The Ogun State Government mass produced Ofada rice, is to be ready for sale to the public this Christmas season in all the Local Government and Local Council Development Areas of the state.
The MITROS Ofada Rice, which is being grown, milled and bagged in the state, is aimed at ending scarcity and smuggling of commodity as well as make it available to the generality of the resident this Yuletide.
Governor Ibikunle Amosun, who led some members of the state Executive Council on inspection tour of the production factory at Sawonjo, Iju Local Council Development Area in Ogun West Senatorial district of the state yesterday, expressed satisfaction at the volume of production on ground.
He disclosed that two other production factories will be sited in Asero, Abeokuta, in Ogun Central Senatorial District and Ijebu North East in Ogun East Senatorial district.
Urging residents of Sawonjo area to cooperate with the production team, Amosun assured of the good quality of the rice and that it will be affordable and available in large quantity.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday evening said the State has enjoyed an appreciable level of religious tolerance and harmony in the last 30 months since he assumed office, attributing it to the atmosphere of peaceful co-existence prevailing among Lagosians of different faith and ethnic leanings.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at an Inter-Faith Parley of Religious Leaders and Organisations, held at the Banquet Hall, Lagos House in Ikeja, said such atmosphere of peace, has also engendered the massive infrastructural and all round development that has taken place across the State since May 29, 2015.
Commending the religious leaders in attendance at the parley, predominantly from the Christian and Muslim faith, Governor Ambode said their prayers and support for his administration was pivotal to the steady progress that has become synonymous with Lagos, adding that the event was the State Government’s way of bringing them together to appreciate their commitment and contributions to the success story of Lagos.
“I just want to say a big thank you to all our spiritual fathers for all your prayers. You really don’t understand the depth of what you are doing and the truth is this, there is no how anyone can manage Lagos if we don’t have this kind of harmony, that’s the truth. No matter how brilliant you are, how intelligent or how virtuous you are, or you want to do something, one thing is to say that you want to do something; another thing is for it to work.
“Because you are having millions of people who are having different DNAs and they all converge at the same time to say this is the way to go, and it goes that way, it has to be somebody else that is doing it. You cannot make a pronouncement on a microphone and everyone would sleep on the same side and agree, there is something behind it and that thing is that spirituality.
“This gathering is therefore not in futility, it’s to show the essence of that convergence of the spirituality that exists in a cosmopolitan State like Lagos that really makes it work. So, if someone was to ask me what is the secret of my success, it’s not the brain, it’s already endowed, it’s the combination of that spiritual teamwork,” the Governor said.
Governor Ambode also commended the religious leaders for their support and identification with State policies and programmes, especially using the pulpit in the churches and the minbar in the mosques to mobilize and sensitize Lagosians to become law abiding and discharge their civic responsibilities to the State and other citizens.
“I wanted a platform where I can bring all religious leaders together and celebrate them and I tried it last year it worked, so I decided that you know what, maybe this is another day of doing thanksgiving, let me do it again. So, it’s more or less like a celebration. So I told the Commissioner and I asked him, let’s do this every December, we would bring all our spiritual leaders together and say thank you to them. They really don’t understand, because it’s not all about bridges and flyover, peace is intrinsic, the value is more precious, it’s only in an atmosphere of peace that you can do a road. That which is immeasurable, must be celebrated before the one that is physical,” he said.
The Governor also recalled the inaugural parley held last year, saying that most of the issues raised by the leaders had been implemented and that the growing economy of the State has contributed in the peace being enjoyed.
He said one of the strategies taken by his administration was to strengthen the agencies responsible for spiritual development in keeping with its all-inclusive adding that the clear evidence was the award given to Lagos State by the National Hajj Commission as the most outstanding state in Hajj operations, while the Christian Conscience Group also awarded the State as the best in Christian pilgrimages.
Governor Ambode said that the State Government also made efforts to decentralize the celebration of Eid el Fitri parties which was held for the first time in all the local governments across the State, just as he disclosed that this year’s Christmas party will also take the same pattern.
Besides, the Governor said that the State recorded another first as it became the State to have decentralized the operations of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) with the inauguration of 798 Christian and Muslim leaders to join hands with the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas in fostering religious harmony and peaceful coexistence through participatory democracy in the State.
“In the same vein, I wish to urge you all to continue to pray for the prosperity of our State and our people. We shall continue to collaborate with you in ensuring effective communication of our policies and programmes for you are our greatest partners in the development of our State.
“Let us persist in our good efforts in sustaining conditions that will increase our progress and bring greater prosperity; let us pray more for Lagos and do more to preserve and grow our gains. As we continue to win together and break new frontier together, Let us continue to live in peace and harmony for more of God’s mercies, favours and blessings,” Governor Ambode said.
The Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, on Saturday flouted the directive of the Peoples Democratic Party not to campaign at the party’s ongoing National Convention. The Chairman of the Convention and Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, handed down the warning to the party’s presidential aspirants on Thursday. Okowa said there should not be any form of campaign at the ongoing convention venue at the Eagle Square in Abuja. However, Fayose’s presidential poster has been displayed at the convention venue. The inscription on it read: “Meet your next President.” This was also the same situation during the aborted August 12, 2017 convention of the party, where Fayose arrived at the venue in his 2019 presidential campaign shirt and cap. His entourage then also had his 2019 presidential campaign posters.
Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has sympathised with traders of Awolowo Market in Sagamu Local Government Area of the State, over the fire outbreak that razed more than 50 locked-up shops in the market.
Amosun, represented by his Deputy, Chief (Mrs.) Yetunde Onanuga, who led government delegation to the scene of the inferno, expressed sadness over the incident, but appreciated God that no life was lost.
The governor directed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), to take adequate record of shops that were affected.
He promised that his administration would continue to put in place measures against fire outbreak across the State, as his it is committed to safety and well being of its citizens.
According to him, residents will be more enlightened, through radio and television programmes to educate them on the danger of careless handling of inflammable substances, especially during the dry season.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Sagamu West Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Hon. Rafiu Awoyemi while thanking Amosun for the quick response and intervention, urged affected traders to exercise patience as government would look into the cause of the fire.
He said government would look into the possibility of compensating those whose shops were affected, after necessary information had been obtained from them.
The delegation included Commissioners of Information and Strategy, Otunba Dayo Adeneye, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Jide Ojuko and Culture and Tourism, Rt. Hon. Muyiwa Oladipo.
Top female politician and House of Representatives aspirant, Hon. Fateema Muhammed, in this interview, speaks about the aim and objective of her volunteer campaign group, Atikunation, which seeks the former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar's presidency in 2019, why she is confident the project is already a success and the group's other activities. Excerpts...
Please share briefly the aims and objectives of Atikunation.
Atikunation aims and objectives are; to introduce the real Alhaji Abubakar to Nigerians, campaign and mobilize the electorate to vote for him in the forthcoming presidential election in 2019, and to make sure that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is sworn in as the next president of Nigeria.
Atikunation is a perfect name for its goals, how did it get started, who initiated it and how did the initiator manage to bring together like minds for the purpose?
Atikunation Independent Campaign Group (ICG) was initiated by me, Hon. Fateema Abubakar. My team, some of who are in the national and state executives, bought into the idea and together we contacted all those who sincerely desired to see the end of hardship in Nigeria, the kind of hardship Nigerians have been experiencing since this government came into power in 2015. We all agreed that the best candidate that can reconcile all the ethnic groups, tribes in Nigeria, restore our economy and move Nigeria to the desired Promised Land where she rightly belongs is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
You definitely didn't start politics with Atikunation; so, how did you find yourself in active politics and when?
After witnessing a particular situation while driving past a suburb in Alimosho, where a woman who wanted to make point in an argument was shut down because of her gender, I decided I had to get involve in politics. And my involvement with politics started from there.
Atikunation is about the most conspicuous of the Atiku Abubakar campaign volunteer groups at the moment. Do you have the blessing of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in this project, is he involved in anyway, given the group's deep passion for his candidature?
I will not want to speak much on this. I will only ask you to watch as events unfold. Very soon you will have answers
to this question by His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar himself.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar just resigned from his party, APC, giving reasons of ideology concern. Do you think he has taken the best decision, and do you think this decision could affect his political life in anyway?
Yes, he took the best decision by resigning from APC and this certainly will advance his political career. Let's watch events as I have said.
You spoke recently on a live television show on party loyalty and defection. How would you explain the two in a clearer language?
Party loyalty is about your political party sticking to its goals and purpose. For instance; if your party’s initial goal was to provide employment, improve economy, provide good and affordable healthcare etc, then the party must be committed and loyal to that goal and purpose. This also will make the members to stay committed, but if the party deviates, there is tendency that members may also do otherwise.
Defection on the other hand is when you as a person joined the party because you were attracted to its goals and purpose and all of a sudden, your party completely deviated from its original purpose and refuse to heed to warnings of its members to return to the status quo. The best thing to do in that case is for you to move.
A former president gave an advise recently that OBJ is still a factor in Alhaji Atiku's presidential dream; he in fact encouraged Atiku to beg Obasanjo. From a loyalist perspective, do you think this really have anything to do with Atiku's political future?
Well, everyone in Nigeria has something to contribute to Atiku’s political aspiration. So, we have to cast our votes in for him to win the next presidential election. The person you are referring to is Atiku’s elder, and we must respect our elders.
Atiku, like a typical Nigerian politician, has tried his luck in many political parties for many years; do you think 2019 is the Atiku year and what are the signs that are there for all to see?
2019 is certainly the Atiku year. The signs are there. If you care to know, Atiku, as we speak, is Nigeria’s largest private employer of labour with over 50,000 employees. Dangote probably comes next with 26,000 employees. That tells you that Atiku is the best person to be given the job to change the Nigerian economy positively in the next dispensation. And these are the very reasons Nigerian are ready to vote him into power in 2019.
PDP still has its crisis. Alhaji Atiku is said to be eyeing the PDP ticket for 2019. If you were his adviser, would you rather want him to continue with the PDP or look for another party since he has got a name in politics already?
I will prefer he continues with PDP. There’s no organization without crisis. As small as a nuclear family is, it is not without crisis.
Is Atikunation all about politics or it is involved in other social activities?
Atikunation is about politics and social activities. Recently, we visited a veteran actor, Mr Sadiq Daba who is I'll and identified with his challenge charity wise. Also, regularly we identify with charity foundations and organizations, one of which is Kenny Rhoda foundation. We also constantly empower students and teachers in public schools, among many other charity activities.
Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, yesterday commissioned factories of two leading consumer goods companies; Reckit Benkiser and Unilever as well as the Honda manufacturing plant, in Sango-Ota/Agbara area of the state.
Amosun described the commissioning as another milestone, which is in tandem with one vital agenda of his government's five cardinal programme, aimed at reducing unemployment.
He assured that his government would continue to collaborate with security agencies to continually make the state conducive and secure for businesses to operate in the state.
While commending the companies for being responsive to their Corporate Social Responsibility, the governor charged them to look more into backward integration and import substitution, stating that his government would continue to make friendly policies that would engender development of the state.
Speaking on the state of the Agbara-Lusada road, Amosun said his government has mobilised contractors to do a concrete road that will stand the test of time, as against the normal asphalted road, that will fail in no time, due to the weight of the vehicles plying the route.
The governor noted that one driving force for development is infrastructure and called on the companies in the state, especially those in the Agbara axis, to partner with the government to serve them better and also speeedily complete the road to alleviate the suffering of the people of the area.
Chairman of Reckit Benkiser factory, Chief Olu Falomo, the Executive Vice President of Unilever, Mr. Yaw Nsarkoh and the Managing Director of Honda, Mr. Katsuhiro Murooka, in their speeches thanked the state government for making the state secure for their businesses to thrive.
They added that with their presence in the state, Ogun will not only be the gateway to Nigeria but also Africa.
Speaking in an interview, the Commissioner For Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru said the commissionings are clear indication that the state is creating an enabling environment for investors.
Three principal officers of the Imo House of Assembly on Tuesday in Owerri resigned their positions following alleged controversies surrounding the 2018 appropriation bill.
The principal officers who resigned their positions are the Majority Leader, Lugard Osuji, his deputy, Kenneth Ibe and the Chief Whip of the House, Marcel Odunze, all of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Tendering their resignation, the former majority leader said the action was in the `collective interest’ of the assembly.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 17 of the 27 members of the assembly boycotted the plenary session and observed proceedings from the press gallery.NAN also reports that there was a heavy presence of armed security personnel at the assembly earlier, prompting members to converge at the Speaker’s lodge.
Meanwhile, the Speaker, Dr Acho Ihim, announced the appointment of the member representing Ikeduru, Dr Uche Oguwike, as the new Majority Leader and Mr Chinedu Offor as the new Deputy Minority leader.
Ihim also replaced the chief whip with Mr Arthur Egwim (APC) representing Ideato North.
The speaker said the action was in a bid to get over the `intrigues and counter intrigues’ in the house.
He said that the former principal officers were relieved of their duties before their resignation following a request by the APC in a letter signed by the state Chairman, Mr Hilary Eke, calling for their recall.
Addressing journalists at the lodge, the minority leader of the House and representative of Ahiazu Mbaise, Mr Ken Agbim, said that the lawmakers were acting in defence of democracy..
The Ekiti Rebirth Organisation has named a journalist and human civil rights activist, Gboyega Adeoye, as the group’s spokesperson.
ERO is the socio-cultural movement campaigning to see the Special Adviser on Political Matters to the President, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, emerge as the next governor of Ekiti State.
In a statement, the Director General of ERO, Aderanti Adebisi, said the choice of Adeoye was informed by the need to energise the group in preparation for the 2018 electoral challenges ahead.
He said Adeoye has officially joined the Secretariat as the Publicity Coordinator ERO 2018.
He will from now, among other duties, sign ERO official press releases and media materials.Adeoye is a versatile journalist with experience spanning over two decades.
He began his journalism career in 1996 with the Daily Times and subsequently worked as correspondent for many other prominent national newspapers and magazines, including National Concord, The News/Tempo/PMNews, the Nigerian Tribune, Daily Independent, Insider Magazine, among others, covering aviation, human rights and politics beats.
Adeoye climbed higher in 2012 when he became the Head, Lagos Bureau for the Compass Newspapers before moving on as News Editor for The National Mirror, Saturday, a position he held till April 2014.
He reached the pinnacle of his career in May 2014 when he was employed by The Sun Newspapers as one of the editors of its international edition, the Sun Publishing Ghana Limited in Accra, Ghana, which published The Weekly Sun, a position he held until recently.
Adeoye is also a very active member of the Nigerian civil society movement.
He was former Director of Projects and Programmes, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, Nigeria’s first civil rights group; he was Executive Director, Oodua Renaissance Movement; Coordinator, Media and