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2023 Lagos Guber poll: Sanwo-Olu, Adediran, Rhodes-Vivour lock horns in 3 man race



Who Grabs Lagos?

… Sanwo-Olu, Adediran, Rhodes-Vivour lock horns in 3 man race


Amidst the excitements and shocks that greeted the announcement of the final collation results of the presidential election in Lagos State, two statements stood out distinctively, from the clattering of emotional outbursts from the camps of the three leading political parties that took part in the election. 

Mr. Saheed Awe in Epe simply retorted to the outcome of the election dryly, saying ‘the people are simply angry’; while a State Officer in the Ogba State Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC), visibly aghast, said: ‘can you imagine that we have over 1.2 million registered members in this State. Does it now mean that over 700,000 of them are either dead, decamped, relocated, or even sick at home, that we could only muster 500,000 votes across the State?’.

Aside the shocking results of Mr. Peter Obi of Labour Party (LP), defeating the godfather of the APC in the State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu by 582,454 votes to 572,606 votes, there were visible poor turn outs of voters across the State.  

According the electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), only 1,347,152 voters (less than 20%) were accredited on the election day, out of the 7,075,192. 

A political analyst, Mr. Akinwande Cole attributed the apathy to the ‘anger and financial dislocation by the naira redesign policy of the Federal Government just before the election’.

He believed that ‘the people could not do much about the vexatious Muslim-Muslim ticket of the party, but to distanced themselves from it.

He noted that ‘the coming governorship election this weekend would be hugely different. Sanwo_Olu is a known Christian. He has that advantage over Jandor of PDP. Rhodes-Vivour of LP is only Christian that was not too known. This, he said would play in favour of the APC’s candidate’.

Once the convoluted dusts generated by the much disputed results of the presidential poll started simmering down, the gladiators immediately turned their attention to their local base: the State governorship and House of Assembly polls.

Of all the States having governorship election next Saturday (11 March), Lagos State, South West, Nigeria, seems to be where the heat appeared to be more intense. This is due to the shocking results recorded in the State presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in the State. 

Bola Tinubu, can recalled was the Governor of the State between 1999-2007, and has been the acknowledged political leader of the State ever since. Neither himself, nor any party has lost any election in the State since 1999. The only time that happened was during the governorship election of December 6, 1991 when the candidate of the National Republican Convention (NRC), Sir Michael Adedoja Otedola defeated Mr. Abayomi Edu of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Bola Tinubu and his mentor-turned foe, Dapo Sarumi, backed Yomi Edu while the late former Governor of the State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande and late Professor Femi Agbalajobi back the candidature of Sir Michael Otedola.

The shocking results from the home State of the leader of APC and the new President-elect, Bola Tinubu, has forced him to hurriedly relocated back from Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). According to a source in his entourage, ‘Oga needs to come back home to shore up the flagging ship of his party. You know we ridiculously lost the presidential poll to the up and coming LP. Although We recovered well in the parliamentary elections by picking the all the three Senate seats in the State, and twenty House of Representatives’ seats from the possible twenty-four, we know that we needed to do more to win the governorship’, he told during the reception for him in the Palace of Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akinolu

The question in the lips of all observers and activists in the State during the week was: who breasts the tape in the race to Lagos House between the incumbent Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Olajide Azeez Adediran, of the Peoples’ Democratic Pary (PDP) and Arch. Gbolabo Rhodes-Vivour, of the Labour Party (LP)?

However, for the first time in its fifty six years history, Lagos State is about to witness the hottest gubernatorial contest ever. The first governorship election in the State after creation was the 1979 contest that pitched late Chief Adeniran Ogunsanya, an old National Council for Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) supporter, then running under the banner of the Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) with late Alhaji Lateef Jakande of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Jakande was an old Action Group’s stalwart, and the late Dr. Olu Akerele, the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). The election was clearly between the two tendencies that dominated the First Republican politics in the Lagos area. 

And at end of the polls, the then electoral umpire, Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO) under the late Justice Ovie Whiskey declared Alhaji Jakande of the UPN the winner with over 85 per cent of the total votes. UPN also cleared all the seats in the State House of Assembly. That election set the trend for the successive elections in the State, with any party with UPN background winning the State. The only exemption was the December 1991 Governorship election which late Sir Michael Otedola of the NRC an offshoot of the NPN, won; he was backed by the former Governor of the State, Alhaji Jakande and his supporters, led by late Professor Agbalajobi, to defeat the candidate of the SDP, an offshoot of the UPN, Mr. Edu.

The state was however to revert back to the progressives fold in 1999 when Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, then of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), a direct off shoot of the AG/UPN, now the President-elect, trounced his political mentor-turned foe, Chief Dapo Sarumi, who had teamed up with the NPN/NRC elements in PDP, to emerge victorious. can recalled that Tinubu was a product of the PRIMROSE political group founded by Dapo Sarumi when he wanted to break away from the Jakande led Committee of Friends. 

In the battle for the Lagos House, Alausa,Ikeja, a three-man race has suddenly been thrown, rather than the usual two-fold. The last time a three-fold battle was fought in the state was 2007 when Mr. Jimi Agbaje ran under AD, Babatunde Raji Fashola ran under the AC and Musiliu Obanikoro contested under the PDP. Raji Fashola of the AC easily defeated his two opponents with a landslide.

Now next Saturday, barring any unforeseen circumstances, the incumbent Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of APC, will slug it out with Dr. Jide Adediran of PDP and the emerging third force, Gbolabo Rhodes-Vivour of LP. recalled that the candidate of LP, Mr. Peter Obi won the presidential election in the State by outscoring APC’s Bola Tinubu with 582,454 votes to APC’s 572,606 votes. But in a twist, the electorates reverted back  into the status quo in the parliamentary elections, by returning all APC candidates. The party, APC despite the vitriolic, asinine campaigns against it by a section of the Christian community in the State over its Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket, and the vicious hatred of an ethnic group in the State towards its presidential candidate, secured the three senate seats on offer and twenty-two of the twenty-four of the Federal House of Representatives seats in the seat. 

Now it is the time for the local governorship and State House of Assembly elections. The three parties that keenly fought the presidential battler have since been separated. The former sparring partner, PDP has been reduced to a shadow of its glorious past when it was threatening the AD, AC, CAN, APC tendencies in the State gubernatorial contest. The party has been reduced to mere rubbles by internal combustion. Now it is the LP and what it represents that are the new tiger in the field that the APC needs to cage. The party, LP is comprised of those who felt that the APC leadership in the State did not offer them any shield during the damaging #EnsdSars protests leading to claims and counter-claims of massacre of protesters, and the Igbo population who want to affirm their believe that Lagos “belongs to all, a no man’s land”.

The roots of the “Lagos belongs to no one” was planted in the First Republic politics of the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe and NCNC’s proteges of Chief Adeniran Ogunsanya, Chief T. O. S Benson and others. The slang then was “Gegedegbe L’eko Wa”. They used this to countered late Chief Awolowo and his disciples who claimed “Lagos belongs to the West”. The NCNC people have never won any election with the slogan and campaign ever since.

A member of a socio-political group, Omo Eko Pataki who spoke to in camera wondered how the late Dr. Nnamidi Azikwe could had claimed to acquire a large expanse of land stretching from Maryland, Ikeja covering the entire Ikeja Industrial Estate, Lagos State Secretariat, Adeniyi Jones, to Ile Zik in Agege Motor Road. He said the acquisition of the said land by the Western Regional Government under the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo gave birth to the vicious “Lagos is no man’s land” campaign of Dr. Azikwe and his NCNC proteges. He blamed the Igbos for the tension in the State since the #EndSars days.

Bother top APC leader in Alimosho area, blamed the leadership of his party for sitting pretty comfortable in their living rooms thinking all is well politically, when otherwise seems to be case. He drew correspondent’s attention back to the 2011 gubernatorial election in the State, saying that was the last time the party had a comfortable victory. He said because of the inability to properly manage the internal selection process, the party suffered during the 2015 gubernatorial election, same in 2019.  

According to him, he would have expected the leadership to sit down, reflect on all these and fix things properly, but to his surprise nothing of such, but arrogant grandstanding. The results, he said is the shocks the party received in the presidential election.

All still points to Babajide Sanwo-Olu of APC retaining his seat, with a fresh mandate, if the National Assembly elections held same day with the presidential election are anything to go with. All the campaigns of calumny were targeted at the presidential tickets of Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kassim Shettima, the two being Muslims. Now Sanwo-Olu is a known Christian with close ties with the Pentecostal Movement. The hostility to the ticket will not be as intense as the one generated by the presidential ticket. Again, since the failure of Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar in the presidential race, their supporters may not have their energy to bombard the polling booths come Saturday as they did last Saturday. This may give APC the edge. But for Sanwo-Olu to shout eureka, he has to contend and overcome Dr. Jide Adediran of the PDP and Gbolabo Rhodes-Vivour of LP first come Saturday.

Of the twenty local government areas in the State, APC won eleven, but garnering 572,606 votes, to placed behind LP who won in nine local government areas but polled 582,454 votes. PDP could not muster enough strength to win any local government, and garnered 75,750 to placed third in the log.

The president-elect was said to have been rattled by the results, especially from his Polling Unit and local government. In his Polling Unit, only 43 voters turned out to vote. He got 33 of those 43 votes. And in his local government, he lost to the LP candidate, Mr. Peter Obi by 30,004 votes to 21,276 votes.

The President-elect was said to be more surprised by the results from Alimosho, the largest local government area in Nigeria, an area he was said to be fond of and even called ‘Tinubu’s Country’. He lost the  candidate of LP by 71,327 votes to 62,909 for Tinubu of APC.

The LP has smell blood, and they were not ready to relinquished the advantages secured during the presidential election. To consolidate, its presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi too has also relocated to Lagos State. Monday, (6 March), he visited Mrs. Jennifer, the woman who was attacked by hoodlums during the presidential election in her Surulere, Lagos Mainland home. 

Also as a boost, the Aare Atona of Oodua, Chief Olabode George, has endorsed the governorship aspiration of the candidate of the LP, Arch. Gbolabo Rhodes-Vivour. Like he did during the presidential election, when he abandoned the candidate of his party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, he has also jettisoned the governorship candidate of the party, Dr. Olajide Adediran popularly called Jandor. He claimed that the candidate is a stranger imposed on the party by the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde.

APC has started reviving its old machinery. Dr. Muiz Banire is back fully in the mix, so also is Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi and several others who were side-lined before. The party had to recalled the old war-horse, Senator Afikuyomi from his UK base. He has taken over the situation Room of the Independent Campaign Organisation of the party. He was said to have relocated the Situation Room to a more convenient location in Ikeja GRA. 

The party has also mandated all the political office holders in the State to move to their immediate constituency and start a door-to-door campaign for its candidate, Sanwo-Olu.

Both LP and PDP candidates may not have these advantages to leverage on, but, Adediran believed he has done more than enough reaching to the grassroots with his running mate, Ms Funke Akindele, a Nollywood star, popularly known as Jennifer. Also, Rhodes-Vivour is clicking on his strong Igbo connection to reach out to the predominantly Igbo populated areas in the State.

Since the religion card heavily used during the presidential election in the State has expired, the two parties, APC and LP are now using the ethnic and heritage cards. Rhodes-Vivour’s mother  is Igbo and he is married to Igbo too. He only speaks a smattering Yoruba, but speak the Igbo fluently.

His opponents have launched heavily on this fact, using it to devastating effect on his campaign. His activities during the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)’s struggles have been dug up to, with series of video clips, pictures and threads going viral online. 

The incumbent Governor, Sanwo-Olu has also been suddenly jerked out of his slumber. Tuesday (07 March), he took the free Lagos State Health Insurance to Ikorodu, a hugely populated suburb community outside the metropolis. Ikorodu local government had returned a handsome over 50,353 votes to the party at the presidential poll, beating LP whi garnered 28,951 votes to the second place. The party also picked the only House of Representatives seat from the Constituency. But Sanwo-Olu believes they can do more. ‘He told the people to redouble their efforts, and hit the 100,00 votes mark’.

Jandor of PDP has also intensified his message. ‘Let us kill godfatherism. Let us use our resources for ourselves’, he told the people of his Ojo local government area on Tuesday’.

Rhodes-Vivour believed that ‘if we can only take 10% of the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of Lagos State and invest it on the people, their general welfare would improve’.

He promised ‘to see that all children of school age are enrolled in schools and that education will be made free at all levels’ 

The Chairman of PDP in the State, Hon. Phillips Olabode Aivoji expressed ‘optimism’ about the chances of his party’s candidate in the coming Saturday’s election. ‘I am very optimistic’, he told in a telephone chat. According to him, ‘the twin issues of ethnicity and religion determined the lopsided voting pattern we saw in the presidential election. Now this is the local election’.

He continued: ‘Mind you, every politics is local. Jandor is from the Lagos West, Ojo local government specifically. Check your records, that zone have never produced the Governor of Lagos State before. Therefore, expect our people to troop out en-mass to vote four our son, Jide Adediran’. (C2023)

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Tinubu’s Bold Moves Against Poverty, Insecurity



The President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu got cranky late Friday (9 June, 2023). He has been working at breathtaking speed all week long. He had held strategic meetings, focusing mainly on how to resurge the flailing economy. He summoned the Security Chiefs to the Presidential Conference Room in Aso Rock to look also at the worrisome state of insecurity in the country. He surely means business.

His task is well defined. He too blurted out at the inaugural dinner later in the day after the swearing-I ceremonies: “Please do not pity me”. He is focus on revving up the economy, stem the dangerous tide of insecurity across the country, bring the spiralling inflation and bring back the laughter and smiles to the faces of the over two hundred million traumatized Nigerians. 

He pledged defiantly at an interactive session with the Royal Fathers under the aegis of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) at the Aso Villa, Friday (9 June) that “any roadblock in the way of the progress of the Nigerian people would be removed by his government”.

The President for the umpteenth time justified the removal of fuel subsidy, saying that the country cannot continue feeding smugglers and acting as Father Christmas to neighbouring countries, saying “the decision to remove fuel subsidy, improve security, create jobs, and sustain the environment”.

In between all these, he was able to squeezed in time to meet the newly elected  parliamentarians, both at the Upper and Lower Chambers of the National Assembly, to moderate boiling tempers over the zoning of the Principal Officers of the National Assembly. Behold the hurricane Asiwaju is on the prowl.

After the meeting with the newly elected parliamentarians, Hon. Amobi Godwin Ogah, a newly elected Labour Party member to represent Isiukwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency, Abia State, was aghast. He could not hide his admiration for the President. He told newsmen: “I never knew Tinubu is so intelligent” 

He went further: “This Is my President,  Today is my best day. After listening to him speak today. President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is so intelligent and is prepared to serve this country. I saw the love and hope today”

The President’s avowed determination to frontally combat and crush the twin issues of poverty and insecurity holding down the country by the jugulars. He surely meant business. This crusade he had started with the inaugural address to the nation. He had simply declared: “Now that the subsidy is gone”. He also went further to vowed that that he intended to unify the exchange rate.

The reverberating effects of that simple declarations quickly resonated across the four poles holding the country. it simply jerked everybody up from their lethargy. He had since met with both the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Emmanuel Emefiele and the Managing Director of the NNPCL PLC, Mele Kyari to discuss modalities for achieving these targets.

However, it is not hyperbolic to state that Nigeria’s economy is on the edge of the precipice, if not down there already. This trend, the newly inaugurated President Tinubu fully takes cognizance of in his inaugural address to the nation. The need to revamp the economy is urgent, and pressing. He has started the revamping by halting further subsidies of fuel, a move that have trigger multi-dimensional responses across the country.

Part of the President first step was the call on the members of the European Union to assist Nigeria and Africa in strengthening its security and economic development to alleviate poverty in the continent. The President spoke during a telephone conversation with the President of the European Council, Mr. Charles Michel.

According to President Tinubu, Nigeria and the whole of Africa would require the help and partnership of her friends and development partners like the EU to address the excruciating poverty in the continent.

 While requesting the EU to look at specific areas of security challenge like the Lake Chad and coastal areas, the Nigerian leader promised to remain in contact with the European Union and other member states.

 He said poverty and insecurity were priority areas for his administration and he would do all that is required to address them.

Also, the President has expressly directed the National Economic Council (NEC) led by Vice President Kashim Shettima to device an approach and begin the process of working on interventions to mitigate the impact of subsidy removal on the Nigerians.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPCL) confirmed in Lagos during the week that “once the Dangote Refinery starts pumping out refined petroleum products from late July or early August, the Corporation will cut down on its imports of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol”.

NNPCL is currently the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria, a task which it had shouldered for several years. Other oil marketers stopped importing the product due to their inability to access the United States dollars at the official rate.

The NNPCL also owned 20 per cent stake in the Dangote Refinery. The 650,000 barrels per day single line, crude oil processing refinery was inaugurated on May 22, 2023 by former President, Muhammadu Buhari, who described the facility as a “game-changer” in the World’s oil market.

The promoter, Aliko Dangote stated at the occasion that the refinery would start delivering refined products to the Nigerian market from late July or Early August this year.

When contacted by our correspondent and asked about what would happen to the NNPCL fuel imports programme once the Dangote Refinery began to push out products in August, the national oil firm’s spokesperson, Garba-Deen Muhammad, said emphatically that this would change.

According to him, “NNPC Limited is bringing in products from outside Nigeria as a matter of necessity, not as a matter of choice. We would have preferred that we produce here, refine here and we sell and provide the energy security that the country needs.

“Because of the circumstances that surround our refineries, we cannot allow the country to be grounded. So we have to buy wherever we can get and sell. So if Dangote products are available, why should we not buy from Dangote?

“There is absolutely no reason. And that is the reason why we are interested in the Dangote Refinery. We are co-owners, shouldn’t we do business with our partners rather than do it with other people?”

While President Tinubu faces these hydra-headed demons head-on, certainly heads must roll. There must be scape goats from the mess of the past. After days of speculation, the hammer eventually fell on the CBN Governor, Emefiele Friday (9 June, 2023). The man was on his seat all day, held meetings and closed for the long weekend, Monday (June 12, 2023) being a public holiday, was headed for home. He had hardly settled down when he heard the news of his immediate suspension. 

According to a terse press statement by Willie Bassey, Director of Information Office, of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Emefiele was directed to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), who will act as the Central Bank Governor pending the conclusion of investigation and the reforms. 

The suspension, according to the statement is “sequel to the ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy”. 

But in a dramatic twist, minutes after his suspension as CBN Governor, the state secret police (DSS) was alleged to have him. He was said to have been arrested by the men of the DSS late  Friday. 

But prior to CBN’s suspension, the DSS, on December 7, 2022, in an exparte application with reference no: FHC/ABJ/CS/2255/2022, sought an order of the Federal High Court to effect his arrest.

The security agency had accused the embattled CBN Governor of financing terrorism, fraudulent activities and economic crimes of national security dimension.

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice J. T Tsoho, however, refused to grant the application of the DSS. The court said such an application should have been accompanied with the presidential approval because of the grave implications for the Nigerian economy if the CBN governor is arrested and detained. But late Friday, he was sent on indefinite suspension and then the arrest.

But on Saturday (10 June, 2023), the service tweet that “currently, Emefiele is not with the DSS”.

While the CBN’s Governor unfolds on, there are also strong speculations about the safety of the job of the Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL, Mele Kyari at the weekend. It was speculated that the President intended to clean the old rot and refocus and reposition the economy, especially the financial and oil sector.

Later Saturday afternoon the Service released another tweet confirming the arrest of the CBN Governor. 

According to the Service, the DSS has finally confirmed that the suspended CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele is now in their custody.

A tweet from the agency reads: “…DSS hereby confirms that Mr Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, is now in its custody for some investigative reasons.

Meanwhile investigations across the country revealed that in less than a fortnight after putting an end into the fuel subsidy regime, reports across the country indicate a mixed reaction by the generality of the people. 

The major hope is that once the Dangote Refinery starts production late July or early August, prices of fuel is expected drastically since there wont be need for US dollars exchange in transactions any longer.

© 2023


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Democracy Day 2023: Full text of President Bola Tinubu’s address



Fellow Nigerians,

  1. It is exactly three decades today that Nigerians went to the polls to exercise their inalienable right to elect a President of their choice to lead the transition from military dictatorship to a representative government of the people.
  2. The abortion, by military fiat, of the decisive victory of Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the June 12, 1993, presidential election, up to that time, the fairest and freest election in the country’s political evolution, turned out, ironically, to be the seed that germinated into the prolonged struggle that gave birth to the democracy we currently enjoy since 1999.
  3. In rising to strongly oppose the arbitrary annulment of the will of the majority of Nigerians as expressed in that historic election, the substantial number of our people who participated in the struggle to de-annul the election signified their fierce commitment to enthroning democracy as a form of government that best ennobles the liberty, the dignity of the individual and the integrity as well as the stability of the polity. The fierce opposition to the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election and the unrelenting pro-democracy onslaught it unleashed was the equivalent of the battle against colonial rule by our founding fathers that resulted in the gaining of Nigeria’s independence in 1960.
  4. Just like the anti-colonial movement, the pro-June 12 vanguard demonstrated, once again, the enduring validity of the 19th century historian, Arnold Toynbee’s eternal postulation, that civilization and societies experience progress as they are forced to respond to challenges posed by the environment. The unjust annulment of a widely acknowledged free and fair election was a challenge that elicited resistance by a resurgent civil society, leading ultimately to the attainment of our ‘second independence’ as exemplified by the return of democratic governance in 1999.
  5. Fellow compatriots, we celebrate a day that has remained a watershed in our nation’s history, not just today, but for every June 12, for the endless future that our beloved country shall exist and wax stronger and stronger, generations of Nigerians will always remind themselves that the democracy that is steadily growing to become the defining essence of our polity was not gifted to us on a silver platter.
  6. We can easily recall the sacrifice and martyrdom of Chief MKO Abiola, the custodian of the sacred mandate that was so cruelly annulled. He sacrificed his life in unyielding, patriotic defence of the ideals of democracy as symbolized in his choice, by his fellow countrymen and women, as their duly-elected President. There was an easier choice for him. It was to forgo the justice of his cause and opt for the path of ease and capitulation in the face of the tyranny of power. To his eternal credit and immortal glory, Abiola said no. He demonstrated the time-tested eternal truth that there are certain ideals and principles that are far more valuable than life itself.
  7. Everyday, on this day, down the ages we will recall the several other heroes of democracy such as Kudirat Abiola, wife of Chief Abiola, who was brutally murdered while in the trenches fighting on the side of the people. We remember Pa Alfred Rewane, one of the heroes of our independence struggle and Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua (rtd) who were silenced by the military junta while in pursuit of democracy. They gave their yesterday for the liberty that is ours today.
  8. The point is that we must never take this democracy for granted. We must forever jealously guard and protect it like a precious jewel. For, a people can never truly appreciate the freedoms and rights democracy guarantees them until they lose it.
  9. We have traversed the dark, thorny path of dictatorship before and those who experienced it can readily testify to the unbridgeable gap between the dignity of freedom and the humiliation and degradation of tyranny. True, rancorous debates, interminable wrangling, ceaseless quarrels, bitter electoral contestations may be perceived by some as unattractive features of democracy. But they also testify to its merit and value.
  10. This year, we held the seventh in the cycle of elections that have become sacred rituals of our democratic practice in this dispensation since 1999.


  1. That the polls were intensely contested is in itself positive evidence that democracy is well and alive in our land. It is only natural that even as those who won and experienced victory in the various elections are elated and fulfilled, those who lost are disenchanted and disappointed. But the beauty of democracy is that those who win today can lose tomorrow and those who lose today will have an opportunity to compete and win in the next round of elections.
  2. Those who cannot endure and accept the pain of defeat in elections do not deserve the joy of victory when it is their turn to triumph. Above all, those who disagree with the outcome of the elections are taking full advantage of the constitutional provisions to seek redress in court and that is one of the reasons why democracy is still the best form of government invented by man.
  3. For Chief MKO Abiola, the symbol of this day, in whose memory June 12 became a national holiday, democracy is eternal.
  4. It is about rule of law and vibrant judiciary that can be trusted to deliver justice and strengthen institutions. It has become imperative to state here that the unnecessary illegal orders used to truncate or abridge democracy will no longer be tolerated.
  5. The recent harmonization of the retirement age for judicial officers is meant to strengthen the rule of law, which is a critical pillar of democracy. The reform has just started.
  6. The democracy that will yield right dividends to the people who are the shareholders means more than just freedom of choice and right to get people into elective offices. It means social and economic justice for our people. To the winner of June 12, democracy offers the best chance to fight and eliminate poverty. Thirty years ago, he christened his campaign manifesto, ‘Farewell to Poverty’ because he was convinced that there is nothing divine about poverty. It is a man-made problem that can be eliminated with clearly thought out social and economic policies.
  7. It is for this reason that, in my inauguration address on May 29, I gave effect to the decision taken by my predecessor-in-office to remove the fuel subsidy albatross and free up for collective use the much-needed resources, which had hitherto been pocketed by a few rich. I admit that the decision will impose extra burden on the masses of our people. I feel your pain. This is one decision we must bear to save our country from going under and take our resources away from the stranglehold of a few unpatriotic elements.
  8. Painfully, I have asked you, my compatriots, to sacrifice a little more for the survival of our country. For your trust and belief in us, I assure you that your sacrifice shall not be in vain. The government I lead will repay you through massive investment in transportation infrastructure, education, regular power supply, healthcare and other public utilities that will improve the quality of lives.
  9. The democracy MKO Abiola died for is one that promotes the welfare of the people over personal interests of the ruling class and one where the governed can find personal fulfillment and happiness. That is the hope MKO Abiola ignited throughout our country in 1993.
  10. On this year’s Democracy Day, I enjoin us all to rededicate ourselves to strengthening this form of government of free peoples that has been our guiding light these past 24 years. In particular, those of us who have been privileged to be elected into public offices at various levels in both the executive and legislative arms of government must recommit ourselves to offering selfless service to the people, and delivering concrete democracy dividends in accordance with our electoral promises.
  11. On my part and that of my administration, I pledge anew our commitment to diligently fulfilling every component of our electoral pact with the people – the ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda.
  12. We shall be faithful to truth. Faithful to equity. And faithful to justice. We shall exercise our authority and mandate to govern with fairness, respect for the rule of law, and commitment to always uphold the dignity of all our people.
  13. On this note, I wish us all a happy Democracy Day celebration and pray that the light of liberty shall never be extinguished in our land.
  14. Thank you all and may God continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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Governance Grounded in Ondo State as Akeredolu Refuses to Hand Over to Deputy 



Governance and all Governmental activities seemed to have grounded to a standstill in Ondo State since the State Governor, Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu (CON, SAN), became indisposed. He has also refused to transmute power to his deputy, despite several pleadings.

The Governor is said to be holed up in his private home in Ibadan, Oyo State capital since he was moved out of Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), where only his trusted aides have access to him.

The Governor according to reliable sources in government circle in Akure, Ondo State was rushed to Germany towards the end of last year for an undisclosed illness. He was said to be in Germany for about two months, before coming back to the country early this year. Upon returning to the country, he was said to had been headed straight for Abuja, where he was said to be “resting”, before moving to Ibadan.

Sources within government circle told that since he was hurriedly driven out of Akure, towards the end of last year, all governmental activities have come to a halt. His close circle was said to be against his transmuting power to his deputy, as stipulated by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

The Deputy Governor, Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, is said to be in a quandary about happenings in the State Government. Sources disclosed to our correspondent that he had gone to see the ailing Governor in his Ibadan home several times, but was not allowed by the Governor’s aides to see him. Several files needing urgent attention by the Governor are said to have piled up on his table in Ibadan unattended to.

For over a week now there have been some cold rumours circulating in hush tones about the health and condition of the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.

The absence became more noticeable when State Governors of the federation had the inaugural meeting with the President, Bola Tinubu in Aso Rock last week at State House, Abuja. At the meeting, it was only the Ondo State Governor that was conspicuously missing. The deputy could not attend. checks in Akure, Ondo State revealed however, that the Governor has refused bluntly to transmute power to his deputy, despite being aware of his health conditions since last year. Sections 189, 190 and  191 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) clearly stated with the Governor should transmute power to his deputy. 

The man popularly called “Aketi” has been out of circulation since March, immediately the general elections were done with. He was first reported to have gone to Germany for medical attention, but upon return, he made straight for Abuja. He was later said to have been moved from his abode in Abuja to his private home in Ibadan.

These conflicting reports about the condition of the Governor however, took a dangerous turn Saturday (3 June, 2023) when a news blog published reports of his death and someone also circulated a viral picture announcing his death. The State Government however, moved swiftly to dispel the rumours of his death as carried by a news blog.

But learnt that the Governor, according to some very reliable sources very close to him, is said to be in ‘a very critical condition in his private home in Ibadan’, capital of Oyo state. 

His close aides spoken to refused to give more on the ailing condition of the Governor, other than his condition has worsen since last week Friday (2 June 2023) evening. He is said to have become almost incapacitated. 

The Governor, was born on 21 July 1956, known widely as Aketi, is a vibrant lawyer and politician has been in office since 24 February 2017. Another Governorship election is due in October 2024. 

Responding to the rumours of his passing, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Richard Olatunde released some video clips of the ailing Governor praising God.

In one of the videos, the Governor was seen dancing and singing. The lines of the lyrics showed governor Akeredolu who was joyous and full of praises to God for keeping him alive

Governor Akeredolu, left the country for Germany shortly after the APC convention in March. When he came back, he relocated to Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), ‘to rest’, before moving down to his house in Ibadan, Oyo State.

He officially wrote the State House of Assembly to take permission before embarking on an annual leave.

His adopted prefix is “Arakunrin”, while his nickname is “Aketi”. He is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who became president of the Nigerian Bar Association in 2008. Akeredolu was also a Managing Partner at the law firm of Olujinmi & Akeredolu, which he co-founded with Chief Akin Olujinmi, a former Attorney General and Minister for Justice of Nigeria. On 21 July 2020, he was declared as the Ondo governorship candidate after the primary elections under the platform of the APC. He is the current Governor of Ondo State and doubles as the chairman of Southwest Governors Forum.

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