PRESIDENT BUHARI MOURNS ACE MUSIC PRODUCER, INSTRUMENTALIST, PA CHRIS AJILO
President Muhammadu Buhari sends condolences to the entertainment industry, particularly musicians and producers, over the passing of renowned music producer, instrumentalist and instructor, Pa Chris Ajilo, who was band leader of the National Orchestra for Nigeria’s independence in 1960.
President Buhari commiserates with family, friends and professional colleagues of the highly celebrated artiste, whose talent completely altered the musical industry in Nigeria, giving it more depth, meaning and appeal, as he inspired a genre that was accepted across class, age and creed.
As remains of the multi-talented instrumentalist go to rest on April 16, 2021, the President believes the legacies of discipline, focus and professionalism that Pa Ajilo brought into the industry, after studying music for many years in England, will be remembered by generations.
President Buhari prays that the music teacher will find eternal rest with God, while the many musicians and producers he mentored will carry on with his vision.
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 15, 2021
SANWO-OLU PAYS CONDOLENCE VISIT TO YINKA ODUMAKIN’S FAMILY
- Says The Late Afenifere Spokesman Was A Detribalised Nigerian
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday urged Nigerians, especially members of the Civil Society Organisations to cherish, preserve and push forward the struggle for a better Nigeria and black race, which the late Yinka Odumakin, former National Publicity Secretary of the pan Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, fought and died for.
The Governor said Odumakin during his lifetime, did his best through several struggles and interventions to make Nigeria a better country and therefore urged people to stand firm and ensure that the legacy of the late Afenifere spokesman is built upon.
Odumakin, a renowned human rights activist, died on Friday April 2 at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) at the age of 54 years.
Speaking during a condolence visit to the family at the deceased’s residence in Omole, Ikeja, Sanwo-Olu described the late Afenifere spokesman as “one of the strongest, detribalised, action packed, full of life, true Nigerians of our time.”
The Governor assured the widow of the deceased, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin that Lagos State will not leave her alone. “We will not leave you alone. We will ensure that even when the crowd disappears, we will be there for you,” he promised.
He said “I am here to pay my condolences on behalf of my government and the entire people of Lagos State for the painful loss of one of the strongest, detribalised, action packed, full of life, true Nigerians of our time, late Comrade Yinka Odumakin.
“Our friend and brother lived a good life. He lived a fighter; he died a fighter. The civil society stakeholders in Lagos and Nigeria have indeed lost a big member of that community and indeed the entire nation because of what he stood for and fought for. If we begin to take him as a Yoruba man, we will be reducing him and what he stood for in this country.
“Wherever Yinka is right now, his wish would be that we will make this country better than how he left it and that is a commitment we are going to leave with you that we will do it to ensure that what he stood for, the legacy he worked for does not go into waste.”
In her response, Dr. Okei-Odumakin appreciated the Lagos State Government for the condolence visit.
She said several tributes and comments about the deceased will energise her to do more in pursuing what Yinka Odumakin stood for, adding that the ideals of her husband will continue to live forever.
She said: “Yinka was selfless. Before he went to hospital, he still told me about four programmes that he would have. He told me how he would leave for Ilorin the next day and later to Ekiti, the third day he would be back to Ibadan for his programme. He said he would be at Ife on Friday, he would be at Ikenne and Sunday, he would return to Lagos. He was so selfless and he had faced all sorts of medical problems and still came out strong. One did not know that this would be goodnight.
“One consolation is that Yinka is not dead; he lives because he will continue to live in the consciousness of the people. And to live in the consciousness of the people is to live forever. What Yinka will want to see is for us to remain focused and committed. Some of the things he could not achieve like restructuring of Nigeria and a lot of things that he could not do, he will be happy if he sees us doing a lot more better. Yinka lives on.”
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
APRIL 15, 2021
SANWO-OLU KICKS OFF CONSTRUCTION OF RAIL MASS TRANSIT RED LINE
- Property Owners, Tenants Affected By Project Get Compensation
- Rail Project Becomes Operational Next Year
History was made today (Thursday) in Lagos, with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu breaking the ground for the construction of the 37-km Rail Mass Transit Red Line, which will traverse from Agbado to Marina, moving more than one million commuters daily.
The rail corridor will be constructed in three phases. The first phase (Agbado-Iddo), which will be completed in 24 months, will be sharing track with the Federal Government’s Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernisation Project up to Ebute – Metta. It will have its dedicated track from Ebute – Metta to Oyingbo and reduce travel time from about two and a half hours to just 35 minutes. The passenger capacity of the first phase is 500,000 daily.
The ceremony was held at the proposed site of the Ikeja Train Station. It was witnessed by Minister of Transportation Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, who was represented by the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh.
To be fully operational in the last quarter of 2022, the Red Line, a project of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), will have eight train stations – from Agbado to Oyingbo.
The Red Line is to raise mass transportation capacity in the State, complementing the Blue Line that traverses from Okokomaiko to Marina. The Blue Line is at 78 per cent completion.
Sanwo-Olu, who was at the event with the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, handed cheques to property owners affected by the right-of-way, described the project as another initiative of his administration to deliver enduring infrastructure for the transport system and make Lagos a competitive mega city.
He said the traffic management and transportation pillar in his Government’s development blueprint – Project THEMES – was being implemented with the goal to develop an efficient and sustainable transportation model that would improve mobility, promote economic growth and enhance the living conditions of residents.
He said: “Today’s flag-off of the construction of infrastructure for the standard gauge Red Line is another promise kept and it demonstrates, in practical terms, our commitment to achieve the objectives of traffic management and transportation pillar in our development agenda. This is because we recognise the role which an efficient transportation system plays in enhancing people’s quality of life and as a major driver of socio-economic development.
“The State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan, which encompasses a number of projects that are germane to achieving our vision for a Greater Lagos, is founded on imperatives that seek to increase transport choices for all users and make the transit system integrated, attractive, convenient, affordable and accessible.
“Since efficient transportation is the backbone of any economy, we are happy to be committing this investment in our transport infrastructure, so that our people can meet their daily targets and aspirations. This all-important transport project we are all gathered to witness today represents a major step in this direction.”
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the implementation of the Red Line was being supported under the Differentiated Cash Reserve Requirement (DCRR) programme – a financing package put in place by the State Government through the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN). The Governor expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN Governor, Dr. Godwin Emefiele, for supporting the State in the bid to make the project a reality.He praised also the bankers who facilitated the funding.
To facilitate smooth operations of the Red Line, Sanwo-Olu said the State Government would be constructing ancillary infrastructure, including six overpasses at strategic level crossing points along the rail corridor to eliminate interactions between the rail system, vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
The overpasses will provide grade separated crossings that will enhance safety for the rail system and road users.
Sanwo-Olu said: “The unique characteristics of the Red Line is its integration with the Ikeja Bus Terminal, Oshodi–Abule Egba Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane, the future Orange Line, which goes from Ikeja to Agbowa, and the General Aviation Terminal One of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport through a skywalk.
“Another unique feature of the Red Line is that all the stations have elevated concourses with either at grade island or side platforms for easy boarding and alighting of passengers. The Red Line also integrates with our Bus Terminals at Oyingbo, Yaba, Oshodi, Ikeja and Iju, giving modal options to our people in their daily commute, either for business or leisure.”
The Governor presented cheques of varying amounts as compensation to 25 residents whose properties, businesses and accommodation will be affected by the project. Over 263 properties are affected. Many of the property owners and tenants were smiling as they got their cheques.
Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladehinde, described the Red Line as a continuation of the implementation of the State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan, which made provision for six standard rail lines, one monorail, 14 BRT corridors and over 20 waterway routes.
He said the intervention was a deliberate effort of the State Government and its development partners to make Lagos livable beyond Year 2032.
Managing Director of LAMATA, Mrs. Abimbola Akinajo, said the project was a bold step and commitment of the Governor to solving transportion challenges in line with his administration’s development blueprint.
She noted that the construction would not be delayed by funding and human factors, as stakeholders were duly carried along in the projects.
The Lagos mass transit rail dream began in 1983 during the tenure of Alhaji Lateef Jakande, but it was stopped by the then Federal Government. Sanwo-Olu has vowed to ensure that the Blue Line and the Red Line are completed to the memory of the late Jakande.
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
APRIL 15, 2021
OKPE LEADERS HEAD TO COURT
- WARN DETRACTOR
- ANNOUNCE DATE FOR OKPE UNION NATIONAL ELECTION
Respected leaders in Okpe Kingdom on Wednesday appealed to stakeholders to put the interest of the kingdom above their personal interests.
The leaders also said any act capable of jeopardizing unity and development should be avoided.
In a statement titled: ‘’There are no factions in the Okpe Union; interim impostors should be ignored’’, the leaders listed the strange Orodje of Okpe Interim Committee, as one of the problems in the kingdom.
The notable leaders called the actions of the Okpe monarch and members of the interim committee ‘’a threat to the unity and security of Okpe kingdom’’.
‘’It has come to the notice of the elected National leadership of the Okpe Union that some persons have been parading as interim leadership of our great Union and using the name of the Okpe Union to fleece unsuspecting personalities of Okpe extraction asking for financial support to execute bogus projects that are unknown and not approved by the Okpe Union. For some months now, the elected leadership led by Mr. Patrick Akpotor has exercised utmost restraint following entreaties by highly placed Okpe personalities who promised to intervene and call the usurpers to order’’.
The leaders accused some Sapele Okpe community members of trying to engineer a coup in the kingdom.
‘’In furtherance of their nefarious efforts to cause disaffection in the ranks of our branches and affiliates, the attention of NEC of the Okpe Union was drawn to the shocking viral broadcast by some leaders of the Sapele Okpe Community which purports to give credence to those claiming to be an interim leadership which is alien to the Okpe Union constitution’’
The Okpe Union leaders are heading to court as they seek to stop non-members and suspended individuals from parading as leaders of the ancient union.
‘’Okpe Union was established on May 16th 1930 and registered with the Colonial Government of Nigeria under the land (perpetual succession) Ordinance No. 32 of 1924, on the 13th of December, 1934. The second registered ethnic union in Nigeria is a member only organization which bars non-members from taking up any leadership position. Only a member of a branch of the Union who pay dues in accordance with the constitution of the Union can vote and vie for any of its leadership offices’’ a statement from the national leadership of the union said..
Signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Okpe Union, Mrs. Atarhe Abuh, the union said Prof. Emurobome Idolor and Prof. Kenneth Eni were suspended indefinitely by the General Assembly of the Union on grounds of anti-union activities.
‘’The nine persons parading themselves as interim EXCO of the Okpe Union have only two members of the Union, Prof. Emurobome Idolor and Prof. Kenneth Eni who have been suspended indefinitely by the General Assembly of the Union on grounds of anti-union activities. It is noteworthy that Prof. Kenneth Eni was the chairman of the Okpe Union Electoral Committee of the Okpe Union in 2016 that conducted the elections that brought into office the current outgoing National Executive Council of the Okpe Union. Before the expiration of the tenure, he joined hands with undemocratic forces in an attempt to derail and take over the leadership of the Union leading to his indefinite suspension’’.
Lawyers acting for Okpe Union will appear in court this week.
‘’ The national election of the Okpe Union is now slated for the 14th of May, 2021 in accordance with the provisions of the Okpe Union Constitution which does not recognize any external power to intervene in the governance or administration of the Union. The reason for the shifting of the date from the previous May 1st 2021 is to enable branches complete their input in the ongoing constitutional review’’ statement said.
The national leadership of the union called on members, branches and affiliates of the Union to continue preparation for the elections and ignore any distractions.
‘’The distractions are the handiwork of those who are not comfortable with the poise of the Union to speak for and protect the interests of the Okpe Nation. Like merchants of doom, they seem primed at executing an unpopular assignment whose only purpose is to destabilize and destroy the Okpe Nation. It is also clear that these individuals will stop at nothing to achieve the prebendal objectives of their paymasters’’.
The leadership also called on well-meaning Okpe personalities and office holders to use their good positions to call all those championing the so called interim leadership of the Okpe Union to order before it is too late.
‘’The NEC is resolved to safeguard the integrity of the Okpe Union and the Okpe Nation from these marauding beggars as the Okpe Union is not known for begging for alms from those it should demand stewardship and accountability from’’.
The statement further advised the good people of Okpe kingdom to ignore stories and statements to destroy the union.
‘’We pray that God grants us the ability to continue delivering on the vision and mandate handed to us by the founding fathers of the Okpe Union and who won accolades for resuscitating the Okpe monarchy of the Orodje, won several cases for the Okpe people, instituted a scholarship scheme which trained several Okpe overseas, organized Okpe people to contribute to the fund with which the modern Orodje’s Palace was built, and which continually held and projected the identity of the Okpe people’’.