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Mimiko has failed the people, says Boroffice By Joseph Jibueze, Ayodeji Olaosun and Damisi Ojo


•’Agagu’ll work for ACN’


A governorship aspirant of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, yesterday delivered a damning verdict on the  Olusegun Mimiko administration. It is a failure, he said.

He said the Mimiko administration is wasting public funds on projects that should be executed by local governments, such as the building of markets and town halls.

Boroffice spoke at the Lagos headquarters of The Nation during a visit to commiserate with the company on the fire, which razed its photo and cartoon sections.

He was received by the company’s management.

Boroffice said the Mimiko administration has spent over N3 billion on an events centre called “the Dome” and it is still uncompleted, adding that “the dome has become a doom”.

Boroffice faulted an alleged plan by the government to have its Sunshine Football Club partner Arsenal Football Club of England, saying the government is confused and does not know the right thing to do.

He said the government ought to concentrate on building viable industries and institutions that will create jobs for thousands of youths.

“Our people lack potable water and the government is busy building a fountain in the middle of a road. We have had enough; our people are tired,” he added.

The senator representing Ondo North District said he has a vision to transform Ondo into an industrialised and socially secure state, where people can fully exploit their potentials.

Boroffice said he would focus on the development of infrastructure; ensure good governance, justice and equity; ensure transparency in institutions and harness other natural resources in the state, such as coal, by building an industrial cluster around its location and generating energy from it.

He said: “If we are talking of Vision 20:20, we must begin to work towards it. The ceramic industry established by the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin, the cocoa and glass industries are foundations that should be built on.”

The senator said he would move the state away from being an agrarian economy to an industrialised one and would provide affordable housing.

Boroffice said the integration of the Southwest will speed up development in the region. He said: “A good transportation system is one of the ways to facilitate economic development. Southwest states can collaborate, as well as partner investors to develop a rail system and other shared infrastructure. That way, rich states can help the poor ones. States will not lose their autonomy and they will all gain a lot.”

On his transition from science to politics, Boroffice said it is a continuation of his service to the nation and a way of giving back to the society and humanity.

He said he dumped the Labour Party (LP) on December 28, 2011, for the ACN when he discovered that LP’s machinery had become personalised.  The senator said: “With many chieftains resigning and many factions emerging in the LP, I needed to join a truly progressive party. I found it difficult to operate as a senator in a party divided against itself.”

He said his conscience could not allow him remain in a party where the leaders have been accused of looting the treasury and cited the example of the chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC), who has been accused of mismanaging the commission’s funds.

Boroffice said the Nigerian Constitution allows him to switch parties.

He said: “It is a matter of conscience for me, not a moral one. After due consultation, I feel satisfied that I have taken the right step. People are defecting from the LP in their thousands. LP is gradually going into a coma and it will soon go into extinction.”

Boroffice said contesting against an incumbent governor is not a problem for him, nor is he fazed by the high number of ACN aspirants.

According to him, historically, no governor has ever won a second term in the state.

He said: “There is a pattern already, so I am so confident we are going to win, because the LP has not performed very well. No governor has gone two terms in Ondo State. If it is warfare, we will fight it.

“Ondo is not the first state where a party has many aspirants. All aspirants will rally round him whoever gets the party’s ticket.”

Boroffice said he has spent over 15 years in public service and understands the bureaucracy involved in governance.

He said his qualifications and experience as a university lecturer, acting vice-chancellor, head of the national space agency and member of various international organisations give him an edge over other aspirants.

Boroffice said he has no personal problems with Mimiko, except ideological differences.

He said: “We are friends and Christian brothers, but I think Mimiko has been avoiding me cleverly. We have not met in a while, but I will love to meet him and register my disappointment on some issues. One of them is the presence of LP thugs at the Fifth Adebayo Adefarati Memorial Lecture.”

At the weekend, when former OSOPADEC Chairman Chief Adewale Omojuwa defected to the ACN at Igbokoda, Ilaje Local Government Area, Boroffice said former Governor Olusegun Agagu would align with the party to unseat Mimiko in the October election.

He said Omojuwa’s entry into the ACN would compel Agagu to support the party to rescue his administration’s legacies.

-The Nation

I held no meeting with Jonathan, says Tinubu By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor


•Calls for solution to insecurity


Former Lagos State Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday said he did not hold any meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan.

He said he was not even in town when the supposed meeting took place.

The frontline politician said there was no meeting between Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fasshola (SAN), the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, and Jonathan.

Asiwaju Tinubu spoke against the backdrop of a report that the trio met in Lagos when the President visited last weekend.

He said he would meet Dr Jonathan, if their discussion would centre on proffering solutions to the lingering insecurity and other national challenges. But he insisted that this should be at the President’s request.

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader said much as any of such meetings are called by the President without politicising issues, it would enable stakeholders in the Nigerian project to solve the nation’s problems.

Tinubu addressed reporters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, on his way to visit Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole on the Saturday road crash involving the governor’s convoy.

He was accompanied by ACN National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande; former Ekiti State Governor Niyi Adebayo; and ACN National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

Tinubu said: “That report is not correct. To tell you categorically, I did not attend any meeting with the President in company of the Oba of Lagos. I wasn’t even aware that the President was coming to Lagos until after the visit of the Oba at night. So, there was no meeting between myself, the President and the Oba of Lagos. I am very sure that the governor did not attend any such meeting with the President.

“We have all been meeting on national issues. We have met several times. So, if the party leadership across board is invited to a meeting to solve the problems of the country, why not?

“This is a critical time when all hands must be on deck to help solve the security problems of the country. This is the time to get together to develop ideas. All necessary steps that can help the nation’s security should be less politicised. Advice should be solicited in good faith. If ideas are solicited in good faith, we must offer them. Those in authority should not reject the ideas outright. But these have to come through the political parties’ leadership.”

On Boko Haram and insecurity, the ACN leader said: “You have touched on a critical issue confronting the nation. It is reaching a phenomenal dimension that we all cannot afford to sleep with our eyes open or ignore the national security.

“The President, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, is the first person who probably should begin consultations with the people and must not politicise this problem.

“Since 1999, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been ruling this country. It claims to have the wisdom and the apparatus, but each time it reacts to this question of national security, the tragedy confronting the country, it has not gone without blaming one political party or the other. That is passing the buck.

“Those in the PDP are the ones saying they are in government; they are in power. So, if they cannot solve the problem of security, why blame it on others?

“Now, there is a clear line and ideological difference between us. But Nigeria belongs to all of us. The best is the PDP-led Federal Government should do is to cry for help and, if they do, they will get it, instead of putting blames or categorising one party as one-man party. They are running around like headless chickens,” Asiwaju Tinubu added.


NLC demands probe of Oshiomhole’s convoy crash

•Edo State Governer Adams Oshiomhle discussing with (from left) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, National Chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Chief Bisi Akande, Aremo Olusegun Osoba and Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo during the visit to the Government House, B •Edo State Governer Adams Oshiomhle discussing with (from left) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, National Chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Chief Bisi Akande, Aremo Olusegun Osoba and Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo during the visit to the Government House, B

•ACN leaders visit governor, accident victims •NUJ declares one-week mourning •Fayemi, Alaafin condole with reporters


ORGANISED Labour yesterday condemned last Saturday’s ‘attack’ on the convoy of Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole.

The Labour’s call came on a day Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leaders, including former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande, visited the governor.

Three reporters in the travelling party were killed and several others injured.

In a statement in Kaduna by its Vice President, Issa Aremu, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) called for an investigation into the incident.

Aremu said the ‘attack’ on the convoy is coming after what he called “cyber-orchestrated personal attack” on the governor as well as open threat to him by the opposition party in the state.

The statement entitled: “Attack on Comrade Oshiomhole: We must de-militiarise our polity” reads: “We read with great shock an unprovoked seeming orchestrated attack on Governor Oshiomhole.

“His convoy was attacked on the Warrake–Auchi road. Three reporters were reportedly killed with many others injured, including security details.

“We condemn personalisation of political discourse.  We need contestation on policies and issues rather than attack on persons.

“In a related development, there was also alleged threat by former Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Iyiola Omisore,  to “attack, stop and disarm” the convoy of the Osun State Governor , Rauf Aregbesola.

“All these call for urgent and thorough investigation by the security agencies.

“We call on all political actors to play to the rule.  We need battle of ideas and not personal attacks.”

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Edo State has declared a week of mourning for its three members.

It directed its members to wear a customised wrist-band throughout the period.

Besides the three reporters who died in the accident, another reporter, Chukwudi Ogu, was killed by unknown gunmen three weeks ago.

The victims are: Olatunji Jacob and George Okosun both of the Independent Television and Radio Benin and Fidelis Ohani, a camera man with the Africa Independent Television (AIT).

A statement  by the chairman of the council yesterday, Friday Obanor, said a mass will be conducted by Rev. Angel Nwankwo today at the NUJ Press Centre.

Prayers will also be offered for the protection of reporters in the state.

At the NUJ Press Centre,  sympathisers called yesterday to condole with the union.

Those who visited  included a member of the House of Representatives, Rasaq Belo-Osagie, Speaker of the House of Assembly Uyi Igbe and the Coalition of Save Nigeria and Youth Coalition Bodies for Oshiomhole.

Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi commiserated with his Edo counterpart,  over the accident  in which some reporters died.

Fayemi in a condolence letter issued in Ado-Ekiti, urged Oshiomole not to lose faith in God or be discouraged by the incidence.

The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III,  also commiserated with Oshiomhole and the NUJ.

A statement by his Media Assistant, Azeez Fehintola, quoted the monarch as describing  the incident as unfortunate and a big blow to the government of Edo and the NUJ.

The Alaafin said: “I use this medium to commiserate with the governor and the NUJ on the unfortunate auto crash.

In the ACN team were former governors of Ogun and Ekiti states, Chief Segun Osoba and Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo as well as the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. They were conducted round the wards at the Central Hospital, Benin City, where some of the victims are being treated.

Oshiomhole and the ACN leaders asked the medical personnel doctors and nurses on the state of health of the victims. Other patients, who were elated at the visit of the governor used the opportunity to present their own litany of demands.

The governor thanked his guests and told them the incident smacks of foul play and a premeditated plan to harm him.

His words: “Just a little over eight minutes after leaving the Afuze venue of the rally, where many PDP members joined ACN, a lorry suddenly emerged, heading straight for my car.

“Only providence saved me from being hit. The lorry hit the vehicle conveying security details, which immediately somersaulted and then hit the bus conveying the press crew.

“It’s unfortunate that we have lost three young men with young families. We are determined to get to the root of the matter. Our opponents will expect that we’ll be frightened by this incident but we’ll take our report card to every village and every hamlet to ensure that the reporters do not die in vain”, he said.

Akande said: “We see democracy as a thing of joy but we now see that the other side is resorting to killing and maiming. We pray that the good work you are doing in Edo State is not allowed to come to nought”.


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