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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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Agitation for Yoruba nation may degenerate into war, Ladoja warns

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A former governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja, yesterday, told agitators of Yoruba self-determination to exercise caution, as the agitation might degenerate into war if not well managed.

Addressing newsmen at his Bodija, Ibadan residence, after observing the Eid prayers to commemorate the end of the Ramadan fast, the former governor called for more religious tolerance and fairness, justice, especially in making political appointments.

Ladoja said: “Some parts of the country feel cheated in the appointment into some offices in the country. The country will collapse when we have incompetent people in power.

“We are a federation and not a mono-language or mono-ethnic country. We deserve the policies that make us strong, even with our diversities, but that seems to be our weakness. That is why people are looking for other options in terms of restructuring and dissolution. “And when that is the practice, it means the best of men are not in position and when you have people that are not competent running a system, the system will at the end of the day collapse. Let’s only hope that Nigeria will survive.”

Appealing to those beating the drums of war, the former governor said: “People only know the beginning of wars, but many don’t know how it ends. Some of the agitators for the Yoruba Nation don’t even know what it means.

“Nobody knows how the war in Syria started and it took years they have to take it easy. There will be a time when God will give us good leaders, and there will also be the time God will give us leaders that are not as good. If we want to go because of our challenges, we may need to sit down and talk things out on the way to go.

“When people are agitating, who says those in the North are not planning to go too? But let’s assume that people in the South are talking too much, while people in the North are acting too much.”

Southern, Northern govs should meet on grey areas —Mimiko

Meanwhile, former Ondo State governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, yesterday, urged the Southern governors to meet with their counterparts in the North to harmonise grey areas on the  resolutions reached at their meeting in Asaba, Delta state. Mimiko, in a statement, said that the resolution of the southern governors forum was commendable and the next step  is for them to meet with their Northern counterparts “to iron out what may just be minor areas of difference in substance and timelines.” The statement reads: “The resolution of the Southern Governors’ Forum, at the end of its meeting in Asaba, Delta State, on May 11 2021, is commendable.

“It is also salutary that members of the Southern caucus of the National Assembly have weighed in. “It is all a reflection of the realization of the fact that the nation may be perching at the precipice, and of the urgent need to pull her back.

“The next step is for the Southern Governors to meet with their Northern counterparts to iron out what may just be minor areas of difference in substance and timelines. “There cannot be any reasonable arguments against decentralization of policing to ensure emergence of compact and efficient sub-national forces under State (sub-national government control). “There surely cannot be any disagreement amongst the Governors on the issue of devolution of resources from the centre.”

Act fast on your resolutions, Onitiri urges Southern govs

Similarly, an activist and critic, Adesunbo Onitiri, yesterday, urged the 17 Southern governors to take action on their 10-point resolution adopted in Asaba, Delta State, on Tuesday, to save their people from the present insecurity ravaging the entire area. Applauding the governors, Onitiri,

in a statement in Lagos, said they have waited for long, while their states were being deliberately ravaged by armed Fulani herdsmen and other hardened criminals, who have been making life difficult for everybody in the entire area. He said: “The southern governors should realise that they are not an appendage or inferior to their Northern colleagues. We are in a very perilous state; we are looking for heroes to salvage our country from imminent collapse and calamity.

“The governors should immediately make laws to ban open grazing in their various states, address the people of your states on the deplorable state of insecurity in the country and appeal to their patriotic sense to cooperate with you to stem down the insecurity.

“The most insulting aspect of the matter is that farmers were being attacked, maimed, killed or kidnapped for ransom. As if that was not enough, the farmers were being sent out of their farms, their farm produce destroyed, and their wives and daughters raped as if Nigerians were in a banana republic.”

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COVID-19: Lagos places USA, Canada, South Africa, 11 others on watch list

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Lagos State has placed 14 countries on watch list as part of measures to prevent a possible spread of the new COVID-19 variant.

Commissioner for Health Prof. Akin Abayomi said the measure became necessary following the discovery of variants from banned countries within another country.

He said: “The affected countries are Canada, USA, France, Germany, Netherlands, Togo, Ghana, Cameroon, Angola, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

“Nigerians returning from lesser hajj would have to undergo a compulsory seven-day self-isolation.

“The state will not hesitate to prosecute anyone, irrespective of status, who fails to comply with the directive.”

Abayomi stressed some of the possible events that could trigger a third wave include general laxity, false sense of security and non-adherence to guidelines, religious holidays, COVID fatigue, entry of mutations and variants.

He added: “The state has however developed a five-pillar strategy for curbing a potential third wave in Lagos.

“These include ensuring that all travelers carry out COVID-19 tests while we also introduce PCR test to determine variants and mandatory seven-day quarantine.

We will also utilise EKOTELEMED to monitor confirmed cases and provide telemedicine services.

“We will be sensitising Lagosians on the importance of non-pharmaceutical interventions such as handwashing, social distancing, thresholds for public gathering, as well as discourage super spreader events.

“Our oxygen supply approach will be two-phased – outsource oxygen plants to private partners and PPP for 700 cylinder/ day oxygen plant, while we also increase the number of vaccine doses administered by leveraging the private sector.”

The commissioner, who spoke on the successes recorded so far, said some isolation centres are currently empty.

“Landmark, Agidingbi, Gbagada, FCC, Lagoon and Onikan isolation centres have been shut while Amour II and Gbagada Isolation Centres are being re-activated.

“Of the 554 bed capacity, 550 beds are currently available. There is also a decrease in the number of patients who require oxygen therapy at IDH, Yaba. Following the reduction in number of positive cases, the use of oxygen has reduced from an average of 300 bottles per day in January 2021 to 60 bottles per day in April 2021,” he added.

Prof. Abayomi said of the 58,611 cases confirmed, 54,049 recovered, 4,346 were admitted; 3,906 were discharged and 354 deaths were recorded. One confirmed case is current in isolation with three suspected cases.

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Obaseki seeks NDDC’s restructuring

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The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) must be restructured to engender Southsouth’s  development, Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has advised.

Obaseki believes that rather than spur the zone’s development,  the current structure of the NDDC had caused underdevelopment of the Southsouth states.

He also said that the Southsouth had the needed resources to develop itself but for  ”pretenders,” who according to him, must be stopped.

The governor spoke during his  meeting with members of   the Southsouth Zonal Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the Government House, Benin yesterday.

Obaseki said: “In the Southsouth, we must stand up to defend ourselves economically, politically, and security-wise. We have pretenders in the region, who try to exploit the region and we must stop them.

”The Southsouth region has the needed resources to develop itself, but the inability to do this has impeded growth.

”We have enough money in the region to build infrastructure and revive the economy. We can do it ourselves by stopping the interference.”

“The current structure of the NDDC has caused underdevelopment in the region, with the Federal Government not showing any concern.

“What is going on in NDDC today is totally untenable. NDDC cannot do any work in Edo and other states in the Southsouth. You cannot use the resources meant for the region to develop other regions of the country.”

The governor also claimed that the Federal Government seemed not to care about the scandals in the  NDDC.

Meanwhile, Niger Delta Affairs Minister Godswill Akpabio has said he  has not awarded any contract since his appointment.

Akpabio, who hosted  the Secretary of the  Interim Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Akpan  Udohedehen,  in Abuja, however,  said the ministry has   completed 73 road contracts awarded before he came on board.

He said:  “We have not given out one single contract since we came on board, but we have meticulously worked on old contracts which we believe will be useful to the people. “As we speak, 73  roads have been completed, some dating back to 2003, 2005 and  2006.”

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