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Elizabethan Foundation Celebrates Nigerian Men on International Men’s Day

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By Martin Ogumah and Opeyemi Adebiyi

The CEO and Founder of Elizabethan Humanitarian Life (H&H) Foundation, Mrs. Oyinade Samuel-Eluwole, has restated her commitment to the cause of Nigerian males from cradle to old age. She vowed to continue to fight for the wellbeing of the male gender to ensure that the men and the boy-child are treated well.

Mrs. Samuel-Eluwole made this call at the Elizabethan Foundation’s International Men’s Day Symposium which took place Wednesday, November 15, 2023, in Lagos. The Symposium was organised as one of the activities to commemorate the 2023 International Men’s Day themed “Zero Male Suicide.”

Speaking at the event, she said that, “The International Men’s Day is a Day established by the global community to create awareness and to underscore the need to bring to the front burner many issues faced by men, which include but not limited to suicide, violence, and parental alienation, among others; and this is celebrated annually on  November 19th.” She added that “The theme emphasises the six significant pillars of International Men’s Day, which include: To promote male role models. To celebrate the contribution that men make. To focus on men’s health and well-being. To highlight discrimination against men. At Elizabethan, IMD is very important to us because our focus is to intervene for male gender at all levels. We are focusing on the psychological and emotional frustration of males at all levels because we see males as endangered species.”

The Convener Mrs. Oyinade Samuel-Eluwole with the Panelists

Speaking further the Elizabethan Foundation Boss said that the male gender in Nigeria suffer lack and neglect, and that there is an urgent need to focus on how to attend to them. “We have paid so much attention to the women, the girl-child, and to the female gender generally. This is good and the society and government should do more in that regard. However, for us in Elizabethan Humanitarian Life Foundation, we think that the society should not neglect the men in the process. If you notice, the men and the boy-child in our society, are going through so much pressure based on traditional disposition and societal expectations. Our boys are not expected to cry to express their painful emotions, and our men are expected to shoulder too heavy and too many loads – from taking care of their wife, children, extended family, and even to the larger society – where they are expected to take the lead in every activity. As a result most of them go through psychological trauma without notice, and physical emasculation without anyone paying attention.

In his presentation, the guest speaker Prof. Sola Aletan, Professor of Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, steered the conversation toward the haunting trend of teenage suicide. He shared an incident in Los Angeles, illustrating how invisible struggles within an individual’s mind can lead to tragic outcomes, emphasizing the need for a deeper understanding of mental health. The dialogue expanded its horizons as Mallam Ahmad Sajoh, Former Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Adamawa State, delved into the need for embracing shared prosperity as a society. “If we do not share our prosperity, what we will have as a nation is shared multilateral poverty,”he said.

Professor Omoniyi Kayode Yemitan, Dean, Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos, contributed a distressing incident involving a marital dispute. He highlighted the broader challenges faced by families and emphasized the need for mutual respect and understanding to prevent escalating tensions. The insightful contribution brought in Prof. Oyekunle Oyelami, Professor of Sociology, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, who underscored the prevalence of diagnosable mental disorders in suicide attempts. He explored different types of suicide, dissecting the intricate web of causes “Shockingly, the statistics reveal that four times as many men as women succumb to suicide, making it a pervasive issue globally,” he affirmed..

This thought-provoking symposium concluded with a call to action, urging the audience to recognize the importance of mental health, especially during times of stress. The collective effort was emphasized to address the underlying issues contributing to male suicide and promote a supportive community.

The complexities surrounding male suicide were unveiled, fostering understanding and compassion in the quest to prevent further loss of precious lives.

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Runsewe Wins Vanguard’s Arts, Culture & Tourism Icon Award in Lagos

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The Director General National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe on Friday bagged Vanguard Newspaper’s Arts, Culture & Tourism Icon

Award.

 

The colourful event took place at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

 

In attencdance to celebrate with the Tourism icon were top celebrities, politicians and business moguls.

 

The Vanguard award ceremony was staged to honour distinguished Nigerians who have excelled in their chosen endeavours.

 

It is worthy to note that Otunba Runsewe has paid his dues as regards the tourism sector which culminated to his being nominated for the award.

 

Outside the shores of the country, as it is at home, Runsewe is the face of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.

 

Thr highly creative tourism icon was born in Kaduna to Mr. Bankole Runsewe and his wife who were from Ogun State. He attended St. Michael Primary School, Kaduna and later went to Vohoeven Technical College Minna, which has since been renamed Government Technical College, Minna.

 

Otunba Runsewe holds an MBA in Marketing from Edo State University and Higher National Diploma in Management Studies from London School for Executives. He also has a Diploma in Public Relations from the London School of Management Studies, in addition to a Professional Certificate in Estate and Property Management from Kaduna Polytechnic.

 

In the last 30 years, Otunba Runsewe has been a dominant personality in the arts, culture and tourism sectors in Nigeria, with a good track record in the media. He worked as a marketing manager at the New Nigerian Newspaper, rising to the position of general manager in the organisation.

 

He was also head of Public Relations (media) at the National Theatre; MD/CEO, Sports Weekly; Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of National Network Newspapers; and Media Coordinator, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGM, in 2003.

 

In year 2000, Otunba Runsewe was appointed Executive Director at the National Orientation Agency, from where he proceeded to the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, in 2006 as Director-General. Whatever presence Nigeria has today in the tourism sector, both at home and abroad, is largely as a result of the work done by Otunba Runsewe as D-G of NTDC and other related sectors. His innovative tourism marketing campaign slogan, “Tourism is Life”, gave national and international visibility to Nigeria’s tourism industry, positioning the country as one of the tourism destinations in Africa.

 

Runsewe achieved that, partly through annual exhibitions at different international tourism expositions like Feria Internacional del Turismo, FIRUR (one of the most important tourism exhibitions in the world) in Madrid Spain; ITB Berlin, Germany; Arabian Travel Market, Dubai; World Travel Market Oakland, London, etc.

 

It was during Otunba Runsewe’s tenure at NTDC that the international community, through the World Travel Market in London and FITUR in Spain, began to take Nigeria seriously as a player and partner in global tourism.

 

Female artists converge for Six Swans

King Charles bestows MBE awards on Olagoke

The Nigerian Tourism Village, which Otunba Runsewe put together during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and won award for, was rated as one of the best at the event. He also took Nigeria’s Arts & Culture to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

 

Otunba Runsewe is a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations; Chairman, Nigerian Sport Writers Association; Chairman, Board of Nigerian Institute of Journalism; Fellow, Institute of Management, FIM; Fellow, Association of Business Executives, FABE, London; President, World Crafts Council, Africa Region; President, Nigeria Golf Federation; and Chairman, Africa China Culture and Arts Exchange Society.

 

As President of Nigeria Golf Federation, Otunba Runsewe, within one month in office, introduced the World Handicap System – a single, consistent measure of playing ability for golfers of all levels, regardless of their location in the world – through the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, R&A, of London. Similarly, he organised the first Stakeholders’ Conference on Golf in the history of golf in Nigeria.

 

A detribalised Nigerian, Runsewe holds several tittles from different parts of the country, including Danbura Kabi, Kebbi State; Obiagu I of Igbo Ukwu, Anambra State, etc. He is the Director-General of National Council for Arts and Culture, NCAC, a position he assumed in 2017. The vision of the Council under his leadership is to reposition culture as a tool for national unity, peace and social integration, as well as a machinery for stimulating rapid socio-economic growth and development. He has been pursuing this vision with total passion and utmost vigour.

 

For about 30 years, NCAC’s NAFEST, established and branded as “the festival that unites the nation”, made little or no impact, until 2017 when Otunba Runsewe took over the Council as DG.

 

Using the platform of NAFEST, Otunba Runsewe began to traverse the length and breadth of Nigeria, preaching the gospel of love and unity to all. Nigerians accepted his message. Consequently, every year, all states of the federation look forward to NAFEST. They bring their arts and culture to the host state. No other event in Nigeria, except our national football, has been a unifying factor as Otunba Segun Runsewe’s NAFEST!

 

Runsewe is unrepentant in his belief that the culture sector has the key to Nigeria’s unity and economic breakthrough. At NCAC, he vigorously pursues his pet Skill Acquisition Programme which has provided thousands of employments to young Nigerians and women. “I am in touch with the Chinese Government on training in China, at least 100 youths from each state in Nigeria,” Runsewe disclosed.

 

Last year, during Lagos NAFEST, Otunba Runsewe launched what he called 37 Cultural Wonders of Nigeria. The idea is to prime each state to develop one iconic product in which they have a comparative advantage.

 

The Abuja Cultural Market sits on an expansive 2.5 hectares of land (valued at N9.8 billion as at 2020) with massively renovated facilities. It is located in the heart of Abuja Central Business District, after the Yar’Adua Centre, near Abuja Continental Hotel and Shoprite.

 

The Arts & Culture Market was built by the Federal Government for the 2003 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGOM, held in Abuja, which Runsewe’s committee handled. After CHOGOM, NCAC took over the facility.

 

Before Runsewe came to NCAC in 2017 as D-G, the facility was decrepit. Hoodlums took over the place, and some powerful interests began to sell off parts of the land.

 

When Runsewe came, he expelled all the hoodlums from the facility, recovered the land and began a massive renovation of the place. He refused to connive with those powerful interests in the disposal of the land. The powerful interests began to threaten Runsewe’s life. After the threats failed, they vowed to use their connections to jail him. Runsewe said: “In fact, some powerful people who had interests attempted to lock me up. I said to them, if this is the only thing I will do for this country, I will recover this property.”

 

He succeeded in recovering the more than N9.8 billion land on which the Abuja Cultural Market sits, and went on to renovate it to what it is evolving to be today — a tourism destination for Nigerians, diplomats and tourists from other countries.

 

Otunba Runsewe could have decided to play ball with those “powerful interests”, but he chose not to. Today, the Nigerian people, the Federal Government, the Arts, Culture and Tourism industry are beneficiaries of that uncommon battle waged by Otunba Segun Runsewe.

 

“The market,” Runsewe disclosed, “was publicly presented to members of the Diplomatic Community last week as part of our strategic partnership with foreign missions in Nigeria. The essence is

to develop a one-stop-shop for cultural activities in Abuja.”

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Otunba Gbenga Daniel clarifies why The Compass Newspaper was established, lists achievements as Ogun governor

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Former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has clarified the motivations behind the establishment of The Compass newspaper, denying any intentions of using the platform to oppose Senator Bola Tinubu.
In an interview the former governor granted a national newspaper, Daniel addressed these misconceptions and highlighted the extensive developmental work undertaken during his tenure, much of which he felt was underreported.
Reflecting on the media landscape during his governance, he stated, “I took over from a newspaper mogul, Chief Olusegun Osoba, and I was not expected to get good press. The sympathy was really not with me; it was with my predecessor. People thought I would crash within a few weeks.”
Facing persistent negative press, Daniel felt compelled to create a media outlet to accurately document and publicize his administration’s achievements.
He emphasized that the establishment of The Compass was a strategic move to counteract biased media coverage rather than a tool for political vendetta.
“We needed to have a platform to also record what we were doing. We did a lot of work that people still do not know,” he explained.
Daniel lamented the lack of social media at the time, which would have allowed for more direct communication with the public without reliance on traditional media channels.
“Unfortunately, we did  not have the level of social media that we have today. If that existed, nobody would need the traditional media.
“But you know, you people at that time, once you blocked us, you blocked us here, you blocked us there, I was  finished (laughs). If we were working 24-7, nobody would see this. They would say you are not working because you people have blocked everybody. So that was what happened.
“I’m not a newspaper person. But, at that stage, we needed to have a platform to also record what we were doing. We did a lot of work that people still do not know.
“For instance, we are thanking our current governor for now working on the (cargo) airport. But this was part of our master plan, which we decided, we did everything we needed to do, we got all the approvals before we left. But you people (press) will not report it.”
“We secured three free trade zones in Ogun State. The Olokola Free Trade Zone, which is where Dangote Refinery was supposed to be but because you people did what you had to do, we lost that one to Lagos. But I said to people, well, Lagos is still the same. If it’s lost to Lagos, it’s fine.
“In any case, where we wanted to put it is inside Ijebuland. All these places where they are in Lekki is still part of Ijebuland, under Lagos. So we’ve not lost anything.
He also said the Kajola Transportation Free Trade Zone, and the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone, were all initiatives under his administration. These zones were designed to boost industrialization and economic growth in the region.
Daniel also pointed out the numerous educational institutions established during his tenure, including the Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic in Ijebu-Igbo, the Gateway Polytechnic in Sapade, the Tai Solarin University of Education, and several others. He stressed the transformative impact these institutions had on the state’s educational landscape.
“You’ll be shocked if I tell you that in the course of our administration, we established probably about seven tertiary institutions and campuses. I can count for you. We established Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic, Ijebu-Igbo. We established the Gateway Polytechnic in Sapade. We established  another one in Igbesa and another one in Itori. We established the Tai Solarin University of Education. We established the School of Nursing in Ilaro. We took the old  Tai Solarin College of Education to Omu. It’s now known as Sikiru Adetona College of Education in Omu. We established Gateway Industrial & Petrochemical Institute  (GIPI) in Oni. What didn’t we do? But you people didn’t report it.”
In terms of industrialization, Daniel noted the development of the Sagamu Interchange area into a major industrial hub.
“That axis now is probably the biggest industrial zone in the country. Companies like Nestle, Coleman Cables, CTK, and the biggest international breweries are now located there. It is the fastest growing industrial arena in the entire country,” he said.
Addressing the media directly, Daniel humorously added, “There’s a whole lot that you people refused to report for us.”

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Prominent groups urgently demand release of Ambassador Otunba Adejare Adegbenro

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Two influential groups, the Egbe Omo Yoruba Parapo and the Tinubu Shettima Divine Mandate Initiative (TSDMI) 2023, have issued urgent calls for the immediate release of Ambassador Otunba Adejare Adegbenro.

Ambassador Adegbenro, a respected Yoruba leader and diplomat, has been unlawfully detained by the Nigerian police since April 26, 2024.

Egbe Omo Yoruba Parapo, a leading Yoruba ethnic group representing the cultural and social interests of the Yoruba people in southwestern Nigeria, has expressed deep concern over the detention of Ambassador Adegbenro.

The group highlights Adegbenro’s significant contributions to the Yoruba community, particularly in Ogun State, where his efforts have driven progress and prosperity.

“Ambassador Adejare Adegbenro has long been a pivotal figure in the growth and development of the Yoruba race. His dedication to fostering unity, promoting cultural heritage, and championing socio-economic advancements has earned him respect and admiration both locally and internationally,” stated a spokesperson for Egbe Omo Yoruba Parapo.

The group condemns the detention as a violation of Adegbenro’s fundamental rights, noting that it disrupts his ongoing work as an advocate for peace, justice, and mutual understanding among diverse groups.

They urge the relevant authorities to intervene swiftly to secure his release, emphasizing his unwavering commitment to service and integrity.

Egbe Omo Yoruba Parapo calls on governmental bodies, civil society organizations, and the media to join them in demanding justice and fairness for Ambassador Adegbenro. They stress the importance of upholding the rule of law, human rights, and dignity for all individuals.

In a related development, the Tinubu Shettima Divine Mandate Initiative (TSDMI) 2023 has also demanded the immediate release of Ambassador Adegbenro.

TSDMI is a distinguished support group dedicated to promoting the candidature of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima, as well as upholding justice, democracy, and human rights in Nigeria.

Ambassador Dr. Otunba Adegbenro, described as an illustrious son of Ogun State and a respected diplomat, has been unjustly deprived of his freedom, according to TSDMI.

The group asserts that his detention violates fundamental human rights and international protocols, specifically the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, to which Nigeria is a signatory.

“TSDMI strongly condemns this blatant violation of Ambassador Dr. Adegbenro’s rights and calls for his immediate and unconditional release. As our Grand Patron, he has tirelessly dedicated himself to the agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and to the service of our nation, fostering international cooperation and advancing Nigeria’s interests on the global stage,” said a TSDMI representative.

The group urges President Tinubu and the Nigerian Police to uphold the rule of law and release Ambassador Adegbenro without delay. They warn that any adverse events during his detention will be the responsibility of the Nigerian Police.

TSDMI stands in solidarity with Ambassador Adegbenro and his family, calling on all stakeholders, both domestic and international, to demand his immediate release and ensure that justice is served.

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