He told delegates and party faithful who gathered at the Eagle Square venue of the convention that these achievements include reform in the railway system, airports, road network, agriculture, almajiri education, and changes in the electoral process. He also indicated that there were signs that the power sector reform would work. The president, however, dedicated one short paragraph each to national burning issues such as unstable oil prices, war against corruption, and separation of powers between the executive and the legislature. On corruption, he said the administration’s efforts have been acknowledged worldwide and that he will do more to fight it.
President Jonathan also said he would continue with efforts to save the environment from degradation in the form of desertification and soil erosion. He paid specific attention in the speech to the issue of Boko Haram insurgency and violence, which he warned might likely increase during the election year. Citizens must stop bickering and fighting over the prosecution of the war on terror, he said. According to him squabbling emboldens terrorists to believe that the nation is divided and demoralizes the armed forces in the battlefield. “Nigeria is not a land of despair. We are a people who show commitment and unity of purpose.
Just look at how we stood up to the Ebola Virus Disease. We are a hard-working nation. And we will go from strength to strength,” he said to loud applause. “Our best days are before us, not behind us. He urged Nigerians to support him to finish “what we started together,” and promised that if elected, he would govern with humility, moderation, simplicity, forthrightness, openness and inclusiveness, firmness and strength. “Do not descend to their level. He also had a word for PDP defectors, asking them to tell the truth in their campaigns. ” Many of the developments in your States were initiated by the PDP. In more than once instance during the speech, the President stated that he will campaign to win the election. To ensure this outcome, he charged the delegates, who he commissioned as his campaign mobilizes, to go back to their communities and get people out to vote. One way to do this is to ensure that sympathetic voters have their voting cards, and are motivated to vote PDP, he said.
In 1999 and the years that followed, one man had the chance to correct this but he chose to keep quiet. That silence set the tone for that injustice and for President Buhari to correct this, it is as if we were in chains and suddenly being set free,” she stated. Not a few South-West leaders share Hafsat’s position but for human rights activist and constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, conferring the prestigious GCFR on Abiola is not enough for Buhari to reap bloc votes from the South-West. According to him, pertinent issues pertaining to structural imbalances in the Nigerian federation are more pertinent to the Yoruba nation than the posthumous award bestowed on the late philanthropist-turned politician. Ozekhome told Saturday Vanguard exclusively that those who think the South-West is now Buhari to lose would need to have a rethink.
“Many Yoruba people never agreed with Abiola even though many of them did. The issues that will determine or shape 2019 are multifarious than the GCFR award on Abiola. The award, though very important, is just one of them. The question of restructuring to remove the glaring and suffocating lopsided imbalances in Nigeria is more urgent and dear to the Yoruba nation than the GCFR. I don’t think this sophisticated ethnic group has been bribed,” he stated. For sure, last week event at the Banquet Hall of the Aso Rock Villa has earned President Buhari a deserved accolade but there is more to worry about for him and his ruling party.
In the South-West, the APC has suffered some electoral setbacks, enough to cause President Buhari sleepless nights in the months leading to the polls. In July 2017, the then candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ademola Adeleke defeated APC’s Mudashir Hussain to win the Osun-West Senatorial bye-election with an impressive margin. While Ademola polled a total of 97, 480 votes, Hussain garnered a total of 66, 116 to emerged second on the log. This was in spite of the State being under the control of the APC government-led of Governor Rauf Aregbesola. A fortnight ago, a similar scenario played out in the election to Ibarapa East parliamentary bye-election into the Oyo State House of Assembly. Will Buhari change this pattern of electoral misfortune with the conferment of the GCFR on one of Yoruba’s notable sons?
Will the Yoruba as a people carry the Buhari cross in 2019, believing it would be worth their sacrifice? The answers, as it were, remain buried in the womb of time. He promised to turn around the economy of the state if elected, through mechanized agriculture as well as creating of multiple windows of credit to fund small and medium scale enterprises. Ekiti, according to him, would only take her place in the sun, if creative energies of the people and state resources were harnessed in an efficient and effective manner by a result-driven government. “If you look at the desperation which led these candidates to spend unreasonable amount of money to get the people’s vote; it is worrisome. It is bribery; let’s call a spade a spade.
If you read the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) regulations on bribery, the use of money for the conduct of politics is a violation, but this is a country where rules are made but not obeyed. If not, by now, some of them should have been in jail with the kind of money they have put in the political process. On the source of funding of his campaign, the APGA chieftain said he has been relying on private resources, adding however that external support would be appreciated as well. “So far, we have been funding the campaign from private resources; we are also looking forward to people to support us. But I think we all have the responsibility to de-emphasize the role of money in politics, and in Ekiti a few individuals have used money to confuse people. We are teaching them that the money they give them will not feed them for up to a week,” he added. “The focus will be on agriculture, but not the way it is done today. The state will actively encourage and support the creation of large scale agricultural operations and give the people all they need to operate. Our plan is to have farm clusters, so that support for that mode of agriculture will be easy and the idea is to create large scale farms for the agricultural value chains.
To many Nigerians, Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is a reference point in good governance. In this piece, EKENE OKORO highlights the achievements of the administration, which have made it a model. The governor was just about settling in for business of governance when the corollary of the rocky start began to be felt in major sectors especially security and traffic management. In the face of the initial turbulence, Ambode kept calm and remained focused on the big picture and soon, the story changed and people who castigated him initially started showering accolades on him for sterling performance in office. The governor, who later explained the reason for the early hurly-burly experienced by his administration, said any organization with success in mind must first think through its policies, plan and then act by brilliantly executing the well-rounded programs.
To ascertain that he is a public financial expert extraordinaire, Governor Ambode came up with checks and balances for revenue inflow and also introduced the Treasury Single Account which in turn blocked revenue leakages and loopholes. In response to the public outcry over the increase in spate of crime, governor Ambode rebranded the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Nigerian Police, and in an unprecedented move, he donated equipment worth N4.765billion to the State Police Command. The governor, in coming up with the policy framework of his administration, had hinged it on security, job creation and infrastructural renewal. In area of road infrastructure, perhaps the sector is the biggest beneficiary of the impactful administration of Governor Ambode as no part of the State was left behind in the last three years.
In area of food security and agriculture, Ambode entered into a strategic partnership with Kebbi State in 2016 which brought about the famous Lake Rice. The initiative forced down the price of rice in the market and the Governor is building on that to install a 32 metric tonnes per hour rice mill in Imota, a suburb of Ikorodu. In the same vein, work is progressing steadily at the new Mile 12 Regional Foodstuff Market in Imota which will accommodate the traders in Mile 1 and other markets in the area. In that axis too, work is already completed for operational take-off of the Timberville Sawmill in Agbowa/Ikosi Ejirin LCDA where plank traders in Okobaba Sawmill will be relocated to.
The development will pave way for the regeneration of Okobaba. In the power sector, the government through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, has scored many first. First, the Governor unveiled the Light Up Lagos Project with three-pronged approach focusing on street lightening, community electrification and embedded power programme. Through the street lightening component of the scheme, major highways and streets are now well lit at night thereby enhancing secuvironment and bringing about major boost to the night economy of the State. On the community electrification component, many communities across the State have so far been connected to the national grid and many others had their either moribund or non-existent transformers replaced with new ones.
Perhaps, one of the major achievements of the Governor is the N25billion Employment Trust Fund (ETF) set aside to provide minimal interest loan for members of the informal sector and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). So far over N4.1billion has been given to about 5,000 beneficiaries. As part of the smart city project, many online portals have been developed to enhance residents’ interaction with government, while High Definition CCTV cameras with gantries are being installed across the state. The RSW is an intervention of Governor Ambode’s administration designed to equip graduates of tertiary institutions in the State with knowledge, skills and attitude required to gain employment upon graduation. It is a 13-week training through which participants are prepared for immediate entry into the workforce as employees and employers of labour by equipping them with market-aligned soft skills, business tools and a mindset of re-orientation.
In the environment, the State Government introduced the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) which like the present administration started on a shaky note but is gradually being addressed. Under the CLI, the three Transfer Loading Stations in Agege, Oshodi and Lagos Island have been upgraded and retrofitted to international standard, while the first engineered sanitary landfill in the whole of West Africa is nearing completion in Epe. 27,000 community sanitation workers are being employed to sweep the inner streets, while mechanized sweeping equipment have been deployed to the highways. Also, brand new compactors and other equipment are being deployed to collect waste, and the positive results are already being felt.
In housing, the government in April 2016 introduced the rent-to-own policy whereby home owners under the scheme will just pay one month rent and spread the remaining payment over 10 years. Through the scheme, thousands of residents have become home owners and the allocation of homes is now a regular occurrence as the houses are being allocated as soon as completion. In the area of Sports, the present administration successfully reintroduced the Lagos Marathon in 2016 and the event has now gained international recognition as IAAF bronze label marathon race. Within the period under review, the Agege Stadium was also remodeled to Confederation of African Football (CAF) standard. Due to the transformation, the stadium now houses a state-of-the-art dressing room equipped with modern information and communication technology facilities, among others. Another significant milestone recorded is the progress recorded with gigantic projects such as Eko Atlantic City (EAC) and Lekki Free Trade Zone. The first residential building in EAC was unveiled last year and work is progressing well thanks to the support given by the State Government.
A caveat emptor has been placed on land in Ayobo in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, according to the Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola. Muri-Okunola spoke in his office, urging the public to be wary of individuals, families, traditional rulers and communities who sell government acquired land in the area. He said the land covering 455.76 hectares in Ayobo was acquired by the state government, by virtue of its Official Gazette No 15 Volume 34 of May 5, 2001, adding that it was named Ayobo Residential Scheme. Muri-Okunola said prospective buyers should verify any land before buying. He advised the public to obtain a Land Information Certificate from the Office of the Surveyor-General, ascertain the status of the land and ensure proper validation of the titles on such lands from the Lagos State Land Registry.
“The unsuspecting members of the public are, therefore, enjoined to take caution by verifying the status of any landed property, else they may purchase litigation, which venture may end up as colossal waste of hard earned financial resources,” he said. Omonile Lawyer wishes to thank the Permanent Secretary for sounding this advise for people to verify their lands before they buy. We have been shouting this issue for years and now the Government recognizes Omonile lawyer’s efforts at warning people not to fall victim of land scams by verifying it first. Those that have ears let them hear. Meanwhile God will punish these Omoniles who derive joy in Selling Government Land to People without telling these unsuspecting buyers the truth. I have known about the Issues surrounding Ayobo for a while but i didn’t know it was this bad and that Government owned almost 500 Hectares of Land there. This is the defination of a fully committed land and anyone that has bought a land inside this 455.76 hectares in Ayobo will surely have their Houses demolished in the Nearest future.