Ajimobi’s Aide Joins Osun Guber Race, Promises Economic, Human Development

By Solomon Odeniyi

The Special Adviser to Oyo State Governor on Infrastructure, Olugbenga Akintola at the weekend declared his intention to contest the governorship position of the state of Osun come September 22, with a promise to work assiduously on rebuilding agenda of economic  development and human capital investment.

Akintola who was also the former executive Chairman, Lagos Public Works Corporation under Babatunde Fashola is contesting under the Alliance for Democracy.

He noted that the educational knowledge, values, learned in the state have made him an accomplished architect whose expertise is valued internationally and put to use by Lagos and Oyo government, adding that  he was motivated not only to pay back but also to take the state into an enviable point of reference, honest and effective governance.

He said, “my vision is for an Osun state that will be capable of creating wealth for its people in good health. My goal is to ensure that Osun state can fulfill all its obligations towards its people through a capable workforce and industrialization.”

He added that in a bid to industrialise the state, the youth would be given necessary tools to function in the 21st century and in any capacity that Nigeria and the world demand of them.

“ I solemnly promise to rebuild Osun for a future in which our youths are prepared for the 21st century and our elders enjoy healthy old age while workers’ sacrifice is rewarded with timely payment of salaries and pensioners receive their entitlements.”

The state chairman of the AD, Olapade Fakunle said the party is not dead and remained the mother party for the ruling APC, adding that it is on a mission to liberate the people of the state.

He noted that victory is sure for the party in the September 22 election, as no party has matched the level of its achievement since the AD left power.

Fakunle warned that the party is coming with a full force to reclaim the governor’s office and the state secretariat built by the Alliance for Democracy.

Stop Exhibiting Ignorance About Governance – Osun APC Tells PDP

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state of Osun has advised the PDP chairman, Soji Adagunodo to stop disgracing himself by exhibiting total ignorance about how the government of Osun is run.

A statement issued by the party’s Director of Publicity, Research and Publicity, Barrister Kunle Oyatomi said the Aregbesola-led administration is running an expansive government for the interest of the masses.

According to the APC, Gov Rauf Aregbesola is not driving the affairs of the state in the old and corrupt style of the last PDP regime. Saying, “The APC government in Osun is unique. Its control mechanism is expansive, which makes the governor’s office larger than usual.

“Gov. Aregbesola’s effectiveness has everything to do with how his office runs. Several agencies he created and attached to the Governor’s office are the secret of his success so far.

“Adagunodo is deliberately ignorant of this and in his negative disposition; he preferred to deceive himself that the Governor’s office is a small space within the establishment, which should therefore be extremely limited in its running and funding.

“It is this ignorance that inspired the senseless criticism by the PDP chairman of the budget of the Governor’s office. And it shows the limitation of his political and administrative expertise.

“Most government in Nigeria failed as a result of the kind of ignorance of Adagunodo as to how the formal establishment runs. Any politician who succeeds in governance is the one who can bypass the formal tardiness of the establishment and make government work effectively.

“In Yorubaland, those who have succeeded in running government effectively after our legendary Obafemi Awolowo are the ones that have, by and large, taking effective control of policy implementations outside the norm. Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, led the pack of successful politicians in Yoruba land who did things differently and made the establishment work like it never did before to achieve maximum result.

“Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu followed that trend and got successors who worked his style and have made Lagos the greatest city in Nigeria”, said the statement.

It added that Aregbesola has gone one step further to demonstrate that a politician and government that know what they want to do, have to invest resources in his control mechanism.

This is more so because according to the APC, the PDP regime that governed Osun between 2003 and 2010, flooded the establishment with less than knowledgeable, incompetent and untrained hands that not only corrupted the system, they made it to malfunction.

“To reinvent the system and reinvigorate its delivery capacity therefore, Aregbesola had first,  to expand his office to exercise greater control over the PDP corrupted establishment.

“So, when you talk about the Governor’s office, you are talking about an octopus-like structure, not just where the governor sits. And experience has shown that Aregbesola was right in his choice of expanding his office to include agencies that have made his government more effective than any one which Osun has experienced in the last 27 years.

“This explains the so-called high budget of the Governor’s office. But in comparative terms, it is cheaper than the cost of failure, which the PDP brought to Osun for nearly a decade.

“However, kleptocrats like Adagunodo have lost their ability of comparative analysis. For them, success in government is measured by the number of fraudulent millionaires that a governing party creates”, it added.

According to the statement, this is not the first time the PDP would invite the anti-corruption agency (EFCC) to investigate presumed fraud in the Aregbesola-led APC government saying. their first attempt ended disgracefully as Aregbesola was absolved of any corrupt practice.

“This time around, the PDP could get into legal trouble for providing false information to implicate an innocent person.  That’s a crime and they better be warned.

“We state without a doubt in our mind, that in modern human governance, borrowing is the facilitator for development. But Osun thieves who had been in government would rather steal public funds to make themselves comfortable,  than borrow money to develop their communities.

“This has been the pattern and style of the PDP in Osun. It is also the reason they are all finding faults with Aregbesola’s resort to borrowing to build a prosperous and economically dynamic state of Osun”, it reads.

Osun APC Leadership Set To Meet Aspirants As Guber Poll Draws Nearer

The Osun Chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC), will on Monday May 21, meet all the  aspirants contesting on the platform of the party in preparation for primary election to pick it’s candidate for the September 22 gubernatorial election.

Investigation by newsmen in Osogbo on Thursday revealed that the party leadership  had summoned all the aspirants to a meeting in a bid to discuss the modalities with which the party primaries would be conducted.

It was reliably gathered that the party Chairman, Prince Gboyega Famodun, on Thursday held a meeting with leadership of the party where the plan to meet the aspirants was discussed.

At the meeting, which lasted for about four hours, it was said that the party Chairman read into the hearing  of the Executives, the laid down guidelines adopted by the party, tagged “the seven commandments”  which he promised to communicate to aspirants during the proposed meeting on Monday.

According to a source at the highest echelon of the party, “the party chairman, Prince Gboyega Famodun held a meeting with the wards and local government excos today, where the modalities with which the party primaries will  be conducted was discussed.

“At the meeting, the party leaders deliberated extensively on the conduct of the primary election, the Dos and Don’ts, vis-a-vis how the aspirants should conduct themselves during the primary”.

The source further revealed that the party would compel all the aspirants to pay a sum of N500,000 into the part’s purse.

The fees which according to the source was tagged “I am Committed to APC” is expected to be paid by all the aspirants and stating it clear that the fees is not for the intention form

In his reaction, the Director of Publicity, Barr Kunle Oyatomi confirmed that the party leadership would meet all the aspirants contesting the gubernatorial election under the platform of the APC.

He added that the the modalities for the conduct of the party primaries would be extensively discussed at the meeting.

Modu-Sheriff Keeps Mum After Meeting President Buhari

A former National Chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, Ali Modu-Sherrif, on Thursday avoided journalists after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari.

The meeting, which lasted about an hour, was held inside the President’s office.

On arrival at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, for the meeting at about 2.40pm, Sherrif had promised to speak with State House correspondents at the end of it.

After the meeting, however, the former governor of Borno State exchanged pleasantries briefly with some state governors who were in the Presidential Villa for a meeting of the National Economic Council presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

He, thereafter, avoided news men despite his initial promise to speak with them on his mission.

Sherrif had, last year, met with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

He lost the battle for the chairmanship of the PDP at the Supreme Court to Ahmed Makarfi last year.

Since then, the former PDP chairman has been avoiding all activities of the opposition party and, recently, he indicated his intention to join the ruling All Progressives Congress.

The national leadership of the party, however, advised him and others interested in joining the party to do so at ward level rather than approaching the national secretariat in Abuja.

One of Buhari’s daughters is said to be married to Sherrif’s son.

Ekiti Guber: INEC Releases Full List Of Governorship Candidates

The Independent National Electoral Commission Election (INEC) has released the full list of all the aspirants that will participate in the Ekiti State governorship election.

The shortlisted candidates emerged from their party’s primaries held ahead of the July 14 gubernatorial election.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), while the present deputy governor of the state, Professor Kolapo Olusola, will represent the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the election.

See the full list below:

Winning Ekiti Is Important To APC, Buhari Says

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday evening said it was important for the ruling All Progressives Congress to win the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State.

He said the victory was important because the election would serve as a pointer to subsequent elections in the country.

Buhari said this while hosting members of the APC South West caucus to a dinner at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

All aspirants that contested the party ticket in Ekiti State with the winner, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, were also present at the dinner.

The President said forthrightness, candour, and integrity that hitherto characterised the people of the state appeared to have been lost in the state currently being governed by Ayodele Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party.

He said it was time for the APC to restore those lost values and return the state to the comity of states.

The President said, “I know Ekiti fairly well and Ekiti people are well known for their forthrightness, candour and integrity.

“All of these values seem to have been lost and we must restore these values and return Ekiti to its pride of place in the comity of states.

“As we approach the 2019 elections, the return of Ekiti into the fold of progressive states is important as the election of July 14 is going to be a key pointer to subsequent elections.”

He said all party chiefs must work together to ensure electoral victory for Fayemi.

Buhari insisted that he would never interfere in the internal affairs of the party at any level.

A former interim national chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that all party chiefs in the South West would work for Fayemi’s success.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, were present at the dinner.

Governors at the meeting included Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo) and the Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura, who was the chairman of APC Ekiti Guber primaries committee.

Some members of the National Assembly, ministers, and stakeholders from the zone also attended the dinner.

Buhari Meets S/West APC Leaders, Ekiti Guber Aspirants

haVice President Yemi Osinbajo; a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a former interim national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande; and the National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, were present at the dinner.

Others in attendance were former Governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni; Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi.

Governors at the meeting included Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo) and the Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura, who was the chairman of the APC Ekiti governorship primary’s committee.

Some members of the National Assembly, ministers and stakeholders from the zone also attended the dinner.

Before the dinner went into closed doors, it was announced that Fayemi and Tinubu will make brief remarks before the dinner, while Odigie-Oyegun and the President will speak after the dinner.

Ganduje Resolves Kano Assembly Crisis

The Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has reconciled the two warring factions of the state House of Assembly.

Following the reconciliation which brought the crisis to an end, the Assembly will reopen on Thursday to further consolidate the resolutions reached at the meeting.

The state Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, revealed this in a statement to reporters in Kano on Wednesday that the reconciliation meeting was held late Tuesday night at the Government House.

Garba said that the meeting was held  between representatives of the two feuding factions and Governor Ganduje who intervened to resolve the crisis.

He said the intervention was done in the interest of peace and democratic development of the state.

Garba restated that the meeting was held in a matured and responsible manner.

One the aggrieved lawmakers had on Tuesday removed two principal officers even as the police prevented the 24 legislators who stormed the House entry into the complex.

The spokesman of the legislators and a former Speaker of the House, Alhaji Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, had announced the decision of the members while addressing journalists outside the Assembly Complex at Audu Bako Secretariat.

Fayemi: I’ll Resign In A Week

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Wednesday said that he would resign from the federal cabinet “in a week.”

Fayemi, who is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State, spoke to State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, shortly after he was formally presented to President Muhammadu Buhari.

When asked when he will resign his appointment as a minister, Fayemi initially claimed that there was still a lot of work to be done.

He referred the reporters to Section 182 of the Constitution, which he said allowed him to be in office till at least 30 days to the election.

“There is still a lot of work to do. The Constitution, again, is very clear. What the Constitution says in Section 182 is that I must leave the cabinet at least 30 days before the general election,” Fayemi said.

When further asked how to describe him since he has emerged a candidate and he is still a minister, Fayemi replied, “Well, I am the candidate of our party and I am also a minister of the Federal Republic, at least for the next one week. So, for the next one week, I am the Minister of Mines and Steel.”

Fayemi, who is a former governor of Ekiti State, said he had crossed a critical hurdle by way of the party primary in his quest to return to the Ekiti State Government House.

Admitting that there was still a major work to do, the governorship candidate expressed delight that those who contested the party ticket with him have seen the work as a collective rescue mission.

He said that he had reached out to other aspirants and that they have agreed to be a part of the candidate advisory council for the election.

With all the cooperation, he said, the APC will win the governorship election.

Fayemi dismissed the statement credited to Governor Ayodele Fayose that he (Fayemi) would be defeated with a wide margin for the second time.

“As far as I am aware, Fayose is not on this ballot. We will deal with the candidate on this ballot and the track record that we have in Ekiti is what will sell us,” he said.

The minister also clarified the apology he recently rendered to the people of the state.

He said, “You should understand the context of the apology. Don’t just take the apology on its own.

“What I said was that clearly, there were people in Ekiti even though they are (in the) minority, who were not happy with some of the policies and programmes of our government while we were in office and to such people, I render an apology.

“But for me, the rescue mission in Ekiti is a job that has to be done. What do you want? You want continuity of lack of salary, continuity of poverty, continuity of want, continuity of directionlessness or you want to return to a past of buoyancy, human development, accountability and transparency in government? That is the clear dividing line and people can see that.”

Fayemi again faulted the report of a probe panel instituted by the state which banned him from holding public office in the state, describing Fayose as a “comedian.”

“I don’t want to dwell on the probe panel, but the law of the land is clear. It is only a court of competent jurisdiction that can convict anyone — any Nigerian — for any malfeasance.

“You cannot sit in your house, cook up a probe panel, a kangaroo tribunal and you say you have indicted someone and that person is guilty and should be banned from public office.

“That is just a joke; but then, the man we are taking about is an Alawada (comedian) like we say in Yorubaland. So, that is not surprising,” Fayemi said.

The chairman of the party’s primary committee, Tanko Al-Makura, said he was in the Presidential Villa to present Fayemi to Buhari for his blessing, “according to the party’s tradition once a candidate emerges for an election.”

He said having done that and also having briefed the party’s national leadership, the APC was ready to go forward and campaign for Fayemi’s election, in line with the guidelines of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Al-Makura, who is the governor of Nassarawa State, expressed optimism that APC will win the election.

He said, “APC is very, very ready if what I saw in Ekiti is anything to go by.

“I think we can consider this election as a forgone conclusion, given the support, the solidarity shown by other aspirants after the declaration. This gave us an inkling that Fayemi is going to be supported by all the aspirants.

“If you look at the quality, the comportment, the maturity of the delegates who have unanimously voted Fayemi, you will know that out there, the people they control are also people that represent the interest of Ekiti State.

“Should the election hold today, I can assure you that with what we have seen, we are comfortable that Fayemi will emerge the governor of Ekiti State.”

APC Reps Have Endorsed Oshiomhole’s Chairmanship Bid — Gbajabiamila

The All Progressives Congress’ (APC) members at the House of Representatives have endorsed Adams Oshiomhole as the next chairman of the ruling party.

Femi Gbajabiamila, House Majority Leader, on Wednesday said the APC House members met with Mr Oshiomhole yesterday and are now convinced that the former Edo State governor possess adequate qualities to lead the ruling party.

“We sat down for over two hours with Comrade Oshiomole and had a heart-to-heart discussion and we are all on the same page,” Mr Gbajabiamila said in a Twitter update Wednesday morning. “As a result of that solicitation, we as the @OfficialAPCNg caucus in the House of Representatives believe in him.”

“We have more or less endorsed him,” he emphasised.

Mr Oshiomhole joined the race for the ruling party’s chairmanship last week, following weeks of high-profile endorsements that reportedly included President Muhammadu Buhari.

A former Lagos State governor and major broker in the APC, Bola Tinubu, is also said to be backing Mr Oshiomhole.

Mr Oshiomhole’s victory is all but assured in the party’s convention slated for June 23. The incumbent chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, has reportedly withdrawn from the race after calculating that he will not be able to neutralise the threat posed by Mr Oshiomhole.

The APC restricted its chairmanship slot to the Edo State, making it difficult to find another viable choice outside Mr Oshiomhole.

Mr Oshiomhole, who stepped down as Edo governor after completing two terms, said he would lead the party to a better future. Should he go ahead to become the party’s chairman as widely expected, he would spend his early weeks mending fences within the party.

The violent ward and local council congresses organised by the party have left several top politicians within its ranks seething. Other power blocs within the party, like the nPDP, are also threatening to derail the party’s prospects ahead of 2019.

But Mr Oshiomhole reportedly assured members of the APC caucus during the Tuesday meeting that he was up to task, with specific regards to the 2019 elections.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara was among those present at the meeting, and all the members reportedly expressed confidence in Mr Oshiomhole’s competence.

Just In: Omo-Agege Resumes At Senate, Signs Attendance

The lawmaker representing Delta Central Senatorial District, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, was at the Senate chamber this morning. He signed the attendance register and left.

However, he is now in the Senate chamber, where the lawmakers are now in a closed-door session which began shortly after President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, said the opening prayers.

The lawmaker, who was absent on Tuesday when he said he was resuming, had told a National Newspaper that he would be at the Senate on Wednesday (today).

“(I) Will be at plenary tomorrow, God will,” a text message in response to our correspondent’s enquiry on his absence on Tuesday read.