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Oyo APC Faults Makinde’s Claim, Says NAHCOM Refunds N24.6 Million To Hajj Pilgrims

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Governor Makinde receiving 2019 hajj report from the State Chairman of Pilgrim Welfare Board (Muslim wing), Prof Malik during the presentation at EXCO chamber Governor's Office on Thursday

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State has criticized Governor Seyi Makinde  over what it described as misinformation and falsehood being dished out to the public on the total refunds of N24.6 million made to the  State pilgrims to this year Hajj in Saudi Arabia by the National Hajj Commission (NAHCOM), Abuja.

Meanwhile, Governor Makinde, had  on Thursday while receiving a report of the 2019 Hajj from the Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim Wing) , said that a new dawn has truly come to Oyo state going by the transparency demonstrated by the Board which refunded the sum of N24,628,900 to Hajj pilgrims before they embarked on the journey to Saudi Arabia.

The Governor noted that the Board’s action reflected what his administration has been doing in terms of transparency and accountability.

But, the Oyo APC in a statement issued on Friday, by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Prince Ayobami Adejumo, disclosed that the refunds, according to NAHCOM, was as a result of overpayment made to it by the individual pilgrims during the registration for the 2019 exercise.
Adejumo said, “It is quite disturbing that a governor could tell blatant lie that he made refunds to hajj pilgrims when he did not do so. The refunds, in question, was made by a national body in charge of hajj (NAHCOM) and same was done for all the over 95,000 pilgrims from across  the 36 states and the FCT at the completion of the 2019 exercise. One would have expected the governor to take responsibility for the female pilgrim from Oyo State who absconded in Saudi Arabia but he chose to lie about refunds made rather and this is uncharitable.”

 

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The opposition party also  alleged that the governor was being hypocritical in his style of governance as this concerned his administration’s handling of legacy projects of the immediate past government of Senator Abiola Ajimobi.

Making a direct reference to the media reports which had it that Governor Makinde had issued a stop-work order to the contractors handling the ongoing Ibadan Circular Road project put in place by the last administration, Oyo APC said that it “was unfortunate that the present PDP government was out to play unnecessary politics with everything not minding effects its action would have on the state.

 

“One would naturally wonder what could have motivated the governor to direct virtually all his actions towards obliterating the enviable record of good governance left behind by the Ajimobi administration particularly in the areas of physical infrastructure. Since his assumption of office in May this year, Governor Makinde has made it a daily habit to cry wolf where none existed.

 “Why would a serious government wake up on a day and decide to blackmail its predecessor over a project like that of Ibadan Circular Road which was well conceived and transparently handed over to a Consortium for a desirable delivery? Governor Makinde played his usual hypocritical card when he acknowledged the importance of the project and at the same time reeled out lies simply to blackmail his predecessor who had to use his God-given wisdom to get sponsors for its implementation since government did not have the required funds to get it done.

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“To set the record straight, Ibadan Circular Road project was awarded by the Ajimobi administration in 2018 without a dime coming from the government as it is being done under a Public-Private Partnership arrangement. The total stretch of new road to be constructed is 110km and not the 36km figure mischievously quoted by Governor  Makinde. However, if the governor was not satisfied with the pace of work on the project, he could invite the Consortium involved to his office and sort things out with them.

 

“Interestingly, Governor Makinde can commission different model schools built by Senator Ajimobi to mark his own first 100 days in office. The same governor can distribute the books produced by the APC administration to public school pupils to kick off his controversial free education programme while he can also take delivery of medical equipment fully procured by Ajimobi and move them to Adeoyo State Hospital as his own initiative but he would still not be at peace whenever he comes across other lofty projects of Senator Abiola Ajimobi. This calls for a concern and we urge him (Makinde) to have a rethink”, the statement continued.

 

 

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Politics

40 Days After: We ‘re yet to come to terms with  Ajimobi’s death – Oyo APC Women 

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As the 40-day Fidau prayer of the late former governor of Oyo state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, holds tomorrow in his private residence, the leadership of the Women’s wing of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state has disclosed that most members of the party as well as admirers of the deceased were yet to come to terms with the reality of his death for many good reasons.

Ajimobi died at a Lagos hospital on June 25, 2020 and he was buried in his Oluyole residence on June 28, 2020 in accordance with Islamic traditions. He was, until his death, the Deputy National Chairman (South) of the APC having left office as the Executive Governor of the Pacesetter state on May 29, 2019 after serving for an unprecedented two terms of uninterrupted eight years.

Speaking with a cross section of journalist at the Party’s Secretariat in Oke-Ado, Ibadan on Wednesday, the APC’s State Woman Leader, Mrs Mabel Williams, described the late former governor as a quintessential leader, humanitarian par excellence and wonderful being whose memory would linger forever in the hearts of many people especially family members, political associates, admirers and good people of the state.

Her words; “it is still very difficult for many of us to accept the reality of the demise of our leader who spent the greater part of his 70 years on earth to serve his people, fatherland and humanity as a whole. Sen. Ajimobi was the best thing to have happened to us as women in the politics of the state because he was never tired of listening to us.

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“Most monumental achievements he recorded as the governor of the state for eight years are there till tomorrow for the whole world to see and appreciate.

“As members of his immediate family put up arrangements for another Fidau prayers to mark the 40th day of his transition to glory, the teeming women population of Oyo APC are united in supplications for God to repose his soul and grant him eternal rest. We also use this avenue to sympathise with our mother, the immediate past First Lady of the state, Chief (Mrs) Florence Ajimobi and the entire Ajimobi family.

“We are grateful to God for giving Her Excellency, Mrs Ajimobi, the courage to cope with the challenges associated with the untimely death of her husband and we solemnly pray God Almighty to bless her with good health, peace of mind and longevity to enable her continue to paddle the canoe of family, societal and political service which her beloved husband has parted with.” Williams said.

Other members of the Wing who toed the line of Mrs Williams to extol the virtue of late former governor are; Mrs Toyin Ajibade (Deputy State Woman Leader), Mrs. Taiwo Motélèolá (Oyo South Senatorial district’s Woman Leader), Alhaja ‘Juwon Adewuyi (Oyo Central Senatorial district’s Woman Leader) and Mrs Juliana Ajuwon (Oyo North Senatorial district’s Woman Leader.

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Alaafin lauds philanthropic gesture of ‘Wolekanle’ to human development

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Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi, the Alaafin of Oyo on Wednesday commended Mr. Akinwale Akinwole popularly known as ‘Wolekanle’ for his numerous support and dedication to human development in the state, especially Ogbomoso town.

Alaafin gave the commendation while receiving the Ogbomoso-born philanthropist and politician at his palace, in Oyo town. The foremost Monarch noted that he was aware of all his efforts geared towards putting smile on people’s faces.

“I have heard much about you and I am happy that responsible youths like you are coming up in the political arena. It is a good development and I wish you all the best in your endeavours.

“Continue to make people happy. Don’t betray the confidence that is being reposed in you by the people. And in politics, ensure you join forces to move Nigeria forward. God will continue to guide you”, Oba Adeyemi advised.

In his short remarks, Akinwole lauded Alaafin’s ingenuity in promoting Yoruba culture and tradition.

He also informed the custodian of culture of his intention to participate actively in politics.

“As a father, I am here to greet you and formally inform you of my intention to be involved in active politics. I need your blessings and prayers. And I promise that you will be proud of me”, he assured.

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N100bn Bond: NCC boss, Akande cautions Makinde against excessive borrowing

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Prof. Akande

Alarmed at the approval of the issuance of a N100 billion bond by the Oyo State government, Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Prof. Adeolu Akande, on Wednessday cautioned Governor Seyi Makinde against excessive borrowing.

Governor Makinde had on Wednesday morning announced the approval of the loan tagged “Oyo Prosperity Bond” which, according to him, will facilitate the execution of priority projects that will further drive economic development in the State.

This is coming after the administration secured close to N50 billion loans in the first 14 months of its emergence.

It will be recalled that the Oyo Assembly had on May 19, 2020, approved a N22.5 billion infrastructure loan from a commercial bank. Before that, on October 10, 2019, the Assembly had approved the sum of N7.6 billion for the upgrading of two farm settlements in Akufo and Eruwa, to Farm Estates.

The APC chieftain, Akande, who hails from Otu, headquarters of Itesiwaju local government area of the State, explained that there is nothing bad about borrowing, but added that what such loans seek to achieve must be of economic benefit to the people of the State.

According to him, “Nobody needs to be told that the Nigerian economy has not been good for years. Many states have been struggling to meet their obligations. So, if any state is to borrow to fund any project, such project must be one that would bring economic development to the State.

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“While I am not against infrastructure development in our dear State, proper evaluation needs to be done to determine which projects should be financed through borrowing. It should not be about borrowing to finance just any project. We have got to a stage where projects to be embarked upon by government at all levels must be ones that will lead to increase in internally generated revenue, draw investors to the State, create wealth for the people and ease the financial burden of the State.

“The Ibadan Circular Road project, for example, is a laudable one. It is a project that would open up the State and bring about an increase in IGR if properly harnessed. However, it is economically unhealthy to borrow to finance the project. Late Governor Abiola Ajimobi, I recall, had awarded the project via a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement before the incumbent government ordered the company to stop work. What I think the government should have done was to engage a company with the capacity to fund it via a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) arrangement.

Prof. Akande also advised Governor Makinde against burdening taxpayers in the State with funding the expansion of the Ibadan Airport.

“The airport is a federal responsibility. Rather than burden taxpayers in the State with the cost of expanding the airport, Governor Makinde should work with representatives of Oyo State in the National Assembly to secure federal funding for the expansion of the airport by the Ministry of Aviation. The federal government is presently expanding many airports across the country, and Oyo State should not exclude herself from this benefit. The recourse to state finance for the airport project is an indication of failure in ensuring cordial federal-state relations by the Oyo State Government.

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“The government must not impose an extra burden on taxpayers in the State by self-funding projects that can be funded by the federal government or the private sector”, he said.

Urging Governor Seyi Makinde to be creative in the aspect of fund generation and harnessing Oyo State’s economic potentials, Akande lamented the neglect of major infrastructural facilities across the State which, he said, should be useful for economic growth.

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