PHOTOS: Tinubu, Osinbajo Meet At Akeredolu’s Mother’s Funeral

APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu; and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday, November 12, 2022, in Owo, at the funeral of Lady Evangelist Grace Akeredolu, mother of the Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State. Credit: Tolani Alli

 

The ancient town of Owo in the Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State played host to prominent politicians from across Nigeria on Saturday during the funeral of Lady Evangelist Grace Akeredolu, mother of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State.

The funeral of the nonagenarian matriarch of the Akeredolu dynasty, who died on September 15, 2022, was another reunion for rivals who briefly put politics aside and relished lighthearted laughter and hearty banters.

 

 

At the event held at the St Andrews Anglican Church in Owo, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, met Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, one of his challengers at the party’s primary in June.

Others at the church service to pay final respects to the deceased include Governors Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) as well as former Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi –  all of the APC family in the South-West.

READ ALSO: Why Labour Party Was Denied Use Of Stadium In Edo – Obaseki

 

Tinubu and Osinbajo have a long history as political associates. Osinbajo served as Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice when Tinubu was the governor of the state between 1999 and 2007.

Osinbajo later became the vice-president in 2015 when the former military head of state, Muhammadu Buhari, was elected as President on the platform of the APC which Tinubu was instrumental to its establishment.

However, Osinbajo and Tinubu both jostled for the party’s presidential ticket back in June, a very charged political moment for supporters of both politicians.

 

 

More than 2,300 delegates voted in the contest that produced Tinubu at a special convention held in Eagle Square, Abuja in June. The ex-governor of Lagos polled 1,271 votes – over four times the votes scored by his closet rival – former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi who had 316 votes.

Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State came behind the duo with 235, 152, and 47 votes respectively.

The APC Presidential Campaign Council in September excluded Osinbajo from its list but the spokesperson for the Council, Festus Keyamo, said the President “specifically directed” that he should be left out to concentrate on the governance of the country.

Aside from Osinbajo, other prominent members of the party not included in the campaign council include former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, who fiercely opposed the APC same-faith ticket.

Having jumped the first hurdle, Tinubu, 70, is confronted with yet another challenge in February. The ex-governor, who forged an alliance with northern governors to brighten his chances in the north which boasts of numerical voters’ strength, has come under heavy criticism over his choice of a fellow Muslim, Kashim Shettima, as running mate.

Tinubu is in the 2023 contest for Aso Rock’s top job alongside frontline contenders like Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) in a poll many analysts have described as a three-horse race.

No State Has Approval For Automatic Weapons – Presidency

A file photo used to illustrate the story.

 

The Presidency has refuted claims that some states have been authorised to buy automatic weapons for their security outfits.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State had alleged that if the Federal Government could allow a security outfit in Katsina State to carry arms, nothing should stop him from doing the same for officers of the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun.

But presidential media aide Garba Shehu on Tuesday, said “there is no state, not Katsina, not any other state in the federation, that has been authorized to procure automatic weapons for their security outfits.

“Under this administration, the President has repeatedly made it clear that nobody is allowed to illegally carry AK-47 or any other automatic weapons and that they must surrender them.”

READ ALSO: Bandits Kill Police Inspector, Abduct Several Passengers In Katsina

In a statement, the media aide noted that “Where they fail to do so, the law enforcement agencies have been given clear directives to deal with any such outlaws.

“Under the existing regulations, only the Office of the National Security Adviser can issue such authorization, upon proper clearance by the President and Commander-in-Chief and as it is at this moment, no such approvals have been issued to any state government.”

He explained that “in the specific Katsina State often cited, the Governor, Aminu Bello Masari wrote to explain that the administration invited the Provost of the Civil Defence Training College in Katsina to train their Vigilantes for a five-day period ‘in the handling and operations of Pump Action Rifles,’ emphasizing that ‘the Vigilantes were not trained to take over the responsibilities of the security agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria but to assist them.’

“The Presidency appreciates the active involvement of states with security matters. As they continue to expand their capabilities as well as their active collaboration with law enforcement agencies of the federation, the joint efforts continue to yield good results, thwarting attempts of terrorists to wreak havoc and destruction on communities.”

Akeredolu Accuses FG Of Granting Katsina Outfit Right To Bear Arms But Not Amotekun

File photo: Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu

 

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has accused the Federal Government of granting a security outfit in Katsina State right to bear arms whilst same privilege has not been granted to Amotekun Corps.

In a statement on Thursday, Akeredolu referred to a video on social media wherein the security outfit in Katsina was empowered to carry AK-47 to tackle internal security challenges.

READ ALSO: Mob Attacks Journalist Covering Jigawa Flooding

He accused the Federal Government of double standards, saying allowing the Katsina State security outfit to bear arms and denying the Amotekun of same rights means “we are pursuing one country, two systems.”

Akeredolu, who is the chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, said that equity and justice are required in the Federal Government’s relationship with all the component units.

He insisted that Ondo State will defend its people, stating that the denial of the right of Amotekun to bear arms to protect the people of the state violated the tenets of federalism.

“The video making the rounds showing the equivalent of the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun Corps) in Katsina, obtaining the approval of the Federal Government to bear arms is fraught with great dangers,” the statement read.

“Denying Amotekun the urgently needed rights to legitimately bear arms is a repudiation of the basis of true federalism, which we have been clamouring for.

“That Katsina was able to arm its state security force with the display of AK47 means we are pursuing one country, two systems solution to the national question.

“If the Katsina situation confers advantages on some, in the face of commonly faced existential threats, it means that our unitary policing system, which has failed, is a deliberate method of subjugation which must be challenged.”

“The Independence agreement was based on a democratic arrangement to have a federal state and devolved internal security mechanics.

“We must go back to that agreement. Denying Amotekun the right to bear arms exposes the Southwest to life-threatening marauders and organized crime. It is also deliberate destruction of our agricultural sector. It is an existential threat.

“We want to reiterate that what is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander. The Ondo State government under the doctrine of necessity has decided to fulfill its legal, constitutional and moral duty to the citizens of the state, by acquiring arms to protect them. This is more so, given that the bandits have unchecked access to sophisticated weapons.

“The state government cannot look on while its citizens are being terrorized and murdered with impunity. We will defend our people.”

FG’s Capacity To Secure Nigeria Shaky, Southern Govs Laud Northern Govs’ Call For State Police

File photo: Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu

 

 

The 17 Southern Governors have commended their 19 northern colleagues over their unanimous call for the establishment of state police to tackle the continued security challenges in the country.

In a statement on Monday by the Chairman of Southern Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, the 17 southern governors described as “great relief”, the resolution of their 19 northern colleagues and traditional rulers to call for the immediate establishment of state police to address the continued insecurity in the country.

On September 12, 2022, the northern governors led by Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong; and traditional rulers in the region had met in Abuja and came out with “a resolution calling for the establishment of state police to tackle security challenges in the region and the nation at large”.

Reacting in his statement on Monday, Akeredolu said, “Their decision to support the call for constitutional amendment to reflect the current realities could not have come at a better time than now when the confidence in the capacity of the Federal Government to secure the country appears shaky.”

“All patriots must salute the courage of the 19 Northern Governors and the Northern Traditional Rulers Council for their stance at this crucial moment in the country.

[READ ALSO] ASUU: Flights Affected In Lagos As Aggrieved Students Continue Protest

“We will continue to insist on the creation of state police as the only logical and pragmatic solution to the pervasive problem of insecurity in the land. In addition to this, we shall not fail to renew the call for the adoption of policies geared towards real devolution of powers to the federating units indeed. This is the surest path to peace and progress,” the statement added.

The southern governors have consistently pushed for the decentralisation of the policing system in the country and had backed state police.

In an effort to curb the growing killings and kidnappings in their states, the South-West governors had inaugurated the Amotekun outfit whilst the South-East governors also came up with a regional security outfit, Ebube Agu.

In the North Central, Governor Samuel Ortom inaugurated the Benue Guards but the Federal Government through the office of the Inspector General of Police has not licensed any of the regional and state outfits to bear assault rifles.

‘Religion Not The Issue’: Akeredolu Defends APC’s Same Faith Ticket 

A file photo of Ondo State Governor, Olurotimi Akeredolu.

 

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has defended the same faith presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), insisting that competence matters the most. 

The governor spoke on the heels of criticisms that greeted the APC presidential ticket of Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima, both of the Muslim faith.

In an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, the governor maintained that other issues, not religion, should be on the front burner in the lead-up to the presidential election next year.

“If you had listened to my lecture today, I was very clear. I said that religion is not the issue now. We have other issues that should be on the front burner today -restructuring; rotational presidency,” Akeredolu said on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: [Muslim-Muslim Ticket] Pope Has Not Told Me I Am Wrong – Lalong

“When you talk about religion, I am saying religion should have no part to play. Competence, knowledge, and your track record should come to play in this instance,” he added.

According to him, his stance is not influenced by the fact that Tinubu will be on the ballot next year. Rather, he pinned it on power rotation to southern Nigeria.

“If you listen to my lecture, I said if Obi is elected, that would be alright; if Bola Tinubu is elected, that would be alright. For me, it must come to the south,” the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), explained.

He maintained that the country’s power-sharing deal better known as zoning should be respected.

As far as he is concerned, “since 1999, there is an understanding that we move from north to south, rotate the presidency, and that if today, we have people who want to deploy what I will call manipulation of our people on religious basis to think you can change it, then we should not accept it”.

Idris Ojo Not One Of The Suspected Owo Church Attackers, Akeredolu Clarifies

Scene of the St Francis Catholic Church, Owo where scores of worshippers were killed in Ondo State on June 5, 2022.

 

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has clarified that Idris Ojo is not one of the suspected masterminds of the Owo church attack. 

The governor gave the clarification in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary Richard Olatunde on Wednesday, hours after Ojo was named as one of the suspects in the June attack.

READ ALSOTroops Intensify Operation Along Abuja-Kaduna Highway To Flush Out Bandits

“The announcement of the arrest of Idris Ojo as one of the perpetrators of the June 5 attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo was a mix-up from the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor,” the statement added.

“Idris Ojo, who is number 14 on the wanted list of the Kuje Prison Escapees was arrested in his brother’s house in Akure. His brother, Jimoh Rasheed Ibrahim, received and accommodated him after his escape from Kuje prison.

“He was thereafter moved and kept in the custody of the security operatives at the same time the attackers of Owo Catholic Church were arrested and brought into custody. Hence, the mix-up.”

The Governor, therefore, urged members of the public to remain vigilant and give necessary support to the security agencies in the State.

Owo Terror Massacre: Akeredolu Confirms Arrest Of Five Suspected Attackers

 

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Tuesday confirmed the arrest of five suspected attackers of St Francis Catholic Church in the Owo area of the state.

The governor’s confirmation comes shortly after the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor made the announcement in Abuja.

The church came under attack on Sunday, June 5 while worshippers were observing mass. The incident left at least 40 people killed and several others injured.

Two months after the massacre, Akeredolu disclosed that the owner of the house where the attackers stayed before the June 5 attack in Owo has also been arrested.

READ ALSO: Suspects Linked To Owo Church Massacre Arrested – General Irabor

He said that the state government did not spare a moment in trailing the terrorists since the horrendous attacks on innocent worshipers at the St Francis Catholic Church, Owaluwa, Owo.

A statement from Richard Olatunde, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, said Akeredolu spoke during a courtesy visit to his office by the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) led by the Chairman of the Council, Prince Leke Adegbite.

“Now that the military has announced it, I can tell you that five of them have been arrested now. They are still on the trail of the rest. The home where they lodged in Owo and the person that accommodated them before the attack, has also been arrested,” he was quoted as saying.

“We did not spare a moment. I am happy that the Chief of Defence Staff has announced it. We have known for a while but we needed not to come out with it because more works are still ongoing. I can confirm that this arrest has been made. And they are still on the trail of some of them.”

Governor Akeredolu has also called on leaders of the Ebira community in the state to warn their young ones not to copy the bad venture of kidnapping.

According to him, recent reports from victims of kidnap in the state have established that some Ebira indigenes are now involved in the unwholesome act.

He noted that the Ebiras have lived together with the people of the state peacefully for several decades, adding that they have always been supportive and hardworking.

The governor stated, “I want to use this medium to urge our brothers to concentrate on their farming trade. It will be unfortunate to know that the Ebiras in our midst are now involved in kidnapping.

“We are appealing to them not to copy bad things. The traders selling by the roadside should not become informants. We are not fighting them.

“We have seen their numbers, they supported and voted for us during elections. I will call their leaders and talk to them. Our brothers who were kidnapped on their way to Ikare, talk to them. They were taken to Ebira farmsteads.

“For me, we have lived together for too long for this to happen. I am ready to make any effort to ensure that the conviviality that we have enjoyed continues. But we are begging their leaders to urge them not to copy bad things. They are in our midst, we are surrounded by them. The issue of security is key and it’s dynamic.”

On the issue of Security, Governor Akeredolu disclosed that aside the recent recruitment and training of new Amotekun personnel, 20 hunters and local vigilantes will be trained by the Amotekun corps in each of the eighteen local government areas in the state.

Earlier, the Chairman of the NUJ, Ondo State Council thanked the governor for his support for the management of OSRC and Owena Press PLC, adding that the upgrade of facilities in the two state-owned media outfits is commendable.

He equally commended Akeredolu for the approval of the weigh-in allowance for journalists and information officers working in the State and Local government service.

Akeredolu Appoints Ogundele As New Head Of Service

A file photo of Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu

 

Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has approved the appointment of Pastor Kayode Olaniyi Ogundele as the Head of the Ondo State Public Service.

The appointment is in recognition of Ogundele’s rich experience in the State Public Service and his track records of years of dedication and efficiency.

His appointment follows the statutory retirement of the incumbent Head of Service, Pastor John Adeyemo,mni who will be bowing out of the Service on August 2, 2022. Ogundele’s appointment, therefore, takes effect from August 3, 2022.


READ ALSO: Akeredolu Says ‘No Need For Panic’ After Attack On Construction Site In Owo


Governor Akeredolu’s approval of the appointment is in line with the provisions of Section 208, Sub-section 3 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended).

Until his appointment, Ogundele was the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet and Special Services Department of the Governor’s office. He joined the State Public Service as an Administrative Officer in 1994.

An astute and experienced administrator, Kayode Ogundele has traversed almost all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the course of his career and rose through the ranks to the position of Permanent Secretary before his appointment.

He holds a Masters Degree in Personnel Psychology and fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Administration of Nigeria, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, and graduate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, among other several Professional Qualifications.

Governor Akeredolu congratulated the new Head of Service, while charging him to sustain the robust relationship between government and Labour leaders in the State.

Ondo Commissioner Resigns, Gives Reasons

A photo combination of the commissioner and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

 

The new Ondo state Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mrs. Yetunde Adeyanju, has resigned her appointment, giving reasons for her decision.

Mrs. Adeyanju who was on Wednesday redeployed from the Ministry of Water and sanitation to the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development tendered her resignation letter shortly after Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu announced a minor reshuffle in the cabinet.

In a copy of the letter, Mrs. Adeyanju appreciated Gov Akeredolu for the opportunity to serve the people of Ondo state.

 

READ A COPY OF THE LETTER BELOW:

 

Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN

Governor, Ondo State.

Alagbaka

Akure

 

Sir,

 

RESIGNATION OF APPOINTMENT

 

I hereby resign my appointment as a Commissioner in Ondo State with immediate effect.

My decision is predicated on a personal conviction to explore other endeavours outside politics for now.

However, I’m grateful to you for the golden opportunity given to me to contribute to the growth of our dear state, especially with the Kamomi Aketi Rural Water Supply.

You gave me the platform and I’m proud that I used it well for the good of humanity. Kamomi AKETI water scheme remains the joy of thousands of rural dwellers today.

Once again, I thank you for the opportunity to serve.

 

Best wishes

 

Adeyanju Yetunde (Mrs)

Akeredolu Reshuffles Cabinet, Reassigns Portfolios

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, is the Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum.
File photo of Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu

 

Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has reshuffled his cabinet, reassigning portfolios to his commissioners.

The affected officials are two new commissioners –  Prince Jacob Adeboboye Ologbese and Akinwumi Samson Sowore – who took their oath of office earlier on Wednesday after they were screened and cleared by the Ondo State House of Assembly.

While Ologbese was assigned to the Ministry of Regional Integration and Diaspora, Sowore will be overseeing the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

Governor Akeredolu also reassigned three other Commissioners to various ministries.

He said the redeployment was aimed at improving governance and deploying talents to reinvigorate certain sectors.

Mrs. Bamidele Ademola Olateju, the former Commissioner for Regional Integration and Diaspora, was transferred to the Ministry of Information and Orientation, while. Fatai Olotu Aburumaku, the former Commissioner for Physical and Urban Development, was moved to the Ministry of Water and Sanitation.

Also, the former Commissioner for Water and Sanitation, Mrs. Yetunde Adeyanju was transferred to the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.

Akeredolu urged the newly appointed and reassigned Commissioners to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities.

Owo Attack: We Failed To Defend Victims, Akeredolu Laments At Funeral

The Federal Government has blamed ISWAP for the attack. [email protected] RotimiAkeredolu

 

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State says the government did not do enough to protect victims of the Owo church attack. 

He spoke on Friday during a funeral mass held for the victims of the St. Francis Catholic Church attack.

“We have failed to defend these people. Not because we have not tried. But because these forces on the other side are evil,” the governor said.

Governor Akeredolu noted that “the sight of the victims of the horrendous attack cuts deep in our hearts”.

READ ALSO: Catholic Church Holds Funeral Mass For Members Killed In Owo

The Chairman of the South West Governors’ Forum, however, said “we take solace in the Divine even as we hold the assurance that light will always prevail in the end. May the souls of the departed requiescat in pace.”

After the funeral mass at the Mydas Event Centre in Owo, families of the victims took the remains of their loved ones for burial.

A former governor of the state, Olusegun Mimiko, was among the dignitaries that graced the event.

Some clergymen, including Bishop Jude Arogundade of Ondo Catholic Diocese and Bishop Matthew Kukah of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, also attended the funeral.

Over 40 persons were killed in the attack with several others injured.

Owo Attack: Akeredolu Extends Mourning Period In Ondo

 

A photo of Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu

 

 

The Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has extended the mourning period in the state following the attack on worshippers at the St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo.

The extension according to the governor is from Monday, June 13 to June 15.

He said the resolution is from the outcome of the meeting of the Southwest Governors’ Forum to observe a 3-day mourning period across all the southwest states.

Governor Akeredolu has also directed that all flags in the state be flown at half-mast for the three days period.

The governor had earlier directed that all flags in the state be flown at half-mast for seven days from Monday, June 6th, to Sunday, June 12th, 2022.

He appreciated his counterparts in the Southwest for the massive love and cooperation showed since the horrendous attack in Owo.