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Ajimobi’s Family Apologises to Oyo Dep Gov over Fidau Prayers Lockout

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The family of the late former Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi, have apologised to the state’s Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan, after he was stopped from attending the eighth-day fidau held for the late former governor.

The deputy was on Sunday denied access into Ajimobi’s house in Oluyole Estate, Ibadan where the fidau prayer, scheduled for 11am, held amid tight security.

The family had earlier announced in a statement that the fidau prayer was a private programme.

Members of the public were urged to join the programme virtually via Zoom, YouTube and Facebook.

Olaniyan, who arrived at the residence at about 11.20 am in a convoy of five vehicles, was stopped at the gate of the road leading to Ajimobi’s residence.

The security agents manning the gate insisted that only the deputy governor’s vehicle could be allowed into the street for the prayer.

The deputy governor’s security details initially rebuffed the idea but a senior policeman intervened and the deputy governor’s vehicle was allowed in.

However, at Ajimobi’s residence, the gate was also locked. When the deputy governor’s aides introduced their principal, they were told that the gate had been locked and that the widow of the deceased, Chief Florence, was with the key.

After waiting for about 15 minutes without any solution the deputy governor left the residence.

But Bolaji Tunji, the media aide to the late Ajimobi, said in a statement that the family was not aware of the deputy governor’s plan to be present at the prayer as there was no notification.

He said, “There is a need to clarify the believed presence of the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Rauf Olaniyan, at the 8th day prayer for Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the immediate-past Governor of Oyo State.

“The Deputy Governor arrived after the prayer had started. The event was strictly a family affair. There was a need to comply with the COVID-19 protocol as established by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on social distancing. Not more than 30 people (are allowed) in a place and seats were arranged, accordingly after which the gate was shut.

“No one was aware that the deputy governor was coming as neither the advance team nor the protocol informed us. By the time we got to the gate to usher him into the sitting room, he had left. Everything happened within a space of 10 minutes.

“Through a serving senator and a former Attorney General, we tried to get in touch with him that it was not to slight him and he could sit in a private sitting room provided by the family. Unfortunately, he had left. We, however, apologise to his Excellency.”

However, the Peoples Democratic Party in the state dismissed Tunji’s explanation as an untenable excuse.

The PDP, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Akeem Olatunji, said, “It was not a private family affair because Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala and many others were there and the family was well informed in advance that the deputy governor would be leading the government delegation to the event.

“It was reported that the security personnel at the gate informed the government delegation that there was an order from Madam not to allow the government delegation into the venue.”

Apart from the deputy governor and some commissioners in the state, members of the All Progressives Congress in the state, religious leaders and other were also prevented from entering the premises.

In his sermon, Alhaji Muideen Bello described the deceased as a forthright person and an illustrious son of Ibadan who served the state with diligence.

Bello said, “One of the lessons to learn from the former governor is a lesson in forthrightness. He served the state for eight years with diligence. He was a committed servant-leader with a sense of focus.”

The Chairman, Muslim Community, Oyo State, Alhaji Kunle Sanni, in a sermon to the family, said the former governor would be remembered for being just and fair to both Muslims and Christians in the state.

Among those at the programme were Alao-Akala, Joseph Tegbe, Seyi Adisa, Senator Teslim Folarin, APC governorship candidate in Oyo State, Adebayo Adelabu, and the lawmaker representing Itesiwaju, Kajola federal constituency at the National Assembly, Shina Peller; and the President, Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Olasupo Ayokunle.

However, a statement by the deputy governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Omolere Omoetan, said denying him access to the prayer was another act of rebuffing Governor Seyi Makinde’s hands of fellowship by the Ajimobis.

He said, “There was no truth in the family saying they were not aware that the state government delegation was at the gate because Mr Bolaji Tunji was severally called by men of the civil defence at the gate.

“Even if the deputy governor arrived when the prayers had started, it is a well-known fact in Islam that when prayers are ongoing and a male walks in, it is an indication that the prayers have received Allah’s acceptance.

“However, Raufu Olaniyan wishes to reiterate that the visit of the government delegation to the 8th day Fidau Prayers of His Excellency Senator Isaika Ajimobi was a clear demonstration on the part of His Excellency, Seyi Makinde, that the late governor is held in high regard.

“The Deputy Governor will also like to draw the attention of the Oyo state Commissioner of Police to the highly unprofessional and unruly conduct of the police personnel at the premises.”

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Arsenal, Man United Grab Away Wins over Sheffield, Tottenham

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The Gunners secured their first ever EPL win away at Sheffield United at the fifth attempt, with goals from Alexandre Lacazzette (brace) and Gabriel Martinelli breaking the duck for the North London club.

Sheffield United stood tall at the beginning against the visitors but the Gunners took control halfway into the half, with Martinelli twice going close while Callum Chambers also missed at the far post.

Mikel Arteta’s men deservedly took the lead on 33 minutes through Lacazette who finished off a brilliant team move.

The French striker started and finished off a one-touch passing sequence, firing into the bottom corner for his 12th league goal of the season.

The visitors then secured all three points with the second goal on 71 minutes. Nicholas Pepe intercepted a poor pass and his low shot was spilled into the path of Martinelli, with the youngster tapping in for 2-0.

Lacazette added further gloss to the scoreline with his 50th league goal, stroking home Thomas Partey’s brilliant through ball from the edge of the area.

Arsenal’s first win in three league matches move them up to ninth position on 45 points, while Sheffield United are rooted to the bottom of the league with 14 points from 31 matches and destined for relegation.

Second half blitz lifts Man United

Manchester United scored three second half goals to overcome Tottenham Hotspurs 3-1 despite suffering a dubious VAR call and losing at halftime.

Scott McTominay was adjudged to have hit Heung-Min Son in the face in the build up to Edinson Cavani’s disallowed goal, and Tottenham took the lead on 40 minutes through Son’s low strike at the far post.

It was mostly United in an excellent second half performance, with the equalizing goal coming through Fred’s rebound on 57 minutes.

Cavani eventually got his goal with a diving header from Mason Greenwood’s inch-perfect cross, before the youngster’s powerful near post shot sneaked in to seal the win for United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men reduced Man City’s lead to 11 points and still have a game in hand while Tottenham languish in seventh place.

Elsewhere, Kelechi Iheanacho, Super Eagles of Nigeria forward, scored a brace but could not prevent Leicester City from losing 3-2 to West Ham United in London.

The 24-year-old flashed in a 22-yard left-footed strike on 71 minutes before smashing another into the net in added time to complete his brace.

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Reason Behind IBB’s Annulment of June 12 Election is “Bad Belle” – Obasanjo

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Abiola, the Social Democratic Party candidate, was leading Bashir Tofa, his National Republican Convention rival, by a wide margin but the exercise was stopped ahead of the final announcement of results.
The annulment of the election threw the country into chaos as protesters hit the streets, calling on Babangida to step down.
Abiola was later arrested by the regime of Abacha and he died in detention.

Speaking on Sunday after his investiture as a trustee of the Abeokuta Club, a sociocultural organisation of Egba people of Ogun state, Obasanjo lamented the annulment, saying it was done out of “bad belle,” a pidgin word for jealousy.

Abiola was also awarded a posthumous vice-patron of the Club.

Obasanjo said the cancellation of June 12 election results denied the people of Egbaland the privilege of having three of its sons occupy the seat of president.

Seemingly referring to Ernest Shonekan, former head of Interim National Government(ING), himself who ruled as military head of state and later as civilian president, Obasanjo added that Abiola would have become the third, if the 1993 election was not annulled.

“When Abeokuta Club was in the process of being birthed, things in Abeokuta were not as rosy as they are today,” Obasanjo said.

“And the sons of Abeokuta, who were in Lagos, put their heads together in late Chief Sobo Sowemimo’s residence to think of what they could do to improve the development of Abeokuta as a city.

“I pay tributes to all those founding members, those who have departed this world and those who are still here.

“I want to thank the club for this honour being bestowed on me and the honour being bestowed on my school mate, MKO Abiola, which he richly deserved.

“Kabiyesi, the Alake (of Egbaland) alluded to it. Normally, when you win a cup three times, you keep that cup. Isn’t it? If not for bad belle, Abeokuta would have produced President of Nigeria three times, in which case, we should have kept it permanently.

“But be that as it may, we have a great heritage. And we should be proud of our heritage. On this note, I will say on this occasion, I thank the President, the patron and grand patron, members of Board of Trustees, the executive.

“I want to say this, I will continue to contribute my quota to the development and growth of this club and by extension, the development and growth of Abeokuta, of Ogun State, of Nigeria, of African and indeed the of world in whichever way I could.”

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Ebube Agu: South East Governors Float Own Security Outfit

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Governors from the South East of Nigeria has announced the establishment of a security outfit called EBUBE AGU to tackle the insecurity in the region,

The governors disclosed this after an emergency meeting held in Owerri, Imo state on Sunday, April 11.

According to a communique put out by governors of the Southeast, the agency is to oversee and monitor the activities of vigilante groups in the region. Chairman of the Southeast Governors forum, Dave Umahi who read the statement after the meeting, said the headquarters of EBUBE AGU security outfit will be in Enugu state.

Read the full text of the communique below

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY SOUTH EAST GOVERNORS AND HEADS OF SECURITY AGENCIES AT THE END OF THE FIRST SOUTH EAST SECURITY SUMMIT HELD IN OWERRI ON SUNDAY APRIL 11th 2021

After exhaustive discussions on the current security challenges in the South East and with valuable contributions from participants at the first South East security summit in Owerri on this day Sunday April 11th 2021, it was resolved as follows:

1. To strongly and unequivocally condemn terrorism and banditry in any part of Nigeria, particularly in the South East. The meeting strongly condemns the burning of police stations, violent attacks on custodial centres with the unlawful release of inmates, and the killings including security personnel, natives/ farmers and headsmen.

2. That the five South East states are on the same page with the federal government on the issue of security challenges in the country. To this end, the meeting makes it absolutely clear that the South east will stand resolutely with the federal government to fight terrorists and bandits to a finish

3. That the political leadership in the South East has resolved to bring together all the arsenals at their command, as one united zone, to fight and flush out criminals and terrorist from the zone.

4. That the summit resolved that to achieve this, there is a need to galvanise all the relevant stakeholders in the south east, the political class, the business community, the bureaucrats and the intelligentsia to provide all necessary support to security operatives in the five south east states to ensure total success in the fight against criminality in the zone.

5. That the heads of all the security agencies in the south east have resolved to exchange intelligence in a seamless, effective new order that will help to checkmate crime in the zone.

6. That to fast track crime-busting in the south east, the heads of security agencies have been mandated to draw up a comprehensive list of their logistics and material needs for sustainable success in the fight against criminality, for the immediate provision by the leadership of the South East.

7. That a committee made up of security personnel, government officials and relevant stakeholders be set up to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the south east joint security platform.

8. To applaud the initiative of the South east security summit and to make it a statutory summit that will convene every quarter while its hosting shall rotate among the five south east states.

9. The meeting resolved to maintain a joint security vigilante for the South East otherwise known as Ebube Agu.

10. The meeting appreciated the formation of South East joint security outfit co. Named Ebubeagu. Headquarters in Enugu to coordinate our vigilante in the South East.

11. South East Governors requested the Acting IGP to stop the influx of IGP monitory units but to allow cps and state and Zonal commands to handle their cases.

12. Meeting approve that the acting IGP and other security chiefs do invite the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo and CAN to find out the reason for increasing insecurity of the South East .

13. Meeting agreed that military policing in the South East should be adequately funded and become effective.

14. Meeting agreed that open grazing has been banned and security agency should implement the ban.

15. The meeting encouraged a peaceful coexistence of farmers and headers to allow Governors to succeed in the fight against criminality.

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