HighLife With Kayode Alfred

....Amazing Lifestyles Of Nigeria's rich and Famous

Abike Dabiri-Erewa: Amazon with a Difference at 59

There are individuals for whom seven resounding hearty cheers are not sufficient. For such people, we must blow trumpets, beat drums, render accolades and recite a litany of exploits. The Chairman and CEO of Nigerian in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Honourable Abike Kafayat Dabiri-Erewa, is one of such individuals. As she clocked 59 on October 10, 2021, the entire country was reminded of her amazing contributions to its growth and development, as well as the welfare of its people within and outside its shores.

Many prominent and ordinary Nigerians made it a priority to celebrate the amazon and commend her for her commitment and adherence to duty in the past few years. The Nigerian social media space was chock-full with honourable mentions of Dabiri-Erewa’s good works. By every indication, the woman remains affable in disposition, grand in aspiration, and gracious in conversation.

Dabiri-Erewa has come a long way from being the face of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). What has not changed at all is her burning passion for social justice and fairness. This did not change when she debated with her peers on the floors of the House of Representatives. They did not change when President Muhammadu Buhari appointed her his Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora. Even now, as the face and fortune of NIDCOM, Dabiri-Erewa’s passion for the plight of the common people has not changed.

At 59, Dabiri-Erewa exhibits a brand of valour that is rarely seen among men and women of this age. It is the kind of proletarian nobility that charges to the frontlines with little care without egocentricity or a bloated impression of self-worth. Thus far, Dabiri-Erewa has represented and fought for all people, as long as they are Nigerian, without caring for their gender, ethnic or religious background, socio-economic status or the accolades they may pay her for a job well done.
This is what folks so openly celebrated; this blend of tenacity and grace that is Dabiri-Erewa. Indeed, she is a true person of the people.

Triumph, Grace of Raymond Dokpesi at 70

“So, my advice: it may not be easy, it may sound foolish, it may sound anyhow; with my experience, two wives is the best!” This argument from an interview of an unnamed elder is contained in one of the most distributed video clips from 2020. That statement elicited a round of applause in many ethnic and religious corners of Nigeria. However, in recent days, the argument of a prominent media entrepreneur is contrary. This person insists that entertaining polygamy was the biggest mistake he ever made. Even as he prepares to clock 70, his narrative is blowing across the nation’s social media space.

The Nigerian mass media industry is currently tying up every loose end and temporarily closing down shop as it prepares to celebrate one of the biggest names in the industry, Chief Raymond Anthony Aleogho Dokpesi. The Edo-born media mogul will clock 70 on October 25, 2021. In honour of this day, Dokpesi will launch his book, an autobiography titled ‘The Handkerchief.’

At this time, the higher tiers of Nigerian society are getting ready to shake things as a way of marking the day with Dokpesi. After all, the latter’s blend of natural grace and charm is still very much captivating. What’s more, whereas the celebrant is popular for his distinguished contributions to the growth and development of mass media in Nigeria, Dokpesi is also a successful businessman with multiple fingers in shipping.

The hearts of prominent Nigerians are already stirring for Dokpesi’s autobiography, ‘The Handkerchief’. There can only be one person in Nigerian history who pioneered the first private television network in Nigeria, Africa Independent Television (AIT). His journey through life, the twists and turns that culminated in his rising to the summit of influence and authority in the media industry, is worth anticipating.

Thus, as Dokpesi clocks 70 and marks it off as a day to share his life experiences, folks are reminded of his triumph and grace. Was it not a while ago that he was reportedly held down by the dreaded COVID-19 virus, but survived? Here he is, the man who—in his own words—was expected to have lived for only 35 years. If the life of Dokpesi is not one of triumph and grace, what is?

Greatness in their Family as Another Uduaghan Rises Again

The wise sages of old considered progeny a very important factor and used it to measure the brilliance of families and households. If these sages were still among us today, they might have something to say about the family of former Delta State governor, Dr Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan. Recently, the current governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, appointed Orode Meyiwa Uduaghan to serve as the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

As insiders have commented, Okowa did not appoint Orode to ingratiate himself with her father, Uduaghan. Rather, it is simply because Orode has something of the smarts and compassion that one would expect of a truly representative leader. What greater proof of this fact than the testament of a credible source, Aisha Babangida?

If there is any resident Nigerian who knows to call talents and altruistic advocates of inclusive growth and development, it is Babangida. As one who lives and breathes to see Nigerians in rural areas reach a height never before seen, her words are worth much. Thus, in her describing Orode as “productive and proactive, …well-behaved, …an experienced dynamic leader…”, Babangida is sewing up, inadvertently, whatever gaps Uduaghan’s old rivals might have against the young lady.

While many may remember the new SSA’s father as the medical doctor who became Delta State governor in 2007 and stayed there until 2015, relatively few are familiar with Orode. However, her accomplishments ring with similar echoes as her father’s. In fact, one might even argue that hers ring farther and further because they were born out of a natural will rather than a need to fulfil the requirements of an administrative position.

Orode, even before catching the eyes of Governor Okowa, has been making waves in empowering the growth of small businesses, especially among women in rural areas. Seeds Nigeria is her most recent initiative, clear evidence of her altruism and eligibility for key positions like the SSA for SMEs.
With a daughter like Orode, the future is certainly bright for the Uduaghan family.

For Nasiru Danu, It’s Now a Private Lifestyle

“Try dey enjoy yourself. Wahala no dey finish.” These words of Nigerian street wisdom are gradually gaining ground among the youths of the country. However, it is only a new label of an old phenomenon. Even so, it fits the current lifestyle of a prominent businessman, politician, and philanthropist, Alhaji Nasiru Haladu Danu.

Danu is definitely one of the high-profile Nigerians who has featured in multiple controversies this year, last year, even the year before last year. In other words, there is almost always a new case laid to the charge of the Dan Amana Dutse. Knowing then that “wahala no dey finish”, the man is presently beyond the prying eyes and lens of the people. Evidently, he has now opted for a private lifestyle.
Perhaps flying under the radar is the best option for Danu at the moment considering that nearly every bad odour perceived from the presidency is forcefully attributed to his (Danu’s) posterior.

The most recent accusation is related to the pro-Buhari protest in New York. Some folks have identified Danu as the brain and bank behind what is considered an artificial attempt to dredge up support for President Muhammadu Buhari.

To be sure, one of the main reasons Danu is definitely essentially welded to the eye of the storm is that he has a close relationship with the president. Thus, whenever Danu attempts to travel overseas for vacations or some other purpose, speculations appear out of thin air.

With these being only the tip of the iceberg, one can empathise with the man and commend his decision to hide away until the new storm settles down.

All Set for 20th WIMBIZ Annual Conference
Could there have been a better time in the history of Nigeria for women? Considering the breadth of their influence, no longer can the members of this gender evaluate themselves as weak, inferior, subjugated or suspended on the scaffold of patriarchal whim. In all honesty, with the numerous organisations and opportunities available to women, this is a good time to be female.

Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ) has released new information regarding its forthcoming annual conference slated for November 4 and 5, 2021. Tagged ‘Celebrating Legacy’, this conference is the 20th since WIMBIZ began making waves, inspiring and empowering women to beat the odds against them and stand at the peak of their potential. Even so, this conference will not be any less impressive in meeting its goals.

Among this year’s Chairpersons for the conference are Chief Folake Solanke, the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and Lady Maiden Alex Ibru, the Chairman and Publisher of The Guardian. Although WIMBIZ has made a conservative estimated turnout of between 500 to 1,000 women, the prospect of having either Solanke or Ibru speak on their personal experiences after dispensing timeless wisdom is enough to drive that estimated attendance to 2,500 women or more.

For those who are not in the know regarding the operation of WIMBIZ, the association is a non-profit organisation whose primary mission is to inspire and empower women to attain leadership positions in business, management and public service. Also, the network of corporate relations and opportunities that emerge after every Wimbiz annual conference is enough to clone the women that are at the peak of the country’s corporate ladder. This the organisation has done for the last two decades with the successions of a credible board of trustees, executive council and management team.
With such a track record, the 20th WIMBIZ annual conference is sure to surpass past years’. Thus, regulars and newcomers are making final preparations to start a new wave of successful women in the business and public service space.

Shina Peller: Setting the Record Straight

These are pivotal times as Nigeria and Nigerians prepare for a change of the presidential persona in 2023. Political stakeholders and citizens have already begun the kind of underground and surface campaigns that, in principle, ought to help them steer the minds of the people towards their preferred candidate. Naturally, some of these advertised candidates are more popular than others. Even so, good judgment is required due to the magnitude of the presidential seat at this time.

This is what Honourable Shina Abiola Peller said regarding the forthcoming 2023 elections and the candidature of influential figures like Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The lawmaker representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa federal constituency of Oyo State at the 9th National Assembly had to defend his views recently when he was quoted elsewhere as saying that he did not support Tinubu’s attempt to be the Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR) come 2023.

According to Peller, the high chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is not someone he will so easily write off because he (Peller) has sheltered under Tinubu’s wings as a son hides in the shadows of his father and learns about the convolutions of politics. Peller clarified that he is neither against Tinubu’s presidential ambition nor that of anybody else. All he is saying is that candidates should no longer be rammed down the throat of Nigerians.

Peller argued that the forthcoming 2023 elections cannot be business as usual since the world outside has begun to experience what Nigeria does not even have the good fortune to dream about. Instead, the country has been left far behind—something that extensive political campaigns which are driven by self-interest and stomach infrastructure have a hand in. “We must get it right,” Peller declared, “Our collective decision must be based on promoting peace and unity.”

This is not the first time Peller appears to go against the grain of peer interest and intentions. In recent times, he has been one of the most outspoken legislators on the floors of the House of Representatives. He is, one might conclude, a lawmaker that continues to represent his people and national interest. Even this justification for his views on the approaching general elections demonstrates this.

2023 Election: What Next for Senator Olamilekan Yayi, Governorship or Senate?

With the 2023 general elections breathing down our necks as every day passes, more and more people are finding it difficult to keep a lid on things, particularly their political ambitions. One wave of controversy after another is popping up in every corner of the country. Even so, for figures like Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (alias Yayi), there may be a boundless pool of sunshine behind the cloudiness of speculation.

As one of the few who might be described as more familiar with the tiles and tapestries of the upper chambers of the National Assembly than the janitors, Yayi knows the conditions and costs of political ambition.

In 2011, Yayi went from being a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly (where he represented Alimosho State Constituency 2 between 2003 and 2011) to being a member of the House of Representatives. After a full term (2011-2015), Yayi turned his eyes to the Senate and surprisingly won, becoming a full-fledged senatorial character representing Lagos West. In 2019, he was re-elected, demonstrating his commendable understanding of the interstices of politics and politicking in Nigeria. Now that he has turned his eyes to the gubernatorial, folks are a bit jittery.

That Yayi has been eyeing the Ogun State governorship seat is no longer a secret. Some analysts have explained that considering his career portfolio, there’s no higher ground for Yayi at the moment but the gubernatorial. But does he qualify and upon what basis is this qualification? These are questions that continue to echo in social media space due to the inadequacy of rejoinders so far submitted.

In the meantime, it does not seem as if the man in question is overly flustered. On the way to enjoying two full terms as Senator, Yayi surely has enough clout to vie for the mantle of Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun.

Yayi himself has not spoken about his ambition but it is gaining ground. The new question, therefore, is whether Yayi will continue with his senatorial seat in Lagos state or launch an inter-State campaign strategy that will contest in Ogun state. Time will tell.

Road Master: How Olalekan Adebiyi’s Laralek Construction is Doing the Best Roads in Lagos, Ogun, Other States

Fortune is the force that we credit short miracles and accomplishments to. When these happen again and again or continue for a long stretch of time, we recognise the finger of God. In the work of Olalekan Adebiyi, founder and big boss of LaraLek Ultimate Constructions Limited, the exploits so far cannot be credited to anything other than the grace and empowerment of God.

When Ambode failed to secure a second term, folks insisted that both Adebiyi and his LaraLek will also fall out of favour with the Lagos government. Nothing of the sort has happened. By this, it is obvious that LaraLek’s long list of projects in Lagos State had more to do with the company’s merits than a friendly governor.

In recent days, this fact has become even more trustworthy, especially since LaraLek Construction became a regular contractor for the Ogun State government, making roads up and down the Gateway State. What profit could Adebiyi possibly bring to Governor Dapo Abiodun other than his commendable array of completed projects?
Today, LaraLek is among the top three road contractors in Lagos. This is also true for Ogun. In other words, Adebiyi’s company likely occupies the number one position among the construction companies making waves in both Lagos and Ogun.

The fact that both Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Ogun State counterpart, Abiodun, continue to patronise the services of LaraLek Ultimate Constructions speaks to the mastery that Adebiyi and his team command with respect to road construction. Surely, the rank of number 1 indigenous road contractor in Nigeria cannot be contested or taken away from Adebiyi’s LaraLek when two progressive governors continue to require and praise its services?

From a Lavish Party to Brand Ambassador: The Story of Obi Cubana

Someone recently said that media presence is everything, that the present generation of human society is far more tolerant of those in the thick of things, whether for good reason or bad, than those without. This is the prevailing reaction of Nigerians to the recent promotion of the person and brand that is Obi Cubana (real name Obinna Iyiegbu), especially since Fidelity Bank got in on the action.

The Nigerian social media space is going through what can only be considered as a period free of the makeshift sermons of motivational speakers. This is because things are not going as these motivators expect. Since they command a sizable fraction of the space, it’s not surprising that Cubana’s new status in the society leaves them confused.

After all, how often does one go from throwing an immeasurably lavish party to becoming a brand ambassador of many credible organisations?
It appears to be true, as Cubana himself reported, that Fidelity Bank initiated a partnership deal with him. The idea is to get through to more customers using Cubana’s increasingly massive following on social media. While Cubana is not the only ‘foundation of youth’ that the bank is engaging, he is the most remarkable.

No one can really argue that Cubana emerged on the scene after his ostentatious show of wealth during his mother’s burial ceremony. Even so, the event and the deluge of mint cash that accompanied it propelled Cubana to influencer status. The man has gone from being a hotelier and entertainment mogul to being an evangelist of sorts. At least that is what the brand deal with Fidelity Bank appears to portend.
So, for the motivational speakers that might have to reorganise their understanding of influence (the kind that is free of controversy), Cubana’s glory-to-glory story is a gash on an unblemished portrait. Maybe that is why he stands out or so easily went from being suspect to being super.

Jibrin out of His Anonymous Cocoon
In the grand scheme of things, what is defeat but a temporary detour in the path of greatness? This is what a former lawmaker from Kano State, Abdulmumun Jibrin must be thinking at the moment. After excluding himself from everything that has to do with the limelight, politics and business since January of 2020, Jibrin is back with a bang that could shake the table for some time.

Social media in Kano State and city is currently enjoying the presence of youths as Jibrin makes good on his promise to help youths get into the centre of the machinations that dictate and direct the motions of the country. G-23 (Group-23) is the former lawmaker’s cannon for casting off the shadows of anonymity that he sunk into more than a year and a half ago.

For those who kept abreast of his dealings, the last buzz about Jibrin was in July 2020, when President Muhammadu Buhari appointed him as Executive Director of Business Development, Federal Housing Authority. Before then, Jibrin had suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Ali Datti-Yako who took over from him as a member of the House of Representatives for the Kiru/Bebeji federal constituency of Kano State. After that, Jibrin supposedly left the stage to lick his wounds. Now, he is back.

Considering Jibrin’s first move of launching the G-23 initiative and getting more youths involved in the political process, one is reminded of the excitement and outcome that come from every original idea of Jibrin. To say the least, since Jibrin is confident that his G-23 could be “the largest and strongest political mobilisation structure in the country and is determined to play a significant role in the next general election…”, his old political rivals may be intimidated.
Jibrin’s return is an indication that things are about to get even more interesting, especially since 2023 is just around the corner.