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Opposition against Gov. Abiodun’s second term, sheer empty barrels — Engr.  Sosanwo

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In this interview with Bankole Taiwo, the Executive Secretary of Ogun State Security Trust Fund, Engr. Adeola Sosanwo, speaks on varied topical issues touching on governance under Governor Dapo Abiodun in the last three years insisting, among other things, that the Governor has done so well to continue his good works beyond 2023

For sometime now, you have been in charge of Ogun State Security Trust Fund, can you tell us what this organisation has been doing to shore up security in the state?

Yes, Ogun State Security Trust Fund (OGSTF) was actually an idea that came into being in 2017 during the tenure of the immediate past administration of Sen Ibikunle Amosun. However, after some time it lost its steam and was redundant until 2019 when Gov. Dapo Abiodun came in and restructured it to make it more transparent and efficient. Its primary duty is to provide resources to strengthen the security of the state.You can see the influx of companies and investors into the state. This is definitely due to the peace and tranquility the state has been enjoying. The Governor doesn’t want to leave any stone unturned and that is why the issue of Security Trust Fund is very dear to the heart of our Governor. What we basically do is to manage resources both in cash and in kind for all our security formations to ensure a seamless operations.

How will you describe the journey so far?

It’s been great, though I came on board as the Executive Secretary of the Security Trust Fund in March but the record shows that from 2019 till date, the State Government through the Agency has distributed over 200 patrol vehicles with sophisticated communication gadgets as well as over 200 motorcycles, bulletproof, helmets among others to security agencies like the Police, the Army, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Customs, the So-Safe Corps, the Amotekun and so on. All of them have felt the impact of our donors and support of the administration of Gov Dapo Abiodun.

It should be noted that the State Security Trust Fund is a collaboration between the government and corporate bodies, I mean the business operating in the state including the banks. To ensure transparency, out of the six board members of this Agency, three are Directors from these Banks. We have one each from First Bank, Wema and Access Bank. They represent the interest of the donors and therefore ensure that these funds are judiciously managed.

What is your take on security situation in Ogun State?

Well, we have been having it very fine, though sometimes we have challenges but whenever this happens, the Governor who is the Chief Security Officer has always risen to the oçcasion, mobilising all the resources to combat such cases. The Governor is so much concerned with the security of the State that he wouldn’t spare any efforts to combat whatever is capable of threatening the peace of the state.

It’s been a while we heard of clashes between herders and farmers…

(Cuts in) …The credit goes to God and the fact that our dear Governor will spare nothing to ensure that peace reigns in every nook and cranny of the state. There are series of measure that had been put in place like the special task force involving joint operations by the Police, the Army, the Amotekun, So-Safe Corps and the likes. There’s this Peace Committee too that drives series of engagements and peace talks in some of these areas that are prone to issues of farmers-herders clash. Above all, our security agencies; the Police, the Amotekun, all of them have also been given the marching order to go after any criminal masquerading as herders and so far, God has been helping us.

What is your take on State Police?

That’s a fantastic idea because with how our locally arranged security outfits like the Amotekun, So-Safe Corps, the Vigilante are collaborating with the Police, sharing intelligence with them to fight insecurity and given the success recorded, the idea of having a state police is long over due. Although, some are of the fear that the State Government might turn such apparatus to instrument of oppression, this could have been taken care of by the law that will establish such structure.  In the US, we have the federal, state and even county police. May be we still have to bid for more time but definitely we can’t run away forever on the idea of state police. And I must say that our Amotekun are doing a great job..

Let’s look at the second term bid of Gov Dapo Abiodun. The opposition are already mounting up and just like it was in 2019, Sen Amosun, the immediate past governor is leading the pack with his recent comment that he would ensure that the governor doesn’t return in 2023, what do you say to this?

There is a saying in Yoruba land that the empty barrels make the most noise. The truth is that Gov Dapo Abiodun has done so well within this three years that he deserves another term. He has been doing great jobs across the sectors. Look at what he has done in the area of road construction. Abeokuta-Siun-Sagamu is completed, same goes for Ijebu Ode-Epe road, the long abandoned Ilaro-Owode Yewa, Lusada-Atan-Agbara, Ilisan-Ago Iwoye roads among others are nearing completion. Many access roads like Fajol-Elite, Abeokuta, Vespa, Ifo, Navy-AIT, Adigbe roads, and several others including those abandoned by the immediate past government have been done. You can also see the Governor’s good works in the education with over 1000 newly constructed classrooms supplied with furniture. Same goes for health, housing, agriculture and so on. All of these, the Governor has done with the shrinking resources. This is in addition to the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic that grounded global economy. The Governor has done fantastically well to deserve another term. Look at the International Agro-Cargo Airport that will kick off operation by the grace of God in December, I can’t imagine thousands of jobs that this bold initiative will create for the state. Fortunately, our people are wiser, they can see what the Governor is doing, so these days you can’t buy their votes, they will collect the money you want to dole around and still vote for their choice. The opposition is just answering to their names – opposition – so they must talk and make cacophonic noise. These are just empty barrels making noise. Let them keep jumping up and down upon nothing. The Governor, by the grace of God will continue his good works beyond 2023. The people of the state loves the Governor’s commitment to making life a lot better for them and so are eager and ready to return him to power come 2023.

I even heard the opposition saying that over 10,000 members of APC defected to PDP last Friday, what a blatant lie? Can the place they use accommodate such huge number of people. I saw them on that day at the programme, it’s all lies.

Don’t you think the controversies trailing Muslims-Muslim tickets of the APC presidential candidate will affect the chances of your party?

I don’t think we should bring the issue of religion to politics or governance. The most important thing is to have fear of God. Don’t we have many Christians who are even more terrible than the devil himself? We should rather focus on people who are God fearing and competent to do the job. If God says that is how He wants it, who can say no? We should de-emphasise the religious issues and focus on whether these two individuals have what it takes to further take the country to greater heights. This nation is beloved of God and His counsels will always prevail irrespective of whatever anybody thinks or say. I am however of that strong opinion that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu/Shettima presidency will redefine governance in Nigeria. I equally call for the unity of all in the Southwest. We should all rally support for the success of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s presidential aspiration. We must not be part of any ploy or plot to make Southwest lose this presidential bid again. It’s our turn in the Southwest and all hands should be on deck to get this job done pretty well.

What are the challenges and what are your expectations from the people of Ogun State?

The challenges are not much because of the huge support we are getting from the Governor. We also want to thank those corporate bodies for their support and plead for further cooperation in our determined bid to ensure that every corner of the state is safe. As touching our expectations from the members of the public, we want them to be more willing to share intelligence with the security formations. All these bad boys live among us, and just recently, the Governor has signed a law that says that landlords harbouring these criminal elements would be arrested and even get such properties demolished. This is an important area the residents of the state could be found very useful; they should be ready to form a partnership with the government to fight these undesirable elements. We should ask these 18-year old, 20-year old what work are they doing that they are riding in big and exotic cars? As parents, let’s go back to the basis of training our children in such a way that they will not become burden to the society.

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Interview

How FG can attract Foreign Investors – CIS Boss

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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.

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Interview

Online voting will promote democracy and civic engagement — Founder TECHmIT, Adepoju

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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.

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Interview

Opposition on wild goose chase, Gov. Abiodun’s reelection is a product of a heartwarming performance — Dennis Ogunnaike

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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.

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