Highlife With Lanre Alfred

High Life…Amazing lifestyles of Nigeria’s rich and famous

Knowledge of divine things for the most part are lost to man by incredulity. Thus bothered by the foul whisperings about his new bride at home and abroad, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has responded to bearers of malicious rumours stating that, his new wife, Wuraola, was a divine gift from the gods. According to him, Wuraola’s ascent to the throne, his bedroom and inner cockles of his heart, was divinely ordained. Simply put, Olori Wuraola, the new queen of Ife kingdom, emerged by a supernatural procedure; she was handpicked by the divine oracle of Ile Ife.

While many were of the opinion that the Ooni and Wuraola were dating before he married her and that the new queen lived a seedy life on the fast lane before her marriage to the Ife monarch, Oba Adeyeye’s family have cleared the air. They also alleged that Ifa Oracle picked Wuraola because she might be a solution needed in the rulings of King Ogunwusi Adeyeye. According to them, the King never met Wuraola before, it was the oracle that revealed her to Kabiyesi. The irunmole are still alive and they are doing wonders, according to the Ogunwusi ruling house.

The ceremonies have ended. The husband has taken his wife home. Whatever anybody says or feels, the process of increasing Nigeria’s population must have begun in the confines of the Ooni of Ife’s home. It was gathered that before Oba Adeyeye emerged as the Ooni, his marriage to his estranged wife, Adebukola, had already hit the rocks but they lived together. Now that he is married to Olori Wuraola, what will happen to Adebukola? Are they divorced now? Or is she going to remain the respectable Oba’s first wife? What will be her fate now?

African sweethearts…From late Maryam to Aisha Babangida, a better life gift to Nigerian women

If the legacy of heroines is truly the memory of a great name and bequest of a great example, then the former first lady of the country, late Maryam Babangida, has left an enviable legacy for her wards and family. Maryam no doubt left behind big shoes for her children to fill. The late wife of former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd.) will forever excite fond thoughts in the hearts of millions of Africans. There is no gainsaying she was both an African and Nigerian sweetheart. She transformed lives positively and established a legacy that remains phenomenal even as you read.

Last Saturday the memory of the iconic woman was honoured at Tungan Ashere Adult Literacy Centre, Gaku District, Zuba Abuja-FCT Abuja as 52 women graduated from the Better Life Programme for the African Rural Woman Adult Literacy programme, an initiative of late Maryam. The 52 women who could not read and write completed their 12 months course; not only can majority of them now read and write, they can also express themselves in English Language. The special event which was aimed at encouraging the female students within these communities to embrace literacy began with a brief history of Better Life Programme for the African Rural Woman.

The baton has since been passed on to Maryam’s daughter, Hajiya Aisha Babangada, who has tried to achieve even more than her mother did. The new leadership of the non-governmental organisation (NGO), headed by Aisha, shares and respects the vision and mission of the organisation as founded by her late mother. In August 2012, Aisha embarked on a charity programme tagged, “Servant Learners,” whereby youth volunteers from different professional and educational backgrounds came together to offer free services to communities. Tungan Ashere community was identified and picked for the pilot phase of the programme because of its location and the needs of the people despite their closeness to the nation’s capital.

Rainoil Boss, Gabriel Ogbechie, plans high-octane 50th anniversary
Gabriel Ogbechie has attained the golden age of 50 and he will celebrate it to high heavens. Stylish, exquisite and unassuming, the billionaire oil magnate and owner of Rainoil will celebrate his golden jubilee in grand style come the month of May. Gabriel is ready to spare no expense to celebrate this milestone as he is known for his love for good life. Though a quiet man, one would have to get very close to him to know that he never dithers from acquiring the finest luxury money can buy. As you read, he has scenic houses scattered around Nigeria and choice cars, to mention a few of his enviable acquisitions.

Many wouldn’t have forgotten so soon the luxurious birthday party he threw for his wife, Gabriel Ogbechie, when she turned 50 in October last year. The celebration was the talk of the town, as he spared nothing to make it memorable for her. Now, it is his turn to be spoiled and feted. Gabriel’s family and friends can hardly wait to celebrate him as he attains this momentous breakthrough in his life.

Kingsley Kuku and his second wife, Chika, serenade first wife, Tonbra, on her birthday
If diseases are the tax on pleasures, then President Muhammadu Buhari is the nemesis to every light-fingered public officer. No sooner did he become President than the political and socioeconomic spaces began to undergo a spasmodic and definitive operational and philosophical reset. Take the hilarious case of Kingsley Kuku for instance, despite his initial posturing, the former Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs, is scared silly of the invitation extended to him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Kuku is yet to honour the EFCC’s invitation for questioning on allegations of fraud. He had earlier failed to appear before the commission on July 28, a few weeks after the anti-graft agency invited him for interrogation; citing a knee injury, for which he was receiving treatment at St Andrew Hospital, Alabama in the United States (US), as his reason for ignoring the invitation of the agency.

He also denied claims that he was a fugitive, emphasising that he was a patriotic Nigerian, who would return home to clear his name. Unlike most husbands, Kingsley hardly reminds his wives “of an orang-utan trying to play the violin.” And unlike the late French writer, Honoré de Balzac, Kingsley’s first wife has no reason to doubt or disdainfully analyse the character and depth of her husband’s love for her in such manner. Last Sunday, Kingsley and his second wife gave his first wife, Tonbra, a –never-to-be-forgotten birthday. It was a big celebration galore. However, contrary to insidious speculation that her marriage to Kingsley would not survive the ravages of fame and celebrity lure, when Kingsley took a second wife, Chika, Tombra navigates the tumultuous terrains of matrimony with towering confidence and a gait that bespeaks an inviolate inner peace and contentment – which makes her a sight for sore eyes amidst the banalities of everyday turbulent matrimony.

For Yakowa’s widow, reality bites….very hard too
Vows leap like vain air from the lips of a man’s best friends in the wake of his death – especially when those promises are made to his children and the widow he left behind. Ask Amina Yakowa, the widow of former Kaduna State governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa. Amina has finally seen through the heartfelt ‘promises’ of friends and political associates of her late husband; they all lied. It would be recalled that immediately after the former governor of Kaduna died in a helicopter crash in the company of former defence chief, General Azazi, late Yakowa’s friends, fellow governors and political associates pledged to move the world in favour of Amina, the widow he left behind.

But ever since they uttered their promises, none of them has endeavoured to fulfill his pledge, thus leaving the poor widow desolate and helpless, particularly now that she has run into hard times. Following their desertion, Amina has awakened to the sad reality of the emptiness and absurdity of mortal pledge. Yakowa’s widow wonders even as you read where all those people who promised her heaven and earth when her husband died, have absconded to. Those that promised to reduce the sky to a skyscraper and do their best to lighten her grief have dumped her like a bad habit. Such is the depth of the human pledge, it’s as shallow as a fresh brook.

British Airways’ shabby treatment of Nigerians
British Airways (BA), is desperately in pursuit of two passenger divides: one Nigerian, and the other, for the rest of the world; the two divides, though informally perpetuated, are separate and unequal. British Airways authorities no doubt consider its Nigerian passengers minions and expendable; little wonder the airline subjects Nigerians to the worst treatment possible. Like recalcitrant racists, desperate to preserve the perks and privileges enjoyed by whites in the slave era, British Airways, the United Kingdom’s most viable air carrier, doles haughtily, hideous barbs on every flight. It doesn’t matter whether you travel first class, business class or economy class, as long as you are Nigerian, British Airways staff will shove you alongside fellow Nigerians into a rickety, poorly ventilated and badly serviced airplane.

No matter what class you travel, as long as you are Nigerian, you will be treated to vile tasting meals – usually accompanied by dried out salad. This has become worrisome considering the huge profit the British carrier makes from Nigeria; despite its discourteous and scornful cabin crew and ticketing office staff, hordes of Nigerians including superrich industry titans, politicians, celebrities and ever ubiquitous fortune seekers continually throng its corridors and aisle thus justifying the airline’s shabby treatment of Nigerians. More worrisomely, Nigerians have learnt to turn a blind eye to such an eyesore simply because of the oft overwhelming excitement coursing through their psyches at being able to leave Nigeria. Regardless of the individual reasons people constantly troop to travel by BA, it gives the airline no reason to disregard and be contemptuous of its Nigerian clients.