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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.

POLITICS

Ogun 2019: Ex-Speaker Dimeji Bankole Emerges ADP Governorship Candidate

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole, has emerged the governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party in Ogun State.

Bankole emerged the party’s candidate on Saturday evening at its primaries in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Announcing Bankole as the candidate, the Returning Officer for the primaries, Chief Chamberlain Amadi, said he polled 157,466 votes to clinch the ticket in an election held across the 236 wards in the state.

Amadi commended members of the party for conducting themselves peacefully during the elections.

He urged them to work assiduously well in ensuring that candidates of the party for all elective posts emerged victorious in the forthcoming elections.

He said: “I am glad today to announce that the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole, has won the governorship primary of our party in Ogun state after polling 157,466 votes.

“This election was conducted across the 236 wards scattered across the 20 local governments and 37 LCDAs in the state.

“We have the total number of members accredited across the state to be a total of 157,600 and the election free and fair.

“By the power conferred on me as the Returning Officer in Ogun State, I hereby declare Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole as the winner of this primary election and flagbearer of the party during the 2019 governorship election.”

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BIG STORY

2019: Gbenga Daniel Tipped As Atiku’s Running Mate As PDP Reportedly Zones VP Slot To South-West

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The search for a running mate for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, began immediately after the conclusion of the primaries in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Sunday.

According to Eagle Online, Atiku Abubakar, a number of the aspirants for the presidential tickets, some governors and chieftains of the party, including the Director General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, met immediately after the primaries to iron out the issues of zoning of positions the party will adopt ahead of the 2019 elections.

According to informed sources, the meeting agreed that the vice presidential slot should be zoned to the South West in order to counter the ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress, which has President Muhammadu Buhari for the North and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo from the South West.

According to sources at the meeting, the position of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation was zoned to the South East.

The Eagle Online was told that one of those mentioned for consideration at the meeting for the vice presidential slot was Daniel.

He was said to have been considered fit for the position because like Osinbajo, he is from Ogun State and has huge network across the country, especially having been a crucial part of the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign Organisation in 2015 and campaigned across the country for the national chairmanship seat of the PDP, which was eventually won by Prince Uche Secondus.

Sources said those at the meeting also said Daniel performed creditably as governor and has succeeded in rallying the party in his home state for a formidable challenge of the APC in the general election.

One of those said to be in pole position for the SGF slot from the South East is a former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi.

Obi rose to national prominence as governor based on his performance, especially the prudent management of the state’s resources, and has sustained this outside political office with his contributions to education and knowledge of economic issues.

Some party leaders and members are, however, said to be rooting for the emergence of a South-Easterner as the vice presidential running mate.

They also canvassed the position at the meeting, which was adjourned to a later date, which will be soon, for the presidential campaign to commence.

In a related development, Chief Chinedu Eya, a chieftain of the PDP in Enugu State, on Sunday congratulated Abubakar following his emergence as the presidential candidate and called on him to choose the country’s former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala or Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, representing Bayelsa North Senatorial District as his running mate, to give technical coloration to his aspiration.

Eya, a former Enugu North Senatorial District aspirant on the platform of PDP, who spoke after a keenly contested primary election of the PDP at the national convention of the party held at the Adokiye Amasiemeka stadium, Igwuruta-Ali, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, congratulated the party’s delegates for their bold decision during the exercise.

Eya noted that his choice Murray-Bruce and Okonjo-Iweala was to allow front-line technocrats in the country the opportunity to chart a new course for the Nation’s bastardized economy under the APC in one term.

In a statement by his media aide, Gwiyi Solomon, the PDP chieftain urged the other presidential aspirants who participated in the primary election to happily accept the outcome of the contest and rally round the chosen candidate of the party as the tasks ahead of the general election will be daunting.

Eya said: “The wise thing to do at the moment is for Atiku to choose Dr. Okonjo Iweala or Senator Ben Murray-Bruce to give technical colouration to his aspiration.”
“While I congratulate our delegates for a good job, I also want to beg other contestants in the exercise to hug Atiku and become ‘Atikulated’ as the tasks ahead of the coming general election will no doubt, appear very daunting.”

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POLITICS

Ajimobi Clinches Oyo South Senatorial Ticket

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The Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has clinched the All Progressives Congress ticket for Oyo South Senatorial District in the primary election conducted by the Chief Ademola Seriki-led electoral panel.

Ajimobi defeated Dr. Fola Akinosun by 2,659 to 168 votes to seek a return to the Red Chamber, where he represented the state between 2003 and 2007 on the platform of the defunct Alliance for Democracy.

Announcing the result in the early hours of Wednesday, Seriki said the exercise, which started around 6:30pm on Tuesday, was delayed due to the late arrival of voting materials from the national headquarters of the party in Abuja.

The Oyo South Senatorial District spans nine local government areas, which are Ibarapa North, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa Central, Ido, Ibadan North, Ibadan South-East, Ibadan South-West, Ibadan North-East and Ibadan North-West.

The Senator currently representing the district, Soji Akanbi, did not take part in the exercise for undisclosed reasons.

Addressing journalists after being declared the winner, the governor applauded the electoral committee for what he called the hitch-free and smooth conduct of the exercise, despite the earlier delay.

Ajimobi said: “I look forward to going back to the Red Chamber to contribute my quota to the national debate and the progress of the nation.

“I wish to bring to fore my parliamentary experience to grow a Nigeria that the next generation will be proud of.

“The process has just started today (yesterday) with my emergence as the candidate of our great party.

“The people of Oyo South Senatorial district should expect greater performance from me at the Senate, which will even surpass my unprecedented achievements as governor by the grace of God.

“As you have all witnessed, the election was free, fair and transparent.

“I was even happy that my younger brother, Dr. Fola Akinosun, could score as high as 168 votes.

“I think he tried.

“And you can see that it was transparent and I am happy about it.”

Akinosun, who was present at the beginning of the exercise, left the venue for undisclosed reasons before the final collation of the results from the nine LGs.

He had earlier promised to abide by the results of the primary on the condition that it was free and fair, adding that he decided to throw his hat into the ring as a free citizen and qualified member of the APC, irrespective of the stature of his co-contestants.

Akinosun added: “This election is not about life.

“It is about representation and should not be by force.

“I promise to accept the outcome of the polls and that is if the due diligence is done.

“We are in the same party and we shall not allow an internal election to create a crisis in our party.”

Also addressing delegates after announcing the results, Seriki described the exercise as another successful primary that the committee had conducted, having also taken charge of the governorship primary that produced Chief Adebayo Adelabu on Sunday.

He said: “You heard what happened in some states that conducted the same exercise.

“Some were not as successful as Oyo State and I give the credit to the aspirants and the entire members of this great party for making this exercise worthwhile.

“I salute the calmness and maturity of the aspirants that have so far participated in the primaries, from Sunday’s governorship primary and today’s Senate primary.

“We look forward to further cooperation of all stakeholders in the remaining primaries.”

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