Is Japa to the UK on a student visa greener pasture or self-imposed hardship?

BY FRANCISCA CHIEDU OTU

I have seen different videos of students in the UK complaining about life in the UK. I have tried to look the other way, but I think some people may be truly ignorant about coming to the UK using the student route. My post may well benefit those who really don’t understand what they are getting into so they can save themselves the stress of opening the book of Lamentations on YouTube and other social media platforms.

I think some people lied to themselves when they moved to the UK on a student visa. Most people relocating to the UK are well aware they are expected to have at least nine months of their living expenses as the 20 hours work permit can only cater for basic expenses. Coming to the UK on a student visa is not cheap. Most cheap schools charge an average of £12,000. High-end schools cost between £16,000 – £25,000. Now if you are fortunate to get the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) exchange rate of ₦580 to a pound, then your school fees should cost around ₦6,960,000, that’s about ₦7 million for tuition alone. If you don’t get the CBN rate, then tuition should be about ₦11.5 million. This is for just tuition fees.

The UK expects you to show that you have at least £1,334 per month for nine months if you are studying in London, i.e. £12,006 ~ ₦6.9 million. If you are studying outside London you need £1,023 times nine months, i.e £9,207 ~ ₦5.3 million. You are expected to have these funds to sustain yourself in the UK.

In addition to the fees and living costs, you need to pay £363 for the visa fee and an international health surcharge (IHS) which costs £470 per year, but because your student visa is typically for a year and four months, it is prorated, so you might end up paying about £800 or more for IHS. So that’s another £1,200 cost which you will source from the black market as there’s no CBN provision for this. So for visa and IHS budget, another ₦1.2 million. If we add tuberculosis test, flight, and miscellaneous expenses while processing your visa, you are likely to spend another ₦500,000 if you book your flight in advance. Some people spent up to a million naira for the flight alone.

“Japa and new dispensation” is not cheap. If we do the math, an average tuition fee is ₦7 million + ₦5.3 million (living costs) + ₦1.2 million (Visa/IHS) + ₦500,000 (flight & miscellaneous) = ₦14 million. By the way, these are just estimates. You may pay less if you get cheap schools in some locations with fewer economic activities. The location of your place of study is very important, but this is a story for another day.

Now, most people who travel typically have a third of this amount and arrive in the UK thinking they can perform magic. They work tirelessly to pay rent, bills, and school fees, then come online to say people don’t have a life in the UK. I think people should at least be truthful about why they don’t have a life. This is what happens when you live a lie.

UK universities typically request an initial deposit of £3,000, which is 20–25% of the tuition fee. As of last year, the CBN exchange rate for pounds was about ₦500. Some people paid ₦1.5 million and then showed they held the balance of the tuition fee and nine months’ living expenses in a bank for 28 days after making the payment. So if your tuition fee is £12,000 and you paid an initial deposit of £3,000, you just need to show £9,000+9,207 = £18,207 ~ ₦9.1 million. Often, people get this as a loan with an interest rate of 3–5% for two months and pay proof of funds agents ₦700,000 –900,000 for the service. Let’s do the math again, ₦1.5 million (school fees deposit) + ₦700k (POF interest) + ₦1.2M (visa + IHS) + ₦500k (flights/tuberculosis test) + ₦600,000 (initial living expenses) = ₦4.5 million (rough estimates).

Now my calculations are just estimates just to give you an idea of what a “sufferhead” budget looks like. I call it “sufferhead” because people who typically have a budget of ₦4–5 million to move to the UK often end up with embarrassing stories on YouTube. Now when you arrive with your ₦5 million budget, don’t forget you still have an outstanding £9,000 tuition fee. You need to pay £300–600 for accommodation and food. Then you need some time to settle into your studies and get a job. Let’s say you get a job immediately after arriving; you still have an outstanding fee, and you must pay your landlord, transport, and feeding. In the end, you are working back-to-back to meet up. Most end up working more than 20 hours. To be clear, I am giving rough estimates for a student without dependents. You see, for those who come with family, theirs is a different story.

Many students struggle to pay their tuition fees. Some students couldn’t meet up, the university reported them to the Home Office, and they were asked to leave the UK. Some switched to the care visa and abandoned the programme, thinking they would get away without paying fees, which may affect their credit rating in the future. So when I see people lamenting on YouTube, I wonder what they were expecting. They paint the impression that people in the UK don’t have a life. When you do those videos, simply say you don’t have a life because you have unpaid tuition fees and bills to cover. Also, if you come with that popular visa offering minimum wage, you are most likely to work more hours to survive. It is what it is!

This year, there’s a twist to the Japa wave. Schools now ask for a 50–80% tuition fee deposit, and some schools are asking for £5,000–8,000 initial deposit. CBN’s pound rate has increased from ₦500 to about ₦580. What this means is that people need to raise more money to study. There are schools with a £3,000 initial deposit, they will be flooded with applications, but they have their limits. I think it makes sense for universities to increase deposits. I have been wondering why this wasn’t an option. With this, the student numbers may slightly reduce, and at least the whole rhetoric about high numbers from Nigeria may reduce. If your tuition deposit is £5,000, you should budget ₦3 million initial deposit.

If you want to save yourself the embarrassment of making videos of how impoverished you are in the UK, please try to pay 50–70% of your tuition fee and have sufficient living expenses. When I came to study in the UK in 2011, I only came because I had a $30,000 scholarship, so I didn’t have to pay fees and show proof of funds. Since my scholarship sponsor is known to delay payment, I came to the UK with about £5,000 (₦1.2 million because at the time the pound was ₦250). I never worked while studying until I became a sabbatical officer and earned a salary as student president. I got admission in 2010, but I didn’t come because I didn’t want to subject myself to misery and tales of woes. I could have taken to desperation and commenced my studies in 2010 to take advantage of the post-study work (PSW) visa because the UK government announced that they would discontinue the programme in 2012. I just couldn’t bring myself to pay the initial deposit and borrow proof of funds, then regret leaving the comfort of my home country.

I waited until I got a scholarship, spent an extra year saving for my living cost, and with support from friends and family. It was a great experience. So my experience of the UK has remained positive. You can truly have a positive experience in the UK if you don’t come here in debt. You can enjoy the UK if you have the skills to earn a decent income.

Before you join the Japa wagon, ask yourself if you can truly afford it, and say no to self-imposed misery!

2023 Guber Elections: Profile of Lagos Governorship Candidates

e race to become the governor of Nigeria’s commercial hub in the upcoming gubernatorial elections in Lagos State reaches a crescendo on the 18th of March, 2023.

Sixteen candidates are vying for the government seat in Alausa, and one of them, the incumbent governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, is vying to retain it for his second term.

Below are some of the things you need to know about the four top contenders, including the incumbent governor.

Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran (45) (PDP)

Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran popularly known as Jandor is the Lagos State Gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party.

Education
Jandor attended the Polytechnic Ibadan. He’s also an alumnus of Modul University, Vienna; the Prestigious Howard University School of Business, Washington DC, USA; and Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom.

He was awarded an honorary doctorate in the field of leadership and governance by the South American University in Lagos, Nigeria, in the year 2021.

Work Experience
A journalist for up to two decades, Jandor is the CEO of Core Media Services, the parent company of CoreTvNews, a 24-hour national digital terrestrial network.

He is also the chairman of Datanet Project Services and Floral Consult.

He is also the head of the Jandor Foundation, a non-profit organization in Lagos State.

Political Career
Jandor is the lead visioner of Lagos4Lagos, a movement whose aim is to make Lagos “work for everyone and not just a privileged few.”

In 2022, he won the PDP gubernatorial ticket after decamping from the ruling APC in 2021.

Partner
Jandor is married to Maryam Olajide Adediran.

Running Mate
Jandor’s running mate is Nollywood actress and filmmaker, Funke Akindele.

Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour (40) (LP)

An architect by training, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour is the Labour Party candidate for the upcoming gubernatorial elections in Lagos State.

Education
Rhodes-Vivour bagged a degree in Architecture at Nottingham University before going for his master’s at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston.

Rhodes-Vivour was awarded a distinction by a reputable institution for his master’s degree thesis, “Traditional revolution: formalizing the informal: a proposal for the “periphery urbanite” Lagos, Abuja & Port-Harcourt.” The research focused on building a network of recycling facilities and garbage collectors in the aforementioned municipalities to turn waste into an important source of revenue and employment.

He holds another master’s degree in research and public policy from the University of Lagos.

Experience
Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour worked with Franklin Ellis Architects when he was in the United Kingdom.

In Nigeria, he worked with SISA, Cliff Consulting now called Building Partnership CCP and Patrick Wayi, before going into politics.

He founded Spatial Tectonics and serves on the boards of Alhuda Construction Nigeria and Delta International Commercial City Ltd.

Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour is the convener of Nigerians Against GMOs(NAG), an organization that advocates against the authorization or introduction of Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) in Nigeria.

Political Career
In 2017, Rhodes-Vivour ran for the Ikeja Local Government Area chairmanship under the KOWA party.

Rhodes-Vivour contested for the senate seat to represent Lagos west under the PDP in 2019.

He won the Labour Party gubernatorial primaries in 2022.

Partner
Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour is married to Dr Ify Rhodes-Vivour (née Aniebo), a molecular geneticist by profession.

Running Mate
Rhodes-Vivour’s running mate is Former Lagos East Senatorial Candidate in Lagos, Princess Abiodun Oyefusi.

Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu (57) (APC)

Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu assumed Office as the 15th Governor of Lagos State on 29th May 2019. Sanwo-Olu is seeking a second-term reelection bid under the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Education
Babajide Sanwo-Olu earned a bachelor’s degree in Surveying & Geo-Informatics and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Lagos. He’s an alumnus of the London Business School, The Lagos Business School, the Institute of Management Development and the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Work Experience
Between 1994 and 1997, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu was the treasurer at the erstwhile Lead Merchant Bank. He then moved on to be the head of the foreign money market at the United Bank for Africa.

At First Inland Bank, Plc (now First City Monument Bank) he was the deputy general manager and divisional head.

Sanwo-Olu was also the one-time chairman of Baywatch Group Limited and First Class Group Limited. He is a former Managing Director/CEO of the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC).

Political Career
Babajide Sanwo-Olu was the Special Adviser on Corporate Matters to Femi Pedro, the former deputy governor of Lagos State.

He was the acting Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget until 2007 before he moved on to his appointment as the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry by then Governor, Bola Tinubu.

Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu was appointed Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions by Governor Babatunde Fashola after the General Elections of 2007.

He defeated incumbent governor Akinwunmi Ambode in 2018 to clinch the All Progressive Congress (APC) gubernatorial ticket.

Running Mate
His running mate is the incumbent deputy and former Lagos commissioner for Science and Technology, Kadri Obafemi Hamzat 

Partner
Babajide Sanwo-Olu is married to a Medical practitioner and former Chief Medical Director in Lagos, Claudiana Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.

Funso Doherty (54) (ADC)

Funso Doherty is running for governor of Lagos State on the platform of the African Democratic Congress (ADC).

Educational Background
Funso holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard University and a B. Sc. in Accounting from the University of Lagos.

Career
Funso recently completed his tenure as Managing Director / CEO of PAL Pensions.

He previously served as the Pioneer MD/CEO of ARM Pension Managers and MD/CEO of Pensions Alliance Limited (PAL Pensions).

He has also served as Chairman of the Pension Fund Operators Association (PENOP), the umbrella body of licensed Pension Fund Managers and Custodians in Nigeria.

He is a co-founding Trustee of the CFA Society Nigeria and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria(ICAN).

Funso has worked with Goldman Sachs & Company and PNC Advisors in the United States of America and ACA and Arthur Andersen (now KPMG) in Nigeria. He is a charter holder and co-founding Trustee of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Society Nigeria and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.

Partner
Funso is married to Dr Orode Dohertynée Williams, a Pediatrician and public health physician.

Running Mate
Funso Doherty’s running mate is a Lawyer and former ADC Chairperson in Lagos, Mrs Giwa-Amu.

Courtesy> Bellanaija

Opinion: How Opposition Can Take Power In Nigeria- Abraham Kuti


On 29 May 2018, General Ibrahim Babangida gave the golden words on how we can have healthy democracy and how the opposition can gain power. 


1. Two party system
“…It is high time we look once more on the need to build unique two-party structures in the country at this critical period of the electioneering year…”


2. The Importance of Political Parties having distinct Ideologies. 
“…Our political parties since May 29, 1999 have no distinct ideologies with internal squabbles and cross carpeting that is not healthy to our democracy…”


3. Adhering to rules of political game. “…It is indeed worrisome that active politicians are not adhering to the rule of the game of politics…”


4. Unity (Politics devoid of ethnic or religious sentiments).
“…As we celebrate 18 years of democracy in our country, democratic governance has been polarised along divisive ethnic and religious lines…”


Did you know if Atiku had maintained Obi as “vice” he probably would win? Do you remember APC as a party is still a conglomerate of oppositions? It is ACN, CPC, Some members of PDP, APGA and other “mushroom” parties. In addition, Obi left to strengthen the LP, which further weakened the PDP. 


If we must analyze former General IBB’s second point, “Adhering to rules of political game”, this might not necessarily mean a specific rule but any rule that binds a people together. The rotation of power is not constitutional but it can be considered a political rule for now, in my opinion, pending Nigeria overcoming ethnic importance in politics.
Do you remember Tambuwal stepping down and asking his supporters to support Atiku, which Wike insisted was against the “rules”? Atiku gained Tambuwal supporters but lost Wike supporters, which had strengthened him in the north but not the south.

Atiku refused to compromise by taking Wike as “Vice” or asking Iyorchia Ayu to resign based on Wike’s demand and G5 who mainly were Southerners. That further increased sympathy for Wike and we later saw a strong G5 which felt they had less stake in Atiku’s project. On the other hand, Tinubu calculated the best compromise to help him get significant acceptance in the north was a Muslim-Muslim ticket, knowing that the south-west was less concerned about religion, Tinubu’s highest vote margin came from the south-west, his votes from the Northwest were almost neutralized by Atiku votes alone.

The votes of the North added to give him a win. We can go on and on analyzing the words of General IBB and a lot of wisdom will be extracted. General IBB is one of the most intelligent generals, a distinct pragmatist. Remember he was not ousted, he conducted the freest and fairest election as a way to leave power. When he realized his stay as a military leader has long stayed, he conducted an election as a proxy to hand over to another close ally whose stay in government could serve as a better protection than a democratic government which could be toppled by military men who might not be his ally.

Why all this IBB Story, the man that conducted the freest and fairest election can also best tell us how Nigerian democracy can thrive and how the opposition can win power.

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PHOTO NEWS: Obasanjo, Fayemi Storms Rivers to visit Wike

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo alongside former Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, has visited the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

Obasanjo’s visit on January 26 is the latest in a series of visits to the country home of Wike by politicians across party lines.

Wike, who is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, has been at loggerheads with the main opposition party leadership after the presidential primary that produced Atiku Abubakar as the PDP presidential candidate.

Wike and other aggrieved PDP governors tagged G5 have been calling for the resignation of PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.

Qatar 2022: Morocco makes history as the first African country to reach the Semi-Finals

Celebrations are in order, as finally, football is coming to Africa.

Morocco have achieved the unexpected by reaching the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ semi-finals after beating both Spain and Portugal in the knockout rounds. If little was expected of them prior to the tournament, the Atlas Lions have overcome every obstacle thrown in their way and have shocked the world in the process.

Morocco became the first African team to reach the semi-final of a World Cup on December 10.

They beat Portugal 1 – 0 to book their slot in the tournament’s Top 4.

Youssef En-Nesyri gave Morocco the lead in the 42nd minute.

Rabat – Morocco’s national football team is set to lock horns with France at the Qatar World Cup’s semi-finals after the European country defeated England in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

The pair will play against each other on December 14 at 8:00 pm at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar.

France clinched a 2-1 victory against England at the Al Bayt Stadium, with the two teams displaying a strong performance.

READ MORE

https://www.fifa.com/fifaplus/en/articles/world-cup-qatar-2022-morocco-semi-finals-other-shocks-bulgaria-sweden-turkey-croatia-korea-republic

HEFWAYE Sensitized Nigerians on All You Need to Know About Cancer [ PHOTOS ]

In a bid to reduce the ignorance around Cancer diseases among Nigerians, Heritage For Women and Youth Empowerment Initiative (HEFWAYE) on Friday 25th November 2022 organized a Cancer Seminar tagged: ” CANCER: What you need to know, Staying Alive and How to Beat It”.

The event which was held at Tomaville Events Center, Penthouse Estate- Piccassa, Lugbe Abuja had representatives from the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Health and Humanitarian Affairs, and Disaster Management.

Speaking, Pst. Mrs. Tope Omage (Visioner and Convener of HEFWAYE) a thoroughbred professional who retired as the first-ever female Director of Finance at the Central Bank of Nigeria and doubles as CEO of Tomag Consulting., noted that a lot of people especially women are struggling with the scourge of cancer and that with proper awareness and treatment, cancer is treatable.

In the same vein, she stated that she started HEFWAYE to get Nigerians informed about how to prevent, live with, and how to cure cancer and enjoy life to the fullest. She added that though HEFWAYE is not big on overheads they have carried out impactful projects across communities in Nigeria.

Some of such projects include the building of blocks of Classrooms, empowerment of women, disbursement of grants to entrepreneurs, paying school fees, and helping the less privileged to learn skills they can monetize. She reiterated that the NGO needs financial support from well meaning Nigerians, Volunteers, and gifts from corporate organizations.

Other Speakers at the seminar include Pharm. Bola Imana Abumere (Former Registrar Pharmacy Council of Nigeria), Dr. Jimeta Tuko (Consultant Radiation and Clinical Oncologist), Dr. Hadiza Shehu Idris (From The Federal Ministry of Health), Dr. Nnedinma Iwueke (From the Teroka Wellness Foundation), and Machi Florence (From the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs & Disaster Management).

The event which was also streamed live on Zoom also had medical practitioners who carried out Free Medical screening on HIV, Hepatitis B, and Blood Pressure for participants present.

At the end of the sensitization program, the conclusion was that everyone needs to watch what they eat, drink, and their lifestyle, and though cancer drugs are not over-the-counter drugs and must be prescribed by a doctor, Cancer itself is treatable and not a death sentence.

Pst. Mrs. Tope Omage making a presentation to Dr. Jimeta Tuko

You can watch a special documentary video about the event on the link below-

Unicaribbean Business School Celebrates Its 10th Year International Anniversary in Abuja in Grand Style

The Unicaribbean Business School celebrated its tenth anniversary and award ceremony on November 26th, 2022 at Grace Point Resort Hotel, Wuse Zone 6 In Abuja. The theme of this Year’s award ceremony was “A vision for the future Education in Africa”.

Founder and President of the Unicaribbean Business School, Amb. Dr. Olufemi Rasheed in his opening remarks spoke about the little beginnings of the school at the University of Lagos and how the Unicaribbean Business School has grown exceedingly in ten years and is well-known for its vibrancy and impact.

Amb. Dr. Olufemi stated that “Foundation Matters”, and went further to inform the gathering of the UBS New proposed Campus in Lagos State Nigeria, and declared that Hostel Buildings in the New Proposed Campus would be named after distinguished awardees of the business school and Nigerians. He, therefore, called on well-meaning Nigerians to support the big vision of the Unicaribbean Business School.

Also speaking, Amb. Dr. Roy Oamien (Group CEO of August Eye Security Services Ltd) noted that Africa needs people with bold visions to push its development; stating that consistency and integrity are the fuelings needed to grow a big vision.

He went further to bemoan the challenges facing Nigeria, such as corruption, unemployment, insecurity, and political godfatherism.

Awardees of the Business School include Amb. Dr. Abdulsalam Ogbemudia, Comrade Dr. Segun Felix, Dr. Adewale Sanni, Dr. Kazibwe Sophia, Prof. Dr. Alex Bashasha from Uganda, Amb. Dr. Roy Oaimen, Amb. Engr. Dr. Martha Ikhalo, Dr. Tee Mac Omatshola (MFR), and Prof. Dr. Dileep Kumar.

Watch this special documentary anniversary video about the Unicaribbean Business School:

Netflix: We’ve invested N9bn into Nollywood

Netflix, America’s streaming giant, says it is investing heavily to ensure its subscribers enjoy the same quality content.

Shola Sanni, director of public policy for Sub-Saharan Africa, Netflix, made this known at the second Nigeria digital content regulation conference held in Lagos on Friday.

The event had in attendance stakeholders in the local and international streaming services, independent producers, free-to-air, pay TV operators, telcos, content creators, and other operators in the film industry.

Speaking at the event, Sanni said the company has invested N9 billion in the Nigeria film industry from 2016 to 2022.

She said this was done through converting local film titles, capacity building and infrastructure development in the industry.

According to Sanni, Netflix had invested in over 200 local licensed titles, co-produced and commissioned original film content.

She added that 125 films and television series are available on Netflix as at November 2022.

The aim of the investments, Sanni said, was to ensure that all subscribers across the world enjoyed the same content at will.

“We love Nigeria and believe in it and that is why we are investing in the Nigeria film industry to entertain Nigerians and the world, with the best-in-class stories from the country,” she said.

“We are poised to tell stories that are not only interesting in Nigeria, but in 189 other countries where Netflix is present.”

On his part, Adedayo Thomas, executive director, National Film And Video Censors Board (NFVCB), said the conference was an avenue to discuss regulations in the film industry, with focus on streaming services.

Thomas said the event, which started last year, was geared towards bringing balance and equity to the ecosystem, especially with the disruption of the digital era.

“The overall goal of this conference is to create a platform for robust dialogue between the government, through the regulator and the video-on-demand (VOD) platforms,” he said.

“This is led by the over-the-top Streamers, as the government strives to oversee, monitor, moderate and balance the digital phenomenon for all players.

“As the shift from traditional to digital content consumption and the operations of local and international over-the-top (OTT) streaming services continue to impact on the growth of the local film industry in Nigeria, it has become imperative to convene the second edition of this conference.”

Also speaking at the conference, Sunday Ododo, general manager and chief executive officer, National Arts Theatre, Nigeria, commended Thomas for his tenacity in pushing for a robust awareness on what the industry is doing.

Ododo said the massive ongoing construction of over 100 million at the National Theatre was geared toward making the venue super exotic for performances and exhibitions.

“Work has reached an advanced stage, and part of the facility ready. We will do a test run between November 14 and Noember 18, 2022,” Ododo said.

PHOTO NEWS: Buhari visits freed train passengers in Kaduna

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, met with the passengers of the Abuja-Kaduna train who recently regained their freedom from captivity.

On March 28, an attack on a train on its way to Kaduna from Abuja resulted in killings, injuries, and abductions.

61 persons were said to have been kidnapped during the attack.

The abductees have been released at various intervals, including 11 freed in June, seven in July, and 12 persons in August.

On Wednesday, Usman Yusuf, secretary, and chief of the defense staff action committee (CDSAC), announced the release of the 23 passengers who were still in captivity. 

According to a statement by Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, Buhari paid an impromptu visit to the 23 freed passengers at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) hospital in Kaduna. 

The president had earlier attended the passing-out parade for cadets of the 69 regular course of the NDA in Afaka, Kaduna state. 

TheCableng reports “Before boarding NAF 001 back to Abuja from the Kaduna International Airport, President Buhari detoured to the hospital, where he also thanked the Nigerian military for their brave services in securing the safe release of the hostages from Boko Haram terrorists,” the statement reads.

“Members of the Chief of Defence Staff Action Committee, led by Maj.-Gen. Usman Abdulkadir (Rtd), who facilitated the release of the train victims, was present at the hospital.

“Others are Maj.-Gen Adamu Jalingo (Rtd), Brig.-Gen. Abubakar Saad (Rtd), Dr. Murtala Ahmed Rufai, Ibrahim Abdulllahi, Amb. Ahmed Magaji and Prof Yusuf Usman, Secretary.

“The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. LEO Irabor had earlier introduced the Committee members and briefed the President.”

Praises for The Oyelades at Book Launch, Thanksgiving

It was an evening of glitz and glamor for the Oyelades on Saturday 3rd, September 2022 as the family converged at the Provincial Headquarters, Desire of Nations of the Redeemed Christian Church of God to celebrate 10 Years of God’s faithfulness and the Launch of Two Inspiring Books by Pastor (Mrs) Halima Oyelade and daughter, Miss Stephanie Oyelade.

Undoubtedly, the evening best indicates God’s steadfast faithfulness and support as men of timber and caliber from the Church, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Family Members, Friends and Relatives Graced the Occasion.

The outpouring of testimonies, eulogies, and praises best describe the fact that the Oyelades is indeed a God-sent family and one that everyone is glad to reckon with.

The Continental Overseer and Assistant General Overseer (Education and Training) Pastor Ezekiel Odeyemi described Halima Oyelade as a true Christian woman.

In his words, “Halima has shown to us what it takes to be a Christian woman, including her children, I have no doubt within me that one of the reasons that God has sent her to the world is to reveal to us that God is faithful no matter what one is passing through”.

Without mincing words, gestures, laughter, and smiles from attendees show that if time permits they also have tonnes of testimonies to speak of concerning the Oyelades.

Halima Oyelade’s book titled Blessed Beyond Reproach was written out of a desire to basically help people that have gone through challenging and difficult times.

Halima said people lose many which take them through dark moments in life but Infer that the book is not just for people that have gone through difficult times but had suffered reproach.

“So I just want to give people hope and tell them not to let other people or situations define them, if I could walk through it, they too can walk through it”

Halima advised other widows to look up to God, as God is an unfailing companion, she noted that trusting and walking in faith will ensure victory rather than being a pity party or begging for survival.

Beaming with smile and life, Halima Oyelade assured of a better and bigger next 10 years, In her words, she said “You cannot walk with God and retrogress, the next 10 years will be a celebration of something bigger and better because God told me that I will forget my yesterday”.

Miss Stephanie’s joy too knew no bounds as she attributed her inspiration to writing her book “Good, God Grief” to a way of encouraging people that are going through difficulty that God is good regardless of what they are passing through.

Stephanie who also took inspiring spoken words that got the congratulatory emotion stated that her story exemplifies how she was able to pull through.

In her words, she said, “For going through a lot, it’s right to cry and be emotional, but I want them to draw strength from God and remember that he understands your pain and you will find comfort in his hands”.

Highlights of the event included a formal launch of the books, thanksgiving, and photo sections of everyone trying to have a photoshoot with the Oyelades.