South West Leaders Meet, Insist On Restructuring Of Nigeria

South West Leaders Meet, Insist On Restructuring Of Nigeria
A Yoruba leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo

The leaders of the Yoruba race in South West Nigeria have resolved to push harder for the restructuring of the country before the next general elections.

This, they intend to achieve by setting up a high powered committee to rouse the people to network with other people of like minds across the country.

The plan was one of the major resolutions of the meeting of the leaders of the group known as the Afenifere in Akure, Ondo State, country home of its National Leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.

The meeting which had the theme ‘Yoruba Rise For Restructuring’, was well attended by Yoruba leaders with the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, also in attendance.

At the end of the meeting which lasted for about four hours, the Publicity Secretary of the organization, Yinka Odumakin read the communique.

The leaders expressed worry by the mass killings going on in Southern Kaduna, Oke-Ogun, Oyo State, among the Igbos and all over Nigeria.

The meeting also cautioned that there is urgency to insist that the country must be restructured before going into another election as it cannot continue to slide dangerously the way along the path of anarchy and total disintegration.

Also, the leaders unanimously agreed to get all hands on deck for mobilisation towards the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 national conference.

The roll call of leaders present at the meeting are: former Secretary to Federal Government, Olu Falae; Secretary General of Afenifere, Chief Sehinde Arogbofa; former Senators Adegbenga Kaka and Iyiola Omisore.

Others include Chief Bode George, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, Prof. Banji Akintoye, Pa Cornelius Adebayo and Chief Kole Omololu.

Two of the leaders who spoke to newsmen; Prof. Banji Akintoye and Chief Bode George, also emphasized empowerment, restructuring as well as the implementation of the 2014 national conference recommendations.

The meeting also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to confirm the appointment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen and equally commended the outgoing governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko for good governance in the state.

Cleric Advises Akeredolu To Run Government Like Awolowo, Ajasin

Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu, Sam Olu-Alo, Obafemi Awolowo, Adekunle AjasinThe Ondo State Governor-elect, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has been advised to follow the steps of some past leaders in ensuring good governance.

The Coordinator of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Oke Erio, Ekiti State and founder of CAC Grace of Mercy Prayer Mountain (GMPM), Prophet Sam Olu-Alo, asked Mr Rotimi to take a cue from the late Premier of Western Region, Obafemi Awolowo, and late former Governor of Ondo State, Adekunle Ajasin.

Prophet Olu-Alo, who said the two late elder statesmen executed life-transforming projects, programmes and policies that people still benefit from, tasked the awaiting governor not to fall short of such when he assumes office in February.

The cleric made the call during the three-year anniversary thanksgiving of CAC GMPM (Adamimogo Outreach) in Akure, the Ondo State capital which climaxed its nine-day ‘open air crusade’ at the GMPM grounds.

He urged Nigerians irrespective of class and status to embrace God with a view to getting Nigeria out of its present condition.

The clergyman also tasked President Muhammadu Buhari and the 36 state governors to execute people-oriented projects that would outlive them.

Put God First

“They should implement projects and policies that (would have) positive impact on the land and people which will speak for them long after they might have left office or even dead.

“That is how they can always be remembered and fulfil the purpose (for which) God put them in office.

“The Governor-elect of Ondo State should come to office with that mind and work for the good of the people.

“He should put God first and do the will of God who made his electoral victory possible. He should embrace all without discrimination,” Prophet Olu-Alo said.

Nigeria Needs Prayers

The cleric said CAC GMPM Adamimogo Outreach came into being to ensure restoration of the souls that had wandered away from God, to deliver the oppressed, to reveal God’s mind to human beings and let them know that God still answers prayers.

He urged Nigerians of all classes and status to be determined to return to God.

“For instance, when you look at America; it is not as if the people don’t (commit) sin but they fear God. They value human lives.

But here (in Nigeria), there is no value for human lives; even murderers are being celebrated.

“There is no fear of God; there is need for repentance, then prayers and love. Nigeria needs prayers.

“This is why I still reiterated the need for a day to be set aside for men of God across different denominations to gather to pray for the country”.

SSANU Condemns Alleged Assault Of FUTA Members By Police

SSANU, Police, FUTAThe Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has condemned the alleged attack of its members at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).

The Western Zonal Chairman of SSANU, Alfred Jimoh, made the position of the organisation known during an interview with journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

As the warning strike embarked upon by the senior staff members in FUTA entered the fourth day, Mr Jimoh insisted that the purported brutalisation of their members is unacceptable.

He claimed that the employees were on peaceful demonstration before Police descended on them, saying at least 20 members of the union have been arrested.

The zonal chairman accused the Vice Chancellor of FUTA, Professor Biyi Daramola, of masterminding the attack on the SSANU members who he said were protesting peacefully without any breach of the law.

He alleged that some members of the union in FUTA were seriously injured and have been hospitalised.

SSANU has called on the Federal Government to intervene in the matter with a view to calling the Police to order, maintaining that they have no moral right to molest and brutalise innocent citizens.

The union also appealed to the Inspector General of Police and all the relevant authorities of the Police high command to wade into the crisis to encourage whistle blowing on corruption.

They asked the government to beam its searchlight on activities of some vice chancellors and prosecute those found wanting.

The VCs identified are: Professor Daramola, Professor Bamidele Oyewole of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta and Professor Michael Adikwu of the University of Abuja.

Ondo: Akeredolu Inaugurates Committees For Proper Administration

Committees, Ondo, Rotimi AkeredoluOndo State Governor-elect, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has inaugurated a 158-member Strategic Development and Policy Implementation Committee (SDPIC) to develop a blueprint that would guide his administration’s activities.

Mr Akeredolu also set up a transition, as well as inauguration ceremonies committees ahead of the taking over of the administration of the state on February 24, 2017.

Inaugurating the committees in Akure, the incoming governor explained that the major responsibility of the SDPIC was to develop a detailed sectoral policy and programme document which would be called ‘A Blueprint to Progress in Ondo State (2017 – 2021)’.

He was optimistic that members of the committees were men and women that have distinguished themselves as the very best in their fields of endeavours.

The Governor-elect noted that the vision and mission of his administration was to lead a patriotic, highly inspired and competent team to rescue the ship of the state.

He added that by God’s grace, he intended to help rebuild the state’s economy, resuscitate damaged infrastructure, as well as restore hope and return Ondo State to a free and prosperous land.

Mr Akeredolu also revealed that he has invited some of the very best hands within the state and beyond to help develop the state.

He said the SDPIC is expected to submit its report by February 14, 2017 while the transition and inauguration ceremonies committees would submit theirs as and when due.

The SDPIC is chaired by a former Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Funso Kupolokun.

Mr Kupolokun assured the incoming governor that that the committee would deliver a solid blueprint for the government.

He stressed that the state needed a new thinking to generate revenue in a substantial manner on its own and ensure sustainable development, while it does not depend on the monthly allocation from the Federal Government.

Abductors Release Wife Of Fagbemi, Anglican Church Secretary

Abductors Release Wife Of Fagbemi, Anglican Church SecretaryThree days after her abduction, Ebunoluwa Fagbemi, the wife of the General Secretary of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Venerable Ayodeji Fagbemi has been released.

The 48-year-old woman was said to have been released by her abductors in Ikire, the headquarters of the Irewole Local Government Area of Osun State on Thursday.

Mrs Fagbemi, a teacher in one of the public secondary schools in Akure, was kidnapped on Monday night at her residence at Oba Ile Akure in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State.

A source close to the family disclosed that a ransom was paid before the victim was released.

But the husband of the victim, Venerable Fagbemi had earlier informed that the kidnappers contacted the family on the telephone and demanded for a sum of 20million Naira as ransom and the family had no such money.

According to the source, the abductors released the victim but they were yet to release the Toyota Jeep in which the victim was taken away.

The source said, “Mrs Fagbemi has been released in Ikire. I know a ransom was paid but I can’t tell you the amount that was paid as ransom. The family members had gone to bring her down to Akure.

“Though the woman has been released but the Toyota Jeep that was taken away with her has not been released. The kidnappers told the family that they would release it at a Police station. But up till now (Thursday), the jeep is still with them. ”

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Femi Joseph confirmed the release of the woman but said he was yet to get the details of the matter as at the press time.

Joseph said: “We learnt that she has been released but we are still after the hoodlums, releasing the victim has not stopped us from getting the abductors. But we are yet to arrest anybody for now.”

All efforts to contact the husband, Venerable Fagbemi failed as his telephone line was switched off as at the time of filing this report.

Abductors Of Anglican Clergy’s Wife In Akure Demand 20m Naira Ransom

Gunmen Kill Final Year Student Of Imo State UniversityThe abductors of the wife of Venerable Ayodeji Fagbemi, the General Secretary of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Ebunoluwa Fagbemi, are demanding for 20 million Naira as ransom.

Mrs Fagbemi, a teacher in one of the public secondary schools in Akure, was abducted by some armed men who invaded her residence at Oba-Ile, Akure in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State on Monday night.

Police investigations revealed that the armed abductors gained entrance into the residence of the victim through the window and took the woman away with her vehicle, a Toyota Jeep, to an unknown destination.

The husband of the victim told Channels Television that the abductors had contacted the family, demanding a 20-million Naira ransom.

He, however, declared that the family had no such money.

The Anglican clergyman, who was a former Provost of Bishop Vining College of Theology, Akure said: “Everybody is traumatised and we are all praying for her safe return to us. Again there is a very outrageous expectation, the abductors demanded for 20 million Naira which I don’t think anybody can afford. But at the moment we are really praying”.

The Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Police Command, Mr Femi Joseph said that the command had commenced investigation into the incident.

“Our men have already commenced the search for the woman, but you know we can’t disclosed the method we are using to the media now but we shall surely ensure that the victim would be released unhurt,” he added.

Mimiko Commends Sunshine Stars For Preseason Soccer Tournament Victory

Mimiko Commends Sunshine Stars For Preseason Soccer Tournament VictoryOndo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has commended the state-owned football club, Sunshine Stars of Akure for winning the just concluded maiden South West Pre-Season Soccer Tournament in Lagos.

Governor Mimiko, while reacting to the development in Akure lauded the players and officials for the feat. He described the victory as a ‘very sweet victory’ not only for the players, but the soccer-loving people of the state.

He said that the team’s victory at the pre-season tournament is an indication that it would have a successful new season and urged the players and officials to ensure that the pre-season tournament trophy counts by winning the league title.

Ondo State Commissioner for Information, Mr Kayode Akinmade, who described the victory as  deserving, said the Dr Olusegun Mimiko led government has been able to raise the bar in the state, in sports generally, and football in particular.

He stressed that over the years, the state has produced indigenes who have become successful coaches, adding that the list of Ondo State indigenes who are certified coaches rose drastically since the incumbent administration assumed power in 2009.

“Before then, the number of certified coaches who are indigenes of Ondo State was very low, but today, reverse is now the case as the state can now boast of over 100 certified coaches who are indigenes of the state, the highest in the history of our darling state.”

He said that Governor Mimiko never hid his intention to take football development to the next level in the state, hence the birth of the only football agency in Nigeria, the Ondo State Football Agency, (ODSFA) shortly after his administration took off in 2009.

“The Governor also always stresses the importance of human capacity development which recognised the need for indigenous coaches to be produced as they acquire knowledge on different fronts.

“The investment is now yielding results as the present composition of Sunshine Stars Technical Crew is 100% indigenous.” Akinmade said.

Akure Monarch Orders Foodstuff Sellers To Reduce Prices

Akure Monarch Orders Foodstuff Sellers To Reduce PricesThe Paramount Ruler of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi alongside the Deji-in-Council has asked foodstuff sellers in Akure to immediately cut down the high cost of foodstuff in Akure and its environs or risk their shop being closed down.

The Deji ordered the slash in prices of these commodities at his palace after an exhaustive meeting with the leadership of the various groups of foodstuff sellers in Akure.

This was sequel to a recent market survey of some foodstuff like rice, palm oil, groundnut oil, garri among others across major towns like Osogbo, Ibadan, Ogbomosho, Ile-Ife, Ilesha, Ado-Ekiti, and Lagos in the south west.

The palace found out that the prices obtained in these communities were at variance with what is sold in Akure. The prices of rice, garri, palm oil was too exorbitant when compared with other cities, making it almost the highest in the whole of south-west.

Oba Ogunlade expressed displeasure at the astronomical rate at which foodstuff is being sold in Akure compared with other neighboring towns.

He said: “It is so sad that the prices of commodities had been unnecessarily hiked in Akure with no justifiable reason. This is unfair and totally unacceptable.

“Considering the present economic hardship in the country, we cannot continue to watch our people die in hunger and pains due to needless hike in price of the basic need of life which is food.”

Oba Aladetoyinbo said that with the market survey carried out by the palace, it is glaring that the situation in Akure is becoming unbearable for families and things may go worse if not quickly tackled.

“I wonder why a bag of rice will be sold for between N21,000 and N23,000, 20 litres of palm oil now sells for between N20,000 and N21,500, a rubber of garri now sells for N200, when other communities sells for N16,000, N10,000 and N100 respectively,” he said.

“We are watching the market situation in other towns and I will ensure a downward review of the price as situation may demand to be at par with other neighboring towns,” he vowed.

The Monarch then ordered an immediate reduction in the price of rice which is being sold at an average of N21, 000 to N19, 000.

After much plea from the palm oil and garri sellers in the city, the Deji gave them one week to revert the prices of their commodities to N11, 000 and N100 respectively.

Oba Aladetoyinbo, however, expressed appreciation to the market men and women who agreed with him on the need for the splash in prices, considering the economic realities in the country.

He thanked them for their cooperation and understanding over the matter.

Meanwhile, Oba Aladetoyinbo has set up a task force to monitor the situation and ensure strict compliance with the new prices. He also vowed to close down the shop of any defiant seller.

The monarch, however, prayed for the quick recovery of the nation’s economy.

Sunshine Stars Begin Training Ahead Of League Season

sunshine stars of akureAs the commencement of the 2016-2017 Nigeria Professional Football League Soccer season draws near, Ondo State representatives, Sunshine Stars of Akure have started a close camping at Ile-Oluji the headquarters of Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government Area of the State.

The darling team of Ondo State is expected to use the camping exercise to prepare for the new season tactically and technically.

Led by Coach Kayode Olujoungbe, members of the team could not hide their joy, as they intensified preparations for the fast approaching soccer season.

Addressing the team before departure, President of the Club, Prince Dapo Ajibade, stressed the need for the players and coaches to be dedicated and committed to the task ahead.

Prince Ajibade, who is also the Chairman of the Ondo State Football Agency, urged the players not to engage in acts capable of distracting them, highlighting that total concentration is needed at this point.

He said: “We like to thank God Almighty for this moment. We also appreciate the commitments of the players.

“It is very important for all of us to work in harmony to achieve our aims. The coaches must do their best while the players must also not be left out. If all of us do our jobs diligently, with high level of determination and commitment in addition to the blessings of God, the sky will be the starting point”.

Prince Ajibade added that the club management would work hard to provide the enabling environment for the team to succeed in the new season.

Meanwhile, the Sunshine Stars feeders team that took part in the Gold Cup Pre Season Soccer Tournament in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State is expected back to Akure.

The young team led by Coach Banjo Adepoju was the toast of all fans and spectators, as they displayed high level of soccer artistry to the admiration of some top coaches at the tournament.

The team recorded two losses and two draws to end the tournament in a decent fashion.

The defeats came against MFM and FC Ebeide, while former Nigerian Champions, Kano Pillars and Niger Tornadoes could not break down the young boys from Akure.

The match against Tornadoes ended 1-1 while the tie against Kano Pillars ended 0-0.

My Victory Is For The Entire People Of Ondo- Akeredolu

My Victory Is For The Entire People Of Ondo- AkeredoluThe Governor-elect of Ondo State, Olurotimi Akeredolu says his victory at the polls is not for him or for his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), but for the entire people of the State, no matter their political divide.

Akeredolu stated this in his acceptance speech after receiving the Certificate of Return in the election from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akure, the State Capital.

The Conference Room of the INEC office in Akure, was full to capacity with party supporters and other well wishers of the governor-elect and his deputy.

In his address, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of INEC in Ondo state, Olusegun Agbaje, reassured all stakeholders in the nation’s electoral process,‎ that the present leadership of INEC will never do anything that would alter the gains it has so far achieved in terms of credibility.

He appealed to the political class to change its “do or die” attitude, to good conduct in politics.

He equally told political parties to adhere strictly to all the principles of internal party democracy in the overall interest of the nation’s nascent democracy.

INEC, on Sunday, announced Rotimi Akeredolu as the winner of the Ondo Governorship election.

In an election that was considered rather peaceful, considering the events that preceded the date, he polled 244, 842 votes to beat his closest rival, Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 150, 380 votes.

Mr Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) follows with 126, 889

Ondo Election: INEC Raises Alarm Over Security

Ondo Governorship Election, Ondo Governorship PollThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has raised security concern over the attitude of politicians in Ondo State ahead of the forthcoming governorship election.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, says the actions of some aggrieved politicians in the state since the political parties conducted their primaries is capable of undermining the security of the state.

“The mindset of the political class, especially the politicians that belong to the leading political party on what it takes to win elections usually involve violence and malpractices among their followers.

“There is an urgent need for the political class to change its do or die attitude to good conduct in politics and a political caution of violence has to be done away with in our political parties.

“Our political parties must imbibe the culture of sincere eternal party democracy in the interest of the nation’s democracy,” he said.

Mr Agbaje made the remarks on Thursday at a meeting with members of the civil society groups in Abuja, to assess INEC’s preparation for the elections.

‘I Will Resign’

On the sideline of the event, the senior INEC official also explained why the electoral umpire published the name of Mr

Recession, Jimoh Ibrahim, Ondo PDP
INEC-Recognised Ondo PDP Governorship Candidate, Jimoh Ibrahim

Jimoh Ibrahim as the Peoples Democratic Part (PDP) candidate for the polls.

 

The decision has led to massive protest in Ondo State, southwest Nigeria.

“It is the court judgement of that day that forced us to say it is this person and that means if another higher court comes with a judgement to say it is Eyitayo Jegede, (we will obey),” he noted.

Agbaje further revealed that he had made a commitment that INEC would obey the ruling of the Appeal Court if the ruling favours Jegede.

“If the Appeal Court says it is Eyitayo, the commission cannot say no, but if it does, I will resign my appointment as a commissioner,” he stated.

Ondo PDP, Eyitayo Jegede, Ahmed Makarfi
Mr Eyitayo Jegede

Meanwhile Mr Clement Nwakwo, who is a member of one of the civil groups, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, had a different view about the procedure of selecting candidates.

He advised the politicians to address issues of candidacy in-house, instead of approaching various courts for such decisions.

“I do not think that INEC has any major role to play in deciding who the candidates are (and) that’s why they have taken the decision.

“It is really for the political parties to sort out their mess for the court to really not become a theatre of deciding who candidates are, but the political party themselves making those decisions in line with their own process and the rule of law,” he recommended.

PDP Crisis Deepens

At least 1.6 million registered voters are expected to participate in the Saturday, November 26 governorship polls in Ondo State.

There has been crisis over the authenticity of candidates in some of the parties in the polls including the PDP, All Progressives Congress (APC) and Alliance for Democracy (AD).

Olusola Oke, AD, Ondo Election
AD declares Olusola Oke as its candidate

While the APC and AD finally adopted Mr Rotimi Akeredolu and Mr Olusola Oke as their respective candidates, the controversy has deepened in the PDP.

Both factions of the party have continued to lay claim to having produced the authentic candidate of the party, although the Ali Modu Sheriff faction is backed by the court ruling which favoured Jimoh Ibrahim and which INEC has obeyed.

The PDP faction led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has equally been optimistic that “justice would be served” and called on all PDP faithful across Nigeria as well as the general public to remain calm and continue to support them.

In a statement by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Dayo Adeyeye, the Caretaker Committee has reiterated its support for Jegede as the party’s sole flag-bearer.

President Buhari having a chat with Governor Lalong and Mr Akeredolu
President Buhari having a chat with Governor Lalong and Mr Akeredolu

On his part, APC candidate, Mr Akeredolu has made a mockery of the PDP, saying he would defeat both Ibrahim and Jegede if put together in the polls.

Briefing reporters after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, he boasted that he would emerge victorious at the poll.

Ondo Polls: I Will Defeat Both Candidates Of PDP Factions, Akeredolu Boasts

Ondo APC, Rotimi Akeredolu, Muhammadu Buhari, Solomon LalongThe governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, made a mockery of the Peoples Democratic Party on Monday, saying he will defeat the party’s factional candidates if put together in the polls.

Mr Akeredolu made the statement after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

He was led to the Presidential Villa on Monday by the Governor of Plateau State and Chairman of the APC governorship campaign in Ondo State, Mr Solomon Lalong.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Akeredolu boasted that if the two factional candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jimoh Ibrahim and Eyitayo Jegede, combine forces and contest against him, he would emerge victorious at the poll.

President Buhari’s visitors were confident of APC’s victory in the forthcoming election.

President Buhari having a chat with Governor Lalong and Mr Akeredolu
President Buhari having a chat with Governor Lalong and Mr Akeredolu

Form The Next Government

The APC governorship candidate in Ondo State had appealed to his co-aspirants in the primaries to come together and work for the success of the party at the November polls.

Addressing his supporters at the party’s secretariat in Akure, Mr Akeredolu said that his concern was to only relate with the people of the state and no other person or group, with the aim of bringing change into their lives.

He was of the belief that irrespective of the current challenge of the party, the APC would form the next government in the state.

The visit to the Presidential Villa follows a list of candidates for the Ondo governorship poll published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

INEC selected Akeredolu as the APC flag bearer while Ibrahim was chosen over Jegede to represent the PDP in the election.

The list also revealed Mr Olusola Oke as the candidate for the Alliance for Democracy (AD).

The choice of Mr Ibrahim triggered a protest staged by supporters of Mr Jegede, who claimed he was the legitimate candidate of the PDP.