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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

…Adebanjo, Falana, Okei-Odumakin, Adams, others renew agitation for restructuring
…As Governors, Yoruba leaders, activists, journalists celebrate late Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin


Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Friday said Lagos is a victim of its success, noting that his administration is committed to advancing its course in providing security for lives and property to keep Lagos Safe, quality education among other amenities.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, who expressed his support for true federalism said Lagos State Government has done a lot of things legally to ensure true federalism in Nigeria, adding that the State Government will advance the course by instructing the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to do more.

He made the statement at the first Comrade Yinka Odumakin lecture and book presentation in honour of the late human rights activist and National Publicity Secretary of the Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, who died last year.

Governor Sanwo-Olu who was represented by Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, said Odumakin is being celebrated today as a result of “his loyalty to a course that he believed in; loyalty to freedom, unity and everything that would make the common man have peace and enjoy everything that he is supposed to enjoy in Nigeria.”

He also expressed Lagos State Government support for the Oluyinka Odumakin Foundation set up to immortalise the late National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere.

“Lagos is simply a victim of its success. That everybody is coming to Lagos everyday shows that there is security in Lagos. We have done a lot of things legally to be able to get to where we are in terms of true federalism and whatever we need to do to advance the course, I will take the message to Governor Sanwo-Olu and he will instruct the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to do whatever we can do to advance this course.

“I know we are doing a lot talking about true federalism, State Police and all of that. We are going to push through so that whatever we can do for us to keep Lagos safe for other states to really look at what we are doing in Lagos, we will do,” the Governor said.

In his address, Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Benedict Alabi, said the book titled ‘Comrade’ which was written by the deceased widow, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, would help to preserve the legacy of Yinka Odumakin.

Speaking at the event, leader of Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams; right activist and lawyer, Chief Femi Falana (SAN), President of Oluyinka Odumakin Foundation and widow of the deceased, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin and others renewed the agitation for restructuring of the country and urged the Federal Government to restructure Nigeria before the 2023 general elections.

They also showered praise on the late Odumakin for his selfless service and passion for Nigeria and the common people during his lifetime, describing the late Afenifere spokesman as a committed, fearless, honest, defender of truth who fought for the future of Nigeria and the enthronement of social justice throughout his lifetime.

Adebanjo, who said he is still mourning the late Yinka Odumakin till date described him as a committed democrat, adding that he is yet to get a replacement for the late Afenifere National Publicity Secretary.

The Afenifere Leader, while speaking on the state of the nation, noted that without constitutional change, elections in the country would continue to be an exercise in futility.

Falana, who was the guest speaker at the occasion, called for the restoration of true federalism to continue the battle for a new Nigeria anchored on justice and fairness as the struggle for restructuring is for freedom.

He also commended Lagos State Government for showing leadership and championing true federalism through legal means by getting laudable judgement against the Federal Government on several issues.

A renowned clergy, Pastor Tunde Bakare noted that the greatest tribute to Odumakin is to continue to fight for the attainment of a society based on equity, fairness and justice which Yinka fought for during his lifetime.

Aare Adams said Nigeria can only get its acts together with restructuring, adding that the current constitutional arrangements was faulty and nothing could change with the 1999 Constitution foisted on Nigeria and Nigerians by the regime of General Abdulsalam Abubakar.

“The struggle for restructuring is the struggle for freedom. The challenge for the people that gathered here today is purely of a new Nigeria anchored on justice and fairness. This is the best way to immortalise Yinka Odumakin,” he said.

He also commended the wife of the deceased, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin for writing the 110 pages book on the life and times of her husband and for establishing the Oluyinka Odumakin Foundation in his memory.

In her remarks, Okei-Odumakin reiterated her pledge and commitment to continue the struggle and ideals of her late husband and urged the government to do a lot more in ensuring the health and security of the people.

She also appreciated people for their love and support since the demise of her husband.

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I made mistake in picking Atiku as my Running Mate in 1999 – Obasanjo laments



Former President Olusegun Obasanjo


Ex-President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has disclosed that when he served as a head of state in 1999 as a civilian, he had made a mistake picking his vice.

Obasanjo made this statement while fielding questions from secondary school students at a program at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Obasanjo admitted to making many “genuine mistakes” in his life while interacting with the students, but claimed that God helped him overcome them.

“Choosing my number two when I wanted to be president was one of the errors I made. But God saved me because it was an honest mistake, said Obasanjo.

Obasanjo while interacting with the students revealed that he had made many “genuine mistakes” in his life; saying, however, that God made him overcome them.

“One of the mistakes I made was picking my number two when I wanted to become the president. But because it was a genuine mistake, God saved me,” Obasanjo said.
According to reports, Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential contender, served as Obasanjo’s second-in-command from 1999 to 2007.

Obasanjo and Atiku clashed with one and other for years while in government over matters they couldn’t agree on.

When discussing his second error, Obasanjo claimed that it occurred when General Sani Abacha, a late military ruler, was going to arrest him and the American Embassy offered him asylum which he refused.

Obasanjo claimed that had God not intervened, he would have perished during his time in prison.

“When Abacha wanted to arrest me, I was told by the American ambassador that they will arrest me and that America has asked that I should be given an asylum. I said no. It could have been a mistake because I could have lost my life.”

The Balogun Owu stated that God had saved him from many things that could have been a mistake.

When asked whether the youths could be allowed to rule the nation, Obasanjo expressed worries, stating that youths may never come into power should the current trend in Nigeria continues.

The former president regretted that in spite of the “Not Too Young to Run” campaign, people contesting to rule the nation are between 70 and 80 years old.

“How can the youths run,” he asked, adding that the amount of money involved in going into politics would not allow youths to get to leadership positions.

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu

No fewer than 5000 Lagosians are to be enrolled in the Ilera Eko Social Health Plan – courtesy of the Lagos State Executive Council.

The gesture is to celebrate Governor Sanwo-Olu’s 57th birthday on June 25 and in the spirit of his compassion for the indigent and vulnerable.

Beneficiaries will have access to quality health care services and drugs under the ILERA EKO Standard Plan at no cost to them.

Nominees will be selected from the Lagos State Social Protection Register. An equal number of the 5000 eligible beneficiaries are to be selected from the five IBILE divisions of the State and will enjoy Universal Health Coverage.

These beneficiaries have been identified using a multi-dimensional poverty index tool, which includes the poverty means-testing to ensure accuracy, reliability and validity of the data generated.

ILERA EKO is the State Social Health Insurance Plan managed by Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), which offers the basic minimum health plan that provides quality and affordable healthcare for all Lagos residents, especially the middle and low-income earners as well as the vulnerable.

Services on the Plan include: General consultations; Specialist Consultations; Management of uncomplicated chronic diseases (Diabetes, Hypertension, Asthma); Maternal and Newborn Care; Normal Delivery and Caesarean Section; Dental Care (with Composite filling) and Eye Care, including glasses.

There are also minor and major surgeries; laboratory tests and scans; HIV/TB Testing services; Emergency Health Services; Cancer Care and the provision of prescribed drugs.

A policy cycle under the ILERA EKO Health Insurance Plan runs for 12 calendar months in which an enrolee’s policy is due for renewal before the 25th day of the 12th month to enable such subscribers have access to care the next month (Start of renewed policy cycle).

The selected beneficiaries will commence access to care from July 1, 2022.

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Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Wife remanded as UK Court denies them bail



Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife


An Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in the United Kingdom did not grant bail to Ike Ekweremadu, former Deputy Senate President, and Beatrice, his wife, who were apprehended over attempted harvesting of organs.

It was gathered that the Nigerian couple was detained by the Metropolitan Police when they tried harvesting an unnamed child’s organs.

When the Senator was arraigned on Thursday, the court refused to grant him bail but ordered that he should be remanded till July 7

The Metropolitan Police while confirming the arrest said in a statement that the pair were charged to court on Thursday following an investigation by the police’ specialist crime team.

“Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55 (10.9.66) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting,” the statement read.

“Ike Ekweremadu, 60 (12.05.62) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.

They have both been remanded in custody and will appear at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court later today.

“A child has been safeguarded and we are working closely with partners on continued support.”

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