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Opinion

At 70, it’s still sunset at noon for Ajimobi | By Akin Oyedele

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The sudden transition and commitment of the remains of the former Governor of Oyo State, His Excellency, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, to mother earth, at his Oluyole, Ibadan, residence today, evokes a painful reminder of our mortality. Even at 70, I dare say it is sunset at noon for the ebullient, workaholic former governor of our dear state who showed no sign of ageing, weariness or illness.

Although our path first crossed rather on a frosty note some seventeen years ago, during a reception organised in honour of Senator Clement Awoyelu by his kinsfolk, at Olujoda Hotel, Ado-Ekiti, he was later to, by divine arrangement, be my boss and benefactor for five years, having been twice lucky to be appointed a member of his media team.

 

By his death, Ibadanland has lost an illustrious son, Oyo State has lost the architect of its modernity, while the country has lost a patriotic statesman whose contributions to nation building and democratic norms are unequivocal and forthright.

As a senator, he distinguished himself in the real sense of the word. Ajimobi was reputed to be one of the strident campaigners against the infamous third term agenda of a former president, while he was said to be one of the few lawmakers that spurned the N50m per head bait doled out to oil the machinery of the vaulting ambition. Although some pliant members of the 5th National Assembly had allegedly pocketed the filthy lucre without batting an eyelid, Ajimobi famously stood his ground in defence of democracy and sanctity of the Constitution.

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As the first two-term governor of the state, his legacies dot the landscape, while his footprints are indelible on the sands of time. What he did or did not do well should be left for political pundits to pontificate about and for posterity to judge.

At the twilight of his administration, the continued well-being of Oyo State was uppermost on his mind, prompting him to earnestly wish that his successor should surpass his achievements.

He had said: “We have laid a solid foundation for whoever is coming after us to build on. I will expect whoever is going to succeed me to leverage on our achievements in peace and security. When we came in 2011, Ibadan was notorious for criminal activities and brigandage, which earned it the appellation of a garrison.

“You will agree with me that Oyo State of today is a peaceful state, and this peace is the German floor for the unprecedented development of the state. When you look around, you will know that Ibadan and indeed, the entire state have witnessed tremendous turnaround.

“My successor should be able to improve on our achievements in education, health, agriculture, urban renewal and infrastructural revolution. On our own part, we don’t expect everybody to be on our side, otherwise we will be deceiving ourselves. In fact, if you want everybody to like you for everything you are doing, then go and sell ice cream.”

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Gratefully, his successor, His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde, has taken up the gauntlet and has indubitably built on the foundation laid by his predecessor, judging by his huge investments aimed at overhauling the security architecture of the state.

In his modesty and quite uncharacteristic of your everyday politician, Makinde had on many occasions alluded to the fact that his forerunner kept his lights bright for him to see and follow.
The governor wrote in his tribute, “Surely, he (Ajimobi) will be remembered for leaving a blueprint for some of the activities that our administration is now undertaking.”

In his book, ‘As you Like it,’ celebrated poet and dramatist, William Shakespeare, waxed philosophical in an allegory of the seven stages of a man’s life cycle, from ‘infancy to second childishness and mere oblivion.’

In a monologue in one of the scenes of the pastoral comedy book, Melancholy Jaques had said, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.”

Although, Ajimobi might not have completed the seven stages, which makes his exit painful, but it pleases His maker to summon him for bigger assignments in Al-jannah. He had played his part on the world’s stage to the best of his ability and had exited in a blaze of glory.

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My thoughts and prayers are with his loving wife and soul mate of several decades, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, the children and family.
May Allah grant him Al-jannah Firdaus and preserve his living and nonliving treasures.

Adieu, YE.

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Opinion

Why Is Ajimobi’s Mausoleum A Subject Hypocritical Outrage? | By Maroof Asudemade

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Nigerians derive a kind of unexplainable pleasure in brazen hypocrisy. The latest in their display of mischiefs coated in feigned outrage is about the grand Mausoleum constructed by the family of the deceased former governor of Oyo state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.

This writer must confess that he held initially that the resting place was vainly flamboyant when the video of the Mausoleum was sent to him. But after making some enquiries as to the intent and purpose of the tomb, he’s convinced that there was nothing vain about it and that it’s the best way the Ajimobi family thinks it fit to honour and keep memories of their illustrious patriarch.

Mausoleum is a phenomenon that has been embraced in all continents of the world. It was invented by Phythius and named after King Mausolus, a Persian satrap of Caria in Harlicarnassus near the modern Turkey, whose grieving widow had the Mausoleum done to immortalise him. The large Mausoleum housing the remains of King Mausolus was reputed to be one of the Seven Wonders of the world! Since its invention, mausolea have been regular features of burial and internment arrangements, cutting across continents and religions, especially among royal, political, military and economic leaders around the world.

Mausolea are monuments. Monuments represent the histories and the heritages of peoples of the world. Without monuments, histories and heritages are lost to generations who need them to develop a sense of history and to recognise past glories in which they must exude pride. But when a people choose to sneer at a monument because of flimsy consideration of vanity, then, it’s no curse that such people already have courted extinction.

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The ‘vanity’ that mausolea are tagged to be began and spread from ‘saner’ climes after which the insanity of adopting them in Nigeria afflicted us. Almost all known deceased leaders in politics, economy, royalty and military and professional endeavours had mausolea constructed over their remains in their sprawling premises. Mausolea came into the consciousness of Nigerians when the ever sagely Obafemi Awolowo died in 1987 and a mausoleum was constructed over his embalmed remains which visitors and tourists continued to troop to see even after many years before his corpses was decaying and he had to be buried appropriately. Since then, mausolea are being constructed by families of deceased eminent Nigerians as an indication of how immensely they cherish the lives and the memories of their departed loved ones.

When Mike Adenuga lost his mother, he spent several millions of naira to construct a mausoleum to house his mother’s remain. In Nigeria today, deceased eminent Nigerians who had mausolea built over their remains included Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in Bauchi, Sani Abacha in Kano, Olusola Saraki in Ilorin, Oba Okunade Sijuwade in Ile-Ife, Tayo Aderinokun in Lagos and a host of others. Even Dino Melaye built a world class Mausoleum for his mother’s remains! We can all see how vanity drives our eminent men and women to have mausolea that hold no pleasure to them built on them! Don’t Yoruba elders say ‘he who isn’t entitled to a bonus calls it unlawful’? Only a poverty of acute proportion will make one attach vanity to every luxury in life.

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If all these eminent men and women mentioned above embraced vanity for having mausolea built on their remains, let me regale you with a burial story of a sincerely altruistic and the only truly radical and activist lawyer Nigeria has ever produced, Chief Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi. No one can associate an atom of corruption to the late fiery lawyer! He lived a good life despite that he was an excessively incorruptible man. Yet, he planned his burial immediately he was told of his terminal lung cancer. He instructed that he wanted to be buried in gold casket! And, yes, Gani Fawehinmi was buried in gleaming gold casket! So, Gani too was vain! If Gani did not elevate vanity while alive, why would he elevate vanity in death?

No one is justified at all to wail about the vanity of life to the families of late Senator Abiola Ajimobi. What could be more vain than having to lose a man larger than his existence, an illustrious colossus for that matter? If losing Ajimobi to the inevitable death does not define life as vanity, one wonders what else will? Senator Ajimobi lived a good life, worthy of emulation in all ramifications. Yoruba elders say, ‘a dowry paid on a bride depends on how cherished the bribe is’. Therefore, it’s also apt to conclude that ‘Ajimobi was befittingly buried based on how so much he was cherished, loved and adored by his families’.

 

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Opinion

Is the word bankrolling derogatory? | By Onike Rahaman

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Subject:

Given the harsh reactions and ill-mannered responses of Femi Fani Kayode to the question asked by The Daily Trust Correspondent during the interactive session held with the journalists in the Cross River State yesterday, the action of FFK which has been largely condemned, considered as social misconduct and irrational forced me to carry out further search of the extensive meanings of the word ‘bankroll’ .

 

Up till now, I have not got any hints, tips or information on the derogatory meaning of the word bankroll to have prompted FFK outbursts of anger.Even my dictionary of insulting words didn’t include such entry.

 

Background information:

Chief Femi Fani Kayode in the past few days had been touring some states meeting the governors in those states.

He was in Calabar the capital of Cross Rivers state when he was asked by Eyo Charles the Daily Trust Correspondent in the state that who is bankrolling his tour.

Fani Kayode became livid with anger and said, ” What type of stupid question is that?

Bankrolling who? Do you know who you are talking to? I will not take any questions from this man. What type of insulting question is that? Which bankroll? To do what? Who can give me money for anything?

Who do you think you are talking to? Go and report yourself to your publisher… Don’t insult me here… I could see from your face before you got here how stupid you are. Don’t ever talk to me like that. Who do you think you are talking to?”

While some people have blamed the reporter for asking a denigrating question, others insist Fani Kayode displayed pride as it is the duty of journalists to promote accountability. Who do we blame?

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A. Eyo Charles the reporter.
B. Chief Femi Fani Kayode.

Semantics of the word that ignited the anger of Femi Fani Kayode:

Bankrolling:

1.Cambridge English Dictionary: verb. informal.
‘To support a person or activity financially’

2.Collins Dictionary:

VERB
‘To bankroll a person, organization, or project means to provide the financial resources that they need’.

[mainly US, informal]
The company has bankrolled a couple of local movies.

3. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English:

bankroll:Informal-to provide the money that someone needs for a business,a plan etc.

4. Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
bankroll verb
bankrolled; bankrolling; bankrolls
Definition of bankroll (Entry 2 of 2)
transitive verb
: to supply money for (a business, project, or person.
5.Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners:
bankroll:to provide the money for something.

My Take:

What then could have infuriated the former Minister and Lawyer with the question asked by the timid journalist for him to have acted oddly and reacted annoyingly in a way that has exposed him to public ridicule?

The whole scenario is a pointer to the fact that the man lacks emotional intelligence, maturity, decency and capacity to handle stressful situations.

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Opinion

Need for discipline in PMB’s cabinet to fight real corruption | By Abba Dukawa

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With three cardinal programs of PMB’s campaigned promises, i. e Insecurity, Corruption and Economy, Nigerians expected effective and rebut fighting of Insecurity, Corruption and improved Economy in the country.  It will be recalled that following the intense presidential campaign and the victory in the March 28 presidential poll in 2015 election.   Let me start with corruption war. For long PMB had been pontificating about his desired to fight   Corruption made Nigerians believed that he is capable to beat the previous administrations ‘efforts in anti-corruption war in the country and improved security and economy of the country.  

To the extent that even the war waged by the administration against corruption proved to be toughest and it’s fighting back each passing day because there are several alleged corruptions within the administration.

The most disturbing point of war against  corruption is becoming a subject of public scorn. There are several examples I can cite as proof of evidence but I will limit myself to a few. Nigerians may recalled less than two years  of  PMB’s administration , face  its first litmus test in fighting corruption when a court fined MTN to pay billions of dollars to the government.

The most   shocking of the administration error was the given approval of $25 billion contract awarded by NNPC without  the input of the acting president at the time of the said approval PMB was lying in a sick bed in faraway London. This cast’s serious doubt in the mind of Nigerians.

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In spite of highly celebrated profiled corrupt cases like ex petroleum minister, Diezeini Allison, Defencegate and PDP campaign funds, five years into the administration, there were no convictions of the alleged looters in this highly profiled corruption cases. The most worrying development is that the anti-graft war, which used to be his major feat, is now all over the place. Magu, the anti-graft Czar, has himself been accused of various infractions — some of them contained in reports submitted to PMB.

Did PMB heard  Prof  Pondei, NDDC acting MD, when he told a senate panel that he spent N1.5 billion as COVID-19 relief on the staff? Did you heard him brazenly told the committee that “we took care of ourselves”, he is still in office. That any of your appointees could make such a reckless statement on record shows how low they rate your anti-graft war.

There is  extraordinary chaos   going on between  President’s   power-drunk ministers and chief executive officers of the  respective departments and agencies under their watch.

Did PMB knows that as a result of these infighting among the administration’s appointees are becoming a subject of public ridicule.  Minister of labour who suspended the management of  NSITF  said he had PMB’s  approval. Former MD of the Niger Delta Development Commission vs. Minster of Niger Delta, Dr Isa Ali Pantami Vs Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Minister of Power Vs MD of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company, Minster of power Vs MD of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA)

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Another episode of indiscipline was when police officers were deployed to the house of Mrs Joi Nunieh, former MD of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to intimidate her on a day she was supposed to testify about the massive corruption in the agency. Latest episode of indiscipline was when the minister of labour, Dr Chris Ngige Vs James Falaki on the screen of a national TV when he  called him Mushin boy and that he is VI Guy.

It is seem the government is indisposed to instill discipline within the ranks of the administration.  Many Nigerians are asking whether President Buhari is the man of dependability Nigerians saw in him some years back.  This is not the same person Nigerians  ostensible  brought into office in 2015, Buhari’s fear factor has  gone which  the corrupt people and other  had on him disappeared,  the fright  notion of If Buhari catches you, one would bear the consequence also gone and  no longer scares anybody, as we all can see even  there is   apparent lack of coordination and infighting among different agencies of government as well as key functionaries serving in the administration came to the front in the wake of the confirmation of the suspended EFCC chairman DSS, wrote to the senate to counter your choice.  

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If indeed those allegations are true, it should be a major indictment on Mr President, that right under his nose, all these things were happening and you did not act swiftly but the way the whole thing has been handled is damaging to the anti-graft war, and infighting  among the appointees are  hurtful to the administration integrity.   Nigerians never expected negative things to happen under PMB’s stewardship and voters never thought he would head a government bedeviled with boggling financial recklessness of public funds, chaos, in fighting among the administration appointees and endless things which are discrediting his administration’s  goodwill and the nation at large.

 

Dukawa can be reached at[email protected]

 

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