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Encomiums as Okodu Bows out of NCC



Mr Durojaiye Anthony Okodu

Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has on Friday organized a 

Okodu , also known as “Baba Naira”, as he bowed out of NCC having reached the mandatory retirement age of 60 years and after 28 years of meritorious service.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr Okodu has been described by colleagues as an unusually calm, friendly, stylish and very considerate staff of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The staff described him as “A man without negative airs, yet he carries himself with the avuncular grace. His physical persona is marked by an exceptional gait that matches his physique.

“A man of naturally tall framing devoid of excessive fat that makes him able to move swiftly and magisterially. Importantly, Okodu’s humility and affable disposition easily endear him to everyone.”

Okudu began his career at the Commission in July 1994, as a cashier on transfer from the erstwhile Ministry of Communications, where he was headhunted by a former director of the Commission, Felicia Onwuegbuchulam. From then on, he had risen through the ranks, before eventually retiring as a Principal Manager, Projects, at NCC.

At the well-attended valedictory session, staff, friends, and well-wishers of Okudu, paid glowing tributes in torrents to the man who can aptly be described as man of the people.

Many were nostalgic and poignant while others were joyous, optimistic and introspective that Okodu would thrive in the next phase of his life.

In her remark, the NCC’s Director, Projects, Iyabode Solanke, who was Okodu’s last supervisor before his retirement, and who was also  Okodu’s Head of Department while they both worked at the Commission’s Department of Financial Services, extolled the retiree for his dedication, as well as his dressing code and excellent work ethics, which she said are worthy of emulation.

Sholanke was represented by a Deputy Director in the department, Philip Eretan, who also attended the valedictory session in his own capacity as a friend of Okodu.

In the same vein, NCC’s Director, Zonal Operations, Amina Shehu, in her goodwill message, stated that in every interaction she had with Okodu, she had observed his stellar qualities, such as empathy, kindness, and gentleness. She added that he was also consistent in everything he did.

For Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC’s Director, Public Affairs, who also attended the valedictory party, anyone would be easily impressed by Okodu’s level of dedication to duty, which has become a mark of Okodu’s outings and career at the Commission.

Adinde said that Okodu was not merely ever-present whenever he was needed most, he also, every so often, displays emotional intelligence, and never lost his temper no matter the level of provocation.

“I am also impressed by Okodu’s social networking skills which had enabled him to remain connected with every staff,” Adinde emphasised.

The Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, at the Commission, Ephraim Nwokonneya, profoundly recalled the attributes exhibited by Okodu that are so quite distinctive when he had the opportunity of working with Okodu in the Financial Services Department of the Commission.

Nwokonneya said when he was assigned to the Department of Financial Services of the Commission as a Principal Manager, he had worked closely with Okodu, who characteristically was full of zeal and energy.

He said Okodu was very efficient and easily endeared himself to everyone. Nwokonneya encouraged him to look at retirement as a time of rejuvenation, reflection and prosperity.

A longtime companion and friend of Okodu, who was so evidently elated at Okodu’s befitting retirement, Olatokunbo Oyeleye, a Deputy Director at the New Media and Information Security Department of the Commission, said Okodu made her beginnings at the Commission a wonderful experience.

To Oyeleye, Okodu is more than a colleague, “he is a brother,” she said and proceeded to recall with gratitude when she joined the Commission as a fresh graduate, “Okodu and his wife accommodated me, taking me under their wings”.

This humane side of Okudu was underscored by Hafsat Lawal, Head, Consumer Policy Development and Monitoring, who asserted that Okudu was a mentor and a friend in need.

“He is reliable and dependable, exuding high level of understanding in all matters and he would go out of his way to ensure everyone was comfortable,” Lawal said.

Former staff of the Commission were also not left out of the celebration.

Among them, who attended and poured encomiums on Okodu, are Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, who retired from NCC as Director Consumer Affairs two years ago, and Abubakar Yakubu, a former Director at the Commission who voluntarily retired in 2019.

Onwuegbuchulam, a noted friend and confidant of Okodu who influenced Okodu to join the Commission 28 years ago, said she had no regrets in recommending Okudu to the Management of the Commission at the time.

She said she was gratified that Okodu did not only had a chequered career at the Commission, he also excelled remarkably.

Yakubu, in a goodwill message he sent to the valedictory programme which was read on his behalf, praised Okodu for his dedication to the Commission.

He declared that Okodu was one of the few staff who would work long hours, and would even work at home.

He added that Okodu’s commitment and relentlessness to delivering on his assigned duties were total and spectacular.

Okudu, who spoke at the end of the speeches, thanked the audience and all those who had honoured him with their presence and kind words.

Reflecting on the occasion with philosophical calmness and thanksgiving to God, Okodu said there had to be an end to every beginning but he thanked God for the privilege to witness his retirement day alive.

While expressing delight over all the goodwill messages received, he enjoined the younger staff who would be taking over the baton, to be hardworking.

He also advised that Commission can only thrive if staff remain hardworking in a consistent manner, and are dedicated and loyal to the Commission.

Other contributors at the event included Ajoke Atte, Head, Procurement; Solomon Igbayue, Assistant Director, Policy Competition and Economic Analysis; Emeka Nnama, Senior Manager, Zonal Operations; and Anthony Bassey, Senior Manager, Administration, all staff of the Commission who extolled Okodu’s distinctive virtues and dedication to the aspirations of the Commission. They all wished Okodu a life of grace and bliss in retirement.

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Gawuna, APC reject Kano governorship election, ask INEC to declare exercise inconclusive



Aminu Abdullahi

All Progressives Congress governorship candidate in the last Saturday gubernatorial election, Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna on Tuesday rejected the declaration of Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party NNPP as the winner of the poll in Kano state.

KANO FOCUS reports that Gawuna in his first public appearance after the poll, spoke during a press conference by the party in the state capital.

The Deputy Governor who admitted that power comes from Almighty Allah, however said he aligned with the positions of the party which among others gave INEC 7 days ultimatum to declared the governorship poll inconclusive.

Gawuna who was in the company of party leaders, said it was astonishing that with the same election, 16 of the House of Assembly elections held same day and same conditions were declared inconclusive by INEC.

Meanwhile, the APC in Kano has rejected the announcement of Abba Kabir Yusif of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) as winner of the just concluded governorship election in Kano calling for immediate review of the election result by the electoral umpire within seven days.

The APC chairman, who was represented by the party’s legal adviser, Abdul Adamu Fagge insists that the election should be declared inconclusive because the cancelled votes were greater than the margin between the first and the second parties of NNPP and APC respectively as provided by the Electoral Act.

Fagge said that there was no way the election could be declared conclusive with over 270,000 votes cancelled which a margin shows is bigger than the winner’s votes.

The party also drew attention to the cancellation of sixteen House of Assembly elections in the state, sighting violence as the reason, while the same votes were considered in collating the governorship election.

It expressed dismay saying the two elections took place same day, same time, same places and under the same circumstances.

Fagge said, “based on section 65 of the Electoral Laws 2022, we have written to INEC to revisit and cancel the hasty, wrong and selfish declaration of the NNPP as winner of the elections, and declared the conduct inconclusive”.

He said they have since written to INEC to within seven days revisit the elections based on the provisions of the Electoral laws and declare it Inconclusive.

The Legal Adviser  explained that INEC Returning Officer, acted not on the only basis of the provisions of laws.

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Kano govt lifts dawn to dusk curfew



Abdullahi Ganduje

Mukhtar Yahaya Usman

The Kano State Government has lifted the dawn-to-dusk curfew imposed in the state.

KANO FOCUS  reports that the state government on Monday imposed the curfew with a view to avoiding a breakdown of law and order.

The order followed tensions generated from the collation of results of the governorship and state Assembly elections.

The state Commissioner for Information and Internal Affairs, Muhammad Garba, made the announcement lifting the curfew in a statement issued on Monday night.

He said the decision to lift the curfew followed a careful review of the situation and the relative calm throughout the state.

The commissioner called on commercial banks, public servants and the people in the state to continue their normal activities.

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2023: Abba Kabir Yusuf wins Kano governorship election



Aminu Abdullahi 

The New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, has defeated the All Progressive Party to win Saturday’s governorship election in Kano State.

KANO FOCUS reports that Abba Kabir Yusuf of the NNPP was declared the winner with 1,019,602 votes against his closest rival, APC’s candidate, Nasir Gawuna, who polled 890,705 votes.

The Independent National Electoral Commission Returning officer, Prof Ahmad Doko Ibrahim, announced Yusuf as the winner of the Kano gubernatorial election on Monday morning.

The declaration brought intense electioneering and Saturday election in Kano to an end as two ‘king makers’ – former Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and incumbent Governor Abdullahi Ganduje – in the state tested their might. While Kwankwaso backed Yusuf, Ganduje routed for Gawuna, his deputy, to succeed him.

Yusuf’s profile 

Born to the family of Malam Kabiru Yusuf and Malama Khadijatul-Naja’atu in Gaya Local Government Area of Kano State on 5th January 1963, Abba attended Sumaila primary school between 1968 and 1975.

He then proceeded to Government Secondary School Dawakin Tofa and later moved to Government Secondary school Lautai in Gumel where he completed his secondary education in 1980.

Abba Kabir Yusuf bagged a National Diploma (ND) from the Federal Polytechnic Mubi in 1985 and a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Civil Engineering from Kaduna Polytechnic in 1989.

He later obtained a postgraduate diploma in management and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Bayero University, Kano.

Gida-Gida’s grandfather, Alhaji Yusuf Bashari, under whom the NNPP governorship candidate started his Islamic education, was Danmakwaiyon Kano and a former District Head of Gaya.

Abba Gida-Gida began his career with the Kano State Water Resources Engineering and Construction Agency (WRECA), Kano State Water Board and later moved to the state Ministry of Water Resources where he held various positions.

He was appointed as Personal Assistant to the then Kano State Governor, Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso and later Special Assistant (Administration) between 1999 – 2003.

Abba worked again with Kwankwaso from 2003 to 2006 when the former governor of Kano State was appointed Minister of Defence.

He served as the Special Assistant to the Special Adviser to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Darfur/Somalia until 2007.

Abba was also appointed by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua as the chairman, Governing Board of the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), Ondo State from 2009 to 2011.

During Kwankwaso’s second tenure in office, Abba was appointed as the First Principal Private Secretary (PPS) to the governor; and subsequently the state’s Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport.

The closely contested 2019 governorship election in Kano between the PDP and the ruling APC brought Abba Gida-Gida to the limelight.

Kwankwaso’s anointed candidate contested against the incumbent Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in an election that was declared inconclusive; but lost after a rerun.

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