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Monday, 30 September 2013

Oramiyan celebration should be universal - Gani Adams Lauds organisers of Oramiyan Festival , Ile - Ife


 Panel of justice, from left, Chief Adegbioye Onigbinde, Pa Jimi Solanke and Prof Owolabi 

Barrister Kolapo Alimi, Rep of Osun state governor flanked by Other commissioners  at the function

Opa Oranmiyan and Oranmiyan shrine Ile Ife
Olu Omo of Ile Ife



Mr .Lawrence Omidiora of FLABSY Travel and Tours with  leader of OPC Otunba Gani Adams

Ile Ife , the ancestral home of the Yoruba race, the home of the deities and the source as it is called was in celebration mood over the weekend as people from all walks of life gathered in the ancient town to celebrate one of the legend, founder of Empire, kingdoms , dynasty and one of the prominent warriors among the Odudwa children simply identified as Oranmiyan or
Oranyan. And some of the people who witnessed the formal inclusion and celebration of Oranmiyan festivals in said it is a good development in a right direction.
History has it that Oranmiyan has his root in Ile Ifer, reigned as the 6th Ooni of Ife, as first Oba of Benin and First Alaafin of Oyo, he has his son who also reigned as Ooni , Alaafin and Benin.
while describing Oranmiyan Olasoji babatunde of Eredumi quarters in Ife one of the men guarding the shrine told Alainka that, his real name was not Oranmiyan it was the success of the divination that was done for him when he was young that made him to change his name to oranmiyan “ my case is positive “ so that was why he is today been called oranmiyan, he is an hefty huge human being from Eredumi, oranmiyan had a great impact in Yoruba race because he is a legend, a holy person who detest dirt and unholy things. And that is why this sacred place is where people come and pray and there prayer is being answer.
The 3 days programmed which featured lectures, paying homage to the oni of Ife, award presentation to best drummer, traditional display and other programmes that enhances promotion of cultural values of Yoruba people was packaged by FLABSY travel and tours Limited, an event management consulting firm that with penchant for promotion of core tradition and cultural value of different tribes and race.
Speaking with Alarinka, one of the directors of FLABSY , Mr Lawrence Omidiora said, We are involved in celebrating Oranmiyan because we have absolute belief that it worth being celebrated , we have verifiable fact and a staff and shrine that actually serve as an evidence that he existed and everything been said about him can be proven as indicated by the opa oranmiyan at the oranmiyan shrine here and that is really why we want to project it to the entire world far beyond the way it is being done before , we are out to raise the consciousness of the entire world to the fact that Oranmiyan is one of the world legend who originated from ile ife in Nigeria Africa and do exploit during his life time”.
He said further that, “ that is why we organized three day powerful events that showcased our belief in the deities , the three days event was arranged in such a way that it will involved everybody, and if you move round you will see in some quarters in Ile Ife where they are also celebrating Oranmiyan festival, we have started on a good note and we are hoping to improve on it in subsequent years.
The Ooni of Ife Oba Okunade Sijuade in his good will message said “ we have been celebrating Oranmiyan on our own way in Ile Ife for ages. The festival of Oranmiyan is being done yearly to announce the commencement of Odun Olojo when the Oni of Ife wears Aare crown which was first won by Oduduwa. Three possible dates for celebration of Odun Olojo can only be presented to the Oni during the celebration of Oranmiyan festivals. We decided that Oranmiyan festival should come to the fore once when we notice the basterdization and demystification been wrapped around the place of glory and the historical significance of this great deity to ile –Ife.”
, Oba Sijuade said “ I must state this, as the custodian of the house of Oduduwa that as long as all of us are Yorubas and our origins are traced to Ile Ife, the various festivals are our festivals and our collective efforts are required to ensure that their celebrations are successful .our focus therefore is to strengthen the bond that bind us together and sustain our common history, our history should be our bond and no reason for it to divide us”.
The Ooni also commended the governors of the Yoruba speaking state for their effort in promoting Yoruba culture and traditions saying “ I am happy to say that policies of our various government in Yorubaland have assisted in maintaining the cultural identity and strengthening emotional, cultural, and spiritual bonds that bind them to their origin, Ile –Ife, the source. From Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo ,Ogun, Lagos to Osun, the governors have been working tirelessly to promote cultures of our people, they are developing and opening up the cultural sites and monument for tourism purposes, these efforts are to draw people to appreciate the wonders in our lands”.
Adding that “ our traditional rulers in various towns and villages have also been promoting their culture and historical places, the Ataoja of Osogbo recently celebrated Osun Oshogbo, Orangun of Ila celebrated his community festival and the Alaafin of Oyo remembered and celebrated Oranyan as the founder of Oyo dynasty, there are many more celebrations of our cultural heritage going all over Yorubaland revamped and maintained.
The governor of the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in his address said he identified with Oranmiyan and the people of Ile Ife as he believed in his prowess while alive, as a lover of the Oranmiyan , I think it was not out of place to name my campaign organization Oranmiyan because he fought and won wars, the same way we fought for our right and won”
Ogbeni Aregbesola who was represented by Barrister Kolapo Alimi, honourable commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy matter said, the government of Osun will not relent in its continuous effort at developing and initiating programmes and policies that will enhance the development of our culture and tradition as a bond of Unity.
The leader and founder of Odua Peoples Congress, OPC, Otunba Gani Adams in a chat with Alarinka was of the opinion that celebrating Oranmiyan should not be limited to any where. According to him, Oranmiyan was. a prominent deity who ruled, in Ile Ife, Oyo, Benin and other places, so it is not out of place for other towns and city in Yorubaland to celebrate Oranmiyan festival and others being celebrated in Ile Ife the cradle of Yoruba people.
According to him “we can have hundreds of communities celebrating Oranmiyan festival likewise Odua festival .Although we did not pray for disunity we believe what is happening is an opportunity to popularize our deities. We belief that by next year, there will be an improvement . You know things are not done to perfection once .There is no festival we started that would be excellent in packaging in one two, three, until you are getting to the five, sixth edition. So I have moved round the groove andI saw some places that we can used for grand finale which can occupy nothing less than 10,000 people conveniently .I am going to speak to the governor of Osun State so that they can build a place like Osun Osogbo around the Opa Oramiyan grove ”.

Another traditional ruler who claimed to be a descendant of Oranmiyan, Oba Abimbola Akinyele, Olu of Ijeni, Famia said celebrating Oranmiyan festival is a good development “as you can see that we are all elated to be here, I came with my people to be actively involved in the celebration because Oranmiyan is our father “.
The Akogun of Ife, Oloye J.A Owoyomi Akogun said that the festival is important because Oranmiyan is an important personality, he was somebody who used to rescue Ile Ife during war time . He was a king, the sixth in Ife .He established many dynasties and empires including Oyo town. He is from Ife and we have to celebrate him, we have been doing it before but not in this elaborate manner and we are happy with the way it is been packaged this year “

Let’s work together to combat violence, crimes, Ajimobi tasks Nigerians




Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has called for concerted efforts at combating violence and crimes which have of recent seized the country by the jugular.

The governor made the call in his goodwill message issued in Ibadan on Monday on the occasion of the 53rd independence anniversary of Nigeria.

The governor called on Nigerians to support the efforts of the leadership at the federal, state and local government levels at eliminating the challenges facing them as a people.

He said that he envisioned a state that was peaceful, caring and a purveyor of good life for the people as well as a state within a nation that is democratic, just and equitable in the sharing of the benefits and responsibilities of the nationhood.

``Most fundamentally, let us combat the demon of violence and crimes that is posturing as part of our clime. We must wean our country from the hands of this unwholesome tag that is a major disincentive to growth and development,’’ he said.

Although the governor noted that the country’s democratic path was not as smooth as hitherto envisaged, he, however, added that the tall walls of challenges which confronted the country at the return to democratic rule had started falling.

Sen. Ajimobi, while urging Nigerians to hold the relative peace in the country very sacred and deepen the confines of peace, said ``we can do this by living peaceably with our fellow men and women and to put Nigeria at the centre of our interpersonal relationships’’.

He, however, expressed the regret that patriotism and the spirit of nationalism were vividly missing today in the relationship between Nigeria and its citizens.

``Right now, many of our countrymen see Nigeria as one alien enterprise from which they are very distant and which has no bearing on their existence, adding that this alienation had led to the recent spate of violence that had put the country on the map of violence-ridden countries.

While congratulating the people of Oyo State on the occasion of the independence anniversary, Sen. Ajimobi acknowledged God’s benevolence in sparing their lives to witness the day.

``The past 53 years have been an admixture of experiences, fascinating and not so fascinating; encouraging and discouraging, plausible and condemnable.

``However, our resilience as a people in the face of monumental challenges has been encouraging and awesome. It is this resilience that has helped us to forge ahead, to this point of celebrating our 53rd anniversary as a people,’’ he said.



Agagu, a quitessential politician, bridge builder - Obasanjo, Ajimobi, Fayemi, Aregbesola, others

From right; Chief of Staff to Ondo State Governor/Representative of
the Governor, Dr Kola Ademujimi, Governors Rauf Aregbesola of Osun
State, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, and
the first son of the deceased, Feyi Agagu, at the ‘Day of Tributes’
for the late former Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Agagu, at the
International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, 

Eminent personalities from all walks of life paid glowing tributes to the late former Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, describing him as a quintessential politician and a bridge-builder who lived his life for the service of humanity.
They were unanimous that the late Dr. Agagu was a patriot, nationalist and one of the foremost leaders of Yoruba in the South-West Nigeria who exhibited the principle of politics without bitterness.
Among the personalities who attended the day of tributes in honour of the late former governor at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan included Governors Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State as well as his Osun and Ekiti State counterparts, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola and Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
Others included former Governors Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Ayo Fayose, Gbenga Daniel and Segun Oni of Osun, Ekiti, Ogun and Ekiti States respectively, while Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State was represented by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Christian Ita and former President Olusegun Obasanjo by his wife, Chief (Mrs.) Bola Obasanjo.
In his own tribute, Governor Ajimobi described Dr. Agagu as a scholar, versatile patriot, dependable ally and a man who believed in the power of the human spirit to break barriers.
``Today is a very solemn day in the lives of the people of Oyo State. We have lost a friend, a patriot, brother and a resident whose decades of living in Ibadan had made him to effectively earn the honour of being one of us, an indigene of Oyo State.
``From January 1958 when he moved to live with his cousin, Edward Fagbohun here in Ibadan and schooled at the Ebenezer African Church Primary School, Oke-Ado, where he completed his primary school education in 1960, Agagu’s love for Ibadan and choice of Oyo State as home were unparalleled. It was no doubt his love for us that was responsible for his choice in 1961 to attend Ibadan Grammar School, where he passed out in 1967.
``That same preference for Ibadan no doubt led him to the University of Ibadan in 1968 where he first opted to study Botany but later changed to Geology and graduated in 1971,’’ Governor Ajimobi said.
According to him, the former governor was ``one of our brightest stars that just set’’, adding that his (Agagu’s) star set at a time he provided illumination to a large number of men and women and his countrymen at large.
``Dr. Agagu represented the best of us, indeed one of the trail blazers of professionals in the murky waters of politics. At a time when the general conception was that only the worst of us participated in politics, he literally bit the bullet, removed the hallowed academic gown of the academia and mounted the rostrum to campaign for the votes of his people.
The governor congratulated the good people of Ondo State for having the blessings of providence to have had Agagu administer the state; his wife for having such an uncommon patriot as husband, and his children for the honour to have been born and sired by him.
Also, Governor Aregbesola noted that the former governor lived a life worthy of emulation and that he gave himself to the greater pursuit of the greatest good of the people.
He also acknowledged Dr. Agagu’s passion about service to the people, adding that he was dutifully committed to adding values to human lives.
``Agagu was unassumingly humane; he connected without collision with people; unassuming without being cunny; brave without being brash and pleasantly accommodating,’’ Governor Aregbesola remarked.
He commended the late former Governor Agagu for his support for the current South-West integration agenda which, according to him, he (Agagu) saw as an opportunity for the region to develop economically.
For Governor Fayemi, Agagu’s entry into politics changed the typecast that only the charlatans got involved in the art of governance, adding ``he lit the candle and showed the pathway to some of us’’.
Former President Obasanjo whose tribute was read by his wife, Chief (Mrs.) Bola Obasanjo, said that the period was a moment of celebration rather than mourning as the former governor lived a fulfilled life.
He said that Dr. Agagu would be sorely missed by his wife, children, extended family, friends and his community.
``We have indeed lost a honest adviser, hardworking colleague, indomitable leader, lover of his community and a committed worker in the political vineyard who brought his intellectual ability to bear in my government,’’ he said.
Former Governor Gbenga Daniel, who spoke on behalf of all the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors in the South-West, acknowledged Agagu’s contributions to the development of the region both as a minister and as Governor of Ondo State.
He described the former governor as an accomplished academic, politician and a public servant par excellence, who life was characterized by diligence, humility, commitment, loyalty, patriotism and quiet philantrophy.
``Dr. Agagu remained a most consistent politician who brought dignity, candour, decorum and loyalty into the part of politicking. We have lost a consummate political gladiator, a humanist and complete gentleman,’’ Otunba Daniel remarked.
They all prayed for the repose of the soul of the former governor. 


Sunday, 29 September 2013

EKITI APC FLAYS INEC'S PROPOSED SALE OF ELECTION MATERIALS



The declared intention of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to dispose off some items, including used ballot boxes  and papers has attracted serious criticism from the Ekiti State chapter of  All Progressives Congress (APC).

The electoral body had advertised in The Punch of Wednesday September 25 edition it's intention to auction some used items of the Commission, which include the ballot boxes and some election materials used in the conduct of the past elections, but Ekiti State APC has viewed  this with serious concern and suspicion.
In its reaction through a Press statement signed by the interim Chairman, Chief Olajide Awe, APC Ekiti wondered why INEC, which is an electoral umpire should opt to auction such important and sensitive items.

"Given our past as a nation, especially with regards to crises directly connected with electoral fraud, irregularities and outright snatching and stuffing of ballot boxes culminating in Nigerians' disdain for and loss of faith in the electoral processes, the current attempt by INEC to auction electoral materials is suspect and uncalled for," the statement reads.

The party wondered what anybody would want to do with used election materials and why INEC would be so desperate to dispose them off at this crucial moment. Why now that the Anambra State gubernatorial election is around the corner. Is it as a result of where to warehouse them or what to earn from the sale?

Come November, the gubernatorial election will be conducted in Anambra State. This will be followed by those of Ekiti and Osun by the middle of next year (2014). We note that none of the states in question is presently under the control of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), which incidentally produced President Goodluck Jonathan that constituted INEC.

Also on Friday September 27, 2014, the chairman of the electoral body, Prof Attahiru Jega was quoted in the dailies as saying that INEC would not guarantee the security of observers, local or international, during the coming elections. He was further quoted as citing countries like India where foreign observers are not allowed to monitor elections. These are scary statements and we interpret them to mean that the electoral body was trying to ward off observers from monitoring elections.

Though Prof Jega had tried his best to restore the people's confidence in the electoral process in the country, Ekiti APC would still like to warn that it would be fool-hardy to watch INEC make suspicious moves at this crucial time without summoning the courage to cry out, especially considering the desperation of President Jonathan and his PDP to hang on to power in spite of the internal crisis tearing the party apart and it's apparent rejection by Nigerians on the basis of non-performance.

Ekiti APC hereby calls on INEC to rescind its decision to sell election materials, which is akin to selling weapons to a warring party in a season of anomie. We also appeal to the people of good conscience to prevail on the body to desist from the sale, particularly preceding the 2014/2015 polls. Doing anything to the contrary may erode the confidence and hope of the people in Jega's INEC.


Friday, 27 September 2013

Gunmen Attack Banks In Kaduna, Leave Three Dead, Cart Away Huge Sums Of Money

kaduna-state


At least three persons were feared dead and many others in critical conditions when armed gunmen in the early hours of Friday attacked two commercial banks and communities in Saminaka, headquarters of Lere Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Eyewitnesses revealed that the gunmen, numbering over 20 and wielding sophisticated guns, stormed into the two banks and adjoining houses and carted away huge sums of money.
The witnesses said the gunmen killed three people suspected to be security guards attached to the banks while there were sounds of explosives throughout the night.
The state commissioner of police, Mr Olufemi Adenaike when contacted, said he was on his way to the scene of the attack to ascertain the level of destruction by the gunmen and therefore could not give details of the number of casualties.

EFCC Arraigns Man for Scamming Govs, Senator

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 arraigned one Vincent Bulus Venman before Justice A. O Adeniyi of the FCT High Court, Apo on a 6 count charge bordering on impersonation and obtaining money under false pretence.
The suspect was alleged to have been parading himself as Ambassador Fidelis Tapgun, former governor of Plateau State and in that capacity defrauded his victim of several millions of naira on the pretence of assisting him to get a ministerial appointment.
One of the charges reads; 'That you, VINCENT BULUS VENMAN that on or about 7th day of May, 2013 in Abuja within the Jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, did with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N1,000,000.00 (One million naira) from one Bukar Abba through Account No: 3067756581 domiciled at First Bank of Nigeria Plc in the name of Venman Vincent Bulus under the false pretence that you are Ambassador Fidelis Tapgun, former governor of Plateau State and that the said sum will be used to facilitate his nomination and appointment as a Minister by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which you knew is false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1 (3) of the same Act'.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Counsel to EFCC, Takon. N Ndifon urged the court to remand the accused in prison custody while asking for a date to open the case. Reacting, counsel to the accused , Ify Ikeatuegwu through a formal application prayed the court to admit her client to bail assuring that the accused is prepared to make himself available for trial.

However, the prosecution counsel objected on the ground that he was served with the motion just this morning and urged the court to give him time to equally respond to the application formally.
Justice Adeniyi after listening to both counsel ordered that the accused be remanded in EFCC custody and adjourned the matter to September 30, 2013 for hearing of the bail application.

The suspect was arrested following a complaint by Bukar Abba, Acting Director, Account, EFCC. The complainant stated that sometime in April, 2013, he received a telephone call from someone claiming to be Ambassador Fidelis Tapgun, former governor of Plateau State and a close ally of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He said the caller addressed him as Senator Bukkar Abba Ibrahim but he told him he was not the one and that they only share a common name.
The complainant further stated that, the suspect in the same way contacted the real Ambassador Fidelis Tapgun and other prominent citizens of this country including Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima, Reuben Abati (S.A Media to the President), Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamako of Sokoto State,Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State and Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State before the law caught up with him .

Investigation by operatives of the Commission revealed that the accused had already defrauded Senator Bukar Abba to the tune of N5million (Five Million Naira.)

APC YOUTH LEAGUE TO MOBILIZE FOR AJIMOBI RE-ELECTION

Governor Abiola Ajimobi  chances of returning to the Agodi  government house for another term received boost at the recently as the youth league of the All progressive  Congress, (APC) join  group of individuals and organisation endorsing  his candidature for 2015.

 The  group in a communiqué issue  at the end of  their general meeting said , the need to support governor Abiola Ajimobi for another term is precipitated by his transformational government which has taken  government away from the pedestrian system which the state has been used to during the previous administration

 The  communiqué which was jointly signed by  the state coordinator, Mr Azees Balogun , Iroko Michael, Secretary and Mr Soji Oyeranmi the  state media and publicity secretary   affirmed that the  unprecedented achievements of Senator Abiola Ajimobi  witness in the area of infrastructural 
development and other  sectors  need to be allowed to continue so that the state glory will be restored.

  They added that  “ without being  economical with the truth, we must  commend and eulogise the Aare Atunluse of Ibadanland for his giant strides that has brought the unprecedented  developments to the nooks and crannies  of the state in just two years”. His peace and security initiatives , youth employment through Yes-o scheme, Agriculture, Educational transformation, and other developmental initiatives has place governor Ajimobi as the  architect of modern Oyo state  who should be allowed to complete the good work he has started.
 The  youth league which  aim at sensitizing  Nigerians  on the need to  support the inevitable positive political changes the APC will bring to Nigeria also advocate for promotion of Youth empowerment through training skills acquisition, seminars and workshops

 They however assured governor Ajimobi of mobilizing   the youth for his second term “ ( the youth hereby pledge to mobilize  en masse the vote for  all candidate presented by the  APC because they are credible candidate whose integrity has been tested and trusted.

You’re out of tune with modern-day governance, Oyo APC tells PDP

VRS        

The All Progressive Congress (APC), Oyo State chapter, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state of being out of tune with the requirements of a modern-day governance which holds that constant assessment of key performance indices (KPIs) is key in the task of good governance.
It made this known in a release signed by the interim spokesman of the party, Mr. Dauda Kolawole, in a reply to an accusation by the state PDP which said that the party-led government had failed due to the recent dissolution of Governor Abiola Ajimobi-led cabinet.
“First, we want to thank the PDP for acknowledging that our government constituted a ‘performing team’ of cabinet members in the last two and half years or thereabout. This, no doubt, was responsible for the highly applauded strides that the government has been able to record in the last few years. However, to now call the same government which God gave the wisdom to pick ‘a performing team’ a failure just because it sought to have a higher performance in its cabinet smacks of extreme ignorance and lack of depth by the PDP,” the APC said.
The APC reiterated the reason given by its party-led government for dissolving the former cabinet, stating that for a government like its which had been applauded for its cerebral component, it would not stop until it got the best.
“Oyo State suffered seriously in the hands of the PDP in its eight-year misrule. Square pegs were put in round  holes and the height of this malady was when a transport union kingpin went to the hallowed chambers of the House of Assembly, held the gavel of the honourable House and proclaimed the Speaker ‘impissed’. But the current APC-led government has been able to raise the ante and instead of illiterates, we now have a professor as chairman of one of our local governments,” the APC said.

While stating that the watchword of the party-led government was excellence, the APC said it believed that in spite of the commendations given to its dissolved executive council members, which it said were way out of the class of the past PDP government’s cabinet, the government still believed that it could get better members from indigenes of the state in a new cabinet.

Tragedy as petrol tanker crushed man to death in Ibadan. Graduating student found dead in her room.

A graduating student of the Polythecnic Ibadan  was on Thursday night  found dead in her room  around Akorede area of sango Ibadan

 The computer Engineering   Diploma graduate simply identified as dammy was  said to have died hours before her body was discovered  by her housemate who raised alarm

 Some of the resident of  the  area described the incident as  tragic and unfortunate one as no one can say exactly how the incident  happened as  they were only aware when  her housemates raises alarm , " our source who claim anonymity  said Dammy whose parent resides in Ife was such a young charming damsel who cannot hurt a fly.

 it was gathered that Dammy  had earlier in the morning washed all her cloth in preparation  for a trip  home to visit her parent after she graduated from school.

Her body has  since been deposited at the morgue by the police who  we learnt later handed over to her relatives.
 A source at the area   informed Alarinka  that  Dammy's father who visited her daughters home  was weeping profusely as he  was cursing  whoever is suspected to be responsible for her daughter's death.

 Also  a factory worker was early this morning  crushed to death by a petrol tanker in Apata area of Ibadan
 the  deceased whose identity  was yet to be identified as at the time of filling this report died on the spot as he was crushed beyond recognition.

 Witnesses at the scene  said the victim was trying to avoid being hit by an Okada, but eventually landed at the tyre of  an incoming petrol tanker which crushed him beyond  recognition.

 When contacted  for confirmation from the police, the  Oyo command Public relation officcer, Mrs Bisi Ilobanafor  said  they police are already investigating  Dammy's death while  she promised to get back to Alarinka later  on the  Apata issue.

MDGs, Political will necessary - Mimiko

Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko (2nd left), with other leaders
at a debate on Maternal Mortality and the MDGs at the SABC's 'the
Great Debate' studios at the Dags Hammerksjold Library inside the UN
Headquarters in New York, USA

 Ondo state governor  Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has said Strong political will and readiness to commit resources are two key ingredients to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

  Dr. Mimiko who was speaking at the Nigerian side event of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on the 'Abiye' Safe Motherhood success story, said African leaders must be ready to commit needed resources to combat maternal and infant mortality as these are primary sources of dysfunctions in family and economic development.

The Ondo State Governor said committing resources however entails the possession of the political will and disposition to effect change. "We cannot continue to give the absence of resources as excuse for the
worrisome state of infant and maternal mortality in Africa.

 All we  need to do is to accept the fact that tackling the set of scourge is as important as, if not more important than, the most prioritised engagement of government," Mimiko said. Speaking on the specifics of his now globally-acknowledged 'Abiye' initiative, Mimiko said his government had to embark on a
government-financed health care initiative when faced with mind-boggling figures of mortality in the State. 

He said: "We vowed that pregnancy will no longer be a death sentence in our State and we embarked on a comprehensive process of intervention that has yielded noticeable results in a short period of time. From a novel process of tracking pregnant women through ICT tools, to providing care and access at all stages of pregnancy to delivery and five weeks after, we have provided care at no cost to the woman or her family at the point of care. Several lives have been saved in the process."


On the strategies employed by his government, Mimiko said the whole Abiye success story is hinged on three basic principles, which are: "tracking of the pregnant women fem conception to delivery; opening
the health care sector for universal and free access; and allocation of resources in the most efficient and equitable manner." He added that the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Death, an initiative to track death of pregnant women, has provided a verifiable proof that maternal mortality figures are falling in the State.


Several leaders from across Africa spoke of the need to share ideas and strategies so as to maximize the time left before the 2015 target date of the MDGs. President Goodluck Jonathan, Johnson Sirleaf Johnson
of Liberia, John Dramani Mahama of Ghana and several other african leaders were at hand at the event to compare notes and share best practices experience as the world prepares to round off the MDGs and
look towards post 2015 developments and goals.

Ex-Finance Commissioner Blames FG for Poor Fiscal Management and Dwindling Economy



Immediate past Commissioner for Finance in Oyo State, Mr. Zaccheus Adeniyi Adelabu has accused the Federal Government of “poor fiscal management” saying this is the bane of the dwindling federally collected revenue accruing to the Federation Account.

The ex-Commissioner threw the bombshell in Ibadan yesterday while delivering the 2013 Press Week anniversary lecture of the Nigeria Union of journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council, entitled “Dwindling Federation Allocation and the Challenges of Grassroots Development – Ways Out.”

While submitting that the challenges of grassroots development are enormous without adequate funding, the former Commissioner lamented that “the Federal Government wants to abandon the revenue framework upon which the 2013 budget was prepared.”

Mr. Adelabu who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Finance, Mr. David Olatunde remarked that the Federal Government’s insistence that the Federal Allocation would only be shared on the basis of amount actually earned rather than what is budgeted following its (FG’s) allegation of persistent decline in the gross federally collected revenue accruing to the Federastion Account, was unacceptable since  the unfolding national fiscal realities had revealed that “the shortfall is as a result of poor management.”

According to the former Commissioner, “the revenue profile of the Federation as painted by the Honourable Minister of State for Finance is incorrect and amounts to a gross distortion of facts and empirical data of revenue accruing to the Federation Account.”

His words:  “Specifically, while the Minister put the revenue earned in the month of July 2013 at N397.98 billion, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) economic report for the same period stated that revenue from oil rose by 0.2 per cent to N645.65billion, while gross non-oil receipt (corporate taxes, custom and ecise duties and custom’s special duties) was put at N404.53billion, a total of N1090.18Bn revenue which was higher than the budget estimate of N702.54billion approved by the National Assembly for July 2013.

“The attention of unsuspecting public is drawn to the key outstanding and recurring issues with revenue into the Federation Account Allocation Committee since 2011 especially the failure of NNPC to fully account and remit proceeds of all exports into the Federation Account.

“The questions that needs to be asked and answered includes the following:                 *Is the N2,983 Trillion held back by NNPC not part of the revenue earned into the Federation Account meant for the three tiers of government?
*Why is the FGN not demanding full remittance into the Federation Account by NNPC and who are the people profiting from the fund held by NNPC in foreign account through delayed remittance and / or non remittance to the Federation Account in most of the cases listed above.

*Why are there such serious issues of substantial noncompliance with the 2013 Budget and non-adherence to disbursement agreed at regular monthly FAAC meetings.”

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Oyo ‘ll not be ravaged by flood again - Ajimobi

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State (left) chatting with the World Bank Task Team Leader, Mr. Sateh El-Arnaout (right) during the visit of the World Bank Task Team to his office in Ibadan on Tuesday

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has vowed that the city of Ibadan and the entire state will never be ravaged by flooding again, going by the proactive measures already taken by his administration.  
The governor disclosed this in Ibadan on Tuesday while receiving the World Bank Team on Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project in his office.
Governor Ajimobi, while reiterating his administration’s commitment to preventing a re-occurrence of 2011 flood disaster, said that a committee had been put in place to work closely with the World Bank towards a successful implementation of flood management project.
It would be recalled that immediately after the flood disaster which ravaged Ibadan, the state capital, on August 26, 2011, the state government immediately embarked on the dredging of 43 rivers and streams across all the 33 local government areas of the state.
Besides, government also carried out massive sensitization of members of the public on the need to maintain clean environment through regular environmental sanitation and waste disposal.
Observers are of the view that but for the proactive measures already taken by the state government, the impact of the recent over 30 hours heavy downpour in Ibadan would have been greater.  
Governor Ajimobi said that his government was fully prepared to tackle the complexity of flooding and its various challenges, including the political will to effectively prevent loss of lives and property through flood in the state.
In his remark, the Leader of the team, Mr. Safeh El-Arnaout said that the partnership of the World Bank with Oyo State on flood management would include manpower capacity to effectively ensure a long term flood management programme.
Towards this end, the team leader said that a sum of $220 million would be committed to the project, with Oyo State contributing $20 million as counterpart funding.
He assured that the project would turn the flood into an opportunity by using it to provide water supply for the people of the state.
El-Arnaout commended Governor Ajimobi for demonstrating strong political will to prevent a re-occurrence of flood disaster in the state.

When Ila People celebrated Isinro 2013 with Orangun's 10 years Coronation anniversary

 Yorubaland has a very rich cultural values which is been considered as one of the best in the world,  its  tradition, mode of dressing, festivals , moral values and many others  historically  deep and meaningful . The rich cultural value of the region was at best display recently in Ila  during the year 2013  annual celebration of Isinro a festibal which heralds new year for the people.
As it is in other lands so it is in Oke Ila , they woke up to the sound of booming gun, which to a stranger would have been fearsome but for the people, it was to alert them of the  important of Friday 13th September 2013 and the need to put on their dancing shoes and best dress  because it is a special  day chosen by  Ifa  for  Isinro Day Festival.  It is also the day the people of Ila Orangun whose monarch  Oba Wahab Kayode  Oyedokun, Bibiire 1. were celebrating his 10th year  on the throne of  his fathers.
Ila Orangun is an ancient town, it holds prime place in the history of Yoruba. It is the headquarters of Ila Local Government. It lies to the north east of the State of Osun, closer to the border of Kwara State on 8° 1′North and longitude 04°54′East. It is the more populous sister-city (and sister-kingdom) of Òkè-Ìlá Òràngún located about 7.5 miles (12 km) to the northeast.
Olori Ogboni Agbaye, President General
Oba Oyedokun cladded in a complete  white expensive lace ( Agbada)  and the senior  olori who bear a hairstyle  called “Olori marun “   decorated with  fine bead. The other junior Olori were dressed  exactly like the Benin queen  which  explains the links between the  Ila and  Benin and other Oranmiyan sons and daughters. The parade was long as the black convertible car which the Kabiesi and the Olori sat on was surrounded by   chiefs and  indigenes of the town who moved en mase  with  Kabiyesi in a procession round the town as part of the tradition  during the festivals.
 While the procession was going on, Kabiyesi got to the point which was believed to be the point where the Ila chiefs departed from Ayedu, a warrior who was said to have come with the intention of taking  Ila into captivity during the ancient time. Many of his subjects brought gift for the King and he blessed them in return . Chief  Ifatola, Olota of Ila Orangu  explained  that  “ Isinro festival that we are celebrating today has been part of us here in Ila orangun since time immemorial , Isinro is one of the most important festival in Ila. We don’t  just pick a date for celebration because it involves core traditions and the essence is to pray for good development,  progress and ward off evils from the town. During our ancestors period, there is an Ifa called Owonriwonsa, there is this warrior called Ayedu, he was a great warrior who win every battle and he came to Ila with the intention of taking us into captivity. Orangun was a great warrior.  It is also a tradition in Ila that nobody ever confronted Ila  and succeeded. Then, Ayedu dares Ila in war and came to the town with the sole aim of conquering the town. Our great grandfathers consulted the oracles. They said he should be given food and they prepared pounded yam for him, and he was hypnotized after the consumption of pounded yam.  After five days,  he wanted to take  his exit from the town, they consulted Ifa again and  Ifa, the oracle instructed that they  should give him clothes and let him go.  Later he was  escorted to the border of  Ila , they prayed for a new life and life that is devoid of  crisis, war, epidemics and other evils as he departed.  That is the genesis of the celebration and what we are celebrating today.
Chief Ifatola

Oba Adetoyese Abudu Olabimtan, Oluaye Oba  Ogboni Agbaye and President General said  that  this particular festival called  Isinro is a festival that we inherited from our fathers. It is believed to be one of the  days when prayers  are being answered  by our ancestors. The barren will conceive ,more development will come into town and  many good things will come into the community because of the blessings from the Kabiyesi  while he moved around the ancient town today. Whoever see Oragun (the monarch) today sees our ancestors and it is a day our ancestors come with blessings for all. Indeed, it is a special day in our community.
 Oba Adetoyese however appealed to government and all the stakeholders in the traditional institutions not to relent in their effort in reviving and promoting yoruba culture and tradition “We have to continue to work towards enhancement   and promotion of our   culture in Yorubaland”.
The women chiefs 
Igede masquerade and dancers

Yeye Asa of Yorubalamd.


 The Yeye Asa of Ila Orangun, Chief Mrs Adeola Faleye stated that the  Isinro day is to marked the grand finale of  17 days festival. She said,  “ from historical antecedent , today being the grand finale of Isinro, our Kabiesi will come out visit several  section of the large community,  this afford the people to  be able to see him life,  and different age group, lineages, and others will come and pay homage to the monarch and give him gift and he shall responded  through prayers. In the ancient times, that is the only day when  the people see their kings face to face. Historically, the kabiyesi in the olden days used to stay in the palace and rarely make public appearances, but as you know,  things are changing,  and apart from the fact that things  are changing, it is a day when Kabiyesi end the festival period with  visitation to some sections of the community and bless the people”.

  In a short interview with  the Orangun of  Ila, Oba  Wahab Kayode Oyedokun , Bibiire 1st ,  the monarch who was visibly happy  said  “Isinro festival is a festival  and a year of appreciation thanking people for their cooperation so far, at the end of the year.  In our traditional calendar in Ila, we have  17 days forming a month. So when you have seventeen in seventeen places, you have completed a year  and  to end  that year there should be what is called Isinro, thanking people and preparing for a new year ”

 Speaking on his 10th year anniversary on the throne, Oba Oyedokun said   “ it  has been years of fulfillment and of course years of challenges. I want to thank my people for the love, the cooperation i received from them  both from the spiritual ends, the Alfa, pastors and traditionalists, they cooperated with me in moving the town forward.  So it is  worth celebrating, having spent ten years on the throne is a thing of joy and we have to celebrate". Speaking further, he said, “ ascending  the throne is not an easy task, you have some people who will be disgruntled, not satisfied with the outcome of the selection, i was challenged in the court of law. Till date, i still have some cases in court and you know when you have case in the court of law, litigation requires a lot of money. Those are part of the challenges that has draw me a little bit back, thank God that we are now getting over it " .
Oba Oyedokun  while asked on the relationship between Ila and Oke Ila who also celebrate  Isinro  festival said,  “The two communities are the same , its just  a matter of  location , Ila and Oke Ila, we are one community, we have  the same Oba,  my title here is Orangun of Ila,  the title there is Orangun of Oke Ila, so  we are brothers there is no separation , no difference at all. Same compound we have here, they also have in Oke Ila, all the name of the  traditional chiefs we have here are the same we have in Oke Ila. We have the seven iwarefa here, the Oba nla, the Oba nle, the Elemona  and so on , they are all in Oke Ila too. We celebrated egungun, the same way they celebrate over there , so there is no difference at all, rather it is what i can call two in one. I am from Arutu Oluokun lineage and the  Orangun of Oke Ila is also from Arutu Oluokun lineage, is there any difference between us as sons of same father?"

The monarch acknowledged and commended  the effort of the government of the State of Osun in promoting culture and tradition said , “ the government  of the State of  Osun deserved to be commended for its position on the promotion of Yoruba culture and tradition. I want to  appeal to my people that they should see their town as theirs,  a hundred years in foreign land is nothing, and they should come home and  support us to develop the town together. We cannot do it alone, i cannot do it alone with my chiefs  , all my children all over the world  both at home and in the diaspora should come home and join me in taking Ila to a greater height”.
 
Others who spoke with us said, the ten years on throne of Oba Oyedokun has been remarkable with good development. A non indigene, Emeka Okafor said,  "Kabiyesi has not only brought development to the town, his  reign has also been peaceful"

 The  non Yoruba resident of  Ila community  shows appreciation  to God and  the Kabiyesi for extending hand of fellowship and love to them. The Igede community from Benue and Kogi state  made a  solid representation with their masquerade and traditional drums dancing and entertaining the people during the festival. One of the member of  the community , Sunday Peter disclosed that, "Kabiyesi is accommodating , he take care of us as his children we come to him and he  sees to our affairs, we come  here to celebrate with him. Whenever  we have  festival like this and this is how we do every time, we feel at home here and we enjoy  Ila very well".