Saturday, 8 August 2020


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Friday, 24 July 2020


My meeting with Dr Ezekiel Izuogo in December 1997 was an eye opener for me and a challenge to do something unique in life, since then I never looked back and has no plan to look back. On July 21 2020, Dr Izuogo passed on and went with his dream to make Nigeria a vehicle self-producing country.

In about July 1997, Dr Izuogu an Electrical Engineer and Lecturer at the Federal Polytechnic Nekede, designed and developed the ‘Izuogu Z-600’, the first African indigenous manufactured car.

The car was described by the BBC as ‘the African dream machine as 90% of its parts were sourced locally. At a projected sales cost of 2000 dollars, then which could be approximated to be less than N43, 780, it would have taken the world by storm and become the cheapest and most affordable car on earth. With mass production planned under ‘Izuogu Motors Plant’ in Naze Owerri, the prospects of an industrial revolution in Nigeria, would have taken place.

The car was equipped with a self-made 1.8L four cylinder engine that got 18mpg and allowed the car to achieve a top speed of 140 km/h. Front Wheel Drive (FWD) was chosen over Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) because a transmission tunnel, which RWD would require, would be more expensive to fabricate.

So 90% of the car’s components were made locally. General Sani Abacha, Nigeria head of state on hearing the news was so fascinated that he set up a 12 man panel of inquiry made up of professionals to ascertain the road worthiness and authenticity of the car and after several days of probing, the committee gave Dr. Izuogu’s car a clean bill of health, recommending that some of the bumps on the body of the car be smoothened.

At a well-organized unveiling ceremony General Oladipo Diya, Nigeria’s defector Vice President represented General Sani Abacha with over 20 foreign ambassadors and thousands of people in attendance, the federal government promised a grant of 235 million naira to Dr. Izuogu.

Oh Nigeria my Nigeria, the excited Dr. Izuogu waited for that grant until July 21, 2020 when he died. Not even .01 percent was released to him.

In 2006, the government of South Africa invited Dr. Izuogu to do a presentation about the car in the presence of several world class engineers. Being impressed with his presentation, they invited him to come and set up a plant in South Africa and begin the production of the car. Dr. Izuogu reluctantly agreed, though he wasn’t happy that the benefits of employment generation will be lost to Nigeria.

On Saturday, March 11th, 2006, at about 2.00 a.m, a total of about 12 heavily armed men broke into Dr. Izogu’s factory in Naze and carted away various machines and tools, locally produced timing wheel, locally produced camshaft, locally produced crankshaft, locally produced engine tappets, all 20 pieces each. Ten pieces of locally produced Z-600 engine blocks, ten pieces of locally produced pistons, four pieces of engine block mounds, four pieces of top engine block moulds, ten pieces of engine fly wheel and two pieces each of rear car and front mudguard moulds also stolen was the design history notebook of Z-600, the design file Z-MASS, containing the design history for mass production of the Z-600 car, and the moulds for various parts of the car.

When he was interviewed by the press, to Dr. Izuogu, explained thus: “It seems that the target of this robbery is to stop the efforts we are making to mass-produce the first ever locally made car in Africa. To worsen the matter, our design notebook was also stolen.”

Dr Izuogu regretted that not only did they lose over one N1 billion in monetary terms, but also time (about 10 years) and the energy it took to design and produce the moulds.

Nigeria manufactured its own car five years ahead of India but today India is using its own manufactured car ‘Indi’ while I was got missing in action.

The set back and governments attitude frustrated Dr Izuogu, Nigeria lost a technological and intellectual property and his dream died and now he is dead too. I weep for my continent.

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Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Be calm, be obedient to God and He will bless you - ELIZABETH OLUREMI FADAIRO

The story of Mrs Elizabeth Oluremi Fadairo, Nee Taylor, the wife of Chief Olu Fadairo, the story of one woman and three sets of twins …

Oluremi was born on January 20th 1938, few days after Chief Obafemi Awolowo got married Hannah Idowu Dideolu at the Saint Savior’s Anglican Church, Ikenne on December 26, 1937. Remi is the last child of a family of six from Abeokuta, her father was a Civil servant who on retirement went into farming and her mother was a trader. She attended Tinubu Primary School; Livingston Primary School before crossing over to Princess Modern School in Ebute-Mate, all in Lagos. Her grandmother in her days was very popular for she had three set of twins and the entire villagers knew her as ‘Iya Beji’, in fact it was said that most newly married ladies will go to her for prayers and blessings so they too may have twins and prosper in their marriages. 

Mr and Mrs Fadairo with their first set of twins

In 1954, Remi was done with her schooling and was planning to relocate to Ghana for a vocational training course. It was at this period that she had gone, alongside a cousin to visit the cousin’s friend who was also a friend to the handsome Fadairo, this visit was to change her life completely. The moment the young charming Fadairo set eyes on Remi, he was convinced she will be the bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. They were introduced to each other and while they exchanged pleasantries one could hear their laughter as it rings through the atmosphere of the building.  Few days after their meeting, there was a game of softball organised at the Desalu compound in Ebuta-Mate, Remi attended and behold once again Fadairo was present too and he was even the master of the game for he was the one throwing the ball. As faith had planned it, Remi had an accident during the game, Fadiaro had thrown the ball towards her side for her to catch up but unfortunately she missed her stepping and fall, sustain a cut, a deep cut and Fadiro felt guilty within himself that it was his fault and that brought them much more closer.  As he pampered her, while the wound was been treated, he asked for her hand in marriage and the pain disappeared as she said ‘YES’.

Family is everything

On November 3rd, 1955, they became husband and wife when they both echoed ‘I DO’ to each other. The young couple from the start planned their marriage even as they started the long journey for life as husband and wife. Shortly after the got married, they had their first child in 1956, few months later the child died, they moved on, had their second child in 1957 and again, the child died. Two dead kids in two years. 

Adebayo and Adewale, they opened the doors for the twins

Devastated, the man of the house lost hope and feared of what would be the state of his wife’s health if she continued loosing children, they both prayed to God but just before God answered them, pressure was mounted on Mr Olu Fadairo to get a new wife after the death of the children because of the alleged bad luck the marriage had brought to his life. His people told him that the wife might be possessed and that is why her babies are dying. The poor woman will spend days crying and asking God to make it right for her. The husband also believed in God and even his wife’s capacity to bring him joy.

Mr Adebayo, Dr James and Mr Adewale

By September 1958, when she discovered she was pregnant again she was worried, she told her husband and pleaded that he should tell no one for the time being. She went on prayers and asking God to help her make the baby stay. At the hospital she was told she is expecting twins and the fear increased. Twins. Will that mean she will be …. No God forbid. In May 1959 she had her first set of twins – all boys: Adedayo and Adewale. She gave them so much care and love and nurtured them with all she had. 

Standing left to right is Mr Adewale, Mr Oluwayemis, 
madam Idowu & Mr Adebayo. Seated left to right is 
Mama Elizabeth Oluremi & Dr James

In November 1960 she took in again and by July 17, 1961 another set of twins landed, this time a girl and a boy: Ajibola (Olaonipekun) and Popoola. Four children in two pregnancies not minding the loss of the first two pregnancies, their prayers had been answered. They couple were ready to stop, no more children. After all, they had agreed not to go beyond four from inception.

Mama Remi explaining some photos to Dr James with
Mr Bayo in white and Mr Yemisi watching

Then it started happening, the kids started falling sick, resulting to sleepless nights and anxious moments, then just like it is in all African homes, superstitious idea and stories started flying in here and there that without an IDOWU or ALABA – (a single male or female child after a set of twins) that the twins may not live long.

Mama Remi models with her daughter 

 So the couple embarked on a search for their Idowu or Alaba and behold, on June 26th 1963 they had the third set of twins – Olugbemiga and Oluyemisi - again all boys.

Mama Remi as a model on he cover of 'Woman's World Magazine

The fear that she may have a 4th set of twins, made them wait for about seven years after the birth of the last set of the third twins before another attempt was made to get the ‘Idowu’ which had to come after a set of twins.

Chief Fadairo in a handshake with General Yakubu Gowon, Head of state of Nigeria

Considering the fact that they had more than a twin set, they decided not use the names ‘Taiwo’ and ‘Kehinde’ as their names for easy identifications. They called them by their real names Adebayo and Adewale, Ajibola (girl) and Popoola, Olugbemiga and Oluyemisi and the last but not the least Idowu. God blessed them all and today they are all happy. 

Mama Remi got a book gift from Dr. James

Chief Fadairo retired as the General Manager, (Publication Division) of Daily Times of Nigeria in 1984 having worked there for 36 years. He joined his Creator on November 16, 2008, at the age of 78. Mama is very much around as u can see in my photo with her, Mama is 82 and she will be 83 on January 2021 surrounded by all the twins and Idowu and plenty grandchildren.

Madam Idowu and Dr. James

When asked what is her secret, she simply said ‘I remain obedient to God and God has blessed me, I had tremendous respect to for my husband and I never listened to hearsay.” 

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Saturday, 6 June 2020


An entrepreneur in St. Louis named C.L. Grigg had already had success with his first drink, Howdy Orange, in the 1920’s. Seeking another score, he tried several formulas for lemon, and then finally hit on a combination of seven natural flavors- hence the name (even though we think of it as a lemon-lime drink).

The soda was first promoted as a healthy tonic-to “energize the muscles… soothe the nerves… and make your body alive,” which is another reason grandma still gives it to you for tummy aches.
Furthermore, its success was due partially to the ingenious name, which became a part of the American vocabulary. When each team in a football game has scored a touchdown, for instance, we commonly say that the score is “seven up.”

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World Featherweight Boxing Champion - Hogan Bassey

Hogan-Kid Bassey was born on June 3 in 1932 in Calabar, present day Cross River State. He attended Greek Town School, Calabar, Ahmadiyya Primary School, Olowogbowo, Lagos. He went on to become a professional Boxer, won the Nigerian Flyweight title in 1949; May 31, 1950 he won the West African Flyweight title; Defeated Joe Bennets on November 10, 1950 for the Nigerian Bantamweight title; He also clinched the West African Bantamweight title. Traveled to Liverpool, England, won the British Empire Featherweight title on November 19, 1954 in Northern Ireland when he knocked out Billy “Spider” Killy his opponent. He held and retrained the World Featherweight Boxing title between 1957-1960. Returned to Nigeria, and became the First Nigerian Chief Coach in Boxing for 20 years.

He was honoured as a member of the British Empire by the British monarch and officer of the Order of the Niger by the Federal Government. After his retirement from boxing, he ventured into real estate management. He won the first world boxing title on June 25, 1951. Died on 26, January, 1998.

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Eko Bridge Lagos cost N8.5 million in 1973

On June 4, 1973: The final phase of the Eko Bridge which cost N8.5 million and covers a total length of 3,920 metres was launched in Lagos. The contract was won by Julius Berger Nigeria Limited. The 58 km. (36 - mile) ultra-modern Lagos-Badagry expressway reducing the distance between Lagos and Badagry by more than 64 km (40 miles), cost the Lagos State Government N18 million.
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