Month: April 2015
The taste of the pudding is in the eating, says an adage. This statement aptly applies in Ogun State where Governor Ibikunle Amosun is into a fresh start. It is a new start, a new beginning for Amosun, who came into office four years ago with a promise that he would work for the people. Just like yesterday, a full term of four years is over. It has been four years of trials and triumph, pains and gains, challenges and consolidation. To cap it all, it has been four years of new things not only in Ogun State but also across the country and indeed the continent of Africa.
There were trials in putting up structures for the take-off of the urban renewal project of the Amosun administration but the triumph today is that we have a whole gamut of a successfully executed project that includes modern markers across the state to replace the unsightly traditional markets, the ones paved way for six lanes roads and elimination of street trading, well fixed roads complete with bus stop sheds and street lights, relocation of mechanics from the township and road sides to a facility that adds value to their trade, removal of the auto mart and construction of motor parks that compare with airports. There were pains in mobilizing funds for the MITROS programme.
The gains today speak volumes of a programme that has become a reference point in safe mother hood in Nigeria and indeed Africa because of its potentials to reverse the scourge of infant and maternal mortality in the continent. Empowering the various segments of the society; including the youths, women artisans, among others, posed great challenges. But today, the Amosun administration is consolidating on the three to four agricultural villages in the state that absorbed young unemployed graduates. The other strand of the consolidation of the agricultural villages is that it promotes food security like the one in Oke-Mosan secretariat in “Oja Irorun”.
For women, the administration is consolidating their empowerment courtesy of micro-credit facilities. There have been challenges in the education sector, which had been simply gone into dilapidation. The good news is that the governor is driving the sector with the vigour that makes the future bright. After all the children who are the beneficiaries of the revolution in the education sector are the future of the state, the leaders of tomorrow. Ultra modern structures in the guise of model and mega schools which is up to 26 in numbers have emerged across the state to replace the old structure. In place is an inspectorate agency that promotes quality.
The teachers are well motivated. They are among public servants in the state that earn the highest minimum wage in the country, among other incentives. Pupils and students are conveyed to and fro school free in shuttle buses, specially provided by government.
Last April, the people returned the governor for a fresh term that begins on May 29. The re-election was a statement by the people that they had absolute trust in him. The re-election was a statement that Amosun was a brand for good governance. Those in the minority who did not share this perspective challenged him in the election. He was mobilized against from within and outside the state. But Amosun had God the father on his side.
Unlike many politicians in this clime, who acquire power merely for the sake of it, Amosun did not come into office unprepared. He believes that power ought to be acquired in trust for the vast majority of the people. At every turn, he demonstrates that being in government means being the servant of the people, working for them and reversing the status quo that promotes poverty in the land and oppresses the people. He had a blue print that emphasizes bottom-top model of development, that is, the people ought to decide the kind of development that suits their circumstance. This contrast with the status quo that imposes the bourgeoisie understanding of development on the people, to actualize his mission to rebuild the state, he has had challenge the state quo. And, in doing so, he walked through land mines to get to his destination today.
Amosun started as a chartered Accountant and his career started in 1984 as an Audit Trainee with Messrs. J.A.A. Adeniyi and Co (Chartered Accountant). He later joined Lanre Aremu and Co. (Chartered Accountant), where he rose to become a manager in 1989; He was also with XtraEdge Consulting as a Senior Consultant. In 1999, through industry and passion for professional excellence, he became an Associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). In the same year, he established the highly successful Accounting Firm of Ibikunle Amosun and Co (Chartered Accountants). In 2003, he was inducted as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA) and the Institute of taxation (FITN). SIA as he is fondly called stepped into the political space with the singular aim of giving back to humanity what he has been endowed with by God. He was elected into Senate, the upper chamber of Nigeria’s National Assembly, in April 2003, representing Ogun Central Senatorial District. While on the Senate between 2003 and 2007, he served in the following capacities; chairman, senate committee on commerce, member senate committee on foreign Affairs, Member Senate Committee on privatization and Member Senate Committee on Security and Intelligence.
A consummate philanthropist, Amosun’s generosity and quest to uplift others transcend the award of scholarships.
Amosun lived up to his status as a Distinguished Senator by amplifying the voice of the maces. He moved several motions and sponsored many bills on issues that touched on the day-to-day lives of not only members of his immediate constituency, but also Ogun State and the nation in general. He was particularly instrumental to some of the landmark reforms of the era, especially in telecommunications, customs and exercise and other strategic sectors of the Nigerian Economy. Some of these bills include: Local content solid Minerals Development Bills 2005. Fire Service Commission (Establishment), Bills 2005 and Income Tax Relief Bill for Sport Development, 2005. Even, his leadership qualities and outstanding achievements have earned him recognition nationally and internationally.
Amosun’s role in elections earned him a seat at the upper chamber as a Senator; it was his first opportunity to actualize his dream of using the privileged position of being in power as Senator to affect the lives of the people positively. Since then, Amosun has not looked back in the pursuit of good governance. At the advent of the Fourth Republic, he was in the forefront of the election of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) government, led by Otunba Gbenga Daniel in Ogun State. But he then parted ways with the PDP, following what was clearly the negation of internal democracy in the party, which said his group being sidelined by the leadership ahead of the 2011 polls. Subsequently, he moved to the All Progressive Congress (APC) where he joined forces with the party’s strengthen to emerge as the party’s gubernatorial candidate which he was won on the landslide victory.
Though, before he was contested for elections, Amosun believes that provision of amenities and social development cannot be left to government alone. He therefore instituted a scholarship scheme in 1986 several years before venturing into politics, which he later institutionalized by setting up the Senator Ibikunle Amosun scholarship foundation (SIASF) on Thursday 7 July 2005. He has awarded scholarship to over 2,000 students of Ogun State origin in various institutions of higher learning. A consummate philanthropist, Amosun’s generosity and quest to uplift others transcend the award of scholarships. He has instituted various other subsisting empowerment initiatives for trade groups, artisans, communities, women and other vulnerable groups in the society. His Alma Maters-African Church Grammar School, Abeokuta and Ogun State Polytechnic (now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic), also in Abeokuta – have benefitted from his generous disposition to give back to the society. He built and commissioned the Administrative Block at African Church Grammar School, among other similar gestured.
The state has not only become one huge yard where all manners of construction jobs are either completed or ongoing, it is also a big clinic where all the segments of the populace in dire need of medical attention are attended to. Large scale employment opportunities are provided for the teeming youths while affordable and qualitative education is back. Commerce is on the upswing. These are only a tip of the iceberg of the achievements of Amosun. As the governor begins a new mandate in another few weeks, he is upbeat. His information and Strategy Commissioner Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, giving an insight into the next four years of the Amosun government in Ogun State said; “Mr. Governor worked for the people during the outgoing tenure. He will definitely work in double portion in the new term”.
Only an incurable pessimist won’t believe this
A Political Analyst
Federal Housing Estate
Source: Sahara Reporters
It’s really hard to believe isn’t it? It’s true! Femi and Seun have never played a Live Concert together in their lives. If you are one of the lucky few you might have caught them at the Shrine at Femi’s 50th or even at a family get together but these two scions of the truly iconic Fela Anikulapo Kuti have never professionally graced the same stage – until this Friday!
True, they grew up at different times and, with a twenty year age difference, have not always seen eye to eye. Their music has taken different paths but ultimately starts from the same roots and currently tracks parallel to the same place – Afrobeat.
Femi grew up in Lagos where, at 15, he started playing saxophone in his father’s band, Egypt 80. In 1986 looking for his own identity he formed his own band, the Positive Force. It has certainly been a positive journey since then with two Grammy nominations with Day by Day in 2008 and Africa for Africa in 2010. In 2012 he was both inducted into the Headies Hall of Fame (the most prestigious music awards in Nigeria), was the opening act on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ European arena tour and became an Ambassador for Amnesty International. He continues to expand the diversity of his artistry on his new album (2013) No Place for My Dream. Femi Kuti is now a judge on Nigeria’s huge TV show Nigerian Idol.
Seun, of course, is the younger brother. He first appeared with his father on stage at 8 years old. When the legendary Fela died Seun was just 14 and stood up to lead this father’s band Egypt ’80, who are still with him today and who hold so many global records such as being the longest continuously performing band in the world. After some years of covering Fela songs Seun developed into a fine composer and producer in his own right and the Friday will see the formal Nigerian release of his third album “A long way to the beginning”. Grounded in Afrobeat but with the addition of production by the jazz tyro Robert Glasper and featuring Moss Def, Blitz the Ambassador and Nneka this album definitely raises the bar. Last year Seun toured with it and played before massive audiences at the Hollywood Bowl, Glastonbury and many global venues.
The tragedy, of course, is that both artists are highly respected across the world and continue to play in front of sell out audiences everywhere. Some how, like the ubiquitous prophet they never seem to be quite as honoured in their own home. Maybe because it is they are often considered too political. But how can they not be? Grandsons of Fumilayo, nephews of Beko, cousins of Wole and finally, sons of Nigeria’s outstanding but outspoken rebel, these brothers can never stray too far from the family tree. Expect this gig to be a show with music grounded in the intensity of this family and with beats to keep you dancing into the early hours. This is one you can tell your children that you were there when Femi and Seun finally mounted that stage together for the first time ever.
Date: Friday, April 24
Place: Eko Hotel & Suites
Youths in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ekiti State, under the aegis of Ekiti APC Youths Congress (EAYC) have demanded explanations from the Senator representing Ekiti Central, Babafemi Ojudu and former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Dr Adewale Omirin over the whereabouts of the N250 million allegedly collected for the impeachment of Governor Ayodele Fayose and his deputy, Dr Olusola Eleka and another N200 million allegedly released for the April 11 House of Assembly election.
The youths accused Ojudu of polarising the party in the State by sponsoring another dissident group within the party called APC Action Group.
The APC youths in a press statement issued on Wednesday and jointly signed by Mr Tope Ogunkuade and Comrade Tunji Adeleye, Convener and Secretary respectively, blamed the activities of Ojudu and Omirin for
the party’s woeful performance in the April 11 House of Assembly
“By running after Governor Fayose with impeachment despite that the people were openly against it, they created public sympathy for Fayose and hatred for the APC.
“The truth is that Ojudu and Omirin’s desperate ambition to be Governor and Acting Governor respectively made our party to lose the House of Assembly election woefully and we wish to warn the duo of Ojudu and Omirin to stop trading with our party,” EAYC said.
While demanding explanations on the spending of a sum of N250 million allegedly received to prosecute Governor Fayose’s impeachment and another N200 million for the House of Assembly election, the APC said it had become Ojudu’s habit to rake fund on behalf of the party and pocket the fund.
Said the youths; “We read it online that N250 million was collected by Ojudu for the Fayose’s impeachment project and we can’t doubt this because we know how much he (Ojudu) made from Fayose’s impeachment in 2006.
“It was from the proceeds of Fayose’s impeachment project in 2006 and Dr Kayode Fayemi’s rerun election of 2009 that Ojudu built his house in Ado-Ekiti.
“This time around, Ojudu must tell us how much he has collected on the Fayose’s impeachment that he is championing and we must also tell him in clear terms that he should bury his thought of becoming Ekiti state governor because if his likes had not worked against Fayemi’s reelection, APC would have retained the State.”
In furtherance of its fulfilment to Home Owners in Ogun State to regularize their landed property at a reduced discount, the State Government has again distributed another round of 1,000 Certificates of Occupancy (Cs-of-O), and building plan approval to home owners in the State.
Distributing the Cs-of-O at the Arcade Ground in Oke- Mosan, the Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, represented by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of the State, Mrs. Abimbola Akeredolu, said the Governor is very proud to identify herself with the programme, adding that the Homeowners’ Charter programme has come to stay in the State.
She said the programme has made the issuance of Cs-of-O and building plan approval very easy putting into consideration the previous cumbersome and bottlenecks of the processes being experienced before the inception of the administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
The Commissioner call on other State to emulate the Ogun State Government at championing the cause of programme that would add value to the citizens of their State, saying that the 1,000 Cs-of-O and building plan approval distributed was in fulfilment of Senator Ibikunle Amosun’s administration during his re- election campaign bids across the State.
Speaking earlier, the Special Adviser/Director General, Bureau of Lands and Survey, Mr. Adewale Oshinowo, said the 6th Edition of the presentation of Cs-of-O was in appreciation of Governor Ibikunle Amosun to the people of Ogun State for re-electing him to serve them for the second term in office, saying that the distribution of 500 unit of Cs-of-O per week would still continues.
The DG enumerated the benefits that home owners in the State stands to paving ways for getting mortgage loan, it’s can be transferrable to children and great grand children, it can also be used as collateral to access loan in the banks, and it does not need to be registered in IRS as its has contained stamp duty, to mention but a few.
According to Mr. Oshinowo ”the programme which was flag off in December, 2013 has issued about 8,000 Cs-of-O, which amount to 25 percent of registered applicants in the State, and the Bureau would continue to roll out 500 units of Cs-of-O each on weekly basis to home owners in the State”.
Mr. Ayodele Oshokoya, a beneficiary from Ijebu Ode, appreciated the State Government for the initiative and urged the Governor to give the people of the state another chance to introduce the second phase of the homeowner’s charter programme, as he has been given the second chance to rule the State.
Oshokoya said that most of homeowners in the state doubted the programme when it was first introduced, adding that he has never dreamt of having C-of-O in his entire life talkless of getting it live and direct from the State Government, he said with giving them another chance many people will key into the programme and benefit maximally from the scheme.
It was gathered in Abuja on Sunday night that top members of the party were of the opinion that some of them in the National Working Committee and National Executive Committee, especially those from the North, covertly played roles that contributed to Jonathan’s loss.
A leader of the party said that such members also connived with the All Progressives Congress to ensure that Jonathan was beaten at the polls.
The source, who asked not to be named, hinted that any indicted members might be shown the way out of the PDP.
The party leader said that many of such members of the party seemed united in their determination to ensure that Jonathan did not win the election.
The source added that it was surprising that strongholds of the PDP in the North such as Plateau, Benue and Kogi states that have large Christian population, could fall to the APC.
He said, “The entire election was lost long before March 28 because northern elements, even those within the PDP, ganged up against President Jonathan. Even some of our leaders in the NEC and NWC are under watch because we believe they also worked against the President.
“There will be a meeting between our chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, and PDP state chairmen during the week, but as it is we do not even trust them.”
The source said some top party officials were already calling for the resignation of some NEC and NWC members to pave the way for the repositioning of the PDP.
Another top PDP source also claimed that “some top northern PDP members who worked against Jonathan will be fished out and expelled from the party.’’
“They have turned the PDP into a southern party and the only way we can survive as a strong opposition is to expel the traitors among us, ” the source added.
He also confirmed that “All the state chairmen and Mu’azu will meet in Abuja on Wednesday (tomorrow) to do a post-mortem.
“They will also strategise on how to win the supplementary elections in Abia, Imo, Kogi and Taraba states.”
When contacted, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, said the leadership of the party would “meet on Tuesday (today) and Wednesday and the issue (of anti-party activities) is one of the things we are going to discuss.”
“It is after this that we will know what to do or actions to take,” he added.
A former Senior Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Political Affairs, Ahmed Gulak, had on Friday called for the resignation of the National chairman of the party for failing to lead Jonathan to victory.
He had said, “There is no party chairman of the PDP since 1998 that has led the party to such a disastrous outing. As a result, the national chairman should consider himself one of those who have to give way for the new party to come up. In fact, he doesn’t need to be told to turn in his resignation letter.”
But Mu’azu denied the allegation that he worked against the President during the election, saying it was an “allegation made long ago without any substance.”
He also said that rather than quit the PDP, he would stay behind and reform the troubled party.
Fresh details however emerged on Monday on how the presidential election was won and lost. The PUNCH gathered from a PDP chieftain that his party and the APC devised fresh methods on how to outwit each other three months before the March 28 elections.
The source, who is a member of the PDP NWC, said a key component of his party’s strategy centered around the Permanent Voter Cards.
He said, “The whole thing started in January when we observed that the PVC distribution was skewed. Already, we knew that President Jonathan would not win any state in the North-West which is the biggest geopolitical zone in the country because it has seven states.
“We in the PDP decided to focus on Lagos and other states in the South but the APC connived with the Independent National Electoral Commission when the distribution of PVCs was moved to the local government headquarters.
“APC leaders were allowed to collect PVCs on behalf of their members while the distribution of PVCs in Igbo-dominated areas was frustrated in Lagos. We in turn quickly sponsored some protests in Lagos but by the time the cards arrived, the time was too short for all of them (cards) to be distributed.”
He claimed that when the Presidency realised that the PVC distribution was favouring the APC, “a series of meetings was held and it was decided that Prof. Femi Mimiko, the younger brother of the Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, should be made the INEC chairman while Prof. Attahiru Jega would be asked to go on terminal leave.”
The source however said that Jonathan was not ‘brave’ enough to implement the idea because he jettisoned it when some northern elements in the PDP leaked the information to the APC.
The source said, “There were some northern elements in the party that were always giving the APC information whenever we ended our meetings. We then conspired to postpone the elections.”
He said the postponement of the polls from February 14 was to ensure that the PVCs or the card readers were not used.
The source added, “We (PDP) spent a considerable amount of money trying to convince Nigerians to reject their usage.
“We decided to use the newspaper adverts and protests by the Oodua Peoples Congress and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra to enlighten people of the ‘danger’ of using the PVCs or card readers but the APC, which has a strong media base was able to twist the issue to its favour.
“The PDP Governors’ Forum also met with civil society groups in Lagos and gave out money to the groups to continue to hold protests in various parts of the country but these people were not given adequate media coverage.”
The source stated that even on March 28, efforts were made to manipulate the results of the polls.
The source said it was curious that card readers worked ‘perfectly well’ in the North but poorly in the South where even the President could not get accredited through the device.
He said, “The truth is that we all plotted our strategies to win the elections but the APC did a better job and I have to congratulate them.
“We knew that our plot could only work well where the APC is not considered strong but we did not expect huge figures from the North.
“The APC got 1.9 million votes in Kano State with little or no voided votes. How could that have been possible? The APC also got millions of votes in Kaduna and Kastina states; so we responded by ensuring that the figures in Rivers State rose to 1.4 million. In reality, less than 700,000 people voted in that state due to violence.
“When we saw what was happening, we reached out to governors in the South-South to try all they could to delay the collation of results in their respective states until all the northern states had been announced.
“However, it was only Delta State that succeeded and that was why the results were announced the following day and Jonathan got about 1.2 million votes.”
INEC in Lagos had in a statement by its Head, Public Affairs, Femi Akinbiyi, denied allegation that it deliberately deprived non-indigenes of their PVCs or giving preference to APC members.
The commission, however, admitted that two of its officials were sacked for denying non-indigenes their PVCs in February.
For his act of statesmanship in conceding defeat in the March 28 presidential election, President Goodluck Jonathan, has earned the respect of Nigerians and the international community, President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, has observed.
The Ghanaian leader was at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday, where he told State House correspondents after a private meeting with President Jonathan that he was in the country to congratulate him on the successful conduct of the general election.
He said: “I also took the opportunity to commend him for the statesmanship that was displayed after the election. We all knew that he congratulated president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari after the election and he conceded.
“I feel that was a very, very great sign of maturity and has earned the respect of all Nigerians and the international community for all what he did.”
Mahama reiterated that he was in the country in his capacity as the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as a follow up of his pre-election visit, during which he showed the sub-region’s solidarity with Nigerians.
He added: “I paid this visit in my capacity as the chairman of the ECOWAS to extend our commendation and congratulations to the people of Nigeria, following a very successful elections that you had recently,” adding that he had encouraged the country to work towards a peaceful election and consolidate democracy through a free, fair and transparent process.
The Ghanaian leader further said: “I believe that the whole world is congratulating you on the peace and stability that has continued to endure before, during and after the elections.
“I have been conferring with President Jonathan on several issues in respect of ECOWAS. We are due to have a summit and we discussed issues about the summit and a few outstanding issues relating to ECOWAS.
“We expect a smooth transition and possibly the role that Nigeria plays in the ECOWAS being the biggest economy, not only in our sub-region, but in the whole continent.
“Nigeria is a very important member of our sub-region and we expect that Nigeria will continue to play this prominent role in the ECOWAS sub-region.
“Of course, there is a special relation that exists between Nigeria and Ghana too and so, in my second hat as the president of Ghana, wish to congratulate our brothers and sisters in Nigeria on what has been a very good election.
“Ghana and Nigeria will continue to hold a special relations and be very close to each other. We share the same values and more often than not, we agree on international issues and we will continue to share that relationship and I am sure it will make the bonds between our countries stronger.”