Fredrick Nwabufo: Lai Mohammed and the burden of spokesmanship
Socrates is undeniably the father founder of ancient philosophy which was pivotal to our contemporary study of philosophy.
He was basically the phenomenal foundation of modern day philosophy and one of the earliest original thinkers that formulated the scholarly foundation for the clamour for democracy and freedom of expression.
Loved by most downtrodden Athenians desirous of lifting themselves away from the strangled hold of ignorance and poverty of ideas. But he was hated by the elites who feared that he was setting the stage for their overthrow from political power by the downtrodden most of whom has begun to lust after knowledge and philosophy.
As it were in most struggles, the ruling class usually puts to use their overwhelming control over the military might and the power of coercion to seek the decimation of their perceived enemies. And so, the elite of his time and epoch found a contrived charge to put him on trial and eventually got him executed.
The trial and execution of Socrates in the assessment of all leading scholars, shaped the trajectories that most modern societies witnessed and experience evolution.
This is how Joshua Hehe on March 4th 2020 reported the events leading up to the execution of Socrates. He wrote thus: “More than 2,400 years ago, in the birthplace of democracy, there was no such thing as freedom of speech, but one man believed there should be. He even died standing up for his rights, including that of freedom of religion, which means both the freedom to get to believe in anything and the freedom from having to believe in anything at the same time. Unfortunately for Socrates, his fellow Athenians were highly conservative, and they despised his progressive rabble-rousing”.
He wrote as well that: “At the beginning of the 4th century BCE, Socrates went on trial for moral corruption and impiety, so five hundred male-citizen jurors chosen by lot voted to convict him of the two charges. Then, consistent with common legal practice, they voted to determine his punishment and agreed to a sentence of death. Socrates was found guilty of both corrupting the minds of the youth and of not believing in the official pantheon of Athens. Granted, Socrates didn’t believe in Athena the patron deity of Athens, but rather in his own personal spirit guide. The problem was that the people were not well informed about Socrates, so they thought he may have been a sorcerer”.
Several centuries after, we are here reflecting on the rise and rise of a Nigerian Socrates who loves the youth, the down trodden and is working tirelessly to deliver quality and affordable education through the erection of first of a kind sports and science university in Idumuje Ugoboko.
Ironically, unlike Socrates of the ancient philosophy, Prince Ned Nwoko has become a social celebrity whose words of wisdom and opinion are in very high demand. His recent marriage to a highly popular and successful actress Regina shot him to greater heights publicity wise just as millions of young female graduates are beginning to believe that one day they may as well get married to a billionaire who will love them like Ned Nwoko loves Regina Daniels.
Rather than being tried for his revolutionary ideas, Prince Ned Nwoko is loved, beloved and has become one of the most searched item of research on the World Wide Web. Although as a very prosperous philanthropist he has had one or two incidents of attempts made on his life by enemies of progress not comfortable with his phenomenal rise.
Born in December 1960, into the Nwoko royal family, Idumuje Ugboko kingdom in Aniocha North local government area, Prince Ned Nwoko received primary and secondary school education in Nigeria.
He moved to the United Kingdom got his first degree in law and history at the prestigious University of Keele, Staffordshire UK. He also attended Kings College, university of London, culminating in a post graduate class with an LLM in maritime and commercial law. Prince Ned Nwoko was subsequently called to the English bar, at Lincoln’s inn.
Prince Ned Nwoko has always had interest in aviation as one of the key sectors of the economy. Several years ago he owned a Boeing air craft for a business engagement with the British Airways. He currently owns a Private Jet Charter Company known as AirLinas Limited.
Airlinas operates daily flights within Nigeria, West Africa, Southern Africa and Europe providing affordable and quality aircraft charters to business professionals and private individuals to maximise their time efficiently. Prince Ned ensures that Airlinas guarantees a quality service unmatched in the aviation industry. Airlinas owns
a bombardier Challenger 604, 5599 and intends to add more to its fleet. Ned believes that if every sector of the economy is well functional, Nigeria will achieve a sustainable growth.
Prince Ned has placed his Idumuje ugboko homestead in the world map of tourism with the building of Mount Ned Resort in Anioma land, a wonderous tourism destination with amazing exotic architecture and rarest collection of wild life. Mount Delta is one of 21 tourist sites approved by Delta State Government for the State.
He is the founder of STARS UNIVERSITY, located at Idumuje ugboko, the first sports University in Sub Saharan Africa. The proposed University, offering courses in sports and other disciplines is expected to resume full academic activities in 2021.
Two key contributions of Ned Nwoko should interest my readers and these are his passion to sponsor the scientific researches that will lead to the emergence of the medical breakthrough torwards the eradication of Malaria which remains the highest cause of deaths in Africa.
The Second passion of Prince Ned Nwoko which demands articulate appreciation is his determination to build one of the biggest universities East of the Niger in the oil rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
His proposed university is such that for the first time will see a community being accommodated by the founder and sponsor as one of the leading co-owners of educational faculties built from scratch to finish with funds sourced by the man who conceived the idea.
We will come to the matter of his involvement in driving the process of finding lasting cure to malaria in Africa, but first we will reflect on the university concept and the rapid progress he has made towards the actualization of this lofty dream. The National Universities Commission has reportedly inspected the facilities and imposing structures already erected at the massive expanse of land housing the soon to be inaugurated University.
The former member of House of Representatives, Prince Ned Nwoko, had very recently reportedly restated commitment to the establishment of Stars University at Idumuje-Ugboko, his country home in Aniocha North local government area of Delta State, saying that efforts are in top gear for the take-off of the university before the end of the year.
Prince Nwoko made the disclosure while playing host to the newly elected Chairman of the Delta State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Michael Ikeogwu along with other executives and some members of the union who paid him a courtesy visit at the prestigious Mount Prince Ned Nwoko Tourist Site, located in Idumuje-Ugboko, Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta State.
Speaking during a guided tour round some tourist buildings for the proposed university Prince Nwoko was optimistic that the institution would take off in the next one year subject to the granting of operational licence by the National University Commission, NUC.
He said already the proposed Stars University in line with NUC guidelines, has a Vice-Chancellor and a working committee with a renowned Professor of medicine and Asagba of Asaba as its chairman that is working assiduously and liaising with the commission to get approval for the institution.
His words:”We have submitted all our applications to NUC. It’s a very important project….I don’t want to start a University without NUC licence. They have come here… We are discussing. But I hope that we’ll get the licence this year. It is not something we can buy with money. But we will follow the guidelines’’, he pointed out.
Impressed by the determination to attract one of the best universities to Delta State as is being done by Prince Ned Nwoko, the governor of Delta State who was a Senator just before he won the governorship seat in 2015, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, stated emphatically, that the millions of people from Delta state are praying and wishing Prince Ned Nwoko the blessings of the divine. The solemn occasion was during the birthday celebrations of Prince Ned Nwoko.
Delta Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa congratulated businessman and politician, Prince Ned Nwoko, on his 60th birth anniversary.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, the governor said Nwoko, a former member of House of Representatives, contributed immensely to political evolution in Delta and the development of his Idumuje-Ugboko community in Aniocha North Local Government Area.
He lauded the former lawmaker, who re-presented Aniocha/Oshimili Constituency in the green chamber from 1999 to 2003 for his patriotic contributions to the state and country, especially with his Malaria Eradication Project in Africa.
The governor affirmed that the Nwoko had continued to make life meaningful for the downtrodden, and urged him not to rest on his oars.
The Delta State Chief executive said:“You have consistently impacted positively on the lives of people irrespective of tribe, religion, social status or political affiliation through your entrepreneurial drive. “Your Malaria Eradication Project in Africa and the establishment of Stars University, Idumuje-Ugboko, are some of your entrepreneurial contributions to job and wealth creation for Deltans and Nigerians. “You have continued to blaze the trail by providing and offering leadership at various strata of the society and I urge you to continue to serve your people well without relenting. “You have created several jobs and provided many opportunities for our people to utilize their potential and earn a decent means of livelihood through your investments and philanthropy. “Through your generosity and large-heartedness, you have continued to maintain a large, devoted and loyal followership that bestrode the entire Delta and Nigeria,” “On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I congratulate you on the occasion of your 60th birth anniversary. “It is my prayer that God will continue to grant you a life of more accomplishments,” Okowa added.
A certain commentator who was commenting on the recent endorsement of the anti- malaria campaigns launched by the Ned Nwoko Foundation, first and foremost, reminded the audience about the official position Canvassed by the World Health Organization on the health crisis occasioned by Malaria fever, mostly in Africa with nearly 1 billion human beings.
The vast social capital of Ned Nwoko is replicated in the search he has funded and is spearheading with determination, resilience and candour for a lasting Medical solution to malaria and he has already set up a structure in form of a foundation to effectively and aggressively pursue the goal and to achieve the target within a framework of a deadline.
He (Ned Nwoko) has put his money where his mouth is and the people and government of Nigeria have also keyed in into this noble project.
After all who does not fear malaria? and as they say in local parlance, better soup na money make am.
And so the commentator aforementioned stated that according to the World Health Organisation, every two minutes, a child dies of Malaria in Africa. Government, corporate bodies and individuals have employed methods to minimize or prevent malaria especially in Nigeria.
One man, he said, who has initiated ways of total eradication of malaria in Africa starting with Nigeria is the Billionaire and Antarctica explorer, Prince Ned Nwoko.
“He presented the Malaria Project to the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire and Minister of State for Health Dr Adeleke O. Mamora and further discussed ways of collaborating with the Ministry on the Prince Ned Nwoko Malaria Eradication Project.”
Ned stressed that Environmental Sanitation, Advocacy, Malaria Vaccine Development and Fumigation of the entire country will put a permanent end to the scourge of malaria in Africa. Also in the meeting were the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Health Mr Abdulaziz Abdullahi, a Director at the National Malaria Programme (NMEP) Dr Tim Obot, Project Coordinator Prince Ned Nwoko Malaria Project, Mr Chuks Anyaduba, to mention but a few.
The Minister praised the Antarctica explorer and initiator of the Ned Nwoko Malaria Eradication Project, Prince Ned Nwoko for his resilience in pursuing this initiative and assured him that the Ministry of Health will be willing to partner with his foundation through the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP).
Dr Osagie also mandated that a technical working committee should be set up to liaise with the Prince Ned Nwoko Foundation so as to come up with a robust and formidable plan to get rid of Malaria in Nigeria. Notable in the remark of the Minister of State for Health thus: ‘for a Nigerian to start a fight of this nature to end malaria in Nigeria and Africa, it is something Africa should be proud of’.
Ned also shared his Antarctica experience with the Hon. Minister and his team as well and presented him with an album that document his exploration as the first black African to the south pole in Antarctica, raising global awareness on the scourge of malaria in Africa.
Ned Nwoko also secured the endorsement of the military establishment and that of the mouth piece of the Federal government which is the Ministry of Information.
Chairman of Prince Ned Nwoko Foundation and Billionaire Antarctica Explorer Prince Ned Nwoko was received by the Hon. Minister of Information and Culture Prof. Lai Mohammed at his office.
They had good deliberations on ways of collaborating with the Ministry of Information and Culture on the Malaria Project. Prince Ned shared the areas of focus of the Project which are: Research for safe Malaria Vaccine, Sanitation and Cleaning of the entire environment, Waste Management and Establishment of recycling plants in every local government and finally total fumigation of the length and breath of the country.
According to Ned, ‘Everyone is a stakeholder in the Malaria Project, all hands must be on deck to end Malaria in Nigeria and Africa.’
The Chairman was in company of his lovely wife and popular actress Regina Daniels as well as the Project Coordinator Mr Chukwuebuka Anyaduba.
Indeed, like Socrates of the Ancient Athen, Ned Nwoko, the Socrates of our epoch is receiving accolades and his rise is not just meteoric but phenomenal.
Here is an account rendered in a very ancient book which depicts the status, stature and phenomenal rise and rise of Ned Nwoko: “During the reign of Tamerlane there began the restoration of the languages and of all the disciplines. The first to apply himself to this work was Francesco Petrarca, who opened up Libraries which had long been closed and removed the dust and filth from the good books and ancient writers.”
“Being a man of great understanding and excellent learning, he not only embellished the Italian tongue, of which he, together with his disciple Boccaccio, is revered as an exemplar and principal author, but also laudably stimulated Latin poetry and prose. Then Giovanni of Ravenna, grammarian, who as a youth had known Petrarca as an old man, greatly advanced the progress of the Latin language, instructing and exhorting to the love of good letters many who became very learned. Among these were Leonardo Bruni, Francesco Filelfo, Lorenzo Valla, Guarino da Verona, Poggio, Ognibene of Lonigo, Niccoló Perotti, Vittorino da Feltre, Francesco Barbaro, Pietro Paolo Vergerio, Maffeo Vegio, Leonardo Giustiniani, Gregorio and Lilio Tifernas, Antonio of Panormo, Giovanni Aurispa, Pietro Candido, Flavio Biondo. Then Manuel Chrysoloras, a gentleman of Constantinople, a personage famous for his learning and for every virtue, was sent by the Emperor John Paleologos (Manuel II1393) to the kings of Europe to implore their aid for the rescue of Greece, which was perishing”. (The Portable Renaissance Reader Edited by James Bruce Ross and Mary Martin McLAUGHI IN).
These epochal and outstanding virtues showcased in this ancient book about the Rennaissanc are replicated in the man we now prefer to name the Modern day Socrates of Nigeria- Ned Nwoko.
*EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO is head of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) and [email protected] theingerianinsidernews.com, www.huriwanigeria.com.