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“What do you need?” – Gov Makinde issues open cheque to Ibarapa land

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In an event organised by the Oyo State government for the people of Ibarapa Zone, Oyo state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde has issued an open cheque to the people on what they need to make their lives better.

The governor made the statement during a stakeholders’ town hall meeting on the 2021 budget held in Igboora on Monday.

The meeting is the fifth public consultative forum on the budget which was specifically organized for the people of Ibarapa Zone comprising Ibarapa central, Ibarapa East and Ibarapa North.

The Governor, in his keynote address asserted that the ultimate power in governance rests in the hands of the populace. He noted that it will be a step in the wrong direction if the people do not determine what constitutes their budget.

Governor Makinde who was ably represented by the Hon. Speaker, Oyo state house of assembly, Rt. Hon Adebo Ogundoyin explained that the rationale behind the expansion of this year’s stakeholders consultative forum is as a result of the success recorded in the 2020 budget.

He said irrespective of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ghastly drop in oil prices, which led to a slash of the 2020 budget, the government can boast of a successful budget implemention because the people were carried along.

According to him, the governmemt hopes to achieve more with the 2021 budget through execution of people oriented projects in the state.

He said: “Last year, we produced our first budget, which we tagged, “The People’s Budget,” because we came out and engaged in town hall meetings and sought your input. You spoke, and we listened. You made it clear that you wanted more capital projects and infrastructural development. You indicated that payment of salaries and gratuities was a sore point. As a result, of last year’s budget of N213.8Billion, capital expenditure was pegged at N103.4Billion, while recurrent expenditure had a value of N110.4Billion.

“Unfortunately, COVID-19 happened. Additionally, the fall in oil prices affected federal allocations to states. We had to slash the budget. However, we decided that whatever cuts we were making, payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities, and other emoluments to the state workforce will not be affected. After the reductions, recurrent expenditure remained N108.9Billion while capital projects took a 36.9 per cent hit and came down to N65.2Billion.

He added, “We were able to carry out these people-centred projects because we started off the budget year by asking you the question: What would you like us to do for you?

“And so, we are back this year on a similar mission. And this time, we are expanding the process and making it even more open and transparent. Last year, town hall meetings were held in the three senatorial districts. This year, we are upping the ante. Town hall meetings will be held in the seven geopolitical zones of the state.”

Meanwhile, stakeholders in the community took turns to make requests of their pressing needs. Issues touching security, infrastructure, agriculture, water supply, tourism and health were deliberated on.

In his response to the people’s needs, the governor assured that every requests made will be considered with a scale of preference., keeping in view, the budget allocation for the zone.

He disclosed that the government will begin the construction of the stadium in Igboora to provide job opportunities for indegines and a good environment for sporting activities in the community.

As a son of the soil, the governor’s representative, Hon. Ogundoyin also promised to sponsor empowerment projects for tertiary institutions in Ibarapa. This he said will help to project the community’s image in the state.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Barr. Adeniyi Farinto, appreciated the people of Ibarapa for their warm reception.

He also thanked Governor Seyi Makinde for being an examplary leader with a large heart for his people.

Farinto, reacting to the request by traditional monarchs to increase their 5% allocation to cater for their upkeep, explained that the 5% budget allocation for monarch is according to the Constitution and can not be modified by any state government.

He however assured that the government will explore other means to make life better for the traditional rulers.

The event was attended by the Permanent Secretary for Budget and Economic Planning, Mrs Mofuluke Adebiyi; Hon. Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr Seun Fakorede; State house representatives; directors in the ministry of budget and economic planning; top government officials; traditional rulers; local government council caretakers and other stakeholders in the zone

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“Present crisis in the nation is handshake beyond the elbow” – Asiwaju Tinubu

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All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has described the present crisis in Nigeria which include the “looting, carnage, burning and invasion of police stations and stealing of arms and maiming the innocents” as a “handshake beyond the elbow.”

Speaking to journalists on Saturday at the State House, Marina, Asiwaju Tinubu, who was accompanied by his son, Seyi commiserated with Lagosians and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu over the Lekki toll plaza incident and the hijack of the #EndSARS protests by hoodlums who destroyed private and government properties

He sympathised with those who lost their loved ones in the violence.

Tinubu, the first governor of Lagos State in the Fourth Republic, also debunked the report in  the social media that he fled Nigeria for safety after  Tuesday’s shootings at the Lekki Toll Gate.
 
He said: “We have to separate those who suffered brutality in the hands of some SARS officers before the protests from those who suffered casualties due to shootings at the Toll Gate. For those who suffered from SARS they should approach the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and present their case to the panel.”
 
“The panel is independent and I trust the caliber and character of the people there.”
 
Making reference to Sanwo-Olu’s handling of the protest before the curfew, Tinubu said the Governor did what he should have done under the circumstance. He added that Sanwo-Olu, whom he described as youth-friendly, listened to the protesters and took their demands to the President in Abuja.
 
“He (Sanwo-Olu) quickly went to Abuja with the five for five and the government immediately went into action.”
 
“We saw on television that he delivered the message to Mr. President. The President didn’t say no. The President gave him appointment within a few hours. That is responsive enough for people to go to town but where we are we getting the looting, the carnage, the burning and invasion of our Police stations and stealing of arms and maiming the innocent. It is handshake beyond the elbow,” he said. 
 
Responding to the report that he flew out of the country immediately after the Lekki crisis, Tinubu said:“I didn’t go nowhere; I am a Lagosian. And I still hold the title of Asiwaju of Lagos State and I am still the Jagaban. Whatever they think; fake news is all over the place. They said my son, Seyi was kidnapped. He is here (Tinubu pointed at his son). It is all a joke.”
 
He urged Lagosians to embrace peace and set about healing the wounds inflicted by the violence.

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Video: Senator Teslim Folarin house invaded, motorbikes, grinding machines, other empowerment materials carted away

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Senator Teslim Folarin’s house was on Saturday invaded by hoodlums.

Folarin is the lawmaker representing Oyo Central Senatorial district

According to reports, the hoodlums carted away with several brand new motorbikes.

They also carted away other new items, like freezers, grinding machines and other valuables.

The looting of the lawmaker’s home is coming on the heels of the looting of the home of various government officials and private businesses by hoodlums in various parts of the country.

At the time of writing this report, the lawmaker, who is said to be out of the country, was yet to react to the occurrence.

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Palliatives looted by hoodlums not owned by Oyo govt, say Commissioner, Gov’s Media Aide

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…’state to proceed with 5th round of palliatives distribution’

…as CACOVID rice supplier clears air, counts losses

The Government of Oyo State has denied ownership of palliatives looted by hoodlums in the early hours of Friday, October 23, 2020, at a warehouse located in Akobo area of Ibadan, the state capital.

The state government maintained that the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde would never short-change the people, urging members of the public to discountenance the allegations and misinformation being spread on social media.

The state’s Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters and chairman of the Food Security and Palliative Committee of the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, Chief Bayo Lawal, stated these at the weekend, adding that the state is set to proceed with the fifth round of palliative distribution, which he noted was slowed down as a result of the nationwide protests.

A statement by Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, quoted Lawal as explaining that the bags of rice looted at the private warehouse in Ibadan were not the property of Oyo State.

He said that Oyo State was not supplied rice as part of the palliatives from CACOVID and that it did not distribute rice as part of the palliatives distributed to the people so far.

Adisa, in the statement, explained that some hoodlums had mistaken a private warehouse belonging to a company that operates in Ibadan, as belonging to the state government and had attacked the property and carted away bags or rice, which they erroneously thought were being hoarded by the government.

He said: “One, investigations at the moment eventually reveal that there was nothing that concerns the Oyo State government in that warehouse. 

“Two, the warehouse belongs to a private individual who operates in Oyo State and was given a valid contract by the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), a coalition of private organizations that have been helping states and the federal government to fight COVID-19, to supply them to a certain number of states. 

“So, it was the rice that he procured on his own for repackaging that was mistaken to be Oyo State’s, that hoodlums looted.”

In his own explanations, the Commissioner stated that the state government could not hoard what it did not have, explaining that CACOVID only supported the state with cash, medical items and food items including Indomie and Spaghetti.

According to Lawal, the looted palliatives at the private warehouse, which consist of mainly packaged rice, did not belong to Oyo State, adding that the remaining items meant for the next round of palliatives in the state are stored at government’s designated warehouses.

He said that none of the state’s food items is stored outside the Secretariat.

He said: “It was really a big shock earlier this morning [Friday morning] when I started receiving calls alleging that food items meant for distribution to the masses were being hoarded. But when I enquired further, I was told that the bags of rice were looted in one of our warehouses in Ibadan, in Lagelu Local Government, to be precise. But I said it was not possible, because we don’t even have any warehouse outside the secretariat. 

“All the palliatives given to us were stored in our warehouses within the secretariat, not outside. Whatever is being circulated that Oyo State was hoarding CACOVID-donated rice is wrong and baseless allegation. Though the Coalition wrote and promised to give us 62 trailer loads of rice, up till today, 23rd of October, 2020, we have not taken delivery of a single bag of rice from them. We discussed it at a recent exco meeting and the Oyo State Governor is aware of this too. So, we don’t maintain any warehouse outside the secretariat.

“We want the public to know that though CACOVID gave us indomie, spaghetti, there was nothing like rice. We are still expecting their rice up till today. 

“The rice, which was looted, belonged to a private company that happens to be a CACOVID vendor for other states. The supply comes from various vendors just like our indomie came from Lagos and the supplier also is from Lagos. There are other items too. Some even came from Edo State. So, I am not surprised that we have some of their vendors here too, but the bags of rice were meant for other states, not Oyo State.

“So, the public should be aware that the allegations and all the information being circulated about the state on the internet are not correct. We have the interest of our people at heart and we even used our own money. If we can use our money to ensure that during the COVID-19 pandemic, people got palliatives from their government, why should we deprive them if there is any donation from any organization? Why should we deprive them of the benefit of enjoying it?

“We are law-abiding citizens. We did not even buy rice. Among the items we gave out, the Oyo State Government did not give rice. All that we packaged were garri, yam-flour, beans, things we produce locally. We did not buy rice at all. So, if we did not buy rice and CACOVID that has been helping did not supply us rice, where is the rice now coming from? 

“This misinformation about the Oyo State Government hoarding rice is the work of the opposition to damage the reputation of the government. They are the ones spreading the rumour that the Oyo State Government is hoarding rice. You can’t hoard what you don’t process.”

Earlier,  the CACOVID vendor whose warehouse was vandalised, Mr. Alabi Femi Adeoye,  decried the untoward situation, stating that the looted rice at the warehouse were meant to be supplied to Abia, Cross-Rivers, Plateau and Taraba states.

He said that his company, which has been operating in Oyo State in the past five years, lost millions of Naira to the attack.

“Oyo State Government was not part of the states we were asked to supply by CACOVID,” he said, explaining how the looters swooped on his warehouse, vandalised it and carted away the food items especially the 1,850 bags of rice he procured.

He said: “On 30th of September, they(CACOVID) contacted us if we could handle the supply of rice for them. We have an interest in farming. We are farmers and we have a good network with every state. We told them we could handle it, which we were able to get the purchase order. 

“After that, we instructed our team to manage it from Ibadan, simply because we believe we can also generate revenue in Ibadan and create more jobs. We have farms in Ibadan and it has been profitable for us. And we have been able to employ a good number of the indigenes to manage our farms for us. So, these are the reasons why they gave us the job.

“Last week, we commenced this job to supply but, to my surprise, Ibadan was not captured as part of the states we should supply. We were asked to supply Abia, Cross-Rivers, Plateau and Taraba States. Other agents were given different states. I am sure one of the farmers was given Oyo State. So, we were asked to bring our rice from Kebbi and a part of Niger State. 

“We have been operating in Ibadan for quite some time. We have two warehouses in Ibadan; there is one on Iwo Road and the other is at Lagelu, which we have been managing for like five years. We have never witnessed an invasion like this because we have been so good to the community. Recently, we tried to construct about 500metres of road for them. So, I was surprised to see this kind of attack.

“But our facility was vandalized and food items worth millions of Naira were carted away. This is not a big concern to us, though we believe that these food items are meant for Nigerians but we were unable to get them to the appropriate quarters. However, property that was vandalized was worth millions of naira.”

He thanked men of the ‘Operation Burst,’ whose intervention, he said, helped to stop the total destruction of his company.

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