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Deputy President of the Senate mourns veteran actor, Samanja



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By Iyojo Ameh

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau I. Jibrin, has expressed his deepest condolences to the family of the late Usman Baba Pategi, popularly known as Samanja Mazan Fama.

Samanja, a retired Nigerian Army personnel, actor, and broadcaster who captivated Nigerians with his unique talent in Hausa comedy in the 80s, died on Sunday in Kaduna at the age of 81.

The Deputy President of the Senate, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Ismail Mudashir, acknowledged Samanja’s vital role in cultural enrichment and promoting unity through his craft.

“In this time of sorrow, I extend heartfelt sympathies to Samanja’s family, friends, and the entire entertainment industry. His legacy will endure in the hearts of those who enjoyed his work and his impact on the cultural landscape will be remembered with gratitude.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. May Allah SWT grant him paradise and give his family the strength to bear this irreparable loss,” he said.

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Arts and Life

PDP, Lawmakers, Journalists, others eulogize Ex -NOA DG at 60



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By David Odama

Stakeholders, Opposition People’s Democratic party, Journalists and other Nigerians have called for recognition and celebration of Nigerian who have paid their dues by contributing to the unity and growth of the nation.

Speaking while rejoicing with the former National Orientation Agency NOA Director General, Mike Omeri at 60 said recognition of eminent Nigerians who have paid their dues would not only encourage hard work, unity of purpose and growth but spur others to put in there best in there field of endeavours.

Chairman of the People’s Democratic party PDP in Nasarawa state, Hon. Francis Orogu in a congratulatory message to Dr mike Omeri, regretted that rather than glorifying Nigerians especially those saddled with higher responsibilities, have been celebrating mediocres and those he said have brought sorrows, hardship to the country.

“We have celebrated enough mediocres in the past those who have contributed and sacrifice their time working for the unity, growth and togetherness of of our country should recognized and celebrated.
This will not only spur others to put in their best and moke Nigeria a better place to live in”, Orogu stated.

While praying God to give the former NOA DG more rewarding years, Orogu also wished him ample and adequate strength to forge ahead in sound health, more wisdom, guidance and protection.

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Also felicitating with Dr Omeri on his 60th birthday, PDP Lawmakers in the Nasarawa state House of Assembly called on the people of the state to continue to pay tribute to leaders who have exemplified themselves in their life time. succeed.
According to the Lawmakers, the achievements and important life moments deserve to be recognized and celebrated adding that Mike’s contribution to the stability of the state would continue to linger in Nasarawa state.

They however acknowledged the support the support they received during their electoral campaigns and prayed God to give him a peaceful life in his remaining time on earth.

While describing NOA former DG as a broad-minded Nigerian who has continually embraced unity, peace, tolerance and oneness in his public and private life which has earned him admirers widely, called on Omeri to continue to live a life full of admiration.

Some Journalist who spoke on the former information commissioner in Nasarawa state described him as an outstanding media practitioner, a politician and a dogged fighter for democracy


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Arts and Life

Kalu: Calmness, Emotional Intelligence of a Presiding Officer



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By Chimma Josephine

“It is reason, which must guide our deliberations, guide our debate, and guide our decision.” – Barbara Jordan

Ever since his election as a Deputy Speaker and Presiding Officer of the House of Representatives on June 13, 2023, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has displayed calmness and emotional intelligence as well as the temperament required of the role during plenary proceedings.

Elementarily, the presiding officer in the case of the House of Representatives, the Speaker or Deputy Speaker’s duty is to preside over the daily sessions of the House, preserve order in the chamber, direct proceedings amongst others.

The role requires the holder; Speaker or Deputy Speaker to be calm, control his or her emotions and be of good temperament to treat members of his House as equals of which he or she is first amongst them.

Rt. Hon. Kalu, a lawyer and two time member representing, Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State has had encounters while presiding over plenary which tested his calmness and emotional control, but he showed dexterity in all of them.

The Deputy Speaker is known to be warm hearted, affectionate and a lover of peace. He exude kindness and compassion in such an inspiring way!

His love for humanity led him to launch the Benjamin Kalu Foundation many years ago for helping the less privileged.

As a peace advocate, in December 2023, he launched an initiative known as the Peace in South East Project, PISE-P which canvasses the adoption of a non-kinetic approach to resolving the problem of insecurity bedeviling the South East.

The Deputy Speaker said that his goal for initiating Peace In South East Project was also to foster peace, unity and development in the region and promote reconciliation among communities and individuals affected by past conflicts.

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This laudable initiative has garnered commendations and support from the presidency and Nigerians from every region of the country. Just recently, on July 8, the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji (Dr.) Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu during a visit to Deputy Speaker expressed his readiness for a stronger collaboration between the northern and the southern regions with regards to peace and unity of the country.

Speaking through Hon. Ibrahim Bala, a former member of Bauchi State House of Assembly, the Emir said that they heard about the Peace In South East Project and decided to identify with the initiative.

As a presiding officer of the House, Kalu always makes sure that every member is carried along and made to feel at home. While presiding he ensures that the session is participatory allowing ranking and new members to debate on issues.

An instance was seen some weeks back when Hon. Bello El-rufai made a contribution to a motion.

Encouraging him, the Deputy Speaker said, “Very sound presentation, I’m always proud of the young parliamentarians, when you ventilate issues in this manner, it’s very impressive, It’s very impressive.”

Also on May 29th, the Deputy Speaker allowed many members both ranking and new, regardless of party affiliation to robustly contribute to the debate on the nation’s 25 years of unbroken democracy.

Kalu’s competence, capacity, and having good knowledge of legislative processes has never been in doubt. He has efficiently carried out his duties and as well ensured that his colleagues who are first timers are encouraged and well guarded on legislative processes.

In and out of the chambers, he has proven that love is the highest vibration and hate is the lowest, so we benefit ourselves by loving all unconditionally.

However to the surprise and shock of many, on July 2nd, a first time lawmaker Hon. Cyril Hart accused Kalu of marginalising first-timers during debates on the floor of the House

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In his response, Kalu stated that all members of the parliament are colleagues and equal irrespective of their political affiliations, economic or social backgrounds.

He said that being a presiding officer, principal officer or chairman of a committee is a privilege granted by both the leave of the House and the mandate of the members, emphasizing that the position does not presuppose superiority.

He therefore stated that there is no discrimination of any member whether old or new, ranking or no ranking.

He further clarified that the row where the member was sitting had earlier been given an opportunity to speak, stressing that other rows also needed to be accommodated.

He emphasized that the 10th House under the able leadership Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas will continue to be fair, just and open to every member and ensure that all voices are heard.

Few days later, at the plenary on July 9, Hon. Philip Agbese, a first timer raised a point of order, stating that his privilege were breached by Hon. Hart, as his claim according to him was not true.

He thereafter demanded an apology from Hart.

Agbese said, “Mr Speaker sometime last week, I was returning from an international parliamentary assignment back to the country when I was confronted by a parliamentarian from Ghana. At the airport in Accra, I was confronted with a question emanating from the conduct or the position of one of my colleagues that new members of this parliament are not allowed to speak.

‘My constituents equally threatened on Facebook and other platforms regretting that they sent a new member to the House. There has never been anytime any new member was not allowed to speak, and not myself. My colleague has injured my reputation, my privilege as a member of this house was breached and I move that the member who made that comment should tender an apology to Me, Chief Philip Agbese and some of my colleagues who feel like they do not belong to that category.”

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But Kalu as a peace advocate and a gentleman, appealed for calm, informing the lawmaker that Hon. Hart has tendered an apology privately to him.

Kalu said “the issue you raised about the generalized comment made by one of our colleagues, stating that new members were not allowed to speak, it went viral, this is a global community, they can reach you via internet anywhere you are, information travel very fast. You’re right to say to say that you’re a new member and nobody has shortchanged you, or stopped you from speaking. I know also that the leadership of this house have tried severally to carry the new members along in all things.

“Like I said last week there’s no discrimination in this parliament, we are all colleagues. The hon. Member (Cyril Hart) has tendered an apology to me and I am sure that any member who felt aggrieved he will find time to meet you and apologize to you. It’s a process of learning for new members, we will keep encouraging them and protecting them to feel comfortable whenever they have an issue to raise. Let me maintain, nobody will deny new members their rights in this parliament. Your point of order is hereby sustained.”

The manner and candour in which Kalu handle such issues when they erupt, depicts emotional intelligence which is the ability to recognise, understand and choose how one thinks, feels, and acts; shaping interactions with others and understanding of oneself.

Chimma Josephine writes from Rivers

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Business and Economy

SMEDAN Idea Film Academy Begins Campaign Against Crimes, Urges Youths To Focus On Creative Skills Acquisition



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The SMEDAN Idea Film Academy, has premiered its movie in Lagos State titled “Fitila”.

Speaking at the event held in Film House, IMAX Lekki, Lagos State, the CEO of the Academy, Mr Adeolu Adeyemo said the programme was in partnership with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN.

Mr Adeyemo who is also the Executive Producer of the Movie stated that the movie was part of the Academy contributions towards campaigning against youth involvement in drug abuse and trafficking, involvement in social vices and eradication of crimes in the society among others.

“Instead of engaging in all these social vices and crimes, the Academy is positioned to promote creative SMEs in the entertainment/movie industry in order to engage the youths meaningfully through skills training and acquisition in our Academy and that’s what led to the production of this movie *FITILA* He said.

According to him, the aim of the movie is to support Federal Government efforts to send a positive message to Nigerians most especially the youths towards ensuring a better Nigeria.

In a remark, a Youth Leader and Police Reform Advocate Leader, Mr Segun Awosanya who commended the storyline of the movie and the Academy said the movie would go a long way in combating social vices in the country.

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Also speaking, a former Chairman of Police Service Welfare Commission, Mr Kenny Martins described drug abuse as one of the factors responsible for the high rate of crimes in the society and called for the support of both Government and stakeholders to the Academy towards enhancing campaign for youth empowerment through Creative Skill Acquisition against social vices and other crimes in the society.

On his part, a Nollywood Veteran and Major Actor in the movie, Mr Kunle Coker who expressed delight over the establishment of SMEDAN Idea Film Academy called for measures and policy that will make Nigerian youths more productively engaged to enable them contribute their quota to national peace and development.

Other Stakeholders who equally spoke at event said Nigeria would be a better place if crimes and criminality are effectively tackled.

The Premiering of “Fitila” is expected to also hold in Abuja on the 20th of July, 2024 at Silverbird Cinema, Central Area District Abuja.

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