Ogun: Amosun’s demolition, Abiodun’s compensation
By Funmi Branco
Last week, a sore point in the Ogun State social experience was addressed as the Governor Dapo Abiodun government began paying compensation to owners of properties demolished by the administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun, ostensibly to facilitate the expansion of some road projects that were never executed across the state. Moved by the plight of the victims, Abiodun approved the compensation package. According to the Ogun State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Ade Akinsanya, the demolitions carried out by the Amosun administration were unnecessary, and ended up compounding the problems being faced by the present government. The Abiodun administration inherited outstanding debt of N202 billion from the Amosun government on roads alone.
By contrast, the Abiodun government has a no-demolition policy, except where necessary and unavoidable. For instance, while the Amosun government had marked some houses for demolition on the Kemta-Somorin road in Abeokuta, the Abiodun government has built the road without any demolition.
Hear Akinsanya: “It is actually not necessary to demolish while constructing roads, unless it is actually unavoidable. The same thing applies to bridge construction. Most of the bridges constructed by that regime were a waste of resources.”
The burden left behind by Amosun is indeed a heavy one. Seven years ago, the then governor suddenly woke up and started demolishing houses. His declared intent was to expand roads and turn Ogun into a modern state. It was mere fancy: the UK, a modern state, has no multi-lane craze. The people did not resist their governor because, apparently, they loved good things and, moreover, he had promised them compensation. But then the governor went overboard: houses that should never have been demolished, not standing in the way of the proposed though needless road expansion, were demolished with glee.
As everyone knows, it is a most painful thing to witness one’s house being demolished. Even if there is money to put up a new building, purchasing land, doing survey and building plan and getting the necessary approvals from the government typically takes time, although, admittedly in the case of Ogun State under Abiodun, the process has been made seamless and without drama. While your new house is under construction, you have to stay somewhere, which will typically be an inconvenient arrangement. In extreme cases, entire families have been forced to dwell on their company premises, coming to lodge in the night when everyone else is gone. Good governors like Abiodun appreciate the sacrifices that people make in such circumstances when their houses have been demolished for the public good, especially people that did not build houses on waterways or government property without approval.
Moreover, if the demolition of a personal residence is painful, the demolition of a family house, a meeting point during December and other holidays, is equally an emotional incident. When people living in America or Europe come home and lodge not in hotels but in their family house, they are no fools. They want to sit down and discuss and relive the good old days when as children they played in the rain and hurled stones at people in fits of childhood rascality. They want to bond with their roots. Such houses may be, and indeed are, usually renovated but some of their essential characteristics are preserved. These are facts of the Yoruba sociocultural organisation today and till tomorrow, and we challenge naysayers to disprove the claims made here with hard evidence.
Moreover, some economically underprivileged family members live in these houses, and have nowhere to turn, should the government demolish them. Such houses, because of their symbolism, must, therefore, not be demolished unless there are compelling reasons to do so. Demolition means that the family must find another land on which to build the family house, and every family has a boundary, meaning that family houses cannot be built just anywhere. Thus, when Amosun demolished houses, including new houses across Ogun State, the people eagerly awaited the roads that provided the alibi for demolition! They had made a sacrifice for progress as it were, not because they had power to resist the governor but because they had welcomed his arguments while taking down their houses.
As noted by the senior media professionals during an interaction with Akinsanya, the Ogun State Commissioner for Works recently, any time the former governor was queried over the demolitions, he would say, “Dede re ne la ma se” (We shall do all), even though he never did a quarter of what he promised but embarked on building bridges that led nowhere. He gave people false hope, a tactic consistent with fraud. That is why when a government comes and promises to do things, people no longer believe such promises. They have been serially scammed in the past. When Amosun demolished people’s houses and then failed to build the multi-lane roads he promised, he put them in double or even multiple jeopardy. Their houses they could not live in anymore, and the promised roads they did not see. The environment, with the spectre of “beheaded”, “abridged” and “edited” houses, became ghoulish and mentally exasperating and maddening. Worse still, the means of livelihood, for those who had rented out their houses to tenants, vanished. In some parts of Ogun State, because of the mess the demolition created, some people are now paddling canoes to their houses during the ongoing rainy season.
The victims are now rejoicing. One of the affected property owners, a resident of Agbado who lost many shops to Amosun’s bulldozers, Mr. Abayomi Olanrewaju, commended Governor Abiodun for his magnanimity. Olanrewaju, who had depended on his shops to survive before the demolition, disclosed that the road in question was better before the bulldozers moved in. Another resident, Taiwo Adebari, expressed gratitude to the state government, noting that the compensation would help in alleviating their suffering.
Foreign guests trickle in as Nigerians honour Andrew Aganbi in Delta State
Foreign guests trickle in as Nigerians honour Andrew Aganbi in Delta State
The stage is set for the biggest gathering of international faces in Delta State.
December 1-3, 2023, Koko and Sapele will play host to high-ranking personalities.
‘’This is an important rendezvous for the friends, business associates and family members of the late Delta politician, Andrew Aganbi. A memorial golf kitty will take place at the Sapele Athletic Club on Friday, December 1, 2023’’ a statement in Koko, headquarters of Warri North Local Government by the Chief Executive Officer of Akogate Water and Oil, said.
‘’Friends of the late world class caterer, hotel management expert and politician, Andrew Aganbi, will look forward to the memorial concerts at Canaan Land Golf & Country Club, Koko on Saturday, December 2, 2023.’’
All eyes will be in the direction of local and foreign troupes, pop stars and reggae musicians.’’
The statement listed De Pub Night, recitation in English and Itsekiri, cultural displays of traditional dances and modes of dressing as key programmes.
‘’A thanksgiving service will be held on Sunday, December 3, 2023, at the New Birth Baptist Church, Besides Youth Town Hall, New Road Beach, Koko. Farewell party and reception for local and foreign guests will be held in the afternoon at Canaan Land Golf & Country Club, Koko.’’
Andrew Aganbi was buried in London, capital of England on Friday, November 17, 2023.
Death laid his filthy hands on him in September 2023 at the age of 59.
His casket was carried from Church of the Good Shepherd, Downham to Grove Park Cemetery, Marvel Lane.
During the well-attended service of songs and funeral mass at Gateway Chapel, Camp David, and Church of the Good Shepherd, Downham, Bromley, Andrew Aganbi’s sterling qualities, his good deeds, works and thought were emphasized.
The late Delta State politician was the very essence of compassion, duty, pedigree and style. He was overwhelmingly magnanimous and released on friends and relatives his wealth.
His death set up a wave of heartfelt tributes from the numerous lives he touched and the thousands who he inspired in the cause of a highly productive and fulfilled life.
Speaker after speaker stressed Andrew Aganbi’s capacity for love, caring, courage, role in the political development of Delta State and the unique niche he filled in the days of hotel and night club development in Nigeria.
Family members noted his ‘’tireless work, creative thinking, total integrity, discipline and generosity.
They emphasized Andrew Aganbi’s cordial relationship marked by candor, trust and extraordinary understanding.
To his business associates, Andrew Aganbi exemplified the essence of dignity in appearance, in thought, in speech and in action.
’’ Andrew Aganbi, creative, generous and pleasant, left much for us to cherish. He was an epitome of compassion, selflessness and rationality. He was a shining light in the life of Nigerians and lots of people that met him on the journey called life. We shall forever miss his amiable disposition, the very essence of a happy and fulfilled life’’ Business mogul, Felix Aganbi said.
Lagos Assembly, NASS Collaborate Over State Roads
Lagos Assembly, NASS Collaborate Over State Roads
***Lawmakers begin inventory of roads that need fixing
***erring contractors may face sanctions
The Lagos State House of Assembly has commenced an assessment of roads in the state with the aim of ascertaining their current conditions.
This move by the House Committee on Works and Infrastructure is coming days after lawmakers at the House decried the parlous conditions of some roads within the state.
Chairman of the House Committee on Works and Infrastructure, Hon. Desmond Elliot, said the committee has the approval of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, and the House to thoroughly look into the challenge and come up with recommendations to help the state.
“The Speaker and the House are concerned about the conditions of the roads in the state including the fact that some of the roads are washed away few months or years after they are constructed.
“This tour of roads in the state is about how we can ensure longevity for them and forestall the havocs given by rains. More rains might be coming next year. So we are working to ensure the roads are safe, accessible to residents and durable for the benefit of mankind.
“We are also looking at collaborative efforts among the tiers of government. At the end of the exercise, we should be able to give a more concrete report regarding good roads, the not-so-good roads and make presentations to the House for a solution,” he said while hinting that erring contractors could face sanctions.
Elliot further said that the committee, under the instruction of Speaker Obasa, had met with the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Works and presented documents that would help with the fixing of federal roads in Lagos.
“The meeting with our counterparts at the National Assembly was fruitful and we are hopeful. We will not stop but make sure that all our roads, whether federal, state or local government roads, within the state are fixed.
“We will not fold our hands at the Lagos Assembly, especially under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa. We will work to ensure that Lagos roads are second to none,” he added.
Hon. Femi Saheed, a member of the committee, said the tour of the roads in the state will help the House know the level of the involvements of the federal, state and local governments in the projects.
“We want a holistic and symbiotic relationship among these tiers of government,” he said.
On his part, Adekunle Olayinka, Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Works and Infrastructure, said the ministry would take another look at areas where the committee expressed dissatisfaction with the level of work.
He commended the Lagos Assembly for the tour while promising that the government will continue to do its best to meet the challenges of road infrastructure in the state.
UN International Day For Solidarity with Palestine: TY Buratai Humanity Care Foundation Calls for Permanent Ceasefire
*UN International Day For Solidarity with Palestine: TY Buratai Humanity Care Foundation Calls for Permanent Ceasefire
In a bid to support peace and stability in the Middle East, the TY Buratai Humanity Care Foundation has called for a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Palestine. This plea comes on the occasion of the UN International Day for Solidarity with Palestine.
The foundation’s Chairman, Amb Ibrahim Dahiru Danfulani Sadaukin Garkuwan Keffi, and Betara of Biu and the grand patron of the foundation, His Excellency Amb Lt Gen Tukur Yusufu Buratai Rtd CFR Betara of Biu, have expressed deep sorrow and concern over the colossal lost of lifes and damage to property in Gaza. The foundation, known for its unwavering commitment to humanity and desire to alleviate the suffering of those affected by conflicts worldwide, is calling for an end to the violence and the protection of innocent lives.
As the Israel-Hamas temporary truce enters it’s fifth day, there seems to be a ray of hope as both sides completed their fourth releases of captives from Gaza in exchange for Palestinians held in Israeli jails and vice versa. Mediators have stated that the process will continue, indicating a potential breakthrough in the negotiations.
Qatar, along with Egypt, has played a crucial role in facilitating indirect talks between Israel and Hamas. Qatar’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, announced that an agreement has been reached to extend the original four-day truce by two more days. This extension provides an opportunity for both sides to release more individuals, further fostering an atmosphere of peace and reconciliation.
While progress is being made, it is essential to remember the plight of the occupied people of Palestine. The foundation urges everyone to take a moment to pray for the innocent civilians, especially the children, who have been affected by the ongoing conflict. It is a time to condemn the senseless violence and hope that the negotiations on the ground will lead to a lasting resolution.
The TY Buratai Humanity Care Foundation remains committed to supporting initiatives that promotes peace, stability, and the well-being of individuals affected by conflicts worldwide. With the call for a permanent ceasefire, the foundation emphasizes the importance of dialogue and understanding in resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict.
As the negotiations continue, the foundation joins the international community in praying for a swift end to the war and a brighter future for the people of Palestine.
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