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OGD: When the lion roars into the ruling party By Victor Ojelabi

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Recently, the media was agog with the news of the defection of one of the former Ogun State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s chieftains, Otunba Gbenga Daniel (OGD), to the ruling side All Progressives Congress (APC) in what has openly kick-started the political permutation ahead of 2023.

The media further reported that OGD took part in the ruling party’s registration and revalidation exercise which officially validated his defection and membership of the party.

In a reaction to the development, the PDP in the South-West through its Zonal Director of Media and Publicity, Lere Olayinka, came out to say that the duo of Daniel and Iyiola Omisore had long defected to APC, adding that it was obvious that the APC has become so embarrassed with the refusal of well-meaning Nigerians to openly associate with the party in its membership registration and is now making up defections for public perception. In fact, Olayinka said by the action of Otunba Gbenga Daniel few hours after the results of the 2019 presidential election was declared, it was obvious that he was among the double-agents who sold the PDP out during the election.

Parts of the media report on OGD at best can be termed misleading as Ogidi Omo, as he was fondly referred, did not technically defect from the PDP to the APC as he stepped aside from politics months ago. OGD had been retired from partisan politics before his recent re-emergence to the call of duty. The assertion by the PDP therefore holds little or nothing to this effect.

Recall that in March 2019, he had sent a letter to the PDP leadership which read, “This is to inform you of my intention to resign from active and partisan politics with effect from today, the 14th day of March 2019.”

He had explained that his move from politics was personal and that the move will allow him to devote more time to charity and resuscitate his non-partisan political leadership academy, which he established a few years ago.

He had gone ahead to explain some reasons for his actions which were termed anti-party by the party:

“Whereas the national leadership of our party, recognised one candidate for the 2019 election, by court pronouncements another candidate, and in compliance with those court orders, which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recognised was on the INEC list.

“The candidate recognised by INEC was not acceptable to the national leadership of the party. Our situation was then compounded because the candidate which the court and INEC recognised and accepted as valid has also been expelled by the party.”

That situation made him respond to “the yearnings of our people and joined others in emplacing an administration that we believe will better serve the interests of our people than what currently exists.”

This support berthed the Dapo Abiodun administration.

Perhaps before joining issues with any entity, some things need to be put in retrospect.

OGD had joined the PDP in Ogun State in September, 2001 at an event which was described as one of the most ceremonial political rallies in recent political history in the South Western part of Nigeria. He had gone ahead to create a highly robust and effective political campaign machinery which resulted in an electoral victory for the People’s Democratic Party in Ogun State in 2003; a victory whose dominoes’ effect reverberated through the politics of the South-West region positively with a victory in five states for the then ruling party.

Having served as governor of Ogun state for eight years, his administration till today remains a point of reference in terms of physical, social, economic, educational and human capital development since the state was created in 1976. Notwithstanding these widely acclaimed achievements however, PDP in Ogun State ran into trouble waters towards the end of his administration (about the year 2009) which led to the sad loss in the election of 2011, and regrettably ten (10) years after the party has been unable to resolve those internal disputes and challenges.

Unlike OGD, no politician in Nigeria today will willingly resign from a political party for more than a year before pitching tent with the next available option. Out of respect and the vestige of loyalty he had for the PDP-a party he joined over two decades ago, and of course, the love for his teeming apostles, OGD waited for the best moment to press play on his paused political career.

The most extraordinary characteristic of Daniel is his ability to endure and renew. No politician has faced down greater existential challenges or perfected the technique of quiet adjustment to shifting realities with greater skill than OGD. Perhaps. When he left office in 2011, he made efforts to remain relevant in the scheme of things in the state. In line with his desire, he tried to keep the structure of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the state intact. But this only lasted a short while, as he had to fight many battles in the process.

Remarkably, OGD operates what can best be termed the politics of the people. Not only is he loved and cherished by the people of Ogun state, he ensures that his political moves are in tandem with the desires of his people. That was why he had had to leave the PDP to join the Labour Party. His reason for joining Labour Party was to build a platform that will serve as a proper check mate for irregularities in governance of the State. Though people in the PDP frowned at this but the masses joined him to follow the Party. Labour Party became the most dominant opposition party in the state taking over from the PDP. While skeptic analysis said it was an act of desperation for him to have left PDP for Labour Party but majority of the people of Ogun State didn’t care, they started declaring their support for him. He became the voice of the masses speaking against unhealthy antics of the state government.

After much deliberations and reconciliation meetings orchestrated by the National Leadership of PDP, Gbenga Daniel returned to PDP in October 2014. He returned back to PDP with massive supporters from the Labour Party which became a big boost for the PDP. But as the years rolled by, the internal wrangling and power tussles within the party took on greater dimensions, en route the last general elections. Things looked as if they couldn’t get worse, but they did, as the PDP lost the elections to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Politically, the PDP had lost its teeth within the political schemes in Ogun state. No longer was it the formidable party of yester years; this is notwithstanding OGD’s large followership in the state. Political pundits and analysts have for years posited that a move for the political gladiator away from the PDP and its many problems will be the best move for OGD’s political life as well as a win for the people that have come to love and trust him.

It, therefore, came as cheery news when he announced his return to politics on a formidable platform like the APC. OGD’s return to politics and the pitching of his tent with the APC marks something of a comeback for the Ijebu political titan, whose political exploits appeared irretrievably tainted by the internal wrangling and power tussle that afflicted the People’s Democratic Party.

Onboard APC, OGD relevance, political clout, prowess, etc, will go beyond Ogun State to the national level for the greater good of the Nigerian people. This can be envisaged from his programme on Public Private Partnership which attracted several businesses into the state during his tenure. And why not? From education to health, sports, economy, agriculture, urban renewal and rural development, power, infrastructure, human development, housing, industrialisation, tourism and employment generation, OGD’s imprints in the state were phenomenal!

As at the last count about 70 companies berthed in Ogun State from 2003 to 2011 with over 250,000 jobs provided through various employment generation schemes of the State government. In his eight years, the OGD Administration did more roads than all Administrations before it and most of these were done through direct labour with the Ministry of Works and the Ogun State Road Management Agency OGROMA. By utilising this method, costs were significantly saved while the confidence of indigenous engineers was reinstated in the people. The Olumo Rock resort was refurbished meeting international tourism standard, the MKO International Stadium Abeokuta was renovated and three other stadiums in other geo-political zones of the state were constructed to FIFA specifications.

The NYSC orientation camp in Sagamu is reputed to be the best in the country while the Tai Solarin College of Education was upgraded to University status making it the first in Nigeria and second in Africa. It was adjudged the best University of Education In Africa in 2011. The construction of a modern secretariat for civil servants in the State at a cost which beat the imagination of Late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua who commissioned it remains a landmark.

The construction of the six-lane Lalubu Road – the commercial nerve centre of Abeokuta – without a single demolition of existing building was to become a standard in road constructions in Ogun State today.

For OGD, the governorship was a 24-hour job. The last project he commissioned, the OPIC PLAZA remains, till date, is the tallest structure in Ogun State.

Perhaps it is not immodest to say that the incredible performance of Otunba Gbenga Daniel is now a benchmark to measure the performance of future leaders of the gateway state. In the words of the Nobel Laureate himself, Professor Wole Soyinka, “The various projects embarked upon by Governor Daniel are laudable and practical”.

If his decisions have gained him so much love and respect from his teeming apostles and the good people of Ogun State in the past, then who dares question why a lion decided to roar again?

Society

All You Need To Know About Otunba Tomori Williams Conferment As Aare Onikoyi Of Yorubaland

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Sunday, February 28, will be etched in the history of Oyo Town for a very long time.

This is because it was the day that the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, conferred the title of Aare Onikoyi of Yorubaland on Otunba Tomori Williams.

Indeed, on that day, endless blessings flowed, as the town was agog with activities.

The three days event was incomparable to anything that had been seen in the state, as mouths were left agape by the display of wealth, opulence and taste.

Kicking off with a DJ night on Friday, February 26, guests were treated to a night of dance music.

If the first day was for the young at heart, the second day which saw guests hosted to a Sabaka Night was something else, as a blend of adults and youths enjoyed themselves to traditional old school music.

 

The climax of the event was on Sunday, February 28. Guests witnessed a show stopper event with people from all works of life in attendance.

Kicking off at 10: AM, the palatial marquee, the venue of the event stood tall at the Aganju Forecourt of Alaafin’s palace. Indeed, it was a sight to behold as it was tastefully designed with drapes of delicate fabrics, chill air conditions, metal detectors, and what have you.

 

Indeed, such a marquee had never been spotted in the history of the town, as a lot of people confessed.

While the massive marquee served as the venue of the event, a smaller one was made available for the comfort of food vendors. It was indeed mind-blowing.

 

As expected, inside the marquee was a gathering of who-is-who, as almost all the important personalities in the southwest were in attendance.

Present at the event were notables such as Oyo State Peoples Democratic Party Chairman, Alao Akala, House of Representative member, Hon. Shina Peller, Elegushi of Ikate Kingdom, Oba Saheed Elegushi, Akinsiku of Lagos, Olalekan Dosunmu, and Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Oloyede Gbadamosi.

Also present were Oloyan of Oyankingdom, Oba Kelani and his Olori, Alara of Ilara Epe, Oba Folarin Ogunsanwo, the Lagos/mainland council of white cap chiefs, Osolo of Isolo, Oba Kabiru Agbabiaka, Onibogun of Ibogun, Oba Ifakayode Ajigbotifa, Chief Executive Officer of Sodium Brand Solutions Limited, Bisoye Fagade, Chief Olawale Andus, the Aro of Oto, representative of Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Mogaji Nureni Akanbi; the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams and Onishagisha of Magodo.

 

Others at the event were Ambassador Ayanlakin, Oloye Akin Fijabi, Chief Wale Saranda, Chief (Mrs) Kadijat Bakare, Bashiru Fakorede, Mustapha Dodo among others.

Music was supplied by King of Fuji music, Wasiu Ayinde Marshall, and Mayegun of Yorubaland who ensured that guests dance into the evening, as he dished out both old and new songs to the amazement of guests present.

 

Presenting certificate of office to the newly installed Aare Onikoyi of Yorubaland, Oba Adeyemi described Aare Tomori Williams as a brave successful businessman whose philanthropic gestures can’t be overemphasized.

Aare Tomori Williams is the MD/CEO of T. Williams Construction Nig. Limited, the Managing Director of Olaleye Property and Investment Limited, MD Maintek Property, and MD Olaleye New Town Developments Ltd. His various working expertise includes Real Estate Developments, Construction, and Consultancy.

 

Indeed, history will remember Aare Tomori Williams for a long time to come.

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Sanwo-Olu, Kenny Martins, Dele Momodu, Others To Attend IntegrityReporters 4th Annual Public  Lecture .

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Governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Chairman, Ovation Media Group, Basorun Dele Momodu ,Kenny Martins and other eminent personalities across the country are billed to attend the IntegrityReporters newspaper  4th  Annual public lecture series.

According to the press release signed by the publisher of integrityreporters newspaper and convener Mr. Adewale Ogunniran, says that the programme is slated for Thursday 25th march, 2021,at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos while the title of the lecture is “Security Challenge And Implication On National Development”.

The event will be chaired by Chief Dele Momodu,one of the most decorated media mogul in Africa, governor of centre of excellence ,Lagos state will be Special Guest Of Honour and the opinion leader Chief Kenny Martins will do the justice to the topic as Guest speaker.

Others that will do justice to the topic as discussants are,AIG Dasuki Galadmach FCID, Alagbon,Lagos, the popular essayist and columnist a trained lawyer Dr. Festus Adedayo, Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland Aare Gani Adams,  Lagos state Commissioner of  police Hakeem Odumosu,Otunba  Olusegun Abiru,Rtd. Comdr Olawunmi among many security experts and opinion leaders.

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WOMEN SHOULD ENGAGE IN PROFITABLE VENTYRE AND GAIN INSPIRATION TO LIVE FULFIFILLED LIVES

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Mrs Iyiola Olatokunbo Edun is the Executive Director, Grace Schools, comprising of both primary and secondary arms .Grace School is also the official Representative of the Loyalist College of Technology, Canada in Nigeria. Edun bagged a Bachelors of Arts Degree in History from the University of Kent at Canterbury and a Masters of Arts Degree in Comparative History from the University of Essex, all in the UK.She later completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Lagos. She speaks on the role of women in the society, impact of Covid-19 on learning, Parental issues among others.

 

MEASURES IN ENHANCING THE LEARNING PROCESS

We have embarked on several measures to accelerate learning and deliver qualitative teaching for our students.Covid-19 has also enabled us to be more pro-active and dynamic in our teaching endeavor. We had to adopt 3 approaches as students were not forced to come to school. The three learning methods are online , Hybrid- 3 days in school , 2 at home and 5 day physical attendance in school. The strategy we adopted was the use of questionnaires for parents to choose what they want. The fees were different and they had choices. Basically learning remains the same thing but it is now left to parents to supervise their children.

HUGE COST OF COVID-19

It should not be overemphasized that Covid pandemic affected schools more than any other sector. We invested huge sums of money on data for our teachers. We also had to procure Germicidal lamps from overseas. We paid in dollars and they came through courier in order to facilitate speedy delivery. We obtained the lamps before school resumed and they were faced in all the classrooms. We also invested a lot of funds in sanitizing the entire school compound. We had to invest huge funds with view to cushion the effects of covid-19. The school had to stop some extra-curricular activities to aid social distancing.

 

 

IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON LEARNING

Before the advent of Covid, we actually prepared about the possibility of setting up online learning schooling for our students. We started the test run already before lockdown and it now launched the school into a new technology. We already installed things place and the process commenced with the training of all our teachers. There were some teething problems associated with such novel ideas but we were able to overcome. Some parents were not patient during this period but it eventually became a success. It is an innovation we adapted to aid learning and facilitate the teaching process. Some of the students also took time to get accustomed to it but eventually, they enjoy the system better through interactions and engagement session with their peers online. It is impressive to note that some the students even in the primary school developed their own videos and started their own YouTube channels. These are primary school pupils who are brilliant. The students are more independent and more technically sound. I joined some of the classes through zoom it was a great experience.          The investment in ICT has impacted positively on our students as well as our teachers. The role of Technology cannot be underestimated in view of its relevance to accelerate the learning process.

 


 

PARENTAL ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Parents need to be alive to their responsibilities. A lot of Nigerian parents have abandoned their functions to the school. It is the responsibility of the parents to teach their children basic values such as politeness and courtesy. It should be emphasized that the school is meant to reinforce the training parents give their children. Parents should not abdicate their responsibilities to the school. Parents should teach their children basic values so that schools can deliver qualitative learning. Charity actually begins at home. Parents blame schools for performance but they also need to be involved in the learning process. It has been observed over time that parents are non-challant about the performance of their children academically. The other side of it is that they (Parents) blame the school while neglecting their own roles and responsibilities. Parents need to exercise patience in rating schools and this is more of a Nigerian mentality as parents are quick to blame schools for poor standard. Teachers need to be accorded respect as we are more like parents to the children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE SOCIETY

I was brought up by a very strict mum. My mother had strength in talking which she used in passing across key messages.   My mum didn’t give anything on a platter of Gold. She ensured that I work to earn whatever I deserve. I was exposed to several things through my mother and she ensured that I had the basic fundamentals of becoming a woman of repute. It has become imperative for women to create an enabling environment and monitor their children. The role of women cut across the home and the society. It is also important for women to know Know the peculiarities of every individual child.  Women should engage in profitable ventures and gain inspiration to live a fulfilled life. It is important for women never to be discouraged in any way. There are myriad of challenges facing women in our society but women should not quit. I have had strong women in my life who have also provided the platform for me to rise beyond my challenges. My Master’s thesis was on women and how they cope with challenges and life in my life generally. It is important for women to have confidence in themselves. Women should strive to be independent and never be a burden on the society.  In Nigeria being a woman is at disadvantage because we are referred as second class citizens already. Women should also endeavor to obtain sound education, which no one can take away from them. They need to have the courage and Confidence to face life. They should not see themselves as inferior in any way. A lot of women are undergoing stress and they are unable to seek professional counsel and this causes serious threat to their health. They should belong to a network of positive women who can tackle challenges together and discuss issues . Women should seek help when they have challenges. There are professionals to seek and find people. There are professional counselors in churches. They should also engage in hobbies and some activities that will give them inspiration. The older women should also provide counseling for the younger ones in order to support them in life

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