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Battle for Ailing Aketi’s Throne Hots Up



Governor Akeredolu

Arakunri Rotimi Akeredolu is sick, seriously indisposed. This is no longer a hidden secret. He is currently recuperating, clinging to the last string of survival, in a German hospital, where medics are battling day-in, day-out, to see he survives this life threatening illness.

But by the time he comes back, the political colouration and configuration of his dear State, Ondo, would have been drastically altered from what he hurriedly abandoned to take hibernation in a sick bed. The list of those jostling to take his throne keep growing by each passing day, and not few observers believe the erudite lawyer might not have an input in who takes over his seat come November, 2024.

The Governor never handed over properly, as he did not figured he would out for this long in his calculation when he first travelled to Germany shortly after the National Congress of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), in November, 2022. And when he briefly came back he had stayed in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and later relocated to his private home in Ibadan. it was in Ibadan, where he was holed up by close family members that he hurriedly sent a transitory letter to the Speaker of the House of Assembly, intimating the State of his illness and need to travel abroad for further treatment.

By this time various rumours of outright death, total incapacitation, an all that had filled the media space. The family and his close group needed to act, and so the letter handing over reigns of the State to the Deputy, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
Now that so much uncertainty currently surrounds the return date, the gladiators seeking to contest the governorship election slated for year 2024 in the State seem to revved up their preparations.
The Governor last week dispelled rumours of his arrival from his media trip. He simply disowned the trending video circulating on social media, suggesting his return of from his medical vacation.

He said through his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, “while we acknowledge the eagerness of the people of the State, as well as supporters and well-wishers from both within and outside the country to have the Governor back, we want to clarify that Governor Akeredolu is currently in Germany, focused on his full recovery”.
He added that “Governor Akeredolu extends his deep appreciation to the citizens of Ondo State for their unwavering prayers and support.

Although, gathered in Akure last week that there is a tacit agreement that campaigns to produce the next governor should be suspended, at least within the ruling APC, until the governor returns from medical leave, the race for next year’s governorship election in Ondo State appears to have commenced, large scale.

The current governor, Akeredolu hails from Ondo North District of the State, while his predecessor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko is from Ondo Central of the State. The dice now seems to rolls in which favours of the Ondo South Senatorial District to produce the next governor. The last Ggovernor from this District was Dr. Olusegun Agagu, who took over from Chief Ade Adefati, also from the same Ondo South.

The fact that Dr. Segun Agagu succeeded Chief Adefarati is egging on some aspirants, especially from Akure area to come out forcefully to contest.
Asides the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC),other parties that are preparing to field candidates include, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Labour Party (LP), and any spill over from the major parties, that may want a platform to test his popularity, like Dr. Rahman Mimiko did in 2007 when he contested under the little known LP then and eventually won.

As at the last cast not less than fifty personalities have shown deep interest in succeeding Akeredolu across party lines.
They include Morayo Lebi, Chief Olusola Oke, Ambassador Olusola Iji, Ifedayo Oyedele, Deputy Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Commissioner for Finance, Wale Akinterinwa; Ayo Oritedi and Senator Jimoh Ibrahim. Others are former Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi; Eyitayo Jegede, Secretary to the State Government, Matthew Oyerimade; and Princess Oladunni Odu. Erewa Godday, Victor Akinjo; Ondo NDDC commissioner, Gbenga Edema; Sola Ebiseni and a former President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Prof. Adedayo Faduyile.
Some aides of Governor Akeredolu that are in the race have decided to suspend the campaign as a sign of respect for their boss who is still recuperating from an illness. Nevertheless, some of them are still engaged in subtle campaigns on social media.

The Acting Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, already have an edge with the power of imcumbency over other aspirants. Observers in the State believe his bid to succeed his principal may have been given a boost by the governor’s absence. This has paved the way for the deputy governor to assume power in an acting capacity in the interim after Akeredolu handed over power to him as demanded by the law before travelling overseas for a medical check-up.

It is widely believed that those flying the video of the Governor’s arrival are doing so to manacle the political growth of the Acting Governor. Ther is so much apprehension in the camp of the ailing governor. The apprehension is not unconnected with the fear that Aiyedatiwa might become too powerful ahead of the primary. But some political analysts blame Aiyedatiwa for not carrying on his duties as acting governor but rather chose to lean on loyalists of Akeredolu for support.

Despite the agreement to suspend all political activities pending the arrival of the ailing governor, the youth leaders from across the 203 wards under the auspices of the Coalition of Ondo State Youth Leader and Women Leaders (COSYAWLA) have announced that they have begun the search for a ‘vibrant youth’ that would succeed Governor Akeredolu.

Chairperson of the group, Mrs Kemisola Bashiru, who appealed to President Bola Tinubu to support their quest for a young person to emerge as the next governor of the Sunshine State, said they want a youthful governor who must be able to identify the problems, proffer solutions to the problems and carry everybody along.

She said: “Members from all the 203 wards in Ondo State in conjunction with other interest groups have resolved to deliver all the 18 local governments in Ondo State for a vibrant youth who is eminently qualified and capable to tackle unemployment, insecurity, economic crisis, and who can build more on the legacies of present and past administrations in the state. The destiny of Ondo State under the Asiwaju Bola Tinubu-led administration can only achieve its viable potential if handled by a prudent, purposeful, transparent, dynamic and reformist youth.

“If we all strive to elect a youth as our next governor, the person would have the capacity to bridge the gap of leadership deficit and place Ondo State in the right development trajectory. We are hereby calling on all the youth and the entire good people of Ondo State to rise and take the bull by the horn by coming out to support one of us to take up the leadership position because we must join hands together to put an end to a situation whereby we are nothing but tools that can be used and dumped by politicians.”

Major contenders in the race, according to some political analysts in the ruling APC, were pruned down to Chief Oke, Princess Odu, Aiyedatiwa, Akinterinwa, Edema, and Prof. Faduliye. Ebiseni is expected to contest the election on the platform of the LP, while Jegede and for deputy governor (Agboola Ajayi) is expected to contest on the PDP platform.
Dr Oritedi, who is a business development expert and an agribusiness professional, has vowed not to be cowed out of the race. His supporters said he represents the younger generation and has all the qualities to succeed Akeredolu.

Akinterinwa, who is regarded as a technocrat in politics, has also been tipped as a major contender in the race to succeed Akeredolu. He first served as Commissioner for Finance under Dr Olusegun Mimiko but later resigned. He was said to have helped Governor Akeredolu stabilise the state financially by helping to recover some lost funds. Aides close to Akinterinwa said he has put all machinery in place to kick off a campaign to reach all parts of the state.

The only female contestant in the ruling APC, Princess Odu, has served as Commissioner for Education (1995 to 1999), Commissioner for Women Affairs (January 1999 to May 1999), Chairman of the Ondo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) from September 2003 to February 2009. She has also served as Director of the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, Federal Commissioner at the Public Complaints Commission before she was reappointed as Chairman of Ondo SUBEB by Governor Akeredolu in 2017.

Edema hails from Ogogoro in Ilaje Local Government Area and was a member of the Ondo State Sports Council (2005 to 2007) and the Ondo State Scholarships Board. He was Chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC). He is currently serving as a member of the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Edema has said he is the right person to continue with Akeredolu’s legacies.

Oke is perhaps one of the most experienced politicians among the aspirants of the APC platform. He was the governorship candidate of the PDP in 2012. He also contested at the primary against Governor Akeredolu’s second term but came second after scoring 206 votes. Oke is a grassroots politician. His supporters believe he has the right connections to win the primary.

Jegede is regarded as the leader of the PDP in Ondo State but supporters of former Governor Mimiko have refused to recognise him as their leader. He served as Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General under the Mimiko administration. He was picked as the preferred successor to Mimiko but lost the election to Akeredolu because he hails from Ondo Central where Mimiko also hails from. He also flew the PDP ticket during the last governorship election in 2020, where came a distant second.

Prof. Faduyile was a former National President of the NMA and is currently the Special Adviser on Health to Governor Akeredolu. But he is not a grassroots politician; his attempts to go to represent his constituency at the Ondo House of Assembly in 2011 failed woefully. Again, in 2015, he tried to represent his constituency in the House of Representatives but his effort also proved abortive.

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Real Reasons Makinde Refuses To Announce New Alaafin



Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State

Some fresh facts have started emerging why Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State rejected the candidate selected by the body of Oyomesi,(Kingmakers) in Oyo Town, to succeed the departed Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Atanda Adeyemi 11.

The late monarch died on April 22, 2022 and since then, over nineteen months, a successor is yet to be announced.
No less than sixty-five princess from the Agunloye Ruling House, including an octogenarian priest, Bishop Ayo Ladigbolu, did put in an application to succeed the late flamboyant monarch. But after a laborious exercise, that lasted about four months, the Oyomesi claimed that they have submitted a name to the Executive Governor since 30 September, 2022.
The Governor on his part neither confirmed nor denied being in possession of a recommended name from the Oyomesi. But he just kept mute and refused to announced a name.

The body of Oyomesi however, speculatively approached the State High Court, sitting in oyo town, when they suspected that the Governor might announced a different candidate from their preferred choice. The case is still pending before the State Chief Judge who is yet to assign it to a trial Judge.
But in a new twists, gathered in the ancient town of Oyo that the Governor ‘might be protecting the ancient stool from despoliation by his tardiness in announcing a substantive Alaafin’.

Since 1823, Sokoto Caliphate has had a near obsession to annex Oyo into its estate, using the proxy emirate at Ilorin.
A source revealed to that there are a lot of external influences circling around the Oyomesi trying to influence the selection process.
It was further revealed that a prince with very deep affiliation to the Caliphate through Ilorin, and had gotten the support of the Sultan of Sokoto had successfully infiltrated the Oyomesi to influence the successor of Adeyemi III.

The prince was said to have the confidence of the Chief Imam of Oyo Town and that of the Muslims’ Rights Council (MURIC), in his bid to ascend the throne.
‘These people put immense pressure on the Bashorun to compromise the selection process, so that he can recommend the selection of a prince with Fulani blood’.
‘This prince’, further gathered, ‘has more loyalty to Usman Dan Fodio philosophy and heritage than the Yoruba heritage’.

Governor Makinde was said to have seen through the shenanigans and decided to outrightly cancelled the selection process and ordered a fresh one, which the Oyomesi strongly objected to.
The source revealed that ‘Governor Seyi Makinde rejected the process at the risk of his second term in office and insisted on a new selection process with total autonomy of the Oyomesi from Sokoto/Ilorin Fulani caliphate’s influence’.

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EFCC Arraigns 11 OAU Undergraduates for Alleged Internet Fraud



Eleven of the sixty-nine students of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, arrested by the operatives of the Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday (31 October) over alleged fraudulent internet activities have been charged to court.

The remaining fifty-eight arrested students have since been released.
The students were arraigned before Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of the Federal High Court, Osogbo for their alleged involvement in internet fraud. recalled that about 69 students of the institution were arrested over alleged fraudulent internet activities at the end of the operation. The operation reportedly lasted between about 1.40 a.m. and 4 a.m. on Wednesday. The suspects were ferried to the EFCC zonal office in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital for interrogations.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, on Tuesday (07 November).
Oyewale said the defendants were arraigned on different count charges, ranging from one to six charges, as preferred against them by the EFCC.
The defendants are: Perekebena Olombeni Micah, Nnekwelugo Nnaemeka, Moyosore Favour Oluwasakin, Aghwaritoma Wisdom Obaro, Daniel Olashile Maiye, Gbolahan Khalid Adesina, Yinka Temitope Jayeola, Olumuyiwa Emmanuel Adeleye, Abiola Emmanuel Oluwadare, Busari Abdulazeez Ayodeji and Okesipe Tobiloba Paul.

Nine of the defendants were arraigned on one-count charge each, while the remaining two: Micah and Obaro, had six-count charges filed against each of them.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Perekebena Olombeni Micah sometimes in 2023 in Osogbo, Osun State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently impersonated the name – Pies through your Whatsapp account phone number +1(414)367-9473 by claiming that you are an American Female in love with your victims in the United States of America with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015.”

Another count reads: “That you, Aghwaritoma Wisdom Obaro on or about 1st November, 2023 at Ile-Ife, Osun State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, fraudulently impersonated by representing yourself to be a white man by name Alex Stephens from United States of America to one Megan Johnson, through your Google Chat and your email address ( with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015.”

Upon their arraignments, they all pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when they were read to them.
Consequently, prosecution counsel, Oluwatoyin Owodunni, prayed the court for trial dates and the remand of the defendants in a Correctional Centre.
In response, defence counsels to Ayodeji, Adesina, Oluwasakin, Micah, Adeleye and Okesipe informed the court of “motions for bail applications” filed on behalf of their clients, which have been served on the prosecution, therefore urging the court to admit the six defendants to bail in the most liberal terms.

Justice Ayo-Emmanuel, having listened to the prayers of both parties, admitted Ayodeji, Adesina, Oluwasakin, Micah, Adeleye and Okesipe to bail.
Ayodeji, Adesina, Oluwasakin, Adeleye and Okesipe were admitted to bail in the sum of N2 million each, while Micah was granted bail in the sum of N3 million.
Other bail conditions are: two sureties in like sum, first surety must be the defendant’s father or mother; the second surety must be a relative, sibling, clergy or civil servant with the Osun State Government; the sureties must depose to an affidavit of means and both residential and office addresses of the sureties, as well as their statuses, must be provided and verified by the court registrar.

The judge adjourned the matters to November 29 and December 12, 2023 respectively for commencement of trial and remanded the defendants at the Ilesha Correctional Centre, Osun State pending the perfection of their bail conditions.

The defendants were among the 69 suspected internet fraudsters arrested on November 1, 2023 at Oduduwa Estate area of Ile-Ife in Osun State following actionable intelligence on their alleged involvement in fraudulent internet-related activities.

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Nigerians Says No as Labour Declare Strike



Organised Labour, consisting of the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress, (TUC), have been advised to shelve their proposed nationwide strike slated to take off on November 14.

Many Nigerians spoken to were particularly displeased that the workers could be contemplating such an economic debilitating move at this point in time, when the nation is grasping for breath economically. recalled that the leadership of the two unions on Tuesday (07 November) declared a total nationwide strike effective November 14, 2023.
The leadership of the two unions reached the resolution after an extraordinary National Executive Council meeting on Tuesday in Abuja.
The leadership of the NLC and the TUC had summoned what the unions described as an extraordinary NEC meeting.

The aim of the meeting was to review the modalities of the planned strike following the brutalisation of the National President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, review of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Federal Government and the organised labour on October 2, 2023, following the removal of the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit which the labour centres said has caused “untold hardship” to Nigerians.

The labour unions had, on Friday, issued a five-day ultimatum over the earlier arrest of the National President of the NLC, by the police in Owerri, Imo State, on Wednesday.
The labour centres demanded the redeployment of the commissioner of police in the state and the arrest and prosecution of the aide of the government who was alleged to have perpetrated the attack.

The unions also threatened to embark on a nationwide industrial action if their demands were not met in five days from Friday.
But a Labour Lawyer, Mr. Richard Akinola counselled the unions to perish the plan, at least for now.
He wrote, ‘dear NLC, l was one person that came out unapologetically to condemn the brutalization of your president, Joe Ajaero in Imo state and l still stand by that condemnation.
‘However, by declaring a national strike over that assault is stretching your luck too far. You have trivialized strike as a tool that nobody takes you serious again. You have demystified yourself and the potency of strike. So, you mean workers in Maiduguri would go on strike because of what happened in imo?

He added that ‘you people mean employers who have no trade dispute with their workers would shut down in this struggling economy and you expect them to pay the workers? When you abuse the power of strike, it loses its potency. You guys must be joking’, he warned the workers.

An Ikeja based businessman, Engr. Charles Nwaneke was more furious. He lamented the huge wage bills he had to contends with every month, and now the workers are planning to disrupt what was left of his staggering business.

He urged the workers to always towed a path of peace and development. recalled that NLC President, Ajaero was arrested by the police ahead of the state-wide protest in Imo on Wednesday. This was disclosed by the NLC’s Head of Information, Benson Upah.

Although the police denied arresting Ajaero, stating that he was merely taken into protective custody to prevent a mob attack, the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, accused the labour leader of meddling in the political affairs of the state.

The attack on the labour leader has been condemned by many prominent Nigerians and civil society organisations, including the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 elections, Peter Obi, and human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN).

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