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War Of Words: I Don’t Know Any Godfather In Lagos, Says El-Rufai…Talk Is Cheap,El-Rufai Can Say Whatever He Likes, Asiwaju Remains Our Leader, Lagos APC Declares

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Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State said Monday he owed no apologies to anyone regarding his advice to Lagos residents last week to discountenance godfathers in their political dealings.

The governor, who spoke to State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, however, did not mention any name.

But in a swift reaction last night, Lagos State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, said talk was cheap, adding Tinubu remained their leader saying: ‘”they want to be like ASIWAJU, they want to command respect, they want the world to accept them the way they have accepted ASIWAJU , they want to get great followers like ASIWAJU BAT, they want to be admired the way people admire ASIWAJU, they want the people to love them the way they love ASIWAJU, they want to stand tall anywhere they go like ASIWAJU, they want to attract attention like ASIWAJU, they want to be celebrated and honored like ASIWAJU, they want to be worshiped the way ASIWAJU’s great followers worship him, they want be lifted up the way God has lifted ASIWAJU up, they want to be noticed like ASIWAJU, they want to stand out like ASIWAJU and they want to influence decisions at all levels like ASIWAJU, etc.’
Recall that the Kaduna State governor’s recent comments in Lagos were largely construed by pundits in the media as a deliberate attack on the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who has a strong influence on political developments in the state.

But el-Rufai told journalists that he stood by what he said, even as he dismissed insinuations that he was at loggerheads with the party leadership.

He said: “There is no dispute between me and anyone in the APC, the APC is one family, I don’t dispute with my own party. They may dispute with me but I don’t.

“I made comments in Lagos about how to retire godfathers. It is a template that we have used in Kaduna and it has worked. If anybody thinks he is a godfather, the template may apply to him but I am not in dispute with anyone.

“I expressed my views firmly and very clearly, there is no human being that I am afraid to express my views on, and when I am ready to express my views, specifically on a particular name, then I will do so but I haven’t.”

Pressed to know if he wanted Tinubu retired as the godfather of Lagos politics, the governor said he was in same party as the former Lagos State governor, adding that they got along very well. ”But I don’t know if he is the godfather of Lagos, it’s up to him to say that. What I know for sure is that we have retired godfathers in Kaduna and I have told those that asked me the question that ‘there are six million registered voters in Lagos but only one million voted,’ in the last election.

”So there are five million people that you can bring into the electoral play ground and you can defeat anyone if you work hard’.

“It’s hard work, it’s four years. That is what I said and if anyone feels offended by that, that is his or her business. “I have no apologies, I don’t apologise for my views.
My views are thought-out and I put them there. I don’t have to explain anything to anyone. This is a democracy, and in a democratic space, there must be room for people to express their views.”

On why he was at the State House, the governor said: “I came to see Mr President to brief him on the general security situation in Kaduna which I do from time to time and also to update him on the various initiatives by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the SSS, and the Army, with a view to improving the security situation in Kaduna in general and particularly along the Abuja-Kaduna road.

“I want to say that the initiatives put in place have made the road quite safe now. I can say confidently that anyone can get on that road because I don’t want to go into details of the measures that have already been put in place but I am confident with the security system in place now that people can be confident to drive on the Abuja-Kaduna road without any fear.”

Reacting to el-Rufai’s statement yesterday, Publicity Secretary, Lagos chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, said: “Talk is cheap, anybody can make any statement. They want to be like Asiwaju, they want to command respect, they want the world to accept them the way they have accepted Asiwaju, they want to be admired the way people admire Asiwaju.

Tinubu lauds Nigerians on Buhari’s re-election says he will continue anti-corruption fight “But in actions and deeds, they are not like Asiwaju. In character and in tolerance, they are not like Asiwaju.

In commitment and hard work, they are not like BAT. In grace and empathy, they are not like BAT. In temperament and love for humanity, they are not like Asiwaju.

”They cannot surrender their home to the people the way BAT has been doing. They cannot fight for others the way BAT does. They cannot deny themselves freedom for the sake of others the way BAT does. They cannot stand for the ordinary people the way Asiwaju does.

”They cannot be trusted the way we trust BAT. They cannot give the way BAT does.
They cannot sacrifice what BAT has sacrificed for humanity for close to 40 years.

They cannot live for others the way Asiwaju has done for years. I can go on and on but he who must lead others must first lead himself.

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BREAKING: Many Feared Dead In Multiple Accident At Otedola Bridge, Lagos [GRAPHIC PHOTO]

Peter Okunoren

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Tragedy occurred again at the notorious Otedola Bridge, Lagos, along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, in the early hours Wednesday, when many were feared dead in fatal multiple-accident.

According to an eyewitness, Remilekun Abiola, the accident involving five vehicles, occurred about 8 am during the early morning downpour at Otedola Bridge, out ward Lagos to Berger.

Though, the immediate and remote cause of the accident could not be ascertained at press time, but eyewitness attributed over speeding and sloppy nature of the road by Otedola Bridge, coupled with the heavy rainfall which affected visibility of motorists.

At press time, one of the victims, an unidentified male, has been confirmed dead by men of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA and Lagos State Ambulance Service, LASAMBUS, who raced to the tragic scene.

There were different versions on the number of casualties.

While eyewitnesses said many people died, LASEMA confirmed one person dead so far.

The injured victims have also been taken to various hospitals for treatment. Other rescue team at the scene, include: Men of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, of the Lagos State Police Command, Lagos State Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Ciro’s, FRSC, among others.

The accident led to chaotic gridlock along the axis as motorists were trapped in the resultant traffic.

Meanwhile, motorists have been urged to make use of alternative routes.

“Anyone going out of Lagos should take either Otedola under bridge or go through Ogba-Ojodu-Berger axis to connect the Lagos Ibadan Expressway and move on their journey,” LASEMA source stated.

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ICPC Declares Buhari’s Former Aide, Obono-Obla, Wanted Over Fraud Allegations

Peter Okunoren

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has declared the suspended Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Mr. Okoi Ofem Obono-Obla, wanted due to his repeated failure to appear before it to answer questions bordering on allegations of fraud and corruption.

The spokesperson of the ICPC, Rasheedat Okoduwa, in a statement Tuesday, said Mr. Obono-Obla is facing a series of allegations levelled against him by members of the public on his role as head of the government panel on asset recovery.

She said the Commission was in receipt of petitions accusing him of abuse of office, falsification of admission records, living above his income and collection of gratification from suspects under his investigation.

She said the suspended chairman is also facing allegations of working outside the guidelines governing the panel by investigating unauthorized petitions and prosecuting suspects without recourse to the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

Okoduwa said the ICPC had conducted series of investigations on the allegations with preliminary findings showing that some provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and extant laws of Nigeria had been allegedly violated by Mr. Obono-Obla.

“Consequently, ICPC had extended several invitations to him, which he had failed to honour without giving any reason.

“Attempts to track and make him appear before the Commission also failed to lead ICPC to contact other law enforcement agencies for assistance concerning his whereabouts,” she noted.

She explained that “one of such contact has yielded results as records from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) show that Mr. Obono-Obla had travelled out of the country.”

She said the NIS records revealed that he left the country to an undisclosed location on 17th August 2019, through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, and has not returned two months after.

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VIDEO: How We Arrested Mompha With N20million Watches On His Way To Dubai — EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has revealed how its operatives from the Lagos Zonal Office arrested Ismaila Mustapha, a social media celebrity, popularly known as Mompha.

EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement, on Tuesday, said: “The suspect was arrested on Friday, 18 October 2019, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on his way to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, following series of actionable intelligence reports linking him to organized transnational cyber fraud and money laundering.”

He added Ismaila allegedly perpetrates his fraudulent activities under the cover of being a Bureau de Change operator, to launder his proceeds of crime.

The five wristwatches with a total value of over N20,000,000 was recovered by the EFCC from Mompha.

Also in a series of tweets by the commission, it quoted EFCC operatives saying, “actionable cross border intelligence received from collaborative law enforcement agencies about his alleged involvement in the criminal activities further strengthened our suspicion.”

It added: “Ismaila who allegedly perpetrated his fraudulent activities under the guise of being a Bureau de Change operator is always seen with his little son flaunting huge amount of foreign currencies on his social media platforms.

“Investigations have also revealed that Ismaila is only using the BDC business, he jointly owned with his siblings, as a decoy to launder his proceeds of crime.

“However, the suspect has volunteered useful information to the operatives and has admitted being reasonably involved in the first two cases he was alleged to be involved.”

Uwujaren further noted that the suspect had volunteered useful information while the investigation continues.

“At the point of arrest, five wristwatches with a total value of over twenty million Naira (N20, 000,000:00) was recovered from him.

“The suspect will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded,” the EFCC spokesman added.

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