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Behold the new Olubadan-elect

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Senator Lekan Balogun, the Olubadan elect
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Ten of the 11 members of the Olubadan-in-Council on Wednesday endorsed the nomination of Senator Lekan Balogun as the next Olubadan of Ibadanland.
The Council also denied that a legal tussle could scupper the succession to the Olubadan throne.

Here are things to know about the new Olubadan-elect of Ibadanland, the 79-year-old Dr Lekan Balogun

After his primary school education, young Lekan was enrolled at CAC Modern School, Anlugbua.

Then he was staying with one of his brothers, Late Hamzat Adewale Balogun, who was a civil servant but was studying privately for the General Certificate of Education, Ordinary Level (GCE O’L). He was also subscribing to Rapid Result College in the UK to enhance his performance in the examination.

But Lekan was secretly reading his brother’s correspondence which became very helpful to him when he wrote his qualifying test which was like ‘G4’ at the time.

While in the second year of the three-year modern school programme, Lekan sat for the Qualifying Examination and passed.

Therefore, he left school without completing the programme.

For his undergraduate programme, he enjoyed university scholarship while his post-graduate studies were sponsored by the Social Science Research Council. He returned to Nigeria and took up an appointment with Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.

He travelled to the UK where he studied for his O and A levels certificates while doing a part-time job to sustain himself- all under 18 years of age.

A highly cerebral student, gaining admission into the university was not a problem for him. In fact, he had the task of choosing from many offers after which he settled for Brunel University.

He left the university in 1973 with a Masters degree in Administration and Economics.

He holds a Doctorate, Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Public Administration; Public and Social Administration and Economics from Columbus International University, Brunel University and Manchester University all in the United Kingdom.

He was once a Research Fellow with the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; a Director with Triumph Newspaper, Kano; Editor of the monthly Magazine – “The Nigerian Pathfinder” as well as Management Consultant for Multinational Organizations such as Leyland, Exiat Battery and Nigerian Breweries.

He’s a renowned technocrat, author and philanthropist.

Senator Lekan Balogun sits on the Board of several companies with interests in Oil and Gas, Distributive Trade, Management Consulting, Mechanized Farming and Export of non-oil items as well as Travels and Tourism.

Erstwhile Administrator/Head, Industrial Relations, Recruitment and Scholarships, Planning and Development at Shell Petroleum Development Company.

He was a former Presidential Aspirant on the platform of SDP.

Senator Balogun was also a Gubernatorial Candidate for the PDP in Oyo State in the present political dispensation and a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the Fourth Republic.

He was chairman Senate Committee on National Planning and was a member to many Senate committees such as Appropriations, Security and Intelligence, Police Affairs and Defence (Army).

He has written and published widely. Many of his publications include but not limited to; A Review of Nigeria’s 4 years’ Development Plan, 1970-1974; Nigeria: Social Justice or Doom; Power for Sale: published in ; Arrogance of Power; Nigeria.

He had a stint with the Lamberth Local Government Social Services Department where he worked for one and a half years after which his academic inclination took the better of him and he enrolled for his PhD.

Lekan’s outstanding academic performance did not go unnoticed.

· In 1973, he resumed as a research fellow at ABU Centre for Social and Economic Research.

He also had the option of working as a lecturer at the University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University but he chose ABU instead because of the desire to relate with other people away from his birth place and to know their cultures and traditions.

Young and energetic, it did not take him long to tender his resignation letter at ABU Having been employed as a positive research fellow to write papers for the government and highlight how well it was doing instead of normative research whereby he would be engaged in writing what government ought to do, he felt the idea of “ praise singing” government’s programmes negated his ideological principle which is of the progressive-leaning.

He later took up an appointment with Shell British Petroleum Company where he had a very flourishing career and got promoted almost every year until he became the Head of Recruitment.

This bright prospect notwithstanding, Lekan didn’t stay too long in the company. Again, his ideological conviction was being challenged. His job, he thought, was not in consonance with his beliefs.

He was no longer comfortable with a situation whereby as a member of management, he was saying ‘no’ to most of the workers’ demands and using his intellectual prowess to deny workers of what he considered to be their rights.

In a book: The Portrait of an Activist, a biography of Lekan Balogun, it was recorded that “by working against Nigerian workers, those he was supposed to be championing their cause was simply against his conscience and not minding the prospects of his reaching the zenith in the company, he abruptly called it quits. ”

In the UK, he developed the white-black consciousness which crystallised into activism and the struggle for human rights.

To give vent to his passion, he joined the leftist Marxist movement. Thus, he not only rejected the racist tendencies of the White but racism – whether it was black or white because he was aware that though everyone in his country was black, yet some black people were oppressors of their fellow blacks.

He plunged into the murky waters of politics in 1978 when he joined the PRP of late Aminu Kano.
· His charisma, honesty and gallantry soon saw him climbing the political ladder with ease and grace that eventually accorded him the respect and recognition of the political overlords of Oyo State.

Within a short period, he had made his mark as an astute politician, activist and champion of downtrodden masses. He later became the gubernatorial candidate of one of the major political parties in the country, the Nigerian People’s Party (NPP) of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.

The military coup of December 1983 kept him and other political giants in the cooler for 16 years. He later re-emerged on the political scene with his election as a distinguished senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1999.

As Senator Lekan Balogun rose in politics, he continued to rise in the traditional hierarchy of Ibadanland, culminating in his present position as the Olubadan elect of Ibadanland.

His younger brother, Senator Kola Balogun is the Senator representing Oyo South Senatorial district.

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Akpabio’s Comment On N30bn To Govs Misconstrued – Eyiboh

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Senate President Godswill Akpabio’s statement that Governors recently received N30billion from the federal government to cushion the effects of hardship was misconstrued, his spokesman, Hon Eseme Eyiboh has said.

Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom) denied receiving such amounts.

Eyiboh, in a statement in Abuja, said the Senate President holds Governors in high esteem.

He said Akpabio urged the “sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.”

The statement reads: “The office of the President of the Senate has been drawn to various misconceptions in the public domain on the statement credited to the President of the Senate in plenary of Wednesday, February 21, 2024, during the presentation of a report of the joint Committees on Finance, Agriculture/Food Sufficiency, Banking and Insurance.

“During the session the President of the Senate commented on the payment of an unverified cumulative sum of about N30billion to the sub-national governments by the Federal Government for various interventions to ameliorate the food situation of our citizens at the sub-national governments.

“The unfortunate conjectures to take away the kernel in the material facts of FAAC payment are rather regretted.

“In considering the well-intended motive of urging State Governments to collaborate with the Federal Government of President Bola Tinubu to facilitate strategic interventions to mitigate the prevailing economic situation in the country remains the underpinning motivation in the comment.

“The President of the Senate is not oblivious to the fact that State governments are functional partners in all the efforts of the current administration of President Bola Tinubu and are also valuable stakeholders in the various legislative engagements of the legislature in creating the nexus between the legislature and the people.

“The President of the Senate has always demonstrated commitment to team building and shall not do less in the circumstance.

“He therefore urges the sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.

“The President of the Senate recognizes and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda.”

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Hardship: Afenifere Begs Yoruba Race Not To Join Protest Against Tinubu

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The leader of the Pan Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, has appealed to Nigerians, especially from the South West states, against the planned nationwide protest against President Bola Tinubu-led federal government amid the hardship Nigerians are currently experiencing.

Fasoranti who made this appeal, in a statement personally signed by him, lamented over the current economic crisis in the country, describing it as unfortunate, and urging Nigerians to endure the hardship for tomorrow’s prosperity.

The Afenifere leader said, “As the National Leader of Afenifere, and leader of the Yoruba, I address all and sundry today with a deep understanding of the challenges our dear country is going through at this critical time. The outcry over the hardship, hunger, and price hikes is not unexpected.

“However, we must come to terms with the realities of our national challenges, which the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is striving to resolve.

“While acknowledging the hardships faced by our people, it is important to recognize that these economic measures, although difficult, are part of a larger strategy aimed at restoring economic prosperity and stability to Nigeria.

“The government’s commitment to implementing these measures is a testament to its dedication to addressing the root causes of our economic challenges, inherited from the ills of the previous years”

He said “As a responsible leader, I appeal to every Yoruba man and woman, young and old, and our fellow citizens across the nationalities, to exercise patience and refrain from engaging in protests or actions that may escalate tensions.

“Understandably, the immediate impact of Tinubu’s economic reforms is challenging to everyone, but it is crucial to give the government the necessary time to realize the intended benefits”

Attributing the current economic hardship to the removal of fuel subsidy and has done great damage to the nation’s economy, saying “It is important to note that the removal of fuel subsidies and the floating of the Naira is not undertaken lightly, as we all know the great damage done to our national prosperity through the nefarious activities of the agents of darkness within the oil and financial sectors.

“These measures by the Federal Government, though painful in the short term, are designed to create a more sustainable economic environment that will benefit us all in the long run. It requires collective understanding and resilience from every citizen as we navigate through these challenging times.

“We cannot afford a preference for the euthanasic approach of painless death of our nation, where we are propped up with loans and subsidies until a total collapse into a failed nation, while we have the opportunity of painful healing through treatment with multiple surgeries that will guarantee not just our survival, but restored health, vigor, and thriving life. We must endure today’s hardship for tomorrow’s prosperity”

He, however, appealed to Nigerians to give Tinubu more time and engage in constructive criticism that can contribute towards the development of the country.

“I implore you to trust in the government’s commitment to the welfare of our nation. Let us engage in constructive dialogue and contribute positively to the ongoing economic reforms.

“Join me in appealing for unity and understanding among our people. Together, we can weather this storm and emerge stronger as a nation.

“I want to assure you as the Leader of Afenifere, that we are actively engaging with the government at different levels to address the concerns of our people. Let us remain steadfast, patient, and united in the face of these challenges, confident that our collective resilience will pave the way for a more prosperous future”
Recall that last Thursday, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the president-general of Ohanaeze, similarly appealed to the Igbo groups not to protest against the administration of President Bola Tinubu.

The Ohanaeze in a communique issued after an emergency meeting asked the people of the southeast to “invoke the indomitable Igbo spirit of brotherliness and hard work” during the period of economic hardship.

The group urged south-east governors and traditional rulers to take “advantage of the upcoming farming season to catalyze massive agricultural production for sustainable food security” in the zone.

Ohanaeze added that since the apex court in the country has ruled on the 2023 presidential election, the group has decided to support the administration of Tinubu.

“We reviewed with intense passion, the level of unemployment, poverty, hardships, especially the rising cost of goods and services in Nigeria, the rate of depreciation of Nigerian currency, and the excruciating effect on the masses; and reminded Ndigbo that they should quickly readjust themselves to the reality of the times and that the Igbo have passed through the worst of conditions in the past,” the communique reads.

“There is no better time than now to invoke the indomitable Igbo spirit of brotherliness, hard work, ingenuity, wisdom, resilience, inventiveness, perseverance, and capacity to turn adversities into diverse opportunities

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FG To Implement Oronsaye Report

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President Bola Tinubu
President Bola Tinubu
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..To Scrap Many Agencies, Merge Others

In a landmark decision, President Bola Tinubu has approved the implementation of the age-long Oronsanye report.

This is one of the decisions taken at this Monday’s meeting of the federal executive council, at the state house.

The report submitted by the Oronsanye committee under the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2012 has endured successive administrations without implementation.

By Implication, some federal agencies would either be scrapped, merged or relocated.

A committee to be headed by the Secretary to the Government of the federation is to work out the modalities for implementation.

 

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