Tension In Ekiti As Soldiers Are Deployed Ahead Of LG Polls

TENSION rose across the length and breadth of Ekiti State on Thursday, as the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta popularly called Operation Restore Hope and riot policemen have been deployed to the state ahead of the Local Government election slated for December 20.

The combat-ready soldiers were seeing on Thursday, parading the major street of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, apparently to warn potential troublemakers ahead of the controversial elections.
Residents are gripped by fear of a possible outbreak of violence at the polls.

Some youths who mounted road blocks at about 2.10 pm to collect money from motorists for their end-of-the-year carnival at Basiri on Iyin Road of Ado-Ekiti had a dose of military action, as the soldiers jumped down from their vehicles, cleared the barricades and chased the youths away.
The two Toyota Hilux vans carrying the soldiers later headed for the Ado Area Command of the Nigeria Police Force at Okesa.

It was gathered that the soldiers had been deployed in major towns believed to be trouble spots to forestall a breakdown of law and order, just as they were said to be conducting stop-and-search on all vehicles coming in and getting out of the state.

Besides, a legion of aggrieved pretesting youths clashed with riot policemen in some part of the state.
In Ikere-Ekiti, scores of Action Congress (AC) youths took to the streets to protest against the planned local government polls.

They blocked the entrance of the town with drums, logs of wood and other objects in a bid to prevent some vehicles from the Government House from passing through the town.
Riot policemen fired tear gas at the irate youths and shot into the air to disperse the protesters who replied with stones, sticks and other objects.

Many of the youths were wounded, some were arrested a situation that paralyzed the economic and social activities in the town.

One of the AC youths who simply identified himself as Femi said they started their peaceful demonstration and they were marching on the house of former Governor of old Ondo State, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua, when they were tear-gassed by the riot policemen.

He said three of them were arrested. Traders and other bystanders fled to escape the dose of tear-gas fired by the riot policemen. Traffic to and from Akure, the Ondo State capital, were disrupted.

It was bloody in Ikole-Ekiti in the northern senatorial district where another group of protesting AC youths clashed with policemen who fired guns and tear-gas at them.
The irate protesters who hurled stones and other missiles at the security agents made bonfires in some strategic parts of the town.

Those injured were rushed to hospitals in the town.
Violence was also reported in Oye-Ekiti, also in the northern senatorial district, where youths clashed with policemen.

Protests were also reported in Ijero-Ekiti.
Besides, the row over the planned elections continued on Thursday.
AC state Chairman, Mr. Olajide Awe, alleged that the government listed for the police headquarters names of almost all AC leaders, including chairmanship candidates, to be arrested ahead of the local government polls.

Addressing a news conference over clashes reported in some major towns and the deployment of soldiers in the state, Awe criticised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led administration for “putting the state under siege over patently-illegal local government elections.”

To him, drafting soldiers to the state is an indication that the PDP-led government wants to intimidate the “Ekiti people who have rejected the conduct of the elections in a bid to commit another electoral rape on them.”

“Ekiti is now under siege, with the deployment of over 4,000 riot policemen who have been ordered to shoot on sight and this will not augur well for the state. We believe that Oni will see reason by not going ahead to conduct the illegal elections as the whole exercise is a charade.

“We went to court and a law-abiding government is expected to halt every process concerning the local government elections and we have written letters to the President and all the governors in Nigeria over the matter.

“The people are not ready for these illegal elections as the various factions in the PDP are also not comfortable with the election.

“Oni’s action has shown that he is not a peace-loving person because he has sent for a detachment of soldiers from Okitipupa (Ondo State). If he is insisting on conducting the elections, it has portrayed him as a violator of the rule of law,” Awe added.

Reacting to the violence in Ikere, rights activist and lawyer, Mr. Morakinyo Ogele, said the governor would be held responsible for any breakdown of law and order in any part of the state.

Ogele, a native of the town and National Co-ordinator of the Ekiti Democratic Coalition Alliance (EDCA) said the AC youths were provoked by the jubilation of PDP candidates “who are happy with the no-contest situation” following the non-participation of AC.


State Of Roads In Osun

FIRST and foremost, let me express my profound gratitude on behalf of the down-trodden masses of Osun State, for championing our course in the content of your fast-rising newspaper.

As we groan daily under the jack-boot of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) collaborators, your medium has been serving our source of hope for a better tomorrow. For this wonderful role, once again, let me say thank you.

However, kindly permit me to air my view on the state of roads in the state, since the unfortunate inception of Oyinlola-led administration in 2003. I make bold to say that Osun State had never had it this bad, even when men of Oyinlola’s professional colleagues, the military were at the helm of affairs.

Since the unfortunate misadventure of the PDP under Oyinlola into governance of the state, state infrastructure and social amenities have virtually broken down, while the government of the day has no tenable explanation on how billions of naira accruing into the state treasury found its way into private pockets.

Worst-hit of the PDP mis-rules in the state is the road network, which has become more of death traps with each passing day.

Across the length and breadth of the state, the abound roads on which millions of tax-payers’ money have been expended without any commensurate quality of job done on them.

Since 2003, the embattled Oyinlola administration has spent more on road construction and rehabilitation through numerous contractors, who have eventually been found to be ordinary conduit pipes through which money is illegally siphoned into private pockets.

The sad aspect of the road works lies in the fact that no sooner are these roads constructed or rehabilitated than they started showing signs of getting deplorable, thereby rendering money spent on them useless.

A clear case of such waste of tax-payers’ money is the timeless dualisation of Osogbo-Akoda road project that was initially billed to have been completed within a period of nine months since 2004. Four years later, the road project is still very far from being completed.

Another case of clear waste of money is the popular Osogbo-Iwo Road on which over six hundred million naira had been expended for rehabilitation. The road has become sudden night-mare for motorists plying the road in view of its deplorable state.

I therefore call on the state government to act promptly on these roads to make them motorable.

•OLADIMEJI KUNLE, Alekuwodo, Osogbo, Osun Sta2008/12/roadnetwork1.jpgte.

Revisiting Dis(Honourable) Osun AC Lawmakers


NIGERIA is a great country, a nation of nations, a state of anything goes. We are rugged and blessed with thick skin for suffering. This is a country where oddities have become part of our daily schedule.
No wonder, the president of Credit Card International was quoted to have philosophically waxed that there are three species of human beings in the world: The Whites, The Blacks and The Nigerians. An assertion that was strongly advocated by a fable told by a friend.

It was related that a thief-catching machine was invented in America and when it was time for experimentation, three countries were selected: America, Ghana and Nigeria. In the United States of America, within 30 days, the machine had caught 5,000 thieves. In Ghana, the machine caught 5,000 thieves within 30 minutes, but in Nigeria, the so-called giant of Africa, the machine was stolen within 30 seconds of its arrival.

I know you will be wondering why I am lacing this piece with sarcasm, especially on the land of my birth, Nigeria. But you will pardon me because it’s not in my intention to bore you with what you know. What you are about to read below is about the proverbial orange fruit, which attracted clubs to their mother tree. (Omo Osan ti ko ponpo ba iya re).

In a straight jacket, it is about the nine lawmakers, two artful dodgers and the credibility of the Action Congress (AC) that produced them for the Osun State House of Assembly, where corruption seems to have become a stock-in-trade.

Let it be known that the AC lawmakers ding-dong attitude on the corruption-ridden Constituency Development Funds (CDF) has violently dragged me out of my humble shell. For once, I bow and tremble for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) lawmakers especially the powerful speaker Adejare Bello.

IF you are Bello’s adversary, you may not want to agree with his submissions on various issues, but on the issue of CDF, the lawyer-turned politician appears like a soothsayer. In an interview he magnanimously granted OSUN DEFENDER sometimes in September, he brilliantly x-rayed the lack of liver and unprincipled nature of the AC lawmakers. Yours sincerely, I found it out to be true, absolutely true. All hail Mr. Speaker.

Get me right, I am not exonerating the PDP lawmakers from the fraud called CDF, but I decided to keep mute on their case because they never for once created a ‘holier than thou’ impression. Meanwhile, we all know what the PDP stands for.

According to our dear Nobel Laureate, Emeritus Professor Wole Soyinka, “PDP is a nest of killers and vipers.” According to Senator Nuhu Aliyu, it is a party of fraudsters and corrupt politicians, and according to the chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) former President Olusegun Obasanjo, it is a garrison party with do-or-die manifestoes”.

So, flogging the PDP lawmakers on a fraudulent CDF is like blaming a thief for stealing. “Hope is a very good breakfast, but a bad dinner,” so says a philosopher. The hope of the good people of Osun State who freely elected 11 members of the opposition has been dashed.

The Speaker, Adejare categorically said that the AC lawmakers were hypocrites, double-dealers, betrayers and lilly-livered because they put pressure on him in the first place on the constituency largesse, and that he was forced to take them before the governor, who was reluctant in releasing the slushed funds to them.

Mr. Speaker insisted that the moment they found out that the money had been paid into their personal accounts, some of them started mobilizing to sites, and started the God-forsaken projects of theirs, only to turn back 3600, refunding the money and went on a massive blackmail of the deal they actively participated in.

Hear him: “But I have stopped blaming the AC lawmakers because I knew that some of them could not manage to produce N5,000 for electioneering, let alone prosecuting the demanding campaign in the last election and those who pay the piper dictate the tune.”

Besides, did you watch the last Open Forum, that propaganda machine of the embattled governor? If you watched it, lucky you, but if you missed it, it is a pity, because the AC lawmakers shamelessness were displayed in the public glare and I know quite sure that the morally-bankrupt legislators have succeeded in securing a space in the incinerator of history for themselves. Now, let us see how they will go beyond their present level politically.

In the constituency booty: Ipoola Binuyo, representing Ife North, Laide Ajibola, Olorunda, Razak Salinsile, Iwo, Akintunde Adegboye, Osogbo, Biodun Awolola, Egbedore, Najim Salam, Ejigbo, Samson Fafiyebi, Obokun, Ademola Ajiboye, Ila State Constituencies collected N10 million each, while Kamil Oyedele, representing Irepodun/Orolu State Constituency collected N20 million.

Make no mistake, the slushed funds were remitted into their personal salary accounts, just like the ones rejected, a case study of a dog going back to its vomit. And am sure that the result would either be substandard projects or a complete fraud.

Who am I to condemn or speak ill of the ‘honourable’ members because they are ‘super human’ and I am a mere mortal, but considering the peoples’ feelings, the Home Truth is left with no choice.

LET us draw from the little experience. One Laide Ajibola, amongst them reportedly withdrew his first CDF tranch, and what he got to show for it was that busy scrambling for stolen vehicles, amassing houses and other landed properties, before he was caught by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), that treated him like a money-miss-road that he is. As a fact, when he was mandated to refund the money by his party, the extravagant lawmaker could not produce more than N5,000 out of N5 million. Where is the credibility of such an opportunist called a lawmaker? The answer is in the air.

I know one of the opportunists called honourable lawmakers, who got his own portion, and started amassing ladies of easy virtue, automobiles, and whetting the appetite of the PDP chieftains in his constituency, suggestive of a move to cultivate ground for changing of party in due course for his future ambition.

So, the argument of these lawmakers of AC extraction that outcries from their various constituencies drove them to crawl before their adversaries in order to get the already budgeted CDF, could not hold water because they did the whole thing with suspicion to the utter disappointment of the political observers; they even arm-twisted their party, let alone the electorate.

Hear the AC lawmakers: “We decided to take the Constituency Development Funds because our constituents asserted pressure on us and we have no option because they are the ones who voted for us”

Truly, the AC lawmakers are chameleons of sort. When they wanted to refund the first controversial phase, they went on air, shouting their ‘holier than thou’ on the rooftop, only to quietly went abegging, collecting the largesse clandestinely, like thieves in the midnight. May we never see their tribe again (Amen).

Now that we have known that the majority of the lawmakers are drivern by their ego, greed and get-rich quick syndrome, the hope of getting quality debate over issues that are affecting us has been dashed. And I urge the electorate to please mark them for future references.

Honestly, when a political observer told me that the zeal of the electorate to change the Oyinlola administration in 2007 polls led them into electing some liabilities, hungry fellows and ‘we must get rich personalities into the state parliament, I thought it was a political statement. Now, I have known the truth and “thou shall not command my respect again.” What about you?

Pardon me, if I am taking you down the memory lane. The same constituency fund was used as a weapon by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) under Mallam Nuhu Ribadu to effect the illegal impeachment of some state governors under the watch of the former President Obasanjo. The pathetic cases of ex-Governor Joshua Dariye and DSP Alemiesiegha are still fresh in our minds.

IMAGINE, if a king who recognizes proverbial Joseph is no more, would these good-for-nothing ‘Omo-Osan’ not go to jail? Yours sincerely, these lawmakers are anti-people, conservatives and truly disappointment of the millennium.

I am aware of their kite and alibi, they were telling their sycophants and some gullible party leaders, who are being controlled by their perpetually hungry stomachs, that they took the money, because the EFCC operatives unbraided them for rejecting the funds in the first place.

If truly there is anyone among the embattled AC lawmakers who truly bought the dummy, may the god of thunder strike his mouth. Because, how would someone tell me that he was encouraged to do the wrong thing, stealing our collective patrimony via personal salary account. It is nauseating, disgusting and disappointing.

Remember an orange tree, while growing up will enjoy its peace and progressive growth until it starts to produce fruits, when people will start throwing different weapons like clubs, pebbles, stones and long sticks at it.

This could be understood with the lesson of the AC governorship candidate, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola’s last weeks home coming. An eye witness account informed me that the colourful politician came to Ilesa unannounced for a social function and people still trooped out to solidarise with him as usual. What this taught us is that people know what they want and they do not care about the attitude of the compromised chameleons called AC lawmakers.

I read one story from one of the national dailies that the AC lawmakers collected the funds to spite Aregbesola, who, the report said is in firm grip of the party structure. If this is true, then it is another sad story for the dishonourable ones because “a fowl that defecate inside pot of soup, is only defacing its grave”.

On a final note, the philosophical submission of a journalist, whose name is not readily given will sooth the frayed nerves of the masses, who demanded for my reaction: “Some people create room of emotional failure for themselves by cultivating an attitude and approach to issues; they fail because they do things; which will make them fail easily.

See you next week.

How Oyo Legislators Misappropriated N320m Constituency Fund – Survey

FACTS have emerged on how lawmakers in the immediate past Oyo State House of Assembly misappropriated the N320 million Constituency Development Funds they collected from the state government.

The misappropriation was revealed in the report of a study, carried out by the Ibadan-based Centre for African Settlement Studies and Development, in some local government areas of the state.
Many of the legislators were, however, returned during the 2007 general elections and are still serving their various constituencies.

The study tagged, “Tracking of Constituency Projects Budgets in Oyo State: A strategy for Promoting Good Governance”, was carried out by CASSAD in collaboration with Fredrich Ebert Stiftung Nigeria.
The survey showed that the lawmakers, who collected N10m each, embarked on the construction of projects such as boreholes, street lights, blocks of classrooms, town halls and post offices without carrying the beneficiary communities along.

The Acting Executive Director of CASSAD, Mr. Nicholas Dosunmu, presented the project findings at a one-day dissemination workshop for politicians and career civil servants in Ibadan on Thursday.
Dosunmu said the projects of four lawmakers in three local government areas – Akinyele, Ido and Orire, were randomly analysed by the agency within seven months.

He said findings among the various beneficiaries of the projects revealed that they were not involved in the planning and execution of the projects, but were only invited for their inauguration.

The CASSAD boss cited the case of a building meant either to be a either town hall or a post office constructed and inaugurated by one lawmaker in 2006 as his constituency project.

He said it was re-inaugurated and passed off as another project some years later.
He also alleged that the quality of building materials used in one building already inaugurated was substandard.

The floor, according to him, was peeling while the ceilings had broken barely five months after it was constructed.

He said, “The team also found out that apart from the epileptic power supply, the transformer capacity was too small for the community thereby making the street light not useful.”
He said that the community protested the provision of street light when they had demanded for the construction of industrial borehole which was their priority.

He also said the team discovered that a borehole constructed by another lawmaker packed up three months later.

He said, “Members of the community complained that the borehole was not useful for them at all as it did not serve the community since commissioning. The water from the borehole when it worked, was said to be of poor quality.”

MTN Exposes Naron-Kalejaiye’s Secret Conversation

•Oyinlola’s Household, Aides, Commissioners Move Out Personal Effects
•Untold Secret Of Lawmakers’ Oath Taking

WIND has eventually blown off the rump of a fowl for the people to see, as the MTN Nigeria has finally submitted the details of voice calls and textual messages that were secretly exchanged between the lawyer to the embattled Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Mr. Kunle Kalejaiye, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), and the alleged compromised chairman of the Election Petitions Tribunal that sat in Osogbo, Osun State capital, Justice Thomas Damar Naron, to THE NEWS magazine, as ordered by a Lagos High Court.

It would be recalled that the magazine published a comprehensive investigative story with forensic finesse on how the defence attorney and two of the judges on the panel were exchanging calls, text messages and MMS in the night, day and even during the court sessions; a situation that compelled the Ibadan senior lawyer and the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Osun State, Mr. Lasisi Olagunju to cry blue-murder.

In some advertorials in selected national newspapers, Kalejaiye and Olagunju laboured so hard to rubbish the investigative piece, but the management of the Independent Communications, the publisher of THE NEWS magazine dared the aggrieved duo, challenging them to approach any court of law, if indeed they have any case.

As a matter of fact, Kalejaiye threatened to sue the publisher on the matter, promising to seek redress quickly with a view to clearing his name and integrity at stake; while Olagunju settled for name-calling and buck passing, instead of treating issues.

However, the Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, who petitioned the controversial tribunal, had earlier posited during a world press conference that with the awesome revelation of the magazine’s stories, the verdict of the controversial tribunal would be rejected, even if he was declared the winner.

When the dust was raised, Naron tribunal, in a manner suggestive of hidden agenda quickly fixed a date for judgment, and all entreaties from the petitioner’s lawyer, Mr. Kola Awodein to the tribunal to suspend the delivery of judgment until the determination of the allegation levelled against it, failed. While the controversy was raging, THE NEWS management dragged the rattled Kalejaiye and the restless Olagunju to the Lagos High Court, where the issue of secret conversations between the latter and the embattled Justice Naron was tabled before the law.

The presiding judge, Justice D.O. Oluwayemi then ordered MTN to make copies of the log available to the Independent Communications Ltd. While making the log available, the telecommunication company owned up that Kalejaiye and Naron actually spoke and exchanged text messages on 080340662075 and 08037035705 respectively.

In a letter signed by the MTN Senior Manager, Commercial legal, Mr. Rotimi Odusola, which was addressed to Simmons Coopers Partners, lawyers to THE NEWS magazine and the court, Justice Naron was confirmed to have made 12 calls to Kalejaiye’s 080340662075 between March and May. He also sent 20 text messages to the flamboyant lawyer through the same line within the period.

While Kalejaiye sent 24 text messages through his line, 08034662075 to Naron’s 08037033105, and made two calls on March 31, which lasted 31 minutes and on May 31, which lasted 25 minutes respectively.

Besides, the MTN has apologized for not making the remaining call logs available for now, stating that the difficultly in obtaining the remaining information has to do with network and technicality hitches; which the company promised to make available later.

Checks further showed that the ruling of the Court of Appeal on the acceptance or otherwise of the call logs would go a long way to determine what will happen to the verdict of the Naron-led tribunal, which awarded the second respondent, Olagunsoye Oyinlola a controversial victory.

Findings at the Oke-fia Government House, Osogbo, has shown that the fear of the call logs has griped the camp of Oyinlola, who has secretly started moving out some personal effects to his country home at Okuku, Odo-Otin Local Government Council Area of the state, together with members of his household.

According to an authoritative source, the embattled state helmsman was embarking on the secret move in order not to be caught napping in case of any eventuality, saying that the bravery displayed by the Court of Appeal on the petition of Governor Adams Oshiomhole has further sent jitters into the spine of the Oyinlola’s camp.

In another development, the untold secret behind wish-washy prosecution of some disputed House of Assembly petitions filed by some AC and PDP candidates against some incumbent legislators has been exposed, a drama that further strengthened the alleged compromise of the Naron tribunal.

It was learnt that the 26 members of the House in the course of a courtesy visit to the palace of a prominent traditional ruler in the state, were skillfully coarsed into an oath taking; where they pledged to maintain the status quo.

OSUN DEFENDER learnt that the oath taking meeting took place in the presence of Justice Naron and his counterparts, a situation that further emboldened the tribunal to go haywire with its perceived purchased verdict.


Oyinlola’s ‘Doom-ocracy’

A pliant, but now completely ineffectual legislature, caught in the vicious grip of the paymaster in the bumbling executive, victim of its own greed and supreme myopia. An out-of-breath judiciary now reduced to a mere shadow of its proud heritage, the consequence of its inability to resist being sucked into the power game by a scheming and a most devious executive figure.

Add this to the image of the out-of-control power monger personified in one individual whose words and whims is law, whose giant-size ego must be massaged to no end, and one to which every structure of governance must pay homage. Of course, there is the traumatised people whose solace lies in their determined quest for justice.

Put them together and one gets a fair glimpse of the situation of governance in Osun’s environment of doom-ocracy, created and nurtured by Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the usurper who pretends to be governor.

The jury is well out in advance, on the overrated ex-armoured soldier, as he plods on, like a loose canon in the orgy of institutional emasculation, treating lawmakers to endless pork a la the so-called constituency projects, sucking the judiciary into the moral cesspit in the mad gamble towards autocratic rule and destroying every institution that crosses his way in the process.

What would Oyinlola point out as the dividend of democracy under his iron rule? The mangled institutions of the state judiciary and the legislature? Is it the debauchery that he and his cohorts have reduced governance in a state crying out for leadership and governance? Or the institution of the civil service that has succumbed to the benumbing miasma of inertia and incompetence – no thanks to the blighted vision of the former one-star general?

To say that politics is in retreat in Osun just as development has been in reverse gear since the affliction of Oyinlola is to state the obvious. Clearly, who can deny the arrested development that Oyinlola and his band has brought on the people? The joke in town is that the government has been on mental holiday at a time the need for effective governance has become ever more acute. How true!
How can anything move when the budget process has become a farce due chiefly to Oyinlola’s subversive generosity? Could things be different with a supine legislature ready to acquiesce to whatever is served on the plate? How would the institution of checks and balances in government hold when a governor can cause to be transferred huge sums from the treasury into the private accounts of lawmakers in the name of constituency projects?

While the test of democracy can be said to be in the relative strength of the opposition, Oyinlola’s own variant (doom-ocracy) could be found in the number of opposition figures either killed or hounded out of town. It is reckoned in the number of limbs broken or the skulls cracked to keep the power mongers in office.

To offer alternative viewpoints in Oyinlola’s martial space is to court trouble – the Emperor has been known to boast that since the people’s votes did not get him into office in the first place, his allegiance could not be expected to be to the people but the godfathers of perfidy in his Peoples Democratic Party!

We must continue to ask the administration that has made a fetish of junketing round global capitals in search of foreign investment, what it has made of the taxpayers’ money wasted in the exercise. Is it not amazing that an administration that is yet to come to terms with basic governance issues is the one on voyage to bring investments?

All of the above are certainly in the character of those who would steal people’s vote to get into office. If they trampled on institutions on their way to getting into office, what difference would it make if they cowed opposition, killed the legislature, disrobe the judiciary in their project to reduce the state and its people to a conquered people?

To us, no greater misfortune could befall a people beyond what Oyinlola and his crew has brought on the proud and enterprising citizens of the State of the Living Spring. It is their doom-ocracy.

Fuel Scarcity Looms In Lagos As Tanker Drivers Strike

A fuel scarcity is looming in Lagos State, as tanker drivers began strike yesterday in protest over alleged harassment by officials of the Lagos State Transport Management Agency (LASTMA).

Members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), a unit of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), have stopped loading at fuel depots.

The strike, it was gathered, might last longer than anticipated following the alleged beating of a tanker driver by the LASTMA officials.

It was learnt that the driver was also forced to pay a fine of N150, 000. Stakeholders in the petroleum industry have intervened to resolve the conflict.

The Area Chairman of PTD, Lagos, Alhaji Muraina Shittu said that harassment of members by LASTMA officials has become unbearable.

He said: “Today, it would be they parked on top of the bridge; the next day it would be they parked on Apapa Road. At another time, it would be that a tanker does not have a side mirror. These offences attract between N80,000 to N200,000 fine. The harassment and financial losses to LASTMA has become intolerable.”

It was also learnt that calling-off the strike will depend on the outcome of the meeting of the national executive members slated for Friday in Abuja.

But the National President of PTD, Mr. Timothy Ogbu said the Abuja meeting was not connected with the conflict in Lagos.

He said the current strike would determine if the PTD would continue to work in Lagos or not, adding that the LASTMA issue has became an irritating recurrence that needed to be addressed permanently.
Ogbu said: “We were in a meeting last week in Warri, when we got a report of the continuous harassment of our members by LASTMA officials. Again, yesterday (Wednesday), we got a report that LASTMA officials beat one of our members. His offence was that he had a flat tyre and after changing the tyre and was about moving, the LASTMA officials arrived and said he was causing traffic obstruction. He was beaten mercilessly. When, we got the report, we had no option than to go on strike.

“The Lagos State Government should choose between LASTMA and PTD. It’s either the issue is addressed permanently or we stop to lift petroleum products in Lagos and relocate to other parts of the country so that Lagos State would have free traffic.”

PDP Plans To Stop Aregbesola From Iwude Celebration

•Oyinlola Should Stay Away, Indigenes Demand

THE fear of the Osun state Action Congress Congress (AC) governorship candidate appears to be the beginning of wisdom for the embattled ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the Ijesa extraction of the party (PDP) were battling tooth and nail to stop the colorful politician from the grand finale of ‘Iwude ‘ festival holding on Saturday.

According to an investigation conducted by OSUN DEFENDER, the Aregbesola’s adversaries were led by an erstwhile minister under the dark era of Abacha military junta, premising their action on the magnitude of crowd the politician would draw if he attends the programme.

A source close to the palace said that the minister, who was once a progressive politician in the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s school of thought, before defecting to the conservative block, maintained at a meeting held in the palace of Owa Obokun Adimula of Ijesaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran on Wednesday morning that Aregbesola’s politics might compel the state apparatus that ought to grace the festival, to stay away.

Findings revealed that another Ijesa elder, who was an ex-diplomat reportedly challenged the ex-Minister to substantiate his argument with salient points and examples to convince the elders, who would decide on the coming or otherwise of the AC torch bearer, who is a son of the soil or otherwise.
It was gathered that the ex-Minister, who is known for his oratorical prowess cited home-coming of Aregbesola last week Saturday, saying that the way and manner people were trooping out to receive him was unusual and could cause chaos if such a situation repeat itself on Saturday.

One of the elders in the meeting dismissed the former Minister’s allegation as a vituperation, saying that there was nothing wrong in a politician attracting a crowd, as long as peace reigns, handing that Aregbesola could not be stopped simply because he would attract crowd of supporters and sympathizers.

He maintained that if anybody would be stopped, it is the agents not a ‘son of the soil’, disclosing that Iwude festival was scheduled to hold once in a year in order to promote unity among Ijesa sons and daughters.

It was learnt also that the majority of the elders at the meeting agreed with the submission that Aregbesola should attend the ceremony with pomp and pageantry to the disappointment of the Abacha Minister.

Besides, a senior police officer at the meeting, who spoke on the issue, disclosed that the inspector- General of Police IGP, Mike Okiro has ordered for a water-tight security for Aregbesola, if he elected to attend the ceremony.

However, a reliable information at the disposal of OSUN DEFENDER indicated that one of the Ilesa Councils Chairmen, who is famous for his notoriety has been contacted to organize a horde of thugs to ensure that Aregbesola’s supporters are attacked on Saturday.

In a related development, the majority of Ijesas, who spoke to OSUN DEFENDER during the week called on Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola to stay away, if his coming to the festival would unleash terror on the ancient town of Ilesa.

They said that ‘Iwude’ Festival is an Ijesa affair and only a peace loving guest could be welcomed, saying that if he tries to re-enact the Oroki day gory episode, Ijesa sons and daughters would rise up against him.

Our reporter, who is covering the ceremony disclosed that a comprehensive deliberation of Ijesa elders and the security personnel was held on Friday morning, where the coming of Aregbesola was discussed and the resolution has not been disclosed to the public as at the time of filing this report.


Political Patronage: Osun Awards Publisher N132m Borehole Contract

THERE was an indication recently that the political patronage in the fold of the embattled Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola-led administration of Osun State may be another major setback to the development of the state, as the state government had reportedly awarded a 122 hand-pump borehole contract of over N132million to a book publisher, who doubles as a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Osun West Senatorial District of the state.

OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the amount, which the contract was awarded, had been paid to the party chief upfront. A source told the medium that the hand-pump bore-hole wells were designed to be sunk in some selected public secondary schools of the state at four per Local government council area and two in the Area Office, Modakeke.

When the contract was to be awarded, it was gathered that the career officers officer-in-charge opposed the award of the contract to the PDP chief, who the source said has a Publishing company situated in Iwo.

One of the reasons for the disagreement of the officers to the award of the contract to the PDP leader, was to the effect that he (PDP leader) has no company that could handle the job, rather, he has a publishing house.

The career officers also reportedly raised another poser to the effect that awarding such contract to a single company could result to failure in the execution of the projects. But the embattled Governor Oyinlola reportedly stood his ground on awarding the contract to the same PDP chief, who is also a retired police officer.

A source close to the governor said that the governor deliberately ordered the award of the contract to the party leader based on his thuggery roles in the state that resulted in the rigging of the April 2007 elections.

Oyinlola reportedly said that since he assumed office for the second term through the controversial election, the said leader has not had enough share from the looting of the state funds despite all his efforts.

Since the contract was awarded to the embattled PDP leader, who is in his 70’s, no work has been done on any of the hand-pump borehole projects awarded to him, neither has there been any indication that there was preparation for the execution of the project, it was gathered.
Tracing his history, OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the party leader has never completed any of the projects awarded to him in the past.

Meanwhile, findings also showed that most of the contract awarded by both the state and the 30 local government council areas are being given to either PDP leaders, members or leaders of thugs, who participated in the rigging of either the April 2007 election or December 15, 2007 local government council elections.

It was learnt that all the contracts being awarded to the PDP loyalists are either being abandoned or not done at all, without anybody querying the emergency contractors.


Aregbesola’s Visit To Ilesa Unsettles PDP

•How AC Lawmakers Were Recruited To Rubbish Him

IF there is one prayer Osun State chapter of the embattled ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wants a quick answer from God to, it is the abstinence of the Action Congress (AC) torch bearer, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola from the state of the Living Spring, as his unannounced homecoming to his ancestral town, Ilesa, last week has raised hysteria of the ruling party’s inner caucus.

It was reliably gathered that the unusual solidarity, which compelled the whole of Ilesa township to standstill for the former Works and Infrastructure Commissioner in Lagos State has forced the kitchen cabinet members of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and the PDP executive into an emergency session, where it was learnt that the homecoming of the Ijesa-born politician was discussed extensively.

Findings revealed that the discussants at the meeting expressed their fear about the soaring popularity of the AC governorship candidate among the masses, premising their fear on the electoral consequence of the popularity against the PDP in future.

It would be recalled that the PDP petitioned the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. John Moronike recently, when the party got wind of his invitation for a press chat by the state Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), expressing what a political pundit described as phobia for the presence of the political gladiator in the state.

As a matter of fact, it was reported that some PDP stalwarts celebrated the eventual absence of Aregbesola, who was said to have shelved his plan to honour the invitation based on an intelligence report.

In order to prevent hues and cries that greeted the last invitation, Aregbesola did not disclose his movement last week to any AC loyalist or supporters, except few trusted aides, who he asked, according to a source close to him, to join him in Ilesa, where one of his kinsmen was turbanned a Muslim chief;

…but when he alighted from his four-wheel drive and sighted by passers-by; the news spread quickly like harmattan fire and in a snap of hand, the entire city had stood still for him.

When the news of his emergence and the massive solidarity of the people got to the camp of the governor in Osogbo, Osun State capital, it was learnt that some PDP chieftains and the two councils’ bosses in Ilesa-West and East were summoned to an emergency meeting, where the matter was discussed.

A source, who was privy to the discussion at the clandestine meeting confided in OSUN DEFENDER that one party chief rose up and flared up at the meeting, raking against the investment of the governor on the AC lawmakers, when they, according to him, were not capable of diminishing the influence and structure of Aregbesola.

According to the politicians, “Let us face the reality for once, Aregbesola is a force in Osun politics now, and I could not see the reason for the governor’s investment on the eleven AC lawmakers, when it is obvious that they are liabilities to our strategies because they are not capable of diminishing Aregbesola’s influence and political structure. And what happened in Ilesa last week Saturday had exposed their political emptiness”.

According to an investigation conducted by OSUN DEFENDER, the ruling party, in order to consolidate the alleged compromise of the election petitions tribunal headed by the embattled Justice Thomas Naron, prevailed on the governor and the Speaker to bring the AC lawmakers into the loop through monetary inducement, with a view to causing rift in the fold of the AC, a ploy meant to weaken Aregbesola’s stronghold and diminish his popularity in the state.

Checks showed that some gullible AC lawmakers played into the waiting hands of the ruling cabal, when they went to the Speaker, Adejare Bello, prostrating and apologizing for their grandstanding over the controversial Constituency Development Fund (CFD); as they were quickly recruited into the agenda of the PDP in 2011, with a promise of adequate rewards for each of them.

Findings revealed that when the AC lawmakers chose to play ball in defiance of the party’s directive, the governor enthusiastically arranged for their foreign trips together with their PDP counterparts in the House to celebrate a new-found relationship, while N10million and N20million were released to the individual AC lawmaker respectively, for a lawmaker in a constituency of one council got N10million, while a lawmaker with two councils got N20million.

Information has it that instead of embarking on the projects the fund is meant for, the AC lawmakers, just like their PDP counterparts, were busy amassing houses and automobiles, a situation that has drawn the irk of their constituents against their persons, not party.

OSUN DEFENDER further learnt that another dummy sold to the gullible AC lawmakers was that the Court of Appeal would not be constituted to hear Aregbesola’s petition on time, only to be dumb-founded, when the case took off earlier than imagined.

However, the last week’s visit of Aregbesola to Ilesa, his hometown, with fanfare, had exposed the opprobrium people have for the AC lawmakers, when some of them, who came to the venue of the ceremony, the governorship candidate graced, were conspicuously ignored.


Lessons From Jos Sectarian Conflict

For us in the South-West, there are important lessons to learn from the gory events which have recently taken place in Jos, Plateau State. The great city, once a model of moral rectitude and peaceful co-existence, was shaken to its very foundation in an orgy of violence which claimed the lives of over five hundred innocent souls including youth corps members, children and women.

It would be dangerous and irresponsibly complacent to postulate that it could never happen in the South-West. It can! There are, of course, seemingly rational reasons which could induce complacency. The South-West has been justly celebrated as a focal point and an endearing model of peaceful co-existence. From time immemorial, the two great world religious – Christianity and Islam have sat together in a relaxed manner with indigenous religion.

There is hardly an extended family in the region which does not have a mixture of the two great religions. Inter-marriage across religious lines is common and acceptable. The early embrace of modern education in the Western sense has led to an enlightenment which encourages tolerance, openness and goodwill. There is for us in the South-West much to be proud about. It is also for this reason why we could so easily fall into the trap of complacency.

This would be dangerous. For the current elite in ascendancy in the South-West foisted on the Yoruba by Obasanjo’s ‘do-or-die’ rigging machine will stop at nothing to keep their tenuous grip on the levers of power.

Desperate men always find a divisive and combustible issue to manipulate in their bid to hang on to power. We have seen this in Zimbabwe where the Mugabe crowd have used rantings about ‘neo-colonialism’ to mask and then justify their economic rape of the common resources of that once great country. If the religious card has to be played as a mechanism to hold on to power, we can be rest assured that it will be used with unfortunate devastating effect.

Those who have manoeuvred themselves into office in the South-West will stop at nothing to maintain their vice like grip on power and its appurtenances. Indeed, what this set of characters want is power, without the attendant responsibility which should come with its usage. This, as we have been enlightened, has been, “the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages”.

Lacking a programme to move their region forward, out of sync with the aspirations of the people they purport to lead, and suffering from a legitimacy deficit, any weapon will be fashioned and used in order to stay in power.

Religion with its combustible mixture could prove a handy tool. Unfortunately, there are, at the moment, quite a lot of so-called ‘men of faith’ who would, for pecuniary and other benefits, allow themselves to be used.

To be forewarned is therefore to be forearmed. The only way to avoid this is to ensure that the region is refocused as it has been in the past. The focus must be on the continuous development of human capital as the central theme of the developmental process. Educated men do not fall easily into the snare of bigotry. This is why the educational revolution started in 1957 in Yorubaland must be taken to its logical conclusion.

To say the least, Yorubaland is at its lowest ebb in contemporary history. Until the people are rescued through the judicial appellate system, they will be lorded over by a bankrupt opportunistic elite.
This people have no programme and see the populace as mere pawns to be used and discarded as they deem fit. Eternal vigilance is therefore needed in Yorubaland in addition, of course, with prayers. The present rampaging band of impostors and opportunists must be checkmated before they use religious cleavages as a ‘last card’ in their bid to hold on to illegitimacy!