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‘The failed assassination attempt on my life spur me to run for senate’ –Prince Lanre Tejuosho

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Prince (Dr.) Lanre Tejuoso is the former Commissioner for Youth and Sports under the Ibikunle Amosun-led administration in Ogun State. He was also Commissioner for the Environment as well as Special Duties. He recently resigned his appointment to contest the Ogun Central senatorial seat, under the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the forthcoming general elections. He opened up on his foray into Politics, his Senatorial ambition and the assassination attempt on his life among other sundry issues.

enjoy.

 

You are a successful businessman and a Prince from the Tejuoso royalty of Oke–Ona Egba in Abeokuta. Why are you seeking an elective position at this time? 

God bless you for that question. Do you realise that Nigerian democracy would have grown and be more matured than what we have now, if people from the Private Sector as well as sons and daughters of traditional rulers, like you put it had been occupying elective positions in this country? The reason is that such elected persons would not want to bring disgrace to the Royal family or whichever Establishment such people came from.

They would be conscious of the fact that if they fail to perform or embezzle funds meant for developmental projects in their constituency, the electorate would cry out and before you know it, such traditional ruler would have called him or her to accountability and order. But look at what we have today.

We have situations where some politicians would misappropriate funds meant for their constituency projects and they get away with the impunity. My vying for the Ogun Central senatorial seat, is to bring about a remarkable difference in my constituency and therefore will not be ‘business as usual,’ I can assure you of that.

Many of you, my friends in the Pen profession, were quick to refer to Abeokuta as a glorified village, in your past write ups, but look at what Amosun has turned everywhere to now. We are now very proud indigenes of Ogun State, happy to show off the various developmental projects to our friends and prospective investors, when they come calling.

Back to your question, in my own case, let me quickly tell you that the main issue is that this is the first time the Egba Traditional Council will be represented in politics at least in Ogun State. This is the first time the Egba Traditional Council will be having a candidate from the royalty, coming out to say that he wants to represent them. And that is why I have been consulting and seeking our royal fathers’ blessings on this journey to the hallowed chamber. If there is no success in this journey, it will be a failure for the council in its entirety. My God forbid.

A lot of people are of the opinion that you just came to snatch the ticket from politicians who are older than you in the party. How true is that?

I have been on this project for ten years. I was with Senator Amosun in the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, in 2006. That was when I contested for the senate under the ANPP. Then, nobody believed in ANPP, not only in Ogun State, but throughout the Southern part of Nigeria. Majority of the politicians believed we were on a suicide mission, saying ‘how can you bring a political party that belonged to a Hausa man from the North to us here in Yoruba land?’ It was only in his house that we were making some little noise and I was a senatorial hopeful. We did what we could, but the rest like they say is history.

Around that same period, some hoodlums came to attack me in the hotel where I lodged.     It was some minutes after 2am, when I saw five people; they invaded my room and brought out their guns. They asked how I dared had the effrontery to run for Senate.

They started slapping me; they said they were asked to come and assassinate me. They ordered me to lie down on my bed; that they were going to kill me. It was a horrible experience. You see my forehead? (pointing at a scar on his forehead). Honestly, I don’t know how I survived. Blood was everywhere. God just gave me that power to live and saved me.

I then said to myself, that if I didn’t die then, God must have spared me for a purpose; I shall serve Him and serve my people. Hence my resolve to pursue this ambition and that is why I am here for the Ogun Central senatorial contest. There have been so many gladiators along the line, but people do not know how far I have come.

What plans do you have for the people of Ogun Central senatorial district if you are eventually elected?

I am confident of victory, by his grace. First of all, I think one needs to ask oneself about what the work of a senator in this dispensation actually entails. To me, a senator is to be a participant in developing policies that should benefit the people of Nigeria. After thinking about Nigeria, then you talk about your own constituency. How can I benefit my people in Ogun Central? What are their problems? How can we make national policies that will benefit them directly? Ideally, that is what we should be doing.

Then, you now talk about the constituency projects. Maybe, they give you money to execute projects that will benefit the people of the constituency where you come from. Of course, that money they give you must be judiciously spent in that area where you represent. But these days, many senators receive such money and they don’t even care about the people and the authority does not even see what they are doing. God forbid that kind of a senator in my own situation.

Again, there are so many employment opportunities for our people at the federal level, in addition to drawing federal presence to our State. Without being immodest, a lot of the people at the top are mostly one’s friends or business associates. All of these contacts would be used to better the lot of our people.

Take for instance, the recruitment for the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, which they had last time. A senator must be able to establish good rapport with those that matter particularly with members of the cabinet; the ministers, the Permanent Secretaries and so on to enable him fix unemployed members of his constituency at such vacant positions and others that may open up. For the past four years, such opportunities have eluded us in this state because all our senators were busy fighting the governor. How many federal projects can you point at here, by our Senators?

How would you react to the notion that you are not too close to the people and not accessible to the people of your constituency?

You have said it that it is a perception and perception is nothing but perception. The people know that I am close to them and that I am very accessible. Ogun Central senatorial district has a vey large population and it all depends on whom you’re talking to. Presently, we are on a “meet-the-people” drive. Every day, we keep on consulting with the people, because we want to hit the ground running. We must bring smiles to their faces.

What is important is for one to nurture and maintain the good relationship which has already been established with the people. Recently, in partnership with a Lagos based microfinance bank, FinaTrust Micro Finance bank, I facilitated loans for the funding of small and medium scale businesses in my constituency.

There are however, some people who have made up their minds even before you meet them and their perception about you is negative. Many would say “oh, he is a prince, all princes put their shoulders high”! They therefore expect you to be very proud.

Even before they meet you, that is the impression which they had already formed. But by the time you move close and talk with them, they now calm down and express surprise. I have gone through all that many times.

Take for instance, some people whom I have never met before would tell me that they’re afraid of shaking hands with me because they see me as Kabiyesi. But I often tell them that my father is the Kabiyesi and not me. I am just like you too. If I hold their hands, they would then exclaim “ah, see him, holding my hand”.  In the summary, those who hold that perception are the ones who feel that as a prince with all the royalty, one should be arrogant whereas it is not so and I am not.

How true is it that one of your younger brothers from the Tejuoso royal house, will be squaring up to you in the senatorial election in 2015?

That is the beauty of democracy. It is not a problem but first of all, I want you to know that what every contestant needs to do is to perfect his or her homework very well. All I have to say about that for now is that when we get to the bridge, we will look at how to cross it but I don’t see that as a problem for now.

Other aspirants for the ticket on APC platform are aggrieved over the conduct of the senatorial primary election that produced you as the standard bearer of your party. How do you intend to placate those that contested and lost the ticket to you?

Of course, I am going to reach out to them so that all of us would have to work together as a team and win this election for our party. At the appropriate time, we will definitely do the needful after the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, may have released the final list of contestants.

All of us have to work together because it is such that only one person would emerge as the winner. And if indeed all of us have the spirit of fair play and the overall interest of our Party at heart, then I believe we’ll all resolve our differences and work for the success of our great Party. Just like the way you saw General Buhari being supported by other contestants who lost the ticket after the presidential primaries.

That is the spirit I believe all of us must have because that is exactly what I would have displayed if I had lost the ticket. It is not a do-or-die affair. If it were to be a do-or-die matter, by now, I would not have remained steadfast, even after the attempt on my life. I forgave the assailants and their sponsors and I have decided to run again. And this time, by His grace because He spared my life then, I shall be victorious.

Is it true you are Governor Amosun’s anointed candidate?

Is the governor a pastor or what kind of an anointing are you talking about? (Laughter)

The rumour in town is that the governor influenced your emergence as the APC senatorial candidate for Ogun Central. Is it true? 

If that is what they meant, then it means that I had been anointed over 10 years ago when the governor and I had been weathering the storm.

We have been contesting together. I have been with him for the past 10 years, through thick and thin, so what is the meaning of being an anointed candidate?

 

 

Dr.-Lanre-Tejuoso

Sahara weekly online is published by First Sahara weekly international. +2348034976772

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Politics

Nigerians hail Matawalle on proactive action on security

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Nigerians hail Matawalle on proactive action on security

Nigerians hail Matawalle on proactive action on security

By Olorunfemi Adejuyigbe

 

Nigerians hail Matawalle on proactive action on security

 

Nigerians from all walks of life have hailed the executive governor of Zamfara state, His Excellency, Governor Bello Matawalle, on his government’s proactive action on security in the State.

In an early morning phone in programme where security issues in the State was discussed, callers commended the latest action of the government on kidnappers.

 

 

 

 

 

It will be recalled that the State government has recently pronounced a death sentence on any kidnapper caught in the State. Most of the callers indicated that this pronouncement was long overdue in order to checkmate the current rising kidnapping cases not just in Zamfara state but generally in the country.

Governor Matawalle few days ago, threw his weight behind death penalty on those convicted for banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and cultism in the State, when he signed into law a bill passed by the Zamfara State House of Assembly prohibiting and punishing terrorists, cattle rustling, cultism, kidnapping and other incidental offences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new law provides that any person found guilty of banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling, Cultism or being an informant to the bandits is liable to death penalty. Also under the law, anyone found guilty of aiding and or abetting the crimes mentioned is liable to life imprisonment, twenty years imprisonment or ten years imprisonment without option of fine.

Recently, Zamfara state has witnessed a new wave of rising kidnapping and banditry cases, a situation which ignited the call by the government for the citizens to pick up guns and arms to protect themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, while the state’s call for the citizens to take up arms, met with some form of reservations from different quarters, the current call for death penalty for kidnappers caught, has elicited great commendation for the government.

Matawalle was also commended on the radio phone in programme, for his foresight in providing good governance and infrastructure in the state and also for his usual swift responses to issues that affect the citizens of his state.

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Politics

Top Presidential Aspirant Decamps To Labour Party, Declares Support For Peter Obi

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Top Presidential Aspirant Decamps To Labour Party, Declares Support For Peter Obi

Top Presidential Aspirant Decamps To Labour Party, Declares Support For Peter Obi

By Olorunfemi Adejuyigbe

Top Presidential Aspirant Decamps To Labour Party, Declares Support For Peter Obi

 

 

The presidential aspirant of the National Rescue Movement has decamp from the party to support labour party presidential candidate, peter obi.

 

 

This is seen as a major boost to the aspirations of peter obi and labour party, in clinching the presidential seat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LP in a post on its Twitter account on Wednesday evening revealed that Martin Agbaso and his supporters, Emeka Mandela, a presidential aspirant aligned with Obi’s ambition.

According to the party, the presidential organisation of Mandela officially collapsed into Labour Party for the former Governor of Anambra State.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is coming at a time LP is working on merging with the New Nigeria Peoples Party and its presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso ahead of the 2023 race.

The support for the presidential ambition of Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) has received a boost as a presidential aspirant of the National Rescue Movement collapses his structure into the party.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LP in a post on its Twitter account on Wednesday evening revealed that Martin Agbaso and his supporters, Emeka Mandela, a presidential aspirant aligned with Obi’s ambition.

According to the party, the presidential organisation of Mandela officially collapsed into Labour Party for the former Governor of Anambra State.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is coming at a time LP is working on merging with the New Nigeria Peoples Party and its presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso ahead of the 2023 race.

Obi and Kwankwaso have met on the possibility of merging to push out the All Progressives Congress and the New Nigeria People’s Party

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, there seems to be a stumbling block as no presidential candidate is ready to step down to be the other’s, running mate.

Announcing the development on Wednesday, the party wrote, “Labour Party today welcomed new members to our great party. New members include Chief Martin Agbaso & His Supporters, Dr Emeka Mandela (Presidential Aspirant of National Rescue Movement -NRM) who’s a presidential organization officially collapsed into the Labour Party for Peter Obi.”

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ABIODUN WINS BEST GOVERNOR ON MSMSE AWARD

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ABIODUN WINS BEST GOVERNOR ON MSMSE AWARD

ABIODUN WINS BEST GOVERNOR ON MSMSE AWARD

By Olorunfemi Adejuyigbe

 

ABIODUN WINS BEST GOVERNOR ON MSMSE AWARD

 

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has been awarded the best governor in Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises by the Federal Government.

Speaking at the award ceremony held in Abuja, Prince Abiodun noted the important roles of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Industrialized process, hence the various measures put in place to encourage its growth in the State

 

 

 

 

 

 

According the the governor, “in the continued implementation of the Building our Future Together Agenda, our Administration has established the Ogun State Enterprise Development Agency that provides much-needed support and capacity building to the Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which are the bedrock of any economy.

“The Agency facilitates the development of MSMEs through Business Development Services, Access to Market, Access to Fund and similar services. It also assists in the facilitation of all available intervention funds from the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria and monitor compliance with all requirements in order to achieve its objectives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” We have carried out disbursement of livelihood grants to 2,094 women in the state to boost their Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operations. In specific terms, we have done empowerment and Capacity building through the OKoowo Dapo Scheme of 500 female entrepreneurs across the state to enable them access financing and scale up their businesses; empowerment of 2,500 rural women across the state through provision of products worth ₦100m; empowerment of over 600 youths through vocational training while 400 women and youths are still undergoing training at the Vocation training centre under the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development; empowerment of 95 Women across the three senatorial districts and more than 100 widows in commemoration of the International Widows Day”.

On measures to improve ease of doing business, governor Abiodun pointed that his administration has reorganized the Ogun State Investment Promotion Agency to provide a truly one-stop-shop for investors to know about the natural and solid minerals resources of the State and the business opportunities, and the facilitation required to invest in the State.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The facilitation, the governor noted includes, land acquisition and ownership through the State Land Administration and Revenue Management Service (OLARMS), community relations, statutory documentation, and linkages with the suppliers, especially farmers through the Anchor Borrowers Scheme of the Central Bank, adding that over 40,000 agri-prenuers have been produced through the process.

He said it was the desire of his administration to develop the Micro, Medium and Small Scale Enterprises (MSME), as part of its industrial revolution and to empower small businesses which would help in creating the path towards a sustainable economic development thereby resulting to employment generation, poverty alleviation and food security.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He noted that several MSMES Business Clinics had been held with more than 3,844 Entrepreneurs across the State in attendance, saying the key objective of the Business Clinics was to create avenue where relevant Enterprises development partners such as CAC, NAFDAC, SON, Financial Institutions R&D Institutes and Entrepreneurship Development Institutions (EDIs) would provide information on services relevant to entrepreneurs as well as avenues for on-the-spot Services in business name registration, product registration and standardization, access to finance and market as well as registration with the Business Membership Organization

His administration, the governor emphasized, was developing the State Masterplan and designation of industrial hubs with provision of power, leveraging on the gas pipeline that runs through the state just as it was constantly rehabilitating and upgrading roads leading to the industrial hubs and the inner roads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While calling on investors to take advantage of the potentials that abound in the State, Prince Abiodun stressed that harmonisation of taxes and levies to eliminate multiplicity and ensure ease of self-assessment and payment had been carried out while there is regular interface between the industry and the academia to strengthens the curricular and equip the products of tertiary institutions with the requisite competencies required by the MSME development.

Abiodun noted that Ogun State E-Procurement Portal (eprocurement.ogunstate.gov.ng), has been created for Contractors/Vendors registration aimed at allowing more MSMEs bid for Government contracts, emphasizing that they would also be provided with free registration for MSMEs with Contracts below N20Million, as details of contracts awarded to MSMEs would be made available on the portal (archive.ogunstate.gov.ng; https://aprocurements.ogunstate.gov.ng) to increase MSME Participation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He said State has enacted laws establishing a viable and autonomous PPP Unit, which lays out the process and guidelines for all private sector partnership engagements like Joint Ventures, Concessions and Strategic Alliances especially in the development of infrastructure and exploitation of the State’s natural and mineral resources proven in commercial quantities.

The governor appreciated the federal government for partnering the State in its developmental efforts and President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts at revamping the nation’s economy, stating that the Award would further propel his administration to scale up activities on the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises as well as proactively engaged them in a sustainable manner to keep growing.

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