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Ambode Unveils 46 Feet Statue Of M.K.O Abiola

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…Says Monument’ll Forever Preserve Legacy, Greatness of Late Symbol of Democracy

…We’re Eternally Grateful To You, Family Tells Gov

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday unveiled a 46-feet statue of Nigeria’s symbol of democracy and adjudged winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election, Bashorun Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola (MKO), expressing optimism that the monument will forever crystallize what he stood for in his lifetime.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at the unveiling of the statue at the MKO Abiola Garden in Alapere, Ketu said it was in the tradition of the State Government to recognise and remember heroes and heroines who contributed to the greatness of the nation and the State in particular, adding that MKO Abiola deserves the best from the State as Lagos was his success story.

Alluding to the fact that a statue was previously sited at the location, the Governor said that his administration decided to erect bigger statues for MKO Abiola and late Rights Activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi to properly situate their immense contribution to nation building.

“There was a statue done by my predecessor, Babatunde Raji Fashola but in the divine world, some things are more glorious than what you think and so we decided at the end of 2016 that we should do bigger statues for Chief Gani Fawehinmi and MKO Abiola since almost everybody passing and entering Lagos go through this particular Ojota axis and so we started late in 2016 that we should build something bigger and so it took us about a year to do this. By the time we did the one for Gani to celebrate his posthumous birthday on April 22, we also agreed that we should unveil that of MKO Abiola today, June 12.

“But just as if God has a way of crowning all efforts to mark the 25th Anniversary of June 12, our President, President Muhammadu Buhari has deemed it fit to give our own MKO Abiola the highest honour in the land, GCFR and that is why we believe strongly that your presence here is not just for this statue but it is also historic which we would always remember in the annals of the history and politics of this country that sooner than later, there would be one day we would mark as MKO Abiola Day.

“We are very happy to gather here today at the MKO Abiola garden to unveil this statue, a monument that will forever crystallize his legacy, serves as a reminder to the greatness that Chief Abiola represents in our socio-political landscape,” the Governor said.

He described MKO Abiola as a man who transcended race, tribe and religion, adding that the late philanthropist appealed to all Nigerians who voted massively for him during the 1993 Presidential election.

“Sadly, he lost his life trying to secure his mandate. Even though he was from another State, Lagos was his home. And we recognize his contribution to our State and our democracy,” Governor Ambode said.

Responding on behalf of the family, MKO Abiola’s son, Abdul Mumuni Abiola thanked Governor Ambode and the Lagos State Government for the honour done the Abiola family, saying the statue was indeed befitting to honour his late father. 

“God is great. I heard about this statue six months ago and I was called to come and see it and when I got here, I saw a statue of three-storey building. This is indeed massive. The family of late MKO Abiola really appreciates this and we want to thank the Governor,” Abdul Mumuni said.

He also appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for posthumous award conferred on his father and declaring June 12 as the Democracy Day, as well as the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for standing solidly behind the struggle.

“We thank the President for doing what he did. This statue was planned before the President did what he did and so we want to thank Governor Ambode for this,” he said.

Governor Ambode, who earlier spoke at a symposium held at the Blue Roof, Lagos Television in Ikeja to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the June 12, 1993 election, paid glowing tributes to other comrades who led the struggle from the front including Gen. Alani Akinrinade, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Ambassador Walter Carrington, Justice Dolapo Akinsanya, Chief Frank Kokori, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Mr. Wale Oshun, Alhaji Balarabe Musa and other Nigerians and Civil Society Organisations, Trade and Labour unions.

“We also pay glowing tribute to the beautiful memories of patriots such as Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, Pa Michael Adekunle Ajasin, Pa Abraham Adesanya, Chief Michael Enahoro, Chief Alfred Rewane, Dr Beko Ransome Kuti, General Adeyinka Adebayo and several others including innocent ordinary Nigerians, young and old who were murdered in cold blood on the streets of Lagos and in other major cities of Nigeria. Today, we declare that their sacrifice has not been in vain,” he said.

The Governor commended Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for being the pioneer Governor to declare public holiday on June 12 throughout his tenure in office as well as Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) for his steadfastness in upholding the tradition, saying that the occasion attests to their visionary leadership.

Speaking on the theme: “Restructuring: Antidote For Efficient And Effective Polity,” guest lecturer, Dr. Dele Ashiru of the Department of Political Science, University of Lagos (UNILAG), called for the amendment of the Constitution to ensure removal of provisions which inhibit successful running of functional system, especially revenue sharing formula which he said must be by derivation, among others. 

He also said considering the strategic importance of Lagos to the country, special attention must be given to the State, adding: “The Federal Government must wake up and pay Lagos adequately from the national resource so that the State can continue to play the role it had been playing in the country.”

He described Lagos as a model and mega city not only in Africa but the world, and as such all hands must be on deck to work for its sustenance.  

Also, Chairman of June 12 Coalition, Comrade Linus Okoroji commended the Lagos State Government for sustained commitment to the June 12 struggle which had yielded fruits with the recent declaration of the day as Democracy Day in Nigeria and recognition of MKO Abiola as GCFR.  

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Lagos Matters

We did not approve poster with MC Oluomo’s photo – UNILAG

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The University of Lagos, has said it did not approve the banner which had the Caretaker Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in Lagos State, Musiliu Akinsanya, aka MC Oluomo, as one of the invited guests for a programme on the campus.  

The university management, in a statement on Friday, September 20th dismissed the reactions trailing the invitation on the social media as mere propaganda. UNILAG had been attacked on social media on Thursday for inviting the transport union leader to the campus.  

On Twitter, in particular, many had wondered why MC Oluomo was honoured with an invitation when a former presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, was barred from addressing students when he was invited for a similar gathering a few weeks earlier.  

We did not approve poster with MC Oluomo?s photo - UNILAG

The UNILAG Principal Assistant Registrar, Communication Unit, Mrs Taiwo Oloyede, confirmed that the event was organised by students in the Geography Department of the school and that it held on Tuesday.

She said, “The management of the University of Lagos hereby notifies parents, guardians and other stakeholders of the university that it is aware of the event to which the Lagos State Caretaker Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Musiliu Akinsanya, was allegedly invited.  

“The event was a colloquium on ‘Transport Efficiency: Employing Lagos Terrain Alternatives.’ organised by the National Association of Geography Students (NAGS) on Tuesday, September 17, 2019.  “Relevant stakeholders in the transport sector invited to the event were: Arc. Abiodun Dabiri, MD, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA); Engr. Ibrahim Alhassan, Chairman, Nigerian Railway Corporation; Dr. Olusegun Spencer, Director, Amalgamated Mega-City Transport; Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, MD, Lagos Waterways Authority; Dr. Adewale Sanni, Station Manager, Lufthansa and Dr. Charles Asenime, LASU School of Transport, PG Coordinator.  

“Although Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya (MC Oluomo) was one of those to be invited, which informed the draft banner with his picture, currently trending on social media; the approved banner did not have Alhaji Akinsanya as an invited guest, neither did he attend the event.    

“For the record, events are organised on campus to expose students to current trends in the academia and industries. During such events, experts and relevant stakeholders with considerable knowledge and experience on the theme of such activities are carefully selected and invited to come and share their thoughts with our students.  The goal is to produce students that are locally relevant and globally competitive. Therefore, the general public is enjoined to disregard any propaganda making the rounds on social media about the propriety of inviting a particular guest or not.”

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Lagos Matters

Lagos State governor gives N20,000 each to 315 returnees from South Africa

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Wednesday, September 18th gave N20,000 to each of the second batch of 315 Nigerians evacuated from South Africa.  

The fresh batch of returnees arrived a week after another 187 Nigerians fleeing xenophobia came back from South Africa. The joyous returnees arrived at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 7.21p.m aboard an Air Peace B777 aircraft with registration number 5N-BWI.  

The flight, which originated from the OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg was received by Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission and Air Peace Chairman, Allen Onyema. Also on ground was Jermaine Sanwo-Olu, Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Diaspora.

Presenting the token on behalf of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Jermaine Sanwo-Olu said that the money was a palliative for the returnees saying that the returnees from Lagos State would be transferred to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), where they would be trained on skill acquisition.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa also told newsmen that the returnees would be profiled according to their states and local governments of origin to complement the federal government’s effort in reintegrating them. She said apart from giving the returnees stipends to get back to their respective states, there was also a medical team on ground to provide assistance to those with medical conditions.

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Lagos Matters

Armed robbery suspects and Cops killer arrested in Lagos

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A team of detectives led by the Divisional Police Officer Igando, CSP Taiwo Kasumu, arrested three notorious armed robbery suspects on September 14th.

A statement released by the spokesperson of the police command, Bala Elkana, says the armed robbery gang terrorizes the Igando/Egan residential neighborhood mostly at night time. They arrived the neighborhood on three motorcycles with intent to rob along Ikotun-Igando road but the attempt was foiled by the police.

Bala says one of the suspects, Oseni Waheed, 32, was arrested at the scene with one locally made pistol while the rest escaped. He led detectives to Aribisala street in Egan where three of his fleeing accomplices were arrested. 

Bala says the suspects were also on the wanted list of the State CID Yaba for series of robberies and murders including the murder of a Policeman under Amukoko Division during one of their robbery operations.

He added that investigation is ongoing and the suspects will be charged to Court. 

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