World Bank Rates Osun Best in Rural Access Mobility Project

The management of World Bank has rated the State of Osun as the best among its peers in the implementation, management and maintenance of Rural Access and Mobility Projects (RAMP) being financed by the institution across the states of the federation.

The global financial institution gave this commendation through its team led by Engineer Olatunji Hammed during a second phase project presentation to the state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.

Addressing the gathering, Engr Hammed disclosed that Osun State has put up an exemplary performance in the quality of its unprecedented developmental projects that centred on the lives of the generality of its populace most especially the rural dwellers.

Engineer Hammed said Osun has been able to maintain its status as the first state that has successfully maintained it roads to enhance productivity and as well as improve the economy of the state through accessible and motor able roads, linking community to community, village to village, town to town as well as city to city.

He said Osun State has always been number one as it remains the pacesetter for its counterparts in terms of rural based road maintenance which according to him, has prompted other states to come to Osun in order to learn rural access roads maintenance skills.

Hammed revealed that in spite of the fact that the state is blessed with multitude of villages, towns and cities, the state has the best roads connectivity in the country.

According to him, “Rural Access and Mobility Project has helped significantly in harnessing and exploring the agricultural potentiality of the rural dwellers in the area of transportation of farm produce to urban cities as roads rural/urban roads are being aggressively linked and exposed for easier accessibility.

“There is no doubt about the fact that many states in the country are jealous of Osun in terms of its rapid developmental projects which aims at improving the general well being of its populace as the state ever remained the best in implementation, management and maintenance of community based roads across the length and breadth of the state.

“This wouldn’t have been impossible if not for the support of Governor Aregbesola towards the Rural Access and Mobility Project which has impacted meaningfully in the teeming lives of the citizenry.

Engineer Hammed said the institution’s findings on the phase1 of the Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP1) and general roads construction in the state have shown the accelerated improvement in the general lives of the citizenry most importantly that of the rural dwellers as it has contributed meaningfully and productively in the agricultural activities.

Having assessed the state in terms of socio-infrastructural, political and economic developments, Engineer Hammed disclosed that the roads network in the state have the best linkage which according to him could always stand the test of time.

He extolled Governor Aregbesola’s commitment and dedication towards the well being of his people, saying he has proven himself and distinguished his administration’s uniqueness in his quest for quality and standard construction materials which has resorted to long-last and durable roads being constructed in the state since his administration.

He described Governor Aregbesola as an ardent lover of good governance and political stability, adding that his roles in bringing the dividends of democracy to the door steps of his people could not be forgotten.

He described the RAMP programme as the only alternative mechanism and instrument which government at all levels need for the successful realization of economic diversification as the country is planning to shift face and attention from being over-reliant on crude oil production to full agricultural production.

He however advocated for unwavering support and collaboration with the current government in the country and Osun State in particular in taking the state and nation to the lofty high of prosperous future.

He stressed that the state compassion on the well being and development of rural dwellers had yielded positive results as new life of economic transformation and development has been brought to those communities.

In his address, the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, said Osun was the first state to involve the communities in the adoption and management of the roads across the state since the commencement of his administration.

Governor Aregbesola said the project (RAMP) is popular to the people in the state and that consciousness is linked to the need of providing the best his government could in terms of quality facilities and materials for roads construction.

He said his government having identified the needs of its rural dwellers, embarked on the massive roads network across the nooks and crannies of the state in order to break the wide gap between the people at the remote areas and urban residents.

Governor Aregbesola stated that Osun, having been rated best in the implementation of the RAMP project, has no reason to strive further in the actualisation of its comprehensive development agenda.

He pledged that the state under his watch will do everything possible to look for money to make up her counterpart fund for the phase2 of the Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP 11) that is set to commence.

Governor Aregbesola stressed that Osun was keen in the project simply because the state has been wrongly tagged “Civil Service State” which in reality, according to him, is a peasant agrarian state.

Why justifying his position, Governor Aregbesola said as a matter of fact the entire resources of the state even at the best of time was N4.6billion which was a period when the state received its highest allocation, saying the last chunk of this statutory allocation amounts to the sum of N3.6billion which was dedicated to payment of civil servants’ salary arrears, gratuity, pensions and other emoluments.

He explained further that the state with the population of 4.5million that received its highest allocation of N4.6billion means that as at then, it had to service the population of 4.5million, which by calculation means that each citizen would receive N1000. He said what a citizen gets cannot even cater for a day old baby for one month.

He noted that a sincere assessment of the state allocation resources and resources from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) show that the state lives on agricultural values.

Governor Aregbesola said the state exists on the sweats and labour of those unsung men and women in rural areas who are struggling and labouring every day to improve the agricultural commodities that are painfully brought to the market.

He lamented over the dwindling allocation to the state, saying since June, 2013, the financial activities of the state had been hugely damaged due to what he described as unjust reduction.

Governor Aregbesola buttressed his point by disclosing that the state got for its September allocation, a paltry sum of N1.8billion. He said such revenue cannot be the basis for the economy of Osun.

According to him, “We engaged in Rural Access Mobility Project (RAMP) because we know that it is through this provision that we can support the economy of this state by meeting the core needs of rural dwellers, access and support the evacuation of their farm produce to the markets.

“It is because of our genuine commitment to energize the rural dwellers in their onerous duty of producing agricultural commodity that we are passionate and aggressively committed to RAMP.

“Though financially, we are highly constrained but even in spite of that constraint, we are committed to RAMP and I pledge that we will quickly mobilize our counterpart fund to usher in the commencement of the RAMP2.

Governor Aregbesola said the project implementation support programme on Rural Access Mobility Project has gone a long way at ameliorating and transforming the lives of the marginalized, dejected and abandoned people at rural areas.

He expressed gratitude to the management of World Bank for coming up with what he described as people development programme.

He said, “Without any sense of doubt, implementation of approximately 225killometers of rural roads currently being rehabilitated and constructed across the length and breadth of Osun have started yielding fruitful results going by the information reaching me and my visit to all the rural areas and project sites across the state.

“Farm produce as well as human and vehicular movement have improved considerably as farmers can easily evacuate farm produce without stress and this has increased our economy and social activities as developmental projects had speedily sprung up.

“Demand for land acquisition for developmental projects has been on increase and to say the least, it has improved our people livelihood.

“We are the government that holds our people well being and development in high esteem as we are committed to the successful implementation of project and its sustainability.

“It is not an overstatement to say that Osun is leading other participating states and we will continue to lead because we will not rest on our oars in ensuring that all necessary conditions needed for the successful implementation of this project are met.

Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (right); in an hand Shake with the World Bank Task Team leader, Mr Tunji Ahmed (left)
PHOTO 1: Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (right); in an hand Shake with the World Bank Task Team leader, Mr Tunji Ahmed (left)
Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (3rd right); his Deputy, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori (3rd left); Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola (2nd left); World Bank Task Team leader, Mr Tunji Ahmed (2nd right); Consultant World bank, Mr David Ronald (right); Consultant World bank, Mr Terry Walden (left) and others during the visit.
World Bank’s Courtesy visit to the Governor Aregbesola in Osogbo – World Bank Rates Osun Best in Rural Access Mobility Project
PHOTO 2
Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (3rd right); his Deputy, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori (3rd left); Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola (2nd left); World Bank Task Team leader, Mr Tunji Ahmed (2nd right); Consultant World bank, Mr David Ronald (right); Consultant World bank, Mr Terry Walden (left) and others during the visit.

Fashola Blues, Fashola Jokes

SHARED AS RECEIVED:

President Muhammadu Buhari this afternoon explained that Power, Housing and Works are not under one man as many have said. He said, Babatunde is Minister of Power, Raji is Minister of Housing and Fashola is Minister of Works.

Fashola sworn in as Minister of Power, Works and Housing Ministry by President Buhari
Fashola sworn in as Minister of Power, Works and Housing Ministry by President Buhari

*** *** ***

Are you a Yoruba guy that needs something from PMB? … Better change your name to Tunde!

– Tunde Idiagbon
– Tunde Bakare
– Tunde Fashola
– Tunde Fowler

Gbam!

New Minsters: Be prepared to solve problems

My congratulations to all the new ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Today, you begin the hard work to help President Buhari deliver on the promise of change he has committed to.

The challenges before you are enormous. People’s expectations are very high and expectedly so. The people’s hope is hinged on the change our party promised. You are now the foot soldiers of that change. You have to be creative, proactive and bold. You are men and women of talent and experience of the moment and are lucky to be chosen. After the luck comes work. It is a new dawn for our country. Virtually every facet of our national life needs urgent attention.

After the devastating effects of the mismanagement by the previous administration on our economy and the psyche of Nigerians, you have been selected to help bring Nigeria back from the brink. Your assignment will not be easy. You bear the responsibility to move Nigeria forward into the rank of developed nations.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari pose for a pix during a courtesy visit to the President at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday. PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari pose for a pix during a courtesy visit to the President at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday. PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN.

Let me share with you the words of Aneesh Chopra from his book “Innovative State”. His words resonate for you all today: “This is about creating an Innovative State. A government for the 21st Century. One that engages its diverse society, encourages participation and creates a partnership towards problem solving”.

I leave you with these words and congratulate you once more.

– By Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Obasanjo: Iwoyi Ana A ti Sun – By Pius Adesanmi

President Obasanjo was at the Aso Rock Villa today. Courtesy visit.

It is time to take stock and calculate the man hours that the President of Nigeria has lost to hosting former President Obasanjo in Aso Rock Villa.

Courtesy visit.
Working visit.
Official visit.
Informal visit.
Casual visit.

Buhari with Obasanjo
Buhari with Obasanjo

Buhari - Obasanjo
Buhari – Obasanjo

Buhari sits with Obasanjo
Buhari sits with Obasanjo

Femi Adesina has run out of categorizations of these overbearing and frequent visits. Every second spent hosting Baba is on the people’s clock. We are paying for the time Buhari is spending hosting OBJ every second.

Either President Buhari and his team are going to tell us how OBJ’s “joro jara joro” in the Villa is translating to some kind of impact on the lives of Nigerians – regular salaries, improved electricity, etc – or the Yoruba people around President Buhari should teach him a Yoruba strategy.

Femi Adesina, when next OBJ comes calling, tell President Buhari to yawn and say: “This time yesterday we were already sound asleep”.

President Obasanjo is a Yoruba elder.

He will understand.

EDITORIAL: Journalists As Endangered Species

In spite of incessant calls from different quarters for the protection of the right of members of the fourth estate of the realm – to freely practice their profession – without any harassment or intimidation from any quarter, journalists have frequently become endangered species in the hands of the society of which they are its watchdog. This calls for serious concern.

There is no disputing the fact that a free press is the cornerstone of any democracy. But when journalists are being denied the right to practice their profession as they should; more so under a democratic government, then democracy is seriously under threat. This is why we are again disturbed about the maltreatments that were meted to two journalists recently by the protesting civil servants in the state of Osun. We found the development quite appalling!

Some weeks ago two pressmen; MITV correspondent, Abass Okandeji and his counterpart of ONTV were mercilessly battered in the course of carrying out their legitimate duties by these civil servants as if they were criminals. We see this ugly development as very barbaric, unruly and a complete disregard for the freedom of the press. More nauseating is the fact that the attack on these journalists came from the enlightened members of the public whose cause the press has always defended.

Journalists As Endangered Species
Journalists As Endangered Species

Irrespective of what the grievances of those civil servants might have been it was quite inappropriate and disrespectful of them to have descended on the innocent pressmen whose job is to cover and report happenings in the society. And those protesting civil servants know themselves that journalists have the rights to cover whatever activities going on under the sky and report same to the public without let or hindrance. So the civil servants were not illiterates and therefore they could not be said to be ignorant of the roles of pressmen in the society. Even the illiterates who lack the ability to read and right can no longer be said to be ignorant of the roles of pressmen in modern time as they do listen to radio and television – even if they can’t read newspapers – and they know that all the information they get from these sources are being provided by pressmen/women.

Thus it was an absolute act of wickedness on the part of those protesting civil servants to visit attack on those journalists. For the purpose of further enlightenment let it be reiterated here again that any denial of press freedom is a denial of the right of the public to be informed. An attack on any journalist therefore is an attack on the entire society. This must be the reason why Christopher Dodd, once correctly quipped that; “When the public’s right to know is threatened, and when the rights of free speech and free press are at risk, all of the other liberties we hold dear are threatened”. We absolutely agree with this opinion and it’s on this score that we condemn in its entirety the attack on those journalists.

Conclusively we like to call on the Nigerian Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to look into this case and bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice. This is not a case that should be allowed to be swept under the carpet. The perpetrators must be prosecuted. Whether anyone likes it or not press freedom is a necessity. It’s a sine qua non for the growth of our democracy. We can only disregard it at our own peril. Like Albert Camus observed; “A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but most certainly, without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad”.

FASHOLA THE “FOURMAN” – By Ayo Turton

As a younger guy, I went with my brother to one of his sites. On arriving there, we met the labourers rebelling against their leader. One of them said in Yoruba “aponle ni fourmanu jare, eniyan kan o le sise eniyan merin”. Meaning the position of a foreman is exaggerated, no one man can do the work of FOUR people. He apparently thought foreman means fourman.

Now that Fashola has been appointed a FOURMAN, eniyan kan to ma sise eniyan merin…e ba mi sadua fun o!
Shikena.

– By Ayo Turton

Fashola - Buhari - Amaechi
Fashola – Buhari – Amaechi

Fed Govt approves $2.4b for Lagos red line

The Federal Government has approved the construction of the $2.4 billion Lagos red line rail project.

Commissioner for Transportation Dayo Mobereola said approving the right-of-way for the project had been a problem for years.

He said the last Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)- led Federal Government foot-dragged in approving the right-of-way, which belonged to the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC).

According to him, it took Lagos four and half years to get approval for the project and another four years for discussion on the technicality of the project.

Nigerian Fed Govt approves $2.4b for Lagos red line
Nigerian Fed Govt approves $2.4b for Lagos red line

“It took us four and half years to get approval for the project. It took us another four years to get them to discuss the technicality of the project with us. The right-of-way has been approved and we are in full discussion with the bidders,” he said.

On the Blue Line Light Rail project, the commissioner said the government would complete it by the end of next year.

He said Lagos was the only state in the world to have embarked on such project without support from the Federal Government, adding that such projects normally take around seven years to complete.

The commissioner said it took Dubai, with all its resources, seven years to complete its rail project and in some places, 22 years.

“We are mindful of the problem of transportation in Lagos State. Towards the end of next year, something will happen. Our rail project is 27 km and we are doing it in phases. We are doing Mile 2 to CMS now and we will do Mile 2 to Okokomaiko later,” he said.

Mobereola added that the first train was purchased this year and that government would bring it on board to test-run the rail system from Mile 2-CMS.

He said his vision as commissioner was to make public transportation safe, reliable, accessible and comfortable.

According to him, there was need to develop mass transit transport scheme for the benefit of the people.

Speaking on the challenges of the State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA), Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation Olanrewaju Elegushi said inadequate personnel had been the problem of the outfit.

He said the 2,300 officers of the authority were insufficient to control traffic.

Elegushi said the outfit ran three shifts, adding that the government was working to boost the organisation’s workforce.

Aregbesola names Prof Atoyebi, 8 others as members, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital Governing Board

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has approved the appointment of a new Governing Council for the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo.

The nine-man council is headed by Prof Wole Atoyebi, the immediate past Provost, College of Medicine, University of Lagos.

A statement signed by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, listed other members of the Council as Dr. Kayode Akinlade, Dr. Ademola Akintolu Onifade, Oba (Dr) Folorunso Agboade Makanju Olaniyan, Prof Akeem Lasisi (Acting CMD, LAUTECH); Dr. Temitope Olalekan Oladele (P.S Health), Dr. Surajudeen Ogunyemi, Chairman, NMA), Prof. Samuel Sunday Taiwo, Provost, College of Medicine and Dr. Daniel Adebode Adekanle (Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee).

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, addressing participants, during the Osun Stakeholders Conference, held at WOCDIF Center, Osogbo on Monday 10-08-2015
Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, addressing participants, during the Osun Stakeholders Conference, held at WOCDIF Center, Osogbo on Monday 10-08-2015

INTERESTING LESSONS FROM ILE-IFE – By Dele Momodu

“To stay cheerful when involved in a gloomy and exceedingly responsible business is no inconsiderable art: yet what could be more necessary than cheerfulness? Nothing succeeds in which high spirits play no part…”

– Friedrich Nietzsche, TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS/THE ANTI-CHRIST

Fellow Nigerians, it is no longer news that I was born and bred in the ancient town of Ile-Ife, the spiritual home of the Yoruba people of South West Nigeria. That great city prepared me for the incredible journey of life. It was where I spent about 26 out of 28 years of my earliest sojourn on earth. If Nigeria had grown out of the cocoon of ethnic discrimination and attained the assimilative tendencies of the United States of America, I would be handsomely qualified to dream of actualising anything I wanted to achieve in that community. But that is a story for the gods.

The big news out of Ife started months ago when The Ooni of Ife Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II took ill and then joined his ancestors. This sudden development threw Ile-Ife into some confusion and conundrum of sorts. The reason was simple. The news of His Imperial Majesty’s demise had filtered out of London. Eewo, taboo, the traditionalists screamed! The departure of such a spectacular monarch demanded a monumental drama to it. Ordinary mortals with feet of clay could not open their mouths wide and spew out such profanity. The king did not die. A king does not die here. He can only retire to the ceiling or loft, which I interpreted in modern parlance to be the equivalence of a penthouse. So the Ife Chiefs sent death back to wherever it came from and pronounced our dear king alive and kicking. In fact one Chief said matter-of-factly that he had just spoken on phone with the influential monarch who had been supposedly killed repeatedly by bloggers on social media.

L R .Father of Elected Ooni Prince Ropo Ogunwusi and Elect Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Ogunwumi Enitan to Ile Ife Town
L R .Father of Elected Ooni Prince Ropo Ogunwusi and Elect Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Ogunwumi Enitan to Ile Ife Town

Anyway, the king eventually left us on earth. I won’t know what day, or the appointed time, the doctors and nurses, recorded in their death register in far-away London. The theatrics would not just go away like that. When would the king return or arrive home? It was a long suspense. We held an interdenominational funeral service for our royal father but we had no knowledge of his presence anywhere near the palace.

As this went on, other things were cooking and brewing tempestuously away from prying eyes. Who becomes the next Ooni of Ife? It was a question no one could answer with certainty. But it soon became obvious that a motley crowd had more than casual interest in filling the gaping vacancy. As always, all the Ruling Houses of Ife expressed interest including that of the immediate past Ooni. Most of them did not bargain for a festering propaganda that would soon explode and consume and exterminate whatever ambition they harboured. It was the existence of a nebulous Chieftaincy Declaration which the government of the day had been sold on as a Testament. As I write this, it is still subject to litigation seeking interpretation and adjudication. The Declaration is one powerful and invincible document that has made it possible for one of the aspirants to the throne of Oduduwa from the Giesi Royal Family to be declared the brand new Ooni of Ife today.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge. My most wonderful friend, Prince Adedamola Aderemi, had thrown his hat in the ring and I had taken a kamikaze dive with him. Trust me, we gave it everything we had. We are not ones to do things in half measures. And we are not ones to hide behind one finger as many obviously wanted us to. From the outset, we had decided to do everything in the open. We took a decision to sell our candidate to the larger public because The Ooni Stool is not a squeamish institution but a very loud and prestigious one which requires courage and boldness. We were reasonably assured that Prince Adedamola has got all it takes to move Ife in the right direction. His combined pedigree is rare to come by anywhere, anytime. Anyone wanting to be The Ooni need not be a Saint but we reckoned he needed to possess the comportment and sagacity of an Angel. Prince Adedamola Aderemi is one such personality.

In terms of education, he is an accomplished scholar. In our childhood days, he had led the way as an exceptional student who graduated with LLB at the age of 19 and was called to the Nigerian Bar at 20. He was a Law teacher at the then University of Ife, after a stint at the Oyo State Ministry of Justice as a State Counsel. He rose to be Head of Department twice and was affectionately known to his students and everyone alike as “Bros Dammy” because of his gentle mien and readiness to help at all times. He never carried his royalty as grandson of The Ooni Sir Adesoji Tadeniawo Aderemi on his head. We’ve remained inseparable through thick and thin.

Moving forward, we had mapped out our strategy carefully. In every battle, you must prepare for anything and everything including defeat. We were ready. We knew we had to encounter all sorts, particularly the principalities that held and still hold the jugular of our dear nation. We knew the position of a king is now less traditional and more political than it used to be centuries ago. That much was confirmed to us by practically all the elders we consulted or encountered. Ile-Ife is under the direct command and control of The State of Osun and its Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, a gentleman I admire so much as a gutsy character. The Governor himself reports to his principal in Lagos, former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, our comrade and indefatigable mentor since the days of the June 12 crusade. The godfather himself is surrounded by some diehard foot-soldiers who inform him on street-talks and try to influence him to act one way or another. A veritable stakeholder in Osun State is our highly respected father, Chief Bisi Akande, former Governor of Osun State. We were fortunate that nationally we could count on the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who has been a long standing friend, brother and in-law of Prince Adedamola Aderemi going back to the days when they were both University lecturers. We simply reached out to all.

Yorubaland is also under the avuncular grip of the ubiquitous former President and Nigeria’s biggest brand, General Olusegun Obasanjo. To fulfil all righteousness, we knew we had to tap into his native wisdom. It was not difficult given Prince Adedamola’s maternal families’ relationship with the former President.

It was clear to us that this was a not just a regional but also a national task and we thus reached out to other notable government functionaries and senior politicians. They include, Governors Akintunde Ambode of Lagos State, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, former Governors Rotimi Amaechi and Kayode Fayemi, Princess Adenrele Adeniran-Ogunsanya, Senator Jide Omoworare, Senator Lanre Tejuoso, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Senator Gbenga Obadara, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Hon. Niyi Afuye, Hon. Emeka Anohu amongst many more prominent politicians and elder statesmen like Lt. General Alani Akinrinade (rtd) , Chief Olanihun Ajayi and Dr Bode Olajumoke.

We had extensive networks and contacts with practically most of the powerful Yoruba monarchs. We had identified the disunity that ravaged Yorubaland as a scourge and cankerworm that needed to be exterminated. We decided to reach out to our kindred spirits. I will forever remain a great fan of The Awujale of Ijebuland, straight-forward and blunt to a fault, we gained immensely from our interaction with him. He gave us deep insight into what to expect on the thorn-infested path and it was very prophetic. We received prayers from far and near as spiritual fortification on the dangerous mission. The Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, was gracious to receive us at such short notice. We spent quality time with the Olowo Eko, Oba Rilwan Akiolu. Although we did not visit other traditional rulers like, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, who has been a great admirer of Prince Aderemi since their paths crossed significantly in London many moons ago, the Osile of Oke-Ona Oba AdedapoTejuosho, his Step Father, Oba D V F Olateru-Olagbegi, the Olowo of Owo, who was Prince Adedamola’s teacher and mentor at the Nigerian Law School in 1980-1981 and Oba Adedokun Abolarin, the Orangun of Oke-Ila his great friend and former law student. We knew we could count on their support and prayers.

We did not limit our expedition to Yorubaland. As firm believers in the unity and indivisibility of Nigeria, we stretched our hands of fellowship across the Niger and gained tremendously from the incredible foresight of His Eminence, The Sultan of Sokoto Saa’d Abubakar III, and the boundless energy and entusiasm of His Highness, The Emir of Kano Lamido Sanusi. Both received us warmly and showed us much affection. They prayed earnestly for us and gave us useful advice to help us cope with success or adversity.

The business community was not left out. We have many good friends and they were quick to express solidarity with us and to tap into our vision and mission. The likes of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Olorogun Moses Taiga, Engineer Lanre Sagaya, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Mr Sam Nwajoku, Mr Dapo Abiodun, Mr Tunde Babalola and Mr Ayo Babalola, some of who are not just friends but also clients, in-laws, classmates and business partners, were quite supportive. In this respect we must single out our wonderful friends, Mr Tunde Ayeni, Mr Jimoh Ibrahim and Mr Femi Otedola for their magnanimity, love and unusual support.

We could not have mounted the national drive that we did without the unstinting support of the print, electornic and social media. Prince Nduka “The Duke” Obaigbena towered above all others in tihis respect. His support was complete and unalloyed. Ms Ijeoma Nwogwugwu Editor of Thisday, and crew of Thisday on Saturday, Mr Edward Dickson of the Tribune, Ben Memuletiwon of National Mirror, Seye Kehinde of City People, Kola Akanji of Osun State Broadcasting Service, Gbenga Adefaye Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard, Punch, The Sun, Kemi Akinyemi, the Ovation International and Ovation Tv team, etc all keyed into our Project.

You cannot of course hope to sit on the throne of your ancestors without enlisting the support of the traditional and city Chiefs of the Community. We commend the 15 Ife Traditional Chiefs and the Araba of Ife, for the respect and affection they showed to us. It is impossible to single out anyone of them but we must acknowledge our depth of gratitude to Lowa, Obajio, Jaaran, Obaloran and Arode who were all personally known to us before the quest began. We take this opportunity to pray for the sweet repose of the soul of the Obalufe, Oba Omisakin, who stoutly defended the traditional values of Ife and died in the service of the Community. We must salute the efforts of the Ife Legacy group for providing a powerful platform on WhatsApp for all aspirants.

We thank the other Chiefs and elders of Ife, in particular, the Balogun of Ife, Chief Bisi Omidiora (incidentally an uncle-in-law of Prince Adedamola), the Asiwaju, Chief Alex Duduyemi, the Iyalode, who is from the same Akui compound as Prince Aderemi as well as Sooko Waabodu, Princess Ojuolape Orafidiya, Prince Adedamola’s Aunt, and Prof Adesiyan Olawoyin, his uncle.

Our great friends, too numerous to count or mention played their part through prayers, solidarity calls, visits and even materially. Mrs Olabisi Shuaibu, Bola Olagbaju, Mr Raphael Lewu, Mr Folusho Adeagbo, Ms Nike Oshinowo, Ms Bukola Ayoola, Dr & Mrs Phillip Abiola, Mr Femi Osibanjo, Asmau Yartofa, Folakemi Fatogbe, Tunde Akinleye, The Adedayos, Justice ‘Ladiran Akintola, Wole Adelakun, Femi Kehinde, Prof Tale Omole, Jide Lanlehin, Wole Adenle, Gbolaga Ajayi, Prof Jide Owoeye, Mr Paul Onifade, Mr Sam Akpan, Mr Laitan Eyiowuawi, Dr Tony Akintomide all played major roles.

Our renowned lawyer friends, some of who double as respected religious leaders, gave support in a variety of ways. They include Prof Konyin Ajayi, Femi Atoyebi, Idowu Iluyomade,

Akin Olujimi, Rotimi Akeredolu, Dr Wale Olawoyin, Funke Aboyade, Niyi Akintola, Taiwo Taiwo, Dele Oye, Tunde Ajibade amongst a host of others.

Our older friends like Sir Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, Engineer Lanre Sagaya and Prince Arthur Eze were elated by our audacious bid.

We could not have done what we did without the total and unalloyed support of the larger Akui family and the Aderemi family in particularly. The family meetings we held were widely attended and the pledges of support were humbling and uplifting at the same time. Equally the Adegbenro family, the Oyediran family, the Awolowo family and the Sigbeku family were solid in their supoort for their son, Prince Adedamola.

Our Team was fantastic. We could not have asked for better. Starting from Uncle Wale Adeeyo and Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi to Damola’s brothers and cousins, Yemi, Dayo, Funmi, Debo, Yemi Nla, Sokan, Yanju, and the Ife backbone of Yomi Adenuga and Akin Ofege supported by the entire Ovation crew of TV presenters, photographers and journalists, we had disciplined, well-heeled and efficient organisation to make anybody proud.

An Ooni-elect has emerged, Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II. We sincerely offer our congratulations and wish him, the traditional chiefs and the whole of Ife, well. As Prince Adedamola Aderemi has said, the Ooni institution, Ife and the Yoruba race are greater than any of us and we must always recognise this and do nothing to rubbish our glorious heritage.

PENDULUM BY DELE MOMODU, Email: [email protected]

THIS DAY

Dwindling revenue: Group rallies support for Aregbesola

An Osun-based group, Osogbo Stakeholders Forum, OSF, has declared support for Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbeso­la, in his efforts to sustain the state, even in the face of meager resources accruing from federation account.

The forum, in a state­ment issued yesterday by the former Commissioner for Special Duties and Regional Integration, Hon Ajibola Basiru, after its meeting attended by polit­ical elders, stakeholders and leaders of thoughts in Osogboland, said there was need for the people of Osun to support the gover­nor in his bid to deliver on his promises, notwith­standing the economy challenges being witness­ing across the country.

According to the statement: “Since Nige­ria basically depends on proceeds from oil, it is a fact that there is no way states resources would not be affected.

Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Raruf Aregbesola, Inspecting the on-going construction site of Osogbo High School on Monday 19-10-2015.
Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Raruf Aregbesola, Inspecting the on-going construction site of Osogbo High School on Monday 19-10-2015.

“For instance, in 2011, an average of N1.2tril­lion was shared monthly among the three tiers of government as alloca­tion which accrued from sales of crude oil but in 2015, there was a dras­tic decline, particularly in October where just N391billion was shared. Now, how would a state such as Osun meet its basic obligations?

“We don’t know why people are putting blame on the governor, even when President Muham­madu Buhari recently confirmed that Nigeria is broke. The way out of the present economy challenge is diversifi­cation from oil to other sectors.”

SOURCE: NATIONAL MIRROR

Governor Fayose: Jerusalem Pilgrimage, Justice of Peace or Street Credibility, Na all Join – By Bola Agboola

The walkie-talkie with my press officer passed a message, it was an information about a road block caused by some restive youths at Iju, Ondo State.

The security people felt we should take another route to Ikere-Ekiti so as not to endanger the life of the principal, kro kro kro, the final word was that the convoy should go ahead.

Governor Ayodele Fayose was aware of the dangerous situation ahead but he chose to move on.

Street Governor Fayose at Work clearing bonfire
Street Governor Fayose at Work clearing bonfire

Street Governor Fayose at Work clearing bonfires
Street Governor Fayose at Work clearing bonfires

Street Governor Fayose at Work
Street Governor Fayose at Work

After about thirty minutes drive… we met this gridlock about two kilometres to Iju/Itaogbolu police station where the rampaging youths had blocked the road with bonfire.

The security on the convoy swung into action and we had no problem getting to the action spot, the governor alighted and before you say Jack it was the Oshoko song here and there, they came near him amidst the hailing, he asked them what happened and they wasted no time in telling him how a policeman shot an Okada rider.

The governor thanked them for the respect accorded him saying he plies the road regularly and couldn’t have run away from them today because there was an issue.

He promised to get in touch with Ekiti State Police Commissioner who in turn will get in touch with Ondo CP and make sure the trigger happy policeman is dealt with according to the law.

The Governor later told them he’ll drop some “little cash” for “morning bread” to the admiration of the now calm youths who quickly looked for water from the deserted police station to quench the bonfire.

The barricades too were removed as the governor supervised for some minutes the free flow of traffic before finally taking his leave.