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Still On Dino Melaye

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Biodun Okeowo

Senator Dino Melaye might have fallen, but he is not going down without a fight.

Melaye, who is set to be recalled by electorates from Kogi West Senatorial District, seems unperturbed by the unfortunate incident waiting to happen.

In recent times, he has been sharing tasteful pictures of himself on social media, as if he is enjoying his last days as a Senator.

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Since his dilemma commenced, Melaye’s accusing fingers have been pointing towards the direction of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, who he has been accusing of sponsoring his recall.

With INEC set to commence Melaye’s recall, the Senator has been using all opportunities available to him to mock and criticise Governor Yahaya.

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Days back, Melaye threw another salvo at Governor Yahaya, saying, “See the type of project Gov. Yahaya Bello is doing. Money to construct this signpost is more than the value of mobile toilet. God saves Kogi.” Melaye is definitely not going down without throwing a couple of punches.

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SANWO-OLU INAUGURATES CABINET, CHARGES MEMBERS ON SERVICE DELIVERY

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Commissioners

…Commissioners, Special Advisers Get Portfolios

All roads led to Alausa – the seat of Lagos State Government – on Tuesday for an August occasion.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu constituted the state’s Executive Council, with the swearing in of 35 cabinet members who took the oath as Commissioners and Special Advisers.

The event, held at Adeyemi Bero Hall in the Secretariat, was witnessed by the leaders and members of All Progressives Congress (APC) from all Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas in the state.

Also at the event included the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Tayo Ayinde, his deputy, Mr. Gboyega Soyannwo, and Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola.

At exactly 12:18pm, Mrs. Yemisi Ogunlola of the Ministry of Justice administered the oath on the appointees, signaling the official take-off of their tenure.

The cabinet, Sanwo-Olu observed, was unique in leadership qualities and gender diversity, adding that its members were selected through a rigorous process based on their track records in service delivery in their respective fields.

The Governor charged them to bring their years of leadership and administrative experience to bear in handling affairs of the state, stressing that the people of Lagos could not wait any longer to benefit from his administration’s programmes.

He said: “It is with pride that I congratulate the new Commissioners and Special Advisers on your well-deserved appointments. It is a testament to your capacity, your accomplishments and your track record of hard work, commitment, dedication and professionalism in your private and public endeavours.

“Today, all of you are inducted into a singular administration, unique in its diversity – both of heritage and of creed – made up of technical and politically skilled men and women who understand the challenges of our State, grasp the grand vision of our administration, and are sensitive to the yearnings of our citizens, whom we must ultimately serve.”

Sanwo-Olu said the ultimate goal of his administration was to ensure Lagos remained the top destination for business, work and living in Africa, reiterating his government’s commitment to build on the foundation laid by his predecessors through Lagos Development Blueprint initiated by the government of APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The Governor charged the appointees on innovation, commitment and exemplary leadership in the assigned roles, while also advising them to be prepared for the challenges ahead and be ready to pay any price for the development of Lagos.

He said: “Great opportunities for employment and wealth creation can only be realised sustainably if we are able to enhance governance with creativity, innovation and technology, while embracing collaboration with the private sector and continual dialogue and partnership with all relevant stakeholders.

“This is the task we have been called upon to undertake in the next four years on behalf of our people who are relying on us to support their dreams and aspirations. I charge you all to show commitment, diligence and exemplary leadership as the necessary virtues needed to achieve the greatness we desire for our State and to deliver the prosperity our people deserve.”

Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, described the event as “a major milestone” in the history of political development in Lagos.

She said the choice of the cabinet appointees was a testimony to the determination of the Sanwo-Olu administration to tackle the challenges facing the state and build a prosperous society.

She presented the cabinet members to the public and urged them to keep their focus on service delivery.

Giving a vote of assurance on behalf of the cabinet members, the Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, said the team would foster unity of purpose and dedication to enable the Governor realise his vision.

Other Commissioners sworn in include: Mr. Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo (Finance), Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo (Education), Prof. Akin Abayomi (Health), Dr. Idris Salako (Physical Planning and Urban Development), Mr. Gbenga Omotoso (Information and Strategy), Mrs. Bolaji Dada (Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation), Mr. Lere Odusote (Energy and Natural Resources), Dr. Frederic Oladeinde (Transportation), Mr. Gbolahan Lawal (Agriculture), Moruf Akinderu Fatai (Housing), and Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo, SAN, (Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice).

Also, Commissioners are Mr. Hakeem Fahm (Science and Technology), Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle (Establishment, Training and Pension), Engr. Aramide Adeyoye (Works and Infrastructure), Mr. Segun Dawodu (Youth and Social Development), Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf (Home Affairs), Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke (Local Government and Community Affairs), Mrs. Lola Akande (Commerce and Industry), Mrs. Olufunke Adebolu (Tourism Arts and Culture), and Mr. Sam Egube (Economy Planning and Budget).

The Special Advisers are Dr. Wale Ahmed (Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations), Ms Ruth Bisola Olusanya (Agriculture), Princess Aderemi Adebowale

(Civic Engagement), Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo (Political and Legislative Affairs), Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka (Housing), and Joe Igbokwe (Drainage and Water Resources).

Others Advisers are Olatunbosun Alake (Innovation and Technology), Arc. Kabiru Ahmed Abdullahi (Urban Development), Anofi Elegushi (Central Business Districts), Bonu Solomon Saanu (Arts and Culture), Oluwatoyin Fayinka (Transportation), Oladele Ajayi (Commerce and Industry), Tokunbo Wahab (Education), and Solape Hammond (Sustainable Development Goals).

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EFCC SEARCH: NO CAUSE FOR ALARM, SAYS AMBODE

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EFCC Search

Former governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Tuesday urged his supporters and the general public to remain calm and law-abiding as there was no cause for alarm.

Ambode, in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Habib Aruna, spoke on the backdrop of a search by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on his Epe Country home and Parkview Ikoyi residence, where the anti-graft agency conducted the exercise without any incident.

He said the Commission, till date, has not opened any direct communication with him on any issue, adding that he was ready and willing to respond if or when they do so.

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The statement reads: “This morning, operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission visited the Epe Country home and Parkview Ikoyi residence of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, former Governor of Lagos State, with warrants to conduct a search. These searches were carried out extensively and at the end of the exercise the operatives left without any incident.

“The former Governor reiterates that the EFCC has till date not had any direct communication with him on any subject matter whatsoever and if or when it occurs he is ready and willing to respond.

“The former governor wishes to assure his supporters and the generality of Lagosians to continue to remain calm and law-abiding as there is no cause for alarm.”

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The former governor reiterated his belief in the rule of law and due process and remains grateful for the opportunity to have served Lagos State diligently and conscientiously.

It would be recalled that Ambode, in an earlier response to allegations by the EFCC that it had frozen certain accounts linked to him, insisted that no account of his contained N9.9bn let alone being frozen by the Commission as those accounts were opened and operated by the Lagos State Government.

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CABINET TO BE INAUGURATED THIS WEEK – SANWO-OLU

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Lagos State Executive Council will be fully inaugurated on Tuesday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said.

The Governor said he would not delay the swearing-in of Commissioner- and Special Adviser-designates already cleared by the State House of Assembly. He spoke at the weekend while receiving a body of retired top civil servants under the aegis of the Association of Lagos State Retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries (ALARHOSPS).

Sanwo-Olu said that the wheel of governance would be in full gear before the end of the coming week, in fulfillment of his campaign promise to inaugurate his cabinet within 90 days. He added that new Permanent Secretaries would also be sworn in on Monday to complement the activities of Commissioners and Special Advisers.

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He said: “Next week, by God’s grace, we are swearing in all other complements of cabinet and also Permanent Secretaries to have the engine of governance on full swing. At that point, we believe that all the campaign promises we made can come to reality and Lagosians can benefit more from the choice they made at the last election.”

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The cabinet members are expected to be allocated their individual ministries during the inauguration ceremony, scheduled to start at 9am.

The Governor described the body of retired civil servants as “valuable assets” to the state, noting that their actions while in service contributed to the “enviable height” Lagos attained among states in the nation.

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