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Professor Afonja on the path of history

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In the history of every great nation, there are always great people and in the history of great people, there are always exceptional few, those whose lives and action shape the destiny of the people, those who have an indomitable spirit to develop and contribute passionately to improve the people’s lives . Among such few is Professor Raphael Afonja.

Born in the 70s to the family of Dr. and Mrs Afonja of Adesiyan Compound, Isale Afon, Ogbomoso North Local Government Area of Oyo state.

When a man’s every faction leads to success, he becomes an enigma, a figure to be wondered at and an uncommon spectacle in a common world. The young Afonja, who grew up in Kaduna started his success story with a brilliant academic career at Hope Primary School before attending Barewa College, Zaria, and Unity School Ejigbo, Osun State.

Not done yet with his pursuit, Raphael Afonja attended the City University of New York, Long Island University, University of North Dakota, and Eastern New Mexico University where he obtained degrees in Computer Science (A.Sc.), Applied and Theoretical Physics (B.Sc.), Engineering Science (B.Sc., Mechanical), Environmental Science (M.Sc.), Information Science (Ph.D., coursework), Civil Engineering (Ph.D.), and he is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration.

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Afonja is a Registered Civil Engineer with the Council for the Regulation of Engineering, Nigeria (COREN), a member of American Society of Civil Engineers, a member of Nigeria Society of Engineers, ha Registered Environmental Professional with the National Registry of Environmental Professionals, a Certified Environmental Professional with the Academy Board of Certified Environmental Professional, and a Certified Environmental and Safety Compliance Officer.

Taking his destiny in his hands, he served as an infantryman/Water Treatment Specialist in the United States Army before becoming a Professor of Engineering at City University of New York. He also served as an Airman with the United States Air Force, where he managed and led the Engineering planning function team.

As a cerebral and highly respected scholar, his professional job experience include, Dean of Faculty at SOWELA Technical Community College, Senior Research Engineer and Consultant with City of Grand Forks, North Dakota. He also worked as a Research Scientist with City University of New York, a Visiting Professor at the University of North Dakota, then went on to lecture as a Professor at SOWELA Technical Community College. He was accepted as a Fulbright Scholar at Lagos State University and he has presented and published thirteen research papers while in academia.

The passion to serve and see real changes in the lives of his people inspired him to establish ICARE, a Nonprofit Organization in the US and Nigeria, whose mission focuses on Women Empowerment, Medical Outreach, Education, and Food Security. He is the Chairman of Gamut Engineering and Technology Services and aspired for Federal House of Representatives (Ogbomoso North/ Ogbomoso South/Orire Federal Constituency) in the last election under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

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Recently, the Executive Governor of Oyo state, Engr. Seyi Makinde appointed him as the state Commissioner for Works and Transport.

According to Afonja, his mission in life is to see a developed and secured Oyo State with good Social Welfare System for all citizens. As a farm owner, he believes building new and maintaining solid infrastructures in Oyo State will boost economy for all sectors, most especially stakeholders such as farmers. He believes that attracting investors and partnering with private industries for all sectors will also provide employment opportunities for the youths.

The Ogbomoso born-Professor of Engineering reiterated that his vision for Oyo state aligns with that of the state governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde,

Professor Raphael Afonja is happily married and blessed with children.

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Politics

Oyo 2019 governorship elections, a failed project for Adelabu?

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It is no news that the  horse race to Agodi Government House in Oyo State has come and gone, electorates have decided, while every political gladiators are nursing their wounds.

Today, Governor Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde (GSM)  of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is the landlord of the Agodi Government House for the next three (3) years, and his party members, presently control the Oyo State House Of Assembly with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Action Democratic Party, (ADP) forming the opposition.

Interestingly, the residents of the state in their numbers were busy accessing the performance of Governor Seyi Makinde in the last 12 months based on the pyramid of success ladder, while some were still in euphoria rejoicing at cooling spots to celebrate his victory.

With the help of the coalition arrangement midwived by a former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, the beneficiary of the arrangement, Engr. Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 515, 621 votes to defeat his closest rival, Oloye Adebayo Adelabu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who secured 357,982 votes.

Meanwhile, the  three governorship candidates that sacrificed their ambitions for Govrrnor Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are Senator Olufemi Lanlehin of Action Democratic Congress (ADC), Barrister Sharafadeen Alli of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and Chief Bolaji Ayorinde of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) . These political gladiators in the state aimed at forming a government of national unity; unfortunately, the agreement was breached and the coalition went sour.

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With this revelation, did Adebayo Adelabu feels that he had failed? The answer is NO, according to political pundits. As a new entrant into politics, his performance at the poll was commendable and it beams ray of hope of a better political future ;if some measures are put in place.

Our  investigations revealed that the progressive party in Oyo state, even when the late governor and the leader of the progressives, Alhaji Onaolapo Lamidi Adesina led the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2011, the party’s guber nominee, late Sen. Abiola Ajimobi defeated the then incumbent governor, Otunba Alao Akala of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by securing 420, 852 against 387, 132.

In a related development, in 2015, late Abiola Ajimobi became the ‘Koseleri of Oyo state’ under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by breaking the second term jinx. He polled 327,310, to defeat his brother, former governor  Ladoja of the Accord Party scored 254,520 and others.

Considering these figures, it is obvious that Oloye Adebayo Adelabu performed extremely well in the last election, a feat he achieved through members of the progressives in the state who supported his ambition. This political calculation and permutation signify that the Obafemi Awolowo University trained accountant appeared to have an edge, but needs to improve on his relationship skills as a prominent political figure in the state.

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According to the pundits, Adelabu must work on the politics of the ‘Gate Keepers ‘ and that of the Critical Success Factor’ (CSF) to accomplish his political ambition.

Oyo state housed Muslims, Christians and traditional worshipers, thus the need for proper religious identity in regards of governorship election.

People believed that Oloye Bayo Adelabu was a converted Christian, until the ‘sudden’ addition of ‘Abdulwaheed’ to his name.

The Muslims in the state observed that being a Muslim transcends mere name bearing. They insisted the community would be more pleased if Adelabu can take further practical steps to prove that he is really a Muslim.

No doubt, Adelabu is stylish, intelligent, strategic and has brilliant ideas toward Oyo state development, but needs to intensify efforts on these grey areas. By 2023, it is predicted that the party’s primary would be an interesting one as political juggernauts in the state surreptitiously expressed interests.

However, only time will tell.

 

Idowu Ayodele

Political Desk,

Mega Icon Magazine 

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Politics

2023: APC to embark on fresh membership registration as Oyo Unity Forum returns

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Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has resolved to carry out a fresh registration of party members which is expected to usher in a new leadership for the party as the break-away faction of the party in Oyo State – ‘The Unity Forum’, agreed to give peace a chance by returning into the fold of the mainstream APC.

It was also resolved that the party will soon hold congresses to elect new executives in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory and; thereafter hold a convention latest by January 2021, adding that this will afford the party ample time to sufficiently resolve political issues that might arise before 2023.

The leadership of the splinter group- Unity Forum who disclosed this on Thursday at a stakeholders meeting held at Premier Hotel, Ibadan also urged their supporters and other members of the party to see themselves as one, emphasizing that the need to come together is necessary to reclaim the Agodi Government House.

The meeting had in attendance Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Professor Adeolu Akande, former Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, Senators Olufemi Lanlehin, Adesoji Akanbi, Ayo Adeseun and Alhaji Abu Gbadamosi .

Others included Chief Goke Oyetunji, Barrister Niyi Akintola, Alhaji Fatal Ibikunle, Honourables Saheed Fijabi, Bosun Oladele and Sunbo Olugbemi.

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Representatives of the forum, Senators Ayo Adeseun, Olufemi Lanlehin and former Minister of Communications, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu who were at the various reconciliation meetings in Abuja gave account of the meetings with the National Reconciliation Committee. They enjoined all members of the APC to shun any action that could derail the peace initiative in the party.

Contained in the communiqué jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the Communique Drafting  Committee, Alhaji Waheed Olajide and Professor Adeolu Akande respectively, the chieftains explained that all contentious issues within the party have been examined and resolved , urging members to work for the unity of the party.

The communiqué read, “members of the APC in Oyo State were implored to resolve their differences and work for the unity of the party.

“All contentious issues that led to the crisis in the party were examined and addressed.

“The members were informed that there would soon be fresh registration of all members at a date to be announced.

“They were informed that the party will soon hold congresses to elect new executives in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

” The party will thereafter hold a convention latest by January 2021.

“The two groups that attended the meeting with the committee were directed to nominate three (3) members each that will oversee the fresh registration of all members with the executive committee of the party.

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“Another meeting of selected leaders and representatives of stakeholders in the party in Oyo State is scheduled to hold in Ibadan on Sunday September 20.2020. It will be hosted by Dr Kayode Fayemi, the Governor of Ekiti State”, the report continued.

The stakeholders deliberated over the communiqué and accepted all the proposals.

They, however mandated the representatives to the Abuja meetings to select the three members that will work with others on the fresh registration of members.

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Politics

Edo Decides: Voters Choice Will Be Respected, Says INEC

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The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, on Tuesday informed that the electoral body is committed to conducting free, fair and credible election in Edo State.

Speaking during a Peace Accord organised by the National Peace Committee in Benin, the INEC chief maintained that the commission remains neutral, assuring  that the choice of Edo voters will be respected in the election.

He said, “I wish to assure you of INEC’s commitment to credible elections. The votes will count. The people of Edo State will determine who becomes their next governor.  Their choice will be upheld.

“Let me also reassure you and the voters in Edo State of the commission’s neutrality. I call on all political parties and their candidates to abide by the letter and spirit of the peace accord”.

Yakubu further asked political candidates to allow the signed Peace Accord serve as a covenant with the people of the state.

He wants them to maintain peace before, during and after the September 19 election to avoid bloodshed.

His remarks came 24 hours after he reiterated the commission’s readiness to smoothly conduct the election.

Yakubu who spoke during a stakeholders’ meeting in Benin City, stressed that INEC will not undermine the integrity of the electoral process.

“The Commission shall not take any action to the advantage or disadvantage of any political party or candidate. Our focus is on our processes and procedures, nothing more”.

Yakubu added that the commission has recruited, trained and carefully screened all categories of ad hoc staff to be deployed to the field.

He also revealed that sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the election have been delivered in the state, noting that voter education and sensitisation are ongoing.

“We have made arrangements for the movement of personnel and materials to all polling units on election day.

“The Commission has taken every step and made every arrangement for the election holding this weekend.”

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