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Real Reason Ogbemudia dug his grave, shared his property to family members before death…

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The news of the death of the two-time former governor of old Bendel State, Dr Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia, at the age of 84, came to many as a shock. This was because many knew that the civil war hero had been battling diabetes and high blood pressure just like other people of his age for some time, but dying was something nobody thought of.

The elder statesman had been living a quiet life since he resigned from partisan politics shortly after his 83rd birthday in 2015. On that occasion, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who was governor of Edo State then, appealed to Ogbemudia to quit partisan politics and become a statesman that he deserved. Oshiomhole noted that the retired army general laid the foundation on which Edo and Delta states were being built, adding that he should not be a PDP leader alone but a leader of the people. Two months later, Ogbemudia announced his retirement from politics. He was an ardent supporter of the Oshiomhole administration and that pitched him against his own party then, the PDP. And the late elder statesman owed nobody any apologies for that after he described Oshiomhole as God-sent to Edo. It would be recalled that even while he was in the PDP, some of the party leaders visited him with a view to convincing him to support the party due to his aloofness in the affairs of the party since the coming of Oshiomhole. His answer to their request shocked the PDP leaders. He asked them: “Which road did you people pass through to get to my house?” They explained to him that they passed through New Lagos Road”.

While the PDP leaders acknowledged that the road was beautiful, he further asked them: “Who built the road?” The PDP leaders, who were now confused about where he was heading to, told him it was Oshiomhole. The late elder statesman went further to query the visitors, “So you people now expect me, as old as I am, to deceive my people? How do you expect me to tell the people of this community to vote against a man that built the roads in my area, roads that PDP failed to build when they were in power. Do you want me to look like a stupid leader?” The elder statesman admonished the PDP leaders to go and support the Oshiomhole administration which, he said, was working for the people, adding that being in opposition does not mean they should continue to criticize a government that was working for the masses. The PDP leaders left disappointed. And following what he described as the satisfactory performance of the APC administration in Edo, Ogbemudia endorsed the incumbent governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki. His Edo Mass Movement (EMM) has supporters across the three senatorial districts of the state made up of youths, veteran politicians and market women. And because he is adored across the state, his directive that the people of Edo should vote for Obaseki contributed immensely to the victory of the governor in the September 28, 2016 governorship election. Despite his differences with the PDP in the state, the late Ogbemudia kept his relationship with the former Chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, who he described as a “very good friend and political ally”. Iheya residence For many in the state, it is still unbelievable that despite his profile as a military and civilian governor, he chose to live in his Iheya Street, off New Lagos Road residence when leaders of his calibre live in the Government Reserve Area (GRA). Ogbemudia’s humility had no bounds. Asked why he chose to live in Iheya Street, he said, “GRA is too quiet for me. I prefer to live where our people live. I enjoy the noise. Secondly, my mother was buried in this my Iheya residence and I cannot abandon where my mother is buried. In fact, I dug my own grave close to that of my mother. That is where I will be buried the day I die. I want to be laid close to my mother because it was through her I came to this earth”.

Also explaining why he decided to share his property amongst his children while he was alive, he explained: “I have seen such things tear families apart when the bread winners die. And I don’t want that to happen to my family when I die. So I have shared all I have to my family and nothing is being contested. So if God calls me any day, my children know what belongs to them and there will be no quarrel because I hate quarrels and such crisis in the family”. Even at death, Ogbemudia remains the humble general. He had directed that he would want to buried within seven days of his death and that his body should not be kept in the mortuary. Consequently, Obaseki expressed his desire to respect the wishes of the elder statesman and the programme for his burial was arranged accordingly. His remains arrived Benin Airport from Lagos on Tuesday and were received by Obaseki and his counterpart from Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa. Shortly after the military aircraft, which ferried the body arrived the Benin airport, Obaseki and Okowa went inside the aircraft where they opened the corpse with a view to ensuring it was that of the elder statesman. The corpse was accompanied by Ogbemudia’s younger wife, Yetunde. Others who received the corpse at the Benin Airport include the deceased’s eldest son, Sam Ogbemudia Jr, the Deputy Governor of the state, Comrade Philip Shaibu, Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Taiwo Akerele, APC leaders, market women and youths. Members of the Benin cultural troupes, who sang to welcome the corpse, betrayed emotions when the body was transferred to a black BMW ambulance. The casket was gold plated. Tears flowed freely when the body arrived. The pains were visible on the faces of Obaseki and Okowa. Obaseki lamented: “This was not what I bargained for because I just came into office few months ago, and our late elder statesman was one of those I was hoping will help me lead our great state because he had been very supportive from day one. I saw him after my victory in the election when I went to visit him and we spent quite a lot of time in public and in private and he admonished me and assured me of his support. I cannot forget the encouragement he gave to me,, without his open and clear endorsement, my campaign and victory would have been very difficult. For us in Edo we will miss him, but we will remember him for the great legacies that he left for us”.

Okowa said: “ I saw him last when he celebrated his birthday in 2015 at the Public lecture and it was quite an interesting moment. We talked about a lot of things, I thank God that he still lives through his works. Obviously our elder statesman was somebody that meant a lot to us, Edo and Delta states. I recalled in 2015 when he invited me for his birthday. We will remember him for so many good things. I, particularly growing up in Edo, particularly Edo College, he was military administrator then. He did a lot for the Midwest Region and today a lot of things stand in his name and we continue to remember him and I believe he is a role model to all politicians. There is a lot that can be done even in the midst of difficulties, that is exactly what he represents. He was a friend to all”. Meanwhile, the committee set up by the state government to give the late elder statesman a befitting burial, led by the Edo SSG, Osarodion Ogie, is forging ahead with its assignment. Dignitaries across the country also continued to throng the state to pay condolence. Oshiomhole, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Chief EK Clark, former governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, Gen.Yakubu Gowon, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Chief James Ibori, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, Parry Osayande, Prof.Gregory Akenzua and several others have continued to pay tributes. Oshiomhole said: “ I have enjoyed a long history of relationship with our leader. It is not flattering when I say to people that God sent Ogbemudia to come and lay foundation for us. And you begin to appreciate this more when you discover that by the time he made this undisputable solid foundation, there were some of his counterparts who felt that they had no obligations to the people of their states, that they were accountable to their masters at Dodan Barrack. But what Ogbemudia did flowed from his conviction that this part of the world deserved the very best that government could provide. So we must find sufficient consolation in the fact that our leader immortalized himself before he left”.

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Oando Clean Energy, Cross River State, Sign MoU on Renewable Energy Infrastructure

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Oando Clean Energy (OCEL),  the renewable energy business subsidiary of Oando Energy Resources and the Cross River State Government have  signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the rollout of electric vehicles for mass transportation within the state at the ongoing 28th edition Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The move in setting up an electric vehicle (EV) assembly plant, is expected to create jobs for local indigenes as well as build a 100MW wind plant for power generation.

Representing the Governor of Cross River State, Bassey Otu at the MoU signing was the state’s Commissioner for Special Duties, Oden Ewa, saying the landmark agreement marked a significant step forward in the state’s journey toward a cleaner and more sustainable future. He said: “The MoU paves the way for the transitioning of our mass transit system to cleaner and less expensive fuels while also allowing for the use of our natural resource, wind, to provide electrification for our people.

“I commend Oando Clean Energy for their innovative solutions that address the impact of climate change in Nigeria and her citizens.”

According to Oando , it said,  as  a company, it has committed to ensuring that this journey to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future is as seamless and as easy as possible.

“This is by putting our confidence in, not only the technology but the partnership and ensuring that the Cross River State government and her people reap the benefits of generating power from sustainable sources”. The statement read.

Oando’s Clean Energy’s scope spans the entire 35 states of the federation and the federal capital, promising to create a cleaner, more viable energy ecosystem for Nigeria and the  people of Cross River.

In attendance at the side event were amongst others, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Abubakar Momoh;  Minister of the Environment, Abbas Balarabe;  Minister of State for Environment, Dr. Kunle Salako; Commissioner for Special Duties, Cross River State, Mr. Oden Ewa, among others.

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House Of Representatives Issues Warrant Of Arrest On Central Bank Governor, Cardoso, Accountant-General, 17 Others

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The House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Petitions has asked for a warrant of arrest to be issued on the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Oluwatoyin Madein, and 17 others over refusal to appear before it to answer questions on their operations.

It was gathered that the issuance of the arrest warrant was sequel to the adoption of a motion moved by Fred Agbedi, representing Ekeremo/Sagbama Federal Constituency of Bayelsa State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the committee’s hearing on Tuesday.

Agbedi, while moving the motion, said that the arrest warrant had become imperative following the attitude of the invitees, adding that the parliament worked with time and the CEOs had been invited four times but failed to respond to the invitations.

Agbedi said that the CBN Governor, the AGF and the rest of the invitees should be brought to appear before the committee by the Inspector General of Police through a warrant of arrest after due diligence by the House Speaker, Rep Tajudeen Abbas.

The Chairman of the Committee, Micheal Irom (APC-Cross River), in his ruling said that the Inspector-General of Police should ensure the invitees were brought before the committee on December 14.
It was gathered that the petitioner, Fidelis Uzowanem, had earlier said that the petition was anchored on the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) 2021 report.

Irom said, “We took up the challenge to examine the report and discovered that what NEITI put together as a report is only consolidation of fraud that has been going on in the oil and gas industry.

“It dates back to 2016 because we have been following and we put up a petition to this committee to examine what has happened.

“The 2024 budget of 27.5 trillion that has been proposed can be confidently funded from the recoverable amount that we identified in the NEITI report.

“It is basically a concealment of illegal transactions that took place in NNPCL; they have been in a sink with some oil companies where some companies that did not produce crude were paid cash core, an amount paid for crude oil production.”

 

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FCTA uncovers illegal oil refining warehouse in Abuja

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In continuation of the city cleaning exercise, Authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) with operatives of security personnel have uncovered an illegal oil refining warehouse in Mabushi, opposite Mobile filling station on Ahmadu Bello way in Abuja.

 

The Director, Department of Development Control, FCTA, Mukhtar Galadima after the operation on Thursday, said the illegal refining site was discovered during the continuation of the city cleaning exercise.

 

According to him, about three to four plot of lands designated for commercial purposes have been converted to an area where oil and diesel are being adulterated and circulated to other parts of the city.

 

Galadima explained that the city sanitation task force will look into the provision of the law and make necessary recommendations to the FCT Administration for further actions on the plots used for the activity.

 

He said there was no arrest but the items used in carrying out the illegal refining have been impounded.

 

Galadima said, “During the continuation of our city sanitation exercise in Mabushi opposite Mobile filling station on Ahmadu way, we discovered an illegal refining site where oil and diesel are being adulterated, we have done the needful by moving the items to Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.

 

“From what we have seen so far, about three or four pilot of lands designated for commercial purposes have been converted to unapproved activities, which we believe the owners are fully aware, there will be consequences.

 

“We are going to look at the provision of the law and make necessary recommendations to the FCT Administration”

 

He said the administration will continue to go tough on activities being carried out without government approval,  especially revocation of the titles.

 

Collaborating, Head, operations FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Service (DRTS), Deborah Osho said the city management team during the exercise also discovered that most of the areas in the Nation’s capital have been converted to illegal car mart and motor parks.

 

She disclosed that fifteen vehicles have so far been impounded since the operation commenced about two days.

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