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Traditional institution is losing respect — Oba Akinola, Olubosin of Ifetedo



Oba Akinola Oyetade Akinrera, Latiiri 1, is the Olubosin and the Paramount ruler of Ifetedo Kingdom, the headquarters of Ife South Local Government Area. The reverred monarch is a solicitor and advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria who had worked with Nigeria Police Force and Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation before ascending  the throne of his forefathers. In this interview with Jeleel Olawale, the Chairman, Ife South Local Government Council of Obas spoke on myriad of challenges bedevering traditional institutions and culture in Nigeria with respect to outgone year 2022. The excerpt:

How can you describe traditional institutions in the post independence era?

Traditional institutions in the post independence era seem to be losing respect. A lot of things has been politicised, coupled with the fact that the way we traditional rulers are conducting ourselves is unbecoming and we are made to understand that in the past before a person could become a King, he would go through some stages.

I went through these stages before I became Olubosin of Ifetedo Kingdom. But in some cases you will just see people will go and buy crown and start introducing themselves as Obas. All these culminating into how politicians are touching around with traditional rulers. This is making the institution to really loose respect and it is not good at all.

What is the solution to this?

I think there is need for the body of traditional rulers and government to sit and discuss, but the system is copied from the United Kingdom but their queen commands respect of the government. But in this part of the world, reverse is the case.

I think it is necessary for both sides to come together, look at the situation and discuss, because it will be in the best interest of government if the glory of traditional institutions is restored because traditional rulers are the closest organ or administrators to the people and by virtue of this, we play a pivotal role in the lives of our subjects by providing security of life and property, settling disputes among them to ensure that there is peace and orderliness in the society. I think it is important that there is need to sanitize the institution and restore glory of the institution so that traditional rulers will continue to command the respect of their subjects and it will make things to be easier for the government.

 How can you describe traditional institution in the year 2022, how did the institution fare?

I give glory to God that the year (2022) has come to an end because things have not been easy. As a traditional ruler, what we are going through is unpalatable. Gone are those days when subjects would come to the King and give them gifts and able men to support Oba to work in the farm.

But now our subjects will storm the palace, asking for support (money and food). Though, we are the closest one to them, so it is not their fault. It is the situation we find ourselves as a people in the country.

2022 was really challenging because of hike in price of commodities. Average Nigerian found it difficult to live and that increased pressure on traditional rulers, not me alone. What am saying is happening to all Obas because we do meet, compare notes, so, year 2022 was really challenging.

The 2023 is a year of election and I want to appeal to people to vote wisely, and whoever that wins should put welfare of the citizenry in his front bunner because the hardship in the land is enormous and this has put pressure on traditional rulers. Year 2022 was a mixture of challenges and blessings, because not everybody that started the year ended it. So, we have to thank God for life.

 Are you not bothered on how traditional rulers are being dethroned in the country? 

This is a matter of concern and I think the issue came up when a number of us discussed the issue at a particular forum and the consensus reached was that we should give the Governor(s) who have done that benefit of the doubt.

What they wanted to do is to review the appointment of the concerned traditional rulers to see if it conformed to due process. But If it conformed to due process, they don’t have choice than to give them approval, but what really created the problem was the timing of their appointment and we are optimistic that the appointment will be upheld.

 Our culture is gradually going into extinction, what are the traditional rulers doing to restore our culture?

Traditional rulers are the custodians of culture and tradition. We cannot say that Yoruba tradition is losing popularity, but the area of my fear is language. If you go to market, the “Alabaru” who puts baby in her back does not want to speak Yoruba language to her child but does not even understand English language. This is happening among Yorubas. If we look at the three major tribes in Nigeria, the two other tribes (Hausa and Igbo) are doing very well in respect to their language. It is we Yoruba that we want to prove that we understand English and do better than the native speaker. We are not teaching our children how to speak Yoruba language. This has become subject of discussion among us in a number of occasions. The decision reached is that it is part of our duties as traditional rulers to educate our subjects about language. The area where I think we are not really doing well is dressing and there has been improvement. The Yorubas are now getting married in our native attire and this is a good trend. So, it is glad that our children are now coming back to promote our dressing culture. So, we need to do a lot to ensure that Yoruba language is not going into extinction.

What do you think is the solution to challenges facing Yoruba language?

I want government to make the study of Yoruba language a compulsory subject in secondary schools. All Yoruba students should be made to offer Yoruba language, the same as Hausa and Igbo, so that our languages in this part of the world will not go into extinction. If it is made compulsory, parents will be paying attention to it from the nursery to secondary school level because if they do not prepare for it, that may cause failure of their children to gain admission into secondary school, they will prepare for it.

If the language is made compulsory, the elites will know that it is a subject that their children must pass, so they will learn it early. Therefore, the child will take a deeper interest in it and it is not a good thing if our children cannot speak our language. It is really unfortunate because a lot is built in the language. I quite agree that elites are not helping matter  but if they know that their children must offer it and pass, they won’t have a choice than to offer the language.

There is the view that traditional rulers chalking up about 5% of local government revenues with no discernible level of effort in society and individuals can play their mobilisation role, what is your take?

The issue of 5 per cent allocation of the local government, I will say neither here nor there, it is contentious. I am one monarch who doesn’t want to get myself involved in an unnecessary controversy. So, as a result of this, I will not want to delve into that. As to whether other individuals can play our roles, whether we take 5 per cent or not as traditional rulers, we have our duties to play in the lives of our subjects because there have been traditional institutions before the introduction of 5 per cent you are talking about and they have been doing very well. It is our duty to mobilize our subjects and sensitize them about government activities such as their civic responsibility and 2023 national census. No any individual, no matter how influential the person is can do it the way traditional rulers can perform the role, because we have our way of communicating to our subjects. So, we have machinery of reaching out to our subjects. The traditional institution’s roles are inalienable and cannot be overemphasized.

 The state of neglect of traditional institutions is unpalatable which probably culminated in insecurity, what do you think is the way out?

The issue lies with the government and it is the government that can do it, to come to the aid of traditional rulers. There are cases of traditional rulers being kidnapped, at some instances killed, and what has been responsible for that is neglect of the institution by the government in which they are not well taken care of. Traditional rulers should be secured because they are vulnerable and we settle disputes in our domains and not everybody will be happy with our decisions/judgements. So, if you have done justice in a given matter, and the party that lost out is aggrieved, he/she may want to hit back at the King.

The King needs to be secured. The welfare of monarch is important and we were told in those days that the traditional aids were being paid by government. But today, the reverse is the case. Therefore, there is need for government to take welfare of traditional rulers a priority. Politicians do visit palaces during electioneering campaigns to receive royal blessings. The monarchs present their demands to them but the government is trying its best but there are constraints and there is no government that can do everything for its people.

The dwindling revenue is affecting the government even the oil theft is not helping matter too. To be fair, some of them are trying their best in keeping faith with their electoral promises. It is the duty of traditional rulers to remind them of what they have not done.

What does future really hold for traditional institutions in Nigeria?

The future is bright and it is a good one. But nowadays, there are some impostors among traditional rulers parading themselves as monarch. You see people wearing crown about and they are just ordinary chiefs.

They will go and get staff of office themselves. They tend to put traditional institution into disrepute but people will not know the difference, once they see the dressing, ordinary person will think they are truly monarch.

Government should revisit the Chief Law and make it more stringent, and there should be ways of dealing with impostors among us.

Another thing is about our welfare and the demand for constitutional roles for traditional rulers. These roles will make us command more respect from our subjects and it will make us perform our traditional duties to maintain law and order at the grassroot level.

Ordinarily, We now have successful professionals such as: lawyers, pharmacists, doctors, professors, engineers as traditional rulers.

What are the efforts being made by the council of traditional rulers to flush out fake traditional rulers among them?* 

The Institution is taking steps to flush out these undeserable elements. I think last year, the Osun State Council of Obas under the leadership of Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, set up a committee to look at Osun State Chief’s Law with the hope of reviewing it.

I am a member of the committee, led by Aragbiji of Iragbaji, Oba AbdulRasheed Olabomi, and the issue is to deal with the menace of fake chiefs addressing themselves as traditional rulers. The report was submitted and the state government went ahead to uphold our recommendations and one of the recommendations is for the State Government to set up a tripartite committee that will include monarchs, executive and legislature. So, the committee will look into the Chiefs Law, and I received a letter as member. I am optimistic that the committee will deal decisively with impostors among us. It is going to regulate a lot of things, because, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi is really bordered about it and doesn’t want traditional institutions to be bastardized.

What are your contributions since your ascension into the throne of your forefathers in Ifetedo land?

I thank God that since my ascension into the throne, my subjects, home and diaspora have been really cooperating with me with a view to take the town into a greater heights. I hold them gratitude.

What does the future hold for the ancient town, like projection?

The future I am projecting for the town is that in the next 20 years, I want Ifetedo to have attained greatness, especially in education, producing about 50 medical doctors. Education has been of more paramount importance to me.

I convened education summit in April, 2019. What led me to that was that students who were supposed to be in school during school hours were seen roaming the streets. Then, I asked my aids to collect and search their bags and we saw school uniforms in their bags or some putting on mofty on their school uniform.

I had meeting with principals of secondary schools, they explained their predicament to me that some of the students would come to school for sometime and later leave but would not go home. There are cases of some students who would gather themselves somewhere and be smoking marijuana.

One of the resolutions of the summit was that parents and guardians should sit-up especially on education of their children. Many of the parents have left responsibilities of taking care of their children into the hands of their teachers.

So, any student roaming the streets during school hours will be picked up and handed over to me. Then, his/her parent has to explain. Today, hardly can you see children of school age roaming streets in Ifetedo, because their parents have yielded my warning. We had another summit in August, 2022 which was well attended.  And, Ifetedo Development Council recently informed me that a committee has been set-up to work on the recommendations of the summit.The next investment is agriculture, because Ifetedo is an agrarian environment and we want to invite some experts to train our youths on agriculture. We will make land available for them and I will take the lead by having my own farm to set the pace.

Your advice for your subjects and Nigerians come 2023 general elections?

My advice is that they should restrain themselves from all acts of violence and hooliganism during the elections. I have been telling them that if any politician is engaging them to forment violence, they should be courageous enough to tell such politician to call his children to do it.

The politicians should play the game according to the rules and play politics without bitterness, because in any contest, there is bound to be a winner and loser. Let whoever that wins be magnanimous in victory.

The loser should show that he believes in democracy by embracing the winner, because the person who loses today may win tomorrow. They should be committed to their electoral promises.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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