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OPINION:Lai Mohammed’s Town Criers: What A Sorry Sight?

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Disillusioned, frustrated, hopeless but desperate for relevance, they have all emptied all their ‘arsenals ‘ and in their emptiness and melancholy, one cannot but be surprised that they are back to their season of mud slinging, muck racking and sheer character assassination.

What they forgot to realize is that Kwarans today, home and abroad see beyond their inherited tales by moonlight handed over to them by their jingoists, conservatives and recycled local champions.

For the record, Late AGF AbdulRazaq (SAN) and father of Governor AA remains the tallest figure, the role model and a leading founding father not only in the making of Nigeria, Northern Nigeria, Kwara State and indeed Ilorin Emirate .

Resilience, persistence and consistency are the secrets to success. So having lost some elections in the past and maintaining its principled focus to deliver good governance in Kwara is the secret to the success of the AbdulRazaq family in Kwara politics. Lai and his lackeys like Sunday Oyebiyi who claims to be from Moro displayed his crass ignorance of the history, have they heard about the persistence of President Abraham Lincoln of the USA?

Even closer home, the serial loss of elections of Chief Awolowo didn’t deny him his greatness as a statesman of outstanding repute. Do Lai and his lackey Sunday Oyebiyi know that the later adopted Moro LG was created by a campaign championed by the statesman AGF AbdulRazaq SAN? Had he known this, Sunday Oyebiyis temerity would have been tempered, but how can you expect this basic knowledge from this myopic non native of Moro whose father is from Iragbiji Osun State?

The frustrated gangs of Lai town criers need to re educate themselves about the revered place in history of the AbdulRazaqs in the making of Kwara State, Ilorin Emirate and Nigeria in general.

By the proud footprints of the AbdulRazaqs in the Independence struggles of Nigeria, the creation of Kwara State and un- common legal battles and deliveries which won for Ilorin to remain today as an Emirate and for all traditional rulers and title holders to have the exclusive rights, honour and regalia of turban as proud symbols and regalia of their titles in Ilorin Emirate history are indisputable and un- ambiguous facts. The late legal Icon, leading light of Northern Nigeria and a patriot per excellence, AGF AbdulRazaq was the main personality who won all the above rights to the eternal glory and pride of all indigenes of Ilorin Emirate and all citizens of Kwara State owe him a huge debt of gratitude for being a leading founding father of the creation of Kwara State.

Until the emergence of the jackals of the dark era; an era Kwarans had put into the dustbin of history with the 2019 Otoge revolution, late AGF AbdulRazaq and his team of patriots were the revered role models of the State ,the Ilorin Emirate and indeed Northern Nigeria in their political evolution and leadership .

Indeed, the historic lesson of the 2019 Otoge revolution can be summed up in the promise of God to reward the steadfast; the unanimous decision of the entire citizens of the State to kick out over four decades of misrule of the State was fueled by the determination to dump the so called dynasty permanently in the dustbin of history.

Lai town criers need to be reminded therefore that even their pay master, Lai is on record to have testified to Governor AbdulRahamanAbdulRazaq’s exemplary and consistent sponsorship of the opposition which earned the Governor the deserved victory of the 2019 Gubernatorial ticket and elections.

Rather than learning from history, the disgruntled associates of Lai Mohammed in their show of shame at a News conference in Ilorin attacked His Excellency, Governor AbdulRahamanAbdulRazaq for exposing the greed of the minister and his outright conversion of campaign funds during the 2019 general elections in Kwara State.

While we understand the agony members of the group are going through since the minister was exposed by our exemplary Governor in his first ever interview published in Thisday Newspaper, the group has failed to answer the pertinent questions raised by His Excellency which borders on integrity, transparency and accountability of a minister of Federal Republic.

While spokesman for the group, Sunday Oyebiyi claimed the minister sourced the fund for the Governor’s campaign, he failed to disclose the source of the funds or answer the question of the donation of N50 million he collected from a popular North West Governor, the 100 Million Naira donated by a business man from the South East, the N32 Million Naira he collected from Representative Tunji Olawuyi AjuloOpin and various funds amounting to about N2 billion donated by APC Governors, Ministers and Heads of Federal parastatals and other well wishers.

The money collected from AjuloOpin was during the re-run election for the House of Representatives following the demise of HonourableFunkeAdedoyin. During the campaign for the rerun, after collecting N32 million from Hon AjuloOpin Lai Mohammed called a top Government official in Abuja and lied that there was no money to campaign for AjuloOpin, the official called His Excellency who was then the governorship candidate to give Lai N50 Million Naira and promised to refund the money. The Governor gave Lai Mohammed the N50 million (Although the money was refunded by the official to His Excellency after about two months) but Lai Mohammed did not disclose the donation to the party, the candidate, nor did he use it for the by-election campaign.

Lai Mohammed being a lawyer cannot deny the fact that by law, failure to disclose financial contributions to parties which the funds were raised for or donated to amounts to criminal conversion.

As emphasized by the Governor in his interview, evidence abounds that Lai Mohammed collected financial contributions from many APC chieftains and supporters on behalf of the party and Governor AbdulRazaq then as the governorship candidate of the APC in the 2019 election without disclosing to the Governor or to the party.

Most painfully, Lai Mohammed did not stop at this; he personally boycotted the Governor’s Campaign programmes and activities and instigated members of the state APC executive Committee to do the same with the exception of one of them who disobeyed the party’s directive to join him on his campaign. The same Sunday Oyebyi refused to join the Governor’s campaign train to Kwara North or any location in Kwara in observance of the boycott called by Lai Mohammed. How could Lai Mohammed fund a campaign that he boycotted? The few times they shared the campaign podium together was during the Presidential campaign flag off and the Vice president’s visit both in Ilorin.

Granted that Lai Mohammed bought about 20 second hand cars branded with Lai Mohammed’s pictures and about 200 motorcycles also branded with his pictures, none of the vehicles or motorcycles was donated or loaned to the party or the Governor. They were given out to Lai Mohammad’s cronies only and the total value could not be more than N70 million which is a drop in the ocean compared to about N2 billion he racked from various parties.

Lai Mohammed and his cronies should therefore be courageous to respond to issue of campaign funds donated to support the Party and Governor AbdulRahamanAbdulRazaq during his 2019 gubernatorial election but which he refused to disclose to either the Party or the Governor and for which the Governor has suffered avoidable embarrassment.

There is no shame in losing an election, they should look in the mirror to see that even their leader, Lai who is more of a Lagos Indigene, made futile attempts to be Kwara Governor on the ticket of the Alliance for Democracy.

In their display of ignorance, this group failed woefully to understand Governor AbdulRahaman’s repeated emphasis in describing the near precipice and total collapse of machinery of State he found upon assuming office . He inherited a dysfunctional governance system, decrepit infrastructure and demoralized civil service from the displaced dynasty. This state of affairs required laying a new foundation for a new prosperous Kwara rather than focusing a manifesto articulated on an assumption of consolidation.

Either out of senility or mischief, members of the Lai Mohammed group forgot so soon that Governor AbdulRazaq won twice consecutively, the best Governor of year as result of peer review by the Progressive Governors’ Forum .

A governor who deviated from the APC manifesto could not have been honoured by his peers twice back to back.

We insist that the Lai group abandoned His Excellency during the campaign and even aborted the launch of his manifesto slated for Baruten in Kwara North during the campaign

We have always known that the intention of the minister and his associates is to foist another dynasty on Kwarans and turn the state treasury into his slush fund like members the ousted administration who were roundly rejected by the people of the state in 2019 after four decades of misrule.

We like to remind minister Lai Mohammed and his hirelings that this is a new Kwara where governance and political processes are no longer at the whims and caprices of primordial egocentric godfathers ; this sordid practice has been condemned to the dustbin of history courtesy of the Otoge revolution .

We call on all members of our party who have been misled by the minister to retrace their steps and return to the All Progressive Congress under the newly elected Chairman, Chief Sunday Fagbemi

We thank His Excellency, Governor AbdulrahmanAbdulRazaq for his un- common statesmanship tolerating the ignominious activities of the group.

His humility and hard work have endeared him to the people of Kwara State and strengthened their resolve never to return to the days of the Jackals that the likes of Lai Muhammed intend to provoke! Never again!

Omo’Oba Musbau Salaudeen writes from Isin LGA, Kwara State.

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Another Top Ranking Anambra Federal Law Maker Defects To APC

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The Yobe state Governor and Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Hon. Mai Mala Buni, has received Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji, a top ranking legislator representing Aguata (Anambra) federal Constituency who defected from APGA to APC.

Gov. Buni charged the legislator to be dedicated, faithful and loyal to the party.

“APC will stand for you and your supporters, and protect your political interests at all times.

“You will enjoy every privilege enjoyed by every member of the party” the Chairman Caretaker committee assured.

He urged the federal law maker and his supporters to work for the Party’s success in the forthcoming Anambra governorship election.

“We expect you to be part of the success story in the coming Anambra election as our victory in the election is getting much more clearer every day” Governor Buni said.

He assured the people of Aguta federal constituency that the decision of their representative to carry them along into the Nigeria project will attract more federal presence to the constituency.

Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji, assured his loyalty, his political associates and the people of his constituency to the party.

“We shall contribute to the success awaiting the party in the Anambra election.

“We are part of the Nigeria project and will from now henceforth work and defend the interest of APC at all levels” he assured.

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Osun PDP Adopts Oyinlola For Party’s Deputy National Chairman Position

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Ahead of the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Osun State chapter of the party has adopted Olagunsoye Oyinlola, a former governor of the State as their candidate for the position of Deputy National Chairman (South).

This decision formed part of the resolution arrived at after a meeting of the elected and statutory delegates of the PDP in Osun State on the position of Deputy National Chairman (South) micro zoned to Osun State.

In a statement signed by the Osun PDP Chairman, Sunday Bisi, former PDP candidate in the Osun 2018 gubernatorial election, Ademola Adeleke and a former National Secretary of the party, Prof. Wale Oladipo, the party leaders insisted that the resolution that micro-zoned the position to Osun remained the same after a meeting with Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde.

The party described Prof. Oladipo’s exclusion from standing for election as Deputy National Chairman (South) as unwarranted, orchestrated, illegal and a rape of democracy, adding that the adoption of Taofeeq Arapaja for the position by Makinde was to short-change Osun.

According to the statement, “As a result of Professor Wale Oladipo’s exclusion. Governor Oyinlola remains the only aspirant from Osun state for the position of Deputy National Chairman (South) of our party at the convention.

“We vehemently oppose the attempt by Governor Seyi Makinde to hijack what has been micro-zoned to Osun State, after all, Oyo State already occupies the South West Chairmanship of the party, in person of Ambassador Arapaja, who is a member of National Working Committee.

“We, therefore, unanimously agreed that, all elected and statutory delegates from Osun State to the PDP National Convention should cut our votes for Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the only candidate from Osun State for the position of Deputy National Chairman (South). We equally appeal to all the delegates from other states in Nigeria to support the candidature of Prince Oyinlola by voting massively for him at the convention.”

The party maintained that the position of Deputy National Chairman of PDP (South) that had been micro-zoned to Osun state at a meeting presided over by Governor Seyi Makinde in Abuja still stood.

The party also revealed that the reason behind the disqualification of Oladipo was to smuggle in a weak and pliable candidate into that exalted office knowing well that the Osun candidate had the national reach to get easily elected at the convention.

Recall that Osun PDP had earlier adopted Prof. Oladipo as its candidate for the position, while the faction of Olasoji Adagunodo, the embattled chairman of the party in the State put forward Olagunsoye Oyinlola as its preferred candidate.

Political watchers in the State had noted that this stance was a miscalculation on the part of Osun PDP as the confusion it would generate would make Oyo to jump into the race, which it finally did.

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JUST IN:Facebook Changes Company Name To Meta

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Facebook on Thursday announced that it has changed its company name to Meta.

The name change, which was announced at the Facebook Connect augmented and virtual reality conference, reflects the company’s growing ambitions beyond social media.

The re-branding also comes after the company has dealt with a barrage of news reports over the past month stemming from whistleblower Frances Haugen’s trove of internal documents.

Facebook employees gather in front of a sign displaying a new logo and the name ‘Meta’ in front of Facebook headquarters on October 28, 2021 in Menlo Park, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
Facebook on Thursday announced that it has changed its company name to Meta.

The name change was announced at the Facebook Connect augmented and virtual reality conference.

The new name reflects the company’s growing ambitions beyond social media. Facebook, now known as Meta, has adopted the new moniker, based on the sci-fi term metaverse, to describe its vision for working and playing in a virtual world.

“Today we are seen as a social media company, but in our DNA we are a company that builds technology to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.

The company will also change its stock ticker from FB to MVRS, effective Dec. 1, the company said in the announcement of its name change.

Meta’s stock price was up more than 3% on Thursday.

In July, the company announced the formation of a team that would work on the metaverse. Two months later, the company said it would elevate Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, who is currently the head of the company’s hardware division, to the role of chief technology officer in 2022. And in its third-quarter earnings results on Monday, the company announced that it will break out Reality Labs, its hardware division, into its own reporting segment, starting in the fourth quarter.

“Our hope is that within the next decade, the metaverse will reach a billion people, host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce, and support jobs for millions of creators and developers,” Zuckerberg wrote in a letter on Thursday.

Over the past few years, the company has ramped up its efforts in hardware, introducing a line of Portal video-calling devices, launching the Ray-Ban Stories glasses and rolling out various versions of the Oculus virtual-reality headsets. The company has indicated that augmented and virtual reality will be a key part of its strategy in the coming years.

The company also said this week it’d spend about $10 billion over the next year developing the technologies required for building the metaverse.

Zuckerberg on Thursday also provided a demonstration of the company’s ambitions for the metaverse.

The demo was a Pixar-like animation of software the company hopes to build some day. The demo included users hanging out in space as cartoon-like versions of themselves or fantastical characters, like a robot, that represent their virtual selves.

Zuckerberg said a lot of this is a long ways off but the company is starting to work on it. Elements of the metaverse could become mainstream in five to 10 years, Zuckerberg predicted. The company expects “to invest many billions of dollars for years to come before the metaverse reaches scale,” Zuckerberg added.

“We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet,” Zuckerberg said.

Additionally, Meta announced a new virtual reality headset named Project Cambria. The device will be a high-end product available at the “higher-end of the price spectrum” that will be released next year, Zuckerberg said.

Meta also announced the code name of its first fully AR-capable smart glasses is Project Nazare. The company did not say when the glasses will be released. Zuckerberg said “we still have a ways to go with Nazare, but we’re making good progress.”

The re-branding also comes after the company has dealt with a barrage of news reports over the past month. Those have stemmed from Frances Haugen, a former employee turned whistleblower who has released a trove of internal company documents to news outlets, lawmakers and regulators.

The reports show that the company is aware of many of the harms its apps and services cause but either doesn’t rectify the issues or struggles to address them. More documents are expected to be shared daily over the coming weeks.

In a call with analysts on Monday, Zuckerberg vehemently refuted the claims and critiques in news reports stemming from whistleblower Frances Haugen’s trove of internal company documents.

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