The image of Africa’s richest man , Aliko Dangote was displayed on Wednesday on the Nasdaq Tower in Times Square, New York.
This was in honour of him being named on Bloomberg’s list of 50 most influential names who have had an impact on the world in 2017
The NASDAQ Tower is considered the most visible LED video display in Times Square and is one of the most valuable advertising spaces in the world.
It’s the largest continuous sign in Times Square. It has close to 9,000 square feet of display space — about a quarter of an acre.
Aliko Dangote was also honored last night at the Bloomberg 50 annual gala dinner at New York’s iconic Gotham Hall, for his outstanding commitment of over $4B USD to increase Nigeria’s food production capacity.
Represented in New York by the CEO of his Foundation, Dangote was joined by electric car visionary Elon Musk; Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmon; Beatrice Fihn, anti-nuclear weapons advocate and Nobel Peace Laureate; Amazon’s Jeff Bezos; Robert Mueller, special counsel investigating Donald Trump’s potential collusion with Russia; and Vitalik Buterin, whose invention of the cryptocurrency Ethereum is revolutionizing the new blockchain craze.
Dangote’s contribution to the world this year revolves around his dynamic attention to lessen food imports into his own country and Africa’s largest nation, Nigeria, by focusing on domestic production of sugar and dairy, with 500 million liters of Nigerian milk to be produced by 2019. Earlier this year he announced a $50B USD plan to invest in renewable energy.
The other African to make the list is South Africa’s Elan Musk, founder of the electric car manufacturer, Tesla.
Former Ogun State Governor Othuba Olugbenga Daniels has expressed his confidence of becoming the next national chairman of The Peoples Democratic Party.
The PDP holds its national convention today, 150 days after the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the party won its lengthy legal battle with the Ali Modu Sheriff faction at the Supreme The election of a new national chairman to replace the current interim leader, Mr. Makarfi is one of the top items on the convention’s agenda
A total of nine candidates including Raymond Dokpesi and Uche Secondus are in the race.
Others in the race are Bode George, Rasheed Ladoja, Segun Aderemi, Taoheed Adedoja, Gbenga Daniel, Tunde Adeniran and Jimi Agbaje are from the seven South-west zones.
Earlier indications are that the aspirants from the South-west may eventually resolve to field only one of them at the convention, but none of them has publicly backed down as at Friday morning.
In an interview with Premium Times reporters, the former governor said of his chances: “I think I have a very good chance. I have paid my dues. But more than anything else, I have had unprecedented interaction with all the delegates across the length and breadth of this country. You must know that just yesterday I concluded a tour of virtually all the states of the federation. Some places I even visited twice”
Please read the rest of the interview below:
Which of your challengers do you find most threatening?
I don’t really want to call them challengers. Let’s say co-contestants. You can look at this as what we used to do when we have co-debaters. It is not really about it in that sense. All the people who are contesting are people that I know, I have interacted with at one point or the other. I know their capacities. And I have no doubt in my mind that they’re all competent people.
But the fact of the case is that when you look at the challenges of the party today, I think I am better poised in terms of networking. In terms of relevant experience. The fact that I have had the opportunity, as it were, to actually go through serious elections and won. I am not so sure that many of them have the kind of experience that I have.
Many of them, if not most of them, have benefitted from appointments. They have risen through one appointment or the other. I have gone through elections. I have no doubt in my mind that all of them without an exception are my friends. And I know that this relationship will continue beyond this Saturday.
Should you become chairman, how would you handle some major players in the PDP that you have somewhat personal issues with, like Buruji Kashamu?
First and foremost, I’ll plead with you not to individualise a very, very fundamental matter. The party is about people. There’s no doubt about that. But don’t also forget that the party, you know, also has millions and millions of members. My responsibility as the chairman is to unite all the forces. Like I told you, even the one you mentioned and the one you didn’t mention, I have a relationship with all of them. There’s not a single one of them that I cannot call on the phone and tell him that ‘I am coming to your house to have dinner’ or to have lunch.
So, you may look at those things as fundamental, but the fact of the case is that there are no personal issues there. Out of principle, we disagree in politics. We disagree to agree. So don’t be surprised that many of those that you’re mentioning, you can find me going to their house and say ‘hey boy, what’s going on?’ So it’s not as serious as you’re making it look. That is my own opinion.
How would you ensure that your EFCC case does not distract or render you ineffective as a chairman of a major opposition party?
The case is in court. It would be prejudice for me to be speaking about a matter that is already before a court of law.
Not even a word?
I know PREMIUM TIMES is interested in this matter, but the case is still before the court of law.
The role of money in party politics. Former military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida, recently warned against allowing money to dominate politics and buying the conscience of the people for votes.
Well, That is quite despicable. But you have to also appreciate that because of the level of poverty in the land, people tend to look for means and ways of surviving. Some do it via political action —political activities— and some do it via other actions. Not many people work hard for the money. That is really unfortunate.
My own opinion is that it’s something that should be discouraged. But we must appreciate that it’s a fundamental issue which has to do with the level of productivity of the people, of the country and all of that. My own solution is very, very simple: We must work very hard to create an environment where people are gainfully employed. Where people are busy. Where people have work to do. And it is also my position that we have more than enough work in this country for everybody —if only we can direct them properly. That is probably why some of us have gotten involved with the political process.
As you know, we’ve had the opportunity to demonstrate this practically in the past. When I was governor in Ogun State, at a stage I was boasting that ‘there’s nobody who is unemployed in Ogun State, I have work for everybody’, and I was dead serious. And I think if in our own little Ogun State we could do that successfully, there’s no reason why that cannot be nationalised.
And if you see me now trying to play some kind of role, it is to provide that kind of organisational capacity within the party and within the country so that people can feel challenged.
When people are busy and they have work to do, the incidence of monetisation in this process will not only be eradicated, it will become an anathema. It will become something that is despicable. Unfortunately, what it is today is that it’s all about money. And that is really, really unfortunate. And if we don’t put an end to it, we’re not going to make enough progress as a nation.
You think money will not decide who wins at the convention?
Well, if what we want to do is money, I wouldn’t go round the 36 states of this country. We think that there’s need to interact with the delegates. Although we found that some delegates were interested in money, we were able to convince them that the futures of their children should be more important to them. And they agreed.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo openly dissociated himself from the PDP about three years ago, so why do some of you still go to him for political consultations?
Well, don’t forget that I was a governor for eight years. Four out of which Obansajo was my president and commander-in-chief. So I have a relationship with him. Don’t also forget that Obasanjo is an enigma. In the environment of Ogun State, he’s an elder statesman. And that is part of our culture. If you’re a cultured person and you want to do something like this, it is incumbent upon you to inform the people you consider as key, notwithstanding their political persuasion. It is a duty. It is incumbent. And I assure you, I told everybody, not necessarily partisan people, because, at the end of the day, the party is just a vehicle. It is about public service.
Like other people, I went to Baba and I told him what I wanted to do and he gave me good advice. And I am using some of the advice in whatever I am doing.
Still on Ogun State. We understand recently that you’ve fallen out with Kessington ‘Baba Ijebu’ Adebutu, what happened?
You’re in the realms of rumour mongering and I don’t respond to rumours.
You used to be close to him and now we understand that’s no longer the case, could you please tell us why?
I am saying that you people like rumours and I don’t respond to rumours.
President Buhari is running in 2019. Don’t you think his bid to run as an incumbent would constitute a major hindrance to the PDP’s aim to regain power?
I don’t think so. Quite on the contrary, I feel very happy that as a country and as a people, our democracy has developed. President Buhari is a great Nigerian. He has contributed his own quota. He was there to fight to unite Nigeria as a military personnel. He was military head of state and now he’s a civilian president. He has all our respect.
But we should not forget that he also contested against an incumbent and he won. So what makes you people think that somebody cannot contest against him and also win?
He has been a beneficiary of that democratic principle which we must actually commend the PDP for. If that has happened, it is a very good precedent and I am sure I have no doubt in my mind that come 2019, in that election, PDP would win. And I also trust that President Buhari is not a desperate man. I am sure that he would also cooperate and hand over power to PDP in 2019. That is how to develop democracy.
Your Excellency, you’ve left the PDP before for Labour Party, if you lose the chairmanship Saturday, would you remain in the party?
Name one person in this country today, who is anybody anywhere, who has not moved from one party to the other?Start from the current President Buhari, go to the Senate President, go to the Speaker, go to the governors. It’s just an evolution in the political system that we need to look at. So it’s not a question of X left or Y left. We should look at if the defection is ideological.
Final words for delegates?
My advice to the delegates is that they should vote for their conscience and not allow themselves to be unduly influenced by, you know, material gains. They should appreciate that this is a vote for their future. A vote for their children and grandchildren. They should vote for the people they think can turn around the country by turning around the person.
Police have released CCTV images of two men suspected of raping a woman near Finsbury Park.
The victim, who is in her early 20s, was assaulted after meeting two men at a festival in the park on September 23rd.
The attack took place in a vehicle between 11pm and 1am the following morning – she was then dropped off in the Elephant and Castle area.
One of the suspects is described as black, slim build, with short black hair, a tuft of hair on his chin and slight facial scarring.
Watch Police footage of suspects
The second suspect is also described as black, of slim build with a black goatee and short hair.
DC Caroline Himsworth from the child abuse and sexual offenses command says “I am appealing to the public to assist us in catching these two dangerous individuals who carried out this horrific attack.”
Anyone with information should contact the Metropolitan Police.
With all the noise going around about the biblical issue of Pentecostal Christians paying tithes, you would think no other Christian denomination practiced this doctrine.
Unless they have they stopped since I left CATHOLIC school in 1982 (long before I heard of RCCG or Pastor Adeboye), the Catholic church was the first ever place I heard of the payment of tithes
The first I heard of tithe paying was not in the RCCG of which I became a member in 1995 but in 1977 when I attended OUR LADY OF APOSTLES SECONDARY SCHOOL, Ijebu Ode as the first child from a muslim family.
I lived in the school’s boarding house for 4 years and as a boarder, morning mass was compulsory for every one, 6 days a week with the long procession over almost 2 miles to church (St Sebastians) every sunday.
After school, I continued my romance with the Catholic church till I gave my life to Christ in 1986 while in university
The teachings I received in all those years as a Catholic DID NOT inspire or convict me to have a personal relationship with Christ neither did I acquire much if any memorable biblical knowledge. But I remember the boring services, long hymns, very short and unconvincing sermons, the tedious stations of the cross and long repetitive memorized prayers in a language I did not understand.
I also cannot forget the long queues for Communion….and the sassaying catwalk style walks back were a sight to behold. I tell you, many of us invented and practiced our own individual “walk” back to our seats!
There is an old school mate we called “Gbegbe wo” because of the way she tilted gerself side ways as she walked back to her seat after receiving communion.
It is almost certain that many of us in the boarding school took holy communion – not out of Faith – but for the opportunity to pose and show off.
But I also remember the scandalous stories involving some of the “fathers” who were stationed to our school. Many of them with students but some of them with the reverend sisters – although these could have been mere rumours… still….
However, apart the long repetitive prayers and sermons, I go idly remember the weekly demands for offering, thanksgiving offerings, building offerings and TITHES.
Many like to act as if tithes were invented by Papa Adeboye or Pastor Oyedepo and many of those saying these are from the fast becoming irrelevant orthodox churches!!! But tithes have been asked for and paid long before Adeboye or Oyedepo became GOs of their churches.
However, the origin, biblical historical relevance or even to which tribe it was specifically given simply bears no relevance today in the church. Since time immemorial, tithes have been a means of the church (catholic, pentecostal or celestial) – levying their core members to raise funds for church administration, maintenance and payment of staff including the pastorate. COE or Anglican churches have vicarages which are furnished and paid for including use of a personal car and staff for their vicars and priests. The Catholic churches have their convents and bishops quarters.
By the way, many Pastors have other jobs outside their pastoral works and most of them have published works and recordings that they draw additional income from. But BISHOPS, priests, vicars and reverend sisters very rarely have jobs outside the church and if at all, they are limited to classroom teaching within the church’s school system.
The issue of tithing is just another tool the enemy is using to discredit the Pentecostal church and won’t it be astonishing that these attacks are synchronised or syndicated by echelons of other “denomimations” out of envy and pure hatred for the works of drawing many to Christ and filling churches that they have failed at?
At the height of the revival that saw the growth of Pentecostal Christianity in the 80s, many did not think the movement will last. University campuses, colleges and schools erupted with the “born-again” syndrome and the arena filling church attendances that the combination of Methodist, Catholic and Anglican churches could not manage. Many kids from Muslim, Catholic and Anglican homes who gave their lives to Christ and started attending “born-again” churches were disowned and kicked out or flogged by their parents. Others were locked up and prevented from attending fellowship.
In fact many parents were more accepting of their teenage daughter getting pregnant than for them to become born again!
But the move of the Spirit as many from the orthodox establishment failed to recognise was strong; powerful and relentless. And the more they kicked against It, the stronger the church became. Many secular establishments such as cinemas were converted to churches to accommodate the simply overwhelming congregation sizes that mere classrooms and fellowship centres could not contain.
Campus fellowships were led by fire brand student preachers – many of them pastors today.
And over the years, the sheer number of Pentecostal church members – not just in Nigeria or in Africa, but all over the world has grown in unpredictable and unforeseen magnitudes that the orthodox churches are still reeling with confusion. Many church of England churches are virtually empty on Sundays and you will really struggle to see young people who are self professed Catholic or Anglican. But come to Pentecostal churches and the story is glaringly different.
Many will say joining the born again movement in those early days was the fashionable vogue that everyone did to be relevant without having the true conviction or even knowledge of what true Christianity entailed. That could be true because that was so in my case. Many of us after giving our lives, failed to change our lifestyles and many backslid within years. And that was sadly because many evangelists were also new converts themselves who lacked the wisdom to follow up on new converts – or expected them to know straightaway, what needed to be done. Little emphasis was placed on new believers class or Bible Study attendance.
But many years later, many of those backsliden Christians also returned to the Faith with their children, rededicated their lives and are now ministers and leaders in the church – parents of the next generation of pentecostal Christians, ministers and leaders which means an even bigger growth for the church.
And that is what the enemy is afraid of.
A bigger and stronger church with many being added daily. No wonder it is on the warpath. And how best to destabilize a church than by attacking and discrediting the leadership. Remember what happened to the early disciples after Christ was crucified….but after the Pentecost, they and their followers received power and enablement from the Holy Spirit and they went on to preach the gospel in Samaria, Judea and all parts of the world.
Those Africans who believe Christianity is the white man’s religion should read Matthew 25 and Acts Ch 1
That power is still as potent and as alive today as the day it was first given to the early disciples.
Christians need to be sensitive and realise that the Pentecostal church is not under attack from mere critics but from the pit of hell and it’s humam agents and mouthpieces determined to bring down the church.
The sustained Church, Christians and pastors bashing is a concerted effort to incite discord in christiandom and to sow seeds of lack of trust in the very leadership by questioning and undermining the very basics of the church’s doctrines.
Admittedly as on any other gatherings of humans, you will have bad eggs. Afterall, Christ had Judas among his closest friends. Have you seen a beautiful garden of flowers without weeds? True we have the insane, the weird and the most questionable individuals posing as pastors in our midst.
I have personally witnessed a row between two folks I knew were not in any was, shape or form Christians – rowing over the proceeds of a “fellowship” they fraudulently started together. Now, if they had been patient, their fellowship could have grown after they must have succeeded in fooling and deceiving people that chose to follow them – and many ignorant folks would be referring to those two as pastors – and assuming all pastors are like them….
But those are in the minority. And they are always hell planted to distract and remove focus from the bigger picture. And once people notice the crazy antics of the kerosene or grass pastors, attention is removed from the multitude doing God’s work, God’s way.
The church is facing it’s hardest times in modern history – not helped by the big established orthodox churches with their “let’s change Gods will and His words so we can accommodate everyone and fill our empty pews” attitude.
They don’t evangelize or preach the gospel like the Pentecostal do – yet they sit with government officials and leaders, to give their watered down version of Christian advice and sir back and applaud when government hands down laws that stand right in the face of God’s law!
By the way has anyone seen pictures of the Vatican City, the official town of the pope? He even has his own currency! And the imagined wealth of all the heads of Pentecostal churches combined is peanuts compared to the vast wealth commanded and controlled by the pope who has his own special “Popemobile” costing an eyewaterong £345,000 and the sole exclusive use of an Alitalia Airbus for his very occasional ventures out of the “holy city”
It is easier to pick on the likes of Pastor Oyedepo and Pastor Adeboye and others because they are from “among us: and are open in their ways. Half of Catholics do not even have the foggiest idea about the “independent state” called the Vatican city with its own laws, bank, currency, tax system and constitution even though it is right in the middle of Italy, a sovereign state.
The wealth of the pope/ and the Vatican city is made up of tithes and offerings by Catholics from all over the planet.
However, Many schools including the one I attended and churches owned by the Catholic church are in ruins and various state of disrepair – but the Vatican city is a flourishing, well built “city” with buildings and edifices built of marble and other previous stones and furnished with the most expensive paintings, statues and every kind of luxury you can think of.
Whatever the historical or regional origin of the early day tithes, tithing is a doctrine with it’s origin derived from the scriptures and even acknowledged by our Lord Jesus Christ. And the main purpose of tithes are to levy willing and committed church members for the purpose of raising funds for church administration and maintenance.
Next to their work place, the church is the next place Christians spend more time outside the home with an average of 2 weekly attendances. And many of these buildings are rented or mortgaged.
There are also other running costs such as heating, cleaning, water, repairs, sound engineers, electricians, church buses fuel, insurance and servicing, diesel and generator maintenance as in the case of Nigeria. etc. The list is endless and one does not need to be a university graduate to realise that all these cost money.
Money that can only be raised from church members – through tithes.