By Augustine Akhilomen
Condolence messages have begun pouring in for the late Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi who died on Thursday after testing positive to Covid-19.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina condoled with the government and people of Oyo State, saying that Ajimobi’s contributions to the development of the state, and nation, will always be remembered.
The President said the former governor, who served the country as a Senator, 2003, before winning the governorship election in 2011, remained steadfast and consistent in his progressive views, and working assiduously for the creation of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“As the party chieftain bows out, President Buhari believes he left the world at a crucial moment when the party and the country needed his counsels to heal, and grow, noting that his absence will be sorely felt by all associates, particularly in the APC.
“The President prays that the Almighty God will comfort the family of the former governor, and grant him a peaceful rest,” the President said.
I Lost A Dedicated Brother and Ally- Tinubu
In his tribute to Ajimobi, National Leader of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu described the deceased as one of the leading lights of the party.7
He described his death as a sore loss to the Yoruba race and Oyo State adding that he had lost a dedicated friend, brother and ally.
“The pain we feel at his passing is beyond what words can describe. This good and excellent man has left us but his energy, activism and commitment to Nigeria and its people shall always be with us.
“He was reputed to be the best and most productive governor Oyo State has had. In this assessment, I concur as do so many others. The numerous infrastructural and public works projects he initiated literally changed the face of Oyo for the better.
“His legacy as a governor will be an enduring and positive one. The first governor to serve two consecutive terms in Oyo, he broke a political jinx that many said could not be broken,” Tinubu said.
He Was a Political Stabilizer- Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu described Ajimobi’s death as a great loss to his family, the people of the Oyo State and the country as a whole.
Sanwo-Olu, in a statement, signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said Ajimobi’s shocking demise, after all efforts by medical professionals to stabilize him, when he took ill, has opened a deep sore in the hearts of millions of Nigerians, who looked up to him as a rallying point and a political stabilizer.
He said: “the passage of Senator Ajimobi hurt me. My heart was filled with grief when I was informed that I had lost another political icon our battle against the coronavirus.”
Flags Fly At Half Mast In Oyo State Friday- Makinde
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde also mourned his predecessor-in-office, saying he could not begin to imagine the pain the family must be going through at this time because of the loss of their patriarch.
In a condolence message to the Ajimobi family and the people of Oyo, Makinde directed that the state’s flag fly at half mast on Friday.
“I was so sorry to hear the news of the passing away of the immediate past Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, which sad event took place earlier today,” he said.
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa took to twitter handle to commiserate with the Ajimobi family on the sad loss.
“I just received the sad news of the passing of Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the immediate past Governor of Oyo State. At this difficult time, my prayers are with Florence, his wife; his entire family; and the people of Oyo State,” Okowa said.
Bauchi Governor, Bala Mohammed, who fortunately survived Covid-19 tweeted, “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un. I received with shock the death of Sen. Abiola Ajimobi—the immediate past governor of Oyo State. May Allah SWT ease the burden of the loss on the family and grant him the highest place in Jannah.”
A Personal Loss To Me- Ambode
Former Governor of Lagos state, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode also expressed sadness over the death of Ajimobi.
Ambode, in a statement signed by his media aide, Habib Aruna, described Ajimobi’s demise as a personal loss, saying that the former governor meant more than a brother and a colleague to him.
“I received the news of Ajimobi’s demise with a heavy heart. This is a great loss to me. I can easily recall so many fond memories we shared when we were Governors of our respective States. We were very close during the period and I saw him as an elder brother always.
“He was always full of wisdom, very witty, always willing to provide his honest opinion on issues. His political sagacity was one I admired from afar and I am glad to have shared many memorable moments with him,” he said.
Ambode said Ajimobi’s eight years as Governor was remarkable, saying that his strides across the length and breadth of Oyo State will never be forgotten in a hurry.
“Ajimobi was very passionate about his state, the Yoruba agenda and the Nigerian project. He was a progressive party man to the core and Oyo citizens will testify to the fact that he left the State better than he met it,” he said.
He Stood For The Welfare Of His People – Lagos APC
Lagos State Chapter of the APC in a statement by its Spokesman, Seye Oladejo also commiserated with the entire leadership and members of the party, particularly the Oyo state chapter on the loss of the party chieftain.
The statement read, “Sen. Ajimobi left in indelible marks in the private sector as a Chief Executive and served his people meritoriously as a senator and two-term governor.
“Senator Ajimobi was well known for his eloquence, passion about the welfare of his people and a principled position to democratic ideals.
Likewise, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also mourned the late governor.
“PDP Saddened, Mourns Ajimobi…Says His Death is An Irreparable National Loss. The NWC of the @OfficialPDPNig behalf of the NEC & the PDP family, mourns the death of former Governor of Oyo state & immediate past acting National Chairman of the @OfficialAPCNg Sen Abiola Ajimobi,” the party tweeted via its official handle.
Former Senator, Ben Bruce wrote, “The death for former governor Abiola Ajimobi saddens me. A good friend and leader. He will be dearly missed. May his soul rest in peace.”
Former Kaduna Senator, Shehu Sani simply wrote, “Ex Governor Ajimobi;Inna lillahi wainna illayhir rajiun. May Allah forgive his soul and grant him Aljanna Firdausi. Ameen.”
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Lagos APC To Adopt Consensus Candidate For Oct. 2 State Congress
The Lagos State APC Caretaker Committee has reaffirmed the likelihood of employing consensus arrangement to produce the state executives during the forthcoming Oct. 2 state congress.
The State’s Caretaker Committee Publicity Secretary, Seye Oladejo, gave this indication in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the state’s secretariat in Lagos on Thursday.
The ruling party used consensus option to produce its executives during the July 31 and Sept. 4 Ward and Local Government Congresses respectively.
Oladejo said the consensus arrangement would be repeated in the forthcoming state congress election to reduce acrimony within the party when it elects its officials.
He said: “The national headquarters has advised the state chapter to consider consensus arrangement for the state congress as well, which I believe will be adopted for the national convention.
“I am sure you are also aware that the party constitution allows for the consensus candidate option to save cost,” he said.
“We have resolved and directed officers of our party at all levels to engage in dialogue that would lead to meaningful reconciliation of aggrieved members within the party.
“This is in order to ensure that all opinions are accommodated and all members who are willing to serve the party are given positions in the various executive bodies at ward, local and state levels.”
Speaking, the APC state’s Chairman, Alhaji Babatunde Balogun, also assured members of the party’s readiness in ensuring a hitch-free exercise on Oct. 2.
The chairman explained that appropriate arrangements had been made by the National Headquarters of the party to ensure the success of the exercise.
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Ndume Blasts Buhari’s Unending Loan Requests, Decries Senate’s Speedy Approvals
Ali Ndume, the Senator representing Borno South, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says the rate of borrowings by the Nigerian government is increasing and worrisome.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in a letter on Tuesday sought the approval of the Senate to borrow another $4billion (4,054,476,863) and €710million loan from bilateral and multilateral organisations to fund the deficit in the 2021 budget.
Buhari’s latest request comes barely two months after the National Assembly approved his earlier request to borrow $8.3billion and €490million loans contained in the initial 2018-2020 borrowing plan.
While he said the loan request was an addendum to the 2018-2020 borrowing plan, he also asked the lawmakers to approve grant components of $125 million.
He told the lawmakers that the need to borrow more funds was to meet “emerging needs” for some “critical projects.”
Speaking during a press briefing at the National Assembly on Thursday, Ndume said it was more worrisome when there was little or nothing to show for what the loans were used for.
This was even as he faulted the Senate for rushing to approve the loan requests.
He said, “I’m not an expert in debt analysis. Honestly, the rate of our borrowing is increasing and is worrisome. But it is not the borrowing that is the problem as I always say, it is what you do with what you borrow.
“It is not the borrowing. And this request for loans that the president sent to the National Assembly is part of the approved external borrowing.
“You guys should look at what the borrowing is for in the first place. Is it necessary? Are the terms good? Borrowing is not a crime but when the rate of debt servicing increases and I understand it is getting to 80, 90 per cent, you have to be cautious. You have to look at alternatives.
“This is what we should analyse and see if it is necessary. Let us look at the implications and what the money is meant for. For example, we have infrastructural deficit in this country and with what we hear when people come to Abuja or when allocations are made, you can’t tell what is done with it.
“Another thing I’m worried about is the way the Senate is handling it. The Senate, by definition, is House of deliberation. When things like this (loan request) comes, you don’t just say, because you want to be good, you approve it. No.
“You’re supposed to look at it critically. Cross the Ts, dot the Is, ask questions, carry the people you are representing along, ask if they agree. Not that we just sit down and just approve it.
“We thought it might be good but the way we do it makes the people we represent look at us suspiciously. There are situations where the time is short and we need to act fast, then we’ll have to carry the people along. I feel the pain when they say ‘you people again’. You call us rubber stamp and all that.”
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Shehu Sani Defects To PDP
Senator Shehu Sani, who represented the Kaduna Central Senatorial district in the National Assembly, has joined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Sani was elected a senator on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) into the eight assembly from 2015 to 2019.
The Senator was unable to return to the senate in 2019 following an unresolved issue with serving Governor Nasir el-Rufai.
The controversies stopped him from getting the party ticket, which forced him to defect to the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) under which he contested but lost.
Recently the senator dumped the PRP but he did not state his new party.
According to Daily Trust, his close aide, Malam Suleiman Ahmed, confirmed his defection on Thursday, when he had a meeting with relevant PDP stakeholders in Kaduna.
“Yes, Distinguished Senator Shehu Sani has finally settled to join the PDP but official ceremony and reception will be in the next two weeks all things being equal,” he said.
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- Lagos APC To Adopt Consensus Candidate For Oct. 2 State Congress
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- Ndume Blasts Buhari’s Unending Loan Requests, Decries Senate’s Speedy Approvals
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- Shehu Sani Defects To PDP
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