One is appalled by the series of drama being acted by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state and his political appointees in this dispensation. Right from the inception of this administration, it has always been one day, one drama, to the extent that the governance in the state is now a theatre centre or cinema.
Irked by the discordant tunes being regularly played by the Governor and his appointees, one should speak up to enlighten the lots as a noble critic that means well for the greatness of this pacesetter state. One could reason that this unfortunate trend was caused by the governor’s inability to differentiate business of governance from that of politicking. Two, the idea of resorting to mudslinging and calumny against former Governor Abiola Ajimobi with an intent to discredit his administration and obliterate whatever notable achievements recorded by same from the minds of citizens was being pursued with Vigour by the present government.
The objective is to proclaim Governor Makinde led government as comparatively better in terms relevance to citizens’ needs.
Management of secondary schools in Oyo state by the former administration was remarkably innovative through the introduction of the Schools’ Governing Boards (SGB)
The primary or basic function of the SGB was to manage the education levy of N3,000.00 per session being statutorily paid in by the students. Purchase of instructional materials, repair of school’s infrastructure and implementation of co- curricular activities were effectively funded from the levy, under the strict supervision of the SGB. Governor Seyi Makinde took a long drawn look at the SGB and pronounced same dissolved. Perhaps,after receiving correct briefs on the matter, he rescinded his decision by reinstating the SGB.
Also, the issue of Moniya – Iseyin road project which was awarded by Governor Abiola Ajimobi led administration caught the attention of Governor Makinde. He queried the cost of the project which was put at N7 billion. He condemned the cost as outrageous and asserted that the contractor and Ajimobi must have engaged in some underhand dealings before arriving at the figure.
Hence, he invoked a stoppage order and pledged that the project shall be re awarded at a lesser cost. Just of recent, Governor Seyi Makinde led government re-awarded the ‘Moniya – Iseyin road contract’ at a cost of N9.9 billion, an upward variation of N9 .9 billion above the original cost of the project.
The issue of Ibadan circular road project is still raging like a wild fire. The Governor consumed by midas lure or fires of hatred against former Governor Abiola Ajimobi, authorised the contractor handling the project to quit the site. He hinged his action on the prohibitive cost of the project and its inappropriateness in terms of utility factor for the citizens in the present circumstance. Within 24hrs, he rescinded his decision. One could reason that his initial action was not well thought out. He even cast aspersions on the person of the contractor handling the project. This has become a subject of litigation now.
In retrospect, Hon. Kehinde Ayoola, the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources in Oyo state, once accused former Governor Ajimobi to have illegally acquired hundreds of hectares of government farm land for his personal use during his reign as the state helms man. Within 48 hours, he retracted his statements with shameless modifications.
Also, the state Information Commissioner, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun, once boasted that the revenue target of Seyi Makinde led administration is N20 billion monthly. This position contradicts that of John Adeleke, the state Revenue Board Chairman and authority on the matter, who put it at N4 billion per month (N48 billion per annum).
In the same vein, John Adeleke stirred an hornet’s nest few days ago through his utterances on the conflicting revenue figures that accrues to the state. He posited that the state government raked in a sum of N2.7 billion for October, 2019 as against the sum of N1.3 billion which was the peak attained by the last administration. His position attracted public outcry and widespread criticisms from the stakeholders. The consensus of opinions later put the monthly revenue under former administration at N2.3 billion and not the erroneous figure of N1.3 billion claimed by John Adeleke.
Within 24 hours of the raging controversy, Adeleke retraced his steps and came up with another set of figures. Now, it was N1.7 billion for the former administration and N2 billion for the present administration. In another breadth, Adeleke concluded that the figures are not stable for now.
The heinous contradictions as observed in the serial official pronouncements of Governor Seyi Makinde and his co- travellers in government smacks of infantilism, un seriousness, abuse of privileges and executive recklessness in the management of human affairs to say the least, it is a clear demonstration of absence of an efficient coordination among the various levels of the executive arm of government and loss of focus in the art of governance.
Regrettably, the unfortunate and obvious consequences are policy Summersault, loss of public trust, hope and confidence in the government. That is the level of shame that can be attracted by the government which engages itself in self contradictions and multiple talks laced with falsehoods. In this connection, appropriate seminar/workshop must be conducted for all the political office holders presently in the saddle to correct this anomaly.
Akeem Adebiyi writes from Ibadan, Oyo state.
RE: Laolu Akande: The Supplanter Comes Full Throttle | By Adetayo Adekunle
Let me start by saying that I do not hold brief for Mr. Laolu Akande (SSAP Media, OVP) or anybody for that matter.
Accordingly, I urge readers to kindly consider this rejoinder as that of *”a meddlesome interloper”* who jumped into the fray after reading an article and a response.
With all sense of responsibility, Mr. Festus Adedayo’s response to Mr. Laolu Akande’s rejoinder is rather too shallow, puerile, jejune and below board.
In the article under review, Mr. Adedayo committed the same infractions he alleged Mr. Laolu Akande for.
The entire writeup is high on vitriolic but ephemerally low on substance.
Rather than go personal, methinks it’s better to respond to the questions posed to him by Laolu Akande in his rejoinder.
Or was Mr. Adedayo expecting “his supposed friend” to say thank you for spewing unsubstantiated gibberish against his principal?
Without any doubt whatsoever, Mr. Adedayo must have been consuming cheap substances to have alleged that the Vice President viciously prayed to be substantive President when his boss was sick. Like a scene from a Yoruba movie, Festus further asserted that a President Muhammadu Buhari ally came in and the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as well as his Pastors were shell shocked.
If this is not a lie from the pit of hell, what then is it?
Can Mr. Adedayo swear with whatever he believes in that this is the truth?
Since Mr. Adedayo has also decided to be afflicted by selective amnesia, I will assist him to put certain things in the right perspective.
To start with, Mr. Laolu Akande “NEVER SUPPLANTED”* anybody before he got his editorial job in the Tribune. Facts at my disposal indicates that prior to his (Akande’s) appointment, there was a competitive exam and interview where he led with barely 1%. A colleague, Akinjide Akintola came second in that examination.
Secondly, to all intents and purposes, Mr. Akande was your senior colleague at Tribune. You would recall that as early as 1992, Akande was already a household name in Guardian and Nigerian journalism as a whole. As a matter of fact, he was a senior editor before the then Mr. now Prof Wale Adebanwi brought you on board as a writer/reporter. You were at best a subordinate, co-worker and acquaintance but certainly not a friend.
Mr. Adedayo, can you say you have paid your benefactor Wale Adebanwi rightly and justly for all he did for you? What is your relationship with him today?
Furthermore, Akande is still friends with other members of the the 5- man circle you referred to -Prof. Wale Adebanwi of Oxford, Prof Adeolu Akande of Igbinedioun University, Dr. Segun Olatunji and Mr. Bode Opeseitan. All the aforementioned were his friends and they are still best of friends till today.
The same Laolu Akande you described as stagnant has had the rare privilege of interviewing a sitting President of the United States and is currently serving in the Presidency of Nigeria. His appointment and reapportionment were effected effortlessly.
Nigerians surely know the writer that vehemently criticized the process leading to Dr. Ahmed Lawan’s emergence as Senate President in daytime only for the so called public intellectual to attend an interview with the aim of working for that same government he pretends to loathe. If I may ask, where is the integrity?
Mr. Adedayo, it is good to flaunt one’s achievements but then as a Yoruba man you ought to know about the proverbial child who described his father’s farm as the largest in the land before visiting larger farms.
The likes of Rt. Hon. Mojeed Alabi (with six degrees in Law and Political Science), Dr. Akin Onigbinde (another fine gentleman with chain of degrees in Law and Political Science) and other greats whose academic achievements are mouthwatering do not gallivant around town with their degrees but they carry themselves with grace and humility.
While I wish you well in your delusion of grandeur, I can only pity youngsters who see a role model in you.
But please don’t forget to unveil the identities of “the Pastors” and “the Buhari ally” who strayed into “frantic prayers for Osinbajo”.
Until then, ire oooooooo.
Adetayo Adekunle, public affairs analyst writes from Ibadan, Oyo State
Laolu Akande: The supplanter comes full throttle, Adedayo fires back at Osinbajo’s spokesman
I ordinarily do not rejoind rejoinders to my pieces. My philosophy is that, the same freedom I enjoy to air my views is same the person penning the rejoinder has. However, I have had to break this principle, in reply to the doggerel written by Mr. Laolu Akande, the Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media. Of a truth, after reading his, with the benefit of hindsight, I felt I shouldn’t have written it, thus saving Nigerians the horror of encountering Mr. Akande in his rawest fit.
I have known the presidential media assistant for more than two decades now and I, as well as those who know him, know that his short fuse is akin to an epileptic fit. That he would translate this drawback into the management of his office was not a surprise. What is surprising is that mature minds in the presidency couldn’t rein in this personal limitation from becoming an official imprimatur that paints the hallowed office of the Vice President in the visor of a common motor park tout whenever this fit is in full blossom. Like in the rejoinder under reference.
Not only do I know Mr. Akande very well, on my part, I thought he was my friend and that he is aware that friendship shouldn’t stand in the way of making comments on issues that affect the country. Specifically, I knew Mr. Akande in 1995, about 24 years ago, at the Tribune House, Imalefalafia, Ibadan, Oyo State. Surprisingly, while Akande pretends never to have worked there, I still carry the glory of this frontline newspaper which made me what I am today.
Those who are in the know would tell you what Akande used the Saturday Tribune newspaper he edited then for, which he knows that I know. With what we all know, Akande is the least person to impute motives to what journalists write. It is on record that almost all the lead stories in the newspaper under his editor-ship were against the government of the day. Would it be right to say he collected money from the opposition then?
I hope Mr. Akande remembers that I was not just an insider in the Tribune then, we were sufficiently close for me to know what he did. The language he used for me in the said rejoinder did not in the least shock me, his friend – I assume! – of almost 24 years, given the fact of what I know about how Mr. Akande regards relationships. My friend, Akande, was a member of a 5-man circle of very closely-knit friends in the Tribune at that time. Can he explain why the other four were sacked in 1997 and he did not only survive the sack, he, like a supplanter, took over the post of one of his sacked friends? Or has he forgotten how he became the editor of the Saturday Tribune, a position he took from his sacked friend? Till today, Mr. Akande’s friends still lament the knife with which his Cassius stabbed their Julius Caesar. The quadruple facilitated his employment at the Tribune. This is basically why I am not bothered about his intemperate language. All of us, his friends, do not expect anything noble from Mr. Akande.
On March 17, 2018, celebrated and respected journalist, one of our immediate forefathers in the pen profession, Mr. Dele Momodu, wrote a very emotional piece about Mr. Akande. He entitled it An Open Letter to Laolu Akande. In that piece, Mr. Momodu traced the genealogy of his association with Akande. He began by wondering “what people eat or drink inside the Aso Rock Villa that makes some of those of (our) ilk, who we once admired, misbehave the way you (Akande) did last night.” Like me, Mr. Momodu had known him for more than two decades. He wrote about how, on meeting Akande in America where he was sojourning, he “expressed the difficulties and vagaries of life (he) faced in America,” how he made him North American Bureau Chief for Ovation International and how, at some point, the editor “complained about the way you handled transactions and so on” and how he “simply abandoned a company that provided some modest income for (him) in America.”
He had been publishing a ragtag online medium called Empowered Newswire which visiting Nigerian politicians to the US claimed he was using to extort money from them. Mr. Akande’s reply to a similar piece I did critiquing the VP authored by Momodu was, “For good measure, Bob Dee, maybe we should just remind our readers that not only are you an active member of opposition, you also retain with top notchers of the PDP significant business relationships.” It was a euphemism for alleging that the respected journalist was compromised.
I noticed that in the said rejoinder, Mr. Akande repeatedly referred to me as “Mr.” Being someone with visceral hatred for titles, I do not bother about whatever prefix anyone attaches to me but, in this instance, I noticed that this was done for spite purpose, even when Mr. Akande is aware that I hold a PhD – not honoris causa – from the Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan, same school I am aware that Mr. Akande struggled unsuccessfully for close to two decades until he abandoned his doctoral pursuit. For his information, while he is stagnant intellectually, I have gone a step forward to acquire an LLB from that same University of Ibadan .
Now back to his claim of my manufacture of the information in the piece. While I owe him no apology whatsoever, explanation or any detail, I leave Nigerians to place us side by side and judge who is believable between us. Here was a presidential aide who, about a week ago, took about 200 million Nigerians for a ride, telling them that there was no sack of his principals’ aides by the President. A few hours after, a colleague aide of his at the presidency told the world that there were indeed sacks of the same people. Mum has been the word from the supplanter since then. In saner climes, it was enough reason to resign his portfolio. Shamelessly, he still appends his signature to releases. No remorse, no shame. Till today,
Mr. Akande is apparently one of those “government people” whose warped and narrow minds cannot conceive the possibility of anyone critiquing government personalities without having been compromised. He has failed to tell the world who could have compromised me to write an old information that was common knowledge on the Nigerian information highway. I am sure that those who were privy to the information must be laughing themselves hoarse at Mr. Akande’s unexampled attempt to make a corpse walk.
As a parting shot, the person I pity most is the VP who is trapped in the cocoon of this irascible element who has transposed his short fuse into the management of the press of the vice president. I recommend the examples of his colleagues – Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu – to him. When you critique their boss, not only do they take it in their strides, they do not smear the critic in swine lingo as Akande does. Today, Mr. Akande has scant regards among Nigerian media chiefs due to this limitation of his and how he cannot maintain friendships. No wonder the office has almost nil media rating. Many of the barbs the professor VP receives are ostensibly ones meant for his media chief who will descend into the gutters and splash sewers on whoever tells the world that his principal isn’t exactly a nephew of Angel Gabriel. No one is.
Dr Festus Adedayo, a seasoned journalist, columnist and media consultant; writes from Ibadan, Oyo state
Re-Trials of Osinbajo: Columnist gone rogue, VP’s aide, Akande lambasts Adedayo
Mr. Festus Adedayo’s article above is a sad descent into the gutter by this gentleman. When a professional columnist of Adedayo’s age and experience puts his reputation behind outright fiction and absolute mischief, usually it is a sign that the poor fellow is compromised. This is the sad reality we face today and it is truly troubling.
But let us give Mr. Adedayo the benefit of the doubt. Let us assume that he has some facts to support the reckless insinuations and innuendoes in his article.
He should then be able to answer the following questions.
He claimed that the Vice President, together with some Redeemed Church ‘accomplices’, gathered to pray at some place unstated in his home State of Ogun, at a date that was not indicated, for the purpose of interceding for the VP to become President, and by extension, hoping for, or seeking the death of the President.
So where exactly in Ogun State did this prayer session take place, and when? Was it in a church, in which case there would likely be an audio recording? Who are the prominent pastors or other persons involved that can testify to what transpired – what are their names? Who is the “strong Buhari ally” who made a surprise appearance at the gathering and brought the story back to Mr. President? If, as Adedayo claims, the VP has been hounding and haranguing this Buhari ally since then, why is it so difficult for him to cry out and publicize his strange discovery?
Who primed Onnoghen to “package Buhari inside a judicial casket” during the 2019 elections? And to whose benefit? If, for any reason, the Buhari election was nullified by the judiciary, how would that benefit his running mate, since they contested on the same ticket?
These asinine stories put together by Mr. Adedayo betray a more evil motive. The Vice President’s commitment to the service of the Nigerian people under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari is unrelenting. But there is a desperation in some quarters to create a division between the President and the Vice President. It appears that they need some well known press names who are prepared to write anything. But for what reward? One wonders. They clearly found one here, as the writer’s jaundiced article bumbled from the realm of baseless claims to outright fiction.
We do not expect an apology from Mr. Adedayo to the Vice President. This is the style of these professionals gone rogue. They are prepared to smear others and stick to their vile stories. Their conscience seems unperturbed by their reckleness. But, again, we give him the benefit of the doubt, let him answer the questions we have asked.
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