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SINCE 1996

NEYA ORJI KALU WEDS LAWRENCE IYERE IN LAGOS

OVATION SPECIAL

AMB. GEORGE WEAH’S THE COMPLETE COVERAGE OF

INAUGURATION AS PRESIDENT OF LIBERIA

© OVATION 2018

FOREMOST INDUSTRIALIST,

ALHAJI RASAK OKOYA MARKS 78TH BIRTHDAY WITH ALL-WHITE PARTY

GIFTY

CHAMPION’S CLASSY 60TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS IN DUBAI


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ISSN-1362-7309 Issue 176

CREW PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Dele Momodu momodudele@yahoo.co.uk

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Mobolaji Momodu EDITOR Michael Effiong

mikeffiong2009@yahoo.com mikeffiong@ovationinternational.com

DEPUTY EDITOR Dele Salako

PHOTO EDITOR Adekoya Adegbite

PRODUCTION MANAGER/ART DIRECTOR Isaac Edoh-Philip DESIGNER Kwaku Yeboah Darteh

ASSISTANT DESIGNER Adekoya Abiodun Afeez CORRESPONDENT Eric Elezuo

PHOTO JOURNALISTS Colin Ramsay… Ade James (USA)… Dayo Adedayo Isaac Adegbite… Dragan Mikki… Bodise Wilson Soji Adekunle… Vera Odjugo… Tope Brown Funmi Adeyemi… Segun Lawal… Ken Ehimen Sunmisola Olorunnisola Guy L’ Avenir (Benin Republic) Ben Dzakah (Ghana) MARKETING/ADVERTS Zed Dominic Okolue (Benin Republic)

US CORRESPONDENTS Samantha Ofole Prince… Shola Orolugbagbe

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LAGOS OFFICE Segun Adebowale-Managing Editor, Ovation TV Babatunde Martins- Personal Assistant/Admin Ade Abiola-Admin Officer UK OPERATIONS 7 Du Maurier House, Lawn Road, London NW3 2XE Tel: +447951026178, +447956967160

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PRINTED BY The Magazine Printing Company Ltd., Enfield, England.

DIRECTORS Segun Fatoye, Mobolaji Momodu, Damola Aderemi, Dele Momodu (CEO) OVATION Magazine is published as a periodical by OVATION Comm. Ltd. ©OVATION International Reproduction in full or part of any contents of OVATION magazine (without prior written consent from the publisher) is strictly prohibited.

Visit us @ www.ovationinternational.com


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THE HISTORIC SWEARING IN OF SOCCER STAR

AMBASSADOR GEORGE WEAH AS PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA Story: Michael Effiong Photo: Adekoya Adegbite

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President Elect. George M. Weah

n a moment of historical significance witnessed by thousands of cheering supporters, African Presidents, the cream of the continent's business and sports elites, soccer mega star, George Oppong Manney Weah is now the 24th elected President of the Republic of Liberia. As he raised his right hand and planted his left on the Holy Bible, the football figure said the few words that officially made him the nation's No.1 citizen when the clock ticked past 12 noon in accordance with the constitution. The cheers that reverberated round the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex venue was deafening. There was indescribable joy on the faces of hundreds who lined the streets and an expression of hope on the brows of thousands who braved the scorching sun to fill the stadium located in the heart of Monrovia to witness the landmark event live and also capture some moments for posterity. It was obvious that the victory of this amiable President, who has achieved great feats according to the letters of his surname-World’s best, Europe’s best, Africa’s best and Head of State (WEAH), was no fluke. He is Man of the People, very popular and well-loved.

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ROUSING WELCOME IN MONROVIA, LIBERIA

Bashorun Dele Momodu with Bishop Isaac Idahosa

Michael Effiong, Ms. Telia Ureya & Chris Onanuga

Nigerian Community welcoming Bashorun Dele Momodu to Liberia

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Chief MacDonald Iriruaga greeting Bashorun Dele Momodu


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THE INTERCESSORY AND THANKSGIVING SERVICE AT CENTENARY MEMORIAL PAVILION

President-elect George M. Weah Arriving Thanksgiving Service with his wife, Mrs. Clar Weah

President elect George M. Weah & President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor with Vice President Mr. Joseph Boakai

Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor (Vice-President-elect) & President-elect, Amb. George M. Weah

Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor & Bashorun Dele Momodu

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President-elect George M. Weah & wife, Mrs. Clar Weah, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleafรณ & Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor

Bashorun Dele Momodu & Christine A. Elder (USA Amb. to Liberia)

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Catherine Campbell (Ireland), Habert Jaeger (Germany) & Pirio Shomela-Chowdbury (Finland)

Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor, Vice President Mr. Joseph Boakai & wife

Helene Cave & Ambassador Isaac Nyenabo


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Esther Asipa & Elisha Attai, Micheal Effiong (Editor Ovation Int. Magazine) & Bashorun Dele Momodu (Publisher Ovation Int. Magazine)

(L ) Bishop Isaac Idahosa

Bishop Duncan Williams & wife with Bishop Isaac Winker

Prof. D. Ansu Sonii, Hon. Moses Y. Tollie & Mrs. Ellen C. Tollie

Bashorun Dele Momodu greeting Mr. Fonati Koffa

Dee – Maxwell Saah, Kamayah, Sr. Member Joint Presidential Transition Team

Dr. Aderemi Ajibewa (ECOWAS Abuja), H.E. Mr. Babatunde Olanrewaju Ajisomo, Elisha Attai, Micheal Effiong & Bashorun Dele Momodu

Dr. Aderemi Ajibewa & H.E. Mr. Babatunde Olanrewaju Ajisomo

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CDC Party Chairman, Hon. Nathaniel McGill with Cross section of Legislators

THE MISSION TO MONROVIA

In these days of recession, not many media organisations will commit scarce resources to covering a swearing in ceremony though this one was certain to have world-wide appeal. At OVATION, celebrating the best and brightest of Africa is at the very core of our existence-and we were not going to miss this epoch-making event. So when Our Publisher, Bashorun Dele Momodu, who was in faraway Israel called to say “Editor, get your team ready, check for tickets, we are going to Liberia�, this reporter received the news with excitement and anxiety because of the many stories that had

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come out of Liberia especially during the war. Due to our extensive travel schedules, though we use travel agents, we check and book tickets in house, that is how we have learnt over time to get good deals. And as a king of the skies, our Publisher had even began making his own preparations. He had hardly dropped the phone when he called back to real out the airlines that were now travelling to Monrovia, and bemoaning the huge cost of air travel within the African continent. To say the least, it is outrageously expensive! Anyway, apart from that call, he had also contacted our long-time Monrovia-

Members of the Diplomatic corps


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Michael Effiong, Bashorun Dele Momodu Greeting Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor

Bashorun Dele Momodu & Queen Juli Endee (Traditional Queen & Culture Ambassador Republic Of Liberia)

Kofo, Semah Weifour, Bashorun Dele Momodu & Queen Juli Endee

Koya Adegbite with Semah Weifour

based friend and Media Practitioner, Chris Hayes Onanuga, who had begun the legwork to get our hotels and local logistics ready. When D-Day eventually came, our team comprising: Bashorun Dele Momodu, Michael Effiong (Editor), Adekoya Adegbite (Photo Editor) and Oluwafemi Gabriel (Cameraman, Ovation TV) arrived the Murtala Muhammed Airport early for our 10am flight. As is usual practice, Our Publisher whose dictum is “Never fly without something in your stomach� took us all for a sumptuous meal at tried and tested, Abibiz Restaurant and that was when

Crossection

we ran into amiable man of God, Bishop Isaac Idahosa. Bishop Idahosa was in one corner, sitting quietly and reading a book, he was with an assistant. I had met him many years back in London, United Kingdom at the office of a mutual friend, another gifted man of God, Pastor Alex Omokodu, and we exchanged pleasantries. Bishop Idahosa eventually met our Publisher and was gracious enough to present him with one of his books. Interestingly, he too was heading to Liberia!

Bashorun Dele Momodu, Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor & Elisha Attai

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Lady Clar Weah, President-elect George Weah & President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Lady Clar Weah, President-elect George Weah, President Ellen Johnson. Sirleaf & Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor

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President-elect George Weah with Bashorun Dele Momodu

Lady Clar Weah, President-elect George Weah & President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

President Elect George Weah, Bishop Emeritus Mathew T. Gueh with Bashorun Dele Momodu


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Semah Weifour

Master Willington Green (Soltimon Christian School System

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Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams

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President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

President-elect Gearge Weah & wife, Mrs. Clear Weah

Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor


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Bashorun Dele Momodu, Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor, Elisha Attai, Esther Asipa & Michael Effiong

Bishop Isaac Idahosa & Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor

Michael Effiong, Bashorun Dele Momodu with Bishop Emeritus Mathew T. Gueh

Michael Effiong, Bashorun Dele Momodu, Arch. Bishop Duncan-Williams & wife

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A RECEPTION FOR VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT, SENATOR JEWEL HOWARD-TAYLOR

Members of the Sheroes Group, Queen Mothers from Ghana with Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor

Bashorun Dele Momodu Greeting Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor

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Mr. Divine Dzegbla, Micheal Effiong & Bashorun Dele Momodu

(Middle) Bashorun Dele Momodu & Senator Howard-Taylor


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Dr. (Mrs.) Adetokunbo Fayokun, Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor, Bashorun Dele Momodu & Michael Effiong

Dr. (Mrs) Adetokunbo Fayokun, Elisha Attai, Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor & Esther Asipa

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Mr. Divine Dzegbla & Wilson

Mr. & Mrs. Krouwei

Lloud Scott, Yvette Freeman & Lisa Greaves

Chrisfiau Woaet & Norwu Howard

Dayo Brnjamin-Laniyi

Michael Effiong , Ayouba Kamara & Sheikh Al. Mustapha Kouyatea

L-R) Yvette Freeman, Lisa Greaves, Bashorun Dele Momodu & Chrisfiau Woaet

Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor with her Sheroes group member

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(L-r) Dayo Benjamin-Laniyi & Bashorun Dele Momodu


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Norwu Howard

Bashorun Dele Momodu

General Johnson Asiedu Nketia (Rtd)

Dayo Benjamin Laniyi

Elisha Attai, Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor & Jonson Asiedu Nketia

Femi, Koya Adegbite, Micheal Effiong, Bashorun Dele Momodu & Esther Asipa

After what seemed like eternity, our Medview flight was called-and the Mission to Monrovia had begun. By now, the pictures of Liberia: the devastation, the Ebola, the poor infrastructure had begun to flash on this reporter’s mind. The flight was not direct. We had to stop over in Accra, navigate through Freetown before we landed at the Roberts International Airport, Monrovia. As we were making our final descent, I tried to look through the window to check out the skyline which sometimes give an inkling of what to find when you eventually enter the city, this formula did not help much. On touching down, we were met at the foot of the aircraft by well-mannered Protocol Officers led by the Chief Protocol Officer to Her Excellency Senator Jewel

Sheroes Group with Bashorun Dele Momodu

Howard-Taylor, Vice President-elect. We were all chauffeured to the VVIP waiting area, while our passport formalities and our luggage were being sorted. The airport was not gargantuan but I noticed that it was neat and tidy. That was not all, I then went a step further to try out my formula of rating a well-managed airport: The Rest Room! The one I visited at this airport was small, nothing fancy but it smelled fresh and the toilet seat was sparkling White! That to me was a pleasant surprise. It is true that you should never judge a book by its cover, Liberians sure knew how to manage the little things they have. Just as we stepped out of the VIP Lounge, we were met by a group from the Nigerian Community in

Liberia. They were singing, dancing and drumming. Wow, this was a shock! What an honour! In typical African setting, it was a lively way to say to us all “Welcome Home” As the only one who had been to Liberia, our Publisher had regaled us with tales of his last visit and asked us to brace up for a lot of inconvenience. In the first place, he said the ride out of the airport to town was going to be bumpy. As Nigerians, we know what that meant. Well, well, we were all in for a remarkable surprise, when our convoy, led by an outrider revved out of the airport and snaked into town, the road was silky smooth. There were no failed portions of that stretch of road. “This is amazing. Madam Sirleaf has really done magic here” That was our Publisher who

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D-DAY: GETTING READY AT THE 5-STAR

BOULEVARD PALACE HOTEL, MONROVIA

H.E. Flight Lt. Jerry Rawlings & Bashorun Dele Momodu

Bashorun Dele Momodu & Ghanaian President Nana Akufo Addo

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Mr. Hana of Boulevard Palace Hotel with Bashorun Dele Momodu

Arch. Bishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams

Bashorun Dele Momodu & Former President John Dramani Mahama

Segun Adebutu & Michael Effiong

Bashorun Dele Momodu greeting Chief Olusegun Obasanjo Brownie J. Samukai, Jr., Former Minister of National Defense, Liberia


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Hon. Omosede Igbinedion , Bashorun Dele Momodu & Capt. Hosa Okunbo

John Dumelo with Fred Nnuamah & wife

John Davis, LBDI president

Mr. Onanuga CT COM Liberia, Mr. Davis, President of LBDI & Mr.Baah, Country Manager of COCA COLA

was sitting beside me soliloquizing. There was traffic when we got towards the heart of town, maybe because there was celebration in the air, there was so much economic activity around. And many businesses have sprung up too. Unlike Many years ago, when there was no light in many parts of the capital and many people were on generators, the electricity seemed to have been restored. Liberia was certainly alive and on its feet again-from this first impression. Boulevard Palace Hotel, located along a major road was our destination and when we got there, we discovered why our Man Friday, Chris Onanuga had insisted that it was this facility or none other. Apart from the fact that it was the choice accommodation for virtually all the heavyweights: Presidents, former Presidents and super stars, it was an upscale and luxurious facility. You had a sense of being at 5-star hotel immediately you walk through the doors. The hotel exudes elegance. The glamorous design, inspiring ambience and the service as we later found out was impeccable. It also had its Public Relations Machinery working at over drive as notices were placed conspicuously of the special guests they were expecting: President Nana

Akufo-Addo, former President John Dramani Mahama, former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Soccer Super star, Samuel Eto’o. This was indeed a fitting Palace to enjoy the sights, sounds and hospitality of Liberia. We arrived two days to the swearing in to enable cover as much of the celebration as possible. This turned out to be a very wise decision because there was so much happening in town. We had been invited to a few parties one was by young, hardworking female entrepreneur, Ms Tella Uneya at her lounge. She said it will be a lively live band while the other was a disco soiree hosted by friends of President-elect George Weah, Eventually, we did not attend any because jet lag set in and we had to rest and recover for our first official event, the thanksgiving and intercessory service scheduled for the next morning.

THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSORY SERVICE Eleven O’clock Ante Meridian was the time and the venue was the Centennial Memorial Pavilion for this all important ceremony. Stepping out that morning, it was obvious that the whole country was in celebratory mood, the red stripes and Lone Star national flag of Liberia was flying

proudly at every corner. Also there were flag posts, lamp posts and huge bill boards announcing the fact that Liberia was about to have a new President and Vice President. The streets were also clean and green, from all indications, Liberia was prepared to welcome the world. The Centennial Memorial Pavilion where the service was holding is a landmark monument. According to historians, this the place where the Presidents of the country were sworn in and it also houses many historical artefacts. The organizers of this inauguration certainly did their due diligence, the venue was very appropriate. With its impressive gothic columns and renaissance architecture, the hall was emblazoned in red white and blue and now filled with guests from across the globe. With guests already seated, first to arrive was the Vice President, His Excellency Joseph Boakai and his wife, it was not long before, President Ellen JohnsonSirleaf’s arrival was announced and she was cheered each step of the way to her seat. Soon, there was a din at the entrance and that was when everyone realized that former First Lady, Senator and now Vice President-elect, Jewel was in the house. Graceful and elegant, with her trademark smile, Senator Howard-Taylor like the dye-in-the wool

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Chris Onanuga, Hon. Nathaniel McGill and Bashorun Dele Momodu

Chris Onanuga with Mr. Jomah Koffa McKay Snr. Business Executive

Giano Abdallah, Precious Ofure, Mr. Hama, Chris Onanuga, Mrs. Helen, Inegbeniki & Joy Chico

Samuel Eto’o Fils with Bashorun Dele Momodu

politician that she is, did not just stroll to her seat, she was waving to the congregation, shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries. When Ambassador George Weah walked in, you need not be told that he is the Real Mccoy. Just like when the big masquerade enters the village square and the drum beats changes, that was what happened when this famous figure stepped in. The whole place was buzzing with excitement as he walked in with his beautiful ebony beauty wife, Clar. The service began with a call to worship with Rev. Tehpamubo M. Sayeh, Senior Pastor, Georgia Pattern United Methodist Church. This was followed immediately with the opening hymn “All Hail the Power of Jesus”. The nation’s Chief of Protocol was the Master of ceremonies and he handled the event expertly and was assisted by the worship leader, Pastor Festus Logan, National Chaplain-General for the new ruling party, Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC). He explained that the reason for the service was to thank God for the success of the last administration and hand the new government into the hands of God for guidance and direction. He. it was. who invited Bishop Dr. Nathaniel Zarway, Senior Pastor, Greater Refuge Temple, Oldest Congo Town to deliver the invocation and also introduced Rev. Melvin Dahn of the Christ Pavilion Ministries for the welcome statement. The Combined Inaugural Choir soon took centre stage and their song, Na Muu Sann, meaning “I will extol Thee”in Kru enlivened the atmosphere. The first scripture reading for the day was the responsibility of Bishop George Harris of Philladelphia Central Church, Oldest Congo Town and he read from Number 1:1-18 while Bishop J. Allen Klayee of the Jubilee Praise and Worship, Old Road took the new statement reading from St John 9: 3-5. There was another musical interlude and this time it was soulful performance by Mrs Yassah HowardLee.

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Rev. Joseph Gardea Johnson III, General Overseer, Restoration Baptist Ministries Inc, Old Road, Monrivia was the one who took the Intercessory Scripture from 2 Chronicles 7: 10-22 which affirms the need to never forsake the Lord in all their endeavours. Next on the agenda was session of prayers and it was announced that the representative of each of the 15 Counties will step out to pray for the Republic of Liberia. The prayer session was done in alphabetical order: Bomi County ( Bishop M Wolo Belleh, Bethel Cathedral of Hope, Monrovia), Bong County, (Rev. Lahal Sassy, Bethel Outreach Ministry), Gbarpolu County, (Pastor Elias Chebli,Mount Zion Favour Chapel, Monrovia), Grand Bassa County, Dominion Christian Fellowship, Buchanan), Grand Cape Mount County, (Rev. Wilfred Y, Morgan, Mount Calvary Temple of Jesus Christ Ministries, Monrovia), Grand Gedeh County, (Rev. Dr. Samuel J Quire, Bishop LAC Methodist Church, Monrovia), Grand Kru County, Rev. Emmanuel Nimely, Jerusalem First Ministry, Monrovia, Lofa County, (Bishop Alex Dickson, Sure World Believers Chapel International, Clara Town, Monrovia), Marghibi County, Bishop P. Manesseh Conto, Mission for Today Holy Church, New Kru Town), Maryland County, Rev. Mother Glorious S. Kerkulah, Chosen Redemmer Fellowship, Duport Road, Paynesville), Montseraddo County, Prophet David Z.K. Jallah, General Overseer, Liberia House of Prayer, Monrovia, Nimba County, Rev. Lucy C.H.Bulgar, Peace Praise Full Gospel Ministries), Rivercess County, (Rev. Isaac P. Russ III, African Missionary Foundation, AMP, Liberia), River Gee County, ( Bishop Anthony Wennie, Army of the Living God Ministries, Old Road) and Sinoe County, (Bishop Matthew Kantan, Evangel Outreach Ministries Monrovia) It was fitting that after this session of prayers, there came some entertainment. This was provided in form of a wonderful performance of Steve Crown’s “You Are Great” by visually-impaired, Master Semah

Weefur. He got a standing ovation. There were also performances by Minister Evon Karweh, who sang “Papa, Put Them To Shame, Children of Liberia that belted the popular Igbo song,Ebezina by Niigerian-born Preye while Gifty sang Let Liberia be free. A major highlight of this ceremony was the poem “King George The Great” by Master Willington Green of Solomon Christian School System, This kid sure has the potential to make it big in poetry or the spoken word, he was simply spectacular. What could be considered as the highest point of the ceremony was the sermon that was preached by Bishop Emeritus Matthew Gueh of the Evangelical Congregational Chuch of Liberia, Gardenville. This gifted man of God was very witty but firm, He looked the new President eye ball to eye ball and told him that Liberians were tired of procrastination and “what he had to do, he had to do it now”. He noted “We have waited too long for good roads, we have waited too long for health facilities, we have waited too long to have excellent government offices, the change you campaigned for should start immediately, you have to start work Now”. He also urged the legislators who were also present at the occasion to take their jobs seriously and jettison any conduct that will not move the nation forward. He chipped a few good words for President Sirleaf but in the whole his message was that Liberia action-packed leaders. There was to be special prayers by Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams and Pastor Temitope Joshua, but it was only the respected Ghanaian Archbishop that was available and he showed the President, his wife, the Vice President and the rest of the country with prayers. The service was rounded off by Bishop Dr. Isaac S, Winker of The Isaac Winker Dominion Christian Centre, Oldest Congo town, he read the final declaration and benediction. Next Stop was the showcasing of Liberian Music,


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Paul & Angella List

Arts, Culture and Fashion at the Monrovia City Hall, this event went on till well into the night. Almost simultaneously, Vice President-elect. Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor hosted a wonderful reception for family, friends and supporters. It was a cosy ceremony where she used the opportunity to thank all those who had stood by her through thick and thin over the years. She specially mentioned OVATION Publisher, Bashorun Dele Momodu for his wise words and encouragement. There were also short speeches by Bashorun Momodu, General Asiedu Nketia( Rtd.) from Ghana, Elisha Attai, Dayo Benjamin Laniyi and her sister. Everyone acknowledged that she has always been an indefatigable fighter for people’s rights and an epitome of kindness.

THE INAUGURATION

There is no doubt that Ambassador George Weah had played many great football games in his life, the burly striker had plied his trade at many intimidating arenas, but all those moments pale into insignificance when compared to the role he was about to perform. The whole of Monrovia was agog. The whole city was beautifully transformed into a carnival-like atmosphere. Everywhere you turned, you were confronted by red, white and blue decorations.

Michael Effiong

Chief Macdonald Iriruaga (Subaloju) with friends from Nigerian Community

As early as 6am, the whole street was swarmed by a sea of cheering people. Many lined the streets, and waved as siren baring VVIPs were being ferried from the airport, a lot others were already heading to the Staduim. Even this early, the road was jammed. You could see a sea of heads miles long. By the time, our crew arrived, the Sports Complex was filled to the brim, thanks to our siren-blaring convoy and our VVIP passes, we made our way to the front of the stage without any stress. Though the formal ceremony for the swearing in ceremony had begun from 6.00am with the firing of a canon at Fort Norris to indicate the dawn of the day and another canon firing at 8.00 am for the hoisting of the national ensign, it was at 11 am that the real serious of the day occurred. After the arrival of former President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf and Vice President, Joseph Boakai, it was time for convening the 54th session of the Senate and House of Representatives for the sole purpose of seeing Mr President and Madam Vice President savour their moment of glory and being administered the oath of office. With dignitaries such as Ghanaian President, H. E Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Senegal, H.E Macky Sall, Gambian President, H.E. Adama Barrow,

Mr. Ibrahim Mahama

Charles Takyi-Boadu, Gifty Dagbe, Jefferson Sackey & Nana Ama Serwaa

President of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of Togo,H.E Faure Gnassingbe, President of Congo Democratic Republic, H,E Joseph Kabila, Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Ghana, H.E John Dramani Mahama, Former Nigerian Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd), Governor Abiola Ajimobi and wife as well as members of the diplomatice corps, the stage was set. First to step into the stadium was Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor, she was not alone, she walked in arm in arm with her son. The stadium cheered and she responded by waving a white handkerchief lovingly in their direction. The stadium rocked to its very foundation when Ambassador George Weah and his wife arrived. The teeming spectators were singing, dancing and vigorously waving the Liberian flag. The roaring applause continued long after he had got to the raised platform, exchanged pleasantries with President Sirleaf and took his seat beside her. Others who had come to witness this grand occasion included Nigerian businessmen Capt. Hosa Okunbo, Segun Adebutu and Tunde Folawiyo,

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Barr, Michael Igbinedion, Hon. Omosede Igbinedion, Ghanaian businessmen, Mr Ibrahim Mahama and Divine Dzebla, Actor John Dumelo and soccer star, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, who caused a big stir when he entered the arena. In addition men of God, Bishop Isaac Idahosa and Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams were also there. It was therefore a full house of Liberians who were filled with giddy optimism, celebrities and the world media that were present when Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, His Honor, Francis Korkpor administered the oath of office. As the clocked ticked a few minutes past noon, Ambassador Weah was invited to step forward and His Honor Francis S. Korkpor Sr., Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Republic of Liberia took him through the oath-taking ceremony. The Vice President-elect also took her turn and it was administered by the Chief Justice and that was when the event reached its crescendo. President Weah was stoic all through this memorable occasion but when he was adorned with the national green sash and the official presidential medallion, he was just too overwhelmed with emotion and shed a few tears. He was back to his normal stern self when he took the microphone to deliver his inaugural address where he

announced that Liberia was truly going to have a bright future and witness positive change. The ceremony continued with the former President being escorted from her official seat and together with the President, was led out of the arena, after which President Weah took the national salute and inspected a Guard of Honor by the Armed Forces as the flag was being hoisted to indicate the beginning of a new administration. Though the ceremony unfolded with military precision, a tinge of entertainment was injected into the programme to add a touch of spice. The Combined Inaugural Choir sang a couple of songs in Kru and English, while Master Verger Degori delivered a powerful poem eulogizing President Weah as the modern day Change Agent who has come to rescue the country. The formal aspect of the ceremony ended with a benediction delivered by Pastor Joseph Garden Johnson III. After this historic event, the first civilian to civilian transfer of power in decades, Liberia's 4.6 million people are hopeful that President Weah will score as many developmental goals in the Presidential Palace as he did on the football field.


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Mr. Hama Greeting H.E. John Jerry Rawlins

John Dumelo taking Selfie with Boulleverd Hotel Staff

John Dumelo & Bashorun Dele Momodu

Nana Bediatuo with Bashorun Dele Momodu

Koffi Kapito with Nana Bediatuo

Boulevard Palace Hotel Staff with Bashorun Dele Momodu

Mr. Hanna with President Nana Akufo-Addo

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D-DAY: THE INAUGURATION

“I solemnly pledge today,

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President-elect George M. Weah arriving the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex

with the help of all of you, my fellow citizens, to build a Liberia of equality, freedom, dignity, and respect for one another.


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PRESIDENT GEORGE WEAH'S INAUGURAL SPEECH

y fellow citizens, I am humbled and thankful for the trust and hope you have put in me. I am filled with joy and pride to see so many friends from across the world join us in celebrating what is truly an historic moment for our country. To all our citizens and international guests, we thank you for coming. I have spent many years of my life in stadiums, but today is a feeling like no other. I am overwhelmed with the crowd and the energy here today, and I guarantee you, when we finish, there will not be a winning or a losing side. Today, we all wear the jersey of Liberia, and the victory belongs to the people, to peace, and to democracy. The tens of thousands of Liberians here today, and many more in our communities across the country who are listening gathered together around radios in the palava hut, it is to you we are responsible to deliver the change you deserve. Indeed, we must deliver the change that our people need, in order to transform their lives for the better. I promise to do everything in my power to be the agent of positive change. But I cannot do it alone. First, I call upon the revered institution that host us today and from which the Vice President and I come-The Legislative-our co-equal branch of government, to work with me to create and pass essential laws that are needed to complete the foundation of this nation. Together, we owe our citizens clarity on fundamental issues such as the land beneath their feet, freedom of speech, and how national resources and responsibilities are going to shift from this capital to the counties. The people expect better cooperation and

more action from their government. We can do better, together. Today, we Liberians have reached an important milestone in the never-ending journey for freedom, justice, and democracy; a search that has remained central to our history as a nation. Many of those who founded this country left the pain and shame of slavery to establish a society where all would be free and equal. But that vision of freedom, equality, and democracy has not yet been fully realized. That human longing for true and lasting freedom has revealed itself in many ways since Liberia’s founding. Sometimes the drive has been divisive and confrontational; and too often violent, bloody, and deadly, as it was in the 14 years of civil conflict, when the absence of equality and unity led us down the path of destroying our own country. Notwithstanding the harshness and immeasurable cost of the lesson, we have learned that equality and freedom are never just a final destination that a people or a nation reaches. These are fundamental human rights that our people deserve and that must be held up and measured against our actions, our policies, our laws, and our purpose as those elected to serve the people. Almost 15 years ago, Liberians laid down their arms and renewed their hope for a better and more equal society. With the help of regional partners and the United Nations, we chose democracy as our path, and elected the first post-war Government, which was led by Her Excellency, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Your Excellency, I thank you for laying the

foundation upon which we can now stand, in peace and to advance progress for our country. But this Inaugural Ceremony signals more than a peaceful transition from one democratic administration to another. It is also a transition from one generation of Liberian leadership to a new generation. It is indeed a confirmation that democracy exists in Liberia, and that, it is here to stay! We have arrived at this transition neither by violence, nor by force of arms. Not a single life was lost in the process. Blood should never be the price tag for democracy. Rather, this transition was achieved by the free and democratic will of the Liberian people, guaranteed by the rule of law. This Inaugural gathering also celebrates an important precedent: that we Liberians can, and will, rely on established institutions and the rule of law to resolve our political disagreements. This demonstrates the maturity of our institutions and that we as a people have learned valuable lessons from our brutal history. My fellow Liberians, let not the splendor of these ceremonies, nor the celebration of electoral victory, make us forget how we arrived at this moment. We have arrived here on the blood, sweat, tears, and suffering of so many of our citizens, too many of whom died, longing for real freedom and equality. Today, we must remember the hundreds of thousands who died, and many more whose lives were up ended and families displaced, because we lost sight of the fact that we can only reach a higher state of equality and freedom by treating each other with love and respect – not tearing each other down. Truly taking

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Vice-President elect Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor arriving the S.K.D Sports Stadium, hand in hand with her son, Philip Taylor

Members of Liberia’s Supreme Court

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Vice President-elect Jewel Howard-Taylor, Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai & President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

President Ellen J. Sirleaf greeting the President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba


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L-R President Ernest Bai Koromah of Sierra Leone, President Nana Akufo Addo of Ghana on second row, former Deputy Minister for Gender, Sianah Mbeki

(R ) Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

Governor Abiola Ajimobi, Rtd, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar & Gov. Rochas Okorocha

Muhammed Ibn Chambers with Gov. & Mrs Abiola Ajimobi

From second left: Ibrahim Mahama, H. E John Dramani Mahama & H.E. John Jerry Rawllings

L-R President Koromah-Sierra Leone, President Nana Akufo Addo & guests

Senator Philip Aduda, Senator Osita Izanuso & Senate President Bukola Saraki

President Adama Barrow (Gambia) & H.E. Prof. Yemi Osinbajo

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Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, Mrs. Boakai & Vice-Pesident-elect Jewel HowardTaylor

President-elect George M. Weah & wife, Clar

President-elect George M. Weah exchanging pleasantries with H.E. Joseph Boakai (Vice President Republic Of Liberia)

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H.E. Joseph Boakai, President Ellen J. Sirleaf, President-elect George M. Weah & wife, Clar Weah

Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, Mrs. Boakai & Vice-president-elect Jewel Howard Taylor

Ambassador Dew Twan Wleh Mayson & friend

(L-R) President-elect, George M. Weah & wife Clar, President Faure Gnassingbe & President Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo


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Hon. Bhofai Chambers, Speaker of Liberia’s House of Representatives

Master Willington Green

Liberia’s Chief Justice Francis Kporkor

President-elect Weah walks to the podium to take the oath of office

Liberia’s Chief Justice Francis Kporkor

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President-elect Weah takes the oath of office administered by Chief Justice Francis Kporkor

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President Weah waves to the crowd of jubilant Liberians, flanked by First Lady Clar Marie Weah


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Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor takes the oath of office

this lesson to heart will bring the dawn of a new Liberia. So that their deaths would not be in vain, I solemnly pledge today, with the help of all of you, my fellow citizens, to build a Liberia of equality, freedom, dignity, and respect for one another. Let us all stand for a moment of silence to remember those who died on our soil, in our conflict, and by our own hands. Let it never be so again.

THANK YOU. PLEASE BE SEATED. MY FELLOW CITIZENS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

On this day of inauguration, as we begin to build upon the foundation of this New Liberia, I, George forky klon jlaleh gbah ku gbeh Tarpeh Manneh Weah, your new President, must first give thanks and praises to the Almighty God for the blessings he has bestowed on our country. And I say “my people, thank you, yaaaaaaaaa” for entrusting me with the responsibility

of leading the effort to build this New and better Liberia. It will be my task, my duty, and my honor, to lead this nation from division to National Unity, and toward a future of hope and prosperity. I have here taken an oath before you, and before the Almighty God, to uphold our constitution and to preside over this Government and this country to the best of my abilities.

REST ASSURED, I WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN!!

And so, My Fellow Citizens, I want to admonish you, that the foundation of the New Liberia must be reinforced by the steel of integrity. We need men and women, boys and girls, whose integrity provides the foundation of the trust that is required for Liberian society to benefit her people.

MY FELLOW CITIZENS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

During my tenure as President of Liberia, the loudest battle cry that must ring from the mountains of

Wologisi to the peak of Yekepa; from the ranges of Putu to the hills of Bomi; and from the coast of Harper to the shores of Monrovia, must be the cry of National Unity! We should all strive to put aside our differences and join hands in the task of nation building. We must learn how to celebrate our diversity without drawing lines of divisions in our new Liberia. We belong to Liberia first before we belong to our inherited tribes, or chosen counties. We must not allow political loyalties prevent us from collaborating in the national interest. We must respect each other and act as neighbors, regardless of religious, social and economic differences. In the words of our National Anthem: [Quote] “In union strong, success is sure. We cannot fail.” [Unquote] United, we are certain to succeed as a Nation. Divided, we are certain to fail.

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President Weah shares a moment with Major Gen. Ziankahn

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Former A.F.L. for Liberia, Chief of Staff Major General Ziankahn President Weah shakes hands with former President Sirleaf with President Weah


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President Weah & former President Sirleaf are guided to the Grand stand by then Army Chief of Staff, Major General Daniel Dee Ziankahn with former Defence Minister Brownie Jeff Samukai Jr.

President George Weah

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Ceremonial hoisting of the flag indicating the begining of a new administration

Former Vice President Joseph N., Boakai, Vice President Jewel Howard-Tylor, President Geroge M. Weah, First Lady Clar Weah, Former President Ellen JohnsonSirleaf & Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe

MY FELLOW CITIZENS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: It is my belief that the most effective way to directly impact the poor, and to narrow the gap between rich and poor, is to ensure that public resources do not end up in the pockets of Government officials. I further believe that the overwhelming mandate I received from the Liberian people is a mandate to end corruption in public service. I promise to deliver on this mandate. As officials of Government, It is time to put the interest of our people above our own selfish interests. It is time to be honest with our people. Though corruption is a habit amongst our people, we must end it. We must pay civil servants a living wage, so that corruption is not an excuse for taking what is not theirs. Those who do not refrain from enriching themselves at the expense of the people – the law will take its course. I say today that you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. To the private sector, I say to you that Liberia is open for business. We want to be known as a businessfriendly government. We will do all that is within our power to provide an environment that will be conducive for the conduct

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of honest and transparent business. We will remove unnecessary regulatory constraints that tend to impede the establishment and operation of business in a profitable and predictable manner. As we open our doors to all foreign direct investments, we will not permit Liberian-owned businesses to be marginalized. We cannot remain spectators in our own economy. My government will prioritize the interests of Liberian-owned businesses and offer programs to help them become more competitive and offer services that international investors seek as partners.

MY FELLOW CITIZENS:

This victory could not have been possible without the support of the youth of this country, the women of this country, especially those who make their living by selling in the markets. To all of you, I want to say a heartfelt thank you. This is your government!!! In the famous words of President Abraham Lincoln of the United States of America “...government of the people; by the people, and for the people.” We could not have arrived at this day without our voices been heard loudly, and all our views, no matter how critical, being freely expressed in an atmosphere void of intimidation and arrest. This was only made possible by the tolerance of

my predecessor, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who protected the right to Freedom of Speech as enshrined in our Constitution. Now, in my turn, I will go further to encourage and reinforce not only freedom of speech, but also freedom of political assembly.

MY FELLOW CITIZENS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

To change the structure of the Liberian economy will require huge investments in agriculture, infrastructure, in human capital, and in technology. We hope our international development partners will assist us in this transformation. Meanwhile, on behalf of all Liberians, I would like to thank the international community for the invaluable contributions they have made to our peace and economic development. I thank the ECONOMIC COMMUNITY OF WEST AFRICAN STATES, (ECOWAS), for standing with Liberia throughout these years. Many of our West African brothers and sisters shed their blood for Liberians during our conflict. This is a debt Liberians will never be able to repay. We count these fallen West African soldiers among the martyrs of our history. Without their supreme sacrifices, this day would not have been possible.


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“This Inaugural Ceremony

signals more than a peaceful transition from one democratic administration to another. It is also a transition from one generation of Liberian leadership to a new generation. It is indeed a confirmation that democracy exists in Liberia, and that, it is here to stay!

ECOWAS will continue to play a very meaningful role during my presidency. I also thank the UNITED NATIONS for the important role it has played in Liberia. We stood with the United Nations at its founding when it was just an idea driven by ideals. Then, in our darkest days, the UN stood by us. UN peacekeeping missions have ensured unbroken peace within our borders for more than a decade, and will soon demonstrate their confidence in us, by transitioning its task from peacekeeping programs of UN organizations which will continue in key sectors such as education, health, and agriculture. Ending a peacekeeping mission successfully is something in which all Liberians and her partners should take great pride. We thank all member countries of the United Nations for your support and I promise to continue to build on the success that we have achieved together. To the Government and People of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, we thank you for your strong support over the years. The Republic of Liberia has a strong historic relationship with the United State of America, which has manifested itself and that relationship will even be stronger under my administration. To the EUROPEAN UNION, I say thanks to you for your strong partnership with Liberia. European aid has provided critical support for Liberia’s recovery from war, and this continuous support will be important as we forge a new path of transformation. Without Europe George Manneh Weah would not be standing here delivering this inaugural address as the 24th President of the Republic of Liberia. It was my success in European football that enabled me to give back to my beloved country. Europe will always have a special place in my heart, and, as President, I intend to strengthen my relationship with the European community for the benefit of all Liberians. To the PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA, I say “XIEXIE”. Our administration will continue to support the “One-China Policy”. China has emerged as one of Liberia’s most dependable allies. It is my hope that Chinese-Liberian relationships will grow stronger during my tenure as President. The Samuel Kanyan Doe Sports Complex, built by the Chinese, where this Inaugural Ceremony is being held, is where I gained my exposure to the football world. It does not only stand as a monument of Chinese friendship toward Liberians, but It also stands as a symbol of peace and reconciliation for the Liberian people. During our civil conflict, this was a venue that brought opposing factions together during national matches, effectively reconciling them to a single national purpose, Liberia. And once again today, we stand at this same venue united for one purpose: Liberia. This is time that we put away our political differences to work together in forging a New Liberia, where the affordability of all goods and services will not longer be a luxury to the privileged, but rather a right for all Liberians.

To the AFRICAN UNION, I also say thank you for standing with Liberia over the past several years. Liberia has always had an historic relationship with the AU. As a founding member of the African Union, I look forward to participating with my colleagues at forthcoming summits, where we intend to utilize the resources and expertise of the African Union for the benefit of our country. To other bi-lateral and multi-lateral partners, I say a sincere thank you! The World Bank, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Norway, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, to name too few, have also played important roles in Liberia’s emergence from conflict and will remain critical for the transformation we seek.

MY FELLOW LIBERIANS:

My greatest contribution to this country as

President may not lie in the eloquence of my speeches, but will definitely lie in the quality of the decisions that I will make over the next six years to advance the lives of poor Liberians. I intend to construct the greatest machinery of propoor governance in the history of this country. I will do more than my fair share to meet your expectations. I ask you to meet mine, for I cannot do it alone. Mine is an expectation that you, fellow citizens, will rise up and take control and responsibility for your destiny. That you will look away from the things that divide us, and draw strength and energy from the things that unite us. Mine is an expectation that you will push yourselves to achieve the possibilities that are within your reach. That you will aim to do more for yourselves and expect other to do less.

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President Weah felicitating with family members

In white Mathew Yekeh, Executive Direcor, L.I.S

Nigerian Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo greets Liberian President Weah

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L-R: President Weah & wife alongside former President Sirleaf

Senator Geralding Doe Sheriff


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Bishop Isaac Idahosa with Michael Effiong

Oba Omobolaji Ogunkoya, Michael Effiong with Liberian dignitaries

Reverend Kennedy G. Sandy of the Liberia Transformation Party (LTD)

R-L: CEO of SEAGAL Security Mr. Lionel Keller, CEO of the Girls for Change Organization, Mrs. Ora Keller & Elyne Wright

L: Hon. Edwin Juah & colleague

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General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd)

Former Commerce Minister, Mr. Axel Addy, Former Transport Minister, Samuel Wlue & their wives

Liberia Financial Intelligence Unit Director, Mr. Alex Cuffy & sister

CEO of Universal Travel Agency Roseline Todd (M)

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L-R: Liberia’s First son, Timothy Weah & friend


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Chief of Protocol, Rev. Jarvis Whiterspoon L-r: Former Police Chief, Gregory Coleman & Amb. Estrada Bernard

Mr. Christopher Hayes Onanuga with Doyen, Sir Kenneth Y. Best

Brigadier-General Geraldine George (M)

Former Police Chief, Gregory Coleman

Army Chief of Staff, Prince Charles Johnson, II

Miss United Nations, Mollyn Duwelee Jarbo

And mine is a further expectation that you will discover a new sense of fairness and integrity; a new love for country and for each other. A love that will turn public servants and government officials into national champions for change. A love that will bring back home Liberians scattered far and wide across the globe -many of them highly skilled, talented, and experienced-to join us in building a New Liberia. The sooner we all merge our energies toward cementing these new norms and values, the sooner we will transform our beloved country for the better. In doing so, we must also learn the virtue of patience, and learn to lower our expectations, for I do not promise you quick fixes or miracles. Instead, my pledge to you today is that my administration, with your help, will make steady and deliberate progress towards achieving the hopes and aspirations that you cherish in your heart for Mama Liberia. Let me close with these re-assuring words from our National Anthem: “With God above, our rights to prove, We will over all prevail!! Long live Liberia, happy land! A home of glorious liberty, by God’s command.” May God Almighty bless the works of our hands, and save the State. I THANK YOU.

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Mr. Jetty Sign & friend

Sierra Leonean President, H.E Ernest Bai Koromah & Dr. Bukola Saraki, Nigerian Senate President

Mr. Christian Woart & Miss Mariam

Miss Vivian Innis & Mr. Emmett Kaye

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R-l: Senator Varney Sherman, Morris Saytumah, representatives Julie & others

L-R: Rep. Justin Seibo, Sen. Prince Johnson & Jimmy Smith

Liberian musicians performing at the inauguration ceremony


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President Weah alongside Commander of Troops, Lieutenant Wilson & former Chief of Staff, now Minister of National Defense, Major Gen. Daniel Dee Ziankahn

President George Weah takes a walk with Army Chief of Staff, Major General Daniel Dee Ziankahn

Members of the Armed Forces of Liberia (A.F.L)

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OBA OMOBOLAJI

YORUBA MONARCH IN LIBERIA, OGUNKOYA, HOSTS OVATION

PUBLISHER

Chief Momodu greets His Royal Majesty Oba Omobolaji Ogunkoya Gbadewolu, 1, Oba of Yoruba in Liberia

Michael Effiong & Bashorun Dele Momodu greeting Oba Omobolaji Ogunkoya

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Bashorun Dele Momodu delivering speech

Oba Ogunkoya & wife with Bashorun Dele Momodu


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THE SUPERLATIVE WEDDING OF

OGBONNEYA ORJI-KALU AND

LAWRENCE IYERE IN LAGOS

Story: Bamidele Salako Photo:Adekoya Adegbite & Funmilaayo Adeyemi

I

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t was a day of unlimited joy for eminent businessman, frontline politician and former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, as his gorgeous daughter, Catherine Ogbonneya Kalu, tied the nuptial knots with her one and only heartthrob, Lawrence Ehineya Iyere, in a classy wedding ceremony that was staged in Lagos, with Nigeria’s high and mighty in attendance. The duo’s love story began with a chance encounter at the University of Buckingham in the United Kingdom where Catherine who’s fondly called Neya by friends and family was studying for a Master’s Degree in Human Resources. Lawrence, who is a native of Irrua in Edo State was also at the same university in a quest for a Master’s Degree in Investment and Finance. Little did he know that by the end of his programme, his academic pursuit would have led him down “love lane” and he would be making a different kind of investment other than financial-an emotional one in a new found obsessionNeya!


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It was at first a friendship that began with casual phone conversations and occasional dates, which then blossomed into a strong romantic bond and now, a lifetime partnership. It didn’t take long for the lovebirds to realise that they were a perfect fit for marriage. Once the couple’s families became involved and official introductions had been made, a date was set for what would be one of the weddings of the year. Over the years, the Catholic Church of the Assumption at Ikoyi, Lagos, has played host to many a classy weddings and it was here that Catherine and Lawrence exchanged their conjugal vows. Though the ceremony was billed to commence at noon, guests were already arriving at the church venue as early as 10.30am to pick choice seats in the auditorium. Soon the road leading to the church was lined with posh automobiles as guests began to troop in to the

church to witness the memorable occasion. When finally the couple arrived, the anticipation that had been building reached its crescendo with gasps of admiration filling the atmosphere as the service proper commenced. Of course, the bride was the cynosure of all eyes as she took breaths away in a flowing figure-hugging peach dress made to measure by Andrea Iyamah Bridal Home. Lawrence too was quite the groom, stealing some swoons from the ladies in a 3-piece white and black suit. The sweethearts were supported by beautiful bridesmaids comprising Zina Uzor Kalu, Rukayah Dantata, Patience Iyere, Modupe Ola, Yanate Banigo, Olamidun Majekodunmi and were led by the maid of honour, Khadijah Kebbeh. The groomsmen who donned matching black and white suits included Abbey Lawal (Bestman), Amadi Odenigbo, Bode Edun, BK

Olagbeji, Sumbo Wifunke, Abba Ujoh and Justice Eromosele. The wedding was officiated by the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Umuahia, Abia State, Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji who disclosed to the congregation that Neya personally pleaded with him the year before to officiate at her wedding. Bishop Ugorji said that God was the author of love and that the couple’s meeting was by divine orchestration. He thus encouraged the lovebirds to strengthen the good thing that God had begun in their lives. The minister reminded the couple that though marriages are solemnised with the engagement and wedding rings, they are actually perfected through endless sacrifices by both parties. “It is love that brought the two of you together. This love mirrors the love of God in your lives. You must be

Former Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, Couple, Former Abia State Governor, Chief Orji Kalu & Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

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Groom's parents with couple

Pastor Chris Oyakhilome

Chief James Ibori, bride, Chief Orji Uzor-Kalu, Terry Waya & Charles Ahize

Mr. Sam Iwuajoku, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief Orji Uzor-Kalu & Alhaji Ibrahim Saminu

Prince Samuel Adedoyin, Chief Orji Uzor-Kalu & Chief Rasak Okoya

Bride’s father with Alhaji Kashim Imam

Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo & Otunba Niyi Adebayo

Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba & wife

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Chief & Mrs. Annie Okonkwo

Chief Orji Uzor-Kalu with Dr Newton Jibunoh


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(Middle) Mr. & Mrs. Orji Kalu & Chief John Oyegun

(Middle) Chief & Mrs. Orji Uzor Kalu & Chief John Oyegun

Chief (Mrs) Nike Akande (right)

Chief Orji Kalu with groom’s parents

Groom with Pastor Chris Oyakhilome

Mrs. Uzor-Kalu with Pastor Chris Oyakhilome

Basketmouth & Gbenga Adeyinka 1st

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Aare Gani Adams & Alhaji Saminu Turaki

ready to tolerate each other and to forgive at all times. Fidelity is important in keeping the home from crisis. “Be a good teacher to your children because the society is built on these children. If you fail to train them in the way of the Lord, the society will suffer the consequences. “Married life is a career that requires the patience of a teacher to tutor his pupil and the humour of an artiste to keep the home alive,” the priest further counselled. The couple was declared man and wife following their exchange of vows and were led to sign the dotted lines. Afterwards, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, the Achibishop of the Catholic Diocese of Abuja who supervised the mass, prayed for the couple’s fruitfulness in marriage, urging them to ensure their

union brings honour to themselves, their loved ones and the society. The wedding train then moved to the luxurious Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, where a grand reception held to celebrate the latest couple in town. The father of the bride spared no cost to hire the best hands in event planning to cater for the large number of guests that graced the special occasion. The grand ball room of the Oriental Hotel transformed into a haven of visual delight by Coker Events an there was also an endless supply of exquisite cuisines, drinks and fine wines throughout the event. Vintage Band was on hand to entertain guests with a continuous stream of good music. Popular comperes, Gbenga Adeyinka the first, Basketmouth, and MC Bishop coordinated proceedings.

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki was the Chairman of the occasion, while Sir Daniel Chukwudozie Akudo, the chairman of Dozzy Group, was the Vice Chairman of the day. In his remarks, Senator Saraki advised the newlyweds not to entertain interferences from third parties in their home and to ensure that they do their families proud. Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, who is currently the Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and his wife, Amaka, were the sponsors of the wedding. One of the major highlights of the wedding reception were the special cameos by mega music stars, Tuface Idibia and Flavour, who took turns to titillate the couple with their hit songs and to entertain the crowd.

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Senator Bukola Saraki

Mr. Bayo Fatusin

Chief & Mrs. James Ibori

Aare Gani Adams (Aare Ona kankafo) -MOVE TO PIC

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HRM. Oba Joseph Morounfoye Okunlola-Oni

AVM Anthony Okpere (Rtd.)


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Elder Eme Ekeoma & Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

Shina Peller & wife

Otunba Niyi Adebayo & Dr. Bukola Saraki

Chief Willie Anumudu

Senator Bukola Saraki with bride's parents

Senator Azu Agboti & wife, Cordelia

Eric Osagie, Bolaji Tunji & Gbenga Adeyinka

Bayo Fatusin & Chibike Collins

Other dignitaries who came to felicitate with the couple and their families included Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, Chairman of All Progressives Party (APC), John Oyegun, national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan, former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, former Governor of Jigawa State, Saminu Turaki, former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, former Governor of Ekiti State, Segun

Oni, Senator Ganiyu Solomon, former Diamond Bank boss, Alex Otti, Uche Ogah, Kola Oyeyemi, and the Founder of Christ Embassy Church, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome who took the opening prayer at the reception. Others were Chief Tony Onyima, Aare Rasak Okoya, Prince Samuel Adedoyin, The Otunba Adekunle Ojora and his wife, the Erelu Ojuolape Ojora, Aare Gani Adams, Uncle Sam Amuka Pemu, Senator Francis Alimikhena (Senate Deputy Chief Whip) and Senator Philip Tanimu Aduda (Senate Minority Chief Whip)

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ALL THE GLITZ, GLAMOUR AND COLOUR OF

OVATION CAROL 2017 IN LAGOS Story: Bamidele Salako Photo: Adekoya Adegbite, Ken Ehimen, Segun Lawal, Tope Brown, Funmilayo Adeyemi, Anu Openiyi & Sam Pixe

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Bashorun Dele Momodu, Africa’s Richest Man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote & Billionaire businessman, Mr Femi Otedola during the induction of Reveend Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi

he 10th edition of the Ovation Red Carol, the annual Christmas concert organised by Africa’s leading celebrity journal, OVATION International Magazine has come and gone but the unanimous verdict of all present at the showpiece event and those who watched live via television from the comfort of their homes was that it was a pulsating and electrifying event that exceeded all expectations and one that left all-comers yearning for more. The enthralling ambience of the Eko Hotel Convention Centre venue, the superstar line-up of performing artistes, the impressive array of prominent guests that

populated the audience, the impeccable organisation and seamless flow of proceedings combined with a climactic, news-breaking cameo that ended a long-standing feud between OVATION Publisher, Bashorun Dele Moodu and a top artiste, Davido, all made for a most unforgettable experience. Right from the picturesque walkway creatively designed by Kingsley James and his team from IDCL Limited, leading into the venue, guests were immersed in the unique OVATION experience as they sashayed through a blue carpet that was brightened by a constellation of

large and colourful iconic covers of OVATION International Magazine and bold statements from our famous Publisher and Reverend Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi, the powerful Woman of God whose foundation, the Esther Ajayi Foundation was the sole sponsor of the event. All first class event will usually have superb anchors which was why the duo of ace comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka and compere par excellence, Dayo BenjaminLaniyi, were the favoured choice to expertly steer proceedings throughout this sensational evening of unbridled fun and excitement.

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Rev. Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi & her husband, Mr. Ademuyiwa Ajayi

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Bashorun Dele Momodu with Director, Ovation Comms. Limited, Mr. Olusegun Ezekiel

Emmanuel Adedu Olaiya, Wale Adebajo of UT Financial Services with Halima Adebisi Alawiye

Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi

Aremo Olusegun Osoba

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Olori Ladun Sijuwade

Aare Rasak Okoya & wife, Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya

Alhaji Aliko Dangote & Femi Otedola

Ooni of Ife, His Imeperial Majesty, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi

Prince & Mrs. Aderemi Sijuwade & Bashorun Dele Momodu


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Ghanaian businesswoman, Penelope Mensah

Mrs. Mobolaji Momodu

Jide Sanwoolu, Dayo Adedayo & Michael Effiong

Mr & Mrs Ingram Osigwe

Aimi Ajayi, Ade Ajayi with Ola Ajayi

Chief Ezekiel Fatoye & Dele Adedeji

Dr. Ambrose Somide

Chief Gbenga Obasa

(M) Lanre Teriba Atorise & Yinka Sekoni

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Princess Omotade, her children & friends

Royal fathers & their wives

Mrs. Toyin Ayegbusi, Funmi Ayinde, Mrs. Ayoola Ikhizama, Mrs. Kemi James & Ms Tayo Tinde

Mr. Tunde Oshinowo, Prince Jide Fadairo, Mr. Wale Jafojo, Mr. Seyi Orolugbagbe & friends

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Mrs. Bukola Aroyehun, Pastor Olaniyi Aroyehun, Motunrayo Oyawoye with Olubunmi Afibaje

AAiata Joseph, Kamandy E of Millimo Fashion House & Doreen Moses

Stella Oyemade,Chidera Oyemade, Moji Oyemade with Comfort Adams


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Dayo Isreal

Rotimi Obey & Foluso Adeagbo

Mr. Bayo Abdul

Daala Oruwari, Ovation TV presenter

Yetunde Oduwole

Ohimai Godwin Amaize & wife Tessy

Mr. Abdul Imoyo of Access Bank

Mrs. Tobi Ayodele-Keeney

Dr. Quincy Sumbo Ayodele (MD/CEO, Quincy Herbal Limited)

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Dele Adeleke with Sujimoto

Aramanda with Adetara Adeleke

Dolapo Badmus Police PRO Zone 2 with Ajose & Temilola Badmus

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Favour Ajila with Ejiro Umukoro

Esther Tumi & Esther Jimmy

Lanre Alimi, Tomisin Segun-Adebowale & Mrs. Olayinka Segun-Adebowale

Asamau Yantya with Samyra Dele Torezz

Deborah Olawoyin with Karen Spikes


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Tobi Enitan, Frances Umeozulu & Bisi Famakinwa

Arinola Adeniyi & guest

Wale Adebajo with Kemi Williams (British Deputy High Commission)

Eniola Salu with Abimbola Adekoya

Gboyeya Adewuyi with Paul Ukpabio

Mahlet Yohames, Abi Odugbesan & Naomi Ciggaam

Mrs. Akpani Seune, Mrs. Lawal with Agbaje

Awa Mohamed, Wunmi Lawa & Hon. Fatima Mohammed

The Elezuo family

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Abiola with Adeyemi

Olu Maintain

Stella with Akinsola Oyemade

Judith Onyeinye

Simisola Oyewumi with Banke Oluwaleimu Mololu Adebiyi

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Fumi Bank-Anthony & Inumidun with Fidelia Barr. Agegbomogun Prema

Miyh with Dammy

Bewaji Abimbola, Bolayoko Osinuya with Oyaladun Opeyemi

Mr. & Mrs. Adekoya Adegbite

Temi Ajila with Jumoke Olusosi


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Sola Obey, Lanre Obey with Busayo Obey

Princess Debo Odutola with Chief (Mrs.) Maria Penawou

Eniafe Momodu, Pekan Momodu & Yole Momodu

Claire Fynface with Sunny Irakpor & wife

Emmanuel Christiana, Bukola Bakare & Ayoola Babalola

Mrs Anike Ayeni, Dr, Babafemi Adenuga & Mrs Funmi Adeyemi

Ade Abiola, Josiah Abiola & Shade Akintola

Wale Jafojo, Ronke Jafojo with Tunde Tinubu

Pius, Julian Idebogue & Priscilla

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Sir Olu Okeowo

Quadri Olowolagba & Ayobami Adedeji

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Jane Conde & Tushbee

AIG Tunji Alapini (Rtd)

Gbemisola Aina & Funmi Star

Dele Salako & Samuel Jegede

Bayo Ogori

Vanessa Nzediegwu & Gloria Onowu

Disciple Christain & Jubilee Ibeh

Anita Iyeyemi with Abboh Idoko

Abiodun Paseda & Miss Komolafe

Ali Baba


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Esther Tumi & Abigail Jimmy

Awayi Destiny, Udeh Linda & Ugochukwu Umeh

Ezinwa Iwelu & Dare Tanimomo

Liwia Osubor with Ruth Elueche

Kenny Williams & Chioma

Adekoya Abiodun Afeez

Isimemen Ehimen, Ejodamen Ehimen & Enoseremen Ehimen

Olamide Olatunbosun & Ifeoluwa Olatunbosun

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(R-I) Benny Obaze & friends

Mrs. Olayinka Segun-Adebowale, Segun Adebowale & Cornel Udofia, Jesse Nazareth & Eric Elezuo Tomisin Adebowale

Tugbiyele Oluwashola with Tugbiyele Oluyemisi

Senior prophetess F. B. Dorcas Bello

Natasha Nkereuwen & Michelle Obialla

Queen Oluwatobi Shantell & Quadri Olowolagba

Dammy Ogundipe & Damilola Olayiwola

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Solomon Ekhaiyemhe & wife


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The Momodus with guests

Tope Oyemade, Bolatumi Oyemade, Bisi Oyemade, Korede Oyemade with Chidera

Odu Oladuti, Pastor Ikotun, Rev (Mrs.) Ikotun, Mr. Adepoju with Mrs. Adepoju

Olapeju Salami, Adole Ene, Shittu Adeola, Adi Winifred & Balogun Abiodun

Amemuso choir

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THE EXQUISITE DECOR OF VENUE

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Olaniyi Aroyehun of Depotters

The usherettes


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...A SESSION OF THANKSGIVING

Amemuso choir

Dayo Benjamin-Laniyi & Gbenga Adeyinka

Themed, A Year of Thanksgiving, the 10th OVATION Red Carol also doubled as a celebration of OVATION International Magazine’s 21st year of publishing excellence. It was a dual celebration that did not fail to live up to its billing. The title sponsor for the event was the Esther Ajayi Foundation, an international charity organisation, which supports numerous philanthropic projects in Africa, the UK and the rest of the world-Founded and funded by renowned philanthropist, Revd. Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi, who is also the founder of Love of Christ Generation C&S Church in Clapham, London.

Other sponsors that contributed immensely to the success of the event included production outfit, Charterhouse, Alder Consulting, Menz Gold Ghana, UT Financial Services Nigeria, the Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA), Advertage and Halogen Security Limited. The concert was broadcast live on African Independent Television (AIT) and enjoyed the support of other local and international media partners including GHone Ghana, Sound City, Nigezie, BEN TV, Pulse Nigeria, Linda Ikeji Media, MITV, Galaxy TV, Flip TV, Biscon World TV, Goldmyne TV and StarTimes.

Omo Bello

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Bunmi Ajanaku, Atorise, Wale Thompson& Sir Shina Peters

Lanre Teriba (Atorise)

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Wale Thompson

Sir Shina Peters


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Sinach

Sammy Okposo

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Rev. Mother Abimbola Esther Ajayi

Princess Debo Odutola & Olori Ladun Sijuwade

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Princess Omotade


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Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi & Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu

Eniafe Momodu, Mrs. Bolaji Momodu, Bashorun Dele Momodu, Yole Momodu & Pekan Momodu

Mr. Valetine Ozigbo, MD/CEO Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja with & Mr. Steve Ayorinde, Lagos State Commissioner of Information & Strategy

Olori Ladun Sijuwade, Chief (Mrs.) Maria Panawou & Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi

Representatives of Bayelsa State Governor

Mr. Femi Otedola greeting Oba Enitan Ogunwusi

Mrs. Bolaji Momodu with Rev. Esther Ajayi with Mr. Muyiwa Ajayi

Princess Debo Odutola, Olori Ladun Sijuwade Chief (Mrs.) Maria Panawou

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Subomi, Oyinlola, Wahaab & Olamide Okoya

Sir. Olu Okeowo & wife

(R) Princess Omotade

Bashorun Dele Momodu greeting Alhaji Adamu Muazu & friend

Mr. Segun Adesegun with Tunde Martins

The musical extravaganza was a star-studded affair that saw several top Nigerian musical acts perform and wow audiences with their unique talents in an elaborate cross-genre display of Nigeria’s musical wealth. In keeping with a time-honoured tradition of providing a veritable platform for up and coming acts to showcase their musical talent to the world, the night kicked off with performances by a trio of rising artistes. On a night brightened by the Christmas spirit which was already in the air, the guests were treated to a masterful choral performance of Christmas carols by the popular Abuja Metropolitan Music Society Choir (AMEMUSO) who were making their debut on the OVATION Carol Stage.

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Ohimai Godwin-Amaize & wife,Tessy with guest

This was followed by a rousing operatic performance by French-Nigerian Soprano, Omo Bello, who served up rapturous renditions of Giacomo Puccini’s famous aria, O mio babbino caro and adeste fideles (Oh come all ye faithful). And as though an endless stream of pure joy had been unleashed on the venue, a praise extravaganza followed in quick succession led by popular gospel artiste, Lanre Teriba and supported by a star cast of juju maestros, Sir Shina Peters and Wale Thompson. The trio were also joined by gospel star, Biodun Ajanaku. Together, they got the whole venue reverberating as they sang one indigenous gospel song after another, setting the tone for the rest of the evening.

The uplifting session of praise paved way for a video message from Revd. Mother Esther Ajayi, founder of event sponsors, the Esther Ajayi Foundation. Revd. Mother Ajayi, who is popularly referred to as Iya Adura, she described her association with the OVATION brand and presence at the OVATION Carol as a “great and unmerited opportunity,” while showering encomiums on OVATION Media Group Chairman, Bashorun Dele Momodu. She said, “Brother Dele Momodu, I always say, is an amazing person. He came to my church in the UK for our tenth anniversary and since then God has been taking the relationship to greater heights. He mentioned the OVATION Christmas Carol to me and here we are.”


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Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Segun Adesanya & Chief Rasak Okoya

Steve Onu (Yaw), Ruthie Uranta, Sylvia Edem & Peggy Ovire

Ife Princesses with Rev. Ajayi

Prince & Mrs. Aderemi Sijuwade

Mr. & Mrs. Dolapo Okunnowo

Folusho Aina & wife

Ohi Momodu & friend

Mr. Rotimi Obey & Mr. Folusho Adeagbo

Mrs. Dayo Ezekiel & Princess Kemi Aderemi

(R-L) Kola James & friends

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Chief Ezekiel Fatoye

The revered woman of God also had prayers and inspiring words of encouragement for her country of birth: “Nigeria is a great country. It’s a country that I tell you as we are going into the year 2018, I believe it is going to be a glorious year. I pray God will uphold this country.” She then went on to explain how she has become an apostle of giving and why she is embarking on massive philanthropy on a global scale “People of God, I believe in the power of the word of God. The book of Luke 6:38 says, ‘Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over shall men give into your bosom.’ It means we pastors are supposed to be the highest givers because we are well-read concerning this word. Giving is part of my work. Gratitude is my attitude. Giving is my character. You won’t come to me and go away emptyhanded. It’s not going to happen,” The jollity soon resumed with the titillating of musical taste buds by an energetic, vibrant and soullifting praise session by internationally acclaimed gospel singer and producer, Sammie Okposo, which was closely followed by a performance by rising pop sensation, Tolani. Back to back hit performances by some of the country’s biggest musical acts lighted up the venue

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Abisoye Fagade & Princess Toyin Kolade

Eunice Efole

Mary Charles

Enitan Okesanya & friend

Dayo Olomu

Muyiwa Olanrewaju, presenter, Turning Point


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Alhaji Razak Olarenwaju (Lamex) & wife

Mr & Mrs. Ingram Osigwe

Adegoke Salami , Kayode Adegbola & Uche Nwabuko

Mr & Mrs. Shola Orolugbagbe

Sunny Irakpor with wife

(R ) Hon. Folake Oshinowo with friend

Uju & friend

Chief Gbenga Obasa & Chief Tunji Alapini

starting with multiple award-winning recording artiste, Innocent Idibia, popularly known as Tuface, showing the audience why he is such a crowd favourite around Africa and the world. He rolled back the years with a performance of his hit single “See me so” and melted hearts with a superb rendition of “Baby Jowo”, his cover duet with the legendary Sir Victor Olaiya. This was followed closely by “Lagos Party” crooner, Banky W, who sang a number of carols and one of his much loved singles, “Yes/No.” Then, one of Nigeria’s biggest gospel music export, Sinach, really thrilled the audience with deliveries of several of her hit gospel tracks. When she performed her magnus opus, “I know who I am”, the entire arena went wild with excitement and dancing. At

this point, virtually everyone in the audience was off their seats. A unique and rare aspect of the OVATION Red Carol is the induction of individuals who are trailblazers and difference makers into the OVATION Hall of Fame-an occasional occurrence at the annual showpiece. OVATION Publisher, Bashorun Dele Momodu, introduced Mr. Patrick Campbell to do the honours of inviting Revd. Mother Ajayi to the stage as she was set to receive the highest and rarest honour bestowed by the illustrious media establishment.Of the newest inductee, Mr. Campbell said, “Revd. Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi is incredible. She’s both willing and able. She has made the decision to make her life about giving and she is dedicating the next 12 months to

reaching one million lives, revealing that the Foundation has launched a hashtag #onemillionlives to propagate this worthy cause. Charging members of the audience to support the laudable initiative, he invited the inductee on Stage. As she stepped on the stage, a short video message explaining her motivation played on the large screens. In the video, Revd. Mother Ajayi explained, “I have been homeless before. I have lived in a detention camp before. How many people are going down the drain that you have seen get back up? That’s what is at the back of my mind and that’s what we are going to achieve. I want the Esther Ajayi Foundation to be a world class giver. We want to fight for the homeless, the poor and the underprivileged.”

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The Obey-Fabiyi Family

Prince Bisi Olatilo & wife with guest

Saheed Kekere Ekun (Saheeto), Bashorun Dele Momodu & Babatunde Anjorin

(R-l) Tokunbo, Mr. Fola Ogunsanwo & guest

Bashorun Dele Momodu with Amb. Toye Okanlawon

From 2nd left: Patrick Campbell with guests

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Gbenga Adeyinka, Co-compere

“Some people have been to prison; I haven’t been. But after serving such prison sentences, what’s next? That is where the Esther Ajayi Foundation will come in. We will help you find your feet. Aliko Dangote, Folorunso Alakija, Mike Adenuga, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, you see, those are givers who give and give and give again.” “You know, when you go to pastors, the first thing that comes to your mind is that you’re going to give. The impact I want to make is that when you come to this pastor, you are coming to receive. I want to tell the world that there is power in giving. The legacy I want to leave behind is that somebody cares. John 3:16 says, God so loved the world. No matter how dejected you may be, somebody still loves you. Pastor Esther Ajayi loves you,” she affirmed. Bashorun Momodu then revealed that there was a big surprise for the Revd. Mother, inviting billionaire businessmen, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola on stage to do the honours of inducting into the Ovation Hall of Fame her as the first woman and only the second person ever to be so installed - former President Jerry Rawlings of Ghana being the only other recipient of the exclusive honour. In appreciation, an elated Revd.

Ajayi said, “What can I say? I think in this lifetime, God has been kind to me.” In appreciating her husband for his support, she went on her knees and said, “Brother Muyiwa e kale sir, Nkan ti mo di re oo” meaning, “Good evening Brother Muyiwa. See how well I have turned out.” She continued, “You know behind every successful man, there is a great woman and behind every successful woman, there is an amazing, handsome man,” blowing her husband a kiss while adding, “There is an adage that I am known with - gratitude is my attitude and giving is my character. In this lifetime, God has been kind to me and I believe that the only way to give back to humanity is by empowering as many people as will come across me in life.” “One of the people that I respect the most in the world is Alhaji Aliko Dangote. My husband and I were in his office several years back, I think about 30 years now to do something else but each time I hear about the things he does, each time I aim to do more. When Bill Gates mentioned that he has given about $USD36billion, that means I have not given anything yet,” Revd. Ajayi added. She also revealed that Alhaji Aliko Dangote was one of her inspirations in the area of philanthropy.


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Rtd AIG. Tunji Alapini & Mr Bisoye Fagade

Ceebo (from South Africa), Beverly & Seddy Beauty

Shalewa Ajila, Dolapo Ajila , Funmi Ajila Ladipo & Temilola Ajila

Yole & Korewa Momodu

Olayinka Ajao, Olawoyin Ifeoluwa, Adesokan Temitope & Omolayo Oladunni

Lawunmi Bibilari (L )

The philanthropist par excellence also revealed her plans to build hostels for Nigerian returnees from Libya and empower them with trade and information technology skills. Referring to OVATION boss, Bashorun Dele Momodu as a humble and amazing individual, she pledged her unflinching, continued support to the OVATION brand saying, “Forever we are with OVATION.” That was a preface to the highpoint of the evening -an unforgettable moment that would send the audience into a frenzy and make headlines. No one anticipated what was coming as it had been kept a closed secret with very few individuals privy to the big reveal that was in the offing. Bashorun Momodu whetted the appetite of the audience by saying, “Tonight is the night. Something big is about to happen. My faith

Paul Jide Peters & friends

teaches me that if you cannot forgive, then you are a godless human being. Tonight, by the power conferred on us by God Almighty and through the backing of Iya Adura, you will witness the biggest act of forgiveness inside this room this evening.” He then rendered some choruses of thanksgiving and ushered in Muyiwa Olanrewaju, host of hit Christian show, Turning Point, who did a duet with Revd. Mother Ajayi. This however, was not the big reveal. That was still to come. Bashorun Momodu again reiterated to the audience, “I am sure you thought I was joking when I said that there was a big surprise that is about to happen. I have the pleasure of calling up one of the biggest artistes out of Africa…” and in that instant, the DJ blasted the tune

for popular song, “Dami duro” greeted by a loud roar from the audience as they finally got a clue of what the big reveal was and superstar Nigerian artiste, Davido, hit the stage, with the whole arena going wild with disbelief. As he performed, he approached Bashorun Momodu and bent down forward in deference and they both hugged each other and posed for the cameras sending a message to the world that their celebrated feud was finally over. And with the audience singing along enthusiastically to every song Davido crooned, he did not hesitate to give them more, delivering an all-round enthralling performance of several of his latest hits including “30billion for the account”, “Fall” and “Fia.” While the audience was still trying to recover from that heavy dose of excitement, DJ

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Mrs. Taiwo Anjolaiya, Alhaji Hakeem Anjolaiya & Faizah Anjolaiya

Jide Sanwaoolu & Dayo Adedayo

Mercy, Anietie, Kufre & Faizal

The Anjolaiya family: Kofo, Bidemi, Olamide, Mrs. Taiwo & Faizah

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Opeyemi Oretuyi & wife

Mrs. Bolaji Momodu & Bukky Aroyehun of DePotters


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Alhaja Bisi Shuaib & friend

Michael Effiong introducing the Honourable Commissioner to Rev. Mother Esther Ajayi & husband

Samson Davies of Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja, Tope Brown & Cool DJ Jimmy Jatt

Uchechi Enemuo, Perpetual Asowa, Mercy Uke, Hyginus Adaobi Maryjane

Onaivo & Jumoke

Gboyega Akosile, Abiola Aloba & Kunle Rasheed

The Ajayi sisters

Keke Ogungbe & ID Ogungbe

(R-l) Sammy Okposo, Gbenga Adeyinka, Bashorun Dele Momodu, Dayo BenjaminLaniyi, Ali Baba & friend

Cuppy got on stage alongside her hype man with a couple of dancers. She displayed some eye-catching dexterity on the mixer, seamlessly transitioning from one song to another as she got heads nodding and feet tapping all over the place. Through what some impeccable beat-matching, she certainly made a strong case for why she should be crowned Africa’s best female DJ. Nigeria’s queen of pop, Tiwa Savage, took over from where DJ Cuppy left off with a colourful performance of her own. Tiwa, and a group of pulsating dancers led by award-winning Kaffy really revved up

the atmosphere. The legendary Juju music impresario, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey took over the baton and regaled the audience with a medley of his unique brand of soulful indigenous music. Time to cut the anniversary cake arrived and Bashorun Momodu was joined on stage by his wife, Mrs. Bolaji Momodu, Revd. Mother Ajayi, the Ooni of Ife, HIM Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, former Ogun State Governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, billionaire businessman, Alhaji Abdulrasak Okoya and wife, Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya, property czar, Sir Olu Okeowo and wife, the Orangun of Oke Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin, and other royals.

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Mrs Bolaji Momodu, Mrs Yemisi Adejuwon with Prince Aderemi Sijuwade & wife

Oba Ogunwusi confessed that he had planned to leave earlier but couldn’t as he was glued to his seat through the mounting excitement that characterised the exhilarating evening. He said, “Something actually thrilled me so much. I have been saying I would leave this venue for the last one and a half to two hours but for some strange and very beautiful reason, I have been glued to my seat. The night has been full of entertainment. And when I came on stage, I saw a lot of people that are still very active and very alive. I think OVATION deserves a round of applause for keeping this multitude of beautiful people, wonderful elder statesmen still active at this time of the ight. It’s been a very beautiful night.” The monarch prayed that

Iyiola Ayoade with Bashorun Dele Momodu

God would continue to strengthen the OVATION brand and the brand would stand the test of time. He then led the audience in spelling OVATION after which the cake was cut. Bashorun Momodu afterwards lauded Chief Osoba whom he called his “godfather of journalism”, stating, he had kept faith with OVATION for many years. He then took a trip down memory lane: “When I came to Lagos in 1988, I came due to joblessness. My dream was to be a teacher, marry a teacher and live happily thereafter. I couldn’t get a job, then I came to Lagos and found a job with Concord Press and at that time Ebenezer Obey sang a special song for Chief Osoba. So every morning I would play that song and say, ‘God

please I want you to make me as big as Chief Osoba. Daddy, I am still following you by the grace of Almighty God.” Both men shared warm hugs right after the heart-warming remarks from the illustrious publisher. From inception, the OVATION Carol has always been used to spread the message of hope amongst Nigerians and this 10th Anniversary was no different. In his speech during this segment, Bashorun Momodu hailed Oba Abolarin for his initiative in establishing Abolarin College, a school for the poor, using the limited resources available to him. The monarch was presented with a cheque of one million naira by the Esther Ajayi Foundation in support

Alhaji Tajudeen Okoya & wife

Yole Momodu, Sinach, Bashorun Dele Momodu & Eniafe Momodu

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Emmanuel Otache greeting Bashorun Dele Momodu

Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Draggan Mikki & Mr. Femi Otedola

Alex Nsa with Cool DJ Jimmy Jatt


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ESTHER AJAYI FOUNDATION LAUNCHES #ONEMILLIONLIVES CAMPAIGN

Patrick Campbell & Bashorun Dele Momodu

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...SPREADING THE MESSAGE OF HOPE

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of his altruistic initiative where the only criterion for admission is poverty and where students do not pay a tuition and are also fed thrice a day for free. The Glorious Women of Faith Foundation was also presented with a cheque of one million naira by the Esther Ajayi Foundation in support of their work with widows. In the same vein, in a bid to foster the spirit of enterprise among young Nigerians, out of over 50 business ideas received and assessed for viability following a call for entries, five young entrepreneurs with the best ideas received a million naira each for the

funding of their lofty ideas and promising start-up initiatives. They include; 24-year old Abdulmuiz Ibrahim, CEO, Concept Photography, Kano; 29-year old Miss Atinuke Nebile, COO/Operations Manager, Cute Pharma; 24-year old Odewunmi Yetunde, CEO, Mama Creations, a shoemaking company; 35-year old Olanrewaju Omoniyi, CEO, Washers o Demand and 27-year old Adetoun Rotimile, CEO, Rotex Food and Services. The supported entrepreneurs also pledged to make their skills readily available to the Esther Ajayi Foundation whenever the foundation was organising

free skills acquisition programmes. From then on, it was entertainment and excitement galore as DJ Jimmy Jatt thrilled the audience with some mind-blowing disc jockeying before “Fall in Love” crooner, D’Banj, took breaths away and brought the show to a climax with roof-raising performances of his hit numbers, “Olorun ma je”, “Mo Gbona Feli Feli”, “Suddenly”, “Emergency”, “Oliver Twist” amongst others, and really, the crowd could not get enough of him. Oh! what a memorable night it was, the kind of night that will be etched on many hearts for over a year!

Mrs. Bolaji Momodu, Mr Ademuyiwa Ajayi, Rev. Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi & His Imperial Majesty Ooni Of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi

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PULSATING PERFORMANCES

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tiwa savage

EVANGELIST EBENEZER OBEY 89


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D’banj

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DAVIDO

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INDUSTRIALIST EXTRAORDINAIRE

ALHAJI RASAK OKOYA’S TH ALL WHITE 78 BIRTHDAY PARTY Story: Bamidele Salako Photo: Adekoya Adegbite & Funmilayo Adeyemi

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Otunba Subomi Balogun & wife, Alh. Kuburat Okoya, Chief Rasaq Okoya, H.E. Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya & Chief Samuel Adedoyin

hen a man has shown incredible resourcefulness over time, worked assiduously to achieve his dreams and aspirations, distinguished himself among his peers and recorded enviable successes in life and enterprise, you reckon that every day and every new year of his life will be marked with an immeasurable sense of gratitude. This is perhaps why the Chairman of the Eleganza Group of Companies fame, Aare Abdulrazak Okoya-a respected billionaire industrialist-never hesitates to roll out the drums of delight on his birthday every year. The business tycoon celebrated his 78th birthday with aplomb at his sprawling Oluwannisola Estate, located at Eti Osa, Lekki, Lagos, with an allwhite party that was graced by Nigeria’s crème de la crème. In commemoration of the special occasion, the celebrant received a special birthday message from President Muhammadu Buhari. The message, which was released in a statement by Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, read:

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“PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES CHIEF RAZAQ OKOYA ON 78TH BIRTHDAY ANNIVERSARY”

The Celebrant: Aare Rasak Akanni Okoya

“President Muhammadu Buhari congratulates top industrialist and Chairman of the Eleganza Group of companies, Chief Rasaq Akanni Okoya on his 78th birthday. “President Buhari felicitates with all business associates, family and friends of the astute businessman, who through vision, hardwork and entrepreneurship completely altered the business landscape of Nigeria, and West Africa, by starting a cottage industry in the early 70’s that blossomed into a multi-billion naira empire, with a strong household name. The President commends the Aare of Lagos for his generosity in providing for the less privileged, especially scholarships for people to further their education, and funds to jumpstart small businesses, which he personally provides mentorship. President Buhari believes the Chairman of the Eleganza Group of companies, and his likes in the


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Chief Rasaq Okoya & Chief (Mrs.) Sena Anthony

Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya

Hon. Jumoke Okoya-Thomas & Mrs. Tosin Alobo-Bakare

country, have set the right standards for weaning the country off dependence on one commodity, and assuaging the growing thirst for start-ups by exploring the benefits of personal savings, investments and building global business conglomerates. The President prays that the almighty God will give Chief Okoya good health, longer life and more strength to serve the country and humanity.� The classy party which was filled with unlimited joie de vivre was supported by a stylish crowd that included the wife of the Governor of Lagos, Her Excellency, Bolanle Ambode, Chief (Mrs.) Nike Akande, HRH Oba Adedapo Tejuoso and his Oloris , Otunba Subomi Balogun, Chief James Ibori and wife, Sir & Mrs. Olu Okeowo, Prince Samuel Adedoyin and wife, Bashorun J.K. Randle, Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce & Industry, Hon. Bimbo Ashiru, ace broadcaster, Prince Bisi Olatilo and wife, Honourable Funmilayo Tejuoso , Chief (Mrs.) Kemi Nelson, Chief (Mrs.) Wuraola Adebutu, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, Senator Lanre Tejuoso, Honourable Demola Seriki, Mr.& Mrs Seni Adetu amongst others.

Chief (Mrs.) Kemi Nelson & Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya

Senator Florence Ita-Giwa with Celebrant

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Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya with Oloris ( wives of the Oba of Lagos)

H.E. Mrs. Bolanle Ambode & Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya

Chief Sunny Asemota & wife, Ireti

Alh Rashidat Okoya & Tosin Alobo-Bakare

Chief (Mrs.) Nkiru Anumudu & Mrs. Tosin Alobo-Bakare

Celebrant with HRH. Oba Adedapo Tejuoso & wives with his son, Senator Lanre Tejuoso

Sir. Olu Okeowo & wife

Mr. John Momoh, Mrs. Sola Momoh, Celebrant, Chief (Mrs.) Nike Akande & Alh. Bintu Tinubu

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Chief & Chief (Mrs.) Mike Inegbese with Celebrant

Hon. Funmilayo Tejuoso & Princess Toyin Kolade


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Chief & Mrs. James Ibori & Rtd. Gen. Ike Nwachukwu

Mrs. Folashade Olatilo, Chief Rasaq Okoya, Otunba Funsho Lawal & Prince Bisi Olatilo

Chief Demola Seriki with Mr. Kunle Makinde

Senator Lanre Tejuoso & Mr. Segun Ogunsanya

Prince Lekan Dosunmu, the Akinsiku of Lagos with Prince Segun Oniru

Alh. Kuburat Okoya & Prince Toyin Kolade

Ovation's Presenter, Daala Oruwari with Producer, Tope Ogunleye

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Kemi Okoya & Bunmi Okoya

Sophia Okoya

Hon. Funmilayo Tejuoso & Mr. Kayode Tejuoso

Kenny St. Brown

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Mrs. Moji Tejuoso, Chief & Mrs. Inegbese with Alhaja Kuburat Okoya

Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya & Chief (Mrs.) Wosilat Seriki

Middle: Chief (Mrs.) Kemi Nelson, Mrs Marie Fatayi-Williams & friends


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L-r: Chief (Mrs. ) Iyabo Ogunsola, Prince Samuel Adedoyin, Chief Ajibola Ogunsola with friends

Alhaja Tai Elemesho-Okesanjo, Kenny St. Brown, Princess Toyin Kolade & Joko Oni

Oba Adedapo Tejuoso & wives, Celebrant, Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya & Mrs. Moji Tejuoso

John & Shola Momoh with Prince Bisi & Folashade Olatilo

Mrs. Shola Momoh, Mrs. Joke Okeowo with friend

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Mrs. Folashade Olatilo, Prince Bisi Olatilo, Prince Lekan Dosumnu, Aremo Segun Oniru, Chief & Chief (Mrs.) Mike Inegbese

Chief Demola Seriki, Hon. Funmilayo Tejuoso & Chief Rasak Okoya

Hon. Funmilayo & Prince Kayode Tejuoso

Bunmi Tejuoso & daughter, Fadeke Tejuoso

Prince Lekan Dosunmu, Akinsiku of Lagos (right) with friend

Celebrant with Chief & Mrs. Ajibola Ogunsola

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Mrs. Ogunsola & Bashorun J.K. Randle

Alh. Kuburat Okoya & Mrs. Nike Makinde


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Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya, Hon Bimbo Ashiru, Mr. John Momoh, Celebrant, Moji Okoya & Chief Demola Seriki

Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya & Chief (Mrs.) Folashade Bankole

Mr. & Mrs. Edwards with Chief Rasak Okoya

Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya with Chief Seni & Janet Adetu

Arch. Lanre Towery-Coker & celebrant

Alhaji & Alhaja Olugbode & Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya

Bisi Marshal, Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya, Chief (Mrs.) Kofoworola Adebutu & Tope George

(R-l) Joko Adewusi, Chief (Mrs.) Kofoworola Adebutu & Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya

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Mrs. Marie Fatayi-Williams (left) & Chief Funsho Lawal (right)

Mr. & Mrs. Taiwo

Arch Lanre Towery Coker & Otunba Funsho Lawal

Celebrat with Mrs. Dorothy Ufot, SAN & Udeme Ufot

(R-L) Chief Anifowose & Mr. Gbenga Obasa

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The Abiolas with Chief (Mrs.) Sade Okoya


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GIFTY

CHAMPION

SHOWS POISE AND PANACHE AT HER LUXURIOUS 60TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION IN DUBAI, UAE Story by Michael Effiong & Mabel Senanu Photo: Family Album

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or seven days and seven nights in May 2017, Gifty Esinam Champion, the CEO of Hush Enterprise Ltd, a detergent distribution company located in Accra, Ghana, her family and a few close friends took Dubai, United Arab Emirates by storm. It was truly an eventful week filled with fun, laughter and adventure, marking the grand celebration of a birthday aptly tagged: Gifty at 60. This superlative Gifty at 60 celebration took over a year to organize and plan according to family sources. The one week of merriment was conceptualized and coordinated by her daughter, Mabel Senanu, creative force behind the eclectic brand, Little Sugar Co. Ltd and brought to life by the fabulous event planner, Dubai-based Olga Gerashchenko of Save The Date.

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THE CELEBRATION BEGINS WITH

THE DUBAI DESERT SAFARI AND AN ARABIAN DINNER

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s expected for such a wonderful lady who has touched so many lives, guests flew into the lively and picturesque city from across the globe; the first port of call on the agenda was a taste of the Dubai Desert Safari and An Arabian Dinner. This is an activity unique to Dubai and recommended for only the brave and adventurous. 102


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Gifty Champion & friends

Kojo Senanu, Gifty Champion, Charles Narnor & Mildred Woode

Guests were picked up in style with air-conditioned 4Ă—4 Desert safari vehicles from the lobby of Tamani Marina Hotel & Apartment, for what turned out to be a truly middle eastern experience complete with camel rides, a sumptuous Arabian dinner, entertainment and

Gifty Champion, Mabel Senanu, Malcolm Senanu, Charles Narnor & Stephanie Narnor

sand boarding. The thrill of desert dune drifting began as the drivers went up and down the golden sands of the Emirates before stopping on the highest sand dune, allowing guests to enjoy the beautiful view. It was all so spectacular.

After the fun-filled dune bashing session, guests were taken to an authentic Bedouin campsite complete with a henna designer, local attires and refreshment. At the campsite, a delicious Arabian barbeque dinner was set up under the stars and an enchanting belly dancer performed a fascinating routine to Arabian music.

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Trudy Arnold, Maria Villarico, Genevieve, Okudzeto, Mabel Senanu, Danielle Cornet, Gifty Champion, Malcolm Senanu, Stephanie Narnor, Hornam Senanu, Nicole Cooper & Barbara Gbeblewu

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FASHION SHOW AT SULTAN’S LOUNGE

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special fashion show was held at the sumptuous Sultan’s Lounge in Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. Invited guests participated and showcased three apparels: Traditional Kente Outfit, African Print Outfit and Freestyle Ankara Outfit. The Master of Ceremonies was Hugsy and he steered the event expertly. First announcing guests as they took to the runway and spicing it all up with 107


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Gifty Champion & MC, Hugsy


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Abena Kudzi

Gifty Addo

Kakru Van Lare

Mildred Woode

Dela Awuku

Beatrice Gyima

Tasha Atakora

Pearl Carberry

Patricia Abenser

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Griffiths Kpogli

Malcolm Senanu

Hornam Senanu

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Yaw Kyei

Kojo Senanu

Dr. William Kudzi

George Kpogli

Ben Abenser

Rev. Lomo-Mainoo


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some jibes and jokes. Of course, the Lady Of The Moment, Gifty was the ultimate contestant, and was adjudged the winner of all three categories! The Fashion contest was followed by a cocktail and canapĂŠ reception. And rounded off with a dance session. 111


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ALL WHITE BIRTHDAY BREAKFAST AT PIERCHIC

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n 10th May, a special birthday breakfast was held at the Pierchic Restaurant, Jumeirah Al Qasr Hotel. All guests wore white which in African tradition connotes good luck for the celebrant.

Gifty arrived in a White Rolls Royce Phantom looking all chic and glam adorning a figure-hugging gold attire. She was all smiles and thankful to God as she was warmly welcomed by family and friends.

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Edwin Katuari, Gifty Champion, Sarah Nab & Gifty Lomo-Mainoo

Kojo Senanu, Mabel Senanu, Gifty Champion & Malcolm Senanu

Edwin Katuari & Gifty Champion

Gifty Champion & Staff of Wings Indonesia

Kwame Koranteng, Gifty Champion & Sarah Nab

Gifty Champion & Chef Paolo Belliamo

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GIFTY AT 60 GRAND CELEBRATION

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ater that same 10th of May, guests where shuttled to Dubai International Marine Club for the grand celebration on a luxurious 180ft yacht. The yacht was named ‘GIFTY CHAMPION’ for the occasion. The dress code was strictly formal/ black tie. Upon arrival, guests were treated to welcome drinks and pictures of individual and groups were taken by Purple Tree Photography. ‘Gifty Champion’ sailed at sunset with guests enjoying the fantastic views of Dubai, while soft saxophone tunes wafted in the background.


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Mc Hugsy

Olga Gerashchenko & Evgeniya Makarova

Danielle Cornet & Maria Villarico

Malcolm Senanu, Hornam Senanu, Andrea Ahma with friends

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Mabel Senanu, Gifty Champion & Stephanie Narnor

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Hornam Senanu, Malcolm Senanu, George Kpogli, Gifty Champion & Griffiths Kpogli

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Barbara Gbeblewu & Gifty Champion

Many of the guests were so engaged by the sheer beauty of the atmosphere and the high-octane pampering laid out by the organizers and did not realize that Gifty was missing in action. When the Master of Ceremonies was questioned, he informed everyone that Gifty had decided to continue her birthday celebration in Las Vegas. But minutes later, there was a din at the top deck as guests spotted a speed boat cruising towards the yacht. When the boat got closer Alas! It was none other than Gifty, accompanied by her daughters, Mabel and Stephanie! The DJ played a trumpet symphony to announce their approach. Guests were cheering and applauding at Gifty’s daring but grand arrival. Gifty was dressed in her favourite colour, green, a gorgeous beaded evening gown with a beautiful tiara perched on her head. The speedboat docked alongside the yacht, and Gifty boarded to the song ‘Dancing Queen” by Abba. Everyone was enveloped in sheer delight. With the birthday celebrant on board, the grand celebration went into full

swing. Guests were entertained by the MC, DJ and cabaret dancers. The yacht sailed around the Palm Jumeirah and guests enjoyed the fascinating views of the island at night. Later on, the celebrant changed into a golden lace dress and cut a six-layer birthday cake. It was a day to remember for everyone. Gifty used the occasion to thank all of the guests for taking time to celebrate with her in Dubai, the spectacular city of glitz and glamour. She was truly humbled by the show of love and support received from family and friends who all helped to make her 60th birthday a truly special and memorable one. EVENT DETAILS Event Planner: Save The Date http://www.savethedate.ae Photographer: Purple Tree Photography http://www.purpletree.ca Florist: Tulipano http://tulipanodecor.com Videographer: Honeymoon Studio http://honeymoon.ae Makeup and Hair: MHG Beauty http://www.mhgbeauty.com MC: Mr. Hugsy


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Malcolm Senanu, George Kpogli & Griffiths Kpogli

Charles Narnor & Gifty Champion

Stephanie Narnor

Mabel Senanu, Kojo Senanu & Stephanie Narnor

Mabel Senanu

Gifty Champion & Mildred Woode

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Gifty Champion

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Charles Narnor

Gifty Champion & Gifty Lomo-Mainoo

Larry Jiagge


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Mildred Woode

Sarah Nab

Eric

Gifty Champion

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A TRIP TO BURJ KHALIFA, THE WORLD’S TALLEST BUILDING

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EXCITING MOMENTS AT THE FAMOUS SOUK (GOLD) MARKET

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I MRS. FOLOSHADE

OLATILO MARKS 60TH BIRTHDAY IN STYLE Story: Bamidele Salako Photo: Ken Ehimen

t was double celebration and joy galore as Princess Folashade Tawakalitu Olatilo, the beautiful and amenable wife of ace broadcaster and CEO of Biscon Communications, Prince Bisi Olatilo, celebrated her silver jubilee as well as their 36th wedding anniversary in the company of family, friends and well-wishers. The godly and easy going woman was all shades of fabulous on her special day, grinning from ear to ear throughout both the thanksgiving service and birthday reception organised to commemorate both milestones, with her lively mien betraying a heart that overflowed with joy and gratitude to God. Fellow celebrator and husband to the birthday girl, Prince Bisi too could not conceal his excitement coupled with his evergreen

love for his beautiful wife that was on lavish display for all the guests to see. It was actually both a heart-warming and an inspiring sight to watch the couple blush in affection for each other even after almost four decades of marital bliss. The duo appeared in a resplendent manner at Christ Living Spring Apostolic Ministry (CLAM), in the Omole area of Lagos State, where a thanksgiving service was held to show gratitude to God for his many blessings over the Olatilos through the years. The delighted couple, surrounded by children and grand children, was garbed in immaculate white traditional apparels befitting of the grand occasion. The dancing, singing and rejoicing that pervaded the atmosphere reflected the significance of the occasion.

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The CLAM Choir

Prince & Mrs. Bisi Olatilo

Prince & Mrs. Bisi Olatilo during a prayer

Pastor Awosika

Mr. & Mrs. Larry Izamoje

Olori Ladun Sijuade with Mrs. Olufunke Agagu

Prof. & Mrs. Wale Omole

Mr. & Mrs. Michael Effiong James & son, Anietie

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Prince & Mrs. Sam Adedoyin


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Rotimi Martins, Prince. & Mrs. Bisi Olatilo with Chief Azuh Arinze

Sir Kessington Adebutu, Prince Sam Adedoyin, Prince Bisi Olatilo & his wife Mrs. Folashade Olatilo

Chief Azuh Arinze, Prince & Mrs. Bisi Olatilo with Mr. & Mrs. Michael Effiong James & son

Prince Bisi Olatilo with wife, children, son in-law & grand child

Dapo Olatilo, Adewunmi Olatilo-Funsho & Jide Olatilo

BJ Sax, Praise band with Veteran Broadcaster, Prince Bisi Olatilo

Prince Bisi Olatilo, wife with family members

The Olatilos with family & friends

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Barr. Folashade Balogun, Celebrant with Princess Adebowale Aderemi

Mrs. Folashade Olatilo, celebrant

Chief Azuh Arinze, Mr. & Mrs. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya with Michael Effiong James

Yetunde & Tokunbo Ajose Aroyehun

Prince Bisi Olatilo, Chief (Mrs.) Nike Akande, Celebrant with Princes Adebowale

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Prince Bisi Olatilo, Atunwase of Lagos, Chief Mike Inegbese with Mr. Bala Yesufu

Mr. Rufai Ladipo, Chief (Mrs.) Nike Akande with Funmi AjilaLadipo


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Mrs. Folashade Olatilo, celebrant with Chied Ayo Adebanjo

Chief Mike Inegbese, Chief Gbenga Obasa with Otunba Jide Oshinubi

Celebrant, Rtrd. IG Alhaji Musiliu Smith with Prince Bisi Olatilo

R-l: Gen & Mrs Ike Nwachukwu, The Olatilos & friends

Chief Dayo Adeneye (right)

Celebrant with Sen. Olorunimbe Mamora & wife

Sen. Olorunimbe Mamora, Chief Mike Inegbese with Chief Gbenga Obasa

Celebrant with Alhaji Rasak Okoya and his wife Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya

Olori Modupe Oladunni with Mrs. Olubunmi Odutun

The Otunba Adekunle Ojora and his wife, Erelu Ojuolape

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Oba Lateef Adams

Mrs. Funke Shiyanbola

Mrs. Folashade Olatilo, celebrant

Celebrant with Hon. Titi Oseni

Olori Yetunde Tejuoso with Olori Olabisi Tejuoso

Chief Olu Okeowo (right)

Mr. Tunde Oshinowo, Mr. Dapo Abiodun, The Olatilos with Former Governor, Donald Duke

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The likes of Olori Ladun Sijuwade, Prince Samuel Adedoyin, Sir Kessington Adebutu, Brila FM boss, Larry Izamoje, OVATION International Magazine Editor, Michael Effiong, and other dignitaries were present in church to lend their support to the celebrants. Special prayers of preservation and prosperity were also offered for the Olatilo family drawing the service to a close. The celebration then shifted to the Magodo residence of the Olatilos where other very important guests including The Otunba Adekunle Ojora and wife, Sir Olu Okeowo and wife, Joke, General Ike Nwachukwu (Rtd.), Chief Mike

Ingbese, The Erelu Ojuolape Ojora, Chief Razak Okoya and wife, Shade, General Ike Nwachukwu, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Senator Olorunnibe Mamora, Mr. Yomi Badejo Okusanya and wife, Oyinkansola, Mr. Rufai Ladipo and wife, Funmi Ajila, former Cross River State Governor, Donald Duke, amongst other important personalities joined the partying. A lively cake-cutting session brought smiles to the face of the birthday girl after which the former Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr. Sunday Ola Makinde, blessed her and the family.


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Prince Lana Adesida with Mr. Seyi Joseph

Prince Bisi Olatilo, Mr. Kunle Bakare with Mr. Michael Effiong James

Chief (Mrs.) Nike Akande with Her Excellency, Alhaja Salmot Badru, first female deputy Gov., Ogun State

Mr. & Mrs. Apadama

Mrs. Ngozi Are, Mrs. Alero Azazi & Mrs. Gwen Ike Nwachukwu

Chief Seni Adetu & wife, Janet

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TEJUOSO 60 OLORI OLABISI CELEBRATES

YEARS

OF GOD’S GOODNESS IN ABEOKUTA, OGUN STATE, NIGERIA

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Story: Bamidele Salako Photo: Adekoya Adegbite

lori Olabisi Oladunni Tejuoso, wife of one of Nigeria’s most prominent and revered monarchs, Oba Dr. Adedapo Tejuoso, the Osile of Oke-Ona Egba, in Ogun State, Nigeria, will not be forgetting her 60th birthday celebration in a hurry. Apart from the fact that she was looking nothing like 60-perhaps 60 is the new 40 - she proved with her excellent and captivating choice of birthday couture that her impeccable sense of style and charm had not waned one bit. In fact, many family members and friends who stormed the city of Abeokuta to be part of the thanksgiving service and spectacular party staged by her husband to celebrate her diamond jubilee, all appeared to reach a telepathic consensus that age is bringing the best out of the gorgeous queen. We saw many gape at her with wonder during the celebration. Celebrant, Olori Olabisi Tejuso with her husband, Oba (Dr.) Adedapo Tejuoso

H.E. Senator Ibikunle Amosun & wife, H.E. Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun

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HRM. Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo (Alake of Egbaland) &

THE THANKSGIVING SERVICE AT

THE CATHEDRAL OF ST. JAMES AFRICAN CHURCH

It was noon and the premises of The Cathedral of St. James African Church, Idi-Ape, Ago-Oko, was already lined with exotic automobiles that ferried the distinguished guests of the Tejuosos to the venue of a special birthday thanksgiving service convened in honour of the celebrant-Olori Olabisi Tejuoso. Everyone around knew something special was happening as exquisitely dressed guests flocked the church. The celebrant arrived to a right royal welcome-dancing arm-in-arm with her husband, the Osile Oke Ona Egba, through the church as guests cheered on with delight from the pews. Known for her uncompromising taste in trend-setting fashion, Olori Bisi did not disappoint the fashion police. She pulled the zeitgeist right out of the fashion hat and made a bold statement

with an exotic sequined cream gown matched with a delicately poised feather hat, all the while, making 60 look like a cakewalk. Her flawless skin glimmered like diamond of the highest quality. Following the celebrant’s royal entrance, Fanny Crosby’s “To God be the Glory” heralded the arrival of the choir and officiating ministers, the congregation singing heartily in tow. The uplifting praise session that ensued saw the celebrant let down her hair and dance enthusiastically, grateful, without a doubt, for life, health, prosperity and the many blessings of God. The Bible Reading for the service was taken by Bishop J.O. Akinremi from Psalm 103-which enjoined peoples everywhere to bless God at all times for his ever-enduring mercies. Then the articulate celebrant was called upon to read the bible lesson for the service. Olori Olabisi read ever so fluently from 1 Corinthians 13 which teaches adherents of the Christian faith the qualities of the love of Christ. In gratitude to God for his goodness in her and her family’s lives, the celebrant presented a vestry and a projector to the church. The commissioning of the gift items was supervised by Most Rev S.O.B. Ojumu who thanked the celebrant heartily for her thoughtfulness in beautifying and equipping the house of God. In his sermon, Most Rev Julius Olayinka Abbe, the Archbishop of Ibadan Province of the African Church, said that Olori Olabisi is a gift to humanity. He extolled her philanthropic gestures for which she had become renowned among the people and urged to never desist from doing good to others. Anchoring his charge on Hebrews 10:10 from the Holy Bible, he encouraged the celebrant to continue to help God’s people as she has always done because God is not faithful to forget her labour of love.”

Reverend Omololu with HRM Oba Adedapo Tejuoso & Queens


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Celebrant, her family members with Clergy men

Alh. Tajudeen Okoya, Chief RasaK Okoya, HRM. Oba Adedapo Tejuoso & Olori Olabisi Tejuoso & Chief Gbenga Obasa

Mrs. Shasanya, Chief Olabisi Akoni & Alhaja Bintu Tinubu

Dr. (Mrs.) Anu Bankole & Mrs. Jokotade Odebunmi

Chief (Mrs.) Atinuke Abioro & Olori Subuola Oyediran

Chief (Mrs.) Okikiolu-Joseph, Mrs. Falilat Oki & Mrs. Abike Majolagbe

Mrs. Nkechi Balogun (left) with Mr. Rufai Ladipo (right)

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HRM Oba Awosunle B.T. (Representing Ooni Of Ife)

HRM. Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi & his Olori

HRM. Oba Abdul-Lateef Adeni & Adeniran Akanni Olofin Ado-Odo

Asiwaju Kayode Onafowokan & wife

Tunde Bank-Anthony (right)

Oba Adegboyega Adekeye of Joga Orile (right)

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Olori Omotunde Lawal, Deke Adetayo & Olori Omotunde Lawal


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Arrival of the celebrant

Celebrant being showered with prayers by Church Ministers

Jumoke Oyeneyin, Bukky Folake & Mami Adeyemi

Mr. & Mrs. Rufai Ladipo, Enitan Allen & Omasan Buwa

(R-l) Femi Tejuoso, Mr. Bolaji & Mr. Tope Atere

Prince Femi Tejuoso & wife, Ope with their son

Chief (Mrs.) Yemisi Koleoso, Chief (Mrs.) Kikelomo Adejobi & Princess Titi Adeyera

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Celebrant’s younger brother, Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya

Moji Tejuoso, H.E. Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Gov. Ogun State), Celebrant, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso with Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun

Celebrant with children

Celebrant & friends

The preacher then prayed for the celebrant declaring, “The joy of the Lord will always be your strength. The glory of God will always shine upon you and the blessing of God will always manifest in your life.” The wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Funso Amosun, also had words of prayers for the celebrant: “As we have gathered today to celebrate your 60th, your children will continue to surround your table and we will also gather to celebrate your 70th in joy in Jesus name.” After the prayers, the celebrant, joined by the king’s other wives-Olori Omolara and Olori Yetunde-and accompanied by friends, danced to the altar for the thanksgiving proper while the church choir thrilled with harmonious praise songs. Later, the congregation

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cheerily sang the “Happy birthday to you” song to the celebrant and followed up with “May the Good Lord bless you” to the same tune. All of that signalled the end of what had been an exciting church event.

A POSH RECEPTION FOR A BEAUTIFUL AND STYLISH QUEEN

The Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library events marquee had been beautifully decked out to host the colourful reception that was to follow-compered by ace comedian, Tee-A. If the celebrant had not been satisfied with her dance performance upon arriving at the church earlier, she had a second go at the reception as she was welcomed to the venue with music and danceaccompanied by her husband and family. She excelled

in a stunning, spangled native outfit which she accessorised with an expensive jewellery set that included an elaborate gold necklace and matching earrings and bangle. The grand occasion was chaired by the celebrant’s uncle, Rev Dr Oluyinka Omololu, a retired commodore and former Provost of Christ Church Cathedral, Marina, Lagos. Rev Omololu called for a minute’s silence in honour of the celebrant’s deceased parents. He then thanked all who honoured the celebrant’s invitation to commemorate the milestone with her. He noted that Olori Olabisi was his favourite niece and spoke on her altruistic nature which he called inspiring. Rev Omololu proceeded to supervise the cutting of the birthday cake which the celebrant did flanked by her husband and the other queens.


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Jumoke Oyeneyin, Bukky Folake & Mami Adeyemi

Adetoro Fashanu & Atinuke Taylor

Olori Omolara with children

Celebrant, H.E. Senator Ibikunle Amosun, H.E. Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun & Dame Abimbola Fashola

HRM Oba Adedapo Tejuoso with Princesses

Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, Celebrant, H.E. Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Gov. Ogun State), Senator Lanre Tejuoso & Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun

(from 2nd left) Celebrant & uncle, Rev. Oluyinka Omololu

Tee A

(Middle) Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Celebrant & HRM Oba Adedapo Tejuoso

(R-l) Chief Sharafa Tunji Ishola, Arch Kayode Anibaba & Mr. Kayode Tejuoso

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Cutting of the cake

Celebrant with Mrs. Charis Onabowale, owner, Mama Cass Restaurants

L-r: Lawunmi Bibilari, Mrs. Genny Adeosun & friends

Hon. Funmilayo Tejuoso, Mrs. Moji Tejuoso & Mrs. Bunmi Tejuoso

Shuga Band performing

A toast to the celebrant’s health was done by her younger brother, Public Relations guru, Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya. Also, the celebrant was presented with an award by the entire Tejuoso family with Dr Abayomi Jiboku, who spoke on behalf of the family, referring to the celebrant as a source of blessing and inspiration, and an intelligent and selfless woman. The celebrant was all smiles as she thanked her family and friends for giving her the best 60th birthday that anyone could have wished for. She had heartwarming words for her husband in particular whom she knelt and thanked for his love and care, for giving her

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so much joy and for being a faithful father to their children. She also prayed for his health and longevity on the throne. A vote of thanks was delivered by the celebrant’s son, Prince Adedayo Tejuoso who wished everyone God’s protection on their journey back to their various destinations. From then on, the jazziest musical band in Nigeria, Shuga Band, thrilled the celebrant and her guests all through what was an evening of fun and excitement with great music. Top on the list of eminent personalities that graced

the event included The Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo; the Olu of Ilaro and paramount ruler of Yewa; Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, Oba Adegboyega Adekeye of Joga Orile and other monarchs, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Ogun State Chief Judge, Justice Olatokunbo Olapade; NACCIMA President, Iyalode Alaba Lawson; Aare Rasak Okoya, Mr. Tunde Folawiyo, Dame Abimbola Fashola, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Alhaja Adebisi Edionseri, former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Sarafa Tunji Ishola, Senator LanreTejuoso amongst others.


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Mr. Tunde Folawiyo

Senator Lanre Tejuoso

Mrs. Ngozi Are

Mrs. Yinka Idowu

Olori Yetunde, Celebrant & Olori Omolara Tejuoso

Iyalode Alaba Lawson

A projector was donated to the church on her behalf

Arch. Kayode Anibaba with The Tejuosos

Mrs. Lola Adefusika

Chief (Mrs.) Alaba Lawson, Celebrant, Hajia Bintu Tinubu & Olori Omolara Tejuoso

Lawunmi Bibilari & Enitan Allen

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THE CLASSY WEDDING OF

AYOMIDE AMOSUN AND OLADIPUPO DABIRI

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t had all the trappings of a beau monde wedding. It was the very stuff of fairy tales and was indeed every belle’s fantasy nuptial. We’re describing the superlative wedding ceremony of Ayomide Giasat Amosun, the gorgeous first daughter of Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, and Oladipupo Habeeb Dabiri, the handsome first son of the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon Abike Dabirii-Erewa. A red-letter day for both families, the joy was palpable, with both sets of proud parents looking on in overwhelming delight as their now grown babies exchanged marital vows their fledgling love evolving into a lifetime partnership. In accordance with Yoruba culture, the hometown of the bride’s family, Abeokuta, the Capital City of Ogun State played host. In deference to the political pedigree of the couple’s parents, the hilly town teemed with the cream of the Nigerian society who came to felicitate their own. The colourful event teed off with the

The couple

Groom’s parents

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Story: Bamidele Salako Photo: Adekoya Adegbite & Segun Lawal

traditional engagement and Islamic Nikkah ceremonies. Both events held simultaneously at The African Church Primary School, Ita Iyalode, in Abeokuta. The venue incidentally holds fond memories for the bride’s parents seeing it housed the polling booth where they cast their winning votes in the April 2011 gubernatorial elections which saw the bride’s dad become Governor of the state for the first time. And now, in yet another auspicious cause for celebration, he was giving his first daughter’s hand in marriage-at the same venue. At the Nikkah, officiating cleric, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Ahmad, in his sermon, encouraged the couple to uphold the tenets of Islam in their new home while ensuring that the fear of Allah be allowed to influence their relationship with each other. Following further Islamic admonitions, prayers and rites, the couple was officially declared husband and wife by the cleric provoking an outburst of adulation and tremulous choruses of “Alhamdulillah” from all around the venue.

Bride’s parents: Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Governor of Ogun State & wife

Vice President, H.E Yemi Osinbajo with wife, Dolapo

Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi & Chief Olusegun Obasanjo


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HRH Oba Rilwan Akiolu, HRM Oba Aremu Gbadebo (Alake Of Egbaland) & Olori

Sir Kessington Adebutu & wife, Chief (Mrs.) Kofoworola Adebutu

Justice Alfa Belgore, Justice Bola Ajibola, bride’s uncle & HRH. Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu

Chief Ernest Shonekan & Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu (Olowu of Owu)

(R-l) Justice Alfa Belgore & Emir of Kano’s Representative

Erelu Abiola Dosunmu & guests

Groom’s uncles

Chief Bisi Akande, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora & wife

Chief S. K. Onafowokan & wife

Mr. Segun Erewa & Chief Bisi Akande

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Groom with bride’s parents

Groom with parents

Chief Michael Subomi Balogun & wife, Olori Abimbola

Chief Femi Pedro & Chief Pius Akinyelure

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Senator Bukola Saraki & Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara

HRM. Oba Lamidi Adeyemi & Oba Oladunni Oyewunmi (Ajagungbade III)


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Bride with groom’s parents

The Amosuns

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NIKKAI

Behold the brand new couple

With the traditional and religious rites successfully concluded, the wedding train berthed at the Muhammad Buhari Presidential Estate where a purpose-built marquee had been erected to house thousands of VIPs, friends and family expected to throng the venue to celebrate with the newlyweds and their parents. OVATION gathered on good authority that both families pulled out all the stops to ensure their kids had a truly unforgettable nuptial. Top event planners, 2706 Eventst owned by Deola Adelekun, were contracted to make magic happen and they failed to disappoint, delivering above and beyond their brief. Guided by a vision for creating indelible memories, Adelakun’s team succeeded in wowing everyone with their distinct touch of class revealed in the entrancing décor, soothing ambience, impeccable organisation and seamless flow of proceedings. Guests arrived to a true royal treatment and were

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cossetted with a sumptuous array of local and global cuisines as well as exotic wines and a variety of chilled beverages. It was a rich and varied carte du jour that was intended to titillate and tantalise the palates of thousands of esteemed guests in attendance. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, blessed the new couple’s home with fervent words of prayer following the cutting of their wedding cake which was supervised by his wife, Dolapo entreating God to fill the new home with joy, happiness and favour. Among the dignitaries was former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who with a pithy remark, congratulated the couple’s parents and prepared the lovebirds’ minds for their new conjugal adventure by pointing to the inevitability of friction in marriage, advising that the couple ensure they communicate clearly with each other every time frictions arise and not let them fester.

The Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara also had wise words to share with the newlyweds as well as for all parents. He counselled parents to expend their energies on the training of their children, ascribing the decadence and eroded values in the Nigerian society to bad homes. Hon. Dogara observed that even though marriage is a divinely ordained institution, the human partners in the marriage have the responsibility for making it work, asserting that the family is the most significant institution on earth where discipline is imbibed by a nation’s citizens. The Speaker then encouraged the couple to make their parents proud by transferring the good values they imbibed growing up into their own marriage while also declaring God’s blessings upon them.


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RECEPTION

Couple with their parents

Mr. & Mrs. Kayode Odukoya with Mr. & Mrs. Lai Oriowo

Mr. Segun Odegbami & Mr. Tunde Kelani

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The event was a convocation of Nigeria’s political, social and business elite underscoring the pedigree of the families of the wedding couple. No less than 10 executive governors graced the occasion including Governors Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, Yerima Shettima of Borno State, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Abdul-Azeez Yari of Zamfara State, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State, Bello Masari of Katsina State and Abubakar Badru of Jigawa State. The Senate also had representation with Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, Senator Dino Melaye, Senator Lanre Tejuoso and Senator Gbenga Ashafa in attendance.

The event also witnessed a heavy presence of monarchs from within and outside the state-the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, the Osile of Oke-Ona Egba, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso and the Olowu of Owu Kingdom, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu. Also in attendance were Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, Minister of Interior, Abdul-Rahman Danbazzau, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, Minister of Transport, Rotimi

Amaechi, and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Kemi Adeosun. Other eminent personalities present were the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore, Chairman of the defunct Interim National Government (ING), Chief Ernest Shonekan; former AttorneyGeneral and Minister of Justice, Prince Bola Ajibola, Commissioner of Police in Ogun State, Ahmed Iliyasu, former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; billionaire industrialist, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; oil czar, Femi Otedola; former Managing Director of GTbank, Fola Adeola; legal luminary, Chief Femi Falana; former Ogun State governor, Gbenga Daniel; a former

Mr. Deji Okoya, Mrs. Tosin Alobo-Bakare & Mr. Kunle Taiwo

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L-r: Pastor Tunde Bakare, H.E. Governor Rotimi Akeredolu

Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Mr. Dapo Abiodun & Chief Bisi Akande

Governor Ibikunle Amosun with Erelu Titilayo Tomori, Deputy Governor of Osun State

Senator Florence Ita-Giwa with Hajia Abba Folawiyo

R-l: Alistair Soyode, Mrs Caroline Adeneye, Otunba Dayo Adeneye & friend

Oba Adedapo Tejuoso & wives

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Governorship candidate in Ogun State, Prince Gboyega Isiaka; ex-Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Femi Pedro; Founder, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Olori-Omooba of Ijebuland, Otunba Subomi Balogun; former Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande; General Alani Akinrinade (rtd), Senator Daisy Danjuma, Senator Grace Ita-Giwa, former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole; Senator Anthony Adefuye, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. John Odigie-Oyegun, Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; Premier Lotto CEO, Chief Kensington Adebutu; former Governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Ogun State, Prince Jide Awosedo; Nigeria’s Postmaster General, Chief Bisi Adegbuyi, former Ogun State Governor, Chief Bisi Akande and Prof. Pat Utomi. The glamorous affair was compered by the duo of famous comedians, Ali Baba and Tee A while music was provided at both venues by juju impresario, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey and new generation pop stars-Dare Art-Alade, 9ice and Wande Coal who took turns in serenading the happy couple and their delighted friends and guests.


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Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroluem & Segun Adesanya

Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Minister for Finance with Justice Alpha Belgore (rtd)

Mr. Femi Otedola, Bashorun Dele Momodu & Alhaji Aliko Dangote

Governor Abdulaziz Yari, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Alhaji Aminu Bello-Masari

Mr. Tayo Ayeni, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu & Bashorun Dele Momodu

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor Kashim Shettima, Governor Abdulaziz Yari & Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Solid Minerals

Senator Olusola Adeyeye, Nduka Obaigbena, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi & Bashorun Dele Momodu

R-l: Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, Alhaji Danladi Bako & guest

Evang. Ebenezer Obey

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FORMER EDO STATE GOVERNOR

CHIEF LUCKY IGBINEDION

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THANKS GOD AT 60 Story: Michael Effiong Pixby Segun Lawal & Sam Pixel

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am the luckiest person on earth. My father is here, my colleagues, my siblings, my family, everyone from far and near is here to mark this wonderful day. I am truly blessed to be alive and Well. All I can say is Thank You Lord�. These words of gratitude and immense thanks to Almighty God; were expressed by former Edo State Governor, Chief Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion, on the occasion of his 60th birthday which unfolded in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Chief Igbinedion, the eldest son of the Esama of Benin, Chief

Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion as an influential politician who is also from a prominent family attracted many top-rate guests to the celebration. The evening before the main event, there was an informal session of praise and prayers at his picturesque and upscale home located in the exclusive Asokoro area of Abuja. This set the tone for what turned out to be a spirit-lifting celebration of the heir apparent of the House of Igbinedion the next day at the New Estate Baptist Church, Abuja.


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Chief Lucky Igbinedion & Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion

Chief (Mrs.) Eki Igbinedion & Lady Cherry Igbinedion

Oba & Olori Muraina Adebanjo Adedini

Obong Victor Attah with Chief Lucky Igbinedion

R-l: Lady Cherry Igbinedion, Chief (Mrs.) Eki Igbinedion with guest

Senator Ben Obi & Chief James Ibori

Elder Ogbeide Uwunwonse & Michael Effiong

Prof. Olu Aina

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THE THANKSGIVING SERVICE AT NEW ESTATE BAPTIST CHURCH

Chief & Mrs. Lucky Igbinedion

From 2nd left: Lady Cherry Igbinedion & Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion

Mr. Bright Igbinedion & wife, Mina Igbinedion

Chief James Ibori, Otunba Niyi Adebayo & Senator Ben Obi

Chief Tom Ikimi

Chief & Mrs. Obaseki

Mr. & Mrs. Enaholo

Celebrant’s children

Joy was in the air and this was boldly written on the faces of many of the guests. There was none happier than the Patriarch of the House of Igbinedion, who led the convoy to the thanksgiving service with two of his Rolls Royce Phantoms. As everyone stepped into the hallowed church hall, they were welcomed by the choir with the popular hymn “To God Be The Glory”. It was obvious that the celebrant just wanted to use this occasion to thank God, and so, at every turn, the songs, the speeches centered on giving God the glory for the life of Chief Lucky Igbinedion. Little wonder that hymns such as “Great is Thy Faithfulness and My Life is Built on Nothing Less” were chosen for the occasion. Even the first reading by his son, Nosa Igbinedion was from Psalm 139:1-18 which revealed

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the awesomeness of God. In his sermon titled “If not for God” Rev. Olu Abinuomo of the Central Baptist Church, Benin took the congregation through the life of the celebrant, noting that God has blessed him every step of the way. He stated that though the celebrant had achieved a lot, he still has more work to do on earth and prayed that God will shower Him with divine favour to accomplish the tasks ahead. Another exhilarating dimension was added to the worship session with the soulful special ministration delivered by Blessing Dvoice and Fiddlers. Her powerful voice shook the church to its very foundation, and at the end, she got a well-deserved ovation. The celebrant who attended Government Primary

School, Benin, Stevenson College, Scotland, Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from University of Wyoming, USA and holds an MBA from Jackson State University, USA had impacted many lives-and this was corroborated by friends who spoke in the course of the service. Former Akwa-Ibom State Governor Obong Victor Attah praised the celebrant for being one of those who battled for the democracy Nigeria is enjoying today, top Politician and one-time Presidential aide, Chief Ben Obi described him as a brother, a visionary leader and loyal friend while former Delta State Governor, Chief James Ibori and his former Deputy and Presidential aide, Chief Mike Oghiadhome referred to Him as an industrious man of courage.


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Edo state Attorney-General, Prof (Mrs.) Yinka Omorogbe & husband, Allan Omorogbe

Prof. Eghosa Osaghae & Hon. Agharese Idubor

Mr. Andrew Yakubu

Dr. Denson, Axa & Tony

Chief Dennis & Dr. Olapeju Otsemobor

Chief Lucky Igbinedion an epitome of humility and hardwork was described by his father, the Esama of Benin Kingdom as “my son who has made me proud” According to the elated Sir Gabriel “I always say to people that God is the one that takes care of a human being, no parent can do it alone. I am thankful to God today that since his birth,we have not had to go to the hospital and now we are here. As a father, to a son, I wish to thank our Creator for you, Lucky Nosakhare, who has demonstrated through your actions, the fear of God with love and care for your family; as the Scion of the House of Igbinedion you have been an

excellent elder brother to your siblings, crowned by your compassion for your fellow man with candour, vision, perseverance and love. I am particularly grateful to God Almighty because my father and mother were not around to see my 60th birthday and I am here to celebrate with my son and his family. God has been good to us and I urge all of you to join me in giving Him praise” His daughter, Osasu Igbinedion paid glowing tribute to the celebrant “On these very auspicious day, I am very happy to celebrate the life of my dear father, Chief lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion. Marking 60 is truly by the

Senator Anyim Pius Anyim

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Mr. Nosa Igbinedion

Aize Igbinedion

Dr. Femi Oni

Hon. Omosede Igbinedion (l)

Rev. (Mrs.) Angela Igbinedion

Oba Muraina Adebanjo Adedini & Lady Cherry Igbinedion (r)

Chief Mike Oghiadome, his one-time deputy & Chief Lucky Igbinedion

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Chief Lucky Igbinedion with Clegymen

The choir


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Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion delivering his speech

Osasu Igbinedion delivering her speech

Senator Ben Obi

Mr. Alan Omorogbe

Chief Mike Oghiadome

Chief James Ibori

Mrs. Zena Enahoro, eldest child of the celebrant delivering her speech

Chief Lucky Igbinedion

grace of God and we are truly proud of you and all your accomplishments thus far. “ Daddy you are a loving and loyal friend to all your colleagues, you are an amazing father and even more amazing grandfather so today as we all gather here to celebrate you, we hope that you are proud of every single one of us. So sit down relax and enjoy yourself for you deserve it. We love you daddy. His wife, Chief (Mrs) Eki Igbinedion was also thankful to God. According to her “You are a great husband, kind father and loving grandfather. A man who has given himself earnestly to the service of humanity. “At the golden age of 60, the world celebrates you for your philanthropic work, and the joy you bring to the lives of everyone you encounter. May the Almighty

God grant you good health, long life and the wisdom of Solomon. In his response, the elated celebrant told the congregation that he was grateful to God for His blessings. “Though I now have children and grandchildren, I feel like a baby myself because anytime I am in Benin, my dad and his wife always gets lunch ready for me. In the evening, I usually visit my mother’s house to eat Owo and starch. So, I count myself lucky and truly blessed. Today, is a day to give God all the glory especially for my father who is here without any walk stick or aid.I thank everyone who has come to celebrate with us, may God bless you all. Thereafter, the celebrant and family were invited to the altar and showered with prayers by the officiating

Ministers: Pastor Idowu Akintola, Rev. Dr. Aibinuomo, Reve Gracon Okonkwo, Deacon John Dara and Dr. Bolatito Lachitan, This session was rounded off by Mrs Nosazena Enaholo, first child and eldest daughter of the celebrant. It was her duty to thank the guests, and she performed the role with so much poise and panache. Later, there was a classy reception hosted inside a huge marquee mounted on the scenic grounds of the celebrant’s home. Again, A-list guests were there to honour Chief Lucky Igbinedion. The House of Igbinedion was at its hospitable best. Guests had loads of fun and were well pampered; no wonder they partied till the wee hours of the next morning.

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THE BIRTHDAY RECEPTION

Justice Alfa Belgore (rtd) with Chief Gabriel Igbinedion

Minister for Transport, Mr. Rotimi Ameachi, Bright Igbinedion & Barr. Ricky Tarfa (SAN)

Chief Lucky Igbinedion & Chief John Odigie-Oyegun

Chief Lucky Igbinedion with Former Governors

Chief Dan Orbih with Osa & Patience Osunde

Celebrant & wife with his in-laws

Chief Lucky Igbinedion with Sir Gabriel & Lady Cherry Igbinedion

Senator Babafemi Ojudu with Bashorun Dele Momodu

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Bright Igbinedion, Mr. Folorunsho Okenla, Sen. & Mrs. Ibrahim Mantu

Chief Gabriel Igbinedion with grandchildren


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Opening Prayer, Former Adamawa Governor, Mr. Boni Haruna

Chief Gabriel Igbinedion greeting Ovation Publisher, Bashorun Dele Momodu

Chief Lucky Igbinedion with Fifi & Amechi Ejindu

Bashorun Dele Momodu & Senator Anyim Pius Anyim

Bashorun Dele Momodu, Barr. Mina Igbinedion & Alistair Soyode

Bashorun Dele Momodu, Chief Tom Ikimi & Senator Ben Obi

Barr. Mike Igbinedion & his nephew

Celebrant’s sons with aunts

Osasu Igbinedion & friend

Dr. Fred Igbinedion, Earl Osaro Onaiwu & Bashorun Dele Momodu

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Chief (Mrs.) Eki Igbinedion, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, Barr. Mabel Amadi, Mr.Alan Omorogbe & Mr Monday Agbontaen

The celebrant with a delegation from His Majesty Nana Otumfuo, The Ashantehene

Capt. Wey Omohimi, Bashorun Dele Momodu & Mr. Lulu Enobaifo

Mr. Ebeagbo Enaholo, Dr. & Mrs. Oni with guest

Chairman, APC Edo State, Hon. Anselm Ojezuah, Chief Lucky Igbinedion & Chairman PDP Edo State, Chief Dan Orbih

Sen. Rabiu Kwakwanso, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, Chief Lucky Igbinedu & Sen. Ali Modu Sherrif

R-l: Mrs. Eki Igbinedion, Mrs. Romali Igbinedion & Barr. Mina Igbinedion

Celebrant & daughter, Osasu with guests

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Chief Lucky Igbinedion, Mr. Osa Osunde & Mr. Abudu Lawani

Alhaji Kashim Imam & Sen. Rabiu Kwakwanso


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Bright Igbinedion raising a toast to his brother

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FEMI OTEDOLA’S

TOLANI ELDEST DAUGHTER,

WOWS LAGOS HIGH SOCIETY AT HER MAIDEN MUSIC SHOWCASE INSIDE TERRA KULTURE, VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS Story: Michael Effiong Photo: Adekoya Adegbite & Family album

Tolani performing on stage

O

Mr. Femi Otedola, Tolani with Alhaji Aliko Dangote

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lawunmi Otedola whose stage name is Tolani wowed Nigerian business elites and celebrities during her maiden musical showcase at the top-rate Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos. The UK-based artiste who is the eldest daughter of Forbes-listed billionaire and Chairman of Nigeriabased Forte Oil Plc delivered a 5-star performance on the night and she deservedly got a standing ovation at the end of it all. The evening began with cocktails. There, guests were served assorted canapĂŠs, choice wines, champagnes and the best cognacs. Of course, it was an opportunity for light conversation and networking. Just a few minutes after 8pm, everyone was ushered into the hall

which was dimly lit, but zany robotic lights of assorted colours criss-crossed the stage which was an inkling that the evening will be exciting. It was broadcaster, Ada Afoluke Ogunkeye popularly known as Folu Storms that first stepped on stage as She, it was who eventually introduced Tolani on stage amidst thunderous applause. Tolani stepped out with a smile, took a bow and wore a shimmering outfit that was seductive but not offensive. As for her performance, she was simple but not simplistic. Some said her showcase would have been more electrifying with dancers and back-up singers. Yes, but their absence did not diminish her presentation that evening.


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Mr. Femi Otedola

Mrs. Nana Otedola (m) with friends

Alhaji Aliko Dangote

Hajia Bola Shagaya

Mr. Kola Abioa (right)

Mr. & Mrs. Tunde Fowler

Mr. Sam Iwuajoku

Mr. Mutiu Sumonu & Mr. Muyiwa Bakare

John & Sola Momoh

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Tiwa Savage

Temi Otedola

Lady Maiden Ibru

Ladi Balogun

Segun Sebanjo

Mr. Philips Akiola

Kaschia Mamil , Kaschia , Alexandra & Daighon

Jude & Henry

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Karam & Abudori


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Michael Effiong

Cecil Hammond

Lanre Alfred

Prince Segun Oniru

Prisca Ndu

Ifeoma Onwu

Jide Coker & Asue Ighodalo

Wole Aboderin

Ifeoma Williams (left)

Ibada Ahmed (right)

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Ronya Mannart & wife

Funke Kuti

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From 2nd left; Nduka Obaigbena & Ruth Osime

Mr. Ayo Onabamiro

Toke Ibru

Chineye Ugonna & Dami Oke

Don Jazzy

Mr. Tunji Olowolafe

Nduka Obaigbena, Mo Abudu & friend


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Folu Storms

Tola Adegbite & Tope Edu

Toyin Eleniyan

Grace Osime, Tolani & Ijeoma Nwogwugwu

Mrs. Reni Folawiyo

She floated around the stage expertly and excellently, and the confidence of the artiste was indeed striking. She was in command of her environment. No sign of nerves especially for one hitting the stage for the first time in Nigeria. In addition, Tolani was able to steer the audience with her unique rhythmic brand of Afrobeats dovetailing to soul and then adding a tinge of Nigerian hiphop.The sound was eclectic and pleasing to the ears. Futhermore, her 4-piece band backed her with precision. It was easy to see that a lot of rehearsal, perspiration and preparation had gone into making the evening smooth and seamless. Tolani was able to keep a room full of billionaires, celebrities and media topshots still and silent-and from all indications, if a dancing area was provided, there was no doubt that some would have been so moved enough to

Achuzie Ezenagwu & Dapo Balogun

show their dancing skills. The artiste who studied Music & Master Performance from Tech Music Schools in London opened each performance with a short introduction of the song, revealed that her first set of songs were a blend of infectious African rhythms and soulful harmonies that offer listeners a summer time feel- good factor. She also stated that her maiden album will be dropping in a matter of weeks. About her musical journey, Tolani revealed that she was born into music and that music was a constant in the Otedola household. She stated that her dad, Femi was a great music lover and he has been one of her greatest backers and critic. Tolani confessed that she was greatly influenced by Fela though she used to sing at school and in church-and from the smiles and commendation she got that evening, she is surely on the path to making it big with her brand of Afrobeats and lovely voice.

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Mr. Femi Otedola, Mr. Sam Iwuajoku, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, Alhaji Aliko Dangote & Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu

Mr. Femi Otedola with Sola & John Momoh

Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Segun Sebanjo, Mr. Donald Duke & Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu

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Hajia Bola Shagaya with Mrs. Nana Otedola

Mr. Femi Otedola, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede & Ladi Balogun


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Mrs. Bolanle Austen-Peters & Otunba Niyi Adebayo

Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, Mr. Tayo Amusan & wife with Alhaji Aliko Dangote

Mr. Mutiu Sumonu & Mr. Muyiwa Bakare

Mr. Tunji Olowolafe & Mr. Biola Akinola

Mr. Gbenga Sokefun, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu & Mr. Ayo Subair

Mr. Musa Danjuma & Mr. Tayo Ayeni

Mr. Ayo Subair & Sen. Tokunbo Ogunbanjo

The proud father, Femi Otedola, Tolani with Shola Braithwaite

Mr. Tayo Ayeni greeting Tolani’s dad, Mr. Femi Otedola

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Mr. Femi Otedola & Mr. Gbenga Oyebode SAN

Femi Otedola with Tope Edu

Mr. Lanre Alfred, Mr. Bayo Adetu & Michael Effiong

Funke Kuti & Mrs. Bolanle Austen-Peters

Mr. Michael Effiong with Mr. Femi Otedola

Prisca Ndu, Mr. Sam Iwuajoku, Mr. Mutiu Sumonu & Mr. Muyiwa Bakare

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Mr. Femi Adebayo, Mr. Femi Otedola & Toke Ibru

Temi Otedola & Tolani Otedola


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Kemi Ibru, Tola Adegbite & Tope Edu

Mr. Tayo Ayeni & Mrs. Nana Otedola

Segun Sebanjo (left) & Biola Akinola (right)

Mr. Dewunmi Ogunsanya

Don Jazzy with Dr. Sid

Mr. Sam Iwuajoku, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Mr Segun Fowora & Mr. Nduka Obaigbena

Tiwa Savage, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, Cecil Hammond, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Femi Otedola & Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu

Mr. Gboyega Adewuyi

Mr. Makin Soyinka & Isaac Isreal

Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, Mo Abudu, Femi Otedola, Ifeoma Williams, Ruth Osime & friends

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Richie Shittu , Mr. Biola Akinola & Mr. Sam Iwuajoku

Mr. Babajide Kuku SAN & Chris Adeyemi

Mr. Sam Iwuajoku, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Miss Ruth Osime, Mr. Femi Otedola & Alhaji Abdualsammad Rabiu

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Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, Sam Iwuajoku, Mo Abudu & Segun Shebanjo

Kemi Ibru, Adesua Dozie & Nana Otedola


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Tolani & members of her band


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AT THE LAUNCH OF

AFROCHAMPIONS CLUB IN LAGOS, NIGERIA Story: Christiana Adedayo Photo: Segun Lawal

Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Fomer South African President, Thabo Mbeki, & Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki

A

Alhaji Aliko Dangote & Former South African President, Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki

prestigious group of leading home-grown African multi-national corporations, top Chief Executives and first-rate technocrats has been formed and it is called the Afrochampions Club. The group which is aimed at creating a platform of innovative public-private partnerships and flagship programs designed to galvanize African resources and institutions to support the emergence and success of African businesses also intends to encourage collaborations amongst African executives and corporations with a view to make them Champions. While the AfroChampions Club is chaired by Mr. Aliko Dangote, Founder and CEO of the Dangote Group, the AfroChampions Initiative is co-chaired by the Nigerian industrialist and former South African President, Thabo Mbeki. Through public-private dialogues and partnerships, the Club seeks to work with African governments to support policies and public-sector innovations that

Former South African President, Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki & Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki

drive African economic integration, regional economic clusters and regional value chains. The Club will also pioneer the AfroChampions Charter, a set of corporate and investment best practice principles to benchmark and guide how African multinationals and companies can champion African transformation and integration in ways that positively impact communities and people. Key business leaders from 13 African countries were in attendance at the Club’s inaugural meeting. Also present were dignitaries including the VicePresident of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Obasinjo, former President of the Republic of South Africa and President of the AfroChampions Initiative, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, and former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Patron of the initiative, Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo and the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Segun Awolowo.

Two work streams were launched by the participating leaders at the meeting. The first stream focussed on collecting recommendations from various African multinationals on best approaches to achieve the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). These recommendations will be shared officially with the African Union, which was represented at the meeting by its Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Albert Muchanga. The discussions focused on visa waivers and trade facilitation between African states. The second work stream focussed on drafting an AfroChampions Charter aimed at defining how African multinationals can best contribute to the development of the continent. By working with the local ecosystems, supporting infrastructure projects, fostering industrialization or helping populations enter the digital era, African economic champions will be enabled to play a strategic role.

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Alhaji Aliko Dangote & Fatima Dangote

Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija

Chief Kola Jamodu (right)

Ms. Zouera Youssouf & Knut Ulvmoen

Mr. Ernest Ebi

Ovation Editor, Michael Effiong

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Aremo Olusegun Osoba & wife, Beere Derin Osoba

Former CBN Governor, Mr. Tunde Lemo & Otunba Niyi Adebayo

Alh. Aliko Dangote said, “We have chosen to work on issues of interest to all Africans. The African Free Trade Area will give us the ability to travel and work easily across the continent; it will also foster the creation of regional value chains, integrating SMEs and building capacities in our countries.” “As for the AfroChampions Charter, it is a commitment by African multinationals to invest more and better in Africa in those projects with strong economic and social impacts. Our primary responsibility is to give our youth jobs and a future. I was very pleased to hear the consensus on this issue and I expect the Charter to be signed by many of my fellow CEOs in the near future,” he added. A member of the Executive Committee of the AfroChampions Initiative, Edem Adzogenu highlighted the quality of the discussions at the inaugural meeting: “We talked about the role that African multinationals can have as ambassadors of the continent and its talents, and ways to work better with the public sector. This new dynamic of dialogue is precisely what we want to put in place.” In his remarks, Vice President Osinbajo noted that the Continents Free Trade Area Initiative (CFTA), launch of the African passport and free movement of persons shows how the continent intended to grow in regional integration and demonstrates how quickly the continent could move.


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Keynote Speaker, Former South African President, HE Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki

Alhaji Aliko Dangote

Closing Remarks by Mr. Edem Adzogenu

The Compere, IK Osakioduwa

King Sunny Ade performing

Donna Ogunaike

Ice Art

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Mr. Wale Tinubu & Alhaji Aliko Dangote

Oscar N Onyema & Arnold Ekpe

Chee Hoe, Ismael Nabe & Jonas Lind

Mr. Tunde Lemo & Mr. Ernest Ebi

Knut Ulvmoen, Alhaji Aliko Dangote & Devakumar Edwin

Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Beere Derin Osoba with their daughter & Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki

From 2nd left: Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Mr Oscar Onyema & Chief Mike Oghiadome

Aremo Olusegun Osoba with Mr. & Mrs. Tonye Cole

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Yemi Sax

Isaac, Gnamba & Yao


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Mr. Darkey Africa (L)

Adams Oshiomole,Asue Ighodalo, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Muyiwa Bakare & Oscar Onyema

Gounongbe Nazaire, Alassane Doumbia & Lebogang Chaka

Lionel Djondo & Anne Elvire Esmel

Huguette Umutoni Bitega, Didier Acouetey & Ade Ayeyemi

Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Oscar N Onyema & Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo

Alhaji Aliko Dangote & Ovation Editor, Michael Effiong

BUA Group Chairman, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, Alhaji Aliko Dangote & Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki

He described the initiative as a strategic priority for the country to facilitate a single integrated African market deep enough to exploit all the potential in the country. Expressing the confidence of President Buhari’s administration in the AfroChampions Initiative, he said, “We think that it is the private sector that would do what is required to bring the urgency and the sense of mission to all the plans in the AU. We will like to see greater synergy and collaboration in the African champions while all the organs of the AU get involved in economic integration issues." President Thabo Mbeki said, “Africa’s private sector can help re-shape African Renaissance in ways never before seen; this is the purpose of the AfroChampions Initiative." “With the AfroChampions initiative, we are building African pride and giving role models to the

younger generation and are thus giving to our fellow citizens and entrepreneurs more confidence,” said Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Speaking about the initiative, President of the Republic of Mauritius, Mrs Ameenah Gurib-Fakim said, "I believe that we have reached the moment when African states can work together towards a common goal to accelerate the development of our continent. There is no way we can succeed separately- none of our countries has the critical size, but together we can build synergies, and achieved bigger impact. This is the reason why I have joined the AfroChampions Initiative." Later that evening after the discussions, guests were hosted to a sumptuous dinner by the Dangote Group and King Sunny Ade was on hand to entertain guests.

Arnold Ekpe

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TONY ELUMELU FOUNDATION ENTREPRENEURSHIP FORUM 2017

AT THE

Story: Christiana Adedayo Photo: Segun Lawal

Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Governor Aminu Bello Masari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Mr. Tony Elumelu & wife, Dr. Awele Elumelu with Governor Abdulaziz Yari

F

Nigeria’s Vice President, H.E Yemi Osinbajo

or some wealthy individuals, success is not measured by the size of their bank accounts but by how many lives they are able to touch and transform with their immense financial resources. To them, wealth is not simply a success metric but a transformational tool to make the world in which they live a better place for all. In that rare class of individuals is Tony Elumelu, the Chairman of proprietary investment conglomerate, Heirs Holdings. Through his foundation-the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF)-which is Africa’s leading philanthropy dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship, he has been empowering the continent’s next generation of industrialists and innovators-helping

184

Chairman Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu

them to master old territories and to venture into new frontiers in business by connecting their creativity with capital. In 2015, the annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum was born out of the foundation’s $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs (1,000 annually), over a period of 10 years, through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. These entrepreneurs who are living testaments to the success of the programme are showcased during the forum. The 2017 Edition of this unique and inspirational initiative was held at the Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos, and ran for two consecutive days.

In his keynote address at the event which brimmed with ideas and bright minds, Elumelu, who is also the Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA) expressed a firm confidence that an energetic African-led private sector is the key to unlocking Africa’s economic and social potential. He said, “Africa’s development, which must be private-sector led and entrepreneurially driven, will have at its heart, young African innovators and their transformative ideas. Only they will create the millions of jobs Africa needs. The Forum has brought together Africa’s most important developmental force, her young entrepreneurs who will become catalysts for


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Alhaji Aliko Dangote

CEO Zolts, Limited, Chike Onyia

Maxwell Ubah

Compere: Dayo Benjamin-Laniyi

Director, Africa Regional Centre,( UNDP), Lamin Manneh, Country Director, United States Agency for International Development,(USAID), Former DG, Nigeria Economic Submit, Frank Nweke Jnr., Country Director UNDP, Nigeria, Samuel Bwalya & Head of Delegation, Red Cross Nigeria, Eloin Filon

Panelists

Chairman UBA Board, Senegal , Sossa Fogan & Chairman UBA Board, Burkina Faso, Justin Baro

Aremo Olusegun Osoba & Alhaji Aliko Dangote

Dr. Doyin Abiola, Peter Elumelu & Mrs. Folake Abdulrasaq

Omoni Oboli

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Former Prime Minister, Benin Republic, H.E. Lionel Zinsou

Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari

Former, Chairman UBA, Ferdinard Alabraba

Chairman, BUA Group, Alhaji Abudulsamad Rabiu

Mr. Tony Elumelu & wife, Dr. Awele Elumelu

Deputy Governor, Delta State, Barr. Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, Dr. Oba Otudeko, Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari & Katsina State Governor, Rt. Hon. Aminu Bello Masari

CEO/GMD, UBA, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka

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Mrs. Elumelu & Barrister Chief (Mrs.) Caroline Adeneye


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CFresh Direct, Angela Adelaja with Founder & Chief Executive,Bestman Games, Mimi Akinkugbe

Mrs. Dupe Olusola & Mrs. Modele Sharafa-Yusuf

Chairman, Integrated Microfinance Bank, Dr. Doyin Abiola

CEO, Airtel, Segun Ogunsanya

Officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross

Mr. Tony Elumelu, CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Parminder Vir with Former Prime Minister, Benin Republic, H.E. Lionel Zinsou

Africa’s economic liberation.” “We have united the African entrepreneurship ecosystem, putting the entrepreneurs at centre stage. I want to thank those heads of government and other key policymakers, who have supported our firm belief that the private sector is the engine for growth and the private sector players, who are models of our philosophy of Africapitalism – the idea that business will drive change and that change must deliver economic and social wealth,” he added. The Foundation’s CEO, Parminder Vir said, “Since 2015, we have supported 3,000 African start-ups with training, mentoring, funding, and membership to Africa’s largest network of entrepreneurs. We are equipping our entrepreneurs with the skills, networks, mind-set, and values they need to succeed as the next generation of business titans.” The event featured plenary panels and masterclasses. It also provided the TEF entrepreneurs with a platform to network and connect with business leaders, policymakers and investors. Focusing on the Forum’s theme of training and mentoring, speakers discussed topics that educated, empowered and inspired the entrepreneurs, addressing the key stages

needed to successfully launch a business. TEF partners including Microsoft, Sage One and Greentec also held training workshops and side events aimed at approaches to strategically scaling up business. The speaking programme underscored the foundation’s fundamental role in uniting entrepreneurs and policymakers, as a means of ensuring that Africa’s private and public sectors collaborate to create the best possible operating environment for entrepreneurship to thrive. Political and private sector leaders from across Africa, including the former Prime Minister of the Republic of Benin, Mr. Lionel Zinsou; Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari; Zamfara State Governor, Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari; the Chairman of Dangote group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and the Chairman of Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko directly addressed the conditions needed for stimulating entrepreneurial growth. Advocating a new paradigm driven by the need for a private sector-led change were senior figures from global development institutions, including Senior Investment Officer at the International Finance Corporation, Wale Ayeni; the Director of Human Resources at Afrexim Bank, Stephen Tio Kauma, and Deputy Country Director of the French Development

Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu with Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo

Fidelity Bank MD, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Mrs. Pamela Shodipo & Charles Aigbe, Head, Brand & Communications, Fidelity Bank

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Tony Elumelu & Segun Awolowo

During the presentation of artistic image frame to Mr. Tony Elumelu & Dr. Awele Elumelu

Wife of the Ogun State Governor, Mrs Olufunsho Amosun

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Head, Communications, Dangote Group, Tony Chiejina (right)

Agency, Andre Hue. In his address to the third class of entrepreneurs, Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo said, “This generation of young people will do the exceptional. You are the reason Africa will work. The length and breadth of display of talent have shown that there is indeed hope.” The Forum also witnessed multiple partnerships between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Tony Elumelu Foundation, and that between French bilateral development bank, Agence Française De

Développement (AFD) and the foundation. Commending both agencies for their commitment to promoting youth entrepreneurship in Africa, Elumelu called on other individuals and developmental institutions to partner with the foundation and expand the scale of its impact: “We call on friends of Africa to partner with the foundation, to scale our impact beyond the 1,000 entrepreneurs a year. Real opportunity exists to tap into Africa’s potential and our entrepreneurs offer a gateway to participating in both economic success


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CHIEF GABRIEL IGBINEDION THE SUPERLATIVE 83RD BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION OF

(THE ESAMA OF BENIN KINGDOM) Story: Bamidele Salako Photo: Ken Ehimen

W

Chief Gabriel Igbinedion

hen others are sleeping I am busy planning. By the time they wake up from sleep, I am busy implementing what will make life better for my people.” These words by the legendary Esama of Benin Kingdom and Honorary Ambassador of Romania to Edo and Delta States, His Excellency, Sir Chief Dr. Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, are evocative of the words of late American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who said, “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” Wadsworth’s words are an uncanny summary of the life and times of the great Sir Igbinedion fondly called “Esama of the Universe” by acquaintances. In fact, when another poet, Johnny Ray Ryder Jnr. penned his famous poem, The Oak Tree, he must have written those compelling words with a vision of Sir Gabriel in sight. Ryder’s words go: 189


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FAMILY INTERCESSORY CHURCH SERVICE

Apostle (Dr.) W. O. Osadiaye, Evangelist Margret Agbonifo, Esama with Pastor Agbonifo

Chief Gabriel Igbinedion

Intercessory Voices

Hon. Agharese Idubor with HRM Anslem Aidonojie

Apostle (Dr.) W. O. Osadiaye, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Rev. (Mrs.) Grace Osasuyi, Esama with HRM Anslem Aidonojie

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Dr. & Mrs. Fred Okhomina

Pastor & Evangelist (Mrs.) Agbonifo


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Rev. (Mrs.) Joy Aimufia, Most Snr. Rev. (Mrs.) Grace Osasuyi & Hon. Agharese Idubor

Mrs. Fred Okhomina, Chief Amos Osunbor, Esama with Rev. (Mrs.) Grace Osasuyi

Pastor & Evang. (Mrs.) Agbonifo with Bishop Y.Y. Kure

Cross-section of dignitaries

Kayode, Ernest, Uyi, Elder Ogbeide with Etinosa

Christy, Tessy, Bridget with Joy

Mrs. Philomina Osawaru, Esama, Hon. Charles Igbinedion with Chief Amos Osunbor

Hon. Charles Igbinedion & son

Mrs. Stella Sorae, Princess Philomina Igbinedion-Osawaru with Stainless Eso Oronsaye

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FELICITATIONS FROM FAMILY, FRIENDS AND GROUPS

Mrs Roseline Ogbeboi

The Esama of Benin Kingdom

Association of Residents of Government Housing Estate, Iguosa-Benin City and President: Prof. Franklyn Ehigiator

Desmond N. Ogosi, Princess Philomina Osawaru & Denis Ray Ogosi

Mrs. Evelyn Igbafen, Esama with Chief Ken Owie

Anointed Big Dons: Imatitikua & Osagiede Gabriel

Members of Igbinedion Youth Initiative

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Medical and Dental Consultants Association with Esama

Rev Fr. Edwin Omorogbe


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Esama with Traditional Rulers

Chief Amos Osunbor, Esama with Chief Nelizaner

Esama with Traditional rulers

St. Gabriel The Archangel Catholic Church members with Chief Gabriel Igbinedion

Great Ladies Club of Benin

Barr. Mike Igbinedion, Mr. Bright Igbinedion, Chief Lucky Igbinedion with Hon. Charles Igbinedion

Chief Gabriel Igbinedion with The Otunba Adekunle Ojora & his wife

Samia Nkrumah, Esama, Archbishop Dr. Jacob Welbourne with Justice Margaret

Zambia High Commissioner to Nigeria: Amb. Solomon Tere with Uganda High Commissioner: Amb. Nelson Ocheger

Esama with members of International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Edo branch led by Mrs. Marie Edeko

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THANKSGIVING MASS

Senator Ibrahim Mantu with The Otunba Adekunle Ojora & his wife, Erelu Ojuolape

Dr. & Mrs. Fred Okhomina with Prof. Olu Aina OFR

Chief Gabriel Igbinedion & his wife, Lady Cherry Igbinedion

Lady Cherry Igbinedion with Olorogun Oskar Ibru & wife, Wanda

Senator Ibrahim Mantu with Olorogun Oskar Ibru & wife

Franca Ezeigbebe, Blessing Osarumwene, Pamela Ogbebor with Enoyoze Igbinedion

Esama’s grand children

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Prof. Olu Aina, Lady Cherry, Sen. Ibrahim Mantu, celebrant with Chief Ezekiel Ainabe

The Esama with fellow Knights


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The Esama and his entourage

Mr. Bright Igbinedion, Hon. Charles Igbinedion and his wife with Princess Philomina Igbinedion-Osawaru

Barr. Mike Igbinedion with Dr. Fred Igbinedion

HRM Osagie Ikhumhen, Onojie of Ewato Kingdom, Edo State with HRM Igwe Nneli

Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Edwin Omorogbe, Rev. Augutine Ehigie with Rev. Michael Oyaneafor

Parry Osayande CFR & Mr. Ewobamie Alfred,SAN

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Celebrant & his wife, Lady Cherry Igbinedion, Sen. Ibrahim Mantu, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, Sen. Pius Ayim with Mr. Bright Igbinedion

Dr. Fred Igbinedion, Barr. Mike Igbinedion with Prince Desmond Eweka

Chief Lucky Igbinedion, Sen. Pius Ayim, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Mr. Bright Igbinedion with Hon. Charles Igbinedion

Evag. Margaret Agbonifo with Rev. Felix Omobude

Chief Ayiri Emami with Hon. Omosede Igbinedion

Dumonet Igbinedion singing a tune for his grand father

Bishop Jacob Welbourne from Ghana

Evelyn Inneh, Hon. Omosede Igbinedion with Pastor (Mrs.) Angela Igbinedion

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Mr. Folurunso Okenla with Prince Agharese Idubor

Chief Ayiri Emami with Former Delta State Governor, James


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IGBINEDION UNIVERSITY OKADA HOLDS SPECIAL SESSION FOR CELEBRANT

Vice Chancellor, Igbinedion University Okada, Prof. Osaghae Eghosa with Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion

Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion

Provost College of Health Sciences & Prof. Jacob Unuigbe

Dr. (Mrs.) Angela Idonije & D. U. Ibe

HRH Izuware I, Onojie of Ujiogba Kingdom & Hon. Ighare Idubor “A

mighty wind blew night and day It stole the oak tree's leaves away Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark Until the oak was tired and stark But still the oak tree held its ground While other trees fell all around The weary wind gave up and spoke. How can you still be standing Oak?

The oak tree said, I know that you Can break each branch of mine in two Carry every leaf away Shake my limbs, and make me sway

But I have roots stretched in the earth Growing stronger since my birth

You'll never touch them, for you see They are the deepest part of me

Until today, I wasn't sure Of just how much I could endure But now I've found, with thanks to you I'm stronger than I ever knew� No narrative could better encapsulate his character, personality, charisma and pedigree than this. One of the most illustrious sons of the ancient City of Benin, in Edo State, Nigeria, the entire state stood still as the visionary businessman and tireless philanthropist clocked 83 and celebrated it with trademark pomp in the company of friends and family.

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Prof. Edwin Okoro, Prof. Osaghae Eghosa presenting a birthday card to celebrant,Chief Gabriel Igbinedion

There was an endless stream of congratulatory messages and good wishes into the Igbinedion home from prominent Nigerians including Nigeria’s vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo; Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon; former Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; several governors, embassies and even from the Vatican, in Rome. The weeklong celebrations themed “Igbinedion the Hero of Our Time” began with an intercessory prayer service for the celebrant’s family at the Family Intercessory Ministries, Ekehuan Road in Benin.

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Prof. Edwin Okoro, Prof. Osaghae Eghosa presenting a photo frame to Chief Gabriel Igbinedion

Prof. Edwin Okoro, Prof. Osaghae Eghosa presenting a plate of Kolanut to Chief Gabriel Igbinedion7

The soul-stirring service was filled with prayers of thanksgiving, sonorous hymns, special numbers by gospel group-Intercessory Voices, and special prayers for the safety, wellbeing and prosperity of the delighted celebrant and his family. The celebrations climaxed with the annual morning dew birthday interdenominational service that held at God’s Historic Chapel, located within the celebrant’s sprawling residence at 1-13 Okada Avenue, GRA, Benin City. It was a service of praise and thanksgiving well attended by respected men of God from far and wide.

Esama with members of Igbinedion University Senate

Testament to the celebrant’s far reaching impact in the lives of numerous people and communities was the number of people that turned up, defying the morning showers, to thank God with the charming and ebullient Sir Gabriel Igbinedion who was at his stylish best. And as was to be expected, guests were treated to a gourmet buffet of toothsome dishes and a rich assortment of fine drinks-bringing an end to the celebration of a man of immense class, style, influence, impact and enduring legacies.


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CHIEF OLUSEGUN OBASANJO AT 80 NIGERIA CELEBRATES FORMER PRESIDENT Story: Bamidele Salako Photo: Adekoya Adegbite

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o say that the English Dictionary suffers a dearth of superlatives to describe Nigeria’s former two-time head of state and retired army general, Chief Olusegun Matthew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo, is to be modest. However, when the illustrious global citizen stepped graciously and gloriously into the octogenarian rank this year, many were compelled to deploy the lexical arsenal that the English Language could afford to eulogise him. The Ebora Owu as he is fondly called in local parlance was extolled by dignitaries from within Nigeria and all around the world with encomiums such as, “Mr. Nigeria”, “African Icon”, “enigmatic leader”, “astute administrator”, “political mastermind”, “accomplished general”, “courageous”, “fearless”, possessing a “robust intellect” and “nimble wits”. Others spoke of his “largerthan-life personality”, his “messianic complex” and his “unforgiving memory of past hurts”.

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Former President Olusegun Obasanko & wife, Bola

Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Femi Otedola & Otunba Niyi Adebayo

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki & wife

Senator Godswill Akpabio

Mr. Foluso Adeagbo & Bashorun Dele Momodu

Mr. Tony Elumelu Chairman UBA.

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Mr. Tunde Folawiyo & Mr Aikhoje Aig-Imoukhhede

From 2nd left: Governor Yahaha Bello of Kogi State with Mr. Phillips Oduoza

Comrade Adams Oshiomole & Senator Andy Uba


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Former Governor Chief Alao Akala

Kunle Komolafe

Sam Iwuajoku

Mr. Gboyega Adewuyi

Lanre Teriba (Atorise)

John Hines & Olga Hines

The broad range of comments about a man whose life choices, chances and events have shaped into one of the most influential and unforgettable African leaders of his generation depicts what a polarising figure he can be in the court of public opinion. Loathe him or love him however, his place as a principal player in the efforts to enthrone and preserve democratic governance in Nigeria and Africa is etched in gold in the annals of local, continental and global history forever. He was the first head of state in the history of the African continent to transmit power to a democratically elected successor on two different occasions. The first was a military administrator in 1979 having ruled from 1976 following the assassination of his predecessor, General Murtala Muhammad. The second was in 2007 following two terms of office which began in 1999 when Nigeria returned to civil rule. A botched attempt at a third term run regardless, the fact that he refused to force the issue and make a mess of the democratic gains recorded during his tenure, combined with his subsequent forefront activities to promote and safeguard Nigeria’s democracy mean his democratic credentials remain intact. Chief Obasanjo’s supporters can also point to several notable accomplishments which he recorded while in office as proof that he should be celebrated as

a hero of Nigeria’s democracy rather than vilified for his flaws which no living human lacks. His enthusiasts remind anyone with a listening ear that his team of ministers – mostly technocrats - remains arguably the best yet put together by any president since his departure from office in 2007. And his appointments were devoid of ethnic colourations. Still, others will outline his contributions to Nigeria’s multisector growth and transformation including his commitment to spotlighting the depth of corruption in Nigeria and its deleterious consequences with the creation of anticorruption bodies – Code of Conduct Bureau and its Tribunal, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC); the introduction of Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) into Nigeria which has been revolutionary for business and education in the country amongst others. His influence, the respect he commands and the wide network of influential friends that cuts across the globe were underscored by the calibre of guests that graced the official commissioning of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL)-a significant part of activities lined up to commemorate his 80th birthday. The complex, situated on Presidential

Boulevard Way, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, Ogun State, houses a library and archives, US-model museum, a hotel and conference venue-the first of its kind in Africa. No less than 20 serving and former heads of African states and international organisations graced the occasion led by the President of Liberia and Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who commissioned the library. Other dignitaries from around the country and abroad included Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; Queen Elizabeth II of England represented by Prince Mike Kent; Kenyan politician, Raila Odinga; Serria Leonean President, Ernest Bai Koroma; former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan; former Ghanaian President, John Kuffour; Malawian President, Joyce Banda amongst others. Also present were former Nigerian heads of state, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Ernest Shonekan; former Vice President, Namadi Sambo; former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; former governors, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Olusegun Osoba, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun; Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu to mention a few.

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THE RECEPTION

H.E. Thomas Boni Yayi, H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma & wife, Bola Obasanjo, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo & Senator Bukola Saraki

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Mrs. Toyin Saraki, Senator Bukola Saraki, H.E Joyce Banda, Mrs Bola Obasanjo, Chief Olusegun Obasanjom H.E Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, H.E Ernest Bai Koroma & H.E Thomas Yayi Boni

Sen. Bukola Saraki, H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma & H.E. Ellen Johnson Saleaf

H.E. Thomas Boni Yayi with Imperial Majesty Oba Enitan Ogunwusi & Olori

Alh. Aliko Dangote, Mr. Femi Otedola, Chief Olusegun & Mrs. Bola Obasanjo

Chief Olusegun & Mrs. Bola Obasanjo with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole

Mr. Segun Awolowo with Chief Olusegun & Mrs. Bola Obasanjo

Segun Awolowo, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Ms Obasanjo & Mr. Femi Otedola

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, Senator Bukola Saraki & Mrs. Toyin Saraki

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H.E. Mrs. Toyin Saraki, Sen. Bukola Saraki & Ernest Bai Koroma

Former President Joyce Banda & Former President Boni Yayi

Senator Godswill Akpabio & Alh. Isa Sanusi Bayero

Sen. Sanusi Daggash & Mr. Femi Otedola

Gbenga Sokefun & Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

Nigerian Governors

Hajia Abah Folawiyo, Mr. Segun Awolowo, Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed, Gov. Rochas Okorocha, Gov. Yahaya Bello & Sen. Florence Ita-Giwa

Princess Fifi Ejindu (right)

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(From right) Chief Engr. Wole Adebayo & Femi Adeagbo

Tony Elumelu & Frank Nweke II


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Members of the National Assembly

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo & Chief John Oyegun

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo & Chief John Oyegun

L-r: Senator Godswill Akpabio & H.E. Alh. Aminu Tambuwal

Senator Andy Uba & Alhaji Sayyu Dantata

H.E Aminu Waziri Tanbuwal & Hajia Bola Shagaya

Tunde Folawiyo, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Gbenga Oyebode, SAN, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Herbert Wigwe &Bolaji Balogun

Otunba Bimbo Ashiru ( left)

Prince Jide Fadairo (m)

Michael Effiong & Alhaji Yusuf Olaniyonu

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Cross section of Dignitaries

A tour of the Obasanjo museum which documents the triumphs and travails of the founder and follows the country’s post-independence history and development trailed the arrival of guests who were received personally by the celebrant with bright smiles and warm embraces of gratitude. Everyone had the visual pleasure of touring the mammoth archive of over 42 million papers, books and documents, as well as a collection of the celebrant’s personal effects including his primary school uniform, shoes, military regalia, his first automobile (a Volkswagen) and much more. The library itself and the well curated museum exhibitions were the creations of the world's largest museum exhibition design firm, Ralph Applebaum Associates in collaboration with their selected fabrication partner, ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño (APD), who handled the museographic execution and the ensuing production, mounting and installation of all the exhibition resources. It was all top class and ranks side-by-side with anything of the sort around the world.

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Speaking at the event, President Obasanjo said, “This library is the culmination of dreams and visions which began in 1988. When I came to realise how many vital materials that should have been preserved, I tried to see what could be salvaged, recovered and preserved but not much except some materials from the Civil War from both sides of the divide which I was able to microfilm. Materials were lost but lessons were learned. The God of second chances provided a second opportunity and the lessons learned were put into practice.” He further affirmed that the library would help to preserve Nigeria’s heritage, shape the future and serve as a boost for the country’s tourism sector. OOPL chair, Dr. Christopher Kolade described the journey of constructing the library whose groundbreaking ceremony held on May 20, 2005, as a journey of faith, singling out the architects and constructors for praise. Dr. Kolade said, “Most of us did not really have a firm concept of what the library, building and the rest of the site would look like. When we see what we have

today, we can all agree that in terms of the infrastructure and edifices on this site, we have come a good distance on this journey. But of course, the best news in that regard is that our architects, contractors and other consultants have helped to create buildings and facilities that may truly be described as eminently fit for purpose.” The Chairperson of the commissioning, Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, lauded the celebrant for the vision saying, “History will bear truth to this precedencesetting presidential initiative in Africa that will spur a strong legacy for successful retiring presidents to emulate, to record and preserve the history of nationbuilding for posterity and for the benefit of today and future generations.” Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo who was representing President Muhammadu Buhari, said, “History is one sure way of preserving the lessons, failures and successes of the past so that humanity can then approach the future with more surefootedness and less pain.”


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Bashorun Dele Momodu with Kennedy Uzoka, GMD/CE), UBA Plc

Bashorun Dele Momodu with Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki

Babafemi Oretuyi & Tony Elumelu

Senator Phillip Aduda (left)

Segun Awolowo Jnr., his mother, Hajia Abah Folawiyo & Senator Florence Ita-Giwa

Mrs. Ibidun Ighodalo of Elizabeth R, Bashorun Dele Momodu & Mrs. Bimpe Kalesanwo of Eko Hotel

Tony Elumelu with Bashorun Dele Momodu

Mr. Femi Otedola, Mr. Tony Elumelu, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka & Mr. Frank Nweke Jnr.

Mr. Phillip Oduoza, Mr. Tony Elumelu & Kennedy Uzoka

Tope Brown, Photographer to the Senate President, Bashorun Dele Momodu & Bankole Omishore, Special Assistant, International Relations to Senate President

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King Sunny Ade

“I am sure that as visitors to this library, especially young people, walk through this magnificently created edifice, they will learn from both what they see and hear; but perhaps more from what is unsaid – that our place in the history of our society is not what we manage to take from it but what we manage to give it. The more selfless the giving, the more historical,” Prof. Osibajo added. “I am privileged to celebrate, especially in this library, a man who has given and continues to give. An authentic African icon-Chief Olusegun Obasanjo,” he concluded. Host Governor, Ibikunle Amosun called the celebrant “an icon of Ogun State and Nigeria, an African Statesman, a global leader and eminent citizen of the world” whose contributions to the entire world cannot be overestimated. Governor Amosun stated that the library presents a substantial advantage for Nigerians given their appetite for knowledge and the advancement of human development. He also said, “No doubt, this presidential library that is modelled after the American Presidential Library will be a veritable source of intellectual materials for the socio-political development of not only Nigeria but Africa as a whole.” The next day, the dignitaries reassembled at the Chapel of Christ the Glorious King for a thanksgiving service for the celebrant. It was a soul-lifting one full of inspiring hymns and soul-stirring messages. In his sermon titled, “The quality of our gratitude to God,” the former Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Sunday Mbang, proclaimed the

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Lanre Teriba (Atorise)

celebrant as the best president Nigeria had ever had, maintaining that no other president had been able to match his accomplishments. The cleric applauded the celebrant’s many achievements in and outside of government, declaring that his legacies would outlive him, charging Nigerian leaders to emulate his leadership qualities. Later that evening, the birthday celebration of one of Nigeria’s most famous octogenarians climaxed at the Convention Centre of the luxurious Eko Hotel and Suites where a spectacular reception was staged in his honour. The evening played out like a night of tributes with one VIP after another pouring encomiums on the ebullient celebrant who sported a bright smile throughout. Sokoto State Governor, Alh. Aminu Tambuwwal leading the train with prayers of success and longevity. Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, flanked by a congressional delegation, said, “Baba never wants to lose. He never loses. So we have all learned in the school of Obasanjo to ask where he is leaning towards and to take positions behind him because Obasanjo does not lose. Sir, Nigeria has been blessed by you. It’s not just a function of your hard work but by the grace of God Almighty. You’re created specially. You’ve served this country. You’re patriotic.” The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi averred that the story of Nigeria cannot be complete without a mention of the celebrant’s name. Billionaire businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote said, “My dream is to see Baba realise his aspiration of

seeing 50 dollar billionaires in Nigeria and I think it is possible. We are on the way and the economy is still robust. Devaluation or recession will not deter the Nigerian economy from growing.” Sierra Leonean President, Ernest Bai Koroma recounted the tremendous support he enjoyed from the celebrant when he (Koroma) was contesting his first presidential elections. He lauded Chief Obasanjo’s leadership and legacies within the West African subregion saying, “I must say that during his service at ECOWAS, he provided great leadership. The transformation that is now taking place in ECOWAS was initiated by him because he went in and requested accountability.” Liberian President, Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said, “President Obasanjo has stood out as a leader. There’s not a single ECOWAS and African Union country that has not been touched by his leadership, that has not been helped by his advice and that has not received his support in one way or the other.” “We would like to say to you Baba that what you are, what you have been, what you have done, what you have stood for is exemplary. It’s something that we ask all of our children to emulate and to praise you for – this great leadership,” Dr. Sirleaf added. The celebrant, his wife, Mrs. Bola Obasanjo, and their guests were later titillated and serenaded with the best of African indigenous music by Juju legend, King Sunny Ade. It was a most memorable and splendid celebration for a true Statesman.


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AT THE INVESTITURE OF ROTARIAN ADENIYI ADELAJA AS PRESIDENT ROTARY CLUB OF IKEJA Story: Christiana Adedayo Photo: Segun Lawal

President Adeniyi Adelaja & family with Past Presidents & guests

Mr. Brent Omdahi, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, Rotn Ojuroye, Rotn Adeniyi Adelaja, Outgoing President, Rotn Olaitan Ojuroye, Mrs. Oyinlola Adelaja, Lagos State. SSG, Mr. Tunji Bello ( Representing Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode), Mr. Mike Ayinde (Patron) & Otunba Oladipo Onabanjo (Father Of The Day)

R

otary International founder, Paul P. Harris bequeathed to the world a great legacy when he founded the service organisation in 1905. That legacy has been followed doggedly by millions of Rotary clubs around the world with no signs of abating. One of such clubs is Rotary Club of Ikeja in District 9110 Nigeria which had the investiture of its 51st President and induction of the 2017/18 Board Members and used the opportunity to raise funds for its numerous humanitarian activities planned for the service year. The honour fell upon Rotarian Adeniyi Adelaja who is renowned with the club as a Rotarian par excellence and whose fine qualities and immense contribution to Rotary earned him the position. From the outset, this thoroughbred professional who runs his own outfit, Metro Fitting And Accessories Nigeria Limited-an interior design and decor

The Adelajas

management company has been keen about philanthropy and touching lives. His dream was to launch a foundation that provides for the needy in his community and since his goals were similar to that of Rotary International, he decided to become member, Rotary Club of Ikeja. From member, he began to grow in the club. He became the Service Project Director in 2010-11, Rotary Foundation Chair in 2014-15, Secretary in 2015-16, Vice President 2016-17 and eventually President. The investiture which took place at Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja, Lagos, witnessed the presence of eminent Nigerians which included: the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode as the Special Guest of honour and Ambassador of the United States of

America to Nigeria, Mr. Williams Stuart Symington as the Guest Speaker, amongst others. The fun-filled event also witnessed a fundraising session before the entertainment and merriment kicked off. In his speech, the Pacesetter President said his star project was the refurbishment of a dilapidated school in Ikeja but noted that he was also going to embark on projects in other areas such as: Healthcare, water and sanitation, peace and conflict resolution, skill acquisition as well as Public Relations. He stated that he would work closely with his Board Members and was optimistic that with the numerous programmes lined up, Rotary Club of Ikeja is sure to become the best in District 9110 Nigeria this year.

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Mr Brent Omdahi

Mr. Tunji Bello reading Message from Governor Ambode

Pacesetter District Governor, Rotn Adewale Ogunbadejo

Past Assistant Governor, Ayo Olumoko

Past President Simi Fasehun ( Chairman, Investiture Committee)

President Adeniyi Adelaja delivering his speech

Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Obafemi Craig

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Mr. Lekan Ogunbanwo

Brent Omdahi with Past District Governor, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi


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Miss Tola Adelaja, Past President (Chief) Olusegun Osunkeye, Atarah Adelaja, Pace Setter President Rotn. Adeniyi Adelaja, Mrs. Oyinlola Adelaja & Past President Yinka Lawal-Solarin

Past President Niyi Osidele, Assistant Governor Ade Oyenekan, Rotn Adeniyi Adelaja, Atarah Adelaja, Oyinlola Adelaja, Adegboyega Adelaja & Rotn Jide Olayinka

Past President Yinka Lawal-Solarin, Mr. Yinka Sonaike & Capt Kola Awosika

Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila & Mr. Michael Effiong ( Editor, Ovation International Mag)

Mr & Rotn (Mrs) Lawal-Solarin, President, Wife , Rotn & Rotn (Mrs)Ojuroye

Past Assistant Governor Tunji Ola with President Adeniyi Adelaja

Past Assistant Governor Oladipo Onabanjo, Past President Lanre Fasehun, Past Assistant Governor Tunji Ola, Mrs. Fasehun, Past President Niyi Osidele & Rotn Gbenga Badejo

Mike Ayinde ( Patron), Mr. Yinka Sonaike & Past Assistant Governor Oladipo Onabanjo

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Pacesetter District Governor, Rotn. Adewale Ogunbadejo & wife

President with Members of January 9 Collective

Adegboyega Adelaja , President Sam Olaniyi Bolarinde, Past President Simi Fasehun & Rotn Ojuroye

President Rotn Adeniyi Adelaja, Mrs Simisola Onabanjo & Mrs Oyinlola Adelaja

Capt Harrison Kuti

Brent Omdahi & Past President Simi Fasehun ( Chairman Investiture Committee)

Past President Niyi Osidele, Rotn Sola ,Mrs Oyenekan, Past Assistant Governor Akin Olawore, Mrs. Olawore & PAG Oladipo Onabanjo

A guest with Rotn Adeniyi Adelaja & Mr. Tunde Bank-Anthony

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Guest, Rotn Bode Ashogbon , Guest, Mrs Fagbola & Rotn Muyiwa Fagbola


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Mr. Abisoye Fagade, Mr. Jire Anifalaje, Mr Debo Alexander, Prince Adeyemi Aseperi & Mr. Michael Effiong

Past President Tosin Kadiri, Past President Niyi Osidele, Rotn Emeka Ibe , Assistant Governor Ade Oyenekan, Mrs. Bolarinde, Mrs. Olawore, Rotn Akin Olawore, Rotn Jide Olayinka ,Mr Akeem Salam, Rotn Babatunde Olori, Mrs. Simisola Onabanjo, PAG Sam Olaniyi Bolarinde & Mr. Yinka Sonaike

Rotn Gbenga Badejo With Mr & Mrs Kolade James

Assistant Governor Remi Bello

Past Presidents: Rtn Obafusho Peters, PAG Tunji Ola, Rtn. Simi Fasehun, Past District Governor Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, PAG Ayo Olumoko, Rtn Lanre Fasehun, Past District Secretary Akin Olawore & Assistant Governor Ade Oyenekan

Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi with the Adelajas

Adegboyega Adelaja & mum, Mrs. Oyinlola Adelaja

Rotn & Mrs Samson Agbato

Mr. Lanre Adeniyi, Rotn Adeniyi Adelaja & Mr. Awe

Rotn Adeniyi Adelaja & Mr Jide Olukoya

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MADAM HARRIETH IWAJOMO GBABIJO GOES HOME IN GRAND STYLE Story: Opeyemi Omotiso Photo: Segun Lawal

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Cross section of the family

he family and friends of Madam Harriet Gbabijo were confronted with mixed feelings as they gathered to give the God-fearing woman of honour a befitting burial in Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria. As the saying goes, the number of years a person spends on earth and his myriad material accomplishments do not in any way justify his worth but rather it is his great lifestyle, positive influence and selfless works in the course of those years that form the hallmarks of his greatness. Such are the wonderful testimonials that attended the mention of the name of the deceased – testimonials of altruism, selflessness, great positive impact and untainted love for all and sundry. The final journey home of the deceased began with

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a funeral service that held at Ayede-Ikale, Water Side Local Government Area of Ogun State. It was a celebratory mood that pervaded the atmosphere as Pastor Raji Lawrence, the man of God who anchored the service, reiterated that Madam Harriet’s passing was one that called for celebration and thanksgiving rather than mourning particularly as she had lived a fruitful and rewarding life and left many laudable legacies by which she is forever immortalised. The pastor described the deceased as a good and honest woman and a committed Christian whose outlook on life was always positive and one that inspired calm and confidence in everyone who came in touch with her. He had soothing words of comfort for her chil-

Mr. & Mrs. Tony Obot with family members

Mr. & Mrs. Tony Obot

dren charging them not to weep but rejoice because she had gone to rest in heaven and urging them to find comfort in the bible promise that they would meet her again in eternity where there would be no more weeping and sorrow. The interment of the remains followed right after and nothing could stop the tears from flowing freely in an emotion-laden moment as family members performed the dust to dust rites over the casket which had been lowered into the ground. A classy reception was then held on the grounds of the Ayede-Ikale Primary School, Water Side LGA where the guests were entertained with excellent victuals as Ariya Caterers served delicious delicacies.


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Preacher, Pastor Raji Lawrence

Bible reading by Hon. Henry Gbabijo

Officiating Ministers from Christ Apostolic Church, Agbara Olorun Ni Gbani, Akowonjo, Lagos

Pastor Tunde Netufo & Mrs. Ola Tony-Obot

Choir of Christ Apostolic Church, Agbara Olorun Ni Gbani,Akowojo

Mr. & Mrs. Tony Obot

Mr. & Mrs. Oluwafemi

Mr. & Mrs. Abe

Tony Obot, Mrs. Ola Tony-Obot, Rita Eghujovbo & Gift Ukanwoke

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Mr. Tony Obot & Mr. Felix

Mr. & Mrs. Tony Obot with Mr. & Mrs. Ahubelem

Mr. & Mrs. Adesote with Mr. & Mrs. Tony Obot

Mr. & Mrs. Ladi Taiwo, Mrs. Oluwafemi, Rita with Mr. & Mrs. Tony Obot

Pastor Jummy Gbabijo, Halima,Temitope & Mistura

Mr. & Mrs. Tony Obot, Sola Adekola with Bose Ogunbona

Wole Akingbesote, Kunle Daniel & Shina Oludare

Mrs. Ola Tony Obot & Mrs. Funsho

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THE GRAND BURIAL OF

MADAM ESTHER OSALAIYE Story: Elizabeth Onyeneke Photo: Funmilayo Adeyemi

Pastors Adeleye

R

ecently, friends and family of ace broadcaster and OVATION TV General Manager, Segun Adebowale came from far and near to Lagos, Nigeria to support him, as his beautiful wife, Yinka Adebowale’s mother, Madam Esther Ajayi Adebayo Osalaiye was laid to rest. It was always going to be a grand affair given Adebowale’s wide-reaching influence and popularity among his colleagues in the media circle who turned out in their numbers to show love to their buddy. The two-day event took off on Friday with a Christian Wake at Christ Glorious Hope Assembly, Oke Ira, Ogba, Lagos with joyous hymnals and glorious testimonials about the late matriarch who many family

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Alhaji Ajala & Mat Yinka

members and acquaintances affirmed was an epitome of honesty and discipline. Those who knew Madam Esther say she was an elegant and fashionable woman of strong values who instilled in her children, grandchildren and wards those positive values. They say her death leaves shoes too large for anyone to fill as she played an irreplaceable role in the lives of all of those who were close to her. It was why her family spared no cost to give her a befitting farewell. The same church also hosted the funeral service the next day. Revd. Ben Adeleye and other ministers

officiated. Rev. Adeleye urged the congregation to imitate the worthy virtues of the deceased while admonishing the Osalaiyes that the best way to immortalize their late matriarch was to uphold her values and philosophy of selflessness. Later she was interred after a brief ceremony at Atan Cemetery in Yaba, amidst tears. A few hours later, guests were hosted to a reception at the 7 Stars Events Centre on Akilo Road, Ogba,this was indeed an occasion that exhibited the celebration of a fulfilled life. Guests had their fill of sumptuous delicacies and fine wines while being serenaded by juju impresario, Wale Thompson.


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Biodun & Dele Agbale

Michael Effiong, Editor, Ovation International

Pastor Debola Odimayo, Pastors Adeleye, Deaconess Yinka, Deacon Segun & Pastor Lanre

Lizzy, Funmi, Yinka & Grace

Grandchildren with Deaconness Yinka & Pastor Shade

Deceased Children with Pastor Debola Odimayo

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Segun, Temitope & Lanre Adebayo

Mr. Shuaib Hussien, Mr. Biodun Kupoluyi with Mr. & Mrs. Segun Adebowale

Mr. Segun Adebowale, Felicity & Ambrose Uduehi

Mr. Segun Adebowale & friends

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Wale Thompson performing

Sisters Funmi Adetiba, Debby Popoola & Ithohan


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BENIN NATIONAL CONGRESS HONOURS

I

CHIEF JOHN ODIGIE-OYEGUN

t was joy galore for Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria as he was honored by the influential Benin National Congress (BNC). The event which was attended by prominent indigenes of Edo State saw Chief Odigie-Oyegun bestowed with the 9th Benin National Merit Award at an event tagged “Benin Fundamental Reception” According to Mr. Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo, BNC President, the event was hosted to project the organic attributes of the average Benin man which include resilience in the face of daunting challenges and uprightness in community-related agitations.

IN BENIN CITY, EDO STATE

He noted that Chief OdigieOyegun’s choice was endorsed by the Board of Trustees of the Benin National Congress for celebration because of his steadfastness, honesty and the role he played in stabilizing the nation while President Buhari was on medical vacation. In his remarks, an elated Chief Oyegun noted that “The timing of the investiture was significant given that I had just survived another attempted coup which died with a whimper. For a Bini group, my own people to say ‘oga we want to honour you’, I thought finally yes I deserved this honour. I thank you for doing this to me. This is one of my proudest moments.“

Chief Oyegun, flanked by Comrade Aiyamenkue Edokpolo, President Benin National Congress (left), Mrs. Victorial Oyegun & Rev. Peter Obadan, Deputy Governor to Chief Oyegun

Chief Oyegun arriving

Blessing of Kolanut

Hon. Orobosa Omo-Ojo, JP in a handshake with Bar. Anselm Ojezua, APC Chairman, Edo State & Senator Mathew Urhoghide

Lawrence Okah, Secretary, APC Edo State with chief oyegun

Justice Aluyi (rtd), AIG Parry Osayande & Dr. Alli

Festus Keyamo, SAN, Mrs. Josephine Aneneh & Justice Uwaifo (rtd)

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The splendor of Edo Culture on display

Prof., Sir Victor Uwaifo, former Commisioner for Arts and Culture

Dr. Okonobo, former speaker of Edo State House of Assembly

Prince Eweka & wife

Hon. Omorede Osifo, former commissioner for Sports, and former Commissioner for Arts and Culture, Edo State with others

His Excellency, Lucky Imasuen, former Deputy Governor, Edo State (left)

Dr. Egberanmwen Odubu, former Deputy Governor of Edo State with wife

Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu

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The priceless award, ‘Ogbe Eni’ (Brave warrior) of Benin Kingdom presented to Chief Oyegun

Chief Oyegun’s children


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Ovation magazine issue 176  

Ovation magazine issue 176

Ovation magazine issue 176  

Ovation magazine issue 176

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