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Face-off: Bode George Should Shut Up Already, Leave PDP — Jimi Agbaje

Peter Okunoren

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Things seem to be falling apart in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Lagos State.

Perhaps, this can be attributed to the party’s dismal performance in the last general elections.

The party seems not to have gotten over it and it has led to the blame game among leaders of the party.

The latest crisis rocking the Lagos PDP is between its candidate in the governorship election, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, and a former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George.

The two are at each other’s throat over defection insinuations.

Bode George and Jimi Agbaje

Though, there have been insinuations making the round that Agbaje had perfected plans to dump the PDP, he has since refuted the claims.

While Agbaje accused George of insinuating his defection from the PDP, George described the former as failed governorship candidate.

Posts that Agbaje had joined APC have featured prominently on social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook in the past few days.

One of the posts sighted recently both on WhatsApp and Facebook read: “Lagos PDP finally emptied as Jimi Agbaje defects to APC”.

Mr. Felix Oboagwina, media aide to Agbaje, had denied reports that his principal had dumped the opposition party.

Agbaje, through the aide, also accused the leadership of the party in Lagos of alleged plans to “give the dog a bad name and chase it away from the party.”

Oboagwina said that social media posts that Agbaje had left the PDP to join the All Progressives Congress, APC, were untrue.

He said: “There is nothing like that, nothing like that at all. He is still in PDP; he has not defected.

“How can people say he has defected on social media? He is too big for that; he is in PDP.”

When asked if there were plans by his principal to dump the PDP for APC, he answered in the negative.

While lampooning the a former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP for insinuating that he has defected to the APC, Agbaje said: “People should please tell Bode George to shut up and leave PDP if he lacks any value to add to the party, instead of being a dog in the manger hampering the progress of the party in Lagos State.

“He should tell the world where he got the news being spreading round.

“These party leaders have 2023 in mind. The game-plan is simple: Give the dog a bad name and chase it away from the party. By 2023, this mudslinging will have scared off credible people from the party, which will leave the whole field to them to continue to operate.

“I am too big to sneak out of one party into another one. And the reality remains that I have not left PDP for any other party, least of all APC.”

Describing Agbaje’s outburst as shameful, Prince Uthman Shodipe, Special Adviser to George, said the PDP candidate has “bitten the hand that fed him.”

George boasted that he gave Agbaje his first break in politics and a platform to actualize his political ambition.

The statement reads: “We have read with disgust an absolute report of idiocy that emanated from one Mr. Jimi Agbaje, who was a failed gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in last general elections in Lagos State, against the leader of the party in the state, Chief Olabode George.

“For the record, it is a public knowledge that Chief Bode George gave Agbaje his break in politics; he gave him the PDP platform without knowing him and also empowered him. It is sad and shameful that Agbaje has bitten the hand that fed him.

“Whether he has gone to APC or wherever, it is none of our business. We don’t know where he concocted this malady about Bode George saying that he has gone to APC.

“Bode George lifted him up in 2015 without knowing him; he secured the party’s ticket but his heart is not with the PDP.

“Bode George is a man of dignity and repute, he is a father of figure for the PDP not only in Lagos and South-West, but also across the nation.”

Lagos PDP also mediated in the matter, but castigated Agbaje over his comments.

The state Chairman of the party, Dr. Dominic Adegbola, threw up a new perspective on how the party lost the 2019 governorship election in Lagos.

He also expressed shock over the Agbaje’s “abusive statement” on George.

Dominic said that Agbaje was never a party candidate for the election.

According to him, Agbaje was not prepared to win the election.

The party chair was also quick to note that their candidate was imposed on them.

He accused a serving governor from the South-South and a former governor from the South-West of imposing Agbaje on the party. Dominic said Agbaje sidelined the party structure. He said: “During the governorship primary, many of the party leaders didn’t want Jimi Agbaje because he only appeared at the party every four years, but with the interference from outside the state, he eventually emerged as the party candidate.”

“But I can sense it from Agbaje’s attitude before, during and after election that he was not prepared to win and the people of Lagos had deserted him.

“He is an unwillingly candidate, uninterested in winning, he did not carry any leader along and did not campaign, he only held town hall meetings which were not well attended. Even when we drew up campaign programmes, he refused to run with it.”

The party chairman also berated Agbaje’s outburst against George, saying, “I am shocked to read such a statement from Agbaje but not very surprised because we are not expecting much from him.” (Vanguard)

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“The Labour Of Our Heroes Past Shall Never Be In Vain” —-By Moyo Odunlami

Peter Okunoren

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This line from the Nigerian national anthem is a paradox in itself, especially when one takes a look at present-day Nigeria and realizes that the labour of the dead heroes who fought for the nation’s independence seems to be wasted. It has been sixty-one years since Nigeria gained her independence from Britain.

For the past sixty-one years, Nigerians have had to deal with the same regurgitated set of leaders. In fact, if Nnamdi Azikiwe and co. were to come back from the dead and take a field trip to Nigeria, they’d be shocked to find the same set of people, who were in power during the 80s, still ruling Nigeria.

As Nigerians, it is clear that we have a leadership problem. The old men who ruled when our fathers were half-naked, innocent children are still in power today. This brings us to the big question: why?

Why are youths not holding the reins of power? To any foreigner observing from outside Nigeria, two answers may seem correct. One, the nation is practicing gerontocracy. Two, the youths are too incompetent to handle power.

However, as Nigerians living in Nigeria, we all know that these answers are incorrect. The problem with Nigeria is that the country is run by a set of people whose hands are stuck to the reins of power. Young Nigerians are rarely given positions of power and in cases where youths are elected into power, they only end up being puppets to the ruling class.

So far, Nigerian youths have proven their mettle and resilience in handling leadership positions, from creating startup companies to organizing groundbreaking revolutions.

However, just one thing stands in their way: lack of opportunities. For young Nigerians living in today’s world, finding the right opportunity is almost as difficult as finding a unicorn.

To make matters worse, there is an uneasy wave of political apathy among the younger generation. Most youths who have the leadership skills required to turn this nation around are simply not interested as a result of the discouraging state of the political and socio-economic systems.

Fortunately, this problem seems to be coming to an end, thanks to one man, Hon. Shina Abiola Peller, the senator representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola and Iwajowa constituency in the Federal House of Representatives. In January 2020, Hon. Shina Peller alongside a few young Nigerians birthed the idea of Lead Generation Initiative (LGI), a youth-driven organization committed to creating opportunities for young people to achieve their dreams and channel their creativity towards developing the nation.

Under the leadership of the young senator, LGI has successfully carved a niche for itself as a frontline organization promoting youth participation and empowerment.

In 2020, it partnered with YIAGA Africa to create the Get Involved Leadership Training (GILT), a program aimed at training youths on core leadership skills such as strategic communication, active citizenship, and nation-building. The program kicked off in Ibadan, Oyo state with up to 68 participants drawn from the 33 local governments of the state.

 

Moyo Odunlami writes from Ikeja




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Three Burnt To Death, Six Injured In Ogun Tanker Fire Accident

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Three persons were burnt to death and six others critically injured on Tuesday morning in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, when a tanker fell on ever-busy Presidential Boulevard road, following an accident.

The tanker conveying petroleum product fell after suffering brake failure while descending the Kuto Bridge.

A commercial motorcycle operator was knocked down to death by the tanker while others struggled to flee from the raging fire.

It was learnt that the tanker fell on the road and bursts into flame after it knocked down the motorcycle operator and as a side -to – side collision with a Lexus jeep and one other car.

It also left a gory sight of the charred remains of the commercial motorcycle operator and carcasses of burnt vehicles on the road.

Operatives of the Ogun State Fire Service were sighted making frantic efforts to battle the inferno.

The Public Relations Officer, Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), Babatunde Akinbiyi, who confirmed the accident, said three persons, including the truck driver, were burnt to death while six others were critically injured.

Akinbiyi attributed the cause of the accident to brake failure experienced by the tanker driver, forcing the tanker to veer into the lane of vehicles coming in the opposite direction and back to its lane before landing on the road with a bang that ignited balls of fire.

According to him, seven vehicles and six motorcycles were also burnt in the ensuing inferno.

He said: “Three people, including the driver of the tanker, died in the explosion and six others were injured while seven vehicles and six motorcycles were also burnt.”




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Ezinne Maria Ebi’s Burial Slated for January 29, 2021

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Matriarch of the Ebi family; Ezinne Maria Eriaba Ebi will on Friday, January 29, 2021, be laid to rest at Urualla in Ideato North Local Government Area (LGA) of Imo State.

Ezinne Maria Ebi, who is mother to former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and former Chairman of Fidelity Bank, Mr. Ernest Ebi, died on November 15, 2020, at the age of 91.

According to a statement from the family, the burial activities will begin on Thursday, January 28, 2021, with service of songs at the Ebi’s family compound by 5 pm at Urualla, while the funeral mass holds on Friday, January 29, 2021, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in the same town by 11 am. She was a devout Catholic and community leader in her lifetime. She lived an exemplary Christian life and was renowned for humility, kindness, and generosity which earned her the sobriquet “Nne Muru Oha” – Mother of All.

Ezinne Ebi was married to the late Mr. Fabian Ebi and together they raised their biological and non-biological children with strong Christian and moral values of integrity, hard work, and perseverance. Family sources describe her as an enterprising and skilled businesswoman who was indeed a real helpmate to her husband in providing education to all her children and many others who had the opportunity to live with her or encounter her. She is survived by 9 children, 27 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.




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