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Iwuanyanwu @ 81: Good Wine Tasting Better With Age




In this brief tribute, EMMA AGU pays glowing tribute to elder statesman, businessman, politician, philanthropist and sports entrepreneur, Chief Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, CFR.

Agu, pioneer editor (1988-1992) of the Daily Champion, the flagship publication of Chief Iwuanyanwu’s Champion Newspapers Limited, had a 20-year career in the Champion Group, disengaging in 2008 after serving as managing director/editor-in-chief between 2000 and 2008, the last two as group managing director.

Naturally, people tend to slow down as they age. But for Chief Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, CFR (and a retinue of other well-deserved titles!) the opposite is the case. Like a good wine that tastes better with age, every passing day, Iwuanyanwu keeps appreciating in value as a foremost nationalist, bridge-builder, patriot and statesman.

At 81 (September 4), the Imo State-born civil engineer, politician, philanthropist, businessman and statesman has recently turned on such spectacular public service credentials that confirm his standing as an exceptionally gifted patriot, organizer, trailblazer and national icon.

Two years ago when he announced his retirement from partisan politics, saying that he was fulfilled, many had thought that he would take a back seat from public affairs. He would have been justified if he had chosen that path.

For a man who devoted much of his earlier years to creating multi-dimensional value in engineering, publishing, commerce, aviation, banking, insurance, sports (football), the blue economy and more, this tireless  civil engineer, politician, philanthropist, businessman and statesman had long earned his plaudits.

So what is the Ahaejiagamba of Igboland (the title given to him by all the traditional rulers in Igboland) still looking for in the public space? Shouldn’t he retire to a quiet life, taking care of his large estate made up of his wife, children, grandchildren and a horde of relations, political associates and friends? What about the church to which, many years ago, he had pledged to bequeath the bulk of his sprawling estate?

Only those who understand how Chief Iwuanyanwu is wired will appreciate his seeming restiveness. In the twenty years that I had the privilege of working with him, he registered an indelible impression on me as a compassionate and foremost advocate of justice, equity and fairness qualities, I came to understand, he inherited from his parents, Pa Bernard and Lady Hulder Iwuanyanwu, both of blessed memory from Umuohii Atta in Ikeduru Local Government of Imo State in Nigeria.

Ever since I got in close contact with him, Chief Iwuanyanwu has always held the view that equity, justice and fairness were irreducible requirements, indeed spiritual conditions for peace and all human progress to which he was ready to commit every effort, every resource and as I saw him on occasions between 1993 and 1998, even his life. His Royal Highness Eze Emma Nnabuife, Sir Bon. Unachukwu, Sir Chuks Ekomaru, SAN, Hon C.I.D. Maduabum, Barrister Eze Nwauwa and a few others will recall those nocturnal meetings where, despite entreaties from the urbane and soft-spoken ‘guardian angel’ of the house for him to pedal softly, “Chief” despite his well-known soft spot for Lady Eudora of blessed memory, would politely insist that, for him, to tread the path of equity, fairness and justice was a matter of honour that could not be traded for personal comfort or mere physical existence.

Nearly two decades after those heady days, I did not know how to react when I read about Chief Iwuanyanwu’s emergence as President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo following the demise of the immediate past president-general of the body, the late Professor George Obiozor. In a fashion that had characterized my relationship with him over the years (he is my nwa-nwa, Igbo for maternal uncle and a very privileged status in Igboland), I called to express my surprise but at the same time stating that I understood why he accepted to “stand in the gap” for his beloved Igbo ethnic nationality. It is a mark of his humility that despite the age difference between us let alone that he was my employer, he never got offended each time I took advantage of that norm.

Get it right: though he had stated that he was fulfilled, I always knew that he had many unfulfilled expectations: a united Nigeria where every citizen would be accorded equal opportunities; a Nigeria where his children, indeed every Nigerian child would, in the immortal words of Martin Luther King Jnr. “one day live in a country where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin (replace with ethnicity or religion) but by the content of their character (add competence)”. 

I understood that typical of Iwuanyanwu, his ingrained sense of justice could not allow him to sit by in the face of the arrogant and unconscionable display of insensitivity and nepotism by a few privileged persons whose actions and inactions not only posed and continue to pose an existential threat to the Igbo race but constitute an ever-present danger to the unity and stability of the country.

From the United States where he presided over the reintegration of Nigerian-Americans of Igbo extraction, to his hectic schedule consulting with various stakeholder groups all over the country, and the South-East where his towering image, political experience and relentless zeal have been deployed to restore unity among the governors, it looks like the Ohanaeze presidency has provided for Chief Iwuanyanwu the platform for checking off some of the items on his long shopping list when he ran for president of Nigeria.

For years, Iwuanyanwu has been a foremost advocate of the maxim that charity should start at home. Except for Champion Newspapers that started in Lagos, virtually all his other businesses had their headquarters in Owerri, also his base, for many years.

Those who are familiar with his investment profile will see the hand of fate in his present role as President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide. It could not have come at a better time than when the vagaries of national politics and the threat to the Igbo race, in some parts of Nigeria, has made the much touted ‘think home’ strategy an existential imperative. All the signs indicate that Chief Iwuanyanwu will lead Ohanaeze to succeed in the objective of restoring peace and progress to Igboland.

The Igbo race and Nigeria as a whole should be grateful that, Iwuanyanwu at 81, is deploying his rich experience in Nigerian politics, wide social network and the formidable bridges he has built as a philanthropist and statesman, in the task of building a Nigeria in which his Igbo, like every other ethnic group, is provided a level playing field to not only enjoy the bounties of the earth but to guarantee a strong and united country that would be able to withstand the inevitable headwinds of nation-building.

To Chairman (as I have always called Chief Iwuanyanwu), this is your boy, Emmanuel (he is one of the few persons who would pronounce my name in full and I always loved it), wishing you happy birthday and many happy returns of the day.

*Agu is former managing director of Champion Newspapers

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Obasanjo Still Angry I Dumped Him – Taiwo



…Challenges him to show evidence of his multiple marriages

…Says, Obasanjo, greatest impediment to Nigeria’s devt, claiming infallibility

Estranged wife of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Taiwo, has angrily reacted to a disclaimer issued by the former leader, subtly questioning her mental health and declaring that though she gave birth to two children for him, she was not his wife.

Controversy started on Sunday when Taiwo waded into the controversy trailing the statement of the former Army general at Iseyin, Oyo state during last week’s commissioning of projects executed by the state Governor, Seyi Makinde.

Obasanjo who was special guest of honour had chastised some Yoruba traditional rulers at the event for not standing up to accord him respect as a former president. He consequently ordered them to stand up and recognize his presence.

However, in a statement on Sunday, titled “Oyo Kings: A plea for forgiveness”, Mrs Obasanjo who has two children – Olujonwo and Olubunmi – for the former president begged “for permanent and eternal forgiveness and pardon from all Yoruba sons and daughters worldwide, fathers and mothers, youths, teenagers and children, Christians, Muslims, traditional worshippers, all leaders in Yoruba land and the Council of Kings in Yoruba land”.

In a swift reaction, Obasanjo through his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi said the “acclaimed Mrs. Obasanjo is an impostor”.

“For the records, Ms. Martins has two children, Jonwo and Bunmi, for Chief Obasanjo but to say emphatically that she is not his wife nor a member of the Obasanjo family.

“Her posturing as Chief Obasanjo’s wife is false and that of an impostor. Nobody makes statement on behalf of the Obasanjo family except Chief Obasanjo or people delegated by him to do so.

You’re the impostor

Taiwo in her response titled, ‘Obasanjo, the Greatest Impostor – The roar and ranting’s of an old dying lion – laying claim to infallibility’, said the former president is responsible for most of the challenges facing Nigeria because he failed to utilize the golden opportunities he had to turn the country around.

According to her, since Obasanjo left office, he has constituted himself into an infallible critic, never seeing any good in any of his successors.

She said; “My attention has been drawn to a statement credited to President Olusegun Obasanjo in which he called me an impostor and raised a lot of issues beneath his status, including telling the world that my mental health is questionable.

“For the records; I want the world to know that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is the greatest impostor of all time, the liar, the deceiver who now equates himself to the Almighty God and who now arrogantly believes that he has the unchallengeable power of life and death and to render totally useless whoever tries to point out any error of his or doesn’t agree to any of his rigid almighty posture of methodology in handling issues.

“Once Daddy Obasanjo sees you as his perceived enemy who will not dance to his tune 100% he would go all out to destroy you. He would do all within his highly toxic evil network to destroy whoever offers a word of respectful caution to him.

“From a very poor humble beginning, God gave Daddy Obasanjo all that anyone could ever want in life, took him to the pinnacle in the Army and in the government of Nigeria.

“Since you left Dodan Barracks, you have been fighting all Presidents who came after you, seeing, talking, addressing them as no good. You have rubbished, abused, insulted, criticized, humiliated, fought, ridiculed every President who came to power. Are you the only ex – President we have in Nigeria? All our former Presidents, General Babangida, General Abdulsalami, General Yakubu Gowon, Dr Goodluck Jonathan etc they do not fight their children or wives nor ridicule people here and there in our nation. All our former Presidents in Nigeria comport themselves with dignity, they don’t fight nor rubbish every successive President we have like you do”, she stated.

I’m stable

“In his ignoble statement, Daddy Obasanjo said, ‘it must be noted that the state of health of Ms. Martins is known to all and sundry…’

“Well, it must be noted that any leader like you who justifies indecency, humiliation of leaders, talks and acts like a tout or an area boy with uncouth mannerisms, shows us his mental state that he is mentally deranged and there are more than enough evidences from your behaviour and public utterances.

“For the records, my mental state is in perfect condition. I salute you sir, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the Great Legend of Hell tormenting Nigeria and Africa. It is because l voluntarily left you which no wife of yours has ever done, that you want me insane or bedridden. Many times you have done the unimaginable to me, crippled all my business ventures, tried to label me insane, but God made me to triumph over all your schemings. That l am still alive is a great sorrow to you.That l am still breathing without one naira from you is still a great pain and sorrow to you.

“Have you not begged me many times in the past to come back to you? Yet, you query the state of my mental health? You loved me very much in the past, to the extent of even beating your first wife in the house because she insulted me. It is still very painful to you that l left you and l am still alive. God has kept me. When l couldn’t cope, I ran out and left your home because you were to pushing me mad. Didn’t you take me round several houses you own that l should pick one and live there instead of departing from your life completely? Didn’t you also bring a car to me which l returned to you? All these l did when l told you l didn’t want to have anything to do with you again. Didn’t you make me to sit down publicly on your lap at the commissioning of your farm for the press to take photos of us and the photo was all over Nigeria in all the newspapers.

“It is said hell hath no fury like a woman scorned but it is appropriate to say hell hath no fury like an ex – President scorned and now your ego is brutally scorned and deeply hurt because l left you and you are now humiliating yourself not me.

“By the way can you provide the world the evidence that the one you put in your house now as your ‘mrs’, that you paid any bride price or took her to court to marry? She is simply answering your name because it is convenient for you. How many wives of yours did you marry officially with all marriage ceremonies performed? Please tell the world.

“I repeat again with all respect to you sir that you are the impostor, who like Satan is masquerading as a solution to problems which you have created for us in Nigeria and Africa.

“You are the real problem, troubling the land of Nigeria, the people of Nigeria, troubling families and homes and the society at large. God gave you long life, good health, made you famous, gave you wealth, made you three times President of Nigeria, yet you couldn’t give us beautiful roads and 18 or 24 hours electricity which others could build on. All you do is fight, fight, fight every President who comes to power after you instead of embracing them as your loving children to be mentored, supported and guided by you to give us excellent service that will bring comfort to us all in the whole nation.

“The only leaders you couldn’t cage or render impotent in Africa are the current Presidents of Nigeria, Tinubu and that of Rwanda, Paul Kagame.

I am using this medium also to plead with Nigerians to help President Tinubu to succeed so that Nigeria can be turned into another beautiful Kigali in Rwanda

“Can you stand before God Almighty to say you did not rig PDP into power in the South West and other states, fraudulently removing Ex – Governor Osoba and others out of power with power of incumbency because you were then the President? It was only the current President Tinubu – then governor of Lagos State you couldn’t bring down and God is still making Tinubu to triumph over you publicly. Power belongs to God not you. Why now are you claiming 2023 election was flawed? Why do you want to create 3rd world war in Nigeria because Peter Obi didn’t win?

“Please Charly Boy, Donald Duke, Sahara Reporters, the youths of Nigeria and others – l appeal to you humbly – don’t join forces with Daddy Olusegun Obasanjo again to bring war and chaos into Nigeria in order to remove President Tinubu. God gave the Presidency to Tinubu not man. Daddy Olusegun Obasanjo was made President in 1999 by the North. Generals Babangida, Abdulsalami my twin brother, Chief Kenny Martins and many others provided you the money, the people, the support nationally and internationally and all needed resources and platforms to become President and you betrayed them all. You rewarded them with evil. Ex – President Obasanjo treated them all very, very badly. He didn’t win the election. When he now wanted 3rd term, God shoved the evil, ungrateful Obasanjo out. Today he will not allow us to breathe. I also prayed and fasted for you not to die.

“Daddy Olusegun Obasanjo, stop your rantings, you are an old wounded, dying roaring Lion. Stop barking. Let me and my children live, stop afflicting me and my children because you now hate me. Let us breathe in Nigeria. God will judge you soon. My family and I have supported you powerfully.

“At Close to 90, you are fighting President Tinubu. You fought Yar’adua, you fought Jonathan, you have fought every President in Nigeria since you left Dodan Barracks. Are you the only ex – President we have in Nigeria? You should be a uniting, loving figure, tolerant, respecting, caring, loving us all, uniting all in Nigeria and Africa, uniting families.

“He wants to be the only great man standing in Nigeria and Africa.The road to Ota and Abeokuta was the worst during his reign as President and his house is in Ota. He saved money that should have been deployed to turning Nigeria into Dubai for inflation to catch up with us. He is the longest serving President in Nigeria who should have given us massive, beautiful infrastructure, which successive leaders could have built on with ease.

“He spent 8 years, wanted third term, but was chased out by God and till today, he is still lying that he never wanted a third term. He lies about my health and so he is a pathological liar and a deceiver. He didn’t give us good roads, or constant electricity, best healthcare or reduced taxes for manufacturing and production.

“You are the one driving away great, beautiful developments from Nigeria and Africa from your secret covenant with Satan.

“At close to 90 years of age you are heaping great insults, contemptuously correcting highly revered Kings in our Yoruba land as if they were worthless.

“It was because l left you and to spite me that you went to bring the woman you are now parading as your Missus. Absolute rubbish! When she is sinking in sorrow because she dares not complain? When l advised you to bring all your wives together for a meeting, so that we can know one another and you listened and you brought us together with your first wife in attendance, you didn’t bring your current Mrs to the family meeting even though she has had her one child for you then.Which wife can truly say she has not seen hell in your hands? They cannot talk because you will strike them and the child they have for you off from your will.

“Before l round off, l want to beg again for forgiveness from all the Oyo kings, Council of Kings, Yoruba Council World wide and entire Yoruba race world wide. Please, l am humbly appealing again, don’t take out vengeance on any of us, my children, myself or my lineage all because of the neurotic humiliating, deeply hurtful behaviour of Baba Obasanjo. All the families of Baba Obasanjo are afraid of him. Please l humbly and genuinely plead with the Yoruba race world wide – forgive us. Everyone can see how he came out to prove to the world his true self by his ill-thought reaction to my humble appeal to the kings for forgiveness”.

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I Will Not Stop Acting Even As A Lead Pastor – Jimmy Odukoya



The new lead pastor of the Fountain of Life Church, Jimmy Odukoya says he will continue his acting career even as the new leader of the church.

Recall Vanguard reported that Jimmy was named the new lead pastor and chairman of the Board of Trustees, following the passing of his father and founder of the church, Pastor Taiwo OOdukoya, on August 7.

Speaking with BBC News Pidgin, Jimmy stated he has no plan to dump his acting career.

His words: “When I started, people said I couldn’t be a pastor and an actor together. They said the church and the world wouldn’t accept me. If God sends you somewhere, he will clear the path for you.

“I was there for six years in an industry that is hard to break into. From Nollywood, I moved to Hollywood. God has shown that with him, nothing is impossible.

“Now, he has asked me to do this (as a pastor). Whether it’s production, behind the scenes, or in front of the camera, God will figure it out.

“Although I’m focused on the church now, that doesn’t mean I cannot act. Once an actor, always an actor.

“The question I ask myself is: What will people learn when I act like this character? The idea people have is that as a pastor, I should only play good roles, but good and bad exist. It doesn’t matter if it’s a good or bad role; the motive is to teach people lessons. In the end, good is good, and bad is bad.”

Odukoya also stated that while he’s prepared for the new task, his preparation is to hold on to God.

“There’s no amount of preparation that can help you; you can only rely on God. This position forces you to be humble, and you have to pray for God’s help every day. You have to ask God for direction. My preparation is to hold onto God always.

Some of the movies Jimmy has acted in include The Woman King, The Wait, Love Cooked Up, and others.


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My First Marriage Was My First Taste Of Poverty -Iyabo Ojo



Popular Nigerian actress Iyabo Ojo says the first time she experienced poverty was in her marriage to her estranged husband, Ademidun Ojo.

In an interview with media personality and model Toke Makinwa on her podcast, TokeMoments, Ojo stated that she never knew what poverty was until she got married.

Her words: “The only time I experienced poverty was when I married my ex-husband. Initially, it was fun. It was like an adventure. At 18, I had an account opened for me because my grandfather had done his will in such a way that money was being paid to the grandchild’s account. I had money. You can imagine that, as of 1997/1998, I had about N100,000 in my account.


“When I went to my husband’s house for the first time when we were dating, I didn’t even know there were face-me-I-slap-you apartments. Most times, don’t blame the rich when they don’t understand the problems of the poor, because I never knew what poverty was all about.

“In my house in Obanikoro, we had an industrial generator. I never knew what it was like to ‘shout up NEPA.’ Once the light goes off in a few seconds, the light is up. My grandmother was one of the richest women in those days. I had a car to myself that took me to school and brought me back.

The Nollywood actress stated that one of the reasons her union with Ademidun crashed was due to her marrying early.


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