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Folake Ani-Mumuney: First Class Strategist, Achiever Extra-ordinaire

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By Eric Elezuo

One of the basic achievements of the Beijing Women Conference of 1995 was creating untold courage among women who are determined and committed to making a paradigm shift towards affecting humanity for the positive reasons. One of such women is the strong woman at Nigeria’s foremost bank, First Bank, in the person of Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, who is the General Manager as well as sits atop Marketing and Corporate Communication department of the bank.

Ani-Mumuney, simply known as Folake or FAM by friends and well-wishers, is a humble combination of beauty, brains and workaholism. She is a stress-free achiever, who also chairs the Board of Directors of the insurance arm of the group.

Born to the family of late erudite former Medical Director of the National Orthopedic Hospital, Dr. Francis Owosina, who served between 1977 and 1989, Folake could very well be said to be a chip off the old block, striding in the very transparent footsteps of her forebears. Her father is reputed to have developed the modernised general and specialised Orthopaedic and Emergency Services department of the hospital in addition to introducing hip replacement and spinal surgery when he held sway in the hospital. He was also the brain behind the recognition of the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi as a World Health Organisation collaborating centre in 1979 as well as establishing the Post Basic Nursing School and the Residency programme in Orthopaedics.

Versatile and very prolific, Folake holds a degree in Philosophy and Law and also a diploma in Business Computing System Analysis and Design in addition to several management certificates and affiliation to many professional bodies.

She began her prolific and illustrious career with the British Airways, where she was responsible for Brands Policies and Communications across Europe and African region comprising 59 countries. She was practically running 59 countries, more than the size of the African continent at a time. It could only be as a result of her doggedness and desire to be the best one can be. She equally managed portfolios as Business Analyst, Strategy & Business Planning Manager, New Business Development Manager and Head marketing & Communications Manager Africa. And she was quite young then – a typical example of not too young to run product.

Her dexterity attracted the presence of the richest man in Africa, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who promptly co-opted her into the group. Bringing her experiences to bear, she initiated the speedy turnaround of Dangote Industries as its Chief Marketing and Communication Officer. Her days at Dangote are remembered with fondness for the giant strides she took.

It was from Dangote that Ani-Mumuney moved to First Bank where she presently serves as Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications and General Manager. She is known to be the brain behind the meteoritic rise in the fortunes of the bank as she continuously dishes out one form of market oriented policy after another.

It is not for granted therefore, that her prolific nature was rewarded in 2017 when she emerged as the 10th President of the Advertisers Association of Nigeria in a keenly contested election. She therefore made history as the first female president of the association. Folake is known for creating firsts.

Between September 2017 when she took over the mantle of leadership of the association and today, Folake has walked her talk, creating a level playing ground for stakeholders as well as room for profit maximization in members’ respective businesses. Her intelligence and willingness to positively affect lives have remained her propelling philosophy to greater heights.

In the testimonies of those who had been privileged to work with her or just come across her, Folake is a quintessential enigma, down to earth and full of respect – a virtue she confessed to receiving from her disciplinarian parents – her late father and her still bubbling over 80 years mother.

With the likes of Wasiu Abiola of Nigerian Breweries, Nkiru Olumide Ojo of Stanbic IBTC, Nnena Osi Anugwa and Onome Asgbara of Dufil Prima on the driving wheels with her, Ani-Mumuney has been able to steer the progress of ADVAN forward, initiating new vistas and building on the achievement of the past executives.

The communication and marketing expert, who has conquered the fields of aviation, manufacturing and banking, was recently appointed to chair the insurance brokers’ arm of the group, FBN Insurance Brokers, while maintaining her position. Her appointment was contained in a notification to the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), shareholders and the general public. Her elevation is a function of ability and trust.

A philanthropist of immeasurable standard, Folake has engaged in veritable corporate social responsibility, including individual based assistance to persons and communities. She is known to have put smiles on the faces of everyone that has come across her in one way or another, and has a retinue of gratitude in the bargain.

Folake is happily married with lovely children who are gradually carving a niche for themselves in their various little ways.

Ma, for being who you are (intelligent, productive and humane) and striving to make life bearable for as many people, you are our Boss of the Week. Congratulations!

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Almost Relationship Quotes

    August 18, 2019 at 4:55 am

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.

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Just In: Bayelsa Guber Election: Court Annuls APC’s Participation

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The Federal High Court, Yenagoa, on Thursday declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) does not have a governorship candidate in the forthcoming election in Bayelsa State.

This development is coming two days to the election.

The court was presided over by Justice Jane Inyang.

The court declaration, on Thursday, was part of its judgement in a case filed by Heineken Lokpobiri, one of the APC governorship aspirants.

Mr Lokpobiri, a former minister of state for agriculture, had approached the court, asking it to declare him, and not David Lyon, the authentic candidate of the APC.

“The court pronounced that the governorship primary conducted by the APC in Bayelsa state was not done in compliance with the guidelines and the constitution of the party, and, therefore, the party has no candidate,” Mr Lokpobiri’s lawyer, Fitzgerald Olorogun, told reporters immediately after the court ruling.

A shocked Mr Olorogun said the court declaration was not part of their prayers. “It’s strange,” he said.

Asked what was the next option for his client, Mr Olorogun said “We’ll do the needful. But for now, the pronouncement of the court is that APC has no candidate.”

There was heavy police presence within and outside the court premises. The main highway way leading to the court was barricaded by the police. Visitors, including journalists, were frisked before they were allowed to enter the court building.

Mr Lokpobiri, before now, has been urging the people of Bayelsa to vote for the APC in the November 16 election, despite his court case against Mr Lyon and the party.

“I’m a very strong member of APC and I came today to formally tell our chairman and to speak to Nigerians, in particular, the electorate in Bayelsa that all of them should vote for APC regardless of what happens in the court case in which judgment is slated for Nov. 14, 2019,” the former minister said in Abuja after a courtesy visit on the national chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole.

“I told my supporters even before I came here that no matter what happened, I will remain in APC having served as a minister under this administration.

“There is no way the outcome of the governorship primaries will make me leave APC. We are working and campaigning at different levels.

“I always advise that anybody that is grieved, the only place to go is the court.

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Senate’s Hate Speech Bill: Atiku Abubakar Speaks

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A former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has cautioned Nigerian senators against moves to pass a bill criminalising purported hate speech.

The bill being sponsored by Sabi Abdullahi of the All Progressives Congress is targeted at punishing anyone found guilty of spreading “misinformation.”

The bill also prescribed death penalty for anyone found guilty of spreading a falsehood that led to the death of another person.

But civic groups have been critical about the bill because of its narrow and unclear definition of what constitutes hate speech.

The advocates argued that the Senate’s interpretation of ‘hate speech’ would be at odds with the Nigerian Constitution if the bill becomes law as designed. The Constitution protects the rights to unhindered speech, expression and association.

Mr Abubakar aligned with those who believe the constitutional safeguards for free speech should be strengthened rather than undermined by lawmakers and other politicians in power.

The former vice-president and main opposition candidate at the 2019 presidential election said the freedom of speech and other key elements of civil liberties which Nigerians enjoyed between 1999 and 2015 should not be taken away by the current administration.

“It is prudent to build upon the tolerance inherited from those years and not shrink the democratic space to satisfy personal and group interests,” Mr Abubakar said in an emailed statement signed by his spokesperson, Paul Ibe.

Efforts to regulate the media has been keenly considered and publicly pushed by politicians since Muhammadu Buhari assumed power in 2015.

Mr Buhari has a history of brutal repression from his military era in the 1980s, a label from which he remained unflinching.

The president has repeatedly told the country that his government will continue to ignore rights in favour of national security.

Some of his appointees, especially information minister Lai Mohammed, have insisted Nigerians’ free speech will be curbed.

Mr Mohammed said social media has become a tool of irresponsibility amongst elements determined to foment chaos in the country. He has equally overseen imposition of heavy fines on broadcast stations over alleged hate speech on their platforms.

There were efforts to push a variation of the current hate speech bill through the parliament in 2015, but it failed amidst nationwide uproar.

 

The reintroduced version contained essentially the same fundamentals and Nigerians have vowed to resist it as they did four years ago.

Read Mr Abubakar’s full statement below:

Atiku Abubakar wishes to sound a note of caution to those now toying with the idea of an Anti Hate Speech Bill, with punishment for supposed Hate Speech to be death by hanging. The contemplation of such laws is in itself not just hate speech, but an abuse of the legislative process that will violate Nigerians’ constitutionally guaranteed right to Freedom of Speech.

Atiku urges those behind this Bill to awake to the fact that Nigeria’s democracy has survived its longest incarnation, because those who governed this great nation between 1999 and 2015 never toyed with this most fundamental of freedoms. It is prudent to build upon the tolerance inherited from those years and not shrink the democratic space to satisfy personal and group interests.

Freedom of Speech was not just bestowed to Nigerians by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), it is also a divine right given to all men by their Creator. History is littered with the very negative unintended consequences that result when this God given right is obstructed by those who seek to intimidate the people rather than accommodate them.

We should be reminded that history does not repeat itself. Rather, men repeat history. And often, to disastrous consequences.

Nigeria presently has too many pressing concerns. We are now the world headquarters for extreme poverty as well as the global epicentre of out-of-school children. Our economy is smaller than it was in 2015, while our population is one of the world’s fastest growing. We have retrogressed in the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International, from the position we held four years ago, and our Human Development Indexes are abysmally low.

It therefore begs the question: should we not rather make laws to tackle these pressing domestic challenges, instead of this Bill, which many citizens consider obnoxious?

Again, Atiku cautions that we must prioritise our challenges ahead of the whims and caprices of those who do not like to hear the inconvenient truth. Stop this folly and focus on issues that matter to Nigerians.

Paul Ibe

Premium Times

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Sowore: Buhari’s Govt Insecure, Paranoid – Soyinka

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The Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, has called on civil society organisations to strategize and coordinate their responses to attacks on human rights by state agents under President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Soyinka, in his statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES, reacted to the attack on protesters on Tuesday in Abuja for demanding the release of Omoyele Sowore by the State Security Service.

“The sporadic, uncoordinated responses as in the case of Omoyele Sowore, the absence of a solid strategy, ready to be activated against any threat — these continue to enable these agencies in their mission to enthrone a pattern of conduct that openly scoffs at the role of the judiciary in national life,” the don said.

He condemned “the level of arrogance” by agents of the state under President Buhari, saying it “has crossed even the most permissive thresholds.”

“As I remarked from the onset, this is an act of government insecurity and paranoia that merely defeats its real purpose,” he said.

Read Soyinka’s full statement below…

SOWORE, HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE RULE OF LAW

It should become abundantly clear by now that Civil Society organisations, committed to the entrenchment of the Rule of Law and the defence of fundamental human rights must come together. This is not a new cry. They must meet, debate, and embark on a binding pact of tactical responses whenever these two pillars of civilized society are besieged by the demolition engines of state security agencies. The sporadic, uncoordinated responses as in the case of Omoyele Sowore, the absence of a solid strategy, ready to be activated against any threat — these continue to enable these agencies in their mission to enthrone a pattern of conduct that openly scoffs at the role of the judiciary in national life. Result? A steady entrenchment of the cult of impunity in the dealings of state with the citizenry – both individuals and organizations. The level of arrogance has crossed even the most permissive thresholds.

It is heart-warming to witness the determined efforts of “Concerned Nigerians” in defence of these rights. Predictably, the ham-fisted response of the Directorate of State Security (DSS) continues to defy the rulings of the court. The weaponry of lies having been exploded in their faces, they resort to what else? Violence! Violence, including, as now reported, the firing of live bullets. Why the desperation? The answer is straightforward: the government never imagined that the bail conditions for Sowore would ever be met. Even Sowore’s supporters despaired. The bail test was clearly set to fail! It took a while for the projection to be reversed, and it left the DSS floundering. That agency then resorted to childish, cynical lies. It claimed that the ordered release was no longer in their hands, but in Sowore’s end of the transfer. The lie being exploded, what next? Bullets of course!

Such a development is not only callous and inhuman, it is criminal. It escalates an already untenable defiance by the state. As I remarked from the onset, this is an act of government insecurity and paranoia that merely defeats its real purpose. And now – bullets? This is no longer comical. Perhaps it is necessary to remind this government of precedents in other lands where, even years after the event, those who trampled on established human rights that generate homicidal impunity are called to account for abuse of power and crimes against humanity. The protests for Sowore’s release go beyond only acts of solidarity, they are manifestations of the judgment and authority of courts of law, under which this nation is supposedly governed. Either it is, or it isn’t. The answer stares us all in the face. The principles that now fall under threat implicate more than one individual under travail. They involve the very entitlement of a nation to lay claim to membership of any democratic, humanized union.

Enough of this charade, nothing more than a display of crude, naked power. Release Omoyele Sowore and save us further embarrassment in the regard of the world. An apology to the nation by the DSS and the judiciary would also not be out of place. It would go some distance in redeeming the image of an increasingly fascistic agency and reduce the swelling tide of public disillusionment.

Let the rule of law reign. Failing that, have the honesty to proclaim the death of ordered society. Then we’ll all know just where we stand.

Wole SOYINKA
WS Foundation for the Humanities
Abeokuta, Ogun State
November 12, 2019

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