Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has described the National Assembly and the jumbo pay for lawmakers as a huge drain on national economy.
He said the Nigerian lawmakers enjoy huge pay, which he described as the highest in the world where, according to him, an estimated 75 percent of Nigerians populace lived in poverty.
Obasanjo said this at the book presentation of Prof. Mark Nwagwu entitled: “I am Kagara, I Weave the Sands of Sahara” at the University of Ibadan.
He was the Chief Host, while the former Minister of Education; Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili chaired the occasion.
The former President said he would continue to criticise the Nigerian lawmakers as long as they continue to receive huge pay, which he insisted, consume a huge percentage of the nation’s overhead cost.
He, however, urged the federal government and the National Assembly to reduce the cost expended on payment of overheads and salaries.
The former president said that government spending on overheads, salaries and allowances in the face of the prevailing economic situation would not boost the socio-economic development of the country.
“Ninety per cent of our revenue goes to pay overhead, allowances, salaries and not much is left for capital development.
“We are not going to develop this way and we will only have ourselves to blame.
“It is even worse with the National Assembly, they are one of the highest paid legislatures in the world.
“We have 75 per cent of our population living in abject poverty, yet these people have refused to cut down their earnings.
“We must speak out to get corrected when we err, the behaviour and character of the National Assembly is one that should be condemned,” he said.
Reacting to the ongoing indefinite strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Obasanjo urged the government to honour the agreement it entered into with the union.
“I have seen this in government; maybe it is a lesson government will learn. Government should not allow itself to be stampeded into signing agreement without full consultation with those within the government.
“Then, they run into the implementation of that agreement that has been signed; however, an agreement is an agreement and whoever is your agent who signed the agreement on your behalf, you are bound by it,” he said.
In her remarks, Oby Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education, urged the society to offer the girl-child opportunity to excel by giving her equal right to education as her male counterpart.
I am Kagara” is built around a female heroine; the book highlights the marked difference a woman can make if given the needed support.
“The greatest support a girl-child could have is that of a strong male who gives her a voice and is not afraid of her,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the book was set in contemporary Nigeria where terrorist organisations are threatening innocent residents in the Niger Delta and the North-east Zone.
Ajimobi lived a fulfilled life – Sheik Bello
• Family frowns at continued politicization of late governor’s death, burial
Immediate past Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi has been described as a once in a lifetime leader who only comes around in a generation.
This was the verdict of Sheik Muideen Bello who delivered the sermon at the 8th day fidau prayers for the former Governor.
Sheik Bello said Ajimobi died a fulfilled man after having achieved all God wanted him to achieve.
“ When Senator Isiaq Ajimobi entered Baitul -L- Atik, he asked God to let him see 70 years because no one in his lineage had seen it. He asked God to make him the first Governor to serve two terms in Oyo state. He also asked God to grant him mercy to build a befitting mosque for HIM. God granted all his requests. He died a fulfilled man”, the preacher said.
According to Sheik Bello, an individual like Ajimobi was a special creation of the Almighty Allah and a leader like him will not come around for another 50 years.“ He was a special being, we can never have a Governor like him in Oyo state who had done so well until the next 50 years”.
The scholar who was accompanied by other notable Islamic scholars and clerics in leading series of prayers for the repose of the soul of the deceased recounted the various encounters he had with the Governor and where he (Ajimobi) had emphasised how he longed to break the family jinx of living beyond 70 years.
“Many times, he didn’t hide his secret prayers of how we wanted to live for 70 years because his father had died before the age of 70.”
The cleric also condemned people for only coming out to sing the praises of the deceased Governor after his death said such hypocrisy will attract judgement and punishment from the Almighty Allah. The fidau prayers which started shortly before 11 am was strictly a family affair in line with the Covid-19 protocols as laid down by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). There were less than 30 people at the ceremony which included Dr (Mrs) Florence Ajimobi, wife of the late Deputy National Chairman (South), the All Progressives Congress (APC), the children and extended family members.
Sheik Bello further enjoined those present at the event to be prayerful at all times in order to live a good and fulfilled life like Senator Ajimobi did.
Before the event ended, special prayers were offered for the protection of the family, Oyo state and Nigeria as well as prayers for the departed former Governor.
Meanwhile, the family has reacted to the issue of the inability of the Deputy Governor not having access to the venue.
In a statement signed by Bolaji Tunji, Special Adviser on Media to Senator Ajimobi, the family of the former Governor were not aware of the incident with the Deputy Governor, just as they frowned at the continued politicization of the death and burial of their husband, father and grandfather.
“In view of the disinformation going about concerning the inability of the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Rauf Olaniyan’s inability to gain access to the venue of the 8th day Fidau prayers for HE, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
“We want to state clearly that the event was announced as strictly a family affair. However, some dignitaries arrived for the event prior to the commencement of the prayers and were permitted entry and because they were not family, they were taken to a sitting room specially prepared for that purpose.
” There was a need to comply with the Covid-19 protocol as established by NCDC – Social distancing, not more than 30 people in a place and seats arranged, accordingly.
“Once we reached capacity, the gate was locked in order to reduce the continued presence of people at the event.
” No one was aware that the Deputy Governor was coming as neither the advance team nor the protocol informed us.
“The Deputy Governor arrived after the prayers had started and once the family was informed they proceeded to the gate in order to usher in the Deputy Governor.
“By the time we got to the gate to usher him into the sitting room, he had left. Everything happened within a few minutes.
“Through a serving Senator and a former Attorney General we tried to get in touch with him that it was not to slight him and he could sit in a private sitting room provided by the family. Unfortunately, he had left.
“There was no attempt to disturb or detain the DSS details of the Deputy Governor. From information available, they did not park within the same area as the Deputy Governor and had to do a catch up in order to meet the deputy Governor ‘s convoy that had already left”, the statement explained.
Group congratulates ex-Oyo commissioner, Olowofela on new appointment
A socio-political group under the aegis of Tinubu Legacy Forum (TLF) has felicitated with the former Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology in Oyo state, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela over his appointment as member, Federal Character Commission (FCC).
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Thursday swore in Professor Olowofela and other board members of the commission in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The group in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Hamzat Olalekan on Friday and made available to Mega Icon Magazine, noted that Olowofela’s optimism, intellect, humility, loyalty, perseverance and political consistency paved way for this appointment; urging him to keep the good personality on strive.
“Following the Senate approval of Prof. Olowofela’s appointment and 36 others’ appointments to the Federal Character Commission (FCC), the entire membership of Tinubu Legacy Forum (TLF), nationwide and diaspora under the BOT Chairman, Alhaji Ganiyu Akeem felicitates and rejoice with him as he was sworn-in yesterday, 2nd July, 2020 alongside other members by the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We believe your optimism, intellect, humility, loyalty, perseverance and political consistency paved way for this appointment; keep the good personality on strive and the sky wouldn’t be your limit.
“Accept our heart-warming congratulations, may God Almighty guide, protect and see you through to the next level”, the statement reads.
The ex- Ido Local Government gaffer would be representing Oyo state at the Federal Character Commission (FCC).
Ajimobi will be missed’, Makinde condoles with late governor’s family
The Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has stated that his predecessor, late Governor Abiola Ajimobi would forever be missed by all and sundry.
Governor Makinde in a condolence letter dated 29th June, 2020, entitled “Letter of Condolence” stressed that late Governor Ajimobi lived a life of service to humanity and has contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of Oyo State in particular and Nigeria in general, saying, “I have no doubt he will be missed by all and sundry”.
It would be recalled that the former governor was reportedly died of complications from Coronavirus on Thursday June 25 at the First Cardiology Hospital, Ikoyi, Lagos and his remains were laid to rest at his , Oluyole residence on Sunday June 28, 2020.
According to the letter which was personally signed by Governor Makinde on behalf of the government and good people of Oyo State, also commiserated with the family over the shocking demise of Ajimobi.
The letter which was received and acknowledged on Saturday, (04/07/2020) by the bereaved family reads in part, “our consolation however, is that Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has brought his rich wealth of experience for the transformation of the state.
“As we mourn his passage, let us take solace in the righteous life he lived and his legacies which we shall fondly remember. May God Almighty give members of the family, the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss”, the governor submitted.
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