By Eric Elezuo
Renowned social entrepreneur and philanthropist par excellence, Hon Hareter Babatunde Oralusi, popularly known as HBO, has donated a luxury bus worth over N10 million to the Home for Children with Disabilities, a project of the Focus on Disability Foundation, founded by United Kingdom based Mr. Abiodun Paseda.
Hon Oralusi, a native of Osun State, who is also based in the United Kingdom, is the Chairman, Board of Directors, LifeCome Group Limited and Foremedia Group Limited, United Kingdom, is according to Paseda, a man of integrity, whose stock in trade is giving back to the society and extending his God-given blessings to all and sundry, especially the under privileged.
Expressing his appreciation while speaking to pointblank.ng, Paseda said “This is to show our appreciation over and over again to our loving and supportive daddy, Hon Oralusi. We thank and appreciate you for the donation of this bus for the children’s use. It will be used in taking the children to school and bring them back everyday. Once again, we say thank you and God bless you.”
The Focus on Disability Foundation, founded in 2010, is a non for profit organization, saddled with the responsibility of creating and providing new life and hope for people living with disabilities. In 2021, t has scored another high in its unmatched efforts at looking after the disabled, with a magnificent edifice to accommodate diverse people living with disabilities.
The multi-roomed bungalow with modern and recreational facilities, which is situated in Odogbolu Local Government of Ogun State, was commissioned in the presence of dignitaries from across the length and breadth of the state, who took turns to inspect the facility, and applaud the visioner, and Founder, Focus on Disability Foundation, Mr. Abiodun Enilari Paseda.
Paseda is known for his passion to uplift the standard of living of people living with disabilities across the globe, especially in Nigeria, Ghana and England where his impact has been greatly felt so far. He has supervised the provision of sundry humanitarian assistance to people living with disabilities across Nigeria and the African continent with special mention to England, his place of residence.
“Disable people are the most neglected in the world, especially in Africa. There were no disability laws to protect them as in the UK and other European countries. This aroused my passion to help them and other less privileged,” he says.
Hon Oralusi joined the long list of prominent Nigerians, who have identified with the good work of Paseda, in ensuring the people living with disabilities have a good life.
America’s Super Diplomat, Henry Kissinger, Dies at 100
Henry Kissinger, a former US secretary of state and national security adviser who escaped Nazi Germany in his youth to become one of the most influential and controversial foreign policy figures in American history, has died. He was 100.
Kissinger died Wednesday at his home in Connecticut, according to a statement from his consulting firm, Kissinger Associates.
Kissinger was synonymous with US foreign policy in the 1970s. He received a Nobel Peace Prize for helping arrange the end of US military involvement in the Vietnam War and is credited with secret diplomacy that helped President Richard Nixon open communist China to the United States and the West, highlighted by Nixon’s visit to the country in 1972.
But he was also reviled by many over the bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War that led to the rise of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime and for his support of a coup against a democratic government in Chile.
But many members of Congress objected to the secretiveness of the Nixon-Kissinger approach to foreign policy, and human rights activists assailed what they saw as Kissinger’s neglect of human rights in other countries. No issue complicated Kissinger’s legacy more than the Vietnam War. When Nixon took office in 1969 – after promising a “secret plan” to end the war – roughly 30,000 Americans had been killed in Vietnam.
Despite efforts to shift more combat responsibilities to the South Vietnam government, American involvement persisted throughout Nixon’s administration – critics accused Nixon and Kissinger of needlessly expanding the war – and US engagement ultimately ended with the fall of Saigon in 1975 and more than 58,000 American lives lost.
In a highly controversial decision, Kissinger shared the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize with his North Vietnamese counterpart Le Duc Tho for that year’s Paris peace accords; citing the absence of actual peace in Vietnam, Tho declined to accept, and two members of the Nobel committee resigned in protest over the award.
Adeleke Appoints Afolabi As Acting Chief Judge
Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke has appointed Justice Olayinka David Afolabi as the acting Chief Judge of the state with immediate effect, following the approval of the resolution of the House of Assembly.
This was disclosed by the spokesperson to the governor, Olawale Rasheed in a statement obtained in Osogbo on Thursday.
Earlier, Adeleke had approved the resolution of the State Assembly, that recommended the suspension of the State Chief Judge, Adepele Ojo.
Spokesperson to the governor, Olawale Rasheed, in a statement, said the House had approved Ojo’s suspension at its plenary.
“Meanwhile, following the approval of the resolution of the House by the Governor, the Deputy-Governor has been directed by the Governor to perform the swearing-in ceremony of the Acting Chief Judge of Osun State which will be held tomorrow (today) at the Executive Lounge, Governor’s Office, Osogbo,” the statement partly read.
NANTA: The Defining Moments and Quest for Mentorship
By Frank Meke
National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies ( Nanta) is about 47 years old, going to 48. The Association has contributed immensely to the history and growth of Nigerian travel and the tourism industry and does not gloat about it.
And until the brick breakers came to the Nigerian tourism space, nanta rightly held a board position in the making of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation ( now Nigerian Tourism Development Authority).
Its two-legged operational importance in the tourism and aviation sector justifiably confered it the wisdom to share and contribute its knowledge, expertise, and support to growing need to reposition Nigerian tourism and the travel( transport)content in the aviation industry.
The founding fathers of Nigeria tourism, from its birth as Nigeria Tourism Authority, to Nigeria Tourism Board to Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation ( Ntdc), were supportive of the growth of nanta and during its trying moments, decreed and like the supreme Court judges, pulled away the rugs from self seeking spoilers who wanted to cause a slipt of the association.
These were during its dramatic and formative years in the early seventies, a development that foreclosed such divisive tendencies and through progressive constitutional righteousness, the association blossomed into greatness, stronger and open to new ideas and character.
Talking about character, whoever emerged as president of this iconic association, tends to define its character, deliveries, interventions, and growth or failings.
I will possibly dwell on a few of the presidents of this association that I knew closely and covered their times as a journalist. Their character of selflessness, boldness, and courage in the face of threats to their private businesses is beyond pedestrian definition and understanding.
And of these lots, I will mention and share the character models of Olufemi Adefope, Teresa Ezobi( now ojo), Soji Amusan, Dayo Adeola, Ahmed zabadne, Munzali Dantata, Bankole Bernard and Mrs Susan Akporiaye.
It’s important to highlight that the association leadership is usually dominated by men,and often takes to supersonic flight when women take over, and theirs is a challenge not only to engendering new business offerings but a zealous search for the best of nanta tomorrow.
I will come to the two women ceiling breakers in nanta later. Femi Adefope, in his days, was a daytime terror to foreign airlines. For each of the obnoxious policies which these foreign airlines subjected nanta members to, Adefope will scream blue murder, shot from the hips, and as a trained forensic expert, his clinical deployment of confrontational legalism, puts the unrelenting and domineering foreign carriers in disarray.
He was courted and hated at the same time, and he maintained an open door to the tourism media. He was always available to share his dream for nanta. Adefope avoided the temptation to remain in power beyond his call and worked hard to Unite nanta, and today, he is the octopus of the aviation downstream sector, where he runs his business with grit and wisdom. He indeed shaped the position and deliveries of nanta in his very unapologetic combative image. His menties, a story for another day.
Munzali Dantata brought fortunes to nanta leadership. He was then young, rich, and ambitious. A scion of the famous Dantata family of kano, Munzali Dantata, was a very patient and caring leader. He was during his time out in nanta, a General Sales Agent for Saudia, the national carrier of oil rich Saudi Arabia.
Munzali Dantata spent his fortunes on nanta, in a single-minded effort to change its image and also bring it into national tourism economic space. Though tolerated by the usual noisy and egocentric lagos cum South West nanta members due to his peace seeking outreach to foreign airlines, Munzali Dantata toned down nanta’s combative facade to suit his worldview.
Then came the fire spitting, fearless and courageous Tereza Ojo ( ezeobi). Her special advisers were Femi Adefope, Olu Ogunsulire, and Babatunde Akala. I had this feeling that these three musketeers dragged her into nanta leadership.
Tereza was graceful and richly connected. Her Tess Travel is the official travel implant in most foreign embassies, and she was big, I mean very big, in cultural tourism promotion. She filled the grounds of the kano Durbar festival with a chartered plane filled with foreigners and brought Ogun state into the limelight as a domestic tourism destination. As the then President of Nigeria Cycling Federation , Tereza Ezeobi ( Ojo) pushed forward the tourism content in that sport genre into national reckoning. The spoilers of Nigerian Airways hated her guts as she boldly confronted their thieving hands in honey pot the airline and at one of such heated meeting at the office of then Minister of Aviation located around Tafawa Balewa Square, she had to be smuggled out through the minister’s back door to avoid the raging Nigerian Airways leadership who could not tolerate her righteous indignation.
Tereza was a thunderstorm. If Adefope is known to shot from the hips, Tereza was the master snipper, all for the sake of nanta’s better tomorrow.
Soji Amusan is a disciplinarian to the core. Trained by the German lufthansa Airlines, he brought a new training and retraining culture to nanta membership. He took on nanta survival expectations with clinical precision, preferring to reason with nanta publics, particularly the foreign airlines rather than being combative. He led from the position of knowledge and education to the dynamic processes in the emerging world of travel as a trade. Today, some nanta members own aviation schools as a result of the campaign by Soji Amusan.
Ahmed zabadne is a Nigerian of Lebanese parentage. He spent fortunes trying to rubber stamp his business orientation background in nanta. He was collaborative and sought to have nanta members expand their reach beyond trade on airlines’ inventories. Ahmed zabadne is a born hospitality caregiver and operator despite being a travel trade professional. He was a jolly good fellow who loved Nigeria.
Dayo Adeola is subtle but with a huge appetite for deliveries. He built the three storey nanta secretariat on Ikorodu Road and a great mobilizer of men and resources. He will out spend others in the quest to transform nanta and also mentor young persons in collaborative ecosystem that clearly marked him out as a godfather to many trading their way to success. His trademark of competence and visionary commitment still speaks volume in nanta circles. Is he bound by his promises? One must learn to wrestle like Jacob to catch Adeola off guard.
Bankole Bernard is a pursuer of history and legacy. Young, stubborn, and fearless, Bankole Bernard tried to change the narratives of nanta and brokered efforts to gain back nanta’s board membership of ntdc, which the new pharaoh at ntda insisted to ambush out of fear of the powerful reach of nanta in both aviation and tourism space.
He also worked hard at getting nanta a focal constitutional authority and brought the association some political inroads, partnering to honour game changers in the industry. Energetic and confident, he fought internal schism and selflessly flew the nanta flag. He nearly lost his life in the untiring effort to leave his name in the nanta records of achievers. Some say he is arrogant and irritant, yes to many people who do not bother to study his character. He can trump a suprise change, and that makes him a highly misunderstood enigma.
Mrs Susan Akporiaye went through the tough lines of the nanta leadership structure to emerge as president. She confronted the covid pandemic and gave some lifeline to most struggling nanta members during the early days of global travel uncertainty. That pandemic period truly defined her willpower. Nanta nearly collapsed but she held strong, very strong, putting her critics on wrong footing. I will repeat that Susan Akporiaye is strong, bold, and beautiful inside more than mere physical eyes can see.
Her commitment and self drive opened the flood gate of new and old members of nanta , who now took their future into their own hands. She spoke courage and sold inspiration.
She is a Nigeria’s new tourism diva, steering nanta to other streams of income in the very dynamic and collaborative travel and tourism industry.
She has successfully shaped the nanta dream of tomorrow, frontal with foreign airlines, shadow boxed them into a corner, with same Adefope and Tereza Ojo punchy style.
She consults with wisdom but takes responsibility where others shiver in fear. Susan Akporiaye revealed and sustained the Tereza Ojo tourism goal agenda for nanta members and, above all, a dedicated and sacrificial mentor to the young and upcoming nanta members, many who rejoice at her leadership which has engaged and inspired them to rediscover their talents and strength. From South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, and London, nanta leads in promoting Nigeria tourism, even in tech start-ups.
By mid next year, a chapter in nanta history will be closed, and another opened. Susan Akporiaye has opened the gates for the nanta young persons to raise their heads and voice to give nanta sustainable leadership growth narratives, and so we say Amen and rejoice that nanta is on the match, greater and stronger because a true leader emerged. Will this trend gain sustained traction? We watch and pray!