By Eric Elezuo
If there is one thing the 2019 General Elections revealed, apart from the shambolic organisation and execution, it is the fact that godfathers of whatever kind, can be uprooted and disgraced.
As a result, age long godfathers of Nigeria political landscape, such as Bukola Saraki, Rochas Okorocha, Ibikunle Amosun, Rabiu Kwankwaso among many others met their waterloo in the just concluded elections when the people decided that their monopoly of political events in the country is over.
However, one name is has remained the shinning light of political godfatherism. He has in the last 20 years held sway as the political be all and end all of Africa’s commercial capital, Lagos. He is the Jagaban of Borgu, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
It is known that Tinubu, has singlehandedly picked almost every political office holder in Lagos State since 1999. His invincibility in the state became more pronounced when in September, 2018, he pulled the carpet off the incumbent governor of Lagos, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, ruling that he will go serve another term of office. Ambode, even with his power of incumbency and and all the state’s machinery within his disposal and use, could raise a finger in challenge of the deprivation. He succumbed like a puppet on a string; a man without origin. Today, another governor has been elected, and Ambode is on his way out.
Such is the power that Tinubu wields in Lagos State.
While the likes of Saraki, Kwankwaso, Amosun and Okorocha were depending on their hitherto waning popularity, Tinubu used every means possible, including the ones not found in the books, to retain his headship of Lagos politics. Many political analysts have pointed to his direction as the cause of the intimidation unleashed on non-Lagosians, especially of Igbo origin, thuggery during election, snatching and burning of ballot boxes and papers among others.
Tinubu is also known to be a big and generous spender, a quality that has put him in the good books of almost all Lagosians of diverse profession. It is no wonder that many see him as a demi-god, converting instantly his words to action.
But Tinubu has a history before reaching the height he found himself today:
Many has seen Asiwaju as a political godfather today, and justifiably so, but not many knew he had for years been a political godson, even a godservant. In the run-up to the 1999 elections, he was a protégé of Alliance for Democracy (AD) leaders Abraham Adesanya and Ayo Adebanjo. He paid his dues. He won the AD primaries for the Lagos State gubernatorial elections in competition with Funsho Williams and Wahab Dosunmu, a former Minister of Works and Housing. In April 1999, he stood for the position of Executive Governor of Lagos State on the AD ticket and was elected, and there extended his larger than life existence.
Following the victory by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the April 2007 elections, Bola Tinubu was active in negotiations to bring together the fragmented opposition parties into a “mega-party” capable of challenging the PDP in 2011. In July 2009, he called for implementation of electoral reforms spelled out in the Uwais report to ensure that the 2011 elections would be as free and fair as the elections of 1993 had been. In December 2009 Tinubu supported Fashola’s candidature for a second term in office which was adjudged by the public as good.
In 2015, Tinubu and Fashola threw their full weight behind Akinwunmi Ambode, the then gubernatorial candidate of the APC who is today the performing Executive Governor of Lagos.
Tinubu is married to Oluremi Tinubu, the current Senator representing Lagos central. His mother, Abibatu Mogaji died on June 15, 2014 at the age of 96.
In giving back to the society, Asiwaju Tinubu has established industries, and employed thousands of Nigerians. His investments cut across the media, aviation, finance and many more.
His Bourdillon Ikoyi home is home to many individuals who throng there on a daily basis for one directive or assistance or another.
Asides giving employment to thousands of Nigerians, Asiwaju has uncountable unrepentant political godsons including the current governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who made the confession recently during his speech at the Bola Tinubu ninth colloquium to mark Tinubu’s 65th birthday, and former Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, Comrade Ayodele Adewale, who had said that ‘wherever Asiwaju is, there will I be’.
Tinubu’s acceptance by his people is showcased wherever he goes, and it has once again been demonstrated in the election of another of his handpicked croonies, Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the next governor.
Who knows if Tinubu, in his unilateral wisdom, will find him wanting by 2023 as he, against all odds did concerning Ambode. The world is waiting to see who his latest victim will be.
And who knows if the people of Lagos would one day rise to reclaim their state as the people of Kwara did.
Time, like they always say, will surely tell.
Second Term: My Bid to Return Out of Commitment to Democratic Ideals – Demola Doherty
Hon. Demola Doherty is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a House of Representatives aspirant in Ifako/Ijaiye Constituency, Lagos State. Addressing newsmen recently, Doherty highlighted his achievements as an Executive Chairman of Ifako Ijaiye Local Government and his desire for a second term.
“The administration in which I was the Executive Chairman remains a reference and legacy administration in Ifako-Ijaiye till date, the more reason the people yearn for my return as Chairman for 2nd term in office.
“The template for the infrastructural developments witnessed during our first term is still with us upon which successive governments have built their projects but we still have a lot to do to remove Ifako-Ijaiye from the sub-urban status.
“Classical examples of infrastructures visible on ground are drainages & road construction viz: Mojisola Str, Adekoya Str, Gospel Crusader, Abu Alfred, Aina Ajobo, Bola Ahmed Tinubu Rd. (Old Akute Road) et al.
“The health of the people was of utmost importance to us hence the concept of Ashabi Taiwo Maternity.
“My next term plan is to address strategic roads yet to be done, such as Oshola Str., Powerline, Ibari Str. and link Ogundimu to Olowo surbub. I also intend to team up with our Assembly member to accelerate construction of Abiola Onijemo bridge.
The health of the people was paramount to our being in govt hence the concept of New Ashabi Taiwo Maternity, upgrade of Ajilete PHC for 24hrs service.
Construction of New Ogundimu PHC; donation of 30 KVA Diesel Generator; Out Patient benches for Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital and financial support.
Three new buildings, consisting 36 classrooms were constructed in Ajuwon (Ward F), Ogundimu (Ward F) Fagba (Ward D) and Rmrehabilitation of Bishop Oluwole Primary School (Ward C1).
Desks, chairs & tables were provided for pupils and teachers, respectively.
Yearly bursary to tertiary institutions students were increased by 50% and paid regularly. Indigent students were annually assisted with free WAEC/GCE forms and extra-mural classes.
Bags, English Language workbooks, exercise books and writing materials were provided free to 8000 pupils & students of Ifako-Ijaiye as dividend of democracy.
My next term plan is to wholly support Hon. Tope Adewale our Assembly member, to increase the number of free JAMB forms beneficiaries to 100% and to provide additional support to tertiary students in our local govt area.
Ishaga market was expanded and rebuilt to accommodate more market women and men. My next term plan is to rebuild NRC Area Office as well as Obawole/Ndike/Powerline Market.
The political class witnessed remarkable cohesion with local govt support during our last outing but there is a great deal of room for improvement.
My next term plan is to restructure wealth creation and poverty alleviation in a way that items relevant to the specific needs of the people shall be given out to reduce poverty in the land and make them self-sustainable.
Cleric Offers Scholarship to Underaged Victims of Sexual Abuse
A popular Islamic cleric, philanthropist, business and Estate mogul, and founder, Sebilu Nnajat TV, Sheikh Hammed Olanrewaju Alfulaany, has offered scholarships to two sexually abused underaged girls, aged 14 and 16, who were sexually molested by their parents.
The victims, Ayomide Rachael Johnson, and Motunrayo Ogunsanwo, were allegedly sexually assaulted by their fathers in Meiran, and Epe respectively before they were rescued by Lady of Africa Foundation.
The organization reported the matter to the police and the fathers were arrested. The case is presently in court.
The Cleric was approached by the Founder and National Coordinator of the Foundation, Princess Oluwabukola Fasuyi, to assist the victims in furthering their education. Since their case became public knowledge, the victims had been under the care of the Foundation.
Upon hearing the plights of the victims, the business mogul offered to sponsor their education to University level and promised to take care of their feeding and daily expenses.
The elated Princess Bukola Fasuyi expressed gratitude to the cleric for coming to the aid of the victims, and urged other philanthropists to follow suit by coming to the assistance of the Foundation in providing succour to the needy.
Apart from the victims, the business mogul also offered scholarships to a 22year old Barakat Hassan and her 24-year old sister, Azeezat, who were abandoned by their mother for 22 years after she packed out of her matrimonial home.
Their situation became worst after the death of their father, as they had no one to take care of them.
Barakat lost her sight in the process, placing a heavy burden on her sister to fend for both of them.
Their plight was brought to the attention of the philanthropist who offered to foot the medical bill of Barakat running into millions of naira. She is presently receiving medical attention in one of the top hospitals in Lagos.
The two sisters have also been given accomodation by the philanthropist and are on the verge of enrolling in school.
While eulogising the philanthropic gesture of Sheikh Olanrewaju Hammed Alfulaany, Princess Oluwabukola Fasuyi said the philanthropist has demonstrated there should be no religious or ethnic biases towards helping the needy, adding such gestures should be emulated by every Nigerian.
She called on International community, government and well-to-do Nigerians to support Sheikh Olanrewaju Hammed Alfulaany in his philanthropic gesture as well as come to the aid of Lady of Africa Foundation in it’s quest to give back to the society.
Domestic Violence: Foundation Calls for Protection of the Girl-Child
A women advocacy group, Lady of Africa Empowerment and Advocacy Foundation, LAEAF has called on government to ensure the right of girl child is protected amidst rampant cases of domestic sexual abuses of young girls.
While reacting to increase in cases of sexual abuses of teenagers, the founder of the group, Princess Oluwabukola Fasuyi, said it’s disheartening to hear cases of fathers sexually molesting their daughters.
According to her, children who are victims of such abuses ends up becoming wayward and live with the psychological effects of the abuse for the rest of their lives.
Citing the case of a 14year old girl at Meiran, Lagos State, who was sexually molested severally by her father before she was rescued by the organization, Princess Fasuyi said the victim is currently battling with the trauma, having been introduced to a wayward as a result of her father’s action.
She added the organization is making every efforts to assist the victim recover from the abuse and has enrolled her in one of the government’s school in the state.
“It’s high time government ensured the right of girl child are protected. It’s disturbing when.you hear stories of fathers sleeping with their daughters. We have a case of a 14 year old girl who was sexually abused by her father. At times the girl would ran out of the house in the middle of the night whenever the father wanted to.sleep with her. This happened on several occasions. W
When we got wind of it, we had to rescue the girl and report the matter to the police. The father was arrested, charger to court, and is currently in prison custody while the case is going on in court.
The action has made the girl wayward but the organization is trying to re-orientate her and give her a new life,” she said.
She also cited the case of a 17year old girl who was rescued in Epe after being severally sexually molested by her father. The girl was later rescued by the organization.
According to her, the organization reported the matter to the police and the father was arrested. The case is presently in court.
” We are urging the government to pay more attention to women by empowering them. It’s said when you build a woman, you build a nation. Many young girls who grow up to be wayward are victims of domestic abuses from childhood. Government must ensure violators are brought to book.
Law enforcement agencies must ensure violators are prosecuted and justice is served to victims. Girl child should be educated while parents, especially mothers should pay adequate attention to their daughters to protect them from randy father’s,” she urged.
Lady of Africa Empowerment and Foundation is a non governmental organization committed to the empowement and rapid development of women.
Over the years, the Foundation has been involved in several cases involving the welfare of women.
In 2009, the Foundation rescued one Dupe Olowoyo, a widowed and single mother of two who was down with cancer of the vagina. Several millions of Naira were spent on her treatment by the Foundation before she was cured of the disease, and was later empowered by the Foundation.
Likewise, one Yinka Popoola, a single mother of four, was treated of cancer of the mouth by the Foundation.