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    Oyetola takes up the gauntlet at Marine and Blue Economy Ministry

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    The gravitas of the former Governor of Osun State, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, has helped in defining his governance of the State of Osun (the nomenclature that has now been changed to the original name — Osun State — by Governor Ademola Adeleke).

    Although, he did not win his re-election bid, that is not to suggest that he did not perform as governor. Beyond the political hullabaloo and the claptrap of opposition elements’ shenanigans, Oyetola largely steered clear of the constraining and retarding frays except that he harboured and nurtured deep-seated anti-Aregbesola sentiments. That was understandable.

    Although he was the Chief of Staff to Aregbesola from 2010 to 2018 until he was “anointed’’ by Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Aregbesola’s successor, his emergence did not discount his proclivity towards independence. In fact, were it not for Tinubu’s final say on the issue, Oyetola would not have been governor. If the knowledge of how he emerged as governor continued to serve him as a constant reminder of Aregbesola’s opposition to his governorship, it should be understandable why he (Oyetola), upon stepping into the saddle, was not bound to defer to his ex-boss or beholden to Aregbesola.

    Oyetola was, therefore, his own man from the outset. He cut a niche for himself as a sharp-focused and sharp-witted administrator, who quietly addressed the issues of workers’ welfare to which his predecessor in office paid a scant interest. Under his administration, the pensioners had a better deal than in his predecessor’s era. Whereas, it was easy to implicate the meagre monthly allocation from the Federation Account and the grim financial realities occasioned by the low-level Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) that could not bolster infrastructure development, Oyetola largely succeeded in moderating the governance tension in Osun.

    He had brought his wealth of experience in the insurance sector and his eight-year closeness to state governance as Chief of Staff to Aregbesola to bear on the administration of the state. He fostered robust collaborations with various local, national, and international development partners even as he deployed those partnerships in driving advancements across key sectors of the state’s economy. Patently urbane in his disposition, he was also forthright, disciplined, and unwavering in his commitment to encourage and nurture these invaluable partnerships and alliances.

    And to be sure, Oyetola’s leadership in Osun State epitomized steadfast effort, diligence and visionary approach to governance which has marked him out as a public administrator par excellence.

    Just as he has hit the ground running as the new Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Oyetola had, consequent upon assuming office on November 27, 2018, as Osun governor, hit the ground running, spearheading a remarkable revolution across diverse sectors of the Osun economy. Operating under an inclusive and participatory model of governance, Oyetola embarked on an ambitious revitalization agenda in the health sector.

    Notably, he achieved a historic milestone by simultaneously revitalizing 332 Primary Healthcare Centres, one per ward, setting a precedent in Nigeria’s history. Furthermore, Oyetola audaciously implemented ground-breaking transformations in the education sector, passionately responding to the aspirations and expectations of the people as well as national and international development partners and stakeholders programmes.

    Today, Oyetola brings into the Marine and Blue Economy Ministry the magnitude of his administrative savoir faire and intense patriotic passion to drive the new ministry on the trajectory of success in its mission to help bolster the economy of Nigeria to usher in national prosperity.

    Having taken up the gauntlet, he must be at home with the reasons President Bola Tinubu redeployed him to the new ministry and, therefore, he must keep fidelity with those reasons so that his performance is not underwhelming or outright uninspiring. It is, therefore, not in doubt that he enjoys the trust and confidence of the President. He must not disappoint his appointor or Nigerians who look up to him to dazzle.

    Early feelers from the Ministry have indicated that Oyetola has placed his hands on the plough and is not ready to look back. Realizing that he is going to exercise authority and supervisory role in the running of revenue-generating agencies under his ministry, including the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), among others, Oyetola as soon as he assumed office, undertook a familiarization tour of the agencies. His speeches were inspiring and uplifting. He spoke encouragingly to the management of the agencies; he did not talk down on them. Rather, he gave commendations appositely about the performance of CEOs and the management. This, of course, is the mark of positive leadership; a leadership that is ready to lead the way and work in synergy for achieving results.

    Oyetola left no one in doubt by giving an insight into the kind of pragmatic leadership he would provide as the political head of the ministry. The resentment he expressed during the meeting was targeted at illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which he said he would tackle headlong. He promised to invest energies and resources in harnessing marine tourism, safety and security as top priorities on the agenda of his administration as Minister of the newly-created Ministry of Marine and Blue economy. According to him, the time has come for Nigeria to fully harness its vast potentialities in the maritime sector, noting that the working visit to NPA and NIMSA and others was to ascertain and properly appraise the situation of things with a view to taking practical steps and measures towards addressing them.

    At NIMASA, for instance, he said: “Today, we have come to see some of the things you told us in Abuja and to properly appraise the situation of things with a view to taking practical steps towards addressing them. I am particularly interested in the NIMASA Modular Floating Dock because of its potential to generate employment and stem capital flight.

    “But we must find a way of ensuring stakeholders’ buy-in, in whatever we do so that we are seen to be working together for the growth and development of Nigeria.”

    Noting that it was time for Nigeria to float a National Carrier, Oyetola stressed that through a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement and the support of stakeholders, such a plan would be achieved in the interest of the maritime industry and Nigeria.

    No doubt, Oyetola certainly knows his onions. He is on top of his game in the marine and blue economy sector. He said the management of the resources of Nigeria’s Marine and Blue Economy entails proactive, smart and strategic thinking, even as he called for the rediscovery, harnessing, and packaging of the nation’s maritime resources, including seafood in line with all associated international standards and specifications. A further peep into his development agenda in the ministry presents a plethora of some impressive to-do things, to wit: changing the narrative of Nigeria as a net importer of fishery products to make Nigeria a major player in the sector; ensuring the safety and security of the maritime corridors of Nigeria; development of marine tourism as a revenue spinner at a time when revenue from the non-oil sector has become sacrosanct.

    This is one of the ways Oyetola’s mind works: “Nigeria makes up about 853 kilometres of the estimated 47,000 kilometres of coastline in Africa. Nigeria has one of the largest wetlands in the world, with its coastal and marine ecosystems covering a total of 70,000 square kilometres.

    “There are countries around the world that rely solely on earnings from the tourism sector. Here in Nigeria, we also have what it takes to attract tourists to the waters. Therefore, we shall be developing the infrastructure in cities and towns that are lake or coastal for this purpose.”

    Oyetola has all it takes to perform as he is poised to deliver. He cannot afford not to. He has an opportunity to correct certain misconceptions in some quarters whose members are not at home with the political realities of Osun State and who probably think that he lost his bid for governorship re-election to Ademola Adeleke because he did not deliver as governor. That was far from what happened. To prove that he is a performer any day, any time, Oyetola, according to feelers from sources close to him, is committed to give this present assignment his all and the required fillip. To fellow Nigerians watching from the sidelines, they should keep their fingers crossed and expect a noiseless stellar performance.

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    Politics

    Makinde suspends Oyo monarch

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    The Oyo State Government, yesterday, suspended Oba Gbolagade Muritala Babalola (Gbadewolu I) as the Onido of Ido in Ido Local Council of the state.

    The government, in a letter dated February 2, 2024, and signed by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Olusegun Olayiwola, said Governor Seyi Makinde approved the suspension on February 1, 2024.

    “I wish to inform you that His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Oyo State of Nigeria, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Sub-section 1&2 of Section 26 of the Chiefs Law, Cap. 28 Vol I, Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000 and by virtue of all other enabling powers in that regard, has approved your suspension as the Onido of Ido in the area of authority of Ido Local Government Area of Oyo State,” the letter read in part.

    It directed Oba Babalola to hand over all government properties in his possession to the chairman of Ido local council.

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    Bauchi Agog as Tribunal Affirms Mohammed Bauchi Gov

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    Bauchi State capital and environs erupted in jubilation yesterday following the State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal’s affirmation of Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed as the duly elected governor of the state.

     

    The 3-man tribunal led by Justice PT Kwahar, dismissed the petition by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and its gubernatorial candidate, Ambassador Saddique Baba Abubakar.

     

    The tribunal affirmed that Mohammed, who was declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as winner of the gubernatorial election, actually won the election with the majority votes cast.

     

    The tribunal dismissed the APC petition for lack of credible evidence to discredit result of the gubernatorial election as declared by INEC.

     

    The tribunal’s premises, however, erupted in Jubilation by members and supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) engaged in drumming and praises to show joy and happiness over the victory.

     

    Reacting to the verdict, Mohammed commended the tribunal for upholding his victory despite the indiscriminate demonisation of the country’s judicial system.

     

    Speaking shortly after the tribunal affirmed his election, he called on his opponents to sheathe their swords and join him to harness enormous resources of the state to create a modern economy that would benefit everyone within Bauchi State as Nigeria’s pearl of tourism.

     

    “Today, the Governorship Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Bauchi, revalidated the mandate that you gave to me last March. It was a profound judgment that will continue to resonate within multiple circles as a demonstration of judicial rigour and common sense and an affirmation of the sovereign will of the people over political brinksmanship and an entitlement mentality.

     

    “Our victory today is by the grace of Allah, who gives power to whom he wishes and takes it without consulting the holder. We are once again reminded that all power is held in trust on behalf of God.

     

    “It is an unambiguous statement that despite the mischief of political merchants who arrogate to themselves kingmaker status and deceive some of our unsuspecting compatriots into believing that they can determine the destiny of others, God still reigns in the affairs of all his creations,” he said.

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    Adeleke to Fix Lasting Infrastructural Projects in Osun, Says PDP Chieftain

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    Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke will soon commence fixing of long lasting Infrastructural projects in the state as part of the promises made to the people of the state.

    Speaking with Freelanews in Osogbo, former Caretaker Chairman of the Peoples Democratic party ( PDP) in the state, Dr. Akindele Adekunle, noted that all abandoned projects within the state would be revisited for timely completion.

    Adekunle stressed that roads will also be constructed in all local government areas in the state, while the federal constituencies would equally benefit immensely in the developmental agenda of the state governor.

    He remarked that since the enthronement of the present administration, all promises made are being fully followed to the letter.

    According to him “Adeleke had surpassed people’s expectations considering the situation met on ground because he has done well based on Infrastructural development so far.”

    He also recalled the medical outfit for the people of the state in all the constituencies, saying the governor had surpassed people’s expectations on Health.

    The PDP chieftain remarked that health palliatives for the people of the state is under way as all health facilities would be given face- lift in all ramifications.

    He emphasised that all general hospitals in the state would receive a boost in order to turn them to a world-class medical centres which will serve as medical tourism to other state to visit.

    Adekunle stressed that there are enough medical personnel to make the state proud of being a world-class medical tourist attraction.

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