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Kwara APC leadership crisis deepens as lawmakers tackle Lai Mohammad

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  • We’re warned against supporting Gov Abdurrazaq – Minister

The leadership tussle rocking the All Progressives Congress in Kwara State does not seem to abate as members of the state House of Assembly have accused Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, of attempting to impose himself on the state.

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and the minister have been having a running battle.

But the minister has taken a swipe at the governor and his supporters, saying they were power drunk and expressed regrets supporting Abdulrazaq.

Speaking at press briefing at the NUJ Press Centre in Ilorin, the state capital, on Sunday, Speaker of the House, Yakubu Danladi-Salihu, said the minister did not in any form support the then APC House of Assembly candidates during the campaigns and election.

Danladi-Salihu, who spoke through the Deputy Speaker of the House, Honourable Raphael Olanrewaju Adetiba, said Mohammed was no where to be found during the campaign and election that produced the Ninth Legislature.

He said the only individual who could claim offering the members massive support during the election is Governor AbdulRazaq.

The speaker said the briefing is jointly held on behalf of 21 of the 24 members of the Assembly whom he said were “convinced that Kwara can no longer be brought under any godfather or slave driver.

“We ordinarily should have ignored the Minister and took it as another lie from Lai Mohammed but for the unsuspecting members of the public and posterity, the record needs to be set straight.”

Flanked by other lawmakers, he also said, “Lai Mohammed did not give any support in any form to members of the 9th legislature during the campaign and election; if he did, he should name who and what he gave out. Could the Minister be mixing things up on account of his old age?

“For God knows reason, Lai Mohammed did not participate in any of our campaigns and did not also contribute financially to it. It was the then Governorship candidate of our party, the APC, who supported our campaigns all through. For the records, all the twenty-four members of the House of Assembly received financial support from His Excellency Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for the purpose of prosecuting the House of Assembly election, so Lai Mohammed should please stop telling lie to the people.

“Apart from the governorship candidate (His Excellency Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq), the other support was the sum of N500,000 each that we received from the national headquarters of our party, APC. Other than that, it was the Governor who funded our expenses including logistics, souvenirs, posters and other campaign materials. Even so, at no time did the Governor go about telling anyone that he funded our campaign.

“It is also laughable that Lai Mohammed could claim to have personally raised money to finance the 2019 general elections in Kwara State. The question that would readily come to mind is: What is Lai’s contribution to his own Ward, Local Government, District and Kwara in general to have earned him respect and reputation for people to trust him and donate money to him.”

The lawmakers advised the minister not to drag them into any fuss he may be having with the governor and leader of the part in the state.

But speaking while inaugurating the secretariat of a faction of the APC in Kwara, the minister said literarily drew the battle line with the governor when he openly criticised him and lamented that “we were warned about his choice then but failed to listen”.

Mohammed who was in Ilorin to commission the new party secretariat of the Bashir Bolarinwa-led faction of the party was making his first public statement on the protracted crisis.

He said, “It has got to the point where we have to speak out. We have been pushed to the wall and we have no choice to come out and exposed there lies and pretensions.

“It was immediately after the governor emerged as the party’s candidate for the election that it dawned on us that we have entered one chance.

“But despite all the warnings from concerned party leaders and others who had reservations about his choice, our reaction then was that no matter what, his choice was better than where we were coming from. But we were wrong.”

The minister also spoke on the call by the governor for the minister and other party leaders to account for the funds that accrued to the party during the campaign, the minister said,

“Nothing of such happened. I single handedly by the grace of God with the support of friends, politicians and associates raised all the money for all the elections we had in Kwara during that period starting from the by-election that brought in Hon Raheem Olawoye (Ajulo Opin) as rep member.

“Nobody gave the party a dime for logistics apart from what I gave. I distributed 500 motorcycles and 200 vehicles and many of the beneficiaries are seated here today. I challenge them to explain to Nigerians and all of you what happened to the balance of the N70m that Ajulo-Opin refused to give us from the N150m that I facilitated to prosecute the elections.

“When it was time for the governorship election, we didn’t see him (the governor) and we could not wait. So we financed the election with the money raised. They got there today and forget those who worked hard to get them there but rather selling lies and dummies.”

He said there would not be congress in Kwara state without the registration of the members who have not been able to do so.

“About two weeks ago, myself, Prof Shuaib Oba, Alhaji Tajudeen Audu met with the national chairman of the APC on the issue. He assured us that Kwara is a special state and there will be no congress until we are all registered.”

Politics

APC clears 17 of 20 Ogun LGA poll

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Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission has declared chairmanship candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winners in 17 out of the 20 local government areas in Saturday’s council poll.
Among the winners are veteran journalists and publishers: Wale Adedayo (polled 9,660, Ijebu East); Babatunde Emilola – Gazal ( polled 6,178, Ijebu – Ode); Odulate Olashile (polled 20,925 Sagamu); Shuab Ladejobi (polled 14,985 Odogbolu) and Odusanya Bolaji (polled 25,701 Ijebu-North).

Results from the remaining three LGAs – Ado/Odo/Ota, Ifo and Abeokuta- were being expected and may be declared from 1:30pm on Sunday.
About 12 political parties, including Labour Party(LP); New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) participated in the exercise.
But a faction of PDP pulled out at the eleventh hour from the contest.
Chairman of OGSIEC, Babatunde Osibodu, who announced the results in batches, described the election as one of the most peaceful, credible and fair in Ogun State.

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Business

Lagos to set up housing trust fund

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…..Proposed Workers’ Village gathers steam

 

By Dada Jackson

 

In a bid to make housing accessible to the less privileged in Lagos State,and in line with the transformation agenda of the Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu administration, especially in the area of housing, the Lagos State Government is working on plans to increase access to decent and quality homes for them.

This is as the state government is planning to providing houses for some of its workers to be known as Workers’ Village.

The Commissioner for Housing, Hon. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai disclosed this during a site inspection of some of the ongoing State owned Housing Schemes.

His words “Having successfully completed and commissioned 10 housing estates in the past two year, and working hard to deliver our various ongoing schemes, we are moving forward to implement strategies that will improve access to decent homes in the State”.

According to him,the State Government had completed various Housing schemes located at Igando, Lekki Phase1, Lekki Phase 2, Igbokushu, Nob Oluwa, Idale Badagry, Iponri, Igbogbo amongst others,adding that work on six others sited at Odo-Onasa/Ayandelu, Resettlement Scheme Agbowa, Sangotedo Phase1, Omole Magodo, Gbagada and Ibeshe which is being built by the Lagos State Property Development Corporation were nearing completion.

The Commissioner pointed out,that hopefully, the six schemes that are at various stages of completion in Odo Onasa-Ayandelu, Agbowa Resettlement Scheme, Sangotedo,Omole/Magodo, Gbagada and Ibeshe would soon be commissioned while others at LASU Ojo, Egan- Igando and Sangotedo Phase2 were also receiving attention towards a speedy completion.

He said that these schemes with others at Itamarun Epe and Ajara in Badagry as well as joint venture schemes would yield over 7000 homes by the third anniversary of the present Administration.

He said that the positive impact of governmental intervention is hampered by the twin issue of high cost of funding for investors and people seeking home ownership through mortgage.

The Housing Commissioner noted that the State Government was looking into the issue of accessibility of decent homes through a multidimensional approach that would reduce these financial barriers to housing.

He disclosed that the State Government is fine tuning a financial mechanism tagged Lagos Affordable Housing Development Trust Fund. This according to him is a financial product that would bring succour to both property developers and intending home owners.

Akinderu-Fatai said ‘ the Fund will reduce the challenge of

financing housing development as well as empower people particularly the low and medium income earners to access housing without undue financial stress.

He underscored the fact that the housing challenge in Lagos is complex because of the continued and uncontrollable influx of people from all over the nation. He noted that given the rate at which the population of the State is increasing, there must be proactive measures to ensure that governmental interventions result in substantial positive impacts in the lives of the people.

He also reiterated that the Lagos Affordable Housing Development Trust Fund which is being prepared in collaboration with Arctic Infrastructures is the State’s response to the need for financing products that are domesticated to solve it’s peculiar housing challenges.

He said while global financing models are attractive, they may not address the unusual problems of Lagos State.

The Commissioner pointed out that provision of mass and social housing is a key agenda of the State government but the impact can only be felt when there is a structured financing mechanism that is based on predictable population growth.

Apart from the Rent to Own scheme which gives opportunity of repayment over a period of 120 months, the State is also looking at more workable financing options that will help the informal sector.

” We have to formalize the informal sector through cooperative associations and artisans guilds so that majority of our people can take advantage of a financing product that supports instalmental payments”.

The Commissioner also said that the fund would encourage more vertical construction of homes by government and private investors to optimize the land space available in the state.

Akinderu Fatai siezed the opportunity to point out that the commitment of the State government is unequivocal and that “Lagos State would continue to work relentlessly until more Lagosians are brought on the home ownership ladder. Building more homes is our way of improving standard of living , increasing economic engagement through provision of construction jobs and also opening up our rural areas”

He said the State Government plans to construct two workers villages as part of a global plan to transform the State into a 21st century economy that is distinct and comparable to others in the world.

“In line with our passion for progress in the sector, funding is needed and assistance from our development partners will be highly appreciated.” he said

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Housing Mr Wasiu Akewusola, said that “the uniqueness of the financing package is the fact that it will be targeted at low income earners and the informal sector and can be accessed by both construction companies and homeseekers and will be made up of contributions made by both public and private sector. The fund will also cater to training and capacity building and upgrading of artisans, development of innovative building technology, sustenable housing developments and renewable of slums. The suggested funding from government is expected to be sourced from contributions by local governments, subventions, infrastructure development charge, Housing fund surcharge and Lagos Pension fund. Private sector contributions can be in form of grants and donations from both local and international organizations. ”

In disbursing the fund, Akewusola said, “part of the financing would be used as Housing loans with repayment plan of 20years. This will channeled through micro finance banks with cooperative societies serving as intermediaries”. “Construction fund will also be granted to developers having vertical construction with sustenable energy idea, he discloses.

He noted that the idea of a Trust for the financial product is to ensure accountability, credibility and sustenablity.

Other plans that are being worked out by the State include an allocation structure that will reach the masses so that homes are not hijacked by the rich, continued maintenance of existing schemess to prevent rapid dilapidation, provision of homes for young professionals, introduction of cost saving techniques to reduce cost of building homes and increasing sustenability of future Housing schemes.

 

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News

Igboho: We’re working behind the scenes — Sanwo-Olu

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‎The Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has dismissed the insinuation that leaders of the South West, including Governors, had abandoned arrested Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho.

 

Sanwo-Olu spoke on the development after casting his votes in the local council election held in Lagos State on Saturday.

 

Sanwo-Olu, voted in Eti-Osa council, said prominent persons in the South West are working behind the scenes to ensure Igboho’s release, but that governors of the region would not be able to explain such moves to the public.

 

He said: “People are working behind the scenes, but the matter doesn’t have to be a public conversation.

‘’These are very difficult times for all of us, but I can assure you that people are working behind the scenes.

“In times like this, it’s not by how many press people you call.”

 

Igboho was arrested on Monday in Benin Republic on his way to Germany with his wife, Ropo.

 

He has since been in detention in the country, with the Federal Government seeking his extradition to Nigeria.

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