A popular social and political commentator, Ms Olufunke Phillips may be in for troubles in the coming days.
Phillips was the digital manager of Lagos State Governor-elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and she has been alleged to be a fugitive after being charged for cocaine possession.
It will be recalled that Phillips was recently exposed by a Nigerian journalist, Ruona Meyer.
The dirty disclosure was said to have attracted the attention of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who reportedly ordered Sanwoolu to disband his campaign team immediately.
It was gathered that the scandal got to the leaders of the APC as a rude shock and that they have warned the incoming governor that such an element must not be found around him after his swearing in on May 29, 2019.
Ms Phillips (full name: Philip Esther Olufunke) was allegedly charged by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) with illegal possession of 3.14 kilogrammes of cocaine in 2007.
It was alleged that she was arraigned before Justice P.I Ajoku of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court in 2007 but she, alongside 25 others absconded after being granted bail by the judge.
But a short bio on thebeverageroom.co claimed Phillips launched The Beverage Room, which Meyer said was founded based on her original ideas, in 2015 to “chronicle her love for Coffee, Wine and Spirits. She started an Instagram, Facebook page and a blog sharing tips, tricks, findings and other things.”
Olusesan Daini, who headed Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s media team during the campaign said, Phillips was diligent when she worked with him and that he was surprised to hear about Meyer’s allegations.
When asked if he recruited her for the campaign, Daini said she was contracted to consult “for the purpose of election”.
He absolved the campaign team of any blame concerning Phillips. He insisted that the campaign team expected its consultants to hire people with credible backgrounds to work with them.
An anonymous source in All Progressives Congress’s media circle said Meyer’s allegations were meant to paint Phillips black.
Umar Mohammed Bago, Man With Passion For Service
-Why He Wants To Be Reps Speaker
Umar Mohammed Bago is not just another member of the Federal House of Representatives, he is a man that has the wherewithal and the qualities of a leader of the 21st Century, whose antecedents show that he could turn a stone to bread and bring water out of the rock.
The people of Chanchanga Federal Constituency in Niger State knew better, when they voted for Bago to be their representative in the House of Reps in 2011 and repeated the same in 2015 and 2019.
Bago has since proven the be the best man for the job with the way he has influenced development to the area and touched the lives of the people in the constituency.
The 45-year-old politician is an alumnus of the Federal Government College, Jos and he graduated with a degree in Political Science from Uthman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto and holds a Post Graduate Diploma.
His educational career continued as he went ahead to obtain Masters Degrees in Management, Business Administration and Finance and he is an alumnus of the prestigious Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.
Bago cut his teeth in banking at the Central Bank of Nigeria, United Bank of Africa, Standard Trust Bank (STB), FCMB, and Afribank.
As a member of the Federal House of Representatives, his experiences are for the records.
He was a member of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, Appropriation and Communication Technology, Defense, as well as Loans and Debts.
He has also served in other committees such as National Planning and Economic Development, Media and Publicity, and he is a member of several civil societies and donor agencies.
In 2015, Bago was made the Chairman of the House Committee on Maritime, Safety, Education and Administration.
While some of his colleagues could not boast of making differences in the green chamber, Bago has so far moved 20 motions on the floor of the House, sponsored 15 bills and co-sponsored several others.
The people of Bago’s constituency are living testimonies of his people-oriented empowerment programmes and constituency projects.
The cerebral nationalist is well travelled, exposed, urbane and speaks Nupe, Hausa and Yoruba fluently.
Bago is one of the politicians that have no baggage and people believe that the House of Representatives deserves such a politician to be it’s leader.
Some of his thoughts have become reference points for those, who believe in quality leadership and progressive minded politicians.
Bago once stated that “I observed with continued amazement and curiousity that the issue of equity in geopolitical balancing as enshrined in the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, has not been seen and taken seriously rather the issue of capacity and competence is being touted.
“The question is capacity and competence in what? To move motions and bills? Chair committee sessions? Educational background? Party loyalty? humbly speaking; if these are the indices to define capacity and competence, I am very qualified.”
Bago believes that if its the job of Speaker that “we are talking about, the Speaker will not be moving motions or Bills. Only Speaker Yakubu Dogara had moved a bill on the floor of the house of representatives in recent history of the house over the last twenty years.”
He stressed that a great speaker could not emerge from disdain for the constitution with which he will be sworn in, adding that the capacity and competence must be situated within constitutional prescriptions.
“Lastly the Speaker must enjoy earned confidence of members out of his relatability capacity and quotient
“An effective Speaker must be able to ride on provable ability that every member and stakeholders will find comfort and accommodation in him, by reputation.
“I am called Mr.Relatable because this is what my life embodies and it did not start with the aspiration to be Speaker,” he said.
Bago was quoted to have said that the demand for equity is at the “nucleus of my aspiration before my nature as a very relatable personality or my capacity and competence, and so demanding for equitable treatment is not about indulging or being gratuitous to the North Central, rather its fact based and well earned, not frivolous; from the facts that the North Central zone gave our party the third highest votes at the 2019 Presidential election, to the zone never had a speaker of house of Representatives in 20years since 1999!
“These are facts! Of course in the mix is the need for a youth inclusion at that level of our political administration; these are claims that are real making my aspiration legitimate, fair and just…”
He said further that “I just watched the Seun Okinbaloye’s Politics Today and saw how the North Central geopolitical zone asking for equity was dismissively and condescendingly referred to by my colleague Hon. Abdulmumini, when he said there are other positions “within” the house leadership that the North Central can be “given”, affirming that south west zone(lagos) that gave our party 2million votes and has Vice President of Nigeria by entitlement should also get the Speaker House of Representatives while Northcentral geopolitical zone that gave APC/President Buhari 2.4million votes should settle for Chief whip?Or Deputy Whip..etc! My heart bleeds…”
He maintained that a zone that in 20 years had never produced Speaker or Deputy inspite of huge support for APC…where is equity, justice, fairness that the Nigerian constitution and that of APC prescribed.
“A case of a father of six openly showing favouritism to a child out of the six, in a six bedroom house is giving two rooms to the favourite child and asking four others to take the remaining four rooms and sending one child to go and stay in the boy’s quarters, even when he has been a good child… hmmm…May God bless Nigeria…” he said.
FG: We’ve not found a formula to end fuel subsidy
The federal government says it is yet to devise a workable formula for the removal of fuel subsidy.
Speaking at the federal executive council meeting, Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, said removal of subsidy would have negative effect on vulnerable Nigerians.
Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), had advised Nigeria and other countries to remove fuel subsidy, saying the money spent on subsidy can be redirected to health and education.
Four days after making the suggestion, Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, said the landing cost of petrol is now N180 per litre, with the federal government spending N1.86bn on subsidy daily.
Ahmed explained that while the country appreciates the advice of the IMF, what works for others may not be operable within Nigeria’s context, describing the country as unique.
She said the government is still considering various options and until a decision is reached, no action will be taken.
“In some countries, they provided buses to transport people, in some countries they provide subsidies in a manner that the people that are directly requiring the subsidies,” Ahmed said.
“We have not found a way to do it. What we are doing now, the subsidy, it is everybody that it benefiting, whereas it is the people who are really vulnerable that need subsidy.
“So, in the executive with the support of the legislature, we have to find a formula that will work for Nigeria. And until we do that, we should not be contemplating removing the subsidy because, indeed when we do, there will be people that will suffer. So, we are not yet there.
“We discussed this periodically under the Economic Management Team but we still haven’t found a formula that works for Nigeria. And you know that Nigeria is unique. What works for Ghana might not work here.
“So, it’s still work in progress for and there is no intention to remove fuel subsidy at this time.”
Gov. Yahya Bello Declares For Second Term, Gives Reasons
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, on Wednesday, officially declared his intention to seek reelection for a second term on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Bello made the declaration while inaugurating the board of the State House of Assembly Service Commission at Banquet hall Government House, Lokoja.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has slated the governorship election in the state for Nov. 2.
The governor said his declaration came after consultations with the leadership of his party both at the national and state levels and pressure from the people of the state on him to seek re-election.
He added that his decision is premised on the official release of the State’s Election time table by INEC.
“I would like to inform the good people of the state, the APC family and supporters from the state, the Local Government Areas (LGAs) down to the wards and polling units, as well as various stakeholders, opinion molders, families and friends of my interest to run for a second term in office as the Executive Governor of the state.
”I have sought the blessing of the Almighty God and our good people; I will have to contest for the second term so that we can build on our modest achievements so far in the state by taking it to the next level,” Bello said.
He urged members of the board to always let the interest of the state be paramount in their mind, and shun any form of tribal or religious sentiment.
He further enjoined them to serve well with all their capacity and ensure they cooperate with the members of the state House of Assembly.
Mr Matthew Kolawole, the Speaker, commended the governor for his magnanimity to have signed the bill and for inaugurating the board.
”All of us in the House of Assembly are happy with the inauguration of the board of the commission, because it marks the beginning of our financial autonomy,” Matthew said.
He expressed happiness over the governor’s declaration for second term bid, saying they had been expecting it.
“Our prime objective right now is to see him returning on Nov. 2, as the 5th executive governor of the state, and it shall come to past,” he said.
Mr Andas Momoh-Jimoh, the Chairman of the Commission, commended the governor for the opportunity given to them to serve.
”I believed in oneness and unity of the state and I am going to carry out this assignment without any bias, fear, favor or any religious or tribal sentiment,” he said.
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