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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

Sack Tambuwal From Office, APC Begs Supreme Court

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The All Progressive Congress (APC) has asked the Supreme Court to sack Governor Waziri Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on the ground of irregularities in the primary election that produced him as the party’s candidate in 2014.

The party, in a change of gear, directed its counsel Abduganiyu Arobo to concede to the appeal filed by Senator Umaru Dahiru to get judgment entered in favour of the appellant.

To pave way for the actualization of its new position, the APC de-briefed its lead counsel Mr Jibrin Okutepa (SAN), who stood for the party at the federal high court and the Court of Appeal where he got favourable judgments for the party.

At yesterday’s hearing, a new counsel, Abdulganiyu Arobo announced his appearance for APC shortly after the senior lawyer made the same appearance.

Okutepa in response admitted receiving a letter but insisted that his legal fee payment issue has to be resolved before he will step aside.

Justice Dattijo who demanded a copy of the letter drew the attention of the senior counsel to a portion of the letter that he was engaged for the party by governor Tambuwal and that he should approach Tambuwal for his legal fees paid.

At this point, Okutepa announced his withdrawal from the appeal.

He, however, told the apex court that he ran into stormy waters with the party when he declined to agree to reverse the positions canvassed by APC at the federal high court and the Court of Appeal.

He said he declined to agree because in law, parties must be consistent with their position and that APC was no longer ready to be consistent with its earlier position in two previous courts.

Okutepa further said that the new position of APC came about because of the defection of Governor Tambuwal from the party to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) adding that since he is not a politician but a minister in the temple of justice, he could not join them in the new position.

However, the appeal could not be heard as the court informed parties to wait till January 25, 2019, for its decision in the preliminary objection against hearing of the suit filed by Tambuwal.

Justice Dattijo subsequently fixed March 5, 2019, for the hearing of the appeal.

Dahiru also of APC had challenged the nomination of Tambuwal on the ground that the list of delegates who ought to vote at the 2014 primary election of the party was fraudulently swapped to favour governor Tambuwal.

He urged the court to nullify the primary election or in the alternative, declare him as the rightful candidate of the party for the 2015 governorship election.

The appellant lost at the high court and court of appeal prompting him to approach the Supreme Court for a final decision.

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PDP To Kashamu: You Are A Clown, You’re On A Journey To Nowhere

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The Peoples Democratic Party has said it has only but pity for the Independent National Electoral Commission/court-recognised governorship candidate for Ogun State, Senator Buruji Kashamu Buruji.

The party in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondian, spoke against the backdrop of the presentation of governorship flag to Kashamu and his running mate, Dr. Reuben Abati, on Monday.

The party said Kashamu has finally turned himself into a clown in his desperate bid to destabilize the PDP as part of his pact with the Buhari Presidency.

It said this followed the threat of imminent extradition of Kashamu from Nigeria over alleged international fraud.

The party described as the height of ridicule, Kashamu’s purported presentation of himself as Ogun State governorship candidate of the PDP, for which he had to organize his own sham campaign rally, rented an audience and presented a fake PDP flag to himself, after the authentic flag had been handed to the PDP candidate, Ladi Adebutu, by the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.

The statement added: “Senator Buruji, in his forced hallucination, has failed to realize that Nigerians, particularly the voters in Ogun State, have seen through his antics; they know that he is not the PDP governorship candidate in Ogun state; they know that he has a pact with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to destabilize the PDP; they also know that he is a clown on a journey to no where.

“Nigerians are aware that Senator Buruji never purchased PDP nomination form; never participated in our governorship primary or in any process related to nomination of governorship candidate of our party or any position whatsoever.

“Those using Senator Buruji as their agent have turned him into object of public ridicule, particularly in his charade of organizing a rally to hand a fake flag to himself.

“The PDP therefore urges the people of Ogun state to completely disregard Senator Buruji as a clown and continue in their support for the PDP governorship candidate, Ladi Adebutu, who is already coasting to victory.”

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POLITICS

Atiku, Obi, Secondus, Saraki, Dogara; Families & Associates Listed For Arrest — PDP

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National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, on Monday alleged that the Federal Government and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have listed critical players in opposition including himself, the PDP Presidential Candidate Atiku Abubakar, his Vice Peter Obi, the Senate President Bukola Saraki, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, other top party leaders and their associates for arrest on frame up crimes.

The PDP National Chairman came hard on the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, saying that he has made himself a willing tool to carry out the APC script on how to cage and crush PDP.

“The country is in a keg of a gunpowder at the moment as a result of your hatchet job for the ruling government and I warn you to get away from this illegitimate job of using instruments of state to harass and intimidate opponents,” Prince Secondus said in a statement through his Media Office signed by his Media Adviser Ike Abonyi.

He said that available intelligence shows that former Lagos State Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu and former Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio are presiding over clandestine meetings and developing strategies for the APC which is aimed at freezing critical leaders of the opposition.

He said that aside arrest and detention of opposition leaders, their family members and business associates have been lined up for intimidation and harassment including freezing their business interests and their bank accounts.

Secondus described as an afterthought fabrication, the EFCC denial that the son of the PDP Presidential Candidate was not the target in the raid of an apartment housing him in Abuja insisting that the game plan privy to the party was clear on who was the ultimate target.

Prince Secondus reminded Nigerians that these acts of impunity is in continuation of the embarrassment they caused our Presidential candidate and former Vice President of this country on Novemeber 11, 2019 when he was thoroughly searched at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by operatives of the state on his return from overseas on November 11, 2018.

“After that embarrassment and harassment which was aimed at intimidating the candidate and nothing incriminating was found on him, no apology was extended to him as a former number two citizen.

“They followed it up with the freezing of the Bank account of our Vice Presidential Candidate as well as that of his friends and family members as part of a large scheme to keep the party distracted from its focus of regaining power in 2019.”

According to the script, “PDP will be brought to their knees so that by January they would be finally grounded with their leaders framed up and put behind bars,” Secondus said.

He said that in the script, APC and the Federal Government believe that the party can only bark and not bite as observed in the case of Osun and Ekiti states while indeed they are set and determined for the worse rather than lose the election.

Prince Secondus warned that “while PDP believes and cherishes all ingredients of democracy including the rule of law, it cannot guarantee any situation that aims at cowing the opposition and thwart the will of the Nigeria people.”

He chided “Magu and other characters of his type who are willing to assist the APC in undermining democracy, to look back at history and know that the consequences are always not palatable.”

The PDP National Chairman called on “all lovers of democracy and rule of law especially international community to rein in President Buhari, Magu and the APC to observe the tenets of democracy that respects the sanctity of the opposition and human rights.”

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