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•‘Tinubu A Rallying Figure, Hope for Progressive Leadership’ – Governor

Ikeja – the political unit of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu – literally stood still on Thursday for the formal launch of Southwest Agenda 2023 (SWAGA ‘23) in Lagos State.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu joined full political machinery in the State to host the carnival-like event held at 10 Degree Event Centre in Oregun and attended by political leaders from all divisions of Lagos.

SWAGA, a group being led by Senator Dayo Adeyeye, is a political movement building support base for the former Lagos State Governor in anticipation of his interest to contest for president in the 2023 general elections.

Sanwo-Olu was accompanied by all members of the State Executive Council, lawmakers in the State House of Assembly, and members of Conference 57 to formally unveil the political group.

Declaring total support for the group’s agenda, Sanwo-Olu said SWAGA was formed based on the belief in Tinubu’s vision and political philosophy that prioritise development of human capital and economy.

The Governor described the APC National Leader as a “core political thinker” of the contemporary generation, noting that Tinubu’s constituency in progressive politics stood him out as a beacon and rallying figure capable of delivering directional leadership to the country in the next dispensation.

He said: “Asiwaju Tinubu’s story has been a legend in vision, passion and action. These three values stand him out among his contemporaries in national politics today. It is no wonder the man stretches his arm of fellowship beyond Lagos, the State he led for eight years as a Governor and in which he bequeathed the legacy we are building on. He is nationalist in thinking and progressive in action.

“The SWAGA we are launching in Lagos today is a demonstration of Tinubu’s enduring political principles and strong vision. Those behind the movement took the three values and push them with passion. What we are witnessing today is the action from the vision and passion; this is what SWAGA represents. By the grace of God, we will drive this agenda to logical end and we will all witness the inauguration of our political icon come 2023.”

Sanwo-Olu assured the proponents of the movement of his continued support, promising to mobilise more political support for the group. He said he would join hands with SWAGA coordinators to take the agenda beyond the Southwest region and make it a national movement.

Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said Tinubu personified the progress the Nigerians had been yearning for, drumming support for the APC National Leader.

“If we want true progress, employment, security and development, we all know who is capable of creating these opportunities for us. He is Asiwaju,” Dr. Hamzat said.

Senator Adeyeye said Lagos was the last State to be visited since the movement started last December, noting that all political and traditional rulers across the Southwest were in tune with the agenda being pushed by the group.

Before the formal launch in Lagos, the Ekiti-born ex-lawmaker said the group met over 80 traditional rulers in the State to establish SWAGA as a grassroots movement.

Lagos SWAGA official, Mrs. Kafilat Ogbara, said it was time Tinubu let the cat out of the bag, urging Southwest Governors to unanimously join hands with teams of supporters to make a clarion call on the APC National Leader to declare his interest in the presidency.

She said: “Today we are launching a national machinery for the advancement of our nation and rescue it from the challenges of insecurity, banditry, unemployment. Today is a clarion call on all of us that we will break through if we organise ourselves to focus on the goal and give our total commitment to Asiwaju’s vision.”

Former member of the House of Representatives and chairman of SWAGA in Lagos, Hon. Moshood Alao, described Tinubu as “highly visionary”, noting that the former Lagos Governor possesses all attributes to make a great leader.

“Tinubu is unique and he is incomparable under the current political dispensation. The current situation in the country requires the leadership of an individual with a wider network and support base. No other person fits in that position other than Asiwaju Bola Tinubu,” Alao said.

The keynote speaker, Prof. Otitoju, who spoke on “Credentials of the next president of Nigeria”, listed qualities to be possessed by anyone vying for president in 2023.

He said a thorough analysis of political issues in the country indicated unrivalled political sagacity and good understanding of economic issues in terms of wealth creation remained the most important attribute to be possessed by the next president.

Tinubu remains the most qualified person, Otitoju said, adding: “He is a political tactician who rules over the most diverse State in Nigeria and ensures every ethnic group has contributions to the affairs of Lagos.”

The highpoint was the unveiling of the pro-Tinubu movement’s logo by Governor Sanwo-Olu and Adeyeye.

Notable figures at the event included Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Tayo Ayinde, Lagos APC caretaker chairman, Hon. Tunde Balogun, Governor’s Advisory Council (Member), Baba Bamu Seriki, former Minister for Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, former APC National Legal Adviser, Babatunde Ogala, SAN, and Iyaloja General, Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo.

Others are traditional rulers in Lagos, traders and market leaders, youth groups and grassroots political organisations.

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STATE GOVERNMENT ON THE PLIGHT OF LAGOS STATE CONTRIBUTORY RETIREES AND PENSIONERS

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LAGOS STATE SETS THE PACE ON PENSION PAYMENTS IN NIGERIA

The administration of Mr. Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu is one poised to set a new record in the payment of accrued rights to its retirees as well as timely and prompt monthly pension contribution of over 100,000 state employees.

This fact is known and well established as there is no state of the Federation with such accomplishment. Since the commencement of this administration in 2019, a total number of 9,128 retirees have been paid an accrued rights of over N34 Billion. It is worthy to note that accrued rights of a minimum of N1 billion monthly is also paid to the State retirees’ Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs). N1.5 billion was paid into the RSAs of 421 State retirees on 3rd December 2021. The status report on the Contributory Pension Scheme, quarterly published by the National Pension Commission affirms that the State’s pension board is well structured and level of implementation of the Scheme is above average. The State operates a structured payment method in clearing its pension obligation and as such, no one is required to disrupt the system.

Mr. Governor’s administration is one keen on ensuring that retirees have access to their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) as soon as they retiree as the government is positioned to clear all pension obligations.

Mr. Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu is a passionate man who operates an open door policy and prioritizes the welfare of the state’s senior citizens. His effort was recognized by the National Union of Pensioners who conferred the award of “Excellence and Greater Commitment to Pensioners’ Welfare”, on him at its 11th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference held at NAF Conference Centre, Abuja recently.

The National Union of Pensioners (NUP) is the only recognized association by law and the Government regularly updates the union on the various programs been undertaken by the state in ensuring that retirement is gratifying for its members.

However, it has been brought to our attention of the several antics in the newspapers and social media of a group called Association of Retirees and PFA Pensioners, this group is not recognized by the State Government and they do not have the legal right to represent the retirees and due to past antecedents, they should be discouraged in acting in such capacity. It was set-up by a retired teacher in the State, one Mr. Michael Omisande and whose accrued benefits have been paid over two (2) years ago without any intervention by another one. His antecedents in misleading unsuspecting retirees is renowned

Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), the State’s Agency responsible for pension administration matters had previously reported this group to the Police in 2019 after which Mr. Omisande and his executives were summoned to appear at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) on issues bordering on forcefully obtaining money from unsuspecting retirees with the promise of facilitating the payment of their accrued rights and the group signed a commitment to desist from such act.

 

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Management LASPEC

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‘Our administration has strengthened ties among arms of govt’ – Oyetola

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…pledges to continue to support Judiciary in Osun to perform its role

… Oyetola’s Administration has been very supportive to our cause – CJ, Adepele Ojo

The Governor of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Tuesday, said his Administration had strengthened the fundamental ties between the three arms of government as reflected in the peaceful cohesion existing in the State.

He said the Administration has given the other arms of government a pride of place to operate without being internally or externally influenced, saying they occupied a conspicuous place in the ranking of Osun as the most peaceful State in Nigeria.

The Governor pledged to continuously strengthen independence of the judiciary, noting that the right mechanisms had been put in place for that arm of government to perform its role as the hope of the common man.

This is even as the Chief Judge of Osun, Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo, noted that the Administration of Governor Oyetola holds the judiciary in high esteem as evidenced in his continuous support and commitment to strengthen the administration of justice and guarantee the welfare and well-being of judicial officers.

Governor Oyetola spoke during the Special Religious Services and Inspection of Guard of Honour at the Grand Finale marking the beginning of 2021-2022 Legal Year of Osun State Judiciary, at State High Court, Osogbo.

Oyetola who had earlier identified with the members of the judiciary at the Osogbo Central Mosque and Osogbo Anglican Church Cathedral for inter-denominational prayer sessions, acknowledged the harmonious and cordial relationship between the three arms of government in the State.

According to him, the Osun Judiciary has demonstrated on all fronts that it is on the side of the people at all times and it is incumbent on the government to allow the testimony to persist.

The Governor who noted that the judiciary had been part of the success story of his Administration, said “we are lucky in Osun for having harmonious and cordial relationship between the three arms of government as the existing symbiotic relationship has yielded positive impacts and unprecedented transformation in the last three years of our Administration.”

He implored members of the judiciary to continue to dispense justice and uphold the ethics of their profession.

“I therefore urge you to sustain this confidence by always allowing the fear of God and truth to be cardinal considerations in the dispensation of justice.

“You must also ensure that you sustain professionalism and the ethics of your profession that have stood you out as the friend of the common man and the hope of the people in a democracy.

“Our Administration holds the Judiciary in high esteem. We shall always ensure that the right mechanisms are put in place to ensure its independence at all times so that it can perform its role as the hope of the common man and the people.

“The three arms of Government have been remarkably united in serving the people without compromising their independence and distinctive roles under our Administration.

“The Judiciary occupies a conspicuous place in the ranking and recognition of Osun as the most peaceful State in Nigeria in view of its commitment to ensuring that justice is served in all situations and at all times. I thank the Officers in the Temple of Justice for this display of professionalism and patriotism,” Oyetola said.

He said his Administration has been working hard to ensure social inclusion and sustain peace hence the need to institutionalise inclusive and participatory governance.

Oyetola stated further: “The ultimate goal of instituting these laudable objectives is the delivery of a stronger, more prosperous and better Osun. This is only achievable in an atmosphere of peace.

“We invite the Judiciary to continue to complement our efforts by dispensing justice in a manner that will not only ensure peace but make the people to believe in and trust government.

“As you have wisely committed this Legal Year into the hands of God, I have confidence in the Almighty that it shall be a peaceful, eventful and successful year and a prosperous and rewarding one for Osun.”

In her remarks, the Chief Judge of Osun, Hon. Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo, expressed gratitude to Governor Oyetola for giving the judiciary the pride of place to operate without interference or hitches.

Justice Ojo lauded the Administration of Governor Oyetola for continually allowing mutually-beneficial relationship between the three arms of government, this, she said had helped to retain and sustain the relative peace existing in the State.

She appreciated the Governor for always coming to their aid, saying this had gone a long way to ensure smooth dispensation of justice at all levels.

“The relationship between the Osun State Judiciary and other arms of government remains ever cordial with mutual respect for each other. We must commend Mr. Governor for his good sense of leadership duty and for his prompt response to issues affecting the Judiciary as occasions call for them.

“We are equally grateful to Mr. Governor for his unending love for Osun State Judiciary and we know that with Your Excellency’s support, this new legal year will be best ever in our history,” she added.

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