Engr Adeola Sosanwo, an oil and gas merchant narrowly lost his Ogun East Senatorial bid in 2019 on the platform of PDP to the incumbent, Sen Lekan Mustapha of the ruling party, APC. Engr. Sosanwo, a very formidable politician with passion for selfless service, was however forced to leave PDP due to its intractable crisis and had since teamed up with his kinsman and governor of the state, Prince Dapo Abiodun in the task of building a more prosperous Ogun State.
In this interview by Bankole Taiwo, Engr Sosanwo who also doubles as the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Secretary of Ogun State Security Trust Fund speaks on the return of Gov Abiodun for another term among other underpinning issues which characterised the last governorship election in the state. Excerpts
What is your assessment of the just concluded presidential and governorship elections in the state?
We thank God that both have come and gone, we thank God for the peace and the residents of the state who deemed it right to vote for our party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and to also reward our hardworking governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun with another term in office. I must however say that there was lot of disparity in the votes our party got during the presidential and that of the governorship. In the presidential election, everyone wants a Yoruba man, that is, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to be the president and so everyone worked hard to achieve this but during the governorship election, things were a lot different. This is largely due to the fact that many of our loyalists, those we consider as leader betrayed our trust and confidence reposed in them especially from Ogun East. It was just like the people who voted for us during the presidential election have disappeared into the thin air. But as tough as it is, the Almighty God who enthrones still gave us the victory, the victory of His Excellency is really an act of God and that could not also be detached from the fact that the governor had served meritoriously in the last four years. He has given his best and even surpassed expectations in all areas name it; road construction, education, healthcare, housing, agriculture etc
Are you not surprised that things turned out the way it did in Ogun East, the political base of the Governor, did you anticipate anything like that?
Yes, I won’t deceive you, from the intelligence we gathered before the election, some of us are quite aware that there were some ganging up against the second term victory of the Governor for reasons best known to them. There were some groups here and there, unnecessary bickerings too, we have people nursing the wounds of not being given tickets for House of Representatives, House of Assembly and all that. There was really an intelligence report that people were planning not to vote for the Governor’s second term. So as an experienced politician, I called some people and said, we should not bother the Governor with this because he has a lot to attend to already, we should not add to the burden. So, I called people like Hon. Farouk who is SSA to the governor on Environment, Hon. Biyi SA to the Governor on Security, Gen Ashafa (rtd) from Imeko, Otunba Okunola from Sagamu among others. We all sat down did some brainstorming and we all went out using our resources to counter this palace coup. We thank God things went the way we want. What we did was to intensify support for the governor in the two Senatorial Districts of Ogun Central and West believing that our good showing there will reduce considerably whatever shortfall we might experience in Ogun East and that exactly was what happened. Again, I want to tell you that what happened to the Governor happened to me too in 2019 when I contested under PDP to represent Ogun East. I sincerely pray that our people in Ijebu and Remo land will stop selling their best for pittance. The Governor did very well, in terms of good projects, the Agro-Cargo Airport is about 70 per cent completed, the Ilisan/Ago Iwoye road has been done, Ijebu Ode/Epe road is there, what about other access roads across the nine local governments? The good job of the Governor is seen also in education, healthcare among others. But in a situation where people are asking is it road that we shall eat, when people care less about the socio-economic development that they can see around them but will rather shift focus on something else, it is a pity human beings are so unpredictable and behave so irrational sometimes. This is however not to say that we still don’t have plenty of people who are die-hard supporters of Mr Governor. These are the people who gave the votes to the governor. Some of them never thought any plane could land in the state but they saw this happening under Gov. Abiodun and were so convinced that really, the governor deserves another term.
What do you think the second term of Gov. Dapo Abiodun holds for the people of the state?
Gov. Abiodun is an extremely focused man, he knows what he wants and he goes for it. He is very passionate about the development of the state and that is what he will continue to do. He is already preparing to commission yet another road project in the state capital. I am sure the Governor will double up efforts to finish the Agro-Cargo Airport which has the capacity to provide over 20,000 job opportunities. There will be more roads to be initiated and completed, the Governor has equally talked about ensuring that the Dried Ports at Kajola along Abeokuta-Sango expressway becomes a reality. This will help to decongest Lagos Port and of course further open up the state for business. I am telling you that the governor’s second term will be quite memorable and for the good of the state. I am also sure that some of the workers’ concerns as well as that of the pensioners would be sorted out. This is a Governor who places so much premium on the welfare of the workers, he has been ensuring that they get their promotion as and when due, they should be rest assured that the governor will attend to all their worries in due cause.
But the PDP governorship candidate, Hon Ladipupo Adebutu has insisted that the election was rigged vowing to retrieve the alleged stolen mandate at the tribunal, how do you react to this?
I want to first of all sympathise with my brother, Hon. Ladipupo Adebutu for the loss suffered in the election, having also lost an election in the time past, I truly know how it feels to narrowly lose an election. Having said that, I want to say that there’s nothing like stolen mandate as far as the Ogun State governorship election is concerned. This is the first time I am seeing a sitting governor losing from home when he could have done everything to win, the opposition party also has about 11 out of 26 members of the House of Assembly and yet someone will be claiming stolen mandate, that is not the truth. The margin might be very slim but the governor won very squarely and fair, so enough of misinforming the populace. There will always be another time.
What lessons will you say your party has learnt in the last election?
Many people have thought that the Governor despite his fabulous performance in office wouldn’t be returned for another term and that was why we had so much of betrayals and backstabbing but God said, no, this my son in whom I am well pleased will continue his good works for another four years and so be it. Having said that, we have also been able to find out that there is a lot of disconnect among our so called leaders and followers. The leaders just want to eat alone and not care for the followers but it’s these followers that they will call upon to go and vote, this area must be addressed so that it won’t be a case of some set of people living off the sweat of others. Whatever is due to these people at the grassroots should be given to them unfortunately, these leaders will rather prefer to distribute these things among their families, this should be discouraged. It causes so much disaffection and disunity in the party.
Your take on the call for interim government?
That’s a condemnable call from some enemies of the country. It is the design of the sore losers in the last presidential election, it is really unfortunate. There is no reason for such plan because the election had been conducted, a winner has emerged, together with his running mate, he had been issued certificate of return, he is only waiting to be sworn in on May 29 by the special grace of God. Our President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not a novice in political administration, he had done so well as the Governor of Lagos State and the foundation which he laid has continue to take the state to greater height. Those who lost in the election should rather approach the court to pursue whatever they felt wasn’t right not to be laying ambush for a mandate that was freely given. Some are even calling for the military to take over, those set of people are the enemies of this nation. I sincerely hope that the security agencies will remain alerted and waste no time to arrest those that want to derail this democracy. And for those fanning embers of ethnicity, they are only wasting their time. God has destined us to be together and that has come stay.
It won’t be proper not to ask what your office has also been doing to strengthen the security architecture of the state…
Yes, we have ensured good partnership with investors and other stakeholders, security agencies and business owners all in a bit to ensure that we all collaborate to have watertight security in the state. The Governor is not leaving anything to chances, he sees security as a must for businesses to thrive and the people to experience prosperity. This is why one of his first major assignment in the state is to get patrol vehicles with modern day communication gadgets, motorcycles, bulletproof and so much more for the security agencies in the state. There was a time he brought helicopter to help smoke out some criminals disturbing the peace of the state. He has joined his brothers in the Southwest to create Amotekun. The vigilantes, So-Safe Corps are all getting support from the government. So, in this second term, the Governor will build on this, no criminal will be allowed to disturb the peace of the state. As for the recent unfortunate incident in Sagamu, series of meetings are already ongoing to ensure that the banks are back to business. The Governor is not joking about this anyway, and within the next two months, the banks in Sagamu will resume operations. So, our eyes are on the ball, the residents of the state should get set for another four years of purposeful governance.
How FG can attract Foreign Investors – CIS Boss
A thoroughbred multi-dimensional professional with over three-decade experience in the Nigerian Financial Market and President and Chairman of Council , Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Mr Oluwole Adeosun, FCS, in this interview, X-rays the state of the Nigerian Capital Market and offers suggestions on how the Federal Government can make the market competitive through constructive engagement with the regulators and operators.
Can you comment on the historic rally on NGX after the swearing -in of President Bola Tinubu ?
The Stock Market has been a barometer to measure developments in any economy, and the conclusion of the electoral process in Nigeria encapsulated in the inauguration of a new government is a major milestone that will excite any securities market. It is therefore not unusual for our market to spontaneously react to the positive development by way of the spike in the prices of the securities. The policy pronouncements, on the day of the inauguration, were also seen as a silver bullet that raised the consciousness of the stakeholders to the opportunities in the securities market.
In his inaugural Speech, President Bola Tinubu said there would be unified exchange rate. How will this impact the activities in the capital market?
That is one of the urgent policy corrections that the Nigerian Capital Market has been canvassing for in recent years. The wide gap between the official and parallel market rates is an anomaly which creates room for so many market malpractices. By creating a more efficient and transparent foreign exchange management system, the unified rate policy will make the market more competitive, make the currencies more easilyaccessible to manufacturers and other end users, and improve the bottom line for our quoted companies.
The transparency that will evolve from determining the rate will boost the integrity of the exercise which is expected to excite foreign investors to make a return to our securities market. There cannot be a perfect unified rate. But if the margin between the official rate and other windows is within 3 per cent range, it is normal. But the supply side of the forex has to be addressed as a basis to ensure that forex scarcity will not hamper the success of exchange rate unification in the medium and long run.
How can the Federal Government deploy the market to achieve the 6 % projected growth of the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?
That question will be thoroughly discussed and answered at the forthcoming CIS National Workshop coming up in Abuja on July 27, 2023. Suffice to state, for now, that the capital market is a very effective tool for actualizing a broad based Public Private Partnership strategy which we recommend for President Bola Tinubu and the various State Governors.
As at May 29, 2023 the Market Capitalization in the Nigerian stock market was just a little fraction of the country’s GDP, but that is a paradox, because the market has actually shown over time, that with adequate institutional support, it can significantly contribute to the economic transformation of the country. The capital market was used to transform the Nigerian banking system into the multi trillion industry that it is today, and to provide critical liquidity for governments in the country. The market is effective at pooling long term capital in the economy. Listing on the stock exchanges also enable large multinationals and MSMEs alike to raise massive capital with long term payback and very low cost. The commodity ecosystem is another revenue centre that the Federal Government can exploit. This is why the government should engage the operators in the ecosystem to know that is required for them to operate optimally.
Are there policy measures that the government should put in place to encourage both foreign and domestic investors to participate more in the capital markets ?
The role of government in businesses worldwide is to provide an enabling environment that will allow productive enterprises to flourish. By enabling environment, we mean rule of law, provision of adequate infrastructure etc. The government must create a savings friendly economic environment, and then, continuously work towards improving the Ease of Doing Business ranking of the country, to make it a competitive investment destination.
Tax policies should be reviewed, to encourageinvestments and not the other way round. For example, the recently introduced Capital Gains Tax will discourage high volume investments, and should be removed for now, particularly in view of the fragile nature of our economy and capital market. We need to encourage more investments.
The government should listen to us more; have more consultations with the Capital market in policy formulation. Steps should be taken to extend trading liquidity to the stock market, as is done in the advanced countries. Our pension funds should, as a matter of national interest, invest a higher proportion of their funds in the equity market to provide a stable foundation that motivates other high net worths to invest over the long term; and the Central Bank of Nigeria should pay more attention to the stock market, allow bank stocks to be included in margin lending portfolios being the most active and liquid stocks and encourage banks to partner more with Stockbroking firms. We cannot still be living in the past and be looking forward to a better future.
Is there a deliberate plan by the Institute to attract youths into the financial market ?
The youths represent our topmost priority area. Tertiary institutions and schools generally represent the first point of our annual capital market literacy drive. We also have the Inter-School Capital Market Quiz competition and recently, Essay Competition. We undertake Career Talk programs in so many institutions every year. As a matter of fact, we have gone to the extent of awarding the CIS Diploma scholarship to quite a number of young, indigent Nigerian citizens and many of them have responded positively.
When will the e-library of the Institute become operational ?
Very soon. We are currently putting the finishing touches to the library room, having procured the necessary tools for its operation. The unveiling will be announced before the early in the third quarter.
How would you advise investors under the current business environment ?
This is an excellent time to invest, with the guarantee of democracy in the country. The market will grow as the policies of the new government take shape. Having said that, please ensure that you always consult a qualified and licensed Stockbroker to guide your investment decisions. You may visit the CIS or SEC websites for the lists of qualified operators, or the websites of the various securities trading platforms. Investors should contact their stockbrokers for effective investment advice. Investment is a trade off of risk and return. An investor can make money in all seasons with appropriate investment advice.
There is still a knowledge gap in understanding the benefits of investment through the capital market. What are plans in the pipeline to deepen investor education?
We have a lot of plans. However, it must be understood that Capital Market Literacy drive is expensive. That is the reason we continue to request for grants: From government, market regulators, quoted companies and the general public. As you are aware, we launched CIS Academy last year and in just a small space of time, they have done so much in imparting skills to the larger financial industry; an example being the recent joint training Programme with Lagos Business School on Board Leadership in the Securities and Investments industry. We have so much to do, but the financial capacity is limited.
Online voting will promote democracy and civic engagement — Founder TECHmIT, Adepoju
Oluwaseun David Adepoju is a creative technologist, the founder of TECHmIT Africa and a curator of a collective called ‘ghetto silience.’ The firm seeks to accelerate technological resilience in underserved communities in Africa. In an interview with MOYOSORE SALAMI, he speaks on the significant role technology played in shaping politics today
What are some of the most significant ways technology is shaping politics today?
Technology is fundamentally changing the way politics is done today. One of the most significant ways technology is shaping politics is through the use of social media platforms. Social media has become an integral part of political campaigns and a powerful tool for engaging with constituents. Additionally, data analytics and machine learning algorithms are being used to target specific voters and craft tailored messaging. This can lead to more effective campaigning but also raises concerns about manipulation and privacy.
What are some of the biggest challenges and concerns related to technology and politics?
One of the most significant challenges related to technology and politics is the issue of privacy. With the rise of big data and artificial intelligence, there is a growing concern about how personal data is being collected, used, and shared by political campaigns. There is also the issue of disinformation, where false or misleading information is spread through social media, leading to a polarised public discourse. Bias is another concern, as algorithms can perpetuate and amplify existing biases, resulting in discriminatory outcomes.
How can technology be used to promote democracy and civic engagement?
Technology can be used to promote democracy and civic engagement by facilitating access to information, enabling online voting, and fostering public discourse. Social media platforms can be used to promote political engagement and mobilise voters, while digital tools can make it easier for individuals to participate in the political process.
What are some potential solutions to the challenges posed by the intersection of tech and politics?
The intersection of technology and politics poses several challenges that require innovative solutions. One potential solution is increased transparency and accountability for tech companies, particularly in their handling of personal data and use of algorithms. This can be achieved through regulation, such as the GDPR in the EU, or through industry self-regulation. Another solution is to promote digital literacy and critical thinking skills among the public to combat disinformation and online manipulation.
What role should the government play in regulating social media and other tech platforms?
Regarding the role of government in regulating social media and other tech platforms, there is a need for balanced and informed policymaking. Governments should ensure that tech companies uphold ethical standards and protect users’ privacy and data, while also balancing free speech and innovation. It is crucial to strike a balance between protecting users and promoting innovation.
How do you see emerging technologies like AI and blockchain changing the way we live and work?
Emerging technologies like AI and blockchain have the potential to revolutionise the way we live and work. AI can automate repetitive tasks and enable more personalised experiences, while blockchain can enhance security and transparency in transactions. However, these technologies also raise concerns about job displacement, privacy, and ethical considerations around AI development and deployment. I believe we can get the best out of these technologies and understand how to regulate them better with time.
Cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly important concern for individuals and businesses alike. What are some of the most pressing cybersecurity issues that we need to be aware of?
Some of the most pressing cybersecurity issues we need to be aware of include data breaches, ransomware attacks, and phishing scams. These attacks can compromise personal data and financial information, causing significant harm to individuals and businesses alike. It is crucial to stay informed about cybersecurity threats and take proactive measures to protect ourselves and our organisations.
With the rise of remote work and the gig economy, how do you see technology shaping the future of work?
Technology is transforming the future of work by enabling remote work, freelancing, and the gig economy. With the rise of digital platforms, individuals can work from anywhere and take on projects that align with their skills and interests. Working in the future will be more of “experience” than “employment” with the rise of more distributed systems technologies. Global collaboration will continue to increase and distributed team systems at organisations will become mainstream. However, this also raises concerns about job security, income inequality, and the need for new policies and regulations to protect workers’ rights.
Do you think technology can be used to address some of the world’s challenges such as climate change, inequality?
Technology can certainly be used to address some of the world’s challenges, including climate change and inequality. For example, AI and machine learning can help optimise energy consumption and reduce waste, while blockchain can enable transparent and secure transactions in the fight against corruption and inequality. However, technology is not a silver bullet, and it needs to be complemented by broader policy and societal changes.
What is your advice for young people who are interested in pursuing a career in technology?
For young people interested in pursuing a career in technology, my advice would be to stay curious and keep learning. Technology is constantly evolving, and it is essential to stay up-to-date with the latest developments and trends. Building a strong foundation in computer science, mathematics, and critical thinking will provide a solid base for a career in technology. It is also crucial to develop soft skills, such as communication and teamwork, as technology often requires collaboration across different domains and disciplines.
Opposition on wild goose chase, Gov. Abiodun’s reelection is a product of a heartwarming performance — Dennis Ogunnaike
In this interview by Bankole Taiwo, the Special Assistant to Gov Dapo Abiodun on Technology Innovation and Strategy, Mr Dennis Akinwale Ogunnaike speaks on the second coming of Gov Abiodun, the commitment of the present administration to use ICT to revolutionise governance and empower the citizens among other topical issues trailing last governorship election in the state. Excerpts.
Let’s have a bit of yourself
I am Dennis Akinwale Ogunnaike, a native of Erinlu in Ward 2 of Odogbolu Local Government Area of Ogun State but I took my ancestral lineage from Mobalufon and my maternal roots from Iperu Akesan. I have been with Gov. Dapo Abiodun since 2013 handling communication and other ICT needs for him like database management and web development among others. I started with him as a volunteer and this year makes it a decade that this great lover of humanity whose commitment to empowering the youth remains irrevocable, that is, His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun has taken me in as one of his children and he has practically been everything and more to me; a good father, mentor and performance coach, just as he is to many of us around him.
During his campaign for Ogun East Senatorial seat in 2015, I was there helping with the communication aspect of the campaign but when it didn’t go through because God was actually preparing him for this present task of leading the state, Prince Dapo Abiodun brought me into his company, Heyden Petroleum where I worked on specialised projects deploying surveillance solutions and managing key ICT infrastructure projects. Actually my journey into ICT started during my secondary school days at Adeola Odutola, Ijebu-Ode. I found out that I had keen interest in computers when we got our computer labs in the early 90s, it was a new phenomenon at that time and that attracted my interest so much. I was a school prefect so I had unfettered access to the Laboratory where I would spend hours with the college instructors.
While preparing for admission into the university where I intended to study medicine because I had great O’Level results and the thinking among my circle of friends with good results was to become Medical Doctors. However, it was at this point that there was this long strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), so I decided to enroll for Diploma programme in Computer Engineering organised by The Bespoke ICT Institute, an international organisation in the year 2002. The course covers ICT infrastructure management, Hardware Installation and maintenance, surveillance system, CCTV, fire alarms, quite extensive programme. I later went to University of Lagos, like I have said earlier, for me and my friends who were actually doing very fine in our studies at that time, we had As and high hopes and our dream was to study Medicine, unfortunately my JAMB scores was three marks less or so, so I eventually studied Biological sciences majoring in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Pollution Management at the University of Lagos. Alongside, I equally continued my training in ICT, I was taking the advanced courses covering web development and I worked part time on ICT projects for clients while in school, by the time I finished, I had developed keen interest in government probably because of my experience working with some senior colleagues on certain government owned projects.
Upon graduation, I had my NYSC done at Oke-Ila Orangun in Osun State with Oba Dokun Abolarin, the Orangun of Okeila whom we still maintain close contact after many years. Let me also add that I was the Overall Best Corp Member and Winner of State and National Honours for the Service Year during my NYSC.
I have had opportunities to work extensively on policy research and community relations and I was nominated for a development knowledge facilitation training organized by the United Nations Development Programme – UNDP.
Slightly before then I had been actively involved in campus politics as a member of Students Union and Students Representatives Council. I also convened the National Youth Economic Empowerment Summit in 2010 so with all that experience put together, I realised there is a place for technology use in governance if we must bridge so many gaps. So, I got so much involved in research of using ICT to better governance and help solve a number of challenges in public space. I was particular about using ICT to empower the youths, I attended further trainings at the FRCN Training school in 2013 and returned to Unilag for my Master Degree in Public and International Affairs Administration in 2013 and was working on some side projects with the Lagos State Government, I had done similar tasks with the Osun State Government during the tenure of Engr Rauf Aregbesola. So I have always kept my hands busy, It was in the course of all of these that I met my hardworking boss, Prince Dapo Abiodun in 2013 and he gave me his platform to further find expressions for my talents and interests. When God did it for us in 2019, the governor deemed it fit to appoint me as his Special Assistant in the Office of The Governor. I will eternally be grateful to him for the privilege to serve.
So, what has been the success story of this administration as far as ICT development is concerned?
Well, after the inauguration of the Governor in 2019, he told us he wanted to hit the ground running using ICT to revolutionise governance in the state and empower the teeming youthful population. He there and then said he wanted an implementable plan within his first 100 days in office. So, from the word go, Oga knew what he wanted and he wasn’t mincing words about the huge role of technology in his determined bid to enhance the prosperity of the state at all fronts. This was how we came up with the jobs portal which has been largely successful in giving the government an overview of job seekers vis a vis the available opportunities at any given time within the state. We also came up with the TechHub at Kobape, opposite the Judiciary Complex, essentially to save the moribund model school built but abandoned by the last administration from total decay, the Hub has played host to over 20,000 people who have been trained and they cut across all strata of the society. We have seen quite many who have been able to develop some apps there too, that place is playing a very huge role in empowering our youths. You see kids of 8 to 12 years coming to the TechHub learning coding, designing games, websites and the likes. One thing the Governor is also doing exceedingly well is in the provision of ICT infrastructure across the length and breadth of the state, you can see the fibre optic cables being laid across the state, just look out of your window when traveling, you will see the men working, the Governor’s dream is to ensure that once you are in Ogun State, you have access to unhindered internet. The passion with which this is being done is first of its kind, these are parts of what the government of Gov Abiodun will be delivering in the second term. Plans are underway to have the TechHub at the remaining Senatorial districts of Ogun East and West, so our eyes have been on the ball so to say.
There are other ICT driven initiatives of Government like the DigiClass, which kept our students engaged during the ravaging Covid -19 pandemic, the OLAMS system deployed for Land Administration, Education Management Systems, The Courts Management Systems even in Health and Agriculture, there is not a single sector that has not received the digitisation injection of the Governor.
How do you see the last governorship in the state?
Well, I had a custom built feedback system where I aggregate information from the 236 Wards in the state that had given me a hint of what is likely to be the outcome of the governorship election. This has a lot to do with the research that I carried out between 2021-2022, I went across the 236 Wards, interacted with different focus groups so it is the aggregate of these views that formed the foundation of my report which tilted towards the governor coming back for the second term. Yes, the contest might be keen but the good works of the Governor in almost four years will stand him out and so it happened exactly that way. From my interactions with the media before the election, I have always maintained that the second term of Gov Abiodun was not in any way threatened. Of course we have reports of some set of people doing all soughts to undermine the last governorship election, engaging in vote buying and all that but the people still spoke with their votes affirming their support for the second term of the governor. So, there’s no case of stolen mandate anywhere, rather the opposition was rejected at the poll because of the sterling performance of Mr. Governor in his first term. As we speak in all 20 local government areas of the state, there is not a single one that has not recieved the good works of Gov. Dapo Abiodun, it’s either the projects there are ongoing or completed. This wasn’t the case under the immediate past government where development were visibly concentrated in certain areas of the state. The Governor has been very strategic in delivering good governance to the people of Ogun State, steadily implementing his ISEYA agenda cutting across road construction, qualitative healthcare, education, housing, agriculture, youth development among others. He might not be someone given to standing on the rooftop and be shouting I have done this and done that because he believes that he was elected into office to do those things, so why the noise again?
So in a nutshell, what does the Governor’s second coming mean to Ogun people?
I must first of all thank the people of Ogun State for speaking in unison with their votes to have Gov Dapo Abiodun for another four years. It shows that they are quite intelligent and appreciate the good works of the governor in the last four years. Definitely, the second coming of Gov Abiodun means continuation of the good works across all the sectors. Look at the road from Ilishan to Ago Iwoye that passes through the Campus of the Olabisi Onabanjo University into Ago Iwoye that was completely abandoned and was endangering the lives of many of our students that have recieved the magic wand of the Governor, and the remarkable Agbara-Atan-Lusada main Arterial express way in Ogun West that are under construction, the 2nd Term of the Governor will certainly witness the completion of these projects. How about the world class International Agro-Cargo Airport which is capable of generating over 25,000 jobs. Recall that Mr Bayo Ogunlesi, son of the renowned first Professor of Medicine, Prof Theophilus Ogunlesi who was buried at almost 100 about two weeks ago, was briefly at the airport to see things for himself. Mr Bayo Ogunlesi is the owner of Gatwick Airport, London and many others in the world. He was so fascinated with the project that he bowed for the governor saying that he had not seen such a huge airport done within such a time frame. So, this huge project will begin to bear fruits in the second term couple with more houses, schools, roads, hospitals, so much more empowerment for our youths, so much consolidation on the good works of last four years because we have a governor that is not joking with the business of taking our dear state to greater heights.
Given all kinds of talks around Tinubu’s presidency, what do you think the incoming government at the centre will look like?
Fortunately, I served as the Co-ordinating Secretary of the Jagaban Army in the state, that is the APC National Youths Campaign Council foot soldiers. You see, I grew up in Lagos, I went to the University of Lagos and I am very aware of all the magic wands of our President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu when he was Governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007. Before his tenure, Lagos was a very chaotic environment to commute back then, but with strong political will and being a manager of resource par excellence, Lagos began to wear a new look. The hospitals and schools took new shapes, the security started improving, how about the environmental and waste management initiatives? There were places you can’t pass by then without your handkerchief covering your nose until Asiwaju came. I mean, we saw a new commitment to give Lagos the status of that mega city and centre of excellence. I can go on and on. There’s no doubting the fact that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu himself is the symbolism of modern governance that is solely committed to giving humanity the very best. Here is a master political strategist and astute administrator who knows how to get good brains to assist in delivering good governance to the people.
But some people say he is old?
Well, his age has nothing to do with what is on ground, ultimately because he would not govern alone, I have the confidence that he would assemble a competent team with whom he would implement his policies and programme. I tell you we have gotten a good opportunity to lift the country higher and expand its frontiers in the next four years, renewable by another four. I am optimistic that this is the best moment Nigerians have been waiting for and we shall all be living witnesses of a more prosperous, economically viable, stronger and united Nigeria under Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The opposition in the state, particularly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not convinced that your party won the last governorship election and had said that the victory party would be for a while, saying that they will soon reclaim the mandate before the tribunal, what did you say to this?
Talk is said to be cheap and you can see that I was just laughing when you asked this question because once you are sinking like the opposition in the state, you want to grab at anything and hold on to anything in sight. They are only giving their followers a false hope because the truth is that Gov Abiodun won the last governorship election squarely. It is the people’s mandate that will last another four years by the special grace of God.
I sincerely wish the opposition will cooperate with the Governor to further develop the state rather than embarking on another exercise in futility. The Governor has always thrown his arms wide open for the everyone with meaningful ideas to bring same forward for the greater good of our state, but if they choose to embark on another share waste of resources and productive time, goodluck to them but I am confident in God that this DA mandate of 2023 to 2027 remains unshakable! Though the election came with its own perculiarities, the truth will always remain the truth and books don’t lie, Gov Dapo Abiodun won the last governorship election by dint of hardwork, the gambling opposition people are only on a wild goose chase.
Reps dismiss petition against NPA over alleged bad debt
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