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As the 2019 election primaries slated between February 2018-April 2018 draws nearer, the leaders of Ijebu/Remo today met amidst tight security to ratify the screening process conducted by eminent and seasoned administrators comprising of Sen. Odujinrin MFR, Bashorun Adebisi Adesanya, Pa Aare T Olu Dawodu and the permanent secretary emeritus in Ogun State, Chief Olu Okubadejo -Chairman.

According to the report presented to the house led by the Chairman of the screening agenda Chief Olu Okubadejo, but read out by the Chairman of the Ijebu/Remo agenda, Dr Osinowo Gbolade opined that, all the aspirants did well and are all men of valour but it is of necessity that only one of them will emerge.

He said during the screening process endorsed by the Paramount ruler of Ijebu Land, Oba Sikiru Adetona, the panel gave out questionnaires to all aspirants which they answered under sweaty conditions.

He therefore presented the score sheet as below;
(1) Abayomi Ogunnowo 52/110
(2) Prince Segun ADESEGUN 55/110
(3) Dr. T. Kazeem 58.5/110
(4) Arch. Opayemi 70.25
(5) Jimi Lawal 77/110
(6)Alh. Adegbenga Kaka 80.25/110,
(7) Hon. Muyiwa Oladipupo 88.25/110
(8)Senator Mamora 88.25/110
(9) Bimbo Ashiru(89)

The committee therefore recommended, Bimbo Ashiru as preferred aspiration among the others APC aspirants

In his acceptance speech, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru incumbent Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Ogun State, applauded the Committee for finding him worthy to fly their trust. He said the trust is a collective task for him and other aspirants declaring that he cannot do it alone without their support. He therefore called on them all to sheath their sword and work together for the benefit of Ijebu Remo. He assured the house of being the Governor of the State and not a marginalized Governor if elected in at the primaries and general election in particular.

Earlier the Chairman of Ogun East Senatorial District All Progressive Congress (APC) Pa Elias in his address said it is pertinent that Ijebu/Remo comes up with a candidate and plead that whosoever the panel choose should be supported for the sake of Ijebu’s/Remo’s Unity.

Also Speaking, a former Special Adviser to President Obasanjo who is also the Chairman of Ijebu/Remo Agenda Dr Gbolade Osinowo noted that the aspirants had all signed to accept whatever decision the screening panel will bring forward without threats to the unity of the senatorial district. He commended the screening committee for a thorough job appreciating them that posterity will not forget then. He assured that all hands will be on deck to promote and sell their candidate in all Senatorial District and the party, APC. He submitted that of the four members of the panel, three were from Remo Axis while Ijebus only have one.
While responding to questions from journalists, Dr Osinowo alluded that the members of the committee are all integrity personified, men who had national honour, men who have all achieved great things in life and can never be compromised.

The selected candidate, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru (OBA) noted while responding to questions that the mission to rebuild agenda of Sen Ibikunle Amosun is what he is part and parcel of not just as a member of the state executive but being an insider of how the government is achieving greatness. He reiterated his commitment to the agenda as well as banking on the relationship that exist between him and the Governor who he described as a leader, mentor, boss and friend.

Also at the meeting the Paramount ruler of Ijebu Land Oba Sikiru Adetona sent his emissary to inform the house of his support for whatever decision taken by the screening committee, he said no matter how pained it might be to some people they should put Ijebu/Remo’s interest above personal interest and aspiration.
The meeting was attended by four of the five aspirants while Sen Mamora sent his apology for not attending. Also at the meeting are Party Chairmen, Local Government Chairmen, Consultative and Advisory Chairmen, Party Leaders, Dr Tokunbo Oshin, Serving Commissioners, Board Menbers, Ijebu/Remo Agenda Youth members, Party members and other dignitaries who are not partisan.

Profile of OTUNBA BIMBOLA ASHIRU: He was born in Ijebu-Ode to the illustrious Ashiru family. His father, late Pa Simeon Adeyemi Ashiru, was a distinguished Ijebu statesman while his mother ‘Omo’ba (Princess) Moradeun Ashiru, is from the Fidipote royal family of Ijebu Ode and the ruling house of Owu-Ijebu.

Ashiru bagged a  degree in Marketing, Purchasing & Supply, and a Masters’ Degree in Strategic Management. With this background, he entered the services of the then Chartered Bank in the year 1989. In a successful career that has spanned two decades and taken him to various institutions, he has served in various capacities of Management (Head, Private Banking Unit; Branch Manager; Head, Institution & Professional Banking; Regional Coordinator; Country Director, Personal and Business Banking; Director, Corporate Affairs and Corporate Social Investments; until his last position of Group Head, Public Sector with Stanbic IBTC Bank which he was the pioneer head of the department.

Otunba Bimbo Ashiru according to different version of those who knows him, is a man with a desire for developing people around him and this translated into his appointment as the representative of the Awujale of Ijebuland on the Ogun State Poverty Alleviation Task Force. He distinguished himself in this field and represented his people favorably to the best of his ability and well commended by the Awujale himself. He was also on the Technical and Communications Committees of the 17th Nigerian Economic Summit (2011).

He is a member of The Metropolitan Club, Ikoyi Club 1938 and a member of the Ijebu Heritage Group and Ijebu Renaissance Group.
Otunba Ashiru is a Fellow of the Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria; National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria [FNIMN] and Chartered Institute of Commerce of Nigeria.

In recognition of his selfless service to society and having distinguished himself as a true son of Ijebu land and an astute banker of repute, Otunba Bimbola Ashiru was presented with the royal title of Otunba Adeona Fusigboye of Ijebu land in December, 2006 by His Royal Majesty, The Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebu Land, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona CFR.
He is a recipient of numerous awards which include the following:
 Best Commissioner of the Year – Nigerian NewsDirect Award 2015;
 Most outstanding Commissioner – Efizzie Magazine;
 Most Proactive Commissioner – FIBAN Excellence Award 2013

 Award of Honor for Outstanding Leadership – Manufacturers Association of Nigeria
 Ijebu Man of the Year 2013 – Ijebu Flavours
 Capacity Man of the Year – Diocese of Lagos West, Anglican Communion
 Pillar of Support Award – Timothy Adeola Odutola Foundation
 Recognition Award for Excellence – Manufacturers Association of Nigeria
 Recognition Award for Excellence – Armed Forces Command & Staff College, Jaji
 Service Excellence – FITC
 Award For Excellence in Banking 2017 – Ijebu Professionals Excellence Foundation
 Award for Excellence, Outstanding – Fed. Technology Incubation Center, Ogun State contribution to Commerce & Industrialization in Ogun State
 Integrity Stewardship Award – Centre for Save & Serve Humanity Organisation
 Recognition Award of Excellence – Nigeria Union of Journalist – Ogun State

He is the Honorable Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in Ogun State. A position he has held since 2011 after being re-appointed to the same ministry in 2015.

Under his stewardship, the business environment of the state developed beyond imagination with over 1, 279.84% increase in internally generated Revenue of the State. More than 120 new companies established their presence in Ogun State with a cumulative investment profile of about N691.77 Billion in 2014, compared to N377 Billion in 2013.

This placed Ogun State in first position in Nigeria, according to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. During his time, approximately 75% of Foreign Direct Investment into the country between 2011 – 2016 came into Ogun State.

Also, during his tenure the World Bank Group, in its Doing Business in Nigeria 2014 Report, ranked Ogun State as one of the best five States in term of ease of doing business against the 36th position in its 2010 report. He also facilitated the creation of a One-Stop Shop Investment Center (OSSIC) which sits within the Ministry of Commerce & Industry to assist potential investors with procedures for investment and documentation processing.

BIG STORY

Nigeria Senate: Tension As 9th Assembly Elects Principal Officers Today

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As the election of Nigeria’s 9th Senate President and his Deputy comes up on (today) Tuesday with Senator Ahmed Lawan and Ali Ndume locking horns for the position, both former 8th Senate leaders are still gripped with tension.

It’s particularly so, because the Clerk to the National Assembly, who is the administrative head has adopted a secret ballot system of Tuesday’s election of principal officers of the Senate.

Initially, there was conflict of ‘modus operandi’ with skepticism from the Ahmed Lawan Campaign Group headed by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi that if secret ballot was adopted, there might be shocked despite Ahmed Lawan’s adoption by the ruling All Progressives Congress.

While the Presidency’s intervention has made the former Governor of Gombe State, who is also a ranking Senator, Danjuma stepped down for Lawan, his rival, Ali Ndume representing Borno South has insisted that it was late stepping down for anyone.

Between Ahmed Lawan and Ndume, no one has had the pendulum swung in his favour yet despite the acclaimed endorsement of some Senators-elect.

What further makes the situation looks gloomy is the dead silence of the Senators-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Among PDP Senators-elect, most are still indecisive. Their silence is not only grooming, but heightening tensions all over the places.

Prodded to talk on the situation of things ahead of today, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha representing Taraba South Senatorial district confirmed that the party would take a unanimous decision on who to vote.

Speaking on reasons for PDP’s silence even in few hours to the election, the ranking lawmaker said, “there is dignity in silence.”

He further ruled out open ballot, stating that secret ballot has always been a tradition, insisting that Tuesday’s election would not be different.

With PDP having 44 Senators-elect, they play a commanding decision as to who emerges as Senate President on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, PDP had scheduled a meeting last0 inviting all Senators-elect, House of Representatives-elect and governors at the instance of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Nwike to hold at Rivers House As Okoro.

Sources close to the venue explained that the party would take a position ahead of Tuesday’s election of principal officers of the upper and lower legislative Chambers. It also said, “the party would roll out conditions for supporting any candidate especially the Senate President.”

The source added that the party became uncomfortable over the ruling APC’s decision not to allow Chairmanship of Committees to any of its member irrespective of ranking or not. It added that so many factors would shape PDP’s decision at the meeting today.

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Kogi Guber 2019: Fresh Crisis Rocks PDP As Ibrahim Idris Imposes Son As Candidate

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A major crisis is brewing in the Kogi State chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), as concerned members are mobilizing to protest the moves by ex-governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, to impose his son, Abubakar, as the party’s candidate in the state’s governorship election slated for November.

Abubakar Idris, declared his intention to run for the office once occupied by his father  last year but it is the manner in which the party leadership in the state is being forced into adopting the ex-governor’s son that is setting the stage for a major confrontation.

PDP members in the state, still smarting from the mismanagement of the nomination process in the 2019 general elections across the state are raising alarm, warning that any attempt to impose another candidate in the coming governorship election would backfire.

Party stalwarts who spoke with our reporter on condition that they are not named accused the ex-governor of killing the PDP in Kogi State, while in office, pointing out that all the poor foundation he laid contributed to the party’s poor outing in 2015.

Some of them stated that towards the end of his second tenure, Idris popularly called ‘Ibro’ was seen extorting money from those vying to succeed him with a promise of allotting them the governorship slot, adding that he has already started playing the same game now, promising the deputy governor’s slot to those who can pay.

“Ibro as usual, has turned the deputy governorship slot into a money-making machine. The same way he did in 2010 over the governorship slot. Politicians are currently trooping in and out of his Abuja residence in their bid to lobby for the number two post. Ibro on the other hand is said to be smiling to the bank on daily basis as those he has approached for the slot are responding with bank alert,” one party stalwart, said.

The stalwarts revealed that one of the ex-governor’s plan to foist his son on the party is in the exorbitant nomination fee, which they said is already driving many good potential candidates out of the PDP into other parties.

“In the last two weeks, they have asked aspirants to pay the sum of N75 million as nomination form fee without giving any genuine reasons why aspirants are being asked to pay such ridiculous amount,” one aggrieved member told us.

According to them, the strategy is similar to the one used during the NASS/presidential election when high nomination fees were used to push our potentially good candidates in favour of Senator Attai Aidoko was later fielded.

They, however, warned that if Ibro is not checked by the national leadership of the party,  the party will fail woefully in its mandate to produce the next governor of the state, and that the error will also mark the exit of the party from the state polity.

The party stalwarts lamented that fact that a man whose records during his nine years in office can only be described as disastrous, would be allowed to dicate who would be the party’s flagbearer in the upcoming election.

How could Ibro’s son, they queried, with neither the competence, experience, a genuine manifesto, or broad appeal amongst party faithful, be expected to deliver electoral victory in November.

The ex-governor was equally accused of losing touch with reality in Kogi, pointing out that his recent interview, where he said that he had no idea of the prevailing hardship in the state, as evidence that neither he nor his son had anything good to offer.

They queried how any dynasty built by a man who is oblivious of the misery that poor leadership is producing in the state can be good for Kogites, pointing out that it was better for the PDP to realise the error of allowing am like Ibro to select a governorship candidate for the party, in order to save it from obvious defeat in November.

The party men said the way out of the defeat staring PDP in in the face was to allow the party run the selection process according to laid-down rules and regulations, rather than allow an ex-governor, who failed in his time, to impose his son.

‘Ibro’s tenure, it was further pointed out, enjoyed one of the economically healthiest moments of the country, with  the price of oil relatively high, internally-generated revenue in the state receiving  as much as 150 per cent boost, but Kogi under his watch failed miserably to record any meaningful development.’

He was also accused of siphoning Kogi’s funds to build businesses for himself, family and cronies, and that his hotels spread across Abuja, Lagos and Dubai are mostly the proceeds from the crime committed against the state.

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: African Action Congress Suspends Omoyele Sowore, 8 Others Over Alleged Corruption, Abuse Of Office

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The African Action Congress, AAC, Monday, declared that it had suspended its national chairman and 2019 presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, and nine others over alleged corruption and abuse of office.

Sowore’s suspension was conveyed in a communique read by Mazi Okwy, a member of the party’s National Executive Committee.

The decision of the party, according to the communique, signed by the acting National Chairman, Leonard Nzenwa and the Deputy National Secretary, Abayomi Francis Olufemi, was the resolution of the National Executive Committee of the AAC, at its 2nd National Executive Committee meeting, held 27th March, 2019, in Abuja.

The party, according to the communique, accused Mr Sowore, the publisher of SaharaReporters of “deliberate inability to convene or hold the constitutionally mandated quarterly meetings of the National Executive Committee and other organs of the party.”

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