By Eric Elezuo
The Lagos arm of Skal International, a professional organization of tourism leaders around the world, saddled with the responsibility of promoting global tourism and friendship, has celebrated its 60th year anniversary with pomp and pageantry.
The all important event which took place at the Red Carpet Hall, Oniru, Lekki, Lagos, brought together the who is who in tourism, travels and hospitality industry in a warm atmosphere of networking, exhibition and class.
Kicking off the well-attended event, the President of Skal International Lagos, Mrs. Rita Obidike, gave a warm welcome to all members, who are better known and recognized as Skalleagues, as well as clients, friends and family members present, noting that without their support, little would have been achieved.
“Without the encouragement and support from members and friends of this great club, today wouldn’t have happened…In Skal, we are foremost friends before colleagues or skalleagues,” she said.
She applauded every member for the landmark achievement of hitting 60 without blemish while specially thanking past presidents, officials, members and even those on ‘sabbatical’ who have made the club’s continual existence a reality.
The never a dull moment programme was further enlivened with soulful performances by the Lady of Song, better known as the Elegant Stallion, Onyeka Onwenu. She literarily got everyone present on their feet as the sing and dance along with her in rapturous estacy.
Giving their keynote addresses, the two special guests of honour; Director, Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies (CIAPS), Prof. Anthony Kila, and Founder, Akwaaba African Travel Market, Mr. Ikechi Uko, shed extreme light into the tourism and travel business as the next frontier in foreign earnings.
The body, in its usual of rewarding excellence, honoured distinguished members of the club and public who have contributed immensely to the development of travels and tourism as well as hospitality in general.
Among those honoured and presented by plaques and certificates were the President of NANTA, Mr. Bankole Bernard; Lagos State Commissioner for Arts and Tourism, Mr. Steve Ayorinde; CEO, Akwaaba African Travel Market, Mr. Ikechi Uko; Mr. Efetobe Awanga, Mr. Olufemi Adefogbe and the Goge Africa Creators, Mr. and Mrs. Isaac and Nneka Moses.
Rounding off a programme filled with glitz and fanfare, the President of Skal International, Mrs. Lavonne Wittmann, who was represented by Mrs. Julie Skol, presented a goodwill message. She regretted her inability to be present and urged all Skalleagues to keep up networking as that is the only way to remain relevant in the industry.
“The African continent with its 54 countries urgently needs to have a bigger footprint in Skal International and a concerted effort by each member in Africa must be implemented as soon as possible as tourism in most African countries is their most important economic activity,” she noted.
The event was graced by the presence of very important personalities including a handsome representation of the Lagos state government.
The Skal Club Lagos was formed on February 4, 1959 as the 182nd member of the International Skal Club.
Students Protest ASUU Strike, Block Ogun, Osun Highways
Students, on Friday, continued protests across the country over the lingering strike action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Students of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, trooped out in their numbers and blocked the Ijebu Ode/Ibadan express road.
Similarly, a mass of other students from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, went on a joint protest with counterparts in Ogun State, as organised under the banner of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Ogun Joint Campus Committee. They blocked the Abeokuta-Ibadan express road, around Camp-FUNAAB Junction.
In Osun State, students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, led by 22-year-old Abraham Omowumi, popularly called Ewatee, resumed their second-day protest on the Ife-Ibadan Expressway, blocking the popular OUI roundabout at Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu, with a lot of road users left stranded.
This was also as students were still protesting in Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital where they moved from the University of Ibadan to Agbowo, Sango, Mokola, etc.
One of the protesters, a former President of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun State, Soneye AbdulAzeez, said, “Vehicles going from Abeokuta to Ibadan are on standstill now. FUNAAB and Federal College of Education, Osiele, roads are on lockdown as well.
“We are resilient and making a statement, the Federal Government must listen to Nigerian Students.”
The National Public Relations Officer of the Fund Education Coalition, Joseph Aliu, who was spearheading the protest at Ago Iwoye, said, “It is saddening that after a series of talks, the Federal Government has failed to listen to the voice of reasoning.
“Since they’ve chosen to pay deaf ears to the cries of the striking lecturers, we have no other option but to take to the streets. We are here, we’re not stopping, here’s a fight to finish.”
The Students’ Union President, OOU, Akorede Afeez, in his comments, said, “It is an impediment to the societal growth and development of this nation in general that the students have been in their houses since February 14, 2022.
“The state government should rise to her responsibility to take charge of education and welfare of OOUiets. We are demanding the reopening of our classes. Education is our right, not a privilege.
Also, the Chairman of the Fund Education Coalition, Damilare Adenola, said, “We are protesting because we are clever enough to understand that the ongoing strike is a deliberate attempt by the government to kill public education so that politicians who own private universities can thrive, and we have concluded that for the sake of the poor masses, we are not going to fold our arms and watch public education die.
ASUU strike has entered its 88th day as the meeting between the lecturers and the government ended in deadlock on Thursday.
Mum As Tambuwal Meets Security Chiefs, Christian Leaders over Lynching of Student Accused of Blasphemy
The Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, has met with Christian leaders and heads of security agencies in the state following the lynching of a student for allegedly making blasphemous comments.
The governor’s spokesman, Muhammad Bello, said in a statement that the governor cut his political engagements to return to Sokoto to meet the stakeholders.
The meeting was attended by the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Nuhu Iliya, and other officials of the association.
“Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state cut short his engagements in Abuja, the nation’s capital following the killing of Miss Deborah Samuel, a student of the College of Education, Sokoto; and returned to Sokoto where he held a closed-door meeting with heads of security agencies in the state as well as the state Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Fr. Nuhu Iliya at the Government House,” Mr Bello said.
He didn’t provide details of the discussion, however.
Police Arrest Councillor with AK47 Rifle at Kidnappers’ Den in Kaduna
The Police in Kaduna State has confirmed the arrest of a serving councillor, recovering AK-47 with rounds of 7.62 X 39mm live ammunition from him in the Soba Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Muhammad Jalige, in Kaduna.
“Operatives of Operation Puff Adder II attached to the Kaduna Police Command, acting on the instruction of CP Yekini Ayoku, on May 9, at about 0800hrs, conducted routine patrol along Galadimawa road, Giwa LGA of Kaduna State.
“The operation, which was aimed at ensuring sanity in the connecting area, succeeded in intercepting a Lifan motorcycle, ridden by the suspect.
“Upon a search, a concealed AK47 rifle loaded with six rounds of 7.62 X 39mm live ammunitions were recovered from the sack and taken into custody alongside the suspect,” he said.
Preliminary investigation, he said, revealed the identity of the suspect as a serving member in the legislative council of the Soba LGA of Kaduna State.
“The suspect equally confessed to have gotten the firearm from his accomplices and he is to deliver same to bandits around Galadimawa village for their nefarious activities,” Jalige said.
“The Commissioner of Police appreciates the diligent and thoroughness exhibited by the officers and was miffed with the involvement of a supposed stakeholder,” he said.
The CP, Jalige said, has directed that a full scale investigation be carried out to ensure all those connected with the said crime were apprehended to face justice.