Sentiments aside, this man has really done well for Agege as a whole. So many roads (including my in-law’s street) built and many folks are empowered! I will always wish him success in all his moves.”
That was a short message I got from a journalist and owner of a news medium recently. I had just sent out a story that had to do with the sudden endorsement of Dr. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, the unassuming Right Honourable Speaker of Lagos, by notable leaders in the Agege area of the State. The media man could not hold back his love for the man who has succeeded in turning Agege, a very busy but hitherto behindhand area of the State into a “mini-London”, apologies to Segun Ekundayo, a friend and resident of the area, who told me in December last year: “Obasa is a lifetime opportunity and blessing to Agege. He can never be forgotten.”
To Ekundayo, a human and industrial relations professional, Agege is now a mini-London. He opins that Speaker Obasa’s love for Agege is further boosted by the fact that he has remained a resident of the place even with his status as the third citizen of the State. “You will hardly find a political office holder who would want to remain with the people he lived with before his stars shone so bright. Many would leave their original places and go stamp their feets in choice areas only sneeking back when it is time for election. Obasa has never lived outside Agege and this is the reason he sees every of the people’s challenges, he has suffered from poor road infrastructure just like the pepper seller, the businessman, the motorists and residents. And today, his name is everywhere, even in the mouths of children.
“Let me tell you, that bridge that was constructed to replace that Pen Cinema Roundabout has galluped the economic activities in this area. You know what they say about how infrastructure can affect businesses whether positively or negatively. The roads and other infrastructure have helped to improve businesses. Of course, we know he is a legislature, but his influence and the way he has attracted life to our area is incomparable. We have never had it this good,” he added.
Prior to 2015, who would have thought that Pen Cinema, one of the busiest areas of Agege would one day become a hitch-free joyride for motorists and commuters plying that area? Visit Agege if you haven’t been there for a long time.
The much about the roads was confirmed by Dr. Babatunde Adejare, a member representing Agege Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives. Adejare, while speaking at an Iftar programme recently, recalled a conversation he had with a Senator some weeks ago.
What did Adejare say? This Senator was in Lagos for the birthday ceremony of revered musician, Chief Ebenezer Obey. Then, in the course of discussions, the Senator, who could not hold back his observation, expressed bewilderment at the transformation of Agege, especially in relation to the road networks. Hear Adejare: “Days ago, during the 80th birthday of Ebenezer Obey, a visiting Senator was marvelled that Agege now has very good roads. I told him not to forget that we have the Speaker of Lagos here.”
Did that sink? Is it now very clear why Agege – not just the Constituency 1 – and its political leaders want Obasa to return to the House of Assembly in 2023, despite the fact that he has the Senate seat for Lagos West in his palms and would get it if he wants it? The leaders of Agege, who endorsed his return to the House of Assembly, already said that much.
Wale Ahmed, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy in Lagos, also believes that having Speaker Obasa come from Agege remains a blessing to the people and that a top-up of the blessing would be Obasa’s return to the House. “My prayer is that after the elections next year, we would all gather here to celebrate again,” he prayed.
To the average resident of Agege, Obasa remains one to be proud of. Testimonies of how he has always helped indigent students abound. This assistance to students has become a norm. Some of the beneficiaries are today professionals. Doctors, lawyers, politicians. He has built leaders and constantly plays his role, with much sacrifice, to create an environment that would genuinely help the majority to have food on their tables.
Employment and youth engagement? Obasa will always remain a shining example in this area. He would never want to talk about what he does for people. But the people know. They also believe that to show appreciation is to ask him to return to that position. They believe the now popular axiom: “The reward for hardwork is more work.” And to the other parts that form Lagos West Senatorial District, the people of Agege are saying: “We know you also want to enjoy the goodness that Obasa has become to us, but please è lò sèmpè, asi’n gbadun oga wa.”
Eromosele is the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.
NDLEA Recovers N8bn Tramadol In Lagos
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has busted a mansion in the Lekki area of Lagos State where Tramadol was stored.
NDLEA Spokesman, Femi Babafemi, in a statement on Monday, said the pills recovered from the mansion were no less than 13,451,466 and worth N8.8bn in street value.
He said the mansion belonged to a billionaire drug baron, *Ugochukwu* *Nsofor* *Chukwukadibia* , who was now in custody.
The statement read in part, “The arrest of Ugochukwu, who is the Chairman of Autonation Motors Ltd, is coming barely two months after NDLEA uncovered at least 258.7kg of crystal methamphetamine in a clandestine laboratory in the residence of another drug kingpin in the estate, Chris Emeka Nzewi, who was arrested alongside a chemist, Sunday Ukah, who cooked the illicit drug for him, on September 30.
Following credible intelligence, NDLEA operatives on Friday 30th September stormed the Plot A45 Road 2 home of the 52-year-old billionaire drug kingpin. A search of the expansive mansion led to the discovery of 443 cartons of Tramadol Hydrochloride 225mg, which contains 13, 451, 466 pills of the drug while some cartons were already burnt in a fire incident in the house same day
“Before his arrest, Ugochukwu who hails from Ihiala local government area of Anambra state has been on the Agency’s watchlist as one of those behind the Tramadol drug cartel in Nigeria.
“Preliminary investigation shows that he has about six mansions within the VGC, one of which he uses to warehouse the Tramadol consignment, while he lives in the one at Plot Z-130 Road 67 and another as his office.
“Five exotic vehicles have also been located in two of his mansions, out of which two SUVs including a bullet proof jeep have been successfully removed to the Agency’s facility.
“Reacting to the latest drug haul, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd.) commended the officers and men involved in the operation for their diligence while also appreciating Nigerians for supporting the Agency in its arduous task of ridding the country of the menace of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
Dangote Cement Allegedly ForgedTax Receipt To Deceive Kogi Getovernment
The Kogi State Government through its agency Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS) has accused Dangote Cement Plc Obajana of forging its tax receipt.
The acting Chairman of KGIRS, Salisu Enehe, disclosed this during the ongoing investigative hearing by the State House of Assembly ad hoc Committee on revenue at the Assembly Complex in Lokoja.
Enehe was responding to the claim by the committee that the company had paid over 14 billion tax to the Agency between 2016 till date.
According to the state revenue boss, most of the figures the company claimed to have paid are totally incorrect, urging the company to check its record.
He said despite the billions of naira that company is making from the state monthly, it has failed to pay taxes that are due the state and Lokoja Local Government Area.
Enehe said instead of doing the needful, the Dangote company approached the court to stale payment of taxes that are legally passed by the state assembly and assented to by the governor.
He noted that the lack of tax payment has slowed down the development of the state.
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Gabriel Olofu, said Dangote company has refused to pay for business premises in the last two years.
Olusegun Ogunbanjo, the Head of Accounts of the Company told the committee that the company had paid N14billion tax from 2016 till date.
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