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LAGOSIAN EXCELS IN THE UK—GETS MBE

Margaret Pocock

No news, they say, is good news. In the last six years, the only news items in the worldwide media about Nigeria have been reports of abysmal and deleterious events. Notable amongst these are:

1. Boko Haram and Chibok girls

2.  Murder of British soldier on East London Street by Nigerians Adebolajo and Adebowale.

3. The attempted bombing of the Detroit bound US airliner by Nigerian banker’s son, Mutalab

4. The trial and conviction of former Governor James Ibori in London

5. The contagion of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Lagos, Nigeria

6. Various scams, 419 and credit card fraud committed by Nigerians.

Margaret Aderin-Pocock

Margaret Aderin-Pocock

Nothing good, it seems, ever comes out of Nigeria. Now a Lagosian (Omo Eko proper) has put paid to this sequence of bad news by proving, against all odd, that a Lagosian can prove the pundit and pervious of bad news wrong. The Lagosian is Margaret Ebunoluwa Aderin-Pocock. Ebun is a Lagosian whose mother is nee Wey and whose father is Aderin from the source of the Yorubas, Ile-Ife. Her mother, Carol Bisi, was born in Lagos to the Wey family and her mother was Miss Ebun Wilson. Coincidentally, we recently announced the passing away of octogenarian, Chief Mrs Dosunmu Ogunbi, wife of late Professor Ogunbi. The deceased was the younger sister of Carol’s mum and Margaret’s grandmother (probably the reason for Margaret’s appellation of Ebun at birth). Before delving further into the Ashley, Wey and Wilson family history, let us parade the impressive achievements of Margaret Ebun Aderin-Pocock:

  • Maggie, at age eight, was discovered to be dyslexic like Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic Airline, and when she expressed her interest to be an astronaut in future, her teacher advised her to become a nurse because, she said, this was also a science—more derogatory than career advisory.
  • Margaret graduated in Science in the United Kingdom.
  • She later attended Imperial College, London and graduated with BSc Physics and PhD Mechanical Engineering.
  • Margaret is married to Martin Pocock and they have a young daughter, Lauren, who travels round the world with her mum. The family reside in a lovely tree-lined street in Guildford London and as most mums do, Carol, her mum, goes over from her East Sussex home to Guildford to babysit Margaret’s daughter.
  • Margaret, now aged 47, worked for many years in the British Ministry of Defence (MOD) in a sensitive position. This was unusual for a non-native Briton and she had excelled humongously to obtain the highest rating for this cloak-and-dagger appointment. Her scope in MOD included missile warning systems and handheld instruments to detect landmines.
  • After leaving the MOD, she became a Research Fellow in the Department of Science and Technology at University College London (UCL). She is also Honorary Research Associate in UCL Department of Physics and Astronomy.
  • She has since been awarded Fellowships in Astronomic Gadgets, Satellite Technology, Science Communication and Science and Society and Particle Physics and Astronomy Research.
  • She later joined the Sky at Night television series on BBC as a specialist space scientist and TV presenter.
  • With the flying colours achieved and encomiums received for her service to scientific work, the Queen of England awarded her the prestigious Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 2009 and she was decorated with the award at the Buckingham Palace, London. On that occasion when she replied the Queen’s enquiry as to her line of work that she was a space scientist, the Queen could not hide her shock.
  • She was listed recently as one of the top 10 black people in the United Kingdom.
  • A Google search with the key words “Margaret Aderin-Pocock” will show how much respect, admiration and credibility is given to her achievements by the powerful British media, print and electronic.
Margaret Aderin-Pocock

Margaret Aderin-Pocock

Now, how many Nigerians have won the MBE on meritorious scholarly performance? We can’t recollect any. We recall awards of Knighthood to business moguls, Sir Odumegwu Ojukwu, Sir Mobolaji Bank-Anthony and politicians/public servants, Sir Kofo Abayomi, Sir Abubakar Tafewa Balewa, etc. Honorary MBEs were also awarded to music maestros Victor Olaiya and late I. K. Dairo. Consequently, the MBE award to Margaret is a testimony to her devotion to duty by her dint of hard work and cerebral perfection in the field of science. Lagos Blog is proud of her achievements even if the Lagos State Government, nay Federal Government of Nigeria have not found them worthy of recognition.  It is noteworthy that she has never travelled to Nigeria.

Now, Lagos Blog (trust us, we know) tells you more about her Lagos family connections:

  • Margaret’s is a direct descendant of the Ashley/Wilson families of Central Lagos.
  • Her grandmother, Mrs Ebun Wilson, had two siblings, the Ashley brothers.
  • Ebun Wilson was the mother of Modupe Wilson, Kingsley Lola Wey and Carol Bisi Wey.
  • Her granduncle, Fredrick Wey was the father of Mrs Yetunde Johnson (nee Ashley).
  • Her other great uncles, Johnson Ashley was the father of Chief Mrs Dosunmu Ogunbi, Mrs Ibiye Bickersteth and Mrs Bunmi Kushanu.
  • Margaret’s aunty was Mrs Modupe Johnson nee Wilson, mother of Lagos chief and ex Commissioner, Chief Abiola Johnson and Arc. Biodun Wilson of Lagos State Ministry of Works.
  • Margaret Aderin-Pocock with her baby

    Margaret Aderin-Pocock with her baby

    Margaret’s mum, Carol, had controversially married late popular Lagos Chief Magistrate Ogunmuyiwa (Baba Ewa) and had a child, Alhaja Aminat for him. She later met Bayo Aderin, who died in 2013, in London and bore him five daughters including Helen, Susan and Margaret. After separating from Aderin, she later met a man of the cloth, an Anglican Priest, Rev. Thrill and she later married the Reverend gentleman. This was a controversial and media publicity-filled union as the Reverend was a drunkard who was getting picked up from the sidewalks and condemned by passers-by for putting his religious garment to shame and derision. UK newspapers were agog with stories about this lovely young Nigerian, Carol who pitied this supposedly Reverend gentleman, took him home to her Isle of Dogs London residence and, amazingly, married him. Fortunately, that bad publicity has been obliterated by the good deeds and achievements of Carol’s daughter, Margaret. However, the marriage to the English Reverend had floundered and Carol is now Mrs Carol Philips, happily married for over twenty years to her British telecoms engineer, Derek Philips and they live in an idyllic countryside bungalow in rural East Sussex, England near ex Beatle Paul McCartney.

  • Coincidentally, or perhaps genetically congenital, there is an array of artistic intellectualism in Margaret’s family descent. Her mother had not only written a book, The Dispossessed Daughter of Africa, to narrate and catalogue the events of her birth and life with particular reference to the English Reverend episode, she has since written several other books and is a successful poet, gardening expert and art aficionado. Carol’s niece, Arc. Biodun, is also a poet, a novelist, an art collector and art gallery curator. Carol’s nephew, Biola, the ex Commissioner, is also of the artistic leaning having been variously a Jazz musician, the leader of the Jazz section of the Island Club, publisher of the Modern Home and Better Living magazine and the operator of Lagos Number 1 online political blog, Lagos Politics. It runs in the family, doesn’t it?
  • Margaret’s uncle (believed to be deceased), Lola Wey had been in England working in Harrods since 1963. He married a Spanish woman and they had only one child, Emmanuel Wey, who is a medical doctor in London and specialises in tropical diseases.

Lagos Blog is joyous that a Lagosian has, to some extent, made some reparation to the name of Nigeria from the no-good to pretty-good.

While writing this article, we attempted to obtain some comments on the telephone from ex Commissioner Johnson but he was abrupt with us insisting that he does not talk to nameless social media sites and certainly not about his family.

AMCON BOSS CHIKE OBI WIFE SNATCHER

Mustafa Chike Obi

Man of the Moment, Mustafa Chike Obi, is renowned for his no nonsense propensity as he sits astride the powerful Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). AMCON is the body that handles trillions of naira worth of assets retrieved by this federal government owned body from bank debtors. This corporation has overtaken the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation as the beginning of fear for business failures indebted to financial institutions.

University of Lagos

University of Lagos

Mustafa bears this Hausa first name by the wish of his father to be as Nigerian as possible. Coming from a family of Anambrarians, his other brother is also named Balogun as a prenom. His late father was Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, Chike Obi, who dazzled and mesmerised the Nigerian populace in mid 20th century with his prowess in Mathematical erudition, which he gainfully employed to carve a niche for himself in political affairs. Mustafa has indeed achieved acclaim, coming from his personal financial institution to head this government conglomerate. Having excelled as a First Class graduate of Mathematics from University of Lagos, he obtained an MBA from America’s Ivy League University, Stanford, and served brilliantly in several Wall Street, New York financial organisations including Goldman Sachs. Unfortunately, his career was almost blighted when, while he was a Senior Manager at Kidder Peabody, he was accused by a lady employee of sexual harassment and was booted out of the company. He threatened to sue the lady and his employers but withdrew his threat when he joined another Wall Street firm in a senior management position. He later came to Nigeria to set up his own firm and was later appointed as a pioneer Managing Director of AMCON. He is married to his Itsekiri wife with two kids. However, his weakness for feminine thighs has again been brought to the fore as he has been caught almost flagrante delicto by his immoral activity of enticing a young married woman who went for a job-seeking interview with him and has now ended up as his mistress and, Lagos Blog learns, his wife-to-be.

Stanford University

Stanford University

The lady in question is the young wife of a young man of indubitable Lagosian pedigree. The young man is Mr Sheni Williams, son of late Ibile Properties accountant, Mr Modele Williams (CMS), grandson of highly regarded Mrs Williams (Mama Gabby), a Lagos trader. Sheni’s paternal uncles are Dr Gabby Williams, late Babatunde Williams (Kings, first African Secretary of the Ikoyi Club) and late Folabi Williams (Willie Opara, Igbobi) and his paternal aunties are Mrs Lande Bode-Emmanuel and Mrs Odunsi nee Dosunmu and wife of Yinka Odunsi, a scion of the Royal Brothers wealthy Odunsi family. Sheni’s mother is Ronke, nee Gbajabiamila. His maternal grandmother is Mama Gbajabiamila, a mightily weighty politician in Lagos State. Mama is the wife of well known late Mr Gbajabiamila  of Olowogbowo, Lagos and Ronke’s other sibling and younger brother is, wait for it, Right Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, recently elected for a third stint as a member the House of Representatives in Nigeria. Femi, a vibrant, brilliant and aggressive American trained attorney, is the Rep who last year scaled the fence of the National Assembly premises, an action which precipitated the failure of the PDP’s (the majority party) attempt to impeach the Speaker of the House of Representatives who had announced his defection from the majority party to the newly formed opposition party, APC. As a matter of fact, the grapevine whispers that Femi is being tipped to be the next Speaker of the next session of the Lower Chamber of the National Assembly.

Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs

It is therefore a matter of concern that this young man of sterling qualities is now being soiled and having his marital home completely devastated by the poaching of his beautiful young wife by this elderly man who obviously took advantage of the young lady’s search for a secure job in a secure financial empire. Very unfortunate indeed. Year 2015 has become not only an annus horribilis for this Lagosian family but is fast becoming an annus terribilis. We are reminded of how the most respected musicologist in Nigeria, the well-beloved late Professor Sam Akpabot, had his name and reputation besmirched and he subsequently sank into oblivion by his immoral action with a student in the ivory tower where he held sway. Is there truly a Law of Karma?

NEW TRUSTEES, PATRONS, MEMBERS FOR ISLAND CLUB

Prince Ademola Dada, Chairman Island Club

Prince Ademola Dada, Chairman Island Club

On Friday 17th April 2015, the Island Club came alive with a celebration of the investiture of new vice patrons, trustees and members. Staged in the Peacock Hall of the club, it was indeed a historical occasion with the presence of two leading Obas from Yoruba land, a former military Chief of Staff and Minister of Defence, the imposing presence of the wealthiest man in Africa and an array of new members for the club. It was a well-planned occasion and as the show business cliché goes, “It was alright on the night”. Commencing formally at 7pm, the Social Secretary set the ball rolling with his introduction of honourees followed by citations and awards of insignias. Lt Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma and Alhaji Aliko Dangote were decorated as vice patrons to the delight, encouragement and approval of Oba Akiolu of Lagos and Oba Gbadebo, the Alake of Egbaland. Nostalgic music was supplied by veteran Juju maestro, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey. Many other senior members and dignitaries were decorated as trustees of the club. Those honoured were:

New Trustees

Following the trustees awards, 19 new members were also initiated into the club and the Chairman of the Club, Prince Ademola Dada was on cloud nine, beaming with joy and abloom avec passion, as he took charge of affairs of the evening. This is probably the last major social undertaking for the Club Chairman before passing the baton to a new Chairman in May 2015 and it was a manifestation of his three years of excellence as the primus inter pares of the great Island Club. Sadly though, the dichotomy and subsisting unresolved problem of the club once again reared its ugly head as some trustees, past Chairmen and eminent dignitaries who would have made the occasion more excellent and memorable with the deserving glamour, glitz and razzmatazz, were conspicuously absent.

Oba Akiolu

Oba GbadamosiOba Gbadebo

TY Danjuma

TY Danjuma

Aliko Dangote

Aliko Dangote