The leader of the apex body of the Yoruba self-determination struggle, Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, also known as Yoruba Nation. Prof. Banji Akintoye, has resigned his position.
Akintoye handed the baton of leadership to his former Deputy, Prof. Wale Adeniran, citing old age and a weakened body system as his reasons for stepping down.
In a letter addressed to Adeniran and sighted by The Punch on Thursday, Akintoye explained that he did not resign from the position to evade responsibility over the crisis rocking the self-determination group.
Akintoye’s resignation letter in full:
“Dear Wale, I write this letter to you in your position as Chairman of Ilana Omo Oduduwa to congratulate you and the newly elected Executive Council of Ilana.
“I also hereby inform Ilana through you of my departure from further responsibilities in Ilana. I urge you and all others not to think that this step is a consequence of recent difficulties in Ilana. As you know better than any other person, I have been seeking for over a year now to take my leave from Ilana because combining the duties of Ilana with the duties of the greatly elevated demands of the Self-determination Struggle has been too heavy for me at my age. I am greatly honored that you as the closest person to me in Ilana, most Ilana members, and all Ilana committees, have for months been urging me not to leave Ilana because, according to you all, Ilana is my special ‘baby’ in the whole Self-determination Struggle. But you would remember that in a special meeting of leaders of the Self-determination struggle from all over the world about a month ago, you and all the other meeting participants agreed graciously that I should give up my duties in Ilana because of my heavy accumulation of duties to the higher levels of the whole struggle.
“As for our current difficulties in Ilana, I am sure you would testify that I am not leaving because of them, and that, in general, even the greatest of difficulties never make me quit. I am imbued with God-given confidence that I can bear all things and solve the most tortuous complications among men, because God in His mercy has given me the gift of a heart that loves all persons in all situations.
“Still, I must ask you to forgive me for leaving Ilana to you in its current condition. I had wanted to leave Ilana immediately after the special meeting of worldwide leaders about a month ago, but I decided to help you to iron out some of the ongoing difficulties before leaving. Unfortunately, things have not improved as quickly as I expected, and you now have to face a situation in which some of our extremists are still compounding the difficulties. However, I have much confidence in you – including confidence that you will find ways to steer our Ilana back to the path of compromise, unity and strength.
“Finally, I must congratulate and thank you for your very high quality of leadership in this struggle for our embattled nation. I must congratulate and thank you, particularly for your bearing with strength and fortitude the frequent vilifications and false accusations. We who have stepped out bravely to liberate our Yoruba nation and to save it from being destroyed by the destructive forces of Nigeria are going through a lot of fire from our own people. No doubt, we shall soon be hearing from some habitual detractors that it was you who disloyally plotted against me and made me to leave Ilana, but we must not let such talk bother us in any way. By the grace of God, we shall win this war and liberate our Yoruba nation, and thereby giving our nation the freedom it desires to develop into a greatly respected modern country in the world.
“Of course, you know that I shall always be available to you – to you personally as a friend and close associate in the higher levels of the Self-determination Struggle, and to Ilana as Patron and Mentor in the way that I am Patron and Mentor to other Self-determination Organizations.
“I thank God for His leadership qualities in you and thank you for giving yourself so unstintingly to our struggle for our nation. Accept my best wishes for you and your family.”
Tinubu Presents N27.5tr 2024 budget to NASS, Seeks Speedy Passage
President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, presented the Appropriation Bill of the Federal government for the year 2024 tagged ‘Budget of Renewed Hope’ to a joint session of the National Assembly.
This is the president’s first budget presentation to the National Assembly since assuming office on May 29.
The President arrived at the National Assembly for the presentation of the 2024 budget at about 11:09 am accompanied some ministers and aides. and senior officials.
He was led into the chamber of the House of Representatives for the presentation of the N27.5trillion Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the National Assembly which began after the rendition of the National Anthem and opening prayers.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC)on Monday approved N27.5 trillion as the 2024 budget estimate.
It will be recalled that Tinubu had about three weeks ago forwarded the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework ( MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper ( FSP), proposing an expenditure of N26.1 for the 2024 fiscal year.
After two weeks of deliberations and interface with heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies on the revenue and expenditure projections, the Senate through its Committee on Finance approved the MTEF.
It specifically approved the N26.1 trillion proposed as 2024 budget and other parameters proposed by Tinubu.
It also approved new borrowings of N7.8 trillion, while pegging the oil price benchmark for 2024 at $73.96 and oil production at 1.78 million barrels per day.
Other parameters approved are GDP growth rate of 3.76 per cent, the inflation rate of 21.40 per cent, a suggested benchmark exchange rate of N700 to $1 and a projected budget deficit of N9.04 trillion.
Old, New Naira Notes Will Exist Side-by-Side Till Further Notice, Supreme Court Rules
The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, said both the old and the new resigned naira notes remain legal tender till further notice.
The apex court, in a ruling by a seven-man panel of justices led by Justice John Okoro, said the banknotes should remain in circulation, pending when the Federal Government, after due consultation with relevant stakeholders, takes a decision on the matter.
It made the order, after it heard an application that was moved on behalf of the federal government by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN.
It will be recalled that the court had on March 3, nullified the ban on use of the old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes as valid legal tenders by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
The court held that the old Naira notes should be used alongside the redesigned currencies, until the end of the year.
In its lead judgement that was prepared and delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the apex court slammed FG for unilaterally introducing the demonitization policy, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, without consulting the Council of States, the Federal Executive Council, the National Security Council, the National Economic Council, Civil Society Organizations and other relevant stakeholders.
It held that FG failed to give valid notice to all the federating units, before it decided to withdraw the old banknotes from circulation and introduce new ones.
The cupreme court maintained that evidence before it established that a purported notice on the monetary policy was through “mere press remarks” by governor of the CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
It held that such remarks did not qualify as “reasonable notice” to the states as envisaged under section 20(3) of the CBN Act.
Besides, the court invalidated the directive President Buhari gave in the broadcast he made on February 16, which allowed only the old N200 note to remain a legal tender till April 10.
While accusing President Buhari of disobeying the interim order it made on February 8, which directed that the old banknotes should remain in use till the determination of the case before it, the apex court stressed that the President, by going ahead to ban the old banknotes, acted in a way that was inimical to democratic governance.
According to the court, having acted in disobedience to its order, FG lost its right to be granted audience before it.
Following the end of the last administration, the President Bola Tinubu-led government re-approached the apex court for an indefinite extension of its December 31 deadline.
Subsidy Removal Killing Us, Pensioners Cry Out to Tinubu
The National President of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Mr. Godwin Abumisi, has cried out to President Bola Tinubu that the removal of fuel subsidy has brought pains, frustration, and hardship to average pensioners in the country.
Abumisi said this in Akure, the Ondo State capital, at the opening of National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union.
He appealed to the Federal government not to renege on its promise to include pensioners in the N25,000 cash award announced to cushion the economic hardship of the petrol subsidy removal, in order to assuage the pains of his members.
The National President, who lamented that the petrol subsidy removal has further impoverished pensioners, urged the Federal government to fulfill its promise to the pensioners.
He said: “The Pensioners’ Day this year was celebrated on the 5th of October, 2023 in line with the declaration of the day as the Older Persons’ Day by the Federal government.
“We addressed a world press conference and demanded the inclusion of pensioners in the N25,000 cash award announced by the Federal Government.
“Immediately after this, we met with the Hon. Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Dr. Betta Edu and it is our hope that the list submitted will be treated with the needed zeal.
“This is why the theme of this year’s NEC meeting “Effect of Subsidy Removal on an Average Pensioner” is very apt and explicit.
“Without mincing words, the subsidy removal has brought with it pains, frustration and hardship to average Nigerians, including the pensioners.
“In the light of this, we wish to use this occasion to passionately appeal to both the Federal, State and Local Governments to do something very fast to assuage the pains of our members and other vulnerable Nigerians.”
The national president said that its members have been struggling and battling for financial survival.
Abumisi pointed out that if the palliatives are religiously implemented to the letter on record time devoid of the usual bureaucratic bottlenecks, it will go a long way to calm down frayed nerves of its members.
Also speaking, the Ondo State Chairman of the union, Johnson Osunyemi, who pledged their support and loyalty to the National Headquarters, promised to always operate in accordance with the spirit and constitution of the union.
Osunyemi lauded the Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, for giving priority to the welfare of pensioners in the State.
“Distinguished pensioners, although we still tremble under the cumbersome yoke of unpaid gratuities, we have decided to celebrate our governor today because he paid all the arrears of pensions he inherited from his predecessor.
” Equally, he has implemented all the increase in our pensions.
“Incidentally, and sadly too, his promises to ease the problems of pensioners are being encumbered by ill-health.
” As a parting request by the host council to our guests, we appeal to you to kindly join us in praying for the quick recovery of our kind and God-fearing governor.
The State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, said that as part of his admission’s commitment to the welfarism of pensioners, monthly pensions are being paid as at when due while government priorities allocation of substantial amount of money for payment of gratuities.
Akeredolu was represented by his Special Adviser on Union Matters and Special Duties, Mr. Dare Aragbaye.
An award of excellence was presented by the pensioners to governor Akeredolu, NLC Vice President, Comrade Sunday Adeleye; the State Commissioner for Finance, Wale Akinterinwa among others.