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By Sir Amos Ofoneme
I had my public service of twenty-one years in two Federal Government parastatals and worked under four bosses, an expatriate and three Nigerians. I was with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Ebute-Meta, on Lagos Mainland from Wednesday, July 3, 1957 – Tuesday, August 8, 1961 when Mr. T.C. Nzegwu was the General Manager. I joined the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation/Television Service (NBC/TV) Ikoyi, on Lagos Island on Wednesday, August 9, 1961 and was there until Saturday, April 1, 1978 when I went on voluntary retirement.
During my 17 years at the NBC, I had three Director-Generals, Mr. Tom Charmers, an Australian (1961 – 1963), Reverend Victor Badejo (1963 – 1973) and Dr. Christopher Olusola Kolade (1973 – 1978). In 1976, the NBC made up of Radio Nigeria and the Voice of Nigeria, the external service of the corporation, were separated from the Television Service which became known as the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). The NBC was changed to the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) in April 1978.
Of the four bosses I had when in Federal Government employment, Dr. Kolade, who I will describe as a wonderful and detribalized person and a phenomenal manager, was the best in terms of professional performance and achievements and in showing kindness to the staff, both of which made him the most popular with the workers. His time as the D.G of the NBC/TV not only signaled a new dawn, a change for the best in the corporation, but also in the broadcasting industry in the country in general.
I first came in contact with this internationally acclaimed enigma of management and bundle of knowledge and wisdom in 1973 when I was redeployed from the administration department of the NBC at Ikoyi to that of the television on Victoria Island to provide service and logistics to the radio and television experts assembled for adequate broadcast coverage of the 2nd All Africa Games in Lagos. The gurus selected for this very important national assignment, the first of its kind in Nigeria, were Dr. Kolade, late Chief Segun Olusola (Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ethiopia in the 1980s) and Engineer George Bako (who became a Bishop in the Anglican Communion after he retired). The others were Messrs Bisi Lawrence, Sam Adegbie, Christopher Nwobu, late Adamu Augie and two others whose names I cannot recall. We were the people who established the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON), which for 44 years now has been covering sporting and other events in Nigeria and abroad.
As the Director – General of the NBC, Dr. Kolade was instrumental to the provision of a blueprint – statement of objectives – guiding the activities and policies of the corporation. These were one: To provide efficient broadcasting services based on national objectives and aspiration; and to external audiences in accordance with Nigeria’s foreign policy. Two: To provide a professional and comprehensive coverage of Nigerian culture through broadcasting; to promote cultural growth research into indigenous culture, and to disseminate the result of such research. Three: To contribute to the development of the Nigerian society and to promote national unity by ensuring a balanced presentation of views from all parts of Nigeria. And four: To ensure the prompt delivery of accurate information to the people.
The fifth one was to provide opportunities for enlightened and responsible discussion of important issues, and to provide a two-way contact between the public and those in authority. Six: To provide broadcasting services in the field of education, and in all other areas where the national policy calls for special action. Seven: To promote the orderly and meaningful development of broadcasting in Nigeria through technical improvement, the training of appropriate professional staff, and through programme and other exchanges with other broadcasting organizations in the country.
The eight was to promote research into various aspects of the communication media and their effects on the Nigerian society. This include audience research, the investigation of fresh methods of production and the true indigenization of the broadcasting media. And the ninth and final one: To ensure that the facilities and techniques of broadcasting in Nigeria keep pace with developments in the world of communication, such as FM transmission, colour television and others.
To be continued next week Wednesday.
Wonder-woman who cures prostate cancer with herbs (3)
I thank Dr. Eno Abasi, a herbal doctor in Abuja, who last week drew my attention to a news report in the press last month, on Thursday, July 6, which gives credence to the information I heard from Chief Ebenezer Babatope, a former Minister of Transport and Aviation (November 1993-February 1995), that Dr. (Mrs.) Sola Folarin had cured some people of prostate cancer. It was the report of the visit by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, to a 90 year-old herbalist, Pa Giwa, who for years now is said to have distinguished himself in curing many patients of prostate cancer .
Among those he had healed of the killer-disease is a traditional ruler in a state in the South-East, Nze Stephen Ibeneme, whose prostate enlargement diagnosed in 2008 became cancerous this year. He told the Minister that he was cured of the ailment after taking Pa Giwa’s herbal medicine for three days. Indeed, as at Thursday last week, three men with prostate enlargement had each paid Mrs. Folarin one hundred thousand naira and one with prostate cancer, one hundred and fifty thousand naira. I got to know of this because she phoned me on Friday morning to ask for my bank and current account number so that she could pay a token amount to show her gratitude for my making it possible for her to have the four patients. The payment was confirmed when I visited the bank later that day.
Two of the four who have paid her were introduced by a man who got cured of typhoid penultimate Sunday after using the herbal medicine he bought from Dr. Folarin five days earlier. The other two said they were convinced she could heal them because they believed that Chief Babatope, a former Federal Minister and Dr. Adeniyi Adedeji, who retired as a senior lecturer at the University of Ife, Ile-Ife in 1976, could not be lying when they told me that she had cured people they know of prostate cancer.
As I disclosed two weeks ago, the two gentlemen told me about Mrs. Folarin after a friend of ours, a retired army colonel, died of prostate cancer five months ago, on March 18, so that if I had prostate enlargement or cancer, I could see her.
Continues next week.