“I NEVER Conceded The Election To Fayose” – Gov. Kayode Fayemi Bares It All

Published:20 Jul, 2014

John Kayode Fayemi, Governor Ekiti State
John Kayode Fayemi, Governor Ekiti State
John Kayode Fayemi, Governor Ekiti State

Kayode Fayemi, the governor of Ekiti state, was widely hailed and praised when he chose to “concede” to Ayo Fayose, the PDP candidate who defeated him in last month’s governorship election in the state. Fayemi was hailed as a different breed of politician.

His party however was not too impressed with his move. It has been making statements condemning the Ekiti election and now Fayemi, in an interview – the first since his loss – which he granted to Dapo Thomas, a journalist and university teacher who also writes for Sunday Sun, Fay­emi said that he never conceded the election to Fayose and asked doubters to read the transcript of his post-election broadcast again.

“Anyone who understands the English lan­guage well would know that that speech was not the concession speech that many people are talking about. Yes, I have said I won’t chal­lenge the election in court and congratulated Mr Fayose, but that’s not tantamount to accept­ing the result. That’s about saving Ekiti.”

The full interview, which is quite a long one, shows the complete metamorphosis of the governor. You can read it below:

The outcome of the June 21 elec­tion in Ekiti shocked the entire na­tion and even the international com­munity. To what extent were you disturbed by the result?

Very disturbed indeed and worried for the future of elections in our country. Nobody goes into an election to lose especially when you have put a lot into it. When you have worked hard and earned the trust of the people, you should have every rea­son to feel confident you are going to be rewarded for the hard work and performance. I said in the course of the campaigns that this election, in my own view, would be decided on the basis of char­acter and performance. On those two grounds, majority agree that we were heads and shoulders above every other candidate in the race. Leaving that aside, no candidate campaigned the way we did – touching every nook and corner of the state, towns and farmsteads alike. Most of the time we were on the field campaigning, PDP was nowhere to be found. We actually didn’t campaign like an incumbent.  We campaigned as if we were the challenger, the underdog.

But I must also say we were not unaware of the desperation of the PDP hierarchy to ‘win’ Ekiti by every means possible. We saw the federal forces at play in the election and they were undisguised in their desperation. Election is a process. An elec­tion is not just rigged when you snatch ballot box or when you change result at the collation centre. Election could be rigged by the processes leading to that election itself. When security agents that are supposed to be neutral for example go round pick­ing party leaders the night before an election and party anchors on the day of election in a coordi­nated and choreographed manner with no charge levelled against them, clearly you had a pre-deter­mined end that you are seeking. It is not time to go into any great detail about what we found to be unacceptable about the process which is why I was reluctant to give this interview in the first place. But we have also promised that the infrac­tions will be documented and exposed because we owe Nigerians that.

You don’t want to accept the fact that something went wrong with the APC in the Ekiti election?

The election was not about Ekiti, it was turned to federal forces against APC in the state. If it was performance, head and shoulders we won the election and in terms of mobilization, in terms of campaign, in terms of issues. As a matter of fact, the PDP candidate had no issues. He was reactive throughout. No issues, no agenda, no manifesto. The only manifesto was I am opposed to any policy issue Governor Fayemi has raised or is implementing. I even give some credit to the La­bour Party candidate who, even though at the last minute, still came out with a manifesto of what he would like to do in office. That clearly did not happen in the case of the PDP so we were really the only ones with a tested programme that had been implemented across the state. I have heard and read all sorts of “pepper soup joint” analysis about stomach infrastructure and people voting for rice and all that.  Attractive as the analysis may be to some people, I don’t think it fully does credit to the Ekiti people. Really, yes there are tendencies of instant gratification that crept into Ekiti politics – particularly in the early days of PDP government in the state-but those tendencies are not so deeply ingrained as to imagine that our people depend on what they can eat here and now in order to deter­mine what happens to their future. It just offers these elements a convenient explanation for the abracadabra that they inflicted on Ekiti State. But again, as I said, time will tell. We may find the op­portunity now that the party has gone to court, we would find out from their own side.  But I think it is important, as I said in my broadcast, to docu­ment all these extraneous elements; the siege on Ekiti by the military and other security agencies, the role they played in instilling fear in the state. There are of course a lot of arm-chair pundits who have argued that the security siege was insufficient to explain the loss of APC. Many of these pundits were not even in Ekiti during the election and had no idea what actually transpired. Two days to elec­tion, my colleagues who were coming for my final rally were stopped from taking off in some cases, mid-air in other cases and actually at the boundar­ies coming into Ekiti state. Ten days before then, my party people were attacked on account of the traditional sweep after the PDP rally. I was tear-gassed and ordered to be attacked on the instruc­tion of the Vice President who was in Ekiti on the fateful day, the same Vice President who had boasted that Ekiti and Osun elections will be war front. Even after I lodged a complaint with the Na­tional Security Adviser and the Inspector-General, it was my own people who were charged with ter­rorism. So, this was a very carefully orchestrated agenda driven by the forces, federal forces who have been saying to everybody’s hearing that they must take Ekiti because Ekiti, for them, was the gateway to taking the South-west. So there is noth­ing that happened that cannot be explained.

But you conceded defeat

Did I really? We were left with two obvious choices following the announcement by INEC on the morning of the 22nd of June. One was to reject outright what we considered was clearly a blatant manipulation or to accept it. There were a lot of grey areas in between those outright choices. It is convenient to many who want to re-write history to say Fayemi accepted the result. But all you need do is read the transcript of my broadcast and you would come to a very different conclusion. With over 30,000 security agents in the state with clear instructions from the Presidency to do everything to place Ekiti in the president’s corner, it was a critical moment for the state and I believe it was more important to rescue Ekiti from bloodbath than to plunge it into one. I believe it was impor­tant to turn a new leaf and fight our cause with­out resorting to violence. That’s what the Federal government and the PDP had planned for.  That’s the verifiable intelligence I received. And as the Chief Security Officer of the state, I had to decide whether to allow Ekiti to be turned into a killing field by trigger-happy security agents already on instruction to mow them down for protesting the abracadabra inflicted on them. Under the circum­stance, my decision was clear: peace now, justice later. And really, do we want bloodbath in Ekiti? Do we want our people to be slaughtered? Do we want Ekiti to become the trigger for truncating Nigeria’s fledgling democracy? We felt we have a role to play in protecting this democracy no matter how flawed it is and that’s why I did what I did. Anyone who understands the English language well would know that that speech was not the con­cession speech that many people are talking about. Yes, I have said I won’t challenge the election in court and congratulated Mr Fayose, but that’s not tantamount to accepting the result. That’s about saving Ekiti. Anyone who heard me throughout the campaign would recall my consistent remarks that I won’t go to court for any reason, genuine or otherwise over the election. I was only ensuring that my word remains my bond. When Chief Oba­femi Awolowo decided he was not going to court over the ‘moonslide’ victory of the NPN in 1983, was that acceptance of the election? In any case, now that my party has gone to court to challenge the election, the various infractions in the election would be subjected to scrutiny.

Even at that, was the decision not too hasty and are you saying you did not regret doing this?

I don’t know what you mean by “too hasty”. I have always argued that for me, my politics is without bitterness. It is politics of principles and politics of service. No sacrifice is too much to make for Ekiti people and I have always said it, from 2006 that I became active in Ekiti politics, I have always said that I would not govern over dead people and I would not allow the blood of Ekiti people to be spilled on the altar of politics. The choice was simple, I could have done other­wise and my supporters were ready. I could simply say to them, you can see the manipulation because everybody was shocked that this was not our vote.  Don’t forget, we have 226,000 registered APC members in Ekiti State. We completed our party registration barely two months before the collection of INEC permanent voters’ cards and the continuous voters’ registration exercise was done. We used the same INEC polling units for our party registration. The simple argument that is being made which defies logic is that at least 100,000 of APC members did not vote for their own candidate. If as INEC says, we have 120,000 votes in the election and we have 226,000 mem­bers in APC, I am not talking of sympathizers, I am not talking of outsiders who love Fayemi, who are not card carrying members of the party, I am talking of party members who registered in Ekiti State, 226,000. So, you are either saying that out of those 226,000 members, 100,000 among them did not collect permanent voters cards or they col­lected but they did not vote for their candidate. That is simplistic analysis of what you are saying and these people when they got to the field, when they got accredited, they knew one another, they knew who was APC, who was PDP, we were get­ting feedback on how many of our members were in each polling unit and yet the results in most cases were at complete variance with the evidence before us. So, it’s not enough to take the result de­clared at face value. We need to dig deeper into what happened and those alleging ballot fraud and so called Zimbabwean option are probably talking about that. However, on the basis of the declared result, it would simply have amounted to sour grapes and being seen as a bad-loser if we didn’t take the initial step we took to calm frayed nerves but with sufficient caveat that the last has not been heard on the election. Here is the simple answer to your question. If I had triggered a crisis by reject­ing the result, if I had made a different broadcast, a broadcast that simply says Ifaki people, they said you voted against Segun Oni and me; Oye local government, they said you did not vote for your son, are you going to let this daylight robbery go? It might have been the beginning of the end of Ni­geria’s fledgling democracy and a lot of Ekiti peo­ple on both sides PDP, APC, non-partisan people, innocent souls would have been lost, what would be my gain in that? I am not hungry. I didn’t come into politics as someone who doesn’t have alter­native. I did what I did by making that speech to save my people. So there was nothing hasty about it. I knew the plan that the military had, I knew the plan that the police had, don’t forget I am the chief security officer of the state and I get to hear from all these people. I knew the instructions they had given the soldiers because some of them were relating with me and they were not happy that they were being given instructions like the ones they got in Ekiti. As one of them told me, if they keep bringing us into these matters that are not our business, then they cannot complain if something totally negative happens. One of the soldiers told me that and it is an elementary principle of civil-military relations that the more you drag the mili­tary into civilian matters, you never know how it’s going to end. So it wasn’t hasty and I don’t want you to see it as if it was an acceptance speech…it wasn’t an acceptance speech. Please read it, if you read it, you would know that it was very condi­tional in very many ways.

…..But in all this why didn’t you carry the party along?

Who told you I did not carry the party along? You know there is a lot of myth and a lot of sup­positions that people make.  I did not just make the broadcast, I sat with party leaders. Who is who in our party in Ekiti were all with me when I went to make the broadcast. We all sat down and agreed on even the format it would take. This was not a broadcast I decided to make out of the blues. We knew we had not lost an election freely or fairly and we knew the agenda was to annihilate and maul down our people. We love our people more, and our interest is to secure them, to protect them than to just protect our office. It was a carefully calibrated speech.

You mentioned something about “a new sociology of the Ekiti people evolving” in your historic broadcast. Can you elucidate more on this?

It was just an honest reaction that if indeed this was your will, then it runs counter to what we know politics is about. In politics, performance is rewarded more often than not. Yes we have had instances, of Winston Churchill losing an election after he came back as a hero in the Second World War or Pierre Trudeau of Canada. It happens but the fact that it happens does not confer correctness on it. If you say oh, this is the view we have of this governor, he has performed, he has demonstrated competence, his acceptance profile is very high, everybody loves him, yes there are things we may not like about him, he is detached. He is not a social animal. But it still will fly in the face of logic unless there is a new sociology. Because once you say performance is not rewarded then all you are say­ing, the message you are sending to politicians is, you know what, you better don’t behave like Fay­emi. You better get there and take care of yourself and your family and when it is election time, go out there and start sharing rice and boli and mouth organs and jump up on okada and say you are the peoples politician and I think it is a very dangerous message that we are sending about what politics should mean to our people. And that is why I said before that I didn’t even accept that that is what has happened because it is those who are hard put to explain their own success, this moonslide success, they are the ones saying you know it is because he is an elite governor, it is because we are on the street with the people. It is a very simplistic, a his­torical explanation. You will need to dig deeper and that information would come in due course.

Your defeat in your ward and your local government was disturbing. One writer said this was because people were angry that you built an “imposing structure” in your home town Isan Ekiti in the midst of poor people that you never took care of? What is your reaction?

I think whoever wrote that was ill-informed. One, I don’t believe anyone would say that I was defeated in my unit and my ward. The result is there they should go to INEC and check. As far as I am aware, in my unit, I think PDP had one vote, Labour had 0 and I believe of the 168 people that voted there, I had 167 that voted for me in my unit. In my ward, I had 2022 votes to PDP’s 261 much less for Labour. How anyone would describe this as a defeat is a way of calling a dog a bad name in order to hang it. And to now talk about impos­ing structure, it is so disingenuous, I don’t even want to comment on it. The building that I have in my community, I mean my house, was built long before I became governor. It was declared in the assets that I declared on October 16, 2010. This can be googled, I am one governor who is proud to say I have led an accountable, transparent life as governor. Anyone who can come out and say I have added one block to any part of my house around the world since I became governor, I chal­lenge the person to come out with evidence. I live a very modest life and there is no need for me not to. I have a small family and I have only one child.  My politics is not politics of materialism but in Ni­gerian politics everybody opens their mouth and say whatever they like about you because that is the way Nigerian politics is. You must malign oth­ers in order to try and get some kind of foothold. I wonder what is massive about my house. So when I hear about this imposing mansion, I ask myself is he writing about me or writing about someone else and here was a journalist who said he had never been to Ekiti, because I read the piece. So, you then ask yourself, you write this and you have never been to Ekiti, where is your credibility? So this is where hatred blinds credibility. How would anyone take such a journalist who regards himself as a serious columnist serious when you write that. The same person you are talking about wrote that I have a university in Ghana and said that I have not denied that my wife has a univer­sity in Ghana. This is part of the misinformation that people spread even when they know it is a lie. A university is not what you put in your pocket. I have denied this at every opportunity I get and challenged the peddlers of the rumour to provide evidence, the university authorities in Ghana have denied this. They have come out to say that give us the evidence of this university. We know the universities that are in Ghana, we know those they belong to, yet you keep this Goebbelsian lie hoping that if you keep repeating it, it would stick. With time, somebody would now say oh, I read it somewhere and when somebody read it some­where, what is the name of the university, who is the Vice Chancellor or president of this university, how many students are there, who exactly gave you this information, where is it written. But you know why they would go for a university, it is Fayemi now, he is an intellectual, an academic, you can’t say he has an oil rig or an oil refinery. That may not be believable, you can’t say he has a power plant. But if you say he has a university, they would say you know he is one of these elitist academics so that is the kind of thing that he would like. Quite frankly, for me there is nothing wrong in having a university, but I do not have a univer­sity anywhere in the world. But you then ask your­self, why do people lie? What does it advance? It diminishes them more.  Like that columnist, he is greatly diminished now, at least in my eyes, and in the eyes of many others. Those who used to take him seriously before would think twice about any­thing he writes from now on because they know that his writing is not based on any objectivity. It is personal, hate-mongering, disingenuous lies that define him and it is unfortunate because we don’t need that for the growth of this democracy. There are some people that you take serious. This is not something you are reading in a junk publication, if you are reading it in one of those funny rags that they call soft sell, it is understandable but not in a mainstream newspaper in which this person is a respected columnist, it is not just done.

Was there any connection be­tween your defeat and the fact that you were never in control of the par­ty structure in the state?

What do you mean by not being in control of the party? What is wrong in having collective lead­ership in which other party leaders have a say in the party structure? Don’t forget we are in a party where there are former governors, senators, House of Representatives honourable members etc. Why should a single individual aim to control a party of several thousand members? My position as the leader of the party is not challenged by anybody. The party chairman and the executives are not necessarily new people to me. In fact, I played a critical role in the installation of the party chairman way back in 2006 when I was not even a governor, I was not even the candidate of the party because we had just formed the AC from the amalgama­tion of AD and ACD. When Jide Awe became the party chairman, and he had been party chairman for 8 years since then, he is somebody I have a great deal of respect for; he is committed; he was a student union activist like me before getting into politics and he has done reasonably well in the position of chairman of the party and I don’t in­dulge in self- aggrandizement. The party machin­ery works for the state. I don’t know what anyone means if they say that we were not in control of the party machinery. Who is then? Who is in control?

Do you regret any of your actions, policies, utterances, behavior and programmes considering the out­come of the election?

There is nothing we have done that we don’t think it’s the right thing to do. I have always said that governance is different from politics. When election ends, governance starts and you must be able to, yes, mix both, but at the same time you have a duty as a leader to take firm decisions when necessary in the best interest of the people. Gover­nance is not a popularity contest, election may be a popularity contest but governance is about deliv­ering the greatest good for the greatest number of the people and to that extent there is nothing that we did that we cannot defend in terms of their im­pact on the people. Whether it is our free education programme, we know what has changed now, we know what our hospitals used to look like, people can go there and see what they look like now. We also know what the infrastructure in the state used to be like and we know the quality of infrastruc­ture we have since put in place. In Education, in healthcare, in agriculture, in rural development and community empowerment, in social security and women empowerment as well as provision of jobs, there are indelible marks of our administra­tion.

However, there were a number of policies that many deemed controversial and as I said, you hear so many pepper soup analysts who go around say­ing, ‘Oh, it’s because Fayemi was doing test for teachers and was looking for ghost workers in lo­cal governments and putting biometrics integrated pay roll system for the civil servants and all that.’ You know vision is always 20/20 after the fact. In all the steps I took, my primary interest was to bet­ter the lot of my people. Though there are aspects of some of our reforms that might have been han­dled differently, there is none we would have jet­tisoned. There are also aspects of our reforms that might have been communicated differently to the people particularly those affected because change is always difficult to swallow. People don’t like change. Sometimes, the price to pay for leadership is to be firm in your approach to change particu­larly when you know that that change would be in the ultimate best interest of the majority of the population. So, sequencing you can argue about and say timing, sequencing of the reform, players, path, processes are issues that we deal with when we are talking about effective and efficient gover­nance. But the reality is that some of what we had to do we did and there is no need to regret anything we did because it was in the best interest of our people and I believe that posterity would judge us right on those policies.

The Governor-elect, Ayodele Fay­ose has described himself as a grass­roots politician and you as an elitist politician. Did this make any differ­ence in the outcome of the election? Was there really a disconnect be­tween you and the grassroots?

Well you know, I don’t want to comment on anything that Mr Ayodele Fayose says. He is, as I have said to Ekiti people, my brother. I have a duty to weld together everybody who had been fortu­nate and privileged to occupy this very important position and they are not many. In a substantive manner, we are only talking about four: Niyi Ade­bayo, Ayo Fayose, Segun Oni and me. So, I would love a situation in which the office would not be desecrated no matter who occupies it and the peo­ple who have occupied it would have to display sufficient maturity to always come together in the interest of the Ekiti people. But some of the things that people say must be analyzed, again in the in­terest of those who are gullible enough to believe these simplistic soundings; grassroots, elitist and other nonsensical terms.  These are terminologies, which have been bastardized by those who do so for reasons best known to them. No government can be more grassroots than the government we run in Ekiti. For the first time in Nigeria’s history, a governor does not do budget until he has visited communities and I have done this thrice now, for 2011-2013 budgets. So, it is not by accident that over 1200 projects dot various communities in Ekiti, which were specific requests made in those town halls and village meetings held in those com­munities. What could be more grassroots than that? I don’t make budget by sitting in Ado Ekiti. I go to various communities, in spite of the fact that I have a plan, I have an agenda, everybody knows the agenda, it’s something the people can recite and they recite it all the time. The eight-point agenda, the road map to Ekiti recovery. It was like a man­tra. I don’t just stand on my agenda, I also go into communities and discuss objectively with them; what are your priorities for next year? What would you like me to do? There is hardly a single com­munity that you can get to today that you would not find five, six or more projects determined by the people not imposed on them from Ado Ekiti.  When people talk to you about grassroots and elite they are talking about somebody eating roast corn on the roadside or hi-fiving an okada rider. Excuse me, that is bastardization of governance, that is not grassroots politics. Grassroots politics in my view means affecting the lives of people at the grass­roots in a fundamental way and improving their lot. The 25,000 elderly people that are collecting #5,000 every month in an institutionalized manner live in the grassroots, they don’t live in the air. The youth in the volunteer corps, the ones in the peace corps and youth in commercial agriculture, they are not urban-based, they are mostly in the grass­roots. I ask people, how many times did people see Chief Obafemi Awolowo eating boli on the road just to demonstrate that he was a grassroots man. The person who used to do that then, of course, quite popular in his own sense, Adegoke Adelabu, the penkelemesi man. Yes, very popular, a rabble-rouser. He knew how to rouse the people but he also genuinely loved the Ibadan people. For him, it was a two-love engagement because he was an in­tellectual. S.L.A Akintola too. Awolowo was seen as standoffish, an intellectual not a social animal. I am proud to follow in that footstep. I have actu­ally no regret if that is what it means to be elitist because the policies that we implemented affected people in the rural areas more than people in the urban areas positively. But honestly, I don’t want to engage in any political brickbat over the defini­tions of elitism and grassroots.

Some have suggested that some of the agenda you set for your first term should have formed part of your second term agenda – the assess­ment test for teachers, the search for ghost workers in local governments and the civil service and demolition of some houses etc. Do you have any regrets for your actions?

For me, objectively in politics of theory and practice of governance, one standard feature that crops up all the time is what we call sequencing. Yes, there are things that you may choose to do at a particular time but you also have to ask yourself, are we God? How can you plan for a second term when you have not even demonstrated to people what you can do with the first term. That’s an as­pect people leave out when they are talking about sequencing and timing in governance. What if I leave all these legacies out and not do anything throughout the first term, simply because I don’t want to hurt a fly, I don’t want to rock the boat, I don’t want to demonstrate leadership. Leadership is not about not taking decisions particularly hard decisions. I believe people know where I stand on governance now, if you were to ask people. I was very touched when I read The Economist and the first line in the report read thus “one of Nigeria’s most reformed minded governors has been ousted from office”. We are all writing our own history, I do not accept the logic that oh, you know don’t rock the boat. What I have done is a measure by which others would be judged now and they would have their own time to demonstrate what they can do in the interest of the people. Are people saying that ghost workers must be entertained, are they suggesting that people must have loopholes to steal government money? Are they saying that the future of our children is not important to us and the quality of teachers should be ignored? Is that what we are saying? I am sorry, I don’t come from that school of thought. The school of thought that I come from stipulates very clearly, this is what I would do when I get to office, it was an agenda. I shared the agenda with people all over Ekiti state. It would be disingenuous on my part, to now get into office and not revive Ikogosi that I promised to bring back and not revive Ire Bricks Factory, one of key pegs of our industrialization agenda in the state and not revive the quarries in Igbemo or not fix the roads that I promised to fix. Or not get the health centers and the schools reconstructed. Ditto, I couldn’t have left the teachers the way they were. Now, Ekiti teachers are the best paid teachers in the country. Because I promised that I was going to put them on a pedestal that would im­prove the quality of the pupils produced by them. So when they get core subjects allowance and they get teachers pecuniary allowance and they get ru­ral teaching allowance, is it just for nothing? They must also fulfill their own part by demonstrating dedication and commitment to the children. My interest is in those children and when I do the same in the university, it is not accidental that Ekiti has moved to number 17 out of universities in Nigeria from almost number 200 on the Webometric index in the space of three and a half years. The record is there for all to see. So if they like, because Fay­emi is no longer there, let them return to the era of miracle centres and let them start selling handouts again in the universities. Let the lecturers abandon peer review in the appointment process. All the in­novations that we brought even whoever occupies the seat would find out that these are things that should not be reversed in the larger interest of the people of the state. So, I have actually no apology, I’m sorry.

Is this why people say your ap­proach to governance is too theoreti­cal or you think it’s not true?

Of course, it is not true. Everything that we did was informed by analysis, deep-thinking of the Ekiti condition and what will take us speedily to sustainable development. If we do road infrastruc­ture in a landlocked state, rural place, it is because we are very clear in our mind that those who want to bring the proceeds of their farms to the urban centres would be able to do it in a relatively seam­less and painless manner. So if we connect our state with a network of multiple roads, it is not an accident when people care and set up facili­ties there. When I became governor, you can only refer to one standard hotel in Ekiti, maybe two: Fountain and Pathfinder. Since I became governor in Ekiti, not fewer than 10 standard hotels have sprung up. That’s a measure for you because they are providing jobs, facilities, leisure for people. There is nothing elitist about that or theoretical because for me, I am clearly convinced that hand­out is not what would make development real in Ekiti. Instant gratification does not bring develop­ment to any society, it is the enabling environment that you create for jobs to grow, for investment to come that would create opportunities to develop a sense of self-worth, and to begin to focus on how to earn a living, not to depend on crumbs from the table of politicians. So we have a fundamen­tal approach to our politics and it is a very clearly defined social democratic agenda and we believe that the strong must provide for the weak and they must be in a position to pull up the vulnerable in the society. So we have a very clear social welfare programme that everybody commends. But at the same time we have what you might call a fiscally conservative program, which some people don’t like because we go after those who want to reap where they did not sow. We fished them out of the system, we blocked all the corruption loopholes in the system particularly in the civil service. Some are not happy about that. We demand accountabil­ity and transparency of ourselves and of others and that was why I declared my assets as the governor publicly and not privately. So, in our government what you see is what you get but if people are now saying that is theoretical then what is theoretical about opening yourself to scrutiny and expecting that to happen of every other public officer.  What is theoretical demanding of people to pay appro­priate tax whether they are lecturers in universities or commercial okada riders because the resources gathered from this would be used in the overall interest of everybody. Of course we have to pay for the free education, we have to pay for the free health care, we have to pay for social security and we cannot depend completely on what is coming from Abuja. You know I am not fazed by some of the resentment to this. Anybody who knows Western Nigeria’s history would remember what happened to Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1954. Because of one pound tax imposed for free edu­cation, he lost a regional election. The same free education, 50 years later, is what everybody is praising him for. So, those who say it is theoretical, fine. Others have also said Fayemi is years ahead of his time. I don’t know whether that is true or not because there is nothing we are doing in Ekiti that is extraordinary. These are policies and pro­grammes that have been tested elsewhere and they have worked in the overall interest of the people. For me, it is about our people, it is not about self.

The Governor-elect referred to you as an honourable man, yet he said your achievements and performance were media hype because you built on his previous projects. He also said the Pavilion and the government house were of no economic value to the people. Are these comments befitting of a person described as an honourable man or was this used as a sarcasm?

You have tried as much as possible to make me talk about Mr Ayo Fayose and I have tried as much as possible to avoid desecrating the office because there is no way I am going to talk about him or some of the remarks he makes that I would not have course to question the extent of his readi­ness for the office he wants to occupy. Honestly, I find it strange that anyone could say that a pa­vilion that has a sitting facility for 12,000 people, in a state where people come to do crusades, concerts and so on, and occupy secondary school pitches, would not find use. This is something that is bound to generate funds for the state if well managed. And I would be surprised if my brother said he could not see the economic impact of that. There is nothing that we have put in place that is not regenerative whether you talk of Ikogosi, the Pavillion, the Civic Centre or Oba Adejugbe Hos­pital. I don’t expect him to come now and see what we have put in Ikogosi and say he wants it to go back to the Ikogosi of his earlier period in office. I would hope not. Ditto, the Government House, the Civic Centre, Oba Adejugbe Hospital, Ire Clay Factory, the 700kms of road. So if he says I have built on what he did, well that’s what government is all about. It is a continuum. He should come and build on what I have also done now.

The Governor-elect Ayo Fayose thanked the Labour Party candi­date, Barrister Opeyemi Bamidele for helping him to win the election. Do you regret not having Opeyemi Bamidele on your side?

Opeyemi Bamidele took his own decision, he is an adult and I think we should respect his de­cision. But likewise he would have to deal with the consequences of his decision, that’s all I can say about him. I would like to have everybody on my side. There is no politician who wants to have enemies. I will continue to say this, my politics is not politics of opportunism, it is politics of prin­ciple and I am not afraid to stand alone as much as I would want to have people on my side. I am one politician who is not afraid to stand alone for my beliefs. So if there were people who chose not to be on my side for whatever reasons, I can only wish them well.

How do you explain the allega­tions of perfidy and nonchalant at­titude leveled against most of your appointees?

In politics, people always level allegations, in every political struggle, you would never find a 100 percent commitment, you would never find people acting in almost the same fashion. We ran a campaign, a hugely successful campaign. We would have people who will have their issues. There is no government in office that would have the groundswell of support that I had before it got to office. No government can maintain that be­cause politicians being who they are, somebody who wanted to be a commissioner and ended up being a senior special assistant, he would continue to eye that position of a commissioner and would continue to feel under-utilized and unhappy for whatever reason. Somebody who feels he wants to be chairman of a board or a local government who ends up being given a supervisory councillor position will also have his bones to pick with the governor and of course all complaints stop at the desk of the governor. I am not going to say that all my appointees and political leaders performed ex­cellently but I don’t think perfidy is an appropriate word to use to describe non-performance.

Some people said your govern­ment was being run from Bourdilon. Others said you alienated Asiwaju Bola Tinubu from your government. Can you tell us the true version or what kind of relationship you had with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu?

One version says I am being micro-managed from Bourdilon, the other says he is his own man; he thinks he is an intellectual, he is independent, he has distanced himself from Bourdilon, from Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.  Asiwaju is my leader, I have never denied that, he has done a lot for me personally and politically and I owe him a great deal of gratitude for that. But our relationship is also based on mutual respect because it is not a relationship that started in politics. I was never a member of the Lagos crowd as you know. I was never a commissioner in Lagos, I was never a senator or even a resident in Lagos. I knew him way back, I knew him in exile and we forged a common bond that was dedicated to the removal of military rule in Nigeria and that relationship continued. He played a critical role when I was asked to run for the governorship position in Ekiti. He supported it with everything he could muster and when we went to the election and I won, we ran into road blocks that eventually led to the tri­bunal.  He was also very central and supportive of all that we achieved. But what many people didn’t give him credit for, for those who don’t know him well, is that they expect him as our party leader to send them my way all the time and for many people he refused to do that. He said look, let these people run their government, if you have any ad­vice to give them, you go to them directly but if you pass it through me, I would endeavor to de­liver your message to them. But no matter what steps he takes, he would be analyzed, analyzed and analyzed. Whatever steps I take, I would be analyzed and over-analyzed.  Therefore, it’s a no-win situation. They will say he is running Ekiti.  The truth of the matter is that when it comes to specifics, I have enjoyed a great deal of advice from him because he was a governor before. There were things that I have done that if I asked him for advice, he would give it. That, this is how I did it during my time but you know your area is different, it is not as cosmopolitan as Lagos. You may need to manage some tendencies much more carefully. He was always willing to give us advice. You would always have this and all my colleagues also faced the same issues. But the same people would say that oh, he has abandoned Tinubu, he has embraced Adebayo. I don’t run my life on a zero-sum game basis.  I have several leaders, and I have a lot of respect for them and they have a role to play both in my emergence and in the suc­cess of our administration. I just consider it “Beer parlour” talk when they say all these things and I know that Asiwaju himself knows that that is what it is.  When these people sit down and concoct stories, and peddle rumors you can’t stop them. You can’t legislate against rumors unfortunately, particularly against political leaders. There would always be all manner of things being peddled. Am I my own man? Of course I am my own man. Do I have leaders I respect? Absolutely, I have a lot of leaders I respect and they need not be mutually exclusive. I can be my own man and still have leaders I can take wise counsel from.

People, I mean, public analysts and politicians, have singled out your Chief of Staff as the major cul­prit for your defeat. Why did you al­low him to have such massive influ­ence on you?

It is very funny but I find it interesting. Chiefs of staff by their very nature, they are seen as the attack dogs of their principals. Go into history, chiefs of staff are almost always hated. Chief of staff is traditionally an American-created office. In British politics, you probably would have cabinet secretary, principal private secretary and all that. The chief of staff is the person who coordinates the governor’s office. That automatically makes you an object of hate. The way you now manage it will define how you are seen. Most chiefs of staff are not liked at all.  When Tunde Fashola was chief of staff in Lagos, I know what some of his colleagues in the cabinet used to say about him… so that’s the first thing to say. So if you are the chief of staff who is seen to be close to the governor…but the truth of the matter is that the chief of staff in any government is only as powerful as the gover­nor wants him to be. So when people build myths around any government official, you are just providing an excuse and cover for the governor because the chief of staff is a shield.  How many people want to see the governor? The governor’s office is a very busy office, part of the duties of the chief of staff is to manage expectations of people. On a normal day, if you get to Yemi Adaramodu’s office, he has more crowd there than you can ever find in my office because he has to manage a lot of people who are desirous of seeing the governor. Those who are unhappy that they are unable to see the governor don’t blame the governor even though it was the governor who would have been the one to give the instruction that “Mr chief of staff. I’m busy, I don’t want to see any one’. They put the blame on the chief of staff and in a situation like this, the blame game continues. I think it is unfortunate and I don’t think people should indulge in that, I think all of us have put in our best. There may have been lapses here and there but a lot of what they say about the chief of staff is unfounded and untrue. My chief of staff is not the most diplomatic person I can tell you that, that is his major problem, and it is also because he knows everybody very well and people don’t like to be exposed for their perfidy or their untoward act. There are things I would really not say about any politician, Yemi would say it and they would hate him for­ever for saying it. The governor rarely says anything that is negative or bad about anybody. But the chief of staff feels that it is his duty to protect the governor and to expose you if you are not working in the larger interest of the party. I recall when I came into politics, I knew what they used to say about a gentleman called Biodun Oyebanji who was chief of staff to governor Niyi Adebayo, I knew what they used to say about Alhaji Lai Mohammed when he was chief of staff to my leader, Asiwaju. It is the same story, so nothing new.

You were accused of importing contractors from Lagos to do what local contractors can do. Why did you do this?

This is rubbish. It is not even worth responding to because every­one knows the local content policy of our administration. I would rather my roads are constructed by contractors that I can hold their feet to fire and I can get sound warranty from them. We have had governors in this state who constructed roads that barely lasted six months because they just poured…so I believe that every naira that belongs to Ekiti should be utilized well for the Ekiti people. People can go and see the roads I have constructed and compare them to roads that have been constructed in the past. They should look at the drainages and yet some of the roads were constructed by Ekiti indi­genes, the street lights were done by Ekiti indigenes, the evidence is there for all to see. So I am not going to apologize for using those who would make our money last. We dont have limitless resources in Ekiti, so whatever we are spending money on, must be worth our while and it must be quality products that would be used rather than just the typical “shagbe loju yoyo” work. It’s something you would hear from those who are not really serious. What I would not accept is to give a job to a politician or local person who would not deliver and then he feels like what is wrong with that, that’s my own share of the cake. I am sorry there is no share of any cake in my government. This is the commonwealth of the Ekiti people, if you don’t do it, go and face maximum consequence. Yes, I have offended a lot of local contractors for that but again I do not have apologies for that

Why did you create LCDAs when you have only few more days in office?

Again, that is a distortion. The process leading to the creation of the LCDAs has been on for one year. I set up a committee that took memoranda from various communities and I also invited them to come and defend their memoranda. This is a process and we are just getting to the end of the process. And what do you mean by few more days in office? I still have three months left in government. So there is nothing that says we should not do something that our people are very desirous of and that is why I am creating the LCDAs.

INEC, the Police and the Federal Government are all contemplating adopting the ‘Ekiti Arrange­ment’ as a template for elections in other states. Do you share this sentiment?

Well, I do not know what they mean by ‘Ekiti arrangement’. What is the ‘Ekiti arrangement’? Is it the harassment? Is it the siege? Or the intimidation? Oh yes, they don’t even have to contemplate, that is what they want to do.  Their arrangement is in top gear for Osun too. That ‘arrangement’ allows them to impose their will on the people. I think the country is in for a long and tortuous journey because once the will of the people is discounted and you do it in a seemingly ap­propriate manner, then it becomes a fait accompli that would halt this democracy and I think that is what we all must be careful about. The abracadabra in Ekiti is not a template that can endure. It is a template that they would love to use but it is a template that would drive the country into perdition because people would wake up to the reality sooner rather than later that a government that has not demonstrated any capacity to make a difference in the lives of the people, a govern­ment that has desecrated everything that is decent about Nigeria yet wants to keep itself in office by hook or by crook can only be asking people to resort to other means to rescue the country.

What lessons can be learnt from the Ekiti elec­tion by you as a victim, APC as a party, Ekiti peo­ple, governors of other states and politicians gen­erally?

The jury is still out on that

Will this defeat not have negative impact on other elected officers of APC in Ekiti in the 2015 election? By this, I mean the Senate, House of Representatives, state house of assembly and the local government.

Well you know the reality of that is going to be defined by the ex­tent to which we are able to arrest what happened and all I can say to you there without going into too much detail is that the Ekiti story is not over. There are many people saying it is over but it is not. I don’t want to talk about what would happen to elected officials in 2015.

What next after office? Where do you go from here?

I am a politician, I have to continue to tend my sheep and Ekiti remains my theatre of operation. First, I am still the governor of Ekiti State and I have a lot of work to do to complete the agenda that I set for myself and that I set for Ekiti people. So that is what next. And I would always remain in the service of my people, my country and humanity at large.

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Bank of Industry Presents Cheques To Two Off-Grid Solar Home System Providers | Statement from the CEO

Speech Delivered By     By RASHEED OLAOLUWA Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, BANK OF INDUSTRY At the PRESENTATION OF CHEQUES TO TWO OFF-GRID SOLAR HOME SYSTEM PROVIDERS Under the BOI/UNDP SOLAR ENERGY PROGRAMME: July 3, 2015 Gentlemen of the Press,   Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, It is a well-known fact that Nigeria’s current electricity situation is unsatisfactory. Let’s rewind a few decades...

Accept Party Supremacy, Buhari Tells Senators, Reps

President Muhammadu Buhari has told the All Progressives Congress lawmakers in the National Assembly to accept the party’s supremacy in the interest of democracy. In his opening remarks at the ongoing meeting of the National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abuja, Buhari charged members to put whatever interest they have in their “pockets” and accept the supremacy of the party in the overall interest of democracy. He said: “What ever your personal...

NEWS ALERT: 11 Killed As Suicide Bombers Target Borno Highways

At least 11 people have been killed after two separate suicide bombings were carried out in Borno State by suspected female terrorists. More than 20 people have been injured. The State Police Commissioner, Aderemi Opadokun, confirmed the blasts on Friday. “There was an explosion at Malari village along Bama/Konduga Highway on 2/7/15 (Thursday) at about 1400 hours," said Opadokun. "A female suicide bomber detonated IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) strapped to her body, killing herself and...

Lagos On High Alert To Thwart New Ebola Outbreak

The Lagos State Government has reiterated the need for members of the general public to ensure and maintain adequate personal and environmental hygiene to prevent the Ebola virus disease recurring. This follows reported cases of resurgence of Ebola in some neigbouring West African countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone. The Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Health, Dr Modele Osunkiyesi, gave the advice from her office at Ikeja. She said the need to...

Science Explains Why Hot Women Don’t Always Go for Hot Guys (Vice Versa)

We’ve all seen couples pass us by on the street where the woman is hot and the guy is, well, not — and vice versa. If we’re truly being honest, we’ve secretly wondered how they got together in the first place. These types of couples may stand out in our minds is because, in general, research shows we’re more likely to be romantically interested in...

Furious Oyegun Denies Taking Bribes To Support Saraki

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, John Odigie-Oyegun, has denied taking bribe to support the agenda of the lawmakers who became principal officers of the 8th Assembly against the wishes of his own party. Mr. Odigie-Oyegun made the denial when the leadership of the South-East, South-South Professionals paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Thursday. He said the allegation in some media reports that he was induced to support Bukola Saraki’s bid...

Chinese Company To Fine Workers Who Get Pregnant Without Permission

A Chinese company plans to demand its employees seek approval to get pregnant and fine those who conceive a child without permission, reports said, provoking a media firestorm Friday. “Only married female workers who have worked for the company for more than one year can apply for a place on the birth planning schedule,” read a policy distributed by a credit cooperative in Jiaozuo, in the central province of Henan. “The employee must strictly stick...

FIRS Generates N1.8tn Tax In Six Months

The acting Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Sunday Ogungbesan, yesterday disclosed that the service had generated a whopping N1.842 trillion from taxes into the federation account in the first half of the year. Ogungbesan made this disclosure yesterday while briefing the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on the performance of the agency in the last six months.He was accompanied to the meeting by members of the senior management team of the agency.

Police Arraign 3 Farmers For Defiling 10 Year Old Girl

The police yesterday arraigned three farmers in a senior magistrates’ court in Katsina for raping a 10-year-old girl. The accused are Yahuza Musa, 20; Tasiu Abubakar, 20; and Sadiq Isyaku, 20. The trio, who reside at Dakiya village in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State, appeared before Senior Magistrate Nafisa Bagiwa on one-count charge of rape. The prosecutor, Insp. Hashimu Musa, told the court that the accused committed the offence on June 11...

18+: Rihanna’s ‘#BBHMM’ Video Is Brilliant, Terrifying, Complicated; Judge For Yourselves

The new, highly anticipated video for Rihanna’s “#BBHMM” is an epic, 7-minute visual kaleidoscope of style and excess and, as was clearly intended, it’s generated a lot of buzz since debuting online at midnight today. In the video, we watch Rih, accompanied by two silent minions, kidnap the modelesque wife of an accountant (surprise! Mads Mikkelsen) who owes her some serious coin. The sexualized violence in the video is graphic and disturbing (we'll get to...

JAMB To Determine Admissions Cut-Off Marks July 14

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it will hold its 2015 Policy meeting on July 14 to determine cut-off marks for admission of candidates into tertiary institutions. The board said it has concluded all arrangements to commence the process of the 2015 admissions. Speaking to journalists Thursday, JAMB’s spokesperson, Benjamin Fabian, said the 2015 Policy Meeting, where the cut-off points for admissions are usually decided at, has been fixed for 14th July, 2015.

I Was Not Invited To Buhari’s Meeting– Dogara

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has denied reports that he was invited for a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari. There had been media reports that Buhari would hold a meeting with Dogara and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila who was the choice of the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership for the speakership position. Dogara in a statement signed his Special Adviser Media and Public Affairs; Mr. Turaki Adamu Hassan said “Attention of the...

President Buhari To Accomodate Investors From Japan, Others To Revitalize Economy

President Buhari said his government will welcome greater investment in-flows from Japan and other developed countries to revitalize the Nigeria’s economy and create more jobs. Buhari said this yesterday while receiving the new Japanese ambassador to Nigeria, Sadanobu Kusaoke who was at the State House to present his letters of credence. He said his government would take all necessary steps to significantly improve the operating environment for domestic and international companies in Nigeria. The...

APC Crisis: Buhari, Saraki, Dogara, Others To Assemble Today For NEC Meeting

The All Progressives Congress (APC) vowed yesterday to emerge strong from its first National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting after its post-election crisis. The crisis, which has split the party’s leaders, erupted after the June 9 election of principal officers at the National Assembly. Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara emerged against the party’s wish. The party endorsed Senator Ahmed Lawan for Senate and Femi Gbajabiamila for Speaker. “We...

Arase Deploys New Commissioners Of Police In Lagos, Rivers, Ogun

Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Solomon Arase has deployed new Commissioners of Police in Lagos, Rivers and Ogun states. According to him, the move is to inject fresh ideas in the security architecture of the states, and some other Force Headquarters Formations. A statement signed by the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Abayomi Shogunle said the postings are with immediate effect. In the deployment chat, Ajani Fatai Owoseni was posted...

NASS: Tension In PDP Over Principal Officers

Indications emerged yesterday that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may be heading for a deep crisis over the choice of its principal officers at the National Assembly. The choice of who gets what in the Assembly among PDP lawmakers, it was gathered has pitched many party stalwarts against one another as they differ on who should get what in the National Assembly. It was gathered that while former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife,...

President Buhari Set To Release Ministerial List Soon- APC

All Progressives Congress(APC) has commended Nigerians for their patience and perseverance over the delay in the appointments of ministers,saying that the list would be released soon. National publicity secretary of the party, Alh Lai Mohammed speaking with journalists at Oro, in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, Thursday at the 9th annual Ramadan lecture also admitted that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would have fared better had the ministerial appointments been made before now.

Tragic Secrets Whitney Houston’s Daughter Has Been Hiding

Three weeks before she was found unconscious in the bath, Bobbi Kristina Brown phoned one of her best friends, Alex Reid. She was distraught and scared, and was hiding from her live-in boyfriend, Nick Gordon. Her refuge of choice—inside her deceased mother's closet. "She was sobbing. Nick had hit her and she was scared," explains Alex, recalling the conversation with Krissi in an exclusive interview with E! News. "She was very upset. She didn't know what...

Some Governors Yet To Declare Assets- CCB

The Code of Conduct Bureau has expressed worry over the delay by some state governors to declare their assets, one month after assuming office. “The people we are having problem with now are some governors, but I cannot be categorical in terms of statistics except I confirm.” Chairman of CCB, Mr. Sam Saba, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria. He said, “The governors are not even supposed to start work as...

President Buhari Set To Sack Service Chiefs

President Buhari is set to relieve all the service chiefs of their appointments before the end of the month, according to sources from the Presidency.   The service chiefs involved are the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh; Chief of Army Staff, Major General Kenneth Minimah; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Adesola Amosu.   According to Punch, the President is considering leaving out the Inspector General of...

13 Political Parties Blast PDP, Support Buhari On New INEC Boss’ Appointment

The Coalition of Progressive Political Parties, an umbrella organisation for 13 registered political parties in Nigeria, has condemned the statement issued by the Peoples Democratic Party on the appointment of the acting chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, President Muhammadu Buhari had appointed Amina Zakari, acting chairman of INEC, hours after the outgoing chairman, Attahiru Jega, had handed over to Ahmad Wali. The PDP condemned Mr. Buhari’s action and demanded its reversal. In...

Huge Foreign Currencies Smuggled Out Through Borders- CBN

Following the restrictions placed on importers of rice and other non-essential items from accessing foreign exchange at the nation’s foreign exchange market, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has revealed an on-going massive smuggling of foreign currencies out of the country through her borders. The apex bank which made the revelation of the unwholesome practice to frustrate the latest policy to conserve foreign exchange in the country, said it has taken steps, working with other agencies...

Buhari Sacks DG Department Of State Service

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday sacked the Director General of the Department of State Service, Mr. Ita Ekpenyong.   According to an announcement made by Alhaji Haruna Imrana, the Director of Communications, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation,  Mr. Lawal Musa Daura has been appointed as the Acting DG of the DSS.   The new Acting DG of DSS, Daura was born in Daura on August 5,1953, he attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, from 1977 to 1980, started his...

Nearly 150 Killed In Suspected Boko Haram Attacks In Borno Village

Suspected Boko Haram militants have killed nearly 150 people in northeastern Nigerian villages, mowing down men and children while they prayed in mosques and shooting women preparing food at home, witnesses said Thursday. Dozens of militants stormed three remote villages in the flashpoint Borno state on Wednesday evening, setting houses ablaze in the bloodiest day of attacks by the extremist group since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power in May. Gunmen killed...

NASS: Crisis In PDP Over Principal Officers’ election

Crisis is brewing in the Peoples Democratic Party over the election of principal officers' elections in the National Assembly among its senators.   One of the senators, who spoke with journalists on condition of anonymity in Abuja on Thursday, said powerful forces in the party were planning to install their cronies as principal officers of the party in the National Assembly.   It will be recalled that the party, through its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, had on Wednesday announced the zoning...

Sai Gobe! Buhari Fires DG DSS Ita Ekpeyong, Replacement Announced

President Buhari has sacked the Director General of the Department of State Security Service, Ita Ekpeyong. He has been replaced with Lawal Daura.

Wike To Use 30Bn Loan To Develop Rivers

The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Governor of Rivers, Mr Opunabo Inko-Tariah, has said that the state government’s N30 billion loan will be used to develop the state. Inko-Tariah told newsmen in Port Harcourt on Thursday that insinuations by the state chapter of All Progressives Congress that Gov. Nyesom Wike intends to borrow N100 billion were untrue. He said there were compelling needs to...

External Interferences Caused NASS Crisis – David Umaru

The Senator Representing Niger- East , David Umaru has said that the crisis rocking the National Assembly is due to undue external influence on the National Assembly. The senator who spoke to Journalists in Minna yesterday, stated that the election of Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and that of Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara is not negotiable at his party’s ( APC) National Executive Council (NEC) meeting scheduled for weekend. Umaru stated that interference from outside...

“Even Satan Wasn’t Gay” – President Mugabe Allegedly Says

Following the legalization of gay marriage across America by the Supreme Court last week, Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, who is known for his extreme anti-gay views has been making headlines. Earlier this week was a marriage proposal to president Obama and yesterday, he allegedly said what you see below during another interview; "Even satan wasn't Gay, he chose to approach naked Eve instead of naked Adam." - President, Mugabe on homo sexuality.

Man Commits Suicide in Abuja Over Failed Marriage

A father of four, who lived at Jiwa in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), last Saturday, committed suicide. He allegedly drank a dangerous substance, suspected to be an insecticide after several attempts to bring back his wife, who left her matrimonial home along with their children. Family sources, who spoke to City News on condition of anonymity, informed that the late Sunday Ogul, who hailed from Kogi State, parted ways with his...

Episcopal Church To Allow Same-Sex Marriages

The Episcopal Church says it will permit weddings for same-sex couples after members approved the change at a meeting of its governing body. The decision by the church, which has about 1.9 million members in the United States, follows the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision last week to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. The Episcopal Church has taken steps toward greater inclusiveness for same-sex couples in the past. In 2012,...

Man Suffers Burns To His Face After His Phone Explodes

The rate at which phones and chargers are exploding in people's faces is a cause for concern... Bhavesh Thummer, a professional diamond polisher, was left with burns to his face and chest, after his mobile phone blew up in his face when he tried making a quick phone call.Mr Thummer's left eye and ear were burnt in the incident, leaving him wearing a heavy bandage across the whole of his left eye. The device exploded whilst Mr Thummer...

Anambra Indigenes Suffer Over Closure Of Filling Stations, As Petrol Sells For N500 Per Litre

Anambra people are currently not in a happy mood as fuel now sells for N500 per litre in the state. This is due to the closure of most filling stations in protest over what they described as high levies imposed on them by the state government. In order to protest the high levies, most filling Stations shut down leading into fuel scarcity in the state. Black market sellers however resulted in selling theirs at N500 per...

London’s Heathrow Airport To Be Expanded, 800 Houses To Go

Heathrow airport is said to undergo a £19b expansion plan. This is needed for a 3rd runway at one of the busiest airports in Europe, a total of about 800 homes would also be demolished . the runway is the first new runway to be built in the South-East of England since the 1940s. Notable ministers have concluded that the expansion is needed to keep London in connection to the rest of the world and keep...

Saraki Condemns Recent Boko Haram Attacks, Expresses Sadness Over Lagos Boat Mishap

The president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, on Thursday condemned in strong terms what he described as renewed onslaught against innocent Nigerians by the Boko Haram sect especially during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Mr. Saraki also expressed pain over the death of six school children in Lagos following a boat mishap that involved 14 school children who were being conveyed across Ojo to Irewe jetty. A statement released by the senate president’s spokesperson, Yusuph...

Suspected PDP Thugs Batters APC Witnesses In Court

Thugs suspected to be loyal to the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State on Tuesday beat up witnesses who testified for the All Progressives Congress before the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal. The tribunal is hearing a petition filed by the APC senatorial candidate for Ekiti Central, Gbenga Olofin, against the return of Senator Fatimat Rasaki of the PDP. Olofin on Tuesday closed his case at the tribunal after calling eight witnesses while his opponent,...

Buhari Has No Personal Relationship With New INEC Boss, Presidency Tells PDP

The Presidency yesterday said that due process was followed in the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari as the Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Her appointment has generated concerns and reactions from many quarters. One of such quarters is the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP which accused the President of naming an ally of his to pave way for the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC reclaim the PDP controlled States at the election...

Fuel Scarcity Returns in Nigeria, As Marketers Ration Products

After a brief respite, fuel queues have returned at the filling stations across the country just as some filling stations in Lagos and Ogun states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, have started indiscriminate hike of pump price while a few others have locked their premises. However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the queues resulted from panic buying, urging consumers to ignore the baseless rumours spurring the action. It noted that some filling...

UN Urges FG To Relax Abortion Laws For Boko Haram Victims

UN Human Rights Chief, Zeid Al-Hussein, has appealed to Nigerian authorities to ease abortion restrictions for women and girls who had been sexually enslaved, raped and forced into so-called “marriages” by Boko Haram fighters. He said this on Thursday in New York while discussing with the Human Rights Council on Boko Haram’s rights violations and abuses, the findings of a 12-member team to Cameroon, southern Niger and the north-eastern regions of Nigeria on Boko Haram.

Pay Back! ISIS Militants Executed By Rival Rebel Group Called ‘The Mother State’

In a chilling case of an eye for an eye,a rebel group in Syria has responded to ISIS by beheading ISIS terrorists .. Hours after ISIS released a video where they beheaded 12 of their fighters, Jaysh al-Islam also released videos of their fighters capturing Islamic State fighters and slaughtering them. In the video, the Jaysh Al-Islam soldiers,are dressed in the orange jump suits that are normally worn by prisoners of ISIS...The Islamic State's captured soldiers, dressed in...

EFCC To Challenge Fani-Kayode’s Acquittal

As Fani Kayode celebrates his court victory today, the EFCC has said it will challenge his acquittal  by a federal high court..The former aviation minister was discharged and acquitted of laundering  almost N100 million while he was the minister of aviation in 2006.The EFCC had filed the suit against him in 2013..Discharging Kayode,Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia said ”It is apparent that the prosecution’s case is feeble and has failed to establish that the accused person paid or accepted...

Finally! Benue Govt Begins Payment of Salary Arrears

There was jubilation in all nooks and crannies of Benue State yesterday as the state government commenced payment of salary arrears of civil servants. The former Governor Gabriel Suswam administration had owed salaries of workers for several months. The former administration said it lacked adequate finances to offset the backlog of salaries due to the dwindling federal allocation. However, Governor Samuel Ortom had on assumption of office about a month ago, told the state workers...

El-Rufai Sues Over False Assets Report

After a busy few weeks as governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai is dismayed by the blatant falsehood being practised as journalism by The Union newspapers. He has consequently directed his legal team to vigorously enforce his rights to protect his reputation from the vandalism of irresponsible hacks. The Union chose to write a spurious story alleging N90b as his assets declaration without seeing the declaration made by Malam El Rufai. The circle of blackmail that did the story claimed...

Fani-Kayode’s Acquittal a Shock, Says EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said it was shocked by Wednesday’s acquittal of former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode. A Federal High Court in Lagos acquitted Mr. Fani-Kayode of corruption charges, saying the EFCC failed to prove its “feeble case” against Mr. Fani-Kayode beyond reasonable doubt. The spokesperson for the commission, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement, said the ruling by the judge, Rita Ofili- Ajumogobia, was shocking. Mr. Uwujaren said, “The Commission...

VIDEO: American Tele- Evangelist Blasts US Supreme Court Ruling On Same Sex Marriage

Popular American preacher and Tele- Evangelist, John Hagee, responds to U.S Supreme Court Marriage Ruling. Watch video below https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PhzBsDfTMI Credit: YouTube/ John Hagee Ministries

PDP Demands Removal Of New Acting INEC Boss

Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has demanded the removal of the newly appointed acting chairperson of the Independent national Electoral Commission, INEC, Amina Zakari. Ms. Zakari was appointed as head of INEC by President Muhammadu Buhari hours after its former chairman, Attahiru Jega, handed over to Ahmed Wali, a national commissioner there. Addressing a press conference in his office Wednesday, PDP’s publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh, said the party was disturbed by the development in INEC where...

FG To Introduce Fund For Road Repair

A fund to cater for the construction and maintenance of roads in the country is in the works, the Federal Ministry of Works has said. The Director, Federal Highway Services in the ministry, Alhaji Shehu Dankano, said this at the inauguration of the headquarters of the National Association of Road Transport Owners in Abuja on Tuesday. Dankano said the National Roads Fund Bill was already in the National Assembly and expressed confidence that the 8th...

Two Suicide Bombers Attack Village During Osinbajo’s Maiduguri Visit

Two suicide bombers, male and female, today blew themselves up outside a village in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, at the time the vice president of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbanjo, was visiting the city, witnesses and security sources said. VP Osibanjo arrived Maiduguri at about 10:45 am. He was in to assess the security situation in the state capital, to visit the Internally Displaced Persons camps, before proceeding to Yola, another northeast Nigerian city plagued by...

Six Children Drown As Boat Capsize In Lagos

A canoe conveying fourteen school children capsized. Six of them reportedly drowned, while eight of them including the driver were rescued. The incident occurred after a fibre canoe reportedly ran into the passenger boat at about 9am. As at time of writing this report, the rescued children , some of whom were said to be primary school pupils and secondary school students who were on their way to school, were responding to treatment at the...

Photos From Osinbajo’s Visit To Borno

VP Yemi Osinbajo visited an IDP camp today in Maiduguri. He shared these very heart touching photos of a victim and her daughter, who has been badly affected by the insurgency. See his Facebook post below: On the instructions of President Buhari, VP Yemi Osinbajo visited an IDP camp in Maiduguri today conveying the concern of the President and bringing hope to the victims of terrorism and the entire Borno State. He met a number of the victims at...

It’s Don Jazzy Again! Di’Ja, Korede Bello & Reekado Banks Become Glo Ambassadors

Don Jazzy has a knack for making stars and you'd agree great people help to nurture stars but how often does one man make three stars in one fell swoop? That's exactly what Don Jazzy has done with Korede Bello, Reekado Banks and Di'Ja. He has moved them from one of Nigeria's numerous upcoming artists to genuine super stars. Each of them has had at least one hit song in the last year and have troubled the...

New Name Alert: Fani-Kayode Changes Name After Court Victory | Read Full Statement

Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has changed his name and he wants you to know why. Read his full statement below. Press Statement by Chief Femi Fani-Kayode on the Occasion of his Victory at the Federal High Court on 1st July 2015 Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted, humbled and relieved by this verdict. In the last seven years, I have been subjected to the most malicious, vicious, sinister, well-orchestrated, insidious and devastating form of political persecution...

I Did Not Inherit An Empty Treasury- C’River Governor

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State yesterday said that he did not inherit empty treasury from the immediate past administration in the state as is being speculated in some quarters. Ayade said this in Calabar while briefing stakeholders, including the media, on his development agenda for the state. “I did not inherit empty treasury but a great potential from my predecessor,” he said. The governor said that as part of efforts to tap the abundant resources in...

Corruption Charges: ‘Nightmare Has Finally Ended’ – Fani-Kayode

A former Minister of Aviation in Nigeria, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, says the dismissal of a case filed against him on money laundering charges was the “doing of the lord” and an end to a nightmare. A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday morning dismissed the case against Mr Fani-Kayode, saying the prosecution’s case was “feeble” and failed to provide “copious evidence” linking...

Rings In Burgers, Getting Down On One knee In Public Toilets: The Worst Proposals Of All Time Revealed

It's a moment in your life that theoretically should only happen once - the marriage proposal. But while some men (and women) go all out when asking for their beloved's hand in marriage, others take the laissez faire approach. For every boat trip down the Seine or fireworks display, there is a ring nestled in a takeaway burger or a proposal hastily scrawled on the lid of a fast food container.

Oshiomhole Blames Ministry Of Petroleum And Finance For Owed Salaries

The Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole has blamed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Ministry of Finance for workers salaries owed by different states. He said both Ministries “refused to transfer into the Federation Account. Governor Oshiomhole said: “the NNLG had every year made payments of about $1.5 billion to 2 billion Naira which ought to go the Federation Account but was expended by the Federal Government”. Governor Oshiomhole also stated that the...

Bashir Akanbi: Attacks By The Nation Newspaper and Sahara Reporters On Saraki and Aisha Buhari: An Impediment To Democratic Norms

In various attempts to impede the norms of democracy in the country, for which gigantic sacrifices were made by millions of Nigerians in the last general elections, The Nation daily newspaper and Sahara Reporters online have jointly started an astonishing display of mendacity and subjectivity giving up their conventional wisdom. This recent subversive practices of the popular media have attracted widespread criticism. These unripe antics however by far, unclothed the purposes for which the media house, The...

Syrian Rebel Group Executes 18 ISIS Fighters In New Video

A Syrian rebel group operating around Damascus has executed 18 alleged members of the Islamic State group in a video mimicking the extremist organisation's own productions. The video, which emerged overnight, shows fighters from Jaysh al-Islam (Army of Islam) wearing the orange prison clothes that ISIS victims often sport. The ISIS prisoners however are wearing black clothes and chained together wearing ankle and hand shackles with metal balls attached. The nearly 20-minute production...

ISIS Beheads Two Women In Syria For Witchcraft

Islamic State beheaded two women over the weekend accused of witchcraft and working with elves in eastern Syria The 2 women have become the first to be beheaded by Isis after being accused of witchcraft, sorcery and working with elves by the Islamic extremist group, according to reports emerging from eastern Syria. The executions, for a supposed breach of sharia law, were carried out on Sunday and...

President Buhari Assures Victims Of Insurgency Govt Support

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday commended the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and other government agencies on measures taken to rehabilitate victims of terrorism and violent extremism in Nigeria. Receiving officials of the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Department of ONSA, Buhari said the Federal Government would provide necessary assistance to victims of Boko Haram insurgency. The president also reiterated the determination of his administration to rid the country of terrorism and insurgency. "One of...

CBN Adjusts Forex Peg As Naira Hits N228 Per Dollar

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday lowered the naira peg to 196.95 against the dollar from 196.90 it set last week. This made it the fourth time the CBN had adjusted the peg since it was introduced in February, Reuters reported. This happened just as the naira tumbled further to 228 against the dollar at the parallel market on Tuesday from 265 on Monday. Reuters reported that the yield on the Federal Government’s...

Kate Henshaw Loses Everything In House Fire

While Kate Henshaw was on location shooting the 'Do-Good' TV series, she was called by her neighbours to inform her that her house was on fire. Reports are saying that Kate Henshaw quickly went home after the phone call and called fire fighters, but at that point, the damage had already been done as the twin duplex was burnt.  According to witnesses at the scene, Kate Henshaw was said to have lost all the...

EFCC Arrests 2 Tourism Travel Agents Over Alleged N70 Million Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested two officials of a travel agency for allegedly swindling and defrauding several Nigerians to the tune of N70 million. This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Wilson Uwujaren, the Head, Media and Publicity of EFCC and made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja. It stated that the two officials, Mr Banabas Magi, an accountant and Mr Owoseli Samuel, General Manager of the agency were arrested...

I Have Gotten A Lot Of My Confidence From Kanye – Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian  was at the prestigious San Francisco Commonwealth Club to talk about her famous family, her new book Selfie and the objectification of women in media. Kim talked about Kanye and how most of her recent ventures which rake in big bucks were created by him. On Kanye, she said: "I love the way he creates, thinks, stands up for what he believes in whole-heartedly. He is such a good person."I have gotten a lot...

10 Tips For Choosing The Right Partner

1. Don't make choices out of fear: So many times people either choose a partner or stay with someone in an unhappy relationship predominantly out of some kind of fear. Usually that fear is being alone but fears can vary widely from person to person. It's often better to be alone and wait for the right person than to make a decision out of fear. Making decisions out of fear leads to confusion, anxiety and a general...

Gov. Ambode Set to Launch People Friendly Traffic Regime

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode is set to drastically change the face of Lagos traffic by  introducing a world class traffic information and management system. The globally tested traffic system which has worked for many cities similar to Lagos is set to have caught the eye of Governor Ambode who wants to see Lagosians spend less hours in traffic and more in their offices and at work. Our investigations reveal that in the next few weeks, the...

One Minute With Jess : Why Do You Earn a Living #Vlog

Why wake up so early to resume at work, why do you do the business you do? why do you earn a living: family, children, society, why? On this episode I seek to know why we earn a living. Please leave a comment below of why you earn a living as it will enlighten other viewers of the Vlog in getting their thought pattern right towards why they earn a living too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSytLo5N8sQ&feature=youtu.be

President Buhari To Meet With #BringBackOurGirls Group

The #BringBackOurGirls campaigners on Tuesday secured a meeting with Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, a month since his assumption of duty on May 29. The convener of the group, Obiageli Ezekwesili, via twitter, said a presidential confirmation of the meeting had been received by the group. She said, “WE @BBOG_Nigeria have received confirmation of schedule of OUR MEETING with @MBuhari & FG on our #ChibokGirls for July 8th 2015 @ 12 noon.” On assumption of...

Breaking News !!! Court Dismisses Agbaje’s Petition Against Ambode

The Lagos state governorship election tribunal sitting in Ikeja, on Wednesday dismissed the petition filed by Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Jimi Agbaje, against Akinwunmi Ambode of the All Progressives Congress, APC. Agbaje had petitioned the tribunal challenging the declaration of Ambode as the winner of the April 11, 2015 governorship election in the state. But the three-man tribunal led by...

Ambode Seeks Navy’s Support To Tackle Robberies

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State says the Nigerian Navy, like other stakeholders, should be part of the efforts to rid the state of crime. The governor, according to a statement on Tuesday, spoke during a courtesy visit to the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Usman Jibrin, at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja. Ambode stated that the call became imperative due to the spate of robbery attacks in Lagos State, which started a week into his...

ISIS Threatens Hamas In Video Message On Failure To Implement Rigid Laws

ISIS has threatened the Palestinian armed group Hamas, vowing to end the faction's rule in the territory. In a 16-minute long video shared by social media accounts sympathetic to ISIS on Wednesday, fighters based in Syria's Aleppo province condemned Hamas for its crackdown on Salafist groups in the Gaza Strip, and its failure to implement a rigid enough interpretation of Islamic law. "The point of jihad is not to liberate land ... but jihad as...

Breaking News!!! Court Acquits Femi Fani-Kayode Of Money Laundering Charges

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court on Wednesday July 1, 2015, acquitted former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, of money laundering charges. Fani-Kayode, who was spokesperson for the President Goodluck Jonathan’s Campaign Committee, has been facing trial for alleged criminal acts committed during his time as minister. The judge described the case brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as “feeble” and duly discharged Fani-Kayode in the absence of “copious evidence.”

The Buhari Shocker By Tony Ademiluyi

It is now no news that twenty-two governors owe outstanding salary arrears. Ever since Buhari upset the apple cart by winning the Presidential elections on March 28, they have all hoped that he would bail them out of their respective mess when he got sworn in. In his speech on the inauguration of the National Economic Council, he categorically told the beggar governors to source for funds to offset their gargantuan debts through the growth of their internally...