Soji Akanbi In Retrospect : A Deciding Vote Oyo APC Missed | By Adesokan Sodeinde  - Mega Icon Magazine
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Soji Akanbi In Retrospect : A Deciding Vote Oyo APC Missed | By Adesokan Sodeinde 

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2019 elections have come and gone. But, it left some memories that will continue to pullulate the political environment for a long time. One of such barometric pressure that gauged the elections and one that ultimately signalled the hard luck story of  the All Progressives Congress (APC ) in Oyo state was what political pundits called ‘SOJ factor’.

Senator Adesoji Akanbi will for a long time remain a Spanish version of political magnifico in Oyo Politics, particularly considering his father figure in Oyo South senatorial district that he last represented in the red Chambers. His exit from APC barely few months to the last polls was a proverbial worst sorrow for the party.

Only an eternal students of Politics in Oyo state will downplay the defection of Senator Soji Akanbi popularly called “Okanlomo ” by his teeming admirers as quotidian occurrence in Politics. You don’t expect a party to keep it’s glory when it has ingloriously pressed an exit buttons to its major strikers. Only people without a conscience ,to whom evil is ecstasy, will go on emotional binge for loosing a goose that is reputed for laying a golden egg.

With the benefit of hindsight, it was a bitter pill for Senator Soji Akanbi to swallow to finally take a bow out of an empire he co built as a progressive. The mien of SOJ to the unedifying pronouncement inside the hallowed Chambers by the then Senate President , Bukola Saraki was unmistakable . No sooner had the apparently enthusiastic Senator Bukola mentioned that among the “big fish ‘ that had been trapped to hitch into PDP train from APC was Senator Soji Akanbi than the latter mounted the soap box to refute what was later known to be unfounded claim . It could have been a slam dunk for PDP, a party that was leaving no stone unturned to wrestle power from the ruling party preparatory to the last election. It was more like political somnambulism for the Senate president who had earlier dangled PDP automatic tickets to any turncoats. To SOJ , APC is home.

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Stating the reason deitre for SOJ ‘s final decision to move out of his beloved party would amount to unnecessary repetition as he had personally laid bare the ground for his actions without grandstanding on several occasions.

One may ask , had SOJ stayed put in APC , what difference could it have made? A lot if I may say.

As a lengthened shadow and defacto engine room of his new bride, the African Democratic Congress (ADC) , the financial contribution he made to steady the boat of that party could have possibly been saved to strengthen APC.

It’s also obvious for a new emphasis that APC presidential candidate in the last election lost by hairs margin in Oyo state. See the statistics that provided strong evidence to how that ugly fate could have been reversed.

PDP polled 366, 690 votes
APC polled 365, 229
ADC came a distant third with 40, 830 votes.

While it can’t be argued that both APC and PDP were strong footed in Oyo state and heavily prepared for the election, the ADC presidential candidate, Mr Obadiah Mailafia was relatively unknown. Some people even claimed there was not a single poster or billboards of his in any corner. It therefore became glaring that if hundreds of SOJ faithfuls who cast their votes for ADC had voted for APC presidential candidate, the defeat ,which was quite narrow, could have been averted.

It leaves a sour taste in the mouth of many political observers that a party that has a winning streak to deliver massively for President Buhari in 2015 and towers above other states could end up eating an humble pie four years later. Discerning minds have heaped the blame of reversal of electoral fortune in Oyo state on Governor Ajimobi’s over bloated political clout, a delusion of grandeur that eventuated in politics of exclusion.

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2015 presidential election results in Oyo state, the APC conveniently secured  528,620 votes, while the PDP scored 303,376 votes.

The same scenario played out in both Senatorial and Federal House of Representatives election in Oyo South where APC candidates were mauled by some insignificant votes by PDP.

Talking of  Ibadan North West / South West federal constituency which is Senator Akanbi’s political strongholds, , the APC candidate, Hon. Fijabi Saheed would have been dancing “Azonto” after the election if SOJ had offered him a bulwark of political solidarity to rest on. See the results:

Stanley Olajide (PDP) had 28, 367 votes against Mr Saheed Fijabi who polled a total of 25, 560 votes.

What also remained a “squandered hope ” of APC to coast home victories in both Oyo South Senatorial District and even the Governorship elections couldn’t have been a mirage if ‘Okanlomo’ had thrown his weight behind APC. For example , if the Oyo South Senatorial ticket had not eluded the grasp of SOJ, his soaring credibility going by his stellar records in the zone could have saved APC from ignominy. Senator Adesoji Akanbi could have deployed into use his political sense of ” cognito circa rem’ to win landslide. With APC having three senators, the , rest could have been history so to say.

The gospel truth is that “APC fielded a candidate with a limbo existing in a negative dialectics in the eyes of the electorates to fly it’s flag in Oyo South , the jarring defeat was predictable as the party itself staggered into the election with heavy burden on it’s head.

Political pundits in Oyo state would have expected Governor Ajimobi to borrow a leaf from Senator Bola Tinubu who sacrificed his Senatorial ambition in 2007 for the party to flourish. Tinubu would have won the Senate seat against Hon Ganiyu Solomon that time but the party would have received bruises in it’s overriding interest in reclaiming Lagos State and South West  region .

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By and large, if Senator Adesoji Akanbi (Okanlomo) had not been denied ticket for Ajimobi , ‘ the capo dei capi’  to sub late his own self interest, who knows APC might have not been ineluctably battered and scattered like shards from a bottle dropped from the great height. Adesoji Akanbi,  no doubt is a factor anytime, any day in Oyo Politics.

It’s amazing that Senator Akanbi Adesoji who trailed uncharted political path ADC barely few weeks to the election nearly hit 50,000 votes.

Former Governor Abiola Ajimobi of the  APC polled 92, 218, Akanbi Rilwan Adesoji  (ADC) scored 49,417 and Kola Balogun  (PDP) secured 105, 270

Will APC rebound in Oyo state? Has Oyo APC learned it’s lessons in a hard way? Will the party emerge stronger from it’s present point of weakness ? Only Time will tell.

 

By Adesokan Sodeinde ,

A public affairs analyst and staunch APC member, writes from Eruwa , Oyo state.

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Opinion

Senator Buhari: People’s Mandate, Confirmed By Law. | By Gbenga Ajani

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The National Assembly election petition tribunal sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital on Tuesday, 10th September, 2019 dismissed the petition by former House leader, Hon Mulikat  Adeola of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, challenging the re-election of Senator Abdulfatai Buhari, PhD at the last election in Oyo North Senatorial district.

Senator Buhari is the first Federal lawmaker to break the jinx of second term in the Senatorial district

Hon Mulikat who is also from Ogbomoso, the same community with Senator Fatai Buhari did not err by challenging the people’s mandate and overwhelming support for Senator Fatai Buhari during the last election but she ought to have carried out a proper evaluation of her chances before election and the chances of tribunal granting her request before initiating a war she knew she cannot win.

Her quest to overturn the electoral victory of the people’s Senator base on her alleged “Corrupt Practices” during the election cannot be substantiated probably because she was misinformed by her party men who monitored the election proceedings in some of the affected councils she mentioned in her petition or she overrated her level of acceptability by the people hence leading to dissatisfaction of the outcome of the election.

She is someone many people loved and her boldness to even challenge Buhari in the last election pointed out that she is not a pessimist like many of our women who have limited their roles to the kitchen and the other room. Her involvement and achievements in politics are not only encouraging but acts worthy of emulation by women who are also aspiring to contribute to national development.

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With that I still believe, challenging Senator Buhari in a contest is a mission that cannot be accomplished till eternity not because of the gender difference but rather their politicial prowress are miles away from each other

Obviously we are moving into an era when election will be about personality and not party, though party influence plays a significant role in the last election but personality comes first and the kind of images and reputation Senator Buhari has built in Oyo north and other parts of the state which cannot be easily trashed. He is accessible, simple and honest.

In the history of Oyo North senatorial district, Dr Buhari is the first senator that is available in term of physical appearance, qualitative representation at the upper chamber of the National assembly, facilitation of federal government projects to his district. His clamour for the establishment of a University in Oke Ogun, reconstruction of roads and repair of the existing ones and other developmental projects in the entire Oyo north senatorial district are what made people appreciated and rewarded him with their votes during the last election.

If what emboldens ‘Alhaja’ to even dare Buhari in a contest is the “perceived solid PDP structure in Ogbomoso and Oke Ogun and financial muscle to tackle him naira for naira, she missed the point though, there is no harm in trying but Senator Buhari’s political movement is far beyond politics, it is more of humanitarian services rendered to the deserving people with a view of fast tracking the development through qualitative representation at the National level which Hon Mulikat and her aides can also attest to.

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Senator Buhari’s unprecedented achievements in his first term registered his name in the minds of his constituents and that was why it was easy for him to penetrate the nooks and crannies of the senatorial district during the campaign, moving from one community to other. His campaign strategy cannot be matched by any politician in Oyo state, he didn’t wake up just few days to election and start relating with people, he has started the journey into another electoral victory few days after he assumed duties with a sustainable economic empowerment program which changed the life of many of his constituents.

In politics, enemies become friends and friends become enemies, but those who claimed to have left him cannot deny the fact that Senator Buhari is a fine politician who always reward loyalty and appreciate support, to him not everybody will have the opportunity of meeting him personally but every member of his constituents must directly or indirectly benefit from whatever he facilitated and that is why he worked hard to facilitate ICT and CBT centers and blocks of clasrooms to schools and some communities in all the local government areas in Oyo North. With the ICT centres, the next generation will not just have access to computers but also connect them to the global world without necessary moving to the city or nearby towns.

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The silent achiever is not a noise maker but those who are close to him knows how he influence allocation of funds to Ogbomoso-Oyo road, reconstruction of Iseyin-okeho road, and many others even the Iseyin -Oyo road .

With facilitation of over 30 boreholes across the district, the people of Elekokan, Gaa Olosun mining communities in the remote part of Oke Ogun and other beneficiaries will not forget in a hurry how Solar powered boreholes facilitated by Senator Buhari relieved them of acute water scarcity and the only way to reward the man who positively touched their lives is to vote him again and pray for his success .

In conclusion, Senator Buhari’s relection is an act of God, reward by people for his commitment to the development of the district, therefore his re-election is a mandate that cannot be trashed

Ise rere ntesiwaju.

Gbenga Ajani, writes from Ogbomoso

Oyo state

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Opinion

100 Days Giant Strides of  Yobe Governor, Buni | By Abba Dukawa

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Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Abraham Lincoln was even more graphic in underscoring the value of planning when he said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.”  

 

As an observer, since Governor Mai Mala Buni
took over the affairs of Yobe State,  he had unveiled his administration’s readiness to partner with North East Development Commission, local and international humanitarian organizations toward implementation of his ambitious Resettlement, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation (R3), for the people affected by insurgency to live a life of honour and dignity.  To accomplish his plan named – R3,  Governor Buni signed an agreement  with Family Homes Funds Ltd,  to construct 2, 600 housing units across the state.

The houses, comprising two-bedroom and three-bedroom bungalows, will be built at the total cost of N10, 830, 339, 654.00 with an envisaged completion period of 18 months.

 

Within one hundred days in office he had made   a giant stride in many infrastructural developments in the state, starting from  Agricultural development in the state, Buni’s administration plans to hold another “Yobe Agricultural Retreat”,  the retreat aimed at assembling relevant stakeholders  to re-position agriculture and move it away from its current subsistence level to a commercial enterprise.

 

For example, Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni directing that a bag of the NPK varieties, which sells for N10, 000.00 in the open market, be sold to farmers at the subsidized rate of N3, 000.00 and also unveiled 103 Mercy Ferguson tractors which will be deployed to the 17 local government areas to be used by farmers’ associations to boost food production in the state.

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On his aspersion towards  improving  educational development in the state, precisely on Wednesday, June 19 this year in Damaturu, the state capital, the stakeholders in primary and secondary education gathered to proffer solutions to the emergency declared on the sector in the state.  The summit birthed a working committee called the ‘Technical Committee to Revitalise Basic and Secondary Education’, which was charged with the responsibility of materialising the lofty recommendations of the education summit.

 

In his efforts toward sustaining the success of the education summit,  the governor has already studied and approved the report, and instructed for specific course of action to be taken, including the recruitment of qualified teachers, establishment of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education schools, and an audit of teachers across the state to ascertain their competencies and determine those who need training, re-training or even deployment to other sectors as appropriate. There is justified hope that education in Yobe State will witness an  outstanding uplift in the coming months and years.

 

On healthcare delivery as the saying goes, health is wealth; Mai Mala’s  administration considers it necessary to upgrade the capacities of health institutions in the State by providing state-of-the-art medical facilities and equipments to provide the best services to the people.

 

Governor Buni  continues to look into the welfare of healthcare providers to enhance healthcare delivery. Mala’s administration set to establish at least one functional primary Health Care Centre in each of the 178 wards of the State. Similarly, General hospitals on the course in the Local Government Headquarters where none exist to ease the burden of travelling long distances to access secondary healthcare services.  His administration   fast – tracked the establishment of the Contributory Health Management Agency and a Drugs and Consumables Management Agency to make the state eligible to access the basic healthcare provision fund.

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The state’s economy is largely dependent on the federal allocation with very low Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). However , Governor Buni had set to change this trend of the state dependency on the monthly federal allocation.  To achieve his administration’s target towards improving  the state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Governor Mala Mai Buni has already provided 50 hectares of land in Potiskum for the construction of trailer park under the  Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

 

The foundation-stone-laying ceremony of the park, which will also house a mechanic village, hotels, fuel stations, among others, and projected to create over 5,000 direct jobs was performed receynty.  In conjunction with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Governor Buni is building a Modern Trailer Park in Potiskum, which has the distinction of being home to the highest number of trailer trucks in the whole of the North.

 

The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will that will help others. Described by most people as gentle, generous, humble, trustworthy, extremely loyal and down-to-earth, Mai Mala no doubt, displayed high and esteemed leadership qualities which endeared to the people of the state. Indeed, he perfectly fitted into the postulation by John C Maxwell when he said: “Success knows your purpose in life, growing maximum potential and sowing seeds that will benefit others.

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The 100 days in Yobe State have been action-packed and applause-worthy and indicate that the governor has started his journey on a very sound footing. Nevertheless, Governor Buni has gone beyond sharpening the axe in many areas of infrastructural development. He has already chopped down many trees these past 100 days.

 

What should be obvious by now to any perceptive observer is that Buni has devoted a large chunk of his first 100 days in office to plan, strategize and solicit broad experts counsel on government policies, planning and forethought are central to success in governance.

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Abiodun  Ladepo Reacts to Makinde’s Reduction of Budget from N285b to N182b

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One thing you have to give the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State, and particularly the Makinde administration, is the savvy use of propaganda – twisting bad news to “good” news while the media outlets eat it all up.

Take for instance the announcement that the Governor Seyi Makinde  has reduced the 2019 budget, prepared by the Abiola Ajimobi administration from N285b to N182b (a shaving off of N103b) simply because the budget was “unrealistic”.

In that same tweet, Governor Makinde  stated that he increased the budget for education “upward” to 10% of the total budget.

Well, the questions I would ask him if I were still a practicing journalist in the state are:

1. Since a budget is a projection of income (revenues) that can be spent, what makes the governor think the state cannot, realistically, earn N285b?

2. Could the downward review be because the governor has offered so many “freebies” that have eaten into its Internally Generated Revenues (IGRs)?

3. By how much have ANY steps taken by his administration increased the state’s IGR?

4. How much loan has he taken so far and how much does he plan to take in the 2019 fiscal year?

5. How much has he paid back out of the debts owed (cumulatively) by multiple past administrations, and how does he plan to pay back the rest and bring the state to a debt-free status by 2023,

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6. When he said he increased the education budget to 10%, what was the percentage budgeted by Ajimobi…9%, 8%?

7. And what are the naira amounts of the education budget? I ask this because 9% of Ajimobi’s N285b (assuming it was 9%), is significantly higher than 10% of Makinde’s N182b.

So, e ma p’aja l’obo fun wa mo.

It is not enough to just tell the people that the budget had to be reduced because it was not “realistic”. The media must make him explain why it’s not “realistic”.

Governance is not child’s play o. It is a lot of work.

And it is not charity…lol.

We can’t just depend on federal allocations, World Bank grants and loans for execution of capital and recurrent expenditures. Such laziness led to past financial crises when we couldn’t pay salaries and pensions on time because federal allocations dried up as oil sales plummeted .

We must generate our own funds through various kinds of investments and an expanded but fair taxation base.

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