Peter Obi and His N250Million Osborne Towers Apartments

By Benson Nweke

The Osborne Towers in Lagos where evil men pay Two hundred and Fifty Million of our stolen money annually is the issue of discussion today. Chief Peter Obi and a few others are the occupants of this evil apartment known as Osborne Towers.

Sure, at 20 Million Naira a month, Chief Peter Obi has three apartments in the towers!

Now here is the real information, each of the apartments has four bedrooms and two sitting rooms.

Why will Chief Peter Obi have three apartments at the Towers meaning he has twelve bedrooms and six sitting rooms? It is authoritative that the last rent of apartments 7A and 7B was paid by Peter Obi! The story of Osborne Towers will continue to explain the thrifty behind the saintly Peter Obi who wants us to believe that he carry his bag at the airport, books economy on air trips and and eats once a day so as not to spend so much money but pays rent of 60 Million a month on three apartments in Osborne Towers. He even want us to believe that he eat just one piece of kpomo in his soup for lunch! Biggest lies from the biggest lier of the century.

I am beginning to believe that Chief Peter Obi is not straight. If not, how can one be paying 250 Million a year for rent in a four bedroom apartment and still go about preaching saving culture. This to me is hypocrisy and idiocy joined together. Do Peter Obi thought that we all are fools? What the hell is wrong with Ngerian leaders. I am surprised that Peter Obi is not what he preaches. He is a stark opposite of who he wants us to believe he is. The gathering of the evil men at Osborne Towers has finally exposed Peter Obi and confirmed what people has been saying all along that he is the a human with the most complex characters. From what I have read about Peter Obi as a former Governor who lead the other Governors to court and obtained that judgement that forced Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to share our National savings, I am forced to believe that Chief Peter Obi is the most flexible mind ever to come out of the South East.

Allow me to borrow this line from Mr. Aghaduno that thoroughly describes Chief Peter Obi inter alia “The trouble with Peter Obi is that he thinks that he is cleverer than everyone else. He maintains a bland and colorless surface that conceals a grandiose interior. He talks with the voice of a woman in labor but carries a heart of stone. He maintains a well-cultivated religious outlook but his soul is the engine room of demons. The former governor of Anambra State reminds me of a luscious apple with a large maggot neatly embedded in its middle”. He is a contradictory person who will tell you a story in the morning and come out in the afternoon to tell the exact opposite of the story he told in the morning.

How can the world ever trust Peter Obi again? How do we believe him again each time he mounts a podium to display his craft of petty lies? Peter Obi should just disappear before he becomes an object of caricature. A friend once told me I want to do ‘Peter Obi’. I was bewildered but he laughed and told me that doing Peter Obi is just pretending to be who you are not.

Please the new generation should not do ‘Peter Obi’ as it is not in the character of the Igbos to pretend. Only God knows where Peter Obi picks his unusual unlike Igbo character.

Benson Nweke writes from Nnewi, Anambra state.

Lagos Shall Be Free! (1), By Shaka Momodu

When will Lagos State be free of one man’s messianic mentality? Who will liberate the state from Bola Tinubu’s suffocating grip? Who will free Lagos, our dear Lagos, and its people from this modern-day slavery by one individual who is playing God? Is there no man courageous enough to fight the fight of his life to free Lagos from this imprisonment? Is every Lagosian a frightened coward, or just an impotent enabler of Tinubu’s overreach? Is there no one man enough to tell Tinubu that enough is enough? Why are Lagosians sheepishly following this man whose moral standing and character have been called to question several times? Why must he continually be the one to decide who governs Lagos, or who holds any political office in the state? Who will free Lagosians and indeed Nigerians from Tinubu’s pomposity, insufferable arrogance, and self-enthralled breathtaking hypocrisy? These questions are a clarion call to virtuous people of good conscience in Lagos to come together to save the state from Tinubu.

I have stated it repeatedly for all who have ears and a discerning mind that those parading the political landscape as progressives are actually tyrants, merchants of vices, moneychangers, buccaneers, primitive wealth accumulators, pretenders to transparency, pretender-democrats, heretics of good governance and smooth propagandists, extraordinary liars, agents of mischief and political malpractice.

Their antecedents are riddled with character flaws, pervasive vices and amorality. What they call a progressive ideology is actually a predatory ideology and what they call good governance is in fact kleptocracy. What is their purpose in politics? I have asked myself repeatedly what cause they believe in strongly enough that they are willing to lose for it. Is it about improving the welfare of the people or building empires of personal wealth? The evidence is there before our very eyes that these so-called progressives are mostly corrupt and are in fact worse than those they accuse of corruption.


They deride selfless service in the mode of Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela and live ostentatious lifestyles while the poor masses live in penury and want. They have no core values, and their vision is limited to only the stretch of their arms. These guys have tried many times to present themselves as philosophers but have failed repeatedly because they cannot be what they are not. They can never be heroes because they lack the discipline, the character and the broad vision of a new society of fairness, equity and justice associated with heroes and statesmen. At best, they represent the symbol of Nigeria’s immoral slide and degenerate social values. This is what they are and this is what they will remain in the minds of the few who still retain the values of our fathers.

Anytime I watch TV with my children, and they intrude our family time when they appear on air, I always tell my children never to see them as the nation’s heroes. I mention their names loudly and tell them stories of how they are looting public resources to advance their personal interests. I tell my children they are liars and propagandists and should not go near them.

Right now, no sound is louder than that of the battle between good and evil in our country. It may appear cynical but no moment is more telling than now, and nowhere are the contradictions and hypocrisies of the progressives more evident than what is currently happening in Lagos: Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, the star performer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is being blackmailed by the so-called Mandate Movement made up of people who are strangers to the sensibilities of a highly cosmopolitan Lagos. He is being threatened with denial of a second term ticket by Tinubu’s Lagos APC.


As the saying goes, “In politics it is never enough to know that something has changed.” The “why” always matters more than the “what”. The curious thing is that the “why” is stranger than fiction. Tinubu did two terms without a challenge; his wife is going for a third term in the Senate without a challenge. Forget that talk that the race is open to any challenger. It’s all a fraud. Those comical members of the Governor’s Advisory Council have nothing against her third term bid even though there is not much on the ground to show she has performed. You see, the selfish Mandate Movement is a group doing Tinubu’s bidding; nothing more, nothing less.

The reason being given for the impending denial of a ticket to Ambode is not based on poor performance but on extraneous political infractions that underline the greed and vaunting desire of Tinubu for each succeeding administration to be his political appendage so that he can control who gets what and how without dissent. Ask his followers what Ambode’s crimes are, they quickly detour into long winding monologues and pathetic incoherent platitudes of “oh he neglected party elders”, “he is not oiling the machinery that brought him to power enough”.

Some have even said it loud and clear that “it is not performance that wins elections” and all sorts of bizarre excuses that could make someone sick to their stomach just recalling them. In other words, Ambode’s original sin is that he has not opened the treasury enough to those who believe that public money should be shared among party leaders.


The tragedy here is that even though the governor is working to improve the state’s infrastructure, it does not matter to the corrupt-minded individuals masquerading as party leaders. Let no one make any mistake here, at the centre of the intrigues to deny Ambode the ticket is the state’s monthly internally generated revenue of about N35 billion. These party leaders want to get their hands on the money. He has to go because the godfather and his political minions are not getting enough. So it is not about the people anymore? What has happened to those virtues that the APC cardinals had consistently laid claim to?

Why is everybody silent in the face of this assault on our sensibilities? Is Tinubu now God? In other climes, advocates of good governance would pour into the streets in protests against these hypocrites. There is something inordinately peculiar about denying Ambode the ticket and it is beyond baffling to me. Now, can anybody explain to me why Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, a certified and self-evident failure, a colossal disaster by every measure deserved to do two terms with the active support of Tinubu while Ambode the only silver lining in the APC doesn’t? Reports out there have it that Aregbesola, the head of Tinubu’s Mandate Movement, is staunchly opposed to Ambode’s re-election. Imagine a failed governor who owes workers in Osun 32 months’ salaries and pensions leading the charge to deny a performing governor the ticket for re-election? Can anyone beat that?


It is puzzling that this macabre dance of the APC cardinals which had started in hushed whispers, then transformed to improbable rumours, and were dismissed outright by many then as coming from the unhinged imagination of some comic actors is gradually becoming a reality. The show is playing out before our very eyes in a cold-blooded manner. The orchestra is in overdrive and the list reads like a who’s who of Tinubu’s loyalists; they are keen to demonstrate their loyalty to the godfather. You know the old saying in the land of my fathers that if you “find a turtle on top of a fence post, you know it didn’t get there by itself”. There is no shortage of those willing to be used to flex muscles. It was the plot of the imperial godfather all along fuelled by his burning desire to appropriate Lagos.

Ironically, many are willing to obey him whether or not he uses the name of the people or party faithful in vain in pursuit of his agenda. Whether or not he uses the state and its resources to advance his private interests, some would just follow him like zombies. It is a strange way to live. Some would even deploy violence on anyone who disagrees with the master to coerce them into line. I hardly know whether to laugh or cry for our country.

It is a crying shame that despite the sophistication Lagosians often lay claim to, Tinubu whose political trajectory cannot pass the smell test has for two decades now, entrenched himself, controlling everything and determining the destiny of every politician in Lagos: from the ward level, to the local government, to who governs the state, the members of the State Executive Council, to all legislators and to all who represent it at the federal level. He must endorse all candidates for elections and appointments and influence nearly every contract.

While he had awarded a gold medal to former President Goodluck Jonathan in corruption (Jonathan does not have a private jet), he has not been able to explain his vast wealth. He owns two private jets and a vast real estate. How he acquired those jets has never been disclosed to the public. Tinubu recently boasted that Osun State does not have his kind of money. Yet, apart from serving as a governor for eight years, no one can associate him with entrepreneurship that could have earned him his vast wealth. He once boasted of giving former governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko millions of pounds in pursuit of his quest to reclaim his mandate then. Where did the millions of pounds come from? Needless to remind Nigerians that the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu had once told the National Assembly that Tinubu’s corruption case had an “international dimension”.

Tinubu had been variously linked to Alpha Beta, whether this is true or not, we can’t say for sure. But despite being linked to the company, Tinubu has never issued a public denial of any sort. Just recently, Dapo Apara, a former Managing Director of the company which has held the exclusive rights to collect revenue for the Lagos State government for about 16 years, blew the whistle on the company, making earth shattering allegations of fraud, tax evasion and money laundering against it in a petition to the EFCC. The anti-graft agency, instead of moving swiftly to unravel the truth, has been slow-walking on the petition. All the anti-graft agency has said since June 2, 2018 when the petition was submitted to it, was that it was “evaluating it”. Is it not strange that the EFCC that can’t wait for Governor Ayo Fayose who currently enjoys immunity to finish his term in office to interrogate him about his alleged crimes, is still evaluating a petition against Alpha Beta months after it had received it?

If actually Tinubu had shares in the company, it means he awarded the contract to collect the state’s revenue to a firm he had interest in while he was a sitting governor of the state. This will be serious. The corollary to this is that we have in our hands the greatest abuse of office and corruption in Nigeria’s history. It means he used his position as the governor then to corner lucrative government contracts for himself. Let us even explore further: first was there a tender for the contract? Did he declare his interest in the company? What does the law say about such conduct by a public officer?

Without a doubt Tinubu is the biggest “beneficiary” of our democracy having held Lagos hostage, politically raking in immense material rewards. Lagosians deserve to know the truth about Alpha Beta because what we are talking about runs into billions of naira of taxpayers’ money.

Well, I know for sure that at some point, real progress cannot begin and slavery cannot end until someone has the courage to drown the damned lion. It is either we continue to pay ransom, or we go to war with those who have held us hostage. The storm is coming for Tinubu and his Mandate Movement. The day of reckoning is near and Lagos shall be free! No one should beg Tinubu anymore, he is not God. He is what he is now because we have all played a part in enabling him. He is nothing without Lagosians.

In what should serve as food for thought and a warning shot to Tinubu and his lackey Mandate Movement, voters in Osun delivered a message to them despite the rigging carried out by the APC in cahoots with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The result of the election held last Saturday was an emphatic rejection of Tinubu and his failed APC. It once again confirmed what I have always said – that the Jagaban is at best overrated, and at the very minimum, waning in influence. He does not have the political reach attributed to him by his minions and admirers.

Is it not curious that those Tinubu’s camp perceive as disloyal and who they call Buhari’s boys, namely Kayode Fayemi and co., owing to their disagreement with Jagaban’s manner of politics are the ones who rallied to save Osun from falling into PDP’s hands and by extension Tinubu from personal and political humiliation? Osun is a forerunner of the groundswell building and coalescing against him and his Mandate Movement in Lagos. But like all men deluded by power, he can still convince himself of his invincibility; he can choose to be deaf and willfully blinded to the people’s message and pay a stiff price during next the elections.

Lagos 2019: A House Built On Fraud Cannot Stand.

Media lynching of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode FCA is a needless exercise.

Lagos State residents and APC chapter party members knew the primary that heralded Babajide Sanwo-Olu in; as the party gubernatorial standard bearer is an orchestrated fraud: oiled by deliberate disenfranchisement of party members, application of violence, open intimidation, threat to careers of lilly livered public office holders and none public office holders members of the party.

The Mandate Group cabal and their supreme bosses Bola Ahmed Tinubu & Rauf Aregbesola do not and cannot win political contests in a free, fair and equity manner any more. The age of knowledge is here.

Now having to justify their unholy venture and to whip up sentiments toward the possibility of impeaching Governor Akinwunmi Ambode FCA. In which Media lynching is the preparatory strategy to soften the ground for this unpopular agenda.

Accusations that ranges from the absurd, to the unreasonable, and to outright fabrications are being peddled by their paid hawks on all streams of media platforms: as a justification antidote to the malfeasance that characterized the emergence of the rigged order on Lagos political landscape.


When you rose to the position of a PS or the GM, DG of a public outfit. You bear it in mind that “Pens Down” comes with this elevation. It is never a easy task to disengage anyone but the headship of Ministries Agencies & Departments is no birthright of any individual or group of individuals.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu Babatunde Raji Fashola disengaged several individuals who bore it with philosophical calmness and in good fate. In a single day Tinubu disengaged PS, Tutor Generals, Directors, Deputy Directors and Assistant Directors in their numbers. It did not become a political issue. Ambode who promoted civil servants to the level of PS so that they can leave service as PS is now vilified for ensuring they have better retirement package.


LAWMA do not have 25,000 staff members. So from where did this figure came from that 25,000 LAWMA staff members were sacked by Governor Ambode. What is the total staff strength of the Lagos State government in the first place. 80 percent of LAWMA staff members were transferred back to the main civil service; while Cleaner Lagos Initiative absorbed the rest alongside all the street sweepers, drain ducks and waste evacuators. Not one job was lost under the Cleaner Lagos Initiative. Those who sabotage the initiative from the beginning are hell bent on maintaining the fraudulent hold on Lagos waste industry.


The Christian Association of Nigeria Lagos State chapter has openly exonerated Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and his wife over the matter of the sacked Chaplain seconded by the African Church to the State Church for a two year tenure. The Chaplain a journalist with Punch Newspaper tried to rewrite his terms of engagement and sought to have Mrs Bolanle Ambode back him; her refusal to do so led the cleric to frustratingly resorted to open abuses on the person of the first lady while on pulpit: the video of the service session is there for all. It has nothing to do with holy communion. In fact it was an oil anointing service. The cleric after bashing the first lady on the pulpit ordered that those sitting at the back row come forward first for anointing. Mrs Ambode waited her turn and was anointed by the same cleric she thereafter took her leave. A deaconess who waited on the Lord for 17 years to have children will not be rude to men of God. The Ambode’s are close to the Adeboye’s.

4. LUC

Land Use Charge by law is meant for review every four years. We ceaselessly make demands for public services and infrastructure: but we shy away from funding our demands: the 2018 LUC was an amalgam of all state public utilities annual levies: waste, tenement rate and others. The law emanated from the Lagos State House of Assembly with input from APC as a party. So why is Governor Ambode being singled out as the brain behind the law: when he it was who opened the window for reversal immediately the law came into effect during his meeting with Corporate Lagos.


The Office of Civic Engagement, Office for Peoples living with Disabilities, Lagos Office for Investment and Overseas Affairs, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Emergency Lines 122 & 767, Lagos State Emergency Services Agency LASEMA are official platforms set up by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode FCA: delegating to party officials appointed to man these outfits to deal with varied needs Lagos residents. So with these and more why will a resident need to physically sit with the Governor if not for desperate fault shopping narratives. Town hall meetings hosted across the state are meant to achieve what ?


Jide Idris has being the Lagos State Commissioner for Health since 2003 to date. He is in the best position to state if Lagos Health plan was distorted by Governor Ambode or not. Unknown to many litigation bogged down Ayinke House reconstruction the case was settled by the Ambode administration and the place is set for commissioning. CMDs appointed by Fashola administration are on their desk. Ambode investment in public health consist of high fitted ambulances, helipad, air ambulance among several others to numerous to list.


Infrastructure even his most rabid critic will not accuse Ambode of not providing public infrastructure.


LASTMA had over 3000 men and officers employed into their ranks to boost transport management. Is this not a prove of Ambode’s concern for traffic management.


Volunteering is not the same thing with employment. Volunteering is not a career. Volunteering is time bound and not in perpetuity.


Eighty five percent of housing stock provided by the Fashola administration is left unoccupied because it is not affordable to Lagosians: priced out of the reach of residents. So why should the Ambode administration add to these housing stock. Please where did the narrative came from that Lagos State did not avail FGN land for NHS. Rent to Own initiative could not even fill these estates.


Let us define criticism, vindictiveness and see that some accusations are just immaterial and in bad faith.


Muiz Banire is a SAN he does not need fault shoppers to carry his cross for him. Is it Ambode that compelled the three Senators from Lagos State to frustrate his nomination as the AMCON board executive chairman. Or is it Ambode that denied Banire’s candidates council chairmanship tickets.


Not one worker in LAWMA was disengaged. From 1999 till date contract sums are confidential in Lagos State. A tradition unbroken by Ambode.


All commissioners in Lagos State are politicians and they must add their narrative to the cocktail of lies to be in the right stead with power hawks.


Contracted projects in Lagos State are awarded by the State Tenders Board; process of contract awards are established in line with federal government pattern for the country. Successful bidders automatically becomes “cronies” while unsuccessful ones becomes “critics”


Accusation of Ambode not paying attention to health, housing, education, employment shows these accusers are not conversant with Lagos or with the budget of Lagos. Ambode administration has built 7 bridges to enhance traffic management in the state and thousands of kilometers of road networks.


Laughable is the reality. Drain desalting contract retainers is firmly in the hands of APC chieftains statewide. A bad party man such as Ambode will have to bear the failure of his party men to deliver: even as he stand accused of no patronage.


Alpha Beta is the sole consultant to Lagos State government on tax matters. Laralek is the sole consultant to Lagos State government on construction. Laralek a registered consultant and contractor in Lagos state before the administration of Governor Ambode. The firm stepped in and took over from Deux Project: Deux Project voluntarily and at short notice disengaged her services from Lagos State government.

(Deux Project’s Tunji Olowolafe, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and NNPC board nomination story is for another day).


A 12 hour State executive meeting is a misnomer and time wasting. Even Federal Executive Council meetings, European Union executive meetings and United Nations executive sessions do not last this long.


Lagos is about continuity. Lagos is also about change. Positive and dynamic changes that respond to the needs of today and tomorrow.
Light rail project is on course Ambode administration took it from Iganmu across the Lagos Lagoon to Marina stretch. Ambode is not responsible for the none meeting of delivery date: the project is a world bank funded project stalled by PDP, recession, right of way issues among others. Lagos State government has only persuasive and monitoring detail over. We need be informed to stop spreading crass ignorance.


Nigeria Governors Forum members no longer uses Sirens. Only accusers desperate will talk of road closure for Ambode movement. It was when Theresa May UK Prime Minister and French President visited Lagos that roads were closed for three hours with alternative being put in place manned by LASTMA officials. Road closure in 364 by 3 days in office only happened 4 times and emergency critics are using this. Irresponsible lot.


Governor Ambode signature of public services is evenly spread in the five divisions of the state. Badagry, Alimosho, Ikorodu, Ifako Ijaiye, Ibeju Lekki, Ojo all had testimonies of solutions to their different challenges.


Ganiyu Johnson and other commissioners who left Ambode administration resigned none was not sacked. Only 3 out of 40 resigned. Let good conscience judge here.


On Ambode’s relationship with party leaders: let enumerate just a little. N1bn was allocated monthly by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for party management and administration: party leaders should tell the members what this money was deployed into. 300 inner city road contracts was awarded party leaders statewide in their respective catchments. 5000 Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Corp employment routed through party leaders. APC state executive gets N50m subvention monthly. 3000 LASTMA employment routed through party leaders. 1000 public school teaching jobs routed through party leaders. Festive seasons largesse routed through party leaders. Hajj & Pilgrim slots routed through party leaders.

It is in the enlightened best interest of the APC party chapter in Lagos State to live with the consequences of their choice: as we go into the general elections. It is to their best interest we go as one not divided by their ill informed mudslinging against a performer serially acknowledged so publicly by Bola Ahmed Tinubu & other people and groups of good conscience. No one has the monopoly of the media or hack writers. In fact APC need Ambode more than he needs them now. Lagosians are the most enlightened voters in Nigeria and other political parties will not stomach electoral manipulation come 2019.

A word is enough for the wise.

Portrait of The Tiger Ambode Rode, By Yinka Odumakin

LOUIS XIV was King of France for 72 years and 110 days  and became the most powerful French monarch who consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule that endured until the French Revolution. At the peak of his maniac, he said: “L’Etat c’est  moi”(I am the state).

I am not aware Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is given to so much reading to have come across Louis’ declaration but I once heard him making the same declaration as he got up from his seat and said “Eko fe lo sun”(Lagos wants to sleep). The embodiment of the current pathetic Lagos by the man who rode to power in 1999 largely on account of his association with NADECO abroad is an interesting study for some of us who are eyewitnesses to recent history. It’s all coming back to me now from 1998 in a rush. Dr. Bunmi Omoseyindemi and I had led a group from the National Conscience Party, NCP,  to join the Afenifere after the radical party we belonged to had taken a decision to boycott the 1999 transition programme without subjecting it to thorough debate. We were received at a rally in Oworonsoki  area of Lagos by Leaders of the group such as Chief Ayo Adebanjo and late Alhaji Ganiyu Dawodu. Chief Ayo Adebanjo had asked Omoseyindemi and I  to go purchase nomination forms for the House of Representatives election but we told him we did not want to appear as position seekers and would want to build the party first. He commended our spirit and asked us to meet Alhaji Dawodu to assist him in organisational efforts. That was how we became regulars at his Western House office where we worked round the clock with Mr. Aro Lambo. Alhaji Dawodu’s office became a place of voyage for the leading governorship aspirants  under the banner of Alliance for Democracy, AD. After interface with them all,we concluded we should support Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu on account of his role in NADECO abroad. On our first meeting with him at his residence on Sunday Adigun,  he introduced us to Rauf Aregbesola who was like the DG of the campaign. I recall how I put together the first jingle Tinubu had on TV which I composed from one of the popular songs  the struggle field which I had to work with Pat Nebo to record with Tinubu doing some voice over message as : “This na the governor we don dey wait o (2ce)  This na the governor we don dey wait Heeeeee Bola Tinubu(3ce) This na the governor we don dey wait”. I do not know if Alhaji Dawodu knew we were Tinubu-leaning as he donated us to the National leadership when panels were being put together to supervise gubernatorial primaries being conducted in December 1998 and we were posted to  lead the team to Ondo state. When we returned from Ondo, Lagos state was already scattered over dispute between the camps of Bola Tinubu and Funsho Williams. The AD  Chairman in Lagos, Alhaji Dawodu already submitted the name of Funso Williams to INEC as he won the contest if results of all 20 LGAs were added. But there was a lacuna. The guidelines used for the primaries stipulated that the electoral panel should cancel results anywhere violence takes place. And there were incidents of violence in four LGAs that were strongholds of Funso Williams and if they were cancelled Bola Tinubu was the winner. Unfortunately for Williams, Dawodu submitted his name to INEC  and disappeared. The Tinubu camp intensified protests and the Leaders of Afenifere looked into the matter. Their decision was that in accordance with the rules they made,Tinubu won the primary if the votes from the troubled areas were removed and directed the Acting Chairman of AD, Chief Ayo Adebanjo to write to INEC and withdraw Funso Williams’ name. It was this adherence to the rule that those who are not aware of what happened then use often to accuse Afenifere of imposing Tinubu on Lagos in 1999. It took six years after before I stumbled on the fact that the crises in those LGAs were contrived to deny Williams victory. Tinubu won the elections but with a plan from day one to weaken Afenifere so he can replace the collegiate leadership Yoruba are used to with a caliph order in Yoruba politics. His first deft move immediately he became candidate was to be the arrowhead of the group that stopped Chief Bola Ige from picking the AD Presidential flag for the 1999 elections at D’Rovans Hotel. But the moment elections were over, he moved to Ige’s corner when he started his rebellion against Afenifere. His strategy was to start filling the void once the schism in the group became unmanageable. Even when Ige was assassinated,he ensured that the empty coffin that was paraded all over Lagos as his remains was not allowed to stop at the   Afenifere Secretariat,a group he was Deputy Leader of till he died. I should not forget to mention the fact that the open split in AD was as result of the Dawodu-Tinubu feud in Lagos as it was the parallel congresses held by the two factions in Lagos that led to the AD holding parallel conventions in Abuja in 2000. It was that crisis patch Chief Adesanya was managing in the group till the 2003 elections.The group was able to put some temporary truce in place in all other five states for the elections except in Lagos. It was at the last minute that a deal was offered for Tinubu to return for second term and keep 60% of the remaining elective  posts and allow the Dawodu faction  fill the remaining 40%. A three – man committee made up of Chief R.Fasoranti, Gen. Alani Akinrinade and my humble self were sent to Lagos to implement the decision.I went to Tinubu before our sitting to persuade him not to disgrace Papa Adesanya around whom there were already loud whispers of indulging Tinubu as he truly loved him even when he disliked some of his ways. Tinubu told me he did not understand Arithmetic and that the proposal was undemocratic. When we eventually met the two factions at the Airport Hotel for a whole day, he came and bluntly refused to implement the decision. I remember this incident a few days back when he called the meeting of the so-called Governor Advisory Council to order a Governor it should be advising to withdraw from the gubernatorial primary of APC in Lagos because Akinwumi Ambode is a captive and not a free Governor like he was when Afeifere handed him the ticket in 1999. I have met Ambode only on three occasions and all in the presence of Tinubu and the indignities he went through  all made me pray to God not to be that type of governor in my life. I will narrate them next week. Talking of the love Papa Adesanya had for Tinubu, I would just give one instance. Months into Tinubu’s  tenure. a scandal broke out around him that he did not attended any of the schools he listed in his resume: from St John’s Primary School, Aroloya in Lagos through Government College, Ibadan and University of Chicago. The scandal broke out shortly after then Speaker of House of Representatives, Salisu Buhari had perjured by submitting a fake certificate from University of Toronto in Canada and was forced to step down. The media was celebrating the scandal and just a sentence from Afenifere against Tinubu then would have done him in. I recall vividly being in the office of Senator Adesanya with the late Rev. Tunji Adebiyi when an old man with all grey hair and beards dressed in immaculate white dress with white shoes walked into his office and we had to excuse them. When he left, we went back to meet the Leader and he was in a pensive mood. He told us what the old man told him: “Abraham,you have to disown this boy (Tinubu) now” and that he said to the oldie that “a person who builds a wall does not pull it down.” He said the man got up to leave and said: “You will regret not doing so”. The scene played in my mind in the last inactive days of Senator Adesanya as the last major outing he had before he went down was over Tinubu. Afenifere  had decided to meet all former AD governors who lost in the 2003 elections and Tinubu who survived the Tsunami largely on account of his close relationship with  Atiku. We held meetings with his five former colleagues but Tinubu refused the invitation until January 2, 2004 when Senator Adesanya called me that Senator Ayo Fasanmi had persuaded Tinubu to come for the meeting on the 4th at his Apapa residence. I informed all that were supposed to be at the meeting. On the appointed day, only Senators Adesanya, Fasanmi, Tinubu and I were in Apapa. Tinubu came and Pa Adesanya told him all the grievances against him. He responded to the effect that he accepted Adesanya as his father and Leader but he would not have anything to do with his colleagues again. Papa told him that saying he would not relate with his colleagues amounted to repudiating his leadership. As we rounded off the meeting Sir Olaniwun Ajayi called Pa Adesanya that they were waiting for him at the Afenifere Secretariat for the meeting scheduled with Tinubu. He asked if I did not tell them that the meeting would hold in his house to which he responded that all his colleagues were received at the secretariat. As Papa could not get his driver, he asked me to drive him to Jibowu to meet his colleagues. When we arrived there, it was the late Chief Wumi Adegbonmire who fired the first salvo that they were sorely disappointed that Papa would indulge Tinubu once again by moving his own meeting to his house and meeting him in their absence. Sir Olaniwun Ajayi asked me to excuse the meeting at a point with Senator Adesanya telling me to wait for him.I said I knew he had no way of getting home without me. When they were through with the meeting, I joined him in his office and I saw tears dropped off his eyes as he said to me: “Wo bi Tinubu se so mi di alaimose bayi “(see how Tinubu has turned me to somebody who does not know his left from his right). I drove him back from Jibowu to Apapa and we did not utter a word. He suffered stroke a few days later from which he did not recover  till he died. Whenever I reflect on his last days, I always remember the admonition of the Wise Old One:”Disown this boy now or you will regret it”. ….To be continued .

Omojuwa Defends Mercy Aigbe and Toke Makinwa

Public speaker, Socio-economic and political commentator and social media expert, Japheth Omojuwa has weighed in on trending rumours of Mercy Aigbe and Toke Makinwa living off a wealthy sponsor.

Omojuwa came in defence of the women and according to him, in our society, people suspect progress and wealth.

Below is the full text of his post:

A society can never advance beyond the collective mentality of its people. Poor societies are poor because their systems are set up to make people poor but essentially because there is a mentality that drives poverty, cultures it and amplifies it.

The same mentality that kills or gets on the way of enterprise. I know these two enterprising ladies. Without knowing them personally, you see them creating businesses and products and getting stuff done. They create products, write, create platforms, movies, sign endorsement deals…their path to wealth is apparent to any rational person. But ours is a society that suspects progress and wealth.

When a young person is rich, even with an apparent value creation system, we ascribe their success to everything other than the fact that they create value and earn income. These days, we have blogs and sites focused on damaging people’s reputation than pushing progress. You create a product and they look away; someone starts a dirty unfounded rumour and they jump on it.

They amplify. They drop denigrating comments. Some people subconsciously think that the reason their own lives are failing is because others are progressing. We need to do better. When a lady succeeds or starts to shine, we ascribe their success to the rich and powerful. Even some women with powerful platforms either push or amplify this madness. We are disempowering young girls.

We are telling them being enterprising is a lie. That working smart and hard is useless because to succeed you have to be dating a governor. They believe this because of the lies we form and amplify about the successes of those they look up to. We go to church on Sundays, to the Mosque on Fridays, to the Shrine and we pray to succeed. To thrive. We work hard too. But when we see others succeed, we insist they had sex with someone, they are gay, they are anything but the culmination of their sweat and intellect.

Our leaders are mostly bad. Our collective mentality is actually worse. These are human beings. Young girls making a living. For each time you push this myth that these folks succeed because of some immoral acts with men, remember your daughter, your sister…let’s do better!

AMBODE: Ranti Adebule’s Unkindest Cut, By Comfort Obi

I have never met the Deputy Governor of Lagos state, Dr. Idiat Adebule, either officially or unofficially. Like her colleague–Deputy Governors across the country, she is redundant and anonymous, even though her state gives her a little advantage over others. When you are the Governor, First Lady, or Deputy Governor of Lagos state, it is a plus. Every Governor of Lagos state can always lay a claim to being the number one governor in the country – deserved or not. So is the Lagos First Lady. And, well, so is the Deputy Governor. The reason is simple.

Lagos is the capital of the Nigeria Media. It is also the business capital of Nigeria. So, these guys in Lagos attract more attention than their counterparts elsewhere. At times, they are arrogant about it. What other governors would fall over themselves for, a Lagos State governor would ignore it.

I remember a former Vice Chancellor of the most respected Federal University of Technology in the South-east, lamenting, to me, how the then governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, ignored the letter his University Senate wrote, offering to confer on him an Honorary Doctorate Degree. Fashola did not as much as acknowledge the letter of offer. I laughed aloud, and advised him to try “lesser governors.” Those ones will not only accept the offer, they will celebrate it to high heavens. The media will be awash with congratulatory adverts paid for by government parastatals, state executive council members, contractors and many others who the government patronise. Then, they will go to the ceremony with every who is who in their states, including Traditional Rulers. To them, it is a big deal. For a Lagos state governor, at least, Fashola, it is a huge distraction.

But I have digressed. I was talking about the Deputy Governor of Lagos state, Dr. Idiat Adebule. So, may be, she is a notch better than her colleagues – not quite very anonymous, not quite very redundant. But hey, I sympathise with her now, and for all the glamour attached to her position, I don’t pray to be in her shoes. I would give an arm to know her inner feelings these past three weeks, especially, after the governorship primary of October 2 which confined her boss, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, to the unenviable basket of Nigeria’s second state governor to be rejected by his party, and denied a shot at a second term in office. In this category, former Anambra state governor, Chinwoke Mbadinuju took the first position.

Edged on by the powerful Anambra political godfathers who installed him, his then party, the PDP, denied him a second term ticket for alleged incompetence. He went to the AD, a party not quite known in the South east, and ran on its ticket. He failed woefully, and till date, Mbadinuju has not recovered from that humiliation. He has become politically irrelevant, almost.

So, what’s in Adebule’s heart? Has she and Ambode met face to face since that governorship primary, and especially, the morning after? If so, was she comfortable? Or, did she feel like the Biblical Judas Iscariot, the guy who betrayed Jesus Christ? Or, was it business as usual?

If you have been following the story of Ambode’s humiliation, how at the governorship primary by his subordinate, then, you know why I’m asking these questions. But, for the purpose of this write-up, a brief recap.

On Tuesday, October 2, the deputy governor, like the Biblical Peter who denied his master, Jesus Christ, three times before cock crow, Adebule publicly denied his boss. She disowned Ambode. Here is how.

For months, the rumour had been on that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Lagos state’s ultimate political godfather, would deny him a second term in office. Initially, not many people believed it. It was dismissed as beer palour gossip. When it wouldn’t abate, some of us said: “Politicians. Don’t mind them. They will make up.” Afterall, there is a precedence in Lagos. Former governor Babatunde Fashola, another of Tinubu’s political godsons, had the same problem with him when he aspired for his second term. Tinubu refused to endorse him, initially. But after a lot of pressure, the Asiwaju caved in and endorsed Fashola. So, we thought it would be the same. But no.

The pressure on Tinubu, to forgive and endorse Ambode, if media reports are anything to go by, was like claps of thunder. They thundered from Abuja to almost all the states of the federation. Even Bolanle, Ambode’s wife, joined. But nothing.

To put a seal on his ambition, endorsements for his nemesis, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, came tumbling, from everywhere, like the Victoria water falls. The APC structure in Lagos. The all powerful Mandate Political Group founded by the Asiwaju himself. The Governor’s Advisory Council. National Assembly Members. ( Ah. the three Lagos state senators, remember, had a couple of months ago, endorsed Ambode). Members of the Lagos state House of Assembly, Chairmen of LGAs, and LCDAs, and Wards. Market Women and men led by Asiwaju’s first daughter, Mrs Tinubu-Ojo, the Iyaloja of Nigeria. Every stakeholder in Lagos state. Just everybody who is anybody.

Yet, to me, the “unkindest cut” was Ambode’s denial by his Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, who publicly disowned him during a press interview.

Dr. Adebule, according to media reports, arrived at her Ward A and D, Iba LCDA, along with some of her aides, carrying posters of her principal’s opponent, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. As if that was not enough to make her point, she chose to address reporters, – cheeky fellows – who mischievously waited for her. Her words, when asked of her position: “The party has chosen a man and it is that man that I will support and follow. I have no doubt that anybody who emerges today as the candidate of the party will have my support. I have no doubt as exhibited by my people today that they are standing with the party’s position on this primary, and with that position I stand. And I choose to stay with my party at this time. My party has spoken and I have no doubt to state that on the position of my party. I stand. It is a very clear election as you can see. People are voting in line with the dictates of the party. We have voted for the person who the leaders of the party have chosen. It is an overwhelming experience as you can see it, and we will continue to support the party and abide by its rules.”

So, may be, Adebule had no choice really. A lecturer at the Lagos State University, the Lagos APC party leadership plucked her and installed her Fashola’s SSG. From that position, they drafted her to be Ambode’s running mate. So, perhaps, she really had no choice. But in her shoes, God forbid, I don’t know if I would have the courage to publicly disown my boss, unless he was thoroughly mean to me. Even then, I would have done so in a more tidy manner than she did. Number one, I will not go to the voting centre with the posters of his opponent. Number two: I will not grant a press interview endorsing his opponent. It was an over-kill. Unless, as earlier said, my boss is mean to me.

Now, I don’t know if that was the case, but believe me, many state governors are mean to their deputies. They have no respect for them. A number of commissioners are more influential than them. They hardly consult them on any major issue. They are just there because the Constitution says so. It is because of such treatment that most governors hardly allow their deputies to succeed them just so they are not paid back in kind. Those who did, or forced to do so, have sad stories to tell. Ask former Kano state governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso. His then deputy, now Governor Ganduje, has barred him, almost, from entering the state. Not even the Police can help him. Also ask former Ebonyi State governor Martin Elechi. He has since abandoned the PDP for his former deputy, Governor Dave Umahi. Elechi is now an APC chieftain. But, how relevant is he there?

We never heard, or read anywhere that Adebule was having any misunderstanding with her boss and/or his elegant wife, Bolanle. Yet, the story everywhere, now, is that the man runs a one-man show, and has allegedly, forcefully removed the feeding bottle from adults – you know, the usual patronage and other fringe benefits, even from the DG, SSG, and his Commissioners. If true, he is the architect of his downfall. Good politicians know better than that. They oil the political machine.

For the records, Ambode is on a long, lonely journey to his village. If he doesn’t manage the situation well, and package himself better than he is doing now, he may become politically irrelevant. Even, now, he has become a lame-duck governor. His friends, if he still has any, may start disappearing. He is no longer the centre of attraction. Sanwo-Olu is.

A thorough-bred civil servant, I understand, who was brought out of retirement and enthroned as the governor of Nigeria’s number one state, how did Ambode fall out of favour everywhere – to the extent that neither President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the National Working Committee of his party, nor several VVIPs could save him?

As confirmed by Tinubu, it is not that he has not performed well as a governor. The problem, as has been more than hinted, is that he “may have been eating alone.” He was not free with patronages. He became swollen-headed. He deviated from the norm. He may not have remembered to oil the party machinery, nor those who helped him to the exalted position. Tinubu put it nicely. Ambode deviated from the Lagos development blueprint and, is not a good party man. But where is this blueprint? Can it be publicised so others can copy. Or, does it have a patent?

Ambode’s rejection by about everybody is unprecedented. It was total. Never in the history of politics has any rejection been this overwhelming. It is like a bad dream.

His fall should be a lesson for people who forget those who made them in life, or helped make them, once they find their feet. They not only forget, they run the person down behind, even publicly. Fact is: such attitude is a sin before God and man.

It beats me that Ambode could attempt to tango with Tinubu. For now, Tinubu is the most powerful, the most influential politician, not only in Lagos, but in the South west. He commands followership. And loyalty. But that’s because Tinubu, on the average, has a forgiving heart, and rewards loyalty. When he sneezes, Lagos shakes.

But, here is the implication of his power, influence and, hold on Lagos politics. Any APC member, who rejects his opinion, goes nowhere. If Sanwo-Olu wins, his main job has been made simple. It is: Look unto the Asiwaju, hang unto his every word, or you get the Ambode treatment. Even the APC NWC cowered before him in the Lagos matter. From publicly saying no election took place in the state, Clement Ebri, the Chairman of the Electoral panel, made an about-turn within 12 hours. Many people were embarrassed for him. He learnt late that “power pass power!”

Yet, Ambode can still redeem himself. He already started with his broadcast to Lagosians on Wednesday, October 3, accepting the fate that befell him and, pledging to cooperate with Sanwo-Olu. Not that he had any choice. He knows the implication of fighting on. Who are his backers? He is standing alone.

When some people advised him to dump his party for the PDP, I laughed. He knows better than that. In Lagos? That would be committing suicide. He wouldn’t have lasted two weeks more in office. He would have been impeached. So sad he learnt his lesson very late, and in a hard way. A political novice? Yes. For, even when the chicken was coming home to roost, he hardly noticed.

His earlier outburst against Sanwo-Olu was ill-advised. He called him a criminal who is unworthy to occupy the office of a governor, yet, the guy was a high profile LASG official appointed by him. He alleged that Sanwo-Olu went for rehabilitation at the Gbagada General Hospital – meaning he was a drug addict – and asked anybody in doubt to go check the records in the hospital. That was beneath the office of a governor. Where were his media managers when committed this blunder?

The question is: How did Ambode access the medical records? Such things are confidential. Even though Sanwo-Olu has denied both allegations, I suspect that heads will roll at the Gbagada General Hospital, particularly at the Records department, if he finally wins the governorship election.

But back to Deputy Governor Adebule. Not a few people will keep referring to her as the woman who abandoned her boss. The choice before her, excuse this cliché, was like one between the devil and the deep blue sea. On the one hand, she is a product of the party. On the other hand, Ambode is her boss. It is a no-win situation. Either way, many will look at her with suspicion. Situations like this are some of the reasons many people, especially women, don’t have the liver to join politics.

_-Obi is the Editor-in-Chief/CEO of The Source magazine_

Rauf Aregbesola: A Solomonic Tragedy, By Remi Oyeyemi

“For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”
     – William Shakespeare in “Romeo And Juliet.”
The love affair was inebriating. It was like an emotional response of a woman who has just recently been disappointed and hurt by a forced marriage. The previous lover did his best to make her happy. But because her heart was never in the relationship ab initio, she could not see anything good in the relationship. Thus, it was easier for her to get carried away by a new suitor. Sweet mouthed, handsome and charismatic but vacuous, deceitful and duplicitous. She fell easily, head over heels in love. But never was there a story of more woe than this.
I didn’t know him that well. I was not close to him. But I had so many friends who vouched for him, through some of whom I later met him. Before then, I had so many who claimed to know him. I had so many school mates at all levels who saw in him, a new Dawn, a new hope for Osun State and its people. There was even this my brother-in-law  who regaled me with his exploits at Alimosho. Everyone spoke glowingly of and about him across the State.
As an Ìjèsà son, I was bombarded by family, friends, acquaintances, low and high, rich and poor, noble and common, Royal and ordinary,  to give him support. They insisted, that for the first time in a long while, an Ìjèsà son would govern Osun State and help realise many of its clamoured aspirations. Many believed that for so long, the Ìjèsàs have been unlucky to have anyone in government to cater to their aspirations. Most of them saw in Rauf Aregbesola, a Messiah.
Fortunately, for Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, it was not the Ìjèsàs alone who wanted him. It was evident that the people of Osun State, across the board, were just tired of the affable Prince of Okuku, a gentleman to the core, retired Brigadier General Olagunsoye Oyinlola and his Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP). He and his PDP were rejected with funfair. They called Oyinlola names. The propaganda outfit of the Lagos boys demonized him and weird stories were made up about him and told around the State. They could not appreciate him.
Also, at this point in time and in History, the Iragbiji born “Eko boy” and politician, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was riding the wave of that exhaustion with the PDP. With his political party, AC and later ACN, he provided the needed template to fight and chase out the PDP from Southwest. He latched to the sobriquet of “progressivism,” to deceive the people and made pretensions to Awoism. His group, the Afenifere Renewal Group (which this writer had initially thought to be something fresh) even had a signature cap moulded like the Awo Cap, to complete the grand deceit.
Tinúbû’s plot was made with criminal exactitude. To birth his political party, Action Congress (AC), he had to junk the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and the leadership that brought him to power.  He betrayed the authentic Yorùbá leadership that made him the Governor of Lagos State. Tinubu did not just stab them in the back, he followed up by lacerating them facetiously but determinedly. He made them groan in agony with a saintly sadistic satisfaction. Then, he took his time to anatomize them, clinically cutting them into gruesome but meatly pieces, putting some of their sliced parts aside for political peppersoup, some other parts for political suya and the rest for real partisan meal. He audaciously gloated and consecratively glowed.
While he glowed, with the Lagos Treasury and Commonwealth, Tinubu set out to manacle the Yorùbá Nation, contaminate its values and annihilate its essence, its soul, through destructive cronyism. He planted Kayode Fayemi in Ekiti State and Rauf Aregbesola in Osun State. Later he supported Ibikunle  Amosun in Ogun State and Abiola Ajimobi in Oyo State. Ondo people resisted him at all costs. He funded his cronies, now known as “Ajélès” from the (allegedly) illicitly acquired funds from the bottomless well of wealth in Lagos State.
“Not that one man had the courage to be evil. But that millions had not the courage to be good.”
 -John Fowles, commenting on the response of the Germans to the murderous initiatives of Adolf Hitler in “The Magus.”
On arrival in Osun State, the deceit, duplicity and lies of the Bourdillon boys anchored by Aregbesola worked wonders. Everyone took to them. The people were inebriated into stupor. Osun people licked the Alimosho lies like a hungry dog would lick diarrhea faeces. They all marinated in enthusiasm and paid no due attention to the true intentions of the Tinubu boys. Aregbesola became the symbol of hope and change, albeit a misplaced one, that would chase away the much maligned and disliked PDP.
With the help of the people of Osun State, the PDP was chased away. Aregbesola became the toast. He was celebrated all over. He was praised and eulogised all of the time. Drums and dancers suffaced everywhere he went. Often times, he would step down at events to dance his heart out to the admiration and cheering of the people. Songs were composed for and about him. It was funfair. People were excited and happy for and about him.
He became swollen headed and stiff necked. He became arrogant and condescending. He became audacious and autocratic. He became biggety and bossy. He became cavalier and cocky. He became conceited and contemptuous. He became disdainful and domineering. He became haughty and high handed. Pompous and presumptuous. Egoistic and egotistic. Snippy and sniffy. Insouciant and insolent. Boastful and bashful.
He promised “Ònà Baba Ònà” to denote the many roads to be constructed across Osun State by his Administration. He brought the “Opón Imo” and even invited the dead to participate in its launching. So much noise was made about it, that the heavens witnessed the event. Then, the “O” Series emerged. There was “O” this and that. Many of them phantom programmes designed to  cart away Osun’s money to Lagos. The Osun people never benefited from any of them, if they did, probably tenuously.
When the saga of half salaries began, the civil servants, the teachers, the pensioners all had an abiding faith and trust in Aregbesola. They believed that it was going to be temporary. They felt that all was in the interest of the State. They were of the view that for the progress of the State, such a temporary sacrifice was not too much. By the time they found out that they had been duped, many of them had gone to the great beyond.
Then, he began to destroy the schools. He made malignant amalgamations. He enforced single uniforms across the State with a single seamstress. People were aghast. They protested, but they were appealed to, to be patient, that their concerns would be addressed. But that never happened. Things only got worse. He created religious disharmony in an otherwise religiously peaceful environment.
“Few tragedies can be more extensive than the stunting of life, few injustices deeper than the denial of an opportunity to strive or even to hope, by a limit imposed from without, but falsely identified as lying within.”
       – Stephen Jay Gold, in “The Mismeasure Of Man.”
By the end of Aregbesola’s first term, the burst of the bubble had become ostensible. He was unable to pay the workers’ salaries and the pensioners’ entitlements. He was owing four months wages by the time the reelection knocked at the door. But he had President Goodluck Jonathan to lie against and blame for his own inadequacies. He deceived the people again and won the second term tenure. And then Mohammadu Buhari came. Things got worse as President Jonathan was no longer in the picture.
Aregbesola, a certified inexact Awoist, went on to destroy Osun State on so many fronts, amassing unprecedented debts and deaths of the innocents. Well, he is also a duplicitous Engineer, and we all know the story. At a point, he lamented publicly that he could not get any institution to borrow more money from. Yet, he was able to manage to continue paying his contractors while he refused to pay due salaries and pensions.
Our Kábíyèsís across the length and breadth of Osun State bit their fingers in painful silence. Constantly, they were thoroughly humiliated and embarrassed by Rauf Aregbesola who made them to wait for him in the sun several hours at events. He was always coming late to events for upward of three to four hours at times. One of the first class Obas in Osun State had inadvertently soliloquized in the presence of this writer, “Ha, Omolúàbí gidi ni Oyinlola.” Meaning, “Oyinlola was a greatly cultured individual with integrity.”
The Ìyálójàs who used to frequent Aregbesola’s events with their calisthenic head gears when he took over power, began to withdraw. The drums began to dessicate into doldrums. The dances dallianced into dispassion.. The songs sauntered into sourness and off the scenes. The pains of hunger began to show. The effect of unpaid dues began to metastasize. Ululation replaced adulation. Anger replaced joy. Sadness replaced happiness. Melancholy replaced merriment. Eeriness replaced cheeriness. Regrets replaced enthusiasm. And an ominous darkness descended to create a landscape of anemia and a state of anomie for the people of Osun.
Those with the greatest disappointments are Aregbesola’s purported Ìjèsà people who invested their lives (because many of them died/lost their lives in the struggle), their emotions, their monies and all that they had, to ensure he got his assumed mandate. As far as they are concerned, they got nothing in return for their investments. He promised to dualize the longest road through the City, he never did. He promised to renovate the historical and sprawling Atakumosa Market, he never did. He promised to make tap water flow in Ìjèsà land, he never did. They needed him to turn the soil for a foundation of their own University, he failed them. And he called Kabiyesi Owa Obokun Adimula of Ìjèsàland, Oba (Dr.) Adekunle Aromolaran, unprintable invectives. That’s the Kabiyesi who almost lost his throne for tacitly supporting his candidature.
It has not been unconventional, for people to at times, jump from frying pan into fire, a phrase that could be appropriately used to describe the change from the tenure of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola to that of Rauf Aregbesola. But this time around, the people of Osun State jumped from frying pan into inferno. The inferno raged the State into comatose. The State is mortgaged and ready to be foreclosed.  The initial dropping tears have become a waterfall of misery and agony.
Just like the Biblical King Solomon, who started his reign so beautifully but ended up tragically, Aregbesola is a SOLOMONIC TRAGEDY.
*© Remi Oyeyemi*

A Pharmacist’s Explanation of The Tinubu-Ambode Tango

Many explanations have been given for the undeclared political separation, if not divorce, between the two reigning sweethearts of Lagos. Part of it is how Akinwunmi Ambode, the sitting governor, is a lone ranger. He is accused of playing the team game of politics like a lonesome missionary among crusty natives. In other words, Ambode is a kind of a haughty colonialist rajah.

Of course, there are other analyses of how it all went wrong. But there is one that nobody is talking up. It is that all systems made by men or of men are subject to a shelf life or best-by date iron lore. Beyond that date, no contraptions of man is of any use even to itself, save it is reinvented.

Now, if you went into a pharmacy or food shop and bought some items, the labelling comes with best-by dates. It all means that the products you just paid for can best serve you within a stated time window. Beyond that, it becomes toxic, poisonous, almost like Ambode, in the eyes of his frenemies. Ahiazuwa.

Of course, relationships are not thought of as commodities, but they are. And this includes political relatedness and relationships. Additionally, they are man-made and are like pharmacy prescriptions, consumables. And in being that they are biodegradable. That is, even in the “absence of human” interventions, the elements alone will ensure that these relationships unravel or atrophy on their mere beingness.

In fact, a physicist friend who commented on my first draft spoke of entropy, as the near physicist equivalent of best-by date notations. According to him, “Entropy is the general trend of the universe (and I suspect political relationships) toward death and disorder.”

In other words, there is nothing exotic in the collapse and disunity of the Ambode-Tinubu political knot. It is in the nature of things. Their political “bromance” has had its shelf life.

Let us do the simple arithmetic. For Tinubu to be the capo he has become, it means the following: he ruled for two terms of four years each. That gives him eight years. He chaperoned the Fashola eight-year reign. That adds up to a 16-year vice grip on power. Now, Ambode has just “done” four. That gives Tinubu a 20-year imperial lien on Lagos politics. Given a generous lifetime of 70 years of which active adult years are about 30, it may be safe to say that Tinubu has curated Lagos by the jugular for 2/3 of his active adult life. That adds up to 2/3rd of a generation. And new generations, by iron lore, call for change or disruption.

In other words, the system Tinubu built is bound to suffer accumulated entropy. That is to say, Ambode could not have done any better, even if he killed himself for Tinubu. It is just that the system Ambode inherited is in heat for disruption. It’s only that it is all happening during Ambode’s tenure. This is not to say Ambode has done well or not. It is just that there are other more potent forces at play.

READ ALSO: Lagos gov derailed –Tinubu

So, the question suggests itself. Will the new Tinubu man, Sanwo-Olu, do better? The answer is, of course, no, save the system is revamped. No power systems survives generations without a revamp. This is an iron lore. It happened to globalisation, to Marxism and others. We only need to recall, for instance, that there was a time globalisation was hotter than fire. Today, like the Ambode-Tinubu tango, globalisation is unravelling. It is not about the persons, a Trump, an Ambode, at work. It is about the forces, the elemental forces, at play. And no man can stop an idea whose entropy has come.

Before We Crucify Tunde Ayeni…

+ How He Secured A Multi-Billion Naira Loan To Finance The Revival Of Moribund Government-Owned NITEL and Yola Disco
 + How government’s refusal to honour contractual agreements ran him into monumental debt
 By Obafemi Ajayi
It wouldn’t be hyperbolic to say that Dr. Tunde Ayeni has a patriot’s heart and the soul of a revolutionary. This is to assert the fidelity and stoic perseverance of the genius within the footholds of power and a troubled oil sector.
Yes, despite his exit from Skye Bank, where he served as chairman, the cascade of blows against the successful lawyer turned business magnate has neither softened nor ceased.
At the moment, Ayeni is battling tooth and nail to save his most audacious investment, Ntel, from some powerful forces decidedly hell-bent on taking over the telecoms company and probably messing him up.
A consortium run by Ayeni, NATCOM Telecommunications, bought over the moribund national telecoms company, NITEL, and its mobile subsidiary, MTEL, from the Federal Government in 2014 and transformed it to Ntel.
Within a year of operations, Ntel has emerged a force to be reckoned with in the very competitive telecommunications sector, introducing the most sophisticated 4G service to Nigerians, while delivering superfast call connect times, crystal clear voice-over-LTE and high-speed Internet access. No sooner had Ntel introduced these innovative services that its problems began.
In the last one week, Ayeni has come under a barrage of media onslaughts, bordering on his stewardship at Skye Bank Plc., essentially due to the multi-billion naira loan he secured to finance the revival of NITEL.
Prior to the take-off of the Global System of Mobile Communications, GSM, in Nigeria in 2001, the services of the national telecommunications carrier had been spasmodic at best. In spite of successive administration’s efforts to revive it, nothing worked, thus consigning NITEL to the dustbin or so, until NATCOM came through in 2014.
According to a retired Director in the old Ministry of Communications Technology which oversaw the bid for NITEL, “It is quite sad how in Nigeria we dig our own grave and yet cry that we are not making progress. I just saw an online medium publish some grave allegations about Tunde Ayeni and his stewardship in Skye Bank.
“While I do agree that officeholders should be accountable for their actions, I wonder what the real intent of the government or whoever is behind that story is. Having petitioned the Presidency, why hastily bring the same allegations to the media?” He wondered whether the loan was unilaterally obtained in such a big bank or it went through due process.
“Now, who approved the loan? If the bank did not find the business proposal worthwhile, why approve the loan in the first place? Could these alleged financial losses running into almost N300bn as stated by the bank possibly have been accumulated in just over two years of Ayeni’s chairmanship because he only became chairman in 2013?
How much was the total deposits base of the bank during the over two years that one chairman would incur such expenses in so short a time? Why single Ayeni out of the three chairmen when Alhaji Musiliu Smith and Mrs (Moronkeji) Onasanya are still alive?”
Tunde and his partners borrowed money from the bank to buy Yola Electricity Distribution Company, but unfortunately for them, because of terrorist attacks, they declared a force majeure. Following the declaration of a force majeure by Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company, the core investor in the Yola Electricity Distribution Company, the Federal Government took over the beleaguered power firm.
Consequently, the Federal Ministry of Power took over the management and control of the electricity distribution company since 2015. The Federal Government promised to pay back Integrated Energy Distribution Company $180 million since 2015, an agreement that the government has not fulfilled to date. The government has taken Yola Disco from the core investor and has yet to refund (the investor) the money used to acquire the asset.
The Yola Disco is running even as you read, and the Federal Government is even planning to sell it. Ayeni and his partners are paying back the huge loan to the bank with a huge interest. Meanwhile, it’s the same government that owes Integrated Energy Distribution Company such a humongous amount of money that is perpetrating cynical witch-hunts against them. Isn’t it ridiculous?
Obviously, the source also said, “The intent of this is either to conduct a media trial and convict the person (given Nigerians’ general phobia of not wanting to be in the press), or to pre-empt the President and blackmail him to act in a particular manner. Or better still, it may be to achieve a sinister motive of discrediting the man in the eyes of potential partners so as to make him a commercial outcast and ultimately overrun his business. Otherwise, how do you explain this action?
However, that electricity supply in Nigeria is still a spasmodic flourish, a yo-yo at best, is fairly and squarely the missteps and myopia of former President Goodluck Jonathan. This is the unanimous assertion of the investors behind Distribution Companies, DISCOs, who are the providers of last mile services in the electricity supply value chain.
Alas, at the time of the acquisition of the unbundled companies, core investors paid $2.238 billion which they sourced at N150 to the dollar. Two years later, dollar oscillated between N370 and N400, an investment-debilitating increase. This has plunged many of the investors into harrowing webs of debts.
Many have lost their assets and savings in the process. Life could not be more difficult for genuine, patriotic Nigerians who saw an opportunity to bail their fellow countrymen out of the cauldron of darkness but got frustrated by the system.
Now, their migraine does not end there; back then, the Federal Government promised to invest about $7 billion to revamp the old, obsolete networks; maintenance of network equipment; investment in trained manpower and customer data; increase meter penetration; and resolve health, safety and environmental issues.
All these have remained typical Nigerian politicians’ promises, empty and vainglorious. To compound the problems of the investors since the conclusion of the privatisation process, they are now faced with huge operational challenges, clearly visible in their operations and service delivery; lack of sufficient energy supply from the national grid; and a near absence of investments due to poor revenues, inadequate tariffs and external funding constraints.
According to the Executive Director, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, the umbrella body for the DISCOs, Sunday Oduntan, “In that agreement, there is a list of what the Federal Government was going to do and what we as operators, the DISCOs, GENCOs and investors are to do. But unfortunately, the government reneged on all its obligations and promises.
“And those things that the government offered to do were essentially preconditions meaning ‘if I do this, you will do that. So, if I don’t do this, you will not be able to do that.’ An example is the issue of tariffs. From day one, the term they used was cost-reflective tariff. The simple meaning of that is what can be called the appropriate pricing of products. Tariff is about price and electricity is the product.”
Captain Idahosa Okunbo, a businessman, philantropist and investor extraordinaire, said, “The Federal Government has not met most of the conditions under which we should operate as a distribution company, and the best thing that can happen today to us or to me is for the government to take back the assets and pay us back our money.
“We are paying the loan we took to acquire the Yola Disco; we are also paying interest on the Yola investment and the Yola Disco has already been handed over to the government three years ago. Yet, we, as investors, have not been refunded. Is that how to do business? Is that how to encourage investors to do business in Nigeria?” Continuing, the billionaire oil magnate and philanthropist, said, “We brought business out of those entities. In fact, those assets should have been sold for $1 while we invest the money we paid to the Federal Government in optimising the asset.
“How can the government have sold these assets to Nigerians in dollars when the assets are in naira?”
Literally emitting fire, Okunbo also said, “I am not a thief; I have been servicing debts from my hard-earned money, servicing debts of a business that is not working. We carry members of staff that we are constantly paying salaries to.”
Capt. Okunbo, a former pilot who retired from the aviation industry in 1988 when he was barely 30, Okunbor, also a popular philanthropist, states, “In my three decades in business spanning engineering and technology, energy, integrated service in the petroleum sector, maritime, security, agriculture and others, integrity has been my guiding principle and a core value with which I have been able to earn trust and confidence of companies and corporations of global repute.
I have never stood before any administrative, judicial or legislative panels to answer any questions related to any shady deal. I have conducted my businesses with utmost openness, honesty and integrity. I am not oblivious of the fact that not a few people look up to me as a role model; the least I can do is to exhibit exemplary leadership quality to this group of young Nigerians, many of whom interact with me on a regular basis.”
Interestingly, however, there are so many people that borrowed huge money from the banks and stash it in foreign banks while some keep theirs in shallow grave. And they still walk freely in Nigeria.
With the present situation of things, it is short of reaching the conclusion that our government is set up such that it cripples local businesses and discourage local investors while offering foreigners unbelievable waivers and opportunities that are denied Nigerians who genuinely want to move the country forward.

Lanre Alfred

Ambode: A Testimonial, By Yemi Ajayi

Before the advent of the Fashola administration, driving through Oshodi, which I had to do to get to my office then at Fatai Atere Way, was one of the most harrowing experiences I had to go through five days a week.

The two alternative routes to my office, passing through Ikorodu Road to connect Ilupeju By-pass or through the Airport Road to link up Ladipo via Five Star, were to say the least equally unattractive. The traffic on those alternative routes was as hellish as that of Oshodi.

Then, one Sunday after the first New Year of having Fashola as governor, I drove through Oshodi on my way to work and my “flabber was gasted.”

The orderly chaos that was the defining persona of Oshodi was totally absent. I was confronted with a new Oshodi devoid of its characteristic heavy human and vehicular traffic. There were phalanxes of policemen here and there to prevent a breach of the peace after a dawn demolition of illegal structures that also provided habitats for criminals who tormented motorists and passers-by.

That singular act marked the beginning of my romance with Fashola. I became his implacable supporter. He had by restoring order to Oshodi not only reduced my commuting time from home to work, my daily fuel consumption dropped by as much as 55%.

In a nation devoid of a standard metric for measuring performance of public office holders, it also set for me a template in assessing leaders.

It is in that light I’m viewing the ongoing crisis of succession in Lagos State being championed by those trying to deny Fashola’s successor, Akinwunmi Ambode, the conventional right of first refusal.

Many reasons have been pushed into the public space on why Ambode must give way to Jide Sanwo-Olu, the favourite pick of Tinubu’s political machinery, the Mandate Group, and they range from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Unfortunately, none of the reasons I’ve come across so far has much to do with majority of Lagosians on whose votes Ambode is in office.

As someone who has lived in Lagos for almost 40 years, I can say that Ambode has added to the building blocks of the foundation laid by his predecessors. Lagos to me is better now in terms of infrastructure and service delivery in some areas than it was before.

The governor has wormed his ways into my heart, and those of millions of others, with the construction of inner road network especially within the Ifako-Ijaiye Alimosho corridor.

Within my Alakuko neighbourhood, there are at least nine ongoing inner road projects. Some of them are in areas where the residents had lost hope of ever feeling government’s presence.

He has made interventions in other areas such as tackling Lagos perennial traffic congestion through the construction of laybys, flyovers and pedestrian bridges.

I can’t forget my first day of driving through Ojodu-Berger in a bid to access the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. It was a detour I had to grudgingly make as that route is one I avoid like a plague for its notorious traffic.

But on this day, I had to take my chances as all alternative routes to access the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway through Agidingbi to connect Otedola Underpass were choked with traffic.

Surprisingly, the Ojodu-Berger axis was not only uncharacteristically free from traffic, I could’ve missed my way due to the changed landscape that followed the reconstruction of the area. The reconstruction had not only led to the removal of all traffic impediments, but saw to the expansion of the road.

There is no doubt that while Ambode had done well in the area of infrastructure, his performance has been average in other areas, especially in refuse disposal. Many residents are also not happy with his administration with the hike in Land Use charges.

However, as a property owner, I can say that the hike in the Land Use charges isn’t as hurtful as it was made to be, especially after the governor bowed to public outcry and ordered a review.

Although what I paid as Land Use charges is now far higher than what I had been paying in the last eight years, I don’t need to rob a bank or take a loan to pay up.

But his performance notwithstanding, there has been an intense campaign to ensure he doesn’t return in an election that is his to lose.

The governor has been accused of not deserving a second term for not servicing the greed of APC leaders in the state, among others.

But in all this, where stands the interest of the electorate who put in Ambode in office and whose welfare is the purpose of governance?

Unfortunately, the electorate are being railroaded to rally behind his main challenger for the post, Jide Sanwo-Olu.

Certainly the APC leaders are pursuing a selfish agenda which they’re deceitfully dressing as a push for better life for Lagosians.

For what it’s worth, Ambode might not have done well in all areas of governance, but he has performed well enough to earn a second term in office.

Those who’re pushing the argument that he should go and test his popularity at the party’s direct primary are being disingenuous in their advocacy. The direct primary, abinitio, has been rigged for him to lose.

That argument would have had any veneer of credibility if all other elective posts had been thrown opened for contest.

So far, I’m not aware that Senators Remi Tinubu and Adeola (Yayi) have any serious challengers for their tickets. That is so because the party establishment has decreed it be.

If it’s sauce for the senators and others, it should be sauce for Ambode.

There is no doubt that the political fortune of Ambode and President Muhammadu Buhari are tied together, which is the more reason why good reasoning should prevail in this matter. More worrisome to me is the economic impact of this needless impasse when all of us know that instability in Lagos would have spiral effects on the national economy. 

It’s therefore morally and political expedient to allow the governor finish the good work he has been doing. 

 Ajayi, a journalist, writes from Lagos