Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, says he takes responsibility for the fire incident that razed the Akesan market in Oyo State last week Sunday.
He said this on Wednesday after visiting the site of the incident alongside his cabinet members.
Makinde also assured that the State Government would rebuild the market and provide support to all victims of the fire incident.
He added that rather than engage in buck-passing over the failure of the past administration to provide necessary fire-fighting tools, he would take responsibility for the failure of the system.
“I must, at this point, express my deep sadness over the loss of lives and property because of the various fire outbreaks in Oyo State. This is deeply regretted. Of course, things happen that signal the failure in our system.
“I swore an oath to protect the lives and property of everyone living within the borders of this State, so I take full responsibility for this failure and promise that I will make things right,” the governor said.
Makinde noted that an investigative panel had already been set up to look into both the remote and immediate causes of the inferno.
According to him, the state government has commenced the process of acquiring an additional 10 fire-fighting trucks to boost fire-fighting services in the State. The governor also urged residents to be safety-conscious with regards to the prevention of fire outbreaks considering the current weather condition.
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi while receiving the governor at his palace said he believed Governor Makinde would fulfil his promise to rebuild the market.
The monarch, who went into a brief history of the market said to have been in existence for 400 years.
He called on the Government to consider returning the market to the Palace for control and management as it was in the past, for effective management.
The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, says no staff in the State’s workforce would earn below the N30,000 national minimum wage.
Makinde said implementation of the minimum wage would commence as soon as the Committee set up by his government to look into the modalities for the implementation of the wage completes its assignment.
The Governor who gave this assurance on Wednesday during the 2020 inter-religious service. He noted that he was looking forward to a decision that would be agreeable to the civil servants as well as affordable and sustainable for the State government.
“On the new minimum wage, the committee has been set up, they are working and moving towards alignment but I promise you that this administration and the workers of Oyo State are on the same page on this ongoing negotiation.
“When it is concluded, I give you the assurance that we shall stand side-by-side to announce to the whole world what we have agreed.
“Whatever we will agree upon is going to be in the interest of the workers and our state. First, our collective decision will be agreeable to everybody. Second, it will be affordable. Third, it will be sustainable.
“Before this administration came into place on May 29, the government was paying percentages as subvention to the higher institutions. Just a month before the previous administration left, they moved it to 100 percent and we have been paying it since we came in. I know that they do have an agreement in some states and will still breach the agreement. But, here, once we sign that agreement, we will pay it.
“We won’t pay in percentages and I want to also state categorically that no worker in Oyo State will earn below the national minimum wage,” Makinde said.
The service was attended by the Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan, the Head of Service (HoS), Mrs Amidat Ololade Agboola, other cabinet members and civil servants.
The HoS in her address commended Governor Makinde for giving the approval for the reinstatement of some officers in the civil/public service who were unjustly dismissed by the last administration among other approved welfare packages.
In his speech, Governor Makinde maintained that though the administration was less than a year in office, it has causes to be thankful to God, because it has continued to enjoy tremendous goodwill.
Governor Makinde also commiserated with victims of fire incidents across the State. He warned civil servants and to work towards preventing fire disasters by setting smart goals and planning adequately in the New Year.
Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has commiserated with victims of recent fire incidents in the state with the promise to acquire modern fire-fighting equipment.
Makinde in a post on his official Twitter handle sympathised with the victims of the Akesan Market and promised to commence an investigation into the incident.
“I received with shock, the news of the fire outbreak at Oja Akesan in Oyo Town, in the early hours of this morning (Sunday morning). Words cannot convey my deep sadness at this incident and I sympathize with the victims. I appeal for calm as we investigate the circumstances around the unfortunate incident,” Makinde said.
Meanwhile, the State’s Commissioner for Infrastructure, Transportation and Public Works, Raphael Afonja during an on-the-spot assessment of the fire-ravaged market vowed that 10 modern fire-fighting equipment will be acquired by the state government to combat the incessant outbreaks.
He added that the process that would lead to the acquisition of the equipment will commence on Monday.
Also, the Commissioner for Works was at the scene of the incident with the Commissioner for Environment, Kehinde Ayoola and the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Health.
He lamented that Makinde inherited a Fire Service Department with weakened capacity as a result of obsolete equipment.
According to him, the incumbent Government in Oyo State had flagged off a process of rehabilitating the serviceable fire-fighting trucks so as to provide immediate service to the people.
He added that the process of rehabilitating the inherited trucks was still ongoing when the outbreak of fire incidents occurred.
Properties worth millions of naira were reported destroyed in an early Sunday morning fire outbreak in Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital.
In another incident, the popular Akesan market in Oyo town was also early Sunday morning leaving little or nothing to be salvaged.
These fire incidents follow a tragic fire accident that occurred last week Friday in Eyin Grammer area of Molete in Ibadan where three siblings were reported killed.
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has signed the state’s 2020 Appropriation Bill into Law.
He assented to the bill on Monday at a brief ceremony which held inside the State’s Executive Council Chambers of the Government House in Ibadan, the state capital.
The governor’s assent to the bill heralds the beginning of preparations for the 2020 fiscal year.
In his remarks, Governor Makinde was explained that the budget which was increased by over N4 billion by the state House of Assembly targeted a minimum of 70 per cent implementation.
He was confident that the budget would achieve landmark infrastructural development in the state.
The Governor commended members of the State House of Assembly for promptly scrutinising and passing the proposed budget in order to accelerate its implementation to start from the beginning of the next year.
He noted that the drafting of the budget was holistic in nature as everyone in all the nooks and crannies of the state was carried along.
The total amount passed by the state House of Assembly was N213.78 billion, an increase of N4.9 billion compared to the budget proposal submitted.
Governor Makinde revealed that the top four sectors with the highest budgetary allocations are infrastructure – 23.93 per cent, education 22.37 per cent, health – 5.18 per cent, and agriculture – is 4.1 per cent.
He hinted that all the civil servants would receive their 13th-month salary by December 28, 2019.
On his part, Speaker of the Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin, explained that the increase of over N4 billion was targeted at the development of grassroots areas.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday affirmed the outcomes of the governorship elections in Oyo, Kaduna, and Nasarawa states.
The court upheld the elections after listening to separate appeals regarding the outcomes.
Seyi Makinde Wins
The Supreme Court on Wednesday affirmed the election victory of Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as Oyo State governor.
In a unanimous judgment, the Apex Court found merit in the appeal filed by Mr. Makinde that the majority judgment of the Appeal Court was a miscarriage of justice.
The Appeal Court had earlier ruled against the Oyo election tribunal which dismissed the petition by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Adebayo Adelabu.
Governor Makinde urged the Apex Court to set aside the decision of the court of Appeal and restore the judgment of the tribunal which affirmed his election as the governor of Oyo State.
After listening to both counsels, the panel headed by Justice Ejembi Eko went on a short recess and returned to deliver the judgment.
The court, therefore, affirmed the majority judgment of the tribunal which upheld the election of Makinde as the duly elected governor of Oyo State.
In the case of Kaduna state governorship election, Mr Isa Ashiru, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had approached the Supreme Court challenging the election victory of Nasir El-Rufai.
However, in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Centus Nweze, the appeal filed by Ashiru was dismissed for lacking in merit.
Victory For Abdullahi Sule
Also in Nasarawa State, the Supreme Court upheld the election of Governor Abdullahi Sule.
A seven-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili dismissed the appeal filed by David Ombugadu and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to challenge Sule’s victory at the March 9, 2019 election.
The court held that the appellant failed to prove allegations of substantial non-compliance in the election.
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has declared a state of emergency on refuse collection and waste management in the state.
The governor’s decision follows the re-appearance of refuse and filth on streets in the state.
Makinde during an extraordinary meeting at the Executive Council Chambers in Ibadan, the state capital, said waste management has become a matter of emergency, adding that poor waste management could have wider implications on the state of health of individuals in the state.
“I am sure that most of you must have gone through our state and have noticed that as far as our solid waste management is concerned, we are all living in the midst of filth basically.
“Apart from these wastes being an eyesore, it also has wider implications as far as health is concerned, because when you have a filthy environment, all kinds of health challenges will come in. We need to declare an emergency on our solid waste management. It is a big issue for all of us and we have to take the bull by the horn. We have to take leadership.
“What I have asked to be done is to, first of all, mobilize all resources possible and we will all be out this evening (Monday evening) to do the cleanup. We have trucks and have mobilized workers and we will take off,” he said.
Makinde also warned that no one should misconstrue the exercise for showmanship, adding that a serious issue like waste disposal has to be taken with all seriousness.
“This is not for showmanship but a serious challenge that we have. If we don’t do it, I can bet that a few weeks down the line, we will see the impact at our hospitals.
“I have also heard that there are saboteurs who neatly arrange thrash on the median. Well, I wish them luck because we now have security personnel involved and anyone caught importing waste to Oyo State will be dealt with according to our environmental laws.
“I believe, from our projection, that within the next three to four weeks, we should have a permanent solution in place, a model that will be sustainable and that will also be full-proof for the saboteurs.”
He however added that the only condition his government would give the university the said sum was when stakeholders in the school submit a written agreement to his office on how the funds would be spent.
The interactive meeting had students and workers of the institution in attendance.
Others include the University management, representatives of NASU, SSANU and Federating Units of Ogbomoso Indigenes.
During the interactive session, the governor also added that, “My wish for LAUTECH is to compete with the best of institutions in the world.
“Let us push aside the issue of Osun and Oyo. Everybody working here, irrespective of where you are from, it is the duty of the government to ensure you have job security and get your salary as at when due.
“By 9:00am tomorrow (Wednesday), I will inaugurate the committee for Oyo State to negotiate with Osun State, the way forward for LAUTECH.”
Addressing further the issue of joint ownership of the institution, Makinde told the stakeholders that although Oyo State can shoulder the responsibility of funding LAUTECH because his administration is set to raise budgetary allocation to education to 20 per cent, an engagement with Osun State must still take place on how to chart a sustainable path for the University.
“The good news is, tomorrow (Wednesday), I will lay a budget before the State Assembly with, at least, 20 percent for Education. Can Oyo State shoulder the responsibility of sole ownership of LAUTECH? My answer is resounding yes.
“But we do have a lot of work to do. We have an engagement coming up with our brothers and sisters of the State of Osun. We have negotiations that must take place. We can only get ourselves on that sustainable path if we have your support,” he said.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Michael Ologunde, welcomed Governor Makinde to the institution and reeled out some achievements of the institution.
“It is our greatest pleasure to welcome you most heartily to this University which is the best University of Technology and, in Webometric ranking of the world’s renowned assessment organisation, the 7th best in the country.
“We are sure that it is as a consequence of all these attainments that you are passionate for the sustainability of this University so as to be able to achieve its pride of place in the comity of universities all over the world,” Ologunde said.
Some armed men on Friday invaded a hotel in Lokoja, Kogi State where the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, and some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council were lodged ahead of tomorrow’s election.
It was gathered that the armed men, some of who were masked and dressed in police uniforms, stormed the hotel at about 12.50 pm, and attempted to force their way into the building.
They were, however, resisted by security operatives attached to the Oyo State Governor, assisted by some residents in the neighbourhood resulting in a commotion.
In a phone conversation with Channels Television, Governor Makinde said an investigation would be launched into the incident to know the motive of the attackers and those behind it.
“They attacked us. It happened at the hotel where I and the others were staying in Lokoja. But, we are fine. We called the security agents and they engaged them. They are dispersed right now.
“We were told that they were led by SARS team but we are still trying to find out precisely the identity of the people that came.
“The good thing is that we are ok and safe. We are going about our preparations for the elections tomorrow.
“We will find out who is trying to do this much later. We are preoccupied right now with the things that we have to do to ensure that our agents and party leaders are able to manage the election on behalf of our party tomorrow,” he said.
The Commissioner of Police in Kogi State, Busari Hakeem, in reaction said the governor and his team were not attacked.
According to Hakeem, the police acted on information that some hoodlums were lodged in a hotel in the Kogi State capital so the police personnel were detailed to visit the facility to verify the information but found out it was not true.
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has commended the judgement of the Court of Appeal which affirmed his victory in the March 9 governorship election in the state.
In a statement on Monday by his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, he declared that the mandate given to him by the people of Oyo cannot be taken through the backdoor.
“There is no ambiguity as to the state of things in our pacesetter state, as far as the election of March 9, 2019, is concerned. Our party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the election,” the statement said.
It added, “The victory was reaffirmed by a ruling of the Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Ibadan, the state capital. On Monday, the Court of Appeal, also sitting in Ibadan, delivered its judgement on the appeal by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adebayo Adelabu.
“In its ruling, the Appeal Court refused to grant any of the three key reliefs sought by the APC candidate. The Court refused to nullify the election; it refused to order a fresh election and it also refused to order the retrial of the petition.”
The governor noted that with the above being the reality of the outcome of the appellate court ruling, his election has been reaffirmed.
According to him, nothing in the ruling of the appellate court affects the returns made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and there is nothing that tampers with his mandate
“Governor Makinde, hereby, urges the good people of Oyo State to remain calm and refuse to be provoked by agents of disruption who are seeking to upturn the truth, which remains constant against all odds.
“We also wish to enjoin the people of Oyo State to ignore the doctored reports in some media outlets, which are merely quoting the judgement of the Court of Appeal out of context,” the statement said.
It added that the preference of the people of Oyo was as clear as day and night, with the clear margin of votes between Governor Makinde (515,621) and Mr Adelabu (357,982).
The governor reassured residents that he would not be deterred from taking the state to greater heights through the implementation of his four-point service agenda.
He also insisted that positive governance and unprecedented development would continue to be the portion of the people through his tenure.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan has affirmed the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the state and validated the appeal of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The court of appellate jurisdiction says it disagrees with the tribunal judgement on grounds that the documents submitted were not properly processed while the evidences submitted by the appellant was not adequately evaluated.
It further stated that this however does not give sufficient grounds to tamper with the victory of Seyi Makinde as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Court of Appeal also ordered that status quo before the tribunal’s judgment should remain, which is the return and declaration of Makinde as winner of the March 9,2019 governorship poll in Oyo State.
The court held that if not for time, it would have ordered a re-trial at the tribunal, noting that unfortunately, the time limit of 180 days for tribunal had been exhausted.
The Court of Appeal found that the judgement of the lower tribunal that dismissed Adebayo Adelabu of the APC’s petition against Makinde’s election as the governor was perversed and therefore set the judgement aside.
But the Court of Appeal did not make any further order concerning the election of Seyi Makinde and did not make any order for re- hearing of the election petition, and that the status quo as the time of filing the petition by Adelabu should remain.
Electoral Act allows a grace of 180 days for the petition to be heard at the tribunal, which affirmed that the tribunal duly spent her time and so nothing could be done on their pronouncement as to the validity of the election.
Three of the four-person panel of the Court of Appeal resolved 3 major issues in the favour of the appellants. But there was a dissenting judgment from a judge with a proviso that the panel could not nullify Makinde’s election.
The lead counsel to Makinde, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), told journalists after the delivery of the judgment that the declaration of Makinde as governor “has not been affected in any way. The Court of Appeal in their wisdom said they did not agree with the lower tribunal. They did not also say that they did not agree with INEC. So, INEC’s declaration is sacrosanct and it remains until any other pronouncement from the court.
“We have not seen the details of the judgment. We were all in court and you (journalists) saw that the details were not read to us. As far as we are concerned, there is no cause for alarm.”
Fielding questions from reporters on the implications of the judgment of Governor Makinde, Jegede said: “There is no implication on the return and declaration of Seyi Makinde as the governor of Oyo State.”
Counsel to Adelabu and APC, Adeboye Shobanjo, also told journalists: “You listened to what my lord said about the evaluation of judgment of evidence that when there are evidence before the court, the evidence of all parties before the court should be evaluated. Judgment should not be based only on the evidence of a party in a case and if that was done during the trial, or during the judgment, that is contrary to the provision of the constitution on fair hearing.
“Second, this court settled the issue of dumping of documents on election cases, and contrary to the decision of the tribunal that all the documents tendered by the appellants were dumped on the tribunal. The judgment made it known that the documents were not dumped on the tribunal.
“In totality, the appeal was allowed. But my lord said that because of effusion of time, that since the time for trial has lapsed at the tribunal, they cannot order for retrial of the case.
“But generally or totally, the appeal was allowed. It showed that the judgment of the tribunal occasioned miscarriage of justice against the appellants.”
When asked to comment if Adelabu wnd APC would proceed to the Supreme Court, Shobanjo simply said: “The next step depends on my clients. They will brief us accordingly and it depends on instructions.”
Meanwhile, the APC in Oyo State has reaffirmed its strong belief in the judiciary as the pillar of hope for the sustenance of democracy, saying Adelabu and the party would approach the Supreme Court for final settlement of the litigation.
While reacting to the judgment through a statement issued by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Prince Ayobami Adejumo, Oyo APC lauded the Appellate Court’s Judges for their pronouncement which validated the claims of the plaintiffs in the matter before it but “regretted that the good people of the state would still have to wait for the final adjudication on the case before our candidate could reclaim his mandate.
“The verdict given on Monday was unambiguous, apt and sound enough to convince any informed mind about the genuineness of our claim that Makinde’s declaration as the winner of the March 9 poll was done by INEC in error. The results announced were ridiculously inflated and there is no way such conspiracy could stand the test of proper scrutiny as this was just confirmed by the Appellate Court
“While we use this opportunity to salute the court for living up to its responsibility as the last hope of the common man, we are appealing to the good people of the state including Oyo APC faithful and other key stakeholders to remain calm and resist being provoked, in whatever way or form, by the PDP government and its agents who are apparently occupying the Agodi Government House on a borrowed time.
“Obviously, the next line of action is for us as a Party and our gubernatorial hopeful to approach the Supreme Court for perfection of the landmark verdict delivered by the Court of Appeal today and, by the special Grace of God, we shall obtain favorable judgment from the Apex Court as only this would lend credence to the fact Nigeria’s democratic practice is premised on free and fair elections as well as the rule of law.”