horse trading among the party leaders. This development has paved way for a likely consensus arrangement in the choice of the officers at the convention today.
In a bid to ensure that the convention is adequately secure, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, has ordered the deployment of 5000 police personnel for the All Progressive Congress (APC) National Convention holding at Eagles Square, Abuja today.
Police Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, who disclosed in a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, said personnel of other security and safety agencies are also being deployed to complement the Nigeria Police Force in ensuring adequate security and a hitch-free convention.
In addition, two Police Helicopters, six Armoured Personnel Carriers were also deployed for the security of the convention.
According to him: “A total number of 5000 Police personnel comprising, the Police Mobile Force (PMF), the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Special Protection Unit (SPU), the Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD), the Police Mounted Troop, The Dog Section (K9), the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCIID), The Police Air-wing and the Force Armament Unit have been deployed under the supervision of the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Department of Operations, to ensure adequate security for all the accredited participants at the convention.”
He explained that security coverage has been provided also at all the accreditation centres.
Moshood said: “Only accredited delegates and party officials bearing the APC clearance/identification tags will be allowed into the venue.
“Personnel of all security and safety agencies deployed for the security of the convention must also wear the certified identification tag conspicuously at the venue. Only one aide will be allowed to follow their principals into the venue of the convention.”
He warned all unauthorised individuals and groups who have no business with the convention to steer clear of the venue.
“The full weight of the law will be applied on any person or group of persons who try to disrupt the orderliness and conduct of the convention,” he declared.
The police spokesperson also revealed that there would be diversion of traffic from all the routes to the Eagle Square from Ahmadu Bello Way, Shehu Shagari Way and other roads leading to the venue of the convention.
“Road users and other members of the public are advised to use alternative routes,” he said.
Similarly, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration has deployed about 900 traffic management personnel, 100 patrol vehicles, 17 motor-bikes and 15 ton trucks to ensure smooth traffic flow.
The Secretary, Transport Secretariat of the FCT, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, who disclosed this yesterday in a statement also announced that vehicular movement through Shehu Shagari Way will be diverted at Ralph Sodeinde Street by Bullet Building to link the Central Business District in the city.
Opeifa stated that motorists would also be diverted at Kur Mohammed Street and Constitution Avenue at Bayelsa House to the Central Business District (CBD) while traffic on Ahmadu Bello way will equally be diverted at Ralph Sodeinde Street by Finance junction to the Central Business District.
According to him, motorists will also be diverted at Kur Mohammed Street or Constitution Avenue by Benue Building to link the Central Business District.
He, therefore, urged motorists and other road users to take special note of the event and use the alternative routes provided by the FCT administration.
He solicited for understanding and cooperation of all for the success of the temporary traffic routes re-ordering during the convention period.

Osinbajo assures investors, commissions technology campus in Lagos

Chairman of the Board, Vibranium Valley, Cyril Odu(left); Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and Executive Director, Vibranium Valley, Kunmi Demuren at the launch of Vibranium Valley Technology Hub in Lagos …yesterday
Abiola’s Son Lauds FG On Honour Done To Father
The Federal Government has assured investors, both local and international, of improved business climate in the country through robust and efficient policies.
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who stated this in Lagos, yesterday, while commissioning a technology campus: Vibranium Valley, said the business of government was to provide an environment, where businesses could flourish and investments grow, “which have been the targets of this government.”
The Vibranium Valley is a technology hub and a campus, more like the Silicon Valley of the United States of America (USA). It is the creation of the Venture Garden Group (VGG) and currently houses about 30 technology startups companies with a capacity to host about 50 at once. The campus at present occupies the complex of the defunct Concord Newspaper, owned by the late business mogul, Chief MKO Abiola.
Osinbajo said government in its capacity would do everything possible to ensure technology is developed and adequately harnessed.
According to him, the future of Nigeria is not oil or solid minerals, but about technology, innovation, adding: “And tech innovation is all about highly-skilled people, entrepreneurship spirit and a supporting ecosystem of government, investors, mentors and global collaboration.
“In the past, Nigerian billionaires were traders, oil and gas moguls, and natural resources….In the next few years, the billionaires from Nigeria will be techies.
“This government is taking this phenomenal seriously, demonstrated by our Innovation Hub plans; Demo Day, Ease of Doing Business initiative, newly-inaugurated Advisory and Governance Team of Innovation and Creativity.”
Commending the brains behind Vibranium Valley, the VicePresident assured the duo of Kunmi Demuren and Bunmi Akinyemiju, who, according to him, returned from the Diaspora, with a sense of purpose to make a mark in helping grow the culture of entrepreneurship; and to develop an ecosystem of talent.
Osinbajo said this was demonstrated through their track record in “starting more than six companies themselves, as well as investing their money into as many as 15 other young technology companies, such as Flutterwave, Rensource Energy, Mines.IO, CCHub’s Growth Fund, AppZone and 10 other companies. This is not counting several other companies that they have mentored and groomed,” he stated.
Osinbajo noted that Nigeria needed to invest in all three aspects of software development; entrepreneurial mindset and the venture capital ecosystem to shape the future.
“Government will do its bit, to ensure that our ranking in the global ease of doing business index improves significantly. And we will find every opportunity to create policies to encourage the growth of those three aspects of driving Nigeria into the bedrock of innovation. Starting with reforms in our educational system through the NUC, our emphasis on STEM education through our bursary programme and our innovation hubs as a catalyst to growing that ecosystem,” he added.
He disclosed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bank of Industry (BoI) were working on making available intervention funds for technology hubs.
The Co-Founder, Vibranium Valley, Bunmi Akinyemiju, who spoke on the ‘Role of Technology and Entrepreneurship in Nation -Building’, said “startups are engine of modern economic development, transforming industries from security to finance to agriculture.”
According to him, Nigeria may be a hotbed of recent start-up activity, but deep developmental challenges remain. He stressed that to offer an opportunity for a fast -growing and young population, Nigeria needs to take disruptive approaches to development challenges in infrastructure, financial inclusion and education to become the Africa’s first ‘startup nation’.
While appreciating the post-humous recognition given to his father, the son of the late Chief M. K. O. Abiola, Abdul, expressed deepest appreciation to the Federal Government through the VP., saying: “I can’t but thank you for the honour done to my father. It will remain in history. Thank you sir.”
According to him, the transformation done to the complex by making it a tech hub would add to the developmental strides of the country.
He assured VGG of Abiola’s family support for the technology campus, adding: “there are still lots of my father’s property that can still be converted to more profitable use for the country’s development.

CNL decries circulation of false recruitment, distances self

Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture has decried the circulation of false recruitment information posted by unscrupulous persons and organizations in several media and online channels, advertising job positions in CNL.
In a statement made available to The Guardian, the General Manager, policy, government and public affairs, Esimaje Brikinn, he said fraudulent job offers have reportedly been sent through emails, text messages and phone calls by individuals purporting to be staff or representatives of CNL, with intent to defraud said victims. He went on to add that the company dissociates itself from the false job recruitment information and offers of employment contracts published in any newspaper, web site, email, poster, handbill or any other medium as they did not make or authorize such publications.
“Members of the public are hereby notified that Chevron Nigeria Limited does not, and will not require applicants to make any payments towards processing any job application. Recruitment advertisements requesting candidates to pay money, at any point during the recruitment process, are not from CNL.”
He also explained that CNL does not solicit job applications or initiate recruitment processes through emails, posters, handbills, text messages, social media or phone calls, advising job seekers to always check the company’s website, http:/www.careers.chevron.com and national newspapers for job advertisements from Chevron Nigeria Limited.

DSS arrests Senator Abaribe, conducts search on his residence

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe
• PDP, Ohanaeze Condemn Arrest, Demand His Release
The Senator representing Abia South senatorial district, Enyinnaya Abaribe, was reportedly arrested yesterday by DSS personnel at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, where he went to attend a function. A source close to the senator revealed to The Guardian yesterday that the security personnel took him to his Abuja residence to conduct a search alongside his lawyers.
It was not clear why the vocal lawmaker was arrested, but Abaribe has been very critical of President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration’s policies in recent times.
It would be recalled that on June 7, Abaribe had asked Buhari to declare December 31 as Democracy Destruction Day to mark the coup he led to end Nigeria’s Second Republic in 1983. Abaribe stated this on the floor of the Senate, while contributing to debate on the President’s declaration of June 12 as Decmocracy Day.
Reacting to the arrest, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed fears over the safety of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, (PDP Abia), who was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS).
The party lamented that the Gestapo-style arrest of Abaribe has further confirmed the earlier alarm that the APC-led federal government has commenced a total clampdown on the opposition and perceived opponents of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 re-election bid.
The party alleged that the clampdown on Senator Abaribe might be in furtherance of the moves to intimidate and emasculate members of the National Assembly who are known for their outspokenness against the constitutional violations and misrule of the APC administration.
The PDP noted that “the federal government has given no reasons for the arrest and detention of Senator Abaribe, who has been kept incommunicado without access to his lawyers and associates.
The party also noted the apprehension of Nigerians following numerous alleged plots by the Federal Government to frame up other lawmakers, including Senate President Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremmadu, as well as Senators Dino Melaye and Shehu Sani.
In the same vein, apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has demanded the immediate release of the senator. In a statement issued yesterday, President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, said it is only the security agencies that should provide Nnamdi Kanu and not Abaribe.
The statement said: “The circumstances prevailing at the time of the disappearance of Nnamdi Kanu are beyond the contemplation of the law that a surety can guarantee the production of an accused person.
“The army in the name of “Operation Python Dance” invaded Nnamdi’s home and destabilised normalcy there.
“It is only the security agencies that can disclose Nnamdi’s whereabouts. Senator Abaribe has no capacity, nor has any surety in the circumstances to know the whereabouts of Nnamdi Kanu. What happened in Umahia was an invasion, a war of a kind.
“Nnamdi may have been killed or captured in the imbroglio or even escaped into hiding. The onus lies on the security forces to disclose his where about. The judiciary is beginning to tow the line of the executive by throwing the law overboard in matters that affect the South East. We are all equal before the law. Senator Abaribe must be released forthwith.

Group lambasts South East NASS members over budget cut

A non-governmental organization, Igbo Canadian Community Association (ICCA/Umunna) has criticized southeast National Assembly members over the weak representation of Igbo projects in the 2018 Budget signed into law this week.
In a statement issued yesterday, the President of the group, Chief Ugochukwu Okoro said that the budget allocation for the Enugu International Airport Terminal was cut from N2 billion to N500million, a startling departure from the allocation to the project maintained by the last two administrations.
“It is quite unfortunate that our elected officials are exhibiting this gross neglect of their primary duties of governance and legislature that will be of benefit to the South East region and this conduct is unconscionable, selfish, crudely depressing and revealing of their incapacity to be leaders that our people put their trust in.”
“Now they are apportioning blame and pointing fingers making us to ask what they had been doing all the while that the budget appropriation was going on; did we not have representation from the senate and house on committees that were responsible for overseeing the budget? What was the South-East caucus in the National Assembly doing?
Okoro noted that the National Assembly made cuts amounting to N347 billion for 4,700 projects submitted for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to N578 billion. This shows that they were more interested in introducing constituency projects from which they may benefit than pushing a collective agenda to sustain the allocation to the Akanu Ibiam International Airport.
He described this disposition as unimaginable that “elected representatives will allow this painful development bearing in mind that president Buhari never hid his disdain and distorted agenda towards Ndigbo in his statement to a global audience on July 22, 2015 while addressing the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) when he said that constituents who gave him 97 per cent vote cannot be treated on some issues with constituencies that gave him 5 per cent.
“It is totally repulsive, indignant and shameful that Ndigbo, even with one of their sons occupying the position of Deputy Senate President in the Senate, could allow this indignity happen to the people of the South East.
“We want to use this medium to let our elected representatives sit up and give Ndigbo quality representation or risk their mandate not being renewed because come 2019 performance reports of each and every member of parliament will be disclosed and used to create awareness to the South East electorate.
“Let them know that incompetence, nepotism, favoritism or god-fatherism will be annihilated in Igbo land. This particular incident will be among the query we will issue on them when they come seeking for votes and we will name and shame any of our elected official that engages in constituency project fraud because it is time Ndigbo benefitted as a people and not the individual tendencies we have observed in the past. Let our elected Senators and House of Representatives members consider this as a wake-up call,” he added.

Absence of legal representation stalls Evans’ trial

The scheduled trial of alleged kidnap kingpin, Chuckwueme Onwuamadike, otherwise known as Evans, and others before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of a Lagos High Court, Ikeja yesterday stalled due to inability of two of the defendants to provide legal representation in court.
When the matter came up for hearing, the two defendants, 2nd and 4th informed the court that they intended to change their counsel.
Evans is standing trial alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba who are also members of Evans syndicate.
They were arraigned on charges bordering on kidnapping and conspiracy brought against them by the People of Lagos State. They had pleaded not guilty to all the count charge.
The first and third defendants counsel, Nuel Brown who is appearing for Evans and Ogechi Uchechukwu for the first time after Ogungbeje quit the matter announced his appearance.
Mr. A.A Uzouow and Emmanuel Ochai announced appearance for the 5th and 6th defendants but there was no legal representation for the 2nd and 4th defendants.
The court however asked the other two defendants of whereabouts of their counsel; they responded that they intend to change counsel.
Evans counsel and the 3rd defendant therefore prayed the court for an adjournment, to allow him go through the case file properly, so as to prepare for the trial.
He said, “My Lord, we took over this matter two weeks ago and we do not have the proper proof of evidence. With due respect to the honorable court, the learned counsel who was handling the matter before did not do a proper handling over and we have written to the prosecution to avail us with copy of the proof of evidence.
“We have asked the prosecution for the file orally and we will still write formally to that effect.”
The prosecution led counsel, Titilayo Shitta-Bey in her response, prayed the court to grant a short adjournment so as to continue trial with the new counsel.
“In view of the fact that two of the defendants did not have a legal representation, we urge my Lord to grant us short adjournment date.

Man of ‘God’, two others in the web for ritual killing in Kogi

This may not be the best of times for the Voice of Canaan Temple C&S Aladura Church, Ozuri, in Adavi LGA in Kogi State, as it’s acclaimed Pastor Oluwasegun Otaru has been nabbed for allegedly killing one sex worker at a popular Hotel; Hollywood in Adavi LGA.
The pastor was apprehended alongside other two accomplices, Mr. Mike and Stephen, who claimed to be working for him as church members.
Two suspects, including the pastor were arrested but they all denied knowledge of Mercy’s whereabouts.
However, after diligent interrogation by the Homicide Detectives of the State CID, the two suspects opened up to the gory details of how they were hired by one Pastor Oluwasegun Otaru of The Voice of Canaan Temple C&S Aladura Church, Ozuri, in Adavi LGA.
On further quizzing, they confessed that the pastor had sent them to bring a girl for ritual purposes as he promised to pay them N700, 000.00.
The suspects thereafter led the investigators to Uhodo in Ogaminana area of Adavi where the remains of Mercy Moses were dug out from a shallow grave.
The police was able to track and arrest Pastor Otaru who since the arrest of his accomplices fled the neighborhood.
The exhumed remains of the victim were deposited at Okene General Hospital mortuary for autopsy.
The Adavi LGA Divisional Police Officer led the Administrator of the Local Government Honorable Joseph Omuya Salami, in the company of some of his political appointees to the scene of the crime where they learnt that the suspect beheaded the victim, and removed other vital organs.
Salami, described the act as the highest level of wickedness, stressing that for a man to brutally kill his fellow man is an abomination.
He said ritual killing is non biblical, unacceptable and should be totally condemned, and anyone that is involved in such act must pay the price by facing the full wrath of the law.

Nigeria hosts 21, 000 refugees from Cameroon

Following the crisis between the people of South West Cameroon Authorities of Cameroon, Nigeria is currently playing host to over 21, 000 refugees.
The representative of the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Migrants, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, Mr. Ayasanya Akintunde said this in Ikom as the world celebrated the 2018 World Refugee Day, with the theme “We Stand with the Refugees”.
He said millions of people are displaced from their country due to conflicts and other factors and “Nigeria is playing host to about 21, 000 refugees from neighboring Cameroon Republic.”
Akintunde expressed the hope that “the crisis will be resolved timely to enable the refugees return home”, while urging their host communities to continue to give them support in the spirit of humanity.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Field Officer, Mr. Muhammed Nasry said the agency is doing everything within its powers to provide succour for the refugees, migrants and asylum seekers,
He said the world refugee day is a time to recognize the humanity of refugees and called for positive actions from stakeholders that can alleviate their plight.
Muhammed stated that, “getting laws and policies right is vital, but it is local people that are on the frontline when refugees arrive and whose welcome makes the difference between rejection and inclusion, between despair and hope and between being left behind and building a future”.
On his part, Head of Ikom Local Government Administration, Mr. Julius Adie, the Divisional Immigration Officer (DIO), Amor Austine, the Judge of the High Court, Justice Obojor Ogar told the refugees to be law abiding and to feel free to explore all available channels of communication to register their complaints and assured the Cameroonian refugees of adequate security and protection.
Representative of the refugees, Mr. Tabe Karim urged the United Nations to step in fully to resolve the problem in Cameroon to enable them return home and continue their normal lives.

Ugwuanyi, best governor Enugu ever had, says PFN

Enugu state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi
The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has described Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as the best governor in the state since 1999.
Chairman of the Enugu State chapter of the PFN, Bishop Dr. Godwin Madu said this shortly after he was inaugurated alongside 28 others for second term in office.
Bishop Madu described Gov. Ugwuanyi as a good man who honours and worships God and “believes and recognises everybody”, declaring that the PFN would do all within her powers to ensure that the governor is re-elected for a second term in office.
Maintaining that Gov. Ugwuanyi has performed creditably well in office, the Church leader said the governor had “ended all manner of discrimination against some section of Christians”.
According to him, “the PFN was not carried along by the government of Enugu State in the past. But under this very administration we have not been left behind. Everybody is being treated equal in Enugu unlike before.
“I want everyone to ensure that we vote rightly. When we see something good, we need to say keep it up. Enugu State needs to go on and the PFN is saying that Governor Ugwuanyi should go on; we will not disappoint him. I plead with everybody here, in case you have not obtained your PVC, please do, that is your ticket to the voting hall, that is our power for tomorrow.”
In his remark, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Ugwuanyi on Religious Matters, Rev. Chinedu Nwoye, assured that the government would continue to treat all the residents of the state with fairness and serve them with fear of God.

Brand engages children with digital image pouches in Express Yourself campaign

Capri-Sonne, a product of CHI Limited, is aiming to create further brand engagement with the launch of its Express Yourself campaign. Speaking on the campaign, Marketing Director, Chi Limited, Probal Bhattacharya, stated that the campaign connects through its pouches to showcase heroic, stylish, artistic and other expressive emojis that offer opportunities for kids to gain more knowledge, as well as build confidence.
Bhattacharya further stated that with eight different emojis, the Capri-Sonne limited edition pouches portray various exciting expressions that will fascinate and stir interest in kids to express themselves whilst having a taste of fun.
Speaking on the use of emojis as a tool to help children understand emotions and express themselves, Theresa Amadi, a primary school teacher, said employing the small colourful digital images or icons can be really beneficial in early learning stages. “The new pouch is a brilliant approach to engage kids in their space because it gives them more reasons to be creative, employ critical thinking, express themselves, and most importantly, to do all of these whilst having fun,” she said.

Ortom supporters constitute ward campaign committees

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom
Major stakeholders supporting the re-election of Samuel Ortom of Benue State and his deputy, Benson Abounu, have constituted campaign committees for the 276 council wards in the state.
The committees, which have been tagged Ortom/Abouno Support Movement 2019 were constituted across the state yesterday with the vow to actualize the re-election mandate of the governor. They comprise 35 members headed by a ward coordinator and they placed emphasis on the participation of youths and women. In constituting the committees, they took into consideration appropriate zoning of the positions as well as fair representation of all sections of the ward, interests, and groups. Local government and state committees will be constituted subsequently.

I’m not too old for marriage –CHIKA OPARAH

Chika Oparah is an up and coming actress who has been nursing the dream of being at the top of producers’ list since childhood. Presently pushing her dream, she has acted a couple of roles in different movies including Men in Bondage, African Tradition, Madam Export, Poverty Palava, Huzzle, Woa Men, Dorobucci Love and D Don; presently showing on Africa Magic, playing alongside some A-list actors. In this interview with DUPE AYINLA-OLASUNKANMI, the actress, who is in her 30s, speaks on her challenges, quarrel with fellow actress, Amanda Ebiye, among other issues.
What attracted you to acting?
From my childhood, I have  always wanted to be seen on TV because I grew up watching ‘Kiddies Vision 101’ and ‘Tales by Moonlight’. Then, there was this man from my mum’s place who was an actor. He still acts though. Whenever he comes to my mum’s shop to say hi, I would tell him I wanted to act and his response to me then would be; ‘You will but you have to finish school first.’ I wasn’t comfortable with his response and I told myself I would find my own way because it has always been my passion. I did find my own way but it was after secondary school.
What then would you say has been your greatest accomplishment?
Presently, I would say nothing because I haven’t got there.  I mean, I’m yet to get to that point where I can sit back and know that producers will always pencil down my name as top on their list whenever a female actor is needed. For now, I am still pushing. But ask me this same question next year, trust me you would get a positive reply.
Have you progressed in your acting career as you have expected?
For where? (Laughs). I still have a long way to go. I want to be known all over the world so help me God. Lupita Nyong’o is one of the African ladies that are known all over the world.  I want to be that popular.
How do you communicate with a snobbish A-list actor?
! I have worked with the likes of Imeh Bishop (Okon) late Prince James Uche, John Okafor (Mr Ibu) Tuvi James, Ruth Kadiri, and a host of others. I have also been on the same set with Oge Okoye, Annie Idibia, John Pop, Pete Edochie, and others. I can’t mention all but these ones I have worked with are nice and down to earth and they help carry upcoming actors along. If I happen to be on set with the ones with attitude, I won’t approach them. I will only do my job and mind my business.
Of all the roles you have played in the past, which is your favorite?
For now I would say, ‘Dorobucci Love’.  I played the role of Mr Ibu’s girlfriend but I wasn’t a loyal girlfriend. I was only with him because of the little money I got from him. Meanwhile I had a more handsome guy whom I was really dealing with. It is my favourite for now because the role was challenging, considering the fact that, that isn’t my kind of person (smile).
Who is your favorite actor and why?
Genevieve Nnaji is my favourite and that is because she is one raw talent that fits into any character like it’s nothing. Another actor whose personality I love is Lupita Nyongo’o. Her journey is very inspiring.
What are you working on at the moment?
For now I have no jobs at hand. I lost two jobs last month because my phone was bad and was off for two weeks and four days. I later found out that while it was switched off, a producer in Asaba and one in Lagos tried reaching me but couldn’t get across. But hopefully next month I should be on set.
Define your acting style?
I can’t have a style when I have no idea of the roles that would be given to me in different sets. So, I do not have a style. I fit into any character and act it like it’s me.
When you suffer setback, how does it emotionally affect you and your work?
Once I am on set, I put all my personal problems behind me. I don’t allow it affect my work. I remember three years ago, I was on a set with Amanda Ebiye. We were playing best friends but we weren’t getting along on set; we would quarrel and abuse one another but once we are on camera we play our roles perfectly and that for me is being professional.
Tell me about giving back to the society in your own little way?
I have a team that we work together; lending a hand to the less-privileged and helping up and coming artistes to achieve their dreams. I believe that we climb by helping one another. You can’t be big with a small heart.
So how is your relationship with Ebiye now?
We haven’t met each other after the set but I don’t like her because to me, she is full of herself. That was the impression she gave me.
If called again to play alongside Ebiye, would you turn down the role?
Of course, I wouldn’t. Our differences have nothing to do with our jobs. We would put that aside and get into the characters we are asked to play.
Have you experienced sexual assault on set or for a role?
I don’t think I have experienced such.
But it is believed that young actors face sexual harassment to get roles?
Well, I can’t speak for others but can speak for myself. I haven’t been harassed by any producer or director.
Why haven’t you considered quitting since you  have not made hit limelight? No way.  I not  quitting what I have a passion for. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but I told myself I right from the very beginning that I won’t quit until I achieve my goal.
Are there plans to settle down soon and would you go for someone in the same line?
I will settle down if the right man proposes to me but I am not bothered about that for now. On marrying someone in the same field, if we click I would.
Aren’t you scared of being criticized about being single?
Criticized? I am not off-age so why would anyone criticize me? Marriage is not what one rushes into. One needs to pray about it and leave the rest for God. I will get married when the right time comes.
In your opinion, should Nigerian actors be engaged in pornographic movies?
No, no, no. It’s not in our culture and shouldn’t be allowed. Not engaging in pornographic movie doesn’t mean we aren’t professionals. It’s just not in our culture to do such movies or be seen acting in such roles.
The post I’m not too old for marriage –CHIKA OPARAH appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

Tough contest for seven key offices as APC holds convention

Barely few hours to the National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), governors were locked in horse-trading on seven key positions, including the choice of the National Secretary of the party.
The seven offices are those of National Secretary, Deputy National Chairman (North); Deputy National Chairman (South); National Organising Secretary; National Publicity Secretary; National Women Leader and National Youth Leader.
It was however learnt that the governors were mounting pressure on party leaders to concede the choice of the new National Secretary and National Publicity Secretary to them in order to create some balance and heal wounds in the party.
The governors were pushing for the retention of Mai Mala Buni (the incumbent National Secretary) and Bolaji Abdullahi (the party’s National Publicity Secretary) who is of the aggrieved New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) caucus of the party.
Some party leaders want Kashim Imam or Arc. Waziri Bulama as the new secretary and Lanre Issa Onilu as a replacement for Abdullahi.
The governors, who control 80 per cent of the delegates, were said to be adamant on their demand for the two posts, leading to marathon meetings across divides in the party yesterday.
About 26 candidates had, however, emerged unopposed as at last night, including ex-Governor Adams Oshiomhole who will now lead the party.
Also, as part of steps to douse tension ahead of the convention, the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday met with the APC Caucus in the House of Representatives.
Intrigues over the seven offices were threatening to overshadowed preparations for the convention yesterday.
It was learnt that the governors had remained unyielding in their demands.
A governor who spoke in confidence said: “We have engaged in horse-trading in the last 48 hours and we are carrying our issues to the delegates.
“We were initially interested in three positions. These are National Secretary, National Publicity Secretary and National Organising Secretary. We have shifted our position on National Organising Secretary due to some security reports on two of the four candidates.
“We opted for the retention of Mai Mala Buni because he is on the quiet side and he is a candidate of the North-East. We cannot cry more than the bereaved.
“On the National Publicity Secretary, the two candidates are good, but most of our colleagues argued that we should accommodate the nPDP Caucus which had listed grievances against the party in the past few weeks.
“Most governors are strong on Bolaji Abdullahi, an ally of Senate President Bukola Saraki, in order not to create gaps for nPDP leaders to capitalise on and defect from APC.
Some notable leaders however believe that Abdullahi, from Kwara State, has governorship ambition and may not be fully committed to his job. They are therefore rooting for Lanre Issa Onilu, also from Kwara State.
“The options are however open because we will discuss with delegates and negotiate overnight,” a governor said yesterday.
Another contentious position is that of National Organising Secretary being contested for by the incumbent, Senator Osita Izunaso, Emmanuel Ibediro, Hon. Chidi Nwogu and Lontinius Anyanwu.
While a sudden security report has reportedly blurred the chances of Izunaso, another contestant, Nwogu was said to be “too close to the Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, for APC’s comfort” and Ibediro was rated as the candidate of Governor Rochas Okorocha whose leadership South-East leaders are resisting.
A South-East leader said: “Izunaso took time on Friday (yesterday) to defend his integrity on some financial transactions. He said he was not a fraudulent person and that any transaction traced to him was purely in respect of the party and not personal.
“Nwogu admitted that he has a good relationship with Ekweremadu but denied being sponsored by the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to spy on APC.
“As part of the ongoing lobbying, the South-East leaders have been trying to build consensus around Lontinus Anyanwu. It will now be a win-win situation. Neither Okorocha nor Izunaso might have their way. We are presenting our option to the governors.”
About 26 candidates had however emerged as unopposed last night.
They are Adams Oshiomhole –National Chairman; ex-Governor Niyi Adebayo (Deputy National Chairman, South); Hon. Babatunde Ogala (National Legal Adviser); and George Moghalu (National Auditor).
North Central: Nelson Alapa (Ex-Officio); Hassana Abdullahi (National Women Leader); Zakari Mohammed (Zonal Secretary); Ibrahim Abdul (Zonal Organising Secretary); Makop Masoic Danladi (Zonal Special Leader).
North East: Mohammed Abba Isa (Zonal Special Leader); Abubakar Sadiq Ajiya (Zonal Secretary); Mamman Isa Azare (Ex-Officio).
North West: Nasiru Dano (Ex-Officio); Misbahu Lainan Didi (National Special Leader); Abdulmunaf Mohammed (Zonal Organising Secretary); Tukur Abdulkadir Gusau (Zonal Secretary).
South-South: Rachael Akpabio (Zonal Women Leader); Koteten Ibadan (Ex-Officio); Johnson Maafo (Zonal Special Leader).
South -West: Olu Kemi Titilola Nelson (Zonal Women Leader); Olusegun Tomorin (Zonal Youth Leader); Tajudeen Lamboye (Zonal Organising Secretary);  Tajudeen Bello (National Financial Secretary); Omolaoye Oluremi Akintola (Ex-Officio); Adelabu Paul Ayolade (Zonal Special Leader).
South-East: Uzoma Bright Ikechukwu (Zonal Special Leader).
As for the Deputy National Chairman (North), the race is between the incumbent, Shuaibu and his challenger in 2014, Farouk Adamu Aliyu.
Ahead of the convention, the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday met with the APC Caucus in the House of Representatives on the lawmakers’ grievances, including the side-lining of Speaker Yakubu Dogara in the scheme of things.
At the closed door session in BON Hotel, Asokoro, the lawmakers made it clear that they were unhappy with the APC leadership.
A source at the session said: “The meeting was attended by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, some principal officers and members.
“When Asiwaju came, Representatives protested against abandonment by the party. They were angry that in the last three years, APC leadership met with the House Caucus only once.
“They said they could not understand why they were alienated by the party.
“Asiwaju assured the lawmakers of a new era once Oshiomhole and his team take over. He said once the new leadership is in place, there will be a ‘strong reconciliation in APC.’ We were all happy by his soothing words.”
At press time, the Deputy National Chairman of APC (North), Senator Lawal Shuaibu, yesterday assured party leaders and members of a hitch-free convention.
He said: “The Party has put in place every machinery towards the successful realization of the objective of the Convention. We did it before and will do it again even better.
“Yes I am very much in the race and there are many factors that speak for me.
“Of all those aspiring for the same office with me, I’m the most experienced in politics and political party administration.
“Apart from my two-term Senate tenure, where I was Senate Minority Leader, I was also the National Secretary of a leading opposition party, ACN. I was a member of the merger committee that gave rise to APC. I was the Chairman of my party’s national convention that resolved to dissolve the ACN and later served as a member of interim management of the APC when a solid foundation was laid for this formidable party.
“I have since 2014 been the Deputy National Chairman (North) and the records of my performance are clearly known both at the Party National Secretariat as well as with Party’s State Chapters in the North.
“Majority of the leaders in the North and even beyond, to the best of my understanding, have expressed satisfaction with my performance in office.
“I am not averse to anybody contesting against me. I believe in democracy and it is the norms.
“Inclusiveness must be encouraged in politics, and that is what, in my opinion, democracy should embrace.”
He said there was no communication yet from the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) leadership on resumption of talks.
He added: “The issue of nPDP is still work in progress going by the last discussion the party had with their leaders with the Vice President presiding.
“We resolved to meet on Monday 4th June to discuss their specific grievances, but they later called to say they were not ready for the meeting that day. Since then, there has been no communication from them.
The post Tough contest for seven key offices as APC holds convention appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.