JP Clark: Buhari, others console Edwin Clark for loss of poet brother – Newstrends
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JP Clark: Buhari, others console Edwin Clark for loss of poet brother

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President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a condolence message to a former Federal Commissioner for Information and South-South leader, Chief Edwin Clark, for the demise of his younger brother, John Pepper Clark, an emeritus professor of literature and renowned writer.

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and his Delta State counterpart, Ifeanyi Okowa, are among other people that have paid tributes to the literary icon, who died on Tuesday at the age of 86, according to a statement signed by Prof. C. C. Clark and Mr Ilaye Clark, for the family.

The statement read, “The Clark-Fuludu Bekederemo family of Kiagbodo Town, Delta State, wishes to announce that emeritus professor of literature and renowned writer, Prof. John Pepper Clark, has finally dropped his pen in the early hours of today, Tuesday, 13 October, 2020.

“Prof. J. P. Clark has paddled on to the great beyond in comfort of his wife, children and sibling, around him.

“The family appreciates your prayers at this time. Other details will be announced later by the family.”

President Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said JP Clark’s death would leave a huge vacuum in the literary world.

It stated, “On behalf of the Federal Government, President Muhammadu Buhari extends the deepest condolence to the Clark-Fuludu Bekederemo family on the passing of renowned writer and emeritus professor of literature, Prof. John Pepper Clark.

“President Buhari pays tribute to one of Nigeria’s finest poets, dramatist and recipient of the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award for literary excellence, whose repertoire of published works depicts the hard work of a great man, devoted to a lifetime of writing, knowledge and promotion of the indigenous culture of the Ijaw nation.

“Acknowledging that Prof. J.P. Clark’s exit has, indeed, left an indelible mark in the literary world, President Buhari takes solace that his body of literary works, which earned him recognition and respect both at home and abroad, would continue to inspire upcoming Nigerian writers to pursue literary excellence and flourish in their chosen vocation.

“The President’s thoughts and prayers are with the family of the departed patriot, the government and people of Delta State and the literary community in the country.

“He prays for the peaceful repose of the soul departed.”

Governor Obaseki described the late Clark as “a great academic, celebrated poet, adding, “His literary exploits brought honour and great respect to Nigeria and his contributions to literature and education, in general, will outlive many generations.”

Governor Okowa of Delta, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, said the literary world had lost an enigma whose works would continue to dominate the contemporary Nigerian society.

He said, “The literary works of Professor J.P. Clark promoted Delta, Nigeria and Africa, hence his demise is being celebrated by lovers of literature all over the world.

“As a serial award-winner in poetry, the late Prof. Clark was a consummate patriot, a great literary icon and a teacher par excellence, whose literary publications inspired deep thoughts, especially on social-economic and political themes.

“On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I commiserate with the Clark-Fuludu Bekederemo family over the passing of renowned poet, literary giant and playwright, Emeritus Professor John Pepper Clark.”

Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, who described him as a literary colossus, said, “As we all mourn the transition of this great African to eternal life, our heartfelt condolences go to his dear family and our dear Papa, Chief Edwin Clark.

“Forever, the world shall recall the intellectual stature and contributions of Prof Emeritus John Pepper Clark-Bekederemo.”

A famous playwright, Prof. Femi Osofisan, saw the late poet as a complex personality, noting, “He was an embodiment of contradictions in his personality, but what interests us is his talent as a poet and writer and conscience of society.

“He wasn’t a protest poet, but was very political in his writing. He was very concerned about the issues that pertain to society.

“We are going to miss him. I would personally miss him because he is my friend and mentor.”

Born on December 6, 1933, in Kiagbodo, to an Ijaw father and Urhobo mother, Clark received his early education at the Native Authority School, Okrika (Ofinibenya-Ama), in Burutu Local Government Area (then Western Ijaw) and the Government College in Ughelli.

He had his BA degree in English at the University of Ibadan, where he edited various magazines, including the Beacon and The Horn.

He had worked as an information officer in the Ministry of Information, in the old Western Region of Nigeria, after graduation from Ibadan in 1960, as features editor of the Daily Express, and as a research fellow at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan.

He served for several years as a Professor of English at the University of Lagos and retired in 1980.

In 1982, along with his wife, Ebun Odutola (a professor and former director of the Centre for Cultural Studies at the University of Lagos), he founded the PEC Repertory Theatre in Lagos.

He held visiting professorial appointments at several institutions of higher learning, including Yale and Wesleyan University in the United States.

Clark was most noted for his poetry

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Nigeria will stop fuel importation by June – Dangote

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Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the CEO of Dangote Group

Nigeria will stop fuel importation by June – Dangote

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, has announced that Nigeria will cease importing petrol by June.

Speaking at the Africa CEO Forum Annual Summit in Kigali, Dangote revealed that his refinery will commence production next month, meeting Nigeria’s petrol needs and eliminating the need for imports.

“Right now, Nigeria has no cause to import anything apart from gasoline and by sometime in June, within the next four or five weeks, Nigeria shouldn’t import anything like gasoline; not one drop of litre,” he said.

The refinery will also produce diesel, aviation fuel, and other essential products, making Africa self-sufficient in these commodities.

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With a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day, the refinery will meet the demands of West Africa and beyond.

Dangote emphasized that the refinery will not only focus on petroleum products but also produce polypropylene, polyethylene, base oil, and linear benzyl, raw materials essential for producing detergents and other products.

This will reduce Africa’s reliance on imports and make the continent self-sufficient in these critical products.

Dangote expressed his optimism that within three to four years, Africa will no longer need to import fertilizers, as his refinery will produce urea, potash, and phosphate, meeting the continent’s needs.

The refinery’s second phase is set to begin early next year, further expanding its operations and impact on Africa’s energy landscape.

Nigeria will stop fuel importation by June – Dangote

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Olanipekun, Yayale, Elechi, Yusuf Ali, others named higher institutions’ governing council chairmen

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Olanipekun, Yayale, Elechi, Yusuf Ali, others named higher institutions’ governing council chairmen

President Bola Tinubu’s administration has unveiled a list of appointees to the governing councils of 111 federal universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education.

Notable figures among the appointees include former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Attahiru Jega; Senior Advocates of Nigeria Wole Olanipekun, former Bauchi governor, Isa Yuguda, and Yusuf Alli.

Others are former National Universities Commission Executive Secretary, Peter Okebukola; and labour activist, Issa Aremu. The individuals have been selected to lead the councils of various academic institutions across the country.

The announcement follows a recent ultimatum issued by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which demanded the Nigerian government address issues such as the alleged illegal dissolution of university governing councils and the continued use of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) for salary payments.

The Federal Ministry of Education responded by assuring that these concerns were being handled and that the list of council members would be released soon.

The appointments, signed by Permanent Secretary Didi Walson-Jack of the Federal Ministry of Education, include five representatives each for 50 universities, 37 polytechnics, and 24 colleges of education.

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Specifically, Attahiru Jega has been appointed Chairman of the Governing Council of Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto. Wole Olanipekun will chair the University of Lagos, while Yusuf Alli takes on the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.

Peter Okebukola will lead the University of Port Harcourt, and Issa Aremu will head the Federal College of Education (Technical) in Keana, Nasarawa State while Yuguda will chair the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).

Furthermore, former Senator Joy Emordi will lead Alvan Ikoku Federal University of Education in Owerri; and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Yayale Ahmed, will head the council of Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria.

Adamu Rasheed, the immediate past Executive Secretary of the NUC, has been appointed to the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo in Benue State.

The new governing council members are scheduled for inauguration and a retreat on May 30 and 31 at the National Universities Commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

In June 2023, President Tinubu dissolved the governing councils of several key government agencies and higher education institutions, a move that sparked criticism from various stakeholders. They argued that the University Miscellaneous Act grants universities and their councils autonomy to self-regulate.

Olanipekun, Yayale, Elechi, Yusuf Ali, others named higher institutions’ governing council chairmen

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UK lawmaker lauds EFCC, says Africa underestimates its strength

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UK lawmaker lauds EFCC, says Africa underestimates its strength

In a significant boost to Nigeria’s anti-corruption efforts, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has received international recognition for its tireless work in tackling corruption.

Baroness Verma Sandy of Leicester, a member of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords, has commended the EFCC for its dedication to fighting corruption and promoting good governance in Nigeria.

During a visit to the EFCC headquarters in Abuja on Friday, Baroness Verma Sandy praised the Commission’s new leadership under Executive Chairman, Mr. Ola Olukoyede, for repositioning the organization on the path of professionalism and effectiveness.

She expressed confidence that the EFCC’s efforts would help change the global perception of Africa and build new confidence in the continent.

The Baroness, who led a six-man delegation of the UK-based African Leadership Organisation, acknowledged the EFCC’s efforts in shaping better narratives for Nigeria and praised the Commission’s innovative approaches to tackling corruption.

She emphasized the importance of international collaboration in the fight against corruption and encouraged the EFCC to continue its good work.

Sandy said: “We are so glad to be here. It is important having this organization led by somebody who has brought incredible positive changes to the country. And I want to thank all of your colleagues here for engaging with us today. I believe passionately on the strength of the African Continent. I am not connected at all to Africa, but I have been a champion for a continent that has under-estimated its own strength but has got so much to offer the world. And I think your organization will help change the perceptions and build new confidence. So, I am so pleased and honoured to be here.”

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EFCC Chairman, Mr. Olukoyede, thanked the Baroness and her delegation for identifying with the Commission and acknowledging its efforts.

He reiterated the EFCC’s commitment to tackling corruption and promoting good governance, emphasizing that corruption is a major obstacle to Africa’s development.

He highlighted the Commission’s new focus on prevention and addressing systemic issues that enable corruption, as well as its efforts to stimulate economic growth and prevent foreign exchange sharp practices.

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