By: Ademola Orunbon
At times, life plays some little pranks on us, you play life and toss it behind you, then later, just after you have forgotten all about it, it bounces back at you to burn those fingers you have used to fiddle with it. That is exactly what has come back to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, or how else would one explain the voting out of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the just concluded APC primary elections across the state? That’s more reason, we should all remember that evil men do lives after them or what do will call all these that just befell the Lagos state Governor? Though, many times, human beings set their ambitious and hopes on something and strive towards it, but by some twist of fate, they do not achieve the goal, sometimes also, people sit down on a spot hoping for something, with virtually folded arms and without making any serious effort; their goal just rolls down to meet them at their place.
After much ado, brouhaha and hullabaloo of APC primary in Lagos State, my mind casted back to those day and time for reflection that uncertainty in life is a reality you are not certain about anything in life, you may have dream of things, doesn’t mean achieving them, you may have very nice lofty ideas, but in order to attain them, you may have so many obstacles on your way. My amiable governor should realize that there are some who almost became Lagos State governor but for fate, they couldn’t get there, remember in 1979 Chief Akanbi Onitiri, Chief Obafemi Awolowo wanted him to be the Lagos state governor but Chief Lateef Kayode Jakande (LKJ) took the mantle of leadership and in 1987-91, Dr. Femi Ayantuga and Chief ‘Bayo Dejonwo, the duo were the front runners in the Committee of friends, the leading political group of the era then, but they died before the ban on politics was lifted, Chief Dapo Sarumi and Prof. Femi Agbalajobi, either of the duo was as good as becoming governor until General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) banned them from further participation in the electoral process, that paved way for Mr. Yomi Edu to contest, he was the popular Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate but was done in by the intractable crisis in his party, thereby lost to the unpopular National Republican Convention (NRC) candidate, Sir. Michael Agbolade Otedola.
In 1997-98, Engr. Funsho Williams was the leading Guber aspirant/candidate of the then popular United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) and would have become the governor of Lagos state if the scheduled guber election was held but the death of the Gen. Sani Abacha put point to it and truncated his dream. The late Prince Ademola Adeniji-Adele, the man who used his initials for the number plate of Lagos Island Local Government and which remains so till date, was loved by all but the platform he belonged to then, Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM), couldn’t have pulled a surprise at all, they got a majority in only one Local Government, Lagos Island LG. He was later to become the Deputy Guber candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999.
It was the big mistake for Adeniji-Adele, had he joined the Alliance for Democracy (AD), he would have been given the Senate ticket given to Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi and who knows he could have been in a pole position to bid to succeed Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2007, but still in 1999 election, Sen. Dr. Wahab Dosunmu would have become the Lagos state governor too, but for the last minute decision of the Justice Forum to revisit its shadow primary which was held before the return of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu from exile. If not, Dr. Dosunmu, the Otun Apesin of Lagos would have been fielded by AD and he would have won the election landslide. Mind you, Chief Michael Otedola who ruled for a year plus remained grateful till his death, if you had the opportunity of ruling Lagos for four years, please, don’t be ungrateful, if they say it is enough, just return home, don’t rock the boat, you are not better qualified than those who never got there but due to fate.
My candid advice to Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode is that why don’t you just walk away sir, indeed, honourably? Your last move by pointing accusing fingers at Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu depict unbridled desperation and lack of decency on every count. Have you forgotten that you emerged governor in 2015 at the expense of the aspiration of many other contenders sir? In fact, it includes Mr. Obafemi Hamzat, Ganiyu Solomon, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Olasupo Shasore, Lanre Ope, Leke Pitan, Tayo Akinde, Abayomi Sutton and Tobun Agbesanwa. Heaven did not fall then. I would have thought you were a true party man, I doubt this, you have so messed thing up by the so called World Press Conference you organized the other time. You are just about to fritter away whatever is left of your goodwill, do you stand on chances in this battle? No! Where were those goading you when Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu unilaterally picked you and made you governor of Lagos state?
Now, my amiable Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, you need to just apply wisdom and prove different sir, at least, just for you to be unable to walk freely again on the street of a state you have once governed, if the entire All Progressives Congress (APC) architecture in the state has asked you to go, common sense should have dictated for you that your time is up sir, with due respect sir, I don’t mean it otherwise sir. Please sir, don’t make thing any more difficult and just walk away sir. That is honour. That is integrity. That is decency, moreover, that is Lagos for you. Won’ti fi te’eko won yin, meaning, they have shown you the Lagos.
Regardless of how this may end sir, you still owe Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu eternal gratitude for this lifetime opportunity. I don’t like him or what they have all done to you sir, but that is the truth. So, just thank him and walk away with your head high. It is now quite certain and crystal clear that no umpire lasts forever and power is transient. Had power still belong to the people, this time that general election is around the corner, it would have been an appropriate time to wield the power through our Personal Voters Card (PVC). But, it is not so for election, it has been monetized where it is hinged on money as witnessed in Ekiti and Osun states respectively that “Dibo ki’o se obe and Dibo ki’o kole” meaning, cast your vote, prepare soup or cast your vote build a house. No morality, probity and integrity in our daily activities anymore, people are now going extra miles to make a survival, doesn’t care how it comes from, just to make their living.
What Ambode should realize is that yesterday is gone, he should forget it, tomorrow does not exist, he shouldn’t worry, today is here, let him carry on, the future is unknown. But, he should have it in mind that he has performed excellently well according to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, so, he should give thank to God for his shower His blessing over his affairs for the past three and half years, after heavy losses of some opportunities and he should understand that whatsoever comes his way is his fortune. The most painful aspect of it, is that of the ongoing project across the state, especially those of his hometown (Epe), that one too make me recall of the proverb which says ‘a dead man has no sorrow, but unfortunately those people left behind will be in sorrow. And, a dead man suffers no pains because his missions is finished and accomplished’, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has done his best for the people of Lagos, now left for the people to be given the baton of the race. What I believe is that ‘no objectivity is without subjectivity’. I really doff my hat for you Mr. Governor, it is very difficult to concede defeat just like that, especially a serving governor. Have never seen such a person like you sir, he would have turn it into bloody primary for the fact he has the immunity and all it takes to run it. More grease to your elbow sir, and may God continue to lead you on your future endeavours.
Now, that the godson has begged the godfather for his misdeed and anomalies during the hard time of primary election, he now realized that he has no option than to work hand in glove with Babajide Sanwo-Olu to let the state move forward in order that the gains of the last three and half years should not fade away, he also promised that he would do everything possible, indeed with wholeheartedly to ensure a smooth transition in the remaining period of his administration and to the coming governor, come May, 2019. It is left for the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the reformer, strategist, generalissimo and Awolowo of our time to forgive and forget his godson, Akinwunmi Ambode so as to let the sleeping dog lies, concentrate on his governance and never have it in mind sir to punish him after the expiration of his tenure as governor because ‘to err is for human and to forgive is for divine’. Moreover, the Lagosians should not take advantage of the rift between Ambode and Asiwaju Tinubu to count scores and deviate from the political party All Progressives Congress (APC) we all built to sustain the highest standard of democratization process.
Orunbon, a public affairs analyst, wrote in from Epe, Lagos state.
Can be reached via; orunbonibrahimademola@
ABEOKUTA AND ITS PERENNIAL FLOODING: GOV. ABIODUN TO THE RESCUE
By Elijah Udofia
Saturday, July 4, 2020, is a day the people of Abeokuta, particularly those living very close to the city’s waterways, would not forget in a hurry. Like in the days of Noah, the floodgates were opened and the showers came down heavily, causing floods of havoc that ravaged portions of the city. For somebody who was in the capital city of the Gateway State for the first time, the sight of flooded roads, with water subterranean enough to swim, floating household possessions, evacuated trees, washed way bridges and people congregating on high rise buildings, waiting for the water to recede, is something he or she will live to remember for a long time.
On that day, the heavens opened and brought with it sorrows, but thankfully, without blood. The torrential rain which started at about three in the morning did not stop until six in the evening, thereby thrashing hard on the ancient city for 16 good hours, non-stop. It is instructive to note that July of every year, has always been a period when the city experiences great flooding, occasion by torrential rain. Apart from the destruction of critical public infrastructures, mostly roads and bridges, it is always a time when those living close to the canals, have their hearts in their mouths. Hardly a year passes without these areas experiencing flooding which lead to loss of properties and in some cases, life or lives as the case may be.
The recent one affected mostly areas are; Isale-Oja, Kuto, Ago-Ijesha, Ijeun-Titun, Ijeja-Igbore road, Gbangba, Elite-Lantoro road and Oba Adeleye’s recreational park. One is however happy that areas like Ijaye and Isale-Igbein, which used to experience serious flooding had been taken care of, by the construction of Lafenwa, Sapon, Idi-Aba, Ajebo road and Onikolobo, Omida and Sapon road. It should be noted here that the issue of flooding in Abeokuta is not new, as previous governments, including military administrations, had course to contend with this menace. The presence of the Vice President, who came to inspect the extent of damage caused by flooding two years ago, is an indication that the issue is not a child’s play. What is disturbing however is that the damages caused are becoming more devastating, which calls for concern by all and sundry?
Being the head of a government that came to power on the popular mandate, the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, immediately the rain ceased on Sunday morning, ordered a team of government officials, led by the Environment Commissioner, Hon. Abiodun Abudu-Balogun took a tour of the areas affected by the flood and came up with a report to enable the government to respond accordingly.
As if that was not enough, the Governor, the following day, personally went round the affected areas to see things for himself. Prince Abiodun who was shocked due to the extent of damage caused not only to public assets, but to the property of the people, there and then, promised that his administration would assist them in mitigating the effect of their loss.
“I am here to look at the damage caused by the rain that fell on Saturday. Though I have sent my Commissioners and other government officials to inspect the damages, I decided to also come and see things for myself. I am happy that no life was lost, though you lost properties.
“I want to assure all of you who lost property to the flood that we will support you. In a few days’ time, government officials will come to see you to take down your names and properties affected, so that we can look at how to compensate you”.
On what the government intends to do to settle the matter once and for all, Prince Dapo Abiodun said the dredging of the canal that crisscrosses the State capital was on-going, while clearing of refuse in the gutters, was also carried out. He then informed the people that the government has assessed the damage caused to the roads and bridges with a view to carry out a comprehensive and proper channelization of the waterways.
“I want to assure you that we will repair the damaged roads, expand the gutters and bridges so that when rain falls, the gutters and the bridges would be able to accommodate the large volume of water. With this, the problem of erosion would be a thing of the past”, he promised
Governor Abiodun attributed flooding in the State capital to rapid development, besought the people to desist from dumping refuse or building structures on the waterways as these also contributed to the flooding. Collaborating the position of the Governor on the ways to find permanent solution to the menace of flooding in the State, the Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Abiodun Abudu-Balogun, noted that regular dredging of the waterways, converting some old culverts to bridges as well as delisting drainages to allow free flow of water will be done by the government.
The Commissioner disclosed that dredging is currently going on at Isale-Oja to Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library up to Orange Valley View Estate, adding that the government is not only looking at Abeokuta alone, as dredging is also ongoing in 16 places across the State. Though the government ultimate goal is to find a permanent solution to the problem, in the meantime, a temporary arrangement according to the Commissioner, was going on at the sites, as allowing the affected areas to remain unattended to, will adversely affect the socio-economic well-being of people and adds to their suffering. The Commissioner appealed to residents of the State to properly dispose of their refuse and desist from dumping them on waterways, to minimize the effects of flooding.
For Alhaji Bello Mohammed, Secretary, Isale-Oja, Kuto, Community Development Association, his community has been experiencing flooding on a yearly basis in the last 10 years. He opined that proper channelization of the canal with an adequate drainage system, would bring an end to the flooding. Also, Mrs. Abike Awosanya and Abideen Musibau, residents of Ago-Ijesha, in Abeokuta South Local Government, said that they want the government to urgently find lasting solution to the flood problem, as it has affected their means of livelihood and make life unbearable for them.
Also bearing his mind, Mr. Raphael Anthony, a motorcyclist, who plied Ijaye-Kuto route, appealed to the State government to regularly dredge the waterways and expand the drainages system as the existing ones can no longer accommodate large volumes of water, during heavy rain. More so, Mrs. Florence Adegbite, an apprentice hairstylist at Ijeun Titun, opined that, “from what I am seeing, I think the State government would need help, particularly from the Federal government to permanently address this problem, a huge amount of money will be involved.
Though Government has a big role to play in bringing an end to the flooding issue, l observed with pain that the actions and inactions of the people are not helping in this regard. A walk through the State capital, one will see the non-challant attitude of the people as they dump refuse even at places where they are not supposed to.
Some simple questions I would like to ask are, what is refuse doing on road medians? Why do people turn gutters, drainages which are supposed to carry water to the canal, to refuse dumpsites? Why do people find it difficult to clear gutters, even those in front of their houses? And most importantly, why do people build structures on waterways that were invented/constructed to serve as drains to the river. All these questions need urgent answers, if the problem of flooding in Abeokuta, is to be addressed.
Now that Governor Dapo Abiodun’s government is showing commitment by putting in place measures that will permanently solve the problem of perennial flooding in the capital city, it is imperative for citizens to also play their parts, because as the African saying goes, “one cannot clap with one hand”.
Udofia, Head of the Governor’s Press Crew, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
AREGBESOLA COMES TO JUDGMENT
BOTH RAPISTS AND POLITICAL RAPISTS ON RAMPAGE IN NIGERIA
By: Ademola Orunbon
There is no doubt that rapists are really on rampage in Nigeria. More worrisome is the frequent news of children and teenagers being raped almost in every nook and cranny of the country almost on a daily basis, with most of the cases going unreported. The situation is so bad that the notorious rapists are no longer strangers to their victims as they could even be members of the family or trusted neighbours and even domestic servants.
Despite the fact that human rights activists are quite unrelenting in their efforts at exposing the dangers our teenagers are being exposed to daily in the hands of these rampaging rapists and their collaborators, the situation has not really been brought under control. Enlightenment programmes on sexual education and the rights of the child against all forms of abuse should be stepped up and extended to even the schools, churches and mosques
The most worrisome of the current trend is child sexual abuse which is really on the ascendancy in the country. According to The Cece Yara Foundation, an international non-governmental organization, child sexual abuse has become more prevalent than most people even realize. The organization maintained that the menace is likely the most prevalent health problem children face with the most serious array of consequences.
According to the Foundation, one in every four girls experienced sexual violence in the country while one in 10 boys experienced sexual violence before the age of 18. The Foundation also disclosed that one in eight girls experienced unwanted sexual touching just as one in 10 boys experienced sexual violence before the age of 18. Aside Lagos State which really has a law against child sexual abuse and molestation, only a few States are really doing much to tackle this ugly trend. Many reasons have been adduced for the rising cases of rape in the country, especially those involving children and teenagers. One of the reasons is the rising cases of unemployment and moral decadence in the society.
The increasing intake of hard drugs by our youngsters is another contributing to the rising cases of rape in the country. We really want to join other partners across the country, especially rights advocates and non-governmental organizations which have taken the matter up to the public space with condemnation and advocacy. While condemning the rising cases of rape in the country, we implore our government to take the fight against the ugly trend beyond the level of mere rhetorics to real action.
Enlightenment programmes on sexual education and the rights of the child against all forms of abuse should be stepped up and extended to even the schools, churches and mosques. The campaign should start from the individual family with our young girls properly tutored on the need to know everything about their rights and how to protect themselves from being abused. The Point is however happy that recent cases are generating an unprecedented global wake-up call to the increasing rate of child sexual abuse in the country and the world at large. We only hope that the tempo will be sustained for the message to sink in foe all concerned to know the right thing to do as we join millions of other advocates against child sexual abuse and rape in the country.
We also call for prompt trial and prosecution of all cases of violations and abuse of our young girls as deterrent to others. Also, we implore all other States in the country to borrow a leaf from Lagos State where a law is currently in place to take care of issues relating to child sexual abuse and rape.
Also, other rapists that wrecking the country is political rapists, the way politics has been reduced to a trade shorn of every modicum of morality and respectability by some Nigerian politicians leaves much to be desired. Without a stretch of decency, our politicians appear to be travelling on the road to infamy. If their penchant to display hubris and character flaws is anything to go by, and the knack to approbate and reprobate or speak from both sides of the mouth is of major worry, the APC politicians have succeeded in sweeping baloney in their political space with their brooms.
It is a pity that those who found themselves in the commanding heights of leadership in Nigeria automatically transform themselves to semi-gods the moment they get power and position. Nigeria political office holders are in the main arrogant, pompous, and irritatingly proud and disrespectful until death, the ultimate reaper, levels them. Let me hasten to say that there are few exceptions, the reason I qualify the declaration with the phrase ‘in the main’. And so, the average Nigerian politicians have raped and still continue to rape not only their pauperized followers but the entire citizenry on all fronts. To be precise, our contemporary experience under the APC-led federal government appears to be very worrisome.
No man born of woman is so important that the world cannot do without his mortal presence. When politics is reduced to the level of deification of an individual whose credo is: “But for me, the world would collapse”, it needs to be expressly made clear that, that is the biggest lie ever told. History is replete with carcasses of warriors, geniuses, inventors and charismatic statesmen and women after whose demise the world moved on to even greater achievements. It reminds me of the truism in the wise saying of an anonymous bard: “In life nobody is indispensable or irreplaceable, including you. And your replacement will always be better than you. For every Queen Vashti there is an Esther waiting to take your place. For every Saul there is a David ready to take your place. For every Eli there is a prophet Samuel ready to take your place. Many people due to their position, their talent or their beauty think they are irreplaceable – how wrong you are!.”
It is time for us to begin discourage men (and women) without a second address or known source of income in politics! There are those who pride themselves as professional politicians. There are those who have been in one appointive position or the other since time immemorial. There are those who have contested for one political office severally but failed and have amassed stupendous wealth from selling out to the opposition. Please let them go and rest! They have contested in every imaginably election; give us a break please, or go home and find something to do. Our tragedy in Nigeria today is that Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) tarred longer than necessary in seeking public office. Had he retired earlier – or, better still, had he been allowed to retire earlier – we would not have seen today’s misfortunes!
On the flip side, it looks to me as if there is a cycle of rejuvenated evil residing in humanity in our present world. These days, we are faced with a serious challenge of how to manage our sanity in the midst of a flurry of bestialities that keep erupting from left, right and centre. The orgy of violence perpetrated across all ages manifests the baloney of insipid malfeasance that is capable of infecting the left-over values we hold onto with spider web. The incidence of rape has overshadowed political discourses. It has displaced politics, economy and international affairs from our chats and local gossips. This is a rare development in our country. In most cases, in Africa and around the world, these are the three dominant topics people find engaging because of their predominant impact on their lives. The two possible exceptions to this fact are South Africa and India where rape cases are cyclical routine.
What has been responsible for rape ascendancy in our national gossip are the tragic and incredible patterns of the reported incidents. When a 75 year-old man is invading the undeveloped vagina of a 10 year-old girl with gerontocratic vitality, obviously this becomes a national news highlight. When a son (no matter his age) is desecrating the collapsing pudenda of his mother’s senior or age mate by exploiting the woman’s debilitating physicality to have a taste of “his route to the world”, of course, it is of national interest. When a brother decides to forcefully expand the unripe vagina of his 5 year-old sister by pounding and jerking her to death, of course, this ghastly scenario is of national significance. When five Yahoo-Yahoo boys, possibly excited by the number of unfortunate idiots they have scammed in one day, organized a rape circus for a flirting teenager, of course. When Hussippupi, an internet fraudster having over two million followers on Instagram, even much more than what Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola had, in fact, this takes precedence in national debates.
When a girlfriend plotted to have some of her friends raped by a monstrous gang of six – just to profane their virgin territories, which also is a serious case of national importance. And the list is endless. The lesson of homily in all of these sadistic sexual extravaganzas is that if the world is not coming to an end, then the end is coming to the world. The degree of sexual debasement, sexual harassment, sexual defilement, sexual perversion has attained an alarming crescendo to make GOD to extend the timeline of Covid-19 or to even upgrade it to “Covid Finale” so that we can all sing “Home, Here We Come” chorus.
Orunbon, a journalist and political analyst, wrote in from Federal Housing Estate, Olomore, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Can be reached via; email@example.com, or 08034493944 and 08029301122.
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