No fewer than 19 children have been reportedly drowned in a boat mishap on Saturday in Lafiagi, Edu Local Government Area of Kwara.
The boat, newsmen learnt, was conveying the victims across River Niger for a programme at a traditional wedding ceremony in a community in Niger.
The boat, conveying about 22 people mostly children, capsized while crossing the river. A source said that while two of the passengers were rescued, the 19 others drowned and died. According to him, all effort to rescue other passengers proved abortive.
“As at yesterday evening, four corpses have been recovered from the river.
“Effort would resume this morning again to ensure that others also are found.
“Both men of the Nigeria Police and the State Fire Service were there yesterday in the rescue mission.
“Unfortunately only two of them survived,” the source told newsmen on Sunday. Meanwhile, Alhaji Sulyman Aliyu, the Secretary of the Lafiagi Traditional Council, has confirmed the incident.
Aliyu told newsmen that the number of the victims could not be ascertained yet, noting that there was a conflict in the number.
“Definitely they are up to 12. The figure is between 12 and that 19 that you said ” he said.
The secretary also confirmed that four corpses were recovered on Saturday and that efforts to remove others would continue on Sunday.
The Public Relations Officer of the Kwara Police Command, DSP Ajayi Okasanmi, also confirmed the incident.
He told newsmen that the officers of the force and other security agencies had joined the local government council to recover the corpses.
He, however, said that the number of the passengers and the victims could not yet be ascertained as the recovery exercise was still ongoing.
OGD: When The Lion Roars Into The Ruling Party —- Victor Ojelabi
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 a 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 that 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 a 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, but he also 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 the Labour Party was to build a platform that will serve as a proper checkmate for irregularities in the 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 sceptic analysis said it was an act of desperation for him to have left PDP for Labour Party but the 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 the 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 to 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 yesteryears; 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 that 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 the 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?
Abdulrasheed Bawa: Why The Rage ? — By Rotimi Oyedepo Iseoluwa
1. The name Abdulrasheed Bawa sprang up prominently on the 16th February 2021 when the President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari nominated him as the Executive Chairman of the EFCC.
Shortly after the announcement, the hell let loose as the various social media platforms started witnessing the harvest of untrue, libelous, and malicious publications all in a desperate bid to paint the nominee as an unfit and unqualified candidate in the eyes of the public and the National Assembly saddled with the Constitutional and statutory responsibility of confirming his appointment.
THE MAN BAWA:
2. In law there is what is called an eye witness’ account. This species of evidence often enjoys more probative value because it seeks to establish with precision, the existence or non-existence of a particular fact in issue. In this case, I believe I can offer an insight into the man Abdulrasheed Bawa because I have had the unique privilege of working closely with him.
3. I know him to be one of the best (if not the best) hands in the Commission. He has distinguished himself and is known for performing his statutory functions within the three cardinal pillars of the Commission’s core values to wit: integrity, professionalism, and courage.
4. The 5th columnist in their failed attempts to paint Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa as corrupt alleged that he was arrested, detained, and investigated for oil theft and fraudulent sales of some trucks in the Port-Harcourt office.
5. I was glad when the Commission promptly straightened the record by informing members of the public about the falsity of these allegations. From the much I know of Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, at no point in his carrier was he ever arrested, detained, and or investigated for any crime let alone the fraudulent sale of recovered proceeds of crime which he investigated and prosecuted to a just conclusion. Truth be told, the Man Bawa is a man of integrity.
PROFESSIONALISM AND COURAGE.
6. I can also attest to the fact that Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa demonstrated his addiction to professionalism and Courage in all the formations of the Commission wherein he had served. He was posted to the Ibadan Zonal office of the Commission as the Head of the Zone. In Ibadan, the nominee made serious indelible professional and courageous marks in the Zone. With his effort, the conviction rate of Ibadan Zone increased exponentially.
7. Having demonstrated his capacity to turn situations around, the management of the Commission posted him to the second-largest operational hub of the Commission- Port Harcourt Zonal Office. Whilst in that Zone, he did not only increase the conviction rate, he was also able to recover proceeds of unlawful activities for the economic benefit of the Government and various victims.
8. His leadership skills, professionalism, and integrity also earned him his last posting to the largest operational hub of the Commission- Lagos Zonal Office. For those who know this Zone, the only conclusion they will come to is that Lagos Zonal office is now a pacesetter and by far, the most organized Zone in the Commission. To mention but few, his achievements in the Lagos Zonal Office includes; renovation of the entire premises, re-organization of the hitherto disorganized recovered proceeds of crimes/ exhibits, electronic movements register, migration from paper to digitalized means of official communication and information sharing, accurate database and statistics, massive recovery of proceeds of crime and convictions.
9. I also know that apart from his competence and capacity to lead the Commission, I am highly convinced that in view of the facts at hand and the provisions of section 1 (2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa is statutorily qualified to be appointed as the EFCC chairman.
10. I will therefore appeal to the naysayers and those ganging up to stop this moving train to desist, as there is no need for their rage. They should also note and know that there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.
Rotary D9110 Performs Free Cataract Surgeries On 100 Residents Of Lagos and Ogun States
The Rotary District 9110 Committee on Blindness Prevention embarked on a 3-day “Save Our Sight” Mission to Ota, Ogun State, and performed free cataract surgeries on 100 Residents of Lagos and Ogun States. The surgeries took place at the Ace Medicare Clinics, Ota, Ogun State from January 14-17 2021.
The surgeries were sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Eko Atlantic (the Lead Sponsor); Gbagada; Agege and Ota. The project which cost over N4million naira is geared towards depicting the need for a Rotary Eye hospital in a community between both states.
According to the Committee Chair, PP Dr. Basirat Giwa said, “As an organization that is interested in humanitarian services; the District Committee on Blindness Prevention initiated the process of selecting beneficiaries of the project in November 2020. After series of medical screenings, those who benefitted were selected and notified that they have been scheduled for the surgery.”
While commending the committee, District Governor Bola Oyebade noted that the theme for the Rotary Year is Opportunities and he is delighted to see the partnering clubs collaborating to restore the sight of 100 persons. As a humanitarian organization noted for doing good, the beneficiaries will be grateful for the restoration of their sights and our charge to them is to reciprocate good deeds in various ways.
According to him, “The Committee has done a good job by giving in their talent, time and treasure to restore the hope of these Nigerians. They have made the District proud. The ultimate aim of this Mission is to establish a Rotary Eye Clinic that will provide all-year-round quality and affordable Ophthalmic Services to the poor and vulnerable.”
Speaking on the behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs Folashade Alawode expressed her appreciation to the team for helping to restore their sights. She noted that the process of selecting the beneficiaries was devoid of any favouritism and they were well taken care of all through the period of being hospitalized. “After the surgery, my eye pads were removed, my eyes were dressed and I was given appropriate medications and instructions.”
Other members of the Committee include Rotns Dele Balogun; Abioye Giwa; Babatunde Awoyemi; Favour Madu; Airen Efosa and Fatai Oluyadi. Others are Rotns Dr. Wole Kukoyi; Niyi Adedokun; Sanjeev Tandon; Tunde Solu; Victor Edomwande and Toun Agbe Davies.
Other partnering institutions are Eye Institute of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital that assembled the team of Ophthalmologists, Ophthalmic Nurses and other support staff, and Mouka Foam that donated 100 Hospital Mattresses.
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