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Immediate past governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan has deridingly urged ace economist, Professor Pat Utomi, to go contest for a councillorship position in his Ward to learn the ropes of government in the state.

Uduaghan made the sardonic remark in Asaba, on Friday during a stakeholders’ meeting of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

He debunked the wild allegations of financial mismanagement against the state government by Prof Utomi at an event in Warri and urged him not sacrifice the truth on the altar of political expediencies.

Dr Uduaghan urged the Lagos-based economist to consider actualizing his political ambition by first contesting for Councillorship position to get basic facts on issues affecting governance in the state.
He described Prof Utomi as someone more of a bogus ideas, but lacking in the practical execution of his ideologies.

Uduaghan disclosed that as governor of Delta State, his administration made Prof Utomi chairman and member of several committees as opportunities for the professor to contribute to the development of the state, but did not show goodwill and character.

“If Prof Utomi attends any of the meetings, he will not spend more than five minutes.”

“He bragged about his reach internationally, how he was going to bring international investors and we had to partner with him to organize a business forum outside the country with Nigerians in the diaspora for us to get the investors, but he did not spend five minutes before he left us, no investor came to the state through him,” Uduaghan disclosed.

Speaking further on his experience with the Professor of Economics, Dr Uduaghan challenged Deltans to put him on the hot seat on his stewardship concerning projects that we’re in his care.

“You people should ask Prof, where is the Silicon Valley? He took us to his home town, Ibusa for the foundation laying ceremony of Silicon Valley, till date, there is nothing to show that the project has commenced.”

“He has contested for the presidency, he now wants to be the governor but, I think he should start from his Ward, he should contest for Councillor,” Dr Uduaghan advised, amid a thunderous applause from the excited members of the PDP.

He urged Utomi to stop condemning Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, but instead put on the table the programmes he has for the people of the state if they must vote for him.

“It is not good to condemn what the incumbent governor is doing because of your ambition, rather, you should bring out your programmes and sell to the people.”

“Every man has a right to aspire to any political office in the country, but such person must not tell lies about government to achieve his aspiration.”

“Tell the people what you can do for them, do not spread lies.”

“Governor Okowa has done excellently well and we should join hands with him to develop the state,” Uduaghan noted.

The former governor, therefore, advised members of the PDP to remain united and urged those in elective or appointive positions to empower Deltans through the spread of democratic dividends.

The All Progressives Congress has won the council election held in all the 20 Local Government Areas and the 37 Local Council Development Areas on Saturday.

Early results released by the Lagos Television showed that the APC took several LGAs and LCDAs including Ojokoro, Eti Osa, Lagos Island, Badagry Central, Onigbongbo, Odiolowo/Ojuwoye, Ikorodu West, Ejigbo, Ikeja, Ikorodu, Epe, Lagos Island East, Badagry West, Surulere, Ikorodu Central, Ikoyi/Obalende, Agboyi-Ketu, Eredo and others.

Some of the results from the LGs and LCDAs showed the ruling party winning. In Lagos Island LG, APC won with 14,692 votes while PDP got 925 votes, with the Labour Party taking third place with 1211 votes. APC also won in  Ikoyi-Obalende LCDA with 7112 votes, PDP got 756 votes while LP got  542 votes.

 In Eredo LCDA, APC received  10910 votes while PDP got 737 votes. The victory continued for the ruling party in Epe LG with the APC getting 21401 votes and LP getting 948 votes. APC emerged victorious in Lagos Island East LCDA with 9060 votes while  PDP  got 1128 votes. 

In Badagry West,  APC swept the LCDA with  5300 votes leaving PDP with 935 votes.  Similarly, in Ejigbo LCDA, APC won  4876 votes while PDP won 1079 votes. In Ikeja LG, APC  got 6191 votes while  PDP  won 990 votes. APC won Ikorodu West LCDA with 3068 votes while PDP got 555 votes.

Contrary to news making the rounds that actress, Halima Abubakar has been diagnosed with cancer, her Ghanaian manager, Anah Abi, has said the actress is battling with complications from a fibroid removal surgery she had sometime ago.

In an exclusive chat with Sunday Scoop, she said, “Halima has shared a lot about what’s happening to her before in the past, so it is just natural for her to share this as well. She’s never scared to share anything that she’s going through.

We thank God that she’s responding to treatment though she’s still weak but she has a lot of wonderful people around her. She would be having her next surgery in two weeks so for now, she has to rest.

The information going round that she has cancer is totally false. She already said it herself that it is fibroid. She has also thanked the Kogi State First Lady who has been very kind to her. She had complications from the initial fibroids operation that she had. We are grateful because a lot of people prayed for her and I believe that’s the essence of the post Tonto Dikeh made. Aside medicine, she needs prayers too.”

Speaking on the controversial social media post and picture by Tonto Dikeh, in which Halima was shown with her head completely shaven, which many took to mean the effects of chemotherapy used to treat cancer, Abi said, “Tonto is Halima’s best friend. She came to Lagos to shoot a movie and called Halima who then told her that she was in the hospital. Tonto immediately came to the hospital and took her to her hotel.

She left the work she came for and spent time with Halima. People that have been praying for her should keep doing so and ignore the pictures. She is comfortable enough to be seen anyhow she is. Besides, Halima has posted worse pictures of herself, so there is no big deal in what Tonto posted.”

When Sunday Scoop sought to speak with Halima, our correspondent was informed that she was sleeping and couldn’t speak to anyone for now.

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Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited, EMTS previously trading as ‘Etisalat Nigeria’ and now 9mobile requires an estimated $100million to perfect the complete reengineering of its network.

Although the new management team led by Mr Boye Olusanya was noncommittal at the ceremony to unveil its new logo in Lagos, it was reliably gathered that in order to achieve this seamless process of rebranding the cost implication will run into millions of dollars.

However, speaking in an interview with The Nation, Mr. Olusola Teniola, National President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) said, “Full rebranding of Etisalat over the period under new management can be from $100m and above. However, if 9mobile is viewed as a temporary brand name that is in transition awaiting another buyer, then in my estimates, a figure much lower than 100m can be used to rebrand 9mobile over all its customer care centers and kiosks, stationary, bill boards and a very light touch of below the line awareness that doesn’t include SIM card / recharge card rebranding.”

The ATCON boss was also quick to add that the potential in the industry is enormous and any new investor has the opportunity to define and shape the future of this dynamic industry.

“A lot of innovative solutions are waiting to be introduced to totally transform the way the existing value chain has been created to address the voice market and needs to be changed to truly address the digital realm.”

Echoing similar sentiment, the Managing Director/CEO Prima Garnet Africa, Laolu Akinwunmi who acknowledged the fact that the cost of rebranding the network could not be summed up without proper due diligence analysis, said depending on the scope and breadth, a rebranding exercise will not come really cheap.

Akinwunmi who is also former Chairman Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) however admitted that the cost of rebranding will be in the region of several millions of dollars.

It may be recalled that Etisalat Nigeria ran into problems over a seven-year loan facility of $1.2billion from 13 local banks and their foreign counterparts to refinance a $650 million loan as well as the expansion of its network which it could not redeem due to a dollar shortfall in Nigeria’s financial system.

The 13 local banks involved in the loan deal include: Zenith Bank, GT Bank, First Bank, UBA, Fidelity Bank, Access Bank, Ecobank, FCMB, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Union Bank.

However, the Central Bank of Nigeria had to wade in following the exit of Etisalat lenders and Abu Dhabi state investment fund Mubadala, the second-largest shareholder in the business, which pulled its investment of the company.