57 LG Chairmen Back Lagos’s New Waste Management Policy

-To deploy trucks to evacuate refuse from road medians, communities

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Special Adviser on Cleaner Lagos Initiative, Engr. Adebola Shabi; Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan; Commissioner for Local Government & Community Affairs, Alhaji Muslim Folami and Chairman, Lagos Mainland Local Government/ Chairperson, Conference 57, Mrs. Omolola Essien during a press conference on Cleaner Lagos Initiative at the Conference room, T-Block, Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, January 16, 2018.

The 57 Chairmen of Local Government and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in Lagos State on Tuesday threw their weight behind the new waste management policy of the State Government encapsulated in the Cleaner Lagos Initiative.

Rising from an emergency meeting on the resurgence of refuse on major highways and road medians across the State, the Chairmen expressed optimism in the effectiveness of the new policy to birth a comprehensive and world class waste management system, just as they urged residents to cooperate with government during the transition period.

The council chiefs, who met under the auspices of Conference 57, their umbrella body, commended Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for his vision to improve the cleanliness of the environment through a total sanitation solution and engagement of an environmental utility group, Visionscape Sanitation Solutions, to implement the new waste policy.

In a communiqué read at the end of the meeting by the group’s Chairman, Hon. Omolara Essien, the council chiefs attributed the uncleared waste in some parts of the State to the transition period, but said it had become necessary to appeal to residents to exercise patience with government, as all hands were on deck to resolve the situation as quick as possible.

The chairmen said: “We appreciate the enormous difficulties and the challenging logistics which the establishment of a new agency to collect waste for 22million residents would present to any government in any circumstances. Therefore, the current presence of uncleared waste is a result of the transition from an old system that was considered not efficient enough to a new system which effectiveness has also been recorded in other parts of the world.

“We are aware that Visionscape has successfully set up its system in Lagos State. It has employed personnel to carry out many of these functions. It has also been able to receive some percentage of its equipment which it is deploying gradually to residential areas and also trying to evacuate waste.

“Unfortunately, the bad practice of taking residential waste to medians which was in nefarious activities of those who wanted to avoid paying PSP contractors in the old era has continued and is threatening to sabotage the current efforts of the government to quickly evacuate waste. This has been worsened by the activities of the cart pushers who collect money from innocent citizens but dump their refuse on the medians.”

The chairmen specifically commended the State Government for re-asserting the ban on cart pushers, warning that anyone found to be involved in such illegal activities, henceforth, would be made to face the wrath of the law.

In the meantime, the council bosses said the 57 LGAs and LCDAs in the State would deploy security personnel and Vigilante to the main streets in their neighborhood to combat the menace, and also deploy more tippers and trucks to complement ongoing efforts to evacuate waste from road medians and in the communities, just as they urged Community Development Associations (CDAs) and the residents in general to team up with government to restore a clean environment across the State.

Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, on his part, assured residents that Government was working round the clock to clear the waste from the streets and road medians, however urging residents to desist from patronising cart pushers.

“What we are witnessing is a phase, but Government has mobilised all its machinery and you can see that the local governments and local council development areas are also on board to ensure that we evacuate these waste in the shortest possible time,” Bamigbetan said.

Also Speaking, Special Adviser to the Governor on CLI, Mr. Rasheed Shabi said the government has carried out an extensive awareness in local governments and is also collaborating with Community Development Associations (CDAs) and Community Development Committees (CDCs) to get Lagosians ready for the new phase of waste management.

Shabi also assured that efforts would be intensified to clear up waste dumped on road medians across the State within the next 72 hours.

Also speaking, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Affairs, Alhaji Tajudeen Quadri urged residents to embrace the new initiative and resist the temptation to dump refuse on road medians.

“My advice is that people should not be inpatient by taking their refuse to the roads, but they should pack it neatly in front of their houses, Visionscape is up to the task, they have started distributing waste bins and very soon they would get to our houses,” Quadri said.

 

 

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How Fraudsters Attempted To Defraud Lagos Govt, Impersonates Ambode, By Witness

-Says suspects demand N50m after cloning Gov’s official line

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The Lagos State Government on Tuesday commenced trial of two suspects arraigned for attempting to defraud the State Government to the tune of N50million by cloning the official line of the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode.

The suspects – Rilwanu Jamiu and Balogun Oyewole were arraigned before Justice Sedoten Ogunsanya of the Lagos High Court in Igbosere on three-count charge bordering on the alleged crime.

Specifically, they are standing trial for possession of fraudulent document, impersonation and attempt to commit felony.

While testifying before the court, the State’s Accountant General, Mrs Abimbola Shukurat Umar revealed how she received a text message from the suspects on February 10, 2016, purportedly from Governor Ambode, directing her to transfer the sum of N50million to a designated Keystone Bank account.

Umar, who was led in evidence by the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adenijii Kazeem, said she found the message suspicious and highly irregular of the official accounting protocol.

This, prompted her to bring the message to the attention of the Governor, who, after distancing himself from the message, ordered the immediate investigation of the matter.

The investigation, which was conducted by the Department of State Security (DSS), led to the eventual arrest of the defendants, who were subsequently charged before the court.

The prosecution also called Mr Wale Odu, Director of DSS, Lagos State Command, to give evidence in the matter.

In his testimony, Odu confirmed that the investigation leading to the arrest of the defendants was conducted by his team.

According to him, investigation revealed that the second defendant (Oyewole) is one of the directors and shareholders of a firm, Clayder Limited to whose Keystone Bank account, the N50million fraud money would have been paid.

The matter was later adjourned to February 14, 2018 for continuation of the trial, while the defendants were to continue to be remanded at the Kirikiri Medium Security Prison.

 

 

Bamigbetan Resumes As Information Commissioner

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The Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan (2nd right) former Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde (second left), the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs. Kofoworola Awobamise (right) and SA to the Governor on Information & Strategy, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku (left) at the official handing-over to the new Commissioner on Monday, January 15, 2017.

The newly-appointed Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan was today greeted with a rousing welcome in the State Ministry following his appointment last week by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

Speaking during the event, the outgoing Commissioner, Mr. Steve Ayorinde said the government is a continuous process that abhors a vacuum, expressing happiness that he was handing over the baton of leadership of the Ministry to another professional with vast journalistic experience.

Ayorinde noted that the Ministry is the face and voice of the Government and has remained in the forefront of positively projecting the image of the State Government, advising the new Commissioner to sustain the symbolic relations between the Ministry and other Ministries.

The outgoing Commissioner expressed gratitude to all members of Staff and those of parastatal agencies for supporting the vision of the Governor as exemplified through their hard work and ingenuity.

Responding, the new Commissioner, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan commended Mr. Ayorinde for raising the bar of excellence in information management, adding that Lagos became a unique brand locally and abroad, thereby justifying its position as a Centre of excellence.

Bamigbetan described the change in leadership of the Ministry as one that is meant to provide the best for the people as the current administration is committed to excel in all sectors, explaining that the One Lagos initiative is to appeal to the need of the masses and take them to a higher level in 2019.

He appealed to members of Staff not to renege in their effort at projecting image of the government, but rather be innovative and strategize on how best to further retain the confidence of the populace in Governor Ambode’s administration as one that will take the State to a greater height.

The new Commissioner stated that his focus would be on how to integrate community communication into the Ministry activities to encourage proper harmonisation between government policies and people at the grassroots.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Kofoworola Awobamise, pledged her support and that of the entire staff to the new Commissioner.

Ambode Keen On Marketing Lagos Tourism Values Globally

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Mr Steve Ayorinde, Hon. Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture

The administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is very keen on marketing the tourism values of Lagos State to business and leisure travellers across the globe, says Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Steve Ayorinde.

Ayorinde, who spoke on the assumption of office as Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture on Monday, January 15, 2017, said this strategy is expected to be driven by the Ministry and would in essence necessitates positioning of the State tourism potentials for better respect and appreciation by different segments of the tourism market.

He stated that “the Ministry and the team under his watch will work with other State institutions and agencies to deliver a top notch economically beneficial tourism marketing strategy built on attractions and exposure of Lagos to the global tourism audience’’.

He posited that the Lagos economy in 2018 would be largely driven by tourism activities laced with socio-economic values.

He implored the staff of the Ministry to be “ready for targets and constant reminders of the need to keep eyes on the ball to meet those targets’’.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Arts and Culture, Mrs Aramide Giwanson while welcoming Ayorinde, expressed her joy in the new spirit to deliver the mandate of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to make Lagos a preferred tourism destination in Africa.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Fola Adeyemi while presenting Ayorinde to the management staff of the Ministry, referred to him as an amiable and reliable team leader with great antecedents.

He assured the staff of the Ministry that a renewed strength and vigour would be provided by the new leadership to move the creative industry and the tourism value-chain to higher steps on the ladder for productivity and enhanced economic value.

LASG Arrests 30 Cart Pushers For Dumping Refuse On Road Medians

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Lagos State Government on Monday, January 15, 2018, arrested 30 cart pushers for dumping refuse indiscriminately on road medians in some areas of the State in the middle of the night.

 

Chairman of the State’s Task Force on Environmental and Other Special Offences (Enforcement Unit), SP Olayinka Egbeyemi who spoke to journalists, said the arrest was in line with the recent ban on the activities of cart pushers and wheel barrow operators by the State Government.

 

Egbeyemi, who affirmed that the activities of cart pushers in the State are illegal, said investigations found them culpable in dumping refuse on the road side especially at night thereby sabotaging efforts by the Government to keep the State clean.

 

He said the Government is poised to go all out to prosecute any persons found to be working against the new waste management policy encapsulated in the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI), saying the programme is designed to revolutionalise waste administration in line with global best practices when fully operational.

 

“There are reports that refuse are littering the Lekki, Victoria Island, Ajah and other parts of the State and investigations reveal that it is the handiwork of unscrupulous elements within Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and their outside sponsors who are not comfortable with the new arrangement for the management of waste in the State and are hell bent on sabotaging government effort and frustrating them from carrying it out.

 

“The State Government has vowed to go all out against the saboteurs and after their sponsors and punish them in line with the laws of the State.

 

“We also need to let Lagosians know that it is illegal to use cart pushers to evacuate refuse and they should stop encouraging it. There are PSP vehicles that come around to pack refuse and they are the ones they should patronise and not these cart pushers.

 

“We want to notify all these cart pushers that their activities are illegal in Lagos. Lagos is a mega city and we have all it takes to collect refuse. So, the issue of going to the streets and collecting refuse and then dump same on the road is an act of sabotage to the government,” he said.

 

Egbeyemi said the suspects arrested would soon be charged to court for prosecution, just as he assured that Government would leave no stone unturned in keeping the State safe and clean.

 

Besides, the Task Force Chairman said that the enforcement would continue across the State until the activities of cart pushers and other unscrupulous elements found to be frustrating government’s efforts are completely brought to a halt.

 

“For the past two to three weeks, we have been noticing refuse on the roads and investigations have revealed that part of those carrying out such act and sabotaging government efforts are these cart pushers and probably there might be some people behind them,” Egbeyemi said.

 

Ambode Appoints Idowu Ajanaku As Special Adviser Information And Strategy

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Mr Idowu Ajanaku, the newly appointed Special Adviser to the Governor on Media & Strategy

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode has approved the appointment of Mr. Idowu Ajanaku as the Special Adviser on Information and Strategy with immediate effect.

In a letter signed by the Head of Service, Mrs. Folasade Sidikatu Adesoye, the appointment is in line with Governor Ambode’s vision to strengthen the information machinery in the State with the aim of making it more people-oriented and effective, right to the grass-root.

Mr. Ajanaku, a multiple award-winning journalist and political strategist until his elevation was the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Strategy. He is expected to use his wealth of experience to promote Ambode’s administration having worked with the Vanguard and the Guardian Newspapers for over one and half decades.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and International Studies from the Lagos State University (LASU) and a Masters degree in History and Strategic Studies from the prestigious University of Lagos (UNILAG). He is also a fellow of Martin Luther King Center for Leadership.

 

CLI: Visionscape Launches Waste Collection With New Transfer Loading Station

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An environmental utility group contracted by the Lagos State Government to implement the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI), Visionscape Sanitation Solutions, has announced the opening of the Tapa Transfer Loading Station (TLS), thus paving the way for waste collection in the State in line with global best practice.

The new facility located on Lagos Island will serve as one of many hubs strategically located throughout the State that will enable Visionscape temporarily deposit collected waste from within city limits to be transported in bulk to the landfills after processing.

The new facility in Tapa is the first completed TLS as the company is currently renovating other stations in Mushin, Agege and Oshodi as part of its mandate to provide integrated waste management solutions for the treatment of municipal solid waste and wastewater under the CLI.

Speaking during a tour of the new facility, Visionscape Chief Operating Officer, Mr Thomas Forgacs, said the company was delighted to launch the new TLS, and assured Lagos residents of timely collection and disposal of the tonnes of domestic solid waste generated daily in the State.

According to Forgacs, “Transfer Loading Stations are the unsung heroes in the waste management supply-chain; they are fundamental in driving efficiency into waste collection and transportation services. The TLS will serve as the middleman between waste collection vehicles and the final disposal facilities.

“Also, the transfer stations will receive approximately 6,700 tons of waste a day. The facilities will feature a central tipping bay, a waste reception bay, administrative buildings and waste processing,” he said.

On her part, SWM Solutions Executive Director, Tolagbe Martins said the before introduction of the CLI, focus was only on disposal without any system to support waste beyond collection, but that the new environmental policy of the State Government was carefully designed to comprehensively address waste collection, disposal and management.

“The Cleaner Lagos Initiative is creating an enabling environment. Before now, there was only focus on disposal and no system to support the waste beyond collection. The collection is the beginning of the cycle, and the CLI is providing a world class sanitation structure that includes mechanized sweeping by trained community sanitation workers, transfer loading stations, sorting and recycling, innovative waste bins, regular waste collection and more.

“We are pleased to inform you that the work which has been going on over the past 15 months is rolling out now,” Martins said.

Also speaking, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of the Environment, Mr. Abiodun Bamgboye, said it was gratifying that Visionscape had proven its commitment to develop and implement advanced processes in solid waste and wastewater management operations by introducing innovative approach, adding that state-of-the-art transfer loading stations would be a game changer in the sector.

The CLI was established to address, enforce and regulate the challenges in the solid waste management systems within Lagos State. The initiative focuses on the environmental remediation and fulfilling the State’s commitments to Sustainable Development Goals.

We’ll Continue To Prioritise Welfare Of Ex-Service Men, Families- Ambode

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Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday said the State Government will continue to give top priority to the welfare of ex-service men as well as their families, particularly the orphans of fallen gallant men and women.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at the Thanksgiving Service to commemorate this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, held at the Chapel of Christ the Light, Alausa, said his administration will continue to set the standard and be a model for the promotion of the welfare of ex-service men so as to add immense value to their lives.

  “The government and people of Lagos State will continue to appreciate the sacrifice of our compatriots who laid down their lives to preserve the unity and territorial integrity of our country. We will also not forget those who suffered physical injuries which have become a constant reminder of the pains suffered in the battle field. We also identify with the families left behind by the fallen heroes.

“Their needs will continue to be prioritized as we continue to add immense value to their lives. Our Legionnaires will continue to be treasured partners in our drive for a greater Lagos, where peace, prosperity and sustainable development remain the benchmark and minimum standard for good governance,” Governor Ambode said.

The Governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Mr Oluseye Oladejo, also charged Nigerians to see the celebration not just as a time to pray for the repose of the souls of the dead and for an enduring peace and unity, but also seize the occasion as a time to renew faith and draw strength and inspiration from our diversity to build a nation that can truly be a pride for the black race.

He, however, expressed displeasure with the fact that despite efforts by fallen heroes, Nigeria was still grappling with challenges of insecurity which has continued to claim the lives of valiant soldiers, members of other security agencies as well as those of innocent civilians.

“While some have suffered partial and permanent disability, several others, especially civilians, have been displaced from their homes and deprived of the means of their livelihood. In the face of this challenge, we must not relent, but continue to show resilience. We must continue to pray for divine intervention as we work hard to promote peace amongst all people in our communities,” the Governor said.

Also speaking, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mrs. Toyin Awoseyi, thanked Governor Ambode for his continuous support for the welfare and wellbeing of members of the Armed Forces.

She urged widows of fallen heroes not to despair, but take solace in the fact that the freedom the nation enjoys today was through the deprivation of some homes of their loved ones.

“May God continue to be your strength, your shield and comforter. You are not alone as the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode will continue to make efforts to support you and your families. The sacrifice of our heroes who paid the supreme price while protecting our cherished sovereignty will continue to be remembered and deeply appreciated,” Awoseyi said.

 

CLI: LASG Announces Total Ban On Cart Pushers

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The Lagos State Government has announced a total ban on the operations of cart pushers and wheel barrow in the State, as it begins full implementation of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, CLI.

The government said on Staturday that activities of cart pushers and wheel barrow operators were inimical to the environmental cleanliness in the State.

Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Tunji Bello, in a statement said with the flag off of the CLI, the continuous activities of cart pushers would pose a threat to the success of the initiative.

According to him, investigations had also revealed that the cart pushers were responsible for most of the illegal dumping of waste in canals and road medians at night which caused flooding, adding that aside constituting environmental nuisance, they were also traces of security threats.

“What the State Government has discovered is that these set of people use the night to perpetrate all sorts of dastardly acts. They dump refuse indiscriminately on the median of major roads and highways. They also pose serious security threats because they use those carts to hide arms and ammunitions and hide under the guise of carrying refuse to rob unsuspecting residents,” he said.

Bello stated that government had finalised plans to ensure that the CLI would cover every area of the State and ensure that refuse were well packed and collected, urging residents to desist from patronising them or risk prosecution.

“The State Government has declared zero tolerance for the activities of cart pushers and wheel barrow operators. Security agencies in the State have been directed to ensure that those found still operating are arrested and prosecuted according to the State Environmental Laws.

“The law also applies to residents who patronise cart pushers. It is an offence and the State Government would not hesitate to enforce the law to put a stop to such practice,” Bello said.

SPEECH BY OTUNBA (DR.) GANI ADAMS AT HIS INSTALLATION AS THE 15TH AARE ONA KAKANFO OF YORUBALAND BY THE ALAAFIN OF OYO, IKU BABA YEYE, HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY, OBA LAMIDI OLAYIWOLA ADEYEMI III, HELD AT DUNBAR STADIUM, OYO TOWN ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 13, 2018

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Otunba Gani Adams at his installation as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland by the His Imperial Majesty Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, the Alaafin of Oyo, on Saturday, January 13, 2018.

PROTOCOLS

Mo juba awon Aare Ona Kakanfo to siwaju mi:

1. Kokoro Gangan of Iwoye

2. Oyapote of Iwoye

3. Oyabi of Ajase

4. Adeta of Jabata

5. Oku of Jabata

6. Afonja of Ilorin

7. Toyeje of Ogbomoso

8. Edun of Gbogun

9. Amepo of Abemo

10. Kurumi of Ijaiye

11. Ojo Aburumaku of Ogbomoso (son of Toyeje of Ogbomosho)

12. Latoosa of Ibadan

13. Ladoke Akintola of Ogbomoso

14. M.K.O. Abiola of Abeokuta

There cannot be a more humbling occasion for me as the one we are in today.
Against the backdrop of the size of the office the Iku Baba Yeye, His Imperial Majesty, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III, has bestowed on me and the larger than life image of my predecessors, my installation as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo is a challenge that has made all past challenges seem like a child’s play.

Though I am just stepping into the office, past occupants of the seat, especially the 13th and 14th occupants – Aare Samuel Ladoke Akintola and Aare Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola – brought so much power and glamour to the office that it is obvious I have a lot of work to do. As astute businessmen and politicians of note, they raised the profile of the office.

There is no doubt from the reactions that followed my pronouncement by the Alaafin of Oyo as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo that the power and prestige of the office has not waned since it was created centuries ago by Alaafin Ajagbo.

In fact, the epoch-making event of today is symbolic as 2018 marks the 558th anniversary of the installation of the first Aare Ona Kakanfo – Kokoro Gangan of Iwoye.

It is of interest to note that the military, political, traditional and cultural symbolism of the title to the Yoruba Empire, about 600 years ago, is still of strategic importance in the 21st Century.

This attribute reveals the uniqueness of the Yoruba race and shows that so much is still expected of the occupant of the post, despite the fact that physical and armed wars are no longer the order of the day.

In fact, despite the fact that I am an holder of 52 traditional titles, none has drawn as much comments and commendation by way of letters and visits.

The import of the Office still stands: protection of the interests of Yoruba race, both within the country and everywhere else people of the race exist.

While it is estimated that there are 60 million Yoruba within Nigeria and about 200 million others scattered all over the world, as a starting point, the preservation of the culture of the race will occupy my attention.

Pitiably, as a race, we are gradually losing our culture. In fact, from my travels around the world, it has become obvious that people of other races are taking more interest in our culture than we the owners of the culture, with Americans, Europeans and Asians now earning Degrees in the study of our culture, beliefs and what they have come to term Doctrine. We need to preserve our culture to fully realize the potential of the Yoruba.

Though with an activist background, it is now clear that I have to do more as a bridge builder with this new responsibility.

In as much as the focus of my struggle has changed over the years from the heady days of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) to the spread of our culture through the formation of the Oodua Progressive Union (OPU), which is now in 79 countries, the Olokun Festival Foundation, Gani Adams Foundation and many others, this new responsibility, despite my age, has unwittingly forced the stature of a statesman on me.

I promise to live up to that calling.

In this regard, I will work with our traditional rulers, grassroots leaders and have good rapport with all stakeholders, no matter the differences of the past, for the unity, progress and advancement of Yorubaland and Nigeria.

The office of the Aare Ona Kakanfo will project the Yoruba culture and tradition by promoting and sustaining our identity globally.

The office will equally ensure unity of all Yoruba sons and daughters all over the world.

Also of strategic importance to me is research and documentary to sustain the ideals of our founding fathers.

To ensure the continuation of the leadership role the Yoruba is known for educationally, I will give scholarships to our sons and daughters because education is light and power.

Also, I will collaborate with security agencies and stakeholders to ensure that Yorubaland is effectively secured through our various organizations.

I want to assure this August gathering that given the fact that the Oodua Progressives Union (OPU), which I am also the Convener, is now established in 79 countries, I will use this Union and other pan-Yoruba groups abroad to invite our sons and daughters with exceptional abilities, who have distinguished themselves in various fields, to come home and help in our quest to ensuring that our country takes its rightful place in the comity of nations.

GRATITUDE
At this juncture, let me express my profound gratitude to all our revered traditional rulers who have been working tirelessly to unite our race. It is a long list that it will not be possible to mention all.

But let me use the following to pay tribute to our traditional rulers: the Alaafin of Oyo, Iku Baba Yeye, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III who has deemed it fit to honour me with this prestigious title, the Ooni of Ife, Oonirisa Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II; Chairmen of Council of Obas and Chiefs and all traditional rulers in Yorubaland, and not forgetting my root, the Zaki of Arigidi-Akoko, Oba Yisa Olanipekun, and all traditional rulers in Akokoland; all the Obas who bestowed me with 52 titles, which invariably laid the foundation for my emergence as the Aare Ona Kakanfo.

CALL FOR UNITY
The journey has started from here. And my first appeal goes to Yoruba sons and daughters who are outside the shores of the country not to forget that there is no place like home. This was what informed the formation of the Oodua Progressives Union (OPU), Gani Adams Foundation and Olokun Festival Foundation. Please, see Yorubaland as the place to be. Don’t give the race a bad name. Come home to invest.

As the 15th Aare Ona Kakanafo, I consider myself lucky that there is no war at hand confronting the Yoruba race now. In other words, we are living in peace time. However, I am not pleased with the level of Yoruba unity today and I am very concerned. Therefore, my greatest priority is the unity of the Yoruba race at home and in the Diaspora.

I will, therefore, spare no effort in ensuring the unity of Yoruba race within the contemporary Nigeria body polity.

To take the journey further, I will, after this installation, launch the Aare Ona Kakanfo Foundation. This will further promote the culture of the people and document the history of the Aare Ona Kakanfo title.

Since we are now in the era of Information Technology, we will be unveiling historical documents obtained from the Iku Baba Yeye on the Aare Ona Kakanfo title to a website.

2018 makes it the 30th year that the last holder of the title, Aare M.K.O. Abiola, stood before you for his installation. He died on July 7, 1998 and the post was vacant for almost 20 years.

Same happened when the 13th holder of the title, Aare S.L. Akintola, died on January 15, 1966. It took more than 22 years before his successor took over. Why? There is the myth that holders of the title will always die a violent death. But, this is not so because many holders of the title lived to be more than 100 years.

So, apart from setting aside the myth and projecting the image of the office, documenting the Aare Ona Kakanfo title will also let people know that a child born of humble beginning like me can make it.

From the extreme North of Yorubaland, Arigidi-Akoko in Akoko North West Local Government the rural area of Ondo State, here I am emerging as the Aare Ona Kakanfo.

WAY FORWARD
My second appeal as the Aare Ona Kakanfo goes to the Federal Government to attend to some of the major roads in Yorubaland that are critical to its citizens. These include Lagos-Ibadan, Oyo-Ilorin, Lagos-Badagry, Sagamu-Benin, Badagry-Lusada-Sokoto, Ibadan-Iwo-Osogbo, Osogbo-Ilesa, Ilesa-Akure-Owo-Lokoja and Lagos-Abeokuta.

It will also be a major plus if the government, as promised by President Muhammadu Buhari in his January 1, 2018 speech, attends to rail transportation as fast as possible.

The issue of power is also critical. This will empower artisans more.

Security is equally important. All these would aid the development of the tourism potential of the country.

Several countries, such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Britain, Turkey, Singapore, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and Israel have diversified their economy to tourism.

I want to assure you that I will work with various stakeholders to turn our land into a viable tourist destination.

To our esteemed Governors in the South-West, I call for cooperation, no matter the party line. The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission should be empowered. And I want you all to see me as a partner in progress.

I offer myself for service once it is for the advancement of the Yoruba race. The various groups in the South-West should also resolve their crises.

I will also persuade seven of our elders, who are not partisan, to work with me in uniting all Yoruba and resolve differences wherever they may arise.

PROFOUND APPRECIATION
In closing, let me express my profound appreciation to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, for their support.

I want to thank our host Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, for his immense contribution towards the success of today’s event.

I also thank other governors for their support and contributions, financially and morally.

Let me thank all those who contributed to the success of this installation ceremony, especially members of the Planning Committee, the media and many others too numerous to mention.
I also want to thank my wife, Erelu Mojisola. She is a Pillar of Support and a Role Model for Women.

I want to assure all that as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo, I will use my position, God willing, to protect the interest of our land and our dear country Nigeria.

Mo ki gbogbo yin o
A dele bare o
Igba mi a tu ile Yoruba lara lágbara Olodumare, Amin.

Aare Ona Kakanfo Gani Adams
January 13, 2018.