Congratulations on your victory at the polls. Your success, in a way, was a personal victory for me as I was one of the many who prayed and worked for your success.
Excellency, your emergence, and that of Engr. Raufu Olaniyan, as the Governor and Deputy governor of Oyo state, seems to have signalled the beginning of better things ahead for the good people of the state.
The widespread expression of love with which people continue to greet you, now fondly calling you “GSM”everywhere you go, is overwhelming. You are like a long-awaited messiah who has come to turn around the fortunes of the state.
However sir, you may just fritter away this enormous goodwill that you presently enjoy within the first 100 days in office if care is not taken. The very same people hailing you will wonder if you are indeed a messiah, or ask if they should wait for another who is to come. Whether or not this would happen is all in your hands, sir.
The euphoria of election victory is over and now is the time for you to hunker down, choose your team, and execute your campaign promises of providing succour to the improvished citizens of Oyo state. Enough of thanksgiving services at churches and mosques already. To be honest, it is becoming boring. Now is the time to give thanks to God through quality service delivery to the people of Oyo state through governance based on fairness, equity and justice. Now is the time to speedily commence fulfilling your electoral promises to the people before politicians distract you with their selfish requests.
Your excellency, now is the time to assemble men and women of impeccable reputation who will help actualise your laudable aspirations for the state.
It will not in any way speak well of your government to appoint men or women into sensitive positions when they have unresolved issues with the law bothering on fraud and misappropriation of public funds. Even though it is true that our constitution states that all are presumed innocent until proven guilty, if someone has been accused of dipping his hands into our collective purse, such a person should be given the honour of being allowed to clear his or her name. They should not be rewarded with sensitive positions in government. No matter how highly placed a person is within the Party’s hierarchy, if such a person must be compensated for whatever reason, it should be done in a way not obvious to the public.
Your excellency, the present romance with the people will not last long when you make questionable choices in picking men and women who will work with you. The opposition is patiently waiting for you to announce a choice that can be used to cause distractions for your government.
Sir, you are a very successful international business owner. You will agree with me that no person of your reputation, world over, would consider anybody with pending matters of fraud and misappropriation of funds in court for a position in their business until they are exonerated. Excellency sir, If you will not consider such persons for your own business, please resist the pressure to do so in Oyo state. Sir, by giving appointments to such persons, you may be unwittingly aiding them to destroy evidence, or intimidate potential witnesses, especially when the matter for which they were accused was committed against Oyo state.
Your Excellency, we know you are every bit of an astute man. Please do act like one. Be firm, God made you governor of Oyo state. No man should be allowed to take the credit. Don’t hand ammunition to the opposition to take pot shots at you.
Your Excellency, I also want to applaud your choice of Chief Oyebisi Ilaka as Chief of staff; Tara Adefope head of Due Process and Prof Saheed H.A Malik as Chairman, Oyo state Muslim Pilgrims Board. These appointments without any doubts, are top notch. It is a clear case of placing round pegs in round holes. I implore your Excellency, to doggedly pursue this line of excellence with which you have started. Do not allow anyone stampede you into appointing people who will bring your administration to disrepute. Your are Omititun; fresh water. Please work with fresh and young people. If we must recycle from the old, let it be people with impeccable character and integrity.
And lastly sir, do not forget to fulfil your electoral promises to the people..
Kolawole Alabi is a public analyst resident in Ibadan,
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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