THE Caretaker Chairman of Ibadan Southeast Local Government area of Oyo state, Hon. Teslim Ajimobi has denied an allegation of involvement in a kidnap saga.
According to the council gaffer, Teslim, the story linking him to an alleged kidnap upon which a Hausa auto dealer in Sabo, named Danladi, petitioned the police, causing his arrest and detention for six hours, was entire falsehood, cooked up by elements seeking to cause needless panic and confusion among Ibadan residents.
He urged his supporters to disregard the entire story as false, malicious, unwarranted, stressing that it was a targeted attempt meant to bring his name into disrepute. Speaking further, brother to governor Abiola Ajimobi, Teslim maintained he had not been to any police station in the last one year, not to imagine being released by one anti-kidnap police squad after 6 hours for partaking in a supposed kidnap saga.
Refreshing your memory, the story which was broken on an online medium two days ago alleged the governor’s brother was arrested after a petition by one Danladi who claimed to have been threatened by Teslim that he (Danladi) would be dealt with.
On why he could be alleged of such involvement, the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain said, “I am a politician. It must be a design by one of those seeking my fall. But this one seems a joke carried too far”.
“I hereby state categorically that I have never been involved in any crime in my life, whether kidnap or any other one. While I admit I know Danladi, being a friend of my younger brother, I am not aware of any kidnap attempt on him by anyone, least of all by me! As Caretaker chairman of Ibadan Southeast Local Government, I have been discharging the duties of the office without any fear or let.
“My attention was drawn to the story which had been circulating on an online medium by a friend who had read same. At first, I did not understand it, not because of the language, but the fact that I was actually deep into some discussion when my attention was drawn to it, and could therefore not fathom how such a character could be me.
“In the past four or five weeks, there has not been any single day I have not been in the office. I have been engaged most often by issues which have to deal directly with the people of Ibadan Southeast. I cannot therefore imagine spending whole six hours in police custody. This seems the wish of the enemies. Fortunately, it is not the wish of God for me,” Ajimobi continued.
Garlands For Senator Abiola Ajimobi At 70 | By Bolaji Tunji
In a few hours, precisely December 16, the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi will celebrate his 70th birthday. There’s no doubt that this is a major, significant milestone in the life of any individual and worthy of celebration. No one knows this better than my boss, the celebrant who never fails to inform friends and associates that attaining age 70 is significant for him and to some of us, another broken jinx as most of the male members in his family never achieved that 70 years age feat.
That is not the only reason that makes this enviable age significant. In the Holy Bible, the figure 70 is used on 56 different occasions. The number seven represents perfection while the ten represents completeness and God’s law, symbolizing perfect spiritual order. In Numbers 11:16, Moses, shortly after receiving and reading the Covenant that God gave to him for the Israelites, appointed 70 elders who he took up to Mount Sinai to have a special meal with God (Exodus 24: 9-11). Also, the Israelites spent a total number of 70 years in captivity in Babylon (Jeremiah 29: 10) before freedom came. 70 years is that year when shackles are broken. For an individual at 70 years, you look back and count the number of your years for a fulfilling three scores and ten and expressing appreciation to the Almighty.
Indeed, for my boss, one would his has been a fulfilled and complete life. He has achieved many things that one could ever desire in life. He is blessed with children to be proud of. He climbed to the highest level of corporate ladder by becoming the Managing Director and Chief Executive of a multinational oil company, National Oil and Chemical Marketing Company before his foray into politics where he also earned an unprecedented two terms as Governor of Oyo State. Significantly at age 70, Senator Ajimobi who has earned the sobriquet, Koseleri (unprecedented) is still going strong, most people would evince surprise that he is 70 years old, because he does not look that age. He still has the vigour and the look of someone much younger and he’s still very active in the affairs of Oyo State and the nation. The term over-the-hill does not apply here. Like other world leaders before him, he is still an active participant in writing the history of the state and the country. He has thus joined the pantheon of other world leaders who continued going strong at age 70. Benjamin Franklin, was one of the founding fathers of the United States of America and he helped draft the US constitution at 70. Winston Churchill was also 70 years old when he led the United Kingdom to victory in World War II, Gold Meir became the Prime Minister of Israel at 70 while actress Helen Hayes won a second Oscar awards at age 70 years. Writer Mark Twain sums up the significance of the 70th year when he said, ‘the seventieth birthday. It is the time of life when you arrive at a new and awful dignity; when you may throw aside the decent reserves which have oppressed you for a generation and stand unafraid and unabashed upon your seven-terraced summit and look down and teach—unrebuked’. Clearly, the later part of Mark Twain statement sums up the person of Senator Abiola Ajimobi, he has always stood unafraid, if there is anything said about him, it is his boldness and the unpopular (in our society) way of saying it the way it is, age 70 now further confers on him that characteristics of saying it the way it is, unrebuked. He has earned it.
To most of us that served with him in the administration, he was not only a boss, he was also a father figure who never missed any opportunity to teach one or two things about life to people around him. He would jokingly say, ‘although I do not have a Ph.D in academics, I have a Ph.D about life’s experiences’. He would prefer to say it the way it is believing it is better to get it off your chest and give yourself a catharsis rather than keep what you have in you bottled up, he says it is also one of the secrets of his youthful look.
As governor of Oyo State, from 2011-2019, Senator Ajimobi made a great impact during his stewardship, even his critics are quick to acknowledge that fact. He has been able to set a standard that other administration will find difficult to match in years to come. His unprecedented achievement stems from his preparedness for governance and for that matter, anything he sets his mind to do. One thing I learnt early enough in my association with him is his global view of issues and a firm grasp and understanding of human nature. Thus, you must be adequately prepared before you make any presentation to him. He expects you to be painstaking. This probably stemmed from his highly successful adventure in the private sector. As governor, he laid a solid foundation for peace and security of life in the State. The brigandage and arson that earned Oyo State, the unsavoury sobriquet of ‘wild, wild west’ became history. He believed that the provision of peace and security would create an atmosphere for the State’s economy to thrive. This manifested during his administration. The hospitality industry grew by 147 percent with hotels and event centres springing up across the State. There was a renaissance of the nighttime economy. For eight years, there was no known case of bank robbery, which before his tenure, was a major issue. Giants Strides were created in infrastructural development, the administration constructed and rehabilitated the highest number of roads in the history of modern Oyo state. In primary health care, the Ajimobi made a major impact. Oyo state became the first to introduce free health care for its citizenry in the country. With less than N1000 per month, you are covered for health benefits. The greatest impact of that administration was more felt in the area of education with the introduction of the School Governing Board (SGB) policy which attracted various stakeholders to participate in running the affairs of their schools. This attracted over N2.8billion into the school system for upgrading of facilities and renovation. The policy was then adopted for understudy by other Southwest States. There was also the cancellation of automatic promotion which earned Oyo State the best WAEC result in 18 years. The establishment of the First Technical University in the Country, having realized that skilled labour was becoming a thing of the past in the country.
People have described him as a brilliant man, no one knows this better than those who have worked closely with him, with his attention to details, he takes in everything presented to him. You cannot present a figure today and you come back with a different figure on the same issue on the following day, thinking he never noticed, he would ask you why it changed, this in spite of the numerous files and memos that have passed across his table. Do I need to state his love for speaking directly to the people without going through laborious and elaborate speeches that could make you go to sleep and that had been written by his team. Once he is at a function, he captures everything within that environment and that becomes the subject of his speech which he delivers effortlessly as if he had had days to write.
Also worthy of emulation is his sartorial elegance, whether he’s spotting his trade mark Agbada which has created a brand that is uniquely his, in corporate attire or in casuals, those clothes look as if tailored specially for him. And if you work closely with him, you are also either a tulip of fashion or you try your best to match up, else…you may go home to change.
And as he clocks this enviable milestone of 70 years, one can only wish him more robust health which he enjoys presently.
Oyo To Support UNICEF on Enlightenment and Advocacy
Oyo State government has assured that advocacy and enlightenment programs of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) would receive its support to further educate the general public on the activities of the body.
The assurance was given by the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun on Friday when a team from the Southwest office of UNICEF visited him at his office in Ibadan.
Olatubosun said the impact of UNICEF on the society in general and the children in the areas of education, health and social welfare was immeasurable, adding that the international body has contributed so much to the world, hence the need for the State to give its support.
He added the the Ministry would deploy its online radio and other media platforms under it to project activities of the world body.
“UNICEF has done the world a great deal of good through their positive impact in protecting the right of the children to quality education, quality health, shelter and other necessities of life, whatever required to support them will be provided.
“The Seyi Makinde administration will always recognize the good deeds and those areas that UNICEF has made life easier for the children of the haves and the have nots, and it is a pride to so associate with the works of the body in working for a better world.”
In his words, the leader of the team, Dr Tushar Rane said UNICEF was happy to associate with Oyo State for its welfare policies in the area of education, health and social inclusion.
He sought further collaboration from the State to boost the programs and activities of UNICEF in Oyo State.
AfDB approves $124.2 million loan for water sector reforms in Akure
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank on Thursday approved a $ 124.2 million loan to finance the Urban Water Sector Reform and Akure Water Supply and Sanitation Project in Nigeria. The amount includes an African Growing Together Fund (AGTF) loan of $20 million.
The overall project cost is $222.69 million and will span five years from 2020-2025.
The project is set to address bottlenecks in critical water supply services to households in the densely populated project area. It would provide residents of Akure city (Ondo State) and its environs, access to safe drinking water and sanitation. The project will strengthen the Federal Government’s capacity to facilitate urban Water Supply and Sanitation reforms.
“The project will particularly contribute to improving the living conditions of the communities in the project area. Involving these communities in the public awareness and marketing activities, will increase the project’s ownership and ensure they pay for the water supply and sanitation services,” said Ebrima Faal, Senior Director at the Bank’s Nigeria Regional Office.
The loan will also help to install sanitation infrastructure for schools, hospitals, markets.
On completion, the project will benefit the 1.3 million residents of Akure City and vicinities. At the Federal level, the project’s Urban Water Reform component will establish a water and sanitation investment program that would contribute to scaling up of the National WASH Action plan 2018-2030.
The project, which combines “hard” water, sanitation and environmental protection infrastructure with “soft” analytical and institutional reform support, aligns with the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy (TYS) and its High 5s priority areas, the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Policy.
As at December 13 2019, the Bank’s active portfolio in Nigeria comprised 61 operations, of which 54 are national and seven are regional. The total commitment to these projects is $4.8 billion and includes water and sanitation projects worth $606.0 million.
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