Barack Obama’s Victory: Oyinlola Cannot Lay Claim To Democratic Credentials

President-elect Barack Obama beaming with victory smilesIt was amazing to see the Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola attempt to share the glamour of Barack Obama’s victory in the November 4, 2008 Presidential poll in the United States of America . For a man whose stay in public office has been established in the use of extreme violence, vote robbery, banditry and cold-blooded murder of opponents to attempt to raise his voice like other civilized people displays a high level of shamelessness.

Prince Oyinlola should not run away from the fact that he is occupying the office of the Osun State Governor today with a mandate procured with the killing of Ayo “Kemba” Oni in Igbajo, Saheed Adebiyi in Ikirun, Mojeed in Ede , Samson Olanrewaju in Ile-Ife and Septuagenarian Pa Lawal Adesina in Ikoyi, Isokan Local Government.

Aside this, Prince Oyinlola is the direct beneficiary of the the cold-blooded murder of Deacon Gbenga Kayode, Abraham Jalto, Kola Lawal in Ilesa on the elections day last year.

For a man whose hands are dripping with the blood of innocent people to share the limelight with decent humanity is unacceptable and reprehensible. Prince Oyinlola is a murderous despot whose credentials as an anti-democratic operator in Nigeria and Somalia are well documented. The message he tried to pass across to Obama is unacceptable as it was parceled in the package of innocent blood.

Oyinlola’s disgraceful pontification on the grace of Senator John MacCain in accepting defeat is an attempt to draw the wool on the face of the civilized world. Unlike how Oyinlola shamelessly rigged himself to office last year, the American elections held without ballot box snatching by agents of either of the candidates. None of the polling agents who represented Obama or MacCain was killed by gunmen.

Senator MacCain did not suffer vicious display of violence and banditry like Oyinlola did to Aregbesola, his arch-opponent during the last poll. Obama won a clear mandate without shedding the blood of his opponents or rigging his way to fame.

Till now, Oyinlola has not explained where he sourced the toxic votes that returned him to office against the popular choice of the electorate of Osun State . From all the polling units where Oyinlola claimed to have bagged his dubious victory, tell tale signs of massive vote robbery abound.

From the accounts of all witnesses that testified for Oyinlola at the Election Petitions Tribunal, the whole world was told that the average time for a voter to cast his ballot was a minimum of 3 minutes and a maximum of five and ten minutes. If the Electoral law, 2006 specified that the voting day was seven hours, and we allocate one minute to one voter, the votes returned for Oyinlola could only have come from another planet.

In Odo-Otin Local Government where Oyinlola claimed huge votes for himself, our findings of time used by every voter was that each of them spent 33 seconds to cast their votes. At the Oyekunle D.C. Primary School where Oyinlola cast his vote, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was allocated 481 votes while the Action Congress (AC) was credited with eight.

This means that each of the voters spent 33 seconds to perform their civic duties within the seven hours allocated by the law. In Ife East Local Government, only two polling units met the average voting time of one minute per voter. The total of 35,942 votes from 60 polling units in this Local Government excluding Modakeke were those cast under one minute; an impossible feat in a seven hour voting day.

Till now, Oyinlola cannot justify the existence of 130,728 votes that fell out of the time analysis for the voting day in the 12 Local |Governments areas challenged by AC at the tribunal. The analysis did not include the infractions discovered during forensic examination of ballot papers and physical examination of same which showed that they were at variance with the schedule of distribution of ballot papers by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

It was not surprising that Oyinlola’s legal team resorted to dubious compromise of the Tribunal through the infamous Kalejayegate telephone scandal to keep him in office and has been pretending as if nothing went wrong till date. Even if Oyinlola attempts to deceive himself, the entire world is aware that he has murdered sleep by his acts of infamy and repression of opponents.

Oyinlola and his co-travellers should not attempt to find accommodation among the civilized world until they purge themselves of their contempt for decent conduct, the rule of law and democratic practices.

Those who shun the basic tenets of grace should not find accommodation under an arrangement that is alien to their conducts.

By Gbenga Fayemiwo, Director of Media to ACTION CONGRESS (AC) Gubernatorial Candidate for Osun State, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola

NBA Blames Appeal Court President For Delay Of Election Cases

The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has blamed the President, Court of Appeal, Justice Umar Abdulahi for the delay in the election petition-related cases, saying that the delay could halt the Nigeria democracy.

Speaking at a press briefing addressed by the Oyo State Branch of the NBA during its annual law week on Saturday, the NBA President, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu(SAN) attributed the delay in the judgment of Court of Appeal to over-centralization of power in the Court of Appeal President.

Akeredolu said that the Appeal Court is not attending to the election petitions – related cases as speedily as expected, saying that the delay is affecting the hope of the people in the nation’s judiciary.

While saying that there was no communication gap between lawyers in the matters pending at the Court of Appeal and the presiding judges, the NBA president said that the slow pace the matter were being handled, called for serious concern.

Akeredolu then called on President Umar Yar’adua to put machinery in motion that would vest some of the power currently being wielded by Abdulahi in the hands of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Idris Kutigi.

He said: “The appeal court is not attending to these matters as speedily as we expected them to do.

“They are not doing it and we feel worried. We have expressed our concern over and over.

“The one of Edo that was just heard, its processes were already in court since May, 2008 and it took them till October when we were travelling for the International Bar Association (IBA) Conference before they heard it. That delay is unjustifiable and cannot be defended.

“The one of Oyo State, I am informed by counsel who are involved. I am involved too. Processes had been filed by June 2008 before vacation. What is responsible for that delay from June to October?

“I believe that there is an over-concentration of power in the President of the Court of Appeal. He constitutes the members of the tribunal who hear election cases at the lower court and decides who hear the appeal.

“I think that is over concentration of power. The constitution of members of the panel to hear the appeal, we should look at it under the Electoral Act and look at it properly and see whether it could be vested in the Chief Justice of Nigeria rather than the President of the Court of Appeal.

Oyinlola Has No Focus – Congo

Osdf: Your name sir?

Adeniji: I am Honourable Abdul-Rauf Adekunle Adeniji, alias ‘Congo’

Osdf: What is your comment on the political activities in the state?

Adeniji: What I can say is that the ruling government is not willing to see eye- to-eye with the opposition, and democracy as people say, allows other views, but here in Osun State, the reverse is the case.

People are not comfortable at all, but because of the fact that the prevailing atmosphere is not such that allows other views to be expressed, people are not happy but they are just stomaching what’s supposed to be rejected completely because everybody is just trying to make sure that he or she gets his or her meal rather than being put in the cell. That is what I can say for now.

Osdf: You are a chieftain of Action Congress (AC) in Ifeland, and Ife is known to be volatile politically. What is the political situation in the area now?

Adeniji: Ife is not really volatile, but people actually misconstrue the way we handle things. The issue is that Ife people would always want to get what belongs to them. They believe that they have to get the appropriate share. Even in the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) days, Ife people were not given the appropriate share in the political patronages and, definitely when you feel cheated, you would want to stand up and shout out for your right. That is what people misconstrue when say that Ife is volatile but we are not really volatile.

Osdf: There have been delay in the appeal filed by the governorship candidate of your party Engineer Rauf Aregbesola at the Appeal Court. What do you think is the cause of the delay, and how do you feel about it?

Adeniji: I know for sure, and I am confident that Engr. Rauf Aregbesola, the right choice of the people would INSA-ALLAHU reclaim the mandate given to him soonest. Reason, he came with the symbol of Oranmiyan, and if you go down the memory lane, Oranmiyan in the history always excelled. You remember the history that when there was trouble in Benin Empire in those days, the people of Benin came down to Ife and requested that somebody should be sent to go and restore sanity and the same thing is what Aregbesola is coming to do in Osun to make life more abundant for the people of the state.

Osdf: You have the opportunity of serving as one of the local government chairmen in Osun State, do you have any regret of serving as one?

Adeniji: My God! I don’t have any regret. I am happy to rule to the best of my ability, in the sense that what was made available for me in terms of allocation from the federation account and today, I am enjoying it. I enjoy the accolades, the encomium each time I pass through the streets of Ife and that is even much more than monetary competition. So, I have no reason whatsoever to regret. I am satisfied and happy that I serve the people, and people were also happy and still happy with me.

Osdf: What are the chances of AC in Ife as at today?

Adeniji: The Action Congress (AC), a noble party, the only party that is tackling the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is very strong in Ifeland generally in the sense that, though people are complaining that they did not allow them to vote or have the actual result of their votes, the party is widely accepted by the people of Ife. If the so-called electoral reform exercise will actually come to reality as generally emphasized by President Umar Yar’Adua-led government, definitely, the whole world will know that Ife does not belong to the conservatives but to the progressives from time immemorial. If they had allowed the Option A4 through which I was elected into office, there would be no room for the PDP thugs to be carrying guns around to attack the people and snatch ballot boxes and papers. So, we pray that the so-called electoral reform will work out, so that the people would know which party is more popular and who is popular among the candidates.

Osdf: What is your future political aspiration?

Adeniji: Me? Allah Akbar! By the time I contested for political office, I just found myself as a youth, full of youthful exuberance which was pushing me and it was God Almighty Allah that guided me to soil through and performed to the satisfaction of my people in the council area. But this time around, I think I should rest.

Osdf: How would you describe Aregbesola?

Adeniji: Aregbesola is a visionary leader who has the intention of changing Osun State for better. To capture it all, Aregbesola is a God- sent, and I am very sure that in no distant time, he would reclaim his stolen mandate and the people of Osun would enjoy from it.

As for me before, during Ramadan, and after, I pray specially for him and for the retrieval of his stolen mandate, our collective mandate and I am sure that the prayer would come to pass.

Osdf: What is your candid appraisal of the controversial Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola?

Adeniyi: You see, when you are coming on board to contest for a position, you must have a focus of serving the people, but as for Oyinlola, he has no other focus than to squander our money and I can say his case is a sorry case because he has done nothing tangible.

Osdf: Your advice to the people of Osun State generally, and the people of your area in particular?

Adeniji: The people of Osun should not panic, their stolen mandate would soon be retrieved and a new dawn will come. Also, the people of Ife should be rest assured that our victory is very close to us. What I will tell them is that they should remain steadfast and prayerful. They should not relent in their prayer because with prayer, all things are possible.

The PDP Is Ten, Nigeria Is Ten Years Behind

People Deceiving People
Papa Deceiving Pickin
People Dey Pretend
Party Destroy People
People Destroy Party
Pin Di Pin
Power Di Power
Power Drunk Politicians
Progress Destroying Party
Politics Drunk Party
Power Drunk Party
Power Determines Process
Papa Dey Pretend
Party Deleting Progress
People Deleting People
Pawo Dele Party
People’s Democratic Party

Na lie. There is nothing about people, or about democracy, or about the classical idea of the political party in what is generally known, around here as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The members are quick to proclaim that they belong to the largest political party in Africa.

It is the cheapest claim that they can make, Nigeria having the seemingly eternal advantage of number, but in terms of effectiveness as a political party, the PDP as it is known in Nigerian circles and through a variety of acronyms, a few of which are outlined above, is a most irresponsible political party, its continuing success in Nigerian politics, a great oxymoron, but a veritable indication of the putative nature of Nigerian politics marked as it is by insincerity, inequities and injustice.

The PDP, in power in most parts of Nigeria and at the centre since 1999, when the country returned to civil rule, is a most guilty offender. But last week, the same party had the effrontery in typical Nigerian style, to roll out the drums and to celebrate ten years of its existence. The high point of this was a stakeholder’s conference in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital where all the PDP big wigs met, and pretended to be friends. Long before that, the PDP Chair, Vincent Ogbulafor had boasted that the PDP would rule Nigeria for the next 60 years. May God forbid that.

How did Ogbulafor arrive at his 60 years calculus? What Nigeria has suffered most tellingly since 1999, is the absence of an effective opposition to the ruling PDP, a party whose ‘men and foot-soldiers have shown and demonstrated great contempt for Nigerians, as they are wont to place greater emphasis on the party’s slogan. This slogan is a hortatory shout of P- D- P! In high decibels with an equally assertive responsorial counterpoise: PO-WE-R, uttered with a near-hysterical affirmation. Few Nigerians are fans of the PDP and how the party has shown itself to be, in eight years of Nigerian democ­racy, a power-drunk party or as Professor Wole Soyinka puts it, ‘a nest of killers” or as someone else suggested, “a party of strange bedfellows. “

The diminution, the implosion or simply the failure of the PDP is to be located in the larg­er question of Nigerian attitude and culture. When the party was founded in 1998, it set out originally as a gathering of men and women who were opposed to military rule and who wanted to provide the necessary leadership at the time to get the military out of power, and free Nigerians from the shackles of second colonialism. The group known as G-14, led by former Vice President Alex Ekwueme and dominated by persons of Northern extraction, soon metamorphosed into the G-34, an expanded forum of pro-democracy activists who wanted Nigeria to move forward beyond the military. This political group was acting then in the context of a nationwide agitation against Abacha misrule and military tyranny. It activated the momentum for a return to civilian rule and truly, the Alliance for Democracy (AD), and the APP were offshoots of this process. The founding fathers ·of the PDP deserve credit for helping to fire general interest in political activities. Ten years later, they can claim credit in this direction.

But I am sorry, that is where it ends. In ten years, the PDP has done great damage to Nigeria and its people. Consistent with the mood of the times in 1998, the founding fathers of the PDP promised Nigerians a political party that would uphold the sanctity of the rule of law, human rights, strong political culture, equitable wealth distribution, minority rights, intrastructural development and high standard of living. They have failed Nigerians on each and every one of these issues. At the Akwa Ibom event, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua had stated that the PDP has been successful on both political and economic fronts. He was off the mark.

Politically, the President noted that the party has won Presidential elections thrice since 1999, in 1999, 2003 and in 2007 and that the PDP is the majority party at all levels of governance in the states, local councils and in legislatures across the country. The President needs to be reminded that this is not a sign of general acceptance of the party by the Nigerian people, but the result of the wizardry of PDP leaders and their agents in rigging elections. Besides, the PDP has used the power of incumbency to crowd out, intimidate, and eliminate the opposition. In a country where politicians are opportunists, the bandwagon of the stomach has driven too many politicians in the direction of the PDP, creating the semblance of a one-party state.

The President further noted that the PDP-government has introduced a number of economic policies that are beneficial to the people including the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), and the Vision 20-2020. We concede that there has been a lot of creativity on the economic front by the PDP Government, but the funny news is that this has not translated into measurable difference· in the lives of the people.

Growth in the Nigerian economy in the last nine years has been more artificial than real, and the neo-liberal, tree-market economic approach that the PDP appears to have adopted hook, line and sinker is precisely what is now unravelling before us with grave consequences for investors and the ordinary man who is now being told that he would have to pay more taxes to fund Budget 2009. The people still ask, almost in vain: where are the dividends of democracy? ,

President Yar’Adua talked about national cohesion and how the PDP has managed to keep the military in the barracks. The point about national cohesion is obviously a myth. Nigeria is as much a divided society today as it was in 1960. And the PDP should not take credit for keeping the military out of political power. The credit should go to the hapless people of Nigeria who in the face of the inefficiency of the PDP have nonetheless accepted democracy as a kind of blackmail. The Nigerian people have since found themselves at a crossroads where they embrace civilian rule because the alternative cannot be contemplated. It is like a choice between colonial rule and independence, even if the new masters have proven to be worse than the soldiers before them.

All the strange bedfellows, except Dr Alex Ekwueme, a founding father of the party attended the Akwa Ibom reunion of the PDP. The party’s big men admitted that there are cracks within the party and there had been some funny attempts at reconciliation, with Mallam Adamu Ciroma noticing Obasanjo’s presence, Obasanjo shaking hands with Chief Tony Anenih, or Chief­Solomon Lar exchanging banters with General Olusegun Obasanjo. But the truth of the relationship crisis in the PDP was not lost on keen observers.

It is a divided political party, a party where the end justifies all the means and the meanness, and where the party register is full of obituaries. Across the country, there is so much strife in PDP constituencies, In terms of values, the PDP has gone down the scale in the last ten years, and the direction is clearly, permanently Southern. But while the party leaders pretended to be on good terms, they forgot to spare a moment or even a thought for all the victims of PDP’s power politics, the men and women whose lives have been sacrificed by ambitious and greedy party members. In Akwa Ibom, in a celebratory mood was this party and its members who forget so easily.

General Obasanjo the party’s Board of Trustees Chairman was definitely in such amnesiac fit. He is on record as having told his audience that he is vindicated on Obong Victor Attah and had added that Godswill Akpabio is a performing, Governor. “You are a working Governor”, he reportedly said. “I am very proud of you. Every time I see you, I feel happy. You are not a suffering and smiling Governor; you are a working and smiling Governor. God bless you”. Governor Akpabio deserves the praise, but did Obasanjo have to put down Obong Attah in order to praise Akpabio? That was a cheap shot, but this is the spirit of the PDP, a party of mean-spirited power mongers. It is also funny seeing Obasanjo playing the role of a praise-singer. How times change!

Back to President Yar’Adua’s speech, he had tried to provide a sense of balance when he admitted that “our (that is the PDP’s) electoral process is not of standard”. Trust Obasanjo: he added a riposte that “there is room for improvement and – that it is only a bad family that washes its dirty linen in public”. But who does not know that the PDP is a party of Godfathers, family members, thugs and ballot box snatchers? It is also a party of corrupt men and women. The EFCC says between 1999 and 2007, 31 Governors were indicted for corruption.

These are PDP Governors mainly. The EFCC in its latest report has also disclosed that in the past one ,ear alone, politicians have stolen N21 billion of taxpayers money, and again, these are mostly PDP politicians. In PDP states, violence is the principal instrument of dialogue and the graveyard is full of many PDP corpses. In Akwa Ibom, party leaders couldn’t even bother to observe a minute’s silence in honour of the lost lives and the rivers of blood that the party has had to shed to remain in power.

In nine years of PDP preeminence, there has been very little growth in the economy; the cost of living continues to rise, public infrastructure is in a state of decay. The country’s external reserves are big ($65 billion?), but the people at home are losing weight. There is so much anguish and anxiety in the land in the face of pervasive inefficiency and the failure of the rule of law.

The average Nigerian remembers the PDP as the party of the late Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, Chris Uba, Okija shrine, Marshall Harry, Dikibo,’ the Odi mas­sacre, the Bakassi sell-out, rising prices, nation­wide insecurity, Niger Delta crisis and so on. And this is the political party that inflicted General Olusegun Obasanjo on Nigerians. Very few Nigerians are happy when they see the former PDP President. And after Obasanjo, the party has also inflicted on us. Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, under whose government we are all still suffering and smiling eighteen months later. Party Deceiving People truly?

The advantage that the PDP enjoys is the absence of a functional opposition. Government being the largest distributor of largesse, politicians in the opposition goes across at night to lobby for favours from the ruling party. Members of the legislatures have lost the appetite for constructive objection. They are all unable to challenge the PDP hegemony and its power brokers. As PDP members celebrate the tenth anniversary of their party, Nigerians must worry about building a credible opposition and making the vote of the average Nigerian count. With the PDP, Nigeria has lost an opportunity in the last nine years or so, to develop the infrastructure for national renewal.

In its communiqué at the end of the Uyo event, the PDP restated its commitment to power rota­tion. It doesn’t quite matter. What is needed is a reform of the PDP. And what the country needs is to build a strong opposition party system to deepen the people’s capacity to make a choice and to encourage greater competition in the political field. Individually and collectively. A strong political party system based on the principles of equity, representation, diversity and choice is impor­tant for the growth of democracy. PDP members place too much emphasis on power, that empha­sis should shift to service. If PDP members still find cause to celebrate, well, good for them, but let us worry more about what is good for Nigeria and its future.

We Won’t Return To Work – LAUTECH Doctors

Strike action embarked upon by medical personnel at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital Complex (LAUTECH), Osogbo, Osun State capital seems to have slipped out of hands, as doctors and nurses have threatened not to return to work until their demands are met.

It would be recalled that doctors and other hospital’s workers, under the aegis of Joint Action Committee (JAC) about three week ago, embarked on a strike action to press home their demands for improved welfare of workers.

The union protested against the delay in salary payment, non-payment of Consolidated Tertiary Institution Salary Structure (CONTISS) for staff members, a situation that compelled them to go on strike.

However, the hospital’s employees had called-off the strike action last week, the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) has vowed never to return to work.

The President of the association, Dr. Mobolaji Olaoye said, on Sunday, that the strike action would continue, until all demands are met.

Among their grievances, he said, is the failure of the management to pay doctors 15 months monetized salary structure.

Olaoye further stated that the workers were being owed a six months CONTISS, adding that 500 per cent tax deduction is being made from ARD members’ salaries.

According to him, until the outrageous deductions are stopped, and other demands are met, ARD members would continue on the strike action.

He said: “Teaching Hospitals are referral centres meant to teach excellence in medical practice. No hospital could have everything, but our teaching hospitals must combine adequate staffing and welfare with infrastructure management.

“When a doctor overworks himself and his salary is not paid at the appropriate time, how can such doctor perform as expected of him? We need to get the right mix in the way we manage our hospitals”, Olaoye stated.

However, an on-the-spot assessment by OSUN DEFENDER at the LAUTECH hospital premises on Monday showed that the doctors actually stood by their decision never to return to work until their demands are met no doctors were not sighted at the hospital premises.

Investigation has therefore revealed that relatives, who have patients in the hospitals have been moving out their sick ones from the hospital.

Osun Teachers Ready For Show-down Over TSS

Another fresh crisis is currently brewing between Osun State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers
(NUT) and the embattled Governor of the state Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, as the teachers were said to have been grumbling and waiting patiently for the implementation of the Teachers Salary Structure (TSS), OSUN DEFENDER can authoritatively reveal.

Information made available to the medium revealed that the teachers in the state are feeling disturbed about the on-going grave yard silence of the state government, concerning the implementation of TSS which is yet to be discussed in details.

The teachers were also said to have condemned the state government’s non chalant attitude towards their plight.

OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the teachers have been trying all efforts to have the governments attention on the TSS implementation, to no avail as the government was said to be busy with other projects in the state.

It was also gathered that Oyinlola has been avoiding any occasion that would involve him and the leadership of the union with a view to preventing further discussion on the issue, as he is reported not be ready for the implementation of the new salary structure for teachers in the state service.

A source in the government house disclosed that Oyinlola was embittered when the payment of the new TSS was approved, as he has just started the implementation of the N9,500 minimum wages for teachers in Osun State.

OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the Governor has been making frantic efforts to hold meetings with the leadership of the union, so as to make the N9,500 minimum wages, the TSS for Osun State teachers to which the leaders have objected.

It will be recalled that the union’s Chairman and Assistant Secretary General, Alhaji Saka –Adesiyan and Chief Wale Oyeniyi, respectively warned the state commissioner for Education, Mr. Jelili Adesiyan over a statement that the Government had been paying the new salary structure since August 2008.

The duo also debunked the statement that Oyinlola had promised the NUT that he would commence the payment of the teachers peculiar allowances by January 2009, adding that the commissioner wanted to mislead the members of the union.

OSUN DEFENDER reliably gathered that Oyinlola has decided to stall all actions on the implementation of TSS as he is ready to engage the teachers in a battle of supremacy, allegedly saying that he has nothing to lose.

Speaking on the development, a school principal, who spoke under anonymity stated that the members are only waiting for the leadership to take action and “we are ready to support them” she added.

She lamented the silence of the government on the implementation, saying it could not solve the crisis instead, the Governor should publicly state his plan about TSS, saying that Oyinlola should come up with education friendly policies that will benefit the welfare of the teachers and students in the state.

Fayemi Raises Hope For Progressives

Moved by the tenacity of purpose of progressive elements in the South-West geo-political zone, the Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi has enjoined the progressives in the zone to keep on weathering the storm as there will soon be the light at the end of the tunnel.

Fayemi who made this remark at a meeting of Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) held with pomp and pageantry in Osogbo, Osun State at the residence of a prominent member of the group, Mr Layi Oyeduntan, during the weekend saluted the courage of all members of the opposition, telling them not to relent their support until the imposition of political mediocres in the region by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo are chased out of the zone.

The governorship candidate who condemned the use of police by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)- led governments in the South-West to settle political scores told the people to remain calm in the face of unwarranted provocation by the PDP members and their supporters in the area.

He told the progressive members to continue to display a sense of maturity in their dealings with the reactionary group, cautioning: ‘’Don’t initiate violence but don’t run away from violence’’.

Fayemi who is slugging it out at the Court of Appeal with the incumbent Governor Segun Oni over April 14, 2007 governorship election hinted that he was optimistic that the progressives would retrieve the South-West from the reactionary group.

His words: ‘’We have done everything humanly and legally possible to reclaim the stolen mandate from the notorious and unpopular party of occupation orchestrated by Obasanjo from our zone. And it is my conviction that we shall succeed’’.

In his opening remark, the chairman of the group, Honourable Olawale Oshun, implored members of the progressives to go back home and tell the people that a new lease of life has been breathed into the Afenifere with a view to making the Yoruba reclaim their lost glory in the schemes of things in Nigeria.

Oshun’s words: “Go back to the nooks and crannies of Yorubaland and spread a good tiding that Afenifere has come to champion the cause of our people. We cannot do it alone. We need the support of all and sundry to succeed in our mission’’

Honourable Tayo Ilupeju, former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Osun State, said he was fulfilled with the emergence of the new Afenifere group, saying his prayer was that God would assist the group in its mission.

Alhaji Muraina Iyiola, Vice Chairman of AC in Osun State went down memory lane to catalogue history of series of violence against the opposition by the ruling party in the state, counseling the members to remain steadfast.

The state chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP), Alhaji Waheed Lawal frowned at the notion in some quarters that only AC members are Afenifere, saying that ‘’Afenifere membership cuts across other political parties other than the AC’’.

Some of the dignitaries on the occasion included Mr Ayo Afolabi, the Secretary-General of the group who condemned the recent arrest, and detention of Oyeduntan in Ile-Ife Prisons, Otunba JMK Ogunkeyede, Dr Wale Adebanwi, Mr Dipo Famakinwa, Mr Yinka Odumakin, Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Jimi Agbaje, DPA governorship candidate in Lagos State and Alhaji Gbadamosi Lawal.

Others are Mr Kunle Famoriyo, Political Assistant to the late Chief Bola Ige, Mr Bisi Adegbuyi, Mr Tokunbo Ajasin, Dr Wole Adetoro, Alhaji Oduola Baruwa and Alhaji Ibraheem Adeniyi among other dignitaries.

Rumble At Osun SARS

Falcon and falconet appear to be operating from different wavelengths at the Osun State Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), as some operatives reportedly planted by the erstwhile Officer-In-Charge (OC), Mr Agbanajelu Jude were hell-bent in destroying the current OC, Akinlolu Okunola.

OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the aggrieved boys, as members of squad are popularly addressed by their superiors, reportedly decided to pick bones with the OC, because, according to an authoritative source, he was not ready to be a tool in the hands of any politician.

It would be recalled that the Jude-led SARS was everything against the police job. The members of the squad were not better than political thugs in terms of conduct and duty, for but would not wear police uniforms, they used cutlasses to torture suspects and carried out extra-judicial killings with impunity.

It was learnt that the fear of the Jude-led-squad that was able to drive fear into the hearts of the citizens through raw brute, was later covertly converted to extortion of some unsuspected members of the public, who had matters with the squad.

SARS that was infamously known as a debt-collector political thug and unrepentant human rights violator, was later reformed by Okunola into its original status, a situation that reportedly upset the disgruntled boys, who vowed to engineer the exit of their boss.

OSUN DEFENDER further gathered that the boys loyal to Jude reportedly petitioned the police headquarters in Abuja, detailed some trumped-up allegations against Okunola, thinking that his (Okunola’s) fate would be determined in absentia.

According to our source, the police officer was invited to Abuja for questioning over the petition that was later found out to be frivolous, and Okunola came out unscathed.

Information however, has it that the disgruntled men have been arrested and are still undergoing interrogation as at the time of filing this story.

In a related development, some of the inside sources, who confided in OSUN DEFENDER said that some politicians at the corridors of power are not comfortable with Okunola’s gentlemanliness.

It was further learnt when the OC/SARS refused to play ball with some politicians from the ruling party; who then craved the indulgence of the state helmsman to speak with the state embattled Commissioner of Police, (CP) Mr. John Moronike on the need to create a special squad that could be used to settle scores with their opponents.

An intelligence report at the disposal of OSUN DEFENDER showed that with a little pressure and persuasion, the CP caved-in and created the Eagle Squad initially headed by the governor’s man Friday Jude.

Despite the fact that the crime rate in Osun State is not in any way at a threatening stage, Eagle Squad could not refrain from its nuisance value, as the overt acts of the old SARS has not only been resuscitated but have also donned more brutal face.

Fraud At Osun Local Government Councils

•Boripe LG Spends Fortune On First Lady’s Office, Refuse, Grader
•Iwo Council Boss, Councillors At War Over Fund Sharing
•Oyinlola’s Relations Hijack Odo-Otin Council

Fraudulent practices and corruption of no mean magnitude have relegated some local government council areas to the background in Osun State, a situation that has created a room for the mad competition among the council bosses that are ready to throw their all in looting the treasuries of the grassroots government.

While some council bosses are busy fixing their plugs, smoothening their rough edges, by settling their political godfathers and some political gladiators that could give them (chairmen) problems in their respective council areas; some chairmen are sharing the loots with some powerful top-guns of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state; with the aim of securing another term with ease.

It would be recalled that OSUN DEFENDER in its recent past edition, published a N16 million street light project scam, with a physical evidence of no execution of the project on ground.

Instead of rushing to site (the 11 wards in the council area), the embattled council boss, Mr Abimbola Oyedele ran to a lawyer, whose office is situated in Osogbo the state capital with a view to cowing the on-going investigation into his fraudulent practices.

Unknown to him that OSUN DEFENDER has built up a fool-proof evidence of his alarming expenditure between January and March, coupled with another details between April and June 2008, first and second quarters of the year respectively. Ditto for other vouchers and records of underhand dealings that would be made available in court of law, should Oyedele be man enough to bell the cat.

To further prove that the street light project scam was real, OSUN DEFENDER is in possession of the council’s Summary of Revenue and Expenditure between the April and June, where a total expenditure of N201,009,844.36 was recorded.

In columns two and three of Excess Crude Oil Project 2008 (April to June), titled: Rehabilitation of street light (extension of three phase electricity to the eleven wards in Boripe Local Government) with a cost of N16,247,808.90, N11,373,466.23 was already paid in June.

While the column three with a title: Balance payment for rehabilitation of street light (extension of three phase electricity to the eleven wards in Boripe Local Government) read N4,874,342.62.

Meanwhile, the council boss, who appeared rattled after the story was published, was suspected to have misinformed his counsel, who wrote OSUN DEFENDER in a letter dated 31 October 2008 paragraph four that; “our client, (Bimbo Oyedele) takes strong exception to the above grave allegations of fraud and financial crime, against him, as there was no project like ‘Street Light Project as contained in your said publication embarked upon by our client since the inception of his administration,” read the letter.

Adding insult upon injury, Oyedele further relished his lies with old kicks, noting that the true story of the matter was that the council sought and got the approval of the State Local Government Ministry to extend the electricity in various towns and villages in the councils.

As a matter of fact, a letter with reference number: LGF4/4/vol.1.1/242 dated 29th April, 2008 was quoted on the facilitation of the project; a sharp contrast to the Revenue and Expenditure table of the council for the second quarter of the year.

Besides, there were certain bizarre expenditure in the revenue and expenditure of the council that suggests either extravagance in spending of public funds or corruption with impunity.

Despite the availability of the waste collection van in the state and councils, Oyedele still expended N450,000 on the evacuation of refuse in iragbiji, the council headquarters.

While the servicing of a Grader cost N458,500, another N753,800 was said to have been paid for the purchase of transmission pump of the Grader; whereas N120,000 was expended on the grading of roads in Aagba, a community within the council area.

An interesting dimension was the N248,000 squandered on the office of the first lady of Boripe Local Government, despite the fact that she was not elected.

Also, Iwo local government council area, located in the Osun West is another case-study of open corruption, as the council chairman and councilors were openly trading accusations and counter-accusations on some issues that could not be divorced from fraudulent practices.

OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the council boss, Mr Sule Bello, popularly known as ‘CB’ had a shouting-match with the aggrieved lawmakers, when he found out that they, councillors held a meeting in his office; instead of the legislative chamber.

In fact, the embattled chairman in ganger, loosely said at a meeting inside Oluwo’s palace that the aggrieved councillors wanted him to share council funds and that his refusal for accountability reason infuriated the councillors.

Meanwhile, a source close to the council hinted OSUN DEFENDER that the embattled chairman was economical with the truth, as one hospital road project was awarded to the councillors, aside from N3 million overdraft on the seminar programme.

It was learnt that instead of N700,000 ear-marked for the seminar, N3,700,000 was allegedly expended and that it was the leader of the house and the secretary to the local government that facilitated the funding of resource persons that were used.

Meanwhile, a council boss in the Osun Central completely absconded his duty to his council under the guise of being overwhelmed by the national assignment of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON).

OSUN DEFENDER’S investigation showed that the affected chairman, up to the time of filing this story could not lay claim to any project that could enhance the development of his council area despite the huge allocations that have accrued to his council.

And, Odo-Otin local government council area seems to have been hijacked by some political gladiators said to be the relations of the state governor, a situation that has put the council authority in a fix.

It was learnt that some council officials had been picked up for questioning on some issues relating to misapplication of funds by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence (ICPC) recently.

Oyinlola And Global Economic Recession

That there is a melt-down on the world economy presently is no longer news. Thus, this is apparently not the best of time for ‘governor’ Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the usurper on the governorship seat in Osun state. This would be so because for a ‘governor’ who majors in junketing around the world with alibi for sourcing foreign investors-thereby wasting billions of naira on this account; the current economic recession will no doubt keep in check, his useless and extravagant tours.

With the current global economic crisis, there is apparently no surplus in the economies of the West which could be brought down here for any investment as every nation is a victim of the economic quagmire.

Thus, in the face of the world economic insecurity, it is indeed logical to argue that, the so-called foreign investors would prefer to hold on, pending the rebirth of a more economically viable environment. It would therefore amount to self-delusion for Oyinlola and his ilk to still engage in ‘Ajala travel’, in the name of foreign investment drive.

To say that one thing Oyinlola is mostly famous for, since he assumed power through political corruption, is junketing around the world in the name of wooing foreign investors, is to state the obvious. For Oyinlola, governance is pastime, while traveling round the world has taken the place of primary assignment.

As he relishes in wasteful junkets, hundreds of millions of naira are being wasted on these needless foreign tours while infrastructure suffer neglect and the people wallow in abject poverty. Osun State under Oyinlola is in a motionless state. Still, our ‘misgoverned governor’ continues to gallivant around, sponsoring advertisements-both in the print and electronic media to show-case cosmetic, if not pseudo achievements. But our people are no fools. They know better, and they are not oblivious of the fact that the whole essence of Oyinlola’s tours is purely a gimmick to siphone and squander the people’s resources.

All we need in Osun state to be able to know the number of billions that have been wasted on foreign tours by Oyinlola to look for pseudo-investors is a man of dignity who can play the role of Dr. Idi Hong, the supervising Minister of commerce and industry who just came out with another expose on the shenanigans of foreign tours in the name of wooing investors.

How the sum of $10 billion have been spent at federal level on foreign investment drive with less than $1 billion investment inflow into the country. Dr. Hong has made the Nigerian public to know amongst other things that “$10 billion was wasted in the search for foreign investors and not even one billion dollars worth investment came into the country. Investors won’t come because they know you have come to engineer stories to them’’.

This startling revelation has further given us insight into the shenanigans surrounding the so called foreign investment drive, being embarked upon by the likes of Oyinlola.

The global economic recession therefore, should, for one, keep Oyinlola at home and put a stop to his needless, wasteful and fruitless junkets. We challenge him to face the business of governance squarely and focus on providing at least, some form of democracy dividends to the people, since one can not really expect any super performance from him going by his antecedent in public service.

To make good use of power to bring about positive changes is unarguably beyond the ken of Oyinlola. His years in Lagos as military administrator during the inglorious era of his brutal master, the late General Sanni Abacha were a story of woes as non-performance characterized his reign, earning him the appellation of ‘No bitumen’ . The scenario of non-performance has been repeating itself for over five years that Oyinlola has held sway in Osun state. Governance has been at the ebb due to lack of vision on his part, and on the parts of his co-travellers at the corridors of power.

Before being conquered by the inevitability of exit from power which, of course, is imminent, it is hoped that Oyinlola will use this period of economic recession to stay at home, do something concrete and put a stop to fruitless foreign tours in the name of foreign investment drive. He should, in the words of Dr. Idi Hong, ‘’ prioritize his programmes by creating efficiency on how to rebuild dead industries’’.

Obama’s Victory Speech – ‘Change Has Come To America’

“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It’s the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he’s fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation’s next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House. And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics – you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to – it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington – it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didn’t do this just to win an election and I know you didn’t do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime – two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor’s bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers – in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing – Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We Shall Overcome.” Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves – if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America”

Delivered At Grant Park In Chicago by President-elect Barack Obama, on accepting his historic victory, delivered to a crowd of 125,000 people at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois

Culled from GANTDAILY.COM