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Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to the gubernatorial candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) in the 2019 Ogun State gubernatorial election, Hon. Akinlade that the Ogun State Governor, His Excellency Prince (Dr). Dapo Abiodun, MFR was only trying to score cheap popularity by saying that his administration would not allow the oil-rich Tongeji Island to be taken away by Béninese usurpers.

It is important to note that the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, Ambassador Emmanuel Kayode Oguntuase who, along with the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, visited the Ogun State Governor on Friday 13th July, 2019 to pay His Excellency a courtesy visit and they used the medium to intimate him with the challenges being faced by the people of Tongeji Island as a result of the neglect they have suffered from the past administrations. During their visit, the Ambassador and FOC WEST described the situation as that which needed urgent attention as the Beninese have been courting the Nigerians by sending them welfare materials. More worrisome, he said, was the fact that the island is accessible by road from Benin Republic and not from Nigeria. It is against this back ground that the governor is committed to ensuring that they are given the attention they deserve and why he says government will not allow Benin Republic to annex them.

The media aide to the governorship candidate of the APM got it wrong when he, ridiculously wrote: “when he (Governor) received some Naval officers.” The correct information is that the Governor received in audience a serving military General, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Nigeria, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji; the Commandant of the Nigerian Navy Secondary School; and the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, Ambassador Emmanuel Kayode Oguntuase. These are accomplished envoys of President Muhammadu Buhari. They shouldn’t be despised.

We should also caution that dragging these public officers into juvenile political games or disparaging them is most uncharitable. His Excellency’s esteemed guests are not mere “Naval officers.”

The picture posted alongside the statement released by the aide, one Alao Azeez Adelani, showed the governorship candidate of the APM with a number of men of the Nigerian Navy and we wonder where the Nigerian Ambassador to Benin Republic is in their picture. The team in that picture cannot be compared with the team that came to Oke Mosan to hold talks with Prince (Dr) Dapo Abiodun, MFR.

In the statement, Alao Adelani claimed the “Tongeji Island in Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun West (had) “received the required attention.” What about the 60 meter bridge that would make it possible to reach the Island from Nigeria by road?

Does he know that the only route to that Island from Nigeria is by water? To go by road, one would have to go through the Republic of Benin. Where then is the “required attention” he claimed dated back to 2016, when they could not even construct the access road?

The Ambassador, His Excellency Oguntuase categorically stated in his speech during the visit that the good works of Chief Olusegun Osoba and Military Administrator Olofinmoyin were there to see. One would again wonder if Hon. Akinlade’s aide, Adelani would in the hasty manner in which he made his initial spurious claims, say the Ambassador forgot to mention the “lot” that Hon. Akinlade and his leader did? Why would the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Benin and the Flag Officer Commanding Western Nigeria, visit the Ogun State Governor, Prince (Dr) Abiodun just a little over 40 days in office if all was well on the Island?

Hon. Akinlade said that what the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led government ought to do was to complete the Ogun State Polytechnic in Ipokia. Has he forgotten so quickly that the immediate past government in the state left the education sector prostate? Has he forgotten that this Government had to declare an emergency to reverse the adverse fortunes foisted by the hubristic movement of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic from Ojere to Ipokia?

This administration has taken the bull by the horn by declaring emergency in the education sector and work has started.

Someone should remind the APM that campaign ended on March 7 and quality governance is being engendered by Prince Abiodun.

SF Ojo Emmanuel.
SSA to the Governor on New Media


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