Victory Speech by the Senator-elect for Lagos East Senatorial District on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the just-concluded bye-election
Mr. Adetokunbo Mukhail Abiru (Tokunbo Abiru) on December 6, 2020.
If there are people out there, who still doubt the popularity of our great party; who do not reckon with our leadership in this political landscape and who still dispute our progressive approach to governance, our comfortable victory in the just concluded bye-election readily offers them an infallible answer.
It is the answer the people of Lagos East generously delivered at the conclusion of last Saturday’s bye-election. It is the answer that resonates in their popular decision to give us their mandate. It is the answer that our unrepentant critics cannot contest, even in their wildest dream, given the credibility of the process that gave us the mandate. This answer did not in any way come by accident or chance. It came by dint of the hard work our party and campaign council invested in the electioneering. It also came through the selfless service of all members of our Campaign Council and Local Organising Committees (LOCs) that canvassed support for our party even during sometimes difficult circumstances.
On this note, I wish to commend and appreciate our party leadership from the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Chairman of Lagos APC, Prince Babatunde Balogun; all our leaders in the Governance Advisory Council (GAC) and all members of the State Executive Council (SEC) and State Working Committee (SWC) for putting up a formidable structure that again earned us the people’s mandate. Honestly our Campaign Council and all its Directorates have done a great job with the deft approaches they adopted to prosecute our campaign from the level of local councils and development areas to community engagements, street-to-street campaigns and house-to-house mobilisation, setting up meetings upon meetings with different groups of stakeholders in the five Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 11 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in our senatorial district.
The creativity, energy and passion with which the Chairman of our Campaign Council, Otunba Kaoli Olusanya prosecuted our campaign was amazing. Otunba Kaoli worked tirelessly and seamlessly with the Vice Chairman of the Campaign Council, Alhaji Bode Oyedele and all heads of our Campaign Directorates to secure our party’s mandate. Across the senatorial district, there are other people and groups, who passionately believe in the ideals of our party; who stood by us when those on the other sides were maligning our hard-earned reputation; who shared the burden of governing Lagos State and worked day and night with us. In this category are the Obas and Chiefs, the youth; women; non-indigenes and also indigenous people of Lagos East, among others. They all stood with and still stand by our party. I also recognize and applaud our friends and professional and business colleagues in the private sector who supported this noble endeavour financially and otherwise and demonstrated their understanding of the need for more professionals to enter the public space.
With the support of our formidable team, we campaigned relentlessly from local council to local council, community to community and indeed from house to house. We shared our mission and vision with the people of Lagos East across all social strata with confidence and conviction that the future of our children, youths, women and our people at large is safer and more secure with the progressives. As a political party, we reeled out our performance index, pointing out what we had done differently in government and what we are capable of doing now. As a party candidate, I presented my sterling career success, enviable records of service and robust pedigree as testimonials to my capacity, commitment and competence to represent the people fairly and bring them expected ends.
And our records abundantly spoke for us at the poll. Our people – whether in Epe, Ibeju-Lekki, Ikorodu, Kosofe and Somolu – believed in the evidence of our previous stewardship rather than in the concocted accounts of our traditional opposition. Our people believed in the ideals of our party rather than in the fabricated reports those who could not play by the rules resorted to in a failed attempt to discredit us politically or the fictitious opinion poll they dished out to score cheap political points. In spite of the campaign of anger and frustration they prosecuted, the people of Lagos East generously gave us their mandate. This is perhaps the smoothest victory our party has secured in its recent history. We polled 89,204 votes, while our closest rival scored 11,251 votes. This outcome is no doubt, a reaffirmation of our expanding political support base, not just in Lagos East, but also in Lagos State at large. It is without doubt a proof of the degree of public trust we have earned in our party’s two decades or more in governance in Lagos State.
The election has been held and we have won with a landslide. Now that we have secured this Senatorial mandate; we cannot afford to fail our people. We cannot afford to fail those who voted for us; those who chose not to vote for us for whatever reasons and those who did not vote at all. We cannot afford to betray the invaluable trust our people reposed in us as a political party and as their representatives in government. Now is the time to translate all the promises we made into positive and tangible outcomes our people are expecting us to bring about. Now is the time to take our people from the realm of expectations to the limelight of fulfilment.
I commit myself irrevocably to the agenda I laid out before the electorate-offering people-focused quality representation; ensuring welfare of my constituents; working with my colleagues in the National Assembly to ensure special status for Lagos; promoting policies to improve national economic performance and financial sector development; implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); facilitating completion of all federal and state road projects in Lagos East; promoting ease of doing business; supporting the 5 for 5 agenda for police reform; supporting fiscal federalism and joining forces with colleagues in the Senate and members of the House of Representatives to ensure devolution of powers to the sub-national governments.
Within the limits of our statutory mandate, this is the time to make the aged smile; empower our jobless youths; minister to the vulnerable; secure the future of brilliant indigent children and support the implementation of the ideals of our party. To achieve these enviable goals, we are already in the process of establishing an Endowment and Empowerment Fund to actualize my private philanthropy. The Fund will implement different interventions we are coming up with in line with my agenda and the ideals of our party. Already, our team is perfecting the modalities for the implementation of all these intervention programmes. By the middle of January, we will unveil these programmes in full and begin implementation immediately.
I thank our people for this mandate and promise to live up to your expectations.
Thank you and God bless.
Mr. Adetokunbo Mukhail Abiru, FCA.
Senator-Elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
December 6, 2020
Femi Pedro Replaces Late Kemi Nelson in GAC
A former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Femi Pedro, has made a comeback from political oblivion and relegation. He is now back to political relevance and wielding enormous powers, at least at the state level.
At the time he was poached from the banking sector in the early 2000, where he was at that time, the Managing Director of defunct First Atlantic Bank, to be Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s deputy in Lagos, he wielded some degree of power and was naturally courted by many who requested one favour or the other from him. But that wasn’t for long as no sooner had he tasted power than he began to tussle with his benefactor over his choice of successor in the twilight of his boss’ administration.
Pedro wanted to succeed his boss but the latter didn’t think he was the right man for the job. In anger, he began to throw tantrums, resigned and moved to another party, hoping to fulfill his ambition. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out as he wanted and that was the beginning of his end.
The Lagos State House of Assembly naturally decided to impeach him for alleged gross misconduct and subsequent forfeiture of all his entitlements as Deputy Governor of Lagos State. He suffered badly for seven years for his political miscalculation. He became relegated in the scheme of things. After some soul searching, he swallowed his pride and went back to his boss when he couldn’t remedy his situation. He was accepted back albeit, warily. He had to prove his loyalty and after a few tests he passed.
First, he got a pardon from the State House of Assembly orchestrated by his former boss, for his impeachment. This was after the House considered his plea to be forgiven in a letter he wrote them in 2015. Then he was given a federal appointment, as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), courtesy of the influence of his former boss. To further restore his political relevance, he was recently appointed to the Council of the Governor’s Advisory Council, GAC, the highest decision-making body of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State.
His appointment may likely be a replacement to the vacant position of the late former women leader in South West APC, Kemi Nelson who was a commissioner during Tinubu’s tenure as governor. Until her death weeks ago, she was the only female in GAC, a position she earned due to her closeness to Tinubu and her immense contributions to the party in Lagos State. With Pedro’s appointment, one can rightly say that he is back to political reckoning.
SIFAX Boss, Taiwo Afolabi’s Twin Brother Dies
Sifax and Marriot Hotel boss , Dr. Taiwo Afolabi is not a happy man at the moment. He has just lost his twin brother Kenny Afolabi to the cold hands of death.
Kenny, who was popularly known as Watari when he was alive we learnt died in his sleep. Though, many people around him beleive he was nursing an ailment that made him stop drinking some years back, but none could say what killed him eventually.
Taiwo Olayinka Afolabi is a Nigerian business magnate and lawyer. He is the founder and current C.E.O of SIFAX Group, a conglomerate that deals in Maritime, Aviation, Haulage, Hospitality, Financial Services and Oil and Gas, while Kenny Afolabi was known with his Hotel known as Ken Dallas that has its location somewhere in Ikotun, Lagos.The late Kenny pictured left above with his brother,Taiwo, was 60yrs old.
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