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Erica: Dele Momodu, Omotola’s husband, fans celebrate BBN star’s 27th birthday

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Big Brother Naija star girl, Erica Nlewedim, marks her 27th birthday today.

Ahead of the celebration, she sent a picture via her Twitter account @EricaNlewedim with a caption ‘Look at my pilot’ indicating that actress Omotola’s husband, Captain Matthew Ekeinde, flew her in an aircraft.

 

The picture on Twitter on Friday shows Erica, Ekeinde and another pilot standing at the tarmac of an airport.

On Thursday, Ovation Magazine publisher, Dele Momodu, shared a birthday invitation from Erica on social media.

Fans of Erica also known as Erica or Star girl have also erected a massive billboard at Alexander roundabout in Ikoyi, Lagos for her 27th birthday.

The massive billboard captures the face of Erica with an advert for her birthday today.

Momodu has also devoted a greater part of his weekly Pendulum column to celebrate Erica.

Titled, ‘Help Raise a Toast to the Erica of Africa’, the piece read in part, “Fellow Elites, today is our day, when we shall seize the God-given liberty and opportunity to celebrate and toast a young lady whose mistake was not forgiven by man but was still elevated and catapulted to fame and success. It is obvious that the ways of God are different from the ways of humans. We all love to pontificate as if we are all holy and perfect, but no one is. Every one of us suffers from one foible, weakness, egocentricity or the other. But if God can forgive our sins what stops us from replicating the same privilege to our fellow human being. Indeed, that is the injunction of most holy books. To err is human, to forgive is divine as Alexander Pope famously said in his poem, An Essay on Criticism!

“Anyway. My sermon is quite simple today. And I won’t bore you with too much detail. My subject matter is no other than a beautifully effervescent, ebullient lady, Ms Erica Nlewedim, popularly known as Erica, who made some costly mistakes inside the Big Brother Naija House last year and was booted out ignominiously! It was a cataclysmic fall from the pinnacle of the temple to the rocky bottom of the abyss! Every onlooker expected her to be smashed into smithereens except some of us who truly know how God works mysteriously and miraculously.”

He also recalled how he became fond of the programme and took liking for Erica: “Initially, I didn’t really know much about that particular edition of Big Brother Naija. I had been busy with other things, particularly my Instagram Live interview shows, and I had paid no attention to the current Big Brother Naija show. It was the call from my friend Terry Waya that aroused my interest. His son Kiddwaya was in the house and he solicited my media support. I was only too happy to lend my support since I also knew the young man quite well when he was growing up.  I had not seen him when he became an adult. I expected that he would grow into an upstanding young man and the images of him and the character he presented in the Big Brother House justified my high hopes and expectations of him.

“As I watched the show, I knew Kiddwaya had grown up to become a handsome, intelligent and affable young man. I became hooked on the show and realised that several of my friends were also quite keen on it.

“Then one thing led to another and we discovered that Kiddwaya seemed to have fallen headlong in love with one ravishingly beautiful, but overly complicated housemate called Erica or Baby G. The feeling was clearly mutual, and the lovebirds could be seen demonstrating their affection for each other whenever they could.”

He touched on her expulsion from the house, which he described as a tragedy and events that followed.

“Erica was mercilessly expelled for a transgression which brought out her frail, fragile and highly charged emotional personality! Everybody makes a mistake, especially when under the influence of alcohol and Erica was definitely inebriated that day. The fault was not hers alone though. It seemed that the other Housemates did not actually look out for her welfare on that day and allowed things to deteriorate to the extent that they did. Ordinarily, that would have been it for me.

“However, I read all kinds of ugly comments and was deeply troubled about a young soul that may soon be totally destroyed and completely obliterated simply because she was much misunderstood and deeply maligned. I knew I had to step in urgently because I dislike and detest unfairness and injustice! Sooner than later, her boyfriend Kiddwaya was evicted in what seemed a well coordinated conspiracy in the House which made me redouble my efforts to support Erica and ensure that her participation and unfortunate exit were not in vain,” Momodu stated.

He also stated, “Let me fast forward a bit. I suffered collateral damages on account of my effrontery to liberate a lady I never knew from a mental meltdown. I had no other motive than to save a soul. I knew that she needed to be encouraged rather than be vilified and crucified. In lending my voice and support for Erica’s advancement, I never disparaged any other Housemate. It is not in my character and it is not the Ovation way. We applaud, celebrate and promote. Sadly, and seriously, we live in the age of intolerance, in which someone’s enemy must automatically become yours as well. Unfortunately, no one can bully me out of my principled position. My family was worried about the ceaseless plethora of attacks on my person by kids I could easily have grandfathered. My wife called from London belching fire. She could not understand why I was not relenting in my support despite the vociferously fearsome attacks I was being subjected to. That even got me more steadfastly fastidious and totally determined to fight Erica’s corner since I knew my soul was clean towards this girl. In the end, Erica has been vindicated, the enormous respect, admiration and adoration that she commands and engenders have made it all worthwhile. I pray some people will fight for our own children in their days of tribulations.

“Today, I’m extremely proud of my stubbornness and undaunting spirit. The reason our country is in this monumental mess is because we always allow evil people to gain the upper hand due to our meekness and squeamishness! We easily cave in under societal pressure and fear-mongering. I draw my strength from the gift of clairvoyance and ability to stand on the truth even if everyone would think I’m stupid. And I even expect no appreciation whatsoever from the beneficiary. Whatever I do, I do for God because HE has touched my heart to do so. I seek no personal gain. I’m sure God will bless me beyond my asking once my motives are pure, which they always are.”

The Ovation publisher noted, “Erica has become an unstoppable phenomenon not because she’s the most beautiful woman, the most brilliant scholar, the most eloquent speaker but just because God likes to help lift up the downtrodden who has been kicked wickedly and unremittingly in the mud like a leather football.

“Hate or love her, Erica’s time has come. Please, rise, and join me in giving Erica a standing ovation and toast to her health, longevity and prosperity as she celebrates her 27th birthday today.”

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Igboho: Yoruba monarchs, others in Benin Republic court

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Many supporters of embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, have stormed the Cour De’appal De Cotononu for his trial.
Some traditional rulers of Yoruba-speaking areas in Benin Republic are leading Igboho’s supporters to the court ahead of the arrival of Igboho, who was arrested in the country last week.
A group, Isokan Omo Odua, had mobilised supporters for the embattled supporter as a sign of solidarity.
BBC Yoruba reported that anxious supporters were seen outside the court premises waiting for the arrival of Igboho.

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Nigerian-American financial analyst Adenle wins award

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An international non-profit based in Seattle, United States of America, Women in Voice (WiV), has awarded its DEI In Voice award to Dr Omolabake Adenle.

 

Adenle, a Nigerian- American quantitative financial analyst, who won the award – which recognises outstanding contributions to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in voice – “for making African languages accessible to voice solutions” had three other finalists in this category of the WiV awards.

 

Holder of a PhD in Bayesian Signal Processing from Cambridge University, the founder/chief executive officer of Aja.La Studios, which builds natural language and speech processing applications for under-resourced languagesm had in 2017 been a finalist in the 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa organised by the African Innovation Foundation.

 

Grateful for the WiV Award, she said it would help “contribute to the momentum needed to work towards making voice technologies accessible to all Africans” noting that “building a speech technology company that provides broad support of African languages is extremely challenging, (but) voice technologies will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of information and service access in Africa.”

 

It is her belief that ““digitising African languages will help make information more accessible to Africans.”

 

Formerly a vice president for quantitative and derivative strategies at Morgan Stanley in the United Kingdom, she started building African language-learning apps such as SpeakYorubaApp in her free time.

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Onochie to know fate on INEC job Tuesday

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The public is expected to know on Tuesday (tomorrow) the outcome of the screening of a Senate panel of the Special Assistant to the President on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, and five others nominated for appointment as national commissioner of Independent National Electoral Commission.

The panel, it was learnt, would submit its report to the plenary on Tuesday.

Onochie, Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah, Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi, Saidu Babura Ahmad, Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam and Dr. Baba Bila were screened last Thursday by the Senate Committee on INEC nine months after President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded a request to the Red Chamber to confirm them.

Onochie’s nomination had sparked outrage from the opposition lawmakers and some from the All Progressives Congress and civil society groups, who argued that she was “too partisan” to be a commissioner in an important institution like INEC.

Others accused her of being a card-carrying member of ruling APC.

But the presidential aide said she had stopped being a member of any political party since 2019.

The screening session became rowdy when a member of the panel, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti) suggested that Onochie be placed on oath to swear that she did not belong to any political party.

But the suggestion was opposed by other committee members, who noted that putting Onochie on oath was against the Senate rule.

The Senate Committee Chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano), said his committee would look at all the documents before the panel, decide the nominees and forward its recommendations to the Senate.

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