How Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Won Ogun Despite Governor’s Rebellion

Ogun State became a place of unusual interest regarding the 2019 elections when the State Governor Ibikunle Amosun fell out with the ruling APC on who should fly the party’s flag as Guber candidate. Because his preferred candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, did not emerge, the Ogun State Governor found another party, the Allied People’s Movement to counter APC’s own candidate, Dapo Abiodun.

The matter became so bad and intense that Gov. Amosun personally supervised a riotous APC presidential rally where soft missiles where freely thrown in the direction of the President and the Vice President.

The problem was that Amosun had brought in thugs and APM supporters into an APC rally. Who does that? So the die was cast: this was going to be a fight for the soul of Ogun State, between a renegade Governor and the ruling party that brought this same governor to power.

On the faithful side of the ruling APC was Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who despite permutations and political posturing merely stood out of Ogun State politics preferring to allow the APC to pick its candidate freely.

Once the party picked a candidate the Vice President threw his weight behind him. But this was in direct opposition to Amosun’s schemes. So Ogun State guber polls became an unusual contest between a rebelious State Governor and a loyal Vice President who happens to hail from the State.

We have heard all kinds of speculations on how the Governor tried to use his links with the Presidency to cause confusion, but in the end the President and his deputy insisted that the party is superior and that simple loyalty based view prevailed.

It has now shown the political prowess of an otherwise unassuming VP, and reveals his rising political profile.

With Osun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun suspended for anti-party activities, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo took over the Gubernatorial campaigns in Ogun State hosting a rally that brought out thousands of residents in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The Vice President took to the streets of Abeokuta where he moved round the city for almost four hours covering over 14 kilometers. During the tour Professor Osinbajo called on the electorate to come out and vote, encouraging them that there would be no violence or rigging, and that they should vote the APC’s candidate, Dapo Abiodun.

During the visit to Ogun State, the Vice President was said to have sealed deals with prominent politicians in the State including former Governor Olusegun Osoba and other Chieftains of the All Progressives Congress.

With Professor Osinbajo pulling support from these heavyweights and the people of Ogun State for Dapo Abiodun, as expected, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Dapo Abiodun coasted to victory at the March 9th 2019 Gubernatorial Elections in Ogun State. He led with 241,670 votes against the Governor’s preferred candidate from the Allied Peoples Movement, Adekunle Akinlade, who scored 222,153 votes.

Dapo Abiodun’s victory has further restated Vice President Osinbajo’s political might not just in the State but also in the region.

Professor Osinbajo is Nigeria’s leading leading politician and highest office holder from the South West region who is touted to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.

He has continued to show his exceptional appreciation of politics through the adoption of a unique campaign style where he paid visits to families across the country.??These visits have endeared the Vice President to the people and place him as a foremost leader in the country.

A group, the Initiative to Save Democracy had in a congratulatory message to the Vice President said that God had been preparing him for a higher calling for service to the nation.

“He has shown exceptional leadership that has distinguished him as a man that is fit and ready to lead Nigeria if such an opportunity arises. Recall the times when President Muhammadu Buhari had handed over the affairs of the government to him; Professor Osinbajo took charge like a leader and demonstrated adroit knowledge and capacity to govern.” a part of the message read.

The group also stated that Professor Osinbajo’s role in Ogun State, his state of origin was the major reason for the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the hotly contested Gubernatorial elections in the state.

“Professor Osinbajo has become a politician of repute and an exceptional grassroots mobiliser. His influence can be seen in the turn out of events in Ogun State where he campaigned at the grassroots for the APC Gubernatorial candidate. Without him, the APC’s victory would not have been certain.”

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Osinbajo Heads Policies, Programmes, Projects Audit Committee

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the composition of the Policies, Programmes and Projects Audit Committee.

Chairman of the committee is the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo.

Members of the committee, according to a statement by Olusegun Adekunle, include Permanent Secretary (General Services Office), are Chief of Staff to the President, Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Minister of Finance.

Others are Minister of Power, Works & Housing, Hon. Attorney General & Minister of Justice, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Minister of Transportation, Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development.

Also in the committee are Minister of Water Resources, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, National Security Adviser, Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Affairs Office and Deputy Chief of Staff to the President is a member and secretary of the committee.

The Terms of Reference include “To audit and determine the status of implementation of policies, programmes and projects either inherited or commenced by the out-going administration.

“Identify and highlight a residue of works and challenges that may militate against their successful implementation;

“Prepare and produce a detailed working document that would guide the incoming Cabinet Members on the direction of Government regarding policies, programmes and projects;

“Co-opt any organization(s)/person(s) relevant towards the successful execution of the exercise; and

“Make any other recommendation(s) as may be necessary.”

The date of Inauguration of the committee is Friday 15th March 2019 at the Vice President’s Conference Room.

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Osun Police Command To Arraign Electoral Offenders

The Osun State Police command has arrested four persons during the State Assembly election held last Saturday.

The Public Relations Officer of the command, Mrs Folasade Odoro who confirmed the development said the suspects were arrested for various electoral offences.

The police spokesperson refused to give further details of the suspects, saying releasing such may affect investigation.

she however gave the assurance that those arrested would soon be arraigned before court.

There were reported cases of disruption of election process in some parts of the state including Ipetu Ijesa in Oriade Local government and Ilaje in Ilesa West local government on Saturday. 

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BMO Hails Buhari’s Neutrality In States’ Elections

President Muhammadu Buhari will, at the end of his second and final term in office, bequeath to Nigeria a very robust democratic space that many Nigerians will be proud of.

According to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), this is obvious from his deliberate non-interference in the just concluded governorship and States’ House of Assembly elections.

In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said Buhari did not go out of his way to ensure that the All Progressives Congress (APC) got undue advantage in last Saturday’s elections.

“It was unthinkable that a ruling party in Nigeria would lose crucial states so soon after winning a Presidential election.

“Nigerians are used to Presidents using their enormous powers to retain their party in power at state level at all cost, regardless of the people’s will, but President Buhari has shown himself to be different in spite of what his perennial critics want Nigerians to believe.

“Here is a man who won by a landslide in Kano, Bauchi and Sokoto states two weeks ago but did not lean on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure victory for APC candidates in last Saturday’s election in those states.

“The close contest in those states invariably led to some people questioning his margin of victory without considering the Buhari phenomenon which transcends party leanings and affiliations, especially in Northern Nigeria.

“Oyo is another hitherto APC stronghold which the party lost to the Peoples Democratic Party’s gubernatorial candidate by a big margin without the President making any effort to influence the outcome.”

The group says President Buhari deserves credits for this principled stand. 

“We at BMO clearly remember how previous Presidents used federal might to retain states in which their candidates lost, but President Buhari has shown that he is a statesman with a different mindset”, it said.

The group pointed out that the President’s non-interference shows that he is a true democrat that keeps to his words.

“President Buhari is on record to have said that Nigerians were free to vote for political parties of their choice, at a time key APC members were openly expressing support for governorship candidates on the platform of other parties.

“So it is not surprising that the results so far announced by INEC officials largely reflected the will of the people, regardless of whether APC won or not.

“The era where elements of the ruling party would be given protection to write results is gone and we can also recall that in 2007, results for gubernatorial election in at least one state was announced in Abuja even when collation had not been completed in the state.”

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Air Force Strikes Boko Haram In Lake Chad

The Nigerian Air Force said on Monday that it has launched successful air strikes on Boko Haram terrorists at the fringes of Lake Chad, destroying their structures in the process.

Its spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola said in a statement that the attacks were carried out after intelligence reports indicated their presence in the area.

Air Commodore Daramola said :”The Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has destroyed Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists’ vehicle and some logistics infrastructure at Tumbun Sale and Tumbun Allura on the fringes of Lake Chad in Borno State.

“The operation was conducted on 8 March 2019 on the heels of intelligence reports indicating the presence of ISWAP fighters along with some vehicles and logistics support items well camouflaged under the dense vegetation within the settlements.

“Accordingly, a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha Jet, supported by an Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform, was dispatched to attack the terrorists’ hideouts in successive strikes resulting in damage to several structures as well as the destruction of one of the terrorists’ vehicles, which was seen engulfed in flames.

“The NAF, operating in concert with surface forces, will sustain its efforts to completely destroy all remnants of the terrorists in the Northeast. “

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Offa Robbery Case Will Be Reactivated – Kwara Governor-Elect Vows

Governor-elect of Kwara, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, has promised to interface with the police to ensure that those implicated in Offa robbery were promptly prosecuted.

He said that he would ensure that the judicial process was logically concluded and perpetrators brought to book.

Abdulrazaq made the pledge at a media briefing on Sunday night in Ilorin where he delivered his acceptance speech amidst All Progressive Congress (APC) party supporters.

He noted that the state had become so insecure to the extent that banking operations had been suspended in the entire Kwara South senatorial zone, after the Offa robbery saga,

“This development is seriously affecting the economic development in the zone. We will interface with the Police to address the challenge of insecurity

“The Offa robbery where 33 people were killed, based on police investigation was linked to top government officials,’’ he said.

He also pledged that his administration will be accountable to the people and will not steal or loot the state’s treasury.

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officially declared Abdulrazaq of APC winner of the Saturday governorship election having polled a total of 331,546 votes to defeat Abdulrazaq Atunwa of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 114,754 votes.

APC also won all the 24 seats in the Kwara House of Assembly.

The governor-elect said that his administration would interface with the people across the three senatorial zones of the state from bottom to top and ensure that the people determine what government would do for them.

He said his government would be people-oriented because it was the first time since 1999 that Kwara peoples’ votes counted and their will come to pass.

Abdulrazaq said that in line with the party manifesto, his administration would place priority attention to security, agriculture, education and infrastructure development.

Abdulrazaq said that Kwara being an agrarian state, his administration would pay attention to farming and agro processing.

Specifically, he said the state would among other crops, increase cashew production and processing for export to create employment and increase internally generated revenue.

The governor-elect lamented the poor state of infrastructure in public schools in the state as well as non-payment of salaries of teachers and other civil servants, and assured to reverse the trend.

“We will set up a transition committee that will interface with the government and we will have a forensic audit of the paying system to formulate new policies.

“We will organise health care summit. Education summit and special summit on how to improve the state infrastructure,’’ he said.

Abdulrazaq reassured the traditional institution in the state that, contrary to the news making the round, his administration will not demote any traditional ruler but will work with them and count on their useful advice.

Recall that the Police authorities said the Senate President, Bukola Saraki had questions to answer on the robbery case.

(NAN)

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Suspected Hoodlums Set INEC Office Ablaze In Imo

The Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) office in Ngor Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State has been set on fire by suspected hoodlums.

The INEC spokesperson in the state, Emanuella Opara, said she could not confirm the developments because she had been deployed to a local government to function as an electoral officer.

She said: “If I were to be in the headquarters now I would have confirmed the report to you but I am here on the field working.”

The police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeonkwu, said he would find out what happened and get back to our reporter.

However, a party agent at the local government, who asked not to be named, said no damage was done to the official result already collated.

Armed thugs had on Saturday invaded many polling units in Ngor Okpala LGA and carted away voting materials including ballot papers, ballot boxes and result sheets.

Many INEC ad-hoc staff were also beaten up with their valuables, including mobile phones, wallets and bags lost in the process.

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Three Abducted INEC Ad-hoc Staff In Katsina Regain Freedom

The three Independent National Electoral commission’s (INEC) adhoc staffs that were abducted on Saturday have regained their freedom.

According to a police report, the three were released at about 9 pm Sunday night.

They have since being reunited with their families.

The Katsina police Command in a statement said they have been taken to Danmusa hospital for medical checkup.

The terse statement reads: ” Today 10/03/2019 at about 21:00hrs, the 3 abducted INEC ad hoc staff were released by their abductors. They have been taken to Danmusa Hospital for medical checkups and later rejoined their respective families. Investigation is top gear with a view to arrest the  hoodlums. I will continue to keep you posted.”

The Nation

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President Buhari Sympathizes With Ethiopia, Other Nations Over Tragic Air Accident

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed profound shock at the plane crash involving an Ethiopian Airliner bound for Nairobi, Kenya, in which all the 149 passengers and eight crew members died.

On behalf of the government and the people of Nigeria, the President extends his sincere condolences to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, the people of Ethiopia, Kenya, Canada, China and all other nations who lost citizens in the air disaster.

The President also commiserates with the families of the victims and prays God Almighty to grant the gentle souls of the departed eternal rest.

Reacting to the accident in Daura, Katsina State on Sunday, President Buhari said:

“Such large scale loss of human lives in a single incident is shocking beyond words. I am profoundly touched by this devastating report of air accident involving one of the world’s most successful and efficient Airlines. Given its remarkable safety record. This couldn’t have come at a worse time for Ethiopian Airlines.”

According to President Buhari, “like every other African leader, I am proud of the fact that Ethiopian Airlines represents one of Africa’s success stories.”

The President hopes that the tragic accident will not have a negative effect on Ethiopian Airlines’ passion for excellence.

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
March 10, 2019

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My Encounter With Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; A Tribute For His 62nd Birthday, By Prince Adetayo Adekunle

My father, leader, boss, principal, mentor, uncle, friend and brother, His Excellency, Prof Yemi Osinbajo SAN, GCON is 62 today.

To start with, I have been privileged to have had close interactions, acquaintances and friendship with local, national and world leaders but two of them standout with their humility, HE General Yakubu Gowon and the celebrator, HE Prof Yemi Osinbajo. I must however stress the fact that I wasn’t born during the Gowon years so I never had any interaction with him as Head of State. But having interacted extensively with Omo Ologo, as I fondly call the VP, I can say without any equivocation that he’s the most humble political office holder I’ve ever come across all my life.

PYO exudes all the known virtues of Omoluabi; he is very humble, extremely brilliant, knowledgeable, wise, calm, “youthcentric”, hardworking and sincerely committed to all worthy causes of state, faith and humanity.

Of all our interactions, that of the 29th Day of January, 2019 would linger in my memories forever. The VP was in Oyo State for an event at the University of Ibadan. I waited alongside other PYO enthusiasts and top Oyo State government officials on the protocol train to receive him at the Ibadan airport. As soon as he landed, he exchanged pleasantries with everyone; thereafter I proceeded to enter my car which had been well positioned in the convoy.

Surprisingly, His Excellency beckoned on me to ride with him aboard the white Toyota Coaster bus ferrying him to the venue. Also on board were Senator Femi Ojudu, Oyo Deputy Governor Alake Adeyemo, Ondo politician, Sola Oke SAN, my very good egbon SSA Media Laolu Akande, Dr. Mrs Ebi Awosika, my friend, elder brother and campaign partner, Muyiwa Badmus aka Ribadu and a host of others.

While on board, the VP asked me about my media engagements and I briefed him extensively. He was highly delighted and he responded with “ku ise” (well done). I continued by saying that “sir, I have another media engagement today and won’t be able to accompany you to the airport from UI again”. Like a father to a son, he said “give me the radio frequency and time as I would be tuning in”

I later got to know that he listened and was highly impressed. On that same night, he sent my partner and I “an enablement” for our activities; a huge gesture that I have since documented in my upcoming book.

Once again, happy birthday to the Vice President, Professor Oluyemi Oluleke Osinbajo SAN, GCON; the Chief Driver of Nigeria’s National Social Investment Programmes; husband of Barrister Oludolapo; father of lovely children; enabler and destiny helper of many youths; an epitome of loyalty; a godfearing man and a workaholic per excellence.
Thank you for all that you do.
May the good Lord bless you and your family.

Hon. Prince Adetayo Adekunle B.SC, MCPA.
Oyo State Spokesperson, Professor Yemi Osinbajo Support Group.

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President Buhari Arrives Daura for Saturday’s Election

President Muhammadu Buhari arrived his home town of Daura on Thursday ahead of the Governorship and State Assembly elections scheduled for Saturday, March 9.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Buhari landed at the Daura Helipad in a Presidential Chopper marked NAF-541 at 6:50 p.m. in company with his aides and close family members.

The President was received by the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Farouk Umar, his kinsmen, and hundreds of well-wishers.

NAN further reports that the President’s wife, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, is to host a thanksgiving dinner for women and youth organisations in Daura.

NAN

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2019 Guber Elections: FG Closes Land Borders

The federal government has directed the closure of all Nigeria land borders with effect from 12:00 noon of Friday 8th March to 12noon Sunday 10th March 2019.

In a statement signed by the Comptroller General of Immigration, Muhammad Babandede, the directive is in furtherance of the gubernatorial and state assembly elections taking place on Saturday, March 9, 2019.

Babandede also said the closure will help restrict movements across the borders during the election.

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