Where are they now? – Blueprint Limited Newspapers

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For a long time, they have been hidden from public view. For what they stood for and their loyalty to the country, they are brought to light. ELEOJO IDCAHABA in this report wonders where they might be now.

Oladimeji Lawal

Dimeji Lawal, as he was popularly called during his active days, is a former Nigerian footballer who played as a midfielder for Nigerian, Spanish and Belgian clubs at different times. He started his footballing career with Femo Scorpion football club in Eruwa, where he played alongside other notable footballers like Mutiu Adepoju before moving to Spain at the age of 18 and signing a contract with Real Madrid.

There he spent two seasons playing football. One in Segunda’s A Division and the other in B Division. Despite his impressive outings, he was never promoted to the main squad, which is why he returned to Nigeria and played for the Shooting Stars Football Club. Dissatisfied with the football field in the country and in his quest for greener pastures in football, in 1993 he left the country and joined the Belgian second division team KV Kortrijk for a season. At another time, he also played in the South African Football Premier League called Hellenic FC in 1994.

Lawal is known as one of the best footballers who have graced the country. For example, he played for Nigeria at the 1987 FIFA Under-16 World Championship in Canada and the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship in Saudi Arabia. He has also made several appearances for the senior national team, most notably in the 1992 African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Togo in 1990. Rumor has it that he was once a FIFA licensed players agent, but it is not known where he is now and what as he always helps the players to come forward in their careers.

Turner Isoun

Professor Turner Isoun is from Bayelsa State and was Minister of Science and Technology under former President Olusegun Obasanjo from 2000 to 2007. It is under him as Minister that the real development project Nigeria’s technology has been developed. A university professor, administrator and researcher, he was educated in the 1970s at the University of Michigan in the United States. Upon returning to Nigeria after his doctorate, he accepted teaching positions at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Ibadan, respectively.

Earlier in his life, he was special adviser for science and technology in the former government of Rivers State. Professor Isoun was instrumental in establishing Rivers State University of Science and Technology, which would be the country’s first technological university in 1980, for which he was later appointed first vice-chancellor.

During his tenure as Minister, he initiated policies promoting both high-tech and low-tech science for development, as under him Nigeria launched the two satellite stations in collaboration with Chinese investors. . It was the launch of NigerSat I and NIGCOMSAT 1 (an advanced communications satellite). At one point, he was chairman of the board of directors of NIGCOMSAT Ltd. After the creation of the University of the Niger Delta (NDU), Professor Isoun was appointed Chairman of the Board and Pro-Chancellor.

Reflecting on his life at the age of 80 a few years ago, he said, “My parents had no money and I wanted to study veterinary medicine, which was a huge area for economic development. So somehow the federal government was providing scholarships at the time and I benefited from it. There was nothing like being born with a silver spoon. However, let me say that they had the money to, at least, allow me to go to elementary school. A lot of people thought I was going to a foreign elementary school when they read what I accomplished. But no, I didn’t. I went to Odi Primary School, then I went to a local high school called Okrika Grammar School.

Also, writing about him, Alex Abutu, a newspaper columnist, said: “Professor Isoun is a silent director, but when he appeared on the national scene as Minister of Science and Technology in 2000, there was no way to retain Nigeria in the committee of science-driven nations. Nigeria took lanes reserved exclusively for advanced nations by launching what was then called an ambitious science roadmap. This was to, among other things, see the launch of geospatial and communications satellites, the installation of a 1,000 megawatt nuclear power plant and the launch of the ICT backbone infrastructure that is responsible for the digital economy, including the electronic banking and other electronic products. that Nigerians appreciate. Other longer term benefits of the roadmap include the prospect of sending a Nigerian to the moon as well as the design, construction and launch of a satellite by Nigerian engineers.

This scholar scholar is a Nigerian whose imprints in the academy of sciences in Nigeria and Africa cannot be easily forgotten. He is now said to be in the mid-80s, it is not known where he is at the moment.

Franck Odita

He was one of the best officers Nigeria ever had in the police force. The Delta State-born ex-cop joined the police force in 1958 and was last seen as the host of Crime Fighters, a major TV show at the time. He could therefore be described as “one of the bridges” between the colonial police force and the Nigerian police of today.

In an interview with a national daily a few years ago, he lamented the state of the police, saying the legacy of the force had been destroyed by the military. According to him, “the Nigerian police were an enigma of respect and pride for the nation because of the level of training and guidance they received from the colonial masters until the military destroyed them and reduced them to death. a beggar institution.

Odita was a former Force public relations officer, a position he held well in the days of the military when there was a perceived cold war between the military and the force. He then reached the rank of commissioner before retiring in the early 1990s. He is someone who is opposed to the call for amnesty for members of Boko Haram. In an interview he gave at the start of the case, he refused to get carried away by those who cheaply compared the sect to the Niger Delta activists amnestied by Yar’Adua. He said: “The activists from the Niger Delta have been granted amnesties because they came to dialogue with the government. The government also believed that what they were campaigning for was legitimate, but we can’t say that for Boko Haram because we don’t know why they are fighting.

She’s one person who hasn’t been seen particularly on Crime Fighters lately.

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