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Posts tagged ‘Babatunde Fashola’

APGA demands immediate reopening of Lagos market shut in bid to force traders to register for APC.


The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has demanded the immediate reopening

of a major market in Nigeria’s economic capital, Lagos, shut a week ago in a bid to force the traders to register as members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the party’s nationwide membership drive.

Iponri market in mainland Lagos was shut by policemen mobilised by Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, daughter of APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom he previously installed as the Iyaloja (President- General of Market Traders) of Lagos. She ruled that the market would be reopened only if the traders produced their APC membership cards.

Reacting to News Express’ second story on the issue in four days, Acting National Publicity Secretary of APGA, Mr. Stanley Chira, said this afternoon: “APGA condemns this act of impunity by Tinubu’s daughter in the strongest term. Iyaloja is not the governor of the state; she is not the commissioner in charge of markets; neither is she a security personnel. So there is no basis or empowerment that gave her such powers to become an empress to lord it over the affairs of Nigerians living in Lagos. She may be intimidating the governor of Lagos State but she should not extend it to places of interest to APGA and Umuigbo.”

Stressing that the market closure is adversely affecting the fortunes of innocent traders, many of whom are Igbos, Chira said: “APGA is calling on Governor Babatunde Fashola to call Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo to order. She should not rekindle the anger of Ndi Igbo experienced during the deportation saga of last year. Enough of this tendency to treat Ndi Igbo as second-class citizens.”

Fashola Funding APC Registration From State Treasury – Lagos PDP.


The  Lagos State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has accused  the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, of sponsoring the  ongoing All Progressives Congress, APC membership registration from the  State Treasury, while at the same time crippling governance in order to  participate and monitor the said registration exercise.
In a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Lagos  State, Mr. Taofik Gani, the party also berates what it termed  mismanagement of funds and maladministration by some of the 57 Council  Chairmen whom they alleged have replicated same act in their various  Council Areas.
“We can now confirm that the ongoing APC membership registration,  especially in Lagos State, is enjoying the sponsorship of Governor  Fashola. The Governor has also condoned the decision of the 57 Council  chairmen to divert their council funds into the clearly party exercise.
“They have spent at least 7billion Naira paying for the registration  materials, staff, massive promo adverts at all levels, and inducing  persons to register. This amount could have been better utilised to  improve the lives of Lagosians”, the statement read.
Consequently, the Lagos PDP has hinted that it may invite the  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to probe the  allegations.
“This party, APC, has no membership yet and cannot claim any  financial membership as well. Who, then is bankrolling their ongoing  membership registration process? Governor Fashola must give us answer to  this question.
“Lagosians demand to know. We have stronger, direct and  circumstantial evidence for the EFCC to proof that the ongoing APC  membership registration is being sponsored from the Lagos State  treasury”, it concluded.           by: Channels Television.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Lagos Magistrate Court Grants Injunction Against Police Land Take Over Of Atiporome Community.

Some of the protesting land owners at the Lagos secreatriat
By SaharaReporters, New York

A magistrate court judge in Badagry has granted an injunction against a police invasion, and demolition of over a thousand houses at Atiporome community in Badagry.

The magistrate, Judge Adesanya (Mrs.) ruled on Wednesday that the police invasion and demolition of the houses was in contempt of court, as a suit was pending regarding the  ownership and tussle on the land.

Magistrate Adesanya in her ruling also lambasted the police over its arbitrary demolition of more than 1,500 houses in the Atiporome community. She wrote the action by the police left residents there homeless.

Just a few weeks before their removal, Atiporome community residents had stormed the offices of the Lagos State Government in Ikeja. They aired their complaints and demanded government intervention on their behalf. But not much came with the airing of their plight before government officials. The Lagos State Government was also busy, ironically, at the time, wrestling with residents of the Okun-Idasho community, in Ibeju-Lekki, in a strikingly similar legal battle, to take over their land for its Lagos Free Trade Zone project.

In recent weeks before the new injunction, police had demolished well over a thousand houses in the community, claiming ownership to the land.

The magistrate ordered the police authority to be immediately served with the court order to avoid further excesses, as she ruled on the application for injunction. This latest legal step was filed collectively by members of the Atiporome community.

The matter was adjourned set for a March 20th hearing.


What Hope For Inclusive-Education In Lagos? By Augustina Armstrong-Ogbonna.

By Augustina Armstrong-Ogbonna

To all intent and purposes, Lagos state still ranks top when it comes to innovations and promotion of education. One of these innovations in the area of education is the running of several inclusive schools across the state. In Lagos state, thirty-two government owned schools run inclusive-education for the deaf, blind, dumb, mentally and physically challenged. The secondary schools operating inclusive-education for the deaf and hearing-impaired are located in Eric-Moore:Surulere, Badagry, Epe, Ikeja and Ikorodu.

Since the beginning of the 2013/2014 academic session, students of Ikeja Senior High School lacks teachers for the deaf class. The population of the deaf students, which was about seventy at the beginning of the academic year, has begun to reduce as some of the students in the senior class have withdrawn from the school.

Investigation reveals that only ten students are left in the senior high school and two have withdrawn, but they may become extinct by the end of the academic year if sign language teachers or interpreters are not employed to teach the students.

One of the teachers at Ikeja High School, who spoke under anonymity said everyday is depressing for the hearing impaired students in the senior class as the teachers who come to teach the students continue to speak to the deaf students. Also a recent visit by one of the officials from the Lagos State Ministry of Education to the school indicated that the state government is not ready to employ teachers for the hearing-impaired students.

Ikeja High School is the only government owned school under Ikeja District 6 operating inclusive education for the hearing impaired. Further investigation reveals that Ikeja High School is been directed to admit students with hearing impairment, but the school has only two sign language teachers for the whole hearing impaired student population.

Also at State Grammar Schoool Eric Moore Surulere that has an estimated population of over 400 hearing impaired students for both junior and senior school, teachers are also in short supply. The school has about ten teachers for the deaf students and only one mathematics teacher for the hearing impaired students.

One of the volunteer teacher who was part of the Lagos state “Eko Project” Mr. Olajide Adeniyi said if not for the Eko project, education in state would have suffered lots of set back. He explained that most of the teachers recruited for the project function as full time teachers but are paid only #15,000. “As at the moment, most schools have stopped paying the Eko Project teachers and this has resulted to lack of teachers in most schools across the state. Here in State Grammar School, I am no longer an Eko Project teacher but I volunteer to teach mathematics to the junior secondary school students in class 3 to assist them in preparing for the junior WAEC exam. If not for my passion for these children, I would have left but they will be ill prepared for the major examinations”, he added.

At Wesley School for the Deaf located in Surulere, one of the teachers who spoke under anonymity lamented that the introduction of inclusive education in 2007 by the Fashola administration was a good concept but it lack monitoring and is gradually becoming a burden. According to him, over ten teachers were recruited from Wesley School for the Deaf to assist other schools that started operating inclusive education but till date none of those teachers were replaced. “The government is not employing teachers for students with special need training. It takes a lot of patience and psychological development to transfer knowledge to hearing impaired students. Most times we rely on students from colleges of education who come for their basic teaching practice experience, if not for them it won’t have been easy for us the teachers to cope with the work load. Though things have changed compared to the past, as students enrollment has increased over the years. We have people enrolling there children from an early age, this is a good for the educational development of the child. Most deaf students don’t like going home after school because their family members don’t know how to communicate in sign language. I will recommend for there to be more schools for the hearing impaired especially boarding school facilities as this help the children to integrate with their fellow classmates and boost their academic performance”, he concluded.

Efforts by Our correspondent to get reaction from the Public Relations Officer PRO Mr. Jide of the Lagos State Ministry of Education proved abortive as he described the lack of teachers at Ikeja High School for the hearing impaired as an allegation that needs to be confirmed.

Access to universal basic education is one of the seven Millennium Development Goals MDG, which member countries of the United Nations are meant to attain by 2015. But these goals of which provision of universal basic education is one have challenges bedeviling it which may hinder it attainment in many states of the country. It is still unfortunate that many top government officials do not see education beyond formal schooling for the able and privileged children. Whereas so many Al-majiri children are scattered across the Northern part of the country who with little exposure to education will make them better citizens. It is in this regard that planning and catering for these children with special needs as well as the Al-majiris should be part of annual state and federal budgeting.


Ejigbo Pepper Sodomy And Murder Case : Lagos Gov’t Moves Rest Of Victims And Family Into “Witness Protection”, Rewards Whistleblowers.


By SaharaReporters, New York

The Lagos State Assembly handed over the family of Mr. Freeman Agomah to the Office of the Public Defender today in the latest development in the Ejigbo pepper sodomy, torture and murder case.

The Lagos State Assembly told the family they would no longer live at their residence but live far away from the area to help them overcome the trauma. Mr. Agomah and his wife were given N500,000.

Mr. Agomah’s wife and two daughters were tortured and sodomized by a gang of men in Ejigbo, allegedly last February.  One of the daughter’s Juliana died as a result of her injuries two months later.

A video of the horrific incident went viral on the internet leading to public outrage and a demand for a full investigation.  The Lagos State Assembly held a public hearing this month.  A criminal gang has since been arrested accused of the torture, extorting money from Mr. Agomah, and banishing the family from their residence in Ejigbo. The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar had earlier directed federal detectives in Lagos to take over the case from the Lagos command.

At the Assembly public hearing a reward of N1.25million  was offered for any information leading to an arrest of the perpetrators, and information about the family.  A woman who contacted Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, President of Women Arise through her Facebook page told her of the whereabouts of the family, was rewarded N500, 000. An elderly Ejigbo man whom gave information that led to the arrest of the gang was rewarded with N250,000.

Mr. Agomah’s daughter, a teenager also sodomized by the vigilante gang gave testimony today.   She was 12 years old when the incident happened.   The family had moved her to Ilorin, Kwara State to help her forget the incident, and continue her schooling.

During her testimony, she said she was sodomized with pepper after the gang had finished with her stepsister, Juliana.  She gave names of the gang members saying she knew them all, and that one of them had asked her out before but she had turned him down.

She said he made mockery and fun of her exposed parts during the torture, quoting him saying, “You rejected my love advances and now I hope you can see that I have it by other chance.”

Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, President of Women Arise told Saharareproters, only now could she relax since seeing the horrible video, “I could not sleep, I could not feed well and I did not actually feel we were in a festive period because I was totally devastated looking at how a fellow woman was being dehumanized.”

“But now that the perpetrators have been apprehended and the family rehabilitated, although it’s sad that one of them is dead, if someone greets me my own Christmas and New Year greeting, I will answer. I could not answer it at the time when I saw the clip,” she said.

She called on the government to enact a law that criminalizes jungle justice. She added that fellow citizens could relate similar injustices to her through her Facebook page, so that collective actions could be taken on issues of human dignity and violation of rights.

The Nigerian School Is Dead… By Prince Dickson.

By Prince Charles Dickson

The gun does not know who carries it. Anonymous

The last two weeks, many of the young university kids I speak with seem unnecessarily in a hurry, and have a false sense of seriousness, one that had been missing in the last six months. The rasion detre is one word—EXAMS!

The Nigerian school is dead, this maybe, a harsh comment to make however, it is not far from the truth, infact I see it as the truth. Sometime in 2006, I had written a letter to then Minister for Education, Chinwe Obaji, it was in the incubating stage of the “third term’ saga, she never replied, I am almost tempted to copy the letter to the current Minister, Wike, but again, it is the heat of 2015, so I do not expect a response, so I would address my admonition to ASUU, Parents and Nigerians at large.

There is this book titled School Is Dead, it is a sociological text, by Everett W. Reimer and old one at that written in the good old 70′s I think 1971 precisely, it was those days, Nigeria had money and spending it was a problem.

The book discusses alternatives in education, the book was about the fallacy of school, it debunked the value of school in the society, and it talked about schools having empty walls. It was primarily by an advocate of de-schooling.

For a book that old it must not just be a sociological text, but a prophetic piece today in the light of where we are in our educational journey.

And ask me where are we, as a nation educationally? I would tell you, we are at the point where kids write exams after staying at home for six months watching premier league, Mexican soaps, and going to several MTN/GLO music gigs ‘screaming no long thing and nothing dey happen’, when indeed the nation is in for a long thing and a lot is happening.

Why is school dead in Nigeria, do I need tell us what we already painfully know, so I am only reminding us.

I honestly cannot grasp regarding the real tangible and intangible gains of  a six-month industrial action that ended with teachers paid for not going to work, please where is the logic and moral, when there is even in-fighting how the money should be shared. Have we solved the issues…NO!

All I see are  ‘olodos’ and empty-headed ‘spaghetti and jeans wearing’ young people that litter our dead buildings called schools, in the name of they called off the strike and we are back to school. Same buildings, same lecturers, the modus operandi is still same difference.

I weep for this nation because we cannot have a nation with a generation of young persons who lack qualitative education baptized in the waters of the 3E’s Enlightment, Exposure and Experience. Beyond those well-prepared speeches at convocation grounds and occasions, the Nigerian School system is dead and most of us cannot see any reason this should be the portion of a nation that has and continue to produce a lot of first class brains nationally and internationally.

Sadly, school is dead, today’s students come with their smiles but little to offer for all the years of numerous assignments, group work, candle light burning, sex-for-marks and handouts buying. Even the basics of their chosen field seem very alien when mentioned to them.

It’s sad that I do not know exactly how some of our so-called schools feel when the let loose these caliber of empty-headed products.

Despite all the propaganda of free education by some states, the scholarship schemes scattered, both home and abroad, what we have is simple politicking, PTDF wont pay scholarship monies because monies have got stuck somewhere, The UBE thing has been all propaganda with most States Primary Education Board serving as conduit pipe for educational donor agencies’ money to State CEOs.

Really where are the schools in Nigeria, …the type you went to, the same Baptist Secondary School, Ansaru Deen, St. Gregory, Sardauna Memorial, Barewa College, the Unity schools and many such in which discipline, and morals were treated?

Today what we have are prestige schools were the school fees run in millions of Naira, infact some of these so called ‘good’ schools charge their tuition fees in hard currency in our own country and no one is saying anything.

Now young graduates do all sorts of things to make a living when their paper qualification cannot fetch them the big break or the executive seat and all the years at the University or Polytechnic did not prepare them for the task ahead and the society itself is not ready for them.

In 2014, pupils will still receive classes under the trees, after Grammar school our young ones may only have the likes of Obasanjo to thank on how to write an open letter skills.

In public universities, lecturers are playing their own game turning the ivory tower into an all comers affair, it is enter as you pay or pay as you enter, the course determines the price, admission racketeering is a rave, JAMB has been jammed, there is no belief in the system.

Half of the entire nation’s education has been entrusted into the private school system where standardization and quality control are Latin terms and are treated as non-issue.

One morning it is six years mandatory primary education by noon it is nine years by night who knows. One state is returning schools, another is taking it back, the policy makers do not even have faith in the system they claim to be reforming.

Can I ask the Reuben Abatis, the Fani-Kayodes, the Fasholas, Rabiu of Kwakasiya fame, Rochas and co, which school do you children attend, how much do they pay per term or session, how many Nigerians away from your league can pay that amount, the local primary school in your village what is the state, is it not dead?

Take a visit to the primary school the President attended…visit Bisi Akande’s or Lai Mohammed’s Primary schools, or is it that they did not attend one?

I have said as a nation, we have the wherewithal to make education from primary to tertiary free, let ability be the determinant. The way we are treating our educational system, I dare say that when the consequences will stare on our face, may it not be like the gun, it does not know who carries it, do we want to resurrect our schools, only time will tell

Okada Drivers’ Analysis of 2014 Budget By Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo.


“Everyone is involved in the budget- making process. Both the intelligent and the unintelligent. Even okada drivers have become budget analysts.” Dr. Reuben Abati on SaharaTV.

(Somewhere in Oshodi, Lagos. Mid-day. Two okada drivers meet each other as they take a break. )

Driver No1: O’ boy, Happy New Year to you.
Driver No2: Happy New Year, my brother. How market?
Driver No1: O’boy things dey slow. Since this budget commot, nothing dey move.
Driver No2: Which budget?
Driver No1: The federal budget.
Driver No2: Oh, I never see am. I still dey talk about that huge crocodile captured in Omole Estate. Imagine, the thing spoke to people asking for a human being to eat.
Driver No1: Forget that long tori. This budget has better stories inside.
Driver No2: You get copy for here?
Driver No1: Yeah! (He dips his hand into a goat skin bag attached to the passenger seat. He brings out a worn out bound copy of Obasanjo’s Letter to Jonathan, he places it on his motorbike’s gas tank. He digs deeper, brings out Aba made copy of “Foreign Gods Inc.” by Okey Ndibe. Again he drops it on the gas tank. And then he finds a rumpled copy of the budget. He hands it over to Driver No2)
Driver No2: Wetin dey there? Abeg tell me, hunger dey wire me. I no fit read now.
Driver No1: Ok, wetin you wan know?
Driver No2: How much the president dey get for food allowance this year?
Driver No1: Very interesting that you went to that one. It actually came down this year.
Driver No2: To what?
Driver No1: Only N362 million.
Driver No2: Ah! They don tie someone belly be that.
Driver No1: For where?
Driver No2: For Germany.
Driver No1:No, I mean, they know say some of you go fix your eyes for that one so they cut am down. That should tell you all that the defense they put up the last time that the allowance was almost N1 billion naira was shakara. But they come shift the money to other places.
Driver No2: Like where?
Driver No1: They budgeted N872 million for generators in Nigerian embassies around the world including embassies in Washington and New York. Me, I never enter plane before but I know say NEPA no dey take power for New York the way dey take power for here in Oshodi.
Driver No2: They think say we be mumu.
Driver No1: There is more. They have N30 million in the budget for our embassies in Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Ghana, etc to maintain their jets and boats.
Driver No2: Nigerian embassies get boats and private jets?
Driver No1: How I go know? I’ve never been inside any Nigerian embassy before.
Driver No2: Maybe the private jet na for emergency. Maybe if there is war in that country the ambassador will jump into the jet and fly out.
Driver No1: So, do you know how many embassies we have around the world? If they all get a jet, then we are finished. What’s the sense in getting a jet for the embassy when you cannot pay embassy workers?
Driver No2: They no dey pay our embassy workers?
Driver No1: I read that in a newspaper. Some of the workers say they clean toilets in places like Germany to make ends meet.
Driver No2: Me, I no go clean white man’s toilet. Instead make I stay here dey suffer. And about the boat… where man fit run go with a boat?
Driver No1: How I go know? Ok, now the president is using N1.9 billion to make a down payment for a new jet.
Driver No2: Wetin be down payment?
Driver No1: Na when you make a deposit and then make payment every month until you finish the whole payment.
Driver No2: Oh! Na so I dey take pay for this my okada. But come o, the president dey buy one jet every year?
Driver No1: I don’t know. Some papers say this will be the 11th presidential jet. While serious Presidents like Malawian president is selling off the only one they have due to high cost of maintenance, our man wey no get shoes few years ago dey add one a year. The down payment thing na trick. Before dey go just buy the thing outright. Now, thanks to Stella Oduah’s N255 million BMW strategy, they spread it out so that you don’t see the real cost and hala.
Driver No2: This people dey take us like real mumu.
Driver No1: It hasn’t finished o. The president is asking for N1.6 billion for Baylsea state.
Driver No2: For wetin?
Driver No1:To connect the state to the national grid.
Driver No2:Ok. That one good now.
Driver No1: But people say the job was completed in 2006.
Driver No2: So na ghost contract be that.
Driver No1: And so on and so forth. Two animals for villa zoo go cost N34.5 million. For foreign trips the president will spend N2.4 billion, without any guarantee that he will make a speech when he gets there. The executive branch will spend N7 billion just to travel this year. And listen to this one- the president who talk say power go dey stable before July this year but he still dey budget over N800 million for Aso Rock generator. That one suppose make you feel confidence say everything go dey alright.
Driver No2: They don finish us for this country. But wetin Ngozi Okonjo Iweala dey say about all these things? I hear say she’s coordinating the economy.
Driver No1: Na she take the budget go present to the house.
Driver No2: No, she didn’t.
Driver No 1: Yes, she did.
Driver No 2: Why she no remove all those fake things in the budget?
Driver No1: Maybe she did not read it.
Driver No2: How can she present what she didn’t read? With all her Harvard education?
Driver No1: You no hear say $10 billion was missing from the Federal Account because NNPC failed to report it? Did Ngozi, the minister of finance and the coordinating minister of the economy say anything about it? Eh? You no hear say she tell the National Assembly that she didn’t know anything about N200 billion kerosene subsidy. She said na NNPC go explain it.
Driver No2: And she is the coordinating minister of the economy? Na like that she take rise come become Vice President for World Bank? Eh! So na true say all of dem full of dorti-dorti?
Driver No1: Capital expenditure na only N27%. Others na debt servicing and recurrent expenditure.
Driver No2: Wetin be the difference between capital and recurrent?
Driver No1: Capital na new things they wan do. Recurrent na the money wey dey done spend jeje.
Driver No2: E get as e bi. All those people na winchi. Otherwise how dey go turn 150 million of us into mumu. As for the government, why do they do these things to themselves? Tomorrow they go shed crocodile tears. This one, no opposition media made them table this kin budget.
Driver No 1: Na yawa!
Driver No 2: But em, I hear say the budget na just a proposal. The National Assembly will surely strike out useless things in there.
Driver No1: Which National Assembly? These people wey go just collect bribe from ministers and close nose sign off on it.
Driver No 2: E don reach like that?
Driver No1: In fact, they go insert their own ojolo into the budget to swell the stealing. To tell you how serious the thing is, the budget is $29 billion but NNPC alone cannot account for $10 billion oil revenue in one year.
Driver No2: My prayer be say make God butter my bread this year. I go join them and get my own share. Na awoof everybody dey look for. No be so?
Driver No1: You suppose start with that crocodile you were talking about. If you had taken it to Abuja, it could be the first animal in the Villa zoo. You go begin to chop.
Driver No2: E get as ebe. This country get money yet man pikin dey suffer.
Driver No1: You know you can change career.
Driver No2: Like what?
Driver No1: Be a militant. 30,000 of them are taken care of in the budget. They are getting paid. Millions!
Driver No2: Man pikin don tire o. So who dey look out for people like me and you in this budget? Dey go chop remain for people like us?
Driver No1: Everyman for himself. That’s Nigeria for you. They talk say the economy dey grow by 6% every year. So if you open your mouth well well, one day roasted cricket go fall in.
Driver No2: (Screams) Comot for road! That kabu-kabu driver dey drive like a drunk man.
Driver No1: (Dodges. His Okada falls on the ground. He recovers and picks his okada up and gathers his papers on the floor.) Chie! Who send am? No be me he see. It’s not my portion.
Driver No2: Just like that, everything for dabaru now for you.
Driver No1: See me see trouble! (dusts off his pants)
Driver No2: About that Aso Rock zoo, is it late for me to find that talking crocodile seen in Omole Estate? We fit sell am to the president.
Driver No1: Why will he want a crocodile?
Driver No2: Mobuto had one. So did Idi Amin. He go dey feed the animal with his enemies. And save money.
Driver No1: Despite the talk about Sniper List, the president is not a violent man. E go better if you sell it to him as an Aso Rock resident that will be producing crocodile tears for the villa.
(Driver No3 pulls up near Driver No 1 and Driver No2. They exchange pleasantries)
Driver No3: Wetin una dey talk about?
Driver No1: Na this 2014 budget.
Driver No3: So wetin Reuben Abati talk na true?
Driver No 1: Wetin he talk?
Driver No 3: He talk say unintelligent Okada drivers dey discuss budget too. Ah!
Driver No 1: Na lie. The man don lose his mind, I know but he no fit talk something like that. Ah. He no go dey government forever.
Driver No 3: I swear. I read am for Punch newspaper today.
Driver No 1: (Calls on a vendor passing along the other side of the road.) Vendor! Vendor! Vendor! You get Punch?
Driver No 3: Lookia my friend, leave the vendor alone. Who reads newspaper hardcopy these days? Come make I show you the story on my phone internet.
Driver No2: (Rubs his right hand over his stomach)My man, e don do for me. Abeg, make I go fin passenger. I no fit sit down here dey talk while the people who dey chop dey chop and dey wipe mouth.


Nigeria’s Problems Rooted In Ethno-Religious Intolerance -Fashola.

Ayo Balogun, Lagos

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State says the main problems confronting the Nigeria nation are rooted in ethno-religious intolerance and advocated unity of purpose among the citizens as a means to solve the nation’s problems.

Lagos state governor Babatunde Fashola

Lagos state governor Babatunde Fashola

In his New Year message to Lagosians, Fashola said the problems currently bedeviling the country were mainly man-made and that such would only take an agreement among the people to resolve to remove the things they find unacceptable in the society.

According to him, the nation’s problems, whether economic, social or political, were rooted in ethnic and religious intolerance, saying that the panacea lay in the belief by citizens in the Nigerian Project and the resolution to determine the kind of country of our collective dreams.

“Looking back at all that we went through in the past year, perhaps, the time has come for us all to take an introspective look at ourselves in an attempt to get to the root of our problems and challenges. The truth of the matter is that, whether it is the downturn in the economy or our worsening security situation, the challenges are traceable to ourselves”, the governor said.

Fashola recalled, with nostalgia, the situation in the country in the early sixties when the citizens saw themselves as just Nigerians irrespective of tribe, tongue or religion, and declared, “We have, as a result of myopic self and group interests, created an octopus that is threatening to devour our collective heritage. That Octopus is embedded in the twin evils of ethnic and religious intolerance.”

“Recently, I had the privilege of attending the Command Performance of “Kakadu, the Musical”, and it reminded me of the Nigeria of the early post-Independence era when it did not matter where you came from. It is a story that we all must imbibe in order to recreate that glorious era when we were all Nigerians, though tribe and tongue and religion may differ. It is set against the background of a newly Independent Nigeria brimming with hope, dreams and expectations. So we have a reference base,” he said.

He pleaded “that hope, dreams and expectations must not be lost, we must resolve this New Year to return to ourselves and give impetus to them. To do this successfully, we must begin to believe in Nigeria and the Nigerian Project once more. We must start by defining for ourselves the kind of future that we want. It is only when we agree on this that we can unite our efforts towards recreating the Nigeria of our collective dreams and make it come true.”

The governor expressed his delight that the situation in Lagos had been that of religious harmony even in the midst of the challenges and difficulties that had bedeviled the country in recent times, adding that almost every family in Lagos has members of different Faith living together in harmony.

“In spite of the growing population of Nigerians of all Faith and ethnicity in this city, Lagosians have been able to define themselves and each other not by how they worship but who they are, how godly they are, how humane they are, how warm and friendly they are. It is a harmony that we do not intend to keep to ourselves alone but to share the essence with other states,” he stated.

He thanked all Lagosians “for achieving this feat even in the midst of manifest intolerance and sometimes provocation”, urging them, however, not to rest on their oars. “We must work very hard not only to keep it that way but to improve on it continually. Our modest success in the past years in transforming our dear State into a model mega-city in Africa has had its foundation on this peaceful and harmonious co-existence.”

He promised that his administration would continue to make the people its focus by putting in place policies from which enormous advantages could be drawn for the people’s benefit adding, “The policies and programmes such as the massive infrastructural renewal, Greening and Beautification as well as our investment in security and street lighting which we embarked on in the last six years have created thousands of jobs, both directly and indirectly, for our people.

“From these people-oriented programmes and many others, we have created new economies which were hardly there at the beginning. Night life and night economy, which had hitherto disappeared from our lives have been brought back”, the Governor said pledging that the administration would continue on this trend till the end of its lifespan.”

Wishing all Lagosians a prosperous New Year 2014, Fashola, however, advised, “I will only enjoin you to continue to play your parts as good and law- abiding citizens. Be vigilant and resist all attempts by detractors to distract us from our set goals. Our development plan encompasses the whole State and we will reach all parts    with the quality service which we believe that you deserve.

“In this brand New Year 2014, therefore, please let us continue to work together and pray for both our country and our dear State for peace, stability and let us continue to lead from the front in all that is right and worthy in this country and Continent.”

Source: African Examiner.

Lagos Assembly Fails To Pass Fashola’s N489.7 Billion Budget, Blames 10 MDAs.

Ayo Balogun, Lagos

Against all expectations, the Lagos State House of Assembly has failed to pass the N489.7 billion presented to it by Governor Babatunde Fashola for the 2014 fiscal year.



The governor presented the budget proposal to the House in October, but the House on Monday failed to pass the budget before the New Year.

This is unlike in 2012 when the Assembly passed the budget before going on recess for the New Year.

The Assembly blamed 10 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the delay in passing the budget as they refused to submit to the House the necessary documents to facilitate the passage of the appropriation bill.

The concerned MDAs are Eko Project, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABCA), Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA), Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget and Ministry of Transportation.

Others are the Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project, LMDGP, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and Lottery Board.

The House has therefore ordered those MDAs to forward the document by 2 January, 2014 to the Appropriation Committee of the House.

On the floor of the House on Monday, a lawmaker, representing Badagry 11 Constituency, Hon. Suru Avoseh called the attention of his colleagues to report forwarded to him as inconclusive.

Chairman, House Committee on Budget and Appropriation, Mudashiru Obasa lamented that 10 MDAs had not supplied the necessary documents that would lead   to further deliberation on the report.

The committee chairman said the affected MDAs appeared before the House and were asked to present the documents, but that up till the sitting period, the committee had not received any of the documents, saying that he had laid the report hoping that before the presentation, the documents would get to the House, adding that the committee had written to the affected government institutions, yet there had been no favourable response.

The Chief Whip, Abdulrazaq Balogun observed that the MDAs deliberately refused to supply the necessary report and that they deserved to be compelled in doing so while Ipoola Omisore, Ifako-Ijaiye II said “it is the desire of the House to pass the appropriation bill before the end of the year. It is not right for any MDA to hold us back.”

Speaker of the House, Adeyemi Ikuforiji said that the House would have proceeded on recess after passing the bill but added that this was no longer possible as member must wait for the bill to be passed before embarking on such recess.

Source: African Examiner.

Femi Pedro Dumps PDP, ReJoins Tinubu in APC.

Ayo Balogun, Lagos

Former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Otunba Femi Pedro after wandering in the wilderness has dumped the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and came back home to join the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Former Deputy Governor of Lagos State Femi Pedro

Former Deputy Governor of Lagos State Femi Pedro

Pedro was the deputy governor to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in 2003 to 2007 and fell apart with the former governor towards the tail end of his administration under the flagship of the then Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN.

He was impeached by the Lagos State House of Assembly towards the tail end of Tinubu’s administration after the former governor instigated his boys at the Assembly to impeach him and labeled his deputy a traitor and betrayer.

Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, the then ACN Lagos State Chairman was made deputy governor for two weeks after Pedro’s impeachment.

Pedro dumped ACN for Labour Party and contested the 2007 governorship election and lost to the incumbent Lagos Governor, Babatunde Fashola.

He then wandered to the PDP in a bid to get the party’s ticket to vie for the 2011 governorship ticket of the party but lost out. He has been in the political wilderness since then and now, he is back home to join the APC where his former boss, Tinubu is the alpha and omega.

A statement from Pedro’s Special Adviser, Media and Strategy, Lanre Anjolaiya said after series of discussions between Pedro and the national leadership of the APC, it was clear that they mutually shared the desire to see Nigeria become great again.

“Otunba Pedro is convinced, beyond any shadow of doubt, that the APC offers that veritable platform to put Nigeria back along the path of glory and prosperity. For this reason, I am delighted to announce that Otunba Femi Pedro has formally declared for the APC. He left the PDP with his teeming supporters and party stalwarts across the Southwest to partner with the party of the progressives-APC – towards the attainment of these noble objectives,” he said.

“The former Deputy Governor of Lagos is irrevocably committed to help actualize the task of building democratic and institutional standards that are not only responsive and accountable to the people, but one that signpost what an APC-led Federal Government promises as from 2015. The landmark achievements and performances of the progressive governors and legislators in the APC-controlled States bear eloquent testimony to the tenacity of purpose of the party’s leadership,” Anjolaiya stated.

He added that Pedro was mindful that Nigeria, more than ever before, is in dire need of purposeful leadership committed to leading “us out of the woods; and one for which all men of good conscience must join hands. The task of nation building no doubt comes with challenges and always at great personal costs; yet it must be fulfilled by genuine patriots,” adding that this informed Pedro’s decision to join the APC.

Source: African Examiner.

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