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Let’s Redesign the Fundamental Structure of Nigeria – Ooni of Ife

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By Eric Elezuo

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has once again, lent his voice to the call for devotion of power, and has canvassed the urgent redesigning of the Nigerian structure, saying the structure as presently constituted has outlived its usefulness.

The royal father, revered as the custodian of the Yoruba culture, made the remarks while moving a motion for devolution of power as a guest speaker during a one-day dialogue on “Youth, Religion, and the Fight Against Corruption” organised by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), at the Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.

The Ooni came hard on the nation’s administration, saying it has lost its focus as insecurity has practically overtaken every aspect of the economy and sector with kidnappers running riot in spite of the many security apparatuses in place. He lambasted the ruling class, accusing them of creating a wrong path for the youths to latch on, believing in the bargain that it is the way to go.

While preferring a solution, Ooni Ogunwusi said the structure of the country must be redesigned as it had become very flawed. He queried the rationale behind allowing the offices of the president and the governors to become as powerful as they are presently.

“Let us change it and let us talk to ourselves if we want this country to grow, let us go back to our local communities, and let us do all these things Community policing, Community governance, Community legislation, charity begins at home, everything starts from somewhere. The way you groom your youth is what they will meet in the future,” the traditional ruler said.

While also cautioning the leaders to desist from inordinate amassing of wealth, he pleaded with the followers to follow with their eyes wide open so they don’t get misled.

Below is the details of Ooni’s speech:

The President, we thank God Almighty for your life and all the things you are trying to do and attempting to do for the benefit of our nation.

I greet all the traditional rulers and all the religious leaders that are here.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen.
Your eminence came to this Podium and said he will adopt what I will say despite the fact that he has not listened to what I will say but he will adopt it. Well, I won’t say you’re on your own, but I will say something now; where did you get the spiritual powers to switch off the light in this Auditorium? So, the Chairman of EFCC will actually scrutinize you and I will be a witness to expose you further.

Today is another red-letter day for our dear country, and I will give a very wonderful appreciation to the Chairman of EFCC; for coming up with this initiative of things that we should be talking about in our country, truth be told, it’s a problem of our dear country. Religion – that’s where everybody hides. You call on God whom you have never seen before and whom you will only believe in. You use the name of God to perpetrate all sorts of things; after doing it you run to churches and mosques and various traditional organizations and you continue to use the name of the Supreme Being that you have never seen.

God is there, we are here, what are we all doing? We are the problems of this country. We are the problems of actually the mirror that we are showing the youth because they do believe that nobody is there for them. Nobody is standing for them so why can’t they go into so many immoral acts; Yahoo yahoo and all what have you? A lot of cybercrime because there is a clear disconnect between the leaders and the lead. And truth be told, these are things we need to be talking about. For the chairman of EFCC to come out to say prevention is better than cure; it’s about time for us to be talking about it. Not only talking the talk and the normal jamboree we do in Nigeria. We are known for that.

For the last 60 years we’ve been talking in this country what impact have we made? The truth be told in this country, we have very bright minds that can turn things around.

Well, let’s look at the structure and the system of this country, the structure has a clear flaw, and let us face that flaw. Why should we continue to make governance very very attractive? Why? We are the ones aiding and abating crime ourselves. Why should you encourage everybody to be the president? It’s only one person that will lead us. Why should you encourage everybody to be Governors? Why should you continue to create an avenue for all our leaders to be all in all, lord and almighty – you cannot touch them. The National Assembly leaders, all the senators, all the House of Assembly members both at the federal level and at the state level why? we all look up to them – they come into their various constituencies and they all do so many things, they are like lords. So, an average youth will think that these leaders; for them to be getting away with a lot of things, means I have to look for a quick way to get to the top as well. So, the system is actually booming and growing Corruption, we need to look inwardly, we need to look inwardly in this country and tell ourselves the truth that we are the architect of our problems. We are! We just keep talking we haven’t faced the fact that we are the problem of this nation. All of us! All of us! Let us tell ourselves the truth.

Let’s redesign design the fundamental structure of this country; Devolution of powers. Why should we make the president of Nigeria, the governor, and the presidency, so powerful? The EFCC chairman innocently said something here that he will go after the presidency, he will go after the Judiciary, he will go after the legislative. Uhmm! I will be praying for you ooo. I will be praying for you I will pray and fast for you. Some people have been there before for you, let’s be truthful. How did they end? They try to do certain things maybe they listening to their leaders and their masters who put them there. I will pray for you, I mean it ooo. The Yorubas will say we need to do more abuse for you. It’s not easy! He has spoken very very wonderfully well that he wants to make a mark but a lot of people will misread him that after putting you there, you want to go after us. When are we going to grow in this country? When? When? We all sit down and talk there is the problem in Nigeria. Maybe the day those youths are actually lavishing wealth and trying to oppress them because yes, they do cybercrime we have a lot of University Vice Chancellors here. In fact, those students are richer than lecturers now. Those students, drive better cars than lecturers and those lecturers that are earning so much send stipends, and they will be looking at them that how are they doing it. One way or the other they will fall into corruption. So corruption is everywhere! Don’t let us deceive ourselves.

Our leaders will so much be successful in the private sector they will gather lots and lots of hundreds of millions to go and do PR for them to get political appointments. What are they going to do when they get there, they will steal! That’s what they would do because the system has made that kind of portfolio and office to be very attractive. So many Nations that we can do a peer review mechanism with.

Let us make laws, let us review our Constitution, and let us stop deceiving ourselves. It is very little impact our leaders can make. If we know that we cannot make much impact, we will keep talking. We will keep talking every year and things will continue to get worse because the population is growing very rapidly. An average Nigerian now is between 18 and 20 years old; that’s the average Nigerian age now. So what are you going to tell those coming generations, if we don’t look inwardly and change the structure? It is clear Devolution of powers. Go and make local government and the root of our heritage, customs – make them powerful – go and make the local government chairman more powerful than even the president and the governors. If we don’t do this, we are in trouble in Nigeria. We will continue to talk. You will continue to feed fat and continue to bring corruption to the table of our religious leaders. They sat down on their own you are coming. They will tell you to kneel and will pray for you before you become governor. You go to the mosque, they must do so many prayers for you before you can become a Minister. They will do so many prayers for you before you can become National Assembly members. It’s a problem! It’s bad culture! Let us change it and let us talk to ourselves if we want this country to grow, let us go back to our local communities, and let us do all these things Community policing, Community governance, Community legislation, charity begins at home, everything starts from somewhere. The way you groom your youth is what they will meet in the future.

At some point in Nigeria, in some places in Nigeria, we don’t he of banditry. There’s nothing like that. If you steal government money, and you come home, they will send you back. They will send you back just like 30 to 40 years ago, they will send you back. At some point in this country, our leaders will give prisoners charges like 100 years 80 years 90 years like big big big charges they used to give them, we don’t hear of things like that any longer in this country. Let us talk to ourselves that we need to change the structure.

The way the Chairman of EFCC is doing, that lets him engage people publicly and talk about youth, religion, and the fight against corruption.. Let us engage ourselves, and see where the problem is. The fundamental problem, I have said it. I will keep saying it any time I have this opportunity, we cannot survive with what we have in Nigeria now, it’s not possible. Anybody that says we will survive with it, let that person come out. It’s a lie! Even if you are the genius of this world, it’s not possible. Let us change the structure of this country. Let us take power, structure, and governance, back to our doorstep so that everybody can reorientate the mindset of Youth from that point. You can reorientate the mindset of whoever our leader is at the top of Affairs someday you will start to groom that person. But if you say with what we have right now, it’s a white lie. Nothing can change!

On this note, I want to implore each and every one of us, we all have a stake in this country. It is not only our leaders. For every leadership, there is followership. If you are a follower, do what is right, and what is just. If you are a leader, do what is just and right. You are a servant! Stop amassing wealth! What do you want to use it for? Do you want to continue oppressing people? Someday, they will face you. We don’t pray for that to happen in Nigeria.

God bless our dear country, and God bless all of us, and God bless our Leaders.
Thank you very much!

The Ooni of Ife is known to have always spoken truth to power, and on many occasions, to the very faces of the leaders.

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High Society Present As Rotimi Akeredolu’s Laid to Rest in Owo

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By Eric Elezuo

The ancient town of Owo, Ondo State on Friday was a beehive of activities as it played host to dignitaries and citizens from all walks of life who stormed the town to grace the final burial ceremony of the late former governor of the state, Alakunri Rotimi Akeredolu.

The funeral service held at the St. Andrew’s Cathedral Anglican Church, Imola, Owo, Ondo State.

Akeredolu died on Wednesday December 27, 2023 during a protracted illness in German hospital.

The Vice President, Kashim Shettima, was among the dignitaries, who attended the funeral service at the church, and thereafter.

Other dignitaries whose presence were noted are the Ondo State Governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde; Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Ganduje among others.

Others were former governor of Ondo State, Segun Mimiko; governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun and members of the Ondo State House of Assembly, federal law makers among others.

The late former governor was interred at a burial ground in the town, at a brief ceremony that was strictly attended only by the immediate members of the Akeredolu family before a grand reception was held.

In his speech at the burial, the state Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who was Akeredolu’s deputy, said his former boss always stood for good governance and the rule of law.

“You are all here because he stood for something: good governance and the rule of law. He means a lot to different people, and that is why he has been described in different words. He was a courageous leader, a fighter, and a warrior. How can we forget him so soon? It is not possible because he lives on.

“He used the instrument of governance to intervene in different sectors of the state, including education, health services, and infrastructural development and security, among others,” he said.

Photos: Koya Adegbite

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Osun Gov, Adeleke, Loses Brother-in-Law

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A brother-in-law of the governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, Alhaji Tohir Aderemi Sanni, has died.

Alhaji Sanni is the husband of Governor Adeleke’s sister, Chief (Mrs.) Modupeola Adeleke Sanni.

Meanwhile, the Osun Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has commiserated with the bereaved, Mrs Sanni over the loss of her husband.

In statement signed by the state party chairman, Hon. Sunday Bisi, the party  described the news of the death as extremely sad and shocking, adding that the late business mogul was too good to depart at this time.

The statement reads:

“Osun PDP is really in short of words over the loss of a loving father and friend of our great party, Alhaji Aderemi Sanni, whose carriage exuded love beyond borders. He was a friendly father, so accommodating to a fault!”

“Alhaji Sanni would not hold back words of advice to anyone, no matter the societal disparity in class or status. Baba lived like a friend to all. He was an embodiment of humility in greatness”

“While we continue to grasp with the reality of the demise of Alhaji Sanni, our thoughts are with his wife, Chief Mrs Modupeola Adeleke, the children and members of the immediate family the great icon left behind”

“May Almighty Allah repose his gentle soul and grant him jannatul firdaus.”

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Lagos Country Club Appeals to Members for Calm

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The Lagos Country Club has appealed to its members and well wishers to remain calm and exercise restraints in the face of the current developments at the Club.

The appeal is coming on the heels of the illegal moves by the Registered Trustees of the Club to suspend the Management Council and constitute an Interim Management Board.

The Management Council made the appeal in a Special Statement to members and staff urging them to go about their activities in the Club without fear.

The Statement assured them of their commitment to upholding the Constitution of the Club, resolving the issues as soon as possible, and providing a safe and enabling environment.

The Chairmen of eight out of the ten sections of the Club have rejected the Interim Management Board arrangement and called on well meaning members of the Club and elders to wade in and explore avenue for peaceful resolution and allow peace to reign.

Meanwhile, His Lordship, Hon Justice Lewis Allagoa of Federal High Court of Nigeria in the Lagos Judicial Division has granted an Interim Injunction restraining the Trustees of Lagos Country Club from dissolving the Management Council of the Lagos Country Club and constituting a Caretaker Committee howsoever called or described.

In line with the order of Court for the status quo to remain, the Management Council remains in charge of the day to day running of the Club.

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