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Oluwo Of Iwo In Royal Fiasco | By Rahaman Onike 

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When the news was first broke that Oba Rasheed Akanbi, the Oluwo of Iwo beat up another monarch, I thought the cynics were only trying to expose the royal father to public ridicule. Alas,the unfortunate incident which was reported to have occurred in the presence of AIG Bashir Makama, the State Police Commissioner and even the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters in the state of Osun was neither denied by Oluwo nor the police authorities till this moment.

Ordinarily, the royal fathers as custodians of Yoruba culture and traditions shouldn’t have descended so low to engage themselves in physical combat even at the point of provocation. With the status and exalted stools occupied by the two traditional rulers,it is painful that the duo failed to guide their heritage jealously.

Regrettably, failure of Oluwo to toy a path of honour in overcoming his anger at the point of provocation, if any, has exposed their sacred mandate to public ridicule. Somehow, the unfortunate incident has diminished the honour, respect and dignity the stools of the two monarchs symbolise and command.

The current development is a further reminder of how  the name of Oluwo of Iwo has been associated with several controversies in the past. Rather than being a true symbol of Yoruba culture,values and tradition, he is either being accused of one misdemeanor today or other infraction tomorrow. No one cares about the antics and other intolerable public outbursts of Oluwo until his recent public misconduct.

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If the land tussle between the neighbouring towns of the spring state could not be resolved through amicable settlement, the matter should have been referred to the court of law. I agree that our traditional rulers are human-beings and could therefore have reasons to disagree.

This particular incident is more or less a theatre of absurdity, seeing the two traditional rulers fighting dirty and roughly in the public. if verbal argument between Oluwo of Iwo and Agbowu of Ogbagbaa is allowed to snowball into open confrontation,it shows the level of degeneration and moral laxities among the nation’s traditional rulers.

No matter the level of provocation, Oluwo should not have turned himself to a boxer. It saddens one heart to see two highly revered monarchs turning a peace meeting summoned by the police to a royal rumble. Even if no one speaks out against the shameful action of Oluwo, he should be courageous enough to cover his face in shame for ridiculing the stool of his forbears apart from the legal consequence of such inglorious behaviour in the public.

Regardless of the causative agent and irrespective of who actually provoked the situation, the action of Oluwo of Iwo remains condemnable. With the injury sustained by Oba Dhikrulahi Akinropo, the Agbowu of Ogbagbaa during the fiasco, the transgressor being the Oluwo in this circumstance should not be seen as being treated as a king who is above the law.

Failure to bring the controversial Oluwo to justice will become a bad precedence. Apart from the legal implications of assault occasioning harm, it is sacrilegious for a king to beat up another king either within or outside his domain.

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An open fight between the two royal fathers in which one ended in the hospital is highly ridiculous and could not be justified culturally and by ethical reasoning.

The continuous silence and philosophical calmness of Governor Isiaka Oyetola, the Governor of the spring state gives an impression that it is either His Excellency has overtly endorsed the reign of royal banditry in the state of Osun or probably the case of criminal assault is adjudged by the government as usual political matter.

In my view, none of the excuses given by Oluwo of Iwo to have turned himself to a boxer is reasonable enough to exonerate him of culpability. Someone needs to counsel Oluwo that the excuse that he only tried to defend himself against Agbowa’s attempt to stick his staff of office in his eyes seems to be a mere defence mechanism.

Since the royal rumble occurred in the state of Osun, the police authorities in whose presence the ugly incident happened has not made any public statement to deny or confirm the incident. If police could not made any statement twenty four hours after the royal fiasco, it may not be an aberration to accuse the police of connivance or negligence. This type of incident shouldn’t be handled whimsically or with levity because it can lead to communal crisis, if carelessly handled.

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What the incident further portend is that no one is saved even in the custody of the police, if assault of that magnitude could be successfully carried out in the presence of AIG and other top government functionaries.

The incident also raises the question of several unresolved land and boundary disputes among communities in Nigeria. With the current trend in the country, land disputes cannot be resolved by physical combat rather the parties in such conflicts should learn to approach the court of law once peaceful resolution seems to be impossible.

The state government must equally have an holistic look at the immediate and remote causes of land disputes in the state of Osun for the state to achieve sustainable peace, progress and development.

 

Rahaman Onike, Public Affairs Analyst writes from Oyo town, Oyo State.

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Opinion

Opinion: The pandemic is no time for fiscal distancing | By Akinwumi Adesina

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These are very difficult days, as the world faces one of its worst challenges ever: the novel coronavirus pandemic. And it seems almost no nation is spared. As infection rates rise, so does panic across financial markets, as economies drastically slow down and supply chains are severely disrupted. 

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. As such, it can no longer be business as usual.

Each day, the situation evolves and requires constant reviews of precautionary measures and strategies. In the midst of all this, we must all worry about the ability of every nation to respond to this crisis. And we must ensure that developing nations are prepared to navigate these uncharted waters fully.

That’s why I support the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ urgent call for special resources for the world’s developing countries.

In the face of this pandemic, we must put lives above resources and health above debt. Why? Because developing economies are the most vulnerable at this time. Our remedies must go beyond simply lending more. We must go the extra mile and provide countries with much-needed and urgent financial relief — and that includes developing countries under sanctions.

According to the independent, global think tank ODI in its report on the impact of economic sanctions, for decades, sanctions have decimated investments in public health care systems in quite a number of countries.

Today, the already stretched systems as noted in the 2019 Global Health Security Index will find it difficult to face up to a clear and present danger that now threatens our collective existence.

Only those that are alive can pay back debts.

Sanctions work against economies but not against the virus. If countries that are under sanctions are unable to respond and provide critical care for their citizens or protect them, then the virus will soon “sanction” the world.

In my Yoruba language, there is a saying. “Be careful when you throw stones in the open market. It may hit a member of your family.”

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That’s why I also strongly support the call by the UN Secretary-General that debts of low-income countries be suspended in these fast-moving and uncertain times.

But I call for even bolder actions, and there are several reasons for doing so.

First, the economies of developing countries, despite years of great progress, remain extremely fragile and ill equipped to deal with this pandemic. They are more likely to be buried with the heavy fiscal pressure they now face with the coronavirus.

Second, many of the countries in Africa depend on commodities for export earnings. The collapse of oil prices has thrown African economies into distress. According the AFDB’s 2020 Africa Economic Outlook, they simply are not able to meet budgets as planned under pre-coronavirus oil price benchmarks.

The impact has been immediate in the oil and gas sector, as noted in a recent CNN news analysis.

In the current environment, we can anticipate an acute shortage of buyers who, for understandable reasons, will reallocate resources to addressing the Covid-19 pandemic. African countries that depend on tourism receipts as a key source of revenue are also in a straightjacket.

Third, while rich countries have resources to spare, evidenced by trillions of dollars in fiscal stimulus, developing countries are hampered with bare-bones resources.

The fact is, if we do not collectively defeat the coronavirus in Africa, we will not defeat it anywhere else in the world. This is an existential challenge that requires all hands to be on deck. Today, more than ever, we must be our brothers and sisters’ keepers.

Around the world, countries at more advanced stages in the outbreak are announcing liquidity relief, debt restructuring, forbearance on loan repayments, relaxation of standard regulations and initiatives.

In the United States, packages of more than $2 trillion have already been announced, in addition to a reduction in Federal Reserve lending rates and liquidity support to keep markets operating. In Europe, the larger economies have announced stimulus measures in excess of 1 trillion Euros. Additionally, even larger packages are expected.

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As developed countries put in place programs to compensate workers for lost wages for staying at home for social distancing, another problem has emerged — fiscal distancing.

Think for a moment what this means for Africa.

The African Development Bank estimates that Covid-19 could cost Africa a GDP loss between $22.1 billion, in the base case scenario, and $88.3 billion in the worst case scenario. This is equivalent to a projected GDP growth contraction of between 0.7 and 2.8 percentage points in 2020. It is even likely that Africa might fall into recession this year if the current situation persists.

The Covid-19 shock will further squeeze fiscal space in the continent as deficits are estimated to widen by 3.5 to 4.9 percentage points, increasing Africa’s financing gap by an additional $110 to $154 billion in 2020.

Our estimates indicate that Africa’s total public debt could increase, under the base case scenario, from $1.86 trillion at the end of 2019 to over $2 trillion in 2020, compared to $1.9 trillion projected in a ‘no pandemic’ scenario. According to a March 2020 Bank report, these figures could reach $2.1 trillion in 2020 under the worst case scenario.

This, therefore, is a time for bold actions. We should temporarily defer the debt owed to multilateral development banks and international financial institutions. This can be done by re-profiling loans to create fiscal space for countries to deal with this crisis.

That means that loan principals due to international financial institutions in 2020 could be deferred. I am calling for temporary forbearance, not forgiveness. What’s good for bilateral and commercial debt must be good for multilateral debt.

That way, we will avoid moral hazards, and rating agencies will be less inclined to penalize any institution on the potential risk to their Preferred Creditor Status.  The focus of the world should now be on helping everyone, as a risk to one is a risk to all.

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There is no coronavirus for developed countries and a coronavirus for developing and debt-stressed countries. We are all in this together.

Multilateral and bilateral financial institutions must work together with commercial creditors in Africa, especially to defer loan payments and give Africa the fiscal space it needs.

We stand ready to support Africa in the short term and for the long haul. We are ready to deploy up to $50 billion over five years in projects to help with adjustment costs that Africa will face as it deals with the knock-on effects of Covid-19, long after the current storm subsides.

But more support will be needed. Let’s lift all sanctions, for now. Even in wartime, ceasefires are called for humanitarian reasons. In such situations, there is a time to pause for relief materials to reach affected populations. The novel coronavirus is a war against all of us. All lives matter.

For this reason, we must avoid fiscal distancing at this time. A stitch in time will save nine.

Social distancing is imperative now. Fiscal distancing is not.

Akinwumi A. Adesina is President of the African Development Bank Group

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JAGABAN: Nigeria Greatest ‘Game Changer’ @ 68 | By Abba Dukawa

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Thomas Mann once declared that ‘the destiny of man presents its meaning in political terms ‘. That is to say, in our contemporary experience, it is difficult to make clear separations or distinctions between the politics of life and the life of politics.

 

Once again  our greatest undisputable Nigeria political strategist marks quiet   68 years birthday. Jagaban  Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu a founding member of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) and , he was elected as an  Senator of the Federal Republic Nigeria to represent Lagos West Senatorial District In 1992.  After  annulment of the June 12, 1993  Presidential Election he stood with   likely winner of the election and engaged the military for the very soul of Nigeria.

 

Asiwaju Tinubu became a founding member of the famous pro-democracy group, the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) suffered many arrests and detention, harassments and constant threats to his life.Despite the high risked of daring the  militarization of the Nigerian politics but did not give up the struggle. When the last military government set for restoration of democratic governance and the rule in the country. He returned to Nigeria to heed a call for all Nigerians to join in the National Reconciliation and Development. In 1999 elected Executive Governor of Lagos State on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD).

 

Even his political foes believe that Bola Tinubu is a sagacious and dogged politician  in 2003, Alliance for Democracy (AD) considered an alliance with then President Olusegun Obasanjo, in order to have the president endorsed for re-election in return for the AD holding on to its six South-West states.

 

As an astute political strategist  Asiwaju survived the massive incursion of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the South Western States  as the lone re-elected Governor of the Alliance for Democracy (AD).

 

His  refusal to enter the deal and it turned out to be his saving grace – he was the only AD governor to win his re-election as the PDP swept away the rest.  As as the lone AD governor puts him  on a regular collision course with the PDP-controlled Federal Government, especially on his creation of additional 37 Local Council Development Areas for Lagos States. In spite of   Obasanjo’s  administration deliberate  withheld statutory allocation of the Lagos State Local Government funds for almost three years Lagos state survived   until Supreme Court ruled that   Obasanjo’s  administration should release the seized statutory allocation of the Lagos State Local Government funds.

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The Jagaban Borgu   actively involved in the creation of the Action Congress (AC) political party as recourse to the decimated Alliance for Democracy (AD) and was able won  back four of the states.

 

Based on Tinubu’s outstanding policies makes the  State an exceptional and the foremost   in the country  by ensuring the state generate more internally revenue without reliance more on  monthly  federation account allocation  In 2007 left Lagos state government house by making the state more self-relient state in the country by making the state generate more internally revenue without reliance on monthly  federation account allocation. Many described him as a dynamic and visionary leader, seasoned administrator, courageous fighter,  defender of the oppressed, foremost philanthropist, and man of the people.

 

After Jagaban Borgu left Lagos state government house in 2007, he, however, did not give up the struggle for strong and formidable opposition party in the country especially during the 2011 general elections. Because  After the parliamentary elections in 2011 shows that the People’s Democratic Party would retain the presidency, members of the two parties met to discuss the prospect of forging an alliance that would have a realistic chance of defeating the PDP’s  candidate, Goodluck Jonathan. But after collapse of the alliance talks between the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has been blamed on Tunde Bakare, the CPC’s candidate for Vice-President for  refusal to sign a predated resignation letter irked the leaders of the ACN who decided to opt out of a planned “grand coalition” and go it alone.

 

Nigeria’s   political strategist not lose hope on having a  formidable opposition party in the country, in  May 2013 three major parties the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP)  have  float a mega platform All Progressive Congress (APC) to oust the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.

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Without Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu self sacrifice there would not be All Progressive Congress at the centre in 2015 and 2019 despite his interest to governing the country but choice to support  and contributed significantly toward emerged of than General Muhammadu Buhari as APC Presidential candidate and used his resources in marketing him to electorate especially in  the SouthWest Geopolitical zone.

 

Tinubu is a man of many parts, whose political profile has now dwarfed his rich resume as a professional accountant and financial surgeon, boardroom guru, strategic economic planner and socialite.  There is no evidence to show that Tinubu was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. former governor is always bubbling with energy, zeal, enthusiasm and optimism. This may have been bedrock of his successes in his chosen fields of endeavor.

 

One thing that has helped to sustain the prosperity of Tinubu’s ideas is his eye for excellence with which he recruits future leaders. Leadership grooming has been found as the forte of great leaders and statesmen. Tinubu is an enigma, what many fail to recognise is how he has over the years blended a crop of new leaders that have turned out to become change-agents and drivers in both Lagos State, Nigeria and the world at large. He has allowed his charisma to infect many young people, thereby enhancing the fructification of his ideas in politics and the professions.
President Muhammadu Buhari has showered encomiums on Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu  praised as   inspiring great leadership in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre, saying Asiwaju’s greatest strength lies in his ability to look beyond religious, ethnic and political stereotyping, embracing the reality of Nigeria as one entity, and extending his warmth, acumen and experience to other parts of the country, particularly in difficult times like the current struggle against COVID-19.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan,  described the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC),  as “an inspirational political leader and champion of national unity and development and his political life, Asiwaju Tinubu has doggedly groomed leaders, set development templates and built bridges for national integration and cohesion, all of which he sees as necessary tools for robust development and great nationhood.
 The Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila describes   National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as a great phenomenon in Nigerian politics, saying his belief in Democratic tenets was unparalleled. Myself as a product of the Tinubu’s school of politics, I learn every day from the Jagaban, and I have no regrets whatsoever being one of his close political associates over the years. To me, he has been a worthy mentor all these years sating as a product of the Tinubu’s school of politics, he has no regrets whatsoever being one of his close political associates.

 

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Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives also  described the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as an “outstanding politician who has contributed immensely to Nigeria’s democracy, saying saying: “Going by his antecedents and political sagacity, Tinubu is not just the Jagaban of Borgu, but the Jagaban of contemporary Nigerian democracy and politics.

 

As Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is celebrating his 68th birthday with “preliminary thoughts on the economic action” the country might take should coronavirus “mortally threaten” our economy saying Government should announce a tax credit or partial tax reduction for firms. VAT should be suspended for the next 2-4 months. This will help lower import costs and protect against shortages.

 

Jagaban  Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu    have been such an inspirational leader to Nigerians  as you celebrate your  68th Birthday  it’s my prayer that God will open the gates of heaven and shower upon you unlimited blessings. Wishing you the greatest of birthdays.

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Opinion

Outdoor Advertising in Oyo State And The Growing Insanity | By Waheed Ganiyu

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The billboard is the main outdoor advertising medium in Nigeria. It is large structures erected on highways, roads for the display of huge advertising materials. Billboards expose passers-by to the brief and bold advertising messages.

Prior to 2007, billboards was a source of revenue to the local governments. However, on assumption of office, the former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola established the Lagos Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA).

The pioneer LASAA Director-General, Barrister Makanjuola was reporting directly to the governor. He performed excellently by flushing the charlatans and quacks out of business and paved way for the key players and competent practitioners. LASAA got rid of illegal structures in areas like: Ikeja, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Ojota, Costain and other parts of Lagos Mainland. Within a year the agency was able to generate over N3b.

The Lagos model prompted other states, especially in the south-west to establish their own advertisement agencies. Unfortunately most of them have not been able to meet up with the ‘Eko’ standard.

In the pacesetter state, the Oyo State Signage and Advertisement Agency, unarguably, has not been able to live to its mandate of ensuring that the signage beautify our environment. Many billboards constitute nuisance and threats to the lives of the people.

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Ideally, a minimum of 100m is required in between billboards on the same road. But here in Oyo State, especially in Ibadan, the state capital, billboards are clustered in areas like: Adamasingba, Dugbe, Agodi-Gate, UI-Ojoo road, Iwo road and others. Apart from clustering, many of these structures are erected directly high-tension wires. Inasmuch the state needs to boost its revenue, people’s lives, healthy and safety environment are also significant.

The question is who are those people behind this growing insanity and illegality? In a chat with the Head, Ibadan Office of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Mr. Olajide Olishile, he said: ‘allocation of sites for billboards is the sole responsibility of OYSAA’. When confronted with the query on the billboard erected at Mokola Roundabout under the high-tension wire, an Enforcement Officer at OYSAA simply denied that no structure is under the wire.

Meanwhile, further investigations revealed that many of these billboards belong to OYSAA members of staff who don’t even have the skills and statutory requirements to practice.

Now that the rainy season is here, many of these billboards may not be able to withstand the heavy winds that characterise the period. In order to avoid any eventuality, it’s high time the OYSAA, Director-General, Hon. Temi Addibi, stop relying only on the reports from the field, swung into action by leading a powerful task force to uproot these illegal billboards.

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