ANTP Crisis: Baba Wande Sues For Peace Among Stakeholders


Veteran Yoruba movie actor, Mr Kareem Adepoju, has called for peace among members of the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), after a court judgement on the crisis rocking the national body of the association.

Adepoju, who is popularly known as Baba Wande, said the judgement of the High Court sitting in Ejigbo, Osun State on March 28, 2017 that Mr Victor Asaolu should remain in office as the President of ANTP till February 2018, was not a solution to the crisis bedevilling the association.

He called on all stakeholders including the governors and royal fathers in Nigeria’s South-West region to intervene in the matter and save the ANTP, lauding the efforts of the Olowu of Owu kingdom, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu, in resolving the crisis.

Speaking during an interview with Channels Television at his residence in Osogbo, Baba Wande appealed to all Yoruba film actors and actresses to come together and speak in one voice to develop the industry.

“Some of us feel that the tenure of the President of ANTP, Mr Victor Ashaolu has expired, but the man insisted that he has not finished his tenure and he took the matter to court instead of leaving the office.

“The man has been in the office as the ANTP President since 2010, whereas he was supposed to spend four years. The matter was brought to a court in Osun here and after several years of litigation, the court eventually ruled that Ashaolu’s tenure will end in February next year.

“As law abiding citizens of this country, we must respect the court and obey the judgement, unless anyone is interested in appealing the judgement in the higher court and that cannot be a solution to the problem we are battling with.

“I want to appeal to all Yoruba film-makers, actors and actresses to unite and speak in one voice in the best interest of all of us. This current crisis in the ANTP will not benefit anyone of us and the society.

“I also want to call on all stakeholders, especially the Governors of Osun, Mr Rauf Aregbesola; Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; Lagos State, Mr Akinwumi Ambode; Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose and Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu to intervene in the ANTP leadership crisis.

“I’m also appealing to our traditional rulers in Yoruba land, especially the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, and the Awujale of Ijebu Land, Oba Sikiru Adetona, to wade in and help us settle the dispute so that we can be together.

“We are grateful to the Olowu of Owu kingdom, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu, who has been making frantic efforts to resolve the crisis. We appreciate his efforts so far and we also want him to intensify efforts so that the crisis would be resolved while we unite to make our association great again,” the Yoruba actor said.

Recalled that leading members of the ANTP pulled out from the association and form a parallel association christened Theatre Arts and Movie Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN).

Mr Adebayo Salami, also known as ‘Oga Bello’, Prince Jide Kosoko and Mr Dele Odule, who had a running battle with Mr Ashaolu over the leadership tussle in ANTP, formed TAMPAN in Lagos State.

Aregbesola Felicitates With Bisi Akande At 78

bisi-akandOsun State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, has described the former national Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Bisi Akande, as an exemplary leader whose courage in public service has helped Nigeria in so many dimensions.

In a press statement by Aregbesola’s spokesman Mr Semiu Okanlawon, the governor said Nigeria’s political history would be incomplete without adequately chronicling the eminent roles played by Mr Akande who was also a former Governor of Osun.

The Governor said Chief Akande brought transparency into governance, adding that his tenure as governor of Osun is mostly remembered for the selfless service to the people and the courage he brought into governance.

“Chief Bisi Akande is a democrat of no small status when the history of democratic struggles in Nigeria is written. He was one of those who fought to ensure that the military retreated to the barracks and he never looked back while the struggle lasted.

“His emergence as the Governor of Osun in 1999 proved to be one of the best things to have happened to our state. Since the creation of Osun, his administration was the first to give a sense of direction to the future development plans for the state.

“He might have encountered challenges along the line, but it is worthy of note that Mr Adebisi Akande demonstrated uncommon courage in handling state matters as long as they mattered to the future survival and growth of the state.

“Today, history has proved Mr Akande’s actions in office as very painful but courageous,” the statement read.

He added that “in saluting the courage of this eminent elder statesman, we must not fail to recognise his roles in the conception and actual formation of our party, the APC.

“Mr Akande demonstrated an uncommon agility and vigor in all the activities leading to the successful birth of our party. Today, Nigerians can heave a sigh of relief from the 16 years of misrule that the PDP represented”.

Alumni Wants Control Of Fakunle Unity High School In Osun

SchoolOsun state Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, has been asked to release the management of Fakunle Unity High School to the Old Students Association for proper maintenance.

The national president of the association, Honourable Remi Ibrahim, made the demand when members of the association visited the newly built school along Ikirun road, Osun State.

Governor Aregbesola, during the restructuring and reclassification agenda of his government, had demolished Fakunle Comprehensive High School, along Gbongan/Ibadan road, a situation that generated reactions by former students of the school.

However, happiness came the way of the old students of Fakunle when the Governor recently, announced that the newly built school along Ikirun road would be named Fakunle/Unity High School to sustain the name of the demolished school.

When the old students went on a tour of the school, they expressed their satisfaction with the sustenance of the name “Fakunle” which they have been agitating for, assuring the governor of their readiness to work with the government to bring the greatness of the school back.

According to Honourable Ibarahim, “the school is beyond our imagination. I cannot describe it. We are happy with what we saw in the classrooms, hall and the playing field.

“We thank the Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, for fulfilling his promise. Though we are very bitter in the past, because, if you are taking something from somebody and you don’t let the person know what you are replacing for him, there is likely going to be reaction and that is what we have done in a polite manner.

“We didn’t hate the Governor but, because we didn’t know where he was going then, that is why we disagreed. What he has done has rubbed off our bitterness. We thank God for what he has done. God will continue to make him prosper”.

Speaking on the efforts of the association to complement that of the state government, Ibrahim said the group would hold talks with Governor Aregbesola on their plan.

“We are going to discuss with the Governor. If he wants to give it to an outsider, we are going to come in. If he can allow us to manage it, we are ready for it. We don’t want this edifice destroyed. We are ready to take over. We are ready to support the Governor on any step that would make Fakunle be great like it was.

NLC Urges Aregbesola To Pay Balance Of 18 Months Half Salary

Fuel Price, NLC Strike, Abia, Anambra, NLCThe Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) in Osun State has urged the state governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, to pay the outstanding salaries of workers who have been receiving half of their salary since July 2015.

A statement by the NLC chairman in Osun State, Comrade Jacob Adekomi, said the state government was owing workers on Grade Level (GL) 08 and above as well as pensioners for 18 months.

The NLC commended the state governor for paying the salaries of workers in the state up till November and urged the governor to fulfil his promise and pay the balance of the half salaries for the 18 months.

Comrade Adekomi said: “We do not doubt that Mr Governor is a man of his words and he will attend to the balance of the outstanding amount of the salaries of officers on GL.08 as well as the pensioners.

“The outgoing year was challenging for the workers in the state in the face of the grim and unfriendly economic situation due, to the economic recession.

“The development is no doubt sufficient to trigger industrial crises but the perseverance and understanding of workers in the state assured the civil servant that the NLC will pursue the payment of the outstanding balance of the half of their salaries since July 2015”.

However, the Director of the Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the Office of the Governor in Osogbo, Osun State, Mr Semiu Okanlawon, was silent on the issue of the payment of the balance of the outstanding of the half-salaries when he announced the modality for the payment of the salaries and pensions of September, October and November from the refunds from the Paris Club loans deductions through the Federal Government.

While workers are still expecting they payment, several protests have been held by pensioners in Osun State, with a demand for full payment of their pensions.

Aregbesola Liases With Herbalists To Promote Indigenous Healing Systems

 Aregbesola Liases With Herbalists To Promote Indigenous Healing SystemsOsun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has assured herbalists of his willingness to promote indigenous means of healing, with the inauguration of the Board of Traditional Medicine in the state.

At the inauguration, Aregbesola said traditional medicine has been of tremendous assistance to the black race.

The governor who was represented by Dr. Rafiu Kusamotu, said the state government would assist the herbalists in standardizing their practice in the interest of the well-being of the people of the state.

Aregbesola charged the herbalists on proper hygiene in the preparation of herbs that are meant for human consumption so as to prevent avoidable disease.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Akinyinka Esho, said the selection of members of the board was based on merit and he called for the cooperation of the herbalists.

Chairman of the board, Chief Kayode Esuleke, told his colleagues to pay the sum of 5,000 Naira as practicing fees, as stipulated by the state government so as to obtain the license to operate.

He then warned members of the Traditional Medicine Association to always abide by the code and guidelines of the profession.

Aregbesola Tasks Media On Information On State Of Economy

rauf-aregbesolaThe Governor of Osun State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, has asked media organisations in Nigeria to urgently use their platforms to educate Nigerians on the implications of the economic situations, with a view to getting everyone to understand the situation.

Mr Aregbesola specifically said radio broadcasters had great roles to play in doing this and further promoting the peace of the society by discouraging hate messages and promoting those that enhance communal peace and stability.

The governor gave the task to the media at the official commissioning of Oodua FM, established by a former member of the House of Representatives and an actor, Honourable Rotimi Makinde, in Ile-Ife.

He said the disturbing war carnage scenes beamed into homes daily by foreign channels should be enough lesson for all that promoting hate messages is inimical to peace.

The governor encouraged journalists to dedicate themselves to peace and do away with divisive messages in discharging their duties.

“Radio stations must at this time of hardship do all they can to support government’s efforts in promoting innovative and technology-based ideas to move the nation forward.

“My advice for the owner and the entire management of this station is to use the medium wisely to promote peaceful coexistence among the people in Yorubaland and Nigeria as a whole.

“Please do not politicise your activities at this radio station. Let this establishment be for the promotion of the highest values and ethos of Yoruba people.

“Strive to let this station be for the promotion of peace, harmony, love and affection among Nigerians especially Yoruba people.

“Shun any divisive tendency and use this station for educational purpose. Use it to promote our culture and balanced entertainment.

“Also, use this station to promote industry, productivity and efficiency as these, will go a long way in rescuing our society from the current recession we are all in,” he advised.

He condemned in its entirety the manner in which some broadcast media houses have been bastardising the profession on self-serving interests, saying that if not that his government’s programmes and policies resonate with the people, an unnamed Osun-based radio station would have thrown the state into confusion through its hate messages.

The governor said: “The time has come for journalists to be at the forefront of nation building and do away with subjectivity, favouritism and personal emotions”.

Osun Monarch Explains Why Cocoa Producing Community’s Land Must Be Appeased

dokun-thompsonA traditional ruler in Osun State, the Oloni of Eti-Oni, Oba Dokun Thompson, at the weekend used the Holy Bible to pacify the Land, warning that poverty would persist unless the Land was appeased.

Speaking at the first Cocoa Festival in Africa, the monarch explained that there may have been a curse on the land, following the manner a renowned Yoruba king, Oba Emmanuel Olajide Layode, Soun of Ogbomoso, was killed mercilessly in 1969 during the Agbekoya revolt.

The revolt had occurred following the hike in taxation on cocoa.

Oba Thompson expressed worries that Eti-Oni which pioneered cocoa
production in Nigeria was wallowing in abject poverty like many other communities in the country despite having a land of richness.

The monarch noted that the wealth from Cocoa did not manifest in the cocoa producing communities and the people because of the curse. Oba Thompson prayed for an appeasement of the land so that late Oba Layode’s soul may finally rest in peace and for a renaissance of the wealth created in the western region from cocoa in the 60s.

During the cocoa festival, which was tagged ‘Gureje Day’, Oba Thompson raised the Bible that was presented to him by the Christian community in Eti-Oni and showered blessings on the community and the nation.

“This Cocoa Festival was meant to mark the 120 years of cocoa production in Nigeria as pioneered by Eti-Oni. But you would be wondering that this wealthy community was languishing in abject poverty over the years.

“There would be wealth on the land and poverty would vanish when we appease the Land. That was why I sought the intervention of the King of kings who created the Heavens and the Earth,” Oba Thompson said.

The Osile Oke-Ona Egba, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, who was Royal Guest of Honour on the occasion joined his host, Oba Thompson in appeasing the Land and pouring blessings upon Land through the Scriptures.

Speaking on the occasion, Osun State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, reiterated the need to go back to farming as the panacea to the current economic situation caused by dwindling oil revenue.

The governor lauded Oba Thompson for his pragmatic approach in redirecting the attention of the people to profitable cocoa production that would bring maximum gain to the farmers and change the fortune of the people.

Aregbesola, who was represented by the Coordinating Director in the Osun State Ministry of Agriculture, Food Processing and Youth Engagement, Dr. Isaac Aluko promised full support for any initiative geared towards agribusiness.

The governor formally presented the Premium Artisan Eti-Oni Chocolate Brand to the public and also launched the Eti-Oni Model Smart Town which is to be developed in line with the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Aregbesola Reacts To PDP’s Allegations, Says Party Is Notorious For Corruption

rauf-aregbesolaOsun State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, on Wednesday responded to an allegation put forward by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the state government was doctoring documents to cover misappropriations ahead of a coming prob.

Mr Aregbesola dismissed the claims , insisting that the opposition party was notorious for corruption at all levels and that Nigerians rejected PDP because of its corrupt tendencies in the last presidential polls that produced President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Governor, who spoke through the Director of the Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the Office of the Governor, Mr Semiu Okanlwon, in Osogbo was reacting to PDP’s allegation that the Osun State government was manufacturing documents in anticipation of a purported probe of the bailout loans by the Senate.

Manufacturing Documents

The State government, in its statement on Wednesday described the PDP’s reasoning and conclusion that the government had hired an accounting firm to help it cook books of its expenditure since 2014 as warp.

“PDP’s allegation is a fall out of what the party represented while it lorded over Nigerians. If the PDP government had not been good at falsifying and altering financial documents fraudulently, it would not have easily jumped into conclusion that Osun has hired a firm to help it perfect fraud.

“The PDP’s statement merely reminds us why, since the anti-people party was booted out of office, Nigerians have been treated to series of mind-blowing financial malfeasance. Of course, the humongous financial recklessness of the PDP which is now public knowledge could only have been result of many years of “manufacturing documents”.

“Our media organisations must be wary of the corrupting influence of PDP and its warped logic. When a party says a government has hired an accounting firm to “manufacture documents” to cover fraud, the responsibility the society places on the media compels it to carry out adequate investigation by subjecting such information to veracity and reliability tests.

“In the first place, are accounting firms set up to cook up books? Is this the first time a state government would be engaging service firms to build capacities and enhance government’s service delivery to the people? An accounting firm that subverts accountability has already destroyed the basis of its existence.

“If our media houses had taken cognisance of these facts, it is certain that the PDP’s jejune claims would have ended up where it really belongs: the thrash can,” he said.

South West Governors Join Forces To Tackle Economic Recession

south-west-governorsGovernors in the South West Region of Nigeria have joined forces to tackle socio-economic problems confronting the six states and militating against development even as they tackle recession by leveraging on comparative advantages in the zone.

Hosted by the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, other governors of Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo States came together for the first time without recourse to political or ideological differences.

In his address of welcome, Governor Ajimobi, hinted that they intended to come out of the forum with a new pedestal hinged on regional integration as a tool for fighting low economic competitiveness, food and social insecurity despite political affiliations.

Just before deliberations began at the Exco Chambers of the Governor’s Office, he stated clearly that the South West Region was confronted with so much problems that they could no longer act individually but collectively with a common purpose of improving the living standard of the people in a sustainable environment.

At the end of the closed door session, the Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, said the six governors had agreed to work as one family despite belonging to different political parties.

In his response, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State said the meeting also resolved to leverage on the viability of Lagos to push development in south west.

Governor Ajimobi also called for a collective common policy among the south west governors that would ensure the region was given its rightful place as the economic basket and infrastructure reference point of the country.

Other governors at the meeting were that of Lagos State Mr Akinwumi Ambode, Osun State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola and Governor Dr Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State who was represented by the Secretary to Ondo State Government Dr Rotimi Adelola.

Governor Mimiko was absent because of a meeting scheduled with President Muhammadu Buhari.

Why Minister Thinks Nigeria’s Future Lies In Science, Technology

European Union, Ogbonnaya Onu, Science and technologyCreating new technologies that will help improve products and other services in Nigeria will provide the needed vehicle that will change the nation from a consumer nation to a producing one, the Minister  of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, says.

The statement is part of convictions put forward by the minister, as he lists benefits that Nigeria will get from fully exploring science, technology and innovation in the oil-rich nation’s quest to come out of recession through further diversification of the economy.

He made the suggestions on Thursday at the closing of the 14th meeting of the National Council on Science and Technology in Osogbo, Osun State.

The minister spoke on the “role of science, technology and innovation in the diversification of Nigeria’s economy”.

Instrument For National Rebirth

‎ He says no nation has become great without science and technology.

“It is high-time Nigeria looked inward and use science, technology and innovation to explore its national resources.”

“As I speak, economic challenges facing the nation require that urgent action is taken to diversify the economy in a sustainable and competitive manner by deploying science and technology as an instrument for national rebirth.

In order to achieve this, Nigeria must move away from being a mere consumer nation to become in the nearest possible time, a producer of many of the things her citizens need. We must consider moving away from a resource based economy to a knowledge-based, innovation driven economy”.

To achieve the shift, he called for a collaboration between the three tiers of government – Federal State and Local Governments – that would enhance effective domestication of science, technology and innovation policies.

The minister urged organised private sectors to explore ways of partnering with various research institutions and agencies to achieve a common goal.

He said: “I also urge the Organised Private Sectors (OPS) to explore ways of partnering with our various research institutes and agencies in commercialising viable products for the good of the society.

“The OPS can benefit tremendously from the research institutes by expanding their business opportunities through commercialisation of research findings.

“On our part, we have already begun efforts aimed at ensuring greater efficiency on policy implementation by encouraging closer inter-agency cooperation among the 17 agencies under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.

“I call on state governments ‎in the federation that are yet to create their Ministry of Science and Technology to do so in order to forge closer bonds that will strengthen overall national development”.

Economy Around Oil

In his remark, the Osun State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, observed that Africa’s underdevelopment was due to inability to apply science and technology, urging Nigerians to change their attitude towards science and innovation.

“The bane of Africa’s underdevelopment and the bottom position that we blacks are in the world are due to our inability to apply science and innovate”.

“If we want a change in our circumstances as a people, as a race, we must change our attitude to science, technology and innovation.

“We are in this very depressing state economically because everything about Nigeria is based on oil. Our economy is built around the export of crude oil,” Mr Aregbesola told reporters.

The Governor, who advocated building of a knowledge-based society, encouraged people to stop depending on foreign products and begin consumption of locally made ones.

“It is a very bad thing to rely so much on foreign goods. Nigerians need to learn a lesson. Let us have less dependence on everything that we don’t produce from automobile to fuel, food, household products, electronics, mobile phones, building materials, sporting equipment, textiles, clothing items, cosmetics, attachment,” he cautioned.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Mrs Belema Wakama, said the meeting was to cross fertilise ideas on the how nation could come out of recession through the application of science, technology and innovation.

The three-day meeting which drew Commissioners for Science and Technology from across the 36 states of the federation and other stakeholders in the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology also featured the display of several innovations.

APC Wants Governorship Aspirants In Osun To Withhold Aspiration

APC, ImpeachmentThe All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State has instructed party member intending to become the governor of the state in the future to put that aspiration on hold.

The party says the plight is absolutely ‘inappropriate at this time’.

Addressing reporters in Osogbo on Monday, the Chairman of the APC, Mr Adegboyega Famodun, warned that the party would not take kindly any violation of the instruction.

According to him, there are more important things to do in service delivery to the people of the state.

“What is most important for the party now is for everyone to join hands with the governor to solve problems confronting the state.

“The Governor of the state, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, is right in the middle of his second term, grappling with the difficulties of economic recession.

“This is not the proper time for any aspirant to divert attention from the serious business at hand,” Mr Famodun warned.

In his opinion, everybody with governorship aspiration should put it on hold until such a time that the party would consider it appropriate.

“Only then will it make political sense for anyone to come out and talk about governorship aspiration,” the chairman emphasised.

He further advised party members to concentrate efforts on helping the government of the state ‘do everything it can, to mitigate difficulties that citizens of Osun and other Nigerians are experiencing at this period of economic downturn’.

Economic Recession Is Temporary Test On Transition – Aregbesola

Rauf-Aregbesola-Osun-State-governor-on-floodingThe Governor of Osun State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, on Sunday assured Nigerians that the current economic recession would soon be over.

Aregbesola said the present stalemate in the nation’s economy remains a temporary test on transition.

The Governor gave the assurance while addressing members of the state Muslim Community who gathered at Osogbo City Stadium to celebrate the Islamic New Year of Hijrah 1438, seen as a period after the migration of Prophet Muhammad from Makkah to Medina.

Mr Aregbesola urged Nigerians to remain patient and embrace the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that the current hardship was being ameliorated.

He attributed the challenges facing the country to bad governance in the past, saying the country had gotten to a stage of putting her predicaments behind.

Too Much Of Sins

Aregbesola, who was represented by the Chief of Staff to the Office of the Governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, noted that Prophet Muhammad migrated due to hardship faced in the course of preaching Islam.

He stressed that endurance in the face of hardship was exemplified by Prophet Muhammad, assuring Nigerians that the nation will get over recession.

Governor Aregbesola, who expressed confidence in the ability of President Buhari to bring the much desired change to all facets of the economy, said the APC-led administration would not disappoint Nigerians.

He advised Nigerians to be agents of the change they desired, stressing that “change begins with everyone”.

The Governor, however, called on Muslims to sustain tolerance to other religions by living together in peace, love and unity so as to enhance national growth and development.

Mr Aregbesola also used the occasion to admonish the people on the need to pay their taxes, promising that the tax would be managed effectively for the progress of the state.

Earlier, the guest lecturer, Sheik Muslim Husain Akinola, attributed the economic recession to too much of sins.

Speaking on the theme: “Current Economic Recession in Nigeria: Manmade or God Ordained?, Sheik Akinola, insisted that economic recession was caused by Nigerians.

Quoting copiously from the Quran, Akinola who is the Khalifa (heir), Sheik Abdul Baaqi Muhammad, Islahudeen Missionary, noted that Allah had warned against the current hardship period.

He stated that God had promised hardship for any nation that rejoiced in sin, maintaining that the only remedy was for everybody to repent.

This year’s Hijrah programme was organised by the State Muslim Community in conjunction with the state government.