We Can Only Restructure Within The Current ‘Imperfect’ Constitution – Osoba

Elder statesman and former governor of Ogun State, Mr Olusegun Osoba, says Nigeria can only be restructured with the current constitution he described as being imperfect.

Osoba stated this during a recent interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight which aired on Monday.

“I am for restructuring. As long as we have a Constitution, we can only restructure within the current Constitution, as imperfect as it is first,” he said.

Speaking about the constitution of the national conference, Osoba explained that the President does not have the powers to convene such an event.

Rather, the former governor called on the National Assembly, in collaboration with the State Houses of Assembly to amend the Constitution at the federal and state levels for proper restructuring of the country.

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He explained that the move was necessary following the recommendations made by the participants of the 2014 National Conference not adopted by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Elder Statesman and former governor of Ogun State, Mr Olusegun Osoba speaks about Nigeria’s restructuring on Channels Television’s NewsNight on January 20, 2020.

According to Osoba, Jonathan was incapacitated from taking an administrative action because the National Assembly did not act on it.

He said, “The President, in a democracy, has no powers whatsoever to convoke a sovereign national conference. You can convoke a National Conference which we have had so many.”

“I have participated in so many. In 1988/89, I was in the one that drafted the Constitution for the Babangida era. I was in the 2014 National Conference.”

“We submitted (the recommendations from) that conference in 2014. Not even one administrative action did Jonathan take.

“What stopped Jonathan then before leaving office was that the report of that conference sent to the National Assembly, the National Assembly didn’t do anything,” he added.

June 12 Declaration: It Is Never Too Late To Correct A Wrong – Osoba

 

A former governor of Ogun State, Mr Olusegun Osoba, has praised President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration of June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day, in honour of the late politician Moshood Kashimawo Abiola.

He believes that regardless of comments by naysayers, it is never too late to correct a wrong.

Osoba who in 1993 was a sitting governor of Ogun State, the home state of the late MKO, explained that he was at the fore front and an active participant in the politics of the era.

According to him, he shared in the pains and fears of Nigerians, hence his joy over the fact that the president finally conferred the honour on Abiola and other heroes of Nigeria’s democracy.

“I shared the fears, the pains and anxieties of fellow Nigerians about those developments. Since that annulment, our efforts about building an enduring democracy, have not always been smooth.

“Many have sought to falsely consign the promise of the June 12 election to irrelevance.

“We have lived in denial for so long.

“I commend the decision by Mr President, President Muhammadu Buhari to halt the deceit and to repair the damage by taking this symbolic step of recognising the promise of June 12, the sacrifice of Bashorun, MKO Abiola and many other heroes of democracy, nationally and internationally.

“It is never too late to correct a wrong,” he stated.

Osoba Advocates Internal Democracy Among Political Parties

Osoba Advocates Internal Democracy Among Political Parties
Olusegun Osoba

A former governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba, has advocated for an internal democracy within various political parties in Nigeria.

The former governor stressed that any political party which lacks internal democracy would lose out during the 2019 general elections.

He stated this on Wednesday while addressing some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at his house in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Osoba also warned that any party that presents a candidate who is not acceptable to the people at the grassroots would suffer defeat.

He asked all governorship candidates in Ogun APC to take their campaign train to the hinterlands, stressing the need for people in government to align with their party faithful.

The former governor added that the party in the state has not zoned the governorship slot to any area as all interests would be opened to negotiation, including those that recently defected to the party.

Former Gov. Osoba Tasks Media Practitioners To Be Objective

Former Gov. Osoba Tasks Media Practitioners To Be ObjectiveA former Governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba, has tasked media practitioners in the country to be objective and always consider the national interest in their reportage.

He gave the advice in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital at the 2016 World Television Day celebration, organised by the Broadcast Journalists’ Association of Nigeria (BJAN).

The former governor said journalists, whether in the broadcast or the print media must hold the truth, objectivity and national interest as hallmarks of their reportage, as the watchdogs of the society.

He said, “Whatever you are doing as a journalist, you must allow objectivity, truth and national interest to always prevail as the watchdogs of the country.”

Osoba, who was represented by a former member of House of Representatives, Adekunle Adeyemi, at the event said that as a journalist himself, he would continue to associate with good causes by media practitioners.

The guest speaker at the event, the Head TVC News Nigeria, Mr. Babajide Kolade-Otitoju, who considered television as a powerful medium, lamented that news reportage in many privately-owned stations in the country has been commercialized, in order for the owners to make profit.

Kolade-Otitoju who spoke on “Media Commercialization and Objectivity in Television News and Programmes in Nigeria” insisted that overwhelming influence of such media proprietors on news managers had made it difficult for them to be in tune with the code of ethics of the National Broadcasting Commission.

He said: “It is quite painful that in many privately-owned television houses, news is a commercialised product, because the owners of the television stations want to make profit.

“They fail to follow the rule of the National Broadcasting Commission on the requirement that a differentiation be made between news and commercials.

“Television stations now present those commercials as news.”

Kolade-Otitoju also noted that it was due to the crave for survival that has made many television stations to engage in “strategic mutual partnerships” with state governments, which he said, involved only reportage of positive stories about them.

He, however, advised the media practitioners not to lose focus on their responsibility to the society, as watchdogs.

The Coordinator, Mass Communication Department, Crescent University, Abeokuta, Dr. Yemi Obalanlege, who spoke on the theme: “Digital Switch Over and The Future of Television News in Nigeria,” urged Nigeria to ensure it meets the digital switch over deadline in broadcasting to avoid being a dumping ground for other foreign countries.

The Ogun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr.  Dayo Adeneye, also appealed to the media to always put professionalism and patriotism into consideration in their reportage.

The State Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, who considered the media as strategic partners in nation building, urged practitioners to always put the peace and tranquility of the country into consideration in their reportage.

The President of BJAN, Kazeem Olowe, assured that the broadcast journalists would continue to be people’s advocate and promoter of truth, fairness, justice and equality.

He said, “We will continue to write credible reports, serve as watchdogs in the society and remain committed to promotion of professional standard.”

Former Chief Justice Calls For Power Decentralisation

Dahiru Musdapher, Chief Justice, DecentralisationA former chief justice of the federation, Justice Dahiru Musdapher has advocated the decentralization of some aspects of government, especially in the areas of resource management, saying that the current federal appropriation system has bred laziness across many states of the federation.

He made the call in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital while delivering a lecture titled ‘The Question of Nigeria’s Unity’ at the 75th birthday celebration of Chief Alani Bankole who is the father of a former speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole.

The former chief judge chronicled the many challenges facing the country and attempts by government towards resolving these challenges but regretted that despite all of the efforts, the country remains divided along ethnic, political and religious divides.

As if speaking on the current economic challenges facing the country, the former judge asked states of the federation to seek new and diverse avenues for economic transformation of their states.

He added that Nigerians must be brave in addressing the grievances and injustices committed on all sides that have pervaded the Nigerian society.

In his own contribution, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, was of the opinion that bad leadership remains the bane of Nigeria’s development.

He was, however, quick to also call for national cohesion and unity.

Also present at the event was the Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun; House of Reps Deputy Speaker, Lasun Yusuf; Prince Bola Ajibola; Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu and other traditional rulers.

Among other dignitaries were former governors of Ogun and Jigawa states, Olusegun Osoba and Sule Lamido, Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Onyeka Chukwu.

Former Ogun Governor, Olusegun Osoba Returns To APC

Olusegun OsobaFormer Governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba, has returned to his former political fold where he left years ago from the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

Top leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday met to receive Osoba back into their fold at his residence in Lagos State.

The party leaders present were former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, former Governor of Ogun State, Bisi Akande, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Oluranti Adebule, who represented the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode.

Mr Osoba left the defunct ACN after a party infighting which took him and his supporters to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the 2015 general elections.

He is seen as one of the SDP founders.

Mr Osoba was elected on two different occasions as Governor of Ogun State; first from January 1992 until November 1993 on the platform of the SDP.

He and others were removed from office by the administration of General Sani Abacha on 17 November 1993.

After the return to democracy in 1999, he was elected again as Governor of Ogun State on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), holding office between May 1999 and May 2003.

Atiku, Obasanjo Hold Closed Door Meeting

Olusegun_Obasanjo_Atiku_Abubakar2 A former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo and his former deputy, Mr Atiku Abubakar have held a closed door meeting at the hill top residence of the former President in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, south west Nigeria.

The meeting which lasted for about 30 minutes may not be unconnected with  the 2015 general elections, as the former Vice President had declared his interest in contesting in the 2015 presidential election.

Atiku is vying for the position under the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

Answering questions from reporters at the end of the meeting, the former Vice President described his relationship with his former boss as cordial, saying that the former President remains a national leader.

The meeting is an indication that both former leaders may have resolved their face-off that was widely reported in the media during and after their tenure.

On the crisis between the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun and a former Governor in the State, Olusegun Osoba, Atiku hinted that efforts were being made to reconcile the two leaders of the party in the state through  internal mechanism being initiated by the party leadership.

Osoba Accuses APC Leadership Of Bias During State Congress

Aremo Olusegun OsobaThe former governor of Ogun state, Mr Olusegun Osoba,  has accused the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of being partial and  bias over the outcome of the congresses conducted in the state.

Addressing some party members, which include members of the National and State  assemblies, in Abeokuta, the state capital, the former governor rejected the results of the congresses saying his group complied with the laid down rules and regulations  of the party.

While declaring an alleged political war, the former governor charged his followers to remain calm, focused and resolute even in the face of provocation

It will be recalled that two parallel state congress conducted last month produced  two state executive members of the party in the  state and since then there have been sharp division among members of the party.

Meanwhile, the newly elected State Executive Committee of the APC in the state will be inaugurated on Monday June 9. This was contained in a statement signed by Mr Roqeeb Adeniji, the state chairman of the party, who was inaugurated in Abuja last Thursday.

The statement also noted that the ceremony will hold inside the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, the state capital.

Jibril Aminu Advises Media Practitioners On Developmental Journalism

Jubril AminuFormer Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Jibril Aminu, has advised journalists to refrain from writing and publishing inciting reports capable of destabilizing the unity of Nigeria.

Speaking at an event organised by the Nigerian Guild of Editors in Abuja, Senator Aminu said that partisan and inciting positions by media practitioners would not help the cause of the Nigerian nation.

With an advice to media practitioners to embrace developmental journalism, he stressed the need for journalists to play a positive role in uniting and developing the nation.

The Nigerian Guild of Editors had met in Abuja to raise funds for the building of its secretariat and this drew a gathering of politicians and big wigs in the media industry.

While the governors of Edo and Delta State, were of the view that promoting the unity and well-being of Nigeria as a nation should be the priority of every Nigerian, especially media practitioners, a doyen of journalism and former Governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba, in his keynote address canvassed for the devolution of powers.

The Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, however, applauded the role of the media in promoting democratic ideals.

The event is the first of its kind since 1962 when the Nigerian Guild of Editors came into being.

Amosun Distances Self From Ewekoro APC Shootout

Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has denied his alleged involvement in the disruption of a meeting organised by the senator representing Ogun Central Senatorial District, Gbenga Obadara, at Wasimi in Ewekoro Local Government Area of the state.

Amosun, according to a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Olusola Balogun, condemned all acts of violence against any citizen of Ogun.

He, however, regretted the attempt to link him or any member of his government to such acts in order to score political points.

“The news of the alleged attack was shocking to me. All the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as well as chairmen of our local councils were in Lagos to celebrate Baba Bisi Akande. It is even more curious that some chieftains of our party would choose a time to honour our revered leader for another meeting. The motive is certainly questionable,” the governor said.

Amosun added that the party leader in the state, Mr Olusegun Osoba, was at the event with him and wondered what the intention of the National Assembly members that conveyed the said political meeting was.

“The alleged thuggery has all the trappings of a stage-managed event, with the aim of attempting to take over the machinery of our great party through subterfuge. But we will not be taken in by such blackmail,” Amosun declared.

Amosun maintained that the unity of Ogun APC remained inviolable and everything within the ambit of the law would be done to consolidate the gains of the past and take Ogun State to enviable heights.

He commiserated with the innocent victims of the violence, including the journalists and called on the police to bring the perpetrators to book and sustain the atmosphere of peace in the state.

Six people, including an orderly to a serving senator, Gbenga Obadara, representing Ogun Central Senatorial District were shot and wounded during a meeting held by a faction of the party in the state in Wasimi Market Square, Itori, Ewekoro Local Government Area.

The crisis was said to have erupted when members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NUTRW) allegedly came on a shooting spree apparently to disrupt the meeting.

Those affected are currently receiving treatment at a private hospital for injuries sustained from the gun shots in the state capital

Narrating their ordeal, Senator Obadara and a House of Representatives member, Rep. Adekunle Adeyemi said they were at a senatorial district meeting to sensitize members on the forth coming registration exercise of the party before the hoodlums allegedly disrupted the meeting,

Rep. Adeyemi also accused the police of complicity in the incident but in a swift reaction, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Muyiwa Adejobi debunked the claim, noting that some police officers were also shot at.

He however promised to investigate the incident.

Eminent Nigerians extol Osoba’s virtues at book launch

Eminent Nigerians gathered at the Shell Hall, Muson on Thursday to celebrate with the former Managing Director of the Daily Times of Nigeria and former governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba, on the occasion of his 70th birthday and presentation of his biography.

The biography title Osoba: The Newspapers Years, was written by two journalists, Mike Awoyinfa and Dimgba Igwe

Former Military Head of states, Ibrahim Babangida described the veteran journalist as one who would “always attempt the extraordinary to break new ground to stand him out in a profession that he loved so much.”

The Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun described Mr Osoba as an accomplished journalist and administrator.

The governor said that Mr Osoba’s life had motivated aspiring and practising journalists and politicians.
‘‘Chief Osoba is a reference point when we say Ogun State indigenes are exemplary in various disciplines. There is no better honour for him than committing his exploits as a journalist into indelible print.
Having served as a two-term governor of Ogun, he remains active in the development of the state and the country.”

The Delta state governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, said that Mr Osoba is a mentor of reporters.

Mr Uduaghan said, “We are not just celebrating Osoba here today. We are also celebrating journalism. I am here today because I believe in the concept of mentoring. I want to appeal to everybody here to go back to the tradition of mentoring.

“Osoba was mentored by Alhaji Babatunde Jose, and he in turn mentored a lot of other people. It would be a great thing if other journalists practise mentoring.”

The book reviewer and Chief Executive Officer of Channels Television, John Momoh, said the 396-page book painted Osoba’s excellence and the intrigues of the “golden era of journalism.”

He added that the 22 personalities interviewed in the book to tell the story of Osoba’s years as a journalist made the book a unique compilation.

“The book is unarguably the best book ever written about Osoba yet. But perhaps, the authors could have spoken to a couple of people who are not really his fans,” Mr Momoh said

President Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented at the event by his Special Adviser on Inter-party Affairs, Senator Ben Obi, described Mr Osoba as “a friendly member of the opposition” and a man who was worthy of celebration.

The gathering honoured the memory of people whom the former Daily Times of Nigeria managing director said affected his life. The dignitaries stood up and held a minute silence in honour of Late Chief Alex Ibru, Mr. Peter Ajayi, Prof. Femi Sonaike and Alhaji Babatunde Jose.

Mr Osoba said, “During my years as a journalist, it was the reporter in me that kept driving me to do the job as best as I could.

“But there are a lot of people alive today who were better journalists than I was; People like Chief Lateef Jakande and Mr. Sam Amuka, publisher of Vanguard. They all deserve to be honoured as well.”

He said other persons that had positive impact on his career included Generals Emmanual Abisoye, Abdulsalaam Abubakar, Ibrahim Babangida and Chief Bola Tinubu.

One of the authors of the book, Mr Awoyinfa said the book was borne out of the desire to preserve the legacy of a great generation of journalists.

“The book is not just about Osoba. It is equally the biography of those individuals mentioned in it,” he said.

The event attracted other dignitaries from across the country and beyond among whom are Ernest Shonekan, Emeka Anyaoku, Bolaji Akinyemi; Minister of Information, Labaran Maku; former Chairman of Punch Nigeria Limited, Ajibola Ogunshola; and Oba Otudeko.