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INEC: Missing card readers can’t be used for electoral fraud



INEC: Missing card readers can’t be used for electoral fraud

●Hoodlums set INEC office ablaze in Akwa Ibom


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has assured Nigerians that the credibility of the Governorship and House of Aseembly Elections is intact as it will not be affecyed by the issue of missing card readers in Bayelsa State. Speaking on a Channels TV programme, The Verdict, monitored by our correspont on Friday, the eve of the last round of Nigeria’s general elections today, a top official of INEC said the 63 missing card readers could not be used to perpetrate any electoral fraud. According to Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, INEC’s Director Voter Education, “The 63 card readers cannot be used as part of the election since they are not configured yet for the purpose of the election holding today. So, the chance of anyone using them to perpertuate electoral fraud doesn’t arise because even if they are configured, they couldn’t have worked since they were not configured for today’s polls.”

It would be recalled that INEC had announced days ago that a total of 63 card readers used for the Presidential and National Assembly elections were missing in the South South state. The ommission, while making the announcement, pleaded with those in possession of the missing card readers to return them before today’s polls.

Wilfred Ifogah, head of department, INEC Voter Education and Publicity, listed areas including Brass, Sagbama, Southern-Ijaw, Nembe and Yenagoa as local government areas where the card readers were used. Ifogah said in Brass ward 6, unit 19, one smart card reader was missing, 24 were missing in Nembe wards 1, 4, 12 and 13, while 24 went missing in Southern-Ijaw, wards 1, 2, 3, 12 and 15. “Yes, about 63 card readers are missing. The resident electoral commissioner, Mr Monday Udom, has issued a statement that those involved should return them to INEC on or before Wednesday,” he had said, adding: “Eight card readers are missing in Sagbama ward 1, Unit 5 and ward 6 Unit 3, while in Yenagoa six are also missing in wards.”

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INEC declares Kogi West Senatorial election inconclusive



INEC declares Kogi West Senatorial election inconclusive

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday declared as inconclusive the election of the November 16 Kogi West Senatorial District because the margin of win was less than the total cancelled votes.

It said that it will announce later a date for the supplementary election.

It stated that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Smart Adeyemi scored a total of 80,118 votes while the Kogi West Senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Dino Melaye, scored 59,548 votes.

Smart Adeyemi had slightly more than 20,000 votes than Dino Melaye.

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APC’s Lyon wins Bayelsa guber election



APC’s Lyon wins Bayelsa guber election

Mr David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been declared the winner of the Bayelsa State governorship election which took place on Saturday.

Announcing Lyon as the winner, the Returning Officer, Prof Faraday Orumwense, stated that the total votes cast stood at 505, 884 while the total valid votes were 499, 551.

He added that 6333 votes were rejected in the election in which the PDP scored 143,173 leaving the APC’s to take the bigger chunk of the votes, totalling 352,552.

Lyon defeated Douye Diri, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in six out of eight locals government areas in the state.

“I , prof Faraday Orumwense hereby certifies that I am the Returning Officer for the Bayelsa State governorship election held on 16th day of November 2019.

“That the candidates recorded the following votes… Lyon David of the APC got 352,552 votes…while the PDP candidate, Diri Douye got 143,172 votes.

“That Lyon David having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby returned elected,” he said at the State Collation Centre in the capital, Yenagoa.

Lyon’s victory makes it the first time an opposition party is winning the state since the return of democracy in 1999.

The state, which was created in 1996, has always been governed by the PDP.

Below are the scores from each local government area as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Sagbama LGA

APC – 7, 831

PDP- 60, 339

Brass LGA

APC – 23, 831

PDP- 10, 410

Nembe LGA

APC – 83, 041

PDP- 874

Ekeremor LGA

APC – 21, 489

PDP- 18, 344

Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA

APC – 8, 934

PDP- 15, 360

Ogbia LGA

APC – 58, 016

PDP- 13, 763

Southern-Ijaw LGA

APC – 124, 803

PDP- 4, 898

Yenagoa LGA

APC – 24, 607

PDP- 19, 184

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God’s intervention keeps me in office as gov, says Wike



God’s intervention keeps me in office as gov, says Wike


ivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that he remained Rivers State Governor because of the intervention of God who dislodged forces of darkness primed to rob the Rivers mandate on March 9, 2019.


Speaking during the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Holy Ghost Rally at the Adokiye Amiesimaka yesterday, Governor Wike described himself as a living testimony of God’s blessing.


He said: “Nigerians are aware of what happened on 9th March, 2019. If anyone says he does not believe in God that event of March 9 should make you believe God.


“But for God, the enemies would have taken over the state. I thank the Church for standing firm.  They prayed for God’s will to be done and God’s will was done.  But for your prayers, I won’t be here as Rivers State Governor.


“Anytime I have the opportunity, I repeat the declaration with authority and I owe nobody an apology. I am standing on solid Authority. Rivers State is a Christian State.


“If we have all churches embark on sanitation, our state will be cleaner.  We will support this programme financially and we shall donate three vehicles to the Church for the programme.”


Wike, however, said that God had used the General Overseer of RCCG to bless Rivers State.  He said that the Annual Holy Ghost Rally had been a blessing to the State.


General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye said everyone needed help, saying that the best source to get help was from God.


He said: “No matter how influential and powerful, everyone needs help. Everyone needs help and the best help you can get is from the Almighty God.”

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Lawmakers’re not voted to fight, but to work – Lawan



Lawmakers’re not voted to fight, but to work – Lawan

…says NASS chooses to unite in national interest 




he President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, at the weekend in Abuja, stressed that members of the National Assembly were not elected by Nigerians to come and fight, but to work in their interest.


Lawan made this assertion at the maiden end-of-year dinner and awards night organised by the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), his alma mater.


“Nigerians didn’t vote for us to come and fight. Nigerians voted for us to come and work for them,” Lawan said, according to a statement by Ola Awoniyi, the Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media and Publicity.



He said that the resolve to collaborate on national issues notwithstanding, members of the National Assembly would not allow the executive arm of government to take any advantage of them.


“We will disagree with them, but when we disagree, we are not going to the market square to fight, to shout. We are going to resolve it in a round table manner. We are going to resolve it in the national interest; on what we feel or what we like or what we don’t like. We should be able to resolve any issue on the basis of what is good for Nigeria,” he said.


Lawan further explained that the Ninth National Assembly had consciously chosen to unite in national interest despite the fact that its members are from different political parties.



“This Ninth National Assembly is a different National Assembly. We have chosen consciously to be united on one thing: that thing is national interest.


“It doesn’t matter what our platform is. You can be an APC member of the National Assembly. You can be a PDP member of the National Assembly. In fact, you can be an YPP member of the National Assembly.


“This Ninth National Assembly, particularly the Senate, our platforms have conveyed us. We are grateful to our parties. We believe in the ideals of our parties, but we have resolved to work for Nigeria,” he said.



Lawan also pointed out that the legislature was the most misunderstood arm of government in Nigeria because it was the youngest of all the three arms.


He said that the current National Assembly believed that Nigeria should be made a safer country and with its economy working for Nigerians.



“All of us here are privileged. Some are more privileged than others, but the fact remains that those who are disadvantaged are outside there.


“They are at the villages or they are in slums in the cities. We have to work to make lives better for them. It is our duty, our mandate to work so hard regardless of our political platforms.


“We have also said we will work with the executive arm of government to ensure that there is some decency in what we do, that we are productive in what we do. That we are able to give Nigerians what they voted for,” he stated.

Lawan paid glowing tribute to current and former Vice Chancellors of the school with special emphasis on Prof. Jibril Aminu, who was the VC from 1980 to 1985, for his laudable policy which has “created a critical mass of academics” for the school and which his successors have proudly sustained to date.


He also congratulated the staff and, particularly, the students who still have faith in the school despite the constant threats by Boko Haram insurgents.


“Despite the threat of Boko Haram insurgents, students are still being faithful that they will still get their education in the University of Maiduguri.

“This is courage. This is belief in what the university can do to protect them and what the university can do to give them the education they require and the character formation that goes with it,” Lawan said.


On the recent hike in tuition fees in UNIMAID which the National Assembly kicked against, the Senate President advised the management of the school to always consult widely before taking any decision on fundamental issues.

The high-point of the event was the presentation of awards to some alumni of the school, including Lawan, who received an Outstanding Achievement Award in celebration of his position as the highest ranking alumni political office holder and in recognition of his dedication and humanitarian service.

Lawan promptly dedicated the award to his class of 1984 Geography graduates.

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Bayelsa, Kogi polls: U.S., UK, EU, others bemoan violence, intimidation, fatalities



Bayelsa, Kogi polls: U.S., UK, EU, others bemoan violence, intimidation, fatalities


he Diplomatic Watch teams deployed from Austria, the European Union delegation, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States to last weekend’s governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states have expressed concerns about the conduct of the polls.


They asked security agencies to investigate and bring perpetrators of violence to justice.


In a statement made available to New Telegraph yesterday, the international community also expressed concern by evident vote-buying and credible reports of ballot box snatching in both Bayelsa and Kogi.


The statement read: “We express our alarm at reports of widespread incidents of violence and intimidation, some of which were witnessed by our teams in Kogi. There are reports of fatalities and people missing, including INEC staff. Our thoughts are with all victims and their families.


“We encourage all stakeholders, in particular, political leaders, to call for calm and we encourage security agencies to investigate thoroughly and bring perpetrators to justice.


“We are also concerned by evident vote-buying and credible reports of ballot box snatching in both Bayelsa and Kogi.”


The diplomatic community monitors, however, commended the commitment and resilience of voters in both states who came out to exercise their democratic rights.


“We express our sympathy for those affected by the violence, including ordinary voters, INEC officials, members of the NYSC, civil society and the media. All should be able to carry out their fundamental role in the democratic process free from intimidation and harassment.


“As long-standing friends, we have been present at every major election in Nigeria since 1999. We remain committed to working impartially with Nigerian authorities, INEC in particular, as well as civil society to consolidate and deepen democracy.”

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Debt: GenCos threaten power generation shutdown



Debt: GenCos threaten power generation shutdown

…demand release of N600bn to firms

  • Companies: We can’t pay gas suppliers


mminent crisis is looming in the power sector as electricity generation companies (GenCos) have threatened to shut down if the Federal Government fails to call the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) to order.

The Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, Dr. Joy Ogaji, who issued the threat yesterday, said the GenCos were owed over a trillion naira and that it had become difficult to pay gas suppliers.

Ogaji decried the frustration the companies are facing from the management of NBET, stating that the bulk trading firm had constituted itself to a regulator and no longer a debtor to the GenCos.


The executive secretary said that they had written relevant authorities on the demand by NBET that the GenCos would pay 0.75 per cent administrative charg es before they can access the N600 billion released to them by the Federal Government.

According to her, “As you are aware, the Federal Government promised to release N600 billion to GenCos, but from that time till now, we have not seen anything. NBET has been calling the GenCos, the investors telling them that they have the money with them and that they should comply with their terms.


“If NBET excesses are not checked and this N600 billion is not released on time, whether we deliberately shutdown or not, the machines would shut down by itself because the gas suppliers have stopped giving gas to some GenCos.”

She, however, said that what the GenCos were owing the gas suppliers was not equal to what it’s being owed.


She noted: “GenCos have called for this press briefing to inform the public and relevant stakeholders that as creditors, they will not be subjected to unnecessary duress by a debtor who should be pleading with them on payment terms in the face of their dire financial crisis.

“Recall that on September 20, 2019, the GenCos, through the Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), convened a press conference to discuss on the 0.75 per cent charge, which the NBET demanded from the GenCos as administrative charge for payment of gas invoices on their behalf.


“It was expected that the issue has been nipped in the bud, haven written to all relevant stakeholders, including the sector regulator, NERC, and having received responses from its major shareholder and vice chairman of its board, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) as well as the Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria (GACN) all unanimously rejecting NBET’s stance, it is clear from recent occurrences that NBET is not deterred.

“NBET has now reduced its role to blackmailing/threatening GenCo investors/chairmen, who have refused to concede to NBET’s illegal demand of a 0.75 per cent charge on invoices paid to gas suppliers.

“NBET has clearly threatened not to release payments due GenCos until they accede to NBET’s request, urging them to agree for a quid pro quo with the 0.75 per cent administrative charge.


“The situation is truly grave and completely unprecedented as NBET has completely shed its role as a licensee of the industry and has taken on some sort of regulatory role. The entity is almost conducting itself in a manner that suggests that it is above the law.

“This singular action by NBET may lead to shutdown of power supply by GenCos, who have unanimously agreed to call the bluff of NBET.


“NBET (a.k.a. the ‘Bulk Trader’) is a trading licensee, licensed and regulated by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to undertake bulk purchase and resale of electricity in the transitional electricity market.”


She described NBET as a child of necessity and a transitory agency created to instill confidence and act as a buffer, bulwark or a gap filler virtually providing security to investors in the power generation business in the Nigerian electricity supply industry.

“In essence, NBET is appointed by the Federal Government to act on behalf of GenCos. This entails that without the GenCos, there is no NBET,” she added.


Calling on the Federal Government to intervene, she said, in adherence to the current administration’s vision of providing an enabling environment and leveraging the ease to do business index in Nigeria, the Federal Government, especially the board chairman of NBET, needed to review the professional conduct of the management of NBET and ensure that business etiquettes are instilled to create an avenue for operators to ventilate their feelings and difficulties.

She said: “Besides being owed huge debts, the Gencos also are operating under very harsh monetary and fiscal conditions, occasioned by the economic realities that face the country today.

“The APGC is pained by the inhuman treatment meted out to GenCos and stresses that law abiding corporate citizens should not be victims of bullying and malady.

“GenCos’ indebtedness to their gas suppliers is due to NBET’s indebtedness to them. No Genco has any outstanding gas payment that is more than what NBET owes the Genco. Put differently, NBET is indirectly charging 0.75 per cent for paying its debt to GenCos.

“Has it ever been heard or seen, where a debtor is dictating terms of payment and even wanting to benefit from proceeds of debts it is obligated to pay? To this, the GenCos say, we are ready for business, and will walk the proverbial “whole nine yards” to get what is our due.”

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Kogi West: Melaye trails Adeyemi



Kogi West: Melaye trails Adeyemi


he candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Kogi West Senatorial District in last weekend’s re-run election, Senator Smart Adeyemi, is coasting to victory as he leads his main challenger, Senator Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by 13,494 votes.



Adeyemi, who is the Director-General of Bello/Onoja Governorship Campaign, defeated Melaye in four out of the six local government areas, where results have been released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The APC candidate had 60,330 votes as against his PDP counterpart’s 46,836 votes.



Adeyemi defeated Melaye in Ijumu, Kabba-Bunu, Kogi and Mopamuro, while Melaye won in Yagba East and Yagba West local governments. The result of Lokoja Local Government Area is yet to be released at press time last night.

In Ijumu Local Government Area, Adeyemi scored 11,627, while Melaye got 7,647 votes.



Adeyemi won in Kogi, Kabba-Bunu and Mopamuro, with 14,168, 15,037 and 4,874 votes, respectively, while Melaye scored 9,786, 8,974 and 3,704 votes, respectively in the three councils.

The PDP candidate, however, won Yagba West and Yagba East with 8,980 and 7,745 votes as against APC’s 7,941 and 6,683 votes.



The APC has commended the various security agencies over their respective roles during Saturday’s governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states.

This is as the party called on its supporters to remain calm as they await the full results of the elections.



APC, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said: “We are aware of several hoodlums brought into Kogi State from Osun and Oyo states few days before the elections, just as we monitored the grand preparation to unleash violence in Bayelsa State.

“We are delighted that the forces of darkness have failed. The subterfuge deployed by the PDP to rig the election in both states, including the Kogi West senatorial rerun election was thwarted.”

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Votes no longer count under Buhari – PDP



Votes no longer count under Buhari – PDP


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, said the conduct and outcome of Saturday’s governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states have shown that votes no longer count in Nigeria under the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government.

The party alleged that security forces aided armed hoodlums to invade polling centres, shot and killed innocent citizens, carted away ballot boxes and stuffed them with already thumb printed ballot papers in favour of APC.

This, PDP said, could only be obtained in Hitler’s Germany and Samuel Doe’s Liberia, “where the lives and rights of citizens meant nothing to suppressive power mongers.”

The party, in a statement, stated: “It is distressing that under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration, votes no longer count; power and governance no longer derive from the people, but from violence, manipulations and the barrel of the gun. Nigerians now ask; are we still in a democracy? 

“With the outcome of the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections, Nigerians and the world have lost hope in our institutions of democracy and security system as presently constituted. They have completely lost hope in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, which has shown itself to be a repressive tool in the hands of dictatorial forces.”

The party condoled with the families of those who were killed in Kogi and Bayelsa states and prayed that God grant their souls eternal rest.

“The shameful elections conducted in Kogi and Bayelsa states have damaged the fate of Nigerians in democratic order. Nevertheless, the PDP remains strong and united in the face of all odds. Nigeria is our nation and no individual or group can appropriate our collective sovereignty as a people at all times.

“Our party will, therefore, continue to fully exert itself in upholding the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians despite the manipulations of the APC,” PDP added.

It urged Nigerians to remain resilient and focused, adding that in due course, the party would address “Nigerians on the way forward in the overall quest to retrieve stolen mandates and rescue our nation from dictatorial forces and reinforce democratic practice in our country.”

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Kogi guber: Bello leads Wada with 233,672 votes



Kogi guber: Bello leads Wada with 233,672 votes


ogi State governor and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in Saturday’s governorship election in the state, Yahaya Bello, is leading his main rival and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Engr. Musa Wada with 233,672 votes based on results released so far from 19 out of the 21 local governments in the state.


Governor Bello, who is seeking a second term in office, according results so far declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), last night, had polled 374,113 votes, while Wada garnered 140,439575 votes.

The candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Mrs. Natasha Akpoti is in a distant third position with 7,639 votes.


Bello, who hails from Okenne Local Government Area in Kogi Central Senatorial District, won all the five local governments of the zone as well as also had a good outing in Kogi West Senatorial District. He won four out of the seven local governments in the senatorial district.

He, however, won in one council out of the nine local governments in Kogi East Senatorial District.


Wada, the PDP candidate, who is an Igala from Dekina Local Government Area of the state, recorded a landslide victory in Kogi East Senatorial District. He won six councils in Kogi East and three local governments in Kogi West.


Bello won in Okenne, Okehi, Adavi, Ogorimagongo, Ajaokuta, Ijumu, Kabba-Bunu, Kogi, Mopamuro and Olamaboro. Wada won in Dekina, Ankpa, Bassa, Ibaji, Idah, Igalamela-Odolu, Omala, Lokoja, Yagba East and Yagba West.

In Kogi Central Senatorial District, Bello won his local government, Okenne, with a 112,626 vote margin. He polled 112,764 votes, while Wada had 139 votes out of the 113,420 votes cast in the local government.


The governor also defeated Wada by a wide margin in Adavi and Okehi local governments. The APC candidate polled 64,657 and 36,954 votes in Adavi and Okehi, respectively, while the PDP candidate had 366 and 478 votes, respectively in the two councils.


Bello also won in Ajaokuta and Ogorimagongo, scoring 17,952 and 3,679 votes as against Wada’s 5,565 and 2,145 votes in the two councils.

According to the results from the seven local governments in Kogi West Senatorial District, the APC governorship candidate won in four councils, while his PDP counterpart won two local governments.

Results of Lokoja Local Government Area are yet to be announced by INEC.


Bello scored 15,364, 14,097, 11,425 and 4,953 votes as against Wada’s 8,084, 9,404, 7,857 and 3,581 votes in Kabba-Bunu, Kogi, Ijumu and Mapamuro local governments.


It was a bad outing for APC in Kogi East Senatorial District as the ruling party only won in Olamaboro, the local government of the deputy governor and Bello’s running mate, Chief Edward Onoja. APC had 16,876 votes while PDP got 8,155 votes in the council.

The PDP candidate won seven out of the nine local governments in Kogi East Senatorial District. Wada won with a wide margin in his local government, Dekina, scoring 16,575 votes, while Bello got 8,948 votes.


Wada also won in Ankpa, Omala, Idah and Igalamela-Odolu with 28,108, 14,403, 13,962 and 11,195 votes, respectively, while Bello had 11,269, 8,473, 4,632 and 8,075 votes, respectively in the four councils.


The PDP candidate also won in Ofu and Bassa, scoring 12,264 and 9,724 votes, respectively, while his APC counterpart had 11,006 and 8,386 votes, respectively in the two councils.

In Kogi West Senatorial District, Wada won Yagba West and Yagba East local governments with 8,860 and 7,546 votes, respectively as against Bello’s 7,868 and 6,735 in the councils.

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Osun, at the threshold of a new dawn



Osun, at the threshold of a new dawn

There is something positive to say for the long association of the government and people of Osun State with their kit and kin in Lagos, especially, with the political tendencies that have controlled the governance of Lagos since 1999. As the Yoruba elders say, when a leaf sticks on to the soap for a long time, it ultimately becomes soap too.



That proverb also exists among the Igbo. It says: if a goat which hasn’t the palate for raw yams continues to graze alongside yam-eating goats, it soon begins to eat yams. Ironically, the last time I did a full article on Osun, goats were in the centre of discussion. It was when, during the last administration, some five or so goats were arrested and detained for ‘wandering’ Having associated with Lagos for so long, a lot of the positives of Lagos are now finding root in modern Osun. Like Lagos, great ideas come out of Osun. Like Lagos, Osun is now blessed with visionary leaders.



The only missing in Osun is that Osun hasn’t any money – but, even that, will soon change. In fact a mentor of mine, Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), who is actually an admirer of the development strides that have been taking place in Osun, once joked about how the internally generated revenue of Ikoyi/Obalende local government in Lagos was more than Osun’s total monthly revenue – both federal allocation and IGR. According to him, this paucity of funds was hampering the laudable vision of the then Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for the state. According to him, Ogbeni was eager to push his little but mighty South Western state into the class of Lagos.


There were visions of fly-over bridges, multiple-lane roads, oneof- a-kind public schools, citizen welfare, ICT etc. But there was not a great deal more the lean purse could take on. However, when there is a will, there is always a way.

And when great ideas are allowed to flourish, money would automatically follow. Enter Adegboyega Oyetola, the gentleman ‘new kid’ on the block. Suddenly the ideas in Osun are now on the verge of translating to the money, money that would give that state the much needed leap into the next level. That is exactly what the Osun Economic and Investment Summit which opens tomorrow in Osogbo, the state capital, is all about.


The groundbreaking summit which will run between November 19th and 21st is a platform for this state, with a very rich and proud past, to open its doors to investors in the areas of Agriculture, Tourism, Mining, Infrastructure development and ICT. In fact, going through the plenary topics for summit, billed   to kick off tomorrow morning, brought back sad memories of a friend’s unpleasant experience with mining in one of the South Eastern states. Up till this morning, this my former journalist friend still has over N40 million trapped in that place, as a result of insensitive state government policy, problems with the host community, theft and insecurity. To make matters worse, the banks are chasing him about for their

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