Connect with us

Boss Picks

Senate Presidency: Who Wears the Crown?

Published

on

By Eric Elezuo

In less than one week, the 109 members of Nigeria’s upper chamber, the Senate, will assemble to elect one of their own as their president, to supervise the activities of not just the 10th Senate, but the 10th National Assembly (NASS) comprising the senate and the House of Representatives.

Presently, tempers are high as regards who is fit to bear the toga of Senate President even as the the camp of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are in disarray over zoning.

With the inauguration of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu presidency, it was believed that the stage will be set for a smooth transition from the ninth to the 10th Senate, but that is not to be.

Prior to the present, the Tinubu administration had anointed certain members of the party to take the leadership of the National Assembly, especially party members to follow suit, while cajoling members of the opposition to also toe their line. However, the choices of the party have not resonated perfectly with other members, who are nursing the interest to grab the plum position. While the party chose former Akwa Ibom State governor, and former Minister of the Niger Delta, Chief Godswill Akpabio as it’s preferred candidate for the presidency,  other interested parties are not having any of it, thereby creating a huge dissension in the party.

The likes of former Abia State governor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, former Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari and Osira Izunaso, all ranking members of the senate, are also interested in the position, and seem not to agree in the supremacy of the party in this regard.

The APC has, in its wisdom zoned the presidency to the Christian South considering the both the president and the vice president are Muslims. While the president is from southwest, the Vice president is from the northeast. Consequently, the northwest, represented by Mr Yari, and believing they have a greater stake for giving Tinubu a larger number of votes, should be considered above all others. The southeast block, which Uzor Kalu claim to represent, are asking for equity, saying the Igbo deserve the third highest ranking position in the country. Izunaso is also from the southeast.

But with mounting opposition to the anointing of Akpabio, report says that Tinubu may have revoked his support for the former Niger Delta Minister. This is following the protests of senate whip, Uzor Orji Kalu, and Abdulaziz Yari.

Kalu and Yari have said they are still in the race for senate president, with the former governor of Abia hinting at an alliance with the former.

Again, the APC National chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, had also admitted that the leadership of the party had not consulted widely concerning the issue.

The chairman said the party was reviewing the nominations to see if the decision could be reversed.

“We must as democrats open up. We will go back to the drawing board. We owe our party that duty to take a look whether what was done can be changed; what was done needs some changes or reviews,” Adamu said.

The chairman’s stand spoke volumes of the fact that party leadership was divided over the nominations, giving a clear indication that every interested candidate may be on his own as the election day draws nearer. A source told TheCable however, that a meeting of the party’s leadership has been fixed for Thursday to find a solution to the impasse.

But whichever way the election goes next week, one of these four men will most likely head the 10th National Assembly

GODSWILL OBOT AKPABIO

Formerly a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), where he served as two terms governor of Akwa Ibom State between 2007 and 2015, Akpabio was born on December 9, 1962. Originally trained as a lawyer, he was elected into the senate after his tenure as governor, and rose to become the minority leader. He later served as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs after defectingvto the APC in 2018, from 2019 to May 2022 when he resigned to contest the ticket of his party for the 2023 presidential election. He however stepped down for the eventual winner, Bola Tinubu, on the day of the primary election. 

Akpabio was revered as the uncommon governor while his days lasted in Akwa Ibom for some of the gigantic strides he took in his administration.

However, Akpabio is bedeviled with a corruption baggage, which is not sitting well with members of his party. Much as he was originally anointed as the party’s choice, oppositions are trailing his candidacy. It is on record that Akpabio did not contest the ticket of his party for the Senatorial election as he was contesting the presidency

ORJI UZOR KALU

Also a former two terms governor, Kalu governed Abia State between 1999 and 2007 under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was elected into the senate on the platform of the Progressives Peoples Alliance (PPA), a party he formed. Presently,  he is the House Chip Whip while representing Abia Nortg Senatorial District.

Aside being a politician, Kalu, who was born on April 21, 1960, is also a businessman, who owns SLOK Holding, the Daily Sun and New Telegraph newspapers.

Like most politicians, Kalu also has corruption baggage, and was convicted by the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court in December 2019 and sentenced to 12 years in prison for N7.65 billion fraud. He was convicted for defrauding the government of Abia State using his company, Slok Nigeria Limited.

In May 2020, the Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled that his trial was wrongly conducted and released him from prison while ordering a retrial. The retrial is yet to hold.

ABDULAZIZ YARI

Probably the youngest of the quad at 55, Yari served as governor of Zamfara State from 2011 to 2019. He was first elected on the platform of the the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) before becoming amber of APC following a merger. Yari is among the school of thought that believes the northwest deserves the senate presidency, and him the right candidate even as he is assuming Senatorial duties for the first time.

Zamfara, the state he governed for eight remains the one of the poorest states in Nigeria.

OSITA IZUNASO

Representing Imo West Senatorial district, Izunaso prides himself as the most experienced and highest ranked of all South South and Southeast senators.

He believes he has a robust and outstanding legislative and National Assembly experience spanning from 1992 when he served as the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of House of Representatives to 1999 when he was appointed as the Chief Press Secretary to the President of the Senate. He is the only one among the four, who has not held executive powers, but has consistently remained in the legislative corridors as a lawmaker.

Izunaso once survived a recall by his constituency in 2009, and ever since, has remained in the legislative Chambers.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Boss Picks

Dele Momodu Bags South West Advancement Media Icon Award

Published

on

By

By Eric Elezuo

Veteran journalist and Chairman, Ovation Media Group, Aare Dele Momodu, has been honoured with Media Icon award at the South-West Advancement Award and Investment Summit.

The event, in its fourth edition, and which coincided with the celebration of Nigeria’s Democracy Day as well 25 years of unbroken democracy in the country, was held at the Lagos Oriental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos.

In his words, on receiving the award, Momodu, who has on two occasions expressed his intentions to be President of Nigeria, first as a candidate under the National Conscience Party (NCP) in 2011, and recently as an aspirant with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2023, and has contributed so much to pushing the positive image of Nigeria through his writeups and publications, acknowledged the organisers for considering him for the award.

“It is always a thing of joy when your modest contributions to humanity and the society is recognized and rewarded. Thank you for recognizing me as a person, and invariably recognizing Ovation as a brand,” he said.

A fearless writer and social commentator, Dele Momodu is the publisher of the Africa’s number one celebrity journal, Ovation International Magazine, The Boss Newspaper and the Ovation Television.

It would be recalled that as part of activities to mark his 64th birthday on May, 16, 2024, he established a series of Leadership Lecture with edition delivered by former Minister of Power and Chairman, Geometric Power Limited, Prof Barth Nnaji.

Speaking on the Summit and Awards, a yearly retreat to honour citizens of the South-West, the organisers said they designed to foster unity and development in the south west region as well as appreciate Excellence and Accountability of the average yoruba person for their good works from within and outside the region.

Also specially honoured for his invaluable contribution to the development of Osun State, was the Executive Governor of Osun State, His Excellency Senator Ademola Adeleke.

Among other notable personalities, who were also honoured were Chairman, Federal Island Revenue Service (FIRS), Zaccheus Adedeji; Mr. Seyi Tinubu, who was represented by Dr Seriki Muritala Ishola, veteran broadcaster, Dr. Reuben Abati and Princess Ganiyat Alli.

Other Awardees were Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Limited, Mr Femi Shoneye; Chief Executive Officer OnileOnile Global services, Amb Dr Mrs Tobiloba Awosoga; Chairman, Into Group, Amb Dr Joel Adesokan; MD/CEO AkModels Group, Parallex Bank, Dr. Odegade Abdulhakeem; CEO Nottinghano Nigeria Limited, Alhaji Olanrewaju Abdul-Hakeem Atilade; CEO Mateno Authentic Designs, Princess Joylin Mateno Ohooro; Mr. Tolulope Joshua Oginni, Mr Fredrick Olunloyo Olonila and Prof Ojo Ademola.

The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Enitan Ogunwusi, who was the Royal Father of the Day, was represented by His Royal Majesty Oba Muraina Adebanjo Adedini Asoya of Ile Isoya.

A major highlight of the Summit was a Panel Session featuring Amb. Tosin Sanusi, Mr. Abayomi Adewumi and Prince Joseph Eniola, with CEO, TOD Media, Ms Odunola Abayomi as the anchor person.

Continue Reading

Boss Picks

Again, Ademola Adeleke Wins Governor of the Year Award

Published

on

By

By Eric Elezuo

Sequel to his nomination and conferment of the Governor of the Year honours by The Boss Newspaper, the Osun State Governor, Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke, has again be named the winner of the governor of the year award. This time, by Pa Sam Amuka’s Vanguard Newspapers.

The governor, who has been rated as performing, was hinted about his award when a team of senior officials of the newspaper, led by the General Editor, Mr Jide Ajani, paid him a courtesy visit in his Abere Government House office in Osogbo, Osun State.

Explaing the reason behind the choice of Governor Adeleke for the award, the team said the governor’s attention to Infrastructural development of the state, has been topnotch, with special emphasis to his approval of infra upgrades of several tertiary institutions in the state.

The governor, in his humility, has since dedicated the award to the entire people of Osun State.

A statement however, by the governor’s spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, captured the visit of the team in details. He wrote:

The management of Vanguard newspaper has shed light on why it is conferring Governor of the Year Award (Infrastructure) on Governor Ademola Adeleke, describing the process as ‘rigorous and merit based.

Speaking while on official visit to convey the award letter to the Governor, a top member of management and General Editor of Vanguard Newspaper, Mr Jide Ajani who led other management team members told the Governor that his choice for the award was prompted by credible reports of his achievements in infrastructural development of Osun State.

According to Ajani, the panel of judges became curious about the governance, leadership and managerial records of the Osun State Governor after watching a video of the Vice Chancellor of the Osun State University in which the Governor was reported to have approved several infra upgrades for the tertiary institution.

“We watched the video with the Vice Chancellor listing several approvals and even with the Governor asking the University to look into what other areas of intervention the state should act on. That video excites our curiosity and we proceeded to investigate further by leveraging on our team on ground here in Osun as well as a team from the headquarters.

“We discovered what the Vice Chancellor said in the video was a tip of the iceberg. Osun is indeed a huge construction site. You have continued to complete abandoned projects. You have completed many inherited projects from your predecessors

“We have your records on roads, bridges, water, school and health center upgrades among others. We read your multi-billion naira infrastructure plan and its ongoing implementation. You did not play politics with the development of your state.

“It is the totality of your passion for development that convinced the judges to confer the award on you. It is our hope that this recognition will spur you to an even greater push to deliver on your governance agenda”, Ajani who led the Vanguard team noted.

Responding, Governor Adeleke accepted the award and affirmed that the recognition is dedicated to the people of Osun State whom he said gave him the rare opportunity to serve as the Number One Citizen of the State.

“I thank the Management of Vanguard newspaper for this recognition. I was with Pa Sam Amuka recently and I must confess that I learnt from his wealth of wisdom. This award coming less than two years in office strengthens my conviction that selfless service to the people should be the aspiration of all leaders.

“Since I assumed office, I have devoted myself majorly to delivering on our five point agenda. I deploy my network locally and nationally in support of our noble projects and programmes for Osun. I am elated that our contributions are being noticed.

“I dedicate this award to the good people of Osun state. They made our positive records a reality. We have the unconditional support and love of our people in our push to take Osun to greater heights. I will personally attend the conferment in Lagos.

“Our government is forging ahead with our systematic physical and stomach infrastructure agenda. We are working on a new airport, an inland beach resort, cocoa sector revival, upgrade of the free trade zone for agro-industrialisation, robust climate change agenda and digital economy programme. We are on a mission to place Osun on the path of sustainable development”, the Governor told the visiting delegation.

THE MAN, ADEMOLA JACKSON ADELEKE 

Born of the Adeleke family of Ede in Osun State on May 13, 1960, Adeleke commenced his primary education at Methodist Primary School, Surulere Lagos State before he was privileged to relocate to Old Oyo State to continue his education at Nawarudeen Primary School, Ikire.

Adeleke was born Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke to a Muslim father and Nnena Esther Adeleke, an Igbo Christian mother. Like him, Adeleke’s father, Raji Ayoola Adeleke was a Senator and the Balogun of Ede land in Osun State. His father, Raji Ayoola Adeleke was also the leader of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).

On completion of his primary education, he moved on to The Seventh Day Adventist Secondary School, Ede to begin his post primary schooling. In the later years however, he attended Ede Muslim Grammar School Ede, where he completed his secondary school education and subsequently relocated to the United States of America, joining his two older brothers, who were also studying there.

In the United States, he joined Jacksonville State University, Alabama, and studied Criminal Justice, with minor in Political Science.

To prove doubting Thomases, who wiped up controversies around his educational qualification, wrong, he went back to school and got enrolled at Atlanta Metropolitan State College in the United States, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice in 2021.

A businessman and administrator of no mean repute, Adeleke was the humble Group Executive Director at his brother’s company, Pacific Holdings Limited from 2001 to 2016, where his credible performances shot the company to enviable heights; a height it is still enjoying till date.

It is imperative to note that before he joined Pacific Holdings Limited, Senator Adeleke worked with Quicksilver Courier Company in Atlanta, Georgia, US, as a service contractor from 1985 to 1989. His dexterity to work earned him a progression in career, and he berthed as Vice President at Origin International LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, US, a flavours and fragrance manufacturing company. His meritorious stewardship lasted a period of five years, from 1990 to 1994.

Not a few has described Adeleke as the philanthropic capital of Ede, as his influence in aiding the less privileged and downtrodden remains top notch. He is a voracious believer in community development, and has not spared any expense to see that his community receives global influence.

Politically, Adeleke is a beacon of light and hard nut to crack, having remained an albatross to opposing powers and a reference point to ideal administration.

Shortly after he lost his brother, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, who died in April 2017, he contested the Osun West 2017 Senatorial by-election after the death of his brother, emerging as the winner under the Peoples Democratic Party, where he decamped to from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Having emerged senator, Adeleke’s political influence waxed stronger, an on July 23, 2018, he emerged as the governorship candidate of PDP in Osun State after defeating Akin Ogunbiyi by seven votes. Efforts made to deprive him of the mandate was twated by the courts.

Adeleke’s lawyer in his defense claims his secondary school hasn’t come out to deny his testimonial asking the court to dismiss the Case. The court dismissed the suit stating that the plaintiff could not prove Adeleke’s forgery.

Adeleke ran for Osun state governorship election under the PDP against top contenders Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola of APC and Iyiola Omisore of SDP on 22 September 2018. The election was declared inconclusive by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) while Adeleke was leading, and a rerun slated on September 27, 2018. The candidate of the APC Oyetola was declared winner after the run-off. Adeleke protested the result describing the election as a “coup”.

Much as on March 22, 2019, the tribunal sitting in Abuja declared Adeleke the winner of the election, the Supreme Court later affirmed Gboyega Oyetola as the authentic winner of the 2018 Osun State governorship election on Friday, July 5, 2019

Popularly known as the Dancing Senator because of his penchant to joyfully react to the sounds of music, Adeleke is uncle to one of Nigeria’s popular musicians, Davido.

Governor Adeleke is married to an equally successful businesswoman and a self-made boss. They are blessed with three children who are all entertainers. They are B-Red and Shina Rambo and a daughter, Nike Adeleke. He is the uncle of one Nigeria’s primus inter pares in entertainment, Davido.

As expected, Adeleke is moving Osun State to the greatest of heights as he promised, and many who know him agree that there are still very many more in the offing.

HIS EXTRAORDINARY EASE OF DOING BUSINESS STRATEGY 

The governor has shared good news on the ease of doing business in the state as follows:

In continuation of our administration’s effort to improve the state economy and encourage the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), we have completed the harmonization of multiple taxes and levies collected by different government departments, agencies, and ministries across all business sectors of the state economy including the informal sectors into a single bill. This Harmonized Bill curates all levies, which businesses are expected to pay on an annual basis as a single bill.

This initiative is to promote ease of doing business by ensuring seamless and convenient payment of levies and taxes due to individuals and businesses across the state in equal or unequal tranches and ensure the issuance of Harmonized Bill Certificate upon completion of payment of the total amount.

I hereby note to all business owners in Osun state both in formal and informal sectors that the official online payment channels for the state is pay.irs.os.gov.ng; POS machines in Tax stations across the state; commercial banks across Nigeria; and Money Transfer Services for those outside Nigeria.

In addition, we have also completed the deployment of Automation System for improved service delivery on payment of rent and lease on government properties; processing of Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) in 45 days; Electronic Affidavit System; Electronic State of Origin and Local Government Area of Origin portal; Mobile tax stations; Online Tax payment system etc.

ADMINSTRATION’S ACHIEVEMENTS AS SHARED ON NEW YEAR DAY

The governor declared as follows:

The good people of Osun state at home and abroad.

I greet you warmly with best wishes of a prosperous and blessed new year. I convey my intimate prayers that the new year will bring us new opportunities, progress and advancement as a state and in our individual lives.

I extend new year greetings to the elders of Osun state; to our royal fathers; to our religious leaders; to the young and the old; to professional elite, to artisans, to students and to womenfolk. Accept my sincere appreciation for your support before my election and for the last one year of my governorship of our dear state. I am humbled by your prayers and mass backing for our administration.

I remain firmly focused on the Five Point Agenda under which you, Osun people, elected us into office. We reaffirm our faith in the principles guiding the five point agenda which are transparency and accountability, open government, localisation, responsive leadership and attunement to citizens’ aspirations.

On the strength of the above, our government devised wholesale approach to governance such as:

●Dismantling bobby traps planted by our predecessor,
●Blocking leakages in public finance, ●Addressing the corruption and revenue diversion in the solid mineral sector,
● Restoring local government administration for grassroot development
● Embarking on mass water project provision
● Executing 91 kilometers of road construction
● Implementing free medical surgeries with over 50,000 beneficiaries;
● Total renovation of 31 schools
● Launching sport sector reforms
● Reviving the major commercial and industrial projects of the state
● Pushing for implementation of agric processing zone in Osun state;
● re-professionalisation of the public service;
● Strong attention to workers’ welfare;
● Tapping into tourism, entertainment and cultural potentials of the state;
● Ramping up efforts for a cargo and commercial airport for Osun state, among others.

Our administration achieved a lot by ensuring belt tightening, reducing cost of governance and denying ourselves many perquisites of office. As a Governor, my official expenditures are covered through the approval process rather than security votes, thereby assuring transparency and accountability.

As of today, our administration is struggling to purchase official vehicles for the state cabinet because the officials of the previous government bolted away with state vehicles. So our cabinet and other top officials have been using their private cars since we appointed them into office. Also, we are still working to renovate the official quarters vandalized by the officials of previous governments. Many of our top officials still operate from their private houses.

Despite the above handicap, our team is determined to continue to deliver on our electoral promises. I am glad to report with gratitude to God that we have remained responsive to the will and aspirations of our people. We get positive feedback and we are satisfied with our high approval ratings.

We are challenged to do more. We are prepared to make corrections where necessary as much as we will remain uncompromising when it comes to anti-corruption drive, transparency and accountability as well due process. As I always affirm, our tenure is married to rule of law and fear of God.

As a people, our nation is passing through serious economic challenges. As a sub-national entity ,Osun, like all other states within the federation ,bears harsh consequences of inflationary crisis, high cost of living and unstable exchange rates. These are macro and micro economic issues largely beyond the purview of the state governments.

In this national economic crisis, the Federal Government through the National Economic Council attempted to create a collective focus for a solution. All states committed themselves to this national joint effort. This resulted in specific interventions designed to cushion the negative fallouts of the national dislocation in the national economy.

We, as a state government, commend President Bola Tinubu for his relentless action towards economic restoration. But as we all know and as we are still experiencing, the economic crisis continues unabated despite the best of efforts. Osun, through the National Economic Council, is collaborating with the central government to support federal initiatives targeted at reducing inflation, cost of living and stabilising the national economy…

Continue Reading

Boss Picks

Guinness World Record: Celebrating Chess Guru, Tunde Onakoya

Published

on

By

By Eric Elezuo

In conformity with Guinness World Records guidelines that any attempt to break the longest chess playing record must be made by two players who would play continuously for the entire duration, Nigeria’s chess master, Tunde Onakoya, has shattered the record, setting a new record of 60 unbroken hours.

For every hour of game played, Onakoya and his opponent got only five minutes’ break. He also played against Shawn Martinez, an American chess champion.

The chess champion engaged child education advocate in the nonstop game for 60 hours in New York City’s Times Square in the long run to breaking the Guinness World Record for the longest chess marathon.

 

The 29 years old Onakoya originally set out to play the royal game for 58 hours but continued until he reached 60 hours at about 12:40am (04:40GMT) on Saturday, surpassing the current chess marathon record of 56 hours, 9 minutes and 37 seconds, achieved in 2018 by Norwegians Hallvard Haug Flatebo and Sjur Ferkingstad.

Speaking to AFP News Agency,  Onakoya recalled the road to triumph, saying “I can’t process a lot of the emotions I feel right now. I don’t have the right words for them. But I know we did something truly remarkable.

“[At] 3am last night, that was the moment I was ready to just give it all up… but Nigerians travelled from all over the world. And they were with me overnight,” he said.

AP reports that Onakoya hopes to raise $1 million for children’s education across Africa through the record attempt that began on Wednesday.

Though the Guinness World Record organization has yet to publicly comment about Onakoya’s attempt, it is generally believed that the Nigerian adhered to all regulations guiding the game and the record. It sometimes takes weeks for the organization to confirm any new record.

Onakoya confirmed that support had been grew for him online and at the scene, where a blend of African music kept onlookers and supporters entertained amid cheers and applause. Among the dozens who cheered Onakoya on at the scene was Nigerian music star Davido.

When finally confirmed, Onakoya would join the likes of Hilda Baci and Rhema, who also at one time or another smashed the Guinness World Record.

Tunde Onakoya Born on October 6, 1994, Onakoya, known recently as the holder of the Guinness World Records for the longest marathon chess game, is the founder of Chess in Slums Africa.

He has also organised a number of interventions for children across slums in Lagos state including Majidun (Ikorodu), Makoko and recently, Oshodi. The children are engaged in a two-week session that seeks to unlock their potential through the game of chess while learning to read, write and acquire basic literacy skills.

Wikipedia describes Onakoya’s trajectory as follows: “Onakoya learned to play chess at a barber’s shop in a slum in Ikorodu, Lagos where he grew up. Being unable to pay for his secondary school, his mother offered to work for a school as a cleaner in exchange for his school fees. He would later be ranked as the number 13 chess player in Nigeria.

“Onakoya got a diploma in computer science at Yaba College of Technology where he was a gold medalist representing the school in Nigeria Polytechnic Games and also at the RCCG Chess Championship. He has also won the National Friends of Chess and the Chevron Chess Open.

“Onakoya was featured in CNN African Voices.

“Onakoya is a board member of the New York City-based non-profit The Gift of Chess.”

Congratulations!

Continue Reading

Trending