Lagos Certifies Workers’ Smooth Transition To Retirement – Ambode

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has stated that state government is aiding workers in the achievement of a smooth transition from active service to retirement stage.

This was stated by the Governor  through the Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Akintola Benson, at the opening session of a workshop on ‘How to prepare officers of the Lagos State Civil Service for retirement’.

He said, “This training is designed to prepare officers of the CSPO to counsel retirees and pensioners on how to manage the transition from active service to retirement. In this address, I wish to point out the general modalities for fulfilling this task.

“As prospective retirees facing a new future, officers of the CSPO allay their fears about the future. They should encourage them to eschew fear and anxiety and instead embrace faith and hope as they go into a new stage in their lives.”

The governor said that the CSPO was saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that pensioners of the state on the ‘pay-as-you-go’ scheme were paid their entitlements as at when due, adding that it had been responsible for the welfare of pensioners and retirees in Lagos State.

Over the years, he said, the CSPO had put in place various measures to ease the burden of retirees and ensure their comfort.

Ambode said, “While change may bring daunting challenges, you really have nothing to be anxious about. In the first place, you have the advantage of having served an organisation that has made adequate arrangements for your future in retirement.”

Ogun, Lagos Face Fuel Scarcity…NNPC Blames Problem On Vessels Berthing

Lagos and Ogun states witnessed a serious turn out of desperate motorist and other users of petrol in many fuel stations on Saturday and Sunday following a brief relief from the serious scarcity that affected the country by December to the early week of January 2017.

 

On Sunday many fuel stations were closed down in both states and many stations dispensing sold above the regulated price of N145 per litre.

 

Filling stations sold at ridiculous amount between 160 and 180 especially in places like Ikotun, Ejigbo, Isolo, Idimu, Igando and Akute in Lagos, while motorcycle riders and other petrol users with purchased at a price of N200 from petrol attendants of other fuel stations that dispensed.

 

Black market operators were having a field day as they sold the product for as much as N250 per litre on Sunday.

 

On the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, outbound Lagos, the queues of motorists at some of the few stations that sold the product spilled onto the road, disrupting the flow of traffic.

 

The Executive Secretary, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Sunday, noted that the queues had been eliminated to a great extent before now.

 

He stated, “Definitely, if marketers have fuel, there won’t be queues. It simply means there is insufficient supply, and the NNPC still remains the supplier of last resort. So whatever they give to marketers, that is what marketers will dispense to the public.

 

“If you go to some DAPPMA stations now, you will see the tankers of major marketers dispensing there because the NNPC has not given us enough products for the last 10 days. Many of our people did not get products, and in order to keep their stations busy, they resorted to buying from MOMAN (Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria) members.”

 

Adewole said there was no way DAPPMA members could get enough supply from major marketers because they were supposed to be getting from the same source and not to buy from MOMAN.

 

The National Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, said the Federal Government’s policy of supplying directly to independent marketers, which he described as a welcome development, had not taken off.

 

“When it takes off, IPMAN members will no more complain about buying at unofficial prices. This policy will enable IPMAN to identify our members who have good stations and can sell at the official price,” he stated.

 

The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, told our correspondent on Sunday that Lagos and its environs were being supplied with products mainly by MOMAN members, “because we have absolute confidence in their activities.”

 

“At the weekend, there was a technical hitch in ships berthing and discharging. But this has been rectified. So, today (Sunday) alone, 250 trucks have been pumped into Lagos compared with when we had the hitch and we supplied below 200 trucks. So, normalcy will return in a matter of hours in Lagos,” he said.

 

On the proposed direct supply to independent marketers, Ughamadu stated, “We are having an issue with independent marketers; they have three factions and each faction with a president; and if you were to be in the position of the NNPC, how do you solve this issue? You allocate to one faction, the other factions protest. We have told them to go and resolve their issue so that we can start allocating products to them directly.”

 

He said the NNPC was still supplying products to DAPPMA members.

 Gas Explosions In Lagos Raise Safety Precautions

After the gas explosions in Lagos this week, the issue of safety in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas subsector is taking major stage. Major stakeholders and key players in the industry have been expressing concerns over the existing safety gaps as the drive to boost cooking gas consumption gains momentum.

Two people were confirmed dead after a gas leakage triggered an explosion in a cooking gas plant owned by Second Coming Limited on CMD Road, Ikosi-Isheri. It was reported that while officials of the Lagos State Fire Service were assisting to fix the gas leakage in the plant, the exhaust pipe of a speeding vehicle triggered an explosion.

Five residents on that particular day were killed after an oxygen gas transload went awry in a retail shop in Agara, Badagry.

In August last year, four persons were killed and many injured at Obosi in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State following a cooking gas explosion at Trinity Gas Limited station.

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, Mr. Bassey Essien, stressed the need for safety consciousness in the LPG sector.

“We have to be safety conscious and put all the safety parameters in place, and especially with the nature of the product, we need to be very safety conscious and create the awareness among the customers. We cannot play down on safety,” he said.

“There are a lot of gaps in the LPG sector and most of the gaps exist because of the low level of Nigeria’s socioeconomic development,” the National Chairman, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers Branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Mr. Michael Umudu, said.

According to him, there is a large number of substandard and imported second-hand equipment and accessories in the system.

He said, “Most, if not all, LPG materials and equipment are sourced outside the country and owing to the depreciating value of naira, many importers prefer countries that compromise universally acceptable standards. Most of the LPG plant storage facilities are brought into the country after they have been used in Europe, North America and other parts of the world.”

Umudu said the leadership of their branch union had often raised the alarm that special attention should be given to accessories, equipment and materials used for the LPG because of the volatile nature of the product.

He said the proliferation of cooking gas retail outlets in the country had made it difficult for effective supervision and enforcement.

“It also leads to the involvement of people who are not qualified to do the business. This is the greatest challenge facing our branch union in the recent times. People who know little to nothing about the LPG retailing business are daily flocking into the business. It leads to the proliferation of substandard and fake products,” he added.

Accoding to Umudu, the LPGAR’s key programme this year is to fight this menace because they dent the association’s image and endanger the lives of customers and neighbours.

He said, “We are already having meetings with the relevant agencies in order to sanitise the system. We are determined to ensure that henceforth anybody entering into the business meets the DPR requirements. We have also mandated those who have been in the retail business but don’t meet the requirement that they should upgrade or face severe sanctions.”

Meanwhile, the Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, during an inspection of the Second Coming gas plant in Lagos on Wednesday, said the DPR had commenced an inquest into the Monday fire incident.

Describing the incident as “very devastating,” he said, “The inquest will determine the cause of the incident and what next to do.”

He added, “There was no structure here when the plant was given licence for operation in 1996. We are saying this to let the people know that the facility had been located here before the residents started building their houses. The whole place was bushy when they started operation; it wasn’t like this before.”

 

He said most times, gas plant fire incidents were as a result of poor management attitude or lack of corrective measures.

Ladan said, “The department always holds a quarterly interactive forum with the association of cooking gas plants’ owners to warn them of fire incident especially during harmattan period.”

At the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the DPR’s Lagos zonal office in November, the Controller, Lagos Zonal Operations, Mr. Wole Akinyosoye, highlighted the growth in the downstream gas market, with more gas plants, gas skids and gas retail outlets.

He said the depot LPG storage capacity in Lagos increased from 6,000 metric tonnes in 2014 to 30,000MT in 2017, with more capacity expansion underway.

He, however, noted that the exponential activities in the LPG market had come with growing challenges, especially on safety.

 

Akinyosoye said, “Illegal gas plants and skids are mushrooming and more people are rushing into the gas business without taking time to familiarise themselves with the modus operandi on skills and statutory requirements for entry and operations. This has led to increasing fire incidents and near-misses in recent times.”

Citing a recent explosion (early last year) in a gas skid in Ogun State that led to the loss of six lives, he said subsequent inquest by the DPR revealed that it was an avoidable accident.

Akinyosoye said, “We also found out that the lives could have been saved had the minimum safety procedures been followed and the DPR involved in the events leading to the operations in the facility, as prescribed by law. Recently, another gas explosion had occurred somewhere in sub-urban Lagos, where three people were wounded and one very critically.”

He said the DPR had been shutting illegal gas facilities with the support of the security agencies, especially the National Security and Civil Defence Corps.

“Illegal operators should prepare for more shutdown and stricter measures in the coming year, as only the DPR-licensed operators would be allowed in the oil and gas sector to engender safe operations,” he added.

After the gas explosions in Lagos this week, the issue of safety in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas subsector is taking major stage. Major stakeholders and key players in the industry have been expressing concerns over the existing safety gaps as the drive to boost cooking gas consumption gains momentum.

Two people were confirmed dead after a gas leakage triggered an explosion in a cooking gas plant owned by Second Coming Limited on CMD Road, Ikosi-Isheri. It was reported that while officials of the Lagos State Fire Service were assisting to fix the gas leakage in the plant, the exhaust pipe of a speeding vehicle triggered an explosion.

Five residents on that particular day were killed after an oxygen gas transload went awry in a retail shop in Agara, Badagry.

In August last year, four persons were killed and many injured at Obosi in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State following a cooking gas explosion at Trinity Gas Limited station.

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, Mr. Bassey Essien, stressed the need for safety consciousness in the LPG sector.

“We have to be safety conscious and put all the safety parameters in place, and especially with the nature of the product, we need to be very safety conscious and create the awareness among the customers. We cannot play down on safety,” he said.

“There are a lot of gaps in the LPG sector and most of the gaps exist because of the low level of Nigeria’s socioeconomic development,” the National Chairman, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers Branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Mr. Michael Umudu, said.

According to him, there is a large number of substandard and imported second-hand equipment and accessories in the system.

He said, “Most, if not all, LPG materials and equipment are sourced outside the country and owing to the depreciating value of naira, many importers prefer countries that compromise universally acceptable standards. Most of the LPG plant storage facilities are brought into the country after they have been used in Europe, North America and other parts of the world.”

Umudu said the leadership of their branch union had often raised the alarm that special attention should be given to accessories, equipment and materials used for the LPG because of the volatile nature of the product.

He said the proliferation of cooking gas retail outlets in the country had made it difficult for effective supervision and enforcement.

“It also leads to the involvement of people who are not qualified to do the business. This is the greatest challenge facing our branch union in the recent times. People who know little to nothing about the LPG retailing business are daily flocking into the business. It leads to the proliferation of substandard and fake products,” he added.

According to Umudu, the LPGAR’s key programme this year is to fight this menace because they dent the association’s image and endanger the lives of customers and neighbours.

He said, “We are already having meetings with the relevant agencies in order to sanitise the system. We are determined to ensure that henceforth anybody entering into the business meets the DPR requirements. We have also mandated those who have been in the retail business but don’t meet the requirement that they should upgrade or face severe sanctions.”

Meanwhile, the Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, during an inspection of the Second Coming gas plant in Lagos on Wednesday, said the DPR had commenced an inquest into the Monday fire incident.

Describing the incident as “very devastating,” he said, “The inquest will determine the cause of the incident and what next to do.”

He added, “There was no structure here when the plant was given licence for operation in 1996. We are saying this to let the people know that the facility had been located here before the residents started building their houses. The whole place was bushy when they started operation; it wasn’t like this before.”

He said most times, gas plant fire incidents were as a result of poor management attitude or lack of corrective measures.

 

ladan said, “The department always holds a quarterly interactive forum with the association of cooking gas plants’ owners to warn them of fire incident especially during harmattan period.”

At the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the DPR’s Lagos zonal office in November, the Controller, Lagos Zonal Operations, Mr. Wole Akinyosoye, highlighted the growth in the downstream gas market, with more gas plants, gas skids and gas retail outlets.

He said the depot LPG storage capacity in Lagos increased from 6,000 metric tonnes in 2014 to 30,000MT in 2017, with more capacity expansion underway.

He, however, noted that the exponential activities in the LPG market had come with growing challenges, especially on safety.

Akinyosoye said, “Illegal gas plants and skids are mushrooming and more people are rushing into the gas business without taking time to familiarise themselves with the modus operandi on skills and statutory requirements for entry and operations. This has led to increasing fire incidents and near-misses in recent times.”

Citing a recent explosion (early last year) in a gas skid in Ogun State that led to the loss of six lives, he said subsequent inquest by the DPR revealed that it was an avoidable accident.

Akinyosoye said, “We also found out that the lives could have been saved had the minimum safety procedures been followed and the DPR involved in the events leading to the operations in the facility, as prescribed by law. Recently, another gas explosion had occurred somewhere in sub-urban Lagos, where three people were wounded and one very critically.”

He said the DPR had been shutting illegal gas facilities with the support of the security agencies, especially the National Security and Civil Defence Corps.

“Illegal operators should prepare for more shutdown and stricter measures in the coming year, as only the DPR-licensed operators would be allowed in the oil and gas sector to engender safe operations,” he added.

After the gas explosions in Lagos this week, the issue of safety in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas subsector is taking major stage. Major stakeholders and key players in the industry have been expressing concerns over the existing safety gaps as the drive to boost cooking gas consumption gains momentum.

Two people were confirmed dead after a gas leakage triggered an explosion in a cooking gas plant owned by Second Coming Limited on CMD Road, Ikosi-Isheri. It was reported that while officials of the Lagos State Fire Service were assisting to fix the gas leakage in the plant, the exhaust pipe of a speeding vehicle triggered an explosion.

Five residents on that particular day were killed after an oxygen gas transload went awry in a retail shop in Agara, Badagry.

In August last year, four persons were killed and many injured at Obosi in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State following a cooking gas explosion at Trinity Gas Limited station.

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, Mr. Bassey Essien, stressed the need for safety consciousness in the LPG sector.

 

“We have to be safety conscious and put all the safety parameters in place, and especially with the nature of the product, we need to be very safety conscious and create the awareness among the customers. We cannot play down on safety,” he said.

“There are a lot of gaps in the LPG sector and most of the gaps exist because of the low level of Nigeria’s socioeconomic development,” the National Chairman, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers Branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Mr. Michael Umudu, said.

According to him, there is a large number of substandard and imported second-hand equipment and accessories in the system.

He said, “Most, if not all, LPG materials and equipment are sourced outside the country and owing to the depreciating value of naira, many importers prefer countries that compromise universally acceptable standards. Most of the LPG plant storage facilities are brought into the country after they have been used in Europe, North America and other parts of the world.”

Umudu said the leadership of their branch union had often raised the alarm that special attention should be given to accessories, equipment and materials used for the LPG because of the volatile nature of the produc

He said the proliferation of cooking gas retail outlets in the country had made it difficult for effective supervision and enforcement.

“It also leads to the involvement of people who are not qualified to do the business. This is the greatest challenge facing our branch union in the recent times. People who know little to nothing about the LPG retailing business are daily flocking into the business. It leads to the proliferation of substandard and fake products,” he added.

According to Umudu, the LPGAR’s key programme this year is to fight this menace because they dent the association’s image and endanger the lives of customers and neighbours.

He said, “We are already having meetings with the relevant agencies in order to sanitise the system. We are determined to ensure that henceforth anybody entering into the business meets the DPR requirements. We have also mandated those who have been in the retail business but don’t meet the requirement that they should upgrade or face severe sanctions.”

Meanwhile, the Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, during an inspection of the Second Coming gas plant in Lagos on Wednesday, said the DPR had commenced an inquest into the Monday fire incident.

Describing the incident as “very devastating,” he said, “The inquest will determine the cause of the incident and what next to do.”

He added, “There was no structure here when the plant was given licence for operation in 1996. We are saying this to let the people know that the facility had been located here before the residents started building their houses. The whole place was bushy when they started operation; it wasn’t like this before.”

He said most times, gas plant fire incidents were as a result of poor management attitude or lack of corrective measures.

Ladan said, “The department always holds a quarterly interactive forum with the association of cooking gas plants’ owners to warn them of fire incident especially during harmattan period.”

At the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the DPR’s Lagos zonal office in November, the Controller, Lagos Zonal Operations, Mr. Wole Akinyosoye, highlighted the growth in the downstream gas market, with more gas plants, gas skids and gas retail outlets.

He said the depot LPG storage capacity in Lagos increased from 6,000 metric tonnes in 2014 to 30,000MT in 2017, with more capacity expansion underway.

He, however, noted that the exponential activities in the LPG market had come with growing challenges, especially on safety.

Akinyosoye said, “Illegal gas plants and skids are mushrooming and more people are rushing into the gas business without taking time to familiarise themselves with the modus operandi on skills and statutory requirements for entry and operations. This has led to increasing fire incidents and near-misses in recent times.”

Citing a recent explosion (early last year) in a gas skid in Ogun State that led to the loss of six lives, he said subsequent inquest by the DPR revealed that it was an avoidable accident.

Akinyosoye said, “We also found out that the lives could have been saved had the minimum safety procedures been followed and the DPR involved in the events leading to the operations in the facility, as prescribed by law. Recently, another gas explosion had occurred somewhere in sub-urban Lagos, where three people were wounded and one very critically.”

He said the DPR had been shutting illegal gas facilities with the support of the security agencies, especially the National Security and Civil Defence Corps.

“Illegal operators should prepare for more shutdown and stricter measures in the coming year, as only the DPR-licensed operators would be allowed in the oil and gas sector to engender safe operations,” he added.

After the gas explosions in Lagos this week, the issue of safety in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas subsector is taking major stage. Major stakeholders and key players in the industry have been expressing concerns over the existing safety gaps as the drive to boost cooking gas consumption gains momentum.

Two people were confirmed dead after a gas leakage triggered an explosion in a cooking gas plant owned by Second Coming Limited on CMD Road, Ikosi-Isheri. It was reported that while officials of the Lagos State Fire Service were assisting to fix the gas leakage in the plant, the exhaust pipe of a speeding vehicle triggered an explosion

 

Five residents on that particular day were killed after an oxygen gas transload went awry in a retail shop in Agara, Badagry.

In August last year, four persons were killed and many injured at Obosi in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State following a cooking gas explosion at Trinity Gas Limited station.

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, Mr. Bassey Essien, stressed the need for safety consciousness in the LPG sector.

“We have to be safety conscious and put all the safety parameters in place, and especially with the nature of the product, we need to be very safety conscious and create the awareness among the customers. We cannot play down on safety,” he said.

“There are a lot of gaps in the LPG sector and most of the gaps exist because of the low level of Nigeria’s socioeconomic development,” the National Chairman, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers Branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Mr. Michael Umudu, said.

According to him, there is a large number of substandard and imported second-hand equipment and accessories in the system.

 

He said, “Most, if not all, LPG materials and equipment are sourced outside the country and owing to the depreciating value of naira, many importers prefer countries that compromise universally acceptable standards. Most of the LPG plant storage facilities are brought into the country after they have been used in Europe, North America and other parts of the world.”

Umudu said the leadership of their branch union had often raised the alarm that special attention should be given to accessories, equipment and materials used for the LPG because of the volatile nature of the product.

He said the proliferation of cooking gas retail outlets in the country had made it difficult for effective supervision and enforcement.

“It also leads to the involvement of people who are not qualified to do the business. This is the greatest challenge facing our branch union in the recent times. People who know little to nothing about the LPG retailing business are daily flocking into the business. It leads to the proliferation of substandard and fake products,” he added.

According to Umudu, the LPGAR’s key programme this year is to fight this menace because they dent the association’s image and endanger the lives of customers and neighbours.

He said, “We are already having meetings with the relevant agencies in order to sanitise the system. We are determined to ensure that henceforth anybody entering into the business meets the DPR requirements. We have also mandated those who have been in the retail business but don’t meet the requirement that they should upgrade or face severe sanctions.”

Meanwhile, the Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, during an inspection of the Second Coming gas plant in Lagos on Wednesday, said the DPR had commenced an inquest into the Monday fire incident.

Describing the incident as “very devastating,” he said, “The inquest will determine the cause of the incident and what next to do.”

He added, “There was no structure here when the plant was given licence for operation in 1996. We are saying this to let the people know that the facility had been located here before the residents started building their houses. The whole place was bushy when they started operation; it wasn’t like this before.”

 

He said most times, gas plant fire incidents were as a result of poor management attitude or lack of corrective measures.

Ladan said, “The department always holds a quarterly interactive forum with the association of cooking gas plants’ owners to warn them of fire incident especially during harmattan period.”

At the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the DPR’s Lagos zonal office in November, the Controller, Lagos Zonal Operations, Mr. Wole Akinyosoye, highlighted the growth in the downstream gas market, with more gas plants, gas skids and gas retail outlets.

He said the depot LPG storage capacity in Lagos increased from 6,000 metric tonnes in 2014 to 30,000MT in 2017, with more capacity expansion underway.

He, however, noted that the exponential activities in the LPG market had come with growing challenges, especially on safety.

Akinyosoye said, “Illegal gas plants and skids are mushrooming and more people are rushing into the gas business without taking time to familiarise themselves with the modus operandi on skills and statutory requirements for entry and operations. This has led to increasing fire incidents and near-misses in recent times.”

Citing a recent explosion (early last year) in a gas skid in Ogun State that led to the loss of six lives, he said subsequent inquest by the DPR revealed that it was an avoidable accident.

Akinyosoye said, “We also found out that the lives could have been saved had the minimum safety procedures been followed and the DPR involved in the events leading to the operations in the facility, as prescribed by law. Recently, another gas explosion had occurred somewhere in sub-urban Lagos, where three people were wounded and one very critically.”

He said the DPR had been shutting illegal gas facilities with the support of the security agencies, especially the National Security and Civil Defence Corps.

“Illegal operators should prepare for more shutdown and stricter measures in the coming year, as only the DPR-licensed operators would be allowed in the oil and gas sector to engender safe operations,” he added.

Pandemonium As Customs Officers Kill Alleged Rice Smuggler In Lagos

The Abule Egba area of Lagos went into serious tension earlier today following the killing of a rice smuggler by suspected Customs officers.

According to reports, the customs officers had chased the rice smuggler to Abule Egba in the early hours of Wednesday before shooting him dead and fleeing.

Police source said the body of the deceased was seen lying on the ground this morning while bags of rice that were smuggled were seen inside the danfo bus, with registration number Lagos/RKY/1953506.

Stains of blood was seen on the body of the bus and some bags of rice.

Irate youths burnt tyres and blocked the express road in protest over the killing and the refusal of the police in the area that the dead body should not be evacuated from the scene further fuelled the crisis.

Officials of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS and taskforce officials were quickly drafted to the area to quell the riot while Armoured Personnel Carrier, APC was also deployed.

As at this morning, motorists avoided the Abule Egba axis, while those who dared, were forced to turn back as hoodlums were on rampage.

People were seen running helter and skelter to avoid being caught in the crisis.

It took the intervention of the RRS, led by their commander, Tunji Disu, the taskforce, police from Oke Odo Police Station and others to restore normalcy to the area. Also on ground were the Fire Service and the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corp, LSNSC.

 

Lagos Offers Free Health Screening To Surulere

Residents of Surulere Area of Lagos State, have received free medical screening and counselling.

The free medical screening, which was organised by the council, offered services such as, health education, free eye glasses, screenings for HIV and malaria, free drugs and counselling.

Some of the residents, especially the elderly, who were the main beneficiaries, lauded the State Government for catering for the elderly in the area.

A resident, Mrs Sikirat Adebayo, who was pleased with the health program said she is conscious of her health.

“Although, I regularly go for screening, this offered the our community the opportunity to check our health status.

“I appeal to the government to continue with the programmes such as this, so that many residents, who cannot afford to visit the hospitals can benefit from the services,” she said.

Another resident, a 60-year-old man, Mr Wahab Jimoh, said the free screening was laudable and should be a continuous exercise as part of the government’s efforts to improve health care delivery.

Jimoh said that health should be the priority of every government and it should provide adequate health care for its citizens.

“I appreciate the government for considering the elderly in this exercise because many elderly in the society are neglected.

“Due to the economic challenges, many families struggle to cater for themselves, let alone, their aged parents.

“The elderly struggle a lot and so we need the help of the government to provide assistance for this vulnerable people in the society,” he said.

Similarly, Rafat Adeyemi said that she was grateful for the opportunity to see the health professionals for necessary advice.

“I am here to check my blood pressure because I am well informed about the benefits of checking it regularly.

“I commend the government for its effort to provide free screening for the people; it will go a long way in reducing diseases and increasing health education for all,” Adeyemi said.

VON

Outcry As SARS Officers Extort Residents

By Shina Abubakar

Residents of major towns in the State of Osun have lamented the high rate of harassment and ridicule they are subjected to in recent times by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squads of the Nigeria Police Force, popularly referred to as SARS.

Many of those who spoke with Osun Defender medium disclosed that the special unit has turned into a virus, feeding on the innocence of the citizenry it is supposed to be protecting, while crime activities are perpetrated sometimes in broad light unchecked.

Mr Kehinde Oni who spoke with the medium in Ilesa disclosed that SARS as a unit of the Police Force is no longer in tune with reality because it has actually turned into another crime syndicate that harass and intimidate members of the public for personal gains.

He stated that the unit has now specialised in using spies in banks to alert them when young men has transactions, with a view to extorting such persons, sometimes,  on the excuse that they are too young to be in possession of such money.

Sometimes, Oni added, the spies are banks security personnel or, even cash transaction officials in the banks, who later get their share from the proceeds made by the gun-wielding police officers.

According to Qodri Alani, a resident in Ogo-Oluwa area of the state capital, the attitude of SARS officers is becoming irritating, particularly with regards to bully and intimidation of young people who go about for their lawful businesses.

He narrated how officers of the unit extorted money from him even after he had identified his place of work.

“I was coming out of a bank along Ogo-Oluwa when a mini-bus popularly referred to as ‘korope’ parked beside me and a gun-wielding guy wearing a black T-shirt with SARS inscription on it approached me asking me of my means of livelihood.

After telling them of my means of livelihood, one of them insisted I must enter the bus with them and before I could protest, I was pushed in and the driver moved towards Ola-Iya and on getting to Fakunle area the vehicle was parked and I was asked to transfer fund into another guy’s, (who I met in the bus), account number before I was allowed to leave”.

He disclosed that many other young men have been in police cell for refusing to part with their money or sometimes their mobile phones or laptops.

An NYSC member in Ile-Ife disclosed that when he was arrested and presented his NYSC identity, the officers told him the identity was just temporary and he must part with his money before he could be released.

Similarly, a youth corp member in the state who pleaded anonymity call for the dissolution of the unit due to their recklessness and blatant disregard for the rules of law, especially with regards to cyber crime law in the country.

He said most of the police men in the unit are involved in crime activities while adorning uniform as law enforcement agents.

Speaking on the development, a Lawyer in Osogbo, Barrister Bukola Onifade disclosed  that what the men of SARS are doing is contrary to the position of the constitution because it guarantees the right of individual to own property, account and transact business legally without being harassed by anyone.

He said the SARS officers just drive around town in commercial vehicles and burgle people into the vehicle indiscriminately, drive them into a corner and intimidate them into paying ‘ransom’ to secure their r elease before getting back to the station.

Onifade added that in the case that their victims are taken to the station, such victims are neither arraigned in court nor their cases investigated to ascertain their innocence rather, they are kept in police detention perpetually until their families can meet the police demands.

“Many Nigerians now want to join the police force, not to service, but because they presume it is easy to extort money from people being an officer of the law”, he added.

The learned fellow however called on Nigerians not to allow ignorance lead them to suffer injustice, stressing the need for them to always call on their lawyers as soon as they are burgled by SARS officers unnecessarily.

 

Amaechi, Ambode Meet Behind Closed Doors In Lagos

Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode Thursday met behind closed doors at the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja.

The minister, however, declined to brief journalists on the purpose of the visit.

 Amaechi, who arrived at the Lagos House at 10:55 a.m. drove himself in a black SUV and was accompanied by a four- vehicle convoy.

The closed door meeting lasted about an hour.

But journalists in the Governor’s Office who had waited at the entrance of the meeting venue for over three hours, hoping to ask the minister some questions left the place disappointed.

 Shortly before Amaechi stepped out, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Habib Aruna, had announced that there would be no room for question and answer session.

 Amaechi, who came out thereafter in company of the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello and some of his aides, declined efforts by the journalists to speak on the purpose of the meeting.

 “I don’t want to be misquoted again,” Amaechi simply said and made his way into his car.

Ownership Of Lagos: Between Distortion And Obvious Facts By Rasheed Ojikutu

The recent interviews granted by two prominent indigenes of Lagos, namely, Alhaji Olufemi Okunnu and Chief Layi Ajayi Bembe, to one of the main newspapers in Nigeria on the question of “Who owns Lagos?” should have been restricted to the plethora of injustices and unfairness done to the indigenous people of Lagos rather than on landlord-ship.

For avoidance of doubt, Alhaji Okunnu, an Isale Eko indigene, was the former Nigerian Commissioner for Works and the husband of Alhaja Lateefa Okunnu (Née Oyekan), a former Deputy Governor of Lagos State. He is Awori. Chief Bembe on the other hand is of the Obanikoro family whose ancestral root is undoubtedly Benin with its tinge of Awori lineage.. Readers would then understand the reason for the position of each of these men on one of the most vexed issues of our time.

Ordinarily, in such a tricky situation, one should have allowed each person to hold on to the advantages secured from the argument knowing that those who require more information and knowledge can have unhindered access to history books that would place the facts in perspective. Unfortunately, such a compendium is a luxury in our environment and therefore, people stand history on its head for personal convenience and ego boosting. Every human being is a sculptor of history and people who have advantage are those who could place their documents within the arm’s reach of the world and humanity. However, prosperity will frown upon us if we look on while facts are slaughtered or remodelled into a shape that may mislead the generations of Nigerians yet unborn.

“Who owns Lagos?.” The question is “Which Lagos?” because the ownership of Eko has never been in contention. It is very clear that none of these men was talking about Lagos State but it is also abundantly clear that there is some muddling in their presentations with respect to the clear distinction between Eko, Lagos and Lagos State. An indigene of Lagos should not be found in this shaky ground anytime the issue of our state is placed on the podium for discourse. Therefore, the starting point is to resort to spatial delineation of these territories on the map of Lagos State for the clear comprehension of the reader.

In nomenclature, non-indigenes are usually unable to know the difference between Eko, Lagos and Lagos State. For comprehension, Eko, the domain in which Oba Rilwan Aremu Akiolu is the traditional head belongs to Aromire. It is the space from Obalende to Idumota (that is Lagos Island). This is different from Lagos which starts from Victoria Island, Lagos Island (Eko), Lagos Mainland up to Jibowu, Apapa, Surulere up to Akangba. This was the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria. Lagos State, on the other hand, consists of the entire Lagos and its colonies of Badagry, Epe, Ikeja and Ikorodu. From the interviews, it seems the concentration of Alhaji Okunnu and Chief Bembe are on Lagos Island, that is, Eko, to the exclusion of other parts of Lagos State.

There is hardly anyone who is conversant with the history of Lagos Island that would feign ignorance on the fact that Lagos Island belongs to Aromire, who is one of the children of Olofin Ogunfunminire, the progenitor of the Awori nation. The Yoruba say, “Bi omode k oba Itan, yiobaaroba. Aroba de ni baba Itan”, therefore, anyone trying to reconstruct history must also bear in mind that beyond the textbooks are the oral history handed over to us by our forefathers. In the regard, one may want to listen to the musical records of Salami Balogun of Gbara Village, that is, Lefty. He says,

“Aromire loniile Eko o -2ce

A be’jaro mi re 2ce

Awonni baba awa o

Aromire lo niile Eko o.

Attempts in contemporary times to reconstruct the history of the Yoruba and the Benin Empires have led to a series of distortions most of which contradict empirical evidences that lay bare in front of our generation. The only point of agreement in the hot debates over the years is that the two nations have the same root but whether the fruit was planted in Benin or Ife has been contentious. Irrespective of the position taken, there are some facts that are sacrosanct and should be linearly preserved. It is obvious and clear that one major reason for conquering people is to take their land and properties. If truly the Bini conquered Eko, how come there is no land in the entire Eko that belongs to the Bini? This issue was settled in 1920 when Chief Amodu Tijani, the Oluwa of Lagos, took the British colonialists to the Privy Council in London. Hence, today, there is no contest on who the landlord is on the land in Lagos (not Lagos State). The legitimate ownership of Lagos Land is vested in the Idejo who are the offspring of Olofin Ogunfunminire and not the Bini. Anyone who cares, can read the landmark judgement delivered at the Privy Council in London in 1921.

History revealed that Olofin Ogunfunminire, the progenitor of the Awori and the father of the Idejo, came from Ile Ife to settle in Isheri Olofin (a small town along the Lagos Ibadan Expressway) with his two wives, Akesan and Ajayi. While Akesan was procreating, Ajayi was barren. On consultation, Ifa advised Olofin to move with Ajayi to the edge of a river. The couple consequently settled in Oto (at the back of the Ido Railway Terminus)

One day, the Bini invaded Oto and took Olofin to Benin. On arrival in the palace in Bini, it was discovered that Olofin was a Prince of Ife and was consequently released to come back to Lagos with a retinue of Bini Chiefs which included Obanikoro (Chief Ajayi Bembe’s Lineage); Bajulaiye, Ashogbon and others as clearly outlined in Alhaji Okunnu’s interview.

History had it that the guests of Olofinwere, on arrival, settled on the pepper farm of the Aromire . Hence, the name “Idungaran”

While one may not want to get too entrenched in the controversy of the explosive discourse, it won’t be out of place to also mention that the word “Idu” may not necessarily be of Benin origin because apart from shared vocabulary between the Yoruba and the Bini, the settlement or any place in which a Yoruba community settles is called “Iduro, Idu or Ido” depending on the tongue.

To conclude that Awori are of Bini origin is far too incorrect to be ignored because the Awori are in umbilicus and plasma of the Yoruba lineage and therefore migrated from Ile Ife. I have addressed some of this issues in the book titled, “The Ojikutu family of Lagos”. The painstaking and comprehensive research traced the movement of the first Prince Obayomi from Isheri Olofin in 1790 to Lagos Island and how the great grandchild of Obayomi, namely, Amodu Rufai Ibikunle, acquired the appellate Ojikutu

Because of his entrepreneurial acumen, wealth and influence.

There is of course no variation in our positions on the annihilation and suppression of the right of the indigenous people of Lagos State. The sad part of it is that governments upon governments in Lagos State with the connivance of some indigenes and pseudo indigenes have employed the style of cracking the walls of the homes of the indigenes rather than fence-mending the obvious disaffection that is created every day. In this regard, I do not see the difference in the style of the governors towards the rights of the indigenes in the state, irrespective of whether the administrator is the “Son of the soil’ or not. The attitude is the same. The most disappointing of all of them was Babatunde Raji Fashola, a young man who by virtue of his intellectual endowment should have done better but whose love for his people was beclouded by pecuniary considerations. I still hold him in high regard in view of his contributions to the development of Lagos but I do not think many of us will forgive him for failing us in view of our high aspiration.

Prof. Ojikutu wrote in from University of Lagos.

Police Arrest 5 Suspected Traffic Robbers In Lagos

In continuation of the Lagos state Police Command onslaught on traffic robbers, Operatives of the Lagos state Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) has arrested one Akogwu Emmanuel 25 and Adole Daniel 23.

Suspects confessed to have robbed many passengers and terrorised commuters and vehicles along Agege Dopemu axis while two locally made pistol, one SMG ammunition and two live cartridges were recovered from them.

In a similar operation, one Rasheed Garba 16, Usman Yusuf 33 and Haruna Jibrin 25 were arrested at Casidi along Okoko-Badagry expressway.

Suspects confessed to be members of syndicate that robbed commuters.

The Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal urged members of the public who have been victim of these robberies to visit the Command to identify the suspects.

Three Dead As Train Derails In Lagos

At least three persons are feared dead at Abbatoir area of Agege, Lagos. This occured when a train derailed this morning.

Spokesman of the Lagos State police, Olarinde Famous-Cole who confirmed the incident noted that the train rammed into a trailer, injuring many and leaving three of the victims feared dead.

“We just got the information. Our policemen and those attached to the railway command are in control of the situation,” Famous- Cole said.

“We shall be able to furnish you with details later please.”

Details Shortly………….

 

Salinsile Condoles With Tinubu Over Son’s Death

The State Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun, Hon. Rasaq Salinsile has described as shocking and sad the sudden death of Jide Tinubu, the son of our National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Salinsile, in a press release personally signed in Osogbo said the death of Jide Tinubu at this critical time of national development when his wealth of experience most needed is a great loss.

“On behalf of our great party, members and State of Osun, I express my heartfelt condolence to our leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the immediate family and Lagos state over this irreparable loss.

”We shared in your moment of grief because Jide is also our son and prayed the Almighty Allah to be with the family at this difficult moment.

“We pray Almighty Allah (SWT) grant the family the fortitude to bear this loss and grant him Aljana firdaus.