Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, declared that his administration has been deepening the war against corruption in the state.
The governor, who stated this during the commissioning of the Oyo State branch office of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), maintained that upon the realization that his government’s focus to transform the state through the four service point agenda would not succeed if corruption was allowed to retain its hold on the system, it took the fight against corruption seriously.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun.
According to the governor, the open declaration of his assets, which was beyond the requirement of the 1999 Constitution, as amended; presentation and signing into law of the Oyo State Anti-Corruption Bill, and the inclusive budgeting approach employed by the government towards the preparation of the 2020 budget, among other efforts, showed that the state would not condone corruption.
“In the last nine months, the administration in Oyo State has flagged off the Four Point Service Agenda that captures the human existential realities. We are determined to take our people from poverty to prosperity through clear focus on Security, Health, Education and improved economy through Agriculture value chain.
“But we cannot really go far in achieving our objectives if we allow corruption to maintain its hold on the system.
“That is why we are not mincing words on this issue and that is the reason I have offered to wave my own immunity if there is any reason to call me to question,” the governor said.
Governor Makinde, who commended the ICPC, noting that his administration shared the same viewpoints with the commission on the war against corruption, adding: “I must commend the ICPC for the studious methods it has adopted in carrying out its three-pronged mandate of enforcement, prevention and public education thus far.
“That has led to the conviction of many public officers and the prosecution of many more. I have also been made to understand that in the area of prevention, the ICPC has carried out systems study and corruption risk assessment of a number of government agencies, while is has equally been involved in anti-corruption sensitization drives.
“I am sure that in doing that, the Commission is taking a cue from the popular cliché “prevention is better than cure,” because corruption does not just retard the progress of nations, it kills ideas, vision and lead to the death of many.
“Ahead of the preparation of the 2020 budget of this State, this government flagged off the Inclusive budgeting procedure, which enables a bottom-up approach in the budgeting process rather than the usual practice where projects are merely handed down the local population without their faintest input.
“It is interesting to note that the inclusive budgeting procedure or call it the engagement of citizens on governance at the local levels is one of the cherished programmes of the ICPC.
“This shows that the government of Oyo State and the ICPC really have a lot in common. We know you are experienced in this sector and our upcoming agency will not hesitate to learn from your Commission as it sets out for the onerous task of cleaning up our systems.
“By also declaring my assets openly, something that is a step above the requirement of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, I have set an example that we will not condone any form of corruption in this state.
“I can only ask the ICPC and every anti-graft agency in the country to sustain the level of collaboration we have built and together we shall deliver for our people.”
Earlier in his speech, the ICPC chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, expressed pleasure at what he described as the auspicious occasion of the commissioning of the first prototype ICPC office in Oyo State, calling on the government and people of the state to collaborate with ICPC and own the fight against corruption.
He called on the residents of the state to report all acts of corruption, noting that anti-corruption agencies alone cannot effectively win the fight without them.
Similarly, the chairmen of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Suleiman Kwari and Hon. Sheu Garba, expressed delight at the commissioning of the edifice.
They noted that the fight against corruption has become more imperative in the face of the destructive tendencies and how it has continued to inhibit the progress of the country despite its massive human and resources endowments.
Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde
Inclusive Foundation Mourns Veteran Actress, Rachael Oniga
Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation, a non-governmental organisation has expressed its heartfelt sympathy to family, friends and the entire movie industry over the loss of the veteran actress, Rachael Oniga who died at age 64.
The CEO of the foundation, Chief (Mrs.) Pat Eleto, in a condolence visit to the family, on Saturday, July 31st, said the news came as a rude shock to many, but she believes that the late actress has created a great impact with her career, and her legacy should never be forgotten.
In her statement, Chief (Mrs.)Eleto said:
“It is with a heavy heart that I grief with the family of a sister, friend and adviser of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
“Mrs. Oniga, is one of our great ambassadors, and we were actually working on a project that is meant for the later part of this year when the sad news of her demise came.
“Death is inevitable, we pray for the repose of her soul, and may God comfort all the people she left behind. We also hope and pray that all her good legacies, be sustained because, she was indeed a pillar of support to our foundation, and also one of veterans that contributed immensely to the growth of Nollywood,” the statement reads.
A native of Delta State, Oniga was one of the ambassadors of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
Alaafin Shuns Ooni-Backed Group Over Alleged Anti-Buhari Posture
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Friday, at the last minute, allegedly cancelled an appointment he gave to a Yoruba group, Ooni’s Caucus, on the alleged complaint that members of the group are “notorious critics” of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The Ooni’s Caucus, which was inaugurated at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on July 20, 2021, is made of many influential Yoruba persons and is being coordinated by a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Akin Osuntokun.
PUNCH learnt that Osuntokun led about 14 members of the group to Alaafin’s palace for the alleged 11am appointment on Friday, but after waiting for about two and a half hours, the influential monarch sent words to them that he would not be seeing them.
According to a source, who spoke to PUNCH on condition of anonymity, some of the group’s members who went to Alaafin’s palace with Osuntokun were a monarch, the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Alao; a former presidential spokesman, Dr Doyin Okupe; a former commissioner in Osun State, Muyiwa Ige; a former Minister of Defence, Mrs Dupe Adelaja; a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, Oye Oyewumi, Sola Lawal, among others.
A former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, is also said to be a member of Ooni’s Caucus, but he was not on the delegation to Alaafin’s palace on Friday.
The source, who is a member of the group, claimed that the group had through the Olugbon secured an appointment with Alaafin since Monday, and the same appointment was confirmed on Thursday, only for them to get to the palace and the Alaafin refused to see them on the claim that they were anti-Buhari and were also loyalists of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The source explained that the main purpose of the meeting was for the newly-inaugurated group to get Alaafin’s blessings and to possibly discuss the issue of the embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho, who is currently being held and tried in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
The source said, “The Olugbon, a member of the caucus, was the one who booked the appointment, but he said the Alaafin said he didn’t want to see us because we’re notorious critics of the Buhari government.
“He (Alaafin) confirmed the appointment yesterday (Thursday). But when we got there today, he kept us waiting; after a while, he asked to see the Olugbon. He (Alaafin) didn’t come to see us; we were told he said he wouldn’t see us because we are notorious critics of Buhari’s government and that some of us are close to Obasanjo, who is also critical of the government.
“We were made to wait for about two and a half hours; he gave us an appointment for 11am; we got there at 11am and at about 1.30pm, that was when it was obvious to us that he wasn’t coming (to see us). But he initially asked to see the Olugbon, who went to see him for about an hour. When the Olugbon eventually came back, he said Alaafin would not see us, saying we are a group that is critical of the Buhari government and some of us are loyalists of Obasanjo.”
On whether the group’s mission to Alaafin’s palace was to discuss Sunday Igboho’s matter, the source said, “Of course, the issue (of Igboho) would come up but that was not the purpose of the visit. The issue of Igboho concerns all the Yoruba people but that was not our reason for going to him.”
On whether the group would try and book another appointment, the source said, “I don’t know; we were all surprised that a Yoruba oba can refuse to see his children on account of not wanting to be on the bad side of Buhari’s government. I would have thought that an oba is supposed to take everybody as his children, whether they are supporters of Buhari the All progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party or whatever party.”
But when contacted by PUNCH, the Media Director to the Alaafin, Bode Durojaye, said the reason his principal did not see the group was because they did not have any prior appointment with him.
Durojaye said the Alaafin would be willing to entertain the group if they booked an appointment.
He said, “Those who came are men of honour and kabiyesi did not say he did not want to see them. He did not say he would not see them because they are critical of President Buhari or they are former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s men. Obasanjo himself is a friend of Kabiyesi, so you can see that what you were told was not what happened.
“Kabiyesi said he could not see them because they did not give him prior notice that they were coming. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to see them again. They can notify him and he will give them an appointment. You cannot just come and say you want to see him, there are protocols to follow and due process is always adhered to at Alaafin’s Palace.
“There was no rancour, no ill-feeling even when they were going; I was there and I saw them off to their vehicles. If anybody told you that kabiyesi said he didn’t want to see them because they are critical of government or they are Obasanjo’s men, that is a lie.”
NMA Reacts As Bandits Break Into, Pick Nurse At Zamfara General Hospital
Suspected bandits invaded General Hospital, Dansadau, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday, resulting in the abduction of a nurse and caregiver.
Residents said that immediately the men stormed the medical facility, the armed men headed to the outpatient ward in search of a doctor or nurse.
“When they couldn’t find anybody there, they started going from one ward to another. A nurse and a caregiver were abducted. They then moved to staff quarters looking for doctors and nurses but could not find any.”
“The armed criminals had earlier attempted to attack Maigoge, a community located six kilometres north of Dansadau town.
“But when they laid siege to the community, the vigilantes otherwise known as Yan Sakai firmly defended the village. The vigilante killed some of the bandits and injured several others.
“They then invaded the hospital to kidnap nurse and doctors that will treat their injured brothers in the forest.”
Maigoge is one of the few communities in Dansadau Emirate known to be firmly defending themselves against bandits.
“The staff of the facility are not carrying out night duties now. They only attend to patients at day time. They then move inside the town to spend night usually at undisclosed locations,” he added.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in Zamfara state, Dr Mannir Bature, who confirmed the attack said the association is worried by the unfortunate incident.
He said they would hold an emergency state officers council meeting on Saturday.
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