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Oyo govt. bows to pressure, excludes rejected chairmanship nominees.

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Issued letters of appointment to 54 LGA, LCDA chairmen.

OYO State Government on Wednesday issued letters of appointment to 54 Caretaker Chairmen of the Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas claimed to have been sworn-in by Governor Abiola Ajimobi following the firm decision of the state House of Assembly ordering the Divisional Police Officers in charge of Irepo LG, Asabari LCDA and Lagelu West LCDA to arrest and detain anyone parading himself as chairman for those councils.

Meanwhile, the House of Assembly, had earlier screened and cleared 55 nominees but alleged that the executive arm led by Governor Ajimobi went ahead to inaugurate 57 nominees by not taking into consideration of the two nominees who had earlier been dropped for the positions by the house.

Mudasir Agbaje (Irepo LGA) and Taiwo Adeleke (Asabari LCDA) both who had initially been disqualified by the state House of Assembly as a result of their failure to produce the necessary certificates couple with their low performances during the screening exercise.

Also, the Governor was said to have disregarded the order of the state House of Assembly by swearing in one Abiodun Oladeji of Lagelu West LCDA against Akeem Aransi who was earlier nominated, screened and certified by the same State House of Assembly.

According to a point of order raised at the plenary of the house on Tuesday by Hon. Gbenga Oyekola from Atiba State Constituency who drew the attention of the lawmakers to the imminent risk on the inauguration of two (2) rejected nominees and substitution of the screneed nominee for Lagelu West LCDA.

Oyekola, supported by Hon. Olusegun Olaleye and Hon. Olawumi Oladeji recalled that,“the house screened 55 nominees and rejected two, but to my utmost dismay the two were sworn-in.

“Also, we screened Akeem Aransi for Lagelu West LCDA but unfortunately another person was swore-in and assumed office. On that note I want the house to produce the copy of the letter we sent to the executive. We sent the name to the executive and they received it”.

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In a related development, the lawmaker further hinted that there is looming crisis in Lagelu West LCDA over who is the legitimate chairman because the person who was screened has been swapped with another person without the consent of the house.

Interestingly, the Chairman House Committee on Information, Hon. Josuha Oyebamiji corroborated,
“We screened 55 people but to our dismay, the two people we rejected were also swore-in. At Lagelu, the candidate we screened was replaced by another person.  And the house resolved that those people for the 3 councils should stop parading themselves until the committee we set up come up with their report.

“We said that DPOs in those areas should arrest them and hand them over to the Commissioner of Police”.

“The Committee will find out who and those who caused it, you can fell the heat in the house today.

Similarly , Oyebamiji said “The person has been swore-in before screening. It is a belated issue. The house has passed the letter to the committee. But there is no Chairman in these 3 councils”.

Confirming this development, the Chairman, House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Honourable Bolaji Badmus representing Akinyele II state constituency while presenting his report after the screening exercise disclosed that his committee has cleared 55 nominees and dropped two (2) who could not meet up with the required certificates and screening processes.

He hinted further that the house has requested for re-nomination of two new nominees from the State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi to fill the vacuum.

However, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Olalekan Ali who is in charge of the state correspondences and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mrs Hannah Ogunesan have been called to answer the questions bothering on the swearing in of the rejected nominees and the substitution of names.

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While presenting the appointment letters to the 27 caretaker chairmen of Local governments and 27 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) at a public presentation held at the House of Chiefs, Secretariat, Ibadan, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Bimbo Kolade, who was in company of top government officials, stated that the Executive arm was acting in consonance with the deliberations of the State House of Assembly, warning that any individual not given appointment letter should not parade himself as a caretaker chairman.

The commissioner said, it will be recalled that the Oyo State Government created 35 LCDAs from the existing 33 Local Government areas in the state. The state now has 33 LGAs and 35 LCDAs.

Kolade noted that five LGAs and six LCDAs did not have any nomination due to the ongoing litigation in relation to council delineation and proposed conduct of council polls in the state.

According to him , “We want to put it on record that we have acted in accordance with the clearance we got from the House of Assembly.

“The Executive arm sent 57 names to the state House of Assembly for clearance. It consists of 28 names as Caretaker Chairmen for 28 local government areas and another 29 names for 29 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) recently created by the state. We have given caretaker chairmen of 27 LGAs and 27 LCDAs appointment letters.

“The Caretaker chairmen of Lagelu West LCDA, Asabari LCDA and Irepo LG were not given letters.  Also, the four councils in Oyo, namely Oyo West, Oyo East, Atiba and Afijio, as well as Oriire LG in Ogbomoso zone were exempted as no nominee presented due to the ongoing litigation in relation to council delineation and proposed conduct of council polls. The same thing applied to the six newly created LCDAs in Oyo zone and Oriire Local ‎government of the state”, Kolade reiterated.

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The Commissioner, therefore charged the new caretaker chairmen to see to the development of their councils and communities, noting that no chairman is superior to the other.

However, days after the inauguration, an online news platform obtained photos and videos of the event.

In one of the photos, Taiwo Adeleke of Asabari LCDA was spotted in green ankara, standing beside Alhaji Kareem Adegoke- caretaker chairman of Saki West LG holding the oath form.

Taiwo Adeleke of Asabari LCDA spotted in green ankara, standing beside Alhaji Kareem Adegoke- caretaker chairman of Saki West LG holding the oath form.

Similarly, in one of the video recordings, Mudasir Agbaje (Irepo LGA) was seen in the midst of jubilant crowd been prayed for in the palace of an Oba.

Besides, a comment obtained on social media platform by Mega Icon Magazine on Monday, April 10, 2017 at exactly 6:11pm from a suspected loyalist to the disqualified nominee, Mutalib Adewale reads : “Mega Icon stop crying wolf where there is none, Muda Agbaje has been sworn in by d gov, his emergence was accepted to d pple of Irepo, not only that, there has been a relative peace within Kisi Community”.

Comment made by Mutalib Adewale, a suspected loyalist to Mr Mudasir Agbaje of Irepo LG.

With these startling revelations, the end may not be in sight as political watchers in the state are keenly following the trends.

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Makinde vows to retrieve billions of Oyo’s resources ‘stolen’ in 96 months before his tenure

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Oyo state governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde on Wednesday vowed that his administration was ready to retreive the billions of the state’s funds allegedly looted by officials of the previous administration.

Governor Makinde, who made the vow while kickstarting the construction of the 21km Ajia-Airport-New Ife Expressway road, in Ajia town, maintained that his administration was ready to put measures in place to retrieve all looted funds to develop the state’s infrastructure.

The 21-kilometre Airport-Ajia-New Ife Express Road, with spur to Amuloko, was awarded to Messrs Peculiar Ultimate Concerns Ltd, at a total cost of Eight Billion, Five Hundred and Twenty Million, Nine Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Six Naira, Forty-One Kobo (N8,520,919,776.41).

According to the governor, unlike the previous government, which, he said, preoccupied itself with how to corner state’s funds on a daily basis, his administration would drastically reduce the infrastructure deficit in the state within the shortest possible time.

He added that it’s only in doing so that the state can be positioned on the path of economic growth.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that the 21-kilometre road construction being launched was a product of the administration’s strategic way of reducing the state’s infrastructure deficit, which is known as the Alternative Project Funding Approach (APFA).

He said: “Our administration means business. We will drastically reduce the infrastructure deficit in Oyo State in the shortest possible time. And this is how economies work: investors will only go where they can be assured of profits. If we do not develop basic infrastructure like roads, it will affect the cost of production which, in turn, means less profit for investors. So, we cannot be seriously discussing attracting investments into Oyo State when a majority of roads and other infrastructure are in a state of disrepair.

“In order to achieve this, we must strategize on how to increase our spending on infrastructure, because what we collect from Abuja every month from federal allocation is not even enough to pay the salaries. So, the new strategies on how to increase our spending on infrastructure is what we are doing here in Oyo State.”

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While explaining the reason the Airport-Ajia road costs more per kilometre than the 65 kilometre Moniya-Iseyin road, the governor said there are more hydraulic structures on the Airport-Ajia road than the Moniya-Iseyin road, and that a lot of expansion and rehabilitation will be done on those bridges.

The governor also used the opportunity to explain the APFA approach through which he said many projects will be executed in the state, stating that it is the administration’s way of funding some infrastructural projects in the state, by having the contractors fund the projects with their own money while the state repays them over a period of time.

“What this entails is that the contractor carries the projects’ risk. At the same time, we get quality delivery and quick completion of projects. They will be bearing the risk of getting this project done in a timely manner, while we pay them over the next twenty-nine months. That comes down to roughly N300 million a month. So, while they will complete the project in one year, we have the option to repay in over twice the time.

“We will continue to actualise capital projects through budgetary allocations and have the additional option of carrying out other infrastructural projects outside of the budget, using the Alternative Project Funding Approach. So, you can look forward to other projects under this approach.

“Let me state that even when we are forced to look outside Oyo State for persons to execute the projects under APFA, we still put the interests of our people first. For example, Peculiar Ultimate Concerns Ltd has agreed that the construction labour will come from Oyo State, and we are holding them to that agreement.”

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He added: “So, for projects under the APFA, because of the nature of spending on the projects, we decided that it would be best to open up the bidding process a little more so that contractors outside of Oyo State can bid as well.

“We reached this decision because we are looking for private entities who have the wherewithal to complete the projects on schedule, while at the same time, passing the tests of quality assurance.

“When we approved this project at EXCO, social media became agog with all sorts of insinuations. Those ones that you rejected during the last general elections were saying Seyi Makinde promised that he would give contracts to those within Oyo state. Indeed, I made that promise that Oyo state money must remain in Oyo state.

“Some have said the company we awarded the contract to is from Asaba in Niger Delta and that we want to take Oyo State’s money to my wife’s state. First, let me put it on record that my wife is not from Delta but from Rivers State. “Second, the representative of the company we awarded the project to, Engr Abel Adeleke, has spoken here today. He is from Osun State and they are using their money to start this project.

“We also opened the opportunity for all. Even if they had approached us and brought the money they stole while in government to fund this project, we will allow them. We all know there are certain construction works that their expertise may not be with a local contractor. If we want to construct a bridge and it is awarded to Julius Berger, they will also say Julius Berger is not from Oyo State. So, that is to tell you they have nothing to do. One thing I know is, if we build this road the way we are supposed to, on time and on budget, what concerns the people going to the airport, whether Julius Berger constructed the road or whether the contractor is from Osun or Oyo? Our major concern is that the road is constructed.”

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Addressing the criticisms trailing the announcement of N100 billion bond issuance by the state, the governor stated: “I heard somebody criticizing us on radio concerning the N100 billion bond and was of the opinion that this administration wants to put the state in debt. I think our people need to start telling them that Governor Makinde is not like that. For the period of eight years they spent in office, they were only preoccupied with how to corner N1 Billion monthly into their private pockets everyday they went to the office.

“They spent 96 months in office, that means they have Oyo States N96 billion with them. We will retrieve every fund that belongs to Oyo people for the purpose of infrastructure development.

“So, tell them that the EFCC of Oyo State is coming for them. I want to assure you that we will retrieve the stolen money of the state from them and use the funds to build infrastructure like this.”

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Ajimobi’s 40-day Fidau prayer holds tomorrow

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The 40-day fidau prayer  of late former governor of Oyo state, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi has been billed for tomorrow, August 6, 2020 in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital 
Late Governor Ajimobi’s media aide, Bolaji Tunji disclosed in a statement on Wednesday.
 

Ajimobi, 71, died on June 25, 2020 , at First Cardiologist Consultant; a private COVID19 approved care facility in Lagos State.

According to him,  the fidau prayer will hold at the late governor’s  Oluyole residence, Ibadan In line with Covid-19 protocols as laid down by NCDC, adding that the event will strictly be a family affair.

He also informed that there will be a live coverage of the event on NTA from 11am onwards and the event will also be streamed on the link below:https://linktr.ee/ajimobiliveson

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Beirut blast killed more than 100 – Red Cross

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A huge blast at Beirut port that devastated entire neighbourhoods of the city has killed more than 100 people and injured over 4,000, the Lebanese Red Cross said Wednesday.

“Until now over 4,000 people have been injured and over 100 have lost their lives. Our teams are still conducting search and rescue operations in the surrounding areas,” a statement said.

Details later…

AFP

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