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‘Osinbajo Is Capable But Tinubu Has The Experience To Lead Nigeria’ – Otunba Ajomale

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images 55 1 'Osinbajo Is Capable But Tinubu Has The Experience To Lead Nigeria' - Otunba Ajomale

Otunba Henry Ajomale is the immediate past Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lagos state chapter. In this interview with TEMIDAYO AKINSUYI, he speaks on current developments in the polity. Excerpts
What is your take on the uproar trailing the recent increase in price of fuel and electricity tariff?
I believe the timing is wrong for us to be having this increment on virtually everything. The federal government is taxing people and the state governments are also imposing taxes on the people. If you want to build a house, they ask you to pay for permit before it can be built. Even if you have a house already, the federal government wants to collect stamp duties on the rents collected by agents. The question we should ask is, was the building located on federal or state lands? How can you pay the federal and state governments at the same time? Once the federal government charges you for stamp duty, there is no way you are still not going to pay your tax to the state government. It’s unfair for the federal government to take out of people’s rent. I have travelled far and wide and have not seen where that is done. I don’t know where that is part of the federal government’s constitutional duties; trespassing on the duties of the state governments. If the federal government should take over everything the way they are doing now, what do they want to leave for the states and local governments for their own development? That to me is unfair especially coupled with the fact that we have been on lockdown for about 7 months.
Many people have lost their jobs while many companies that are still in operation can barely afford the payment of salaries for their staff. So, this is not a good time for the government to come up with all these policies because this period is not a good time for the average Nigerian. The government is supposed to defend the interest of the common man and not to churn out policies that will deepen their poverty level. People are already overwhelmed and adding more to their problems can make them run mad. We have seen cases of people jumping from the bridge into the lagoon because of debts and other problems. The government must take things easy except they want to create more mental homes.
Many Nigerians are saying restructuring will get us out of this quagmire. Why is your party not doing anything in this regard?
I believe the APC should implement the El-Rufai report on True Federalism. When (Goodluck) Jonathan set up the 2014 national conference, many of us felt it was a waste of time. We believed that it was another trick by Jonathan to keep the leaders busy. Once they are busy with the conference, they won’t be able to criticise some policies of the government. He was not after the implementation of the confab. Now, the present government rejected that report and set up another one headed by Governor El-Rufai; I think we should look at it. Honestly, I don’t believe in all these patch-works the government is doing in the name of constitution amendment. It is like using a new cloth to patch an old cloth, there is no way it won’t cause more damage. Let another constitution be drafted and submit it to the people. Let Nigerians decide on it, not the National Assembly. That is only time we can say ‘We the people’. The present constitution we are using now was handed over to us by the military and it is unitary in nature. I think we should make use the El-Rufai true federalism report and also bring it for referendum. A constitution must be submitted to the people for approval. Let Nigerians make input and criticise it where necessary. That is when we can rightly say ‘We The People’.
Some Nigerians have criticised the silence of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on the issue of restructuring despite their influence in APC. What do you think is responsible for this?
I don’t think they are silent on it. If there is opportunity for them, they will able to do it. But now, it is only the man there now who can say yes or now; and that is the President. So, it has nothing to do with Asiwaju or Osinbajo. It is the President’s game. The bucks stop on his table and he is the only one who can say let us restructure the country and revise the constitution. I don’t think the President does not believe in restructuring because it was on the basis of that that a lot of people voted for us. They voted for APC on the basis of the promise to restructure the country. But it is unfortunate that that has not been done. Maybe the President saw something wrong which makes it difficult for him to implement it. I don’t know. I cannot answer for him. It is him alone who can answer that question.
What advise will you give to the President on calls by Nigerians for the replacement of the Service Chiefs?
It is not about whether we replace the Service Chiefs or not. We need to be fair in our assessment and ask whether they are being provided with the logistics support needed. Is it the Service Chiefs that are incapable or the system itself? Have they been able to satisfy the demands of the Service Chiefs or do they expect them to fight insurgents with bare hands? Will fighter jets or armoured vehicle come from heaven? Before Buhari became President, there was a time it was even worse when our military were running away when they run out of bullets. Do you expect them to wait and be killed? How do you expect a soldier whose salary has not been paid to be motivated? What about their welfare? Do they have life insurance? Even if they are going to sacrifice their lives, they know their families will not suffer in vain. If an American soldier is going to war today, he knows he is secured because everything must have been provided. Some people joined the military today because of unemployment, not because they are committed. For Christ’s sake, let us stop putting blames on the Service Chiefs. Whether you replace Service Chiefs ten times, it is the same result you are going to get.
Even though he is yet to formally announce, some Nigerians are already mobilising for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to contest in 2023. What is your take on this?
I am in support of the fact that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is the best man to succeed President Buhari in 2023. I will support that without any hesitation because Asiwaju Tinubu has traversed the whole country. He knows where the problems of each constituent are and the solution to it. These problems are diverse because the problem they have in Ondo is not the same as the one in Kano state.
Tinubu was a governor and we know the role he played in the development of Lagos which makes it envy to other states. If a man can develop IGR from N600m to billions of naira, I believe if given the opportunity, he will turn Nigeria around for better. If people like Babachir Lawal from Adamawa and Tanko Yakassai can be rooting for Asiwaju, it goes to show you that the man is a pan-Nigerian.
I am not saying he is a saint or he is perfect. There is nobody who is perfect except God. You may not like his face but you should like the idea and experience he has to make Nigeria better. He is a financial expert and so there is nothing the Minister of Finance can tell him that he doesn’t know.
He knows where the money Nigeria needs is hiding and he can bring it out. That is the type of person Nigeria needs now.
We should not make the political mistake of putting somebody who has been contesting for the presidency for more than 20 years and he knows he cannot do it. He just wants to acquire power and after getting it, he has no idea about what to do. Let’s settle for somebody who has the interest of the people at heart, who can turn things around and make Nigeria become one of the best nations in the world. That person is no other than Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
There is also a school of thought who believe Buhari should allow Osinbajo succeed him having understudied him as deputy so as to continue with the policies of the administration. Do you think that argument is logical?
I don’t have any problem with the Vice- President of Nigeria. He is also a great man; very intelligent. Yes, Osinbajo is also capable and qualified of doing it. It not one person that has monopoly of knowledge. Everybody is good in his own ways. To me, Osinbajo is also good but experience matters a lot. That is where Asiwaju comes in.

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Ondo Election : Akeredolu’s Commissioner , Others Defect To ZLP «

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images 96 2 Ondo Election : Akeredolu’s Commissioner , Others Defect To ZLP «

Mr Ilawole appreciated the governor for giving him the opportunity to serve the state in the capacity of a commissioner in the intervention agency.
Another top government official working with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has resigned his appointment to join the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), ahead of the October 10 Ondo governorship election.
The official is Bisi Ilawole., a Commissioner with the Ondo State Oil Producing Commission (OSOPADEC). He resigned his appointment with the State government on Tuesday.
In his resignation letter addressed to Mr Akeredolu, he appreciated the governor for giving him the opportunity to serve the state in the capacity of a Commissioner in the intervention agency.
“Sir, it is my profound gratitude for the rare privilege given to me under your administration to serve as a commissioner representing the good people of Ilaje Oil Producing Communities,” part of his letter reads.
After his resignation, he resigned from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and joined the ZLP, with his supporters.
Moreso, a two-time Chairman of Irele Local Government, Nicholas Akinbiola and Daisi Onetufo, a chieftain of APC, also defected to ZLP.
In addition, a former chairman of Ileoluji/Okeigbo and lawmaker representing the constituency, Folagbade Gbemibade dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for ZLP.
Speaking after he received them at the ZLP Secretariat, the state chairman, Joseph Akinlaja, said the interest of the folks would be considered.
Last week, a reported show that a senior aide of Mr Akeredolu, Andrew Ogunsakin. resigned his appointment from the government, and threw his weight behind deputy Agboola Ajayi, ahead of the state governorship election.

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“I Am Ready To Work With Obaseki” – Ize – Iyamu

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images 82 2 "I Am Ready To Work With Obaseki" - Ize - Iyamu

The gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the just-concluded Edo election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has declared that he is ready to work with his victorious opponent, Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Ize-Iyamu disclosed this during a press briefing on Wednesday.
He also had a closed-door meeting with his party’s caretaker chairman and governor of Yobe State, Mallam Buni and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in Abuja.
Ize-Iyamu at the press conference said: “We are going to talk to everybody, we will bring everybody back. I want to salute my brother, the governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki. I am appealing to him to return to the party. In every family, there must be a disagreement.”
Let it not be said that it was this disagreement that pushed him out of the party. I made the mistake before and I have come to realise that it was a grievious error and I would not want him as a senior brother to make the same,” he added.
Furthermore, Ize-Iyamu asserted he is appealing to him to come back to the party where he truly belongs saying
“In APC, he’s recognised as a leader but the new party he is, it will be difficult for them to accept him(Obaseki) as a leader.
“So I am ready to work with him and all well-meaning Edo people. We believe that it is time we bring peace to our state, ” he concluded.

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Ondo Election : There Is Gang Up Against Us – State APC Spokesman

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images 92 2 Ondo Election : There Is Gang Up Against Us – State APC Spokesman

The All Progressives Congress (APC), in Ondo State, says it has uncovered plans by some political parties to employ crude means to destroy the image of the party, ahead of the Oct.10, gubernatorial polls.
Mr Alex Kalejaiye, the state Publicity Secretary of APC, made the allegation in a statement on Wednesday in Akure.
“The unholy alliance is informed by the fact that the political parties perceive APC as a common enemy because they are jittery over the rising profile of the ruling APC, on account of its performance.
“To achieve this, it was further gathered, the parties are to lay at the doorstep of the ruling party all forms of violence and acts of thuggery that will be carried out by their sponsored agents.
“As a responsible and responsive political organisation, the APC appreciates and it is committed to peaceful campaigns and rancor-free gubernatorial election.The party abhors anything that can inflict pains on the good people of the state,” Kalejaiye stated.
He tasked all security agencies in the state to be vigilant and ensure that perpetrators of any form of destructive acts, and violations of positive conduct were handled with all seriousness.
According to him, APC encourages other political parties to tow the path of peace, and caution their members to discard an untoward attitude of hooliganism and recklessness in their operations.
“Political leaders will do well to avoid making inflammatory statements that are capable of spurring their followers in unjustifiable and uncivilised actions.
“The best way to win over the electorate is to sell programmes of various parties, convince them of ability to deliver on campaign promises, and appeal for their understanding and support,” he stated.
The APC spokesman, therefore, noted that the party would always crave for genuine development of the state, through massive infrastructure boosting and industrialis-ation.He added that the current uncommon interventions in the agriculture sector would be sustained.

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