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Niger Delta leaders praise Muhammadu Buhari, Godswill Akpabio

Niger Delta leaders praise Muhammadu Buhari, Godswill Akpabio

Key leaders in the Niger Delta region on Wednesday commended the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio for the huge changes in the region.

The leaders, deeply impressed by Akpabio’s political style and transparency, called for a united front against critics of the former Akwa-Ibom State governor.

Specifically, the leaders praised the minister for rewriting the history of the region, using his talent to achieve more for the people and effectively handling the development issues and challenges in the region.

In a statement in Yenagoa, the leaders described the minister’s critics as high ranking beggars surviving on dubious contracts in the country.

‘’Senator Godswill Akpabio is a man of vision. He sees far into the future’’ the leaders said.

The leaders emphasized Akpabio’s contribution towards resolving the problems that are impacting negatively on the Niger Delta people, restructuring, reformulation of policy postures, readjustment of strategies and reshaping of outward relations along more fashionable and multi-dimensional lines.

Signed by the chairman, Niger Delta Leaders Forum (NDLF), Chief John Harry, the leaders described the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to complete the East West Road by the end of 2021, the release of funds for the project and mobilization of contractors to the sites as encouraging.

‘’Senator Godswill Akpabio is a very good politician, strong and honest. In Akwa-Ibom, he expanded the opportunities and capabilities of people to live the lives they value. Indeed, he did more than anyone else to develop the oil rich state’’

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Anthony Village APC Arts Breaking News Celebrity Citizens City News Community News Environment Government Lagos Lagos Central Lagos East LAGOS GOVERNOR LAGOS MATTER Lagos News Lagos People Lagos State Government LAGOS TODAY Lagos West Local News MOVIE INDUSTRY NDDC News Niger Delta Niger Delta News Nigeria Politics Power and Energy /Electricity PRESS STATEMENT South East South South South West Surulere

Desmond Elliot lauded over Street lights in Alaka

Lagos lawmaker, Hon Desmond Olushola Elliot, has been commended for cherishing the mood of the people, feeling the grinding poverty in the country and devising innovative ways of tackling it in Surulere Constituency 1.

The commendation came from some notable leaders in Lagos State.

In a release signed by the Chairman of Lagos Political, Community and Religious Leaders Forum (SPCRF), Mr. Taiwo Alao, the leaders described the member representing Surulere Constituency 1 in the Lagos State House of Assembly as a responsive legislator.

They expressed gratitude to the lawmaker for his dynamic pursuit of the welfare of the good people of Surulere Constituency 1,

On Sunday, scores of areas had started brightening up in Alaka and residents especially politicians, religious and community leaders have openly expressed their joy at seeing the street lights donated by the Lagos lawmaker.

Specifically, the leader gave Desmond Elliot a pat on the back for a job well done.

The Forum pledged to continue committing the lawmaker to the Almighty God in its prayer to grant him wisdom, forbearance and understanding in all his efforts to make life worth living for the masses’’

The leaders pleaded with Lagosians to give the lawmaker the maximum possible support.

 

 

 

Niger Delta youths back Akpabio, NDDC Interim Management Committee, warn detractors

Youths in the Niger Delta region on Tuesday extolled the sterling qualities of the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, describing him as a man of honour.

Besides, the youths, under the aegis of Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM) praised the National Assembly for working with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs towards the realization of its objectives.

At a gathering in Calabar, the youths expressed delight and satisfaction with the high degree of determination so far exhibited by Senator Akpabio to move the Niger Delta region forward.

‘Senator Godswill Akpabio is a shining example, a model to all of us, of what service is all about. He has so far demonstrated an admirable commitment to doing everything possible to develop the Niger Delta region’’ the youths said.

Addressing newsmen after their one day conference in Cross River State, Secretary General of NDYM, Dr. Raymond Umanah said the youths praised Akpabio for embracing the challenge of developing the region with a missionary zeal, restructuring the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and reintroducing public accountability for the use of public resources.

‘’Senator Godswill Akpabio, a man of great organizational ability, has continued to carry himself with grace and dignity without compromising his integrity’’

The youths commended the growing unity and understanding among stakeholders in the region.

The youths emphasized national development, patriotism, transparency and accountability.

The youths also praised the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs for tackling impediments in the way of improving development in the region, pulling the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) back from the state of retrogression and giving the region the desired sense of purpose and direction.

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Abuja Abuja News APC Breaking News Citizens City News Civil Society Groups Community News Corruption

SERAP writes Buhari, seeks trial of high-profile corruption cases, details of missing files

 

 

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari requesting him to “instruct Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation to take immediate steps to expeditiously, diligently, effectively and fairly prosecute high-profile corruption cases, and to publish details of the whereabouts of allegedly missing case files, as well as the status of prosecution of all the cases being handled by his office.”

 

The organization said: “The high-profile corruption cases include 103 cases reportedly sent by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] in 2017, and the 15 allegedly missing case files sent by the now defunct Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, [SPIP] in 2019 to Mr Malami.”

 

In the letter dated 26 September, 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “The authorities’ failure to diligently and expeditiously prosecute high profile corruption cases amounts to a fundamental breach of constitutional and international obligations. Continuing failure to prosecute these cases may create the perception of a deliberate effort to protect those considered to be very influential and powerful.”

 

According to the organization: “The fact that these cases have been pending for several years suggests that your government has not carried out its public, constitutional and international obligations, including the obligations to show that no one is above the law as far as the fight against corruption is concerned.”

 

The organization said: “Public interest demands that high-profile corruption cases are concluded within a reasonable time so that those guilty are punished and the innocent are set free. The rule of law and the preservation of democracy also require that the authorities duly proceed in accordance with the law against every high-profile person suspected of grand corruption, irrespective of where he/she is placed in the political hierarchy.”

 

The letter, copied to Mr Malami, read in part: “SERAP is seriously concerned about the apparent inertia by the authorities to diligently and expeditiously prosecute high-profile corruption cases. While many of these cases have been dragging before your assumption of office in May 2015, several of the cases have not satisfactorily progressed, contrary to Nigerians’ expectations.”

 

“Speedily, diligently, effectively and fairly prosecuting high-profile corruption cases would demonstrate your government’s commitment to enhance probity in public life and willingness to enforce accountability in public life. The basic postulate of the concept of equality: ‘Be you ever so high, the law is above you’, should be your government’s approach to high profile corruption cases.”

 

“Our requests are brought in the public interest, and in keeping with the requirements of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended] particularly section 15[5], and Nigeria’s international obligations, including under the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, as well as the rule of law.”

 

“We hope that the aspects highlighted will help guide your actions in acting to ensure the diligent, expeditious and effective prosecution of longstanding high-profile corruption cases, including the 103 cases and the allegedly missing 15 case files of high-profile corruption suspects.”

 

“We would be grateful if your government begins to implement the recommended action and measures within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter.”

 

“If we have not heard from you by then as to the steps being taken in this direction, the Registered Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to pursue prosecution of these longstanding high-profile corruption cases to their logical conclusion, and to regularly report to Nigerians on the progress of prosecution.”

 

“People get frustrated in the system if the process of justice is not allowed to take its normal course, more so, when apparently deliberate attempts are made to subvert and delay the process.”

 

“There is a nexus between corruption at high places in public life and threats to the integrity, welfare, security and economy of the country, as well as the rule of law. There is therefore a clear need for an expeditious, diligent and effective prosecution of these cases, which have already been delayed for several years.”

 

“Expeditious prosecution of those suspected of grand corruption irrespective of the position and status of that person is imperative to retain public confidence in the ability and willingness of authorities to prevent and combat corruption.”

 

“According to our information, details of about 103 high-profile corruption cases being handled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] were reportedly made available in 2017 to the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice upon request.”

 

“Further, the case files of 15 high-profile corruption suspects are allegedly missing. The missing files are among the 23 cases reportedly sent by the now defunct Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, [SPIP] in 2019 to Mr Malami, and include some charges of fraud involving some former governors and senators, as well as non-declaration of assets and possession of foreign accounts cases.”

 

SERAP therefore urged President Buhari to instruct Mr Malami to:

 

  1. Explain why after several years these high-profile corruption cases have not been expeditiously, diligently, effectively and satisfactorily prosecuted to logical conclusion;
  2. Take immediate and concrete steps to prosecute the cases in close cooperation and collaboration with appropriate anti-corruption agencies;
  3. Publish details of the whereabouts of the allegedly missing 15 case files of high-profile individuals suspected of corruption, including the status of prosecution of the cases, as well as those of the 103 cases reportedly sent to Mr Malami;
  4. Invite civil society groups and international community to monitor the prosecution of high-profile corruption cases, and to periodically report to Nigerians the status of their prosecution

 

 

“By Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2011, and article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, SERAP is entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information, including information on the details of the whereabouts of allegedly missing 15 case files of high-profile individuals suspected of grand corruption, and the status of prosecution of the cases, as well as those of the 103 cases reportedly sent to Mr Malami.”

 

 

 

 

Kolawole Oluwadare

SERAP Deputy Director

27/09/2020

Lagos, Nigeria

Emails: info@serap-nigeria.orgnews@serap-nigeria.org

Twitter: @SERAPNigeria

Website: www.serap-nigeria.org

For more information or to request an interview, please contact Kolawole Oluwadare on: +2348160537202

 

Desmond Elliot lauded over Street lights in Alaka

Lagos lawmaker, Hon Desmond Olushola Elliot, has been commended for cherishing the mood of the people, feeling the grinding poverty in the country and devising innovative ways of tackling it in Surulere Constituency 1.

The commendation came from some notable leaders in Lagos State.

In a release signed by the Chairman of Lagos Political, Community and Religious Leaders Forum (SPCRF), Mr. Taiwo Alao, the leaders described the member representing Surulere Constituency 1 in the Lagos State House of Assembly as a responsive legislator.

They expressed gratitude to the lawmaker for his dynamic pursuit of the welfare of the good people of Surulere Constituency 1,

On Sunday, scores of areas had started brightening up in Alaka and residents especially politicians, religious and community leaders have openly expressed their joy at seeing the street lights donated by the Lagos lawmaker.

Specifically, the leader gave Desmond Elliot a pat on the back for a job well done.

The Forum pledged to continue committing the lawmaker to the Almighty God in its prayer to grant him wisdom, forbearance and understanding in all his efforts to make life worth living for the masses’’

The leaders pleaded with Lagosians to give the lawmaker the maximum possible support.

Niger Delta youths back Akpabio, NDDC Interim Management Committee, warn detractors

Youths in the Niger Delta region on Tuesday extolled the sterling qualities of the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, describing him as a man of honour.

Besides, the youths, under the aegis of Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM) praised the National Assembly for working with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs towards the realization of its objectives.

At a gathering in Calabar, the youths expressed delight and satisfaction with the high degree of determination so far exhibited by Senator Akpabio to move the Niger Delta region forward.

‘Senator Godswill Akpabio is a shining example, a model to all of us, of what service is all about. He has so far demonstrated an admirable commitment to doing everything possible to develop the Niger Delta region’’ the youths said.

Addressing newsmen after their one day conference in Cross River State, Secretary General of NDYM, Dr. Raymond Umanah said the youths praised Akpabio for embracing the challenge of developing the region with a missionary zeal, restructuring the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and reintroducing public accountability for the use of public resources.

‘’Senator Godswill Akpabio, a man of great organizational ability, has continued to carry himself with grace and dignity without compromising his integrity’’

The youths commended the growing unity and understanding among stakeholders in the region.

The youths emphasized national development, patriotism, transparency and accountability.

The youths also praised the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs for tackling impediments in the way of improving development in the region, pulling the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) back from the state of retrogression and giving the region the desired sense of purpose and direction.

Categories
Alaka community ALAUSA NEWS APC

LAGOS EYES PRIVATE REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TO ADDRESS HOUSING DEFICIT

PRESS RELEASE

 

  • Sanwo-Olu Engages Stakeholders At LASRERA Maiden Conference

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has charged real estate practitioners and investors to work with the Government to create a home ownership model that will help the her address the deficits observed in housing market in the State.

 

The Governor raised concern over the huge gap observed in the provision of mass housing to large number of residents, describing the situation as unacceptable. He said the State Government was ready to bridge the gap by partnering the private sector and working with stakeholders to ensure people have access to viable home services.

 

Sanwo-Olu spoke at the maiden Policy Roundtable Dialogue with the theme: “International Best Practice on Real Estate Regulations”, organised by the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA). Property developers, investors, real estate lawyers and practitioners attended the event held at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island.

 

The Governor disclosed that his administration had started to identify big players in the real estate sector that would partner with the Government to raise housing stock of in the State. He said the State Government was ready to provide enabling environment for the investors to put their finances in creation of viable housing market for residents.

 

He said: “Public Private Partnership is one of the options we are exploring to realise our objectives of providing viable housing scheme for our citizens. We are at the edge of identifying real big players in the real estate sector to see how well we can leapfrog housing stock in our State. The Government is ready to provide enabling environment and remove the bottlenecks that may impede this opportunity.

 

“The housing stock deficit that we have in Lagos is not acceptable, but we all know the Government cannot provide everything. We certainly need to explore opportunities in private investment to ensure we realise our objective. Real estate business has the potential of contributing 25 per cent growth to the State’s economy and we cannot let this opportunity pass by.”

 

Sanwo-Olu said part of the efforts being made by the Government to raise the investment level of real estate business is to improve the turnaround time on land transactions. He said the State Government had started improvement work on its Geographic Information System (GIS) platform to enable real estate investors have real time information on status of property they are investing in.

 

The Governor harped on lack of accurate data on real estate investment in the State, pledging that the State would be working with the practitioners to create workable database that would help investors and Government. He disclosed that there would be introduction of legislations that would help curb bad behaviors among tenants and property owners.

 

He disclosed that his Government would be launching a N5 billion seed capital through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) tomorrow (Friday) to support businesses that want to provide succour after to citizens in different areas.

 

The State’s Attorney-General, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, assured the stakeholders that the current administration was ready to regulate business and protect the citizens from abuse and fraudulent transactions.

 

Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, said the incumbent administration would not fail in its social responsibility to the people and investors.

 

She said: “The reason for the emphasis on registration with the Real Estate Practitioners and Property Developers is to provide protection to citizens from imposters, fraudsters and reduce sharp practices associated with some unauthorised individuals who are not registered members of any professional association in Lagos and the country at large.

 

“I urge all stakeholders to join hands with the State Government to eliminate dubious individuals in the Real Estate industry and deal with them in accordance with relevant Laws of the State. This way, the integrity of the business will be restored and international investment will increase. LASRERA portal will provide local and foreign investors with the relevant data analytics for market transparency and intelligence that will help the growth and development of the real estate sector.”

 

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

SEPTEMBER 24, 2020

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT: SANWO-OLU COMMISSIONS SEVEN ROADS IN ONIRU-VICTORIA ISLAND AXIS 

…Governor: ‘It’s another promise kept’

…Applauds Access Bank for partnering State Govt

 

It is a huge traffic relief for residents and road users around Iru and Victoria Island axes of Lagos State. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, commissioned Victoria Island-Lekki Traffic Circulation Project in which seven gridlock-prone roads were completely re-designed and re-constructed with concrete slabs.

 

The improved roads are within the commercial areas of Iru and Victoria Island. The Victoria Island-Lekki Traffic Circulation Project was delivered through Public Infrastructure Improvement Partnership (PIIP) framework, under which the State Government collaborated with Access Bank Plc and Planet Projects Limited to bring the project to reality.

 

Last December, Sanwo-Olu flagged off the construction of the roads, which were notorious for heavy traffic congestion that affected growth of businesses and reduced productivity.

 

Cutting the ribbon to officially declared the roads open for public use on Thursday, the Governor said it was another promise fulfilled by his administration in its traffic improvement programmes. He said the improvement and re-construction work done on the roads had enhanced road connectivity and traffic flow on the axis.

 

Sanwo-Olu added that the project had also reduced travel time for commuters, eliminated perennial flooding hitherto experienced in the area, and boosted intermodal transportation.

 

He said: “One of the critical challenges experienced by residents and road users along this axis was the heavy traffic congestion occasioned by the geometric increase in traffic volume, which led to a significant reduction in productivity and growth business activities in this highly commercial location. As Government, we resolved to work in partnership with public-spirited corporate organisations to embark on the road improvement project. This project was executed through the Public Infrastructure Improvement Partnership (PIIP) arrangement.

 

“Today, I have the pleasure to hand over these improved roads to users and residents. This project has led to an improvement in road connectivity and traffic flow. We have also reduced travel time, eliminated perennial flooding issues, enhanced intermodal transportation. Most importantly, we have improved the health and socio-economic well being of the people through the Victoria Island–Lekki Circulation Project in Oniru Axis.”

 

Sanwo-Olu explained that the implementation of Transportation and Traffic Management pillar of his administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda deliberately focussed on provision of infrastructure using technology and innovation to achieve pre-conceived objectives of reducing travel time, and providing better riding surface for vehicles.

 

He said the key outcome from the execution of the Circulation Project was the traffic diffusion, which, he said, had made considerable positive impact on businesses and residents living in the area.

 

The Governor said the pressure being exerted on the public finances by various sectors made it difficult for the State Government alone to fund infrastructure, pointing out that the only available option was to create extra budgetary capital for roads maintenance and improvement.

 

He said: “It is on this note that I appreciate Access Bank Plc for its collaborative efforts in the area of public infrastructure improvement. With this partnership, the State Government and Access Bank have reinforced the importance of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) at delivering public infrastructure

 

“While we hope to continue to harness the benefits this collaboration, I am inviting the Organised Private Sector to partner with Government for maintenance and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure so that the Government can concentrate more on the provision of new road Infrastructure. We will reciprocate this kind gesture in commensurate measure.”

 

Sanwo-Olu urged residents and road users to take ownership of the rehabilitated roads, advising them to guard the infrastructure jealously.

 

“Government and Access Bank have done their bit. The project remains a public property owned by all residents. Therefore, protecting the roads will further encourage the sponsors, other corporate organisations and Government to do more,” the Governor said.

 

Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engineer Aramide Adeyoye, described the project as “iconic”, pointing out that it  was one of the first road rehabilitation exercises to be flagged-off by the Sanwo-Olu administration under PIIP framework.

 

She said the PIIP arrangement would form the bedrock of the current administration’s strategy to increase the participation of the private sector development programmes.

 

Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, applauded the State Government for supporting the initiative conceived by the bank. He said the financial institution would be willing partner more with the Government to deliver more projects.

 

The Oniru of Iru Kingdom, Oba Omogbolahan Lawal, praised both the State Government and the bank for bringing the Circulation Traffic Project to reality. He called on other corporations that have offices in Victoria Island to embark on similar development projects for improved commercial activities on the axis.

 

The improved roads span a total length of 1.8 kilometres, which started from Muri Okunola Extension, to Ligali Ayorinde, Akin Olugbade, Elegba Festival Road and Yesufu Abiodun Oniru Road up to Four Points by Sheraton.

 

There are also improvement work carried out on seven major junctions along Iru –Victoria Island axis to aid free flow of traffic.

 

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

SEPTEMBER 24, 2020

 

 

 

Niger Delta youths back Akpabio, NDDC Interim Management Committee, warn detractors

Youths in the Niger Delta region on Tuesday extolled the sterling qualities of the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, describing him as a man of honour.

Besides, the youths, under the aegis of Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM) praised the National Assembly for working with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs towards the realization of its objectives.

At a gathering in Calabar, the youths expressed delight and satisfaction with the high degree of determination so far exhibited by Senator Akpabio to move the Niger Delta region forward.

‘Senator Godswill Akpabio is a shining example, a model to all of us, of what service is all about. He has so far demonstrated an admirable commitment to doing everything possible to develop the Niger Delta region’’ the youths said.

Addressing newsmen after their one day conference in Cross River State, Secretary General of NDYM, Dr. Raymond Umanah said the youths praised Akpabio for embracing the challenge of developing the region with a missionary zeal, restructuring the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and reintroducing public accountability for the use of public resources.

‘’Senator Godswill Akpabio, a man of great organizational ability, has continued to carry himself with grace and dignity without compromising his integrity’’

The youths commended the growing unity and understanding among stakeholders in the region.

They emphasized national development, patriotism, transparency and accountability.

The youths also praised the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs for tackling impediments in the way of improving development in the region, pulling the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) back from the state of retrogression and giving the region the desired sense of purpose and direction.

 

Press Statement

Bro Felix Obuah Congratulates Wike On Edo Obaseki’s Victory

…Describes Wike As Freedom Fighter For South-South Region  

As congratulatory messages continue to pour in to celebrate the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Godwin Obaseki in last Saturday’s Edo State Governorship election, the immediate past PDP Chairman in Rivers State, Bro Felix Obuah has applauded the Rivers State Governor, and Chairman, PDP National Campaign Council, Chief Nyesom Wike for putting up a spirited fight to ensure undisputed victory for the party.

Bro Felix Obuah said for using Governor Wike to champion the PDP victory in Edo amid stiff opposition and threats, God has once again demonstrated that Wike’s victory in 2019 Rivers State Governorship Election is for the liberation of not only Rivers State but also for the entire South South Region from the shackles of slavery and captivity.

The former Rivers State PDP Chairman, and Sole Administrator, Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), said the experience and lessons from the much tougher 2019 Governorship Election in Rivers State boosted by the absolute trust in God were the panacea for the victory for the PDP in the Edo election.

He declared that the election of Godwin Obaseki under the PDP will change the political and socio-economic narratives of Edo State, having joined the league of civilized and visionary leaders in the country led by Governor  Nyesom Wike to provide quality leadership for their people.

“This election has told all the story that Nigerians are tired of deceit and can no longer be fooled. The Edo people have therefore spoken and given their mandate to a more focused PDP government for the well-being of their people and development of their state. It’s therefore my prayer and wish that all sons, daughters and friends of Edo State rally round Governor Obaseki and the PDP-led government to actualize the desires and yearnings of Edo people. By this victory we say bye-bye to god-fatherism in Edo State and Nigeria in general,” Bro Obuah prayed.

Signed:

 

 

Jerry Needam

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to

Bro. Felix Obuah, Sole Administrator,

Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA).

 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

SANWO-OLU: WE’RE COMMITTED TO FULFILLING PROMISES TO LAGOSIANS

…Says COVID-19 Won’t Be An Excuse

…Governor Flags Off Two-Day LASG Ministerial Performance Review Retreat

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday assured Lagosians that his administration is committed to fulfilling all his promises despite disruption occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges that were not envisaged.

 

The Governor said fulfilling the promises in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda for ‘Greater Lagos’ would be delivered by the incumbent administration, despite reduction in the budget as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, knowing fully that no excuse will be tenable to the residents of the State.

 

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the first Lagos State two-day Ministerial Performance Review retreat being held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa on Monday, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the State Government is determined to step up the tempo of governance through innovative and inclusive policies.

 

He said: “I want to assure you that despite disruption occasioned by COVID-19 and other challenges that we did not envisage, we are still committed as a government to fulfilling the promises we made to people knowing fully that no excuse will be tenable to our citizens.

 

“We must be determined to step forward, heighten the tempo of governance and continue to create opportunities through innovative policies that are not only inclusive but provide sustainable solutions for this present administration and lay foundation for future administrations coming behind us.”

 

Governor Sanwo-Olu also implored members of the state executive council and other public office holders to be committed to the incumbent administration’s effort to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Lagosians, especially the electorates who elected him to govern the affairs of the state.

 

He said: “Let me emphasise that our yardstick for performance assessment will not be based majorly on the amount of money expended or Budget but the outcome of our various interventions that we have had; what measures the impact that touched the lives of citizens that we swore to serve.

 

“One of the promises we made at the inception of our administration and in line with the principle of continuity was to ensure the completion of projects that were inherited from the last administration. A significant part of our efforts and resources was devoted towards fulfilling this promise and taking government to another level.”

 

The Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat in his address enumerated all the government achievements in the last one year and four months in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration promised the people of Lagos State.

 

The THEMES development agenda are; Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st Century Economic, Entertainment and Tourism, and Security and Governance.

 

Hamzat said: “We should understand that our focus should be Lagosians, Lagosians and Lagosians because ultimately, they will define what we do and they will grade us. So, we are like in an examination now and examiners don’t have deep knowledge into the operations of how we actually do things but they only measure it by perception and of course by what they see.

 

“And as such, our job is to make sure that we set that perception right and then we give quality things in dimension; that at the end of the day our integrity will be intact and then they can say the party has done very well and this government has done very well,” he advised the participants at the retreat.

 

Also speaking, the Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, said the COVID -19 pandemic has adversely affected governments and institutions globally bringing in its wake, a new normal, adding that Lagos State, which is not left out, was the epicentre of cases in Nigeria for a long.

 

She therefore commended the State Incident Commander, Governor Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, as well as the entire health sector family in Lagos State for the outstanding management of the pandemic, which was acknowledged statewide, nationally and internationally.

 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected not only the health sector, but also the economic sector and how we work. Therefore, our trajectory for implementation of the THEMES agenda to achieve ‘A Greater Lagos’ is going to change as we operate within the new-normal to deliver the dividends of democracy to the good people of Lagos State.

 

“I believe in the capability of the Executive Council members, to prolifically deliver as political heads in our various MDAs and of course with the support of all others present for this retreat. I also believe that when objective feedback is given and taken in good faith, it can only lead to improved performance,” she advised.

 

In his address, the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola stressed the importance of a harmonious and effective working relationship between Permanent Secretaries who are Accounting Officers of Ministries and the Political Heads who are members of the State Executive Council.

 

He said: “While the Permanent Secretary has overall responsibility for the day to day administration of the Ministry as Accounting Officer and in addition to advising the Commissioner on public service processes and procedures, it is critically important that the responsibility of the political Head for the implementation of Government policies is duly recognised and the right balance and conducive atmosphere for a cordial and productive working relationship is established.”

 

The Head of Service also disclosed that “the core objective of this two-day retreat is to conduct a forensic review of the present administration’s scorecard along the five Pillars of our strategic development plans in the last one year. We are here to provide a honest and unemotional review of how have we fared sector by sector. Have we achieved our set targets in different sectors? If yes, what are the enabling factors that have been instrumental in the successes recorded? If we have failed to achieve set targets, what have been the factors that militated against attainment of set targets?”

 

He said the main thrust of the present administration is to make the Lagos economy a 21st-century economy, adding that “In this regard, the State Government has invested heavily in infrastructure renewal and roads rehabilitation across the five divisions of Lagos, not forgetting invitation for expression of interest in the 4th Mainland Bridge.”

 

 

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020

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LAGOS EYES PRIVATE REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TO ADDRESS HOUSING DEFICIT

PRESS RELEASE

 

  • Sanwo-Olu Engages Stakeholders At LASRERA Maiden Conference

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has charged real estate practitioners and investors to work with the Government to create a home ownership model that will help the her address the deficits observed in housing market in the State.

 

The Governor raised concern over the huge gap observed in the provision of mass housing to large number of residents, describing the situation as unacceptable. He said the State Government was ready to bridge the gap by partnering the private sector and working with stakeholders to ensure people have access to viable home services.

 

Sanwo-Olu spoke at the maiden Policy Roundtable Dialogue with the theme: “International Best Practice on Real Estate Regulations”, organised by the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA). Property developers, investors, real estate lawyers and practitioners attended the event held at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island.

 

The Governor disclosed that his administration had started to identify big players in the real estate sector that would partner with the Government to raise housing stock of in the State. He said the State Government was ready to provide enabling environment for the investors to put their finances in creation of viable housing market for residents.

 

He said: “Public Private Partnership is one of the options we are exploring to realise our objectives of providing viable housing scheme for our citizens. We are at the edge of identifying real big players in the real estate sector to see how well we can leapfrog housing stock in our State. The Government is ready to provide enabling environment and remove the bottlenecks that may impede this opportunity.

 

“The housing stock deficit that we have in Lagos is not acceptable, but we all know the Government cannot provide everything. We certainly need to explore opportunities in private investment to ensure we realise our objective. Real estate business has the potential of contributing 25 per cent growth to the State’s economy and we cannot let this opportunity pass by.”

 

Sanwo-Olu said part of the efforts being made by the Government to raise the investment level of real estate business is to improve the turnaround time on land transactions. He said the State Government had started improvement work on its Geographic Information System (GIS) platform to enable real estate investors have real time information on status of property they are investing in.

 

The Governor harped on lack of accurate data on real estate investment in the State, pledging that the State would be working with the practitioners to create workable database that would help investors and Government. He disclosed that there would be introduction of legislations that would help curb bad behaviors among tenants and property owners.

 

He disclosed that his Government would be launching a N5 billion seed capital through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) tomorrow (Friday) to support businesses that want to provide succour after to citizens in different areas.

 

The State’s Attorney-General, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, assured the stakeholders that the current administration was ready to regulate business and protect the citizens from abuse and fraudulent transactions.

 

Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, said the incumbent administration would not fail in its social responsibility to the people and investors.

 

She said: “The reason for the emphasis on registration with the Real Estate Practitioners and Property Developers is to provide protection to citizens from imposters, fraudsters and reduce sharp practices associated with some unauthorised individuals who are not registered members of any professional association in Lagos and the country at large.

 

“I urge all stakeholders to join hands with the State Government to eliminate dubious individuals in the Real Estate industry and deal with them in accordance with relevant Laws of the State. This way, the integrity of the business will be restored and international investment will increase. LASRERA portal will provide local and foreign investors with the relevant data analytics for market transparency and intelligence that will help the growth and development of the real estate sector.”

 

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

SEPTEMBER 24, 2020

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT: SANWO-OLU COMMISSIONS SEVEN ROADS IN ONIRU-VICTORIA ISLAND AXIS 

…Governor: ‘It’s another promise kept’

…Applauds Access Bank for partnering State Govt

 

It is a huge traffic relief for residents and road users around Iru and Victoria Island axes of Lagos State. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, commissioned Victoria Island-Lekki Traffic Circulation Project in which seven gridlock-prone roads were completely re-designed and re-constructed with concrete slabs.

 

The improved roads are within the commercial areas of Iru and Victoria Island. The Victoria Island-Lekki Traffic Circulation Project was delivered through Public Infrastructure Improvement Partnership (PIIP) framework, under which the State Government collaborated with Access Bank Plc and Planet Projects Limited to bring the project to reality.

 

Last December, Sanwo-Olu flagged off the construction of the roads, which were notorious for heavy traffic congestion that affected growth of businesses and reduced productivity.

 

Cutting the ribbon to officially declared the roads open for public use on Thursday, the Governor said it was another promise fulfilled by his administration in its traffic improvement programmes. He said the improvement and re-construction work done on the roads had enhanced road connectivity and traffic flow on the axis.

 

Sanwo-Olu added that the project had also reduced travel time for commuters, eliminated perennial flooding hitherto experienced in the area, and boosted intermodal transportation.

 

He said: “One of the critical challenges experienced by residents and road users along this axis was the heavy traffic congestion occasioned by the geometric increase in traffic volume, which led to a significant reduction in productivity and growth business activities in this highly commercial location. As Government, we resolved to work in partnership with public-spirited corporate organisations to embark on the road improvement project. This project was executed through the Public Infrastructure Improvement Partnership (PIIP) arrangement.

 

“Today, I have the pleasure to hand over these improved roads to users and residents. This project has led to an improvement in road connectivity and traffic flow. We have also reduced travel time, eliminated perennial flooding issues, enhanced intermodal transportation. Most importantly, we have improved the health and socio-economic well being of the people through the Victoria Island–Lekki Circulation Project in Oniru Axis.”

 

Sanwo-Olu explained that the implementation of Transportation and Traffic Management pillar of his administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda deliberately focussed on provision of infrastructure using technology and innovation to achieve pre-conceived objectives of reducing travel time, and providing better riding surface for vehicles.

 

He said the key outcome from the execution of the Circulation Project was the traffic diffusion, which, he said, had made considerable positive impact on businesses and residents living in the area.

 

The Governor said the pressure being exerted on the public finances by various sectors made it difficult for the State Government alone to fund infrastructure, pointing out that the only available option was to create extra budgetary capital for roads maintenance and improvement.

 

He said: “It is on this note that I appreciate Access Bank Plc for its collaborative efforts in the area of public infrastructure improvement. With this partnership, the State Government and Access Bank have reinforced the importance of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) at delivering public infrastructure

 

“While we hope to continue to harness the benefits this collaboration, I am inviting the Organised Private Sector to partner with Government for maintenance and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure so that the Government can concentrate more on the provision of new road Infrastructure. We will reciprocate this kind gesture in commensurate measure.”

 

Sanwo-Olu urged residents and road users to take ownership of the rehabilitated roads, advising them to guard the infrastructure jealously.

 

“Government and Access Bank have done their bit. The project remains a public property owned by all residents. Therefore, protecting the roads will further encourage the sponsors, other corporate organisations and Government to do more,” the Governor said.

 

Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engineer Aramide Adeyoye, described the project as “iconic”, pointing out that it  was one of the first road rehabilitation exercises to be flagged-off by the Sanwo-Olu administration under PIIP framework.

 

She said the PIIP arrangement would form the bedrock of the current administration’s strategy to increase the participation of the private sector development programmes.

 

Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, applauded the State Government for supporting the initiative conceived by the bank. He said the financial institution would be willing partner more with the Government to deliver more projects.

 

The Oniru of Iru Kingdom, Oba Omogbolahan Lawal, praised both the State Government and the bank for bringing the Circulation Traffic Project to reality. He called on other corporations that have offices in Victoria Island to embark on similar development projects for improved commercial activities on the axis.

 

The improved roads span a total length of 1.8 kilometres, which started from Muri Okunola Extension, to Ligali Ayorinde, Akin Olugbade, Elegba Festival Road and Yesufu Abiodun Oniru Road up to Four Points by Sheraton.

 

There are also improvement work carried out on seven major junctions along Iru –Victoria Island axis to aid free flow of traffic.

 

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

SEPTEMBER 24, 2020

 

 

 

Niger Delta youths back Akpabio, NDDC Interim Management Committee, warn detractors

Youths in the Niger Delta region on Tuesday extolled the sterling qualities of the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, describing him as a man of honour.

Besides, the youths, under the aegis of Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM) praised the National Assembly for working with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs towards the realization of its objectives.

At a gathering in Calabar, the youths expressed delight and satisfaction with the high degree of determination so far exhibited by Senator Akpabio to move the Niger Delta region forward.

‘Senator Godswill Akpabio is a shining example, a model to all of us, of what service is all about. He has so far demonstrated an admirable commitment to doing everything possible to develop the Niger Delta region’’ the youths said.

Addressing newsmen after their one day conference in Cross River State, Secretary General of NDYM, Dr. Raymond Umanah said the youths praised Akpabio for embracing the challenge of developing the region with a missionary zeal, restructuring the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and reintroducing public accountability for the use of public resources.

‘’Senator Godswill Akpabio, a man of great organizational ability, has continued to carry himself with grace and dignity without compromising his integrity’’

The youths commended the growing unity and understanding among stakeholders in the region.

They emphasized national development, patriotism, transparency and accountability.

The youths also praised the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs for tackling impediments in the way of improving development in the region, pulling the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) back from the state of retrogression and giving the region the desired sense of purpose and direction.

 

Press Statement

Bro Felix Obuah Congratulates Wike On Edo Obaseki’s Victory

…Describes Wike As Freedom Fighter For South-South Region  

As congratulatory messages continue to pour in to celebrate the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Godwin Obaseki in last Saturday’s Edo State Governorship election, the immediate past PDP Chairman in Rivers State, Bro Felix Obuah has applauded the Rivers State Governor, and Chairman, PDP National Campaign Council, Chief Nyesom Wike for putting up a spirited fight to ensure undisputed victory for the party.

Bro Felix Obuah said for using Governor Wike to champion the PDP victory in Edo amid stiff opposition and threats, God has once again demonstrated that Wike’s victory in 2019 Rivers State Governorship Election is for the liberation of not only Rivers State but also for the entire South South Region from the shackles of slavery and captivity.

The former Rivers State PDP Chairman, and Sole Administrator, Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), said the experience and lessons from the much tougher 2019 Governorship Election in Rivers State boosted by the absolute trust in God were the panacea for the victory for the PDP in the Edo election.

He declared that the election of Godwin Obaseki under the PDP will change the political and socio-economic narratives of Edo State, having joined the league of civilized and visionary leaders in the country led by Governor  Nyesom Wike to provide quality leadership for their people.

“This election has told all the story that Nigerians are tired of deceit and can no longer be fooled. The Edo people have therefore spoken and given their mandate to a more focused PDP government for the well-being of their people and development of their state. It’s therefore my prayer and wish that all sons, daughters and friends of Edo State rally round Governor Obaseki and the PDP-led government to actualize the desires and yearnings of Edo people. By this victory we say bye-bye to god-fatherism in Edo State and Nigeria in general,” Bro Obuah prayed.

Signed:

 

 

Jerry Needam

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to

Bro. Felix Obuah, Sole Administrator,

Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA).

 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

SANWO-OLU: WE’RE COMMITTED TO FULFILLING PROMISES TO LAGOSIANS

…Says COVID-19 Won’t Be An Excuse

…Governor Flags Off Two-Day LASG Ministerial Performance Review Retreat

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday assured Lagosians that his administration is committed to fulfilling all his promises despite disruption occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges that were not envisaged.

 

The Governor said fulfilling the promises in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda for ‘Greater Lagos’ would be delivered by the incumbent administration, despite reduction in the budget as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, knowing fully that no excuse will be tenable to the residents of the State.

 

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the first Lagos State two-day Ministerial Performance Review retreat being held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa on Monday, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the State Government is determined to step up the tempo of governance through innovative and inclusive policies.

 

He said: “I want to assure you that despite disruption occasioned by COVID-19 and other challenges that we did not envisage, we are still committed as a government to fulfilling the promises we made to people knowing fully that no excuse will be tenable to our citizens.

 

“We must be determined to step forward, heighten the tempo of governance and continue to create opportunities through innovative policies that are not only inclusive but provide sustainable solutions for this present administration and lay foundation for future administrations coming behind us.”

 

Governor Sanwo-Olu also implored members of the state executive council and other public office holders to be committed to the incumbent administration’s effort to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Lagosians, especially the electorates who elected him to govern the affairs of the state.

 

He said: “Let me emphasise that our yardstick for performance assessment will not be based majorly on the amount of money expended or Budget but the outcome of our various interventions that we have had; what measures the impact that touched the lives of citizens that we swore to serve.

 

“One of the promises we made at the inception of our administration and in line with the principle of continuity was to ensure the completion of projects that were inherited from the last administration. A significant part of our efforts and resources was devoted towards fulfilling this promise and taking government to another level.”

 

The Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat in his address enumerated all the government achievements in the last one year and four months in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration promised the people of Lagos State.

 

The THEMES development agenda are; Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st Century Economic, Entertainment and Tourism, and Security and Governance.

 

Hamzat said: “We should understand that our focus should be Lagosians, Lagosians and Lagosians because ultimately, they will define what we do and they will grade us. So, we are like in an examination now and examiners don’t have deep knowledge into the operations of how we actually do things but they only measure it by perception and of course by what they see.

 

“And as such, our job is to make sure that we set that perception right and then we give quality things in dimension; that at the end of the day our integrity will be intact and then they can say the party has done very well and this government has done very well,” he advised the participants at the retreat.

 

Also speaking, the Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, said the COVID -19 pandemic has adversely affected governments and institutions globally bringing in its wake, a new normal, adding that Lagos State, which is not left out, was the epicentre of cases in Nigeria for a long.

 

She therefore commended the State Incident Commander, Governor Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, as well as the entire health sector family in Lagos State for the outstanding management of the pandemic, which was acknowledged statewide, nationally and internationally.

 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected not only the health sector, but also the economic sector and how we work. Therefore, our trajectory for implementation of the THEMES agenda to achieve ‘A Greater Lagos’ is going to change as we operate within the new-normal to deliver the dividends of democracy to the good people of Lagos State.

 

“I believe in the capability of the Executive Council members, to prolifically deliver as political heads in our various MDAs and of course with the support of all others present for this retreat. I also believe that when objective feedback is given and taken in good faith, it can only lead to improved performance,” she advised.

 

In his address, the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola stressed the importance of a harmonious and effective working relationship between Permanent Secretaries who are Accounting Officers of Ministries and the Political Heads who are members of the State Executive Council.

 

He said: “While the Permanent Secretary has overall responsibility for the day to day administration of the Ministry as Accounting Officer and in addition to advising the Commissioner on public service processes and procedures, it is critically important that the responsibility of the political Head for the implementation of Government policies is duly recognised and the right balance and conducive atmosphere for a cordial and productive working relationship is established.”

 

The Head of Service also disclosed that “the core objective of this two-day retreat is to conduct a forensic review of the present administration’s scorecard along the five Pillars of our strategic development plans in the last one year. We are here to provide a honest and unemotional review of how have we fared sector by sector. Have we achieved our set targets in different sectors? If yes, what are the enabling factors that have been instrumental in the successes recorded? If we have failed to achieve set targets, what have been the factors that militated against attainment of set targets?”

 

He said the main thrust of the present administration is to make the Lagos economy a 21st-century economy, adding that “In this regard, the State Government has invested heavily in infrastructure renewal and roads rehabilitation across the five divisions of Lagos, not forgetting invitation for expression of interest in the 4th Mainland Bridge.”

 

 

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020

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Niger Delta youths back Akpabio, NDDC Interim Management Committee, warn detractors

 

 

Youths in the Niger Delta region on Tuesday extolled the sterling qualities of the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, describing him as a man of honour.

Besides, the youths, under the aegis of Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM) praised the National Assembly for working with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs towards the realization of its objectives.

At a gathering in Calabar, the youths expressed delight and satisfaction with the high degree of determination so far exhibited by Senator Akpabio to move the Niger Delta region forward.

‘Senator Godswill Akpabio is a shining example, a model to all of us, of what service is all about. He has so far demonstrated an admirable commitment to doing everything possible to develop the Niger Delta region’’ the youths said.

Addressing newsmen after their one day conference in Cross River State, Secretary General of NDYM, Dr. Raymond Umanah said the youths praised Akpabio for embracing the challenge of developing the region with a missionary zeal, restructuring the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and reintroducing public accountability for the use of public resources.

‘’Senator Godswill Akpabio, a man of great organizational ability, has continued to carry himself with grace and dignity without compromising his integrity’’

The youths commended the growing unity and understanding among stakeholders in the region.

The youths emphasized national development, patriotism, transparency and accountability.

The youths also praised the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs for tackling impediments in the way of improving development in the region, pulling the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) back from the state of retrogression and giving the region the desired sense of purpose and direction.

 

 

SANWO-OLU CELEBRATES SENATOR TINUBU AT 60

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has congratulated a member of the Senate, representing Lagos Central Senatorial District, Senator Oluremi Tinubu on her 60th birthday.

 

He said Senator Tinubu who clocks 60 on Monday 21st September has contributed immensely as former First Lady and currently federal lawmaker to the growth and development of Lagos State and Nigeria.

 

Governor Sanwo-Olu, who described Senator Tinubu as a “Political Icon” in a statement issued by its Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said the former Lagos State First Lady’s inputs to national growth are pragmatic testament to her visionary leadership.

 

He said: “On behalf of the good people of Lagos State and my adorable wife, Ibijoke, I heartily congratulate the distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee celebration.

 

“Our Dear Amazon, attaining the age of 60 years in grace and elegance is worth celebrating. Over the years, you have emblazoned your name on international stage as lover of truth, advocate of social justice, philanthropist and a loud voice of the voiceless.”

 

Governor Sanwo-Olu stressed further that Senator Tinubu’s penchant for diligence and distinction is evident in her contributions to the development of Nigeria’s socio-economic and political landscape as former First Lady in Lagos State.

 

“As the lawmaker representing Lagos Central Senatorial District in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, your inputs on our national growth are pragmatic testament to your visionary leadership.

 

“Your pet projects Spelling Bee and the New Era Foundation have become reference points in women and youth development in the country.

 

“On this landmark occasion of your 60th birthday, I pray that God will continue to preserve and grant you good health to enable you render more service to humanity, Nigeria and our beloved State, Lagos.

 

“Happy birthday, Distinguished Senator and visionary leader,” Governor Sanwo-Olu said.

 

 

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

SEPTEMBER 20, 2020

 

 

SERAP writes Buhari, warns ‘proposed bill will render EFCC a toothless bulldog’

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari urging him to “urgently instruct Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation to withdraw the proposed executive bill to amend the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] Act, which if passed and signed into law will severely undermine the commission’s independence, and render it a ‘toothless bulldog or toothless tiger’.”

 

The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption headed by Professor Itse Sagay had last week reportedly raised concerns that “the government is pushing a bill to amend the EFCC Act, 2004, which will demolish the anti-corruption infrastructure of Nigeria, and confer an enormous power of control of the anti-graft agency on the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.”

 

In the letter dated 19 September 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “The bill, which is apparently designed to undermine the independence, integrity and freedom of action of anti-corruption agencies, ignores the seriousness of grand corruption and its impact on Nigerians’ human rights, the rule of law, principles of good governance, development, as well as the threat corruption poses to the country’s constitutional order.”

 

According to SERAP: “By pushing to turn the EFCC into a department in the Federal Ministry of Justice, and effectively bring it under the control of the Attorney General; and to subject the appointment of the agency’s head to the approval of the Directorate of State Security, your government would seem to indicate that it is not interested in combating corruption and halting its putrefying effects.”

 

The letter, read in part: “We would be grateful if the requested action and measures are taken by your government. Should the proposed bill be passed and signed into law, SERAP would take all appropriate legal actions to challenge its legality, in the public interest, and to ensure that anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria can operate independently and effectively.”

 

“SERAP contends that Nigeria’s constitutional and international legal obligations to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the human rights of everyone inevitably create a duty on your government to establish independent and efficient anti-corruption mechanisms.”

 

“This bill is entirely inconsistent and incompatible with the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended] and the country’s international anti-corruption obligations including under the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.”

 

“SERAP notes that corruption threatens the injunction that government must be accountable, responsive and open; that public administration must not only be held to account but must also be governed by high standards of ethics, efficiency and must use public resources in an economic and effective manner.”

 

“Under the proposed bill, the limited independence that the EFCC enjoys will be substantially undermined, as the commission will now effectively become a body of the executive government, thus creating heightened risk of political interference in the work of the commission.”

 

“The government would seem to be secretly pushing the proposed bill to amend the EFCC Act, as there is no public consultation or public hearing regarding the contents of the bill.”

 

“Specifically, section 15 subsection (5) of the Constitution requires your government to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.”

 

“Similarly, articles 6 and 36 of the UN Convention against Corruption require your government to ensure the existence of an anti-corruption body specialised in preventing corruption and combating corruption through law enforcement which must be granted the necessary independence and be able to carry out its functions effectively and without any undue influence.”

 

“Further, articles 3 and 5 of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption require your government to respect human rights, the rule of law, and promote social justice, as well as establish, maintain and strengthen independent national anti-corruption authorities or agencies.”

 

“SERAP is gravely concerned that the proposed bill by your government will endanger the commission’s independence and integrity, as well as seriously undermine its ability to effectively prevent, investigate and prosecute cases of grand corruption and economic crimes.”

 

“The repressive Companies and Allied Matters Act [CAMA] 2020 was rushed through the National Assembly and passed apparently without any public consultation or public hearing. This secretive approach to passing and signing legislation is antithetical to any basic notion of the rule of law and democratic governance.”

 

“According to Professor Itse Sagay-led Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, your government is reportedly pushing a bill to amend the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] Act, 2004.”

 

“The committee has stated that ‘the Executive Chairman of the EFCC will be replaced with a Director-General who is effectively to be appointed by the Attorney-General.”

 

“‘Section 11 of this proposed bill provides that nobody may be appointed or seconded to the new Agency being proposed, unless he is first screened by the Directorate of State Security and approved by the said Agency. Under the proposed Act the Annual Report of the EFCC is not to be submitted to the National Assembly until it has been passed through the Attorney-General for onward transmission to the National Assembly.’”

 

SERAP therefore urged President Buhari to:

 

  1. Urgently instruct Mr Malami to withdraw the proposed bill in the public interest, and to publicly commit to upholding the independence, integrity and effectiveness of anti-corruption agencies in the country, including the EFCC;
  2. Publicly uphold constitutional and international standards on the independence, integrity and effectiveness of anticorruption agencies, including the EFCC;
  3. Take meaningful and effective measures to promote and strengthen the independence and effectiveness of anti-corruption agencies in the country, and ensure that they are free from any undue influence;
  4. Ensure that heads of anti-corruption agencies are appointed through a process that ensures their apolitical stance, impartiality, neutrality, integrity and competence

 

 

 

Kolawole Oluwadare

SERAP Deputy Director

20/09/2020

Lagos, Nigeria

Emails: info@serap-nigeria.orgnews@serap-nigeria.org

Twitter: @SERAPNigeria

Website: www.serap-nigeria.org

For more information or to request an interview, please contact Kolawole Oluwadare on: +2348160537202

 

PRESS STATEMENT

SPN CALLS ON NLC AND TUC TO HARMONIZE THEIR MOBILIZATION AND STRIKES OVER THE STRUGGLE TO REVERSE PETROL PRICE AND ELECTRICITY TARIFF HIKE

SPN ADVOCATES SUSTAINED WARNING GENERAL STRIKES AND MASS PROTESTS

Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) reiterates its condemnation to the recent hikes in petrol price and electricity tariff; the increase in petrol has seen price move up from N148 per litre to N162 per litre while electricity tariff has been increased by over 100%.

The Central Working Committee (CWC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have issued two different ultimatums to the government that could lead to indefinite strike actions and mass protest. The TUC had earlier had their NEC meeting and resolved to issue the federal government a 7-day ultimatum to reverse the price of petrol and electricity tariff failing which indefinite industrial actions and national protest will begin on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. On its part, the NLC arising from its CWC meeting on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, had issued the federal government 14 days to reverse the hikes in electricity tariff and petrol price without which indefinite strike will commence on September 28, 2020.

Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) welcomes these responses of the two trade union centres (NLC and TUC) but we call for harmonisation of both responses. We call on the Ayuba Wabba led NLC leadership and Quadri Olaleye led TUC leadership to meet to harmonise their positions. There is the need to bring the full weight of the trade union movement to bear in the struggle that lie ahead.

We urge the NLC to mobilise their affiliates to join the nationwide protest being planned by the TUC on September 23 and the TUC should also do same for the NLC action starting on September 28.

We call on NLC and TUC to be prepared for a protracted struggle, and not a quick dash. SPN is advocating, as a first step, a definite 48 hours general strike, with an active nationwide mass protest that will involve the trade unions, pro-labour organisations and community organisations in mobilizing and taking important decisions regarding the struggle. An indefinite general strike poses the question of power and the working class must be adequately mobilized around an alternative socialist program to achieve the goal of attaining power and transforming society to meet the needs of all.

We have had at least 9 general strikes in the last 22 years over petrol price hikes and yet the price has moved from N20 per litre in 1999 to N162 per litre, a whopping 700% increment.  Petrol and electricity price hikes should not be seen in isolation from the entire neo-liberal capitalist policies, it is part of a pro-rich economic agenda that undermines the interest of the vast majority working masses. If capitalism is not defeated in the long run, the working masses will constantly come under attack of different magnitude and dimension.

Hence, we advocate the forming and building of a pan Nigerian mass working class political party armed with a socialist program by workers, youth, trade unions, artisan groups and pro-masses organisations to challenge the bourgeois political parties (PDP, APC etc). This is the only way the working class will sustainably fight and win political and economic freedom. SPN is prepared to be part of all initiatives aimed at emancipating the working masses from slavery and economic crises.

SIGNED

Abiodun Bamigboye                                                             Chinedu Bosah

Acting National Chairperson                                                   National Secretary

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ALAUSA NEWS CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY GOVERNMENT HOUSE LAGOS MATTER LAGOS TODAY PRESS STATEMENT SANWO OLU

FORMIDABLE JUDICIARY GERMANE TO DELIVERING OUR GOVT’S PROGRAMMES – SANWO-OLU

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

 

  • Lagos Governor Hands Over 51 Vehicles, Eight Houses To Judges

 

The effort to build a strong and formidable judiciary in Lagos State is on course, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said.

 

The Governor pledged that no arm of Government in the State will be deprived of requisite tools to perform its statutory duties, reiterating his administration’s continued support to the judiciary and raise the bar of legal practice in line with global standards.

 

Sanwo-Olu made the pledge at the Ikeja High Court while handing over 51 Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and eight houses to judges of the State High Court.

 

It would be second time in a year Gov Sanwo-Olu would be giving out official vehicles to members of the State’s judiciary. Last October, the Governor gave out 50 official cars to magistrates to aid their duties.

 

The Governor said there would be no good governance and development without a formidable judiciary, re-assuring members of the judicial arm that the executive arm under his leadership would be a dependable partner.

 

He said: “In handing over these 51 vehicles to our judges and eight houses to the newly appointed judges of the state High Court, we are ensuring that our judiciary has all it takes to seamlessly perform its duties as the bastion of the common man. We cherish the work you do; we thank you for justifying the confidence reposed in you; we appreciate you for being independent umpires even when the stakes are high.

 

“The judiciary is the bedrock of our society, and our judges need all the support they can get to effectively perform their duties. In line with this, we have devised a thorough process to overhaul our judiciary in such a way that justice is dispensed without fear or favour.

 

“There will be no dividends of democracy for the people if there is no active, independent, impartial and incorruptible judiciary. We will continue to provide the necessary training and infrastructure required to ensure that the integrity of the judiciary is not eroded.”

 

The Governor, who toured the Ikeja and Igbosere High Courts last Saturday for facility inspection, disclosed that he had already approved a complete renovation on decrepit court rooms in the two courts. He said his Government would not evade its responsibility to create conducive ambience for the judicial staff to engage their duties.

 

Sanwo-Olu said the support being extended towards the judiciary must be reciprocated, charging the judicial officers to deepen the rule of law and accelerate justice administration without compromising its independence.

 

He said: “I urge members of the judiciary to co-operate with the executive arm by and show highest form of dedication to your statutory duties. We must not forget the important role the judiciary has to play in the building a just and unified society. Our success as a government is highly dependent on our ability to entrench the rule of law through continuous collaboration with the judiciary.

 

“In maintaining your independence, our judges must not forget that their contribution is pertinent to the achievement of our administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda. I am confident that under the Hon. Justice Kazeem Alogba-led judiciary, our people are assured of innovative judicial reforms in our state.”

 

The Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, described the event as “double grace” for members of the judicial arm in the State, noting that the magnanimity of the Sanwo-Olu-led executive was unprecedented in the annals of Lagos’ judiciary.

 

He said: “The kind of support which the judiciary has received from the Government of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is unprecedented and today’s event is historic because it is a double grace for our members. It is the first time a Governor will be giving out vehicles to judges and accompanying the gesture with gift of houses.

 

“It takes a man with a large heart to be committed to satisfying the needs of an arm of Government he is not leading. Since inception of his administration, Mr. Governor has been swift in responding to our requests and this gesture shows he is committed to improving administration of justice in Lagos.”

 

The highpoint was the handing over of the title documents and keys to the houses to the beneficiary justices. The Governor also cut ribbon to officially deliver the 51 SUVs to the beneficiary judges.

 

 

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

SEPTEMBER 23, 2020

PRESS RELEASE

MINISTERIAL RETREAT: SANWO-OLU CHARGES CABINET MEMBERS, GOVT OFFICIALS ON INCREASED PERFORMANCE

  • Gov: ‘Lagos Has Potential To Be Another Dubai’

 

The two-day Ministerial Performance Review Retreat organised by the executive arm of the Lagos State Government has ended with a strong charge to members of the State’s Executive Council to deploy their physical and mental resources to bringing Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s development vision to reality.

 

The Governor, in his closing remarks at the event, said Lagos possessed all required to attain Dubai development model, urging the drivers of his administration’s vision of Greater Lagos to be articulate and purposeful in the discharge of the tasks assigned to them.

 

Sanwo-Olu, who was visibly enthusiastic about the encouraging feedback from the review of performance of his Government’s actions, applauded the cabinet members and heads of the State Government’s agencies for the progress recorded in the last one year.

 

He, however, said people’s expectations of his administration’s efforts were more than what had been achieved so far, charging the appointees to brace for more work.

 

The Governor urged the cabinet members and executives of the parastatals to increase their momentum and deploy more resourcefulness to the implementation of policies and programmes designed to transform the lives of the residents and the State’s economy.

 

He said: “There are many takeaways from this two-day retreat which must energise us further to deliver on our goals and promises to the people. But, one key thing we must take away from this exercise is the fact that we have sustained our attempts to transform Lagos and these efforts are being acknowledged by those who understand what development is all about.

 

“We have many great actions and ideas we have implemented, which probably have not been properly communicated. Now we need to be smarter, more organised and articulate in the way we go about our programmes so that our efforts can be more visible. The Ministry of Information and Strategy and everyone that has strength in communication should begin to magnify these efforts and show the world how Lagos is changing.”

 

Despite the slow pace of socio-economic activities across all sectors, which is occasioned by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Governor said his administration would not give excuses to residents, stressing that the virus would not derail his Government’s development agenda.

 

Sanwo-Olu charged all Commissioners and Special Advisers to work together and exchange information for better service delivery.

 

He said: “We need to work together and share information with one another. This way, we articulate our successes and progress better.”

 

 

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

SEPTEMBER 22, 2020

LASG RECEIVES CA-COVID FOOD PALLIATIVE PACKS

…Commences Distribution Of Items To Lagosians

 

The Lagos State Government on Tuesday commenced distribution of 107,546 food palliative packs which were handed over to the State Government by the Coalition Against COVID (CA-COVID) for distribution to Lagosians, especially the vulnerable and less privileged in the State.

 

The food items were received on behalf of the State Government by Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos House, Alausa in company of the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Chief of Staff, Mr. Tayo Ayinde and the Acting Commissioner of Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, among other state officials and representatives of CA-COVID

 

Governor Sanwo-Olu later distributed part of the items to some of the beneficiaries who were present at the ceremonial handover of the food palliatives.

 

Speaking on behalf of the State Government, Ms Olusanya said the food items were meant for the indigent residents of the state and the elderly.

 

According to Olusanya, a single beneficiary will get each pack containing 10 kilograms of rice, five kilograms of garri, five kilograms of sugar, one kilogram of salt, two cartons of noodles (Indomie) and one carton of pasta, for his or her family.

 

She said: “We are here today for the handing over ceremony of the Coalition Against COVID-19 pandemic distribution for the food items that were donated by this group as far back as April-May but which Lagos officially is just receiving.

 

“According to the CA-COVID team, Lagos State is supposed to receive 107,546 beneficiary packs for our citizens – for the indigents, the elderly, for those that do not have the wherewithal or the capacity to have food on their tables on a daily basis.”

 

Speaking on the items received so far, the Commissioner said the food items are being repackaged by the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that each beneficiary gets the right quantity of items.

 

Olusanya said that in terms of the distribution modality, the state would borrow a leaf from the experience garnered during the lockdown period when it pioneered the distribution of over 50,000 food beneficiary packs.

 

She said: “We have this food items at a location, where our team from the Ministry of Agriculture is doing the repackaging, to ensure that a single beneficiary pack gets to the right people and also with the right quantity. We do not want a situation where they receive the items and they claim that they have not received garri or they have not received rice.

 

“That is why under the administration of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, we have taken the pains to get bags marked, to print on them the Lagos State logo, the CACOVID logo and to put these items in each pack, such that we have transparency across board.

 

“But nonetheless, with regards to the 107,546 packs, we are still repackaging and so far, the team has been able to repackage about 50,000 beneficiary packs. Until we finish repackaging, before we can ascertain and say this is the quantity that we have actually received as Lagos State.”

 

She stressed further that “CACOVID-19 team is also working alongside our team to ensure that in terms of the audit, in term of the numbers, we are both on the same page. So currently, about 50,000 is what we will say we have taken possession of and we will start with the redistribution in the next couple of days.”

 

Also speaking, the State Coordinator of CA-COVID, Mr. Amaechi Okobi, commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for his leadership role in managing COVID-19 pandemic in Lagos State. He said: “We thank you for your support. We thank you for the tireless efforts you have put in to ensure things are going well as they have been going. There is no gainsaying that COVID-19 took us by surprise but with people like you supporting us, we would win this battle.

 

“The Commissioner has been very eloquent about what we have done. The idea here is to take care of our fellow men. One million, six hundred and sixty six thousands, six hundred and sixty-seven Nigerians need our help. All Nigerians need our help but we are focused on the lowest five per cent to ensure that in this extremely tough time, they are at least fed. We have lockdown that prevented them from working. So, they need help. Could we do more? We will love to and could the Governor do more, I know he will love to do more. But this is a start and we are just basically saying that Nigerians for Nigeria are fighting this fight.”

 

He stressed further that: “The efforts to get this food and palliatives are gigantic but to distribute the food items is even more because we know all the problems we would face. So, I ask on behalf of the CACOVID that you continue to support to ensure that every last Nigerian that the commissioner mentioned gets these items. It is critical. It impacts our credibility. It impacts the work of serious people that want to actually do something.

 

“Without you Sir, we cannot do this. So, we are asking you to support us as you always have to continue to help us so to make sure that every Nigerian that should get this, gets it. We thank you for your efforts so far. God will continue to strengthen you. But this is a huge task but we have no doubt that you will succeed. We thank you.”

 

 

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

SEPTEMBER 22, 2020

 

Niger Delta youths back Akpabio, NDDC Interim Management Committee, warn detractors

Youths in the Niger Delta region on Tuesday extolled the sterling qualities of the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, describing him as a man of honour.

Besides, the youths, under the aegis of Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM) praised the National Assembly for working with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs towards the realization of its objectives.

At a gathering in Calabar, the youths expressed delight and satisfaction with the high degree of determination so far exhibited by Senator Akpabio to move the Niger Delta region forward.

‘Senator Godswill Akpabio is a shining example, a model to all of us, of what service is all about. He has so far demonstrated an admirable commitment to doing everything possible to develop the Niger Delta region’’ the youths said.

Addressing newsmen after their one day conference in Cross River State, Secretary General of NDYM, Dr. Raymond Umanah said the youths praised Akpabio for embracing the challenge of developing the region with a missionary zeal, restructuring the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and reintroducing public accountability for the use of public resources.

‘’Senator Godswill Akpabio, a man of great organizational ability, has continued to carry himself with grace and dignity without compromising his integrity’’

The youths commended the growing unity and understanding among stakeholders in the region.

The youths emphasized national development, patriotism, transparency and accountability.

The youths also praised the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs for tackling impediments in the way of improving development in the region, pulling the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) back from the state of retrogression and giving the region the desired sense of purpose and direction.

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Niger Delta youths back Akpabio, NDDC Interim Management Committee, warn detractors

 

 

 

Niger Delta youths back Akpabio, NDDC Interim Management Committee, warn detractors

Youths in the Niger Delta region on Tuesday extolled the sterling qualities of the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, describing him as a man of honour.

Besides, the youths, under the aegis of Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM) praised the National Assembly for working with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs towards the realization of its objectives.

At a gathering in Calabar, the youths expressed delight and satisfaction with the high degree of determination so far exhibited by Senator Akpabio to move the Niger Delta region forward.

‘Senator Godswill Akpabio is a shining example, a model to all of us, of what service is all about. He has so far demonstrated an admirable commitment to doing everything possible to develop the Niger Delta region’’ the youths said.

Addressing newsmen after their one day conference in Cross River State, Secretary General of NDYM, Dr. Raymond Umanah said the youths praised Akpabio for embracing the challenge of developing the region with a missionary zeal, restructuring the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and reintroducing public accountability for the use of public resources.

‘’Senator Godswill Akpabio, a man of great organizational ability, has continued to carry himself with grace and dignity without compromising his integrity’’

The youths commended the growing unity and understanding among stakeholders in the region.

They youths emphasized national development, patriotism, transparency and accountability.

The youths also praised the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs for tackling impediments in the way of improving development in the region, pulling the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) back from the state of retrogression and giving the region the desired sense of purpose and direction.

 

Press Statement

Bro Felix Obuah Congratulates Wike On Edo Obaseki’s Victory

…Describes Wike As Freedom Fighter For South-South Region  

As congratulatory messages continue to pour in to celebrate the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Godwin Obaseki in last Saturday’s Edo State Governorship election, the immediate past PDP Chairman in Rivers State, Bro Felix Obuah has applauded the Rivers State Governor, and Chairman, PDP National Campaign Council, Chief Nyesom Wike for putting up a spirited fight to ensure undisputed victory for the party.

Bro Felix Obuah said for using Governor Wike to champion the PDP victory in Edo amid stiff opposition and threats, God has once again demonstrated that Wike’s victory in 2019 Rivers State Governorship Election is for the liberation of not only Rivers State but also for the entire South South Region from the shackles of slavery and captivity.

The former Rivers State PDP Chairman, and Sole Administrator, Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), said the experience and lessons from the much tougher 2019 Governorship Election in Rivers State boosted by the absolute trust in God were the panacea for the victory for the PDP in the Edo election.

He declared that the election of Godwin Obaseki under the PDP will change the political and socio-economic narratives of Edo State, having joined the league of civilized and visionary leaders in the country led by Governor  Nyesom Wike to provide quality leadership for their people.

“This election has told all the story that Nigerians are tired of deceit and can no longer be fooled. The Edo people have therefore spoken and given their mandate to a more focused PDP government for the well-being of their people and development of their state. It’s therefore my prayer and wish that all sons, daughters and friends of Edo State rally round Governor Obaseki and the PDP-led government to actualize the desires and yearnings of Edo people. By this victory we say bye-bye to god-fatherism in Edo State and Nigeria in general,” Bro Obuah prayed.

Signed:

 

 

Jerry Needam

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to

Bro. Felix Obuah, Sole Administrator,

Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA).

 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

SANWO-OLU: WE’RE COMMITTED TO FULFILLING PROMISES TO LAGOSIANS

…Says COVID-19 Won’t Be An Excuse

…Governor Flags Off Two-Day LASG Ministerial Performance Review Retreat

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday assured Lagosians that his administration is committed to fulfilling all his promises despite disruption occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges that were not envisaged.

 

The Governor said fulfilling the promises in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda for ‘Greater Lagos’ would be delivered by the incumbent administration, despite reduction in the budget as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, knowing fully that no excuse will be tenable to the residents of the State.

 

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the first Lagos State two-day Ministerial Performance Review retreat being held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa on Monday, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the State Government is determined to step up the tempo of governance through innovative and inclusive policies.

 

He said: “I want to assure you that despite disruption occasioned by COVID-19 and other challenges that we did not envisage, we are still committed as a government to fulfilling the promises we made to people knowing fully that no excuse will be tenable to our citizens.

 

“We must be determined to step forward, heighten the tempo of governance and continue to create opportunities through innovative policies that are not only inclusive but provide sustainable solutions for this present administration and lay foundation for future administrations coming behind us.”

 

Governor Sanwo-Olu also implored members of the state executive council and other public office holders to be committed to the incumbent administration’s effort to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Lagosians, especially the electorates who elected him to govern the affairs of the state.

 

He said: “Let me emphasise that our yardstick for performance assessment will not be based majorly on the amount of money expended or Budget but the outcome of our various interventions that we have had; what measures the impact that touched the lives of citizens that we swore to serve.

 

“One of the promises we made at the inception of our administration and in line with the principle of continuity was to ensure the completion of projects that were inherited from the last administration. A significant part of our efforts and resources was devoted towards fulfilling this promise and taking government to another level.”

 

The Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat in his address enumerated all the government achievements in the last one year and four months in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration promised the people of Lagos State.

 

The THEMES development agenda are; Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st Century Economic, Entertainment and Tourism, and Security and Governance.

 

Hamzat said: “We should understand that our focus should be Lagosians, Lagosians and Lagosians because ultimately, they will define what we do and they will grade us. So, we are like in an examination now and examiners don’t have deep knowledge into the operations of how we actually do things but they only measure it by perception and of course by what they see.

 

“And as such, our job is to make sure that we set that perception right and then we give quality things in dimension; that at the end of the day our integrity will be intact and then they can say the party has done very well and this government has done very well,” he advised the participants at the retreat.

 

Also speaking, the Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, said the COVID -19 pandemic has adversely affected governments and institutions globally bringing in its wake, a new normal, adding that Lagos State, which is not left out, was the epicentre of cases in Nigeria for a long.

 

She therefore commended the State Incident Commander, Governor Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, as well as the entire health sector family in Lagos State for the outstanding management of the pandemic, which was acknowledged statewide, nationally and internationally.

 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected not only the health sector, but also the economic sector and how we work. Therefore, our trajectory for implementation of the THEMES agenda to achieve ‘A Greater Lagos’ is going to change as we operate within the new-normal to deliver the dividends of democracy to the good people of Lagos State.

 

“I believe in the capability of the Executive Council members, to prolifically deliver as political heads in our various MDAs and of course with the support of all others present for this retreat. I also believe that when objective feedback is given and taken in good faith, it can only lead to improved performance,” she advised.

 

In his address, the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola stressed the importance of a harmonious and effective working relationship between Permanent Secretaries who are Accounting Officers of Ministries and the Political Heads who are members of the State Executive Council.

 

He said: “While the Permanent Secretary has overall responsibility for the day to day administration of the Ministry as Accounting Officer and in addition to advising the Commissioner on public service processes and procedures, it is critically important that the responsibility of the political Head for the implementation of Government policies is duly recognised and the right balance and conducive atmosphere for a cordial and productive working relationship is established.”

 

The Head of Service also disclosed that “the core objective of this two-day retreat is to conduct a forensic review of the present administration’s scorecard along the five Pillars of our strategic development plans in the last one year. We are here to provide a honest and unemotional review of how have we fared sector by sector. Have we achieved our set targets in different sectors? If yes, what are the enabling factors that have been instrumental in the successes recorded? If we have failed to achieve set targets, what have been the factors that militated against attainment of set targets?”

 

He said the main thrust of the present administration is to make the Lagos economy a 21st-century economy, adding that “In this regard, the State Government has invested heavily in infrastructure renewal and roads rehabilitation across the five divisions of Lagos, not forgetting invitation for expression of interest in the 4th Mainland Bridge.”

 

 

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020

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CALL FOR SUPPORT OF ALL STAKEHOLDERS AND MEMBERS OF THE OKPE UNION FOR THE 2020 ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE OKPE UNION* . 

 

On the 29th of August, 2020 at the National Executive Council meeting of the Okpe Union, certain decisions were reached that are imperative to be implemented for the survival and stability of the Okpe Union. By the provisions of the Okpe Union Constitution, the General Secretary is named specifically to be responsible for the implementation of General Assembly and NEC decisions of the Okpe Union.

 

For the avoidance of doubt, *Article 16 iii* provides as follows:

 

iii. GENERAL SECRETARY

The General Secretary shall be the Chief Administrative Officer of the National Executive Council (NEC) of Okpe Union and a signatory to its accounts.

(a) To supervise all administrative activities of the Union

(b) Conduct and direct the correspondence of the Union and cause to be issued notices of meetings of the General Assembly, National Executive Council and all other meetings as may be determined from time to time.

(c) Keep or cause to be kept all records of proceedings of the General Assembly, National Executive Council as well as other records of the Union.

(d) Render a written Annual Report of the activities of Union to NEC.

(e) Ensure the implementation of the decisions and directives of the General Assembly, National Executive Council and ensure that all units of the Union carry out their duties promptly and efficiently.

(f) Consult the President General in the discharge of the duties of his or her office.

(g) Carry out any other duties as may be assigned to him or her from time to time by the President General or the National Executive Council.

(h) The General Secretary of the Union shall be the custodian of the Common seal of the Union.

 

On “f” above, I have reached out to the President General several times since the last NEC meeting for the purpose of consultation as required, but I have got no positive replies from him as he insists that his moving out of the last NEC meeting meant it had ended. This is despite the fact that the constitution of the Okpe Union provides for deputising by the Deputy President General 1 who duly presided over the remaining parts of the NEC meeting of the 29th of August, 2020 where the decision was taken. I have also consulted with other members of the NEC.

 

For more clarity as to the constitutional provisions regarding the Annual General Assembly of the Okpe Union, the union’s constitution provides as follows:

 

*ARTICLE 11*

i…. shall be the supreme and highest decision making organ of the Union.

  1. The General Assembly shall hold once a year at a designated place in Okpe Kingdom by NEC and shall be presided over by the President General

iii. Decisions taken at the General Assembly shall be binding on all branches and their members.

  1. The General Assembly shall be made up of the following:
  2. National Executive Council members
  3. Board of Trustees members
  4. Branch and Regional delegates
  5. The Youth Wing and Affiliate bodies.

 

*ARTICLE 24*

Annual General Assembly:

  1. The Annual General Assembly shall be held annually at a

designated place in Okpe Kingdom

  1. The Quorum at the Annual General Assembly shall be 2/3 of the branches invited.
  2. The General Secretary shall give notice to members Sixty (60) days before the AGA, indicating the agenda, time, date and venue.
  3. Each Branch shall send maximum of 5 (five), not less than 2 (two) delegates to the AGA.

 

Dear members of the Okpe Union, as the tenure of the current National Executive Council ends on the 17th of November this year 2020, and as we currently have less than 60 (sixty) days to that date for a General Assembly Notice to be disseminated before the tenure said tenure lapses as enshrined in the constitution, no meeting of the current NEC can validly change the date fixed by the 29th of August 2020 NEC meeting of the Okpe Union.

 

My dear Okpe compatriots and members of the Okpe Union all over the world, as the constitution has singled out a specific officer, the General Secretary, to be responsible for the implementation of General Assembly decisions, National Executive Council decisions, as well as  “ensure that all units of the Union carry out their duties promptly and efficiently”, I call on all of you to stand up for the survival and stability of the Okpe Union at this critical point of its history.  I implore all members and stakeholders of the Okpe Union to make contributions financially and otherwise that will assist the National Secretariat of the Okpe Union to implement the decisions of the National Executive Council which met on the 29th of August, 2020. The implementation of these decisions especially that of  holding the General Assembly of the Okpe Union fixed for the *14th of November, 2020, at the Okpe Hall, No 18,Adeola Road in Sapele, Delta State* are germane to the continuity and progress of the organisation.

 

The area of support essential to the success of the November 14th, 2020 General Assembly include the following:

 

  1. production of and circulation of notices of the General Assembly meeting(which shall include the agenda, venue and time) to all branches, and affiliates of the Union. We have already done this;
  2. the venue logistics for the General Assembly meeting such as decoration, DJ/sound system, etc

iii. refreshments for the General Assembly meeting;

 

  1. File Jackets and Programme for delegates; and
  2. publication of the outcome of the General Assembly meeting in the media.

 

The Secretariat of the Okpe Union as well as the General Assembly Planning Committee shall publish a budget soon. We solicit for the support and cooperation of all stakeholders and members of the Okpe Union the world over in organising this all important 2020 Annual General Assembly of the Okpe Union.

 

Signed this 20th day of September, 2020.

 

Akpederin Kingsley Ehensiri Esq., General Secretary, the Okpe Union.

 

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REPORT OF THE EVENTS LEADING TO THE 29TH OF AUGUST 2020 OKPE UNION NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING AND WHAT TRANSPIRED AT THE MEETING.

 

The following account of the events leading to the National Executive Council Meeting of the Okpe Union of 29th August, 2020 and the actual meeting is not the minutes of the meeting but a more comprehensive near verbatim account of the meeting so that members of the Okpe Union the world over can appreciate the difficult situation that Okpe Union is facing. We of the Secretariat of the Union urge you to patiently go through what we have put together below, and find the resolutions reached at the NEC meeting in the last part of this account.

 

On the morning of August 5th 2020, the President General of the Okpe Union called me, the General Secretary of the Union on phone and asked me to send notice of meeting to

members of the National Executive Council of the Okpe Union for 29th of August, 2020. He also instructed that I ensure the preamble of the notice contain the phrase “directed by the President General” so that all NEC members would understand that the directive came from him; and that I first send him the draft of the notice for his approval before I send it to other NEC members. I did as he directed and forwarded the notice of the NEC meeting only after he had approved it that same day.

 

A day after, I called PG regarding a  draft Agenda for the meeting if we could devolope it and forward to members of the NEC. He told me that was not necessary but he would call me some days to the meeting to give instructions as to the content of the agenda for my production of copies for the meeting. By Monday 24th, less than a week to the 29th of August meeting, the PG had not called me. I therefore put calls across to him which he did not pick. I had to send him a text the following morning Tuesday 25th containing a draft agenda and followed it with an explanation that he should consider the content and instruct me accordingly. That Tuesday morning, he had also not picked my calls. He neither acknowledged the receipt of the messages which I had repeated and also forwarded to his second number. By the evening of the Tuesday, I had to forward the draft agenda to the Assistant General Secretary to also attempt to reach the PG. He advised me that since the PG did not pick my calls, I should continue with the text messages followed by calls. I repeated this processes all to no avail.

 

By the morning of the 29th of August, 2020, the day for the NEC meeting, while waiting for the monthly environmental sanitation period to lapse so that I could be on my way from Sapele to Orerokpe for the meeting, I received a text message from the PG indicating a change of venue for the meeting from the Udogun Hall, Orerokpe which was the venue contained in the notice of meeting, to Multi-Purpose Hall, Orerokpe. I had thought that there must have been another programme fixed for the Udogun Hall venue which must have necessitated the change of venue. This was however not the case as I discovered when we drove past the Udogun Hall that there was no ongoing programme nor apparent preparation for one there. I headed straight to the new venue to find out that only two members were around as well as two personnel of the Directorate of State Security (DSS) . I had prayed and hoped that the PG would be punctual that day so as to enable him go through the draft agenda before I would go to print it for distribution to all NEC members. After waiting till 11.30am, I had to leave the venue to get to a business centre to print the draft agenda. By the time I returned, the PG had just arrived. I went to greet him and presented the draft agenda to him but he directed that I keep them for a moment and that he would call me for it at the appropriate time. He beckoned on his son Efe to “bring the things”. The son then went out and returned with a “carton”  of bottled water. The PG requested for those that live in Orerokpe to go and bring plate that he needed to conduct entertainment of presentation of kola nuts before the meeting would commence. The Financial Secretary, Mr. John Esedafe then rose and told the PG that he was going home to get the plate that would be used for the presentation of the colanuts.

 

At this time, the Deputy President General 4 of the Union, Mr. Bernard Adibor rose and addressed the PG and the house that the time was already far spent partly because of the environmental sanitation whereas there are very important decisions that were needed to be taken as the tenure of the current national executive was coming to an end. He suggested that the entertainment should be done after the meeting and that previous NEC meetings had not involved such entertainment. The PG responded that culture must be observed.

 

We waited until the Mr. Esedafe returned from his house with a plate. The National Spokesman Mr. James Itebu was mandated by the PG to perform traditional presentation of the kola nuts and money as well as the customary support from members.

 

THE MEETING PROPER

 

ITEM 1: OPENING PRAYER

 

After the entertainment, the PG called the house to order for the meeting to commence. He called on the National Publicity Secretary, Mrs. Atarhe Abuh to lead the house with an opening prayer.

 

After the opening prayer, I, the General Secretary went to meet the PG with the printed draft agenda which he had asked me to put on hold earlier. He told me that he brought printed copies of an agenda he had prepared and explained that his was more comprehensive and that the only issue not contained in his own was the setting up of the electoral committee, and asked me to use a pen to add it to the last item on the one he brought. I complied and he directed the National Provost, to distribute only that one he brought to all members.

 

The following were the items contained in the draft agenda which I had sent him 5 days earlier and printed, which he rejected:

 

NEC MEETING DRAFT AGENDA(29TH AUGUST, 2020)

  1. Opening Prayer
  2. Minutes/Adoption
  3. Matters Arising
  4. Fixing of General Assembly
  5. Electoral Committee
  6. Finance

7 . A.O.B.

  1. Adjournment/Closing Prayer

 

The one he brought out and asked the Provost to circulate contained the following:

 

  1. Opening Prayer
  2. Roll-call & Apologies
  3. Report of the Meeting held at instance of National Executive

Members of Okpe Union at Orodje Palace, Orerokpe 29th January, 2020.

  1. Okpe Union 90 Printing of Okpe Union wrapper by Lagos branch.
  2. Report of crises at Okpe Union Sapele
  3. Okpe Union land at Orerokpe. Case in High Court, Orerokpe.
  4. Report of Review of Okpe Union Constitution.
  5. Proposed AGA, 2020 (Asked me to add Electoral Committee with a pen from the draft Agenda I submitted).

9  A. O. B.

  1. Closing prayer

 

Information is the House:

 

At this point Mr. John Esedafe, the Financial Secretary rose to address the house. He said there is a petition before the house which involved the position of the General Secretary. That Mr. Patrick Apiamu had written a letter to the NEC that Sapele LGA Branch had suspended the General Secretary from that branch and that should affect him and prevent him from acting as the General Secretary for now. The PG responded by saying that the meeting should get to that item on the agenda first before he should bring up that matter.

 

Observation about the Draft Agenda:

 

The Assistant General Secretary, Mr. Friday Ekemefe then made an observation. He said before the draft agenda should be accepted as the working agenda for the meeting, it had to be adopted by the house as it had just been distributed. The PG asked him to sit down and wait till any item is being discussed.

 

ITEM 2 : ROLL CALL

The National Provost submitted the attendance list which contained 17 members present with the National Treasurer, Chief Biokoro sending apology that he would be absent(he later came late).

 

ITEM 3

REPORT OF THE MEETING HELD  AT INSTANCE OF NATIONAL EXECUTIVE

MEMBERS OF OKPE UNION AT ORODJE’S PALACE, OREROKPE ON  29TH JANUARY, 2020.

 

The President General asked the General Secretary, Akpederin Kingsley E. Esq. to read out the minutes of the January 29th 2020 settlement meeting held at the Orodje’s Palace and presided over by the Orodje. After the GS read it to the house, the PG asked for reactions about the level of compliance with the resolutions contained in the minutes.

 

The resolutions were: Plaintiffs/Claimants in the court case to withdraw the case from court; status quo in the union before the events that led to the court case be maintained; a committee should be set up to review the Okpe Union Constitution; the Union Board of Trustees should be constituted; Definite Date should be fixed for Annual General Assembly; Sufficient notices should be given for meetings; Okpe House in Lagos is the property of Okpe Union Worldwide and not Lagos Okpe Union: Lagos to handover all documents relating to the registration of the Union with the Corporate Affairs Commission and the approved building plan; and members of the Okpe Union should be united and work as a body in order to achieve the aims and objectives of the Okpe Union.

 

  1. Handover:

The Deputy President General 3(DPG 3) , Chief Tom Anirah stood and asked the Deputy President General 1(DPG 1), Mr. Patrick Akpotor when he would hand over the Lagos Okpe house to the National Headquarters.  Mr. Akpotor replied by saying that it was not a personal issue.

 

The National Publicity Secretary asked that before the issues in the Palace meeting minutes should be discussed, those who attended should tell the house if the contents reflect what was discussed and agreed there. Mr. Akpotor responded by saying that his own comments in the meeting were not reflected and that the contents actually goes beyond the issues contained in the court case which the claimants/plaintiffs made as contained in what the High Court statement of claims which Secretary to the Udogun read at the meeting. The Deputy President General 2(DPG2) , Mr. Omamurhomu Ayaruja pointed out that on the issue of the Lagos House, there is a constitutional provision which gives control of Okpe Union properties located in a branch or region to that branch or region. So there will be need for constitutional amendment which was one of the resolutions at the meeting if we all agree that it should be effected.

 

The PG then said that he was ruling on the matter as follows:

 

” That handover notes be handed over by Lagos Regional Headquarters within one month relating to the following:

  1. Handover notes since  November, 2016.
  2. Documents relating to the registration of the Okpe Union with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

iii. Approval Plan for the Okpe House in Lagos.

 

Mr. Akpotor reacted by saying that when he gets back to Lagos, he shall call for a meeting of the former EXCO members then and the present ones so that the issue will be addressed. He however said that on the issue of the incorporation documents of the Union, this NEC had severally deliberated on it and that the PG, Chief Onome who served as General Secretary between I990 and 1995 had told this house that he did not see the certificate of incorporation during his tenure. Mr. Akpotor concluded by saying that when Chief Onome left Lagos, he himself left with all documents of the Union without handing over to anybody. He therefore wondered why a matter we had all concluded in past NEC meetings that we needed to complete the process which had started with CAC to apply for certified copy of the certificate of incorporation is being brought back again. He said how would somebody be using lamp to find what he can clearly see very well?

 

  1. Board of Trustees:

The PG told the house that as one of the issues in the minutes of the settlement meeting was Board of Trustees of the Okpe Union, he asked the house whether we should go ahead to nominate members for consideration by the General Assembly for approval. He said to him, he has report to give and so members should come up with nominees. At the end, nine Okpe personalities were nominated for seven board of trustee members provided for by the Okpe Union Constitution. The last two would replace any of the first seven who declines.

 

  1. The Other Issues in the Settlement Minutes:

 

The PG ran through them and said for status quo, the General Secretary, Barr. Kingsley Akpederin is already performing his duties, and that the other matters were more of advice.

 

He therefore asked that we move to other items on the agenda. He then introduced the issue of Okpe Union at 90 Wrapper Printed by Western Region Headquarters, Lagos.

 

ITEM 4: OKPE UNION AT 90 WRAPPER PRINTED BY LAGOS.

 

The PG presented to the house a wrapper which he reported was printed by Lagos Regional Headquarters to mark the 90th Anniversary of the Founding of the Okpe Union. He said they did it without the approval of the National Headquarters in violation of the Okpe Union Constitution since they used the logo of the Okpe Union. He said members should react.

 

The National Publicity Secretary asked if the PG could show the house which Article of the Okpe Union Constitution such action violated. The PG responded by referring members to Article 29 C of the constitution which provides as follows:

 

29(C)

” Press Release

No Regional Headquarters or branch shall cause to be publicised in the press, radio, TV or sočio media any matter of a national nature affecting Okpe Kingdom without prior consent of the National Headquarters. Any Regional Headquarters or Branch found guilty of this offence shall be liable to a fine of not less than NGN20,000 (Twenty Thousand Naira)”

 

The National Publicity Secretary responded to this by saying that the meaning of Press Release is so clear that it does not cover printing of wrapper being discussed. DPG1, Mr. Patrick Akpotor on his own part disclosed to the house that he informed the PG in a phone call discussion about the plan of the Lagos regional headquarters to mark the 90th anniversary as well as the printing of the wrapper.

 

The PG replied to both comments by saying that he has several lawyers as friends and as such he knows about interpretation of legal provisions. He also told the house that the DPG1 never discussed the matter with him as he had claimed. The DPG3, Okakuro Anirah said that ” the beating of a thief who acknowledges and pleads is not as severe as the one who argues” He said if DPG1 apologises, the matter would be easier to resolve. After several arguments, the DPG2 Mr. Ayaruja rose and said that in Okpe culture, the younger person in dispute with an elder is hardly adjudged as innocent and the elder guilty. He therefore persuaded DPG1, Mr. Akpotor to render an apology. Mr. Akpotor thereafter rose to tender an apology relating to the printing of the wrapper without the approval of the National Headquarters.

 

The PG in response to the apology proclaimed a ruling that “henceforth, no branch or region should use the logo of the Okpe Union in such a way without the approval of the National Headquarters of the Okpe Union”.

 

A Brief Altercation:

 

As the PG mentioned the next item on the draft agenda, which was “Report of Crises at Okpe Union, Sapele”, the DPG 2, Mr. Ayaruja asked for permission to say something. He pointed out that if the NEC meeting continued at that rate, the most important item on the agenda which is the last one would not be discussed. He noted that by Article 25 of the Okpe Union Constitution, we were expected to set up a five man electoral committee and fix the date for the General Assembly of all branches and affiliates since the tenure of this executive ends on the 17th of November this year. He pointed out also that by Article 24 a (3), the General Secretary requires at least 60 days to send notice of General Assembly meeting to all branches and affiliates before the meeting date. He moved a motion that all the other matters in the agenda be stood down until the 8th matter which is Proposed AGA 2020/Electoral Committee is dealt with.

The PG responded that the matters in the Agenda must be followed the way they have been arranged. This generated some arguments after which the PG had his way.

 

ITEM 5: REPORT OF CRISES AT OKPE UNION, SAPELE.

 

The PG brought the attention of the house to some petitions which he said reached him from the former chairman of Sapele LGA Branch, Mr. Patrick Apiamu. He said the petition is about complaint by the former chairman that the electoral committee which the Sapele LGA Branch set up to conduct elections into the branch executive overstepped its powers as they fixed another date for the elections after the COVID 19 lockdown had made the first date for the elections impracticable. At this point, the Assistant General Secretary, Mr. Friday Ekemefe raised up his hands and said “observation”. The PG replied by saying that the PG cannot be observed. He proceeded to read two petitions to the house, one signed by the former Chairman of Sapele LGA Branch, Mr Patrick Apiamu and the former Secretary, Mr. Iwaya, while the second petition was signed by the Mr. Patrick Apiamu and the DPG 3, Okakuro Tom Anirah. The two petitions border on the election of the new Executive Council of Sapele LGA Branch which took place on the 5th of July, 2020 and their subsequent swearing in. The PG also reported to the house that on receipt of the petitions, he set up a three man investigative committee to look into the matter headed by the  National Organising Secretary of the Union, Okakuro Flag Odiete and that the committee had submitted its report to him. He also proceeded to read the said Committee report which recommended that the new executive of the Sapele LGA Branch should not be recognised. The PG then called for reactions.

 

DPG 3, Okakuro Tom Anirah stood and gave details of what happened. He explained that the former Sapele LGA Branch chairman Mr. Apiamu and the Secretary Mr. Waya wrote a petition to him personally and also called the PG to intimate him of the problem of election in the branch. The DPG 3 said the PG then mandated him to intervene into the matter and resolve it. DPG 3 continued his narration as follows:

 

It was on the strength of the PG’s directive that I invited the petitioners and the electoral committee headed by Hon. Patrick Ovwile to my house. The Mr. Patrick Apiamu had accused the electoral committee of illegally collecting monthly dues from contestants that were owing the branch and that the electoral committee fixed another date for the election after the first date could not hold because of COVID 19 instead of coming back to the general house to get another date. The electoral committee on the other hand explained to me that they received the financial records of all the contestants from the Mr. Patrick Apiamu, the former chairman of the branch containing how much each contestants was owing in monthly dues. The electoral committee chairman said that at the screening of the candidates, those who were owing paid the various amounts to enable them to be cleared. They said they therefore collected the money on behalf of the branch. On the issue of the date fixed for the election which was 5th July, 2020, I advised them to go to the general house to hold a normal meeting and fix another date. However to my surprise, on the day of the meeting, Mr. Apiamu called me on phone when I was at Chief Obule’s place that the house decided that the election hold against my advice. He said there were thugs brought to the meeting. That was why I joined the Apiamu to write one of the petitions.”

 

Chief Anirah, the DPG 3 concluded by saying the matter must be fully dealt with.

 

The Assistant General Secretary, Mr. Friday Ekemefe was then recognised to speak. Firstly he observed that the Secretariat headed by the General Secretary have not received any of the petitions that the PG read to the house. He said that as the constitution provides that the Secretariat has the responsibility of correspondence of the Union, it means that those petitions have not been brought before the house as non of us evven has copies of the said petitions that the PG read to the house. Secondly, he pointed out that as the Mr. Patrick Apiamu, the former chairman of the Sapele LGA Branch was not a candidate in the election, he does not have any locus standi or right to petition against the election. He concluded by saying that it is the NEC that has the powers to set up a committee that will give the NEC a report and that the committee set up by the PG is not for this NEC but to only advise the PG. It means there is no report before the house, the Assistant General Secretary concluded.

 

The General Secretary, Akpederin Kingsley then rose and pointed to the house that he himself is a member of the Sapele LGA Branch. That if the DPG 3, Okakuro Anirah wanted to act in good faith, how could he (Akpederin) not be told of or invited to the private meeting he invited the electoral committee  for in his house? He questioned why a private meeting would be assumed to override decisions taken by the general house. He also told the house that it was the electoral committee that fixed the first date for the election which could not hold because of the COVID 19. The general house also simply by motion accepted what the electoral committee did and asked them to proceed with the election. He pointed out that the walking out of two or three persons does not invalidate elections. The General Secretary then asked the PG about the report of the electoral committee on the Sapele LGA elections which the Sapele LGA electoral committee had brought to his house in Warri. As the PG denied not receiving it, the General Secretary told the house that the electoral committee also brought a copy of that their report to him as General Secretary to present to the NEC. He therefore presented it to the PG who then read it to the house.

 

In that report, the electoral committee gave details of how the DPG 3 invited them to his house on the 4th of July 2020 to convince them to cooperate and allow a shift of the election date from 5th July 2020. But that they however responded that the general house would decide finally. At the general house on the 5th of July, 2020, the general house presided over by the former chairman, Mr. Patrick Apiamu, resolved that the election should go ahead which saw the former chairman, Mr. Patrick Apiamu stage a walk out along with four others. The report of the electoral committee also contained the record of the votes scored by the respective contestants as well as report of the swearing in of the new executive which included two former executive members.

 

In his contribution, DPG 2, Mr. Ayaruja blamed Okakuro Anirah for signing a petition with the former chairman of the Sapele LGA Branch as it robbed him of neutrality. He also noted that since some members of the former executive were elected into the new EXCO and as some other members of the former executive like Prof. Kenneth Eni who was the former PRO of the immediate past executive was part of the election, it was clear that the election were properly conducted. He also wondered what the interest of the former chairman of the Sapele LGA Branch was as he was not a contestant in the election.

 

DPG 4, Mr. Bernard Adibor contributed by asking the Organising Secretary, Chief Flag Odiete who was chairman of the committee set up by the PG if they invited the newly elected EXCO of the Sapele LGA Branch. Chief Odiete replied that they did not. The DPG 4 then remarked that the PG’s committee had a predetermined report in his own opinion.

 

At this point, the National Publicity Secretary, Mrs. Atarhe Abuh was recognised by the PG to speak. She said that the report of electoral committee read by the PG was quite detailed and credible. She therefore moved a motion that the NEC recognise the newly elected and sworn in Sapele LGA Branch executive and called on all members of that branch to unite and work with them to move the branch forward. The motion moved Mrs Abuh was seconded by DPG 4 Mr. Bernard Adibor.

 

The PG immediately said that the house should be made to vote on the report of the committee he set up to investigate the Sapele LGA Branch crises. There was immediate uproar. The General Secretary told the PG that there was only one motion on the floor without a counter. The PG told the General Secretary cynically to come and sit as the President General.

 

The DPG 2, Mr. Ayaruja then asked the PG to allow him say something. The PG obliged. He said that many of them came from far to the NEC meeting expecting that important matters will be given priority. The PG hushed him and demanded that he immediately withdraws that statement. Mr. Ayaruja continued but PG shouted “shut up and sit down.”

 

At this point the PG called Efe his son who was sitting at the back of the hall a bit far off and signalled him to lock the windows of the hall. The son brought in two other young men who joined him to commence the locking the windows.

 

DPG 3, Okakuro Anirah then stood up and said “you mean I will invite people to my house, we agree on something and I entertained them lavishly and they will go and do another thing?” He then walked out of the meeting.

 

The DPG 2, Mr. Ayaruja then asked the PG “what do you want?” He responded, “you people must allow me have my way!” Mr. Ayaruja then said, “if it is voting that can make you allow us to make progress, then let us vote”.  The PG then asked “where is Oren Chief Anirah?” DPG 2, Mr. Ayaruja again told the PG that we should vote. The PG replied “we cannot vote again as you people have closed the meeting”

 

The PG called his son Efe again to carry his “things” and he rose to move out of the meeting.

 

MOTION FOR DPG1 TO ASSUME THE ROLE OF PRESIDING OFFICER.

 

As the PG left the meeting, the DPG 2, Mr. Omamurhomu Ayaruja rose and  said that “as the Okpe Union Constitution provides that in the absence of the President General, the Deputy President General 1 shall preside, I hereby move that the Deputy President General 1 Mr. Patrick Akpotor now assume the position of the presiding officer of this NEC meeting.” The Deputy President General 4 of the union, Mr. Bernard Adibor then rose to second the motion.

 

The DPG 1, Mr. Patrick Akpotor, then immediately called the house to order. He asked the General Secretary what the next item on the agenda was. The General Secretary noted  that there was a motion earlier which was seconded that the fixing of the date for the Annual General Assembly and the setting up of the electoral committee was of paramount importance and should be treated first. The DPG 1 then asked what date the tenure of this NEC ending? The GS answered that it is 17th of November, 2020. The DPG 1 then asked that members check the calendar to determine the Saturday before that 17th of November. The Assistant General Secretary, Mr. Friday Ekemefe responded that it was 14th November, 2020. At this point, the Mr. Friday Ekemefe then rose to move a motion that the next General Assembly be held on the 14th of November, 2020. The National Youths Coordinator, Comrade Mary Pender rose and seconded the motion that the next General Assembly be held on the 14th of November, 2020. Thereafter, the DPG 4, Mr. Bernard Adibor pointed out that considering the way the President General attempted to forcefully close this NEC meeting with his boys, and as the Okpe Union Constitution provides that the General Assembly can hold in any part of Okpeland, he moves that the next General Assembly meeting holds in Sapele. Comrade Mary Pender seconded the motion that the next General Assembly holds in Sapele.

 

The General Secretary then said that the setting up of the electoral committee is imperative.

 

At this point, the President General Okakuro Robert Onome walked into the hall with some fierce looking young men. He, the PG, came straight to warn the General Secretary. Two of the boys went straight and accosted the DPG 1 who was presiding. One of them told the DPG 1 that he knows him and that he is from Egborode. The DPG 1 then asked him to just allow for the rounding off of the meeting. The second young man protested vehemently and said everyone should leave the hall now. There were other invaders who had now locked up all the windows of the hall. The DPG 1 then rose and said it is important that there be a motion for adjournment. DPG 4, Mr. Bernard Adibor then hurriedly moved a motion for adjournment with the National Publicity Secretary, Mrs Atarhe Abuh saying “seconded” as the PG directed the “thugs” to remove the chairs and the tables to the corner. It was on that violent note that members of the NEC of the Union moved out of the hall, effectively bringing the meeting to a close.

 

THE RESOLUTIONS:

 

From the foregoing, the following resolutions were reached at the National Executive Council Meeting of the Okpe Union which held on the 29th of August, 2020.

 

  1. That the Lagos Regional Headquarters transmit to the current national leadership of the Okpe Union handover notes within one month from the date of the NEC meeting which held on the of 29th August, 2020.

 

  1. Nine Okpe personalities were nominated for possible approval by the General Assembly of the Okpe Union after their consent is obtained as Board of Trustees members of the Okpe Union.

 

  1. That the approval of the National Headquarters is to be obtained by any branch or region of the Okpe Union before they can use the logo of the Okpe Union.

 

  1. That the new executive of the Okpe Union, Sapele LGA Branch is recognised to move the branch forward.

 

  1. That the 2020 General Assembly meeting of the Okpe Union shall hold on the 14th of November, 2020 at Sapele.

 

SIGNED THIS 2nd DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2020.

 

The Okpe Union Patriots Calling!*

 

*TOWARDS A SMOOTH TRANSITION AS THE* *TENURE OF THE CURRENT NEC OF THE* *OKPE UNION WINDS DOWN.*

 

The current National Executive Council of the Okpe Union was inaugurated on the 17th of November, 2016 for a four year tenure. It follows the tenure of the current *NEC* lapses on the 17th of November this year 2020.

 

By the Constitution of the Okpe Union, three months to the expiration of tenure, the NEC is directed to set up an Electoral Committee and also fix a General Assembly meeting of all the Okpe Union branches for the purpose of the election. By the provisions of the Constitution, the General Secretary shall send notices for the General Assembly at least sixty (60) days to the date of the meeting.

 

For the purpose of complying with the above provisions, a NEC meeting of the Okpe Union held on 29th of August, 2020. During the meeting, there were some disagreements which reportedly led to the President General to walk out before the end of the meeting. The PG however claims that his moving out meant the meeting had ended. The other group claimed that to avoid a constitutional crisis, they refused to end the meeting as they moved that the next highest officer of the Union acts to preside over the NEC meeting in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

 

Considering the all important need to ensure a smooth transition without a constitutional crisis which the failure of the 29th August 2020 NEC to fix a General Assembly date would have resulted, the move by other NEC members to continue the meeting and fix a date for the *ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY* meeting for the 14th of November, 2020 is commendable. It is unfortunate that the reported subsequent disruption of the meeting by thugs prevented the NEC from additionally setting up the Electoral Committee.

 

For a successful transition after the expiration of the tenure of the current National Executive Council of the Okpe Union on the 17th of November, this year 2020, we recommend the following:

 

  1. That all branches and Stakeholders of the Okpe Union participate in the Annual General Assembly meeting slated for the 14th of November, 2020 at Sapele, Delta State.

 

  1. That since the Constitution of the Okpe Union provides that the General Assembly is the Supreme organ and highest decision making Organ of the Union, it should ensure that a workable transition template which includes the setting up of an Electoral Committee as well as an Interim Administration for a short period before the national elections, is put in place.

 

  1. The Okpe Union Patriots are of the view that the above positions are the only feasible way forward now to avoid a constitutional crisis as the constitutional three months for the setting up of an electoral committee as well as the sixty days period for the notices of General Assembly meeting has already elapsed. Our position that the November 14th Annual General Assembly date at the Okpe Hall, Sapele be complied with is imperative as the provisions of the Okpe Union Constitution have been complied with and notices have reached the branches within the sixty days required by the Constitution.

 

All hands must be on deck to ensure the survival and sustainability of the Okpe Union which our forefathers fought for and established as one of the earliest ethnic Unions in Nigeria in 1930.

 

Long live the Okpe Nation!

Long live the Orodje of Okpe!

Long live the Okpe Union!

 

Signed:

 

*The Okpe Union Patriots* ,

*17th September, 2020* .

 

*CALL FOR SUPPORT OF ALL STAKEHOLDERS AND MEMBERS OF THE OKPE UNION FOR THE 2020 ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE OKPE UNION* .

 

On the 29th of August, 2020 at the National Executive Council meeting of the Okpe Union, certain decisions were reached that are imperative to be implemented for the survival and stability of the Okpe Union. By the provisions of the Okpe Union Constitution, the General Secretary is named specifically to be responsible for the implementation of General Assembly and NEC decisions of the Okpe Union.

 

For the avoidance of doubt, *Article 16 iii* provides as follows:

 

iii. GENERAL SECRETARY

The General Secretary shall be the Chief Administrative Officer of the National Executive Council (NEC) of Okpe Union and a signatory to its accounts.

(a) To supervise all administrative activities of the Union

(b) Conduct and direct the correspondence of the Union and cause to be issued notices of meetings of the General Assembly, National Executive Council and all other meetings as may be determined from time to time.

(c) Keep or cause to be kept all records of proceedings of the General Assembly, National Executive Council as well as other records of the Union.

(d) Render a written Annual Report of the activities of Union to NEC.

(e) Ensure the implementation of the decisions and directives of the General Assembly, National Executive Council and ensure that all units of the Union carry out their duties promptly and efficiently.

(f) Consult the President General in the discharge of the duties of his or her office.

(g) Carry out any other duties as may be assigned to him or her from time to time by the President General or the National Executive Council.

(h) The General Secretary of the Union shall be the custodian of the Common seal of the Union.

 

On “f” above, I have reached out to the President General several times since the last NEC meeting for the purpose of consultation as required, but I have got no positive replies from him as he insists that his moving out of the last NEC meeting meant it had ended. This is despite the fact that the constitution of the Okpe Union provides for deputising by the Deputy President General 1 who duly presided over the remaining parts of the NEC meeting of the 29th of August, 2020 where the decision was taken. I have also consulted with other members of the NEC.

 

For more clarity as to the constitutional provisions regarding the Annual General Assembly of the Okpe Union, the union’s constitution provides as follows:

 

*ARTICLE 11*

i…. shall be the supreme and highest decision making organ of the Union.

  1. The General Assembly shall hold once a year at a designated place in Okpe Kingdom by NEC and shall be presided over by the President General

iii. Decisions taken at the General Assembly shall be binding on all branches and their members.

  1. The General Assembly shall be made up of the following:
  2. National Executive Council members
  3. Board of Trustees members
  4. Branch and Regional delegates
  5. The Youth Wing and Affiliate bodies.

 

*ARTICLE 24*

Annual General Assembly:

  1. The Annual General Assembly shall be held annually at a

designated place in Okpe Kingdom

  1. The Quorum at the Annual General Assembly shall be 2/3 of the branches invited.
  2. The General Secretary shall give notice to members Sixty (60) days before the AGA, indicating the agenda, time, date and venue.
  3. Each Branch shall send maximum of 5 (five), not less than 2 (two) delegates to the AGA.

 

Dear members of the Okpe Union, as the tenure of the current National Executive Council ends on the 17th of November this year 2020, and as we currently have less than 60 (sixty) days to that date for a General Assembly Notice to be disseminated before the tenure said tenure lapses as enshrined in the constitution, no meeting of the current NEC can validly change the date fixed by the 29th of August 2020 NEC meeting of the Okpe Union.

 

My dear Okpe compatriots and members of the Okpe Union all over the world, as the constitution has singled out a specific officer, the General Secretary, to be responsible for the implementation of General Assembly decisions, National Executive Council decisions,