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#AsoRock2023: Atiku’s Battles Storms, Thorns, Rocks 



The presidential aspiration of Nigeria’s erstwhile vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is sailing dangerously between rocks, deep sea and violent storms. In just the few days of the new year, his aspiration has taken some double-edged, devastating hits, threatening the whole project a major mishap and total wreck. The first one was from his erstwhile boss and political leader, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the second from an ex-media aide, a certain Mr. Michael Achimugu, while the third tornado was from Mr. Festus Keyamo, an activist-turned-politician. 

While the former president and political leader, Obasanjo released a further damming condemnation of his former vice and poured ice water on his presidential aspiration, Achimugu, an ex-media aide, in a two-part leaked audio and video, simply deflated whatever is left of the vestiges of his integrity and morality. While the Adamawa-born former Customs Officer was battling with the whirlwind generated by the two attacks, Mr. keyamo, the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, a former prosecutor with the various anti-graft agencies, took the matter further by approaching the Federal High Court, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) seeking an Interlocutory order compelling the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), the Economic and Financial crimes Commission, (EFCC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau, (CCB) to invite or arrest a certain Alhaji Abubakar Atiku and prosecute him for corrupt practices.

Achimugu had alleged that Atiku counselled Obasanjo as the President between the year 1999-2007 to set up a nebulous “Special Purposes Vehicle” (SPV) as a conduit pipe to siphon government funds from the Treasury without trace. 

Before the leaked audio and video, the man Michael Achimugu was perhaps, a long-forgotten face within the Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s political set-up. He was a media aide in a distant past. But while he was with Atiku, he had meticulously scavenged damaging information and kept them securely in his vaults. The information he padlocked safely in his vault damaging materials, most discreetly procured, in readiness for a day the master would pinch him, and h would need to bite back. Today, he has re-emerged as a whistle-blower on his former principal.

Achimugu, who claims to be a former aide to the PDP flag bearer, accused him of using the Special Purpose Vehicles to usurp funds when he was Nigeria’s Vice President between 1999 and 2007.

The PDP and Atiku countered him immediately alleging that he was being sponsored by the rival All progressives Congress, (APC). A spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council, Senator Dino Melaye accused the APC and its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of sponsoring one Michael Achimugu to blackmail the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar. His disclaimed him, saying the Michael Achimugu was never an aide to the PDP presidential candidate.

Atiku, a former Vice President and a perennial presidential contestant, since 1993, is battling heart-rendering betrayals and distractions from all angles in what appears to be his last shot at the presidency. First, his party, the  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is wretchedly fractured by his emergence as the presidential candidate. The unwritten zoning arrangement of the party clearly gives the ticket to the Southern hemisphere of the country. The arrangement was followed up till the National Convention of the party when the National Chairmanship went to the North Central, with the former Senate President, Dr. Iyorchial Ayu clinching the topmost party’s position. The Southern flank had hoped to produce the presidential candidate, but surprisingly, Atiku emerged victorious at the Convention held at the Eagle’s Square ground in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Ever, since his shock emergence, a large chunk of the party’s stalwarts, especially from the South, have been lukewarm to both party and the candidate’s activities. A most vociferous vocal group is led by the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesome Wike. Wike and four others – Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) had withdrew their support for Atiku following the alleged failure of the former vice president to prevail on the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, to relinquish his position to a Southerner. Their grouse was the emergence of both the party’s presidential candidate of the party, Atiku, and the national chairman, Ayu, from the same zone – the North. 

The group, known variously as the Integrity Group or the G-5 has been relentless in their demand that for them to back the aspiration of the presidential candidate of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubaker, the National Chairman, Dr. Ayu must stepped down and a southerner replaced him. 

Aside this vocal group of governors a vast majority of the party’s members and sympathizers from the Southern hemisphere of the country are not fully warmed up to the candidature of Atiku. While the Eastern zone, where the party, PDP, used to harvest bountiful block votes have turned their protest to backing the Labour Party (LP) and its candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, the South South zone may no longer be there for the PDP again to garner blinding figures during elections. South West is propping up one of its own, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress (APC). This scenario may have practically shut Atiku and his party, PDP off the bulk of the almost twenty eight (28) million Southern votes.

Before the Machuga’s leaks, Atiku’s former leader, President Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2007) drove the first dagger of betrayal in the heart of Atiku’s presidential aspiration. His New Year’s Day letter to the Nigerians was more of total condemnation and rejection of his Atiku’s candidature; a recourse to his belligerent views of 2014 and pre-2018 before the intervention of some clergymen led by Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church, (winners Chapel), Rev. Fr. Hassan Kukah of the Sokoto Diocese of the Catholic Church, Sheik Gumi and others.

That Obasanjo now went ahead to endorsed Mr. Peter Obi over Atiku showed clearly that despite the trojanic efforts of Bishop Oyedepo, Sheik Gumi and others in 2018, the former President still rates his former deputy in a very low esteem. 

To further distract Atiku, Festus Keyamo, a Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs and a spokesman of the Asiwaju Tinubu’s Campaign Council Tuesday (16 January) personally sent a strong worded petition to the anti-graft agencies, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau, (CCB) The petition is based solely on the audio and video leaks from an ex-aide of Atiku, Mr. Machunga. Keyamo wants the PDP’s presidential candidate arrested and investigated over the serious damaging corruption allegations contained in the audio and video leaks.

The activist-turned politician had given the major anti-graft agencies in the country a seventy-two (72) hour ultimatum to either arrest or invite, interrogate and prosecute  one Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for:

  1. offences against the code of conduct for public officers
  2.     offence of money laundering.
  3.     offence of  criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation
  4.     offence of conspiracy

The PDP presidential campaign spokesperson, Senator Dino Melaye replied by accused the APC of orchestrating “lies from the pit of hell” having realized that Atiku is a “leading presidential candidate” for the February 25 presidential election.

According to Melaye, Atiku remains the most investigated Nigerians as of today but has never been indicted or tried for corruption by any court in the country.

Labelling Achimugu as a “blackmailer” who has three ongoing cases of blackmail in court, Melaye said neither him nor anybody from the PDP Presidential Campaign Council would again comment on the issue as they intend to focus on more serious issues concerning the upcoming election.


But in a swift reaction, Keyamo countered Melaye saying: The spokesperson of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, PCC, Festus Keyamo has maintained that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu have no alliances with Michael Achimugu, who is said to be a former aide of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar.

He denied any relationship or alliances with Achimugu, saying, “we’ve no alliances with Mike Achimugu. What do you expect them to say? They have no modicum of shame. They have no iota of shame. These are the types of people, who are asking Nigerians to vote for them. No iota of shame for them.

“I am going to court and so, if they wish this thing away, it will not go away, I will continue…I do this under three capacities; I’m a member of the inner bar; secondly, I’m an ordinary concerned Nigerian, who has the right to bring perpetrators of crimes to book”, the Minister said.

Festus Keyamo made good his threat Friday (20 January) when he approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, seeking an interlocutory order compelling Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Code of Conduct Bureau,(CCB) Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, (ICPC), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to appear before the honorable Court.

While all these darts keep coming, Atiku’s campaigns seemed to have thawed down considerably. His visits to Kwara, Kogi, and Ekiti were not impressive at all. The faithful’s seemed to have turned their backs. In Ekiti, two-time former governor, Ayo Fayose did not attend the campaign and no official reason was given. Of the two governors of the party in South West, Oyo and Osun, none attended the campaign. It was rudderless, to say the least.

Former president Obasanjo had in his new year letter, surreptitiously directed at the youths, who constitute almost forty per centage of the voting population, had said: “Let me say straight away that ‘Emi Lokan’ (My turn) and ‘I have paid my dues’ are one and the same thing and are wrong attitude and mentality for the leadership of Nigeria now”.

He continued: “My dear young men and women, you must come together and bring about a truly meaningful change in your lives. If you fail, you have no one else to blame. Your present and future are in your hands to make or to mar. The future of Nigeria is in the same manner in your hands and literally so. If for any reason you fail to redeem yourself and your country, you will have lost the opportunity for good and you will have no one to blame but yourselves and posterity will not forgive you. Get up, get together, get going and get us to where we should be. And you, the youth, it is your time and your turn. ‘Eyin Lokan’ (Your turn).

The power to change is in your hands. Your future, my future, the future of grandchildren and great grandchildren is in your hands. Politics and elections are numbers game. You have the numbers, get up, stand up and make your numbers count.

“Let me say it again, loud and clear, Nigeria has no business with insecurity, poverty, insurgency, banditry, unemployment, hunger, debt, division and disunity. We are in these situations because advertently or inadvertently, our leaders have made the choices. They have done the best they could do. Let them take their rest deservedly or not and let them enjoy their retirement as Septuagenarians or older.

“Youth of Nigeria, your time has come, and it is now and please grasp it. If not now, it will be never. I appeal to you to turn the tide on its head and march forward chanting ‘Awa Lokan’ (Our turn) not with a sense of entitlement, but with a demonstrable ideological commitment to unity and transformation of Nigeria.

“None of the contestants is a saint but when one compares their character, antecedent, their understanding, knowledge, discipline and vitality that they can bring to bear and the great efforts required to stay focused on the job particularly looking at where the country is today and with the experience on the job that I personally had, Peter Obi as a mentee has an edge. Others like all of us have what they can contribute to the new dispensation to liberation, restoration and salvaging of Nigeria collectively”.

Atiku, unlike the APC’s candidate, did not respond to his former boss letter. But on Wednesday, (18 January) he was in Abeokuta to campaign and held a Stakeholders meeting with the Ogun State’s leaders. He lodged in an hotel less than one kilometre to Obasanjo’s Presidential Library’s home in Abeokuta, but unlike his practice in the past, when he would first visit the former leader, he did not bother to call on his former boss. During the campaign, he did not even mentioned his name. He total snubbed the former president.

A political analyst, Dr Edmurd Okolie told in Lagos that “as with his silence on Obasanjo’s letter, so it is with Micheal Achumgu’s video. The claims that his thirty one children are all angling on their father’s presidency to “live big”, are scarry enough, even more than the creation of another “Special Purpose Vehicles” (SPV) for siphoning funds out of the Treasury without forensic detection”. (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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