Realnews Magazine and Publications Limited inducts its guest lecturers and discussants into its prestigious Hall of Fame at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, on November 17
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Nov 22, 2016 @ 21:30 GMT |
THE atmosphere in the hall was filled with an air of excitement as Realnews Magazine and Publications Limited inducted seven prominent personalities from Nigeria and Africa into its prestigious Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is exclusively reserved for Realnews guest lecturers and discussants for the service they rendered to the young growing organisation.
The online magazine use the occasion of its Fourth Anniversary Lecture to honour individuals who played key roles in as guest lecturers and discussants in its previous lecture in 2015, and in 2016 at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, on Thursday, November 17.
Those inducted into the Realnews Hall of Fame are Mohammed Ibn Chambas, special representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for West Africa and Sahel; Alex Cummings, presidential hopeful, Liberia and former chief executive officer of Coca Cola, Africa; Ibrahim Idris, Inspector General of Police; Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC; Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State; Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, Founder/CEO, Alpine Investemnt Services Limited; Chukwuma Soludo, Former Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. Although Hayatu-Deen and Soludo were chairman and guest lecturer, respectively, in 2015, they were not present to receive their plaques.
Other inductees had their citations read before the plaque was presented to them by Wada Maida, chairman of Peoples Daily Newspaper and former managing director of the News Agency of Ngeria, NAN, who also chaired the fourth Anniversary Lecture of Realnews.
The first to be inducted was Idris, who was a discussant at the fourth anniversary lecture. His citation stated that he is a lawyer cum agricultural economist, who enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force as ASP Cadet in 1984. He served the police in different capacities such as Divisional Crime Officer and Traffic Officer in Gusau Division in the present Zamfara State from January, 1986 to March, 1987. He moved to the Mobile Force, PMF, where he served for 17 years, from April 1987 to 31st January 2004.
Idris led a contingent of Nigerian Police Officers to United Nation Mission in Liberia on February 1, 2004, and was later seconded by the Nigerian Government to the United Nations in March 2005, where he served as Mission Police Operation Coordinator from February 2004 to October 2008, and was later deployed from there as the Deputy Police Commissioner in-charge of Operations in United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor Leste, UNMIT, from October 2008 to March 2011.
Reading Governor Obiano’s citation, Comfort Coleman, who was the master of ceremony, described him as a banker, technocrat, and politician. He started his banking career in 1981 when he got a job at the First Bank of Nigeria as a supervisor. He later joined Chevron Oil Nigeria Plc as accountant and rose to the position of chief internal auditor. In 1989, he was one of the team of auditors that audited Texaco Refinery in Rotterdam, Netherlands. In 1991, he joined the Fidelity Bank as deputy manager and head of Audit Unit and rose to the position of executive director in October 2003. Obiano left the banking sector to contest election in November 2013 on the platform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA. Governor Obaiano is happily married and has children.
After Obiano, the UN Special Representative was inducted. He was described as lawyer, diplomat, politician and academic from Ghana. In 2002 he became the executive secretary of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS. In 2007, he was appointed the group’s first president by the governments of its member states, serving a four-year term. Chambas was appointed secretary general of the ACP Group on November 16, 2009.
Chambas came to international prominence as mediator between the parties of the first Liberian Civil War of the 1990s, and later the Ivorian Civil War in the early 2000s. He was centrally involved in the ECOWAS mediation efforts in Liberia as he directly participated in negotiations leading to the agreements ending the Liberian civil war. In 1996, Chambas lost his Parliamentary seat but not his prominence. The then government of President Jerry Rawlings removed him from the foreign ministry and put him in charge of Ghana’s primary education system. Between April 1997 and December 2000, Chambas was made Deputy Minister of Education in charge of tertiary education.
On December 20, 2012, Chambas was appointed as Joint Special Representative for Darfur and Head of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, UNAMID, by Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson, African Union Commission. On September 12, 2014, he succeeded Ibrahim Gambari of Nigeria as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa, UNOWA.
According to his citation during his induction, Oyeyemi, is the only pioneer staff of the FRSC today who can boast of passing through the ranks to head the organisation since it was established in 1988. He has proved to be an innovator, a road safety campaigner per excellent, a change agent and a seasoned administrator. His regime at the FRSC has witnessed a number of innovations through which he wants to reduce the carnage on Nigerian roads by 50 percent by 2018.
The last person to be inducted was Cummings, a philanthropist and a proven business leader, who also gave the acceptance speech on behalf of the other inductees. According to his citation during the induction, Cummings joined The Coca-Cola Company, the world’s largest beverage manufacturer, in 1997 as region manager, Nigeria. In 2000, he was named president of the company’s North & West Africa Division. In March 2001, he became president and chief operating officer of the Africa group, responsible for the company’s operations in Africa, encompassing a total of 56 countries and territories across the continent. In 2008, he was appointed executive vice president and chief administrative officer, CAO, of The Coca-Cola Company.
As CAO, he led a structure that consolidated key global corporate functions to effectively support the business operations of The Coca-Cola Company’s five operating groups across over 200 countries. Cummings has a long history of philanthropy and supporting Liberia globally; supporting funding for water projects and providing students scholarships in Liberia, and donating to various causes including the African Methodist Episcopal University’s Innovation Centre named in his honour.
In 2011, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf conferred on Cummings the distinction of Knight Great Band – Humane Order of African Redemption; the medal is one of the highest honours in Liberia and is awarded for humanitarian work in Liberia, for acts supporting and assisting the Liberian nation.
He recently launched the Cummings Africa Foundation, and facilitated the construction and dedication of a self-named STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic, academic institution, the first of its kind in Liberia. His interest in the Liberian political development has been welcomed and hailed by the generality of the country.
Cummings, who spoke on behalf of fellow inductees, said it was heart-warming to be so honoured by such an internationally acceptable medium like Realnews. He promised that they would continue to do their best for humanity and to uplift society. He also said that he will do all he can to attract support and business for Realnews magazine online.