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South-West Governors, Oyetola, others storm Ibadan for Akande @ 85



South-West Governors excluding Governor Ademola Adeleke stormed Ibadan, Oyo State to celebrate with the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Chief Bisi Akande on the occasion of his 85th birthday.

The celebrations were held at the UI International Conference centre, Ibadan with Governor of Oyo State, Engr.Seyi Makinde being the Chairman of the occasion.

Dignitaries who graced the event include President Tinubu, who was represented by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, and Vice President Shettima, who was represented by Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State.

While President Tinubu was the guest of honour, Vice President Shettima was the guest lecturer.

Others include Governor Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Abiodun Oyebanji (Ekiti), Ademola Adeleke (Osun) who is represented by Prince Kola Adewusi, Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, Minister of Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Zaccheus Adedeji, wife of the late Oyo Governor, Dr. Florence Adelabu, and Senator Fatai Buhari (Oyo North), among others.

Speaking at the event, President Tinubu described Chief Bisi Akande as “one of the moving forces of progressive movement in Nigeria.”

President Tinubu disclosed that Akande has been a close friend, ally and advisor to him through the years, noting that perhaps, he would not be where he is today as President of this country without the help and support Chief Akande has given.

“Many countless other people will also affirm that he has had the same positive effect in their lives as he has in mine,” he declared.

The President said, “Baba Akande turning 85 is a landmark achievement that calls for celebration. We must also be thankful to God for his life and for giving the nation an eminent leader like him. He remains one of our respected elder statesmen in Nigeria who continues to offer rare insights and counsel on how best to organise our country for effective governance.

“I have benefited immensely from Baba Akande’s good knowledge and perspectives on a wide range of issues as they affect Nigeria and the Western part of the country.

“Beyond his sagely contributions to our national development and political evolution over the decades, the most enduring aspect of his enviable life is his forthrightness, integrity, reliability and spartan life which he imbibed from his leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. All these attributes have served him well in all the positions he had the rare honour to occupy in his illustrious life.

“A committed democrat, die-hard progressive, and prudent yet compassionate leader of men, Chief Akande has done much for this country and for the progressive family. He has been a prominent architect of our nation’s progressive political parties.”

President Tinubu, stressed further that, “If anyone needs a reliable and dependable compatriot as an ally, Chief Akande is that man anyone can go to battle with.

“Since we transitioned from the defunct Alliance for Democracy to Action Congress, from Action Congress to Action Congress of Nigeria and now the governing All Progressives Congress, Chief Akande has remained a constant feature. l salute his courage and commitment to democratic and Progressive ideals.

“Whether in public office or later in life in his capacity as pioneer Chairman of ACN or as Interim Chairman of APC, Chief Akande brought honour and integrity into the discharge of his responsibilities.

“He could not have done otherwise. Baba had been sold early in life on those noble values of honesty, integrity, conscience, courage, hard work, perseverance and the importance of a good name among others.

“Highly principled and perceptive, Baba Akande is selfless and intensely patriotic. He gave more to others than he gave himself. What he has given to his family, his Osun State, to the Yoruba race, he also gave to this country: the very best.

“He is one of the few leaders still around who can be called a true disciple of Chief Awolowo. Like Chief Awolowo, Baba Akande has devoted his public life to engendering a truly democratic, just and egalitarian society where all people are given the opportunity to attain a happy and prosperous life.

“Just as Chief Awolowo did for him, Chief Akande has been a father figure and a mentor to younger politicians across the country particularly in the South-West. He is a consummate teacher, tolerant and cosmopolitan in outlook, and an excellent human being. He is charitable and equally helpful to all who came in contact with him no matter their station in life.”

Speaking in his capacity, Governor Sanwo-Olu, said Chief Adebisi Akande is a teacher, leader and cosmopolitan man.

He said, “I have the rare privilege to call you my father. I appreciate those little moments when you have called, advised, admonished, encouraged and corrected me as a person, father, and leader of people. I want to thank you for who you are and for what you have been to many of us.

“He is a man that all of us will continue to drink from his wealth of experience. You are a teacher and leader but you are also a cosmopolitan man. You are a man that understands the reality of today because even from your age, you have the sense to put together the reality of today.”


Ogun Govt sympathises with victims of Ado Odo/Ota over rainstorm destruction



…’We’re in touch with IBEDC for prompt action’

Ogun State  Government said it  is in touch with the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) to ensure the immediate fixing of poles damaged as a result of rainstorm occasioned by Sunday’s downpour in some parts of Sango in Ado Odo/Ota Local Government Area of the state.

The government, in a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media, Hon. Kayode Akinmade said a team from the state government was in the area on Monday to physically ascertain the extent of damage and to know how to engage with IBEDC, as well as sympathising with victims.

Akinmade noted the cables had not been energised before the destruction, which saved lots of lives.

“Our team went on physical site inspection of the affected area on Monday to ascertain the extent of the damage and to know how to engage with the IBEDC team.

“We are currently working with the IBEDC team led by the Regional Manager and the Technical Head for the Ogun Region. Some of the less affected feeders have been restored and energised while the clean-up of the most affected areas has already started.

“Most of the poles on the roads have been removed while the remaining will be taken out today (Wednesday). We are working with IBEDC to ensure there will be full restoration of power in Sango Ota before the week runs out.

“The government is not relenting in its effort to make sure that we restore power to Sango Ota and its environs and we can assure the citizens that we are on top on the matter.

“We, therefore, commiserate with those whose properties were destroyed by the fallen poles, as the government urged those living in the area to remain calm.”

Residents of lyana lyesi, Osuke Town, Egan Road, lyana Ilogbo, Ijaba, Ijagba, Itele, Lafenwa, Singer, Joju, Alishiba, Oju Ore, Tollgate, Eledi, Akeja, Abebi, Osi Roundabout, Ota Town, Ota Industrial Estate, Igberen, lju, Atan, Onipanu, Obasanjo, Lusada, Arigba, Odugbe, Ado-Odo, Igbesa, Owode. Olokuta, Hanushi, Bamtish Camp Lufiwape, Eltees Farm, August Engineering, Spark Cear Soap Ayetoro, Amazing Grace Oil, Christopher University, Royal Garden Estate were affected by the disaster.

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Ortom urges Alia to work with SGF for more democracy dividends in Benue



By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

The former Governor of Benue State, Chief Samuel Ortom, has called on his successor, Governor Hyacinth Alia to work in synergy  with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), Sen George Akume for sustainable democracy dividends to the state.

 Ortom made the call in Makurdi  while speaking at the public lecture organised by his former aides on the occasion of his 63rd birthday.

Ortom described Sen George Akume as a true father, his leader and mentor and attributed all his achievements in life to the SGF.

He  also thanked Governor Hyacinth Alia for his good will message on his birthday and warned that Benue state has not had the position of SGF in the past and called on Governor Alia to embrace and work with him to enable the state to benefit from the position.

“Benue is our state, we have no other state and no one will come from anywhere to bring peace to Benue.

“Alia must sheathe his sword and find ways to work with the SGF so that all of us can enjoy the dividends of that position,” Ortom maintained.

He noted that elections were conducted and won, litigation were entered and God gave him victory saying, “It is his responsibility to do the needful so that Benue state will be at peace.”

Ortom expressed worry  that Benue is under siege and the governor alone or the SGF and himself cannot fight it alone without working collectively. He therefore noted that, “We are available if we are called upon to support or add value to the peace efforts of the government so that our people can live and enjoy the dividends of democracy.”

He  enjoined Benue people to pray for their leaders, Ortom said, “If I had my way, I would have given everyone the opportunity to be the Governor even in a few days.

“The challenges are enormous. You would not understand the challenges we go through but when you are there, you will understand the issues better.

“Nigeria is passing through very difficult times and that was what I was fighting against and I’m happy that people appreciated what we were doing,” he explained.

He appreciated his former appointees for organising the celebration of his 63 birthday anniversary in his honour.

“I’m very humbled by this special lecture on my 63 birthday celebration. This is not my first but this is the first time I’m witnessing a lecture and I must say that I’m pleased and enriched with all that was said here.

“I was taken unawares. You have made me know that I am appreciated. I thought I was used and dumped. I’m grateful to God for the eight years in office. I did everything with the fear of God, with equity, justice and fairness.

“I must have stepped on toes and those I know and those I didn’t know, I ask for forgiveness. I am humbled by this programme and further encouraged by your presence, kind words and prayers,” Ortom testified.

Guest Lecturer, Prof Samuel Aghalino, in the department of History and International Studies, University of Ilorin who is also the President Historical Society of Nigeria said, “Ortom was that Governor with a face cap. Anyone with a face cap is a revolutionary.

“Ortom played a significant role in extending politics beyond the borders of the state.

“He is one of the few politicians that stood in defense of his people, and was passionate in standing for human value while also demonstrating uncommon leadership.

“He was committed to the wellbeing of his people and stood vehemently, against the then government for murdering justice, fairness, equity and accountability, adding that Ortom expressed a rare readiness to cooperate with the investigations.

“He was a servant leader at a great cost to himself. At a time, during the Buhari administration, the doors of Aso Rock, the seat of power was shut against him for speaking the truth to power and holding the powerful accountable. I wonder how he survived.

“Ortom believes that politicians do not have to strive to be perfect to provide good governance to the people because only God is perfect. In his mind, you only have to love the people, therefore when it comes to democratic considerations, Ortom represents the school of thought that existence must take precedence over essence in governance.”

He said Ortom will be remembered by his people for the numerous things he has done and still doing.

Nigerian NewsDirect reports that the lecture was graced by prominent personalities like the former Attorney General of the federation and minister of Justice, Mike Aondakaa, Speaker, Plateau State House of Assembly, Gabriel Dewan, Member representing Apa-Agatu Federal Constituency, Pastor, Ojotu Ojema, Former Deputy Governor, Engr Benson Abounu, representatives of the Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse, Ter Gwer Dominic Akpete, the Ochidoma, Ogabaidu John Elaigwu represented by Dr Chris Ijale among others

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Katsina Gov. tasks corps members on nation building, cultism



By Matthew Denis

The Governor of Katsina State, Mallam Dikko Umaru Radda has tasked National Youth Service Corps members deployed to the State for the one year national service to strive towards nation building.

This is contained in a statement signed by Director, Press and Public Relations, Eddy Megwa, to the governor and made available to journalists on Wednesday.

He also lauded the immense contributions of successive batches of corps members to the socio-economic development of Katsina State over the years, especially through corps members community development service projects and also increasing the manpower needs in schools and in the industrial sector across the State.

Governor Raddah disclosed this at the NYSC Katsina State Orientation Camp, while speaking through his Deputy, Alhaji Farouk Lawal Jobe during the swearing-in ceremony of the prospective corps members deployed to the State.

The Governor urged the corps members to embrace the opportunities of the orientation course to prepare themselves for leadership responsibilities.

“I challenge you to live up to the standard already set by your predecessors. It is my belief that the orientation lectures will stimulate you to strive for the socio-economic development of our country.

“I urge you to see the opportunity of your call to service as a rare opportunity and your commitment to the Oath of Allegiance to your fatherland”, he said.

He also advised the corps members to shun cultism, political and religious intolerance with other forms of anti-social behaviour.

The NYSC Katsina State Coordinator, Hajiya Aisha Muhammad in her address stated that the orientation course is the first among the cardinal programmes of the NYSC, which was designed to prepare corps members for the challenges of the service year and beyond.

She added that the orientation course, which is a regimented environment has over the years been able to inculcate in the youth, the spirit of positive citizenship, leadership values including the ideals of commitment to national assignment, patriotism, integrity, diligence and loyalty to the fatherland.

“I enjoin you to obey all camp rules and regulations as any erring corps member will be referred to the Camp court for appropriate sanctions in line with the provision of the NYSC by-laws,” She added.

The Coordinator also said a total of 1,410 prospective corps members comprising 715 males and 695 females were deployed to the State.

The Director General of National Youth Service Corps, Brigadier General YD Ahmed who was among the dignitaries that witnessed the swearing-in ceremony earlier in the day implored the corps members to take full advantage of the NYSC Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme and acquire at least a skill while in camp.

The DG added that skills acquisition is the remedy to the increasing youth unemployment in the country.

General Ahmed who urged the corps members to be security conscious at all times also advised them to obey the cultural beliefs of their host communities.

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